Asparagus and Coneflowers

It’s actually pretty boring to take pictures of asparagus while you’re harvesting it: you harvest each spear as soon as it gets tall enough, so it’s mostly just bare ground with little shoots sticking up (well, we mulch with hay everywhere except right in the rows where it’s growing). But since you’re cutting it off each time it grows up, it’s running on stored energy from the roots. So you can only harvest it for 6-8 weeks in the spring, and then you have to let it grow into full-sized plants and photosynthesize and build up its energy again. And it grows out into this giant green hedge.

Asparagus in the off-season: a seven-foot-tall mass of feathery green fronds. In front, clusters of red and purple coneflowers. In the back you can see the peaks of a greenhouse, the barn, and the farmhouse.

More work on the trailer game today. I re-did the accelerate/brake controls so up is forward and back is reverse. But you have to come to a full stop and release the key and re-press it to actually change directions. I need to figure out a better way of measuring what a “full stop” is. Right now it still sometimes doesn’t work and if I turn up the threshold then sometimes it goes straight from forward to reverse (or vice versa) without stopping. But I have some ideas.

And it’s already much better than my gearshift experiment. That can sorta kinda work in an arcade cabinet where you have actual pedals and a shifter, but I’ve always found it annoying in PC games, so I should have known better. Oh; I also added a curved line to represent the car’s windshield. The reason I tried the gear shift was that I kept forgetting which way was which. So I drew a curved line thinking it could be like a highlight on the hood. But then it looked more like a windshield so I pulled it back toward the middle of the car and called it good for now. It definitely helps.

I added auto-centering if you’re steering almost straight and you release the wheel. I also fixed some bugs and added a very simple level that just asks you to put one trailer in one parking spot. Actually I’m not sure it’s simple enough yet so I was thinking about other ideas.

To me the fundamental thing is that when you’re backing up you turn the opposite way to get the turn started, then you steer into the curve to maintain it. And adjustments are backwards: turning tighter makes the trailer straighten and curve outward, while straightening your steering wheel makes the trailer turn tighter. So you’re always making a correction and then turning back to follow the resulting change. So maybe something where you back around a big circle so you have the opportunity to play with that?

Hmm. Maybe I should add the Beziér curve approximation code so I can make curved lines. Eh. For parking lots and roads you really want arcs and spirals, I think. So no need for Beziér or other splines. Yeah.