Showing posts with label Kansas City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kansas City. Show all posts

Friday, December 20, 2013

Full of Inky Goodness

While out and about on a rare day without our adorable spawn, my spousal unit and I stopped in at HAMMERPRESS in the Kansas City Crossroads. You might be aware that old school printing is in resurgence. This is one of those shops that was at the lead and it cranks out unbelievably gorgeous concert posters, cards and stuff. Their selection is rounded out with fountain pens, sketching materials, journals and magazines.



But the best parts are the sounds and smells that go along with active printing presses. Way back when in middle school I had the experience of racking up type on a small scale. The words appearing on this screen are much easier, but perhaps not as gratifying.


The front showroom had plenty of shoppers as Christmas is just a week away. During the First Fridays art walks, the crowd here is always thick. It is nice see an independent, small business thriving. I spotted a 3D tear down rendering of a Soviet Leica knockoff and requested that Santa add it to my stocking. I'm eclectic and difficult to shop for.






Contrary to popular opinion, this blog isn't dead. It has been kind of zombie-like and for that I apologize. Life is good, but busy with work travel and balancing the demands of work and raising teens. My primary outlet remains Google + where I share photos almost daily. The ease of posting directly from my phone or tablet is seductive, indeed.

I am on vacation and will try to catch up on doings in the Typosphere. Regardless of how you stumbled upon this entry, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Evening on the Streets

This post is subtitled The Many Joys of Street Photography

Alleyway Buskers: Power and Light by an Old Pickup Truck

I've riffed before about my love of photography, cameras and vintage lenses. But once again, I will step upon my Blogger soapbox to proclaim my love of street photography. I shoot almost anything that moves and a few things that don't, but street is just a sublime experience.

Bright Lights and Halos
When wandering with my camera, it's like I am a raw nerve. I walk, I watch and I react. Much of the normal noise in my head just goes away as I do and be. It is the proverbial 'Zone' of hyper-focus. My wife can attest to the fact that I will often forget to eat or drink on my forays. I've gotten better about that.

Tales of a Lonely DJ
As with all things in life, some evenings are better than others. All of these images came from one extraordinarily fun and interesting First Friday art walks in the Kansas City Crossroads District. This was the last evening before the leaves turn and we contemplate the long, dark months of winter ahead. It was pleasantly hot, but the vibe was super mellow despite the huge crowds and the buskers and other street characters were out in force.

Ah, less talk, more photos.

 Music, music, music...

Old Time Music with Gallery

And here is the scene inside the gallery. The art is being observed.

 
Which ones are stuffed?


This is the scene across from the Leedy-Voulkos gallery; the current center of the Crossroads.




The Fae of the Wildwood specialize in mirth and merriment.


Really, she is the most mirthful of the bunch. I can't blame her for glaring a the camera.

Just Another Faerie



Actresses in Character
Random Factoid: The majority of these photos were taken with a Sony NEX-6 fitted with a '60s era, Thorium doped Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens. Yeah, this sucker is radioactive! With the addition of a Lens Turbo, it acts like a 54mm f1.2 lens. Very handy when there is little to no light. I enjoy the challenge of working with a manual focus lens.

The street outside the old Arts Incubator building gets turned into a massive party. Some schmuck in a car didn't quite figure that out and became stuck between a dance party and a board crew taking back the streets.




And here is the Leader of the Pack! Yes, that is a Big Wheel. Best not to ask.




On a perfect summer evening, I can even be entertained by human statue mimes. Really, they were awesome!

They were more creative than the average buskers. An excellent entertainment value!


Street photography is exhilarating and somewhat exhausting. The thrill of discovery keeps me moving, and moving and moving until the crowds start dying out and the last Lonely DJ loops some really lovely tunage. The next day, I get to remember how many hours I walked in search of the visual buzz. I hope I never actually get too old to enjoy evenings on the streets.

But enough of my musings - bring on the random slices of life... starting with machines gone wild!






And moments of total randomness...


With moments of normalcy - who doesn't love cold treats on a hot summer night?





I can never get enough of reflections. Layers are the best.

 And so the evening ends. Thanks for coming along for the ride!





