Day 94: Sketchy Camera Placement

Most of today is spent in acrobat training, doing my best to collect broken bones and scars, or at least get very very tired.

First I talk to my instructor for some new skills and pointers. He’s so glad I’m wearing a helmet.

Gentle reminder: Do not attempt acrobatic activity without professional instruction and safety equipment, or you will die.

For warmup, I’m doing the same monkey-work as last time, except I’ve very carefully set the camera in a place where I should be able to roll over it without shattering it into a thousand pieces. Let’s see how it went.


I actually went just a little crooked. I don’t think I’ll try that one again, it wasn’t the best idea ever.

The next skill involves learning to control the very heavy wheel when it’s moving quickly. Obviously the point is to have my feet off the ground, but I’m still working up to that. Once again, the idea is to control the wheel well enough that it doesn’t crush the camera.


Wow, that one is a lot of work. My brother is clearly having me do it because he hates me.

…and now it’s time to get you a little dizzy. Yep, your turn.

Not the best camera handling, I know. Still, it’s almost got a little 2001: A Space Odyssey thing going on.

Random assertion: Gravity is not a force. It’s an interaction between matter and spacetime which gives the appearance of acceleration where there is none. You can choose to ignore it altogether, but have some ice and aspirin handy.

Steganographic data: 1814/5.8

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Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm  Comments (4)  
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Day 84: Lasers, Sugar and Dizziness

For the past few weeks, Mom and Dad have been in the Alaskan wilderness, and they’re blogging it. I swear I’ll never get those two to behave like parents.

So this is what the German Wheel looks like when you’re lying on your back because you’re too tired to stand.

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That’s how Scott found me. Hands blistered, shins bruised, and probably grinning. I spent most of the day working on the wheel, with the goal of getting tired. It totally worked.

Not much else went on, so it seems to me like a good time to open another Secret Plan.

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Secret Plan 54: Advent Toblerone

Okay, so this is a silly one. So what.

When I was little, we had an advent calendar, with chocolate pinned to it for every day in December. By the time Christmas came, we were so amped up on sugar that we couldn’t even see straight. It was awesome.

This kind of dizzy giddy anticipation prepares you for adulthood somehow, I’m sure of it.

So imagine a big special-edition Toblerone bar, with 25 segments, each with a number and a cute picture. I say they’d fly off the shelves.

…so how am I planning to do this? There are two options:

  • Option 1: Obtain night-time access to the Toblerone factory in Bern-Brünnen, Switzerland. Have my muse distract the guards (she’ll be good at that), and bring a few friends (let’s call them “the elves”) along to re-tool the factory overnight. Oh come on, it’ll be worth it.
  • Option 2: If Option 1 fails, The TechShop is actually giving classes in using a laser-cutter to etch food! No kidding. You can just sign up and learn. There’s even a class this weekend. Etching the sides of a Toblerone bar will be a challenge, but it’s got to be a little easier than Option 1.

I’m planning to make one of these as the holidays approach. If you beat me to it, please make an extra one and etch my name on it.

Random assertion: When trying to predict the future of any technology, remember the laser. It has not yet been used to defend the planet against an alien attack, but that little red dot will drive your cat nuts all day long.

Steganographic data: 1824/3.1

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 81: Training

In the balance between science and acrobatics, my lack of injury tells me I’m spending too much time on the science. Time to learn something new.

First, more time in parks and cafés with Aly. She needs to put those eyelashes to use, and flirt with random people.

While we’re out, my muse calls on a secure line. The noise in the background sounds kind of like she’s rappelling down the side of a building. All on schedule then.

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I mentioned she’s got a police record. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t ask her about it.

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She’s just here to con people out of muffin fragments, and it’s working.

The rest of the day is spent in acrobat training.

My instructor is one of those guys who can actually do everything he teaches, and then some. He’s also my brother. I’m planning on learning all I can from his experiences, good and bad.

The wheel is great, but unforgiving. It’s heavy and made of steel, and the floor is hard. Roll over your fingers, and they’ll all break. Kris has a lot of other advice for me, such as “protect your back at all times.”

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The helmet is a good idea, as serious head injury would complicate the day.

The spine shield is non-standard; it’s actually designed for ski racing. It does a great job of preventing impact-related injuries.

(If you’ve done a somersault on a wood floor, you know it’s not comfortable. Imagine doing a fast one from a few feet up, maybe with metal rails in the way. Hooray for spine shield.)

The shield also provides some back support, but as always, the most important back protection comes from muscle control, keeping abs tight and trunk solid. No device can give you that. Having had two spinal fractures in the past, I take back safety seriously.

Kris gives me a bunch of basic exercises and gruntwork, so that I can get my butt kicked, collect some bruises, and learn how the wheel moves. I spend hours and hours on them.

By the end of the day, I’ve got a bunch of new bruises and blisters, and I’ve put “shin pads” on my shopping list. I’ll be back every day this week.

Tonight I’m meeting up with Jon and Donna for some excellent pizza at Haystack. It’s great to catch up and plan future shenanigans.

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They’re amused by this picture, taken just out side the circus school:
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Random assertion: Being the oldest brother doesn’t always make you the teacher.

Steganographic data: 1826/2.8

Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 10:18 am  Comments (3)  
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