Canvas Wrench RollA while ago, I bought a set of open end wrenches. The wrenches are fine, but the case they came in is bulkier than it needs to be. I could take them out of the case, but they really need to be organized in some way rather than clanging around in the bottom of a toolbox.

I like the idea of tool rolls, they keep things together and protected while being simple, light and portable. A quick search didn’t yield any that I wanted to purchase. So, I’m gathering a few pictures here as inspiration so that I can go the DIY route and design my own. After all, Carl has a new sewing machine set up in his shop for an upholstery job, I’m sure he could use the practice.

Wrench RollThe picture at the top is almost exactly what I’m looking for. The green fabric reminds me of a nut driver set my father had in his shop–it’s durable and wears well.

The second, black one shown here is nice because of the two rows of pockets that fold into each other. This negates the need for an additional flap to keep the wrenches from falling out when rolled. On this particular one, the wrenches will be touching when rolled. It would be better if there was a bit more fabric to prevent that from happening.

Hanging Tool Roll Finally, these beige canvas rolls are shown only for their hanging ability. Putting grommets in the rolls allow for hanging when possible. In this case, they are hanging in a tool chest, but they could just as easily be hung on a wall over a bench.

Ultimately, I want a design that combines the strong features of all three.


Bike share systems rely on readily available docking stations that have both bikes and empty docks. If there are no bikes, people wishing to use a bike can’t get one, and if there are no docks, people with a bike can’t get rid of it.

The people that operate bike shares spend considerable time and effort ensuring that this does’t happen. However, despite their efforts, system users are bound to find themselves in need of a bike or empty dock from time to time. In order to aid system users, there are maps and other devices to locate bikes and docks. New York’s bike share program rolled out with real-time information available on their website and in a mobile app.

While these work well, in my experience, I’ve found them not to be so real-time. Plus, I really don’t want to be fumbling around with my phone on the street–and certainly not while riding a bike.


Mount a status light atop the docking station’s solar panel (see mockup below).
Bike Share Station Status LightThis is a somewhat low-tech solution, and is not a replacement for the website or mobile apps. It is meant to be used in conjunction with the maps by a user in the immediate vicinity of several docking stations. Users walking or riding around an area would be able to see from a distance whether the docking station has bikes and docks available.

The light would glow green if the there are both bikes and docks at that station and red if the station is either empty or full. It might be good to have an additional color, such as amber. This would allow for all statuses to be displayed (full, empty or otherwise). But, this additional information might be confusing and it might be best to keep it simple.

Original Photo by *Bitch Cakes* on Flickr

30 second web business plan creator sketch

Some time ago, a couple of us at the office thought it would be great if a mobile application could spit out business plans for web businesses in 30 seconds or less. The user taps on the logos of the companies they will be better than, and it creates a business plan! Of course, it would also create a killer deck–to totally crush those presentations to potential investors.

The sketch above, also created in 30 seconds or less, hung on the wall at my desk for a while. From time to time, for comic relief, I would point at it after we heard of great idea for a “tech” company that was described by rattling off a list of hot web properties, but was light on the business end of things. I pointed at this sketch a lot.

I’ve since changed jobs and forgotten about this, until today. I ran across this sketch while cleaning up the home office and I’m putting it up here in case someone wants to actually build this thing. Come on, it could be huge!

Dog ID Tee - French Bulldog “What Kind of Dog is That?”

People with dogs must get tired of answering that question all the time. Today’s busy dog owner has better things to do than repeat statements like “It’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel” (that’s a mouthful) or “It’s a French Bulldog” to random passers by. But, ignoring them would just be rude.

Enter Dog ID Tees (sadly, as of 2015-02-16, the Cafe Press storefront has been shuttered). Put doggy’s details right on your chest so you don’t have to repeat them. Now you can concentrate on that important tweet, text, email, or phone conversation rather than talking to strangers.