Archive for August, 2006


In case you hadn’t heard

August 19, 2006

I am totally sweet.


As Promised

August 9, 2006

I promised Ajay that I would post this picture from his wedding to go along with the one he found. So here it is:

Swanky lookin' dude


A Question

August 9, 2006

Today has been a very frustrating day, and it’s only about half over. I have been frustrated by just about everything I do, everything I read, everything I think. I have my opinions, I hear other people’s, and I’ve no way of really making decisions about the merits of any of them. My opinions are based on my personal biases and experiences, and (hopefully) on some semblance of fact—something independently observable or verifiable. But so is the other guy’s opinion. If they’re in opposition, how does one choose? I’ve no real reason to believe that my opinion is any better than anyone else’s, except, perhaps, that it is my opinion—but that hardly seems like a very legitimate reason. This frustrates me.

Anyway, on to my question: When beginning a new project, how does one decide what language to use? As I’m sure you all know, I despise Java, and I now find myself on a project that—at least for the time being—is written in Java. I have, however, been given permission to port the prototype over to Python for comparison. Now I’m sure that Python will put the Java prototype to shame, but the conundrum is this: why not Ruby, or C#, or C++?

I look at a problem and pretty much always think that Python would provide a great solution; on the few occasions where Python’s garbage collection proves a problem, you can always write a C extension for that bit of code that needs the optimization. There is no silver bullet, but Python always looks pretty damn shiny to me. So why doesn’t everybody use it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fan-boying Python here; I love the language, but I do not believe it is perfect or the answer to all our problems. But it does always seem to be the answer to every problem I encounter. So I must be missing a piece of the puzzle. Unless of course, the fact is that Python, Ruby, C#, or what have you, are all pretty much equal, and it’s only a matter of personal taste…

Sometimes it seems that there are obvious deficiencies in a language, but when there aren’t, what tips the scales in favor of one language or another? Someone please straighten me out here. My head hurts.


Gunnerkrigg Court

August 2, 2006

I just finished going through the archives of Gunnerkrigg Court. I’m not quite sure how I came across it (the author did a guest comic on SGR, or maybe Ajay told me about it), but somehow it ended up in my account. It’s a delightful comic. Well drawn, and well written. The artwork is unique, the story is engaging, it has interesting characters, and good dialog. Tom Siddell manages to write what I would consider a serious comic without getting whiny or preachy, and still maintain a good sense of humor. Overall, it’s a fantastic comic and I highly recommend it. My only regret is that I have already finished reading the archives…


Of MMOs and RPGs…

August 2, 2006

Yesterday I cancelled my subscription to WoW. That game has a strange effect on me: whenever I’m not playing, I feel like I’m wasting money. $15 a month is not that expensive—it’s only about $0.50 a day. But only really if I’m playing every day all day. Actually, I’m paying about $15 for about 15-16 hours of game play. Still, $1 an hour isn’t really overly expensive. Of course, the last few weeks I haven’t even been playing enough to average 15 hours a month because of all the weddings that are going on.

In any case, no matter how you crunch the numbers, a WoW subscription is not prohibitively expensive for me. But in spite of this, these monthly bills were constantly nagging at me. They made me feel obligated to be playing. When I would have spare time and not be playing I felt like I was throwing money away (even if it was only a little—hey, I’m part Scot, what do you expect). Half the time when I would be playing, it felt more like a chore; the other half the time I was having fun partly just because I felt like I was getting my money’s worth.

So the simple solution was to stop playing altogether. It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. And it’s not like I have trouble filling my free time. Between my guitar and all the instruments I should practice/want to learn, reading, household chores, Capoeira, and games that don’t charge me fees to play, there’s plenty to occupy my time. Not to mention real RPGs…

Once Nater and Sarah get back from their honeymoon we’re going to try and start playing D&D again. I’ve also decided to re-read Changeling: The Dreaming to try and get some inspiration for a mini-chronicle. I had an idea for a different kind of paradigm for storytelling that I’d like to give a try. It might help to alleviate the feeling that the entire world was created just for you. It also might make life very boring for the players, but hopefully not.

Anyway, this has gotten long enough. Maybe later I’ll put up a full-blown rant/ramble about MMOs and RPGs and all the related benefits and problems I find there-in.