Hacks: May 2017

The month of May was, well, a month. Work — both normal day-to-day stuff and freelance — took up a large share of my time. Combine that with my back issues flaring up again, and nothing much on the physical side of the tinkering list got addressed at all. Big sigh.

I have been spending a lot of time with the intellectual geeky pursuits, however. Most of that has been at the keyboard, as I work to hone my front-end dev skills back to something that would allow me to land a job at it, as I’ve been documenting elsewhere in this blog.


Not much to report here. Just wrote a bunch of batch scripts that will be handling the routine backups of my site and set them up as cron jobs. Been working through re-learning stuff and trying to hash out some improvements/fixes in my nginx config files to improve performance.

I also wrote some scripts that will build out an entire webserver from the ground up, including software installs and server config. It’s pretty nice.

3D Printing

No action here.

CX Frame

Some really minor work on cleaning up fillets. I need to step this up over the next couple of months so that I have this thing done and ready before cyclocross season.

Singlespeed Bike

I scored the Surly Steamroller frame, and went with the Drink More Water Yellow, which sounded fun. When it showed up, it was barf. Literally, I am going to have a barf-colored bike, and that is sad. The upside is, I am going to be putting blue anodized wheels on it, which is going to make it extra ugly. Next year, I’ll probably strip off the horrible barf-colored powdercoat and have it redone in a bright “don’t hit me with your car, dude” orange. Which the blue ano will work just fine with.

Surly SteamrollerBecause you like pictures, here’s a pic of it in the stand as of May 29th. I have all the parts except the wheelset, which I need to place the order for.

Most of the stuff came out of the spare parts bin: Thomson stem/seatpost, Chris King headset, FMF BMX cranks, Deda bar, headset spacers. Had to order the mediocre Cane Creek brake levers (could justify springing for the fancy TRP stuff), a decent pair of TRP brake calipers, and a few other things including the WTB Volt Comp. Wheels are going to be Velocity Deep-V laced 32/3-cross to a pair of All-City New Sheriff hubs. Running it with a singlespeed freewheel, obvs. Going to be tons of fun.

What I Learned

  • PHP kinda sucks and I need to sit down and learn React, Node, and Angular.


  • Mavo looks like a fast way to build simple HTML5-based web apps.
  • The Minnesota Tool Library seems like it’ll be the way to go when it comes time to tackle some of the woodworking ideas I have.

Next Month

  • Get back to a full-time contract, order the wheels for the singlespeed.
  • Maybe, possibly, actually, finally finish building the printer.
  • Apple opened up HomeKit, so now it’s feasible to have Arduino stuff controlled by your iPhone. I’m going to do some thinking about this.
  • Braze up the cyclocross fork.

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