::::: : the wood : davidrobins.net

My name is David Robins: Christian, lead developer (resume), writer, photographer, runner, gun enthusiast, libertarian (voluntaryist), and student.
This is also my wife Honey Robins' site.

David Geoffrey: a month old

Baby ·Wednesday October 11, 2017 @ 22:01 EDT (link)



David Geoffrey: week two

Baby ·Saturday September 23, 2017 @ 19:16 EDT (link)

A couple with high-ISO and natural light (high for the D300, which maxes out at 3200—the D850 goes 8x higher to 25600), which works well, as does bouncing the flash (even better than a diffuser) for smoother skin tones. His first bath, in his Batman shirt, and a lot of resting comfortably.




GT South's with Honey's mother and sister Emily:




Few more of wee David:



David Geoffrey: the first week

Baby ·Friday September 15, 2017 @ 23:08 EDT (link)



David Geoffrey Robins

News, Baby ·Wednesday September 6, 2017 @ 14:27 EDT (link)

Born September 6, 2017 at 1427 (originally scheduled for the 13th); 8 lbs. 7 oz., 22 in.


Mother and baby doing fine. Honey's mother and sister came to stay with us to help take care of the baby in the first few weeks. Since the baby was early, they just made it after the (C-section) surgery and were waiting in our room (which was very nice) after we got out. All tests fine so far, including a hearing test.

14 years

News, Baby ·Saturday September 2, 2017 @ 22:36 EDT (link)

We celebrated our 14-year anniversary today at Peterson's Restaurant (it was actually on the 30th). It will be the last with just the two of us1, as Wee Tiny will be arriving soon.


I'm also trying out a new image plugin, lightGallery. Here are some of the preparations made for Wee Tiny's arrival:


On the last picture you can see (on the far left) a camera we bought for use as a baby monitor (thanks to Chan from work for making a fix so that it works correctly with exacqVision's ONVIF support).

The table on the left is the dining-room table (and chairs) I grew up with; my parents are selling their house and were getting rid of it, and some other pieces, so we rented a panel van and brought it back with us. We put it in the nook and moved the existing table (a unit I bought from CORT when in Memphis, maybe the first piece of furniture I owned) upstairs, below (with solder station).


1 Later to be known as David Geoffrey Robins, after a large number of David's, my father and Honey's grandfather first among them, and my grandfather, Harold Geoffrey Cater, who went by his middle name.

Books finished: Rogue Lawyer., The Righteous Mind, Grey Mountain, For Us, the Living, The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, The Iron Web, Mightier Than the Sword, Cometh the Hour, Mentats of Dune, Navigators of Dune.

Shanklin/Lowry housewarming in Minnesota

News ·Sunday August 14, 2016 @ 21:38 EDT (link)

Fairly late last week I learned about a housewarming party (private event link) a few states over held by a long-time libertarian (voluntaryist) online friend I'd never met. At first I joked about making a road trip there, but he encouraged me to come, and I thought it would be fun to actually meet up, and I hadn't driven in that direction (in fact, I'd never been in Wisconsin), so I decided to go for it and took a half-day Friday (I would have taken the whole day, but I had a few things to finish up for work that I didn't want to leave undone). I packed everything up Thursday night, including a tent to crash on the lawn, so I'd be good to go straight from work Friday. I got in early and left a little before 1100.

The drive was pretty, but uneventful. I was surprised at how horrible the tolls were in Chicago; I don't object to tolls (users should pay, non-users shouldn't) (although the gas taxes they already take are supposed to cover road maintenance, but Chicago likely needs more due to all the corruption), but it was so inefficient: every couple miles, another set of tollbooths. Cheryl (Lowry) had nothing good to say about Illinois either (if I recall correctly she's from there); best to move through quickly and not stop.

I hit a few traffic jams, and arrived at 1919, and had no trouble finding the house, which I'd already looked up on Google Street View. I parked in front of a house opposite where nobody lived yet. When I went in, I was with a crowd of neighbors so I don't think Michael (Shanklin) realized that I was the crazy chap who drove in from Illinois. (I could say I did it because Honey is out visiting her parents, but she would have been up for a short-notice road trip too; we almost took a short one to northern Indiana when friends were stuck there for a little bit last week.)

A lot of neighbors turned up, and a few people from both of their workplaces/former workplaces, and there were games (bean-bag toss and beer pong, and I played poker with a group and then spoons), hamburgers and corn on the grill, a decent time. Mike was very appreciative that I'd driven eight hours to stop in (something that at one point and state of inebriation he repeated every few minutes, which was pretty funny).

Since the party who had "reserved" the couch didn't show, I slept indoors on the couch (very comfortable) instead of in my tent (fortunate, since it rained), got up fairly late Saturday and the family grilled corn, hamburgers, and hotdogs for lunch and then I headed out. There weren't any traffic jams on the way home; I did stop briefly at a couple parks but decided not to hike and just head straight back, arriving back before midnight.

I really have neglected this site, in favor of social media or just from being busy with other work, but I'm trying to make the occasional post.

AR-15 maintenance

News, Guns ·Saturday August 6, 2016 @ 22:57 EDT (link)

I thought I needed an "AR tool" (AR-15 multi-tool, something like this) today, and so that I could accomplish what I wanted to do I bought it locally at Bare Arms (sic.) here in Noblesville. They had one, by UTG, and I paid about $40 for something I could get online for about half that.

It turned out I actually needed a handguard removal tool—or, what I eventually ended up using: (the grips of) a set of pliers.

With Bare Arms, all sales are final. I don't begrudge them this, especially in "these parlous times" where gun (rights infringement) scares abound and people might regret a purchase made in fear when they're thinking clearly again, although I do consider it customer-hostile. So I couldn't return the tool, but I consider it a $20 lesson/reminder (to double-check the return policy for small stores, or to be sure of the tool I need first, something like that). I'll probably have a use for it eventually.

