random dream and other news

So, in this dream I had last night, I was handed a round basketball sized object. There were arcane numbers and diagrams on the pieces of cloth making its surface. They seemed to indicate that one should push here or pull there. Following these guides I was able to make changes allowing the thing to progress through a series of forms. I remember the first form was a cross between a samurai and the honda robot as all of the pieces of cloth flared out to become sections of armor and the legs and arms rolled into place. And there was a way to keep your hand in or on it such that it could be controlled like a puppet. Next it was changed to what I can only describe as "Vampirella meets Kubuki". Finally it ended up as a Man-Bat type of monster that was particularly amazing as a puppet, before flying off. I know there were other people around but when I woke up I could not tell you anything about them. Even in my dreams I spend all my time with tech toys, go figure.

Other news is that we are in our second week of all day daycare for our son. If his mom can survive the process she plans to go back to work, at least for a little while. In large part this will let us get the money to send her and our son over to Poland to spend the summer with her family. Hopefully this will lock in the second language. He is almost two and a half now. While his verbal skills are about what you expect for a bilingual house, his ability to use baby signs to communicate is amazing. He is creating signs every day it seems and using them to communicate in ways we never would have imagined. He signs for turning on the lights, books, filling something up, birds, monkeys, cats, bananas, ... the list just goes on. There are signs he is using that we are not understanding. We suspect he is trying to tell us about his day or something along those lines. While frustrating when we don't get it, it is worlds better than when he wanted to communicate and could not.

The "Intro to CompSci" class is going well. We finished up the projects using the robot just before the midterm. It was fun programming the scribbler bot to do the various tasks. A wooden pyramid was built as a tool for many of our tasks. The first was to send the robot in, have it take pictures of the inside and then get it out of the pyramid. The outside of the pyramid was painted a vivid orange. A later task involved have the robot find the orange object in its camera, then travel to up to it, hopefully stopping before you ran into it. Simple compared to the things involved in the Darpa Urban Challenge but fun nevertheless. The last project has us shifting to building our own games. I am hoping to do a simplified version of Rogue, aka Nethack. We shall see how it goes.

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