prog: (Default)
The obvious comparison is to being a kid on Christmas eve, but it's not like Christmas worked better if you were well-rested enough to focus for the next 30+ hours on ridiculous feats of mental acumen. At least not at my house.


Dec. 16th, 2008 12:05 pm
prog: (Default)
  • I have some rather inspired Gameshelf post ideas that are just waiting for me to realize. I really will do them, once i work up the gumption for it.

  • Project X's IP holder wrote me, confirming that the project maintains is month-long heartbeat frequency while in hibernation. I'm not actually worried that it may be otherwise, but it's nice to hear anyway.

  • Had a great meeting with a new client yesterday, and another client has been coming by daily to dump a wheelbarrow of new tasks onto my lawn. Mmm, smells like fresh peat.

My sleep cycle is broken again. Most days I am waking up after 10am, no matter what I do the night before. This is unacceptable during winter, when I must be especially mindful to maximize the amount of sunlight coming into my eyes. Here it is noon, I am drinking my morning coffee, and there is like four hours of sun left. When such days end with me feeling like I accomplished nothing, it's an easy out to blame my waking up late, but it's not entirely incorrect, either.

"This ends here" growled I through my morning brain-syrup. Must prioritize changing the bedroom environment, starting with installing multiple alarm clocks, and leaving at least one of the heavy curtains open. (Which means installing blinds - work, bah. Still.)
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My stomachaches are back. The reason is simple; I stopped paying attention to what I was guzzling.

Yesterday was just terrible, and I had to chomp down lots of Pepto. Today it's down to a dull ache, without medicine. Tomorrow it'll be gone, unless I get stupid about what I drink today. If I understand correctly, what goes on here is that one's digestive system goes from its usual acerbic roiling into a gentle simmer when one is asleep, and regenerative processes take advantage of this by repairing the stomach lining from the day's abuses.

Before I knew what was going on, back when whether I had a "good" or "bad" stomach day seemed like a crapshoot, it was basically a question of whether my tum had managed to reinforce itself sufficiently the previous night. If it had caught up, I'd have a good day. If it didn't quite make it, I'd be in pain until my next long sleep. Quite simple, really.

Now that I have a clue, I will just have to pay some attention to what I drink and it will be OK. I don't think I will have to give up anything, except for the "pleasure" of having three coffees, two beers and a coke on one day just because I want something to do with my hands or whatever. If I limit my drinking of this stuff to when I actually want it I will be fine.
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I overslept by three hours today, and had very coherent dreams. One had me surprised to read a feature about Volity (or at least mentioning Volity) in a popular magazine, and another saw invited to speak to the Zipcar board about how much their new interface stinks. At one point I said something like "I had my flow, and it was perfect, and you took that flow away from me. You suck."
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Just napped for a couple of hours, after the thon. I am still a complete mess. I don't think I'll do anything else today other than have dinner (I'm thinkin salad) and watch TV.

It was a blast and lots of people shared a row with me, including [ profile] doctor_atomic, [ profile] daerr, [ profile] dictator555, [ profile] kyroraz, [ profile] cthulhia, and J-who-has-no-LJ. Of this group only the doctor and I stayed without break for the whole 24 hours, so allow us some utterly meaningless and possibly sad posturing here. Otherwise it was great to see everyone. It was also cthules' first thon experience, so I can take credit for bringing in another newbie, too.

All the movies were good or better, as were the entries in the shorts program. There seemed to be no standout moments of either brilliance or horror this year. There were some externally introduced local challenges we had to overcome, but we did, so it was OK. I'll catalog them later.

RIghto, food and zonked out couchage now.
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An interesting morning outing to the new (f)art museum with [ profile] cthulhia, as I predicted would happen in an earlier post. It was mobbed to such a degree that we didn't actually manage to get in, and we missed the animation show that was our goal - we woulda hadta practically camp by the doors in order to have a chance, it turned out. But we still had a fine time.

First of all, I got to ride the Silver Line for the first time, whee, and saw the Government Center station, which is actually very pretty now. Then we hung out in a giant woo-woo party-tent thing that Target had set up to house people waiting to get into the museum; they were admitting people in packs of 100 via a numbered-ticket system that was clearly going too slowly to give us much hope for timely admittance. However, it was kinda fun to mill around there anyway. Free snacks, and we ran into one of Cth's old neighbors and I got to talk about Jmac's Arcade and feel stupid that I didn't have any of my personal bizcards on me. (I wrote my URL on the back of a Volity card.)

