Sunday, January 30, 2005

Time for Work, it's 11 PM...

posted by John Blanco @ 10:49 PM


What day is today? Ohhhh...where am I??

Ah, yes, Sunday. Back from the cabin! Michele and I had loads of fun this weekend up in Estes Park! Here's a rundown of the events and, what the hell time is it, really?

Friday morning we awakened to have some breakfast in our favorite little egg pan, and get some last minute chores done before we left. We had to meet everyone at K's by noon, but nothing went as planned.

We were supposed to stop by the Sears outlet beforehand to see about getting a new refrigerator. Well, 15 minutes in, Michele realizes she's forgotten the cameras...abd her jacket. (Might be useful near the hills?) We had to turn back, but lost time for fridge-shopping.

We decided to try we let MapQuest guide us to Isage St., an area we weren't too familiar with. Well, apparently, neither was MapQuest cause the directions were DOG-SHIT. So, after not finding the place, we headed for King Soopers to pick up some items and then K's. Best not be late!

We show up, but as it turns out, the God-fearing the loyal K had put into us was hypocritical, because he was 45 minutes late himself. :-) The hostess was even later...but it wasn't all bad because Rammie, Zachele, Minka, and Shawn chatted for a while whilst we waited. I got to read the most hysterical picturebook-Birthday-prezzie! HAHAHHA! Princess Cumwetta?? No, no, so wrong... :-)

Around 1:30, all was assembled and we dashed for Estes Park. The cabin was beautiful! A large complex, 4 rooms, nice living area, huge kitchen. It was great!

That first day, we played many games (Mexican Train, Taboo) and talked for many hours. I found that I was unable to hook up the GameCube, though, so all the disconnecting of it here are home was a bit of a waste. Annie made a delicious Potato Chowder soup and we capped the night with:


Glow Stick Hunt is a game I made up a few years back for an AC of my own. It was in response to a Winter-season AC, where we were stuck inside, and I happened to have some extra glow sticks hanging around. (Still can't remember why I had them.) You crack a couple glow sticks, make two teams, pick a "hider" each round who hides the opposing team's glow stick (no Seekers or Keepers though), and your team searches for its own. The member of the opposing team furthest away from the winning glow stick find receives a "consequence."

I lost once. My consequence was that I had to sing everything I said for the rest of the game. This resulted in great pain...FOR THE OTHERS. I started off broadway, then did cover tunes. By the end, I was rappin' cause it was easier. I should put out an album.

The highlight had to be Kimmie, who lost twice, including the first round. I advised Michele on a great curse to dish out: Talk like Napolean Dynamite. (Is this really a curse? Naw. Kimmie loved it. But, it was hysterical and that's the point, really.) Later, she lost again, and had to end every sentence with the word, "Vagina." After a couple of minutes, her conversational-style ended up with lines like this:

"Who's turn is it to hide the glow stick now...vagina?"
"Did you check the drawers yet...vagina?"

Other consequences saw Erica having to speak in pickup lines, and also saying each line twice. K was forced to speak only in French.

Saturday started off with a yummy Sausage, bacon, biscuit, egg, and fruit breakfast. I got to cook the sausage and eggs which we had provided, and it took almost an hour. We then played more games (Clue, Pit). Pit was especially fun!

In the card game, you have to trade your cards to try to get them all to match. For example, you win the hand if you end with 9 Soybeans, or 9 Oranges. To get all your cards to match, you scream for upwards of 3 minutes, yelling "2! 2!" in an effort to get people to trade cards with you. It was hilarious fun. :-)

At around 3:30, we all went downtown to the "Old Time Photography" store to get a little picture done for ourselves. :-) (See above.) This was downright hilarious. While it did take a few hours to wait, coordinate, and have the pics developed, it was WELL worth it. I got to be the priest of this dysfunctional wedding, while Michele played the "classy bitch" role. Great picture, man!

Afterwards, it was time for our Interpretive Christmas exchange! After all, this was the main even of the weekend! We were sad to hear that Cinnamon couldn't make it. She had actually driven up there while we were away for our photograph, but couldn't get in touch with us to get into the cabin. A major disconnect. Even had we been there, I'm not sure things would have connected. She ended up leaving her present at the front desk and going home. She was missed.

