Monthly Archives: August 2011

Jamestown

http://store.steampowered.com/app/94200

I’ve been conditioned to like my shmups more lolbullethell-y and less shmup-y, but damn it’s a really great game.  I can’t find myself using anything other than the gunner ship though.  Wish I could like the other ones more, I really do.  I wanted to like the beam ship because it slows down your movement when using alt-fire, which is really great for dense bullet hell games, but isn’t really necessary in this one.  I wanted to like charge because E laser from gradius was awesome, but it just seemed kind of eh for regular stages; it was only useful for some of the challenges.  I wanted to like bomber because it was neat and interesting, but it just didn’t do enough damage, and the bombs also didn’t LOOK cool enough.

I think they’re all useful; I just found that gunner really suited my style of play a lot.  The guy I was playing with used beam most of the time, which worked out since it’s simpler.  I think I just really needed the ability to shoot in any direction; I used it a lot.

Some people said that it would have been nice if the turret fired in the -opposite- direction of your movement.  While that may be more conventional (?), I didn’t have any problems with this way, and I feel like it’s more intuitive, which is a plus both to me learning it myself, and to the fact that jamestown is very good at introducing new players into the bullet hell genre.  Plus, this is the way it works in Metal Slug…and who doesn’t like metal slug???

We went through all of the missions up to legendary difficulty…dunno how much more i’ll be playing jamestown on my own.  I could go for 1CCs and such…but maybe I ought to finish my Touhou hard 1CCs first.

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Got complimented by both Jane and Richard Powers on my leading today.  Whoa.  And to think I was plateauing again…I haven’t actually worked on anything for a while.

I’m not really as ashamed anymore that my waltzing is better than my other dances.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, because I’m not going to force myself to get better at a dance that I don’t enjoy as much.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I read (hah, I like how the present and past tense are both the same spelling) B’s blog post and try to think of something to say.  I read it again and I try to think of something to say.  I’m about to just forget about it but the angel in me screams, “you have to say something!”  I still don’t know what to say, but I have to answer, somehow.  Even if it’s not the right answer.

And really, it shouldn’t even be the content of the post at all either.  The angel in me reminds me, that -every- post deserves a response.  And as long as that response isn’t a mean one, it’s okay, just make a response.

I will be a good denizen of the world.

I don’t really want to save the world.  I don’t care much* about starving kids, cancer, war, world hunger, poverty, the homeless.  That’s not the kind of Type 2 I am.  I care about making a positive emotional impact on the people who I care about, both when it counts and when it doesn’t count. (but mostly when it counts)  It is a deeply empathetic sort of care.  In recent years I’ve even used it to make myself feel better when those darned solicitors come at me and try to make me feel bad about not helping their causes.  “No, this is not the way that I choose to help people,” I say to myself.  And it really is true.  And I don’t have a moral issue with helping the people I care about with their emotional well-being instead of helping people who are “more in need”.  Because I am filling a need that is not being met, is what I believe.

I don’t even mean being a savior.  I will not solve your problems, I will not come riding in in shining armor, I will not dig you out of your deepest depths.  I can’t save; I’m much too “soft” to save most of the time.  But I want to shoot my magical stars at people, like Lala with her star wand.  I want to be the person who sits there, listening to your story, and doesn’t say what everyone else says.  I listen to what you have to hear, and I stay silent for a little bit.  I look down, or to the side, slightly, and then, after a few seconds, I nod slowly.  “mmhmm…”  Because I am really thinking about what you are saying.  I am -really- thinking about it.  I am not giving you any knee-jerk answers.  I will not say “cheer up”, “you’ll be fine”, “you’re being silly”.  Because I also know you already have enough people saying that to you.  I will only say the things that are true, and that I truly think, and that I know, from putting all of the pieces together from what I have heard, seen, and felt.

I was listening to Kiki the other day and I became utterly sure that she needs me in my life because of this.

=====

If I were to choose between losing sight and losing sound, I would lose sound.  Music is important…but sometimes, I get tired of hearing everything.  It’s incredibly easy to shut your eyes.  It’s extremely difficult to shut your ears.  And I bet you I could still listen to people, even without hearing them.

That’s how much I listen.

*(insert obligatory note here)

“It would be healthy to use this blog for venting more,” I tell myself.

But sometimes you just don’t feel like even talking it out.  It hardly matters because it’s something that isn’t going to be fixed, and something that’s been frustrating you for a while that you’ve talked about before, and it’s all old hat, and even if you felt like explaining it, why bother?

ARGRGHAUGHAUGHGHGHGHGHAGHAHAHUAHGU$HHFUHUFHFHFFFFFFFFfffffscrcwfnewerwuufuxxxxxxntttkrcrkcll.

I HATE YOU.

Now excuse me while I use a combination of chiptunes and Death mode to vent the fuck out of myself.

(+500 brownie points if you can actually guess what I’m upset about.  it doesn’t matter though)

OHC150

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC150

Smoking hot. Tonights theme is “Sizzling.”

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_Warming(OHC150).mp3

Bonus: http://www.mediafire.com/?bbegn0ltpir51vx

Didn’t really want to do anything special this week, and I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal if I didn’t do all that great–just felt like taking it easy.  I did want to just try out a bunch of VSTs that I have lying around, so I fired a lot of them up and started picking coolish sounds at random before compo started.

So basically the first half of the song was me just trying to use those instruments and basically noodling around very randomly.  Then at about 2:20 ish I come in with my classic TS404 lead.  Then I just for some reason decided to take the tempo down and slow it into dubstep territory.  Problem is I don’t actually -know- how to make dubstep, so I just kind of fake it using my 3xOsc supersaws and weird filter stuff.  I’ll learn how to make it, someday.

Anyways, after some more of that, i just turn the tempo back up to 140 bpm and start doing awesome chiptune melodies.  Yeah, wish I had more melody material going on here, but it’s pretty hard to write long melody stuff when you’re compoing.  But anyways, I add in a sliced drum beat, and an nes-style triangle bass, and then pads…and the pads…THE PADS…the chord progression I stumbled upon with those 12.5% pulse width pads was AWESOME.  And I was like holy shit, this is amazing.  Course, at this point I only had a little bit of time left so I couldn’t do much, but I at least squeezed out a really good outro, with the drums first going into a halftime beat (sexyyyyy), then closing out with the pads.

Managed to submit on time (the last one to do so), and I just said that the theme fit because my song was “warming up” to the awesome part.  Kind of a stretch but whatever. =P

I liked that last section so much (and was somewhat disappointed with some of the rushed mixing) so I actually broke from my usual convention of not touching OHC entries after I finish them.  So the bonus here is that I chopped the rest of the song away (since it’s just random crap that isn’t very great), made some very minor sequencing changes, improved the mixing, and made it a little bit longer, and made it into “Warmed”.

Always great when you stumble upon awesome musical ideas.  Even better when they happen to involve chiptunage.

State of Affairs

Making some changes to my computing environment…yes, it’s always a neverending cycle of improvement and tweaking!  I am an engineer, after all.

Anyhow, for a while Digsby has been my faithful multiprotocol IM/email/fb/etc client, but it has two main problems–namely, for a while now it’s been totally crapping out on connecting to AIM accounts.  It used to be sporadic at first, but now it’s almost totally consistent, and it only happens on Digsby.  My band-aid solution was to have meebo open at the same time logged into my main AIM account only (i’m not gonna set up an actual client for a band-aid solution), which worked but was pretty pathetic.  The other problem is the regular AIM spam that I get, which has been somewhat mitigated by the fact that all of my accounts except for the main one default to block all unless on blist, but I still get it regularly.

I’ve always considered Pidgin as it provides solutions to BOTH of these, since it can connect to AIM fine, and it has anti-spam measures for verifying that people are humans.  Okay, but problem is Pidgin doesn’t supply me with my growl-like notifications for FB notifications, FB news feed (yes, even the feed), twitter updates, imap mail (pidgin is very specifically NOT an imap client), and even hotmail emails (“WHAT UR USING HOTMAIL?” yes, I use it for registrations so that’s the account that gets overloaded with spam, but it’s also the account where I get all my email notifications for FB, blog posts, twitter, vyou, formspring, …)

Okay, so last night after some prompting (for the nth time) by D, I bit the bullet and decided to give pidgin another shot (again, for the nth time).  This time, looking for plugins that would hopefully allow pidgin to take care of twitter updates, fb notifications, etc.

This was…actually quite less successful than I had hoped.  Facebook was a big flop–pidgin handles fb chat just fine, but the other plugin that would theoretically get me fb notifications wasn’t working, and even then it probably wouldn’t give me feed updates.  Twitter kind of worked, but it was less than ideal as it basically sent me IMs of all the tweets.  After deciding that it wasn’t really working out, and also trying out Growl for Windows (lol) and deciding that that -definitely- wasn’t gonna work out, I went for the solution that I had in the back of my mind that wasn’t quite ideal but that I knew I’d be happy with: Pidgin for IM, Digsby for social network and email notifications.

Right, so now I’m running two multi-protocol clients…which seems ridiculous unless you also consider the fact that I’m also running two different sync applications.

And anyways, it pretty much works exactly how I want it to.  It’d be -nice- if I could have digsby do everything, since i happen to like the interface better (it’s more windows-y) and it’s nice to have an account that I can bring around to a different computer, but I don’t have any real problems with pidgin (and it’s probably not that hard to port my settings), and I haven’t even explored all of the customizations (i’ve made some good tweaks though).  I minimize digsby to tray so it doesn’t take up any taskbar real estate, and it’s positioned at the bottom-right, hidden underneath the bottom of the pidgin blist.  And it’s really short too, just big enough to cover all of the social network/email accounts, since i don’t need a blist in digsby anymore since all of the im stuff is in pidgin.

I think the craziest part of all this is that now I’m sometimes logged onto facebook SIX TIMES: one for actually browsing in chrome, one via XMPP for facebook chat, and one for digsby to get notifications, and all that times two because i have two fb accounts.

Next up on the agenda is the incessant HD activity issue which is the main limiting factor of my desktop’s performance…the two possible causes are not enough RAM (i only have 2GB) so it’s thrashing as i run out of memory, or just the two sync apps thrashing around everywhere.  For now I’m going to try closing those apps more often, and then maybe restarting them as I go afk, and seeing whether that fixes it.  If it does….urgh, well, we’ll have to see.  Maybe I’ll just have to keep doing that as a habit.

I guess ideally I could throw out windows live sync and replace it with some sort of super-linuxy =manual= sync that I can run every so often.  Or heck, I could just do it every week via plain old file transfers using my external HD, which lets me back up the stuff at the same time.  Dunno…

Edit: forgot to mention, I also took this opportunity to finally clean out my buddy lists.  It’s -amazing- how many screen name -> person associations I still remember after years and years of never seeing them online, ever.  I bet like 50% of the accounts i have on my blist are ones that are totally inactive and that I might never IM again, and that’s -after- my cleanup (i eliminated a lot of people who I still remembered the association for, but didn’t really care about anymore).  Sigh, why can’t people just stick to things?  Also, it made me proud that all of my accounts are consistent (besides MSN messenger which I shouldn’t be logged into anyways because I don’t use it)–my alias is always DDRKirbyISQ or DDRKirby, and that’s across YM, GTalk, AIM, Xanga, formspring, stanford, twitter, … none of this i-have-5-completely-different-aliases-and-i-expect-you-to-memorize-them-all nonsense.

FB usage

I really don’t understand deactivating a facebook account in order to prevent it from distracting you/to save time.  Partly because I think FB just doesn’t have nearly enough interesting content for me to even consider it a threat to my time.  Yeah, I’ll play TGM for like two hours or something, or occasionally I’ll go on some wikipedia or youtube or glowsticking or ssbm cruise through the interwebs and that’ll be a big time sink, but what are you -doing- on facebook?  And I know you’re not writing long thoughtful messages and posts because I’m the only one who does that (okay okay, I know I’m not, really, but come on…).  I get instant popup notifications in the corner of my screen all the time for FB activity and…well, it’s not very distracting at all.  Not because I ignore it, but because there is nothing really -to- ignore.  Is it because I only have 200 friends and not the 1,000+ that I know some of you have?  Well…I don’t know about that, because if I had 1,000 it’d just be an even lower signal-to-noise ratio and then I’d just ignore -everything-.

