2013
01.02

All right! Happy New Year, everyone! We’re back with a full year of geeky goings on here in Houston. I’ll try to cover the first few tonight.

If “Going to a Geek Gathering” was your New Year’s Resoltion, you’re in luck, as this Friday is the New Year’s Edition of the Technology Bytes Geek Gathering. We’ll be meeting at Khon’s Wine, Darts Coffe and Art, a coffee house slash bar in Midtown Houston. 2808 Milam at Drew is where you’ll want to be shortly after 7:00 this Friday, January 4th. Khon’s has coffee, beer and wine with free WiFi, but no food aside from a selection of chips. Outside food is fine, though, so you’re free to source a pizza from a local shop if the need should arise. Also welcome are any new gadgets you may have picked up since we saw you last. We’ll also be having a short gathering within the gathering to talk about holding down a table at the Houston Mini Maker Faire. If you’ve wanted to attend in year’s past, you’ve had to travel to either San Mateo outside of San Francisco or to New York City. This time it’s happening in your own back yard.

Of course, the Houston Mini Maker Faire is happening January 19th at the Stafford Center. Existing for one day only, the event promises to introduce Houston to hundreds of cool new ideas as put forth by some of our own citezenry. Fully functional remote controlled subs, some up to four feet in length, will be present, as will an internationally recognized maker in the Lego modeling field, Jared Burks. Jared specializes in minifigurine customization accessories and uses both new and traditional techniques to outfit lego figurines for activies as diverse as zombies, Spartan warriors and an entire universe of Star Wars characters.

And if you’re not content building LEGO scenes in which forces clash, you may be interested in Nerf Gun Modifications as put forth by maker Justin “JP” Roth. Not to be content with a working radius of a few dozen feet, JP can modify a stock blaster to fire a Nerf dart up to 100 feet, and can increase that range to 150 feet by building his own darts or slugs. There’s actually an entire group in Houston dedicated to modifying and building nerf style creations called the Houston Area Nerfers, not to be confused with the Haffrin Area Nerf Herders. And just as an aside, does anyone know where Haffrin is or what a Nerf Herder is?

Haffrin was a planet in the Esstran sector in the Outer Rim of The Star Wars Old Republic.

And a Nerf Herder was someone who herded nerfs on various planets throughout the galaxy. As it was solely an occupation for lower class beings, the term “nerf herder” became an insult used throughout the galaxy. Nerf herders were often somewhat simple, but as a result of living outdoors and fighting off anything that interfered with their herds, they became quite capable. And of course, a Nerfs are quadrupeds characterized by their four, curved horns and shaggy coats of fur. The common nerf stood about 1.3 meters at the shoulder. Their mass of hair tangled easily, creating a perfect web for insects and foreign objects to cling to, giving them a pungent odor. And you thought a Taun Taun smelled bad. Looking after them was definitely not the best job to be had in the Old Republic.

Anyway, you can find them on FaceBook if you want to get in on the action. The Nerfers, not the Nerf Herders.

To find out more about the Maker Faire hit www.makerfairehouston.com.

Also happening that same day is the Houston Area Apple Users Group Semi-Annual Swap Meet. Things run from nine until noon, but be sure to fact check me before departing to beautiful Bellaire, Texas, on the Haaug site, haaug.org.

That’s it for your first of the year festivities and that’s that for BarretTime.

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