Archive for January, 2007

Google Sketchup for Timber Framing Design

January 30, 2007

I found Luke Sheneman’s post on using Google Sketchup in his blog Timber Framing a North Idaho Cabin. Luke did some nice renderings, and he claims, quickly. I need to see if I can do curved timbers and more organic forms with the tool, such at this studio I recently finished.

Luke, if you read this, the braces going out from the posts to the eves are not necessary and will be extra work and grief (any timber supported by 3 points is more grief to get the joints to come together nicely — avoid when you can).

Goodstorm T-Shirt Wizard

January 29, 2007

Goodstorm T-Shirt Wizard

While looking for the folks at Wayfaring, I bumped into this. The review said it was a cool way to custom order a t-shirt. The Wizard for designing the shirt is cool in itself. Worth 2 minutes look, even if you don’t need a shirt (at least right now). What I didn’t see is if you can input a shirt design and save it and then let whomever wants the shirt to come and order from your design. Might be there, but my 2 minutes was up.

I Lost Confidence in Box.Net

January 24, 2007

A few days ago I posted about finding a file posting/ sharing resource called Box.Net.

They just lost my files.

Read this email dialog with from bottom to top:

Sorry for any inconvenience. We are facing some technical problems right now.
Please access the site after some time.



Quoting Nils Peterson :

> Here is from my logs, it happened on two dates. I don’t have the PDF to
> re-upload it, so will have to go searching for it.
> Sun, Jan 7            Converted flyer to PDF and posted
> Mon Jan  8            Phone interview with Kate Baldwin of Daily News
>                         Begin inviting likely people to join SaveTheBus
> google group using the system’s invitation tool
>                         Begin passing out physical copies of the flyer on
> the bus, emailed the flyer to Sanchez-Lanier to distribute by email.
> Tues, Jan 9            Requested Kelley Racaciot create some graphics for
> logo and icon
> Wed Jan 10            Private meeting of the “stakeholders” called by Walter
> Steed, Chair, Moscow Transportation Commission.
> Thur Jan 11            Logo on site and logo and letterhead posted:
> JPG:
> TIF:
> On 1/24/07 10:50 AM, “Robert” wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Sorry for any inconvenience. Can you let me know when this file was
>> uploaded?  We recently fixed a small upload issue that appeared in the
>> past day and has affected a small number of recent uploads to the
>> site.  Would you mind re-uploading this file or these files that are
>> affected?
>> Thanks,
>> Robert.
>> Quoting Nils Peterson :
>>> I have an account, and in there a folder (
>>> Save The Bus and in there I HAD 3
>>> public files
>>> PDF:
>>> JPG:
>>> TIF:
>>> Can you restore these please, they are part of our SaveTheBus.ORG campaign
>>> ——————————
>>> Nils S. Peterson

GooglePages, another web page hosting alternative

January 11, 2007

One of the problems with Google Groups is the design that Google imposes on the site, and the ads along the right. This week I discovered GooglePages, a free web site hosting service (and the fact that they don’t seem to support Safari for editing).

Using GooglePages I’m exploring making a different front end for the SaveTheBus google group, which is here.

I was able to add the RSS of recent posts to the GooglePage with a simple widget, so it seems like a promising way to wrap the group’s home page in different design.

BOX.NET and SaveTheBus

January 7, 2007

I ran into Box.Net as a public file sharing resource when I saw the Western Watersheds Project using it to distribute legal briefs referenced in their newsletter. I still don’t understand how these kinds of things make money, but hey, I can use it now, and more power to them.

My first use of Box.Net was to upload a PDF flyer for a new project SaveTheBus, a grass-roots effort to collect support to oppose the Univerisity of Idaho plan to cut its funding that partially supports the bus. I mean how dumb, in an era of $2.50 gas and “Invconvienient Truths” to cut the bus. Anyway, here is the flyer as shared by

SaveTheBus is a Google Group. The Google Group UI does not quite do what I want. I’d prefer a cover page with a big announcement place and then an area with the most recent postings and links to other actions. Maybe I can make such a page with Box.Net and set that as the home page where the url redirects. I would not have used Google Groups, my first preference was JotSpot, but since the Google purchase of Jot, they are closed to new members. Maybe for the next campaign. I also made a Facebook group for “Save The Bus” to see how that might help enlist student involvement.

Charter school moves ahead with plans

January 4, 2007

Charter school moves ahead with plans

Proposal could be approved Jan. 11 and sent to state commission

By Kate Baldwin, Daily News staff writer

Monday, January 1, 2007 – Page Updated at 11:28:01 AM

A proposal for a new Moscow charter school should head to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission this month after facing some delays this fall.Palouse Prairie Charter School board chairman Nils Peterson said the charter school board likely will approve its charter proposal at its Jan. 11 meeting. Once approved by the board, the proposal will be sent to the state commission for authorization.

“We did not submit the charter when we’d hoped,” Peterson said, referring to earlier plans to submit the proposal to the state by Thanksgiving. “The task turned out to be more complex than we’d estimated and then holidays intervened.”

The proposed charter school first sought its approval through the Moscow School District. Its board members stopped that process in September and decided to go through the state commission instead.

“The parents that I talk to, as well as other community members, have been interested in how we’re progressing and anxious for us to make it to this next milestone and have a charter,” Peterson said. “It’s been a very positive experience.”

While the change caused some delay, Peterson said the charter benefited in multiple ways from the detailed input it gained from the Moscow School District.

The proposal has been revamped with improved sections for its learning outcomes, its student handbook and its budget, he said.

For example, the learning outcomes section creates a tighter system of accountability for the school that will use the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound model, or ELOB. Peterson said this model uses a variety of principles that can’t be measured by the Idaho Standards Achievement Test.

The charter school still will require students to meet the minimums set by the ISAT, which is the state’s tool for meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind act. However, the charter school will have additional standards that coincide with its hands-on learning model.

Peterson said the learning outcomes section of the proposal now includes a rubric for measuring critical thinking and reflective thinking through a portfolio system.

“I am very excited to be holding ourselves to standards, I think that will be different,” Peterson said.

Once the proposal reaches the commission, there will be the same time frame for approval that existed through the Moscow School District. The commission has 60 days from the receipt of the proposal to conduct a public hearing in Boise. There then will be another 60 days before the commission must make a final decision.

“It could run us out well into May or June,” Peterson said.

According to its proposal, the charter school is scheduled to open in August 2008. It will serve students in kindergarten through sixth grade. As the students graduate sixth grade, the school will expand to serve first seventh grade, and then eighth grade.

The original plans called for a school with roughly 80 students. Further study over the past months revealed the school should plan for a range of 110 to 120 students, Peterson said.

“We’re not worried that we can reach the kind of enrollment number we’ll need,” he said. “As we get a little further in the process, you’ll start to see us become more visible in terms of a marketing effort to build up those numbers of people who have expressed interest.”

The proposed school has not taken steps toward opening a facility or hiring staff. Those are “things that just have to wait until we have a charter in place,” Peterson said.

Kate Baldwin can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 239, or by e-mail at