The Animal Farm

June 30th, 2005

Recent Purchases

Some time ago, Doss brought my attention to Biozombie and Firefly. These are both very awesome, yet relatively unknown products. In exchange, I guided Doss toward Master of the Flying Guillotine. Up until now, I didn’t own any of these wonderful creations. Very soon, all three of them will be in my possession along with Tales of Symphonia, a rather interesting RPG for the GameCube. I expect it will be a fabulous day when everything is in - something akin to a very dorky Christmas.

I saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I really enjoyed. It’s a fun little film with witty banter and interesting action. It comes highly recommended.

I’ve been learning a good deal of interesting techniques in the class taught by Jamie Cope. Today we went over Wings 3D, which is a free 3d modeller akin to Blender. We’ve also had discussions on 2d animation techniques, stop-motion, and other modellers. We’ve made things, but not much I’m particularly proud of. When editing on the stop-motion film is finished, I may put that up here.

Research is going well. We’re finally making progress and learning about some things that can help us. I have no illusions - there’s no way we’re going to get this project even reasonably done in the time left, but we may create some interesting things before it’s all over. If Voronoi Diagrams don’t drive me completely insane first.

For those of you interested, here’s what a Voronoi Diagram is: basically, Voronoi Diagrams are a way to partition space. The diagram is a set of convex polygons containing exactly one ‘generating’ point such that every point lying within the polygon is closer to the generating point than to any other polygon’s generating point. This is very useful in the realm of computer graphics, where such a diagram can, for instance, help you construct surfaces from point clouds, where surface information is otherwise completely unavailable. However, in 3D, generating such a diagram is a non-trivial task that I haven’t been able to find any particularly good resources on.

Yea, it’s going to be a very dorky Christmas.

Cupcake me.

June 20th, 2005

The Sneak

I’m afraid if you don’t like The Sneak then you have no soul.

Who’s been drinking bootleg hooch and listening to the jazz?

June 19th, 2005

Gameboy Advance Development

A long time ago, I became very interested in developing games for the Gameboy Advance (aka GBA). The system was easy to develop for, was very powerful, and there was a good bit of documentation floating around on the internet. At the peak of my interest, I wrote a series of basic articles that showed how to do some things with the system. I have now put these articles up in the Writing section for my fellow game developers to read. Enjoy.

Carriages and Cranberries.

June 17th, 2005

I Am So Cold

Every time I shave, I get mixed reviews. On the one end of the spectrum are the people who believe that the change is good and that removing facial hair makes me look better. On the other are the people who feel that facial hair is a defining characteristic of mine, and when I lose it all my super powers go with it. I’m rather partial to the unshaved look, and I spend most of my time around the second group, so I think shaving recently might have been a mistake. I don’t think I’m going to do it anymore. Besides - Megan said I looked funny.

Today I managed to convince Christina to watch the last two episodes of Cowboy Bebop with me, which gave me a nice excuse to watch them again. I really can’t stress how good I think those two episodes are, especially when complemented by the rest of the series. Then I walked Christina back to her car, which involved a nice little stroll through heavy rain. I had fun. Afterward, I came back and passed out for three hours.

I saw Batman Begins last night. I’m not going to talk about the movie specifically, but I would like to critique action movies in general. Basically, I’m annoyed at the quality of the ‘action’ in most American action films. During a fight, it looks like the director zooms in as much as possible and shakes the camera frantically in an attempt to create the illusion that something exciting is happening. This has the side effect that you can’t really see anything. When someone is throwing a punch, you can barely see his arm. Furthermore, the scene cuts back and forth so fast that everything is jerky and disconnected. I don’t know why people enjoy watching this, but it’s not exciting or even interesting. There seems to be a definite trend against this type of action, but as movies like Bourne Supremacy or Batman Begins show, we haven’t fully gotten away.

I just wanted you to know how hard it was.

