One Happy Dude

My Mom got Dude a bed for Christmas. You may not be able to tell from this photo but he is so happy. I put it on the ground and he jumped on it and won't get off. I think it makes him very sleepy.  Posted by Hello

Bush Pig

I'm not talking about the U.S. president. I'm talking about the Wheelman Bush Pig. I took a demo ride on one this afternoon. Lots of fun. It's a motorized scooter you ride with a snowboard stance. Accelerator and brake are controlled by a cable that goes to your hand. Unlike a snowboard the front foot is used to turn, essentially acting as the front axel. It was tough to get up and get going. I had to ride regular foot because you have to detach the front wheel to set it up for goofy. The front wheel was too loose around my foot so I couldn't pull a good turning radius. But, once I got the hang of it, it was a blast. Not sure it was $900 worth of good times so I haven't bought one, yet.

God of War on 1Up asked a few guys here to fill out a questionnaire about God of War. 1Up writers took our answers and compiled them into this article. The article talks about what games we used as reference while working on God of War. Catfight is in that list. Let me tell you the story behind how it got there.

Cory Barlog ( lead animator ) and Derek Daniels ( designer ) were filling out the 1Up questionnaire when I walked past. They wanted to put in a few joke games on our reference list. They were tossing around ideas like saying that Atari 2600 Combat inspired our combat system and War Gods was in inspiration as a total opposite ( War Gods is to God of War as horrible game is to great game. ) They asked me what I thought was the worst fighting game ever made. Catfight is the answer. I used to work with Larry Hess at Digital Domain. Larry Hess, who now runs Hess Software, also ran the company that created Catfight. When you talk to him he seems proud that Catfight is known as the worst game ever created. That is how Catfight got on our list of reference games.

My T-Shirt

Someone bought one of my Vegan Zombie t-shirts! I am so surprised. I know because I got a notice saying I'd earned royalties from

I'm probably ruining the surprise for myself. I think someone that I know may have bought the shirt as a gift for me. It's hard for me to believe that someone would actually think the shirt was cool enough to buy and wear for themself. When I wear it out and about people have said, "Hey, great shirt!" Still, the concept eludes me.

It would be so cool if it was just some random person. She'll be walking around in my design. She'll hear the same things I have heard, "Hey, great shirt!" or "Funny Shirt!" or "What's a vegan?" Then one day she'll get sick of it and it will end up at a second hand store. Vintage t-shirts from the early 2000s.


I played Ridge Racers on the PSP this morning!! So Sweet. The screen is fantastic, major viewing angle. It has a nice solid feel to it. Buttons galore: standard playstation buttons, shoulder buttons, left digital and analog. The left analog is a bit odd at first. It slides on the surface rather than tipping like a dualshock. It slides so smoothly that you get accustomed to it in no time at all. Call me a bad egg, but I want one! Now!

Christmas Caricatures

The last two Sundays Liana and I have gone to Christmas Parties. A week ago we went to the Sony Christmas party. Ate good food, watched all my co-workers get drunk and lost the drawing for a $4000 Sony Plasma TV.

Yesterday we went to Liana's work Christmas party. The best part of that party was getting our caricature done. I met Robert Villegas the artist. Interesting guy. He has a website of his work CoreShadow Productions. Posted by Hello

Fizzy Lifting Drinks

I just saw the trailer to the new Tim Burton / Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I am bummed. Looks crappy. And the voice over better not be the umpa lumpa's voices. I think this movie is going to suck everlasting gobstopper style. But, how could you even hope to be better than the original?

7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 Foot Cube of Butter

Not long after I posted my questions about how much food had to be eaten to power the 28 million hours that have been logged playing Halo 2 on XBox live, Bart got back to me with an answer:

Bart says:
"6,160 sticks of butter or 7,000 Whopper sandwichs from burger king. Thanks for putting me in your blog! --Bart"

I didn't think the human body was quite that efficient. Powering 3000 years of game play off 6000 sticks of butter just didn't seem right. But, maybe it was, why else would those machines in The Matrix use us as batteries.

I decided to ask Bart if he was correct.
I wrote:
"I found a site that says you burn 114 calories per hour while sitting and writing, card playing, etc. And 4.99 calories per gram of butter. So, I got 1,410,259 pounds of butter required for the 28,000,000 hours of game play. Surely that's more than 6000 sticks. You sure that's right? --TMIV"

Bart's reply:
" Don't forget about the calories to kilocalories conversion.

I think that those web sites that say how fast you burn calories are talking about real calories (I'm not sure; I could be wrong about thispart), whereas food is measured in Calories (capital C) which are really kilocalories.

