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  DumbWords! 04:09 AM -- Mon November 5, 2007  

Hey, if you haven't seen it yet, you need to get in on DumbWords. It's the latest game here, and it won't take up more than 20 seconds of your time once a day, so come by and do it every day! You will win Yerfbucks and trophies, and it is fun to do. The rules are very simple, so go check them out! You of course need a Dumb Account to play. You'll always find it on the Dumb Folks section of the site, so just hit it every day, and see how you are doing!

It's the first of the web games to grace Hamumuland. This one is designed for everybody to just casually drop by each day, but there will someday be others with different concepts, like ones you sign up for a specific session, or drop in and play real-time. More games, trophies, avatars, and other fun stuff will continue to appear on the site. I hope you like this game though, and I hope you get hooked! A game like this is only fun when lots of people participate.

On the more tragic side, we've got our new Chatroom available now, and really it's not working so well. It kicks people out a lot, and sometimes locks people from getting in. It's all we've got for the moment, but hopefully someday we'll have something better or it will get upgraded. In the meantime, come visit - it's connected to the forum (you can access it from the Quick Links menu at the top of the forum), and so you are automatically logged in when you enter. I may actually end up having to shut it down, because I've been having some real issues with pages loading today and I'm afraid it relates to the bandwidth and CPU time that the chat is using up, but we'll see. I have problems with the inernet occasionally!

And hey, bookmark DumbWords! You've gotta hit it every day.
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  Driving Through The Apocalypse 04:28 AM -- Tue October 23, 2007  

As you've probably heard if you are an Earthican, Southern California is currently vaporizing. I was actually away in Chicago this weekend when it all went down. We flew in this afternoon, while half of the state was disabled, and people were being evacuated left and right. In our quest to learn which parts of the freeway would actually operate, we ended up getting directed to a refugee shelter in the airport. We could've spent the day and the night right there, with free snacks and blankets and pillows, but from what I heard, not necessarily a cot. There were only about five people there at that time. And a drug-sniffing dog (not sniffing for drugs, just hanging out and whining to go outside). Instead we spent about half an hour there watching the news and looking up google maps (free wifi in the airport!). We finally decided on a route we could probably use to get to our house. Our house was not in the line of fire, thankfully. Still, we didn't have any proof that all the roads involved would be open, but we gave it a shot!

It took 3 hours, and it really felt like the end of the world. Only a couple of times we saw fire burning off on the hilltops in the distance, but driving out there in the gathering dark, into a wilderness we didn't recognize, with the radio droning on about evacuations and shelters... it felt like we were driving to our bomb shelter after WW3 (which is probably a bit late to be heading for a bomb shelter). We ran across (but not into) one roadblock along our way - we chose our route well! Just skirting the blocked roads, we swept around the endangered zones for 3 hours and ended up at home. It was a long trip, but a great relief to get home to our happy and healthy animals, and not see any fire or even smoke in sight (well, it was night time). Let's just hope the winds don't turn things around and bring it all back here.

There is still concern to be had - my parents' house, and my cousin's house, are both in areas that have been evacuated. So we don't know how those houses are doing. The people who occupy them are safely out, though.

What a weird day.
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  The Wonders Of Vista 10:29 PM -- Sat September 29, 2007  

Not enough people singing the praises of Vista, so I'll drop a quick note here to do so. I was working on some code today, and I tried to save my work, as I so often do. It gave me an error saying I didn't have permission to write the file. I thought that was odd, and tried a bunch more times to no avail. I checked it out, tried copying the file, and changing the properties. Nothing would let me mess with the file. One thing I certainly did NOT try was deleting it. Because that would've been stupid, of course. I needed that file. Badly. I tried shutting down any programs that might be using the file, but nothing worked. Finally, I figured I should reboot and see if it is usable then, but I took one last look in the folder first. And what do you know? The file was GONE. Deleted, I guess. By Windows. That is definitely a first for me. I rebooted and looked again, and it is very very gone.

