Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Strange times we live in

What a strange week.
I think Bina might be upset at me posting this but this blog is really here for me to express my feelings on things and I have very strong feelings on a range of levels about the events of the last few days. I hope..I really do hope, that one day in years to come we can look back at this and remember when things were bad before they got better.

I'm over in the UK helping Bina to pack up and get ready to move over to NL and Jodie my Step Daughter, is creating such hassle.

It really is getting beyond all reasonable limits. For various very serious reasons and intolorable behaviour the last several months, we've grounded Jodie big time during her last month here.
She's fallen in with a group of "friends" who to her are of course the most important people in the world.....pretty normal for a teen, but this is not normal, this is obsessive, this is seriously excessive.

These "friends" though with a very few exceptions, are not a good group of people, lads and lassies, all with attitude problems, when I was a kid we'd have called them the bad kids..these days they're probably the cool kids..but I suspect not.

During her time mixing with these "friends" Jodie's been smoking, drinking and lets say other things we're not comfortable with, which a 13yo should not be doing. All our attempts to prevent these things are fruitless. When a teen decides they are going to do something we are so rediculously hamstrung it makes me weep

There have been multiple very serious and distrbing rows as Jodie tries to wear her mother down to lift the grounding. A tactic that usually works very well when I'm not around to support Bina, but she's not managing to get her way this time and the rows keep coming.

During one exchange on Sunday, she refused point blank to take no for an answer from her mum and I, for over 30 mins..I mean that, over 30 mins demanding her confiscated laptop and repeating why why why at least 500 times, refusing to back down the whole time no matter what we said to her. Eventually she was told to go to her room...still refusing and more defience and refusal as the situation escalated the whole time.

I can't begin to tell you how unpleasent this all is, a 13yo(nearly 14) kid, standing 5.9in tall attempting to physically force her way past her 5'4" mother and me to get to her laptop to arrange to meet these precious friends which we've forbidden.
Abuse, Tears, Screams, gobby backchat..the works. All fairly normal for teens I know, but not quite on this level.

After repeatedly refusing to go to her room I had enough and I eventually pushed her out the door to the stairs, which she again resisted, resulting in a minor scuffle. She banged her shoulder on a radator as she sank to the floor while attempting to place a kick at me. I bellowed at her in no uncertain terms, doing my best angry dad, don't mess with me kid, routine but got no where. There was nothing there to put the brakes on this kid, no respect, no understanding of going too far, not even fear of a seriously angry adult.

Nice kid eh!

Well physical violence is never nice, and in truth despite the raised voices and anger levels, this was nothing more than a shoving match between a stroppy teen and a very pissed off parent, her kick glanced off my thigh and fortunatly no embarrasing old man doubling up in pain was evident. She did eventually go to her room. Finally some calm.

But she banged her shoulder!

And that...apparently is now considered assault...Well at least that the advice her "friends" are giving her who on hearing the shocking account of my violent psychpathic attack via sms (we read her phone I really don't want to meet that guy on a dark night!) actually called the police.

2 young lads (I am getting old) in uniform turned up an hour or so later, and rather sheepishly asked if we knew why they were there. You have to be kidding....police? Well we had a fair idea but didn't think she'd go this far.

Well the police of course realised there was nothing to see here, no bloody mess on the carpet, no upturned furniture or smashed TV's in evidence, just a gobby teen who swore at them insisting she'd done "fuck all" and they left after explaining the simple rules of family hierarchy to her and legal chastisment...didn't help much.

A family meeting with her dad and his partner the next day, underlined the boundries that had been set, she was grounded, and not going to school to mix with these friends during her last week, we genuinly don't feel she can be trusted to be out of our sight in case she has a last hurrah and god knows what and besides there's a mountain of packing and preperation to do for the move.

A move I hasten to add that will give her a whole new range of opportunities, a fantastic education and a much needed promise of a fresh start from all of us.

But she banged her shoulder

And now a day later, there's a nice little bruise, so now the "friends" are crying parental abuse and look there's we get a call from social services.

Why? Becuse the "friends" are so worried about Jodie living with a psycopathic maniac and his disinterested lying g/f (phone again)that Jodie clearly needs to be taken into care and have contacted social services to inform them of this danger to society and the poor innocent defenceless child at his mercy.

So, after explaining in depth the situation to the lady on the phone I explained I was more than happy to have them come round and assess the situation.

They did...and for over an hour 2 very pleasent ladies spoke 1st to Jodie, then to us. The bruise is apparently a cause for concern and yes it could be considered as assault. ...that is frankly idiotic in the extreme. Jodie has never in her life been struck by me and I've never been so stupid as to do so.

But she banged her shoulder! I have to be careful not to overstep the mark.


On the plus yes, they, like the police, could see there was no risk here, Jodie was being a typical teen and I am not thankfully a psycho axe murderer....yet. They recognised we've been coping with a horrible behaviour pattern and agreed the move to Holland was an entierly positive thing for her.

They left....sadly they didn't take her into care....hmmm oh well.

Jodie still refuses to take no for an answer, has been badgering her mother constantly to get her phone back, and we've literally had to lock the doors to prevent her running out. We're prisoners in our own home and yesterday even had some of the "friends" come to the door demanding...demanding!!! to see her, refusing to go when told she was grounded and not coming out. Jodie of course insisted on being allowed to see them..just for a bit...but we still refused..we have to stick to the boundries.

We're being subjected to torrents of psychological abuse, intimidation and stress.... and yet..she's the victim.
I can't do case she bangs other bits of herself. I'm reduced to a mute emasculated bystander.

Is this what the future of parenting is now? I can only thank whoever that I'm now unlikly to ever have to have any more kids and that soon this will be over.

I am so fucking sick of the way this country has removed the concept of consequence and responsiblity from our youth. We're trying to keep our kid away from some very bad influences, set safe and serious boundries and above all weathering a storm (hurricane) of abuse from a child who wants for nothing, but has no regard for the deep emotional damage she's doing to the people who care for her.

I know its easy to go on about when I was a kid...times have changed and for the better...but we've gone too far.

I hated my dad till the day he died, still do. But I always knew where the line was, in his own fairly odd way he cared for us enough to keep us safe and his rules were there to teach us that boundries were to be respected...or there were consequences.
Usually a thumping...not a bang on the shoulder mind....but a serious marks left for weeks, thumping.

Now I'm not my dad, I never want to be my dad. In many ways I used my dad as an anti-model when it's come to raising kids. But I do have one trait he instiled on me..I respect boundries, I know that there are limits to how far you can dispute a point with someone in charge, and you have to respect peoples decisions even if you don't agree with them. I have tried to do that with my kids..Danni it seemed to work..Jodie...not a chance.

Now when the law says we can't actually enfource these boundries in anyway beyond a stiff talking to...there are no consequneces. Not even an understanding that small trivial events can be built up and up to major life changing events.

We leave on Saturday, I've had all the excitement of that day sucked out of me by the last few days, I now am starting to dread the coming months, what are we going to have to endure with this unwilling abusive child sharing our new life and rejecting everything we are offering her..

We hope that the change in culture, attitude and social patterns in the netherlands will be a force of change in Jodie....but how much crap are we going to have to take before that change happens. Will it happen?

I am scared...I really am. I don't know what to do, how to do it or where to turn for help...we just have to move on and hope.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Foto Funnies

It has been a lovely couple of days here in Breda, the sun has been belting down, but I've been locked away at home busy coding to try to get my DS project up to scratch for a presentation so hadn't had time to enjoy.

A trip to the office for day job work though meant I got to see everyone out enjoying the sun, and got a couple of my students to have their pic taken.

Thanks to Daniel, Irina and Chi :D


Friday, 17 April 2009

and breath...

yeahhhh I finally fixed all that complex maths stuff and was able to take a few hours off and take stock....I can't belive how long it took me to do that, in the end I had pretty much the same code I had before but made it more effective. The problem which I simply could not work out was to do with the way Maya(a 3d art package Steve the artist uses) exported the models for our game..

There's no direct way to extract collision data from Nintendo models so I use a rather complex..and frankly damn bloody clever way to get to the info. This extractor is one of my proudest achievments. But what I didn't realise was that in past project I used 3DS models which exported things just very slightly differently.

