Once more: DESK.

I used to have a pretty nice standing desk setup in Seattle but I left it behind; I just didn’t feel like shipping furniture cross-country was worth the hassle and expense. Ultimately I am not sure this was a wise decision as I ended up not having a desk here for most of a year.

For a while I had my monitor perched in some bookshelves at a standing height. It was okay but it was far from great; I couldn’t rotate it to portrait orientation any more, and more importantly, it was way too close to my eyes for real comfort. Sometimes I’d take the computer out and plop it on top of one of the big plastic bins we shipped some of our stuff in and use it that way; this was also not great but at least was far enough away to avoid eyestrain, especially after Cordite got me a little adjustable stand that let me raise the computer to a comfortable height.

Last month, when I made a surprising amount of money streaming commissions, I went to Ikea’s site and configured a desk. It took about a month to get here. But today was the day!

All the parts arrived around 1pm today – a couple hours sooner than the delivery window I’d been promised; I’m glad I made sure I was dressed in case they were early.

I knew exactly where I wanted it to go. After I got all the parts inside I started dragging stuff out of the way, so I’d have room to put the desk where I wanted it when I was done, as well as to actually build the thing. I still have all that stuff scattered around the living room, and should maybe deal with it before I go to bed tonight…

It took me about an hour to go from a pile of parts to the shelf unit that was going to hold up one side of the desk. I’ve always found putting Ikea stuff together pretty easy, and wonder if there is any correlation between this and the amount of time I spent carefully following long sequences of isometric drawings to put together Lego? I know a lot of people are all “omfg Ikea instructions are so confusing” but I just learnt to read that sort of visual language as a child, I guess? I also seem to have pretty strong spatial intelligence, I doubt that hurts either.

Another hour later, with a little help from Nick, I had the desktop hooked to the shelves. I need to visit the hardware store and find some better foot risers but this is good enough for now. It would have been a lot sooner but I ended up chatting with the neighbor’s kid about his new Youtube channel for his skating practice, and offering to use my AI skillz to throw together some fliers for him to post around instead of him trying to do it via mobile apps.

And then it was time to start putting stuff where it belonged. Find the monitor stand. Find the subwoofer and the speakers. Move all the cables over. Realize that the monitor has an audio out that I can use now that I connect to it with HDMI instead of DisplayPort, and make some new scripts for ControlPlane to automatically switch the audio output. Put Mr. Elephant (who was my mom’s when she was a kid) and The Duck Of My Mother on top of the shelves to watch over me as I work. Stuff like that, you know? Important details.

It ain’t perfect, I need to get some longer cables so I can hide the computer in one of the cubbies – most notably, the connection for the monitor’s USB hub functionality is a type-B (the big square one) and I only have like a 2′ cable for that – but holy crap it is so good to be able to work in portrait mode again!

Also it is a delight to have Katrina sitting atop her hoard of doubloons and Canadian money I never got around to exchanging again. Desk friends are important.

I may also end up with a cushion on here for when the local cats want to visit. Shemp just earned some pettings by pointing out to me that I already have a long type-B cable, even if this was because he tried to gnaw on a cable sitting next to it!

Anyway. AAAH I HAVE A HOME STUDIO AGAIN. Just in time for the city to start opening up, of course… but it’ll be useful for rainy days and what we laughingly call “winter” down here.

rearranging the studio

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 1.50.42 PMThis is me playing with the painterly workflow I’m developing for Drowning City by using it on a future page of Rita. Now that I’m starting to use a lot of named Graphic Styles to organize my effects, I want to have that panel constantly open. It used to be in the same tab panel as the Brushes panel, but I was finding myself constantly toggling between them, so it gets more screen space.

You can pretty much tell how important a panel is to my workflow by how much screen real estate it’s give here, with the exception of the Stroke palette being more expanded than it really needs to.