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April 2011

April 27, 2011

Aesop's Labels - Who can live without a labeler?

I have vestigial secretarial abilities. Perhaps you do too.


April 25, 2011

My niece's first welding project - drop dead gorgeous eagle bracket

Welding is so cool.  You can make a piece that's beautiful, permanent and deeply yours in almost no time.  My niece Susanna did this on her very first day using a cutting torch and welder.  I just love this.  (Wire feed welders are like glue guns, except you get molten metal instead of gooey plastic.)


Lose the pudge; my experiment with an 'accelerometer'

In just over 3 months I've lost more weight (10 pounds) than I originally planned (7 pounds) by using a MyTrak accelerometer to track exercise duration and intensity.  I've also lowered my resting heart rate from 68 to 50.  I haven't been this in-shape since birth.

I realized back in January that I had become a porker.  My thighs puddled when I sat down.  I had glutenous lumps where my hips used to be.  And my bum was showing too much interest in gravity. 

I had been sent a MyTrak M2 accelerometer to test in December so I finally opened the box and clipped the unit on my waistband.  It's been an unbelievably speedy, fun journey back to being springy, strong and flexible. 

The best part about wearing an accelerometer is that you lose weight by actually moving instead of focusing on food. I don't know about you, but dieting just makes me want to eat more. All day.  Especially chocolate. 

The company that makes these things has even lowered the price for the basic hardware (from $149 to $79) since I first wrote about MyTrak in my weekly column.

Now that I'm back in shape my new goal is achieving 'Cheetah' status on my MyTrak profile and becoming a marathon runner (if this guy can do it at 81, what's my excuse?). 

More juicy details in the video.

Cool project: Make a small knife from a nail

via www.instructables.com

This is a really cool exercise in micro-forging. You just need basic tools and a propane torch.  And what a cool implement for the next time you serve dip.

April 20, 2011

Bang-Up Job - Choosing a hammer that fits

My hammer collection is hovering close to 50; they're like jewels to me.  Here are a few that might work for you. 


April 18, 2011

Swoony Spoony Goodness

via www.osianbw.com

A quirky and inventive chair from British designer Osian Batyka-Williams. Knifely done!

Pipe Dreams - Piet Hein Eek's tube chairs

via www.designboom.com

Post-industrial design at its most sublime; glam couches and chairs upcycled from steel tubing.

Tube Job: Page Tan's insanely cool igloo stool

via www.designboom.com

Ah, the sweet collision of cable ties and PVC tubing.

April 15, 2011

Building with kids; make a cool birdhouse with a 6-year-old

What kid doesn't love building things?  Here's an engaging design that looks like an Ewok hut from Star Wars.  An adult can do the cutting, and kids can do the drilling with a hand drill or a small power drill.  The rest of the tasks are easily shared.  

Here's Part 2 - the roof

And Part 3 - the dramatic conclusion - plus Zander teaches me how to blow bubbles!

April 12, 2011

Do-it-yourself Non-Toxic Dry Cleaning (and cheap too)

The chemicals used in traditional dry-cleaning are absolutely disgusting. Here's an inexpensive, extremely effective DIY solution.

If you’ve ever known a theatrical wardrobe mistress, you’ve met someone who’s smart and under-appreciated.  

Without the calm grace of the wardrobe mistress, most theatrical productions would unravel faster than a chorus girl’s virtue on opening night.  

Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating.  But have you ever wondered how you’d keep sweaty actors’ costumes fresh night after night for weeks on end when you can only send out the smelly clothing for dry cleaning once a week?

Continue reading "Do-it-yourself Non-Toxic Dry Cleaning (and cheap too)" »


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie