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 … Continue reading Day 95: Chutes and Ladders

Day 66 and 67: Focus and the Predator

I’m spending a couple of days making some serious progress on Secret Plan 174 (the 100-year-old telescope), and also finishing the wiring diagrams for SP161. When you want to get some work done in the city, there are plenty of good places downtown. If you haven’t got time to walk, the Market Street Railway has a whole fleet of restored streetcars from various cities. As 10-minute commutes go, they’re pretty cool. One of my favorite desks is the window table on the third floor of the Virgin building. It’s usually not crowded, the staff is friendly, the grilled sandwiches are … Continue reading Day 66 and 67: Focus and the Predator

Day 56: High Wires and a Good Trade

Dad and Chuck may be getting themselves involved in a really interesting computer project for the Mt. Wilson Observatory. They’ve asked me to help out as well, so look for pictures of a really big telescope soon. The cats look like they suddenly fell asleep after a high-speed collision. The wires above Muni trains are dangerous and carry extremely high voltages, which is why they’re high off the ground. Going anywhere near them is strictly forbidden, for very good reasons. If you did, though, it would look something like this: First stop today is Tartine Bakery. Everyone who lives nearby … Continue reading Day 56: High Wires and a Good Trade

Day 35: Plums and the Salt House

My muse is working from home today, so I spend the day around the house as well, mostly working on the irrigation robots in the yard. Remember I mentioned Plum Day was coming? Check this out. They almost look like bunches of grapes, but they’re massive clusters of ripening plums. When the day comes, we might invite a bunch of the nieces and nephews over and let them help (read: run amok). It’s hot today (92 in the city), so the cats are training for the day when synchronized napping becomes an olympic event. Late at night it’s still 82 … Continue reading Day 35: Plums and the Salt House

Day 15: Time for Projects

Speaking of sci-fi (weren’t we?), if you like intelligent analyses of good films, take a look at Haden’s blog. I’d swear he and I grew up in the same house. So there’s a hopping-night-spot-which-also-serves-breakfast place nearby, Cafe Flore. My muse and I have never had breakfast there, so that’s where we go. This bar also serves coffee. This place gets crazy-busy at night, but for breakfast it’s mellow and tasty. After food and a walk, we spend most of the day at home, working on projects. She’s building something, and I’m not allowed to say what it is, but it’s … Continue reading Day 15: Time for Projects