Racing Through Paris
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:56 pm)

Unfortunately, no French persons were harmed in the making of this film—although he almost takes out a flock of pigeons.

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Nice Screwdriver
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:35 pm)

I want one of these: a yankee screwdriver—made in England.

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Finishing the Basement
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:18 pm)

Well, it's not real a basement—it's all above-ground, but it is the lesser-used downstairs of my house. And yes, it's still unfinished. But I think I have a good plan now that I'm mostly happy with. With some help from The Gimp and Chief Architect (the company I work for), I sketched up a copy of my downstairs and lightened the existing construction so you can easily see what needs to be done.

You may view the master plan here.

I know the bathroom's a little narrow (the upper part of the bathroom is the built-in shower), I want to do ceiling-mounted showerheads instead of the wall-mounted type. The one thing I don't like is there's no room for a tub. But then again, I despise tub-shower combination units.

Also, the Library plan is just some ideas. The right-hand wall will have a pellet stove with a mantle around it. The rest of the walls will have built-in shelving. I've been toying with the idea of building a fishtank in the wall between the bedroom and the Library, with shutters on the bedroom side for privacy. That would require splitting that nearly 10 foot long closet into two smaller closets, but it may be worth it. The Library will have shelves going around the room continuously (the corners in my plan don't reflect that—I couldn't get the symbols right).

I also totally want to build a secret panel behind a bookcase with access to the area under the stair landing towards the bottom-left of the plan.

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Phone Hack
Posted in Tech
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:05 pm)

Today I tore apart an old handset from a phone and de-soldered the speaker wires, then attached them to a 1/8" stereo jack, then plugged that in to our sound system so we could have big volume on a conference call. It worked great, until we took the phone module down because I hadn't grounded it. That was funny. I hacked a ground out of a short piece of cat-5 cable, and wrapped it around the metal switch that raises and lowers the podium, it worked great.

Except we never ended up using it—the speakerphone volume was loud enough, and although the volume was loud on the hacked version, the person on the other line couldn't hear anything you say, even into the handset. I don't know why, but figured as an "announcement" hack, I didn't need to spend the time on it.

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