Or, “Requiem For A Fallen Bridge Pin”

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The Bridge Pin Hole. Image ©2020 by author.

I recently went to change the strings on my Dean Performer QSE acoustic-electric guitar, and I broke a bridge pin (please don’t ask how…it’s embarrassing). So, with a little swearing and some tips from online, I was able to extract the shattered remains of the pin out of the bridge pin hole. Here’s what it looks like now.

Handmade Noodles
Handmade Noodles
Photo by author, Nov. 2020

Much of the complaining about math that I have heard over the years goes like “I’ll never use this in real life.”

I beg to differ.

I was winding down after my work day, sitting at the computer and trying to decide whether playing solitaire was more desirable than looking over sports scores. Delicious scents were wafting from the general direction of the kitchen. I then heard a gentle but insistent summons for my presence. From the kitchen.

Now, my presence in the kitchen is chiefly in the form of hovering. My girlfriend is a talented cook, and my experience in that direction has mostly been as a competent but “subsistence” level chef. …

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Yaquina Bay Bridge, 2017, Newport OR. Photo by Author

One very offputting thing about trying to use “string theory” and “m-theory” to explain the behavior of the “physical universe” is that mathematicians and physicists talk about their formulas and equations in 10 or 11 dimensions (depending on who you listen to). Most people who talk about the “real world” pretty much limit themselves to four…width, length, height, and duration (a.k.a. time). If you get much further than four, most people can’t visualize it.

Let’s show an example of this by starting with the “geometry” version to see how most people were taught to visualize dimensions.

We start with the very simple ONE dimension. It’s just a line. It goes forever THAT way and forever the OTHER way. It’s a little unwieldy to visualize with, so for our purposes let’s take a short section of the line so we can easily think with it. It has a length, that’s about it. …

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Vineyard View, Gaston OR; Photo by author, 2017

I recently had a request from my lovely ex-engineer-now-artist girlfriend (yes, the same girlfriend) that she wanted to update some Cost-Of-Goods-Sold values in an Excel spreadsheet based on the value of another column in the same row.

Now, before you say “Why not just run a macro?”, let me explain. No, let me sum up. The spreadsheet was from an outside vendor source, and had to be re-downloaded periodically from the same source. There were about 5000 rows of data. The reference values were based on a limited number of items (about 50 different possibilities) each of which was associated with a specific price, which could change. And, a replacement file had to be re-uploaded to the same place once her changes were made. …

A short flight into Cloud Computing

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Del Mar Bluff, March 2017

I recently had a request from my lovely ex-engineer-now-artist girlfriend that she wanted to rename a bunch of image files on her Google Drive to include the dimensions of the image in the filename. After some discussion, we decided we didn’t really need to keep the original files intact. Her Google Drive was being fed by a web site where an artist could upload images, and those images were shoved into a sub-folder named as a date/time stamp. Later, she would manually check the contents of new directories to make sure naming standards were followed, then change the folder name to the Artist’s name. Seems pretty simple. …


Rick Lowrey

Computer guy, data nerd and musician

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