 Musings on the archaic concept of Copyright: While the concept seems lost in this digital age, the content on this blog, unless stated otherwise, is Copyright Dwayne F. of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Please participate in our sharing culture. There is a handy Google +1 bar at the top of the page. My personal images and random musings also live on G+ at Me, on Google+

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

 Ready for some Tesla action? How about Arc Attack playing a geek favorite?



Like the beloved Doctor, I am bumping back and forth in time. I shot the video on June 28, 2013 at the Kansas City Maker Faire. Semi-fascinating detail: the video jumps in the first thirty seconds. Electrical resonance is an interesting thing. The vertical posts on one of those small crowd control barriers was aligned with the coils. They were toasty and tingly. The people leaning on the horizontal top rail didn't notice a thing.

Through the miracle of Blogger scheduling, I'm writing this blog entry on August 17, 2012.  Really, is it possible to plan Tesla Day too far in advance?

Here in August of 2012, what reminded me about this was an article in the Guardian UK about a fund drive to buy the famous Wardeclyffe property.  Agfa film spent millions cleaning up the toxic mess left by a company it had acquired.  It is on the market and the owner of The Oatmeal website is leading a Kickstarter drive.

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_museum

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

Fast forward to June 30, 2012...

It happened! The Oatmeal indeed raised enough money to purchase the property and have some seed money left for a museum.

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_museum_saved 

Here are some photos of Tesla coil awesomeness to tide us over until next year. Get yourself to an area Maker Faire or hacker space. You will not regret it! The full photo album live on my Google+ account. Join, Plus1 and share. It is a pretty groovy place; especially for the photo inclined.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114811329730901691376/albums/5894763227867797185

The name of this band is Arc Attack.
15kW and 600,000 Volts of pure, high frequency Tesla goodness. The streamers on this design travel around ten feet.

If you want to enter Arc Attack's Faraday cage, you have to promise to dance. In their words: "Dance, cage monkeys, dance!"

We are happily on vacation in a far away land. Your comments are not lost, but they may not be moderated until July 15th. Thanks for reading!

Semi-creative Copyright Statement: Use these words and images for commercial use with permission, you shall. All original content is Copyright DwayneF of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Like, link, repost, Plus1 and share the Blogger love. We have implied threats beyond legal remedies involving Tesla coils - just an FYI.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Awesome Things Seen at the Kansas City Maker Faire

Welcome to the Kansas City Maker Faire! I took my younger daughter, the Gingercat, to the pre-show party Friday night before the show and the first day of the show. These are a few of the things we saw. A larger collection is located on my Google+ stream at
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114811329730901691376/albums/5895075333409105857

As is typical in geek events, cosplay characters roamed the show. The Iron Man entourage was a big hit! The female Iron Man was a little scary.



Gingercat was wielding my old Sony NEX-3. She now has a weapon to shoot back when she catches me aiming a lens her way!


Last year, I posted about a great IBM Selectric conversion. It has been updated and no longer needs a laptop to drive it. See version one at http://vintagetechobsessions.blogspot.com/2012/07/maker-faire-kc-part-1-printing.html


Behold the little Raspberry Pi processor that now drives this beast.


The creator had fun wandering around is costume as well. The Hammerspace makerspace and the Cowtown Computer Congress shared space and projects at the show.


And in the fun and weird category, here is a creation from one of guys at Hammerspace. He built this contraption in two weeks out of scraps laying around the shop. Children fish for babies to feed to the mother. No worries; new babies come along just as quickly.



Inky goodness! The lino cut print goes in my office. The best part about Maker Faire is getting to meet and talk with people about their projects.


This sculptor does large scale bronze. His pantograph device is pretty amazing!


Maker Faire wouldn't be complete without PowerWheels racing! This is what you get when you mix adults, battery powered kiddie cars and a whole bunch of modifications. They staged racing heats and endurance runs over the two day show.



We were happy to see Super Awesome Sylvia and her Dad, the Tech Ninja. Sylvia was showing her home brew WaterColorBot. She earned a spot at the White House Science Fair and got the run of the house while the parental units chilled.



This one is for Richard P on the current state of 3D printing. I reread his comment from last year regarding 3D printing. It was everywhere and is barely a novelty among the maker crowd today. Later this year, Staples will carry a household printer for less than $800. Kinkos may start printing services in stores. People are using Google Hangouts to collaborate on countless useful projects including mechanical hands, artificial limbs, machine parts and casts. Auto parts are made out of sintered, printed metal and MIT is experimenting with printing entire buildings.


