We've mostly recovered from the Tiki Party on Saturday (with the notable exception of my sad Burnout 3 save which got nuked). The house is basically clean again (well, I need to run one more load of dishes, but that's minor) and I fixed the toilet that got broken. The scary giant inflatable monkey was deflated (verdict - Heisenberg says it's still scary even deflated) and life goes on. It was a fun time, hope everyone else enjoyed it as well.

In other notes Chapter Three of Playing Cops & Robots went out to those reviewers who sent back Chapter Two. It was a bit slower because I held it for a while while I did major surgery on Chapter Four. Chapter Four isn't quite out of the ER yet, but I'm past the start enough to feel the segue from Three to Four is now solid. Chapter Four is the first place where the current outline diverges markedly from the first draft - in fact the original Chapter Four splits into the current Chapter Four and Chapter Five. If you reviewing for me and you don't have Chapter Three that means you owe me comments on Chapter One or Two :-)

I've been very quiet on both blogs in June, which is a bit ironic because it is the first month in quite a while that I felt productive. A couple of things brought that about, mainly me adopting a fairly fixed schedule. I actually have a schedule I've drawn up now that rules my Monday - Friday workweek and it says when I should be writing versus web surfing, versus doing dishes and fixing toilets. That sounds stupid - it took a while for me to try it, but it lead to another interesting trick. I've been using the Getting Things Done methodology and it was helping - but I was unhappy with how much writing I was doing. One problem I was having was that I only had one "context" really - at any time I could tackle any problem. Or read RSS feeds. And it all seemed sort of equally important. The schedule let me create artificial contexts - and the difference has been huge. So now I have a "Domestic" context and a "Writing" context, and if it's 9:30 in the morning I know it's time to stop reading web crap, and time to stop messing with whatever and just write (and I mean write in the looser sense - including editing and the like). I can not worry about domestic crap because I know it has time coming up so I can glibly slide things onto a Next Actions list and off my mind for an hour of writing time. Anyway, for some reason cutting through some blockage professionally dried up my blogging impulse. I'm hoping there's a steady state in between - we'll see.

On the gaming front I must admit that I'm quite enamored with Canvas Curse on the DS. That's currently a Gamefly rental, but I wouldn't be surprised to find in a few days that I buy it. It's the game that Yoshi's Touch and Go is the tech demo for. Don't get me wrong - I'm still angry at Nintendo milking it that way - Yoshi's is a travesty and they shouldn't be selling it. But I admit Canvas Curse is fun. And I'll probably go ahead and buy Meteos this week - I've already read two positive reviews and I'm inclined to buy anything from Mizuguchi. So much for my "no more DS titles that aren't pre-screened" line - although I could be snarky and say it only applies to first-party titles.

I've also fiddled with Jade Empire and Bard's Tale briefly before circling back to concentrate on Sly 2 and GTA:San Andreas. I can talk more about any of these titles if anyone asks. There's also an interesting discussion about Gamefly impacting my game impressions. Here's a short version - I sent back Jade Empire at a point where I would not have quit playing a game I had already invested $50 in. I expected Gamefly to save me the occasional $50 purchase. I'm somewhat surprised to find out it raises my quality bar. Moving my buy/don't buy decision bar from before playing to after five to ten hours of playing is a very interesting thing. Again, I can talk more on this point if anyone cares.