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Weekly Rochester Events #343: So Many Years of Ideal Gasses

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Well, it's been one big Sisyphus week. Welcome to the bloggerly review thereof.

Things went well at first: on Thursday I finished up the electronics for the spiral bike and lights (which is the same kind of light design I'm going to use on The Bike With 2 Brains) although it took longer than I had hoped. On Friday I did some car repairs: I fixed the shift lever (the bearings in the linkage had rusted out and made the shifter all sloppy ... but the aftermarket shifter used #608 skate bearings which I bought for the Bike With 2 Brains) and installed cruise control which I never had, but considering I'm going to drive cross-country, I figured it'd be nice. Well, when I went to test things, I found that I had put the shifter in backwards (so it took a gorilla reach to get into first and third, and fifth gear required a King-Kong-grabs-the-woman-style lunge) and the cruise control didn't work. Well, easy fix: I had it wired to the wrong power source, so I fixed that and went out again. I couldn't get it to engage, and when I checked to see if I was going fast enough (35 mph, I guess) I noticed that the speedometer read zero.

I had, as recommended, connected the speed sensor on the cruise control to the speed sensor for the car. However, something went wrong and it broke the speedometer. I assume the worst: that in the process of installing my six-dollar-special cruise control — from Goodwill Fashions (451 South Clinton Ave.) — that I managed to fry the several hundred dollar car computer. Crap.

At least when I went to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) around 7 there was still happy hour pizza, so I got some of that. Oh, and I forgot my bike lock because it's with the spiral bike but it was easy enough to just put it in the back yard there — it's huge as they say. I hung out with some friends and had a beer and things weren't so bad. Also, they found my sachel I lost (that is, brought there two weeks ago and didn't even think about it until when I needed it again) so that was good. I headed back home to get the lock and decided to take a bit of a nap, but when I roused around 10, I figured I might as well sleep through the night ... I ended up zonking out for 11 hours, so I guess I might be a bit overextended.

I've been working on living in a state where I'm people-centric rather than object-centric. I'm trying to get to the point where I try to be with people rather than be owned by my stuff. However, the objects in my life seem to be taking all my time. At least for now. I'll try to shed them when I get back from Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV.) Isn't that always the way, though: I'll do something good in my life when this one thing is over. Well, seriously, I'm killing myself to get this fucking Bike With 2 Brains project done, so I'm somewhat object-centric right now, but that should abate when it becomes some mangled abstract metal sculpture in the middle of the Nevada desert.

On Saturday I got to work early on the car. It wasn't much trouble to fix the car shifter, and I installed the external speed sensor kit that came with the cruise control and got it working too. Hooray. It'll be Thursday when I have it checked, but for now the speedometer appears to work intermittently, and only when the car is cold. As long as I can figure out how fast I'm going soon enough, I can hit the cruise and be all set.

That evening I built the light clusters for the The Bike With 2 Brains (red, green, and blue LED's that light up milky-white polyethylene tubing, but you can read all about it [soon] on the site.) I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) that night to see some bands — finally. The Ferndocks once again did some pretty good but a bit generic rock-and-roll. I liked Rocko Dorsey and the Individuals who did some really good rock-punk/rockbilly with a lot of modern rock influence. Finishing things up was The Earl Cram Revue who were great as usual ... high power, punchy rock-and-roll, but I was getting really tired (stupid circadian rhythms) so I headed back home early.

In addition, I'm trying to be less event-centric and more people-centric. Years ago I started going to do things by myself because I couldn't find people who wanted to just go do stuff. Lately, though, I'm in the reverse position where I'd rather go find people than worry about what they want to do — I'm getting a bit more flexible, unless there's something that I just know is going to be totally cool.

Something else struck me: I saw this guy riding towards me on this bike. While he didn't strike me, the idea did [insert triple-strike-rim-shot here — aren't I fucking clever in my labored wordcrafting.] As he passed, he had the non-recognition look in his eyes like he could come close to me without hitting me because Nintendo's polygon clipping algorithm would allow it: he was playing some video game instead of dealing with reality.

Earlier that day I started noticing the people inside cars. While I have always known there are people driving cars, I had made cars into this abstraction of a big metal animal — I could be angered that it refused to signal its turns, or stare it down as I knew it wasn't allowed to run me down in the crosswalk under the glow of a full-on walk-sign.

However, this kind of thinking disturbed me in that I had lost the humanity of it all.

I realized that if while you're around town, look at the people — ignore the machines and the concrete. Look at them and say, "that's a person." I swear ... it's really weird to start getting back to community this way, but it's a start toward something better than a yellow smiling dot knocking prices down.

Anyway, Sunday had me back in the throes of my object-dominated life and on the LED tubing project again. I got everything built using ribbon cable to address each LED cluster and each color, but I couldn't get it to fit into the tubing. I resorted to forcing it but realized I was probably breaking things — indeed, when I tested it, I lost a lot of the circuits. So it was back to square one ... well, maybe square 3, but the metaphoric big rock went rolling back down the hill again. I decided to use thin wire-wrapping wire for to address each cluster, so I've got 8 fine wires and 3-conductor ribbon cable for the colors and I finally got it all built. Now I've just got to build the one for the other side.

Monday I started in on some audio and power stuff for The Bike With 2 Brains. First I went for a walk in the morning and wanted to create a track for the Bike With 2 Brains. I brought my only portable recorder (a camcorder — anyone need 15 minutes of legs in Carhartt shorts and sandaled feet walking on asphalt in DV format?) to get a snapshot of the sounds of walking around the block at my house via the canal path. When I got home, the recording came out so quiet and with so much noise that it was unusable — it turns out the battery in the microphone I used was dead, so I had to do it again on Wednesday. I decided to move on to power systems.

I need to get 12 volts knocked down to 5 volts to run the computers and LED's. I don't want to use a simple linear converter, though, because I'm limited in power from the battery and (hopefully) the windmill. Those have about a 42% power efficiency — for instance, 12 volts in at 1 amp is 12 watts and you can pretty much step that down to 5 volts out at 1 amp which is 5 watts; 5 watts / 12 watts = 42%. So I decided to make my own DC-DC converter. I spent all day Monday working through various combinations of buck converters and pulse-width-modulation only to get efficiencies all over the board from about 24% to 45% including a few 95% which I assumed are measurement errors. I gave up and started again on Tuesday and continued all day on the same trend. I decided to change the design considerably and ended up with a much better system — I managed to get up to a pretty consistent rating of over 60% at two different power levels. I was pleased and got the hell out of the house before something else went wrong.

So in the end, a half-day task of making a power supply turned into a three-day marathon of continuously staring at breadboards. See, this is what I was getting at with Sisyphus — people wonder why he didn't just stop pushing the rock up the hill. Well, every day he woke up with a new bright idea: today it's going to work — I'll use a pulley system to winch the rock up; I'll get a pebble to ratchet it up; I'll use a MOSFET to get more current for a better square wave — same difference.

And I'm calling myself an "artist" these days. Harumph!


M
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  • Murderball (at The Little) - Rugby-playing, wheelchair-bound paraplegics compete for a chance at the olympics. (I guess this opens this week, not last.)
  • The Dukes of Hazzard - CB's, moonshine, and a PG-13 rating for "sexual content, crude and drug-related humor, language and comic action violence" ... how can you go right?

T
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This afternoon at 5:45 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is the Upstairs Downstairs Tour for members of the museum. Check out stuff behind-the-scenes without getting a job there! [source: Eastman House calendar]

Tonight's Party in the Park at The High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) starting around 5:30 p.m. features Blue Oyster Cult and The Legendary Dukes. They sent out an additional press release indicating that you can't bring chairs anymore ... the logic is that they want to make sure the larger crowds anticipated can all come to the show, but what would be better would be to set aside a designated seating area for those who want/need it. Oh well. [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting The Pop Tarts of St. Thomas starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is the Japanese costume-gimmick rock band Peelander-ZMySpace link, and The Patsys. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. is the River of Light laser show at The High Falls Gorge (Pont De Rennes Bridge.) [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]


F
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Tonight and tomorrow night at The High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) is The Flour City Brewer's Fest from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tonight's entertainment consists of Blue JimmyGarageBand linkMySpace
link, The Coupe De' Villes, and wicked fun percussive groove-rock from The BuddhaHood. [source: band e-mail]

Tonight at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is the opening of (un)bound: An Exhibition of Artist's Books starting around 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through September 4. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop) will be opening The Syringa Tree tonight at 8 p.m. It's a one-woman play with dozens of characters telling the story of a black family and white family sharing a household in South Africa in the 1960's. Note that Sunday's show at 2 p.m. is "Pay What You Can." [source: Shipping Dock Theatre mailing]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is jazz and rock (with a little East Indian, African, South American and maybe even a little Klezmer) band Margaret Explosion starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 10 p.m. is DufusGarageBand linkMySpace link, a disorienting blend of spoken word, electronic effects, and repetition from GaybotMySpace link, and Josh Bucci. [source: artsound website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Cinévardaphoto starting at 8 p.m. A trilogy of short films spanning 40 years explore the changing meanings of photographs. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at Spy Bar (139 State St.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is punk-rock-and-roll from The Grinders, and Tommy Brunett. [source: GaragePop Records website] [21+]


