A blog anew…

Ξ May 4th, 2011 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

I went ahead and removed all of my previous posts from my blog.  All 5 years worth.  It’s all backed up in SQL and all that great stuff, but I wanted to start anew with a new version of the blog.  I’m going to make less of the sob story posts and still speak my mind, yet work more towards more interesting topics that others wouldn’t mind reading.  So that’s my story.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

-mooch.

Original post by mooch

 

Minecraft: Oops. I hit the TNT.

Ξ October 15th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

My bad.

Posted via email from Hi. I’m logikal.

Original post by logikal

 

Water Cooler Faux Pas and Lady’s Fingers Grapes

Ξ September 20th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Someone asked me today to tell them about the worst dream I’ve ever had1. On one hand, it’s an odd question… Actually, it’s a really weird question… especially in the break room on a Monday morning during football season. Whatever happened to just asking me about my weekend and whether or not I watched the game? Those are solid social rituals that we’ve been perfecting for thousands of years. We don’t need to mess with them, man. We don’t need to add an “i” to the front and give it a hip logo that highlights its individuality.

We don’t need to produce a no-sugar added alternative or make sure it’s energy efficient. We don’t need to force them into skinny jeans.2 These are time-honored traditions! You ask me how my weekend was, I say it was fine… I ask if you watched the game, you tell me you did but you were really disappointed by the gladiators’/bestiarii’s/jousters’/quarterback’s performances in the final quarter… and boom, social glue. You don’t actually care what my weekend was like and I don’t actually care that you don’t actually care. It isn’t about my weekend. It’s about social bonding! Reinforcing our tenuous social relationship in an ever-expanding web of social intricacies! We are ONE, brother!

Or we were up until you asked me about the worst dream I ever had anyway… because that was weird.

So anyway, the point is, someone asked me about the worst dream I’ve ever had and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. Some of it was surely the fact that he’d taken a left al Albuquerque (“Oh, I know! Can you believe Randy Moss’s catch in the end zone? It… wait, what did you ask?”) but his little divergence from our regularly scheduled social reinforcement techniques didn’t account for quite all of my uncertainty.

What is the worst dream I’ve ever had? And if I control my dreams, as I do, does it even count? How much worse would they be if I couldn’t… Oh right, talking to the guy. I muttered something about being naked in public and escaped. And now here we are, trying to answer the question for real. (Incidentally, I’ve never had the naked-in-public nightmare before… but it was a safe and predictable enough answer, right? I mean, who even asks people about their dreams by the water cooler?! Someone who has no respect for social boundaries, that’s who! And I’ll bring the conversation back around to something known, familiar, consistent, and wholly impersonal, thankyouverymuch.)

So in any case, I know precisely what the worst dream I’ve ever had was. But in order to understand why it was so terrible, we’ll need to back up a bit.

I’m not sure if I’m technically a lucid dreamer or not. The totally, 100% reliable sources3 available on the Internet tend to agree4 that a lucid dream is one in which the dreamer knows that he or she is dreaming. I don’t always know that I’m dreaming. In fact, now that I think about, I’m not sure I’ve ever actively, consciously known I was dreaming… with the exception of one, terrible case. We’ll talk about that one in a minute. But other than that single instance, I can’t remember actually thinking while in a dream, “Hey, wow, I’m totally dreaming.”

Okay, fine, so… lucid dreamer. What is it called when you have control over your dreams? Is that just normal, everyday dreaming? Whatever that is, that’s the kind of dreamer I am. The level of control tends to vary for some reason but there’s always some level of control5. It runs the gamut from the Ubermensch option where I can change the dream entirely and do whatever I want to, wherever or whenever I want to do it… to the Censor option where I can just gray out the things I don’t want to see or feel… to just the normal, garden-variety stuff where I can either rewind/fast-forward to scenes in an existing dream, replaying the parts that I want as many times as I want to or fast-forwarding through parts that aren’t nearly as interesting, or make a change to the dream that is consistent with the universe as it exists in the dream.

Ubermensch!

The rarest option open to me is being able to do whatever I want while in a dream. This is depressingly rare. I honestly have no idea why it’s so rare. It doesn’t really make sense, does it? I mean, if I have some control over a dream, I should have all control over a dream, right? But maybe this is where the whole I-don’t-actually-consciously-know-that-I’m-dreaming thing comes into play. In any case, this happens in no more than, say, 5% of my dreams, probably even less than that… and to further complicate things, it happens only in the “nice” dreams. I’ve never had that kind of control in a nightmare… which is too bad since that’s probably when I’d most like to use it. (“OH GOD THE SPIDER IS ABOUT TO EAT MY FACE… YAY, PONIES!”)

The last time I did this was late last year. The dream was something about simply being in a grocery store, being unable to find the creamed corn6, and being utterly devastated by this failure… And at some point, I said to myself, “Self, you know what’s better than the Quest for the Creamed Corn? Steampunk. Maybe… action/adventure with a touch of high romance. And a mustache. And a blimp, definitely a blimp. Let’s do… steampunk Indiana Jones.” And a monocled man with a mustache of truly epic proportions, a perfectly pressed three-piece suit, and an impressively expensive timepiece with an engraving that read ‘To Anise’5 proceeded to invite me aboard a chartered dirigible to explore a Lovecraftian set of ruins across the sea. (Oddly enough, there were no Old Ones was not involved. It seems like this would’ve been their scene, right?)

This Film Not Yet Rated.

While the Ubermensch option seems to only be available for “good” dreams, this “censor” option appears to only be available for bad dreams. If something terrifying is happen, I sometimes, but not always, have the option of somehow censoring what it is I’m seeing or feeling. The funny (or maybe “perfectly normal”… I don’t know) thing is, it’s hard work to do this. I can’t simply just gray something out. It’s like the Dream Me has to get whip out the eye of newt and concentrate really, really hard… and maybe, just maybe my Fog Of War spell will actually work. The scarier/more traumatic the dream is, the harder it is to do this… and Dream Me knows she has to work her ass off to do this.

