Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Heroes: Time Travel

Heroes is awesome. Hiro is awesome. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows EVAH. But I hope they don't botch it with the time travel. Time travel, IMO, has rarely been done well in any movie or book. It comes down to the fact that time travel isn't possible and, therefore, everyone has their own opinion on how it happens. And they keep getting it wrong. ^_^

So, I'm wondering now which version of time travel to which they subscribe and I wanted to think through the possibilities to see where they eventually fall.

There are several components to the question of "time travel" and they are mutability of events, flow of causality and the coherency of the time-space continuum AKA paradox.

First, mutability of events. There are either two possibilities, either:

• events cannot be changed, timebenders moving back in time actually contribute to the over sequence of events. aka fate cannot be changed. one timeline, no possibility of diverging timelines. There is always coherency in the time-space continuum because everything is in one flow that makes sense from a current timeframe. The flow of causality probably flows like a string but this isn’t an issue because there isn’t a chance of paradox or changing what has happened in the past.
• events can be changed, timebenders moving back in time can change events, fate can be changed. Possibility of multiple timelines or just one. Paradox is possible

Another factor, flow of causality:

• The flow of time is like a stack of cards. You can remove the time traveler from the future and then insert him back in the time stack where he travels to, you discard all the rest of the cards, the future doesn't matter. Or it splits off into another timeline with the other stack of cards continuing and unchanging.
• The flow of time and causality follow the time traveler like time is a string. This could lead to paradox unless the time traveler is careful to ensure he doesn’t change the events that might lead him to going back in the first place.

The coherency of the time-space continuum AKA paradox. This occurs when events can be changed and causality of the time flow is like a string. Either the time traveler cannot prevent the events that lead him to go back into the past or if he can change them it creates a paradox that may unravel his time travel and perhaps even his own existence. The Back to the Future series covered this combination of being able to change past events with paradox with a string-like time flow. The rate of that change happened based on the events of the inhabitants of the past (the scene with Marty’s parents at the dance) but still in flux because of the presence of a new inhabitant that hasn’t had his future or present state decided.

SO, this all boils down to what is going to happen with Hiro? Andokun still seemed to exist in the “present” when Hiro went into the past. Hiro changed the past because he was then in the picture with Charlie when he wasn’t before, but Andokun was still standing unchanged in the “present”. Does that mean that Hiro didn’t change the past, Charlie is still dead or simply that Hiro hasn’t yet in the past enough? Shouldn’t the past effects of ALL events of time travel be instantaneous? Is Hiro afraid that if he prevents her death and therefore, no longer would have needed to go back in time to save her that he’d create a paradox? Wouldn’t his simply even meeting Charlie in the past change the way she acted that day and therefore maybe the outcome? Unless she had already met Hiro, but then if she had then he would have been in the birthday picture to begin with. I think he must surely have gotten over this fear of paradox regardless when he went to warn Peter.

Either way, I think it’s shaping up that the authors didn’t give the whole time travel idea much thought. What type of time travel situation does Hiro exist in? He does seem to be able to change the past, he seems concerned about paradox but there hasn't been much proof that he can affect the past enough to change the present. This sole factor will reveal if Hiro is in a timeflow like a stack of cards or more like a string. It seems like the authors just went with a good story which in the end with time travel just rarely is a good story.

Regardless, I can’t wait to see what happens. =)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Leaves

There's something about autumn that always turns my thoughts towards nature. No, I don't go all tree hugger and eco-friendly. But I think about the trees, the mountains and the wind as it picks up. Maybe, this is just "duh", but I guess I never caught on to that aspect. It's like a small epiphany and I love epiphanies because life seems almost magical when I have one.

I work downtown and most of the year, despite trees, grass and blue sky, the urban nature of my environment takes over. I know I’m in the city far from nature. And I like the concrete, the asphalt, the architecture, the fingerprint of man imprinted over things. I don’t see it as “ruining” the environment. I drive ten minutes in any direction and I can be in miles and miles of wilderness. I see it as statements of culture and the fruitions of dreams made reality. A mark on the universe that mankind did something even if it seems so completely mundane.

But as I look out the window and look at downtown, the leaves of large trees have blanketed almost every inch of the ground. I suddenly considered what would happen if no one ever picked up the leaves that fall every year. It would be a mess. But, moreso, it would turn the asphalt, concrete and lawns of the city into a forest floor of dead leaves and debris. It seems almost surreal to think about, a forest city of concrete trees.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Separated at Birth?


Eye of Sauron and Eye of Sauron Dip?


