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3rd weekend of May
awesome
beeker121
This past weekend I attended Maker Faire Bay Area, which happens about a mile from my apartment, and I ran Bay to Breakers.  Apparently the Venn diagram overlap for these two events is small, though I wore my Maker t-shirt to the race and my BtoB t-shirt to Faire in an attempt to cross-pollinate.  I get it, both things are very much destinations for their participants and doing them both is a bit crazy.  Like me!

First, Maker Faire.  I volunteered this year in the Needle arts zone to teach crocheting, which came with a weekend pass.  So Saturday I arrived in time to briefly scope out where things were, pick up my pass and t-shirt and see the life-sized Mousetrap run.  It's just what it sounds like, a version of the board game that is powered by a 12lb bowling ball and built out of steel and bathtubs, at the end instead of a cage a several ton bank safe falls on a car.  Then I was off to teach for four hours.  I was busy for nearly the entire time helping people of all ages who ranged from complete beginners (had to teach them a slip knot) to folks who just wanted to brush up their skills.  I'm definitely planning to teach again next year, it was a fabulous way to sit and meet all kinds of people and the conversations were amazing.   Once my teaching hours were over I was off to explore the rest of the Faire.

My favorite thing about Maker Faire is how inviting and inclusive it is.  Want to learn how to make pickles, knit, solder, program arduino, build a mini-house, create a fire breathing metal sculpture?  Someone there has done it, and is happy to teach you, or talk about their process.  Want to watch a band play on a stage with two Tesla Coils shooting lightning and people dancing in a Faraday cage?  Done.  Want to see seven different home-built R2D2s having a conversation?  Done.  Want to watch silly bike races, admire the steampunk/goth/cosplay/everything clothes and hula hoop next to the drum circle?  Done.  Certainly things are for sale but they're wonderful things, and of course the food is overpriced but who cares.  This is the second year I've gone and once again I am inspired to just make something, anything.

Sunday morning I got up early, and made my way to the city for Bay to Breakers.  This was my 11th year running the race, and it truly is a case of the more things change the more they stay the same.  So yes there were still wonderfully clever costumes, and people stupidly drunk at 7:30am.  I remembered that tortillas are slippery, saw the salmon on Hayes Street hill, and was reminded that the people who run naked are never the people you want to see naked.  Bands were playing in the park, someone told us we were all going to hell, and I was careful not to bump into anyone wearing body paint.  I also set a new PR finishing in 1:14:15, which marks the first time I've ever been under ten minute miles for this race.

After I finished I found my way out of SF, got home, showered, changed, and ate something, and headed right back to the Faire for the rest of the afternoon.  It's a long weekend, but I think it's well worth it to continue doing both things.


Best costume @ Faire: the woman who had tricked out the front of her walker to look like a Dalek.
Best costume @ BtoB: a group of women who were dressed as Cards Against Humanity: one had on a black t-shirt with the question, end everyone else had on white t-shirts with possible answers.  Though at first I just saw the woman wearing a shirt that said "Unicorn Porn" and I was really confused.