Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ok, Here We Go...

For better or worse...everything must start somewhere. And this is where it will start for me.

I'm not a professional writer...nor do I play one on television. But, I will do my best to keep any loyal readers out there disgusted, disinterested, disenfranchised...or maybe just plain ol' entertained.

"So, we're here...what are you going to write about?", one might ponder. Well, I'm glad you asked!

Almost all geeks have at least one "geek project" going at all times. I am no exception to that rule. My current project is working on writing interactive fiction using
Inform 7. What an interesting experience this is turning into! For those who are not aware, Inform 7 is a sort of IDE (Interactive Development Environment) which uses a very plain-english programming language to create interactive fiction (I.E. text adventure) files for use with most z-machine version 5 or 8 interpreters. I've been having a ball!

The plain English syntax is easy to pick up compared to other programming languages I've used, both successfully and not-so (BASIC and Pascal to Perl and C#). The amount of coding that went into creating this natural language syntax Inform 7 uses must have been an undertaking of monumental, nay almost biblical proportions. And the result is nothing short of astonishing in its simplicity. So, to the developers of Inform (you know who you are), thank you. [and...salute!]

I wanted my first IF project to be something simple, so I could get used to the new language and capabilities before tackling some bigger ideas that I keep rolling around in my head. So, I decided it would be best for me to start out with a concept from my youth that I still find enjoyable...a basic dungeon-crawl. I've been working for over a week now, at least a couple of hours a night, and I'm only about seven rooms into it. Why? I haven't gotten farther into room creation because I've been spending most of my time creating a ton of "gadgets!" I can't seem to get away from creating machines, obstacles and various other scenery that the player can interact with (or more likely be frustrated by!). I don't know if or when I'll get more rooms built...but hey, I'm havin' so much bloody fun, who cares?!?

I also wanted to give a Sundown-ShoutOut in this first post to my Everlasting SoulMate, also known as my wife. She recently used her enormous powers of persuasion to get me to go get a sleep study done. You see, amongst my several other sleep issues...I snore. And when I say I snore, I don't just mean a little snort and honk now and then...I can destroy windows at thirty feet! And because my father was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea (which is normally genetic), that was the final straw in her battle to convince me I needed to go. I relented and went...

If any of you are thinking about having a sleep study done, let me say this. Go. Go now! Call your doctor, get it scheduled, and go. It's one night out of your life, that in my case changed mine forever. I indeed have sleep apnea, and worse than my father. No one in my family thought that was even possible! I was, for all intents and purposes, "dead" for several hours every night. Scary.

I have now had a CPAP for about two weeks, and lovingly call it my "sleepy-bye machine." What a difference!!! I look back on how I was before, especially in the few years leading up to my diagnosis, and I now feel I can appreciate what zombies must go through constantly...minus the brain-eating, of course. I am so much more awake, aware and alive than I have been in a long time. I know my wife appreciates having me mentally "here" again, and I must say I appreciate her persistence, and sometimes-not-so-gentle prodding to get me to finally go. I luv ya, hun!

So, again I reiterate to all of you out there in the multiverse...if you think you may have sleep apnea...Go. Get. Tested. Don't wait. Get your life back. Please.

-- Sundown, Out.

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