Sketching my living room

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 29 April, 2006 at

Things have been busy. Lots of travel for Google and family. Six flights in two weeks is too much.

The baby, at six months, has decided to start crawling. This coincides with his first two teeth. So now he crawls around the house, gnawing on chair legs when we’re not looking; I think he may be secretly building a dam. And today he learned to pull himself up onto low surfaces, standing and balancing precariously on coffee tables, couches, and steps. Now we have to catch him every time he falls over, as he tries to furniture-surf. I think this sort of behavior is a bit… early… for only six months old!

The new banjo is great too. After practicing on it for a couple of weeks, it’s hard to go back to the old banjo. The new banjo allows a lot more control, more subtlety of tone and dynamics. I took a one-day master class with Greg Cahill (a well-known bluegrass player) and came away with a whole bunch of tablature-ified licks to practice. And last night, my Friday Night Jam group actually played in public at a coffee house. Lots of people came and went, it was great fun. However, we tend to overplay in public. If I can’t hear my own banjo, then you know everyone is playing way too loud!

The fun project of the weekend is preparing to receive a baby grand piano. Mom is moving into a smaller house, and I’m inheriting the Steinway 1935 baby grand. The question is, how the heck are we gonna fit this thing into our living room?

Luckily, Google just released a new free product called Sketchup. It’s really amazing. It’s sort of like a point-and-click paint program that allows you to create 3D models, and the user interface is really dead simple to use. After a 15 minute tutorial, it took me about an hour and a half to recreate our living room. We could then spin furniture around, orbit the camera around the room, and find a place for the piano:

Really, you gotta try this program. Go download it and play around! Of course, my wife laughed at my insistence on using this program. In about half the time, she took out our actual house floor plans and made little paper cut-outs of our furniture. By the time I finished the 3D model, she had long figured out where to put the piano already, and was off working on other chores. Hmph.

3 Comments to Sketching my living room

  1. Mark says:

    April 30th, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Hey, that program will kick butt for D&D games!

  2. C. Michael Pilato says:

    May 1st, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Oh, dude, you were mere hours too late with your post, as Amy and I huddled around PowerPoint trying to pull off the same “how do we make it fit” game with our bedroom and a potential candidate for a bedroom furniture suite. Fortunately, we didn’t buy the suite, so I have an excuse to play with SketchUp. Rawk!

  3. iBanjo » Blog Archive » Google Services You Didn’t Know About says:

    May 11th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    […] Sketchup. Download this program for free, and make amazing 3D models of stuff. It’s like CAD for the layman; I used it to plan furniture in my house. […]