I was using about 176 calories per hour, which is a bit inflated since it was actually the number for sitting down and playing with a kid. I figured that you would burn more calories playing videogames than just sitting and playing cards because you're moving around a lot and using a lot of muscles in your arms ('fast twitch' muscle which burns morecalories than 'slow twitch' endurance type muscle, re: July 2004 Scientific American.)

For butter I was using a quote from a story that I read last week They were talking about the new 1400 calorie burger at Carl's Jr. and one nutritionist was saying you'd be better off eating a stick of butter because it only has 800 calories and less fat.

28 x 10e6 hours x (176 calories/ 1 hour) x (1 kilocalorie/1000 calories) x (1 stick of butter/800 calories) = 6160 sticks of butter (roughly a cube of butter 3 feet on a side)

Using your value of 114 calories per hour, you'd get 3990 sticks of butter. All this really goes to show that I'm probably just as anal as you thought.

To try to make up for that, here is a cute and relevant story:

Then about 10 minutes later I got this email:
"You know what? I just looked this up on the net and it looks like exercise is measured in kilocalories just like food, so I divided by 1000 one too many times. Make that 7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 foot cube of butter. --Bart"

So, there you go! Playing XBox Live for 28 million hours would require 7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 foot cube of butter as a power source for the humans. Hmmm... now how much power did the XBoxes and the TV's, modems, routers and servers take up???

3000 Man Years has an article that says people have spent 28 million hours playing Halo 2 on XBox Live! That is 3000 years. Think of all that human processing power. I wonder how much energy was burned during that time. How many calories? How much food was required to fuel these gamers?

I'm sure my friend Bart will know all the answers.

Animal Testing

Today I noticed Dude's shampoo has a label that reads, "Not tested on animals!" Huh? What? It's dog shampoo! I hope it's been tested on animals.

GT4 and a Sweet Rig

I just played a version of GT4. It is looking amazing. I had the most fun I ever had playing GT. Here at the studio we have a sweet GT4 rig setup. It has a racing seat, one of the really good Logitech steering systems, and three LCD TVs. You might ask, "Three TVs? What for?" GT4 now has a feature where you can hook multiple PS2 units together and get peripheral vision. It makes a huge difference in the quality of the gaming experience. The three PS2s are networked together. One is the main view and the other two are the left and right views.

It actually reminds me a lot of a helicopter simulator that I worked on in 1995. The OH-58D simulator for the US Army. It had 4 big screen monitors 1024 x 768 res each all driven off a Silicon Graphics Reality Engine.

In the photo you can see how the monitors are laid out around the cockpit. Similar to the GT4 multi screen feature. Except the GT4 visuals are 10 million times better.
This simulator could be hooked into SimNet. You could join in battle simulations with other helicopter and tank simulators. Keeping the terrain and visuals identical in each simulator was very important for communications and fair fights. So we had to run the standardized US Army commissioned terrain database. It looked like poopie, but it had to run on the much older simulators we connected to in battles.

In the picture the simulator was configured as an OH-58D. It was also could run in UH-60 and AH64 configurations.

This is a picture of the OH-58D helicopter that we were simulating. It was at the same conference, Army Aviation Association of America or Quad A for short.

Posted by Hello

God of War in Europe

Just got news today that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is going to publish God of War. US, Japan, and now Europe, that is considered world wide distribution. Cool! Unless you're in South America, Africa or China.

Dude's Day

Today is Dude's first birthday. Happy #1 Mr. D!

What Dreams May Come

I told you that I had a picture of me holding the Oscar What Dreams May Come won for visual effects in 1998. I didn't work on the film, but I did work at Digital Domain while they were working on the film. Oscar is surprisingly heavy. The odd thing is that whatever it is made from dosen't take fingerprints. It remains shiny while hundreds of people put their grubby, sweaty hands all over it. On another note look how skinny I was in 1998. Posted by Hello

Giving Thanks

Last night I had the first Thanksgiving dinner of the season. My girlfriend is going away tomorrow, so we decided to invite some friends over for dinner. Actually, the impetus for the dinner was the free turkey we got at Ralph's grocery store for spending over $70.

Everything turned out really tasty. The sweet potatoes and the baked apples were great. I made the turkey in my new range. The meat was so moist. One of the most moist I have ever eaten.

A while back I made a roast and the recipe called for an oven bag. I had never used one before. The oven bag is just a plastic bag made out of high temperature plastic, so it doesn't melt. The roast came out delicious, so I thought maybe if you used it on a turkey... of course an internet search led to uncountable numbers of oven bag turkey recipes.

