Like many of you, I suspect you might find you have more time on your hands these days. Yes, there is still work but, virtual work?
Human interaction distinguishes us from furry friends who now have more freedom than we do.
This summer, as I watched a squirrel eat the last of my peaches, it was not lost on me that I was on the inside looking out.
Sanity is not overrated.
I began the ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’ much like Tom T Hall did in his song ‘A Week in A County Jail.’
I scoffed at the toilette paper shortage reports and laughed at the nutcases who scrambled to buy masks; after we were told we didn’t need them.
After a month went by, and we were commanded to wear masks, I wasn’t so antagonistic toward the people in the store yelling at others who did not have a mask of some kind on.
Much like the Bologna and scrambled eggs fed to our singer, songwriter friend, single ply TP wasn’t that bad when you could find it.
It became apparent that the TV had to go.
Systematically, the different news feeds on my phone were also turned off or deleted one at a time.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
If I were not going to get my social addictions met via my usual methods and I had turned off the TV, what was my strategy for keeping sane to be?
While I am book smart, I am also one of those who can do whatever I put my mind to—not bragging, just a fact.
After catching up on a myriad of things I wanted to get done and with no reprieve from the pandemic insight, the next logical thing was to give Jeff Bezos more money.
Purchasing a 3D printer, much like waiting on the secret decoder ring from Ovaltine, the day arrived when Alexa announced there was movement at my front door.
By this stage of the game, I eagerly answered the door, speaking with salespeople, making friends with every kind of delivery person, and even social distancing with the landscapers who were not wild about talking with a customer. Whatever happened with the Jehovah’s Witness? I have time…
Opening the box was eerily reminiscent of my erector set from about the same time as the decoder ring.
Assembling this thing was not for the faint of heart.
Up to the challenge, I spent the next two hours watching videos, with each one telling the viewer something a little different. Armed with the basics and lots of ‘tinkering experience,’ the games began.
At this point in the story, I was reminded of the Internet back before graphical user interfaces. The only people who took advantage of the Internet were geeks. It was command-line driven, and like PCs as a whole, it was the interface that made it possible for Greg Shorthand to be placed alongside typewriters and stone tablets in the dustbin of history.
3D printers have been out for a while, and I waited for multiple reasons. Time to tinker with it, was one of the main reasons.
Like installing rev 0 or 1.0 of any software is an invitation for arrows, or at least scars on your back, the bleeding edge of any technology is usually fraught with disillusionment.
While there is no doubt in my mind that someone will create a 3D printer that anyone can pluck out of the box, turn it on, and print stuff, today is not that day.
I entertained this idea in the first place, as I restore old radios. Knobs, other hardware, and maybe even cases could be printed. Would they have the same value? No, but it would still be entertaining.
As of today about the only thing I have found this useful for is eating up lots of time, and making tchotchkes, or as I call them, dustables.
While this is a popular model printer, it is from 2018, which is ancient in dog years. We heard how they were looking for people with these things to make parts for face shields.
I find it humorous that one of the places you can use to create things is a place called ‘Tinkercad.’
After attempting some of the ‘highbrow’ cad software, Tinkercad is easy to use. If you get one of these printers, you had best like to tinker.
The two weeks to flatten the curve are now ten months. The curve appears alive and well.
With winter on our back doors and, of course, the holidays, I would encourage everyone to do something positive and not dwell on what you cannot control. Every subject that I loathed in school I went back and visited. Why? Why not. When I think of the information at our fingertips, and it is taken for granted, it boggles my mind.
Social media is rife with animus from people who I would never expect. Then you have the fact-checkers who blatantly post their obnoxious views on anything they don’t happen to like.
Yes, Facebook does not get much of my attention these days. I don’t need people telling me what to think; you don’t either.
I might look at resin printers next after I push the envelope with the filament variety.
I sincerely hope you have a Merry Christmas. If you are a 3D enthusiast, drop me a note. One can connect with communities, but why not connect with people who at least read what I write?
Yes, the Jailers wife got much prettier each day, and so it goes. -Best