Wednesday, December 5, 2012

spreadsheets and working out

at the beginning of 2011 i started tracking the number of days that i worked out in a spreadsheet. i also held a strict regimen of recording my weight on sundays. i'd record my weight before eating lunch, usually before my shower, so that i could eliminate any weight variances that occur between the different hours of the day.

in 2012 i decided to keep the habit of tracking each workout, however the 1/week weigh-ins weren't doing me much good, so i decided to weigh-in when i felt like it, and record when i did. as far as 2012 is concerned, i've recorded 47 weigh-ins. unknowingly i've just about kept up with one weigh-in per week, as i compose this blog in the 49th week of the year.

so far i've worked out 119 days this year. today is the 340th day of the year.
that's 35% of the days. my goal of 3 workouts each 7 day week would equal 42% of the days.

i'm still shy of my goal, but i'm showing improvement as my 2011 workout count was 73 days, leaving me at a measly 20%

in january 2012 my average weight was 189 lbs. between late october and current day my average weight is 179 lbs. that's roughly a 10 pound loss in 11 months! i have never considered myself obese, fat, overweight, or any of the likes, however i have wanted to shed a few lbs off the gut for longer than i care to admit.

i've also changed my eating habits over the course of the last two years. eating too much is the worst. almost every meal i sit down to i tell myself not to over eat. i wish i could tell you that i've never failed, but that'd be the greatest lie ever told. yet, for each time i'm successful, my waistline has a small win. i have not put my eating habits on a spreadsheet like my workouts and weight. i used an iphone app to log calories for a month, and i now have a much better gage of daily caloric intake which has greatly helped.

i've cycled through different workouts this year. i get bored with any workout after 2-3 months. in the beginning of the year i was doing lots of running.  then i moved to kettlebell workouts. after that i started bike riding. it's been long enough since i ran that now i'm getting back into it. i guess i've found what works for me, my personal amount of required variation.

i love getting outside on a beautiful day, running or riding through the priceless streets of san francisco. i notice houses, people, shops, parks, dogs on walks, things that i wouldn't normally see if i weren't out just to be out and break a sweat. but not every day in san francisco is beautiful.

i mentioned kettlebells earlier, and i can't rave enough about the wonders of kettlebell workouts. i bought a 30 lbs kbell, which is pretty middle of the road regarding weight for someone of my size/age. there are unlimited workout moves and routines that work muscles that you never knew you had. i've read blogs, sites, watched youtube videos, and shared notes with friends to amass the kettlebell repertoire that i have today. according to this calculation, my personal kettlebell workout burns 456 calories in a 25min session, and always guarantees sore muscles the next morning.

the three things about kettlebells that make this workout a favorite of mine are: 1.) cheap to start, just gotta buy one kettlebell, which cost about $2 per pound 2.) always a new routine/move available 3.) doesn't take much space to store, or when working out.

as i think about 2013, and the things i'd like to accomplish in the upcoming new year this lifestyle of eating and exercising are up on the top of the list. i feel great and i look, well, less bad than i would if these things weren't a part of my life.

Monday, December 3, 2012

making my own drinks

making kombucha
i love drinking.

most people say that same sentence, but they imply that they love drinking alcohol. i love drinking far more than just booze. not only do i love drinking drinks, but i love making them. again, i'm talking more than alcoholic drinks here.

my latest drink is kombucha, a fermented tea. it takes 2 weeks to make, and is a very similar process to brewing beer. the first week 1 gallon of kombucha ferments in a jar as a result of the s.c.o.b.y. (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).  i enjoy drinking this carbonated beverage in the evening after dinner, it satisfies any sweet craving as well as any soda craving. i've described the flavor to others as healthy ginger ale flavored. technically there may be a fraction of a percent of alcohol in this drink, but any drink with <0.5% alcohol is considered non-alcoholic.

