Let’s play email pachinko!

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I had a dream last night in which I worked for a company with a strange email system. It was all Rube Goldberg. By this, I do not mean it was jury rigged. It was quite literally built with marbles and tracks. There was also a conventional email system, but nobody used it. Basically, when an email is sent, it is encoded in a marble. The marble is shot, ballistically, across the country. I was never able to see how an email was sent, I only received one (a clear Cat's Eye with yellow and red coloring). The marble lands in a parabolic satellite dish. This dish is pointed straight up, with a hole in the bottom, so the marble does the typical “spin around the circumference of the bowl” thing, getting faster as it approaches the bottom. It then falls through the hold, and drops onto a track (two plastic-coated metal rods). The track curves around, does little up/down/up hills, and all sorts of stuff like that. At some point, the marble travels into, and out of, a vat of something hot. It goes through a number of other transforms, then eventually ends up in a machine that projects and prints the message on a school-chalkboard-sized whiteboard. You are able to edit, annotate, and add to the whiteboard, which is eventually encoded into another marble and sent.

Did I mention nobody used conventional email? I think very few people knew how to use a QWERTY keyboard, much less a computer. I was in charge of computer security and discovered hackers in the system. The were detected the instant they broke in, and everything was properly logged and traced. They were shut down as soon as they tried to get at something really secure, and the proper security fixes and firewall rules were applied to prevent this from happening again. Of course, I diligently emailed everything about the incident to my boss.

At some point later, I got a marble-mail from the boss saying she heard something about a computer break-in, and why did I not send her any information about it? Of course, I sent it all through conventional email because it would have been difficult to transcribe all the log entries onto the whiteboard. Of course, she never used her conventional email account–just the marble-based email system. That is about the point where I woke up.


I made hot spiced wine. It turned out reasonably good, but a little too sweet. I think that next time (if there is a next time), I will alter the recipe a bit. The recipe included a lot of apple slices and a little sugar. It also included a great many spices. I think that next time, I will drop the sugar and possibly use fewer apples. Regardless, you have to admire a recipe that starts, “take a gallon of wine and….”


The last few weeks, about a week before seeing Lisa's camera, I have been considering getting a new digital camera. I have an older Canon Elph S100–one of the first ones out there. It takes pictures. It takes pictures pretty well, but the battery is getting pretty bad. It does not take videos. I have been doing a lot of experimenting with video editing and burning DVDs recently, but the DVDs would pretty much consist of fades between still pictures at this point because I have no videos.

Yesterday, I realized that I have a very nice, professional quality, webcam (Apple's iSight) and that its abilities are under-utilized when simply using it for videoconferences. I also realized that most of the video I would want to take is simply of the kittens doing kitten stuff. After some experimentation, I discovered it is pretty quick and easy to set up–my laptop is on all the time, and the camera just clips to the top and plugs in. I also discovered the quality is pretty darn good, too–the camera's quality is great, plus the fact that the laptop can be made stationary means the production quality looks professional and not like a soccer mom who can't hold the camcorder still. Of course, the laptop can be carried around for quick videos in places the laptop cannot be conveniently set down.

So, now, I will be able to make DVDs with fun menus containing home movies that nobody but Kate and I will want to watch!

Posted in: Dreams Food

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