S
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JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

JayceLand Pick This weekend is the The Park Avenue Festival (Park Ave. from Alexander St. to Culver Rd.; also see Rochseter Event's Park Avenue Festival Page) and if you miss The BuddhaHood you can catch them at Hogan's Hideaway (197 Park Ave.) all day on both days. Tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. at the Somerton/Greeley Stage is the band of unexpected music The Peachy NeachysMySpace link and at 12:00 p.m. is reggae band Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro) ... umm ... somewhere at the festival. [source: band e-mail]

Today at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) from 10 a.m. to noon is another Chef's Day event. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon at O'Callaghan's (470 Monroe Ave., formerly J.J. Flynn's) is their 1st Annual Park Ave Lot Party with solidly good rock band (with strong groove rock influences) from Dudley DawsonGarageBand link at 3 p.m., Sublime cover band Badfish at 5 p.m., great, catchy original rock-and-roll from Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link at 9 p.m., and great straight-up reggae band (with a DJ) Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro) at 11 p.m. [source: Freetime]

If you're into the bizarre world of mis-comprehended surreal non-reality, there's a Miniature Horse Demonstration at South Bristol Cultural Center (5323 Seneca Point Rd., Canandaigua) at 2 p.m. and the Attica Rodeo at Attica Rodeo Grounds (38 Exchange St., Attica) at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) will be hosting Sparrows Swarm and Sing, great solo-acoustic minimalism from Kelli Shay Hicks, Hunds Kup, and The Junior LeagueMySpace link starting around 7 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 10 p.m. is a group of electronica DJ's including Lank, Jace LuceMySpace link, Chapter 2GarageBand linkMySpace link, and Silent AuctionGarageBand linkMySpace
link. [source: Montage e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Eyes and Arms of Smoke, Irene Moon, SapatMySpace link, dosdedos, and semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo will be at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: artsound website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Great Gabbo starting at 8 p.m. A disturbed ventriloquist is the centerpiece of what was to be the first all-talking blockbuster. Preceded by the short The Happy Hottentots. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Great, tight modern-rock band The Meddling Kids, and Leadpipe Scarlett will be at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight's another Betty's Sing-a-Long at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) starting around 10.


S
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Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is another Community Garage Sale at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]


M
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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be having another installment of Surprise Cinema starting at 8 p.m. where they'll show some unique or rare film ... something for the cinephiles out there — plus, it's free to Eastman House members. [source: Eastman House calendar]


T
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Tonight is another Tuesday Nature Nights Guided Bike Ride from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. of the Charlotte Neighborhood starting at Turning Point Park (Boxart St.) [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Footage, DSpellMySpace link, and Drew DanburryMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) is Wzt Hearts, and Thank You starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: artsound website]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]


W
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Tonight there's a Mayoral Candidate Debate sponsored by Neighbors Building Neighborhoods (NBN) at German House (315 Gregory St.) starting at 7 p.m. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association flyer]

Top Pick Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) starting at 8 p.m. A man searches for his stolen bicycle which he believes is the key to happiness through the employment it provides. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is another Open Mic Wenzdaze with Acoustic Café from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then Rock-n-Roll Circus starting at 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

 
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About the title ... Robert Boyle formulated Boyle's Law in 1662 which relates the pressure and volume of an ideal gas.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, August 4, 2005 (Thu, Aug 4, 2005, 8/4/2005, or 8/4/05) Friday, August 5, 2005 (Fri, Aug 5, 2005, 8/5/2005, or 8/5/05) Saturday, August 6, 2005 (Sat, Aug 6, 2005, 8/6/2005, or 8/6/05) Sunday, August 7, 2005 (Sun, Aug 7, 2005, 8/7/2005, or 8/7/05) Monday, August 8, 2005 (Mon, Aug 8, 2005, 8/8/2005, or 8/8/05) Tuesday, August 9, 2005 (Tue, Aug 9, 2005, 8/9/2005, or 8/9/05) and Wednesday, August 10, 2005 (Wed, Aug 10, 2005, 8/10/2005, or 8/10/05).


JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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