Crash Blossom

I published my first comic last year. Crash Blossom: Monorail was released at the Jet City Comic Show on September 22, 2012.

And by “published” I mean a limited run of 40 copies, hand-folded by the author. “Crash Blossom” was supposed to be an anthology, but as it turns out there were only two of us who made the deadline, and I was absolutely determined to get something in print.

The artwork is not beautiful. I redid most of it several times, because every time I thought it was finished, my skill level would double and I’d want to throw the old crap away and replace it with slightly less crappy crap. The writing was generally more well received.

This was my first comics project in my adult life, and despite how amateurish it looks now, it was my absolute best, and I’m proud of it.

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Annual blog post 2013

Life is still going pretty well. Thankful for that.

Took down a bunch of older blog posts. A lot of them were too candid, or lame, or uninformed comments on current events. That’s what microblogging is for.

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Changed jobs

The following had been sitting in my drafts folder since March 2012.

After 19 months at Lockerz, I’ve made the jump to another Seattle startup called Skytap. They provide “cloud automation solutions,” basically a tool that allows you to create weather on the fly. ;-) Ahh, too tired to explain cloud computing.

I was excited about the job for a few reasons:

  1. New technology: Ruby on Rails, backbone.js
  2. Better setup for front-end development … mock services, and using our own tools to create test environments. For example, I can fire up IE6 in a virtual machine in the cloud, connect to the VPN, and view the Rails site on my own desktop. Top that.
  3. Better planning. We typically do one release per month.


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Still alive

Yep. Unlike some people, I am still alive as of this writing. Also, I finished the single-player campaign in Portal 2. The game itself felt too short, even at more than double the length of the original; I don’t think they could have made it long enough to do it justice. The ending was suitably weird, even compared to the original. I won’t link to it here due to massive spoilers (you can find it on YouTube).

Some backstory can be found in this comic about Doug Rattmann, the delusional Aperture Science engineer who survived the events surrounding GLaDOS‘ activation.

EDIT: Okay, okay. Since those last two links at Combine OverWiki also contain lots of spoilers, here is the Portal 2 ending video. But it will make absolutely no sense if you haven’t played at least through Chapter 5 of the game.

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Fan Week is coming

When I was interviewing at Amazon, my manager-to-be explained that nobody had air conditioners here in Seattle, because it was only hot enough to justify owning one for about one week during the year. Coming from Florida as he had, this was no summer at all.

The weather here did make a difference in my relocation from California. I spent my childhood in the midwest, and while I don’t miss the hot sticky summers, I liked the summer rain. I missed the change in the air, the thunder rolling across the fields, and the way everything smelled after it was over.[1]

My first Fan Week was in 2006. It was taking a long time to unpack my things, so I had the fan but not the cover. The first time I ran it, the cord from the venetian blinds got caught in the blades. Etc.

  1. Smell that? … [The] smell of spring. All green and full of possibility. — Dr. Morgenstern, “Shades Of Gray” (ER, S04E19)
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I may never get lost again

Google Maps street level views are the greatest thing since sliced bread. All I have to do is drop the little dude icon in the middle of the freeway and it shows exactly what the visual landmarks are.
Street-level view of Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle
Argh!! I just missed the offramp! This is like the 3rd time!!

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Hey Lupin. Looks like your so-called “source” fell off the web. He hasn’t posted anything since the Fresh Prince hit his expiration date!

Are you even listening?

Lupin and Jigen at the opera

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Water Hazard

map of unidentified river and nearby city

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(One of many thought-provoking text adventures by Spatch.)

And so you were taken from this place to another place, where you had absolutely no damn idea what it is you're supposed to be doing. It's OK, you'll be all right. Just don't pick up the phone
booth, or else you'll die.

a NyQuil nightmare by R. Noyes
Release 619 / Serial number 960409 / Inform v1502 Library 5/12
Standard interpreter 1.0

The Town Square
You are standing in the middle of a pretty town square in the center of a nondescript New England town. Like most any other nondescript New England towns, there's not much to see or do here, but
maybe you'll find something amusing and enjoyable to do.

A shiny metal phone booth sits in the center of the square.

>get booth
You grunt with all your might and heave the phone booth onto your shoulders. For a moment or two it looks as if you're not going to be able to lift it, but heroically you finally lift it high in
the air! Seconds later, however, you topple underneath the weight, and the booth crushes you fatally. Geez! Didn't I tell you not to pick up the phone booth?! Isn't the name of this very game
"Pick Up The Phone Booth and Die"?! Man, you're dense. No big loss to humanity, I tell ya.

*** You have died ***

In that game you scored 0 out of a possible 100, in 1 turn, giving you the rank of total and utter loser, squished to death by a damn phone booth.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, give the FULL score for that game or QUIT?

(Note: this post was written in February 2007 — which shows how far behind I am…)

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And you thought /your/ project had problems!

So why wasn’t Sinistar [for Atari 400/800] released? Around the time Sinistar was being completed (mid 1984), the video game market was crumbling fast and many games were canceled. Apparently marketing decided that the game wasn’t going to make enough money and canceled the project… without telling the programmers! Jeff and his team continued to work on the project for almost two months after it was canceled, due to lack of communication between marketing and the programming department. Incidents like this were not uncommon, and just goes to show how badly out of touch the managers were at the time of Atari’s collapse. []

(MP3 audio)

That game was hard, too. With the adrenaline flowing through your veins as you scrambled to evade the warrior ships, the voice of Sinistar — preparing his attack — was enough to scare you out of your wits. (I can personally attest to this :) Being overtaken by a taunting, screaming, giant space head is just plain unsettling; when it happens while a random six-year-old is tugging at your pant leg pleading for game tokens, death is swift and certain.

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