My Daily Blog

  • Keeping busy despite being sick

    It’s late again, as usual, but I need to squeeze out a short post because it’s been over a month since I’ve done anything on the site. I got sick again too, not surprisingly, since I’ve allowed too many factors to mount up. My job as a teacher is directly responsible for two of those factors: constantly being around young children who are perpetually germ-infested and oozing mucus, and constantly putting my voice under strain. The other two factors are not getting enough sleep and constantly trying to get too many things done. I can do better to keep things things in balance, it’s ultimately my fault for letting things get out of hand.

    Anyway, I still got a bunch of stuff done this weekend despite being sick, and I’ve got a lot more stuff from recent weeks to share as well too, although some of it won’t be ready right away as there will be editing and other work involved. I also made some uploads to my channel recently, but haven’t updated my site to link them in the galleries or share them in a post.

    November 5th, 2023

    I printed some molds to start making chess pieces, but there is another facet to this project, which is to experiment with recycled materials to try to mold them or rework them into useful things. I currently have some polystyrene in the molds right now drying out.

    November 4th, 2023

    I started nine new rosemary cuttings this weekend. Hopefully I can track and log more data as I continue to root cuttings and grow things hydroponically. Right now I’m debating whether or not I want to transplant the rosemary which has been sitting in the bubbler for months. I had only planned on rooting them, but they seem to be doing very well under their current hydroponic conditions.

    November 4th, 2023

    I’d like to expand my set up so that I can do more than just root a lot of cuttings. I’d like to be able to make growth comparisons under different conditions, such as lighting, water/air ratio, and growth rates after transplanting in soil compared to being left in a hydroponic setup.

    September 12th, 2023

    The same three rosemary cuttings can be seen in this photo from mid September. The other cuttings from that batch obviously did not develop roots. There are also some melon sprouts which were added as an experiment. They were originally sprouted as a science class demonstration for my students, but I brought them home to see if they would develop hydroponically. They did well up to a certain point and then started to struggle. It seems that they might be suitable for hydroponics if certain parameters are changed.

    October 14th, 2023: For a comparison of growth

    You can see vegetative growth on the rosemary and melon sprouts. Also, by this point I had also added some cuttings from my Ficus microcarpa.

    October 31st, 2023: Halloween!

    This year I went as Toad so that I would match with my co-teacher, who went as Mario. I am going to do fully edited video on the making of this costume. There are other topics and projects that were related to the making of this costume which will also get their own videos. I already uploaded some videos on one of those projects, the EPS foam cutter, which I used to shape the mushroom head. A more comprehensive video is in the works, as well as an upgrade and redesign of the cutter. It probably won’t be ready for a while, as I want it to be thorough and high quality.
  • A few announcements and updates

    I excel at inundating myself with various projects of different scopes and calibers, and the latest is a development in a community project which I’ve been slowly concocting over the past few years. Today I purchased the domain to serve as a community hub focused on bringing people together to collaborate, share innovative ideas, and collectively drive positive change in various sectors to enhance the well-being of our communities, strengthen industries, and boost the economy of Taiwan.

    Adding to the list of activities and appointments on my plate: I’m getting married! We aren’t having any celebration or ceremony yet though. For now we just want to officiate it, which has a few extra steps since I’m getting married in Taiwan as a foreigner.

    I met some new friends recently, which also led to one of them informing me about a teacher’s association and upcoming conference that I am very interested in. Not only will I most likely be attending, but I hope to be able to present a workshop at the event. Their flyer is linked below. I’ll be posting about this more in the near future as things develop. Thank you James for all the leads!

  • Japan was amazing – Back in Taiwan


    My girlfriend and I just returned from an 8 day stay in Tokyo, Japan. It was my first time ever visiting the country, although it had always been a goal of mine for several decades now to one day make it there. I was not disappointed. Even though I only experienced a mere fraction of the country, it was an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to return again.

