This Just In...

Chevy K10 truck restoration: Mission Accomplished!

One last task on Project Hank before it's totally comlete: take some glamour shots of course!

Javascript, Jquery form validation using Functional Programming techniques

I just put this together for a little project at work today and thought I'd share it with the world. 

$50 paint job! or: How to paint your truck/car with Rustoleum and a Roller (part 2)

There was no way I could afford a pro paint job. I gave myself an allowance of $1500 to restore this truck which included much much more than just a fresh paint job. So an expensive paint job just wasn't in the budget. Then I started looking at alternative methods, like plasti-dip. But when I did the math, a plasti-dip paint job would have cost $400 at least and would not be a real investment into this truck. Of course I could have gotten a dozen spray cans and bombed it, but I wasn't interested in something with basically no quality at all. Then I came across a youtube video of someone painting a small red car with rustoleum and a roller. And it looked great! I started watching and reading more and more. The rolled on version was much harder, shinier, and more durable than with spray cans. I was sold.

The (in)famous $50 paint job! or: How to paint your truck/car with Rustoleum and a Roller (part 1)

The idea is that oil-based enamel paints from your hardware store can be ROLLED onto the vehicle if you thin heavily with mineral spirits and use a high-quality foam roller. The mineral spirits help it level out while it's drying and its supposed to make the paint cure faster so you can wet sand the next day. A glossy, flat, durable (relative to, say, a rattle can paint job) finish can be achieved with a very small amount of money. However, it's very labor intensive. 

Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 5: Suspension and Wheels

What I'm about to do is not going to be incredibly popular with the chevy squarebody community, especially the off-road bunch. I'm going to remove the 4" suspension lift and drop it down to stock height. This was the plan all along with this truck. I'm not into mudding. Since buying this truck I tried a few times and it was just alright but the most fun I had off-road I could just as easily achieve with 33" tires and no suspension lift. In addition, the gear ratio in my GM 10 bolt rear end was only 3.42, much too small for 35" tires even with a SBC 350 engine. I live in a hilly area and on several occasions I got in a jam while going up hill in top gear at 30mph, and the truck did not like that. Smaller tires will make it muuuuch easier to drive around town with the Muncie SM465 transmission, although it will lower my highway speed. 

chevy k10 squarebody front suspension

The Reviews are In: Functional Programming in JavaScript "is AWESOME"

From the very beginning, the goal with Functional Programming in JavaScript was to strip the veneer off the language to expose its inner beauty and functional roots, a necessary step in helping the reader to fully understand both the language and the functional programming paradigm. And now that some reviews are coming in, it appears that the goal has been met.

How To Restore a Guitar

While it was one of my most admired possessions in middle school, the first guitar I ever owned had seen better days. It originally came in a satan black finish, but over the years it became shiny in all the normal wear spots which made it look terrible. And it's all around just a lame guitar to me now. So.. time to reinvent it! Here's how I did it...

painted guitar body

How To Build A Supercomputer

On this day, July 27, 2016, my artile on WikiHow - How To Build a Supercomputer - has reached 200,000 views. In honor of the achievement, I will reproduce the article here on my website so that future generations may read and enjoy this masterfully crafted tail of human ingenuity and technical triumph. 

Creating Podcast XML from Drupal content

I needed to create some podcasts for Kansas Public Radio, which uses the Drupal Content Management System (CMS). I couldn't find a satisfactory Drupal module that could create the RSS data that iTunes needs, so I had to come up with my own solution. IIRC, Drupal Feeds would have worked great but iTunes needs specific XML tags (i.e. <itunes:description>, <itunes:category>, etc) that Drupal Feeds couldn't provide. I also dried Drupal Views PHP but it was too buggy and I also couldn't get the code to output outside of the template.

Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 4: Paint Prep and Final Body Work

In this episode of This Old Truck, I do some more body work and rust repair, I fabricate a licence plate bracket, and I fit the front and rear bumpers to the truck. Follow along this exciting journy of This Old Truck, only on! (45 photos)

Yosemite Trip Report, Cathedrial Peaks tailhead to the valley, June 2015

In June 2015, my girlfriend and I and 3 other friends went on a 5 day backpacking trip in the Yosemite National Park. It was an absolutely amazing experience. It was as much of a challengae as I hoped it would be, and we made a lot of mistakes but I don't regret a single thing. Our route completely turned on a dime on top of Cloud's Rest, and we missed the backpacker's shuttle back to our cars. But we survided to tell our story...


Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 3: Front Clip Swap

I'm swapping front clips. Going from the square headlights to the round headlights. Why? Because I like it better, that's why. This is my project, I have a design goal in mind, and this is what I must do to achieve it. I want to turn my 80's truck into a 70's truck, make it more of a classic, more retro. Cooler. Honestly, it's about more than the round headlights. Mainly I want the older style fenders that allow for the really cool chrom trim.

There are no photo-documented tutorials for how to do this swap. None online that I could find. Therefore, I hope this information can be added to the collective knowledge of the squarebody community. 

Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 2: Body Work and Rust Removal, Part 2

More body work! I'm swapping front clips because I like the round eye headlight style and the fenders that go with it will allow me to use the older style chrome trim. But the front clip I found off a 73 or 74 c20 has a lot of rust and will need work. The learning experiment continues, this time I learn how to weld patch panels with a flux-core, wire-feed welder.

Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 2: Body Work and Rust Removal, Part 1

Time to get started on the body work and rust. Bondo, sanding, bondo, sanding, bondo, sanding, bondo, sanding.....

Book Review: Still Life With Woodpecker

This is less of a book review and more of a confession.

I was in a Paris hostel at the end of a fast-paced, somewhat derenged week (it one hell of a vacation) and feeling a little down now that it was coming to an end, when a hostel-hopping Australian started giving me life advice. His first piece of advice was to read Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robins, but first, he said, read his more popular novel Still Life With Woodpecker to make sure I can handle is writing style. 

Chevy K10 truck restoration Phase 1: Acquisition & Engine Rehab

After completing my book, I needed some mental rehabilitation. Something therapeutic and relaxing. I also had a (small) wad of cash from the deal so I decided to buy an old truck! I found this old guy, I've named him Hank, someone's old hunting truck. It belonged to an older gentleman in Wyoming and he gave it to his grandson who was entering the marines. The grandson drove it to Missouri and sold it to the guy I bought it from. I have no idea at what point in the truck's life that the engine was swapped out for a 350 and it was converted from 2wd to 4wd! The VIN shows it's a 2wd truck but it is most definitely a 4wd. So it was either converted to 4wd, or a cab with the exact same color scheme was swapped (unlikely). Someone put a lot of money into this truck, and it's kept it's value pretty well. Only a loose bolt and little bit of rust here and there (I'll soon learn just how "little").

I think I wrote a book: Functional Programming in JavaScript

You never know where life will take you. It may take you rock climbing in Argentina, it may take you to a farm in Nebraska, it may take you to a high-rise building in San Jose. Starting in October 2014, life took me (or, my name at least) to a publishing company in Birmingham, United Kingdom. A colleague of mine, Trent Hauck, wrote a book for the same publishing company and asked me to be a technical editor. I said sure! Little did I know that the experience would end up with me writing a book of my own.

Functional Programming in JavaScript by Dan Mantyla

Free! Honda CB200 CL200 Owners Manual and Workshop Service Manual free downloads

Don't know why I didn't share this sooner! The Factory Service Manual (FSM) is a MUST!! It's also called the Workshop Service Repair Manual. The owners manual is nice to have too. It's also fun (for lack of better work) to find that the two documents contradict each other on a few things. For example, the owners manual says to tighten the cam chain by putting it in TDC first, while the FSM says to do it while the engine is running. I do as the FSM says.

DIY guitar pedal board

DIY effect pedal board for stomp boxes, homemade from a suitcaseWhat do you do with an old suitcase and a pile of stomp boxes and patch cables? Turn it into a pedal board! This was a really fun project, one that doesn't require a whole lot of planing and can be made with things laying around the house. Here's how I made it.

DIY power supply for guitar effect pedals

You know those power supplies that can power like 10 effect pedals, but they cost like $150? They're nice, but who has money for that?! I needed one for my DIY pedal board so I thought I'd DIY the power supply too. 

power supply DIY enclosure for guitar effect pedals and stomp boxes