The Best Adjustable-Height Desk: Better and WAY Cheaper Than Those Motorized Ones
Adjustable-height or "sit-stand" desks are popular now, since studies show that sitting for 8 hours a day is linked to various health problems. Not to mention the fact that anyone who actually does spend all day sitting down knows it just gets uncomfortable after a while. It’s a good idea to get up and take a 5-minute walk every hour or so, but being able to actually stand up for some of the work day, instead of only sitting, is even better.
But have you seen the prices of these adjustable desks? They range from $800 or so up to several thousand dollars. Why are they so expensive? No good reason really, but part of the reason is that their design is kind of ridiculous: there’s literally a motor that you run to raise or lower the surface of the desk.
Despite the insane prices, I see people talking about these desks all the time. I can’t believe more people don’t do the obvious thing: just buy or make a desk that’s at standing height, and then buy a tall chair (like a drafting chair) for when you want to sit down.
This is way better than an adjustable-height desk because you don’t have to adjust it. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe that there actually are people who, during the course of the day, just randomly get up and crank up their desk-motor and raise the desk... then an hour or two later, lower it back down... then raise it up again... come on! That’s ridiculous.
The standing-height desk with drafting chair design takes advantage of the fact that your friggin’ body is already adjustable. Just stand when you want to stand, and sit when you want to sit. Genius!
It’s way cheaper, too: drafting chairs start at about $100, and you can use an $80 Ivar for your desk -- just cut the legs to your standing height and remove all but the top shelf. I’ve been using Ivar as a desk for over 10 years now and he’s held up like a champ. So, total cost: under $200.
If you don’t like the natural wood look of Ivar, or you already have a desk that you like, it’d be trivial to make ~foot-tall risers to go under the legs of your desk, using two-by-fours, or metal, or whatever you want. Then your only real cost is the drafting chair.
I’ve been using my homemade sit-stand desk for almost two years now, and it’s great. The only problem I’ve found is that when I stand, someone else usually swoops in and takes my chair:
Mystery Animal Noise
Some animal out in our yard/woods makes these strange noises at night. I don’t know if it’s every night, but I hear it probably a few times a week at least. What is it?
Rabbit Inspectors: Your Government At Work
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
A man in Missouri sold about 600 rabbits for ten to twelve bucks each in 2008 and 2009. He made about 200 bucks profit. The United States Department of Agriculture discovered that he did this without a Federal License. Apparently you can’t sell bunny rabbits in rural Missouri without the permission and license of the government in Washington. The United States Department of Agriculture is on this case: they have assessed a fine of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00). If he doesn’t agree to pay this fair and reasonable assessment, he will be subject to a fine of $10,000 for each rabbit sold, although they might be willing to round this down to half a million dollars. [...]
I don’t know what else this branch of the United States Department of Agriculture does, but given this example of their work I am pretty sure we could do without it. I suspect the entire Department could be eliminated, but perhaps that’s a bit drastic: but surely the Republic need not borrow money to pay people whose work is to assess a $90,000 fine for selling six hundred bunny rabbits. [...]
This branch of the USDA may be doing something worthwhile in preparing this pamphlet and finding unlicensed rabbit sellers, closing them down, and assessing fines; it may be a Good Thing for the Federal government to prevent cruelty to bunny rabbits and Easter chicks and ducks; but do we need to go into debt to do this? [...]In times of economic crisis do we need rabbit inspectors?
Cure for Vegetarianism
Quoting The Paleo Solution podcast:
Greetings. I think it was last week or maybe the week before when I posted a question here asking about resources for a conflicted ethical vegetarian thinking about going Paleo. That’s me. Well, after reading the first few chapters of Robb’s book and the first couple of chapters of The Vegetarian Myth, I did it. I ate animal flesh after 17 years of not touching it.
In my previous email post, I mentioned having Crohn’s disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis, and how my doctors have been amazed that I’m not in worse shape than I am. However, I’ve lived with constant pain for most of my life, helped only by my high level of athleticism. I’m writing here today not to ask a question but to thank you, Robb, for convincing me via your podcast to attempt carnivorous consumption.
