prog: (rotwang)
Did you leave some Indian food in our fridge? Because

(a) we totally just ate it, for which we apologize, but it's not like you put your name on it and anyway we haven't gotten groceries in a while and are starving; and

(b) you have to tell us where you got it because OMG.


Jul. 23rd, 2008 07:59 pm
prog: (Default)
Going slightly crazy. It is in my interest to have deliverables delivered by tomorrow night. It's possible if I work straight through, but it'll be tough, and so much else is weighing on me, mostly move-related. I haven't packed much beyond that first push on Sunday. I don't want to deal with the parking office to get some stupid signs, but I must. Maybe I'll push it to Friday.

Two more apt-lookers today. I couldn't escape the later of them due to the rain, and did a better job grinning and bearing their inevitable interview (while typing obscene invectives about my visitors via IM to [ profile] classicaljunkie). Every single person, without fail, wants to know to utility costs. I tell them in all honesty that I do not now. I even looked it up in Quicken, and I still can't figure it out, since I paid them in irregular lumps this past winter, and not always in full.

I must have hosted, gosh, twenty-five of these unwanted visits over the J-months. Perhaps more. I feel I deserve commendation for only now starting to wish I could kill them with my mind, as opposed to a month ago.

To help calm down, I ordered a delicious fishy-fish dinner from Redbones, and paid well over $20 (incl tip). It was around five bucks more than the total based on the delivery menu on my fridge, which can't be more than a year or two old. The food, she has gotten expensive.

Drinking cold beer and taking long breaths now.
prog: (tom)
On Monday [ profile] daerr and [ profile] cthulhia joined me for a larkish lunch at Diva. The bill was covered by a Ameriprise, a big ol' financial-consulting outfit who sponsors local put-your-business-card-in-the-bucket-and-get-a-free-lunch dealies. I allowed them to reel me into a free consultation later in the week, on the why-not principle.

That was this afternoon. I enjoyed tripping out to Charlestown for it; don't have reason to go there much. Also enjoyed talking to them and seeing how my current situation fit into their comparative chart of financial hairinesses. Basically "Low Complexity" on all fronts, but naturally they were quite pleased to offer me a year of consulting for their lowest annual fee, and how did starting first thing Monday morning sound?

After I got home, [ profile] classicaljunkie, who is, uh, a professional financial consultant hey, wait a minute suggested that I have better things to spend my money on, seeing as how I have little enough of it as it is, and my most immediate targets (mostly debt-related) are very well defined, and large enough that any finanical plan rather writes itself for the immediate future. So I just sent em an email telling them no, thanks. Maybe when I get hairier.

I have to say, it was also good, as an independent consultant, to objectively observe a couple of experienced and besuited consultants on their home turf pitching at me. The conclusion of the meeting was almost literally "So, do you want to hire us?" "I'll have to think about it." "Of course. How's Monday?" "Okay." Very nice.


Apr. 20th, 2008 09:47 am
prog: (coffee)
Also, I have been making a point to eat breakfast! This is unusual for me. "Breakfast", for me, is traditionally a coffee and some sort of enormous doughy lumpus. Now I'm actually puttin away the eggs and cereal and such. (And keeping the coffee, of course.) This is great.

Should I go to the doctor for a checkup next month? I have heard disagreement about whether it's an annual or a biannual thing (at least in my age bracket). But it can't hurt, right?

Next month it'll have been a year since I was first given a proper diagnosis and treatment for those awful stomachaches. They've come back once or twice since then, but I can always make them go away by myself now. In retrospect I can't believe I lived under them in painful ignorance for as long as I did.
prog: (Default)
Posting from the Windows side of my Mac. I just confirmed that exporting XNA games to an XBox works as advertised, at least if you're running Windows natively; there seems to be no way around it if you're going through VMWare. Am presently attacking the Asteroids tutorial I posted about earlier.

On the fence about buying another damn computer. An alternate strategy is to use my G5 for the things that I had been using my MacBook for. But... enh. My MacBook is better at being a Mac than the G5 is. It'd be a downgrade. Maybe I'll feel differently once I've put a couple more checks between me and the hurty, hurty tax pay-off.

