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California Playlist

…in honor of my cousin (in law) Therese who is returning to California right now. This is what I’m listening to today:

Luna – California (All The Way)
Her Space Holiday – Sleepy California
Josh Ritter – California
Liz Phair – California
Mason Jennings – California
Propellerheads – Take California
P!nk – Gone To California
Semisonic – California
Boom Bip & Doseone – directions to california
Essex Green – Never Been To California
Magnetic Fields – California Girls
The Beach Boys – California Girls
The Eagles – Hotel California
The Mamas & The Papas – California Dreamin’
Tupac Shakur – California Love
Vampire Weekend – California English
Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – California Uber Alles
Everclear – Like A California King
Kid 606 – Die In California
Low – California
R.E.M. – I Remember California

Been a long time since I posted on here. I have a five week old baby girl named Colleen now.

google docs humor

In the wake of reading that google is developing “Chrome OS” (who knew?), I was opening something in open office, and thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool if I could open this on the command line”? Then I thought… “I could just use google docs”. Then I thought “What if I could open it on the command line using google docs?!?”

This prompted me to open google docs in links, the text-only web browser, to which I was greeted with this message:

Sorry, but this browser does not support web word-processing.

Please see our system requirements page for a list of supported browsers.

If you are working to fix problems with a specific browser and would like to bypass this check, just add ?browserok=true to the end of the Google Docs url.

Please note that it is a violation of intergalactic law to use this parameter under false pretenses, so don’t let us catch you at it.

And, it won’t work very well — really.

Emphasis was added later, of course. I think it’s funny that, not only is Google setting out to control our desktops (in a benign and hopefully awesome way), but they are also able to cite intergalactic law. The implication, of course, is that they are setting their sights just a wee bit higher than world/solar system/galactic domination… into the realm of INTERgalactic domination.

Note: Now I will proceed to have the Beastie Boys song Intergalactic stuck in my head for the rest of the afternoon. That is all.

Books and Words

This morning on my way to work I finished Tom Robbins’ B is for Beer, which I’ve decided was only just ok. As a children’s book about beer, involving a “beer fairy” and a young girl’s magical journey instigated by alcohol, it’s a fun book to describe to people, which probably means it will be very successful, but it felt a little forced to me. There was some of Robbins’ characteristic prose gymnastics, but there was also a quite lengthy section (in a 125 page book) where it really felt like Robbins’ was attempting to teach us about how beer is made. (Seriously!?!)

In only slightly related news, I have been really really enjoying Max Barry’s new episodic …thing… titled Machine Man. It can be subscribed to in a number of ways. I’ve been getting it sent to me via email, and have been really looking forward to it. I get a little thrill whenever I see it in my inbox waiting for me.

BECAUSE bisexuality conference this weekend

I’m not so much tempted to go to the conference, (here’s the schedule) as possibly interested in a) watching the keynote speaker, b) the “Cabaret Entertainment” provided from 8 to 11 on Saturday night, and c) the MN premier of “Bi The Way”, a documentary film about bisexuality, featuring, among other things, an interview with Ani Difranco. Here is the poster for the movie screening (pdf), which is actually free to the public (although space will be reserved for conference attendees.

The conference costs like $45, which, while totally reasonable, will probably mean I’ll skip items a & b above. I’m going to try and make it to the movie screening though.

Interesting peek into my online method/madness: I did not twitter on this topic, though I wanted to, and may yet even link to it on facebook. Twitter has become an extension of my iPhone game promotional arm. Does that make me a twitter sellout? (As if selling my previous twitter account hadn’t already solidified that status…. ha!)

My Favorite Extended Metaphors

I have absolutely no idea if I’ll even remember any others right now, but I can think of two songs in particular that take the idea of extended metaphor and run with it beautifully.

The one that prompted this post is called I Used To Love H.E.R., by a hip-hop artist named Common. I have probably heard this song before, but have been listening to it a lot lately remixed with the Hyrule Market theme from Legend of Zelda. It’s part of the Ocarina of Rhyme mashup, which is quite good. I don’t want to spoil the song, in case you haven’t heard it, so I won’t tell you what the metaphor is, but it’s well worth a good listen.

The only other one I can think of is the song I sang to my wife at our wedding, The Book of Love, by The Magnetic Fields. It is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. Perhaps obviously, the metaphor is that of love as a book. Since I already have them transcribed, (they’re on our wedding website), I’ll reprint the lyrics after the break below.

Oh, and if you think of any other really good extended metaphors, post ’em here!

Continue reading ‘My Favorite Extended Metaphors’

ActionChess for the iPhone

It’s been a long uphill struggle, but ActionChess should be appearing in iTunes or in the app store on your device anytime now. I wrote about this over at chesstris.com, but I’ve already submitted the first update.

It’s weird, but now that it’s been approved, I almost feel more nervous about it than I did before it was approved, while I was waiting for it to get approved. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I definitely want to get puzzle mode in there sometime in the near future, along with a new game mode that I’ve been thinking a lot about in the last week or so. I have so many game mode ideas that I don’t know when I’ll find time to implement them all.

