Author Archives: Gwilym

The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

This was the first book, I read off mine and Ellie’s swap five books thing we are doing, and I really enjoyed it. I have a few issues with it, but there are not many books I give a 10/10. It was fun book to read, it did not belong to a straight foreword formula, and although I could predict the destination of the story, I could not predict how it it would get there. I had a feeling of teaching my truth, though lies which reminded me a little of my love of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

I had some issues with the suspension of disbelief at certain points, and a to sum extends the timescale. The books skips over huge chunks of time, where we are supposed to believe nothing interesting happened, and characters did not develop at all.

I also wish some of the characters where a little more deeply developed.

Most of my issues stem from the second half of the book, it was in a rush to get where it was going, and took some giant leaps to get there, which left me a little unsatisfied.

None the less, it was fun, and exciting to read, and you could form an easy attachment to the good willed nature of many of the characters.

Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum bottles

I have decided to make an attempt on this Instuctable

The shopping list has been quite a headache, but we are getting close, the first few items where easy

  • Great Ebay shop
    • three 5mm red LEDs
    • three 5mm blue LEDs
    • two 5mm ultraviolet LEDs (#176-0014)
    • one 150 ohm resistor (for the UV LEDs) (#271-1109)
    • one mini momentary push button switch (#274-1547)
    • one submini slide switch (#275-0409)
  • Amazon
    • third hand
    • black spray paint
    • red and blue florescent paint
    • .220″ thick acrylic glass
    • size K coaxial DC power jack (#274 1565)

Some of the American parts started to get me though:

  • 355 ml Mexican Coke bottle

was a bit of puzzler for a man that lives in the UK, but I manged to find it at American Fizz , the next item was even worse, from the inscrutable you can see even Americans are having trouble finding it.

  • -a solid metal exhaust gasket 2 17/32″ inside diameter.

This took some dective work, but I managed to track one down at O’reily’s auto parts…. in america, Luckily I know a few Americans from backpacking, and I found out my lovely friend grace is a mere few miles from a store. She has picked me one up, and it should be winging its way accrss the Atlantic any day now.

Now the next part of give me trouble is

  • a piece of sheet metal cut to 3.5″ diameter circle

A tricky one, not becuase of the materials, but off the tools required to make it.


Still to find:

  • -1/4″ drill bit
    -5/64″ drill bit
    -J-B Weld
  • -glue
    -about a foot of 20 gauge insulated wire
    -bailing wire

    -3″ PVC cut to 2 1/4″ high


Update 24/07/2-15

I found that I could get away without much of that when I came back to this project a couple of weeks ago, and I managed to assemble it with what I already had.

I should have taken more notes along the way, but things got kind of busy. I blew quite a few LED’s in my first attempt at making something electronic in quite a long time. Some of the soldering is probably not what you would call pretty either ūüėõ but it is a great looking lamp and I am pretty proud of it. Was scary as hell the first time I plugged into a real socket, rather than my breadboard.

The Martian by Andy Weir

This book is menace, it nearly caused me to crash my car. I was that excited in the final moments of the book(audiobook), I was cheering and clapping, and not paying the slightest bit of attention.

I wanted to start with that, because that is what made this book brilliant. It is Hard sci-fi. Good old-school Rendezvous with Rama style sci-fi which I deeply enjoy but is normally characterized by… its lack of good characters and emotional depth. The Authors who care about getting the physics in a book perfect and often the ones who forget to add heart and soul.

Not Andy Weir, this was a delight on every level, I could not sleep for want to finishing it. I spent my own time thinking about Mark’s problems and how I might fix them, and I rode an emotional Roller coaster.

For its faults, there was a couple of times I had hint of disbelief in his luck, but I dont mind that. The main character is wonderful, and snarky, but that gets out of control a little bit, but never enough that it annoys me

This will remain a favorite book I am sure.

Comic book table(Work in progress)

So this project all started with a Christmas present from the wonderful Miss Ellie, a book of 75 years of marvel comic book art Having recived such a nice thing, we then went on destroy it. We thought about making a giant poster, or a collearge of some kind, but then it hit me we have a old battered table that could do with being made much cooler, why dont we cover it?

We could cover all of it, so
Step 1) Was to disable the table and paint the area that where not to be covered black. We used a black eggshell paint for this. ( I forgot to take post painting pictures )

Step 2) Cut out the comics!

