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Memory Lane
2004.06.19 @ 12:01 AM
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Today I'm twenty five years old.

Quarter of a century.

Old, in other words. Closing on 30.

I've spent some time here and there throughout the week compiling a non-inclusive history of the last 9,132 days of my life. It's far from complete, but I believe it's detailed enough to give you a general idea as to what I've been up to since the lease on the womb expired and I moved Out.

I've been busy.

Note : the movies are out of order. Dad was watching Sleeper, a movie by Woody Allen. Python was Jen. :-)

Also Note (From Dad) : I didn't step out in front of the arrow. It was an accident- I was too close to him when he was pulling arrows out of the hay bales, and ding!

A Brief History

(Alternatively: Partial Recall, 9,132 Days Later, or Holy Fuck I'm Old, if the reader prefers.)

This being a non-inclusive life history in brief of one Daniel M. Hinder, Artist,
born the nineteenth of June, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.

Please note that video games and movies are listed primarily as a chronological reference point. I have a mind for events, but not numbers- googling up these dates has allowed me to position a large amount of this chronology in its proper event order. I have neglected to detail a couple of key events for personal reasons- you can most likely infer some of what I'm leaving out from some of what I probably should have.

To talk about oneself a great deal can also be a means of concealing oneself.
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
1979
June 19 Incept date. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital, Welsboro PA. Dad is watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the delivery room*. Aside from the whole Garfield thing, not exactly a historically noteworthy date.
August 15 Apocalypse Now released. Eventual VHS release becomes key bonding point with dad.
1980 - Liberty
May 21 Empire Strikes Back released. As VHS catches on, ESB becomes one of my favorite films through elementary and high school.
General Vague memory of Whitneyville apartment, transition from Whitneyville to Liberty. This could have been 1981, but chronologically, it makes sense that the vague memories I have of the outside of the house place the transition here, before my sister was born.
1981
February Sister is born. Extremely vague memories of being babysat by grandmother (?)- in Liberty by this point, if memory serves. Dad's watching Sleeper in the delivery room*.
1982 - Doom.
Spring Meet Xenothaulus, forging a friendship that continues to this day. Early memories involve smashing things and blowing stuff up.
June 25 Blade Runner released
1983
May 25 Return of the Jedi released.
General

- Enter Pre- School, taught by Julie White. Mom's friend Brenda gives me and son Buddy rides to and from in her Bronco.
- Begin artistic career as a crayola colorist for Return of the Jedi coloring books.
- RotJ sheets, which I still have.
- Hazy memory of seeing RotJ on a BIG drive-in movie screen at the theater outside of Mansfield. Family vehicle at the time was a white Volkswagen Rabbit. Jabba and sidekicks scared the crap out of me.

1984
January 24 Apple Computer introduces Macintosh.
September Kindergarten: beginning of public school career. Mrs. Graver. Art taught by Mrs. Weatherbee.
General - The Last Starfighter released.
- Around this time (though it may have been first or second grade), I was dicking around and generally being stupid while dad was practicing archery. Stepped out in front of him immediately after projectile release. Arrow grazes the side of my scalp, giving me a small scar and one hell of a headache. The incident is completely my fault, though dad doesn't pick up the bow again until I'm in high school.
- Construx : a toy "system" along the lines of legos which has had an immensurable impact on my vehicle design process.
1985
September First Grade
General - IQ testing. Kyle Heyler is the first student in my class to enter the enrichment program. If memory serves, I began my time in the enrichment program in second grade.
- First illustration I can remember : I drew Barbeque, the GI Joe, during a first grade class.
- Learn how to read.
- Learn how to write. Remember my teacher trying to correct me, something to the effect of, "No Danny, the pencil goes in your right hand."
- Odd man out at Adam Landis's birthday party (this could have been summer of 1986). Formative social moment that determines the course of the next twelve years.
1986 - Populous Control
January 28 Challenger Incident. Remember first grade teacher pulling the class together to inform us of what had happened.
July Aliens released. Dropped off with sister at dad's foster parent's house to be babysat while parents watch the film.
General

- Enrichment program, under Mrs. Ritter. Classes at the High School, with Emily, Kyle, Jason, and Morgan. Mrs. Ritter reams me out about my pessimistic attitude at some point (87 or 88). Excel at creative problem solving, dimensional positioning puzzles. Exposed to Vonnegut. Morgan eventually moved to Williamsport; Emily moved north. Morgan's house would be later occupied by the Beatties.
- First exposure to computers (enrichment, might be 86, could be 87). Logo on the Apple II, typing on IBM 8088s. Loved the light pen interface.
- I think it was around this time. Dad pulls me aside during summer vacation and says, paraphrased: "You can read now- check this out, I think you'll get a kick out of it." Dad loans my Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. The book explodes in my head like a nuclear warhead of love and for the next eighteen years it's all about space ships, aliens, interstellar travel, rockets and so forth.

