Monday, September 19, 2016

Dear Diary #25: Joule Heating, Natural Light, Sound

Dear Diary,

And I spent a few hours trying to figure out what compressors, levelers, and limiters were.

Cleaning out a bunch of graduate school notes. Come across the notes for a course I dropped: stacks of manuals for course notes. Now I remember why I dropped you...

I hate filming with natural light. It's beautiful but STOP MOVING!

Spent an hour learning Joule Heating and there's no test tomorrow... That was some interesting stuff. Seriously.

No one appears to want to buy my decade old textbooks from college that are multiple editions out of date. I can't figure out why.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: Ikea MALM 2-Drawer Chest

Time to fix that big mistake I made years ago: buying a KULLEN 2-chest drawer instead of a MALM 2-chest drawer I actually wanted. That's what happens when you don't bother to remember the name of the product you're buying, the exact aisle and bin number in the warehouse, or the price of the item -- I was wondering why it was so cheap.
Ikea MALM 2-Drawer Chest: Just out of the box
x1 - Ikea MALM 2-Drawer Chest: US$ 54.99 (CA$ 69.99)

Paid: ~CA$ 55 (sale)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dear Diary #24: SPL Meters, Audio, Voices

Dear Diary,

Not in the business of recording my own voice -- ever. Now that I'm forcing myself to do it, I don't know who that person coming out of the speakers is. Sure isn't anyone I've been listening to for decades.

Learned to do basic audio editing. Been avoiding this for years because it'd take a lot of work. Wasn't that hard but I clearly don't know what I'm doing. Didn't know my mouth made so many clicking noises when speaking.

Almost googled "free iPod." Wow, that has to be rock bottom. On the other hand...

Blew my budget getting a new SPL meter. Been using the same Radio Shack model for a decade now, I'm surprised it still works and no batteries have ever leaked -- think I've only changed it out twice or thrice.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Dear Diary #23: Shipping, Puisque, Mics

Dear Diary,

Bought a bunch of stuff that ships from the U.S. of A. Things are taking forever to arrive.

Bought a microphone stand. Found out I may not really need it and may even prefer not having one considering I paid extra to get a mic that isn't as sensitive to every small noise or vibration. Good thing I got the base model stand?

Keep forgetting the meaning of the word "puisque," keep looking it up, keep forgetting it again. Same with "d'ailleur."

A bank machine I used didn't check my PIN until I got into the menu, making me think the PIN checked out. Five minutes later, I got locked out. Woops.

Trying to buy things and I keep seeing reviews about people receiving potential counterfeit items. I hate being so cynical but looks like I can't turn away.


Monday, August 22, 2016

J.Crew Abingdon Briefcase Impressions: Not the Laptop Bag?

For the past while, I thought the Abingdon line of bags at J.Crew was being replaced with the Harwick bags. This assumption came about as I saw the Abingdon Laptop Bag disappear from the American or Canadian J.Crew website. If I remember correctly, the Messenger Bag remained available and there may have even been a duffel bag. It was the Abingdon Laptop Bag that I paid attention to because I liked it enough to purchase one and use it for a while -- I have since Craiglisted it at a substantial discount.
J.Crew Abingdon Laptop Bag: Front
During a recent "trip" to the American J.Crew website, something familiar turned up: an Abingdon bag that looked like my old Laptop Bag. This one, however, was called the Abingdon Briefcase. That's funny because I purchased my Abingdon Laptop Bag with the sole intent of using it as a briefcase. And if you're wondering, I noticed the Abingdon Duffel Bag, Weekender Bag, Messenger Bag, and Travel Kit on the site as well.

Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any J.Crew Abingdon Briefcase products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the J.Crew United States website or Canada website in late August 2016. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

Ikea Allen Key and Wrench Measurements: Trying to estimate?

