I enjoy a number of hobbies, outside of robotics. Unsurprisingly, some of my hobby time is spent in electronic pursuits, but I also enjoy woodworking and metalworking. Here are few examples, in roughly reverse chronological order.



Tea Box

This was a present for my mother for Christmas 2005, and was a bit of an experiment. No glue or mechanical fasteners of any kind were used -- the coarse finger joints are press-fit, while the center rail and base are mechanically trapped by the side pieces. Finish is tung oil, although the pictures are from before it was applied. Interior view. And another.

The Hole

Maria and I punched a hole in the wall between our dining room and living room in November 2005. We had to beam across the gap, and the finish work took much longer than we wanted, but we're pretty happy with it. It was pretty dull before (from dining room; from living room), but the work opened the space up quite a bit (from dining room; from living room).

Grandma's Addition

Maria and I played a small part in this: during the summer of 2005, my mom's extended family got together and added a room onto my Grandma Brusseau's house. The foundation was poured before the troops arrived, and a week after we started, the addition was completely finished (not to mention landscaping the front yard and putting some walls up in the basement). Not bad for 26 relatives, a funny cake hat, and a fake dead rodent! I spent most of my time framing, doing roof work, installing flooring, and doing finish work on the windows. Maria worked on siding, wall framing, drywalling, and painting.


Rain Chain

Rain Chain

This is a simple variation on the classic Japanese cup-style rain chain; I gave it to my father for Christmas 2006. Construction is of brass shim stock, brass rod, and store-bought brass-plated hooks. More fun with non-powered tools: the majority of the work was done with a hand press break for creasing, and hand-bending for final assembly. I made a total of 16 cups; we assembled 14 for a test run (video) in our shower. It will eventually be installed back in Minnesota in a much more appealing location.

Flower Vase

A World Series trophy-inspired flower vase, with a solid brass base and copper uprights. The interior of the base has been hollowed out as a water reservoir, with the front three uprights connected within the base and the back three forming a second reservoir. Side view.




I wrote a Gimp plugin in Perl that takes Battle for Wesnoth map files and generates "pen and parchment" versions (Wercator = Wesnoth + Mercator). There's also a web interface. I'm working on a cleanup and rewrite in C++ in my copious spare time. Needless to say, it'll be a while, but it's a fun project, so it will eventually be finished.
CIA Buggy


In my first year in the PhD program, I spent a good chunk of my free time building www.ciabuggy.org, a website for my old buggy team, the Carnegie Involvement Association (CIA). It was my first foray into PHP and MySQL.




I currently play trombone and euphonium in the All University Orchestra, which Maria conducts. I also played in the Carnegie Mellon Jazz Band for five years, although I haven't recently, due to scheduling issues.


I enjoy playing volleyball, and participate in the Graduate Student Association's volleyball league every spring.


During three of my undergraduate years, I participated in Buggy, as part of the Carnegie Involvement Association (CIA). I was the chair of CIA for two years, and spent entirely too much time working on buggy, but it was a lot of fun. Since my graduation, I've consulted with the team when asked, but have greatly reduced my involvement.


I was involved in theater tech throughout high school and my undergraduate education. As a member of Scotch 'n Soda, I worked a large number of shows in a wide variety of roles, including technical director, lighting designer, sound designer, and master carpenter.