a bad day for Axe In Inventory; mistakes make me laugh

I’m still working on ‘Axe In Inventory.’ It’s like Billy Crystal who’s been working on ‘The Night Was…’ in ‘Throw Momma From The Train.’

I am displeased. The pending bank transactions did not finish today, so I am still waiting to see if this paypal thing has returned my money. I used up the last little crumbs of money on my debit card and credit card. I have a small amount of money in the food stamps card, but that card isn’t working properly and I have to call them or go out there to the place, which is a huge and impossible thing to do – it requires a pre-planned bus ride and I have to get out of bed during daylight hours, which is extremely hard for me when I am fighting pesticide contamination and other miscellaneous contaminations that are causing fatigue.

Axe In Inventory: I’ve been fighting a bug that seems very resilient and impossible to explain, so I rewrote the whole way of doing things, an entire alternative way completely different from what I did before. Strangely enough, the bug is still there and still happening. It’s not really completely different – I copied and pasted code. However, my theory about what was causing the bug is wrong.

I can’t pick up the axe again once I’ve put it into the inventory. I thought this might possibly be because the axe is an object, and the inventory was an object (I changed that for the test), and maybe having one object stuck on top of another one was causing a glitch. I know, for instance, if the player was running and it would get stuck inside the walls, because I had improperly set the number of pixels it moved in every step, then I would be unable to get it out of the walls if it got stuck really badly.

Or maybe I am remembering wrong. I remember going through the walls if I went fast enough. If there was a glitch that gave me super speed, I would eventually just go right through the wall. When my brother and I played ‘Lock ‘n’ Chase’ on Intellivision back in the 1980s, there was a bug where you could bump against the wall a couple times and you would go right through it, and we thought this was hilarious (and it was also cheating, because you could use it to escape). GameMaker seems to have a similar bug.

So I might be remembering wrong, but I suspected that the axe was stuck inside another object and that’s why it stopped responding after I put it in the inventory. I changed the inventory to ’tiles,’ which are purely graphical, just pictures that don’t interact with anything, AND IT STILL GETS STUCK IN THAT INVENTORY.

So I have to troubleshoot everything and go through my code and figure out what I’ve done that’s making it refuse to move. My code is gradually getting slightly messy and slightly redundant. I had a few lines of code where I looked at it and said, ‘WTF??? I don’t remember doing this. I have no idea what this does.’ If I wrote it only a couple days ago, that’s too long ago, and I’ve forgotten it.

So now I am starting to – I am forced to – get in the habit of annotating my code, which is a good habit. I am writing little comments: ‘this is so you can do X,’ ‘set the gravity to zero,’ and so on. You’re supposed to do that, but it isn’t a big deal when you only have a couple tiny lines of code that are easy to understand. I have a few awkward lines of code that use constants, like ‘if x < 3802 AND if x > 3500’ and so on. I can fix those later – it isn’t important – I am only doing that temporarily to test this problem. Eventually when I need constants for things I will write them elsewhere separately in macros so that I can change them easily and just make references to them instead of typing out the numbers and making mistakes.

I feel like I can’t think very clearly today. I am in a minimal amount of chocolate withdrawal – I ate the pepperidge farm cookies the laundromat lady gave me. There aren’t any more.

I have had a few funny accidents that were easy to fix. I changed something and put all the axes into the inventory, and they all had gravity and so they fell right down and disappeared after going into the inventory, which was funny to watch, and in hindsight I realized I should have expected it. I kind of wish I could do little screen capture videos and post them here, but 1. I don’t have a screen video capture program, and don’t know how to do it using my existing software, and 2. I don’t think I can post videos in WordPress unless I pay money to them. By the way, I get no money from those ads that appear at the bottom of the page. If there is even a fraction of a penny being earned by anyone, it goes to WordPress.

Nothing ever makes me laugh. I have an extremely hard-to-trigger sense of humor. But when a mechanical device doesn’t work the way you expect it to, when you’re sure that it’s about to do something a certain way and instead it does something completely unexpected, that is often absolutely hilarious to me. Making this video game is making me laugh more than usual. If only I made more hilarious mistakes, I’d be laughing more often, but unfortunately I am not doing anything really challenging or complicated that lends itself to frequent huge unpredictable mistakes.