speaking of alcohol i've brewed a few batches of beer recently, and have a few more batches in the queue to brew. i've brewed 1 gallon batches, which yields about 10 bottles of beer. as i don't drink beer daily, this is plenty for me to enjoy once in a while. i also can appreciate the flavors in beers that i drink. i'm planning to brew a 7 gallon batch with my dad when i visit for the holidays. he's been brewing since the 80's.

my second most recently acquired drink to make is soymilk. a friend came back from taiwan with a soymilk maker, and made fresh soymilk for us. i was hooked, and started shopping around for a soymilk maker of my own. fill your soymilk maker with soybeans and water. the devices heats and blends for about 45 minutes resulting with a deliciously warm and fresh soymilk (the last step is to strain the gritty bean residue, if that's your preference). i was searching the appliances section of craigslist for coffee paraphernalia and the most recent post in the category was a 'used once soymilk maker'. some fella's girlfriend bought it, used it once, and it took up kitchen space for a year. i took it off his hands for $40 (originally $120) and have made my fair share of soymilk. it's delicious when hot before bed, or cold in the morning, and of course i put some in my coffee when the bitterness needs a bit of balance.

the drink that i've been making myself for the longest is the purple smoothie. this has been breakfast on and off for the last few years. there's lots of effort (and produce) that goes into a smoothie. but the smoothies are healthy, filling, and delicious. i make them in in batches of 6-8 bottles, so i've got breakfast for a week. when i go too long without one i can tell, and i quickly get back on the purple smoothie wagon.

the drink that i drink the most, have spent the most time and money on, and am currently the most obsessed with is coffee. i greatly dislike coffee snobs, and i greatly dislike seeing the signs of myself slowly becoming one. i subscribe to seattle coffee gear on youtube, i get 6oz of beans delivered every two weeks via tonx, i have more brewing equipment than i know what to do with, and could easily spend $3000 on more brewing equipment in 10 minutes if given the change (or the money really).  i keep a notebook in the same drawer as my scale, and take notes on beans, ratios, grinds, and even water temperatures. i have a quick reference chart on the back of a cupboard door with grind to water ratios so i know exactly how many grams of coffee to water i'll need for an 1:18 ratio cup of joe. needless to say, i love my coffee.

i'm not sure what the next drink is that i'll acquire in my drink making repertoire, but i do know that drinking is something i enjoy. drink making can be quite a process, as with beer and kombucha it takes at least two weeks in order to benefit from the fruits of your labor. our palette is so refined that any human can taste the differences and deliciousness of different drinks. i'm thankful for that ability, and take advantage of it whenever i'm able to.

Friday, November 23, 2012

boy on a mission

when i first moved to sf, my least favorite neighborhood was the mission. a friend of mine who had been living in the city for one year described the mission as "dirty, but with good cheap food". and that's how it remained in my mind for quite a while.

one of the first times i came to the mission it was in hopes to meet up with some friends for after work drinks. i was driving. that's the first mistake i made, but more on that later. so i'm driving. scouring the place for a parking spot. just before a 4 way stop sign i pull to the right and start texting friends for an update. as i'm finishing my text i hear a horn beep, there's an old accord with two thugs in the car beeping me to get out of their way.

there's no other car on the road (besides parked cars), why don't these jerks go around me? instead they feel the need to gently nudge my car from the rear before reversing to then go around me. that's right these assholes intentionally bumped into my rear bumper. i caught a glimpse of them passing me, both with open corona bottles in hand, the passenger swigged his as they drove past my window. welcome to the mission sucka.

i was pissed off, but i found a spot and tried to buff the new rear bumper blemish with some spit and my thumb. no dice. what jerks.

the next time i found myself in the mission was about 2 months later. again, after work i was looking for parking in order to grab a drink and possibly dinner with some friends. on mission street heading southbound i saw an open spot on the other side of the street, so i signaled to turn left at the next light in order to get that spot.

the light turned green and i started to u turn. all of a sudden some jerk in a red civic turning right pulls way too far into the intersection and blocks my smooth u turn. he was on the street that intersects mission street, going the same direction as i wanted to go. so he was at a red light turning right, and i had a green light doing a u turn. and yes, i made sure that a u turn on this intersection was legal before going for it.

