Thursday, February 07, 2013

Next Level

Happy Thursday!  Did you know, last week I didn't say Happy Thursday to anyone, or write a blog?!  That's the first time in, what, eight years?  Oh well.

This blog was great in college when I needed to keep people up to date with my life and I was the center of the universe.  But in the last year or so it's felt like something that doesn't really suit my personality anymore.

I was at work the last week straight, and from now on it'll be 40 hours at least.  And I can't really blog about work.  Safe to assume that in my free time I'll be playing minecraft and all the video games and you can probably extrapolate my daily activities from there.

Right now me and Beth are trying to watch as much BSG as possible before she ships out.  We might be able to finish season three.  Here goes.

So that's about all for me.  I might keep this up in case something really cool happens or needs to be marked, but I think this blog has run its course.  It's been fun, guys!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coming Along

Happy Thursday!  This week I wasn't so tired at all at work, so that's an improvement.  It's getting better, too, now that I can actually do a lot of the daily tasks.  Good times.

Also this week I gutted Carolyn's computer and rebuilt it.  They got her a nice MSI board, which had a BIOS with a GUI that recognized the hardware upgrade so that we didn't even have to reinstall Windows!  Easy peasy. 

Also we're learning Tekkit, which is challenging but fun.

Um and nope that's it.  Good night.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Business Casual Thursday

Happy Thursday!  In about three minutes I'm going to sleep.

This morning I passed the Security+.  There were some "performance based" questions or whatever, which were about dragging boxes into the right order and manipulating drop down menus that initially threw me off guard.  But they were all on things I actually knew, so that felt pretty good.  Shocking, but the fact that I took the time to study the port and transport protocol for TFTP actually came in handy.

So, done with certs for the time being.  I have a Server 2008 study guide to slosh through, but I'm going to take my sweet time with that beast.

Started work this week.  Just like with starting school, I honestly don't think I'm really ever going to be aware that this is how I'm spending 40 hours a week.  Well, part time after training.  But oh man.

I have to get up at 6 because there's a mini commute, but yesterday and the day before I was in bed during the 8 o'clock hour.  Today, too, if I quit typing.  I thought the extra sleep would help, but so far I've been dead tired as soon as 10AM rolls around, and it doesn't get better until about 40 minutes after I wake up the next morning.

The work isn't actually going to be that hard, but there just is a ton of stuff to understand and know and be generally aware of that I need to all of the above.  After four days I think I have the basics, but it's going to be a while before I've got a handle on everything.

Onwards and upwards, that's what I always say.  But right now, sleep.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to Work

Happy Thursday!  Next Monday at 8 AM sharp I am reporting to work as a Helpdesk Support Specialist I.  It's the start of something new!

I don't really know what else to say.  I'm going to have to start getting up a half hour earlier.  This first week is 40 hours of training, but I'm going to be part time after that, until such a time as I can do it full time.  Next week was also supposed to be my last week of school, but now I'm going to have to postpone that, haha.  Gonna take Security+ soon.

Remember when I started school?  I said "The first couple of days I learned how to do stuff in DOS. So if you ever need to make a bootable floppy disk or, say, create a batch file, I can do that for you."  Haha, do I still remember how to do that?  NOPE.  But will I ever need to?  NOPE.  That's the secret of computers.

You really only need to know how to use them for how you want to.  The rest of this stuff is just for show.

So before school I had upgraded my motherboard and CPU.  Since then I have sourced and installed RAM in Carolyn's computer, installed and uninstalled a CPU upgrade, installed a new motherboard for the new CPU, uninstalled the cooling assembly and reinstalled a new one; troubleshot and installed new RAM in my mom's laptop; learned how to use Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Server 2003, Server 2008; purchased a Windows 8 tablet; confirmed my WPM is 70~75; learned how to scan documents into .pdfs; defragged and updated computers for the school district; read 6 textbooks; obtained two CompTIA certifications and a third shortly; was a part of a student council; and got a entry-level job in an industry I knew nothing about 10 months ago that pays more than twice what I was earning in retail.

In that time I also read approximately 10 non-textbooks; wrote 50,077 words for fun; started writing and designing a card-based table-top RPG; started liking boba; started following esports; beat Borderlands 2 and watched a whole anime series; learned how to play the jaw harp; spoke in a fake Russian accent at least 50% of the time; and cleaned my room maybe thrice.

