I know it’s been radio silence around here for a bit. I haven’t been paying too much attention to the news lately. It’s 1 part depressing (obvious reasons), 1 part enraging. There are people protesting lockdowns – I can’t think of anything to compare them to other than flat-earthers. There’s no sense in engaging them because they’re arguing from such a point of insanity that there’s no convincing them. I haven’t even tried talking to anyone like that though, just watching their conversations on social media, etc is enough to piss me off.

Even on social media sites or reddit, I’ve largely been avoiding discussions about COVID-19 and lockdowns, etc. Nothing is changing quickly, which is to be expected, so I don’t see a need to listen to or watch an endless news feed about it. I periodically check things just to see if there’s any big news.

Work has been rough lately. There’s lots going on, which I won’t really get into due to my “don’t talk about work” policy. It’s just tough with all the frequent teleconferences, etc.

In other news, my birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be 41. Parents are planning to stop by and say hi from the driveway tomorrow. I told folks to not worry about getting me gifts right now. I figure it’s better folks keep their money in these times so they can deal with other situations if they come up. I did get myself a 3D Printer to play with though as a birthday present to myself. It’s been pretty interesting to play with. I went with the Creality Ender 3 Pro after it being recommended from a couple of people. The price being fairly low made it a lot easier to finally decide to buy one.

Here’s my first print – the design came with the printer and I used their sample filament that they sent with it. I cleaned this up a tiny bit after it came off the print bed but not much:

After that, why not print a door opener? Seems like a good use for it given the virus that’s going around, heh:

Then I found a slightly different design. This one is meant to allow you to turn things like door locks. I actually think I like the first one more though:

Another functional thing I printed was a light switch lock. I put it on this switch just as an example of how it works. But generally, the idea is you can put it on in either direction depending on whether you want to keep a switch on or off. It can be easily bent out of the way if you do need to flip the switch (I apparently need to clean this switch …):

I played with some settings and last night printed this. It’s called Benchy. It’s meant to stress-test 3D printers and defects in it can point out tweaks you can make to your printer or its settings to make better prints. This is fresh off the print bed with no touchups. Overall, I’m really happy with how it came out:

It’s been fun playing with printing different things. I’ve had a few failed prints and have had to clean out the nozzle a time or two. But those are pretty easy maintenance items luckily. The filament is pretty low cost given the number of things you can print with a single spool.

Anyhow, happy birthday to me, I suppose.

COVID-19 U.S. Stats for 2020-4-17
Total Cases: 716,508
Total Deaths: 39,600
COVID-19 U.S. Stats by date