Saturday, December 30, 2006

Technology is a wonderful thing

As I watch TV these days, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish the commercials from the TV shows, specially the sci-fi shows.

One of the wireless providers has a new goodie called the EnV. It is part camera, part phone, and part handheld PC. The unit is about the size of an eyeglass case. It sounds like it can do everything but eat. This thing looks like it could rival the Star Trek Tricorder. The cell phones really do rival those comm badges the actors wore, but they just don't have the same range

Then there are the robotics manufacturers, the Roomba (a device that vacuums rooms, a Scoomba(?) a device that mops floors, and a an older model which mows the lawn. Now they are working on one that will wash dishes, dust and wash windows. Shades of Isaac Asimov!

So who is going to be the first to ask me who Isaac Asimov is and what does he have to do with Robots?

Three weeks ago I ordered three different kinds of shipping boxes from eBay (they're free). Shipping time 5-7 days. They arrived today.

Meanwhile I already went to the post office and picked up a selection of boxes from them (also free). I now have a very large selection of shipping boxes, all flat rate service. I suppose eventually I will use them, or give them to Hillary or Jessie for their eBay sales activities.

Today I spent some time listing stuff on eBay. Hopefully I will be finished by tomorrow. Then I will get to finishing polishing my Brass bed.

Fifteen years ago or more, when I lived in southern Virginia, near Hampton Roads, I saw an ad for this company in VA Beach that made Brass beds. The could make any design you wanted, or you could buy one of their pre-built models. I opted for a plain design. It is made of brass tubing that sheaths a cast iron core. The cross pieces for the slats are also cast iron. The thing looks very light, but it weighs a ton, well, probably closer to 500 pounds. Once in place it is impossible to move unless you disassemble it.

Being brass it also tarnishes. I cleaned it once about seven years ago, and tried to coat it with a tarnish preventive coating. That didn't work and it slowly turned black again. I bought many different tarnish removal concoctions, but all seemed to work about the same and their effectiveness seems to depend on how much elbow grease I added to the mixture.

I hit upon a solution which makes tarnish removal almost easy, certainly easier that before. Rather than using rags with the liquids, I used a piece of very fine steel wool. This stuff is not hard enough, or coarse enough to damage the brass, but when it has the cleaning liquid on it the tarnish comes off unbelievably fast and easy. All I need is a rag to wipe away the excess cleaning solution and tarnish residue. Neat, No mess, No fuss, No bother.

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