Average score:

Everyone gets a turn

Last month the Worker was in control for one day after another until he was so comfortable with being himself that he didn't see the need for the rest of us. That's the sort of attitude we all need to have. We're not helpless, we're complete people. But we can rely on each other to do even more than any one of us could do alone. We're in a group, but that group can only function if each of us is an individual in his own right. It's my turn now, and what I need to overcome is the idea that slacking off is ever an option. Thinking about things is not a pastime, it's a calling. It's always difficult, and extremely important, to stop and consider. That's me. Then the Explorer gets to go, and we'll see where he takes it but I hope he focuses on Angles & Circles (our exploration game). There might not still be time in the month after that, but if there is we'll keep going down the list of characters. Once or twice a week we'll interrupt what we're doing to give the Worker a day. Some activities of his take priority over this exercise.

There's a lot to do this month, so let's keep the oversized days down to a minimum. And I don't want to see a single day that isn't claimed by a character. If we've got that much time to waste, the Worker's always happy to have another day to get things done in.
First activity: Numbering Gamer Mom 0:31
1:40 - Gamer Mom
2:05 - Lunch/get ready to leave
2:25 - Go to Jerusalem
I don't know when I'll be coming back, so I may need to reschedule. But as a starting point:
6:30 - Blog maintenance
7:00 - Organize comics
9:00 - Figure out who borrowed my Bone comics, and get them back
9:20 - Finish blog post
11:00 - Gamer Mom
12:00 - TV
1:30 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Cox and Box 4:31
Gamer Mom 1:43
Comics 1:29
TV 1:29
The blog 1:16
Mundane activities 1:10
Trying to find my Bone comics 0:10
I met with Rob and got the script for Cox and Box, which will unfortunately only be a twenty-minute edit but should still be fun.
I finished numbering Gamer Mom.
I continued collecting the Avengers backup stories, fixing the files whenever the printed chapter number was incorrect.
I finished writing the blog post about Avengers 15.

I got home from Rob's at 6:58, and decided that since the blog maintenance was not critical I'd just skip that and continue with the comics.
Notes: I went to the only people I can recall lending my Bone books to, to see if they had the ones I'm missing. They couldn't find them, so I have no idea where my books are. It's a real shame, after all the money I shelled out for a complete collection.
Performance review: Thank you for reminding us how useful a character you are, and how effective last month was in getting you to that point. Tomorrow we have data entry work, but I'm going to give that to the Addict even though I'm sure you'd do great things with the day, because I'm worried about getting too comfortable with these routines of yours. "I am not!"

But I must emphasize: really good work here. Top notch.
I want people to say: "That Mory guy is a machine." That would make me happy.
Time allocation: Data entry work in Jerusalem 8:44
Mundane activities 0:30
There was a lot more work than I expected. I got fast enough that I could do each subject in twenty minutes, but there were some difficulties with the legibility of bad scans of bad handwriting. So I wasn't able to finish everything in time. I wish I could have. There's just forty minutes of work left, so next week when all the new work is in I'll finish up.
Performance review: Fine, I guess. This doesn't impress me too much, but I can't fault anything about the day.
First activity (Tue.): Dinner 0:28
First activity (Wed.): Undeclared ?
The worker and the addict are perfect. I'm a joke. I'm no philosopher, I just read comics and make guesses about Nintendo's business plans. I've been given all this time which could just as easily be given to someone who does things, and I don't know what to do with all of it.

