Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the next game

I need to figure out:

  • how to make a real working inventory, where you can manipulate your items

  • how to combine items

  • how to make animated direction arrows. I really like those

Saturday, February 24, 2007

comic book life

On my profile page at Nordinho, I display a beautiful poem by Mikhail Lermontov which is generally about being disgusted with life. It sounds far better in Russian than in English.

A few days ago, a newish user apparently took exception to this display of misery. She said I had no right to be pessimistic, that I had no idea what life was (!). Apparently my unhappiness cannot compare to hers, which consists of being in a wheelchair, and being prevented from seeing her "plebian" boyfriend because her parents have chosen a boy with a title and money for her.

I said something polite to her, and was rewarded with an elaboration on her personal situation. She said I, as a "normal" person, had no right to complain about my life and that I took my freedom for granted. Whereas she is some kind of caged royalty (yes, she actually used the term 'golden cage') who can only reminisce about her days attending the "Academia" [sic] in Firenze because she was able to mix with the happy little jiga... er, I mean, ordinary people with lives "so easy, full of laughters, so uncomplicated, unformal."

Now, on occasion, we all take a bit of fun playing people we are not. The internet allows us this anonymity. And what little girl hasn't had a princess fantasy? Occasionally Nordinho has had users who hinted they were actually someone famous, but hiding out (if you want to be anonymous, why say this? Hello?) Everyone has their little trip, and some trips are a bit further out into space than most.

I consider it slightly possible that she's a middle-aged man. But most likely she is an ordinary young woman or girl, on the cracked side, with a fantasy life of nearly medieval cliches about how royalty behave and operate, and how they view the populace. The things she says really leaves me rolling on the floor, almost as much as Vlad Drakula's nurse.

Isn't this sweet:
Nobody on this world knows how hard is to carry obligations to the family name, the loyalty to the family...

She obviously hasn't heard a thing about the people of Northern Ireland, anyone in the Middle East, Chinese, or almost any well-established, wealthy family anywhere.

My only question is, do I pretend to believe her and see what kind of outrageous things she says, or ignore?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

it's a go

The mate went through the last test on Tuesday...
She is now on the transplant list...
Wow. We were pretty sure it would happen, but one can't always trust a benign cancer to stay that way.

So ... now we wait for the phone call. It could be next week, it could be five months. The lungs have to match blood type and be of suitable size. She just has to stay alive till then.

Monday, February 19, 2007

people say the darndest things

So I was at the hospital today visiting the mate, and talking about her current nurse. This one had moderate experience, a heavy accent, an authoritarian attitude, and a Romanian last name. Somehow they all seemed to go together.... Well, anyway, the nurse came in and the mate said, "Oh, so you're from Romania." Nurse got all delighted that someone recognized the type of name and actually had a clue about Romania's location on this planet. A layer peeled off and she became a little bit chatty.

Naturally, any discussion of Romania requires a mention of vampires, perhaps tongue in cheek, perhaps not. Nurse was dismissive of Bram Stoker's dramatic flair, saying he severely embellished stories about Vlad Drakula, aka Vlad the Impaler. "But Vlad would put people's heads on stakes," the mate said.

"Yes, but he only did this to thieves." Nurse then explained that when Vlad was in power, there was peace and order. You could leave a pot of gold on the street, and no one would steal it. It was the golden age of Romania. Certainly, he killed a lot of thieves, but Vlad did not, she emphasized, drink people's blood. That was just silly.
I am, as Dave Barry would say, not making this up.

My head is spinning over how this perfectly nice nurse, who's living in 2007 in one of the more cosmopolitan places on earth, can lovingly reminisce about a man who killed people for stealing, and decorated the roads with their heads...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

random plug - buying jade

Over the past 4 years the mate and I have bought several jade pieces from this lady's websites: www.jadegifts.com or www.jadegifts.net. She travels to Burma once or twice a year, buys stuff, photographs it and puts it up for sale. Everything she puts up is unique: you are buying the piece you're looking at. Her descriptions of the jade are quite accurate (read: honest), and when a gold bail began getting sawed through by the stone, she simply sent another without fuss. In short, I can recommend her.

Jade is a gorgeous stone. Just looking at the saturated green color is refreshing to the eyes and mind. According to Chinese taste, the finest jade is completely transparent and Prell-green in color. I've seen close to "perfect" and think it means visually uninteresting (unless there's some fantastic carving.) Variation in color and intensity are much more fun to look at.

Friday, February 16, 2007

winter mice

invaded the garage. Mea culpa, really. Grass seed and birdseed I'd stowed in there got turned into hulls and tiny mouse craps scattered everywhere. If I was a mouse, I'd happy for dry shelter with room service, too.

I'm now a convert to glue traps. Part of me thinks it's simply placement, but I've seen snap traps miss plenty of times. The glue traps have netted four so far, cute little brownish-grey things, and I think there may be one more, but it shouldn't be more than that. I'm hoping it's not more than that.

It's terrible to have to toss perfectly good hawk food in the trash. But I wouldn't want to feed them even if they were easy to remove from the glue, cos there's no way to tell if they've ingested it...

Having mice is way better than having rats. They're far more destructive and smell much worse. If you poison rats, leave the doors open. There's an impulse to close doors so they're forced to eat the poison, but if you shut them in they're sure to die in an inaccessible place and the smell will hang around for weeks...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

playtime with my new Wacom tablet


I wasn't shooting for photographic obviously, but around his chin it looks amazingly real.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

color has nothing to do with it

it's because Barack Obama speaks with intelligence, thoughtfulness and candor. Compare this speech with Bush's press conference today. Obama is capable of expressing complex ideas and acknowledges that ideas can conflict, and that we can live with contradiction. Bush speaks in short, clear, definite terms that greatly oversimplify complex situations.

I consider Clinton a viable candidate for the presidency, but I would still vote for Obama. The Clintons have too much history behind them, too much shadiness, too much oiliness. I may be pro-Obama simply for a lack of history, but I like him better than John Kerry.

Friday, February 09, 2007

hospitals - avoid 'em

The mate's back in, went in on Monday... we did a little too much on the weekend, being out for 5 hours is just too long. Fever, malaise, and splat into the hospital. Right now she's in the coronary ward, and really belongs downstairs in the CF ward, but the hospital's filling up due to several days of rain. They've been meaning to move her, but this just takes time.

Up here in coronary, the rooms are tight and there's no shower or bath at all, just a tub room in the hallway. Doctor's permission is required to take a bath. The CF ward has showers in the rooms and, if the mate was there, she would have no permission issues nor would she require supervision. But she's here and thus subject to this floor's rules, not what she would have had if they'd moved her to the CF floor as they've been trying to do for days.

Mental health, I think, is an essential factor to physical health. You get depressed, you don't try to get better. And when you feel sweaty and stinky, you know there would be no question of getting a shower on a different ward, and you need permission from a doctor who isn't responding to pages - the needless complication is depressing.

It sounds hysterical to say a bath will keep her alive, but it's more true than I'd like to think. Her outlook has always affected her health, more so than most people. And when you're as close to death as she is, seemingly small things truly do make a difference.

When rules don't make sense, break 'em. I sneaked a peek at the tub room, got shampoo and towels from one aide, fresh jammies from another. We were pretty much ready to raid the tub room when the nurse came in and said the permission had finally come through. Frankly the sneaking bit was more fun, but I'm glad it was okayed.

Friday, February 02, 2007

i am now the answer

to life, the universe, and everything. I am 42.