January 08, 2006

The Biggest Loser

No, not the lame show on network TV of the same name. These losers have spent way too much time fabricating their on-line persona. I give you the winners:

these fourteen motley souls


these 23 "beauty school for the blind" victims

Posted by cary at 08:29 PM

September 26, 2005

Make your own Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes

I recently got an email asking me how I made the Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes pictured on my website. For future posterity, and so I don't have to repeat myself, here it is:

Frylock's body and fries are coroplast (available from plastic supply houses, sign shops, etc). It's corogated plastic and pretty easy to work with. The front and back are joined to aluminum angle with rivets and washers. It was tricky to get the curvature on frylock since corogated material doesn't like to bend. Once the front and back were joined we used more aluminum angle covered in pipe insulation to keep the front and back spread apart. These pieces rest on the shoulders of the wearer. We also needed something to keep the bottom apart, but a spacer was awkward, so we used wire between the angles to pull tension and keep the front and back bowed out. The fries are just square tubes of coroplast with clear packing tape to join the edges. We used rubber cement to glue the fries to the body. It works tremendously well for gluing coroplast. The eyes and mouth are some sort of thin foam available in the kid crafts section. It's easy to cut and available in 8.5x11 and 11x17 sheets. The beard was several pieces since I couldn't find a 20x30 piece of the foam locally. I'm sure it's available mailorder in larger sizes.

Shake is made of 1/2" foam sheet wrapped and around and riveted to two hoops made of 1" aluminum bar stock. The lid is made of clearish coroplast. The side edge of the lid is three curved strips of coroplast, and the top raised lip is a coroplast "donut" on spacers to give the appearance of depth. The straw in a tube made of the same foam sheet material as shake's body wrapped in translucent purple vinyl as paint won't stick to the foam. Eyes, mouth, and hands are the same craft foam as used on frylock. I crafted suspenders out of 1" nylon web but found they didn't work well. If I did it over I'd make a a rigid harness similar to those for marching drummers. I didn't want to cut holes in the face of the costume to see out so I used a small CCD camera and 2" LCD. The big problem was heat. A costume made out of foam with a closed top works just like a styrofoam cup - it keeps things hot. I'd probably modify the lid if I wore it again. You could do a fan in the straw or space the lid off the foam cup. Either way I think a fan is necessary to keep it under 100F. If you wanted to be creative you could make the straw a hat and just stick your head through the lid, but that still doesn't fix body temperature.

Meatwad was sewn together with six eye shaped pieces of pre-quilted red fabric. The fabric already had batting attached which helps smooth out bumps, and the round quilted pattern kinda looks like ground meat. The quilted pattern doesn't show up well in the photos. I made the template for the cloth shell pieces in autocad and printed it on a plotter full size. I made the form out of chicken wire with six cuts towards the "equator" top and bottom, stitched together with tie wraps. I used a zipper on one seam of the cloth shell so I could slip it over the chicken wire frame, and then stuffed random bits of foam and batting to make lumps between the chicken wire form. If I had it to do over I'd make the form from paper mache over a large balloon, then cover that in a couple inches of expanding polyurethane foam. I'd also cut a hole in the top of meatwad to make him wearable. I made meatwad in less than three hours so I didn't have time to make it wearable. (chickenwire has really sharp pokey edges)

Posted by cary at 11:05 PM

August 01, 2004

Justice Unlimited

I just wrapped up running a brainiac treasure hunt with Team Snout. 25 teams of 2-8 people competed in a 30+ hour clue based game that spanned a good 300-400 miles. Various teams in the bay area take turns hosting games and Team Snout usually runs one every other year. Each clue is a complex puzzle that reveals the next clue location. There's no prize for winning and most teams just hope to finish in the alotted time. The game we just hosted was superhero based under the premise that all the regular superheroes (x-men, superman, batman, etc) have been sucked through a dimensional portal and we're now recruiting less than extraordinary superheroes to fill their shoes. We made the teams that applied come up with their own special powers, however most involved insomnia, narcolepsy, or hindsight. At least some of the teams had interesting costumes when they showed up with their applications. I spent the month of July assembling way too many circuit boards and was up till the wee hours of the morning on Saturday helping finish up one of the devices before game start at 10am. I belive we manufactured 700+ clues (25+ clue sites x 25 teams). I designed several puzzles including an electronic one that uses LEDs (light emitting diodes) to form code phrases in mid-air when spun like a lasso on a string.

Posted by cary at 08:13 PM

July 04, 2004

Working in WV

I spent this past week working from Elkins. I thought I'd end up with lots of time to visit folks but work regularly kept me occupied till 7pm each day. I got a few bike rides in and managed to bike over to Wes's house and pay him a visit. He moved back to Elkins from Morgantown a month or so ago. I was hoping to get some music time in with him but he has to get up super early for his job (stacking lumber - yay!) so that never happened. I also paid Matt and Danielle Taylor a visit. They now live a mile and a half from my parents which is really freaky. You never expect friends from college to move to your hometown, let alone a mile or two away.

Posted by cary at 11:08 AM

November 05, 2003

Tucker County

My dad sent me the following pics from a recent excursion through Tucker County. The first is up on Backbone Mountain, and the second of the windmills Florida Power & Light and Exelon erected.

Backbone Mountain
Mountaineer Wind Energy Center

Posted by cary at 01:37 PM

October 12, 2003

three ohhh

The big three ohhh today. And I spent a good six plus hours of it at work. I need to get out and get a life. Chatted with a friend back east for a while, and got out and had a decent dinner and dessert, even if there were no candles on the sundae.

Posted by cary at 11:07 PM

October 09, 2003

Fall fun

Just back Tuesday night from a trip back east. Spent Thursday evening through Monday afternoon in WV. I spent a bit of time at the Forest Festival taking in the cross-cut saw and log stacking competitions. I missed the modified chain saw competitions. I bet most folks in California won't believe me without pictures to prove it, but the chainsaws have modified engines with 3' long tuned exhaust. The rest of my time was spent mostly at the Randolph County Community Arts Center helping out with the juried art show. Sunday my parents had a birthday party for
me. My dad got me an auto-dimming welding helmet which is way cool. Also got a very nice set of pepper and salt grinders and the deluxe Holy Grail DVD set.

Before I could leave for the airport on Monday I got a call from work asking me to head to Tampa so I obliged. The flight arrangements weren't as bad as I had feared and the trip was fairly productive. But I was way wiped out by the time I arrived back in CA around 1am Wed.

Posted by cary at 11:33 AM

September 21, 2003

Tellme on CBS Sunday Morning

Only a few more hours until Tellme is on CBS Sunday Morning. Still haven't set the Tivo to record. Better hurry home lest I forget. I did some Tivo hacking last week so I should be able to extract the Tellme CBS episode and share it with friends via internet or video CD.

I hope to go home in two weeks. What a nice break from work that would be. Work is slowing down just enough for me to catch my breath, although I'm not sure that 8+ hours of work on a Saturday counts as slowing down.

Posted by cary at 01:04 AM

September 10, 2003

does it ever end?

Another long tiring day at work. I've finally exceeded a 1:1 meetings to real work ratio. I think my productivity for the next few months is doomed.

Chatting with my cousin via IM who is in far off lands doing fun things. Maybe I can go do fun things. Wonder if the spooks are hiring?

Posted by cary at 12:36 AM

September 01, 2003

24 hours of 24

24 hours of 24 on FX today. There goes my day. Yippee.

Posted by cary at 11:09 AM