2021/06/04

New wooden wrist rest for Majestouch NINJA keyboard.

Lately, my wrist has not been feeling well... I've been feeling numb at a moment's notice...

With the addition of a MacBook Air (M1) last month, I've been using three PCs at the same time, and I think this is one of the reasons for my problem.

The angle of my wrist changes each time I use the keyboard of each machine, and it seems that I have what is called tendinitis in my wrist.

My keyboard for Win10 PC is FILCO's "Majestouch NINJA Tenkeyless" that got two years ago.

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"Majestouch NINJA Tenkeyless" is used the Cherry MX mechanical switch, and it gives a very solid key touch. It has cool black keys with no letters printed on the key tops. However, the key position is a bit high, which seems to be a problem for my wrist.

Due to a stand-alone keyboard, I used to use a low-resilience urethane wrist rest, but I haven't used it recently because it is for a full-size keyboard and takes up unnecessary space.

Without the wrist rest, my wrist became unstable, which seemed to be the trigger for this problem.

Then I thought about buying a new stable wooden wrist rest, but well, it's kind of expensive and the quality difference seems to be huge, so I decided to make it myself!

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I found a lot of solid Shimanto River Hinoki (Japanese cypress) at Celia, a hundred yen store, so bought some wood with good grain for my DIY.

I made a wooden wrist rest using this solid Shimanto River Hinoki wood!

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This piece of wood measures 30cm x 10cm x 1cm, but it was a little too thin so I glued two pieces together. Since it is natural solid wood, it will inevitably warp, but I glued them together to offset that.

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Referring to various natural wood wrist rests on the web, I used a plane to cut the top curve for the wrist rest and rounded the side edges so that it would not be painful.

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The width is 30cm, but it's enough to cover the main key area. It's just the right size for the Majestouch MINILA or HHKB, which are one size smaller.

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I was going to leave it unpainted and use it as plain wood, but I was afraid that it would get stained by hand, so I decided to use an oil finish. I polished it clean with 400 sandpaper before painting.

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This is "Oshima Tsubaki 100% Camellia Oil", which I bought for the maintenance of my wooden comb. It's a bit expensive, so I couldn't use it to paint the handcraft speakers the other day.

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I applied a thin coat of camellia oil to the entire surface, and it brought out the beautiful grain of the wood. The penetration of the oil doesn't seem to be that great, so I feel like I need to apply it multiple times.

Camellia oil is widely used as hair care oil, so it should be safe for living organisms.

New wrist rest has the gentle feel of natural wood, and the angle of my wrist is eased, so I don't feel too tired.

This one is self-made and can be tweaked later, so I'll try it out for a while!
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posted by toons at 21:48 | diary

2021/06/02

Roasted Magret Canard

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Magre Canard from Hungary.

I got it at the Kyoto Central Market.

It is a Murar duck from which the Foie Gras is harvested, and is reasonably priced for such a large piece of duck meat.

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Roast duck using low-temperature cooking method!

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Cleaned the duck meat of excess fat, stringy meat, and a few feathers left in the skin.

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Cut the skin side of the duck into dice and add very light salt and my original spices (black pepper, coriander, cardamom, garlic, etc.) to the lean side.

Then vacuum pack it with FoodSaver!

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The low-temperature cooking is done by BONIQ and the preparation conditions are 57‹C, 90 minutes.

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After the completion of low-temperature cooking, the vacuum pack is immediately removed and quenched with ice water. This is to pass through the temperature zone where bacteria can easily grow in as short a time as possible. It is OK if the temperature drops to near ice temperature.

When the temperature of the meat has dropped sufficiently, remove it from the vacuum pack, wipe the surface of the meat well to remove moisture and oil, and sprinkle salt and spices again.

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After letting the meat rest in the refrigerator for a while, I browned the surface in a pan. When the skin was browned, it was ready. The Maillard reaction will give it a very fragrant aroma!

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It would be better to let it cool down for a while after baking the surface to make it more moist, but I cut it a little too quickly.

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CALERA Pinot Noir from California's Central Valley, served with herbs from my own garden and mashed potatoes!

It had a firm bite, fatty and meaty flavor. And It was also wonderfully balanced with the sauce made from strawberry confiture and balsamic, sansho flavored oil, and sea salt from the Noto Peninsula.

I had made this dish for a home party a few years ago, but it took a bit of time. This time, the cooking process was well established and I think it turned out very well. Next time, I'll use Challandais duck.
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posted by toons at 22:57 | diary

2021/05/28

Precious Coffee Pot

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Coffee pot, sugar pot, creamer, 3-piece set

An old friend in Kobe gave me an antique coffee pot set!

He is a dear friend who was very kind to me when I was living in Kobe twenty years ago. He owned a famous authentic bar in Kobe city.

I will cherish them forever.
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posted by toons at 22:54 | diary

2021/05/22

Sansho - Japanese pepper

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Welcome the season for Sansho (Japanese pepper)!

The rainy season started early, so not much Sansho has been shipped yet.

I got a lot of Sansho berries from Wakayama region and made Sansho flavored oil.

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Removing the small Sansho berries from the branches had a detailed process that takes about two hours.

