Back in the summer, I made my son a ladder. It was only about three feet tall and it had four rungs. It’s the equivalent of the wee tiny ladder Link uses in the original NES Zelda game. He was fond of it for a week or so, where he used it to climb up to ring our door bell and fight imaginary fires. I dismantled the ladder a few weeks after he lost interest and returned the wood to my scrap pile. One of the ladder rungs made an appearance earlier in the blog as an essential piece of the podium laptop stand.
Cut to this week, some three months later, and Zavian’s been asking me about the ladder. They must’ve discussed ladders in his preschool class because he’s all about the ladder again. I told him the truth, and offered to make him a new one. He wanted to help me with it, and we spent 20 minutes in the basement working on it. Really, I was working on it and he was making a train out of scrap wood. He’s only 3, so he can only do so much around tools.
I’m typing this on the Pixelbook that just arrived from eBay. I’ve been impressed with my experience so far. The keyboard is divine and the touch screen is super convenient. I had completely missed the trend of useful touch screen laptops since I’ve been on a macbook for the past ten or so years. My Pixelbook came with a pen, and I’ve noticed essentially no lag when I sketch out ideas in Google Keep. It’s truly a fun experience. I’m sure I’ll have a better review after I spend a week or so with it.
We’re about a month in on this writing a blog post every day project, and I thought I’d check in. Also, I’m not sure what to write about, so this gives me a quick topic.
I’d say some of these posts are pretty boring. I recognize that. Also, I write about sleep way too much, probably because I write the posts right before bed. Some posts are short too, like I squeezed out a couple tweets and stamped them “done”.
I’m fine with all of that. I’m not at a place in my life where I can write an entertaining post every day. I’ll settle for writing anything. If I can continue to do that, it’s better than nothing.
Today I biked to the post office to return that turquoise ring and put my office white elephant gift in the mail. It was a chilly, sunny, enjoyable ride. I love the post office. The one here has a great mural, and the postal employees are friendly and helpful. Thank you, USPS.
I will sleep in the nude every night until I die. The only time I won’t is when I stay at relatives’ or friends’, and I’m worried I’ll surprise someone.
The one argument I can see for sleeping in clothes is that it’s easier to get out of bed on a cold morning. As it stands, leaving the warm bed is an incredibly hard challenge to face first thing in the morning. The second is leaving the warm shower. I have to shut down all of the firing neurons that scream “turning off the warm water will be the worst decision of your life” or I will never leave.
Tonight I pulled Monica into a couch nap: her on top of me with a blanket on top of us. All that was missing on this windy winter night was a smoldering log in a grand stone fireplace.
This nap lasted from 9:30-11:30, pushing our actual bedtime past midnight. Don’t be like me. When you’re tired, just brush your teeth and go to bed. This was actually my second nap today. Do I suffer from some kind of energy issue? Or is this hereditary? My dad falls asleep all the time. Maybe exercise would break sleep’s hold over me. Actually, that seems counter-intuitive. I don’t know.
I can’t unsee the skew now. It’s like a curse. Perhaps it was because I was working on the floor immediately in front of it, which is not it’s best angle. There’s no correcting the legs, but I could realign the trim. I just have a couple scraps of trim, so I’d need to fudge it a little. Or maybe I should just let it be.
I made $100 on craigslist today by selling a few things from around the house. People just gather more and more things; you can’t stop it, so you need to constantly shed things to maintain a balance. Also, I spent a lot on ebay over this past month, and I’m trying to make up for it.
Speaking of eBay, I got the clunky turquoise ring I mentioned. It’s pretty bulky, which I like, but the color is less a deep forest green and more an aquamarine. As such, it just doesn’t match my palette, and I’ll return to seller. I originally planned on getting a tattoo wedding band, but I’ve yet to do that. After almost four years, it’s probably time.
I woke this morning and expected some praise for my nearly complete bench project, but Monica’s immediate reaction was that the legs looked skewed. She’s right, but I was a little disappointed there wasn’t any praise. I got up for the praise. She followed up the skew statement with “I’m impressed that you finished” which is almost a compliment. The thing about marriage is you often want to hear your spouse’s honest opinion even when you don’t.
