Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 April 2002 - Sunday

Whee, additional shopping. But apparently the Utenafest didn't end until 4am, so I chose correctly yesterday. And now I have more big towels and more T-shirts and more socks and more Diet IBC!

Also I have committed more AotBS. Hero fans world-wide cringe in aesthetic horror.

* * *

Love Hina gets more surreal every episode!

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27 April 2002 - Saturday

I did not go with Marith to Santa Cruz to visit Moose and Flit and Brad and watch Revolutionary Girl Utena, but I did go grocery shopping and do laundry and finish watching Saber Marionette J (which was okay, if not amazing, and did have a plot and meaningful sacrifice and everything).

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26 April 2002 - Friday


Woot! I ate the entire Lobster! Mediocre lifesupports for me! Also, I succeeded at the high-level adventure (good thing, too, since it ate 3/4 of my crew, which were already barely sufficient in number) and achieved Science Enlightenment. Now, I give an impulse drive to a newbie and then continue on my tour of homeworlds and starnet terminals. Woot!


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25 April 2002 - Thursday

Glarg. The alarm must have hit just exactly the wrong point in my sleep cycle, because I had the hardest time waking up; every time I stopped moving, I nearly fell back asleep! Now that I have dragged myself in to work, I am sort of functional, but glarg.

* * *

Had a long but remarkably nonacrimonious discussion with a cow orker re validity of the theory of evolution. We agreed that extremism on either side is annoying and doesn't do anyone any actual good.

* * *

Battle Athletes Victory is very strange, but entertaining. Adventures of the Mini-Goddess (an Oh My Goddess spinoff) is very silly and very cute. Martian Successor Nadesico, Angel Links, and Those Who Hunt Elves continue to be much as they are.

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24 April 2002 - Wednesday

Instructions for making a Tokyo Tower character are now available in the first draft.

Tokyo Tower by Flit (Thu Apr 25 12:50:11 2002)

I have the strangest urge to make a character. Very impractical, that.

Muahahahahahaha! by Trip (Thu Apr 25 12:56:10 2002)

All brains will be mine!

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22 April 2002 - Monday

I'll just be over here in this pit now.

Pits by Dor (Tue Apr 23 04:39:36 2002)

"Just think, when Mozart was my age, he'd been dead for four years."

Well, Tom Lehrer said it first, but hey...

Deep, DEEP pits by Trip (Tue Apr 23 08:42:47 2002)

When Charles Stross was my age, he was already a twisted genius.

Why a pit? by Liralen (Tue Apr 23 10:14:02 2002)

hug Okay. I don't get it. Why do you have to be in a pit just because someone else is interesting, cool, and has great brains? Why not eat them, compost 'em and do something fun with 'em?

Okay. Maybe I do get it, as it's simply the way you are to compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking. I really enjoy you, your thoughts, your games, and your interests anyway. grin

warm hugs

Why not a pit? by Tamago (Tue Apr 23 10:47:55 2002)

I have this theory that Trip dives into a pit anytime he has the germ of a thought that could be really, really huge, but needs just a little more incubation time. The pit is the natural place for unholy eggs of twisted genius to brood and eventually hatch. So, really, Trip's pits are a useful construct to aid his writing. Yeah. That's the ticket... grin

Re: Why not a pit? by Trip (Tue Apr 23 11:08:51 2002)

wumwumwum We have no unholy eggs of twisted genius wum down here wumwum Who told you that? wumwumwum

Where's the pendulum? by Carl (Tue Apr 23 22:01:56 2002)

Just remember, you can't make an unholy omelette of twisted genius without breaking a few... SHLORP.

Thanks for the pointer that Toast is out! Now the dilemma: do I order it from Amazon so its here for me when I return, or do I look for it while I'm away, so that I don't suffer the terrible fate of running across it where I could buy it RIGHT THEN except I already ordered one...

Dilemmas provide opportunity for decision making, and decisions illuminate character.

An odd bit from that article by Daniel (Wed May 1 10:19:01 2002)

Quoth Stross:

Firstly, I live in Edinburgh, Scotland, but I'm not from Scotland—I was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, have lived in a variety of parts of the UK, and just happen to have settled in Edinburgh for a while. These days there seem to be two cultures—people who stay where their roots are, and those who move around. I'm part of the second.

Am I just exhibiting horrible American bias in pointing out that the distance between Edinburgh and Leeds is not that far?

