Going on Hiatus

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to hang up my blogging hat for a bit.  I have to do some travelling and handle the fallout from a tragic event.  So for the time being, until things settle down I’ll not be updating this blog on a regular basis.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Forced March

Another quick update on the writing.  I managed to write up the second thread/part of chapter one.  I am not in the mood for writing today actually.  But I’m going to force myself to keep writing.  Once I have the entire book on paper I can agonize over it later.  Content first, editing later.  Anyways I must continue.

In other news, I’m a bit tired, worn down and honestly don’t give a damn about many things.  Too much crap happening in my life.  Eveything feels like I am in a vicious cycle.  And all my “solutions” aren’t helping more than just coping.  Life goes on, progress does happen but I’m bitter.  Please excuse the fatalistic drama.  Life is becoming a bit of a forced march.

Update on Writing

Yesterday I wrote the first section of chapter 1 of my novel.  I’m not sure about all the elements of the novel, especially the names and characters.  I might not want to base my characters completely on real life friends.  But I will work with what I have as a rough, rough first draft.  I plan on hashing out the novel first, and then start editing once I am further into the writing.  I might even forego editing until I finish the entire novel in the rough.

At the moment, the first part of the chapter now lives.  I plan on writing two more parts, since the story will consist of two or three interwoven threads or storylines.  And for consistency, I will keep that style throughout the book.  I might merge the storylines together at the end.  That seems like a popular solution to wrapping up a novel, or maybe not.  I plan on crossing that bridge when I get there.

Recovery and 15 Minutes Writing Sprints

As I sat down to do some writing I couldn’t have expected it to happen.  I had 15 minutes to kill, and so I thought that I would just fire up the current chapter I was working on.  The rain ended my plans for a walk.  But this I didn’t imagine.  I didn’t imagine all my writing work disappearing… instead being replaced by a logged chat.  Totally weird.  Fortunately I managed to unzip the ODT, and recover the content by extracting bits of text out of an XML file.  Well instead of working on the next part of the chapter, I had recover my work.  Bummer.  Anyways, after doing so I uploaded a copy of my work to Google Docs for safe keeping.  So remember kids, backup, backup and mirror!

Anyways I’m experiementing with writing my novel in short 15-20 minute bursts.  I’m hoping this lead to more output, in a short period of time.  We’ll see how it goes.

Things I’d Like to If I Had More Time

Clearly, this blog left the orbit of sane, professional discussions concerning software development, project management, time management and gaming analysis a long time ago.  Now it clear has become my personal blog.  Whether this is a good thing or not, I leave as an exercise to the reader.  So without further ado…

If I only had more time (more hours in a day or less work or a more aligned schedule or less need of sleep), I’d:

  • Play through Mirror’s Edge.
  • Update this blog during the weekends too.
  • I’d write exciting articles for this blog and the Full Circle magazine.
  • Play through Zelda Mask of Majora and Ocarina of Time.
  • Beat Warzone 2100.
  • Contribute to the Warzone 2100 project by getting videos and cinematics working correctly.
  • Do a PhD in Computer Science on Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Learn French, Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese.
  • Work out and get into parkour or freerunning.
  • Write two novels at the same time.
  • Create my own themes for my websites.
  • Draw and sketch.
  • Learn to play the piano and the guitar.
  • Re-Learn 3D animation using Blender.
  • Create a short film using CG and camera.
  • Create a demoscene program.
  •  Get WebKit working perfectly under Konqueror.
  • Create a nicer theme for my cellphone.
  • Create a nicer theme for my KDE4 desktop.  Think the HUD design from Colony.
  • Code all my old game ideas from highschool.
  • Pick up sailing/yachting, again.
  • Fix up my blog.
  • Edit and put up my articles on quantum computing on this blog.
  • Create a full-blown artistic and developer portfolio.
  • Learn to drive a motorcycle (and a car).
  • Get into stunt inline skating.
  • Learn to snowboard and do tricks.
  • Visit all of Europe, Japan and parts of Africa.
  • Take a survival course.
  • Create and lead an anti-politics political party (read as anarchist).
  • Build a whole slew of military dioramas.
  • Walk the entire Bruce Trail.
  • Paragliding.
  • Learn how to dance swing, jazz, salsa, waltz, etc.

