Search My Notes

There are many pages of posts on many subjects, and only a few show on this main page. Search for the subjects that you are interested in.

Topics covered in here tend toward Gadgetry, Weapons, Books, Tools, and a lot of other things that have captured my interest.

Please note the "Linked From Here" tab on the results, which lists search results from sites I have linked to in my posts.

OpenSCAD: 3D Drawing for Programmers

OpenSCAD is a very cool open source free software parametric solid 3D CAD modeller, and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Apples OS X. If you like programming and 3D drawing you should have a look at OpenSCAD since it is more like writing code than juggling triangles and vertices like in Blender or AoI. It's Solidworks for programmers. It is software for creating solid 3D CAD objects.

Unlike most free software for creating 3D models it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Thus it might be the application you are looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts but pretty sure is not what you are looking for when you are more interested in creating computer-animated movies.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file. This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designes that are defined by configurable parameters.

OpenSCAD provides two main modelling techniques: First there is constructive solid geometry (aka CSG) and second there is extrusion of 2D outlines. As data exchange format format for this 2D outlines Autocad DXF files are used. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion it is also possible to read design parametes from DXF files. Besides DXF files OpenSCAD can read and create 3D models in the STL and OFF file formats.

Steep learning curve? Yes. Worth it? Yes, if you do they type of 3d drawing OpenSCAD excels at.

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Shorpy, for vintage photos History in HD is a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of searchable high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

You can join (free) and submit your own vintage photos.

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Home Brew for Home Drinking

Home Brew Talk with its 141,000 threads, 1,600,000 posts and 42,000 members, and its Home Brewing Wiki is a web resource for anyone who wants to make their own hand-crafted beer, wine, mead, cider, sake, or any other fermented beverage. There is also a forum on cheese making and one for sausage making has been discussed.

Recipes, reviews, and equipment are covered. This is a site for beginner, expert, and wanna-be home brewers and brew lovers.

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Varminter is an Online Varmint Hunting Magazine with articles, pictures, forums, a talkgroup, information on hunting, tutorials and much more. It covers everything from the littlest rimfires like the reintroduced 5mm Remington rimfire up through the .22-250 and beyond, and varmints from gophers to wild boars. There are comprehensive articles on factory and wildcat ammunition and rifles, building and modifying rifles, the game and the hunt.

The site is fairly active, with over 2,600 registered members,more than 118,000 posts, and over 7,600 U.S. visitors per month .

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Web100 (for List Lovers)

WEB100 is a list of lists, all kinds of lists, categorized and searchable. It brings you the best of the web. The top 100 lists, website reviews, and site rankings help you to find the most interesting, fun, and useful sites, games, and products on the web.

There are short lists, long lists, useful lists and dumb lists. It is a great place to kill time and browse and discover new places.

Here is a sampling of the "Top 100" lists:

Indie 100INDIE 100
Music, comics, film, and more.

Photo 100PHOTO 100
The best in photography.

Shopping 100SHOPPING 100
The web's best shopping sites.

Viral Video 100VIRAL VIDEO 100
Hilarious, weird. Must-see.

Web 100WEB 100
Our classic top 100 websites list.

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MMHosting: To Build a Website

Having a web site can be fun, makes sense for a business, and is fairly easy to do.

First, decide on a name -- or two. Unique names are getting harder to find. Then go HERE and enter the name you want, using the .com or .biz or .org extension on it, to see if someone else is using the name.

The next step is to find a place to host your website. I would advise against your local Internet provider and would suggest not using Yahoo or a free host. I went those routes and the experience was quite forgettable.

Whoever hosts your website can register your domain name.

I did a lot of homework and went with MM Hosting's NetMega package a couple of years ago. They offer the best service I have ever seen, and at a bargain price as low as $5.95 a month. When my site crashed at nine PM on a Sunday night, I sent an email to their tech support, had a reply within half an hour, and the site was back up within another half hour. It doesn't get much better than this.

The services they offer are overkill for what I want, everything from blogs and forums and email accounts to shopping carts, but the prices are hard to beat.

I did have my site hosted by Yahoo, but it cost three times as much and the tech support was non-existent. To add insult to injury, when I switched my domain to MM Hosting, both MM and I had to jump through a time consuming and complicated series of hoops. What should have been a matter of hours took days, and the fault was with yahoo.

The next step is build your web page. MM offers a free website builder but I wanted to learn a little about the HTML language and went the expensive route with a commercial program.