I have plans to get together with a new friend and iPhone developer on tuesday, and we’re probably going to collaborate on another game in the near-ish future also. We’re thinking about doing some kind of match-3 game, and in prep for that, I’ve made a list of all the ones I know about already on the iPhone. Let me know if you see any missing from this list (there have to be more, I’m sure of it).

Match 3 games I have or have some experience with:

  • ChocChocPop – florence’s favorite (adds powerups)
  • Gem Spinner (add “shape constraints”, background “clearing”, rotation)
  • Mix-A-Dot (adds color mixing)
  • Gemmed (adds cool “critter” mechanism and different piece types)
  • Puzzle Quest (adds RPG elements)
  • Jewel Quest II (added background “clearing”)
  • Bejewled II (played original Bejeweled, haven’t played the iPhone version)
  • Aurora Feint (like Tetris Attack)
  • Crazy Sushi (uses the Yoshi’s Cookie “slide a row” game mechanic)
  • Trism (trianges!)
  • ScribBall / CrayonBall (adds gravity, not sure if these should count)
  • Pinch ‘n Pop (also stretching the definition, but it is sort of a match-3)
  • Quadrix (“slide a row” not so much match-3 as making various shapes.)

…and the ones I haven’t (yet) played:

  • Chain3 (no movement constraints — apparently this has been out since app store launch)
  • Samurai Puzzle Battle (Puzzle Quest knockoff?)
  • Smiles (on my wishlist)
  • Diamond Twister
  • Popcorn!
  • Campaign Trail
  • Chocolate Shop Frenzy
  • Sliders (also uses “slide a row” game mechanic)
  • Slida (also uses “slide a row” game mechanic)
  • Gemlogic
  • Gems
  • Big Booty
  • Bling: Touch Fever
  • Glyph (looks to be a lot like Jewel Quest)

anyway, check out ActionChess if you have an iPhone, when you get a chance!

30 Podcasts and Geekdom

This last weekend, over at readcomics.org, we posted our 30th podcast. We were talking about the second Geek Girl’s Guide podcast at lunch, and I mentioned this milestone with the realization that I’m rather proud of it, and thought I’d share it here also. Next month it’ll have been a whole year since our first Read Comics podcast. We let the year anniversary of the blog’s inauguration pass without much fanfare, in part because I haven’t been writing nearly as much over there as I did last summer, and probably also in part because we have these few beginning posts from even a year before that. (They don’t count though.)

Anyway, I do all the editing for the podcast, which is to say, hardly any at all. Normally, I’ll just make sure the beginning and ending don’t sound terribly stupid, and trim any extraordinarily long dead-space. We’ve recorded almost every episode right from my MacBookPro’s built in microphone, which does an astoundingly good job.

I was joking with everyone on Saturday after the podcast that I really only do it for geek-cred. Yeah, I have a podcast. Yeah, it’s about comic books. What’s geekier than that?

Tangentially related, Florence pointed me this weekend to Wired’s 10 Annoying Habits of a Geeky Spouse. Number four is dissecting movies, something we do a great deal of at Read Comics. Florence thought that she is as guilty of the things on this list as I am, and furthermore that she finds some of them endearing. Yet more reasons I married the perfect geek girl for me.

Breaking Down

To commemorate my newfound love of Jeremy Messersmith, I am compiling (and have listened to today) a list of songs that I like that contain the phrase “Breaking Down”:

Breaking Down – Jeremy Messersmith
All the Way Down – Glen Hansard
Breakin’ Down – Ben Harper
Stop Breaking Down – The Rolling Stones
Breakdown – Tom Petty
Miniature Breakdown – Quintron

Bonus Tracks (that may not be true to the exact phrase):
Make This, Break This – Bitch
Break on Through – The Doors
Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
Break It Down Again – Tears For Fears
Breakadawn – De La Soul
Give the Po’ Man a Break – Fatboy Slim

Quick “what’s up” and howdy doody

First of all, I just posted a couple of mini-reviews over at my game dev blog about match-3 puzzle games for the iPhone. I’m loathe to link to it, because I’m going to be moving the URL for that blog in the really near future. (OK, well, probably not until next month, but soon anyway.) The idea is to put everything on my new super-secret game development domain, abstractpuzzle.com. This will probably happen shortly after I’ve already launched ActionChess for the iPhone (I’m finally making chesstris!), and slightly before I’ve re-branded Go-Tetris! as ActionGo.

I flip-flop over whether the new names should have colons in them. ActionGo versus Action:Go, and ActionChess versus Action:Chess. I think I like the colon separation slightly more just because of how it looks visually.

Blogging my Goodreads review of Anathem

This is the first time I’ve tried this… copy/paste-ing the code they give you after you write a review. Lets see how it looks:

Anathem Anathem by Neal Stephenson
My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was really hard for me to get into, but the book is well worth slogging through that first chapter. As anyone who has heard me rant about Stephenson before will tell you, I think he suffers from lack-of-editor-itis, but for a nine-hundred plus page book, this didn’t FEEL as long as it was. I understand Cryptonomicon felt that way for some people too. (I thought it was crap, but probably because I don’t care for alternate history as a genre, and I was terribly disappointed that he’d decided to move away from sci-fi.)
Anyway, this is well worth a read. I almost went with five stars.
View all my reviews.

UPDATE: …in short, it looked like crap. But only because of line-break issues. Those should be cleaned up now.