Hello there, and welcome to bklu.me!

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I’m Brandon and this is my blog; hopefully, it’s a good one.

So, now what?  Am I supposed to give you a synopsis of my life so far?  Sorry, I’m really bad at these things…

UAV-2014-brandon-arrow
The red arrow points at me. I’ve always noticed that I take the back seat in a lot of things, but I took the next-to-most interesting seat this time! (Photocredit: Brian K. Ho)

I’m Brandon and I’m a former student of the University of California, Riverside.  I currently work as a software engineer at Meggitt.  In what spare time I can muster (and not spare to Internet Addiction), I attempt to create fun electronics projects.

Over the years, I’ve heard a bit about what people think of my work… and it honestly is a bit of a surprise to me.  Am I actually good at what I do?  If so, why do I think most of it is garbage that I’m stubborn enough to post up and call half-decent anyway?

Platelet Rich Plasma
Yet another bag of Brandon’s homemade Platelet Rich Plasma!

“Syl said, ‘it took me a long time but I’ve finally figured it out. When it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.’ And I thought back to my bachelor days and I said, ‘damn’.” — Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture.”  So I guess I should show some street cred’ in the humanitarian causes department.  I very often have giant, 16 ga needles inserted into my veins to draw blood to pass through a series of peristaltic pumps and a centrifuge.  (I donate plasma / platelets!) More than anything, it makes me feel like less of a worthless human being. (And it hurts a lot less than you may think!)

Personally, I think I’m more of a glorified technician than a full-fledged engineer.  Or perhaps there is a middle ground between “build it” and “think it” engineers and I lean strongly to “build it.”  I seriously consider that I may be happier simply building things than designing them… or perhaps I would be too concerned with the details of implementation and the crusty, nasty bits of implementation that shouldn’t be there.  Although, I’ve become accustomed to “The enemy of great is done.”  So I guess it really depends on the schedule these days.

the bare UGV platform
the bare UGV platform

Perhaps my most worthy nickname is “3rd place.”  This is a reference to a 3rd place hackathon project some time ago called Coffee++ where a coffee machine was made internet-connected through a web interface and a pretty clever “water warmness” algorithm (not mine).  This also refers to an IEEE Region 6 Design Competition presentation where we won 3rd place with our autonomous package-carrying vehicle.

If you can’t already tell, I have an odd sense of humor and can’t find its off switch.  If you like it, then you may find the rest of this website enjoyable and share a few laughs with me.  If you don’t like it, and prefer your text to be very dry and lack humor in its every smallest detail, then I have no idea how you can live your life.  Really — if you can do that, it’s incredible.

In any case, I hope you find this blog enjoyable — or find something else that you really enjoy.  Machining videos are always fun.

— b.k.lu