In order for it to be funny, I have to be confident that this code is going to work properly. I have to feel pretty sure that I know what I’m doing and pretty sure that I did it right, so the mistake has to be unexpected. I have to not know in advance what the mistake is going to do. But there cannot be too much frustration involved, or the frustration will make it not funny anymore. If I’ve been struggling and failing with this thing for the past half hour and it makes yet another unexpected mistake that I totally have no
explanation for – being unable to explain it and unable to understand it is key to making it more frustrating – then it’s not funny. But if I have a sudden insight about what caused the mistake, if I understand it, if I’m not too frustrated, if I know it’s easily fixed, then I will laugh, sometimes a lot. Of course the axes all fell out! I forgot to turn off the gravity!

I’m just taking a break because I changed a bunch of stuff, and it all failed, and I went back to a whole bunch of bugs similar to the stuff I fixed days ago with my previous way of doing it. I have to fix all those bugs again. I clicked on an axe and for some reason every single axe in the room disappeared, even though I didn’t think the ‘with’ construct would be necessary or the ‘id’ thing would be necessary, and when I tried to refer to the specific id, it totally ignored me and made every single axe disappear. I couldn’t understand it, and it wasn’t funny anymore, so I took a break from it.

I actually have other stuff on the to-do list for that game, so technically I could stop working on that particular task and try some other new task for a change. I haven’t looked at the task list so I’m not sure what I could do, but I still have maybe five more things that are relevant to this (for now – there actually are hundreds more things to do) that might not involve so many frustrating bugs and failed tests.

Axe In Inventory. The Night Was. Billy Crystal – he was struggling and struggling to write a novel, and it began with the words ‘The night was…’ But he had writer’s block, because his ex-wife stole his entire book and claimed it was hers and was famous for it now. So he was trying to write a whole new book all over again. That’s probably why it reminded me of that – starting all over again with a whole new method because I had a theory for what was causing the problem I was having, only to find that my whole new method didn’t fix the problem.

Maybe I could read for a while or watch a movie, but actually I should go visit Jacob at Chris’s house sometime. It’s just that I dread riding my bike over there when I don’t have a lot of food. I’m waiting till tomorrow and if this bank thing doesn’t fix itself tomorrow, then I’m going to talk to the food stamps people, and I will be ‘hangry’ while talking to them. I will be even hangrier if I have been exposed to tobacco smoke again.

I also need to stay away from Stefan. The more I think about it, the more disgusting the memory seems. I didn’t know I was going to be that disgusted about it. I passively went along with having sex with him, thinking that I probably wouldn’t feel too badly about it later on, but I was totally wrong about that. Note, there is no chance of pregnancy – he did not have an orgasm, and also I am wayyyy past ovulation and approaching my period – another reason for a bad mood. Also, I don’t *feel* pregnant at all – there are absolutely no abnormal sensations of any kind whatsoever. Other than disgust.

I feel too unfocused to fix all the bugs in the new method right now. I’ll give it a break, maybe glance at the list of other tasks that have to be done and see if any of them seem easy.

I have actually had a whole lot of progress, and some of the tasks have been very easy and took only a couple minutes to do, with instant success. When I have ‘instant success,’ it is always kind of a shocking surprise to me. I’m like, ‘Oh – that’s… done???? Okay. Well then! What now?’ It takes me a minute to get myself back together. I’m still sort of absorbing the fact that I just did something and it worked perfectly easily the first time after only a minute or two of coding, when I wasn’t completely confident that it would work.

This is actually the most progress I’ve ever had with GameMaker. I’ve had it for a couple years now. I’ve dabbled in it, bits and pieces, and had some interesting ideas – I wanted to use photographs to make a Myst-Like game where it isn’t 3D, but since it’s a photograph you can go into it by simply clicking and then going to the next photo, but I just didn’t have a big series of photographs that would work for it. I used a bunch of photos that I took from around the house at Mary Jo’s house, including her cat… what was her name? That gray fuzzy thing with the Russian Blue breed fur that’s extra soft, and she was huge and fat and spayed. I don’t even remember her name. Maybe it’s in the name of the photo. Anyway, she was included in the photos of the game, and I really liked that a lot. I’d want to have pictures of real people and animals involved in the game. It’s a really great idea, I just don’t have a decent camera right now. I have a camera, somewhere, buried in my boxes and bags, but I hate that camera and it’s not a pleasure to use. I only take pictures when I’m on drugs.

