Classic Mac Games

One of my earliest experiences with a computer was the Macintosh Classic (or Classic II?) that Dad would bring home from work. I spent a lot of hours on that machine and one of our favorite games was Airborne. Gameplay was pretty simple. You had two different times of guns to shoot from the lower left of the screen. Planes and helicopters flew in from the right and sometimes they would drop parachuting infantry. Once there were enough troops on the ground, you would lose.

It turns out that not only has some of the old Mac games, but there’s a built-in emulator so you can easily play them from your browser! Airborne is on the list and you can play it right now.

Now if only I could find a few other favorites from that computer. I remember an air traffic control game, a “3D” maze game with monsters, and an elevator/frogger game. I wasn’t able to find any of those on the list but maybe they’ll show up eventually.


Piano Book Shelves

We’ve lived in this house for 6.5 years. For that entire time, our piano books have sat on the floor in the box that they were packed in (or scattered messily around the box.)

I decided this would be a good wood working project to tackle so I flipped through a bunch of plans and settled on the tower bookshelves from Wood Magazine, partially because I previously purchased the digital back catalog of the magazine so the plans were “free.” The plans recommend oak or maple but I thought I’d go for cherry.

The project began with a trip to Crosscut Hardwoods to buy the most expensive piece of plywood that I’ve ever purchased (though it can get much more expensive than this!) I got a 3/4″ piece of cherry plywood that was nice on both sides, a 1/4″ piece that was nice on only one side, and a 1″ thick board.

I was pretty nervous about cutting into the plywood, but I was also excited to use my new table saw with a big sheet of plywood. My old saw was too wimpy and too unsafe to do big pieces. I cut about 25″ off one end and then ran the rest through the saw. The saw ran like a champ, and combined with the assembly/outfeed table, it never felt unsafe.

After cutting some strips of hardwood and using it as edge banding on the plywood, the main joinery is done using biscuits. I’ve done a little bit of work with the biscuit joiner before but never this much. It really is simple and makes quick work of some of these bigger glue ups.

Next up was the base and the top trim pieces. Those were a little tricky as the plans recommended biscuit joints on the mitered angles to hold the joints together. That worked but I think I’d probably choose a different method next time because it took forever to get my cheapo biscuit joiner dialed in for that fancy cut. In the photo below you see a scrap piece filling in the empty back so that the band clamp can squeeze evenly all the way around.

The final construction step was to build the drawer, install the drawer slides, and then cut/attach the drawer front.

For a finish, I chose to keep it simple and went with a wipe on polyurethane. It does give a bit of a plasticy finish but that build-up is also extra protection for the books that will be sliding in and out fairly regularly. After the coats of finish were done, I put on the 1/4″ back and reinstalled the drawer.

Once we figured out where to place it in the room, I took the time to attach the top to a stud with a strap. It’s very easy to tip over and with a three year old running around, it wouldn’t take long for it to topple over.

This project was a nice way to dabble in some nicer furniture. This was about the biggest thing I can comfortably handle in my shop so I won’t be tackling a dining table anytime soon, but I’m happy I did this one.

It’s pretty easy to see the different colors of cherry woods, but I’m hopeful that as time goes on, the cherry will all darken up to the same color. But even as it is now, I’m very happy with it and admit to walking into that room just to check out the bookshelves. It’s a nice step up from the cardboard box mess on the floor.


Childhood Memories

I’m thankful to have a couple dozen good pictures from most years of my life. Elijah? He’s going to have thousands per year. What will that do to his memory of these early years? Will those pictures trigger memories earlier than what used to be normal?

I don’t remember what my “earliest” memory is, but here are some that I know happened fairly young (around 3-4 years old?). I’ll leave the psychoanalysis about why I remember these specific things up to you.

  • I walked up the stairs of our house in Michigan, and said, “Hi Mom!” Mom turned around and said, “Why Mom and not Mommy?”
  • Dad took me bowling. It was just the two of us. I don’t remember bowling but I remember driving to the bowling alley with him.
  • I pooped or peed in my underwear sufficiently long after I had given up diapers and my parents made me dip it in the toilet and clean it out. It was so gross that I never wanted to do it again.
  • I remember two neighbors from our house in Michigan. The one next door had a pool WITH STEPS IN IT! Wow. And a neighbor down the street bought a Corvette. I remember thinking, “Why did you buy such a cool car and pick a color that looks like poop?” It was that classic brown color from the 70s.

So there we go. Those are my earliest childhood memories. I wonder what Elijah’s will be? Hopefully not the motorcycle race.

Best Of YouTube

Destin over at Smarter Every Day posted a great video with a guy who can talk backwards. They test him to see how different activities affect his ability to talk backwards. Destin is also the co-host of a good new podcast called No Dumb Questions.

This next recommendation is really an entire channel: The Q. These videos show how to make some fun machines with common household items. His main materials are cardboard and hot glue. For example, here’s a robotic arm made from simple syringes and cardboard.

How many do think are in Australia herding cattle with a HELICOPTER? 10? Well, according to this article, 10 of them die every year. This looks very effective… and completely crazy.