Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Game Development Day

I've spent the past month getting my feet wet in video game development as a kind of self-enrichment project. This does not make me unique in any way -- every programmer who grew up with video game consoles has, at one point, thought about making their own game. Few ever follow through and I'm pretty sure that I, too, will abandon this project eventually, but in the meantime, I'm learning some new and different things while keeping my development skills fresh.

After evaluating languages such as Go and Rust, I decided to stick with Java, whose performance and game engine level performance have improved since the days of applets and inconvenient garbage collection. I chose the libgdx library over JavaFX, as it seemed to have a thriving open source community and plenty of examples. I'm also doing all of this in IntelliJ IDEA -- I've always apathetically disliked Eclipse at a visceral level but never enough to move away from it (especially in team settings at work, where using a different IDE is rarely worth the battle).

After a couple weekends doing sandbox examples and remembering my vector geometry skills, I have a simple level running where the character turns around when it hits the wall. Unfortunately, my collision and gravity systems aren't working perfectly yet, so eventually the character oozes through the floor and falls into infinity.

Progress has been slow so far, partly because there's a lot of open source libraries to learn, and partly because I'd usually rather be playing a great game than building a mediocre first effort. In spite of its value as a cerebral exercise, I much prefer the activity of game design over game implementation. This is comparable to my approach to playing many role-playing games, where I'll spend two hours planning out the perfect character, only to get bored with the actual game long before the character is high enough level to be fun.

I do have a game idea and clever title for my first effort, so maybe I'll eventually push something out for you all to play. Cynically though, I could also just throw it on Kickstarter and then use the money on a new gaming computer.

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Memory Day: My Fifteenth Birthday Party

Twenty-one years ago today, on September 2, 1994, I had a party celebrating my fifteenth birthday. I was about to start my junior year at TC Williams, and although Alexandria had a caste system based upon which of the two junior high schools you attended, my guest list Venn diagram'd multiple circles, thanks my place on the Crew team.

I had my party before school started (oddly on a Thursday this year instead of the traditional Tuesday after Labor Day) to make sure that everyone could attend -- the entire crowd was required to be in town for band and sports and other activities, so no one was away on last-minute vacations. Below is a picture of Jack, Ben, Kwan, and Jenny, gathered around the table where I was distributing free copies of the murder mystery thriller I'd written over the previous summer.

As usual, some of the guys arrived an hour early to check out whatever the latest and greatest video game was. This month, it was the shareware version of DOOM, which had been around for a year, but was only just beginning to show up in stores. My dad didn't believe in those newfangled BBSs so "downloading games" was a foreign concept. Games weren't limited to the guys though -- Cheryl and the other Jenny took over the Super Nintendo in order to see if their skills from the tennis team translated into Super Tennis (they did not).

The first order of business once everyone had arrived from their "unofficial" sports practices (branded as such because it was technically illegal hold practice before school started) was the traditional treasure hunt, where everyone broke into teams and followed clues to a big prize, usually a giant box of TWIX bars. Treasure hunts usually devolved into a chaotic tangle with one team cheating and the others fighting over the prize, but this was part of the charm.

After the treasure hunt, we went into the backyard to play volleyball. Before we could begin though, Kwan hit the ball up on the roof. We never actually got to play, because by the time I had made it up there to retrieve the ball, the Pizza Hut pan pizzas had arrived. Later, we did the awkward ritual of sitting in a circle while I opened presents. An old journal show that I received the following gifts:

  • $25 in cash
  • A $30 gift card to CompUSA
  • Various tchotchkes from gift shops on peoples' family vacations, including a yo-yo, a keychain, rock candy, and a tin of popcorn
  • An oversized white T-shirt with the slogan, "DO SOMETHING", on the front, which lasted all of the way through college
  • A black fish for my aquarium, promptly named "Tony".

