Boxes and screws and paint, Oh My!

I am exhausted. After our adventures with the Front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium, we went shopping on Friday. Trader Joe’s and IKEA. Yes, the crazy Swedish store, that I love!

Originally, we just went in to grab a few bits and pieces. Napkins for my mom, a couple of light bulbs, that kind of thing. Well… we walked through furniture, trying to figure out how we were going to deal with a few issues on the Wendy House. That’s when we found this wardrobe. Normally it was $250, but discounted down to $179, as it was discontinued. We bought two. Plus we got a file cabinet and a kitchen table piece that we are going to convert to our bathroom sink stand. Yes, we spent a lot of money, but oh was it worth it.

Saturday, we cleared the area and began to build the wardrobes and the ‘closet area’ that we were going to put them in. Also known as “Yet Another Change of Plan.” It worked out much cheaper and over all better than what we’d planned. We worked until 10pm, collapsed in bed and slept.

Sunday, we woke up to SNOW. Not a lot, but enough that we would not be mowing my parent’s lawn. Instead, we came home and worked on the Wendy House. We got the wardrobes all finished, and moved into place. We were so tired, that we crawled into bed and just shuddered until our bodies decided that they’d punished us enough for all the hard work.

This morning, I shuffled clothes out of various spots. The wardrobes work a treat. Next on at least my agenda is to move the vanity and the big blue dresser out of our bedroom. They are both empty. Then I can re-arrange the bedroom/office side of things. Wheee! It grappled for a few minutes just before Dan took me out to lunch. This week the low temps are all suppose to be in the low 30’s. I had to bring all my plants inside!

Now if only I can move out of this chair… (creeeek!)

Closet project 2 Closet project.1

Front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium

Thursday we left Walsenburg around 10am and headed to Boulder for the front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium. Originally, we were just going to attend. Congressman Jared Polis was going to be there and some of the companies that do Open Source Hardware (OSHW), like SparkFun. This is the point where chaos stepped in and twirled us in a waltz. Dan got an email asking us if we wanted to attend as presenters, and showcasing the Ground Sphere receiving station that we’ve been working on for months with Southern Stars and Mach 30. So, we went as representatives of Mach 30.

Panic ensued, but we managed to pull enough stuff together to show. We managed the drive in plenty of time, found our hotel, relaxed for 10 minutes, and then headed out for a late lunch before setting up at the event. We found the place, The Studio, ahead of time, which was a good thing. Downtown Boulder had some interesting construction going on, and it was right in front of the turn off for The Studio. At 5:30pm, we returned and set up. We met Alicia Gibb, the executive director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), got set up and began to chat with people.

It was a small crowd, maybe 50 of of at the peak, with nine other presenters besides us all from Colorado’s Front Range. (ok, Walsenburg isn’t exactly front range, but it’s close. ) Nathan Seidle of Sparkfun, Jeff Moe of Aleph Objects (Lolzbot), Michael Ossman of Great Scott Gadgets, Ryan Edwards of Sparky’s Widgets, Eric Schweikart of Modular Robotics, along with people from Denver and Loveland Maker Spaces. (can I find all the business cards? No! Awgh!!!)

Dan took part in the roundtable discussion with Jared Polis. Questions were asked about What part should government take in the OS movement. Sort of a help or hinderance viewpoint question. Another one was how could Colorado help with the growth of the OS movement and what the benefits could be. This morphed into a discussion of the benefits of OS versus patenting. Last, a brief bit on how the companies present had helped the economy.

Interestingly enough, the most correct answer for most of these questions was Advocacy, Education, and Don’t get in the way of progress. Very much a “let people invent!”, and don’t stagnate. As Nathan said on his TED talk, that people have to innovate. Otherwise, they are unfit. Business moves too fast for patent law, especially as it only pertains to US patents. The TED talk is well worth the watch.

I had a lot of fun talking with the people there. The ground plane that I made got a lot of attention, as did the whole project that is Ground Sphere. I even managed to talk about Dan’s part of the project without messing up too badly. 🙂 Guess you could say I earned a few geek creds. And best of all, as with any symposium or conference, you get to see all the gadgets that everyone makes. I got lots of ideas. Oh, and Nathan gave us a lab coat with the Sparkfun logo on it and the word GEEK over the pocket. We gifted it to Mark Thompson, our STEM teacher. 🙂

We helped take things down and were back at the hotel by 10pm. It had been a great evening, and I’m looking forward to the next one. We got lots of invites to hacker/maker/creator spaces, and we will be taking them up on the invitations.

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Second Winters

Yeah, sort of like second breakfasts in Lord of the Rings.


Why? Well… um… You saw the pics in the Albuquerque trip post. That snow left us with 4 inches. It was all gone by Tuesday, and it even warmed up a bit. Wednesday wasn’t bad either. A little cool in the morning. Hot by noon. I even hung out some of my laundry.

