Friday, 31 December 2010

Alpha and Omega

With this year coming to close and a new year dawning I figured I should probably tie up all my loose ends, also known as, things I said I would blog about, but haven't. So here's a summary of the year that has passed.

Art n' Shit
I combined photography and digital painting to make "Souls", starting with Condemned Soul, Chapter I. By the way, the eyes. Yeah, they're Adolf Hitler's. But alas I only got so far as to chapter II, which means there's one missing. I might get to that at some point, but don't wait with bathed breath.
I also used Adobe Photoshop to add myself to a movie I obviously wasn't in, still funny though. Then I of course went overboard with it, and ruined the joke my making another one.

Some Call it Music
Several (here, here and here) times during the year, I promised to upload something I had written to youtube. I kind of kept that promised with Unstabbable Feet and Prozac. But I still want to upload something a bit more serious, so yeah, I will, but just not right now. I'm still writing music and have made nice progress. Speaking of which, I could probably record Last Curtain Call. But we'll see.

I ♥ Herbs, but Herbs don't ♥ me
In April I tried growing my own herbs, I did to I small update regarding they're status after wards but kind of let it hanging there. Especially since I might have made a big deal about it with my cliffhanger; What happened to Basil's home? Is Tarragon really as innocent as he looks? Will Thyme ever find the love she rightfully deserves? Also, we finally get to find out why Lemon Balm left his two wives to look for his parents.
So here's it actually is, the thrilling (?) conclusion. The died, all of them. One by one they perished to mistreat and me being generally uninterested. So, ooops!

The Nerd Within
I waited for some games, played some and ignored others. I played Command & Conquer, got my ass handed to me by the AI on easy and just never looked back. My save is still probably around somewhere within the depths of crap called System partition. I was eager to get Stuck in Limbo, but never actually did, at least not yet. Fable III was, well nice I suppose even though I haven't finished it yet. Halo: Reach surprised me in some good ways and ended up getting a 4,2 which later got upped to 4.5.
Fallout. New Vegas is still on my "to buy list". Batman: Arkham City is also there, but that's will be for next year, since it's not coming out yet anyway.

Rants & News
During the year I also ranted about religion and why people need definitions. People have not answered me yet on that one by the way, but it's cool, we're all friends here, right? R'iight? Anyways. In my rant of definitions I might have (almost like I wouldn't know) said something about totally proposing to my wife-to-be within a couple of years, tops. Then later we had our Feast of Winter Solstice, at which I totally did. Hussah!

The Random Remains
I said I would cut my hair and sculpt a Hobbe. I did one of those, and it wasn't the sculpting one. Again though, not yet, as I still might. And finally I talked about movies I would watch. Well, so far I haven't. But that's okay, it's not like they're going anywhere.

That should be all of it. So yeah, Happy New Year and may you be smart enough not to make new years resolutions thinking you could somehow change yourself in a fleeting moment of drunkenness, when in reality, change takes time and patience. If it's even possible. Yeah, these will be words I leave you with, a good friend of mine once gave me a card with this text and it sort of stuck ever since.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Feel free to replace the word "God" with a deity of your choice, I kept it in because it felt right despite my agnostic ways.

EDIT: And because no blog post would be complete without a picture, here's the latest from Penny Arcade. Suits rather nicely wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, 30 December 2010

I Would Build A World For You Too

I would build a world for you too. But mine would be even prettier, and with Champagne coloured Rose bushes instead of Daisies.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Ridding the Addiction(s)

Hello, My name is Carlos, and I'm an achievement whore who also is addicted to Coca-Cola.
Eerie silence. Someone coughs.
Or at least I used to be. Like a month ago or something, I started (all of us actually) to take D-Vitamins. I've always kind of suspected that I suffer from Winter Depression or SAD (stupid I know) as it's more commonly known as. So by random chance and having been sick on a higher frequency I just "happened" to be at a local pharmacy with my dear mother, whilst I was minding my errands she was checking out the Vitamin section. And since we had actually discussed my possible need for D's (I can't be bothered to continue writing D-Vitamin all the time, hence I will just call it D's, live with it..) she thought she would buy me some. It just so happened that they were having a sale on a random brand and thusly the D's were purchased.

And you know what? I actually feel better. I've been kind of known to have a hyper activeness going on, but winter has always been "off". Winter time I've still always had energy I suppose you could call it but it's always been very unstable, or more accurately I always feel a bit exhausted bit still with a lot of physical energy. If that makes any sense? Anyways, I feel better. I generally feel more rested even though the amount I rest hasn't changed at all. So hurray for D's, and I'm going to continue with that until Springs rears it's moist and succulent head.

But this wasn't going to be about D's. *reads title again*. Right... Ridding the Addiction(s). By an odd stroke of luck, let's at least call it that, I also cut down my Coca-Cola intake ranging from an average of 4-6 liter per week to.. well.. nothing at all actually. Yes, obviously I can not thank the D's alone, for my well being, but I am sure they've contributed their fare share. So yeah, I stopped drinking Coke, which also means, as it turned out, that I need something to replace my default hungover-drink. Suggestions? And I feel better, I don't even want Coke in the same way anymore. Right now, a glass of freezing cold water feels more alluring. Which is nice, 'cos.. well yeah, it's cheaper and I can indulge myself in it without feeling a bit gross. Today though, I did have a 0,5 liter bottle when I ate. But even though I actually had some left afterward I really didn't feel like drinking the rest. So hurray! Addiction free-ish! I not going to claim that I'm totally addiction free since that would be.. simply put.. moronic.

I still have to find something to drink when I'm hungover though and that will be a problem since I enjoy the carbonated water -part of this particular carbonated soft drink. But I'm sure there's something out there that could work as an adequate substitute.

So why plural on Addiction(s)?

Because after reading the delightfully interesting thoughts of Chris Hecker and having an thought provoking experience with Fable III I have decided to try, emphasis on try as I don't know how successful it will be, to ignore achievements in games. Simply because their presence disrupts my gaming experience as they force me to subconsciously (or consciously) play the game in a way that might not be in tune with how I would naturally play it, had I been given the choice to set my own internal goals. Epiphany Unlocked! And yes I'm being ironic or something..
Sure I might still post the occasional Achievement Unlocked image, though I suspect I will be more likely to post an Epiphany Unlocked image instead, and I reserve myself the right to post these. They were more or less ironic to begin with and since that hasn't changed, we're all friends here, right?

So with all of this in my now, newly re-packed baggage I bid you farewell. I feel better than I did two months ago. But rest assured, I still loath humankind and have no faith in humanity's ability to not screw itself over like a rerun of a bad sit-com.

Bye for now!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Music and Me

Am I writing music, or is music writing me? Nah, never mind, that makes no sense. I'm trying to take a creative break from things, or more accurately, I'm taking a break from board game creating to well... create other things. Funny thing with being creative, there's never really any break from it. I'm never actually having a break from being creative.. never. All I'm ever doing is shifting my focus from one area of creativeness (actually a word according to Firefox spell check) to another. I'm not complaining in any way, I don't mind working like this. But it's interesting that what I consider a break isn't actually a break at all. And even if I'm not doing anything at any particular moment in time, my mind is still creating. It just never stops getting ideas from different things in life. I suppose that's the penalty one pays for having a hyperactive brain. I've had several different ideas whilst writing this so far.

Anyways, back to the point or one of the points I suppose. I'm back to writing some more music at the moment, or maybe it's called composing, I'm not quite sure. It's going quite nicely at the moment even though I'm not actually writing anything right now obviously since I'm writing here, but I wrote some earlier. And I liked it, so now I have at least two songs that I really should finish writing. I'm calling them "Rest in Peace" and "Her Soul Consumes Mine" right now, but I'm open to changing the titles as I see fit later on. They're more of some sort of placeholder or project titles anyway. I like having project titles, it helps me stay focused on the primary goal. And whenever I really, really change my mind regarding the goal I can always just change the title.
Side note; Now I've finished updating OpenOffice. And I'm going on a celebratory smoke in honour of this most awesome-est occasion.

And I'm back, not that you have any awareness of the passage of time in this context, since you're reading all of at once. Hmm, sort of makes this whole paragraph moot doesn't it? So, I'm really excited about writing a little music again since I've had quite a long break from it. I've still picked up the guitar every now and then but I haven't really written anything in a while. But today I think I managed to nail the verse part of "Rest in Peace".. bare in mind though that I've thought so a number of times before, and been wrong. But this time feels right, so I'm hopeful and I like being that occasionally. I thought about taking a picture of one of my notebooks for music, but I was struck by sudden case of "Fuck it!". So I googled a picture of sheet music, just pretend that my notes look like that. Of course they don't as I don't even know how to write in notes. When I was younger I used to take piano lessons (short story, got bored) and then I was able to read notes.. alas that ability has been forgotten for now, so it might as well be in Arabic. I wouldn't understand anything anyways.

