A girl, Icar 5, Grand Theft Auto 5, a broad grin and harking back

Last night I was tired. I just wanted to mess about in a virtual world. I wanted to escape. Not for any bad reasons, not because I was unhappy but I needed to let my brain dissolve for a bit.


Work has required a lot of concentration. We need to report data to industry bodies and our domain model was designed with super-configuration in mind. That configuration isn't used but the amount of code hoops you have to jump through to ask simple questions of the data model is tricky. I'm trying to simplify without introducing nightmare bugs but my usual red, green, refactor won't work as domain aggregate boundaries have not been respected. I'm having to do a hybrid of back filling tests in critical places is a mind-screw and requires quite a lot of concentration. They let our support/sales support lady go yesterday too. It wasn't working out. I didn't have a lot to do with her except in understanding bugs that were raised. It's never nice to see someone leave.

Yesterday we found out that Kate is having a baby girl. Felix, who was in the room at the time, was very, very upset. He wanted a baby brother. He sort of collapsed inwardly on himself, which was in equal parts heartbreaking and adorable. Poor lad. He got over it pretty quickly when he found out that he can help pick a name. He does that - cry to get it out of his system and then move on. The gap will be 7 years. That's not a playmate but it's good support when Kate and I are decrepit and making stupid decisions that need to be talked down. When he plays with his little sister, he'll play in the same way as I did with him: organising the game, setting up stacks to knock over etc. The main thing to do between now and then is sort out his room so that it can be a safe haven. We don't have a name yet. If Felix had been a girl, we were going to call him Matilda but that "train has sailed".

The scan was important for another reason: Kate is vitamin B12 deficient, which is the more dangerous end of anemia (iron deficiency being the other, which she is not). It means injections 3 times a week and perhaps pills for the rest of her life. It also means that the baby may have had growth defects that would mean it wouldn't live for long and in huge amounts of pain. If that had been the case we'd have had the conversation about late pregnancy abortion. So, we were pretty nervous going into the scan. The ultrasound scan is a superb piece of kit and the baby is healthy and all the organs are right in the middle of the size probability curve.

With all that going on, housework and Felix being end-of-term tired and tearful, I was pretty shattered by the time my evening started at 20:30.

Learning new tech

I've been learning ReactJS (a javascript framework like AngularJS but - I think - better) mostly for work but now also because I want to use it for Icar (coming back to that). I've also been going through Unity3D tutorials. I accidentally saw a tutorial video on YouTube (I was watching something else on C# while doing the washing up and YouTube has an autoplay that selected it next) and thought it didn't look that hard. I watched a few more and within an evening I was coding. That's whetted my appetite a little but only for something to fiddle with. I'll post when I have something playable.


My roleplaying game has no core mechanic and while this isn't a disaster, I think it could be better. I think it's time to do another refresh of the system and with the help of Byrn, I've been chewing through the numbers and working out if it's all worth it. To help me with number crunching, I'm building a little javascript tool that uses the Google Sheet as a database. The tool will allow me to build different bionics suits, which will in turn get baked back into the rules as examples (which are sorely missing). It's only for laughs for the moment and giving me a chance to do something with ReactJS.


Minecraft or GTA are what I spark up when my brain dies. Minecraft is still that little world I can potter around in while listening to the radio and in GTA V, I have my beautiful Vigero muscle car that I can cruise around and cause trouble in.

I have been enjoying the insane stunt races. They suffer from all races: you cock up and you're not going to win. If you're lucky to start near the front of the pack of 16 and don't mess up, you get 30,000. If you land in the middle, it's between 2k and 4k. There is a lot less "foul play" - perhaps because the nature of the tracks means that you have to concentrate more. Bets thing about racing when you're tired is that no-one is relying on your; you're not going to let your friends down if you cockup in a mission.

After racing I decided to complete the steam achievement for robbing all the convenience stores. I had done 19/20, so it seemed crazy not to finish it off. What followed was one of those wonderful grin-invoking moments and then something of a sort of sadness.

I hopped in my black Vigero and thundered around the North lakeside in Blaine County to a garage with a convenience store. The 5-0 got their act together and were waiting as I ran out. I jumped and slid across the bonnet jumped in and roared away through some farmland onto a track with the white cruisers in chase. Rebel Radio was playing and as I charged around a farmhouse, it started playing Johnny Cash's General Lee. I beamed. This was the Dukes of Hazard. Kicking up dust and dirt with every swinging powerslide (which they all are) I hooned my way clear of the 2 stars and rejoined the road as if nothing had happened.

It was a gaming moment. Singular but joyous in the planets aligning. I later googled for people creating the General Lee in GTA V and found that the closest match was an Orange Imponte Dukes. I'm saving for an attack helicopter first, this will be next.

Lost dreams

And then it occurred to me that I long dreamed of having a brutal 1960s/1970s muscle car for cruising around in/showing off in and now the chance of ever having one is so remote that I just have to move on. It's a lost dream, and that's a little sad.


Unity is an amazing bit of kit so many popular games these days are built on it (pokemon go is the most recent example) it's also so simple to use and there are bags of good tutorials online.

I've been playing with it for a while made things like a really basic multiplayer fps in a weekend and more recently I've been trying the VR parts of it. You can put together working mini games in very little time. It also integrates with my favorite 3d app blender so I can bash out a model drop it in directly and away you go. I keep thinking about resurrecting Steampunk pirates in unity but not sure I have the time for that.

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