I'll have to remember the guidelines:
  1. Look for insight in new places.
Was there something else I was supposed to remember? ... No, I guess there wasn't. That's not much to go on.
Time allocation: Organizing comics 10:57
Mundane activities 5:58
Reading 2:12
A questionnaire 0:35
A podcast 0:25
Performance review: This is absolutely unacceptable. Stop wallowing in distractions and come up with some new ideas already!
First activity (Thu.): Piano 0:23
First activity (Fri.): Comics 0:07
I'm going to go to Jerusalem to see The Tree of Life.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 7:34
Seeing a movie in Jerusalem 6:00
Dwarf Fortress 2:06
Comics 1:07
E-mail 0:56
Piano 0:23
The Tree of Life was heavy-handed in its narration and clichéd in its message, but made up for it by being astonishingly beautiful in every other way. It asks why bad things happen to good people, and its answer is that the question is in error, because for a person who appreciates life properly bad things don't happen. Or something like that. It was an overly easy answer, but it certainly provided food for thought with its reflections on 1950s family values.

While I was there I wandered around. I haven't done that enough before and I ought to keep wandering around in the same area because it turns out there's a lot there to find. I had some inspiration for Angles and Circles, and when I came home I really should have worked on it.

I tried playing Dwarf Fortress. It blew me away when it told me that my randomly-generated character tended to cluck his tongue whenever he was annoyed. I can't make heads or tails of the interface, but I'll figure it out eventually.
Performance review: Not enough enthusiasm or energy, and way too much time. In addition, there was no exercise.
First activity: Data entry 8:07
I just woke up from a nap. I needed that. Not much time left, but oh so much to do.
10:40 - buy the Humble Indie Bundle
10:55 - Learn HTML5
12:30 - Cox and Box
1:30 - Write a blog post
2:30 - Comics

I'm not good enough, but this evening is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Data entry 8:07
Practicing using the HTML5 <canvas> tag 1:31
Mundane activities 1:22
Cox and Box 1:08
The blog 1:01
Comics 0:31
Purchasing the Humble Indie Bundle 0:09
I filled in the data for six subjects, plus half of a seventh.

I took my first steps toward using the <canvas> tag that Gamer Mom will be built with. I've only gotten as far as doing things like this.

I looked over the first half of the Cox & Box libretto, and started learning a particularly clever little musical number.

I wrote a blog post.
Performance review: Excellent, as always. To respond to the criticism in your post, I will point out that just one month ago you could not control a day reliably, and now you have all the strengths you've pointed out. Give me the time to figure out my part, and then we'll talk again.
First activity: Trying to play Braid 0:13
Time allocation: Playing Osmos 2:50
Mundane activities 2:43
Thinking about Judaism 2:36
Playing VVVVVV 2:22
Playing And Yet It Moves 1:30
Sad poetry at shul 1:15
A family dinner before the fast 0:58
Listening to a panel discussion about social issues 0:31
Trying to play Braid 0:13
Browsing for graphics cards 0:10
I had two realizations today. The first is that if a game just gets you to repeat things over and over, getting better at it all the while, and doesn't do any more than that, that's not enough. Games can and should aim higher. Don't get me wrong- I enjoy playing repetitive games like And Yet it Moves or Osmos or data entry. But when I make games, they'll try to leave you in a different emotional state at the end than you were in at the beginning. This realization partially came to me during the interminable 9th-of-Av traditional poetry readings, which keep repeating the same woe-is-me whining in different versions. You're not supposed to feel like you've gotten somewhere at the end of this fast, you're supposed to just have a newfound sense of unhappiness that'll stick with you throughout the year. That's just not a good emotional journey. Either get gradually more positive, or get gradually more bleak. If after a full day you've stayed in the same place, you've wasted that day.

