[<< | Prev | Index | Next | >>]

Saturday, October 23, 1999

A Swarm of Rain, a Pheasant, and Circle Code

This morning brought a drizzle under the bright sunshine that floated around in the air like snowflakes. When it thinned out, it looked like tiny flies everywhere, flowing with the wind-- a swarm of rain.

Garrett* noticed a baby gecko, maybe an inch long, caught and sucked dry in a spider's web over the doorway.

We had mangled eggs and soy sausage for breakfast, with a side of avocodo (he had one side, and I had the other). The avocodo was the largest thing on the plate, and we realized it has become a staple. On that note, I put half of mine in the fridge.

Reichart* called, and will join us to meet Paul, Sera, and Laila tonight. Paul is Sera's s.o., the one who owns the house we stayed in when we first arrived. He spends most of his time travelling the world lecturing on the future of artificial intelligence. It will be interesting to see if we mesh or completely conflict. Most people who are successful talkers about anything generally believe what people want to hear and not what is actually true.

Garrett* has gone to get his truck safety inspected, now that he's replaced the windshield. In phoning for an appointment, he discoverred they charge $5 more if you have tinted windows, because they have to test the darkness of the tint. Garrett* informs me that his windows were technically too dark to be legal in California... His tires will probably also need to be replaced for lack of tread. I think by the time he has this thing registerred, it will be a new truck.

A pheasant justed walked by outside, picking bugs from the grass. It has a green and red head with a white collar and crest, on a brown spotted body with long tail feathers pointing straight back.

It looks a little nervous, as birds always do.

Mmmm... chicken...


Garrett* came back from his safety inspection with new tires from the worm hole (Costco), but still no certificate because they claimed his auto insurance (AAA) was no good here. We checked before we left. I have AAA too.

The propane is down to 5, and Garrett* and I are starting to feel like propane appliances ourselves due to the thickness of it in the air. I just turned it off.

We were supposed to hang out with Sera and Paul tonight, but they are not there. Gone, apparently, to get a new car for Sera. But Reichart* came anyway, and we hung out with him around a small table near the entrance of Casanova's. Big drinkers we all are, I think our entire order consisted of two cranberry juices between the three of us. Reichart* spoke much less this evening; he even pointed out himself that he tends to do a full dump upon first meeting people, to fully convey himself in short order, and then at some point he runs out of things to say and stops talking (so much, anyway :).

One of the questions he asks potential employees is to write a piece of code to draw a circle. I had to scribble my circle routine on a napkin for him, just because it's so amayzingly short (for one that doesn't use any of those slow trig functions...):

	for(x=0, y=r, e=r/2; x<=y; x++) {
		if (e-=x < 0)
			e += y--;
Yes, believe it or not, that draws a circle. It's actually not quite perfect -- for large circles, the 45's tend to be off by a pixel or two, but nothing you would notice visually. ("eightpoints" is a subroutine or macro that reflects x,y about the axes and 45's to make eight points out of one x,y pair). I figured it out when I was 16. I spent an entire day on it (mostly just deriving the fact that the slope of a circle is -x/y) and almost fell out of my seat when it actually worked!

[<< | Prev | Index | Next | >>]

Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com