Friday, July 31, 2009

«Old Portal Video»

This is an old video, but for those of you that still don't quite get the concept of Portal, perhaps it will clear things up.

Portal Teaser Trailer

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

«Mapping Is Fun»

You know as strange as it may sound, I seem to like making maps for games more than actually playing them.

It was this way when I was playing Neverwinter Nights, too. I loved making maps for that game, and the scripting (programming) that was involved. I even had someone with a server who agreed to integrate my creations into their server, so my stuff could be played online by anyone. That's what kept me playing that game for so long.

So far however, my map for Portal is not available to download anywhere.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

«Source SDK: Hammer»

Yesterday I showed a screenshot of a Portal map I'm working on. Now I'll show you a behind-the-scenes screenshot of Hammer, the program used to create 3D game maps (at least in the Source Engine).

This is with my Portal map loaded into Hammer.
Screenshot of Hammer

Click image to view full.

Yeah, it gets a little cluttered. Dual monitors are a MUST when doing this sort of work.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

«Early Portal Map Screenshot»

Just a quick screenshot of the map I'm working on for Portal. It's still in its early stages.
Early screenshot of a custom portal map.

Click image to view full.

This entrance room got a huge face lift from where I left off. I came up with an idea for it, so I made it larger to accommodate. I figure if I ever do release it, I'm going to want to make a good first impression. That way perhaps people will continue to play through it.

There have been times that I've downloaded a map someone else made, loaded it up and saw how crappy it looked, and quit out of it right then and there. First impressions are important.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Portal»

Sure, if you think about Portal too much, you'll realize it breaks a few laws of physics. But even that doesn't stop it from being fun as hell.

Portal / Do not think of how it works. Just do it.
Do note that the above picture is not from the game. In the game, portals are large enough to walk through.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

«May Work On My Portal Map»

Way back near the beginning of my blog I said I was working on a custom map for the game Portal.

I had run into a problem with the map crashing consistently in a spot, and just set the whole project aside and forgot about it. Never did find out what was causing the crash. I feel a little ambition to work on it again. So I'll just bypass the spot that it was crashing at.

I've had a few new ideas, so I retract my statement that it's "nearing completion".

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Friday, July 24, 2009

«Cyan Pepper»

No, it's not a cayenne pepper. It's a cyan pepper!
Cyan Pepper. Fuck yeah!

Click image to view full.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

«Penn Says: The Free Market»

Penn Says: Viewer Mail - The Free Market

Yeah, in a Utopian world maybe... In the real world corporations will do anything to cut manufacturing costs, even at the expense of their customers' health. Then bribe the private "consumer reports" companies. The problem with private consumer reports is that all they can do is report; they can't enforce.

Without some government oversight there will come to rise a single company as a monopoly of a particular product or service, able to force/buy out competitors. There will not be any alternatives, so customers will have to make due with whatever quality of product is available.

I'd like to call myself a Libertarian, too. But I'm also a realist that knows we don't live in a Utopia, and never will.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

«Lessons Of Stupidity»

We've all had those moments of stupidity.

Lessons Of Stupidity

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

«Zenge Family Tree»

I've made a family tree for my Zenge family. That way it will be easier to keep tack of everyone in my Sims 3 Legacy.

Erick has died. He outlasted his wife well beyond what I had expected. He survived to 101 days old. He lived a full life and accomplished everything I had planned for him, and then some. He ended up being quite the cook, maximizing the cooking skill before he died. Now I truly feel as though I'm playing a legacy. All of generation 1 is dead.

I have a mate for Bonnie. In fact, she's pregnant with Generation 4. However, until the baby is actually born her mate isn't part of the bloodline officially. So I won't say who it is yet.

I'll be updating the family tree as often as I can, so expect to see new information there.

See the rest of “Zenge Family Tree”»

Monday, July 20, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Download A Car»

If you don't recognize it, this is a spoof of an anti-piracy television advertisement. They say thing like "You Wouldn't Steal A Car. Downloading Pirated Videos Is Stealing" in the ad. Although what about the people that WOULD (and do) steal cars?

You Wouldn't Download A Car / Fuck You / I would if I could.
As far as I'm concerned, as long as the original remains in tact it is not stealing. Selling a copy for a profit would be commercial copyright infringement. Piracy is stealing shit on the high seas.

See the rest of “Motivational Monday: Download A Car”»

Sunday, July 19, 2009

«Moon Landing Conspiracy Rekindled»

NASA friggin' erased the original moon landing footage! What's going to fuel the renewed conspiracy theorists even more is Hollywood has the backups.

I tell you what... It was bad enough before with all these people saying we didn't actually land on the moon. Now this? Come on NASA, I thought you were too good to make such stupid mistakes...

*sigh* Damnit... NASA, I am disappoint [sic].
Fake moon landing stage

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

«09' Vacation Extract: Restroom Problems»

Leaving Junction City and heading North to Federal Way, Washington. We stopped at a rest area that had a few... Problems. Closed because of "Problems". Ok, do I really want to know? Also, what's with that other sign: "Garbage removal prohibited"... What?! And remember children, no soliciting toilets with "Problems".
Rest Rooms Temporarily Closed / Because of Problems.

Click image to view full.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

«A Moment of Silence»

A moment of silence for Zelda Zenge, my Sims 3 Legacy founder. She has passed away at 92 days old. (lifespan set to 90 days)


It's almost a beautiful thing when a Sim dies of old age. Her husband Erick, 2 days older than she was, is still alive. That's him near the bookcase.
Zelda Zenge dies of old age.

Click image to view full.

She didn't quite achieve everything I wanted her to. She had written 25 books and was working on a Masterpiece of writing when she died. I only wish she would have survived long enough to finish it. Her life was rather shorter than I expected. She was a Vegetarian and had completed the Marathon Runner challenge; both of those were suppose to extend her life. Yet she died before her husband who had neither of those.

At least she was surrounded by all her family when the Grim Reaper came for her. From left to right: Jake (son), Zelda (the ghost herself), Lillian (daughter), Grim Reaper, Linda (granddaughter), Bonnie (granddaughter), Burton (son-in-law), and Erick (husband).
Zelda Zenge dies of old age.
Click image to view full.

Legacy Point total of 16.
Generation: 3
Lifetime Wish: 4
Portraits: 5
Net Worth: 2
Aspiration: 2

Creepy enough for you yet, Monique?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

«3rd Generation Was Born»

Another update on my Zenge Family Legacy for the Sims 3.

Lillian grew up, got married to a black man (Burton) and had twin girls! Linda and Bonnie. Oddly, one is black and one is white. Here they are fresh from the hospital, they just got home.
Linda and Bonnie home for the first time from the hospital.

Click image to view full.

Now I get to be racist and decide if I want the white baby (Bonnie) or the black baby (Linda) to be my next heir for my legacy.

This makes my founder (Zelda) and her husband (Erick) grandparents now. And they look it, they've aged into elders. This also marks the furthest I've ever taken a family tree in a Sims game. That's right, despite the fact I've played all 3 Sims games, I've never had any of my Sims become grandparents - ever.

The back story of how Lillian met Burton is kind-of interesting. She met him and I liked his traits (Workaholic, Genius, Neat, Family-Oriented, and Hopeless Romantic). However, he was already in a relationship with someone else. She got "friendly" with Burton then asked him to break up with his other lover. Little did I know he already had a kid with this other woman. I didn't find that out until she married him. So little Linda and Bonnie have a teenage half-sister that's living in a different household. It's of little concern, because the half-sister is not blood related to my founder, and so she doesn't count for anything in the Legacy Challenge.

I've made some headway points-wise. I've got 3 portraits painted now, I'm still missing Jake (the uncle of the babies) and Burton (the father of the babies). My founder and her husband both achieved over 100,000 aspiration points, so I got points from that. I know, it's going to get tough to keep track of who's who and how they are related1...

Legacy Point total of 10.
Generation: 3
Lifetime Wish: 2
Portraits: 3
Net Worth: 0
Aspiration: 2

1: So it's not so tough to keep track of, I made a family tree!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

«09' Vacation Extract: Crowbar»

A crowbar in slimy water near some culverts. Very reminiscent of the computer game Half Life 2. I expected a headcrab or zombie to jump out at any time. Taken on May 17th in Junction City, Oregon.
Crowbar in slimy water

Click image to view full.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Bike Safety 101»

They forgot to mention that you should be stationary when you check your tires. Minor detail that was overlooked.

Bike Safety 101 / Always check the air in your tires.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

«Legacy Trait Woes»

Just a quick update on my Sims 3 Legacy family, the Zenge family. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check this link: Sims 3 Legacy Challenge.

In the Legacy challenge you have to roll random traits, except for a Family Trait if you're using that option (and I am).

Lillian, the planned-to-be heir of my family, just aged up to a teen. When she was born she rolled Couch Potato and Hates the Outdoors. Ok, I can deal with that... Then when she became a child I was able to pick Bookworm (Family Trait). I selected the Illustrious Author lifetime wish (max painting and writing skill) when it became available. Seemed to fit.

When she aged up to a teen just now she rolled, wait for it... Can't Stand Art. That makes me sad... How quirky is an artist that hates art? Might be interesting I suppose.

Here's a screenshot of Lillian at her birthday, about to age from a toddler to a child. That's her father Erick holding her, and her mother Zelda (the founder) in the background.
Lillian's birthday

Click image to view full.