By 3pm, the clouds had rolled in and the rain started. I dragged the clothes in and hauled in firewood. It kept raining. By 5pm, we had snain. Yes, snowy rain. By 7pm, it was snow. We woke up to 4 inches of new snow and about 21F temps. Brrr!

Of course, by Thursday afternoon, most of the snow had melted, and the mud was awesome!

Today of course we had a high of about 73! Next few days are suppose to be in the high 60’s with rain. 70’s again by Tuesday. This weather is just crazy!

Today I did some sewing, and learned how to pick and place parts on circuit boards. Apparently from what Dan says, I’m pretty fast. Did 9 boards in the time he could have done 3 or 4. 🙂 Tomorrow we are doing my parent’s yard work, shopping in Pueblo and then working on the Wendy House closet! Whee! Pics when we are done.

A Trip to Albuquerque

Yes, we ran away from home. Not because we had to go somewhere, like a conference, or a job, but because we wanted to go somewhere. April 12th is the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space. People celebrate Yuri’s Night, with space oriented parties across the world. Friends of ours at Quelab, a maker space in Albuquerque were having a party. So, we realized a few truths… We had the money, time and desire to go. So, we did! It also gave us a chance to wear summer clothes, as the temps were suppose to be in the mid 70’s.

We left Friday afternoon and arrived in Albuquerque around 7pm. The drive had been easy, and as per our habit, I read aloud from our book of choice while Dan drove. Right now we are reading one of the Emberverse Series, The Scourge of God. It makes the time pass when we aren’t watching the scenery, and we get to share a good book.

Our hotel was in the Old Town area. A little noisy, but not bad. We called Greg, and asked him for a restaurant recommendation. We wanted something organic, local, etc. He said the Flying Star Cafe was a good choice. As it was a five minute drive, we went. Heaven! Droolable! And oh, the desserts! Plus, they have this drink, Red Stuff. Cranberry juice, red zinger tea and mint. Divine!

Saturday, we got up and went hunting for breakfast. This time, we went to the Grove Cafe & Market. Once again, great food, atmosphere and a delight. We waddled off to Old Town to do some shopping. After getting a little lost, we found the parking lot and headed out. What we didn’t realize was that it was also Albuquerque’s 308th birthday. There were booths, music, dancers and lots of people. This was a treat. We window shopped, took pictures and had fun. I got two Talavera bowls and two skeins of handspun Churro wool.

We headed off to Quelab around 1:30pm, met with Greg, toured Quelab and met some of the makers. Around dinnertime, we headed for another suggested eatery. The Two Fools Tavern. Suggested because Dan was wearing his Celtic Music Festival teeshirt. Once again, the food and beer was excellent.

The Yuri’s Night party started at 7pm. Low key, but nice. We got to meet more of the Quelab Makers, and Dan showed off the ground sphere receiver he made. We were there until about 9pm. On our way back to the hotel, we passed the Flying Star. Well, almost passed it. We stopped in and had dessert. Yum!

Sunday, we got up, packed and were headed home by about 9am. It was 75 degrees. We stopped in Las Vegas, NM, for lunch at Charlie’s Spic & Span Bakery. More good food, as well as fresh tortillas (6 dozen)and bakery treats for my parents. It was 66 degrees in Las Vegas.

By the time we stopped in Raton for gas, it was about 53 degrees. Do you see a trend? Well, it was raining on top of Raton Pass. Snowing by the time we were just north of Trinidad. Really snowing hard by the time we got home.

We ran a few errands, stopped by my parents to help them with their taxes and then headed home for the night. It was 40 degrees inside the Wendy House when I lit the fire in the wood stove. BRRRR!

After dinner, it started snowing harder. We woke up this morning to about 8 inches of snow. Ice beneath. So, today I’m staying next to the wood stove and playing on the computer. It was a great weekend away. I know the slide show is a bit long, but there were so many good pictures!

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April Snow Showers

Or, how I woke up to snow yet again.

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Early this morning, I heard what I thought was rain, but wasn’t surprised to see a dusting of snow. It melted. By 9:30am, it had clouded over more and begun to snow, just a little. I started a fire in the wood stove, and when I looked up around 10am, it was really groppeling. You know, that whole sounds like rain, but looks like snow. By 10:30am, it had turned to big flakes. Now, two hours later, we have 2 maybe 3 inches of snow and the wind keeps picking it up and making little blizzards. BRRRR!

This is a vast contrast to yesterday.  Mom and I went to Pueblo and did the shopping. Dad had surgery on Tuesday, and just didn’t feel up to shopping. No surprise here. sigh… So, we had a ladies day out. 🙂  It was a nice relaxed day and very warm! The funny part of the day was when the young cashier at Joann’s offered me a Senior Citizen coupon for a sale on next Wednesday. I’m only 54! sigh… I giggled rather than get offended. I don’t dye my hair, so I guess to her I looked old enough. The high point of the day of course, was dinner at Romero’s. yum.

I’m planning to spend the rest of my day watching the snow fall, writing and maybe embroidering a bit. Oh, and going to lunch at George’s!