Well...we all gathed in the living room and the hostess, Annie, set us all up for the exchange. The first exchange was classic. My ex, Colleen, had made her gift for someone who asked for "A Gazillion Dollars." Well, her heart was in the right place when she made a "Porn Web site hand-me-down" as the great money-making venture. Unfortunately, the Gods were in for amusement. The wish was actually made by Adrianna's mother, Pam, and, uh, let's just say that having over 5 pages of hardcore porn thumbnail photographs to your elder is a little disconcerting. :-)

As for Michele, the gift she made asking for "A Masterpiece" ended up going to the hostess herself, Annie. She loved it, but we all felt bad because Michele's glorious "Peanuts in the Park" painting was the apple of Adrianna's eye, who is a hardcore Peanuts addict. :-) But, Michele's painting was a nice little memoir for our entire weekend. I'll post a picture of it when I get a chance, hopefully tomorrow.

The gift Michele received was done by Adrianna (ironically) as well. She made a gorgeous lighthouse that Michele was ga ga over! We've already placed it high atp our bedroom where we can see it all the time. So cool! I'll post pictures...I swear it!

As for me, the gift I created ended up being exactly for whom I thought it was: our newbie, Ericka. She'd asked for "Acceptance to law school" which was a dead giveaway. I ended up making a mock scrapbook of her adventures in her first semested at Notre Dame, complimented with a Notre Dame banner I, uh, well, bought. :-) The scrapbook had information on classes, buddies, and pictures "on campus." It was all a peverse mix of real photos, photos cut out of authentic Admissions pamphlets, real chewing gum, fake signatures, and more. I spent quite a deal of time on it, and was glad she seemed to enjoy it. I'm sure she'll enjoy it more once she actually reads it on her own. The devil was in the details, where all the little notes and signatures and photos all tie together to make what I hope a very realistic portrayal. I also had several friends at work sign the book using names from pictures onearlier pages. hehehe....

Shawn Snow ended up being my little Secret Santa, creating my wish:

"Evidence that Bill O'Reailly (fucker) and Rush Limbaugh (shithead) were having a secret affair!!!"

Decency laws will actually prevent me from posting pictures of this. :-) Shawn bought a real Enquirerer and superimposed a fake story midway through, and changed the cover as well. The pictures were HIDEOUS! Giant Rushes, ramming O'Reailly's. It was hysterical! Excellent job! I'll have fun showing it to friends. :-)

With the Interpretive Christmas done, and a few feelings hurt along the way...(long story, some dramas)...we ended up with Michele and I and the Rammie and Annie making some S'mores and absolutely pigging out. :-) We then played some more Pit (awesome) and then Glow Stick Hunt. Not as fun as the previous night, no one was really into it this time around, but a few of us still played.

Afterwards, Lerri, Shawn, and I stayed up til about 3:30 AM, chatting about politics and the military and travel.

Which leads us to this morning, which was not pleasant. We had to wake up by 8:30 so we could pack and clean and get the heck out of there. I was so exhausted. We wereout promptly by 10, minus several AC members including K who had to scooch for a job today.

Colleen and Shawn left, but Adrianna, Pam, the Rammie, Annie, Lerri, Janny, Michele, and I went into town to do some shopping. I got an awesome retro Nintendo shirt and a new fuzzy Buffalo to bring to work. Michele got a dressed up teddy fear (wearing Panda garb) and Annie's mom, Janny, bought her a bumper sticker that says "A world of wanted children would make a world of difference." How nice! :-)

After lunch, we shopped a little more and then Michele and I said our goodbyes as the snow was picking up. We stopped by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and I enjoyed a chocolate chip and caramel covered apple. Oh, babyyyy....

The rest of the story is about us driving, unpacking, reassembling the entertainment center, and having some frozen pizza before going food shopping. Unfortunately, I never made it food shopping because I fell asleep at around 6 and just woke up now to write this blog. I'm very exhausted! But, I have a full night of sleep ahead of me...