I highly recommend using the oven bag for your turkey. So moist and so clean too. All the mess is contained within the bag.

Most Anticipated PS2 Game of 2005? God of War!

Holy crappers. That is amazing. IGN declares God of War the most anticipated PS2 game for 2005. So much anticipation for the game that I'm developing? It's a new experience for me. The last game that I worked on was widely distributed and fun, but it was a LEGO game. So it went by kind of unnoticed. Before that I worked as a developer on army simulator contracts. While the helicopter and tank trainers we worked on were very cool and advanced only a select few ever got to use the simulators.

AI without so much A -- Rat Brain Followup

I have just found a paper (PDF) that I think it may answer some of the questions that I asked in my post Rat Brain Robots Attack. I haven't read it yet. Have to wait till after work. It has not yet been published anywhere. Ah fresh papers.

Scary Dreams

Last night I had the worst dreams. I must have died like 30 times. Let's see, I was crushed by a tidal wave, drowned in a flood, died of starvation, melted, shot, run over, exploded, and depressurized. All because of meteor smashing into the earth in different ways. Sometimes it would hit the ocean and cause floods. Or fly by really close and set the atmosphere on fire. Or smash into the other side of the globe and block out the sun causing all vegetation to die. Or it would hit the moon causing all sorts of problems. Then the other times I just died because of people panicking, shooting each other etc..

One day a big meteor is going to hit the earth. It probably won't be in my life time, which is nice for me, but it will come someday. They have come before and will come again. I find that scarier than as of yet unproven phenomena like ghosts.

That's why today my hero is astronomer David Levy. He's out there every night searching for these deadly meteors. I'm not sure what we'd be able to do if he found one on a collision course with earth. Yet, it is nice to know that there is someone out there searching and thinking that my fears are valid enough to do so.

He partly discovered comet shoemaker levy 9. That comet showed us the force of heavenly body impacts when it broke apart and smashed into Jupiter in 1994.

I once dated a girl who said that she would see a meteor crashing into earth and killing a large portion of the population as, "an honor that something so monumental happened during her lifetime." I thought that was a very cool way of looking at it.

Reading can be fun

I don't believe it. I realized that I read all the books I got for my birthday. Amazing because it's unheard of in my life. Let's see, I read:

Star - Pamela Anderson - As expected dumb, yet kind of fun.
On Writing - Stephen King - Very interesting, more so the part not about writing.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter is always fun.
and the best of the bunch
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom - Great book. Sort of like What Dreams May Come. I have a picture of me holding the Oscar for visual effects for that movie.

God of War Trailer is Here

We have released the trailer for the game I'm working on, God of War. I think the best place to see it is on I talked about it a bit before, but now it is actually here. It gives me goosebumps when I watch it. I can't tell if that's because I think it looks cool or because I am connected to it.

Rat Brain Robots Attack

Dr. Thomas DeMarse has taught a rat brain culture how to fly. He's taken brain cells from a rat embryo, grown them in a Petri dish across electrodes, and trained them to fly a flight simulator. His experiments are boggling my mind! So interesting and exciting. I've been thinking about them for days.

Think about what has to happen. They have figured out how to take rat brain cells and disconnect them from rats body, yet keep them alive. For extended periods of time too. DeMarse's paper A New Approach to Neural Cell Culture for Long-Term Studies (PDF) says that they have kept brains cells alive in jars for over a year. How do you feed it? The paper doesn't say, mostly it details how to keep it clean.

The second step is figuring out how to interpret the signals coming from the brain and how to provide it with proprioceptive feedback. This part is explained in the paper The Neurally Controlled Animat: Biological Brains Acting With Simulated (PDF.)

The most interesting part is also the part I can find the least information about. Once you have this rat brain working and you are interpreting its signals then you have to figure out how to train it to do what you want. The brain isn't going to know that up is up and down is down and flying up is better than flying down. It's just a brain, no sensors like eyes or ears or equilibrium. It has no prori knowledge like crashing is bad or flying is better right side up. These things have to be represented in the signals you send back to the brain. How do you spank a brain cell to tell it that it did a bad job. How do you give it a treat to say, "Nice work?" I sent DeMarse an email asking these questions, but as of yet, no response. Maybe his rat brain will be able to drop me a line next year.

Being an AI games programmer this is so totally amazing to me. My job, what I try to do everyday, is inherently coded into a blob of goo at the center of DeMarse's experiment. We're starting to be able to interact with that goo, figure out what it does, how it works, and then design machines to do the same thing. We don't want to go shipping blobs of biological goo with our video game systems. Rat memory cards don't fit into my Playstation.