We also participated in Halsey Burgund's project, where he's collecting sound samples of people answering questions from a sheet of printed questions while standing in a little wooden sound booth. Apparently he's going to mix it into music or something. He was wearing a Creative Commons T-shirt and looked like the sort of person who wears a Creative Commons T-shirt. Good time. Cth said that it was something you'd find at Burning Man, and talked to him about Todd Rundgren.

When it became clear that we wouldn't get into the museum unless we waited another hour or two, Cth got a case of the wackies and started making faces at people in the restaurant and bludgeoning passers-by with her Santa hat, so I guided her into the calming safety of Boston's financial district. I discovered that it is creepily quiet at noon on a Sunday, all looming skyscrapers and (almost) no people or noise. Her context shifted, she showed me a really neat brick alleyway where there's hidden surprise art embedded into the ground. If you're ever downtown with me, ask me about it, and I shall endeavor to take you there. But I will get lost and we'll end up wandering around until we give up and then we'll have ice cream or something, OK?

I note that we did get to see the fart mural through the lobby's plate-glass windows, so: mission accomplished.

Now it's sunset and I haven't really done any code today, and I doubt I will, as my motivation fueler dips under the horizon for the evening. As fun as this was, I think I am going to have to set a policy of declining morning events in the future, at least during the shorter days.

Grunt, I really do have a lot of work to do, too. Let's see what I can manage.
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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.
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.
prog: (moonbat)
It's time for me to start getting up earlier again. I think I've slept 10 hours, the last two nights. Pissed off. Is it seasonal? Maybe. I start to notice it more when the sun starts to set only a few hours after I roll out of bed, that's for sure.

Not helping that I stayed up until 3 tonight. I couldn't help it, though; I got a really itchy new idea for a project and I had to scratch out the details. All done now. Gotta make allowances for these sorts of things, sure. (It's the idea that some of you have heard me babble about recently, but I've added details and specifics since then. It's easy enough to get started on that I can make an instance or two and see what y'all think, in fairly short order. We'll see what happens.)

I like that I'm getting inspired more often; I think this is a side effect of my expanding my concerns and activities beyond Volity-monomania. I'm still working on that for half the day or more, but I'm trying to mix it up more than I have been, too. 2005 felt like a long, long year to me because of all the things it contained, and right now it feels like it should be february or march of 2006 for the (non-)variety of stuff that's happened. Enough of that!
prog: (Default)
Didn't get cranky about all of this until I went through Hartford airport security for the second time in two days. (In the same direction.)

FWIW, the dead license has made it through four inspections so far. So that much is OK.

The worst thing is that I am now very sleep-deprived; was already running on deficit yersterday, and was allowed only one or two hours last night so that we could get back to the airport in time. I can't predict how this will affect my Origins experience. Likely now that I won't attempt to be Mr. Volity until tomorrow, but we'll see.

Also the wireless in the airport is free. Hey, that's OK too.

Sad that my guts are complaining loudlly of the stress. I may be doomed to play a round or two of Throne of Agony once we finally make it to the hotel. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

Sad also that my plans of better flying through alcohol were foiled. Had a giant (and expensive) airport beer last night and it was having its desired effect but then they canceled the flight. Now instead I just drank a coffee (coz I don't want to get a headache on top of everything else) and they cruely don't open the bar at 6 a.m., and I have two flights to look forward to since they're shunting us to DC first.

I think the coffee's improving the guttal situation, but now have to hope I don't shit my pants from the upcoming catapaultage.

Hey jmac I hear they have bathrooms on planes now. No, once we are airborne I cannot move. It will be my job to remain as still as possible so that I can listen to to every variation in pitch from the engine noise.

Calling our numbers. Whee! See you.
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The plan is coming along, but there's only about 9 hours left until it needs to be in my hand. I think there's an all-nighter in front of me. I hate doing this to my poor body, but damn, if there's any reason to fit the image of the entrepreneur working alone until dawn, then this is it.

I am good at staying up all night so long as something interesting is keeping my neurons a-twitter. I pay for it all the next day. And sometime after lunch. The meeting's at 10 am, so we're all set.

Snore an extra snore for me, y'all
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Ten (intentionally) annoying alarm clock designs. I've blogged about some of these before, like "Clocky" the #1 pick.

