Thoughts for my next Burning Man visit

Remember to drink water before going to bed.  A couple nights I didn’t and woke up with a very dry, uncomfortable mouth.

Bring more costumes!  Also, more playa-wear.  Even jean shorts without a shirt felt a bit pedestrian at times.  The loincloth worked well.  Sarongs?

Go shirtless earlier in the week.  My forearms tanned more rapidly than my back and shoulders, meaning that I had to deal with sunscreen over a longer period of time.

Either get sunglasses or a pair of goggles that fit my face better.  I don’t normally wear sunglasses, but the sun on the playa was bright.

Bring more food.  Most sites said I’d eat less than normal when I went out there.  I ate more.  (Probably as a result of being very active and walking a lot.)

Relatedly, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are simple to make and reasonably non-perishable.  Would make good lunches.  I should still bring power bars for portable lunches away from camp.

Cereal is good for breakfast, though I don’t like eating it dry.  UHT milk needs to be referigerated after opening.  Does Rice Dream?

Get a bike.  I liked walking everywhere, and I walked a lot, but bikes are a faster means of going places.

August Mail Stats

(A couple of days of September snuck in, due to a cronjob that didn’t trigger.)

Folder delivery:

  Total  Number Folder
  -----  ------ ------
10439575    1153 /dev/null
2402886     701 lists/void
5764083     621 spam
2883185     588 lists/otakon-staff
2379299     541 lists/baltwash-burning
2266470     385 lists/bugtraq
2427716     228 /home/phil/mail/inbox
 799786     215 lists/umbclinux

Spamassassin (was not collecting data for the full month, so the count is low):

Cnt: 1572
Max: 46.9
Avg: 13.3732188295165
Dev: 6.59919668513267

The bayesian rules in SpamAssassin kicked in midmonth.  Before that, the average score was running just under 12.  Should be even higher next month, with bayesian for the full time period.

Home From Burning Man

And I’ve returned home.  I filled up several pages in a spiral notebook with my diary and various notes about the event.  After I get all of that typed in, I’ll extract the fit-for-public-consumption bits and put them up here.

Burning Man

I’m now off to Burning Man, for what will be my first visit to the desert.  (Note to potential burglars: the martial artists are still in residence.)  will see everyone when I return.


This one’s a worthy successor to Rusalka.  More that’s familiar Cherryh style, including characters worrying over their choices and not knowing which characters to trust.


I thought the climax seemed more hasty than Rusalka’s.  Sasha & company show up, confused stuff with Draga and Eveshka happens, Draga and Chernevog end up battling it out at a distance, and it’s over.  I felt more of a sense of completeness at the end of Rusalka than I had from this book.  Still, the writing throughout the thing was good enough that I’m happy to have read it.

Other stuff I liked.  The exploration of the difference between wizardry and sorcery, though I would have liked to see more definite results from Sasha’s claimed better understanding of wizardry.  I was rather expecting to see a Sasha/Draga showdown, with Sasha defending himself by cooperating with the natural things that Draga was trying to change.

The characterization was, not too surprisingly, well done.  It was nice to see more of Chernevog and get a plausible, “He’s wrong, but understandable and isn’t completely evil.”

I need to see if I can get a copy of the last boog in the series, Yvgenie.  Interestingly, that name doesn’t appear anywhere in the first two books, so my guess is that it’s Peytr’s and Eveshka’s daughter.