Sunday, October 28, 2001

(thanks to the Kentucky Headhunters, the Ennis Sisters, the Champs and the Monkeys for providing tonight's soundtrack)

Finding yourself a good book has got to be one of the few things that really can't be rushed. I was out for an afternoon stroll with Banana, and we ended up in one of our local bookstores. I chose Life's Little Instruction Book for $3.25. Hokey as it sounds, I enjoy the sappy and trite sayings in these bathroom books. The current bathroom selection includes:
  • Life's Little Instruction Book
  • Hacking Exposed, second edition
  • the February, 2001 edition of Photo District News that I swiped from work
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch's Magic handbook (die-cut like a left hand)
  • Something Under the Bed is Drooling (a Calvin and Hobbes compilation)
  • Calgary Herald's "Careers" section, and no, there was nothing of interest in it for me.

The Rubik's Cube has come back to haunt me. I (like many of my fellow nerds) took the challenge to heart when it came out and learned to solve it. A mental exercise in spatial relations and creating a nomenclature for three-dimentional moves, it was just something that had to be done. Oh, the days that I had nothing better to do than memorize those turns and cranks.

A few nights ago, McMonkey happened across one of my old my cubes (from where, I don't know and YES, I had more than one). She asked me what you were supposed to do with it, to which I answered "Make all the sides the same color."

"Can you do it?" she asked , and then stood expectantly and waited for me to solve it before her eyes. The more elementary of the series of moves came immediately back to me and I started to spin and twist the cube. I was able to complete two of the levels before the mental well began to burp air. "Hmmm," I remarked, "I used to be able to finish this."

"Oh." Mackenzie answers. She toddles off, having given a puzzle-solver a momentum-building push down the hill of challenge. Now I had to solve it. Now, there are multiple ways of completing it, varying in approaches from using the fewest moves to following a long, drawn-out regimented series of moves. I turned to my old buddy, the Internet and my favorite search engine to find my a method that sparked a memory or, at least, wouldn't be too hard to memorize again.

I found my instructions, printed them out and then threw away 45 minutes of my life yesterday to re-acquaint myself with that talent of very limted value. I'm a cuber again.

No comments: