journal for 2003-01-16


Man, why am I doing so little journalizing? Maybe if I had some kind of easy way to write my entry whereever whenever it would be easier. For those of you who don’t know how Debug works, what I’m saying is: maybe if I had a text editor. I could do it on my PDA, but I don’t really use my PDA for much, especially because I can’t type on it. I have a hard time finding electronic handwriting devices useful.

I should try a Zaurus, or maybe a nice little subnotebook. The 12” PowerBook looks sexy, too, but might be too much to lug around. Maybe if there was a voice-to-text program with the awesomeness of Vim, I’d be satisfied.

The real answer, of course, is this: I am lazy.


In my defense, I’ve been working on other things. Namely, I’ve been trying to get some writing done. I haven’t managed to do much, but I haven’t been totally inert, either.

I did some work on the two short stories sitting in my queue, but I feel really blocked about where the hell I’m going. I need to learn to have a plan before I start building. I can do it in code, why can’t I do it with my prose?

I’ve also done some planning, and a little coding, on my old interactive fiction projects, Mars. I made some decent conceptual (planning) progress, so I might be able to actually code some stuff.

gamesite, games

Work on the gamesite has been fun, although my rate of entry production is slowing. I wrote an entry, today, on Suspended, which is just such a totally awesome game. To prepare, I played through it (last night) several times, and it really got the IF-writing bug under my skin.

I also picked up Typing of the Dead this week, and it is fantastic. It’s just like House of the Dead 2, but with typing instead of shooting. This means that I’m good at it instead of bad at it. I enjoy that.

I blew through 90% of the game last night, and I might get the remaining 10% tonight. I’m not sure how replayable it is, but it seems like it could be played a lot. Maybe I can even improve my typing—but I doubt that I can do so with the mediocre Sega keyboard. I should investigate hooking up my m101’s to it.

iso9001 boredom

Some of the planning I did for Mars was done while I was bored at ISO-9001 training. I’m one of our internal auditors at work, and I needed to be trained in the finer points of the 9001 standard. (It’s a standard for how to have a quality management system, and it isn’t as awful as it sounds.) The class was actually the best lame corporate training I’ve done, which doesn’t say a lot. It could’ve been better if we’d eliminated a few of the weakest participants, but it was OK.

Still, there was a lot of down time for me, so I did some planning for my MASH and PYL projects at work and some for Mars. On the second day, I even took in my laptop and did a little coding. Once I check those changes into the code repository, I’ll try to do a little coding every day.


The stink of death is really in the air at work. Everyone is afraid of cutbacks, or at least expecting them. A lot of people have told me, “You don’t have anything to worry about,” but that’s pretty disconcerting, too. I feel like it’s going to instill just enough confidence in me to make my termination required by Newton’s Laws of Irony and Pride.

I’ve been doing a lot of coding lately that strikes me as Pointless. We have a number of systems in development that don’t meet existing procedures, and I don’t feel like they’re really even wanted by the people who will be their primary consumers. It makes me want to yell, but I guess that I should shut up and focus on cashing my checks.

There has to be a way, though, to use my brain to help people beyond just coding for them, even if I remain a coder.


One of the few people I’d call a “college buddy,” Marcelo, has taken quite ill, lately. His long-running cold turned out to be an enlargement of the heart, which is pretty much as bad as it sounds. He spent a few days in the hospital, and the last time I heard from him he still sounded pretty tentative and weak. I need to give him a call tonight.

It’s pretty crazy. He went from Normal Health to Sick For Life (maybe) in the course of a doctor’s visit, or at least that’s how it seems. This makes me think that either (a) I should really go see a doctor, or (b) I should really not go see a doctor. I’m voting for (a), and once I get my new insurance card back in my possession, I’ll call up a physician.

On the topic of health, Gloria picked up a scale. Not only does it tell me how heavy I am, it tells me how fat I am. It’s got these little metal plates that run current through me and determine that I am obese. So, I’m even more motivated to get us a gym membership. I really need to get us information about pricing at the two local places, and I’d like a tour of the less convenient place, too. Still, if I start working out regularly, I can’t help but think that I’ll be doing less writing and work, which discourages me. I really need to organize my time.

Again, I’m thinking about that fortune in my wallet: Use recurring patterns to help design your life.

Written on January 16, 2003