Coolest Ice In Town
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:13 am)

If I had some of these, I'd have the coolest ice in town!

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Sour Dough
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:04 pm)

Last night I made sourdough bread. I haven't made any for a while, and thought I'd start up a new batch. It didn't rise much, so the bread came out heavy, despite my efforts to help it rise in a slightly warm oven.

Anyway, after about an hour and a half of attempted rising, I just decided to bake it. Holy cow it came out good. It had a great sourdough flavor, and tasted excellent with butter. I'm thinking about making some more tonight, with just a touch of yeast to hopefully help it rise.

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I Didn’t Mean To
Posted in Hobbies
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:48 am)

…stay up late playing Boom Blox on the Wii, but it happened anyway. That game is fun!

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Blood Bath
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:20 am)

The Blood Bath bath mat is made of 100% pure awesome.

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Best Game Ever
Posted in Hobbies
First watch, 2 bells (9:02 pm)

A little while ago I shot my best Wii Sports Golf game ever—8 under. I was doing pretty good with 6 birdies and 2 pars when I eagled the final hole. It was sweet.

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Some New Textures
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:09 pm)

I created some new textures and added them to my MaJiang program. I also added a few more tiles to the view.

Majiang tiles rendered in OpenGL

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Killer Bunnies
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 7 bells (3:31 pm)

Today at lunch we played Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. It took a little time to get started up, but once we did the game was quite fun. I hope to get a chance to play again real soon.

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Hole In One!
Posted in Hobbies
First watch, 4 bells (10:27 pm)

Tonight I shot a hole in one in Wii Sports Golf. It was on the 8th hole. I also had the best game I've ever played, despite the fact that I missed two additional birdie putts. And here's the proof:
Hole in one Wii Sports Golf 8th hole

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Getting Closer
Posted in Hobbies
First watch, 5 bells (10:57 pm)

OpenGL-rendered majiang tile with chamfered edges

As you can see, I've got the texture mapping applied correctly now. I started writing a camera class to handle the viewport, frustum, and orientation but it's not quite usable yet. I also have to create some real images to use, and not just the placeholder 9-wan image that is being distorted.

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More OpenGL Progress
First watch, 6 bells (11:09 pm)

Today I had a cow-orker create a chamfered rectangle in 3DS Max (it's extremely simple, the chamfered box is a primitive object with its own button) and save it as a .obj file.

I wrote some code to import the format and display that instead of the simple cube that I hand-coded to get started. Anyway, the new object looks awesomeway better than the perfectly square edges of the old model. Enough chatting, see for yourself:

Chamfered rectangle rendered in OpenGL

Old model: 12 vertices, 10 faces
New model: 104 vertices, 204 faces

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OpenGL Progress
Posted in Hobbies
First dog watch, 4 bells (6:16 pm)

I had a lot of quiet spare time at home today, so I thought I'd work on my OpenGL Majiang program. Here's where I'm at:
Three Majiang tiles rendered in OpenGL

Today I added multisampling to get rid of the worst of the aliasing, I computed all the surface normals and added diffuse and ambient lighting, and set up the specular and shininess attributes of the different materials I use.

I've also been working on some new textures, so when I get around to rendering the whole game I'll have a good bunch of images to mix things up. It took me a couple of hours to track down some old Chinese fonts, toss out the bad ones, and create new images for the tiles. I'll save the rest of the work for next week.

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Munchkin Friday
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:13 pm)

Today was Munchkin Friday. Susan and Sarah teamed up at the last minute to pull a double-win on the rest of us.

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Entertainment Galore
Posted in Hobbies
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:55 pm)

I just got my copy of Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks from Cinematic Titanic, I'll review it soon. I also just picked up Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii. We've got a lot of entertainment to catch up on.

PS The autographed card was from TV's Frank this time!

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O Christmas Tree
Posted in Hobbies, Tech
First watch, 3 bells (9:40 pm)

O Christmas Tree,
O Christmas Tree,
You are a prelit wonder,
O Christmas Tree,
O Christmas Tree,
Four branches did not work.

You were at Lowe's, you'd been returned,
I bought you at a steep discount,
O Christmas Tree,
O Christmas Tree,
I fixed you with my extreme technical skills and now you are fully lit like you were meant to be
and now we can enjoy you.

My poem is pretty good, but I think the last phrase is just a wee bit long.

Yes, I had a prelit tree that had a couple of broken branches. It turns out there is a special bulb that was "non-replaceable," but it was broken. The wires coming out of the little bulb weren't connecting the circuit they needed. Any other bulb could be missing without issue, but this one special bulb casing was different. I finally tracked it down, pulled it out, and replaced it with a normal bulb. It didn't work. This special receptacle was also white instead of green. But since the bulb came out without the casing, it was stuck inside the receptacle. I pried it out with some needle-nose pliers, bending it out of shape at the same time. This was all before I realized that this casing was special.

After some continuity testing with my digital multimeter, I tracked it back to the special receptacle that was now unidentifiable because it no longer had the special white color. I did realize later that it was slightly longer than the other receptacles. On a whim, I short-circuited the prongs inside the receptacle and the four unlit branches immediately lit up like…well…like a Christmas tree.

So I grabbed the bent-out-of-shape white casing, pulled a new bulb out of a good replacement light, and carefully straightened the whisper-thin wires coming out of the bulb so I could remove it. I then threaded it into the slightly-wonky-but-reshaped white casing and bent the wires into place. Luckily the green and white casings all used the same type of bulbs. After I replaced the newly fixed "unreplaceable" white casing the whole thing lit back up.

This all makes me wonder how normal people get by without technical skills. Oh wait, I know. They return it and buy another one at full price.

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My Tools Have Arrived!
Posted in Bookbinding
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:25 am)

Today I went to the post office and picked up a package that came for me yesterday—my bookbinding tools! Yay!

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