It’s like the flying dreams. Everyone apparently has flying dreams. I have no idea how these manifest for everyone else but for me, a flying dream is one in which Dream Me realizes that she has the general capability to fly; it doesn’t actually mean that Dream Me does fly. Dream Me may or may not be able to do it. It requires the utmost concentration and everything has to be perfect. Dream Me has to be running fast enough… there has to be enough of a wind behind her… she has to generate enough lift (and, by the way, apparently my dream flying does not involve flapping my arms; my arms have to be out to my sides but apparently that’s just for balance because I generate lift like a Jedi mind trick… that’s where the concentration comes in)… and even if she does happen to make it into the air, it takes more and more effort to get higher… and it takes constant concentration to stay in the air. If she doesn’t keep her concentration Just So, she starts floating back down… and it’s always a terrible feeling of failure. Dream flying is hard work.

Anyway, like flying, the censor option takes work. Everything has to be Just So in order for it to work. Dream Me has to tap down the fear or the horror or the crippling sadness long enough to make it happen and she doesn’t always succeed. That sucks for the both of us. (The one of us?)

In Order To Make Apple Pie, You Must First Invent The Universe

Most commonly, I just change my dreams within the context of the dream. I can replay scenes I really like over and over which is nice, albeit rather staid, or I can fast-forward to future events. (The latter description isn’t quite accurate. As it is, it presupposes that the dream is a constant and that I can simply shift from Point A to Point B along a known dream landscape. Somehow I doubt that’s how it actually works. It’s probably more likely that I’m just starting a new scene in the same dream universe that, as with everything else, is getting generated on the fly. That said, though… dreams as a constant, predetermined landscape. That’d be a good story. It’s probably already been done. Blast.)

Beyond simple replay/restart options, I can generally do anything in a dream that is consistent with the dream universe. For example, I had a dream a few nights ago that I was defending a fortress from invading forces. The fortress was the It’s A Small World castle except, you know, citadel-sized and… you know. MILITANT! POWERFUL! STRATEGICALLY SIGNIFICANT! Also, lots of water. Unsurprising, I suppose. Anyway, the citadel was the It’s A Small World castle and the invaders were apparently disgruntled Gryffindor students since they were wearing the Gryffindor Quidditch uniforms. Anyway, I was just a random stormtrooper in this thing (wearing a blue and white Quidditch uniform, I should note9) and at some point I decided we needed two items: trebuchets and flying carpets. (Pro tip: That clock tower thingie on the front façade of the It’s A Small World castle is actually a secret launching pad for aerial defense units.) Now, one could argue that flying carpets aren’t entirely consistent with the universe as I’ve described it. A flying boat with singing marionettes, maybe. A tricked out Firebolt, maybe. A flying carpet? That’s totally on the other side of the Disneyland park. But it was blue and white and bore the same standard as the rest of the It’s A Small World Defense Force, so I’m going to say it’s close enough. ANYWAY… so we start flinging pieces of our broken citadel walls at the Gryffindor invaders (yes, complete with recycled footage from Return Of The King), a bunch of additional blue-clad Quidditch storm troopers start pouring out of the clock tower on their magic carpets… and I decide I’m too old for this shit, hop on my carpet, and fly up to the command center that’s hovering over us exactly like a Naxxramas necropolis except entrants have to move the bricks around to get in like Diagon Alley.

I forgot where I was going with this last one.

The point is, though, that I can and do change my dreams all the time. I’m not necessarily aware that I’m dreaming – I never really have that flash of realization (“This is a dream!”) while in a dream – but I have enough control over things that the good dreams are really spectacular and the bad dreams aren’t as bad as they could be.

The Dream

Now that we understand all of this… we get back to the worst dream I’ve ever had. I had the dream the night of September 9, 2009.

I grew up in an agricultural area. My paternal grandparents lived on some acreage in the Central Valley, surrounded by their own almond orchards as well as peach and almond orchards in neighboring fields. You came up to their house on the appropriately named Peach Avenue. On your right, you’d pass by the high school (there was only one then and there’s only one now)… then on the right, the pool where I started swimming lessons when I was three and just past that, the park and rec center that the local Kiwanis club used for their annual Crab Feed… then on the left, the odd salmon-colored mom-and-pop market on the corner where Grandma Anne once bought my sister and me candy necklaces when we were visiting her… then on the right, an aging almond orchard that was past its prime… and then on the left, Grandma and Grandpa’s House9.

Grandma and Grandpa’s House was a sprawling, one-story affair just off Peach Avenue. There were two driveways: 1) the main driveway was a circular affair, running just in front of the house in a semi-circle around a beautiful, massive evergreen, both beginning and ending on the street; 2) the secondary driveway was a straight and unostentatious number, running straight past the house, the backyard, the grape vines, the neighbor’s well-trimmed hedge, to The Shop. The Shop was a huge building on one side of a huge open area behind the tree line, one filled with sawdust, spiders, massive machines, and Do Not Touch. If my sister and I were lucky, we got to play on the sawhorses, watch Grandpa make amazing things, play with Spot or Cat (Grandpa wasn’t one for elaborate names), or run around The Shop and pick up nails and screws from the ground outside so all the God Damned Tires would be okay.

Anyway… The dream took place on the driveway that lead to The Shop. It was a long, simple affair… dusty blacktop from the street until it faded into the sand by The Shop… a low brick wall separating Grandma and Grandpa’s property from the neighbors with a stubby little hedge running the length… and on the other side, a fence made of gnarled wood separating the driveway from the backyard. The fence was plain wood and about a foot of ground just on the other side of it was filled with flowers and grapevines before the cement of the backyard’s bordering walkway began. About halfway down the driveway, the simple wood fence rose into a covered walkway. The grapevines had covered his as well – though not so covered that the sunlight couldn’t get through – and Lady’s Fingers dangling through the top and along the sides.

If you’ve never gotten to smell sun-sweetened Lady’s Fingers on the vine, or to reach up and pull one off and pop it into your mouth, you’re missing out. The scent is warm and sweet, especially if the sun is out and the fruit is just a little bit warm. You can pop them off the vine, dusty and sun-warmed and perfect, and eat around the little triumvirate of seeds right in the center.

In my dream, I was standing on the driveway side of the little wooden fence, looking into the idyllic back yard of Grandma and Grandpa’s House. The yard has always been beautiful… bright green lawn, a cement path running around the perimeter of the yard, just inside the tree line… a beautiful maple tree rising out of the middle of the lawn with a swing dangling from one of its branches (I’d fed god knows how many silkworms from that tree)… a covered area with white wrought-iron tables and chairs… a few Queen Anne’s cherry trees on the far side… Shady. Beautiful. Perfect.

