Posts Tagged ‘thrift shops’

A view from the bluff

12 May 2013
view from the bluff

The view from where I live, looking roughly north.

I live on a bluff. Opposite are the buildings owned by the company where I work. In this photo, you can see the route I take each weekday morning on my way to work.

In the valley is a little creek. It is one of the few protected areas in this region. On the communications tower live two hawks; their domain is inhabited by rabbits, geese, ducks, a variety of other birds, snakes, and at least one coyote (I’ve seen it).

On another day I may go with my camera down there – there is a bike/exercise path that goes through – and take some photos for you.

This weekend marked the grand opening of a totally renovated Church of Scientology building in Portland. I helped a bit on its “files project,” as I did at Seattle while its building was being renovated. I would have liked to go, but the time and expense involved in getting there was more than I could confront. That does not mean the occasion was not momentous. In the grand scheme of things, our churches do very important work. I doubt it will ever be officially recognized.

So I stayed home and worked on setting up my work area. Below is what it looks like so far.

I don’t need it excessively fancy. Part of my experiment now is to re-purpose mass-manufactured electronic goods for personal use, and some of the results of that experiment are illustrated in this photo.

As I have mentioned previously, we have an amazing thrift shop in Pullman (Palouse Treasures) not far from where I live, and it has helped me to stock my work bench with power supplies, tools, and organizing bins.

Though I do miss re-PC and the huge Goodwill Outlet in Seattle, Palouse Treasures always has something interesting for the discerning shopper!

my work bench

My electronics work bench, as of this date.

Pullman is at 2,300 feet

23 March 2013

Lewiston Idaho is just 25 miles south of Pullman. SEL has a plant there.

Lewiston is on the Snake River, at about 750 feet elevation.

Pullman is on the hills above the Snake, at about 2,300 feet elevation.

A bunch of folks who work at SEL in Pullman live in Lewiston. One was telling us how last week it was 70 degrees (F) in Lewiston. Now that’s Spring! We haven’t seen those temperatures in Pullman yet.

This time of year, the difference in elevation keeps Pullman about 10 degrees (F) colder than Lewiston.

For example, this week temperatures in Lewiston are expected to climb back up to near 70, lows in the 40s. While here in Pullman, the temperatures are only expected to get up to the low 60s, with lows near freezing. Right now, air temperatures in Pullman are bottoming out down in the 20s at around 5AM every morning (about when I get up to go to work).

A new microscope

Now that I have a bicycle, I am more willing to get out and around town. So middle of last week I headed out to buy some groceries and hunt for cool stuff in the local thrift store (Palouse Treasures).

I found a great used Dell monitor for $20, but I also spied – tucked away on an inconspicuous shelf behind the stereo equipment – a student microscope. I couldn’t carry both home at the same time, so I came back the next day and the microscope was still there. It was in extremely good condition, so I made the lady charge me $49.99 for it instead of the $29.99 they were asking.

I had a little “toy” microscope when I was a kid. It was fun. The book I got told me to put a lettuce leaf in some water and let it sit around for a few days. So I did, then looked at a little drop under the microscope. And there were all kinds of little things swimming around in there! I also got prepared slides with little insects and so forth. Very interesting to look at them magnified.

This scope is a classic American Optical “Spencer” made around 1965 (according to a list of serial number ranges I found on the internet). They don’t make them any more, though other companies make others very similar. It has a 10X eyepiece and 3 objectives – 4X, 10X and 43X – and a built-in light. It’s a big, well-built thing and it works great. How neat to have a microscope again after all these years! Will probably mostly look at electronics stuff with it. And will try to find a camera that can take digital photos through it.

I couldn’t find any of my own drawings of things under a microscope, but here’s something from a biology handout I got for a summer class I took in the 1960s:

pond life

Drawings of microscopic pond water creatures.