Yikes.  Goodnight.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Hello You

Happy Thursday!  Look I'm on time again yaaay.

It might have something to do with me getting up before 7, but I'm soooo sleepy today.  Just flat out all day sleepy.  I even came home after my morning adventure and took an hour and a half nap.  All I've wanted to do since is sleep.  Buh.

How were holidays?  Christmas was quick and fun, I got a lot of useful things like a soldering station and work clothes.  Didn't finish enough of my game to have anyone try the pre-alpha, but it's still coming along. 

At New Year's, Sam came over and we all had a lil party.  Video games and spiked Dr Pepper oh yeah.  We had a lot of good drunken conversations about friendship and what Beth's Digidestined crest should be. 

Last year I tumblr'd a sort of list of new year goals, and looking at them now I see I accomplished none of them, but actually made a quite a bit of progress:  I chugged down a bunch of books before I started writing my game; I started sitting full-time, so I had some backward steps on my fitness status but there's still time; I did find a good job but had to wait til this year to start it lol; I didn't become a police volunteer but I will be a contractor for the Navy soon so I'm counting that; I didn't quite finish the first draft of my novel but I did get another 20k or so words closer.  Not actually a bad year, all considered.

I also watched the entirety of Doctor Who this year, including the classic stuff.  Oh man. 

Onwards and upwards, and all that.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Well. That just happened.

Happy Thursday??!??

Nope.  It's Friday.  For the first time in ... 7.5 years, a Thursday note didn't go out on a Thursday.

How much do I care?  Not so much!  It's been 8 years for crying out loud.  Ugh.

Blame it on video games, of course.  Steven got me Final Fantasy XIII-2, so that's what I've been doing for the past 5 hours.  It's 2 AM now.  I forgot how much I loved exploring maps and pressing X nonstop in order to gain points.  I'm hardwired for this activity.

Christmas was good!  I'm going to sleep now.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Public Domain

Happy Thursday!  I'm actually typing this on my Surface's surface, on the touchscreen.  Because I'm too lazy to fold out the keyboard.  As a touch typer, it's really not terrible, except for the lower keys you have to make an effort to tap them with your fingertip rather than your nail, and there does seem to be a form of autocorrect that doesn't like things like "typer."

School's out for the year, haha.  Only got two weeks left, after we get back.  Gonna get Security+ and get out! 

This week I spent my time in class reading all these public domain books I downloaded over the weekend, into my Kindle app.  Monday I read The Book of Tea, and Tuesday was A Christmas Carol.  Wednesday I started The Children of Odin: the book of northern myths.  We also read a selection from a Japanese fairy tales book.  Look up the one about the monkey, the crab, and the persimmons.

Oh I'm sorry, what was I saying?  I ended up on Wikipedia for like half an hour.  Next time you're there, look up folk etymology. 

Also this week did some chatting in Japanese.  Google translate and this kanji app I have, plus the Japanese keyboard input makes me sound almost fluent.  Technology is sort of the best.  コンピュータが大好き。

So, Christmas is coming.  YOU BETTER WATCH OUT SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN.  That's so threatening.

Good luck tomorrow, everyone.


Thursday, December 13, 2012


Happy Thursday!  My how it's gotten cold.  I remember last year we had a fairly hot Christmas, in true SoCal tradition.  This year it's quite chilly.  :<

So.  Of course the big news is that next year I start my new job!  It was literally two weeks to the day from the time I submitted my resume to the time I got my formal offer of employment letter.  How crazy is that??  The timing, and the process, and just plain everything about this situation seems to be divinely handled.  I don't talk about stuff like this much, but I do believe that there's a path laid out for me to follow, and everything that happened this last year--from the end of Blockbuster and so forth--was all leading up to put me in the right place and the right time.

So that's new!  Of course, The Man still has to sift through my history and make sure I'm not a foreign loyalist or something, but other than that I'm all set.  I even bought, like, a business-casual sweater.  It's a Christmas miracle.

How've your holiday season's been so far?  Festive?  Exciting?  Stressful?  You got this, bro. 

Oh man, I gotta get on my gifting situation.  Ugh.  TTYL.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hard Day's Night

Happy Thursday!  It's actually been a hard day's ... day.  And I'm all the tired, so excuse me.

We watched A Hard Day's Night y..e...sterday? before??  recently, for no good reason, which is the best reason.  It's a thing you can never regret doing.  I don't think I'd seen it on our HDTV before, either, so there was a ton of new stuff to pick out in the background.  If you haven't seen it, what is wrong with you.

