Monday, December 31, 2012

surprise balls

if you're following the story, you know i made some crafty things to take to my mom's for christmas dinner. some of my online friends have asked for pictures of same, and i promised to post them.

i saw these in a crafty-type blog and i thought: that looks like an excellent way to spent nineteen bajillion hours putting together small things of no intrinsic value that will provide five or six minutes of merriment.

'coz you know, that's really what it's all about.

i didn't want to make mine large like in the instructions, and i thought colored tissue paper would be just fine.

colored tissue paper DOES work just fine, but guess who has do do all the cutting?


and it turns out that the smaller the ball is, the harder it is to make all round and stuff.

you live and learn.

but my family and friends loved them and we had a good time after dinner and before dessert unwrapping the silly things to the point that i think i will make a whole lot of them next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

dining table archery i was looking at random stuff online and i came across this blog entry and thought: that would be a SUPER thing to do to bring to christmas dinner at my mom's.

and then i was getting set to make the little things along with a couple other projects and my friend barb called me up and asked if i wanted to hang out and i said sure, but i got some craft projects and she thought that sounded like fun.

so we made some little crafty things and i took the bows and arrows to my mom's for christmas dinner.

here's video.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


a long time ago i was sitting in a room with a group of people and the social worker was trying to got everybody to write personal affirmations.

i'm not a big fan of affirmation writing. i simply don't need them. i'm a person with assets and liabilities just like everyone else, but unlike everyone in that room, i have a handle on both. in that room, people were really struggling to say anything positive about themselves at all.

still, not writing anything wasn't going to be a good use of my time.

so this is what i wrote, and when it was my turn to read, it is what i read to the group.

i'm totally awesome already. 

ok, sometimes i suck at things, but on the whole i'm awesome. you're awesome, too. we all are. have you looked around you? that's the way people are made.


do you hear me? we're awesome.

all of us.

junkie, thief, pro cyclist, child, banker, songwriter, family man, hockey player, social worker, speed skater, dairy farmer, ice fisherman, all of us. 


that's the way we're made, all of god's creation. we are all awesome already. imperfect, incomplete, and awesome. totally, beautifully, stunningly awesome.

each and every one of us.


Friday, December 28, 2012

overthinking those beans

back in the golden age of glitch, many of us were collectors of things that were rare.

not because they were worth anything or did anything, but because they were useless and silly and it was fun.

and even though beans were one of the most common things in the game, there was an expression that a thing was as "rare as a plate of beans", meaning that essentially it did not exist.

there was no such thing in the game as a plate. beans, yes, but no plate.

and then some developer made a plate of beans. it didn't do anything, but a few people had them. you know, because they were rare.

and near the end, when people were trying to second guess and speculate how glitch might have been saved, one person was thought to have said that the postmortem was just overthinking a plate of beans.

and the next thing we knew, the rare and coveted plates of beans were all over the place. the developers had written it so that if you typed "/beans" into local chat, a plate of beans would drop at your feet.

and then to compound the coolness, you have the option of overthinking the beans, which yielded a confirmation box:

"are you sure you want to overthink this plate of beans?" with the choices "yes!" and "cancel".

and if you clicked "yes!", it waited a second before giving you a second confirmation box: "are you really sure you want to overthink this plate of beans?"

and then after two seconds "are you really, really sure you want to overthink this plate of beans?"

and then after four seconds "are you really, really, really sure you want to overthink this plate of beans?"

the catch is that while you are waiting for the interval to double so you can overthink the beans, you cannot do any other game activity.  not walk, not eat, not meditate. as long as you are overthinking the beans you cannot move on.

you may draw your own conclusions.

once out of sheer bullheadedness and a joy in the perverse futility of it, i overthought the beans until i was really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really sure.

you do the math.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

le voyage violet

i am making my way through my mountain of videos and pictures bit by bit.

back in the glitch day, let's just say i had my elementary penguin badge.

this is screenvid of the voyage violet. the act of recording makes it a little laggy and so you miss some of the effect, but the exiles will enjoy the reminisce and people who never played can go "huh"?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 days of christmas

my sister made a set of designs to go with the twelve days of christmas because she's arty that way. you can get the cards in her zazzle store, or you can get the set of twelve on a tea towel.

she used the image to make a jigsaw puzzle for our mom, but of course we can't just unwrap things with my family. we have to sing and stuff.

here's the video.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

hall of rejected concepts

in a few minutes i'm going to head over to my mom's for christmas. i'm very excited about that, and there will be pictures of crafty things and such, but right now what i have for you is a video from glitch.

in the last days of the game, tinySpeck did not just close up shop, but instead the released everything cool that they could release; stuff that was already finished but part of future content, stuff that was partly functional but cool to look at, and -maybe coolest of all- they released a location that was just full of concept drawings that never made it into the game.

they called it the hall of rejected concepts.

Monday, December 24, 2012


today i went out for  few minutes and i was on brown's trace road in jericho and two little girls started jumping up and down with their cardboard signs.


they said.

no reason given. just


so i did. and a lot of other drivers did, too. and with each honk the little girls jumped up and down and cheered and waved.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

elegant dining

imma tell you how to make a thing i like to eat.

take two potatoes and wash off the dirt. then cut 'em up some and toss 'em in a pot with some salt. i don;t know how much salt you like. leave the peels on if you have organic potatoes and you want the additional nutrition.

take a hotdog and split it. if it's a veggiedog it doesn't gain much in the way of flavor if you pan fry the halves first, so if you;re not using a meat dog, skip that step.

it's probably smart to put foil in your pan and maybe some cooking spray, depending on how much you like scraping pans. lay the dog halves down in there. smear some mustard on it. maybe a lot of mustard. if you've remembered to preheat the oven, 350 is a good temperature.