The party ended innocently around 10:30 after a game of Bloody Murder, lacking in any debauchery or scandal one might expect from watching too many teen movies from the 90s.

tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Beginning Java 8 Games Development by Wallace Jackson:
This book on the JavaFX libraries is overly verbose without really saying anything useful. It suffers from the technical writing problem where the text ends up describing rather than explaining, which is of no help when you're trying to learn something. A section on what is billed as the most important aspect of the library ends up being an exhaustive list of components and constructor calls without even a single paragraph defining the concept or explaining when you'd ever use it. There's a single chapter which tries to teach the entire Java programming language, which is so short and dense (and imperfect) that it feels like the author was paid by the word.

Final Grade: D

Newsroom, Season Three:
The final season of Newsroom is fun and well-written, right up to the series finale episode, which is pointless and gratuitously long. The season is over quickly though, so it's worth watching for series completeness.

Final Grade: B

Orphan Black, Season Three:
This is a fairly hit-or-miss season, held afloat only by how enjoyable it is to watch Tatiana Maslany play so many different roles at the same time. The first half of the season is simultaneously too exposition-heavy and plot-light, with a desert set that looks like cast off remnants from a high school production of Homeland. The most enjoyable sections of this season focus on the Alison character in an unrelated sideplot, which is indicative of how unnecessarily complicated the story became. However, the plot corrects itself and thins out nicely towards the end, wrapping up without unnecessary cliffhangers.

Final Grade: B-

Silicon Valley, Season One:
With only 8 half-hour episodes, this show from the creator of Office Space is over too soon. It's a charming skewering of the San Francisco startup scene which was done previously (but not quite as well) with the Amazon original, Betas. The technical jargon rings true and is obviously well-researched, but it's still possible to enjoy the show without being a software engineer. The show is fairly self-aware and sometimes borders on too much absurdity, but it's consistently funny and has several lines that will probably end up as pop culture quotes in the coming years.

Final Grade: A-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, September 04, 2015

Stuff In My Drawers Day

Moving into a college dorm is a veritable X-Games of logistics, from claiming the right parking spots to the neverending caravan of packing crates that must arrive at the room without anything getting stolen. Because I spent 4 of my 5 undergraduate years on campus, of course I had optimized the endeavor down to a science by the end.

Here is the codified checklist I would pack against in the days leading up to the new school year, with all contents carefully locked into four giant plastic steamer trunks and then stored in the back of the family truck (along with me) for the ride down to Blacksurg.

It could be argued that this is far too much stuff for a 12 x 12 room shared with someone else. This is a 100% valid concern.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

Welcome back from what hopefully was a restful Labor Day weekend. If you live in the King's Dominion fiefdom, you'll be welcomed back with an extra serving of back-to-school traffic, which us Loudouners have already been dealing with for a week.

On Friday night, we visited Old Ox Brewery for tacos from a truck and a sampler of their new brews. The humidity was at armpit thresholds, but this also meant that the patio was only lightly occupied.

On Saturday, Rebecca went on an AT hike (this time, without any giant backpacks) in an attempt to recapture the magic of the Alps, while I did my usual errands. In the evening, we got an infusion of new local blood by hosting a barbecue for Rebecca's yoga friends. Dinner was partially meatless, featuring grilled blackened chicken breasts, grilled portabello mushrooms, and grilled tomatoes with cheese.

Sunday and Monday were relaxing, indoor days, which I partially spent doing proposal work and partially spent reading Hugh Howey's Wool book. We also started the TV show, Fargo, and are wrapping up the second season of Rectify, which moves much slower than the first season. We did not watch the VT-OSU game, because streaming it requires a cable subscription, a nonsensical requirement akin to needing car insurance to ride in an Uber.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture of me was taken somewhere around 1983 in our family room. I'm drinking 7-11 soda through a straw that's definitely not sane. In our household, crazy straws were not a disposable commodity, but as imagined, crazy straws are not great candidates for effective washing. There was always a ready supply of washed straws stuck in the back of the drawer smelling slightly of mildew, until they were obviously too stinky to use again.

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Suits, Season Two:
I described the first season of this show as "breezy fun without much depth or drama", and sometimes that's exactly what you want to watch. The second season is slightly less funny, but makes up for it with a more cohesive overarching storyline and great guest stars.