But I was going to say, quitting caffeine is, I think, a very important reason why I am able to focus on this as much as I have been. When I drink caffeine, I will spend hours and hours obsessing on the internet. I still sometimes do that when I’m not feeling well, but it absolutely definitely happens when I use a lot of caffeine. And I would always use caffeine under the pretense that I hoped it would help me focus enough to do something useful. It never did. If it ever helped me focus at all, the effects were very temporary, and they worked best if I drank expensive special coffees from Starbucks, because apparently, the substances in coffee that affect you are volatile substances that usually evaporate from coffee after only a short time, so it has to be extremely fresh and freshly ground and all that, and they probably have some breed of coffee with extra caffeine in it or something too, I don’t know. So yeah, if and only if I drank Starbucks coffee, I would be able to do my paperwork and my bills and my money and my receipts and my banking – all my money-related tasks.

But now, without coffee, I have spent a couple weeks now persistently working on this game assignment that I gave myself. It’s really unusual for me to be persistent over time. There is no monetary reward. There is only ‘It Works’ and ‘I’m Learning.’ I’m learning enough of the language that, even if I can’t remember the specific details of a function, I do remember that it exists and that it might serve my purposes, so that everything I do is faster and more efficient now. I don’t have to go randomly hunting desperately all over through the manual having no idea what I’m looking for. I’ve become familiar enough with it that now, I at least vaguely have some idea what to look for, because I’ve read and reread many pages over and over again, and I’m using the codes and rereading the help page a third or fourth time and it finally sinks in, ‘Oh!! THIS is what they were talking about! Now I understand!’

But on a day like today, ‘It Doesn’t Work And I’m Frustrated And I Don’t Feel Good Either.’ I’m kind of sick and have had yucky digestive problems since yesterday. 😦 ‘It doesn’t work.’ Oh well. I’m learning enough to be confident that it *will* work again. That’s what I need to learn most. I need to learn this faith, this confidence, that it will work again even after obstacles. The more often I succeed, the more this gets hammered into my brain – ‘Wow! I can do this!’

The other nice thing about teaching myself, alone, is that I don’t have to be graded or compared to other classmates. In school I was originally said to be a ‘gifted’ student, but then I had failing grades later because college required a lot of plain memorization and rote work and I was required to learn things that I thought were pointless and I didn’t want to learn. So I felt like a failure, and the worst thing was, I hated myself for being incapable of forcing myself to be disciplined, being incapable of forcing myself to do pointless tasks – I thought that I *should* be capable of forcing myself to do pointless tasks, because everyone else could force THEMselves to do pointless tasks, and all of them were going to climb the ladder and become wealthy and powerful and have a successful life because of it, and I was going to be a failure due to my inability to force myself to do pointless tasks. I carried that feeling with me forever.

But now I don’t have to see that the other programming whizzes are doing this exact same task ten times faster than I am because they have a different socionic personality type – I had to watch that happening in computer classes in high school. There were a couple guys who did everything easily and instantly, while I took much longer to do what I was doing, and my code wasn’t as ‘elegant,’ although I could still get the job done.

Elegance of code matters, actually – it matters most when your computer resources are limited, you’re lacking memory, and have to use everything most efficiently. I want to learn assembly language too – that’s the way to use the least amount of memory and have the fastest running program.

I want to program a computer that has the same amount of memory as a hand held calculator and is able to be run on a tiny solar cell like a calculator is. I want to make a cell phone like that. Imagine a cell phone whose program is so simple that it runs on one of those little solar things that even work under indoor lights. The battery never needs charged.

Code is forced to be less messy and less redundant when you just simply don’t have enough memory space to do all that useless stuff over and over again.

However, I’m forgiving myself for my messy, sloppy, redundant code. Nobody is in the class with me showing me how much better I should be, and I’m not humiliated by getting a ‘B’ or ‘C’ on my assignments. I’m just really, really slow. The development time estimate on this game is ten years, if I’m lucky. I’m doing all the art and music myself. I’ll have to lower my quality standards and go download some free-for-the-taking premade sound effects. I know they exist, I just don’t remember where to find them.

I will feel better soon, especially if my money problem gets fixed. Then I will go back to being more focused and driven and I will be able to get the bug fixed on this game, or else I will do a different task and come back to this one later. There are infinity tasks to do, and some of them have no connection whatsoever to putting an axe in the inventory, so if I really get horribly frustrated, I can go in a totally different direction and do something else entirely.

The map in Terraria – I was reading about ‘surfaces,’ and they mentioned that if something happens, like if a popup window disturbs the game and focus switches over to that window or something, the surface images can get wiped out and have to be cleaned up again. I have seen that happen with Terraria, with the large map. Sometimes I’ll get a popup window with some kind of notification from the computer, or anything at all that causes it to jump out of the Terraria window, and when I come back, the map won’t work anymore and it has all this black stuff all over it, and I can only fix it if I save the game and then restart.

