Even One Word

The Blog of Nathan St. Pierre


Accepting Criticism Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I can think of no better way to begin this post than to point out that there is a simple truth to being a creative person: you are not your preferences, your ideals or your philosophy. You are what you create. You are, in essence, defined by the things you bring into this world. With that thought in mind, let's visit a great quote:

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. --Norman Vincent Peale

What you create is special to you. It has to be, in some way, otherwise why ... read more

One Man's thoughts about YesAllWomen Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So, I figured I could avoid controversy this time and just be clever with a snarky comment on the current state of affairs, and given the limitations of twitter, I thought this might work well:

My thoughts on #YesAllWomen : Don't be a dick, regardless of whether you have one or not. -natedsaint

But as things often do, the conversation has evolved since then, in a lot of directions all at the same time. Even at the time it was reductive and sarcastic. I genuinely feel the need to talk a little more about this.

I'm not going to comment on the ... read more

Celebrity and awkwardness Thursday, May 22, 2014

If I had to guess, I'd say one of the weirdest conditions in a social interaction is when one of the parties is at the classic "disadvantage." This happens when you are stalking someone until they inevitably catch you in the bushes, or (similarly) when you go to a comic convention and meet a celebrity signing autographs. I've had this experience a few times, usually after music events when the band is sticking around to sign autographs or sell swag or potentially answer your inane questions about the industry.

Celebrity and Awkwardness

I was very fortunate to have pretty great experiences with ... read more

Pursuing Happiness Saturday, April 12, 2014

I want to start by saying I know how self-centered blogs are in general, and I honestly cringe sometimes when I read the stupid navel-gazing crap I've written. But, this is something that I think has been a big part of my life for the past year, and I think it's something that other people can use as a lesson in their own lives.

It's amazing how hard it is for me to live in the moment. I don't know if it's an aspect of my personality, or if there's something about the way I've lead my life, but I find ... read more

Seattle as Seen by a Hayseed Part One -- Fremont Saturday, January 18, 2014

So, I've been living here for about three months, but to be honest I've been remarkably busy with taking care of selling our old house, getting our drivers' licenses and all sorts of logistical issues squared away. Not to mention a lot of overtime at work while I get trained and complete my first project. I haven't had much time to explore my new home. So, I made a resolution this year to at least get out and see some of it. These posts will catalog my adventures in Seattle.

Quick Explanation

The first thing I'll bring up is the title of ... read more

Best Laid Plan Thursday, January 2, 2014

"I don't think this is gonna do it," Walker grumbled. He was right, of course, but I wasn't about to admit it. I wasn't interested in failure at this point.

"We've planned this for months. It's a little late for second thoughts," I grumbled back. My nasal baritone was no match for his gravelly basso, and it didn't help that I wasn't really providing any insight. I was on my twelfth cappuccino, the inside of my eyelids had the texture of a frozen beach, and blinking profusely at my laptop monitor was only making this blurrier.

"Not my point. We're past second ... read more

First Thing I Made Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So, I promised I'd start actually DOING stuff with my time with the new year, so here goes: I made a game!

One of the awesome things about the crazy sale that Steam had was selling a super cheap copy of the Game Maker Studio Professional edition. With that, you can publish to Windows and OSX in a few different ways, which is a pretty narrow market but at least it allows you to mess around with some pretty cool stuff to get your game design and development chops up there.

My instinct as a programmer is to just start building a ... read more

New Years Revelations Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So every year we all make a long series of resolutions for the new year. We're always convinced it's going to be a different year, and by the definition of different, we win, because the year rolls over with or without us. But as far as changing our lives, losing the weight, learning the new language, or becoming a professional wrestler, we rarely meet up to those expectations. The goal, everyone says, is making realistic goals. Nothing too drastic: nothing desparate.

So with that in mind, here's my drastic and probably unattainable set of goals for the new year.

Use social media ... read more

Mike Rowe Has a Lot to Teach Geeks Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mike Rowe, famous for his work on the TV show "Dirty Jobs," has given a number of excellent talks over the years. One of my personal favorites is this one.

You don't have to watch the whole thing or even any of it to get the gist of this little diatribe I'm taking you on. But I'll bring up two points:

  • Following your dreams is probably not the best way to make a living.
  • If you think you know the one right way to do something, you're probably completely wrong, and there is no one right way to do things.

Often, especially in ... read more

New Job, New Site, New Mind Sunday, September 1, 2013

So, a lot of things have changed since the last time I've updated this blog. That gave me a pretty decent excuse to go ahead and also update my site (in more ways than one).

Rather than just continuing the wordpress blog ad infinitum, I figured I'd leverage some of the stuff I've been working on, namely Cuervo. It allows me to write blogs pretty quickly and not have to deal with managing a database and all sorts of poorly conceived architecture (sorry to all my wordpress friends, but come on... you know it).

