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November 15, 2013

Day 1 of trip to Maryland

   Most of today was spent driving to Annapolis, Maryland.  I had a wedding to attend, but it was really just a good excuse for a road trip.  I started the drive about 1:15am this morning.  The reason for this early departure was to avoid Chicago.  There was no good time to leave from Middleton and travel though Chicago and arrive in Maryland in the evening.  So, I did the drive in two parts.  The first part of the drive put me just past Gary, Indiana and safely outside of Chicago.  Then about 4 hours of sleep, and the second part of the drive.  This system worked out quite well.  I made it into Chicago around 3:00 am before any serious traffic began moving.  After I was through the city I found I rest area in Indiana and had a comfortable sleep in my trunk.  The temperature was in the 40ies, but I actually over compensated with blankets--it was a bit warmer in my trunk than expected.
   I arrived in Annapolis around 10:00 pm eastern time and fairly quickly passed out.
   I had purchased neon paint for my sleeping box in the summer of 2011 when it was being constructed, but never got around to using it.  Seeing some good prices on LED reels in purple, I decided it was time to turn the inside of the box to its intended design.  The purple LEDs should be have some UV-A output which will allow the neon to fluoresce (i.e. glow)—at least, that is if the LEDs act like other purple LEDs I've seen.
   The painting did not go as planned.  After I initially painted the inside, I discovered one of the paints was glow-in-the-dark.  This is greatly undesired in a location I've worked hard to eliminate all light.  I had to make a trip to the hardware store and buy some black paint to cover my freshly splattered box as there was no way to remove just the glowing paint.  The next day I tried again, buying new paint and trying again.  The time I tested the paints on a swatch to make sure none of them glowed. 
   There are several neon colors in the compilation: red, orange, pink, green, yellow, blue and purple.  The heater was not left in the box during painting, but used to hasten the drying process.  Despite large globs of paint in some locations, the drying process went quickly as the heater brought the temperature around 80°F (27°C).  The basement has been around 65°F (18°C).  Once the LEDs arrive I can get them installed and have a "normal" looking sleeping quarters.
   Snow!  It started this morning with the temperature still in the upper 40ies.  By the afternoon the temperature had dropped into the 20ies and the snow was sticking to the ground.  It isn't much of a cover, but it has arrived nonetheless.  This is rather early for snow, but welcome.
   Pictured is the assembled shelve after staining, varnishing, and assembly.  I couldn't take a good picture once it was in the bathroom as the bathroom is far too small to get that kind of shot.  The first coat of stain left the shelve too light a color.  So I added a second coat of stain, this time using an ebony color.  That darkened up the wood such that it matches pretty well.  A coat of varnish and some light sanding and the shelve was ready for assembly.  I used my typical drywall screw construction for this, but in the future I would like to switch to something else.  I made three mistakes on this project.  The first is visible: the bottom edge of one board is not stained.  This isn't visible unless someone looks under the shelve.  I drilled three unnecessary pilot holes, and I had three screws miss the board center and split the wood.  Otherwise, my shelve looks pretty good.
   Xiphos and I often decide to take trips to our local home improvement store and start building project.  Today I decided to construct a shelve for the downstairs bathroom I've been meaning to construct for some time.  It begins with a couple 1x10" pine boards.  After a through sanding I stained them to match the existing trim around the house.  Here is the first coat of stain drying.