So Tomorrow Came and Went

And this was all I got done…

They needed to be filled, sanded and painted.

But oddly enough I just didn’t feel like spending the weekend wearing a mask.

So here’s where they’ll sit
While the days, they will pass by
And I breath easy

Water on the Smoke

I was burning some mesquite but I built the two fires in the in the side smoker/grill, and turned on the gas burners to cure the grill after a second soak of Canola oil.

It hasn’t rained in about ten weeks but here it is, our April Shower!

Sound up to hear nature sizzlin.

Upgrade for a Cheap Desk

A little less than a year ago, Tammy’s workplace started setting up almost all of their staff so they could work from home

We didn’t have a home office workspace for her at the time so we ran out and bought a small, cheap desk and put it in the master bedroom.

She brought home a small form factor HP CPU, two monitors, mouse, keyboard, and headset. As you can see the desk is a bit small for all of that plus a notepad, drinks and snacks. Additionally, @ 31″ in height, the top of the desk was a bit too high for Tammy to comfortably use a mouse and keyboard. Essentially her feet didn’t touch the ground if she adjusted her chair to a comfortable height for the keyboard and mouse.

Tammy finally found a keyboard/mouse tray attachment she liked, It’s adjustable so she can stand or sit and it frees up a tone of space on the desktop for more snacks and tchotchkes.

This thing is massive and weighs over 20lbs. It’s actually designed to mount directly under the desktop.

However that couldn’t be done with Tammy’s desk, it had to be mounted almost 4″ lower than the desktop. Fortunately with its range of motion it is still high enough for Tammy to stand while using it.
The desk is only 20″ in depth but the mount for the tray is 24″ and the wood screws they included for mounting it would have blown through the bottom shelf of the desk so I added a 1/4″ thick layer of MDF and a 3/4″ oak extension to the back of the desk so the full length of the mounting bracket was covered.
Even with the 4″ extension the arm would slide another three inches past it to fully retract the keyboard tray so I had to add a stop to it to keep it from banging into the wall.

It took about an hour to get it mounted and put back together this morning but she likes it so far. We’ll see on Monday when she has to work at it all day on Monday.

Floating in Spiced Wine

Yesterday, Saturday morning, Tammy asked me to make a “Floating Frame” for one of her 36″x 48″ x 3/4″ paintings. I made the frame so the painting would have a strong 1/8″ border to float in and would be recessed by about the same.

I bought more 8 foot lengths of the 2-1/2″ x 3/4″ primed white stock.

Then I fired up my Bonamassa Pandora station and got busy.

I ripped some of it in half for the inner frame and mounted it an inch back from the front of the frame using glue and 1-1/8′ brads.

I drilled some over-sized holes through the frame and ran some 1-1/4″ screws from the back into the frame of the canvas.
So here is Oh in its new “Spiced Wine” floating frame:

"Oh" mounted in a floating frame

I’ll hang it tomorrow, it’s Miller time.

Ok, so it was a week later but it’s hung now.

Time for an Old Smoker!

I should have done a better job of maintaining my side-smoker/grill

An hour with the $6 wire brush in a high speed drill.Forney 72732 Wire Cup Brush, Fine Crimped with 1/4-Inch Hex Shank, 3-Inch-by-.008-Inch

Five minutes with $1.53 can of spray Spray Canola Oil

I bought a can of high temp black paint but I’m not sure I want to use it.
I’m hoping I won’t need it. I just need to do a better job maintaining it.

Spring Break Brisket!

I couldn’t get away so I decided to spend a day cooking. I bought a 20lb brisket.

Spring Break Brisket

I trimmed it, made a simple rub, and started a slow burn in my side smoker with Kingsford original briquettes and a few chunks of Hickory. I put it in the smoker at midnight.

Spring Break Brisket

About 7 1/2 hours later I pulled it, wrapped it in parchment paper, and put it back in the smoker. I need to get some real butcher paper for this.

At 13 hours it finally hit 205 degrees so I pulled it out of the smoker and put it in my big cooler

Spring Break Brisket

An hour later it was a jiggling, juicy mass on my cutting board…

Spring Break Brisket

Damaged Dresser – Continued

At the thirty day mark Hobedah finally decided to just send a whole new unit. It  arrived about a week later and it has a completely different color and finish from the original. The top also has a chip in one corner.

I was tempted to pack it all up, both units, and drop it all off at Walmart for a refund but I decided I could patch the chip in the top and I still really needed a new dresser. After about four hours of assembly I wish I had gone for the refund. The pressed wood they are made out of is really dry, brittle and course (porous). Several of the holes for the dowels were too shallow and I blew out one of the sides before I realized what was wrong. Fortunately I was able to glue it back in pretty cleanly.