1987 - Dinged Up
September Third Grade.
General - Pushed down a slide in the fall of 1987 at the lower playground of LES. Forehead is split open. Butterfly bandaged by Mrs. Beachy, who calls my dad. Dad takes me to Soldier's and Sailors, where the doctor explains that they cannot give me anesthetic due to my age and the area of the wound. Eight stitches without painkillers, racoon eyes from blood loss for several days. Scar begins life on my forehead and eventually sinks into my brow ridge as I grow up.
- Started Cub Scouts here. I think.
Summer Iran Contra hearings make for quite a bit of Oliver North on the TV. Wonder who the hell this guy is and why he's preempting anything interesting. (this implies we have television by this point- one channel, WBNG TV-12, a CBS affiliate in Binghamton New York)
1988
September Fourth Grade. Big step forward psychologically: Fourth through Sixth graders actually change classes. Largely between Turner, MacNamara, Kregger, and Goldsmith. By around this time, Mrs. Weatherbee has been replaced by Mr. Steven Bower. Mr. Bower would later become one of the biggest influences on my academic career.
General - Achievement tests place me at a college reading level. This is owed largely to the mental leaps and bounds I had to undertake to get my mind around Dad's Heinlein collection. Become extremely interested in Sci-Fi of all kinds.
- Somewhere in here I did Cub Scouts, which lasted up until sixth grade or so when I got my Arrow of Light award. Opted not to go for Boy Scouts on account of not really liking the other kids in the program. Mom got me into 4-H instead (I had transitioned to 4-H around the release of Final Fantasy)
1989
September Fifth Grade
December Nintendo! The formative video game experience. I still have the deck and several games.**
General - If memory serves, it's around this time: Mr. Goldsmith (history and spelling teacher at LES, driver education instructor at LHS, and one hell of a cool guy, no longer with us. :-/) finds a somewhat sexually explicit illustration in my desk after class. Informs mom, mom gives me a ton of shit about how you don't draw this kind of stuff. Formative incident for slash-and-burn procedure which results in all Gravicon work prior to 1996 and most of it up until 1997 being destroyed within hours of its creation.
- Also around this time, embark on an Anthro/Furry kick. Two dimensional front-on templated drawings. Scores of them would evolve over the next several years, each being a character sheet with some amount of detail. A fantasized scenario evolved in my head, decidedly sci-fi. This world was where I "lived" for the next several years.
1990
September Sixth Grade. You're getting the idea by now, I assume.
November 21 Japanese release of F-Zero for the Super Famicom.
December Mom gets me a Nintendo Power subscription, which comes with a free copy of Dragon Warrior. Dad gets mildly irritated at the amount of time I spend on the game, which eventually paves the way to getting a TV in my room specifically for video games.
General - By this point, mom is taking me to the Blossburg library. Start checking out neat things like Charles Addams My Party and Jack Chalker's Rings of the Master series. Oddly enough I don't get to fiction written for my age range (Piers Anthony) until I run the library out of the more interesting stuff in the early mid nineties.
- Construction on LES addition begins in earnest.
- By this time, both my sister and I are checked out on handguns, shotguns, and sporting rifles. Actual exposure started much earlier in life. Dad collects and restores projectile weaponry, and has a very sound theory on gun safety. He made sure that my sister and I knew where all the guns were, how to work the safeties, taught us proper gun safety and cleaning procedures, and most importantly, taught us the ethics of wielding firearms. As a consequence, there was never a weapons accident on the property. I mean, other than my dumbass experience a few years earlier. ;-) I learned the hard way early on just how dangerous sporting weapons are, and was consequently cautious with any equipment I was given to handle, with one exception.
- I have NO idea what year this actually happened, but at some point, CBS started airing reruns of The Prisoner to fill in late night time slots. Dad taped it, I watched it. Ate it up, more like. The mindset of Number Six was extremely inspirational, and the phrase "Be seeing you." has since become a permanent part of my vocabulary.
1991 - Final Maniac Fantasy
January Nintendo Power subscription begins.
June Birthday of doom! Maniac Mansion and Final Fantasy fuel my imagination for the rest of the summer.
Summer - 4-H camp. Stack of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and Analog get me through a concentration-camp atmosphere of Public School With Tents.
- Somewhere around here, I start going fishing with dad on an irregular basis, ramping up to a more regular basis in the mid nineties. Develop a preference for early-morning trips to Little Pine for bow fishing. I don't fish myself- I go along as an observer and enjoy the environment. These excursions are some of my fondest memories.
September Seventh grade. Transfer to LHS. Lots of big kids! Start bumping into Xenothaulus again periodically; our association would recommence with Odyssey of the Mind in.... ninth grade, if memory serves. Nine week crash course on computers : a room full of TRS-80s, taught by Mr. Heckrote.
November Final Fantasy {II|IV} released in the states.
December Actraiser released (this is a positioning date)
1992
Summer 4-H camp, special champion edition. A week of slacking off and having fun. Tentmate is older and vastly cooler than previous year's. James. Don't remember his last name. James got me into Dune and Robotech. I cannot thank this man enough.
September 8th Grade. German teacher and I take an instant and near-permanent dislike for each other. GPA held down by German grade until exit from German class in 11th grade.
November Out of this World released for the Super Nintendo.
December Jason Matthews (Enrichment program, cub scouts) gets Out of this World for christmas; calls me up, as I happen to be the only guy in class with a Nintendo Power subscription. We start hanging out on a regular basis after this. IIRC, based on FF2 and Actraiser release dates, this is the year that Jason loans me the SNES and games while he's in New Jersey for a few days. Dad catches an eye full of F-Zero and falls in love. Video games become a bonding experience, gateway towards a Super Nintendo.
1993
Spring Acquisition of SNES with F-Zero. Dad's unit, Dad's game. Unit is installed in my room. Since I'm an extremely heavy sleeper, dad takes advantage of this to score F-Zero time early in the morning. Dad still has the deck, Star Fox, and F-Zero. I still have most of my games. ***
June 14th birthday. Hang out with James Phelps. Final Fantasy 2.
September Ninth grade. It sucks some serious shit. Depression and suicidal thought patterns dominate; psychologically isolated, enraged and pissed at treatment by classmates.
Fall/Winter Nose broken by Charles Laudenslager. Septum is still deviated. Left a blood trail to the nurse's office. Bozzo objected to letting me go home early (on account of BLOOD LOSS!) because doing so would get me out of a German test.
General Somewhere in here, the Anthro kick begun in '89 or so begins to cool down, become more human and more three-dimensional.
1994 - Creative Ignition
Winter/Spring Odyssey of the Mind (a yearly farce by which our underresourced school is taken to the cleaners in competition by much richer districts). Recommence association with Xeno.
Summer - Hanging out with Jason on a weekend. He gets a call from the Rakers, asking if he's free to help out. Jason asks me if I want a summer job. Start helping Jason and the Rakers with various farm things for agricultural minimum wage. First job.
- Dave Raker takes me to the Lycoming Mall in a vintage Mustang so I can blow my first Real Paycheck on stuff. Pick up the Zelda title for the Game Boy among other things. Picks me up in the early evening and stops by Comics Castle on the way back to Liberty. Dave introduces me to Ken and exposes me to independent comics, thus completely changing the course of my life. Subsequent paychecks and holiday gifts shift to Gold Digger, Pixy Junket, Battle Angel Alita, Appleseed, and Ghost in the Shell, among other titles.
September Begin 10th grade. Yeehaw. Stop taking shit. Start hitting back. Stop bothering with the cafeteria; hang out in the Library with Mrs. Goldsmith.
October Final Fantasy {III|VI} released stateside. (note: this is the temporal positioning for when I started at Rakers, as I acquired the game shortly after release and remember telling Dave Raker all about it.) Formative gaming experience.
November A summer of comics saturation with the FF6 experience sitting on top of it hits critical creative mass and explodes. First illustration of Alias. ATC construction begins. Start taking notes for "Alias", which would eventually become Among The Chosen.
General Somewhere in '94 or mid '95: diagnosed with Lipoma, an aesthetically uncomely, non-life-threatening disorder. First one on the left thigh, which is still there. More instances would develop on both arms and lower back over the next several years.
1995 - Twisted Metal
Spring - Shannon Good teaches me the basics of shading.
- (give or take) So completely overwhelmed by ideas and characters for ATC that the Anthro thing is retired, never to be revisited. Xeno may or may not have a few elements; the rest are filed in ammunition boxes at my parents house.
June - Turn 16. Get learners permit, license. Refit Chevette with Jason Matthews, spray painting on a Superman emblem.
- Watch. Timex Ironman.
Summer - Driver's test. If you could call it that. Pull up in Superman Chevette, testing guy takes one look at the car, gets in. "You pass. Drive." We talk about music and I horrendously fuck over parallel parking. Get my license anyway.
- Exposed to KMFDM, Fear Factory through 88.9 WQSU, Susquehanna university radio station. Fall in love with metal and guitar industrial.
- If I remember correctly, this is the time I got sick of my "hairstyle" and opted to have sides and back, long on top. This would be standard issue haircut until early 1997, at which point I began growing it in underneath. The long term plan was to get a ponytail and keep it- my hair grows to the left. All of it. Looks like my head is being perpetually blasted by a fan. As such, options are military crew cut or ponytail; nothing else is maintainable.
September

- Eleventh Grade. Swap out German for French. Do just as badly but get along much better with the instructor than I ever did with Bozzo.
- Wreck Chevette under mysterious circumstances (which would inspire LOC)- you don't slip on gravel in September. Rolled the vehicle down the hill for a completely coincidental four point landing in Xeno's driveway, facing the road. Shellshocked. Xeno thought it kicked all of the ass. Nasty seatbelt brush burn, lighting knob stuck between kneecap and knee. Mom picks me up and takes me to Williamsport for diagnosis and comic book shopping afterwards. Pick up Gold Digger 23, and am elated to find that a fan letter I'd written to Fred Perry has been published in the letters column. High on adrenaline for two days.
- Xeno is now in his senior year and we're spending a good amount of time hanging out.
- Do the Track and Field thing as a competitor and suck stupendously (spring 96).
- GWBASIC programming class with the seniors, notably Edward Speary. Class begat Heisenberg's Labyrinth, an attempt to create a non-linear, anything-goes text adventure game, which we spent the entire academic year working on and testing. I would not play an actual text adventure until I was at the Art Institute. Same computer room as the TRS-80 lab, now upgraded to 386s running DOS on a Novell network.

1996 - LOC
Winter Transfer from Academic curriculum Algebra and History to Commercial curriculum Math and History after two consecutive Fs in Algebra.
General - Oldest surviving Gravicon illustrations date back to this year. All prior material was destroyed- illustrations are vanilla even by the standards of the time.
- At some point around here I was diagnosed with fuxx0r3d eyeballs and issued glasses. Astigmatism and focal length issues result in the lenses being bifocals, photogrey. Adapt to lenses within a couple of days. Never adapt to bifocals.
Summer - AIP Visit with dad. Up all night, was a complete punch-drunk ass during the experience. :P Nevertheless, impressed. Entry into Pittsburgh is the longest instance of Deja Vu in my life, a clean transplant of a memory I clearly recall from the age of six or so.
- LOC development begins in earnest with a sequence of Disturbing Events.
- (speaking of Disturbing Events...) First time drinking. Hey, it was there. Naturally, this experience was with Xeno, who knew far more about the selection than an 18 year old should.
- One of these Disturbing Events is the only time I've ever discharged a firearm off of the firing range. The force of the discharge drove my ears six feet into my skull and I was completely deaf for five minutes, with hearing slowly returning to normal capacity of the course of the next hour. Since then I've been extremely antsy about handling weapons that do not have safeties.
July 17 TWA Boeing 747 flight 800 exploded in mid-air shortly after take-off from JFK. Xeno knew several of the passengers. This happens smack in the middle of the sequence of Disturbing Events.
Late Summer - Craig Worthington gets me and several others into Dungeons and Dragons. First character: Hayte Roseclaw, a female elven ranger with a Ranseur fetish. Craig would go on to introduce me to Battletech.
- (could be 1995) First surf of the 'net. Netscape Communicator, Webcrawler, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on Jason's family computer. Check out a chatroom, need a handle. Choose ukio379 at random (being a reference cross between the Samurai Shodown and Ranma 1/2 characters).
- Start going jogging with dad as a means of getting in shape and spending quality time with him.
September Senior Year begins. Through discussion with the Principle and instructors, I worked out a dream schedule at the end of my junior year. Art class (not traditionally available to seniors), Journalism, TA for LES art classes instead of Physics, and Basic Math with Mr. Heckrote, who would shortly become my first real Dungeon Master. Do the track and field thing as a scorekeeper (spring 97). Actually do the practice, but do not compete. Go to the meets largely as an excuse to see other school districts.
Fall (?) Could be Winter. Start playing Dungeons and Dragons with Mr. Heckrote, at his place, with Mr. H as the DM. First character fielded : Nihyl Lux, a fighter with a two-bladed sword. My relationship with Heckrote and his kids (Jake, Rick, Bob) is one of the high points of my teen years. Heckrote would introduce me to the Hero system, which Han Dold grew out of.
Winter Han Dold production begins in earnest, with play testing beginning in January of 1997. Setting begins as a mix of The Crow and Dominion : Tank Police, with other influences, eventually evolving into something totally other. Politically, Han Dold began as a game after our exposure to the Shadowrun system- the guys I gamed with liked the setting but hated the mechanics, and we flavored the Hero system, but most of the crew wasn't up for Mr. Heckrotes four-color interpretation of the genre.
1997 - Pittsburgh
Winter Third marking period of senior year : Internship at KC101, a local country radio station with offices in Liberty, business numbers in Mansfield, and transmitter on Bloss Mountain. First contact with Lords of Acid, Venom, Johnny Cash, punk rock. Weekly air spot reading off Fox Card numbers. Data entry, phones, and general gopher for the station. This internship slot took up my third period class (TA), study hall (fourth period), and the first half of Fifth Period- it got me transferred out of Journalism and essentially cut my class load down even further. To date my only real On Air Experience.
Spring - ATC production notes number some 1,200 pages and span several large three-ring binders.
- Develop IBS. Make the arguable mistake of telling mom, who goes on to humiliate the hell out of me by being extremely matter-of-fact about it. IBS would persist in some fashion through 1999.
- Parents get Primestar dish despite my insistence that DirectTV is better. DTV later buys Primestar.
- As a result, finally get to see a shitload of cartoons and a clean transfer of The Last Starfighter. Impressed, the experience cements my intent to go to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
- Steve Keifer does the thing with the shotput. You had to be there.
- Prom, if you could call it that. Skip out after dinner and watch The Fifth Element with Beth Norman. Drive a very drunk cousin Amanda back to her place using her car, which handles like a mongoose on amphetamines. Hang out with Beth and Amanda.
- Sony Playstation as a graduation present. Blood Omen, Wipeout, Twisted Metal 2. Originally picked up Warhawk as well, but guess what? Game Players was wrong, the game sucked a fat one.
June - Graduate LHS somewhere near the top of the bottom of the class. Get a small grant/award that later covers AIP supply kit.
- Discover the fact that I have a sense of humor.
- Realize while sitting in the hammock that three months of sitting on my ass doing nothing is going to suck ass. Expedite AIP enrollment for July instead of October.
July - Start (carefully) keeping Gravicon notes.
- Move to Pittsburgh.
- Allegheny Center building 7 apartment 518. Roommate : Aaron Wells. The fact that he's black comes as something of a surprise to me, the fact that he's cool as hell is not. Living with Aaron enables me to acclimate to the Pittsburgh racial mix- a couple of weeks of severe culture shock after 18 years in the vast-majority-white Lycoming County.