So, time to wrap up a few loose ends and get back to sleep. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Have a good night!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Round #2: The Power Wrapup

posted by John Blanco @ 7:08 AM


I haven't blogged since Tuesday because of the push at work. So here goes the super summary! :-)

GOT A NEW MACHINE AT WORK! 3 GHz Pentium, 2 Gigs of RAM...GIGGITY GIGGITY! That rabbit is dynomite! Work just got so much easier...and faster...!

Added a couple levels and a couple tiles to Counterpart.

Headed to the cabin today. Got my completed Interpretive Christmas gift, and looking forward to getting my own tomorrow!

I've got about 41 games loded up and ready to go. Wow. Plus, a giant bag of gummi bears! And the GameCube! AND A VCR! AND DVD's!!!!

3 days from work will be a godsend.

I learned what the word parsimony means. I shall apply it to the API's I write. :-)

OK, everyone have a great weekend! The Yog and I'll be back Sunday night!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Sausage Dreams

posted by John Blanco @ 6:34 AM


Met with Todd and Keith until late last night at the Rib, a great BBQ place we used to lunch at when we all worked together. The sausage is amazing, along with the sauce. :-) We chatted about CorAccess and InsureWorx and Keith's drive for a Masters Degree. Good fun.

I came and home crashed to sleep, only to have to wake up again so I could return to work -- a heavenly place. We're trying to alleviate some stress, so Sean is bringing in his GameCube and I brought in some *sweet* games. We're also planning out a little Game Night party next month at Kevin's place, too. :-)

Another 12 hour day looms before me.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Bloggin' in a Coal Mine

posted by John Blanco @ 4:14 PM


The week has started out with more late hours, but progress is being made as I type. OK, a build, anyway. So, thought I'd blog some...

Yesterday...went to the Art Museum with the Yog. I was hoping to see the "Linda" scupture, as I'd read it was on display a few weeks ago. This is the very-lifelike nude sculpture of a young model named Linda, who is actually now a schoolteach with DPS. It's pretty old, about 25 years. I haven't seen it yet. Maybe next time?

I did some more Counterpart codin' this weekend. Got a title screen and options in. I still have a bunch more to do, but at this point I have all my tasks in a TO-DO list. Which means, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. :-) I still plan on releasing in February, but I need to get this work done as early in the month as possible. At least by haldway through.

My next game is already in the works. I don't have any plans or details, but a few important concepts are decided on:

  • The graphics will be in isometric view.
  • It will be a larger, adventure-style game.
  • It will be based on the corporate atmosphere.

For those veterans of my blog, this is going to be an "Ascent To Power" concept. In fact, that is the name. (It's too good to not use.) But, the whole game will be different. It will not be at all the same format as the old ATP.

It also represents a HUGE challenge. I'm just starting training in Pixel Art (literally, TODAY), and isometrics is a part of that. This is a little bigger of a step than I expected at this point, but, I want to have a major product done by the end of the year, and I know I need a lot of time to get that done.

If Counterpart actually sells, though, this could change. If Counterpart does really well, I'll of course switch to a smaller project again. :-) But, I can't think like that. Gotta think big!!!!

Plus, I get to put some of my creative writing skills to work. I spent a little while learning fictional writing techniques some time back. Writing a novel was a bit beyond me, and heck, even a short story which was my first step. But, I will try to apply what I learned to the game concept and see what happens.

I'll likely spend Most of February (after Counterpart) and March working on a game design for ATP. I'll keep gaining J2ME experience by writing some smaller demos, likely based on AI. Been wanting to do that for a while now, and it will be a nice thing to do whilst I do my design.

OK, OK, enough of that. :-) I've bored ye enough.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with Todd and Keith...gonna catch up on what's going on! Been too lo-...

Alas, my build is done...back to work for me...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

No Keystone State Showdown...

posted by John Blanco @ 8:32 PM


Patties and Iggles...should be good. :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sweet Relief!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:26 PM


Another day of hell. Worked 5.5 hours today. At least I got free Chipotle and Krispy Kreme out of it. :-) Tomorrow is my DAY OFF.

