A Day In The Life
So, been thinking. I think I need to get in the habit of writing stuff down in the notes on my phone when I think of them. In the last week I’ve gotten idea for things I could talk about on a post, but then, I forget them all the next day. Luckily, there’s a free app Apple provides on my dinky iPhone that allows me to write notes down, but I do also have Evernote, which would allow me to record time and place as well. Either one can work, it’s just a matter of habit it seems.
I haven’t posted in a while, looks like October 19th was my last truly personal post. That’s okay, since then I wrote an essay about positive individualism, and trigger warnings, as well as announced my Patreon page. The Patreon page is probably the biggest announcement. This is quite a commitment, and one I hope I can keep up on, seeing as how I’ve opted for monthly payments rather than payments per production. I haven’t made too much money on my Amazon affiliate links yet, nor too much on my iTunes affiliate links either. I’m hoping, as I wrote in the other post, that holding me accountable for producing something will have an effect on me kind of like when I was a WordPress debugger.
So what exactly am I producing? Well, I outlined it to Maus last night, I think I’ll have tutorials along several different ‘tracks’. I think I’ll have tutorials featuring philosophy, mathematics, computer science (programming), electronics, and maybe something in what I call ‘consciousness studies’. As well, I’ll have book/game/movie reviews (I’m catching up on the backlog, sorry for the 404s). I’ll also detail in my tutorials my progression in making my Fursuit For Life, artificial intelligence, robots, games, etc. I’m thinking this is something I can devote myself to, as it combines various number of disciplines, as opposed to just being a programmer, or a comic book artist. If anybody has any specific requests for tutorials, leave a comment!
What else is new? Well, like I wrote above, I need to catch up on the backlog of reviews, so there’s that. But beyond that, I’ve been thinking about a couple different things. I went to my childhood home in Handyville for Thanksgiving and had an opportunity to see my adopted brother, his girlfriend, and the rest of the family minus blood brother, Hurricane, and their children. They’ll be coming up next (this?) week. My adopted brother had asked me several months ago about tabletop role-playing games, and how he thought it would be interesting to have him and his girlfriend play a game with me as a game master. Hoo boy, I’m not a good game master, but he’s decided I am. I think it’s nostalgic goggles, but we’ll see. I didn’t realize that perhaps he was hoping I’d prepare something that we could play on holiday, so all I brought was some Mage: The Ascension books (all 2nd edition, the best) and a GURPS Basic Set that people could look at. Well, because Mage requires a bit of familiarity with the setting, we never really ended up playing anything but I did lend him a Mage core book that they could peruse and I said I’d try to prepare something for next time. Hoo boy.
I actually ran a game once recently, last year. It was an IronClaw game, not the revised rules but the original, and well… it was kind of a disaster. I don’t think I was very good, but at the same time, I also didn’t expend a lot of time planning or setting anything out. It was kind of by the seat of my pants, which… is how I do everything.
However, reading some Storyteller material for Mage this Thanksgiving inspired me. I remembered back when I was in high school I used to make “character generators” for various games using the terminal and PERL. Of course, who programs in PERL? I know, I know, who programs in PHP? Anyways, I realized that there is a market out there, with some pretty outstanding products already, for sites and apps that facilitate and aid in table-top role-playing game execution. I was thinking we’d start with a particular system, like GURPS, and create tools for character sheets, dice rolling, etc. Then we could incorporate other older systems as well, like the 2nd edition World of Darkness storyteller system, or 1st edition D&D, or whatever. I used to have a penchant for collecting bizarre and one-off table-top systems for role-playing. I even used to have a Christian role-playing system box set for learning about Christianity and the Bible, but it’s disappeared somewhere now unfortunately. This would be an exercise in programming and adapting materials, which could be fun. I was thinking I’d start with a “dice programming language” for making and combining rolls, which would require a grammar and parser and… well, we’ll get there.
I finished my compilers book, and have learned how to implement a recursive descent parser in C++. Haha, well, kind of. Unfortunately, recursive-descent parsing isn’t necessarily the most efficient or malleable method of parsing, something I only learned at the end of the book. That’ll be in the review as it comes, but ah well. I learned of this thing called a shift-reduce parser. I’ll get into that as we progress through the tutorials, at some point.
I also finished The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, one of Seth’s books by Jane Roberts. I’ve actually read them out of order, but not on purpose. I read Seth Speaks first, then Nature of Personal Reality, which is right on track… but then I got off track because I was confused about which books come next. Turns out The “Unknown” Reality volumes come before The Nature of the Psyche and Mass Events. However, I read Psyche, and then I read Mass Events, and now finally I’m getting to “Unknown”. Since my last post I not only finished the book, but ordered the next books and they already came, so I am the proud owner of both volumes of The “Unknown” Reality. It’s been an interesting read so far. In these books they forego the chapter set up and just list specific sessions with subject headings in the table of contents. It’s kind of weird because so far it doesn’t seem like the book was really meant to be a book quite yet, but Seth did make some sort of Preface for it. We’ll see how it develops. I’m backed up to write a review from Nature of Personal Reality, and Psyche, and Mass Events. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that yet.
