This is a list of cool things I've done or been a part of that are documented out there on the web. So, unlike the rest of the site, you don't have to take my word for it.
The Steampunk Problem Light
This is probably my most famous project, and still gets me a lot of Flickr and Google traffic to this day. You can read all about the history of it on the Flickr set.
In documenting this project's coverage on the web, I want to give special kudos to Mike DiDonato, who managed to make an eerily close fascimile without any parts list whatsoever. He added a nice on-off valve to his, but I like the font and corners on mine better. Still, was absolutely surreal to see how detailed and awesome a duplicate he made in such a short time. Check out his blog post describing it, and video of it in action.
The water valve control even pushed me to go forward with adding a water valve dimmer to the Pipe Lamp, below.
Article on Jonathan Coulton and custom Guitar Hero songs
January 27th, 2008
I wrote this article on this guy making "Code Monkey" into a custom Guitar Hero song, because there were so many layers of that story that fascinated me - the licensing, the technology, the inventiveness of all involved. I got a nice email from Coulton himself about it, which was cool enough, but it was also neat to see Elizabeth Bear talk about my post and share my enthusiasm on her blog. If you're not familiar with her, she is rather famous for what she calls "telling lies to strangers for money." This is a clever way of saying she's an author, and many people I know are fond of her work. The internet really does shrink the world in a way.
Elizabeth Bear's Blog
I was on Buzz Out Loud!
February 20, 2008
I've been a BOL listener for years, and the first time I actually called in and left a voicemail for the show, it was in the next episode. BOL - Episode 664, about 25 min in. Mere days later I bumped into Tom Merritt at the Jonathan Coulton show and made an ass of myself. In a way I probably would have handled myself far better had I not been doubly excited to thank him for playing my stupid voicemail.
Anyway, I just think it is neat the way they bring the audience into the show.
BOL Episode 664
Jonathan Coulton DVD
February 24th, 2008
So one day Jonathan Coulton puts up on his blog that he needs some volunteer Production Assistants for his upcoming concert DVD in San Francisco, video experience a plus. I used to do video production, and on-location shoots, and SF isn't -that- far away, so I finally threw my hat in the ring. Imagine my surprise when I was accepted. It was amazing.
I have a bunch of pictures from setup and backstage up on Flickr, including a signed script and backstage pass that are among my favorite mementos. Also, I'm in the credits on the DVD (left.) Woot.
Post-PAX Wil Wheaton comic
September 9th, 2008
I've been a fan of Wil Wheaton's going back even to when he was reviled by many geeks for daring to read lines given to him by supposedly competent science fiction writers on Star Trek TNG. In about 2002, I found his blog, and took on a whole new level of appreciation for him as a person and as a creator of things. Without seeing his blog and clicking the "powered by Movable Type" link at the bottom, I wouldn't have started my own blog, and would have given up on repeatedly editing static files on my website. Over the years he has consistently given me inspiration and motivation to keep doing things and making things, and is more responsible for the existence of this site and what it documents than just about anyone.
Suffice to say, finally getting to meet the guy at PAX was a pretty big milestone, and he took the time to have a wonderful conversation with me. The experience was such a memorable one that I decided to commemorate it in comic form (left.)
When I saw he'd linked it on his blog I almost went back to ASPLODE territory.
September 16th, 2008
This project was inspired in part by Professor Fzz and his wonderful steampunk and copper lamps. I wanted to do a new hardware project, and my family had always had a thing with custom lamps.
I didn't want to do another steampunk project, because people get so pigeonholed with that art style, so I went with some kind of weird silver pipe deco thing. I knew what I wanted it to look like in my head and went for it. It turned out pretty much exactly as I'd imagined it.
This is mostly PVC with some metal bits where needed for stability or threading. The water valve dimmer actually works, and was inspired in part by Mike DiDonato's take on the steampunk problem light.
It now sits on my desk at work and gets a surprising number of positive comments.
I planned this before the Steampunk version, but finished it afterward. This is kind of a shame, because the popularity of the steampunk one has really overshadowed this one.