I won't bore you with details but basically my extractor got confused by this odd data format and though it generated valid values there were just wrong and I could not work out why until I managed to step through an evaluate the whole of the program rather than just focus on the apparently fault ray cast system.
Ah well, done now.. I am frankly exhausted though, pretty much constant working for 2 weeks on this, without a break, till 4,5,6am some days.

But its done...time to get some gameplay code done.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009


When messing about with my 12 string the other night, I appear to have bruised/banged/jarred whatever a nerve in the tip of my left index finger. Ok not exactly the worst injury in the world but you try typing with an index finger that goes ouch every time you press t,g,f,v,b,c,4,5,6. ouch.

So no more guitar playing for a while and am trying to learn to type without my index finger which makes my normally terrible typing 10 times worse...Still, at least I don't have to do any serious prodding of anything/one for while.

Not so many entries on here recently, sorry about that, I have been mad busy trying to add some maths to my game engine to generate a list of closest poly's to a point in a game sure the 2 game developers who read this will be going, ahh..thats easy...

I certainly thought so when Dino asked for this to allow him to do some form of collision detect with a surface, (a track in this case) that did not use my normal ray cast system to determine height of the track.

Well no, actually it turns out its not, its actually bloody damn hard because the distance formula works fine and is fairly simple but both Dino and I had completely forgotten to allow for the fact that planes using point to plane distance formula are infinite....arrghhh so eventually all the planes on a fairly flat track will return the same or similar distance.

Which means dear reader(not you mum, you've gone already haven't you...mum?) , you then have to add some checks to see if you are actually intersecting in some way the the polygon of interest.....which requires some form of direction test..which means a ray.


I really hate maths, I can understand most of it, and code it when I have a formula thats clear but this has really pissed me off. I had to re-write huge chunks of very nice easy to use ray cast code just to provide a result that was actually useless....not happy..For me this was a classic case of finding a complex solution to a simple problem, and like a mug I went ahead and tried to do it when I had a perfectly workable solution to hand...which I am now doing.

I broke my own golden rule of coding...don't reinvent the wheel.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Life is good, today I went shopping and discovered a little taste of home with a strange name

Knabbelspek, which I think means literaly bacon nibbles....but you and I know it as..

pork scratchings

I'm sooooo happy!


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Every Geeks fantasy


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

knock knock...hello..anyone there?

Did ya miss me?

what do you mean no?

Sorry its been a busy week, Bina and Jodie were here last week and that was fantastic having them here. The Weather even played nice with some lovely spring days. I even managed to get Jodie on a bike (on the last day mind) and she had a great time. Strange having 2 women in the place though, odd smells and tubs and bottles and knickers littering the bathrooms. Odd but also nice.

Jodie and I have had a lot of problems in recent months, teens and step parents seldom get on, and she's not entirely happy about having to move over here but I think we managed to make a start on realizing the need for the move and the benefits for her. It was nice to finally re-connect with her after so much hostility.

I have had to limit my computer time to just work so I could get a good 8 hours a day in when they were here hence no entries on here. I should be able to slip in a few updates now.

Only 3 weeks of single life left. I need to cram in as much sex drugs and rock and roll...well I've got a big box of tissues, some aspirin and a couple of new albums on my Ipod so thats probably as close as I'll get..but hey I can play them really loud ;)

I have to fly over to the UK at the end of the month to help Bina pack up her stuff as well as my own and get them all ready for the removal company. Then time to take my 1st trip on a ferry over here.

House hunting for a larger place is going slowly, we have some constraints on where we can move to due to the need to be close to the station for Jodie to get to school but we have plenty of time to sort it, and still have my place as an interim measure.

Work is starting to turn a corner. My project consists of a bunch of mini games, and we've almost finished the 3 hardest ones, just some faulty game modes to fix, though I suspect we'll have to keep popping back to tweek them before the projects end. But the remaining 3 main games are really simple cute things so I'm hoping we can rattle them out in short time and really impress the client who's been getting somewhat stressed do to the time taken to get the 1st 3 done...these things tend to balance out. Just keep your head down and keep coding, it all comes together in the end.

School wise were at the end of block period where I don't have much to do for 3 weeks aside from reading up and prepping for the next block. Not many students seem to need extra help from me so aside from attending a few meetings is DS coding all the way.

Better crack on..I have some faulty art to fix so I can hand over a new framework to Dino....

more news at 10.