Norm

Standard Maintenance Leaf Node, or “Norm,” is the single most common Piqha aboard a Peoples of the Cosmos Theriopliotic vessel. Their duty is to scurry around through ducts and perform general maintenance and repair. They are characterized by a no-frills, pale gray shell, and that’s that.

Maintenance nodes are by-the-book sorts. They get their marching orders, they perform tasks according to the manual encoded in their aether cores, and they plug back in for R&R.

Most feral piqha began as “Norm.” Common changes are loss of the mouthplate, and slow diffusion of color into the shell, so that a younger Norm gone feral may reach a jewel tone shell by adulthood, but most have pastel, desaturated shells.

Most wild piqha have an abundance of Norm genetics, more than any other variety.

Captain’s Log LB•T3: Fabrege Eggs

So, today I’m going to point the Mad⳩ team (let the reader understand), to this (the logicmonkey.media) blog.

When I started writing posts entitled “Captain’s Log…” the idea was I’d make a blog post twice a week. On Monday, I would lay out what I aimed to do that week, as well as the larger, but far less committed-to plan. On Friday, I would review whether the week had gone according to my plan, so I could adjust accordingly.

In practice, this has devolved into one post once a week serving both roles. On Monday or Tuesday most weeks, I review the previous week and lay out the next one. However, if you click the Captain’s Log Link on the sidebar, sometimes I post a summary at the end of the week and sometimes I even post updates throughout the week.

Historically, this has been kept on logicmonkey.media/blog, where I blog about whatever I feel like. However, as of late October, I have been transferring my notes into an Obsidian Vault, including my weekly logs. See LBT 31 Obsidian Aside.

My primary responsibility as of last week was to finish my Business Plan for various agencies. I noted that I expected to end up on a plan of creating a series of Piqha games and deriving books and comics from them.

Here’s how the week went:

  • Monday: 12 hours poured into writing the business plan.
  • Tuesday:
    • 4 hours poured into writing the plan. At this time, I decided it was well to transfer my Kids’ Pulp Formula into my Obsidian Vault, because the plan called for weekly writings of books in accordance with the formula.
    • 1 hour doing that.
    • 4 hours reading and recording my notes on An Evaluation of Claims to the Charismatic Gifts by Douglas Judisch, so I could get the copy I borrowed from my pastor back to him on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday: 8 hours spent either worldbuilding for Last Legend, or analyzing the question: can I make reusable graphics for comics, books, and games.
    • In the past I have explored working in pixel art for games and printing it. And it is workable, but Piqha really cry out for a hand-drawn look.
    • Eventually, I settled on a pipeline for turning handmade ink drawings into vector graphics, then turning them back into raster graphics in Godot (the game engine) and coloring them in code. Here is the proof of concept, using graphics I had lying around.
  • Thursday: I had a nice dinner with my family because it’s Thanksgiving in my country.
  • Friday:
    • I spent 2 hours on the business plan and finished all save the financial projections.
    • I spent 2 hours updating my logs, as they had not been kept up to date since my mother went to the hospital.
    • I spent 2 hours working on the worldbuilding and story for Last Legend.

Saturday was entirely consumed by work on my mother’s farm in her absence, and Sunday I rest, yo! Although somewhere in there, I did the preliminary work on the print layouts I expect to use going forward.

This Week

Today, my first and highest priority objective is finishing the financial projections for my Business Plan, and then formatting it properly to file with the appropriate agencies. I expect to be finished today. But I am willing to work on it tomorrow as well if necessary.

My intention is to hit the ground running on December 1st on producing the Last Legend Easter Egg Hunt game. I have December and January set aside for this game.

My aim is to have a hand-drawn piqha walking in a hand-drawn room in a spaceship by Saturday, December 4th. Because this is a brand new workflow for me, albeit grounded in things I’ve done before, 3 days to get that up and running is ambitious. I’m 90% sure I can pull it off, but even without life throwing curve-balls at me, as it does, I can’t be 100% sure.

What does that mean for the comic?

I am aiming to make the games in such a way that graphics from it can be repurposed to make episodes of the comic. I am also developing the stories and characters in tandem. They are meant to flow into each other.