MM gives you the free use of RVSiteBuilder. That site says "The tryout module is the separate application running on your own disk space. Users can try it and test it in action. If they like it, they have an option to buy any hosting account. You, as an administrator, just click a single button and all data and hosting accounts will be created for you."

Anyway, I can't speak from personal experience about the SiteBuilder, but I assume it is as good as the rest of their services, which are excellent. I also can't give any advice on design, except KISS -- Keep it simple, Stupid! Simpler is always better: forget the animations and background music.

Having some idea of what you want your site to look like before you start can help. It might be cheating a little, but if you see a website you really like you might use its basic layout as a pattern for your own.

I would recommend one of these books as a starting place.

Book CoverBook Cover

Did I follow KISS for my own site? Nope, but this is because I like to tinker and experiment with different effects and because my web site, like my life, is a real mix of personal and business, homogenized fun, so to speak.

Bottom line: It works for the business. It tells where the store is, what my hours are, what the basic layout and policies are, and some photos give an idea of what the place looks like. I have sold a few books I listed there and gotten inquiries on other books.

It also works on the personal end, and gives me a place to express myself without the limitations of places like Facebook.

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Pocket Revolvers:The Snubnose Files

The Snubnose Files and The Sight's 1911 are apparently related.

In their words:

Nobody knows who invented the snubnose revolver. That little data bit is lost in the foggy recesses of time. Some cowboy, sheriff, or bad-guy hit on the idea that if he sawed off the barrel of his revolver, it would come out of the holster a whole lot faster and maybe he'd get the first shot off. It would also be easier to conceal. So the snubnose revolver was born in a blacksmith shop whose name is forever lost. Some great ideas just happen like that, and there aren't any archetypal stories to tell about them.

We can say that it was some time in the 19th Century, most likely in the American West, but most importantly, that wherever it started and whoever had the idea aren't near as important as the fact that it's still around, still doing it's job, still trusted by more people for self defense than any other firearm design that's ever been thought of.

That's what this site is about: the snubnose revolver

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The Digital library of Congress

The Library of Congress has a large selection of materials online in its Digital Collection. These are articles, books, newspapers and photographs that you can download or view on line.

There is a lot of unexpected information there.

Playing with the Historic Newspapers section, I asked for a list of all newspapers published in Flathead County between 1880 and 1950 and got the following list, many of which are available on Microfiche:
The Arcadian. (Bigfork, Mont.) 1915-19??
The Bigfork hornet. ([Bigfork, Mont.]) 1920-192?
The Call. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1896-1896
The Columbia Falls review. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1931-1939
The Columbian. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1891-1897
The Columbian. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1905-1925
The Daily inter lake. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1908-current
Daily reminder. (Whitefish, Mont.) 19??-1936
Flathead County news. (Bigfork, Mont.) 1908-1915
Flathead eastshore views. (Bigfork, Mont.) 19??-19??
Flathead herald-journal. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1892-1907
The Flathead monitor. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1920-1949
Hendricks' Columbian. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1903-1905
Hungry Horse news and Columbian. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1946-1948
Hungry Horse news. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1948-current
The Inter lake. (Demersville, Mont.) 1889-191?
The Kalispell bee. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1900-192?
The Kalispell bee. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1901-1901
The Kalispell graphic. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1891-1895
The Kalispell journal. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1907-1917
Kalispell news-farm journal. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1949-1961
Kalispell news. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1936-1949
Kalispell times. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1910-1949
The Montana Grange news. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1942-current
Montana review. (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1939-1940
The Populist. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1894-1894
Rocky Mountain informer. (Kalispell, Mont.) 19??-19??
Times-monitor. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1949-195?
Treasure state labor journal. (Kalispell, Mont.) 1938-1955
The Whitefish pilot. (Whitefish, Mont.) 1904-current


American Memory American History & Culture
A digital library of historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video from American Memory.

Historic NewspapersHistoric Newspapers
Enhanced access to America's historic newspapers through the Chronicling America project.

International CollectionsInternational Collections
Materials and bilingual presentations from overseas libraries from Global Gateway.

Legislative Information Legislative Information
THOMAS provides searchable full text of bills, Congressional Record and more.

Browse by Topic Browse By Topic
Browse selected collection content available online by Topic.

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Kel-Tec Places

These little critters and their big brothers are getting better and more popular all the time. There are a few places dedicated to information and chit-chat about them.

