Picture Frame Jig

Picture frames are four pieces of wood stuck together. How hard can that be?


Getting those corners to match up perfectly, have all four corners be exactly 90 degrees and have those joints be strong is not easy to achieve without some help. My next project involves making a picture frame so I decided to take some time and make a couple jigs.

The first step is to make the main picture frame jig. Thankfully the interwebz are full of ideas, and I chose David Picciuto’s jig. He has a nice video describing how to make it, but my quick summary is: “It works!” I did a quick test with some scrap wood and the glue up went perfectly.

Next I’ll work on making his spline jig to reinforce the corners.

Sleepwalking Stories

I’m a sleepwalker. I don’t remember when it started, but I haven’t grown out of it yet. Over the years, it has created quite a few interesting stories. Most of the time it just results in my pillow and/or sheets ending in a weird place or me walking around the room mumbling, but there were a couple times that it was quite a bit more involved:

The first one happened freshman year of college. I was at dinner with a bunch of guys from the floor and one of them said, “Hey Ben, thanks for yelling at Sarah last night.” I don’t remember if her name was really Sarah, but we’ll call her that for this story. It was the girlfriend of a guy on the floor and she was a VERY loud talker. My roommate started laughing when I looked confused and said, “Huh?” “You don’t remember?” My roommate filled in the missing details. Apparently the escapade had started with me getting out of bed in the middle of the night. That’s no small feat. We had loft beds. The only way to get up was to do a pull up on the cross bar and hoist yourself up. Getting down was the reverse: grab the cross bar and swing down to the ground. So I swung down in my sleep, unlocked the door, stuck my head out in the hall way and yelled, “BE QUIET! IT’S QUIET HOURS!” Then I walked back in the room, pulled myself up to bed and went back to sleep (except I was sleeping the whole time so I don’t know what you call it.)

The second one that sticks out was also in college. We were on a ski trip in Michigan. It was a big group but I only knew one or two of the guys there. We were all sleeping on the floor of somebody’s house. Apparently in the middle of the night, I got up, took my blanket over to the window, covered it up and yelled about blocking the aliens from coming in the window. You can imagine the ribbing I took from doing that in a room full of a dozen guys. The aliens through the window bit was a popular one for me. I did it in a hotel room with my family one time too.

I still haven’t figured out what triggers it. Being in unfamiliar locations can do it sometimes but not always. Lately it’s usually just talking in my sleep or thinking there is a spider in the bed, but the other morning I did wake up to find my pillow in the bathtub.

It’s kind of fun because I never know what I’ll find when I wake up.

500 Unique Beers

I’m two months behind Luke, but I just had my 500th different kind of beer. Oddly enough, it was a bottled beer from Red Hook. Living just a couple miles from the brewery, I regularly have bottles of their beers and I’ve been through most of the stuff they have on tap too. But I was at Tim’s house and had their American Pale Ale for the first time. It was launched last summer.

I still enjoy trying new beers, but I think the next 500 will take longer, not because of a shortage of new beers, but because I want to enjoy some of the best ones that I’ve found along the way to 500.

And if you like trying new beers too, feel free to send me a friend request on untappd.

Elijah’s Favorite Shows

I wrote about Elijah’s favorite songs back in December and that list is still pretty accurate. I thought it might also be interesting to record the shows that he likes to watch the most:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Fox and the Hound 2
  • Cars – He’ll specifically tell you “Cars 1, not Cars 2”. I agree.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Curious George
  • Bob the Builder
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog

The top two are the only ones he’s asked to watch for the last month or so, but the others have had their time in the spotlight of obsession too.

It’s pretty cute how much he loves Winnie the Pooh right now. One of my favorite games is when he pretends that he’s Roo and I’m a Heffalump. He leads me around the house and explains things too me. Usually when I ask him to tell me about his day, he says, “I didn’t do anything. I just laid on the floor. All day.” But when he’s Roo, he goes into great detail. I love it!

Dad and Mom Visit

My parents came to stay with us over Easter. They are so good with Elijah, and Tyla and I were happy to have a break. In fact, we even went out for a date night while they were here.

We didn’t have anything huge planned while they were here but our days were nicely filled. The biggest trip was probably a leisurely ferry ride for lunch. I put Dad to work and we knocked a bunch of things off my todo list both at our house and the church property.

We’ve had a record shattering wet winter and spring, but somehow the weather was pretty nice while they were here.

We all look forward to their visits and it’s hard to say goodbye, but we’re looking forward to seeing them again this summer.