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Raspberry Pi Shadowbox Case

Come on, no one reads this. However I need a place to show off my Raspberry Pi case, so I will make it go here.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Functional case for the Raspberry Pi as a media player
  • Attractive enough to pass the wife-approval test
  • Can end up near the TV without any furniture around it

So I got this idea...let's mount the thing in a shadow box. It can hang on the wall next to the tv, will have some air in the case to dissipate heat, can have all cables routed out one side, and can have a matte to hide internal wires.

Here's the results!

pi1

This is the mount, before any cabling is done.

pi2

Here it is up on the wall, with some of the cable management. The HDMI cable isn't done yet, so it's just hanging out the bottom.

Pi3

On the wall, with cables in and power on, basically the finished product.

pi4

The finished thing, with raspBMC powered up and running.

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Redoing Bathrooms

Thought I'd show some updates to the work Jenn and I are doing to redo our bathrooms in the new house. All three full bathrooms had awful green 70's tile which we're removing and replacing. One bathroom (the master) has a green tub as well...we'll be getting that resurfaced.

The steps have been as follows:

  1. Remove old tile, being very careful to preserve it to donate to habitat
  2. Remove existing rotted drywall
  3. Clean all surfaces
  4. Put up concrete backer board
  5. Cut tile, apply mortar, put tile up (usually 4-5 stages per room)
  6. Grout tile
  7. Seal tile
  8. Apply Caulk
  9. Replace Fixtures
Read more »
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Lots of Charlottesville

Charlottesville, the bustling little metropolis right in the northern/center of Virginia, the small town with the even smaller town mindset. For being a city serving an 80,000 person metropolis, it's dramatically far behind. There's 4 movie theaters, none of which have more than 6 screens or have stadium seating and none of the movie choices overlap (as in...I won't see Harry Potter 7.2 because it's only showing in the theater that smells most like urine...and there's no other choice to go see it but travel to a different city, or pirate it :D). Of course there's a plan to build a new complex where there would be a great new movie theater...they've been in permitting fights since 2003 and the board is hell bent on not letting them build. In fact, even though a new project group took it over and broke ground to put in the new sewer lines...the city is trying to REVOKE the permits. Why? Read here: http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2011/06/stonefield.html

Some of my favorite exerpts from that little gem:

“This would be perfectly fine down at Short Pump,” said board member Bruce Wardell. “But Short Pump’s out in this contemporary, entirely newly constructed environment.”
“I think if we approve a building with this much stucco in it, we’ll never be able to say no to anybody else with anything this size ever again,” said board member Paul Wright. “Either we’re making an enormous change in our design criteria here or we’re not.”
“I think of these changes as minimal,” Wright said. “I’m getting the same sort of blank white building. I’m getting a building that doesn’t respond to local architecture, and you’re tinkering on the edges.”

Oh well that makes sense, a giant useful new clean complex would be totally worthless if it didn't fit in with the local architecture, right? If it didn't respect the design history of the city? Well I thought I'd highlight some of the design that the city is trying to protect. I won't even have to leave my desk...I'll do it from the comfort of google maps :D

Read more »
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The Hair Length/Crazy Theory.

I have developed a new theory. I believe you can use hair length as a judge of how crazy a girl is. Allow me to explain.

There is an appropriate hair length for each age in your life, as a girl. Not to say you can't deviate, but there's an age-appropriate connection. It's not my own theory, read here. I also conducted my own informal poll where these biases were confirmed. Here's a brief guideline I am proposing on my own:

  • Appropriate Age: 15-25
  • Appropriate Age: 25-35
  • Appropriate Age: 30-40
  • Appropriate Age: 40-50
  • Appropriate Age: 50+

Ok. Look at those 5 groups. Look at the approximate age, and the approximate hair LENGTH (not style). Here's my theory: For each hair-length group outside of your age range you are, add a point. Then, add a bonus point if the hair color is OBVIOUSLY dyed unnaturally (19 year old with pink hair. 87 year old with bright orange hair, etc.) If you have 2 or more points...You're nuts, or a pain in the ass. It's an "avoid" flag. If you're 23 and have spiky short hair...proceed with caution. If you're 67 and have a ponytail down to your lower back...you're selling pet squirrels and turquoise jewelry on the side of the freeway. If you're just 1 away...that's fine, maybe a tiny warning, but it's a safe-zone.

This is my own opinion and my own theory, but I'm interested in feedback. And experiences. I call it the "Gullo Hair Length/Craziness" theory. DISCUSS!

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Critical Excel Macro

I use excel constantly, and some things I require are freezing panes, autofitting the columns, adding auto filters, and standardizing the row heights. Here's the code for the macro I use, and I shortcut it with Ctrl+J.

Sub MakeSpreadsheetReadable()
'
' MakeSpreadsheetReadable Macro
' Macro recorded 5/23/2011 by Gullo, Joseph T. *HS
'
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+j
'
    Rows("1:1").Select
    Selection.AutoFilter
    Range("A2").Select
    ActiveWindow.FreezePanes = True
    ActiveWindow.Zoom = 70
    Cells.Select
    Cells.EntireColumn.AutoFit
    Selection.RowHeight = 12.75
End Sub
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