vertical graphic    

small red square Saturday morning I was at the Sunnyvale "Trader Joe's". Waiting in the lines I observed a young mother in the adjacent queue shepherding her two charges which seemed to be named Billy and Hillary. Bill was the younger, but Hillary the greater challenge to the frazzled mom; both were being annoyingly mischievous. Much bemused eyebrow-raising amongst others in line, hearing those two names being called in exasperation. Their ages did seem to be less than seven; one can barely imagine somebody christening their offspring such back then... I wonder if their family was blessed with a third child now, another girl, how would she be named?

small violet square Later, afternoon: I was hanging out at the high-class glasses store in the Stanford Shopping Center, flirting with Rose like last year. Once more I'm trying for acceptable specs in these `designer' "Oliver Peeples" frames (with the updated prescription I just got). She easily persuades me to pay more for premium add-ons & upgrades, though never as much as she'd like - it's a pleasant struggle.

small gray square At work Sunday I was alone, alternating between actual computing and watching "The 400 Blows" in the conference room. Those lacking familiarity with the movies of François Truffaut may be snickering at this film's title, as it suggests something vulgar; but I know it as the first of the four biographical "Antoine Doinel"s. This one's a wonderful black & white window into late-1950's Paris. <1> I've only seen it once before, twenty years ago in my parents' basement on a small portable television tuned to PBS. As for the work, such a lot of bother. Getting closer to a solution but not there yet, despite much time spent this weekend. The system I'm building/augmenting/maintaining is quite complicated; until now I've generally only needed to be concerned with one or two out of a dozen of its component applications. This problem's so big that it involves inter-process communication and the fix may be to a lot of areas. Sheesh!

small diamond graphic

small cyan square I've had one of my neon tubes lit for several days now, the tinted blue one which "snakes". This is what the effect's called where the tube of light within the glass tube moves. In my case about three inches at one end (or electrode) revolves slowly, which is nice; and about a foot in the middle flickers irregularly, which is not. Nobody knows what causes this effect; impurities are traditionally blamed (though how such can survive the bombarding phase of glass bending is beyond me). Another unexpected inner-tube neon effect is called "jelly beans" - I've seen this happen once (and only once) in my first neon tube, the `clear blue' ellipse which N has attached to his ceiling. Instead of the usual smooth tube of light, several regularly-spaced constrictions made a few inches at one end look like a string of beads - I called them diamonds, but it seems that the jargon term for this standing wave is jelly beans. Check for these effects in blue or clear neon tubes <2> that have been left on for long periods.

small yellow square Catching up on the journal called "Self-Realization Through Profanity" - this entry is why I like him.

PBS - Public Broadcasting System
« Previous | Next »
Email to Home        

<1> Lots of it's kids walking or running through the streets, tracking shots from upper floor windows opposite; and the soundtrack just light instrumental music. I love that stuff.

<2> Many are coated so you can only actually see the true spark-light in the inch or two at the clear electrodes.