Same Passion, Different Generations

My father in law came over last night w/ an Ardruino Uno and asked if I had ever heard of

Arduino uno

Ardruino, and if I would like to help him out with a project. I had to use a lot of self control to keep from jumping over the couch and hugging him right then and there. Before I had a chance to explain that I love Ardruino, and that at times the only reason I hadn’t quit my job and taken up hacking/inventing using Ardruino platforms is because I know my beautiful wife would be very sad (I actually don’t think she would leave me, she loves the mad scientist in me; but she also loves me not spending money we don’t because I quit my job on more stuff that takes up 99% of the garage). Before I could tell him about laundry list of arduino projects just waiting for an excuse good enough to justify doing. Before I could tell him about the Raspberry Pi, or the Beagle Board. Before I could gush about all of my excitement, he said “ya know, ardruino is going to change everything”. My response; “it already has”.

world maker faire poster

This might seem like a random rant but it sums up a social/generational situation that I have run into at least explicitly at least a dozen times this month, and indirectly almost every day. The “Maker movement” and baby boomers. Boomers honestly are the best people to have involved in a Makerspace, hackerspace, project, startup, whatever; because they have so much experience, and “making” is what most of them grew up doing. Only when they were younger it didn’t have a title per se, it was just tinkering or getting the job done. You don’t see enough boomers in the make/hack/startup community because of a variety of reasons; but the problem I face constantly is trying to communicate how big of a deal things, like 100kGarages and Make, are despite the fact that they feel so familiar and common place to a generation that has spent their evenings in garages making stuff.

festival for little makers

IMO the Maker Movement is about moving (some) production from factories in China back to your back yard/garage. It is a work ethic as old as time, an inventive nature innate in so many people, and technology younger than the Millennial  coupled with skills and trades older than the Boomers even.

Making stuff is timeless, but faces change with time.

My Petition to Blake London

Blake London is a new clothing company who makes immaculate clothing. In their small but beautiful line they have a jacket that was made for me, or perhaps I was made for it. It is the Blake Vintage Check.

There are several reasons we are such a matched set. The primary two being:

jacket coat men's fashion

the blake vintage check blazer

  1. Anyone who has known me for very long, knows that I cannot turn my back on a good blazer. It is primarily by the insistence of friends and family that I have managed to get through life only owning a dozen or so wool and tweed blazers (mostly inexpensive vintage finds); but my love for this jacket is not some form of Hoarding. I can honestly say that honestly say that this Blazer appeals to my style more than any other article of clothing I have so far encountered.
  2. It is made of a material developed by NASA for the Space Suit. For those of you who know me I hope you now understand my moderate obsession. For those of you who I have yet meet. I am a Material Science Engineer. I currently work at Stennis Space Center, where I get to use my degree to insure the facility is safe and functional so we can test fire rockets. I use to work at Oceaneering Space Systems working as a Materials Engineer on the Constellation Space Suit, prior to the Constellation program being canceled.  I’ve also worked in R&D for GE Healthcare, and  interned at NASA Langley in their Materials Development lab, working on Polyimide Foam.

So my petition (request, plea) to Blake London is that I may have a Blake Vintage Check of my own. You may say, if I want one so badly then I should pay for it like everyone else. Your right, I should. While £1195 is a lot of money, I don’t think it is too much for this jacket, but my pockets are not that deep. While I may one day own this, or another blazer from Blake, it will be some time before I can afford it. I think that there are few more fitting homes for this jacket than on a materials engineer working at NASA (namely me). I would be happy to consult with Blake on any materials issues, or be of service in any way I can. I would be happy to model the jacket for them, but I’m sure they have plenty of potential models who are more photogenic than I am.

So if you have any contacts at Blake London please share this request with them. If you represent Blake London, then please contact me, or give me a way to contact you, I would love to discuss this proposition.