I mean, I guess that there are cultural differences in the people that exceed those you'd discover if, say, you moved from Ithaca to Santa Cruz. However, part of the point of "people who move around" is that you move to somewhere where it suddenly isn't a viable day trip out to where you were before. It's like going to college when you can still take your laundry to your parents' house - if you're doing that, then you haven't moved away. (Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with staying in the same place, but don't kid yourself)

I am reminded of the neighbors my father met after moving into my parents' present home in Blue Bell, PA:

Them: "So where are you folks from?"
My dad: "Well, I grew up in Cleveland; my wife grew up in rural Colorado... (rest of story about where they'd lived here) ... and we're just now returning to the states from living in Germany for a few years."
My dad: "So what about you, are you folks from around here?"
Them: "Oh no; we're not from around here at all. We're from Conshohocken."

I think I'll just point those who don't know the relative locations of the places involved at the yahoo maps result.

Mobility by Trip (Wed May 1 10:45:52 2002)

As someone who's spent all his adult life in California, and sometimes travels 300km each way for one afternoon of gaming, I agree that it seems strange, but my impression of the UK is that people are much less likely to move to another city, even today. And Europe in general seems to be less mobile; here, hopping in the car and driving halfway across the state (across three states, for you East Coasters :) is nothing much; there, it's a major expedition.

Disclaimer: Just an ugly American parasite.

mobility by liralen (Thu May 2 08:43:33 2002)

Hee. When I was over there, what I observed was that many folks there thought about 100 miles that way we think about 100 years, and vice versa...

Mobility by Silkie (Thu May 2 10:19:19 2002)

I think mobility is more of a boolean than a matter of degree. People are either "from around her" or "not from around here", and actual distance isn't that important. After all, most of the people I know from Moms' group here in Roseville don't think they're from around here. That goes for us (moved from Grass Valley, 45 minutes away), as well as people from the Bay Area (2-3 hours away), Central Valley (3-4 hours), LA area (7-8 hours), the Midwest, East Coast, and Britain. They're all "not from around here". Amusingly, one mom who is "from around here" went to high school in Sacramento after her family settled there upon her father's retirement from the Army, so she's probably been to more places than several of us combined. :)

Correction to Disclaimer: Just a keen American parasite.

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21 April 2002 - Sunday

Today is Christy's last show, which means that Tokyo Tower can be pushed closer to realization! People who were thinking of joining (Angie? Byrant? Carl?) should send me email or something if they are still interested.

I am considering just giving people three sets of stats to pick from:

Prodigy: 8 10 12 13 15 18

Focused: 8 10 12 13 16 17

Generalist: 10 12 12 13 14 15

(But you still get to add +2 to whatever value you assign to Con). And I still need to generate random kanji for villains and stuff, but that will be easier (ie, will have more context to be interpreted in) after people tell me about their characters and images and reasons for images and player types and what they want from a game and all.

Generalists sub alles by Carl (Sun Apr 21 19:03:46 2002)

Generalists only get +6 bonus and Prodigy and Focused get +7. Perhaps that's the price of having no weakness.

I should send mail before going away for a week. Any hints for what kind of campaign this will be? High Action? Wacky Romantic Hijinx? Exam Horror? Speed Gang Thoughtcrime?

Oops by Trip (Sun Apr 21 20:51:43 2002)

I have corrected the arithmetical error in the Generalist stats.

Type of campaign by Carl (Tue Apr 23 22:10:39 2002)

Aha! Apparently it will be the math subgenre of exam horror.

Thus the use of CoC skill list. Very good.

If you can create a starting character with +10 in a skill, its morally wrong to not do so, right? Right?

What, only +10? by Trip (Wed Apr 24 08:19:33 2002)

4 ranks, +4 ability modifier, +3 skill emphasis = +11, but of course you don't know that because I haven't put up the feats list yet. And you're in Missouri anyway!

Ode to Spinal Tap by Carl (Thu May 2 20:43:12 2002)

This character goes to 11!

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20 April 2002 - Saturday

Lethargic parasite! Eventually I woke up enough to read more of Hero 5, and somewhat after that, Marith called to get me to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival with her. So we drove to Cupertino and parked and wandered around. There was actually only a small Japanese core to the festival, surrounded by more generic art-fair stuff, but we saw Okinawan dancing and heard a Californian variant of taiko drumming and admired cleverly-constructed dolls (which Christy should have been there for, but she was busy recuperating from last night's bout of theatre) and Marith tried sumi-e (brush painting). I didn't, but I probably should have.

