Wednesday, October 4, 2006

On the brink of certain death

On the way to and from work, part of my journey is on a sidewalk on which the street is to one side, along with inconveniently placed trees right in the sidewalk, and a couple-inch ledge that leads to a fifteen-foot tumble down a hill on the other. My Segway is about as wide as a wheelchair, so while there's little room to maneuver, it's not difficult to keep from hitting the tree or falling off the edge of the sidewalk; I've never fallen off the side, and only come close to a tree a couple times.

Diagram of sidewalk

But for the past week or so, things were different. The leaves have begun to fall here, and suddenly one cannot tell by looking whether they're half a foot into the safe zone or half an inch away from a very uncomfortable situation. The following diagram makes it seem as if you can just barely make out the edge of the sidewalk, but let me assure you that with an inch-thick carpet of leaves, this is quite impossible, even in daylight.

Diagram of sidewalk

I'm almost surprised that I didn't slip off at some point. I was going to take a picture to better illustrate how impossible it is to tell where you're going through a thick carpet like that, but it seems that they cleared the sidewalks of leaves just this afternoon.


Louise said...

I love your graphics to illustrate your point. If I may ask, what program are you using to make them?

By the way, I am amused by the label "certain death."

Travis said...

I use whatever I feel like playing with at the moment. Normally when I do line art stuff, I use CorelDRAW, which is roughly equivalent to Adobe Illustrator but cheaper, easier to use, and crashier. This image was made in Photoshop, even though CorelDRAW really would have been more appropriate. (I used Photoshop because it's much better at saving web-compatible images.) My recent picture of the dinner table was made in PowerPoint 2007.

Swid said...

Have you ever played around with Inkscape? I just started using it recently; for an open-source graphics program, I was pleasantly surprised with its overall lack of suck. ;-)

Travis said...

Don't think I've heard of it before.