Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 October 2001 - Wednesday

Today I was lame all morning, but then about midafternoon suddenly got lots of exciting work to do. My hope now is that 17:00 will roll around and I'll be able to escape without anyone telling me what I did is completely wrong and has to be done over by COB.

* * *

Whew, I escaped! Then there was a lot of scuttling and crawling, so now I am a floppy parasite, but I have Angel and Buffy to watch.

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30 October 2001 - Tuesday

My boss has lent me a book on writing, which may let me convert my nebulous "I have no ideas" whine to more specific "I have no ideas for X, Y, or Z parts of a story" whines. Concrete, specific whining has got to be better than vague whining, right?

* * *

I have helped Dwan with her C code, which makes me feel all smart since I haven't written (working) C myself in many years. (perl is my friend!)

* * *

Today's improvement to the journal code: all subject-author-date lines for comments at the end of an entry have a spurious parameter in the link so that browsers will show them all as visited if you have viewed the comment page for that entry, unless a new comment has been made, in which case they will all show as unviewed (okay, it would be better to have only the new ones show as unviewed, but they're all on the same page, so it hardly matters, and I don't think the browser link-color-changing mechanism can be subverted that way).

* * *

Double writing done! Tomorrow I have only double writing doom! And most of tonight's writing was on Transmundane, because why should not having a plot stop me?

More Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne now, I think.

writing! by keeet! (Wed Oct 31 12:15:51 2001)

Oop, I hit return instead of tab and this window went away. I wonder if it'll post a blank post from me?

Anwyay, um, yay writing books! Yay concrete writing complaints! And yay only double writing doom! Trip is best! Goooooo, Trip!

concrete whining by liralen (Thu Nov 1 09:29:26 2001)

Yay! Concrete whining! At least, then, you'll know what, exactly, has to be done before you can stop whining. That's a good thing!

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29 October 2001 - Monday

Squack! My TBG ship has been exploded and parted out! By goblins!

It's my own fault, really, for not clicking the appropriate "Hide like scared little chitinous parasite" option, but still a bummer. Now I have been automatically restarted, so I have money but only a very very lame ship and no l33t sk1llz. Sniff.

* * *

There, I posted the third personals ad I wrote up, on Yahoo weasels. Maybe I'll even remember that my YahooIDTM is "space_parasite".

Three whole hours before I get to Millbrae!

* * *

I walked across the courtyard just now, and it was raining! I guess it really is no longer summer.

* * *

There is today's writing and one catchup allotment! Tomorrow I will have only triple writing doom!

Thinking more about my failure to write late last week and over the weekend, it seems that another part of the problem is not having a good feel (hah hah) for Sidi's personality, and yet another is her being too competent and experienced. For perfectly obviously reasons, I have an easier time thinking about smut that has a plot or theme or whatever of exploration/discovery, like "An Evening Out".

But we already knew it was a stupid idea. Now I am off to watch Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne*!

*Link pending, when nameservice stops denying the existance of

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28 October 2001 - Sunday

Daylight Wasting Time today, but I don't think I got full benefit of the extra hour: tossing and turning for the later part of my sleep cycle. Probably because it was obnoxiously light outside, hmph.

Grocery shopping, whee, then lunch at Armadillo Willy's with Adam, and then Knights of Atlantis. Angie wasn't there because some combination of her hideous lung infection and her energetic new boytoy drained her energy, and Marith and the Kruger-Murdochs were late, but eventually we got started and gamed pretty successfully for three or four hours. Our Heroines now have some leads on the reincarnated Atlantean sorcerer who's sucking out the kau of creative people, but any confrontation will happen next session.

Now I am home again, full from nibbling on pistachios all during gaming, catching up on my daily web habit, journalling, and failing to write. If I don't do my 300 words, it will be quintuple writing doom tomorrow, in addition to going to Millbrae and admitting I haven't bothered to find anywhere to post personals ads.

And listening to Clannad's Macalla which is just so amazingly good. It isn't quite right to give me the feeling I attributed to a fictional character, but not for lack of beauty. Sigh.

* * *

Okay, I have written something. Tomorrow is only quadruple writing doom. If I fail to suck, I can be caught up by the end of the week, since I will have all Wednesday night to write (anime is cancelled in favor of Halloween parties, which I am not cool enough for).

Journals by gconnor (Mon Oct 29 00:41:31 2001)

If you do a lot of reading on, you might want to get an account there, just to create your own "friends" page and collect all the new stuff from your friends in chronological order. Even if you don't post anything there, might be worth it. (Let me know if you want an account code, I just prepaid 14 months so I have 15 codes to give away)

Some folks (me included) write and mark entries "friends only" so you may actually see more entries if you're logged in...

Transmundane by gconnor (Mon Oct 29 00:56:34 2001)

I read the whole thing (10 pieces so far). It's quite good reading! I can tell the setting is well-imagined (meaning imagined in detail).

More, must have more. Though I don't think AV would like it much if I made "Transmundane #11" part of your official chores for the week... having that on the status report might raise some eyebrows.

Beauty and Successful Gaming by liralen (Thu Nov 1 09:32:57 2001)

Thanks for the pointer to the thing of beauty. John just bought new speakers, so I should listen to beautiful things to listen to. Yay! And Hoorah for successful gaming! That is a good thing, yay!

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27 October 2001 - Saturday

I know I am prone to write about how little I'm accomplishing on any given weekend, but today is exceptionally useless. I began the day with quadruple writing doom: catch up for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and today's normal writing. I got about one unit of writing done, decided it was hopelessly lame and deleted it, and rewrote it. It's still hopelessly lame, but if I delete it again I won't even be keeping even.

(The specific problem is, I guess, that I don't have any plot course of events laid out to take the main character to her assorted fates. Just because I haven't completely eradicated my old habit of leaping in over my head doesn't mean it isn't a bad habit.)

After thus wasting pretty much the entire day in this fashion, I went to the Ayseday party and brutally dismembered pomegranates for the benefit of the shortly-to-be-assembled masses. Then the masses assembled, and it was very very hot, but otherwise okay for a party. There was much scampery kitten cuteness, and opening of presents of chocolate, tea, books, and liqueur, and then I slunk away into the night to shed my thermal load.


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26 October 2001 - Friday

Okay, perhaps what I really want is to be smart enough to come up with a novel solution to the Fermi Paradox.

* * *

Okay, it's the very very deep pit with parasite-trompling ponies for me. Angst, sullenness, comics, but no writing. This means quadruple writing doom for tomorrow. :(

Fermi paradox; Cruel Universe; Death to All through Life by kmiyaki (Fri Oct 26 18:03:29 2001)

Perhaps the universe consumes life at a rate similar to which it creates it.

Lets say that matter(and energy) is neither created nor destroyed. Take that further to a cosmic scale, where the universe is 'closed'. That is, "What was, 'is', and what 'is', is what will be for all time." (yin and yang, zero/zero = infinity )

Then, say that life is a local perturbation in the energy (call it noise).

I'll bet the universe works so that life is created, and destroyed in an endless cycle much like the way planets and solar systems are created and destroyed. Hey, we are the children of giant suns that have long since burned out.

It could be that life was never meant to exist on grand scales, much like the way quantum effects (such as tunneling) don't manifest themselves on macroscopic scales -- or atleast, the probability of coherent macroscopic tunneling is sufficiently small (watch out Star Trek transporters).

Well, so perhaps there were other intelligent life forms out there. They'll eventually get hit by an asteroid, fried when their sun goes nova, or sucked into the closest black hole, or freeze to death when some huge planet knocks them off their axis.

We are probably not the first life forms ever to grace this universe, nor the last, and certainly I don't expect the human species to last forever.

To that effect, live life to it's fullest each day, and don't live merely for the sake of existing. Life's too short, as seen by the recent death of one of our former colleagues (and he was my age as well).


re: Cruel Universe by Trip (Sat Oct 27 13:04:04 2001)

That the universe is not a friendly place for life is taken into account in the Drake Equation, actually; there's a term for average lifetime of civilizations. But for that term to be exceedingly small is just as curious as any other term being small. Certainly the weak anthropic principle makes it clear that we should not be surprised that the Solar System supports life, but the galaxy contains something like 1011 stars, of which a significant fraction are like Sol, so if we are way out in the tail of the curve, it would be interesting, and possibly a matter of species survival, to know what makes other stars so unpleasant.

I do, of course, agree that the human species will not have an infinite lifespan. Being a freak, however, I hope that the end of the human species, as biologically defined, happens in the next few decades. This mortal frailty thing has got to go.

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25 October 2001 - Thursday

Today, I sadly received word that a former cow orker had died. I knew him hardly at all, so I am not as distraught as the people who had worked more closely with him, but if nothing else I must go "Ack, he was only a few years older than me!" and cringe from the knowledge of my own mortality. (We really have to do something about getting fault-tolerant hardware and regular backups.)

In other news, I helped push a spiffy new AltaVista feature to production. I can definitely see people being interested in using it, and it's something that Google doesn't have, so neener!

Now I am home, and admiring how I want to watch Buffy and read comics but cannot because I haven't done two days of writing yet. Sniff!

But first, dinner!

* * *

Oop. I have to watch Buffy, because I promised Angie she could borrow it, and if she is to watch it in time to return it to the Kruger-Murdochs on Saturday, then I have to give it to her at work tomorrow. Okay. Much as it pains me, I will watch Buffy first and then try to do some writing. Or fail to write and die in a deep deep pit, as the case may be.

* * *

Okay, it's the pit for me. I didn't even finish Sidi's character sheet. I am a big loser.

But at least this pit has pillows and a blanket at the bottom.

pits by tamago (Fri Oct 26 11:11:10 2001)

Yes, but does your pit have MAN-EATING PONIES?!?

pits by Trip (Fri Oct 26 11:13:09 2001)

Ooh, man-eating ponies! I bet Sidi needs some of those!

I think space-parasite-eating ponies are more to the point. Mmm, chitinous.

Make a comment!

24 October 2001 - Wednesday

If I had thought about the fact that my boss reads this, I might not have posted yesterday's entry so blithely. Oh well.

