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Posted by aloysius on September 19th, 2012 filed in General
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I haven’t posted here in a year, and all the comments I get are spam.  So I turned them off.  Old comments are kept for posterity.

Cat simulator version 0.0.1

Posted by aloysius on September 21st, 2011 filed in General
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meow 0.0.1

Lego Project Too

Posted by aloysius on September 17th, 2011 filed in Lego

Since Megan’s getting all her Lego out of storage, I decided to, also! Most of them were in my dad’s storage locker, gathering dust over the past few decades. I think they must have been cat peed-on at some point, because they stank. (Cat pee, decades later, turns to yellow powder, but still smells like cat pee.) My sister told me that Mom was going to throw them all away, but Sis told her not to, so she washed them. However, I guess they didn’t really get clean. So into the blue tub they all went, with copious amounts of dish detergent, cat pee destinker, and hot water.

lego wash

After that, I piled them all on towels to dry out. My parents must’ve really loved Sis and me to buy all those Lego sets. I’m sure that isn’t even all of them, because the big space tiles, most of the Lego Technical blocks, and the Lego Monorail set are conspicuously missing!

lego pile

Hopefully we can have fun with them tomorrow.

Back from Pennsic

Posted by aloysius on August 13th, 2011 filed in Pennsic War
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Still got my post-war buzz going. Hope I can get to sleep tonight! Stay tuned for pictures and stories. Check out Vernaple for info, also.

Theme hacking

Posted by aloysius on August 2nd, 2011 filed in General
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Been hacking my stylesheet a bit. I like this theme but it is stupid in some ways.


  • Font was unreadably tiny. Made it bigger.
  • Added more pixels to the width. Who uses 1024×768 any more?
  • Global ul settings made every bulleted list look like the sidebar. Changed ul to #sidebar ul in css.
  • Three columns was ugly. I made it two. (It’s still technically three, but I removed the float: right from cols two and three and just made the sidebar container do the floating.)
  • Changed static links to use wp_list_bookmarks function.

E-cig battery info

Posted by aloysius on July 26th, 2011 filed in E-cigarettes

ZagNut asked me to post some info on the batteries and juice I use.

The SmokeTip batteries use a type KR808D-1 (aka 808) connector. The 808 is one of the more popular (thankfully) types of e-cigarettes; plenty of interchangeable accessories and mods for it are available from many dealers. (See previous post for info on the 808-compatible iGo and Buzz mods I am considering.)

All of the SmokeTip batteries I own (five of them!) have one problem or another. The short ones tend to not make a good connection to the cartomizer or charger. There’s a video on how to fix that here: The video refers to the Vapor4Life battery, but I assume they have the same manufacturer since they have the exact same problem as the SmokeTip. The long SmokeTip battery has a funky suck-sensor; tapping on my desk or removing the carto and sucking real hard on the end seems to temporarily fix it. Though SmokeTip has a lifetime battery warranty, I plan to just let them expire and replace them with more reliable batteries and mods. Today, SmokeTip sent out an email saying they’ve upgraded their short batteries; however, you need to buy a new charger (they don’t explain why) so I am just forgetting them.

To their credit, SmokeTip does sell decent prefilled cartomizers at a great price; if they have a coupon I’ll probably buy some more.

The two “good” batteries I have, I purchased here: VaporKings KR808D-1 batteries. Mine are the “manual, mega” type. Manual as in button-activated instead of suck-on-it activated, and mega as in larger capacity between recharges. There are plenty of other accessories for this e-cig type on the site, so shop around.

In my opinion, honestly, if you need seven batteries, it’s more cost-effective to just get a mod and keep the original batteries as backups. Again, see previous post on the mods I’m considering.

Regarding backups, it’s important to have them. At least a spare charger and some batteries. If you make the switch completely from “analogs” and your two starter batteries both die or your charger melts, you’re screwed until you can order replacements. As far as I know there aren’t any local shops that sell these.

