Aug. 17th, 2008 09:32 pm
prog: (cooties)
Had an excellent housewarming on Saturday. I think I had in mind a combination of the game-filled parties I'm so used to, and the sit/stand-around-drinking-and-talking parties that are more exotic to me and my ludocentric lifestyle. Since it was a round-the-clock (one lap) party, there was in fact plenty of the latter activity, but also lots of times when nearly all the the attendees were gaming. I accept this as both unavoidable, given who we know, and just fine. I was in there Racing for the damn Galaxy a couple of times, myself.

Because we have the only XBox 360 among everyone we know, our living room quickly became a campground for a bunch of folks who spent the party chomping through about half of Braid and then the entirety of Portal, for lo, they had heard so much and seen so little. This was not a problem, because hey, big apartment, with backyard; plenty of other spaces to gather, and indeed, everything worked out fine. I thought it was pretty great, really... but we'll have to consider putting a kibosh on the video games if we ever have any wintertime shindigs!

N.B.: Nearly all the non-teetotalers who came brought beer or wine of some format. Next time we host, we can almost certainly get away with buying far less of this stuff than we did. :)

I gotta say, I'm glad this party happened, because our apartment is totally awesome as a result. We planned it only two weeks after our move so that it would be the whip that drove us to unpack quickly... and boy, are we sore from it. The labor was so hard that I sometimes forgot what the larger goal was, and would bitterly think ugh, all these days of work, just to set up a damn party? But in the end we got many nice compliments on how great the place looked, and I graciously agreed.

What is it

Aug. 14th, 2008 12:05 pm
prog: (The Rev. Sir Dr. George King)
I found this object while unpacking. I know what it is, even though I haven't had reason to use it in, oh, 16 years or so.

Do you know what it is?

(The thing on top is a plunger which presses straight down, and springs back up when released.)

Identified first by [ profile] kyroraz in comments!
prog: (Bizarro Kirk)
Anyone want a Commodore 64 and a matching 5.25" disk drive? (No cables.)

How about a complete SCSI Zip drive, with fancy padded carrying case?
prog: (Default)
Also, a double-bed-sized headboard, with inset shelving.

And some VHS-format movies. Don't you want to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" the way it was meant to be seen?!
prog: (norton)
Howdy mostly-locals,

We've got a growing pile of stuff to give away in our hallway. I plan on making a post to the trash-pickers of [ profile] davis_square on Monday, when we'll drag it out onto the curb. But you get first pick, because we love you. If either [ profile] classicaljunkie or I knows you, and you wish to paw through the stuff, please comment (or contact one of us directly) to arrange a visit this weekend or Monday.

First, there are books. Boxes of em. Lots of romance, fantasy, and SF paperbacks. (We are not abandoning our genres; we are just culling our collections, which otherwise threaten to sink the house in their combined weight, like that legend about your college library.) Also some nonfiction, RPG books that eBay didn't want, and some random computer / programming books.

There are also the following items. They are all in perfectly good condition, either wholly unused (if so marked) or lovingly used at one of our two prior apartments. Comment / contact if you have any questions about them.
Long list of stuff )

Thank you!!

Aug. 1st, 2008 02:38 pm
prog: (cooties)
Huge thank-yous to [ profile] dougo, [ profile] cthulhia, [ profile] ahkond, [ profile] mr_choronzon, K., [ profile] rikchik, [ profile] radiotelescope, [ profile] dictator555, N., and [ profile] classicaljunkie's parents for helping she and I drag stuff around all evening yesterday. We put the team through a lot more work than we thought we would, since we had a lot more stuff than we expected, necessitating multiple trips and re-packings. People stuck through until the job was done, and then we all ate Redbones.

You are all awesome and we love you!


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: (khan)
Ugh... having apt-lookers walk up to me to ask me questions while I'm in my living room pretending to work just brings out the worst in me. I can tolerate them being very brief uninvited guests, but I am not their fucking museum exhibit.

