November 19th, 2014
Years ago, I participated in NaNoWriMo, an event where people attempt to write a “novel” (50,000 words) in a month. It was incredibly hard, but I actually managed to do it and wrote Jumpgate Blues.
I always wanted to do it again but hadn’t. Too many things kept on coming up: having a kid, stuff at work, a new job, up to five hours a day commuting, etc. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I haven’t blogged as much lately. But this year, my kid is a little older and I’m not quite so new at my job so I wondered if I could do it again.
The answer is: No. No, I can’t. I just don’t have the time. Well, I suppose I would if I sacrificed spending time with my family and just abandoning all housework and child-rearing to my wife. But I’m not going to do that because those other things are more important to me.
However, I did actually start writing my story about a guy with Low Survival Instinct. And although I don’t plan to actually finish in a month, I do enjoy the process of writing. So I plan to continue, albeit at a much slower pace. If you end up reading it and find it interesting, let me know! It might just spur me on to actually finish it.
October 30th, 2014
We have a family tradition of carving pumpkins
that started with my dad. This year, Dyson joined in and carved his very first pumpkin! I helped cut out the top plug but he drew the face, scooped it out, and cut the rest of it out all by himself. I thought I’d have to step in at some point since he’s only 4 but he just kept going at it until he was done. He even fell asleep holding on to it in the car ride home.
My dad passed away years before Dyson was born but I still tell him about my dad. Sometimes I get a little sad that they never met. Dyson once said, “I think he would have loved me.” Yeah, Dyson, he would have. And he would have loved your little pumpkin.
Oh, I also carved a pumpkin, but it’s not nearly as cute as the one he did:
October 22nd, 2014
It’s my first update in years! Here’s what’s included:
- Fixed iOS 8 crashing!
- Updated interface!
- Support for tall screens!
- Mach Dice Custom Dice IAP now does more than 6 sides!
Between the new job, the kid, and commuting up to four hours a day, I haven’t had much time to work on my iOS apps in a while. But they were crashing under iOS 8 so I burned the midnight oil and put together a couple updates for Mach Dice and Photo Dice.
The Photo Dice update is still waiting on Apple for a review but the Mach Dice update is out there. In addition to no longer crashing in iOS 8, I also added something for the people who purchased the custom dice in-app purchase. Now, you can make custom dice for dice with more than six sides! This is handy for game systems like the Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. If anyone comes up with some cool custom dice, let me know and I might add them to the list of free custom dice you can download off my website.
Incidentally, if you’re curious about what was causing the crashing, it was the fact that NSKeyedArchive no longer seems to work with relative pathnames.
September 21st, 2014
I used to wonder what the point of the Tooth Fairy was. My niblings are 7 and 10 years old and they clearly don’t believe in it. So it seemed silly to make up a story for kids for are too old to believe it.
But the other day, Dyson came up to me and said his tooth was loose. I was kinda surprised because he’s only 4 years old. So I called my wife over and told her that I thought he might be losing his first tooth. By this point, Dyson started getting scared because he had no idea what was going on. So then my wife (who is much faster on the uptake than I am) said, “Oh, now you have a tooth for the Tooth Fairy!” and he he totally brightened up because he thinks fairies are cool.
I still don’t get the Easter Bunny, though.
July 24th, 2014
I was trying to recreate a certain iconic movie scene with my son. It proved to be rather challenging. Oh, one fun fact about this video: I actually said the pills in the wrong order so I fixed that in editing. Can you tell?
July 17th, 2014
Apparently, Google has this annual conference called Google I/O, which I just learned about this year. And one of the things they featured this year was this thing called Google Cardboard, which actually uses a little bit of code that I wrote for … uh, this thing that I’m working on.
If you haven’t heard of Google Cardboard, it’s like an Oculus Rift but made out of cardboard (TechCrunch called Google’s version, “Mockulus Thrift“). If you haven’t heard of Oculus Rift, it’s a virtual reality headset. You put it on and you see a stereo image that reacts to the way your head is turned. The great thing about the Google Cardboard is that it’s an easy way to experience virtual reality.
Anyways, I ended up getting one of these things so you can watch me putting one of these together with the
obstruction help of my son.
July 3rd, 2014
I got the day off today so I finally had time to put together a video of a hair cut that I did a couple weeks ago. (The original footage was about half an hour long.)
One of the nice things about cutting Dyson’s hair is that it gives me the opportunity to record everyday interactions with him. Also, it’s interesting to see how much he’s changed in a year and a half, since the last time I did one of these videos. For example, he’s way more talkative now…
May 7th, 2014
On some nights, Dyson wakes up crying for his mom so she goes over to comfort him and he falls back asleep. But last night, Tracy was really tired so she slept in another bedroom and I was hoping to take care of things so she could rest.
Sure enough, he started crying around 1am so I go over to comfort him. He starts screaming because I wasn’t Momma. I did what I could but it’s clear he didn’t want me. So I went back to bed hoping he’d cry himself to sleep. But he kept going, so I went in to check on him again. As soon as I came in, he started screaming and kicking again. So I left again. This repeated … for an hour and a half.
Fortunately, he eventually fell asleep. Until he woke up at 6am and started screaming again. I try to console myself that he still loves me and that he just doesn’t see me in the role of comforter, even if I really want to be. But I keep trying because I still hope that someday he will.
And I do try to appreciate that there are things he does like to do with me. Like having fun with ferrofluid on a Saturday morning. So, in a nutshell, this post is what it’s like for me to be a dad.
Some notes on the ferrofluid:
- This is the small bottle from Vat19.
- There was some dust and gunk in my bottle so expect some impurities.
- Be sure to read all the instructions to keep the ferrofluid in top condition!
April 25th, 2014
One of the benefits of having an incredibly obscure blog that no one reads (like, I don’t even think my wife will see this) is that you can pretty much do whatever you want. Hence, this video.
Things I learned while making this:
- How to use a mask with a video overlay in Final Cut Pro X (composite multiply with a shape, composite mode under for the top layer).
- A jar full of pennies is surprisingly heavy.
- Spit takes generate a lot of liquid.
April 20th, 2014
A friend had an Easter Egg coloring party last weekend. She included supplies for traditional Ukranian pysanka eggs and onion skin eggs. I didn’t make any this time, but Tracy and Dyson did.
Tracy made an onion skin one and a bunny rabbit one for Dyson. Dyson did some sort of interpretive Jackson Pollock thing. And of course, the color he picked for it was a permanent dye. I think my hands are still blue.