Car Repair

Disclaimer: I’m not really much of a car guy. I mean, I own a car, but I’ve never been into repair and maintenance of them. Probably because when I was in high school there were “gearheads” (people totally into cars) and I just didn’t get it. I’ve mostly considered cars as a means to get from point A to point B. I’m more concerned about being able to haul things than I am about doing it in some super-powerful manner or even looking going doing it.

While I’m still not really into “regular” cars, I’ve had a good time being involved with the Power Racing Series, where we modify children’s toys and race them. Milwaukee has had a team since the start, and I’ve been involved for three seasons now. It really is a combination of serious fun and serious engineering, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that repairing a car body by drilling holes in the plastic and connecting pieces with zip ties is the right way to do it.

Zip Ties

Yup, totally serious. That’s how I repaired my wife’s car this past weekend. Drilled holes, connecting pieces with zip ties. Done. (And yeah, this isn’t the first time I’ve repaired this car with zip ties!)

The Bodgery

There’s a new makerspace in Madison, Wisconsin. The Bodgery is the new home of the Mad City Makers, a group that’s been around for a while, but didn’t have a physical space. Now they do. :)

Of course Madison already has Sector67, so why would it need another space? I had my own ideas about this, but inevitably people started asking me before I got the inside scoop, so I got in touch with Karen and John at The Bodgery and discussed the need for another Madison space. It was pretty much as I assumed; different spaces cater to different audiences. A space (just like a company or any organization) will have a specific culture, a vibe, and a way of doing things that might not work for everyone. I don’t think anyone involved with Sector67 or The Bodgery is concerned, in fact, I think that everyone involved is pleased to see the Maker Movement growing, and the need for another space in Madison.

Right now Milwaukee Makerspace has approximately 170 members, and there’s a projection that we may hit 200 later this year. That may or may not happen, but my own prediction is that there will be a second space, completely separate from Milwaukee Makerspace, within the next 18 months. (I could be totally wrong on this, time will tell.)

In the meantime, I’ve been tracking other Wisconsin spaces on the wiki, and while a new one gets added now and then, we’ve also seen a few disappear in the last 12 months.

Back to The Bodgery… I’ve not yet had the chance to visit, but I do keep up with their antics on Facebook. If you’re in Madison, go check it out! I know for a fact that there are some awesome and friendly people there who are excited about sharing the love of making.

Brett W

Saturday night I got a text message from someone at CBS58 telling me that Brett Wiesner had died, and asking if they could use one of my photographs for a news story. The news was shocking, to say the least, but I immediately gave permission to use any photos I’d taken. My wife and I were driving through Bay View at the time (I was the passenger) and I thought about what photo was being referenced, and then checked Flickr, and informed my wife that she too was in the photo. It freaked her out a bit (she was a big fan of Brett’s) but I told her they would probably crop her out. (They didn’t, which made it all the more weird when we watched the news.)

I didn’t know Brett very well, but did work with the Milwaukee Wave for years while z2 was doing all the marketing and photography for the team, and he seemed like a great guy, so the news of his death is even more saddening.

Cartastrophe

Last year we did a little Power Racing Series event in Fort Wayne, and at the last minute I was asked to do the filming. Fort Wayne was fairly laid back as compared to some of the other bigger events, but it was a ton of fun. I handed all the footage to Jim at PPPRS and the video turned out good (check it out!)

This year my services were requested again, and I had a bit more time to prepare. Once again, Jim kicked this out pretty quickly, especially considering I handed him about 50GB of footage. (I had a total of five cameras running during some of the races.)

Chances are good I’ll be shooting again in Detroit at the end of the month, and there’s a chance I’ll be shooting in New York in September. If you see a guy laying on the tires with a camera, that’s probably me. (And yeah, I’ll get around to doing my own edit at some point!)

Milwaukee Maker Faire

The news is out! We’re throwing a Maker Faire right here in Milwaukee! The fine folks at Milwaukee Makerspace in collaboration with the file folks at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum have been planning for months (and months!) and can now officially announce our own Maker Faire. (And yes, it’s a full-scale event, not just a Mini Maker Faire. This is going to be big!)

Maker Faire Milwaukee is happening Saturday and Sunday September 27th & 28th, 2014 at Wisconsin State Fair Park. (For the record, this Maker Faire is within 5 miles of my house. Exciting!)

And best of all, this Maker Faire is totally FREE to attend, thanks to the sponsorship of many fine Milwaukee organizations.

So yeah, plan to attend, and check out makerfairemilwaukee.com in the coming weeks as we add more information. If you do the social things, follow @mkemakerfaire, like makerfairemke, and +1 all the posts.

If you’re interested in being involved or helping to run things, get in touch with me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

(And hey, I’ve got plenty of time to prepare my talk…)

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