A sturdy workbench

I acquired an excellent project bench on Craigslist yesterday. It’s perfect for finally assembling our home “Maker Space“.

It’s got a nice light, more outlets than I could imagine, even an ESD grounding wire for anti-static wrist straps. Perfect for some of the projects I have in mind.

Moving into our First Home

This last Friday we closed on our first home. We started looking for a house at the end of last November. Previous to that we lived in a nice little apartment, but that ended with an unpleasant maintenance issue that we tried and failed to resolve with our landlord and his HOA.

So, we moved in with my parents. We were so grateful to have a place to stay, and it worked out really well for us. My parents were not living here in their home for a big chunk of the time we were there, that made things really easy and we saved a lot on rent. I did not enjoy my much longer commute.

So, we searched all over Colorado Springs for a place to call home. God has blessed us with the resources to pay of a lot of debt and even start saving a little money over the last few years. We’ve always enjoyed the simplicity of not having a mortgage, and not having to worry about maintenance tasks or lawn upkeep. But the idea of having a little yard for the boys to go play in, and a place to put a sandbox for them, that sounded really nice.

We eventually found an amazing and unique place up in a little community called Palmer Lake, CO. It’s a beautiful mountain town 15 minutes away from work! The fact that we could afford this modest (by American standards) home was a real surprise. It’s a beautiful location, with amazing mountain views all around us and beautiful little pond nearby. We have a fenced in yard for the kids and a really cool park nearby.

It’s so exciting to get moved in and unload all our stuff from the storage POD. It is incredible to see just how much “stuff” we’ve accumulated again since we had kids immediately after losing it all in the fire 2.5 years ago. So now we are into a new home in a beautiful mountain setting. We are enjoying this new place immensely. It’s special, and I have a ton of geeky projects in mind for it now that I have the freedom to modify and hack this home all I want!

Long term testing results of some favorite clothing

I thought it would be a good time to follow up on this post from 2 years ago.

Wool Stocking Cap

Grade: A

Loved it. It shrunk drastically the first time it went through the wash, now it won’t fit on a baby. Kept me very warm on the top of Long’s Peak last fall.

Ibex Hooded Indie

Grade: C

Owned for 1.5 years. Worn out on the ends of the sleeves quickly. Loved it but a little disappointed on the durability. Probably too light-weight.

Darn Tough Merino Wool Crew Socks

Grade: A+

Still great. Haven’t seen any holes or flaws in any of them wear them for several day at a time. Never smell bad (let them air out overnight). I bought a couple more pairs because I lose socks sometimes.

Merrell Barefoot Style Shoes

Grade: C-

The ones I thought were appropriate to wear to work wore out very quickly. And the ones I have for running are fine, but I just don’t run that often compared to hiking, where I want a more durable and waterproof midtop boot.

Newer Purchases

For my outdoor adventures I wanted somethin like these Synthesis Mid GTX boots from La Sportiva. Yay for GoreTex liners! My feet were the perfect temperature all day on Longs Peak.

This last year I purchased general everyday leather boots The Niners from Woolrich. I had hoped these would be lifetime quality resoleable boots, they are very good. I replaced the laces with ironlaces right away, and the leather is a “Genuine Leather Product” from Horween. Which means it’s not full grain, but honestly they look nice, they are durable and the wear in a way that is very convincingly leather.

I wear these to work, and on the weekends, in every season. I added Green Superfeet insoles and gave them a coating of Sno-Seal before winter set in. I’ve worn these out in deep snow, while sledding with the kids, and on many long walks. They haven’t reached the 1 year mark even, but they are looking pretty good.

My Photography Organization Process

  • Import photos using Lightroom. Import into local Pictures/YYYY/MM directories
  • Rate and develop photos in Lightroom.
  • Drag finished photos or photos above 3 stars from last import into the ‘rated-for-albums’ publish location, then click Publish (only when on local network with diskstation)
    • diskstation runs the organize script on that folder every hour
    • puts photos in my DS PhotoStation albums
  • choose some of my favorite photos to be sent to flickr photostream for sharing
  • every month or two move all photos from local Pictures/YYYY directory onto an external harddrive.