so there i am, cock blocked by an overly ambitious right from mr. civic. now my u turn has to be a 3 point turn, so i reverse up slightly and BAM. the mini van behind me connects with my rear bumper. fuck!

we both pull over and get out of the car. the short hispanic woman driving has 2-3 young children and a 12 year old boy who could almost pass for someone who speaks english. the boy tells me that his mom says it's my fault and they demand my insurance pay for the damage to their new minivan. they call for backup, i assume a grown up who can somewhat communicate in english. they repeatedly tell me that they were heading home from church and that they had babies in the car.

hours pass (more like 15mins) and my phone is telling me via sms that my friends are drinking and waiting for me. i get paper to write down my insurance and contact info, and show them that they need to give me theirs. i hand them the paper, and they take it. when i ask for their info they shake their heads. are you fucking kidding me? give me your info so we can move on with our lives!! but somehow they seemed to think that things worked differently.

in the real world, both insurance companies are informed and those companies decide who's at fault and who pays what. these guys thought that they could just call my insurance and miraculously my insurance would fix their car at no charge to them. that was my first clue that i was in for a fun time.

so i called the police.
me: "hey, hi. i just got into a fender bender here on mission street".
dispatch: "if nobody is hurt a police cruiser doesn't need to arrive. just swap insurance info and go on your way"
me: "yea, that's the thing. i gave them my info and they won't give me theirs, they only speak spanish"
dispatch: "we'll send a patrol car with a spanish speaker"

it's been like an hour. a few white mission-hipster-do-gooders who think they are bilingual stop to talk to me and the minivan driver and her entourage. one guy was extremely sympathetic to the woman, and started grilling me, making sure that i didn't have anything to drink and assuring that i didn't break any traffic rules. who the fuck is this guy? go home! mind your own business dude.

the cops show up and soon minivan lady's face turns pale. turns out our mini van lady is not a licensed driver. in fact, she has no id. it is very possible she is not a legal resident. i told the cops that i'm over it, i have been standing here for nearly 90mins and i'm ready to go home. my friends texted saying that they are paying the bill and going home.

soon the spanish speaking cop explains to the mini van lady the situation. if she were to file a claim with my insurance, they would have to first prove that she was a citizen. after that was done, then they'd want to see her driver's lic, and they'd find that she was an unlicensed driver. at which point simply driving without a license made the accident 100% her fault.

he explained to her (and her entourage)  that if i wanted, i could make her world a really painful one, but she should take advantage of the fact that i just wanted to forget the whole thing and go home. she should be very thankful to me, apologize, return the paper with the information i wrote down for her, and quickly go without causing me any more pain. he told her that i was being extremely kind to her. i could see the remorse in her face, she knew she was being a punk and she was caught. she also knew she was getting off the hook real easy here, the only thing to show for her negligence was a dent in the driver's side of her new minivan.

she put her tail between her legs, and got into the van passenger side. her entourage also loaded the van and one of the men drove the van back. the officer apologized to me as well. "i'm sorry that you had to stay out here so long, these guys should be really grateful that you are willing to just let them go. you know cool heads always prevail."

that line stuck with me, and it has proven to be a very very useful piece of advice. "cool heads always prevail"

not too much later i sold that car and it's cursed rear bumper.

fast forward to present day, i live in the mission, and love it. i've been here for 2 years and have my own parking spot for a whopping $50/month. i ride my bike or walk to anywhere in the mission, and still greatly enjoy drinks with friends at the local bars nearby.

those first two mission experiences were tough ones, and if i wasn't forced into giving the mission a few more tries i may have never set foot back in this amazing neighborhood.

i have also often times repeated to myself that "cool heads always prevail" during times of anger, stress, or frustration. it's on par with breathing deep, counting to ten, or whatever technique people use to cool off a hot head. so far i've prevailed when i do keep cool, that lesson was well worth a dent and 90mins of frustration.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


i started working for my current employer on the very first business day of 2006. one of the first things new hires do is sign a thousand papers, the next thing is learn all of the benefits. one benefit that stood out to me was the ability to volunteer for 2 hours every week during the 40 hour work week.

