journal for 2003-04-19

i am not dead

I’ve been writing a lot more $gamesite content than journal content, lately. This isn’t so bad, I guess, since my game stories do detail a good bit of what I’ve been up to. Still, my life is not about video games! Also, someday I’ll be eighty-five and I’ll wonder, “What was I up to around Tax Day 2003?”


So! I, uh, haven’t been up to too much. Work has been OK. I’ve finished a good bit of the stuff I needed for asset tracking, so I’m starting to devote real amounts of time to MASH R3. I feel much more into what I’m doing than I have for a while. It’s nice to get to write the code that interests me. I’m starting with making some semi-stylistic changes to the internals. The last thing I want to do, if we get a second coder, is waste time explaining why we call experts “experts” everywhere but in the database and code. So far, so good.

Monday, I think I’ll start some real coding. I’m working to further detach tickets from cases, so now I get to rewrite all the early-lifecycle case routines into ticket handling routines. I mucked with the ticket DB schema on Thursday, and I think it’s pretty much ready.


Last weekend there were two (two!) speed IFs. A speed IF is a weird ifMUD thing that goes like this: someone says, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a game all about grape jelly? Ok, you have two hours to write it! GO!”

The first one was “Jacket 2,” in which each participant submits sentences from reviews of unwritten games. For example, I wrote, “After this game, I’ll never look at grapefruit the same way again!” The quotes are distributed randomly, and then everyone must use some fraction of their quotes to write a game.

There’s obviously some lag, then, between the announcement of the speed IF, the submission of the quotes, the distribution of the quotes, and the games. While we waited for everyone to get quotes in, someone said, “Let’s all write games about toast!” (Well, I’m simplifying, but not much.)

I wrote stories for both speed IFs, and it was quite enjoyable. My ToasterComp2 game was much more fun (to write and to play) than my Jacket2 game, and I hope to mess around with it more, in the future, and make it into a full-fledged little game.

SwashComp progresses, but my game does not. I have ideas, but I’m not working on them. To the extent that I’m working on any IF project, it’s The Old Timer. I draw a map for the first section of the game, this morning, and I’ll try to implement a good bit of it this week.

I’m also playing Enchanter. I was shamed to admit that I’ve never played the Enchanter trilogy. So far, it’s quite good. I’m a little stuck, but just a little. I expect to figure things out, in time. I’m trying not to ask for /too/ many hints. I wish I could be a hintless player. I’m just not.

the gym

My weight chart has hit its previous low again, today. I’m hoping that it will progress down past it. Of course, with a big Easter dinner on Sunday, it might not. I’ve been slowly increasing my work when I lift, and I think it’s doing me some good. At the very least, I feel a bit stronger when I’m lifting. Marcelo suggested that I should’ve measured my biceps and waist when I started working out. I should have—I think I may be growing some actual muscle tissue in my arms. I’m pretty happy about that. Also, I’m not feeling totally destroyed every morning after lifting.

Now, if only I could do push-ups, again.


I finished the Dark Tower books last week. They were quite good, and I’m looking forward to the fifth one. I’m also glad, though, that I’m done for a while. Two thousand (or more?) pages of King in less than two weeks was a lot.

I read a bit more in Valis, but I got side-tracked again. Well, to be fair, I side-tracked myself. I picked up Childhood’s End (Clarke) and read that; it was good. Now I’m reading some Delaney stories in Aye, and Gemorrah. He’s definitely an interesting writer, and it’s always nice to read sci-fi that’s written without all the genre conventions heavily in play. That said, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about his writing. I think I like it. I think.

Written on April 19, 2003