SWEET RELIEF! (hence the title)

Tomorrow, I enjoy my day off with my Yog. We're headed to the Denver Art Museum and the Cheesecake Factory. :-) Pam is sooooo jealous! :-P

Oh, I should note...we've been playing Pikmin 2 lately, one of the games we got for Christmas. Pikmin is an incredible series. While there's less novelty factor in the sequel, the gameplay and 2 new Pikmin make it fantastic. There's plent of new stuff to make this game great. 5 Blanco! 5! 5! 5!!!

We play Windwaker next. Probably gonna take another month to get past Pikmin 2 though. Especially on my work schedule lately.

Working on the title screen for Counterpart. This includes the title graphic as well as the options for playing the game.

Also, finished my UML book today. :-) I haven't "mastered" the UML yet of course...but, now I have all the tools to start using it EVERY DAY. I need to set on that course immediately...and I will.

My next topic of study will be...PIXEL ART!!!! WHOO HOOO EEEEEE!!!! This will be EXTREME fun! I've been wanting to learn this stuff since I wrote my first computer game in college! Years of searching for graphic artists has come to this: I will do it myself. Pixel art is a, well, an art. I'll leave fancier graphics for Michelski, but I'm going to tackle the 16x16 character. :-)

Incidentally, the prior Counterpart screenshot is my own work...with the help of a tutorial that taught me how to make the blue wall tile. I tried to reuse the same techniques for the other color tiles...I think it came out well. But, the bigger challenge is what comes next: the main character. But...


OK, let's wind this down...what else...well, had a nice breakfast with the Yog with our new egg frier...worked Chipotle...ordered in pizza for dinner...played time to relax.

This week will be another doozy. Gotta work about 12 extra hours (I did 17 extra this week), then Friday through Sunday is Estes Park! Yeah! Well, I'll give details on that tomorrow...

Gotta go.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Rough Schedule

posted by John Blanco @ 10:27 PM


Well, tonight was the first night I got to enjoy an evening all week...and good thing, too. I was so tired at work that when 4 hit, even though I really needed to work on some stuff, I just had to go home.

Then why are you blogging at 11?? Good question.

Cause I'm dumb. I'm actually going in to work tomorrow for half a day or so, so I need to get some rest. But, once again, I was hacking on Counterpart. Again, made some good progress:

* Wrote an FPS (frames per second) tracker to help optimize the app on the mobile phone.

* Fixed the motion code which was causing a choppy look. Duh.

* Added two more levels and removed one (it was impossible). There are now 3 levels.

* Optimized the code to add at least 2 extra FPS's on the mobile phone. Awesome! The slowest part of the code is the tile drawing. Not much that can be done I don't think.

Overall, my phone is regarded as a bit out of date...I actually bought it knowing that...I didn't want the top of the line phone. So, seeing that my game currently runs at 13-14 FPS really isn't that bad. Plus, if I use some device-specific stuff for Motorola, the speed should improve.

And, plent more room for speed increases, especially as it comes to over-factoring.

Now, really...time for bed.

Handango: Ready To Go

posted by John Blanco @ 8:18 AM



This morning I registered as a software developer with Handango, a hugely popular mobile software distributor. They will be my first sales channel, and of course I will look for more over the next week.

This is very exciting. :-) The last time I did this kind of thing, I was writing software for BeOS, an cult alternative OS that sadly died several years ago. I wrote several apps, including a chess server/client system, a "replicant" newsticker, and my first major application: Jabber for BeOS.

Through BeBits, I distributed these apps and even sold the Jabber application for profit! (If you consider working for a nickel an hour a profit?) As a software developer, I have to say that it is VERY exciting to be distributing applications and having people download, use, and appreciate your work.

And, if you can make money doing it... :-)

So, my dream of being a profitable game software developer has taken another step forward today, but there's so much more to do. I have a healthy list of things I need to do to prepare my first game, Counterpart, for production. It's already my best game to date, but to sell, it needs more.

I can't wait for the day when I post Counterpart on the net for all to play! All my fingers, limbs, extremities will be crossed in hopes of success. A long shot? Perhaps. Worth a try? Definitely.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Counterpart Screenshot #1

posted by John Blanco @ 9:10 PM


The first screenshot of Counterpart is here! Above is the screenshot of level #1. To play the game, you must connect the colored squares with each other to make them disappear. The blue tiles are blocks, and cannot be moved. You control the gray square on the top left.

Don't worry, graphics for our hero will come soon. :-) They are, of course, the most complicated.

All the greaphics were done by me using my new pixel art skills. ;-) I'm pretty proud of them for a first round. Anyone who's seen the previous art before this iteration should agree.

Optimization is still important. While the image might look good from where you're sitting, the animation is still "chunky" on a phone. This is because the motion calculation is braindead. ;-) Should be an hour or so to fix, but work is killin' me. Ah, well. I'm happy enough.

Ta, ta...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Counterpart Progress, Indeed!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:39 PM


Despire working til past 7 tonight, I came home and made GREAT progress on Counterpart! I was able to integrate the Mappy system, which handles my world editing, build a couple real levels, add restart and quit actions, and a Game Over screen!

Now, while I finish out just the minor details of the game, I can focus on the really fun aspects: optimization, pixel art, and level design!! It will be so fun! :-)

OK, time to rest up...another loooong day tomorrow. Ugg.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Lookin' Good

posted by John Blanco @ 7:15 PM


Just got back from visiting Aaron. He looks great, considering what he's been through! Good for him!

His surgery was 2 hours long, and he was back and resting by 10:30 this morning. We got there a little before 6 tonight, and after a long chat with Adri and Ramone in the cafeteria, we visited Aaron.

He was wired to the tea with liquids, pain relief, massagers, etc. VERY tired, he was about knocked out, but we got to talk to him a bit. Mmmmmm, Morrrrphiiiine....

Tomorrow he will try to walk around...he'd better rest up! So far, everything looks great for him, and he's facing about 10 years dialysis free!


Once again, in other non-important news...yes, they are asking 60 hours a week from us at work. It will be quite a struggle since the Flash Policy team (includes me, of course) has very little remaining work left. So, we're pouring in our time to the Claims side of the house. It's a little more difficult to work such grueling hours over such a period of time when the work isn't very personal to you:

"You finished ahead of schedule! Congratulations! Now, pick up the slack for the other team!!"

Still, it's *our* team as a whole. So, I'll put in the effort. Will be a challenge to adjust to a different coding scheme, but I'm game.

A tough 4 weeks will follow.

What am I doing? I need to start working on my game again! BYE!

How Many Hours a Week??

posted by John Blanco @ 9:08 AM


Just found that for the next 4 weeks we'll be averaging 60 hours a week at work! Holy crap! Now, a lot of this is predicated on our estimates, but still...

Holy crap.

Thoughts w/ Aaron

posted by John Blanco @ 6:28 AM


Got the very-good-news call last night that Aaron had a kidney donor lined up! He's in surgery today and my thoughts are with him. Very major surgery, but the excitement overrides the nervousness. Michele and I will check him out after work today...good luck Aaron!!

On less important news...Spent most of yesterday cleaning. Got our office closet cleared out and both office desks nice and clean. Also, had dinner in Aurora with the brother-in-law in the nastiest, rattiest Bennigan's I ever did see. Still, a happy 41 to Kevin. :-)

Today is long, boring meeting day at work again.

Happy Birthday, Martin. :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bite Size Logo

posted by John Blanco @ 6:29 PM


The combined powers of the Yog and the Boo, with seemingly no digital graphic training to speak of between them, have finished the Bite Size Studios Logo. Take a gander:

Friday, January 14, 2005

It's Friday! Thanks to the ba-a-a-a-a-abe!

posted by John Blanco @ 10:25 PM


Friday night...hangin' with the Yog. We just did some work on Bite Size Studios using a mascot she drew up, literally, on the table at Macaroni Grill. :-)

Tomorrow, I'll do some work on the actual game. heheh...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Pro-gress, as the Canadiens Say It...

posted by John Blanco @ 6:13 PM


New Year's message from Osama bin Laden

Got my delivery...with progress being made on the AC Gift. Dinner was consumed and when I get back from the gym I'm gonna do some Counterpart work.

