Project #14: Hi-Fi Stand

As part of the audio system I am building for my little one, I needed to make a stand so that the equipment do not take up all her valuable desk space. I decided to use walnut for this custom designed stand.

Everything was dimensioned from rough cut stock, planed by hand, ripped on the bandsaw but everything else was cross cut and joined and dimensioned using non electric tools only. The stand is comprised of four stackable parts, allowing for adjustment in the order of the shelves. I finished it with shellac.

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BMW M235i Review Failure

In my "recent" review of the BMW M235i, I listed several aspects of the car I loved and several I disliked. After having spent 5000km in the driver seat, I can summarise my experience of the car as a non-track driver as follows:

The car is ugly in white. I hate looking at it because of the colour. I strongly dislike the lane assist function as it is way too aggressive and makes too many mistakes. The navigation system started out working fantastic, however on a recent trip to Calgary I found it totally worthless. It missed a road closure that incurred a 190km detour, however it picked up on 8 non-existing road closures trying to route me on roads that would have increased my journey from 12 hours to 20 hours. Every time I passed one of these "road closures" the car went mad and tried to make me turn back. Once I passed this virtual point of no consequence, the car routed me around the next fake road closure. None of the 8 road closures on its display was correct - there were not even any road work equipment to be seen.

Eventually I turned off traffic info, and the road closures disappeared. However, it still routed me on a road that is 160km longer than the optimal route. And both routes were on standard national grade highways so it was not a "prefer highway" or toll issue. Bottom line - the route I picked to drive took 12 hours, the route it recommended for 80% of the trip would have added 8 hours to my journey.

That said, the car itself is fantastic to drive. I have no real issues with handling, performance, steering etc. I did complain about the wheels following the road too much, but it is a small issue. It is probably one of the best cars I ever drove.

However, when you look at a typical car review, they rate it poorly due to:

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PDF protection is stupid in Apple Preview

I have a permission protected PDF document that I am viewing in Apple's Preview app (its built in PDF reader). The permissions state that I cannot copy content without the password:

Permission Prompt
Permission Prompt

However a simple workaround is to right click on the paragraph, then use the "Search with Google" feature. It will open Google in your default browser with all the selected text extracted.

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Apple Support WTF!?

My iCloud stopped working. I call Apple support (slightly paraphrased):

Apple Please give me your cellphone number so that I may look up your account
Me My number is XXX YYY ZZZZ
Apple I cannot find you in our system.
Me Strange - I have been using that phone number on my Apple account for more than a decade.
Apple Let's try your email address
Me My email address is
Apple Oh no you cannot use that.
Me Why?
Apple You cannot use - you must use your personal address
Me That is why I have an Apple account - to have a personal email address, the is the address you gave me.
Why can I not use the email address I am paying you for that you are providing to me?
Apple Ok let's skip that page. what seems to be the problem?
Me iCloud is down for me. I get a connection error when trying to connect to, and my email is not downloading. This started 10:30 today. I tried my phone, a web browser, and also a different network 5000km away from me on a Windows machine - all gave me the same connection error.
Apple So have you tried a different device?
Me Yes, I just told you
Apple Is your phone new or refurbished?
Me New. Does it matter?
Apple Where did you buy it? Apple Online Store?
Me Apple Online. Does it matter?
Apple Can you try to connect from a different device that you do not own.
Me I said I did. Same error.
Apple Give me 3 minutes so that I can look in to this.
... waiting 25 minutes
Apple Hi I am a senior support engineer and will be taking over.
Me I am getting an HTTP 503 on the server when trying to log in to
Apple Blah blah for 30 minutes
Apple What model iPhone do you use
Me It is not relevant, I am getting the error on my Mac Pro
Apple Sure but what model is your iPhone?
Me Sigh. iPhone 11 Pro.
Apple Seems like your account is locked for maintenance. It will take up to 24 hours.
Me So Apple can lock my account randomly for maintenance for 24 hours?
Apple I do apologise but there is not much that I can do for you. Just wait some more.
Me Thank you for your help.
Apple Have a wonderful day.
Hang up

Me Fucking idiots.


I am slowly getting aggravated. More and more companies are starting to force surveys and ratings and likes in your face. No longer is it enough to sue someone if they do not leave a great AirBNB review, but now Amazon drivers start photographing your home "as proof of delivery" but also send text messages to your personal phone reminding you to leave them a positive review. A BMW employee just texted me a message asking me to complete the BMW survey.

I always thought feedback was supposed to be optional? You are angry - go vent. You are happy - go give a positive review. You are in the middle - aka "fine" - then no reviews.

I miss the '80s.