Emanuel Ax

Earlier this Month, Susan and I were able to see a perfomance of John AdamsCentury Rolls at the Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth. It was performed, of course, by Emanuel Ax, for whom it was originally composed. Generally you have to drive to Austin or Houston to hear a symphony play anything by a modern composer, since the DSO is so reluctant to venture into the 20th century.

Unusual Mammal Report

So, a few days ago we were walking in Campión Trail (location of my infamous Campión Trail chigger adventure) after a thunderstorm. As we came around a curve in the trail near the river, we saw what looked like a very large feral house cat lying in the grass watching joggers go by. We stopped and approached a little closer. It had a very short tail that was twitching back and forth like a rattlesnake’s. The cat didn’t seem frightened of us at all, but when we got close enough, it stood up began to walk slowly away. When it stood up, it became apparent that it was a good deal larger than a house cat and it revealed a leopard-like pattern on its legs and underside. It also had strange little curling tufts of hair at the tips of the ears and alternating white and black lines on its face. What we were looking at was a Bobcat. They apparently adapt quite well to populated areas. We’ll be returning to the location with camera but I don’t have much hope of seeing another as they are normally nocturnal.

Mod_Virgule Update

I’ve been spending a little more time working on mod_virgule again. I’ve applied a modified version of the “forgot my password” patch and several other patches to bring my fork back up to date with the official version. I should have the new source packaged up shortly for anyone who wants to play with it. I’m afraid my version is begining to diverge more and more from Raph’s due to the lack of activity on the official version.

Robot Software Success

I mentioned in my last entry that I’d been experimenting with the Not Quite C programming language for use with the Lego Spybotics brick. The hardware hack we made for line-following combined with a few lines of NQC code allowed one of the robots to successfully complete the line following course at Roborama 04.A (it took a last minute application of duct tape to block out some light leakage that was saturating the sensor). I still intend to write up the whole thing but I’m already contemplating further robot experiments that will likely involve a few of those new Maxwell 350F “D Cell” ultra capacitors.