I have been sticking to my exercise and my "diet", which gets scare-quotes because it amounts to: Hey, why not pay some attention to what you're shoving into your gob, for once. I have been eating only when actually hungry, and allowing myself one (1) treat per day - like a honking big P.B. Cookie from Rossini's - since I find that I don't really desire more treats than that. The treat always tastes very good this way. It is always worth every totally worthless calorie.

This is all noteworthy because I've stuck to it long enough that my body's adjusted itself in a way I'm not used to: my appetite dropped by a discrete quantum literally overnight, two nights ago. It took me two mealtimes to work through a True Grounds breakfast burrito, and it's been like that since. Everything else seems fine, so I'm not doing my usual reaction to internal changes of jogging up the walls gnashing arrgh it's a tumor. So that's all right.
prog: (Default)
Other things I forgot in my description of last weekend:

Saturday attended that art salon in Union Square, which featured paintings and prints by [ profile] cthulhia (including her celebrated Surly Pink Bunny Tarot), poetry by Mary and recorder music performed by Carolyn. The funny thing was that I knew all of them were up to something but I didn't quite realize until the weekend itself that they were conspiring on the same event (and had been for months). It was altogether delightful, made moreso by the surprise of my boneheaded last-minute realization.

Here's Mary's Flickr set of it.

Friday entertained [ profile] lyricon and her dood as they passed through town en route to a friends' wedding in Vermont. We had yummy lunch at one of my favorite nearby restaurants, Porter Square's Passage to India, and had fun catching up and chatting through our respective grogginess, mine from cold medicine and theirs from Hawaii-to-Boston jet lag.

L's been a pen pal - there's really no better term for it - since we met online in 2000, over (what else) Looney Labs fan website administrivia. This was the first time we had actually ever met! Pretty good.

Had a very good Gameshelf shoot last night. I cross my fingers coz I haven't actually gone over the footage yet, but it went much more smoothly than April's shoot, and the crew already thinks it's the best work we've done. Some of the improvement was reacting to my list of criticisms from last time, but a lot also came from the fact that I scripted almost everything. We were able to film several takes of each bit and still wrap early.

The only completely unscripted bit was our do-over of the Joe-n-Jmac dialogue about the games, but I kept these to 5 minutes or less of raw footage each, mostly of Joe waxing on about the bits he liked. This was good because I'm worried that the episode is otherwise me talking and talking and talking so it's good to give Joe some time, and also in reviewing the March episode more recently I've decided that the weakest part of the show is the unscripted host dialogues. I still want them in there, but they shouldn't be longer than a minute or two, each. After that they're just dead boring, compared to the rest of the show.

I'm giving myself a deadline of, oh, October 15 to get this thing afloat. And in a beautiful world I'd like to have another whole ep done before the year's out, but let's talk about that when it's time.

Some days

Sep. 23rd, 2007 10:49 pm
prog: (Default)
Thursday was a sick day. Clobbered and miserable. At the end of the day I greeted the returned [ profile] classicaljunkie and she gave me Tylenol cold & flu pills, which (after an hour of sleep) snapped me back into sensibility like a light switch. I swear by this product now.

Friday did some contract work for the first time in a while. (This coming week I'm gonna be doing a lot of it, actually.) After that, delivered an HTML snapshot of the web client's table UI (not super-easy to do since it's a slippery DHTML app) to[ profile] radiotelescope. He insisted that this demo needs to make a much better first impression than I was preparing, and then volunteered to help make it happen himself. I have no problem with this sort of criticism!

Saturday started to set up the machine that will host After moving over! It's mostly Gameshelf episodes, and I discover that a few seem to exist in duplicate. Well, i can do something about that, at least. Then attended an art salon featureing [ profile] cthulhia's paintings, marymary's poetry and C's recorder-playin. It was delightful.

Sunday, more machine setup, and reaching out to prodigal users via email to tell em what's up and ask if they'd like to stay. Discovery, via [ profile] daerr, of Google's domain-level management apps. I am likely to point's MX records at it to let Google handle all my domain's incoming mail. Yeah, I know.

Afternoon meeting with [ profile] taskboy3000 about the Gameshelf shoot we're having on Tuesday, including a script read-through. Also, we played MULE again. Trader Joe's dinner with [ profile] classicaljunkie, and then we hung out at [ profile] dictator555 and Nate's place for a while, drinking their tea while I wrote some new game news segments. It will be a good show.
prog: (Default)
I am having a good day.

