I last week accepted a part-time position at Northeastern University, teaching a lab section attached to Games & Society, an intro-to-game-studies class taught by Brian Sullivan. I'm so far signed on just to handle the fall semester, but if I'm not terrible at it and I don't hate it, I'll likely do more afterwards.

Teaching this lab involves guiding groups of students through the play of a by-the-syllabus game (which may be a tabletop game or a videogame), and then gathering as a class to discuss it. As with many other games-studies classes in universities, it's only a year or two old, so its structure and content are rather malleable; while I'll have the materials from past semesters, others in the program have made it clear that I can help reshape it this fall, should I wish.

While I fully expect this to represent a significant time investment -- I've also agreed to help grade papers from Brian's class -- the pay doesn't really match, so I've no plans to change my position or workload at Appleseed. I chose to leap at this opportunity because even though doing a good job writing software makes me feel awesome (and puts money in the bank), my real passion is with games, and the study thereof. I have no reservations accepting an adjunct's stipend in order to finally, finally become a paid member of the game-scholar community, even just an entry-level one. I had thought last year that when this moment arrived, it would be via my selling an article or essay to some publication. I have no complaints about the surprising form it ended up taking.

This is also me backing down from my brief fling with iOS game development from a couple of months ago. While that's a topic I remain interested in, there's just no way I can pursue that, Appleseed, and now teaching without doing a bad job at probably all of them. I had to put one of them away, and sadly, the iOS project was the obvious choice: it offers no guaranteed income, and represents a much weaker expression of my passion to work in game studies than the NEU opportunity does.

I feel really happy about this, and hope that it will give me the opportunity, in time, to grant more attention to my own game-studies pursuits. I'd love to return to making mature and intelligent videos about games, for one thing. I have pipe dreams of new video series, but have lacked the backing, both resource-wise and spiritually. This opportunity might help change that, down the road. We'll see.

O fortuna

Thursday, 1 April 2010 20:06
Good money-thing:

• I am paying my taxes in full and on time for the first time since leaving the salaried world five years ago. (I made this announcement weeks ago on Twitter, but then learned I wrote the wrong bank account number on my e-filings. Oops. Today I mailed away some paper checks.)

Bad money-things:

• My relationship with one Appleseed client was sundered suddenly and utterly last month, costing me a lot of money and lost time. For reasons I can't get into here, seeking to recoup the financial losses is not an option, even though I have no culpability in the incident. This results in a financial pinch I will feel for months.

• I spilled coffee on my MacBook last month, damaging it variously. It still technically works, but limps along with half its components blown out and an overheating (and therefore slowed-down) CPU. I've tried to use it anyway for the last few weeks, but am basically out of patience; this is the main tool not just of my creative life but of my day job as well, and my putting off its inevitable replacement is just bleeding away my billable time. Purchasing its replacement adds some extra torque to that financial pinch, though at least I get a better computer out of it.

Compounding all this, these pinches picked a bad time to happen. March was destined to be a low-earning month for me, between a planned DC vacation and then PAX.

On the bright side, at least I can pay for all this. I mucked out my credit card balance enough that I can fill it back up again. This does not delight me, because it means that I will have to put off plans for an I'm-out-of-debt party I was planning on throwing come late summer. But at least I can cope.
Due to happenstance, all of Appleseed's client projects but one are wrapping up this month - three projects in total. (Well: two are wrapping, and one ran into a wall and exploded. But the less said about that the better, really.) Even though I had delegated away most of the implementation involved with all three, they were still demanding enough of my attention to make my work for the remaining project, with my most long-term client, suffer. (Planbeast crashing back onto my desk, along with my continued Gameshelf ambitions, didn't help.)

I only started really feeling it this month, and the realization bums me out. So, I've resolved to not seek to replace these projects right away. Having only one client can be a dangerous line for an independent consultant to walk, and it's something that's bit me before. But my relationship with this one is such that I feel safe about it.

This sounds like it goes against what I wrote here, gosh, probably only a year or less ago, stating that Appleseed wants to grow. Well, I'm still feeling it out.



This month is gonna be a sore financial pinch for me, between the one project's untimely end, and the fact that my MacBook appears to be slowly disintegrating -- probably due to some coffee I splashed on it weeks ago. (Its keyboard shorted out immediately, and I replaced it, but other narsty hardware problems have started cropping up.) Jury's not quite done deliberating yet, but I'm betting I'll have to replace it. If so, I'll probably get a MacBook Pro as soon as they come out (rumored to be any day now). As much as it's nice to think that I'll be able to play games on the brand-new Mac Steam at full speed, the timing of this expense could have been better.