In any case, I have spent my evening watching anime at the Bertani-Youngs', so I don't have to deal with writing until tomorrow.

who? me? by gconnor (Thu Oct 25 09:22:22 2001)

I'm only an occasional reader, unfortunately. This is only my second visit. And hey, nothing wrong with smut. I like smut. I briefly considered writing some soft-core porn (ahem, I mean "romance") material for nanowrimo. But then I don't enjoy the soft stuff as much as Michelle (ye Gods we have a lot of it on the shelves at home). So if forced to write "romance" I would probably be too bored to finish, though it's probably a great way to generate high word count. If I write the harder stuff I would not be able to show it to as many family members as I otherwise might...

Smut by Trip (Thu Oct 25 10:13:37 2001)

So far as I know, no one related to me is particularly web-enabled, which is probably for the best. :)

I'm presuming you have already looked through my writing page and recoiled in horror or not, as you found appropriate at the time. :)

I already have a bad first draft of a novel that I'm laming on rewriting, so I'm not going to do the nanowrimo thing, but I think everyone else should!

soft core, I mean romance by monymony (Thu Oct 25 10:15:24 2001)

The nice thing about /good/ romance novels is that you can generally skim or even skip entirely the sex bits and not miss anything really important to the story. :)

good, or bad, romance novels by Trip (Thu Oct 25 10:57:28 2001)

Huh. I'd consider that a sign of poor writing, actually, since it means the sex bits are just tacked on and not important to the story. (Okay, I suppose they could be atmospheric/thematic, in which case they might not be important to the plot, but would still, if the book is well-written, be important to the story.

But then, I am known to disagree with mony on the whole good/bad thing.

good vs bad by monymony (Thu Oct 25 17:05:55 2001)

Well, since the thing I am interested in the very least about romance novels is the descriptions of the actual sex act (tinysex for seven years will pretty much burn one out pretty well on having any interest in reading the act described Yet Again), it's good for me to be able to skim/skip them.

My opinion of romance novels is that it's all about the characterizations and the, hm, flavor. I read historical romances mostly, so I'm interested in getting the flavor for the times. The descriptions of the clothing, the rooms, the houses, towns, cities, etc. The interactions between the people in an era where manners were so very different from what they are today. Plot is useful. :) The sex is there for mass appeal, I guess.

It is often important to the story that the characters get together and are intimate. It is often, also, not entirely necessary to read the entire description of that act. Just like waxxing prosaic about the bush behind which the main character is urinating (Anne Rice) for a page and a half isn't necessary to the plot. Or rather, it is 'important' to know that he is urinating behind the bush. The page and a half of descriptive phrasing about the bush can be entirely abridged to 'and then he pees behind the azalea bush' without losing the plot or story of the book. :)

Extraneous words by Trip (Thu Oct 25 18:37:36 2001)

I would say that the page-and-a-half of bush description is Bad Writing. It is probably there because Anne Rice is so famous no one dares edit her; this is a disease that overtakes many many writers when they grow successful. I'm sure you can provide your own examples.

Similarly, then, if the sex scenes can be skipped without harming the story, they are Bad Writing. That they cause the book to sell better is of no more significance on that axis than that Anne Rice's grocery list could sell 500 000 copies.

And yes, I know you're looking for an hour of escapism that doesn't make your skin crawl, and have no concern for technical quality or craftsmanship. This is why I say we disagree.

extraneous words by Cera (Fri Oct 26 16:15:28 2001)

Then is the description of the sex act actually ever necessary? I mean, can't it always be abbreviated to "And then they had sex."? With appropriate adjectives before the word 'sex' for tonality.

I mean, the description of the act might tell me something about the characters, but I'm not sure it's something I necessarily want to know.

Some might consider me a prude, though.

re: extraneous words by Trip (Fri Oct 26 17:15:14 2001)

Well, define "necessary". The book sells better with descriptions of sex in, which the author and the publisher both consider pretty important, I expect.

More generally, any description of any character/setting/action has the potential to be atmospheric or character-building, so it could be necessary to the story. That it's often put in when it's not necessary is Bad Writing (which, as I said before, is orthogonal to Unpopular Writing).

Not that I have a whole huge pile of moral high ground here, of course.

Sex! by Chrysoula (Sun Oct 28 18:38:57 2001)

There are definitely times, story-marketability aside, that more detailed descriptions of a sexual encounter are important. I mean, obviously it depends on the genre, and the character involved. Readers might be able to skip it, but honestly, readers can skip any sequence they want in a story if it doesn't appeal to them personally. I almost never actually read fight scenes in a novel, personally.

Make a comment!

23 October 2001 - Tuesday

There is a 2-1 majority in favor of today being AYSEDAY! Yay Ayse!

* * *

Being all stalled on Transmundane (just because I write a cliffhanger ending doesn't mean I know what happens next!), I am reduced to writing 300 words about what I would be writing if I had any ideas. Arguably this shouldn't count as writing, but it's words, in sentences, conveying concepts and images, so I'll claim it's an essay or something.

For no very good reason other than general depravity, I want to write smut. (I don't think there's "autumn fever" like there is spring fever, but actually this would be a good time for humans to breed; the young would pop out in the middle of summer.) You may begin the mocking.

