Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 February 2003 - Friday

Now I laugh and laugh and laugh!

* * *

Our plan to zoom to Roseville has foundered on the rock of Marith's unwellness! Hopefully she will be weller tomorrow!

laughing! by kit! (Fri Feb 28 18:19:05 2003)

Me too! I laugh and laugh and laugh, too!

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27 February 2003 - Thursday

I don't know if I actually woke up from the nightmarish dreams every few minutes, or if I only dreamed I was doing so, but the result this morning is pretty much like that of not sleeping at all. :(

* * *

The World Trade Center replacement proposal I liked best has won!

* * *

I have successfully ordered the rest of Escaflowne from Deep Discount DVD. Good prices, but terribly unimpressive UI. (Hint, guys: when you have a "keep shopping" button, it should go back to the page you just came from, not back to the front page for the entire site. Also, never use Flash.) Also, free shipping at the 5-to-10-business-days level.

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26 February 2003 - Wednesday

Well, our boss2 and boss3 seem to feel that they and their respective vassals will not suffer from the buy-out, which is somewhat reassuring. I don't know much about the boss3, but I figure the boss2 is reasonably politically acute and wise in the ways of buy-outs, so I am slightly inclined to believe him.

* * *

Curses! Foiled again! Lee's has only the first, fourth, and sixth Escaflowne DVDs! I will have to order them on-line, undermining my local concrete-and-rebar retailers. It's their own damn fault.

* * *

Tonight in Hounds of Balazar: one respected elder murdered, many hearths of our clan alerted to the latest perfidy of the Lunars and the Blue Bear clan, several Orlanthi befriended, one expedition to the Elder Wilds planned, and one bear successfully hunted.

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25 February 2003 - Tuesday

Woot! Actual evidence that Miyazaki is working on animating Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle! Woot!

* * *

The replacement for Himiko-Den is Ayashi no Ceres, which I have also seen, but don't mind seeing again. And really, it's not as though I don't have plenty of new anime stacking up at home.

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24 February 2003 - Monday

Grr. We really need to take a big stick to Engineering so they stop producing twisty little mazes of multiple files, all different. Grrr.

* * *

I successfully (more or less) introduced Bruce's character into Tokyo Tower. Many undead were put down, and other acts of low comedy were committed. So far, so good!

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23 February 2003 - Sunday

Sovereign Powers today. We survived the apology phase. Writeup coming soon, no really, because otherwise Chrisber will look very disappointed in me again.

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22 February 2003 - Saturday

I fnoodled around pretending to prepare for Tokyo Tower most of the day. In the evening, Ayse suggested anime, so I finally opened the first Escaflowne DVD (thanks, Liralen!) and we showed it to Ken and Marith and Dave. There was general approval, so now I need to get at least the second DVD!

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21 February 2003 - Friday

Woo! Go Tamago!

Now I know what elves in TT look like. :)

* * *

And, despite saying she wouldn't, Tamago has done the last TT character!

Now Angie wants to guest star so her character can do Toji.

Oh look, Friday.

* * *

We forgot the #1 rule of eating out, which is "Do not go to a restaurant that is heavily advertising specials, especially not in the middle of the dinner rush." However, we did eventually get seated and Ayse got her Lobsterfest fix, and it was all okay. Yummy, even!

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20 February 2003 - Thursday

Happy Jimweaselday!

* * *

Blargh. I forgot to set my alarm so I slept way in and missed all the busses and have to work from home. Stupid parasite. :(

Yay! by -Jim (Thu Feb 20 23:38:00 2003)

Yay jimweaselday! Lots of days this week... many many February birthdays.

Re: Yay by Trip (Fri Feb 21 08:29:30 2003)

Yah, must be all those spring-time fertility rituals in May.

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19 February 2003 - Wednesday

KAWAIII!!!!

* * *

Yep, last week was the week that everything I buy came out. This week I spent like 1/5 of what I did last week at Lee's.

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18 February 2003 - Tuesday

Happy Angieday!