did i hear that right? skip out on 2 hours of work once a week to go volunteer, sign me up!

i intended to find a volunteer-ship that fit me as soon as possible. 5 years later it finally happened. i had been working from home for over a year and realized that it was regular for me to go a few days without seeing anyone in person. i needed to get out of the house, and i needed to spend time with people outside of my immediate friends.

i applied to help out tutoring at risk 17-21 year olds at an organization located a few blocks from my house. the plan was to help students who had dropped out of high school study for the g.e.d. test. the g.e.d. is the equivalent of a high school diploma. the test is cut into five sections: math, science, reading, writing, and social studies.

the first few interns (they are called interns in this program) i tutored were unsuccessful, and ended up dropping out of the program or quitting the g.e.d. portion. the fourth intern i worked with was the first to sign up and take a g.e.d. test. he passed 3 of the 5, and then his internship with the company ended. and i didn't hear from him after that.

my next intern had already completed 2 of the tests, math and science. i worked with him for a few months and 2 weeks after our last tutoring session he texted me a picture of his g.e.d. certificate. shortly after, the case manager of my other intern texted me saying that he also passed his g.e.d. tests. upon hearing about the success of others that i had a slight part in gave me an unexpected feeling of joy. it surprised me how stoked i was for these interns, and how good i felt about it.

it started with a selfish desire to skip out on work, but soon turned into a very rewarding experience learning about myself and working to help others. right now i'm not volunteering, and i miss it. hopefully there's someone who needs my help in the next batch of interns.

Friday, November 16, 2012

kings of rap

on audiokarma, a forum i frequent, someone started a thread asking members to list their first album ever purchased.

for the life of me, i couldn't remember what the first album i ever bought was. but i do remember the first recording i ever owned, kings of rap. the compilation came out in 1985, and i'm thinking that i either got it for my birthday in '85 or '86, it's hard to remember as i was 6-7 years old then.

i'm not sure that tape was the reason that i spent from the late 80's to the late 90's loving what was then called rap. but i did listen to the tape so much that towards the end of the casette's life audible sound quality loss was very apparent, some would describe the tape as stretching from being played too much. who knows i was probably 8years old by the time the tape was tossed.

but i still know these tracks. in fact, years later when the notorious b.i.g. sang "remember rappin' duke, da-ha da-ha, you never thought that hip hop would take it this far". nobody i knew had any idea what this line was about. I had been playing my kings of rap tape over and over, with rappin' duke as my very favorite of all ten tracks so i was right there with biggie.

i lived and breathed rap music through high school, which ended in the late 90's. at least once a week i'd go to the warehouse music store, since they had the best selection of used cds and didn't mind that i was under 17 years old buying cds with the parental advisory explicit lyrics sticker on the front. if i could, i'd tag along with mom on shopping errands with the hopes i could sneak into a different warehouse music store than the closest one to my house.

maybe i do have kings of rap to thank for my hip hop/rap education.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

egg in a bag

i watched master chef david chang make eggs in a bag on his new pbs show [5 min marker]. so i figured i'd give it a whirl. the premise is to not let the egg sit on the bottom of the pot. this is the smart man's poached egg, at 185 degrees per mr. chang. i did one egg for 11mins, the other egg for 14mins. you can tell in the last picture that the whites on one egg are firmer than the other since it had been cooked longer.

i used the egg atop my kimchi fried brown rice with chinese sausage. lots of yolk action and deliciousness happening in that little bowl.