Final Grade: B

Narcos, Season One:
This Netflix original is very well done, with great cinematography that feels very movie-like. The show tells the tale of Pablo Escobar and cocaine in the 1980s -- one of those eras where I recognize the names from being alive in that time, but was too young and concerned with He-Man to actually know anything about. The show transitions from almost too much English narration in the beginning, to a majority share of Spanish with subtitles by the end, so be ready to read. Overall, the show is engaging and does a good job of setting up season two, but world-changing impending doom foreshadowed in the pilot narration never really solidifies onscreen. There's also a fair amount of unnecessary sex for the Game of Thrones contingent, but it's peppered through the subtitled scenes for those of you who are visual learners. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A-

Wool: Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey:
This probably the best dystopian future sci-fi book I've read in a long time -- good enough that I'll probably get it for my mom for Christmas. Wool is the first book of a trilogy, consisting of five shorter fragments (and the Omnibus edition contains all five). The tropes and the general ideas expressed are not new, but the way everything is tied together is impressive, and shows a masterful grasp of storytelling. The author does a great job of balancing exposition against action, steadily answering old questions while introducing new ones, and the way characters are phased in over the first few chapters works very well. A couple sequences, like an underwater repair mission, outstay their welcome, but this is a minor quibble. Characters are also very fleshed out, and much more intriguing than the flat caricatures that sometimes creep into sci-fi books. I've already started the next book, Shift.

Final Grade: A

Libgdx Cross-platform Game Development Cookbook by David Saltares Marquez and Alberto Cejas Sanchez:
This tech book was the polar opposite of the book I'd purchased on JavaFX. Supported by reams of sample code and clear, concise prose, this book does a solid job of introducing all facets of the libgdx game development library. The book could be improved by offering more detail on entity-component-system systems like Ashley, and how a real-world project would organize and integrate Ashley, Box2D, and libgdx code, but the existing content is solid.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hearthstone Day

I'm too busy working on proposals to write a real update, so all you get today is a screenshot of my 500th Hearthstone win as a Priest, which nets me a useless golden portrait to go along with my golden Paladin. This is obviously something I should have put on my Age 36 bucket list, as it's about as meaningful as the time I went to Jungfraujoch, or the time I played 500 games of Snood as a grad student.

In the final run up to 500 wins last night, I also had occasion to capture this completely appropriate inappropriate screenshot of twin Dr. Booms. I hope you are doing something equally as fulfilling this 9/11.

tagged as games | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, September 14, 2015

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

8:23 AM: Waking up in the Oregano room at Hopkins Ordinary B&B.
8:43 AM: Eggs over easy, arugula, and prosciutto on broiled toast.
10:01 AM: Starting the Little Devil's Stairs hike.
10:38 AM: Heading up the gorge.
12:29 PM: Random crayfish on the trail.
12:36 PM: After the second thunderstorm.
1:26 PM: Examining the dead folks.
4:14 PM: Dried off and warm at the Ale Works with a complimentary flight.
5:48 PM: Eating cookies in and around Sperryville.
6:27 PM: Rudy's pizza and an ESB for dinner on the balcony.
7:28 PM: From the generic history department.
9:15 PM: A game of Morels before bedtime.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Birth Day

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

List Day: Things I Did On My Day Off

  • Woke up at 5 to polish the prose in a proposal response.

  • Had a breakfast of Eggo Buttermilk Waffles and 4 slices of bacon.

  • Created a Hearthstone shaman deck that won 8 games in a row.

  • Continued reading Shift by Hugh Howey.

  • Took a 1.5 hour morning nap on the couch, with Sydney on my chest.

  • Tried out the game, Heroes of the Storm.

  • Had shells and cheese for lunch.

  • Brainstormed some new project ideas for Fall (like crafts for Software Engineers, with less cutouts of leaves).

  • Ran 3 miles on the treadmill while watching Suits, Season Three.

  • Grilled a giant steak for dinner.

