DIY Stroller handlebar extension for tall people

My wife and I are both 6’1″ and so the City Mini stroller that someone gave us had handlebars that are too low for us. We could use it, but it would mean that our toes tended to hit the wheels when we are walking. Looking around the Internet and on Amazon, we couldn’t find anything that seemed like a really good option to extend the handlebars. Since I’m a bicyclist I have a lot of extra handlebars lying around the house. My wife had the idea of taking a double pipe clamp and putting the handlebars on to make an extra high grip height. It worked pretty well.

The handlebar extension, at In n' Out Burger.
The handlebar extension, at In n’ Out Burger.

Continue reading DIY Stroller handlebar extension for tall people

Standing wall desk (plus plant wall)

I work from home, and I wanted to have a standing desk. I also wanted to be able to share the room with my wife, and I didn’t really need a large desk to set lots of papers on. I just needed a keyboard, and a monitor, and maybe a place to set a few things.

Ergotron Standing Desk

So I got this ergotron desk. Or I guess it’s not really even a desk, it’s just a thing to hold the monitor and keyboard. After spending six months of it I can confidently say that it is working well.

My one complaint to Ergotron was just in their mounting directions for taller people; I think I would have mounted it a few inches lower. In the directions it said if you’re taller that you should raise it a few inches beyond their standard recommended height. But I think the recommended height  (I can’t number what it is right now) was correct even though I’m 6’1″. The CPU holder is also not meant to hold a laptop, but I put in a book as a spacer and it works fine.

I ended up getting a drafting chair. initially that was because I mounted too high. But I might have gotten it anyway, it is nice to be sitting up higher so that I don’t have to raise and lower the screen as much when switching between sitting and standing.

The shelving and the self watering pots are all by IKEA.

Open German

I made an open source quiz/flashcard application for learning German vocabulary. You can see it here on the Play Store, or download it from F-Droid.

The word list is decent, but could use improvement. You can get a read-only version of it from this Google Sheet. If you want to change one or two words, it is probably easiest to email me those changes. If you want to do more, great! The app could use more useful sections and groupings of words, either using the existing word-set or adding more of your own. You may want to email me so I know what you are doing, just to coordinate if more than one person is working on it at once.

Other sources for the app:

The source code for the app is on GitHub.

The word list was created by Neil at http://germanvocab.com and is based on Jörg Tiedemann, 2012, Parallel Data, Tools and Interfaces in OPUS. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2012).

The photograph of the Berlin TV Tower is licensed CC-BY-NC from Michael, user juseranotherhuman, on Flickr.

Request for Bike Signs at 21st and 21st in Oakland

** Update 5/22: it turns out that there is a bike nav sign at this intersection heading south, but it is set back about 200 feet from the intersection, so it is not very visible. Consider moving it closer to the intersection.  JMM**

This is a request to Oakland Public Works to put in a bike nav sign on E 21St Street for southbound bike traffic, indicating that there is a bike route going uphill on 21st Ave. I frequently blow past that turn because it is unmarked. This is, as far as I can tell, the main bike-route way to get from downtown to the Dimond district, so I would imagine it would say “Dimond 1.6 mi”. You probably want to also label continuing south on E 21st St, although I’m not sure what the “destination” would be going that way (Foothill Blvd? San Leandro?).  Video below at the intersection describing the issue further.

White and Ambient Noise

This is a curation of white and ambient noise, all from freesound except for the first one made by the open source Android app Chroma Doze. Citations and credits below the break — some have creative commons limitations, please check the freesound citation.

  1. Low White Noise, mp3, one hour.
  2. Ocean sound, mp3, three hours.
  3. Urban rainstorm, ogg, one hour.
  4. Village Morning, mp3, two hours.
  5. Midnight Woods Cottage, mp3, over three hours.
  6. Sunny Point Cafe, mp3, 0.5 hours.
  7. Coast By Night, mp3, 2.8 hours.

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Why I’m Glad I Went To Eckerd College

This is my answer to the Quora question “What Are The Best Reasons To Attend Eckerd College“.

If you are a strong student and want to attend a liberal arts school, Eckerd has some amazing scholarships and really offers about the same academic experience as more prestigious schools. Check out the Academic Achievement Scholarships[1]. I got the equivalent of one of those in 1994-1999 (they let me stay on for one more semester to round out a double major), and graduated essentially debt-free. I also had a lot of fun, tried a bunch of stuff, and got a cool job right afterward (and eventually went to a top 10 law school).

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Bay Trail Bike Birding

After reading The Thing With Feathers and then Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, I started being more interested in birds. Then I bought a Sibley Guide, and it got a little more serious.

I’ve always enjoyed the Bay Trail, on several occasions riding SF to Berkeley or the reverse. This weekend I rode from approximately Fruitvale BART to Hayward BART, going through MLK regional shoreline, Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, and Hayward Regional Shoreline, and I brought my camera. When I’d ridden the trail before I’d often stopped to read the informational signs about birds, and I was surprised that I was able to photograph pretty much all the common birds I’d read about, plus several more. And a bat ray.

 

Gutenovox, a Mashup of Gutenberg and LibriVox Catalogs

I recently did my first recording for LibriVox, which is a site where volunteers read public domain works. I wanted to contribute to a short science fiction collection, and it was challenging to find a work that hadn’t been read already — not because there aren’t any, but because it involves looking through lists of stories on Project Gutenberg, then and searching for each one in the LibriVox catalog. “This is what computers are for,” I thought. So over the last week or so, I created a mashup site of the two catalogs, so that one can search the Project Gutenberg site and show what LibriVox recordings exist already, plus estimated reading time: http://xenotropic.net/gutenovox/.  It works pretty well, but there are a few limitations.

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Swapping Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3) Motherboards or Screen Assembly

My Kindle 3 started freezing a few minutes after I booting up. This started after I ran the battery down completely; but the battery appeared to charge fine, and swapping batteries did not fix it. Following the advice of this blog post from SiliconFish, I ordered a couple of broken-screen Kindles from ebay ($10 including shipping for the paid).

Swapping the motherboards is pretty easy. Pull the back off gently. You can do this without any tools, just bend a corner, gently and gradually, until the back pops out at that corner. Then peel the back out, again gently and gradually, and all the clip-points will pop out. Remove the two screws holding in the battery and remove the battery. Continue reading Swapping Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3) Motherboards or Screen Assembly