– Ben Martens


CLPAK End Of Year Program

Last night was the end of year program for Elijah’s school. The kids sang some songs, Pastor shared a devotion, and there was a graduation ceremony for the two kindergartners. It’s always fun to see the church so full of people who don’t normally attend! The program went well. A huge thanks goes to Mandy, Grace and Linda for all their hard work preparing the kids for the program and to the parents who helped with the rest of the night too.

Best Of YouTube

This first video is actually two videos. Sneaky. The one embedded below is a series of physics riddles. Watch it first and think about your answers. Once you feel good about your answers, what this video to see the actual answers. I only got two right (and one was little more than a lucky guess.)

Mark Rober is the world’s most awesome uncle and he’s done it again with an awesome Hot Wheels video. Elijah loves his Hot Wheels track and I want to show this to him, but I don’t think he’ll understand that it’s not totally real. He’ll spend the next month asking me for enough track to fill up our whole house.

And finally, I’ve never thought about how ravioli noodles are made, but now that I’ve seen it done, it seems like it could be a fun project. I’ll add this to the list of things to build if I ever get a lathe.

Easter Videos

This year I forgot to do my traditional Easter blog post, so instead I’ll share the videos that I recorded during the Easter service. In order, the videos are: preservice music, the sermon, a choir song and postservice music. I also included the first verse of I Know That My Redeemer Lives at the end of the sermon video.

Christmas Music

Christmas is always a special time for music at our church so I try to record as much of it as I can. This year I ended up posting TWELVE videos from the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. It as a lot of editing! This was the first time that I’ve done the AV work for a big holiday service using our new amplifier and speakers. It was awesome to be able to mic up the singers and actually balance them individually so that they could both be clearly heard. I want to find out a way to add some more mics but our setup is pretty simple/limited.

I’ll embed a couple of the videos below, but you can view them all on our YouTube page: I created a few playlists to help organize the content (Sermons, Music, and the school kids.) From Christmas there is 1 sermon video and 11 music videos.

Best Of YouTube

It’s time for another round of my favorite YouTube content from the past couple weeks. First up is a video from Mike Rowe explaining why you shouldn’t follow your dreams.


Next up is a very niche video that hit me perefctly. Grizzly sells a kit for my bandsaw that increases the capacity of the saw. It’s something I’ve thought about quite a few times already and it was awesome to see how easy it is to install.


April Wilkerson recently built a new base for her mom’s windmill. As part of the project, she also removed a bunch of the rust from the windmill. I never knew that you could use vinegar to remove rust!


Happy Birthday Elijah

Little Man is three years old today! When I was thinking back over the last year, I felt like the change from 2 to 3 wasn’t that huge (except for no diapers, yay!) but then I started going back through the old video clips and I realized just how long ago his last birthday was. Enjoy this look back at the last 12 months…

Here are some quick links to previous birthday videos:
One Year
Two Years

Best Of YouTube

I usually spend 15-30 minutes in front of the TV at the end of the night but I’m not watching TV. That time is almost always consumed with YouTube content. There’s so much good stuff to watch on there and I have a nice setup that downloads the content I’m interested in and puts it into my DVR so it’s really easy to see what I’ve watched and what is still in the queue.

Every once in a while I stumble across some really great content like the Adam Savage speech that I posted earlier this week. I’m going to try something new and every once in a while, I’ll make a post with some of the best videos that I’ve seen recently. So without further ado, here’s the first such post…

Just a few days ago I subscribed to a new channel called Cook With Meat. It’s delicious food and the videography is beautiful. The tequilla sunrise pulled pork recipe looks fantastic:

It took me a while to warm up to Jimmy Diresta. He’s a maker who previously had some small TV shows but now runs a very successful YouTube channel. Now I’m watching all of his stuff and even listening to his podcast. He knows how to incorporate a lot of different materials and techniques. One of his latest videos was a biplane scluped on the bandsaw.

Do you remember Zane Lamprey? He has done a lot of great shows like Three Sheets, Drinking Made Easy, and Chug. Now he’s focusing on YouTube. It’s the same formula where he travels the word looking at culture and drinking customs with a lot of laughter mixed in, but this time it’s a series of 3-5 minute videos and he’s traveling with his wife. He releases about three videos a week and he’s been at it for a while so there is a lot more where this came from.

Indiana Christmas Video

While we were in Indiana, we took a lot of video with the intention of making a Christmas movie. That’s all been edited up and is now ready. Dad’s tractor shows up a ton in this video, but it honestly did get used a lot during the trip: rides for the boys, rescuing the girls who got stuck in the car on the driveway in the snow/ice, plowing snow, and moving trees that had fallen during the storm. There’s also a clip of Dad putting the tractor into their brand new garage/shop for the first time! For 30 years he’s had to tarp and un-tarp the tractor before every use, deal with mice chewing cables and haul the tractor battery in and out of the house. It’s so much easier now!


A while back, Microsoft Research announced a technology called Hyperlapse. The idea is that it takes something like bumpy GoPro video, smooths it out and speeds it up. I didn’t play around with it much until the other day when I installed a preview of the professional desktop application. I dropped in a ski video from a 2013 trip to Crystal with AndyM. The result was pretty impressive! Sure it’s not going to make a great ski video, but it’s cool to see the “flow” down the mountain. It almost looks like the camera was flying above the ground.

Spider Quad First Flights

quad_rainiercroppedMy new Flite Test spider quad was all put together and the first flight was a success. So what do you do on the second and third flights? Strap a GoPro to it! I specifically built it in this style with the front arms spread wide so that the video image wouldn’t have any obstructions. Might as well see how it works.

It works fantastically! There is no fancy camera stabilization system on this. The camera hangs from some bent wire that absorbs some vibrations. That, combined with time spent balancing each propeller, produces some pretty clean video. It’s significantly better than I expected and will be more than fine for the type of projects I have in mind for it.

What you see below is from the second time out. It turns out that my house DOES have a view of Rainier. You just need to get a few hundred feet up in the air to see it. Enjoy!

P.S. So why am I calling this a “quadcopter” or “multicopter” instead of a “drone”? I’m not a big fan of the word drone because it feels like the media has given it a negative connotation. Plus, I believe that a drone is something that is capable of autonomous flight. Granted, this quad that I’ve built could be autonomous with about $50 worth of electronics but it’s not a drone yet.