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:


travel planning

Summer boldly announced its arrival here in the North East this week. While I have little desire to leave the naturally cool sanctuary that is my basement office/studio, my wanderlust is quite strong and thankfully isn’t fulfilled by distance traveled, but by new experiences.

Sometimes it’s simple enough to mix things up and break the routine to make it feel like an adventure. How? We try to find an alternate route to the grocery store or I’ll run one of my routes in the opposite direction from my general habit. The new perspective is refreshing.

At other times more needs to be done and we try for a Sunday adventure. There are tons of websites offering advice on road trips long and short– the internet has completely changed what is an off-beat attraction and how to get there. I love the integration of information and maps even if I do miss the hours spent sitting on the floor (or the bed) surrounded by messy piles of research materials and notes.

I don’t have a specific destination or trip in mind, but I’m having fun exploring and imagining the possibility of the new site Road Tripper. I wish I had thought to plan ahead and check a recent short excursion on the Weather Channel’s Trip Planner, bringing a sweater would have been nice. I still virtually turn to The New York Times Travel section and refer to various general travel books. For local events and things to do, I find that I’m turning often to the local Patch.

What resources and websites do you turn to for help planning your next adventure?

hi-tec-c love

I have a thing for pens. I have a thing for coloured pens. I have a thing for almost all things Japanese. I have been in love with the Pilot Hi-Tec-C since I first adopted one from a stationary store in Praha during the Summer of 2001. At the time I didn’t know where to find them here in the States. I forgot about Kinokuniya for a spell. Whenever E took a business trip abroad I would beg for a Hi-Tec-C if he could.

Today, I don’t have to worry at all. Not only is my favourite bookstore steps from my subway stop, the ever so awesome JetPens will deliver them to my door(man).

Pilot Hi-Tec-C collection Click the image to go to flickr to see it biggered. This is my shrinking Hi-Tec-C collection. Why is it shrinking if I love these pens so much? I’m trying to clean up my pen stash and I would love to buy a set to restart my collection. I have that pile of Signo Bits that Melanie sent me a while back as well as my own collection I need to use up as well. My pen drawer is full.

Why do I like the Hi-Tec-C? They write a very smooth line from the 0.5mm tip down to the 0.25mm. The pen feels good in my hand and my temperamental wrists do not quickly feel fatigue or cramping. I have been in love with the blue-black from the beginning; there is something about the colours that appeal to me. The ink doesn’t run out super fast, but runs out a little after I expect it to. I have three Coleto 2-up bodies which I like as well but don’t use as much because the body isn’t the same and causes me some frustration after holding and writing with it for a few hours and they seem to run out a bit faster than I find useful.

Kata emailed me the other day that JetPens was offering a free Hello Kitty Limited Edition Hi-Tec-C Pen if you were willing to write a review of the pen. I’m sad that I don’t have a better photo of my pen, the randomly selected Hello Kitty that perches atop my clear blue pen is purple which is just absolutely perfect for me and she and the pen make me very happy. I took about a trillion photos of it this morning and I just can’t figure out how to get the right angle of the pen cap, my camera, and some lighting. I’ll upload a photo of her when I can. So, is this a sponsored post? Did they influence me to write only good things about their company and the pen? NO. I love and respect the offerings JetPens has, and that they held a Penefit which I sadly couldn’t get my arse in gear for makes me all the happier to promote a great business that provides me with the pens I love without taking a very long flight or breaking the bank. That said, if Tokyu Hands started an online shop with English that shipped here, I’d not be able to save any money.

my work space each day

Desk 365.003In an effort to try to keep my desk clean, I decided to jump upon the 365 bandwagon.. but in my own way. (Confused as to what 365 is? It’s several things from what I’ve figured, try here, here, here, or here for examples.)

I’ve decided to photograph my workspace each day (baring 2-day yontif or other reasons causing this not to happen) and share it with the world. Why workspace and not desk? I am not always in my “office” all day every day. This is both good and bad, and well, in time, you’ll see what I mean. :)

My adventures may be found at this flickr stream and I will often put up multiple photos for each day, if I feel it’s warranted.

As I said, I’m doing 365 my way. Also, I don’t often have the luck and joy to sit outside and get work done, but when I can I’m really happy.

If I really wanted to embarrass myself I would do a “Couch 365” as it’s my flylady sink and I just can’t keep it clutter free for more than 5 minutes. *sigh*

striving toward a shared balance in format

When I was a child I was the secret keeper. Classmates would tell me things and I wouldn’t tell. Don’t ask me today what they said, I have no recollection. Maybe that’s why they told me?

But I don’t recall sharing a lot about me with them.

In College (11 years ago) I developed a small core of friends and we’d share lots of things about ourselves and our thoughts. Much of that is recorded in these journals.

At that time, the internet and its related possibilities entered my life and with a website, I could instantly share myself with the entire world.

I slowly dropped the journal writing and recording.

I never completely abandoned it and I’m slowly reinvesting my time and interest in it.

I don’t understand my desire to share with complete strangers as I do, but it is what it is. Paper is difficult to share cheaply on a large scale. Sharing by “Internet” has enabled me to forge new and wonderful friendships and relationships. I strive to find a balance of what I share and how I share it.

As I’ve written, I’ve begun to reduce my internet and computer time and reinvest in paper and pen. Overall, I’m trying to figure out what tools and methods work for me. Yet, today I feel the need to share how I’m sharing my stuff and some thoughts thereof:
… in no particular order …

  • I update here 3-4 times a week. I think it’s working for the most part. I’ll follow the schedule I’ve been doing for the past month or so: Mon=books; Wed=create; Thu=misc; Fri=Judaism.
  • I randomly add to my twitter account. I admit my fascination with this service/application/thing partially inspired today’s post. I don’t get why I keep updating it and checking it. (edited to add [thanks tamar] apparently here are my twitter stats. not sure how it’s useful, but there you go.)
  • I will figure out a way to balance my self-hosted photo gallery (currently out of date) and my flickr account.
  • I will figure out a way to balance my self-hosted library “catalogue” (woefully out of date) and reading list with shelfari (I haven’t really figured this one out), Good Reads (I’m actually copying my “reviews” here. I’d say this gets the most use, because I find the interface decent), Library Thing (I’m using this one currently only for books I own. I think. It doesn’t have much).
  • I still add projects to Ravelry though I’m trying not to play in the forums too much.
  • I will bow to my materialistic desires and update my wishlist and now that I can add items from any commerce site I worry about how long it will grow. *sigh* I’m really not that materialistic and there is little that I truly need (beyond more sleep and less caffeine)
  • I will try to find a balance and try not torture my 3 readers with my anguish as I try to figure it out.

In the coming weeks, I hope to revise my template and the layout here. It doesn’t quite do what I want and I’m growing tired of disliking it. Is there anything you particularly hate or like about things? Don’t worry, PG will have a role in it. Remember I’m not a “true” web designer but will tweak something to make me happy.