So for the past couple of hours I've been messing with undelete programs to absolutely no avail, and then I checked my backup drive (checked it last, since I knew it had been weeks at least since I had done that), and I've never backed this file up. So here I go, off to rewrite the file (not actually from scratch - this project is a modified version of one of my earlier games... but there were some major changes to that code!). Let's see what I can remember, and what strange bugs creep in from things I forgot I modified.

I really didn't need to have a big delay in this particular project, for reasons you can guess. But the lesson is what it always is. Back up, back up, back up. That lesson will stick for a week or two, I guess.
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  Bodging's Hard, Everybody 06:03 PM -- Wed September 26, 2007  

Progress on the website front... as of sometime last week, I am officially now the hold-up. I have my merchant account fully set up and working, I just don't have it implemented into the site yet. But as of today, I almost have that too! We will have NEWMUMU sometime in October, for sure! I've also gotten lots of CDs shipped direct to me, for future shipping out direct to you. So CD purchasing shall return with the new site, and it will be efficient and cheap, with no nasty surprises. I like being back to having an office full of CDs, it feels so much more Hamumuey.

And sorry about the Dumb: The Game thing... still waiting for a reply on that, but fingers are crossed. Worst case, I'll just have to empty it out and let you start from scratch. Not so bad with that game, you can just remember what the answers were and get back to your previous place. But hopefully I can get the backup restored.

And of course, work continues on my Best Halloween Ever surprise. You better be working on yours too! Mine will surprise you with surprisitude. And while you're at it, work on a Halloween Horror 8 world too. Don't neglect those duties. Feel free to neglect your non-Hamumu duties.
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  Apple Update 02:43 AM -- Sun September 23, 2007  

Relative success! Would you like to make Apple Fries? Since no one else on the internet actually has a recipe for these, I will provide one! Here's some keywords to help searchers end up on this page, so they don't suffer like I did: Legoland, apple fries, Granny, vanilla cream sauce

Legolandesque Apple Fries
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Milk of indeterminate measure
  • Cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle
  • Lots of vegetable/canola/peanut oil (whatever you like to fry in)
Peel the apples and core them. Slice into small, fry-shaped pieces. This is easiest to do the way we did it - with one of those apple coring things that automatically cuts it into 8 or so slices and removes the core. But you will definitely need to cut those slices each into several smaller ones. You want small, McDonald's-fry-sized pieces. You can also do steak fries, but I found them best when smaller.
Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave, on low settings so that it doesn't actually get very hot, just melted. Then mix in the egg, flour, and sugar. Get it all mixed up nicely, and add milk until it's a nice thin pancake batter consistency.
Heat up some oil in a pot. In order to not have a huge mess to deal with, I used a really tiny pot, and didn't even fill it very deeply. It's quite possible to deep-fry in just a little oil as long as you do a small amount of food at a time, and use a small container so it actually stays deep! I've done a lot of frying, and if you haven't, don't be afraid. It really is a very easy way to cook, if very unhealthy. The only downside is the huge pile of dirty oil you end up having to throw away at the end (and usually dredge junk out of several times during the cooking). Now you just dip the apple slices in the goo (a few at a time), drop them in the oil and fry until they're a nice golden brown. Take the slices out and let them drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar on them while they drain, so it will stick. Delicious!
Now, for "vanilla cream sauce", I don't have a very precise recipe for you, but it sure was yummy: cream cheese (block, not spready), warmed up so it's mixable, mixed with a couple drops of vanilla and some powdered sugar. Not too much powdered sugar, or you've made cream cheese frosting! Stir it up good, and dip your apples in it, and enjoy immensely.

These fries don't seem to be as crisp or as thickly-coated as the Legoland ones, but I sure enjoyed them.