The last two days in a row have started out like any other, with the pain in my gut increasing as the day has gone on. Yesterday I ate chicken for the first time in 17 years; the pain in my gut was gone in less than an hour. Today I ate a sirloin steak (if I’m going to do this, I might as well go all out); the pain went away as I was eating it. Based on what I’ve heard on your podcast, I expected some improvement on my Crohn’s symptoms, but surely not instantaneous relief!
Admittedly, I still have some reservations about the ethical stuff, but both chunks of meat were free-range. I have a lot to learn about eating ethically and carnivorously so I can live guilt-free. If anyone asks me what made me change, I shall blame Robb Wolf for turning me into a meat eater and changing my life for the better. I really can’t thank you enough.
(From episode 61 at the 42-minute mark.)
Cat Rode Bus Every Day
Well this is a sad way to learn about him, but what an awesome cat:
Quoting Mail Online:
Casper was owned by Sue Finden, who only found out about his escapades when he followed her on to a bus and the driver said he traveled with them all the time.
Merry Christmas from Cheshire and Chloe
Here’s Cheshire and Chloe just chilling out on Christmas eve.
You might not notice in the small version, but the last photo there is posterized, which is a cool effect in Gimp. Click on it to see the full-size version.
A Sunny Windowsill for a Sleepy Cheshire
Over the weekend we went to see Kim’s mom’s new horse. The stable has lots of horses and the horses have names like Tahiti Petey. Others, though, have names like Pete, and Pete was unfortunately given the stall right next door to Tahiti Petey. Obviously there’s no need to ask which of them gets all the chicks.
At the end of the row was a really big, all-black horse. I noticed that he was wearing these big thick plastic shoes over his hooves. I said, look, he has plastic shoes. The horse immediately did a 180 in his stall and proceeded to fart in my general direction.
New TV: Before and After
We finally ditched our stone-age TV and got an HDTV. I thought it’d be fun to take some before and after photos.
Here’s an angle-shot from before (click for after):
Here’s a head-on shot from before (click for after):
Here’s the input/output panel from before (click for after):
Pope Excommunicates Entire Species of Birds
Due to the large size of their flocks, the [passenger pigeons] were seen as a threat to farmers. In fact, in 1703 the Catholic bishop of Quebec actually excommunicated the entire species.
No word on what the response was from the passenger pigeon community, other than eventually going extinct.
The Front Fell Off
Bonus: an uploaded funny cats video.
The Rich and Famous
Being rich and famous must not be all bad. Scott Adams posted an entry called Tuesday, the entirety of which is:
No blog post today. Sick cat.
...and he still gets 20+ comments on it.
Of course based on the kinds of things he posts, this could be one of his experiments on humanity and psychology which will be explained in a later post.
New Cat Photos
I’ve posted my cat photos from June and July.
A few days ago these new bugs showed up out of nowhere, and now I see a bunch of them every day. What are they?
Cat vs Snake
Monthly Cat Photos
Photos of the cats from April & May are now online.
Scott Adams on Being a New Dog Owner
Quoting Scott Adams:
Puppies are essentially little factories that take in small pellets and convert the raw material into barking and poop. My job, as foreman of the factory, is to make sure the output happens in the designated grassy area. I’m sure I would have gotten a bad performance review yesterday, as little Snickers delivered a pallet of product behind the dining room table and decided it was a chew toy.
faildogs.com is the site I was talking about at the picnic today. Here’s an example:
New Cat Photos
I just posted my cat photos from February and March.
A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania
If you want to see the landscapes and culture of rustic Pennsylvania captured and presented beautifully on an almost-daily basis, then check out the photoblog at A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania. Many of the photos are simply breathtaking, particularly the landscapes; and every once in a while there’s an extremely cute one, like this:
That’s just a small crop -- check out the original image for the full effect.