TV Stand

When we bought our LCD TV last Christmas, we temporarily placed it on an old piece of Ikea shelving we had, thinking we’d buy a nice stand for it. But that turned out to be impossible. We wanted the stand to fit most of our media equipment, including the stereo speakers. All were either too big, too small, but primarily: they weren’t deep enough. We wanted to ensure there was room for the laser disk player (we still have lots of movies on laser disk!), and it’s simply deeper than any mass produced tv stand can accommodate.

So: we decided to ask someone to build it for us. We spent a lot of time on the dimensions, which presented another problem. The unit ended up being a little too tall, no matter how much we changed things around. We gave all the dimensions and requirements to a local cabinet builder last spring, told him we weren’t in a big hurry, but then never heard from him again! (I knew it wouldn’t be his favourite project. He wanted to build us something beautiful, but every idea he had would add too many inches to the height – so we could only manage a fairly simple box with shelves.)

Stand Dimensions
Stand with media

By end of summer, I decided I would build it myself. How hard can it be? It’s just a stupid box with adjustable shelves. So I joined a wood working course offered at a high school, and dove into it. I made a test box first, getting as much help from the instructor as I could. That didn’t work out so well – none of the joints lined up correctly! The instructor, unfortunately, was less then ideal.

After getting lots and lots of advice from my brother, and telling him about the instructor, he decided to start attending the course with me. Whew!! Lucky me!! My brother has created the most incredible, beautiful cabinets. I had an expert helping me! He even helped me build the feet: by getting me to glue together leftover rectangular pieces of wood, and then putting it on the lathe to make it round. (He worked on the lathe himself – it was too much for me!)When it came out of the lathe, it came out as a long cylinder. Which we then cut up into feet.

TV STand Feet

Timing was perfect. I had interviews for my new job just as I was putting urethane on the stand! Personally, I think it’s a little ugly – but so what! I made it myself! (With Tony’s help, of course.)

The shelves are adjustable, but everything only just fits! Reid showed me a DVD player he’d love to get – I had to remind him it wouldn’t fit. It was more than 3 inches high. When I say it was built for our current equipment, it really was!

New TV Stand

Working again

My time off has come to an end as I start working again this week. I’ve been hired on contract, working at Bell. It’ll be nice to be working again (although, of course, being off was nice while it lasted.) I suppose I officially started on Tuesday this week, but I’ve had to wait for a few things to fall into place before I can be at work on site. I’m very excited about it — sounds like a fun project!

At present, Reid and I are both sole proprietors. A while back, we investigated incorporating, but decided the negatives outweighed the positives. However, I am required to incorporate to have this job, so we’ll look at that whole thing again. We’ve been getting better tax advice this time, and I think it really does make sense for us to incorporate together. We’ve been trying to decide on a name. It just seems too obvious: we’ll probably call it “T’nir Consulting”, likely dropping the apostrophe. I know it’s an odd name to most, but we’ve had tnir.org for so long, email address at tnir, etc. And Reid mentioned that tnir is officially on the old uucp network maps – so why not?!

If anyone out there has advice for incorporating, feel free to share it with us!

I think someone/something was waiting for my last project to be finished before I got this job. I was just finishing building a cabinet to hold our HD TV when I got the job. Building a TV stand sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Ya, well. It’s really just a box since I really don’t have woodworking experience to speak of. More on that another day.

Try again, retard

Michael has had to write a program for his computer class. Basically, it had to throw up a menu and ask the user how many items they would like to order. It would then calculate the amount owing, allow the user to enter the amount of money, and calculate the change (or amount still owing). Nice, simple program to introduce the students to *ahem* Turing. (Well, better than nothing, I suppose.)

He asked me to try out his program. The first input asked how many brownies I wanted. I entered 1.

For the next menu item, I entered 0.

Of course you can guess what I started doing for the rest of them. I gave him a look out of the corner of my eye. For the next I entered -1. He grumbled a bit. It took it.
For the next I entered 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999. It took that, too.
For the last, I entered “xiefjeis”. It crashed. That’s when his grumbling turned into very audible complaints…

Me: “You have to check for stuff like that”

Michael: “Why would anyone ever declare an integer, then???”

Me: “Input it as a string and make sure it’s a number. Then you can convert it to an integer.”

Michael: “You’d have to be a RETARD to enter something like that!!!!!”

Oh my god. How precious. I wish I had a recording. He doesn’t know anything about real users.

Reid came over to try Michael’s program. Michael had already changed it. When Reid tried to enter “-1”, the program output “Try again, retard.”

When it asked for the amount of money you were going to pay, Reid entered $4. Hah. Program crashed. I think Michael’s pissed at us now.

Where have all the pumpkins gone?

I went out yesterday morning (Monday), wanting to buy a pumpkin. But they’re all gone!!!! I drove to about 4 stores, and then this morning tried 2 more on the advice of some friends. Still, no pumpkins!! Gee, I don’t remember hearing about pumpkin shortages in years gone by. Ah well, will have to use my extra-cool iron pumpkin that I picked up one year at one of my favourite flea markets (out in Wasaga). I’ll post a picture of it at some point.

My sweet brother sent this url, in an attempt to make me feel better… ‘in case I didn’t get a real one’