Aug 08

My Swiss chalet treehouse: final touches

The next step was to finish the roof structure in preparation for the steel roof, ordered from Dunn Lumber.


We chose a red roof to match some of the red tile and rusted steel roofs of some chalets in Switzerland. G. also provided some sample-size windows – two on the South side and one on the North side.


For the finish, I sided the walls and the “basement” with fence boards, and designed the deck railing based on my ancestors’ house in Switzerland.


I added a wooden ladder (on the right) and the kids stacked the obligatory firewood below the deck.


Aug 08

My Swiss chalet treehouse: initial construction

(May 24, 2008). I cleared the lower branches of the single fir tree in the back yard. My neighbor says it was one of his live Christmas trees of many years ago. As backdrop, note the fence – my project of two years ago.


I prepared two 4×4 posts forward of the tree, and P. worked on the two support trusses.


We attached the two trusses to the front and back of the tree, and added some bracing to the front posts.


The next step was the addition of plywood flooring. Note how the posts extend past the floor, which helped to support the walls.


I then added three wall sections and rafters. I placed a tarp and took a break during the June rains.


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Aug 08

My Swiss chalet treehouse – Inspiration and Sketches

I wanted to document my Swiss chalet treehouse for a few friends that have expressed interest in the project. I’ve thought for several years about building a treehouse, a shed, or both, in my backyard. The kids had heard this so many times they were treating it like another castle in Spain. And yet, this year was the year, and the treehouse (with shed-like storage) is standing proudly in the backyard.


I followed a lot of google.ch searches to find a number of chalets of all sizes to get ideas on proportions and details. Some of the noteworthy ones:

Rustic; Fantastic; Bucolic; Commercial; Nice Kit; My brother’s fiancée’s family chalet

Early Sketches

Based on these inspirations, I drew a few sketches. I had 10 ft of total height to work with, 12 of depth and 7 in width. I wanted the roof pitch and overhang to match the Swiss types, and some of the final touches to highlight Swissness (balcony, flowers)


In the next post: construction

Aug 08

Demonstrating brand decline with Google Insights for Search – Treo Example

Google’s Insight for Search is going to be my favorite research tool. Take, for example, a search for the word “Treo”: http://google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=treo&geo=US&date=&clp=&cmpt=q

The Treo peaked in 2005, and is currently experiencing a small revival.

You can also demonstrate cycles, such as this search for “christmas Cookies recipe”: http://google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Christmas%20cookies%20recipe&geo=US&date=&clp=&cmpt=q

I just found a huge analyst cookie jar…

Aug 08

Gmail predictions 2009

Here’s what Gmail will gain in 2009 – these fall mostly in the duh category:

  • Image search – returning results just like Web Images search (although with the added challenge of limited context for search)
  • Image gallery – show all image in your gmail account as a gallery
  • Image slide show – show image attachments as a Picasa-style slide show