On the other side of the little wood fence stood Grandpa, Grandma Anne, and Grandma Mary. I wish I had the words to describe how they looked. They were in the sun, their skin just a tiny bit dusty, the way it always gets in that area if you’re outside for a while. Grandpa was reaching up into the grapevines to pull down a few handfuls of Lady’s Fingers. The best fruit was always the sun-warmed pieces that Grandpa picked fresh and wiped off on his shirt for you. Grandma Anne was wearing gardening gloves and was holding a pair of pruning shears. Grandma Mary was wearing that floppy hat of hers, the one she wore when she was gardening at Grandma’s House, and had a few grapes in her hand.

It was the most perfect thing I’d ever seen, ever experienced. I could smell the Lady’s Fingers on the vine, could feel the sun on my shoulders, could have reached out and felt Grandma’s dry hand close firmly over mine like it always did. I could have asked Grandpa for one of those perfect grapes… once again tasted that warm, dusty sweetness. I could have told Grandma Anne how sorry I was for breaking one of her favorite dishes when we were making cookies that one time or how much I loved the books she kept around just for us. I could have told Grandma that she was my hero, that I cry for her every day but try not to, that I love her so much it hurts.

I could have done all of those things. We could have gone back to sit on the covered patio and snacked on the dried fruit Grandpa always made. His pears were the best but the peaches were a close second. We could have walked down the street to the salmon-colored market and gotten a candy necklace. We could have done anything. I control my dreams. We could have done anything… something we’d always done, something we’d never gotten to do. Anything.

But we didn’t. I knew it was a dream. Suddenly, inexplicably, I knew it was a dream… that they were gone, that they had been gone, and that I would never see them again. This is the only time I ever actually remember knowing that a dream was a dream.

And I woke myself up and cried.

In some ways, it was the best dream I’ve ever had. I wish I could find the words to describe how real everything was… everything from the scent of the Lady’s Fingers to the warmth of the sun to the way I felt standing there. It was the kind of dream that would make you believe in the afterlife, in the eternal house of your forefathers, if you didn’t. It was that perfect.

But it was also a reminder of what was gone and what would never be again.

‘Bittersweet’ is used a lot to describe stuff like this but I don’t think it really does it justice. Is there a word to describe the bursting feeling in your chest, the burning of your eyes, the rush of gratitude, and the throbbing ache? If there is, that’s the word I’m looking for.

Anyway. I’m not sure how cathartic this actually turned out to be. But hey, bet the water cooler guy is glad that I didn’t really answer his question.


  1. Surprisingly, this was not my shrink. Even more surprisingly, I don’t actually have a shrink.
  2. Speaking of skinny jeans, I have constructed a helpful chart to aid in the decision-making process:

  3. lol
  4. It’s easy to achieve consensus when everyone’s primary source is Wikipedia.
  5. Or rather, there’s always some level of control in the dreams I can remember. I’ve never woken up, known that I’d been dreaming, and been unable to remember the dream… but if I don’t know in the first place that I’d been dreaming, well, those are outside my study sample, I suppose.
  6. Yes, creamed corn. It was that specific. Can you even buy creamed corn or do you have to make it yourself? For that matter, what is creamed corn? Clearly, this dilemma was at the forefront of my unconscious.
  7. I’ve heard a few times that it’s impossible to read in a dream. Since I’m not a lucid dreamer in the sense that I know when I’m dreaming, I can’t offer any insight into that. But whether you actually read the engraving on a pocketwatch or just know as the omniscient owner of the dream what the engraving says, is there any functional difference?
  8. Apparently my unconscious just assumes that two teams facing off against one another should be Red and Blue. I can’t decide if that’s a result of too many FPSes or too much Double Dare.
  9. This was its formal name: Grandma and Grandpa’s House. There were no naming conflicts with the maternal side. My maternal grandfather died before I was born so Grandma Mary’s house was just Grandma’s House. And yes, my grandmothers were Grandma Anne and Grandma Mary (though if anyone just said “Grandma” without the modifier, it was assumed to be a reference to the latter… unless it was followed by “and Grandpa”). Apparently this isn’t the only way to distinguish between grandmothers. My husband calls his maternal grandmother “Grandma” and his paternal grandmother “Granny”. That’s a pretty neat system.

    Original post by blah

     

When the KVM dies…

Ξ July 21st, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

You keep going.

Posted via email from Hi. I’m logikal.

Original post by logikal

 

But What I Really Want To Do Is Act

Ξ June 12th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, music-nerd |

Well, no. Not really. Short of avoiding the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look when presenting to executives, acting is well beyond my capabilities. The only time I’ve ever been on stage and not part of a musical ensemble of some sort, I was on stage acting like part of a musical ensemble of some sort. And even then, I don’t think that counts, since we were actually a musical ensemble of some sort. The point is, even that I managed to screw up1… so no, the acting thing is right out.

But I do want to be able to sing.

I understand music. I understand instruments. I love the order. I love how much sense it makes. I love that you can take these highly structured building blocks and create something that is genuinely beautiful out of them, something that is well and truly more than the sum of its parts and in a way that is evocative, compelling, individual. I love that you can reverse engineer a piece and actually start quantifying beauty2… start looking at not only the distribution of the blocks themselves but also at the interfaces between them, how they’re built, whether they’re between or within voices… even start looking at those choices in a greater psychological or anthropological context and begin seeing order spiraling outwards. And instruments are just a means for managing these blocks, whether you’re creating a block or an interface between blocks. You can pick up an instrument and it makes sense; you might have to work a little harder to get the embouchure right, to get the tone you need, to get the expressiveness you want… but you understand it. At least as a tool, you understand it.

So anyway, I’ve got this instrument called a voice. It’s a great deal: I don’t have to worry about transporting it around; I don’t have to buy new reeds for it or worry about its pads. It is also one of the rare instruments I cannot use as a means of self-expression and it is the first and only instrument I’ve ever encountered that I cannot use even as a tool.

We can start off by saying that I’m not tone deaf. In a choral setting, I can blend fairly well3. But as the only voice, with or without instrumental accompaniment, I simply cannot sing. It sounds good enough to my own ears while I’m doing it – and rest assured, I do it exuberantly and, dare I admit, boisterously when alone4 – but it’s only after I record it and listen back that I can hear just how terrible it is. I am consistently sharp: distractingly, terribly, offensively sharp. I can’t hit a note spot-on and have to slide around to find it… if, as mentioned in the preceding point, I ever do at all. I actively try to add emotion to what I’m singing… and while I can hear it, feel it, with perfect clarity coming from the piano I’m playing… the vocal parts sounds flat, insipid. At best – at best – they sound contrived… and that’s being generous because it still doesn’t fix that whole not-singing-the-right-pitch-in-the-first-place issue.

