bummers in bunches

November 16, 2008
Man sometimes I wish this was an LJ 'cause then I'd have a little "mood" icon by every post and today I'd be all like

All these annoyances seem to cluster.

Maybe it's statistical? There's this phenomenon I've read about and even witnessed but couldn't Google a reference for (which is of course, par for the course) how if you mix coarse grained particles of two different colors and shake, the result isn't an even blend, but the clusters stay segregated and gathered. If this scales to events in real life, it might explain "good things come in threes" type thinking.

Also, possibly, astrology. While I think the underlying explanation of astrology is hokum, I've been starting to think that somewhere between this kind of statistical clustering and observations on seasonal variations, as well as a kind of coded arbitrariness of randomness like the I Ching and a bit of insight to human personaligy (even if mostly in a Barnum effect kind of sense) there might be the shadow of something "to it".

But I came here to kvetch, not to sophomorically pontificate!

Last night I decide to just go read at the pub before the glorioustrainwrecks KotMK #17 game jam. To be fair, the burger and beer were good, but the book, by an author I've liked, was just not appealing to me at all. ("Lighthousekeeping" by Jeannette Winterson-- this whiny, mushy kind of cross between "just so" stories and magical realism.) And then even though it was only six there was this drunk or at least extremely raucous crowd there. And of course, I get meta-irritated at how they annoyed me; why should I begrudge people having a fun time? But there it was. And this was all after getting stuck on the dino-planet level of "Star Fox: Assault", a goofy sci-fi game I liked a while back and decided to replay, probably at a moderately more difficult level than I had before.

So then it was the game jam, and it started out ok, though I kept getting distracted by hearing the wind push against the plastic in front of the windows. My bedroom/office has these lovely stained glass pieces, but they're drafty--the one with the permanently installed AC has visible daylight in parts--so much so that I think air gets behind the plastic and pushes against it, ripping off the tape. I've given up keeping the plastic nice and taut like it was at first via the magic of hair dryer (doesn't matter so much visually, they're behind some roman shades) and now it's an ongoing thing of maintenance.

So, of course, the game never did come together quite right. It was very promising and kind of interesting but then I just got stuck with either a bug or misunderstanding of the engine I had written previously and was trying to leverage. (In short, the "player/wall" colliding thing was ok, but the same code just wasn't working for the "ghost/wall" collisions, or "ghost/ghost"). Plus, I didn't have time to research the Sine/Cosine routine I thought of working, that would have made it a more pleasant toy.

So rather than push on at the 2 hour time limit, I just post what I had then and think about coming back to it. I go back to self-medicate with the Star Fox game, get through that dino planet level (where I couldn't find the damn target goals, but thought I knew where to look) and then get stuck on a different boss fight, where according the FAQs, there's no strategy besides "shoot him in the face and try not to get too distracted by his attacks"... and most times I would get the boss's health to just a sliver, and then die.


And now this morning, I have my "yourself!fitness" to do, except I know it's a "workout challenge"-- the program wants me to do as many situps, squats, pushups etc to gauge my progress. But that's a terrible way to judge, you're looking to gauge 2 weeks of progress, and who knows what kind of small cheating-on-pure-form for the sake of numbers might slip in there. Plus, for some reason the program is setup to still expect you to do the normal workout that day and nags you if you don't.

It's all a bit worse because of the general climate of fear and uncertainty. Maybe I should remind myself of the good stuff from yesterday; nice breakfast with my Aunt and Uncle, EB was in town and put a new endpiece on the giant honking ethernet cable that runs from the third floor to my room so it won't slip out of the router, I did a fair job straightening up parts of the apartment...

(And through typing all this I saw there were some games I missed last night at the game jam, but I need to upgrade DirectX to see one of them, and that process isn't working. Because, why the hell not. GAH!)

Applet of the Moment
To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
swank - source - built with processing
Control the eyes with the mouse... mouse button fires a stream of particles, that can be used to stick to the walls and the ghosts following you. (Dessgeega called this the best firefly spitting simulation ever). Press 'r' to reset. Meant to be a study in a 2D variant of The Unfinished Swan demo.

DANG IT. the windows are so frickin' drafty I can see the air fill in behind the plastic sheeting in front, hear the tape rip off the sides