Grad School – Semester II


I haven’t really posted much about school since I mentioned it in August, but the first semester went well. I made good progress with some of my projects, learned a lot, and ended with 4.000 GPA. I’ve also met some amazing people, and have become re-energized about art and design.

This semester should be even more exciting, as I’ll be a Lab Instructor for Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, and Practice. In Guan-speak I will have what are known as “ducklings”, though I believe “students” is the term most people use.

I’ll also be putting in a bunch of hours in the DCRL doing various projects, which is pretty exciting. I’m hoping to have a new pile of skills by the end of the semester.

There’s also some classes in history, and philosophy, and concepts, and other things I’m not as interested in, but hey, requirements, right? I know it’s all valuable, but sometimes lectures and seminars leave you itching to get into the studio and make things instead of just talk and think about things.

OK, kids, here’s to a great semester!


A Nerdy Derby Thanks

The Track

Well, we somehow survived another Nerdy Derby event, and while it was a little chaotic, those involved definitely had a good time. None of this would have been possible without the help of Frankie and the DCRL at UWM. Be sure to check out Frankie’s most recent post about building the track.

Track Plans

Everyone at Milwaukee Makerspace was surprised at the size of the track. We’ve had the CAD files for more than a year now, and talked about building an “official” track, but we owe Frankie (and his students!) a big THANKS for making it happen. They put a lot of work into it, and we definitely appreciate it.

Last year we just used a plain old Pinewood Derby track, and I must say, this year was way more interesting! We had a lot of kids building cars, and besides the cars looking hilarious and awesome, we learned that cars fell off the track… a lot! (This turned out to be a good thing.)

Derby Car

Kids are pretty darn creative, and they came up with some crazy cars, and many of the cars fell off the track and hit the floor below, and parts flew off. I was joking that this taught them a valuable lesson every member of Milwaukee Makerspace already knows: When something breaks, we fix it. I don’t remember seeing any kid get upset about their car breaking into 10 pieces. They just picked up as many pieces as they could find and headed back to the build table to try again.

So here’s the deal… We’re going to have another race, maybe before the end of 2013, maybe early in 2014, but this time we’re gonna let Frankie choose the date so he will not miss it!

(If you’re interested in sponsoring the Nerdy Derby, get in touch with me. It really is a fun and educational hands-on event for kids… of all ages!)


Film Days

These are photos I shot with a 35mm Canon film camera back in college at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I’d estimate the year to be 1991 or 1992. I did not develop the film (it was black and white) but made 8×10 prints in the darkroom. I don’t remember what grade I got in the class, but I remember that I enjoyed going out and shooting. Thinking about it now, I’m actually surprised how long it took me to get back into photography after a long hiatus. (I blame Z2 Photo.)


I really enjoyed the environment and serenity of the darkroom. The actual waiting to see what would come out. Sometimes I think that’s missing in the digital world. Nowadays you take a shot, or 5 shots, zoom in on them on an LCD screen, see what looks good, and what doesn’t and then do all sorts of digital manipulations back at your 27″ monitor. Yeah, I do miss the simplicity of it all…

UWM Theater Department

I don’t think I’ll shoot film again, but I may make an effort to get into that film mindset from time to time when I’m shooting digital. I think it may help the image making process…

I’ll try to upload more of these as I scan them in. Keep an eye on my Flickr stream for more…