taking joy in human unreason

2007 April

This Week’s bookmarks

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  • Study: Linux nears Windows XP usability
    Wow. I didn’t know a study like this had been done, although I’m curious at them being able to find people with no Linux or XP experience, even back in 2003. Tagged as: [linux usability]

First ride of the “season”

With the weather looking beyond gorgeous this weekend, I filled by bike tires with air and went for a ride yesterday. I set a comfortably slow pace, and rode for about 90 minutes, getting in 16 miles.

First, that’s the furthest I’ve ever ridden. Second, that’s the longest I’ve ever been in the saddle. My butt didn’t even hurt until I sat in an auditorium for a couple of hours later that night. This morning, of course, my butt-bones are achy and my legs still have that happy tingle.

The cool thing was getting to see parts of Terre Haute I hadn’t seen before. I got lost on my way up the trail — I took what I thought was the trail, but that ended abruptly at 25th Street — and ended up getting to ride through a lot of residential areas until I found the real trail.

Also very nice: being comfortable on my bike for the first time. Especially since I got this bike shortly after my accident, I’ve never felt comfortable riding on streets. But yesterday was good. I was able to weave through traffic safely, use appropriate hand signs, make left turns, etc., with no problems. Of course, I wasn’t riding on the trafficky Wabash, either, but there was steady traffic.

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Getting things done: choices

Months ago, Elf Sternberg quoted Scott Westerfield who quoted Raymond Chandler as saying,

[T]here should be a space of time, say four hours a day at least, when a professional writer doesn’t do anything else but write. He doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor. But he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks. Write or nothing.

Whether it’s writing, classwork, or drawing, it comes down to the same thing. I found myself floundering just last night, wheeling and dealing with myself: I’d ‘promise’ to get up early and work, just so I could relax now and get some sleep. But I knew I wasn’t likely to actually get up early. Bargaining took up time in which I wasn’t working or relaxing. Sitting around thinking about doing it doesn’t get it done. It doesn’t even (in this case) make creative advances. It just ups the stress.

Finally, it came down to a choice: am I going to work, or not? I finally just opened LyX, opened the relevant research paper, and just looked at it. Here it was. There was nothing else to do.

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Locs, part deux

About a month ago, I started down the journey to locs again. The comb coils from a couple of months back hadn’t worked, but this time I tried a technique I hadn’t seen on the internet: I just rubber-banded my hair into sections. They looked like little puffs (or even bantu knots) for a while, and I got a lot of Matrix comments.

About a week ago, there was enough growth for me to start latching, although I needed to keep the rubber bands on. I latched. Yay.

I couldn’t get them clean, however. I workout almost daily, and I just couldn’t shampoo enough to get the roots clean (the roots, not even the part that was knotting up!). Clarifying shampoos, etc., were no go. It was becoming a stressor.

So I took them out last night.

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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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