Day 101: Baskets of Glass

So you already know some of what happens today, but not all.

I wake up to her eyes, but also to the realization that the fire wasn’t a dream, and even if I could repair the damage to the robot, I’d never have time to troubleshoot the problem today.

About half an hour later, she had done what a muse does. I still can’t remember exactly what she said, but without even looking at it I knew the cause of the failure, and how to fix it.

Geek Details: The drive power circuit is basically an H-bridge, with power transistors instead of switches or relays. So if your control logic is (ahem) backwards, then the “all motors off” resting state turns into “hold the motors still but heat up the high-power resistors as fast as you can and see what catches on fire first” mode.

A quick look at the injured robot verifies that this is what happened, and I should be able to fix it. So I set it aside and we go out to play at another excellent museum.

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This is the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. They’ve got a huge exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass work now. Unlike many exhibits, non-flash photography is allowed in this one.

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If you’ve seen Chihuly’s work before, then you know to expect a lot of really huge, cool, brightly-colored pieces that resemble sea creatures. The techniques he and his assistants use to make these things are extraordinary.

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So I’m drawn to the one that looks like an urchin. So what.
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All of these bright forms are beautiful, and pretty much what I expected to see. The part of the exhibit that took me by total surprise was the Baskets series. These are made (from glass) to look like Native American basket work. I love them.

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There’s a lot of great work in this exhibit, and none of it is safe to climb on.

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Quick aside #1:
Shannon and Christine are leaving for Burning Man today. They’re all packed up and ready to go. I’ve never been there, but it sounds like a lot of crazy fun.

They strongly encouraged me to come with them, but I had to decline. It’s the last few days of my vacation, after all.

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Shannon’s bike plays the William Tell Overture as he rides.

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Quick aside #2:
One of my muse’s superpowers is that she can hear 4-leaf clovers. Walking outside the museum with me today she stopped, leaned down, and handed one to me.
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I’ve pasted this one into the book I’m about to read.

Back at home, we’re relaxing and working on projects again.

I get the repairs all done on the robot’s power circuit, and the motors still won’t move. Just as I’m starting to think it’s not going to work, the house starts to smell really good.

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The smell of fresh scones kicks something in my brain, and I get it.

The motor power’s not connected. Yeah, so I, um, plug it in, and the motors leap to life, making me cheer and dance in a less-than-dignified manner.

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Quick aside #3:
In case you still had any doubt about knitters being good at math and logic, check this out. I snuck a picture of her notes:
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My muse is planning something involving purple yarn and possibly a blowtorch.

I get the robot all closed up and do the first real operational tests.

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…so that’s it. You’re all caught up now.

Random assertion: Once a decision
> HEY WAIT! That can’t be all! What about the sandstorm? What about the smoke detector and the fuzzy pink hat?

Oh right, that. Okay, so I actually called Shannon back a few days ago, and left a message:

“Hey sir. When I said I no, I was clearly malfunctioning. If the couch is still available, I’m in. And I’ll build something to bring. Maybe a robot, we’ll see.”

…and so I’m all packed up too.


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In the back seat, you can see the yellow robot (not yet desert-proof, but there’s time) and yes, the Captain Goldfish hat. There’s a telescope in there somewhere too.

…and my muse made fresh scones for me to bring, as well as spicy Indian chicken and other great food-love. She knows what I’m going to need, always.

At 7:30pm, we start the drive.

As it turns out, there will be no dividing line (sleep) to separate today from tomorrow. So I’ll draw the line here, at 7:30. Tomorrow things get a little interesting.

Random assertion: Given the choice, pick the thing you’ve never done before.

Steganographic data: 1818/4.4

Days remaining in Secret Plan 158: 8

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Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 10:08 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] seen the de Young Museum’s Chihuly exhibit already, but sharing it with kids is like seeing it through different […]


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