The whole time I stood in front of the window display, I was enamored with the cheap light show, no more than one color at a time, with outstanding timing for the color switching. In particular, I saw red go to green and back to red, then to white! Once more to red, back to green, then red, then white again! I thought this pattern would persist, but I would never see the lights take that sequence again. Trust me, I stood out there for three hours and fifteen minutes.

Later on, while chatting with the light engineer, I learned that the pattern would come back once every four hours, to repeat once then go back into hibernation, as it were. Charmed by this explanation, I offered to buy him a coffee drink of his choice from the cafe on campus. He countered with a flat refusal on the grounds of disliking coffee drinks of all kinds, so I offered to buy him a drink of whatever suited his fancy. The consummate smart ass, he requested an egg white daiquiri, but only one prepared by the queen of France. We’ve been the best of friends ever since.

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