19 Nov 2019, 17:12

Productive day

Last night Will took some pics of me in a tree.

2019 nov 18 rob in tree 28 2019 nov 18 rob in tree 30 2019 nov 18 rob in tree 31

We met before attending mixed gender circle.

Afterward talking with Christine, I look forward to working with her and Petya early next year!

Today I mostly worked on MT3, doing over 3 hours of livestream.

Jimmy was on the chat and helped me name El Lifty Lever. Thanks Jimmy!

Then I watched too much crap on Netflix. Finished The Dark Tower and then watched first episode of a show like Another Rapper, like a Who’s Got Talent for rap.

Headed to men’s circle now. I do not really want to go though. In this case, I just wanna sleep; I think it is better if I go.

17 Nov 2019, 18:04

2019 nov 17 today ACiM, Urbit, nin, The Good Place

Today I skipped SOGO to attend a meetup for A Course In Miracles. The meetup was fine, but not really enough for me to want to skip SOGO again for it. Happily, the next one will be on a Saturday.

I posted an entry called “Marble Track 3 in a post“ on urbit, the title being an homage to “life in a post” on Reddit. I don’t know if you can see that URL without being actually on Urbit. If that is in fact the case, I do not yet know how to post a page that doesn’t require logging in.

I played a game with Lin today. “Is this song by Nine Inch Nails?” while going through a playlist of songs similar to NIN. I think that would make a good website, but I do not think I could successfully make it successful with my current interest and skillset.

I watched the penultimate episode of The Good Place. It was pretty great; I have enjoyed them all, tbh.

Oh, and I finally figured out why I had not been able to get hardlinks to work on my machine. Turns out my editor was breaking the link by unlinking and relinking the file (or something).

Thanks to https://superuser.com/a/302083

In my case, I set backup-by-coping-when-linked to non-nil.

17 Nov 2019, 15:19

Marble Track 3 in a post (on urbit)

Adapted from https://www.marbletrack3.com/about/ I am posting this on my urbit planet ~rabsef-linmyn.

Back in the day, my brother and I used to play with Legos. Over time, our Lego bag collected a few other small toys, including marbles.

We used to use the Lego roof pieces as ramps, down which marbles would roll. Getting them to roll down quickly was easy. How slowly could we get the marbles to roll? Flat planks and ramps allowed marbles to roll down slowly and interestingly.

One day we saw a huge billiard ball track in a science museum in Tennessee. Something like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh3AG8Xlh_U

I started making small versions of those tracks during high school. Eventually I started making a track and didn’t stop until I moved to Japan from the US. I asked my friend Maggie to take care of that track until I got back…

After a few years, when it became apparent I would not come back anytime soon, I created Marble Track 2 as a thank you to Maggie. It was my intention to give her Marble Track 2 as a thank you for holding Marble Track 1 for so long.

After it was completed, I posted a video of Marble Track 2 online. http://mt2.robnugen.com/ Comments on the track fell in two main camps: “You wasted your time,” and “Wow that is amazing (how did you make it?)”

To answer both camps, I have embarked on an even more amazing time sink, creating a stop motion animation of pipe cleaner characters building Marble Track 3. The resulting stop-motion video will explain how to make a marble track, piece by piece by piece. The creation of the video has taken a lot of time, rendering baseless the claims that I wasted 8 months making Marble Track 2.

The latest animation can be seen as a YouTube playlist, available at https://mt3s.marbletrack3.com/

At this point, there is no audio in any of the videos in the above playlist. I am considering adding verbal narration to some of the videos. I do not yet know technically how to do it with the apps I have available, but I think it should be easy enough with Blender.

At the current rate, the final full video will be at least an hour long.

Marble Track 3 is a labor of love mishmash of two creative artforms:

kinetic sculpture The marble track itself is a kinetic sculpture for marbles to run down. It is about 10 cm tall at its highest point (as of 17 November 2019). By the time it’s finished, I plan for it to be at least 3x that height.

stop motion animation The construction of Marble Track 3 is being painstakingly documented through stop motion animation.

This answers the frequently asked question about Marble Track 2: “how do you make a marble track?“

but that’s not all Just in case someone asks “how do you make a stop motion animation of the construction of a marble track?” The creation of the animation is being livestreamed, with over 389 hours broadcast as of this writing. Viewers are welcome to watch and vote as we discover questions within the construction.

