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I get a lot done when I'm being antisocial - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 29th, 2013

08:57 am - I get a lot done when I'm being antisocial

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We were supposed to go to Castlepoint this weekend, but I was feeling like Not Being Social after my whirlwind week of trying to charm strangers and come across as intelligent, and Dr Wheel was feeling laid low after having a flu shot, so we flagged the destination party in favour of home comfort and people we know well. It was the right choice.

TBH, I'm not sure how I feel about destination parties. It kind of obliges you to commit a lot more time and money to helping someone celebrate than you normally would - which is fine if it's a rare event to celebrate something Super Extra Special - but it also excludes those who haven't the resources to get to the destination, and when every event is a destination one, it also starts to feel like an unnecessary pressure. I want to support and celebrate X good thing, but I don't want to dedicate several hundred dollars and 2-3 days of my time to it on a regular basis, you know? Does that make me a bad person?

Anyway, we stayed home and it was just what the doctor ordered.


We went to the Makertorium on Saturday morning. This was a free-entry event where folks who like to fiddle with things were fiddling with things in front of people, and you could talk to them about what they were doing and about maker spaces in general. 3D printers abounded, and also abounding, or maybe just bounding, was one Farmgeek, who was wearing an expression somewhat akin to a Labrador when you grab the car keys as he hopped from one display of innovation to the next. I swear that lad's a 3D addict.

I was actually kind of surprised at the monopoly that 3D printers seem to have on making at the moment. It seems that about 50% of the displays were to do with them in one way or another. One group I talked to could now set one up for $500 - that's about the same as a high-quality smartphone. So while Maurice Williamson's vision of people printing out sheets of E at parties might be a joke right now, the other bit where there's likely to be a 3D printer in every home soon is not so stupid.

Anyway, there were also copters (not quadcopters, many of these had 6-8 rotors so I want to call them multicopters), one of which was capable of carrying 12kg - a decent sized small child - for about 10 minutes. And games, and robot wars, and flashy light toys, fancy furniture designs, a beautiful form of dyeing that involved capillary action that took advantage of liquid's natural tendency to flow towards the stitched bits... it was pretty cool. There were also some blokes who had a spot called The Menz Shed, who were very confused when they told me it was where you send the men to to get rid of them, and I responded with "Why on earth would I want to do that?" I mean seriously, is it that hard to grasp that a woman might actually like being around a man? And that she may even *gasp* want to tutu around in sheds as well? You will be pleased to note that I didn't get in their face about it, I just told them the Menz Shed was not for me, and walked away. Shame, they had some nice things they'd made.

Meanwhile, in the Inclusive Multigender Shed That Is Actually Our Dining Room Table, I now have half the Brainfart (that is, 12 strips) up and running, thanks to an afternoon or two of soldering. Witness my raptness at the influence of Dr Wheel and his "Let's make it scaleable!" catchcry, as I changed 2 parameters within the code (should be one but I bruteforced something early on in a debugging session and haven't yet changed it back) and it ran the test pattern for more than twice as many pixels, just like that. Magic!

Now I have to work out how to do the other half. My brain is getting tangled up in which way to send the data through the chain, given that the controller will be in the middle. I can make it work as a mirror image or a repeated sequence, and I'm not sure which will be most efficient, especially when I start asking it to run swirl patterns. Probably neither actually, since the pixels are individually addressable. But for some reason, in my head I think that a sequenced approach would work better. I would like to talk to someone who understands about these things, but I suspect it might be a conversation better had in person. Hmm.. I don't even know what search terms to use to google it. Yikes!

Witness my diving in the deep end of something I know nothing about, and getting caught up on silly questions. Again.


This weekend I also planted bulbs. Thank you, Northern Hemisphere folks, for posting pictures of spring all over the show. It reminded me that if one wants tulips and daffodils in spring, one has to put them in the ground in late autumn. I fully expect glorious displays in a couple of months' time. You hear me, contrary pot garden? *glares at contrary pot garden* This is what I want:



This is what I will probably get:



But I keep trying. That's worth something, right?

