Ah, sleep. One of the great mysteries of life. A state in which we spend a third of our time, doing seemingly nothing. A necessity and yet the first thing to get trimmed from our schedule when push comes to shove. Wild plans exist for those who want to do more with less. But nothing can do away with this essential dead spot in every day.
I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago, around my freshman year in college, that I noticed how my sleep schedule worked. No matter what time I went to bed, if left unattended, I spend about 9 hours, including the time it took to fall asleep and to get out of bed. If I cut that short with an alarm and something to do, it would come back later. I would get out of class feeling hazy and end up dozing off for just about long enough to make my total sleep time 9 hours. I read that the best way to reduce wasted time sleeping was to stick to a consistent schedule, but with the dorm experience, that was not particularly viable. There was one up-side to this, however; I discovered that when my sleep schedule is broken and insufficient is when I have the most interesting and memorable dreams, a fact that remains true today. (Last night's, or rather, this morning's humdinger involved a huge condor, nearly getting attacked by a wild tiger, $5 gas, and a prototype 17-inch iPad. Go figure.)
Note: This post retreads some of the same thoughts as an earlier one in a slightly different light.
I've passingly mentioned that I'm currently playing StarCraft II. But I don't mean that in the same way I meant it when, for example, I said I was playing Metroid: Other M recently. No, I'm playing StarCraft II in a sense that perhaps more closely resembles if an athlete were playing football this fall, or a more intellectually-inclined individual might say he were playing chess. In other words, I'm not approaching it as a work to be completed, I'm approaching it as an activity to compete in and get better at. The distinction may seem academic, but there's a pretty different attitude involved and, to be honest, it's taken me by surprise that I'm interested in this sort of thing.
I built my current computer, Trace, in November of last year (2009), which means that it's now a grand old age of 10 months old. This day, as I upgrade Trace's hardware for the first time, I feel somewhat nostalgic, and I'll take this opportunity to reflect and memorialize my last computer, Arcueid -- not even because of a special letter I received today from 5 years ago. Along the way, I'll talk about my experience migrating to Linux, the odyssey of driver support leading me to the eventual concenssion and purchase of a new nVidia GTX 460, and I may as well do like all the cool kids are doing and chat a bit about StarCraft II before it becomes passe.
At work, a few developers recommended Flash Switcher, a Firefox extension for testing with different Flash versions easily. And it occurred to me: this extension is hosted on "sephiroth.it". You know what that means to me? It means that the generation of people who are out there doing web development and making games right now is the generation for whom Final Fantasy VII was a defining gaming experience.
God help us.
Below is the full body of an email from my coworker Tay, a Build and Release Engineer:
I haven't forgotten about you, but I'm still putting out fires. It's pretty much what I do all day. The cloud is awesome!
Gosh, it sure is hard to blog after so much time. It's not like miniscule updates on my life are particularly interesting. I do have some thoughts I've been kicking around about the nature of social games (and why they're generally terrible) but I'm hesitant to post them out of respect for my current employer. Maybe in a little while after I've polished them up. I also have a few long posts about mahjong partially prepared but lacking in polish. (Speaking of things lacking in polish, I should probably push a review of Angel Beats! sometime, too.) But for now, I'm going to talk about music games.