Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

I’m familiar with origami but I had never heard of papercraft automata.

Rob Ives rules!

Way cool!


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I drink coffee every day, all day. Not an outrageous amount, just what fits in the carafe I bought eight years ago. It actually looks better in the photo than it does in real life. The exposure has bleached out the caffeine stains. It never kept the coffee actually hot, but warm was good enough.

Two days ago, as I was wrapping up my desk for the night, just as I got to the kitchen to put the carafe and my coffee mug on the counter, I dropped it. It was pretty clear the plastic had cracked from just below the spout to a couple inches from the bottom.

I knew I would have to replace it but I figured it was safe to use the next day. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Lulling me into a false sense of security, the carafe behaved normally for most of the next day. But late in the afternoon tragedy struck.

As I was pouring another cup, I suddenly had coffee shooting all over my desk.

Yeah, I was not happy.

So yesterday, sans my usual caffeine and deludedly thinking acquisition of a new carafe would be easy-peasy, I wandered over to my local Walmart (don’t blame me — the only alternative is K-Mart which has an air of abandonment and despair and smells like an airplane bathroom). Imagine my shock and horror to discover that they do not sell coffee carafes! I harrumphed my way over to the adjacent K-Mart to see if they stocked the sought-after carafe but, sadly, no. Employees of both stores had vague recollection that such a thing had once existed but coffee carafes have apparently gone the way of the dinosaur.

Do Americans not drink coffee at home? Do they leave the pot of coffee sitting on the heating coil all day? I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone can survive without a coffee carafe. Do they drink bitter, overheated coffee? Do they make one cup at a time?

One of the K-Mart employees suggested I try the sporting goods department because that’s where they keep thermoses, which is sort of what the carafe is, but a thermos is not a carafe and I found nothing there to suit my purpose. In despair, I went back to Walmart to look in their sporting goods department where I found this Sportsman Thermos. It has a screw top that allows liquids to be poured without removing it completely. Skeptical that it would work as a replacement, my desperate, carafe-less condition forced my hand. I figured I could return it if I was able to find a real carafe at Target when I make my expedition north next week.

Well, today you could knock me over with a feather. Being not as wide but slightly taller than the old carafe, it actually holds more coffee (yay!). The drawback is that, because of it’s inferior stability, I have to keep the top screwed down all the way and unscrew it every time I want to pour another cup, but it actually keeps the coffee hot!

I guess I’m going to keep it.

It will, after all, be more useful than a carafe once I am evicted from my home and living on the street.

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Turn them into a super bath mat!

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