What haven't I been up to? Writing, mostly. Pretty obvious, once you get down to it. Low output is not due to lack of interesting topics, just lack of time and energy by filling those up with other fun things in life.
Have I gotten the Pico-ITX system up and running? Not yet, I'm down to a bit of drilling on hardened metals and metal laminates which is actually pretty labor intensive without a drill press. That and even those rugged drill bits meant to go through such metals just aren't up to the job. Pieces and parts-wise I am still lacking the 2.00mm pitch connectors with lead wire and may be looking to scrap some older notebook cabling for that. That is not a great solution, as it will also require me to get a small soldering iron and other accoutrements for protecting such solder joins. Temporarily back burnered.
Spending time to decide on the purchase of a pistol that has some historical background to it, although of new manufacture, really puts it out of the 'pistol' category, save for the legal definition of same. That is the one that needs the magazine catch modified to accept older, historical ammunition magazines which are really quite cheap to get as they are military surplus. So I prefer to have the more expensive, though modern, firearm slightly altered rather than degrade a piece of history. One or two other mods will be wanted, and there is, apparently, one very reputable gunsmith for that specific line of firearm. I will be contacting a couple of others just to scope out the field, but someone that knows what they are doing is worth paying for.
Finding and purchasing the necessary extras for cleaning said pistol: takes time.
For various reasons a family member left a couple of long arms in my care, that haven't seen any real use since... ahhh... 20 years? 30? 40? Quite awhile, at least, and not actively used much even then. So I offered to do the old 'strip down and check everything out' deal, plus want to do some of the necessary purchasing of supplies for same, etc. That meant more trolling of message boards, more checking out of brushes, mops, etc. and, generally, spending way too much time finding the few sites that have just what I need. Plus if a site has one thing, I try to make sure it has others that are at least decent in price so I can do a mass buy, instead of 'a purchase here, a purchase there' and all on different delivery schedules so you end up waiting weeks for the lowest cost piece to arrive that is absolutely necessary. Luckily these are both well known long arms - a Mossberg 190KA shotgun and a GWA Marlin 60, both pre-1960. Fun to find the actual cost for those then, and see that the first has not even kept its value and the second is still in production for low cost. Who knew that the Marlin 60 was so beloved by so many that it was smart just to keep production going with minor modifications?
As neither have had a good going over for so long, and the rifle has some plastic parts that have been reported to get brittle with age, a full strip-down is necessary. Luckily, I can find parts for both, in case anything needs to go on them. Want to do just a touch of updating on the shotgun, on the recoil pad and possibly bead sight. Plus I need to learn a bit on the care and maintenance of the wood involved, although my cleaners are guaranteed safe in case it gets on wood, still...
There have been lots of minor household things going on to prepare for winter, replace the bed, and other such fun things. A dehumidifier decided to seize up and die, so a replacement for that is necessary.
To say I haven't been doing any writing isn't specifically true: I have been trying out a piece of software to help parse and chapter my novel ideas. It is called yWriter and appears to do just what I need it to do, and can even be carried around on a memory stick. So its been time to re-read the works and start to clean up a bit of syntax, spelling and other fun things that need cleaning up - the obvious stuff. A deeper reading for timeline, continuity and such will be necessary after that. I have posted the original material, unchaptered and such, online at my blog site for accumulating my fictional works, plus anything else of interest in that realm.
I have a few places I can get foam for some storage cases I picked up (nice mil surplus aluminum ones) but prefer to keep my time cutting foam to a minimum...
Ahhhh... tons of little things to eat up time. Such is life. I don't expect longer blocks to become available for some months, so that means lighter postings, shorter works and updates on things I have fun at even if no one else likes them. Plus it is always interesting to see just how fast the Democratic Party wants to create the next Great Depression on a global scale. Apparently they didn't get the message that FDR's work the first time around made things worse and delayed the recovery for years. Still the economy had recovered pretty well early on... it was just that nasty recession that made things appear to not get much of anywhere. One caused by increased taxation, increased regulation and a general taking of productive funds from the economy by the government.
Not bothering to learn that lesson, we appear doomed to repeat it to satisfy 'progressive' politics, which seems to leave us over regulated, over taxed, and under employed... plus sicker as health care gets rationed by such sweet bureaucracy to make everyone 'better'. Soon, I am sure, Congress will outlaw the common cold.... King Canute never had that sort of ego.