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31 July 2016

Stepping out with the xiaomi mi band 2

Do you remember my posts on the Mi Band? It's been a while since I mentioned it. There was a time when it was all I could talk about. I bought one for me and loved it so much that I also bought one for Mrs Uke... whether she wanted one or not. Ha ha. She wore hers for about 3 months, but gave up in the end when it crashed and she lost her unbroken streak of hitting her steps target. She's such a terrible loser!

I've kept it up, but to be honest I'm struggling to get the steps in at the moment. Too much sitting on my arse writing blog posts! Ha ha. If only that was true.

About a month ago I was on the hunt for a replacement band for my mi when I discovered that there is now a newer model available. Can you guess what happened next?

 Here it is... the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. You'll have no doubt spotted one big improvement in as much as it has a screen.

The old Mi Band was pretty basic and in a way, this was it's strength. You got a daily step count and it counted your Zs while you slept. It even buzzed when you got phone calls, and could be used as an alarm. The upside was that you got a small, light band that lasted for an unprecedented month on a single charge... all for about 11 quid. Brilliant!

Can the Mi Band 2 live up to this?

Mitre-saw setup for monkeys

Following the Jorgensen Clamp incident, I felt the need to return to the carboot last weekend just in case there were more bargains to be had. The thing is... if you're at a carboot on the hunt for something specific then you're going to come home empty handed. You need to keep and open mind and your wallet will follow. I picked up something rather special...

Can you believe that this is a real advert? Sadly, it is, and not from too long ago. I wonder how many they sold?

30 July 2016

Misadventures in Lino-cutting

A couple of weekends ago I happened across a couple of art books in a charity shop that piqued my interest. One in particular has grabbed me like a fever...

"Melbourne Woodcuts and Linocuts of the 1920's and 1930's" was first published in 1981. It was put together by a gentleman called Roger Butler as he joined the team at the National Gallery of Australia. The copy I have here is a 2003 reprint by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and it is BRILLIANT!

Inside is a taste of lino-cuts primarily produced in Australia in what appears to have been a renaissance of lino printing... a golden couple of decades. What I think I see here is a wonderful melting pot of techniques fed by immigrants to Australia from all over the world, traveling backwards and forwards with ideas, desperate to discover and create. I'm totally inspired! Ha ha.

It was maybe on my 50th reading of the book that I decided that I had to have a go at lino-cutting. How hard could it be? There was only one way to find out...

23 July 2016

The Magic of the Jorgensen Adjustable Clamp

I don't seem to be able to make the time to do any of my numerous woodworking projects at the moment. That doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about them or stockpiling. Last weekend I added two vital clamps to my arsenal. These clamps are special. I'd even go as far as to say that they're magic!

I first became aware of the magic of Jorgensen woodworking clamps perhaps a year or so ago. I knew of them, but I had never paid much attention to how they worked.

The picture above is from the patent that Hans Jorgensen filed for the design back in 1901..

I love elegant things and this is certainly elegant. The design is ingenious in its simplicity. What you have here are two wooden clamp arms joined by two threaded screws. The magic is that the screws are threaded in opposite directions at either end. They work very much like a car jack: turning the screw one way draws the clamp together; and turning the screw the other way, pushes the clamp arms apart.

The magic doesn't stop there: It's possible to adjust each of the screws independently as in the picture to pretty much grab a hold of any angle of wood.


16 July 2016

"Locus Solus" is published

Earlier this week I secretly published my latest comic "Locus Solus". This one really has been a labour of love. Let me explain...

Locus Solus... a study of despair

9 July 2016

I like Z Nation better than The Walking Dead...

"I like Z Nation better than The Walking Dead... and I'm prepared to fight any man who says otherwise" ~ King Uke
Them's brave words indeed and some might say, a little foolish. I've been absent from the Blog for a while now. It's not that I've given up... I've just been busy with real life. Time for a quick update.

This past month or so has been a bit of a milestone for me in as much as I've now officially joined the on-line revolution by adding Spotify to my monthly bill for Mrs Uke, and Netflix for my kids. So far, the experience has been costly, but good. I'll no doubt share more details with you in some later post. Today I'll share a few thoughts on a programme I happened across on Netflix called Z Nation.

It's all fun and laughter until somebody gets "piked" ~ Z Nation