There are various ways to customize the Linux kernel compilation to make it more interesting and fun :
1. You can use a tool called "colormake" to show the output of make in a much more readable format.
2. "$make -s" wont print any commands (as if every command was prefixed by @). If the commands themselves are printing output, redirect standard output to /dev/null but still show the standard error by using "$make -s > /dev/null"
More information on various gcc options is available here