April 23rd, 2007

My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

I'm not sure why 200 years after man has figured out electricity and radiation, people still react as Luddites to it.

I managed to swindle a four day weekend (which just ended). That was awfully nice except for the cold that allowed me to swindle it. I spent most of it watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, finishing The Last Unicorn (FINALLY!), and playing through the driving missions of Gran Turismo 4.

relsqui looked over at one point last night after failing mission 29 *again* and said "You have a lot more patience than me". There's a certain amount of truth to this -- at times, I can be really patient, though it seems to me that I get frustrated as easily as anyone else.

In particular, I do see myself improving as I play it. I started the weekend seeking to complete 3 missions. I've now completed two of those and I'm within a half a second of the lead car on the third. I knew this one was going to be a problem though. I really dislike Sears Point. The uphill blind S curves were difficult to master and even now, I probably abort as many as I finish because of a foul up somewhere along the way.

Before I started playing, I understood roughly the fastest way around a corner under grip conditions. Take the given curve and fit the largest radius circle into it. Follow that perimeter at the highest possible speed. There's a little more -- like moving the weight of your vehicle around using braking and acceleration. However, I've found experimentally that I do a lot better if I trail brake into the curve, follow the tightest possible circle, and accelerating when I'm come around the curve far enough to hit the far end of the curve at maximum acceleration.

Algorithmically, it's quite a change and I'm still trying to figure out where I'm doing better and where I'm doing worse. It's no longer that easy to tell and half a second is a lot of time to go hunting for.

Also -- weird -- Boris Yeltsin died. It's so odd to think of a man going from ruling one of the most powerful nations in the world to the relatively private figure he became after he resigned. Ten years later, he's pushing up daisies. That's the way life goes, I guess.

Russia seems to generate a lot of those. Aleksander Kerensky has always been a particularly interesting figure to me.
My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

(I appear in the following transcripts as "root" for reasons too long to go into)

<@root_> Say...this is kinda weird 
<@root_> but I'm not sure you ever paid me back for your processor 8)
<+philblamefool> no, i haven't. i haven't had any money.
<@root_> Ah!  8) 
<+philblamefool> but next month is triple paycheck month. so i'll actually have money.
<@root_> Ok.  That's no problem 8)  I was just trying to remember if you had or not 8)
<+philblamefool> no, of course not. you'd remember my most definitely not sly attempts to slip you money
without anyone seeing.
<@root_> Yes, it's true. My MONEYDAR is quite strong.
<@root_> I can spot a clever scheme to give me money from a mile away
<+philblamefool> hahaha 
<@root_> Maybe more.  Hard to say.
<+philblamefool> that sort of thing really doesn't occur with enough frequency to do a statistical analysis.
<@root_> You'd be surprised.  Ever wonder where that change you left on your dresser went?  Little gnomes 
grab it and give it to unsuspecting strangers.
<+philblamefool> they must be forgetting about me. i have mounds of random change all over the place. it 
just keeps building. 
<+philblamefool> i can't pick something up without change falling all over the floor.
<@root_> No, no.  You're just a breeding ground like me.  See, there's a myth perpetuated by the government 
that they manufacture money in places called "mints"
<@root_> The truth is that it's decentralized.  Money breeds with itself.  The gnomes act like bees and 
<+philblamefool> i'm a government conspiracy?
<@root_> That's why US money has changed so much in recent years.  It's starting to absorb genes from 
European money.
<+philblamefool> that...is the most awesome thing i've heard all day
<@root_> We all are.  We're part of their plot to avoid international embarrassment.
<+philblamefool> i think they're failing.
<@root_> (I thought so too which is why I'm formulating a post about it right now)
<+philblamefool> i guess money is not unlike rabbits
<+philblamefool> or rats 
<@root_> Not at all.  Money's a plant.  It really DOES grow on trees.
<+philblamefool> just as long as i don't find metal shavings all over my floor, i'll be fine
<@root_> You ever wonder why diamonds are so valuable?  It's because they're proto-quarters!
<@root_> Put them in a breeding ground with a bunch of coins and all of a sudden *bam*, you've got money 

Formulating an actual post is delayed. See, I originally poked kalisphoenix in the hopes of getting him to write a short story, and here's what happened

<@root_> You there!  Writing man!  
<+kalisphoenix> Oh dear.
<@root_> I knew I'd get that reaction from you.  It's just what I needed.
<@root_> Feel like you need a story idea?  I've got a real doozy 8)
<root_> (You've suggested programs to me, so it seems only fair to reciprocate, you see)
<kalisphoenix> Sure, but by submitting it you are hereby relinquishing all claim to the idea and 
derivatives thereof, etc etc.
<kalisphoenix> :)
<root_> Yeah, yeah, I know.
<root_> I'd write it myself, but I'm severely out of practice for writing anything other than science fiction
<kalisphoenix> Do it.
<kalisphoenix> Seriously.
<kalisphoenix> Write.
<kalisphoenix> You're always encouraging me to program, dammit, so I'm going to bug the shit out of you 
about this.
<root_> hehe.  But then I'd be using my higher brain functions!
<kalisphoenix> Go to http://forums.thedouglasfamily.org/ , sign up, and say you want to be part of the 
<kalisphoenix> A story (or something) per week all summer.
<kalisphoenix> With a pizza party you could, uh, fly out for.  Or something.                   
<kalisphoenix> Or get yer significant other to do it.
<kalisphoenix> Or both.

And so, I have no choice. I have to get my write on. Effective as of now, this journal will contain short stories of varying levels of quality. Most will probably be tripe. I've written a cron script to kick my butt if I don't have an idea by Wednesday or haven't posted a story by Saturday.

Ultimately, this dooms me, but what doesn't kill me can only make me use my time a bit better, neh?