Today I had my first official in-person interview as a future IT professional, and I think it went pretty well.  Usually I get sick nerves about things like this, but I was soooo fine all day long.  Except when I got really super flustered about an unforeseen parking issue, but that was sorted and it was the only crisis.  So, que sera sera.

Did I tell you we beat Borderlands 2?  We did.  Now we're in the DLC, and the hoverskiffs are pretty sweet.

Ain't no rest for the wicked.

Except me, I'm going to sleep immediately.


Thursday, November 29, 2012


Happy Thursday!

Guess who's got a follow up interview on site next week!!  This guy!

Guess who finished NaNo a day early!!  This guy!

That is all.

If the video didn't embed right, it's this

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thursday!  Or, as we like to say around these parts, Happy ThursgivingDay!  Ours was pretty low-key, just biking and then languidly prepping for dinner.  I made cranberry sauce and apple pie ice cream and cranberry-orange sherbet and pumpkin pie, and supervised the beans.

Other than that, I spent the day helping Beth get a start on learning German, which is ridiculous because I can hardly remember anything useful. 

When I was sick last weekend I watched about thirty episodes of Naruto, which really reminded me that what I really want is to learn Japanese. 

NaNo took a turn for the worse.  I finished the bulk of the fairytales I'd planned beforehand, and decided I'd give my novel a try.  But now I'm practically two days behind.  It's just that I left it off in an awkward place and even though I've sorted out what happens after, I still have to deal with what's going on right now.  But I'll give it my best shot to be done by December!