when the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them. a potato masher is a good tool for this. toss in some milk to help creamy them. i don;t use butter, and not much milk.

not because i don't like creamy, but because i know damn well i'm going to cover that stuff in cheese.

so when the potatoes are done, spread a bunch of 'em on top of the hotdog. then put three slices of murican cheese on it. i don't care what you do, but i use good murican cheese, real cheese, made from real milk.

then bake it until the cheese is all melty.

slide it onto a plate.

it's good without sriracha, but also good with.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

the fiscal cliffhanger

ok, everybody in US politics is talking about the so-called fiscal cliff, which by the way is an artificial crisis created by partisan politicians in hopes of making political points so you boys and girls will just have to forgive me if i'm not all that worried how you solve the problem.

you invented it. you can solve it if you want to.

but here's the thing: everyone's talking about how much healthcare and social security and education cost, but NOBODY is talking about the single greatest money-sucker: the war.

what a lot of people don't seem to know is that when they're looking at the budget figures, that wedge of the pie labeled "military" doesn't actually count the war expenses, which for some reason are calculated OUTSIDE the budget.

if there's such a big financial crisis, why are we still paying for the war at the same time we're talking about cutting health benefits to veterans?

so how can congress stand up there with a straight face and not mention the cost of the war?

Friday, December 21, 2012

end of the world

i'm looking at the calendar in my checkbook.

it inexplicably ends in 2008. i don't write a lot of checks. the world is overdue for an apocalypse because the company that prints the checks apparently predicted it.

more to the point, my wall calendar runs out of days in just a little over a week and there are a LOT of wall calendars that are running out of days soon, and i think this is general cause for panic.

everybody run in circles and scream!

or i guess you could just buy a 2013 calendar.

or you could carve a new calendar out of stone, make it run until 3035 and then let people who see it panic when it finally runs out of days.

see you all tomorrow.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

the troll bridge

clippety clop, clippety clop.


get bent. it's not even your bridge.


oh, thank, you, magnanimous troll! 

well, that's not really how it happened. how it happened is i filed that claim dispute and the troll "released its copyright claim".

Dear ehrlenmeyerflask,
BFM Digital has reviewed your dispute and released its copyright claim on your video, "esquibeth, the corrected". For more information, please visit your Copyright Noticepage
- The YouTube Team

what this boils down to is that copyright trolls like BFM Digital get to make unlimited fraudulent claims on content they do not own and then they get to adjudicate their own claims.

so tough luck for you if they don't release "their" claim.

it worked out ok for me, but it still burns my butt that i had to risk the deletion of my account to assert that the troll did not own the material. there is no penalty for multiple fraudulent claims by these trolls (BFM Digital is not the only one, if you care to do only a little research) and it is a growing business practice for the trolls to claim administration of content they do not own or administer, and then by virtue of having made a fraudulent claim they are then entitled to run advertising and profit from material that is not theirs.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

esquibeth and the troll

BFM Digital (no, i am not providing you with a link to them) are a notorious copyright troll. i had up until this point only ever heard about them through articles and stories.

apparently what they do is scan youtube uploads for close matches to any sounds in their catalog and then file copyright claims on the youtube videos.

that would be awesome, except that BFM digital files claims on sounds and music it does not own.

YouTube’s Content ID Flags Filmmakers Completely Original Film

YouTube birdsong goof shows copyright problems

even so, i was a little surprised when BFM got their hooks into me.

on the last day the game glitch was open, a tinySpeck employee reset my account so i could make a screen video of the last pilgrimage of esquibeth, a beautiful ingame quest.

as soon as i got it uploaded, i got this message from youtube:

"your video may include the following copyrighted content: 'nature ambience- strong underwater bubble background', sound recording administered by: BFM digital"

i was then presented with the choice of either acknowledging that i had used BFM material without permission or else trying to claim why my use of BFM content was legal.

there was no option for me to state that BFM does not hold claim to that content and their claim on it is fraudulent.

just to be certain i wrote to TinySpeck, the company that DOES own the copyright just to confirm BFM digital is trolling using property it does not own and does not administer or represent.

within a matter of hours employees at TinySpeck were able to state firmly that BFM digital owns NONE of the content they claimed in my video.

this is where the real fun begins, though.

because when you dispute a copyright claim at youtube, they are very heavy handed.

just to fill out the form, you have to work under the assumption that you are using music belonging to the claimant and you are obliged to show why you may use music under administration by the claimant.

tough luck if the principal reason you're disputing the claim is because the troll doesn't own the rights to the property in the first place.

so this is what i wrote:

the holder of copyright on this soundtrack is not the notorious copyright troll BFM digital, but TinySpeck.

i have correspondence with tiny speck just today to confirm this.

tinySpeck have authorized its users to make and post recordings of gameplay video.

BFM digital are famous for filing claims on live recorded nature noises as if they own the digital rights to birdsong.

what we want to know is why BFM digital is claiming to have administration over this soundtrack that it does not in fact own.

this claims dispute in no way recognizes that BFM digital even has rights to this soundtrack. the sounds in this recording belong fully to tinySpeck and BFM digital's claim is in itself fraudulent.

and then for good measure, i sent a copy of my response to TinySpeck, who, as i think i've mentioned, DO hold all the rights to the soundtrack.

it's a little nervous-making, disputing a fraudulent troll claim on youtube, because you have to click through no fewer than three pages on which they warn you that making fraudulent claim disputes is grounds for having your youtube accounts deleted.

my only hope here is that BFM digital will release claim to a thing they DO NOT HOLD RIGHTS TO IN THE FIRST PLACE.

apparently there are no penalties for making claims on other people's work, because BFM digital is still at it.

here's the video. please enjoy it while i still have a youtube account.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

imaginary republic

over in nationtates i am enjoying forming my little nation.