Then we went to Safeway (yah, yah) to get flowers for Christy, and I cleverly did my Safeway shopping, and we went our separate ways, and I wickedly ate a Clarkesburger.

As usual, I walked to the meeting-place and arrived on time; Marith, despite having a car, was late. So late, in fact, that Chrisber and I had to leave without her. The miracle of cellphones let us talk her in when we got to the theater, though, and we did not miss even a single moment of Christy's (or anyone else's) performance in The Gypsy Baron!

I conclude that I am not a big fan of opera (extra bonus screeching? no thanks), but Christy was wonderful, and after the show she was all hyper and appreciated the flowers and bounced and yay!

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19 April 2002 - Friday

Admire my ability to avoid dealing with the pile of mail prominently labelled "DEAL WITH".

* * *

We finished the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series today. It was very surreal, but I can assign meaning to it. Whether it's the same meaning as the creators intended is an entirely different question.

* * *

Yummy Thai dinner tonight with Ayse and her [spoiler] (and also Marith and Chrisber and Dave but not CZR), which turned out as well as could have been hoped and not nearly as poorly as feared. Casualties were relatively low, and the Dogs in Elk story was a great hit.

dogs in elk by kit (Sun Apr 21 20:39:24 2002)

Re: dogs in elk by Trip (Sun Apr 21 20:54:05 2002)

Kit is smart and swell!

spoiler! by Ayse (Wed Apr 24 14:15:33 2002)

hee hee hee. thank goodness he is not actually my clone. that would be untidy.

Re: spoiler! by Trip (Wed Apr 24 15:45:32 2002)

Someday Diplomatic Immunity will arrive! (This does make sense, really.)

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18 April 2002 - Thursday

It doesn't look as though I can escape running Tokyo Tower! I have two players already, and one waffler, so only two more can descend upon me before I reach the limit of 4-5! Then, the doom of scheduling commences. At the moment, Tuesday evenings look most useful.

Also, of course, people have to make characters, tell me why they picked the images they did to represent them, and tell me which of the seven sorts of gamer they are.

Oh, and I guess I should work on setting and plot and villains and all that sort of thing. Random kanji to the rescue! (I hope.)

* * *

We have finished Sorcerer Hunters, which did have a conclusion, and begun Angel Links (which is not about golf, but rather a spin-off of Outlaw Star, about some philanthropic pirate hunters who show up in one episode of OS). AL is agreed to be the most shonen show yet at Whisman Station Anime, so I guess we have to see the Sorcerer Hunters OAV, for comparison.

Next week, Battle Athletes, about which I know nothing except that Ayse likes it!

types of gamers by gconnor (Sat Apr 20 01:41:08 2002)

Are there really seven types of gamers? I wonder what they are.

Random anime terms by Dor (Sat Apr 20 07:22:56 2002)

What does 'shonen' mean? If I'm going to continue hanging around you anime-types, I'm going to have to find an anime-to-English glossary...

Gamer Types by Carl (Sun Apr 21 00:55:02 2002)

Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid... no wait, that's D&D.

"Robin's Laws of Good GMing" (A short but very information-rich supplement I highly recommend to all GMs everywhere) divides gamers into: Power Gamers, Buttkickers, Tacticians, Specialists, Method Actors, Storytellers and Casual Gamers, and discusses the importance of crafting a campaign that appeals to the type of players you have.

What he doesn't mention is that many GMs tend to run the kind of campaign they'd like to play in...

shonen vs shoujo by Trip (Sun Apr 21 15:25:33 2002)

"shonen" means "boy"; shonen anime is (in theory) the sort of anime that appeals to guys: large explosions, fast vehicles, scantily-clad women, numerous fight sequences, etc. (Ditto shonen manga.) "shoujo" means "girl"; shoujo anime/manga has things that in theory appeal to girls: cute guys, more emotional than physical interaction, etc.

Obviously, these are broad categories, and any one work can contain elements of both.

In practice, at least for manga, whether a work gets classified as shonen or shoujo depends more upon which magazine it's serialized in first than on its content or style, but that's not as useful.

Re: Gamer Types by Trip (Sun Apr 21 15:27:57 2002)

Well, yes, most GMs tend to run campaigns that suit their tastes. Funny, that. (Also, being a GM seems to involve more of a Storyteller component than being a player.)

Robin's Laws is all about catering to your players, though, and that's a lot easier if you first establish what your players' perverse desires are.

