2020: A new year, and a new home4 min read

neighborhood of homes

Early in the new year, I’d left the relative comfort of a very mild North Carolina Winter to travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for work. When I came home, my wife picked me up at the airport and said, “I have to show you a house before we go home.”

Now mind you, while we’d always kind of generally talked about maybe upgrading our house someday, we hadn’t done anything before my trip in the way of actual action or even making a decision to explore the options. Apparently my wife and children spent much of the week while I was away just looking at what was out there on the market. And they’d decided as a quorum that they wanted me to start looking, too.

A couple of weeks later, and three offers in, we finally found the house we wanted. It’s in Raleigh, not far from where we live now. But it gives us all more room, and it’s a house we can be more proud of than where we are now. It’s all moving so fast. And we close in less than a month!

Before I’d left on my work trip, I’d just launched Viridari. I’d planned on focusing my blogging efforts on practical action that most people can take to start turning back the clock on Climate Change. And I still intend to spend some time on that site. But in light of all that has happened these past few weeks, and what’s coming these next few years, it seems clear I’ll have more to say here on this site.

Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash

The Office

My current home office is a sort of bird’s nest of hobbies. Way too much stuff in way too small a space. Occasionally I put dents in it, but I never really get it looking nice.

I see moving as an opportunity to remedy this. I’ll only move in to the new office that which I really want to have in there. And the rest either needs to find a better home in my house or in someone else’s. I expect I’ll be selling a lot of stuff on Craigslist and eBay.

The new office is beautiful right now. Three windows, inbuilt floor to ceiling book cases on one wall, hardwood floors. It’s beautiful today in its empty state, and I can either build on that or screw it up. I choose the former.

The Garage

I’ve never had a garage before. I plan on having most of my homelab stuff in there, including the Raspberry Pi’s and a lot of my UniFi networking gear. My highest ambition for the space right now is to start learning electronics and embedded systems design (IoT!)

Photo by Korie Cull on Unsplash

Home Automation

My current home has a small array of home automation devices, all driven by Apple HomeKit and Siri. While I think Apple is the best of the big vendor home automation platforms, it’s definitely far from being considered full featured and the pace of innovation from Apple on this front is downright glacial.

So I’m selling off my HomePods and coming at this from another direction. I’m going back to Open Source and basing my home automation on Home Assistant. And I think this will dovetail nicely with the electronics prototyping I wish to do. I have some novel ideas on this front that I’d like to try.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

YouTube

I have the gear to make a go of setting up a YouTube channel, but I still honestly have a lot to learn about video production and editing. I think a lot of the projects I have coming up for fixing up this house and setting up the home automation would make for really interesting YouTube content, so I expect to make more of an investment here.