Today at work, we had a department potluck luncheon where everyone brought something for tacos, dips, etc.. One of our coworkers brought in the beautiful seven layer dip picture above (without the evil photoshop gradient in the background). After about half of it was done, Loni, my coworker and best friend, proclaimed that the dip looked like Sauron's eye. Hilarity ensued as virtually no one was willing to admit she might be correct. Instead, we imagined the newly christened Eye of Sauron dip looking out from Mordor and the brave heroes of the ring brandishing their bags of Tostitos. Loni seemed a bit embarassed as we all enjoyed giving her some grief over it, but she handled it quite well.

^_^

Though, I would have to agree, if Sauron had been a seven layer dip, he would have looked just like the dip we had during our lunch.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Busy Sunday (and Saturday)

So, I found my ear cushion on my living room floor, after I ordered my replacement cushions, of course. I suppose I'm happy, but I would have been more happy to find it before I ordered the replacements. ^_^

We've watched all 9 discs of Fullmetal Alchemist (only two this weekend) and I think I have one disc left to go. It has been an amazing series, though I think just a tad longer than it should have been. The mysteries therein have been very cool and I rate the metaplot up there with some of my favorite.

Friday, I found out that my friends, Brian and Debra are getting married after an engagement longer than half of my marriage, and I've been married a long, long time. That night, a bachelor's party was held for Brian up in Park City. I went up with Josh and Hoffman and had a lot of fun and it was memorable and I'll leave it at that. ^_^ I have a *few* pictures I took when we went out on the road. I'll see if I can get all the release forms signed by those in them.

Saturday, Danie went to the bachelorette party in Salt Lake with Annoliesa and they had a great time as well.

Saturday night's poker game was good, though Michael, my sister-in-law's husband, did not show up. We had seven people playing and most people stayed even throughout the night with the exception of one player who went out.

Also on Saturday, Danielle's oldest brother came to town from Sacramento as he and his family are camping down in Moab this week.

On Sunday, we had a BBQ and played cards again (poker, Canasta, Guillotine) with Danielle's brother from out of town and the rest of her family.

And I almost made level 38. I'm in Stranglethorn Vale. My favorite place in the world.

On the plus side, I get to put my transfer for Triste into the queue. =o YIPPEEE!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Red Shift Campaign Document

This is my lazy way to post a link to my campaign document.

Monthly Status Report

My job has us fill out monthly status reports about what we accomplished in the previous month. I had a few big wins such as completing the gift certificate process for our clinic staff and implementing a new wholesale pricing model on our spa store. However, listing it on my report didn't really fill me with much satisfaction. Perhaps it's because I already felt my elation in finishing both of them when I had or maybe it's because I never felt properly thanked. It seems so much of what I've ever done in development is truly a job requiring self-generated passion. Maybe no one else is really going to be excited for your work as you are. It's like kids and pets: no one is going to love them as much as you do. You shouldn't even expect anyone to come close or even try to understand. This isn't a Chris story. There's no real point. In fact, I can't even remember what I was going to say next.

We did more Scarlet Monastery last night after first running to Desolace to get the actual quest needed to kill the bosses of Scarlet Monastery. ^_^ The f'ing bind on pickup without a prompt hit us last night as Poko, the wonderful druid escorting us through the instance, asked if the Scarlet Tabard dropped if she could have it. Well, it turns out the tabard is white and bind on pickup so therefore does NOT prompt you with a dialog box before binding it to your character's soul. Shearal, our tank, was the unfortunate one that looted the tabard without knowing. She felt true remorse as she didn't even know about the tabard or want the tabard and was really sad as it was the only thing Poko has ever asked from us. T_T I suppose there's always next time. On the strange side, I got the blue Raging Berseker's Helm for my Hunter. It's mail and level 37, and although Shearel could use it in 9 levels (she's 28), she figured she'd only use it for 3 levels before getting some plate. So, I have to wait till 40 and then I can use it.

Danielle made another recipe last night. This was very good. It was a steak stew with a thick tomato sauce with potatoes, carrots, green beans and tomatoes. Yum yum. And I forgot to bring the leftovers to work. =/

The work week is almost over and it's been short, pretty boring and quite lonely as I'm over in a section of our floor without anyone else this week. =/

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Booyah!

I can't believe I'm so excited about this, but I went to order my ear cushion replacements and found out that Sony had free shipping today! So, it's only going to cost me $8.53, instead of ~$15.

And my scifi space game looks like it should be awesome as I've been discussing it with Wyrmdog and the Swede most of the day. Tomorrow, I'll see if I can post a link to the document I've been writing for it.

