Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tesla Model 3 agreement seems to be out

I'm in. Who's with me? It's so refundable! Tesla Model 3 Reservation Agreement

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Split family vacation day 1: Flying with Shaw, and "Third wave" of coffee places

I'm in Santa Fe, NM, visiting my mom (Bubbe) with Shaw. Bubbe is so happy to have company. She's sprucing up her house, (re-stuccoed, new driveway) which is so smart to protect value. And she had a cleaner come, and detailed her care. I can't tell how nice it is to be in a house that doesn't have the feeling of being covered in pee and poo residue, with food seeming splattered wherever we look really closely.

Laura is with Ivy in on a road trip to friends in New York City and then the Northeast Kingdom in Northern VT. She took the 2009 Subaru Forester ca for break and fluid checks today, which made me so happy and safe feeling with them on the road.

Shaw was a star flying out for five hours! I'm working on helping my uncle find home nurses, catching up with work, and blogging in a cafe this morning for a precious hour. It's luscious.

I'm now at the communal table of Iconik Cafe. It's a "third wave" coffee joint, which I guess means the coffee is very wine like. Meaning, high quality, lots of back-story, solid origins, and expensive. $3.50 for a "Pour Over" cup. But I have to say, it's three times as good as a $1.25 cup of coffee!

Should I sell my never-used Canon Powershot G7 X for a Canon G9-X?

I've fallen for a new camera. I think. It happens every 10 minutes or so. This time it's the Canon Powershot G9 X (Review).

Coincidentally, I have in my possession, a never used, factory reconditioned,  Canon Powershot G7-X (review). See, Canon doesn't repair G7 X cameras, they replace the entire camera with a reconditioned one. My G7 X was under warranty when the lens cover slightly jammed and I sent it into the wonderful Canon factory repair folks. Now I've got a reconditioned one and I'm wondering what to do in that magic time before I use it for the first time.
I love the G7 X. It has a 1" sensor and the fast lens. But it's a tiny bit big for my crazy needs of carrying a camera, "as-long-as-I'm awake", usually on my belt in a hard shell case, or in my front pants pocket. The G9 X is the size of my beloved Canon S120, my current backup camera, but with the 1" sensor! The only thing I don't like is that the G9 X  has the microphones on the top of the camera, where dust can get in, and they don't face the subject talking. The S120 has the mics on the front.

Here is my G7 X on Ebay:

Here's an unboxing it. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Should I Reserve a Tesla Model 3?

I've been following Tesla Motors since their first car. The mission back then was to build some expensive electric cars that funded the R&D to learn how to make an affordable electric car. That car will be announced March 31st, and available to reserve for $1000.00 on during the event carried live at

Here's a blog post today about how to reserve a Tesla Model 3

We have two cars, a 2009 and 2002 Subaru Foresters. The 2009 has 70,000, is paid off. We bought it used with a loan we paid off in less then a year.

The 2002 has 220,000 miles and is on its last legs. We use it as a town car mostly. So, by the end of 2017, when the Model 3 is slated to appear, it will be time for a new car. And we certainly don't need TWO all wheel drive cars! Once little low gas mileage SUV is enough.

Now, I've always bought cars for cash, except for '09 we paid off quick, as my grandmother taught me that if you don't have the cash, you can't afford the car, and car loans are some of the worst in the world due to the declining value of new cars once you buy them.

We'll see what the details are in a couple of weeks on the Tesla Model 3 though! I want to be part of the revolution in mass market EVs that I think it will be a big part of kicking off. And I've made a little money on TSLA stock, so I'll use that for the $1000 down...I think...We'll see at the event.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Building a Kid's Loft Bed and First Room For Unde $100. AKA, DIY Hack Carpentry

I'm dreaming of my own room.
We only have one room for two kids to share for toys, a playspace and any private bedrooms. Our house is 1300 Sq Ft, with only three rooms upstairs, and a single bathroom.

I need my space man

Shaw was sleeping on the floor on a mattress while he was in the "learning how to use a real bed" stage, but with Ivy crawling around messing with his toys, something had to be done to get him his own space!

