Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Monday, March 01, 2004

  Memories on the day after the asteroid appreciation day party..

Drs T and A were no shows. Gnome girl insisted on staying home looking like this and in not meeting tall, mysterious men from foreign lands. Georgy sent her regrets, as did Walter. Sam didn't get the email til too late, and I haven't gone through the pile of mail I got from everyone else....

After hours of preparation, the party officially kicked off with the arrival of Ethanol at 4pm. He dropped off some memorabilia like Steve Jackson's Cyberpunks game and a couple of Tshirts that I always liked. Aaron came up with Jefe. Jefe wrestled with Linux 2.6.1's audio and lost. After which,I felt better about losing it myself. Captain Crunch came bringing two most interesting side kicks, Steve from Stockton and Mr D - from the East - who fell in love with the redwoods. By 6 Martin Kreig had already arrived with Faye and her daughter Chloe bringing a beach cruiser bike for Claire.

Andrew came from Satsang but I didn't recognise him - by then I couldn't remember what my own name was. Allan Lundell videotaped most of the event including performances by Rick Ednie, Jeff Stram, Rebecca and Gary Parks, and Claire Machado.

Allan told Claire and I about Digibarn.... and Brianna piped up later and said she wanted to go.

Note to Allan: I still don't believe that nanotech will get us out of any holes inside the gravity well before 2038. But it might get us around in light regime environments. Still willing to debate the subject.

Tom and Jen, the most wonderful neighbors, came with their two boys and rocked the house, and after stuffing the piano full of nickels and dimes, kept us rolling. Jen made the fabulous deviled eggs that only got eaten by the earlybirds. I happily got three. Rick Ednie played 'Eggs with my kisses' somewhere around there.

I missed Roy Kaylor entirely but luckily Claire made contact. He does conversions of fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles. I will have to ask him about RV conversions. Claire's ready for a new vehicle and wants more information too.

Brian M. assisted Claire unloading for the second time in the day bringing more food and entertainment for the kids. Brian plays one wacking good game of chess, next time we'll have to set up a couple of boards for us to play on all night.

My other neighbor, Linda, volunteered her gas grill because although there was plenty of food not one of these otherwise brilliant guests brought coal. Thankfully the chicken got thrown on quick and Faye picked up where Claire left off in the kitchen. (Claire took a break around 7 to rest up for her performance later. Instead of sleeping, she took a long hot shower, and packed up to come back again. She sang her songs inbetween other acts - and retreated back to the kitchen to get it ready for the next day. Mr D. kept her going with lively conversation about cultural differences and was the last to turn in. Unfortunately, she missed everybody who came Sunday.)

Many thanks to all who assisted with the cooking and the technical solutions implemented throughout the evening. Claire wanted to especially thank Aaron for loading out her musical equipment. I was especially grateful to Steve: who took apart my keyboard (after being filled with coins by Jen's kids) and brought it back to life - It worked the first time I turned it on, though it still has a dine that klinks in it. Its amazing how a mere 45 cents can wreak so much havoc in a system with tight tolerances.

I managed to build part of my "Back to the Future" ride in the garage but barely managed to get the sound plugged in after throwing a hissy fit.

I didn't tell anybody that my place was so deep in the mountains that there's no cell phone service. Geek after geek whipped out their latest piece of technology on arrival - a blackberry here, a bluetooth cell there - and discovered that they were cut off. Heh. Heh. Heh.

but they made do with wireless. Crunch entertained himself by going after spammers on his perpetual quest while listening to the evening's musical performances. Is he really better than a Bayesn algorhythm, I'm not sure... but what I can tell you is that he sorts email faster than anyone else I've ever seen.

When it all wound down, Gary and Rebecca got the honeymoon suite for the second time.. this one was a little more secluded. Crunch got my bed, a half dozen others got the floor - and I kept nodding off for a few seconds at a time by the door as the party raged on past dawn.

The shuttle tile



I didn't believe the space shuttle tile that Claire brought for show and tell was real so I put it to the test in the wee hours of the morning, after first googling for things like "shuttle tile fraud". I couldn't help but flash on all the million "genuine" pieces of Christ's actual cross brought in from exotic lands.... Claire didn't do anything but simply answer all of my impatient skeptical inquiries on how it came into her possesion. I was curious, because scratched on the front of it was 11/23/87. Claire explained it had been flown on that date. However, 1987 turned out to be a year with no documented flights. We kept googling.... More research disclosed piles of discarded tiles could have gotten into private possession. The government brought a lawsuit against a company that claimed they had a real one by legal possession from a military source - which was confirmed and the company was acquitted.

I didn't want to apply the blowtorch test to the shuttle tile. I thought it more cool as a symbol than as a discarded fraud - if I applied the blowtorch, frankly - I expected it to explode. I thought it was some type of funky plastic that would melt down like the wicked witch of the West or a small nuclear power plant.

Then, without batting an eye, claire told me I could apply the torch. With her assurance and permission, I placed it gently on the stove and turned on the flame on the gas stove at full blast and took it off with my fingers after several minutes. The tile was unchanged.

It was real.... I was profoundly moved. A tiny bit of faith in my universe got restored.

Music

My friends really hate it when I rewrite their songs but occasionally I feel the need to take liberties. Rick Ednie's "Rolling Blackout Blues" ran through my head sunday morning....

"This morning I arose, the smell of muffins and coffed 5 feet from my nose.
Hot blueberry and french roast, the best, I suppose"

After 6 minutes of sleep, while eating Claire's muffins, I watched Steve teaching Brianna about cryptography while making coffee for Crunch (with lots of sugar).

I am still revising this blog entry with pics.... more later


 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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