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Hamumu Journal
Down to the Wire06:53 PM -- Thu June 16, 2005

So, here it is Thursday. We are deeply hoping that our escrow will close tomorrow and we'll get the keys to our new house. But it's really up in the air. So many things have to come together just right for it to happen. One of them was us - we had to get the money we had to pay into escrow on time! You'd think that wouldn't be such a big deal, but actually it's been a crazy stresspile all week. See, I didn't sell the stocks that I needed to sell until this Monday (there are some excuses, but mostly forgetfulness and procrastination). The tricky bit there is that once you sell a stock, the sale has to 'settle', which takes 3 days. So that money was not quite ours until this morning. Then that money had to get from E*Trade to escrow, which again is not as easy as you think. I spent half an hour on hold waiting to deal with someone there, because their online wire transfer thing wouldn't permit me to wire to the escrow company, since my name isn't the name on their bank account (at least not without a notarized letter, and I didn't exactly have time to mail that). But wait, there's more! That was half the money. The other half was in our checking account, so I had to go wire that too. Only it turns out that the bank inside Albertson's doesn't do wires, so I had to drive over to the other one, which is actually about 100 yards from the escrow building itself. So instead of a wire, I got a cashier's check (because it's cheaper), and delivered it by hand. So phew. Our money is there.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment, hopefully to be delivered slowly via dial-up modem from Anza, in which we discover if the lender of the people buying our house is still dragging his feet, or if he got on the ball and handled his end of things. We need to get the money from that before we can complete our purchase, so let's hope. Oh, and here's another fun bit: our propane tank won't be delivered for another week, so we get a week of icy showers! It's well water too, so you KNOW it's freezing. We may try finding out just how long one of those little hand-held tanks lasts.

What else to hear? I got 14th place in the one-button game contest. That was really disappointing, because to the extent that I can be dispassionate and objective about it (to wit: not at all), I really felt like my game was the best of the ones I played. That's not normally the case, but this time, it really felt that way. Most of them were just what you'd expect from a 1-button contest: quickie time-wasters with nothing to offer beyond one simple action you repeat over and over for a high score. The final insult to it all is that the winning game is exactly like my game overall, only not as nice-looking, completely missing any options, and greatly lacking in control options (i.e. the only action you can perform is to jump). Not that that is bad overall - simplicity IS good. But I can't help but feel like "Hey, I made that but better!"

To sweeten the grapes a little, I will give out my mad homie props from the strizzeet to the other games besides mine that I would've rated at the top if I were the judge. In no particular order, first is Aurikon by Aggressive Games. It's pictured at the top of this page, and you can download it there. It's got unlockables, which kept me playing a whole lot. Another one I liked a lot was Manik Minis, on this page (a ways down), which is a blatant Wario Ware clone. Everybody knows that means fun! And it was a really smart idea for a 1-button contest, too. Lastly, One Switch Balls, from the same page as Manik Minis, is another good one. Very similar to Chromadrome, which I really liked. Aside from those, I've played maybe 15 or 20 entries, several of which scored above mine, but I really wasn't impressed. There were some that were really professional, just not very fun, others that were fun but extremely repetitive (as you'd expect from a 1-button game!), and still others that were just whacked out.

Of course, it was all for a good cause. All these games and more are now available at OneSwitch.org.uk, so you can try as many of the others as you like. I think you might get a kick out of Flossy Siege too. The winning game was Miner Willy (under Platformers, where you'll also find Ninja Academy, since they're practically the SAME). Personally, after trying the first level, I think it makes Ninja Academy look easy!

In general, I try not to squeeze my sour grapes into whine, so that's all you'll get out of me on this topic. I'm unhappy with the results, and I can't even begin to guess what the judging criteria were, but it's no big - I'm really looking forward to having Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time out there so I can show you all how 1-button games should be made! It shall be my greatest achievement! Well, it'll be fun. And easier than Ninja Academy, I promise.
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