Soon, once again, what seems like magic will be explained.

Only if it's TV

There is a rumor floating around our studio that God of War's lead designer, David Jaffe, didn't want to go on a press tour. He didn't want to go because it didn't involve television. That's the rumor anyway. No idea how true it is but, it did get me thinking. When will the first game related interview be on Letterman or Leno? With Halo 2 hitting 1.5 million presales and selling over $100 million on the first day you know that time for late night talk show promotion is here. Who will represent the games on these shows? Most likely it will be a voice actor. For movies it is usually the star who promotes the film not the director or producer. Do game designers have the power to become the stars of the video game industry? Does the general public care who designed the game? It will be interesting to find out.

A Little Excited

The Foresight Institute is putting together an animation depicting how a molecular nanofactory might work. The nanofactory in the animation is a fully functional, distant future assembler. It takes the raw material atoms and puts together a complete product. It is very exciting and you can see a first draft of the animation now (Nanofactory Animation.) I don't doubt that this is possible, but it will not be the first step. The first steps will be making computer chips or some other material (nanotubes, buckyballs) for use in other products.

Once we have even the most basic nanofactory the technology will progress at an exponential rate. Each nanofactory created will be able to more easily create another, faster, more easily controlled and reliable nanofactory. When we have a nanofactory as depicted in the animation many things loose value or just no longer work. Our society will face some major growing pains. A most basic and fundamental example would be paper or coined money. If you can duplicate a dollar at the molecular level counterfeiting would be very difficult to detect. You'd have to do some serial number tracking. It's going to be great.

The Foresight Institute is looking for donations to finish the animation. If you'd like to help out, please go to their donation page.

Teaser Trailer

I just saw a near final draft of the God Of War teaser trailer. Wow! Nice. The game looks great. They even got that "In a world.." movie trailer guy to do the voice over. I wish I could post it here but I can't, yet.

Diebold Voter

I think I found the Diebold code for the Ohio voting machines. Check it out:


enum Vote


void ProcessVote( Vote v )
static int i=0;
"I am committed to helping
Ohio deliver its electoral
votes to the president next year."
-- Walden O'Dell, CEO Diebold 2003 **/

if( v == kVoteKerry && i++%2 )
v = kVoteBush;

RecordVote( v );

Hmm... Just a little bit fishy.

Crappy Day

An odd thing just happened to my friend and co-worker Max. During the night a sewer pipe cracked right next to his parked car. It started spewing out a stream of slimy, odorous waste. It sprayed directly at his car, hitting with such impact that it forced its way through the air condition intake. A infectious concoction of piss, shit, and toilet paper leaked into his car from the air vents.

The city told him they would pay for a car wash. And then the worst part, he drove it here to work this morning. As he arrived foul smoke was steaming from the engine as the nasty crap evaporated and burned. I don't understand how he could have stomached the smell and the sloshing.

Seriously. He just finished hosing the thing down. I hope he doesn't get ill.

Vegan Zombies Want Grains

I made a new T-Shirt for myself. It says Vegan Zombies Want Grains. I think that is funny. I am not a vegan, but hey I'm not a zombie either. If you think it's funny too and you want a copy, you can order one from Zazzle. Be sure to check out all of their shirt options and colors. You can even order a Vegan Zombies Want Grains infant jumper.

Ultimate Outsourcing

I just heard about McDonald's installing experimental drive-thru technology. In these systems, the employee on the drive-thru speaker is not actually in the McDonald's. He is somewhere in a cubicle anywhere in the world. He punches up your desired food stuffs on a computer that sends the order back to your local Micky D's.

I wonder where they have put these systems into place.


We are swiftly approaching Alpha on God of War. Yay. Looks like we may come in early. That would be nice. Here's hoping.

Miles Per Dollar

I think that instead of advertising a car's efficiency in MPG it should be measured in MPD ( miles per dollar. ) That way whatever the power source ( electric, gasoline, hydrogen, or natural gas ) you'd have an easy basis for comparision.

I realize that MPD is very with respect to where you are in the nation and the current costs of energy in that part of the nation.

So, right now, my car gets 9.17 miles per dollar. How far does a dollar take you?