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17 April 2002 - Wednesday

Today, I hate Keenspace and their browser-killing popunder ad stupidity. Grrr.

* * *

I just realized that if I am to run Tokyo Tower as often as I would like (weekly, or at worst fortnightly) it would have to be on a weeknight, which probably means Monday or Tuesday (or Wednesday if I sacrifice Wednesday Night Fun). Ray has successfully run many sessions of a weekly weeknight game, but I'm not as cool as he is.

Dibs has been called on the three apples, leaving other players with only eleven choices!

* * *

And ibis is spoken for!

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15 April 2002 - Monday

Bleargh, Monday. And I get to start it off by attempting to extract W2s from HR. Oh, and Too is down.

* * *

Actually, it was Finance that I needed, and my, but the head finance lady is cute. And helpful! "I need my W2s," I said. "Are you going to try to get them in today, or file an extension?" she asked, while the printer made ominous whining noises. Then she handed me a shiny new copy of my W2s and suggested I could get the extension form off the IRS website. Woot!

* * *

People have been rolling dice at me for Tokyo Tower. I think they're really just taunting me, not evincing any sincere intention to play, but I should think about it more anyway. Maybe once Tamago de-theaters, I can lure her.

The stat adjustments I gave before are sort of lame. Instead, everyone gets +2 Con and that's it. If you want to be a geek or a jock, allocate your rolls accordingly. Skills and feats are as I said before, hit points are 8 + Con_mod, BAB is +0, Fortitude and Will saves are +2, Reflex save is +0.

You can still use anyone else's roll if you don't like yours; the one that was mailed to me was 12 12 12 14 15 17 (total modifier +10).

I need to make up some things for people to choose, so I can assign Vast Magical Powers appropriately. In an ideal world, there would be high-production-value cards with detailed images for the characters to pass around and examine carefully for symbolism, but in this world, I'll probably have to settle for describing the cards, since that bastard Plato stole the deck.

* * *

I sort of guessed at the numbers, but the IRS's automation has recorded an extension for me. I now have until August to do my tax return for real. Yay me.

I'm not sure what implications this has for my state tax return.

And Too is up.

* * *

The images for Tokyo Tower:

A lion rampant between two columns.

The crescent and full moons overlaid into one disk.

An oak tree with a skeleton beneath its roots.

An ibis in flight.

The rayed solar disk.

A boar's head, seen frontally.

A human skull surmounted by a crown.

A burning eye with three pairs of feathered wings.

Three apples.

A circle drawn with a single brushstroke.

A mountain with the full moon behind it.

A sailing ship with full rigging, borne up by three stars.

The question to the player would be "Which of these twelve would you pick to represent your character, and why?"

* * *

Whee, Millbrae. But I got to pretend to be a world-famous author of a best-selling self-help book deeply in debt to the Hyphen Maf- I mean, being interviewed in front of a live studio audience, which proves that I can talk the talk. Walking the walk is, well, easier said than done, but I did leave the session with a sense of reduced doom.

Then I did laundry.

Cards for laughter, Cards for pain by Carl (Tue Apr 16 03:32:22 2002)

Hey! This isn't D20! It's Everway!

Nice images, though.

Except the circle drawn with a single brushstroke, which reminds me too much of Lucent's corporate logo. If its meant to be evil, that works fine, though.

Not Everway! by Trip (Tue Apr 16 12:00:14 2002)

It's not Everway until I replace the d20 with 20 cryptic cards!

And it's not my fault Lucent appropriated a perfectly good zen exercise and used it for evil! But maybe no one will pick that one.

Yay! Reduced Doom! by Liralen (Mon Apr 22 17:00:55 2002)

I really like the word pictures!! Yay for Millbrae!! Hee about the Hyphen Maf-

I agree with Carl about the image. grin

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14 April 2002 - Sunday

Slept. Got up. Waited forever for a bus to take me to brunch. Finally arrived, got dragged back the direction I came for burritos, went all the way back home to get battlemap and cardboard heroes. Then went to Jeremy's to play Sovereign Powers. Comics, shopping, failure to watch anime.

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13 April 2002 - Saturday

Slept. Went to Dave's and played Amber High School. Successfully caused trouble and dragged people to the brink of the cliff. Ate garlic chicken with leeks and other things at Chef Liu's. Went home, tried to do taxes, sorted through geological amounts of mail, eventually concluded that the rat bastard HR weasels never did send me W-2s.

