Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Catching up: birthdays, memory, festivities, cupcakes

Sometimes a weekend's perspective is all it takes to fix broken code.

I'm working on regridding a bunch of land/ocean masks to a different spatial resolution. On Friday, the code took twenty minutes to run and produced some stripes that probably would have looked nice on a sweater, but were not helpful for analyzing climate change. Today, I looked at the same code, moved some short-circuiting if statements outside the relevant loops, deleted a stray statement that was clobbering the height calculation, and now it runs in 20 seconds and produces landmasses. (Now I just have to do special-case stuff for the poles and the prime meridian.)

Catching up from, um, last Wednesday? God I am lame.

Thursday: We watched something netflixed. Something anime. I think. Or maybe we did something else. I can't remember, because I am OLD and my brain is full and all my memories get moved to offline storage almost immediately, so it takes me a long time to remember things if I don't have contextual triggers. My grandmother, who is 93, complains about not being able to remember things, and I'm sure that some of that is that your brain gets older and things like minor strokes don't help, but I really think that a lot of it is that by the time you're 93 (or 34, if you live in the Information Age), you have filled your brain up with memories and other information, and the more stuff you've got in there, the longer the associative network takes to dredge up any particular memory. If you ever hear of any good mental defragging techniques, let me know, won't you?

Oh, and I took the car in for maintenance, too. They fixed a couple things (nail in tire, burned-out tail light) while they were working on it, but for my extended warranty to cover the expensive things (the turn-signal clicker is starting to go off at random times), we'll have to take it all the way down to the dealership where I bought it, which will be a big pain.

I also went shopping for Jerry's birthday and did "field work", watching one of the end-users interact with the data I'm producing "in the wild". I had to do all this without the car, of course, because I am so good at scheduling, but I managed to be clever with buses and it wasn't bad at all. Hurrah for EcoPasses!

Friday: Nasty greasy snow in the morning made me slide into a curb as I was dropping Jerry off at school (unless that was another day and I'm misremembering because I am ANCIENT and SENILE), but otherwise the day was unremarkable. Left early to get home by 5 so we could carpool with Bryree down to G&C for Tom & Jerry birthdayness. Karen made chocolate cupcakes with cherry filling that were v. tasty, and which came in clever Josh-designed packaging. There were Nevilles and Floyds and Gamaches, as well as a Kate and a Sarah and a Mel and probably others who I'm not remembering. Played a few hands of mahjongg. Had a fine time.

Saturday: Saturday afternoon we spent at Hina Matsuri, the Japanese Doll Festival, down in Arvada. It was very cool, and I'm going to give it its own post.

Saturday evening was Eberron again. We finally have equipment! W00t! Jeff is doing a really good job of running a horror RPG. I think that it's often difficult to mix horror and RPG, because horror stories rely on helplessness, and in most tabletop games, the PCs are anything but helpless. Heck, most adventures are built around fighting monsters, not trying to get away from them. And you can't really take away the characters' ability to fight back, or you're in danger of violating the unspoken compact between players and GM that players have control over the characters and the GM has control over everything else. In this campaign, he's found a clever away around that by putting the horror in the past. See, all our characters have five years of amnesia. During that time, things happened to them, and some of them, we're starting to find out, were bad things. Because they have already happened, we're helpless to change them. And because they happened in "backstory land" (during a time when our characters quite literally weren't themselves), it doesn't break the rules of what is okay for the GM to impose on the players. So it works pretty well. When one of the PCs gets a flashback memory to being strapped to a table, cut open, and shown the evil, black, extra heart in his chest... well, it's pretty darn creepy. (Mitigated only somewhat by it being the warforged who failed the Will save and had the flashback, making it an extra fibrous-organlike-heart-equivalent instead of a heart.) Also creepy: when someone finally makes the Spot check to break the posthypnotic conditioning and notice that everyone has a big old scar from navel to sternum...

Sunday: Noir night featuring lots of leftover cupcakes. I was feeling intermittently deeply antisocial, so I hid in the bedroom now and again. Watched Murder, My Sweet, which is one of the Philip Marlowe stories by Raymond Chandler. I missed some of the beginning to a phone call from my uncle, so I wasn't following very well, but the dialogue was pretty entertaining.

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