Grow Tower – Here we go again!

27 01 2009

Because you obviously had too much spare time.
Grow Tower is now up for your Grow pleasure. My best while tinkering this morning is 14, but already the animations make me want to try for higher.

Gruff skier is gruff!

25 01 2009

Gruff skier is gruff!

Originally uploaded by eidolon

That was a great day of skiing.

This was yesterday (Saturday), up at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA. Zach and I went up for a good chunk of the day, hauling our food and other goodies in ourselves (Holy cats is food there expensive. Better to just bring your own).

It was by far the busiest day I’ve ever seen there (with weather today forecast to be in the single digits, and it was), so naturally most of the east coast went skiing on Saturday.

Lift lines were in the 40+ minute range, which was reminding me of the days we skied at Hunter Mountain in NY.

Things sure have changed since then – the lifts are FAR faster, carrying 4 folks per chair, using that ‘zoomie launch’ bit, but the old tricks still work. Zach and I split up and took to the ‘singles’ line, and were able to zip through to the lift in about 10 minutes each run. Wahoo!

Zach had all new ski gear this time, after some successful ebay and craigslist scrounging. Didn’t have to deal with rentals at all. Another win. The gear worked great, and we both had a fantastic day.

A good way to killl an evening

24 01 2009

Someone on a chat channel mentioned this site, and I’ve been browsing it off and on over the last few days.
The site is, and is a vast collection of ‘tropes’ found not just in television, but in comics, manga, and film.
A trope, according to the home page:

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite”. In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.

The site has a horrific amount of information on it, in wiki form, though they are careful to state they are NOT wikipedia (“We’re a buttload more informal…”).
Some choice bits.
Regarding the ‘BerserkButton’ trope:

Marty McFly from the Back To The Future films: “Nobody… calls me… chicken!” This is a rare instance in which getting over the Berserk Button is part of the Character Development, or where the Berserk Button is even treated as a bad thing to have.

And, in the ‘BarSlide’ trope:

In Hudson Hawk, when Eddie orders a cappucino, the bartender slides it down the bar to him.

And it goes on and on and on.
I love the internet.

Cuz all the k00l kidz are doin it.

23 01 2009

My Political Views
I am a left social libertarian
Left: 5.16, Libertarian: 3.93

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -6.68

My Culture War Stance
Score: -6.67

Political Spectrum Quiz

I’m a little surprised at the strong libertarian side of things, as I consider myself a socialist. Some of the questions were… tricky in that I could have answered them in a certain way depending on the next statement. For example, “Do you support the death penalty if the crime is heinous enough” – I have to answer yes, but that is only under the assumption the legal system can be considered infallible. I have to answer the question as it’s stated, so had to say “Yes, I agree, strongly.”

A few of my favorite iPhone apps

21 01 2009

I’ve had my iPhone for a few months now, and gone through the brain replacement that’s sometimes necessary to use Apple products, so I think it’s time to talk about some of my favorite iPhone applications.

At the top right now is AirShare from Avatron. It’s a simple app that starts up on the iPhone and sets up an active WebDAV enabled HTTP server. With some tools under windows, mac, or linux, you can mount that DAV as a filesystem, and voila, you have your own portable wireless data repository.

Admittedly, what I really do is play a lot of games on the phone. So, here’s a quicky list of some of my favorites:

  • Dr. Awesome!
    This game plays much like the old arcade game ‘Qix’, but has a wonderful comic bent to it. Presentation and gameplay are excellent, music track is enjoyable, and the steadily increasing difficulty isn’t too hard to deal with, though I agree with some commenters that after a certain point, it’s nigh on impossible to win the levels.
  • Tap Defense
    In the ‘Tower Defense’ model, this game fleshes out the premise with a mildly interesting storyline (Demons are escaping from hell, you’re trying to keep them from getting into Heaven). It took me about 4 weeks to complete the game on all three levels (easy, medium, and hard). And on the Hard level, I had to go to the net to get some hints. Each full game can take 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
  • Jewel Quest 2
    This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s been around for ages from I-Play in various forms, but the iPhone version is a good clean port of it. Very long storylines, steadily increasing difficulty. Took about 3 weeks to complete the game end to end.
  • Galcon
    Galcon is a realtime strategy game for the iPhone that’s faster paced than most RTS games, but still keeps the tactics element alive. It borrows many ideas from some old skool strategy games I played in college. The higher levels are hard to win, though you can play network play against other ‘live’ players anywhere on the net.

The potential for the iPhone to be a powerful gaming platform I feel is only just being realized. More and more high resolution excellent games are coming out, and the phone handles them with great aplomb. I’m looking forward to finding more.

Are you a Perl geek? We’re looking for you!

20 01 2009

My current employer is looking for a senior Perl developer. We’re located out in Littleton, MA. Full details of the position behind the cut. Feel free to poke me for any details. We use the standard LAMP (where P = Perl here) stack, in CGI / mod_perl configurations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Realtime Arisia conversations via Twitter

12 01 2009

Hey, this could be fun. I’ve set up a script that watches twitter for the hashtag ‘#arisia’. When it finds a tweet with that in the message, the script retweets the message over to @arisia. So, if you’re coming to Arisia, and use twitter, add @arisia to your follow list, and join the conversations in realtime with your fellow Arisians!
To have your tweet show up in the @arisia group, just add #arisia to your tweet.