Looking at it objectively, there are a few changes I could’ve made to improve the look. I think the legs look especially crooked because the front trim follows the leg’s bow rather than trying to hide it. I didn’t correct that bow in the legs because it was too laborious, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be as obvious as it actually is. Monica did admit that it was most noticeable from her view, which was playing with Zavian on the floor immediately in front of it. Hopefully no house guests do the same.
I am happy I (practically) finished and that we have a bench. We’ve spent the past year sitting on the steps when we slip on our shoes, and this will give us a sturdy location for that specific task. If my projects tend to be more functional than aesthetic, so be it.
I emailed yesterday’s blog post to myself from my bed last night, but it seems to have disappeared. It was about how Monica and I are starting to learn the Scrubs/Donald Faison/Bel Biv Devoe dance that has since become a Fortnite dance. It’s tough; we’re only a few steps into it. Also we saw Le Weekend, which was a 2014 film about a couple in their sixties visiting Paris and going for broke. We both gave it a solid B. I guess that’s pretty much the extent of the lost blog post.
I spent a lot of my freetime today knocking out more on this bench. I’m narrowing in on the finish. I attached the legs via some 1″ dowels. I don’t know why I thought I’d have to drill those through the surface, and I’m glad I didn’t. The rest of the time I poured into the trim, which I’ll admit is not the best color right now. I have some stain that should darken and enrich the grain. I also need to remove the screws, drill out the holes, and insert some dowels. That’s all for tomorrow.
I hid a lot of crimes in this bench. Nothing’s really square, and the slabs themselves are still really bowed. I see a lot wrong with it, but hopefully the average visitor to our house won’t scrutinize my handiwork. It is sturdy as hell, though.
The USPS website says they delivered my turquoise wedding band, but it’s no where to be found. I asked the mail carrier, and he said he was pretty sure he delivered it. He told me that I can call an 800 number, and they’ll check on the GPS coordinates of that “delivered” scan. Maybe he left it at another house.
Hey, that looks the same as yesterday, doesn’t it? I spent another couple of hours on it at ADX. I mentioned it’s all warped (or bowed, really), so I cut two channels into the bottom of the seat via the table saw. I chipped them away really, only about an eighth of an inch deep. I didn’t want the table saw to hit any of those hidden nails.
I also evened out the edges and cut some trim for the top. Next comes assembly, and I can fortunately do that in my basement. I’m not quite sure how I’ll attach the legs to the seat. I think I may fudge some pocket screws to secure it, and then drill down holes for large dowels from the top. I’ll put some dowels in the trim too. We’ll see if I need to use a router on the edge of the trim.
Wood is in surplus here in the Pacific Northwest. People leave perfectly good lumber out by the street for other people to casually take. Compare this to the midwest where the only thing people give away are the copious and amber waves of grain. It always comes back to the trees with me.
I spent the evening at ADX, a shared maker space, hacking away at a slab of bowling alley lane I found out behind a furniture making shop. I should’ve realized that there’s gotta be some terrible reason if a furniture maker threw out this wood. Actually, there are plenty of terrible reasons. When the bowling alley contractor assembled this, they dispensed nails by the handful. I cut through this by hand because I was afraid I’d break the table saw blade on all the nails scattered about like dozens of baby Jesus inside a king cake. Also, it’s warped to all hell.
It’s a terrible craftsman who blames his wood, or his tools, or his general lack of experience. Let’s see if I can assemble this properly. If not properly, at least to the level of novelty collapsable bench.
I still haven’t quite figured out how to focus my zoom lens on birds. As you can see above, they’re still slightly out of focus. I just want to take clear pictures of birds without actually understanding the functions of this 8 year old camera. That’s the kind of laziness I’ve come to expect and rely on in this modern life.
I found a decent deal for the Pixelbook with pen on eBay and I swooped in on it. I’m most excited to try it out as a development environment. I’ll post my thoughts when it arrives in the next couple weeks. eBay lacks the near-instant gratification of other online sites, leaving me to pine after dumb purchases and build up overblown expectations for a week or two instead of the now standard two day turnaround.
It gets dark here very early now, and there are a lot fewer streetlights than I expected for a city this size. I have a few clip-on LED lights that I wear and attach to the stroller when I walk to pick up my son from preschool. I’ve noticed more than few bikers wearing those LED enabled helmets, and they really increase visibility. I’m not ready to drop $179 on a bike helmet; I’m sentimentally attached to my current helmet. Instead, I’ll 3D print some brackets to attach to my helmet a discarded bike light I found.