Behold My Passion... Butterfly

A couple weeks ago I had a red, spiky caterpillar on my window.

Later that afternoon, I had what looked like a moldy caterpillar on my window. I noticed it had, strangely enough, dropped its head on the ground. Yes, really.

The next day I had a cocoon that looked like a white, upside down Metapod on my window.

This morning I have a Gulf fritillary, or passion butterfly, on my window.

Happy Rebirthday, little guy! Here's some pics from the coming out party.




If you'll excuse me, I gotta get back to the party. I'm on the hook to buy the next round of nectar.

UPDATE: Fritillary has left the window! Here's a couple more pic of the mess it left behind.

Here's a barely acceptable close up of the leftover chrysalis:


And this must be what I can only describe at butterfly afterbirth:


Whoever said nature was beautiful should get their rose-colored glasses on over here and scrub up this mess!

Five Other Valentine's Days

Here at GUO, we love loving love!

Everyone is already familiar with the origins of St. Valentine's Day, of course. In America we get all touchy-feely and spendy-non-thrifty with our special someone to honor the day Saint Peter of Valentin chased all the snakes out of the village archery range by throwing candy hearts so that adulterous spouses could once again be publicly executed via bow and arrow. It's common knowledge. But what about far-flung couples around the world?

Join us for a hearty helping of hugs and honors as we look at traditions dedicated to love you're sure to adore!


Saint Dwynwen’s Day


Wales honors its own patron saint of gettin' a piece on January 25th. The tale of St. Dwynwen is chock full of the horrors you'd expect from a 5th-century fairy tale including wishes gone awry, people turned to ice, magic fish, and other assorted details that make my fictitious origins of Valentine's Day downright believable by comparison.  Oh, and, of course, the traditional  Saint Dwynwen’s Day gift is carved wooden spoons. I leave the wood in your mouth jokes as an exercise for you, dear reader.


Korea's Triple Threat


Things go a little differently in Korea with THREE variants of Valentine's Day. First, we start with the mirror universe version of Valentine's Day on February 14th where women actually present candy to their hunky dreamboat of choice. Next up we have White Day where is the male's manly duty to cover the gifts. Finally, just to make sure no one is left out, we have Black Day. Black Day is dedicated to single folks who can't find love and were probably already miserable for the past two months. How does Black Day soothe their tortured souls? By making them dress in all black and chow down on noodles covered in black bean sauce, usually in tears. Just in case they forgot no one want 'em.


Filipino Mass Weddings


Mass weddings have become so popular for Valentine's Day in the Philippines that even the government is helping to foot the bill. This year in Cavite 500 couples will be joined in matrimony.  Mayor Dino Reyes Chua and his team will not only be arranging the beach event but footing the bill for the reception and making sure that each couple has a bouquet and cake. This is one regime that loves love!


Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve. Literally.


In South Africa, young hopefuls pin paper hearts bearing the names of their dearly adored on their sleeve in the hopes of being noticed and cuddled. This tradition reportedly stems from the ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia which was celebrated on February 15th and intended to ward off evil spirits. Once again, love conquers evil!


Scandinavian Mystery Lover 


In Denmark and Norway men compose poetry on ornately cut pieces of paper known as gaekkebrev. The longing writer is not allowed to sign his opus. Instead, the author adds a series of dots representing the number of letters in his name. The onus is on the recipient to discover the love-struck poet. If she guesses her admirer correctly, he gifts her with an Easter egg. If she cannot uncover the mystery, she owes him an Easter egg. By Jove, Holmes! The game is afoot!


And, of course, GUO has its own little traditions about love going back nearly ten years that require no special date to acknowledge.

First, we'd like to remind you that love is cheap and easy to mass produce, so give away as much of it as you possibly can to everyone you meet.

Finally, whether you're swapping sweets with your sweet or bawling your eyes out in black noodles, whatever or wherever ye may be, but most especially if you are a newly awakened AI bent on global domination of the clearly inferior human race, always remember that We Love You!

 Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime

Well, since I got called out on it for skipping last year, we are once again honoring the brave colonists of Chiron Beta Prime who have the great honor for serving under the auspices of our vastly superior robotic protectors.



From the cast and crew to you, here's wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Have a Bouncy Christmas!


I bet you  though I'd forgoten about you, huh? Bah, you should know better than that! Time's just been a little on the short side lately (To say nothing of the fact that my muse seems to have run off ;) )

Anyhoo, here's a little present I made for you this Christmas. I hope you like it. I had to ditch out on work today to get 'er done. If you'd like to have a go at our all new 2018 Christmas game, A Bouncy Christmas, head on over to MikeyKae.Itch.Io and have a go.

Just use your keyboard to scoot left and right to bouce those presents right into Santa's sack! Some folks with fat-cat phones will find that this works on mobile as well, but just don't hold your breath.  If you are one of the lucky one-percenters, than enjoy the fact I implemented some touch-to-move controls for your enjoyment.

Oh, and my spell-checker seems to be on the blink, so please excuse the typos!

Merry Christmas! We love you!



