The Epoch Before and the Day After (Post #300!)

Wow, why didn’t I think of that? FAKE DOMINATRIX TRICKS ‘SLAVES’ INTO DOING HER FARM WORK! “You are a naughty one! You can’t calculate this tuned stripline… not until I say you are worthy, worm!”

The Slow Winter“, a totally accurate Gonzo history of hardware architecture design:

“Clutching a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a shotgun in the other, John scoured the research literature for ideas that might save his dreams of infinite scaling. He discovered several papers that described software-assisted hardware recovery. The basic idea was simple: if hardware suffers more transient failures as it gets smaller, why not allow software to detect erroneous computations and re-execute them? This idea seemed promising until John realized THAT IT WAS THE WORST IDEA EVER. Modern software barely works when the hardware is correct, so relying on software to correct hardware errors is like asking Godzilla to prevent Mega-Godzilla from terrorizing Japan.”

Time travelling banksters, that’s the ticket!

“Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 p.m. in Washington “as measured by the national atomic clock.” It takes seven milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Fed’s decision were placed on Chicago exchanges two to three milliseconds after 2 p.m. How did this happen?”

Speaking of strategic positions, a Tennessee man took one in his recliner before opening fire with a shotgun at the gorillas inside his house. OK, so the gorillas weren’t actually there, but he thought they were! He called police at 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday to report that giant apes were gallivanting in his home and he was standing his hallucinatory ground FTW!

There used to be a show called “It Pays to be Ignorant”. Not sure if it re-runs on C SPAN now or just seems to.

T-Rex Troubles: Christie Sims is the foremost practitioner and almost certainly the founder of a new literary genre: “dinosaur-on-girl erotica.”

Some ancient European bears were always bragging! Don’t listen to ancient European bears therefore!

Watched a mega-weird Thai movie late yesterday called “This Girl is Badass“. TGIB is positively surreal and culturally interesting (aside from great bike-fighting, oblique references, misogyny, interpersonal meanness and all). Totally worth a watch, and you’ll never see eyebrows quite the same way again!

My Tulsa Mini Maker Faire Observations

The 1st ever Tulsa Mini Maker Faire is over. This is my personal de-brief.

The planning and leadership for the event was EPIC. The crew at FabLab Tulsa that set this thing up did a bang-up job! Nathan, April and those whose names I don’t know had the planning, outreach, earthly logistics and communications with the presenting makers nailed. I’m very impressed! Beers or better all around for the organizers!

All the volunteers who stood out in the rain while making this thing happen on a tactical level were a stout-hearted lot, and I cannot heap enough praise on them! Yes, buckos, ‘the line held’, and your dedication was not unappreciated! Again, I don’t have a list but I’d like to buy you all a beer, and I’m sure the same goes for all the makers attending!

The presenting  makers were awesome as well. The vibe was very good, with everyone I met there being swell folks, eager to show-and-tell their projects in the face of anomalous weather. I just wish I’d had more time to stroll around and meet/appreciate you all instead of struggling with my own can of recalcitrant worms. There were lots of new faces, a few old faces and so many things to appreciate wish I’d had a half-hour at every table!

Even the attending public showed conspicuous bravery under rain for showing up in the numbers I saw. I haven’t seen that kind of interest in any other outdoor event during a monsoon in this area, and your interest, courtesy and support made the event a success! Good show, Tulsans!

There were people planning  their own Maker Faires up to take notes (I spoke to at least 3 scouting parties)! One of the more amusing comments I heard was about these things becoming “a Ren Faire for geeks”. Ren Faires need turkey legs, so what will be the ‘geek’ turkey-leg, I wonders? Will it have ramen, spirulina, tofu or fudge? Only the Future knows! I support this effort, however it turns out!

As far as my own little 10×10 piece of it went:

The morning of the event there was Rain, Rain and more Rain. This rain was torrential during the planned set-up window, and my old military trench coat has apparently lost it’s water repellency, judging by the amount of water absorbed and transmitted through it (it’s still not dried out).

My eldest daughter, who came to assist (as my awesome “booth babe”), did bravely weather the weather despite getting soaked and freezing. It was a ‘bonding experience’, euphemistically speaking (AKA ‘a voyage of the damned’, like a family vacation).  After setting up the canopy, we headed back home to get dry clothes and bag up some towels and such before returning to complete load-in. (A Very Big THANK YOU! goes out to my good friend Darrin who lent me a folding canopy shelter the night before… else we’d have needed snorkels).

Absolutely nothing, no-thingI planned on presenting worked out. The intended demonstration of chemical and electrical etching of copper rings cut from old plumbing, their zincate plating and transformation to brass, was 100% NO-GO. Techniques that worked fine indoors didn’t translate to an outdoor, windy ‘Waterworld’ environment. My clothes-iron hot-plate (a morning-of improvisation) couldn’t bring my hydroxide/zinc solution to a boil: just no way.

After three hours of fiddling with it we moved on to just going for etching the copper with hydrogen peroxide/HCL mix, but by that time both me and my booth-babe were so wet/cold/tired that it was clear that we were spent. We folded at about 2:30 PM, went home, got dried off, and grabbed some shawarma and cabbage rolls (yummy!) at Shawkat’s to treat hunger and fatigue and warm our insides.

Is there is a lesson to future outdoor Maker Faire participants from all this? Yes! To wit:

  1. Just getting started is the first, most crucial step.
  2. Showing up is the hard part! Be there, take part and help Make it happen!
  3. Leave Nothing To Chance! Concentrate on a weather-neutral presentation. Test your presentations/projects outdoors in the wind and the rain.  You cannot plan for good weather (especially in Oklahoma: that causes rain)!
  4. Rule #1 of Science: “Failure is always an option”. Deal with it with grace, just like my patron saint, Victor!


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7 Responses to “The Epoch Before and the Day After (Post #300!)”

  1. April Brooks Says:

    Wow! I knew I chose the right people to have booths! Gracious, hearty go getters, that just keep trying until it’s time to get some warmth & food. I’m so very glad that you were there & got a chance to get on the ground floor of something I hope will only get bigger & better next year!

  2. offlogic Says:

    And, besides, how can the makers organize a beer-fuelled “Thank You!” party for the organizers, volunteers and everyone else that made this p\happen?

  3. April Brooks Says:

    I’ll see what I can do!

  4. April Brooks Says:

    Would it be possible to break the Maker Faire stuff into a post of it’s own that I can post on the facebook page?

  5. offlogic Says:

    Okay, done deal!

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