Friday, October 2, 2009

Doublet Pool

Doublet PoolFunny thing. I was browsing a blog of Duncan Davidson, who is a photographer among other things, and stumbled upon an entry where he found himself looking at a cover of a book that looked extremely familiar to him. The thing is that he had an image in his collection which was pretty much the same as the one on the cover.

Well, guess what? I was looking at the book cover and the image that he posted, and I had the same realization. I’m guessing everyone who ever went to Yellowstone and hiked through the Old Faithful area has this same1 photo of Doublet Pool in their collection.

  1. Except for the official NPP website of course, which has some horrendous monster of photo instead. []
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dual Monitors

A pair of 23" wide-screen Dell monitors.The monitors that I mentioned last week have arrived over the weekend and I set them up early this week. I didn’t expect them to turn out so huge, but now I’m almost used to this setup. Double 23″ wide-screens running at 1920 x 1080 each do give a lot of screen real-estate.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

TV’s Up For Sale

Our TV for sale.Our trusty good old TV is going up for sale. It’s a hell of a unit that served us well for almost 10 years without as much as a hick-up. I hope it gets bought and at the same it’s very sad. I wish I had a basement I could move it. Asking only 1/10th of the price that I actually paid for it.
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Time: 17:53   Comments: 7 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Living — Under Construction

Besta in progress.When we bought our apartment we moved in with pretty much zero furniture purchases and used everything that we had before. Now we decided that it’s time we’ve updated our living room. We have no plans to be moving any time soon, therefore we might as well make it as nice as possible.

Living room progress.The whole movement has started because of that BD movie and the player. The TV could use a refresh, and along with it could the arrangement and the layout of the room. Also I decide that it’s time I finally got my surround system back in place, as we have never connected the rear speakers after the move.

Living room and IKEA wall unit in Sketch Up.We visited a lot of furniture stores and came to the consensus — they either have something small, ugly or just plain wrong for our room, or they have something that costs WAY too much money. 5 grand for a freaking collection of shelves and doors?

Our final design sketch.Naturally IKEA came to mind and we came up with what we think should serve our needs for a very good price. IKEA though has no planning tools, but that’s when my old friend Sketch-Up helped me out.

Many more updates to come.
In: Home Sweet Home   Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Time: 15:07   Comments: 2 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Wall Unit & TV

New wall unit.This weekend was well spent. A good portion of our renovation project is complete. We put together the wall unit from a million pieces that it came as into a single solid system. It took a lot of work, but it’s all done. It came out better than we expected and it’s as custom as it can be. We added a lot additional support parts and cut a bunch of paths for wire management.

IKEA Besta. Ignore the other-dimension cat.We also bought a new TV and wired everything up — video, audio, network. And out of all the wiring there is only one wire actually visible and that will be corrected in the near future. We were also happy to get rid of our old open bar and move our vast alcohol reserves behind the glass.

Samsung LN46B750.The TV that we decided to go with is Samsung LN46B750. It’s a 46″ non-LED LCD panel with 240Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution. After doing a lot of reading this is simply the best LCD available as far as non LED screens go. It is also better than latest Samsung edge-lit LED screens. And actual back-lit LED screens cost twice as much and in my opinion are just not worth it. Either way, I’ve been tweaking the settings on the TV and we’re pretty happy with the end result.

More updates will follow as we make more progress.
In: Gadgets & Gear, Home Sweet Home   Tags: , , , , , ,
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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Lords of Discipline

Lords of Discipline.What a wonderful book. It has about everything — mystery, love, betrayal, loyalty, finding oneself… Will McLean, the storyteller, is a young Irish boy who reflects on his experiences during the 4 years of being a cadet at Carolina Military Institute.

Pat Conroy has a powerful writing style — he takes you in all the way and makes his characters so believable, that I cried on a subway last night when something bad happened to one of them. I will definitely read other Conroy’s novels.

I also wanted to add that it is not so easy to find really good books today since there is so much junk around. Just before “The Lords of Discipline” I read a detective novel written by a Russian couple — Anna and Sergei Litvinovy. I would never touch anything written by those two again — not unless there is a shortage of toilet paper in this country.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Galactica, Furniture and More

Battlestar GalacticaThe weekend flew by so quickly. On Saturday we were chain-watching “Battlestar Galactica”. I know it sounds somewhat pathetic, but at least we did the laundry in the process (I always dread this chore). ) We felt so glued to the couch, that we even ordered pizza in as opposed to going out for dinner with some friends.

New winter jacket.Sunday was much more productive. We went hunting for furniture again — and as a result we are now the proud owners of a brown wooden coffee table and a brown leather couch. We also bough Danya a warm winter jacket which looks very stylish on my handsome husband. )

The new furniture will be delivered at the end of the next week, so now we need to quickly get rid of our current one. We’re thinking of simply donating it to one of the organizations which can pick it up — this way we’ll be able to at least write something off our taxes (unlike in case of just throwing it away).

Propolis and honey.The weather is pretty chilly. It was really cold at my work on Friday — I was literally shaking half the day. I’ve noticed that when I’m cold I become twice as whiny as normally. ) In hopes to stay healthy I’m taking propolis-honey paste twice a day — my mom believes it can strengthen immune system, so why not try it?

"Falcon and Swallow" book.I’ve started reading the newest B. Akunin’s novel “Sokol i Lastochka” (“Falcon and Swallow”). I used to like Akunin a lot, but this book seems a bit too simple. I guess, he just offers something to kill time and to relax without thinking too hard about philosophical questions or your own humanity. From what I see, the story here revolves around hidden treasures, corsairs and all such nonsense. )

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Besta Wall Unit Construction

Cheapest way to construct Besta wall unit.A bit more about the construction of our unit, in help to those who might want to recreate the same thing. There are multiple ways you can build this unit. The most obvious one is on the image above. It’s also is the cheapest1 way to go, as you need the fewer components then what we did.

The way we did it.One of our objectives, however, was to make as few holes as possible on our wall, to mount it, or none2 at all, which we did. Thus by spending a bit more money, we built it so the middle shelf is not handing in the air, but is actually supported by the side cabinets. I also did add several additional screws in between the top cabinets, but the weight that they have to support is much less then that a full shelf with stuff inside.

  1. $510 vs $620 for the frame. []
  2. This clearly goes against IKEA’s recommendation. []
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Living Redesign

IKEA wall unit, Giormani leather sectional sofa.Big day today. Had two deliveries of new furniture and then we had a pickup of a donation of our old stuff to a Jewish organization. The new sectional sofa and a table are awesome. Huge upgrade. We really lucked out on the sectional deal1, I think.

New Giromani leather sectional sofa and coffee table.Our old couch, armchair, TV and the stand are gone. It’s somewhat sad, but I’m glad I’m not the one who had to move that stuff out. Poor guys barely moved that TV and then I saw2 poor bustards unload it on the wrong floor, before reaching the bottom level, by mistake. But they seemed to be laughing when they realized.

  1. 25% cheaper than all other places, and when the price is in the thousands it really means a lot. []
  2. Internal building video feeds. []
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old Painting

Painting by Takefumi Hori.Last weekend we finally decided to hang an old painting that we had up in our old apartment in the living room. Ever since our move it’s been rolled up, collecting dust behind our couch.

Custom frame.After the redesign in the living room that space on the wall in the hallway seemed empty and it proved to be an ideal spot for our painting. And it looks good with our old custom frame.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flying Kishka

This is what we call flying, not jumping. I don’t think a cat is supposed to be able to do that. Yet here is the evidence.
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Time: 18:00   Comments: 5 Comments   Post a Comment  
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