In other news, I need to get down and learn me some pyGame. It looks like my nephew that I’ve been teaching Python might becoming ready to move on to bigger and larger things than the Turtle, but I don’t know. I need to read some more Python material, I unfortunately for various reasons have been putting that reading off. I really meant to finish the book a long time ago and be a total Python master before I started teaching my nephew… but like the Enlightener, my mother, said, you only have to be somewhat smarter than the people you’re teaching. Fly by my seat of the pants? Of course! I’m hoping that maybe he can come up with some kind of specific project he might be interested in, but I think it’ll be an organic process that may play off of each other. I think that I need to start delving into some of the subjects I’ve covered with a little more depth, maybe lend him my book? He was surprised when I showed him how much of the book was devoted just to the string data type.
Today Maus and I decided to take advantage of a gift card he received from work because of some of his personal struggles (why he was in Ecuador for two weeks and such). It was a gift card to BoneFish, a local restaurant in the neighboring town. It was very elegant, and it was actually kind of nice, like a little date. I had a “White Russian Cosmopolitan,” and we had two appetizers: potstickers, and ceviche. Maus said with some authority, that this was Peruvian ceviche, and trust me, he’d know. He tried to to make me ceviche once, and it came out kind of odd. I wasn’t really sure how to eat it, but it was interesting. He had the spicy shrimp bowl, while I had crab encrusted cod with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. It was pretty nice, and we got at least 50% off with the gift card, so that was a plus. I didn’t realize the restaurant was near the Centerra shopping center, otherwise I would’ve brought my coupons I got with my membership mail at Barnes & Noble. I have two 20% offs, which with my card becomes 30%, and then a 30% which becomes 40% off a cookbook. I was thinking of getting that citrus cookbook featured in my Martha Stewart magazine, what do you think?
Maus got me a present, and it’s a surprise! Well, kind of. It was going to be a surprise, as he changed the Amazon password so I wouldn’t find out and everything. Then last night, I pick up my phone from the dresser just about before I was going to bed and a notice comes from my Amazon app, still logged in, about a product shipping. I ruined the surprise! I felt so bad… but technically the app ruined the surprise. He had me going pretty good too, here I thought it was something sexual because he told me it was something that would be “embarrassing” to have at the family Christmas gathering. It’s not sexual, but he had me going. It is probably better in the end that I open it now in our apartment here though, as opposed to opening it in front of all the nephews. It’ll make a little more sense when I reveal what it is, when I get it. Maybe I’ll make an unboxing video?
In other news, I’ve developed a few new ideas when it comes to my algorithm. I’ve decided that the “formatting” attempts I’ve been making aren’t going to get the final result I’m looking for, and what I need is something that “generates” the data. I hit upon the idea of a “recursive” self generator, which is an interesting thought in terms of an algorithm basically being able to “know” data in time by virtual process, as opposed to physical process. I also have hit upon an idea where I use basic frequency coding to build a giant tree of nodes, where each node’s children are defined once in the tree. Then, I generate a variable big-length huffman encoding while taking into account the fact that the original data “pieces” are also non-uniform length. I haven’t implemented it yet in Python, I kind of forgot to work on it today and… kind of slept again this morning.
Sleeping in the morning has become quite the hassle. I don’t understand why I don’t seem to have the mental muscle to not engage in the same repetitive behavior that’s just not doing me justice. I decided two weeks ago that I would walk to my get my medication in the morning, and then I’d come home to take a shower and start the day. So far, I’ve done that… half a time, once. Half because I walked, but I did not take a shower at that time. Today the shower ran out of hot water, and just kind of devolved into this lukewarm shade. It was alright, I wasn’t cold, but it was kind of a pain, and I’m hoping this isn’t a long-term problem.
I forgot again to call my primary care physician appointed by my government-forced-upon-me insurance company. I finally got the bill for the blood work my nurse practitioner ordered on me, and it turns out the insurance company isn’t paying for the tests because it wasn’t “approved” or recommended by my PCP. So, now when I want to have blood tests I have to go through my primary care physician in order to get the approval required by the insurance company. Otherwise, it’s $360 of my own money. Luckily, the nurse practitioner said she thinks I should fight this charge with the insurance company, and said that she’ll even help me by communicating to the doctor. I just have to get the ball rolling with some phone calls that I haven’t made yet. That, and I need to get a dentist appointment. I think my teeth are starting to get a little worn and need a bit of looking after.
Anyways, that’s kind of life in a nutshell. At least the parts that seemed interesting today in regard to the last time I posted. I’m sure I left out any number of things that I probably thought of during the day and didn’t write down in a note. But, I’ve started writing down my thoughts on notes, and hopefully I’ll have more comprehensive blog data in the long run. In the mean time, I have to decide what I’m going to write my next essay on, and what tutorial I’m going to do first. I was thinking something mathematical, as I’m not quite ready for a philosophy explication. For the philosophy one I was thinking I’d start at the bedrock of Western philosophy, the philosophers at Ionia in Greece including that guy who talks about air rarefaction.
In the mean time, I’m back! For now…