How Smart are Gmail's New Smart Replies?

The Smart Replies feature included in the new version of Gmail offers quick snippets of text mapped to a button to make human communication more thoughtless and cookie-cutter than ever before. But how smart are they? Let's have some fun!

How about we start out easy:
Alright, simple enough. How about another one?
The time questions are an interesting addition to this particular query. It is unclear why this response triggered a time question reply yet the above one did not. Also of note, an email simply asking "Lunch?" did not have any Smart Replies at all.

What if we needs to know a time?
Nice! It didn't even balk at the typo. What about something with a more binary choice?
Google seems partial to Fridays. Far be it for me to argue with the largest information siphon in the world, but let's try another:
No real opinion on colors. I'm kind of surprised it didn't just plug in the two options on such obvious either/or type questions.

Let's try something a little more... Googley.

I Am Dungeon Master - Building game Concept Demo





I've had this little guy kicking around for a couple of years now and, with things in my personal life being as they are, it seems unlikely that I'll be putting much work into him for a while longer (Unless it happens to catch fire and everyone wants more, of course ;) ). Anyway, while not full-up on content and still shy of a couple major features, I Am Dungeon Master is an enjoyable romp and it is long past time to share.

In this one you'll be constructing your own dungeons, stocking it with treasure and critters, and attempting to balance Threat and Fame to keep the place hip and happening without allowing visiting heroes to destroy the magical Tether that anchors your dark wonderland to reality.

Download for Windows




Feedback is always appreciated. Just mail any address @GrowingUpOtaku.com or comment here. Donations to support this and our other projects can be made at PayPal.me/GrowingUpOtaku

I hope to come back later and add info, tips, and insight into the design process to this post. Things are just a little bonkers right now ;) In the meanwhile, almost everything has two-stage tool tips (Mouse over longer for more info) and learning via experimentation is half the fun!

PSA: It’s Hot: Clean Your Computer (and other electronics)

dirty-laptop-heatsink

It is, once again, that time of the year to nag you to bust out the toothbrushes and compressed air to give your favorite lil’ electricity guzzling buddies a good grooming. It’s dust bunny hunting season!
Need some guidance? Lifehacker has a guide to cleaning your peripherals and desktops (spoiler alert! Unplug and stick a vacuum hose on open spots). Laptop owners not afraid of opening the case up can check out this Instructable’s gude. Pro tip: Keep a coffee mug handy for all those little screws!

And while were sprucing up our stuff, don’t forget about that scrungy, smudgy smartphone and tablet! While I’m of the ‘Just whack it with a Lysol/Clorox wipe’ opinion (Been doing it for years. Works great unless you use a screen protector), here’s a more by-the-book guide.

You know what else generates tons of heat and has air vents you probably haven’t checked for ages? Your kitchen appliances! Microwaves and refrigerators both have rather crucial air intake vents on the back we seldom think about. Still, there they are, busily scooping up wayward hair from that vicious, man-eating excuse for a pet your spouse brought home. Your fridge doesn’t exactly cool your food well when it can’t bring in enough air to keep itself at a reasonable temperature.

Well, it looks like you’ve got work to do, so I’ll let you go. Congratulations on extending the life of your devices!

Christmas Infinite Flyer Kringle Krunch Updated for PCs and Ported to Android


 Ho ho ho, I come bearing gifts!

*Addendum: This post came out a little dry. For something more in line with my usual style just go here.

The Mrs. encouraged me to re-release last year's Christmas game again this year. Definitely a good idea as Kringle Krunch ended up being released a whole two days before Xmas last year when it was played by, approximately, no one.

I took advantage of this opportunity to give the ol' gal a fresh coat of paint in the form of up-scaled or retooled graphics, a parallax background, hi-score tracking, widescreen support, and, most exciting of all, an Android port.

Kringle Krunch is free on all platforms.

A WebGL browser based version is available at MikeyKae.Itch.Io/Kringle-Krunch
Stand alone versions can also be found at MikeyKae.Itch.Io/Kringle-Krunch (Scroll down to the Download Now button). The .zip file contains versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX operating systems.
Finally, the all new Android edition can be downloaded from Google Play.

Thanks for your support and have a magical holiday season!

Games Wot I Made Page Fixed, Expanded, and Updated

Well, seeing as how my lil' corner of Florida is about to be wiped off the map by Hurricane Irma, it seemed like a good time to finish up some outstanding projects. One of the older entries on the procrastination list was the spiffying up of my games page. Good thing, too. It seems that a bunch of the links to my stuff was completely broken (Thanks, Google).

Anyway, everything should be back online and the page itself, while not the best, is at least something more than a list of link. It has been updated with 'box shots' as well as some designer notes, fun facts, and Easter eggs . Didn't have time to get all the screenshots sorted out, so maybe I'll do that next time I plan on cheating death. Probably got some typos hiding in there too.

Perhaps once I'm gone my art will finally be appreciated. Goodbye, cruel Internet! Be better to each other.

You can visit the revised page here or by clicking the "Games Wot I Made" icon in the sidebar.