Decompression braindump

March 4, 2010 – 2:32 am

Sacha… is awesome. (And engaged! Yay!) Most of my closest friends are guys, but the geek women I watch and admire (sometimes from comparatively afar – I am still shy) show me glimpses of something special – alternative futures. People sort-of-like-me living the sorts of lives and having the sorts of relationships I can maybe, maybe, maybe see for myself someday. Of course, there’s grad school first; I don’t expect to have (or want!) bandwidth for much other than work and school for quite a while.

When my mom visited Boston last month (it was a great visit, actually!) one of the things she brought up was this “psych test” (of the silly doesn’t-count-for-anything variety) that one of… my dad’s coworkers, I think… had asked them. You have 4 animals, a tiger, a lamb, a monkey, and a horse – what order do you get rid of them in (keeping one at the end)? You can’t ask questions about context (I did). My rationale and order:

  1. Nix the monkey. What am I going to do with a monkey? I also have opposable thumbs. Just let the monkey go wander on its own.
  2. Shear the lamb, have wool. Next, rather than maintain the lamb another year until its wool grows back, BBQ lamb. Yummy. Or, if not in survival context, just let the lamb out to wander around its own pasture.
  3. Set the horse loose. It’s useful for traveling for when I want to see interesting places and/or get somewhere fast, but if it’s too much to maintain, let it go find its own grass.
  4. Keep the tiger. I’m assuming it’s my tiger, trained well enough to do my will as necessary – in that case, it serves triple duty as companionship, protection, and hunter-of-food.

My mom started laughing. The way you’re supposed to “interpret” this one is that the monkey stands for friends/acquaintances, the lamb is your kids (“you would eat your children?” “wha-NO! I… but a lamb doesn’t do anything!”), the horse is your significant other, the tiger is your work. Apparently my dad kept the lamb for last, releasing the other animals in the order he thought they could fend for themselves. (“Poor little lamb. Someone has to take care of it.”) Whereas I… systematically proceeded to try to divest myself of all responsibilities.

She also asked me the one about “draw a picture with a forest, a house, you, a tiger, and a rabbit.” Again, no questions about additional context allowed. I was driving, so I just described it verbally – as best as I can remember, I said something like this:

Daytime, deciduous forest in currently-temperate climate, nestling a little house on 3 sides, facing front towards the picture, trees in front of it cleared for visibility. Tiger’s on the left, hanging out… bunny on the right, also hanging out… me standing outside by the house, watching them with great amusement. “Oh, it’s a tiger – fascinating!” (My mom: Won’t the tiger eat you?) Ahh, it’s not doing that in this picture. But if it did, it’d get to the rabbit first, and I’d go “Oh, the tiger is eating the rabbit – fascinating!” and if it started towards me, I’d just step inside the house and close the tiger-proof door and go “Oh, it’s trying to kill me – fascinating!”

“….iiiiinteresting,” said my mom.

The Olin OLPC chapter got interviewed (Spokeswoman Elsa Culler ;-) and profiled on Planet Sugar Labs. Here’s part 1, part 2, and part 3. Thanks, Polyachka! I’m looking forward to more of these.

Had an extremely educational day at the office (Max and Greg are here this week, yay!) I think it was far more important that I was present at what I was present at, learning what I learned, doing what I did… but I still have my deliverables to do between now and when I show up at the office tomorrow morning (summer coding, talking points, nailing down details on final POSSE list for this summer). So I’ve got… I reckon about 6 hours to do all that, plus sleep. Plenty of time.

This is all self-imposed, mind you. I want to get these done. I am driving myself through a brutal schedule right now. It feels like what I should be doing, for some reason. Tomorrow’s going to be about my OSDC article, filming some stuff for FI, finishing the RIT co-op evaluations, and a whole bunch of convos with Max about various items on my plate.

Sebastian also flew in for Candidates’ Weekend – it starts on Friday, but tomorrow is Jetlag Recovery Day, so today was Airport Arrival Day, Late Afternoon Version. I therefore left the Westford office early for the first time ever since I started working at Red Hat – last night was also pretty good on account of Greg and Max deciding it was time for the three of us to leave for dinner.

We executed Operation Stay Up Until A Reasonable Boston-Sleeping Hour, which involved stopping by Microcenter to get thumbdrives for Andrew to stress-test, coffee acquisition (tea for me) at 1369 and watching Avatar in 3D IMAX; the film was the major portion of Operation Stay Up, on the theory that Blue Aliens Making Things Explode is sufficiently entertaining as to combat sleepiness in anyone. This particular theater had subwoofers built into its seats. Mmmmm EXPLOSIONS. This was followed by a negotiation on tomorrow morning’s wake-up-alarm-setting-time. (“Sleep in.” “No.” “Really, it’s the only day you’re going to get to.” “I’m not going to keep you from going to the office.” “You’re not – it’s fine! Sleep!” “8am.” “Give me your cell phone (which is serving as the alarm-clock).” “8am.” “9am.” “8:30.” “8:30.”) On a somewhat related note, I’ve got Norah Jones sheet music for the piano and guitar right now, which delights me to no end because I’d been trying to pick out a bunch of her arrangements by ear, and now have an oracle for checking my work.

I do believe that Lynne May has gotten into the blogging habit about her SoaS desployment. This is WONDERFUL. If I’d known Scribefire would help with that earlier, I would have installed that Firefox extension for her years ago. I’ll write a better post on this for Planet Sugar Labs later on.

POSSEs are looking good for this summer in terms of “whoa, these will be great learning experiences for all those involved” – POSSE metrics-gathering, not so much. Marketing I need to spend more time on, but it has some nice momentum going (w00t team!) and Summer Coding needs a sprint, needs a sprint, needs a sprint. I lined up my script for tomorrow morning on all my deliverables stuff, so I’m going to sleep a couple hours and then wake up and crank through that script. But first… start laundry.

I’ve been spending a lot of time the past week or two just staying up extremely late at night with my laptop, reading, writing, and thinking – supposedly not getting much done during that time, for a couple hours a night. But things are happening, and this enables me to be much more productive for the remainder of the day; this is my decompression time, the way I chill out and think, the way I take some time alone, because the rest of the day is just so full with cool things and cool people that I don’t want to miss. Catching your breath is time well spent. I will run hard again in the morning.

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  2. Dec 15, 2010: [M]etabrain [E]ntry [L]og » Blog Archive » Whatever you are overflowing with will spill out when you are bumped.

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