Studio711

Commentary

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.

Dodged A Win

The other day on Facebook, Ken posted this: “You never regret being kind.” My snarky mind immediately tried to come up with a joking way to refute that. A story from college came to mind and I was surprised to see that I hadn’t blogged about it before…

After coming out of a class, I waited for the bus to get back to the dorm. (It was about a 10-15 minute walk from class to my dorm so sometimes I’d take a bus if the weather was bad.) I wasn’t paying much attention but as the bus rolled up and opened the door, another guy and I arrived at the same time to get on board. I stepped back and motioned him to go first. As soon as his foot touched the bus, a couple guys in suits appeared out of nowhere, grabbed him and asked “Are you getting on this bus?”

I thought, “HA! Sucker. I’m glad I let you go first!”

The bus started moving after we all got on and one of the guys in suits said, “I’m proud to announce that Joe is our one millionth CityBus rider!” He ended up winning a $500 gift card to the mall.

A friend of mine on the bus saw the whole thing and he got a good laugh at my expense.

Chalk Roads

Elijah and the neighbor kids enjoy riding their bikes along chalk roads which basically just consist of two parallel lines (or something resembling parallel depending on who draws them). When you’re hunched over holding chalk on the ground and walking backwards, it doesn’t take long to start thinking about ways to make it easier.

On Sunday, Elijah and I headed into the shop and whipped out a little gizmo which worked amazingly well. It’s a broom handle with a 26″ long straight board across the bottom. A little over an inch in from each side, we drilled a hole to hold one of his big pieces of chalk. Then I cut a little slice through the end of the board and through the hole so that a bolt with a wing nut and clamp it shut and squeeze the chalk. The cross piece is a scrap of mahogany. That’s overkill and extra fancy, but it was a scrap that probably would have ended up in the trash and I wanted a hardwood for the clamping part.

It was a bit of a random attempt and I think the clamping part could be improved, but it worked awesome! Elijah could even do it by himself.

We’re going to need more chalk.