It appears what this one needed to get noticed was an introduction to some Venture Bros. fans. I mentioned some of my projects in a comment thread of the webcomic Hijinks Ensue, and its creator Joel, a Venture Bros fan, ran with it. His plug via twitter and then a news post on his site drove a lot more traffic to this unloved little sibling.
This now sits behind my desk at home - as seen here.
Evil Parallel Wil Wheaton
Jan 27, 2009
This is based on a Tshirt from Penny Arcade, in which Wil says "Don't be a dick." As far as I know, Wil is the only remaining seller of them, and I bought mine from him.
Anyway, one day when driving home from work this just sort of occured to me. Half an hour of photoshopping later I'd put it on Flickr, and sent the link to Wil via Twitter. He replied, and put it up on his blog.
If you don't get the joke, it's an original Star Trek reference. Don't worry about it, it's not that funny.
Wil Replies on Twitter
Wil posts this on his blog
Feb 19, 2009 - Mar 18, 2009
I got the copy of Sunken Treasure signed at PAX (see comic) by Wil, and then he released a cool Lulu.com version with a binding that I wasn't afraid to take near my naked oily fingers. So, I got it too.
Upon seeing a couple of his comments about differences between the two, I threw this together as a joke, and Wil posted it on Vox. Later he ended up including it in another blog post reminding people about the Wil's books in the wild Flickr group.
The title comes from the fact that these are considered Chapbooks, and this hilarious flash animation.
Suggestion of worst licensed pinball machine in history for Hijinks Ensue
Mar 04, 2009
I like Joel at Hijinks Ensue for many reasons, but one is that he is very accessible and involved with his readers. He will periodically pose $64,000 question-style requests on twitter to be included in the comic; like "What's a really scary looking creature that is actually harmless?" or "What is the worst movie to ever have a successful toy line?"
For this comic the request was "What movie or TV show would make the worst pinball machine?" I suggested Perfect Strangers, and a bunch of possible vocal samples the machine could play. The machine Joel created for the strip is every bit as horrific as one would think.
Joel puts out the request on twitter
The finished comic (I'm in the news post, yay)
Paul and Storm Get Thirsty - PAX 2010
Sep 3, 2010
So, first day at PAX 2010, I see this tweet from Paul and Storm: "Want to take part in a cool video project that will take ~60 minutes of your time? Meet us at #PAX Bandland at 6 pm. (Please RT)"
For the record, this is the kind of thing that makes me love PAX so dearly. So I show up at the appointed time and place, and Paul gives us this pitch:
We break up into groups after this, and all 68 of us scared the crap out of people walking down Pike St, forming a fearsome water gang, loitering in front of hotels waiting for this tweet.
The whole thing happened pretty fast and it was cool to see this growing army of people following the camera and Storm after their part was shot. It was really fun to be part of and amazing that it was coordinated and thrown together so quickly. Ahh, technology.
I'm in the final product at 2:38 (sadly being part of "Group Everyone Else" meant it sped up quite a bit, but I'm in there:
Guest on Radio Johnny
Dec 7, 2010
The first one of these things to have any relation to my day job. I was a guest speaker on Radio Johnny Holland, courtesy of the amazing @jeffparks. We discussed prototyping and how it can be leveraged by UX designers in order to validate designs and get stakeholder buy-in outside of the constraints of engineering. It was an honor to be part of and a professional milestone for me.
Episode Page on Radio Johnny
Jill's very kind tweet
Well, that's it for now. You can always find user submitted reviews of my music over at Jamendo.com.
About this page:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
I first read this poem in College, and never had only 14 lines knocked me on my ass quite so hard. It taught a lesson about the futility of hubris and the blink of an eye that a human lifespan represents in the grand scheme of things, while keeping the epic tone of something far longer than a sonnet. It puts into perspective every one of the tiny decisions that I agonize over that won't matter one way or another if time can fell a giant statue. It does all this in a mournful, sympathetic way that still lets the end grab me every time. Go read it.
By the time you read through this page, some of the links on it may be broken, swept away forever. The internet is far more volatile than the deserts of Egypt, and hubris even more prone to ironic comeuppance. When I decided to make a page showing off my mighty works, I figured it'd be prudent to remember the lessons this poem taught me. I'm embracing them, and sharing them with you. Sorry if it comes off a little pretentious.