Welcome to BlogDogIt Tuesday, February 20 2018 @ 06:40 PM EST

Bridge Head Template

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Sometimes when playing pool it really helps to have a bridge stick around for those hard to reach, across the table cue shots. No self respecting billiard parlor would be complete without one. A while back I picked up a couple of shorty pool cues with the intention of fitting one with a bridge head while keeping the other one for the "why is there a bookcase here?" shot.

Today I finally decided I would take care of my "lack of bridge head" problem. I do have a scroll saw and figured if I couldn't use it to cut out a bridge head, what's the point? So I hop on the friendly interwebs and search for "billiards bridge head template" (thinking surely I can not be the only scroll sawyer with this idea.) I turned up some pictures but not a template per se. 

I found a head-on shot of a bridge head with the shape I am most accustomed to and PhotoShopped it into a two-color image and printed it to size. Click on the image below for a PDF template - ready to print out.

Bridge Head Template
Download Template: BridgeHead.pdf

I cut out the printed shape and headed out to the workshop to find a piece of quarter-inch plywood to impart this shape unto. The scraps I had on hand were slightly too narrow (and I would not waste anything larger on this project.) A glance in the right direction revealed a "drop" of quarter-inch plexiglass that would be just the ticket. This plexi had its protective paper covering still attached. I laid the template shape on the plexiglass blank and spray painted over it to transfer the outline.

Finished Plexiglass Bridge Head

A slow and steady pass through the scroll saw, a stop at the drill press and some judicious sanding resulted in the handy-dandy bridge-headed shorty pictured above. For the record, the first shot taken with this device in a real game resulted in the successful pocketing of the desired ball - what more do you want?

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Spotlight[Home]: Five Gallon Ideas

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Five Gallon Ideas

"This website’s primary purpose is to build intellectual capital. The ideas on this site are meant to solve problems with cheap resources used creatively rather than by purchasing a solution in the global marketplace."

Concrete Bucket Stool

This easy 5 gallon stool is made with little more than concrete and dowels. A 5 gallon bucket provides a mold that sets the concrets, holding the dowels in place with enough strength that it can hold the weight of a person.

Concrete Stool Bucket Mold Concrete Bucket Stool

A drier concrete has a higher tensile strength – so using slightly less water while mixing it may make a stronger stool. That starts to address one of the  main concerns of this stool, that concrete isn’t as strong when suspended in this way as it would be in – say – a driveway. After too much use, the concrete around the dowels may begin to crumble if not properly reinforced.

If you don’t mind something a little more low rent, some simple bucket seating is cheaper and easier. Of course you won’t get as many comments from friends about your modern artistic flair.

The source for this tutorial is
Homemade-Modern, where you can find many more pictures detailing every step of the process.


Five Gallon Ideas

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What The...? Oh, Swell!

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Chuck Menville and Len Janson's
Sergeant Swell of the Mounties (1972)


Sergeant Swell of the Mounties is a short film written and directed by Len Janson and Chuck Menville, with Menville starring in the title role.

Chuck Menville as Sgt. Swell with Kathy Puerta as Emmy Lou The film is said to be a spoof of the '50s television series  Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. It relies heavily on the use of the animation technique known as pixilation (using human actors as stop-motion puppets.) It also relies on silliness and corn ball humor, often venturing into stereotypical humor in search of a laugh (that it very often finds.) This independent film was introduced at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in March of 1972.

I have actually owned this film in Super-8 format (w/mag-stripe sound!) since the mid 1980's. After viewing it so often on the silver screen it is a little disorienting to see it on this small embedded video screen, but it's not like that is the only disorienting thing about this film. Do you have 16 minutes to spare in the quest for a good time? Mount Up! and give this little classic a try.

