Saturday, February 7, 2009

Getting older...

Tove was cleaning out some random stuff, and came upon this Japanese model that I had bought years ago and never built up. So she told me to build it (with the perhaps implied threat that if I didn't, she'd throw it out).

So I did. That's an Aerobase 1:160 scale model of a Fokker Dr 1 in photo-etched metal. And a US quarter, just for scale. It came as this flat-packed thin sheet of copper, and building it involved bending and connecting all these really tiny pieces of thin brass.

Building that thing, I remembered how much I like model building (which was why I had bought it in the first place, of course), but even more than that, I noticed how my eyes really can't focus close enough to see the small details. Fitting it all together involves threading infinitesimally small pieces of metal through barely larger holes in same.

I'm getting old.

And yes, it looks a bit rickety, and I clearly also lack the manual dexterity required to not bend thin copper a bit out of shape while building it. But maybe it's just an extra-realistic scale model of a Fokker that had had a few crash-landings?


Just Jules said...

Ah, but that is why they make those great magnifying/work light things.

You did it - that is all that matters.

Batgirl said...

It's beautiful! Slightly bent copper is no biggie :-)

We Are Dave said...

Well, there's a coincidence. You know what Alan Cox is doing these days? 1:148 scale etched brass kits.

topher1kenobe said...

NOW you are my hero. I've built a lot of model planes in my time, even a DR1 once, but I've never seen that tiny etched stuff.

dguaraglia said...

LOL, this evokes the image of the Panzerbjorn bears in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy: a huge Nordic beast with huge paws working on something really delicate made of metal.

Great work getting it together at all, knowing my manual dexterity I'd have a very nice copper ball instead of a plane :)

Unknown said...

I like your blog!
Keep it up!

Unknown said...

Now you know what us geeks that are into building electronics are going through with this SMT(surface mount technology) in modern designs.

Moving resisters around with the tiny tip of a small set of tweasers makes you really feel old too.

DARG said...

Everybody gets old. Hopefully before we die, the geneticists can genetically alter our cells and mix it with the jellyfish that grows younger :)

Christoph Höger said...

Ah my,

as long as you don't yell:

"Those Fokkers used to be much larger back in the old days with Manfred in France!"

You're definitely not too old.

Anonymous said...

oh god!
This matter is stupid...
all become old,and we have to choose our will

Alex said...

To be honest that's still pretty impressive given the scale of the model.

joe said...

Lol... Scott (I mean Linus, sorry),

I had some of those "I'm getting old" musings waaaaay back in August when I found myself surrounded by 21 year olds for 8 hours a day in a call center (sound familiar?).

Here ya go, bud...

joe said...

PS... I'm saying this as friend, cause I love you, man. Sorry if I sound like a nagging parent... But how many hours did you spend on that model when you could have been studying for your A+ ??

Carlos Rodrigues said...

You are the best scientist computer that I saw and you are getting old while I'm starting to get old.

I'm your fan ;)

Roalt Dot Com said...

Hi Linus,

As an engineer working at an aerospace laboratory, situated on the "fokker"-weg (fokker road), you're welcome to visit to show your creation. time you visit Holland...

Leshy said...

Maybe it's not getting old, but staring at the screen for so long, so often?

babbler said...

Mr. Slug wants to know when you will be shipping that nice airplane to him at Slug's Rest so that he can do a proper product review for you! "A small horse needs an even smaller jockey!" Toodles, Mrs. Slug

Anonymous said...

As a few (if not the only one) 55+ following this blog I don't have not much to comfort you Linus :-( But the guy who invented mountain bike in Marin County - Gary Fisher - has some of the most finest glasses in the world. Something for you, maybe.

Tim said...

Linus, the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Get something big, really big and spend the next year working on it.

Its a gratifying distraction, after all, glue can not be undone with a keystroke. Just .. please .. avoid eye bleeds, work on something larger next time? :)

Pawan Kumar said...

Hi...I do believe that you can build/rebuild even smaller design than this.. you are definitely not that old:-)....I am big fan of yours - pawan

Victoria Thorne said...

T. Bone Burnett notes that 50 (rather far off, for you) is a good time to start things. To quote: "Somewhere along the way I heard that everything we remember Sophocles for, he wrote between the ages of 50 and 70. That was an inspiring thought, to say the least. I couldn't have written these songs or made this record until now, without having seen the things I've seen and without having gone through the things I've gone through."

Bent copper has beauty of age to recommend it. Years accumulated make for good words. Like yours. Look forward to many more.

!Teq-uila Del Zapata said...

haa haa, thats sum hobby. but that doesn't mean u r gettin old.

Philip said...

On a practical note, I'm getting old too. I've been really near sighted all my life and wear contacts. I've resorted to buying cheap reading glasses at the drugstore for reading schematics with absurdly small print, documents printed at two pages per page, SM components, and the rest of my daily nerd tasks. Do not bother with prescription reading glasses, they are expensive and you will lose them

Chris Handwerker said...

Speaking of getting older Unix time just passed 1234567890.

And time... is still marching on.

Christopher Dancy said...

Not that this has anything to do with getting older... You(Linus) made a comment about how great the performance was of Intel's SSD's. Just wanted to know how that's still working out seeing as how they're seem to be a lot of people saying that the drive's write performance degrades seriously over time.

Randy Noseworthy said...

Yea, I just bought my first pair of reading glasses last month... WOW, and I thought that the computer screens were getting better with all of the SMOOTH icons, and fonts... LOL..

maddog said...

Linus my friend,

Old is when you can remember programming computers with plug boards.

Love ya,


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Bryan said...

Were you able to see small things up close better before lasik? I'm near sighted and can't see more than a few feet without glasses or contacts. I can see small things up close in great detail though. I've been considering lasik for awhile, but have been worried about losing the ability to see tiny things. You attributed it to old age here, but did you notice any difference after getting your eyes lasered?

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