The Sansho berries were quickly washed and dried thoroughly. They were soaked in vegetable oil and pasteurized in hot water at about 65 degrees Celsius. I also made a fresh version without raising the temperature.

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This year, I tried the extra virgin olive oil, salt, liqueur, and rice oil version.

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I also tried dipping it in the Inoue's soy sauce from Izumo region. These were all be stored in the refrigerator at low temperature.

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The flavored oil will be ready in about a week! I will be checking the flavors daily to determine when to pull out the Sansho berries. I enjoy watching the flavors change from day to day.
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posted by toons at 16:03 | diary

2021/05/21

"MileStone FV2", a high-speed double bass reflex speaker for ALTEC - Real painting.

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I started the actual painting of the "Milestone FV2" speaker box.

First, I scraped the surface of the box clean with #400 sandpaper.

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Brushed to paint the entire surface with Turner's "Water Base Coat (Oak)".

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It turned out to be a much brighter orange than the pre-test.

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After letting it dry for about a day, Turner's "Old Wood Wax (Tudor Oak)" is applied to the entire box using super fine steel wool #0000.

Initially, I had planned to finish the painting before the rainy season, but the rainy season came in the fastest ever, so I had to work indoors.

If I had used Briwax I would not have been able to do it indoors because of the strong smell. "Old Wood Wax" is really odorless and helpful.

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The "Old Wood Wax" is easy to spread, so I was able to apply it to the entire box in no time. After one application to the entire box, I wiped it evenly with a cloth before it dried and was done for the day.

The drying time for "Old Wood Wax" is 1 to 2 hours for contact drying and 1 week for curing drying. There are cases where other companies' beeswax does not dry for days, so this wax seems to be quite easy to use.

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It turned out to be a bright color, just like the preliminary test. Since the laminated plywood is still noticeable, it would be better to use a darker color.

So, a day later, I applied another coat of "Old Wood Wax", but the color was not as dark. It seems that once the wax is applied, it is difficult to penetrate the color by applying wax again.

After the wax dried, I applied another "Water Base Coat (Teak)" over the top. This water-based paint seems to penetrate even through the wax, and I can see the color getting a little darker.

I can't get it back if it gets too dark, so I'm going to keep the color at this level. Once again, I applied a light coat of "Old Wood Wax" to the entire surface and wiped it off.

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After drying, I brushed it with a horsehair brush to complete the wax glazing. I would like to wax it once a year or so for maintenance.

This completed the series of painting work on the loudspeaker box. I'm pretty pleased with myself that it turned out pretty good!
.t
posted by toons at 21:40 | Audio

2021/05/20

"MileStone FV2", a high-speed double bass reflex speaker for ALTEC - Consideration of painting.

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Since I couldn't leave the Milestone FV2 in its original white wood, I decided to paint it properly.

The plywood had a beautiful grain, so I tried a natural wax.

I thought I would try British BRIWAX because of its good reputation, but the smell was so strong that it will linger after painting. It has a very strong smell that seems to linger long after the paint is applied, and although Briwax has great color and gloss, it seems to be an old-fashioned paint with no consideration for health.
It is laced with volatile organic solvents such as toluene and xylene, which can cause sick building syndrome if used indoors. In my airtight house, this would be a big problem, so I gave up.

I did some research and found some natural plant paints that seemed to be safe, but there were various problems such as cost, painting methods, and maintenance issues.

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In the end, I chose Turner's "Old Wood Wax" made in Japan, which is beeswax. This is a new natural wax released in 2017, the main ingredient is natural beeswax, and it has almost no smell, so I decided to choose this one. The organic solvent contained in this wax is isoparaffin, which is also used in cosmetics, so it is considered to be quite safe.

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"Old Wood Wax" is a great product that can be used for coloring and surface coating at the same time. However, it seems that it is not as good as BRIWAX in terms of color penetration into the wood and color performance.

So I decided to use Turner's "Water Base Coat" as a base coat. This is a water-based paint, so it can be easily applied with a brush.

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Old Wood Wax comes in a total of 11 colors. At first, I was going to choose Walnut, but it turned out to be quite dark, so I chose Tudor Oak, which is a slightly lighter shade of brown.

The base material "Water Base Coat" comes in a total of 15 colors. I heard that the coloration varies considerably, so I got two colors, Oak and Teak, just in case. Oak is a bright yellow, and Teak is a reddish brown.

I did a trial test using some scrap wood!

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I used "Water Base Coat" as a base coat and then applied "Old Wood Wax" on top. I checked the color change of each coat by itself and by layering. "Old Wood Wax" was only applied in one coat and was not glazed, so it was just a color check.

–1@Oak base coat
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–2@Teak base coat
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–3@Oak and Teak base coat
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Old Wood Wax (Tudor Oak) alone was a light dark brown color that doesn't look very appealing.
A base coat of "Water Base Coat" and then "Old Wood Wax" gave the color more depth. The blend of the two colors was more like teak, but a bit lighter and more desirable. Based on these findings, I would like to start painting the actual speaker box.
.t
posted by toons at 22:36 | Audio

2021/05/19

Encountering "MileStone FV2", a high-speed double bass reflex speaker for ALTEC 4 inch unit.

