Why Does Anyone Blog?

Blogging usually accompanies a message that needs to be delivered.  Or in response to an impetus to find a message to deliver.

In the case of my friend, it was her job to curate a platform for delivery of the message, the Belmont Shore Patch.  For me, it was a desire to help my friend, and to explore writing.  If you like to write, there are many opportunities to do so today.  I’d always written in response to a project at school or at home, or an assignment in school or at work.  Never for fun.  Never in response to something from inside me.  I was not that public person and in fact, when the concept of blogging first became popular, I always wondered who would choose to be so public?

I have grown to love the medium as a mechanism for sharing thoughts.  With whom am I sharing those thoughts?  Well… with you, and with anyone else who might read this.  Not everyone will agree with my thoughts and ideas, but I always think that it’s a big world, and if I think, believe or want to do something, then someone else will.

I know that my writing would not pass muster in many environments.   This is the beauty of a blog.  I’m in charge.  There’s so little that each of us is in control of today.  Well, there’s the blog.

Which brings me to self-regulation.  This is the internet.  It’s an open environment to which anyone with a  browser has access.  My recommendation to you is this.  If you blog, remember that your words are open to everyone, and once put up, might not be able to be taken down.  I try to stay positive and yes, I hold some thoughts back that might be counter productive to the image and message I try to present.  There, I’ve said it.   My blog is regulated.  By me.

It occurs to me that I haven’t yet begun to share the reasons one might care to blog.

#1/ It gives you an audience.  Although you might not know the size of your audience, it provides the possibility that someone will read your writing.

#2/ You have a message to share.  This is an amplified version of #1.  A specific message that needs to be delivered could reach audiences to which you don’t otherwise have access.  The internet enabled community is the limit.

#3/ You want to propel yourself forward in new ways.  If you have a special project, sharing it is a great way to get your creativity and forward momentum going.

#4/ You want to grow your community for fun.  It’s nice to see what others are doing.  You can join a community, or you can grow one.

#5/ You want to create or grow a business.  The internet connects people in ways not previously possible.  It enables you to see opportunities where others might not have existed.  If you want to try to bring in a slow but steady stream of income, this is it!  Companies are constantly looking for ways to share what they do, and they need help from others.  Like you, like me.

#6/ The big reason: I’m just playing and through that play, I’m learning and growing.  It’s turning into what we do at Makersville, and we share that play- those learning experiences – with others.

There will be other reasons.  For now, I’ll stop here, and come back to this later to add in new reasons to blog.

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

 

How it All Began

Where does one’s story begin?  Is it at the point of birth when your brain receives the first signal.  Not the slap of the doctor’s palm, if indeed they still – or ever – did that seemingly barbaric action.  No, the point at which one emerges from the birth canal and the cold air of the operating room causes messages ‘Cold!’ ‘Cold!’ shrieking to the brain.  Is it then?

I won’t start there, because then the story will never be completed.  I’ll start at the time of the playing of the Community Lemonade Game.  Before that activity, which started in June, 2012, life had been pretty normal for me.  I.e. as normal as anyone’s life can be.  Get up, drop off kid.  Get onto freeway, go to work.  In Los Angeles that means a 1 hour drive, if you’re lucky.  Work, have lunch, work, go home.  Often dark when you leave, often dark when you return.  I’ll admit, I had it good. I’d had some good twists and turns and negotiated myself a nice work schedule.  It let me do important things like pick up a kid – my kid – and take him somewhere.  Perhaps it was soccer or baseball.  There’s always something.

I was on vacation at a timeshare resort near San Juan Capistrano when the call came.  My contract was ending.  I had two more weeks.  I’d been a long term contractor, and my time was up.  Every ten years, it seemed that I was looking for work.  My tenth anniversary had just passed.

I had a week to think about what I would do.  I was blogging at the time.  My friend N. was the editor of the Belmont Shore Patch.  She had to find folks who might want to blog, so I helped her out.  I’ve always liked writing essays, and loved the English Language.  That was my big introduction to social media.  Some might say blogging is not social media, but it is to me.  I talk to you as my friends, even if it is a one-way conversation.  I guess that’s the media part.

It’s scary with no job, no steady source of income.  It’s also liberating.  Can you imagine being able to define your work yourself?  What would you do?  I knew I wanted to make a change.  To find something meaningful to me that I could do.  But when you are a well paid – anything – giving that up to start from scratch could certainly be hard.  I’d been liberated, but then, what next was there?

More about that later.  I am finding as I write this that reconstruction of events as they happened is going to be less important than individual messages that I experience.  Hope that’s ok with you, my readers.