Other than that, one more busy day until a bowling weekend to celebrate Kevin's birthday! (My right-wing brother-in-law)

Osama, out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bite Size Studios is on the Air!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:15 PM


After all that time, it was a simple nameserver switch I needed to do. BSS is on the air!!!!

Bite Size Studios

Yogi All These Years

posted by John Blanco @ 7:46 PM


Today is our three-year anniversary! :-D On this day, 3 years ago, I took Michele out to the Denver Dumb Friend's League, Dinner, and a movie. We saw the "Shipping News" with Julianne Moore and Kevin Spacey. All I can remember from that first date are the following tidbits:

* There was a kitty I wanted to adopt, but I restrained.
* Michele wore Sketchers and propped her feet up on the seat in front of us.
* I intended on taking her to a restaurant called Spinnacker's, but we wound that it had closed down!
* I could barely eat at Pizza Colore, where we ended up. :-)
* We played a lotta Crazy Taxi that night!

Ah, good times. :-)

Today we got some serious snow. It was coming down in sheets (and comforters!). Took me 1:15 to get to work, and it was nearly whiteout conditions near Denver University. Wow!

Worked some more on the AC Gift tonight. Progressing very well...bought an item tonight for $.99, and am expecting a delivery this week or next for the rest. I hope to be finished by this weekend. Nothing last minute.

I also worked on Counterpart. I need to think a bit more about to handle the actual counterpart pieces, but I am very, very close to finishing the core action. Give me one more day!

OH! Also, since my graphics guy hasn't responded about flipping the domain over (big shock), I decided to investigate and sure enough realized that I can do it myself. I'm not too experienced in the art of domain name purchases, so I'd forgotten that it was me who had setup the "nameservers." (Quoted for the non-techies) So, hopefully in the next few days, the domain finally changes over!

Crap...I gotta finish Counterpart so I have something to sell!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Back in the NY Groove

posted by John Blanco @ 7:43 AM


The Yog and I have plotted out our road trip to NY in May. Yes, yes, I know I haven't kept you in the loop on this...but we didn't have the set dates yet. Do you forgive me?

We're set to leave May 5th, arriving in NY the morning of May 7th. We're going to stay until May 16th...two whole weekend there, and we got lots planned. :-)

On the list...we plan on going to Action Park (a water park some friends I love to frequent, quite a trip away), a Met game, take a mini-road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame, go downtown, and more. Action-packed! Michele will get to spend more time with her new family and I'll get to catch up with my old one. ;-)

In Resolution news (I'm sticking to these, so deal with it), I've already finished reading all 600+ pages of "Head First Design Patterns"! I soaked it up really well, and over the course of the next 11 months I hope to improve, harness, and prove my ability in pattern designs and design in general. I highly recommend the book: 5 Blancos!!!

My next venture on the road to software development mastery is UML. My next read will be "UML: A Beginner's Guide" and I've already started. Over the next few weeks, I hope to digest the entire workbook and begin using UML more consistently here at work and even at home. I've had trouble truly understanding it because I've avoided using it, but now I will force myself into it. Just like reading a language. No choices. It will improve me greatly and I need to do it. The time has come.

And I'm very excited about it. :-) I already feel like an improved developer, and I want more!

Saw some of the extras from Napolean Dynamite last night, including the original short movie. Crazy! His name was Seth, and Pedro was split in two characters. Bizarre. Also, he fancies a fanny pack at the thrift shop instead of the "amazing" suit. Very cool stuff, though.

Awesome news yesterday...we're getting new machines here at work! Finally! Work has been so frusterating since our Flash environment passed the "threshold" of RAM required to build it. It's nearly impossible now. Not sure if my ranting and raving here at work could have continued any longer...but, the voices were heard! (Including 2 of my own)

Michele has surpassed me in MapleStory. I've really slacked. :-) I had to spend over an hour last night racing to obtain the "cool Chinese-looking hat" because she got it first. She's doing very well in the game, simply beaming past me! :-)

But, that's not so bad, because I'm working on Counterpart as well. I'm still in the refactor phase, but once I'm done, progress will EXPLODE! The problem I ran into is the overzealouty (new word) that led me to writing some hideously misplaced code...refactoring is the act of reorganizing it into a better OOP design. The refactor is essentially complete, but I'm currently retesting and fixing the bugs. One more sitting is all I'll need I think.