The more astute among you may now ... read more

Not Another Day Sunday, May 13, 2012

I woke up coughing. I couldn't be sure if it was a painful tickle in my throat or a deeper bit of something in my lungs, but I couldn't stop. I rolled unceremoniously from bed, nearly braining myself on my nightstand.

"You okay?" the wife mumbled.

"Mrrubmhp cough cough," I replied. I'm eloquent at two in the morning. Two stubbed toes, a nearly squished dog, and a shoulder-bump on a doorframe later, I was in the bathroom. Closing the doors, I flipped the lights on and grimaced as I waited for my eyes to adjust. Watching my pupils rapidly contract, I noticed ... read more

The Mass Effect on my Brain (SPOILERS GALORE) Saturday, March 17, 2012

It begins

Like most nerds of my generation, I like to mess around with a few different hobbies and skills when I'm not at work. I write (fiction mostly, but also this ranting nonsense blog), I play and write music, and I work on and play video games. Thanks to a how busy I've been lately, I pretty much only have time to PLAY games. It's still a hobby, don't judge me.

Because of this, I like to watch shows like Extra Credits that explore the intricate, inter-related nature of all these individual skills. They have a few episodes ... read more

Meta - Doers Vs Creators Monday, February 13, 2012

I've been working on a review of my novel from Novel Writing Month, and I've gotten a bit stuck. To steal words from the immortal Wil Wheaton (http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/) , sometimes in order to write, you must write about writing.

SO! Here's to writing about writing! More generally, about life:

Every discipline or craft in which I've ever participated, I've found that there is a divide between the "doing" and the "creating" professions. In music, there are composers and there are performers. In development, there are architects and then front-line developers who implement architecture. In my comics, there are scriptwriters, and then ... read more

Ill-advised rant Friday, February 10, 2012

Against my own better judgement, and most likely my own well-being, I'm going to open a can of worms. More: a case of cans of worms. I'm going to do my best to think this out without resorting to proposing solutions, because there are no solutions.

Anonymous, the upcoming election, Arab Spring, LulzSec,AntiSec, SOPA, PIPA, Occupy Wall Street... just as one thing fades something else comes back up, and I'm starting to realize they are all threads of the same complex and interwoven cloth. If you get the chance, try to read Quinn Norton's eloquent and careful analysis of Anonymous available ... read more

The Narrative Problem Thursday, August 25, 2011

As long as I can remember, I've told stories.

I don't remember if my first lie was one that I told myself in order to turn my back yard into a forgotten realm of magic and wonder, or if it was one I told my mother to turn a broken lamp into my brother's problem. But as long as I can remember, I've made things up and shared them.

There are times when this attribute was beneficial: creative writing was a breeze for me, and I remember the end of my fifth grade year, kids volunteered to read their stories to the ... read more

Symptoms != Disease Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Right now, something I've been hearing in the news a great deal is this debate about whether the government mandate for health insurance is consitutional under the commerce clause, which states (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3):

[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
Let's set aside the fact this is about regulating commerce between individual states and not about micro-managing the economy (and while we're at it, ignore the implications that Indian tribes are�sovereign�nations within the nation and therefore not subject to federal jurisdiction), and look at ... read more

The New Culture of Spam Thursday, February 3, 2011

I realize I'm not the first one to talk about this, (see Cory Doctorow's thoughts on the subject), but the nature of the internet and spam have changed over the years.

It used to be that you protected your e-mail address as though it were the most secretive information in the universe, next to the last four digits of your social and your weight (and/or age, depending on your gender and personality). But, just like the last four digits of your social, your weight, your age, and even probably about how much money you make, your info is all ... read more

Honesty Monday, January 31, 2011

So my resolution this New Year was perhaps a bit too broad. I had basically three different parts of my life I wanted to improve: my health, my career, and my creativity. All of these I found to be in some ways expressions of who I am, who I was, and who I want to be. For my health, I decided to make more of a concerted effort to follow a diet, which in this case was weight watchers, because I can simply count the various different things I'm putting in my body to hold myself accountable for my actions. ... read more

Breathe Monday, January 3, 2011

Shards of ice cling to each breath of air, scathing and shimmering as they enter his nose. He sneezes, shaking his head and staggering his steps for a moment to avoid the urge to breathe deeply in from his mouth. Narrowly avoiding a curb, he regains his stride and begins to count again. Left, two three, right two three. In, two three, out two three. The sky is clear save for a few wispy clouds far at the edge of his peripheral vision. The skittering of bare branches blowing in the wind against each other is the only counterpoint to ... read more

New Site! Sunday, November 7, 2010

I've been trying to do this for the last few months, and finally saw enough inspiration to convince me to go ahead with the process of updating my blog template and moving back to a fairly standard wordpress install.


