Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Xie Xie Rinto and other assorted thoughts.

So... Apparently, we have a dog now. An unexpected and somewhat strange turn of events. Recently my oldest boy proclaimed he saw someone drop a dog out of their car door one morning from his school bus, which considering the rural highway/area we live isn't exactly a common occurrence. More often than not strays wander up from neighbors or are simply dogs local to the area known to roam. The dog in question however, re-appeared the next day at my parent's house, who live about an acre or two in front of us and are situated in a much more visible location from the road. 

That morning I received a rather excited call from my son that this mystery dog was there, right now, 'just in case we wanted to take a look at it and see if it was a good dog or not.' I tried to remain as objective as I could, since we haven't had the best of luck with dogs as pets over the years. Not that I don't like them, I adore a good dog and had several growing up, but this area isn't always the best on dogs. Coyotes, local farmers, disgruntled neighbors and a road that people tend to fly down at 60+ mph and it doesn't take much for misfortune to turn it's gaze your pet's way.

But my youngest boy has begged for a pet dog for 2 years, frantically in fact. He has even told us stories of strays he has seen pass down the street and explained that they were his doggy but that they were out wandering or something and desperately held that someday his doggy would come back. So my wife, who is well versed in all manner of dog-related behavior and such took a look at what we immediately established was a beagle mix male of about 1 year old.

We had to coax my oldest boy to leave us to observing the dog and go elsewhere before his incessant attempts to bully me into a 'yes' answer resulted in a stone-wall of zero thought or consideration. After careful thought and observation I found myself thinking on my own grandfather who while ill is convalescing at my parent's house. He was always taking in dogs that were dropped by his house or not a mile from his home at the church he as caretaker for and song-leader. My Grandad never would let a dog suffer if he could help it and as I thought on him I asked myself what would he do, and so I opted to allow the dog to stay for a trial period, still certain that if he was dropped we would soon find some reason or flaw.

It has now been about 3 or so days and aside from signs he suffered being hungry recently and some heavy breathing at rest we are at a loss as to a motive to discard this animal. He behaves well with the kids, isn't overly active. The dog doesn't chase cats or even bark hardly ever. He has even only had maybe 2-3 accidents in the house and while out off any leash refuses to venture far. It remains a puzzle.

So now, I suppose, it looks like we have a dog. Much to my wife and kids joy, and I myself have the comfort that we haven't been out anything investing in this pet. Who knows how long he'll stay or what will become of him. But for now, he is a good dog and the family is thrilled to have him.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Example of Progress

I'd like to think that my code slinging has been productive. I mean, hey, who else has managed to program in code segments to accurately calculate stat mods, as well as carrying capacity? So, yeah, maybe I am a bit nerdy, but hey, it's coming along. And so what if I am a little proud?

In other news; I am seriously planning on coding in some humorous Easter eggs. Submissions are open for any interesting ideas! Perhaps anyone familiar with programming can see the obvious amount of coding I have been up to...lol They say a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps it's worth a thousand lines of code too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fae Twilight - An Inspired

As early morning dew still clung to damp fern and moss and fog lingered lazily about the forest floor a single feminine form emerged into view. In the fading forest realm, birthed by passing twilight she stood unashamed and untouched. Pale flesh of ivory left exposed as moonlight slowly retreated from her embrace. Like a dreamer stripped from slumber all vision of her defied focus and detail, but many a forest friend couldn't deny the strange beauty that called to them.

Raising her slender arms aloft the fading mists took shape and cloaked her, while moss and lichen gripped tightly to the curves and angles of her featured facade. Silence befell the forest floor as she stood before it, a new queen claiming a new court. The fae of twilight fresh born was she, and a single purpose breathed life into her supple shape. Bastard born, half between both Seelie and Unseelie she walked a queen between queens.

Not for long. Like the rising of a crimson dawn she burned with a fiery glow, eyes of crystal unsettled all wildlife who gazed upon. She would tear them down, she would tear it all down. For she dwelled in neither court, but existed as a part of both. Her dominion would eclipse them all.

I have to admit, this piece is a bit of whimsy inspired after viewing some wonderful art featuring Roswell Ivory. It inspired me with some gorgeous imagery and landscape that held a scene similar to the above pseudo-story. So I thought, if nothing else, as an exercise I would try to weave a little creation of fantasy and see where it went. Unfortunately my train of thought got interrupted en-route this morning and subsequently the "moment" as well. Can't say as I know where this one is going or if it is but glad I got it down. Let me know what you think. Who knows, might see more explorations into this one or others.

And hey, 100th post! I guess this counts as something special for a 100th post? Thanks for reading them, I'll keep trying to write them and hopefully you'll enjoy them.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Adventure for Today.

Not all adventures begin in the dimly lit confines of a tavern warmed by a fire and surrounded by mirth, wenches and fellow patrons. And too, not all tales begin in misty hills or ancient tombs where danger slumbers. Sometimes, such a thing begins with a simple scratching. A quiet herald that grabs at your attention little by little until an explosion of excitement catches you in a swirling chaos of panic and confusion.

Such was the case with me this morning. The past few days I have found myself investigating a reoccurring noise, one that I had come to believe was a mouse that had found it's way into our dryer's exterior vent hose. And as such I had been puzzled at how to get at the pest or if it would simply manage to make it's escape and leave in piece. On this fateful morning I was to be proven completely in error.

I had manged to get the older kids off too school and my youngest, after an extreme fit of toddler rage coupled with her own brand of indignation, to bed for a nap. My son had been up most of the night was resting on a couch by me, when much my sudden and completely unexpected horror a single bird took flight through my home to crash behind the couch occupied by my son. Now, granted I will concede I mentally stumbled with what action I should take and within moments fortified my mind with a simple strategy. I seized upon an empty cardboard box and set myself to try and scoop the bird up as it took wing and trap it until I could release it.

However, as typical, Murphy saw to my tactic. The bird eluded me and managed to find it's way, with much 'Jesus, Joseph, and Mary' shouts slipping from my lips, into the kids room. Where it eventually took up sanctuary behind a dresser.

Try as I might, I could not spook, coax or position myself to spring the bird from it's entrenched position into my waiting trap, but I had an ace still to play. One of the kids cats came in from outside and instantly I looked on it with wolfish glee. At first the cat wandered off to lay down and rest, but a second foray at introductions proved most effective. The cat seized upon the bird in a narrow confine around one corner and then quickly doubled to the opposing side to outflank his opponent. It took to the air then to try and escape on the high ground of our bunk beds. Misfortune smiled upon it however because our cats have mastered mounting the bunk beds lofty heights with ease and the bird was rapidly caught in a feline blitz.

Literally within moments I was able to retrieve the fallen foe of the feline and escort it back outside our home. Ironically enough my youngest daughter escaped the excitement of our encounter with her room while she slept.

Now, let us hope that that is enough excitement for today. For a Jedi craves not these things.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Code Slinging for the Soul.

Code Slinging for the Soul:

I must confess I have been gripped of late by my return to programming. It's been almost 6 years since I wrote any and recently have found myself once again immersed in it. Unfortunately because of it and some other stuff going on I have slipped from my near mechanical writing routine, and that has been weighing on my mind greatly. However, as a writer I do love to write, but as I do not do so professionally my only compensation for my craft is in the satisfaction of readers enjoying my work. Granted that has seemingly diminished of late but no doubt life's many demands have limited people's time as it has effected my own productivity.

But contemplating this has lead me to a number of thoughts. Some of which are, quite simply, that I myself am getting lost in writing code for some very basic reasons. When I get into working on a program, much as I do when I take on any problem, I tend to get consumed. I literally get lost in working on it and I think in part because it delight's me so. While working on this program I am able to feed my own internal gratification and sense of worth. Every segment of code that I piece together that does what I need it to makes me feel triumphant Every step closer and every single thing I have to look up and try to understand leads me to feel more accomplished. I feel as if even before this project is complete that I myself am feeling rewarded and valued.