Tonight, exercise and Counterpart. Have a good day, y'all.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Done at halftime, again...

posted by John Blanco @ 11:45 AM


Ummm, yes. It's 35-3, Colts. Worse than last year when it was a mere 31-3. Yes, the Broncos are doing *worse* this year than last. Manning already has 360 yeards passing. That's considered an EXCELLENT performance...for an entire game!

On the bright side, the Mets just signed Carlos Beltran to a 7-year deal, meaning one of the best young players in baseball is now a Met through the year 2011. Awesome!

But, holy crap, the Broncos... :-(

Friday, January 07, 2005

Go, Broncos!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:49 PM


I may not blog til then, so...just to state my allegiance and undying religion to my favorite team, playing in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday...


InsureWorx and the Double Launch

posted by John Blanco @ 7:14 PM


Taliant is dead. Long live InterWorx.

Taliant Software, my company, has been bought out by WorldGroup and the new, merged, company is now called Interworx. Don't believe me? Just click...yeah, that's right...

So, my company's name is syllabatically equivalent, easier to sound out, but trickier to say. I'm still getting used to it. Taliant was a made up word which mixed Talent + Reliant. InsureWorx is actually WorldGroup's product's name...i.e., our competition. In a few months, we'll be fully folded into the labia of their company and be known by the hideous name of "WorldGroup."

Yep, same name. Isn't it disgusting? No personality. :-)

Speaking of business news (segway, segway, segway), Michele and I have each launched our own business ventures this week!

Mine I've talked about...but, yesterday I posted the first version of my Web site. Still needs work, of course, but the key is I have a solid base with which to work with. Plus, I gots me plenty of time before I *need* it to be looking keen.

Check it out here.

Within the month, I will launch an all out attack on the Web, posting my prior demos (Tetris and Maze!) to as many sites as I can find. I must get the brand out there.

Michele has a new venture going. She's going to be doing children's room murals. Yes, she's a muralist. Sexy. :-) She hopes to line up some work for a nice discount this week. The key is references. And hey, if yer reading this, wouldn't you like a nice Dilbert mural on your wall? ;-)

Well, time to stop blogging and get to more important slacking off on a Friday evening. We have a full day of NFL playoffs and dismantling our Christmas decorations tomorrow, so gotta conserve the energy.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Bigger Bite Size

posted by John Blanco @ 6:11 PM


My break with Bite Size Studios, in its previous form, is almost complete. I'm very excited to announce that I'm in the process of moving the server off of Al's account and to it's own machine.

It's sad that Al and Sam were so very excited about the project, but then decided that helping out with game design, communicating, and ackowleding their existences were not. Al did some graphic work, but in the end, became unreachable.

It was my decision to just sever ties now, while I have done all the work, and move on independently in this endeavor. Michele is also excited about working on the graphics side...hopefully, success in 2005 will breed this new career.

In the next couple days, I expect that will be assigned to the new host. I will begin working on assembling a Web site...and once it's all setup, I will make my two current titles, Tetris and Maze!, available for download.

This is a very exciting time for me! This venture, which I have been pursuing for a few months now, will soon be releasing games (Counterpart) and give me an excellent creative outlet!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Bronco!

posted by John Blanco @ 4:32 PM


Here's a shot of our fearless Bronco hero from within the stadium. This statue was transplanted from the old Mile High Stadium. Another little fact, they castrated the poor beast during the move to be a little more, ahem, politically correct. (He was blessed.)

Who wants the ball? Reuben?

posted by John Blanco @ 4:31 PM


Here's Jake Plummer audibling before a play. The zoom on my camera really pulled through...keep in mind that we were sitting beyond the endzone on the other side of the field! The image came in closer than it seemed on the LCD. 10X lens, baby!


posted by John Blanco @ 4:30 PM


The scoreboard is at the south end of the stadium and f***ing gigantic. It has the ability to show two adjacent feeds (as above) or one widescreen image. I'd kill to have this in my living room, along with a living room that would fit it. It's ginormous!!

The pic was taken right after a touchdown. You can see Jason Elam on the screen attempting the PAT.

