Friday, December 09, 2005

Treehouse Memorial -repost

(I had the security settings for the Flickr images set wrong so the slide show wasn't working. They should be working now.)
I just went and read some of my early posts from when I began building my treehouse. I remember thinking back then that I would mostly use this blog to post updates about the my progress. Little did I know all the events that would get covered here. Looking back it makes me smile to think of all the terrific times I spent in my backyard playing with my tools; sometimes on the ground and other times hanging from a branch. I’ve really enjoyed having grown-up sized resources to follow small-person sized dreams. For me it’s all about doing something that I am passionate about. In my career I haven’t chosen to follow a passion, so in other parts of my life I don’t want to waste any time. I’ve also been joined by a faithful group of supporters and builders. I caught the passion for this treehouse while helping build one for Greg. Since I have started mine, he has been by my side every step of the way. Without his faithful assistance I would probably still be hoisting the main beams. Others have helped too and to each of you I am thankful and look forward to using your help on the rebuild. Here’s some previously unpublished photos that make me smile. Enjoy.

Stepping Back

The shock of what happened to my treehouse Tuesday night is starting to wear off. I am now able to step back from the tragedy and see the entire project.

From this viewpoint my mistake is very obvious. I turned a blind-eye to the weight rating of the all-thread. Heck, I didn’t even know what the weight rating was. I just assumed that it was sufficient. I knew my cables could each hold 14,000 pounds. I also knew that the crimps on the ends where rated at 30,000 pounds and the eyenuts, turnbuckles, shackles and eyebolts all fell somewhere in between. But the all-thread was a mystery. I’ve since learned it was not sufficient, hah! I’ve found some suppliers that sell all-thread with a rating as high as 300,000 pounds. That is probably a bit excessive, but I will not skimp when it comes to my next design. I’ve also decided to pattern my cables and beams after a cable-stayed bridge and will triple the number of cables I use, thus spreading the weight over more tree attachment points to avoid what happened the other night.

More cables means I won’t want them running through my house and I’ll need to adjust the placement of the walls. In the end I’ll probably have a smaller house due to the narrow distance between my trees.

Don’t know how soon I’ll get to work on all of this, since the weather is a bit crummy right now, but I will keep you posted on my progress for sure.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Warning: Due to the graphic nature of the following photos, viewer discretion is advised.

It sounded like a tornado in our backyard. When I went to check on it, this is what I found. I called Greg and he came to help clean up. I was a little numb so the pictures aren't all that great. It looks like the all-thread, that was going through the tree and had the eye-nuts and cables attached to it, broke. This sent the southeast corner falling and then the house just slid off. The platform is still in relatively good shape considering one of the cables is no longer holding it. It is hanging, suspended by the other 3 cables and some branches that the east beam came to rest on.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

hill_ja to hillj30

Today was the first day I got my username correct every time it was requested. I didn’t think it would be such a big deal, but I’ve been working at this new job for 13 days and until today I had to use the backspace in combination with my mistyped username at least once a day--sometimes more. I think the problem stems from similarity and frequency. At my last job they used last name plus underscore plus first and middle initial to construct usernames. Mine was hill_ja—it should have been hill_jl, but I was hired as a contractor with little notice and in lieu of a middle initial they just took the first letter that came along. At this job it is your last name followed by the first letter of your first name—should be hillj, but there are lots of people here and I’m not the first hillj to sit at a desk and type so I get hillj30. I don’t know if that makes me the 30th hillj or not, but I tend to think so. hill_ja to hillj30, you can see how I might get goofed up. Plus I have to enter it like 30 times in a day, so I tend to disconnect that task from my brain and just let my fingers type. It has taken 13 days and probably 390 logins to get consistent enough to make it through an entire day. Proving once again the incredible nature of muscle memory.

If you’ve been following my occasional ramblings, you may be wondering what all this ‘new job’ talk is all about. “Hmm, I remember way back in July when Jason quit his job, but when did he get another one? And what does that mean for the treehouse.”

Well, the treehouse is a work in progress and I am watching window caulking on one of my windows dry as I type this post. When it dries, in 2 days, I’ll paint it and then get it in the treehouse, where it will be followed by 4 more, plus a door.

I am currently working a 6 month contract, at Nationwide Insurance in Portland, doing various web related coding tasks. It is not saving the world, but it does pay the mortgage and gives me time to do some other stuff.

As far a logins go here is what I remember:

Nationwide: hillj30
Pacificare: hill_ja
Webridge: jasonh
adidas: hilljas
Oddly, I can’t remember any more than that.
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