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12 April 2002 - Friday

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: Neon Genesis Evangelion hurts my brain. (Next week, the first grand finale! I wonder if I will understand it. Probably not; Ken, who is about 2985632964 times smarter than me, has watched Eva like a dozen times, and only claims to understand 60-70% of it.)

* * *

Ayse called! "I want to have fun because I am very hyper!" she said, "And you should help!" Well, I could hardly argue with that! So we went to Thai City and had Satay Fun, and then went back to my place and had Cheapass Games Fun. Ayse won Captain Park's Imaginary Polar Expedition, so it must have been fun!

I fear the hyperness of the Ayse.

hyperness! by Ayse (Mon Apr 15 12:49:36 2002)

I hadn't been that hyper in years. Perhaps it will be years before it strikes again.

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11 April 2002 - Thursday

Today's cool link. The underlying ideas are probably not new to modern science/SF geeks, but the article is extremely interesting.

* * *

Last night I had a terrible idea for a D&D game. (Not as terrible as AotBS, mind you.)

Player Instructions

  1. Think up a Tokyo high-school student (age 14-17 or thereabouts). Feel free to conspire with your fellow players to go to the same school, have pre-existing character links, etc.
  2. Write up your character in D&D3e terms thus:
    • Abilities: best-3-of-4d6 6 times, if you don't like what you rolled you can swipe someone else's rolls, arrange in whatever order you like, boys get -2 Con, girls get -2 Strength, either can take a -2 to one physical stat (Str, Dex, Con) for a +2 to Int or Cha ONCE
    • Feats: you can take one feat now, or you can defer it until later, when you may be able to make a more effective choice
    • Skills: 1-3 lumps of (5 + Int_mod (min 2)) skill points, unused ones can be taken later as with feats, anything that seems reasonable for a Tokyo high-school student is a "class" skill, anything that doesn't is "cross-class" (costs double)
    • Hit Points: 6 + Con_mod
    • Etc: 30' move, medium size, and all else as d20 standard human
  3. Determine why you are on a field trip to the top of the Tokyo Tower.

Stop me, before I think again!

Sims by Dor (Thu Apr 11 13:03:42 2002)

That article is really fascinating. I suppose this means I should check your journal more often for interesting links. And it definitely means that working on your website is on positive utility, although my employer might disagree.:-)

Re: Sims by Trip (Thu Apr 11 13:13:06 2002)

Obviously, I have a vested interest in making brains larger!

D&D! by Silkie (Thu Apr 11 15:26:44 2002)

When are you running this? :)

Sneaky by Carl (Thu Apr 11 17:38:21 2002)

Oh sure, there we are atop the Tokyo Tower, then a terrible mistake propels us into a distant future where the sun is flickering its last...

What, no bonus feat for being human?

Let's all stat up Wizard Apprentices and do Harry Potter crossed with Lain!

Re: Sneaky by Trip (Thu Apr 11 17:56:04 2002)

Teenagers are human?

Not Such A Terrible Idea by Lynx (Thu Apr 11 23:58:31 2002)

Hm, why not provide three sets of stats and allow reordering? I think that's one of the suggested potential methods of character creation somewhere.

Anyway, it was done in Magic Knight Rayearth and in Escaflowne so I don't see why it wouldn't make sense to play it as a game. ('gryn) I'd add one additional requirement though... One reason why the teenager might want to return to Earth even if only temporarily. Seems to be a requisite of all such anime!

Re: Not Such A Terrible Idea by Trip (Fri Apr 12 10:37:58 2002)

Well, if each player can swipe any other player's rolls, and there are three players, then it's the system you suggest! If there are more players, there are even more choices (although in practice one or two are going to be the best).

Reasons to want to return to Earth can be provided by the GM. Like owlbears!

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10 April 2002 - Wednesday

I begin to suspect the difficulty in communicating with the Legal person is not on my end after all. Surely someone with the equivalent (in school-years, anyway) of a PhD has encountered the concept of hypothetical examples before? Apparently not...

* * *

But I woot at TBG, because I have found many adventures I can use to raise my l33t sk1llz to even l33t3r levels! All power will be mine!

* * *

Gretchen is still alive! I know, because I saw her mere moments ago! Well, okay, I mostly saw Fang, but there were some eyes peering out from somewhere inside, so I feel secure in drawing the conclusion that Gretchen is alive.