Friday, September 21, 2012

seat leash

bike seat theft is a reality, and it's the biggest b*tch when it happens. i learned in grade school what's grosser than gross? jumping off the empire state building and landing on a bike with no seat! nostalgia or memory tactic to leash your bike seat. you make the call.

i have seen some diy seat leashes made from old bike chain. here's the ugliest one i've ever seen.

notice the bike chain is threaded through the bike frame and through the bike seat. there is no quick way to steal this seat, but that ol rusty chain is nasty.

here's one with the chain hidden inside a used innertube held together with zip ties.

looks better, but still too clunky for my new elegant bike. not to mention, adding weight to the bike is added weight you need to pull wherever you go.

so i hit the hardware store and bought a few things.

with the help of a broken chain tool and a hand crimper, i did some looping and pinching.

the last step was to use heat shrink to make it black and pretty, also this will help with corrosion prevention. i left a bit of slack so i'm able to raise my seat an inch or so if need be. who knows, maybe i'll hit another growth spurt?

i am aware that there is no way to fully secure your bike, and a quality pair of cable snips will cut right through this. however, this deterrent could be the difference between my seat and someone else's. i believe most bike theft happens to unlocked bikes, or easy to remove parts like quick releases.

new bike

july of 2010 i did something that i never thought i would have done, i bought a bicycle. at the time, only a few of my friends had bikes, and the main reason i sought out this bike was to help support my purple smoothie habit. see i would walk 5 blocks to the produce market, then walk back with 30lbs of produce.  i hated that walk, thus i made less purple smoothies. a bike with a basket would solve this issue so that's when i started shopping.

a few of my friends already had bikes, so i'd accompany them on rides once in a while. i rode to the gym (vs driving there) and realized that i got there in just as much time or less, and got front row parking all the time. i'd ride to bars at night, or restaurants to meet friends. there were no worries about parking, driving after drinking, or traffic.

slowly more of my friends began buying bikes, and eventually even my girlfriend bought a bike. weekends were slowly turning into excuses to get bikers together to ride. neighborhoods notorious for horrible parking were suddenly very accessible.

i found that i was riding much more than 1/week to the produce store located 5 blocks away. and during this riding i started noticing the limitations of my $35 bike. i took it to a shop, where an honest bike tech told me that i'd be throwing money away trying to get my current bike up to par, i mine as well start with something better. "your bike is basically a disposable bike" -honest tech

so i decided it was time to get a new bike.

i found a sexy 2002 bianchi pista.

it is basically everything that my old bike was not. this one is a single speed with a fixed gear, my old bike is a 10 speed. riding a fixed gear bike is a very different experience than riding a bike that has a freewheel. the first and most noticeable thing is the inability to coast on a fixed gear bike. having one of each now makes me appreciate both.

this bike is lightweight and agile. the tires are rated for 120psi, whereas my old bike's tires are rated at 65psi, almost double! the weight difference alone makes a huge difference in riding, especially up those infamous san francisco hills.

this bike frame is unlike my old bike frame, it is not a disposable bike. the frame is built to industry standards (it's also much newer as my old bike is from 1987) so swapping parts is easy.

having a new bike, and being already well versed in the sf bike routes has given me the ability to go on fun rides right out the gate. the day after i bought the bike i rode across town simply to buy a burrito, then rode back home to eat it. it was about 10 miles round trip, which is ironic since there are about 10 taquerias within a 5 block radius of my house, but i enjoyed every minute.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

update to lost phone woes

*see footnote
it has been very close to 1 month since i lost my iphone. i have had quite the character building experience. there have been unlimited instances where i'm sitting at a restaurant with 3 other people and each one is immersed in their phone, except me. they are either checking in, reading updates, playing games, or something that they have learned to do in the few minutes of downtime between ordering and the food arriving.
i sit and look at the wall, or people watch. sometimes i have enough time to get lost in thought, something that happens less and less these days due to the constant availability of smartphones. at first it was painful, but i have grown to appreciate the mini break.

i still have an ipad with 3g service, so if i'm on the go and need directions to a location, i can still access that. i also have the ability to email, send texts to other ios devices, check my social networks et al. the ipad is clunky though, so i don't pull it out when i'm in line at the coffee shop, or if i'm waiting for the bus.

there are a few things that i greatly miss about having an iphone -

photos: the iphone camera is the best point and shoot camera i've ever owned, not to mention the best video camera i've ever owned. taking pics, sending them to friends, blogs, social networks has been completely removed from my life.