I don’t really have stage fright. I used to be utterly crippled by it but unlike the body dysmorphia, the Trekphilia, the MMORPG addiction, and the constant craving for a roller rink, I actually grew out of it. I can play a piano in front of a hall full of people and be rock steady.5 I can step into a board room, face half a dozen dour faces belonging to people who make more in a month than I do in a year, and come out on the other side with millions of dollars worth of funding for my company. I’m not sure when that happened or why, incidentally, but whatever the reason, getting up in front of people is no longer an issue. Hasn’t been for a while.

Except when I’m singing. I can’t even bring myself to sing in front of my husband. Hell, I can’t even bring myself to sing when I’m alone in the house and I know a window is open, lest someone outside hear me. I’m that terrified of it.

I suspect that this irrational fear, whatever its cause, is actually at the root of my problems. Don’t get me wrong; I think I could become a reasonable singer. I’ll never be able to use my voice to make art; I think it’s probably destined to be one of the instruments through which I just can’t really express myself. But I think it’s definitely reasonable for me to become a decent singer… maybe not one who can reach into your chest and pull on a heartstring but at least one who won’t inadvertently reach in and a hate stick through your eardrums. I’m a musician, after all. I know all about practice. I know about drills. I know all about the building blocks.

But the fact is, I’m so terrified of singing that I’m not giving myself the opportunity to get better. I can’t sing in front of people. I can’t even sing in front of people who might (or might not!) be within earshot. I’ll never get better if I can’t get over that.

And I have no idea why it’s different than anything else. I have no problems going in to work and telling the guy who asks me to build some kind of app that I’ve never worked with reporting services before and that it’ll take me a bit to learn. I have no problems picking up a guitar and failing spectacularly on barring an F for half an hour, well within earshot of the entire apartment complex. I just have no idea why singing is different.

BLAR!


  1. We were doing a run of 1940’s Radio Hour, you see, and I was the piano player in the Zoot Doubleman Orchestra. (Big stretch, right? Me playing a piano player. Them’s some serious character acting, people. I subscribe to the Lindsay Lohan School of Method Acting.) So anyway, we had these fake cigarettes that we were supposed to be smoking all smooth and cool-like. In the smoothest and most cool-like way possible, I dropped mine in the piano. No really. Right past the harp. Couldn’t get it out. I checked the piano at my ten-year reunion and it was still rolling around in there. Anyway, the good news was that it was a fake cigarette and we didn’t actually light the school’s piano on fire. The bad news was that the director apparently did NOT want the band to be drawing attention from her leads by hysterically acting like we were putting out a fire in said piano. I have no idea why not. The guy playing Zoot Doubleman even made a big show of giving me a pink post-it note and pointing angrily to the fake door we were sitting by. That’s character development, man.
  2. Sweeping statement with no qualifications that is only tangentially related to the topic of this post? Check. We’ll come back to it later.
  3. By the way, I always wanted to grow up to be a backup singer. A straight up, beehived, little-skirted, elbow-gloved “Girl Behind Her” of “Fancypants McGee and the Girls Behind Her” fame. Shoobie doobie doo!
  4. And yes, just to be clear, my car counts as alone when the windows are up. If we’re stopped on the 405 next to each other and you can hear me belting out “Hey, Soul Sister” at the top of my lungs while drumming enthusiastically on the steering wheel, well, that’s your fault. I am a motherf*cking ar-teest and this is my private performance hall. I’ve done my due diligence to protect you. The windows are up. You wouldn’t have even noticed, save for the parking lot that we have been fated to share as our evening commute. I have done everything in my power to keep my trainwreck singing from negatively impacting your life. Now stop staring at me and so help me god, if that’s a camera phone you have pointing at me, I will roll these motherf*cking windows down and expose you to the unadulterated, Lovecraftian horror first hand. I won’t even get to “the rockets red glare” before your face explodes. Don’t you try me. DON’T PUSH ME.
  5. Unless I’ve been drinking, but I think that might be another issue entirely.

    Original post by blah

     

Untitled

Ξ May 6th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out for this 24 hour day. My body can never figure out when it’s supposed to be tired.

Posted via web from Sean Kilgore

Original post by logikal

 

I Blame Television

Ξ March 19th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

I’ve had a terrible few weeks at work. Just… and the… with the… it’s just been mind-bogglingly terrible. We’d go into the ridiculous details but I have a strict “Don’t discuss the specifics of work on the Internet” policy. It’s a natural outcome of my patented “So You Want To Write Something On The Internet” Decision Facilitation System:

blah’s SYWTWSOTI DFS

So instead of dwelling on that, let’s do something fun!

… fun?

ˈfün? ˈfən?

I have no idea what this “fun” is. And I blame television.

No, really. I do. I blame television. As a young nerd, I was allowed to watch television. Not a lot of it, mind you, but a little was fine… at least under three conditions:

  1. My assigned tasks – homework, practicing, chores – were all done;
  2. I was doing something constructive while watching; and
  3. The show I wanted to watch was on the approved show list.

It took about three solid weeks of 12+ hour workdays for me to realize just how far-reaching those rules might actually be. Long after I could gorge myself on all the worthless, mind-numbing drivel1 my stomach could take just like Tantalus at his first buffet after making parole, the rules somehow remain.

Rule 1: If There’s Still Work Out There, You’re Procrastinating!
I have no problems going home and not thinking about work… when everything is up to date, when everything is running along smoothly, when I’ve done everything that should be done today. I’m perfectly fine with that. I don’t have to finish everything that needs to be done; I just need to finish everything that needs to be done today. And then I can relax.

I understand intellectually that there will always be crises that come up at work, tasks that push out completion dates for other things, assignments that suddenly take precedence, emergencies that crop up and light half the office on fire. I understand this. Everyone understands this. Because it happens.

