Sunday, March 15, 2015

National Pi Day Celebration at Second Saturday - The Foundry and Buffalo Lab!

Get ready because this is a fun and exciting tale about celebrating National Pi Day. But this was truly special as we found ourselves at the Buffalo Lab inside the Foundry!

I have blogged about this space before, but its getting better every time I go there.

Saturday March 14, (3.14 if you will) means Pi Day of course we didn't do mathematical calculations of Circumference and Diameter's but we had fun celebrating in different ways using one of my favorite new computing devices, aptly named for today's celebration called the Raspberry Pi!!!

I covered this sweet device about 2 weeks ago and it keeps getting better as I use it. I also bought the brand new one which has the newest version of Raspbian OS and it is so fast and great that it runs as fast as a low end PC for many desktop needs. I plan on a blog on that one soon!

Quick note that many of the pictures you will see were taken by Annette Wong and Matt Lehner Board Members of Buffalo Lab. Two great people here in Buffalo, truly making a difference and many, many thanks for an excellent day!!

OK!!! Now lets show you what went on!!!

Here are Kevin Hayes and Annette Wong 2 great people of the Foundry. This is why things are so good at the Foundry, because of the people that run it!

Now check out these great panorama pics by Annette of the Buffalo Lab space.

Before the event

During the event!

Before classes on Raspberry Pi

Class in Session! Well done Matt!

Here is one of my favorite projects that I want to do!
Rocking a Gameboy looking Raspberry Pi running an emulator to play Mario Bros.

 Here is my setup I brought with me, all you need is the Pi, Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor to bring the Pi to life!

 Here I am with Clark and Kelly Dever, two great people in WNY and we are talking about making web servers with using the Pi. Thank you Clark!! Meanwhile my son Nick is setting up the Pi!

 In just a short while the place went from empty to jam packed. Here is Annette rocking Buffalo Lab and all that it has to offer! 

Now we all have heard of drones in the sky, right? Well how about an underwater drone using similar technology like the Raspberry Pi. The project is called OpenROV and it was very interesting. Russ who brought it in got it in December and can't wait for the ice to leave so he can start doing some diving! 

Of course it cannot be Pi day without PIE!! Blueberry and Banana Cream Pi were both AWESOME!

And Buffalo LAB gave away 2 Raspberry Pi 2's just for coming!!  

Kids of all shapes and sizes came from near and far to try out the Raspberry Pi and all it can do. Matt Lehner and Annette Wong hit it out of the park with all the great options for everyone that wanted to learn.

Meanwhile, the Foundry was jamming too, with Second Saturday (always the 2nd Saturday of the Month) lots of different cool vendors and great food. I bought a lot of things and it is a wonderful group of people. 

 My favorite food - Beef and Cheese Pods! Amazing! Annette knows what I am talking about!! HAHA!

 A few weeks ago I heard about this Yoga mat converted into a cool bowling type game. Dennis who brought it in will be starting a Kick Starter soon! I know I will be getting one!!! 

 So I came not even know that this was going to happen. My friend Scott Vader another Buffalo Lab Member, brought in a Slow motion (High Speed Camera) and another Foundry member Dave Sheffield owner of Buffalo Bottle Craft! wanted to film one of his cool hockey puck bottle openers blowing open an bottle of beer! Let me just say I was totally blow away by this opportunity!

 Nick and I rocking the Steampunk Goggles!! 

The high speed camera

 The Slingshot and Puck!

 Proper lighting to capture it all!

 The setup with a high powered LED Light to make sure we capture all the details!!

Below are 3 links of the high speed camera in action. The first is my view of how they broke the bottle, then the second link is the actual video of the bottle breaking, and lastly, the video of me getting smashed by confetti eggs on my noggin! Enjoy! 

While we were at the Foundry we met Stormy a great cat that was so friendly that I couldn't believe it was a cat! 

It was a great day indeed, and I cannot wait to go back to the Buffalo Lab!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What are you afraid of?

I struggle all the time with what I want to do. I don't show it, nor do I tell people about it, but I figured I could write about it because not many people really read this blog so I figure my secret will stay hidden. So for anyone reading this, get ready to meet the real me....

First of all, I love people, I really do. Communication, interaction, working together and finding something better for the World, is in my DNA. But just like anyone, I have my own deeper feelings that most people have, that you don't openly share. And these feelings aren't exactly the opposite of my outward feelings and emotions but I am conflicted many times.

When I am faced with doing something, my inward and outward feelings are somewhat contradictory as a lot of the times, I don't want to do things, I don't know why I got involved in what I am in, and that I don't even know if I want to keep doing them. I commit to working with someone, or a group of people, or get behind a cause, and then right before I start, I am telling myself, NO!!! Don't do it, are you crazy for agreeing to do this?

For example, last year First Niagara flew me all over the North East to speak in front of hundreds of Real Estate Agents. Each time we had to go away for a few days, I was in a dark place, I didn't want to travel, I was scared I would screw up, or they wouldn't like me, or other excuses to freak myself out. We visited 6 cities, Holyoke, Mass, NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Hudson Valley. On the outside, I acted as if I traveled all over, but in reality, rarely do I travel anywhere outside WNY. But everyone who met me thought I was a world traveler.  I am dreadful of public speaking, but after speaking in each city, people thought of me as a great speaker, and enjoyed my view on technology and real estate.

My fear is replaced with elation! 

I speak in front of Real Estate agents all the time. I have even created a few classes, and I have helped put on several large events, and all the while, I am gripped with fear. I feel that every step that I take is going to cause me to fail or something major is going to go wrong. But after each event, because I work with a great group of people,

I feel connected, and a part of something larger. 

I work on large events each month, for Startup Grind, and for InfoTech wondering what am I doing here? We have put on 9 successful Startup Grind's and countless Infotech events since I have been involved, and at the end of each one, people come up to me or we get many people call or email us and tell us what a great job we did and that they look forward to the next one.

The relief I feel from hearing these words are therapeutic. 

To say the least, fear is a great motivator. If I wasn't afraid, I would only wing it, and skip my research on the topics I speak about. If I wasn't in fear, my presentation wouldn't be polished to what it should be for those looking for me to show them exactly what they need to know to be more successful. And when I complete my goal of doing what I set out to do, fighting all of the fear, dread and worry, I come out feeling so great that I forget (for a short bit) the fear that was holding me back, until the next thing I jump into.

Be afraid, its good for you, let it motivate you to be better.

Finding a way to make fear be your motivation should be a goal of many people, because we fear the things we think are the hardest. So instead of running away from your fear, let it motivate you to become razor sharp and focused on the goal you want to accomplish and go get it.