Saturday, January 29, 2005

Long time no see, right?

Please send all future email correspondence to nupmart at "gee, mail" until further notice. In fact, if you've sent me any correspondence since, oh, about last wednesday, please resend it to the aforementioned address.

In other news, if you're planning on visiting me in the Nashville area, you'd better do it soon. Alternatively, you can just wait and visit me in Madison if it's more convenient.

Alright, I'm posting from the library, so I must depart now. I'll hopefully resume more regular updates soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not Truly False - Part 2:

...walking the halls. He didn't pay them any particular attention, but it was clear that none of them were people he knew.

Turning a corner in the hallway he was a bit surprised to see the entrance to what appeared to be a small shop. A lectern width counter space was occupied by a single cash register and not much else. Behind and to the right was shelving occupied by various dry goods and snack foods. Two young men who appeared a tad too youthful to be university students were walking away from the counter, each carrying a white plastic bag presumably filled with a recent purchase. Freshman, he thought to himself. At least the place seemed to still be open for business. He walked on in.

The store's floor was hard wood, in contrast to the linoleum of the hallway, and as he stepped over the dividing line, he realized that the store was rather larger than he had noticed from a distance. An alcove perhaps twenty feet deep, and half as wide extended to his left, with supermarket style produce displays occupying all the wall space, save for a doorway in the back corner, obscured by long hanging translucent plastic strips. He marveled at the presence of fresh fruits and vegetables. There had certainly been many changes here in his absence.

A young woman's back was towards him, and he heard her ask about bok choi. Walking next to a display bin containing heads of lettuce wrapped in plastic and a wicker basket of individual carrots, he glanced over his shoulder to see that the young woman was speaking to a shorter, much older oriental woman. Based on his brief look, he couldnít tell whether the older woman was of Chinese or Japanese extraction. Turning back to face the vegetables in front of him, he feigned an intense interest in a pair of tomatoes.

Without looking, he could hear the two walk to the cash register and the resulting clack of keys and the sound of the register rolling open and closed. In his peripheral vision he saw the young lady walking away, as a pair of new customers entered. It certainly seemed that business was brisk this evening. He edged down the display, away from the shop entrance, eyes pointed down at the passing plant material. He ended up facing a crate of oranges and a palette filled with peaches. The peaches didnít look particularly ripe, yet upon seeing them he was filled with an intense craving to eat one. Instead, he stood there, unmoving, listening to another transaction taking place at the register, eyes fixed on the fruit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

After a week of possitively "May-ish" weather last week, the cold front moved in over the weekend, and I have a new sympathy for my even more temperate-clime inhabiting friends. I guess it is both a great blessing and a curse that we don't actually remember how cold things can get. Who in June, or even September can actually feel how cold it is going to be in January? (If you have a sensory memory that allows you to do so, than ignore the above; it's supposed to be rhetorical.) It's a blessing since the anticipation or dread would be unpleasant to deal with in the late summer or fall, but it's something of a curse since it means each new winter is a fresh experience in feeling frigid.

I guess it's a good thing my parents bought me some gloves for Christmas.

So, I had this really bizarre dream last night, wherein I guess I was at Craig and Judy's wedding (even though I didn't actually go) and it was being held at what had been a '30's style nightclub and mafioso-owned Italian restaurant located in the country to avoid prohabition, but was now an upscale Japanese restaurant. The strange thing was, all the sashimi in the place was gigantic, as if they had used whole fish and a bushel of rice for each piece. I have not the faintest idea what this means. (probably nothing)

Though it was a jumping reception.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Well, that's nice. I won an auction on ebay over the weekend. I was bidding on Turning Point: Stalingrad the predecessor of the game that Carl and I play over the last weekend. Ended up paying less than thirty bucks, including shipping, which is rather amazing considering that's probably about what it retailed for back when it was in print. Plus it's coming with the "expansion set", which alone was going for over twenty dollars on ebay simultaneously in another auction. Glad those folks refrained from bidding against me :)

I paypal'd it this time, so hopefully it will get shipped quickly and I can bust out the rules. Since I already have the cyberboard module...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Not Truly False, Part I


Without truly waking, he lifted the single blanket from his body, swung his legs to the floor and took the three steps across the room to where a clock radio sat beeping on his desktop. With an ease that belied their lack of true central nervous system direction, his fingers worked a combination of buttons on the clock, simultaneously shutting off the alarm, and resetting it to ring again one hour later.

