Welcome! I am an engineer, programmer, designer, and all-around geek. You may be interested in some of my electrical and mechanical projects. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt and remember to wear your safety glasses.

An Illustrated Packing Checklist

As part of a personal goal to organize my work supplies a bit better, I created a sort of visual checklist of the things I carry, or would like to make sure I carry, in my everyday backpack. To organize the list according to what things go in what pockets (and to get some drawing practice), I made a sketch of my pack (EM brand, naturally) so that I could call out each compartment specifically. Click on the image to download a PDF.

If you carry a lot of stuff in a backpack, briefcase, toolbox, or whatever, try it yourself! Don't worry about your drawing skills—a more schematic or cartoon-like sketch would work just as well. Or take a photo and use that. Be sure to share your results!

First Flight of the Falcon Heavy

Yesterday I made the three-hour pilgrimage north to Kennedy Space Center to gawk at the first test flight of the most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy. Short of buying a ticket, my position on the causeway bridge of the A. Max Brewer Parkway is probably one of the best views to be had of both Pad 39A, from which the rocket launched, and of Landing Zones 1 and 2 to the south at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where the side boosters landed in textbook unison.

Here's the video, taken with my GoPro clamped to the bridge railing:

I took some still photos as well; the best ones are in a Flickr album. Enjoy!

Some Old Architectural Sketches

4/22/15; West Palm Beach 4/12/15

Here's some old sketches of West Palm Beach, Florida, from 2015, that I never got around to uploading until now.

Instagram, Finally

Some of my favorites so far

For the past six weeks or so I've been posting, fairly often by my standards, to the social media and photo-sharing service Instagram. I intend to limit this account to creative work subjects: photos of my engineering projects, materials, and techniques, for my professional clients and for my related personal pursuits. It's likely to feature a lot of pictures of work in progress. Follow me if you'd like to keep up with what I'm up to, and thanks for your indulgence!

Peacock Feather Snowflakes

Those that follow the activities of the North American branch of the Martinson family will have heard of an eccentric holiday tradition: the naming, one year in advance, of a color scheme to be adhered to rigorously in everything to do with the next celebration of Christmas. Gift-wrapping paper, decorations, outfits, seasonal cocktails, and even some of the foods are chosen to comply with the stated theme, selected by a sort of democratic process. Although it is more customary to explicitly name two (hopefully harmonious) colors, this last Christmas was adorned by colors described only with “Peacock”, i.e. any colors to be found in the feathers of the bird.

Needing name tags for the gifts I was giving, I designed a sort of snowflake graphic composed of peacock feathers and laser-engraved it onto acrylic. I'm not the only one to have thought of this as a google image search will reveal, but I did draw the feathers myself in Adobe Illustrator using a tool I'm pretty clumsy with but would really like to master in the new year: a Wacom Intuos tablet. I made about a dozen of these for my family and friends, each with a name on it, raster-engraved on to and vector-cut out of 1/16 inch cast acrylic sheet. They can be used as decorations for the tree also.

Here's an Illustrator file if anyone would like to adapt the design for their own purposes:

If I had made a list of unlikely post titles when I first started this blog (or even only a year ago), “Peacock Feather Snowflakes” would surely have ranked high.