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Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
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Monthly Archives: October 2004
Here’s one of the reasons why I’ve been kind of missing from the blog recently…
Our master bedroom is tiny — 10 feet by 11.5. Our bedroom set has been around for a while — like, oh, 30 years or so. And it’s large, the proverbial “wall of oak”:
We’ve talked about a new set, but we’ve always decided there are other priorities. More and more, though, I was ready to do something. With Laurie headed up to Seattle on another trip, it seemed a good time to try to surprise her.
I didn’t quite make it — because of work and some other time issues, when she got back, it wasn’t quite done, but it was close. Over the last week, I finished it up, and today, with laurie’s help, we redid the bedroom, pulling out the old headboard, shampooing the (oh god, I shouldn’t have looked at what that pulled up) carpets, re-arranging things and putting in the new headboard I’ve built:
The headboard is made of African zebrawood, finished in danish out, framed in black-painted poplar, and upholstered in a hunter green upholstery. Total cost for building the headboard was between $600-700, and with the new side tables and lamps, the total project cost was about $900.
My first project that involved upholstering stuff, and I think it worked our pretty well. The new headboard only sits about 4″ out from the wall, which allowed us to rotate the bed 90 degrees, and relocate the chests together on one wall. The end result: a room that feels much roomier, there’s more room to walk around the bed (less kicking it as I try to crawl into bed without waking laurie up), and the wall that’s going to be the new closet is now unencumbered with furniture. Oh, and instead of two 50 watt heat lamps pointing straight down at your face, we have more lighting, and independently controllable lamps, so I can read while Laurie crashes. and if we want, we can
and — laurie likes it. And so do I. And it’s definitely not something you’re going to find at Levitz, that’s for sure.
Unlike Laurie’s new office secret project a couple of months ago, she knew something was going on, just not what (who else do you think I was asking where to find things like upholstery fabric? — for the record, the folks at Calico Corners rock. Very helpful with a relative newbie to all of this.
The fabric panels are plywood, backed with 2″ of high density foam and a layer of batting, and then everything was put together using pocket screws and my new kreg jig. Still to come: new chests (we have a set tentatively picked out), drapes on the window to replace the mini-blinds (or perhaps roman blinds, or something. anything but the “dorm” look), new carpets, and then paint. None of the interior has been painted since we moved in here (has it really been ten years?) and some of it needed it then — but we’ve been working more on the exterior and “bones” of the house (which is the smart thing to do, but it’s damn nice to see stuff being made nice again that you can see….)
Interesting project, with a number of new techniques. It also gives me some confidence both in the skills I’ll need for some upcoming projects (one reason I did this now was if I screwed it up, I could tear it apart and not worry about it — my next project modifed the house itself as I get going on the new fireplace facade), and that my workshop finally allows me to, well, work.
I’ve also spent the last month of weekends shutting down the front yard for the fall, cutting down all of the irises, trimming back the roses, and pulling all of the weeds (well, first round of weeds. In a couple of weeks, I’ll go out and roundup the stuff that comes up to try to slow down the damned bermuda grass) — and dropped 20 sacks of redwood bark as mulch. finished just in time for this first rain storm of the season. here’s hoping it stops again and gives me a couple of weeks to clean up the back and get the spring bulbs into containers… but even if not, it’s great doing my fall cleanup in, well, fall instead of February like I have the last couple of years.
Up front, the fall daisies are still going at it, the rhodie is doing a little blooming for some reason, the irises are in for one final round of blooms, and we still have some roses going at it, and the Dahlias haven’t given up, although they’re slowing down and getting ready for their winter sleep. So we will have some color, and will into November. And then it’ll all start up again sometime in January…. (those of you in snow country, just grimace quietly…)
nice to finally finish something up, and have it come out as planned, and really look good.
(yes, I’m an admitted HGTV Geek. And the inspiration for the headboard came from an episode of The Designer Guys, out of Toronto and HGTV Canada, and found on Discovery Home here in the States. And I have to admit — their new series, Design Rivals, simply isn’t as good. the original series was about design, and the two had a good, interesting chemistry because they didn’t see eye to eye on things. Design Rivals is more oriented towards playing up the rivalry, which many episodes comes across as false and forced, and the design aspects are stuck in as an afterthought; I can see why they did it, since the disagreements created the spark that made the first series interesting, but the implementation leaves a lot to be desired for me….)
Anil talks about problems within the blogosphere as it grows up…
And more or less asks the question “can’t we all get along?”