The drawers are much smaller than they should be. Their is a strong 3 inches of wasted space at the back of each drawer making the cabinet far more prone to tipping forward. Each drawer is also very shallow vertically. Overall it will hold far less than it could. At least a third of the cabinet’s inner space is wasted space.

I really wish now that I had followed my initial instinct and returned it for a refund the day it arrived.

I won’t be keeping the original one. I’ve started repairing the damaged parts and will put it together as I find the time. Once it’s done I’ll probably donate it to Goodwill.

New Dresser

As you can see the top two drawers don’t line up correctly and even overlap if you switch them from one side to the other. Nothing in the direction state that they are anything but identical.

New Dresser

Adding insult to injury the handles are made of a really cheap, soft plastic. They likely won’t last more than a few months.

I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot considering the price but I also wasn’t expecting the train wrecks that I ended up with.

I cannot recommend any of Hobedah’s products after my experience with these two dressers. I’ve filled out a review with Walmart stating that but it has not been posted yet.

 

Damaged Dresser

I ordered a dresser from Walmart:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hodedah-7-Drawer-Dresser-with-Two-Locks-Chocolate/539907222

It arrived yesterday via FedEx, on time, but it was badly damaged. The delivery person stuck it in this corner with the worst of the damage at the bottom and facing the wall so it wouldn’t be seen.

 

By the time we were able to inspect and inventory everything the manufacturer’s offices were closed so this thing is going to sit untouched until they send new parts. I filled out a review at walmart.com and sent an email to the manufacturer.

I’ll add more when I hear back from either of them.

It could have been worse I suppose but the key parts needed to assemble it are all too damaged to be used.
That includes the top, the two sides, the front and back kick plates, and two drawer sides.


UPDATE (02/01/2021)

I just heard back from the manufacturer and I am not happy with their answer:

TARRITA (Hodedah import)

Feb 1, 2021, 15:39 GMT-5 Hello,

Thank you for choosing Hodedah. We apologize, but at this time the replacement parts you requested, is currently out of stock. Please allow us 30-45 days for us to get the parts in stock so that we may serve you. Again, thank you for choosing Hodedah please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.
______________________________________________

Asking me to wait a month and a half before they even get the parts to ship is pretty outrageous. I am not sure there is much I can do about it at this point tho.

______________________________________________

See how it turned out here.

Let’s try this instead..

The pyramid configuration just didn’t work for me. I wear progressive bifocals and I spent half the day with my head tilted back to look at the upper monitor and after just a few hours it was killing my neck. After ten to twelve hours of that a day I was a mess.

I had to try something different. At 52″ wide I knew I didn’t have enough room on my desktop for the iMac and the two monitors to sit in landscape mode, side by side. I really didn’t want to have to buy a bigger desk. I also realized I was going to need to move the floating shelf out of the way to the right.

I bought a dual monitor stand to mount the monitors on. I thought I was going to have to mount them both in portrait mode but fortunately there was just enough room to mount one in each mode.

After getting the two monitors set up I decided the iMac was now too low so I removed the under shelf I built and set it back on the desktop. Again, because of my bifocals I prefer that I look in a more downward direction at my monitors. So now my keyboard and mouse were too low for real comfort.

Years ago we bought a gaming table. It had inserts for chess, backgammon, parcheesi, and some other table top games. The tabletop was 1-3/4″ thick laminated pine. Unfortunately we kept it in the garage for way too long and it got seriously dried out. I cut it up thinking I was going to turn it into a new end grain butcher block cutting board but the wood was far too dry, it chipped and splintered badly. I would have had to fill way too many holes, there were too many gaps in the glue up.

It wouldn’t work for a cutting board but it would work as a platform for my mouse and keyboard. I’ve never cared for Mac peripherals. Their keyboards and mice are an abomination of form over function. I prefer my keyboards larger, more configurable, and on a greater incline. I absolutely love my Corsair mechanical keyboard and dread having to go from it to that chiclet keyboard and having to relearn how to copy/paste. Every time I switch between my other machines and this iMac drives me nuts.

Anyway, I decided to put together three pieces of the old tabletop I had glued up in a way that would work as a riser for iMac’s keyboard and mouse. I also added a strip of oak to increase the angle of the keyboard. It’s likely a little too highly pitched but I can plane it down if need be.
Note: This last effort to increase the incline of the keyboard did not work as well as envisioned. I’ve removed it and just added a couple of stick on feet to the back of the keyboard.

I’m actually liking having the middle monitor in portrait mode. I can see more lines of code at one time and I also have a browser window set to view my pages in mobile phone mode so I can more quickly check formatting. I’m liking it so far!