- First quarter classes. Les Lockerman, Angela Love, Fran Pionatti, Fred Lorini (sp). Love gives an introductory speech that would make R. Lee Ermey proud. Class pales, freaks out. Class and Love find my enthusiasm curious. Love would prove to be the only instructor that called a pile of shit a pile of shit, with the critique skills and field experience to back it up. Most students hated her- I wouldn't have survived Artskool without having her for as many classes as I could get her for.
- Meet Justin Kownacki, Chris Johnson, Ryan Hatkowski, Bret Marriner. Definite misspellings in there somewhere. Quality of the experience prompts me to change academic schedule from flex program to standard two-year; prompts first meeting with Mark Collins, academic advisor.
- Computing : NT 3.51; one week on Quadra 650s with System 7.6.1. Develop allergy to MacOS.
Late Summer - Complete fullscale gender crash; acute dysmorphism. This event would go on to cause some ordeals throughout the nineties. Point event being atmosphere/weather conditions, strange dream.
- Start developing Gravicon ideas that have been sitting in my head for years.
- Meet Mike Propst, Michael Schneider, Isaac R, Ryan Cribley. Mike P, Isaac and Ryan through DnD in the first floor meeting room at Agony Center, Mike S. through Mike P.
- Isaac R. introduces me to emulators, Wing Zero. I get the AYB meme years in advance.
- First real use of the internet, guided by Isaac R.. Get a Hotmail account well before the Microsoft buyout. Account remains active to this day.
- Meme-smack the DnD crowd with Vampire Bat by Wesley Willis. Tapes are made and spread around, prompting eventual purchase of Wesley Willis' Greatest Hits from Eides.
- Do some preliminary LOC writing.
September - Final Fantasy VII released. Acquired Day Of from EB at Ross Park Mall. Extremely annoyed that the first 30 minutes of the game are the demo that Square shipped, as I'd played it a few times already. Frustrated by load times. Game completely and utterly fails to be better than VI, which continues to be my favorite game in the series. Get an idea for where Square is going with future titles, find the possibilities to be disheartening. Completely lose interest in Square, video games in general. The fact that I don't have the time to waste anymore is a contributing factor.
- Great Grandmother dies same day. Day after is first time in my life I would wear all black.
- Start at Burlington Coat Factory. One of the worst jobs I've ever had in my life, bar none. Extremely depressing experience : receiving dock, cutting up boxes and loading merchandise onto rack carts for transfer to the floor. Aside from sucking my will to live, the one notable Burlington experience was when the fur coats of the winter line came in- electrostatic shocks left me numb up to my elbows for several hours.
- Transfer from 518 to 204 after Aaron moves to second floor to fill a vacancy with Mike S. : 204 roommates are Mike Dobson and Scott Fulks.
- Dave Incident. In hindsight, a gross violation of trust and an extremely criminal misinterpretation of information I was attempting to convey about my mental state. Longterm lesson: people believe what they want to believe, and see only what they want to see. Gender dysphoria is in absolutely no way repressed homosexuality.
Early Fall - First wave of new AIP students. Jason Dunbar, Wallace Brown III, Jason Polaski. All into metal and DnD. Start Dungeon Master career in October or November, running Alleste, custom setting with tweaked rules and streamlined character creation.
- Hair finally long enough to fit into a ponytail.
- Make gender issues known to a select few. Mike Propst puts it in perspective: "You're still Dan."
- Access to estrogen, small quantity. High point : didn't need to shave for a couple of weeks. Low point: wilder mood swings, bitchier and even more emotional than usual.
- Shave all body hair. This turns out to be an extremely bad idea, specifically with respect to the genitals, as finals prevent maintenance.
- Cross dress a few times. With the exception of a brief reprisal in 2000, this is it for mucking about with gender identity. Psychological issues will persist until 2001.
Late Fall - KMFDM does the Symbols tour. First live concert. Metropol. Unparalleled sound quality.
- Trade Playstation and a microwave for my First Computer, an NCR 486 laptop with an external floppy drive. It sucks ass, but it does what I need it to do, as opposed to the Playstation, which doesn't. FFVII's complete failure to be better than VI enabled detachment from console, precipitating the factors that prompted the trade.
- Rat-nasty Drama begins to brew around the DnD crew. Remembering High School DnD, I start having flashbacks and grow extremely annoyed as Drama plays out around me. Note similarities in personality types. Start losing interest in the gaming scene.
- Visit from Dave and Xeno. AIP friends who are exposed to Dave express concern.
December - Walk out of Burlington without notice after manager informs me that if I leave town for a much earned holiday break that I won't have a job when I get back. Decide unemployment is preferable to living in misery. Eventually realize that minimum wage working conditions are the worst in the job field.
- Wesley Willis' Greatest Hits swapped for East German greatcoat.
- Relocate from #204 to the Noodle Factory, filling vacancy with Sara Laufer. Largely prompted by Drama and associated juvenile high school leftovers growing out of the RPG scene.
- Dad shows up with sister to bring me home for break. Brings combat boots as a gift. Boots become standard foot ware. Sister is "babysat" by Jay Polaski, who introduces her to South Park.
- Write Bedlam, an LOC fragment, while on winter break. Foundation of several ATC concepts currently in use.
- Dave drives me back to Pittsburgh, begins to deduce that the mindfuck is starting to be rejected.
1998 - Tech Induction
Winter - Isolation. Had my own room and bathroom in Noodle Factory apartment, rarely interfaced with Sara. Did a great deal of work on Gravicon material, start making progress on understand the extent and shape of the mess in my head. Quite possibly the loneliest period of my life.
- Employment : Got a job through my friend Kevin on cleanup crew at a plex on the North Side. Ties with Burlington as Worst Experience Ever. Supervisor was a blatant racist, coworkers were ignorant, uneducated, backstabbing, pissy and generally Machiavellian.
Early Spring - Glasses fall apart during work hours. Make appointment through mom to get the things replaced when I'm home on break. Opt for oval lenses without photogrey or bifocal capability. I hated the bifocals- I can read just fine, thank you.
- Begin wearing sunglasses more often.
- Return to work from spring break to be promptly terminated with due cause. Elated, and mildly irritated. Sink into a lack-of-employment depression, vow to never, ever work a Shit Job again. Farm work and radio station internship sit fondly in memory. Pittsburgh employment scene irritates me, entertain the idea of pulling out of the city. Hating it.