The Kel-Tec Owners Group originally started out as a space for Kel-Tec P-11 9mm owners. Since its inception, KTOG has grown to encompass Kel-Tec CNC products in general. It's a place where owners can link to other owners. It's also a place where prospective owners can hear firsthand from current owners about their experiences (good, bad, or otherwise.) It is the best Kel-Tec site I have found.
KTRange has links and forums for all the Kel-Trec products. It has a slightly different emphasis than the KTOG site.

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Green Mountain Rifle Barrels

Green Mountain Rifle Barrels makes classic BPCR (black powder cartridge rifle) barrels, Ruger 10/22 and 77/22 barrels, and replacement rifle barrels for muzzleloaders, not to mention Uzi barrels.

They provide competitive shooters and hunters with accuracy and dependability they can count on at an affordable price. This uncompromising quality is achieved by crafting barrels using a hands-on approach in production, where barrels are machined from high quality American made bar stock, A.I.S.I. 1137 modified, stress relieved, annealed, certified rifle barrel quality steel. All barrels are drilled from solid stock, reamed to a high degree of smoothness, then optically checked for straightness. Very close tolerances are maintained. Diameters vary less than .0002" within any bore.

They are the barrels that Knight Rifles used in their products. The publisher of Rifle and Handloader magazine endorses the GM barrels and sells some of them on their site.

They make great barrels for Ruger rimfire rifles and their prices are some of the lowest around. The Running Boar barrels are a real bargain at seventy-five dollars with free shipping and handling. Since an order placed with them on a Monday morning was delivered in kalispell Wednesday afternoon, I'd say their service is exceptional.
Running Boar Target Barrel
  • Green Mountain's .22, .22WMR and .17 HMR caliber running boar target barrels are so called because they're so similar to European Running Boar target and Biathlon competition rifles. These 22" weighted muzzle barrels are .92" in diameter for about 4" at the muzzle.

    They feature excellent balance, so keeping the barrel up is not too difficult. Our Running Boar target barrels also fit factory stocks with minor sanding. Whether you need a 10/22 Magnum Running Boar target barrel, a 10/22 Running Boar target barrel, a 77/22 Magnum Running Boar target barrel or a 77/22 Running Boar target barrel, Green Mountain has you covered.

    Green Mountain Magnum Running Boar target barrels come in several configurations. You can choose your 10/22M Running Boar target barrels blued or in stainless steel. The .22 Long Rifle 10/22 also come either blued or in stainless steel.

    Similarly, our 77/22 Magnum Running Boar target barrels come blued or in stainless steel. Or, you can choose a blued 77/22M for the .17 Hornady. Whichever you choose, Green Mountain provides rifle barrels ready for the European Running Boar competition.

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Offbeat Searching

Omgili (acronym for "Oh My God I Love It") is a vertical search engine that focuses on user generated content platforms, such as, forums, discussion groups, answer boards and others.

This crawler based search engine scans millions of online discussions worldwide in over 100,000 boards and forums, including outdoor/firearm/survival forums, and is able to differentiate between discussion entities, such as, title, topic, answer and post date.

Users can use Omgili to find consumer opinions, debates, discussions, personal experiences, answers and solutions. Thinking of a new chain saw? Rifle? Pickup? Monitor? Game? Search Omgili to see what people are saying and you might end up loving it too.

Who Sells It?
is a catalog search engine that collects and indexes data from many online catalogs.

The web site has a simple lay out with links and the main search bar. The user can type a key word into the search bar provided in the web site and be given results for that key word found in catalogs.

There is also a categories section available. The categories include Apparel and Fashion (outdoor clothing, sports clothing, sunglasses, etc,) Consumer Electronics (cameras and photo, home audio, home theater in a box, portable audio, radio,) Automotive (aircraft, powerboats and motorboats, car manufacturers, commercial trucks, motorcycles, parts and accessories, and motorcycle parts,) Home and Garden (building hardware, furniture, gardening and plants, heating cooing and air, home security, kitchen, outdoor power equipment, plumbing and fixtures,) Sporting Goods (Climbing, Exercise and fitness, fly fishing, golf, hunting, Nordic, scuba, snorkeling, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding,) Industrial supplies (agriculture and forestry, electrical and test, fasteners and hardware, forklifts and other lifts, industrial automation, laboratory equipment, manufacturing and metal working, material handling, postage and packing supplies, retail and shop fitting, tools and tube fitting,) Toys and hobbies (die cast toy vehicles, models and kits, radio control,) Travel (Airline, Car Rental, Cruises, Lodging, Vacation Packages,) and Other (Books, College Course Catalogs, Health & Beauty, Painting, Printers, Real Estate, etc.)

