Archive for October, 2003

information good?

Astute readers will have noticed that I now have an “about” category.

I’m up right now because our cat, around this time every morning it seems, decides to start knocking shit over. Perhaps she does it to wake me up. Well, it’s worked this morning, and she’s taking her five-minute time-out in the bathroom, even though the CD player appears to work fine now, no harm done.

And so I wanted to write about myself. Just so the only thing in my about category wasn’t an incredibly stupid list of questions and answers. But it’s not coming out that way, really. It’s been more about my cat, and her contributions to my insomnia. The question becomes–do my cats define me? No, I don’t think this post will qualify.

It’s 7:00am. I usually sleep another two hours. But is it worth going back to bed for what will probably be a fitful one and a half hours more? Yes. The answer is yes. Sleep is always worth it. And I don’t have family dinner tonight. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll just sleep till I wake up, and work later to compensate.

96 trivial answers to 96 trivial questions

I normally scoff at this kind of thing, but Laura posted the answers to these questions, and while reading them I started thinking about how blogs end up painting this picture of you. Whether you want them to or not, really. And how that picture is something I want to encourage (or rather, have some control over, in so much as that is possible). So, for better or worse, click more to read my hundred-or-so questions:
Continue reading ’96 trivial answers to 96 trivial questions’

Tonight juggling, tomorrow the entire universe.

My world is slowly collapsing, or perhaps it truly is expanding, everything at the same speed away from everything else. Soon I’ll be lonely either way.

I’m not sure what this means. Actually, I don’t think it means anything at all. I’m not really lonely.

I think I’m in a creative mood. I want to be writing science fiction. My thoughts have been turning to it more frequently lately. When this used to happen, I would actually write some. Now, I just think about writing it, or pick up whatever sci-fi book I’m reading and spend an hour or two. I can’t write it without reading it!

And I hardly ever get to read anymore. I did finish Robota. (Which is a book too, written by Orson Scott Card, despite the lack of evidence on the website. I guess it was Dough Chiang’s brainchild, and Card just wrote the text. If you google the title, you’ll find the movie trailer too, which looks pretty sweet.) And I’m working on a book now called The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, by Nancy Farmer. I think it’s suppose to be a kids book, but it’s a kids book the same way A Wrinkle in Time is a kid’s book. I think KR loaned it to me.

birthday blogging

Today is Laura’s birthday! I was thinking about blogging about what I’m going to buy her over my lunch hour (because what I really got her didn’t ship till yesterday, and is obviously not going to get here on time), but there’s always the possibility that she’ll read it. I managed not to spoil my surprise last night in bed so it’d be a shame to do it now.

So… on Wednesday, instead of writing an entry, I spent an hour re-arranging, deleting, and adding blog links. They’re split up into 3 sub-categories now, people I know, blogs I would read every day if I could read blogs every day, and the rest. Some of the first category would no doubt end up in the second category, but it’d be no fair telling which ones.

Last night I forced my mom and sister to watch the first matrix movie in half-preparation for the third installment. I have no real excuse for not blogging. Lack of muse, I suppose. Nothing quite like writing about what you didn’t write about yesterday! (Someone shoot me, please.)

The sheer number of birthdays in this week’s near vicinity is overwhelming. Why do birthdays always clump up? (I thought about this question for a minute, thinking “Oh yeah, I know why everyone has birthdays in the beginning of September… it’s because New Year’s is nine months earlier.” Well, guess what’s nine months earlier than October 14th? I’ll give you a hint, it’s our favorite ten letter V word.) Anyway, last Sunday was my mom’s, (shared by not one, but two co-workers). And in the next week sometime is my brother Dan’s. Then November 8th is Nate’s. I know what I’m getting for Nate too, but I’m really not sure about my brother yet.

ARR, shiver me puzzles!

Last night I discovered Puzzle Pirates courtesy of my friend kris (who said he hasn’t played it yet). Puzzle pirates is new game territory–a massively multiplayer game where instead of RPG-style hack-n-slash, (whether it be turn based or real time,) the method of advancement is all puzzle-based. You can choose several different tasks aboard any given pirate ship, and each of those tasks is associated with a puzzle game. Getting better at each game type obviously earns you more rewards, whether they’re gold or some other thing.

