Smallhouse Log

Tuesday, eighth week after Pentecost

I met a prophet yesterday, and I've been thinking about it ever since, which is what one ought to do after something like that, I suppose. It was very unsettling and I didn't enjoy it, but that also seems par for the course. I'm also not sure what he was trying to tell me, which, again.

But the way these things go, if I recall correctly, is usually that one person gets the prophecy, another writes it down, and a third party reads and understands it (though sometimes too late?). I regret now that I didn't write it down immediately, but I wasn't ready. Who ever is, thought?

The prophet asked me a lot of questions, but the one I remember best was the first one I wasn't able to answer. "If a man shall tempt you, what shall be your answer?" It sounds like the first half of a formulated question and response pair... very familiar, but I couldn't give the answer. What is the response to temptation? How do we answer it? I still don't know.

As we travelled together, he asked me more questions, which I also couldn't answer, and which were less formulaic. He asked about the pain of a mother losing her child, about people being killed. I really wish I'd written more down right away afterwards. I don't know what I'm being called to do, but I feel the pull. Do I go out and seek? Do I trust that I will know the time for action when it comes?

Can I really solve violence in Chicago? Even if I can't, don't I still have to try?

Friday, fourth week of Lent

Got a new job and it's going well. I have a reverse commute now, which is odd. But I think I found a pretty nice bike route between home and Oak Park.

I'm just glad to be working again.

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.