it doesn't really effect that actual twice-a-day gameplay at all in terms os statistics compilation for me to imagine a government and a culture, but it amusing to me.

i spent some time this meek working out the frame, at least, of the legislature.

if you are interested you can read it here.

in related news, we are very sad that some of our citizens failed to observe that other countries do not have liberal drug laws and the tourists were imprisoned and executed in the serene republic of baluchistan.

really, people. if you can't go without your recreational drugs, at least go to a country where there's no death penalty for their use.

we're not going to create an international incident because you feel entitled to your spliff all around the globe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

last visit to the stoot shrine

the first time i went there, i found the secret passage because i could see other glitches disappearing from the screen. and when i started looking, i found the place. it wasn't easy to get to; down the hidden ladder, across the secret passage and then at the dark end spinach jump let and hit enter.

but when you got there, you were in a room nearly certainly put into the game as a joke by the developers, a room with a shrine in it to the company president, and it was funny and affectionate.

and weird.

in the last few hours i went to the stoot shrine to pay my respects there for the last time, the way one might do if one were speaking privately to the creator of the world, which is sort of how stoot functioned in our little toon world and who he was to our little toon selves.

and when i got done with my last visit there, i said in global chat that i had been there and it turned out that the place was more secret than i had thought. even some older players had never found it or never thought it was actually there and i got a lot of messages from people  asking me to take them there.

there are no secrets anymore.

well, you can't teleport in, but you can telepot to near the entrance, so for the better part of an hour i guided people in, but did not go in again myself.

a last visit is a last visit.

and you, dear readers, half of you i know are about ready for me to be done posting about a world you were never in and never cared about, but the other half are kind of homesick for that world and i hope you will be patient.

i have a lot of other stuff on my desk to tell you, but i have a HUGE pile of glitch archive and right now there are a number of people homesick for that toon world and enjoy the memories.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the missing ink: notes from the glitch diaspora

i have been having a look at the missing ink, an adventure game that is still in alpha.

because it's in alpha, i have to temper my ideas of it, knowing that its functionality is only rudimentary and that the game may go other places.

it was hard to get into, with a LOT of connection errors and stuff.

the graphics are amusing and the soundtrack is promising,  but if there's an easy way to navigate the world, i haven't seen it.

still: alpha. so who knows?

i played it yesterday for a while and finally got into an area of the game that functions more or less and it would be kind of cute except the whole game seems to be predicated on "go here; kill things."

in games i've no objection to killing things in order to solve a puzzle or open an area, or maybe even if there's some plot-related concept behind killing things, but this one at this point is just a collection of "here's your task. kill five of these things and report back."

it doesn't matter to me if the graphics are cute if that's all there is to it.

i'll keep an eye on it to see it it does anything interesting when it hits beta.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

sneezelips' tower

on the fifty-third of bruise in the year 26 i went on a tour of voluptua sneezelips' tower, and this is the video i took while i was there touring.

Friday, December 14, 2012

about, not from

i was talking with some people about some of the things out there ABOUT glitch.

here are two articles from PC world about the closing, and here are some videos made by the developers.

this one was a joke with high production values

and this one a little look at a mobile app

and this one an amazing timelapse of the editing to build the streets ilmenskie and cebarkul.

here's what those streets looked like in the end:


Thursday, December 13, 2012

getting your papers

yesterday i posted a thing about my subway rides in the lost world of glitch.

today i was maybe going to post something non-glitch related -yes!! i have things that are nto related to glitch!!!- but i've been processing the glitch videos and the little displaced glitchen are pleased to see them.

the rest of you will just have to bear with us for a little while.

anyway, here's some screenvid of going to the bureaucratic hal to get the papers you need to ride the subway or (at least in the early days) buy a house. you could of course buy the papers on the black market, but being who i am i went down to the bureau and waited to get mine legally.

this is video of me getting an additional set, just so i could have the video of the fun that was the bureaucrocs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

flask rides the subway randomly

back in the glory days of glitch, before the closing announcement was made, i used to like to play a game i called "flask rides the subway randomly".

let's back up just a little, shall we?

so i landed in that game in a brightly colored meadow and everything was all happy and shiny and i was petting trees and stuff but i had to walk everywhere, which took some time. and then, pretty early on, i came across a door to the subway station and went down in.

and it was dark and grubby, just like real subways. i nearly fell out of my skin with the delight of it. and of course 50 currants was a LOT of money for me to pay to get on, but then: surprise!!! i didn't have the right PAPERS to ride the subway and i had to get them.

which meant some wrangling.

kind of like real life, only sillier.

i remember hanging out in groddle forest junction outside the station, collecting quoins for trainfare when i was poor.

but even when i was rich and could teleport, i still loved the subway.

so i would announce in global chat that it was time for the day's installment of "flask rides the subway randomly" and global chat (by way of first person to answer) would decide whether i would take the red line or the blue line, and then global would tell which station to travel to.

according to the rules, from the time the game began (time of asking), i was not permitted any teleports or trips home, and i had to walk to the nearest subway station to get ON the train to start the ride. in the latter days i added a random component with the soviet camera and global told me how many random locations to visit before starting my walk to the subway.

what this means is i might start the journey far from a subway station ans spend a long time walking only to have to ride around the whole circuit.

there were some other rules to the game: at each station i had to go out into the street and do an activity- harvest or mine something. this was partly just for silliness and partly so that anyone following the progress of the game could see that i was actually doing the thing they had told me to do.

so i made updates in global chat with each thing i did:

harvesting fireflies jutuan central
boarding red line jutuan central
scraping barnacles shimla mirch
boarding red line onto parada

there were other, secret rules also. i did not say so at the time, but i was required by the rules of the game to craft a tool or make a stack of food between each stop, and no going home to refill my bag or make empty space. if i missed a stop because i was smelting on the train, i had to go back to the stop i missed and do it over.

