Sunday, 3 May 2020

Kratky Method Hydroponics

In researching hydroponics on the Internet, I ran across something pretty amazing. It’s Kratky Method which is a totally passive, zero electricity method for hydroponics. Yeah, dead simple.

I’ve been working on getting my own hydroponics system setup and have been researching various circulation systems and methods, different layouts, blah, blah, etc. Then I discovered this system that I got setup and started in about an hour one afternoon. As a proof of concept I decided to start very small with just one plant. Apparently it takes about 1 gallon (4 liters) to grow a lettuce plant to maturity. So I found a gallon jug, painted the outside black to prevent algae growth, mixed up the nutrients and “planted” a lettuce seed in rock wool in a 1.5″ basket. The idea is that you fill the container until about the lower 1/2″ of the rock wool is submerged. That will draw the nutrients up through capillary action to the seed. Once the plant starts to grow and the roots reach down, the nutrients recede and the roots chase it to the bottom of the container. The space between the basket and nutrients is where the roots get oxygen as they dangle into the nutrients for food. Add a grow light (or the sun) and that’s it. No air stone, no circualting pump, nothing. And it’s working great.

Now I’m in the process of building a “grow closet” to have whole trays of lettuce and other leafy greens. I found that there are 231 cubic inches in a gallon, so 6″x6″x6″ comes to 216 cubic inches. That should be close enough to grow lettuce then. So I build trays out of wood, to be lined with black landscaping plastic, at 7″x15″x20.5″ internal dimension. If I fill it to an inch from the top, that gives me 1845 cubic inches and 205 cubic inches per plant for 9 plants. I would have built a little bigger, but I was using up scrap material and was a little short. Being 26 cubic inches shy shouldn’t be a show stopper. So now all I have to do is hang the inexpensive led grow lights, fill the tubs, plant the seed and see what happens!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

How to Rename Similar Files at the Command Prompt Using Sed

Using a simple “script” at the command line, you can rename a bunch of similar filenames with ease. Say you’ve got something like: foo-001, foo-002 and foo-003, but you want them to be bar-001, bar-002 and bar-003. The script will look like :
$ for i in `ls -1 foo*`; do mv $i `echo $i |sed -e 's/foo/bar/'`; done
You can test your code without making changes by removing the ‘mv’ command and just echoing the results to stdout like so :
$ for i in `ls -1 foo*'; do echo $i |sed -e 's/foo/bar/'; done
With the latter command, you can examine the results to see if that’s actually what you want ‘mv’ to rename the files to.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Art vs. Clients

I’ve been working on a pair of custom tank bags for a motorcycle build for the Revival Handbuilt Motorcycle show in Austin, TX. I actually already completed the bags once and they looked great even though there were a couple small functional issues. But the client hated (she actually said hate) the natural leather that I used for the straps. She told me she hated them. She also told me when I started the project that I would have artistic freedom. If you are an artist, craftsman and/or artisan, be very wary of those 2 words when it comes to custom work. You probably don’t have artistic freedom. I had to take the bags apart, make new straps to match the upholstery (dark brown) by gluing and stitching some of the upholstery leather to strap leather, remake the back of the bags and put them back together. Now they look like they came from Target. It makes me so mad to work on this project now.

Then it occurred to me. The typical client that hires an artist to do something that they can’t do, has no taste. They are only capable of mentally rendering the project in their limited view and understanding of whatever it is that they’ve hired you to do. Often, this is based on some cheap crap they saw somewhere or just their decidedly non-artistic design and they have no idea at all how something like that is constructed — which reminds me of the dreaded opening, “but can’t you just…” So all that we artists can do is grit our teeth and suffer through these tedious tasks to make the client happy so we can get paid.

So much for artistic freedom.

UPDATE: The client really liked the revised bags and they ended up looking much better than I thought they would with the new straps. Unfortunately, the magnets weren’t doing a very good job of holding the bags on the curved surface of the tank.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Unsolicited Advice

It seems like everyone always has advice to offer about why you shouldn’t pursue done new idea. Occasionally they’re right, but mostly they are just projecting their own fear of failure. Listen, but make your own decisions.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


I’ve just recently started into the fascinating world of cryptocurrency. I’m currently CPU mining Litecoin. I know I’ll never make a significant amount, but I think it’s fun. If I make a few cents here and there, that’s fine. Maybe I can get a usable video card at Goodwill or something and try GPU mining.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I hope this isn’t boring.

This is the personal blog of Russell Stinnett. That’s me. I’m thinking it will mostly just be stories as I remember them, idle ramblings, life updates, projects, interests, etc. Maybe someone will find it interesting. Who knows. It’s not really for anyone but me anyway.