All You Need to Know About Cobweb Clearing

This blog has a few cobwebs on it, as I’ve not written much in the past year. I’ve not forgotten about it, and have thought of many ideas for posts, but have not felt I had the time to do them justice. The past few months I’ve taken what I might have once blogged and turned it into 140 characters of commentary in Twitter, or sent a tip to an expert blogger in a particular area. I liveblogged SMX West for Search Engine Roundtable, and will make a couple of guest posts on other blogs.

Here’s a laundry list of things I’ve been doing instead of blogging:

  • Exhibiting at Maker Faire with the Western Warship Combat Club. We had a 30′ by 60′ pond set up, and battled 1:144 scale model warships. The ships fire BBs or ball bearings, and they do sink each other. Boing Boing TV has a great segment, showing the battles, how the ships are set up, and interviews with club members (our piece starts at 3:00 minutes). Gizmodo also has a short piece, and Wired has a blog post and a video with an interview of my husband (who I can credit/blame for getting me interested in this hobby).
  • Listening to a variety of podcasts during my two-hour daily commute. I enjoy listening to Webmaster Radio, but also listen to some lesser-known podcasts about search. Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business was led by Marti Hearst at UC Berkeley in Fall of 2007, and includes lectures by John Battelle, Hal Varian, Dan Russell, Jan Pedersen, and more. Hearst led the same class in Fall of 2005, and Sergey Brin was one of the guest speakers (all lectures in that semester were videotaped). For variety, I add the Amateur Traveler Podcast, and a variety of educational technology podcasts.
  • Scuba diving, though not nearly enough. I can walk to the ocean from my work, but our area of the coast is best known for the Mavericks Surf competition with its 50 foot waves, so I settle for going to the tidepools at low tide. I was able to go to the Philippines for a week last year, and try to get down to the California Channel Islands a couple of times a year.
  • Getting back into amateur radio. I’ve been licensed since I was in elementary school (N6TME), but haven’t been active for several years. I found a deal on Craigslist on a specific GPS that integrates well with a ham radio and APRS tracker, so I’ll be installing that setup in my truck soon. On the way to PubCon 2006, I stopped in the desert with my brother, and a bunch of us launched a weather balloon that had a GPS, tracker, transmitter, and digital cameras. The balloon went to 106,000 feet before it burst; we recovered the payload and put the 1,100 pictures and details of the project on the web.
  • Finding deals at electronics swapmeets, including this weekend’s deal of $5 for a laptop battery that appears to have at least a couple of hours or charge. We didn’t get the expensive soldering iron my husband was looking for, but that just gives us an excuse to come back next month.

Speaking of laundry, it’s time to go back into lurking mode and take care of some domestic chores.

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