I usually stream creation of Marble Track 3 live on Youtube on Tuesday (and sometimes Friday) mornings, Tokyo time. https://channel.marbletrack3.com

Some of the previous streams are described at https://www.marbletrack3.com/episode/.

in the future Eventually I want to add audio to the animation… possibly music, dialogue, sound effects..

And I want to add CGI animation behind the animation by rendering something in place of the bluescreen background.

16 Nov 2019, 09:06

Walked with Yuna last night

Yuna and I walked around the well-policed well-jogged area of the Imperial Palace’s east parking lot last night, evaluating it for a possible location of a barefoot walkshop.

Great to talk with her about career and life choices.

14 Nov 2019, 14:11

today: mens group, urbit, scc, gg


Men’s group this morning outlined above.


In Urbit news, I am doing assignments in Hoon 101. The first is apparently to see if we have everything set up okay, which I think I do, but cannot figure out how to write this function (“gate” in Urbit).

This is my attempt at creating a hoon script which writes a number in a different format. If I run this with input 0, I expect the output to be ~zod, which is galaxy number 0

|=  a=*

But when I run it via +aura 0 it fails as below:

> |commit %sandbox
: /~bus/sandbox/25/gen/aura/hoon
> +aura "fffhbhbhbhbbgffxfcgv"
/~zod/home/~2019.11.8..13.39.06..44bf/sys/vane/ford:<[4.828 18].[4.828 59]>
/~bus/sandbox/0/gen/aura/hoon::[1 1].[2 7]>
/~bus/sandbox/0/gen/aura/hoon::[2 1].[2 7]>
/~bus/sandbox/0/gen/aura/hoon::[2 6].[2 7]>
ford: %slim failed:
ford: %ride failed to compute type:
ford: %plan failed:
ford: %core on /~bus/sandbox/0/gen/aura/hoon failed:


Instead of jumping over a glass wall, I asked SCC staff to send someone to retrieve my hat which fell on the other side of the wall as I draped my jacket on the glass wall. Gosh that took a lot of will wont power to not jump over the wall and get it myself! XD

Lessons were fine. First Yasu practiced clockwork dolls, weather radar, BEMS, and Smart Eye Sensor. Then Azusa asked me to doublecheck her spript (sic) for the history zone (firsts of their kinds).


I am really grateful to get to work with Soness for presentation support this coming week! She and I have been working together for years, and I am always amazed with how she helps me find just what I want to say, even if I don’t always know it!


Next is GG lesson here in Akihabara. It’s my third-to-last lesson with them. :-(

urbit (23:57pm)

Yay I solve the first week’s assignment.

|=  a=*

I am not sure why I did not get it sooner.

14 Nov 2019, 13:37

erg miscommunication

My programming job is usually fun, especially when I successfully upgrade their server to more stable architecture and, ahem, an OS that still receives security updates.

I declared the upgrade as having been finished and let them know.

They found a couple of bugs afterward, which were due to upgrading from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.2. (We had zero tests before this big upgrade started, but I have added several.)

I fixed the bugs and charged for them, and now the client is like “We did not expect or were not informed that certain functions would not work after upgrading.”

It was certainly not my intention for anything to not work, but I cannot check everything; I am just one guy maintaining an old PHP system.

I had a nice reply (with Tariq’s help):

I agree it does not make sense to have to pay for things that do
not work after an upgrade. I believed and still believe the
upgrade to be complete, and all the parts of the site
working. That is always my intention that the site works as well
or better than before.

In actuality, maintaining the website and database should be at
least a 2-person job.  One in charge of programming, and one in
charge quality control. Due to budgetary and time constraints,
unfortunately that is not feasible.  So I have to cover both tasks

I am working toward building an automated quality control system.
This will reduce the amount human time needed on quality control,
(but not completely eliminate it.  Machines are still not smart
enough for that!)  The automated quality control system is still
not complete.

I understand your concerns, and I am continually striving to
improve the system.  Under the current budgetary constraints, I
cannot set a timeline for having the automated quality control
system in place.

- Rob

Boss Nate says I cannot tell them that I am just one person, because “that is an internal thing and they don’t care about that.”

My rough draft after talking to Nate:

Sorry. I admit that I made a mistake in communication.  I said
that because I belived it was finished.  In reality these tasks
were part of the overall upgrade.  I would have to do them and
charge for them in August or September.  In this case I did not
notice them in September and I did them in October.  So it should
be these tasks would have to be paid already in the past.