Na ja, ich gehe.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

25052 or The Boy with Big Dreams

Happy Thursday!  Halfway there!!!!  I haven't yet written Faris, the Strange, or The WhisperSon, but I'm a little ways into the Watchmen and all the others are completed.  Today I wrote the entirety of the Lad with Big Dreams, which I'm about to share with you.
Week two of the Surface, and while I can't say I'm without complaints, it's certainly a useful tool.  Not only has it saved my life doing NaNo at school, it gets me out of my room to write and do internet.  I also used it to document the pie I made when my camera battery died.  I moved both Mumford & Sons albums from my desktop to my SkyDrive to here without ever leaving the couch.  Which is where I am right now, a sicky sick.
Now, on to the story:
The Lad with Big Dreams
When mankind was young, and the Ivywoods old, there lived a particularly young lad who lived in a mossy village at the edge of the Mountains.  Mumford, he was called, was a dreamer.  When he was very small, he dreamed of being the star of his classmates.  Later, he dreamed of being the star of his mossy village.  It wasn’t long at all before he set his heart on the mysteries beyond the village walls, and then he dreamed of becoming the star of the world.
Mumford, in order to achieve the renown after which he sought, tried his hand at this and took up that, every skill and task and art in turn, looking for the one that would make him famous.
He tried carpentry, and ended up building a cabinet with the drawers on the outside.  He tried being a fisherman, but all he caught was himself.  He tried spinning yarn and tangled himself to the spindle.  He tried working the fields and grew nettles.  He tried tending children and got bitten.  He tried selling maps and got lost.
Mumford tried sweeping floors, singing opera, painting doorjambs, writing plays, shoeing horses, caulking boats, building fences, slaying demons, and selling vegetables.  But no matter what he tried, or how hard he tried to do it, Mumford just couldn’t do it right. 
But Mumford was a wishful lad, and knew he would find his talent someday.  Even as he was wandering the Ivywoods, lost after trying to survey the nearest mountain, he kept his head up and dreamed of everyone in the world knowing his name.
“That Mumford,” they would say, “why that lad is just the best at…”
Just then he felt the forest shift in its atmosphere, the ground taking a different quality, the woodsy sounds becoming muted.  The change drew him out of his daydreams, and he paused to take stock of his surroundings.
He had wandered off the path, all right, and was now deep who-knows-where in the Ivywoods.  Yet he did not feel so much afraid as elated, for the spot where he had stopped just happened to be a faerie circle.
A ring of white and gold toadstools, arranged in a large circle wider across than the lad was tall.  The lad stood at the center, spellbound by its magical aura. 
Now the boy knew of all the Ivywoods tales, and knew that any so lucky to stumble upon a faerie circle would be granted one wish.  So the lad eagerly knelt on the mossy ground and wished for all his heart to be gifted something by which he could make a name for himself.
True to tale, right before him a tiny mushroom split the earth and sprouted with a little “pop!”  Mumford plucked the little thing carefully and ate it, as the tales had told him he should do.  He chewed it and swallowed, and waited for the feeling that there was something big for him to become.
But there was no feeling on its way, and Mumford sank down with a frown.  It had been such a tiny mushroom, he thought, eyeing the ring around him.  Maybe if he just sampled another…
So thinking, Mumford crept to the outer circle of toadstools and pulled up one of the white and golden sentinels.  Eagerly he devoured the whole thing, ignoring its stinging taste, and pulled up another to take home, just in case he needed another boost.
Mumford arrived home in record time, so quickly in fact that his mother and father did not even have to say, “It’s about time you showed up, lad, we thought some spook of the Ivywoods had got you at last.”
He said goodnight to them and went immediately to bed, dreaming of waking up the next morning a changed man.  Someone whose name was known across the land, from head to tail.
As he slept, though, Mumford found that he had a dream of a different sort.  In the dream he felt the white and gold toadstool swell up inside his belly.  Then his own skin became deathly white, with raised bumps of gold all up and down his white skin.  Then his form began to expand, and in no time at all, Mumford was completely transformed into a giant walking toadstool.
Frightened, the lad leapt out of bed, hurling his mushroom body out of the house.  People in the street pointed and stared, awed by the creature toddling by them, all white and gold with a puffy domed head.
“That Mumford,” the towns folks said, “why that lad is surely the best at being a giant toadstool!  Let us tell of his legend for years to come!”
At that, when his fear could grow no more, the lad thankfully awoke.  Hurriedly he patted himself down, searching for the gold bumps and mushroom head.  As soon as he had made sure that he was in fact the same lad he had always been, he rushed from his bed, hardly pausing to dress, and dashed up into the hills without so much as a by-your-leave.
Mumford ran and he ran, taking ever overgrown trail and each branchy turn, just wishing to find his way back to the faerie circle.  In his fist he gripped the stolen toadstool, which, as he ventured deeper and deeper into the Ivywoods, seemed to be guiding him along the unseen faerie pathways.
All of a sudden he burst through a patch of thistles that cut at him, and he found himself standing by the faerie circle once more.  Blessing his good luck, he quickly took the pilfered fungus and stuck it back in the ground where he had found it.  The calm of the magical place swept the area at once, and Mumford breathed a deep sigh of relief.
Then he pushed his way firmly back through the thistles and headed down the mountain.
When he arrived back in his mossy village that evening, wild eyed and cut to rags, the people came out of their houses to see what had happened to him this time. 
“Don’t take a mushroom from the faerie circle,” the lad cried to the town folks who had gathered at his front step.  “I found a faerie circle and tried to wish for something that would make my name spread across the land, head to tail, but all I got was a bad dream about changing shape into the form of a giant mushroom!  It was terrible beyond belief!  In the dream I went toddering down the lane, with all of you staring at me, an unholy fusion of fungus and man!  So this morning I ran back to the faerie circle and returned what I took.” 
And after this he hung his head.
“Look at me,” he said forlornly, “I can’t even make a wish right.”
And as his mother and father hastily drew him inside, the towns people turned to one another and said, “That Mumford.  Why, that lad is certainly the best at dreaming big dreams.”

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Happy Thursday!

So that's coming along.  So far I've finished The Stone Gardener and Atop the Dragon's Spine.  King Crow and Brother Turkey is wrapping up.  I'll probably do What the Rock Saw next, because that will be short and sweet.

Have you ever tried writing folk stories and fairy tales?  It's pretty simple!  They're short and not literary and people never have deep conversations and you get to put strange adjectives alongside weird nouns.  I promise I'll finish Epoch but right now I'm having too much fun.

Some of them can be moral good vs. evil stories, some can be adventures, some can be "and that's why we have thunderstorms."  I have some of each!  Let me share some of my favorite bits:

Luckily for King Crow, the problems of the bird kingdom were as simple as its citizens and sorted easily enough. If two sparrows fought over a seed, King Crow told them to split the seed. If two hens fought over a twig, King Crow told them to split the twig. If two hawks fought over a hunting field, King Crow told them to split the field. The quarreling birds would leave Sky Nest and do as King Crow had said, and were happy.