I believe I will be ready to produce an episode a week of the Last Legend comic by January. That is my current objective. If by February I have failed to launch, I will be all in, 100% on the comic until it is ready to go because the comic and the game cross-promote.

Obsidian Aside

Obsidian was created for smart-noting. It’s a program that manages a folder of markdown files (which are just text marked up in a way that an interpreter can quickly turn into html, but a human can read, e.g. **surrounding text with two stars** makes it bold). I have a paper ZettelKasten on playing cards, which I am slowly transferring into Obsidian. But the nice thing, then, about Smart Noting in a folder of text files, is the links between notes are links. I can click on them and go to the note. I can embed a series of notes in a note to create a larger document.

I have been trying to decide how best to make my notes, on the Piqha especially, available to the Mad⳩ team. I copy and paste my log entries out of my Obsidian vault and onto the blog every week, so I’ve tried doing that. It works, but it’s cumbersome in high-context, low-data-per-note setting like my regular smart notes. A note about a character or setting may be a single paragraph, and half the words are links to other files. I can expand them out by making articles, and then de-linking the copied text in the blog. But it’s effort that does not move the ball forward, it only makes the ball visible to outsiders.

What I could do is upload the vault as a whole, either as a zip-file, or as a git repository of some sort. Any member of the team could read the files as plain text. Or, with a browser plugin, with the markdown formatting. The links and embeds wouldn’t look right unless said team-member actually installs Obsidian, but for those who actually want to try the program, they can, and for those who don’t, all of the information is still present and readable.

Since git hosts like GitHub and GitLab use Markdown, it would even potentially be mostly readable on the online representation of the repo.

There are two issues here. First is that I intermingle personal notes with my creative notes. People who are not my pastor don’t need to know about every spiritual struggle I face. People who are not my accountant don’t need to know my budget. And while being open about my sins and finances may be useful for building trust, broadcasting them to the whole internet still strikes me as unwise.

There are a few available solutions. They all amount to separating my personal notes from my creative notes.

The easiest is to just put my personal notes in a different folder and not copy that folder into the public-facing edition. And I have already started working on this solution. However, it’s not a polished solution. The notes are still crowded with random asides, half-finished bits, and other things not immediately relevant to the Mad⳩ crew. And making nice entry pages to the content has not been a priority, which leads to my second issue:

Because Obsidian is built for smart notes, Obsidian’s flavor of Markdown has unique linking and embedding syntax. Bold Text I compose in Obsidian will display as bold in any markdown viewer. A link to an external website in Obsidian will display correctly in any markdown viewer. But a link to a random smart note in my vault will not. And it is precisely the links between notes that make this workflow valuable.

So, either I force people who want to explore my vault to download Obsidian (which is free, but while I love Obsidian and recommend its use, I do not love the idea of forcing anyone to use it to read my notes), or I translate the links by hand (which is what I was already doing, uploading stuff to my blog), or I flatten my tree of notes out: create articles that embed the notes and export them as blog posts or what-have you.

And given, even if I were to export an Obsidian vault and make everyone use Obsidian to read it, I would want to create a “Main menu” with links to the key concept notes, lists of characters, etcetera, and that is more than halfway to building an article anyway, It may be best for me to just bite the bullet and create and maintain reference articles out of my notes.

toki pona Unicode syllabary

A long time ago, I made a syllabary for toki pona.

Image

Toki pona is well suited to a syllabary. Every syllable is [C]Vn, and only initial syllables omit the consonent. But if I were to make a font of my syllabary, I might as well use tengwar, which is prettier:

Or just straight up use a font that turns toki pona words into ligatures that are the official glyphs.

I want to write in toki pona and have it display on twitter and my phone and stuff. But have it be a syllabary instead of just using roman letters.

It can be done with unicode! It’s a pain. I don’t recommend it. But I do prefer it to the unicode solutions of using emoji or wingdings to emulate the glyphs or approximate Chinese glyphs.

