An experiment in chill

October 16, 2009

Check it. @mewdriller and I are bringing some natural light and water sounds (not obvious in the picture) to the ICC office. We get some looks.


Seriously, I’d starve to death first…

October 16, 2009

Crispy Cones!

Give me a break…

October 15, 2009

I want to be a fictional scientist too!

Aaaaaaand it’s winter

October 15, 2009

Remember fall? Me neither. Fall seemed to come and go faster than I was able to come up with a cute way to say how quickly fall came and went. Yea, it’s like zero here (well, 44, but what’s the difference?).

This has made it so much harder to get back onto a polyphasic schedule. I barely remember resetting my alarm this morning at 5. This is what I remember: it was Fargo-cold in my room–the only thing missing was Steve Buscemi and a wood chipper–and my survival instincts kicked in. And I don’t know about you, but my survival instincts are very passive-aggressive. “Oh, sure,” my survival instincts like to say, “it’s warm and safe here in bed, but you go ahead and leave. I wouldn’t get up right now, because it’s nutsackshrinkingly cold out there, but you’ve made it this far calling the shots. I’m just your survival instincts, don’t mind me. I’m not here.” And so on.

So I gave in. Passive-aggression gets me every time.

In other news, I’ve been working on my first Arduino project. I’m building a binary clock with a solderless breadboard (so dumb…always solder) 10 LEDs and a piece of cardboard box. The hours will display on top and the minutes on the bottom. If an ‘x’ represents an LED in the on position and ‘o’ represents off, 10:05 would be xoxo oooxox, 1:30 would be ooox oxxxxo, noon would be xxoo oooooo. And so on. Quick binary lesson: 00000001 is one, 00000010 is two, 00000100 is four, 00001000 is eight, 00010000 is sixteen, 00100000 is 32, 01000000 is sixty-four and 10000000 is one hundred twenty eight. Then you can add them: 00000011 is three, 00000110 is six, 11111111 is 255 and so on.

And now a link to someone who has already crushed me in the LED-clock-making trade.

Well, I’m sitting here missing Julie, thinking about going back to being a vegetarian and whether or not I should take up binge eating to deal with the cold.  All possible zacklab experiments.  Well, this feels like the end.  More experimenting to come, dear readers, but for now, I’m off to brave the tundra for a brisk jaunt home.


October 14, 2009

Polyphasic: I’m Back…

October 13, 2009

…and I got a chance to play with lovelycharts. If you like making charts you will ❤ this.

With very burned fingers, I write to you from zacklab

October 11, 2009

Hour three, my soldering-iron-induced second degree burns continue to swell and blister on my left thumb and forefinger.  Typing the word ‘the’ hurts pretty bad (though not as much as the word ‘pretty’) and I have lost my ability to be an ambi-spacer.  I spent four hours soldering a paperduino today and that was not a good idea.  Two reasons–the first: it turns out that building a paperduino takes something like four-hundred hours (I’m exaggerating, but it’s a lot) and the second reason: because the paperduino uses paper instead of printed circuit board, you have to connect every individual component with wire and solder.  Somewhere in the second or third hour of soldering tiny components together and making sure that there were still nanometers of padding between the bird’s nest of exposed wires, hot metal and circuit components, I decided to move the metal stand holding the soldering iron to make the process a little safer (wouldn’t want to get burned, would I?).  What I failed to grasp was that a metal stand in contact with a hot iron for two and a half hours will be hot.  What I succeeded in grasping was a near-molten-hot soldering iron stand.  It felt like cupping the devil’s ballsack.  Seriously.

If you are thinking about getting into playing with the Arduino, just shell out the $25 and buy one.  As I continue to work on my first Instructable–code named “Project Sunrise”–I plan to use the Arduino I got from Adafruit.  Today’s class wasn’t all bad.  I learned how to solder and got many many hours to practice.  In the future, I’ll just have to remember to better respect hot things, lest zacklab be burned to the ground.

I’m not dead yet…I feeeeeel happy! I feeeeeel happy!

July 10, 2009

For those of my non-existent readers that pinned the title of this post as an homage to Monty Python’s Holy Grail, sorry to disappoint, but it’s just the result of random neurons firing in a sleep deprived brain. Ironically, so was that sentence. And that one. The odds of this all making some sense are getting pretty long at this point. It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

Well, here we are, day 9 in all its wonder. I’m still having trouble adjusting. The past two days, I’ve woken up at 3am feeling delirious. Yesterday, I had to shower, rub my eyes with ice cubes, do somewhere between 50 and 75 pushups, play intense first-person shooters, bust out a few dance moves and jumping jacks, and take a walk to the end of the block and back–all before 6:00am–just to stay moderately awake!! It was miserable. However, my first nap (6:30 to 6:50am) has been glorious this whole week. I sleep on this little love seat at work with my legs hanging over the edge–I’m 6’2″ and the couch is probably 4′–and have been 1.) dreaming and 2.) waking up with a clear head and most of my fine motor skill intact.

So, my naps have been the silver lining this week as far as the mechanics of sleep go. I love having a lot of extra time, and if these mild sleep deprivation symptoms (malaise, drowsiness, decreased motor function and loss of ability to function in society) never go away, I’m still a polyphasic convert. In the last 7 days, I’ve made homemade bread, pasta and scones, kept my kitchen impeccably clean, showered consistently (something that is pretty easy to forget when you go to work in a coffee shop at 6am) and had a feeling of profound control over my life: work doesn’t dictate that I wake up early, I do.

Well, I’m off. I have a nap scheduled in 3 hours and things to get done in the meantime.

Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy

July 6, 2009

I’m not visually hallucinating yet. Not yet. But I have had a few auditory blips come and go. For a couple mornings, I’ve been positive that Julie is awake and coming down the hall to tell me to be quiet. Maybe it’s paranoia and hallucination combined. I’ve woken up from a couple naps having no idea where I was. Over the weekend I did 4th of July at my mom’s and had to take one of my naps. 30 minutes later, I woke up in my childhood bedroom with no real recollection of how I’d gotten there. That was a serious trip.

A couple days ago, I walked into the living room where Julie was playing Tetris 2. I was apparently mumbling about a dog and how I’d heard it barking and was worried that it might not be ok. Julie said she hadn’t heard any barking. A few minutes later, we both heard the barking–I had set my phones timer (presumably in my sleep) and chose a barking dog as the alert noise.

But with the exception of very early this morning, I’m feeling great right now. I’m looking forward to writing about something other than sleep soon, but ive been so worn out during the adaptation process that I can think of little else.

Well, shit — Polyphasic Day 5

July 6, 2009

It’s 3:35am Monday morning and I can barely keep my eyes open. And it took almost 30 second to write the first sentence. Reading Steve Pavlina’s sleep blog, I noticed that the worst day for him was day 5, but he was on the Uberman schedule, which takes less time to adjust to than the 3-nap Everyman.

I feel miserable. On a tiredness scale of 1-10, I’m an 8.5 or 9. Everything was going pretty well until yesterday morning. On Saturday, I woke up at 3 with no problems whatsoever, made scones, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, did laundry, went to a farmers’ market on my bike and then grabbed coffee and breakfast around the corner all before 9am. Yesterday, I woke up at 3 and felt groggy until my 5:30 nap. At 5:30, I closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until 9:30! The extra sleep destroyed me. And it likely set me back.
This morning I was ready to throw in the towel. Seriously, I’m not sure what stopped me from climbing back into bed. I don’t know where this polyphasic sleep case study is going. It may very well be a day or two away from being history. For now, however, the kitchen is filthy and could use some attention.