Notes from Puzzle Palace

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Mercaba 3 ways

First and most importantly, we both got our Covid boosters this past week.  While we realize this doesn't prevent us from getting the disease, or carrying it to others, we do know it will help against serious complications. It also gives us more piece of mind when we are around others.  Florida has an insane governor who doesn't seem to care about peoples lives as much as he does about getting reelected.  He has signed into law a ban on mask and vaccine mandates.  With this comes a lack of social responsibility among the residents of the state.  It seems that the older population (our neighbors and friends) are mostly vaccinated, but not the community at large.  Everywhere we go, we see unmasked people around.  How can one be sure they have actually gotten the vaccine?  We are doing what we can to stay safe.  Masking up and vaccinations are a must for us. 

Second, I passed the first part of my Scuba certification and on Saturday morning we do the two final ocean dives required before I am fully certified.  George is one happy man.  We can now go diving when we are on our next trip.

Third, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday no matter who you spend it with.  This year, we will be having a group of local puzzlers over for an afternoon of feasting, puzzling, and conversation.  All fully vaccinated of course!

And now...Puzzles!

I've been doing a mad hunt to get together the  puzzles for George's Advent Puzzle Tree this year.  With everything else going on, I kind of dropped the ball on that one.  I'm pleased to report that I now have the puzzles in hand and he will be surprised as he should be.  The decorations will go on the advent tree on Friday.  We had a minor setback with a missing board, but George quickly remedied that by making a new one.  problem solved, tree filled. I look forward to his opening of the tree again this year.  Add to this an advent calendar from the Master Cube Store, a mini crossword one, and a small puzzling calendar and we are really in business.  We will be sure to share every mornings puzzle opening with you yet again.

This week's puzzle is one George made for the swimming pool.  It all started with a post on FaceBook  last year or so. Someone had a pool noodle puzzle made at some point and I wanted one.  Then came 3d printers and a purchase of 1/2 a dozen pool noodles and we were in business.  Or so I thought.  The Ultimaker would stop printing the corner posts we needed for some reason.  George attempted 3 runs to the same result.  He had all but given up and then Tanner arrived. (I need this guy around-unlike Mr. Man, he is a real Mr. Fix-it.) 

George and Tanner spent a few days last week assembling a 3D printer that I had purchased him off kickstarter. While Tanner was working on that, George was attempting to get the Ultimaker back up and running.  Turns out, the feeder box had some filament in it and was clogging up.  A little while later, it was opened and cleaned and we were back in business.  George printed up 20 of the main joints for the Mercaba puzzle.  

Fast forward a week and I got another puzzle delivery in the mail.  Sometimes you find a gem and this time we did.  Inside the box was an old Pacific Puzzle Works wooden Mercaba puzzle.  This of course gave George the kick in the pants he needed and while I was busy making a delicious vichyssoise for dinner he was in the workshop assembling the pool noodle version I'd asked for so long ago.  

First he put together a tetrahedron just to make sure it worked.

After this was completed he went on to assemble the rest of the puzzle.  If you look at it, you will see many flaws, but in fairness, he was assembling it using a photograph that wasn't spectacularly helpful for him.  

This morning as I lay in bed typing up this post, George remembered that Lee had brought us this puzzle in plastic.  He went up to the Circular room and brought it down.  Then came a moment. He realized that two colors need to be intertwined and when flipped are mirror opposites.  Now I'm not calling him silly, just saying he didn't realize it before-hence the oddly shaped version we see here.

I'm thrilled that he has done this for me.  I am sure he will get it done correctly now that he has a sample to follow.  And yes, there is another set of connectors on the printer to make one for the museum pool as well. One can not have too many geometric puzzling objects for the swimming pool. 

Finally we come to the museum update. This week we recieved another order of 200 glass shelves. If we have counted correctly, this should allow us to finish the garage.  That should be the last of the shelving.  I have still not recieved the glass tabletops for the tables we ordered.  This is getting frustrating beyond belief.  I don't know how many calls I need to make to that company before they send my glass over.  

We still have shadow boxes to mount, but I believe those will be done when we are on holiday.  I'm leaving it up to the contractor to decide when he wants to do the work.  For now, there are blue painters tape lines where the pieces belong.  

I've recently ordered 2 sets of tangram shelves for the museum and the workshop walls.  I think I'll use the classic man shape in the museum and a car in the garage.  

I had accidentally thrown away the plug unit for a light box so that has kept me from doing any photographic work.  Thank heavens for Amazon.  I was able to replace the unit and work will begin again next week.  George and I plan to move back to the museum for a few days to finish the shelves and some of the photography on the builders wall before our trip.  We are hopeful that Tevin and Morgan will be moving in within the next few weeks.  It will be nice to have someone there who enjoys the puzzles as much as we do.  Not only are they there for security, but also for the photographing of each piece.  We will have a dropbox set up so George can add puzzles to the database when we are on the ship.  Fingers crossed all goes well.

Until Next week.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Go get your boosters, and don't forget those masks.

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