Saturday, February 28, 2015

Of Man

There's a small difference between 1960's Star Trek and 1980's Star Trek. They changed the slogan from "to boldly go where no man has gone before" to "to boldly go where no one has gone before".

I find this interesting, because the Catholic Church introduced a new English translation of the mass in 2011. Everyone expected them to replace "man" in this sentence: "For us men and for our salvation, [Jesus] came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man". But no, they decided to keep the word "man" as it is, instead of switching to a gender-neutral word like "human".

Obviously, they are using the word "man", in the sense of "humanity in general", and not "man, as opposed to woman". In English, those two definitions go with the same word. In Latin and Greek, they are separate words, so there's no confusion between the two. That's a downside of translating into English, I guess! Personally, when I'm doing translations, I try to avoid all man/man confusion by translating "homo" and "ἄνθρωπος" as "people", not "men". That wouldn't really work in this case, because it sounds a tad awkward to say "for us people and for all salvation". It's even worse to say "Jesus became people".

The only non-Catholic I've mentioned this to was a woman, who didn't think it was offense to use the word "man" in the general sense of "humanity in general". She thought it was outdated, but not offensive. What do you readers think? Should the Church imitate Star Trek and update its language? I'm sure people will bring up the topic, the next time the Church decides to re-translate the mass.

Friday, February 27, 2015

French Nancy Drew

This week, Katie and I have been playing Nancy Drew in French! It's Dernier Train Pour Blue Moon Canyon!





The entire playlist is here. I have a few other Nancy Drew games in other languages, but I might try recording them without commentary. That would make them a lot easier to record!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wedding Reception Stuff

To repeat my question from yesterday, do we really need an MC for a post-wedding dinner? Mom insists we need someone to act as MC, but it's a dinner! Like...what is there to announce, at a dinner? "Hey, everyone, they're having seconds on the pasta salad, so if you want more, just head on to the chef's table!"

I dunno, this is probably a situation where I'm oblivious to what happens at wedding receptions.

Here's some backstory. Katie and I met with the wedding reception planner, in December. She gave us the schedule of events, for a typical wedding reception. It was something like this:

Hour 0: Everyone mingles around, outside or in the hallway.
Hour 1: Beverages and hors d'oeuvres get served.
Hour 2: The doors to the dining room open up, and everyone goes inside. They start eating dinner.
Hour 2.5: Katie and I arrive.

So, everyone has to wait an hour, before they get drinks. And they have to wait another hour before they're allowed inside. And Katie and I have to wait two and a half hours, before we arrive! As our six-year-old daughter can tell you, that's too much waiting! I instantly pulled out my revision pen and went to work.

Hour 0: Beverages and hors d'oeuvres are served, while everyone mingles around outside or in the hallway.
Hour 0: Katie and I arrive, as soon as we can. Our arrival time will depend on how many pictures people will force us to take after the wedding.
Hour 1: The doors open up, and everyone goes inside.

Yes, my ideal schedule involves food as soon as possible. Food is delicious.

I'm told that the bride and groom are supposed to arrive late, so they can make "a grand entrance". But to be honest, that seems kind of shallow. Katie and I don't need to have a big crowd, watching us walk inside. We're confident enough in ourselves, that we don't need to be the center of attention at all times. (Plus, I get really shy and nervous around big crowds.) So we're going to go in like normal people, and if the guests make a big deal out of it, well, they'll make a big deal out of it. But forcing everyone to make a big deal out of us is pretty self-centered.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wedding Reception - DJ

Right now, Mom is super gung-ho about having a dance floor and a DJ at the wedding reception. To be honest, I'm not very interested in that. I'm really terrible when it comes to dancing! Really, the only type of dance I'm halfway decent at is Irish step dancing, probably because it's very structured. As for dances where you don't count all the steps in your head...I look like this:



My younger sister has volunteered to be the DJ at the wedding reception. Her friend has also volunteered. I'm hesitant to accept the offer, because my sister and I have totally different tastes in music.

For the past several months, I've been listening to the radio on my phone. When a good song comes on, I take a screenshot of the radio app, so I know the song name and the singer. I have something like thirty songs at this point. Eventually, my fiancée Katie and I will go through the song list, and make a semi-official list of songs for the wedding reception. No matter who the DJ is, they can't screw up if all the songs are picked in advance, right?

On a secondary note, Mom says a DJ is super-important, because they introduce the wedding party. Does she have DJ confused with MC? Do we really need an MC for a post-wedding dinner?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nancy Drew Diaries

I'm a little harsh on the current Nancy Drew Diaries series, because it's double-spaced. That seems like a cheap way to make the books twice as long. I would honestly prefer reading a 90 page, single-spaced book than a 180 page double-spaced book.

Upon inspection, though, the 2004 Girl Detective series is half-spaced. Those books are 140 pages long. So...the two series have books that are about the same length. It's just that the current series is way more obvious in the way it inflates page numbers.

To be completely honest, I see no difference at all between the 2004 series and the 2013 series. They are 90% the same; all they did was remove Deirdre Shannon and some other secondary characters. I find it interesting that the 2013 reboot changed the name of the series, and pretty much nothing else. And when you consider that diaries are not at all a part of the Nancy Drew Diaries series...why did they change the name of the series? There must be a reason to do a total series reboot, only to change as little as possible.

The last Diaries book came out in January, and I still haven't gotten around to reading it. I'll get to it! Eventually. Those reviews are more popular than my reviews for older Nancy Drew books, so I should probably do it sooner, rather than later.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Girl Detective Year 3

I read three Nancy Drew: Girl Detective books over the weekend (17-19), and I think I can safely say that Year 3 of the series is my favorite year so far! (I'm pretending the bad Book 16 doesn't count as part of Year 3.)

Years 1 and 2 were okay, but they were very inconsistent. The characters change their personalities far too often for my liking. The books that were originally written for a different Nancy Drew series stand out as odd, and it feels like at least four books were rushed through production, to be published in time for the Nancy Drew 75th Anniversary.

Year Three is a distinct improvement over the two previous years. The humongous continuity errors start to disappear, and the characters are more consistent! I'm guessing that this happened, because they rehired authors from earlier books. Or maybe they hired new authors, who were smart and read other books in the series, before writing.

Year Four is when they made the decision to reboot Girl Detective into a trilogy series. And judging from the way that the publishing schedule gets messed up, the strategy was to get rid of all remaining books as soon as possible, to make room for the trilogies. Of course, it's possible that I'm wrong, and the writers were just extra productive that year, but I won't know until I get there, with Book 22.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wedding Invitations

Here's an update on the wedding invitations. I sent a message about the invitations, to the designer person.

I know a little bit about typesetting, because I did book editing a few years back. I was able to tell that the proposed invitations weren't really capitalized. They were lowercase letters, in an all-caps font! (I knew this, because the numbers were about a third larger than the letters. Numbers are always the size of capital letters, since there are no lowercase numbers.)

So I was able to prove to the designer person that I know what I'm talking about, as opposed to me being a crazy person. Things went smoothly after that, and the designer put out three revised designs, based on my comments. In the end, we decided to go with the "EVERYTHING IS IN BIG, BULKY CAPITAL LETTERS" scheme. That way, the invitations would be easier to read. Because in case you don't know, wedding invitations are tiny and hard to read, in general.

As for the RSVPs, it turns out that the generic wedding RSVP has a line that says, "M_________". The idea is that you write your name with something that begins with the letter "M", such as "Mr.", "Mrs." or "Monkey Island Superfan". That's not ideal, because I'm inviting some people with titles that don't start with "M". Priests and doctors, for example. But we decided to go with the generic RSVP anyway. The wedding website is listed on the invitations, and people can always RSVP there. Or, you know, they could Facebook me. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

McKenzie and Co

I've been playing McKenzie and Company this week. It's kind of a shame that this game has been relegated to the trash heap of history. Sure, it's not the best game ever, but it's interesting enough.

The game was made in Flash, so it should be possible to get it working on modern machines. If I was in charge at Her Interactive or Digital Leisure (whoever owns the rights to the game now), I'd give that as a side project for one of the programmers. You know, patch up the game for a month or so, then sell it online. Even if the programmer had to work entirely from scratch, it wouldn't be a daunting task, since the most complicated programming is a Space Invaders minigame.

Alternately, you could get rid of all the minigames, and release the game as a basic dating sim. That'd be simple enough to do in Ren'py, since all the videos are all in the modern .avi format. In fact, I'd volunteer for that project! Someone please pay me to work on the 20th Anniversary Edition of McKenzie & Co.!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Katie and I tried to order wedding invitations the other day. The designer person got back to us, and completely changed everything on the invitation. Their reasoning? We did things which "are not customary in stationery etiquette". Here's a list of all the rules the designer wants to enforce.

1. No abbreviations. I can kind of understand this, but is it honestly a big deal if we put "St." instead of "Street"?

2. No upper-case letters. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS AT ALL. It might look "stylish" to have an invitation in all caps or no caps, but I am not E. E. Cummings, nor am I shouting at invitees. I demand to have capital letters in my invitation!

3. No numerals. That is, we can't write something like "February 23". It must be "February Twenty-Third". I can kind of understand this, but it seems like a large waste of space.

4. No ending punctuation. Um, no. Sentences have punctuation, good designer. I don't believe that "it's customary in stationery
etiquette for each line to be read as a separate statement." If everything line is separate, why is it customary for stationery to have paragraph breaks? Why can you split up something, like an address, over multiple lines? And why do YOU use periods at the end of your sentences, if you believe they are unnecessary?

5. No year. It's presumed that the wedding is happening this year, not next year. Well...we never sent out "save the date" cards, so it might be a good idea to keep the year. Just in case.

6. Website link cannot contain "http://". Okay, that's not etiquette. That's just the designer trying to make the website address a little shorter.

7. No zip code in addresses. Um...doesn't seem like a smart move to me.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Games I Want To Make

I would love to make videogames for a living, if it wasn't so much work! I'd settle for "if I didn't have to do all the art myself", but I'm told that's setting the bar too high. Anyway, here are some games I want to make.

1. A Greek mythology game. It'd be great to have an adventure game, where you play as the Greek gods. In addition to traditional actions like "pick up item", you could have godly actions like "hurl thunderbolt at mortals". I'd play a game like that!
Alternately, I could go the educational route, and make a game that tells the basic Greek myths, which occasional, simple puzzles. Something like The Adventures of Hercules, where you play through all twelve of his big adventures.

2. Pluto's Quest to Be a Planet. I thought up this title, but I have no idea what it'd be like.

3. A fantasy football game, done in the style of Sakura Wars. I think this may be one of those ideas that sounds great in my head, but wouldn't be very great in real life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Job

I want to get some fancy video equipment to record my 3DS screen, but it costs about 500 bucks. Which means I'd probably have to have to get a second job, working part-time while Mary is at school. So...five hours a weekday, from 9 to 2.

Minimum wage in Oregon is $9.25. That amounts to about $40 a day, if I work a full five hours. (Money is subtracted for taxes and transportation). At that rate, it takes a bit under three weeks to get $500.

The only place in town that's hiring right now is Round Table Pizza. But they open at 11 AM. So that means I can work three hours per day, maximum. This gives me $25 per day, and at that rate, it takes a full month to get $500.

Um...maybe I'll get a tax refund this year? (Spoiler alert: I won't.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Schedule

Here's a schedule of the games I will play on my YouTube channel.

This week: McKenzie and Co
Feb 23: Shadow Wolf: Cursed Wedding*
March 2: Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon (in French)*
March 9: Dark Strokes: Legend of the Snow Kingdom
March 16: Grim Facade: Sinister Obsession*
March 23: Fire Emblem Gaiden*
March 30: Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden*

I might switch the weeks of the 23rd and 2nd. Then again, I might not.

The asterisks indicate I have more games in that series. For example, I have a second Shadow Wolf game, and more French Nancy Drew games. If one of the walkthroughs proves popular, I'll make a point of playing its sequel game(s) sooner.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Captive Curse Speedrun

Remember how I got completely stuck on my speedrun for Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse? I finally got around to buying Her Interactive's strategy guide for the game! Hopefully, that will help!

I should note that I am not starting work on this project right now. I'm waiting for my other speedruns to be approved by SDA first. My speedruns got reclassified last month, as being "amateur sleuth mode" speedruns, instead of "any %" speedruns. So someone actually looked at them! Maybe this means they'll be released soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

YouTube Posting

Okay, constantly posting videos on YouTube has been a little hectic for me! I guess I'm not cut out to be a member of the "post a new video every single day" crowd. Not since my weekends became filled up with family life!

It makes me stressed out, because I feel like I'm always playing catch-up to a deadline. I feel like it's demanding too much of viewers, too. Like, say you didn't check YouTube during the week I did the Regeria Hope walkthrough. You're basically out of luck, now. Your odds of finding it are low.

I think I'll try out a different system. One walkthrough per week? That seems doable. I post two or three videos a day, from Monday to Thursday. And that gives people a chance to watch videos on the weekend! I'm not sure how random review videos will work into this schedule, but I think it seems like a good idea.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

McKenzie and Co

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate, here's a dating sim video! It's McKenzie and Co., the first videogame that Her Interactive ever made.



Just for fun, I'm letting you viewers decide which characters I should date! Dating isn't too extensive in this game. Basically, you talk to a boy, and every fifteen seconds, the game stops the conversation so you can pick what to say next. Sometimes he has the same response, no matter which conversation option you pick.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weird Dream

I had a weird dream the other day. I was putting on a play about Nancy Drew, and I was cast in the lead role as Nancy. But it was the day of the performance and no one was prepared. The dress rehearsal was our only rehearsal.

Carson Drew was playing himself in the play, and he was confused as to why George was a girl, when she has a boy's name. I calmly explained about George's name to him. Um...shouldn't Nancy's father know who George is?

The play ended up being interrupted by a concert put on by 1990's celebrities.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wedding Music

Here is the music that will be played at our wedding! I want to give links to the music on the wedding website. So could you please help a Michael out and say which version of the songs I should link to?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Speedrunning Marathon

Now that I'm a semi-official member of the speedrun community, I was thinking about volunteering at one of their big marathons! The way it works is that all the attendees submit a list of speedruns that they can do. This is used to create the final schedule for the marathon.

There is a selection process, because they normally get way more submissions than they can possibly accept. I was going to submit some Nancy Drew runs! I also have some popular old NES games that I can learn how to speedrun. A small part of me wants to do a 100% speedrun for Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, but that involves a crazy amount of work. Also, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance!

One ace I have up my sleeve is the ability to play super-old games on my computer. I'm talking Oregon Trail and Day of the Tentacle. Those games don't have any "official" speedruns for them, because most people can't play them without emulators.

It turns out that the summer marathon is July 26-Aug 1, in Minneapolis. That's a bit too far away for me to attend. I guess I'll wait for next year and see if they change the location. I'm told it's difficult for them to hold the marathons on the West Coast, but I can always hope!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Twilight Phenomena: The Incredible Show

This week, I'm doing videos for Twilight Phenomena: The Incredible Show. Three videos a day for the next four days will bring us to the end of the game!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gospel Reading

The Gospel reading at our wedding will be Mark 10:1-12. The recommendation is for Mark 10:6-9, but that removes the beginning and the end of the story! Granted, Jesus' teachings about marriage aren't very popular today, but that doesn't mean we should skip over them and pretend they don't exist.


He set out from there and went into the district of Judea [and] across the Jordan. Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again taught them.

The Pharisees approached and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.

He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”

They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”

But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Second Reading

The second reading for the wedding will be 1 John 4:7-21. It's recommended to stop at verse 12, "No one has ever seen God...", but we keep going to the end of the chapter. What can I say? I wanted to keep the line "Perfect love drives out fear".


Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Friday, February 6, 2015

First Reading

This is going to be the first reading at our wedding. It's from Songs of Songs 2:8, 10-12, 13b-14, 4:8-11, 6:10, 8:6b-7. I know, it kind of jumps all over the place, but I think it flows well.


Hark! my beloved-–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the turtledove is heard in our land. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.

You have ravished my heart, my bride. You have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one bead of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my bride, how much more delightful is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your ointments than all spices! Your lips drip honey, my bride, honey and milk are under your tongue, and the fragrance of your garments is the fragrance of Lebanon.

Who is she, who comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun, as terrible as an army set in battle array?

Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire. Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective

For whatever reason, I'm on a Girl Detective kick right now. My plan was to read Books 7-10, but now it's become Books 7-20. They're just so easy to read! Depending on how focused I am, it takes about an hour to plow through one book. I'm halfway tempted to finish reading and reviewing the entire series, in one go.

Once the series hits Book 30, it turns into the "nothing but trilogies" series. I am told the trilogies are awful, awful, awful. The continuity issues become MUCH worse, when the stories are literally connected to each other. I think I'll take a break then.