Also, her brother was born and I named him Jake. He rolled Friendly and Hates the Outdoors. The mother, my founder (Zelda Zenge) just reached level 7 in painting. So I'll be able to get a portrait of her husband Erick soon, and that will be my first legacy point in the Portraits category!

Legacy Point total of 2.
Generation: 2
Lifetime Wish: 0
Portraits: 0
Net Worth: 0
Aspiration: 0

See the rest of “Legacy Trait Woes”»

Saturday, July 11, 2009

«Caturday: Chillin' Avenge Portals»

The past few days have been fairly warm here...

im usin yer airconditioner, chillin ma harbls
Avenge me...
Now you're thinking with Portals.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

«Slow Loading»

Sorry for the slow loading times on my blog lately (if you have a slow connection). I've been uploading a lot of pictures. Once the older posts with all the pictures gets bumped off the main page loading times will speed back up.

There's 1 more post I plan on doing soon that will have around 10 pictures in it, then I'll be done with the photo heavy posts for a bit.

See the rest of “Slow Loading”»

Thursday, July 9, 2009

«Sims 3 Legacy Challenge»

I've decided to try the Sims 3 Legacy Challenge. There have been legacy challenges for the previous Sims games as well, but I never tried them. I've always found the rules for the legacy challenge too restrictive in the past. However, the rules for Sims 3 don't look too bad.

I just started, I've chosen to use 2 of the optional rules. One is the Family Trait rule, so every sim born in the family will have to have my chosen trait. I've chosen the Bookworm trait. The other optional rule is the Matriarchy option, so only a female in my family can be an heir.

So far I've got my founder, Zelda Zenge. She's a Bookworm, Family-Oriented, Perfectionist, Vegetarian, and Artistic. She's wrote 4 books so far, and amazingly all of them have been best-sellers. Her lifetime wish is to be a Professional Author; she seems on track for that. Yet money is still extremely tight right now.

She has married Erick Spudel, the story-progression-spawned son of a clone of a sim I made. The rules say I may use an existing neighborhood (game file), so I did. He's Absent-Minded, Insane, Excitable, Good, and an Angler. He was working at the grocery store when he entered the family, but I've since changed his career to law-enforcement. His lifetime wish is to be an International Super Spy, so I'm working him toward that.

They have one daughter, Lillian, who is in the toddler stage (so that's generation 2). There's also another baby on the way.

Right now Legacy Points-wise I have a total of 2.
Generation: 2
Lifetime Wish: 0
Portraits: 0
Net Worth: 0
Aspiration: 0

To explain the clone thing I mentioned earlier... The story progression feature of the game will make sure your neighbors age and progress in their jobs/relationships/families/lives at the same rate as the sims you control. So you'll have random babies appear in families and such. Sometimes the game will clone a random sim if the neighborhood needs a higher population. I hate that it does this, but whatever.

Anyway (keeping in mind this all happened before I started the Legacy Challenge), this clone then proceeded to asexually produce a son (out of my control). This child then grew into a young adult. At which point the clone made a fatal mistake. He stole a plate of Ambrosia (very special, magical food) from the family I was playing at the time. I boxed him in and starved him to death as punishment.

EDIT: I now have a family tree for the Zenge legacy.

See the rest of “Sims 3 Legacy Challenge”»

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

«09' Vacation Photos, Part 5 (Photo Heavy)»

These pictures span the days of May 26th to May 28th. The last continuation of the vacation photos series. Click an image to view full.

Going back through Canada, on our way home. I've always liked the desert climate of the Cache Creek area.
Mountainside near Cache Creek in Canada.
Here we are stopped at the Redhill Rest Area in outside Ashcroft, Canada.
Redhill Rest Area in BC, Canada.
B.C. Is Idle Free. Tell that to the truckers that keep their engines running at rest areas... With my dad's Prius it's impossible to leave the car idling; the engine just shuts off when its not charging the battery (or keeping the catalytic converter warm). Even when you're driving down the road. It was a bit strange at first, but you get used to it. Ahh, hybrids.
B.C. Is Idle Free / No Idling / Improve Air Quality
We stayed at the Moby Dick Inn in Prince Rupert. Here's the view out the window.
View from room at Moby Dick Inn in Prince Rupert, Canada.
Crossing back through customs into the US, so we can get on the Alaska ferry Taku. No strip search this time through.
U.S. Border in Prince Rupert for the Alaska Ferry System.
Now we're on the ferry, and this is looking down off the stern at the loading ramp.
Taku loading ramp.
The solarium deck of the Taku.
Solarium deck of the Taku.
People were flying kites from the solarium deck when we were underway.
Kites being flown from the Taku.
Yup, we're getting close to Ketchikan, there's a cruise ship! It's the Golden Princess, in case you were wondering.
Golden Princess seen off in the distance from Taku deck.
Good ol' dismal Ketchikan that I call home. And so ends the vacation.
Ketchikan as seen from the water.
And I'm still not done. I've got a series I did under bridges that I wanted to post separately. The photos from the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center definitely deserve their own post. Also I've got a few other photos that were significant enough to be extracted into their own posts.