I find the puzzle one notable because I've had the idea to do something similar, like writing a program that wouldn't stop making noise until I added two long numbers together. But I'm afraid that I'd just shut the speakers off, or unplug the computer. So using a physical puzzle intrigues me.

Another low-budget idea: Lock your alarm clock in a box, and put the key far away somewhere. Maybe next to the coffee machine.
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My brain is alight with awesome Volity protocol ideas that are now tractable given my recent webwork. I started to write a mailing list post about the first ones I had, and this led to more. I want to stay up and spend hours sorting these out into a piece of writing I can share, since I think they're great!

But I am very sleepy because I have gotten up before 10am the last two mornings, if you can believe it, and I think I'm gonna do it again tomorrow. (I'd better, since I have to go make a business lunch downtown.) Gadzooks! Well, I'll take it. This will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Teaser: ideas involve automating not just the generation but the application of player ratings and reputations. (Your rating varies from game to game, and is a general measure of how well you stack up to other players. Your reputation is systemwide and mainly advertises whether you're a jerk or not.)

Ratings we are finally seeing, based on the data that all our wonderful testers have been generating over the last couple of months. Reputations, not so much, but that's OK for now. We have enough real data that I can start playing with matchmaking and table-restriction ideas. (I mean "matchmaking" in the gamey sense, here: providing a system that lets players have opponents chosen for them automatically, based on various criteria. It is surely not an early sign of Volity's inexorable decline into a dating service.)
prog: (khan)
Favor to ask: the next time you happen to hear me make noises about pulling an all-nighter just so I can make an early-morning appointment, please suggest that I go to bed as usual anyway, even if it would result in my getting only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Reminding me of this post will be sufficient.

I am now maybe fifty dollars richer from this morning's freelance camera gig, but an entire day poorer. My whole Friday afternoon sunk into a bleary fog that finally overcame me when I slept straight through a social engagement that I was looking forward to (dozing deeply enough that my cell didn't wake me, twice). And now it's after midnight and I am rested and refreshed and guaranteed not to see another person I know for another 12 hours or so, and when I do it will mean that it's time to go back to work. I'm not so much lonely as teeth-grindingly angry at myself. What the hell am I supposed to do now? I guess I can find some work to do, but I really don't want to, since I haven't had a chance to play first. Oh so bitter.

Every damn day it seems I manage to lie to myself about sleep. I set my alarm for 10am, knowing it won't work and that I'll sleep until 1pm or whenever eight hours after bedtime is (unless something non-routine is happening in the morning, as novelty is very effective at getting me out of bed early). But I set it anyway, thinking "Ah, it's five hours, that'll be enough." Maybe if I was someone else, for whom alarm clocks consistently worked, that thinking would apply, but after so many years you'd think I'd be able to face the truth.

Another lie I tell myself is that staying up all night will give me a chance to reset my sleep cycle. No, you fool, it doesn't work like that. It just fucks up the entire next day, and then I'll be back where I was, or worse. Hate hate hate.
prog: (Default)
A weblog from someone with similar sleep patterns as me, but putting some actual research into it, including consulting physicians. One gave the person an actual diagnosis I have not heard of before: Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome.

That certainly gives me pause for thought. I was also struck by the writer's description of spending hours lying awake after being sent to bed, as a child. By gar, my own bedtimes were just so, night after night. I haven't thought about it in a long time, but I absolutely remember the truth of it. Have I been shifted forward like this my whole life?

And now that I have a new straw to grasp at, should I try again to do something about it?
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At Wednesday's Gameshelf shoot, Director-Joe offered me a gig: he was directing a talk show for Somerville's municipal TV station the next morning, and needed camera help for an hour. So I did that, and the producer asked if I could come in this morning to shoot another talk show. Just got back from that.

I told the producer that I'd continue to welcome these little morning jobs. This is actually quite ideal for me right now. It pays well for only a little time invested, and since it's early in the morning it leaves the whole rest of the day open for Voilty work. Encourages me to get my ass out of bed at a reasonable time, too. Yay.

(This outfit is entirely separate from SCAT. It's a municipally funded and operated TV station, versus a public-access nonprofit. It also has a general theme to its programming, quite unlike SCAT, which lets any Somerville resident willing to pony up a $40 membership produce TV shows about whatever they want.)
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The Gameshelf is on iTunes Music Store now! I'm not going be one of those podcasters who begs for popularity, but: you should go subscribe to it.