My main problem with the series is its inconsistency. Take Chief McGinnis, for example. In Book 10, he and Nancy are best friends. In Book 11, he and Nancy actively hate each other. In Book 12, he's mad that Nancy gets all the credit for his work. In Book 14, Nancy's mad because he gets all the credit for her work.

I know there's a new author for every single book, but the editor really needs to do a better job with continuity.

The Girl Detective books are obviously not meant to be taken as seriously as earlier books, and that's fine by me. Sure, I like the more serious and more dangerous mysteries, but I also like books that I can read casually. With a small child in the house, I don't have the time to read an entire book in one sitting.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cooking Bess' Secret Chocolate Waffles

(Recipe from the Nancy Drew Cookbook)

You mix together a stick of butter with a cup of sugar, two squares of chocolate, two eggs, a cup and a half of flour, half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. I had to guess on the chocolate, since mine wasn't in squares. The butter didn't mix, so I put the entire thing in the microwave for a minute and a half to get it to work.

Apparently, Step #2 is "know how to make pancakes ahead of time". Pouring pancake batter into the pan is difficult! The first batch came out completely destroyed, either because they were too big, or because medium-high temperature is too hot for pancakes. I should also note that flipping pancakes is impossible to do.

To my surprise, it turned out that a half of the sugar didn't mix into the batter. I have no idea why. Maybe that half-cup was just grumpy.

So I made the pancakes, and of course, I served them with ice cream, like Bess suggests. Maybe that's why Bess is so overweight. She puts ice cream on everything. The pancakes ended up being okay, considering that they're supposed to be waffles. They actually tasted a bit like a flat chocolate cake. I imagine they taste a lot better, if they were made by someone who knows what they're doing.

My family couldn't be bothered to eat the special breakfast I made for them. So I give my family a ZERO out of 10.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Regeria Hope

This week, I played Regeria Hope. It's an indie game, and it plays like a gender-swapped Phoenix Wright. The game is free, and I hope it's successful enough that they make more cases for Regeria to solve!











They released an update for the game, shortly after I recorded these videos, which shows that I have bad timing.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Natural Family Planning

My particular church requires all engaged couples to take Natural Family Planning. The first lesson is basic reproductive biology, and I'm surprised at what some people don't know.

For example, ovulation only lasts one day. If the egg isn't fertilized in 24 hours, it instantly dies. I thought everyone knew that! But it turns out that most people think the egg is alive for the entire two-week period between a woman's ovulation and her period. Not true! The window for getting pregnant is actually pretty small. (The window for impregnating someone is larger, since the man's seed lasts 3-5 days under optimal conditions.)

There are a few signs that indicate a woman is ovulating. First, there is a rise in temperature. Second, the cervical lining becomes more porous. There are also hormonal changes, but those two are the ones that you can easily keep track of, without the help of a doctor.

Lesson #2 is next month, and I wonder what we'll learn.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

College

I don't want to be a grump, but I am still very about college. It cost huge amounts of money, and there was no benefit to it, whatsoever.

First off, everyone lies and says that "college is the best time of your life". In my experience, that is the exact opposite of the truth. I was forced to live with a bunch of horrible people who only cared about getting drunk and having sex, with occasional breaks for doing drugs. The only friends I made are what you call "friends of convenience or circumstance". Once I graduated, they all disappeared and never talked to me again.

Second, everyone told me that college would help me get a high-paying job. Again, this was a lie. It didn't help me get any job at all. I got immediate unemployment, and whenever I go job searching, no employers ever respond. My fiancée Katie says that, when she applies for a job, the companies always tell her if she did or didn't get it. Me? When I apply for a job, I'm lucky to get a "we received your application" courtesy note. The last interview I had was...years ago, at this point.

I kind of make money on YouTube ads, but it is definitely less than a full-time, minimum wage worker at Starbucks. (They didn't respond to me. I am forced to assume that they threw my application in the trash.)

The Huffington Post says that the average starting salary of a college graduate is $44,000. If I was in charge of a university, I would poll the alumni. I'm sure there are some majors whose graduates make way less than that, ten years after graduation. I would immediately eliminate those majors, since they are a harmful waste of time with no benefit. Or, at least, I would remove those departments from the list of required classes and let natural selection take its course.

But, of course, if I was in charge of a university, my first step would be to expel all the drunkards and replace them with serious students.