Chap Goh Mei

Today is the last day to give out Ang Pows and start abusing everyone with mandarin oranges. This really improves your eye and hand coordincation. And so, we get to eat Yee Sang and porridge again. Wahoo!

I forgot why I put this photo.
Its late and I am tired. Sorry.

Kaelynn being a bit impatient

Minus the raw salmon. Or garlic. Or cashew nuts.
Or durian. Or eggs. Or chocolates.......

Customising my Hardigg Storm case

After getting the case for almost a month and not being able to use it is a waste of money in my opinion. I used to do that, buying stuff and then play with it for a while before "forgetting" them later. But now, I am using a different way: eBay. When I wanted some things, I would order them and in 2-3 weeks, they would arrive at my desk. Because of this, I need to plan ahead as some of my projects depend on this. I mean I could get the stuff locally but at the cost of higher price and all. Then, I would "collect" them into a bin and leave it there. Because I got them so easily, my mind tends to relax and within a few weeks, they are forgotten or missing some parts when the time to do the project is due.

So now, I purchase from eBay, calculate the time frame and while waiting, complete the design as detailed as possible. Once it arrives, I can almost start on it immediately. Anyway, when I got the Hardigg Storm case last month, there was a slight setback due to the foam inside it. And so, after looking for ages, I got lucky and stumbled into Multifilla. And so, today, with the raw materials, I can start lining the case. The sooner the better as my current case is about to break. It was so bad, when I stood it up, it leans like the Tower of Pisa.

Ok, this is it. I have the Multifilla's blue foam, the silicon lubricant,
my trusty (so far) blade and some news papers. Since I don't have
a metre long ruler, I'd just have to use the black foam as measurment
and a long PVC casing to guide the cutter. Oh, some papers as well.

This is the reason why I need to line the case. For you see, I
would be carrying a Notebook, lots of customised CAT5, USB,
Serial cables and other tools that I need when using the Notebook.
Also, I have to make most of the limited spaces in the case. The
blue foam is almost an inch thick and so, if I followed my original
design, I would not be able to carry much but the trade-off is that the
internals are much better protected. And this is not what I have in mind.

So, here is my second design. I would line the bottom with the
1cm black foam, while the blue foam would line the sidewalls.
I left the middle block free so that it can be used as a divider in
case I have extra things to carry in the future. The upper half
would then be separated by a perspex plate, and this is
layer where I would put the Notebook. Since it is close to the
lid, it is secured by the lid's very own sponge. I did this
drawing using Google's SketchUp

Cutting the foam is quite easy. Since it is "stronger" than those
normal white ones, you can just score the board a few times until
you feel it snap off. And best of all, there is not much debris unlike
the normal white polystyrene boards.

Not sure if you can see this but at the edge near to the right, you
can see some irregular patterns, which I made while cutting the
board using the sawing method. Later on, I just made sure my
knife is sharp and I just score it bit by bit, which gave me a
sharp smooth surface. Because its so robust, you can
technically carve basic shapes out of it.

This cut near the top is done with a normal slice with the knife.
The other cut, near the finger, is via saw action. If I used the
silicon lubricant on it before cutting, then the effect is not so
obvious. I did not want to try with the WD40 although the proterties
are the same. But because WD40 is oil based, it is best not to
play with it as it might react badly with the foam.

OK, the first two edges are done! I have to slice off some of the
edges as the case's corners are rounded. I should have tied the
blade to a box so when I cut the foam, it would not have uneven
surfaces which is caused by the hand. But I am not so bothered
since its my case and I not doing this for anyone. OK, OK, so I
wanted to finish this asap as there were other things waiting to
be done. I need to wash the cars too.

With the other boards in place, I glued them. Note some of the edges
have been cut off, as this was my mistake when I tried to go to design
#3 without thinking/planning properly. Anyway, after "throwing" all
my things into the case, so far so good as there were more space than
before after I decided not to line the bottom with the blue foam. If I
followed my original design which is to cover the foam with the 1cm
black foam, the case would be very cramped indeed. I mean, we are
going to lose 1cm from every side.

With the perspex on top, I can put my Notebook. Don't worry, the
lid'sown foam would make sure the Notebook would not slide about.
I have tried it (but I do not want to throw the case about). I am
putting the stuff in so that the polystyrene glue and the foam can
"set" into the proper shape. Sort of like wearing it in.

This is now, my old case. See the edge on the lid which is already
warping? When I open the bag, I have to make sure there is
something behind to prop the lid so that it would not fall backwards
and snap off. If I happen to put some papers there, it would fall off
through the hole behind.

This is the other side of the lid. Already the hinges are quite loose.

When one of those feet came off, I was shocked to see how it
was fastened. The whole bag is made of paper pulp or
something, and reinforced by metal edges. And if I soaked the
bag in the rain......... Haih, and this is RM100 wasted for a six
month old bag which started to break in the first 3 weeks I got it.

The loose hinges allows the bag to open the gap as much as 3mm,
which means, paper or other thing stuff can slip through if I am not
too careful.

Finally, the new (left) meets the old (right). The old briefcase is not
leaning anymore because I have moved all the stuff to the new Storm
case. Although the Storm case feels very heavy, even when empty,
I quickly got used to it as it makes me feel quite confident when using it

While I was working, an ant thought the foam is edible. The Queen
will definitely have its head for that.

While waiting for the blue foam to dry, I decided to work on the
jewellery box for my wife. Since I do not have shellac or other
decorative stuff, I just decided that the box would be plain but
with felt inside it. For the lid, I would have to find a nice photo.
All this would be glued together using the spray-on glue I got
five years ago.

Oops. I forgot to erase the price! Wife gave me a scolding for that,
among other things.

Old negative

This morning, when I woke up, I saw a piece of negative on the floor. This must be Kaelynn's work as she likes to rummage through boxes and things (just like me when I was small). I know who this photo belongs to and I need to keep them in a safe place. But just curious, I used negative mode from the Nokia 5800 and took the shot. After that, I decided to use the Nikon D50 for a better picture. I think, when I get to find all these negatives, I am going take a proper photo of them.

This is the negative shot, using a tissue paper to diffuse the window
lights. Judging from the size of the negative, its those double lens
cameras which was all the rage at that time. I could be wrong.

Using software, I "negatived" the negative to get a positive.
Whoa! Must be Lake Gardens methinks