    As I have only recently returned though, I’m a little pressed for time and need to catch up and manage numerous other projects, work, and communicate with many people. I’d like to share my trip with everyone, so I’ll be posting videos and albums bit by bit. I have about 126 gigabytes of photos and videos to organize, label and detail with location information, edit, and upload.

    I’d like to thank everyone that I met during my stay there. Those who I may have only had a fleeting encounter with, those who I had a chance to meet and talk to, new friends and those that I’ve shared a drink and evening with. けいじ, ぶっちゃん,しょうちゃん,あかね,伸吾, Nathaniel (even though you’re from Pennsylvania). And thank you Justin. I’m so glad to have been lucky enough to catch you in Tokyo. I hope to return before long and visit you and Rika in Hiroshima. Best of luck to the both of you.

  • Rooting cuttings and Typhoon closures

    I’ve been working on some new projects recently, as well as continuing ongoing projects, and reacting to certain situations, like my recent mouse problem. It’s a bit late right now, but Taipei and New Taipei announced closures due to the approaching typhoon, so I’m taking this as an opportunity to get back in the habit of blogging. For tonight, I’ll keep the writing short and just leave the links to my three most recent videos below, with a little summary in the caption.

    I started these cuttings on July 24th. I noticed the first root, pictured here, on August 1st.

    Just one day later, and two more roots had popped out! I’m holding some black plastic behind them to make it easier to see, as they blend in with the color of the lid.
    I show a little bit of the mess the rats have been making, and also talk about maintaining the dragon fruit cacti.
    quick snippets of various projects: fish tank refugium maintenance, pvc lighting fixture/hood for fish tank, rubberizing dumbbells, setting up rooting bubbler, indoor window shutters, new tap on the rear balcony, screening balcony with fine mesh

    I discover the first root to pop out of the cuttings, show the progress of screening in the balcony, and show a large bin full of the extra growth from the cacti that will be repotted to grow and put up for sale

  • Dragon Boat Festival Extended Weekend

    It’s a 4 day weekend this week in Taiwan as schools are closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Dragon Boat Festival. The week prior was a little more hectic than normal as we had to make up a lost school day that Saturday. Coincidentally, I just happen to have a lot of events occurring in a relatively close timeline as well, such as my upcoming work-visa renewal (last week I went to get a medical exam for the renewal process), various things to work on for a graduation performance that my class will be doing (making edits to songs and sound effects, props, costume stuff), end of semester reports, and other things I’m surely forgetting about.

    I’ve been catching up on a lot of things this week though. Today I finished upgrading my bedframe, shredded a bunch of card board to mix in with the compost bins as well as have some ready for next time, sorted a bunch of back logged photo and video dumps, repotted my blueberry bush, roses, rosemary, and ferns, took out the recycling and garbage, did some major clean-up around the apartment, fired up the 3D printer for the first time in a while, mopped and dumped the buckets in the stairwell as we had torrential rain today and excess water seeps in to the stairwell from certain areas on the top floor, and of course, blogged for the first time in a while as well.

    Part of the upgrade included replacing the patchwork platform I had under the mattress with a sturdy sheet of plywood, (18mm thick).

    The sheet I carried back (on Wednesday) was almost full, as I only needed to trim one edge down to fit it to the frame (from 244cm x 122cm down to 190cm x 122cm). The closest hardware store that carries larger sized lumber is this location here on the map, almost a kilometer away. It was good exercise.

    Sometimes the center legs would twist and slide out at an angle a bit. Though this wasn’t too frequent, I still wanted to sturdy things up a bit, so I mounted some 3/4″ pipe between each section to lock it in place. It’s really well anchored now.

    Printing out some interlocking blocks that someone uploaded to Thingiverse. I already had some things in mind that I wanted to incorporate into my own design from scratch, but I wanted to get something in hand quickly just so I can have something to play with in the mean time (see how well they fit with brand name Legos).

    Also uploaded some videos that I meant to the other week. It’s mostly about the dragon fruit cacti’s growth progress.

