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Creation Date: 2003-11-10
Greetings friends. I am writing to show you this wonderful work of art that I created today. There are a few specific things I want to draw your attention to.

The first is that it is a real life art project. It did not originate in the computer like most of my art. You can tell because of the massive amount of shading. I rarely put shading in my CG work because it's a bother rather than a help. You can see that in my far earlier parts. The shading is due to my 60 watt lamp being off to the right. The second thing I want to point out is the difference in materials used. I used three different types of materials for this work of art. The first is masking tape. I used black masking tape (cut into 1/4 size strips) for the border and pale masking tape for the skin color. Both were very successful in their application. The second material is art tape. Before a week ago, I didn't know that art tape existed. It is a strip of paper with adhesive on once side. The adhesive is activated by water (like an old lickable stamp), so the artist simply cuts the strip to shape, wets the adhesive side of the paper and sticks it to the surface. That is the blue you see in the hair. I like art tape. I didn't think that it would work, but I had an idea: I would use an old empty shampoo bottle to dispense the water. I would use a tofu container to catch the water runoff. It worked very well. I like the texture and it stays down very well. It is not as positionable as masking tape, but it is cheap and available at art supply stores. The third material was duct tape. Where? The eyes. You can notice the specular reflection of the lamp light on the character's left eye. This is cool. The bad part about the blue duct tape is that it is expensive, so I don't have enough to cover much area. I'll use it where I need specular reflection and the versatility of duct tape that I can't get from art tape. I had a bunch of blue masking tape, but I most of it up and then I left the rest at a protest. How silly, no? The art supply store I went to had a bunch of colors, but blue is all I got because I'm poor. I have a bunch of yellow duct tape left over from the first and second duct tape murals that I created.

Now, I want to explain something interesting: this picture is 30 cm (1 ft) wide and 46 cm (1.5 ft) high. It's larger than life size. So many people ask, "Why does it have to be so big?" My answer is long and strange. The first is that the medium lends itself to large murals. Duct tape and masking tape can cover a large area for a small cost and cannot cover a small area for a lesser cost. The fact is that $20 worth of tape and $20 worth of banner paper will last 6 huge murals. And you can guess that if I wanted to make something 2 ft x 2 ft, it would cost $20 for tape and $20 for paper. The main reason is the message that I'm trying to send to the viewer. That's right, I'm trying to send a message. It's a subversive message, yes. I want the viewer to see the power of humanity, the mind, and matter. Check this out: a human being can think with their mind and decide to control their body to create something amazing with matter. I did that Nov 25, 1999. I did that September 2N, 1999. I did that in the Spring of 2001 and the Summer of 2001. I do that everyday, it's all I ever do. When I'm not doing something, creating, I'm thinking about it. If I ever have a problem where I cannot think to create, I am in horrible pain over it. My computer allows me to create without wasting material resources except $0.04 per hour of electricity. This is one reason I love my computer.

Why did I create a small mural of Javantea? It was a test of my tools. I needed to test the art tape and the rest of my arsenal because on Tuesday (Nov 12, 2003) I'm going to spend the entire day (6 AM - 12 PM) to create an amazing new duct tape mural. I designed it a while back and it will be very cool. I drew it with XFig and imported it to The GIMP and colored it. I printed a 5in:1m scale line art version of it so that I could enlarge it faithfully.

It will be for Hack Mars, my new video game which is behind schedule by 3 or so months and counting. The game is behind schedule because I got a job. I've been working on my job many hours per week. The reason I made such an advanced schedule is because I planned to spend every waking hour on it. In fact, the job stopped my work nearly completely, I'm sad to say. However, I bet that everyone assumed that an Nov 1 release was unrealistic. It was. Even if I has spent every waking hour on it, I was not able to fix major problems and add vital functionalities to the game engine. I didn't create the content that is required for HM to be created. That is the same problem with Javantea's Fate. I had this idea that as soon as I had my engine, I could work 24-7 on content. Well, not even close. In fact, I have barely booted into Windows a dozen times in the last year. I've been running Linux and my modelling program, Milkshape 3D is only for Windows. Why don't I boot into Windows? Because it's a hassle and I can always find something to do in Linux if I'm feeling up to working on Hack Mars. I have done about 3 weeks of good programming in the past 3 months. So right now I am where I should have been Aug 21 (week 3) if I wanted to finish on Nov 1 (13 weeks). I need to force myself to create content. I need to finish the major parts of the engine. I need to work on porting it to Win32 (very easy since the only OS-specific part is the font loader). I need to write the 40 some missions each of which take a quarter of a day. I need a paid voice actress to record some 20 hours of female speech. I need to write music for ~20 songs and lyrics for ~6. I will tell you to expect a June 1 release. Why? Because that's far enough away to ensure that I will have enough time to work on it. As for me, I'm going to keep working on my month to month planning. I've done 2 monthly explanations of my work and kept a fairly detailed timesheet. That will help me focus my time on things that haven't been getting enough attention. It also allows me to write a good reason for not being on schedule.

I said that I have a job, but I say that I'm still poor. How could that be? It's not because I have $23,000 of debt. It's because my job pays jack. I say that I work a lot, right? I get paid zilch. My first paycheck for two months of 20 hour weeks of back-breaking work is going to be $200. That's what fraction of minimum wage? I can't complain too much because I'm broke and my boss is poor. Asking more would put us both out of work. Next month I should be getting enough to pay my rent, but not enough to pay my bills. Why? Because I've been living off credit cards for 2 years. I have $9,000 in credit card debt. I haven't had a job for 2 years. So, what am I supposed to do? I decided 1.5 years ago (when I had $0 of credit card debt) that I should move out onto the street. That was a bad idea since I would probably freeze to death or something stupid like that. But instead, my mother and father graciously paid my rent and food for 6 months. When Summer came, they cut off the cash in hope that I would get a job. Well, what do I do? I put my rent and food on credit card. Brilliant, no? I did it for ~1 year, so I wouldn't criticize me too much. In fact, I am pleased that the credit card system allowed me to live on their dime. I did a lot of good stuff in that year unencumbered by a job. But now, each of the 4 cards want $70 per month and my student loans want $150 per month. What the fuck? I call it the Pied Pier Routine. You see, the Pied Piper of Hamlin rid the town of rats for a large sum. When the town decided to not pay him, he took the children of the town instead. Yeah, that's what the credit card companies want to do. Bless their profiting souls.

I don't have a job that can pay my debt, so what the fuck do I do? Bankruptcy is not an option. My parent are far too nice, but I don't want to burden them to support my lifestyle (and also because I believe there is no free lunch). So I have four possible sources of income. The first is my current job. The second is a new job that I may get in December. The third is selling Hack Mars and/or Javantea's Fate. The fourth is a new project for my business AltSci.com. I don't want to talk about it because it's not even close to starting. The first two together will work. The second one alone will almost work. The first one alone will support my rent for a while and may turn into something interesting. The third one is by June and is not guaranteed at all. The fourth method is similar to the third. Am I suffering yet? No. Am I worried? Sure. Am I going to make it happen? That's my plan.
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