2013-07-26

Take A Toy To Work Day

In which The Cat In The Hat goes to work with Daddy.

(It is a G+ album because that's a little neater than what I can present here; each picture has a small message that I wanted Nathan to read to me so that he could share in the cat's adventure.)

2013-07-24

2013-07-12

Miracle On Minmus

I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!! I RESCUED IT!!!

(Context.)

Wiggling the steering started it slipping down the hill, and a little application of forward and back power -- and it gracefully tipped back on its wheels!

Miracle On Minmus
I suppose this is what the robot programs at NASA do -- fiddle with everything before abandoning the robot.

Well, now I have a functioning robot on Minmus!  I wonder how I'll lose it.

Amazing Amanda (previously Minmus-1j)
greets the dawn on Sol-1.

Closer, But Not Usefully So

So continuing on in the Minmus-1: A Chronicle Of Failure...

I spread Minmus-1h and -1i at high speed across a mountain side on Minmus. It is the same mountain, as a matter of fact, which gave me some handy visual reference distances when on final approach with Minmus-1j.

This landing was slightly more successful, although not usefully so:

Too much lateral movement and too much of a slope
makes Dave a sad boy.
 
The title just about sums it up.  

I can spin the wheels but not do anything else with it. Maybe if I'd staged off the lander just before landing (and bounce) it would have either not rolled, or rolled one more quarter turn. Maybe if the rover had landed with its wheels facing in the direction of travel I could have caught it. Maybe... well.

Although it does occur to me that if I do actually succeed, I can "rescue" -1j by tipping it over with a more successful rover...

Kerbal and Mun rising in the background make it an interesting image, though.

And now I have more litter on the mountain side to act as a visual reference.  This is the debris field:

Hope there's no local littering ordinance.

2013-07-06

Time for a change

Sometimes, change comes easier to me than I really expect it to.

About two months ago, I noticed that my watch was ten minutes slow.

Jokes about alien abduction and "missing time" aside, this disturbed me because I rely on my watch to tell me what time it is.  More so than the average person, I suspect, I am a little obsessive about knowing what time it is.  So suddenly being in a position where I didn't know what time it was was very disturbing.

I reset the watch and carried on.  A couple of weeks later, the watch was suddenly five minutes slow.

This really put me into  a situation because now I was wearing a device that I couldn't trust.

At work, I am the documentation chaser.  I am always on people to create and update documentation, for my use and for the rest of the team.  And one of my principles is that the only thing worse than no documentation is wrong documentation

Similarly, the wrong time is worse than not knowing what time it actually is.

So I stopped wearing my watch.

I've worn a watch pretty much nonstop since I was 12, so call that 30 years or so.  And I worried that I would not be able to make the transition to not having a timepiece on my wrist at all times.

It turns out that the time is usually close at hand even when I don't have a watch.  We are surrounded by clocks and appliances with clocks and computers and tablets and phones.  So I end up with only a very few daily instances when I don't have immediate access to the current time.

I have adjusted far better than I expected.

Maybe I am not so set in my ways as I thought I am.

2013-07-04

Polar-ish Orbital Insertions

In which I accidentally discover a cool trick.