Urban Exploration, for the win.

Not sure what it is that about abandoned buildings and settlements, but I find the topic of urban (and not so urban) exploration pretty fascinating.  I can usually get my fix over at Love these Pics, which is a fantastic site if you’re not familiar with it. Some of my favorites there are an old NSA listening post in Berlin, Bodie Historic State Park and Chernobyl (a subject that I’ve studied extensively – more on that below).

Tonight I came across this post on Longreads about a long abandoned Soviet-era mining town in the Arctic. Definitely worth checking out, calling the history of this site “interesting” would be an understatement.

If you’re interested in reading up on the Chernobyl disaster, make sure to check out Kidofspeed’s website. It’s a photojournal of her visits to the exclusion zone around Pripyat, it serves as an eerie reminder of worse case scenarios. Recommended reading on the subject: Wormwood Forest by Mary Mycio and Chernobyl A Novel by Frederik Pohl.

KeyBiner Kickstarter project

This is a pretty neat idea for keeping track of all your keys, and keeping them out of your pocket. In the past I’ve used a carabiner, but keys are noisy and swing back and forth when walking, which is slightly annoying. According to their description, noise shouldn’t be an issue:

The biggest change was the addition of a unique key retention system, that allows you to keep your keys neatly organized and quiet.


They also have this to say:

We have also added several tools to aid you in your daily chores.

Now I’m not sure if they’re referring to the bottle opener or prybar, but I suppose if you’re an alcoholic cat burglar, this would be an indispensable tool. Oh, and no noisy getaway car keys clanging around while you’re cleaning a joint out. 🙂

Six days to go on the Kickstarter page, going to go ahead and back this project. Looks promising.

Finding the perfect desk

I’ve been trying to find my ideal desk for years now. Right now I have a modest unfinished wooden desk which suits my needs, but it’s not my dream desk. I love real wood, so that’s a basic requirement for me. For years I’ve been searching for a butchers block desk, though they tend to be terribly expensive. If the tools were readily available, I might try to make one on my own, but woodworking isn’t something that I have a lot of experience with.

While watching the show Treehouse Masters recently, I saw a beautiful desk that was milled from a single tree, sanded down and stained. This would make an amazing bit of furniture in my office:


Not so great photo taken with my phone, couldn’t find a better photo online anywhere. I’ve looked around the immediate area and we don’t have any mills that are really close by. There is one mobile milling service in the area, but I don’t have any downed trees for them to cut up. My neighbors do seem to have quite a few trees, perhaps they would be willing to part with one of them. Would help cut down on some raking in the fall too. Win win.

The search continues though, butchers block, milled or bust!