Category Archives: Shiny!

Inside a Steam Iron

For most of my life I was not aware that I possess the Must-Take-Stuff-Apart-To-See-How-It-Works gene but for a number of years now I have had a burning curiosity to see what was inside my steam iron. I finally got the opportunity when it stopped working two or three weeks ago. I immediately wanted to take it apart but I don’t have a lot of experience with that sort of thing and didn’t see any obvious screws or nuts holding it together and didn’t know where to start. So I saved it for Number One Son and I watched and took pictures while he took it apart.

The cover with all the heat settings listed on it was easier to pop off than I had expected and I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t tried that. Quite silly but I was afraid of breaking that which I was planning to break.

Here are all the pieces. (Oops, forgot to move the salt and pepper. I moved them after taking this picture but this was the best picture of this stage of disassembly. And yes, that is a half eaten cookie on the left in these first two pictures.) That sort of bronze colored thing is the water reservoir. I think it’s actually made of aluminum.

Here it is with the water reservoir removed.

And finally, the very bottom piece with almost everything else removed.

Well, that was fun. Seriously, it really was fun. By the way, my new steam iron is the same brand and is almost exactly like the old one.

Retro Future

Yesterday I went searching for retro future images and here’s some of what I found.

Posts tagged “retro future” on Tumblr – Nice. I need to have a look at the Tumblrs these came from. I like the train; more steampunk than retro future but I like it. It’s from Steampunk Tendencies, which has a lot of even more awesome images.

To the Stars – a great collection of images in a 2007 blog post.

Retro Sci-Fi art – This is part 6. Links to 1 thru 4 at the bottom. Great images. The Western Electric ad is hilarious.

Retro future ads for social media

Retropolis – Ooooo! Stuff to buy! Really cool stuff. A bit on the spendy side though. I thought about getting one of the calendars but they cost twice as much as I usually spend for a calendar. One (or two) of the t-shirts though… that’s temptation I might not be able to resist. They’re a little more expensive than most but not totally out of line.

Amazing Things

One of my favorite Facebook pages is Amazing Things In the World. It features all kinds of wonderful photos from the weird to the heartwarming to the simply beautiful. And now there is an Amazing Things In the World blog. Only one post there so far but I’m hoping there will be many more.

Unfortunately many of the comments on the Facebook page are rude or cynical. People who don’t enjoy beautiful things should just stay away from beautiful web pages.

The Latest Cooking Innovation

He who sent this to me may identify himself in the comments if he cares to but I can vouch for this being 100% true because I know him and he does clever, geeky stuff like this all the time.

Around lunchtime at work today, I noticed I had brought a can of chili, a
spoon, a can opener… but not a bowl. Only container I could find was the
can itself, which of course can’t be put in the microwave. If only I had
something that could make things hot… seems like I have a machine that
could do that at work…

…so without further stalling, I give you … LASER CHILI.

Open a can of your favorite, be it Hormel, Cambells, or Wolf. Add
seasonings to taste.

Place opened can on flat surface on cutting table – 3/8″ Cold Reduced
works great, but stainless or aluminum will serve just as well, so long as
you aren’t trying to balance the can on the rails.

Backfill laser tubes with 5% Carbon Dioxide, 40% Nitrogen, and 55% helium.
If using a FANUC laser, this should happen automatically. Warm up high
voltage supply.

Write program to turn the laser on at 2000 watts, move Z axis to -1.5″,
and move in a 1″ circle for one minute.

Load program into memory, use Manual Pulse Generator (handwheel) to move
head over the center of the can. Enter X and Y position in program. Push
The Big Green Button.

In a minute and a half, enjoy your meal. Feeds one forgetful laser operator.

He adds, “…you have to turn the assist gas off or you will make a mess.” I can only imagine.

That’s My Boy

This is “Number One Son”, (a.k.a. Hippie (he used to have long hair)) of whom I write so often. Obviously that’s the only reason I’m showing you a video about a muffler but with my tiny but diverse readership it’s not inconceivable that one or two of you might find it interesting or even useful. (Audio is missing from part of the video, only about a minute or so)

All I Really Want…

Immediately after I wrote the last post I thought, “All I really want from the future is to live to be at least 150 and be healthy, weigh what I weighed when I was 30 and never have any more wrinkles than I have right now.” And of course for all my family to be there with me to enjoy it. That’s the main thing but then I thought of some other things that might be nice…

What about those thin, flexible, paper-like displays like we saw in Firefly? Then we could have an e-book reader that looked and felt like a real book with pages you could turn but what was on the pages could change so you could have a gazillion books in one.

A small, lightweight, affordable, super battery that could power cars, our houses, everything, and last at least as long as the average watch battery. It wouldn’t have to be as small as a watch battery of course; maybe the size of a lantern battery or, to power cars and houses, I guess something the size of one car battery wouldn’t be bad at all.

Star Trek style medicine. Just lay on a bed and the computer tells what’s wrong with you; the doc waves a little hand held device over the affected part and you’re cured.

The ability to design any product (shoes, appliances, etc.) and have it created exactly as I want it and have it delivered. I guess I just described the replicator but it wouldn’t even have to be instantaneous. Just to be able to get exactly what I want, even if I have to wait a week or two, would be enough.

A really big space station, spin for artificial gravity, with comfortable hotels, restaurants, and other tourist facilities. Even if I never went there myself it would make me happy just knowing it existed.

What about you? What’s on your technology wish list?

My “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”

Wow. Samizdata linked to my smart-alecky little football post. That’s great. If ever I had an opinion that I wanted to share with more people than just my half-dozen fans that would be one of them. It sort of makes me wish I had written more of a rant but that’s really all I had to say. It’s always great to get a link from one of the big guys, and even more so when they pick up on something I really wanted to tell the world.

This ‘n’ That

I do not need these but they keep calling to me. (I’m not getting them. I have never paid more than $100 for a pair of shoes but if they ever have a half off sale on them I might not be able to resist temptation.)

Tilly and the Buttons is a nice sewing blog. This One Week One Pattern challenge is sort of interesting. I don’t think that would be a challenge for me at all. I have a few favorite patterns that I use over and over again and I think I have enough versions of my big shirt to get through at least five days. Seven I’m not sure about. If we had several cold days and several warm days in the same week then I definitely could because I’ve made both short sleeved lightweight shirts and long sleeved flannel shirts from the same pattern. I’m trying to get away from the big shirt in my new sewing though. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve realized that trying to conceal my imperfections beneath long loose tops just makes me look big and shapeless. I’m still keeping the big shirts though because I love the fabrics. I’m going to have to add a room-sized closet onto the house soon though.

A couple of WTF? items about which I don’t have anything to say beyond, “WTF?” Job seekers asked for Facebook passwords and Law firm fires people for wearing orange

and a few more quick links

Israel hearts Iran

Albert Einstein quotes, including some that I hadn’t seen before. I disagree with many of these. Just because he was a genius doesn’t mean he always knew what he was talking about. (IF he actually said all of them.)

Awkward Stock Photos. A few are NSFW but most are PG-rated “What were they thinking” type of shots.