Friday, 28 January 2011

The Door is aimed right! We've reconnected with the natives.

Tom just got back yesterday, and all is well. As we knew, the Door didn't open in quite the same place as before, but Tom hoped that it was at least close. His only complaint when we opened the Door to get him back, was that it not only wasn't at the same place as when we dropped him off, but it also was so far away that he had to run to get over to it. Apparently there are still a few residual magnetic fields interfering with the aiming. Frank says that he'll work on getting those cleaned up at the same time he's upgrading the Faraday cage. And there's still the issue of sealing up the Door room to prevent pressure difference issues.

Anyway, Tom reports that when he arrived last week, he spotted a recognisable mountain and, based on that, he headed toward the river he hoped would be to the west (like 'east' he named that direction 'west' because that's where the sun sets). It was. He got to the river and headed downstream, arriving in the same town he'd visited before. Success! Although he couldn't convince any of the natives to accompany him back this time, at least he's opened up the possibilities. He said that there are a few adventurous ones that might take the challenge later, after some big celebration they were about to have.

We've only been able to visit the other side for a few weeks, but it looks like although days match up just fine, they are celebrating a late summer/early fall harvest while we are in the middle of winter. Of course at this point we don't even know if their year is the same length as ours. I guess we should send over some astronomers to take some readings...if we can find any willing to risk their lives.

All is well, and Tom is really looking forward to his next trip. See you in a week!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Tom is on the other side, checking out the location

Well, the Door is stable, and Tom has headed out for an expeditionary trip. As soon as he stepped through, he looked around and yelled back that he recognised some of the landscape. He said that the mountain range to the east (without compasses, he just named it 'east' because that's the where the sun comes up) certainly looks familiar, though he said that the area where he landed is one he hasn't had a chance to explore, yet. We'll know for certain next week when he gets back, but at this point it looks like the move is complete. We're settled in!

As far how things are going on this side of the Door, Frank has almost finished replacing the chain-link fencing that's protecting the room from stray magnetic fields. The first part we changed out was all the stuff on the floor. We now have a smooth sheet-metal floor. Much easier to walk on. Most of the walls have been plated with metal, too. The only part left to convert is the ceiling. Right now we have metal fencing draped across from side to side, and considering the weight, we might just leave it at that for a while.

One new thing that Frank suggested: he wants Tom to bring back some of the natives to visit us on this side. If we do that, we'll have to keep them isolated at first; we gotta keep any potential diseases under control, besides, Tom is the only one that can even come close to translating what they have to say.

We'll let you know what happens as soon as we know.

Friday, 14 January 2011

We've hit dirt, not paydirt, just dirt

I guess Frank knows what he's talking about. He was able to block the external interference once he built his Faraday Cage. I don't know who this Faraday guy is, but I think his cage looks more like a big-time wrestling cage than much of anything else. It's just a big box of chain-link fencing around, over, and even under the entire room. And let me tell you, having to walk across chain-link fencing is a real pain (and I mean that literally), but Frank says that we can put rubber mats over it for a temporary fix. He plans on replacing most of it with sheet metal, but until then he says that we'll just have to deal with it.

So anyway, once he got all the local magnetic fields out of the way, he was able to tweak the settings to get the Door to open where it had before or at least pretty close to there. He says that we're definitely still on the same planet, and probably even the same continent, but he can't guarantee that we're even close to the exact same spot where we were before. He says that that's a task for Tom to find out, and he will as soon as Frank declares the Door stable enough for a trip out.

I've got to hand it to Tom, with his willingness to just step out into the unknown like that. I don't know anyone else who would be eager to put their life in Frank's (otherwise well-trained) hands. I don't even like being in the Door room when they power up the system, especially after that total vacuum incident.

In fact as a result of that sucky episode, Frank suggested that we seal room where the Door is to prevent any pressure changes from this side to the other. Apparently some of the techies have noticed a wind whistling through the Door when it's opened, but no one bothered to mention it. They didn't think that we might be transferring all of our atmosphere away from Earth and out to some distant planet. That wouldn't be a good way to influence friends and win customers.  :-)

Well, it looks like I've talked too much already, so I'll save any more news for next week. See you then!

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Door doesn't work right in the new location

One of our readers is predicting terrible things now that we've moved to our new location...and he may be right. Apparently just moving the Door has seriously affected how it works. Frank got all the pieces transported just fine, and everything got hooked up the way they should, but somehow there's some kind of difference in this area. The first time Frank powered up the Door after the move, instead of opening up where we expected, it seemed to open up into a total vacuum. We almost got sucked out into nothing!

At this point Frank thinks that it may just be a matter of re-aiming the Door. He says that the new destination on the other side is probably 31.5 miles above the surface of the planet on the other side. (He got that number from the straight line distance from Timbuctoo to Rocklin.) I figured that if we moved sideways, the destination would, too, but he says that there's some kind of geometric translation going on...something about x, y, and z axes being rotated through some angle theta. I have no idea what that means, but I think I quoted him correctly. Sounds to me like more of that engineering gobbledygook. [shrug]

He's also complaining about the residential area being so close to our facility. According to him, when ever some housewife turns on a mixer, the electro-magnetic fields from the AC motor mess with the Door, and he has to tweak the settings to get it stable again. He's been most of the time just trying to compensate for the local interference, but he says there may be a fix for that problem: a Faraday cage. (I say we put him in a cage.)

Anyway, until he gets the Door adjusted for the new location, we're just sitting around twiddling our thumbs. (Yes, there really is an article explaining how to twiddle your thumbs!)