Download MPEG4 format [35MB]


Directed by: Len Janson, Chuck Menville        
 
Written by: Len Janson, Chuck Menville        

Cast (in credits order)
    Chuck Menville    ...     Sgt. Swell
    Kathy Puerta    ...     Emmy Lou
    John Tucker    ...     Chief Silly Savage / Pony Express Rider
    Len Janson    ...     Billy The Creep
    Spread Eagle    ...     Himself
    Tony Krizan    ...     Bald Eagle
    Ron Quigley    ...     Old Man
    Dave Brain    ...     Sheriff

Produced by: Len Janson, Chuck Menville
 
Cinematography by: Ron Foreman


Sources: IMDb | wikipedia | YouTube

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Bitten by the Big Pig

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When I headed off to Fandom Fest I was on the lookout for a story. With video camera in hand I was able to collect enough shots of the event to give some indication that there was a lot going on. [see: FandomFest GrabShot] There were tons of people in attendance and you never knew what might be in store for you around every turn.

First glimpse - Big Biting Pig Productions Turning around at one point I spied the word "lucid." emblazoned on a jet-black tee-shirt being worn by the red-headed gal that was manning the Big Biting Pig Productions booth. At that very instant I remembered that "lucid." was the title of an indie horror film that I had every intention of seeing. Having lost track of the schedule of events and fearful that I might have missed the screening I inquired at the booth and was told the film was showing "at this very moment," that it probably just started and if we hurried, my brother and I would not miss much (if any) of the feature. The helpful exhibitor in the "lucid." tee added, "I probably should be there too,  seeing how it's my film and everything... I have no idea where it is screening though."

Having scoped out the screening rooms earlier in the day, I knew exactly where it was and said, "if you follow us we will take you right to it." (It was just downstairs from our present location.) Making our way to the screening room we entered the darkened space where the magic was already in progress upon the glowing screen in front of the more punctual attendees. Our red-headed tag-a-long stopped us in the back of the hall and whispered, "this is what you've missed..." and proceeded to explain the scenes we had missed and the development of the plot to this point, then kindly offered us to please have a seat and enjoy the film.

It would not be until the rolling of the credits at the end of this clever bit of cinematic thrill ride that I would learn the name of our friendly host and usher - PJ Woodside, Writer, Director, Producer and more! This was my introduction to Big Biting Pig Productions. This was the story I needed to tell...

The new standard for independent Horror Films

The new standard for independent Horror Films


STEVE HUDGINS & PJ WOODSIDESTEVE HUDGINS is the founder of Big Biting Pig Productions, Steve is not only an accomplished actor in front of the camera and on stage, he is also a director and an award winning writer.
In addition to writing the screenplays for "Maniac on the Loose", "GoatSucker", "Hell is Full" & "Spirit Stalkers" and directing those movies, he also co-wrote the stage play "Killer Cast Party" with creative partner PJ Woodside and directed the World Premiere in 2009.
Steve Hudgins was recently referred to by Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller as a "Horror Meister to reckon with."

PJ WOODSIDE, a co-producer with Big Biting Pig Productions, has won awards as a director, actor, and sound editor. "Lucid", her latest film, featuring Bill Johnson of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, [has just been released.] She is also the writer and director of the films "The Creepy Doll" & "Widow" and has written several stage plays. Her first screenplay, "Cajun P.I." was selected from thousands of entries to be performed as a Radio Play at the International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro, KY.
She holds an MFA in fiction writing from George Mason University and has published in both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to partnering with Big Biting Pig Productions, she runs her own video editing business, PJ's Productions, which produces book trailers, music videos and other projects. You can find her work at www.pjsproductions.com


The Movies The Movies

new THE CARETAKERS (2014)

LUCID (2013)


SPIRIT STALKERS (2012)


THE CREEPY DOLL  (2011)


HELL IS FULL  (2010)


WIDOW
  (2009)


GOATSUCKER  (2009)


MANIAC ON THE LOOSE (2008)


 

This Old *censored* Makes Horror FlicksRead PJ Woodsides Blog

Excerpts from "worm in my mouth"PJ and Worm

...
My worm scene was only added AFTER I’d been cast.  Steve Hudgins, the writer and director of this one, said he’d done a revision to the script, and would I, WOULD I, mind putting a worm in my mouth.  Only one.  How could I say no, right?
...
I will tell you what worms taste like.  Dirt.  That’s not too surprising, since they come from the dirt.  But wait.  Worms actually make dirt.  And how do they do that?  By processing organic matter through their bodies.

