Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/17/22

4/18-22/22 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

It rained pretty much all the way over the pass, but it stopped just as I arrived at 12:15. I brought my gear up in two trips, hoisted the flag, and then had my lunch and a nap. I had set the thermostats down over the weekend, so it was still a little chilly in the cabin. I set the thermostats back up to 70 and then built a fire in the wood stove. That warmed the place up nicely. Then I spent a considerable amount of time searching for my big, painted, hypercube model. I thought I knew where it was, but I was frustrated not being able to find it.

On Tuesday it was 27 degrees and snowing when I got up. There was one inch of new snow on the ground. I practiced the piano and then after a short search I found the hypercube model. That made my day. I listened to the radio for a while and then started making a new video, using the model as a prop, on the subject of visualizing 4 dimensions. At the suggestion of a YouTube commenter, I began working on changing the color scheme of the hypercube model.

After lunch and a nap, I stopped modifying the model after about half of it was done. The method I was using, coloring strips of masking tape and taping them onto the hypercube edges, proved to be not only tedious but not very effective. Using the half-finished modified model, I shot some more video.

About that time, the sun came out, so I went out into the woods and aimed the mirror at Brian. The sky promptly turned overcast again so there was no more opportunity to shine the mirror.

On Wednesday, my birthday, it was 20 degrees and overcast outside when I got up. After practicing the piano, Robert called and told me about the progress in getting their business going. After we hung up, I went into the woods and made the annual measurements of height and bushiness of all the Sequoia trees. While I was visiting them, I replaced all the damaged rebar caps on top of the signposts. The shrinking snow utterly destroys those caps and I decided that I'm going to remove them each year from now on after the first snow, so they don't get destroyed. I'll replace them again in the spring when the snow is melted.

Back in the cabin, I listened to the radio for a while and then had my lunch and a nap. When I got up, I removed all the masking tape from my 4D model and cleaned up the paint mess I had left on it. Then I turned my attention to the mirror tracking project and tried the small motors that I had bought. I hooked one of them up to a solar cell and nothing happened, so I got enough batteries to produce 6 volts and tried that.

That drove that little motor wonderfully and the tiny little shaft spun slowly but strongly. I could not stop it with my fingers. Next, I used a hacksaw to cut a slot in the end of a short piece of 3/8 inch allthread and fitted that to the end of the shaft on the little motor. When I hooked it to the batteries, I was amazed that it turned that shaft and drove a nut along the tabletop at just about the speed I want it to go for my tracking actuator. That was a wonderful proof of concept. Those little motors will work. There was no sun so I couldn't do any more experimenting with the solar cells.

On Thursday morning it was 30 degrees and raining when I got up. After practicing the piano, Bill called, and we had a great conversation. After we hung up, I listened to the radio and then the rain seemed to subside enough for me to work outside. I got some equipment together and went outside to start surveying and the rain started up again and forced me to quit. While I was in the kitchen, I looked out the window and saw a wild turkey for the second time. This time it did the same as before and just slowly walked up the upper roadway toward the privy pecking at the ground occasionally as it went.

After lunch and a nap, the sun came out and I went out and aimed the mirror at Brian. Once again, I tried surveying, and once again the rain started up and put a stop to it.

I had given a lot of thought on what to do about my hypercube model and I decided I definitely wanted one painted in the pattern suggested by a YouTube commenter. Rather than modify my existing model as I had just tried, I decided to make a new model. The problem is what material to use.

I decided the ideal would be to use edge members with a triangular cross section rather than the cylindrical cross section of my existing model. That way each edge would have three flat faces which could each be colored a different color. I got my Skilsaw out and set up a jig and saw shop on the porch. I tried making a triangular cross-section stick. That was an utter failure. First of all the stick was too thick and I couldn't figure out a way to make skinny sticks. A worse problem was that the stick wasn't straight. I couldn't guide the Skilsaw accurately enough. I pondered the problem and decided that maybe I should see if I could buy ready-made triangular sticks from a hobby shop or somewhere.

In the evening, Paula called, and we had a great conversation she asked if I could play something on the piano and she could listen through the telephone. Since I was in the loft next to the piano, we tried it and it worked fine. I played Chopin's C sharp minor nocturne for her and was pleased to learn that she was familiar with the piece and could hear my playing just fine. That was fun

On Friday morning the temperature was 25 degrees outside. Dave called first thing and we had another great conversation. After we hung up, I practiced the piano and then got a new idea for how to make the edges of a new hypercube. I immediately started implementing that new idea. I took a stiff piece of paper that was a file cabinet divider and I ruled it into 3/8 inch strips. Then I creased the paper along each line. Then I cut four adjacent strips loose from the sheet and since it was creased, I folded it into a triangular tube with two strips overlapping. Then I glued those two overlapping strips together and I had a very nice stiff triangular tube that would be perfect for a new hypercube model. I was super happy with that development. It will be easy to make all the 32 tubes I need. The only problem now is figuring out how to join the tubes at the vertices.

I spent the rest of the morning vacuuming the first floor of the cabin. Then I had my lunch, packed up, and left for home at 12:45. I was very happy with the developments that occurred this birthday week and extra happy that I am feeling normal and healthy and strong again.

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