  • Sunday projects

    Worked on a few things today, notably the burlap planter that I started on the other week. It’s complete for the most part now, although I might work on it a little more, adding some additional support in certain places with either jute string or segments of bamboo. The balcony is a mess, but at least the critical work is done, the dragon fruit cacti and some other plants have been transplanted or repotted, and everything got watered. I’ll follow up with more details on this project in another post or video. This is just a quick update and sneak peak I’m trying to squeeze out before 1:00am.

    Also started on some more recycling projects. The Styrofoam sleeves will be cut to resemble fries and used in some of my English classes. The brown paper bag was just a quick example to see what the would look like cut individually. Eventually I got around to printing out the templates for the boxes on red paper. I will play around with the foam a little to see which way of cutting it will give the most realistic presentation.

  • Resetting my routine

    It’s been a while since I’ve last posted, just a little over 2 months. So many things have transpired in that time that thinking about what to write feels like a daunting task, even though I don’t plan on going into any fine details right now. I turned 37, made progress on a lot of projects, came down with a 104 degree fever, and lost my voice. It’s late at the time of writing this, and I’ve got work in the morning, but I’ve got to work the website, blogging, and vlogging back into my routine, so I’m just going to get this one measly post out there to get my momentum going again.

  • Updated ‘About’ section

    Hey everyone. It’s been a bit longer than I would have liked, but I’m finally making some more progress on the site again. I’ve added some new pages to the ‘about’ section, although I’ll certainly be rearranging it and adding more to it in the future. The past few weeks were a little hectic, but this weekend will be extra long as the following Monday and Tuesday are a holiday here in Taiwan. I’ll certainly be using that time to catch up on numerous projects, the website being one of them. One more day of work left though, so I shan’t be staying up too much longer.

  • Site Updates

    This is just a minor announcement regarding updates to the website. I am in the process of making some changes to the site, so if you are navigating the site during this time, things may seem to change strangely or not work properly.

  • The First Squandered Day of the Lunar New Year

    The evening is just about at an end, and so is the week. I’m feeling a little bummed out to have lost a good chunk of time today, because I really thought I was going to get to catch up on one or two things at least. The beginning of the week was a bit hectic since we were all returning from work after a week long national holiday (Lunar New Year). After making a lot of progress during that time, I was really hyped up to try and keep a realistic steady pace going. Today was the first day that I had the rest of the day to myself again, but something that I ate wasn’t agreeing with me. In reality, it was probably everything that I had eaten recently. I’ve not been doing the kindest services to my stomach, and need to start eating a little bit healthier. I took some digestive aid and lied down, which turned into a three hour nap. (**Grossness warning**) Not long after waking up, I rid my self of some intestinal demons with such a horrific stench that it peeled the paint off of the walls, and the walls in my bathroom are not even painted. I’m talking “pile of burning tires” level horror. Anyways, now, here I am, informing you of these all important details. I kind of needed that rest anyway, since the past couple nights I had been up late working on obligatory school related stuff, and I still managed to get a couple small things done today. The moral of the story? I guess it’s that things are still pretty ok and the things that stunk (literally) could probably have been avoided and very probably were my fault anyway.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope to hear from you sometime. Be the first to utilize the forum! Right now you can use it as a guest or with a WordPress login, but in the near future I’ll make some changes to it and include other log in types, such as google or Facebook.

  • Progress

    Sometimes, this is what progress looks like. I try to always make progress in some aspect of my life, while not forgetting that recovery is also part of the process. In this image you can see the calluses building up on my finger tips again from a more dedicated practice routine of guitar playing. At the same time, I’m writing this post to also talk about the progress I’m making on this site. I was up very late last night sifting through batches of photos and videos that have accumulated over the years and organizing them into appropriate locations on my computer. Next update coming soon!

  • The first Red Mage Steve post

    Hello everyone, and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to check out my first ever blog post. At the time of writing this, nothing else has been added to or changed on this site. As I add more content and pages, I will announce the updates with a post.

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