The first project we wanted to tackle in the new house was the flooring downstairs, however, unpacking, and deciding on flooring colors have to come first. So… to sharpen my DIY skills (I have no training in construction or previous experience) I decided to start with the master bedroom closet. After all, I always wanted to give my special lady a nice built in master closet!
Since June of this year (2016) we have begun a brand new set of adventures! We moved to Washington all the way from Florida. Not only is this a huge change for a family, but we decided to change our lifestyle from suburb life to country life.
The cost of housing in the greater Seattle area is WAAAAAAY more expensive than that of FL, so as we began to search for homes that were large enough for our family, let us be outside the city, close to transit to Seattle, and afforded us a chance to have some property… Wow… We ended up with VERY few options… In the end we decide to move a bit further away than I wanted from downtown, but I fell in love with the fact that we could get 18 acres and a view of a mountain!
It is amazing what a difference changing the color of your cabinets can do to revitalize your kitchen! We have never been a fan of oak cabinets, however, this house’s cabinets were especially rough… The transformation was not as expensive or hard as you might expect.
This year in October, our family was invited to a Super Hero party and the guests were obviously encouraged to come dressed up. This of course for us means we have an opportunity to go overboard as usual. My wife, baby, and myself geared up as members of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
This year my boys wanted to make cars which resembled their favorite games/toys. My oldest continued his theme from last year (check out our post on the Minecraft Creeper Car) and made an Enderman Car this year called The End Car. My second oldest made Kai’s Fire Car from Lego Ninjago. They both did a great job and I am very proud of them both. (The also both received 2nd place in their respective dens for speed.)
Backstory (Hey, it is my blog)
Big Hero 6 recently was released in theaters and I took my three boys to see it. Aside from being a superb (if somewhat dark at times) movie, both my eldest son and I both left thinking that we, like Hero, could build some robotics of our own! Well… he thinks robotic dragons and such… I am actually thinking more about home automation projects. Which leads me to this post.
For Christmas I deiced I wanted a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino as the basis for projects. (But what they are and why is a completely different post…) This post is to share my learnings as much as it is a way for me to document them so I can refer back if needed in the future.
In the technology department where I work, we are making some extensive use of ZigBee and I figured I would play with it at home to get some experience and with the low power needs seemed potentially perfect for my needs. XBee is Digi’s brand name for their ZigBee protocol products… Read me at this page about Is XBee ZigBee if you are interested.
This is a basic tutorial explaining my learnings about how to setup two XBee modules to talk to each other to enable Ardunio or other devices to transmit some data without cluttering your normal WIFI traffic.
When buying Christmas presents, I try to make sure they are personal vs generic… I hate gift cards, or just random things found on sale… I like to find things which really align to the person I am gifting’s desires, likes, etc…What better way to ensure a present is to someone’s liking than to make something specific for that person with your own hands. Then not only do they like the gift, but it has a much higher value as a family member/friend spent time making something for them. My sister is a huge Marvel and Super Heroes in general fan. So this past Christmas we made SuperHero Christmas Tree Bulbs for her!