That’s right.  Dirt is worm shit.  And so when you put a worm in your mouth and it tastes like dirt, basically the worm is doing what all your sworn enemies wish they could.
...
We got what we needed in about ten takes, and honestly, I would have done it twice as many if asked to.  Once I got the hang of it, it was kind of fun.  The worm and I bonded.
... [ Read It ]

Source: http://www.bigbitingpigproductions.com

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Stencil Noob - Fabric Painting

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Soon after deciding to attend Fandom Fest (Lousville Comic Con) I started to ponder what I might wear to such an event. The "geekiest" shirt I own is my TauDay T-shirt which I considered, but did not much relish getting drawn into a lengthy debate with some mathematician eager to instruct me on the error of my ways. (This of course assumes that a Comic Con would attract those of superior mathematical prowess.) My son suggested that I dress up as Green Lantern and while the very thought may seem apealing at first, the reality is that I would not subject the general public to such a creation.

After announcing on BlogDogIt that I would be making a "personal appearance", I got it into my head that I should use the event as a vehicle to promote my blog. I had enough badge making supplies to produce a handful of BlogDogIt "tags" to use as some sort of geeky bartering currency - this was a good start. I decided however, that I must have a BlogDogIt shirt to wear and set about plotting how to bring this idea to fruition.

By some stroke of dumb luck I located my original PhotoShop file for the design of the BlogDogIt logo so I was able to enlarge and incorporate this into my design. I saved the graphic as a 150dpi TIFF (to size) and found myself at a crossroads; how do I get from "camera ready" to the runway (so to fashion-speak?)

I had thought about taking this to a custom shirt printer (I imagine they must exist) but to produce a one-off product would surely be outside of my (virtually non existent) budget for this project. I have connections to a vinyl cutter and considered reproducing the graphic as a cut vinyl stick-on but thought it would end up just looking goofy and desperate. I know there are iron-on solutions that use the vinyl cutter but I did not have ready access to the appropriate media. It was a short hop to start thinking of the cut vinyl in terms of a stencil and my internet-based research took a turn down fabric paint alley.

There was a lot of discussion about fabric spray paints and in fact we have several colors available in our crafts arsenal already but I wanted to do white lettering on black fabric so I needed to pick up some "white  something" to do the job. I looked into Stencil Fabric Spray Paint which looked promising. It goes on thick and opaque but seemed a bit too "clunky" to apply (based on the few videos I spied.) I did not want to risk messing this up; since it was down to the wire I had to get it right on the first try. I settled therefor on hand-painting the stenciled fabric with Liquitex Titanium White Opaque Acrylic. My neighborhood JoAnns did not have the Jacquard brand paint - which seemed to be a favorite among many stencil painters - so I went with the closest competing product from their shelf stock rather than turn this into a wild goose chase for the sake of a particular brand name.

My Wife and Daughter volunteered for the hazardous duty of buying the shirt for me - they actually enjoy shopping... me? not so much. They brought back a really cool black-on-black Hawaiian print, silk, button-down that fit all the supplied criteria. Being unsure how it was going to turn out, I was anxious to get this show on the road and wasted little time setting the stage.

 [ Please Continue Reading This Fascinating Tale... ]

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Dave Schmarder's - Make A Radio

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Crystal Radio

BlogDogIt Note: Before I was bitten by the computer bug I had quite the facination with radios - particularly crystal radios. I discovered Dave Schmarder several years ago as I searched the internet for sites relating to my all-but-forgotton hobby. Dave's website is a treasure trove of information and entertainment - a true labor of love. This article goes up as my way of thanking Dave for sharing his art with the world. Please visit his extensive website. ~ masodo

Crystal Radios

Crystal Radio

Remember that crystal set you made with your dad or grandpa? I remember my experiences to this day. In early 2002 the crystal set bit me again. This time I really got excited and started building one set right after another. I was going to stop when I built a couple of radios that would display well. But there was no way I was going to quit. So here I am at 78 radios and counting! I hope you find one that you would like to build. See what I have made to show you.

