Day 29: Summer Tarts

My muse is going to take a week off around July 4th, so the first thing we do today is plan an escape.

By “plan” I mean that we find a place on the map neither of us has ever been, and decide to figure the rest out as it comes.

Speaking of figuring things out as we go, she wants to make a summer dinner for friends tonight. No argument from me, I’ll help. Did I mention she’s the best cook I’ve ever met? We text some acrobat-friends to see if they’re hungry, and it’s all set.

The last time we had dinner with Oli, Elysa and Delilah, we were all in Costa Rica at Graham‘s wedding. They’re highly skilled flying trapeze artists, and accomplished scientists and entrepreneurs. In general, they spend their time making life better for people around them.

Dinner is very tasty. Salad, tomatoes, cheese from Cowgirl, and a fantastic roasted leg of lamb with potatoes.

For dessert, the muse makes a raspberry summer dessert. She does everything from scratch, including the sweet crunchy crust.


The girl makes an excellent tart.

Random assertion: Every hour spent with someone in the kitchen gets added as bonus time onto the end of your life.

Steganographic data: 1866/1.6

Published in: on June 15, 2008 at 10:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Day 19: Cowgirls

You don’t really need a car in SF, but I’ll be heading out of town soon, so I dropped mine off for service. Checkup, oil change, and fix some dashboard damage from last time the parachute failed.

It’s another perfect day, but I mustered up some discipline, so back to my desk at the library.

In the library café, I met some folks who were giving an interesting lecture on business models for independent musicians. I chatted for a while with a cellist named Monica Scott, who will be performing a concert on Sunday night. Inspired by talking to her, I sat down and made some serious tangible progress on SP159.

Geek info regarding Secret Plan 159:
Quantum computer simulation requires exponential RAM and CPU time. So for a 16-bit simulation, you need about 1 MB of RAM minimum (for 2*216 double-precision floats). Each bit you add doubles the time and space. So for 17 bits, you need 2MB. …and for something crazy like 40 bits, you need 16 Terabytes of RAM just to get started. That’s 3 trillion simulator-bits required for each quantum-bit (qubit) being simulated. Ouch. Even worse, the time to process all of this data scales up just as quickly, and can easily be longer than a human lifetime.

SP159’s goal is to use large computing grids, really good task prediction, and sneaky re-mapping of qubit positions to make the simulation take a lot less time. It’s still exponential time (I don’t have a solution for that), but a lot less of it. What would someone actually do with this? I don’t know yet. First step is to get it working.

The plan was to go to SFMOMA next (great exhibits and a fun place for lunch). But they’re closed Wednesdays. Whoops.

So I just kept walking instead, and got to one of my favorite spots in the city, the Ferry Building.


This giant spider becomes a steel sculpture in the daytime.


Seriously excellent mushrooms.

Hog Island Oyster Company is awesome.

My personal favorite place here, though, is Cowgirl Creamery.

Somehow, magically, Cowgirl just happened to have one last piece of an extra-rare cheese of theirs called SF Drake. They don’t make it often, and this is all they have left. My muse will be pleased. Cowgirls rule.

At the Ferry Building, i got two random calls at the same time.

  • The first was about a stunt job; more on that tomorrow.
  • The second was from Shannon, to talk about crazy-huge computers. There’s something he wants to use them for. His idea is a really good one. About two hours later, I can’t stop thinking about it, and Secret Plan 166 is born. Shoot. See, that’s how this happens.

Pick up the car, all fixed, with an extra upgrade. Stop by the acrobat training center for some upside-down time, and then back home to meet my muse.

We’re going to be out for a while tonight. Call it another late-night art class (this is technically correct), and with any luck we’ll get to sleep before midnight, with no serious injuries. That’s the plan anyway.

Random assertion: There is cheese so good that it tastes like music.

Steganographic data: 1852/7.1