The shells are domino'd and ready for the ports to be cut. The backs are done and the access hole for the cross overs are done. They are downstairs and I am starting the finishing process on those.
There were 3 boards of walnut left over from when we built the furniture for the family room. It is well aged (over 5 years) and it will help the speakers to match perfectly with the room. This was milled to the exact thickness of the A1 cherry MDF sheets. Then the components were milled with loose tenon mortises using the Festool Domino. It is an excellent joint, and far superior to the biscuit joiner. The tops and bottoms (8 each for 1 pair) were then clamped for 4 hours each under pressure to form flat panels.
The JBL's had another failure a few weeks ago and I decided it was time for them to retire after 25 years of service. I started looking at options, but I could not afford to buy a nice pair of new speakers. I looked at some used ones that were available within driving distance, but the more I looked the more I realized I could build something much nicer. I have never owned Klipsch or any other horn speaker, and I have always said it would be nice to try a high efficiency pair. While looking at used Klipsch speakers I found a guy named Bob Crites from Crites Speakers who supplies new crossovers and drivers to upgrade existing Klipsch. He also has a great design called a "Cornscala" that combines the best attributes of the Klipsch Cornwall and the Klipsch Lascala.
I started out only milling the motor board (baffle) and telling myself I would not really build a pair, I just wanted to see if I could mill the MDF pattern for the motor board. But that quickly spiraled into a full blown effort to modify Bob's original design to incorporate split cabinets and different grills. And that led me to really wanting a pair in China, so I thought I would build TWO pair.... I wanted to have the cabinets match the existing cherry furniture and in particular the coffee table. So I chose to use 3/4" MDF core cherry ply, A1 grade for the first pair. The layups were done in CutList Plus using a series of manual drawings I used to develop the design. The panels were VERY heavy, and I broke them up on the workbench prior to moving over to the table saw. I am starting the edge banding process today, and clamping the first of the tops and bottoms (total of 8 pieces per pair).
Today is 6 months since I began my diet and exercise plan. I weighed in at 206 pounds (93.4 kg) and that is a total weight loss of 49.6 pounds (22.49 kg). My fasting blood sugar (FSB) was 87. I have not taken any medication since I began, and I am hoping the next time I see the doctor he will certify me as being normal . At least non-diabetic.
The return to bike riding has been awesome and later I will post some more about this summer and some of the things that were accomplished. It has been a great summer with a lot to feel good about.
I decided to go ahead with a whitebox build instead of trying to buy a used server. It was more expensive, but the performance will be a lot better, and by doing a "green" build I will be shaving about $15 a month off the electricity bill. This server should be powerful enough to last 5 - 10 years, so over the lifespan those savings will cover the cost of the box. I really liked @Rootwyrm's Baby Dragon. Chris Wahl did a variation of this that I liked even more. He used a Synology NAS box for all of his storage and populated that with some "green" hard drives for even better power savings. Both of these guys were fiends on noise and wanted to go fanless, but I decided to use a platinum certified power supply (with fan) and put it all in an old 4U server case I had. The case uses 3 wire fans and neither cooling or noise is an issue for me since the rack is in the sub-basement.
I had not upgraded the network since the original install in 2003. Because I have to be able to remotely manage the entire system from China I wanted IPMI on the server, and remote management of the switch, router and NAS. A HP ProCurve 1810G switch replaced the old Catalyst 1650. The old switch had taken a couple of lightening strikes and I had lost almost half the ports. Because of that I knew I needed some beefy protection, so a APC 1500C UPS was added to the rack.
- Intel Xeon E3-1230 “Sandy Bridge” – 3.2GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8MB
- Supermicro X9SCM-F – Intel C204, Dual GigE, IPMI w/Virtual Media
- 16GB (4 x 4GB) Kingston 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333
- Lexar Echo ZX 16GB
- Rosewill 450 watt Platinum Certified
That fingernail drive is awesome. There are no hard drives in the server, everything boots off the 16 gig fingernail drive. Installation was smooth using VMWare's Hypervisor 5.0 iso and the UNetBootin utility to prepare the USB drive.
I am still working on getting everything running, and then I will get the VPN setup completed and attempt remote management from the laptop. I struggle with VMWare because I am not Linux fluent, but this is a good opportunity to polish up that skill set.
Today is 60 days since I began my diet and exercise plan. My fasting blood sugar has been more volatile then I would like, coming in today at 88. I really would like to see it consistently below 80 but so far I have not been able to achieve that. The good news is I am below 220 lbs for the first time in probably close to 10 years. That means a total weight loss of 36.2 lbs. It feels great, and the biking feels great. The only thing I would complain about is that in the week leading up to Annie's arrival, and the two weeks she was here I lost almost no weight. In fact at one point I gained almost 7 lbs back. But now I am back on track and aiming to be below 200 in the next two months. Finally some of my clothes are starting to feel loose and I can begin to see progress in my shape.
