Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Another Clock to Tick

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Computing, Projects

For the last year or so we’ve been using a toddler alarm clock for Zachary. Since he can’t read time, a standard clock isn’t all that helpful. A toddler alarm clock uses a stop light (red/green) to indicate if you should be sleeping or awake. It’s pretty ingenious and it’s been somewhat successful.

I do have a few complaints though. The selection of clocks is pretty limited, it’s not exactly a market with a lot of options (and they tend to be expensive). I (of course) bought one off Woot when it became available (basically it’s this one). Honestly, it kind of stinks. It’s very hard to set the time (you need to press the button twice to set the alarm, but the buttons are polled from the chip, so you can only successfully double tap 1/4 of the time). It feels like a $1 clock with $3 of plastic.


As a UI/UX designer for the iPhone and iPad, I pretty much live and breathe iOS interfaces. Recently I was reading Matt Rix’s Blog, and I read his post on game makeovers and I had a few thoughts.

I’m going to offer my skills as a designer to those small iOS developers out there, but more on that in a bit, first my thoughts on Matt’s blog post…

His example is a game called MicroSquares, but I have no doubt that a good percentage of games in the App Store fall prey to the same issues. The fact is, Matt is a rarity when it comes to programmers. He understands the importance of UI and the skills to develop a good UI, but also the skills to implement it. Most developers only have the inkling of what makes a good UI.


Battling the headache

Posted: December 26, 2010 in General, House, Projects

For a very long time now, close to half of my life, I’ve battled headaches in one form or another. It seems as though each time I find a “cure” something new comes out of the woodwork to kick my ass.

Starting about three or four years ago I would start getting a muscle ache at the base of my skull which would quickly turn into a headache. I couldn’t seem to relieve the symptoms of these headaches, and occasionally they could even be debilitating enough to have me call out sick. Most of the time, these neck-based headaches would be present when I awoke in the morning, which lead me to believe that it had to do with my sleeping.

With that in mind, I tried a few different things, but my best find was a the Core CervAlign Pillow which made a noticeable improvement, although it wasn’t a solution. I think I get headaches every night when I sleep, but I don’t notice because they’re low-level, and gone by the time I wake up (usually).


I actually completed the living room & dining room a while ago (actually right before Christmas 2009), but I finally got around to taking the “after” photos that I’ve been meaning to take for a while now.

I didn’t keep track of expenses or time (I should have), but I figure there’s easily hundreds of hours invested in this. Mostly my own time, but my father helped out on a few things, and I had several friends over two years ago to help. This was a project that was huge, much, much larger than I had anticipated. I will never take on a project of this scope again.


Project Progress

Posted: May 24, 2010 in Automotive, Jeep, Projects

The last two weekends have been pretty productive. I finally took the time to properly wire up the accessories in the Jeep. My lights have been mounted on the roof rack for well over six years, but never wired. The air compressor has been mounted in the back for three years and not wired.


Our kitchen is pretty big, it’s one of the many things we love about our house. One of the issues, however, is that it feels like there is wasted space, especially considering that the counter space is pretty limited. It’s ironic that with such a large kitchen there is only about a 5’x4′ space to do food preparation.

When my parents were renovating the kitchen area of their house mansion they were getting rid of the butchers block that was there. We carted the butchers block home thinking it would make an excellent top to a center island.


Warming the hearth (part 1).

Posted: January 22, 2009 in Construction, Projects

One of the many reasons we bought our house was that even though it was 100+ years old, it had forced hot air (and air conditioning). All good, but I doubt they did any forced hot air systems back in the early 1900’s. So as you might imagine the system in our house has a few flaws. One of those flaws is the (future) baby’s room. For whatever reason, the baby’s room doesn’t have a vent to supply heat. The problem is that the room cools down when the door is closed (which I assume will happen often enough in the future).