Archive for July, 2011


Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Obon is a Japanese summer festival to honor the spirits of one’s deceased ancestors. But mostly, it’s an excuse to do traditional stuff like eat Japanese food, wear a yukata, and play traditional carnival games.

Last week, there was a nice Obon event not too far from us. Unfortunately, we were all too sick to go then. But my mom sent us some traditional Japanese clothes so we dressed up the boy and took a picture.

Seeing him like this reminds me of when I was a boy, visiting Japan in the summers. I loved it, especially the nights during Obon when everyone came out to the festivals after the sun went down. There was just something magical about those hot and humid nights. I believed anything was possible.

33 New Territories

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Recently, the iTunes App store expanded to 33 new territories and I thought I’d do a little welcome post. So, to the people of:

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Iceland
  • Montserrat
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

… welcome to my little website!

It kinda blows my mind that people in places that I’ve never even been to have bought one of my apps. One of these days, I’m going to have to write a script to parse all the country code data and figure out where my customers are coming from.

A Severed Penis is Not a Joke

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

But … it is kinda funny.

Recently, there was a kerfluffle about women on a talk show making light of the an incident where a woman cut off her husband’s penis after he told her he wanted a divorce. Now, obviously violence is bad, and this is not an appropriate way to deal with divorce. And, as Sara Gilbert pointed out, if the genders were reversed and it was a man who mutilated a woman asking for a divorce, no one would be making jokes.

But some men are incensed and outraged that some women were making light of it. Like, how dare they? Someone getting his penis cut off is no laughing matter!

But … it kinda is. I mean, as a man, I cringe at the thought of another man getting his penis cut off. But, come on, penises are funny. I mean … naked woman? Kinda hot. Naked man? Kinda funny. I should know. Me being naked provokes laughter more often than not. (This is what it’s like being married for nearly two decades, folks.)

Penises are funny. Unless they’re being used to rape or hurt someone. That’s not funny at all. But a detached penis? Remember the last time this kind of thing made news with a guy named John Wayne Bobbit? Everyone from Letterman to Leno was cracking jokes about it. Where were all these outraged men back then?

So yes, it is in poor taste to make jokes about someone’s suffering. But don’t get all outraged about how it’s just as bad as men joking about mutilating women. It’s not. We live in a world where, thankfully, penises getting cut off are an anomaly. But women are routinely beaten, mutilated, or killed for things like this. If you’re one of these “men’s rights” activists who get upset about women making jokes like this, you need to stop being so oversensitive and grow a pair.

Also: Detachable Penis is a great song.

Google+ vs. Facebook

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

So … I have this blog, which I use for longer posts. And I have a Twitter account, which I use for shorter posts. And I use Facebook, but I only add people that I know in real life. How does Google+ fit into all this?

Well, Google+ is most like Facebook, although it can be more public. But there’s a problem. Here’s what my activity looks like on Facebook:

  • Facebook auto-posts one of my witty Twitter posts
  • my friends tell me how funny I am
  • I’m all, “Oh, you guys…”
  • Facebook auto-posts one of my fascinating blog posts
  • my friends tell me how clever I am
  • I’m all, “Oh, you guys…”

Here’s what my activity looks like on Google+:

See the problem? Google+ doesn’t do auto-posting of from Twitter or blogs. So I don’t do much on it yet. But hopefully, it will, right? I mean, there wouldn’t be any reason not to implement something that basic in a social networking site, right? I suppose I could actually write new stuff specifically for my Google+ account, but then what the heck are my Twitter account and blog for?

My Vin Diesel Impression

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

At least there’s one good thing about having a cold.

Infection Journal, Day 3

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Patient Zero, pictured here, acquired an unknown virus earlier last week. Quarantine protocols were initiated but proved to be inadequate and the infection quickly spread to the rest of the compound.

I was the last to be infected, but I fear I was hit the hardest. Symptoms include headache, sore throat, and a curious desire for chicken soup. I harbor no illusions about my chances of survival, I merely hope to pass on what I have learned. If there are any survivors out there, heed this warning: Do not allow the infected to touch your face, no matter how cute they are.

Duplo Lattice

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Yet another creation in my expanding series on things you can make with Duplo blocks. (I should buy stock in this company or something.)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 10 Year Anniversary!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Just over ten years ago on Wednesday, July 11, 2001, the very first movie I ever worked on, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, made its theatrical debut all across the United States. It was about a group of scientists and soldiers fighting for the survival of the human race in a post-apocalyptic something, something, something.

It was widely praised for its visuals but tanked at the box office and eventually led to the closure of our studio in Honolulu. That was kind of a bummer but the movie gave me my first opportunity in the effects industry (I made the system to do the explosions and did effects like force fields).

Also, I got to live in Hawaii for 3 years — garlic shrimp truck and bodyboarding at Sandy’s! It was an amazing experience to be a part of and the movie will always hold a soft spot in my heart. Also: Try watching it in French — the visuals look just as stunning but the convoluted plot doesn’t seem so bad because hey, it’s in French.

Converting to a Universal App

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I am beginning the process of turning Mach Dice into a universal app, as part of a big update that I’ve been working on. So far, it seems pretty straightforward:

  • set the “Targeted Device Family” to “iPhone/iPad”
  • create iPad versions of the xib files
  • add the main xib file to Info.plist as “NSMainNibFile~ipad”
  • add the other xib files to your code (see below)
  • uprez your images

The last one is going to take me a while but adding the xib files to your code goes something like this:

	// this gets declared somewhere at the top
	typedef enum {
	} DisplayType;
	DisplayType displayType;


	// this gets run somewhere at the start
	// determine device type
	displayType = DisplayTypeIPhone;
	// check for iPad
	float systemVersion = [[UIDevice currentDevice].systemVersion floatValue];
	if (systemVersion >= 3.2)
		if (UI_USER_INTERFACE_IDIOM() == UIUserInterfaceIdiomPad)
			displayType = DisplayTypeIPad;
	// check for Retina Display
	if (systemVersion >= 4.0)
		if ([UIScreen mainScreen].scale == 2.0)
			displayType = DisplayTypeIPhoneRetina;


	// this gets run when you load your xib files
	switch (displayType) {
		case DisplayTypeIPad:
			gameViewController = [[GameViewController alloc] initWithNibName:@"GameViewController-iPad" bundle:nil];
		case DisplayTypeIPhone:
			gameViewController = [[GameViewController alloc] initWithNibName:@"GameViewController" bundle:nil];

Duplo Cube

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Behold the Duplo Cube! From my earlier calculations, I figured it was theoretically possible to create a perfect cube made out of Duplo bricks.

Theory turned out to be easier than practice what with the baby thwarting me at every step but I eventually prevailed and created a single interlocking structure that is six units in each dimension.