Trish Tsoiasue blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, shares experiential videos on her YouTube channel Squigglemommakes Makersville, and things for Makersville and celebrates the opportunities provided by life.  She also blogs on the Makersville Blog.

Are You a Maker? What’s Your Project?

When you are a Maker, you make things.  Everyone is a Maker, because everyone makes something.  The Maker Movement is an inclusive environment for learning – anything.

I will tell you a secret.  I make things… sometimes.  It’s a bit embarrassing that I finish – probably less than 10% of the things I start making.  Of course, if you count baking and cooking, the percentage goes up quite significantly!

I am continually tasked to find something that I have made to share, because I am a Maker who identifies with the Maker Movement.  Here’s an article from Time magazine about the Maker Movement.  That and I respond to requests for help, and there are many who ask me to be at places and share what I do.  In a Maker Faire, a LEGO convention, a Comic Con or other event, it’s best to have a project to show.

My big problem is that the projects I finish are usually ones that I give away.  Either that, or they get squirelled away somewhere.

I sew, and one of my most memorable is the 52+ image quilt that I embroidered with my Bernina Artista 180 computerized embroidery sewing machine.  The machine is old, and I’d bought it used over 10 years ago from our local Long Beach Sew Vac.  I’d bought it for the embroidery capability, but never used that part of it.  I was afraid of breaking this very expensive sewing machine.

Luckily for me, I had a 4th grader.  There’s no better motivator than your child and the children around him/her.  I was fairly involved with the PTA at Lowell Elementary School, and helped to get donations for the Spring Auction.  So I came up with a project.  It was to make a quilt out of the drawings of the children in the class.

Now I must see if I can find the drawings they generated.  That was several years ago, so I need to fire up some old computers to look for them.

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

Do You Use the Thermofax?

It’s obscure, but its amazing, and it’s been going through transition.

The Thermofax is an old 50’s 3M machine that was experiencing a resurgence of popularity through an alternate use. Silkscreening with the Thermofax is amazingly easy when you have the right materials.

We’ve used it for classes with youth, and in the past have been able to make drawings using the right pencils, pass them through the machine and silkscreen. Bam. You could also do it using a laser printer, which toner contains carbon.

About 1 year ago, Riso, the company that made the Thermofax screen material changed the formula, and a lot of the old equipment that folks used didn’t work any longer. Instead of just any laser printer, you now had to find a laser printer with enough carbon in the toner to make it work. So now, instead of being able to use our old Brother AND our old hp that folks had donated to us, we discovered we could only use our old Brother. Add to that the trouble we had with the machine…. not burning the image due to the fact that the light bulb needed replacement…

We found a supplier in Australia that had the old Thermofax screen material and bought some (but they are out of the old stuff now).

We finally think we’ve got our answer together this summer and used it on some work near the end of summer with some success.

Old brother printer (not HP), old 3m thermofax, new silkscreen materials, burn setting of 2-3. And NOW we hear that Welsh Products, the only supplier of the film here in the US… is retiring because of the trouble they are having to field with their customers, dwindling supplies of the machine, etc. I’m bummed. Does anyone use the thermofax? Is anyone else bummed about this?

Making another post where we can share our successful situations.

Science Everywhere! Cub Scout NOVA

Cub Scout NOVA
Get started on your Cub Scout NOVA award path!
On August 28, 29 we are hosting a 2 day camp where we will work on the Science Everywhere! NOVA achievement.
If we are successful in completing the requirements, you will be eligible to receive the NOVA patch.
This will kick off the 2017-2018 NOVA program for our youth.
High school aged youth who are interested in working on their NOVA award may volunteer in the Cub Scout NOVA program and on an as-need basis in the ScoutMaker maker space at the Sea Base.
To register, select the NOVA at the Sea Base link on the Makersville store: https://squareup.com/store/makersvillesummer
Those cub scouts wishing to have small format activities and guidance may drop in at the Makersville Makerspace at Bayshore Church (register for a single 1 1/2 hour session).  For a semi-private den counseling please contact us!.  Those boy scouts in high school wishing to assist with the Cub Scout NOVA program should please contact Trish Tsoiasue 562-225-9589 info(at)makersville.net.

2016-Long Beach Touch a Truck

It is the biggest Touch a Truck in the country! 100 trucks, 10K visitors, a collaboration between 3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price and Justin Rudd.

These are the photos and video of the event.  Count the trucks!  Naked Juice, One Coconut Water, St. Nick’s Christmas Lighting, Intellectual Virtues Academy were all there!

 

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