Monthly Archives: March 2015

Roger Williams Park Zoo

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Slide-Out Panty – Part 1

I'm building a slide-out pantry to fit in the gap between our refrigerator and the wall on it's right. It will give us a great place to store our spices so that they are much easier to see - right now they are in a normal cabinet next to the stove, where all but the ones in front are impossible to see. This pantry will make use of some space that is currently wasted anyway. I'm going to veneer an oak panel on the front of it to blend it in with the rest of the cabinets - so it looks like it's always been there.

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Carter made a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick's Day to try and catch herself a leprechaun. I tried to take a picture of it for the blog, and Sean photobombed it!

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Camp Knife – Part 2

I got the bevels filed, and the blade sanded to get rid of the file marks. At this point it is ready for heat-treating. (In reality, I am currently a lot further along on this knife than these photos show - I just haven't caught up with photos yet. Stay tuned for an update that shows the real status.)

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Baby Bella Came to Visit

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Backpack Breakdown – Part 5

A: This patch is from an old Nickolodeon show the kids and I really got into - Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was an awesome show - it's one of the only cartoons I've ever seen that had really story arcs, and an over-arching story arc that carried across all three seasons. I would recommend it to anyone - kid or adult alike. This patch is the symbol of the Air Nomads, one of the four elemental factions in the show. I have patches for all four kingdoms - I just haven't put the rest on yet.

B: This patch came from Crawford Notch State Park in the White Mountain National Forest. It's one of my favorite places to hike, and it's where my love of hiking first started.

C: Boldt Castle is a spot Carter and I visited on her road trip last year. The castle is situated on Heart Island in the middle of the St. Laurence River. It's in the process of being restored, but you can wander the entire castle - even the sections that have yet to be restored at all. We had to take a boat shuttle out to the castle, which Carter thought was pretty cool.

D: I found these heart patches on Etsy. They are the health bar from the original Zelda game on the NES - one of my favorite games of all time.

E: This one came from the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. It was one of the stops on Sean's road trip last year. Pretty nice aquarium, actually - I liked it better than Boston's. Sean really dug the shark tunnel.

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Backpack Breakdown – Part 4

A: This patch I made myself. It is leather, and stamped with a pattern I designed. It's hard to make out in this picture, but it's the silhouette of a hiker with text that reads "Not all those who wander are lost".

B: I can't remember where I acquired this USA patch. I've had it on the backpack for years, but have no idea where i acquired it. It's starting to fray around the edges now.

C: I made this Batman pin at a Maker Faire that Sean and I went to in Dover, New Hampshire. There was a booth there where you could cut pictures out of comic books, and they had a button press that you could use to make a button. Sean made one too - I think his is also on his backpack.

D: This patch came from Shenandoah National Park, and was acquired on the same trip I mentioned earlier. The Skyline Drive is a national treasure - everyone should make an effort to drive it at least once. I'm definitely up to try it again.

E: Lost Maples State Natural Area was a state park near where we lived in Texas. It was a pretty cool park. Not a whole lot of topography, even though it is in the Texas hill country. We once camped at that park with Paige, and she spent most of the night growling at squirrels that were nosing around the camp once we were in the tent. It was very cute.

F: This patch is a copy of a New Hampshire license plate - just a bit of New Hampshire pride!

G: Mizpah Springs Hut was the first of the AMC High Huts I ever visited. It was a great trip, and left me the desire to eventually see ALL of the huts. A buddy from work wants to try and hit three huts this summer!

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Backpack Breakdown – Part 3

A: This patch came from Shenandoah National Park (in Virginia), which is another National Park Lori and I drove through during our road trip to Texas while moving. The Skyline Drive through Shenandoah is something everybody should experience.

B: This Palico came with the copy of Monster Hunter 4 Sean and I bought for the New 3DS. I am really enjoying Monster Hunter 3, so I stuck the pin on my backpack. No deeper story behind this one. :)

C: I got this patch from Cafepress when I started feeling less than ridiculous on the ukulele. I should practice a lot more than I do, but at least the little skill I have hasn't faded. This summer I plan to finish the Tenor size ukes I've been building (I've already built several Soprano-sized ukes). Hopefully that will convince me to start practicing more consistently again.

D: I got this one at the same time as I got the AMC patch in the last post. During the Great Depression, the CCC built a lot of the trails and shelters that have helped get me addicted to hiking - so I really appreciate their efforts.

E: Carter Notch Hut is one of the High Huts maintained by the AMC in the White Mountain National Forest. The Huts provide a dinner, breakfast, and a bunk. They are a great way to do some longer-distance hikes without having to pack in all of your overnight gear - which also means they are an easy introduction to backpacking for those who are new to the idea. Carter Notch Hut is one of my favorites.

F: This patch was handmade by someone on Etsy, and is a reference to one of my favorite books - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Douglas Adams was my first introduction to dry British wit, and that sort of humor has always tickled me to this day. He passed before his time, and is greatly missed.

G: Galehead Hut is another of the AMC High Huts, and is one of the most remote. I plan to return to Galehead this summer, as my trip there last summer was all rain, all the time. It was still a great trip, but the guys I was with missed out on the amazing above treeline ridge walks near the hut. Here's to better luck next time!

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Backpack Breakdown – Part 2

A: This is one of my oldest patches - it's for the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) which maintains all of the hiking trails and huts I use in the White Mountain National Forest. I think they changed their logo last year, so someday this patch will be an antique! :)

B: This patch is the logo for the Raspberry Pi, which is a single-board computer that can run Linux, and only costs about $25. I use them in many of the projects I've posted on this blog - including the Pandora Radio, the Emulation Station, and the RPi Photo Booth.

C: This patch is the logo for the Arduino, which is the *other* single-board computer I use on my projects. The Arduino is lower-level, and doesn't have an operating system. It makes some things easier to do than the Raspberry Pi, and some things are harder. So they are each better suited to different projects.

D: This waving robot is the mascot for Adafruit, the company that I get most of my parts from for all of my electronics projects. They've got tons of components for sale, plus oodles of tutorials and example projects for everything they sell.

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Backpack Breakdown – Part 1

As promised, here is part one (of five) of the walkthrough of the patches on my backpack. Feel free to ignore these posts if you find them a little too self-indulgent - they are really more for me than for anyone else. :)

A: The first patch ever applied to this backpack, when I left home to go to college. I can't remember where it came from, or why I picked Underdog. But hey - it's Underdog! What's not to like?

B: I picked up this patch when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Lori. We had been married less than a year, and we were moving from New Hampshire to Texas. Instead of just racing down there on boring interstates, we decided to make a roadtrip out of it. This was one of our favorite places that we visited along the way. Lori climbed to the top of the observation tower on Clingman's Dome (my vertigo kept me from following), and it was this park (and Shenandoah in Virginia) that really turned me on to the awesomeness of road-tripping in general.

C: Greenleaf Hut is one of the AMC high huts in the White Mountain National Forest. Greenleaf is on the slopes of Mt. Lafayette in Franconia Notch. I visited this hut on the third day of a backpacking trip through the Pemigawasset Wilderness. I'd like to eventually visit each of the high huts - I am currently at five out of eight. I still need to get to Lakes of the Clouds, Madison Spring, and Lonesome Lake.

D: Clingman's Dome was the mountain I mentioned earlier, in the Great Smoky Mountain National Forest.

E: This is a button of a favorite shirt of mine from high school. I found it again last year while cleaning out some boxes in the attic. It was mixed with a bunch of other old keepsakes, some of which I can't remember why I saved.

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