Sunday, October 16, 2011

strange days indeed

Some days just don't go as planned. I had lots of Oakland-y goodness planned for today, starting with a ride down the hill to church at College Avenue Presbyterian, a short ride down to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire to volunteer with the East Bay Bike Coalition and check out the fair, then over to Peralta Hacienda for a walk and lecture made possible by Oakland Urban Paths and the National Park Service. All sounds like good stuff, no?

I hopped on the e-bike and headed to Lake Temescal, as the bike path around it is one of the quicker, more pleasant routes over to Rockridge for me. I was surprised to find an OPD motorcycle cop on the path who signaled me to stop. He said I couldn't go on the path, couldn't go through the park either, and couldn't say why it was closed, just that it was "for another agency." Another agency? The Girl Scouts, the fire department or Homeland Security? There's a lot of different possible reasons there. In any event, I rode back to Broadway Terrace, and down to Rockridge that way. The fact I saw two police cars on my way (which is two more police cars than I normally see on a Sunday) did nothing to assuage my concerns.

I arrived at church a bit later than planned, and noticed that Monte's video display was, well, a bit skewed -- the projector was showing the control screen, and his new laptop was showing the presentation. I checked in with him and quickly fixed it, but it was a further discombobulation for the morning. After the service including another great sermon by Monte, I rushed off towards the Maker Faire, again running a little bit later than I'd planned.

I arrived at Opal and 42nd, the designated place for bike parking for the Maker Faire, and bikes. After peering around for a bit, someone pointed me down the block to the next gate. I arrived to see the available space full of bikes. Apparently last year, they'd had maybe 40 bikes or so, so the Maker Faire gave EBBC that much space. Well, last year it rained, so a lot of people didn't ride (and probably some didn't go at all). This year, it was warm (and a little humid -- what's up with that?) and sunny, and the space was filled to overflowing. To complicate matters, normally EBBC gets an enclosed space to park bikes in, with one entrance to control access. This space was along the driveway used for musicians and makers to bring in their gear, so we had the back access to worry about, a steady stream of non-bike people going through, and we had to keep the driveway clear. Shortly after I arrived we had to start with a one-out, one-in policy, as we didn't have room for any more bikes until some left.

So when the end of my shift was approaching at 2pm, I asked Max if they'd had any volunteers sign up for the 2pm to closing shift. Given the day so far, I was completely unsurprised to hear that they hadn't. Given the extra challenges, I decided to stay and keep helping. During a bathroom break I checked out a few of the makers nearby, but didn't really get to spend much time there. The Crucible had some cool exhibits, including a truck with a fire calliope sort of thing that kids could trigger from a control panel. There was also a place where kids could make and decorate cardboard rockets, then have them launched into the air from a compressor-powered rig. There were a lot of happy kids I saw, so I'd say the event was a big success even if it wasn't the best organized.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day. Just different than I'd planned.

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