Studio711

Wedge Shaped Side Table

Up in the man cave, there is a couch with a recliner beside it and the recliner is at an angle to the couch. We have a set of cheapo folding food table things that sits in the gap between the chairs but it doesn’t look very nice. Almost exactly one year ago, David Picciuto made a table to fit a similar spot in his house and I finally got around to making my own version.

Most of this project will be hidden between the sofa and the recliner so I spent all of the funds for this project on the top. I bought a big chunk of 6/4 walnut and glued three pieces of it together to get a slab that was wide enough for the table. I carefully cut the appropriate wedge shape out of the slab and then built a simple plywood box for the base. The top is just held in place by gravity and a few cleats on the bottom so that it doesn’t slide around. You can lift off the top and get to some storage and the other feature of the base is that it has a built-in outlet and dual 2 amp USB chargers built into the back.

The base got painted black and the top was finished with teax oil and then covered in Briwax. Needless to say, this looks MUCH nicer than what we had there before! The downside is that now I feel the need to use a coaster. Hmm… Anyway, this went well so I’m going to make a similar table for spot between the couch and the wall. This one will just be a simple rectangle top though so that should make things a little simpler.

Lunch In Kingston

As we’ve done a few times before, we hopped on the ferry in Edmonds and floated across Puget Sound to have lunch in Kingston. When we’ve done it previously, I’ve thought that it would be kind of neat to have a timelapse of the trip so this time I packed my Go Pro. I had a flexible tripod that I kind of wrapped around the railing and then held it in place with alternating freezing hands. I didn’t do anything too fancy to stabilize or straighten the video, but there’s a lot of fun stuff to see!

Christmas in Indiana

This year we headed back to Indiana for Christmas. The weather forecast looked cool but pretty dry. The weather forecast was wrong.

The trip out was relatively smooth until we hit carnage at Midway. My parents had kindly made the ~2 hour drive (each way!) to pick us up and the traffic was so bad it took them 30-45 minutes to get from the cell phone lot to us. Thankfully we had them pick us up at Arrivals instead of Departures and that saved the wait from being even longer.

We awoke Christmas Eve morning to snow. A white Christmas was in order, but not just a white Christmas, but we had fresh snow every single day until we left! They also set a record for the coldest two weeks in history. Temps were in the single digits during the day. It was frigid but we still had fun playing in the snow and it never kept us completely snowed in.

Given the weather and the temps, we mostly hung around the house, but we got outside for sledding, exploring in the woods, a tour of the South Bend Chocolate Factory tour and church services among other things. It was very nice to relax and watch Elijah interact with Mom, Dad, Luke, Rachel and David.

Our trip to the airport for the flight back was interesting as well. Bad snow was predicted around the time we’d normally be driving to the airport, so instead, we got to the airport 5 hours early so that Dad and Mom could drive back before it got dark. It turned out to be a very good move because, while the trip there was easy, the trip back for them was quite treacherous. Thankfully they made it safely.

A huge thanks goes out to my parents for hosting us again and for all the driving!

Best of YouTube

I started watching William Osman earlier this year. He’s a maker who created his own laser cutter (The Retina Smelter 9000) and has a very comedic style while producing some interesting creations and wearing crazy cat shirts. In a sad twist of events, his house burned down in the California fires. He has documented some of that process on his channel. His most recent video was probably the last one that was filmed before his house burned down and it’s a gem.

Evan and Katelyn are a husband and wife team that make stuff with a lot of different mediums. They are fun to watch and produce projects that aren’t so complex that you have to devote a month to make something similar.

And the last one isn’t a YouTube video. It’s a podcast episode. It’s probably the best explanation I’ve ever heard of blockchain (the tech behind Bitcoin, etc) and how the basic idea could impact your life in ways far beyond weird investments. They intentionally structured the episode to be approachable regardless of your comfort level with technology. Whenever someone has questions about blockchain or BitCoin, this is the single place that I will point them to: https://after-on.com/episodes/017

 

The Expanse

This summer, I decided to read book 1 of The Expanse series. I’d heard that the TV show was really good, but before watching that, I wanted to read the books.

Honestly I was disappointed by the first book. It started off slow and then I felt like I got tricked. Instead of sci-fi, I thought it was turning into a zombie book. Thankfully it was not. Zombies are dumb.

I only gave the first book 3 out of 5 stars, but it finished really strong so the second book got it’s chance. And boy am I glad I read that one. I was completely hooked and I’ve read all the way up to book 7 which was just released.

The story is set in a believable future where we’ve expanded out to various parts of the solar system. There are a lot of politics that play out between Earth, Mars, and people who have settled out on the asteroid belt and various habitable moons. The physics of space travel make sense. There’s no hyper space or warp drives. And then… well, then spoilers.

I’m almost done with the 7th book and then I think I’ll switch over to watch the TV show. Then I’ll just gobble up TV seasons and new books as they come out. If you enjoy sci-fi at all, I can’t recommend this series enough. I’m hard-pressed to think of another sci-fi series that has captured me like The Expanse has.