Category Archives: Thoughts

On Protest

We talk a lot about the way people protest.  When a group rallies to protest, we complain that they’re blocking traffic or impeding normal day to day life.  When those protests turn violent (either by circumstance, intent, or outside manipulation) we argue that they’re criminals, why should we listen to them?  When students walk out of their own graduation in protest, we call them disrespectful or crybabies.  When a professional football player takes a knee to silently but visibly protest about something he believes strongly, we call him unpatriotic.

I say “we” in this because sometimes I have those knee-jerk reactions.   They’re always very brief, but I still sometimes have them.  I personally, have only a few things that I could protest that affect me directly.  I’m not black, I’m not gay, I’m not a woman, I’m not transgender, I’m not hispanic.  But I am human.  And I am affected by changes to our education and healthcare policies, so I do have a few things to “personally” protest.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about protest lately, and the way that change is enacted.

Protest doesn’t work at all if the person(s)/idea(s)/organization(s) being protest isn’t(aren’t) inconvenienced in some way.  An invisible protest isn’t a protest at all.  Nobody would have noticed or commented, if 100+ graduates simply hadn’t shown up.  If that football player had waited to take a knee when he got home, would we have talked about the issue he raised at all?

We complain about the way people protest, and we condemn the moment that protest turns violent.  But we also have to think about why protests do turn violent.  Sometimes, it’s a plan B.  Sometimes, something happens to escalate it into violence.  Someone is attacked, something is thrown, someone is pepper sprayed, etc.  Violence leads to more violence.  Sometimes groups infiltrate peaceful protests to incite violence, and make the protesters look bad.

Violence is never the answer, but it happens.  We need to look at ways to keep protest from becoming violent.  The first and second reasons I listed above can be mitigated.  The third, I just don’t know.

So what’s the answer?  You know as well as I do there isn’t ONE answer.  But I think I may know one way.  We, those of us who aren’t disenfranchised in one or more ways, or even those of us who are disenfranchised in different ways, need to be able to listen to and understand what protests are saying.  And be willing to learn, and be willing to talk, and be willing to change.

We can’t complain about the method of protest, if we’re not willing to provide avenues that WILL work.  And that’s on us.

Something, Something, Something, Networking.

I’ve been wanting to write for several weeks now, but the time just hasn’t been right.  A lot of private things have happened, that are beyond the scope of what I like to write about here, but they involve loss , grief, and general sadness. Those are not the reasons I’ve been wanting to write.

This also isn’t going to be an update about my family.  That one will come soon. (Spoiler alert:  Kids grow up too fast.)

My emotional state has jump started me back into working on my projects that I’ve been not giving enough attention to.  I’ve jumped ship from my previous development platform, though, and am now trying my hand at Unity.  I have to say, it’s pretty powerful, and does a lot of what I want to, and a lot more.  But I feel like I need to learn a lot to really excel with it.

One of the things that I really want to get right with my software is networking support.  My game will support asynchronous online play, and far too many of the games that I play don’t get asynchronous play right.  I’m looking at you, Catan.

I have a very clear vision of how Asynchronous play will look in Gestalt, and it’s a model that has worked very well for games like Ascension and Penny Arcade.  When you load the game, if your credentials are saved, the app connects to the game server.  The server stores a list of games that are active or recently completed, as  well as a move history, the contents of each deck, and individual information about the players.  The contents of hands, discard piles, decks, as well as keeping track of the last move the player participated in.

When you join an existing game, it will set the board to the position it was in the last time you played, and then send you each move that has been made since.  Each of those moves would be displayed to you, then you’ll be able to play your own moves, if it’s your turn.

So I’m spending a lot of time making sure that the routines to handle the network are all in place.  I want to be able to store exactly what I need and retrieve it properly.

I feel like I’m learning a lot every day, but I also feel like the process is going a lot more slowly than I’d like.

I know this is probably my most boring post to date, but I just want to get down some of my thoughts about what I’m working on.

So many things

A lot has happened since my last post.  Almost all of it is good, but some of the good is private, so I won’t be talking about it here.

I’ll hit a few of the main things, though.  Our son, William Edward, was born on February 9.  It was a bit of a dangerous thing, and I’ll just say that I think his namesake was watching out for us. Our daughter is now communicating in full sentences, and is very inquisitive and silly.

We’ve taken our first steps toward buying a house, and moved just last week.   We now have a roommate, a good friend who recently started a job here in town.  I also now have a new “Library” that’s not in a basement!  My decorated mantle is featured above.

One of my best friends lost his mother while he was hospitalized.  I felt terrible that he couldn’t be with her, and that I couldn’t do anything for either of them from here.

I’ve dived back into game design, and am working on a couple of releases for PC and Tablets.  I started a GoFundMe to help pay for the tools I need to do so, and have learned that I have some very good friends.  I’ve started a game programming club at the high school where I work, I’ll update with how that goes.

Once again, I’m going to try to get back to blogging regularly, but there are so many things going on about that I can’t easily talk about, it’s hard to fill a blog with other things.  Ah well.  All things in time.

 

Brain Droppings (with apologies to George Carlin for using his book title)

As usual, it’s been a while since I’ve updated my 0+ readers with updates in my life.  You’ll not get any current updates today, either.  There’s been something old on my mind lately, and I think the best way to address it, is to write it out.

