It Begins in Brockport

It’s that time of the year when my periodic table reminds me that I am one year older. Happy indium birthday to me:

What’s really exciting, though, is that it is not just my birthday, but also the first day of a very new adventure. I am officially starting a makerspace in Brockport, and signed a lease on a studio to pilot the makerspace starting today.

The makerspace is called, It Begins in Brockport because, well, this is where it begins. Ironically, 2023 is the 200th anniversary of when the Erie Canal ended in Brockport. It’s a theme that will come up again later in the year.

The makerspace is a joint effort between SUNY Brockport and a non-profit I am establishing called Brockport Original Builds. Our mission is to empower community innovation and learning through accessible digital fabrication. If we are successful (and I believe we will be) one day Brockport will be seen as a beacon of learning, collaboration, and innovation.

It’s day one, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. If you are in the Brockport area and are interested in learning more, you should definitely stop by the Hart Gallery (27 Market Street) on Friday May 5th from 6-8. IBiB is taking up residence in the pottery studio and we’ll be participating in the gallery’s First Friday open houses. You can also check out, which is pretty bare bones at the moment, but will be our main online presence. You can expect updates here as well.

Stay tuned for many more exciting updates – but I have to finish grading lab reports and exams first.

‘Tis the season

Grades are in! It felt like a long semester for me, since I had to wait until the last day of finals to give my exam. Usually, the weekend following exam week is filled with holiday preparations, but this time, it was filled with last minute grading. Most importantly, I didn’t get a chance to fully decorate the cantina. Still, a few decorations were placed: sabers were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Darth Santa soon would appear.

The home Lego situation is a bit more festive. We enjoyed building this years winter scene, which added to our previous houses (this was last year’s addition) quite nicely. I also came across a company that builds blinky bricks, making my Lego illumination tasks a breeze.

I’m hoping Santa brings me a few more blinky lights so next year’s village can look a bit more like the Griswald’s. Merry Christmas everyone.


Note: I realized I made some mistakes on my QSL cards, which might be important for those who are working towards awards. If you happen to be one of them, leave a comment and I’ll get a card with the proper info to you soon. I’ve had lots of irons in the fire the past few months which means little time to actually post about it. Last night, I was able to hop on to my first amateur radio net hosted by the 3905 century club. A net – I learned – is an on-the-air gathering of ham operators, and this one was intended for making contacts with operators in other states. Apparently – and I don’t know all the ‘rules’ – operators get extra points for making contact with a noob (can we use [inter]net lingo with the [amateur radio]net?). I turned out to be very busy with 17 contacts from 12 different states.

First batch of QSL cards to send out.

Conditions were good for 40-m. Earlier in the summer, I tried to make contact with my Dad (WA1ITU) in RI and we were barely able to hear one another. It also helped that I was able to get a new antenna (23-m end fed wire with a coil) tossed into the highest trees surrounding my property and I recently visited my Dad and helped him tweak his antennas (yes, plural). In any case, we could hear each other loud and clear (59) and apparently, a good number of other operators could hear me as well.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the cards have different stamps on them. My grandfather passed recently, and we inherited a chunk of his vast stamp collection. My wife decided to match the operator’s home state with a relevant state stamp (we have a bunch of those). Sending out the QSL cards gives us an opportunity to share in one another’s hobbies. If you’re on the receiving end of one of those cards, and you happened to notice the stamps, let me know!

So, I’m hooked on another hobby. Not sure when I’ll find time to actually do work. If someone is willing to pay me to retire early, please leave message in the comments.