Very good day, I had a pretty full day work wise, but also made time to go to a kick off ceremony for the Vermont Open Data Hackathon that my friend Tim at My Web Grocer  is leading this weekend. Governor Shumlin kicked it off for us. it made me feel really good to hear our state’s Gov talking about the high tech job growth in Vermont and saying the words ‘open data hackathon’ .. In a very strange way .. this all grew out of something I’m doing as part of my day job at work..  The  idea is that teams will spend 24 hours creating apps for the state of Vermont from the states open data resources..


Anyway.. the real fun starts on Friday night .. 24 hours of open data hacking fun.. I’ll keep you posted from then


Then .. back to work.. at 7 i was back on stage curating the High Voltage meetup for the Vermont Makers .

I had coordinated a bunch of High voltage hobbyists to come show a crowd of about 70 folks the ins and outs of the high voltage hobby ..It a great hobby.. it extends from simple experiments of rubbing your feet on the carpet to huge deadly sparks.. whats not to like in that. Makers Scott, Chuck, Dave H, Richard, Dave H (the Uvm) one , Erc and myself did a sequence of experiments from friction machines, to influence machines, induction machines and pulsed power.. lots of sparks a few shocks,, a and really good fun.

the finale was David H’s can crusher.. sounded like a rifle shot.. and here’s the poor can that was the target

I just love this whole maker mindset that would have me at a hackathon kickoff at lunch and a maker meeting at night.. this is the world I want to be in !


nite all, nite sam



Very restful day.. the heat has broken (for a day at least) .. and it’s about 15 degrees cooler than yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be a stinker, I hear. so I’m enjoying the brief respite..

My high point for the day was reading Megan James great article “Meet your Maker” in this weeks 7Days about the wonderfully growing Maker movement here in Vermont.

Here’s the first paragraph:

“Remember when geeks were uncool? John Cohn does. The 52-year-old IBM fellow recalls the disapproving look people shot him when, growing up, he told them he wanted to be an engineer. “I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to get other people interested in geekiness,” he says.

Looks like it worked — the Age of the Geek has arrived.”

I love it.. ! It really is an amazing time to be a geek.. never thought I’d see the day…

In that wonderful spirit I lived the maker lifestyle today by continuing to build stuff on my todo list.. I built a nifty firing circuit for my flamethrower…


and a AA battery charger for my iphone so we can taking it on our camping/hiking vacation in a few weeks.. I’m building a solar charger for the batteries.

And.. I worked on my new led hoop project. I turned up soem chanrging problems last night which prevented me from takign it to the fireworks (drat !).. but I think I’ve fixed that.. and I changed the software to be much easier on the bateries. Jackie is coming over in a few minutes to try it out for me.. I’ll add soem movies if it looks cool..

OK.. thats it for now.. more from the road tomorrow..

nite all, nite sam