After realizing that I’m old, and having to get over that shocking news, I pre-ordered the 25th anniversary edition of Zelda: The Skyward Sword from Gamestop here in my local shop. Since I hadn’t purchased a Wii Motion Plus controller yet, I figured that was the best way to get the game and controller. In addition, it came with a soundtrack CD of the Zelda Symphony that was recently performed. I’m sorry I couldn’t get tickets to see that. I’ve heard from a Nintendo Enthused (Brand Ambassador) representative I know, Jill Krause of Babyrabies, that the music was great. I happen to like classical music so that was right up my alley.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to get the game and open it up. I have had a few hours to play the game (of course, I have to share with my wife, son, and oldest daughter). What I’ve played so far I like. I am just now a my first “dungeon” (or temple in Zelda lexicon), so I don’t have much to go on yet. I have enjoyed the new equipment system, and see that the upgrade system has lots of possibilities for new equipment features. The controls are smooth and responsive.

The story and character development is always what I enjoy about the Zelda games, and this one is no different. The characters are quirky, fun, and interesting. The best part is the story is told without any speaking which is also an interesting part of the Zelda series.

The music CD that came with it is fantastic. I have it in regular rotation during work and in the car.

I look forward to progressing through the world of the Skyward Sword. It brings back many fond memories of my very first Zelda game way back in the day, and now I can share the story with my kids too. Another win for Nintendo. I just can’t wait until we can afford a 3DS for my son, and the age when he’s old enough to start playing it.

Field Notes American Tradesman Edition

While this is not really a review per se, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks for a great product that I enjoy everyday. I use them for many things. Notes, lists, drawings, and technical information I need to remember.

I just recently was able to get back into my shop and was very pleased to find out that this summer brought an offering from Field Notes, purveyors of fine notebooks (and other goodies). They release a “colors” edition periodically that has some nifty design apart from their usual brown notebooks (which are great in their own right). I’ve bought a number of them over the past year or two, and I even tried to make it to their Chicago office while I was up there for training (alas, it was not to be as they were closed).

This time around, Field Notes featured an American Tradesman Edition. It is a “corrugated-ish” blue heavy stock cover, with metallic lettering. The inside is full of graph paper. It included a special carpenters pencil and instructions on how to sharpen the pencil.

I saw this pack, and had to get it. It was right up my alley, since I’m a hobbyist woodworker, and of course from time to time need to draw sketches of what I’m building. And I ALWAYS need a good pencil for measuring.

I have used my Field Notes for various things in my hobby. One particular instance was building a simple water play device I found online called the Kidwash. I built in some modifications to it, and donated it to my son’s school for their summer camp and “Splash Days”. Here’s a shot of how I used the Field Notes. Field Notes helped me keep the material list straight.

So I received my Field Notes American Tradesman Edition just in time for this weekend and “Shop Time” (as I call it). I had some time today to prepare the pencil as per the instructions, and get my book ready for the next project.

I started by laying out everything I needed. I just used a simple razor knife to do the cutting. After starting to cut the tip on the skinny side first, I then proceeded to the wide side, and then finished the tip. Here’s a close-up. The book looks good with Teak. And it is Bob the Builder approved (yes, my wife insisted I should have Bob the Builder curtains when I first built my shop in the garage).

I haven’t used the book yet, but my next project is in the planning stages, and I’ll be using my new notebook for specifically that. My son needs Lego cabinets to store our Legos, and when I say “ours” I mean 30+ years of Legos that were mine, and now his.

UPDATE (7/10/11): I started the Lego cabinets this weekend, and of course, started using my Field Notes American Tradesman Edition. Here’s an overview of the project, including my Field Notes in action.

If you want to see more of my work, the various project details are on this website and of course on my Picasa albums.

Thanks again for a wonderful product. I really enjoy using my notebooks. I look forward to the new designs you’ll come up with.


Bushwood Minimus 7 Project

Today marked the first day back in the shop for a long while. A friend of mine gave me a couple of drivers he had left over complete with crossovers, and also the dimensions for a Radio Shack “Minimus 7″ sized enclosure. After picking up some 1/4” MDF from the “Depot”, I proceeded to cut out the speaker enclosures.

After much ado with the speakers and mounting them, including assistance from the above mentioned friend, the speakers and crossovers were hot glued to the enclosure and the enclosure was sealed up.

After a little testing, they sound just fine. Especially with the Amp6 I built.


The Kidwash Project: For the School

So I had lent my kidwash (http://www.bushwoodworking.com/2008/07/05/the-kidwash-project/) to my son’s school last year for their “splash day” and it was a hit. So this year, I received a request to build an additional 2 for use at the school for their summer camp.

You can see the construction fairly easily, but I’ll be posting the construction notes shortly so if you want to make your own version, it should be easy to replicate what I did.


Blast Off with the Jetpack

So we decided to make a jetpack for our son. My wife and I had looked around for some ideas, but haven’t found anyone that had made a jetpack, nor could you really buy one. So we went to Home Depot and bought some PVC parts, and some webbing, buckles, and D-rings from Joann Fabrics, and we were in business. Took about a half day of assembly, and it looks cool. Now all we need is a space helmet to go with it.