But I do understand music, or at least I'd like to think so. Yiruma's River Flows In You is beautiful but so is a lot of other things, like Negative's live performance of Jealous Sky at Keskustori, skip to 4:10 and onwards if you just can't be bothered with the whole thing. And Pain of Salvation's live rendition of Hallelujah is different. But the good kind of different, not the "smelly weirdo next to you in the checkout aisle" -different. Eva Cassidy singing Time After Time is eerily fragile, but then again her version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow is better than Judy Garland's.. at least in my opinion. So yeah, these are all a bit more towards the softer end of the spectrum I suppose, but then again I also really, really like this.

Watch the whole thing.. trust me, you'll thank me later. Or you'll hate me, either is fine.

EDIT: I just realized that I might've posted this video before, but in case I haven't I'm keeping it here. So yeah, enjoy!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Holiday Movies

I have some "new" movies to watch during the Holidays. "New" as in two of them are actually from -96. But they're obviously new to me since I haven't seen them before. I've also decided to add The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline and Corpse Bride to my phone for those days of "stuck in a bus" or something. I don't know if you're being beginning to see a pattern here, if you don't, well too bad. I'll give you a clue.. it starts with stop.

Anyways, here's my Holiday movie list in no particular order. Which also follows the same pattern, except for half a quarter of the movies, because... well.. I'm evil? I'm not sure if I can find the time to watch all of these, but I can at least hope and/or try.

Oooh, and with red text backgrounds.. because.. I feel like it?

Also.. just in case you haven't noticed.. I love that I just remembered how to do line-through in CSS.. I've wanted to post-edit my own post like this for a long time, but I've suffered from zombie-brain which I don't anymore.. So Hussah for everyone..

Also.. I'm totally drunk doing these edits, so I might end up having to edit my edits..

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Xmas

And a Happy New Whatever to all of you. I have a Sgt. Headache and don't feel very inclined to blog a lot right now. Boons is eating breakfast whilst watching Futurama and I'm going for my second cup of coffee, hopefully no. 2 will sooth the headache.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

They are out to Fall in Vegas

or just Fallout.. you pick. I figured since I haven't blogged in a while I should get to it. Not wanting to bore you with more stuff about my board game (at least not right now), I decided to share with you, dear people of blogiverse, that I'm still excited about Fallout: New Vegas. Despite the fact that I haven't acquired the aforementioned game yet. Hardcore mode sounds like the best thing ever, I remember Fallout 3 fondly, but one thing that irked me was that half-way through the game I was already blasting Super Mutants in the face with two shots. Not much of a challenge there, though in a way it was also fun to feel like king of the world. So yeah, Fallout: New Vegas, I'm still excited about it and I am going to get it some way or another.

For next time I hope I can come up with something interesting to write. Albeit, at this point, I would settle for writing something.. regardless of interesting or not.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Prototype #4

Inspired partly by reading so many interesting things by Sirlin. He writes so many things that to me, are profoundly well thought-out and inspiring. So I thought, "Hey, maybe all three of my readers would also like a sneak peek into the mind of Carlos?" Because believe it or not I have actually spent a great deal of time doing what would be called "real world simulations" and computing statistical probabilities before I even had a name for any card. If I can find the original sketches for the probabilities I calculated in my head (some 3 years ago) I will add it to the spreadsheet and post I picture again some time in a not so distant future (link to my wife-to-be's blog). But for now, this will have to do.

Yeah, so I probably already told you that I haven't forgotten my board game, since I mention it in "A Small Step For Carlos". Why did I say "probably"? I sound like I have no idea whether I wrote about it or not, despite linking back to myself, again. Early signs of dementia perhaps? Anyways, I glad to.. announce? That work on my board game to be, Island of Eternity (no "the") is back on track! You can all now cork the champagne and celebrate, I know you wants to. Prepare yourself for pictures, and enjoy!
So here's some quick comparison statistics, comparing prototype #3 to prototype #4.

What you are looking at here are the statistics for total number of card types and number of unique cards by that type with probability of drawing that card type as the first card in a game, excluding of course Island Curse and Book of Eternity -card since they are removed at the start.

