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July 27, 2003

How to spend $37.89 just like that.

Here's how: Start by taking out the trash and putting it in piles near your front door... Then, load those bags into the back seat of your 1997 Toyota RAV4 for a quick run to the dumpster just down the parking lot... About, oh... I'm not good with distances, but it's visible from the front door of my apartment, but walking back and forth 5 times would be really tiring and inconvenient (although, I would say worth $37.89)... And ultimately, I still walked the distance about 5 times.

Next, drive to the dumpster and get out of the drivers seat and leave your car idling. Check the back door behind you and note that it's locked... Reach in to the front door again and press the power lock button, now try the back door. Still locked... and conveniently, so is the front.

Check all other doors in disbelief and walk back to your apartment. Look in the desk drawer where you ALWAYS keep your extra keys/door remotes, etc. and upon failing to find them, call the local 24-hr towing company to come out and break into your car.

When they arrive, pay your money and prepare to marvel at how shockingly easy it is to break in (if you have the right kind of bent wire) to your own vehicle.

Looking back... Thanks to Don Norman, I won't be blaming myself for this unfortunate circumstance. There are two elements of poor design involved here. The first and most surprising to me is that the door stayed locked even though I didn't "hold the handle"... I've had Japanese cars before this (Subaru's mainly) that you could only lock from outside if you were intentional about holding the exterior handle up while you closed the door. It would have prevented this particular lock-out. The other thing that would have helped if there was a more obvious difference between the "lock" and "unlock" functions on the power lock toggle-switch. All that the RAV4 has is a little 'bump' on one end and a 'dimple' on the other end, and even now as I think about it, I'm still not sure which direction locks and which unlocks... Is there some obvious way of thinking about this that I'm missing? Anyways... very much a design/human factors kind of problem.

Ugh, anyways... Thanks, Jim Bucci... Now if I can just figure out where my 'extra' door remote is. Grrr.

Posted by Andrew at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

PUSH show today...

Hi! Today, I'm up a little earlier than usual for a Sunday to go see the PUSH Physical Theatre Performance at NewSong Church. I was able to provide a small amount of support for two of the student interns this summer, so I'm excited to see how things have gone.

Later this evening is a Capax Dei Core Night which I'm also planning to attend. Then it's back to Kids on Campus for one final week... which will be a busy one... I won't be as free in the evenings as usual as I need to spend some time/energy working on the kids games.

I'm looking forward to August... I have a sense that much of my future is waiting for me there, somehow.

Oh, and I'm now clean-shaven... I still have the long hair (not quite sure what to do about it yet), but the mustache and goatee are gone (for now). Just experimenting.

Posted by Andrew at 09:24 AM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2003

Morning MystMaker "Path"

This is the proposed path to "win" the Morning MystMaker game...

Get soda.
Win Spitting Contest with Llama (in motel), get coupon & bucket.
Use coupon to get fortune cookie with milking code
Milk Cow (in correct sequence) (in restaurant), get milk in a bucket.
Use Milk to put out Fire Monster and get Super Key to weapon Shack.
Enter Weapon Shack.
Get Lightning Rod & use against Electric Monster, get plunger.
Use plunger against giant brain, get pretzel
Use pretzel on rockstar (who looks like George Bush), he chokes... You get Rocket Launcher.
Use rocket launcher on the final monkey... which will probably just make him blackened like in a cartoon and he'll hand you the money for the gasoline he stole.
Then... cue the credits.

Posted by Andrew at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Afternoon MystMaker Ideas

These are some random notes about the game my students are planning to make for the afternoon session of the Kids on Campus workshop: MystMaker.

- Castle, Russia, Chess, Big House, Mansion
(claimed by Julian -- also working on ending)

- City, In Sky, above Mexico, Near Space, with a Subway
(claimed by Rem -- also working on ending, and Jake -- also working on intro)

- Underwater, below Antartica, with islands.
(claimed by Alex, and Matt -- also working on intro)

- Pyramids, in Egypt, with caves.
(claimed by Charles, Ben, and Ngwese -- also working on intro)

Throwback to Charlies Angels in intro (speakerbox, etc)
Goal is to collect parts of your mission (usually by making a delivery) so that you can get the money to pay for your awesome car.

You'll need to go to different countries, avoiding those trying to catch you and from making mistakes.

You can die... By getting three "strikes" against you. If you make it all the way through without ever making a mistake, you'll get an alternate ending.

Posted by Andrew at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

Morning MystMaker Ideas

These are random notes for the Morning Session of the Kids on Campus workshop that I am teaching:

Three areas:
Lair of Evil Dictator (in the Woods)
- includes a weapon shack

Castle (in the Woods)
- includes a jail.

Motel (in the run-down neighborhood)
- restaurant
- fortune cookie in restaurant with message.

Fire Monster (lair)
Electical Monster (weapon shack)
Giant Brain (castle)
Invisible Rhino (jail)
Llama (motel)
Cow (restaurant)

Final Boss:

People working on different elements:
Lowell (intro & ending, some of castle?)
Rich (woods area)
Phil & Chris (the lair)
Nick & Scott (the castle)
Dave & David (the motel)

Other notes:
The llama gives you "llama beans"
Undersea area?
You start as a gas station attendant, and the monkey drives off without paying, so you go after him seeking revenge/payment.
You can pick your own sex at the beginning of the game male/female.

You'll have an "elf" friend who can help you.
You could also get a special weapon at the beginning that could help you win.

Goblins & robbers could be in the woods...
The definite 'plot' hasn't been figured out yet... But you'll probably need to get through and beat the bosses in different 'orders' so that you can have what you need to beat the next boss and eventually the final monkey.

Posted by Andrew at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2003

Bill Bright, 1921 - 2003

The founder of Campus Crusade for Christ died this weekend. Here is a memorial website. Though I never met Dr. Bright, my life has been un-deniably touched by his legacy. I would be an entirely different person today if it had not been for the part that Campus Crusade has played in my life. CCC is the worlds largest Christian Ministry for which I am a Volunteer Staff-person. I continue to consider devoting a larger part of my life to this organization... Some of my friends might think it crazy while others would think it quite wonderful. I have made no decisions...

In fact, this weekend, has revealed to me that there is even one more way in which my life has very little steady ground right now. It was a great trip... well worth the 6+ hr. drive. Each one of the churches we visited had really great points, and wonderful people.

Wow... Well, time for bed. Kids on Campus in the morning!

Posted by Andrew at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

2 down, 2 to go... (KOC weeks)

I have survived the first 2 weeks of Kids on Campus. The last few days were rough, but we have two functional games... They can be downloaded (as Mac OS X executables) at http://www.wheeland.com/koc/ (for now, just look for session1.sit)... Later, a real page will be created to house these files.

I'm hoping I'll be able to recruit someone to make me some Windows versions... The file start.dir (which is in the archive) needs to be saved as a Projector file with a copy of Director for Windows and then tested briefly to make sure it works. Anyone want to do the honors for me and then put them up somewhere for me to download?

The two games, BTW, are "Agent 00X" (from the 6 younger kids) and "Throne of Time" (from the 14 older kids). Next session, I'm told I'll have 8 younger and 8 older...

This weekend, my housemate Jeff and I are going on a Road Trip to Detroit to check out some Church-Plants. More info is on the Capax Dei discussion board, but the 3 churches we'll be visiting are: Westwinds Community Church, Christ Covenant Church (C3), and Genesis: the Church.

I'll be getting back into town pretty late in the evening/early morning, but I'll probably nap while Jeff does most of the driving on the way back...

Posted by Andrew at 10:38 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2003

July is coming along ok.

Hello, friends!

So, what's going on with me? Well, from the couple of entries before this, you'll note that I've been doing the Kids on Campus thing this week. This is the half-way mark of the first week. Next week is when it get's really time consuming as I race to make the games work before the friday morning show-and-tell.

The ideas have not changed much since the original notes. I may be able to share some additional graphics, etc with you here, but ultimately you'll need to wait until the friday unveiling. They will be available here at wheeland.com in Mac executable form first, and then in PC form a little later on.

This weekend is my first break from the kids. Last night I went to go see the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with friends followed by dinner afterward at Outback. The movie was okay. I would have liked it more if I wasn't so worn out from the week previous.

Today I got to sleep late & am about to do some serious work on the KOC games.

I got my accounts back partially, but not quite all of it... They're supposed to still be working on it. This has been the biggest pain.

A lot of other things that I can't really go into are weighing on my mind, too... If you pray, please remember me with regards to some tough life decisions that I continue to try to make. I appreciate it.

Posted by Andrew at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2003

Temporary Loss of E-mail Access/Website...