I’ve been reflecting on my hobbies, old and new, lately.  In the early 1990s, I latched on to the BBS scene, running up ridiculous phone bills, meeting interesting people, running my own BBS, writing my own utilities, and more.  I think I did that from 1991 to 1993 or so.   It was a hobby that I shared with a few of my close friends at the time, including my co-sysop, Bill.  Over the last several days, I’ve been watching a documentary on the BBS culture.  Until now, I don’t think it occurred to me that I joined in at the tail of its heydey, how deep its history was, and how insignificant my presence there was.  Today, there’s no record of my BBS on the web.  There’s no reference or notation of the addons that I wrote for Legend of the Red Dragon.  There’s no mention of my old bbs handle.  And, dammit, there’s no [wb_fb_f name=”co-sysop” id=”WilCurry”] around for me to swap stories with. Continue reading Brain Droppings (with apologies to George Carlin for using his book title)

Meet Betty Jean

Not much to say here. My daughter was born on 02/20 at 12:21. So without further ado…

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My silence

I’ve not posted much lately, on any of the blogs where I’m journaling 2013. I have a bit of an excuse, though. I’ll be posting some on Adventures in Renovation, in a couple of days. Quite a bit has happened. The flooring has been done, and the nursery has been painted. Speaking of the nursery…

I’m sitting in a hospital room with my lovely wife, while they get ready to induce her labor. Within the next day, I will be meeting my baby girl for the first time.

Needless to say, I’m in a bit of a daze.

More coming soon 🙂

Adventures in Renovations – Part 1

I’ve made a lot of progress at getting the former storage room/future nursery cleared out.  With luck, I should be able to get that finished late tonight, or early tomorrow.  Part of the process has been going through a comic collection and culling a LOT of stuff that I don’t need, which I am taking up to the shop, to sell for a dollar apiece.

The next step is going to be to move everything from the library into the nursery, so I can put down new flooring.  I’ve never put down flooring, and that’s why this is going to be an adventure.  A friend is going to coach me on the cutting.  I think I’ll do ok with it.  It’s the locking laminate from allen + roth, and I’m really looking forward to it.

The chore, I think, is going to be getting the bookshelves and table out of the room.   Hopefully, once I’m done, the room will look nice enough to take pictures of.

Getting ready for baby

Earlier I mentioned that we are re-flooring a major portion of the house before we are joined by our daughter. Part of that meant removing the carpet that was in our hallway. Once the carpet was out, we decided that the ugly wallpaper needed to go as well.

Removing the wallpaper revealed a few interesting holes in in the wall that needed patched. So, currently we’re at a stage where we have all the wallpaper down, all the holes patched, bare floors, and partially painted trim.

My mother came over after I got off work today, and we finished the trim. Going to take a stab at getting the wall painting done tomorrow evening. I’m sure it’s not going to be a stellar job, but at least I can say “I did that”.

Flooring the library is going to be a chore. The library has eight tall bookshelves lining two walls, a computer workbench, and a large dining room table in the center of the room. There’s also a closet that has an arcade game sticking out of it. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of it.

Here are a few pictures I took in the library last week while I was cleaning.

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The Nursery Project — Part 1

We live in a three bedroom house. You’d think it would be easy to turn one of them into a nursery. I suppose it would, if any of them weren’t filled with stuff. The largest bedroom in the house has, for the last 5 years, been a storage room. We decided this would be the nursery.

I’ve made several stabs at getting it cleared out, but I’ve still not succeeded, though I am making progress. The room has been a catch-all for a number of things. A comic collection, a (dwindling) toy collection (collectible toys), computer parts, and and is also the resting place for anything that came out of the shop either of times we’ve moved or temporarily closed down.

As I’ve been going through this room, I’ve thrown away a lot of things that I kept “because I might need it”, and given away a lot of things that I felt someone else might be able to appreciate more than I can.

I’m trying not to be such a packrat. I don’t collect comics like I used to, I don’t collect toys at all anymore. I turn down opportunities to expand those collections. I’ve been going through the comic collection, trimming it way down, and taking books up to the shop to sell.

I’ve still got a lot to do in that room, and I hope I can get through it soon. Time is running out,

Repurposing

It’s been over a year since I posted here. That doesn’t mean I’ve been quiet, but it does mean that I need to rethink the exact purpose of this blog. At one point, I was going to use this as a modeling and painting diary for my Warhammer collection. I’ve really had little time or energy to work on those projects, though.

A lot has happened since the last time I’ve posted here. After trying for a few years, my wife and I are expecting our first child (at the beginning of March). We’ve taken on a manager at our game store, and right now, he’s doing almost all of the day-to-day running of it.

We’ve replaced the fixtures in one bathroom, and the floors in 3 rooms, so far, with at least 2 more to go. We have a nursery to prepare, and time is running out.

Additionally, various factors have us visting a high-risk OB for the duration of this pregnancy. She’s now going twice a week, which and I’m able to join her on the Monday visits.

With the new year, I’ve committed to writing more often, which has thus far presented itself in shop and gaming related blogging. I’ve started a gaming community site at fortsackville.com , and still maintain a blog for Legends Family and Hobby Games. I’m also developing a couple of board games, one of which is in the prototype stage. I’ll be journaling that journey at Dragon Pro Studios. I’m going to use this space to handle my personal blogging, though I will still maintain another spot for journaling what I consider to be “private” thoughts, as well.

Next post will be about some of the things I’ve changed in my life, recently.