Smallhouse Log

The day after the Feast of the Epiphany

When I was young, my dreams were things like: I'm being pursued through an infinite museum, but it's okay because I can fly.

Now that I'm grown I have dreams like: My former best friend is in town for a professional development course, but when I manage to spend time with him around my own work schedule, we just stand in uncomfortable silence.


I'm typing this from mobile for the first time ever, so please forgive me any typos amassed during my midnight ramblings. Also remind me to make the new post page a lot more mobile-friendly.

I feel like a vision has been crystallizing in my brain for years of my ideal videogame. It has critters, you give them tasks, they carry them out to the best of their abilities (if they feel like it). Examples:

And I've come up with my own variants, most prominently, or rather most robustly, one more in the Princess Maker vein where you conduct a whole orphanage, and one that's a Merchant / Dwarf Fortress hybrid designed for mobile use where you have seven rather hapless dwarves trying to survive stranded in the wilderness. Less prominently, or less full-fleshedly, one where you act as village hetman trying to pay the correct tribute to your feudal lord to keep them from descending on you with fire and sword, and one that, hrm, is basically The Sims (a game I possibly should have included in the list above) but as a roguelike... or possibly as a Zelda ][ clone sidescroller with some geometry shenanigans. And because I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, there's always a genetic simulation aspect as an optional add-on.

That's four potential games, variations on an ideal: Critters. AI. Decision-making, delegation, and automation. The oldest has been knocking around for almost a decade, the youngest for only a year or two. Bees in my bonnet. What should I make first?

The easiest? Probably Seven Dwarves or Tribute.

The most exciting? Seven Dwarves, maybe. The most accessible? Seven Dwarves, again.

Aside: Wow. I actually did not expect this exercise to be so helpful in picking a project. Let's continue.

The most original? Tribute. The most ambitious? Teacup (working title for the Sims / roguelike / Adventure of Link ...thing). The most financially renumerative? Who even knows. Probably whichever one can be wrangled onto mobile.

Food for thought.

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Do you ever look at your blogging software, that you wrote yourself, and think, "How does it work?"

Thursday, Tenth Day of Christmas

I continue to have a lot to do.

The house is stressing me out a little bit; we don't have a shower, and we haven't had one since before Christmas Eve. Our previously very dependable handyman has left us high and so very, very dry this past week or so. I cancelled my New Year's Eve plans to wait for him. He never showed. I'm either pissed or over it, and I'm really not sure which is the truth and which is the thing I'm just telling myself so I don't have to face the truth.

We're planning a little girl's birthday party. Like, as I write this. We need to go to the bank, go to the doctor, and go get new phones.

I just want to sit down and make the videogame of my dreams.

But I'm so, so tired.

Thursday, thirteenth week of Cous Cous
"I do drink tapwater, because that's what I use to make my coffee." -John Frost, 2017-04-22

Is it crazy to redo the front end of this site after all these years? It's a hobby I no longer have much time for, I'm afraid. But the lure of code I can actually read and understand calls to me... not to mention finally centering the thing. And so the work is begun.

An amusing thing, to me, how the current version was never even finished —possibly cannot now be finished as originally envisioned. I mean, a writing section? A complex and multiply-indexed archive of my teenage poetry? That doesn't even seem advisable anymore; and yet, I feel a sort of obligation to my younger self to finish his work. Lazy bastard, passing the buck on to me like that. And the way the log multi-post pages are grouped by sevens counting from the most recent post, a number that changes frequently? I understand both how and why I did it, but I'm no longer sure I agree with the decision.

My daughter is asking me what's for dinner. I have to go. But I'm not done thinking about this.

Tuesday, sixth week of Cous Cous
"I remember everything. It's one of my best, and least attractive, qualities." -Claire, 2018-05-17

Time to pour my reflections into the void again. The baby is fussy, so I'm getting a lot of solitary nocturnal hours in a way I haven't much this last whirlwind decade, but I'm also more than a little short on sleep. I look around and think, I could do this, if I had that, but that kind of chaining of dependencies, much as it appeals to me in the abstract, is just a distraction. I don't do the things I would like because I don't have time, and in the brief spans between what I need to do and what I ought to do, there's always something I want to do more. And I'm ok with that. My time shying from Responsibility, in and of itself, is long past. My time shying away from my responsibilities... well, bad habits die hardest.

Though I don't watch much TV in general, it's something to do while I feed and hold my son. As a result, I finally got around to watching BoJack Horseman, and man does that show hit hard once it finds its stride. I just finished the season four finale, and the last few episodes were phenomenal. It's rare to see a show as dripping with empathy as this one, and I think it deserves its high reputation. I've developed a deep personal connection to Mr. Peanutbutter, the eponymous protagonist's personal foil, which was unexpected and delightful. I also really like the banner gags.

I'm actually quite happy right now. Just... Tired. Weary. And full of secondhand emotions.

Saturday, third week of Easter

Overcome by musical nostalgia this evening, brought on by fussing about with repairing my iTunes library. My word, what a lackluster product that has become. I actively fantasize about a better music player and and library management tool. But I digress.

Overcome by musical nostalgia this evening, I'm aghast, ensorrowed, downright shimmyblasted by the lie revealed, that maxim we came to count on, that the Internet is forever. There's a lot of what I need that is no longer. It has disappeared into the mists of the past, and expletive it, I miss it. So a handful of cool webcomics are gone forever, but I can't get angelfire to take down my old pages. Hphff. Anyway.

Overcome by musical nostalgia this evening, I was trying to hunt down the tracklist for the Liquid Paper compilations of punk rock that noted iconoclast and grumpy beard-grower Mitch Clem put together a mere... decade? and a half? ...ago, and I can't. This isn't the first time I tried, which makes it worse, somehow? This should be easy, it's a string of text less than eight hundred characters in length. I mean, there's a couple of them, so that times four, I guess. I did eventually find a reddit thread where somebody put out a bounty on the first two, and someone delivered on number one, but both of those accounts have gone inactive. Mitch Clem himself seems to have dropped off the Internet, or I'd just shoot him an e-mail, maybe. I used to be good at this.

I'm not sad. Nostalgia used to be considered a psychiatric disorder. People died. I don't have that. I just... I know why I'm not allowed to have a time machine. But if I had one, I would be stepping into it right now.