So that gives me a hint about how to code the map! I know it involves ‘surfaces.’ I have never used a ‘surface’ before and have no idea where to start. I’ve only read about them. I also need to find out how to make the mini-map that follows you when you move, and then there’s also a transparent overlay map that I never use because it’s too disturbing and I can’t understand both visual images at one time. But since I’m copying Terraria, I have to learn how to code that even though I don’t like it.

The blocks are placed by an algorithm, instead of being a
fixed-in-place maze like the old fashioned Mario type games. I *could* make a Mario-style game, more easily… I could…. but I don’t feel a desire to. I did love all the Mario games very much. I also loved Castlevania, and King’s Quest 2 (I don’t recall if I ever played the first one). I loved lots of old games. It would be relatively easy to make a game like those, any of those. It doesn’t really matter which game I choose to copy for the learning experience. Any one of those games is going to be more complicated than I expect it to be and I will be forced to learn a lot.

I learned to draw by copying. It seems like a shameful or inferior way to draw – I was never proud of copying. But, when I was a toddler, I watched cartoons like Wile E Coyote, Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Woody Woodpecker, Heckle and Jekyll (how do you spell that? – NO I am not going to claim that the ‘Mandela Effect’ has made me forget how it was spelled!!!!! NOT THE MANDELA EFFECT!). I used to try to draw those characters. I couldn’t get them to look exactly right, but I picked up these ‘norms’ of how they were drawn – animals usually had a white colored oval shaped patch of fur over their entire front side, the chest and abdomen, for instance. They often wore gloves (although I stopped drawing those). I copied the eyes from ‘Speed Racer’ because it was a Japanese animation and they had big, beautiful, expressive eyes that were much more likable than the ones in American cartoons.

So, I am doing something similar now. I am copying the ‘norms’ of this particular game that I really enjoy (but have some complaints about). The fact that I love the game so much, but had all these wishes about what I would do differently if I had made the game – it’s a perfect opportunity to try that for real. If I had made this game, I would have… wait a minute, why don’t I just make my own!

This blog has gotten really long. I’m unfocused and hangry. I’m saying the word ‘hangry’ because I saw someone in a video using that word again recently, and I originally learned it from my brother, but had observed the phenomenon myself and never given it a name. I’m not sure what I’m mentally capable of doing when I feel this crappy.

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7 Responses to “a bad day for Axe In Inventory; mistakes make me laugh”

  1. nebbie916 Says:

    What are your recommendations when it comes to caring for intact and vasectomized (either way, not castrated) male cats?

    What are your recommendations when it comes to caring for intact and tubal ligated (either way, not spayed) female cats?

    Can vasectomies be done on male cats and tubal ligations be done on female cats?

  2. Nicole Says:

    Kind of a hard question to answer. I think in the scheme of things, doing a vasectomy or tubal ligation is less bad than the spaying and neutering. So if somebody did those, and I’m sure it can be done, I would want to find out if there were possible problems that could happen as a result of those surgeries too. I have no knowledge of this and have never heard anecdotes or done any reading about it, except maybe I once read that vasectomies in humans can have complications too.

    I’m using my imagination here. I would wonder if there were problems that would result from blocking the flow of fluids and substances down the tubes. The glands are still trying to secrete something and it has to go somewhere. So it goes into the tied-off area and then has to be absorbed. If it weren’t absorbed quickly enough, it would remain in the tube, causing swelling or rupture up at the top part of the tube, but only if there were a lot of pressure – I don’t know. Or the ties can come undone, or else, maybe (again, using my imagination), the part of the tube that was cut and tied might die off and necrose, and it would fall off inside the body, leaving the tube open at the end but disconnected from the lower half of the tube. So then the secretions would go into the empty space inside the body. All of that is just speculation on my part.

    I would be concerned that just having any form of surgery at all would do damage to whatever you had to cut through to get in there, the muscles and tissues and all that stuff. Muscles are never really the same after you cut through them and they form a scar. But again, in the ranking scheme, this surgery is less bad than the other surgery.

    If I ever had any surgery at all on my pet, I would probably not want to use one of those ‘victorian collar’ things that they put on them to prevent them from licking themselves. I don’t like those collars. I think it’s okay to let them lick themselves whenever they’re injured. But I have never actually seen this up close so I might change my mind if I saw the surgical wounds they were trying to lick.

