Some time back (lol) someone asked me if I was “time-blind”. Lovely pejorative, huh? I thought first about how ridiculous of a question that was, and then thought about it for a while more and realized that there is more than one way to perceive time, and neuro-diverse (ND) people seem to be prone to it.

Let’s go there.

The traditional perception of time is based on the clock or calendar. I will call this clock-based time or calendar-based time. It is focused on units of duration – how long something takes to happen or do or whatever. A meeting is one hour long. A week is seven days long. A car trip is seven hours. Going to college is four years. And so on. The world basically runs this way. Neurotypical (NT) people generally run this way.

ND people are often found to be less focused on duration – we can become engaged in topics and lose track of clock-based time, frustrating those around us. This does not mean we are “time blind”, it means that we perceive time differently than those who perceive clock-based time and the durations that characterize it. Time either happens or does not happen for us. That’s why an ND person may tell you something is happening “tomorrow” and mean next month. “Tomorrow” in this case is the next time that whatever is going on will happen again.

This standard thinking of time as limited to standard units of duration such as hours and months is insufficient and inconsistent for people like myself. Instead of perceiving time in units of duration, we perceive it in units of events. Each event has a start and finish. I have three event states – not started, in progress, and finished. For example, when someone asks me how long a task will take, it is hard for me to estimate. Instead of hours, I see the task in terms of steps that have to be linked up and completed. I call this type of time event-based time to differentiate it from calendar-based time or clock-based time. Keeping event-based time is part of the systemizing skill group.

The value of event-based time is best demonstrated when laying out a Gantt chart. Durations are important, but without the correct linking of task starts and finishes, the chart is meaningless and adds no value to the project plan. This is the area where event-based time people excel – lining up things so the work gets done in the correct order and the overall task completes on time.

Next time you want to call someone “time-blind”, please take a step back and ask yourself if they instead run on event-based time. Once the architecture of event-based time is established, the event-based person can start to plan for better recognizing clock-based time and the clock-based time person can start to recognize the value the event-based time thinker brings to the table.

Hopefully, we can retire the pejorative “time-blind” in the near future.

I did some clinics at Ohayocon with Alexander from Armor Academy. Learned chain maille and scale maille. Now I have ideas. This might get weird. Like anyone reading this would be surprised by that.

Electroluminescent wire.

Gikfun SMD soldering practice board.

Epoxy potted LEDs in a badge prototype. Clearly need more LEDs. Also need a custom PCB and Neopixels. If I can pull this off, it will be Arduino powered and repeat my brake and reverse lights. Making the badge itself is the hard part.

I am owning this now.

I just want you to know.

Extreme Crafting is the use of tools traditionally used for decorative arts (crafting) to make functional stuff. Said functional stuff may be pretty. Or not. Who cares.

Did you cut a waterpump gasket on your Cricut? Did you patch your plastic intake manifold with rainbow glitter epoxy over a 3D printed base layer? Did you make structural textiles to replace something else?

If you can do it on the Minecraft crafting table, you can Extreme Craft!

The 3D printing thing escalated quickly.

I figured out how to make robot wheels.

  1. Print a mould. I used PETG as it polishes up nice and holds the mould release agent well. This is for a custom robot wheel. The piece in the middle with come with the urethane when I break it out. The center fits on a 1/2″ hex shaft and the little notches are to hold the urethane better. I used Smooth-On Universal Mould Release for the agent.

2. After spraying the mould with mould release, I made up the urethane rubber. I used PMC-744, a 44A Shore compound. It’s quite floppy, which is perfect because this wheel needs to be ultra compliant.

3. The urethane is a 2:1 mix, and I made 75gr which turned out to be twice what I needed. I need to get better at estimating how much resin I need by doing volume calcs or just filling with water and weighing.

4. Next step is the actual pour. I have the mould sitting on a silicone release pad. Parchment paper also works.

5. Next is the poured mould. I have to strike it off to make the sides level and get the rubber evenly distributed. I could pressure cast it, but I do not have a pressure pot. I sometimes vaccum the castings to get the air out, but not for this test wheel.