This is also the month containing a long-weekend vacation to DC, and then PAX here in Boston two weeks after that. These are happy reasons to spend money, but involve money-spending just the same. This month is already reminding me of October 2007, when Amy and I spent a week vacationing in Maine despite the fact that I had no work (having just been curb-deposited by my one client) and no money. And that was one of the most memorable excursions of my life. So, yeah, not complaining.



Given the way March is falling out, with all its surprises, it's looking less and less likely I'll have the next Gameshelf episode done by PAX. To my last-fall self, this seems like a giant fail; I thought I'd be cranking out one show a month by this point. But now, I think I'm OK with this.

I feel called to make my life more flexible, both with work-work and with non-paying projects. I've started seeing the wisdom in working with my propensity to get excited by one cool project idea after another, rather than against it.

Despite my wishes, producing a TV series of indeterminate length on a regular schedule might just be genetically impossible for me.

My experimentation with writing a weekly Gameshelf column is me seeking compromise, seeing if I can't make that my sacrifice on the altar of regularity, but letting all the other unrealized projects bouncing around my skull - video production, game design, web services, and everything else - call their own schedules.

I am bound to be a different person in April, after all of this months' kooky doo doo. It's kind of exciting. Actually.
Work is work. There's stuff worth talking about but nothing I'd want to blog about; so goes working for oneself. The overall status of Appleseed and my relationship with it remains stable.

I want to finish the next Gameshelf before PAX, which affords me another five weeks. I've put a lot of work into it (as have many friends), but my motivation level now is not nearly as strong as it was a couple of months ago. This is in part because of the resurgence my interest in -- wait for it -- gaming, or anyway gaming of a particular nature, and the novel creative paths this activity has been urging me down.

I found my interest in multiplayer online digital games re-ignited last month. This started with my rediscovery of TF2 on Xbox, built itself up with my ensuing seeking out and palling around with certain online communities of mature gamers, and most recently culminated with the surprise re-launch of Planbeast.

I'm not sure what pushed me to actually do it, but at the start of the month I made a post about Planbeast to Geezer Gamers, a web-based community of grown-up Xbox Live fans I'd been hanging around long enough so that I could make a project-pimping post without feeling like a spammer. The next thing I knew, the Planbeast website actually grew a bunch of events from people other than myself. The interest has died down somewhat from its initial spike, but it remains far higher than it was at any earlier point.

Tending to this effectively sopped up all of my attention for an entire week, and made my thoughts wander even further afield. And: I loved every minute of it. I am starting to cultivate a new obsession. Planbeast, after all, is the child of a greater interest: researching the state of multiplayer video games, isolating its faults, and investigating the ways it could be improved. I have a lot of loose notes about this which I'm presently choosing to spare you. You will be informed when I have patted them together into some more concrete shape.

To give you a taste, here are four tweets I made on the topic:
Shooters are the superhero comics of the multiplayer videogame world. The medium's potential is vast, but nobody wants to leave the house.

Spider-Man (the character) and TF2 are best-case scenarios of their respective sub-genres, building on decades of art. I am glad they exist.

But the continued super-ultra focus on gun-fetish games or underwear-crimefighter stories rolls on anyway, as if there's no other path.

Part of what I wanna do with Planbeast is help strengthen the signal of all the other MP games that are unheard in the chattering gunfire.
My guiding light, here, is a piece of self-realization about my relationship with games, come to me a good decade after I got back into the tabletop gameplay hobby: I am far more interested in media that bring people together through play, rather than solitaire play experiences. This is true in both face-to-face games, and the much (much) newer world of online games. As for the latter, for all its good press, its exploration beyond the familiar is so goddamn timid it drives me up a wall. I want to do something about it.

One related whim of particular interest is an untitled web game project, based on a design I scribbled together last fall while I was thinking about Facebook games. It's a web-based multiplayer game of a sort that I've never seen before, and might not actually work, but deem Absolutely Worth Creating just the same. I really want to block out a month or so of free time and make it happen.

And now, the whinging. )

Munny

Saturday, 11 July 2009 01:13
hey dudes

Money's on my mind again because Unforeseen Events caused the business to skid a little in May, and due to the latency of the billing cycle I'm weathering the financial sting of it right now. It's not like the newbie mistake I made a couple of years ago that left me with no business at all for a while, but it still smarts.