Three more steps and he briefly half-opened his eyes to make sure his bed was indeed now in front of him. They closed once again as he collapsed face first onto the futon mattress. As his head hit the pillow, a tardy consciousness at last crept tentatively into his mind. Thoughts of alarm clocks began to flit from neuron to neuron, yet he kept his eyes firmly closed, hoping to keep true waking at bay.

He thought of how he disliked alarm clocks. He hated their inexorability. They just kept beeping. Beep after beep after beep after beep. It was the same tone over and over, and yet a strange atonality at the same time; there was a steady pulse and yet no real rhythm. At least this alarm clock wasn't too disconcerting. The second-hand clock radio he had at his bedside in high school was possessed of a truly frightening alarm. Not content to merely wake you, he recalled how the alarm had seemed to invade his dreams, enveloping his mind in a cloud of static for an eternal instant, leaving him awake and terrified. At least the alarm he had now couldn't bother him until he was awake. Of course, that had caused him some number of many problems back at university. How many classes had he missed while sleeping through the cracks. And that bed, he couldn't recall how he had managed to shut his alarm off without falling off the top bunk with all the traffic there. Wait, he hadn't gotten a car until his junior, senior year when there was someone else in the bed by the door. That was actually pretty crappy furniture that he hadn't tried sleeping on but it didn't look too nice but he was happy with it and there was always something going on. Like all the party glass decks out the window of the side door down the hall who he never seemed to see except in the other direction of the fish tank jungle and lines crowded to get handmade package of melted woodwork paneling outside the snowy eastern sand bar martini sinking in drifts of paper and lettuce before completely moving afore the restroom motel blanket in her eyes of mostly liking the rest of amazing body of working mostly after over all inside and therefore almost there in the lost conveyor list of and his main back four teen and they all miss him in the blue dark.

Oh great, just what I need, another project on my plate.

Playing BKN with Carl over the weekend reminded me how much fun that game is. It also seems to have gotten the old scenario-designing neurons going. I'm working on an idea for an area based ACW game covering the battle of Chickamagua. (Before you ask, yes there have been many, many titles that have covered that ground before... less than for Gettysburg or Shiloh, but perhaps not far behind)

Anyhow, we'll see. If I can get the rules together in my mind, I could actually create a playable version of the game using cyberboard. The trick is getting the rules into a definitive enough state that they could actually be play-tested. Oh yeah, and I suppose there is the little issue of OB and map design.

How come all my inspiration comes at once? Oh well, if this fellow can release an area movement game (with what is by all accounts a hideous green and purple monstrosity of a map) and sell it successfully, why can't I?
Ah, the wonders of google and the net.

I'm not positive, but I think I must have done this comic.


Friday, January 07, 2005

It would seem that even chief executive officers have some of the same experiences as us non corporate types. Perhaps more evidence for the phenomenon being age or generation specific... of course, we did live together for a year, so perhaps it's just more self-assortment.

A key point that he hits that I failed to mention is the notion of "drama". I too have a conflicting desire for the ordinary and the extrodinary. I'd like to travel the world, doing great deeds, having -- dare I say -- adventures... not that I'm looking for fame or noteriety... yet I like the familiarity and comfort of the routine... even the dreary day to day.

