We're a little crazy, about science!

From imagination to reality

It’s amazing what a good night of sleep will do for a person. Hopital-PI often has what he calls his “shower ideas” and frankly, my “big idea” was also a shower idea, but I find that the best ideas come to me when you’re not even thinking about them. When you step away from a problem and focus on something else, your brain just does something magical and works out the solution without you even realizing it, sometimes anyway.

I love making things. I’ve gotten pretty good at making just about anything you can think of. Welding, machining, woodworking, soldering, I’ve done it all and while I don’t think I’m skilled enough to call myself a master of any of those things, I’m good enough that I can competently create some really cool stuff. Over the years I’ve made a lot of different things and I like to believe that if you can dream it, you can make it.

Sometimes though, you don’t realize you have a problem. For the past few months I’ve been working on collecting data for “big idea,” an idea so big that I think if I can pull it off, it will be something that follows my name for life. It’s all very exciting and I recently got a new dataset for it. We still have zero datasets in the way I imagined it, but we’ll get to it… eventually? The point being, big idea is… well big! With big ideas come big problems however.

Recently I talked about how our first attempt gave us nothing. Like literally nothing, it was total garbage data and I believe a cable came disconnected and that was the problem, but the frustrating part is I will never know for certain. After two data collection efforts, both of which seem to be successful (yay), I thought there was nothing that I could do to improve the collection process. Things were finalized and working as planned, but my brain had a different idea apparently.

Between last night and today, I’ve had a realization that I can simplify some of the data collection process in a big way, but it requires me to make a few new pieces. Now, I do things on a shoestring budget regularly and big idea, that whole, “if it works it’s what I will be known for” project, that was done for (compared to other projects) pennies. All because we don’t really have funding for the project, but also because I can make the things needed for the project.

So today I’ve been busy fabricating (soldering, if I’m being completely honest) some things together that will make my job a lot easier, but also free up some of the resources (equipment) we’re using in place of this solution. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, now it seems so obvious, but for whatever reason I’ve only just come up with it and I’m glad I did.

I guess the whole point is that with the rise of the internet, youtube, and all the other resources out there, you can learn to do just about anything. Sure there’s a lot of practice involved and taking a class with someone watching over you telling you you’re doing it right or wrong is super helpful. But in the end that isn’t 100% needed, especially if you’re not afraid to fail at whatever you’re trying to do. Most of the things I know how to do I’ve learned by trial and error (or watching videos, reading, etc.)

It’s not a bad way to learn something new, but also I’ve held one thing to be true. That’s everything you own can be taken from you. Even your freedom can be taken from you. Your house, your car, your clothing, your most prized possessions, all can be taken. The one thing no one can take from you is knowledge.

I think that’s why people in power push so hard to keep the general public from learning. Those damned “elites” in their schools, you know what I’m talking about. When I make about 1000x less than any politician claiming I’m part of the “elite” because I’m someone who likes to learn. Knowledge is something no one can take away, so why not get all you can? I’ve lost mostly everything multiple times in my life, so maybe I’m bias, but I find comfort knowing that I can fix things, make things, and generally build things all because I bothered to pick up a book or watch a video.

If you dream it, you can make it.


4 responses

  1. I love shower ideas. I keep joking if I had a waterproof terminal and a tankless water heater, I could solve all the world’s problems.

    Regarding everything but knowledge being able to be taken away, it’s dark, but I agree. I love making and learning about things. I go down so many rabbit holes and get lost in so many weeds that the locals all know my name and we talk about how much their kids have grown. I wish I spent more time building things. I’ve got a few projects at any given time and I just picked up a few bigger ones, but you know how time and tools are always the limiting reagents. (And I think blacksmithing would break my back, as it tore it up pretty bad last time)

    It’s a great experience. I’m of the firm belief that designing and building is somehow the core of the human experience, and if it’s your jam, I also figure “made in God’s image” to mean the thing He’s best known for: creating. I’m not a terribly religious person, but I take understanding where I can find it.

    I’m an amateur at a lot of things, but the act of creating something, though CAD, digital sculpting, 3d printing, miniature painting, Bob Ross Painting, woodwork, metalwork . . . honestly I think I’d be proud of a very well made hole in the ground.

    It’s just the best. And learning things is its own reward. The limits of learning these days is generally the limit of will, not geography, social class, or any of the old barriers. I could go on all day, but I love it.

    And when your background knowledge surfaces as a shower thought, and you have the knowledge and tools to make an improvement to your equipment., that’s just a “Eureka” moment that really can’t be explained. I love it so much.

    Glad you had one of those moments when it really counted.

    Liked by 2 people

    June 1, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    • Hey shower thoughts for everyone! haha

      Yeah maybe it’s a bit dark, but it’s also somewhat comforting (in my mind anyway) that there are some things no one can take, they just become a part of you.

      I’m glad you see the benefit of making things and learning new skills too! It’s probably one of the reasons we get along so well!


      June 2, 2022 at 9:05 am

  2. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    June 2, 2022 at 8:07 pm

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