Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Here are some more of the tribal-style designs I’ve drawn over the years. I’ll add that you are free to use these as you will for personal use, but if you intend to make money off them, please give me my due. And if you actually get one of these tattooed on you, I want a picture!

 

 

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I just installed a new (old/ reclaimed) front door.

Front door after. Left swing inwards. We got this door in very rough shape from a neighbor for $40. After a lot of scraping, sanding, patching, wood putty/ bondo, and new paint, it looks natural in its new home!

Front door before. Right swing inwards.
Ugly old paint and lots of glass as a potential security risk.

I just finished installing my second hardwood floor, so I feel I have enough experience to tell, at least the beginner, how to do it.

  • First, prepare the sub-floor. This would include pulling out all nails or staples sticking up, sanding down uneven spots, and pulling off baseboards and trim.
  • Second: Lay out your boards in the general pattern that you want. This helps to visualize what the final floor will look like so you can plan out which boards to put where, which ones you need to cut, and to make sure you have enough to finish. Before you do this, lay down an underlayment layer to help with squeaks. Tar paper works for me.
  • Gather your tools: I would say that the most useful tool besides a hammer and nailset, or the specialty hammer you can rent, is a good chop saw. This way, you are guaranteed straight cuts that you can do fast.
  • Next, set the first row: You will need to measure the width of your boards, then take your measuring tape and take 5-7 measurements off the wall you are starting at. Then take a chalk line and snap a good clean line on the average of all your marks. Some old houses were built before they invented right angles, so if you just put the first row of boards flush with the wall, by the time you get across the room, you could be attaching the boards crooked, compared with the other three walls. So line up your first row on the chalk line and install it with brad-headed nails. Put them in at a 55* angle right above the tongue. Use a nailset to push them all the way flush so that the groove in the next board will fit perfectly. In the picture below, the nail in the back ground is set flush, and the nail in the fore ground show the correct angle.
  • Hammer and cut away! If you’re doing a room of considerable size, I would recommend spending the extra bucks to rent a floor installer hammer. This is a pneumatic or hand powered nail gun that will make things go much faster. When you cut boards for the side, remember that you can leave yourself a little space because you will most likely be installing quarter round trim to finish.
  • For the last board, you need to cut or chisel off the tongue so that it will fit. In some cases, you will need to use a table saw to rip the boards down to the correct width. Then use nails and your nailset to fasten them so that the holes will end up underneath the trim. For this particular room, I knew I wouldn’t have enough boards to cover the entire floor ( we bought the wood at a garage sale. 90 sq. ft. for $30) so I planned to build a window seat and built in bookshelves to take up the remaining space.

For the last few months, I’ve been able to provide input on a new website for our shop. I took about half the pictures and wrote some of the content. Check it out!

 

I do not usually condone beer…or lobsters, but this makes me laugh every time I look at it.

When we moved in to our new house, our new gravel driveway made shoveling a big chore. My big push shovel dug right in to the rocks and stuck fast. So I got creative and came up with a good solution for less than $30. I got two replacement lawnmower wheels, a threaded rod for the axle, and some copper pipe supports. Now I have a wheeled-shovel that glides right over the gravel. I adjusted the height so that there’s about an inch of clearance between the blade and the ground. Sure it leaves an inch of snow on the driveway, but that’s much better than struggling with rocks and spreading gravel all over the grass. Here’s some pics.

I recently wanted to buy myself some nice new ear plugs for the large holes in my ears. I planned on going to a piercing shop my friend owns and getting them from him. Even with a potential friends discount, I was expecting to pay $30.

But all of a sudden I was struck with an idea. Why not make your own? I have in fact made much of my own body jewelry in the past, and had many of the tools necessary for it. This time, I wanted some nice wood ones. Well, by making them myself, I made them much more personal and with special significance. You see, I had some chunks of wood that I picked up in Sherwood forest that I had been saving. Yeah, that Sherwood. These were pieces that I’d harvested from downed trees, not chopped out of any living one. The thing is, these trees were hundreds of years old. So I carefully planned out the cuts I was going to make, and using succesively finer grits of sandpaper, came away with some beautiful and rare jewelry that I will appreciate so much more than store bought ones. And they were free.

So next time you want to buy something, ask yourself: “Can I make this myself?” You will be glad you did.

Beautiful Awesome Universe

Posted: September 24, 2009 in Art, design, sci-fi, science, space opera
Tags: , ,

I just wanted to share my most recent favorite picture with you. This is the Orion Nebula as taken by the Hubble Telescope.

I found these Napa Valley wine crates at the Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper for $3.00 each. Then I got some thin oak and made wider shelves so our spices could fit. I just had to cut the oak to length, drill some holes, and cut in from the edges so that the shelves can twist in between the dowels. They’re just held in by tension, but it seems to work well so far.

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Just quit your job? Still at your job, but haven’t figured out what you’re going to do with the other 849 business cards that are stuffed in a desk drawer somewhere? Well I have a solution. Just take all those old business cards with your name and wrong/old phone numbers and e-mail on them and flip them over to the back. See? A brand new blank business card, ready for your creativity. Now you can name your job title as you really are, not what cubicle you sit in. (Dad, Adventurer) in my case.

So I had all these extra business cards that I still wanted to use, but I’m not with that company anymore. Easy, flip it over, search through the closets untill I find my old typsetting kit  from when I was eight, and BLAM! New business card. I threw in a shark and celtic knot for good measure, because I like both of them, and now that I am using the cards for myself, I don’t have to be quite as professional anymore. Here’s how they turned out. (I blocked my phone number because I’d rather not have people from teh intarnets calling me up all the time, no offense)

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When I tell people about how I made my own wallet to protect myself from arphid snoopers, they look at me like I’m crazy. When I say it has aluminum foil in it to block the signals, they know I’m crazy. Like tin-foil hat so the Government can’t hear my thoughts, crazy. And maybe, in a way, I am. Crazy like a FOX!

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RFID, or Arphid in lingua franca, stands for Radio Frequency Identification. They are tiny computer chips implanted in things like hotel key-cards, quick-fill gasoline keychains, ID badges, and easy-pay credit cards. This last one concerned me the most. Ever since I opened a new account a few years ago, my new credit card has the “convenient” Pay Pass option. When I go through a grocery store checkout, instead of going through the labor-intensive process of getting my card entirely out of my wallet, I an just hold my wallet up to the Arphid Reader on the register, and it will scan my card and read all the relevant information it needs. Bank account numbers, my name, date of birth, etc. Quick and easy. Great! Right?

Wrong! With a little know-how (easy to glean from teh intarnets these days), and some cheap hardware, any punk kid can make their own arphid scanner/cloner. These devices are usually about as big as a pack of cards and can easily fit into a pocket. With an antenna coiled in the palm of his hand, an arphid hacker could brush up next to you in a supermarket aisle, and walk away with all your bank account and credit card numbers. You would not feel them touch you, they would just need to be close (2-4 inches). The arphid chips themselves do not actively transmit your vital information at all times, and do not have their own internal power source, but when in close proximity to a reader, they will transmit all they know to whoever just gave them a little wireless elbow in the ribs.

So what can you do about it? Do what I did. Make a radio frequency proof wallet. At first, I didn’t believe that the whole tinfoil thing would work. I mean, I read it on the internet. Home to crazy conspiracy theorist who where tinfoil hats. But I found a site with simple instructions, and more importantly, a way to test it. When you’re all done, slip you cell phone into the dollar section of the wallet and watch as the signal strength drops to zero. Close the wallet completely with your phone inside and get someone else to call it. It shouldn’t ring.* ( the very first time I tried this, my phone rang, and I was mightily disappointed. I made sure the flaps were closed, waited 15 seconds or so, and tried again. No ring.) But the best way to test it is out in the real world. I went to Wegman’s and brought a pack of gum up to the register. When it was time to pay, I said, “Here goes!” and held my closed wallet right up to the arphid reader. Nothing. I flipped it over and tried again. Nothing. I pumped my arm in the air and said, “Yes!” while the cashier just looked at me funny. Why was I happy about my card not working? Still holding my wallet up to the reader, I pulled up my credit card from the little pocket. As soon as it cleared the top of the wallet, the reader picked it up and the transaction went through. Whoo hoo!

So make sure that you protect your privacy by covering your Arphid devices so no one can steal your precious information (and maybe even your money!) You’re welcome.

Related to my previous post…

This is the putter I want. It looks like a spaceship, and being a sci-fi fan, I want it. It’s an Odyssey White Hot XG Teron. I put very well with it…in the store.

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These are a few more of the tribal style tattoos I’ve designed over the years. If you decide to get a tattoo based on one of my designs, I’d love to know…and see some pictures. Thanks!

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I just got done putting these up:

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