AT THE TOP OF THE HOUR
Maybe I missed them, but were there any good April Fool’s Day jokes this year? Whether you call them pranks or practical jokes or whatever, I’m a fan of the ones that are not actually harmful or annoying towards people, but more like a slight tweak on satire. Regardless, I remember years past having some good ones on the Internet, but none come to mind this time.
My wife and I and her parents took a trip recently up to Mammoth Mountain, land of tall hills, slippery slopes, and bruised egos. Before this recent trip, I had only skied a few times before, so I was a little nervous about whether I could still do it. Like riding a bike, the ability returned to me, but not without falling a few times on the hard, cold incline of an intermediate run. Soreness aside, I went down a few dozen runs the few days we were there and it was basically a blast. It even snowed the night before (and day of) our exit, which was nice to watch.
Magnets may be difficult to explain, but their effectiveness is easy to see. We added three of them to our house via two new door stops and one new front screen door. Now, when we need to hold a door open to the garage when bringing in groceries, we don’t have to kick down the old-timey doorstop (that ceased to stay up a few months ago, resulting in the use of another great invention: duct tape). Our front door can now also be open during the warmer times, letting a cool breeze waft in without also allowing nature’s creatures to join us inside.
Shadowrun Returns came out with a new expansion called Dragonfall and it was pretty cool. More of the same kind of thing, really, but it was lengthy and had an interesting core set of characters to learn about as the fighting and terrible inventory system went on. Seriously, though: I love the game and the world-building, but the inventory is just weird and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why can’t I just have access to all my items at any time and transfer them between characters when I want to? This needs to be fixed.
While I mainly play games that are done and released, I tried out game testing for a local game company for the first time with my wife. Obviously I can’t discuss what went on or what we tested, but the experience was very novel, from the place where it happened to the way we tested. I’d love to do it again!
Sometimes games in development don’t actually get made, and the soundtrack you wrote for them many, many months ago don’t actually end up in the game that doesn’t get made. To be more specific, a game I wrote music for is looking like it won’t actually come out, but I’m not mad. It’s tough to make a project work, especially when you’re short-staffed. The learning process and experience gained is still worthwhile. That, and the music I made is still pretty dear to my heart, and I think I’m going to release it on the intarwebs for anyone else who might be interested in listening. Look for that soon.
Oh, and I got a new MIDI controller to replace the used one I bought a while ago that went on the fritz. It has double the keys (plus one!) and was a pretty cheap deal, but reviews say I didn’t get swindled. We’ll see when I finally get it set up.
And, yeah…I’m still working on Dumeh.
Amazon apparently lost some class-action lawsuit about price fixing, so I got some scratch back from them. In the email, there was a link to a book by James Dashner called “The Maze Runner“. I had seen an article about the movie version just before seeing the link, so it made sense to spend some of this “free” money on the book version. Turns out it was a good choice, because I’m hooked. Immediately bought the sequel once I finished it, and then the sequel to the second one when I finished it. It’s pretty squarely in the Ender’s Game/Hunger Games/YA-ish fiction realm (the URL for the book above puts it into the /teens subdirectory, so there ya go), but it’s fun and quick and engaging. Also, I’m reading novels.
Puppy Bongos, the ad-hoc development team I’m on, has been working on a standing desk app for a while, and it’s basically done, but still needs some more polish. I’m really ready to finish it up and start on something new.
How I Met Your Mother ended this week. The finale, after 9 long years, was a doozy. The cleverness of it undercut the emotional resonance, largely due to how long it had been on. It’s gotta be tough for a show to write something so long form when they don’t if they’ll even make it past a couple seasons. Regardless, there are some really angry people on the Internet right now. I don’t know if it was the ending I wanted, but it was the ending they thought we deserved.
Speaking of which, I just listened to Josh Radnor on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. He seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy, kind of like his character on HIMYM, but less obsessively romantic and douchey. There was a neat moment when I was driving, listening to the episode, when a rainbow appeared in the sky. It happened at the same time that they were discussing spirituality, and it seemed poignant enough to tweet about. I’d never followed Josh, nor ever tweeted about him, and yet it still got favorited by Mr. Radnor not long after posting it! It’s a weird world we live in, folks.
Also, speaking of podcasts, I love Game Grumps/Steam Train. They are my favorite video podcast that I can just as easily enjoy by listening to in the background. Whatever game they’re playing is never as entertaining as the commentary amongst the Grumps.