My Polar watch began having problems again but I picked up a new sensor strap and now it is working again. The watch is really important to me as it allows me to not only track my workouts for later analysis, but I can track my workouts in progress. I know when to step it up in order to keep my heart rate at a specific level. The treadmill was a huge help in the beginning, but now I really have a hard time using it. I cannot get my BPM up without running, and just walking on it really makes my knees uncomfortable. I am thinking of reactivating my Lifetime Fitness membership but I hate to spend the money right now unless there is some real benefit. For the moment I ride the bike as often as I can, and most every day that it is not raining. In the back of my mind I know winter is going to bring a whole new set of issues with exercise, but for the moment I am just moving forward.
While looking over the last .NET project I realized my hardware and software on the development server was getting out of date. I would like to upgrade the system, and at the same time really reduce my electricity costs. Virtualization is the way to go since I can run multiple instances and VPN in through the new Cisco router. The router is giving me a hard time, but I should have it figured out in the next few weeks. Any upgrade has to have the costs kept to a minimum so I am looking over several options. There are lots of old Dell PowerEdge 1950's and 2950's on eBay, or I could try and do a whitebox build of some kind. The whitebox would give me a solution with a lot lower electricity costs, but its also riskier than pursuing a certified hardware solution.
- Windows 2008 w/ SQL Server 2012
- Windows 2008 running IIS 7
- Oracle Linux with Oracle 11g Express
Future options might include the ability to run another instance for a Sharepoint server. I have not worked with Sharepoint but it is a skill that is in demand and I would benefit from learning the basics. Licensing is going to be an issue, I can't see paying full price for the MS products, so either I look at their developer editions or I think about a MSDN subscription. All of this, plus a UPS and a gigabyte switch will require some serious planning if I go the whitebox route.
Today is slightly over 30 days since I began my diet and exercise plan. I have lost 29.8 lbs and this morning's blood sugar was 83. I recorded one day last week where I was in the low 70's but that has not repeated, at least not yet. I am happy both with the weight loss and the blood sugar results. I have stuck to a very strict plant based diet, but I have had sashimi on two occasions and a lobster tail (steamed at home with lemon juice) one time. Being at 225 lbs is something that has not happened since at least 2003, so I would guess 9 years? The only disappointing thing is that for some reason my waist size has not changed and the gut has only shrank slightly. The workout routine consists of treadmill, bike riding, free weights, an aerobic/martial arts class and situps.
I have found one good vegetarian cookbook and I am looking for others. Anyone who has looked at the cooking section on this blog knows how I used to cook, and how much a part of my life it is, especially in China. I know I am going to have to make some big changes in what I do in the kitchen, but for now I am maintaining this diet plan until I get below 200. Ideally I want to weigh in around 185 - 195 by October, and be fit enough that I can buy new clothes that look good. I have some old stuff in the guest closet that I can bring out when my waist and belly shrink down a couple of inches, so that is what I am working on right now. The situps are only 50 per day, so I think I need to at least double that in the short term. This week refinishing the deck has been a huge project and I am beat at the end of the day. I hope to have this completed by Sunday and I can look at the current routines and make some adjustments.
While I am back for the summer I have been looking over a .NET project for my cousin's radio station. At first his provider was using a PHP based solution but they were having problems with their developer who was overseas in the Phillipines. A couple of weeks in they have now switched to a solution from MarketGrabber. They offer a predeveloped classified ad package that already imports directly from the main automotive DMS (dealer management system) providers. It is in .NET but coded primarily in Visual Basic so I have to make the mental switch back from C# but I did VB for quite a few years. I'm not doing that much, just helping his IT guy understand how .NET projects work and some of the coding. It has been fun and I enjoy the spending some time looking at web development projects again.
It is getting harder to push my heartrate up above 140 which is good news, but it makes workouts more difficult. I did a 6.23 mile MTB ride yesterday and you can see the heart rate was varied, and a lot of times dropped down low.
Date: Jul 3, 2012 8:10 pm
Distance: 6.23 miles
Elapsed Time: 45:23.9
Avg Speed: 8.2 mph
Max Speed: 16.1 mph
Avg Pace: 7' 17" per mile
Min Altitude: 790 ft
Max Altitude: 876 ft
If you take a look at the chart below here, you see the workout from this morning where I crosstrained with the treadmill and free weights. The average heart rate is higher, and I did a burst at the end to bring the average up. Working out on a stationary piece of equipment makes it much easier to control your heart rate, but the downside to the treadmill is it is really hard on my knees.