The morning meditation and prayer was one of those rare days where I dropped into a space where peace beyond what is the norm was achieved.
Then I sat down to work and realized, I am really at an odd space in life. Thus, today’s missive will probably be odder than normal – if that is possible?
My plan was to go back to Colorado this summer and build the off the grid lab/home. It was really a space where Agrowvillage and Augmanity would be possible to work on, year round, all the time as living laboratories of sorts - off the grid. why? so we can simulate the reality of the 3rd world, try urban living concepts - and have the reality of four seasons and mixed weather.
In essence it is taking a page from the times i would go to burningman, long before it was trendy. we would take prototypes out and say, "if it works after a week in this environment...it should work anywhere."
The one space has now evolved into several spaces, and the more interesting thing i was planning on starting in Colorado was a company that worked in off the grid or urban grid tied solutions for food and energy in the developed world. the irony is that the solution and issues we dealt with came from working in the 3rd and developing world with starving people.
what is needed is a real time lab where i can simply go take an idea and test. for this, i will put together a skunkworks group of companies and technologies and play with the systems to find "what is the best approach per location?"
so the time i am here, working on designs and a full off the grid site - i know what will and won't work. the bigger issue is "what will work the best?" for that - one simply has to test in the real world.
At least there is one constant in German class, which is my biggest challenge. Without the ability to communicate to the local market, I might as well simply hang out at the train station with the rest of the refugees and immigrants. But, perhaps something is changing as my teacher said “You understand this!”
“If I understand this, why can’t I speak it? Much less remember anything, or feel i understand it?"
“Oh that will be the next group of classes…we speak more then!" exclaimed the excited teacher!
Insert quizzical look of me staring at teacher thinking, "there has to be a better way to just allow people to learn to speak a language."
What is interesting is that I really am at a loss here. I came over with two suitcases of clothes, all the tools to fabricate and work on prototypes are in the USA, and I have sketchbooks with grids (plain white paper ones are rare here) and a computer.
I am most grateful that the local football club humors my lack of German and lets me work games. I signed up for four this morning and the big treat for me will be like last summer when I worked Elton john. The foo fighters are coming, and I said a prayer, “god, let me have the same job this summer as I had last summer.”
That part is that for live performance, Elton john is one of the best in the world. For my personal choice, I have enjoyed the foo fighters since that album with the space gun on the cover “foo fighters” came out. It is nice to see a band make it and grow large- yet – seem to be having so much fun making music.
I think the quirky music videos were what made me really enjoy the foo fighters – learn to fly
So, there you have it. One big white guy, in a nation where he can understand some of a language that works great in a country one border over, yet, in this country the dialect is so different that I go “huh?” with understanding. The people are cool in that German is so difficult that if I just get words out, most understand and are polite for me murdering the language.
The other technique is the wondrous thing called Google translate.
So I will go wander around, look around and see what there is to do here. A gentleman from Australia wrote me concerning his idea about off the grid energy. I smiled and laughed, “yes, I can help, we had the exact same problem…that is why we want to build the Agrowvillage test lab – not because we want to wear white lab coats and act the geeks – but because there is inherent issues when trying to optimize and mix the systems together. The benefit is we figured out how to overcome most of the issues with 3rd world elements and weakness, live in the developed world, and we get a super healthy diet to eat too!
While most of it is engineering and science – I have learned a lot of it is art as well, until the “master solution” can be adapted or created.
And then, there is the mother lode of interesting – Augmanity. A project with a plethora of changes and solutions till the day I die. If you are lucky to come across some idea you are so passionate about - you will understand the intrigue of Augmanity. Most of the actual desires that it will do will come long after i am dead.
The ideal solution would be to somehow start a lab here in Europe and then one in the USA….hmmm.
“Mark, Just figure out how to learn German, then perhaps you can explain it to others in a language they will understand!” Duh!
It is nice to have peace about the direction of life for a few months. While it can all change tomorrow, the feeling is nice, today.
As Buzz Light-year so eloquently stated in Toy story, “to infinity and beyond!”