Carl has given me a shiny new copy of Hero 5th Edition! It is big enough to stun a fair-sized waterbuffalo with! Later, I will read it and use the knowledge it grants me for eeeeevil.

* * *

Extra clever!

* * *

Gamescape, however, is not clever. Lee's, which is not even a gaming store, has Hero 5th Edition, while Gamescape is unable to get it in. Tomorrow I must mock them severely.

Also, Ranma ½ season 2 boxed DVD set!

* * *

Ha hah! We 1 made Angie shriek!2

1: Marith, Kit, and sort of me.

2: No, it's not Friday.

legal, hr by kit (Wed Apr 10 13:25:48 2002)

I remind you of my trials and tribulations with HR, who had clearly also never heard of a hypothetical situation. It's very difficult for me to believe people are THAT DUMB, but apparently they are, many years of education nonwithstanding.

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9 April 2002 - Tuesday


Today, I objected to an HR person and a Legal person about the NDA which is essentially "all your idea are belong to us" but failed to communicate anything useful. Later, I tried to refill my prescription for the drugs that keep from lapsing from cynicism into outright depression, but failed.

Now, I did send email to the Legal person asking questions that were more to the point, and I did get the pharmacy to hassle someone in the chain of treatment for a prescription renewal, and in between these things I made Babelfish suck a whole lot less (from a maintenance perspective, at least) and set up a couple more weasels that had been requested, but somehow it is still a blarghy day.

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8 April 2002 - Monday

Getting up an hour early is not at all like getting a lot of sleep. Hmph.

* * *

Whee, laundry. Whee, garbage. Whee, snailmail.

* * *

Well, Outlaw Star did have a conclusion: the last three episodes were entirely plot. I'm not sure that was enough to make up for the 15 plotless (well, non-arc) episodes, though.

I do not feel the pang of having wasted irreplaceable seconds of my life, but I doubt I'll spend any money on the spin-off series, Angel Links.

Losing An Hour!! blah. by Liralen (Mon Apr 8 12:50:40 2002)

Not at all. Hmph.

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7 April 2002 - Sunday

I thought I slept okay at the Pettersonlair, but I guess not, because I was quite lethargic this morning. Eventually I did get to the store, where Marith talked me into buying icecream and mushrooms (but not mushroom icecream).

Then Ayse and Jim and Chrisber and Christy lured me to yummy Indian food, and I became a very bloated parasite. I was also reminded that today is the first day of Diabolic Suckage Time, so the hour that I was going to use to work on the AQoJ writeup or watch more Outlaw Star didn't exist! Hmph!

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6 April 2002 - Saturday

I was slow about getting up and becoming socially acceptable so that Marith could be up before me and feel all proud of herself. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Amazon Quintet of Justice IIIa: "On the Trail of the Necrotheologians!"

Our Heroines sold the loot from the bandit lair, distributed the dry goods found therein to the poor, traded the owlbear cubs to the local druids for helpful magic and some cash, experimented with their new divine gifts, and basked in the admiration of all and sundry for a few days. Fresa enlisted the help of Hrogarth in researching the Evil Pool; he pointed her to a handsome young dwarven scholar named Stephen, who was only too happy to assist the heroic priestess in uncovering information about the dead god of evil who had been worshipped at pools guarded by snake-monsters.

Meanwhile, the city guard was busy investigating the corruption within the merchant guild and its own ranks, precipitating a number of successful and unsuccessful escapes from the city. According to Solara's underworld contacts, two entire households of rich merchants had scarpered, leaving only a few servants to maintain the illusion they were still in residence.

Matters came to a crux when Stephen turned up missing, and investigation revealed that he had departed precipitately, with many of his books but not his personal travel gear, in the company of several tough-looking humans. Hrogarth insisted that Our Heroines rescue the lad at once, which got him delivered to the temple of Morradin for safe-keeping.

Captain Marcus of the guards wanted to hunt down the escapees (who everyone presumed had taken Stephen) but didn't relish the thought of splitting his forces when they contained a still-unknown number of traitors. Magnanimously, the Amazon Quintet offered to take care of the villains on the road, leaving the guard to protect the town.

Further in-town investigation by Solara that night (elves never sleep, which explains a lot) revealed that an elderly dwarf had just hired some mercenaries and taken off out of town; sure enough, the window of Hrogarth's quarters in the temple of Morradin was open. Fresa was Not Pleased, as everyone in the temple heard.