For the daft: MPD = MPG / (Current Price Of Gas Per Gallon)

Business Plan

If I wanted to start an environmentally charged business right now I would look into home heating in the north east. Most of the homes in New England run their heating on oil. Oil prices are at a record high of $55 a barrel. Home heating oil is up to $2.00 a gallon. This means high costs for New Englanders this winter. Oil delivery drivers wince when someone asks them the price. On average it is figured that a household will spend an extra $500 in heating this year. So I would look into how I could easily convert home heating systems to run on bio-fuel or hydrogen power. Determine if I could undercut the price of oil. If it was possible, then I'd put a fleet together to supply communities with the non-oil dependent, renewable heating fuel.

Resource: Greenspan: Energy Prices Chilling U.S. Growth

Games Do Good

Ha! Games can improve life skills see: Games skills help wheelchair teen.

Horay for games.

Vegas Birthday

At the beginning of this month I went with some friends to Vegas. Jon and Ben were celebrating their birthdays.

This is Nana, Ben, Barbara, and Jon. Happy Birthday guys.

Our pal Bart went as well, but didn't want a snapshot. I think he'll be in front of the camera quite enough if the topic of the day reaches fulfillment.

Liana and I enjoyed Paris.

It's really hard to take a picture of yourself while you are kissing.

We ended up having to stay an extra day due to tire damage. We stayed at the Luxor. Most of the extra day was rushed and jumbled trying to find a new tire. We did get a bit of great time by the pool.

I had a great time in Vegas. The most fun was hanging out with Liana and my friends in the Rio after the Penn & Teller show. I also just love how you can get lost in a casino. It transports me back to the days when I was little. My mom would take me to a new mall we'd go up and back and down through out the mall. At the end of the day I would be the one who knew exactly where to find the car. I remember feeling that even if you had blind folded me I could still find the car no problem. I still keep three dimensional maps and floor plans in my head. I remember the layouts of most of the buildings and cities in which I've been. I can not comprehend how people can have "no sense of direction." It is such an integral part of me. Posted by Hello

Wil Wheaton

I just listened to both parts ( part1, part2 ) of Wil Wheaton's presentation at Gnomedex 4.0. They express some of the recovery he required after being a child star on Star Trek. One account has him having full discussions with a plastic toy. He's making sappy discoveries about himself as you realize that this guy has not only issues but a full subscription. I imagine his books are filled with similar stories. I couldn't handle a book full. He does tell the tale of the first time he met William Shatner and that story is hilarious.

Penn and Teller

Unfortunately this picture is not worth 1000 words. Maybe two, dark and crappy.

Over the weekend some friends and I went to Vegas to celebrate a birthday. During our visit we went to see Penn and Teller at the Rio.

Not unlike this picture of the stage, Penn and Teller's show was boring. The snapshot here was taken before the show, when audience members were invited on stage to inspect the boxes that would be used in the first trick. You could move the boxes and fully inspect them.

Just like every other trick to follow in their act, way too much build up. Before every trick Penn would yammer on and on. Effectively encasing what little bits of magic the show had in a sleep inducing turd cocoon. People were actually falling asleep.

The Samba theatre has horrible acustics. Or the guy running the sound board really enjoys the way voices sound through a cell phone. Most of the time it was a strain to decipher what the big guy was saying.

There was an air of stupifaction after the show. But, people weren't trying to figure out how Penn and Teller each caught bullets, with their teeth, that they fired at each other. By the time the bullets were fired we were all just hoping the shots would stop those gums from flapping. The real question on our minds after the show was how they can charge $80 a ticket.

It is a shame because I really enjoyed the episodes that I saw of their show on Showtime, "Bullshit!" But, Penn and Teller at the Rio is not worth a look see. Yet it's still probably better than an Penn length list of Vegas shows. Posted by Hello

Hydrogen Powered Car

After several entries ( perks, doing a bit for the environment, too late ) about wanting to see HCC's Hydrogen Powered Shelby Cobra I finally got to see it today. Not only see it but I got to hear it, feel it's clean moist exhaust, and take a ride in it.

This car runs on hydrogen. Not as a fuel cell would, it uses combustion. The only exhaust is water vapor, so putting your face directly in front of the exhaust pipe is no more dangerous than putting your face over a boiling pot of water. If you locked yourself in a garage with the engine running you would have a nice sauna, instead of killing yourself.

Because the original Shelby engine does not have fuel injection it needed a more complex modification for hydrogen. Lloys told me that fuel injection cars need little engine modification. Most of the complexity comes from adjusting the car's computer so that it supports the hydrogen fuel.

