OK, So Gosh, Here’s a Puzzler

I had an interesting thing happen to me:

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m currently at a hotel in Ventura, CA, working on a video course for lynda.com. After a productive day of recording, I returned to my place—the Holiday Inn Express along Ventura Harbor (it really is quite nice). So there I am in the best room in the joint, 363, on the third floor with a wrap-around balcony. And I visit the balcony to take in the view. It’s raining, so I close the sliding glass door.

When I go to open it again, it’s locked. Totally hard-locked. How I locked it, I don’t know. I’m slightly panicked, so I peak around the wall to my neighbor’s balcony: It’s dark. I have no cell phone. There is no one below. Did I mention I’m on the third floor? I have no rope to descend. In fact, I have nothing. Did I mention it’s raining? Did I mention (no I didn’t, yes I did, I’m confused) it’s dark?

There is one and only one escape route. On the far side of the balcony, connected to the outside hallway and stairwell, is the following imposing barrier. It is designed to keep the riffraff off my balcony. Only, I’m the one who wants off my balcony. And I’m very worried that I’m going to have to wait on this balcony until the housekeeping staff finds me in the morning.

The balcony barrier through which I escaped

This is not a pretty image. This is not a demonstration of my photography or Photoshop talents. This is a dark and harrowing image. And this is a puzzler:

The plaster ledge of the balcony (the beige area along the bottom of the frame) comes to roughly my waist level. The bars are, I’d guess, 8 feet higher than that. The obvious route over the metal barrier is narrower than my body. The gap between the bars is narrower than a baby’s head. The metal was wet and slippery, and the sloping bars were slickery ‘n shit. I was wearing a new jacket (although that concern ultimately fell by the wayside).

I live today—free, uninhibited, and unharmed—and slept in a warm and cozy bed tonight. So how, I ask you, did I escape?

Is there a prize for the right answer, you ask? Hell, no! Sometimes, you take on a challenge, wonder what the hell you were thinking, and want to know what another person (i.e., you) would have done in that situation. And so, just out of curiosity, I ask you.

Next entry:The Anwer to Yesterday’s Puzzler

Previous entry:I Begin Work on the First of My Four Courses on the Wealth of 3D Features in Photoshop CS5 Extended


  • Did you merge your way

    Did you merge your way through the bars, T1000 style?

  • Did you have your camera

    Did you have your camera with you at the time or was the photo taken later? If your camera was with you, you might have used the flash to attract the attention of someone on the ground.

  • Another thought. You dropped

    Another thought. You dropped your new jacket off the balcony as someone was passing below to attract their attention.

  • SOS

    Did you pull a “MacGyver” and start a small fire with the lint in your pocket thus attracting attention from a bystander below?

  • I’m guessing you…

    ...selected the lower portion of the bars using the rectangular marquee tool, the part that has a background of the dark sky and then pressed Shift-F5 to bring up the Fill… dialog. You chose Content-Aware Fill from the dropdown and clicked OK. The selected area then turned into night sky and you were able to crawl to safety.

    It can happen.


    “Thanks again, for another day full of something that I

    just can’t put my finger on.”—Kim Knoche

  • The Great Escape

    Nigel Worwood - Graphics Ham

    Dang - I was going to suggest the warp tool on the bars. So a more boring answer….Deke tied his jacket and shirt sleeves together attached a shoe on one end and swung it over the balcony to knock on the glass of the apartment below. The door below was slid open and a lady dressed in only a neg…Etc

  • You meditated all night

    You forgot about the bars and freed your mind.
    Then sat down,  quietly cross legged and meditated all night.
    Deep in thought and with expanded consciousness you now have another mind boggling course of epic artistic proportions in store for us.

  • Cell phone picture

    You still had your nice jacket on which probably had your cell phone in it. You called the management then took this picture with it while you were waiting for them to open your door.

    You added fill flash in Photoshop as there are no flash shadows from the bars had you used your camera.

  • Need help re Deke’s CS5 color setup problem

    I’m just starting Deke’s Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One book. I followed the Installation and Setup instructions, but when I got to number 9 on page xvii, Best Workflow CS5 did not come up as an option in the Color Settings dialog box. Has anyone else had this happen, and possibly have a solution for it?

    Also, on page xviii, in Figure 7 the Keyboard Increment and Corner Radius figures are shown as px, but in Ai, it shows as pt. I changed it to px, but after closing Ai and reopening it, it had reverted to pt, so I guess that’s what it’s supposed to be.

    I saw some of Deke’s videos on youtube, and was thrilled when I came across the One-on-One book when searching for an Illustrator CS5 manual. So far, so good, except for the color issue!

  • The Great Escape

    So you’re stuck on the next balcony and looking like a burglar?
    How did you talk your way out of that Deke?

  • The Matrix

    Once you realized you were in the Matrix, you were unplugged and you were back in your room in bed