Journal Entry: June 23, 2009

It’s no surprise that I went a week without posting after accepting a teaching job for the fall, right? Because I had to start getting class materials together and all….

Heh. Right.

Last Tuesday we had McDonalds for dinner. That’s all I recall. I probably played a bunch of Civ, but who can say for sure?

Wednesday night I picked up a pizza from Little Caesar’s and D– came over to join us for supper. T– took AB to church, and D– spent the evening working on his computer while I sorted files on the fileserver and browsed Netflix.

Thursday I had lunch with Toby, and as ever we decided to work on a new programming project. This time it was going to be a memory game for AB, because she loves her Disney Princesses memory game and I get sick of the setup and cleaning up afterward. So I floated the idea by Toby and he said it would be pretty easy technically and a new project was born.

After work Thursday night the cable guy came over to fix a problem we’d been having with our digital cable. He ended up just telling me to unplug the cable from our UPS, with assurances it wasn’t necessary anyway. While he was there I had him open up the cable box out back and we got that mess cleaned up. I’m glad of that.

But after he left we noticed that the TV had glowing purple bands scrolling ever upward whenever we watched the TiVo. Everyone’s pretty sure that’s a ground loop problem, but I don’t remember it happening before the cable guy came, and yet he didn’t do anything that might cause a ground loop. And, after all, everything is plugged into a UPS which should take care of that anyway. Bah.

D– brought over Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. That was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating evening.

Friday was my RDO. I had a dentist appointment at 8:45, and then lunch with T– at IHOP, and then took AB home to put her down for a nap while T– went shopping.

Once she was in bed I checked my email and found a message from Toby with a really basic prototype of the Memory game GUI. It had a 3×4 grid with blank gray cards and you could click on them to flip them over and show photos of his adorable family. Some of them were paired, but it wasn’t perfect.

I got to work on that, and really spent most of the rest of my day on it. I grabbed a bunch of Creative Commons-licensed animal photos and wrote some code to enforce pairing (so every card has a match), and even programmed it to handle non-identical matches (what I’m calling Flash Card Mode). I found some free sound effects, too, to spruce it up a bit. By the end of the day, it already looked and felt like an actual game. AB played it with me for half an hour, and ever since she’s occasionally come to me asking to play her “puzzle game,” which I consider a real victory.

T– made us dinner Friday night, these weird awesome sandwich pocket things with a honey mustard dipping sauce, and then later we ran up to Freddy’s for some frozen custard. After AB went to bed D– and I finished a multiplayer game of Civ that resolved in our absolute destruction. It was the most thorough, humiliating loss I’ve ever suffered in that game. We just spent half an hour marveling at the wretchedness of our situation, while city after city fell to enemy invaders. It was spectacular.

Saturday morning T– took AB to a ladies’ brunch at church, so I slept in. I got up around ten, spent an hour putting some extra tweaks on my Memory game, and then ran to the bagle place for lunch with D–.

In the afternoon I watched AB while T– went over to my sister’s place to scrapbook. AB spent much of that time taking a nap, so I put some finishing touches on the game, and when she woke up we spent half an hour playing. We also read a couple of her books, watched a little TV, and before I knew it, it was time to meet T– and my sister and brother-in-law, and K– and N– for dinner at Cafe 7. K– and N– were the only ones who’d been before, but we all enjoyed it. Very cool place.

Then K– and N– came over for a short visit, and I got to show off my game to K–. They left around eight, and T– gave AB a bath which stretched past her bedtime so she was still busy with that when I left.

T–‘s friend Rebecca’s husband Dave’s band, the Recliners, was playing at the Dugout, a bar that’s about a ten minute walk from my house. Back when I was taking Rock Band a little too seriously, there’d been some talk of me taking drumming lessons from Dave, and at the time he’d invited me to come see them play a couple times, but it was never convenient to do so. When I saw that he’d be playing at the Dugout on Saturday, though, I didn’t have any good excuses so I decided to go.

By Saturday night it seemed kind of weird, though, because D– was busy with friends in town, K– was sick with a sinus infection or something, and B– was recovering from an extended visit from the in-laws. So I went by myself, and sat at an empty table right in front of the stage to watch the band play.

They were phenomenally good. They didn’t play any original songs, but they rocked the ones they did play, and the assortment was impressive. It was mostly rock, with a sprinkling of classic country and eighties stuff. They also did “Party Like a Rock Star,” which is fun if it’s loud enough. And it was.

I took my scribblebook with me, and while I was there I not only overcame the crippling start on chapter one that had blocked me for two weeks, I got all of chapter two done. I consider 1,000 words a successful day’s work, and Saturday night I did 6,500. I also shut down a bar for the first time in forever.

Afterward I walked home, jumped in the shower to rinse of the smoke smell, and fell asleep around three in the morning.

I didn’t really have any intention of waking up for church Sunday morning, but AB and T– came lumbering into the room burdened with gift-wrapped presents and cards at about 9:30, and AB was crowing, “happyfathersdayiloveyou” over and over again entirely unlike a toddler who had been carefully coached. Ahem.

Anyway, it was adorable, and the first package I unwrapped was a pound of Twizzlers, which did indeed make mouths happy. I also got some cool stuff for the car, and after distributing thanks in proportion to my receipts, I finally climbed out of bed and got ready.

I got a good start on chapter three during the guest speaker’s sermon, then afterward we went to Texas Roadhouse by way of Father’s Choice. I had the Dallas filet. It was fantastic. Afterward, when I was groaning about how full I was, T– said, “Are you totally happy now?”

And I said, “Well, not totally.”

And she said, “Do you think the stand is open?”

The first one wasn’t, but I have backups. I got a large snow cone, and that was enough to push me over the delicious, delirious edge.

I did a little more work on my game while AB was taking a nap, and then we met D– and his mom (who was on her way through town for a convention in Dallas) for dinner at Irma’s. It was as awesome as always.

Afterward D– came over and we started a new Civ game, which went considerably better than the previous one. I stayed up way too late playing it, though.

Yesterday I got home from work and did half an hour on the treadmill. T– called in an order to Papa John’s, so when I was done I ran up to the store half a mile down to pick it up. On the way, I noticed (very quickly) that the air conditioner in the car wasn’t working. It had been a little sluggish on my way home from work, but it had eventually kicked in. This time, it was blowing only hot air. So much so that the relatively short trip became surprisingly uncomfortable.

D– came over for dinner, and stuck around for Civ. We played into another late night, but it was pretty gratifying. We’d ended Sunday night planning to start a war on the Vikings, and Ragnar ended up attacking me on the same turn I’d planned to attack him (which is helpful, for reasons of international opinion). We made quick work of the Vikings, and when they became vassals of the Maya with just one city left, we went ahead and made quick work of the Maya, too. That secured our eastern border (with only the friendly Greeks left on that end of the continent), so we moved our troops back to the other side and launched a war on the Malinese and the Koreans. Before that one was even finished I went ahead and attacked Greece just because I could.

We’re tearing up. I can’t wait to finish this one.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

One Reply to “Journal Entry: June 23, 2009”

  1. Is it possible to take Rock Band too seriously??? ;o)

    Congrats on the 6500 word count. I’ve never tried writing to live music…sounds like it’s quite good for the Muse!

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