I just told one guy that I did not know what I paid in utilities, because it was all done via elves. This after giving him a "Let's see if I can make you die by looking at you. No? OK" look.

Yes, this is all counterproductive towards making the tours stop, but I'll be gone in a week anyway so I kind of don't care now.
prog: ("The Sixth Finger" guy)
Saturday was a tightly scheduled day that [ profile] classicaljunkie and I spent joined at the hip. In order, we:
  1. Saw Wall•E with [ profile] radiotelescope, and I tried not to cry through the whole thing, because Pixar is fucking beautiful

  2. Walked up and down Art Beat, buying tchotchkes and eating cheap tasty Indian food in a box

  3. Napped, then had coffee (actually, this was just me; CJ waited patiently by racking up achievements on Hexic HD)

  4. Dropped in on [ profile] mrmorse's for Mario Kart and birthday cake

  5. Stood in line for The Dark Knight at the Somerville, getting inside the theater just in time to pick up a pre-poured IPA from the bar before it closed for the night

I enjoyed TDK, and am likely to see it again in-theater because OMG it's dense, and most of what makes it dense is very good. And I was feeling very fatigued by 1am real-time, just as the plot climax was building up. I point you to [ profile] toddalcott's recent posts, and their comments, if you'd like to read some interesting criticism and reaction to it from smart folks.

Sunday, with CJ's help, finally started to pack. My apt finally is starting to look like I'm moving out of it. Good.
prog: (Default)
Agents are now calling for spur-of-the-moment tours. So at least four visits, today alone, perhaps more.

I succeeded in straightening up last night, and I've further resolved to stop dodging the people every time, and instead actively participate in showing the place off. Someone has to sign.
prog: (Default)
I've completed Project X's logic library to my satisfaction, and have begun to figure out how the UI's gonna work. All my recent game-UI experience has involved working with raw SVG directives, so it's interesting to approach a modern high-level game programming API with that oddball background. Creating sprites by plotting rectangles directly onto the screen is quite familiar. Less so is how they all insist on being pointed to on-disk bitmap image files which they can then paint onto themselves. So I'm going to spend some time in graphics programs generating some artwork, before jumping back into the code. Lots of scanning to do, in this case...

Yes, I think I can get away with entirely 2D graphics for this game. Certainly for the prototype, anyway, and that's all that matters for now. Sadly, even the latest beta of VMWare still can't let Windows take full power of my MacBook's graphics card, so I'm going to have to go back to rebooting into Windows every time I want to do work on X from now on... boo. At least until I get local access to a halfway decent PC, a sub-project that is indeed underway. (Have decided to pass on the rar-rar gaming rig that [ profile] mr_choronzon advised me on, for now. Cheaper options have arisen.)

Still moving on August 1, and the traffic of strangers tromping through my apartment is getting a little ridiculous. Especially when they have a less than perfect hit-rate for warning me ahead of time. I accidentally opened my front door into the face of a rental agent as I entered my own apartment this evening, returning from a ten-minute coffee break. Apologies exchanged, and now I've learned that I'm getting at least three separate visits tomorrow!

I've had plenty of these sorts visitors already, over the last couple of weeks, but the rate's getting nuts now. I'm going to straighten the place up some tonight. At first I didn't care if lookers-at found it messy, but I'm quickly wishing that someone please hurry up and find it attractive enough to sign for, so they'll all leave me alone!

I have once again downgraded my cellphone. The normally tolerable Sony Ericsson that I got in 2004 "candy bar" has a loose antenna or something, and all conversations are filled with loud static unless I squeeze very hard and stand very still. So once again I charged up my circa-2001 Nokia something-or-other, which I've kept as a trusty backup ([ profile] cthulhia will remember it as the BLAH blah BLAH model), and swapped my SIM into it. I had forgotten what a damn fine phone this is. I'm still on-track to buy an iPhone after its July release, but I'm no longer desperate for one. It's a real relief.

Free TV!