all tools and foods i made on the train had to be left for people to take for free from my yard and also one expensive crafted item had to be left behind the pillar in each train station on the way.

in the last days of the game i wanted to video a subway ride, once around the whole circuit, just to preserve the memory. i started and ended at gregarious grange, which is the first place i ever got on the subway, and for the purposes of the video i did not craft on the train, but make frequent announcements in global chat as to where other glitches could join me for the ride if they wished. a number of them came out for the video and rode the train with me that day.

it was the last time i ever rode the subway.

it's kind of a long video, but it shows the whole loop, and it lets you hear the regional changes of soundtrack as you go around the circuit, which is one of the things i loved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ilmenskie mines

oddly, i have had a request to post the lyrics to the song ilmenskie miners, so here's a post that writes itself. i am now off the hook for deciding what to write about today.

just so nobody has to go back and search, a while ago i made a post about writing this song and then later on i made a post about making a video of it and to save you time if you just want the music or just want the video,  here are the links:

music at soundcloud
youtube video

and here is what the person making the request actually asked for: the lyrics.

i'll go down, down, down
down beneath the ground
where the bright groddle sun never shines
give me one last kiss and i'll teleport to bliss
i'll be breaking sparkly in the mines.

down in dark ilmenskie picks ring out like bells
from the cavern entrance to subarna spells

down in dark ilmenskie, way down in the deeps
where it's always blasted night and no one ever sleeps

and while we're at it, here's some video of the ilmenskie mines with its ingame music.

Monday, December 10, 2012

kingdom of loathing: notes from the glitch diaspora

it's over.

i'm not ready to tell you about it yet and i'm not prepared to show you any of the video or pictures, but in time i'll come out with them.

today for a while i played kingdom of loathing, which is nothing like glitch. it is text based but kind of amusing and i will probably play it regularly, but i will not take it as an alternate home.

news on that front: i passed the literacy test.

i also caught up (mostly) on reader, and had a little nap and made myself some food (beans, beans, fritos and cheese), but i did not even look at the pile of laundry nor did i bother to dress properly today.

and nobody cares.

i need the rest.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

last hours.

it is the last game day.

four hours from now the world will go dark.

i went with my friend norah to visit the street where her first house was, and then i stood witness as she logged off for the last time.

i left a note at the spot to tell people that this is where my friend norah had logged off for the last time, and i laid some flowers there.

then i went off to tend my garden.

one by one the people who can't stay for the last hours are coming to say goodbye.

we will see you in another world, we say. the internet is a big place. we will all run into each other in other games, other forums.

and we will, too.

but this little world we love so much will be closed and we will not see it again.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

this time tomorrow

this time tomorrow glitch will be in its last hour.

i have spent the whole day today taking screenshots and making videos because the little bits of it that made it so awesome need to be captured.

there aren't any secrets anymore. there's not point not telling everyone that if you take a full stack of broccoli to the bortola dragon it will light up and give you a ruby.

later on, probably, i will tell you that i was there the very first day of the bortola dragon.

i was, too. i was there the first day bortola was even on the map and i am heartbroken that i will never again discover new things in that beautiful little world.

Friday, December 07, 2012

volkswagon routan

woo! another rental car!

so yesterday i was on my way to the grocery store and my car went dead.

d-e-d, ded.

without warning. and it was really swell that i had JUST turned nto a parking lot when i lost control of the vehicle, because i was able to drift to a harmless stop out of harm's way.

my mechanic and i thought that with all the taking apart and putting back of the engine that something was out of adjustment, but it turns out that it needs a part and it may or may not be coincidence that it happened just now.

either way, my mechanic is awesome and he's paying for the rental and we're splitting the difference on the repair: i'm paying for the parts, but he's paying for the labor.

meanwhile, the routan does not suck. i do not like it as much as  i like a subaru, but it drives ok and it has some fancy features.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

end times

it is the last four days of the world of ur, in the game of glitch.

some of us are planning to hang on until the last of the servers is shut off sunday night, but some of us are so saddened by the closing they cannot even come into the world they love to see the end times.

some of us along the way are giving away possessions, cleaning house, and saying farewell.

my heart breaks a little each time a person i have played alongside comes to bring me a gift or send me a message and i know to ask "is this your farewell?" and we exchange a few kind words and then a few minutes later i see the little green dot next to their name in the player list go grey, which means they have logged off.

and i know they will not log on again.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

it can wait til later.

so today i was waiting at a light on shelburne road and my check engine light went on, along with a flashing cruise contol light.

and they just HAD my whole engine apart and everything, so i figure (as does my mechanic) that it's something in there form the taking apart and putting back together that's causing an error message, but they want me to bring it in for a couple of hours.

and i'm all, like, is monday to late for that?

because the world is ending on sunday and i don't want to spend more hours than i have to NOT being in it.

meanwhile, i don't think i posted for you the video of us playing spelling games in thornfad heights.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

i am still recording things, still editing videos, still playing in the little world i love, noting that the end of the world is coming. sunday. it ends sunday.

the staff at tiny speck would have been in their rights, once they knew it was over to simply pull the plug on the servers and let the world go dark.

but glitch wasn't just some goofy game. it was a wild and audacious experiment, a dream of a new way to do something silly and beautiful and awesome and sure, they hoped to make money with it, but instead of just pulling the plug, they're giving us an amazing sendoff. they are taking the trouble to put out the cool stuff they hadn't shown us yet, because they're proud of it and they love it.

today they rolled out some sweet new stuff that you would only think is amaaaaaazing if you already know the game, but let's just say that in the game we are all hopping-up-and-down-on-one-foot excited.

i also have another tour video for you, and i'm working on some other things.