  • Had birthday satin cupcakes and finished the second half of the movie, Gone Girl.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Gone Girl (R):
The movie version of this book is equally as successful as the book, thanks in no small part to the traditional David Fincher flourishes one comes to expect from his movies. Even the ending, which seems to dribble off the page like a melting ice cream cone, feels more secure in movie format. The only flaw is the horrible sound mixing (almost at Interstellar levels of dialogue-concealment) in several scenes.

Final Grade: A-

Rectify, Season Two:
Season two is still packed with wonderful performances, but lacks much plot drive until the final couple of episodes. For the most part, the show just breezes about as the characters slowly grow and mature like wheat -- this is only bearable because the actors are so good, but eventually it gets old (see also, living in Tallahassee). Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Kind Bar Nuts & Spices Variety Pack:
Rebecca gets Kind bars for her lunch at work, and they're pretty good. Thinking that this variety pack with almonds and chocolate would be equally as good, I bought a box at Costco and was disappointed. There are very few bars in the box, yet somehow they don't last long and aren't very filling -- not cost-effective at all. Additionally, the nuts are larger than most cockroaches. If you don't break a tooth, you'll loose a filling because the bars are shellacked with a sticky coating to keep the nuts from falling out. Overall, these bars are tasty for about 10 seconds, logistically difficult to eat on the go, and pricey.

Final Grade: D

Drinking from the Sun by Hilltop Hoods:
There are no amazing Cosby Sweater-like tracks on this older album, but everything on it is well-crafted and in a consistent Hilltop Hoods style. I appreciated how much variety was put into the arrangements and orchestration, as heard in the title track -- hip-hop doesn't have to be one guy rapping over a tape loop for nine hours.

Final Grade: B

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Questions Day

It's time for another Questions Day. Want to get a second opinion on something? Ask anything you want, be it about myself, the world, or something you don't understand. Need some recommendations? I'll answer all of your questions next Friday!

tagged as you speak | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday afternoon, Anna came to visit with her brood and also dropped off some birthday fudge from the Outer Banks. In the evening, Rebecca and I ate grilled salmon on the back porch before the late summer mosquitoes drove us indoors.

On Saturday, I had breakfast with Returned Mike at Virginia Kitchen, after his 5K run at Dulles Day on a runway. Rebecca started her semester of yoga teacher training this day, so I spent the rest of the day at home doing some much-needed Fall Cleaning. This includes such standard tasks as washing curtains that had hung for a decade, and getting rid of all cooking oils and sauces that expired more than a year ago.

In the evening, we dressed up and went to a wedding party for one of Rebecca's coworkers. The party took place in a new subdivision of Ashburn at the very end of Loudoun County Parkway and featured food from three separate India restaurants.

On Sunday, I continued checking things off of my Fall Cleaning list with periodic breaks to read Shift and play Heroes of the Storm. In the evening, we scrounged for dinner from things in the cupboards and watched the movie, Whiplash.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weird Search Day

or "How I Stumbled Upon the URI! Zone"

  • narration of a trip through florida to disney world including all expenses,tourist destinations and routes taken. you must also visit at least one relative on the trip and spend the night at their house. that teens created
    There are probably better choices of plagiarism material than a personal vacation log -- is that really something you couldn't create on your own? Won't your teacher find out when you talk about staying the night at your Grandpa Shostakovich's house when your surname is Chopra? Save the plagiarism for the thematic essay on Robert Frost, and churn out some BS for this assignment.

  • paddling upstream applet

  • happy birthday shams
    • the continuing copyright on the Happy Birthday song
    • Getting the free birthday desert without first confirming it's free
    • giving someone a present that's a donation in their name to a charity
    • Forcing your published age into an exponential limit as it approaches a round decade, such that you never actually age

  • Female closet shitting videos less than 4mb
    If you really want to watch someone poop in the closet, just buy a dog. Thanks though, for conserving bandwidth while searching out your fetish.

tagged as website, searches | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time-lapsed Blogography Day

BU at multiple data points

  • 21 years ago today, on September 23, 1994, I played in the pep band in a Fall Sports pep rally (which was useless other than to give us an early dismissal schedule full of field hockey skirts), and then worked in the evening for the Alexandria Symphony setting up the stage for a rehearsal.

