This is not a home improvement blog, but I did use technology to help a home improvement project.

Our home is nearly 120 years old, and there are some beautiful original woods floors throughout the house. It was time to refinish the living room dining room and front entry. We did a test board in the dining room to make sure we liked the stain color we had selected. It looked perfect.

We sent the kids off to their grandparents on Saturday so that Jenny and I could sand the floors. We finished sanding late Sunday night. Floor staining time! I got out a lambs wool applicator and stained three boards. Woah. It was fire hydrant red. Nothing like our test board. We stopped immediately.

Now the dilemma. Jenny had to go to her parents, and I was going to finish the around-the-clock staining and applying the coats of polyurethane. However, Jenny is the one with an eye for color.

Enter the Microsoft LifeCam, given as a gift by my friend Patrick Niemeyer. While Jenny was at her parents’ house 150 miles away, I ran to the hardware store and selected some test stain samples and returned to stain some spots on the wood floor. I hooked up the LifeCam to my laptop (this is a scenario that makes a good case for a non-dedicated cam instead of one built into the monitor) and walked around showing Jenny the test spots. We became floor stain “chefs” and concocted a brew of American Cherry mixed with Colonial Maple. Three cheers for technology!