PDFGeni is a Google powered search service for free books you can download. Find Business, Computer, Engineering and Trade magazines and books and other types of PDF files online, download and save them as PDFdocuments.

If you have ever tried to search for books using most search engines, then you know that actually finding what you want is hard. With PDFGeni, you’ll be able to search the web for PDF files, and nothing else. Type in the key words that describe the book you are looking for, and see what’s available. After the search, you’ll see a list of books and PDF files that match your criteria.

You can preview the files before downloading them. The preview loads quickly and should work for anyone who doesn’t want to download the texts, but needs them for quick reference.
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The Gun Accessories SuperStore

GunAccessories is the internet superstore for firearms owners.

They carry a huge inventory. For example, there are ten full pages of goodies for fixing up the Ruger 10/22:

Ruger 10/22 Accessories

Stocks Books & Videos
Barrels Scopes, Mounts & Bases
Parts Shrouds & Handguards
Buffers Muzzle Brakes & Flash Hiders
Chokes Magazines & Loaders

Rings and Bases

In their words: is pleased to offer one of the world’s largest selection of firearm accessories, gun parts, tactical gear, police equipment, scopes, knives, and an assortment of upgrades for handguns, rifles, shotguns, and military style guns.

Our vast selection of gun parts includes items such as barrels, grips, magazines, clips, bolts, hammers, grip saftey’s, barrel bushings, frame components, springs, guide rod’s, buffers, recoil pads, recoil buffers, mag wells, mainspring housings, sights, scope mounts, slide components, extractors, ejectors, triggers, sears, pins, mag catches, stocks, pistol grips and frontstraps.

Our selection of Gun Parts will fit handguns and rifles manufactured by Armalite, Anshutz, Auto Ordnance, Beretta, Browning, Bersa, Bond Arms inc., Bushmaster, Chricket, Charles Daly, Charter Arms Handguns, Colt, Comanche, CZ, European American Armory, EAA, Firestorm, FN Arms, FN Hertsel, Glock, Hastings, Heckler & Koch, H&K , Henry, Hi-Point, Heritage, Khar Arms, Kel-Tec, Legacy Sports, Magnum Research, Marlin, Maverick, Mossberg, Navy Arms, New England, North American Arms, Para-Ordnance handguns, Phoenix, Remington, Rossi, Ruger, Savage Arms, Snake Charmer, Spartan Gun Works, Sig Handguns, Sigarms, S&W, Smith & Wesson handguns, Springfield Armory, SKB, Steyr, Taylor & Company, Taurus, Thompson Center, Tikka, Traditions, Verona, Walther Handguns, Weatherby and Winchester.

Military style rifle owners will be pleased with the massive selection of components and accessories for Ak-47 and Ar-15 style rifles. Items include barrels, upper receivers and components, bolt carriers and assemblies, buttstocks, folding stocks, free float tubes, hammer replacements, handguards, flashiders, muzzle brakes, flash hiders, gas tubes, gas blocks, slings, bipods, bayonets, receiver covers, front sight posts, gas pistons and match sights. Ak-47 builds are very popular and we carry U.S. compliance parts for building Ak-47 rifles and Ak-47 pistols as well as dress up parts for your favorite Ak-47. Ar-15 rifles are again readily available as well as Ar-15 pistols. There are many new manufacturers producing Ar-15 rifles as well as the Colt Ar-15 is back on the market again.

We strive to carry all the leading manufacturers of gun parts such as Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Kings Gun Works, John Masen, DPMS, Bushmaster, E&L Manufacturing, Buffer Technologies, Butler Creek, Pachmayr, Hogue, RWS, Lyman, Hornady, Lee, Outers, Hoppe’s, Birchwood Casey, Bore Snake, Kleen Bore, Shooter’s Choice, G96, Ram-Line, Fajen, Bell And Carlson, Limbsaver, Kick eez, Timney, Speedfeed, Millet, Leupold, Tasco, Uncle Mike’s, First Samco, Inc., Michaels of Oregon, Tacstar, Mec-Gar, HKS, Pearce Grip, Scherer, B-Square, S&K Mounts, Shooters ridge, Stoney point, Harris Bipods, Caldwell, San angelo, knight, Warne Mounts, BKL Technologies, Nikon, Burris, Bushnell, Ultra Dot, Simmons, Weaver, ATK, Hi Viz, Trijicon, Truglo, Allen, Kwik-Site, Laserlyte, Lasermax, Crimson Trace Lasergrips, guntec, Adco, B-Square and Ironsighter co.

