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I called the temperature at -1C this morning when I left the apartment. While pumping gas, it was a little windy and I was getting chilly, I decided it must be closer to -2 or -3C. Mister Sign told me it was -1C as I passed. I should have stuck with my first instinct. Supposed to get up to 7 or 8C this afternoon, but we’ll C. Er, see.

Since I didn’t get out Sunday, I bought a small lamp at Home Depot yesterday, then went to Guitar Center and got a microphone stand. The guy at the counter got me the correct microphone clamp as opposed to the one I picked, and told me the base didn’t come with the stand, and got me that as well. The whole thing, base, stand and clamp, came to about $25, which was pretty reasonable.

There were *real drums* there, but I didn’t have the nerve to show my noobosity and try to play one. I so much wanted to. I went instead to the pianos and played that one song I still remember.

Most of the place was, of course, devoted to guitars. Way more than Abinante’s back in Monterey, a store that singlehandedly kept the Holloways in music. I bought my electric piano there, Ally got her first guitar from there and took lessons there, I got all my recorders and most of my sheet music there (the rest at that small music store in Pacific Grove, Bookmarks).

Someone is developing guitar teaching software that works like Guitar Hero, except with a real guitar, real fingerings, chords and what-not. People who have seen it say it’s fun, but hard — because, of course, you’re learning how to play real guitar, but in a fun way.

Since finishing my Neopets Shapeshifter solver, I’ve been trying to think of a new programming project to do in my spare time. I’m just playing with ideas at the moment, but last night I finally sat down and got to coding, and now have a nice animation demo I wrote using the PyGame package under Python. It includes full multi-threading, and is plugging along at about 50 frames per second with about twenty moving objects on screen. I forget exactly how many; I was playing with the number of objects, desired vs actual frame rate, and screen size, but I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not a game, it’s just gaining familiarity with the tools. I haven’t written a game for almost seven years, and things have changed a bit since then.

Actually, I think I’ll probably move further discussion of my experiments with game design to my Shapeshifter blog, since I’m mostly done with that at this point.

I do have a game in mind. It’s nothing like my demo. It’s a sort of puzzle game. I started mocking it up a year ago but didn’t take it anywhere. Maybe now it’s time.

Actually, I should *probably* write it in Flash, because that’s a pretty happening job skill in the design industry. I just like Python so much. Yeah, yeah, everyone gets on my case about it. Use Lua, use Flash, use .NET… I’m not sure why I like Python that much. Maybe because it’s the programming language that got me back into programming. Using Java for years at Harcourt was so deadening. Kinda ironic that I now program in Java at work. Still can’t stand it.

Oh yeah, I did a podcast over the weekend. Unless you play MMOs like World of Warcraft or EverQuest, you probably won’t get much out of it, but what the heck.



  1. Note to self: Check out PyGame’s “sprite” module. It might be a faster alternative to the low-level threaded stuff I wrote. Peons are sprites!

  2. But then again, I was going to go 3D, just for fun. Well, I guess I’ll see what the sprites module looks like. Hexed (working title for my game) (you’ll see why, eventually) doesn’t really need 3D, I just thought it would be a good learning experience to figure that kind of stuff out.

    Sprites are a method of animation. Way back in the early days of video games, you would have the background of your videogame, which didn’t move much; and then the things that move around, which were handled by special custom processors, called “sprites”.

    Right now in my demo, I am making my own sprites. If there’s already a package in PyGame for them, it could make my code run better, since my sprites are written in relatively slow Python, while PyGame is a wrapper around a standard gaming library written in ‘C’.

  3. Note to self:
    gobbledy gobbledy gobbledy 🙂

  4. Yeah, guess I better move this talk elsewhere. I just need a place to babble to myself, same reason I started the Shapeshifter blog.

    Watching someone else program is boring 🙂

  5. No reason to move it elsewhere! I just thought it was funny.

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