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11/27/10 01:51 pm

Spent most of the day so far freshening up my java skills and making a random map generator.  500 rooms:

                     O        O           O                                      
                     |        |           |                                      
            O  O  O  O  O     O  O     O  O--O                                   
            |  |  |  |  |     |  |     |     |                                   
         O--O  O  O--O  O--O  O--O  O  O--O  O  O                                
         |     |     |  |     |     |  |     |  |                                
         O  O--O  O--O  O--O  O--O--O  O--O--O--O        O                       
         |  |        |     |        |        |           |                       
      O--O--O  O  O  O  O--O--O  O  O--O  O  O  O--O  O  O  O                    
         |     |  |  |     |     |     |  |  |  |     |  |  |                    
      O--O--O--O  O--O  O  O--O  O  O  O  O--O--O--O--O--O  O  O  O--O           
            |     |     |  |     |  |  |  |                 |  |  |              
         O  O--O  O  O  O  O--O  O--O  O--O--O--O  O  O  O  O  O  O--O           
         |  |  |  |  |  |     |     |  |           |  |  |  |  |  |              
O     O--O--O  O  O  O--O  O--O  O  O  O  O--O--O--O  O  O  O--O  O              
|              |  |  |        |  |  |  |  |           |  |  |     |              
O--O--O--O--O--O  O--O  O--O  O--O--O--O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O  O--O--O           
               |  |        |           |     |        |     |  |                 
O  O--O--O--O  O  O  O  O  O  O--O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O--O  O  O--O  O  O        
|           |  |  |  |  |  |        |     |        |  |     |  |     |  |        
O--O  O--O--O--O  O--O--O--O  O--O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O  O  O  O  O--O--O        
   |           |           |        |     |     |  |     |  |  |  |              
O--O--O--O--O--O--O--O--O--O  O  O--O--O  O--O--O  O  O--O--O--O--O  O--O        
   |     |  |  |     |     |  |        |  |           |     |        |           
O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O  O--O--O--O--O--O  O--O--O--O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O        
   |                    |        |  |  |  |        |              |              
   O  O--O--O  O--O--O--O  O--O--O  O  O--O--O--O  O  O--O--O--O--O--O--O  O     
         |  |  |        |     |        |  |           |     |     |        |     
      O--O  O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O  O--O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O--O     
                     |  |  |     |     |  |  |  |  |              |     |        
   O--O--O--O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O--O--O--O--O  O  O  O--O--O  
   |           |     |     |        |     |  |  |  |                 |           
O--O--O  O--O--O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O--O--O--O--O--O--O        
                              |  |     |  |  |     |  |           |  |           
         O--O--O--O--O  O--O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O  O  O--O--O--O  O  O           
         |     |     |     |  |  |  |  |  |     |  |  |     |                    
         O  O  O  O--O--O--O  O  O  O  O  O--O  O  O  O  O  O--O--O  O           
            |        |  |  |  |           |  |     |  |  |     |     |           
      O--O--O--O--O--O  O  O  O--O  O--O--O  O  O--O  O--O--O  O  O--O           
            |  |     |  |  |  |  |  |     |  |     |  |  |  |     |              
            O  O  O--O  O  O  O  O  O--O  O  O  O--O  O  O  O--O--O--O           
                        |        |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |        |  |              
               O--O--O--O  O--O--O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O--O  O--O  O              
                        |     |        |  |  |        |  |     |                 
               O        O--O  O--O  O--O  O  O  O--O--O  O--O  O--O--O           
               |           |  |        |  |  |        |  |  |                    
               O--O--O--O--O  O--O--O  O  O  O  O--O--O  O  O--O                 
               |        |     |                                |                 
            O--O     O--O--O  O                                O                 
            |  |        |     |                                                  
            O  O     O--O  O--O                                                  

Yeah, you'll want to view it in fixed width font.

6/11/10 07:30 pm

Sparred for my first time in Kung Fu today.  I did not punch my opponent in the face (I sometimes do that; I tend to go for the head when I fight, because I'm so much taller than most of my partners), which is good.  But I did injure my foot, somehow, with a quick kick that must have caught an elbow or a knee or something.  It's been almost two years of training.  Still feel like a beginner, sloppy and sluggish.  oi. 

5/27/10 02:19 pm

This just happened: computer told me to turn on symantec endpoint protection. I move to do so.  Computer tells me that I cannot turn on symantec endpoint protection, because I am not the symantec endpoint administrator.

I have decided computers were a bad idea.  They magnify human incompetence.

5/21/10 08:49 pm

 Just beat Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days.   It's a sidestory on the DS for the main line, and, oddly, it's pretty much an aggressive tragedy.  I mean, two of the three main characters you care about are actively trapped by their subordinate relationship to the main character of the series, who never appears in the story except in memories and flashbacks.

Spoilers for game none of you will ever play...Collapse )
Dang.  Just Dang.

5/4/10 10:05 am

Been busy lately.  Work.

Last Friday I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time.  I now believe it exists.

Kung Fu is changing.  It's now only 1.5 hours; easier by a little bit, but it leaves more time to practice forms afterward, in my opinion.  For many it's a bad sign, (especially since a belt system is also returning to the school), a sign of commercialization and the end of the good hard days.  But it's always been changing.  I've heard rumors about the old days when classes were 4-5 hours long, they stood in horse stance for an hour, or practiced forms for the entire class.  1.5 hours feels rushed now... but it is good to have energy left at the end for forms.