Since I'm not smart enough to write SF, and I can't reconcile the real, modern world with having sex (I hear it happens, but I'm not sure I believe it), this smut will by default have a fantasy setting. (I suppose it could be historical, but that would be like work and stuff.) I still don't have any ideas so um ah-hah! D&D 3d edition has tables for random fantasy-genre characters! Okay, D&D smut it is. I sort of claimed to Ayse a long time ago that I was going to write some, I think. And it's sort of like fanfic, so I can be almost as cool as Marith. But not quite, because my source material isn't as cool as hers.

(Sheesh, I'm already at 240 words and haven't even come to a point yet. Maybe these words only count half.)

After some work with the tables in chapter 2 of the DMG that can best be described in terms appropriate to a smut writer, I determine that Our Heroine will be a half-brass-dragon/half-elf. I didn't roll it fairly, but it sounds exotic and cool, and half-dragons get extra Charisma (read, sex appeal). <roll roll> and as expected she's strong and cute, but turns out to not be overwhelmingly bright. Not rock-like, just not that clever. This is okay by me; writing smart characters is hard. She's probably tall, buff, and imposing... for an elf, which means something like 5'5" and 140lb. Yellow dragon eyes, fangs, nice hooked claws, brassy scales along her spine (and faintly scale-patterned skin elsewhere), and a great fondness for warmth.

Even smut needs conflict, and Our Heroine's nemesis will be <roll roll> an evil... tiefling (human, but with a family tree rooted in the Abyss)... cleric! Ooh, orgiastic rites! You can't go wrong with orgiastic rites! (Sounds like a marketing slogan, doesn't it?) And female, but that's no obstacle. With minions, of course. <roll roll> A half-elf bard, a lizardfolk druid, and a gnoll cleric, all evil and female. I'm not sure how to make a gnoll sexy, though (Xander's hyena-possession notwithstanding), so I re<roll roll> and she turns out to be... another half-dragon/half-elf! But evil! All becomes clear!

I could make up some sidekicks for Our Heroine, but nonhostile friendly interactions (cough, cough) aren't as much fun. Now we need only a plot! Oh, and names. Our Heroine is um Azirine? No, that sounds more villainous; must be the other half-dragon. Sidirielle, that's a good name.

Sidi is genetically predisposed to like deserts, so we'll set this story in one; pseudo-Arabic, maybe shading into Indian (no, it's not topical, go away). Isolated cities, fierce desert bandits (lizard people! see, the dice know!), endless wastes in which the unwary traveller can be lost or the wicked can conceal a secret temple. Plus belly-dancers, harem girls, buff guys wearing only thin silk trousers, all that sort of thing.

Our story begins as Sidi is leaving the city of Khelab-al-Jit, which between the paladin king, the merchant council, and the church of mandatory niceness is not much of a place for a free-spirited half-dragon anyway.

There, 600 really cheesy words about a really really cheesy story idea. If I don't unblock on Transmundane, I'll have to start writing it. Eeee.

Elfsmut by cdr (Tue Oct 23 23:21:17 2001)

Isn't this how Elf Sternberg got started? Venus on the Half-Scale?

Augh! by Trip (Wed Oct 24 08:59:03 2001)

I said mock me, not revile me!

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22 October 2001 - Monday

Today has mostly been noteworthy for my complete lack of wakefulness. Oh, and the opportunity to tease Angie about her hot date.

* * *

Transmundane is now in the double digits, but I'm once again not sure where to go next. I've set up a plot element that needs resolving, but I'm not sure how to resolve it, or what else goes with that resolution.

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21 October 2001 - Sunday

I think I've figured out what causes the dreams about waking-up-but-not-being-fully-awake-over-and-over. When my little parasitebrain receives signals to wake up (in this case, from drinking too much water the previous evening) but is busy doing the REM thing, it dreams about waking up instead of actually waking, but of course I'm not actually awake, so I can have that dream element over and over, modified by whatever other dream I'm having.

This knowledge isn't useful or anything, but I feel vaguely less oblivious for having figured it out. Yay me.

* * *

Dave dropped by to return some things left at the Davepad that belonged to me, and babble at length about TBG and other space games. This had the pleasant effect of making my afternoon almost social but without the need for me to say much of anything.

It also reminded me that I am not cool enough to come up with good aliens for SF, and should continue gnawing my tentacles off, but that's by no means Dave's fault.

I could probably have made it in the 60s, when space opera was in and aliens didn't have to be all that alien, but in the 60s computer geeks had to wear ties, so it's not a completely one-sided tradeoff.

I guess these days there's Star (Wars|Trek) franchise novels, but even though real writers like Diane Duane and Barbara Hambly write them, I still don't count them as SF. Sci-fi at best.


* * *

Over the past few days, the weather has pretty suddenly gone from summery to wintery. The change isn't quite complete during the day, but in the evenings it's quite definite. The days have been shortening for a while, of course, so that's probably not it. Maybe it's just the difference between having to devote effort to keeping warm instead of keeping cool (without, apparently, ever passing through "comfortable"), but the emotional effect is inescapable. Low-grade SAD, I guess, but still dolefulness- and lethargy-inducing.

