Welcome! I am an engineer, programmer, designer, and gentleman. You may be interested in some of my electrical and mechanical projects. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt and remember to wear your safety glasses.

Seattle LEP XXXV Logo Design

Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad XXXV Seattle 202X

My design has been chosen as the official emblem of the 35th LEP, the Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad or West Coast Estonian Days. The logo contest was conducted blind and said to be fiercely fought with 28 submissions in total. Winning in such company is an honor.

Only one change was requested by the Seattle organizing committee: that I remove the planned-for "2021" as they have been forced to make the unfortunate but necessary decision to delay LEP because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the several workarounds I tried I like this "202X" one the best.

Please read more about the symbolism and inspiration behind this design, and see some interesting variations of it for different applications, in the proposal document I prepared for the contest.

See you in Seattle, hopefully in 2022!

Door-Mounted Pot Lid Hangers and a Return to YouTube

As part of my overall quest to push back the chaos in my kitchen and elsewhere, I made some lid hanger bars out of oak for my pot and pan cabinet. This represents something of a new beginning for me: it's a return to uploading videos to YouTube, but at a much higher level of quality, length, and I hope, entertainment value. This is also a sort of debut of my newly revamped home workshop; I was lucky enough to acquire quite a lot of new tools and machines early in 2020 and I've been integrating, improving, and setting those up ever since. Now it's time to actually make a few things, and hopefully get some interesting videos and other documents out of the experience. Enjoy!

The Margarita-19

Finding myself recently in need of vitamin C and ethanol—for medicinal reasons—and like so many others stuck at home with supplies running low, take-out burritos cooling on the kitchen table, and a bar equipped with almost, but not quite exactly, the right mix of bottles, I improvised a little on the classic recipe and made this extremely smooth drink, which I'm calling the Margarita-19:

  • 2 oz. añejo tequila (I used a far-too-nice Azuñia better suited to sipping neat)
  • 3/4 oz lime juice, fresh squeezed as always (things aren't quite that bad yet)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur
  • lime wheel to garnish

Rub the remains of the squeezed lime on the rim of a rocks glass, then dip it into kosher salt and carefully fill it with ice, trying not to knock all the salt off. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish and enjoy.

To your continued good health!

Reading List for 2019

I have finally gotten around to completing last year's reading list and analyzing the results. And what a disappointment! Not only did I fail, for the first time in years, to meet my stated goal (36 books in this case), but I compromised on quality and length to even get as far as I did. What a waste of time, and only to meet a self-imposed target? That's just cheating myself.

Something has to change. I have an ever-growing list (on Goodreads) of books to read that is currently 392 titles long. For the last few years I've been choosing what to read haphazardly or worse, passively, because of the book club or because I've been given some book or because of someone else's enthusiasm. Also, the practice of setting some number of books as a challenge for the year has encouraged reading short and often not-very-serious works (although I don't want to suggest that seriousness is necessarily proportional to length). I was already aware of this last observation one year ago but didn't carry out my resulting intention of reading longer books.

So, for 2020, I won't worry too much about the total number. Instead, I'll read the bookclub selections only if I really want to, and I'll read one more book per month and that book will be something very significant and very intentionally selected. By the end of the year I want to have read 12 of the sort of books I've always meant to read and have had in the back of my mind for years. Many of these works are very long indeed, so overall I'll be reading just as much, if not more, as my previous 36 book challenges. Far more importantly, however, I'll be reading what I really want to read, finally.

Disciplined and Orderly Work

I've started an as-yet short playlist on YouTube named “Orderly and Disciplined Work”, intending it to collect videos that in some way document methodical, detail-oriented, clean, well-organized, and calm workspaces and processes. This is part of my ongoing attempts to encourage those qualities in my own work and in the various places I do that work, which include, at the moment, my work office, home office, workshop, garage, and kitchen.

“Tomorrow, I will do my best again.”