It is an ongoing project and I said it was done but it did not
mean it is done done.  These should have been done then and should
not be individually billed.  I am sorry I take it back that it was
done but these things are ongoing work or job or tasks or

In my online men’s circle today, I recognized all this is pointing to stuff I “have to do” but do not want to do. It reminds me of being 7 years old.

be me be 7 years old not do homework teacher asks for homework no homework. am 7. teacher says to my face “I could just shoot you” be fucked up rest of life

So today I proverbially brought her into the circle and shredded some papers while yelling at her stuff like “you can’t fucking say that to little kids! You should not be teaching! I passed your stupid class without doing the homework so obviously it was not necessary! You want the homework? Here you go!” and ripped paper to pieces and threw it around like confetti.

So what am I going to do now? Not worry about the email.

Okay, now that is out of the way, here it goes:

I am sorry I made a mistake in communication.  I said the server
upgrade was complete because I belived it was finished.  It is always
my intention that the site works as well or better than before.
Otherwise I will let you know as soon as possible.

The tasks billed in October should have been done as part of the
overall upgrade.  I would have to do them and charge for them in
August or September.  In this case, I am sorry, but they were done and
charged in October.

The server upgrade is an ongoing project and I said it was done
because the rest of the upgrade can wait.  I got the server upgraded
to Ubuntu 18 using PHP 7.2.

The rest of the upgrade is to have a system that knows how to check
itself and never changes once it is deployed. That is my goal, but it
takes time to make that possible. Because we don't have a system that
completely checks itself, I try my best to check everything.  I am
sorry these few things were missed.

I just sent that to Nate for review. I look forward to having a project manager.

13 Nov 2019, 06:38

2019 nov 13 today: Hoon 101, early work, expanding barefoot course, late work, zzzz

Sometimes I end up with several itty bitty entries with more meta data and title than content. This entry is designed to be used all day. As of this writing, the title does not include the date, so I will add that. brb. Hmm that reads weirdly, but not too bad.

Hoon 101

This morning I said hello on Hoon 101 chat board on an Urbit planet, and just now got sidetracked reading the messages about people excited to join and just how to join the notebook. Urbit is not yet meant for the masses, and it’s hella fun to be with other explorers in the optimism of creativity as opposed to the whatever of FB.

early lesson

I am on the train from 登戸 to 川崎 stations. I sit on a train that departs from Noborito, which offers me an extra 30 minutes to sleep, or in this case play on Urbit and write journal entries

barefoot course

I wrote a draft last night of my barefoot course. I am planning to work on it for 2 hours this week.

chat with Mo

3pm Mohammed asked if I had done astral projection. He found a video online explaining one way to do it, but it invokes helper spirits, which violates the rules of his religion. I suggested it was only white magic because it did not violate anyone else’s free will.

late work

5:40pm I have just finished two lessons for kids. First with Ryunoske, Ryosuke, Ranka, Ayana, and Haruna. Then with Toshiro and Kanta. In the first class we practiced counting dates of the month to practice ordinals, which are useful in saying what grade they are in, and the order in which the classes were held. In the second class, we practiced making variants of “when (person) wants to (verb), s/he goes to (location).”

later work

Hide came at 6pm and tbh I was distracted with an email I had gotten from AB. He stayed for 7pm lesson, and we actually had a full house. Hide, Akiko, Yutaro, Shoichi. We each told our latest stories. Akiko mentioned some kinda posture-fixing footwear which Yutaro explained how it works in Japanese.


0:29am next morning but still awake, dealing with client stuff and then playing with Urbit.

12 Nov 2019, 09:08

Tuesday is MT3 day

My main plan each Tuesday is to do two hours of livestream while working on Marble Track 3.

But first, I got Landscape working on my urbit planet, thanks to ~bannum-magtus

Next step in that vein will be to get DNS pointing to it and then https.

But now, MT3 livestream yay

11 Nov 2019, 16:47

lazy day

I mean, I did go to Japanese class, but could not get myself to work on stuff after I got back.

Just got up from a nap.

Headed to lead mixed gender circle soon.

  • sent a simple PR to Urbit docs
  • checked in with Dora
  • charged a sigil
  • learned YouTube can terminate non-viable accounts
  • read about peertube

11 Nov 2019, 09:31

going to Japanese class

Gotta run!


Class was good / fine, with two and a half other students (one was pretty late) and two and a half teachers (one was pretty late). Introductions ended up taking a lot of time and there was not much time for the actual grammar point the teacher wanted to present. Next week, a different teacher will present.