In addition to the firearm items and Gun parts, carries a large selection of Knives from leading manufacturers such as Almar Knives, Anza Knives, Benchmade Knives, Browning Knives, Columbia River knife & Tool, Camillus Knives, Case Knives, Knives of Alaska, Colt Knives, Buck Knives, Eickorn-Soligen, Entrek Knives, Hen & Rooster, Ka-Bar Knives, Kershaw Knives, Cold Steel, MOD, Spyderco, Tomahawk Brand, Gerber, Walther, Chef’s choice, Wyoming knife Corp., United Cutlery, EZE Lap, DMT Sharpners, and Blackwater gear.

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Freecycle Flathead

Freecycle Flathead is the place to recycle your unwanted items. Throwing something away? STOP!! If you live in the Kalispell (Flathead Valley) area, please offer your reusable items to other group members. Keep it out of landfill by recycling it.

If you need or want something, ask -- someone on the local Freecycle might have one to give away. There are 1500+ members in the Flathead Freecycle community who are looking for things or offering things for free, and they put up twenty to thirty posts per day.

The only catch is that you must have a Yahoo account and join the group, which is hosted by Yahoo. This is a free service, and if you use Yahoo for email, you already have a Yahoo account and all you have to do is join the Freecycle Flathead group.

There are a few rules and restrictions:
1.KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This means, for example,
No Pornography,
No Alcohol,
No Tobacco,
No Drugs (of any kind, including all medicines, vitamins, creams, etc.),
No Copies of copyrighted material only originals (video tapes, cassettes,DVD and CDs)
No Firearms or other weapons.

2.SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR POSTS. Use these phrases to make it easy for others to delete or view.
  • OFFER: Posting an OFFER--When posting an OFFER, three things should be included in the subject line: OFFER, the item, and the location of the item. For example, if I were to offer a table lamp, the subject should read: OFFER table lamp Southside or OFFER table lamp Near Creston. This gives everyone enough information to know how far they must travel BEFORE they request the item. You may provide a brief description of the item in the body of the post. These items should be in your control if you are posting the offer.
  • TAKEN: Posting TAKEN--This post should be made once an item you have offered has been picked up or when you have a long enough list of responses to have plenty of back ups. Do not post an item as being taken with the thought that you will repost if something falls through. This only fills up the board and in boxes. The TAKEN post should not be made by anyone other than the original poster.
  • WANTED: thingamajig, any condition. (Your Location Optional) example, if I were looking for a table lamp, my post would read: WANT, table lamp, Creston. This would be a clear indication that I want a table lamp and live in. Reasons for the want should not be included. Everyone is experiencing their own form of hardship during these trying times. If someone has the item for which you are looking and are willing to part with it, it will not matter that you lost your job, your car, your house, and your dog and that all you want is a light to read the one book you were able to keep.[Please use this post sparingly and don't offer to pay. Also do not ask for a blanket item, like painting supplies, bedroom furniture, kitchen ware. You can ask for a pot or pan, a bed or a dresser, but you may not ask for a group of items. Please limit your post to three different items. This group is not set up as a wish list.
  • RECEIVED--This post should be used to let everyone know that you have received the item you requested through a WANT post. It is NOT to be used to let everyone know that you received an item that was posted as an OFFER.
  • ADMIN: (Used by Owners and Mods)
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Contraptor: For Building your Sketchup Designs

Contraptor is another Erector Set, a means of turning your Sketchup plans into reality, a construction set for experimental personal fabrication, desktop manufacturing, prototyping and bootstrapping. Various Cartesian robots can be quickly assembled from Contraptor and used as a platform for projects such as XY plotter, mini CNC machine, 3D printer etc.

Contraptor is an ongoing project under development. One of the original project goals is manufacturability at home with only basic tools, using inexpensive materials and parts readily available in hardware stores and online, with cost in the range of $400 and without the need for a custom-manufactured kit. In addition to DIY plans, we're also working on Shopbot-able kits that can be manufactured in small quantities by anyone willing, from open source drawings.

You can create things with Contraptor without having the actual set. 3D models of Contraptor components are hosted on Google 3D warehouse and can be downloaded directly into Sketchup - a free 3D modeler that is gaining popularity because it is very intuitive and easy to use. If you prefer other 3D apps, DXF exports of "official" components are hosted on Thingiverse, a cool new site for sharing hardware designs.

Contraptor is mechanically compatible with 1" T-slot (such as 80/20 Fractional 10 profiles), pegboard, 1" grid beam (such as commercially available perforated steel tube), and likely other things with dimensions standartized in 1" grid.

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