Ok… and now I’m out of ideas at the moment.  I listed everything that I could do realistically.  I mean I would love to build a multinational company, lead an army, fly in space, walk across the surface of Mars and a bunch of other unrealistic goals… but lets try to maintain some semblence of reality. 🙂

Just Another Sunny Day

I look outside from my 6th floor office window.  Out there I can see a sunny blue sky, blocky office buildings and grey-white jetliners landing at the nearby airport.  I can almost feel the warmth outside.  I remember the warmth, that I felt while sitting with coworkers outside all of us enjoying a delicious, spicy Arabic lunch.  Delicious.  And totally inappropriate for me, since I try to avoid eating meat on Fridays.  I know that this usually applies to Lent only.  But I’m a traditionalist, and I do these odd little things to remember.  In the case of Fridays I try to remember the sacrifices of God undertook one Good Friday for humanity.

I also like to not eat too much.  The feeling of hunger makes eating so much more pleasurable.  But it also reminds to think about those less fortunate.  Not everyone can go and buy food when they feel hungry.  Not everyone has the option of not going through the day on an empty belly.  There is much to be thankful for.  I wish I could remember all the other things I could be thankful for.

At work I have gained an unfortunate reputation of being contrairian.  I mean yes, there are ways I would do things that would make my life easier, simpler and more productive.  But I guess I complained once too often.  I should of been more thankful that I work where I work.  I work with wonderful people.  I work in the profession I want to work in.  Fear of losing my job tomorrow is less likely than in other companies.  I am grateful.  I just complain of the things that cause stress for me.  I try not to point out all the things that are wrong.  But I must start sounding more positive.  I really should.  I just hate it when I feel stressed.  Stress does not bring out the best in me unlike with some people.  And I absolutely hate it when stress comes in from up and above my control.

I am happy that my friend Marika hopefully will start upon her dream job of working as a freelancer.  She works hard, and does a great job as both a writer and an editor.  I know, I went to class with her.  I read her articles, she read mine.  I learned from her, and her work inspired me to push myself.  I feel a tinge of jealousy though.  Freelancing sounds like a great gig.  A lot of freedom comes with the territory.  I sometimes wish I could go upon such a path.  Maybe one day I will.

A little while later…

It is becoming a rainy day.  Oh well…  Fun going back home.  Interesting little thought, everyday I try working on my wish list.   Sometimes I feel like I managed to go work toward obtaining my wishes.  Sometimes I can’t be too sure.  This back and forth nature is something I have yet to come in terms with.  Still I want to write.  Still I want to learn to code Qt apps.  Still I want to live like an ordinary Canadian adult (I’m not sure what ordinary means… I guess that is a debateable definition).  Still I want my projects to succeed.  I wonder if I’ll be able to achieve all this stuff.  Or is this even up to me?

Bruised and Sore

Uff! I’m bruised and tired from yesterday’s taekwondo session. The warmup consisted of a lot of running, jumping jacks, pushups, sit ups, and leg raisers. At the end I wanted to pass out from panting exhaustion on the floor. A great workout, followed by practice on kicking and hand motions. There is so much for me to perfect, but I think I’m making good progress. Still I’m months away from a black belt. Give a year or so. 🙂

This morning however I could not be bothered to get up. Or rather got up stiffer than a stiff. And sore, and parts of my anatomy (limbs I mean, I don’t know what you are thinking about) aren’t fully cooperative.  Movement in general today feels constrained and straining. I’m sure it will wear off by the time I go for the next session.

Fortunately, muscular bruising hasn’t adversly affected my thinking. The story and ideas for the novel are rapidly taking shape. And I’m enjoying writing it, since I have not thought out the entire story in such detail that it bores me. Instead every paragraph explorers a new thought and dream. I’m not sure how it will turn out and that is what makes it exciting. Also I started reading up on Qt development. I must say that the more I read about Qt and C++, the more I like those two technologies. I’m already looking forward to coding up my first C++ applications in the near future. Should be quite exciting. And finally a word about my secret project… I’ve done a fair bit of work on it, and I’m just dying to write about it. This project challenges me in everyway that I want to grow professionally and artistically. However I can’t openly talk about it… or maybe I could. We’ll see I guess once I have something concrete to show for my pains.

