Author’s note: You may have noticed that it took me a while to get this post out. The real, actual from-the-heart reason for the delay is that I don’t want it to be over. By posting this, I’m breaking the news to myself. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one.
Second note: All of these thumbnails link to the post they come from. Just for fun.
Although Secret Plan 158 is complete today, I’ve decided to keep writing this blog. For the past 3.5 months, I’ve been sharing a wacky and unstructured set of events with you, I’ve enjoyed it even more than I expected to.
When I started this vacation, I had made a list of things I wanted to do, it seemed like a lot. Let’s see what happened:
Here’s the original list, with notes:
What would you do with a 3 month vacation from work? ‘Cause it might be time to do it.
- Wake up early, go play outside.
Check. I learned to keep sunscreen with me on Day 2. It served me well all summer long, as mother nature basically handed this city a whole summer of beautiful days.
- Spend a lot of time with my muse.
Check. I would’ve been a fool not to ace this one.
- Hang out with friends I never get to see.
- Spend some time helping pilot-basejumping-brother build an airplane.
Check. Hopefully I fixed more than I broke while I was there, so I’ll get invited back.
- Go visit ultra-acrobat-surfer brother in Las Vegas.
Check, and also managed to [dysu zpdyau piy pg ytpinar smf lrrq aoqdyovl pgg zu vpaast], while finding a [apvsyopm mrst yjr zpmptsoa] to take some close-up pictures of her I still might get in trouble for.
- Hang with lifelong best friend and horror-screenwriter.
I got to see Hans, but am seriously needing to go play more.
- Take classes at The Crucible & TechShop.
Check. Learned to make things out of Carbon Fiber, played with Crucible-influenced creations in the desert, and signed my muse up for classes.
- Work on Secret Plan 157 (this one has to do with cryptography).
Check. In fact, 157 is almost ready to become a cryptography book. I’m far enough along that I could actually finish it soon.
- Talk to a lawyer about Secret Plans 161 and 119.
Check. 119 is a process for working with structured probabilities in a quantum computer, but that computer’s development has been delayed, so it’s not so useful. 161,on the other hand, will end up being filed as a patent application this year. Woot!
- Learn a new acrobat skill at Circus Center (possibly German wheel).
Check. Thanks Kris!
- Go visit Mom & Dad & Grandma.
Check. And in addition, Dad has printed out every single blog entry for Gradma, who keeps them in a (huge) notebook.
- Hang with some serious acrobat friends and see if they’ve got use for an apprentice or a worker drone.
Yes on the hanging part, though I never had the chance to help with the shows.
- If random stunt jobs or acting opportunities appear, take them. It’s been known to happen.
Check. Did one stunt job audition, one crazy acting audition. (I was actually offered a role later on by the same director, but the timing isn’t going to work. Next time.)
- Attend some of the great luncheon seminars at BQIC, and find out if they want some volunteer programming labor (it’s the best way I can think of to get current on what they’re up to).
Check. It turns out they go on summer break as well, so I’m hoping to be able to attend a few more in the fall.
- Go to some LongNow lectures and events.
Check. Crazy fun that day.
- Keep a camera handy and make a blog.
Let me think… um, yeah. I pretty much did that one.
…wow yikes, I ended up doing a lot more than half. And as it turns out, the list wasn’t long enough to cover what was actually going to happen.
There was really no way I could have known about these next ones in advance, though:
- Find artifacts from ships buried under the city
- Get a private hardhat tour of the Palace of Fine Arts renovation work
- Find a radiotelescope on an island I’d never been to before
- Read Steinbeck while actually sitting in Ed Ricketts’ lab
- Build a robot and take it to the desert
- Turn physics, philosophy and blind luck into front-row concert seats and an excellent kiss
- Become one with a sea urchin
- Spend time in the Make-A-Wish offices as a worker drone paid in cookies
- Work on a 100-year-old giant telescope
- Find a chess teacher (I still haven’t had my first lesson, and I really look forward to it)
Just for fun, here are a few panorama-style pictures I took along the way. It’s a lot of data, but worth it. (The one taken on the ship is wobbly, which should surprise no one.)
It’s time to mention a few things I’ve kept from you so far.
- The Stunt Rabbit is actually a tiny jade rabbit, smaller than a fingernail. My muse had it made for me in Hong Kong, and it’s been with me the whole time, keeping me safe.
- I also carried a pedometer. One of the numbers in the Steganographic data is the number of miles I walked each day, usually while chasing some artifact or muse.
- The other Steg number is still kind of secret, but let’s just say I’m in better shape now than I was 3.5 months ago. Hooray for that.
If you’re going to have a perfect summer, I recommend doing it in San Francisco.
Random assertion: I’m in love with a muse and a city, and one human life is far too short a time to spend with either of them.
Steganographic data: 1804/5.6
Days remaining on Secret Plan 158: zero