Friday, June 08, 2012

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Second Day, Maker Faire

Welcome back! It's day two of Maker Faire. In telling our tale, I've spread it out a bit, so let's pretend yesterday was the First Day. So, now it's Sunday... even though you and I both know today is actually Wednesday... oh, never mind. Some things are better left unexplained.

MAKE would like to remind us: If you can't open it, you don't own it. And if you would like to learn more about MAKE, the Shed, the Blog, the Faire, the people, and the magazine, please *click* here!

Max, Maria and I were hanging out in the Young Maker's area, when I recognized Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine and Maker Faire. Please note, and appreciate how calmly I write these words. This was a Geek Celebrity Moment, and I cannot emphasize enough how super stoked and awestruck I was, and still am, about meeting Dale Dougherty. I introduced him to Max, gave him our card, told him about Maker Prom, and Love & Rockets~Young Makers Club, then cooly, calmly released him from my Spazness Geek Celebrity Fan Grip. Personally, I feel I have matured and mellowed since my first bout of Maker Faire Geek Celebrity Spazness, when meeting Gever Tulley made highlights #'s 3-10 of our day at the Faire.

I thought it was extremely cool that Mr Dougherty was just being another guy at Maker Faire, hanging out, taking in all the sights... not with an entourage, not schmoozing with the suits. Like most people at Maker Faire, he was getting engaged with the makers, the young kids, the dreamers, the hobbyists, the tinkerers, and a person like me... a mom who makes, and who wants this country to respect S.T.E.A.M.M. and the people who champion makers, of all ages. Thank you Mr Dougherty. I like what you, and Make, are accomplishing.

Max + Skallops = Awesome!

Our Chickenbloggiversary Giveaway is over, but the fun continues.

By the second day, Max was fully on board with Skallops and his creations. With his new shirt, and some free space in the Young Maker's area, Max was able to share his love of designing and making with passersby, like Dale Dougherty. Maker Faire really isThe Biggest Show (and Tell) on Earth!


Let's face it: I am about to run out of adjectives, and this post has barely begun. Either I can say "awesome" forty-two more times, or we can see whether I am able to, with literary-artistic license, make up whole new descriptive words!


The art cars, and bicycle wonders at Maker Faire restore magic. Yes, magic. Maybe you never lost it, but sometimes I forget the sheer bliss of imagining a new kind of ride, a fantastical mode of transportation. Someday. I will ride in a Neko Bus, and if it isn't at Maker Faire, or in Arcata, at "The Triathlon of the Art World," then please, God, let it be in my own backyard. That would be awesome. Amen.

Metal and Flames, and thousands of people in love with making and sharing. It feels like home.

Think, Make, Tinker, Play. All day.

The drive home is about nine hours, and the whole way, we discuss next year, and the next project. Maker Faire gets us fired up.

People are inside. Inside this metal monster! Maria was over come with emotion and gobsmacked, she said, "It's. just. beautiful!"

I love seeing that kind of uncensored, moment of love at first sight. Children express it so well.

We go to meet the Makers. We go for the thousands of ways we can share our interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Music, and Math, with people like Cody Vrosh. Unlike malls, and typical conventions, where everyone wants to sell you something, or promote their thing, at Maker Faire you meet artists, inventors, engineers, educators, tinkerers, who respect the process of making, embrace the learning, want to share and engage with others, and who are curious about your experience, your tinkering, too! The whole place and event is like a massive, collaborative dialogue about ideas, solutions, creativity, sustainability, and sharing, generously sprinkled with encouragement and hope. It all makes me feel very excited, and supportive of people like Cody, and his art, and all the participants and visitors who want to make something.


Martin Hsu! Thumbs up for this artist, who officially tagged me into his Miyazaki Club! Hey, Martin, I haven't forgotten... you'll be at Comic Con, and we're going to see about hosting a movie night during that week. It would definitely be something from The Club archives!


Have you heard? Chickenblog was "EXTERMINATED!" By the Dalek Guy. Which, geekalogically speaking was Whotastic.