In the wee hours this morning I played two games of Tic Tac Toe against a bot with the Volity web client. The application is not in a state where anyone other than me can use it, but we have nonetheless acheived target depth. It's all lateral digging from here. I IMed [ profile] radiotelescope around 1a.m. to share the moment. He said "WTF, mid-August?" and told me to go see a movie.

I've suffered discomfort from zits growing deep in my left ear over the past couple of days, and they burst while I was showering this morning. It was briefly horrible, but after spending a while mucking the ear out with Q-tips I felt my old self again. If it weren't for [ profile] classicaljunkie I probably wouldn't have had any Q-tips on hand. Truly, this is what love is all about. (Actually now that I think back I originally bought the Q-tips to clean my keyboard. Wev.)

Walked to Kendall to squirrel the spoils of my July contracting work into the one ATM in town that accepts deposits for NetBank. Buoyant and listening to favorite podcasts, I thought upon Zarf's advice and looked at the movie theater, but they had no noon shows, so instead treated myself to lunch & beer at the CBC. I think I ticked off the server when I changed my mind about outdoor seating and asked to go inside instead; though the restaurant had few people in it he sat me next to a couple of grumpy people talking business, ignoring their cranky protests about why I had to sit there. I listened to my iPod and enjoyed my meal anyway, and said hello to [ profile] modpixie on my way home.

Now it's pouring out even though I was walking through the sunshine. Who knows!
prog: (galaxians)
Wrote a monologue for Jmac's Arcade yesterday, and hope to record it today. I've had the idea for this one since March, but then I did some Gameshelf work and then the webclient attacked and I haven't done any video work since.

However, last weekend I put together an aggressive but sane schedule of webclient milestones covering the next couple of months, and so long as I stay ahead of it I finally feel like I have time for my most neglected pillar. This is very good; I hadn't been been working by any schedule other than my two drop-dead deadlines (Sep 30 for live Tic Tac Toe demo, Dec 31 for full client), and that only gets me into work-or-feel-guilty mode. More fine-grained deadlines gives me a much more palpable sense of progress, and room to stretch in other directions.

Come Monday it'll be back to the Volity mines for another few days, though...

Dropped the Gameshelf crew a note last week about all this, too. I hope that producing another Arcade will whet my appetite to pick the show back up. Been considering sticking an audio news segment onto its RSS feed, just to keep it warm. We'll see.

Urgh, also in a stickyish situation coz the song I wanna use for this Arcade's BGM is by a local band (Rat Club) who hasn't updated their website since January and whose email bounces. They have a MySpace page and I'm tempted to get a MySpace account just to ask them if I can use the song. I'm further tempted to just try using the song anyway if I can't reach them, covering it with all appropriate attribution and hoping for goodwiil. It's pretty perfect for this piece.

Picked up Mario Strikers Charged a couple days ago, arguably the first "real" game (versus a discful of minigames and unlocks) for my Wii. It's a soccer game, and the followup to the original Mario Strikers for Game Cube that nobody heard of because it was for Game Cube. Haven't played enough to really get an impression of it yet; it's not quite as pick-up-and-go as Mario Kart but it isn't far off the mark either. The A button passes, B shoots, C fires off whatever power-up you just picked up, and everything else is an advanced technique that you can ignore at first. But it's not yet clear to me where the power-ups come from (it's nothing as obvious as running over "?"-boxes), and the action can get confusing pretty quickly.

The game encourages cooperative play, supporting two players to a side, and I look forward to doing some of that. Very interested in its internet play as well, so please let me know if you get a copy too.

I've been making coffee again, and generally eating breakfast produced in my own kitchen. Still hitting the Starbucks across the street for my afternoon jolt, though.
prog: (khan)
[ profile] classicaljunkie, Ricky and I were in my apt on Saturday evening. Ricky announces that he's going to Shaw's to get some sour cream, and leaves. CJ and I, who hadn't been alone together in a week, take advantage of our short span of solitude. About when we'd expect him to come back, Ricky re-enters the room to announce that he's going to Shaw's to get some sour cream.

Uh, sez I. Hadn't he just come back from doing that?

