Poplar Butcherblock Countertops

Butcherblock countertops are a popular alternative to laminate at the low end and marble or granite at the high end. They are made from a variety of hardwoods and you can buy them pre-made in standard and custom sizes. They aren’t cheap. My kitchen needed at least 10′ of countertop in the standard cabinet depth of 25″. I could order 1½” thick counters for about $600.00 – 2″ thick was over 800.00. The only way to afford butcherblock countertops for me was to build them myself.

You might have thought I misspelled “popular” in the title of this article. No, I didn’t. I meant Poplar, the type of wood. It’s (more…)

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Review: PortaMate PM5000

Miter Saw Stand BlissIf you have a nice, big shop, you might not need a portable miter saw stand. I don’t have a workshop though, just a patio with a small area for storage. When I got my miter saw, I had to set it up on some scrap plywood straddling a couple of saw horses. And because it is a small patio, I sometimes had to move the saw one way or the other or take it all apart and move the saw horses and plywood and saw… You get the idea. It was a real hassle.

With precious little usable lung tissue, I had to come up with a solution that didn’t involve me expending a great deal of energy moving the saw around. Back in my (more…)

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Functional Design: A Mad Modder Is Born

Functional Design and GrumpFunctional Design was named in memory of my friend and business associate, Larry Furth, who owned a furniture and floorcovering store, Functional Designs of Reno, NV. This project began in 2003 as a simple search for components to build myself a new computer. Although I had assembled several computers for friends and family, repaired and upgraded many other PCs, (more…)

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Oak Side Table

Traditional Round Oak Side Table, by Gilda Furniture

The vision I had for my bedroom remodel was along traditional lines. Although my apartment is a low-slung tri-plex, built in the 1990s here in the real Northern California – Feather River Country – I felt that I could give it a classic and metro-stylish look of elegance. Furnishings play a big role in that end and I have accomplished it even while on a very limited budget. One of the elements of this design was to have a traditional looking round oak side table, instead of the standard bedside end table.

Table as shown on amazonI prefer to shop locally, but there are very few furniture stores in Plumas County that carry quality furniture. I looked, but finally had to spend time searching the Internet for what I wanted. I found what I wanted on Amazon.com for less than $150.00. This Oak side table is an excellent addition to my bedroom. The actual color of it is lighter than the image on Amazon depicted and slightly darker than the thumbnail image of the grain pattern they showed. It’s a beautiful golden oak color and (more…)

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Disability and Depression

Dealing With Depression Associated With Disability

by John Meyers

DepressionIn my years of working with adults with developmental disabilities, I also dealt with many people with physical disabilities and with mental illness. Sometimes, they had all three! One thing I learned for sure is that you don’t have to have a developmental disability to have other disabilities. People who have an onset of a severe physical disability, whether it’s an obvious disability such as the loss of a limb or your sight, or less noticeable such as heart trouble or the loss of lung function, can easily slip into depression. And depression is serious stuff.

We all get “depressed” at times, but (more…)

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To Avatar, or Not To Avatar

Grump, my alter egoNearly all the commonly used message boards allow the use of what is known as an “avatar.” These are the little pictures that you see next to the member’s names in the message thread. Many of the message boards I have been involved with offer a list of interesting avatars that you can set up in the user control panel. You can choose from a couple dozen or even hundreds of pre-selected avatars, or you can upload one from your computer, or point to one of your own located on your website.

Avatars are so popular and forums so prevalent that there are websites solely devoted to offering you a huge assortment of avatars. Some are free, some you pay for, some are plain and simple, some can be joined with frames and other image elements. They come in many sizes, but usually will not exceed the dimensions most common message boards allow. Here (more…)

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Recessed Door Pulls

This is a review of the Baldwin Hardware Flush Mount Door Pull I purchased for my bedroom closet doors and a pocket door. In my bedroom remodel, I used metal accents with a Venetian Bronze finish. I searched Google Images until I thought I found the door pulls what I was looking for.

Some things you have to see in person to fully appreciate their suitability. The Baldwin Hardware Flush Door Pull in Venetian Bronze (more…)

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Doctors Ain’t Always Right

Doctors ain't always rightThree years ago, one of my doctors at the Veterans Hospital in Reno, NV told me I had 2, maybe 3 years left. I am very happy to be here to show you that doctors ain’t always right.

Yes, I still do have COPD (Emphysema). Some doctors call it late stage, some end stage, others call it severe COPD. Whatever stage it is, it means that they have prescribed for me the last, best drugs and treatment to extend my life – and my breathing – as much as possible. There is no cure, (more…)

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Building a Platform Bed

Building a Platform Bed for Style and Storage Is Easy

You could say the problem with my bedroom is that it’s too small. Trying to move around in my bedroom is difficult – I keep bumping into things. The bed, the dresser, the other dresser, the end table and them damn posts that stick up on all four corners of the bed. I tried to solve the problem a while back by cutting the 2 posts off the footboard part of the bed. I turned a $1200.00 bed frame into a mistake that’s worth 50 bucks now, if I’m lucky.

But wait… maybe it’s not the room’s fault. True, it is only 11′ x 12’6″ (not counting the 2×8′ closet), but that’s not nearly as small as some bedrooms I installed flooring in over a 35 year span. Maybe the real problem is my continued insistence to stuff all the big furniture from my old house into this much smaller space. And I’ve been living like this for nearly 4 years now. Well, not like the mess you see in the pictures (more…)

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Building a Storage Unit

Jim can use tools!I’m starting a new project, a small storage unit attached to the side of my apartment on the back patio. Wait just a darn minute here, you say? That’s right, I’m not so bad with tools. Did I forget to tell you I did flooring for 35 years? Have I not mentioned… well, no, I haven’t written about my little projects here yet. Sorry. I’m kinda jumpin’ around here because last year I did a major remodel of my main living space. And just a month or so ago I finished building (more…)

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