Creating an alien by gconnor (Thu Oct 25 09:18:05 2001)

Orson Scott Card led an interesting seminar on how to come up with new fantasy ideas or new science fiction ideas. Quick summary: For fantasy, what makes the world different is magic. So, in order to determine what the *essence* of the world is, you have to determine "what is the price of magic" - what do you have to give up in order to get power. Do you have to sacrifice a loved one, spend your life studying, lose bits of your fingers from time to time? (We chose sci-fi so we didn't go down this path) For sci-fi, the exercise was one of creating an interesting alien. In our example, we determined that the thing making this alien different was that a parent would have to die in order to bear an offspring. So, going down that path, we were asked to think about what effect that would have on the culture, who would raise the child if the parent always died, were they mated in pairs or were they asexual, etc. We kept coming back to the question of "why". Why this, why that, and pretty soon a new unique alien race was created. This was last year, and I wish I remebered the details a little better.

Re: Creating an alien by Trip (Thu Oct 25 10:03:52 2001)

Yah, that works pretty well. Although then you need to go into "does this actually work?" One thing I've seen for a number of invented species is each critter only producing one offspring in its life, which has the obvious problem that each generation is no larger than the previous one, and probably smaller due to deaths before breeding, which quickly leads to extinction. Perhaps that's just better phrased as "now consider your creation in light of what you know of evolutionary biology". :)

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20 October 2001 - Saturday

I read Magic Pickle*. Now I must hibernate to restore my intermediate mental functions.

*No link, because the Oni Press website is completely worthless, and the creator's website is not helpful in this respect. Boo. Hiss.

* * *

The numerous and peculiar dreams I had when I first went on antidepressants have come back recently. I'm not sure why; I must be almost caught up on sleep, or way behind on sleep, or have sucked out the wrong brain, or something.

The ones I remember from last night are, first, attempting to make everyone happy with a game I was in. I'm not sure what the problem was, only that Sherilyn was the one most dissatisfied, and that her proposed solution involved having teams of NPC telepaths and precognitives easily available to everyone. I don't recall the details of the solution, except that apparently the telepath and whatever PC was involved were to form some sort of loop by each giving the right responses to what the other one said, and the precog was needed to jumpstart the loop by seeing what one of them would say. This led into a discussion of the difference between fiction for young children and fiction for teenagers or adults, which seemed to come down to: For little kids, the world is pretty new and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so their fiction doesn't have to either: bring on the three-handled family gradunzas! As they get older ("grow up", to use the pejorative phrasing), they get more familiar with the world, and so can see where fiction is implausible, and complain about it. I'd think this was an okay insight if I hadn't just finished reading two issues of Magic Pickle. :)

After some stuff that didn't make it into the light of er early afternoon, there was a bit with trying to watch anime which seemed to be about the teenaged female bodyguard of the abbot of a Buddhist monastary. No "winkwinknudgenudge", although it was pretty upsetting to the monks to have this nubile girl living with them. More details not available, because apparently I had managed to get tapes that were in Japanese with no subtitles. Oop. But this does possibly tie into another idea I had, so I will have to pokle it.

Strange work-based dream, not particularly stressy; just recalcitrant computers and occasional cameos by cow orkers. Strange dreams about whether Atollo is appropriate gear for a space mission.

That segued into a stretch of those "dreaming about waking up but not really awake gotta open my eyes blink and a whole day is gone" dreams, but with a twist: two copies (or copies of two branches) of an artifical mind sent back from the future and taking over my body and someone else's body. Lots of blinking and having it be night instead of day, because the future mind had taken over for that period. At least one of the future minds contained several subminds, and one of them had something called a Moon Harem, which contained seven virtual succubi called Moon Spirits: lots of fun, but distinctly unhealthy. Apparently there had been some excitement in the future about this, because they couldn't see any good reason to have a Moon Harem unless you were going to feed someone to it, but that's not why the future mind brought it back.

There was some stuff with the two future minds running around and plotting against each other, and one trying to mingle with humans but failing due to being, well, inhuman. The other was not surprised; one doesn't expect a creature named Phaizhe (derived from the Greek "phage") to be a social butterfly.

"So why is it named 'Eater'?" you ask? Well, around this time, it is revealed that the Moon Harem only has three Moon Spirits left: Phaizhe ate the rest. It seems that the higher-end artificial minds have to eat other minds to keep functioning; the heterotrophs of the computational world, if you like. (In fact, since Phaizhe ate the Moon Spirits which ate natural mainds, apparently it was a carnivore analogue; not merely an herbivore analogue.) The other future mind was an experimental type that didn't have this problem, but it wasn't as studly as Phaizhe.

Then I woke up.

Although the notion of autotroph and heterotroph minds is darn cool, I have to admit that's because I swiped it from Earl. And from a throw-away one-shot game setting too.

If anyone needs me, I'll be here in the corner gnawing my own tentacles off in shame and despair. Again.

space mission by tamago (Sun Oct 21 18:12:06 2001)

I read to Chrisber your dream query about whether atollo was good for a space mission, he insisted, "absolutely not." And then, "but Zomes most probably are."

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19 October 2001 - Friday

Failure! No Iron Monkey for me! Half an hour before we were to leave, someone noticed an error I had made back in the mists of time, and needed it corrected retroactively. Since it was actually an error on my part, I felt like I should do something about it before even more old data was automatically removed. Thus, no movie.

However, I was successfully Aberdeened, and surprise-Ambared, so the evening was not a total loss. Thai food for Angel tapes is a good trade!

