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Droid Bleeps
January 26, 2006
Irony in the ionosphere
Mood:  spacey
Topic: star wars
Amidst all this talk of replacing the group, I actually got a bit of work done last week. The MSE you see here is being assembled using a vac-formed body that I purchased from Hollywood special effects artist extrodinaire, Max Cervantes. about a thousand years ago. (Well I do know it was in the previous Millenium.)

If picture is broken try clicking here it won't either, but it will give you something to do for a few seconds

It is a neat and simple affair in two pieces. There is the trapezoid like upper part of the body (aka the TOP) and a lower body section (the PAN) This particular body is about 1-1/2” short in length when compared with MSE builders club specs, however, it is dead on in both height and width.

The wheels are not cut out of the PAN, so it would be an easy matter for some handy individual to lengthen one of these and perhaps even cast a new ‘compleat’ body from that cast.

It is an easy discrepancy to overlook because it was in fact created a year or more before Mark Mullen’s excellent drawings based upon hands on dimensions of a screen used MSE prop became the de-facto club standard. Additionally, the length makes it a terrific fit for the Bolink* Legend R/C car chassis used for this project. The selection of this vehicle was based almost exclusively on the fact that there were 3 of them sitting around gathering dust in the hobby work room.

To mark the body for the necessary cuts for the wheel openings, I simply set the lower body tub right side up on the table and placed the Legend into it. With the front bumper removed the fit is so good the car pretty much centers itself. I used a silver Sharpie to block out the approximate wheel locations on the black PVC.

If picture is broken try clicking here it won't either, but it will give you something to do for a few seconds

In this photo you can see wheel holes cut into the flat bottom of the lower pan at all four corners. These were done by drilling holes at the corners of each wheel space and connecting the dots with a thin saw blade. Going slowly helps to prevent the plastic from melting and resealing the cut behind the blade as it moves through.

Notice also that between the rear wheels holes a tab was left that will act as a bracket for the lower body pan to rest on one of the rear cross bars of the chassis. A similar tab must remain at the front after a channel is cut down the center of the lower pan to fit the Legend chassis.

The lower part of the MSE body is partially cut to fit the Legend R/C car chassis. At the back is a tab that will rest on the lower cross bar of the chassis I will cut a channel down the center of the lower pan to fit the width of the chassis, leaving tabs at the front and back that will allow the chassis to support the body.

*Unfortunately, Bolink went out of business around 2001, so these cars are no longer available. However, it may be possible to incorporate aspects of their simple ladder frame chassis directly into the design of the lower pan of the MSE body, to create an MSE with the correct wheelbase.

Posted by apwartrigit at 7:55 AM EST
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October 31, 2004
Liberals and Lawn signs The grassroots of Bush vs. Keery
#2 The Election is only a few days away and I want to weigh in with my worthless prediction before it's over. I live in central NJ and in the course of my job I drive all over Monmouth and Ocean counties. New Jersey has historically been a 'blue state', with voter registration probably running about 3 to 1 Democrat over Republican. Today based on my observation of the visible political paraphernalia with which people make their opinions known, I'd have to say the State is solidly purple, and possibly even a tad magenta, which suggests to me that NJ is going to re-elect the incumbent Republican George W. Bush to be president on November 2nd of 2004.

Lawn signs and bumper stickers are to be found all over the landscape, but in my travels visiting eight home a day six days a week, I have noticed that there are practically no signs for John Kerry on actual lawns. If this sort of `grassroots campaigning' is any indication, it is easily running 8 to 1 in favor of Bush with actual voters.

Let me state that while I have seen a few signs for the Democrat and his running mate John Edwards on lawns of private homes, but the best places to find them are at traffic light intersections, and along highway off ramps, and median strips of roads like Routes 35 thru Middletown, 37 in Toms River, and 195 which runs east/west from Belmar to Trenton where they seem to sprout up like mushrooms.

I see lawns signs for local candidates of both parties. However, if the locals are Democrats there is no sign for a presidential candidate. I also have seen Bush signs on street corners in one-sie two-sies, with one exception. There was a gas station in Belmar that was ringed with dozens of them. When I asked the attendant if he knew who put them up, he said he had done it as instructed by the owner. I plan to patronize this station whenever I can.

