Origin Story

Hi Everybody,
A big thank you for checking out my blog. This is my first endeavor in this, hopefully I can keep it up.

My name is Paul.  Candler is my middle name.  I think it’s unique and funky.  Thanks to Marvel I like some alliterations so I thought it would make for an original blog name as Candler Customs.

I’ve always liked to make things.  Growing up this involved a lot of breaking things, mostly computers to the dismay of my parents.  I wanted to be some kind of engineer ever since I was a kid.  I credit it to Transformers, Robocop and Terminator.  My uncle “got” me a copy of CAD when I was in 6th grade.  He showed me how to use it for about an hour with some of the basics.  But when he extruded a flat polygon and 3d-orbited around I was hooked.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I’ve been playing with CAD ever since then.  I have drawn cars and trucks and planes and all kinds of nonsense.

In high school and college me and some of my buddies would install crazy car stereos in our cars and trucks.  We built the subwoofer boxes and everything.  (Eventually I got to understand that I liked the build and install part more than the loud subwoofers but oh well.  haha.)  When I was pretty young we had a lawn mower that broke.  On a whim and without having any idea what I was doing, I took it apart and put it back together.  I literally didn’t swap a thing, but after I put it back together I pulled the cord and it started right up.  It was awesome.  My Dad thought I was a genius.  I didn’t particularly emphasize to him that I didn’t do anything, but that’s okay.  Strangely this same exact thing happened to me as an adult; there must be something weird about lawn mowers.  I ran pretty competitively in high school, but mostly I was a regular nerd.  I’m not particularly smart, nor was I fast, but my parents taught me to work hard and it’s worked pretty well for me.  I did pretty good with my running, but I learned to work hard which helped me in school.  I got offers to run in school, but I took some engineering scholarship instead.

I went to the University of Texas – Pan American and I got a degree in Electrical Engineering.  My buddies and I made a robot for an IEEE robotics competition.  We didn’t perform as well at the competition as we did in the lab at school; it still kind of haunts us and I still can’t stand Kansas City, MO.  It was some of the best and worst time ever, but I had a blast making it with my buddies.  It was also the year that Iron-Man was coming out so we name it Iron-Bot and and painted it accordingly.  it was pretty awesome.

After college I moved to central Texas to work for the utility that I’m still at.  I do mostly project management which leaves a void for me on my engineering side.  One day a few years ago, I realized what I was missing, and it was the making more things and programming things.  We used a PIC on the robot and that was what I was used to but I didn’t want to buy all of the stuff to flash the PICs.  It was barely then that I discovered arduino’s and raspberry pi.  I bought a small power supply and a couple assortment packs of resistors, LEDs, diodes and transistors and I was back having fun.  Since then, I’ve started a whole collection of stuff.  I have something like 20 Arduinos, 5 or 6 RasPis.  I installed a home automation server with several smart home devices.  It also spawned a laser engraver and now several 3d Printers.

I tend to take turns on my several hobbies.  I’ll tinker with my 3d printer for a long time, get bored/annoyed/frustrated/whatever and then move over to woodworking.  Then I’ll make a cabinet for the garage or something and I’ll get bored/annoyed/frustrated/whatever and then move on to the laser engraver or whatever’s next.  I still try and run, but not remotely like my high school days.  50 miles per week takes too long and all my other toys are way too fun.

Over the course of the blog, I’ll tell you about my ongoings and show you some of my projects and my nonsense that I get into.  Hopefully somebody will be entertained and maybe somebody will learn something along the way.