Caerdyth came here from the stars, tracking his eternal prey, Aberwyth the heavenly dragon.  For all of time the great hunter had followed Aberwyth across the skies, tossing out his spectral lance to flash and spark against the black.  He sat astride the noble Doonhamer, a monstrous steed who snorted fire and stamped across the constellations, kicking up a trail of stardust with his thirteen legs.

Now of course the UnderKing knew of no greater warrior than himself, and he was angered by this story.  “Nonsense!” he shouted, and a great wave carried his voice across every ocean.  “Show me this warrior, and I will show you a corpse!”
Of course in addition to this fun stuff I got a good chunk into the time Bentley got lost in the Ivywoods as a kid and got saved by the WhisperSon.  And I slammed out this whole four pages about Bentley and Huxley's first proper meeting which isn't literature but you get the idea.  So it's coming along.  Eight days in and it's no where near over.

Meanwhile, I haven't been home yet today, but I logged 18k words and am currently typing up this blog.  HOW AM I MANAGING THIS WONDER you ask.  Well, dear children, I am this week a proud(?) owner of a Microsoft Surface, which is a Windows 8 tablet that comes with a cover that is a keyboard and it also has a desktop like a proper computer so I am unstoppable.

I'm at Starbucks right now watching Beth do her thing, listening to jazz and Mumford & Sons and indie classic rock covers and who knows what other madness they're pumping into the air supply here.  I helped fix some computers at school today and watched a 10 year old Canadian cartoon about bats with Carolyn.  And in a half hour I'm going to sleep.  Sometimes life is pretty simple.

I apologize for this line down here, it came over from my word document, and I regret putting it in at all because now it's just popping up all over and I can't get rid of it.  I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, November 01, 2012


Happy Thursday!

National Novel Writing Month started today.  Here's my plan:

1.  Spent the last two years thinking about where I left off in my novel and what's got to happen in order to wrap it up.  Going to power through and put that into action, and onto paper.

2.  Spent the last two years thinking about what happened to my characters in their lives before the novel.  Got a good long list of side-adventures that need life.

3.  Spent the last few months coming up with stories to flesh out the mythology of the world.  Going to definitely commit a few to paper.

Here's the sort of thing I'm talking about:

1.  Huxley and Bentley have to get really made at each other before finally being able to see it from the other person's perspective.  Trueman throws everyone a curve ball and makes a speech.  The outcasts go on a journey to start their new lives and there's a cliffhanger. 

2.  Huxley and Derring go hiking and find pirate treasure while Bentley and Piper freak out and team up to "rescue them."

Similarly, the swords types vs. magic types in a fun baseball match, where Bentley and Piper team up to cheat in order to win.

Huxley gets mad at Bentley for being too overprotective and they help out Faris' team on a mission and find the true meaning of teamwork.

The time Bentley got lost in the woods and was rescued by the WhisperSon as a kid.

That time Huxley freaked out after the diaspora and Kaden talked her into going on a mission with him.

3.  The Stone Gardener aka Never Laugh in the Woods

The White Crow

The WhisperSon

The Watchman who looked too long in the fire

The one we made up about slenderman while we were camping.

As of today, I'm at least halfway through the Stone Gardener.  Not a bad start.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Turkey Parade

Happy Thursday!  Did you know that having a week off of school can be quite tiring?

Monday through yesterday we went camping; me, Carolyn, and Carolyn's childhood neighbors Christina and Ashley.  We had a tent and cots and cooked over an open fire and spent the mornings among deer and a herd of turkeys.  It was freezing.  We wandered up and down a stony creekbed and through poison oak-studded woods and along dry yellow fields.  It was a pretty good time.

Yesterday we cooked breakfast on the firepit, drove home, and about an hour later me and my family headed into LA.  At 8 we saw the Book of Mormon, which was pretty cute.  My favorite was Spooky Mormon Hell Dream.  A pretty weird day, yesterday.

Today I slept in and watched some Downton Abbey with Beth and then played some Borderlands 2 with Carolyn and Steven.

I'm so sleepy I think it's tea time.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

до свидания собачка

Happy Thursday!  What a hot week we had again!  I feel like I'd be okay with the seasons shifting so that falltime was really summer weather, as long as I could count on a full non-stop season of it.  A few weeks here and there throughout the year just isn't in the spirit of things.

What IS in the spirit is all these squashes I have downstairs.  Basically I've been telling myself I'm cooking with "pumpkin" but I haven't even cut open an actual pumpkin yet.  Let me tell you about the line up.

The kabocha had quite a yield.  Diced in curry last week; steamed the other half.  The puree made an appetizer-sized soup (1 can coconut milk, two cloves garlic pureed, half inch ginger pureed, salt, pepper, curry powder, pinch of cinnamon, dab of mango chutney), a batch of ice cream, and the cup or so leftover went into another curry base this week.

Buttercup squash:  Half, diced, in the new curry (1 leek, quartered and diced; 1 carrot, diced; garlic and ginger as above; salt and pepper; curry powder by the spoonful; the kabocha puree; cashew bits; 1 can coconut milk; splash of vegetable stock; fresh cilantro).  Has a nice, yam-potato quality.  The other half, steamed and mashed, went into a gingersnap recipe.  Can't tell squash is in your cookies, but they do have a nice fluffy cake-like consistency.

My mom came and visited me at school today and we went over and got another arm load of squashes.  Here's the haul:

Acorn squash:  Bought one with the buttercup but don't know what to do with it.  Got another one today and my mom baked it, right?  I came home and tried a fork of it, but it's one of those... wormy? fibrous? mealy? types and it's not my fave.  The other two were both quite firm and solid, like butternut squash.  This one reminds me of how carving pumpkins look like inside.  Seems like I'd rather smash it and hide it in a dish than let it be the centerpiece.

Red kuri:  I don't know anything about it other than it sounds like "curry" and that's okay in my book.  It looks like a big redorange Christmas ornament.  I think the guy said it's really hollow inside and the meat's all around the edge.  But it sounds like another solid type and I'm looking forward to getting it open.

Orange-striped cushaw squash:  This one is my favorite just for looks.  I forgot its name and looked it up just now and it looks like a winner.  Good for pies.

Carnival squash:  ???  It's so cute!  It's that size and look where it might not be an edible one, but the guy said they were good.  I don't know!  We'll find out.

We got another buttercup and a decorative yellow thing.  And of course there's the pie pumpkin I bought the first time around.  Geez what am I going to do with them all!

Oh, hahah well, I'm glad you asked.  I have a pumpkin to-do list up on the fridge.
  • Ice cream
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Pumpkin roll cake
  • Pumpkin cinnamon roll
  • Chocolate-pumpkin cake
  • pie
Ice cream and soup (and curry and ginger cookies), check.  Remember those roll cakes with the whipped cream filling I make?  How about a pumpkin cake with a maple cream filling?  Yes?  Yes.  And a chocolate cake with pumpkin in; I think it wouldn't taste so much like pumpkin but if it did then I did it on purpose.  Guys, quick, what else can I do?

 I'm sure I had other things to talk about than harvest vegetables... probably.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Field Trips

Happy Thursday!  This week we were promised rain, but it only sprinkled the tiniest bit yesterday in the cemetery.  My Bing weather app on my Windows 8 computer also promises weather in the 80s next week, so I just don't know what to believe anymore.

Have I told you that my school has a field on one side, a freeway on another, and a cemetery on the other?  True story.  It was fieldtrip week.

Tuesday me and Beth walked over to the pumpkin patch.  From the freeway, you can see where the pumpkins grew, and a lot are still sitting out in the green waiting for you to come and get them.  But a block or so back, is the dirt lot with allll the pumpkins and squashes and gourds.  And goats.  We were walking up the dirt hill lined with carving pumpkins, and all you could see was pumpkins and pumpkins and sky.  We bought a pie pumpkin and a kabocha, a Japanese squash.  Kabocha got skinned and curried with an apple and mango chutney.  What a sweet curry!  Pie pumpkin is going to get what pie pumpkin deserves steamed and will probably be some sort of pie or cake or cookie or ice cream.

Don't you love fall?

Other field trip was not quite so literally a field trip.  I'd never actually been in that cemetery before, so we just walked right over.  There was a whole corner of Japanese family plots.  We found three Masons.  The oldest grave we saw was from like 1886 or something.  We saw two other people strolling around wearing the same lanyards as from my school.  It was quite exciting.

Other than that this week has mostly been Borderlands and Active Directory.  In one, I high-fived a robot.  It wasn't Active Directory.

