geekery

Maker Faire == ++good

Bless those who use their volunteer mojo to distribute free passes to us lazy slack bastards who can’t be bothered to get an early discounted ticket: Em was kind enough to offer me a pass which was a wonderful way to end a truly suck-ass week of invasive dentistry, stoopifying painkillers and craptacular health.  The weather was gorgeous as I headed out to the expo grounds fairly late in the afternoon.  Bug, Em and I did a round of the craft booths, then I was sucked into the scrap metal and Tap Plastics area.  We watched some laser etchings in progress and I got a sweet t-shirt featuring a lady drumming with a screaming tiger for a head.  ISHians were out in force and kicked ass in bringing the fountain out.  It seemed like a respite spot for folks who had had a lot of robot and tesla coils buzzing about all day and just needed a break.  Jack, Sarah, Dr. John and JP brought out a crazy cake-pinball machine and rescued me with a fizzy water when I was starting to wilt.

My favorite project this year was a model train setup (HO scale, of course, shout out to my Dad!) made by an architect who had a knack for finding perfect mid-century flotsam, glueing it together and backlighting it.  It was a lovely 50s sci-fi City of The Future! setup and I loved it for combining such an old school nerd hobby with sexy junk recycling by way of Amazing Stories circa 1954.  Update: I found the builder’s url – http://sites.google.com/site/megamodelsite/   The day was capped off by a very wrong gypsyPunkMarchingBand from Chicago who freaking rocked.

The weirdos were out in force and many brought their kids.  Freaks in training: I’m for it.

art
geekery

Comments (2)

Permalink

Not-so evil schemes to avert soul-consuming anger

These last few months have had me designing a stock trading application for a major trading house.  To design this I spend my day looking at stock trading applications and financial tools online, which means I’ve had a very close (and mandatory) look at the recent financial meltdown, as well as the long run-up to it.  There has been a lot of election news interspersed with it and this, combined with my political junkie tendencies, has led to an ever-heightened feelings of fear, anger, incapacitation and sick glee at the rapid downward spiral of Things in General.

It has interfered with my sleep.

I went to Seattle a few weeks ago to see a play written and put on by an old friend and  to see my best friend play a noise show.  Steeping in all this creativity really put a point on it that I haven’t been doing shit but working and steeping in wretched political and financial news these last 9 months and that it’s no way to go through life.   I’m feeling rusty in doing community work and art.  So, I’m starting small.

My not-so evil scheme: register voters at the coffee shop next door.

Yes, that’s right, I sacrifice an hour each Tuesday and Thursday drinking tea, flirting with the cute staff and reading the paper, all while pestering every single person who goes into Progress about registering.  Oh, if all things were this easy.  So far I’ve registered 14 people.   For whatever reason, this has made me feel a lot better about this crappy election.  It’s nonpartisan, I’m not asking for money, it falls in line with my Iowan small-d democracy beliefs and I don’t have to deal with any nutjobs at campaign headquarters, which my braver and stronger friend is doing.

It won’t save the world, but I’m sleeping better.

geekery
life
politics

Comments Off on Not-so evil schemes to avert soul-consuming anger

Permalink

In the Future!

In the Future!

Pic courtesy of M’s futurePhone. See more futurePhone magic at his photoblog.

geekery
travel

Comments (1)

Permalink

Berlin by Bike

After many misfires, we finally acquired bikes for both of us. M at a bike store and I at the Prenzlauer Berg flea market in MauerPark on Sunday. Yesterday was the first day it wasn’t wet in a while so we went on a long jaunt into Mitte and stumbled into the dark heart of tourist Berlin. Souvenir shops! At least they are on cobblestone street and not in stripmalls. We found the Lustgarten, which had been transformed into a gallery by the addition of huge statues of nude women and men with a trend toward gigantic muscular asses. One such ass got slapped by an elderly Spaniard whose wife chuckled at him. The exhibit ruined any feeling of wanting to laze about in the grass, however, so we moved along after listening to the 6 o’clock bells from the Berliner Dome.

From the Lustgarten we rode west down the Spree across the museum island (Museuminsel) and then onto this long, lovely paved path through the midst of all the crazy modernist state architecture. I took a lot of pictures and told myself I was on a scouting mission for Kia, since her pictures would be so much more lovely. We took pictures of each other in the future before the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (The House of World Cultures).

M in the Future!

Truly we are moving at the speed of light.

It was getting dark so we set into the Tiergarten and ran into the Licht Berlin exhibit. Licht Berlin was a two week exhibit of light art meant for nighttime meandering. It was a bit underwhelming, especially after witnessing some of the wonderful light/electric art at Burning Man, but it made for a nice bike ride because Tiergarten is really dark at night so it was spooky and you could follow the lights through the trees. After that we rode past the Brandenburg Gate which was surrounded by tents and crews cleaning up from the Berlin Marathon (40,000 runners we were told) which had run the day before.

I was getting cold and hungry so we consulted the bike map and found our way to Oranienstr. in Kreuzberg were we found a nice Italian place called Ossesa. The waitstaff was incredibly friendly and it actually had a non-smoking room upstairs where we could look out over the street and spy into people’s apartments. This town believes in delicious and cheap half-liters of wine. I am so behind that.

art
geekery
life
travel

Comments Off on Berlin by Bike

Permalink

Oh. Mi. Gawd. (beware the fangrrl)

So today I ducked out of work and ran to the convention center where I nabbed free tix to see The Bravery play live for a broadcast on directtv. My brother flew into town this afternoon so we headed down around 8:30 to get in line. We were pretty early and there were fewer people than I expected since The Bravery had played a sold out crown at Stubbs the night before – that, and I think the satellite channel did a terrible job of telling people about these free and open to the public concerts. At any rate, once the doors were open I was up in front, hand on a monitor, w00t! They came, they played, the rocked. Sam sweated on me, there was contact, I got a pick. I am a pleased little groupie. They didn’t have quite the spunk they did at the insanely hot ACL fest show they gave a couple of years ago, but the whole TV studio thing had a bit of a dead ring to it and it took them about a half hour (2/3 through their set) to really get the crowd awake. The songs from their new album sounded great, I look forward to geeking out over it when it comes out.

Did I mention I got Sam’s pick?

The Bravery pick, thrown by Sam

geekery
life

Comments (1)

Permalink