But for some reason, I interpret this on an emotional level as procrastination. I can spend sixteen hours in the office, finally go home, and find that I simply can’t relax. I can go through the motions – watch a television show, read a book, play some WoW – because I know intellectually that I need to… but there is this constant, niggling voice at the back of my head that reminds me in a disappointed whisper that I was raised better than that, that I know better to indulge when there are obligations left unmet.

The lesson here is clear: Vote Peter Pan 4 Prez. His “never grow up” stance on healthcare really is shaping up nicely. Kids have a manageable amount of obligations and can finish them in time for Tiny Toons. That’s all I can ever ask for.

Rule 2: Always Be Constructive!
I have a terrible time sitting through movies. I enjoy movies, don’t get me wrong, I really do… but I truly hate sitting through them. That’s two or more hours of doing nothing and that’s something to which I have a deep-seated and long-standing aversion. I know intellectually that watching movies isn’t “nothing”… but I just have a terrible time just sitting and enjoying. I should be doing something and admiring cinematography isn’t enough.

As a little nerdgirl, I did get to watch television. But I couldn’t just sit there and enjoy it. I had to be doing something. That was one of the rules; I could watch T.V. if I wanted to but I had to be doing something constructive while I did so. It started out as latch-hooking. Then cross-stitch. Then embroidery. Then crocheting. Something. Anything. You just couldn’t be idle, time couldn’t be so wasted.

I don’t consider this a bad thing in general. I mean, how many people in this generation actually know how to crochet at expert levels? Things like that are pretty cool. I love that I learned things like this from my mother and grandmother and you can bet your britches that if I have a daughter, she’s going to learn how to do it all too.

But to this day, I have a terrible time just sitting and enjoying myself. There’s always something I should be doing… crocheting an afghan while I watch Mythbusters or crunching code while I’m playing WoW. I have this firmly-rooted belief that time should not be wasted… and that fun, for the sheer sake of fun, is wasteful. How sad is that?

And I wonder why I get stressed out. Jeez.

Rule 3: Censorship By The State (Or: “This One Is Really Just An Excuse To Search YouTube For Clips From Square One Television”)
The list of approved shows was rather limited… and really, aside from having to make up for huge gaps in pop culture knowledge and not entirely succeeding, that’s fine with me. I still watch these shows when I can and mourn the loss of the ones I can’t find!

As I labored towards sentience, I was allowed to watch two television shows and only if I could read the clock well enough to ask to watch them in time: Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. This list was eventually expanded to include anything on PBS (including the Koh-I-Noor level gem of television programming that was Square One Television2)… most cartoons (though I had to formally request special dispensation to stay up to watch the thirty minutes of Looney Tunes that started at 7:30 pm on Nickelodeon)… a few family-friendly sitcoms that made it through the approval process… and, of course, Star Trek. (If you’re humming to yourself, yeah, that last one was my dad’s contribution to the playlist.)

Everything else was implicitly forbidden, though a few shows did make it onto an explicit blacklist: The Simpsons, You Can’t Do That On Television, Punky Brewster4, and anything airing after 8pm.

But that was all fine. Really. I mean, yeah, it took me years to even start to catch up on the massive Simpsons pop culture deficit and I’ve still got years to go… but I mean… Who didn’t want to grow up to be Kate Monday3?

Though somehow ‘To Cogitate And To Solve’ seemed more glamorous back then.

Though now that I think about it, I bet Kate had pretty good stress management skills.


  1. I watched the first episode of Jersey Shore recently. I really did. I have to go ShamWOW! my brain up from the puddle it made on the floor before I can even begin to post about the experience.
  2. Pro tip: Don’t bust out with “Probabiiiiliiiityyyyyyyy… DON’T YOU MESS WITH ME” during design meetings if you’re not fairly certain that your coworkers share the same frame of reference.
  3. Do you remember that they changed Kate Monday for Pat Tuesday right about the same time they changed Beverly Crusher for Katherine Pulaski? Crusher came back. Monday never did. Those were dark, dark days.
  4. This wasn’t always on the No Fly list. It was a special addition when I had an apparently loud nightmare about being stuck in a refrigerator, inconveniently following an episode that had someone getting stuck in a refrigerator. Bam! Blacklisted.
  5. Original post by blah

     

Pseudoarchaeology, Sci-Fi, and the Quest for Scottie McMullet’s Love

Ξ February 12th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, anthro-nerd, sci-fi |

Okay, so… I’ll admit it. I like pseudoarchaeology. Crazy theories, no alignment with accepted standards, dudes just going out there and making shit up because, for whatever reason – political, reputation-wise, religious, whatever – they want something to be true1. It’s great. I realize that, for someone with even just a purely academic background in anthropology, this is tantamount to admitting that I have a stash of Danielle Steele novels hidden inside hallowed out copies of real books2 but really… I like pseudoarchaeology.

Now that said, I like pseudoarchaeology for the same reason I like science fiction. It’s a good story. It tells us things about ourselves. If you want to tell me that aliens abducted ancient Egyptians, learned all about pyramid making from a series of detailed colonoscopies3, and then came back to Earth centuries later to act as head architects at Teotihuacan or Chichen Itza, okay, sure. Tell me that story. If you want to tell me that the ancient Greeks must have managed to make Polynesian contact because their helmets4 looked like the crested helmets of Hawaiian chieftains, okay. I can dig it. Tell me that story too. I think you’re taking the easy road with your hyperdiffusionism, absolutely, but I’ve read and watched science fiction for years that “techs the tech” whenever they need a context for the story they’re going to tell. I can handle that. I like a good story.

But – and this is a big ‘but’ that I don’t think the people making boatloads of money off these yarns are responsibly adding to their wares – pseudoarchaeology cannot be assumed to tell us anything more reliable about the past than science fiction tells us about the future. I think this is kind of where things start to derail. It’s a problem we don’t see that much with science fiction; most people generally don’t have a hard time separating reality from fiction when the latter is filled with metaverses, flying boy battle schools, and paranoid androids. But as soon as you start throwing around an idea about the past with just enough “tech the tech” to sound reasonable, people somehow lose their ability to tell reality from fiction… or, in the case of archaeology, reasonable-and-dynamic-hypotheses-which-are-consistent-with-the-information-to-date and really-cool-ideas-that-are-at-best-unsubstantiated-and-at-worst-completed-debunked.