Monday, December 03, 2012

these things write themselves

there's a pattern to the traffic of spam comments. i like to read them as part of an exercise in which i read the spam comment in the context of the post to which it attached, and pretend it is part of an actual conversation.

i was going to write a little post on that and i'm sure i will later but yesterday i got this really excellent spam comment and i just want to post it  in its entirety, only without any of their links.

i don't think i could make this stuff up if i tried.

About author:Of course, everybody has a world, and number is just one part of it And everything will go for the better They use the words seems to help brain cells to send and receive messages/content/Medieval-Education It has a student population of over 32,000 students, of which over 9,000 are graduate students As we continue to make our products more readily available to the public, marketing and promotional activities like the Dolphins Promotional Program become more and more importantYou'll uncover numerous including various kinds National football league jerseys Though a nation produces bulk Chicago Bears jerseysOnce you have purchased the wholesale NFL jerseys from china, you'll be flabbergasted with the quality of these jerseys
On our website, customers will get the widest selection of cheap authentic jerseys NFL video games appeal to countless spectators each supporting on the list of teams on the field and parading approximately in their shades and NFL jerseys emblazoned together with the logo of their team But deep speed would be lacking in the starting lineup He's also got the Broncos believing by themselves Every single jerseys carries the new England Patriots logo on each one of the sleeves

Sunday, December 02, 2012

things fall apart

so, in the middle of the car repairs, i was working on my glitch videos and my desktop computer (a middle aged but still fairly current mac) suddenly crashed.

and i did all the reboot stuff and got to disk utility and learned that my disk image couldn't be repaired but that i had to reformat my HD and do a full restore.

this right here is why i have some large external backup drives that back me up every hour.

but that restore, well, that's a LOT of files and the computer's estimate for how long it would take was 54 hours.



so i called the guys at the service department of my local shop to ask if they had a faster magic way and they said that if i was transferring the data with time machine and firewire, they couldn't do any better.

so i hunkered down and had to use only my laptop. it's a good machine for what it is (my car machine and my backup) but it is SLOW.

but this morning i woke up and my restore had finished sometime in the night, at least a full five hours ahead of schedule. so i have all my files back and everything runs just fine.

car, computer.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

digital hosting

who knew?

tonight i had a party in my little glitch house.

i know, it's just little toon versions of people coming to my toon house, but it is fully as exhausting as a RL party.

one of the things about an online party is that guests in different timezones will show up. so while i;m winding down my day, my european party guests are having a lovely lunchtime and the aussies are bright and shiny and morning-y.

which means a little digital party can go on for a long time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

open letter to vimeo

dear vimeo,

i love your videos. really, i do. when you send me notes about staff picks i want to rush right off to put them in my "watch later" queue so i can remember to watch them later.

but the thing is that you log me out nearly every day, and then when i hit that little button that says "log in",  it doesn't work. i guess i could log in with facebook, but facebook sucks and i don't use it.

so i'm concluding that you do not actually want me to be able to log in, else your login button would be functional.

until you fix that, i'll be watching youtube.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

chevy malibu

can i tell you how much i hate this car?

i'm driving one as a rental.

my own beloved car (an '06 subaru forester) is in the shop. i took it in to get snows put on and to have them look at my headlights.

it turns out my headlights need replacing. and, oh by-the-way, the head gasket needs replacing. and the water pump. and the timing belt.

and the clutch.

and the head cylinder.

and yeah, the left-side light that lights up the rear license plate.

at over 111,000 miles, one might expect it to need a few things replaced. the good news is that with this wok done it'll probably go another 90,000 miles.

we hope.

meantime, i am driving a chevy malibu and while there's nothing so terrible about it, it has limited visibility and it's nto built to carry gear and i hit my head getting in and out, and i'm not especially tall.

i hate it.

but i'm driving along and i see this little bubbly thing in the middle of the top of the dash and i think maybe it is some kind of light sensor and i wonder what THAT might do. i speculate that it might auto-dim some lights or something, so i toss my hat up on over it.

huh. that's kind of cool.

here's the video.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

this is what 60 looks like

ok, i want you to know the reason i am posting nearly exclusively about the last days of glitch: it's because most of my non-glitch playing time is spend editing video and stills to document the game and to just plain save the memories of it while i still can.

so stuff about glitch is what you're getting, wich is probably tedious for those fo you who do not play glitch, but for those who do, it's like a blankie, knowing that we're all scrambling to put together something we can save and look at and listen to because when those servers shut down on december ninth, that little world will go dark and all that will be left are the pictures and recordings.


glitch has a level cap. a lot of games do. in glitch that cap is 60, and i was never a level grinder, although by the sheer volume of time spent playing i leveled pretty high, just as a byproduct of playing.

some people have parties even to celebrate it, but i celebrated mostly the way i celebrated every other leveling up i did: i gave out a round of drinks to everyone present in the street where it happened.

what i did differently in this case was i put on a nice outfit and went down to cebarkul and played my conch triumphantly to everyone there.

i didn't mention at the time why i had done this and quite frankly putting on an outfit and handing out stuff isn't behavior that's all that unusual, so i don't think anyone even noticed.

the reason i recorded it is that when you level up there's a cute little kazoo noise and i thought that since this was the last time i'd ever level up, i wanted to save the memory of what that looks like.

the sad thing is that about an hour after i leveled up and logged off for the night, they made the announcement that the game is closing. i came on the next day to find people making their goodbyes and i was confused.

then i was bereft.

today i edited the video so i could post it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

tour of ur: uralia

this will come as no surprise to anybody, eh?

 i am still shooting the tour videos and working an a mapping project, along with making some screenvid of game play.

here's the uralia tour.

the landscape of uralia is hard to capture because it is so deep and weird.

it's also usually crowded in cebarkul.

but this is what it looks like, along with the uralia soundtrack.