Bed's are too expensive

We started shopping for bunkbeds, but they are CRAZY EXPENSIVE! I grew up building things and my father and lots of folks in my community were carpenters and DIY "back-to-the-landers" so I figured I could hack together for much cheaper, and Shaw and Ivy would also benefit from seeing how to build things and save money. 

Goals, Parts, Plans, and Links. 

Are below.

Loft Bed Goals

  1. Safe
  2. Under $100.00 with very low waste wood.
  3. All lumber fit on or in a normal car (under 8 feet long)
  4. Simple tools only, a hand saw, drill gun, square, level, pencil, sandpaper.
  5. No fancy carpentry. 
  6. Both a bed, but not scary high up, and under the bed, a "room" with an anti-sibling door and wall. 
  7. Natural safe wood, with no stain or painting needed. 
Light activated night light down below. 
I got my own room. With a control center even!
I'm a big proponent of using old stuff as enrichment for kids. This metal wheel, computer keyboard, hing, keys, etc. was all "garbage" but he loves his "control center." Since birth Shaw's been crazy for any type of wheel's to turn.

 He loves his first door, with an inside anti-sibling latch. 
At last a reading and play space safe from the sister! 

Parts and Plans


  • Space 78” by 54” maximum outside
  • Mattress 74” x 38” x 09”  roughly. 


NOTE: I'm confirming this this week by measuring again, do your own confirming and sketchin on paper to make sure!

  • 100, 2.5” to 2.5” deck screws, self tapping, tightening with square drive.
  • 25, 1/4" screws for decking and rails.
  • 3, 2” x 6” x 8’. Supports for box frame with scrap for door.
  • 10, 2” x 4” x 8’ legs and rafters. (Try and get at least four pieces that are very straight and knottless with one pretty, non labeled, side for at least 59”)
  • ½" CDX rough plywood, PRECUT BY LUMBER YARD 40” by 78”.
  • 6, 1” x 3” x 8’. Railings. Thes can be 2 x 4"s

Cut List

At Lumber Yard. Having it cut at lumber yard saves hassle and makes a nice fit on top of car), keep scraps

  • ½” CDX rough plywood @ 40” x 78”

At home with a simple hand saw, or at the lumber yard.

  • 2” x 6” --- 2 @ 43” Side of main frame
  • 2” x 6” --- 2 @ 75” Ends of main frame
  • 2” x 4” --- 4 @ 59”. Remainder for bottom part of legs.
  • 2” x 4” --- 3 @ 37” Rafters for frame
  • 1” x 3” --- 4 @ ?
  • 1” x 3” --- 2 @ ?

Construction Photos

We started at the lumber yard. A fun activity any day!

$82.00.  Of course there was a second trip for some more screws and then an online order of handles.

Amazing screws they may nowadays! No drill needed, but they don't split wood, and they counter sink amazingly well, and even have a bit in each box.

Make sure to get 2 1/2" ones so you can sink them into the wood for a smooth surface, but also not have the point come out the other side of of the 3" thick 2x4s. 

It all fit on a normal car.

TIP: Get the plywood cut at the lumber yard, to size. It's only two quick cuts, with most yards will do for very cheap, or free. 

Bonding activity for sure.

Instead of 4"x4"s for the bed posts, I used 2x4s, with a short piece that the cross piece 2"x6"s can rest on to take the weight.

And the "slave" together the two 2 x4's.

And put the 2x6" accross.

Make sure everything is square and level at each step.

Simple 3/4" rough plywood on top.

Railing ended up being too low. But the extension I put on ended up being good because I can take it off in a few year if I want and still have a normal railing.

A first I used that white bed rail.

Then I build a rail extension.

With the 2x6" scrap I made a door simply by using slanted screws. They don't split the wood as easily like the old screws did, so this is possible to do.

Low waste.

I put on some handles at the end. He's wearing safety Goggles since were were using the drill gun. Starting good habits young.

Some Other Bunk and Loft Bed Plans


Pre-Made Bunks