Hello, in case you've been trying to get in touch with me recently, please be patient... I lost access to my main RIT computer account about a week ago (a complete surprise), and today it appears that e-mails sent to my main e-mail address are bouncing...

I will be getting my accounts back and the data restored soon, so my 'teaching' website at www.rit.edu/~anwcdm will be back soon, too.

For my e-mail, it will start working again, but I'm going to be starting the process of asking everyone to use my new address: andrew [at] wheeland [dot] com (written here in a strange way to help protect it somewhat from the spam-bots, but I think you can figure out what it really would look like).

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Posted by Andrew at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003

Band Names

Need a name for your band?

I was coming up with names for my friend Mike's old band some time ago and I found the old e-mail while I was going through some files... I figure I'd offer them up to the public domain if anyone want to use them (they never used any of them)... Just mention me in your liner notes... ;)

They are focused more toward "Classic Rock" band than anything else, but clearly I strayed from the typical at times...

"Various Artists"
"Nameless Faces"
"The Undecided"
"Fake Identity"
"Nurgle Flurgits"
"We Hate Rednecks"
"Free Beer" (that should bring people to the shows)
"Red Fetterbudders"
"Bog Noggin"
"Noggin Box"
"Toxic Peanut Butter"
"Seething Vortex"
"Captive Chromosome"
"Kinetic Surge"
"Alpha Connect"
"Mr. Seltzer"
"Brown Planet"
"Pave the Earth" (from an old usenet newsgroup name)
"Rubberneckers" -- They already exist... See comments.
"Mystery Meat"
"Sensitive Numbskulls"
"Mudflap Crust"

Do any of these bands already exist? I never 'researched' to see if they already existed... They were just off the top of my head...

Any favorites?

Posted by Andrew at 04:48 PM | Comments (2)

July 08, 2003

MystMaker Afternoon

Game Notes/Ideas/Plan for my Afternoon Kids on Campus Workshop:

Working Title: "Gem Agent"

-- Someone contacts you whom you believe is the CIA.
-- They want you to help them gather 3 gems...

The Emerald.
Guarded by Frogs and the Frog King of the Forest.
Find 3 Golden insects to enter the temple.
Worked on by: David & Julian

The Ruby.
Guarded by Phoenix in the Caves/Volcano.
Get through maze to get to temple.
Worked on by: Nic & Tim

The Sapphire.
Guarded by Tritan?, King of Atlantis under the Sea.
Get presents for the Temple Guards to enter the Temple.
Worked on by Elliot, mostly.

Opening Scenes & Ending Scenes by Eric.

-- After getting the three things, you discover that the people who wanted you to get the gems are not actually the CIA... Instead, they are the enemy (maybe terrorists?)...

-- You will then need to get the real gems back for the real CIA. (you hope)

Posted by Andrew at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

MystMaker Morning

Game Notes/Ideas/Plan for my Morning Kids on Campus Workshop:

Working Title: "Throne of Time"

Time Travel Theme
Overriding Rule: No Keys!

Three Settings:

Setting One: Early Time
Jungle, Mountains, Volcano, Underwater.
Characters: Caveman/Yeti, Ape King, Tiki (in volcano), Sea Serpent
Worked on by: Jon, David, Cameron, Chris

Setting Two: Mid Time
Haunted House, Library, Magic, Book Jumping
Characters: Atilla the Hun, Mummies/Zombies, Grim Reaper with a Fro.
Worked on by: Jessie, Branden, Tim, Alex D

Setting Three: Late Time
Space Station, Planets, Man-Eating "Life", Black Hole
Characters: Cyborg, Robots, Man-Eating Cows, Aliens (Star Wars-ish), Space Worms
Worked on by: Alex B, Jeremy, AJ, Mike, Michael

Plot Obstacles:
- Book Jumping (read special spot)
- Teach Fire-Making/Pyrotechnics (Kiss?)
- Grim Reaper Disco Contest
- Catapult Self
- Codes with Colors
- Previous Knowledge from earlier times
- Life Support System malfunction.
- Help Atilla the Hun Conquer?

Other Notes:
Bounty Hunter Pursues you.
Find People/Pieces of Whole
Capture People/Release Prisoners
Villian (boss) & Cronies
Power Rangers?

Goal to Get back to current time by traveling through time using books while sitting on "thrones"...

1. The one you're afraid we're talking about.
2. The Ape King's Throne
3. Atilla's Throne
4. The Captain's Chair "Thone"...

Posted by Andrew at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)