Parenting in the Moment

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t have a good work/life balance during my 20s.  As a result, much of this time period resides in my mind as a diluted memory blur.  Selective remembrance, likely out of self-preservation.

As a father, it saddens me to have lost the early formative years of my daughter to my own undiagnosed mental disorders.  Alas.  At least I didn’t kill myself.

No matter.  It sure is fun to document good moments now!

Wheeeee! What could go wrong?
An annual tradition now.
Window shopping for blades.
I hope she grows up to be a nerd.
Plenty of swords to borrow for now.



Actually the cameras came first.



And if your OCD requires that doors be checked multiple times before retiring, then why not make the task easier (instead of, you know, seeking therapy)?

Enter the garage door.  Actually no, don’t go in my garage–that’s the point here.  The garage door, when open, is a rather large access point to my home, and so confirming its closure is standard operating procedure for nightly lockdown.  And how is such verification generally completed when it’s not viewable from inside?  Why, by opening a door and peering out.  So inefficient, and doesn’t pair well with multiple checks.  Also it isn’t properly nerdy.  Surely someone had invented a product to make the task easier.

And someone had indeed: wireless smart monitors.  Translation: gadgets with unknown development histories comprised of forked open-source Linux software and limited pen-testing, which they want me to attached to my internal LAN, and link to my phone with more questionable software, that requires me to make an account with my personal info so they can send me targeted marketing.  Create network security holes in an attempt to increase physical security?  No thanks.  All I wanted was a light.

This was going to have to be DIY.


In true Agile fashion, here were the MVP requirements:

  1. A light inside the house to indicate garage door closure.
  2. A default status of “not closed”, to send false negatives rather than positives in the event of mechanical failures.

Some internet digging revealed these handy little microswitches:

They’re 2 circuit switches where a spring contact controls which neutral return wire is engaged.  The sprint sets one mode as the default until the button is pressed.  So in my case, when the door closes and engages the button, that will be my closure circuit.  If there’s no pressure on the button, that’s the default open mode.

Some creative alignment and mounting

As for the lights, well, that required more research than I expected.  LED lights, in their singular form, seem to be circuit-board project related.  That was somewhat beyond the level of effort I wished to expend, so I eventually settled on some “motorcycle accent lights”.  Yes, those kind of douche beacons.  A big price to pay for the inevitable douche-related marketing suggestions Amazon will no doubt throw me in the future.

What douche would put these on his vehicle. Or douchette (sorry, a woman can do anything a man can do).

The upside to the douche lights is that it made their power requirements predictable and easy to find: 12v DC.  Power supplies were readily available.

Running wire was a non-issue as I’m rather accustomed to that task.  All that was left was figuring out a mounting setup for the lights.  I had hoped to simply house them in a fogged light fixture, but such a setup would require me to buy a light.  So again, this would be full DIY.

The internals, and I added a door activator too while I was at it
A handmade wooden housing is more rustic than my preference

I’ll revisit this in the future.  Right now this is MVP.

The downside of the lights is that they’re intentionally super bright

I’m still fussing with light filters and spackling.  I’ll get there eventually.  But for now, my OCD is slightly alleviated with a soothing green glow.


More Garage Organization

I often wish for a kitchen that was free of aesthetic constraints.  My garage, a fully practical room, benefits greatly from this freedom.  The walls require no color coordination with landscape paintings.  Instead, they are vertical space for which to store tools.  How efficient it would be to hang cookware in a similar manner.


Anyway, kitchen woes aside, the garage organization continues.  The Village Elder gave me an old toolbox recently, which I repurposed for a hardware junk bin.

Exploiting a child’s OCD

I outsourced the organization, which left me with some questions on the chosen categories and labeling, but it’s still better than a single junk bin.

“art stuff” is apparently pencils and Sharpies

It also weighs close to 100 pounds, so I put together a wooden cart on utility wheels.

If only the kitchen cabinets were so well-constructed.


Not Prepping

If one possesses a practical skill that’s not necessary for survival, but could be were accesses to the modernization which itself defines the individual possession of said skill unnecessary, to become inaccessible–is the possession of the skill prior to its inaccessibility considered prepper behavior?

Such a discussion walks a fine line.  My completely unnecessary gardening somehow doesn’t qualify as prepping, but storing water apparently does.

Well, as long as I’m stumbling along that delineation, I might as well ignore it entirely.

Stockpiling ammunition!

Yep, I went there.

Now I think I need lots of rice and multivitamins…