All in all I am bruised and sore.  But I’m excited with the prospects that appear before me. Little bits of sustained effort are paying off.

Enter the Grumbles

Marika likes to ramble.  And I like to grumble.  Not because I’m a negative or enjoy complaining.  But I find a guilty pleasure of grumbling my annoyances.  In fact I know I shouldn’t.  But I feel like it nonetheless.  Also I really am at a loss of what to write about… but grumbling… that comes naturally.

The day started off in an annoying manner.  I could not wake up early, so I’ll have to stay at work longer today.  This I blame myself for my not sleeping last day.  I find it a more convenient schedule to come in early, and leave early.  Alas that did not occur today.  The weather decided that wet, cold and windy would be the fashion for today.  Wet and cold being my least favourite combination of the four possible weather combinations (hot, cold, wet and dry).  So this morning I trudged out to work.

Once I got into the office, I remembered that I forgot to bring food.  So part of my earnings have helped the two fast food places survive the difficult economic situation.  While I ate, I realized that the provincial government in their valiant efforts to prop up the economy.   At least the economy of our dear friends in traffic enforcement… and ironically the manufacturers of Bluetooth devices.  I read that the government proclaimed that the use of cellphones and any other electronic gadgets while driving is now verbotten!  My first reactions was great, no more idiots talking on their cellphones when driving.  But Bluetooth devices are allowed… so… said drivers will still be distracted.  And the juggling of Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnuts while driving still is permitted.  And there a geniune times when driving and using a cellphone is either harmless or beneficial.  Like in a traffic jam… Or to report traffic conditions, or deal with really urgent calls.  Anyways… our dear nanny/government agents have just invented yet another arbitrary  reason for intruding upon and controlling people’s lives.  Joy.

I dove into technology hoping that at least that would frustrate me less.  Well no… I had to fiddle with Nokia’s PC Suite to upload music back onto my cellphone.  In the efforts of efficiency, I thought I could upload all my music in two goes.  And in the second the application I assumed would gracefully skip the tracks that were the same.   Well no.  I was wrong.  It did ask whether to overwrite or not… but rather than continue… it just stopped.  So I ended up getting it to overwrite all my tracks.  It took an hour to do, and drained my poor cell’s battery.  So no listening to music on my commute back.  And I discovered that while Nokia seemingly wrote their phone management programs in Qt… the applications don’t have a Linux equivalent.  Bother.

Finally, everyday I get to work with my company’s technology… which can be fun.  I can’t talk about it too much.  Lets just say I never saw how dragging and dropping parts of a program was faster, easier or less error prone than just typing out reams of code.  I really don’t.  And I have to use this tool, regardless of much I grumble or sigh. :s

Well that is about it for today.  I’m sure I’ll find more to grumble about more after work… but I’m hoping that I’m wrong.

Sleepless Update Part 2

Not sleeping slows your reactions considerably.  But still I am ready for tomorrow’s work.  Needless to say I will need large amounts of coffee to get through the day.  Then again this isn’t something I haven’t done in the past.  All that remains is a considerable amount of writing I need to finish before I leave for work.  Feels like university and crunch time before an assignment again.  Still it is ok, since I don’t have to go lectures afterward.  Still my sense of logic and rational arguments… might be slightly unbalanced this day.  But since no one REALLY wants to know my opinion (unless it is a rehash and agreement of their own), I’ll probably not be called upon making massively decisive decisions.

And I’m not sure this will work, but I’ll give it a shot.  Nothing gained from not trying, right?

Dear S.  I think you still read my blog often.  I’m not sure what to think of your recent disappearence.  I have seen no sign of you for a week.  Did I do or say or write something to offend you?  I am confused.  And I miss you a lot.  Could you give me a sign or response, telling me if I should contact you?  Thanks.

In the meantime I’ll go back to writing while I wait.  I’m waiting for something to happen, not sure what.  It will all be clear then.