  • 20 years ago today, on September 23, 1995, I went to a barbeque at Ada Holland's house, whose dad was apparently well-known for his grilled sausages.

  • 16 years ago today, on September 23, 1999, I was in the marching band at the VT-Clemson game, where we won 31-11 and Corey Moore had a sack, forced fumble, and touchdown all on the same play.

  • 14 years ago today, on September 23, 2001, I came up with the name / acronym for my open-source music library: PRIMA, or Pattern Recognition and Identification through Melodic Analysis. It could programmatically identify and transpose musical scales with proper enharmonics in all keys and modes.

  • 10 years ago today, on September 23, 2005, I got on a plane to Tallahassee for a weekend visit with Kathy, Returned Mike, and Chompy. The air conditioning was busted on the plane, so they made us sit in the cabin for an hour while they fixed it.

  • 9 years ago today, on September 23, 2006, I took care of Kitty and Sydney in Manassas while Anna and Ben went to a Pittsburgh wedding.

  • 3 years ago today, on September 23, 2012, I met Rebecca's distant cousin, Pam, as she moved through the area on her way back to Oklahoma.

tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

This is a two-player mushroom-themed card game similar to Jaipur. You gather mushrooms and either cook them for points or sell them for the chance to get better mushrooms before your opponent. There's less setup than Jaipur, but a fair amount of card movement during the game to represent the mushrooms decaying over time -- this gets a little tedious unless you have a smooth playing surface, but the game creator offers an alternate board layout to reduce the card movement (which we have not yet tried). Overall, it's an interesting card game with a moderate learning curve that we'll play again when Lost Cities gets too dull and no one wants to sort the tokens in Jaipur.

Final Grade: B

Whiplash (R):
It's hard to imagine a successful thriller about a jazz conservatory drummer and his manipulative mentor without it straying into melodrama, but this movie is intense and gripping all of the way through. The ending is well-deserved and more complicated that the typical "montage + first place trophy" ending you might expect. You don't need to be a musician or jazz lover to enjoy the movie, but you might appreciate it more if you are.

Final Grade: A

Suits, Season Three:
Only 32 episodes in, and this show is already out of plot ideas. Characters revolve in soap opera spin cycle, and the laughs, though frequent, are all of the one-off chuckle (or quick exhale) variety. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C-

Hand of God, Pilot:
This show about a judge who has a psychotic breakdown and may or may not be talking to God was just released as a full season, so I checked out the pilot. It's sporadically interesting, but glacially paced, and spends a lot of time blurring the line between the unstable perceptions of the main character and reality. This is the whole point, but if you dislike dream sequences in your TV shows, you may get irritated with the concept before it grabs you in the final moments of the pilot. Sideplots involving city corruption feel tacked on (not helped by "Bubbles" from The Wire starring as the Mayor), and the tone is generally grim. Based on the pilot, I'll be skipping the rest of the series unless nothing else is available to watch at treadmill time. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, September 25, 2015

Answers Day

The sequel to Questions Day

"best stand for a 50" tv that has space for several home theater components?" - Doobie

This depends on your room and needs. If you are establishing a media center with surround sound and the bells and whistles, or if the room really only has one orientation where the TV would look good, you'll want to split functions between a wall mount for the TV and any stand for the components. I have this inexpensive mount installed for our basement TV, which is never going to move, and has few components (just a DVD player). The downside of a wall mount is the presence of exposed cords, unless you're ambitious enough to run them inside the wall (not scalable as new components get added).

If the setup shouldn't be as permanent because you rearrange as much as I do and / or you are running from the law, you'll want a base alone, with the TV simply sitting on top. This easily conceals cords but reduces the amount of free surface available for random junk you drop as you come home from work (maybe this is a good thing). Go for one that's enclosed to keep toddlers from disconnecting things, and definitely strap the TV to a wall stud so it doesn't make toddler waffles when they inevitably try to pull it over.

