Tag Archives: home

The Design Benefits of Sunken Conversation Pits – Core77

In addition to the tripping hazard, this one features a roaring fire waiting at the bottom, as well as a heavy piece of metal suspended directly overhead. I’m not saying there will definitely be an accident, but if there is, you will definitely post it on Vine.

Source: The Design Benefits of Sunken Conversation Pits – Core77

One of my favorite articles on design this year was this incredibly snarky look at conversation pits: a really bizarre fad in upscale homes from the 50s through the 70s.

Refrigerator Design Challenges

I’ve been going on a tear this week and converting most of the lighting in our house to LED lighting (I am going to write this up in detail later). There are a lot of reasons to change out bulbs to LEDs, and I’m going to talk about one of them here.

This is the stock light bulb in our GE refrigerator. While a little hard to see, it is stamped with 120V60W on the base. It’s an incandescent bulb and sits only a few inches off the top shelf. For reference, the easy bake ovens used a 100W incandescent.

We had noticed that dairy never survived on the top shelf. Eventually we noticed that was because within seconds of the door opening, we’ve got an oven on our top shelf. This is not really what you want inside a refrigerator.

This has now been replaced with a 7.5W led appliance bulb (effectively one of these, though a different brand I bought in home depot). For reference, I burnt myself removing the old bulb even though the door had only been opened for 15 seconds (that’s how fast it gets really hot). With the new bulb there is barely a discernible temperature difference between the top shelf vs. the rest of the fridge.

I do wonder if anyone at GE actually contemplated this issue before the product shipped, or if lighting thermals are the kind of thing that falls through the cracks.

Finished Refinishing

These cedar benches were built by my father a number of years ago, after we took down a bunch of trees on the property, including some 100 year old cedar trees. After 3 years of weathering their original finish had worn through. Based on the success I had with our the cherry bench in the spring, I went to town on these this week.

The one on the right is the state of the benches before being touched. The one on the left was after an hour with a belt sander. The cedar red color really jumped back out in the process.

This is a look at the benches after the final coat of poly was put on. They are still drying, so there is some artifacting that won’t be there once it hardens. I’m very curious how long the deep red heart wood is going to stay that color, or if it will orange like cedar does when exposed to air.

Home Owner Task: replace the iron filter

Today (well really yesterday) I learned that I really should have replaced our house iron filter some time ago.  It was on my list of things to do over the last 6 months, and I finally got around to it on Saturday.  It was one of those tasks that I’d never done before, so kept procrastinating on it, even though it only took 15 minutes.  The filter element, the part you replace, looked like a paint roller that was drenched with some of the russet sunset we had used in the kitchen. (sorry no pics, it was disposed of before I could think of it).

As soon as it was replaced we had at least twice the water pressure in the house.  I regenerated our water softener, and now our dishes are getting clean again, the shower up stairs has much more sane water pressure, and the tub faucet no longer has orange water come out of it when you first start it.  Yay for that.

A Tale of Two Freezers

The last thing you want to hear at midnight is “the icecream has turned to soup” when your wife wanders to the downstairs chest freezer to get some home made icecream out.  Granted, because it was boozy icecream, it was mostly a good early warning sign (everything else seemed frozen).  Given that I’ve got a bunch of remote temperature sensors that my computer collects data on, Susan put one in, and I figured we’d see what things looked like in the morning.

As you can see, the trend line was not going in the right direction.  8 am this morning we realized we needed a new freezer by the end of the day if we wanted the contents of the old one to survive.  We got it back to the house and installed by 10am.  Susan moved everything over at noon, and the old one is no longer a freezer.  So now we have an actual chest freezer again, and I’ve got a new project to figure out if the old one is fixable in any cost effective way.

Moving 1.2 Tera Bytes

Back of the envelope math is good to do.  I’m currently working to upgrade my raid array, but due to a lack of ports on the home server, I’m using a second box to build and initialize the new array.

1.2 Terrabytes / 100 Mbs network = 26 hours at theoretical peak performance.  I’m getting about 80% of peak, so just over 30 hours.  Ooof.