No, sez he; he had been in the kitchen, one room over, praying on his rosary.

Wait, Ricky's Catholic?

Kinda. He more or less spontaneously started acting like a devout one a year or two ago, I think after hearing a Mass on the radio and liking what he heard. During his most recent two visits he's overcome his fears of strange neighborhoods to brave the 10-minute walk from my apt to the nearest Catholic church for Mass.

I gather that he takes comfort in all the rigorous structure of observant Catholicism's many repetitive prayers and rituals.
prog: (Default)
It has been a full weekend.

Saturday saw a lot of Volity hacking, breaking ground on the web client's server-side component. Once the complete skeleton is built I'll commit it as v0.1, but my fugue state didn't last more than a few hours and I had to be all "whoah" and raise my hands and step away before I could quite get there. Maybe I'll finish it today. Anyway, this will be the first Perl-based Volity sub-project that I've started since I got religion via Perl Best Practices, which taught me to start major projects by writing the tests (and, in so doing, designing the interface) first. So that's exciting. If you're me.

In the evening, [ profile] radiotelescope, [ profile] cthulhia and I saw Day Watch, the sequel to last year's Night Watch, a.k.a. the crazy Russian vampire movie that everyone except for me and the people I saw it with hated. I liked this movie too, though not as much as the first. It replaced the crazy imagery and action of the first movie with some fun plot development. I dug it, but I missed the other stuff. It also contained one completely irritating character, who (among other things) failed Mo's Movie Measure the instant that she was able. Worse was that this occurred during an egregious and overlong "Freaky Friday" sequence, and so I spent five or six minutes in a sustained wince in the middle of this otherwise enjoyable flick, and that was unfortunate.

Sunday was [ profile] classicaljunkie's birthday! Following plans that [ profile] dougo initiated a while ago, and also accompanied by Cthulhia, we drove to Kimball Farms to play miniature golf, or "putt-putt" as CJ calls it in her native language. I hadn't played since I was a kid but I'll be damned if I still didn't have reasonably good chops for it. My friends laughed when I said it was all the golfing video games I play, but I wasn't entirely joking! The place has two courses, and we played both, with me winning the first round and CJ the second (after Cth left), though the point spread was fairly tight.

The courses were enjoyable but rather bland, with one real standout whose like I had never seen before: one hole split in a vee a few feet away from the tee, with one arm snaking towards the cup in the usual fashion, and the other dumping into an artificial stream. As it turns out, the best solution involves purposefully putting into the water, which carries your ball under a platform and through a hidden tube, ejecting it right at the cup. But there's no explicit documentation about this; you either need to watch someone do it, or be intrepid enough to figure that there had to be some reason for the hole's stairway-to-nowhere design, making the leap of faith yourself. Doug was the brave one in our party, and he and I both got holes in one.

The rest of the course was really nothing special, but I just couldn't shut up about that one hole. Great design!

Also did some unexpected networking: the dad of the family playing behind us turned out to be a publisher of some computer and video game magazines from the 1980s and 90s that I loved as a kid! He couldn't help but overhear Doug and I talk about Volity and iPhones and such, and we chatted for a while. he was interested to hear about my startup, so I need to email him a little follow-up today. Had no business cards on hand, but wrote my info on the back of an extra scorecard for him.

Then we went to dinner with [ profile] dictator555, at Pigalle, in the Boylston vicinity. This was the first time I'd really experienced a fancy-dan restaurant where you pay exorbitantly for very little edible mass. It felt like something from a New Yorker cartoon. I ordered a $15 a menu item describing itself as gnocchi, and it meant this quite literally, featuring a gnocchi, one single piece, on a little bed of vegetables; an island in an otherwise large and empty plate. I did appreciate this, though perhaps not in the way they meant me to.

It was delicious, what there was, and I also quite enjoyed the sampling that my dining companions allowed me from their dishes. I said that I'd consider returning the next time I felt the need to really impress someone.
prog: (The Rev. Sir Dr. George King)
Was prescribed Prilosec for my tummy troubles. (Actually a generic alternative, but because I lack Rx coverage, the druggist offered to sell me the name-brand stuff for half the price. Odd to me, but OK, since the doc had mentioned that the two were the same.) I am to take it for a month while not drinking anything that is brown, to use a Larry Wallism. This will let my abused stomach lining toughen up a bit. I will then cease the dosing and go back on the brown stuff, but mindfully.

