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  Still kickin' 11:58 PM -- Fri May 28, 2004  

I actually got a concerned email this week. Apparently I have been slacking on journal updates! So what's new around here? Not a lot. The new version of the Stockboy demo to go with its new patch is basically done, just needs to be packed into an installer and uploaded! I think it has better selling features than the old demo, which was certainly very naggy. Eddie Galaxy is in a similar state, it may be available as early as next week. The new Loonyland demo is nearly ready (just incorporating the nice lighting). I've also added some behind the scenes stuff to the website to help track the effectiveness of things. Other things that are less behind the scenes which I hope to add to the site include comments for this very journal (hey, how about on Sneak Peek too!?), an anonymous suggestion box, improving the newsletter system so I don't have to run it by hand, and improving the download system for tighter security and better statistical information.

And yes, in among all that, I need to work on Sol Hunt! I don't know how I ended up with so many projects all of a sudden, but I'm working them off bit by bit.
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  Spooky Castle! 08:12 PM -- Thu May 6, 2004  

I am presently working on Spooky Castle! The original, the one and only! I fixed up some things regarding speed issues, and even fixed a crash I discovered. I also added a level to it, which is a really lame level, so maybe I'll remove it, or add a couple more. I'd like to have all my modifications to this game done today, since it IS a finished and apparently pretty successful product. But a couple bonus levels wouldn't hurt! Anyway, that's exciting stuff, it should be up within a few days! It's a surprisingly huge download for such a short game.

And our house refinance is FINALLY completely settled! I called up the old mortgage company and pushed "check balance", and it was so cool to hear "Your loan has been... paid in full... as of... May 4th", plus blah blah, escrow balance will be given to you in a check this month. AND we don't pay any mortgage at all until July!

These days I'm also playing a mod for Diablo II called Escape From The Afterlife, which absolutely rocks. I had NO idea you could modify so incredibly much in Diablo. It has entirely new skills that do things that weren't in Diablo before! Well, pretty much. Now if only it wouldn't occasionally crash...
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  Something I never understand 03:48 PM -- Mon May 3, 2004  

Nobody (but "nutcases") will ever do anything better than lip service about the environment until it's setting them on fire and tossing them out a window. We all know that, and it's the depressing reality of human beings. The future is too hard for us to fear (probably doesn't help that we have so much to fear, hate, and lament in the present!).

But here's what is so unfathomable to me: People LIVE in LOS ANGELES. Can you imagine!? It's probably tough for people who don't live near a city like LA to understand, but I live a hundred miles or so south of it, and I can drive up towards LA, and see the death cloud completely engulfing it. It's not like there's a general smog over all of Southern California. Not at all, though I'm sure the air isn't perfectly pure (and today, our air here is filled with smoke from local brush fires, including one that was very uncomfortably close! My only comfort was the fact that surely the fire department wouldn't let the hundreds of houses between me and the brush all get burned). There really is a specific and focused cloud of smog clinging to LA itself. The air there is completely cancer-packed, filled to the gills with brown death. The EPA or whoever puts out those smog numbers says the air is actually dangerous to breathe there. But people just do it. I'm well aware that you can get used to it, but you know a large portion of the LA population leaves their city sometimes, and then comes back and sees what they're returning to. But they still return! They just live their lives in LA, and they don't even notice that they're breathing in poison! And more people move there all the time! Nevermind the insane traffic, which I have vowed never to drive in again, and the violence and everything else. The place is just disgusting. If it were my house, I'd run outside and burn it to the ground. It's done.

The real point is, even when the destruction of the environment is clearly being played out right in their face, and having direct health consequences on them, people ignore it. They have 'bigger' things to worry about, like what will happen on 24 next, and how best to handle the tough client at work. It's not like the cancer is going to get you today. It scares me.

And on a partly related note, I was thinking yesterday about this: in time, the car culture here in America will collapse and we will finally join the civilized (civilised, I suppose) world in using public transportation constantly. The reason is simple: traffic in urban areas is getting so bad that it's just not worth it! I'm totally sure that there are a large number of people in LA that drive to work who would literally get there faster by walking (unfortunately, that would increase their dosage of LA air, so maybe that's the problem). New York is really where this collapse started, but they got way ahead of everyone else, by growing in a much more packed way, leaving no room for actual movement of cars. New York is the one place in America where it's common for adults to not even have a car. Everybody there takes the subway and cabs, and there's even a whole lot of walking. I think in time, that's how all cities will be in America. That'll be good, it'll cut down on the carbon monoxide some. Of course, if people stop using the streets, the streets will empty out, and ... well, people will start driving on them again! Boy, we need electric cars.

Enviro-mumbling for the day complete.
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