Category Archives: Front Page

Nebraska Furniture Mart

Buyer beware… my wife, kids, and family dog are sitting at the loading dock with the car running for an hour now… trying to pick up a BBQ grill.  She called me after about 30 minutes of sitting on hold with their “customer service” only for me to do the same.

The issue was with their processing of the gift card they issued.  No one called us to say there was anything wrong even though they had over a week and a half.

No one offered compensation for the lost time and gas.


When the price drops, be the first to know!

More and more people are turning to online shopping these days.  Heck, aside from lumber and paint, I have ordered almost everything I needed for the Dropship project on eBay.  And it isn’t every day I share a tool that saves you money so I thought I would share this one.

NotifyPrice has an elegant simplicity going for it.  No sign-up process, no verification process, just provide your link and your email address (more options are available for advanced users).  It works with every retailer I have thrown at it (eBay included).  And it has saved me $15 on a hard drive, $35 on a flight suit, $5 on a motion sensor light, and it keeps going.

Although it is marketed as a “sale price” notification tool, it is more than that.  You can also use it as a centralized “smart” wishlist (the toolset for organizing is expanding every week). And even if you bought something already, you can watch the price for a specified period of time to make sure they don’t lower it and owe you money back (Amazon, for example, does this for 7 days from the delivery date).

Anyway, please give it a try.  Tell your friends.  Save some money!

Goodbye 2013

Annual Report

A lot of time was wasted on the motion control system again in 2013 but I think we have a solid solution going into 2014 even though it hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet.

I am sitting on a lot of inventory because of these experiments.  Please check out my eBay store if you need any industrial automation components!

Also found that all USB hubs are not created equally.  I bought a cheap 7-port unit from China and it ended up having a bum port.  I got a full refund but am still using that unit because it works more reliably than a pair of cheap 10-port replacement units that I purchased.  Now I am convinced you have to spend $3 per port instead of $1 per port.

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Second Flight

Altitude vs. Time Plot

Altitude vs. Time Plot

Ground: 904′ MSL
Apogee: 954′ AGL
Samples: 1147
Flight time: 54 s

New 2.4 GHz color camera and microphone payload with 9 V alkaline battery. Couldn’t get the ground components running so we have no live video feed but we have video from the platform and hand-held video. Class G with standard main deployment on delay from the engine. Estimated to go to 1000′ AGL – we hit 954′ AGL.

Treehouse Avatar Technologies

Another new one for us – notice of potential patent infringement with Rise: The Vieneo Province.

Excerpt from a joystiq article:

A company named Treehouse Avatar Technologies was granted United States Patent No. 8,180,858 in May [2012], which covers a “Method And System For Presenting Data Over A Network Based On Network User Choices And Collecting Real-Time Data Related To Said Choices,” according to the patent’s title. In other words, it covers a method of taking and tracking user choices over a network, a vague description to say the least.

We learned that their business model is called “patent trolling” wherein the plaintiff hires an intellectual property firm to put feelers out and litigate against firms where they identify there is money to be had.

On the Road

Took a break from construction.  Missed my deadline for weatherization tests.

Budget rental car is a joke… in Durango we waited 30 minutes to receive a damaged compact car for the price of our intermediate reservation and held $750 on our credit card.

Arches National Park was a great deal of fun and beauty… $10 for the family to get in and keep your receipt to come back as much as you want.  If you are really cheap, get to Arches before 7:30 and it is free!


Landscape Arch


Panoramic at Arches National Park

Dead horse fee does not work at canyon lands and is a waste of money and tune compared to Arches… We never made it to Canyonlands because it was out of the way.


Panoramic at Dead Horse Point