The other realization is that when I'm a known gamist, I need to present myself as a representative of the Jewish people. There isn't one of those in gamism. And the fact that I don't fit neatly into any particular branch of Judaism is actually a good thing for this task, because it means that no Jew will see me as one of the groups they're used to dismissing. I'll be "one of them", so that other Jews are inspired to be better than the norm. Jews should be associated with a commitment to subversive excellence in all fields.
Notes: The game I bought the "Humble Indie Bundle" for, Braid, will not run on my computer. Neither will Cogs. I haven't tried all the others yet. Now I'm faced with the question of whether to shell out hundreds of shekels to play one game, with no guarantee that any other games will run on Linux. I think I won't; I'm planning to get a Playstation 3, so I'll buy Braid again for that. The $10 I paid for the bundle are a good deal anyway, both for the unexpectedly awesome VVVVVV and for Crayon Physics Deluxe, which I've already played and am happy to support them for.
Performance review: Interesting ideas, if a bit half-baked. From now on, spend the last few hours of the day refining the ideas rather than wasting time.
First activity: Organizing comics 2:11
It's a fast day, and I'm feeling very weak. And yet, I'm supposed to have some profound thoughts by the end of the day because that's where I'm at in my life journey right now.
Time allocation: Comics 8:33
Mundane activities 2:57
The post-fast feast 0:40
Killing time with Osmos 0:20
You only start seeing what's right in front of you when you take a considerable amount of time to look. For instance, I wrote a blog post on the subject of The Avengers #15 recently, which I considered to be an unsuccessful comic. I now find that I've reversed my opinion of it, because of two things which came up during my comics-collecting process. First, I read through all of Bendis's "Oral History of the Avengers" backups, which told me a few things about Hawkeye's background which I hadn't been aware of (not having read the particular issues in question). Secondly, I reread issue "#12.1", which I had decided not to include in my collection but have changed my mind on. It's not a particularly good issue, but in the context of the wider storyline it serves its purpose.

Now, I got into a very heated argument with a blogger I follow about issue 12.1, because he insists that it's sexist and repulsive while I think -in context- there's nothing objectionable about it other than that it's a bit lacking in entertainment value. The source of argument is a scene where Spider-Woman is captured by supervillains, stripped and held prisoner. I think that this issue, being a jumping-on point for new readers, specifically wanted to emphasize Spider-Woman's humiliation as a shorthand for all the humiliation which long-time fans know she's been going through. It's necessary to make her emotional state clear, because that's a large part of the basis for the budding romance with Hawkeye. What I've realized, on reflection, is that this is a very messed-up and strange relationship between two messed-up and angry people. I never really thought about how broken they both are - Bendis has seen fit time and again to emphasize their confusion and anger, but in the context of individual issues I never really thought about it. It's only when you take a step back, and consider the big picture, that the story becomes very interesting indeed.

And from that perspective, Avengers 15 isn't just entertaining, it's downright essential. The talking-heads style, which I previously dismissed as overkill, is important because the character beats between them are (naturally) taking place in a battle, and in the chaos of a battle there's no time for the reader to reflect. You need a page where you're just sitting down after the fact and figuring out what it means, or you've missed the entire point.

I need to write a second post about this issue. (Incidentally, the owner of the blog I've been arguing on has threatened to ban me. Par for the course... sigh.)
Performance review: Not bad for a fast day.
5:55 - Organize comics
7:45 - Games night
1:00 - Practice HTML5
2:30 - TV
3:15 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Comics 7:31
Mundane activities 6:50
Games night 5:03
Dungeon Master 2:46
Errands 1:25
HTML practice 1:16
TV 0:49
I wrote a script for Dungeon Master with Coren. It's horrifically bad, but we'll be able to look at what we did wrong here when we rewrite it next week.

I put together two comics discs, and gave one to Avri.

I bought new sandals.