Jun. 12th, 2008 04:21 pm
prog: (colossus)
Could any of you locals use another TV? I need to get rid of my old one. It's an old-school deep-tube Philips 19" from 2003. Works great, but it's been sitting on my kitchen floor since I upgraded to HD in March.

If want it and can come pick it up sometime before July 31, say so now.
prog: (Default)
Not online for a compressedly extended period while I help [ profile] classicaljunkie move in to her new place and go to shows and restock my own pantry and stuff.

Went to a Negativland show with [ profile] cthulhia and another friend of hers last night. It was a lot of fun, if a bit long. I hadn't heard these fellows before, and I like em. As Cth predicted, they appeal to my appreciation of AV editing, since their whole act (at least in this show) involves putting together a meaningful sound collage on the fly, using a mix of analog decks and digital devices (and lots and lots of cassettes, LPs and CDs) arrayed all around them. Thematically it was a rich and lengthy pro-atheism rant, so not the most daring thing in the world to me, but it was definitely fun to watch them throw it all toegther.

I found that I couldn't stay standing more than a couple of hours and had to fade to the back of the room to sit through the last couple segments. Had a great time, modulo exhaustion and a little psychic pollution from drunk crazy people both inside and outside the club. (And did Central smell mostly of piss and barf back when I lived there? Probably. Yuck.)

Anyway, I hadn't been to the Middle East before, so I think that completes my checklist of Boston venues that have shown up (lightly disguised) in Harmonix games. (I did briefly visit the Rat while it existed, more than a decade ago, though I didn't go into the club per se. It's funny how the place has stayed legendary so long after its demise!) (I also met the late Mr. Butch while I was in there!)
prog: (coffee)
My parents finally picked up a Globe to check real estate prices 'round here. They didn't believe the numbers I have recited to them, until now. But then this led into another long lecture (in the academic sense) about home-buying strategies, so I know it didn't really discourage them from their dream of seeing their youngest become a homeowner; owning property is the one true form of financial security, to them.

I'm still not convinced of why I'd want to own a home versus renting one. However, I suspect that I just haven't collected enough reasons yet. I still feel that it's pretty likely that Linden's the last apartment I'm going to rent, before entering the real estate market on my own. I feel that it's equally likely I'll live here for more than a year. Perhaps I'll break the two-year record I set with my W-ville place! But, yes... we'll see.

Volity news:

Volity isn't behind schedule, but I feel like it should be. I guess I'm just impatient. Some of this also comes from the fact I'm repeating myself in mail to people, including curious strangers who've been joining the mailing list. I've had to write two separate emails about how the graphics're going to work, to two people who independently asked the same question. The question was perfectly reasonable, emerging from the currently published doucmentation describing the graphics system in general but not in detail. This makes it clear to me which book chapter I ought to write next, which is great, but on the other hand I'm hesitant to write anything definitively until we actually have a client, and can prove (to ourselves as much as anyone else) that these ideas will actually work.

That's actually what I'm impatient about. Clients we have so far include a very basic command-line thing that [ profile] daerr wrote, and the Java client that K has recently started building. The latter is going to be the big deal, but it's a month or three away from usability. What to do in the meantime? I predict that I'll spontaneously sink some hours into mutating d's client to use the Jabber libraries I wrote, and then extending it from there to handle all the functionality I'm adding into the server code. Either that or talk d into doing it. We'll talk.

Random thought (spurred by the music the diesel is playing right now, dunno why): One of the Karate Kid movies (II? III?) had the title character visiting Japan, and the TV trailer depicted him awkwardly asking a local girl "Are you... arranged, like?" (Referring to arranged marriage.) My dad, when we watched this ad (long, long ago, mind you) thought he said "Are you arranged right?" and exclaimed about what a crude movie this no doubt was.

I'm pretty sure I saw Karate Kid II, but I don't remember anything about it other than the Bad Karate Man (he wore a black gi, boo hiss) and a scene of KK and his coach on the long flight to Okinawa (IIRC). The fact that they were flying wasn't as important as the fact that they were traveling, and the focus of their scene was conversation about their destination. I think I remembered that scene because it seemed inspiring to me, who was (and remains) jittery on cross-country airplane flights, and here were these guys not even thinking about an intercontinental flight.

