Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting things turning

As I imagine it is for many, this blog is a sort of personal experiment. A way for me to share stuff that might be of interest to others out in the world, sure. But also a way for me to explore writing a bit, and perhaps to learn a little bit about social media and web technologies.

Who am I? I'm a software guy. Thirteen of the past fourteen years I've spent in product management, at different levels at large and small software companies. I'm very good at the PM thing, perhaps because I'm a frustrated engineer. I'm also a great coach for folks with as much passion for the job as I have. The past year or so I've been running a product line for my employer of five years, and am now branching out a bit into partner/alliance management for the company. But this blog isn't about that third of my life.

When I'm not working, I have a lot of other stuff going on. Until recently I lived in an antique victorian home in Massachusetts with my family. Today I live in an antique victorian apartment in Massachusetts, mostly by myself, but with my young daughters visiting a couple of nights a week, on average. The house is great, but it sponges up time to an astonishing degree. But this blog isn't about my house or family either. Though they'll probably make guest appearances here and there.

This blog is about the other third of my life. The third I've filled with things that not long ago I described as defining who I am. In hindsight that seems a little shallow and silly, but the point is that these are things I've spent a lot of time exploring, fooling around with and making good use of. The list is sort of long, but the list of categories is short: Bicycles, tractors and maybe cars. I'll stick with gearhead kinds of things here. Probably.

You might notice that all three of these things are machines -- sort of transportational/ recreational machines. Made of metal and with a fair number of moving parts. Good stuff, in other words -- at least to a gearhead. All three of the categories have gears, of course, though with bikes I suppose they're technically sprockets, not gears. That's the "Gears" part of the blog title. The "Bronze" part has a couple of meanings. First there's a literal meaning, in that the tractors I poke around with are Gravelys. Gravely tractors (the more common varieties, anyway) have a big honkin' bronze gear driving the wheels, and some of their accessories have similar, smaller gears.

These bronze gears are very cool when you take them out and look at them. And they have other neat properties -- they have a nice, clear ring to them when struck, magnets will stick to them, and they have interesting machining and wear marks on them. Interesting if you're a gearhead, at least.

Then there's the non-literal meaning, which is a bit of a stretch, I'll admit. As you'll see as I move through this experiment, I tend to lean towards older stuff as toys. I can enjoy and appreciate more modern stuff, too, but I tend to just enjoy those things as is and spend less time tinkering with them. Old stuff -- bronze age. Well, I said it was a stretch...

In any case, I expect I'll devote most of my time up here describing things I've done with my bikes and tractors, and again maybe my cars. I'll try to take pictures, and try to focus on stuff that might be useful to others.

All for now,