This is a page without any commitment to sticking to a common theme. New
pictures are generally added to the bottom. Gee, dates might be a good
idea. The page was created 11/10/2013 mostly by moving it here from a
Facebook album of the same name.
Choose a background color:
My 2 Ford Escorts, the silver is a 2002 ZX2 coupe which replaced the blue
1995 DX 4-door sedan.
A recently rebuilt picnic table loaded upside down on the cartop carrier for
a short drive around the house to the back lawn.
At UMass Amherst: the old chapel and the library. A mild fisheye lens
makes the library look curved.
A big branch that broke off and landed partly in the road. Of course I just
had to take a day off from work to move it. It went in the woodpile, it was
spring and we were running low on wood.
This was me about 2008 after blowing snow, which is in my beard and mustache.
One of the fun things to watch up here is fog in the valleys. Here it's just
starting to spill over into the field below, in about an hour you coudn't
see anything but fog anywhere. Shelburne Falls, among other things, is out
there under the fog to the left.
Mount Greylock about 20 miles west of here.
This drift always forms here as the wind from the west tries to blow snow
over the garage.
This is the way the drift forms, the wind rarely stops for long except in
This is a box of treasures fresh from the dump. The flying saucer shaped
things are transmisions from washing machines. The motor in the near corner
of the box is a variable reluctance motor from a dryer, which is a neat
The variable reluctance motor after reconnecting the windings a slightly
different way to put them in series. There are 12 windings in 3 phases so you
have 4 windings in series in each phase. Rewiring is the biggest part of
turning these into generators, you don't have to spend hours machining.
This is the rotor from the variable reluctance after adding some 3/8"
diameter by 1/4" thick neodymium magnets. These are just holding
themselves in place by their attraction to the steel. Notice the hefty
ball bearings on a 5/8" shaft.
This is the variable reluctance motor with a not very good 3-blade prop,
being used as a windmill. The prop's about 4 feet in diameter. The converted
motor puts out AC, which is rectified by bridge rectifiers in the blue half
a bottle behind it.
Same setup but with a 4 foot 2-blade prop. This was carved out of a piece of
It lasted until snow was on the ground at least. There's a wire running off
the corner of the table to the house. The steel waterpipe that this is
mounted on was the blade's downfall. It eventually settled into the ground
enough so the blade didn't have enough clearance to go over the picnic
table. When the wind changed direction, with the blade turning, the blade
smashed itself to pieces on the picnic table.
This is part of the carving process for the 2-blade prop. The line on the
edge of the board establishes how far to cut the thickness down. You make
cuts with a handsaw (called "kerfing") about 1/2 inch apart, then
knock the pieces of wood out with a hammer or chisel, then smooth up what's
left. Here I was using this big kitchen knife to carve with.
Here I'm making a fancy 3-blade prop from a spreadsheet which calculates how
deep you should carve at each point on the blade. The idea is that the tips
move fast and the center slowly. In order for each bit of wind to do an equal
share of the work there's a lot more pitch at the center than at the tips.
This was all glued up from 2x4s then carved down.
The finished blade mounted. It's almost a foot from front to back in the
Front view. These blades have lift like an airplane wing, so they try to
pull themselves upwind. This gives a tip speed much higher than the wind
This blade also destroyed itself in high winds, the prediction was for 50
MPH gusts. It took weeks to carve, I never made another one.
This is the lone survivor out of my windmill experiments, it's been out
there about 5 years. The prop is a blade from a 19 inch box fan, the
generator is a converted ball bearing dishwasher motor, the tail is a
cabinet from a VCR. It puts out about 25 watts in a gust.
My ex-wife, Jennifer. She died of cancer in 2009, we were divorced in 1984.
She was sexually abused as a child, there's a Greenfield Recorder article as a
I own a piece of land, 6 acres, and all along the frontage there's this
brook. I didn't know that you can't build within 200 ft of a brook when I
bought it so it's pretty useless to me. These are 4 pictures of the brook
as a composite. It's relaxing to listen to, I enjoyed walking along it when
This is a bulb changer I built for changing CFL bulbs without having to use
a ladder. The wire is steel electric fence wire held to the stick with
machine screws. It's springy enough so it doesn't break the bulb when
turning it, but stiff enough to turn it. The stick is about 4 feet long, and
the wires will hold a bulb in place so you can put a bulb onto them and
screw it into a ceiling fixture from the floor.
My Nikon Coolpix 990 which I replaced with a P520 in 2013. It's from about
2000 and the design is fairly unique in the ways that it swivels. The
scratches aren't significant, that's just a leather type cover piece and
they came right off like they would on a baseball glove.
My new snowblower, bought at the start of winter 2012. I'm very pleased with
it, it will chug right through drifts up to the top of the auger housing
without slowing down. Something like this is essential up here.
Just included because of the dates involved. This woman died in 1900 at 99
years old, she must have been born in 1801. At the Heath center cemetary
near the fairgounds.
A carefully repainted at least John Deere tractor. Old enough to have 6 volt
electrics, new enough to have a 3 point hitch. There's something strange
about the tire sizes so the front rides high.
The silo and sign at Heath Fair grounds, near the entrance.
Use reading glasses? I got 12 pair for $17 shipped from Utopia
Tools Fairly happy with them, Chinese made, plastic lenses, 1.75 power.
They also have 2.25 power.
I have to walk with a stick as a cane, and they slip on polished floors, so
this is how I added a rubber crutch tip to mine. Crutch tips fit a 7/8"
diameter, so this is a piece of 3/4" (7/8 OD) copper water pipe. I whittled down the
tip of an oak stick from the back yard so the copper was a tight fit, then
slid the copper on and put in one screw to hold it in place.