There is another type of e-cigarette that is mostly compatible with the KR808D-1: the DSE901. The only real difference is, the 808 has air holes in the battery’s connector so that cartomizers can be used. The 901 is designed to be used with a separate atomizer with its own air hole and a detachable cartridge to hold e-liquid. Regular 901 atomizers and cartridges work fine with 808 batteries. This is great because you can buy a cheap 901 atomizer and investigate “direct dripping” — dripping juice right on the atomizer and puffing on it. A great way to try new flavors (or a friend’s flavors) without filling up a carto. 808 cartomizers will need an adapter (to add the air holes) to work on 901 batteries. Other 901 accessories may work with the 808 batteries too, and vice versa. I’ve used my SmokeTip charger to recharge a friend’s 901’s before, and that worked fine.

Cartomizers can be cleaned and refilled, and blank cartomizers (rather than pre-filled) can be purchased. There are plenty of videos on YouTube detailing how to accomplish cleaning and refilling, how much juice to use, etc. Generally I don’t clean them unless they’re needed (e.g., they don’t give good vapor or I am making a radical flavor change). Always remove the carto from the battery before refilling, as juice in your battery can damage it (especially the auto batteries’ pressure sensor — I suspect that’s what happened to my “long” SmokeTip.)

Be careful not to burn your cartomizers. If not before, the instant it starts giving off inadequate vapor or the flavor starts to taste “off,” stop using it if you intend to refill it. If you’re at home, top them off every 30-40 puffs. If you get a burnt or plastickey taste, toss it — it’ll never be good. Eventually they will die (stop giving good vapor regardless of how much cleaning and refilling you do), and nobody knows when their time will come, but I have a few great cartomizers that have lasted me weeks of regular use.

As I said in my previous post, my e-juice supplier of choice is Sweet-Vapes. The dash is important. There is another supplier out there called SweetVapes that I know nothing about. Sweet-Vapes is pricier than some, but I have loved 9/10 flavors I’ve tried from them. And they sell sample packs so you can try tiny bottles to see if you like the flavor. They’ll mix to order.

Regarding mixes: PG = Propylene Glycol, carries flavor and is thin. VG = Vegetable Glycerine, makes puffy clouds and is thick. Nicotine is nicotine. 18mg/mL is enough for me; though higher strengths would give more “throat hit” and a faster “high”. If you just want to sit at home and vape your head off, use weaker nicotine strengths or no-nic or you’ll get sick. I recommend 80% PG and 20% VG mixes for cartomizers. 70/30 works well, too; bigger clouds, but it’s thicker, and the cartomizer will need some rest time in between puffs to let wicking happen. For “stealth-vaping” I’d use 100% PG mixes, since it gives almost no visible vapor on exhale.

Other popular types of e-cigs are the Joye 510, the Joye eGo, and their clones. Lots of third party accessories for them, too. They aren’t directly compatible with the 808, but can be made interchangeable with a couple of (cheap) adapters. I encourage you to read the New Members area; it’s chock full of useful info.

Ahhh, that’s the stuff…

Posted by aloysius on July 25th, 2011 filed in E-cigarettes
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A couple of months ago, I got an e-cigarette. A friend of mine has had one for a year or two, and a smoker co-worker of mine, who would “loan” cigs to me occasionally (citing important outdoor meetings where my attendance was required), really got me into them. My first kit was a SmokeTip — not a bad kit, for sixty dollars. It came with two batteries, a USB charger, a wall adaptor, and six filled cartomizers (combined cartridge and atomizer). Soon, I was “vaping” all the time and the desire to smoke “analog” cigarettes left me completely. Even when I was around other smokers. Now, when we have our meetings *cough*smoke breaks*cough*, or I’m at home with my smoker housemate, I just take my e-cig, a.k.a. Personal Vaporizor (PV) out with me instead, and scratch the nicotine itch in a much healthier (in my opinion) way.