Now, I don't mean to sound as if that such a project is a requirement to give my life meaning. . However, you must understand; I don't work anymore. I don't even drive, there are just too many risks with me falling asleep behind the wheel. I have dodged enough bullets in the past and they only get bigger. As such, those little uplifting moments most young men, and well most adults have I do not. I don't get applauded by the boss for doing a good job. I don't even get the contented feeling of coming home tired after a busy day and knowing I have done my job.

In working on something like this it gives me a chance to step outside my normal routine and experience a sense of worth if only to myself. It let's me feel like I am good at something that other's may be able to use and enjoy. I know that those friends and family(not to mention my deliciously gorgeous wife!) will eventually use this program and hopefully find it helpful. They may never say thank you or even truly appreciate all the fine details involved in it's creation. But I think deep down I will always treasure the time I took in it's creation.

So I guess while I write the code for it, and struggle to learn and push my own programming that deep down I am really doing it to feed my own soul. A Writer writes, and a programmer writes code to create something.  I suppose I am just writing in a different medium. I still keep pressure on myself to get more work done on my stories lest I loose my grip on them entirely.

I promise more to come soon. Gotta take breaks from staring at code right? Perhaps my inner nerd just needed a chance to wax philosophical. Hope you didn’t mind.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Digital Immersion - Part 11.

Little more than a gentle purring hum heralded the ship's new found union with the ground below. It's engines slowing as it maintained itself to return aloft should the pilot deem it necessary. In such an unknown situation it was a standard protocol. 'Protocol,' the thought prodded at Wade's mind like an instructors prod to remind him to focus at the matter at hand.

"Sensors up," Wade began his routine series of orders, running through them like a checklist. At least having the comfort of procedure kept his mind from wandering too much. "Give me a full scan of all terrain and check for any signs of the missing squad. Let's look for any evidence as to what happened." Looking over to the armed security detail dispatched with him he once more hoped they wouldn't be needed. However if something had managed to take out the whole squad without a single alarm he was glad to have at least that small measure of protection.

"Let's try to establish a link to the squad's ship," the order almost spoke itself like an afterthought that slipped from the back of his mind when he wasn't paying attention. Seizing on it, he assured himself that the idea was actually sound. "It may hold some clues as to the fate of the squad."

"Sir," the voice of a gruff veteran communications officer grabbed at Wade's attention and tore him from his own thoughts. What was his name again, Wade pondered, Rynd or something? "Yes, what is it," Wade inquired, still unsure of the officer's name. A fact he quickly dismissed as irrelevant considering the present situation. "We've located the remains of some of the squad-member's mecha as well as a large debris field that looks to be drones. Sensors indicate the location and identification based on mecha chassis of all but Lieutenant Querent, sir."

"I want all available data for review, now" Wade commanded as he reached up to rub at his temples to try and alleviate the growing headache building in his skull. There had to be some explanation. What force could of done this and still he couldn't account for the whereabouts of Querent much less if she survived.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just how many kobolds can a adventurer withstand?

Anyone who has ever played D&d can easily attest to having fought countless throngs of kobolds. As a low level monster they are really are an iconic foe that many players enjoy fighting. But the question often loomed about in my mind; just how many kobolds could a player manage to handle before becoming overwhelmed? Seeing as how they often tend to attack in numbers.

So about 6 years ago while taking a Visual Basic.net class in college I decided to write a program to find out. What came about was "The Kobold Rating Calculator," a method by which a player could input their character's stats and it would calculate how many kobolds they could stand against. The program would actually calculate a value by running a simulated series of combats, progressively adding another kobold until the character was finally overcome.

The program is a little old, and as I recall could of been done so much better but I ran out of time polishing it(it became my final project/exam for the class). I do plan to revise it sometime soon, but thought I might make this one available. I know I have been pumping out story after story of lat but I thought I might take a break today and unleash a horde of kobolds today. How many could you handle?

The Glitched Grimore

I recently managed to download Visual Studio 2010 for free and have begun a new programing project, which reminded me of the Kobold Rating Calculator. I hope to have more coded creations to share in the near future.