 

Tube Radios

Tube Radio

Soon after I started building crystal sets, the lousy summer band conditions convinced me that I should expand my activities in to active devices. Encouraged by my web visitors, I built a bunch of tube radios to experiment with. I didn't build regenerative radios when I was a kid, so this was new territory for me. I am pleased with the outcome and I hope you are too. So, I proudly present my tube radio main page.

 

Solid State Radios

Solid State Radio

Transistors? Bah humbug. But I've heard that they have become popular and more and more people have switched from tubes to transistors. So far there is only one radio, but I hope to add more. So please accept my meager attempt for now

Audio Amplifier

Tube Audio Amplifier

I love tube amplifiers. But as my solid state section, my amplifier section has only one example to show you. It is a nice small, low powered audio amp. Several others have built this design and are quite happy. So check out my amplifier section and encourage me to make more!

Loop Antennas

Loop Antennas

Loop antennas have been in my family since I was a little guy. I still have the big red loop that my dad built and that started my interest in these magical devices. I built some smaller loop antennas to connect to my old time radios to improve my reception. My loops are beautiful!

 

 Dave Schmarders Crystal Radio Sets

 Dave' s Own Crystal Radio Collection

Sparks

On the verge of mental stability.

 Source: Dave's Homemade Crystal and Tube Radios at makearadio.com.

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Thimble Full of Cosmology

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A Thimble Can Hold More Than You Might Realize.What I don't know about Cosmology could fill an entire Universe(s) - all but perhaps a timble full.

If you are just starting out, then you might even want to know the meaning of the word. According to The Free Dictionary - [By Farflex]...


cos·mol·o·gy  (kz-ml-j)

n. pl. cos·mol·o·gies
1. The study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space.
2.
a. The astrophysical study of the history, structure, and constituent dynamics of the universe.
b. A specific theory or model of this structure and these dynamics.

meh?... it'll do.

For me Cosmology is, on the one hand,  a study generally relegated to Mathematicians, Theoretical Physicists, Astrophysicists and such; on the other hand, enough mystery exists to elicit work by Artist, Philosophers, Theologians and abstract thinkers in general.  

Calabi Yau SpaceThanks in no small part to the patient works of Carl Sagan (Cosmos) and Brian Greene (Fabric of the Cosmos) I have been lured out onto the ledge of Cosmological understanding and have learned enough to know I should likely climb back inside my comfort zone, but the view from here is awesome. 

It makes my head hurt to even attempt to grasp the theories and concepts with which today's scientists grapple. Ah, but no pain no gain. Why bother? Well, when a person with the intellect of Einstein goes to his grave longing for a "Grand Unification Theory" I say, it must be important. We should probably see what we can do about that. By we of course I mean humanity.

Just when I start to almost (maybe, at some level) get a handle on String Theory and Super String M Theory, I get hit splat upside the head with Brane World theory. [See the The Official String Theory Web Site.] It is not the purpose of this article to educate anyone on these concepts. I only hope to convey that I do have a genuine interest in these subjects and would encourage anyone to exercise their mind by investigating the science of reality. There is no shortage of information available for anyone looking to understand such complex research.

I was not actively seeking enlightenment when I happened upon The Trenches of Discovery website. I was impressed with the site enough to shine the BlogDogIt Spotlight on their efforts. You see, the thing about the BlogDogIt Spotlight is, these are blogs that I am genuinely taken with and am actively following. When I am so moved I will comment and participate with these folks in a constructive manner in an effort to show my support for their labors. That for me is the essence and appeal of blogging.