There are a couple of different multiplayer puzzles… only two player, as far as I could tell, but I only played the one of them that is suppose to be sword fighting. I think that one was by far the most fun, but the gameplay was straight out of super puzzle fighter.

They only have about 6 or 7 puzzles implemented so far (with promises of more), but those that I played were all a little sad. Mostly I was disappointed by the lack of innovation. The puzzle types are all pretty recognizable. I’m surprised I didn’t see a Tetris knockoff; then again, I think I only played 3 or 4 of the puzzle styles.

The only puzzle I played that was interesting and unique (at least to me) was the one where you repair the ship’s damages. Basically, you have randomly shaped “holes” in the hull that you have to fill with randomly shaped pieces of wood. (Think very f’d up tetris pieces ala Mickey’s Magical Tetris or something similar.) Anyway, you can overlap pieces, but you get penalized for doing so. Obviously, the faster you patch, the better. I never did that well.

Oh, and another thing that was frustrating were the controls. I didn’t delve into the keyboard shortcuts (although some games you don’t have a choice) but those games where you could use the mouse were definitely harder than those where you used standard arrow keys and the like. The client is java… and I think the limiting factor here was java gui slowness.

All in all, the premise is definitely intriguing. Initially, I was so excited at the thought of it that I rushed home yesterday after unicycling and played it for a good two hours before I realized that nothing I’d done had been all that exciting.

I’m very much hoping for some more unique puzzles, as the whole concept (improving your character, buying stuff, based on puzzle skill and/or tenacity) is one I wholeheartedly endorse.

BTW, for some good innovative action-style puzzle games, check out yahoo games. The last time I was there I was exceptionally pleased to discover that they had a lot of new (to me) puzzle games. (I just noticed, however, that they have a disclaimer beneath the games themselves (at least a few of them) that says “Note: GAME_TITLE is not compatible with Unix or Macintosh computers.” I wonder if there’s some weird java incompatibility. I go back and forth about whether java is just a steaming pile of shit, or whether it serves some purpose. I guess most of the web-based games out there are java applets, so in that respect, I’ve got to love it.

playing catchup

I lamed out on the Thursday night low concert. I basically decided I’d go on Friday instead of seeing the Umbrella Sequence. There were numerous advantages to this proposition, one of which was that I wouldn’t be spending any money until payday.

Of course, then Friday night came around, and I decided I’d rather see Umbrella Sequence anyway. I’ve seen low before, and while I know it’s a good show, I’ve also been meaning to see Umbrella Sequence for a while now. And they were not disappointing. It was at the Uptown Bar, and I’d never been there before either. Remind me not to eat there again though. It was not bad, but overpriced, and greasy.

Saturday I basically lounged about the whole day, and finally got up off my butt to go see Junior Senior around 7:30. I got to the theater as the doors were opening, but there were signs everywhere that said the show was sold out. So I walked over to let it be, and bought myself a few Cds to commiserate. I’d been meaning to pick up the new Her Space Holiday CD, the young machines and it’s awesome. I also picked up the new Fluke album, puppy (import only, this bastard cost me $25), but it is an excellent album as well. Then, of course, while I’m in the store, they’re playing something I’ve never heard of before, that I absolutely must have… an album by Ulrich Schnauss, called A Strangely Isolated Place. Also damn good.

Sunday, Laura and I went shopping downtown. I meant to spend a gift certificate that’s been sitting in my backpack for months now… $50 at Eddie Bower. You can see how often I get into that store. Anyway, we ran out of time between Target and Marshal Fields (Laura gets a discount at both), so it just wasn’t in the cards. I ended up buying Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, and Majestic Chess, a PC chess game with an “adventure” mode I wanted to try out. It’s pretty fun so far. You basically have to go around and beat chess puzzles and quizzes to acquire your chess set. (You don’t play full games till the end of each level, when you usually have your full set–at least, that’s how it’s worked so far.)

My only qualm about the weekend was that I didn’t get to play enough Morrowind. I’m hoping to make up for that either tonight or tomorrow.

In more web-related news… I read Eric Meyer when I think of it, but just today I noticed his “presentation” links on the right hand side of the page. Pretty sweet stuff, that. I love the Matrix theme. I sent this link to my friend xomina, and he pointed me to a page with pure css menus. Pretty mind boggling CSS. Man, why can’t I do more of this kind of shit at my job?

jr/sr on Sat., Blaine in a box!