Late Spring - Angela Love mentions that there might be a vacancy in the output room (805) in AIP technology. She happens to know one of the Technology department administrators. Between her recommendation and my interview, I'm tossed into the output room by my belt loops and start work near the end of my fourth quarter. Minimum wage, but it's a tech job, dammit. Would meet Chris Bodine, Sean Gebhart, Deke Kincaid, Brian Anderson, among others. Spend the next year as a Print Nazi, driving an 8600 and grappling with MacOS 8.
- Somewhere around here, move to 3729 Beechwood Boulevard with Mike P, Jason D, Sara L. Take the attic room, which is very hot for the next several months. Change and living and employment conditions renews {interest|faith} in the city, cancel plans to look at schools up north.
Summer - Gravicon 1.0, first web site, hosted on Angelfire. Choose ukio379 as the handle by which to associate myself.
- Begin doing lots of Gravicon work. Namely writing on the NCR and a good amount of illustration. Enough privacy and enough resources to do so.
- Gender dysmorphism has completely cooled off by now.
- Extremely nasty IBS flareup is treated through the black market. Not interested in dealing with parents about the fact I was blasting jets of bright red coppery smelling blood out of my ass several times a day, I resorted to other means. The meds work. IBS goes into remission and stays there.
General - Somewhere in here, Sean Gebhart graduates and goes on fulltime as chief Mac Guy of AIP, becoming my supervisor. Absolutely nobody knows the shit better than he does.
- Sean shows me the basics of After Effects. Photoshop with a 3dStudioMax track view: realize I already know the application without having used it at all. Get a solid grasp of it within a few hours. The project I created to teach myself the app would later become the first ten seconds of my demo tape.
August Apple introduces the iMac.
Fall - Decide to make a winamp skin for the first time. It sucks ass, to put it mildly. It needed a name- solios materializes out of thin air.
- Han Dold Online : first web site (as far as everyone I know is concerned). Web Design II as a class taught by Chris Wood. Team thing with multimedia people- ask if I can do it myself, as I know nobody in the class. Write up a waiver and proceed to take all existing Han Dold documentation and convert it into a web site. This is done within a couple of weeks- project submitted mid November. Use the rest of the class time as lab for other classes.
- Finalize wardrobe switch to all black. The socks were a bit of a holdup.
- First exposure to iMac promo propaganda. Realize I want one. Critical points are cost and how Photoshop handles on the Mac. Convince parents!
Winter - My first Macintosh. iMac revision b. Scanner, USB-SCSI adapter, SCSI burner, USB zip drive. Scanner sucks a load of ass even for the time. Machine is broken in on Quake and photoshop. Some mild difficulties moving files from NCR to iMac, bouncing from floppies to zip disks through roommate computers and school labs. The machine is named Shiva in reference to the Final Fantasy character- renamed to 3ch0 in 2001.
- With all the resources I could want actually in my room, I go nuts with Gravicon development, cutting a second version, scanning lots of things and pumping out more CG. Also do a good amount of writing around this time.
- Dad catches sight of the iMac while I'm home on winter break and takes a liking to the form factor. He dubs it the Space Egg, and would eventually get one of his own.
1999 - The Really Real World
Winter - Han Dold Interactive, a multimedia CD for my third level Director class. The project is several hundred megs and eats all of January and March, with February given over to a full-systems mental shutdown from overwork. Project comprises all of Han Dold Online plus additional material, with a lot of new art generated specifically for it. Instructor is floored, says I can get a job with it. Gives me an A. Project inducted into the AIP circle of excellence (for whatever that's worth). To date the most extensive interactive I've created. This project completely consumed the winter of 1999 wholesale.
Late Winter - Drama on the Beechwood front prompts a relocation to West End. Roommates : Chris Bodine, Jason Philp, Dave Miller.
Spring - Break: Somewhere around here- Hanging out with Jason Matthews on break, become webmaster for Fourfourteen (a band with Jason Matthews, James Phelps as core members- friends I'd known since grade school). Much fun was had throwing it all together. The site is put together in one sitting. My fee is whatever server space the site doesn't use.
-
Last quarter of classes at AIP, graduating June. Zehner, Mark Collins (psychology), Les Lockerman (background rendering, should have been a fourth quarter class. Lockerman was first quarter first class instructor and last quarter last class instructor). Work schedule and school schedule are staggered in such a fashion that I take on a 48 hour schedule- 36 up, 12 down.
- The Phantom Menace released. Hit the theater with a bunch of other geeks opening night for the first showing. Expecting something that makes Jedi look like ass. View something that makes Jedi look like the pinnacle of depth and maturity. Massively underwhelmed, I fall asleep during a completely CG and totally pointless "climax." Deny said nap on account of extreme grumpiness, having been up for 44 hours straight. Later viewing reveals TPM to suck even more than it did the first time. File Star Wars as a childhood fancy and move on with my life.
- Demo tape stitched together out of old 3dsMax renders and existing After Effects experiments, as well as cel animation. Tape is roughly 3:30 and is an extensive AE composition. Tape passes with a B on merit of software proficiency. AE classes begin ~6 months later with tape used as one of the examples. The demo was assembled completely on my iMac, with resources eating up very nearly the entire hard drive. Final result was FTP'ed over to Chris Bodine's computer (known as Beavis), as he had the only SCSI card in the house and was equipped to use my CD burner. Entire demo burned as a single ~630 meg file and transported to AIP for mastering to tape. This process was instrumental in another student graduating, as I used a total of 40 minutes of Media100 time out of the three hours or so I'd reserved. Tape features a model by Chris Bodine.
- Create my own web site using Fourfourteen web space. The Screaming Room. The site is minimal by anyone's standards and, among other things, contains a compressed version of my demo tape. This is (unconfirmed) the first instance of an AIP student having a web accessible demo. I hope such things are now commonplace.
- Repeated viewings of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas during rendering times sparks an interest in Hunter S. Thompson.
- Start smoking. Salems, as they were buy-one-get-one. Shift to Camel Lights over the next couple of months. Realize I've stopped being an anxious screaming ASSHOLE and that my allergies are no longer bothering me.
June 18 - AIP graduation. 3.5 cgpa, deans list. Compares favorably against high school academic performance. Use this as an example of acknowledged HS trend of refusing to bother with assignments unless I'm actually interested in the work in question.