Step 3) We got a non yellowing polyethylene based varnish, and used this to paste comics onto the table top

Step 3.1) I found some of the comics did not stick down well, so I put over another layer of varnish, and then covered the table with clingfilm and heavy books.

2015-02-04 06.39.15

Step 4) comics, dont make a great surface, we need something harder so I used epoxy resin from eli chemicals

Step 5) The chairs don’t match! So I needed to break the seats off the chairs and start painting them

Step 6) We need new cushions, so I brought a marvel bed spread and some stuffing and made new ones

Finished results

<put pictures here >

Shopping list and total price

The Kingsmen

I loved this film, it was wonderful ripost to everything that has left me dissatisfied with modern spy movies.

It was hilarious , its action sequences where steady with none of this shakey “Bourne cam”, never the less it has some creative use of camera work. It combines a actions and humour in a way, that makes me think of the great Jackie Chan.

It had a subtle but not overstated commentary on the changes happening within England, and its class divides.The film was selfware, and genuinely original with its humor and its plot. It was both shocking and utterly believable in a surreal way.

The villain, the violence and the plot are demented and evil, which is great. Because I have never been more excited for a hero to get there in time and save the day.

I have one complaint about the film, and it is the clossing joke. It is just… off, it is a wrong note, in a otherwise beautiful symphony. It bugs me.

You like spy movies? When I was a kid that was my dream job. Gentleman spy….

‚ÄėNowadays they‚Äôre a little serious for my taste. Give me a far-fetched theatrical plot any day.

Frames for xkcd posters

As you might remember from this post. Randle Munroe of xkcd was kind enough to sign a couple of his posters for me. So I used my christmas money to make some frames and mounting for them.

Then (with ellies expert help ) hung them up. They look great.


So myself and my lovely partner decided to read five of each others  favourite books.  Which is a lovely idea, but it has been hellish to decide which to pick. I love too many books for too many reasons.  Anyway here is my list:

  1. A short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I chose this as it represents my constant yearning to understand as much about everything as possible.
  2. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. This book is a go to favourite mine. It has computers, and space and strange new culture,  and rebellion.  Its a book where the terrorists are the goodies.
  3. Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchett. This is here, as it my favourite Terry Pratchett. It is funny,  and unpredictable, and you will be changed by it before you even know it.
  4. Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Like everything  Kurt writes, it is bizarre and absurd,  and will lie to you to teach you the truth.
  5. The Player of Games by Iain M Banks. A wonderful¬† introduction to the writing of Iain banks. The characters,¬† the twists,¬† the cunning….

It was a difficult list to put together,  the books that are most important to us often contain a little of our soul.  Its hard to only share five,  of hundreds  of books and novels  that have changed you or even just thrilled you and made you happy.  I have also tried to pick books Ellie will enjoy, there is no point making her suffer though a book I love,  just because I love it, I would like her to enjoy it to.

Near misses for the list included (Ellie you may request a swap for any of these)

  • Speaker for the dead.
  • Rendezvous with rama
  • The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • The name of the wind
  • The use of weapons.
  • The drawing of the three /wizard and glass
  • Monument.
  • Surely you a joking Mr Feynman
  • Dirk gentlys holistic detective agency.

Update 27/01/05


Ellie has now given me her list:

  • The Reef by Nora Roberts
  • Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
  • The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseni
  • The Girl who saved the king of Sweden by Jonas Johassor
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen

New Computer build !

I build myself a new computer this week.

Here is the part list I used

  • CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
  • Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB
  • Case: Xigmatek Recon ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+
    Total: £445.92

Here a couple of pictures, I got over excited and stopped taking them during the build. It went very well, I had one problem I have not build a machine in a while and did not realise mobo’s now have a dedicated socket for CPU power !

TODO: add some more pictures!

The next step is overclocking it will pop the results here when its done:

<Not done yet, having to much fun playing Kerbal Space Program again>

Scrap Book

For chrismas I made a scapbook for my gran, her memory is not very good at the momment, but I know she enjoys hereing about my travels, so I made a scap book from every ticket. Map, and photo I could find for her!

2014-12-15 22.29.50

I need to take some more pictures of the end result and pop them here, but it looked very good, and she seemed to enjoy it:

2014-12-25 12.50.02

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