The issue I've found myself combating for the last few months is that I haven't been able to find inspiration to write blogs or work with individual new concepts, and I figured forcing myself to go forward with one would help me grow beyond my current skillset, both in web development and writing. I also needed to work hard to get my ... read more

LOTRO Music - .abc or not tobc Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've been spending a lot of time trying to decide whether or not I want to continue my work on a dynamic music engine for a video game system, but I need to determine which language it'll be in and decide how to integrate it with an existing game engine... so in the mean-time I'm doing a lot of "research" (read-- playing video games with my headphones on).

Lord of the Rings Online (which recently went free to play, so go check it out if you have a second) has a surprisingly interesting music system. You can play ... read more

Revelation in Narrative Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scintillating starlight gleamed between the wisps of misty cloud. The symphony of cricket drones beat a counterpoint to the chattering of oak leaves in the late night breeze. Shafts of cold clear light from Luclin's lunar surface snaked across the surface of the lake below, and the earth was still. So still that Naethan knelt to press a hand against the ground, lightly humming a tracking tune as he cast his gaze quickly from left to right. His party shifted their weight as silently as possible behind him. He smiled as he felt the light tug of the song ... read more

Life Through an Aperture Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perhaps the title of this post is not quite as descriptive or logical as I would hope, but I'm realizing now that every stage of life requires you to view the world through a specific set of limitations. When you're a little kid, you see world through the back seat. I have memories of landscapes and entire worlds through the limited lens of the back seat of a sedan. You don't have the freedom to go wherever you want without the aid of others, and as such you're often tucked into the safety of the back seat. As a college student at ... read more

CSS Abstraction Thursday, April 22, 2010

This post is being created due to the fact that two things have come up which are new to me.

Point the first

The first is that I've never had a meaningful conversation on twitter that needed to elevate to a better, more spacious medium. In most cases, points brought up in 140 chars are often summed or rebutted in just as few, but I've actually had my first conversation via twitter that really needed to escalate further. My instinct was to hurriedly write this response and put it up there, but I realized it would be a disservice to all people ... read more

Bards, Kings and Heroes Monday, April 12, 2010

In this world, there are a variety of people who live in the public view. You have a variety of public figures who have been elevated to that status as the result of their efforts in their personal lives, their choice of profession, and any other number of reasons.

For the sake of argument I'm going to say that people in the public eye exist somewhere on an axis that is polarized by their role and attitude towards the public itself. On one side, you have people who have been made popular and publicly recognized due to their contributions to society, ... read more

Keep from losing your mind with SVN Thursday, April 1, 2010

There are a lot of version control systems out there, and to be honest, most of them have pretty useful guides on how to get them working. But over the years, I've had a lot of web people (namely designers, content writers, and SEO folks) ask me how to set up SVN on their systems, and in most cases those guides go right over their heads. This is not an insult to people who are too busy to learn the intricacies of version control, it's a statement of the fact that most people who geek out about this kind of ... read more

Ultra Meta Monday, March 29, 2010

Why Leon Paternoster doesn’t like Tumblr & Posterous - Monday By Noon.

This article taught me about Press This, which I am then using to post the link to that article. My brain hurts.

Voodoo Management Sunday, March 21, 2010

This topic has come up a lot of times in conversation, and it just came up again when I was discussing something with my wife. I don't know if this is actually an idea that exists in management training or concepts of leadership, but if it is, it's related to "voodoo economics."

The idea is that, like in voodoo, you experiment by trying a variety of things, mostly at random. For example, you try adding people to a department, or change various things. When you get results that you like, you stop changing, and write down that process, because now, that ... read more

Graceful Degradation or Progressive Enhancement? Friday, February 26, 2010

The HTML5 Spec is trudging slowly (yet inevitably) closer to completion, and CSS Level Three is being picked up by Mozilla at a rate almost equal to their Webkit equivalents. What does this mean for those of us who make a living building websites?

Simply put, we’re not all getting the same internet. As argued by the anonymous and yet ingenious Do Websites Need to Look Exactly the Same in Every Brower.com, different browsers will provide a different appearance of the same overall content and presentation. So we have essentially three choices.

  1. Screw the new features and stick with what we know ... read more

Frist p0st! Thursday, February 25, 2010

I know they say you should lead off a new blog or any form of media with a fairly strong indication of the tone that you're going to go with. But I can't help it, I'm a smartass. So maybe it's appropriate, in the end.

After dallying in a variety of technologies, including a failure of a CMS that I wrote myself, I've come full circle back to WordPress. I missed it, and now with Pods and a lot of other ridiculously advanced themes and plugins to this particular beast, I'm fairly certain I'll have plenty to keep myself busy for ... read more

Pirates vs Ninjas Thursday, January 3, 2008

Before I wade through the massive pile of projects that have become a part of my daily work routine, I usually check my e-mail, Facebook, and Myspace to make sure that I'm up to date on everything before I dive into forcing designs to work on non-compliant browsers. When I logged in this morning I had a note from one of my programmer friends, and something dawned on me that I hadn't really fully formulated in my mind.

Working in the web world, or on video games, or anything involving developing applications with user interfaces, is potentially the eternal struggle between ... read more