May 2010

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I ran across this ad for Lufthansa today at Die Welt. It got my attention — the whole web page fell off the screen. I almost wish I’d caught it while the content on the site still matched the image.

Here’s a video that explains how to use the custom branding irons to burn your brand on woodworking projects. The branding irons were originally described in A $6 Custom Branding Iron, and there is a tutorial at Making the $6 Branding Iron, Step-by-Step.

This is the 12th and final set from a collection of 185 photographs taken during the 1910-1911 deployment of S.M.S. Gneisenau to the Far East. S.M.S. Gneisenau was an armored cruiser of the Kaiserliche Marine, or German Imperial Navy. For the main catalog page of this archive, including the ports and dates visited, see SMS Gneisenau Far East Photo Collection, 1910-1911.

When I started using Blender again recently with Vista, I noticed that when I launched it I would only get a blank (black) screen. The command window screen was black, of course, but at least it reported “Checking for installed Python… got it!” The problem was that the main Blender window was blank.

It will work again if you switch from “Highest (32-bit)” color to “Medium (16 bit)” in Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Display Settings, but that doesn’t make for good rendering. Instead just turn off the Windows Aero color scheme.

How to Turn Off the Windows Aero Color Scheme

They say Windows Aero doesn’t slow anything down on your machine, but if you can’t use the tools you need, you might need to disable it. Here’s how:

In Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Window Color and Appearance, select a Color Scheme other than Windows Aero, them make sure you’re using “Highest (32-bit)” color in Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Display Settings. You’ll lose the fancy transparent chrome effects, but you’ll be able to use Blender again.

First, create a shared folder using the VirtualBox user interface. For this example, we’ll call it “Data”. Launch Ubuntu.

From within Ubuntu, launch Application > Accessories > Terminal, and at the prompt type

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

Enter your administrative password, and you’ll see a text editor window appear with the fstab file loaded. Add the following single line to the end of the file, but replace “username” with your actual username.

Data /home/username/MyData vboxsf defaults,rw,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0

Click “Save” and then restart Ubuntu.

Once restarted, go to Places > Home Folder and note the new MyData folder. This is your shared fol

Here’s a spice rack I made to fit on the back of a cabinet door. It really cleans up the spice cabinet, and makes the individual jars a lot easier to find. I had to notch the shelves out a bit in order to make it fit, and it’s built to fit spice jars from Penzeys, which are a pretty standard size.

It’s a little less fancy that the Poplar and Walnut Spice Rack that I made as a gift a few years ago because it’s not intended to be displayed out in the open. It was made almost entirely from recycled maple wainscoting.

Maple spice rack

The maple spice rack mounted on the back of a cabinet door

The shelves are fixed. The fronts are high enough that they will stop the jars from tipping over if the door is slammed, but not so high that they block the name of the spice. The shelves are spaced far enough apart that the jars can be removed by tipping them forward.

Maple spice rack detail

A detail view of one of the shelves

To add the band, I used the $7.40 branding iron that I described in the A $6 Custom Branding Iron post.

The brand on the side of the spice rack

The brand on the side of the spice rack