Nostalgia

I’m sitting here at 3 AM unable to sleep, so I’ve been going through old journal entries and website bits instead.

It’s interesting to see how my interests tend to come and go. For example, there’s a period of time when I’m really interested in working on card games and crank out many expansion sets for PPA TCG or Student Wars. Then that stops being interesting and I switch to working on website code instead. Various other periodic interests include photo tagging (and associated statwankery), video games like PSO, web design, video game design (PPA Adventures, CMU Adventures, etc), and photography. Currently my interest seems to be cooking and baking (or food in general, as I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at restaurants’ food photos on the internet). I should probably buy a food processor so I don’t have to mix pie crust by hand because mushing your hands around in butter and Crisco is not too enjoyable.

Another interesting thing is how friendships and relationships (in the general sense) change over the years. People I spent a ton of time with in high school (Brian, Akshat) are people I don’t really ever talk to anymore. I haven’t kept up with people I considered fairly close freshman year of college (Avery, Howard). Ev and I used to see each other every weekend (or at least every other) for random photography or games my junior year, but we haven’t spoken in long time. I used to do things with CMU people living in south bay a lot (jgrafton, dfontain, etc), but haven’t seen them for many months. People I’m hanging out with more now (Sharon, Charles, Mark) are people I didn’t even know a year ago. It’s not a bad thing by any means… just interesting to look at. Some of this is certainly geographic distance and lack of IM (which I consider my primary communication medium).

It’s also interesting to look back on my college years and read about classes and life in general. I miss college a lot… and as much as I complained about classes, I actually did enjoy taking them (well, most of them). I suppose there’s a part of me that really wishes I had taken the job at Viz and remained in Pittsburgh (specifically, remained close to CMU). On the other hand, I love my job here and really feel like I made the right choice. I don’t know. In a year or two it will probably matter less, but I’ll still miss the general environment of a college campus.

I also miss photography. Specifically, I miss taking black-and-white film and developing it, then making prints. There’s something about spending several hours in a darkroom that makes you appreciate your photos much more than sticking a memory card into a computer, and shooting black-and-white film also seems more rewarding (more challenging?). As much as my life is digitized nowadays, there is something to be said for tangible photos you can hold in your hand and hang on your wall. If I ever get a house, I’ll be seriously tempted to convert a room into a darkroom for developing film and making prints. It’s too bad I don’t live in Pittsburgh, where houses are affordable. :P

I should set some goals for myself for this next year so I have some things to work on.

  • Learn Scala. I don’t mean “Learn Scala” like I did with C++ either, where I read a book and poked around at some code and told myself I was done. I really mean learn the language… start writing little test programs with it. I haven’t really coded for fun in several months (work has been kind of annoying lately though), so this would be a good way to start again.
  • Finish the People Wars base set. It’s been sitting around in a semi-started state for a while, and I posted card teasers to Facebook many months ago. I should just sit down and crank out cards at some point, because it really seems like it could be an interesting game.
  • Finish tagging photos. My last year of high school is all that remains between me and tags on 100% of my photos. Unfortunately, that is also the year when I took my camera to school every day. Still, I should just get it done so I can start statwanking on high school friends, as well as by camera.
  • Finish the next RPG Get! expansion. It’s looking like it will be an Evolution Worlds-based expansion, which will provide a nice contrast to the existing PSO sets. Relatedly…
  • Playtest RPG Get! As the game will soon have 3 sets, it kind of needs some playtesting to determine what works and what doesn’t before things become too difficult to change. I really just need to sit down and assemble a deck and print it, but it seems difficult to find the motivation to do that.
  • Take more photos. This probably sounds silly to people who see me taking photos all the time, but lately I’ve been finding myself taking the same few photos over and over (see life for proof of this). I want to get back to where I was in college, taking random artsy images for fun. A goal of one interesting photo every day seems too difficult, so let’s shoot for three or four a week (pun not intended). This’ll also give me reason to update life more consistently.

Yay life. Yay 4 AM.

Pie!

Today, I spent part of my day volunteering at Glide feeding low-income people. It was a lot of fun, although it was kind of sad to see how much food is thrown out (apparently they don’t like carrots or rice?).

Also, after work, Sharon and I made a pie! It was a chocolate pecan pie and it was made from scratch (yes, even the crust) and it was the most amazing sweet pie I have ever had. Srsly. (Yes, that is a pi on the pie.)

I recently purchased these earphones from Woot! (Excellent deal at 2/$10, plus shipping.) I’m very happy with them… the sound quality is a ton better than the JetBlue headphones I had been using (but, of course, not nearly as good as my $300 Shure headphones). Whee more music-listening things.

(Also? Lala is doing amazing things for me. The ability to access my music library from anywhere with internet… and the ability to pay $0.10 for any song I can think of that I want? Amazing. You should sign up using my referral link.)

I’ve also found a good pancake recipe I like here. It’s particularly good because it doesn’t require milk, which we often don’t have on hand. Reproduced in case the site goes down:

1 C. Flour
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
ΒΌ tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 C. water
1 Tbsp. Oil

Life is good again. It’s been a mostly relaxing week at work, in stark contrast to last week… and this weekend will be quiet in stark contrast to last weekend. Yay life.

Success…?

There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when a big change you made gets deployed to customers and you try it and it works. That feeling is magnified 10000x when you have been stressing all day over it because it is a major bug that was introduced the day before and you have a hard deadline the next day for fixing it.

That said, I’d rather not have the magnification and not have to stress.

(In case you couldn’t tell… the release Friday night went very badly for us.)

Here’s hoping tomorrow doesn’t hold any more surprises for us so I don’t spend all day at work again.

This has really been the worst week ever. :\

Karaoke

Today we went to YamaSho and sang karaoke. They are a really nice place and the song selection is excellent. They also deliver excellent Japanese food right to your room, which is awesome.

It was a good break from what is turning out to be a horrible week at work. The issues have been piling up and this morning (after a bad dream and walking to work in tons of rain and wind that soaked everything I was wearing), I was basically getting constant emails and bugs for 4 hours. Context switching between 6 issues every 5 minutes is… not pleasant.
This week will just get worse from here, as Friday is a major release and both my manager and our QAs’ manager are out. This… will not end well.

But blah. This weekend, unless horrible things happen and I am forced to work, I am spending doing random things completely unrelated to coding or bug fixing or troubleshooting.

Edit: Shower, and now feeling better. As long as I don’t get shittons of emails and bugs again tomorrow, I think I can tackle the stuff I got these past few days and be ok. Hope.

Also just realized that the release means I have to be working this weekend. Meh. Oh well. I can at least do things unrelated to bug fixing or troubleshooting. :P

Life updates

Life.alanv.org has gotten another update, which brings it up to date to this past weekend.

RPG Get has also gotten its first expansion set. If anyone actually has interest in it, you should playtest it and give me feedback.

Life has been fairly uneventful lately. On Saturday, Charles, Mark, Evan, and I went to the SF MOMA. They were celebrating their 75th anniversary and had free admission.


I will never understand modern art.

At least they had an entire floor of photography (including San Francisco after the earthquake) that was really interesting.

Work this week has been kind of frustrating. A lot of the stuff I’ve been doing hasn’t worked out like I planned. As a result, I had 6 things to deal with today, 4 of which were issues that I thought I’d taken care of but that ended up being an issue anyway. Blah.

Also the bay area is drowning. We’ve gotten so much rain these past few days, and it’s supposed to continue tomorrow. Blah. I walked to work this morning in the worst of it, and it took almost 4 hours for my pants and socks to dry out (despite me not wearing my socks or shoes).