Yrnamehere's Profile

Display Name: Yrnamehere
Member Since: 12/16/11

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People keep failing number 1 with my mom. She hates them and yet people keep giving them to her. However, since the people giving them always contact me first I can warn her beforehand so she'll be ready. She still acts surprised and everything, but would much rather the people just be out in the open about it the whole time since the surprise element is just a waste of time.

How to Throw a Great Surprise Party: Know Your Guest of Honor
11/16/12 08:54 PM

If it is not articulated, it is not an action figure.

It's a cool idea, but the scales are too small. If you're going to do a figure of yourself, at least do it in 1/6 so you can see all the details. And forget the whole figure. All you need is a 1/6 head to be printed out and then you can use any of the zillions of 1/6 bodies and clothing options to make your own custom figure.

3D Print an Action Figure of Yourself Design News 11.13.12
11/13/12 06:32 PM

I have to give a shout of to The Thick of It. I think there are 23 episodes in all including three hour long specials. It just wrapped up on the BBC. Not available on Netflix, but you can stream all the episodes plus extra material on Hulu. It's by the same director as the film In the Loop (which has two of the same characters and most of the same actors) and the main writers for Peep Show are also two of the main writers for the TTOI. Modern political comedy at it's very finest and Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker will blow your mind.

Lucky Seven: TV Series Worth Streaming on Netflix
11/5/12 11:21 PM

Definitely not a cobblestone design. Even fake cobblestones would have to be rounded on top.

In the alley where I live (I have a carriage house type thing) the city finally replaced the main throughway with non-dyed stamped asphalt a couple of years ago. There were a couple of residents who freaked out because the alley was originally paved with real brick and this was a gross violation of historical precedent or whatever, but luckily they were a minority and the stamped asphalt was put in.

So no one gets the wrong idea, I am generally in favor of historic preservation, but in this situation, the asphalt was absolutely the correct decision. 1) The city had the money and was willing to do the work which was a pretty big deal 2)The city had not done any work on the alley for decades (I know because I've lived here that long) and it was more pothole and hotpatch than brick so the historical value was pretty much shot anyway 3) there was no drainage and the alley was almost impassible in heavy rain or snow 4) Garbage and recycling trucks rumble through twice a week or more and brick will not stand up to that kind of abuse over years and years of use.

The city did a great job with the work -- the alley drains now, there aren't any potholes and it looks a million times better.

Cute & Coveted: Faux Cobblestone Street
10/18/12 11:25 PM

I bookmarked this posting when I saw it in August and I just got around to completing a project based on it. I went to Kinkos instead of Staples and got my digital image printed on the large format printer at the max size of 36" inches for a little under $5. To my untutored eye, the print out was basically the same as a regular laser print out on a really big sheet of normal copy type paper. Instead of traditional framing, I mounted the image on two joined-together pieces of double-thick foamcore I got at Michael's for a total cost of about $12. The edges were kind of raw because I suck at trimming foamcore so I did a wrap effect using black and white cheapo acrylic paint mixed into shades of gray with my fingers as I applied it and then put on a bunch of layers of satin mod podge over the whole thing. I think it looks pretty damn good for something that cost about $25 all told.

If you are looking for sources of images, I got the picture I used from the Library of Congress (LOC.gov) website. They are dedicated to digitizing their entire (huge!) photographic collection. Not everything is copyright free, but anyone looking for nice pictures should find plenty to satisfy themselves. Best of all, the pictures that are copyright free can be downloaded by anyone as uncompressed .tif files. That means even if the original print or negative is small, the digital image can be scaled up several hundred times and still look fabulous.

DIY Idea: Gorgeous Original Graphic Prints for Under Five Dollars Design Editor
10/12/12 11:49 PM

It's not a hypothetical question for me. When the light hits my house just right, it is pretty much the same color as the orange house in the picture. My house is a DC alley house so it isn't visible to regular street traffic, but even if it were, it would not stand out all that much. Where I live on Capitol Hill, none of the colors in the Italian picture would cause anyone to bat an eyelid.

Although it was repainted to more conventional colors some years ago, when I was growing up there was a house a couple of blocks away that was painted lavender and pink, complete with little ledges (mounted to the house exterior) by every window each holding a wrapped present. No, I don't have any idea why, but it was the wrapped presents that really made the house stand out, more than the colors.

Up For Discussion: Would You Ever Paint Your Home a Vibrant Color?
10/12/12 12:30 AM

If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten my kitchen cabinets in a slightly different style and definitely in a different color. I might eventually paint them, but I think I will have to live with them a few more years as is before I can think about that. I also hate the hardware, but at least that is something I can change pretty easily.

I also made the mistake of having only underfloor heating in my bathroom so in the winter the room is absolutely freezing. Yes, the floor does get nice and toasty eventually (it takes forever to heat up) but the air above about knee height is still freezing. I have to have a small heater so I don't turn into a popsicle which was exactly what I didn't want to have to deal with both in terms of the thing and the electricity it uses.

What's Your Biggest Design Regret?
9/25/12 03:32 PM

My home security is iron bars and gates. Some people might think it's like choosing to live in a jail cell, but I like it and it gives me a real feeling of security. I can leave my windows and doors open and not feel like I'm asking for trouble from local miscreants.

Where I live, most break-ins are opportunistic crimes based on the easiest looking target. It's not the work of master criminals given to a lot of long term planning. The harder a place looks to break into, the less likely anyone will try.

Home Security: Tips, Ideas & DIY Projects
9/19/12 11:03 PM

No, they are not comfortable. We got rid of the two we had (real ones) because no one wanted to sit in them.

Modern Classics: The Wassily Chair
9/18/12 05:33 PM

I would guess that most of the OMG you painted brick!?! people don't live in a place where brick houses, are commonplace. If they were from a place like DC where brick is incredibly common and probably 90% of it is painted, it probably wouldn't even ping on their how-could-you radar. I've lived around painted brick all my life and I can't ever remember seeing a house with the paint bubbling off or anything like that, even with our horrible humidity. I have seen houses with paint flakes all over them, but that's because the home owners started on a repainting project, did some portion of the scraping and then just stopped and left their uncompleted project on public viewing.

I think the house in the post looks great and perfectly normal.

My alley house was originally made entirely of brick, although some point most of the brick on the front and back walls downstairs was replaced with a lovely cinder-block and I-beam combination. There was also another structure attached to the house that was demolished some decades ago. However long it was, the unprotected brick exterior of my place was completely exposed to the elements and was in terrible, terrible condition: crumbling brick, crumbling mortar, an absolute nightmare. When we finally got around to renovating the house, the brick was parged and is now completely covered up (and painted!). The front and back of the house had already been stuccoed by previous owners. I know people think it is a desecration to do that to brick, but what are the alternatives if if the brick has been significantly compromised either by previous owners or the forces of nature?

In comparison, a little paint is nothing!

Before & After: Erin's Painted House 110 + 2
9/14/12 08:04 PM

This ridiculous hipster poseur specifies using vintage books for his hideous pointless planters. He seems to take giddy pride in ruining something that is still perfectly useful in its original form. His project will take something that has by definition survived decades and turned it into a useless temporary object that will rot and decay in a matter of months.

It is easy to say, oh what's the use of an old medical book or old law books, but they are important and useful as primary documents if you are someone who has any interest in objects that both come from the past and tell you what the past was like when it was the present. I have several medical textbooks from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and I find them extremely useful for research purposes. I just picked up a 1940s dictionary from the free table of my local used book store. If you think, I think every book is sacred, I don't. By all means cut up American Psycho or the Harry Potter books or Dan Brown or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, they deserve it, but please leave the old vintage books alone.

How To Make Your Own Book Planters for Succulents
9/13/12 04:12 AM

Rococo, on the one hand the most completely exquisite, over-the-top, ostentatious expression of absolute wealth and power on the other hand, just remember that none of the palaces where this stuff lived in context had indoor plumbing or climate control and very few, if any, of the people that lived in them ever took baths as we understand the term.

Design Dictionary: Rococo
9/13/12 03:16 AM

I've dropped my LG Smartphone (not in a case) onto my brick floor numerous times and nothing has broken. It also spent a few minutes in the washing machine with the water running before I realized it was there and got it out. Again, no problems. Maybe the article here refers specifically to iPhones, not because the author is using the term in a generic sense, but because it is literally the only smartphone that will break if you look at it wrong. Which seems to me to argue pretty strongly against the notion of good design, but whatever.

Tales of Broken iPhones
9/11/12 02:08 AM

Also, I don't just live in the middle of a city, I also live within a few blocks of an actual-honest-to-God-located-in-an-otherwise-residential-neighborhood-coal-powered-power-plant. Thank you Congress for being such awesome thoughtful neighbors!


So I get to have all the joys of 21st century pollution with all the benefits of 19th century pollution too! Don't you wish you were so lucky?

Dealing With Big City Grime
9/8/12 12:25 AM

In its pre-reno condition, my house was basically open to the elements: windows wouldn't close all the way (loads of fun when it rained and in the winter), doors weren't sealed, no insulation, etc. etc. etc. Yes, let's just say it was in TERRIBLE condition and could honestly have been called a tenement slum. There was constantly a layer of black gritty dust over everything. I could vacuum thoroughly and a few hours later all the grit would be back. To say it was horrible would be an understatement. Now, in it's post-reno condition with new modern windows, sealed doors, insulation, etc., the house gets a bit dusty, but it nothing compared to before. I'm now dealing with the opposite problem: it's too closed up and now I have to leave a window open a crack on purpose because otherwise the house feels hermetically sealed which causes a whole different set of issues.

