New workbench

Finally got around to starting on building a new workbench in the garage last weekend. It’s a simple workbench built from 8 foot long 2x4s and 2.5″ deck screws.

My original plan was to make the workbench 6 feet long, but it fit into the space pretty nicely at 8 feet long, so I just went with that. Two fewer cuts to make too.

Took a few hours to lay things out, cut and screw everything together. Out on the driveway it seemed a bit on the wobbly side, but once I got it into the garage, it was fine. The workbench was mostly level too. Had to adjust a couple of the legs to make them flush with the top but that was an easy task.

New workbench
New workbench

Pretty happy with the way it turned out so far.

For the top of the workbench, I was initially thinking plywood but I think I’m going to go with 8 foot long 1″x12″ boards. 4 of them will go along the top nicely leaving a good sized lip for clamping things to. The boards will be easier to transport in the car too.

I voted!

I got to vote in my very first presidential election after work today. Figured everybody would be trying to get in early to vote, so I planned on heading out from work a bit early to try and beat the after-work rush.

My polling place was at the Pimlico Community Center not too far from the house. I hadn’t been there before but it wasn’t too hard to find.

Encountered no lines at the polling place. A lot of cars out front, but I think a lot of them must have belonged to poll workers. I walked right in, showed my ID and went to the voting station. In and out in about 5 minutes.

Sadly they did not have any “I voted” stickers to give out when I was there.

Podcast list v2

Since I started with the podcast listening on the commute, I’ve found a bunch more podcasts to listen to over the last few months to deal with the longer commute from the house.

Depending on how much I’m listening during the day, this gives me plenty to listen to throughout the week, keeps me entertained and educated.

Cruising to Alaska – Victoria, BC

After a day of cruising from the Endicott Arm, the final port of call for the cruise was Victoria, BC.

By now, I had managed to come down with a cold that left me a little drained and worn out, but not bad enough that I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the cruise.

After getting some breakfast, I headed off the ship with my sister and niece into Victoria. She wanted to go to Craigdarroch Castle, so we found a map (conveniently provided at the border entry) and walked over. It’s a bit of walk from the cruise terminal, but not hard and the weather was nice.

Our walk took us through some residential neighbourhoods, past the BC Legislature building and along the streets of downtown Victoria.

BC Legislature building
BC Legislature building
Giant sequoia tree
Giant sequoia tree

After about 30-45 minutes of walking (wasn’t really paying attention), we arrived at Craigdarroch Castle, a large Victorian mansion built by Robert Dunsmuir who made a lot of money in coal mining.

Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle

It’s a large, impressive building with an interesting history. The Dunsmuir family only lived in it a relatively short time (Robert Dunsmuir died before the castle was completed), and the mansion spent the rest of the time used for institutional purposes (military hospital, college, music conservatory, office space). The restoration and use as a museum was only a fairly recent thing. They’ve done a pretty good job of preserving and restoring the interior, including re-acquiring some of the Dunsmuir’s possessions.

One of the dining rooms in Craigdarroch Castle
One of the dining rooms in Craigdarroch Castle

After the castle, we walked back toward the downtown area and stopped for lunch at a place called J & J Wonton Noodle House. I went with the wonton noodle soup bowl, and it was pretty tasty. Would definitely go there again.

Walked over to Victoria’s Chinatown area and saw the big Chinese Gate.

Chinese gate in Victoria's Chinatown
Chinese gate in Victoria’s Chinatown
Lion statue
Lion statue

It was about time to head back to the ship, so we didn’t get to wander around Chinatown too much.

On the way back, we wandered through some open air markets near Chinatown and also at the marina near the Legislature building.

Marina market
Marina market

At the cruise port, we found this neat sundial type thing where you stand at a spot depending on the time of year and use your shadow to see what time it is.

About 3-ish (+1h for DST) according to my neice
About 3-ish (+1h for DST) according to my niece

Had a good time doing this little bit of wandering around Victoria. Will have to visit again and spend some more time here.

Back to the boat!
Back to the boat!

Next stop, back to Seattle.