Studio711

Parental Albums

Are there albums or songs that remind you of your parents? When I think of my parents and music, there are pretty clear associations.

For Mom it was Chicago’s “Greatest Hits 1982-1989” album. I remember her putting that album on while she cleaned the house. (It’s not available on Spotify but somebody built a playlist to piece all the songs together.) I think she had this one on CD and we didn’t get into CDs until the mid 90s.

And Dad? I remember riding around in his Ford Probe listening to the “Happy Together” album by The Nylons. That one got a good workout. I know he loved the 8 track system in his Gran Torino Sport, but I was too young to remember the music that got played in there.

Random sidenote: The song “Happy Together” was used in Ernest Goes To Camp (easily the top movie of my childhood) and since Dad was always playing The Nylons, I assumed that they had written the song. Nope. It was from a band in the 60s called The Turtles. So now I get why they had to sing that specific song to the turtle to get it to unclamp from Ernest’s nose. Whew, took me a while (decades) to get that one. It’s the movie that keeps on giving.

Marymoor Beer Festival

For the third year in a row, I headed over to the Marymoor beer festival. This year’s crew was the same as last year: Don, Logan, Tim, Luke and me. The big change this year was that Chelsea and Tyla were our designated drivers. THANK YOU to both of them for driving us and watching the kids while we sampled the delicious beverages.

We stepped up our game by making pretzel necklaces to help cleanse the palette a bit between beers. But otherwise we stuck with our standard plan: arrive around the time they open, sample some beers, eat some lunch and then finish up our sampling tokens.

There were 131 brewers at the event and they all had at least 2 (some had many more) types of beer to try. With only 8 drink tokens (and one set of organs to process it all), you can barely scratch the surface of the available options.

Prepare For The Eclipse

In two months, much of the US will experience a total solar eclipse. Solar eclipses are rare enough, but one where the path of totality crosses so close to your home could easily be a once in a lifetime event.

Destin over at Smarter Every Day has a great video about the upcoming eclipse:

Are you going to make an effort to watch it?

P.S. I will never be able to hear the words “Total Eclipse” without thinking about this

F150 Tonneau Cover

Shortly after I bough the truck, we took it on a weekend getaway. It rained on the way back so I tarped up. As I was fighting the tarp and the wind, I thought about how many times I’d be doing that over the course owning the truck. It didn’t take much to convince me to look for a better solution.

I ended up buying a TruXedo cover. They have a variety of models but I think I got the fanciest one: the Lo Pro QT. I paid about to have it $450 shipped from Amazon. If you order one, make sure you get the right size for your truck. Thanks to Jay for originally recommending this to me. Installation was pretty easy for me, but I heard that Don and Logan struggled with the install on Don’s truck recently.

Over the last 10 months I’ve grown to really enjoy this. Sure, it’s not as fancy as other retractable ones that roll down into the bed, but this one also cost a small fraction of the cost of those nicer models. I’ve used it to cover camping gear, trash for the dump, groceries and even loads of mulch and dirt. I can unroll it or roll it up in less than a minute and there’s very little vibration or flapping as I drive down the road.

There are no signs of wear or fading on it yet, but even if I have to buy another one in 5 or 10 years, I’ll still say it’s a good investment.

Magnetic Coasters

Ever since Bob Clagett made a set of magnetic hexagon coasters on his I Like To Make Stuff YouTube channel, I’ve had it on my list of projects to attempt. Father’s Day seemed like a good excuse.

I decided to use up some scraps of 8/4 maple and walnut. I resawed them down to thinner pieces, jointed and planed them flat and then glued them together. The two pieces of wood together were somewhere a little more more than 1/4″ thick.

I basically followed the instructions directly from Bob’s video so I won’t repeat them all here. I did take a little different approach to cutting the hexagons though. Instead of drawing it on each coaster, I made some marks on my sacrificial miter gauge fence and used those to make all the right cuts. That worked very well and they came out very close to identical.

Honestly the hardest part of the whole thing was remembering to alternate the magnets when I put them in. They were such a tight fit that I really couldn’t get them out once they were in. At first I was using a bit of CA glue to hold them in, but in the end, I skipped it. I think the friction will hold them just fine and with the extra time to put the glue in each hole, I kept forgetting which way to put the next magnet in. By the end I had a good system down though. Dad, if those magnets start falling out, I’ll fix them on my next trip out there.

I finished up with five or six coats of spray lacquer on each side. After some really long projects, it’s fun to watch a project come together relatively quickly!