Today was a different in a good way day. There was an actual fire at work, something small in one of the semiconductor labs in my building. It was a bit strange, the first fire truck arrived, and then a few minutes later a second one, and then a third. By the time the third one showed up 10min into the ordeal we knew it was not a drill or a farce. The whole thing took maybe an hour and a half, but it canceled the 2:00 meeting that I decided I should goto. That, of course, got me off the hook that I personally hooked myself on, and it was a good thing.
When I got back to the office there was an e-mail about flying kites with camera’s over Boston with the guy from xkcd. Which, having missed the first time around, I was determined to goto. I ended up driving all the way to campus (default reference for the word campus has been changed to MIT’s main campus; consider this the memo), which violates my rule of not driving closer to the city than my apartment. But I was running late as it was and it was hot and humid and unhappy out so I drove, which also meant I wasn’t conspicuously carrying my acrobatic kite on the T (which I would totally do now, just hours later). It took me too long to find a parking spot where I could reasonably believe that I would not be towed or ticketed, but it was worth it as my car was still there when I went back for it 5 hours later. Not 5 hours of flying kites, a group from the kite flying went to dinner and then to play guitar hero at an MIT dorm. Not my first time in one, see the fireworks post. But this time I met a lot of new people, including some of those responsible for the hack at the xkcd @ MIT talk. Everyone was quite friendly, and well I’m sure I’ll be wishing I’d even attempted to goto MIT for undergrad if I hang out with MIT undergrads any more. I think I can deal with that.
So the kite flying, well I showed up a bit late, but just in time for writing on the kite in case it was lost, complete with URL, email, and of course a comic, of a kite being flow with the URL and email on it. On the first test flight the kite crashed into Simmons Hall, but it was able to relaunch from there with only some manipulation of the line and was safely recovered. That building, by the way, uses 1 foot square windows to make it seem huge and far away, its a very interesting illusion and it works well. Meeting Randell was cool, I didn’t actually meet him at the MIT talk because, I was rather busy that day, and he was swamped with adoring fans. Today he was really interested in meeting everyone.
Eventually there will be pictures at http://xkcd.com/kite/ from this run of the kite. As you will see from the pictures the kite few much father into Cambridge than it did last time. By all estimates the kite got higher than the first attempt, and definitely more string was let out. In the end it crashed onto the track/football field which was out of sight from the athletic fields, but recoverable!
Next time they go kite flying, which may be this weekend if it occurs before I have to leave for Vegas for work on Sunday, I am going to be flying my little acrobatic kite, that I keep in my car at all times. Yes that’s right I get to spend my birthday in Vegas on the office dime, score! I really need to decide how I plan to protect the kite for my trip (via airplane) to the Outer Banks in a few weeks, any suggestions? This post really feels like I could just do a lot of free association and delve off into many other topics, but I think I’ll just save those for another time.