Sunday, September 12, 2010


Good morning!
Geoff: "There might be a few things on the dining table, but don't worry about it. I'll have it all cleared off."

Natalie, going downstairs to greet the brand new day: "Uh. Yeah. Okay."
Because by now, I am actually used to this sort of thing.

Contest #1: Identify the big one.

So, I vaguely alluded to a new mania take over the Bird House and its Geekier residents. And today I am prepared to share a few more clues, or details. I am not trying to be obtuse, it's just that I am not the best one to explain these matters.

What I can do is show you the sort of obstacles treasures I discover as I go about my day...

When I saw the kitchen, I had a bit of fit about the mess. Not the tools and parts on the table, but the food messes left out from the night before, so I told the boys to get busy, and I went to my car, thinking I would run away from home.

I need a new plan.
the way...
what the...?

So, I may not be the Geekiest resident, but I have been around enough metal shops and robotics builds to know I am looking at extruded aluminum. Just the stuff to build a strong, and light(er) weight robot chassis. Tell me you're impressed. Please.

Okay. Who's ready?
Contest #2: What is that hunking thing on the left?

Natalie, pointing to photo: "Geoff, what is this?"
Geoff: "That is a fiber optic cable spooler."
Natalie: "And why do we have one?"
Geoff, breathlessly: "'Cause it's cool.

So, I cannot run away from home, which really is okay with me, because it means I have an excuse to not shop for fancy clothes. (Malls, boutiques, three-way mirrors, fashion... these are the enemies of my peace of mind, dignity, and self-worth.)

So, Geoff, William, and Alex are building a workshop. They are gathering parts, bits, tools, and cool stuff. They have been highly successful at finding used things... cleaning them up, making repairs, and getting the cool stuff working again. They did this to a table top CNC mill. The objective is to get all the supplies and equipment necessary for building stuff. Like, making stuff. Like, robots, parts, fittings, art, sculpture, SteamPunk, woodworking... cool stuff.

Contest #3: Do you know what this is, and what it could be used for?

We are keeping a lot of these great finds for our workshop, for Maker Faire, for fun, and we are donating a lot to the high school metal shop. I may not know what some of this stuff is, or be able to explain how all of this is going to come to together, but I know one thing for sure: Geoff has good ideas, and an incredible drive... he makes things happen, and I never doubt that it will be cool. Really, totally cool.


Dallas said...

Wow, this stuff is really over my head. But, it did just make think that your family may be interested in checking out if there's a Hackerspace ( or Techshop ( in your area.

They're basically clubhouses for geeks. Thomas goes to a Hackerspace in Brussels where they have all kinds of equipment that they are free to use to build weird things out of and like-minded people to get help from and bounce ideas off of. Techshops are similar, but seem to house large random kinds of machinery for building things. Anyway, just thought I'd pass them on in case you need your kitchen table and van back for your own use... :)

judy in ky said...

I am impressed! That red thing in the first picture looks like the "easy button".

Emily Cole said...

Geez... I have no idea... maybe the green thing is some sort of press??? I think the look on Maria's face sums it all up for me... "uh..." It's so cool that you have space for a workshop now though!

campbellgirl said...

'Geoff, breathlessly: "'Cause it's cool."'

Oh I just laughed and laughed when I read this!

Anonymous said...

You know what's really cool? That you can appreciate his enthusiasm. That's love for sure :-)

mtnchild said...

You are sooo cool to appreciate all this mysterious stuff! I have no idea what any of it is, except the extruded aluminum. If it was a wood shop in the making, I would be able to name more items, but alas, it's not.

Have a wonderful day

warren said...

I am all a'quiver clear across the country! I can't wait to see what comes from the ChickenBlog shop!

Marlini Ridlis Ismail said...

I am impressed!