Maker Faire has this HUGE presence, with big sights and massive stimulus opportunities, and it has opportunities for quiet, introspective, intimate, cerebral moments. I would be hard pressed to not find something that makes me feel engaged, sparkling, inspired, humored. James, and his mom, Robin, came this year, and I think they would agree: The whole place wakens your mind! Firing on all cylinders! Something about being that stimulated and engaged with intelligent, curious masses... it's beautiful, like an equisite pattern in nature, both rationally sound and emotionally gratifying.

Eli, playing his Smoked Salmon Box guitar. In a separate post, I will be sharing all the projects designed, made, shared, and in progress from Love & Rockets~Art & Engineering, Young Makers Club.

I want to do another entire post just about Young Makers, and all that I love about the children who attend and participate at Maker Faire. And I'll try not to get too emotional, or rant, too hard, about what a colossal tragedy our country and states are making of schools. The children are our future, but budget cuts for public schools are giving them a bum rap today.

Young people love learning! Seriously. And, they have a lot to teach, too. We need these places, where we can all exchange our knowledge and encourage each other.

Being curious, feeling safe to be yourself... it cannot be topped.

It's all just so very, very marvelous... like a double unicorn rainbow of cycling magic! It's indescribably beautiful.

Is there a word for this level of joy?

Yes. Yes, I do have a next project in mind, thank you.

One ticket, people! One ticket, and the whole day is yours to play with and enjoy!

People + Pedals + Steel = Happy-Go-Round

Next year, she may reach the pedals!

The Front Porch is mobile, musical, and homemade.

More Young Makers! Bambi, and Alex, and Maria! I cannot help myself. I love that Make gives all the Makers space and credit in their program, links in the website. They see the future is now! And they respect that.

Alex rode in The Whiskey Drome, last year. It looks wild. It is wild.

He caught the hat. They're moving fast. The Drome is big, for something assembled and transported around, but small for their numbers and speeds. Like I said: Wild!

It makes this great creaking noise, and the boards flex. I cannot decide if I would try this. For sure it would have to be just me in there.

It sure was a crowd-pleaser. Maria could hardly be torn away. Maybe she's got a velodrome future?

I didn't realize how far back these go... The WhiskeyDrome is a homage to the turn of the century velodromes that would travel the country to wow the populace with acts of 2-wheeled daring-do. Specifically Keith's Bicycle Trick of 1901.

Happy: head to toe, inside, and out. All over.

We were all treated to a celestial marvel, and the thousands of us there, finishing our Maker Faire weekend of marveling at the manufactured wonders, were absolutely enthralled and delighted by the show put on by our Sun and Moon. Not everyone knew that this would be happening, or what to expect, but enough generous, informed citizens, came prepared not only to enjoy the spectacle, but also to share, and they passed out these viewers! Sweet!

It was as much fun to share the viewer with people who didn't have one, or who were unaware of what was transpiring, as it was to witness the event. Slowly the day darkened, it got noticeably cooler, and the shadows and reflections... wondrous strange!

The trees and other forms made crescent shadows everywhere. And all over the exclaimed joy and amazement filled the air.

William's shadow and the crescent reflections, as captured on Geoff's phone.

Like a light show, a Maker Prom grand finale, a school field trip beyond imagining... and we were all together to love it all, to enjoy wonder and curiosity.

This moment made it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

In a Crisis, Count on Me!

Whether it's a small kitchen fire, flooding, or even finding a barnyard in your kitchen, in a crisis you can count on me, to grab my camera and start clicking away. Hey, someone has to think of history! Of posterity!

Yesterday brought a whole new level to the theme Barnyard in the Kitchen. As I was at the stove, mixing and fixing, I heard Maria's anxious farm girl voice. She was a bit breathless, slightly alarmed, and covering the minutest detail, describing how she could not corral Ada and Tasha, and how they gave her the slip when she was closing their gate, and how they ran out between her feet. I pictured the two goats in the rose garden, again. But I was way off...

Monday, June 04, 2012


If you ever have to censor yourself, you may want to try what Eduard Khil did for a song he performed in the USSR, in 1976: he sang trololo, trololo, trololo! It took thirty years, but the video of Khil singing "I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home" has been uploaded millions of times, taking on a life of its own in popularity. I must caution you: this may the be the oddest, possibly most disturbing, yet oddly harmless video you'll ever watch. I will never forget the bizarreness of seeing it for the first, second, third time... and you know how when you learn something awful you get that compulsion to immediately torment someone else with it? So, yeah, I was sure to share it with my family as soon as possible.

