Time Commitments: Music

Three rehearsals a week, plus practice time when I can find it. So 10 hours a week, plus transportation time. That’s a lot of time for a hobby! But it’s a hobby that keeps me sane. In recent months I’ve started to tone in a back a bit; right now I’m on closer to 3 hours a week in music, balancing the rest in to work and basketball. But in a “normal” week in the past it was a minimum of 10 hours. Whilst I enjoy playing Bass Trombone it was taking on aspects of a very low paying (i.e. zero) second job, thus the cutting back a bit. However, butting back highlighted how much I needed that time every week for the sanity it helped instill in me.

Pokémon – Ordered List I choose You!

Silver/Crystal – Good mix of numbers, places, size and new Pokemon. It felt like what a sequel should be: a continuation of what came before. In this case, part of that was allowing you to go back to the place you were; only a few years later, and a very disappointed Blue later.

Blue – The game that got me to fall for the genre in the first place. I borrowed my cousins version to help him through a certain ghost and then didn’t want to stop. Eventually got my own GameBoy Pocket Color and caught 148+ Pokemon (I still remember to this day), had to make a few trades to fill out the Pokédex but man was that fun at the time. That may have been the first “social” I ever played now that I think about; couldn’t beat the game without help from other people.

X – This may be the best of the series from an overall perspective: story, art, new Pokemon, game-play. But it doesn’t shine in any situation (except one), it’s just “good” but it’s at least “good” in all the categories. There’s a good chance that in my brain this is really tied with Black, but something about X/Y got me to play over and over again- Wonder Trade runs, small batch runs, single Pokemon runs. On the replay scale this is far and away the highest for me; but I think only because I enjoyed the farming for Crystal so much.

Black – Since Blue all the stories had been the same; until Black! I wanted to get through the towns and the dojos just to see what was coming next in the story. The Pokemon also felt more like throwbacks to the original than the two before it, which helped a little bit. Some quirkiness to the new camera aside the visuals were my favorite since Silver.

Pearl – The way the story and gyms progressed I got really bored for some reason. Got to the point where I could start breeding and got a little overwhelmed with how many Pokemon I had to breed to get. Ended up playing this more after Black came out to work on migrating Pokémon over to it.

Sapphire – The graphics seemed the worse in a weird way; too close to GameBoy without enough jump to GBA. For as much as I liked my GBA I could never quite get in to this version of Pokemon. In thinking about it I’m pretty sure Silver just raised my demands so high that there’s nothing Sapphire could have done.

Without talking about re-releases and remixes, etc that’s where I fall on the Pokéman liking curve.

Updated 2016-04-09: Added in X/Y

People on the Train

My daily commute involves a lot of train travel; from the Metrolink to the Metro Red Line. Being the introvert that I am I don’t talk to most people on the train. However, there’s about six people that sit around me on the Metrolink pretty much every day. Today I introduced myself to the Sheriff that sits behind me. He’s a very nice guy and I’m quite glad I did. This led me to talking to the other people that sit around me: a creative consultant, a lawyer, a waiter (for a VERY high end restaurant who makes more in tips a night than some people make in salary a month), and a nurse. I’m pretty sure I gave out more computer advise that was then looked up on phones in five minutes than I have in weeks; it was a nice feeling helping out and meeting some new people.

Around the Web: 2013.01.22

Surprising things that make a brain?

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/510141/what-makes-a-mind-kurzweil-and-google-may-be-surprised/

While I understand large bits of the subject at hand I want to draw the most attention to the comments on Watson: it’s good at trivia but not so great at problem solving. As a society we base communication on trivia, and we seem to assume that that thought is based on said communication learning techniques; but it doesn’t that that’s the case! Yes, we are a sum of our experiences, but it’s the sum of our problem experiences that were solved!

Dark Ages now brighter!

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/509876/the-algorithms-that-automatically-date-medieval-manuscripts/

Building a bit on the compounding communication part, I find this rather fascinating. Basically, it’s holing communication changes to a generation or a migration; something that the AI guys try to do with modern changing vernacular- only this is over thousands of years instead of days or months!

Assuming Siri is… wait, what?

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/510081/dont-make-siri-a-character-apple/

It’s a good point to think about: what does Siri need? I tend to think that a writer would be brought on to make things shorter or least more varied while being rather brief.

The Fall of Communism- I mean Social News!
http://corte.si/posts/socialmedia/trouble-with-social-news.html

The Long Contract of The Law

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/google-stands-up-for-gmail-users-requires-cops-to-get-a-warrant/

I’m rather glad Google is doing this; maybe our data will start to be our data! When your mail goes through the post office it’s still your letter that the post office is hanging on to for a little bit (not perfect I know, but you get the idea). Maybe more exposure to such things will get people to start to really think about their data more critically.

Mu-nundrum

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/01/hydrogen-made-with-muons-reveals-proton-size-conundrum/

Interesting read to be sure; would be interesting to see how the experiment would pan out in six months from now to see if anything is different due to tilt or seasons.

Sunday Movie Night

Some movies just need to be bad to be good; Demolition Man very much fits that profile. Many of the characters are over the top caricature of stereotypes from other genres. Complete with bag guys that can’t aim! Very little of the overall movie makes sense really; but Dennis Leary adds a bit of understated bravado that balances out the more slapstick over the top feeling one gets from watching Snipes or Stallone.

Just watched Demo Man and now moved on to the Les Mis inspired Aladdin; can you have two different movies? The actual bad guys in Demolition Man are actually a bit ethereal, whereas in Aladdin they’re fairly cut and dry overall.

And look: Cinderella! The movie that doesn’t understand time, location, or titles for that matter.

To say this was an interesting night of movie watching may be an understatement of massive proportions.

Football, Drones, and Walls: A Weekend Review

Given my teams that I hope to win things, I’m down to just the 49ers in the hunt to the Super Bowl. I was quite hoping for a Broncos-49ers Super Bowl in New Orleans; Manning against an upstart defensive team, would have been entertaining!

Of all the things that I saw covered at CES the only thing I’m really interested in is the Parrot AR 2.0; GPS with programable routes, better camera control, and an SDK. Yes please. The 84″ touch screen was cool and gives me some ideas for a project at work to be honest.

On Saturday I helped a friend start to tackle his yard. We built 30′ of wall for a planter four (4) feet high. There were five of us working all across the yard and a lot got done in one day; at one point we were all even looking for extra things to do! My body is certainly paying for it today, but in so many good ways. The lifting that has been going on most mornings for the last few months came in handy, not only was the chore of carrying over seventy (70) bricks weighing over twenty five (25) pound made easier, but recovery is much easier, too!

Up for this week is helping my wife with her projects around the house, finishing another video game, a lot of writing, and hopefully releasing an alpha for a game I’ve been wanting to make for a long, long time.

Weekend Update – 2013.01.06

For the first time in months I got a weekend off. We took an impromptu trip to visit some family members and just relax; no alarm clocks, no animals, no distractions. Had a nice drive down in and around some mountains (actually got to use my V8 a bit). Today, watched the weather go from sunny and cold, to rainy and warmer, to hailing. Watched a bit of sports with the family today. The Redskins made me a bit sad; as did Indianapolis. Can’t wait to see how the Broncos do in the next couple weeks. Watched them try to play golf on Maui; felt really bad when the ball was moving around the green and falling off the tee for some people. Wrote out an entire proposal and production plan for a new video game I hope to complete in a few months. And now on to a fun week!