- Taking our son on his first hiking trip
- Working for the City of Asheville
- Riding my bike to work
- Installing a maple counter top
Hiking Trip: John's Rock
We didn't let a chance of thunderstorms scare us from hiking a beautiful 6 mile loop in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC (45 minutes from Asheville). Simon fed before we set out, at the summit, and in the car while we waited for a tree to be cleared from the road. It rained cats and dogs on the last 2 miles of the hike. Fortunately, Susan had a pack cover that we used to cover Simon and he didn't cry. =) I carried him for the whole hike and look forward to when he has head control and we can use our backpack carrier.
Summer Job: IT division with the City of Asheville
I was thrilled to be invited back to work for the City of Asheville this summer. I have the pleasure of working in a one of the most beautiful buildings around, Asheville City Hall, on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by Philadelphia and Paris trained architect Douglas Ellington and built in 1928. My major work projects included a spatial database of city maintained buildings and making maps from historical aerial photos. I will post separately about the map project, which is incredibly gratifying.
Bicycle commuting: I love it!
I have a ridden my bike to work daily this summer with exceptions of 4 days when there was rain or I need to pick up photos for work. Taking care of junior each afternoon makes it hard to find time to workout, so this is an efficient solution. Riding daily has changed how I bike and drive. I implore bicyclists to obey all traffic laws, not ride on sidewalks, and not pass cars on the right unless you have a dedicated lane. Passing cars on the inside increases chances of a right hook, when a car turns right into a cyclist. When the speed limit is 20, I can maintain my position in traffic and ride in the middle of the lane. At round-abouts and other potentially dangerous spots, I take my lane early and watch my back.
Installing the maple countertop
I bought an 8/4 (2" thick) slab of ambrosia maple from a friend who planed, sanded and treated it for boring insects. After consultation with our local wood shop, I decided to use ClearCote brand table top epoxy for a durable finish. More common is West 105, which is a marine grade product that would be overkill for this light application. After two coats, I noticed small piles of sawdust from boring insect eating their way out. My friend had not used enough Boracare on the wood. After living in the wood for 2-5 years, the larvae eat their way out and look for a new piece of wood in which to lay their eggs. I called the epoxy manufacturer who recommended fumigation, but this was prohibitively expensive. I chanced ruining the wood by kiln drying it, and it totally worked. The larvae were killed, and to my surprise, the epoxy was not ruined. One last thicker coat of the epoxy made it look like glass, which is what I wanted.
Mounting to the brick wall took a bit of time, and the iron pipe leg was cut a little short at the hardware store, so I had to shim it. I wanted to use something round and rather than cut a piece of wood, I settled on using old compact discs. They worked like a charm and Susan and I are thrilled to have a place for dinner guests to hang out that is NOT in the kitchen.
Of interest to me and hopefully at least one other person