Lately, when money matters of any size injure me, I start obsessing about money and feeling bummed about how cash-poor I have often found myself. Since stepping out on my own four years ago, I seem to get into these areas a little too frequently: barely treading water, and laughing at the idea of saving. Listen: A bunch of new and nifty five-dollar computer games have recently appeared on my radar, and I haven't bought any of them, because I can't justify a five-dollar game purchase right now. That my friends is chilling.

There is a small but resolute part of me that permanently holds the position that I've had my fun, but it's time to return to the safety of the salaried life, where I can get all the five-dollar games I want and also a 401(k). It knows it's always going to get outvoted, so it doesn't press the issue. But it does make sure to clear its throat every time a situation like this comes up, and it points out the most recent six-figure recruiter email I have received. "Just putting this out there," it says. "I know you're not asking for my advice. Take it as you will. Something to consider, is all." It makes humble and placating gestures.

Meanwhile, back in the world that exists outside of my skull, June 2009 has been the accounts-receivabliest month in Appleseed's history. This was in part due to a new partnership which has worked out very well so far, and I'm fighting (but not yet struggling) through a workload logjam in order to get a regular stream of new work going in that direction. So that's good.

Today I started casting out some lines looking for more work to better suit (and allow me to keep!) this increased work-capacity. I also attended a game-lunch at a friend's workplace that somewhat unexpectedly morphed into a miniature networking thing (hi guys), and it make me think that I ought to start going to more networking events outside the games bubble, or even the (somewhat larger) software bubble. Attend the sorts of events where I can hand out my Appleseed card and really mean it, see...

As for managing my money, I hope that I have finally found a way to say goodbye to the useless pile that is Quicken. I have created an account on yodlee.com, and filled it up with all my bank, credit card, investment and personal-loan information. I'm impressed with how well it's already categorized my existing spending history. I look forward to using it for a month, after which I'll see if I can't make a more realistic budget this time. And maybe not blow $100 in overdraft fees in one week...
Lately, sitting at my desk, I feel like I'm playing Race or Cribbage, and all the cards in my hand work together so well that I really can't bear to discard any of them.

And, yes, as a result, I sit there sighing, rather than playing the goddamn game!
So, a lot's been going on. Good things!

I've been playing a lot of role-playing games lately. I hosted a game of The Shab Al-Hiri Roach a couple of weekends ago, and yesterday I helped [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie host a play-through of The Immortal Murders to celebrate her birthday. In both cases I found that I'm capable of playing storytelling RPGs, but also found it a draining activity rather than an energizing one. However, I'm not sure how much of that was due to the act of playing and how much was from the additional stress of hosting.

I prefer narrating to literal role-playing, and it was interesting to discover the difference between the two. (Roach, a tabletop game, allows both styles. Immortal Murders is more like a LARP, so either you're role-playing or you're not playing at all.) With both styles, though, I felt on-edge and tense the whole time my character was on the scene, like I need to be ready to jump in at any moment. After only a couple of hours of this, I was pretty exhausted. Compare to a board game, with its regular cycle of high and low periods that I can ride for many hours (if the game is compelling enough). It could be that I'm just not playing right.



The Gameshelf shoot went great, even though I'm currently having a frustrating time importing the footage. I didn't think to clean the tape heads of the borrowed SCAT cameras - which many people use - before using them. As a result, the tapes have some schmutz on them, and every time Final Cut encounters such a blotch, it throws up its hands (as well as a modal dialog box) and saves the import-so-far to a file. There's nothing to do at this point except fast forward the tape a bit and pick it up from there, hoping that nothing juicy got skipped over. It also results in lots of smaller files to comb through versus a few long ones. This makes an already time-consumig task even longer. But I'll get through it.

This will be a fanatstic episode, but I think it's destined to be an anomaly among Gameshelfs... a "special" that I wanted to do specifically because it's so radically different than anything we've done so far, and it seemed like exactly what I personally needed to tackle in order to get into the show again. After this, we have to start getting disciplined about the show's format, enough so that planning, shooting and editing the episodes can maybe happen with some goddamn regularity for once. I have come to the conclusion the the show will never be really popular if it only comes out a couple times a year (if that).