* * *

Cool. Angel doesn't suck this season. And my, but Fred is a cutie. (And Cordelia seems to be, er, standing out more. Or maybe it's just Friday.)

Found it! by gconnor (Fri Oct 19 23:30:57 2001)

It is more or less at this point in time when I found Trip's journal and read from it, and found that it was good (well, at least amusing). I admire the code and documentation, but I admire the writing more. Perhaps a quota system is what I need to force myself to pay attention to writing. I enjoy writing but don't do quite enough of it to rank above dilettante unfortunately. Unless you count the volumes of email I send to cow orkers. Enough for now, I have been shamed into going back to my own journal and updating it.

Writing quotas by Trip (Sat Oct 20 00:02:16 2001)

I think it's not so much the quota thing as the every day thing. When I started, it was only 150 words per day, which is 1050 per week, or about what I was doing when I wrote one night a week... when I actually wrote on that night. Making it daily also means that even for a somewhat reasonable per-week output, there's no huge lump staring me in the face. Even on a fairly bad day, I can force myself to write a couple hundred words, and if I really can't write, doing double writing the next day still isn't too hideous. Obviously this is all dependent on my particular psychological damage, but I may not be completely atypical of geeks. :)

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18 October 2001 - Thursday

Angie has filled my brain up with knowledge! Now I must build a support frame so I am not crushed by the weight of my own cerebrum!

Plans have been laid for some of us from work to cut out early tomorrow and see the 16:20 showing of Iron Monkey. I still think we need the robes and the funny hats and the swords, so we can stride commandingly into the theater and conquer it in the name of Emperor-in-Exile, but no one agrees with me, hmph.

I have used l33t rsync sk1llz to make a female cow orker squeak amazingly.

iron monkey! robes! by keeet (Thu Oct 18 15:50:04 2001)

*I* agree with you! I think you *should* have the robes and funny hats and swords! We claim this theatre in the name of the Emperor in Exile! Hahah!

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17 October 2001 - Wednesday

Ha-HAH! I have successfully induced UPS to deliver to me at work, thus avoiding the doom of trying to have my apartment manager receive packages for me, and now have an Aysepresent, a Marithpresent, and a Christypresent! Now I feel like much less of a bad friend!

* * *

Marith's Kanji dictionary made her happy, as did the Strangers in Paradise calendar I impulsively bought her. Smug parasite!

* * *

Christy cruelly taunted me with chocolatechipoatmealcookies during anime! Sulk!

But I have done today's writing today, instead of flaking it to tomorrow, and only stayed up 12 minutes late! Yay me!

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16 October 2001 - Tuesday

Not the world's most exciting day. Work, meetings, staring blankly into space.

I thought about blowing off Transmundane and trying to write something else, but failed for lack of a really better idea. Not that any of my ideas are good, as I understand after rereading some Charles Stross stories. Gnaw. Gnawgnawgnawgnaw. Meep. :(

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15 October 2001 - Monday

And today, Adam received his enormous thick huge scholarly tome of musk-ox slaying. Yay!

* * *

The sore throat I had yesterday evening has almost completely gone away, but now I cough. And glare hatefully at all the sick people who have been breathing my air.

* * *

My therapy homework due today was to write a personals ad for myself. These are the three I came up with.

Handsome, talented, sensitive, creative
man seeks beautiful, adoring woman to
humor his delusions. 

Eccentric, non-flakey, red-headed
31-year-old geek guy seeks compatible
femme for whatever may develop. 

Hoping to find a woman interested in a
shy, 31-year-old science
fiction/gaming/computer geek with his
head in the clouds but his heart in the
right place at the right time. Sense of
humor not optional. 

Now you may mock me. Or suggest places I could usefully post one of these. Or pretend you don't know me.

* * *

I think I'll declare that the end of Transmundane episode 9. Maybe I should write shorter chapters or something. Or maybe I should stop being lame and try to write SF.

The musk-ox slaying by Tamago (Mon Oct 15 15:56:14 2001)

I was amused by the "42 sample pages" of the book available for perusal. I can understand including the table of contents, but various random pages that start in the middle of a sentence are just wacky.

personals ads! by keeeet! (Mon Oct 15 22:50:45 2001)

I must admit I like all of those very much, but I think my favorite one is the last one. It makes me go, "Awww!" I think, "Awww!" is a good reaction. Isn't it?

comments by keeeet again (Mon Oct 15 22:52:51 2001)

hm. did you know that the comments system eats the 'make a comment' option once someone has made a comment? i'm not too bright and I kept looking for it before having the presence of mind to click on Tamagogogo's entry... :)

Personals by Tamatama (Tue Oct 16 12:42:58 2001)

I'd vote for bachelor #1, except it would probably attract a share of bimbos who think irony is defined by Alanis Morissette.

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14 October 2001 - Sunday

Finally, I have made it to the grocery store before noon! And thus, I was not cheated of my rightful diet IBC! Yay me!

However, now I have to do extra writing because I lamed out last night. This requires me to figure out what the heck I want to put in the rest of the current episode.

* * *

I see from Gretchen's livejournalthat I have successfully presented her with The Marriage of Sticks! Happy Imminent Flitday!

