LED Neon Signage

My son’s high school jazz ensemble has a fundraiser coming up in the next month and needed some set pieces for the stage. This was a good excuse to play with some LED neon rope. Soldering is complete and I’m really happy with how this 2ft x 8ft sign came out.

“Northgate Music” in red and yellow neon.

Spoon Carving in 2022

I like to make stuff every chance I get. Making is a part of my identity and it goes a long way towards maintaining my mental health. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, I picked up some carving tools and attended a few spoon carving group activities. Originally I intended to use it to teach knife skills to our scouts and to have something to work on next to the campfire. I’ve carved a few times while quarantining, but finally had a chance to spoon carve socially in 2022. I won’t claim to be any good at it, but I’m certainly having fun learning.

Updates to my Minecraft Dashboard

Back in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, my kids and I set up a Minecraft server and had a blast building worlds together. Too much fun, in fact. It didn’t take us long before we started losing track of which day it was. To help, I built a Minecraft dashboard that we could use to track our time online. We still had trouble remembering which day of the week it was, but now it had much less to so with our time in-world.

This fall, I spent several nights and weekends updating my home lab. I containerized many of the tools and services I have running (much love for Docker and the CasaOS ecosystem πŸ’“). I relocated Minecraft to a new Docker host and needed to update the dashboard as well. Now that Minecraft had been absorbed by Microsoft, I refactored much of the code. Since I didn’t share this link before, I thought I’d do so now:

mcDashboard – A Simple Minecraft Time Tracking Dashboard for Family & Friends Servers

Halloween and the James Webb Space Telescope

In light of so many new space exploration milestones in the last year, I wanted to let my space geek flag fly this Halloween. My wife indulged me as we went to our parties as “Sexy James Webb Space Telescope and the Rocket Scientist”


Happy Halloween from the GhO’Steens! We had a lot of fun making our costumes this year with the help of @raspberry_pi, #pimoroni and the #nasa #jwst mission.

♬ Struttin – thumpasaurusmusic

New Microcontroller, Who Dis?!

This summer, I joined an amazing group of makers in the hills of Kentucky for 4 days of collaboration, celebration, and giving back to our community. One of our group outreach projects was to build a pinewood derby track for a local Cub Scout pack in need. I teamed up with Halbert Walston to design, build, assemble and program this remote controlled drag strip Christmas tree.

This project used the brand new Raspberry Pi Pico W microcontroller and some Neopixel LEDs from Adafruit. Check out the code and template files on GitHub.

Everything’s Coming Up Wordle!

If there’s a bandwagon to be jumped on, count me in! The Wordle puzzle craze is not exception. I’ve been enjoying solving the daily wordle for several months now. The funny thing is, I enjoy the shape of the puzzle just as much as solving it. This 90 bit graphic (30 pixels X 3 colors, empty, yellow, and green) has become my daily Rorschach Test.

Starting in February, I tried an experiment. After solving the Wordle puzzle each day, I took my first impression of the puzzle board results and used my hack Photoshop skills to turn it into something worth sharing on Twitter. Below is the compilation of my 30 Days of Wordle: