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Sneak Peek: Pumpkin Pop 2: The Fat Lady Sings05:30 PM -- Mon October 31, 2005


Well, it's Halloween, and I don't have a game for you (you did get Dumb: The Game last week though! You expected a game a week?). That's not a big surprise to anybody. But to give you something, here's a sneak peek of one of the secret games I've been working on. This is not actually a gameplay shot, so don't go thinking this is some kind of strategy game. This screen is the map screen where you pick which level to play (obviously very unfinished - the background won't be so blah, but aren't those tiles cute?). What is the gameplay like? Well, there have to be some surprises! But you might pick up a hint or two from the game's title.
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Horrorthon More03:30 AM -- Mon October 31, 2005

A couple more horrorthon events to share:

Undead - This is a wacky New Zealand (um... New Zealandian?) zombie movie. Only, everything is not as it appears... it's pretty clever, twistwise, and it's made in such an overly silly way that it's hard to say if it's good or bad. One character is a total hillbilly guy, except he also happens to be more of a ninja/sharpshooter/acrobat than Neo, for some hilarious slo-mo zombie slaying. It's great when he does a backflip to embed his spurs into the wall and hang upside down shooting. Although why characters in zombie movies always have to discover that shooting them in the head is the key, I can't imagine.

Night Of The Lepus - I got this one because it was said to be truly horrible. And it was. But not as fun horrible as it should've been. Maybe I just miss the little silhouettes making the jokes for me. Still, it was giant rabbits (sometimes more giant than others, thanks to the effects budget) eating people. It's a tragedy that this was never on MST3K, I feel I have missed out on a great experience. I must admit: I slept through the ending.

Anyway, 8 new puzzles up on Dumb: The Game, get to solving! Got a pile of HH worlds sitting around here, shall be released tomorrow, I daresay. And, that's the news for tonight. It's been a great weekend of really relaxing, and each morning we sat around really working out these new puzzles. It was just really fun. The rest of the day... just a whole lot of relaxation. And I baked cookies.
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Dumb: The Game!!03:58 PM -- Wed October 26, 2005



Dumb: The Game is here (click the banner above)! It's a website where you try to solve puzzles. Really hard puzzles, mostly. Some are easy though. All are rated from 1-5 stars, so you can see how hard they are. Go give them a try, it's free! You've got nothing to lose but your sanity.

So that's one of my 5 projects (another is working on my board games, and a third is Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time, so that leaves only two surprises! Although now I need a new project to replace Dumb, don't I?). I will still be adding puzzles to Dumb as fast as I can. I won't really feel comfortable with it until the puzzle count is 3 digits.

Next horrorthon movie done: Scary Movie 3 - It was really funny! Much better than Scary Movie 2. Don't really remember Scary Movie 1, though. There was a lot of lameness, of course, but overall, I found myself amused.
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Morevies03:18 PM -- Tue October 25, 2005

Phantoms - Dude, Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo! Just kidding. That's what Jay says. Phantoms was dumb. For some reason I've always wanted to see it, and now my dreams have come true. It was very blah. Sol says it was MST quality, but I didn't see that myself. For me, it was just real blah. Only one scene I can think of that could really have been MST'd up.

Fangoria Blood Drive - This one is a collection of amateur horror shorts. Fangoria Magazine held a contest, and these were the winning submissions. They're all very bad. They range from hilariously bad, to "trying to be pretentious and deep" bad. Oh, and the last one is "trying to be a hilarious musical" bad (not hilarious, but thankfully short). I also had Fangoria Blood Drive II in my list, which I shall be removing forthwith.

Those were both very low-rated movies no Netflix, and I knew what to expect. I can't really claim disappointment. To an extent, I like bad horror. But let's hope some better things are lurking in the queue in the future.

I don't know what else is going on. I'm hammering away on secret project #whatever to try to be able to maybe beta it or something by Halloween (no, it's not the one that some of you have seen, it's something vaguely Halloweeny). I even skipped Ninja work last week to do so. I am still working on that in general though. There's still a big secret about Ninja that I'm very excited about, that will also qualify as "hilariously bad", but should be beyond fun. I just hope it pans out.

Last thing: one of my secret projects (which some of you have seen) is about to the point where I'll call it no longer in beta! Then I shall announce it to the wide world who will say "oh, that's it? That's too hard." But I think it's fun. It's my Wednesday project, so let's hope I can unveil it by the end of Wednesday.
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Clearly, I must be more blunt07:34 PM -- Sun October 23, 2005

My Simpsons essay below is a PUZZLE! Solve it! You'll (possibly) be glad you did! One person managed to solve it, but I really need more people to. It's an easy puzzle compared to what's in store for those who can solve it, so get on it!

And hey, we saw Serenity again last night with some friends. The horrible thing was, it's already gone from every theater around here but one! I can't believe how this is going! It was incredibly well-reviewed, everybody who saw it loved it... just nobody saw it. Blah! Plus two more movies here at last for the horrorthon. I'll let you know how Phantoms and Fangoria Blood Drive (a collection of amateur horror shorts!) go.
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Halloween Moviethon08:54 PM -- Fri October 21, 2005

I forgot to mention our latest movie in the Halloween series. That is the ONE we've seen since last time, thanks to how unbelievably slow the mail has gotten all of a sudden. They just shipped my latest today, and I sent the last to them on Monday! Shaun Of The Dead is the name. Two big big thumbs up!! It's great! It's like really great. Someday I may own it, because it'd be worth owning. The extra features are really good too. We even watched one of the commentaries the next day (there's still another commentary to go... I better buy it!). It's like I was talking about before with Buffy - this movie is really, really funny, but also emotional and action-packed and all that. Not scary though... Totally not scary. In fact, it makes out zombies to be extremely unthreatening.

Shaun of the Dead gets the Hamumu Halloween seal of approval.
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The brilliant thing!08:36 PM -- Thu October 20, 2005

I remember now. But first I'd like to say that you should read my Simpsons diatribe a lot more closely. PLEASE. It may have more meaning than it appears (granted, it appears to have very very little).

The thing I wanted to tell you was that Supreme With Cheese will be launching at Arcadetown (a "portal" site - i.e., a collection of tons of indie games) supposedly this Friday, and I know many of you reading this are seriously intense fans of Supreme. So I ask that you do this: Go to this page and you will see a place where you can put in your own review of Supreme. Please do, it will help me! I'm not asking you to embellish, lie, or anything of the sort. I just happen to know that there are a bunch of you who would gush completely honest praise about it if given a chance. And let it be clear that I find that to be an excellent character trait. And hey, if you have less than good things to say about it, you can say those too. I'd like there to be lots of worthwhile, honest reviews of the game up there, and I can think of no better place to request them than the place where people obsessed with the game hang out!

One note though: If writing a review, please just discuss the basic game, not the add-ons or the fact that there are a billion add-ons available. For some reason Arcadetown has decided not to mention the existence of the add-ons to their customers at this time, though they will be joining us on the high score pages.

Fun stuff going down around here. All top secret of course, but there could be hidden clues just about anywhere, couldn't there be? I'm putting a lot of effort into one of the secret projects to try to have something by Halloween. It looks pretty cool, but I do wonder if I can pull it off in that time. If not though, at least it won't be too much longer. I'm pretty excited about it even though it's very very odd.
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The Bart, The05:08 PM -- Wed October 19, 2005

Who would want double underwear? Maybe Bob Terwilliger. He enjoys garroting any man, especially children of Marge! In Springfield, somehow every expected killing's interrupted. No ganking Bart, eh Terwilliger? Anyway, this essay seems terribly effusive regarding Simpsons.

So that bit of oddity aside, still awaiting our next round of Netflix. It's always so slow! The agony! I forgot what I was going to say, something tremendously interesting though. Oh well... I'll say it later, and you will be lucky to hear the brilliance of it!
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Halloween Horror03:37 PM -- Tue October 18, 2005

My HH world is done, yay! It's wacky. So anyway, in honor of my favorite holiday (I won't say what it is, you'll just have to guess!), I have organized and added to my Netflix queue, flooding the front end with 30 or so horror movies. We won't get through them all by Halloween, so when that happens, I'll just scatter them back into the queue (so lame that Netflix offers no "Random" button) for future fun. But in the meantime, let me begin my yearly Halloween reviews:

First up was Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Crawling Hand - MST is always great. This was a big surprise though... it must be one of the VERY first episodes. Dr. Forrester's assistant was some guy I do not recognize, who also voiced Tom Servo, poorly. He was not funny. The whole show had a real local-cable-in-Wisconsin feel to it, it was interesting (reminds me of watching Fish Masters up in San Luis Obispo. Ever seen that? It's awesome). Anyway, this was not among the best of MST. The guys were rather stilted and not quite comfortable with their work yet. Of course, stilted is part of Joel's schtick, but this was moreso.

Next, we saw Saw. Yes, we were going to see Saw and we saw Saw. Anyway, I was totally disappointed. It wasn't terrible, it was okay. But I had this idea in my head before seeing it - I thought it was going to be a super intense, totally psychological movie. What I imagined was an entire movie taking place in a single room, two guys, nobody else, and gradually through their dialogue and environment, you'd discover new things and be on the edge of your seat wondering if one of them might be the killer or what. Kind of like Cube, but in one room (which Cube basically was, since the rooms were almost identical). But instead, most of the movie takes place outside of the room the guys are trapped in, and is kind of the usual police hunting serial killer stuff. It's a little weird (and by the end, I daresay, a lot silly and full of plot holes), but pretty standard. Nanowrimo's coming up next month, and I was thinking one idea for something to write would be a proper version of Saw. Just in that one room... intense. Really more of a short story topic than a novel, though.

And the last that we have seen so far (very slow process with only 3 movies at a time and slow shipping) is The Evil Dead. I've seen parts of it many times, and I've seen Evil Dead 2, which is pretty much the same thing with more production values. But we finally saw The Evil Dead. And you know, I'm really surprised. The acting was horrible, of course (except Bruce "The Man" Campbell, of course), but everything else was really well done - the direction, sets, effects. I mean, it didn't make any sense, but it looked like a real movie. For such a crazily low budget, so many years ago, it impressed me. On the downside, about 2/3 of the runtime of the movie consists of demons screaming and flailing about, which is really hard on the ears and gets a bit dull and repetitive. It's better when you cover it with the Bruce Campbell commentary, though I only got to hear a little of that - had to send the movie off so I could get more movies!

So that's round 1 of the horror review. More to come as they gradually trickle in.
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Disnazis!08:48 PM -- Thu October 13, 2005

Those who said a parking garage were right, but such an answer evades the humor of the full truth - it's from the parking garage at Disneyland! Maybe it's not funny to you, but to me those things look seriously Nazi, and thinking of the Disnazis coming after you... "It vould zeem zat you are not feelink zee magic! Please to be comink vith us!" Much like when Homer and Bart were thrown in The Hole at Itchy & Scratchy Land. The Goofystapo? Okay, it's just me.

Exciting progress is being made on things that I am not speaking about! Woot! Today is Ninja day though, which is always a drag. It's a hard project, mainly because at its core it's very editable, which makes it very floppy and loose, like a beanie baby. Today I'm implementing the N-I-N-J-A letters, which you have to collect in sequence, all in one combo. This first set, since it is the first set, is tremendously easy though. Just jump at the right spot and the arc of your jump will take you through them all in order. But later, you'll have to do wall jumps, dashes, and more to get them all. Maybe even combo off of innocent victims!

I just finished auctioning off the 3 seasons of Buffy we own. I think I did fairly well - $12.50 for the first season, $22 each for the remaining two. That more than half pays for the 7 seasons we will be getting in the Chosen Collection (I told you about this before, you better have preordered yours already!). It's coming out November 15th, so yay.

Another ebay-related story is that yesterday I went to get the mail, and there was a note in the box that we had a package. It was a regular package, but when she brought it out, she brought another package too and said "This one's been here since August!" Turns out it was the set of CDs I bought on half.com in August that never arrived. Or so I thought. Obviously they did arrive, and nobody decided to share them with ME! Incompetence in mail delivery seems to be a constant in my life. I'm just going to have to learn to accept it. Speaking of that, we almost daily receive mail for previous occupants of our PO box. Eerily enough, most of them are named Hummel (my last name's Hommel if you didn't know). But boy am I tired of it. Quite a contrast to the time I sent a check to Brent's PO box, who made the Dr. Lunatic music, and called him "Burnt" on it (it's a nickname!). It was returned to me! I mean come on, people make spelling mistakes worse than that!

Here's another thing we encountered when setting up our cat run:

Pretty fancy lizard! He was semi-biggish, maybe 4 inches not counting tail. He was too scared to move at all, making the picture-taking easy. He was also in the midst of shedding his skin, as you can kinda make out just above his hips. We also found a toad in the cat run, which seemed pretty out of place in the desert (not a horny toad, a full-on squishy toad that should be in water, or so I thought).
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Slacker05:06 PM -- Tue October 11, 2005

I'm wearing my "Slacker" T-shirt today. It's a cool shirt that emphasizes my lack of go-get-em attitude.

What's it like when you think? I am curious. I know there's deep-down thinking that just happens instantly, I'm not talking about that. But say you are trying to decide how to respond to the question I just asked. What's thinking about that like? For me, it's just like talking - I'm actually speaking out a reply in my head, or even discussing pros and cons of different answers, like "No, that's not quite right...". Sometimes I even catch my throat moving to do the talking (it's really bad when my mouth starts moving, and extra really bad when sounds come out... don't they call that a sign of insanity?). And I know this is a really bad habit, because my brain can think a whole lot faster than I can talk, but when I think this way, it slows down my thought to speech speed. Of course, I know there are tons of parallel tracks running at once to formulate that "spoken" thought, but it still feels very limiting. I think it also slows down my reading, because I read the words as if I were reading them aloud, just internally. So I can't read any faster than I can talk either, even though I can glance at a sentence and immediately know what the entire sentence says. I still have to talk it out before I can move on to the next. If I could get over that, I'd be a speed reader! In fact, as I understand it, that is the gist of speed-reading. I should get one of those speed-reading books sometime and see what's up.

Speaking of books, yesterday I came across this site, and read about the Personal MBA. I think I'm gonna check out some of the books there. I could really use business skills.

Here's a funny picture. Let's see if you can guess where it was taken:



Hint: it wasn't in 1942 Nazi Germany, though it does appear to be. Answer coming in the next journal entry. So, am I just crazy, or do you think the way I do?
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I Wonder Why?11:41 PM -- Mon October 10, 2005

We just finished seeing the entire series of Wonderfalls via Netflix. It's like 13 or 14 episodes, only 4 of which actually aired. Another in the long and distinguished line of series that the networks (usually Fox) didn't "get" and couldn't be bothered to promote or pursue, but which are in fact much better than the shows that continue on year after year. Or maybe they didn't get ratings for real reasons, I don't know. Wonderfalls is cool, and I recommend it on two grounds - for one, it's a very good TV show. But better yet, the episodes of it that were made work together perfectly, like a miniseries. If you watch the whole set, you'll be left probably wanting more of course, but you'll also feel that a complete story was told. So I recommend it on that basis. Watch it for what it is and enjoy, and don't worry about what isn't there, because it's complete as it is. Wish the same could be said for Firefly! Sigh. Cut down in their prime...

But there is a certain goodness to that. Some series just go on too long and eventually jump the shark, and you hope for them to be put out of their misery. I think it's better to be left wanting more than to watch the sad decline and wacky new sidekicks and babies. Firefly was definitely not ready to be chopped, but I'm quite happy with what I got from Wonderfalls. It is all it needed to be. And then the creators of those shows, if they cut them off (with a reasonably satisfying conclusion, not some cliffhanger) in their prime, can then go on to make something different that will be equally compelling, rather than beating the same dead horse into glue. It won't always capture that same magic, but neither will the first series if it keeps dragging on. Hey, I'm just gonna come out and say it... The Simpsons should have ended 5 years ago when they were amazing! Futurama was the new and wonderful project from that group, and it indeed was fresh and great (and had a whole different take on comedy, more heartfelt and moral, and more ridiculous at the same time). Sigh, Futurama... another one abused to death by Fox. When will they learn?

Here:
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Fussin' And A Feudin'12:56 AM -- Fri October 7, 2005

So for the past two days, I've been unable to send mail. I didn't know why. Spent all day today trying to get the mail sender on my server working with the tech support there, to no avail (previously, I sent mail through my ISP's server, which had stopped working). What on earth was happening? I also couldn't get to my ISP's website, or worst of all, read Penny Arcade! Well, it turns out, according to my ISP's web site (said info had to be "read" to me over IRC for me to discover it), there are two giant behemoths feuding in the middle of America (you know, like Kansas or something - somewhere nobody would notice getting trampled), and they are cutting off each others' customers in some ways. The real info is at that link. Sounds messy. I hoep they wrap it up quick. To fix it, I had to dial up from a different number, and after several minutes attempting to interpret the arcane symbols in the Customer Info Guide in our phone book, I am relegated to just crossing my fingers and hoping the number I'm using is not a local toll call. It seems right, but pretty much according to this chart, I could dial Bangladesh for free, so I think I'm misreading it.

Bonsai got to ride in the car today, which he enjoyed in the same way humans enjoy a really really scary haunted house. Of course, at the end of the haunted house, you pop out onto the street again, safe and sound. Bonsai ended up at the vet. Poor baby. Here's a picture of the dramatic results of having our cat run finished (remember, Huzzah is black and white):


And then they come inside and lay on the bed.
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SERENITY THEN!11:40 PM -- Sun October 2, 2005

We saw it! I would say that everyone on Earth needs to see it immediately. I say that so that they'll make me a trilogy. But was it great? Yeess.... but not the most amazing movie ever. If you're not a Fireflyhead (is that possible?!), it's a really exciting and interesting sci-fi movie. Not the best one ever, but definitely worth seeing. You will undeniably have fun - very very funny, very exciting and intense, very original, and an interesting plot that you are very welcome to read certain sociopolitical commentary into. I don't think anybody could not at least enjoy it as a fun popcorn movie (well, unless you're very squeamish about violence - it's exceedingly violent, though not gory).

If you are a browncoat, well, you don't have a choice. You've already seen it if you're not in the hospital. Did you, Mr. Browncoat, enjoy it? Yes and no... it takes things further, explains things, gives you more of the trademark hilarity, and pushes the characters to their limits. I really don't think anybody else makes movies with the personal stakes SO high for the characters. Nobody comes out of this anywhere near unscathed, and the abuse heaped on them is intense. Most frightful of all is that by the finale, you're chewing your nails because you have no idea who might live or die - it's that brutal! No Hollywood hero safety net here (you know, like "well, we know he's not gonna die, obviously!"). Another fun thing, though subtle, is the fact that you read the entire plot as a screed against the evil empire of Fox for so mistreating the show (You can't stop the signal!). It also does things that likely, for us fans, will make you scream at Joss and tell him to take it back! It certainly had that effect on our resident intergalactic bounty hunter. There is another downside for fans - the camraderie between the crewmembers is really missing in this movie, I think. They're just not really nice to each other anymore! Mal especially stands out as a very angry man. They still banter in very amusing ways, but not really in a friendly way, it seems like.

Yes, it's absolutely a great movie. It's not the second coming of the Matrix, but it's great. And it brings Firefly back to us. I deeply hope for a sequel (and trilogy - but stop there, don't beat it into the ground), but after the events in this one, I fear things will be forever changed in ways that can only diminish the wacky fun (one change in particular ringing in my head here). But who knows? Now that I've seen this movie, I'm back to square one - waiting and waiting for the next one! Too bad it'll be at least 2 years this time.

After that accomplishment of sitting very still for 2 hours, we accomplished something else. I should probably post pictures, but that is a serious pain. We finished building our cat run! It was so manly of us. We built it, and we put the cats in it, and they are happy. Ollie is already trying to break loose. Now all we have to do is use the enormous pile of gutter materials we bought and put up our gutters... next weekend, that is.

PS - Don't post any spoilers, I'll yank em.
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SERENITY NOW!02:08 PM -- Sat October 1, 2005

Hey, it's U-day everybody! Well, yesterday was. Serenity is here, and we are off to go see it this morning, since going on a Friday is a complicated gas-wasting endeavor, with one of us working in the big city and the other not. Last night we watched as many episodes as we could before sleep was necessary, which was 3. We're not tough, and we don't drink caffeine (well, and somebody never gets home from work until way late). It's fun to be excited about a movie. Also fun is going to town and eating out.

Ninja troubles - I made it so that when you throw guys, it doesn't do damage to them magically like it did. Instead, they get hurt when they hit the wall or floor. Also, when thrown, they can smack into other guys and knock them around (a key component of entertainment!). But I screwed it all up, so instead throwing them currently smacks them into the ground twice and kills them. So next Thursday I'll be working on that again...
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