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"MileStone FV2" - a high-speed double bass reflex speaker for ALTEC!

This is a double bass reflex loudspeaker for ALTEC 4-inch unit (405 series) designed by Mr. Nanakyu (Nanakyu Udon Soup Laboratory), and it was developed through dozens of prototypes.

More than 10 years ago, Mr. Nanakyu published the design data and measurement results of a loudspeaker dedicated for ALTEC 4inch unit on his web page. He recommended building loudspeakers from dead copies. I remember that many home-made SP builders' works were reported on the web.

However, before I knew it, Nanakyu's website was closed and now the valuable design data is completely lost.

I've been looking for the residue somewhere for a long time.

I found a builder who was selling his own box in an auction, and I decided to get it. He has made the same loudspeaker many times before, and I was very impressed with the precision of his work.

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The first cabinet has 6 liters, the second cabinet has 4 liters, and the ducts seem to be tuned to 160 Hz and 100 Hz.

# Milestone FV2 box specifications
- Double bass reflex: 1st-cabinet 6L, 2nd-cabinet 4L
- External dimensions: Width 180 x Height 300 x Depth 300 (mm)
- Weight: 3.0kg

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I have an unused ALTEC Lansing Professional CF204-8A units. I'm going to try to install this in the box.

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I think the CF204-8A has a more ALTEC-like West Coast sound than the CF404-8A. In other words, the CF204-8A is the unit that inherited the ALTEC 405A series sound. The CF404-8A is said to be the successor to the 405-8H, but it has a very different sound with a milder tendency.

I was going to install the CF204-8A in this white wooden box, but I decided to paint it beforehand. It's not going to be a DIY project, so I'd like to at least paint it properly.
.t
posted by toons at 23:27 | Audio

2021/05/17

Beginning of the rainy season

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Yesterday, the Kinki region entered the rainy season. It started raining hard in Kyoto.

The rainy season started 21 days earlier than normal, the earliest since statistics began. I was hoping to enjoy the fresh green season a little longer.

The coriander flowers in my vegetable garden have already started to bloom. The season is shifting from spring to summer.

I hope that the onset of the rainy season will help reduce COVID-19 infection.
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posted by toons at 19:42 | diary

2021/05/15

Aoi Matsuri parade was cancelled!

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The parade of Aoi Matsuri, one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, has been cancelled today.

Every year, I used to go and watch the gorgeous "Rotou no Gi" parade in the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Looking back at the photos from three or four years ago, I can see that there was a huge crowd of tourists and spectators. As expected, if we do such a situation now, there will be a COVID-19 infection cluster, so the cancellation will be unavoidable.

It's still a shame, so I'll show you photos from 2017 and 2018. She is the heroine of this festival, "Saiou Dai".

# 2017
Φ‰€‘γ_2017.jpeg

# 2018
Φ‰€‘γ_2018.jpeg
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posted by toons at 12:31 | diary

2021/05/10

New Apple MacBook Air M1 Got!

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I've got a new Apple laptop!

- MacBook Air (M1 2020) Gold, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

This is the latest model with the Apple M1 chip, launched in autumn 2020.

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Actually, the first one I received was in Space Gray.

I had a trouble with the purchase process, so I returned it and bought another one. The Space Gray looked sleek and sophisticated, but it gave me a rather dark and negative impression.

In this era of COVID-19, I decided to go for the Gold model to brighten up the atmosphere to stay home! The color is very subdued, more like pink gold or bronze than a pure gold.

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The packaging is very simple, as is typical of Apple: just a brochure, charger and USB-C cable.

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I took it out of the box, opened the top cover, and it suddenly turned on and started activating!

I was a little surprised, but I guess it's just like the iPhone. It's very friendly to first-time Mac users. However, if you haven't prepared a WiFi environment in advance, you may be in a panic.

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I'm currently using a rather old MacBook Pro, and I was thinking that its successor would be the same Pro model.

I thought the previous MacBook Air with the Intel chip was too underpowered to be useful.

However, the MacBook Air with the M1 chip has very high performance, and apps launch instantly and are available right from sleep. It's just like using a mobile device like an iPhone.

I was also surprised to see that the device does not get hot at all despite the lack of a cooling fan. Since it is fanless and SSD, it is completely silent, making it the perfect machine for audio environments.

With my current MacBook Pro, even with the cooling fan running, the palm rest gets so hot that I feel like I'm going to get cold burns, so I've installed a PC cooler pad under the laptop. I was quite annoyed by the fan noise that kept running all the time.

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At first, I installed Xcode 12.5, Apple's software development environment. Upon launching the app, I was prompted to install Rosetta. For some reason, it seems the Intel code!

I built a previously developed iPhone app code and tried to run it in the simulator. I was surprised at how fast it was, even though it was emulating Intel code, whereas it took much longer on my MacBook Pro.

I've only just started using it, but so far I'm very pleased with the processing performance of the MacBook Air with M1 chip. The quality of the product and the cost performance are also excellent.
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posted by toons at 16:24 | diary