Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Crank Mode

^- my current desktop (click it for a larger image)

Wrap some presents, make some pizza dough, and get back to work. Of course, in order to work efficiently I'll need to clean my office. Which means stuffing 16 unpacked boxes into the closet. That leads to rearranging the closet. And in order to do that I've got to move some things into the bedroom; the prerequisite being that I clean off the shelves on the big white bookcase there. I can do that, but then I'll need to box that stuff up, and where to put the boxes? I know! I'll just stuff them in my office!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Jar of Pop, A Hunk of Meat, and Thou

After another round trip to NC, barbequed pork shoulder on my new big honkin' grill, Thanks giving dinner (turkey, not pork) , and 25 huge bags of leaves, it's good to be back in the home-groove for awhile.

Here's a good recipie for bean relish. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and it will provide a cool, slightly sweet and tangy counterpoint to many fish and poultry dishes, especially grilled ones.

1 can pintos (14 oz)
1 can black beans (14 oz)
1 medium onion (chopped or minced)
1 large diced tomato
1 diced green bell pepper
1 can corn (14 oz)
1 tablespoon vinegar (more or less, to taste)
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or honey or molasses)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 sprinkle freshly ground black pepper

Stir all of the ingredients together and store covered in a glass or plastic bowl overnight in the fridge.

No progress on super secret projects to report. Nanowrimo word count is a depressing 5,665. But I'm not going to let the deadline, which is supposed to be a motivator, turn into a reason for not finishing. Besides, I was out of town for a week. Maybe I can finish it by my birthday.

Speaking of which I'd better stop writing here so I can write there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

1000 steps to nowhere

Wow. 2 days ( 1,000 miles round trip) of driving for one day of football. Yes, it's worth it. Even though we lost a heartbreaker in overtime.

I'd post pictures of the trip, but they're on a disposable (HA!) digital camera that I haven't hacked to be downloadable yet. CVS has them for $10, or $20 for ones with a display. You take the pics, turn them in for processing, and you get your pictures/CD, but they don't give you the camera back. Alternatively, you take a couple of hours to hack a connector, download some software, and use the camera like any other USB imagining device. Thanks, MAKE Magazine.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Road Trip

I'm making a pilgrimage to Chapel Hill to for the UNC - Maryland football game, and the basketball exhibition game afterwards. I won't be able to write much, but I'll have 14 hours round-trip to scheme on my plot. Maybe I'll scheme the plot on the way up, and plot the scheme on the way back.

Go Heels!

Needless to say, kiddies, I'm stoked.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hard Day's Night

Some days you get the bear. Some days the bear gets you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pointless blog update when I should be writing

I fixed the camera, as you may have noticed by the photo below. The biscuit dropped it and the case popped open just a little. I finished opening it up, popped it back together, and all is hunky-dory.

Writing hat, on.
Motivational caffiene, check.
Let's do iiiiiiiiiit!

Super Secret Project Backlog

You know why everyone uses their blog to complain that they don't have enough time to do everything? Not me. That's why my entries are irregular. There is a limited about of evil ingeniousness to go around.

Updates on the following Super Secret Projects:

1) Robots: Tamiya makes lots of interesting kits for toys/robots. They're well constructed and not ridiculously expensive, but what makes them cool is they have lots of kits that are just components, like gear motors, chassis and drives, etc. So you can do what you want with them. Here's their "Tracked Vehicle Chassis Kit". It just cries out for some sensors and such. I also have another chassis (a walker) that needs a some electronics and the green guy in the back is a solarbotics Scoutwalker kit. Insert Harry Conick Jr's awesome rendition of If I only had a brain here.

2) Probably Un-licensable Game Software (PUGS): The architecture is finished. It's time to do the nuts and bolts. To keep this from being a mostly pointless excercise I'm going to use built-in tests from the start. I've been reading up on NUnit and Test-Driven Development and I want to see how it works for me. The problem with card games like this is that nearly every card invokes some kind of exception to the rules, so the trick is to not have a base line set of rules that you modify for every card. You build the rule set from the cards in play; every time a card is played, you reconstruct the current context.

3) Girl game (for lack of a working title): This is way on the back burner. I have a list of nebulous ideas that need some focus and structure. I've long been interested in the elements that can make a computer game fun for girls, besides things like tediously collecting the right combination of shoes and make-up so your princess/avatar can snag her may-uhn... There's a real niche here, once people figure it out. The Sims, basically an electronic dollhouse, is on the right track. You can build, solve problems, and watch the environment evolve. Even though I found it tedious in the extreme, it is a monster hit. They sell it at Office Depot for heaven's sakes, and I don't think teenage boys are the ones buying it.

4) Solar Cooker: I need to build the insulated oven-box, and figure out a good way to mount the reflectors so I can easily take it apart for storage. We have 6 ways to cook food in my house: Gas Stove, Electric Oven, Microwave, Crock Pot, Charcoal Grill and Solar Oven. Not to mention the bread machine and hot air popcorn popper. Whoops! I just mentioned them.

5) NaNoWriMo, which isn't really a secret at all.

6) Many others that have yet to be promoted to Super Secret Project status.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Ok, so I'm behind more than 3500 words, three days into the month. I'll catch up. In fact, I might take the next two weeks off, just to make it a challenge. I always work best under pressure. (ok, tomorrow I'll really really really catch up. honest.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's raining imagination

November is NaNoWriMo month, so I'm no-wri'ing. My word count is only 698, but I started late last night. I'll catch up today. Yep. Definately.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to do a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That's 1,666 2/3 words per day. It doesn't have to be polished. Heck, it doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be done. It's been going on for 5 years or so, with no promotion other than a web site, a book, and word of mouth. You've been warned.

You can do an author search for tomthemighty and see how I'm doing. Then send me an email if I need some nagging.