I am a Mechanical Engineer. I became an Engineer to facilitate my passion, which is tinkering, building, learning, and generally being awesome. From here, I want to build robots, learn about robotics, find rum, and drink rum. While on a boat. Perhaps even a robotic boat.
From 1999 to 2001, I pretended to be a new college student down at VCU in Richmond, Va. It turns out my preferred area of study was parties, drinking, being generally irresponsible, and having way too much of the wrong kind of fun. I ended up having to leave college in pursuit of the dollars, and spent the next 3-4 years desperately attempting to pay the bills. Thanks to a good, swift kick to the ego by a friend, in 2004 I re-applied to VCU. Fall semester 2004, I was back on track with a new perspective: don’t suck at being smart this time. I finished up, finally, in 2008.
I guess you could say I learned everything you’re not supposed to do when you leave home, get thrust out on your own with no safety net, and become completely responsible for your own well being. And since I typically learn best when I actually do the thing I’m attempting to learn… I did all those dumb things. But in the good years, I did ok. Look, I’m not some stellar, A+ student from MIT who comes with a pedigree… I’m just a regular guy. And that’s inspirational to me.
Since I can remember I’ve wanted to be an Engineer… picture that 4 year old kid drowning in a giant Lego pile, screaming with glee “I wanna build things!” That was me. I followed that dream, and now I’m figuring out how to make that dream work for myself. I guess it just took me a while to figure out that I even could do things on my own.
I started this journal, Robots and Rum, because I began to notice “building things” has become a very collaborative, social engagement. Essentially, what I do on a daily basis professionally is starting to look mainstream and easily accessible to the average person. I got caught up in the excitement of seeing one project launch two more, and each contributor growing from the experience. The hands-on approach I see around the net has demonstrated that ideas are as much organic as they are manifestations of sheer willpower and ingenuity. Engineering to me is loving ideas, and I love making them real.
Don’t expect to find anything revolutionary on my journal here. I’m not here to invent a better paper clip, or to prove string theory with a stick of chewing gum. This is meant only as a way to collect my own ideas, compare them to others, and help generate the steam necessary to keep the machine moving. And really, I think the trends in DIY projects are creating a wonderful social collaboration network capable of more than just delivering products to the masses via some tired old manufacturing system. It’s encouraging and inspiring to see what people are doing.
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