Miter Saw Cabinet

I have to share space in my garage workshop with other things like boxes, bikes, and strollers. My goal is to have all of my big tools on rolling carts by the end of 2014. Here’s one of the first cabinets I’ve built to that end:

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Cub Scout Water Rockets

Cub Scout Mission Log 2012.144: Two low earth orbit rockets, code named Partly Cloudy Patriot and Rainbow Sherbet have cleared the assembly bay and are en route to the launch pad. Launch will be Thursday evening at the Pack 464 Water Rocket Pack Meeting. Any families in the Northgate / Woodlands area of Walnut Creek who are interested in joining scouts are welcome to join us. Rocket making supplies will be provided:  6:30 PM at Valle Verde Elementary.


Update May 24, 2012: Some photos from the event:

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Stepping Stones

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To celebrate our new raised garden beds (and to get out feet out of the mud). I cast the hand prints of all of our family in 12″ x 12″ stepping stones.

Smart Garage

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I’ve been looking to start another Arduino project for some time, but I have been waiting for a ‘real’ problem to tackle before I began….  and then the outdoor keypad for our garage door opener died. Yippeeeee! This is the ‘real’ problem I was looking for. Unless I have my car keys with me to open up the car and to click the opener in my car, I have no way to get into my garage when I’m out for a bike ride or walking my boys to and from school. Two of  my boys are still in a stroller, and since this is the rainy season, the time to act is now. This is a problem that I needed to solve. Arduino to the rescue!

I finished a similar project about a year ago, where I used an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield to create a web enabled failover switch for some of the phone circuits in our datacenter.  I used a very similar setup here. This time however, I wrote the interface using JSON so that I could build an iPhone app to control the garage door and several of the lights in and around my garage. The iPhone App is still a work in progress, but the system itself is online; only the UI is still rough around the edges.

Now, I have all my front yard lights controlled by a cron job on one of my Linux servers. And I can open my garage using any web browser, mobile phone, or even my Kindle. All costs considered, I probably paid three times what it would have cost to just replace the dead keypad. But that’s not how I roll.  I was able to add new functionality, and enjoy a few cold evenings soldering relays in my garage! I <3 Arduino and the Maker movement!