Monday, November 26, 2012

tour of ur: underwater regions

i spent a lot of today editing video of a tour of jal and samudra, as well as just playing glitch and enjoying it while i still have it to enjoy.

samudra is a new underwater region similar to jal and accessible only from jal, so even though in its current state it has the default music for all streets, the groddle banjo theme, i believe that if it had been released properly and not post-closing announement it would have shared the jal soundtrack and so for this reason i have paired them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

tour of ur: naraka

i'm working on a project of making some little scenic tours of the regions of ur accompanied by the soundtrack of those landscapes rather than the game sound.

here's the region of naraka.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

rock fans

in a stunning surprise move, i told you i would have pictures and video for you soon, and here are pictures and video.

one of the split rocks
thanksgiving day at john and ellen's orion asked how john splits the rocks for his wall and john said "let's go spilt one", which is a way cooler anser than a simple explanation.

and it's totally awesome for me, because while i often take pictures of people doing interesting things, i really hit the jackpot if people talk while they're doing whatever it is i'm shooting video of.

and john doesn't just split the rock; he shows the tools and explains the process, which is GOLD to me.

more of the inside of the rock
so john's building this rock wall at the house and he's using glacial erratics fome his field and woods. when he splits them open, some of them are very interesting if you like rocks and stuff.

...which i do. and apparently john's a big rock fan, too.

so here are some of my pictures of the rocks and my video of the splitting.
drill holes
feathers and wedges

Friday, November 23, 2012

it just isn't thanksgiving

it just isn't thanksgiving without video of whipped cream being dispensed into a dog.

later on i will have video and pictures of rock breaking, because it's never a dull moment with us.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


None Of The Above.

do you remember that movement for political reform? ron paul used to back it, you know, in the days before he got in bed with the whackdoodles.

he still makes sense on some things.

i haven't heard his retirement speech yet, but i heard some excerpts and he makes some good points.

anyway, the idea behind None Of The Above is that this should be a choice at elections. there are a number of proposals with different mechanics, but the general idea is that if None Of The Above wins the majority share in the election, the whole thing has to be done over with new candidates.

when i first heard about this ages ago, i remember opponents saying "you can't do that!!! it would cost too much to redo elections! it would be mayhem!"

well, not after the first time.

the first time NOTA got the majority vote those guys running the parties would finally have to sit up and take notice and provide real choices.

as long as they know they're still going to be in power, they don't have to provide real choices. they just have to mount enough theater and go through the steps.

if we make them uneasy about whether the demmicans or the republicrats will be able to retain their mutually agreed upon positions at all, they'd have to be concerned. they'd actually have to DO something.

and nobody would be able to shrug their shoulders and say the system is too entrenched for there to be change.

likewise, if the voters have NOTA as an alternative and do not use it, that will function as a mandate for business as usual. it will take away a lot of the excuses out there.

next time you see the proposal, endorse it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

nationstates: a report from the glitch diaspora

glitch isn't closed yet, but the players are out looking at other games and reporting back.

there is nothing like glitch out there, but there arge games we might enjoy to a lesser degree and go together to some of them just so we don't lose touch completely.

one game a number of us are now playing is nationstates, which is fun if you like politics, a slow moving theoretical game, or diplomacy roleplay.

i am enjoying it, but it is not glitch.

have a look at my nation if you want. if you decide you'd like to give it a try and you'd like to play in the same region as me and the rest of the glitch diaspora, when you get logged in simply move your nation to the region of glitch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ilmenskie miners

i am trying to parse out why we are so heartbroken with the end of glitch.

if you're following my story at all you know that i play a lot of games.

the thing about glitch is that it is a rich environment.

do you remember the first time you went into middle earth? or narnia? or hogwarts? or went through the phantom tollbooth?

i remember the first time milo left through the tollbooth and i felt as if i had lost that country. the message of the book is that you can find that country everywhere but still- you're never going back, not really, not as intensely as that first time when you inhabit the land.

and glitch was a  land that was rich and complex and had stories brewing in it that were created by the developers: artists, musicians, and a real team of writers, but it was also a story and a lanscape that was being created on the fly by the characters in it.

in most computer games a finite set of things happen, and you only are able to watch.

in glitch we were citizens of a world and characters in many stories, each of us living a story on the same landscape, but singular for each one of us.

my story was that i loved the lands. i loved the streets and my homes (i have had three) and i loved gathering and harvesting and crafting and going about my little business and seeing all the other little people and knowing that they represented real people out there, living their little glitch lives.

a long time ago before the Great Housing Reset i was dreaming of saving up enough currants to buy a beautiful little house in groddle meadow, and at the time the best way for me to make money was to go down into the mines.

so i wrote this song, and as part of our farewell to our world, a group of miners came with me yesterday to make this short video.

Monday, November 19, 2012

flexible flyer

not, this isn't about my sled.

i DO have a vintage flexible flyer, though. i have a sixty year old sled.

but this is not about that.

it is about my bike ride today.

if you are flexible in your thinking you can tell yourself that this is what you wanted anyway, or at least that this is acceptable.

this afternoon i was having trouble deciding whether to ride my bike or go for a run. i sorta didn't feel like riding all the way over the preston pond trail and i thought a run would just be simpler.

so because it's early enough in the season that i CAN still ride -because there's no snow cover yet- i got on my bike and i rode it all the way to the top of the preston pond trail and then instead of riding across and home i just turned around and ran the mile and three quarters home.

why, you ask, would i run a perfectly good bike? downhill?