What size are common Ikea Hex Keys and Wrenches?
Up until yesterday, despite having put together over a dozen pieces of Ikea furniture and having accumulated about a half-dozen keys/wrenches, I did not know -- only a half dozen because I didn't start collecting them until more recently. Why would I want to know anyway, they come "free" with the furniture set every time. And most of them seem to be roughly the same size.

But if I'm putting together so much furniture, why don't I do a bit better and get myself a better tool that doesn't make my fingers ache after assembly? Like a ratchet with changeable sockets? Guess it could also be useful if I threw out all my keys and needed to do some work.
Hex Key and Wrench Collection: Six hex keys, one wrench
Ikea Hex / Allen Key Dimensions: Trying to get an estimate
I've been meaning to do this forever but didn't have a caliper and didn't feel like doing it with a cheap plastic ruler. There was also that thing about having to pay for a ratchet and a collection of heads once I had measurements. So, guess who finally got a caliper and decided to get that ratchet?

Below is a video of measurements being taken of a small collection of hex keys and a wrench that should have come from Ikea. This was my first time using a caliper in years, maybe even a decade, so accuracy is definitely not guaranteed. The last time was in high school or college. Thank goodness for Google. Video and images should be high enough in resolution to be able to read the caliper.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ikea NITTIO LED bulb Impressions: Only 20 lumens?

Accidentally came across this new Ikea NITTIO LED bulb on the American Ikea website while looking up details on the RYET and LEDARE models. Very attractive product that stood out immediately from the other LED bulbs on the page.
A bulb on a table lamp
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any NITTIO products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in mid August 2016. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

LED Bulbs Review: Ikea RYET & LEDARE 400 lm, RYET 600 lm

A compact fluorescent light bulb decided to crack itself open upon burning out. The glass turned black on one end and a small chip of glass popped off. Good thing I didn't bother to change that bulb until a week after it went out. It had a nice opportunity to air itself out the whole time. That must have been healthy. Not like they're filled with mercury or anything toxic.

This wasn't the first time a CFL broke in the house before, but every previous incident involved preventable idiocy of some kind. Having one blow its own top off was new and not a risk I was willing to take any longer considering that the price of LED bulbs had dropped substantially.

The LED bulbs I bought just before I wrote this review ranged from around CA$ 2.00 to CA$ 7.00 each. I switched the bulbs from CFLs to LEDs in 2013 for one room when they were still CA$ 10.00 to CA$ 25.00 each -- they're all still kicking.
Ikea RYET 400 and 600 lumen LED bulbs
x6 - Ikea RYET LED bulb E26 400 lumen, 2 pack: CA$ 3.99 (US$ 1.99)
x3 - Ikea RYET LED bulb E26 600 lumen, 2 pack: CA$ 6.49 (US$ 3.99)
x1 - Ikea LEDARE LED bulb E26 400 lumen, 1 pack: CA$ 6.99 (US$ 3.99)

Note that the product photo for the LEDARE 400 lumen bulb looked very different on the American Ikea site compared to the one on the Canadian site. However, their names and features appeared to be comparable.

Review: Ikea BEKVÄM Stepladder, 3 steps

Gotta collect them all? I think I now have all the BEKVÄM items: step stool, spice rack, kitchen cart, and stepladder. Didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. The step stool wasn't tall enough for me to be able to reach the ceiling comfortably and I hated using my fiberglass stepladder. Seemed like a good idea to get a more compact but functional ladder at a reasonably low price.
Ikea BEKVAM Stepladder Package
x1 - Ikea BEKVAM Stepladder, 3 steps: US$ 39.99 (CA$ 39.99)

Paid: ~CA$ 39.99

Review: Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp

Didn't buy this Ikea CALYPSO ceiling lamp recently. Its been around for years and I've only tried to change bulbs twice: the first time, I couldn't figure out how to get the shade off so gave up, and the second time was this past week. This let me check the label and confirm that it was a CALYPSO.
Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp from years ago
x1 - Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp: CA$ 34.99

Paid: ~CA$ Something.Something