TL;DR If you have all that dust all the time, the apartment/house should probably have an energy audit type thing because windows, doors, walls etc. are not providing as much of a barrier to the outside as they should be. Even if you can't do anything about changing the windows/walls/doors, you will at least know where the weak points are so you can think about how to counteract them.

Dealing With Big City Grime
9/8/12 12:17 AM

Wow, does every thing need to be analyzed to the point that you won't show your three year old Swing Time because they aren't old enough to discuss the implications of the Bojangles scene? The easiest thing to do of course would be to use the fast forward button, but even if you didn't, no three year old would even recognize what was going on or relate it to the real world in any way shape or form.

I don't get this. We are all grown up people here who presumably were exposed to 20th century culture (good bad and ugly) in our youth and I bet most of us watched or read things as children that we know now contain racially or socially offensive elements and yet we managed to survive into NPR listening adulthoods without joining the Klan. Are the same parents who are so concerned about Swing Time not letting their kids read the Little House books? Because if they are not, that is just sad.

Going back to the post, I appreciate the intent behind the timeline, but the idea as a whole is pretty silly. A year in a kid's life is like ten years for an adult. By the time she is nine, the films she watched at five or six will be ancient history. Your kid doesn't need a foundation course in the history of cinema to appreciate Do-Re-Mi -- if you want to show her The Sound of Music, why don't you just do it? If you start watching it now when it is all just sounds and colors doesn't mean she won't want to watch it over and over again when she is older. God knows I did, with that very film, when I was a kid.

It seems to me there is also a basic disconnection here. You want your child to have a foundation in movie history which is good, but our current liberal sensitivities mean you don't actually want her to see the content that many of the most influential films contain. The Birth of a Nation is probably the most influential film of early cinema, but I can't imagine many parents are going to show that to their kids no matter how film literate they want their kid to be.

My Favorite Films for Children Maxwell's Finds
9/5/12 11:53 PM

When my tiny house (approx. 525 sf) was renovated we opted for a tankless system. It was a total gut job so there was no issue with the plumbing or electrics (my house is all-electric) since they were being replaced anyway and everything could be planned to have enough power. Before the renovation, the water heater was a little half-size unit under the stairs and only had about 15 minutes of hot water which suuuuuuucked. The new unit is in a specially built cabinet in the bathroom and I can use all the space under the stairs for storage which is awesome. I think I actually take shorter showers now since I know I have all the hot water in the world so I don't have to stress about it running out.

The Pros and Cons of Switching to a Tankless Water Heater
9/5/12 10:17 PM

I got two of the Ikea Fixa toolkits a few months ago and I've used at least one tool from each kit every week since then:


The tools I use most are the multi-bit screwdriver, the tape measure, the level, and the hammer. One thing that seems minor that I've gotten a hell of a lot of use out of is the plastic cap that fits over the hammerhead so that the hammer can be used more like a rubber mallet.

I also have a Black & Decker corded electric drill (borrowed from my dad), but I'm going to give it back to him and get a corded hammer drill since one of my walls is brick and it is much better for masonry.

I also recommend having several sizes of clamps, especially if you do any DIY involving gluing. For bigger items, something like a one-handed band clamp (http://www.amazon.com/Wolfcraft-3681404-One-Hand-Ratcheting-Clamp/dp/B000JCLNQ4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1346126531&sr=8-4&keywords=clamps+strap) can be a lifesaver.

The Basics: 10 Must Have Essentials for a Small Space Toolkit
8/28/12 12:03 AM

I love kale and had some tonight. First I fried a nice steak in my cast iron dutch oven. I took the meat out and while it was resting I stuffed the dutch oven full of kale, drizzled on some olive oil and put in some garlic, put the lid on and let it cook for about 10 minutes. I think I stirred it once. There is enough moisture in the leaves that with the lid on, there is no danger of the kale burning. It cooks down nicely and uses all the juice from the steak and is delicious.

The Incredible, Edible Green: 15 Recipes with Hearty, Healthy Kale Recipe Roundup
8/21/12 09:15 PM

Someone has to say it: Ikea. I'm not saying it is good choice, I have the Attest staples in my kitchen and I hate them, but they are solid and fairly cheap.

Replacing them with something of a similar size, but not as horribly ugly is one of my house priorities. I've been looking off and on for months now, and nothing has grabbed me, or if it has, it's been way too expensive for the number I need.

I was actually looking at the Lee Valley site earlier today, not for my kitchen, but for new hardware for some furniture I'm refinishing. I've gotten it into my head that labeled bin pulls are exactly what I need, but finding them for a price I'm willing to pay is another story.

Where To Buy Kitchen Cabinet Hardware: 10 Sources for Knobs and Pulls
8/20/12 09:03 PM