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December 13th, 2007

09:54 pm - Pets
So much for keeping this updated!  I will still try though.

I never had pets before.  My mom had always been freaked out by "furry things that run around."  Actually, I did have a bunny, but bunnies are really boring.  Now that I have cats, it's strange what a difference daily life is.  A few points:

Always Occupied.  Cats always keep the house company.  Whenever I used to coming back from a trip, even for just a day, the house would smell new - like drywall.  That seems to go away with having cats.  The house always smells occupied.

Stuff Out of Place.  Cats love to open closets, knock things over, and explore.  Before pets, I would freak out if things seemed out of place (even in my chaotic bedroom - it made sense to me.)  Now, I seem desensitized to all those little things.  Probably a good thing.

Necessary Routines.  Having a pet requires all sorts of care from feeding to cleaning up poop and vomit.  I think having a pet is probably a good runner up to having a child (that's probably a horrible, horrible comparison - well not having kids anyway :-).   First thing in the morning I usually hear the meow of a hungry cat rather than my alarm clock.  It works a lot better too.  That is, cats freaking out vs an inanimate alarm clock that you can smack around brings me to my next point...

Worrying.  I end up worrying about the well being of our cats.  So when Pudding starts sneezing, I become a lot more aware of what she's doing and how she may be feeling.  It's different having to care for someone's health other than your own.

Desensitized.  Not only am I desensitized to stuff out of place, but also of furry things that brush up against me when I'm doing other things.  Also, I used to have pretty bad allergies, and now it's a rare thing.

Entertaining.  Cats are very entertaining.  Not only can they appear on this hilarious show but they do crazy things.  Before I met Sara, I never thought pets would be that much fun, but they walk this line of being "just smart enough."

Just Smart Enough.  I'm amazed at how smart pets are.  They respond when talked to, they understand what we're doing, they can figure out closets, stairs, and get to places which seem impossible.  They are also inquisitive, like when Pudding just stares at the water droplets rolling off the walls of the shower or sticks her paw under the faucet to test it.  I wonder what she thinks about that.  They display all this thoughtfulness, but yet they don't try to understand the crazy things we do.  For example, they don't question the television - this weird box we stare at for an hour.  Nor do they try to understand writing.   I can't believe they can be so smart, but not that smart.  Learning is something they do, but they are not proactive about it.

This probably all sounds very obvious for those who always had pets.  Actually, after reading again, this probably also applies to having an unkept roommate.

In the end, I'm glad we have the cats.  They make you appreciate the small things they care about.

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November 10th, 2007

03:45 pm - Ikea Hack: Speaker Stands
I sent this in to Ikea Hacker because my wife and I love the ideas people post on the site.  We're glad to give something back.

I made these speaker stands out of the Ikea Dudero Lamps.  I had been shopping around for speaker stands for awhile, but they were all too expensive or just not what I had in mind. I picked this lamp in particular because it has a heavy base and a wider tube on the stand.  I'm sure other lamps could be used... and Ikea has plenty of affordable ones!  Here are directions if you want to make speaker stands, too...

Materials For Each Stand:
  • Ikea Dudero Lamps: $9.99/each
  • Metal Coat Hanger
  • L-Shaped Bracket
  • Two Washers
  • Two Nuts
  • One Screw
  • Scissors
  • Nosed Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Medium Coke (keep the energy up)
  • Coasters (to protect new Ikea coffee table)

  1. Take the lamp stand out of the box (it is partially assembled).
  2. Remove the electrical parts using pliers.  The wiring will need to be cut and the plastic pieces removed. 
  3. Reassemble the stand just like a lamp.
  4. Use the coat hanger to feed the speaker wire through the lamp.  There are holes in the lamp stand near the top and bottom for this.  You can either tie or tape the wire to the hanger.
  5. Place the bracket on the top of the lamp stand and secure it using the threaded piece on the top of the lamp.  
  6. Mount the speaker (depending on how yours is made).  I simply needed two washers, two nuts, and a screw to hang the speakers.
  7. Admire your finished product!
Not sure what we will do with the 4 leftover paper lamp shades yet.  :-)
Current Mood: happyhappy

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