Floor Nap Averted

I was just falling asleep on the floor when Monica’s pager went off. I’d still be on the floor if it weren’t for that 90s relic.

Spent another full day with Zavian today, as Monica’s service lurches into the second week. It was a fine day thanks to the four separate walks I squeezed in. I have a couple more days of this before Monica’s parents arrive for the week.

Spend a little more time on my linguistic project. I can see how a lot of it fits together, but I need to do some more experimenting before I can proceed. I also need to figure out a path out of using the cmudict if this thing is ever going to be worthwhile and original.

Another project I’d like to complete: a better rain canopy for Zavian’s stroller.

Next project(s)

With my laptop harness working and practically complete, it’s time for me to think about my next project. Earlier in the blog, I mentioned some linguistic work that I’d like to explore, and I started some honest coding on that this evening. I’d also like to build something of a tent for my bed so I can create a terrarium of humidity around my face. Monica gave me buy-in for that one, so it’s definitely on my docket. The final thing is productionizing a few chair concepts I’ve worked up in the past. I will either reveal those designs in a public video, or I will try to manufacture them and sell them myself. I’m not sure yet what I’ll end up doing. If I had to guess, it’d be the path of least resistance and work for me to do, which would just be the video.

Today Zavian and I walked to the super market and then went to listen to some children’s music. His Christmas gift finally arrived, so we spent the afternoon playing with that.

Streetlights out, porch lights off

I took a break from building anything tonight to walk around my neighborhood. On the map, it looks like it was a meandering five miles. If I could do this every night for the rest of my life, I would be fulfilled. The streets are so quiet. Everything’s asleep or almost there. A lot of room for your thoughts, be them about past relationships or canned beans.

What kind of camera setup would I need to take architecture photos at night?


I did it. You ever have one of those moments at the end of a project that feels momentous? It doesn’t matter the project size. Big or small, it just feels good to see your idea realized. Behold:

The completed laptop harness, version 1.

I’m typing up this post, uh, suited up. I added an extension to the front panel to redistribute the weight of the laptop so it wouldn’t sag so much. It’s not as uncomfortable as I thought. Adding the keyboard was incredibly easy because I just pulled it off of the laptop stand I made a few weeks back.

There’s still more to add, like a green screen to hide the fact that I’m wearing this harness on conference calls. That said, I think it’s time to work up a new video highlighting the future of [scrap wood] work from home. I have a lot to share.

Off Day

My laptop harness is based off the idea of a snorricam, which is like a professional selfie harness used to capture video of the actor’s face while the actor wheels about. Looking at these now, I can see they are positioned lower on the torso, partly to free up the shoulders for filming, and partly to allow a lateral strap for the top of the front plate. I’m contemplating rearranging the harness, but I don’t like the idea of a front plate pressing into my guts all day, and I’d have to adjust the placement of the laptop post to achieve the proper height. I still think I can work around it while keeping the front plate high on my chest. 

Spent the day with Z at the OMSI. Spent the evening at the Clinton theater. 

Fail fast and then hang it up for the night

Tonight I worked on redistributing the weight from the laptop post backwards to the rear plate. I fabricated for two arms from the front plate that extend and latch onto a tail that extends off the rear plate. This did not properly distribute the weight, and I’m still left with a slouching front plate. I’ll probably have to scrap that idea. Some things I’ve learned:

  1. The straps were probably a good idea, particularly the two that extend over my shoulders. It’s pretty comfortable, even as I add weight.
  2. The front plate could benefit from a wider piece of wood, but my projects are firmly rooted in the discounted wood I buy from my neighborhood hardware store. If I can’t make it with shitty wood, I definitely couldn’t make it with “extravagant” wood. Also, when I mess up on lousy wood, it’s not the end of the world.
  3. On that point, messing up, I do it all the time. I could spend more time setting my cuts and really making things clean, but that’s not how I work. I’d rather try different things and approximate good cuts. Make it work, and get the idea out there. I’ll worry about style once I understand the form. Or maybe I’ll never worry about style and move onto something else.
Laptop harness in progress

Here’s me trying to stifle a smile; I know how I look. You can see it coming together, though, even if a lot of it is going to change. For instance, I’m pulling down on the back plate to give it the required force to support the laptop.

Into The Breach

I should’ve known that the second game from the creators of Faster Than Light would snatch my attention as much as the first. Here it is, way too late and I’m far too tired, yet I’m still evaluating whether or not I should play one more round. I won’t. I’ve wasted too much time on that tonight, finishing nothing on my keyboard stand except for a few loose sketches.

I’m beginning to second guess the strap construction entirely, wondering if my newfound hobby of metalwork would provide a better frame. Bending metal is something I’ve yet to understand, and I know I don’t have the dies required to bend the tube I already own. Is this just a distraction from the proven “make it work” philosophy of Tim Gunn? Would scrapping the current design and going with a metal frame kick the can down the road a month or two? Maybe. I should just finish this prototype, for better or worse, and then decide if a second, metal prototype is in order.

Monica’s on service for the next two weeks, and I’m spending these days 1-on-1 parenting with Zavian. We walked to a few parks today, and I had an enjoyable time.

Laptop Harness Continued

Some fool wearing a laptop holder harness

I’ve made further progress on my laptop harness and reached the next problem to solve. The straps don’t provide the sturdiness and structure I hoped. Instead, I’m left with a sagging laptop and a baseplate that further digs into my chest. I really wanted to build a sturdier PVC pipe-based harness from the get-go, but the lightweight straps seemed like they would be a lower profile solution. When it comes to carrying a bulky plywood laptop stand around, lower profile is definitely path to follow. I’ll sketch out some alterations to this to see if I can get the best of both worlds. 

Also, I’m using popsicle sticks to add further support to my laptop. I knew I was hoarding them for some reason.

Floop naps

Not too much to update today except that I was exhausted. I spent the evening sleeping on the living room rug instead of studying for the AWS solutions architect exam or working more on my laptop harness. 

I get so many telemarketing calls, they frequently wake me up in the morning before my 6:30 alarm. I’d sleep through them, but when you have a 97 year old grand father who’s recently taken some nasty falls, every call is a literal alarm. My phone autocorrected a typo on grandfather to peas father.

Evening walks on 50 degree days are truly divine. Take that, Chicago winter. 


I have a backlog of these entries. I’m going to try and stop emailing posts to myself and start actually posting them each night. Anyways.
My new keyboard stand is looking more like an old TV aerial than an actual keyboard stand. That’s ok. If it’s not clear by now, I’m making a harness that will allow me to carry my laptop with me through my house while I work. If all goes as planned, it will really let me loosen up and slip some nasty dance steps into my workday. It’s the next iteration of the treadmill desk. It’s going to take the rehabbed loft shared workspace start-up scene by storm.
Right now I’m working on a way to keep my  $1500 laptop from flying off my $10 scrap wood stand. I also need to rebalance it so there’s not so much downward pressure on the bottom edge of the front base plate. An idea is coming to me now, something of a pyramid. I’ll have to sleep on it.