There are plenty of home improvement-focused blogs out there, but so many of them are just product/brand-placement in disguise and/or feature such pricey projects and objects that they are completely out of my world. Not so with Manhattan Nest!
This home blog has it all. Manhattan Nest is the story of a DIYer, Daniel, working on his home (and other projects), learning by doing, and putting it all out there – successes AND projects that didn’t go quite as planned. Throughout everything, he provides a hilarious narrative and manages to maintain a positive attitude regardless of what happens.
It’s so refreshing to see a blogger post pictures of their yard when it’s a complete mess, full of weeds and all uneven – EXACTLY like every yard I’ve ever had has started out! Maybe because so many other blogs are heavily sponsored, they’re afraid to post the ugly before pictures? Or the bloggers start out with something professionally landscaped and then just change it up? Well, in the world I live in, we start out with a neglected or at the least imperfect mess – and so does Daniel. And he manages to incorporate sponsors with ease, so it’s not obtrusive at all.
He’s got an immense appreciation for restoring and salvaging historical details BUT he also balances this with a realistic approach. Not every awesome detail can be saved, no matter how much ones loves it, and he provides a ton of examples of situations where he figured something out to preserve the character if not the original materials. He’s also not afraid to do things the way he wants them. Not sure the neighbors will love your black-stained fence, but truly believe it’s the best choice? DO IT.
Most of all, his candor about that feeling one gets partway into a big project – you know the one, where you feel like you have taken on far too much and the idea of it ever being completed or even just salvaged back to a usable state seems impossible? He gets that feeling! And he admits it! And he sees the humor in it, which helps me, as the reader, to feel a bit better when I have that feeling myself.
If all this isn’t enough, he also has adorable dogs. Just go look at any post – you won’t regret it!
Gizmodo has a list of the 50 skills every geek should have. You can count up the ones you’ve done and then see how you rate.
1. Install a hard drive in a laptop
2. Perform a clean OS install on a machine with two OSes
3. Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone
4. Jailbreak an iPhone
5. Wire your house for Ethernet and Coax cable
6. Use BitTorrent and RSS to automatically download new shows from trackers
7. Use an A/V receiver to its fullest capability (every port is taken)
8. Calibrate an HDTV without the manual
9. Use a DSLR in full manual mode
10. Hack the encryption and mooch your neighbor’s Wi-Fi
11. Solder cleanly enough to get around a circuit board
12. Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point
13. Shove the guts of a modern game console into a retro game console
14. Design a webpage in HTML by hand that features a picture of your cat (except not having a cat)
15. Use Photoshop to imperceptibly doctor a photo
16. Abstain from buying extended warranties
17. Know where to buy cheap cables and accessories
18. Fix your parents’ computer over the phone without looking at a computer (except my dad can fix it himself)
19. Enter the Konami code
20. Comment on Gizmodo from your phone
21. Type quickly using T9 texting
22. Program a universal remote
23. Contribute code to the Linux kernel
24. Hide porn from your significant other (if I had the desire to do so)
25. Avoid DRM on everything
26. Know how to back up your data to networked storage—and actually do it
27. Watch TV shows on the internet for free
28. Edit together digital video ripped from YouTube
29. Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator
30. Reset expired trial software by messing with the registry
31. Hackintosh your PC
32. Download pre-release movies from Usenet
33. Hack the Wii to play homebrew games
34. Get around web content filters on public computers
35. Get into a Windows computer if you forgot your password
36. Securely erase your data so it can’t be recovered
37. Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network
38. Build a fighting robot
39. Write your own Firefox plugins
40. Navigate and reorganize the files on your computer in DOS
41. Get something on the front page of Digg
42. Get through to executive customer service
43. Rip a CD to V0 quality MP3s
44. Rip a DVD to DivX
45. Build your own computer from parts
46. Swap out the hard drive in your DVR for a bigger one
47. Get an NES cartridge working again by blowing in it
48. Calibrate a 7.1 surround-sound system
49. Play downloaded games on a Nintendo DS
50. Talk about things that aren’t tech related
Only 16 for me. I’m guessing there are others of these that I would be able to do if Karl weren’t so happy to do them for the both of us (the 13 in italics), but it’s hardly fair to count those.
11-20: You are no longer intimidated by email or your DVR, but these are recent developments. 8% (885 votes)
via the MLxperience
Bookends by maxually
Two of the hottest celebrity librarians from Michigan, Lynn Rutan and Cindy Dobrez, have started a new blog, Bookends. They’re posting, of course, about their area of expertise: books for teens. They’ve got posts about two of my latest faves, Paper Towns by John Green and Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is definitely one to add to your feed reader.
via A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy