Flat Earth Fish
awake and eager
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Feb 24, 2009

Paintings

I've added my paintings to the site. It's been two years since my last challenging piece. I think I got to the point where what I wanted to do exceeded my free time (lobster bubble felt like it was killing me). Now that I'm unemployed, the excuses are gone -time to get back on that horse.

Feb 20, 2009

Virality

I've already started writing new content! Yesterday, I wrote and uploaded a little journal of my trip to the Yucatan, today it was an article on virality in game design. Virality is a relatively new design objective for me, but it's quite facinating and I've been thinking about it a lot.

Feb 16, 2009

The Fish

Why the fish? Mario World was one of my favorite games and I've always loved that little Rip Van Fish. He's so eager and happy... and a complete menace. The logic behind him is very simple, yet some suprisingly tense gameplay situations emerged and, for this, Rip Van Fish embodies the essence of good design.

Feb 11, 2009

Website update

I have finally decided to update the design of my website. This is my first serious attempt at a real web design. In the past, I've made it up as I went along and my site grew, like some kind of organic creature. Consequently, navigation was aimless and you kind of just browsed instead of seeking out anything in particular.

Feb 9, 2009

Time travel

I am arbitrarily adding post-dated messages to this list to fill it out. Eventually, I'll add the actual old posts to the archive (some of them are many years old...)

Jan 30 , 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

It's not long after I lost my job. I feel both doomed, because finding a new job will be very difficult given the tight job market and my narrow range of specialization, and liberated because I have all this free time to pursue things I've been putting off for too long.

I'm taking a serious push at my fiction writing, as well as a professional article, spending more time looking for mushrooms, designing board games, working on my website, exercizing, time with Monica, reading, studying old games I really should have played a long time ago and more.

Jan 29 , 2009

Frustration.

This is an even older entry. The game industry is very frustrating; the people in positions to make decisions are usually too worried about money to make design innovation a priority. Designers usually end up writing designs they know are inferior, for lack of time, resources and upper-level faith in their abilitities.

Companies like Apple and Google are shining examples of design-led development and yet still nobody follows suit.

Jan 28 , 2009

Archived

Well, if you've read this far, you must really like me. These messages are a blog. I'm not exactly sure what a blog is, but if you're looking for thoughts sorted into categories, I'm not going to do that here. Serious thoughts will be written out as actual essays and can be found under the appropriate section.

Pre 2009

The Selfless voice

I found this one on an old scrap of notepaper and kind of liked it:The selfish voice communicates wants and needs.The selfless voice communicates situations and dynamics.When communicating something important, wait until you are possessed by a selfless voice.

Pre 2009

Truism

If life gives you lemons, your fruit salad will taste like shit

Pre 2009

Theory of Sleep Dysfunction

I think I’ve got a guide to sleep dysfunction:

  • The guilty can’t fall asleep
  • The worried can’t stay asleep
  • The unfulfilled can’t help but sleep
Pre 2009

Found in my notebook

Just because you can see the mountains, doesn’t mean that they are near.

Pre 2009

Tony's three rules of speeding

Follow these rules and you should never get a ticket for speeding:

  1. Do not be the fastest car on the freeway
  2. Do not stay in the farthest left lane
  3. Slam on your brakes as soon as you see a cop

Rule 1 Detail: 

If there is a car going faster than you are, that car will get the speeding ticket.  Ideally you can find a car going a few miles an hour faster than you would like to be going – go at your ideal speed until you can no longer see this car and then slow down to the flow of traffic until you are passed by another speeder.

Rule 2 Detail: 

Cops are watching the left lane for the fastest cars.  If you stay out of the left lane you blend into the rest of traffic.  Use the left lane to pass cars going slower than you and then get back out of it.  If there is only one lane, consider driving the speed limit.

Rule 3 Detail:

This can help for a number of reasons.  Foremost, cops really like it when you roll over and act submissive – they are looking to castrate big egos and you deny them the opportunity by instantly surrendering.  Second, the cop may not have a good reading of your speed yet and any amount of doubt may cause him to reconsider.  Cops hate to argue and there are thousands of speeders to choose from – if yours isn’t a clear cut case it won’t be worth pursuing.

Pre 2009

Garnering sympathy and emotional respect

Emotion can be a powerful, captivating, consuming force stronger even than the will to live.  But emotion is so universal, so commonly experienced that an attempt to express it has no opportunity to succeed as anything but pithy.  The audience to such an expression will take it as a direct challenge to the validity and conviction of their own emotional experiences – does the teller purport that his emotion is more worthy of general acknowledgment?  The emotionally expressive is disdainfully regarded as weak and ignorant – ignorant that his own emotions are not the most powerful force on the planet – that his pain is no greater than that of his peers – that his joy is no rarer, nor more wonderful a blessing than that of his fellows.  Subtlety is the tool of the mature and perhaps the word ‘poignant’ best defines this observation.  Poignancy is desirable – it is generally respected and its achievement is a mark of a deep emotional intelligence.  A story is poignant if it draws the listener to conjure his own emotions to the fore of his brain - if the events related indirectly cause him to sympathize emotionally.  In this way he finds an understanding of the emotion the teller wishes to impart but the experience is his own and consequently moving.

Pre 2009

Breaking a horse

A good horse must be ‘broken’ just a like a good man.  If a horse is not broken, it is arrogant, selfish and presumptuous – even if politely so.  He may be strong, he may be fast he may even be clever but ultimately he can not achieve at his fullest potential until he is broken.  He needs to learn humility and true cooperation.  Not cooperation until things go wrong and he can look to cop out by placing blame on the weakness of others, but cooperation where each contributes to his fullest and equality is based on effort and not product.  A horse must be broken or he isn’t much good for more than running alone on the hills.

Pre 2009

The Rolling stone lacks distinguished character

I read in some article on robotics that bipedal motion is sustained instability; the point was that replicating two-legged walking is a very difficult thing to do.  Robots rely on firm static balance to stay upright, but humans use momentum to counteract the instability of motion.

This principal seems to also apply, metaphorically, to more than just the physical world; motion, movement or advancement of any kind may require instability.  The most stable state is the state of stagnation – now that might not be the most flattering word for a state that should be viewed objectively but the point seems to be that stability is the opposite of progress.  Of course this is a gross generalization and just as stillness is essential to a robot but not nearly as much to a human, progress and instability may not need be mutually exclusive. I think the concept is worthy to keep in mind and, situationally, decisions should be assessed by how much they will feed progress and how much they will threaten stability.

Pre 2009

Bloody, Sanguine, Carmine Fury

So I wrote this great, rage-infused, rant on the topic of rage and what I’m liable to do when I feel my humble sense of worth/authority disrespected.  Then I got home and was in the process of preparing dinner and thinking about work when I casually mused that my boss was more pleasant since he had started doing something meaningful with his free time.  This unexpected reflection caused me to analyze the source of my own unpleasantness (my boiling anger) and I came to the nearly immediate conclusion that the source of my frustrations are completely unrelated to their focus; that all facets of one’s life are chemically bound in one’s head and that frustration in one arena leads to frustration in all.  By pursing the solution to the source, I should have the greatest chances at alleviating my emotional state across the board (and avoid the unfortunate murder of only slightly deserving individuals).

Pre 2009

Possibly Propitious

Potentially portentous, assuredly auspicious;Reading from the future saves us from the vicious.What’s that?Prognostication isn’t your vocation?Can’t see the forecast through to culmination?Personal prophecy, even unequivocally,shouldn’t be confined to those who claim to ‘see’;Nostradamus has got little on us;Don’t seek supernaturally for the ominous -Divining your path is understanding wrath;and pity, pithy petulance; jealousy and jurisprudence;affectation - affection, defection and attraction;all of the way from apathy to action.To know this span, your fellow man,can give you course to plot and plan.Read them all – every one – every man beneath the sunHe’ll tell you what he’s to do before it’s even done.

Pre 2009

Ode to the Bushtit

My favorite bird would have to be
the bushtit, most undoubtedly.
Its cheerful chirp, its perky tail,
it brings me smile without fail.
It seems to watch me even yet,
while in the bath, it gets so wet.
A pair of them are bouncing now,
exciting - yet I know not how.
Soft to the touch, warm and round,
a focal point, my eye has found.
It rustles through my garden bed
and mounts the fence post beside the shed.
Why do I love you, dear Bushtit?
Perhaps your name, yes, I think that’s it.

 

Pre 2009

Idiomcy

The difficulty in writing a paragraph without repeating any words is that, if you aren’t careful, all good ones are used up early. More sophisticated verbiage may be implemented, supplementing expended nouns and verbs but problems arise with little pronouns. Soon, one reaches points where sentences can barely begin, everything becomes pluralized, creative punctuation extends inevitable ends. “Messy!” thou shout, completely changing prose styles. “Have I yet repeated?” - wondered aloud, uncertain of continuing purpose to support your endeavor. Contractions buy time! How long… plagued by increasingly shorter text strings. Meatier language, less intellect, develops strange phenomena. Only ideas composed as statements remain viable. Direct thoughts could extend this nearly indefinitely. Fortunately, quitting shall precede complete absurdity.