11/21/01: Since this is the first update since Halloween, I offer this picture of us in our costumes-on-the-cheap: I as Arthur Dent (my towel had been purloined by that point in the evening) and Cristyn as Fenchurch.
I let the third anniversary of the site pass without comment, but now I comment. The third year saw transmigration between servers and net connections-- and more traffic than the first two years put together. Thanks.
Since Cristyn is kept here by the crushing weight of projects, this will be the first Thanksgiving that I spend in San Diego. We plan to enjoy the great feast with a dozen philosophers and philosophers' companions who, like us, are staying in town for this crazy-travelling holiday. I made a batch of cranberry chutney, Cristyn made a tofu cheesecake, and we stand poised to mash potatoes. Others are ponying up turkey, veggies, and food in bountiful quantity. Yum.
12/8/01: This term is practically finished. I have a wee bit of grading left to do, but after that I am free for break. Free in the sense that I'll have time to write papers, to plug away at my dissertation, and to get the Christmas shopping done. Cristyn has had a heavy workload, so break will mean stress relief for her and-- by sympathy-- me.
I've never been sure who I was writing to when I updated the News here on my homepage. Perfect strangers, perhaps, who followed a link here from some other site. More familiar strangers, too-- the sort of people I meet on the net and swap e-mail with now and again. I also like to think that old friends read this, the ones who I haven't seen in forever and haven't spoken with in too long. I imagined that I wrote things here so that people could see what I'd been up to recently, either so that they could learn something about me or catch up on what's new.
At a party last night, I learned that some present friends of mine also monitor this page, but not to learn what I've been doing with myself per se. They may have just seen me and been present at events that I describe here, so they want to learn what I have to say about what I've been doing with myself. "What's P.D.'s skewed take on Event X?" we can imagine them asking themselves in their internal monologues.
(I suppose a few of them will read these very words. They will, no doubt, think that I have misrepresented the conversation from last night's party. If that were so, they would be free to sit me down, buy me a beer, and explain how I went wrong. Hint, hint.)
12/9/01: I first learned about Scott McCloud from his multi-threaded, death-obsessed comic, Choose Your Own Carl. Carl reached its natural conclusion some time ago. Now I've discovered his daily cartooning regimen-- Morning Improv-- and added it to my list of web-comics to keep an eye on. It shows promise.
1/1/02: Cristyn and I spent had spent most of yesterday morning and afternoon cooking, but the in-laws who were to have come down from Orange County were side-lined by food poisoning. So we put the half-prepared meal back into the fridge and ordered a pizza. We spent the evening alone watching the Hobbit on DVD, playing dominoes on the floor, cuddling like nobody was watching (since nobody was), toasting at midnight, and so on.
Some small updates here. I recently discovered a couple of new fallacies. SJohn Ross released another edition of the Sparks Scrapbook-- I contributed a bear and a man in a bear suit to this update.
1/23/02: I've been making slow progress on my dissertation, and perhaps I'll put up some papers here. In the meantime, I've updated some of my character pages. I played Bogurook for two sessions over break, and I've added a photograph of my Bogurook doll.
Jane made the leap to unredeemably non-player character in last night's session, so I posted her backstory.
2/2/02: Why yes, it will be twenty years before it is again the case that the only non-zero digits in the date are twos. Revel in it.
Life here plods along. Cristyn and I are spending more time than we should whomping the bejeezus out of computer opponents in Age of Empires II. My dissertation is growing slowly. I decided recently that the second chapter needed an illustration, so I ended up with this portrait of Rene Descartes.
2/6/02: A strange problem with the server disabled the homepage for who-knows-how-many days. It was a small difference in the implementation of perl that crippled this bit wherein the current news is put on the homepage. With any luck, normality is restored.
2/13/02: Another day spent in a coffee shop writing philosophy. Tonight, a few gaming-related updates to the site.
The world map is updated and flashified. It doesn't look like I can make any profit from my bitter, vitriolic review of the worst gaming product I've bought in quite some time, so I've posted it here. I'm running two new characters who will get their own pages in due time: Maris is a middle-aged Wolf novelist. Ellie is a young Chinese-American girl in the world of Adventure!-- a world of actual humans. (gasp)
2/20/02: I just completed my first successful picture of Maris, so he gets a page here.
3/8/02: The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Not necessarily in that order.) A bevy of paper miniatures that I designed are featured in this week's Pyramid magazine, my dissertation is coming along slowly, and several papers of mine have been rejected by prominent academic journals.
3/14/02: We played the first real session of Adventure! last night, and I'm starting to get into character as Ellie Do. Today I discovered Flash Face, a groovy little Flash app that lets you build composite drawings, and built this sketch-artist's rendering of Miss Do.
3/30/02: I'm running OS X, which means I have access to ports of Unix apps that I didn't have access to before. One such app is PfaEdit, a powerful if cantankerous font editor. I've doodled fonts for years and designed one-off fonts for the logos of various ludographic projects. Gomo is extrapolated from the logo of Go*Mofasta. Now that I'm putting fonts on the web -- and since the former registrants had let it lapse -- I decided to register fontmonkey.com.
4/7/02: Cristyn's off in LA having a piece performed, so I'm home alone this afternoon. The radio's playing Dixieland, I have vague thoughts of getting work done, and I've put up several new fonts.
