Maker Faire Diary

Friday, May 21, 2010
–Observations past tense as I didn’t have time to write ‘em down then. So at random:
-5:PM meet and greet: almost missed as I was gabbing with someone at my booth; got there around 6:15 which was fine as line for dinner had yet to start moving. Free food I could believe but free beer was a plus. Discovered, however, that I hate Sierra Nevada: way too bitter for me. Oh, for a Rolling Rock. Found out Mike Albaugh is a real beer afficionado and suggested what kind of beer I’d prefer: more wheat, less hops was it? Must remember to ask and write down next time.
-Chowed down with Mike, Egmont and Helga: very nice.

Saturday, May 22, 2010, 8:53 AM:
–RV living observation: every Oscar needs a Felix: it’s starting to get messy in here even tho it’s just ME!! Maybe I can talk Judy into coming along next time??
Got txt msg from Eugene: he’s getting on commuter train and so will probably beat me to the gate. Silly boy: his phone crapped out and he can only text message now; now there’s an interesting failure mode!
Just saw Garb walking by, gave a shout-out and also met a great gal who’s learning welding. She did fulltime RV-ing for 33 months and had some good ideas like icecubes in the toilet on way to dump station, etc. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my dream instructor visit for ‘used RV 101’: the course everyone like me must pass to be well informed and able to cope with all the shit that can go wrong, heh.
Conked out early last night; some time B4 10, which is early for me!
It was fucking freezing last night! Finally got up and closed roof vents so I didn’t require a nazal blanket snood to keep the frost at bay. Still very glad I brought along my favorite flannel blankie in addition to sleeping bag; stuffed inside the bag it was quite cozy.
Can’t seem to ger AC outlets to work so no hot coffee this AM; made do with chocolate Soy Silk (yum!) and tiny cereal boxes. Pity they don’t perforate ‘em any more; will take photos of early-morning-bleary failure mode later. Glad Panasonic.s laptop battery’s good for umpty hours, unlike old IBM.
Getting ready to head over to my booth, taking laptop, hairbrush, Tucks pads (holding off morning dump until I get to a real toilet), etc. Pleased that food situation isn’t as dire as I’d feared. May try to hit the pub across the tracks tonight for din-dins..
–Hindsight: it was a looooong day! But thanks to Mike it was bearable. Took us both a while to get into the rhythm of the show but once that was done we took turns roaming. Two pair of eyes definitely a plus: each saw things the other missed. I was only one with camera but we both snagged lotsa cards, flyers, etc.
–I’d be hard pressed to invent a better torture test for my pneumatic widgets than a bunch of kids!
-Hole puncher failed in a hindsight-predictable manner but I managed to piece it back together. Didn’t punch very well after that but it did contiue illustrate the principle. Will fix permanently when time permits; i.e. at home in shop: it’s an easy fix there…
-Foot pedal valve on drillpress occasionally locked up but time was the cure: wait a minute or so and it would unstick and work fine for another half hour or so. Possible culprit: too-gooey oil in air lines? Dunno.
-Air operated air gates kept having retaining nuts unscrew; must use loctite to secure ‘em better. Gates occasionally hung up in the open position. Suspect it was because air pressure was much higher than I usually run; Mike noticed this: apparently my preset air pressure of 50psi was wandering into the red; i.e. around 120psi. Made in China, yes? Quality control: no. Gotta come up with more predictable and MUCH quieter air compressor if I ever do show again.

Best Thing I Saw: Sorry, nothing leaps out this yr. Had wanted to see singing Tesla coils and have to say they were ‘born’ to play the theme from Doctor Who. Not much leaps out beyond that. Must transcribe notes for more recollections.
Met a lot of folks I know from Hackers, Dorkbot and Burning Man, plus some others that had heard of me and wanted to meet me. Odd to think I have ‘fans’, hehe. Still at least I don’t have a coterie of sychophants like Jeri Ellsworth! It was fun to see her; we seem to be ‘ships in the night’ most times she’s in town but we did manage to connect the dots this time: great fun!
Saturday was a loooong day! Show stayed open until 8:PM. Discovered I’ve got a problem with right shoulder; possibly from humping too much firewood last week; dunno. Bottom line: even toting a camera becomes agony in short order; gotta get some exercises to strenghthen that area.
I’ve also got a growing back problem: never noticed it around house and protracted winter but I can’t seem to walk for more than about 10 min before I get agonizing pains all down the right side of my back. Mike was a double godsend! Maybe I’ll be his helper next year!
After late quitting time I met up with Egmont and Helga in their neat little RV and we gabbed on while I scarfed salami and yummy smoked cheese on good sourdough bread.
After visiting with the Websky clan I met up with some folks at a fiery cauldron in the parking lot and wound up getting steered towards someone who had a cannon and was trying to find out more about it: woohoo! Found four well-wrapped folks huddling in a tricked out RV and we gabbed on for a while; found out we had mutual friend in Heidi, etc. They’re working on something Burner related and I offered to help. Bit of a distance between us but I can’t resist working on Burn-y stuff, hehe.
–It was FREEZING cold! Soooo glad I brought extra flannel blanket when I finally got back to RV. Still no luck getting ‘shore power’ hookup to run stuff on board so had no heat, no lights, no microwave and no coffee in the morning. Sigh. Would have been good to have at least had an extra warm body or two to keep the chill off but no such luck! Gotta get Judy to go with me next time!

Sunday May 24:
— Met many kewl people including a guy who makes genuine pipe organs in Northern Calif; must connect dots to learn more about pipe construction. Mike managed to make several whistles out of popsicle sticks; several of them working pretty good. Still some things that need to be to be sorted out and quantified to yield consistent results. Maybe we’ll both go visit that pipe organ factory, eh?
Ran into Mitzo one day; had his kid with him so I’m sure they had fun.

–Show wound up at 6:PM

Monday, May 24, 2010, 4:07 PM:
–Recuperating from cascade FAIL: lifted back hatch of camper shell on truck but the air shock had come undone; dropped on my head, knocked off glasses, which hit gravel and fell apart. Rich had just driven up so he snagged lens I couldn’t see. Tried to lift Trader Joe bag out of back but handle failed. Finally got everything indoors, then got spare glasses out of RV. Spares had take the brunt of the coffee I spilled days ago so had to clean ‘em to see what I could do to fix main glasses. Found tiny Philips upstairs and got ‘em sorted although now there are gravel scratches I’ll have to live with. Costco wouldn’t renew my eyeglass prescription because the tiny time window has closed. Have to find local optometrist I don’t trust to get new prescription I guess. More hassles!!!

Well so far today Scott’s called and Todd’s called; good fun talking to both, heh.
How could turkey meatloaf be too spicey for me to eat? Have gone with Plan B: Top Ramen for dinner.

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