- I didn't bother with a booth at graduation, as I felt (correctly) that my work was ass. The fact my dad was coming to pick me up and move my ass out of Pittsburgh seven hours after the ceremony was over was also a contributing factor.
- Buy 27 White Wolf books off of Sean Gebhart for ~100$ so he can pay a bill. He would later relate that his wife had given him an ultimatum- "Me, Computers, Gaming. Pick two."
June 19 Back in Liberty PA for a much deserved break. Living in Xeno's spare room. 20th birthday.
June/July - Downtime and decompression. Hang out with Xeno, play DnD and mess around with White Wolf with Craig and the Heckrotes, hang out with Jason Matthews. Roady a couple of Fourfourteen shows and do some updates to the web site. Do some writing, working on Gravicon material. Relax.
- Freelance. First edition of Matthews Motor Company web site for Doug Matthews, Jason's dad. This would form the base of my operating income for the duration of my summer "vacation."
- Blow my last AIP paycheck on a Powerbook 520 on ebay. Send payment to seller's work address in San Diego. He finally gets payment at some point in late July.
Late July - Get a call from Deke Kincaid, now working at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Division of Exhibits. Needs a multimedia guy for a Big Project. Contract work. My name was dropped via Sean Gebhart, who saw the guts of HDI and tolerated me working on it instead of printing jobs during work hours. Am I interested? You bet.
- Production meeting at CMNH. Arrange transportation with Jason. Doug tells us to take any car off of the lot. We head for Pittsburgh in a late model white Mustang. Come dressed for an interview; realize there is none. I already have the job. Payment's being arranged, when can I actually be here? ASAP, I promise.
- Contact the West End nerdery about moving back in.
August - Relocate back to the Nerdery. Dave Miller is interning at Evans & Sutherland in Utah, his slot temporarily filled by Ben Alpi. Leave Construx and Star Wars paraphernalia with Xeno.
- Start contract at CMNH for the construction of Whats New on the Earth? kiosk interactive.
- Powerbook 520 shows up at Sean's. Sean gives me some parts to make it useable (zip drive, iirc, and adapter), some software. Machine is dubbed Artemis and is immediately put to use as a journal and word processor. (Fun fact: the documents directory on my powerbook is named Artemis for just this reason.)
- Draw for the first time since I left AIP. Bruce Wayne Campbell, a pint-sized Malkavian six year old with an Uzi. Played him once. Note: Don't play a Vampire in a Mage game. It just doesn't work.
September - Purchase 7300 from Deke: want another machine to work with. 300$ down. Monitor, Wacom tablet, 7300 itself. Copy of Be 4.x to mess around with.
- Redesigns of Gravicon, Screaming room.
October - Find out 7300 was removed from AIP. "Removed" being the politically correct choice of words.
- Make arrangements with Sean Gebhart to return 7300 to AIP in exchange for unused hardware- a Quadra 650 and a 7100. 7300 is returned the same day the head of technology resigns.
- Meet Kristen Arnold.
November - Deke teaches me basic unix shell navigation. Specifically, man, ls, and cd.
- Do Ecstasy for the first and only time. Later find out that the dose was cut with heroin. Came down instantly 36 hours after the fact; depressed for approximately two weeks, couldn't take a dump for six days. Fucked me over royally, you might say. Deke (my supervisor at MNH at the time) notices my behavior and tells me to take a couple of days off and "pull myself together." Unimpressed by the aftermath, I eschew future opportunities to partake of said drug.
- Meet the cast of ATC (as developed) at a private party in Bloomfield. Deja Vu and intense cognitive dissonance result. I'm thoroughly Alice In Wonderlanded for several weeks.
- Apple reopens old Apple Loans for the purchase of new gear. Convince parents to let me get a Powerbook. Order a Lombard.
December - Intense boom in Gravicon production.
- First exposure of Gravicon material to an Actual Offline Person, Ben Barnett. Ben thinks it kicks ass. This is an immense boost to my artistic confidence.
- Tell dad I smoke while home on break. Dad handles it like a champ. Paraphrased: "You know it's bad for you, you're doing it anyway- that's your call." We go outside, me with smokes, him with a beer. I smoke and he drinks while we stand in the snow. Dad relates his smoking experience to me: he started when he was 12 (to be cool) and quit when he was 26 (if memory serves). Dad quit cold turkey.
- Beat The Machine : New Years Eve party thinger at Laga and the Attic. 40$ admit, which I can't really afford. Bump into Mike Propst while waiting in line, put on guest list. Mike's band, Parvulus Infectus, plays during the countdown. Hang out with Mike and crew afterwards for the first time in months.
2000 - Ordeals
Winter - mv /People/Dave /dev/null # heart failure. Cremated. Events of fall of 97 are well known to close friends, as is the amount of psychological strain/horror I'd been struggling to get a grip on since. This event makes for an accelerated recovery. No sympathy for the devil.
- Work on WNOTE deadlocks. No other interactives for me to work on at the moment. Let go from MNH.
- First consensual sexual experience. It's awkward.
Spring - Finallyget the Powerbook. A Pismo. 6g hdd, 128 ram, 6g external firewire drive. The drive bridge would eventually die in late 2001. Machine eventually upgraded to 640 ram, 20g internal drive, 4g expansion bay drive.
- Lease runs out on West End Nerdery as Jason graduates. Chris relocates to Mount Oliver nerdery with Deke and Brian. Deke leaves MNH, Brian comes in as pinch hitter, fulfilling Deke's functions in addition to video work.
- No money, no place to live. Make arrangements with Mike, Sara, Kevin and Wally and move back into 3729 Beechwood Boulevard, this time in the spare room (which had been the computer room when I lived there). Schlep along somehow for a couple of months without income. Eat bad chicken at one point on the supposition that food poisoning would be better than starving.
- First and only experience with LSD. Drew a large amount of biotech-themed line art in ink.
- Black Injection development as an LOC side project. Do some video clips to keep myself busy.
- Watch band falls apart at a private party. Pieced back together after some hunting for the parts that sprung free.
- Sean cuts me an email account on Secret About Box. Asks for a username. I tell him solios. (which I had previously used for an Operamail account I can no longer access)
June 19 21rst birthday. Brief contract at MNH to upgrade WNOTE machines from OS 8.5 to OS 9, lock them down and clean them up. Something I wanted to do with the systems at incept.
Late June - Lease on Beechwood expires. Wally and Mike move out to their own place. Put most of my stuff in storage with them. Eventually compensate them for the inconvenience by leaving behind 27 White Wolf books.
- No money, no resources, and a militant refusal to ever work a shit job again results in moving back in with my parents. My sister had just moved out: camp her room and take it as my own. Room contains fan, duffel bag of clothes, mattress and laptop.
Summer - Hang out with Jason shortly after I get "back" to Liberty. Dinner with Jason and Doug.
