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The Newberry Social Society

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Innovation Works [20 Apr 2007|02:45pm]
[ mood | not working ]

I think I posted a (very) long article a while back that compared the way Nintendo approaches the video game industry to the way in which Sony and Microsoft do things. The point of that article, which came out around the middle of the last-gen system life, was that Nintendo puts their effort into coming up with new and altogether different ways in which to play games and have fun, while Sony, Microsoft, and the majority of software developers focus on pushing the graphics and adding minor tweaks and extra features to games that are essentially unchanged from a game that came out years ago. I don't recall too many of the specifics, but at the time they were talking about Nintendo releasing games like Animal Crossing and Metroid Prime while other systems were getting Halo 2, Dead or Alive 4, and a third Grand Theft Auto III (what?). Even graphics-wise, they were headed in different directions. No, on the surface the cartoonish Legend of Zelda was not as impressive as some of this stuff that looks practically real, though I'm sure the one took similar effort to the other.

I've always followed the innovation line, and I've always preferred a game that is a little rough looking but FUN over a game that looks like a movie but plays like something I've already played 30 times.

It would appear that, finally, I'm actually in the majority.
Nintendo's systems beat out nearly all competitors for yet another month.

Also interesting to note: PS2 is still the biggest selling non-portable console. I think this should be a huge wake-up call to Sony (and Microsoft). People won't pay four times the price for a system when the only improvement is how the games look. People are being offered the choice between the new, top of the line system and a system which is vastly and obviously graphically inferior, and opting for the latter.

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In other news ... [17 Feb 2007|12:44pm]
Alex loaned me a copy of The DVORAK Zine and now I'm learning DVORAK in my spare time at work. Fun stuff!
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Recipe for Manslaughter [17 Feb 2007|12:35pm]
[ mood | meh ]

What is it about snow that has turned the intersection in front of my office into Manila? Cars are driving in lanes that don't exist, running red lights and not stopping for pedestrians, actively honking at people crossing in front of them when they have no business being there...

And the pedestrians aren't much better. It takes almost the full length of the walk light to climb on top of the giant ice banks that are separating the streets from the sidewalks, so yesterday a woman decided that since she started crossing on time she was going to finish even though she wasn't even in the street yet when the light turned. Then she looked all pissy at the guy who honked at her for walking out in the middle of a green light on purpose.

People are in a hurry, I can get that. Nobody likes being slowed up by the snow. But, honestly ... just because you've been sitting in a line of traffic for a little longer does that really mean you should be the third or even fourth person to turn left on a red light that you were already stopped at?

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The Drawings of & [02 Jan 2007|02:55am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Hot on the heels of my show going up, I have thrown together a site for my drawings.
http://www.vivisect.org/ampersand/drawings/ ...

I will be working on a new mainpage which links it in a "more proper fashion" tomorrow, and hopefully it won't take more than the one day to get it up and running.

When that is up I will also be posting the new &3 which was, when compared to previous & pages, quite an ambitious undertaking. It has been in the can, posted and done, for something like three months. I can only imagine I have yet to post it "for real" because either:
(a) its creation left me so burned out on web stuff that I didn't even have the energy to do a new front with a link, or
(b) it was so complicated to assemble and so much unlike what I usually do that I have simply been unable to admit to myself that it's ready for display.

I'm sure I'll post when it is live "fo-real."

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Food Cookies [02 Jan 2007|02:35am]

Last weekend, Marianne was making some cookies for Christmas. While she was making classy, good looking cookies for friends and co-workers, I made a whole bunch that looked like other foods.

Let's see. It looks like we have a lime, a bell pepper, a turnip, a sunny-side-up egg, a lemon, a sausage, two pieces of pizza, a wedge of cheese, broccoli, a steak, an ice cream cone, a ham hock, grapes, a milkshake, bacon, a drumstick, and a strawberry. Whew!

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& : Natural Observations [28 Dec 2006|03:09am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I am having a show of my drawings!

Officially it does not start until January first, but it is actually already up at Murky Coffee (Arlington). Go check it out if you're in the area. And try a Classic Cappuccino, because it is the best drink you'll ever have.