So I don’t really get it.  What are you doing, just going through people’s pages and interacting with them?  No, because you are all creatures of noninteraction–just how many of you are going to read this post and not interact with it, for instance?  So then what?  You’re just going to people’s pages and looking through their photos or something?  Okay yeah, kind of…but doesn’t that get old after a while?  Guess not.

It’s really strange to me.  Maybe because I consume the information and approach the influx in a different way.  I’ve seen people use fb before–in fact, I just think it’s curious and sometimes even bizarre how people use computers…the internet…heck, even things unrelated to computers, I find it fascinating how people go about their daily lives.  At some points I just quietly observe, but inside of my mind I’m going “what the heck?  -THIS- is how you go about things!?”.

But anyways, I’ve seen people use FB before.  They’ll choose out a friend randomly or arbitrarily, check on them, post on their wall saying something of not that much significance (“poopface!” “when can we hang out??”), flip through photos and make more nonsignificant comments (“sexyyyyy”), respond to anything they see on the page that seems interesting.

Yeah but for me there’s no point in visiting someone’s page because I already GET all of the updates and posts and everything and I read through them (or skim over them very quickly and dismiss them) as they come out.  And if I want to respond to anything, I do it as soon as it shows up–a lot of the time all I have to do is just click on my little popup notification (as long as i get it within the first few seconds) and then inline my comment, and hit enter (yay digsby).

I guess it all fits in with my policy of keeping my friend count as low as I can–I view it as something where I want to see -everything- that comes through, -as- it comes through, not just as some mass of constantly-updating information that i’ll check every so often and be interested in.  And having a small flist facilitates that better because there’s not as much clutter to sort through.

Unfortunately I don’t do that with twitter because I follow a whole bunch of random accounts that I’m just interested in because of news and announcements, like “just released a new song [link]”.  But that’s okay because twitter, by -nature-, limits the amount of noise, so it’s not that big of a deal to sift through it. (this is the whole reason it’s successful in the first place)

It used to be that I would check xanga multiple times a day, and I KNOW that i saw every single post by every single person I remotely cared about who was on Xanga.  And all of that meaningful to me, in at least some way.  I wanted to read ALL of it.

Of course, I was also thinking about how back in that age, when you took a short hiatus from the online world, you’d be excited when you came back because it meant you were guaranteed to have something to look at, waiting for you, as opposed to all the other times you check and there’s nothing there, again.  Nowadays the situation is quite the opposite–I personally feel the need to stay connected because I know that whenever i take a hiatus, I need to play a game of catchup, and catching up is always more painful than absorbing things as they comes.  That might not be the reason that other people feel the need to stay connected, but I think that’s one of the major ones that I feel.  It’s not really that the flow of information has stopped that bothers me, it’s that I know that information is still piling up, and I know it’s going to be waiting for me when I connect again.

And I ask…isn’t it better to do things this way?  Wouldn’t it be better if you could just always be in tune with everybody, instead of just the ones that you happen to fancy looking at today?  Or is that just too much for you mortals to deal with?  I know that R just went to bed and he’s not very happy, I know that E has stupidly early morning classes, I know that J is not feeling great and is taking a break from fb, I know that T is dealing with earthquake stuff, …and I don’t have to -choose- to listen to those specific people to know these things.  I just hear everything.  Because I listen.  And you can learn a lot when you listen.  I called Kiki today and she told me she was feeling stressed out, I replied “I know.”  Because I already knew that she was.  And I already knew why.

A lot of my closer friends appreciate that part of me, that I’m always in touch…and tuned in.  And because I understand them and don’t say much, everything I say is important and meaningful.