- Hang out with Xeno, but not as much as the summer of '99 for whatever reason.
- Massive amount of Gravicon development. Entire concepts fall into my head fully formed. Spend many days scribbling out notes and diagrams.
- Freelance for Doug Matthews. Upgrades and updates to Matthews Motor Company web site. Contract becomes "summer job" and sole source of income.
- Hang out with Jason and Fourfourteen (now staffed by Jason, James, Billy, Al) doing art for fliers, CD demos. T-shirt design. Roady for several shows. Attend Ozzfest with the crew and their girlfriends. Highlights include spending a lot of time at the Fourfourteen house, getting drunk on port and playing Doctor Mario with Peta, and riding shotgun for all kinds of driving.
- Bounce between home and Jason's using Jason and Xeno's dialup numbers, which don't work 100% of the time. When they do, spend a huge amount of time dumping material off of Napster.
- Explain Napster to my dad. Multiweek bonding experience of dad asking me if I can find such-and-such a song, me giving him a yes or a no. The highlight is Sausalito Summer Night by Diesel. Realize as he's hearing it for the first time in years that I've never seen my father happier.
- Summer schedule eventually evolves into waking up around 2pm, doing Stuff, coming home between midnight and 4am, watching Doctor Who on BBCA, Babylon 5 on TNT, walking out for the sunrise, and passing out around 730am. Would go for a walk between two and four in the morning for cigarettes: uphill both ways, roughly four miles one way. Quality time with Shannon Good, working night shift.
- Smoke Break / Beer Break becomes a regular occurrence with dad, a habit of stepping outside to talk about whatever that carries into my professional career.
August - Call Ron Lutz at MNH on a whim.
- Ron emails me back a couple of days later. Interacitves : Bennedum Hall Upgrades. Get your ass back down here. Make arrangements with Ron for temporary living space on his couch.
- Back at MNH for Bennedum. Supervised by Brian Anderson.
- Hit the beehive shortly after return to Pittsburgh. Would remain a regular until early 2002.
Fall - Bounce around. Couch at Ron's for a couple of weeks, couch in Mount Oliver for a couple of weeks, couch in Bloomfield for a month.
- Anderson leaves MNH for elsewhere (if he doesn't here, then it's early 2001).
- Gender Crash in early November. Mild, lasts for a week. Last recorded occurrence
- Start attending Lip Service, a goth/industrial night at the Roman Room on the South Side.
- Make a deal with Sean Gebhart to webmaster the Secret About Box. Paid in hardware: a 9500, delivered in the spring of 2001.
Winter - Settle into a house on Holt Street with Andrew Lewis. The living arrangement would be the most difficult I've ever experienced in many ways- one that has proven to be rewarding in the long run. The house has a BOMB ASS view and bills are cheap. Downside is that it's a pain in the ass to get to.
- Meet Randy Chambers at the Beehive.
2001 : Sanity Remodeling
Winter - Through a sequence of excruciatingly painful hangovers, realize I'm allergic to beer and malt liquor.
Spring - Meet Bethany Tryc. We hit it off and much much fun ensues. My first Real Relationship, and the only point in my life (to date) in which I've been Emotionally Involved with someone.
- More Black Injection development, scratching the video itch. Show some of it to Ron. Ron reacts along the lines of "I didn't know you could do video!"
- The Black Injection incident completely saves my ass at MNH, pushing me into video editing duties, which form a large chunk of my workload from 2001 through 2004.
Summer - Kennywood with Beth and some friends. First time in an amusement park since I was a pre-teen. Experience flashbacks to my automotive accident in '95 during the first ride I get on. Spend the rest of the day shaky and nervous. Ph34r my ph0rt1tud3.
- Through a sequence of excruciatingly painful hangovers, realize I'm allergic to rum. Extremely sugary stuff such as Mountain Dew begin to have an intensely painful effect across my body upon ingestion, as though red hot lava bees were being poured down my spine. Eventually get this under control through diet by the middle of 2003.
- Beth picks September 12th to have the breakup discussion. No experience with this at all, so a serious mental breakdown is the result. I eventually get a grip on myself and become friends with Beth.
Fall - Work, work, work. Also, booze. Lots of booze. Possibly one of the haziest periods of my life.
- Somewhere around here, Chris Smith starts at MNH.
October 22 Chris Bodine starts working at MNH, filling the spot Bryan and Deke had left open. Bodine is still here, and is effectively my supervisor for a good chunk of the projects I work on.
November - 47.5 hour shift at MNH, spanning Saturday through Monday morning, to get various Paleolab bits done and ready. Mental equivalent of being carpet bombed.
- Stress of work combined with stress of end of my first Real Relationship causes a rapid decay of mental state. Begin functioning in an automated fashion, muscle-memory. Virtually nothing cognitive is going on at this point.
- Day before thanksgiving : Come in to do some updates. Start messing around with some ideas and some incidental footage of the back of a coworker's head. Work on this concept for 24 hours straight.
- Thanksgiving : leave work around one in the afternoon with Drone, my first short film, rendering in After Effects. Oakland is completely dead. Bus is empty. Over the span of 30 hours, I'd encountered one security guard and the bus driver. No other sentient life. Collapsed over a heating grate at home and convulsed, screaming for a good five minutes and crying for another ten- episode set off by iTunes handing out Dirty Epic by Underworld as I entered the house. Complete nervous breakdown.
December - Master Drone to DVD as a means of learning DVD Studio Pro. Become social again, largely to find friends to show it to, thus beginning psychological recovery process.
- Last trip home for a break. I'm there a total of three and a half days, tops- out of a projected stay of seven. Had set up a webcam on my iMac to monitor my house in Pittsburgh from my parents place. Without wheels, Liberty was fucking claustrophobic, to put it mildly. Wanted to leave the second I stepped out of the car. Much of the extended family experience served as a solid reminder as to why I'd left for Pittsburgh in the first place.
- See Xeno long enough to give him a copy of Drone.
- Ditto Jason Matthews (screened Drone. I think. I had two copies- one went to Xeno and one went to my cousin Tyler as a thank-you for a .50 caliber ammo can. I love ammo cans.)
2002 - Mirrorshades
January (could be February) Friend Chris stabbed in the neck after Lip Service. Twist knee something fierce in the resulting scuffle. Need a walking stick the next day; tightly wrapped ace bandage for a week. Knee is jacked for a month.
Winter - Go on a cyberpunk kick. Inhale roommate's selection of Gibson, PKD. Of note : Virtual Light, The Mirrorshades Anthology.
- Stumble into The Walled City while googling for Gibson.
- Spam Bryan. Conversation results. Many hours on AIM eventually evolve into Bryan giving me an account on one of his machines and showing me the ropes of irssi and screen.
- Spam Andy. Conversation results.
Spring