Broncos Rushing the Field

posted by John Blanco @ 4:29 PM


The inflated entryway took less than 5 minutes to inflate from the point where they brought it out. Only the defense was announced by name. (Not sure why.)

At The Bronco Game

posted by John Blanco @ 4:26 PM


Here's a few pictures from the Bronco game on Sunday. (See more above, accompanied with amazing facts!) This one is of Yogi freezing to death. :-) Broncos played very well, winning 33-14, and now get to play the same team next week in the first round of the playoffs.

Let's go, baby!

My Favorite Song Lyrics

posted by John Blanco @ 7:34 AM


"To be this young is oh so scary." - Manson

"I am the damaged one; all my life and the damage done." - Slipknot

"I go from day to day, I know where the cupboards are, I know where the car is parked, I know he isn't you." - Tori Amos

"And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead; but if you're tired of looking at my face I guess I already am." - Liz Phair

"She met a man, he took her in, but fed her all the same bullshit again." - Beth Hart

"Tie yourself to me. No one else, no, you're not rid of me." - PJ Harvey

"Let's just kill everyone and let your God sort them out." - Marilyn Manson

"He said he liked to do it backwards, I said that's just fine with me. That way we can fuck and watch TV." - Liz Phair

"And the little, plastic castle comes as a surprise every time." - Ani DiFranco

"We bleed the same blood, we cry the same tears, we have the same fears, we pass the same years, we see the same stars under the same sky, we pass the same time, we all live and die." - Trik Turner

"Most I can learn is records that you burn." - Marilyn Manson

"You never said forever could ever hurt like this." - Marilyn Manson

Monday, January 03, 2005

Acquire Me

posted by John Blanco @ 7:00 AM


Today my company, Taliant, is being acquired by WorldGroup, Inc. How's that for a company name? All shreds of personality are squeezed out of that puppy!

The conference is at noon.

On news that is actually somewhat interesting, the Broncos won it yesterday! What a great game! 33-14 was the score. The Colts played their second stringers most of the game, but they still had a tough enough team...but we got em. Plummer has stepped it up the last couple weeks. So, we're in the playoffs! And who do we play next week?

The Colts!

Going to the RCA Dome. Same matchup as last year. In fact, our season was much the same as last year. Hot start. Cold middle. Big final games to sneak back into the playoffs, including a big win against the Colts. Play the colts in round #1 of the playoffs.

It's 2003 all over again!

This time we got John Lynch and Champ back there. Can't be worse than 41-10. The Colts look great this year, but I have faith that the Broncos have the talent to win this one. We got Trevor Pryce back yesterday for the first time ALL YEAR!

Go Boys! a lot to do today. And I need to rest my voice. Over and out.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Resolute Start

posted by John Blanco @ 6:08 PM


There's something magical about a January, 1st. :-) Today, Michele and I woke up nice and late and had lunch instead of breakfast. heheh...then we went to Bally's. I discovered that one of my passenger doors wasn't completely closed, so my console light was on all night! :-( Luckily, the battery didn't die. Gosh, nice start to the year, eh?

We had a taco dinner and Michele made chocolate chip cookies! We ate while we watched Elf, which my sister got for us on DVD. :-) Love that movie. And now, we're up here in the office just kinda relaxin'. Resting up for the big game!

I started off my resolution push by continuing to read my design pattern book. I also got a good "Hello, chum." in at Bally's and cleaned up my "bench press" resolution. That was flexible, anyway. It's now a chest press, a machine I actually use. ;-)

We also finalized our plan, pretty much, for our May road trip to NY. We'll be going in early May, to arrive May 7th. Got that, Chris?? We're gonna plan lots of things to do and hope to have fun with Chris (you!) and Glenn and the family as we did 2 years ago when we were there for Christmas!

In other news, I'm really frickin' thirsty right now, so I gotta go...

Tomorrow is the big day. Broncos vs. Colts. If the Broncos win, they are IN. There's a few other games that mean something, but the Broncos control their own destiny. I only hope that they bring their 'A' game for this one!

I'll either come back from the game hoarse and dissapointed, or hoarse and ecstatic. :-)