So Let it be Written, So Let it be Done!

April 13, 2007

One Day Left and a lot poorer – At the airport.

Filed under: kamakula,robot,trinity firefighting — kamakula @ 10:20 am
Tags: , , ,

Well, so this trip hasn’t started out good.

Let me start by saying that typically, my body has two failure modes when extremely exhausted: hallucination, and falling asleep immediately at whatever I’m doing without any memory of the even. The hallucination has occurred after 72hours with ZERO sleep during which time I attended one class and skipped the rest to work on a lab project for the one class I attended. So, other than the two hours of class over those three days, I was in the lab for about the other 68. The remaining time accounts for bathroom and food breaks.

So, the hallucination in this occasion involved me seeing myself write a piece of code that compiled, linked, and loaded correctly. However, when I would test the board, nothing would happen. It took two hours for me to realize that I’d pretty much spent that time doing nothing.

The semi-narcalepsy occurs at lesser stages of exhaustion but can be bypassed if I keep myself supplied with sugar (which was the case with the hallucination event above).

However, tonight, I experienced what I can best term as reverse hallucination. Instead of seeing something that wasn’t there, I didn’t see something that was in plain sight. As I got ready to start packing up the assorted parts, I started looking for the gearbox I’d preassembled and the lexan I’d cut wednesday night. I started with where I last remember seeing them, the table at which I’d been cutting the lexan. Since I went to sleep soon after completing that, I knew that the chances of those items being anywhere else were pretty close to zero. So, I searched the table, didn’t see them. Ok, went to my work room, looked there. . no dice. Hmm, maybe I somehow took it to bed. . . not there. . . Perhaps I grabbed it in the morning when I went to the bathroom. . . nope. . . maybe I absentmindedly put it in the fridge (this happens more often than you’d think) – not this time. So, I spend 15-20 minutes searching my apartment and am about to have a nervous breakdown (I’m asking myself why would someone break into my apartment and only steal a gearbox and lexan). I go back to the table (for what is probably the 10th time) and look around again. . nothing. I turn away, and look back. . .and see the damn gearbox – WTF? It takes me another 20 seconds before I see the lexan.

Anyway, due to this and other reasons, and that I thought my flight was at 7AM, I end up leaving Tallahassee at about 2:45AM for a 6:00AM flight. 30 miles into the drive, I start feeling really tired and sleepy. 30 miles later, I stop at a gas station to stretch (which usually revives me) and check my flight info (which airline. . the exact time. . ) and see it’s for 6AM. Well. . . I still have over 100 miles to go. . . and about 2.5 hours till 6AM. Hell and Damnation! So, back on the road, really rejuvenated now, and creep up to 85. . 90. . . 100. . .110mph. And I’m good for about 70 miles. . . then I see the cop. . . but not in enough time, I get clocked at 92mph. Ticket is around $200. I can take a safe driver course to lower the fine and get points off. . . but this slows me down for the airport. Then I get here and waste time in the economy parking lot. I realize that there is no way I can get from that lot to the terminal in time, so I goto the terminal lot (twice as expensive to park). Time is 5:45AM. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed the flight, and when I check it, the kiosk confirms it for me.

In other news, someone provided the solution to the timer interrupt problem I was having before which really simplifies some of the coding I will be doing. At this point, I have code snippets and ideas all floating around. I’m pretty sure that all my sensors will work as expected, so now it’s time to write the code that glues it all together. So, I’ll take this time that I’m on standby for the next flight to plan out on paper the robot’s software architecture. Once that plan is pretty stable, I’ll return to coding.

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