'cause flat tire, that's why.

and although the shoes i was wearing have ankle support and recessed cleats, they're not really intended for running and when i was forced in the last quarter mile to run on pavement sometimes i sounded like some goofy half-a-horse loping along.

and they're not excackly cushiony either, so there's that.

and i passed a guy walking out with his rifle and by way of answering the question he hadn't asked yet i said "this is not nearly as much fun as it looks" and he was fixing to offer me a ride home but without even breaking stride i told him i was nearly home and we both kind of laughed as i went on my way.

it's the late fall backwoods duathlon, i told myself.

i do not have to decide between the run and the ride.

i get both.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

games within games

as the world of ur comes to its end, those of us who love it are scrambling to save the pictures, the text, the music. this morning another player was looking for someone to play the ticket games so he could see and photgraph them, so i took video while we payed.

i hadn't played the ticket games since before the housing reset, so it was fun to go back and play them.

that was the thing about glitch: it was less *a* game than a platform on which a lot of games were played. it was rich and complex.

there are still some days left before the world ends, but already we are beginning to speak of it in the past tense.

we are in mourning and we are at a loss to describe exactly why it matters so much to us.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

more of ur

if you're not a glitch fan, i'm sorry about this: from now until closing there are going to be a lot of posts about glitch.

here are my two videos:

the first one is a general tour of the glitch lands that i was preparing just for the heck of it to show you when the announcement came out and i stopped processing it, so it has no awesome sound and no captioning, but it will talke you through the different lanscapes, most of them.

this second one is my song "last farewell to groddle", which is a song i started to write when the housing was reset and i lost my little groddle cottage at 5117 estevan meadows, but then i was busy making my new groddle cottage at the new homestead that for all its flexibility and convenience did not have the placiness of my groddle forest or my groddle cottage homes.

anyway, when they announced the closing that idea for a song about farewell to groddle became my farewell to glitch and while i am at heart always from groddle, the bortolans and fireboggers all know what i'm talking about here.

maybe it is an imaginary landscape, but it is one that we all at least partly LIVED in. we hade hopes for it and we dreamed in it and it was unlike any "just" game we'd ever seen because of the richness of it.

so here is my farewell song.

Friday, November 16, 2012

farewell to groddle

you know i have been playing glitch.

i was preparing a video to show you, and some pretty pictures but thursday night the announcement came that glitch is closing.

it's not just a game to many of us; it is a place rich in our imaginations and the residence of part of our souls.

some of you live at hogwarts or in narnia or whatever fictional places hold your attention and populate your dreams.

today i wrote and recorded this song.

later on i will get you those pictures.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

open letter to the united church of christ

dear united church of christ,

why is it that when i go to your site and use the search term "report misconduct" most of what comes up are pdf documents from the insurance board?

if you go to the united methodist church and search"report misconduct", you actually get resources on what the definitions and terms are and how to file a complaint should you need to. they don't leave it on their front page, but the resources are there to help both the churches and other concerned parties.

where are your resources to help those making reports? or behind your happy shiny fa├žade are you more about protecting the church politic than the members?

just askin'.


two questions

from formspring:

do you ever get tired of glitch?

sometimes. then i go do something else.

it's less of a smashing and more of a scraping. i am hand shaping a rock for decorative use in a garden. modern art, ancient tech.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

open letter to gdad

dear gdad,

this morning just before i woke up i was dreaming that i was posting to your blog and that certain words were being highlighted by little pastel-colored circles that were links to other things, which maybe isn't so farfetched, except that what had just happened was that the words "they're", "their", and "there" had just been conflated into "thr" and abolished completely and the little dots were telling me about it.

since we are nearly complete strangers, i thought you would like to know about this.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

beaver river detour

one day last october i woke up in the morning and decided to do a pair of geocaches by the stillwater reservoir. if you're interested in reading those logs, you can pick them up here.

but then i came back into the parking lot and it was full up and there were all these people milling about like they were waiting for something. maybe a boat?

so i marched right on over to where they were waiting and asked them what they were waiting for.

it turned out that they were waiting for the tour boat over to beaver river (which i am informed properly is beaver river station) and i wanted to know what the deal was with that and nobody could give me any information other than it's fifteen dollars and it leaves in fifteen minutes.

it was, i think, an appalling lack of information regarding an activity they were about to engage in, but we were all still in the parking lot and the parking lot has good wifi, so i just looked it up.

and okay, that sounds awesome and it turns out it's the last day they're running the tour this season so i don't have time to think about taking a later boat.

so i stand around with the rest of the folks and wait for the boat.

when it comes, we all troop onto it and take seats. it is a very lovely ride and i don't know what all else i might have been doing this afternoon, but it wasn't this cool.

on the way i struck up a conversation with a woman on the boat and she said i MUST come with her to visit her friends in beaver river and i was hesitant about dropping in on strangers with someone i only just met, but sometimes you just take whatever opportunities present themselves.

so when the boat dropped us at the causeway to take the shuttles into "town" (the year round population of beaver river station is nine), i just got off with my new friend at her stop.

ater the initial social awkwardness of "hi, i'm a total stranger showing up kind of randomly" i got a lovely tour of the beautiful old adirondack cabin and the adaptations that make it liveable in modern times.

potable water is still trucked in by sled or handcart, and it is heated in milk cans next to the woodstove.

but there are solar panels! and storage batteries!

and on the afternoon i am there the program of entertainment involves digging holes to drive posts and build a platform for another solar panel.

so actually i don't get to go into beaver river to see the hotel or the restaurant, but i DO get the unique opportunity to do yard chores with local folk, which both gives me the pleasure of being useful for a little while and it sets me on the landscape in a different way than if i come just as a tourist.

and then it's time for me to catch my bus back to the boat; we stand out on the causeway and flag it down as it passes. it's a pretty ride back to the parking lot and i go all the way into croghan to get me some dinner before settling down for the night.

later on i get an email from the woman i had been digging holes with, and she sends along a photo of the completed project.