June 15th, 2005

On Whitney, Among Other Things

Today I spent the day with Whitney. I’ve never given Whitney a proper introduction on this site, so now is probably an ideal time. Whitney is one of my greatest friends. She’s hip and cool and all-around awesome. Of all the people I know, I probably respect her the most. I don’t see her as much as I’d like to, but when I do I enjoy every moment.

She and I spent time lounging in the Martinsburg mall. We then went off to Borders in Hagerstown. Good times were had by all. She also introduced me to a band called The Darkness. This band is essentially a throwback to the old hair bands of the 80s - and we all know how I love my Guns ‘N Roses. I enjoyed The Darkness’s stuff.

Forgive me if my usual graceful prose are absent. I’m currently not in a right state of mind.

I went through my buddy list and emptied it out to the point where now only 9 people remain (there were over 50 originally). You probably aren’t on it anymore, so don’t ask.

Work is driving me insane. Again, I can’t talk much about it, but I’m really not liking it right now.

I’m not tired. I’m going to go watch some TV. Peace.

What are you looking at?

June 14th, 2005

As You Wish, Young One

To alienate 1/3 of our readers (aside from us) would be to alienate one person. But for that person, I shall nobly sacrifice my time to alleviate your ignorance. I am going to go down the list of people I’ve mentioned and describe them briefly so that you will all have a better understanding of the characters in my story.

Megan’s a coworker I’ve been spending a healthy bit of time with lately. She’s a student here at WVU working in the lab over the summer, and she is my badminton/hiking buddy. She’s also terribly, terribly mean to me, which is ironic because she’s the one person I’m not terribly, terribly mean to.

Alex is another coworker who lives across the hall. Most of my time here has been spent hanging around with him. He’s an apprentice magician en-route to becoming an official magician.

Fernando is my roommate while I’m here (and, again, a coworker). He hails from Puerto Rico. He’s an artist and a gamer and a generally decent person.

Christina is, yet again, a coworker. I see her in the labs during the days and ocassionally after work. She’s a busy lady, apparently, so she can’t come play with me as much as the other people.

Dee, who I’ve mentioned before, is a friend from home who I’ve been talking to more and more lately. She introduced me to the Ballad of the Sneak.

Pat is another coworker who lives down the hall. He’s around almost as much as Alex, and when we’re at work we’re typically right next to each other singing along to love songs. He’s also one of the guys I watch Smallville with.

Dan is a guy I’ve known since early college, and he is Pat’s roommate for the term of our job. He’s a CS major who shares a lot of classes with me. He, too, is addicted to Smallville.

Jamie is a professional animator who I receive lectures from every Thursday. He’s an all-around cool guy.

Those are all of the major players, I think. There’s no real drama involved. I mean, Megan called me ugly today, which was a little sad, but I got over it. I’m not ugly, am I?

Am I?

June 13th, 2005

Little things

Okay, I have a few little tidbits to update on at this time, and none of them are that important.
I got a cell phone, finally, and no I don’t enjoy it. I do like the camera part, but that is about it.
I started to learn how to drive for real this time, and no I do not enjoy it. I am doing it to make my parents happy.
Using the

    tag to make a list breaks our site, so I can’t have a bulleted list for this, shucks.

    And finally, Brian, I don’t know if you realize this but at least 1/3 of our reader base does not know any of these people you have been talking about at all( yours truely included ). Reading your posts almost reminds me of listening to my sister talk about some drama between her friends because I can’t relate to the stories at all since I have no idea who all these people are. Maybe give a brief discription of either who they are or how they relate to you. I dunno.. something. Unless it is your goal to alienate 1/3 of our reader base, because that’s cool too.

    ~Zach

    “Stay a while and listen.”

June 12th, 2005

Big Rocks Scare Me

I recently took a trip to Cooper’s rock with Megan, Alex, and Fernando. Despite having lived in the area for nearly three years now, it was my first trip down. We had to leave early, unfortunately, but I still enjoyed the time we had. We perused the site extensively, and Alex took pictures (warning - the pictures are rather large). After going through the pictures, it comes to my attention that any picture where I’m smiling (not just from this set) makes me look like a crazed serial-killer. I’m not sure why this is, exactly.

To update you on my completely fictional marriage situation, Megan has hurt her odds by revealing she has a boyfriend. Dee, on the other hand, made a power-play by revealing that she too can produce chicken alfredo. Bold, ladies. Very bold.

I’m not for sale.

June 11th, 2005

So Little to Say, So Much Time

I’d like to share with you a conversation that transpired tonight with Alex after throwing a fireball for a group of new residents in the building, members of the Baptist Greenview church:
Kids: “Do it again!”
Alex: “I can’t. I’m allergic to fire.. that’s why it happens. If I do it too much, I’ll break out in hives.”
Kids: “Really? How do you know that?”
Alex: “Well, I’ve burned myself before. Its not pretty.”
Pastor: “Now Alex, let me ask you a question: if you were to die tonight, where do you think your eternal soul would go?”
Alex: “Well, I hope not Hell. I’m allergic to fire.”

This was the lead-in to a twenty minute conversation between Alex and the Pastor which involved, among many things, Alex completely fabricating a past involving a strict Catholic family and a scary mother. He made up some rather ridiculous things, and I couldn’t help but laugh in the background as he let this Pastor continue for what seemed like an eternity.

I have no problem with religion. A few people know that I’m somewhat religious myself. I don’t even have a problem with people talking about their religion to strangers. I’m an avid believer that if you believe in something, you should work for that belief. What I do have a problem with are the tactics pastors and similar people use. Mostly scare tactics are employed, and I don’t feel that a threat of eternal damnation should be what drives people to Jesus. Compound that with a pastor’s ability to drone endlessly, roping you into a ‘conversation’ in such a way that telemarketers do, and you end up with a pretty irritating dialogue. I sat around for the entire conversation between the pastor and Alex, and I realized that the only way to get a pastor to stop speaking was to be rude. I got up and left.

That’s the end of that little rant. Now I’m conflicted. I always told Zach that if I found a woman who liked Trigun, I would promptly marry her. Tonight, Dee revealed to me that she was such a woman. However, only a few hours prior, a woman made chicken alfredo for me, and I offered her my hand. I’m so confused.

I’ve also become hopelessly addicted to badminton in a way I never anticipated. I’ve played a minimum of 2.5 hours every day for the last three days. The shuttlecock and I are in harmony, and the racket is an extension of my self. Alex has revealed himself as my arch-nemesis. Often his team surpasses mine, but in sheer one-on-one battle, we are practically equivalent. I look forward to his challenge over the next eight weeks.

Wait, scratch that, reverse it.

June 10th, 2005

My Newfound Addictions

I remember when I was a wee tot playing badminton in someone’s back yard with childhood friends. The game was casual - the birdie floated casually as we clumsily tried to knock it in whatever direction nature allowed. It was a relaxed game with little competition. Since then, the game has changed considerably. Matches are fast paced as people run back and forth, frantically swinging their arms in an attempt to send the birdie in such a way that the opponents will make a mistake. A one-on-one match could easily send you to every corner of the arena. It’s pretty easy to become decent at the game, but hard to become truly good. I’ve developed something of a fondness for Badminton over the last two days, and I expect I’ll be playing a lot more of it.

I had a Slushee at Sheetz yesterday, and I was captivated. I never remembered Slushees as being particularly good - they always had some foul taste or syrupy tendancies that caused me to gag and throw my cup at a nearby baby. I had one yesterday, though, and I was in heaven. It was blue, as many good things are.

DDR is back in my life, though I’ve typically been out doing other things. I managed to get some awed responses from my cohorts here in the dorm.

Work is going well. My job isn’t trivial - I’m developing complicated 3D software. However, the challenge keeps it interesting. Right now I’m trying to interprate some arcane graduate paper so that I can use its demonic knowledge to help the visualization portion of my project. I highly suspect that, if I can get this working, my project will be super fly. Wish me luck.

We got everything you need for the ritual arts.