Archaeology is a science – we can debate about how hard or soft a science it is at another time, if you would like – and for all the creativity that may go into the exploration, explanation, and re-evaluation of the data we find, it is disciplined. It adheres to known tenets. This “Garrett Fagan” person has a background in classics and ancient Mediterranean studies so he wouldn’t be on my speed-dial for “Phone a Friend” when an archaeology question comes up, but this article I think quite nicely hits the high level principles of the archaeological discipline:

  1. The most basic principle in archaeology, therefore, is that the discipline requires evidence to function. … A sub-principle of the basic requirement of evidence is that no amount of excuse-making for the complete absence of supporting evidence for a theory compensates for that absence. …
  2. The second principle is the nature of archaeological evidence itself. After 150 years of practice, what constitutes archaeological evidence is clear. People are messy. Communities of people are very messy. … So, when archaeologists encounter a “theory” for which not one verifiable object, never mind a site or a town or a burial, is adduced, they are rightly suspicious.
  3. So, while interpretative uncertainty and debate certainly prevail among archaeologists, there is one respect in which they are all united. Their hypotheses, to be convincing, must take all pertinent data into account. This is the third principle of archaeology: Hypotheses must respect the evidence. Any hypothesis that runs demonstrably against the evidence will be instantly rejected. Any hypothesis that is based on a selective presentation of the evidence will also be rejected, and for a very obvious reason.

I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. The archaeological record is spotty at best; everyone knows this. There are creativity elements which go into trying to fill these gaps in, to try and link disparate pieces together. There is room for creativity and there’s certainly room for interpretation. But only within those bounds. If you’re going to propose a serious, archaeological theory, there’d better be 1) evidence that supports it, 2) no evidence that disproves it, and 3) for the love of god, the proof you have better not be the fact that there’s nothing else in that particular archaeological hole. If you don’t have those things, then all you have is a story.

And there’s nothing wrong with a good story… so long as people know it’s a story. We can learn from stories. We can think about stories. We can look at something, fit the pieces together, and figure out something about ourselves from what we end up with. Ain’t nothing wrong with a good story. And that’s why I like it. It’s science fiction… just with less pew-pew-lasers and more chaTHUNK-chaTHUNK-ClovisPoints.

Story time: It’s been suggested that Roman mariners reached the New World between BC 49 and AD 79… or even earlier, depending on who you ask. (If you want to know, yes, it’s also been suggested that aliens visited the New World during the same time period. What of it?) The primary basic for this particular assertion are two shipwrecks, one off the coast of Brazil (1982) and the other off the coast of Venezuela (1987), identified as Roman-style vessels by the construction, the materials, and the fact that they contained identifiable amphorae. Of course, the finds have been suppressed by local governments because of political and racial upheavals so very little information is available5.

Let’s assume that all this is true: they are, in fact, Roman ships. (This is, after all, a story. And just like I can assume that the crew of the Enterprise can speak perfectly fluently with myriad species they’ve never met before because the Universal Translator just is, we can assume that these are Roman ships.) We mentioned above that the archaeological record is spotty at best. Why? Because it’s really f*cking hard to get in there. For something to enter the archaeological record, it has to be in the right place at the right time; preservation conditions have to be just right; it has to be in a place someone will later be able to find it. It’s really not easy. If there is even one Roman shipwreck in the New World, we can be reasonably sure there were a bunch of other ships there that either didn’t preserve or didn’t wreck. And if they didn’t wreck…

Now let’s stop there. We could continue any of a number of stories – well, if the Romans shipwrecked there, and it was a sheltered bay, then they probably stopped there on purpose; they probably lived!; if they lived, then they probably interacted with the natives!; if they interacted with the natives, they may have gotten alien colonoscopies too! – but this is really as far as I want to go with this. Why end the fun?

Because we already have the best piece to think about. At this period of time, the Romans had incredible technology, technology that most of humanity wouldn’t see again for a thousand years, technology that some of humanity still hasn’t seen. They were powerful, they were 6.5 million km of territory strong and growing. They were giants. And, if they had in fact reached the New World – regardless of whether they meant to or whether they just got swept away – and been able to return with the stories, the world was about to get a whole lot smaller. For them, for everyone else, for us.

But they didn’t. If those are actually Roman shipwrecks, if there were successful voyages that not only didn’t wreck but managed to find their way back home6the Roman Empire didn’t follow up. The biggest and baddest player in the game… and they chose to look the other way.

Why? Didn’t need the land? Didn’t recognize the natural resources available? Didn’t have the resources to spare from other initiatives? Couldn’t see or didn’t want to risk a glimpse at the long-term?

I don’t know.

Why haven’t we gone back to the moon?


  1. Kind of like writing a book to say that this really wants this… except not nearly as sad.
  2. And now that I think about, how many bodice rippers could you actually fit in between the covers of all six volumes of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? And how would you organize them? Take Chapter 16: “…it must still be acknowledged that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissensions, have inflicted far greater severities on each other than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels”. What would you store there? The one about a young, innocent, but astonishingly beautiful young woman sent by her blue-blooded but impoverished father (his drinking ruined him but she loves him dutifully anyway; if only there were a strapping young man at the court who could show her what it truly means to be a man!) to the court of Henry VIII in 1534?
  3. Everyone knows that this is how aliens, the good ones anyway, get all of their information. Handshakes are for aggressive, warlike baby races. Butt-sniffing is for the academic elite of Sirius and the highly trained, four-legged xenoanthropologists they’ve sent to investigate Earth. Anal probes, though. That’s the money, people.
  4. Go ahead and Google that, by the way. Archaeological finds? Well, no, not really. But there’s enough LARPing there to get you through your day!
  5. This is a red flag to any well-schooled skeptic in and of itself, by the way. It’s like all those great historical fallacies: “Well, of course we didn’t find any evidence that Portugal discovered America first. THEY WANTED TO KEEP IT SECRET.” And by the way, it’s not that I don’t believe in government conspiracies or cover-ups. It’s just a numbers game. Given the limited number of governments and the seemingly endless supply of self-important people wanting to tell big stories they can’t substantiate, the numbers favor the latter.
  6. Charles Pellegrino has a book out called Ghosts Of Vesuvius. He had a pretty interesting take on what currents might have looked during this period of time and how that might have impacted travel to the New World. It’s actually a very interesting book. Just remember: storytelling.

Original post by blah

 

Star-Bellied Sneetches, Wanton Bodice-Ripping, and Baselining Sci-Fi Allegories

Ξ February 2nd, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, star trek |

I write for a Star Trek sim.

