August 3, 2015

A 2 story house

A coworker raved about, a UK website where users can easily make simple designs. I've been daydreaming about redesign our house to a 2 story house. I had tried SketchUp last time hoping to not have to pull out a real CAD program, but found SketchUp more of a burden than of help, so I was inspired when I heard about Floorplanner.

Floorplanner is definitely intuitively built where I could focus on the design and not worry about the technicality of the program.

So here is our current house plan.

In addition to wanting more square footage, I've been dreaming of having a Japanese style bathroom where the shower is just beside the bathtub. We also prefer a separate toilet room. I love the additional linen closet space in our existing toilet room so I kept this layout to help maximize storage opportunities.

We are also currently missing shoe storage.
Our current living room layout also doesn't make it an inviting experience for our guests to lounge around our wonderful kitchen counter and sofa area.

We simply don't have enough room for everything I wanted, so the only solution is to build up!
Now that we've lived in our current house for 4 years, we've also realized that need more clothes storage. The 2nd floor bedrooms all have larger closets.

I was inspired by the sun rooms in the center of the house design of some of the prefab houses we visited so I decided to open a 2 story ceiling for the 1st floor entry and living room area.
(I could then also do my aerial silk practices here ;-))
I was also very concerned that the walkway into the bedroom would be very dark with the walk-in closets these are now literal walk through closets. 1 idea is to have the door walls to be shorter to air out the closet room. Also to add some sort of windows in the closet room into the 2 story entryway/living room. 

Based on the hubby's feedback, it did seem excessive to have 3.5 baths. So this is another version where we just have 3 baths; the 3rd bath is not the elaborate Japanese roomed bathrooms. This also allowed for a larger room on the 1st floor which we would most likely use as a large work space.

Now I just want to get a quote and see how much this would actually cost us! ;-)

Just another version of the 2nd floor where the room is larger and the bathroom a more typical size. The unfortunate part is the lost 2nd vanity. However the toilets can have an over the top sink.
The end shelves between the closet and the bedroom doorway hopefully open up instead of walling in the entryway.

August 30, 2014

Personal Curved Screen Monitors

Good job Dell for creating curved screen monitors!
Having experienced a large TV monitor, the curved screen TV made the field of view seem smaller.
It seemed like one would need a much larger TV to make a curved screen TV worthwhile.

Personal monitors on the other hand, make a lot more sense.
Bravo Dell!

Source: Engadget

August 29, 2014

Intimate Banking Experience

With the ability to email our bank agents, the customer service feels so much more intimate and immediate.
We don't need to wait to go to a physical bank and talk to a new agent every single time.
Yay technology!

August 25, 2014

"By the age of 40, 100 percent of all individuals with Down syndrome have the pathology of Alzheimer's in their brain," Rafii

With our advances in medical care, many down syndrome individuals can now live up to age 60, where they will have dementia.

"People With Down Syndrome Are Pioneers In Alzheimer's Research"
Source: NPR

Definite ethical dilemma for families with down syndrome family member(s).
However, it is an important note for families in what to prepare for.

August 2, 2014

NASA's Mars Opportunity rover sets a new driving record, beating an old Soviet one

Boing Boing

"The NASA Opportunity Mars rover landed on Mars ten years ago, and was not expected to be trucking along in the dust an entire decade later. But truck along it has, and NASA this week announced that Opportunity now "holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving." The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover."

In celebration, posting one of my favorite songs.
I love the many references to the various Mars rovers. Listen for them! :-)

July 31, 2014

Autism 101

One of the most insightful articles I've read on autism. It provides a glimmer of hope for parents with autistic children whose children may be part of the 10% that grows out of autism.

I didn't realize the spectrum of autism can be as prohibitively functioning as down syndrome individuals. Due to my experience with my down syndrome brother, I had assumed most of the low-cognitively-functioning individuals had down syndrome.

Last section in the long article:
“When you get too focused on ‘getting to perfect,’ you can really hurt your child. A typical kid fights back against that kind of pressure, but a kid with autism might not.
despite 20 years of effort to teach him so.
The idea that Matthew won’t recover no longer pains Jackie. “At some point,” she told me, “I realized he was never going to be normal. He’s his own normal. And I realized Matthew’s autism wasn’t the enemy; it’s what he is. I had to make peace with that. If Matthew was still unhappy, I’d still be fighting. But he’s happy. Frankly, he’s happier than a lot of typically developing kids his age. And we get a lot of joy from him. He’s very cuddly. He gives us endless kisses. I consider all that a victory.”

"The Kids Who Beat Autism"
By Ruth Padawer, New York Times

July 29, 2014

Sergey Brin's insights on how to improve our current patent law system

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher from All Things D always ask great questions.
Nice interview with Sergey brin
Especially ideas on patent law

I.e if someone invents a similar ethnology just 2 weeks after another person submitted the idea, that person/company that first submits the patent should not get to have rights to this patent for a full 19 years, as is by law right now.