We also saw Looper yesterday, which I was ambivalent about because A) Joseph Gordon-Levitt was playing a time-traveling assassin and B) movies with that sort of premise are usually Jumper or Push.  (What I mean here is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, time traveling, and assassins are all 100 points apiece.  Jumper and Push are both -200 points.)  Like Jumper, and less-so Push, I wanted to be able to want to see it and be reasonably sure that I wouldn't regret the decision.  Having learned, however, from Jumper and Push that this is most of the time an unreasonable expectation.  Dem movies be bad.

Looper wasn't bad at all.  I have to say that the sum was greater than the parts; there were some frayed ends in the storytelling, but the through line was quite secure.  My favorite part of the whole thing was the first 20 seconds after the credits started, where I just went, "ah."  I got it.  Not the time traveling mess or whatever, just the heart of the story.  The Why.  Noir, baby.  Sometimes you can find it in a sci-fi western.

I guess you don't know it, but I've always wanted to write a space western noir.  I don't know how.  Really, I'm content with Cowboy Bebop and Firefly (which we've started up again btw).  Space + western + noir, I don't know why, but that is my favorite thing.


Thursday, October 04, 2012


Happy Thursday!  My education in computer repair has devolved into my unorganized mucking about in Windows 8 trying to accomplish who knows what, breaking it, fixing it somehow, breaking something else in the process, going on walks, reading about the Windows 8 tablet Surface, trying to remember how to use Server 2008, and writing a board game.

The newer Microsoft server OSs come with a virtualization program called Hyper-V.  This is where you run Hyper-V, create a virtual machine (compared to a physical machine), install an OS on it, and that's about it.  Among its many uses, a lot of people right now are running virtual Windows 8 preview versions to get a hang of the OS without having to dedicate any hardware to it.  WHAT I DID WAS INSTALL WINDOWS 8 ON TWO COMPUTERS AND RUN HYPER-V ON ONE AND LOAD SERVER 2008 ON THE VIRTUAL MACHINE AND THEN JOIN THE PHYSICAL COMPUTERS TO THE DOMAIN.

Most of the problems I've run into while doing this have to do with my shady network.  Most of the time it shows up as "unidentified network" and doesn't allow me to change its name or location even though there's no reason why it shouldn't.  On top of that, when the non-Hyper-V machine has the wireless adapter in, it can't be bothered to network correctly.  So I finally got everything to work just fine by loading the domain controller before turning that one on, and keeping the wireless NIC out.  Then the network showed up as its proper self, Ivyfriends.local.

(The computers are called Ivywood and Ivybridge, the VM is called IvyVM, the virtual server is called Ivyserver, and the domain is Ivyfriends.local.)

BUT as far as I can tell, if Ivywood sees itself as a part of Ivyfriends.local, NONE OF THE APPS WORK.  Haha, as bugs go, this is pretty hardcore.  I fixed it by dismantling the VM, power cycling both machines, letting it connect to the wireless, and when the LAN connection was back to "unidentified network," the apps worked again.

I also spent the morning creating domain accounts and trying to see if I could set them up as roaming and copy the Windows 8 style account to other accounts.  Turns out if you set up your default account on the server, that desktop configuration will be able to be copied to other roaming accounts when you sign into them from the other computer.  But anything you do in the Windows 8 Start screen isn't going to translate into the roaming profile. 

So that was my day.

Also in Borderlands we punched dirt and blew up creepers in a mine.


Thursday, September 27, 2012


Happy Thursday!  I've got a headache and I'm real sleepy and tomorrow is Friday so this will be short.

Carolyn got Borderlands 2, right?  It's just like the first one only it's huge and you don't know where anything is and there's slot machines and the cars are better and the multiplayer is better and the baby spiderants run away from you which is adorable.  I'm playing as Maya and Carolyn is Axton, and our action skills are highly complementary.  I finally got to add some fire damage to mine today, which is basically all I ever wanted.

Borderlands is cool because it's a little bit of everything that's great.  It's a first person shooter that's also an RPG with stats and levels and skill trees and loot and upgrades and quest objectives and exploring.  Also something that's really standing out with this sequel is that it's chock full of nerdy allusions.  Last time we had to track down some aviators and burn their volleyball net.  Today we had to deliver some pizza to the sewers and fight some mutant ninjas.  One of Maya's outfits is called "Rose Tailor."