Lloys tells me that a standard Cobra gets 12 mpg on gasoline and that they have the engine configured on this one to get 20 mpg of hydrogen. Good thing, because this small black hydrogen tank only holds four gallons. If you ordered a new Cobra you could get a bigger tank in there before they put the skin on the frame. Because this one was a conversion the skin was already there so they went with a smaller tank.

She tells me that the tank is made of carbon fiber. Much stronger than the plastic gas tank that is probably in my car. It has been drop tested, crash tested, and they even shot it with a gun. The tank did not explode. Hydrogen dissipates very quickly. Straight up. Even if it were to catch fire there is no ambient heat transferred from the flame. You would have to be directly in the flame to get hurt.

There are even sensors in the back to shut down the fuel flow in case a leak was detected. Kevin told me that he would rather be rear ended in this car than any gasoline powered car.

The engine is currently configured for 250 hp. They could get more out of it but then it would be less efficient and also run the risk of converting some of the nitrogen in our atmosphere into nitros oxide. Which would be bad for the environment.

It was really amazing. Like any Shelby it was super powerful. The exhaust sound had a nice rumble to it.

My co-workers and I am really thankful to Jim and Kevin for coming from Riverside with the car. I didn't know that they would have to come all the way from Riverside. I thought they had a car at the office on Wilshire. I also didn't realize that the car had to come on a truck. I thought they would be capable of driving it on the street.

As you can see the car has no plates. The smog test requires that the car's engine not be modified. Even if the modification gets better emissions. So technically it failed the smog test. HCC does assure me that if you bought one you could get an experimental car permit. Then you could make it street legal.

As I said, I got to take a ride in it. This is the view from the passenger seat. Very tiny. No seat belts. We didn't open the doors just got in Dukes of hazard style. I'm not sure if the doors actually open, they probably do, but what's the point. It accelerated very quickly. Jim drove it around the parking lot and out into the street and then back around to the parking lot again. He seemed very reluctant, probably because of the "not street legal" situation. It didn't have power steering and looked difficult to turn. The speed bump in the parking lot demonstrated that it has very little ground clearance. On the way back into the parking lot Jim really let it rip. Accelerating around a turn and along the long side of the lot, then braking very quickly. The roar of the engine set off a car alarm.

Of course I would love it if this were my car. The HCC symbol is great too. The H with the one electron around it. So simple, so cool. I can say that several people at Sony are now interested in buying hydrogen Ford Rangers from HCC in the future, myself included. We'll have to see when that hydrogen fueling station opens at UCLA.

We would also like to thank Lloys of HCC for getting the visit together and the T-shirts. Oh and I'm going to keep pushing to get this car into GT5.

Doing good for the environment and getting the US off its dependency on oil.Posted by Hello


I found a clip from the sequel to ICO. I really enjoyed ICO. This clip looks promising. I can only hope.

Blow Your Mind

Yesterday my friend Richard was cursing my name all day. I made him think of something that he couldn't stop thinking about. I gave him a thought that acted as a mental virus. Taking up all of his cranial processing power.

I noticed that he was reading Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number. He told me some stuff that he had read in the book. It reminded me of an interesting fact.

I pointed out to Richard that the relationship between a circle's radius and its circumference is linear. No big deal, C = Pi*R*2. I guess it was the way that I pointed it out. I said, "Say you have a basketball with a rope tightly wrapped around its equator. Then you take that rope and add 100 inches to its length. Now the rope has almost 16 inches extra between it and the basket ball. Here's the part that Richard couldn't get his mind around. Take the earth and wrap a rope around its equator. It's a really big rope. Now add 100 inches to the length of the rope. If you went around the earth placing sticks in the ground to make the rope taught again guess the length of those sticks. Almost 16 inches."

Damage From Hurricane Frances

My family in Florida is starting to get their power back. The damage photos are starting to come. It looks like, out of my family, my poppy ( grandfather ) got the worst of the damage. At first glance this photo doesn't look too terrible. Just some pine needles, but if you look in the background , that lake is his street and driveway. You can see the mailbox is now a good place to tie off your dinghy.

Here is his water front property from a different angle.

Some tiles on his roof blew off. Water leaked into and soaked the bedroom.

This is his back yard. All flooded, but it looks like his neighbor had even more tiles ripped from his roof.

and finally a branch fell through his patio screen. Posted by Hello

Alternate Captions

I think this picture is well suited to alternate captions:

  • "Damn, did anyone see where I left my glowsticks"
  • "Hi, I'm Dr D. Your new gynecologist. Open up and say meow."
  • "Damn SARS! You know, I heard a bastard cat started that whole mess."
  • "I'm black, I'm white... Tee hee. Whoo! Can you tell me where the little boy's room is?"

