mon, 13-jun-2011, 21:13
Rainbox over the dog yard

Rainbow over the dog yard

tags: rainbow  dog yard 
sun, 12-jun-2011, 12:35
Alaska Goldpanners, rainbow

Alaska Goldpanners, rainbow

Andrea and I went to see the Alaska Goldpanners again last night. As we were leaving the house, it started to lightly drizzle, and after the first inning of play, it started raining at the ballpark. We didn’t wind up staying for the whole game (the Goldpanners won 8—3): we left after our pitcher threw two wild pitches over the catcher to score two Anchorage Bucs runs because he couldn’t get a good grip on the wet ball.

For more than an inning, there was a spectacular triple rainbow. One of the great things about baseball: you never know what you're going to see, on and off the field!

If you’re in Fairbanks this summer, you owe it to yourself to come out to the ballpark at least once. It’s a cheap evening, is often a more interesting game than the brand of baseball you see in the Major Leagues, it’s great to be outside watching the next generation of baseball players, and the Goldpanners could really use the support. They had to drop out of the Alaska Baseball League this summer, and are playing an abbreviated season, but hopefully if they get enough fan support, they’ll play a full season next year. The link in the first paragraph takes you to the schedule.

Rainbow

I hope to see you at the ballpark!

thu, 26-may-2011, 19:01
Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong. photo by eugene

I was disappointed to hear that the government (and 60 Minutes) is now going after bicycling legend Lance Armstrong. Just like with Barry Bonds, confidential grand jury testimony is somehow available to the media, and our tax dollars are being wasted pursing former top athletes instead of actually trying to solve the problems facing our society.

Like cancer. Lance Armstrong is a cancer survivor, and through his LiveStrong foundation he’s raised over $400 million dollars for medical research to fight the disease. What’s the gain in taking him down now?

When asked how his belief in God helped him beat cancer, he replied:

Everyone should believe in something, and I believe in surgery, chemotherapy, and my doctors.

Yep. Science. Among other things, we use it to improve vision, repair broken bones, cure diseases, manufacture high tech bicycles, rebuild arms and legs, and, yes, improve our body’s ability to perform. I suppose the line between allowed (alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, Lasix eye surgery, artificial nutritional supplements, Tommy John surgery) and forbidden (marijuana, amphetamines, steroids, artificial limbs, blood doping) has to be drawn somewhere, but it all feels pretty arbitrary. And rarely does it seem like bringing down our heros (McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Pettitte, Clemens, and now Armstrong) is doing any of us any good for all the expense it costs us.

Note: Andy Pettitte was never one of my heroes, but he was the winningest pitcher of the 2000s, and, apparently, a steroid user.

wed, 25-may-2011, 20:00
Bob Geren, A’s

Bob Geren photo from rburtzel

Yesterday A’s closer Brian Fuentes said some unfortunate things about his manager (Bob Geren) in frustration over when he was sent out to pitch in relief yesterday. Here’s what A’s closer (2005—2008) Huston Street had to say about his former manager today:

My least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27.

Think about that for a minute. Ever encountered!? To quote my nephew, “Daaaang!” How can the A’s keep Geren around when he’s clearly despised by the players he’s managing?

June 9, 2011, Update: Geren fired! Bob Melvin hired as Interim Manager.

wed, 25-may-2011, 06:53
Standing desk

My standing desk, in use

These plans are for a two-level platform that sits on top of an existing desk to bring the height of the main surface to a comfortable standing height. My original desk is 28½” high, and the first platform raises this up 14¼” so the primary surface becomes 42¾” from the ground. This results in my forearms (I’m 6’ 3" tall) resting parallel to the ground when I’m typing at a keyboard. The second platform holds one or more LCD monitors at eye level and sits on top of the first.

The primary surface is ¾” birch plywood, wrapped with a thin strip of wood. This is supported by a frame of 1 x 4” rails and 1½” tapered legs. The rails and legs can be joined with mortise and tenon joints, dowels or pocket screws (I used 5/16” dowel pins, two in each side of the rails). The monitor stand is similar, but with 1 x 2” rails.

My standing desk is finished with several coats of amber and superblonde shellac, then waxed with a good paste wax.

The following is an SVG diagram showing the plans. If you’re having trouble viewing it in your browser (Internet Explorer and older browsers haven’t implemented the SVG standard), this entire post is available as a PDF file (919Kb).

Plans

Tools

I used a circular saw with a plywood cutting blade to cut the plywood tops and to rip the trim I used to wrap the edges of the plywood. The legs and rails were cut to length using a Millers Falls Langdon miter box, and I used a Henry Peace rip saw to taper the legs. The tapers were cleaned up with a Stanley #6 corregated sole hand plane. Dowels were located with a self-centering dowel jig and drilled with a power drill. I used Titebond III to glue the legs to the rails, and fastened the tops to the rails using small corner brackets.

Cut List

Count Dimensions Notes
1 ¾” x 30” x 60” birch plywood Main platform top
1 ¾” x 12” x 36” birch plywood Monitor platform top
4 1½” x 13½” hemlock, tapered Main legs
2 ¾” x 3½” x 49” hemlock Front and back rails
2 ¾” x 3½” x 21” hemlocks Side rails
4 1½” x 10” hemlock, tapered Second platform legs
2 ¾” x 2” x 27” hemlock Front and back rails
2 ¾” x 2” x 5” hemlock Side rails

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