Similarly, I have seen a variety of bumper stickers for both candidates and if quantity translates to support Bush is ahead there by a factor of about 20 to 1. The bumper stickers are varied and numerous for Bush. I have seen a myriad of different versions of the basic Bush/Cheney 04 blue rectangle citing `this constituency group for Bush' and `that constituency group for Bush`. But the one I probably see most often is the W04 oval, the same one I have on my own car. Kerry Bumper sticker are few and far between though I have also encountered a variety of them. There is one that sticks out in my mind it appeared to be hand lettered although its possible it was produced on a copier, and it was probably not meant seriously for Kerry but as an attack against him, either way it stated;

"Elitist Windsurfers for Kerry"

The other Kerry bumper sticker phenomenon that I have noticed is tiny circles. If you're a blood donor you'll know that they will sometimes give you a sticker about 3" in diameter that reads "Be nice to me. I gave blood today". You are supposed to wear this on your shirt, or the lapel of your jacket. If you go to a rally for a candidate you will see someone handing out stickers about this same size with the candidates logo on it. Apparently after people go to a rally they remove the sticker from their sweater and put it on their back of their car. This is quite a neat idea except that you have to be right behind someone at a traffic light to be able to read the tiny thing.

Inside the homes I visit as part of my work, (8/day 6 days/week) I keep coming across the Republican elephant. Mostly, the GOP's preeminent pachyderm is incarnated as a refrigerator magnet, and though he is not in every home I visit, if the political affiliation of the home can be determined, its almost always `trunks up`.

I don't believe I have ever seen a Democrat donkey refrigerator magnet. Now, my job again, is to measure kitchens and bathrooms, for new cabinets, and counter tops, and `conventional wisdom' tells us the it is the Republican who are the rich fat cats, so should we assume that the reason why I'm seeing more Republican homes is that this is the sort of home renovation that only Republicans can afford? Well, the company I work for gets its jobs through Home Depot*, and I see homes at every level of the economic scale, and the only times I get the Democrat vibe is when I walk into a home with a huge amazing brand new kitchen, only to be told the customer wants Home Depot to do the cabinets for a laundry room the size of my Master Bedroom. In these homes (and there have been only three that I can think of) I'll overhear the lady of the house on the phone in the next room talking about how unfairly the press is treating Democratic New Jersey Governor James McGreevy. This would suggest that it is the people who can afford better than what the Depot offers that are more likely to be Democrats. It's only a personal observation, and I can't back it with empirical research evidence, but my own experience contradicts `conventional wisdom'.

*Home Depot neither supports nor endorses Droid Bleeps.
Heck I'd be astounded if the ever even found out that it existed.

Posted by apwartrigit at 11:24 AM EDT
Updated: October 31, 2004 11:38 AM EDT
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October 21, 2004
first post
#1 Greetings, and welcome to the first installment of my personal blog column `DROID BLEEPS' which will consist largely of the smatterings and opines of my daily life that I have taken the time to jot down, and share with my fellow travelers in the world. (That would be you.) The fact that my primary cultural reference point happens to be Star Wars will occasionally affect my verbiage or at times be almost completely irrelevant to what is herein writ. This isn't a column about Star Wars, its a column about me. I can almost hear the masses now muttering `oh joy' with unrestrained sarcasm.

As you may have surmised by the no doubt completely un-original title of this column, I am a Star Wars fan. I am NOT a `Star Wars geek' (though I hope to someday be worthy of the title) for while I obsess about the movies and the universe of same, I have been repeatedly out geeked by so many for so long that it isn't even funny anymore.

Allow me now, to tell you a bit too much about myself. I am a white, male, (37), Roman Catholic, conservative, Republican. Based on the stereotypes those demographics statistics represent, one could say that I am my own `Axis of Evil'. Indeed in my own household I am an army of one. Oh, and I was born and raised in New Jersey.

Still here? You either share some of these traits or you have a higher than normal tolerance for opposing view points. In either case may I commend you for your fine taste in internet fare, and consummate skill in navigating the net. There are a lot of options out there and how you landed upon this particular steaming pile of HTML is quite beyond my ability to understand.

So let me give you a small idea of a day in my life is like. I am married and am father to 8 children. My wife Julie is a stay at home Mom, and I work as a draftsman for Home Depot because I never finished college. (Getting a 2 year Associates Degree took me 10 years)

Posted by apwartrigit at 9:50 PM EDT
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