Wow, ok, so here’s a crazy series of discoveriesÂ… I’d known since Monday that Low is not actually playing on Saturday, but instead is playing Thursday and Friday (ie, if I want to see Umbrella Sequence, I have to see them tonight.) This isn’t so bad, seeing as how tonight is the 21+ show, and I’d rather see that one anyway. (mostly because they’re generally less crowded.)

So I’m not sure why, but I’m randomly surfing the TCASL again, and find out that this Saturday, Junior Senior is playing at the 7th St. Entry. Fuck yeah! I don’t even have to miss any of the other concerts I was planning for this weekend!

OK, but here’s where it starts to go Bizzzaro. I’ve never heard of the headlining actÂ… Electric Six. Maybe I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never heard them. (Update, turns out I’ve heard a few songs,) anyway, I surf to their website, and find that they’ve got a blog of sorts, and the third entry is talking about David Blaine’s latest stunt. How weird is it that I hear about it there first? On this blog I’ve never been to before by some band I’m going to see on Saturday by coincidence.

Point is, he’s locked himself up in a clear plastic cage suspended above the ground for 40 days and 40 nights. (Maybe 44 days?) I guess he’s had quite a few protestors and people throwing eggs at him and stuff. There was even a guy who possibly commited suicide within site of the box. As usual with David Blaine, it’s all very strange and mysterious.

sugarrrrrrrriffic

What with cake for today’s monthly birthday celebration, cookies with weirdly empowering slogans on them that one of the higher-ups deemed himself too good for, and the candy bars I bought myself at the gas station this morning–I am feeling excessively sugared today. This is not necessarily a good thing, as my stomach is doing the ADD-dance.

(Man, you should have seen the cookies. They’re all shaped like cartoon conversation bubbles, and came sticking out of a basket on sticks, wrapped in some kind of plastic over the whole thing. They said things like “You’re the one!” and “Go get ’em tiger!” I ate the one that said “Master of the Universe”.)

more comedian blogs, please!

I discovered over at me-fi this morning that Margaret Cho has taken up blogging. Her entries are long and, as you’d imagine, intelligent and interesting.

This led me on a hunt for other comedian-slash-bloggers. I remembered that Maria Bamford had updates on her site the last time I was there, but it took me a while to hunt her down again as I couldn’t remember her name right away. I could have sworn I blogged about her before, as I thought I had mentioned the hilarity of her anecdotes about her pug named Blossom, but I guess not.

It feels like surfing for comedians who also blog could be a full time job. Some part of me would like to actually click through all the comedians in Comedy Central’s list. I found Doug Stanhope’s blog that way, but it could get pretty tedious.

Eventually, I asked myself the question “Does Dave Barry count?” He’s a comedic writer, so no, I don’t think he does. That means we’re really looking for stand-up comics who also have blogs.

So while surfing for lists of celebrity blog links, I found Neil Gaiman has had a blog since 2001 (he started the month before I did). I haven’t read much of it yet, as it didn’t seem that exciting, but it sort of softens the blow that was left when I found out William Gibson decided to close up shop at his blog.

living by the numbers

Mortgage due on the first, no late fees if paid by the fifteenth. I was one hour late for work today after spending an extra ten dollars to pay it online. I got there at eleven. That means I work till seven. Tonight I’ll probably stay up till one in the morning, when Laura gets home, playing Morrowind. Nate bought the second matrix movie yesterday, maybe I’ll watch that with Travis when he calls me around eight, which is only one hour from now.

Found out today I’ve only used eight of my ten vacation days this year. I should have had fifteen with the old company, but I guess I’m not complaining. I still have two left!

I’m feeling a bit sick again. If I am, that’ll be the third time in four weeks. Maybe it’s because I french kissed at least five people at Jason’s party, four nights ago (last Saturday). We were playing Tru-Dare, this weird adult-themed chutes and ladders type game. I played it at least four times that I remember, and I was up till sixthirty in the morning. This left me with only about two and a half hours to sleep. Still, I think it was a good time, and I’d give it four stars, or two thumbs up.