A bit of hunting found the mercenaries drinking up their pay and chortling over the stupid dwarf they had robbed and left tied to tree. Faces were duly memorized for the later just apportioning of desserts, but it was already almost dawn, so our Heroines had to depart before dealing with the abusers of their dwarver scholar.

With the Quintet went Serenity, a Pelorite shield-maiden assigned to Sophia for training in the ways of smiting evil, Kara, one of the sacrifices rescued from the bandit lair who turned out to have knightly ambitions, and Thad, a young guardsman struck with a bad case of hero-worship.

Alyssa scouted ahead toward the bandit lair/evil pool in eagle form while the rest rescued Hrogarth and found tracks indicating the passage of several wagons and dozens of people afoot, not in the direction of the evil pool. Word was magically dispatched to the temple of Pelor letting them know that the Amazon Quintet would not be securing the evil pool for the elite exorcism team, and Our Heroines set out after the wagons and the person who scribbled mathematical formulae in the mud in dwarven notation.

Three days along the trail to the ruined ancient city (hypothesized to hold an even larger and more evil pool), the vegetation suddenly writhed to horrible life, seizing mounts, Amazons, and cart!

A volley of arrows from the nearby rock formation severely irritated Sophia, and then the party was set upon by magicians, well-trained men-at-arms, a druid, a wolf, and two bears. Serenity displayed her need for practical training by charging the ambushers and getting herself and Sophia and then Fresa trapped between the entangling vegetation and the line of four fighters and two bears. Solara and Alyssa and Hearth Lady worked around the far end of the ambush, taking out one sorcerer and eventually the druid, but the three standing and fighting were severely mauled (thanks in part to the sorcerers' dazzling color spray spells) before the mobile element reached them. Kara and Thad kept Hrogarth in the cart (which the plants couldn't reach into) and plied their bows with some effect.

Meanwhile, Amaryllis struggled to free herself from the entangle. Finally she managed to draw a fire elemental from Alyssa's sword of flame and burn herself loose, and the tide of battle turned. One sorceress and one fighter fled, but Amaryllis brought them in, and one of the other fighters was saved for interrogation by quick application of bandages.

There was a great deal of "hah, all you're going to do is kill me!"-style villainous rhetoric, but the bandit did reveal that the group with the wagons intended to meet three powerful allies at the ruins, and a partial description of the meeting place.

Not wanting to haul prisoners (one of them a sorceress) along on the rest of the adventure, Our er Heroines magically blinded them, stashed them in a cave with a barricaded entrance and food and water for a considerable time, and sent a message back to the city for someone to come and fetch them.


Magically softening the creekbed to wash out the ford slowed up the caravan, giving the Amazon Quintet time to dash to the ruins and ambush the "three powerful allies" before doubling back to deal with the caravan. In fact, they had quite a bit of time, and established a camp at the edge of the ruins where they could stash Hrogarth while they scouted.

After some time, Alyssa (in eagle form again) reported the sudden appearance of three people, heading toward the open area that had been named as the meeting place and about half an hour away. Also, the caravan had apparently sent an advance party, who were about an hour away.

Leaping into action, Our Heroines set an ambush for the nearer group, with the simple plan of "spring out from behind rocks and hit them as hard as possible". Lurk! Spring! Hit!

The villains promptly turned invisible in a poof of magic dust and took to the air, but it availed them naught. Fresa dispelled many of their helpful enchantments and Sophia and Serenity, both skilled in the art of fighting invisible evil, pointed out the villains with their sword blows, allowing the others to target them well enough to bring down two (though the third escaped).

Without slowing down, the Quintet formed another plan: make a pyre for the corpse of the unsalvageable villain, and wait nearby to ambush the other party when they inevitably investigate the strange pillar of smoke.

* * *

Tune in next month for the conclusion of this exciting adventure!

Amazon Justice! by Carl (Mon Apr 8 23:03:12 2002)

Sounds like a great run! Has Thad fallen for any of the comely quintet?

Thad by Trip (Tue Apr 9 09:19:15 2002)

Well, he joined up to be Sophia's follower. But he seems to have a rivalry going with Kara, so they're probably destined for each other.

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5 April 2002 - Friday

Boy, Eva is so weird!

* * *

Now I should go home and back up my weasels and then go to dinner and then go back home to put my packed weasels and lame self in the Marithmobile to be driven to Roseville for Amazon Quintet of Justice!

* * *

What do you know, it worked!

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4 April 2002 - Thursday

Admire my diligence in finally updating the right-hand navbar with games I am actually in, only five months after the fact!

