Archive for April, 2011

Geekish in Seattle

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Spring garden II, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Spring in Seattle means lots of flowering shrubs & trees, and days alternating rapidly between grey/wet and shining blue. In fact, the only day this yr that I’ve needed the down jacket I’ve been dragging with me was yesterday. And I was grateful to have it!

I stayed a few days with my older son & his wife in West Seattle. They bought a house last yr & have been working hard on fixing it up. I’m absolutely amazed by all the projects they’ve completed. I stayed in West Seattle last yr for a while, so it felt a bit like home. (That is, I know where to shop, eat, buy gas & park.)

Now I’m staying on Capitol Hill with my other son & his friends, and this is a new n’hood for me. It’s full of old mansions, and twee shoppes, and hipsters. Just down the street is the Episcopal cathedral & Bishop’s manse.

But in the middle of all this is a growing geek/hacker subculture… Two related shops, Metrix Create:Space and Ada’s Technical Books have located here, and their clientele is following.

I toured Metrix Create:Space a couple days ago. It is absolutely amazing. They are building & creating kits for 3D printers. What that means is (my understanding…) the printer takes a 3D file, created with a program like Blender. It then melts plastic & sprays it in the pattern of that 3D object. And viola, you have a plastic 3D object. There is also a laser burner, and user-members can buy time to use the machines. Take a look @ their website, b/c I’ve barely touched the surface.

This is the closest I’ve seen to a living version of the world Cory Doctorow describes, especially in Makers. If you haven’t read Makers, go down ┬áto Ada’s Technical Books about a block away, and buy it. Or a book (new or used) in just about any scientific or math-related field. Or a gift for your favorite geekish person.

Check out the photos

So here I am in Seattle…

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

View from the window, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Yes, I know it’s been a while! And it’s becoming apparent that 1) I need to write and 2) if I don’t, no one, including myself, knows what I’ve been up to.

I’m spending the next couple weeks in Seattle and Port Townsend, reconnecting with family & friends, revisiting my storage unit to swap things out, and selling my car.

That’s right… Max, the wunder-Prius is most likely going to be sold. The way I’m living, having a car is nearly as silly as having a pet (which I don’t.) It’s funny, but somehow not owning a car (even if it’s not in the same country or time zone) is a tough call. One of my sons has NEVER owned a car. It’s a lifestyle choice. And as an American, it’s a pretty radical one.

But I’m thinking that for my needs, zipcar (with branches in DC, Seattle, Toronto & SF) and renting the occasional car makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, I’m having a great time in the PNW. I’ve been staying with each of my sons (we’re not talking couch-surfing… they have real guest rooms!) and my former landlords in PT have offered me a guest room as well. And I hope to be seeing lots of friends in the area. Life is good!

(Next stop, VA May 11. VA friends… get ready!)