Though not an engineer, I’ve always been fascinated with machines. Like so many other kids in my generation, I started off by playing with Legos. From assembly to dis-assembly, from brittle swords to even brittler guns, a surge of pride came over me when it came to hands-on, do-it-yourself work. It was as if wielding the power of a carpenter (like Jesus) and having this wondrous agency to create (like Jesus).
In a seemingly natural progression, I upgraded to K’nex in my early teens and in my college years started building my own computers from scratch.
Don’t get me wrong. It was no easy transition. Much of the motivation to start came from my next-door neighbor Charles whose passion for fabrication has led us to hilarious kitchen explosions and trips to Home Depot. Thanks to him I’ve learned to appreciate the need for engineers in this world and how building your own machines is cheaper, funner, and more exciting than going out and buying a brand name product.
That and how a hundred bucks can be enough to build yourself a tank.