Living outside the United States sometimes we need to get creative to access the great internet services back home like SlingTV, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, etc… Most the time a DNS Redirection service works well but for some services only a VPN will work. Now I don’t want to run everything over the VPN as they can be slow at times, so setting us some simple rules on our router will take care of everything.
For this example I’m going to have my AppleTV use the VPN while other traffic does not. I’ll be using the latest build of Advance Tomato on my ASUS router and OpenVPN service from Smart DNS Proxy but this will work with most routers and VPNs though the setup might be different or manual.
What red blooded American hasn’t wanted to be able to tap a keg at home and pour yourself beer? Well if you home brew after a while you do get sick and tired of cleaning, sanitizing, filling, and capping bottles. The solution is to build yourself a kegerator to condition and serve beer draft style.
After performing research on all the best home brew web sites I was really inspired by the keezers I saw a decided to go that route. A keezer is a chest freezer that has been modified for use with beer.
Our house is wired for gigabit ethernet in almost every room of the house. This works out great for streaming media from our home theater PC. When our faith router finally died we decided to get an Apple Time Capsule as we have as few Apple devices in the house and the automatic backup would be a nice bonus. Additionally it’s a nice small all-in-one that will fit in with the new life in Bermuda.
One day on Facebook a friend linked to a image of the Seven Lovely Logics. I thought it was neat and it instantly gave me an idea for filling that blank space on the bathroom wall. On my next trip down to Ikea, I picked up VIRSERUM picture frames, three white and four black. Yes, seven in total.
I created the right size printouts for the saying and placed them in the picture frames and arranged them on the wall. Simple but it looks great! That and no more big blue wall.
I’ve been using the standing desk for about 8 months now and I’m loving it. It’s been very functional, I no longer have any back pain, and I’ve received many complements on it’s design. But it wasn’t without some issues, since my initial post I’ve made a few updates to the desk and have used some additional Ikea products.
First the cables were driving me nuts! So I’ve added some cable management to the desk. To do this I went out and bought the EXPEDIT Door Insert and installed it under the monitor and computer. I then drilled a 1.5″ in hole in the top of the EXPEDIT book case to allow cables to pass in and out while leaving the VIKA desktop untouched. This also had the benefit of allowing me to hide the UPS in addition to all of the power cables running everywhere for a much cleaner look.
Next was the clutter, it needed to be hidden as well. So help this issues I added some BRANÄS Baskets and another EXPEDIT Door Insert to hide the clutter. At the end, am left with a well organized and clean workspace!
I wanted the centerpiece to our home office remodel to be a nice set of built in bookcases. I have always loved the built in bookcases and other features of many craftsman and other homes but being we live in a 1970’s generic home there are none of these feature in our house. On order to have these new bookcases fit in with the custom desk I built, they needed to have a uniquely modern to them. In order to keep with that idea I decided to use a lot of 90 degree lines with no rounded corners or fancy trim.
Like the desk components, the bookcases also came from Ikea and are the BILLY series of bookcases in the same color to match the desk.
I get asked about the difficulty level of my posts ofter so let me state that the construction process for these built-in bookcases was quite involved and not recommended for first timers. With that in mind this is how the project was completed.
The first step was assembling the bookcases I replaced the cardboard backs that come from Ikea with custom cut hardboard that I then painted three different colors. I wanted to paint the backs of the bookcases as an entirely black wall would be too dark for the small room and I used three different complimentary colors to keep it interesting and add some flare. The bookcases were then glued together with Gorilla Glue to make sure nothing would ever move and placed on a new platform that was constructed along the back wall that was about 8 inches high. Each of the bookcases were then glued to each other with Gorilla Glue to make one solid and massive BILLY. After being secured in place of the top and bottom to the base and wall studs, the top, bottom, and sides were finished in with cabinet grade wood that was painted (not stained) to match the black-brown BILLY bookcases. Then I ran vertical trim from floor to ceiling over the joints where the bookcases met and horizontal trim inset by a 1/4 inch at the top and bottom of each BILLY to finish off the integration.
Since the bookcases would cover the old wall we were free to cut as much drywall as needed to move the outlet from the wall to a new position much high allowing a stereo to be plugged in on one of the shelves. Let me tell you how fun it is to mess up a wall that you don’t have to fix to perfection when done! 🙂
Some beer glasses, books, and NASA Tweetup swag and we’ve now got some great looking built-in bookcases.