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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 01:48:03 PM
Mood: Anxious
Blogging to Keep the Blog Alive

So much to share. I started quite a few projects that I can write about, and I can't in good conscience abandon this eight year old blog. So here goes nothing...

It all started with a buzzing in the walls whenever Jenny would turn on the hair dryer, or when the coffee maker would kick on. I discovered that most of our house has aluminum wiring, which has been known to cause fires. I decided to rewire the house with copper, starting with the two bathrooms upstairs. I have yet to accomplish this goal, but I'm getting there...

attic_stairsFirst, I needed to be able to get up and down into the attic easily. That was a problem, since the only access was through a small hatch in the packed closet in Jenny's office.  So, step one was to install attic stairs. I chose a heavy duty model that required some significant reinforcement of our existing joists, but I got it done.

The next step was to remove the old insulation from the attic space so I wouldn't have to wear full biohazard gear every time I went up there. The old fiberglass insulation in our attic was completely shot. There were sections missing, sections that were compressed or disintegrating, and everything had a thick layer of dust and fiberglass particles on top of it. I took my Israeli military issue gas mask out of storage (I bought it just after 9/11 when I lived just outside Manhattan) and went through three full-body paper suits from Home Depot but I managed to bag it all up. biohazardI must have filled up 30 contractor bags. I vacuumed the remaining dust with the shop vac and a hepa filter and now the attic is ready for rewiring.

Once the insulation was gone, the heat in the attic became an issue pretty quickly. There was an old attic fan up there but it was disconnected before we moved in. The next project was to replace the motor and blades with a new thermostat controlled model. The fan helps with the heat a lot, but it will be better once we put new insulation up there.

The next phase is to remove some of the drywall in the garage that surrounds the electrical panel and make a decision as to the best route to run the new wires. The only thing I know for sure is that I have to get them up to the attic.

Tocci Ponders: Why haven't cats evolved to have digestible hair?

In other news, our garden this year has been very productive. I expanded it by 8 feet this year, making it 24 feet long. Once again I used the grass I displaced to sod parts of the lawn that needed it. We took that big maple tree down last fall so we had a pretty big area that needed some grass, so that worked out well. We've harvested plenty of yellow squash, zucchini, two varieties of cucumbers (some HUGE... see photo), cucumbersbanana peppers, basil, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, Japanese eggplant, and a ton of tomatoes. I'm still waiting on the bell peppers. I couldn't believe how big red leaf lettuce gets. They were about 3 feet high before they died. No joke.

Fishing season has treated me well so far this year. I think I'm getting the hang of it. So far my biggest fish was over five pounds, caught on a four inch senko. I've also had some good days using frogs and brush hogs.

drivewayAlso, we got a new driveway. Late last year, the electric company sent out some contractors to run new electric lines underground through our development. They used a big drill and started drilling right on our corner. When they went under our driveway, the shale deep underground was displaced and created a speed bump. The contractors attempted to fix the driveway a few times, but it never was quite the same, so eventually they agreed to have it repaved. It looks great now, but we're still not parking on it. They said to wait two weeks, but we've given it an extra week and a half so far since it still feels a bit soft due to all of the heat and humidity lately.

OK now that I'm more or less caught up, hopefully my next entry will not be as daunting and I won't have such an aversion to blogging. Only time will tell.

Link ketchup:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 04:04:53 PM
Mood: Zoned Out
High Scores!

high scoresHigh score boards are now enabled in Tocci's games! (Well they've actually been up for about 2 1/2 weeks, but I've been blog-lazy.) For my leaderboard solution, I wanted to find a simple, clean, flexible, and tamper resistant solution to implement.  But we can't always get what we want, so I wrote my own.  I added them to all of my flash games except for Britney Wigged Out, which was made with an earlier version of Flash.

Since putting them up, I've come to the realization that I suck at my games. People are posting some amazing scores with furious dedication. In my Tiger's Transgressions games, for instance, I anticipated there would be multiple people posting perfect scores so I equipped the boards with a "# Times" column to subdivide those power players. But people aren't just posting a perfect score a few times. Try 1000 times. I sh*t you not. It's incredible. Even the back 9, which I thought was nearly impossible to ace, is getting multiple perfect games posted per day.

You can check out the boards in the flash games themselves or on the individual game pages here at toccionline.

Tocci Ponders: Why don't ex-sumo wrestlers ever become hockey goalies? The opposition can't score if the goalie's body blocks the entire goal.

In other news, the amazing weather we've had in New Jersey last week kicked off the fishing season a little early. I've caught two bass and a pickerel so far.