See the rest of “09' Vacation Photos, Part 5 (Photo Heavy)”»

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

«09' Vacation Photos, Part 4 (Photo Heavy)»

These photos span a time frame between May 22th and May 26th, 2009. This is a continuation from my July 5th post. Click an image to view full.

This is in Burlington, Washington. It's a children's church. Even though I'm an atheist and I think lying to and brainwashing kids is wrong, I can still appreciate the thought that went into re-creating Noah's Arc. Now you've just got the small issue of explaining that 2 of each species of animal on the entire Earth fit within such a small ship, and there was enough food and fresh water for all of them (you've also got to keep predators away from prey). Though I doubt this re-creation would float in the event that the river floods...
Children's Church shaped like Noah's Arc.
Crates of ShamWoW's in Costco. Remember, the commercial says "Not In Stores"... Oops.
ShamWoW in Costco.
Looking across a bend in the Skagit River towards the old downtown of Mount Vernon, Washington.
Looking across the Skagit River towards Mount Vernon.
Closer to the tulip tower thing.
Tulip Tower in Mount Vernon.
An Amtrak passenger train passing through Mount Vernon.
Amtrak passing through Mount Vernon.
A sunset through a bridge in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Sunset seen through a bridge in Mount Vernon.
I caught the sunset the next day, too. This was taken from the levee near the Riverbend RV Park.
Sunset seen from Riverbend RV Park.
Mount Vernon is known for its flowers, tulips in particular.
Skagit Gardens nursery.
This is the perfect house for the area. The Skagit River has been known to flood despite the levee. This guy would just have his garage flooded; the house would be fine.
Raised house.
You'd be surprised at what you can load into a Toyota Prius. (And still get 50 mpg!)
Toyota Prius loaded up.
To be continued tomorrow (July 8th, 2009). Yes, there's still more!

See the rest of “09' Vacation Photos, Part 4 (Photo Heavy)”»

Monday, July 6, 2009

«Cruise Ship Watch: Sea Princess»

No, I'm not starting this back up this year. There just happened to be a ship in today that I didn't photograph last year in my Cruise Ship Watch series.

Here's the Sea Princess. I think it was doing tours in Europe last year, so that's why I didn't get it. It's longer than it appears in the photo; the angle is making it look short.
Sea Princess anchored out in Ketchikan, Alaska. July 6, 2009.

Click image to view full.

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«Motivational Monday: Peace»

Want a hug?

Peace / Sometimes A Hug isn't Enough.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

«09' Vacation Photos, Part 3 (Photo Heavy)»

These pictures were all taken on May 19th, 2009. These are all in Seattle, Washington. Picking up where I left off on Friday. Click an image to view full.

Now this is what I wanted to see. I love skyscrapers. This is the Chase Center, 6th tallest in Seattle. Though I guess it was called the WaMu Center when I took the picture. Amazing that shit's already been re-named since I was there...
Chase Center in Seattle, Washington.
The Washington Mutual Tower, 2nd tallest in Seattle. Beautiful building.
Washington Mutual tower in Seattle, Washington.
The Seattle Public Library is so funky looking...
Seattle Public Library.
There's the Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle. It has an observation deck on the 73rd floor. You'll have to wait for another post for that view.
Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington.
This is the Seattle Municipal Tower, 4th tallest in Seattle.
Seattle Municipal Tower.
Standing under the edge of the Rainier Tower, 11th tallest in Seattle. Yes, they put the building on a pedestal.
Standing under the Rainier Tower.
Here's a shot of the US Bank Centre. 8th tallest building in Seattle. When I went to post this picture, it took me a while to identify the building, the image of it on Wikipedia makes the building look darker.
US bank Centre in Seattle, Washington.
This seemed like the strangest thing to me... My dad and I were standing here watching cars drive in and out of this building. I realize it's a parking garage, but it just doesn't look like one.
Parking Garage
This is the Tower 801 (no Wikipedia article). It was also a tough one to identify. How would you like to have one of the apartments in the lower right, where they're up against that other building and have no view?
Tower 801 in Seattle, Washington.
Here we are on I-5, we've left Seattle.
Interstate 5 South of Seattle, Washington.
To be continued on Tuesday (July 7th, 2009).

See the rest of “09' Vacation Photos, Part 3 (Photo Heavy)”»

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