Monday, March 29, 2004

Fatal Frame

Long time, no post. Work's been a grind, and I've been totally wiped out with what little free time I've had. Still, I must be crawling a little way up the slope as yesterday I bought a new video game. It still remains to be seen if I'll get very far in it, but as I've finished Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, and the replay value of that game is pretty weak, I decided to get something new.

I thought I was going to get Morrowind, but after cruising Costco with Kelly, I put the game back on the shelf, resolved to just play something I had at home. Then as we were leaving Costco, I said, "say, that new Game Spot is open, let's go look there."

I can tell I'll be going there too often. Lots of used games, and soooo convenient to my workplace. Fry's has gotten a lot of my money, now it's these guys' turn!

After looking at every stinking PS2 and Xbox game (twice!) I finally settled on Fatal Frame. The sequel is already out on PS2, so the original was kinda scarce when I went looking for it. And here it was, ported to the Xbox. So now I've got it in my hot little hands. This is a fairly arty member of the survival-horror genre, and seems to be in a similar mood mode as the Silent Hill series, which in my opinion beat Resident Evil all to heck.

The very same evening... I got Kelly through all her night time chores and then put both my angels to bed. Down into the bowels of the house I descended, to offer up my silver disk to the green monster. Getting florid, must ... slap ... self!

I was playing through the introductory section of the game when Kelly came downstairs. She does this little shtick on school nights where she appears downstairs and sits on the couch without talking, as if I'm not there, or as if she's not. When I call her on it, she utters the magical phrase "father-daughter time!"

So I just said hi and kept on playing, knowing that this would be a good way to teach her a lesson. Behind me I could sense her progressively curling into a little nest of clustered pillows and comforters. Eventually, I reached the part where Miku is introduced, saved and quit for the night. As I was getting ready to nudge Kelly toward bed, she emerged from her pillow fort (a little) and in a peeved voice, asked "what exactly is the point of that game?"

So I explained the mechanics of using the camera to weaken ghosts and the goal of collecting clues to find the lost people, even though I could tell her question was rhetorical. I just had fun pulling her chain. But she got back at me. She said she was a little too scared to go back to her room with no one to protect her. So I ended up coming up stairs and reading a book in the den, so she could see the light.

I'm looking forward to the next pass at the game, but maybe not tonight. I'm pretty exhausted. In fact, doing a quick pass over this post, I can tell it's a little incoherent, but I'm gonna let that ride, as I'm too tired to do editing, and I wanna get a post out there so family and friends know I'm not dead.

I'm not dead yet! I'm feeling much better! I think I'll go for a walk! ...

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Before crunch time kicked in, I finished reading Liar's Poker, though it would be fair to say that towards the end that reading became fairly skimmy. After the first half of the book, the anecdotes all sort of ran together. If I had to summarize, it would be "folks at Salomon Brothers were very smart, but we really didn't know why we were successful, and in the end, our luck ran out."

I've started reading Charles Stross' Singularity Sky, a hard science fiction book based in a universe where Vernor Vinge's Singularity has already happened. I love these super-science gosh-wow books, so I'll probably breeze right through this during those little breaks we all have. So far it's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


I've been way busy of late, and haven't had the wherewithal to do any posts. So here in one post are a few of the things that have gone before:

  • Jean's parents stopped by for a visit on their way back from Hawaii to Michigan. They are now safely back home.

  • Before the crunch, just before, I finished Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Lots of fun. I started replaying with a different character, but haven't had enough time/energy to do more than the intro section. Dunno if the replay value is high enough to continue.

  • I got a bonus, and used some of it to replace my old, classic Blueberry iBook with a new, frost white iBook. So far I like it a lot. It's name is Mikura.

I'm sure there's lots more that has gone on, including Kelly's ongoing battles with real world horse riding lessons (you get hurt in the real world, damn!) and other stuff I just can't think of right now. Sorry, maybe later.

Now I wanna get up at 6am tomorrow, so I can get into work early (Jean's on break from school and taking Kelly to school for me) and log a few extra hours on my crunch project. So early to bed! Bye!

Sunday, March 7, 2004


Yes, the new banner is an image of my settlement check with the RIAA for gouging me via price fixing for all those years on CD prices. This is the result of a class action lawsuit, and I'm only sorry they didn't have to pay more.

So what did I do with the money? I bought a CD

The Pragmatic Programmer

I've moved Cocoa Programming off the rolls for now, as it's clear I'm not even crawling through it right now. Instead I'm adding a book I just got a work, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. This is the sort of book I like to read just to keep me questioning the central tenets of programming. I've only scratched the surface, so no commentary so far.

Liar's Poker

Nonzero is back at the library. It was a very interesting read, but my mini-review stands.

Next in line is Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage of Wall Street, by Michael Lewis. An insider's look at the life of bond traders at Salomon Brothers. So far interesting...

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Test-Driven Development

I first started reading Test-Driven Development, by Kent Beck, several months ago. The plan was to map his examples, primarily written in Java and Python, to my own world of C++. I tried, really I did, but there's just too much cognitive dissonance.

The principles made sense, and some of them reflected my own experience. But the examples in Java were just too foreign to me, and the Python example seemed foreign to the author, so I was left with the theory, and not the practice. I may get around to grabbing one of the C++ unit testing frameworks, but it's my impression that when they work at all, they work best with the more modern dialects, and we're still waiting on the port to GCC 3.2.2.

So maybe in another year you'll hear a review on this methodology again. In the meantime, I'll store this baby on my shelf...