stand simple

After first discussing the need a year ago and out of frustration doing something about it in February, I finally built a laptop stand last weekend.


The parts arrived sometime in March. Other high priority projects kept taking our time and the temporary solution was functional if not very attractive.

It features shelves for paper and notebooks, a routed channel for pens, and the bracket holds to various angles so I can adjust the screen height. I still need to add a few things for cable management, but it’s functional.

Is it perfect? No, it’s the first iteration, but it definitely beats the old solution. I’m already planning version two.

Update on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:50am. Several friends had asked for additional photos. Here are two. I’m amazed by the attention this project has received as I consider it a first draft. Once I work out some of the details, I will provide some instruction for building your own. :)



… end update

Yes, I did build it. There are a few things E did with my assistance because I’m still too small to easily do them. Two people working on the project does make it go faster. I’m also too impatient to deal with finishing so he did most of that, but I am the master sander.

I’ve been using power tools for over 30 years. Here’s proof:


starting, finishing, scheduling

First things first.

My kitchen and dining table currently look like this:
empty kitchen, 20080120 contents of kitchen

It’s being demolished tomorrow at 9:30. Life will be pretty interesting for the next week or so. At least we’ve avoided having to take off additional days for this by doing it tomorrow.

I’m rearranging the posting topic schedule for the next few weeks so perhaps I can keep some sanity and also make it easier.

Today (Sunday) will be about what I’ve read and any thoughts on writing I may have. This makes more sense as I read most of my books over shabbat and return them on Monday. This way I’ll have the books with me if I want them. The remainder of the revised schedule is at the bottom of this post.

I completed quite a few books this past week. Both in anticipation of the semester and because while feeling sick I didn’t want to do much more than that.

Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito
This is a very academic book and it’s been over a decade since I’ve looked at the three religions with that viewpoint. I’ve forgotten a good deal and much of it went over my head. However, I found each individual essay quite fascinating and I’d like to learn more about the role of women throughout history in the male-leader dominated religions.

Seed to Harvest by Octavia E Butler
Seed to Harvest is a compilation of the four Patternist novels arranged chronologically: Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay’s Ark, and Patternmaster. I didn’t bother (yet) to reread Pattnermaster, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I still think it’s my favourite book with Clay’s Ark the least favourite. It took me a while to get into Wild Seed but once I did I was hooked. I wish greatly that I had grabbed this first, instead of Patternmaster. It’s a fascinating series with interesting themes of gender, race, and power.

Next it was All McCaffrey All the time. I read quite a bit of Anne McCaffrey this past week and am quite frustrated to be out of her books on Sunday with the library closed tomorrow. ;)

First up was the “biography/scrapbook” by her son, Todd, Dragonholder which is written for a younger reader and gives snippets to his mother’s life. It was a fun quick read, but definitely not an intense biography of the sort that’s on my current reading list [Greenspan].

Next I grabbed the entire Harper’s Hall triology, more because all the books were sitting on the shelf and I knew that I’d be taking long hot baths each night. Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums are each part of this subseries to Pern. It was fun and if you find me talking obsessively about music in the coming days and weeks, I’m sorry. This sort of story does it to me. It’s a fun story with strong females and made my mandatory bathtime even more enjoyable. I definitely wish some days that I’d impressed a fire lizard.

Last of the completed reading this past week is Restoree. Honestly the cover turns me off. It looks like one of the romance novels my mom likes to read. Inside however, is a very different sort of tale and while there is a bit of romance, it is anything but. Some research now (I like to read books without being preprejudiced to the story) indicates this was her first published book and a response to how women were portrayed in SciFi. I agree with the reviews that it is very refreshing to read of a strong woman and this novel does not disappoint. I am saddened that it receives lesser attention than her other works and I’m happy I finally looked past the cover painting to the gem of a story inside.

– – –
Revised schedule, 20080120 (we’ll see how this goes)
Sunday – Books & Writing
Monday – Fibre/Create
Tues/Weds – Off (I have class and am running out of things to write)
Thurs – Tools/Work/Project Management
Friday – Jewish Learning
Saturday Evening – Food

settling in

I cooked shabbos dinner from the slow cooker as there is disagreement over the readiness of the new stove. As we’re dealing with gas, I’m rather cautious.

I’m lightly kicking myself for giving my mum the large unwieldy crock pot when we saw her last Sunday. It would have made last night’s dinner much easier. I made Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Olives, Tuna and String Cheese except that I could only fit in about half of a half of squash. I peeled the rest of that half and placed it on top. It turned out quite yummy and actually just the right amount for the two of us. E didn’t mind it, but I don’t think I’ll attempt it in my 1.5 quart slow cooker again. It was quite a tight fit. I’ll probably also use real mozzarella next time .. I don’t find string cheese “easier”.

Please let me torture you with a little more about the appliances. The fridge is a few inches wider and about the same height. The new space we have inside is remarkable, not to mention full of nice new compartments and shelves which we haven’t had before. I’m loving it. The stove is from Italy and is 24" I can’t talk much about it yet. I know that all the burners *do* indeed light and that they are completely sealed (which makes me really happy) as does the grid on top is pretty topple-proof (the covers on the old stove weren’t really for that stove and always fell into the well, it made cooking an adventure). The broiler is “waist high” and there is a window & a light. No more contortions to broil something and I’ll be able to see what’s doing without opening the oven every two seconds. The dishwasher is 18" which will give us the ability to have a corner cabinet on the bottom. Which will mean I will store pots and some pans there instead of in the upper corner cabinet.

We ordered the flooring tonight. I almost titled this post, “if it’s evening it must be a trip to Lowes/Home Depot” but as I didn’t set foot in either store on Friday … We’ll be installing a nice dark stone looking floor which should arrive in two weeks. I’ll loose the kitchen again soon, but I really don’t think it will be the disaster I once thought. We still haven’t figured out a new sink or counter top, but those seem trivial and easy at this point. Hopefully I’ll be this calm while the project really is in full swing. I hope so.

Have a good week!


new fridge new stove new dishwasher

(there’s a microwave too, but it’s OTR and needs to wait for the new cabinetry slated to arrive in mid-to-late-December)

one down, one to go

I’m still waiting for the phone company to show up. For two days we didn’t expect anyone to come (and they did). Last night (after some furniture move) we called specifically for someone to come. The apt is a disaster b/c of this anticipated visit and I’ve been more distracted than normal.

Thus, I finished my first sock. I was a bit worried that it would be too pointy, but it fits perfectly (maybe a ROW too small but that would be at most). I am thrilled and now even more completely addicted.

I will post photos when I have a pair. May this next one be easier. Now that I (mostly) know what i’m doing. :)