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:April 28th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Was anyone else expecting tutu the noun? I was...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 28th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
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Well, given the eventual format of the Brainfart, it's kind of a bit of both.
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From:rivet
Date:April 28th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
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I also totally understand the exhaustion that comes with being 'on' and brainy around lots of strangers in an overstimulating environment, even when it's awesome. Good on you for spotting it and doing the thing close to home with known quantities <3

Edited at 2013-04-28 11:07 pm (UTC)
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From:downwardlashes
Date:April 29th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
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"The Inclusive Multigender Shed That Is Actually Our Dining Room Table" lol! Why be with someone that you don't actually want to be around? IDGI.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 29th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
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Apparently we as women are supposed to kick the menfolk out of our domain (the house) so we can get on with doing Woman Things without them underfoot. Meanwhile, I think they are supposed to do Man Things (like make chairs) in the shed, which is their domain. Or something like that anyway.

I dunno, I'm happy to make chairs on the dining room table, and if my partner wants to hang out and do things at the same time, that's awesome. We can get our geek on together.

Gender roles, we're doing it wrong.
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From:pundigrion
Date:May 1st, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a lot more fun to me!
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From:dreadbeard
Date:April 29th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
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I think I should put that title on a shirt. :)
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From:meathiel
Date:April 29th, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
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Makertorium sounds interesting ... though I'd rather have expected a womenz shed than a menz one at a place like this.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 29th, 2013 05:41 am (UTC)
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Pretty much all of the other displays were pretty well gender balanced - it was great to see!

Just these guys, and their shed, all forlorn..
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From:bewarethefish
Date:April 29th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC)
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The Menz Shed concept actually seems like quite a good way to address the issue of cranky old hermits isolating themselves away from the rest of the world and the ensuing societal problems that can create. Here's some reading on the subject: http://www.communitymatters.govt.nz/vwluResources/WCMFReport09Bruce/$file/WCMFReport09Bruce.pdf
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From:grist
Date:April 29th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
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If you want to talk about optimising compilers and how they affect your coding style in the realm of microcontrollers, I have done some reading.

Get your people to contact my people, we could do lunch (or something).

Edited at 2013-04-29 01:54 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:April 29th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
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I like this idea. Although, optimising compilers sounds more advanced than my skills right now. ;-)

Wednesday or Thursday?
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From:grist
Date:April 30th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
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You're already using one. :)

AVR-GCC is a port of GNU-GCC, which is an optimising compiler.

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From:tatjna
Date:April 30th, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
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Yikes. I think I just revealed the extent of my ignorance. ;-)
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From:grist
Date:April 30th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
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Hehe, I wouldn't worry too much. Many people successfully program Arduinos without even realising they're using C/C++.
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From:vernacularity
Date:April 30th, 2013 06:12 am (UTC)
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by "destination party" do you mean a party at a relatively distant destination? where you not only go to the party but you are committing to being in the destination eg for staying overnight etc.

I like them sometimes, as long as I have my own transport (for various reasons including the ingrained need to be totally in charge of my own exit strategy, unencumbered) but anyone choosing to live in such a destination / location is pretty much wholeheartedly swallowing the pill of bitter isolation anyway, and anyone just choosing to hold their event there has got to be aware that it is a right royal pain in the arse for most, and that they are demanding far more of people in such a way as to force people to make a big choice of balancing various life factors in the decision of whether to attend. I guess it guarantees that only people who really want to be there will be there, and only people who are invited!
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From:tatjna
Date:April 30th, 2013 06:19 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that's the one. Where everyone goes there for the party and generally stays overnight. I've been invited to weddings that are a bit like that - one that I got invited to was in Fiji, and there was no way I could afford to go.

It's not a biggie, but they do demand a commitment of both time and money, and in this case, is the second one within a year that has happened with the same people.
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From:vernacularity
Date:April 30th, 2013 06:28 am (UTC)
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I'm having a van party. Destination, Invercargill! Invite list: ME!
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From:brynhilda
Date:April 30th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
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Some of my tulips are in full bloom right now...I really should take some photos soon, before they start to wither. And I'm hoping to have some lilies-of-the-valley again overhere soon...my favourites among all flowers:).
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From:pundigrion
Date:May 1st, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
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I am a scrooge so I like destination events. Makes it easier not to go!
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