The issue was that one of the bolts for the add-on lower rail I had installed had come lose inside the handguards, so I needed to pop them off (something I hadn't done for a while, but fortunately found a few videos to remind me), and reinstall the screw (and tighten the other one). I had a bipod installed there, but I left it off for now since I hadn't been using it lately and it's easy enough to reinstall. I'm also considering switching out the EOTech red dot and 3x magnifier for a single Trijicon ACOG (green horseshoe reticle like on my SCAR), for weight and convenience.

Books finished: The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages, The Elfstones of Shannara, Elantris.

Honey's graduation

News, School ·Sunday May 8, 2016 @ 22:02 EDT (link)

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Honey graduated from the IUPUI school of science with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology earlier this year, and we went to the school of science ceremony, opting to skip the main one due to how busy and crowded it would be, although the school of science ceremony was still quite the occasion.

Honey's mother came up for the graduation ceremony and to visit for a few days on Thursday (our first overnight guest), and had a good visit with us.

Honey is preparing to take the GRE and we've already looked into a variety of graduate programs to which she might apply.

Congratulations Honey for this achievement! We're very proud.

Books finished: Mistborn.

A visit to cousin Dave's

News, Auto ·Saturday April 16, 2016 @ 19:30 EDT (link)

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On this trip back to Canada we had the chance to visit my cousin Dave and his wife Danielle at their place in Wellandport, a sprawling property which features a number of vehicles in various build states (like the field cars, used, when it's drier, in time trials around the track), a well-equipped garage and outbuildings, and the residence, all of which have been extensively upgraded by my cousin, including the installation of a kitchen where there was none. He can be seen in the first image in the stack at left, on his tractor, which while a little older, is in fine working order and has the power to pull trucks out of mud or haul a wagon with four of us (my parents, Honey, and I) in it.

Emily and her boyfriend Johnny (parents own a vineyard which he manages) joined us for dinner, delicious burgers. Dad and David got to playing various stringed instruments (guitars and a banjo) later. I started and then borrowed Losing Joe's Place, one of the Gordon Korman books I hadn't read, to finish later at home (and now have, and need to make sure it goes back to Canada on the next trip). It was the usual Korman fare, but I didn't like it was much as I Want to Go Home or the (early) McDonald Hall books.

Later on I headed over to Shaphan and his wife's place for a college and careers bonfire (Honey didn't want to be around the smoke), where I talked with Jesse and others about chainsaws, since I'd just gotten the DeWalt for clearing the path to the range, and learned I wasn't the first person to get one stuck temporarily…. I also talked with Jamie, and with Andrew, who was working with my cousin to build remote control into a (regular, normal-size) car, which sounds like a fun project and I wish I was closer to participate.

Books finished: Confronting Reality, Warbreaker, Debt of Bones.

Of lawn mowers and chainsaws

News ·Thursday April 14, 2016 @ 18:27 EDT (link)

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The house sits on seven acres, and requires new tools for maintenance, starting with a hose, which I bought two lengths of to connect with a valve so I don't have to go all the way around back to the hose bib to turn it on or off. We shopped around to pay someone to mow the first time, and got some good advice: get a zero-turn mower. I had been looking at John Deere, probably something in the X300 series, but after opening up to zero-turns (the lap bar steering turned me off them), I got a Toro SW5000, with a steering wheel instead of bars, and it's been excellent, even fun to drive. On advice I hunted around for ethanol-free gasoline, since ethanol can be hard on small engines, finding it almost an hour away at Harvest Land Co-op in Greenfield (there are other locations but not with ethanol-free gas).

The advantage with the steering wheel over the lap bars is that there's no learning curve; I hopped on and was driving it right away, and so was Honey (see pictures). Zero-turns are easy to make. I had the mulch kit pre-installed, and bought a cover so I could leave it outside, although I might put it away in the shed over winter. I bought it locally from The Mower Shop; I found the best price at a dealer online, but I figured I'd stop in to see if The Mower Shop could meet the price and knock off the tax, and they could and did, and the delivery experience was great too.

Speaking of which, a couple planned projects: bring power (sub-panel) over to the shed for a light or tools, and build a workbench. Trenching to bring cables across seems the most difficult, so overhead or at least above-ground (in flexible all-weather pipe) might be the way to go, and electrical work the most dangerous, but doable.

Another maintenance tool I've had to use is my old backpack sprayer, which I haven't used since our house in Duvall, and it's held up well (except I had to replace a bolt/nut in the pump-arm); I use it to spray RoundUp to kill all the plants that love to shoot up where plants shouldn't (driveway cracks, on the stones behind the house, path to the range, edge of the garden beds, and so forth).


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For other indoor and outdoor tools I've been buying DeWalt 20V/40V; they had a combo deal with hammer drill, impact driver, and a light in a hard case, that's been handy for assembly and such. The leaf blower has been great for keeping the driveway clear and when we had a couple trees come down over the path to the range out back during high winds, I added their chainsaw, which worked great for clearing things up (the 90-day return guarantee also helped persuade me to give it a try over gas, and not having to keep gas in it, or worry about how to mix it). Lowe's had a free battery rebate on a string trimmer, and what I needed was beyond my old corded one, so I added that too. I considered getting a pull-behind spreader for the lawn tractor, but assembled my old Earthway manual spreader and gave it a try and it did the trick.

I had to fix the front (electronic) gate keypad too; the internal battery holder had given up (under stress of previous battery corrosion? even though the current ones were good), so I removed it, swapped in a new one, and soldered it on (a recently acquired skill).

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