Monthly Archives: January 2010

I hope… not!

This morning when I woke Nefarious up for school she said to me, “Sleep is amazing, isn’t it? One moment you’re lying in bed awake, and then the next thing you know, it’s morning!”

I think that this experience — the experience of the night disappearing, where you blink and it’s morning, has to do with not having dreams that night. It happens to me once every few years, and was more common when I was a child, and I remember it making a strong impression on me as well. I recall one night, looking at my clock, and every time I would blink, an hour or so would pass. A remarkable experience. Anyway, for me on the other hand, it was not a dreamless night

I dreamt last night that I was Barack Obama, President of the United States. To be clear, I wasn’t just President, I was literally Barack Obama. However, I had the same painful condition that I have now, and reporters were stalking me, trying to dig up dirt on me. Instead of worrying that they were going to show I was born in Kenya, I was all stressed out that they were going to find my Oxycodone prescription and label me as a drug abuser a la Rush Limbaugh. I was super-paranoid about throwing out my garbage, and was freaked out at the possibility that investigative reporters would go through the trash bins outside the White House and find the prescriptions… But I was hopeful that when I switched from my current opiate-stingy doctor to the Presidential doctor that he would give me a larger prescription… you know, on account of being President, I hoped that doctors would finally believe me about the pain level — my authority had been confirmed earlier when I was stuffing mountains of prescriptions and drug store receipts into grocery bags and sneaking behind the building to find a place to toss them, when the Secret Service body guards assured me that as President I did not have to do chores.

I continued being hassled by reporters, but it got worse later in the dream I had some problems with farting… I mean… sharting… and somehow pooped in my pants! I ran back into the White House hoping no one would notice, dashed to the washroom, and I just kept getting covered in more and more shit and then I realized that I had left the front door open and the reporters that were previously searching the trash had now come into the building and were about to find me, the President, in this revolting state, so the dream ended with me desperately but ineffectively trying to clean myself. Hahaha. Don’t analyze that dream please, it will not end with good conclusions.

And pardon the illustration, I have other things to spend my time on today. I’m working on the eBook (Kindle, Nook, etc.) conversion of the classic interviews book, and doing another level of clean-up on it as well as adding about a dozen interviews that have never been published in text (ie. video interviews and so on). I figure it will take a solid couple weeks to get that done.

Coding a CSV editor and viewer

It’s not terribly exciting to most people, but over the last couple days I’ve been using my spare time to put together a fairly full featured but still ultra-simple CSV file editor and viewer. You can click here for the ZenCSV page which has the program, documentation, and source code.


Messing around with PUNG

Wracking my brain to remember math — embarrassingly simple math — that I really haven’t thought much about in twenty years is both rewarding and titillating, and highly frustrating at the same time. I’m going to switch over to some late night reading, but I wrote about half of the collision detection and “angle-of-reflection” type code for the new game (which really would have been much easier to just write in Flash). Of course, the balls don’t actually do anything but detect a collision — while they do bounce off the sides, they ignore the game architecture (which is randomly twitching) and the other balls, just passing through them, although they do light up to indicate the collision and also render the line representing the collision angle between the two in brown, as well the white lines that show the direction and, in a thicker stroke, that ball’s kinetic energy. Hopefully this holds my attention long enough to finish it…

I agree completely, Amazon!

Today I added “redo the layout of all my books (ModCon, Opening Up, etc.) so that they can be easily read on ebook readers” to my welcomingly engorged to-do list. After seeing how dismally the (thankfully free) ModCon PDF renders on the Kindle (and the gigantic Opening Up is only marginally better), to say nothing of the lack of indexing and so on, I felt committed to porting that material for the latest media… And perhaps it will give me the energy to put the final touches on my latest book of interviews on genital mods — a massive tome that’s all done other than a little editing — as well as my biography, which is closer to half done. I don’t know a thing about ebook publishing, having done all my past books in Quark XPress, so I’ll have to do a little research first.

