The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Spec of the Day #2129

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Working through the last of the prep work for App Academy, line by line, test by test. I leave the lab at the end of next week, and start siphoning my time into coding the following Monday.

Next year is going to feel very different from this one, for me and for so many of my friends. It should be a good time.

I do love you

Written by Umbrella Man

July 22, 2014 at 12:31 am

Posted in pixels

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Swing of the Day #2128

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Swing of the Day #2128

Laurel and I went on a trek through the city today, without any particular plan besides making a visit to a cat. It seemed a perfect cursory tour, as everywhere we went we could find people bringing the city alive in their small ways.

These firefighters had closed off a street for their traditional Stickball game, shouting and running, keeping the game flowing, knocking the ball out over the rooftops; people outside the Exploratorium had turned a set of seats on rails into an odd skating game; behind a dry fountain a small dance class was hidden, with motley strangers in casual clothes shuffling to Michael Jackson; bicyclists turned the wharf into a playground, hopping onto benches, standing steady on their rear wheels as easily as I do on my feet.

There are so many different kinds of scenes bottled up out there – Grace Cathedral; the glowing stock tickers of the financial district; Danilo’s tiny apartment and the aluminum alley behind it; the trinkets and spices in China Town; an old record store packed so tight with music and instruments that you have to squeeze in sideways to reach some of them; parks and playgrounds and plazas; hidden quiet neighborhood wreathed in greenery.

So many lives in so many different shapes out there – it would be worth it to live in the city for a time.

are you feeling better now

Written by Umbrella Man

July 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Posted in people, strangers

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Photo of the Day #2127

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Photo of the Day #2127

Sam held a housewarming party today, inviting his friends and colleagues, and with barbecue and bonfire I think we left his new home well-warmed. The party began, as these parties often do, with people sticking to their familiar circles, but as time went on we came together more and more.

Before night fell I mostly kept close to Simon, Dan and Consuelo here. I like them quite a bit – I’ll miss them when I go.

The Prettiest Weed

Written by Umbrella Man

July 20, 2014 at 12:24 am

Posted in colleagues, people

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Pigeon of the Day #2126

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Pigeon of the Day #2126

I made my way out to Oakland to see the doctor today – my first checkup in years. A little crew of pigeons was wandering about at the train station, as pigeons commonly do, but several of them had made themselves comfortable on the sun-warmed concrete, heating their bellies, feet completely vanished into their mass. This one let me come quite close before I made it too uncomfortable, so we get to see some rare details; the beak is a strange, squishy sort of thing.

My blood has been drawn and my arm is sore, and thanks to our brilliant medical scientists I am now better protected from the elements. Here’s to your health.

the ballad of the space babies

Written by Umbrella Man

July 18, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Posted in animals, birds

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Star of the Day #2125

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Star of the Day #2125

Most of my stars hang on the wall, glowing dimly when the lights go out, but this one is special. It floats above the lamp, basking in its warm light, and shines so brightly that it almost casts a comet tail. Laurel always calls it the North Star when we’re falling asleep.

Lots of work today, and plenty to do tomorrow. Tired, but not ready to rest yet.

calling on his ear

Written by Umbrella Man

July 18, 2014 at 12:00 am

Posted in Miscellany

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Lunch of the Day #2124

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Lunch of the Day #2124

A rare lunch with some of the lab at the delicious Sliver, whose pizza philosophy follows that of the legendary Cheeseboard. Nik, at the top left, left the lab a few months ago to continue on with life, but his visit today sparked plenty of conversation.

Everyone’s so busy when we’re working – it’s nice to get out for moments like these.

no postcode envy

Written by Umbrella Man

July 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Scientists of the Day #2123

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Scientists of the Day #2123

Another scan session tonight – one of only a handful remaining before I leave the lab. Simon is learning, and though Alan started working with the scanner only in the last few months, it seems he’s comfortable with all the complexities of the process now.

There’s a lot of downtime during these sessions – a good opportunity to talk. I’ve learned more about how people work from these conversations than from the MRI’s data, I think.

I can save you

Written by Umbrella Man

July 16, 2014 at 12:12 am

Posted in colleagues, people

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