For at least three years Eduard Khil's oddly censored song has been spontaneously, whole-heartedly sung, at top volume by my children, and by my children and their friends. Suddenly, something triggers their inner Russians, and in baritones, I am regaled with those words, and the image of that man grinning like no one has grinned ever before. How can something so odd, so disturbing, actually start to feel _almost_ endearing? We will remember Eduard Khil, fondly, grinning, and singing his song. Rest in peace Mr. Trololo.

*If I had a picture of a U.S. American Cowboy, or a woman knitting for a cowboy, or of Khil, himself, I would have included it in this post. The best I could think of, at 4:30 in the morning, is Alex's sketch of Russian author Fydor Dostoyevsky. He did this in 2010, and called it: Dostoyevskyeskyesky. Like Eduard Khil's singing trololo, it has an amusing resonance.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Lady Betty Filling In

Open up my social media, and what do I find? I find no new news from the Chickenblogger. All quiet. Cluck, cluck, cluck.

I suppose I could fill in for Natalie, and get you caught up on the this, and the that, here at the Bird House. Us chicas know a thing or two about pecking around and scratching up a little dirt. If there's anything worth knowing about, around here, then I am the Lady to share it.

Let's begin with the countdowns. There seem to be several much anticipated events that everyone is eager for.

1. In three days Amira, Janece, and Paul will be living around the corner, and down the lane! How's that for newsworthy, and exciting?

2. In nine days Alex will be celebrating his IronMan birthday with all his friends, and cupcakes, and hats, and pizza, and fun, and games, and goodies! He is revisiting his fifth birthday celebration, when we broke out all the super heroic hoopla!

3. In eleven days Max will be promoted into high school! He will don a cap and gown, maybe. Or maybe we'll slip away and celebrate in our own quiet, family way. Either way, it's quite awesome that Max has passed such a successful year, and will be going to the school of his choice in the fall.

4. In twelve days our entire family will be together to cheer, and delight in the graduation ceremony at SDA. The class of 2012 is moving out of high school, and moving on to new places, new challenges. Immediate plans include summer jobs, driving classes, designing, making, and a few local adventures.

Also, in the mix: birthdays, and father's day, and a Biergarten Party, and a graduation party, and more. There's always more, right?

Whew! Ever seen a breathless chicken? Gosh, if I am cluck out of breath just listing some this stuff, imagine how Natalie, the Chickenblogger feels!

She spent hours in the garden, yesterday, and again today. And everyone has been hanging out at the barn. Oh! Is there ever plenty of news there! You might never guess who's roosting in the barn... and, well, sorry, I guess we'll have to let the Chickenblogger share that news.

I can tell you, they all enjoyed a really dear picnic. Even us chicas sampled a little crust of the feast. It was meant to be enjoyed in Balboa Park, where Alex, Suki, and Eli have art submissions in a SteamPunk Exhibit, at the Automotive Museum. I think maybe they were a bit in *recovery mode* from all other activities, because suddenly a park picnic felt like too much for them, and so they dined al fresco in their own backyard. Well, of course we thought it was a splendid plan, and we did not mind a bit when they dropped bits of pie, specks of quiche, and crumbs of their fresh baked bread. James and John were guests, and everyone enjoyed the long evening, and relaxing under the gray June sky.

The cats are happy. They also like the longer days, the cool nights, the ample supply of garden mice. The goats eat and grow, and eat and grow, and well, you get the idea. I guess they are cute, and funny, and except when they are stuck in our feeder, we don't mind them, too much. Someone planted sunflower seeds outside of Sanka Bunny's home, and those should make a beautiful sight, which she can enjoy from her loft. As for us chickens... we find our pleasures in the garden too, and under the barn, and in the dirt. Zelda and Zoe are broody these days. I've heard talk of new chicks coming. It seems Geoff thinks big fat hens are wonderful, and speaking for myself, I quite agree.

Well, if Natalie, the Chickenblogger, doesn't come out of retirement, then maybe I'll take over blogging! Cluck-peck-cluck-peck-peck.... typing's not so difficult. Happy Sunday, dear friends!