Here is my solution. Consonant, combined with a diacritic representing the vowel, and a combining-mark underneath for the final nasal. I do not use the same consonants in the official roman orthography in all cases: I use ø when there is no initial consonant, and I have replaced all the consonants with risers or descenders so they don’t get in the way of my diacritical marks.

I also swapped ‘u’ for ‘w’ out of pure “I felt like it.”

Here ya go. Copy and paste these bad boys to write x̊ć o̊n̂ syllabically.

×aaniinuuneenoon
*ø̂ø̂͜ǿǿ͜ø̆ø̆͜ø̇ø̇͜ø̊ø̊͜
mm̂͜ḿḿ͜m̆͜ṁ͜m̊͜
nn̂͜ńń͜n̆͜ṅ͜n̊͜
pôô͜óó͜ŏŏ͜ȯȯ͜o̊͜
tx̂͜x̆͜ẋ͜x̊͜
kĉĉ͜ćć͜c̆͜ċċ͜c̊͜
sŝŝ͜śś͜s̆͜ṡ͜s̊͜
wûû͜úú͜u̇͜
lr̂͜ŕŕ͜r̆͜ṙ͜r̊͜
jı̂ı̂͜ı̆ı̆͜ı̇ı̇͜ı̊ı̊͜

Yeah, I’m not really sure about this. There’s gotta be a better way.

(Just write the darn language out in the standard romanization!)

A better way that’s not that.

Faith and ADHD

There’s a guy in my circles on the interwebs, name of Jeff Hendricks. He’s got the ADHD. So do I. He’s got the religion. So do I. He’s got the article about it.

Well, now so do I.

My experience is almost completely different, so being as arrogant as anyone, I’m going to use him as a springboard to talk about myself. Perhaps between the two angles, you’ll find something of value.

Buckle in my friends. I am about to hold forth at length. And I suspect my fellow Chaos-monkeys are unlikely to make it all the way to the end.

Continue reading “Faith and ADHD”

Captain’s Log LB•M1: Piqhing a Fight

This week’s goal, aside from hugging my kin, and thanking God for what I have, is to finish my business plan.

At this point, I am about 80% sure the plan goes like this:

  1. Reconstruct my JRPG/Adventure engine in Godot.
    image
  2. Build a 1-month adventure game therein, probably using Piqha. Probably an Easter Egg hunt, to publish in time for Easter 2022. Put it up for sale for $2. Let’s call it Last Legend Zero. Say the story is set before the crash of the ship, one Piqha suspects that something is wrong, and is exploring the conduits of his ship to figure it out. I want, somehow, the Word of God to be available to post-crash colony, so perhaps this easter egg hunt is the story of how it gets there.
    image2
    • Develop within/alongside the game the sets and characters for the Last Legend comic.
    • Last Legend as a story about Piqha rebuilding their lives is designed to be a 4x8x9 comic, as laid out in Formats for Print and Screen.
      • On the completion of the adventure game, I should be set for Last Legend comics for 1 or 2 months.
    • And/or 8×9 storybooks.
    • Bunny Trail Junction will reboot as a comic in like format, or storybook pages in the 8×9 storybook format, in due course.
    • I may spend a portion of November or December assembling a post-hoc December wrapup of the current format, and perhaps the 2021 Annual. Just tie up the first year in a bow.
  3. Work on other projects with the Illusive Man as they come up.
  4. Pour 2 months building a JRPG, Last Legend I. This is our business launch. Our “two-month, $5 game that makes 4K per month of work.” Our 1K wishlists on Steam.
    image
  5. By this time, presuming all goes well, we should be far enough along on the Illusive Man’s manga project, that taking a month or two off to produce something here is a good idea.
  6. Pour 2-4 months into producing Last Legend II.
    image
    This should
    • Get us our party mechanics.
    • Finish the challenge I undertook on behalf of my swordsmanship master.
    • Be a solid game that secures the Last Legend/Piqha brand, universe, and assets for use in the comics.
    • Be a solid showcase of what my micro JRPGs look like. Which leads us to:
  7. Licensed JRPG. Say to the Illusive One, to Brometheus, to Niemeier, to my other homies, “Behold: here is a small game I have made that is designed to present a story. You have stories and an audience. Let us therefore run a Kickstarter together and produce a grand thing.” And do so. Choose the best fit. Run a crowdfund. Make a game. Lather, rinse, repeat, to raise everyone’s boats, while taking appropriate breaks to produce my own stories.

