Woodstock for Dorks

Homemade Time Travel Device (With Flames)

Now that Lost is over, I’m going to need a new hobby. Sure, I’ve got writing, video games, continuing education, music, ballroom dance, gardening, kombucha, outrageous pet medical bills, stenciling, bicycle repair, the Lions Club, barbecue, and yoga to fall back on, but I need something to really keep me busy.

With that in mind, this past weekend, Kat and I pilgrimaged out to the Makerfaire, a festival of artists, crafters, mechanics, engineers, furries, farmers, robots, vampires, and zephyr pilots– sort of a Woodstock for dorks.

I used to think I had an artistic sensibility. I spraypaint stuff; I take stuff apart and put it together in a different order; I hang funny old signs from my fence, and leave old railroad ties and scrap wood all over my backyard and living room. But man, do these “makers” (as I’ve learned to call them) put my humble craphounding to shame.

I made a planter bed out of old pallets; you made a robot out of fire and nightmares

I went from booth to booth, table to table in a sort of awed daze. Here’s a guy who makes biodegradable guitars out of sporks from taco bell. Here’s a guy roasting marshmallows with a remote controlled firebreathing dragon. Here’s a couple on a double-decker solar powered bicycle. Here’s a bicycle that makes compost. Here’s a bicycle that looks like a tree. Here’s a bicycle that powers the amps of a teen girl rock group. All my bicycle does is make my legs hurt.

Roast-bot, Scourge of the Geats

I didn’t let all of the superior makesmanship drive me to shamefaced self-pity, though. No, I took it as a challenge. I looked around and asked myself, what can I do better?

I’d spoil the chrome on my hip hop video SUV if I tried to make it an art car.

A Steampunk cannon would get me kicked out of open carry meetups.

Sure, the lifesize rocket I built in my backyard inspired a Billy Bob Thornton movie, but it still wasn’t half this awesome.

Walking through food town, I found my prospects more promising, but somehow less exciting. Sure, I could grow tomatoes for seed or make my own jam, but I pretty much do that stuff already, and I was looking for more of an exxxtreme hobby, because I’m all about exxxtreme.

Just when I thought I might have to give in and learn how to put circuits together, I came across the honeymakers’ booth. It wasn’t very exciting to look at–some literature, some wax, a couple of combs, but then I saw it: a glass-fronted cabinet teeming with busy, swarmy, stingy, stripey, buzzy little bastards. BEES! THE BEST BUGS EVER!


The head beekeeper droned on forever about the importance of honeybees and their relative docility and how they’d help our plants and make delicious honey and we could come and see a master beekeeper at work someday but all I heard was this: I was going to get a sweet mask and a smoke gun and a swarm of monstertruckin’ bees.

New hobby found! Goodbye stupid magic island; Hello BEES!

About Mark

It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties. -A.N. Whitehead
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3 Responses to Woodstock for Dorks

  1. Kat says:

    Editor (Kat)’s Note:
    When Mark refers to his “exxxtreme hobby,” he means, like, super awesome badass extreme. Not like, whips ‘n’ chains xxx extreme. Just want to put that out info there.

  2. Kat says:

    Oh yeah: and beekeeping was TOTALLY my idea first.

  3. Brian says:

    I have been beekeeping for about two years now, and I love it!
    Bees have changed my life, enjoy your new hobby and good luck, and Have FUN!

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