LONG IN THE TOOTH

I’ve been thinking about cake a lot recently. I’m not sure why.

Oh! Right! Here’s today’s track.

2019 was a hell of a good year for me. It’s 2020 now, true, but this is the first occasion I’ve really taken to… like, reflect and shit. Ya know?

Have I mentioned I have a new nemesis?

Yeah, so… here’s what happened.

In the end-game phase, Metal Gear Solid V essentially forces players to pilfer resources from each other to expand their own operations. The series has never had an online component, per se, and I crossed paths with another enterprising soul while stealing crates of materials off his fledgling base. To his credit, he launched a very disciplined defense, and came prepared with the thickest variety of body armor, and a well-considered armament of both long and short range weaponry.

Yet, grizzled old wolf that I am, I adopted a somewhat unorthodox stratagem to circumvent his expected tactics, and hunkered down behind an as-yet-unstolen crate of materials just in front of a bridge leading onto the platform I was occupying.

I could hear him firing shots above the platform, in what seemed an attempt to force my hand. Yet, he didn’t know precisely where I was, and his frustration was palpable. To approach the platform I was on, he would have to approach from below the bridge, where there was adequate cover and zero visibility, or across the top of the bridge, with good visibility and scarcely any cover at all.

A tough choice, in his case, unless he wanted to wait me out.

Against a traditional armament, his choice to cross the bridge would have probably won the day, but as I stepped out from behind cover I think he realized almost immediately that I wasn’t interested in a fierce exchange of gunfire. The grenade launcher I leveled at him was, instead, configured to fire a fast-acting stun gas that disperses on impact. When it’s inhaled, it incapacitates a player immediately.

Sneaky, and underhanded, perhaps.

But effective!

His character lay there on the bridge, unconscious, while I quickly switched to the largest caliber rifle I had equipped, and then put a single round through his head.

I giggled a bit at his misfortune on the way to the extraction point, and then promptly ran right over a landmine and died immediately, thereby losing the game, which really made me laugh.

I like to think, in retrospect, that we both learned something from the match. I’m fairly sure I earned his eternal enmity, and as for myself, well… it was in keeping with my nature, I admit.

It’s also been an interesting year career-wise.

Prior to this year, Artificial Intelligence was something I knew next to nothing about. I had heard of IBM’s A.I. offering, Watson, and knew it’d been on Jeopardy, as a contestant, but little else.

In February, I took a deep breath, and then I introduced myself to a gathering of engineers, designers and executives tasked with the development and direction of Watson.

Without getting too far into the weeds, I’d say I’ve learned a hell of a lot in the past year, and some evenings I feel I have far more projects and endeavors than I could finish in a lifetime. Every time I learn something new, I think of six and half different different things I want to make.

I read an article about Miyazaki’s creative process the other day, and it left me feeling… well, vindicated. And… somewhat numb as well. Working purely from inspiration can be slow, and throwing out work in favor of trying another approach during actual production cycles obviously wastes time, it’s true. Yet, his success speaks for itself. He makes movies for children, and each is lovingly crafted, and infinitely memorable.

Among many sectors, the approach to art is: “Line em’ up, knock em’ down”. It’s interesting to read how he runs his business, although… casually discussing closing the company down, even as a joke, seems foolhardy, and counter-productive.

But hey, I’m the last person that should be passing judgement on the morality of humor.

There’s a new version of the site in the works, by the way.

With WebGL, you can use display 3D content on a site, and it actually runs comfortably in a typical browser. The new site incorporates some unique design choices on my part, and overall I’m really happy with how it’s progressed. That being said, after I’ve rolled it out, please let me know if you notice any problems on your device of choice.

I updated the meme section of the site with a few new entries.

There’s one in there about macaroni, and it’s… worth looking at.

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