And the answer is, unfortunately, no. It wasn’t true for USENET way back when. Or mailing lists. or e-mail. or the Internet in general. And it’s not true for blogging, either, because, whether you like it or not, blogging, like all of that other stuff, is attached to real life, and physics wins.
When a technology is new, it’s generally used by a small group of people who generally have a like-minded attitude. But if a technology succeeds, its usage grows, and it starts attracting new users. This is good. But as the group of users grows, it loses that intimacy and cohesiveness, and people start using it who have their own ideas and agendas different than the originators.
It’s a genie you can’t put back n the bottle, nor should we try. The simple fact that “we are bloggers” doesn’t make us immune to the factors that affect us in real life — because we still live in the real world, too.
I look at it this way: it’s the difference between having a cup of coffee in your house with a few close friends and driving down to the local coffee shop (which may or may not be full of people you like or don’t like), or grabbing a cup at a baseball game in a stadium full of fans. We don’t expect the same kind of control over our environment at the coffee shop or the stadium that we have in our living room — so why do we keep expect that we can open up our virtual living room to strangers by making our technologies available, and assume somehow we’ll only attract those we are compatible with?
It wasn’t true 20 years ago on USENET, although we tried our damndest. And it’s not true now, and never will be true. So technologies and communities need to accept that up front and plan for it (and design for it), or else make a conscious choice to stay in that virtual living room. Because we’ve all seen what happens when a stadium full of people push into the living room demanding coffee now, dammit, and all we have is a single Mr. Coffee.
As you grow and reach out, you lose the ability to dictate the character of the community. This can be distressing at times, and stressful to the community, but it’s also a godsend, because it adds vitality and diversity and prevents the kind of inward/exclusionist mindset that communities that strongly dictate attitudes tend to get. And I dunno about you, but I’d rather put up with a little chaos than an environment that refuses to accept any…
Last week was going to be Opening night in San Jose. Except there’s no season.
I know some of my hockey friends are going crazy over the lockout. My attitude is different: life is busy, life is full. I refuse to sit at home like someone waiting for that last minute invite to the senior prom I know isn’t going to happen. Let the NHL and the players solve their problem, and then when they’re ready, I’ll decide if I care.
Until then, there’s our trip to Victoria (go Salsa!) in a few weeks, and perhaps we’ll wander up to Duncan and catch the Cowichan Valley team, too. And there’s AHL/CHL hockey popping up on various channels – but to be honest, I’m just not that motivated right now. And college hockey is gearing up, which is moer interesting. But Laurie and I are spending time getting stuff done, and catching up on our NetFlix backlog, and actually watching a few movies and things..
And I’m finding that right now, I don’t miss the NHL. Maybe if more fans felt like that, owners and players would pay more attention to the fans. But don’t hold your breath.
Eric Duhatschek has a great piece on some of the problems in NHL-referee-land.
I was, and continue to be, a supporter of the two referee system in the NHL. But the last year or two, since Van Hellemond came on board, it seemed to be in failing. Beyond that, referees I always felt were quality refs were getting crap assignments, missing the playoffs, etc, while others (Marc Joanette, for instance) that didn’t impress me seemed to be well regarded (I’ll give Joanette credit — he’s really improved since his early games, which were painful to watch).
I just finally wrote it off to not really watching the refs as critically as I used to. But maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t as wrong as it seemed.
This is going to be a tough nut to fix. the referees have a thankless job, and it’s been worse because of the general lack of backbone in supporting them by the league office. As tough as the ref’s job is, the job of their boss is worse, because he has to be that backbone. Van Hellemond could have been, but wasn’t — and it seems like there may have been other things going on as well, what with the “lend me $10 today for a hamburger” thing, and now the implications of favoritism to canadians over americans?
Just what the NHL needs. Of course, if they’re really looking for someone who’s sympathetic to both the issues the refs face and what the league needs as well, who has a decent feel for what a well-reffed game is, and is willing to both call refs on the carpet and stand up for them as needed, I’d stand for the job. But – I’d have two requirements to take it. First, referee disciplinary actions need to be made public, just like player ones are. and second, I need permission to publicize every time a coach or GM calls me to bitch about a call, and be able to post video showing why they were right (or mostly, wrong), so fans have more of a feel just what kind of pressure is applied to these guys.
Because really, coaches and GMs are united in only one thing, I think: they all want the reffing improved and the game cleaned up and obstruction and etc called — on all of the other teams.
their teams, of course, don’t DO that. all those calls are wrong.