That Christmas I got an action figure of the BKM, who didn't have kung-fu grip per se, but did have a button on his back or hip or somewhere that made him kick, and came with little plastic oil barrels or something for him to kick over. The other figures based on the movie all did different things, chop and punch and so on, but I didn't have any of those. However, the BKM was like twice the height of my Star Wars guys, and so made for an effective exotic villain in young jmac's chop-socky playhouse of the mind.

Has anyone ever created a piece of media titled The Kung-Fu Grippe? I'd check now but I'm not online. It could be about any number of things, anyway.

Crap. I just asked the girl "C'n I have half a refill of the dark?", but it came out as "have have a refill"... I'm speaking in thinkos... and now I have a second large coffee here, which is too much. If I drink it all I can't let myself have any coffee until I finish peeing all this out, which won't be until 6 p.m. or so, or I will turn into Mr. Coffee Nerves and ineffectively fly around the office with my little jet pack and ruin marriages until it's time to go home.

True fact: I'm less shy about the word "girl" than I have been, perhaps as recently as a year ago. UMaine isn't the most oppressively P.C. place on earth but it does encourage what I imagine is the standard battery of Right Thinking through Word Elimination that one sees in American universities. There, "girl" is never ever the right word, unless one is talking about an actual young child. It took years of soaking in the Real World to get a feeling for the contexts when the word is just fine -- even stylistically appropriate -- to apply to an adult female-type person, and the contexts when it is legitimately too squirmy for the 21st century. (Which are many, granted.)

I'm probably like this with a bunch of words, actually.

Of course, this assumes a rational audience. A friend once told the story that someone crossed out the phrase "The home of Boston's chic shops" from an ad poster in the T, and wrote "WE'RE CALLED WOMEN" over it.

Also, it's old news, but still: did I call it, or what? I was guessing that his downfall would have been a misstatement, not a sound effect. But, whatever. Doom doom doom. I will do what I can.
prog: (Default)
Most of my bloggish friends seem to think 2003 was pretty crappy. For me, the year went all right. Was hoping for more, though. Didn't get as much done as I'd expected. I thought I'd have Volity finished, and some other inventions besides (BrainDump, Cooking for Hackers, and so on); am only halfway done with it (but still plugging away, drawing in friends, happy with momentum). Wanted to get back into writing columns, but didn't. Restarted my media log and then let it slide away again. No major projects finished at work, but did get some little ones in around the middle of the year, so that was nice.

Definite good things that happened last year: Felt, for the first time, to be a trusted member of an urban-tribe/social-blob thingy. (Or two.) Moved to a nice apartment, rediscovered joys of living alone. Stopped trying to grow away from my links to Maine; embraced them instead. Proved that you can reëstablish contact with people you haven't talked to in years.

Spent NYE alone in my apartment, doing the bidding of strange spirits, who had me clean my kitchen and bathroom, and take window measurements, and wash all my scattered dishes, including christmas presents (M's teakettle, and the big coffee maker my parents got me). Midnight found me happily drinking tea from the mug that [ profile] lyricon gave me earlier that year and munching on some cookies that my landlord gave me earlier that day while I sat my nice clean table writing letters while wearing new socks (from trip to Boston to visit Filene's Basement and peep at the beginnings of First Night), and then I watched Dick Clark watching the ball drop, and I felt very content.

Have not made any resolutions for this year. I bet doing so would be a good idea.


Mar. 11th, 2002 11:24 am
prog: (Default)
Sunday was the day of two giant meals. The first occurred at Johnny D's, after N&M wanted to visit Davis again with me, and maybe hit some real estate offices together, since we declared an official start to our housing search last weekend. (They've fallen for the area, by all accounts, going there many times by themselves since I first introduced them to it a couple of months ago.) They weren't impressed by the crowdedness, and I started getting worried about overselling them on the oatmeal when M couldn't talk about anything except oatmeal impact anticipation. But the wait was shorter than they said, and all was good once we sat down and demanded giant plates of food like crazy anime characters, to the tune of mellow, live xylophone music.

