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London and Berlin/ 26c3

I have found myself in the UK for the holidays- more specifically, I am in Oxford with side trips to London. I'm really excited to finally get to see the Steampunk Exhibition In Oxford, as well as the Wellcome Museum in London.

The week after Christmas, however, I will be making my way to Berlin for the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (AKA 26c3). I've never been, and though I'm sure to be overwhelmed I'd still love to hear from any readers who have suggestions for the city.

Austin, Grackles, and the Junk King

I have been tootling around Austin for a couple days now, guided mainly by locals scribbling favored destination on scraps of paper. I've visited (and took a dip in) Austin's famed Barton Springs park ("dude" an old hippie told me "it's, like, Austin's spiritual center"), drank Shiner Bock at the Driskill Lounge while the jazz band played the Super Mario theme, astride a couch made of a cow; and I've been attacked by a flock of Grackles.

One thing that has been bothering me, however, has been the total prevalence of the "keep Austin weird!" bumper stickers I've seen gracing every bike, minivan, lunchbox- If you're from that area, it very much akin to the "keep Tahoe blue" stickers adhered to a million car bumpers. I've been having a great time, to be sure, but I was beginning to think that the slogan was more of a city aspiration than actual reality.

Then I met the Junk King, and his home made Cathedral.

Much more after the jump..

On the road to Maker Faire: Airships in Albuquerque

On the road to Maker Faire: Austin I realized I was happening through Albuquerque just in time to see the largest gathering of hot-aired wind-bags since the Republican National Convention (ba-dum-ching!).

But seriously, folks. I tried my best to channel my inner Ford Prefect and smooth talk my way onto one of the balloons, but no dice.

Still, though, watching these things spew 15 foot flames into a bag of fabric and then gracefully glide into the air? Fantastic.

The landing part, though, is a little less graceful.

Mass Ascension - via a4gpa's Flickrstream

My travel journal: A steam/circus anablog

Like towels, a hard-cover sketchbook is a most wholly useful object to have-  they're good for killing obnoxious mosquitoes, trapping bits of paper and tickets in a single place (and not in the laundry), keeping track of who has offered you a couch and a hot meal, impromptu tables...the list goes on. Plus, you can draw in them.

Selecting a sketchbook/journal is a sensitive thing. I can spend many hours in an art store pouring over the book minutia. This time, I got out in about 2 hours after selecting a plain, black-leather bound sketchbook.However, the sketchbook industry hasn't quite caught up with my tastes in book dressings (do I want them to, really?).

..and we can't have the co-senior sub-editor of SteampunkWorkshop.com running around with a new looking book, now can we?

No, we can not.

More photos and construction info after the jump.

The Wandering Blogger: Meredith is now on the road

There comes a time in every bloggers life where we sit back at work in our comfy chairs, clad in our finest pajamas, and query ourselves: sure, this is great, but what have we done for the readers lately? Surely, they deserve more than a simple re-post, the internet's version of a subtle approving head nod.

So, what to do? 

AHA! Thought I. I will sell all my belongings, hit the road, and go meet other Makers!

The first part is done. At the moment I am in LA, at some big crazy artists warehouse thing (they just find me, I don't know). In mid October I will be in Austin for Maker Faire.

Between now and then? That's where you come in.

Do you have an awesome project you want seen on Steampunk Workshop? So awesome, or so weird, that it should be seen in person? Have you built a great workshop of your own? Is there a community workshop, craft group, or otherwise in your town? Has making stuff (steampunk or no) totally taken over your life?

Let me come check it out! Granted, I'll want a little information first. Send me the basics on your project/group/shop, where you are, and whether or not you plan to rend me for my highly-profitable internal meat organs, and I'll get back to you. No, really! I want to see what you people, grand readers, are up to!

Though, no matter how thorough your full-size steampunk rendition (including cast) of the Bates Motel is, I would probably respectfully decline.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Hidden somewhere in Los Angeles is a remarkable place: a museum, of sorts, but more of a walk-through enigma. The building itself is identified only by a standard 'Museum' sign outside. Just chancing by, you could never guess what's inside: this is the Museum of Jurassic Technology

Entering, the whole museum has it's lights lowered far beyond what even the most delicate artifacts could possibly require. You entered a nondescript, plain looking building, but the interior...It's bigger on the inside. And far, far older.

The exhibits themselves don't make any sense per-se, reading like specialized text from some obscure and outdated profession. Having a logic all their own (and for you to try to figure out) the museum goes on through dark corridor after winding staircase, far larger than you could have guessed from the outside. Nonsensical scientific experiments, fragments of history, and a lush foyer dedicated to the brave canine cosmonauts of the Russian space program..its like having your brain reset by overloading it with nonsequiturs- which is needed after a few days braving the pavement in LA.

As hard as I try, I cannot explain this place- which is a good thing. If you find yourself in the city of angels anytime soon, make the special trek out to see some good, old fashioned, American hard boiled eccentricity.

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