Preparing the New Site
June 10th, 2022 | View Post

After many, many months of code changes, I'm delighted to announce that this site is about to get a pretty massive overhaul. The changes won't necessarily be visible to the end user (eg: it will still look the same), but the infrastructure that powers the site will be significantly different. It will be much more powerful, much faster, and much cheaper for me to operate and maintain. The end result is that there will be a lot more content (which I don't feel like I'm really lacking in the first place).

What's the timeline?

I started working on these software changes in early November of 2021. It's a passion-project so I only work on it when I have some spare time. I wound up taking some time off from the migration in January and early February, but then got back to full speed in early March. Since then, I've managed to get everything more or less where it needs to be. It'll still be a few more weeks before I can actually "flip the switch", but as I've been wanting to make this change for a couple of years now, I couldn't be more thrilled to be getting so close.

What changes are coming?

The short answer is that it's a massive infrastructure overhaul. Without going into too many technical details, all of the backend software, operating system, database, and processing infrastructure has been upgraded. This should result in the site running much faster and should allow me to add several pieces that I've had in the pipe for years (detailed photo statistics, geolocations, and videos, just to name a few). It's also going to result in all of my media being distributed on networks around the world. While this will likely have the result of my site being indexed much more heavily and routinely, it should also reduce media loading times rather significantly. I've been testing them for awhile and everything seems to be on par with what I'd expect.

Which brings me to the change I'm most excited about: I'll finally be able to put my entire video library online! When I first built the original software back in 2006, I thankfully had the foresight to create full video support. That might not seem like a big deal today, but archiving digital videos back in 2006 was an extremely daunting and difficult technical challenge. I continued supporting my video management with several major upgrades over the years, but it eventually got far too difficult to manage. The bottom line was simply that we were creating digital videos at a rate that was just too cumbersome to keep up with. Not to mention, storing videos is expensive. I stopped trying to make all of my videos available some time around 2014 or 2015. That's a pretty big gap now.

Once the migration is completed, I'll finally be able to start putting these online and properly managing them. I've been using YouTube's API for years to automatically place videos on their site, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to do the same with TikTok.

Walnut and Maple Art Easel
June 1st, 2022 | View Post

After watching a handful of Instagram and TikTok videos on custom-made art easels, I was asked if I might be able to make a similar one. The ones that I saw, while functional, were ultimately pretty basic. Since I generally like to try and build my projects as nuanced as I can, I decided it would be best to come up with my own plans. Granted, I did use the basic structural idea of the ones I'd seen, but the design elements were entirely my own.

The easel was crafted from Peruvian Walnut, Ambrosia Maple, and a single piece of Curly Maple (for the easel tray itself). It also has a number of hardware adaptations all of which use black oxide finishing. I think the design decisions ultimately turned out a pretty nice looking easel and it made a great gift.

Dimensionally speaking, the easel stands at 72" tall. It has 1-5/8" (40mm) square legs, a 31" wide easel tray, and as noted above, all of the hardware is finished with black oxide. The main structural pivot bolt is 3/8" at 6-1/2" long. The easel tray bolts are 1/4" at 5-1/2" inches long and compress against the front two legs to lock the tray into place. All of the bolts are lined with black oxide steel washers of varying thicknesses and each outer washer has an outermost neoprene washer included to protect the wood.

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Recent Posts
Preparing the New Site
Walnut and Maple Art Easel
3-Layer Instrumental Jam
Herman Sourdough
Crafting Rachel's Easel Legs
Opening Up a Fresh Durian
Stylish Bluebird House Plans
Best Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Recipe
The St. Louis Treehouse
Updating the Database


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