    I’d think there would still be a chance that they might have urinary problems or other unexpected problems to watch out for.

    I tried to imagine myself having an intact female cat. It just so happened that the cats I adopted from a previous housemate were both male, one intact, one neutered and declawed. If I’d had a female that was intact, I would probably try to use the ‘rhythm’ method to protect her from pregnancy. I’d watch for the symptoms of heat. But this is easier said than done, and it’s possible to fail to see the symptoms, and different cats may look or behave differently. I’d keep it on the calendar if I had to, so I’d know about what general time it was going to happen, and then I’d keep the cat indoors during the heat.

    If I ever failed to catch it in time, because I like to let cats come and go outdoors and really dislike keeping them inside for too long, and if she got pregnant, I can imagine myself *STILL* being reluctant to do any kind of surgery, so I’d end up raising a bunch of kittens and then saying, ‘I have to get a better paying job so I can afford all this cat food.’ At least, that’s how I like to imagine it. I hope I wouldn’t cave in and just neuter or spay somebody.

    But as for whether those surgeries can be done, I’m pretty sure they can and I do see them as less bad in the scheme of things – an understandable choice, when it’s difficult to just observe the symptoms of heat and catch the cat and keep her indoors at the right time. Busy people working at their jobs might not be around enough to see everything in time before it’s too late. I wouldn’t know for sure what to do to take care of them.

    I myself tolerated Max when he was spraying things – the intact cats might still be spraying things – but then, I didn’t have anything expensive that would be ruined by the spraying. I just viewed the spraying behavior as something he *had* to do, just like going to the bathroom – there was a pressure that had to be relieved. So the goal is to toss him outside as quickly as possible before he sprays anything – I used to do that – he was kept up in my room, and I was renting a room in a house with a lady who got very angry about the spraying, so I would carry him in my arms down the steps and put him out the front door without letting him run around in her part of the house. Then I had to do the same thing to bring him back inside later on, just carry him through the house in my arms.

  3. nebbie916 Says:

    I’ve heard that cats have a lowered metabolism, a raised appetite, and a raised risk of obesity and diabetes from spays and castrations. Also, I’ve heard castrated toms have a higher risk for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, bladder and kidney stones, and urethral obstructions.

    So, how are you going to care for a female kitten if you do adopt one without having a spay done on her?

    So, how are you going to care for a male kitten if you do adopt one without having him castrated?

    I’ve heard that countries in Europe, including Sweden, Norway (where dogs are pretty much spayed and castrated only for medical reasons), and Italy, are much less brainwashed to the spay/neuter dogma than the United States is.

  4. Nicole Says:

    There are things that I would ideally like to do, but it might be a long time before I am able to do them in reality. For instance, I’d like to have a large area of land, or a farm, and if I did, I would just let the cats roam there and let them come and go as they pleased. I visited someone’s farm a few years ago and they had a whole bunch of cats with kittens there, and they were giving them milk from the cows, although they stopped doing that because for some reason it was giving the cats runny eyes. But I would like to do something similar, ideally. If I were in a less ideal situation I would probably focus more on keeping the female indoors during heat, and worry less about what the male was doing, but that’s probably based on what my parents did when I was young – we had an intact male dog who was allowed to run outdoors and it usually wasn’t a problem. I think just temporarily locking the female cat indoors should be sufficient.

  5. Nicole Says:

    And yeah, my cat Jacob has those problems – he’s really hungry even when he’s getting just as much food as the other cats, at the place where he’s staying right now during the winter. Mike feeds them all at the same time, but Jacob is extremely hungry and gets up early in the morning and pesters Mike, which is the reason why I usually just left food out for him, even if maybe that made him fatter – he was so annoying when he was hungry and demanding food and waking me up. Whatever is wrong with him, it seems to be a major metabolic problem and it’s not his fault.

  6. nebbie916 Says:

    I’ve heard that castrating and spaying increases the risk of hypothyroidism in dogs. Does castrating and spaying also increase the risk of hyperthyroidism in cats?

    Like gonadectomies throw an animal’s endocrine system off balance, so I don’t see why the effects on cats would be too different from that on dogs.

    I’ve heard that .05% of healthy dogs, .11% of healthy cats, 1.33% of sick dogs, and 1.4% of sick cats die from anesthesetic-related deaths, whether the surgery was neutering or not.

  7. nebbie916 Says:

    Can I paraphrase your tips and recommendations for having intact female and male cats and compile the information for a blogpost or two?

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