* * *

My clever plan for dealing with both comics and Whisman Station Anime was only marginally successful. I think the problem is that the streets, in their deviation from taxicab geometry, make that route longer to make the one I normally take shorter. And, of course, the first time I'm ever late, even by five minutes, is the one time everyone else is punctual. Foo.

But anime was successfully shown! Sorcerer Hunters has plot! Martian Successor Nadesico has strange alien tech! And Those Who Hunt Elves has, well, naked elves. And a tank! Everything is better with a tank!

Watching three hours of anime and then getting a ride home from Ayse is much better than watching four hours of anime and then walking home.

admiring! by keeeeeeeeet (Thu Apr 4 15:43:20 2002)

I admire! Of course, 'actually in' is something of a misnomer for T&T ... but then again, I've got it listed under my active games, too. Optimistic, aren't we? laugh

(Marith, this is your cue to go AGH!)

Marith! T&T! by Trip (Thu Apr 4 15:57:17 2002)

Marith hasn't actually given official notice that it's dead, so I retain hope!

Aieeeeeeeeeee! by Marith (Thu Apr 4 18:32:53 2002)

(hides) It's not dead! The GM is just dead! Someday she will revive!

AQoJ! by Silkie (Fri Apr 5 09:11:09 2002)

AqoJ is on Trips navbar! Woot! I'm honored!

Yay AQoJ! by Trip (Fri Apr 5 09:30:34 2002)

AQoJ is great! Silkie is great! Yay Silkie!

Yay Silkie! by Carl (Fri Apr 5 18:36:04 2002)

Silkie is great! AQoJ sounds like lots of fun! But don't go easy on Amaryllis just because Trip is saying nice things about you. Tumbling Awakened Dire Rat Rogues!

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3 April 2002 - Wednesday


(Use "besttrip"/"besttrip" for NYT username/password, if you don't have one.)

But then, I'm well-known as a (lower-case t) transhumanist, and more generally as a freak who believes the future will amount to something, so it's no wonder I don't agree.

* * *

Today's not-exactly-work project: trying to make Mozilla 0.99 for my Digital Tru64 Unixoid OS box at work:

You are trapped in a twisty little maze of third-party packages, all different.

There is a 250MB tarball here.
There is an inexplicable error here.

Your frustration level is rising.

* * *

I should write more Age of the Black Sun. I wonder what it should be.

* * *

Hm. Outlaw Star doesn't seem to be nearing any sort of conclusion, even though it has only four episodes left, and one of them is the Obligatory Hot-Springs Episode.

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2 April 2002 - Tuesday

On the way to work this morning, I saw a big snaky-neck bird! I'm not sure what kind; heron? What lives around here? It was mostly light grey, but the flight feathers were dark grey, and it had black on the very top of its head and white around that, with one long skinny feather sticking from the crown down along the back of its neck. It went stalk-stalk-stalk, then swooped up into the air and glided back down a little farther along the road and stalked some more. I have no idea what it was doing halfway up a hill in a low-density industrial park instead of in a marsh, but I admired it anyway.

Update: It was a heron! Probably, a great blue heron, since they are found around here in winter and spring season, and the picture looks a lot like what I saw (allowing for observer error). Kit says herons are good luck!

* * *

I am the stupidest parasite ever! Sherilyn sent me Saber Marionette J volume 2, and I didn't realize it until she started pestering Amazon to know what happened to it!

Bad BAD parasite creature! :(

birdies! by kit (Tue Apr 2 09:32:03 2002)

Oooh! Neat! Herons are good luck!

birdies by marith (Tue Apr 2 13:06:07 2002)

It might have been an egret; that's the other big stalky bird that lives in the marshes around here. Neat!

birdies by Dor (Tue Apr 2 14:18:37 2002)

Egrets are generally white, though. At least the ones that live on the Right Coast...

Present by Silkie (Tue Apr 2 19:43:06 2002)

You are the bestest parasite ever! It's all my fault for not paying for gift wrap! :(

Present by Trip (Wed Apr 3 08:11:57 2002)

You are the bestest Silkie ever! It's all my fault for not reading the packing slip on something I got right around my birthday! :(

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1 April 2002 - Monday

Happy Chrisberday!

No, really!

* * *

Kit got a puppy!

No, really!

* * *

I think I am all caught up on Buffy now, and I say "AUGH!"

Yes, really! "AUGH!"

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