* * *

GO KIT! The editor to whom she sent the synopsis and first three chapters of her latest opus has asked to see the whole thing! GO KIT!

Admittedly, this would be even better if said opus were finished, but supermegawritingKit can finish by Monday, no problem!

* * *

Gwack! I've been SOLD!

Nothing substantive was said at the all-hands meeting, but it sounds like my technical job has a higher probability of being safe than a weaselry job would.

The head Overture guy is sufficiently nonslick in public address that there's some hope he has a soul left.

More news when I get it, which given my low rank is probably going to be about April, when the sale becomes final.

* * *

I did not think Magical Project S could get any wackier.

I was so, so wrong.

However, it has been agreed that even though people still mock Princess Nine, it is a good show.

sooperwritingkit by kit (Wed Feb 19 11:12:35 2003)

*faintly sick look* I hope so. :)

Re: sooperwritingkit by marith (Wed Feb 19 11:42:22 2003)

Kit can do it, she's our author! Competitors, don't even bother!

*sends the entire squad of cheerlizard to jump up and down on Kit, helpfully*

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17 February 2003 - Monday

Today I goofed off even more, but finally it was time to go to Millbrae. I thought I was doomed by the VTA's "Non-Weekend Holiday" schedule, but in fact they had a completely different schedule that I couldn't find anywhere on their website. Hmph.

But that all worked out okay in the end. The really sad bit was when I stopped off at Chef Chu's and the Hong Kong-style crispy noodles were OVERCOOKED! Woe! Dismay!

Tonight's fortune:

  • "The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next."

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16 February 2003 - Sunday

Happy hegemonyday!!

* * *

It being Son of Saturday, I goofed off completely until it was time to gobble down food and scuttle over to Ayse & Ken's for gaming.

Sadly, our lead on an easy solution turned out to be not so easy, and then we were attacked by someone of much higher level and his goons. We did drive them off, but only because the leader was too lily-livered to join the fight himself. Dave's character did end up crippled by evil magic, though, so we have yet another quest.

Eventually, I will make a web page for this game and Ayse will type in her copious notes and then you will know what I'm blathering about.

hegemonyday! by hegemony (Mon Feb 17 07:51:13 2003)

Thank you so much!

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15 February 2003 - Saturday

Ayse is still not the healthiest sort of Ayse, so instead of driving far away to see Liralen, she made Ken bring fun to my place. Age of Renaissance turns out to be very much like Civ, but possibly even more complicated. Oh well.

Then there was yummy Thai food, and Ayse became tired, so there was no additional fun. But it all certainly beat staying at home by myself!

Age of Ren by Dor (Mon Feb 17 07:05:47 2003)

Age of Renaissance is somewhat like Civ, but definitely less elegant. It's shorter, though, which is sometimes a big bonus. On Saturday we had six new games, courtesy of a Bay Area friend. I should babble about that in my own journal, though.

Yay! Not home alone! by liralen (Fri Feb 21 12:32:28 2003)

I'm glad that you had entertainment and were able to get to see people instead of just staying home alone. I did miss seeing you, a great deal, but I'm glad that things worked out for you, as I did have the Con and everything.

hugs for trying!!

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14 February 2003 - Friday

More giri-choco, this time from Angie. (And a very silly LotR card, of course.)

The Kagerou Valentines are awfully cute, and I say this as one who has never gotten anything except giri-choco.

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13 February 2003 - Thursday

Yummy, if not particularly healthy, Indian lunch.

* * *

And tonight, laundry. Wheee.

I did some work for Bruce's imminent TT character, but wasn't entirely successful, possibly because I don't have a well-defined goal. More thought is required.

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12 February 2003 - Wednesday

Stupid STUPID webserver creatures.

* * *

Oops! Missed Bruce, so I will have to bus to comics and then back to home to eat and scuttle to Hounds of Balazar!

* * *

Oof! Apparently this is the week when things I want to buy come out!