The only thing I would add is I want to produce a kid’s book every now and again. Keep my library of kids’ books growing. I feel the itch even now; it has been too long. So, keeping my format notes in mind, I think I may aim to produce a 8×9 Last Legend Kids’ Pulp Formula book next, and try and put one in every other month. Maybe break Awesome Moments into that format length as well.

Maybe do a Jump the Shark story before years’ end so I keep my pattern of one per year rolling.

A Hagiography of St. Kyle

The phrase “St. Kyle” is ironic. I don’t know if Kyle is or will be a Saint. I find icons of him just as “cringe” as icons of Bernie.

My position with regard to his legal standing is this: I was on Twitter the nights of the Kenosha riots. I saw the videos of the events minutes or hours after they happened. I thought at the time it was clear-cut self-defense. But even if there is some fact that has surfaced in the last months that makes Rittenhouse legally culpable for some infraction, which was presented at the trial, I still hold to “Innocent until Proven Guilty,” and therefore hold the jury adjudicated rightly.

I was not there for the riot. Neither was I there for the trial. God will judge all things correctly on the Last Day. My judgment is nothing.

So. If my position is so cold, to a man beloved to so many on my side, then why have I chosen the title “A Hagiography of St. Kyle”?

Many who are on or near my side have been criticizing Rittenhouse as follows: “He should’t have even been there.”

He lived there part time. His father and grandmother lived there. He worked there. It was as much his home as his mother’s house 25 miles away.

Now, for those who say he was “looking for trouble,” I have scorn. The Scriptures instruct us not to slander a man. He says he was there to render aid and not to fight, and his actions are the actions of a man who was there to render aid and not to fight. To go beyond his word in assessing his motivation is to break the 8th Commandment. Shame on you. Repent in dust and ashes.

For those who say he was a child, he should have stayed away from riots, in fact, everyone in that town should have fled for the hills, let alone people who legitimately had a hearth in another town, I will be more gentle.

Standing up for your neighbor when the authorities have abandoned you is the American way.

The Struggle of the American Christian

But is the American way the Christian way?

Romans 13 tells us to be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. It was written under a tyrant no less opposed to Christ than our current regime.

Nevertheless, when Peter disobeyed the Sanhedrin, he said, “We must obey God rather than men.” And the church has long recognized this line as authoritative, even though it is descriptive and Romans 13 is prescriptive. If Caesar tells you to go to jail, you go to jail. If Caesar tells you to murder an innocent, you refuse. If Caesar tells you to deny Christ, you deny Caesar instead.

This is the Christian way.

David is commended, in part, because Saul was delivered into his hand, and knowing that he, too, was anointed to be king, yet he did not strike down the Lord’s anointed.

But the American way is that if a tyrant gives you an illegal command, you ignore him. If he presses the matter, you shoot him.

Well, I am American. But my primary citizenship is the Kingdom of Heaven. If my culture commands one thing and my religion another, I must choose my religion. Simple, right?

But here’s the rub: the Americans have made the American way the law of the land.

Lex Rex or Not?

The Second Amendment exists not for hunting nor for self-defense, but precisely so Americans can shoot illegitimate governing authorities. The assumption of the Constitution is that any law written by Congress, any order given by the President or by any Judge, if it violates the Constitutions, will be ignored or set aside by the other branches of government and by the American People. And Sheriffs and Congressmen and Judges and Military Men are sworn to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign or domestic.

The Militia mentioned in the Second Amendment is intended to be every able-bodied male at or above the age of (if I recall correctly) 17. In modern English, the amendment might read: “We are not free unless every 17 year-old boy is well-armed and well-trained. Therefore the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This is part of America’s heritage, it’s culture and its laws. The Saxon is called a Saxon because he is unclothed without his short-sword, his saex.