I hope to open the jmac.org video store this week, where I will sell DVDs of The Gameshelf and Jmac's Arcade. I have high hopes for this. Even a handful of sales would help cover my materials costs of recent Gameshelf-related adventures. It would also serve as a huge encouragement to me to produce more of both, and in theory would also serve to promote the shows to a wider audience. The presence of the DVDs will probably get me to promote the shows more aggressively, at any rate. We'll see.



I'm rather buried in Appleseed work. I lost the subcontractor I was working with just as I picked up a new small job in May, leaving me with four tasks all on my own plate. This is too many. I've been dealing with these best as I can, and this includes starting the process of bringing in new help. I am hopeful about this.

I love running the business. For all my crazy project ideas it's still the only enterprise of mine that brings in revenues, so I shouldn't shy away from the idea of letting it grow. Honestly, a large part of me is reluctant to invest much energy into growing Appleseed beyond just-me. This is the part that considers it my "day job", with a scoff. It's the same part that fuels my eagerness to work on my nuttier entrepreneurial projects, which I spent most of last year and the start of this year chasing at full throttle, and it's not used to being told to shut up for a bit.

I owe myself another period of reckoning. 2007's four-pillar system worked well and it's time to take stock and see what I really want to be doing now. The answer, I suspect, will be different from last year, or the year before that. I can only hope that the answer will fit better than it has in the past.
Felt at loose ends this morning, so threw myself into Appleseed work, finishing a major phase of an interesting job that involves knocking PDFs around in novel ways. Emerged from a rare fugue just in time for supper.

I can't complain about my life too much when stress-relief means doing billable work.

(Also, I enjoy the chance to work with graphics, instead of just text. At the end of a work-phase the accumulated think-through doodles in my notebook look cooler.)
[Crossposted from Appleseed Blog]

While I do almost all of my work - and maybe a little too much of my play - on a MacBook laptop, I keep an older desktop computer in my office for tasks that are better left to sessile machines. I seldom use it interactively, though, and its display - balanced on the back edge of my desk - usually shows only whichever screensaver has most recently caught my fancy. (Was running SurveillanceSaver for a long time, but lately have favored HAL-9000.)

Recently, I discovered, quite by accident, a new use for this arrangement that may permanently improve the way I work. For a project I'm working on, I had reason to comb through some video footage that existed only on one of this machine's two hard drives. It was a time-consuming task, so inevitably the usual forest of Twitter clients and Gmail windows and RSS feed-readers and such sprouted up as I worked. (How strange, yes, as if by magic.) Presently I completed by task and switched back to my laptop, but decided that I liked how all the happy little info-stream windows looked on the larger display, so left them there.

After getting back to work, I quickly realized that the constant Bing! New email and Bong! new tweets and Doink! new news articles interruptions I had going on my laptop were now entirely redundant, as these same activities were also evident on the screen in the background. My background in physical space, recall, running on a separate computer.

Experimentally, I turned off all my laptop's many new-event notifiers. I found myself in a new place: the streams were still present, and I continued to stay current with the outside world, but the sense of constant interruption had vanished.

Now, when I need a micro-break, I need only cast my eyes up at my other display and see what's changed. I do this often enough that I never fall behind; the crucial bit is that I decide when I'm ready to take another sip from my personal external-info fountain, rather than have it splash me in the face while I'm in the middle of a thought.

I realize this exact solution isn't something that everyone can implement, since not everyone happens to have the same computing setup I do. But I do recommend that fellow information workers who share the need to be continuously plugged in, but also feel the constant low-level stress of continuous, clangorous interruptions, re-invent this solution in whatever way works for them. I'm hopeful that, in a small but crucial way, it's changed my life for the better.
prog: (coffee)
A client of mine is looking for some help on a new project that is all Java Struts. This would be a contract-work gig. I have worked extensively with this client in the past, and can speak for their excellence. Can I speak for yours?

If I know who you are, and if this sounds interesting to you, send me an email / comment / IM / wev.

Cranky.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008 12:05
Good:
  • 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.

Bad:
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.)

The light is on

Tuesday, 7 October 2008 11:21
It's time for Appleseed to once again cast the net out for reals; gonna spend some of today trolling through jobs.perl.org and such. I'm in an OK position, with an active client and the promise of another around the corner, but circumstances have given me room (and need) for one more.

So, if you happen to learn of some entity's need for some damn fine software consulting, you know where to direct them.