6. Last step is to cover it up. Urethanes STINK, so controlling the environment is really useful. Thankfully I have some leftover Gladware to do the job. A few of the Gladware containers are really handy if you craft a lot.

I’ll post up the wheel when I pull it tomorrow!

I got a 3D printer – a Prusa mini. It’s awesome.

I bring home a lot of maker toys, tools, etc, and usually if I make something useful first, it goes over better with the family. So this time, I needed something very useful, something I’d been grousing about for a while.

I chose my birdfeeder. I have a squirrel problem. More accurately, a chipmunk problem. The little guys scoot up the pole and empty the feeder. Because it’s on a shepherd’s crook-style pole, none of the squirrel baffles I’ve found would work. I needed an adaptor to put on the pole to support the baffle. I do have a very nice baffle, so there is that.

I tried a few CAD tools and settled on FreeCAD. It’s not terribly intuitive, but then neither is Illustrator, and I am darn good at that. So onto the learning. Many hours of tutorials later, I was able to design a part. It’s not terribly special or fancy, but it does mirror nicely (print two of the same thing and they interlock) and most importantly – supports my baffle.

The part was printed from Prusament PLA. I included recesses for 3mm screws and nuts (check that hex cutout!). I wrapped the pole with a piece of insulation from a bit of 12-2NMB wire for grip. I then drilled a PVC pipe cap for the pole diameter and added a large washer to keep the fixturing screws in place as defense against aggressive chipmunks. The PVC cap completely covers the PLA chunks, so it is harder for the little buggers to chew them up.

The whole thing works great, and now I am on to printing frogs and other goofy bits. Big project now is Miku headgear. That is taking a bit of time to design and sort out. This is a lot of fun and a great new thing to learn. Bring on the SpaceMouse!

A few people asked about this one, so here goes. More pics to come.

I picked up a pair of FRS seats a while ago and decided that as I actually had no real use for them, I would make a desk chair for my home office space. Combined with my new desk, this was a serious win.

New desk with FRS seat office chair

Materials included one 28″ desk chair base – is the one I used. You might need a shorter one, but I would not get a smaller diameter one. These seats are heavy, due to being automotive grade. I also used a 4′ section of steel L channel in 2″x1.5″. I cut this into two pieces that span the underside of the seat. I used 8 1-inch 1/4″ bolts, two 2-inch 1/4″ bolts, washers everywhere, and about 24 1/4″ nuts.

The biggest challenge with this project is getting the seat pitch correct. It’s a car seat from a sports car, so the seat base is pitched back qutie a bit. This does not work for an office chair. In addition, the seat mount on the seat base is also pitched back. To correct this, you have to suspend the front of the chair. (Pic coming soon)

Just the chair

If you use the seat rails (I did), you will have to drill one hole on each side to line up with the front holes in the chair mount. Take one of the pieces of L channel and mount it to the rear holes on the seat rails. Measure forward on the chair base to get the correct offset for the front mounting bar and drill the appropriate holes in the seat rails. Mount the other piece of L channel to those holes. Don’t tighten anything down hard yet.

The hole you drill

You can remove the seat rails and just mount the actual seat if you are on the shorter side, but at 5’6″, I did not have to do this. I still have some down-space on the gas shock, too.

Now for the fun. Tip the seat over. I got a kitchen chair and put it upside-down on that to make it easier to work on. Take the chair mount off the chair base (it lifts off) and insert it under the front L channel, and over the rear L Channel. Bolt the back rail to the holes on the back side of the chair mount. Here is where it gets interesting – put the longer bolts into the front holes of the seat base and add washers and nuts Do not snug these up, they need to move around a bunch. There is enough flexibility in the steel to allow you to wiggle things around. I used 3″ bolts here, but 2″ or 2.5″ are more than enough and easier to work with. Add two more nuts and a washer and wiggle them into the front L channel. NOW, tighten them up at the chair base mount.

