Sunday, September 29, 2013

Specimen Keyboard

My new specimen keyboard is all-consuming. Each key is going to have a specimen corresponding to the output letter. It was such a simple and compelling idea (similar to a periodic table composed of element specimens) but it is overtaxing my measuring and planning skills so I've had to redo loads of things.

 I measured my new keyboard and made a box that size. But that is not how containing works. So I took it out of its housing and used the grinder to make it smaller. Each key had a little silicone cup underneath it for a spring, and those all fell out, but I put them back. But when I was building a brace to hold all the cups in without the underside of the keyboard I got glue on the plastic sheets with circuits printed on them and it wouldn't scrape off and then the whole thing was broken. So I got a new keyboard and made a new wooden box.
Right now I am test fitting the keys. The test fitting stage is very long. I planned for the top to be removable for repairs, and so each dowel post is fastened to the keypad with a pinch of swimmer's earplug, but it is not holding very well so I think I will glue them down.

Here is how it handles so far:

wjee//////////////////////////////. taxtilke llllllleyboaes''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dala Horse Bed

I made a piece of furniture from scratch! I just went to home depot and got five 3x1x6es and some plywood pieces and sawed them all apart and screwed them together. When I took up floor sleeping I wanted to do it like in my special friend Japan, but really Americans cannot handle having bedding on the floor. I was looking on pinterest for how other people handle floor beds and I found that Montessori thought indicates floor beds for very young children (since they can crawl in and out, it mitigates their anxiety about bed) but American moms can't face putting their kid's mattress actually on the floor without comment, so there are headboard decals available. This shows that the child is well loved and well tended, but also shows the aforementioned anxiety.

I myself gave up mattresses in principle in 2005 when I was pushing a California King mattress up the front steps of my parents' victorian (also couches), and in practice when I finished college and got rid of my secretly mildewing mattress. I handled my transition to floor sleeping by doing my lying-on-the-floor-breathing-into-the-pain-in-my-back exercise before I went to sleep, and then doing it as I fell asleep. Now I am totally acclimated, but I do still feel the anxiety that Montessori moms display- the floor is not a sleeping surface! A functional adult does not floor sleep! I just ignored these feelings until an actual impetus arrived for building this little platform in the form of the return of fall, which made my nearly weatherproof yurt a really terrible floor sleeping location.

As soon as I realized my woodworking skills were poor enough that there was no way for me to do anything imaginative with the form, I got excited about painting it like a dala horse, which it somewhat resembled due to stockiness and what I thought would be four leggedness (see: woodworking skills). I had a plan involving gesso and diluting one ounce of cadmium red paint in two cups of varnish, but then in a super-exciting coincidence, Dawn had a GALLON of cadmium red. (If you aren't familiar with artists' paints, this is like going to someone's house and finding that the peanut butter they have is the half-crunchy roasted kind you prefer. Oh also a bathtubful, but that's not the part I was analogizing.)

As for the blue and white detailing, I spent a little bit of time on youtube despairing of my kurbits (Swedish folk painting) skills, but honestly I think this came out fine.

Monday, September 2, 2013

U Haul Training Course

At U Haul new employees have to do an online training course. My manager said I could do it on the clock if I don't have a computer at home, but most people do it at home and that's the best way to do it. That is exploiting, but because I was almost certain I was going to get to drive a truck, I said I would be happy to. I was tearing up at the thought and my heart was full. So I was indifferent to the particulars. But then the training course took 8 hours.

The exam question at the top of this post is something I was really asked. I got it wrong.