Linkz (spelling it with a "z" means I'm gangsta)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 03:08:43 AM
Mood: Excited
The Back Nine

Tiger's Transgressions: The Back NineI'm pleased to announce the launch of the sequel to Tiger's Transgressions. It's nine more hos of golf entitled Tiger's Transgressions: The Back Nine. The gameplay is pretty much identical to the original, only now the hos are not so easy (pardon the double entendre). Quite a few people were bragging about getting a perfect score of 9 on the front 9, so I had to up the ante on the back 9 with more obstacles, visual impairments, faster hos, and variable speed winds. Good luck!

Incidentally, the backlash has finally started. I found two articles so far complaining about Tiger's Transgressions, claiming it's violent towards women. Oh give me a freakin' break! The faceless and nameless hos are a mere 4 frames of animation. There's more graphic violence in Mario Brothers. It's a funny game, meant to combine golf with Tiger's mistresses to make people laugh. And if you check the comments on atom.com you'll see that virtually all men and women are seeing it that way. Some are calling it the funniest game ever! It's really no surprise that anything that can garner that kind of reaction will surely offend someone out there... but lighten up, people. Tell ya what, if my game incites a rash of people going around driving golfballs at promiscuous women from a hundred yards away, feel free to blame me.

Tocci Ponders: Why does my cat always run immediately after pooping in her litter box? Is the "poop and run" technique really that satisfying?

I've added some TocciOnline subscription options to the homepage and the creations page. You can now learn of new games and animations via twitter, a facebook group, an rss feed, or by receiving e-mail notifications.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 04:32:44 AM
Mood: Happy
Go Tiger Go

Tiger's TransgressionsThe Tiger's Transgressions game has been played almost 3 million times so far according to the statistics at atom.com.  And those don't account for the times people hit the "play again" button at the end of the game either. All I can say is (and I'll keep this clean for the kiddies), "holy mo effing s-bomb". People really seem to get a kick out of knocking out adulteresses with golf balls. Even more surprising is that the feedback has been almost entirely positive. I'm not used to that at all. Just as mistresses come out of the wood work for Tiger, the malcontents inevitably appear whenever I make a game or animation. But this time there were only a couple of people who couldn't take a joke. By and large it seems the general public has a sense of humor these days. Sweet.

Timeout: I just accidentally trapped my cat in my file cabinet! I thought I heard a faint meow. I looked around. No sign of Leia. Then a minute later I heard a rustling sound near the file cabinet. No Leia. Then I heard it again and realized she probably wandered inside before I shut it. (She loves small spaces.) Amazingly she was completely out of the way of moving parts when I closed it. I just opened it back up she walked right out, laid down on the carpet, and started purring.

Back to the Tiger game, also impressive to me are the people who are scoring 9s. That's a "ho in one" on all nine hos. I don't know if that's sheer skill or just persistence, but I can tell you it's not easy. (I usually score in the 30s, maybe the 20s if I get lucky.)  One guy with the handle STICKTV posted a screenshot of his perfect game. Another guy named Rod got 9s so consistently that he came up with all kinds of variations on the game to add difficulty, and it got picked up by the atom blog. Looks like we'll need a back 9 with some trickier hos.

Tocci Ponders: In Young MC's "Bust a Move" there are lyrics that go, "Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry. In five days from now he's gonna marry. He's hoping you can make it there if you can 'cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man." [record screech] Now hold on a second. WTF is going on with Larry? You're best friends with his brother, so why would he ask you to be best man at his wedding? Doesn't he have any friends? Why not tap Harry? If I were Harry I'd be pissed. Maybe Harry's not reliable, but then again how reliable can you be if the wedding is in five days and he's still 'hoping' you can make it. It's a little late to change your RSVP. Larry really should really patch things up with his brother and maybe get some decent friends.

Tocci's back 9 links:

Thursday, December 17, 2009 01:04:20 PM
Mood: Energized
Tiger's Transgressions - Tiger Woods Mistresses Flash Game

Tiger Tiger Woods y'all! (1:30) (3:40)

My Tiger Woods' mistresses game launched yesterday on atom.com. In Tiger's Transgressions, you're Tiger Woods and your mistresses are coming out of the woodwork. It's up to you to stop them from going to the press using the tool you know best - a driver. Tiger's Transgressions The object of the game is to knock each mistress out with a golf ball in the fewest strokes before she reaches a news van. There are nine ho's of golfing fun. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Jeff Silvestris for his help with the artwork.

Tiger Links: