In my spare time at home, I usually have one or a few projects I work on for fun. When I get my muse, I become obsessed with creativity; my one-track mind can scarcely think about anything else except the function I am working on. This usually lasts until I get excited about something else which takes over my passion like a democrat is going to take over the White House in November.
Thankfully, my dear sweet wife is very understanding of my incessant need to create, and she lets me lock myself up for a few hours a week to work. After this last month of being Mr. Mom, I have come to appreciate this support from my wife more than ever.
Anyway, my latest obsession has been programming an automatic short-story generator. It uses artificial intelligence to create characters and plots, randomizes them together, and churns them out in dry third-person prose. It’s never going to be Jane Austen, but what do you expect from a computer? It’s not like my PC went to college to get a degree in English.
Before that, it was a GEDCOM importer for my online genealogy website, ActiveFamilyTree.com. Sometimes, I would like to build a time machine just so I can go back and tell the guy who created the GEDCOM format about the benefits of well-formed XML. That project is still unfinished, just like most of the other hobby projects I’ve started in the last ten years. If there were a job that involved creating things and never finishing them, I would be awesome at it.