As you might notice (or ignore, if that's your fancy..) the statistical probability of drawing an Event Card has drastically changed, what used to be 40,4% has now decreased with 23% to 31,1% of drawing an Event Card as the first card. What I've failed to add into in is the number of available cards the percentages are based on, so here. Prototype #3 had 54 cards, 52 at the start of game. Prototype #4 has 76 cards and 74 at the start of the game. Don't try to count the statistical probability for the special cards, it won't make any sense to you since the percentages are arbitrarily based on conditions that will never occur, unless you change the rules. So there's that.

EDIT! Yeah I know that the probability of drawing a Reaction Card has changed even more, with it's 30% decrease. But those cards have also been altered so that the probability of have use of a card has increased, I'd like to think they even out, testing will tell.

I also have some examples, which I will leave for now. I hope people will like the "Dark Ritual!" -card. To tickle your curiosity gland, here's the names of some other new cards.
- Sticky Fingers!
- Silver Tongue!
- Peeping Tom!
- Armed n' Dangerous!
- Le Chakal!
- Amnesia!

Here's a screenshot of some actual work, not just numbers that make no sense to anyone. What you see here is a partial shot of the new rulebook design, which I'm quite pleased with at the moment. Also, another new card called "Oh, So Close!"... which does... *drumroll*... nothing!
Tad'aaa! A card that does nothing, but can be made to have a function with an optional rule, because I'm just so nice today. Currently rulebook "protoFour" is a stapled 8 page A5 in full colour.

I'll finish up with a good look at Flesh Wound!, a card that has managed to stick around from a very early stage. This picture features the very latest revision of the design of the card, although the illustration is obviously a placeholder mock-up until I actually start doing the illustrations. Which I will not until all the cards are locked down. But now, I'm going to join my lovely wife-to-be and her legendary awesome loins.

Until next time, don't you go readin' someone else blog now!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Plastic Fantastic

I am speechless because of how awesome I think this is!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

P-P-P-Poker Table

Hello again.. or something..
Inspired by thinking about random things I just remembered (and by just I mean several hours ago) that about a year and a half ago I actually built an eight-person poker table. This project was not done on my own though as I was serving my civil duty under Kårkulla at the moment, and supervising their wood working department or something like that I suppose. We had done different kinds of stuff to sell and were a bit out of ideas at the time, I asked my supervisor what we should do next? And then she did the "mistake" like many others have done in the past, she said; "Just come up with something.."

- Muahahaha!

Nah, but all jokes aside. I love being told to come up with something, it's how I work best. Anyways. So I thought, Hey, I have almost zero experience with wood crafting, not the best tools available but a wild imagination. What to do? Oh, I'll build an octagonal poker table for 8 people. As side reference I can tell you, that I'm actually not entirely sure how you play Texas Hold 'Em, normal poker I can do, but not Texas Hold 'Em. So I asked them if that was okay, and strangely it was.

Construction-wise I would think it's quite poor, not in that it's badly made, but just since I had/have no experience or knowledge regarding wood crafting I didn't really know what one should think about when designing a table sturdy enough to support the evenly distributed weight of 8 grown men. Do you see where I'm going with this? The legs were constructed out of European Spruce at first. Anyone with enough experience is probably laughing their brains out right now, thinking (with a snobby French accent) "Ha, anyyy'one whith half a brain would know not to u'uuse that". Well I didn't, but I do now. Needless to say, I leaned on the table, heard a loud crack as the legs broke completely. They were re-constructed out of Birch wood, when I found out that interior furniture are better made from Birch wood.

Design-wise I feel very pleased with my p-p-p-poker table. I simply think it's stunningly beautiful. Feel free to disagree and send me an email at

Now, enough talk (write). Enjoy the slideshow I made especially for you. Oh yeah.. sli'iiideshow.

Petite Cuisine D'amour

Aaah. It's done, and for a being the first of possibly more books, I am actually quite pleased with the result. Yeah sure, I cheated here and there, because, well.. I can.. but I'm still pleased with it.

Here's some process pictures of the making of the book. I don't really know if anyone else likes process pictures but I'm a big fan of how to make shit. Sorry for the inferior quality but you know, camera phone and bad lighting isn't a very good combination. I touched them up using Adobe Photoshop but "shit in.. shit out..".

And for your viewing pleasure. Here's the final book! Yeah, I'm very certain that the title is all kinds of wrong, but I feel it looks better this way. Feel free to judge according to your own taste.