- Roommate announces he's found somewhere else and will be moving out shortly (March, if memory serves). We had originally agreed upon June or July. Completely unprepared. Short term arrangements result in a spare room in Mount Oliver for April. Mental stress of move, communications being cut, etceteras results in some of the most disturbing Gravicon material to date.
- Worlds freakiest attempted Coyote Ugly after a VNV nation show at Laga. Met Ronin, thanked him for the nervous breakdown. Ronin signs copy of Future Perfect with an apology.
- Bryan sits back and watches me talk myself into doing a webcomic. Begin discussions on hosting, start thinking of what to actually do for a webcomic. ATC is obvious.
- Gravicon pulled from the internet.
- Start hanging out with Lisa.
- Move to current (as of this writing) location in an alley off of Carson Street, South Side. Brooke Schooles, roommate.
- ATC aesthetics test.
- Begin redeveloping Han Dold for webcomic purposes. Set goal of beginning ATC before I turn 24.
- Welcome to IRC. _Lasar, Ryan, Eric, Shawn, Ric, Bryan, Andy, and others... shortly joined by Xeno.
- Start hanging out with Xeno again. Virtually.

May 16 Attack of the Clones released. Read reviews, decide to pass on it. Catch it later on DVD and wind up skipping 3/4 of the movie.
Summer - Bryan stops blogging on /wc in July.
- DVD master of A Tribute To Sanity, a short film by Michael Schneider. Quite the undertaking. The film itself won Best Horror and Best Cinematography at the New York City Independent Film Festival.
- Stop hanging out with Lisa.
- Sean removed from AIP under odd circumstances. SAB payment for the year is a beige G3, partly due to the flurry of updates covering his removal and subsequent blowback within the technology department.
- KMFDM tours for ATTAK. Sound quality is fucking horrible. Upside: get to talk to Sascha K. for several minutes. Got his take on the KMFDM split.
- Slick Idiot (Gunter and En Esch from KMFDM) tour in August. Get to talk to both of them. Got their take on the KMFDM split. Sufficed to say it was quite a bit different than Sascha's.
- LHS five year reunion. Freelance : some upgrades to Matthews Motor Company. Hang out briefly with Jason. Am in North Central less than 24 hours. Have a couple of drinks at the Cell Block in Williamsport, the coolest bar I've visited to date (a converted county jail!). Bartender happens to be the brother of a bartender I met at Metropol in 2001.
Fall/Winter - Post Sanity decompression: tons of Gravicon work. Begin drawing up plans for a complete Gravicon web site.
- Finally get a decent monitor.
- Buy some hardware off of Sean to help him out. Sean starts unloading all kinds of gear on me: he's sick of Macintosh, and I seem to be in the right place at the right time, learning at the right pace.
- Visit Bryan in Philly. Fucking awesome experience, minus the bus ride back. Greyhound approach to Philly (post KOP) was extremely Blade Runner. Show Drone to Bryan and leave him a copy.
- Lots and lots of drinking. Verily, I was a sot. Best drunken experience of the year: Sean swapping me his Newton equipment for a pitcher of beer and a pizza. Sean++
2003 - ATC Production Begins.
January - Bryan cuts me a subdomain on mirrorshades and gives me an MT install to beat on in order to Learn Stuff. Eventually drop sab.com/solios and move web presence to mirrorshades.
- mercury.mirrorshades.org
- mercury.mirrorshades.org/loc
- The Big Scan. What would become 4.94 gigs of data. All Gravicon material.
Spring - Watch gives up the ghost after eight years of service.
- carbon_ : a giant artistic leap forward. First intentional creation of digital art just for the sake of creating digital art.
- Mild mental breakdown results in some disturbing dreams. LOC remnants, skeletons in the closet.
- ATC.HD development put on hold.
- ATC.Dualist development begins at an accelerated pace.
- First Real Linux Install (on a 7300).
March 31 solios.deviantart.com : originally created to show off carbon_. Quickly became a proxy outlet for Gravicon material.
Late Spring - Sean moves. Threatens to scrap all of his macintosh equipment if I don't take it off of his hands. Inherit several hundred pounds of software and hardware.
- ATC production begins, prompting the immediate dissolvement of my relationship with the girl I was dating at the time.
Summer - Renew lease on house. Brooke moves out, Ben Barnett moves in.
- Pretty much nothing but work, drinking, and ATC for several months straight.
Fall - ATC production break. More drinking. Gravicon work, digital art, begin planning next ATC chapter.
- ATC Chapter Two begins production in October. Talk Chris Bodine into modeling the Daedalus.
- Begin processing The Big Scan into something useable.
- Build a home linux box to serve as a development server for the Gravicon.
- Killing Joke plays at Laga.
- Start actually Using Linux at work for production purposes : A test webserver becomes a means of keeping ourselves organized and up to date.
December - Finally manage to not get kicked out of work for the last week of the year by volunteering to do startup and shutdown on critical days.
- Start using ATC style in Gravicon work.
- Gravicon information design implemented, working site built, several critical sections complete.
2004
Winter - ATC, Gravicon work continue. The second to last section of chapter two takes an inordinately long amount of time to produce on account of frequent mental episodes, possibly related to diet or repression of libido.
Spring - Finish ATC Chapter Two. Immediately begin planning Chapter Three.
- Gravicon work continues, becoming visual focus while ATC is on production hold.
- Begin editing a friend's short film, Safe At Home. Ten minutes of Cronenberg Versus Dawson's Creek. First serious film edit of any kind.
- I suck it up, figure out how to save money for several weeks, and get a G4. Dual 450. It's outdated, but it plays Quake III just fine and is more than sufficient for basic stuff at home. Not all that great for graphics production in OS X. My first home machine that can run OS X without barfing up a lung.
- Linux work done for research and education at MNH pays off- I move a kiosk backend over to a CMS. We're asked a couple of weeks later how long it'll take to update the kiosk and reply that it's already done.
May - (first week thereof) Hang out with Xeno for the first time in what feels like forever. Spend Saturday the first (his 26th birthday) through Friday chilling out, catching up, getting drunk, driving around and generally being stupid. We're very, very good at this by now- having now known each other for 22 years, we've had plenty of practice.
- First time in a bar with Xeno. You'd think we'd have taken care of this by now, but no. I show him a couple of places on the South Side. The ones I get discounts at.
- This vacation is my first Actual Vacation Of Any Kind, professionally. Forced holidays don't count.
- Ship my severely expired ID to Harrisburg.
June - Begin production of ATC Chapter Three.
- People who aren't me are mentioning getting me on full-time at MNH. To me, and to other people who aren't me.
- Receive my newly unexpired ID from Harrisburg.
- Realize I've given away approximately 13 Apple computers to various people over the past three years.
June 13 Figure it might be fun to sit down and write down as much of my life as I can easily remember, on account of being damned near a quarter of a century old. Realize the passage of time has been steadily accelerating since I left high school- a fact I find to be extremely depressing. But hey, you know. That's how it works. Realize I can remember a lot. Realize I'll have to drop quite a bit of what I remember in order to get a Chronology together in time for my deadline.
June 19 Day 9,132. A Saturday. High of 78.

* I remember that these are the movies he was watching, though I don't remember the order. He could have been watching Sleeper while I was entering the world and Holy Grail when Jen was coming out.

** Crystalis, Maniac Mansion, Final Fantasy (boxed), Final Fantasy (just the cart), Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Bionic Commando, and Super Mario Brothers have survived with me into adulthood. Maniac Mansion and the boxed FF were purchased from Justin Kownacki near the end of my AIP career to replace games I'd since traded or lost. Wes Speary still has my copy of River City Ransom.

*** Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana. Repurchased my own copy of F-Zero and rebought FF2 in Pittsburgh. I'd sold my original copy of FF2 to get up the scratch for FFIII, a decision I do not regret.