Any more?

A to Z

I don't know why but this slogan just popped into my head. "Visit Arizona we've got everything from A to Z!" Perhaps the Arizona Tourism Authority could make some commercials. Someone get on that. Chop chop, let's go!

Very Merry Unlabor Day to Me

I spent the whole weekend working on my kitchen. Got a lot done. Yet, not even close to being complete. As you can see Dude was lending a paw with the sanding.

I got some appliances ordered from Carlson's. That guy's commercials are funny. I spent less than I intended and got more. Got a dishwasher, range and range hood. I got a range hood with a microwave, even though I hate microwaves. It was only $50 more than a good hood without the microwave.

Back in 2001 I ordered a refrigerator from Carlson's. Sears wanted to charge me $300 more for the same model. Sears also lied to me about the rebates for energy star models, because most of the refrigerators they had out on the floor were not energy star. The sales reps wouldn't take me seriously there either. I hate Sears.

I put the new appliances on a three week delay. I just hope I have the time to finish he rest of the kitchen before they get here. Posted by Hello

New Riddle

I made this one up while I was waking up this morning.

Theodore Plake graduated from medical school with the highest honors. He got a job as a radiologist in the finest Boston hospital. He made lots of money. His life was going well. Until six months later when he was called into the Chief of Staff's office.

"Dr. Plake I need to talk to you about your car. I just saw your license plate this morning. I feel that as a doctor representing this hospital you can not have such pornographic filth adorning your car. You must get a new plate or you will be fired."

The chief of staff was very conservative and Theodore thought he was just over reacting.

"I like my license plate and I don't see anything wrong with it. It represents me. I won't change it."

"You are fired!"

What did the uptight chief of staff read on Theodore's license plate that got him so angry? The answer is in the comments area. Please don't go there until you have a solid guess.

Crazy Drunk Drivers

I took Chad and Amanda to the airport so they could vacation in Costa Rica. On my way back starting three block south of Ocean Park on Lincoln there was a road block. Before I even got up to the critical portion there were lots of signs reading, "Please stop for sobriety test ahead." What kind of stupid nonsense is that? I quickly turned and went one block over and up to Ocean Park on that road. I avoided the whole thing. I wasn't drunk. I don't even drink at all, but I didn't want to be bothered by the wait. Correct me if I am wrong, but your brain doesn't fall out of your ear when you are drunk. I mean if anyone came upon this blockade who had had anything to drink they would turn and go around it, right? So the whole thing is just an annoying public display. Makes me kind of mad. What a waste of money. They had like thirty officers out there.

Turn on your Heart Light

Today I heard some news that moved my heart towards a thumpin. Seems that an article in New Scientist is stirring up some excitement. Can you imagine if we actually did find a signal from beings on another planet?

Turns out to be mostly hype. Everyone got all exited for no real reason. It was fun for a minute but if you read what the Planetary Society has to say you'll land safely back on earth.

I've heard it mentioned several times that scientists expect that the broadcast will be on the main frequency at which the universe's most common element, hydrogen, absorbs and emits energy. That aliens would choose to advertise their presence using this frequency because it's the interstellar communication equivalent to running ads during the superbowl. It was in Contact and they mention it in this article. My questions are: Do we advertise our presence using this frequency? Do we send out this signal to outer space? How powerful is our broadcast? Where do we send it from? Would it be detectable from anywhere or just from particular regions of space?

Time Lapse

A while ago I said that I wanted to build a time lapse camera to shoot a video of my investment property being constructed. Then I found a company who provides that service. Ox Blue is kind of high priced, but it provides a time lapse camera and automatic website updates for the project. You can view your project as it moves along. They have sample videos that show the construction projects from start to finish in two or three minutes. Turns out that time lapse construction videos are not that exciting. They are probably useful as a marketing tool. Getting people excited for investing in your next project. Definitely not worth constructing a camera and the hasle of setting it up and maintaining it in Arizona.

I just found out that I work with a guy who is really into time lapse photograpy. James Polk (he is related to the 11th president) has a short in the Palm Springs Short Film Festival. The movie is called Navajo Dream 3. He is a tech artist at Sony Studios Santa Monica.

Book Idea

If this doesn't exist already, it should! There has got to be a book that lists local sayings and slang. A reference guide for little local slang and common phrases. Organized by state and cross referenced by meaning and subject. Even better would be a searchable web site. It must exist! I has to exist. I read a phrase that the source claims is a Texan saying. It went like this, "Life is like a jar of jalapeƱos. What you do with it today may burn your ass tomorrow." It would be fantastic to flip through a book filled with crap like that!

