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Follow my adventures in parkour, tall bikes, beater cars, and kinetic sculpture racing, just to name a few.

Makey, Makey, Eggs and Bake-y

Makey, Makey, Eggs and Bake-y

 Video by Nick. Words by Jay.

Day three, Maker Faire. Today was Beta Breakers, which seems to combine running, drinking, costumes and other shenanigans, so we were warned to avoid it getting out of the city. Almost a shame, it might've been fun to watch from a distance. Fortunately the train back from Maker Faire was empty. I'm crawling in bed before 11:30, and we had dinner by 10:30 so that feels like a win. It wasn't until just now that I realized how utterly exhausted I am from three days of walking and peopling and significant external stimulation and NOISE.

 

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An aside. I don't appreciate sudden loud noises. They startle and frighten me. This includes thunder and fireworks, and the balloons popping, two tables over. Also large metal objects that shoot flames which are incredibly frightening, and Tesla coils, which emit a steady hum and zapping noises. The BART tracks apparently can reach over 120 decibels on their tracks and very suddenly. Nick brought me ear plugs for the train this morning, but I ended up wearing them much of the day.

We got to the Faire around noon yesterday, just in time for Adam Savage to show up on the giant ant for his “Sunday Sermon.” Basically the world is an amazing, terrible place, but there is infinite possibility and we need to continue to inspire each other and know and accept that nothing ever goes according to plan. His mom was there, which was also awesome. We should all be so lucky to have parents who support whatever crazy endeavors we embark upon (I'm looking at you, New Hampshire). As he was answering audience questions we couldn't hear, we quietly slipped away to sit at Liz’s booth again.

This time, I admit, I indulged in my love of all things Calvin and Hobbes and now have several new pins and zipper pulls. Additionally, I'll probably be helping Liz again at Boston Comicon and I'm not sad about that at all! She's awesome and I'm really glad we got to meet and hang out with her, and she fed us tasty frozen treats and we look forward to visiting her back east! Waiting to meet up with our host from the first few days, I wandered off to throw things away and ended up back at machine knitting.

Products of the knitting machines

Products of the knitting machines

After seeing what these things can do, and learning how to make a few patterns, I am utterly convinced that this is missing from my life. Quick, someone help me find one of these on eBay! I'll make you mittens! Nick found me there and also indulged in my desire to learn spinning with a drop spindle, because I don't own enough yarn and need to make my own.

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We did meet up with Paris briefly, but much of today was spent exploring corners of the fair we had missed before. Steampunk Alley was full of gorgeous custom couture, fancy jewelry and make-your-own tiny top hats. We continued to see new glow in the dark exhibits. There was whole building we hadn't seen yet! One of the Makers there from Korea is determined to tour world Maker Faires with her simple 3D printed animals. They look like something I could print with chocolate and I'm excited for that inspiration. This building also had a collection of working BB8s and R2-D2s. One was up and interacting with people, which was ridiculously adorable.

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Towards the end of the day, we revisited MegaBots, showing up just in time for a MegaProposal from one of the engineers to his lady friend, and they proceeded to drop a 100lb ring on the Prius the bot had been punching all weekend. The Bot sprung a hydraulic leak, however, and both operators had to escape. We stuck around to watch the madness to our good fortune. The founder of Artisans started MegaBots, as well, and recruited our friend Rob out here almost a year ago now. When the leak was fixed, Rob noticed and bear-hugged us! His was the recommendation for Angel Island, and we wanted him to know how much we appreciated it. He went above and beyond, taking photos of us standing on top of the squashed car. If we had waited until the Mark III was lowered, he might have let us aboard, but neither of us wanted to be in the 140° cockpit, and we had other friends to see! It was time to see if Cyclecide might have a wheel we could trade for on Monday.

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We got distracted by the most ridiculous tandem. It's seating position allows for the smaller rider in front, because with the heavier rider there, it's nearly impossible to steer. Many of the parts were loose from heavy weekend use. The owner was trying hard to convince us that this was the bike we should continue our tour on, but to no avail. It might be good for a parent and child combo, or two children, but not two adults. It was next to a perilous monowheel not dissimilar to Nick's plywood wheeled monstrosity, but contained a children's bike frame inside a single larger-diameter wheel. Even the owner couldn't seem to keep it upright for long.

Nick riding the convertible. 

Nick riding the convertible. 

Suddenly, Cyclecide beckoned us via microphone to come show off their tall bikes in the arena as the show was ending. Nick got to demo their transformer tall,a project near to his heart, for which he has all the pieces at home. We stuck around to help a little with their deconstruction, but wanted to help Liz and her family for hosting us. Along the way, we got distracted by some steam engines, but got back on track and helped Tracimoc eject, gaining extra snacks (there was a box full on the ground) in the process. When we got to bicycle parking, one of the friend we’d made from Monkelectric was there and we had a great ride back with him, learning about his project with his wife, Bike Pretty. If you're looking for a unique, feminine helmet, they're you're go-to!

Tomorrow we plan to plan ahead! We are going to get my wheel replaced, too, since Yellow Bike is open tomorrow night. Then, Tuesday, we will be all set to set out for Sacramento and the great Kinetic Sculpture Race!

Total miles: est 14 by bicycle. Our distance calculations exploded this weekend. Oops.

Vacation inception

Vacation inception

Making, Friends and Influencing People

Making, Friends and Influencing People