music: my iphone was always loaded with the latest and greatest of my music library. i'd wear earbuds just to walk to the corner. i don't have the same habit with my ipod classic. it just isn't an extension of my body as the iphone was.

what could be the worst part about the whole situation is the fact that i still pay $87/month for verizon phone service. when i connected the blackberry to my line the rep told me that this smartphone requires a data plan, so my bill did not change. this kills me on a level of principle. i consume far less data, minutes, and sms messages simply because my device is so janky, yet i pay the same price as before. i plan to call back and beg to remove the data to this phone, as i've deemed it completely useless.

so what is my next move? i have no idea. buying an iphone 4 from verizon will run me $550. buying an iphone 5 will run me $750. the iphone5 will be in the public's hands tomorrow. this means that hopefully a slew of iphone 4 and 4s's will appear on craigslist and or ebay, as buying new is completely absurd. as of now iphone 4 on the used market is a bit over $200, and the 4s a bit over $300.

for now i will continue to enjoy the quiet downtimes that are normally used to stare at the small screen in my pocket, though i know that those days are numbered.

*the pic makes me happy, so that's why it is there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

lost phone woes

this past weekend i went to las vegas with some friends, and i lost my iphone. The phone wasn't even 1 yr old, and i lost it by leaving it in a private cabana at the pool. quite the pathetic way to lose a phone i know. but i left without it and never saw it again.

losing a phone is stressful, regretful, embarrassing, disheartening, and plenty of other negative feelings rolled into one.  this is especially true when the phone you lost is apple's most recent model iphone. to replace what i lost it would cost me $750. waiting over a year for my contract to expire so that i can re-sign a contract and buy a new iphone at the subsidized price of $299 is also rather painstaking.

but i've already complained these woes to anyone who will listen to me vent. close friends have offered condolences and shared with me times that they lost or destroyed their phones. it happens. one fried tried to brighten my day by telling me that he was just pooped on. but seeing my friends dragged down didn't lift my spirits this time.

what i have realized these past few days is how redundant my phone has become, without me knowing it. i own a mac mini desktop, a macbook notebook, and an ipad. i can send imessages to the 99% of my friends who own ios devices from my computer and ipad -so no real loss of text messages. i can use facetime or skype to talk with my girlfriend at night. i can even keep up with all of my ios games via my ipad.

surprisingly my online life hasn't really seen a hiccup due to the loss of my phone. the biggest loss for me so far is the upcoming hit to my bank account.

granted, i did feel a bit of phone loss while in transit from vegas to san francisco. the first thing i do when i have an idle 30 seconds is pull out my iphone and stare at it. checking twitter, facebook, some of the games i play, etc. i wasn't able to do that between the cab, airport, and bart ride home from vegas, and that's when i missed the phone the most. however, i did what i used to do pre-iphone days. i people watched! it was pretty refreshing and fun for a while.

now i'm sure that when the weekend comes, or when i actually leave my house i will be missing the ability to look up directions. will i have to start printing mapquest? i'll also miss the ability to text message people while on the go. sure i can send messages now, but that only works while i'm at home on my wifi network. what happens when i'm planning to meet a friend at some pre-determined location, things change so suddenly these days, we always say "text me when you get there" or something of the like. i don't have that ability right now so i could end up eating dinner alone.

in all it isn't so bad. and makes me wonder if having an iphone is worth it for me since i have an ipad? the two devices sync virtually everything anyhow. how would my life be using a phone that only does talk/text?

i am going to use mom's old blackberry for now, as there are a billion rumors published daily about the next greatest apple phone being released, so it makes sense for me to wait and see what happens with that before i take any action.