And lo, the oatmeal was good. But everyone felt too bloated to talk to real estate people, so we just perambulated around the square despite the cold winds and looked at buildings and wrote down phone numbers, before dissolving to pursue our own tasks,

My central task this weekend involved crafting the outline to the first chapter or two of the new book. I was surprised at how long it took, but this was probably from the fact that it went almost to paragraph-depth, hundreds of lines long. It's all good.

(I used OmniOutliner for the job, which I have found useful enough to be worth my $21.12.)

Recent email suggests that I have something to learn about writing for this space; I gawped at my perception that the first chapter, as outlined in the proposal, would be enormous, and Chuck is all, "Naw, you can do that in 30 pages. This is a nutshell book, remember." I think this was before he saw my mega-outline, so he may be able to give me some advice there. (Update: he just mailed to say that his mail client autofiltered my outlines into his trash can, so he didn't see them until just now. Heh.)

The second Giant Meal happened at Buddha's Delight, a vegetarian (possibly even vegan) Chinese restaraunt, visited with part of a theatergoing party headed by [ profile] magid. We agreed the food was yummy, but shared disappointment that the menu seemed to be mostly fake-meat dishes, instead of entrees that don't need meat of any level of veracity.

At dinner, while looking out the window at the Chinatown scenery, I was reminded of the strange person, place, or thing that [ profile] cthulhia and [ profile] queue once insisted I go see, somewhere in Boston proper, without telling me what it was. And now I cannot recall the location of this curious entity. My out-loud recollection sparked the interest of magid, who started listing random bizarre objects lying around Boston she knows about until I confessed that I really had no idea.

Then we went to see MacBeth but it was canceled because a lead actor was sick and without understudy. Next week, instead.


Feb. 23rd, 2002 12:23 pm
prog: (Default)
Yesterday was nice. In the morning I brunched with [ profile] cthulhia at Sound Bites, which contains both muffins and a show of her V-day postcard artwork, much of which I hadn't seen before, since it's not all on her website. A meatspace exclusive! Go there and have a muffin and look at the art, if you haven't already.

We then quested to shoot two more of the Mysterious Critter Signs that had appeared in Somerville -- one by the powderhouse (which for some reason I had never seen before!) and another way off in the east. After making my capture, I returned home to play with iPhoto for the first time. Even though I have my own photo gallery thingy on my own website, I couldn't resist putting the resulting photos on my account, since iPhoto makes this quite literally a one-button procedure.

(I really have been becoming an Apple fanboy all over again, or so I feel over the last few weeks as I have been learning how to use Mac OS X "correctly", using the Terminal only for hacky business and not as my primary UI, as I would with xterms in any other Unix-based desktop, and as I was with OS X before this month.)

In the evening I was to meet M&N at the 1369 to discuss house plans, but only M was there -- N was stuck putting out fires in the machine room all night. We yammered in a caffeinatedly productive fashion, and then I showed her Chez Chestnut and some of its resident (and transient) humans and kitties -- CC is one possible candidate for our house plans, since half its population is going to bail soon. I am not sure what kind of impression it made on M. She lists lots-o-space as a prime requisite, and I don't think that's something we enjoy here.

Cthulhia came by again for a surprise visit when she and I decided to skip the late-late BUFF shorts show. (It included "Puking Zombies", which we agreed had a nice title but wasn't enough motivation to get us to Chinatown by 11 p.m.) She and M hit it off really well, and I always love to see that sort of thing happen. She verbally sketched the outline to her screenplay idea for M and I, which was fantastic -- she tried to do this for me during our Leonids misadventure months ago, but had to speak through the haze of emotional and physical discomfort that marked that trip, while this time she was in full form, and we could only gape at her storytelling-foo.
prog: (Default)
I feel like Captain Turdbucket for being slacky in responding to some Boston Warren business last night, as this contributed to the consequence that we're all unscheduled and uncomped for Vericon, now. sigh.