Before you get all excited by the use of the word “sim”, let me first qualify that this is not, in fact, a computer program which simulates Star Trek adventures for which I write dialogue trees. (Though – holy shit! – that would that be cool. Is anyone hiring for that?!) It is not, in fact, a giant flight simulator to help you brush up on your docking procedures for the next time you find yourself in a starship approaching spacedock.

Simming is, in fact, a bunch of people who create unique1 characters in the Star Trek universe, throw them together on a ship, and let hijinks ensue. Each player has a character and contributes to the central story via that character’s perspective. You have your various methods (and various universes, I might add; I’m told the writing is typically very good on the Firefly sims, though I’ve never tried one personally) with IRC, forums, and email being the three big ones. IRC is a little too dorky for me (it sounds impossible, I know), forums are a little too informal for my tastes and generally don’t handle time disjuncts very gracefully, and email… well, email is just right.

For those of you who are horrified/vastly amused/vaguely nauseated by this very idea, let me introduce myself: Hi, I’m blah. I’m a dork. I refer you to all previous and, I suspect, all subsequent posts.

So yeah. I write for a Star Trek sim.

Now, contrary to…

Ahem. Are you done laughing?

All right then. Now. Contrary to what you might…

Okay, you just… you just finish. I’ll wait.

Thank you.

As I was saying… contrary to what you might think, it’s not all holodeck shenanigans, sweaty turbolift sex, mirror universe bondage escapades followed by awkward looks across the bridge, or viruses that somehow always manage to target the impulse control centers of the brain2. One of the greatest things about Star Trek – and about all sci-fi and fantasy in general, I think – is its ability to act as a proxy for human exploration, to function as an allegory we can use to explore fundamental human conditions, to provide a framework we can use to test our assumptions about those fundamental conditions. Star Trek, for all the heat it takes for its idyllic, antiseptic approach to science fiction, provides an easy mechanism for these explorations, one that is unencumbered by more realistic though endlessly complex elements like drug trades and social and economic stratification so crippling that non-government ship owners can’t even buy new port compression coils. These are dirty things, hard things and I think we need to consider them. If we need to cloak them in a fantastical allegory to make it go down more easily, sure. The power of Star Trek, I think, is that it gives us a clean slate we can use to look at each of even the dirtiest, hardest things in turn and in isolation.

This isn’t to say that Star Trek is particularly subtle about the issues it explores. It can be downright hamfisted at times. Did anyone else watch Let That Be Your Last Battlefield and immediately think of the Star-Bellied Sneeches3?

Now, aliens from Cheron had white and black faces.
The colors were reversed in half of the cases.
The difference wasn’t big. It really was small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But because they were ‘right’ all the dudes halved like Bele
Would brag to themselves, “We’re the best sort of fellows!”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort,
“We’ll have nothing to do with the wrong-colored sort!”
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the White On Left kids went out to play ball,
Could the White On Right play? No, not at all.
You could only play ball if your black was on right,
So the others sat by, lamenting the white.

When the White On Left grown-ups had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the White On Right crowd
They were left out cold. All that white’s not allowed!
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

ANYWAY, while Star Trek is at times about as subtle as Kirk round-housing a Nazi, it really does provide a nice, clean baseline from which we can construct the very issues we need to explore. Note that I’m not saying that this is the right way to use science fiction as an allegory or that this is the only way to use it. Rather, I’m pointing out that the very sterile, tidy environment that the Federation and Starfleet together create gives us a chance to set a clean baseline we can work from, delving into issues in targeted doses… in short, that the supposed weakness of Star Trek as an exploratory device is actually its greatest strength.

And this is why I love writing for a Star Trek sim. Not the only reason, mind you. I like writing. I like having an outlet. I like Star Trek in general. I think the uniforms are hot. But beyond all that, it gives me a platform to think about things and moreover, I often have a chance to explore interesting ideas and concepts with other writers. Challenging cultural and sociological issues are cropping up all the time as part of our gameplay (unsurprising, I suppose, since it wouldn’t be Star Trek without a convenient Weird Forehead Of The Week). Take, for example, this recent exploration of the process of enculturation as an analog to Borg assimilation:

“Spunau bolayalar t’Wehku bolayalar t’Zamu il t’Veh,” Nerali said, her attention still on her console. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or one. It is not so dissimilar an approach. The Collective simply enslaves its practitioners where Vulcans enculturate theirs. It could be argued that the Borg approach is morally superior in that it does not inherently and by design prevent the development of individuality; it merely removes it at a later time.” She peered over her shoulder in his direction. “Will the modifications to the deflector array impact any other onboard systems?”

Enculturated? Qeynan’s brow furrowed as he focused first on her latter question. “The modification to the deflector array will not interfere with any functional control of the ship. The only problem I see is the need to lower the Cross’ shields around the shuttle bay in order for us to disembark and return. With these shuttles adjusted to match the Curie they’ll never be able to get back through the Cross’ shields until they’re remodified to their original settings.” He shifted in his seat to look back at her. “As for enculturated ideals I could argue by the rogues in the annals of history that such still allow for the freedom of choice. It’s part of sentient nature to pass on such core values to the next generation in order to establish safe boundaries of conduct; and the responsibility of the next generation to examine those values and decide whether or not to perpetuate them in the generation beyond.” He paused for a moment, considering the differences between boundaries and cages. Shaking his head, he went on. “The Borg approach is not morally superior by any means, Nerali. They do not allow individual development in the noble manner in which you suggest. Rather they allow each species own kind to enculturate their beliefs and ideals only to rip such from them and replace it with their own directive – assimilate or die. How is that morally superior?”

Nerali raised an eyebrow, saying merely, “I am speaking precisely of freedom of choice, Ensign Sehvi, and the development of the individual. Very few of us are offered the chance to choose our society, its morals, its bounds, its structures; I was able to choose, but so many others do not realize such a choice even exists or are afraid to take it if they do. Most often, we are simply born into it, trained via pervasive enculturation processes to accept it, to conform to it, to pass it on, all before we are capable of sentient, individual, self-aware thought. Cultural assimilation, Ensign Sehvi. It is a socio-evolutionary necessity for the continuance of cultures. But just because we associate the term ‘culture’ with family traditions, language, music, and works of art rather than assimilation tubules and regeneration alcoves does not mean that cultural assimilation is benign or that it is in any way less invasive than the atrocity you suffered. You were assimilated, made to fit into the whole, constrained, separated from self, unable to protest what was being done to you as it happened, and unable to fight against it once it did. And when you grew up, the Borg did the same.” She turned back to her console. “I don’t wish to justify the works of the Collective, Ensign, and even if I did not find you as pleasing as I do, I would never seek to dismiss the great cruelty you suffered at its hands. But as one of the very few who was able to choose her own cultural collective, I find it difficult to imagine a more heinous crime than denying a child self-determination.”