Weekends are made for fun

Liana, Jon, Ben, Bart, Dude and I went on a great hike on Saturday night. It was beautiful. The Santa Monica mountains make a great place for a quick getaway. We hiked up while it was still light. Then had some food at the summit as the sun set. When we walked back it was dark. The moon was full so seeing was not difficult. I still managed to step into a hole in the last 10 meters of the trail. I heard a crack and it hurt so bad that I fell over. It seems fine now, mostly. I worked out on it this morning. All went well, very little pain.

Then Sunday I had a really bad headache. It was one of those headaches that just makes you sit around and do nothing. It makes you think, "If I just wait 10 more minutes it will go away." I finally gave in and took some pills at 8:30 p.m. but by then the day was wasted. Crape Diem

Today's Homework!

Today the new wallboard is flat and dry. My intention was to build the structure that will enclose the stove vent pipe in drywall. I figured I should install one wall cabinet to make sure I build the enclosure in exactly the right place. Good thing I did! I had measured out where the wall cabinets would hang from the catalog. The numbers in the catalog are misleading. They imply that the bottom of the cabinet should be 39 inches from the ceiling. Wrong! The video says how to measure it properly. My original drawings had the wall cabinets two and a half inches above where they should hang. Good thing I did this test. The enclosure would have been 2.5 inches short. Yikes. Plus doing this test allowed me to hang one unit to get a glimpse at the future. Of course now I have to take it down and paint the walls and build the enclosure for the air vent and one for the lights over the sink.Posted by Hello

Party Pics 1

These are the first pictures from my party. I started karoke off with a frightful version of You Are My Sunshine.

Just be glad that this is not an audio blog.

Then a while later Ben and Mo celebrate after giving a stellar performance of Ludacris - Stand Up.

Liana and I had to get a little wiggle in our bums during Sophia's Last Dance.

Finally as a party closer Sara showed us some of the knowledge gained from her last movie role as a stripper. Posted by Hello


My girlfriend's roommate Debbie got a role in a pilot called Thief. She is playing the Chinese mobster's girlfriend. The project sounds interesting. Each episode is a day in the plotting of the Theif's heist. There are a gaggle of people after the Theif including the Chinese mobster. Linda Hamilton of Terminator 2 is playing the Thief's fencer.

Fat Man

A virus that causes you to get fat does exist. A test center is being built to do blood tests for the fat virus. Imagine what will happen when the word gets out that there is a virus that can make you fat. Man, if fat people found it hard to get a sex partner before, look out. Sexually transmitted fat arse. Yikes.

It's my party.

I had my 30th birthday party over the weekend. It was really great. The only thing that went wrong was the original place we wanted to get BBQ from suddenly had a rennovation going on that day. It was a surprise because the owner had told us to call in the morning on Saturday and they would make the food. I guess that he forgot that he was doing remodeling that week. It turned out to be ok. We sent an undercover white boy down into South Central to get BBQ from a better place. He came back unscathed carrying a large tray of meat.

A bunch of my friends came by. We went swimming and did some karaoke. I rented a machine from Life Of The Party. It was well stocked. It provided a great time for $150. It was the center of attention. Liana really made the party special for me. She made this collage of pictures from my childhood.

She made me a lactose free ice cream cake. It doesn't look too hot, but it tasted great.

We also had a regular cake. The raspberry filling was yummy. All in all it was a great time. One of the best birthdays I've had since my mom made me a batman cake when I was eight. Posted by Hello

The Public Eye

It's really cool to be able to walk into any book store / magazine rack in America and find a picture of yourself. Quite an odd feeling. I bet it's even more exciting when you get paid for it.

I'll tell you that it's slightly more exciting than when my last game came out. Back then I thought about all the Blockbuster Video stores having copies of something that I had written. Little pieces of my code at every EB.

If you pick up PSM or Game Informer magazine this month, you'll find a picture of me. A tiny speck of a picture. I just thought I would mention it before the moment is over.

New Definition

You have to be a super programmer dork to get this one:

Tard Coded - The act of hard coding something to appease some moron's request for a feature that makes no sense whatsoever and will eventually be removed and denied.

Not sure if anyone thought of that before, I've never heard the term. So, I made it up as far as I'm concerned.

Too Late

Taku said that it is too late to put the H2 Shelby into the game. It does come out in Oct so he's right about that. Bummer. I should have thought of that earlier.


I was working a little on my house today. As you can see sanding plaster makes lots of dust. Posted by Hello