Red Echo

October 30, 2007

Here’s an excellent presentation about API design. It’s just a series of slides in a PDF, but the text is boiled straight down to the essentials, and there’s a good point on every page.

October 28, 2007

I still don’t exactly know what my Halloween costume represented, but it seemed to be a success, especially after I buckled on my Burning Man holster belt and loaded it with party supplies. I wore black leather pants & boots, red suspenders, the front and collar of a tuxedo shirt (minus the rest of the shirt), and a matador-style cropped jacket, topped off with black eyeliner and a fedora. Sort of an old-west-stripper-gangster look, which somehow made sense for a mutant superhero/supervillain party, though I’m not entirely sure which side of the hero/villain divide I was supposed to land on.

I danced a lot, though the music at the Hive Mind party never really gelled for me. My feet still hurt.

October 27, 2007

It’s a nice grey Seattle day. I am sitting on the floor of my bedroom sewing. I still don’t know what I’m going to wear for the Hive Mind party, but that’s okay.

My room needs more light. Picture lights for my Mucha prints would be nice. I have an idea for a lamp that would sit on the dresser next to my globe, and project a fan of blue-green light up across the wall, but I suspect that this lamp does not actually exist, and I possess neither the glassworking skills nor the tools that would be necessary to fabricate it.

October 26, 2007

Just when I was starting to get interested in JavaScript (also known as “ECMAScript”), out came the draft specification for the next version. Hello, kitchen sink!

October 25, 2007

Michael T.’s Birthday

October 24, 2007

I have had an idea for a halloween costume filed in the back of my head for a couple of months, but now that it’s time to actually make it, I’m just not feeling inspired. I have a lot of ideas for clothes I want to make, but this project isn’t so much a clothing ensemble as a parody thereof, and it has come to feel more like an obligation than an opportunity.

Ah, well, screw it – time is too short to work on projects I don’t really care about. I have enough freaky clothes laying around to bodge something together for the Hive Mind party this weekend. How hard is it to look like a mutant when you have a wardrobe full of raver gear?

October 23, 2007

A new home for the Rocket Factory

It’s in a shipyard just west of the Ballard Bridge. It has 200-amp three-phase power, two skylights, a loft, a vehicle door, and plenty of shelves and workbenches.

October 20, 2007

Planting trees in the rain

Working on a decommissioned logging road in the Cedar River upper watershed protected wilderness area

October 19, 2007

Welcome to the Grand Lars Ball

October 18, 2007

There is something intense going on in my head that mostly doesn’t involve words, which makes it hard to explain or even to completely understand. I’m just letting that thread run, while periodically peeking in to see whether it has simplified itself enough to unpack yet. In the meantime I feel quieter, less extroverted than usual. I’ve done a lot of exploring and adventuring in the last year, and I guess now it’s time to do some consolidating and contemplating.

Most of my energy is going into work. My new responsibilities are heavy and unfamiliar, so I am spending a lot of time thinking about them and trying to learn how people keep up with all this stuff. The Art of Project Management, Debugging the Development Process, Rapid Development – there is a torrent of words going into my head and an equally vigorous stream of plans and reorganizations coming out. This is going to work; indeed, it’s already working, albeit (inevitably) more slowly than I had imagined. I look forward to the point where I can stop for breath.

October 17, 2007

The Mars Rover is in the shop and I am driving a Jeep Laredo for the next week. It’s a perfectly nice car, but I am spoiled.

October 11, 2007

Looking at a potential replacement Rocket Factory space with Adam and Janet. This building was aggravating – cool structure, great location, but a completely haphazard internal layout such that every room is someone else’s hallway.

October 10, 2007

JSON, for “JavaScript Object Notation”, is a lightweight structured data format which basically consists of the JavaScript syntax for object literals. It does many of same jobs XML is used for, with a lot less work, and I expect that JSON will rapidly take over what one might call the low-end data format space as the meme spreads.

JavaScript is an underappreciated language far more interesting than its Java-style syntax or browser-scripting context would suggest. It is a fully object-oriented language despite the fact that it has no classes; it is a “prototype-based” language, like Self.

I have no idea what “MooTools” is, but its parent company has a page with a nicely laid out series of steps for learning this language. Another good resource is Eloquent JavaScript, a well-written and comprehensive guide to the language.

October 9, 2007

Candace models the new pants

I’ve just finished the new blue/silver dancing pants. While they have their share of imperfections, I am very happy with the result. Each of my projects has been a little more ambitious than the last, and the sense of improving skill is definitely part of what makes this satisfying. My last pair of pants was a modified version of a commercial pattern; this time I continued with the same general design but made my own pattern from scratch. I also did a lot more with the quilted brocade design elements – more pieces and more complex curves.

I haven’t been as successful with the serger as I’d expected. I don’t know whether it’s just my inexperience, or some limit of the machine, but the seam-trimmer often seems to slip off track, and then the serger produces big thick folded-over seams. Come to think of it, this mostly seemed to happen when I’d try to stitch through the big seams with four layers of fabric and two layers of batting, so maybe I was just overloading the cutter. In any case I had to do a lot of restitching. I also can’t seem to find any adjustment that will give me a shorter stitch length. Oh, well, it’ll come in time.

Leftover fabric scraps are becoming a problem. It feels wasteful to throw them away and cluttery to keep them. I’d stash them all in bins at the Rocket Factory, but now that we have to clear the place out that hardly seems like a solution…

I just finished setting up a new webcam, and I’ve turned my spy page back on.

October 7, 2007

I spent a couple of hours today making a zipper fly and a waistband for the silver-and-blue pants. All that remain now are the button, the hems, and possibly belt loops. The serger hasn’t actually saved me any time yet, but it is a powerful tool and I expect great things once I can keep up with it. This is the fourth zipper fly I have made, and I finally feel like I understand how they work.

This afternoon Ali and Rose had a barbecue over at Kismet to celebrate Rose’s birthday, though a steady Seattle drizzle kept everything but the grill inside. Having failed to plan ahead, I picked up pancetta, brie, tomatoes, and some French bread on the way over; after turning these into bruschetta, everyone thought I had done it on purpose. Yay for improvisation. Dana and Carina’s daughter Eowyn made up a complicated game involving brain-hungry zombies that amounted to having me chase her around and growl. Adam and Janet brought an astonishing cake made of raw cookie dough and frosting, which was apparently just the sort of thing Rose was hoping for. And it was basically just a happy few hours with friends.

Went to St. Mark’s for the compline service. Now I’m going to read about a boat trip down the Ganges and sleep.

October 6, 2007

I hiked up to Snow Lake with Dawn. Slightly wet weather but really not bad, and the mist made the colors stand out. I’ve posted more pictures on flickr.

Home just in time for Alexis’ amazing steak and swordfish dinner.

October 5, 2007

Making new dancing pants

October 4, 2007

This serger is fun. I played with different scrap materials last night and ended up with a sort of peaky hat/giant pocket thing and a blue furry raver sweater for someone’s pet snake. It is definitely going to take some more practice before I can get the seams as straight as they need to be, and I have no idea how to re-thread the machine, but I can already tell that it is going to save a lot of time.

October 3, 2007

Rainy day brownies

October 2, 2007

New toy: a serger

I’ve never used a serger before, but the prospect of stitching, trimming, and finishing a seam in one pass has an obvious appeal. Besides, most of my projects involve stretchy knit fabrics, which work best with an overlock stitch.

Looking for a new shop space

It’s big. It has parking, 220 power, two roll-up doors at street level, and an unreasonable amount of loft storage. It makes me want to start a business worthy of the space. We’re not going to rent it.