Preparing for 2021

I’ve decided to focus on deep cleaning, organizing, and purging inventory in the studio. I’m halting all of my own projects until this is complete, with the hopes I can resume everything again on Jan 1st.

To that end, about a month ago I started planning out drawer organizers using foam core boards held together with hot glue. Yesterday, I was able to complete two of them.

Combination of foam boards and custom 3-D printed holders (left side).

There are still two more drawers in that credenza, and eight drawers in my main desk pedestals that need to be done. I hope to be able to do two drawers per week.

I also took the time to completely empty off my desk (computer monitors, charging stations, etc.) and dusted and wiped everything down. I rearranged and relocated a lot of things on the desktop to a point where I could deploy my new MOTU M2 which I’ll be using in the future for some video projects.

This lead to the DeLorean going up on top of the cupboards in it’s display case. I’ll leave it up there most of the time and only pull it down when new parts come it.

And, lastly, been keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Eta.

Tropical Storm Eta – Sunday, November 8, 2020 1:00pm EST Advisory 33A.

Movies added to library: Angel Has Fallen
Read: AARP The Magazine, October/November 2020

Studio Organizing

Cleaning up and organizing the studio has been a high priority this weekend. It’s started with some smaller projects like going through the literally cleaning, week’s mail, going over finances, and ripping movies. It’s now progressed into making forward movement on some small projects and looking at the space here and organizing.

I heard Adam Savage recently reiterate a saying has: “drawers are where things go to die.” And I would agree. But he reminded me that there’s a particularly interesting way to organize drawers to prevent that, which is to build an insert with custom dividers out of foam-core.

With that in mind, I started looking at all the drawers in the studio and now have it on the docket to properly organize, and subsequently clean out, the drawers. This will include organizing some items, such as spare external and internal hard drives, into caddies, which I currently have printing on the Ender.

I also purchased an online course called Fusion 360 for Makers by the guys at I Like to Make Stuff. I spent a few hours yesterday plowing through the first six chapters and it’s great. I’m hoping to spend more time on it today.

Anyway, next up is working on the DeLorean.


All Taped Up

This morning I finished capturing all of the DV tapes. In total there was about 17.5 hours of footage. The next step will be to figure out how to also capture the roughly ten or so 8mm/Hi-8 tapes, of which I don’t have a camcorder or deck for that format. I’ve ordered a capture card and need to get my hands on a playback device.

Next up is doing some work around the house. Going to go apply fertilizer to the lawn and then I need to fix one of the vertical blind blades.

Added to the movie library today: Capote

Archiving In Progress

Yesterday I was able to capture and archive 11 DV tapes. There are 29 tapes in total. Some are full, some aren’t, but in either case capturing the video is tedious as I have to capture in realtime (a 45 minute tape takes 45 minutes to capture).

Lucikly, the new computer was powerful enough to also let me archive a slew of old video game CD-ROMs and DVDs, some old software on disc, and an archive of old projects. These, plus some personal tapes were additional archives I decided to create to elimiate the possibility of loosing the data due to tape and disc degradation. Today, I continue to archive. I’m hoping everything will be finished by end of day tomorrow.

I’m also going to start researching how to properly insulate the garage doors today, which is the next house project.

Some Rest and Some Fun Work

Tonight I begin a 10-day time off stretch. I need the downtime from the craziness of the day job this year. I bunch of rest is in store for me over the next few days but that doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing.

Tonight I installed an inexpensive Vantec Firewire 400/800 card in the new computer and hauled the old Panasonic PV-GS150 out of retirement so I can re-capture a ton of old footage back onto the computer.

The project in question was shot in 2005 and 2006 and, if I recall correctly, was about 12 total hours of footage. I mainly want to recapture so I can make sure that all of the tapes are in a digital format in case they deteriorate, etc.

Office Remodel Day 137

It’s been awhile since I posted an update on the office remodel, but the big stuff is complete. The countertops were installed several weeks ago, I’ve purchased and hung the cabinets and have also gotten the guitars and electronics parts bins on the wall. The only things left to do are:

  • Buy a 70″ (or less) sleeper sofa.
  • Buy an area run.
  • Get some art and/or shelving for the walls.

Here are some photos:

Cari’s desk.


My desk.


The guitars’ new home.


All of the storage.

Office Remodel Day 68

It looks like we’re near the end of the long road to a remodeled office. Typically, the fabricator comes out and measures everything, you pick the materials you want (we’re doing quartz), you get an estimate, you sign off on it, you get an install date, and then they do the install. And that whole process usually takes three to four weeks.

For us, they came out and measured… two-and-a-half months ago. That room has been cleaned, painted, a few things re-arranged and completely emptied out. The drawer pedestals have been installed and affixed to the walls. All of this was done the first two weeks after the initial order.

Yesterday, we finally got the estimate and signed off. We’re expecting the countertop to be delivered in 7 to 12 business days. Today I need to finish building out the supports for the counter to sit on and it’s also time to order new chairs, drawer organizers, cupboards, etc. for the room.

The room before adding countertop supports.

Network Re-engineering Complete

Soon after I got this site back up, I decided to re-engineer the internals of the network at the studio. This, ultimately, took this site down again (along with others).

The biggest change was the refactoring of the hypervisors’ datastores. I have two hypervisors running VMware ESXi. Each hypervisor had a series of internal hard drives that stored all of the data (datastores). When I first implemented the hypervisors, I thought I was clever by having these disks internal, as I was using the OSes of the VMs to mirror across multiple physical disks for redundancy, as well as JBOD the disks for greater storage. The problem was that this wasn’t conducive to having the hypervisors redundant, only the hard disks. The only way to fix that was to get a NAS or SAN that supported iSCSI. So, l got an enclosure, populated it, and began the process of building new iSCSI targets. After moving the data off of all the internal HDDs onto the iSCSI targets, I was able to vMotion VMs all onto one hypervisor, shut it down, and remove all of the internal drives. Then, I repeated those steps for the hypervisor. Ahh…

Fireworks and Firewalls

July 4thHappy Fourth of July, all! Cari and I have spent Saturday running errands, and yesterday was a lazy, movie day. Today is shaping up to be a mixture of the two. I think we’re going to go check out the fireworks tonight after I make a huge batch of nachos. Mmm…

Why no posts for a while? A little history: There were a bunch of WatchGuard Firebox X700s sitting around, unused for years at my old job. I got a hold of one and upgraded the RAM and CPU, put quieter fans in it, and loaded pfSense on it. It ran great.

But, the Ethernet interfaces were all 100MBps, and as I programmed the device more and more for the new house, I realized that moving data from one network segment to another was painfully slow with those interfaces and I began hunting for a new system with gigabit Ethernet. I found what I wanted, but needed to order from China. So, on Saturday, June 11, I did just that and then immediately went to some Forums where people had been talking about this appliance and posted that I had ordered one too, and would update everyone on my experience.

That night, sometime after 4:22am on Sunday, my Firebox died. Of course. Almost three weeks later, I finally got the new firewall in, programmed it, put it in place and began using it.

So, with bringing this website in-house a couple of months ago, the entire site was inaccessible until the last few days. Hence, no posts. Hopefully this new firewall is going to last a long time. So far, I love it.

Well, time to go jump in the pool for a bit.