Day 45: Twisted Gravity

My muse has got a new assignment, which means it’s time to disappear again, very quickly. I don’t know if we’ll have access to anything digital (I hope not), so hang tight and we’ll reappear in a few days if all goes well. Today I had brunch with someone I suspect I might be related to. When Nick and I talk about science, we get so worked up about it that people around us ask to be re-seated, “a little farther away from those two, please.” There’s something keeping him awake at night, and it’s very similar to something that’s … Continue reading Day 45: Twisted Gravity

Day 44: Robot Mayhem

Time for a cool surprise: I’m letting one of the Secret Plans out. Today was pretty low-key (projects at home, and some time spent with our smart fun neighbors, discussing things which must remain secret). So new rule: Any time I have a low-key day with no photos or dangerous activities, I’ll shed light on one of the items in the Secret Plans list. Secret Plan #31: Wacky Robot Races What if you could teach robotics concepts to a second-grade class? It turns out you can. In 1997 and 1998, I was the “robot guy” at the El Granada Elementary … Continue reading Day 44: Robot Mayhem

Day 43: The Approximate Weight of an Angel

The beautiful Palace of Fine Arts, designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1915, is being renovated. The scaffolding alone is a complex and impressive structure. During the renovation, the site is closed for safety reasons. You can’t even get close to it without a hard hat and an escort. So this morning, we’ve got hard hats and escorts. Charlie says that one of the things he needed to do for the project was to calculate the weight of the concrete angels under the dome. Having these two as guides is excellent. Jan Berckefeldt is the executive director of the Maybeck foundation, … Continue reading Day 43: The Approximate Weight of an Angel

Day 42: Voices of Power

Today began with a permanent camera malfunction. The cute term it chose to display was [LENS ERROR] which apparently is a camera-language euphemism for “aren’t you glad I’m not an airplane.” Broken camera in hand, I headed to meet up with some ultra-smart colleagues I haven’t seen in a while. When Leslie, Jeff and John join forces, they can solve serious problems. Or cause them. Leslie handed me a secret object which I agreed to take care of and keep well hidden. There’s a lot happening soon (theatre, acrobatics, secret mission on a tropical island, the usual), so I made … Continue reading Day 42: Voices of Power

Day 41: Red Sky and the Mystery Door

For the past three days, the sun has been a funky distant red color, and you can smell the wildfires nearby. That won’t stop the week’s celebrations, though. The Castro neighborhood is all decked out and ready for an excellent weekend-long party. A.G. Ferrari: Human respect and great food, all in one store. I’ll tell you, the cat’s day is off to a great start. Oh joy, it’s time for the vet. The 18-year-old cat says: “I know where you live.” The 2-year-old cat says: “Hey how’d you get in the box? Is that fun? I want one too.” Our … Continue reading Day 41: Red Sky and the Mystery Door

Day 40: Set in Cement

Today Nick and I went for some spicy ceviche at Fresca. He’s one of those rare inventors who actually does use his powers for good. We worked together for more than a decade, and today’s discussion is all about secret plans. He’s got some good ones. Sure he looks like a rockstar here, but just ask him for a logic puzzle. You’ll be trying to solve it for weeks. Afterward, I had a bunch of places to go, so I walked to all of them. Here are some semi-random observations during the walk: City College of SF’s new building is … Continue reading Day 40: Set in Cement

Day 39: Stunts in a Dress

Today was spent writing (trying to make headway on a cryptography project). In the afternoon, I had a great conversation over lunch with a filmmaking/software engineering/saber-combat expert I’ve known for ten years or more. I’m sure she spends her nights crime-fighting, but she never admits it. Amit doesn’t look dangerous, does she? Right. Ready for some wacky fun? A few weeks ago, I wrote about a stunt job audition. I didn’t get that job, so here are some pics and video from some stunt work I did a few years ago, dressed as a hotel maid. The job involved a … Continue reading Day 39: Stunts in a Dress

Day 38: Too Much Excellent Music

Thanks to Kathy in Mountain View, I’ve added a new artist to my collection of musicians who have been denied entry to the United States. Boy George, welcome to the club! It’s an honor to add you to it. …and I’ve also posted a whole Music List page so you don’t have to go hunting through my blog entries. I might do the same thing with restaurants soon. The very excellent San Francisco Opera is currently performing Das Rheingold, and my muse and I are going to Ariodante this weekend. Here’s something most of us don’t usually get to see: … Continue reading Day 38: Too Much Excellent Music

Day 37: Danger and Baking

I collect icons of danger. Maybe I’ll start posting them here. Here’s one I saw today: …so I’m allowed (maybe required) to shoot lightning from my fingertips, but am not supposed to explode televisions in other vehicles. So many rules. This morning, my muse expressed her love by making fresh scones. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. In the evening, we went to Alex, Ashley and Scott’s place for dinner and some helicopter-related electronics work. The wine is a special treat with a hand-made label. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. In case you missed it, water has been found on Mars. Cool, that’s one less thing we’ll need to … Continue reading Day 37: Danger and Baking

Day 36: Ballet and Irish Dance

Today is an all-day event we’ve been looking forward to: a lovely dancer we know is giving a special performance, with an invitation-only party to follow. Our niece is 8, and she’s fantastic. Backstage after the show, she’s grinning ear-to-ear. The party afterward has cake and ice cream, barbecue, and kids running amok everywhere while the dog tries catch any food they drop. I love this. On the way home my muse and I stop by Mission Beach to relax and say hi to the guys, grownups-only. Being the aunt and uncle does have some advantages. Random assertion: Kids measure … Continue reading Day 36: Ballet and Irish Dance