"Of all the well-intentioned advice you've received over the years, what do you think has been the least congruent with your life experiences to date?" - Returned Mike

  • "Ruby is the next Java." - former coworker
  • "Hang out with people on your dorm hallway and make lifelong friends." - VT tour guide
  • "This composition would be better with more atonality. Why don't you add a few more wrong notes?" - former composition instructor
  • "The combination of MIDI and realistic sound samples will make orchestras obsolete." - former MIDI course instructor
  • "You should play Half-Life. It's a work of art." - someone on my dorm hallway

"Do you think you can answer Mike (and Ghost Chompy)'s question without using my name?" - Mom


tagged as you speak | permalink | 5 comments

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend, I finished off my self-imposed Fall Cleaning effort, which was equal parts actual cleaning and junk organization. When it comes to things in need of disposal, the house is really like a giant digestive system, with stuff we use frequently on the upper floors and clutter gradually making the hajj down to the basement guest bedroom closet where, if we haven't searched for it in a few years, it gets unceremoniously ejected out the back.

Now, there is at least one clear shelf in every room for the next generation of clutter, and all of the remaining junk is neatly organized so it can be located in a knick knack emergency. The assortment of detritus that finally reached the trash can included a broken camera from 2005, the Jumanji board game, red/white audio cables that haven't been hooked up in a decade, and four nearly empty paint cans of GLORIOUS GOLD, MILK CHOCOLATE, and ROYAL BEIGE that have since solidified into a single lmpy mass. Somehow though, I still have two unopened cans of PUFFIN BAY GREY -- I really overestimated on that bedroom paint job.

Rebecca was off at yoga teacher training during this project, but we reconvened on Saturday evening for a belated birthday dinner at my parents' where we watched the movie, What We Do in the Shadows. On Sunday evening, we had carryout from Joe's Pizzaria and watched more of Fargo.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

List Day: Currently...

  • Currently listening to... Pagans in Vegas by Metric, Rare Bird by Whitton, and 40 Akerz by Nappy Roots.

  • Currently reading... Dust by Hugh Howey.

  • Currently playing... Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

  • Currently composing... nothing.

  • Currently considering buying... a Tiffany-style lamp to add directional brightness in a dark corner of the living room, and the updated subscription-free version of Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

  • Currently coding... on two separate projects at work, one in Java and one in Python.

  • Currently planning... what my next side project will be, following Fall Cleaning and my dabbling in Game Development.

  • Currently writing... this post.

  • Currently watching... Luther, Season Two, Modern Family, Season Five, and Fargo, Season One.

  • Currently anticipating... a whirlwind trip to Blacksburg for the grand opening of the Marching Virginians practice facility.

  • Currently exercising... about three hours per week.

  • Currently weighing... 130 pounds.

This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album.

  • Events
    • Had tacos at Old Ox Brewery on F 9/4.

    • Hosted a barbeque for Rebecca's yoga friends with minimal meats on S 9/5.

    • Went back to Sperryville and Hopkins Ordinary for a hiking weekend on F 9/11.

    • Turned 36 and got closer to death on T 9/15.

    • Visited with Anna and kids on F 9/18.

    • Rebecca started a semester of yoga teacher training on S 9/19.

    • Ate brunch with Returned Mike on S 9/19.

    • Went to Prema's wedding party in Ashburn on S 9/19.

    • Ate burgers with Returned Mike on M 9/21 at the Counter.

    • Renewed the urizone.net domain name for its 12th year on M 9/21.

    • Had dinner with my parents on S 9/26.

  • Projects
    • Abandoned a game development side project in favor of playing more games.

    • Worked on another short fuse proposal effort.

    • Cleaned and organized the entire house.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed watching Gone Girl, Whiplash, and seasons of Narcos and Fargo.

    • Enjoyed the entire Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey.

    • Enjoyed new music by Metric, Whitton, and the Hilltop Hoods.

September's Final Grade: A, turned 36 and can now vote twice.

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