* * *

There's yesterday's catch-up writing done, so at least I'm not falling behind. I think I'll take a break and do today's writing after dinner, though.

* * *

It is not even slightly amazing how much faster and better writing goes when I give it my full attention.

writing! by keeet (Mon Oct 15 10:59:14 2001)

Isn't it just, er, not the slightest bit amazing? God, I need to write. *slinks off guiltily*

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13 October 2001 - Saturday

My dreams last night were really cool, so I went over them in my head to be sure I remembered them. Unfortunately, I was still dreaming when I did that, so it didn't work very well. Now all I remember is dreaming about seeing a movie trailer that was obviously the inspiration for an earlier dream segment. And something about BillBillBill (Tara's Boy) keeping the souls of many women, all of whom looked the same except for their hair, imprisoned in a virtual world. But I'm sure the other parts were great!

* * *

Amber High School ate up most of today, which is why I am only now writing today's journal entry. Tiacapan did in fact become Cadet Captain for her class, as Justice did for hers, and each picked one PC and one NPC for subordinate cadet officers. Only Omar and Cloud are not official members of the power structure, and Omar is a thriving part of the sophomore class's political-industrial complex.

Then Our Heroes made a flying visit to the gothic horror Shadow to collect information on vampires, and set sail for Splendid Cathuria, conveniently on the same ship as its crown princess (who Hamilton proceeded to chat up). Tia was more interested in pestering the crew about how sailing ships work.

Now I have survived dinner and admired the exceedingly adorable kittens and escaped the FLtD geeking, and must do my daily web surfing and daily writing.

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12 October 2001 - Friday

Yes, it is lame of me to have bought the D&D3 version of Oriental Adventures months after terminating my pseudo-Japanese campaign.

* * *

But Liralen got the presents I sent her, hurray! (King Rat and Perdido Street Station by China Miéville)

* * *

Apparently I am not increasing my writing quota to 350 w/d today. I don't think I will have to evert my stomach in expiation of this sin.

Parasite Rex! by monymony (Fri Oct 12 14:33:08 2001)

Triptrip! We should arrange an exchange! I have your book!

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11 October 2001 - Thursday

Thanks to Bryant for finding bugs in my comment code. No, really!

* * *

Okay, I want my beanie baby now.

Is it wrong of me to try to take this as my writing for today?

* * *

Buffy was quite fine. Not perfect, but quite fine. Only Spike was perfect. I want to be Spike when I grow up.

You'd think, after spending all day longing for my parasitenest, that I would flee there and fall over the moment I finished watching Buffy on fast-forward, but no. I seem to be constitutionally incapable of going to bed before 22:45. Feh.

possums! by keeeeeet (Thu Oct 11 18:25:29 2001)

augh! you were mugged by a possum! because this is a very traumatic event, clearly you should go watch Buffy in order to recover! in fact, it's so traumatic, I think *I* might go watch Buffy in order to recover!

beanie babies! by Flit (Fri Oct 12 12:57:39 2001)

I'll drop it off next time I'm in MV, or give it to the next person who visits who goes there. Or you can come visit and I can feed you to Moose and then give you a beanie baby!

Make a comment!

10 October 2001 - Wednesday

Muahahahahahahahahahaha! Comments are now live! There is no escape!

Fortunately, I retain the power to delete any comments that might make me look bad.

* * *

Marithday, it's Marithday, happy happy Marithday!

We (being the Bertani-Youngs, the Kruger-Murdochs, and myself) took Marith to yummy dinner, and some of us gave her presents, and a good time was had by all. Yay Marith!

* * *

When I got home, there was a big possum* sitting on the stairs to my apartment! It was holding so still that at first I thought it was a fake set out as a practical joke or something, but it twitched, so I found a rock of moderate size to toss up at it and it definitely moved. "Hm", thought I, "there's no other good way to get up to my apartment." The landlady was asleep, of course, it being after 22:00, so I wasn't sure what to do. I pointed it out to a neighbor, who agreed that sure enough, there was an animal on my stares (being from another continent, he didn't recognize the species) but otherwise wasn't much help (not that I can blame him).

Feeling outnumbered, the possum scuttled up to the balcony outside my door, and when I cautiously followed it up, it was at the far end trying to figure out if it could sneak around on the outside of the safety railing. Since it was at that point maybe half a meter from my door and had nowhere to retreat to, I felt kind of bad about chucking the rock at it again, but it did, as hoped, plunge into the landscaping below. I last saw it waddling off around the corner of the building onto the front sidewalk, so I doubt it was hurt or anything.

I suppose as a responsible citizen I should have whipped out the old Nextel and called animal control or something, but the possum wasn't hurting anyone, so I cut it some slack.

*Okay, I'm guessing it was a possum. It sure wasn't a cat, dog, or raccoon, and it was way bigger than I hope rats ever get: at least Velcro's mass, maybe more. Whitish fur, shortish legs, snout vaguely pig-like but longer. With the new comment feature, someone can tell me if I'm wrong.

