Chad Stovern

Christian. Husband. Dad. Geek.

Build a $20 Standing Desk in 20 Minutes

Tue 12 May 2015   filed under: productivity   tags: ergonomics standing-desks DIY

After nearly a decade of working jobs doing geek stuff sitting in front of a computer all day, I started developing lower back pain. Even being active off hours wasn’t enough, so I caved and talked my boss into a GeekDesk v3.

However, now that I’ve moved on and am part of a small startup team working from my home office, that’s just not a purchase I was ready to justify again. Nine months into my new adventure with iDoneThis and my enthusiasm is high, yet my back is killing me…

Colin, the founder of, has an awesome and famous post about his $22 standing desk. This is truly a creative gem, that I really wanted to set up for myself.

My problem was that my desk has a raised monitor area. I would either have to remove part of the desk or hack off half of the back legs of the table in Colin’s solution. :-(

Desk Sitting

I thought about finding or building a couple simple boxes as the dimensions I would need for the monitor section of my desk and the work surface were roughly the same.

After searching around for those dimensions I found this stackable shelf unit (11.63” H x 24.13” W x 11.63” D and holds up to 20 pounds) at Target. The total cost with tax and shipping was only $19.84 ( due to a 10% off coupon code + free in store pickup).

Once I brought the shelves home, it took me all of 20 minutes to clear my desk, assemble them, and set my gear back up. I’ve been standing for a week now and once again my back pain has subsided.

Desk Standing

Fri 01 May 2015   filed under: technology   tags: postgresql osx

First and foremost, I highly recommend that you download VirtualBox and Vagrant to bootstrap a development server on your Mac.

That being said there are times when you’re doing a simple test or tutorial and you’d like to be able to run PostgreSQL on your local machine.

I’m writing this as I found setting this up on OS X 10.10 Yosemite to be a bit of a pain, since a simple homebrew install didn’t do the trick for me.

Caution: Before going any further, this tutorial assumes you do not have a prior installation that ...

Mon 16 February 2015   filed under: productivity   tags: focus procrastination distraction

Brett Terpstra’s interview with Rory Vaden was a gold mine, I highly recommend a listen.

Here are a couple pull quotes in no particular order that I thought were nothing other than amazing:

Successful people and top performers at some point learn to do the things they should be doing even when they don’t feel like doing them.

This is very true. Many of the people that inspire me, are great at this, and it’s really hard to be great at doing things you just don’t feel like doing.

Procrastination and indulgence are nothing more than ...

Mon 15 December 2014   filed under: technology   tags: css design

I decided that I wanted to be one of the cool kids that could do style quick pull quote + commentary posts.

Problem: My custom theme’s CSS just left pull quotes looking like plain indented text… blah, blargh, barf.

I don’t pretend to be a designer today, but I want things I make to minimize eye-bleeding whenever possible.

I gave myself a timebox of 15 minutes to find a workable solution and here are the fruits of that labor:


blockquote {
    margin-top: 25px;
    margin-bottom: 25px;
    margin-left: 50px;
    padding-left: 15px;
    border-left: 3px solid #ccc;


Things can be ...

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