Meh

The 4th went by rather uneventfully. Sure the dog we were watching almost caught fire and I got level 36 on my Hunter, but other that that, our housemates and us had Danie's family over for fireworks and BBQ. I have pictures, but they are all still on the camera. The 5th went by completely uneventfully except we started running through Scarlet Monastery. ^_^

Other random things:
  • Poker on Saturday. We invited Denise's new husband, Mike, over for poker. This should be a good opportunity to know him better. It's still unknown if he'll show for sure, but it would be interesting.
  • Danielle cooked two recipes in the few days. The first, a chicken and mushroom, was very good with mushrooms, green peppers, garlic with a homemade sour cream and chicken broth cream sauce. The second was good as well, but apparently I was the only person that liked it. It had a cream sauce with apple juice in it over pork chops and curly egg noodles. I liked both enough to have them again, but Danie informed me that the second recipe was voted off the island.
  • Danielle's computer is acting up and there doesn't seem to be a good indication of what it could be: random reboots. Time for a reinstall or new hardware? I guess reinstall should come first. =/
  • Still can't find my ear cushion. Looks like I'm ponying up $15 for some new ones.
  • The store project I had thought I was finished with keeps changing its requirements. I should have expected this but for some unexplainable reason my pessimism broke at the crucially wrong moment. Same thing happened last night when I wanted to show them the newest feature they wanted at ten minutes before I wanted to leave. I ended up staying another fifteen minutes after I wanted to leave. I should have realized that there was no possible way it could occur in less time than it did.
  • I drove by my lot this morning and I noticed a distinct lack of a big hole necessary to pour a foundation. The big trunks of trees are also still present and we can either ignore them, sawing them off as close as possible to the ground, or try ripping them out, which has the realistic possibility of demolishing our neighbor's fences and yards as the root systems come up. I still need to finish mocking up the house in Google Sketchup to decide what changes we might want to make.
  • On the weekday game, the last game run by Josh has come to a pause and I'll be running a sci-fi space game. I've got a jumble of things I want to include and the exact premise is slowly building. Here's my rough draft pitch I sent:

    During a space invasion by an unknown, yet highly advanced force, the crew of PCs flees and stumbles into a wormhole. They find themselves in a new region of space, populated by several near-human races who are also on the verge of their own galactic holy war. The crew has the choice of even bothering to try to find a way home, exploring the new diplomacy of the region, finding allies for survival. Evidence that the force that invaded back in their region of space has made it either through the wormhole or has arrived in this region of space as well and seems to be hunting the crew. The MacGuffin is either one of the characters, the ship itself or something in the ship's cargo that the characters would unwilling to part with. There would be ship-to-ship combat and plenty of boarding combat and human-to-human based combat. This can be very tailored to what the players want to do: they could be as small as a "firefly" type ship or a military ship, etc.

    I still have lots of details still to decide, including what system to use, but I have a full week <=o to plan for it.
  • And I still have to fix the data for clinic. =/ *sigh*
  • I can move Triste to Scarlet Crusade on Monday!

Anyhow, getting back to work by going over to talk to the clients of the store project. =/

Monday, July 03, 2006

New Music That I Can't Listen To



FischerspoonerAngles & Airwaves


I bought both The Other Side: New York and We Don't Need to Whisper today at lunch while looking for a new ear cushion for my headphones. I love my headphones, but one of the ear cushions came loose and is now impossible to find so I need a replacment. I can buy replacement ear cushions from Sony, but that'll be around $15 including S&H.

So, I hit Circuit City and Best Buy hoping that they might have the replacement ear cushions and save myself the $5.50 in S&H. I ended up buying new music instead. I see their evil, insidious plan now. =/

So, now I hope I can find the ear cushion at home somewhere or that I have the original packaging with the large or small ear cushions and that one of the two sizes might be comfortable enough to use.

It's 3:40 p.m. and it's a graveyard at work, but I'm still here. My boss, Michael, told me to turn the lights off when I left and he was only half joking. I can hear the copy machine working so someone else must be here but that's the only indication. I had a few errors on my Clinic application to fix: 1) the purchasing defaults weren't switching when from weekdays to weekend settings, 2) the gift certificates weren't recording themselves properly in the inventory when the GC Type was changed on the Massage Editor screen, and 3) most importantly, GCs were being recorded as redeemed in the GC inventory when they were being purchased and redeemed at the same time.

I fixed all the issues, of course. Well, mostly. I think I still need to run a few more tests on the Massage Editor screen. And then I have to fix the data that was messed up from the weekend. That should be fun. I might get done with that before I leave today.

... working ...

Well, time to go and I didn't get to fixing the data because I finally figured out what was going on with the Las Vegas GCs and some other issues with Massage Editor. So, I have plenty to do when I come back Wednesday.

And while I can't listen to my new CDs on my iPod, I can in my car. ^_^