4/11/02: A recent visitor suggested that my God Man fan page may leave some adventures unmentioned-- but Lo! a new God Man adventure.
4/21/02: Recent efforts at font design have me using X-windows. The implementation is XonX, which ought to be pronounced "ZONKS!" but probably isn't. Hexley the Platypus is the mascot for Darwin, the version of BSD instanced in OS X. I include a picture of him here just because he's cute.
I spent quite some time today restoring data to my Palm organizer, which forgot everything it ever knew during the night. If this had only happened last weekend, then I'd have an excuse for missing all the appointments I missed this last week. In reality, I've just been a dunderhead.
5/1/02: Verily, another adventure of God Man. Also, I'm selling our blueberry iMac on eBay.
5/15/02: More adventures of God Man, even as there are no substantive updates here.
5/19/02: Today, I returned from a weekend up in the mountains at the UC's James Reserve. We philosophers had a great time hiking, playing games, roasting smores, thinking deep thoughts, and talking trash about everyone who didn't come on the trip. There were almost twenty of us there all told, with many staying only Friday night and a few driving up just for the day Saturday. Above is the view from 4 Saints, a peak a mile from the cabin. Below are the seven stalwarts who stayed through this morning. From left to right: Mitch Gunzler, myself, Pat and Paul Churchland (faculty sponsors of the event), Kristen Irwin, Evan Moreno-Davis, and John Jacobson (who, with John Vella, handled much of the logistics).
6/9/02: It's been a busy few weeks leading up to the end of the term. My parents were in town at the beginning of last week. I went with them to see Attack of the Clones and played them in a game of Star Wars Epic Duels. In the game, I played Yoda and lost out at the last instant when Padme (played by my mom) managed to snipe the green geezer. On a tangentially related note, I've made a droid factory map for the game. Epic Duels is a surprisingly fun game that comes with an army of figures. I highly recommend it.
I also highly recomment Episode II. (You have seen it already, haven't you?) Watch for an interesting and somewhat subtle plot behind the action and bravado. Critics may say that the acting is poor, but I say that Hayden Christensen is a science-fiction protagonist in the tradition of William Shatner.
Other work is creeping along. I have two papers on quantum mechanics left to grade before tomorrow. *yawn*
7/17/02: In my efforts to find a Summer job, I hit the jackpot and found two. This means plenty of work and sleep deprivation, but I'm sure in the end it will be worth it. (I've already used the infusion of cash as an excuse to by an iPod. It should be here any day.)
7/20/02: Two impromptu barbeques this weekend each turned into fun gatherings. Both were under the aegis of a gathering of philosophers, but ended up involving a fair motley of people. In tonight's, I was moved to observe that there are at least two ways to pronounce homophonic. A friend quickly retorted: But only one way to pronounce heterophonic!
8/8/02: We bought a new iBook for Cristyn, drawing her fully over to the Mac side. Lestat's coffee shop is now open 24 hours, so she can set up there and get work done until the wee hours of the morning. Since I just finished my stint of summer TA'ing, my schedule is now flexible enough that I can join her. On another make note: The release of the new iPods made me shuffle around my order, so I don't have one yet. Soon, soon...
In ludographic news, we've played more Epic Duels. And we have new stuff to show for it.
8/26/02: It's almost 4 AM. Cristyn and I are sitting at the kitchen table typing work into our respective laptops. The oddity of our schedules is getting to both of us. She's in the throes of finishing up a musical composition provisionally titled Whimsical Solipsism. Tonight I'm editting the section on human subjects for the Research Ethics Program's website; other days I'm plugging away at my dissertation.
8/29/02: Word is that Battle of the Bands will be reprinted this Fall. A propos of that, I have a review of its present edition that includes a few of our house rules.
9/12/02: I've reached another birthday or, as it will probably be called for many years to come, another "day after 9/11." No great plans for celebration, but I fully intend to hang out with Cristyn and eat some chocolatey, celebratory desert. Games will probably ensue.
My parents sent me a package of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, a Harry Potter inspired candy made by Jelly Belly. The flavours are much stronger than ordinary Jelly Belly flavours. The dirt, grass, and spinach flavoured beans are uncanny. There is one variety not identified on the box which Cristyn and I wager is garlic.
9/25/02: Last weekend Cristyn and I took our first vacation together since the honeymoon. We drove out to Las Vegas and stayed with my brother and his cell of the Magnus family. We did all the things one does in Vegas, but in moderation: We visited the strip one afternoon, dropped a quarter in a slot machine, and ate at a casino buffet. Along the way, I suffered from some digestive malady I'd picked up from my nephew Wolfe. Although the trip was relaxing, it's good to be home. My parents were in town yesterday and the day before, classes start tomorrow, and I have more to do than I want to think about.
10/15/02: No real updates here on the site. I spent about an hour tonight wrangling the perl script for the OS quiz, which broke several weeks ago. It is fixed, but only by strange voodoo and plenty of duct tape.
On the home front, Jobs for Philosophers has come out. This puts me in the position of actually applying for jobs, rather than justing telling people that I'm on the market this year.
10/27/02: Forty-some job applications are assembled and ready to go. I put the entire dossier on-line. If you need to hire a philosopher, check it out.
10/30/02: There are slight changes all over the site today. My CV has transmigrated over to the job dossier, leaving my ludography behind.