Why yes, I am somewhat concerned about doing this in the midst of the changing financial climate. I am not aware of all the ways it affects this sort of activity, but it's probably making it harder for other business to borrow money for new projects - and that's just enough to worry about. But, here I am anyway.

Hmm, I guess a "Now accepting new clients! Lucky you!!" post on the Appleseed blog wouldn't be untoward. I should make the latest blog post show up on the front page somehow, mumble mumble...

Mokay

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 16:37
FInally just figured out my budget, now that I have two months of data from my latest biggo lifestyle change. I now pay $700-$800 less in monthly expenses than before, which is nice. I have good reason to believe that I needn't freak out for the foreseeable future, so long as I'm satisfied with living the breaking-even life. And I am, for now; it's the sacrifice I make for the sake of the two big-idea projects I have in development, my wager that one of them will pay off big later.

I have been semi-coasting with consulting work, spending the last two months doing only some maintenance and release-engineering work for a single client - no intensive new coding projects. This has been great for my schedule, and has helped advance my other projects, but I can't keep doing this if I want to avoid getting my head bit off again by tax penalties next year. So, yes, time to activate another client. That's fine.

My holdings in both money and debt are both small enough that these are the main ways I fear the global financial poop might hurt me:

1. Businesses experiencing new pain when performing their routine borrowing (for making payroll and such) become more conservative about hiring consultants

2. One of my big projects gets enough traction that I'm ready to consider taking out a business loan to let me focus on it exclusively, but the state of credit has become so poor that it's just not worth doing

We'll see what happens.

So, yeah, hi.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 01:07
I haven't written anything lately about what's actually going on in my life. I have been holding it out for myself as a treat. I can only remember so much, so lemme cash it in now.

Really, all I've been doing since the housewarming is work on one project or another, occasionally shoving myself out the damn door to go do something that is not work. I've been doing an OK job of that, so I will tell you about these things first.



At the end of August, [livejournal.com profile] radiotelescope and I attended Boston GameLoop. I failed to blog about that in a timely manner, but I did at least burp my transcribed notes at one of the organizers, and you can find them spread around that wiki. I especially enjoyed the sessions on discussing non-marketing ARGs, and on baking viral aspects into digital games. I networked a lot, and left feeling, perhaps for the first time, that I really was part of the games industry now. I still have rather complicated feelings about this.

The weekend after that [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia and I attended [livejournal.com profile] shatterstripes' gallery opening of her beautiful tarot deck art. I know the artist as an acquaintance from MUDs many years ago, but hadn't actually met her in person before, so it was fun to chat for a while about all that stuff. I look forward to being able to buy a mass-printed copy of the deck someday!

Labor day weekend I sat inside and prototyped a new project, and then helped Joe with a SCAT shoot; it was nice seeing the Gameshelf crew again. Weekend after that, my parents spent Saturday with us. We took them to the Summer Shack.

Last weekend [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie, [livejournal.com profile] dictator555, Nate and I went apple & berry picking. I wasn't that into it, but I really needed to go far outside my bubble and walk around outside for a while. It was also interesting being in an organic orchard - really ugly apples, covered with bugs! I considered this a feature.



Some of you are aware that I've taken on yet another commercial project. This puts Project X on the back burner, while the Volity Network remains in the freezer. That feels like a joke at first - oh, look, jmac is unable to finish something again, so here he is, serially launching a new thing. Right?

However, the new thing has enough going for it that I decided to risk taking on this extra self-loathing in order to pursue it. It's a relatively small project, it primarily uses a web-based interface, and it re-uses various technologies I developed for Volity.

As such, it's now a project of Volity Games, the company, so I have my two partners there working with me on it. It will get done.

No no no, I'm not even gonna hint at a done-date. Don't worry, you wont miss it when it's ready. But, in the meantime, this is what's taking up all my work-time (besides the bread-n-butter stuff of Appleseed contracts).

blrgh

Wednesday, 23 July 2008 19:59
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 [livejournal.com 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.
I've been getting a lot of calls from tech recruiters. One caught me yesterday morning while I was still sipping coffee, and before I'd gotten started with anything important, and so I chatted with him for a few minutes. I learned that he found me by just Googling a few key terms, which led him to my resume on jmac.org. When I told him I wasn't available for work he joke-groaned with disappointment because I looked so perfect for the job. This is all a nice ego boost, but at the same time I don't need the extra interruptions, so I've just updated my resume with a mind to deflect them.

