February 22nd, 2005


Signs you may be a lousy housemate #624

I went out to weed the vegetable garden, and it was all frozen and unweedable. I'm pretty sure the good-housemate response to this is not, "Cool! I wonder if I can make an exploding pingo?1" and run and get the hose, is it? :) Even though I'm pretty sure if the vegetable garden exploded, there'd be no more weeds in it...

[1] An arctic hill created by some really neat permafrost interactions. They often grow a meter or two taller each year, like ice volcanos. Sometimes they explode.
  • Current Mood
    amused mad scientist

dreams and shadows

Saturday morning, we gave a presentation about That Damn Robot to the Seattle Robotics Society. It was interesting. Lots of people with lots of different experiences. One guy knew enough to ask me about Ziegler-Nichols tuning (and I even had an answer! Ha!); some of the others could not even get their heads around the fact that we'd written our own software.

As part of our presentation, we showed the video taken two years ago of the zero-gravity flight, of gfish trying to type on the laptop, except every time he hits a key, he pushes himself up towards the ceiling, of xmurf drifting facedown above the robot.

And watching, it dawned on me: I will do that. This year. This June. With my hair floating in an enormous and menacing white poof, like a dandelion gone to seed, and my legs bent into that odd zero-gravity crouch, the strange graceful shapes joints and muscles make when there's no gravity to fight, a long curved inkstroke, something out of an alien martial art, all mobius-strip dreams and gull-wing awakenings.

I just stared at the video with my mouth hanging open. It seemed like a great time for mental profanity, which always tempts me when language fails (swearing's a weakness and I try not to curse, try to accept that sometimes reality lives so deep I cannot expect to catch it in my rough and frayed verbal nets) but I couldn't think of anything strong enough. Maybe there aren't any words strong enough.

Sometimes there are these kinds of holes in reality, bright and shining. And I've already lost that active and overpowering understanding, the wingbeat of immanent dreams; it's gone off to wherever the anticipation of Christmas goes when we grow too old for it. But it'll be back.

Perhaps I shall have invented or discovered suitable profanity by then?
  • Current Music
    Evanescence - Bring Me To Life