10:52 pm, Monday, July 30th, 2007

Some Hanwool-related news: His parents sold their house and motel and will probably be moving down to L.A. next month. Really sucks since it means it’ll be harder for him to visit Washington now.

I finally beat complex4 in BCS. I must have run a hundred simulations before it occurred to me to just tackle one lane at a time; once I adopted that strategy it got much simpler. Eventually I figured out something that worked for a single lane. The problem was that it cost $52K and the budget was only $80K. Solution? Lots of cables. From that point, I needed a dozen rebuilds or so to figure out a cable arrangement that distributed the load evenly, didn’t flex too much, and could survive the 4 m/s wind. I think this is the tallest bridge I’ve built so far. Definitely the tallest non-suspension one, anyway.

Bridge Construction Set: Complex4 solution ($77.5K)

I’d been getting these tiny blisters on one side of my right pinky for several months. They weren’t really painful or anything (except when they popped and scabbed over — I know: ew), but they were irritating because they degraded my tactile sensation. I had just assumed they were a symptom of the Lyme disease. But then I noticed I was getting the same sorts of blisters on the lower left part of my palm and the underside of my wrist. Still, I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. Then they started appearing on the side of my thumb. I thought about the weird pattern for a few days and it finally hit me: Those are the parts of my hand that touch the mousepad when I use the computer. So about a week ago, I changed pads and guess what? No new blisters. The ones on my palm are healing really slowly, but they’re completely gone from my thumb and there’re only like three or four left on my pinky.

So now I’m back to using the schweet Star Trek: First Contact pad I got at MosCon in 1998 (jealous?). On the left: The diseased Radio Shack pad what gave me temporary hand-herpes.

Crappy allergenic mousepad    My supercool ST:FC mousepad

Okay, that’s all for now. I’m going to go microwave a burrito. Brett just came back from the store with some ├ęclairs… might have to snag one of those.

6 Responses to “#882”

  1. Krunk:

    Do you find it helpful to use a mouse pad? I find that optical mice these days work just fine on regular desk surfaces. The only problems I find a reflective surfaces.

    At first I was thinking you had a wrist-rest attached to the mouse pad, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Your desk looks perfect for an optical mouse.

  2. hjo3:

    I use the pad because it’s more comfortable for me (mentally as well as physically — I feel naked mousing directly on a table/desk surface) and I’ve modified my mouse with after-market feet that have less friction on fabric than laminate (the stock feet for the Logitech MediaPlay mouse erode away rather quickly).

  3. amy:

    you totally have me creeped-out by the hand herpes! i work in a computer lab where tons of dirty hipsters come in and use the computers. i think i might need to be more proactive about sanitizing in the workplace!

  4. hjo3:

    lol, I don’t think I was clear enough — I’m pretty sure I was allergic to whatever the pad was made of (I don’t think it was actually diseased). My skin is really sensitive to certain materials, like most metals (can’t wear rings, frex).

    But sanitizing your input devices can’t hurt.

  5. Tim:

    Hey Hank, I was just wondering.. do you have any idea what happened to Jonesy? He seems to have dropped completely off of the interwebs.

  6. hjo3:

    Re: Tim: I got an email from him a few minutes ago — he’s just been working a lot (he has two jobs ATM) and prolly hasn’t had as much time for interwebbing.