The thing with the quest system, though, is that you have certain characters who need you to do certain things for them in order to progress the story, get from town to town, and unlock pieces of the world.  Then there are people who just want you do go burn down volleyball nets.  Sometimes you have to finish a story quest in order to unlock a character who then will give you more story quests AND more side quests.  The benefit of doing sidequests is the additional experience and money and loot and the good time it will be.

The thing is, when you get right down to it, this is the mechanism that I'm trying to capture in my own RPG hybrid game.  Like, every part of it.  The first person you meet makes not only the a Skyrim reference, but a classic Zelda one as well.  But more importantly, you as a player actually have no interaction with the in-game characters outside of the scripted quest dialogue.  There's no Dungeon Master role playing along with you.  Your input in the story basically boils down to do you want to do this mission now or later? and you are given the outcome based on your successful completion of it. 

I think this is sounding like a bad thing, but all I mean is that's how it has to be, when your quests and NPCs and general world information is necessarily constrained to text on cards delivered in a certain order.  I'm just saying I think Borderlands is my precedent for implementing this system.

That being said, maybe I should add some sort of bounty board system, where you can go and pick up side quests without having to wait for them to come to you (through random draws of an exploration deck, which is the mechanic in place at the moment). 

Where was I?  Oh yes, I was going to sleep.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Now What?

Happy Thursday!  I'm not kidding you this time, after this I'm going to sleep.  It's been one of those weeks where you've been waiting for Friday afternoon since Monday morning and it just ain't comin soon enough.

I was antsy a) because of not going to sleep early enough like always and b) because of being ready to take my N+ test and not being able to take it for another couple of days. 

I don't know if this is an experience you can relate to, but can you imagine a block of eight hours ahead of you where your one goal is to prepare for a thing?  And then you test yourself and go through all the study materials and you think, hey, this ain't no big thang.  And then you have another two eight hours ahead of you where you're still expected to keep on keeping on?  It's deadening.

It was a technical issue that kept me from my goal, so there was nothing to do but sit down and stare at the internet and read whole articles about WAN technologies and routing protocols and CIDR/VLSM and so on and so forth all the while knowing that reading each word wasn't exactly a waste of time, but there sure as heck were other topics out there just waiting to be seen for the first time.

I got yelled at again for not taking at least a half hour on the test.  I swear I tried.  You just can't slow down perfection.

Haha, which isn't to say that I know every networking concept like a champ, I just was super ready for that test.  I'll have the time to iron out the fine details on the job.  But I've spent a month of eight hour days just packing in this info, and I don't know what I would do if I had to spend another day looking at this same old stuff.

 Pretty sure I'll go for the Security+ next, since that seems what people do, and because I took a practice test for it and scored around a 70%.  I could swing a 30%, just give me a couple of weeks.

I think anybody could learn anything if they just sat down all day and studied.  Sure I read a few books on the subject before I started "studying" but after flipping through some relevant chapters just about all of my study material came from the internet.  Practice tests helped me nail down areas that I was less familiar with, and then I went and systematically looked them up.  Some more practice tests and then I looked up about 80% of that again, and again, until I didn't have to look up any more things in particular.  Can you imagine if I could put this effort into like, another language?  I think I could learn anything.

So Security+ and hands-on "interning" on campus, let some of this stuff sink in.  Time to move on from book larnin and get some practical experience.  I will own this.

Also Happy Birthday Dad!  Let's do a puzzle!

Next week: look forward to my not shutting up about Borderlands 2~


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday again?!

Happy Thursday!  Today I came home and the first thing I did was go to sleep for an hour.  It was the best, but also terrible because now I'm not going to get any good sleep tonight.  Naps, man.  Double edged pillow.

But I really do feel like I was only writing last week's blog like yesterday.  What happened this week?  There was a new Doctor Who, I made curry, I'm watching some training videos all day at school, and I'm still writing my game.  I went to Carolyn's and installed a new graphics card.  Played LoL.  Yep.  Preeetty epic.

I watched a really slow car chase on the news, and the guy finally parked in an alley and ran away!  Good job, bro. 

Over the past few days we've had really hot moments, rain, and heavy fog.  Not in that order.  It's supposed to be in the 80s the rest of the week, too, so that's September for ya.  I put the weather gadgets on my desktop at school, and Tokyo's been having really hot thunderstorms, while Moscow has been clear and nice and warmer than rainy Cardiff.

We're going to the LA County fair this weekend, because the Tardis is there.  (last year the cake was a lie, remember?)  It'll probably be scorching.  Or snowing.

What all have you been up to?