Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer 2009

Here we are at the hot end of summer, and it's time to write about the past few months.

School: I completed my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz this summer. The important class was computer science 101, which consisted of algorithm analysis, graph theory, a more in depth approach to searching and sorting algorithms, and mathematical proofs of problem solutions. The professor was Patrick Tantalo, an eloquent and funny guy. I scored an A+ in CS101. This allows me to take CS160 in the fall, which is a graphics programming class that I am very excited about.

My other class, which I took because it looked interesting, was "Personal Narratives in Film and Theatre," which involved watching and writing about two monologues a week for 5 weeks, as well as a personal narrative which was presented at the end. I got a B (for Bryan) in this class. The facilitator was Bob Giges.

The fall quarter starts Sep 21. I will be moving on campus in the Porter dorms. In addition to CS160, I'll be taking Computer Engineering 12, which is a chip/micro-controller programming class, and CS80J, which is a topical class on "Technology targeted at social issues." I've also got a T'ai Chi class for fun, and I will hopefully get some further piano or guitar instruction.

Biking adventures: During the summer I was riding my bike everywhere. Twice a week I rode my bike to campus, about a half hour of all uphill. I found routes that were about 50% offroad. After class I would often bike around the many miles of trails around campus. Jerry came down from SanFran twice and we had good rides around campus, the first time we came down through Wilder ranch, the second we made a turn that took us down a very steep downhill section and we rode back along highway 9.

After I took my final, there was a fire burning north of santa cruz, and I biked into the woods. The smoke wasn't affecting the air badly yet, but there was a lovely orange hue to everything as the sunlight passed through the clouds. The next two days I packed up and started driving back to socal. I took the 1 so I could camp in big sur. I stopped at the first campground, Andrew Molera State Park, which had trails for horses, and so I took my bike on these trails. The trails were nothing special, but biking right onto the beautiful beaches of big sur was nice. I was camped north of Santa Barbara at El Refugio Beach the next night, where I also biked a few beach trails.

About a week later I was in San Diego, camped out by Black Mountain in north county. I woke up early to bike the mountain before it was too hot. I had found a trail which I was looking for a couple years ago, Miner's Ridge, which was supposed to be an intermediate trail. At 8am it was already hot, and this trail was very steep. There were stairs that looked like I could clear them, but I was getting exhausted quickly. It was an intense trail, steep up and down with many drops/stairs, only about a mile, although there is a network of trails on black mountain that can extend that. I also rode merriam bear, a bit of tecolate canyon, florida canyon, and a trail west of the 163 in balboa park while in San Diego.

Games: Last weekend, Aug 28-30, was Ludum Dare 15. The theme was "Caverns" and in 48 hours I made and published my 7th game. I didn't give it a name, but it's a side scrolling platform game, a hybrid of super mario bros and alice in wonderland. The game is here: This was my second game made with Game Maker. The other one, Dr. Splodeyhead, I released during the week before LD15, and is on the page with my other games:

There were 155 entries to LD15, which all must be played by us 155 competitors during these 2 weeks following LD. At about 20 minutes per game, this is taking much of my time now.

Well, after a few weeks of visiting friends and family here in socal, next week I'll be heading North on the 395 for a few days of camping around mammoth, mono lake, and yosemite, before good times at Symbiosis Gathering and then rushing to campus to get settled in before class. The summer session is open enrollment, so this is my first quarter of really being enrolled and the campus fully populated. Living in university dorms is something I've dreamed of for years. Very excited! Ciao!