Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mac Book Pro

The dog ate my computer. Not all of it, just the upper right corner of it, my once 13 inch monitor has been reduced to an eight inch screen. An eight inch screen would rock if the rest of the computer were maybe nine inches.

We have a new puppy, a little black pit bull, she's sweet, great with kids and good with other dogs. But puppies are puppies and the minute you turn your back they will ruin something expensive, it's their "thing" and I should have known better than to leave my laptop on a table.

So now I'm faced with a $300 dollar repair bill so I can actually see some of the VERY IMPORTANT things on the right side of the screen. It's ok with the internet, just make a tiny window (thanks dog) but with things like iTunes or any other non internet software I'm pretty much screwed. (F-You Dog)

Instead of getting it repaired the wheels started turning; my wife wanted to bring the dog into our home, so it's sort of her fault right? So for my horrible trials trying to shrink everything to fit my screen I think I deserve an upgrade as compensation.

So I want a Mac Book Pro, I want it shiny and chrome and fast. If I had a lawyer he'd totally file for replacement plus pain and suffering.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


So I love my car, LOVE, it's the most super fun car I've ever driven. So when my favorite shoe company starts making Mini inspired shoes I need them.

Then I find out that I can get a watch that looks like the Flava Flave speedometer in my car? Want it.
The problem is that I have something called a wife, who seems to have some sense of "taking thing too far".

This alleged "sense" has prevented me from executing some really great ideas; putting a Santa on the roof? "tacky", El Camino? "tacky", Bench seating in the dining room? "weird", Peter Fonda's easy rider jacket? "tacky". I'm with stupid t-shirt? "stupid". I guess she thinks she's helping.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cork Floor

When my wife and I bought our house it had nice (if a little soft) hardwood floors throughout, except for the room we spend 90% of our time in. The family room came with cheap berber that was already pretty old, because the room is a 70s era addition the carpet sits on top of a linoleum floor that sits on some plywood on top of a cement slab. We need new flooring in the room, not carpet or hardwood that doesn't match the rest of the house, so I started looking at bamboo and cork, fell in love with cork.

Once we decided on cork I started looking into installation and was pretty pleased. In our old house we installed 3/4 inch hardwood, pain-in-the-ass. I hate jobs that require me to rent tools, not just because it's expensive, but because I have to learn how to use it while the meter's running, stresses me out. The other drawback to hardwood is that most of your planks will be slightly warped and you will need to will them to conform to what we humans call "straight". There's also a tremendous amount of cutting to do, a lesson in margin of error.

Cork is pretty easy if everything I've read is true, snap together, adhere with mastic; the hardest part will be preparing and curing the plywood. The finishes are beautiful, cork wears better and looks more "organic" than hardwood, so I'm psyched to get started.

Check back in a few months and I'll have some results to post. I know it's not exactly materialism but I really want a shiny new floor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another pair of Tigers

I go through shoe phases, I'm way too lazy to switch things up so I wear the same type of shoe every day. I went through a long period of Merrells in the winter, Tevas in the summer, then there was a short lived Adidas Samba period, then back to Merrells. Then I bought a pair of Converse low tops, I used to wear the high tops when I was younger, turns out the low tops are a little more grown up. When I first put my All-Stars on they felt like the PF-Flyers I wore for my six month stint in public school, boxy, flat and totally unsupportive. Once they broke in my long Converse period began, until I got a pair of these Tigers. I hadn't worn Tigers since I started running in my 20s, then they changed to Asics and were strictly running with no side of style.

My new Tigers are awesome, they're low profile, (when you're small and skinny you don't want big shoes) comfortable and I can break into a run if I need to chase my dog or children. So I have a black pair but can't wear them with brown cords or khakis, so I guess I need the same shoe in olive.

I think I'll replace my stinky Tevas with my low top chucks this summer, switch it up a little. I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


So many times a day I see something beautiful, strange or just interesting and want to capture it. My iPhone actually takes a decent picture if I stand completely still, my 5 megapixel digital camera takes worse pictures than my phone and is even slower. Speed is very important when it comes to capturing things that are moving or if I'm moving when shooting.

I don't care that much about the advanced features of an SLR, I just want speed and a significant amount of zoom capabilities. Being able to adjust the aperture, flash and shutter speed will be fun to play with but really I just want something that shoots straight, reliably and fast. I want the camera equivalent of the Walther P9 Automatic that Bond carried.

I don't want to spend thousands on a camera, seriously I'd feel pretty stupid carrying around a three thousand dollar piece of equipment to take a picture of a neat bridge or some stuff some teenagers piled up under it to have somewhere to drink. That's the kind of stuff I like to shoot, things and people in slightly unusual settings or poses. I'd like to get the best one I can for under $800. The Nikon D40 fits my needs pretty well and is very affordable.

Pictures like this-

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Home Woodworking Shop

I'm a little tired of buying crappy furniture from Ikea only to be frustrated by the pictograph instructions and then further frustrated by the piece's inevitable wobbly decent into broken. I also know that my front porch is going to need some serious repairs this spring and I'm too cheap to hire someone.

I have 90% of the tools needed to have a functioning home woodworking shop, 90% of the know how for building things and 0.5% of the discipline to organize everything and keep it that way.

It would be great to have the wherewithal to simply build and finish the odd piece of furniture I need to fill gaps like that strange corner that could use a table but nothing fits, a t.v. stand that fits the size and aesthetic of our family room or even knowing that when I install new butcher block counters and fix the porch I'll have everything I need at hand.

So even though I could build myself a good work bench, install pegboard to hang tools, maybe a small lumber storage area and some storage cabinets I guess what I'm really after is the discipline to do it. When I work on a project around the house I always leave tools scattered around and forget to put them back with the rest of the tools; great when you go to hang a picture and find your hammer sitting on a bureau where you left it, but not so great when you go to the basement and can't find it because it's on said bureau.

Last night my wife discovered that the bathtub drain has been leaking and dripping down on the kitchen ceiling causing a pretty big hole when she drained the tub. Today I'll fix the plumbing, I keep all of my plumbing tools in a big orange bucket, with wrenches, putty and tape, so that's no problem. Tomorrow when I need to repair the ceiling I'll be scrambling for knives, saws, joint compound and one of the twenty or so boxes of dry wall screws I know I have around here somewhere. That's why I need a place to organize my tools and supplies but more so the basic knowledge that if I put it back it will be there when I need it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lego Architecture Series

Lego recently came out with a series of models of famous buildings that I would not only enjoy building but would actually display somewhere in my home. Having built countless Star Wars Lego ships and Indiana Jones vehicles for my sons it would be a nice change to build something for me and know it wouldn't end up taken apart to join the amorphous pile of bricks in the boy's room.

There are two series with different levels of difficulty; the Landmark series are tall buildings that have fewer pieces than the Architect series which features Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum. The Architect series is fairly expensive for Lego ($50-$100) so I'd have to choose the Guggenheim since I wouldn't buy both. Not to say that Fallingwater isn't an amazing home, its just that it's Lego doppelganger isn't as cool as the Guggenheim's.

In the Landmark series I've already built the Empire State Building, it was very easy but also a pretty cool looking model. I want to get the Space Needle next, that just looks cool. I like that the models aren't too literal, they more suggest the look of the building rather than try to create a detailed representation.


So yeah, I have blankets, I'm pretty sure I don't need to wear one though, I also have sweaters. The real reason for this post is Juan, a friend who is OBSESSED with Snuggies. Juan has one for himself, his wife and his cat, who is also named "Snuggie". This past Halloween/Breast Cancer season I saw this display at Walgreen's and thought "Now that's marketing!" and immediately sent a picture to my wife, who works in marketing, to show her how it's done.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rega P3 Turntable

I was doing a lot of work on my third floor this weekend when I found a box of old vinyl records. I instantly wished I had a turntable, I would have played albums while I worked. It's not that I don't have an iPod, or that any of the albums were so obscure they couldn't just be downloaded, I wanted to play some vinyl.

I wanted to take the records out of their album covers and dust covers, maybe look at the liner notes, then put them on the turntable and hear IT. It is that sound when the needle first hits the record, then there's the moment before the song begins that's supposed to be nothing but sounds like a quiet airplane hangar, then the music starts.

I suppose it seems like simple nostalgia and it might be. It's the media that I discovered music on, so yeah, call me nostalgic.. The memories of bringing the albums home and rushing upstairs to play them; music seemed so much more exciting and personal then. There's more to it though, there's the album art, the goofy notes on the liner, the label's logo spinning in the middle and the solid, tangible feel of a big record album.

I saw this turntable on line and thought it looked cool, it's the Rega P3, it comes in 24 color combinations and can be found for under $300