I got comfortable with the vast majority of Javascript functions I'll need to know with Gamer Mom.
Performance review: First off, you shouldn't realize that the script is bad. If you have time to think about things like that, you're playing the day wrong. And that just goes to show that this entire day was out of character. You ignored the schedule, and then when you made a new schedule you didn't take that seriously either. You know you can do better than this.
First activity (Fri.): Cox and Box 2:18
First activity (Sat.): Cox and Box 0:14
Time allocation: Cox and Box 5:05
Mundane activities 4:15
Comics 0:23
Cox and Box is going to be really fun.
Performance review: This is profoundly disappointing. There really isn't much thought that needs to go into this character. You just do one thing, and nothing else. The trouble is you're not taking the job seriously.
First activity: Going to Jerusalem 1:24
Time allocation: A movie 4:50
Cox and Box 4:14
Mundane activities 1:04
Crayon Physics Deluxe 0:43
Notes: I went to a rehearsal, and then I stayed in Jerusalem to go to the movie Captain America: The First Avenger with Dena, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's friend. The division here between rehearsal and movie was arbitrary.
I don't think I did my relationship with Dena any favors by hanging out with Dena. She doesn't like everything that I represent. But her boyfriend's friend Reuben was very nice. It was a more social experience than usual to watch this movie with these people, since they tended to talk through the movie a bit (and I joined in). Not loudly, of course, and just short reactions to whatever we were seeing. I never watched a movie in theaters like that before. I hope we weren't too annoying for the other people in the room.

My "professional" relationship with Rob and Paul remains positive. The fact that I've learned half the play makes me feel like one of the gang, even though they all obviously know it much better. I'm not too thrilled about what they're doing to the play, making drastic cuts all over the place that take out most of my best bits, but despite all the honesty I am constantly employing in conversation with them I think I'll have many more opportunities with them in the future. There's no friction here, except for them continuing to try to get me into H.M.S. Pinafore.
Performance review: The social opportunities weren't as substantial as they might have seemed, but I don't think I missed much. I've got to stop having days without opening statements, though.
First activity: Data entry 7:57
8:00 - Find graphics drivers
9:15 - Online shopping
(10:00 - If no one's home yet, walk Fudgie.)
10:00 - Back up hard drives
10:35 - TV
12:30 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Data entry 7:57
Mundane activities 2:25
TV 2:14
Trying to get better graphics drivers 1:09
Buying a Playstation 3 0:35
I completed all the data entry work I had left. It'll probably be a while until the next workday.

I bought a used Playstation 3, along with a small assortment of Playstation 3 and Playstation 2 games. (I specifically bought an old PS3 for the backwards compatibility.)
Notes: It turns out I did have the most up-to-date graphics drivers. So it's just a matter of my computer not being a gaming computer. Ah well. I'll have to buy Braid again for the PS3.
Performance review: What, not even an excuse for not following the plan?
Notes: I have an excuse for 16-18: I was in Tzfat with my family for the Klezmer festival. What I can't excuse is staying in "vacation mode" after getting back. I wrote some Dungeon Master, finished VVVVVV and put together another comics disc or two, but overall I didn't do much.
First activities (Mon.): Putting the formatting in place for a comics-related post 0:16
Starting to write a politically-minded post 0:15
Considering the addition of some rules 0:17
Jumping around the blog via the watermark (but no scrolling) 0:15
Testing the capabilities of the Deku Nuts in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 0:14
First activity (Tue.): The political post 1:04
When I double-click the blog's logo, I almost always land at something which makes me smile. I don't expect a random passerby would have the same reaction - it's less a mark of quality than a mark of how invested I am in everything I've written. But I believe that if I take everything I write seriously, and if I have any skill at all, what will result is quality of some sort. Lately I've spent more time writing closing statements for particular days than writing legitimate posts that I care about, and that's not right. There's a reason the performance review frame is so small. Prominently placed, sure, but small. It's because it's a small part of the blog. Ideas can be so much bigger than actions. I want to chase down some of those ideas, and add them to what I think has been a fairly successful blog thus far.
Time allocation: A comics post 5:14
Mundane activities 1:49
A political post 1:19
A personal policy post 1:14
My latest piano composition 0:55
Planning 0:25
Reading old posts 0:15
Living in Hyrule 0:14
A fateful phone call 0:07
My blog has gotten so broad in scope, that I can do just about anything I'd normally do and as long as I intend to put it on the blog it qualifies as a "blog activity". This feels like cheating.
Notes: I can't say what that phone call was about. (And don't wait around for me to tell you later, because I won't.) It was good news, though.
Performance review: This is way too ambitious for an eleven hour day. It should have been double, maybe even triple that. There are the makings here of five separate posts. Five. And you worked on one of them for five hours and got around halfway done. So we're talking about maybe fifty hours of work.
First activity: Crayon Physics Deluxe 1:18
Time to start programming Gamer Mom. The things which in the past have been difficult, here will be simple. All the graphics are in image files, the logic is already accounted for, the interface is extremely simple, the dialogue's already written.... But there are certain things which I took for granted in BlitzMax, but aren't so easy here. The biggest hurdle that I see is the image-loader. I need to make sure the entire folder of images is loaded into the browser before trying to access any of it. This is made slightly more complicated by the somewhat random numbering system. I could probably (given enough time) write a shell script to make a file listing all the images to load, but that sounds like so many hours of work that I'm better off just writing the list manually into the code. I do still need to write a shell script that'll take the spaces out of the filenames (I'm saving myself a headache later.) and convert all the PNG files to GIF. No challenge there.
Time allocation: Game night 4:50
Gamer Mom 3:33
Mundane activities 2:47
Crayon Physics Deluxe 1:18
Scratch that last part - I didn't realize GIFs can't have partial transparency. (I thought it was just a more thorough compression.) So I did learn how to convert the batch - in fact, it turned out to be ridiculously easy with the "mogrify" command - but there was no call for that. The image loader wasn't as challenging as I'd expected. I started with a ready-made image loader from html5canvastutorials.com, but the more I tried to make it fit the more I saw that it wasn't cutting it. So I just programmed my own from scratch, following the same principles I saw there. The only difficulty was my rudimentary understanding of Javascript. I made one amateur mistake which had me hunting for bugs for a half hour or so, but I figured it out. I muddle through.
Performance review: Not entirely stimulating: perhaps something a bit harder than Crayon Physics Deluxe (say, SpaceChem?) is called for to supplement the work?
First activity: Dungeon Master 0:01
Coren and I wrote a really bad episode of Dungeon Master. So we threw it out, came up with a totally different way of doing it, and got stuck in the writing. I don't know if we're on the right track.
Time allocation: Reading and thinking about comics 5:09
Mundane activities 4:02
Watching a movie 3:07
Dungeon Master 2:54
Reading 0:36
Coren came up with a solution: since we can't find a way to make this part of the story work, but we like the things that come after it, we'll fill in this part via flashback and narration from an unreliable narrator. It's crazy, but I think it could be very funny.
Notes: I watched the movie Short Cuts, read a bunch of comics old and new, and listened to some comics podcasts.
Performance review: 2 points for originality, 1 point for coherence. Then take off a point for exceeding the limit on mundane activities, another point for not exercising, and a third point for going over fifteen hours.

Worker: I'd like to take off another point for not handing over control (which I could have done good things with) as soon as Coren left. But I can't do that, because we don't allow scores under zero.

First activity: E-mail 0:12
4:00 - check out a yard sale with a lot of comics
5:00 - Angles and Circles
7:45 - Cox and Box
9:10 - The blog
12:05 - Comics
2:00 - TV
2:45 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Reading comics 7:48
Mundane activities 5:39
Writing e-mail 0:40
Going to a yard sale, seeing the price of comics, and leaving 0:26
I accomplished nothing. I take back what I said in the last post: I'm a total failure and I deserve to be cut out of the game for this.
Performance review: This comics addiction has gotten really scary. I don't know why I didn't notice how bad it's gotten until now. No comics for a while!
First activity (Fri.): Chores 0:38
First activity (Sat.): Watching TV 1:13
First activity (Sun.): Reading old Spider-Man comics 1:38
My god am I tired. I stayed up until 5:00 reading comics. And they weren't even good comics. I wasted all of yesterday, so with apologies to the explorer (who was supposed to get today) I have a lot to get done in not a lot of time.

3:06 - Mow the lawn.
3:21 - Other chores.
3:30 - Take a nap.
4:30 - Angles and Circles
6:00 - Blog post
8:00 on Saturday night - Dungeon Master
10:00 - After starting to download Doctor Who, continue blog post
1:00 - Cox and Box
2:10 - watch Doctor Who
3:00 - Score (No delays!)

I don't deserve to have this day, but I'll make it perfect.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 10:51
The blog 3:33
TV 2:19
Cox and Box 2:14
Comics 1:50
Going out to dinner with my father and Dena 1:35
Angles and Circles 1:28
And Yet It Moves 1:09
Chores 0:38
I tweaked the movement in Angles & Circles and added more to the top right from the sketch.
I continued two of the blog posts I'd started.
I practiced Cox and Box.

Unfortunately, Coren was unable to work on Dungeon Master after Shabbat. I had neglected to confirm on Friday, as I should have. I filled that time with TV shows. After that, I had no energy (On Friday night I had once again gone to bed at 5:00.) so I pushed the work off to the next dayand stayed up late (for the third time) doing absolutely nothing. I did eventually do the things in the list, other than Dungeon Master which will be tomorrow.
Notes: We went to a local meat restaurant. The service was incompetent, but the meat was delicious. I watched Doctor Who, which was as brilliant as I'd hoped.
Performance review: I wish I could give some points for this, since stuff did get done eventually. But it was too little, too late. The time allocation table bears minimal resemblance to the schedule past the first few hours. The problems, again, are a lack of sleep and an addiction to comics. There's no exercise and way too much wasted time. We should not be having these amateur mistakes. Days like this destroy our life. Do you understand that?
I need an object type for Gamer Mom nodes. I've never made a user-defined type in Javascript before, but I'm sure it's as simple as any other language. Once I figure out which properties are needed, I need to program a function to switch between frames, taking into account that it should never let an image be repeated. (Kyler's drawing copies of the images for situations where that could happen.)
Notes: It's so late, I'm not even going to bother to enter the data. Yet another waste of a day, where I spent more time giving in to addictions than doing what needed to be done. I wonder if it would be easier if anyone were paying attention to whether I mess up or not. Probably not. It'll probably always be like this.
First activity: Browsing the web aimlessly 0:18
6:14 - Find a way to make my computer shut off every night at 3:00 AM.
6:30 - continue the top right of Angles and Circles
7:15 - dinner
7:35 - Gamer Mom
9:05 - Plug in the Playstation 3
9:35 - Finish the comics post
10:25 - Cox and Box
11:00 - Finish the political post
1:00 - Record my composition, upload it
2:30 - Score

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 2:32
Setting up the Playstation 3, then playing Heavy Rain 2:04
The blog 1:56
Gamer Mom 1:42
Angles and Circles 0:43
Setting my computer to shut off every night at 3:00 AM 0:15
I finished the comics-related post.
I set up the programming framework for Gamer Mom.
I continued the top right of Angles and Circles.

I delayed dinner because Dena was making something for when our mother came home and she hadn't come home yet. When she came home, I set up the Playstation 3 and got a bit carried away with it. By then I'd gotten totally off the schedule. I paced around thinking about things for an hour, which I know was a mistake. The comics post took an hour longer than I'd anticipated to finish, so I didn't have time to get to the other two posts.
Notes: I messed up in ordering the PS3: I bought the 40GB model specifically because I figured it was old enough to have the PS2 backwards compatibility. Not so. I should have checked. Thankfully none of the games I've ordered are Playstation 2 discs, but it's a shame. And now I'm realizing that 40 GB really isn't enough, because each game installs itself on the hard drive like a PC game! (I've been spoiled with Nintendo hardware.)
Performance review: I think half of this very ambitious plan was pulled off, though not at the right times. So that's 5/10. Then we'll take off points for mundane activities, gaming and web browsing.