What we were:
--Experience has shown that a diverse group of individuals with varied backgrounds, open eyes and minds can help one another to avoid the pitfalls that are all too common on the "bleeding edges" of technology.
If you enjoy home shop tinkering or any other hacks associated with amateur science, come on over! The Society is modeled (loosely) on similar organizations which flourish in the UK.
We support the interests of amateur science in all its manifestations, as well as a myriad of other home shop pursuits. We do this with discussion, information sharing, show-and-tell and a good meal.
We strive to keep folks on the road to scientific literacy by examining proposed projects or those in progress, with the aid of dialog, show-and-tell and food.
Projects that have been discussed at meetings of the SB-SMEEBBQ (after which we are patterned) have included precision clockmaking, hot fusion, steam engines, electronics as well as a variety of other hobbies. Just about any "hardware" activity (and software too!) is considered fair game.
What we were NOT:
--This is NOT an "inventor's club" and any information discussed at a meeting will be considered public domain, i.e. notes and photos will be taken and an occasional digest will be published on the web. Those who bring forms saying "read and understood" or "confidential" or any sort of legal or binding agreements will be shown the door. No booze is permitted on the premises during meetings: sad experience has shown this to be another major roadblock to the free exchange of useful ideas.
Philosophers and compulsive talkers are also discouraged from tendencies towards excessive wordiness, since this produces vaporware, not hardware.
--Meetings were typically held at noon on the first or second Saturday of each month. When volunteers come forth, the location will move from one member's shop of house to another. Meanwhile "Headquarters" is between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, CA at my digs just North of Highway 12.
The number of attendees at either the SB or the SR branch never reached the "critical mass" needed to elect the legislative hierarchy of larger organizations, so there was no duly elected president, secretary or treasurer. As before when I ran the SBSMEEBBQ, meetings were run by "benevolent dictators", as participants never swelled to the several dozen per meeting needeed to have a representative government. The number of volunteers never got above two, either...
I live in hope that another organization will grow beyond its infancy and take on a life of its own. Until then, I remain aloof. This simplifies ideological conflicts so that maximum time can be devoted to both scientific and practical goals.
Following a barbecue, we had a sit-down round-the-table session, in which those who have a project that they wish to discuss in detail can take turns for up to 10 minutes (or 1-1/2 hours divided by the number of people who wish to talk). After that, it was time for dessert and "show-and-tell", when people who bring their works with them can trundle out the hardware for demonstrations.
The cost of hosting a meeting can be $50 to $60, so we encourage anyone who comes to contribute a modest donation of $5 (or more if you can!), in order to defray the costs that the host incurs feeding us.
If you think you might like to host a meeting, but you don't know how to do it, READ THIS!
--Do your hobby interests need a dash of science or an airing in front of like-minded souls? Do you enjoy amateur science, home shop machining, manufacturing or culinary endeavors? If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email me!
I encourage you to look for similar organizations in your neck of the woods. If none exist, start one!! If you are disinclined and live too far from an existing organization, get your hands on a copy of Scientific American and check out the section called "The Amateur Scientist".
Links to Previous Meetings
--Click on over to see a schedule of Upcoming Events and Meeting Dates
Links to (and primary interests of) List-members:
|Dewey, Dave||steam boats & locomotives||http://www.quiknet.com/~djdewey|
|Haas, Ed||poppet valve steam engines & weird art||http://www.nmpproducts.com|
|Kan, Michael||electronics & vacuum coating||http://home.packbell.net / mikekan|
|Mumford, Bryan||electronics & woodworking||http://www.bmumford.com|
|Smaalders, Bart||steam propulsion machinery||http://playground.Sun.COM/~barts|
|Vennerbeck, Dick||ultrasonics & steamboats||http://www.steamnet.net|
|Woodson, John||software & pop-pops||http://www.stanleysteamers.com|