Flip-Flops and my Dzhanibekov problem

I walk the dog on the beach – I take my flip-flops off.  Why? Somewhat irrelevant to this post, but flip flops may be the most versatile shoe wear the is (I mean, even Jesus wore them, right? And walked on water in them) but they do have Achilles heel(s?): walking […]


Operation Stop-the-Damned-Dog-Jumping-the-Fence

The Issue We got our dog, Honey Doughnut, 2 years or so ago. She was only 6 kg and the size of an aubergine then, but in readiness for whatever-she-may-become (breed unspecified!) I enclosed the back garden by building a couple of fences. Below is the diagram I sent to […]


Jon Amazing Jokes API (for Magic Mirror)

I built a ‘MagicMirror’ a while back for Zoe. It’s been working well, and I have installed some of the third-party modules: the tides one and the jokes one. But. Neither Zoe nor I were finding the jokes that entertaining – the module loads up jokes from online APIs, one which […]


Double-sided Mirror Spotted in the (Chinese!) Wild

This morning I came back from a one-night-stayover trip to China, to watch a facade being tested. It is a long way to go for one night: two 12-hour flights. I did get put in Business Class though and consequently got lounge access at Guangzhou airport. As I had time […]


Smart(or Magic) Mirror

In my (so far) unsuccessful quest to mirror & control my Android phone on a Raspberry Pi + touchscreen (for my car), I kept on coming across MagicMirror for Raspberry PI online. I had the parts, so I built one. The only thing I did not have was two-way glass. A […]


Curtain Wall on The PwC Centre, Christchurch

After having it on my Reminders for the last 3 years, last Friday I applied to be a Member of the Society of Facade Engineering. To do so I had to write a technical report. The link below is that report, for an office building in Christchurch, New Zealand. The […]


(More on the) Reel Mower

We were visiting a friend. They are managing an accommodation property out near Murawai. There was lots of old rusty agricultural hardware littered around the place. One that caught my eye was an old mower – it had a similar (albeit wider) helical reel as the one I used for the base […]


Shoe Cupboard

An old travelling trunk perched on a pile of crap in a skip is something you shouldn’t really see. It’s sad, particularly on a street in Auckland where the trunk is older than 99% of anything else man-made within a 4000 km radius. If you see something like this, please […]


Lawn Mower Reel Lamp

I found a rusty old reel – that’s the helical blade bit – a while ago and pondered what to do with it. I gave up and gave in and made the go-to lamp (stand and the rest of the lamp). Reel mowers, as anything, are intriguing. Quoting wikipedia: Of […]


Subaru Legacy AUX-IN

I bought one of these wire things (which I randomly came across) from WaveTech, Christchurch: Took out the stereo, Installed the wire ,which daisy chains between the socket in the back of OEM stereo and whatever-the-AUX-1 is (still TBC!) Now I have my phone music – Google Music, Spotify, whatever […]