Anyway, I'm making up the difference in exercise by riding my bike to work (plus it's bike to work month).   Said bike was acquired second hand; it's a dinged up old Fuji with a Chro-Moly frame, a street bike (my first ever).  I can barely ride it, to be honest.  I've never had curved handlebars or rail-thin tires before, and I haven't ridden a ten speed in at least 18 years.  But it's a great alternative in my five-pronged transportation strategy (walk/bike/scooter/car/bus).  It's great to avoid looking for parking, to ride in silence, and to get some quad work.  If only I didn't live in the midst of enormous hills.

4/20/10 10:16 am

PS3 died last night.  I'll be replacing it; I've got too many games, controllers, and blue ray movies.  As a launch model, it lasted a good while (it's actually been replaced once already, after an early power supply failure), but I suspect the MAG/FFXIII/CrunchRoll triple team would likely be the death of it.  I learned my lesson this time, though, and tore it to shreds to retrieve the disk it ate and recover the precious hard drive.  Also, if anyone is looking for spare ps3 parts, I can supply.

In other news, I presided over my first in-game wedding, for which I wasn't as prepared as I would like to be, but turned out grand.  I've never run a wedding, but the situation was a lot of fun... a player forced into marriage after being captured (her wedding present: the soul of the man she loves) with hostages on the line and an assassin in the eaves arriving just in time... but hesitating a moment too long.

The Story of the Stone is finished, and now I'm reading some commentary on it.  In the end, I sympathize most with Bao Chai, and couldn't stand the star-crossed lovers.  Bao Yu, the protagonist, seems so repulsive by the end that I wonder if (a) I have no understanding of Chinese society and just can't see what a great poster-child he makes for disenchantment, (b) the editors didn't like him or the original message of the book, or (c) the author is willfully trying to subvert his stated mission with the book.

4/13/10 09:11 am - Update

Almost done with the Story of the Stone.  Good stuff.

Continuing to work on closet RPGs on occassion.  I always run into the same problems... interesting systems of conflict are the fun part, and easy and entertaining, but they don't necessarily model conflict in a way that makes a game that people would play... they overweight the system, as it were.  It's not the best starting point, but it's where I tend to start, so that's that.

Wife is still in first trimester.  I have seen no baby evidence, thus it remains schrodinger's baby, as far as I'm concerned.

And Kung Fu is suddenly very difficult.  Explanation: there are basically three Sihings under the Sifu that teach three class tracks.  Honor is a big deal.  One of my fellow students, an idiot high-schooler, made the mistake of telling my Sihing that he preferred one of the other classes because it was "harder".  Suddenly, our class became much much harder.  The Sihing first tells us to get lower, then pushes us down by the shoulder.  It is tough stuff.  I want to punch that kid more than I already punch him.

3/22/10 10:45 pm - Bullet point review of FFXIII: (tldr: conflicted, may play again)

I will say this about the game, without putting in any real spoilers for people currently playing.
  • The quality is fantastic.
  • The story is horrible and excellent.  There are wonderful threads to the story, but the overarching meta-story of "what are we doing right now?" always sucks, with the exception of the prison break.
  • Bad dialogue: when you're in the middle of the interminable final stage slog and one of the characters says "will this ever end?".  It's a bad idea to remind the players that it's a really freaking long stage without any plot development and really long normal fights, let alone boss fights.  It's been mentioned in other reviews, but it bears a hell of a lot of repeating.
  • The long tunnel from FFX was not fun.  It is still not fun.  On the other hand, globe-spanning shopping trips from FFXII are also a problem.  But this is not the solution.
  • The fight system is brilliant and horrible.  I wish, at some point, instead of pressing auto attack, it would do it for me, and let me interrupt if I felt like it. That, or give me a gambit system that I could alter mid-battle.
  • The advancement system is fun, but pointless in most cases.  For example, whenever I reached a point where I my advancement options were expanded (big boss fight), I had pretty much exhausted the advancement options I already had.  So what's the point, if my big boss fight is always going to be with basically a preset capped out character?  Well, that's the point: you can't screw up your characters or make them really fancy.  The boss fight is almost preset.
  • At least, at the end, I had this: I had emotions for most of the characters, which is something I never got out of FFXII.  I though I knew them all pretty well.  I never knew who the heck those people were in FFXII.  Also, I didn't actively hate all but one character (Auron), as I did in FFX.  There are no earth-shattering twists where characters turn out to be dreams of some weird God or secret amnesia victims with implanted memories or repression or whatever (mad props to Crisis Core, for making cloud's origin less stupid).  There is one amnesia victim, but she says it from the start, and it turns out kind of cool.

It is grimly flawed and excellent.  I have the desire to play it again, more slowly, just to see some of the plot pieces and settings again.  Even when I was bored to tears with the metaplot and frustrated with the endless, pointless fights at some points, I could always look around and say "this place is really pretty.  Like, really awesome just to look at.  Stunningly beautiful."  And the ending made my wife cry.  But she's pregnant; I think she also cried when she lost the cap to the pen on the fridge.

3/9/10 07:04 pm - Ready

FFXIII is waiting, open.  I have the next five days off from work, which is criminal considering the amount of work I have piled up.  Considering the game's length, that should be just enough time to reach a save point.

Best of all, new copies have a code for entering yourself for eligibility for the ps3 beta for FFXIV.  I loved XI... beautiful and tragically flawed.  Like all my ventures into MMOdom, it was tragically cut short by lack of time and... well... friends that play MMOs nonstop.  I never was big into the clan thing; I want to play when I play and stop when I stop. 

2/23/10 06:34 pm - Pregnancy

 Any of you folks know of good books on pregnancy?  Preferably big on facts and history, light on heartwarming anecdotes?
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