Over the past couple days I've uploaded a bevy of drawings to Flickr — a couple old ones, a few new ones, and two that aren't even in the show.
Oh. And, not that it's the kind of thing that would push someone over the edge, but one of the ones in the show is so new I didn't even have a chance to scan it before I had to frame and hang it.

Finally, the above postcards are actually fucked up (there was a printing error; the above is retouched), but as soon as the printers stop screwing around I am going to have ~100 of those available. A few are going to people I see all the time, but 70 or so of them will end up at Murky. First-come-first-serve.

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Geometry For Realz [17 Aug 2006|09:47pm]

I think at some point in our lives we all come to the realization that the study and application of Trigonometry just sucks real bad.

"PIGGUS QUO" had a long, long run as the best thing ever written on my magnet-board, but I think the torch has finally been passed.

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I healed a man who stabbed Rag! And then I died! [26 Jul 2006|02:09am]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Tonight I went with the new guild on a full run of Molten Core. I really don't know enough to say how it went, but it felt pretty good. Once I get a couple more runs under my belt I suppose I'll be able to relax and play it a bit more loose. Paolo said my healing was good, which is about the finest compliment you can give a pally who is on full heal/cleanse duty, and (as such) was probably an outright lie, but it felt good to hear.

He also told me I've officially done more of MC than Mike and, though I'm still one or two more MC runs from getting my first epic item, it has filled me with a hearty sense of superiority. Take that, sucka.

So far every bit of time spent with the new guild has left me pleased with my decision to change servers. Twilight Hope was in a transition period where it was kind of forced to ignore the margin of people who are 60 but not very geared up. The new guild has proved themselves large enough that even when there are 20-man raids there are people available to help you run a little five-man instance or complete some quest you need to make running the 20- or 40-man raid worthwhile.

It also leaves me pleased at having decided to move to join Paolo's guild, which he is co-manager of, instead of going over to Mike and Rob and Leanne's server, where there are more people I know. I decided that organization and having the ear of the man (co-)in-charge would be a better route, and I must say I have a hard time imagining that I was wrong.

I'm guessing that in a couple of months I will have some full-on epic armor and a hammer big and epic enough to shut the mouths of any nay-sayers. And the road promises to be filled with sass and high-fives. Is there really anything more I could ask?

Perhaps that next time we finish up earlier than two. And that I don't need to be up at seven the next morning.
But this is really just picking nits.

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Too Much Vanilla [10 Jul 2006|09:25pm]
[ mood | mac-owning. ]

First of all, thank you all for the great ideas for drawings. I am especially a fan of the Bear in a Seersucker Suit w/ a Drink and the Raccoon with old-fashioned, giant earphones. I am also currently working on another woodcut-style drawing called "In re Pengin."

Note 2: I have officially transferred my WoW character to Kel'Thuzad, where Paolo is a co-Guild-Master in a guild that combines the casualness of my old guild, Twilight Hope, with a size that allows for running 40-man instances regularly. Plus, the guild is called Deadly Syndicate, which I will confess pleases me quite a bit more than the old name. I am still hoping to eventually end up in a guild called The Royal Society, but that is another story, for another time. He has been renamed "Leibniz."

Note 3: I am writing this entry from my brand, spanking new 17" MacBook Pro. Hot, damn.
I currently have a gigantic, faux-leopard-fur background, which is Tacky-with-a-Capital-T, and cannot wait until I learn all the ins and outs of this thing.

Note 4 thru N: Marianne and I threw an awesome 4th of July party, complete with Fondue and Boston Cream Pie; my new desk is together and the whole place is set up and it is awesome; &3 is looking awesome and basically just needs the frame build around it, the guts, art, and operations stuff is 100-and-a-million percent finished; Marianne got an adorable hamster, living under the name "Apricot"; work at the patent factory is awesome; everything is great; etc.

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Trying before you are Buying. [06 Jul 2006|12:27am]
[ mood | lord, is this emoticon gay.... ]

Okay, party-people. Here is the deal.

I have been invited to show my work at Murky Coffee (in Clarendon) in about a month and a half.
It would be amazingly nice if I could have at least four or so of the drawings I show be ACTUALLY FOR SALE. The only problem with this is that every time I draw something on my own, I want to keep it. That Living Dead piece? There is no way I would sell that. Retail for the commission on it would have been $80, but I wouldn't even let that puppy go for $200.