* * *

Now, I sleep. Make-up writing tomorrow, in addition to trying to watch Buffy and read comics.

just babbling by Angie! (blue-haired type) (Wed Oct 10 14:48:51 2001)

Oooh, nifty. I may try to bribe you into making something like this possible for my page, be warned. ^_^

Aieee! by Trip (Wed Oct 10 14:51:17 2001)

I don't think the code is in such a condition that I would want to give it to other people, unless they were willing to maintain it themselves. It has um three perl scripts, three pseudo-HTML templates, four directories, and NO DOCUMENTATION! (Why should I document? Who's going to give me a beanie baby for it?)

everything! at once! by kitlings! (Wed Oct 10 14:52:10 2001)

wow cool lookit this there are comments on this page our page doesn't have comments how come you're so lucky we're not that lucky sheesh we feel all left out maybe we'll just go die in a pit oooh look a pit has it got chocolate in it i want some chocolate me no me no ME! aawww there's no chocolate anyway hey maybe there's some over there under the blue-haired angie's page *swarms off*

You're not looking at the big picture by Ambar (Wed Oct 10 14:52:40 2001)

It seems to me that of the things you might possibly want from Angie, beanie babies would be the least of that list.... Fridayily yours, Ambar

Chocolate by Tamago (Wed Oct 10 15:22:24 2001)

Kitlings found chocolate in the pit? I want some!

Transmundane by Tamago (Wed Oct 10 15:24:50 2001)

I say roll with it. I like where it's going. It's got a constructive sort of teenaged angst about it that seems to fit the story thus far.

Transmundane by Tamago (Wed Oct 10 15:26:09 2001)

I say roll with it. I like what it seems to be. It's a constructive sort of teenage angst thing, with plot and atmosphere and everything.

Documentation by Flit (Wed Oct 10 16:34:51 2001)

I'll give you a beanie baby if you document.

comments! by Cera (Wed Oct 10 18:03:32 2001)

Yay comments!

Beanie Babies by Bryant (non-Virtual) (Wed Oct 10 22:18:33 2001)

Who said I stopped giving out Beanie Babies for documentation?

Possums by Flit (Fri Oct 12 12:59:55 2001)

Possums do indeed look like Rodents of Unusual Size, kept in Morlockian depths until they gained pallor and reflective eyes. I've seen one about two feet long.

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9 October 2001 - Tuesday

This is a good quote:

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. --Thomas Jefferson

However, even having Kit find me a good quote* doesn't stop me from poking dissatisfiedly at Transmundane. When it started it was supposed to be silly, with martial-arts leaping and surprising transformations and an insufficiency of clothes, but it's not really very much like that at all. Sulk. Maybe I should embarrass myself by trying to write SF. Or maybe I should go back to gnawing my tentacles off in shame and despair.

*What, you thought I surfed the web myself?

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8 October 2001 - Monday

No more oncall! Yay! Not that it was that bad, except for that one 0430 call, where I gave the poor NOCling completely bogus advice.

Tonight I was suddenly kidnapped to dinner by Jeremy, Rachel, and their spawn Miriam. Earl also put in an appearance; apparently he's not dead, or at least isn't letting any such metabolic problems keep him down. The most exciting part of dinner was eating sushi without getting any soy sauce spots on my white shirt. Not one!

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6 October 2001 - Saturday

New Transmundane.

* * *

Perl 6 hurts my brain.

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5 October 2001 - Friday

Okay, this is a darn cool way to handle fundamentalist Fillintheblankist terrorists. Agents, at least; I suspect master villains, being more self-motivated, are less susceptible to ideological reformation. Although it sounds like this Beghal guy was at least a senior agent, if not an actual henchman, so I suppose it goes to show it's worth at least trying to fix such people.

* * *

I guess I've increased my writing quota from 250 to 300 today after all.

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4 October 2001 - Thursday

Muahahahahahahahahahahaha! This brainsucking is now, as threatened, dynamically generated! No comments yet, but the code to display them is mostly in place, and the code to accept them is taking shape.

* * *

Well, there's catchup writing for yesterday done. Now I have only today's writing to do before I can watch the Buffy* premiere that Ayse and her weasel kindly dumped to tape for me. I suspect I won't get to it tonight, especially if I keep stopping to update my DYNAMICALLY GENERATED home page muahahahahahahaha!

*Suckful java(script)-bloated loser site warning!

* * *

Writing all caught up, Buffy watched! It was okay, although not stunningly wonderful; one can't expect too much from writers other than Joss, and that's usually what they deliver. (Maybe I'm just sore because that's not how *I* would have done it). On the other hand, it was good to see the return of Effective Willow.

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3 October 2001 - Wednesday

Okay, I have now ordered weaselday presents for everyone I could think of. Late, in some cases (hi, Liralen!), but there you go.

Sadly, it appears that to do any sort of dynamic serving of HTML, I have to make entire pages CGI. This is somewhat annoying, but I may decide it's worth it.

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2 October 2001 - Tuesday

Yay! It's LIRALENDAY! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray!

* * *

I haven't accomplished much work today (but not as little as some days), but I have made substantial progress on converting this mess you're now reading to dynamically generated brain-sucking with victim testimonials.

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1 October 2001 - Monday

Now we enter the Birthday Season of Doom. Ayse, Liralen, Marith, Christy, Adam, and Gretchen all have birthdays in the next two months and I don't have presents for any of them. I am a Bad Friend. :(

And I'm oncall this week.

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