(the tiger pic up top was the image i used for my iphone lock screen wallpaper)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

that's sharp

since i can remember i've had a fascination with knifes.  i willingly joined cub scouts when i was in elementary school solely because i was promised that i'd be able to carry a knife. this was mom's way of teaching me knife safety. for a while, anytime i traveled somewhere i'd buy a knife as my souvenir. it's too bad i didn't keep that tradition, as my knife collection today would be vast and interesting to say the least.

so recently i've been learning how to sharpen knifes, like really sharpen them. i purchased an edge pro knock off and a sided strop block. the edge pro knock off comes with 4 stones of grit 180, 400, 800, and 1500. here's my setup.

i was able to use these tools to sharpen my current set of kitchen knifes, which were very well cared for and still had a decent edge on them. i wanted to challenge myself, could i put a sharp edge on any blade?

i found this hoffritz knife for sale at a local garage sale: $1 there were chips the size of the grand canyon, but i figured that if i completely screw up this knife then i have only lost the time that i've put into it.

this is after about an hour of grinding with the roughest stone. you can see that there's somewhat of an edge coming into vision, but those chips are still very prominent.

here is a close up via 10x magnification of the edge. there are some burrs on the edge, but you can see that i've practically carved a new edge on the blade.

the tip was also somewhat missing, so i took the stone to it in order get finer tip.

and after about 3 hours of stones, and 1 hour of strop i had a finished piece. look at that beautiful edge.

since i had to hog off so much material, the blade isn't 100% straight, from this angle you can see the slight wave. this doesn't affect anything, and will probably only be noticed by me.

the blade is very thin and flexible. i'm not putting much force on this at all.

so how sharp is it you ask? sharp enough to shave the hairs off of my left thumb digit that's how sharp! i left one hair for good measure.

here's my right thumb for reference of how much hair i shaved.

i'm still a novice behind the stones and strop, but learning is what i enjoy so having plenty to learn pleases me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the credenza part 10 - project complete

the next day we were rested, caffeinated, and ready to finish this thing up. this entry is by far the most pictures, with lots  of shots showing off how beautiful this piece has come together. the finish is fantastic, and the two woods work so well together along with the granite top.

we got right to it, hanging shelves was step number one. these strips of wood are screwed into the side of the ply walls.

hanging shelves is no easy feat, i wanted to have specific measurements between shelves. dad got caught picking his ear while i fiddled around with ideas of how to make sure that the shelves were level and to the right dimensions.

here's the bottom shelf hung. this shelf sits pretty flush with the bottom horizontal brace, just as i expected. i love the look of the lightly colored sapwood.

notice the hole in the shelf used for threading wires to the back. i always appreciate a good wiring job.

the second shelf is dropped in. thanks mom for taking a few pics while we worked.

the third shelf hung. the distance between shelves turned out not to be exactly what i wanted, but will work well anyhow. again, woodworking is improvising, so we had to improvise on exact design distances.

securing the top to the base was rather simple since we had all mounting points drilled and attached. we set the top on the base, drilled a few pilot holes, and screwed it in.

the granite fits like a glove! before we put the granite on, i weighed it with my bathroom scale. 65 lbs! i also weighed a single shelf, which clocked 15 lbs. then we roughly calculated that the entire credenza is about 200 lbs!!!!

and lastly, we put the doors back on. the hinges allow the doors to be easily removed and attached so this step took seconds. the hinges are also soft close, so there's no slamming of doors happening.

this is one solid piece of furniture. as we were putting this together dad was telling me that it would function as a bar pretty darn well. modifying the middle shelf to pull out even is an option down the road. who knows?! the only things i do know are that this is one heavy piece, and i'll be owning it for a long time.

the last step was to setup all of my dj gear. finally i get a look and feel of my ttt (turntable table).

i couldn't be happer with my credenza project. just look at how beautiful the wood is when the sun hits it.

i used a nifty iphone app to take this panoramic picture, showing the room and how the credenza fits in its current space.

i had a fantastic time from start to finish with this project. i can't thank my parents enough. dad and i spent hours talking, working, sweating, and having the time of our lives. mom put up with us talking about it to no end, finished every single piece, and helped with the odds and ends that dad and i needed (like dropping off the granite to get cut). and of course, they both took a short vacation to drive it over 500 miles so that i could have it in my home.

the credenza has a very high value for all of these reasons, but the time spent with my parents during this project is priceless and irreplaceable.