Home Made Camera: Night 4

Posted 2009.10.08 23.37 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

A step or two forwards, a step or two back?

Tonight, I lined the interior of the body with felt along the film path (to help the film move smoothly and scratch-free) and the periphery of the chamber (to help keep it light-tight). This was fairly easy, calling upon all the cut & paste skills I learned in kindergarten.

Then I worked some more on the windy-twisty-springy things. They now work better – I ┬áran my dummy-roll completely through from one end to the other. There were some hitches but if it were real film, it would have been fine. I’m still not 100% satisfied however; so I didn’t finish them off. I might look at some alternatives. The springs I have are ok but not perfect, but I’m lazy and impulsive and might not bother hunting for the perfect ones. The knobs I got are ok but too small, making winding occasionally painful. I might just use some small furniture knobs instead.

I re-made the pinhole ‘properly’. Last night’s version was just tinfoil. Tonight I cut apart an aluminum soda can and flattened & filed down a square of aluminum, then punched a better hole.

Finally, I sanded the body smooth all around, and then treated it with two coats of tung oil. I may give it a third or fourth coat tomorrow, depending on how it looks.

The only thing that didn’t get addressed tonight was how to secure the camera back. The idea I had before proved to be unwiedly. For now, the back is tight enough that friction holds it. If I haven’t come up with a solution by the weekend, I’m going to run a roll of film through it with the back just wedged in place. Ditto the winding knobs, if I don’t have a perfect solution tomorrow, I’ll use my imperfect one and go for it. Either way, Saturday there should be pictures!

Is Algae Bad For You?

Posted 2009.10.08 15.45 in Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

I just noticed in the water cooler at the office, some splotches of green fuzzies appear to be growing inside the water cooler jug. It’s the kind where you get the 5-gallon jugs, and when it’s empty you take the old jug back for a refund and get a new one.

I don’t know that it’s algae but I assume it is – you wouldn’t get mould growing under water, would you? Algae is the only kind of green fuzzy I can think of that would exist in water. Makes me wonder how it got there and how it survives, though. I mean, I suppose it’s like a plant right? Photosynthesizing its food, from the florescent lights in the office? There’s no natural light (I mean, at all) and on weekends it’s in the dark the whole time.

The water itself tastes all right, there’s no musty or vegetal odor or flavour that I can detect.

It’s just not the sort of thing you expect to find in a water cooler.

I think.

I guess maybe we’d need a new cooler thingy though – if the water is ‘contaminated’ where we can see it, then goodness knows what might be growing in the places we can’t see – in between the jug and the spigot. I think we’ve had this one for about 5 or 7 years. The cooler I mean, not the jug. The jug is probably a couple months old – we don’t drink much (enough) water at work.


I like my water to be room-temperature, like mid 60’s to 70’s. At home, my water cooler has three valves – hot, cold, and room temp. I like that. We should get one like that here – I’d drink more water at work if it had a room temperature setting.

Actually the best thing I’ve seen was just a pump that you stuck inside the jug – the jug sat upright on the counter and you put the pump in it, then like an old well, you pumped out water when you wanted it. It only had the one setting – room temperature. If you wanted coffee, you’d pump the water into a kettle and do it the old fashioned way. Or we could get a coffee maker… a coffee maker and a water cooler jug pump. That would be sweet.

I don’t know where to get the pumps though.

Zebra Fry: Still Alive

Posted 2009.10.08 12.05 in Aquaria by Stephanie

So my two remaining zebra danio fry continue to live and grow! Of the seven that went into the breeder basket in my big tank, 5 of them wandered out through the slats (why make a breeder basket that fry can get in and out of?!) and were soon disappeared. I believe they were eaten by the rasboras. But two of the fry stayed in the breeder basket.

fry1Eventually I got an idea that I should have had like 3 weeks ago. I picked up a small cheap “aquarium” to use as a nursery. A 1 gallon “minibow” acrylic tank, it uses an under-gravel filter with an air bubbler. Cheap and inadequate as a ‘real’ tank, it works fine as a nursery tank for my remaining fry.

I put them in, threw in a pair of ‘pest’ snails (a physa and a trumpet) and a bit of plant that had been floating around one of my tanks. Voilla! Fry nursery.

fry2The remaining fry are growing well, they’ve gotten a bit longer but more importantly, they are ‘filling out’ and becoming little fish. They’re a little under 1/2 inch long, their bodies are growing more fish-shaped and they’re slowly getting all their little fins. Their tails are the right shape. The photos still don’t do them justice, but you get the idea.

I just wish I’d have thought of the nursery tank before I lost 5 of the fry in the 38 gallon tank. Sigh. Also I haven’t gotten any more fry out of my zebra danios in a long time – some new pest has moved into the gravel and is efficiently eliminating all the fry, possibly before they even hatch out.

Nursery Tank

Nursery Tank