But little did I know that there is a dark side to e-cigs. More than a mere smoking replacement device, this is an entire hobby. There is so much paraphernalia available, and it is starting to become an obsession of mine. First I wanted bigger batteries. The little 180 mAh short ones only last about two hours before charging. So I purchased several longer, 380 mAh ones. Then I realized I could refill the “disposable” cartomizers and save money. I discovered Sweet-Vapes, my supplier of choice, a company that makes truly marvelous flavored e-juice. They have everything from traditional tobacco flavors to Mojitos and Margaritas to Boston Cream Pie and French Toast to Jalapeno. (Haven’t tried the last; I don’t think inhaling capsicum is such a great idea…) So far, I have liked 9 out of 10 flavors that I have tried from them. They’re are way better than the crap juice that comes in the prefilled cartomizers, and those are quite easy to clean and refill. But wait! I discovered I had “burned” (sucked dry and literally burned the filling) most of my used cartomizers, leaving a distinct plastic burning ashtray flavor. That ruined any juice that I wanted to put in them, and the burned taste couldn’t be cleaned out. So I bought some “fluxomizers” — cartomizers with a clear tube to see the juice level and a wick instead of flammable polyfill. Those work great. Now, with Pennsic in a few days, I won’t have access to computers or 110 outlets, so, I purchased a 12V to USB car charger to go with the portable jump starter that I got last winter. Plus I’ve accumulated lots of other bits and pieces — drip tips, tweezers, a blunt-tip syringe to make refilling easier, an extra USB charger, sewing needles to bring messed up batteries back to life (you have to fiddle with the center post), and a sharpie so I could write what flavor I had on the cartos.

(click for larger) E-cigarette paraphernalia.   Yeah, this is really a hobby. That’s my Marine puffing on a “long” battery with Fluxomizer and drip tip attached. To his right is the box from my original kit, which I modded to be a travel case, holding more/longer spare batteries. It also contains my charger, and a few refilled cartos, and a sewing needle. This kit goes in my backpack every morning to work or other outings. Proceeding roughly counterclockwise: box of prefilled cartomizers, clear Fluxomizers (some filled), car charger, sharpie, carto opening tool, tweezers, syringe, dropper, a selection of e-juice, and several empty cartos awaiting refill.

And I’ve barely scratched the surface.

My next purchase (like any addictive hobby, these things tend to grow without bound) will be a “mod” that will allow me to go longer between charges and possibly have either more voluminous clouds of vapor or bigger capacity between refills. I am torn between these two:

The iGo: The iGo


  • Two giant 1100mAh batteries
  • Compatible with my current items
  • USB charger
  • Comes with two huge 4ml cartomizers. That’s like twice the capacity of a fluxomizer.
  • 70 bucks for the whole kit


  • No Variable Voltage (VV)

The Buzz Pro: Buzz Pro

  • Variable voltage, promising huge clouds if I jack it up to five (plus) volts
  • Compatible with my current stuff
  • Uses a standard rechargeable battery (if I don’t like it, the batteries will work with other mods)


  • $164 with batteries and charger
  • No USB charger or free cartos included.
  • “5 day lead time” for orders (I guess they have to build them)

Right now I’m leaning towards the iGo. Dunno if I’m ready for VV and spending $164 is a bit hefty. Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Portal 2 humor.

Posted by aloysius on May 7th, 2011 filed in Games
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Web-based game and link to a cool site

Posted by aloysius on April 17th, 2011 filed in Games
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I’ve posted some details of my development efforts here.  That’s also a pretty cool website for gamers!

Web-based game: slow progress technobabble

Posted by aloysius on March 5th, 2011 filed in Games, Programming
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  • Installed Castle Windsor for dependency injection and wired it up so it creates controllers, loggers, entity data model containers, and other objects for me.
  • Installed log4net and configured it for logging purposes.
  • Think I’ve got the architectural details down; now to actually start making the game…