“Those three dots…”

This is a PSA.

Okay, not true.

More of an annoyance.

When somebody says “those three dots” or “the little dots” some variation to describe a button that provides extended or additional information, there’s an actual effing name for it, and it’s not “the three dots”.

It’s called an ellipsis.

Used appropriately, the ellipsis in text indicates that a thought has trailed off or that it represents other, related ideas or thoughts. It could also be used to represent “more”.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop referring to it as “the three dots”.

It’s singular. It could be “an ellipsis” or sometimes “the ellipsis”. There’s even a unicode version:

What does it look like? Well…

You could even simplify it from three syllables down to one: call it “more”.

But it’s most certainly not called “those three little dots”.

Ahead, Slow

Maintenance work on a sailboat, like transmissions and dental work, will not improve with time. They need to be tended to regularly and correctly. Not ignored and not with improvised efforts.

After nearly two years of what I’ve already endured, and now re-entering fall and winter, I’ve observed the to years’ of non-use of my sailboat has still incurred those two years’ worth of maintenance… time takes it toll.

The list of little tasks continues to grow. I’ll need to see to making space to store the Lady Ann in a garage so I can address the neglected maintenance, and the additional deterioration from the neglected maintenance itself.

Getting Back On the Horse

A year and a half ago, I rode my bike for the first time since the fall.

I fell.

Yes, again. No, not on my head, nor from 4m above concrete.

But, I fell.

Instantly recalling the old adage from my youth, if you fall off the horse, get back on. So, I promptly picked myself back up and rode it again.

But I drew the line at the motorcycle. I most certainly didn’t have the physical coordination or psychological confidence to take the risk. I decided that I’d leave the Wee Star parked — safely garaged — and on her own wheels for however long was needed to return to riding.

Fast-forward 18 months to today:

  • 63F, clear, and windless.
  • I ran 8km as the sun rose.
  • Had an appliance repair I had to tend to.
  • I took care of the batteries in the one outlier smoke detector in the house.

Then thought there was something else — something more — that I needed to tend to before the weather quickly turns rather cold…

A safety-check on the Wee Star, started it up, and donned my helmet to give it another go.

Yes, U-turns were a bit shaky. I need to spend some time practicing them far more and get back to the 3.5m diameter idle U-turns. It was a rather quick spin around the neighborhood. A bit of quick-stop practice. And she still remained on her tires and quite unblemished. I’m rather happy about that.

I’m extraordinarily pleased that I had opted to garage the Wee Star until confidence had returned.

Sometimes, getting back on the horse will take some time.

Also, I still refuse to let the Wee Star show up at a home on a trailer. She’ll be ridden there under her own power.

Thou Shalt Want

I assembled a CNC frame and sled in April of last year (2018). It’s the least expensive tool to cut anything out of 4’x8′ sheets of any millable wood: plywood, MDF, masonite. Any sheet-goods, really.

Before I built the Maslow, I heard about the Shaper Origin CNC, but I dismissed it as simply too expensive for my needs. The Maslow was certainly more agreeable than cost of the Shaper. And it was far better use of space than a large frame CNC. And it was big enough to readily handle full 4’x8′ sheet goods. Anything large enough to handle those full sheets of plywood would require perhaps 5’x9′. Actually more because you need to get round it — 8’x12′ maybe? 11’x16′?. And with a would have a price nearer to $25,000.

The Maslow was $350 or $400.

Floor-space? Far more agreeable at 3’x10′.

And easy enough to cobble together without any skill more than rough-cutting a few bits of lumber, and drilling a few very rough holes. The machine then can build itself.

So, Maslow CNC was ideal.

But having a critical think about the use of space in my existing four-car garage, I definitely won’t have it forever.

It’s time to downsize to maximize my own use of space.

And, so, with the experiences and skills that I’ve gained, and having another look at the Shaper Origin, the only conclusion I can reach is…

I want one.

I’ll be seeing about adding a Shaper Origin to my growing stack of tools.

More info here.

The Maslow CNC? I still have it. And I need to replace one of its drive motors. I’ll need to see about passing it along to another Maker who’s beginning their own journey.