Nest Hello

I installed a Nest Hello doorbell this week and then designed and 3D-printed the mounting plate that mounts to the existing outlet box in the wall, covers the screw holes in the stucco the old doorbell used and provides mounting holes for the doorbell itself. I love that I can design and make something totally custom in a few hours with a 3D printer.

Happy Birthday Gay!

Gay is 48 today. Gay had the day off for her birthday and I left the brewery a little early for our 5:45pm dinner reservation at Salare. I wasn’t expecting much from the restaurant given our disappointing dinner several months ago at the chef’s newer and (surprisingly) highly-acclaimed June Baby. The food was excellent.

This was the first time the kids seemed to enjoy being at a restaurant without playing games or drawing. They participated in our conversation and were even adventurous food-wise, trying things they wouldn’t normally taste and picking something other than pasta. That is except for Eva, who loves pasta so much that one day she will turn into pasta. This feels like one of those occasions that I will look back and realize our kids took a significant step towards being grown-ups.

Basecamp drawer sliders

Thanks to Tom P. on the Airstream forums for posting his idea to install drawer sliders on the Basecamp silverware tray.

Normally, the tray sits on the shelf in a recessed area that is 1/2-inch deep and sized to the tray’s dimensions which keeps it from moving while being towed. It works well to keep it in place while traveling but it makes it inconvenient to pull the tray out to get silverware when not traveling. Drawer sliders are a brilliant solution! I finally got around to doing the same today on our Basecamp and assumed it’d be straightforward and easy.

I bought the 22-inch version of these Amazon Basics drawer slides ($17). Mounting the slides on the bottom of the tray, rather than the sides, makes it work since the silverware tray is not a drawer and there are no vertical walls to mount the sliders to.

There are two complications to install them. The first is that the tray has a 3/16-inch thick bottom and, if you aren’t thoughtful about where you install the rails on the bottom, the screws that come with the rails are long enough that they will go through the bottom of the tray. That would look bad and be in the way of the silverware (and probably cut you when you grab silverware). Fortunately, there are vertical dividers in the tray that, if you line the rails directly underneath them, you can use the included screws and screw them through the bottom and into the vertical dividers. I was quite lucky that it just worked out.

The second complication is that the tray normally sits in a recessed cut-out on the shelf to keep it in place. The sliders make this recess unnecessary. However, the mounting holes in the slides do not extend past the recessed area so there’s no way to mount the slides above the recessed area.

I removed the lower support piece that is mounted to the underside of the shelf, made 6 half-inch tall blocks out of scrap wood, positioned them where the mounting holes are, glued them to the support piece, lined up the holes and pre-drilled holes in them. Then, I could reinstall the support piece and, with a short screwdriver, reach in and put the screws in to mount the sliders to the blocks. If that’s not clear, note the wood blocks below the sliders in this photo:

Costa Rica wrap-up

We got back to Seattle from Costa Rica this afternoon (Seattle time). We woke up at 3:30am Costa Rica time and left the house just after 4am in a van to the airport 45 minutes away. I didn’t sleep in the van but I was glad I wasn’t driving. The flight left at 5:45am to Houston and we had just enough time to get through immigration and customs to catch our flight to Seattle. It’s good to be home!

Costa Rica is nice but too hot being so close to the equator. After getting sunburned on the 2nd or 3rd day, despite maintaining our sun screen levels, I felt like I spent the rest of the time avoiding the sun.

The beer wasn’t very good. Their well-marketed local beer, Imperial, is a diacetyl bomb. Normally I don’t mind diacetyl when in small amounts but I couldn’t take this much. I couldn’t finish even one beer and avoided it altogether the rest of the week. Fortunately, the smaller competitor, called Pilsen, was better but not by much. Bavaria (no web site?!) is far and away the best Costa Rican beer. They have a Bavaria Light (Pilsner?) and a Bavaria Dark (Munich Dunkel), both of which are eminently more drinkable. We only found one craft beer brewery, located in a popular surfing town, but it was not good. The best beers I had were imports from Europe: Carlsberg and La Chouffe that I found at a convenience store.

We didn’t explore the country much because we were on the northern west side and it’s so hard to drive around the terrain. We had a good time on the beaches and at our pool, the food was good, the people are nice, it’s a pretty country and the kids got to see monkeys.