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  APPLE FRIES 10:26 PM -- Mon September 17, 2007  



Now, Apple Fries have nothing whatsoever to do with Hamumu Software, but we are still very pleased to announce them anyway, because yum. What are apple fries? Well, they're like fries, only they're APPLES! And they come with 'creamy vanilla sauce' (I think that means cool whip with vanilla mixed in), and are rolled in cinnamon sugar. You probably have never heard of apple fries, and you know why not? Because you'd have to pay $57 to get in to where you could bear witness to their wonderment! Yes, Apple Fries are available only at Legoland (as far as I know). Worth their inflated $5ish price? Absolutely. Worth paying $57 to get to? Well...

Anyway, we went to Legoland yesterday on a whim (the plan was to go to the beach, but Legoland was right there). As you may have surmised, we discovered the amazing world of Apple Fries while we were there. I also discovered how evil corporations can be as I paid $57 (each!) to get into a "park" which was nothing but an advertisement for a product. We had fun, though. Not $57 fun, but fun. We looked at lots of intriguing sculptures, and ate apple fries, and that's all. The only ride we did was a boat ride that takes you around to see intriguing sculptures. We got in line for a roller coaster which I was excited about, but we got out of line when we watched its entire run take place over the span of no more than 20 seconds, and I am so not exaggerating. I didn't even know you could make a coaster that small.

And yes, I bought legos at an exorbitant price. A remote-controlled dinosaur that I am hoping will frighten/amuse the cats when it is done. So the propaganda worked, and doubled the amount we paid overall. It's sad. Oh, besides sculptures, we did get to see lego factory thingies, which were interesting. Seeing how they make them, a bit. There's a lot of stuff there that would be fun if you were a small person, like rides for the wee, and a driving test, and the coolest was a room where you build a lego car, and then run it on a track (downhill - no power involved), and see how you stack up. But still, don't bring your kids there... save your $57 and buy them some legos!

Note: You are supposed to refer to legos only as "Lego bricks or toys" (probably with a little circled R at the end of Lego). I ain't doing it!!!

Note 2: I want more Apple Fries, RIGHT NOW.
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  Just a note 05:53 PM -- Wed August 29, 2007  

Now all Sneak Peeks are contained here, in the Journal! They're also still in the Sneak Peeks. Just doing this for the new site. Since the Journal and Sneak Peek are actually the same thing in almost every way, and neither gets posted in often enough, I'm merging them on the new site. Let me know if you spot anything that went wrong with the merge!
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  Right on, schedule! 11:44 PM -- Tue August 28, 2007  

Well, I'm in a week of being scheduled. That's why I'm writing this - this is my "writing" hour. Since I don't want to write anything else, I will write a journal entry. I'm enjoying it so far. I already got my schedule disrupted, about an hour into it in the first place - had to take the dogs to the vet yesterday (by myself, two dogs that go insane whenever they see another dog... that's an adventure I didn't need). So that erased a chunk of yesterday, but then the rest of the day was on track and quite fun. I even made some concept art for a new game I am often thinking about, and made really nice progress on Loonyland: Titan Tunnels. It's still nowhere near functional, but I made a lot of code.

I've finally gotten somewhere on getting my merchant account, and so the website is moving much more quickly now. Now, I don't actually HAVE the merchant account, but at least I'm talking to them and filling out forms at this point. It took so long to get my business license renewed (somehow the first application I mailed got lost for well over a month, then I ended up getting TWO business licenses when I sent in another app) that the person I had been talking to at the merchant account place no longer works there. So that was something I had to work out, finding a new person there. And now it's all moving.

Some tidbits on the new site - the age-old classic Hamumu discount is making a comeback. Order more than one game at once, and you get 20% off the total! That is a huge deal. Then there's of course the power to spend Yerfbucks in place of money (each Yerfbuck is worth a whopping $0.01, but considering how easy they are to earn, you're doing nicely there). The Yerfbucks are great for rewarding loyal fans. They're easy to earn, IF you are someone who hangs out here all the time. If you just drop in and buy something, you could get $0.50 worth for signing up, but that's about it.

