Valley of The Witch

Recently, I had jumped back into Blender, and checked out Unity. Zounds! As I watched the tutorial videos, and began wrestling with a 3D tutorial provided by Unity, I began to rummage around in my mind for ideas for a first-person game. I’m most effective learning a new software or technology when I have a task or goal I seek to accomplish, and then extracting the pieces of tech that apply to my problem. I’m dreadful when confronted with a large tome and I have no skin in the game. That’s when I recalled this script I’d crafted in the summer of 1994.

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San Ysidro

In late Fall of 1999, Phil G. and I made an epic climb off the Borrego Springs desert floor. We parked in the parking lot of the State Park, near the Interpretive Center, and quickly crossed the valley floor, into a large campground area (see map).


I was wearing my Mountain Gear fanny pack, with two 1 l. Nalgene bottles, and Phil likewise was carrying water. As we passed through the campground, we noticed a large contingent of Boy Scouts. I suppose we sniffed, and thought out loud about how “civilized” the camp looked, and how unfit the Scouts. By the end of the day, we wished that we joined in the marshmallow and weenie roast, and left the hiking to someone else. Continue reading “San Ysidro”

Mt. Whitney: Shepherd Pass to Whitney Portal

Mt. Whitney Trip: 2 September-5 September 2005
Distance: Approx. 42 miles
Elev. Delta: Approx. 30000’
Party: Phil Gardiner, Jon Lowe, Mike Clem, John Harper, Ellen Lizzio, Tom Lizzio, Patty Harper, Rick Harper

In 2005, after more than nine years of hiking the east side of the Sierras, among other locales, we finally ascended the tallest peak in the continental U.S.: Mt. Whitney. At 14,995′, Mt. Whitney can be accessed in a number of ways: we chose the hardest. No, not the Mountaineer’s trail, East Buttress, nor the col between Whitney and Russell, but the 42-mile, 4-day, 30,000 vertical foot hike, over the last (for me) of the “Fearsome Foursome” passes in the Eastern Sierras. Continue reading “Mt. Whitney: Shepherd Pass to Whitney Portal”

Sawmill–>Taboose: The Fiercest

In the last week of August, 2003, Barry Bowman, John and I bagged two of the “Fearsome Foursome” passes in the Eastern Sierra (see map).


As Marc Cohn would intone in “Perfect Love,” “it was right before the fall.” You can read about that in another post, but for us it was an opportunity to throw ourselves against the true east Sierra experience. I remember it fondly to this day. Continue reading “Sawmill–>Taboose: The Fiercest”

Interactive Storybooks and hotSpotLUT() XFCN

This is the script that started us down the path of understanding how to work in the virtual world of code. When a user clicks on the screen, she expects the computer to react. Originally, HyperCard did not provide transparent buttons, or buttons to which images or movies could be assigned. Given our design imperative of immersing the user in a virtual environment, we created graphics and movies and overlaid them with “hot spots.” Continue reading “Interactive Storybooks and hotSpotLUT() XFCN”

The Struggle for the High Kingship in Twelfth Century Ireland

Thirty years ago I graduated from U.C. San Diego. My wife and I both attended at the same time, and we had two pre-schoolers. We were much hardier then, and perhaps a bit more naive. I had been studying chemistry in one form or another since AP Chemistry at S.F.B. Morse High School in tenth grade, and at U.C.S.D. I found myself in one of the toughest programs I had ever experienced. Continue reading “The Struggle for the High Kingship in Twelfth Century Ireland”

Machiavelli’s Discourses

To my wife, Patricia

A Source Analysis of Machiavelli’s Discourses

Orig. prepared for Dr. John Marino, Assoc. Prof., History, UCSD.

“When I leave the grove, I go to a spring, and from there into my aviary. I have a book in my pocket, either Dante or Petrarch or one of the minor poets, as Tibullus, Ovid, and the like. I read about their tender passions and their loves, remember mine, and take pleasure for a while in thinking about them…In the evening…I enter into the ancient courts of ancient men, where, being lovingly received, I feed on that food which alone is mine, and which I was born for; I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask the reasons for their actions; and they courteously answer me. For four hours I feel no boredom and forget every worry…I give myself completely over to the ancients.”

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