Better view of rear setup

At this point, you are ready to set your seat pitch. Add a washer and nut to the stubs of the long bolts sticking through the front L channel. Flip the whole mess over and get your level out. Adjust the height of the front of the seat so it is comfortable and then tighten everything up. Use the jam nuts (the double nuts on “top” of the front L channel) to hold the position.

Suspension adjustment for seat pitch

There you go. Enjoy your new desk chair. Mine is awesome!

It’s an IKEA curtain rod end. I think it’s called Lystra. It was a joke, one of those April Fool’s things we used to do on back in the day. This had to be back in like 2001-2. I remember taking pics on the AC Expressway. I had pulled the knob and found that the shifter shaft was hollow. Oh yes. The wheels were turning.

My dad machined the stainless base for me. It took a couple of tries to get it all right. Including the electronics. I blew a few LEDs getting it sorted, but eventually got it wired into the dash dimmer circuit, because that is what I do. It also took a while to find the correct color of LED, these are rather violet, not the traditional teal that was common back then.

Blue Bubble Ball

So if you ever want to blame someone for a Pep Boys mod, well, now you know. It was a joke. We had a laugh. I still put it on once in a while when I light up the roof. May as well enjoy the old beast, right?


The pinnacle of early 2000s VW modding – poaching partsbin bits for upgrades. This is the OEM taxi dome light switch, wired into the dash dimmer and driving the fibre optic headliner off rail power. It’s my dream install and I am completely delighted. The switch arrived today thanks to a fellow B5er who reduced his hoard of parts by one switch.

There was a request to address the fibre optic headliner.

So. I redid the headliner in the B5. With custom-printed fabric from Contrando. I did a sticker bomb pattern of my girlie logo. It’s awesome.

I purchased a 14W light engine from amazon Chinapost. It was $45 with 250 3m strands of roughly 1mm optical fibre. I also purchased an extra 100m of fibre.

I did the headliner like normal with lots of pattern matching so that the sunroof cover lines up when it is closed. This was not that hard. There was a lot of spray adhesive and high temp hot glue involved. See above.

Then… the fibres. There was much hemming and hawing about how to do the fibre insertion. I originally wanted to do a random pattern, but then realized that that would be pretty hard to accomplish with basically acres of headliner. So, I opted to put a fibre in each complete eyeball in the pattern. Basically light up pupils. The first 250 fibres took me about two weeks to get in. The next 250 took me another two weeks. The last hundred took me about a morning because I wanted that **** done.

The process I used was…

Poke a hole through the headliner in the desired location using an upholstery needle. This left a big enough hole that I could find it later, and almost big enough to get the fiber through. The headliner is a lot thicker than I realized, up to 1/2″ in places. Once I had all of the eyes located and poked through, then I started threading the fibre.

I did have to figure out where to stick the light engine as there is a sunroof in the car and that limits space a bit. I put it near the C pillar so it was easy to peek at if needed. All fibres ran to this location.

Threading the fibres required me to insert the needle and then catch the end of the fibre with it. Then push the fibre through allowing it to follow the needle. This was a lot of work and took me a bit to get a method down. Once I got it going, it was better. I needed a lot of ambient light to see the fibre ends. I ran the entire 250 fibre bundle first before moving to the next step. Then I cut the fibres and hot-glued them on the back side of the headliner. The hot glue melts at a temperature close to that of PMMA so I had to hold the fibres in position until the glue solidified a bit. This was about ten seconds.

I reserved all of the cut ends as they varied in length from 1 foot to about 8 feet. I reused all of these, finding the flat ends to face the light engine. Then, I started cutting into my coil of PMMA. In the end, I believe it was 618 individual fibres.

Once I had the fibres in, I had to equalize the lengths and get them into the coupler. This was difficult and I have no pics.

The last thing I did was glue down a piece of nylon fabric over the middle of it to protect the strands in the middle from the sunroof assembly. Again, no pic because doggone it, at that point, I wanted it done and in.

It is utterly amazing. I cannot describe how happy I am with it.