Meditations

From the Desk of Caranmegil

Site Reogranizations

Reogranizing is like reorganizing, but taking on a big and ugly task. I am doing just that with my personal site. At this time, I am separating out things. Personal stuff is at https://caranmegil.com and professional stuff is at https://nerderium.com. I think, this will be a good fit.

Why the change? Well, I have networking cards. The purpose of this is to network professionally for my impending doom/graduation next year with an MBA. On these networking cards are https://nerderium.com. I've been low-key suspecting that some people were turned off by the lack of professionalism. As such, I've split things out.

Right now, the layout and styling is the same. However, certain things like my interactive fictions will be redirecting to https://caranmegil.com.

Now, the task begins to maintain separate sites with different layouts, styling, and content in order to have my domain networks be like a well feathered mullet: business in the front and party in the back.

So, here's to my latest hair-brained domain schemes and all with a little reogranization it will thrive and continue to do so!

Getting Out of the Shell

So for those who don't know, I am studying to get my MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. This is providing me with the opportunity to expand my career in ways that I have never thought possible.

First, I'm getting experience through a course with a real client, who is quite wonderful, might I add. I'm excited for what this experience will bring to both of us and hope to enrich our lives equally from the experience, as I do want to run my own enterprise at some point as I've got ideas!

Second, I'm learning about the business side of things and how that operates both numerically and operationally. Something that has always piqued my interest, but I couldn't get myself to do because of personal issues, was lead. In my current role as Senior Software Engineer at my employer, I'm finding that I have a knack for leadership. I don't know if it's the experiences I bring or my personality or both. Either way, it's fun leading. This is not to say it's been easy as I do have a level of responsibility that causes long hours and stress but that goes with the territory.

Finally, I'm networking. Whether it's professors or whether it is adjacent with students. I'm networking. It's something that would have seemed impossible just 5 years ago. And it feels right!

So, what do I recommend for those out there? Do I recommend getting an MBA even if they don't want to? Not at all! Do I recommend getting a higher education? It couldn't help, but it's really not always for everybody. What I recommend is getting out of your shell. Put down the phone. See the world in a different light by experiencing the camaraderie of others and see where these connections can take you whether it is financially or personally.

Keep it safe!

Buttered Toast

What is Buttered Toast? “You have to be kidding me?”, you ask yourself. I'm not. The name evokes toasted bread with butter on it, no? It's also something silly.

Let's go back. Way back to the late 1990's. My brother and a friend conceived this idea that we would make a movie that would be the best thing since, well, buttered toast. Why that? In the show “Ed, Edd, and Eddy”, one of the characters said they're better than buttered toast. We enjoy the show and borrowed the quote.

Now that's out of the way, we decided to make a film. I spent the better part of what free time I had in college composing this script. When I graduated and didn't have any chance of employment, I turned to writing the game. However, it was imperfect. I wrote it from a bad place and a situation caused by a budding mental illness issue. The script was outright terrible. “Terribad” is a better term. It contained sexism and other horrible hate-filled things, but there were still humorous aspects to it. Consequently, I decided to can it for the time being.

Fast forward to 2016, I was bored one evening feeding my daughter and decided to revisit the movie script. And what parts weren't offensive, I found myself laughing at it. It was at this point, I realized, given where Master Films was in life, which is how we styled ourselves, a movie was out of the question. However, a game was a more, albeit still far-fetched, possibility. So, again, I can the project after writing up the start of a game design document.

Now, for the present day. I recently picked up interactive fictions and writing them with Inform 7 as a means of release from the stress of my day job at the advice of multiple individuals. Then, it occurred to me to revisit Buttered Toast, my old love. It was still funny in parts and outright terrible in others. With a sense of gusto, I took it upon myself to chop out the unsavory bits, yet I aimed to retain as much as possible the more funny parts. Thus, was born Buttered Toast: the Interactive Fiction Starring Billy Davis. You can find it, and the second game as of this writing, here: https://caranmegil.itch.io/, which are early ventures are to serve as the founding of my Masterful Interactions collective.

Shameless plugs aside, I do enjoy the humor found in the games. I wouldn't have put them out there if I didn't think it was worth your time and effort. More will come. There is an ideas document that outlines hundreds of narbs that my brother and I collected together. Also, the movie script has gems, too, that can be used.

My Passions/Obsessions

I like hobbies. I obsess about them in my downtime when the family is asleep. Why? They keep me preoccupied and not dwelling on the monotonous life that I have found myself in! In all seriousness, I find them entertaining. The major groupings that I obsess over are chillis, RPGs, Dragon Dice, and interactive fictions.

First, chillis, commonly called “hot peppers” in the USA, are wonderful. I prefer flavor over intense heat. However, it doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying the intense heat of the Trinidad scorpion, which has a great flavor to me. I should know. I've eaten a raw one. There is just something about that endorphin rush that one gets when they eat something spicy and there is something about the tingling mouth. My hottest weaksauce chilli is the habanero, which is quite frankly an awesome fruit.

Second, I obsess over RPGs. I used to be really into DnD, but I'm not more into D6xD6 these days. It's really more about not having a rules system that bogs you down these days and gets in the way of a good time. Therefore, Lester Smith's D6xD6 is my recommendation right now for a rules system that doesn't get in the way.

Speaking of Lester Smith. He created in the 90s a little game called Dragon Dice. It's a fantasy dice game originally made by TSR and now made by SFR. It's fun. You play a single or combination of species and try to destroy your opponent utterly or take over two places. There's strategy! Sadly, no porpoise.

Finally, my latest passion is interactive fictions. These are the text adventure games from the late 70s onward like Zork and Adventure (renamed Colossal Cave Adventure). I've even made a few myself. Check out https://nerderium.com and click on the Masterful Interactions menu item. I've even packaged up interpreters into https://ifmachina.com to allow people to run their interactive fictions at any time and anywhere on any device.

So, that's a little about my passions. Hope it wasn't too boring. I always end up posting this at some point when I get new blogging software that doesn't work with the previous ones.

Keep it safe!

Moving Time

I've moved my meditations (again). Previously, I was hosting it on a WordPress platform. Yucky as it may seem, it got cringeworthy when the database froze. Why a database for a blog escapes me.

At any rate, this will be the more permanent place.

So, what's really new in my life? I've really gone deep into the waters of Interactive Fiction (look it up, I find it fascinating).

I've published two so far on IFDB. First, “Buttered Toast: the Interactive Fiction Starring Billy Davis” is one that is partially based on fragments that I could find that were worthwhile from the early 2000s movie script that a group of people and I wrote. Second, “Rock, Paper, Scissors!” is a fictional universe where people have tournaments of the game that bears its name.

More to come! We're currently testing a sequel to Buttered Toast using more uncovered fragments and some newer ideas. Also, there's going to be one based on the layout of my church (no, I'm not trying to convert you).

Keep it safe!