Monday, November 12, 2012

lantern waste

in october i went to a geocache in the adirondacks and i can't think of ten i've enjoyed more in all the time i've been playing that game.

if youd like to read my log for the cache, you can find it here, but if you don't mind spoilers and/or you maybe aren't ever going to go do that cache, there's a more detailed telling of it here.

lantern wastei'm experimenting with photobucket's new storytelling format; i'm not sure yet if i like it.

if you're still unfamiliar with the concept of geocaching, the idea is that the coordinates to a hidden thing are published on the web. then using your GPS device, you go find it. i've heard people ask what the challenge to that is, since ostensibly you know right where it is, but just you try it a few times and see if you don't see the challenge.

as far as this particular cache goes, you follow your GPS until you get to the box with the maps and from there you have the choice of carrying on by map or by GPS.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

fish mountain in the civil war

i was at a geocache in in lake pleasant, ny, and at the back of the fish mountain cemetery are buried these two men who are civil war veterans.

i have written to you before about civil war veterans, so it probably will not surprise you to learn that i went ahead and looked up each of these men's service records and between the terse wording of the personal service record and the regimental service record, you can make some pretty good guesses about how the war went for them.

the war was very different for these two.

joseph's mother was a fish, of fish mountain. he was a blacksmith and carpenter and wen he was mustered in for his intended three years service he was posted to mostly noncombat duty around sharpsburg. maybe his first "real" battle was at fredericksburg, where he was wounded and sent home.

the 1890 federal census of surviving soldiers lists him as having been held as a prisoner and lists his disability as "weakness about the loins". that census lists his discharge for disability on december 10th, before the fredericksburg battle.

the vagueness of "weakness about the loins" gives much latitude for speculation. is this a battelfield injury? the result of a mine? it could also be injuries sustained by a common torture  used on prisoners of the day. we don't know how long he was held prisoner, or where. 

he may have been taken prisoner before fredericksburg and not fought there with his regiment, which makes sense if you look at the given date(s) of his discharge.

121st Regiment Infantry "Orange and Herkimer Regiment"

Organized at Herkimer and mustered in August 13, 1862. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 2, 1862. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac and Army of the Shenandoah, to June, 1865.
SERVICE.--Maryland Campaign September 6-22, 1862. Duty at Sharpsburg, Md., until October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. (source)

N I C H O L S,  J O S E P H F.—Age, 21 years. Enlisted, July 29, 1862,
at Salisbury, to serve tliree years; mustered in as private, Co.
A, August 23, 1862; discharged for disability, December 13,
1862. (source)


[Full name Joseph Franklin Nichols]
Enlisted 29 July 1862 at Salisbury, NY, age 21 as
Private, Co. A, 121st NY Infantry
Mustered in 23 Aug 1862
Discharged for disability 13 Dec 1862

Filed for Invalid pension 10 April 1886
Application #570780, Certificate #851375
Widow (Alinda Nichols) filed for pension 28 Oct 1900 from NY
Application #732799, Certificate #535654

1850 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1860 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1870 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1880 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1890 Special schedule census: Arietta, Hamilton Co., NY
1892 State census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY

Born: 1842 in Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
Father: Willis Nichols
Mother: Elizabeth Fish
Married: abt 1866
Spouse: Alinda Wilbur
Died: 15 May 1899 at Lake Pleasant
Buried: Fish Mountain Cemetery, Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
Occupation: Carpenter, Blacksmith
Additional: at least 5 children (source)

paul nichols, the older brother,  enlisted for a year's service and was sent to the areas around petersburg and then richmond, which involved a lot of digging and guarding and supplying punctuated by a number of battles. 

his regiment was sent to to north carolina for the amphibious assualts on fort fisher and the campaign to take wilmington. there was a lot of fighting, a lot of marching, and a lot of disease. his regiment saw the surrender of johnston, which after lee's surrender was what was left of the confederate army. the regiment drew guard duty at raleigh until it was mustered out june 7, but nichols was already in the hospital and it is unclear how much duty he carried before he was mustered out.

since there is no record of an invalid pension, it may be guessed that her recovered from his illnesses and returned to farming. 

142nd Regiment Infantry "St. Lawrence County Regiment"

Organized at Ogdensburg, N. Y, and mustered in September 29, 1862. Left State for Washington, D. C., October 6, 1862.[...]1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 10th Army Corps, to December, 1864

SERVICE. [...]Duty in trenches before Petersburg and on the Bermuda Hundred front until September 27. Battle of Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30. [...] Duty in trenches before Richmond until December. Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., December 7-27. 2nd Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., January 3-15, 1865. Assault and capture of Fort Fisher January 15. Cape Fear entrenchment's February 11-13. Fort Anderson February 18-19. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Advance on Goldsboro March 6-21. Advance on Raleigh April 9-13. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Raleigh until June. Mustered out June 7, 1865. (source)

N I C H O L S ,  P A U L  A . — A g e , 38 years .  E n l i s t e d at Schenectady,
t o serve one year ,  a n d  m u s t e r ed  i n as  p r i v a t e , Co.  D , September
1, 1864;  m u s t e r ed out,  J u n e  1 0 , 1 8 6 5, at  h o s p i t a l,  R a l e i g h ,  N .  C . (source)

Enlisted 1 Sept 1864 at Schenectady, NY, age 38 as
Private, Co. D, 142nd NY Infantry
Mustered in 1 Sept 1864
Mustered out 10 June 1865 at Raleigh, NC

1860 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1870 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
1880 census: Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY

Born: abt 1826 in NY
Father: Willis Nichols
Mother: Elizabeth Fish
Married: 1st, abt. 1851
Spouse: Dorcas A. 
Married: 2nd, bet. 1860 - 1870
Spouse: Adeline Dunning
Died: 19 March 1890
Buried: Fish Mountain Cemetery, Lake Pleasant, Hamilton Co., NY
Occupation: Farmer
Additional: at least 1 child with 1st wife (source)



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