Now, in practice, this is not reality any more. If you fail to send in your income taxes because it is unconstitutional, you may find yourself accidentally shot by federal marshals. Every 17-year-old boy isn’t well armed and well trained.

Fourscore and seven years after the republic was founded, we decided it wasn’t even a republic, but an empire.

But, part of America’s heritage is that every man is a lesser magistrate. Part of his duty is to protect his neighbor not only from hunger and robbery, but even from the authorities above him. The sheriff, the congressman, the president.

And sometimes, the judges still rule that way. Sometimes, when a church remains open after a state orders it closed, the courts say, “no, the church was in the right.”

After all, those who violate the Constitution above us do so under an authority they are granted by an oath to defend the Constitution.

And, of course, the whole moral of Nuremburg is that our current pluto-theocracy has publicly said that you must not do evil even if given a lawful order to do so.

Where do I come down on this?

The argument I have presented is not a slam-dunk case.

In American jurisprudence, the Constitution is neither wholly dead nor wholly alive.

The Romans 13 text is talking about people, not laws. But our hierarchy of people swears fealty to the laws and even sometimes upholds them.

And in 2020 and 2021, this churning pot of acid has been boiling in the gut of every American Christian who was not already long since wholly convinced of one side or the other.

I know men who believe they have a duty to obey the tyrant’s every command, so long as he does not command apostasy.

My church is full of Germans. Germans have a long history of loving authority.

I know men who believe they have a duty to resist even tiny tyrannies, for such is our duty as citizens.

My family is full of Anglo-Americans. We don’t cotton to authority when it’s just, let alone when it’s plainly not.

My council is Conscience and Grace. Let every man study the Scriptures and be convinced. Let no man violate his conscience.

And when you see Christians going the other way, whether it be submitting to tyrants or resisting them, my council is to understand this is a hard call, and we all have to stand alone before Christ and account for ourselves.

And the good account is not “I submitted,” nor “I resisted,” but, “Christ have mercy on me, a sinner!”

Likewise, I commend Kyle Rittenhouse to your grace, even if you think that towns should lie down and let the current tyrannies roll over them.

But as for me

But I do not think this.

I have decided for the sake of my neighbor, I cannot follow Romans 13 in a manner inconsistent with American culture and governance, even though I’m living and going to church with a bunch of German immigrants who don’t understand the systems they inherited from my ancestors.

God help me.

God help us all.

Formats for Print and Screen

Social Media and Screens

  • The average computer screen or TV has a ratio of 16×9
  • Phones range all over, however, well over 1/3rd of them use some variant on 9×16, with the exceptions typically being longer.
  • However, 4×3 or 3×4 is also very common because tablets work better with a more square ratio. This is what iPad uses.
  • Twitter will not crop, but will display fully:
    • 1 16×9 picture
    • 2 8×9 pictures
    • 1 8×9 picture followed by 2 16×9 pictures
    • 4 (2×2) 16×9 pictures
  • 3 16×9 pictures stacked vertically fits neatly on:
    • The average phone screen
    • Facebook, if contained within a single larger image
    • A 5×8 print book with generous margins
  • 16×9 panels with 12-point text in a 5×8 book results in text that is still large enough to read clearly in a 2×2 grid of images on Twitter on mobile.
  • Therefore, Bunny Trail Junction is formatted as 3 16×9 panels, the first two of which may be joined into a single 8×9 panel (absorbing the gutter between them to make up the difference). Any of these two or three panels may be split vertically into two ‘sub-panels’ wherever I like. Although the format is so small, it seldom makes sense to do so anywhere but the center.
    • This is posted on Twitter as individual images plus an additional “Title Card” posted at the beginning of a 3-image set, or the end of a 2-image set.
    • This is posted as just the individual images on bunny-trail.com which, thanks to the webcomic WordPress theme I’m using, arranges the panels horizontally on desktop and vertically on mobile.
    • On Facebook, I found that uploading the pages meant for the print book had some irritating cropping, but was readable.
      • Ideally, I would export a separate, lower-resolution image that was less tall, to control the cropping myself, but at the time I judged the extra work was not enough benefit for the time.
      • Just prior to launching Bunny Trail Junction, I deleted my Facebook because they were getting extra-specially Stasi.
    • None of these formats works well for Gab. I think assembling the 2×2 grid I post on Twitter, but as a single image, might work for Gab, but as I rarely go there, I have not yet tested it.
    • Instagram is supposed to be the place for images, but every time I consider starting an account, I have turned away for some reason.
  • My first print book was 8.5×11 because that’s as big as Amazon KDP lets me go.
    • I stopped making them that big because it felt wrong that my books were larger than Dr. Seuss’s.
      • However, reading a biography of Seuss killed my reverence for him. I may not yet be on his level, but I no longer care if my books are bigger than his.
    • Big books with big illustrations are great. Why wouldn’t I want kids to have bigger pictures?
    • However, ideally, I would create my drawings even larger than the final pages
      • Consumer tools are not well-suited to going larger than 8.5×11
        • I do have a printer that prints and scans 11×17
        • The paper types available at that size are either poorly suited to take ink drawings, or else too heavy for my printer to process well.
        • My standard workflow of sketching digitally at low-res, printing the sketch big, refining by hand and inking, and then scanning in, is still poorly suited to available equipment.
        • But I do have a light table that might fill the gaps once I clear out the Den.
        • More testing is required.
      • KDP’s Hardcover formats have one that is physically 8.5×11, but the pages inside are slightly narrower.
  • Amazon KDP is geared towards 6×9 and tries to push you towards it.
    • Most of my books are 6×9
    • My 11×17 scanner/printer makes my workflow quite well optimized for 6×9 work.
    • Bigger pictures would be nicer, but 6×9 isn’t bad
  • 5×8 is the smallest KDP will go
    • 5×8 does, just barely, fit into my pockets, but calling it a pocket book is a terrible stretch.
    • 5×8 it well-suited to holding 3 16×9 images on a single page.
    • KDP has a dedicated 5×8 hardcover format.
  • 8×9 is one half of 16×9, and therefore a single two-page spread of an 8×9 book would be one ‘screen’ in size or one ‘panel’ in the Bunny Trail Junction 3-Panel format.
    • 8×9 is a weird size. Some printers won’t do it.
      • This is an important consideration. If a publisher I want to work with is doing print runs instead of POD, 8×9 is not impossible, but may complicate matters.
      • KDP certainly won’t do it hardcover.
      • But they will do it paperback.
      • The first bulk POD comic printer I’ve looked at will do 8×9! And hardcover! We’re looking at $4.50 a book perfect-bound softcover, full color, or $11.52 per book hardcover, assuming my usual 30-ish pages. That’s assuming a small bulk order, unlike the single-issue POD of KDP (these will be intrinsically more expensive).
    • Prototyping a 2-page spread of 8×9, a prototype for a portion of a kids’ book, would work as an episode of Bunny Trail Junction. Or as a “Hit for the Eye-buds”
    • A 2-page spread of 8×9 would fit on 11×17 paper, albeit only just. If I want to work bigger than my final size, I still have the tech hurdles I have with 8.5×11 books.
    • You could fit 4 16×9 panels on two pages, though the read order would be unclear, and the panels would be hyuuuge.
      • Conversely, you could fit one 8×9 four-panel comic per page, the read-order would be fine, and the panels would be a more traditional newspaper comic ratio
        • This would post fine on Twitter as a second image with an 8×9 title card.
        • This would probably post fine on Gab by itself.
        • This would probably post fine on Facebook by itself.
        • I have no data for Instagram.
        • Ideally, the panels would display 4×1 on Desktop and 2×2 on mobile, but I can’t yet predict that.
        • Actually, yes I can. I can do a makeshift comic using my Inktobers. BRB.
          • Toocheke likes to do 3 panels in one row, and 1 in the last in Desktop mode, but on Mobile it stacks them vertical, and you can see 1 whole panel and most of the second on my phone (which is taller than 16×9) Not optimal, but I can live with it.
    • For projects with people making comic books and manga, I will probably favor comic book and manga sizes, in accordance with the sort of thing that is being created. However, I need to make at least one 8×9 book, and I suspect that will be my format of choice going forward.