And lastly, I've been thinking about how I'll do shipping again, and I think I've decided to go back to handling it by hand. That means the classic $5 per game CD cost also returns (that's the combined cost for the materials and shipping anywhere in the world). That's usually cheaper than what you pay now, since currently the CD versions have higher prices to begin with, but not always for some people (it's a great deal if you don't live in the US!). What I like about it is that it's simple.

I'm also abolishing taxes. Yes, read my lips! There's only one circumstance where I would normally collect tax - a CD order to someone in California. That's such an insignificant percentage of the orders I get, I don't mind. I'll pay the tax for you. Besides, it saves me from implementing the code to handle it. No VAT either, for you types who deal with that.

Well, now I'm done with the journal, but I still have 17 minutes in my writing hour. And three of the cats are huddled around me, staring at me and occasionally squawking. It's almost their dinner time. I have to carefully avoid looking at them, or they squeak at me in desperation. Hmm, now 16 minutes.
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  Been A While 01:07 AM -- Sat August 25, 2007  

Still WoWless. Things have been very hectic as the school year starts up simultaneously with the start of our friendly local tutoring business (the not-updated tutortemecula.com - if you're a Temeculan, come get help lernin' your thinkin'!). I help out with that stuff, and get root canals and crowns, repair the pipe that brings water to our house (which I broke), work on the website... that sort of thing! There's always something keeping me from having plans.

But I'm here talking to you today to tell you this: I'm turning over a new leaf! This leaf. You can't see it, but it's here, and I'm turning it over. In the process, I'm starting another of my famous schedules. If you don't know, those are where I make a chart of how I'm going to spend my time (or sometimes make up a game, like getting points for doing things I should - but this time it's a chart), and then I stick to it religiously! For a week. So that's what I'm doing. Now that school is started, and hopefully emergency situations are all behind me, life can get more patterned instead of random insanity.

I actually created my schedule on Wednesday. Then it was blown on Thursday when I had to go into town for the dentist, and blown today when I had to fix the water pipes if I was in the mood to flush toilets and use showers and drink. But again, we'll say the emergencies are behind us, and life can be normal starting on Monday.

As for the website, lots of good things done there. Nothing amazing and new, but more and more pages getting set up in the new site, and more of the basic features coming together. Now the Contact Us page automatically fills in your email address if you're logged in. That's handy for all the people who keep sending me things from invalid addresses. Always a treat to write out a lengthy reply to someone and then see it bounce back! I'll soon have that implemented for the journal and sneak peek too, so when you want to comment, it'll just be a pop and a bobbin and bob's your uncle. Or whatever.

Bonus: a poem I composed in the shower:

Terrible Torgenson,
he built a house.
But the house that he built
was the size of a mouse!
People came by,
and they all asked him, "Why?
Is this a house for a housefly?"

So Torgenson said,
that in journals he'd read,
as you age, you decrease in height.
So according to him,
It was not just a whim -
When he's 90, it will fit just right!

Don't you just want a book of such gems? Maybe you can get one someday!
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  Sneak Peek: New Website 09:04 PM -- Mon August 13, 2007  

This screen is probably making you scroll horizontally, but that's what you get! Also, you can't find where the edges of it are, since it's the same color as this site. Haha!

As you can see, it's The Avatar Lab. You purchase avatar parts with Yerfbucks, and then you can stack up to 5 parts into your final avatar image. You can horizontally flip them via the FLIP buttons here, and adjust their position with the X and Y boxes. The sunglasses were originally made to go on a Squash avatar, so I had to flip them and adjust their position to fit this lady. There's handy instructions that pop up when you put the cursor on any of those buttons. I might have to up it to more than 5 parts. Won't be any trouble to do so. Since it takes 3 parts to build your person (head, body, pants) most of the time, that doesn't leave much room for accessories.

I know this is a pretty odd avatar I currently have. I just started cranking out a bunch of parts one day, and this is some of them.
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