Category: hobby

City of Toronto Election 2022, Managing Deputy Returning Officer: Comments

After 3 previous elections I thought I’d try this year’s 2022 Oct 24 City of Toronto election as a managing deputy returning officer. The experience running an election site was interesting, and despite the low turnout, busier than I had thought.

The managing deputy returning officer (MDRO) position manages a complete election site with up to 10 other election workers.These include:

Hose Clamp Comparison by Brand: from Youtuber Project Farm

I’ve always hated using hose clamps. I’d buy them from Home Depot and curse when they are installed and leak. I’d tighten them more and they’d deform and sometimes break. It did not dawn on me that, like everything else, there are different quality hose clamps than the crappy “All Gain” ones I use. This is particularly true for my compressor hose, which, over time, loosen and then leak. My compressor only needs 125psi.

This Youtube video Best Hose Clamp> Let’s Settle This! Ideal, Precision, Koehler, Norma, Skandvik, Mishimoto, Breeze compares various brands of hose clamps.

Watch Battery CR1220 vs CR1225: 0.5mm thickness difference

Usually a tiny 0.5mm difference makes no difference, but not in this case. The CR1220 battery has the right width, but the thickness was off, making the watch act up intermittently. Unknown to me was the cause, so I wedged the battery for years. Why did not Cardinal write the battery type on the inside of the watch case? The CR1225 is just a smidge thicker, 0.5mm, which makes all the difference.

Further, the CR1225 has a 25% higher mAh rating, so should last longer.

Lat Pulldown Rope: Design and DIY Build

Lat pulldown rope, or triceps rope, for use on a cable strength training machine, home made, 39" long. Photo by Don Tai

Lat pulldown rope, or triceps rope, for use on a cable strength training machine, home made, 39″ long. Photo by Don Tai

There’s really not much to the lat pulldown rope, sometimes called a triceps rope. A lat pulldown rope attaches to a strength training cable machine, high up, so you can pull downward and exercise your latissimus dorsi, or lower back muscles. Common exercises include the lat pulldown and face pulls. It is just a rope with an attachment point in the middle. Here’s how I made mine.

Drilling Stainless Steel, Lat Pulldown Bar: Learning from the Internet

Home made lat pulldown bar, made of stainless steel tubing and 1/4 inch eyebolt. Closeup shot. Photo by Don Tai

Home made lat pulldown bar, made of stainless steel tubing and 1/4 inch eyebolt. Closeup shot. Photo by Don Tai

As I prefer to use wood, I don’t often need to drill into metal. That said metal has qualities that are very beneficial. I need a shorter lat pulldown bar for my home gym. Instead of buying one I decided to make it. It is, after all, a pipe with an eyebolt.

Old tech Triumph Bicycle: Bottom bracket bearings replacement

My bicycle is from the 1970s, and is quite old. It even has a label that says “Made in Canada”, it is that old. Triumph brand. Yet its steel frame, heavy but strong, lives on. I make it live with maintenance. As with most of my bicycles, this one was used and abused by a Chinese neighbour, and then left for dead, rusted and in terrible shape. I took pity on it.

Imperial 535 Sewing Machine Pedal: Opening it up

Imperial 535 sewing machine pedal. Some springs had come loose, but after replacement did not sew any better. Photo 2 by Don Tai

Imperial 535 sewing machine pedal. Some springs had come loose, but after replacement did not sew any better. Photo 2 by Don Tai

I thought that my Imperial 535 sewing machine pedal was a bit too sensitive, so today I opened it up. The bottom cover simply slides off, but is really tight. I had to use a screwdriver to pry it open a bit.

Inside there are no parts that I could see that required repair, only a bit of dust. Two springs were loose inside, so I put them back in place. The pedal works as it did before, so no improvement in function. The four rubber feet have long disintegrated. I could drill out the rivets and replace them, but would not improve the functionality of the machine.

Trigger, Willie Nelson’s Martin Guitar

Willie Nelson's Martin guitar, Trigger

Willie Nelson’s Martin guitar, Trigger

I do love this story, of a guitar that is so special, that has stood the test of time through maintenance and a bit of luck. Willie Nelson is not gentle with this guitar, Trigger. A testament to quality build.

It has been beaten up, but also maintained, and used to full capacity. The new sound hole might even enhance its sound. What more can a player ask from an instrument? This really goes against the glitz and glamour of the shiny new toys that you can buy off the shelf and throw away once you’re tired of it.

Grain Process Enterprises, Toronto: I bought Dark Rye Flour

Dark rye flour, 10kg bag, from Grain Process Enterprises, Toronto, $12.50. Underwhelming store, but adequate.

Dark rye flour, 10kg bag, from Grain Process Enterprises, Toronto, $12.50. Underwhelming store, but adequate.

I have been baking bread for a good 9 months now, using white wheat flour and whole grain wheat. While it is nice, I’ve gotten tired of it. Many European people seem to really like rye in their breads. I do like rye bread as well, which has a very different taste. I searched for a source of rye here in Toronto, and found Grain Process Enterprises in Scarborough.

How to Add A New Emoji to QQ

Chocolate emoji: I could not find an appropriate chocolate emoji for QQ, so I shrunk a larger image down to 32x32 saved in png format, transparent background, and imported it into QQ. Original large image.

Chocolate emoji: I could not find an appropriate chocolate emoji for QQ, so I shrunk a larger image down to 32×32 saved in png format, transparent background, and imported it into QQ. Original large image.

I’m on QQ, Chinese social media and messenger, and wanted a different emoji that I could not find. Here’s how I added one.

You’ll need to edit your original graphic. The file format size is 32×32. Save your file in .png so you can have a transparent background. You can reduce the size of the image of your choice, but the simpler the better, as at 32 x 32 px almost all details will be lost. I have sized existing QQ emojis and they are 28x28px or smaller. This is a more appropriate size.