Tell me something to draw.

"This intrigues me. Please tell me some details!"Collapse )

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New drawing posted to FLICKR. [04 Jul 2006|12:56am]

Because if anyone needs saving, it is the Undead.


This is a notable piece, for me, because I originally designed it a year or so back, as a pitch to Bob White when he commissioned a work. I was unbelievably disappointed when he wanted to go in a different direction. Not so much because I minded him wanting something different, but because even if an idea is great I know it only has about a 5-10% chance of getting done once it has been tabled from my immediate frame of mind.

So I'm happy I found the time to get to this.

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Holy Dang [26 Jun 2006|09:31pm]
[ mood | breathless ]

1. It has been almost 2 weeks since I played WoW, due to the Den Reconstruction Project. I finally have a (temporary) desk set up, and now I have to download a 150-meg patch. Looks like it won't be happening tonight. Dang.

2. I say the desk is temporary because I am getting rid of my desk(s). The old, quite-sturdy, quite-nice, quite-functional, quite-handsome desks are taking their exit (I will post a link to Craigslist when I put them up, desk-needers take note!). I already have an L-shaped, corner desk in a dark, espresso-color sitting in pieces in my dining room. I can't wait to get that thing put together, to the point that I'm going to do it as soon as I can get Marianne over to enjoy the fun with me. Then I will have THREE desks in here, which will be AWESOME!

3. As the above two notes may have conveyed, the Den Reconstruction Project is basically finished. I need to get the new desk in here and then put up the awesome cork-board I made. There will be pictures, oh my yes.

4. I had a (quite amazing) coupon for Best Buy, plus I had earned $5 in Best-Buy-Fun-Money, so I picked up Civilizations IV. I never understood Civ. III — I could literally never get a group past about 1-billion, BC. — so I am hoping this one comes with a better "learn-to-play(-n00b)" feature. If anyone knows this (or Civ. III) well, you should come over and teach me what I'm doing wrong. Because I anticipate having enemy troops come in driving (yes) Bulldozers, to raze my cities, while I chuck spears at them and grunt.

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Keeping Clean [26 Jun 2006|09:17pm]

New drawing posted to FLICKR.

Marianne and I have started a Group (also known as a "Social Society" or "Ladies Luncheon") called The Drawn Quarterly where we post a theme each month and you create a 2-D, non-photo work to go with it. This month's theme (and, since it's so late in the month, next-month's as well) is "Keeping Clean."

So, please!, ask to join our group and then we can accept you and then you can post drawings, prints, paintings, rubbings, collages, etc., of you not doing heroin anymore.

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It IS a hard-knock life... [18 Jun 2006|03:17pm]
[ mood | determined ]

My (very ambitious) goal this weekend was to redo my office/den; extra-ambitious because, while I had Friday off, Sunday was booked solid. The job involved doing the following:

+ Add molding to one wall. (Buy it, Install it, Sand it, Paint it.)
+ Paint a duct that's on the ceiling. (Spackle it, Sand it, Paint it.)
+ Make a peg-board for the wall (Paint components, Glue components, Drill holes, Hang it.)
+ Remove ugly curtains.
+ Touch up paint in various areas.

Marianne and I got the molding on Friday and put on a first coat of paint. We spackled the walls, the duct, and spots where the curtain junk had been screwed into the wall. The we painted pretty much everything that needed painting, including the peg-board stuff. There was a little touch-up work for Saturday, but it basically all got done.

Saturday was another thing, though. We nailed in the molding, but found we were really going to have to caulk the top if it was to look good. I also found out that I should use that Liquid Nails stuff to attach the cork components of the pegboard to the masonite backing. So I went to Home Depot and got the required stuff. But when I went to do the caulking, I found that the caulking gun I bought several years ago didn't understand that it's supposed to push the back of the tube up so caulk comes out the hole in the tip. Instead, it cuts the back stopper from the tube and pushes it through the caulk tube, releasing all the caulk out the back. Needless to say, this was not going to work for my purposes. I filled a ziplock back with the caulk and did the molding strip like you'd ice a cake. But I need to do a second coat and the stuff was going right in the trash. I'm only glad I didn't decide to do the glue stuff first. Anyway — at the end of the day all I had accomplished was getting caulk all over myself and a dropcloth and doing a sloppy job on the first half of the molding caulking. Oh, and I guess we had put the molding in, so that's something.