I think I broadcast a distressed expression at this news, for he then explicitly allowed me one "regular-sized" coffee every day, and an occasional beer. "Thank god," sez I. I also must take a break from shoveling down the vindaloo, though. Sad for me.

Had a full physical, and while I have to come back for blood and eye testing, all else is well. Got a tetanus shot. Whee.


Apr. 16th, 2007 09:13 pm
prog: (Default)
Today was a stomachache day so I didn't do much. Though it was axe-in-the-gut bad at its apex, I note that it was my first in over three weeks (I've been keeping a log ever since my zomg it must be cancer dealie in December), and the ache faded before bedtime. After an entire afternoon of reading and napping on the couch (I also got up unusually early to take a business call), I let myself have a little bit of coffee to clear away the mental fog, and I did not double over in agony. So that's all good.

I hypothesize that it was from eating poorly yesterday. Among the things I ate was a Grade D cheeseburger (seriously, it was like unto an elementary school's cafeteria output) from the probable source of my food poisoning last winter. Don't ask.

Yes, I will bring up the stomachache days when I go to the doctor next month.

I am reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by the way, lent to me by [ profile] dictator555. I'm enjoying it a great deal. So far, it's my favorite of the series. I know, in two short sentences, what the big reveals are, but I don't know any of the details and am having a tasty time discovering them. It reminds me of my going back and watching the first two seasons of BSG after watching most of the third one, actually.

Yesterday I played some games at one of [ profile] dougo's occasional game parties and felt like a cranky little shit for a lot of it. I hate when I get that way; I will say or do something cranky and then try to make up for it with a display of forced non-crankiness and really I don't think it fools anyone. So, if you happened to catch a whiff of that, sorry.

I will try to be better about it later. I think that I didn't really feel like playing games, and kept agreeing to more games even after recognizing this. What the hell? Eh.
prog: (Wario)
I just paid three dollahs even for a eggs & chorizo burrito and a coffee at the new Boloco, and now I am leeching off their wireless. That's a pretty good deal.

The burritos here are kind of anemic compared to the big fat burritos that my neighbor Tacos Lupita makes, but they're tasty. The coffee is tolerable. It's a nice cheap protein boost though, on a morning when I was expecting to laden myself down with a Diesel bagel.

(I'd post this in [ profile] davis_square but honestly I'd feel self-conscious about writing more posts about buildings and food there. Not that I don't enjoy the ones that others write. Anyway.)
prog: (coffee)
Lunch friday at that Indian cafe dealie in Inman Square. I cannot remember the name [It's Punjabi Dhaba - thanks [ profile] pheromone] but if I recall correctly they have a really colorful woo-woo-we're-hip sign out front. But the inside is all business, of the sort I most commonly associate with hole-in-the-wall Chinese or Italian joints. It's really cheap and good. The aloo mater I ordered for around $6 came in a large metal TV Dinner-style tray, which actually made for easy together-slopping of the rice and various fixins. I enjoyed it a great deal. I want to go back and get the same thing but have em throw in some garlic naan. Mm.

Later, breakfast at Supreme Kitchen, halfway up Highland Ave. Oddly I have never been there before. More oddly, it was not Soundbites-jammed on a Sunday late morning, though it was certainly turning some brisk business. I guess the nameless neighborhood around Somerville Hospital just doesn't have the visibility of Ball Square. Anyway, I had eggs n pancakes n snausage and it was all very good. I shall return.

Finally [ profile] classicaljunkie made a tremendous amount of chili yesterday and gave me a lot in a Pyrex container, which I have so far dropped only once. I am still eating it and will be for another day or two. It's great.
prog: (zendo)
Several photos from the debut of [ profile] cthulhia's crazy art project last week: an entire Carcassonne set made out of gingerbread!

As the photo descriptions note, we played with the set twice, once at [ profile] dougo's house and again at the House of Roses, and then it got et.

If any of the folks depicted in the photographs want me to take those ones down, just say the word. I think the shot of the artist herself is great but the other people-shots didn't turn out as good. I kept them because I wanted to show that people actually were playing the game!