As I contemplate my options, I find myself awash in conflicting feelings. The thought of working overseas for a year or two fills me with excitement, even though I have no idea whether I'd be a good teacher, and no particular reason to suspect that I would enjoy the work. Meanwhile, at the moment the thought of graduate study fills me with... at best nothing, and at worst dread. Of course feelings are bound to change... indeed, I've experienced fluctuating feelings continuously since about when I graduated... so does what I feel right now offer me any insight into what course of action I should actually pursue?

I suppose in some ways it doesn't matter that much... presumably both Paul and Barnabus took the right route...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

If there were ever to be an instance of the architectural art that would convince me to join the blackshirts in the street and throw bricks for a more perfect national socialist union, it would be the Nashville central public library. This building is what I imagine all public places would be destined to look like under the jackboot... with perhaps a little less nude nordic statuary. Of course, I guess the content might be limited to a hundred state approved books, which would defeat the purpose. Thankfully we live in a society where we can occaissionally enjoy the benefits of grand classical style while always enjoying the freedom of information.

Anyhow, this library puts Madison's central library to shame. The parking garage is integrated into the back side of the building so that one can park, ride up or down the escalator as appropriate and enter directly into the library, without having to go outside at all. The entrance is a massive white marble floored openess... seeming to stretch a mile across from checkout to return desks. The second floor balcony looks down upon you while the ceiling stands another floor above. A turn to your right will lead you to the "popular"collection, evidently containing those works that are referenced most often, as well as the majority of the library's cd and dvd collection.

Straight ahead more marble awaits in the form double staircases leading upward to the stacks. The second floor plaza reveals a mural of historical and allegorical public art of the sort I did not think had been produced since early last century. A massive brightly colored children's collection sat through a doorway off the plaza. The third floor however contained the truly breathtaking stacks. Seemingly endless rows of stacks, brightly lit, neatly spaced stretching so far that I thought the library must have extended another city block. A reading floor with gorgeous mahogony colored tables and chairs, with indvidual lamps that on the scale of lamp society rested closer to Tiffany nobility than airline overhead peasantry. The stacks themselves were wood paneled at the ends, and the entire atmosphere was that of a family den as opposed to that of a subway stop. Perhaps most spectacular of all however was the "reading room" which was the type of library that one would imagine an 18th century royal bibliophile would have possesed in his palace. Vaulted ceiling, dark wood shelving on every wall, and comfortable seating of both the desk and lounge chair variety filling the middle of a carpeted hardcover Xanadu.

Can you tell I liked the place?

Anyhow, I was originally planning on returning the works I borrowed from the collection at the local brach much closer to my apartment in Green Hills, but after seeing this edifice I am compelled to return.

As to what I actually borrowed... some Korean and Chinese language cds, and two works of fiction. I felt desperately in the need of stimulation for my imagination, so I picked up a pair of mysteries by R. Simon. First his blog, now his book. I'm several chapters into California Roll at the moment and it is just what the doctor ordered. Nothing so convoluted as Heller, but instead good solid prose of the type one would expect for a hard-boiled (kosher?) detective story. If you need a good stick to your ribs story, I'd recommend it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

It seems I whacked google without even trying...

"anthrocentric martian ecosystem"

it's too bad too... there really ought to be more discussion about this... and the google result doesn't even tackle what I'm interested in. We'll see if I actually get around to writing about this.

Monday, January 03, 2005

So, is having an uncertainty about and a lack of real interest in any type of job or career a symptom of me, my age, or my generation?

After some recent conversation, I'm less inclined to believe the first, although I suppose self-association of like-experiencing individuals might allow that.

It was a fun new years weekend, although I'm definitely not in college any more, and my sleep schedule doesn't care too much for that (college) sort of perturbation. There was much of the usual activities... strategizing, last minute painting, a healthy (in the healthful sense) amount of alchohol, the now usual (after three visits) and much appreciated hospitality of the Gustafson family, some good food, never-ending, yet good natured civil war in a central american nation, and a new addition this time... cows.

All in all an enjoyable long-weekend, and I now know who to contact for information when I need to quickly create a challenging board game out of readily available pieces. Just need to get the deck composition, that's all.