If things would go right, there is seriously only about three or four hours more to do on this room. But it doesn't look like I'll be able to get more caulk and a new gun until next weekend, so my room will be a warzone until then.

... And I will continue to do my computing from my livingroom floor, which I actually rather like. Hooray!

Sorry if I've rambled on and on. No time to go tidy this post up — gotta go pick Marianne up from work and see District B13. ... Double Hooray!

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The East Wing [15 Jun 2006|02:18am]

An old photo from a trip to the East Wing.

~ ~ ~

I have added a whole bunch of new things to Flickr.
I also went the distance and paid for an account.

I still want to get my OWN photo site up and running, but, alas, that is but a pipe-dream, as-yet. Maybe I will find the time post-mortem.

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& Work Studio 01 [12 Jun 2006|01:22am]

This is where work gts done.
And why shouldn't it be?

More photos of the & Work Studio and even a preview of &3 are posted on Flickr.

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S-M-R-T [06 Jun 2006|08:50pm]
[ mood | amused ]

I have been hearing about how fun this Nintendo DS game, BrainAGE, is, where you do little math and comprehension problems and it tells you how smart you are. And, of course, as you get better at it, it gets harder. But, I still have a sour taste in my mouth from Jeopardy for the NES, where it really only had 15 or 20 boards and once you've done them you're out of fun. I know that you could probably put about 20,000 copies of that entire game on a DS cartridge, let alone just the problems, but .... I am still a little worried.

I did check out their site for it though, and it had these movies on it.
Now, these interest me for a couple reasons, the top two of which are worth mentioning.
First, they straight show you a guy who's mad the DS mis-read his seven w/ a hyphen in the middle (unless he was mad at how 6x6 isn't 76, in which case he is just an idiot).
And perhaps he is just an idiot, like the girl who is upset it told her that her Brain Aga is 50 when she is not 50. IT IS YOUR BRAIN THEY ARE MEASURING, NOT YOUR LOOKS. But I guess if she can't figure that out then maybe she's right — the machine guessed too high.
The main reason for my impressed-ness, however, is that most everyone in those clips is over 30. I know they try to inflate the age of the person a game will appeal to, but I would still expect most the people they advertise with to be college-age-ish....

Like I said.
Looks fun. Still worried.

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The Exciting World of CCGs [06 Jun 2006|01:20am]
[ mood | great, but tired ]

Malaggar: Man ... you still play Magic? I figured out how to beat that game, years ago.
Enoq: What are you talking about? You can't just "beat" it ....
Malaggar: Sure you can. You walk in, punch the other guy in the throat, take his cards ... you win.
Enoq: Naw, man. You must be thinking of Pokémon.

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Anti-President Gun [01 Jun 2006|01:36am]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Good God, I am tired.

And I only got to see Marianne for, like, three hours tonight.


I got a bunch of work done on &3.

The code is finished. Aside from assorted tweaks to timing that I can't really make until all the art is in place, it is 100% done. As is the concept (Phew!).

Just tonight I assembled the first clip — five frames in a loop — and all my preliminary work paid off. It went smoothly — certainly moreso than I'd imagined — and now it's just a matter of selecting/cropping/color-balancing/sizing/etc. the three or four other clips I have on my camera and selecting five or six more to start.

Hopefully when I'm done all the work will show.

And, if not, .... eh, too bad.

In other news: I have started reading Gödel, Escher, Bach again. Last time I only made it about 1/3 the way, but this time I won't be reading it on the metro at 6:30AM. So far it is as I remember it: Tremendously complicated but absolutely astounding.

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Oh My Gosh It Is an Owl! [23 May 2006|09:31pm]
[ mood | fun! fun! fun! ]


I also drew a picture of an Owl for my friend Susan at work.

It's been too long since I've even picked up a pen.

I can't wait to do another. Perhaps a Giraffe.

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