Shaun Hotchkiss of The Trenches of Discovery was providing on-the-scene coverage of "The universe as seen by Planck" (conference) in Helsinki, Finland. It was in the course of this coverage that I offered up a very disjointed question regarding the implications to Brane Theory and its associated "Big Splat Theory" by way of the much improved CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) data provided by the Planck Satellite Mission. I asked the question simply because I favor "Big Splat." The reason I support the theory is that as complex as the concept is, I comprehend it even better than "Inflation Theory"; it just feels right to me. (I realize this is on a par with saying I root for the Green Bay Packers because I like their uniforms - it is what it is.) I genuinely wanted to know if the experts had found any supporting evidence for my pet extra-dimensional thought exercise.

Not only was my question taken seriously but the evidence seems to indicate that Shaun took "virtual me" along with him to the conference. I was honored that he not only took the time to answer the question I put forth but introduced me to a couple of folks of like mind to myself (albeit of greater intellect.) I have my resarch cut out for me now. [I appreciate that Shaun.] Please read the following excerpt and be sure to frequent The Trenches of Discovery - they really are on the front-lines of discovery!

Excerpted from: Cosmological perturbations post-Planck - wrap up - By Shaun Hotchkiss

"The big splat"

A commenter (masodo) asked me a question during the conference about something called "the big splat". Now I have to admit that I'd never heard of "the big splat" before he or she asked this question, but google tells me that it is another name for the "ekpyrotic/cyclic" universe, which I definitely have heard of (I think the "big splat" name is before my time).

Masodo wished to know what the implications were from Planck for the big splat and whether it was discussed at the conference.

Firstly, the ekpyrotic universe is a replacement for inflation, but not the big bang. In the ekpyrotic scenario the fluctuations in the universe's density, etc are created during a contraction phase, but then the ordinary big bang still happens after that. Nobody in cosmology doesn't believe in the big bang any more (sorry for the double negative). Nobody. Even the people who used to work on steady-state models now work on oscillating models that are "steady-state" (i.e. periodic) in the long, long, long term. The temperature and polarisation of the CMB has within it evidence of sound waves that were rippling through the universe 14 billion years ago when the universe was ~1000 times hotter than it is now and they look exactly like the big bang predicted they would decades ago. We will definitely gain new understanding into how the big bang happened, what started it, what came before it, etc, etc, but it did happen!

Regarding the "big splat" it wasn't discussed during the conference in a scientific context. Not too many people work on it. If one of those people had been at the conference I'm sure it would have been discussed, but none were. It was discussed a little bit at the coffee breaks but only because Hiranya Peiris (one of the conference guests) was having a public debate with Paul Steinhardt (one of the creators of the ekpyrotic model) over skype and she was canvassing people's thoughts.

The people who work on the ekpyrotic universe (e.g. Steinhardt) have claimed that Planck shows evidence that favours this scenario over inflation. This is not the consensus.

Moreover, both paradigms have issues. Inflation has a problem with initial conditions; that is, the universe has to be in a specific state in order for inflation to begin. It's hard to quantify what a "generic initial universe" should look like so most cosmologists don't worry about this problem. Once that problem is ignored there do exist complete models of inflation that can take us from an inflating universe all the way to today. The ekpyrotic universe is less well developed, but its major problem is that it requires the universe to go from a contracting phase to an expanding phase. I haven't studied the model in detail and the creators of the model have speculative ways for how this could happen, but it does make the paradigm less compelling. Note that there is a qualitative difference in that, once inflation has started, it does work, but this change from contracting to expanding has to happen after the fluctuations in the universe have been generated, so it is a more pertinent problem for the ekpyrotic universe than the initial condition problem is for inflation.

Given this, until evidence does arrive that favours the ekpyrotic universe over inflation the "most probable" paradigm is inflation (at least according to my priors). However, until evidence arrives that overwhelmingly favours inflation, research into alternative paradigms is definitely still worthwhile. No matter how compelling we find it, inflation might just turn out not to be true.

Thanks masodo for the great question!

Fire away if you have any more!!

~

 Thimble image by Llangefni

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