Yesterday's step one was to hit the store for a few things, because it was time for goulash. While I was there I got pinged by Og, who needed some electronic components, and who had offered to lend me a fancy ladder that would let me mask and edge the stairwell; I zipped home, grabbed my old box from my school days, made sure it had what he needed, and then headed over to the cave.
A couple of LEDs, a resistor of about 650 ohms, and a 9-volt battery connector. "I'll pay you for them," he offered. I declined. The cost of the parts is insignificant; what I saved him was shipping for them--or making a trip to Fry's, which would cost about as much in fuel and tolls, to say nothing of how much of a time-waster a trip like that otherwise is...and as much as Og travels for work, I'd bet the last thing he wanted on a precious weekend was more travel. I'm glad I was able to help him out, in however small a way.
We made sure the LEDs worked, and then chewed the rag for a while. First socializing I've done in months with anyone other than my wife.
Once home I got the goulash started, then started working on the front hall. Got a lot of masking done, took care of most of the spackling, and removed the electrical covers. Then I noticed how bad the outside of the front door looks.
Among other supplies for the house work, Mrs. Fungus bought me a box of Mr. Clean magic erasers, so I used one up trying to clean the door, to no avail. I can get it kind of clean, but not clean, so it's going to need a coat of paint. Interestingly enough, the dirt on the screen door yielded readily to the magic eraser, so I may only need to make mechanical repairs to it (replace screen, latch, etc) and then clean it thoroughly.
That's a task for another time, though. I'm doing the interior of the house, not the exterior, though the exterior has a laundry list of things that need attending to.
The important thing is that I made significant progress on getting the hallway ready for paint, and I have Og's fancy ladder in a position that will let me get at the ceiling over the stairwell. The ladder is sturdy and I've got it safely set up for the work that needs doing, but it still makes me nervous, so I want Mrs. Fungus to spot me while I tape up there...and that's all I'll do on that ladder, is mask the ceiling. I'll tape the edging brush to a stick to do the edging, and the roller on the pole will do for painting the wall.
Oh, heck, I know the ladder is sturdy and won't collapse, and it can't slip or tip far enough to let me fall, and even if it did I would not fall far...but I don't like chancing it. You know how it is.
* * *
I saw this, too: The Voynich Manuscript has finally been cracked. It was a big mystery, showing pictures of weird plants and written in an unknown language.
So some guy claimed he'd cracked it--the "unknown language" was abbreviated Latin:
The whole thing is in fact in the medical shorthand of the period. Any physician at that [time] would have had no trouble reading it. The subject of it is a treatise on women's health.Kind of like today, how an ordinary person can't understand what a doctor writes, because it's full of buzzwords and shorthand. "Take one tablet twice daily" becomes "1 [dose/unit/tablet/pill] BID" or sometimes even just "1 BID".
So the theory here is that the manuscript was written exclusively in highly abbreviated Latin in order to cram as much information into it as possible, and that's what made the text so impenetrable. It's a manual on womens' health.
I found that unsatisfying, but banal enough that it's probably true.
Not so fast, say medieval historians. The Latin translations, once expanded from the abbreviations, don't make a lot of sense, except in a few places. The "womens' health manual" part is probably so, they say, but that was something that they'd already figured out.
I don't know how much is true and how much is "not invented here" syndrome, but the net effect on my life is zero, so it really doesn't matter all that much.
* * *
Feynman lectures on physics now available on-line. One of the greatest minds in physics talks about the science and explains how it works.
* * *
$200 grand will buy you 400 square feet of housing in Hawaii or DC, or 2,300 in Indiana. But hey! In California it'll get you a whopping 700 square feet!
...probably don't need to point out the fact that these are averages, and the top three (California, DC, and Hawaii) are playgrounds of the very rich, so the top end of house prices in those areas are stratospheric.
* * *
Mrs. Fungus comes into the computer room.
Me: What are you doing?
Her: Watching Project Runway.
Me: Why are you in here, then?
Her: Don't ask me questions!
Me: Why not?
This is my life now.