“It’s Been a While!” or “My Bad”

I’ma just say that I’m really very sorry for it being nearly a YEAR since I’ve posted new content. While I’d love to blame someone else, it’s entirely my fault; the proverbial buck stops here. However (isn’t there ALWAYS a however??), my life has considerably straightened-out, and I’ve got LOTS of new stuff to report. It’s September 13th, 2015, and let’s get on with business. Continue reading

“I’m Still Around!” or “Nothing To Do With April Fools! (Seriously)”

10930182_827260414020070_3437241858251852337_nYeah, this winter was a LITTLE mental. I’ve had a ridiculous time with the snow, as you can imagine for a location almost 60 degrees of latitude; sea-level or not. Well, we’re alive, not for lack of Mother Nature’s efforts. We’ve been dumped on with snow, practically blown away, our furnace failed and has not been working right for five months, we’ve had budgetary crisis’ and work has been a long, hard slug through the trenches to get caught-up. All in all, I’m MORE than excited to get out in the shop and get some real fun stuff made. To tell you the truth, the process of designing my dream shop in SketchUp and the thought of having my

11046673_824709984275113_7330743608805223551_nfather come out to give me a hand (Always more fun with a buddy) with the renovation in the shop has been a large part of what’s gotten me through this winter. This first pic is of our 8′ tall dog kennel out in front of our house… but that was before another full two feet fell… you could barely see it at ALL at the worst of it. The picture to the right is of a particularly mild morning, on my way to a conference. It’s been as low as -39C (-40F) at 8am. It’s been so cold that it sounded as though the equinox had asthma when we start the engine. Good times. Continue reading

“Burden of Command” or “Be A Leader, Not A Boss”

I have a great deal to be thankful for. My beautiful (if irritating) wife, my two gorgeous (if acrid) fur-babies, my fantastic (if exhausting) job, outstanding (if project-heavy) house, an amazingly rural (if tragically isolated) island home, and inspirational (if maddening) parents and siblings.

I’ve managed to claw a pretty sweet deal for myself, after many hard years. I feel that all these lessons, and my many blessings, should serve as a guide and an inspiration to others, be a pedestal upon which I may lift my peers, as opposed to a thrown to leer down at them with discontent. Continue reading

“2000 posts!” or “Bi-Millennial Celebrations!”

Just a quick update, we hit 2000 hits this weekend! FABULOUS! In just two months we’ve hit the 2,000 mark! It seems that our daily viewership is actually growing faster than the average, which is exciting. There is, however, bad news. With my new job, I’m working flat-out. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since I often wonder where the day’s gone while I spend 8 hours to the grindstone and forget to take lunch. One of the benefits to a home office is I get full access to my own kitchen, but it’s scary when I look at the clock at 8:00 and wonder how I’ll fill the day, then check again and notice that it’s already in the PM hours. Scary. Continue reading

“Ecovillage Tiny House and Greenhouse Infrastructure Module” or “Working Around the System”

Tiny House - 8

“Never argue with a fool, for they may well be doing the same thing.”

That may be true for most cases, but try telling a government agency that growing your own food is completely safe, or that the latest scholastic research suggests that by feeding grey-water (think sinks and showers, NOT toilets, that’s blackwater/brownwater) through “enough” plants in a system, it’ll come out cleaner than it went into your taps. Yep. Nope. Not going to happen. So what can we ecovillage “bio-neers” do about it? We can work inside the system, using existing code compliance regulations and combine several ideas into one that wouldn’t be quite as perfect as if the project were cut from whole-cloth, but we create something “good enough” to both satisfy our needs and maybe become proof-positive that the concept works; and that’s the next best thing. Continue reading

“Desk Revisited” or “The Final Installment… Hopefully”

AssembledOkay so I MIGHT be a little obsessive… this is the third straight 10-hour day working on it. I’ve actually done three complete, whole-cloth rebuilds of this desk since I uploaded the last article about it… and solved some inherent defects in the design. This one is much more robust, though I fear it might be a little more claustrophobic. The whole thing is 5′ (~1524mm) long by 5′ (~1524mm) wide, slots into a corner, 6′ (~1828.8mm) tall and the desktop surface is about 2′ (~609.6mm) from the edge to the back. It will take 10 sheets of 1/2″ (~12.5mm) plywood, and remarkably ONLY requires that 1/2″ ply, glue and hardware like hinges, drawer slides and screws, to speak nothing of the electronics. Let’s dive-in, shall we?

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“UBER Computer Desk… Revised” or “Backed Into a Corner”

Corner Shelf - 2The computer is built into a purpose-built compartment above the monitors on a slide-out tray using 22″ full-extension drawer slides… a 40″ 4K monitor flanked by a pair of 22″ 1080p monitors… and a modest video card to power all three. The 5 orange boxes are the 5.1 surround-sound speakers. There are dedicated air-flow conduits cooling the main computer, and the two upper cabinets are devoted to USB peripherals (like a multi-talented card reader) and the bank of up to 7 SATA3 HDD’s, each at 4TB (That’s 35 TB of HDD space), and the 128gb SATA3 SSD devoted to the system drive.

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I got some news today… I almost peed. I had that interview, I was panicking (ask anyone who spoke with me since yesterday)… but I got it. I GOT IT!! Not bad for someone with virtually no congruent experience, but lots of tangential, peripheral and scholastic background to the position. My hands are shaking and I’m just dazzled. Gawds. Permanent job. Work-from-home with not-infrequent work-site visits (paid mileage) as well as them paying for part of my cellphone bill.

I will still do my best to contribute posts to this blog and work in my garage… with the ironic twist that I can not afford some new toys (to supplement the goodies my father gave me Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, more on that in a future post), but now I Can actually start DOING Things 😀

Say hello to the new “Operations Manager” of the “Newfoundland and Labrador Developers Cooperative”. Ima go pass-out, now.

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“DISCLAIMER” or “For those who need to be told the obvious…”

(Now a handy-dandy static page! Check there for updates)

It has been brought to my attention that some of my work is dangerous, like the ladder article and the scaffold article, as examples of two. My god. If you need to be told to be careful around ladders and scaffolds, then I think this page is for you. I intend to add to this post for immediate share to my audience, and will also make it a page for more consistent viewing under the main page header, along with other static information. I cannot begin to tell each of you how critical shop safety is, so please, please, don’t dismiss this piece as unnecessary. I’ve got the scars, as I’m sure many experienced woodworkers do, about how carelessness in the shop can cost you. Continue reading