Was of two minds about splitting my most recent consulting period into two entries, with the formation of Appleseed as the split-point, but decided to go with a single entry and making it clear in the summary that I sell my expertise through the company now.

While I was in there I updated the jmac.org about page, which still had a lot of pre-millenial cruft on it. The opening paragraph used to suggest that my entire online presence was on jmac.org, when in fact it's been spread across a wide cloud of domains, just like with everyone else, for years now. I only use the domain for miscellany that doesn't fit anywhere else, now. So it says that now. Also admitted that I'm now using a commercial hosting service, after eight years of the server equivalent of couch-surfing.

Speaking of

Wednesday, 9 July 2008 11:15
Project X is back on the shelf for the nonce; I'm doing a good job eating through my Appleseed pile but there's plenty more to do. There's a finite amount of it, so it behooves me to ker-chunk ker-chunk continue processing it into ca$h money before swinging back into X mode for a few weeks. There is more business X-related communications I can do in the meantime... in fact, I should get on them presently.

Almost certainly no prototype by August 1, then, especially with the move coming up, but it was a good target to aim for anyway. If I'm especially industrious I'll be able to at least put it back on my workbench before then, and I really think I'll have a prototype about a month after that, so long as I can really focus on it.

But we can't have that, can we? So I have another damn new project idea in mind, a more passive one that ties into a topic I'm known to be interested in but haven't blogged about in a while. You'll see it when you see it.

Solving work

Saturday, 24 May 2008 13:59
It's been a little over a year since I signed my first truly independent work contract. I continue to feel like I've solved "work". I don't think I'll ever need to go job-hunting again. Unlike every other job I've had since graduating college, I'm not bored after a year of it, and I don't foresee that ever changing.

(Of course, in a real sense I am in fact looking for work all the time, now. But there ends up being a world of difference between attracting customers and seeking employers, as far as their respective outcomes go. It has everything to do with who controls you.)

Part of me just wants to embrace this evolved sense of work completely, invest some spare cycles into the next potential leap forward (Project X), and just let go of everything else for now. But I don't wanna, so instead I just procrastinate, by putting more time into Appleseed or X. Well, that could be a lot worse.

And X is going fine, thanks for asking. I am a little bummed that both my career and my biggest sub-project both deal with computer programming right now; though the projects are quite different the overall context is kind of monotonous. X is finite, though; the software itself has well-defined goals, and then it will go through a pass/fail submission process, which I hope to hit in around ten more weeks. If it fails, it fails, and if it passes, everything will change. But let's deal with that when we come to it.

Me me me.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008 00:34
I finished the main quest in Oblivion and then immediately threw away all my fortune and glory to fight in gladitorial combat in the Imperial Arena. I got a real kick out of this - I felt like the CRPG Andy Kaufman.

But then I finished that quest-line and still I kept playing, so I gave the disc to [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie to hold in escrow until further notice. I have accomplished stuff since then using time that I know I woulda pissed away Oblivionating instead.



My beard is fully grown in, by which I mean I've had to start trimming it. I really like it! My facial hair is thickest in the goatee area, and it matches my top-of-head hair nicely when so isolated. (And I feel like I can go longer without a haircut this way, too.) I'll have to hack it off for the next Gameshelf shoot (whenever that is) but it will come right back. afterwards.



I've been meeting my daily billable-hours goals well enough, and have been finding success cautiously looking for ways to slowly grow my business - I have enough experience, personal and vicarious, to convince me that any other way isn't worth doing. (Also, I have played many gams of Sim City in my day, and I know what happens if you build, say, 10 power plants just because you have $10,000 in the bank.) I'm still shy of seeing to Project X every day, but I've been attending to it maybe every other day, which isn't terrible.

My attention is cycled away from all other projects right now. I know myself too well to fret about this; the motivation will come 'round again. But some people are waiting on at least a modicum of a volity webclient release, and I have started to nudge that around again but i'm not exactly champing at the bit about it.

Grumble.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008 11:59
Gameshelf interview smackdab in the middle of my workday today, and I need to hunt down a DV camera battery even before that. (Any recs for that? I'm guessing nuthin in walking distance, or near the studio.) As one who needs his spin-up / spin-down time, getting any billable hours in today will be a challenge.

I'm going to take a long break from 'shelfing for a while after this, even though I haven't collected the complete footage for any future episode. Probably no more activity until May. I feel behind in just about everything else.

May 2015

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