omg thread

The Foster Floodplain, until the recent heavy rains, had a tree I liked a lot. Every time I’d go out there with a camera I’d take a picture, trying to sort of … solve it, I guess. I could see a picture, but I couldn’t get the conditions I needed to get the picture. Too much foliage, light wasn’t right, couldn’t separate it from the background. Just about two years ago I got my best picture of it on a foggy morning. It still wasn’t quite right, and I kept looking for the moment. A few weeks ago, I kind of got close a second time.

This week, after heavy floods, I went back to the floodplain and the tree was gone. I guess it finally toppled in the flooded ground. I don’t think I ever solved it, but I did love it very much.

“Once we recognize that all things are impermanent, we have no problem enjoying them.” — Thich Nhat Hanh


Dry Creek Falls

Best lower back therapy. Finally got out on the new Pranayama today. Initial impression: A notch better than my favorite, the Pantheon Trip.

Today my Pantheon Pranayama arrived after moooonths of waiting list and preorder hang time. TKP trucks, plush 85mm wheels, just enough flex. Can’t wait to take this out.

Building the panic room

I’ve done three projects over the past six months or so: I made a patio cover and built a sectional for it, I did an easy-to-revert conversion of our garage into a home theater, and I built a loft for Ben.

The loft project started when Ben said he wanted to rearrange his space a little. We looked at it, and talked about his options, but I kept coming back to the notion that he was just sort of maxed out: A full bed, a desk for his computer, a giant beanbag for his gaming area … there just wasn’t much space, and rearranging it felt like it wouldn’t net much.

I proposed a loft, and after a little debate we decided to add it to my backlog.

Thinking back to my own lofts in college, and remembering when Ben had a rickety IKEA one when he was much younger, one thing I knew I wanted to get rid of was the need for a ladder or a climb up the end from floor-level. After some poking around, I found this design on

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It had a few benefits:

  • stairs instead of ladders, with a deck at a decent level to make it easy to get in and out of the bed
  • simple design using 2x4 and 2x6, with no tricky cuts or techniques.
  • easily modified design: I could see how to increase its depth to accommodate a full bed, increase its width to go wall-to-wall in Ben’s room, and increase the height of the down-below area to make it easier for 6’2” Ben to get in and out.

Ben signed off and we took about three days to complete the basic loft, from clearing out his room to give me space to build all the way to screwing the stairs down to complete it.

Besides modifying the basic dimensions, I reused Ben’s IKEA slats system, rather than putting the mattress down on 2x4s for a little better feel.

Because I ended up going wall-to-wall, I was able to add more stability to offset the increased height and width by bolting ledgers to two of the walls and anchoring to them. I experimented with knee braces before settling on that, and they helped a lot, but just anchoring on ledgers makes it rock solid.

He was able to use it on the first night:

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On the second, I had the deck in place, but couldn’t quite get to the stairs.

On the third night, I had the stairs in place, and we decided to partially enclose the bottom area with a piece of plywood:

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The plywood didn’t sit that well with me visually, even less so when I built a sliding barn door for the bottom, so I got some cedar fencing and cut it to size to provide a facade that matches the door:

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The wall and door make it feel pretty cozy down below. He put an extra rug down, and it works with the mattress ceiling to dampen the sound in there, creating this sense that you’re in a very different space from the outer room.

Springwater & Floodplain

Fiiiiinally took the time to get pi-hole up on the Synology. Pausing for a moment to remember the day my server started making burnt plastic smells in the nursery and I decided shared hosting was probably fine for my purposes.

Morning coffee walk and the first COVID Couches of 2021

Hug Point

Oswald West & Cannon Beach

Hug Point

Rainy and quiet in Manzanita

Manzanita, a little before midnight.

Last COVID Couch of the year

Break area

Manzanita NYE

Oblig Camp 18 stop

On the way to Manzanita

The Coviplex is pretty much wrapped up.

Coffee walk down Foster

Springwater walk

Christmas Day walk. Wandered out of the back of the Foster Floodplain and into an asphalt factory.