I plan on sharing a couple of these on Board Game Geek, as well as the next Gameshelf.
prog: (Default)
Overslept due to mechanical failure today. My phone crashed or something after I hit snooze the first time. I think maybe its battery indicator is on the fritz and it doesn't have as much charge as it thinks it does. I am using my backup phone now while the primary (which has since come around, ten minutes after I plugged it in) ponders upon its transgression at home.

What's interesting is that I overslept an hour and still woke up before 10. I have, for a week or two, been pretty good about cranking my usual daily routine back by a couple of hours. My rule of thumb is that I should get started on the work portion of my day (whether that's ITA or Volity) by 10am, as that's guaranteed to charge the solar cells that power my motivation for several hours before sunset - especially important during winter.

Today that's not gonna work, and though I try not to fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy trap, I bet that I won't get much done today. But I'm not mad, because I've actually been pretty productive otherwise. We'll see if I can stick to this and maybe even make a habit of it. The key change in my thinking about all this is that it's less a factor of how much I sleep than it is when I wake up, with earlier being better. (I'm still using the "sleep" tag for these posts, for lack of a better one.)

Ended up buying a full-sized iPod yesterday, after a Tuesday conversation with [ profile] mrmorse and others convinced me that the video capabilities would mesh well with the fact that I am, in fact, a video producer. I didn't know that all the big iPods did video now; Apple's streamlined the choices to Shuffle/Nano/iPod, and the latter can play all the MPEGs you care to stuff it with (minding whatever codecs it prefers; I haven't learned about this yet).

For half the price of the 20GB, monochrome-screen, audio-only iPod I bought four years ago (and lost three years ago), I got a 30GB, full-color, A/V one. It's maybe two-thirds as thick as the old one. And it's black. Crazy.

Walked to work listening to podcasts for the first time in weeks. Hurrah! I have to say that the flush controls irk me, though; I can't feel the buttons through my shirt pocket to quickly pause or skip tracks. The first iPod I bought came with a little "remote" that you could clip to your clothes for this purpose; do they still make them?

I think my stomach has shrunk or something since I got sick. I get full pretty quickly. Though I haven't eaten since last night, I am stuffed after eating only three-quarters of a muffin just now.

Of course my first thought it oh no IT'S GOT TO BE CANCER but at any rate I am overdue for physical. I need to build up some more money first. And then find another doctor, again, since the Harvard doctors are only for active Harvard people. Meh.

oh jesus

Nov. 29th, 2006 11:52 pm
prog: (what_you_say)
i just got fuckin food poisoning from Alex Pizza. I think. In a serious serial barf-mode. Poor Zarf had to listen twice, and then I made him get me from stomachey things I remembered from last year's poisoning, back when I had a health care plan with a dial-a-nurse option. (That was from some cheapie Thai place, I can't even remember which now.)

Wish me luck.
prog: (Default)
I have had a good couple of days...

Wednesday after the RMV stupidness I went to work and worked from 10 until 4:30 and it was great. I really must make an effort to dig in by 10, when I want to have a work-day like that. Which, um, should really be all of them. Split work early to eat n drink n scheme with J, always delightful.

Thursday I went to eat at [ profile] dictator555's aunt's house with that whole crowd, which was kind of random but quite welcome. I actually didn't think about what I'd do for T-day until Wednesday afternoon. I IMed [ profile] classicaljunkie to ask if it'd be tacky to post my Thanksgiving Orphan status on LJ, and then she was like EAT WITH US OM NOM NOM and I was like ok ok.

Hanging out with a friend's extended family that you don't know at all is always a little strange, and as a shy nerd at heart I found it a little rough at times, but I still made it out with not only an overful l belly but experience at playing four-handed Cribbage (for this family, like mine, are native New Englanders). This is actually pretty nifty and I look forward to teaching the variant to my own family up north!

On the train ride home I sat near a woman who was flirting really really loudly and I dare say tactlessly with the guys sitting behind her for the whole 1.5-hour ride and it was horrible and I was glad I put more than just talky podcasts on my Shuffle before leaving. Really that was the only negative experience.

Now it's not yet 1 and I'm actually a little sleepy. WOW. Off to go try and take advantage of this.

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