Seriously, now. Where else do you get to have a Vulcan with daddy issues and a liberated Borg drone debate sociological issues?

Answer: The same place you can go to explore the Prime Directive as an absolute extreme view of cultural relativism. I know, I know. You couldn’t watch an episode of Voyager without tripping over a Prime Directive violation and I’m pretty sure you could power a Type-9 shuttle with all the Earl Grey Picard went through as he wrestled with those issues in his ready room. But I don’t think I believe in the Prime Directive; I want to take a closer look at it. Oh, I believe in it as a plot-hole filler and I believe in its ability to generate character-building moments. I even believe in what I think it was originally intended to be. (It’s all supposition, of course, but I’d be a pretty easy sell if you were to tell me that a premise introduced in the 1960s could have been related to two technologically advanced groups of people taking advantage of lesser advanced peoples to further their struggle against each other.) But… Whew. Cultural relativism is one thing. Cultural determinism is one thing. The Prime Directive is way beyond both.

Thanks to the sim, I have the perfect place to explore this. And thanks to Star Trek, I have just the right foundation to do it on. I have a security chief on one ship. She just broke the Prime Directive4. We’ll see where this goes.


  1. I use the term “unique” loosely. (Yes, I know it’s a binary. Shut up!) Everyone creates their own characters, rather than usurping an existing one from Star Trek canon, but I don’t think I’ve ever been on a ship where at least 50% of the characters weren’t either telepaths or shapeshifters.
  2. In terms of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I find nothing remotely wrong with any of those things and should one of my ships end up having a mission like that, I will jump on the bandwagon with reckless, bodice-ripping abandon.
  3. By the way, did anyone else find it actually quite ironic that the Enterprise crew, upon first meeting Lokai, assumes that his coloration is a mutation? The entire episode is about racial segregation, social stratification… and the crew’s first impulse is to assume that the dude’s color must be a mutation, must be a flaw because it isn’t like theirs. Niiiiiice.
  4. Er… I think she broke the Prime Directive. There could be some extenuating circumstances – i.e. prior contamination of the culture in question though I think that argument is only valid if the actions then taken are taken only to correct that previous contamination – that would make her representation at the court martial breathe a sigh of relief, but close enough. She broke it enough for a good look. I blame my lawyer husband for this footnote.

Original post by blah

 

Okay, Well, Just Tell Me What Happens at 2:14 a.m. EST, August 29th

Ξ January 29th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, ai, music |

Artificial Intelligence has always fascinated me. I think it’s probably fascinated everyone… even people who didn’t grow up wanting to play poker with Soong-type androids or reading about paranoid androids and robopsychologists,… or, you know, growing up a little and wondering exactly how the Enterprise’s main computer does its natural language processing and if the Universal Translator actually assists with or simply serves to complicate the syntactic ambiguity problem.

That said, I’m not a linguist (I wish I were, by the way, but that’s a story for another time) and I certainly don’t have the intellectual chops to be an actual AI researcher. Case in point: I know enough about basic probability theory to understand the underlying principles of Bayesian learning and to think to myself, “Hey, that’s pretty neat. I could use this here and here and here.” But that thought is quickly replaced with something along the lines of “OH DEAR GOD, MY EYES ARE BLEEDING”, augmented with a lot of teeth-gnashing and garment-rending, as soon as the equations start popping up.

So long story short, am I going to be the one who solves the natural language problem? No. I’m much more likely to just spend my time bitching about comma-splicing in Facebook statuses. Am I going to be the one who develops a self-learning defense grid? No. I’m much more likely to join Cyberdyne for their awesome dental. Am I going to be the one who builds a protocol droid that can speak the binary language of moisture vaporators and can grumble humorously about how some nerf-herding smuggler’s hair-brained scheme is going to make him violate all three Asimovian laws? No. I’m much more likely to write a short story about said droid learning said binary language after being stranded in the unforgiving deserts of Tatooine and finding himself nursed back to health by a beautiful moisture vaporator with dreams of getting off her backwards world and seeing the galaxy beyond. (She dies at the end.)

There are much, much smarter people out there who are going to do these things. They’re working on it now. And even if I can never solve the problems they’re solving, I want to start understanding the challenges they’re facing. And I don’t meant that I want to understand it in a mathematical sense. (Well, that’s a lie. I do want to understand it in the mathematical sense. I just think I should understand the actual manifestations of it first. That will also give me time to get over the whole eye-hemorrhaging issue.) I mean that I should understand what it means to try to get an artificial system to make decisions, to do something human, and be able to see firsthand what is stopping us.

So can a robot write music? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. There are even efforts to generate music that is capable of provoking an emotional response in a human listener by capturing the principles of music psychology in knowledge bases that can be used as decision weights by the system’s inference mechanisms.1

How cool is that? Seriously. Next thing you know, we’ll have androids shredding.

So anyway. I’m building a rule-based system that’ll generate music. I call him BachBot. He probably gets beat up at the Young Robots Finishing School for that name but we hang out sometimes. We’re starting with species counterpoint. One of his first epics: Ode to Beefy the Musical Wondercow2.



1. Hmm. Who owns the rights to music generated entirely by a rule-based system?
2. Title mine. BachBot doesn’t create his own titles yet, unless you count auto-incrementing his test outputs. He does that just fine. We’ll tackle the whole natural language thing, you know. Later. Right now, I’m more interested in him not shredding my gorram ears apart by insisting that a minor second is perfectly okay in first species counterpoint.

Original post by blah

 

Dragon Quest Fan Translations

Ξ January 29th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

If you’re a fan of Dragon Quest (aka Dragon Warrior), my net-friend Tom-Servo has been translating Dragon Quest V (PS2) to English.  You can find the patch over at his website http://www.dqtranslations.com/.  You’ll also find a patch for Dragon Quest III (SNES), as well as a few translations of other games.

Original post by ojuice

 

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