Now I feel ill and am going to bed.
prog: (Default)
All day yesterday helping [ profile] daerr and [ profile] radiotelescope (whose LJ name, I yesterday learned, has a similar Secret Origin Story to [ profile] colorwheel's) prepare themselves for permanent and maybe-permanent (respectively) relocation to Somerville, and twice dining with then and our whiz biz advisor [ profile] jtroutman to discuss Serious Business. Further SB talk extended past midnight in our future offices (currently my "dining room"), but rt still had enough time to join [ profile] cthulhia at a halloween party.

Despite my previous post about pining for parties I actually skipped this one too because, being awake and in turns manically helpful and seriously businesslike for the last 18 hours, was dead tired. (Also had consumed many cups of sake at the Blue Fin.) As soon as he was out the door I went to bed and was immediately asleep. Woke to discover that it's freebie-hour day... a good omen, after a late night discussing how much of that most precious and expensive resource, time, that we had to make this thing work?

I am now tasked with starting to collect.
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Pulled an all-nighter Fri → Sat both because I wanted to do some prep-work for the next day's Gameshelf shoot, and because I wanted to try resetting my sleep schedule. Have a meeting with a money-man Monday morning.

The shoot went well; [ profile] taskboy filled in for [ profile] mrmorse due to scheduling foul-ups, and did a killer job. I did OK but neglected to mention a bunch of stuff, including the IF Comp. Maybe I'll add a crawl about it, or something. Also spoiled a dumb-but-cute closing skit by saying "Geneva Bay" instead of "Lake Geneva". Dunno what I'm going to do about that.

Managed to step on a $15 microphone clip belonging to SCAT and will have to pony up for another one.

Hit the hay soon after getting home at 6pm, figuring that I'd snooze for 12 hours or so. Was all done after six hours. So now I'm waking up at the crack of midnight. Hm. Well, can't say I'm sleeping through the morning now, hurr hurr. Spent the morning so far importing and logging the new footage.

More chromakey nonsense as we tried and failed to use an actual green screen. I think I may use the cheesy-looking results anyway because the scene is like seven seconds long and whatever. Just the same, at some point I need to recruit someone who actually knows how to do chromakey shoots to teach us.

Time for breakfast.

I really enjoy this music video, from the same producer as the Pi song's video. Completely different but you'll think it's awesome, at least if you're me. I like the intense, obsessive-compulsive quality about it.
prog: (Default)
So what's actually going on with me? A lot. Now that I care -- really really care! -- about my job, I'm quite conscious about how much there is for me to do. I have a larger project I'm chipping away at (the Volity game creation tutorial that I know a lot of you have been waiting for, whether you knew it or not), and several discrete "homework assignments" to get done before our next Monday meeting. Not done with all of the latter yet and it's almost the weeekend aaaah. I will finish.

We still haven't struck the funding jackpot. Not that I expected to by now. In the meantime I am doing pretty well at making connections, and can feel the network starting to heat up, though there remains plenty important letters to send (this being part of this week's homework). Also sniffed at my old O'Reilly weblog again today -- it still works, though I haven't posted to it in nearly two years. I have been pondering out loud whether to announce Volity on it, something I've been putting off for years, but which seems more feasible now that we're alpha. That author photograph, though, ugh; summer of 1998, puffy-haired and hirsute. Got to do something about that.

There is an interesting discussion within the ranks about funding, and whether to pursue opportunities for lesser amounts -- enough to go "yay money" over, not so much to stop looking for more. There is a worry, I think, that attached to any relatively significant sum of money is a sense of security whose magnitude is invariable with that of the sum. Take the money, and you'll relax and let yourself think of other things. Take too little money, and you'll be due for a rude awakening when the money runs out before the relaxation does.

I can't find a purely logical reason why we shouldn't accept a lesser sum, if offered, so long as we agree beforehand not to end the funding search until we meet our initial goal. I recognize we're not purely logical beings, but surely we can look out for each other? It's an interesting problem and I think I understand the feelings behind both sides of it. Tricky stuff.

Got up early-ish today (before 10am), going to attempt early-ish sleep. I love staying up late, but not only do I work better during and after a dayful of sunlight on my open eyes, I really want to be in synch with the folks I'm working with.

June 2014

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