Kansas City even has its own R2D2 builders club. These are not your run-of-the-mill models. Note the machined joints. Gorgeous!



Members of the Airship Noir group ran a little experimental station. I think this guest is being reprogrammed. Be sure to read the sign on the Jacob's ladder.



With almost 300 makers in the house, Union Station is getting pretty crowded with overflow in the parking lot and most of Science City. We almost didn't stop in one of the side rooms. Good thing we dropped in or we would have missed this cool device. What a great way to use unloved analog technology!


The photos here and on Google+ don't even scratch the surface. The show is a phenomenal success. The maker movement is strong in Kansas City with abandoned buildings being turned into maker hives. There is a reason why Google chose Kansas City for its first fiber Internet project. For more technology and artistic greatness, checkout #makerfairekc on Twitter.



I'll leave you with one of the headliners taking one of Nikola Tesla's inventions to the next level.


 Yet another Copyright notice *sigh* Yep, the words and images are Copyright DwayneF of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Having tired of vague threats, I will simply remind the reader that all content creators deserve their due. Please like, share, post, Google +1, etc. and share the social love. Follow and I will likely follow you back. Commercial use requires prior written authorization from the Copyright holder. And so on...








Saturday, May 25, 2013

Geek Pride Day! The 2013 Edition

Happy Geek Pride Day!

Today we recognize one of the defining moments in modern Geekdom that was the release of Star Wars on May 25, 1977. As with last year, I will celebrate by featuring the some of the awesomely geeky things I have featured on this blog or photographed in the last year.

Sometimes I even surprise myself. What kind of a geek put this blog together, anyway?

This is the Army that turned the tide in the war against the Mayan Destructors.

Could it be the Mayans came up with that world ending calendar concept as an elaborate means to introduce a new typewriter acquisition?  Anything is possible in tinfoil hat conspiracy land.

The Christmas Squirrel is an astute military commander.

The freakingly amazing Curiosity!

Celebrating a special birthday.

Experts in green inspect a repainted machine.
Zombie on the streets of Kansas City. I hope no one steals their coffee.

The House Full of Nerds viewing the Transit of Venus.

Typecasting on vacation.

I got to see five separate Shakespeare performances since Geekday 2012.

A Maker, making.



You never know what will turn up at the local Maker Faire. Go, you must.

Your career at NASA

The Vintage Technology Obsessions crew visits San Francisco for Greenbuild 2012


Godzilla put up a valiant fight against the Mayan Destructors. Thank goodness the world didn't end!
The absolute highlight in my year in Geekdom was staying up to watch the livestream of Curiosity landing on Mars. This bit of awesome was brought to us via the great, modern disruptive force known as the Internet. It is gratifying to see personalities from the mission team become media rock stars. Really, we live in the Golden Age of Geek.

Photographing my screen.



That's without mentioning the amazing photos from the ISS courtesy of Chris Hadfield (my daily Twitter fix) and all of the awesome news rolling out of Elon Musk's technological market disruption empire. Tesla just became the first auto maker to fully pay back its government loans and is attempting to circumvent the dealer franchise model of selling cars. SpaceX completed the first commercial mission to the ISS. Geeks, without a doubt, are on a roll!

Oh, and thanks to Yahoo, Flickr and digital imaging, everyone is now a professional photographer!

Prom photos at the Duke University Gardens last week. Sure, Yahoo's CEO rolled back the snarky comment about professional photographers, but it appears she really meant it. Does that mean every 12-year-old that makes an app is on par with a Google system architect?

On a personal note, I am especially proud of my Geeklings. They have had an amazing year full of music, drama and obsessive academic over-achievement. Highlights include Geekling the Elder playing Curtis in a school production of "Taming of the Shrew" and Geekling the Minor (aka: gingercat) being recognized in the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search.
 

In case you are interested, the 2012 parade of geek that is Vintage Technology Obsessions is at http://vintagetechobsessions.blogspot.com/2012/05/geek-pride-day.html

Thanks all for reading this little blog of mine! I would probably do it without anyone looking, but the hit counts (approaching 50,000), Google Plus Ones and comments from people like you are gratifying.