[ profile] leahleaf is now with us. That's nutty.

I was thinking the other day how my late 1999 visit (so long ago, now!) to Leah and Gang in MD was the first time I ever really experienced the joy of being part of a happy and creatively sparkling social group (Circle L!), even for just a weekend. Perhaps it was the beginning of the end of any feelings of contentedness that I had as a Maine resident. I moved to Somerville just about a year after that.

Now I get to play the hmm, have I met these people? game with other people's friends lists again. Ah, LiveJournal. God love you.

Another positive book meeting today. I hit my editorial stride this morning, when I got up wicked early, like 8:30 am (!!!), which always fills me with energy. I love looking up from my work to glance at my clock and seeing a before-noon time. The trick will be pulling this off repeatedly, of course.

One week left before either the to-production date, or the prog-begs-for-another-weekend-cuz-he's-this-close-to-being-done date. All is well.
prog: (Default)
This house officially Wins. I did good by coming here, and have said as much to the preinstalled peeps, with whom I seem to be swimming swimmingly. Charles acknowledges my skill at memetic boxing, and Carla invited me into her GURPS Discworld campaign. We've all played the official house game of Lost Cities many times, and we chat and share food and coffee and do this and that with respective other friends as much as you might expect, and yes indeedy my Social bar is perhaps greener than it's ever been. Even the cat seems to think I'm OK.

So yeah. Props to cthulhia for encouraging my move here, both in advising me and in speaking in my favor to the residents. I am a heppy heppy ket.

Neighborhoodishly, I didn't realize how quiet the surroundings are until my first or second night here, when I heard a very distant emergency vehicle siren and realized that it was all the traffic I could hear at the time. How different from the Medford/Highland intersection of my last apartment! This despite the fact that there's so much good stuff in walking distance; Trader Joe's 5 minutes thisaway, Bread & Circus 7 minutes thataway, and Central Square with its T station and coffee shops is but 10 minutes up yonder. Compare with my east Somerville place, where I had an array of convenience stores to pick from, and that was that.

Driving seems a puzzle. Cambridgeport is more or less griddish, but every day a random selection of roads are blocked off by construction equipment, making the neighborhood streets an ever-changing labyrinth. As for Mass Ave, it's just as confusing during the day as it is at night, but it rewards those with cool heads with as many chances to loop back and try again as they need, until they finally bang into their heads the pattern of which lanes to occupy when, so as not to get prematurely flung off at any of several flinging-off points. I have come to the conclusion that Massachusetts Avenue is not a single road, but a collective organism made of lots of smaller roads, each with their own personalities, who have nonetheless decided to band together under a single name. Learning and accepting this makes navigating it a bit easier, for me.

There is a dishwasher, a concept so alien that even after being introduced to it I refused to accept its existence and washed the dishes once by hand anyway before thinking: hm. Charles has since educated me on dishwasher protocol, which I appreciate.

Apparently I am alone among the three in using the house phone line, so all phone bills will go to me until I finally get around to nabbing a cell phone, at which point, Charles figures, we may as well cancel the thing.

Despite all this talk of assimilation, I still haven't actually moved in yet. The landlords return this weekend, allegedly... I'll go research this now. Wish me luck.
prog: (Default)
Have successfully penetrated the Chez Charla perimeter and spent the night snoring in the guest room. iBook is happily connected to house Ethernet. Assisted in unsuccessful bid to medicate cat.

Driving here was Interesting. I oversteeled my nervosity about driving down the sinister and labrythine Mass Ave at night, enough to make it most of the way over, but there's this bizarre vortex at Harvard Sqaure where signs suggest making a sharp left to stay on Mass/2A, and following their advice suddenly puts you on Mt. Auburn, heading in an unknown direction. ?!. Fortunately I had a decent map of Cambridge with me, and the street I slipped onto in order to better study it proved to be an even more direct route to the house. Yay.

Now I must do lots of THINGS.

June 2014

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