Anyway, I decided it was time to add some content to my currently lonely electronic library, which this morning held only Pill Head (which has been a great read so far). A nice thing about the Kindle is that you can get free samples of books (the first chapter or something), so I was just browsing Amazon for books to check out, and I noticed the oddest thing in the “Biographies and Memoirs” section… specifically the “Criminals” subsection:


Now, I’m very much and very aggressively in the “God is NOT Great” camp — enough so as to get me banned from the surprisingly pro-superstition and Muslim-fearing BoingBoing, maybe the first time I’ve been dumped by an online girlblogfriend — so I totally support the way Amazon filed the Bible, but I had to click through to see it in more detail. After first chuckling that the most-likely fictional authors are actually listed with the same hot-linked “what else has Moses written” validity as Stephen King might be, then yes, after scrolling down I saw that, indeed, that God’s memoir has been filed along with the other criminal masterminds that this world has produced.


…and yes, this world produced God, not the other way around!

[Note: Full screen caps of the above here; 1, 2, 3]

Anyway, today is a great day. I spent most of the day learning how to do better multi-channel sound output for a game I’m working on, and scratching my head over the trig and geometry (and the various shortcuts to avoid as much of it as possible) involved in calculating the motion vector changes that happen when two billiard balls collide in various ways — which also made me think that after I finish the couple programming projects that I’m fiddling with that I might like to create a zero-gravity 3D pool game, with the pockets placed at the corners of the big cube that the game is played inside… I think it might be fun, and not particularly hard to write with my new skills. Of course, now that Caitlin has an iPhone, I’m also wondering whether that might be fun to do some development for…

Not just a great day for me: Nefarious’s school went skating today at a nearby rink, and right now she’s off at her gymnastics class (I’ve got to keep my eye out on Craigslist for some mats for here I think), and then we’re going to order a pizza, and stay up late watching movies and reading another chapter or two of The Goblet of Fire… The whole weekend should actually be pretty good. I’ve promised Nefarious and a friend that I’d take them to see the Tooth Fairy movie tomorrow (I will of course be reading in the lobby!), and on Sunday Caitlin’s parents are going to visit and I think we’re going to all go and see some Egyptian exhibit at the art gallery. Even with this wretched, torturous hell that I struggle with as my musculature breaks painfully down and I contemplate my demise, life is good and I feel so lucky.

Long time no post

I’ve been under the weather for most of the week so most of my time has been spent prone and moaning, and not in a good way. I loathe being sick, because not only is it unpleasant for me, but it puts such stress on Caitlin and Nefarious as well, and the guilt I feel about that is much worse than the physical pain. However, today things took a turn for the better in a few ways, not least of which was my neighbor signing for a UPS package for me that I missed due to listening to music at a higher volume than the doorbell. I got Caitlin a Kindle for Christmas, and she seems to really like it. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to really get into a Kindle, because “it’s not a book”, and as someone who’s always been surrounded by books I found it hard to believe that the experience would have the same tactile satisfaction. However, when I took Nefarious and Cassie to see The Squeakquel on the weekend — something I had zero interest in attending — I brought her Kindle along to try it out in the lobby as they giggled away in the back row of the theatre, and I loved using it. I found that not only was the experience of reading as good as on a paper book, but that because of the single-page isolation of the interface that I found myself reading sequentially with care and attention, a skill that I worried I’d lost after years of hopping around the net consuming a scattered chaos of bite-sized fragments of disconnected data… So in some ways it was actually better than a book. I immediately went and ordered myself a Kindle as well, although I got the big one for myself, and that’s what came in the mail today. Anyway, below is my new toy, as well as a neat crystal that Nefarious grew from a Christmas stocking gift… I think it’s salt but I’m not sure. Oh, and Nefarious read for an hour and a half tonight, making it to halfway through The Goblet of Fire‘s well over six hundred pages. It’s actually quite amazing how quickly it goes.