Day 96: Symmetrical Rescue

My muse has had a wardrobe malfunction at work, and could use some help. I’m bringing her a new blouse, which puts me in a strong bargaining position.

For you honey, special price.

…but then right afterward, I’ve suddenly got what appears to be a major vehicle malfunction. Yep, the car will be out of commission for a day or so. Time for her to come to my rescue, but this time the bargaining advantage is hers. “Special price, honey.”


Also, today I get the spark of an idea for Secret Plan 187, which is going to involve building a small paranoid robot. I need to go home and hunt for parts. Don’t worry, tomorrow’s post will have plenty of information on this one.

Random assertion: Negotiation is a game which involves both skill and position. Only one of these may be obtained by luck, which makes it fleeting and unreliable.

Steganographic data: 1800/2.0

Days remaining in Secret Plan 158: 13

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Day 95: Chutes and Ladders

(Author’s note: Something’s happening soon which might make me vanish for a few days, so I’m going to quickly get the past couple days posted.)

Most of today was spent writing telescope software for Secret Plan 174.

Geek details: I moved the code over to Linux, since that’s what the actual telescope computer will be running. I’m using Xubuntu (chosen via bake-off for simplicity and fast boot time), but found a flaw in it (light-blue screen of pain and immobility). It took a few hours to figure out a workaround (deleting all of my .* files). If you know the real solution to this one, I’m interested.

The cats are excited and thrilled by all of this.


I haven’t got the actual telescope computer yet, so I’m using VirtualBox (thanks to brilliant muse!) which is making things very easy.

Since Mom, Dad and Chuck are back from Alaska, I’ve sent the telescope code down to them. Dad, never having seen the code before, got it compiling and running the same day. My folks are crazy-smart that way.

It’s overcast today, but pretty warm. Perfect to blow off Linux and dot-files and telescopes and go read some sci-fi in a café.

DSCN1787 DSCN1789
Stairway shortcuts are all over the city, just like a game of Chutes & Ladders. They’re super-handy when you need to vanish.

The muse is going to be home late tonight (I can hear what sounds like a cutting torch in the background, so she’s almost done with the job). So I head to Fattoush.

She and I are regulars here. Abed, the owner, greets me with a glass of wine and some great stories. He runs a fantastic operation, and it’s an easy walk from our place. Even better, he’s building a brand new wine bar in the back. It’s almost done.

If you want a hot tasty meal, I recommend the Barhoumi, Tabsi, and Mansaf.

Walking home, I realize the sky has completely cleared except for a cool-looking strip of cloud over downtown. I love this place.


Random assertion: In nine hundred years, when everyone has forgotten what computers are, religious wars will be fought over differences which can be traced to Mac, PC and Linux.

Steganographic data: 1798/4.4

Days remaining in Secret Plan 158: 14

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 10:11 am  Comments (3)  
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