taking joy in human unreason

2004 January

Whip it! Whip it good! – A Nerdy Post

Sorry for the eighties flashback (which are, apparently, considered bad by some… I love the music, personally), but I just whipped Gnus into shape. It is now reading and posting mail on the Rose IMAP server, and playing along well with my dummy POP3 account. I’ve been working on this damn thing for two days, and finally got it working fully (minus scoring) about an hour ago.

Why Gnus? I don’t like the Webmail solution used by Rose–it’s slow. I also don’t like Outlook, because it’s even slower (that slowness was what prompted me to switch to Webmail a few months back). I had fun with Gnus in my previous experience with it, and the challenge of setting it up was all a part of the fun.

I had a bit of trouble finding the relevant Windows version of XEmacs–I finally got lucky, it seems, with one particular FTP server I surfed. Installation of that went smoothly, and I found myself immersed in the world of meta keys (Alt) and nested parentheses, for the first time since I gave up my old laptop running Mandrake. I immediately set about making a config file.

Getting the Rose IMAP server to cooperate was sheer hell, simply because of my own stupidity. Silly me for thinking that a lack of “file not found” error didn’t mean that the file trying to be executed (OpenSSL – needed to simply login to the server) wasn’t there. In other words, I really should have obeyed the first USENET post I found and installed Cygwin, with installs not only OpenSSL, but a bash shell, and my “favoritest” command-line, um, command of all: ls. I don’t know how many times I’ve typed “ls -al” when I needed to type “dir”… At any rate, once I got the PATH straightened out, all was peachy keen on logging in, although I still can’t get Gnus won’t pull my Kerberos password from .authinfo (but it will get my username). But that’s relatively important.

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Hello, Mr. Penis. My name is Lissa. – A random conversation

Bridget and I were getting ready for bed a couple of nights ago, oddly enough, at the same time, and Bridget began to tell me about this “weird” sex advice show on late-night Oxygen. Apparently, some poor guy had called in, expressing surprise at the idea that uncircumsized men (which he was) have to do extra, ah, cleaning. Now Bridget, being a good little Catholic girl, was expressing disgust with the show in general, which is (according to her) presided over by an elderly lady that liked to give odd advice.

My response? “You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an uncircumsized penis. Well, I’ve never seen a penis of any kind in person, not on a computer screen or something, but I don’t get an immediate mental picture of what an uncircumsized penis looks like.”

Bridget, bless her blonde soul, says, “You know, I’ve never met one either–“

“Wait. Never met one? Is that like, ‘Hello, Mr. Penis, my name is Bridget’? Oh, dear. Does that come accompanied with a handshake, or what?” Insert mad giggling. Hey, it was way after my bedtime.

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Violins, pretty voices, and nice beats

Last night, I watched the first couple of hours of Mohabbatein, a Hindi love story, and oh-my-damn I must acquire that soundtrack. The movie is very… Grease-esque (actually, that’s a bit harsh), with lots of sappiness and singing and dancing and macho-tough-looking guys and beautiful girls whose personalities match perfectly the guys that want them, but it really is rather… sweet. Besides, I’m a complete sucker for some violin, and Shahrukh Kahn’s character was putting a killing on it. Based on a simple Google/Amazon search, though, that soundtrack is going to be ridiculously hard to find. A., the chick who brought the movie over for us to watch, suggested going to an Indian music store in Indianapolis or Chicago. I’ll be dragging her along if I go, that’s for certain–I’m not even sure I know how to correctly pronounce the name of the movie, and walking into a store and saying, “I’m looking for the soundtrack to this,” while holding up a slip of paper with the title of the movie on it just sounds silly.

[Listening to “Holding Back the Years” [Randy Crawford / Naked and True]]

A couple more tidbits

Cuz I’m an idjit that forgot some stuff in the last one, although some are today news. Nothing so funny as the “sausagefest” bit, I’m afraid. I do wish I had a video to post of the Thorn guys separating at my sausagefest suggestion–I’ve never seen guys move so damn fast.

An e-mail to the Old Man
Dear Dr. Car Guy,

A trip to Wal-Mart this morning brought to my attention the rather rough idle of my babydaddy, Johhny. Even after about an hour of driving, the idle was rough (although it settled down immediately if I put the car in neutral, of course), and, in fact, the idle seemed to get slightly rougher the longer I drove. It didn’t stall (nor did that seem much of a threat–the idle wasn’t that rough), but it was definitely not smooth. It was also, however, 16 degrees Fahrenheit outside, although the car did eventually warm up (but the windshield washer fluid never un-froze :-P). Gas was good, brakes were good, and there were no odd sounds while driving. Was this just the cold weather, maybe the way I was driving (got up to 50 mi/h before the engine was really warm), or is my babydaddy just showing his age?

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Bursts of Life

I don’t feel like expounding on anything at length, but didn’t want to make 15 short little entries for links, etc., so in little bursts:

Process of the Creation of a 1200-Word English Essay, particularly for Dr. Foofoo McKnuckleberry

  1. T minus 10 hours: think of a couple of ideas for a thesis. It doesn’t need to be at all original. This should take about 2 minutes. Recommence previous activities.
  2. T minus 5 hours: start writing the intro paragraph. Get good thesis sentences down, all the while marking up poem/book with (hopefully) relevant examples thought up without extensive research/thought. Unless already hit with inspiration (un-fucking-likely) don’t worry about significance of argument yet.
  3. T minus 4 hours: form a nebuluous idea of essay structure. How much post-intro information will there be before heading into the actual points to be proven, and what format will be taken for the actual argument? Continue marking up any brainstormed examples.
  4. T minus 3.75 hours: write post-intro information–explain briefly what is really almost being taken as given, and make sure too many assumptions aren’t being made.
  5. T minus 3.25 hours: head into actual essay, having already killed over 300 words. Oh, yeah.
  6. T minus 1 hour: probably about 400 words left. Write the conclusion. There’s 100 gone. Break time. Read through what’s written and check for wording problems, spelling problems, unclarity. Further analyze an example–beat the shit out of it. Even out length of analysis all-around. Remember, paragraphs probably shouldn’t just end with a quote, no matter how hard-hitting–profs like it better if you quote, then explain, instead of presenting the idea, then quoting.
  7. T minus 0.5 hours: probably about 200 words left. Skim the examples from the book/poem in context, and… blam. A lucky-as-hell bit of inspiration that never fails and adds a connection not seen during class discussion, and will nudge the grade above 90%. Make this the thread that weaves the whole essay together, linking arguments/examples/paragraphs. All grade problems now will be due to presentation, not argument.
  8. T minus 0.25 hours: update thesis declaration to reflect the newfound actual importance of the original argument. Skim again for errors. Submit.

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Recent Posts

Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

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Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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