May 19th, 2006


(no subject)

  • It rained today - which isn't so much of a thing, but I was anxious about the weather for a couple of reasons. For the past week, it's been warmer than this old body is comfortable with, and I was outside over the weekend doing a bit of gardening, and I went and got the left half of my neck and my left ear seriously sunburned. That was Saturday. I spent Sunday on the other side of the house, and this time I thought to apply sunblock. Anyway, it just got hotter through to Wednesday. Recall, if you will, that I work from home. I, being a Washington native, don't have AC at home, so when it gets warm, I shrivel up. So. I had been looking forward to cooler temperatures.

    However, I was also concerned that there might be rain today, because the yard waste pickup (this service, more than any other, really adds to my stress) was due to come this morning. Morning-ish, anyway. And, if you've been reading my grumblings with any regularity, you'd recall that the yard waste pickup has something of a spotty history. They'll empty the can, or not, depending on... their whim? The Phase of the moon? Perhaps I haven't been properly bribing them. Not long ago, I went to their web page, and it said that they'd pick up extra bags, as long as they were clearly marked. I don't know - I've tried this before, and didn't have luck. I ended up having to go to a local farm and pay the farm workers to allow me to dump my grass on their compost pile.

    Well, the good news is that they came, picked up the can, picked up the 8 bags, and it was painless. I was fairly certain I'd have to pack the bags into the back of the Outback, drive out to the farm, and then spend the next three months living with mouldy grass residue in the back of the car. No such bad luck.

  • More Perplex City Cards - as you'll note in the picture up there, I'm filling in the gaps in that diagram. I did something geeky (me? Imagine!) and found a webpage where people have scanned in cards. I proceeded to write Python scripts (again with the affected look of surprise) to fetch all the cards, fetch my currently solved cards, and for the cards I don't have, lay out the scanned in images in a PDF file.

    This may strike you as cheating. I have a certain amount of shame about it, but not a lot. I'm planning to get my hands on all the actual cards one way or another (eBay, trading sites, gamer get-togethers), and this just gives me a few puzzles to work on while I'm waiting for that. I can't get credit for any puzzles I solve without the actual cards. It's like timeshifting the puzzles - who knows what my schedule is going to be like over the summer?

    By the way, if you're into puzzles, but haven't yet picked up Perplex City cards, get yourself to a comic store or wherever the kids are buying Magic cards. Chances are, there'll be some freebies at the counter. (The first ones are ALWAYS free.)

    I went into one of the game stores in the area this evening, because the last time I got some cards, I ended up chatting with the guy behind the counter, and he encouraged me to bring my dups in to trade. I walk into the store, and the cute chick behind the counter asks me if she can help me, and I mention that I'm interested in Perplex City cards, and she gives me a funny look - turns out she's also really into the game. So we talk about it, and I haul out my pile of dups, and she pulls her pile out from behind the counter. She finds maybe 8 cards in my set that she'd like, and I find none in her set. Which bums me out, because I was hoping to make the cute chick happy. Turns out, we both were buying cards, and in the new sets that we unwrapped, we found some cards to trade. Lucky us. Along the way, we chat about how the cards are really impressively printed, and they lead you to do research into areas you wouldn't think you'd be interested in (satellites, barcodes, flags, geometry, genetics, "alternate reality" games, cheat codes, stellar navigation, physics, rhetoric, and so on). And at some point she mentioned her fiancé's opinions about the cards. She also mentioned that she doesn't have internet. I'm not sure which disappointed me more.

  • unrelated - This site tantalizes and frustrates me. Several of the metal knot sculptures resemble works that I've made (or thought about making) out of Lego. The single impressive one that I've completed to date is the knobby sphere pictured here. It's sitting on top of my entertainment center right now, a fairly sizeable construction. I want to make a knotted ribbon sculpture one day. I think that I might go with flat plates instead of the bricks - which will give more strength to the resulting model, but will increase weight, cost, and build time dramatically.