Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

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Thanksgiving Table

The dining room table all set for Thanksgiving dinner… seating twelve.

Thanksgiving Table

(Lori had to make the table cloth because we couldn’t find one long enough.)

Another headboard!

This time, Lori made the headboard for the queen-sized bed in one of the guest bedrooms, which we call “The Apathy Room” for reasons that will not be covered here. Lori had a style in mind from the get-go, a couple old curtains that we weren’t going to use again, and a desire to make something that was not absurdly heavy (since we had to eventually carry it upstairs).

She decided to use 2″ insulating foam board from Lowes as the main structural piece, so she used a hot knife to cut the curved shape. Then she took the curtains in question and sewed them together to form one big piece of cloth, making sure to get the seam to line up perfectly with the lines on the curtains. She also glued some boards to the back of the foam so that we’d have something to attach to the bed frame and so she’d have somewhere to staple the fabric when she was doing the upholstering.

Here’s what it looks like from the front and back…

Apathy room headboard front Apathy room headboard back

After getting it all set up and finishing up the room just in time for my Mother-in-law to come visit, here’s the final product!

Apathy Room

(I think this is a good time to note that we still have no headboard on our bed in our bedroom.)

Dining Room Table Base

I’m in the process of building our new dining room table. The dining room is pretty long, so Lori wanted a table that was about 12 feet long. It’s tough to come by those (at a price that is budget-friendly), so I decided to make one.

I looked at a lot of different plans and designs. None were exactly what I was looking for (or what I needed), so what I came up with was a hybrid. The one that was the “foundational” design, more or less, was this table on Ana White’s website. Because my table was going to be quite a bit longer, I put an extra leg in the center. I changed a few other details as well.

The base is assembled with a combination of dowels, glue, wood screws, and pocket screws. I used lumber from Lowe’s and added some decorative edges with my router so it won’t look quite so “Farmhouse” style. The base itself is 9 feet and 7 inches long and about 31 inches wide.

The table top will be 11 feet and 11 inches long (roughly) and 35 inches wide. I’ll be edge gluing 7 12-foot 2×6’s together to get (I hope) a nice, smooth surface, and then staining it a dark brown. The base will be painted white.

The table should be able to seat 14 people without much crowding… 12 people with plenty of elbow room.

Dining Room Table Base

Snowy House

Sunday after the big weekend blizzard.

Snowy House

Ummm… Nice to meet you?

Just had an interesting visit from an older gentleman (probably in his seventies). He was driving by very slowly (which is really common with our construction project looking the way it does) and I was sitting in the garage, so I waved. He stopped, backed up, and pulled into the driveway.

I walked over and he told me he used to know someone who worked at our construction company. I confirmed who it was and said I’d pass along a hello. Then the conversation started to range all over… mostly from his side.

It went from…

  • This is quite a project. People are generally building smaller these days, not bigger.
  • It seems a shame to do this to a 1950/1960 rancher (ours was built in 1977).
  • His brother put an under-powered heating system in his home.
  • He just bought his first house last year and it’s very small.
  • The soil at his house is all clay and all the trees he planted died.
  • The roads these days are paved wrong.
  • There’s an oddly placed stop sign where he lives.

Then is started to get odd (odder?). I can’t remember the segue (if there, indeed, actually WAS one), but it went something like…

  • We just passed the mark where more of our cars are built in China than in the USA.
  • We also passed the mark where more music is downloaded than bought on CD.
  • The number of Christians in the US is decreasing more rapidly.
  • It won’t be long before God takes his blessing away from this country.

Then he said, gesturing at the house, “You’ll probably only get ten to twenty years out of this house.” Expecting some sort of “end times” religious reason (and kind of looking forward to it), I asked, “Why’s that?”.

He replied, “That’s when the Russian missiles will be coming.”

Ummm…

Ummmm... What?Then he went on about how we lost our chance to be friends with the Russians a couple decades ago and how they have three times more missiles now than they did five years ago, all trained on the USA. But we did sell them special weapons that fire rubber bullets for crowd control and they were appreciative of that.

That seemed as good a place as any to acknowledge the conversational dead-end that had just occurred, so I politely told him I’d pass along a hello to our builder and wished him a fantastic weekend. We shook hands and off he went.

And I thought, “Crap. It’s probably too late to build an underground bunker here.”

Undeterred by the mayhem

These two bright, cheerful guys were poking out of the dirt today. They were a delightful splash of color in our mud world!

Spring flower! Spring flower!

First snow in our new place

The day before Thanksgiving, we got blanketed with the first snow since our move. I thought I’d capture it on camera because it certainly won’t look this way when it snows next year!

First snow in our new place

Roasted Red Peppers…

…stuffed with onions, bacon, cheese, and some sourdough break cubes, then roasted in a small foil pan covered with foil on my Holland Grill. This tasted phenomenal! It turned out way better than I expected.

Roasted red peppers stuffed with bacon, cheese, and onions

Of all the things to complain about…

Diner PlacematLori and I went to a diner in York yesterday that neither of us had been to, but has been around for upwards of 20 years, I think. The decor was in the classic “70’s American Truck stop” style with potted plastic plants hanging from macramé holders, hanging lights of yellowed glass, and paper placemats covered with ads for local businesses. The wait staff was mostly comprised of retirement-age women who had seemingly lost the ability to smile or to speak with any kind of inflection. The food was average; not bad, not great. I wondered how a place like this could stay in business for as long as it has.

Looking around at the other patrons, I noticed that the average age was probably somewhere between 70 – 90 and, like the wait staff, the clientele was comprised of folks who were unsmiling and joyless.

What made the visit noteworthy for me, however, despite all this bland and lifeless mediocrity, was an elderly couple who came in and sat in a booth next to us. The man was wearing a polo shirt, shorts, and sneakers… with the classic calf-length black socks. He seemed to be particularly grumpy and after looking over the menu, he put it aside and started perusing the ad-covered placemat. After about 20-30 seconds of that, he said to his wife, “I wish they’d get new placemats in here.”

I think the guy may have been in a rut.

xkcd: Free Speech… nails it.

xkcd: Free Speech

xkcd: Free Speech

The alt text for the image reads:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.