* * *

Hounds of Balazar went well! I can't say that my character saved the day, but certainly the day would have been much less safe without him. (Just a dog. Woof. Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen. Woof.)

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11 February 2003 - Tuesday

Slow day at work.

* * *

Incandescens has found a fine quote for Exalted:

This is a game where you cut through 500 ninjas and duel with the villain for a day and a night to save the entire world, and then spend a week weeping at the needless slaughter.

This is a game where when you come up to your Storyteller and say, "My character was raised by wolves," he'll say "Hmm, I dunno if the wolf thing is really appropriate. I think you need to jazz it up a little. How about she was raised by a lost tribe of mystical lizardmen who are the only surviving remnants of a once-great reptile civilization?"

This is a game where characters fight with golden swords the size of small surfboards, and the size of your dice pool is directly impacted by how interestingly you describe your actions.

Owning Exalted will whiten your teeth, increase your car's fuel economy, improve your love life, speed up your internet connection, and erase centuries of negative karma. Purchasing the book will actually make you a better person.

Just in case you were wondering what this Exalted thing is all about.

* * *

No new developments at Whisman Station Anime tonight. Although there will have to be some soon, since Himiko-den will end next week and Steel Angel Kurumi a couple of weeks after that.

Still trying to figure out how to do "Mithril Angel Kurumi" as a (pseudo)D&D adventure. The usual problems with mixed high-powered and low-powered characters in a group do not seem more amenable to solution than the last time I looked, though.

High- and low-powered characters by Lynx (Thu Feb 13 10:07:38 2003)

Always preferred gaming with point-balanced systems, but what about emphasizing character issues and motivation over power? Or making sure that the low-level characters have unique abilities or skills that the high-level characters can't duplicate, and then making sure there are excuses for those.

Or, make the high-level characters the mentors of the low-level characters, creating motivation for them to hang back and let the low-level characters get their share of the action, otherwise they won't learn, right?

Re: High- and low-powered characters by Trip (Thu Feb 13 14:44:42 2003)

Well, it is sort of important that the high-powered characters are high-powered, so it can't be entirely swept under the carpet. I mean, yes, I can certainly give the low-level characters abilities the high-level ones don't have, but I think many players find that their character's power to do things is more satisfying than less active abilities. So, obviously, those people should get the high-powered characters; I'm just not sure that leaves anyone to play the low-powered ones. :)

Alas, the relationship of the high-powered and low-powered characters is already somewhat defined, and the power structure doesn't point in that direction. (Which may be enough, actually. Hm.)

Anyway, thanks for serving up your brain!

Re: High- and low-powered characters by Ken (Fri Feb 14 10:30:47 2003)

If it's a fairly chivalric or honor-driven setting, you can have villains that the high-powered PCs can't honorably fight. Sir Bartholemew The Mighty Knight can't honorably challenge Bob the Peasent Hero, for example, but his lower powered buddy The Amazing Zappo might not have such honor restrictions, or might not be of the same social rank.

Re: High- and low-powered characters by Trip (Fri Feb 14 14:06:01 2003)

Well, it's for a one-shot, so I do have more scope for tuning the enounters, but it also means that long-term consequences like loss of face aren't as pressing. (Yes, I could probably elicit more useful advice if I provided more description, but then who would I get to play?)

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10 February 2003 - Monday

Yay! Offcall!

* * *

Tokyo Tower went okay. Kind of slow, but these things happen. Bonus invisible killer mushrooms!

It was unanimous that we should give Bruce a try, since everyone professed to have the will to get rid of him if he doesn't work out (unlikely, since he's been gaming with Carl, Gretchen, Brad, and formerly Bryant for multiple years).

Bruce! by liralen (Tue Feb 11 11:19:20 2003)

Is this the Bruce of Carl's Shadowrun old Champions days?

If so, I say go for it! He's very entertaining to watch play. grin

Re: Bruce! by Trip (Tue Feb 11 11:36:04 2003)

No, no, different Bruce. Eldrik from AmberMUSH, if that helps.

Re: Bruce by kit (Tue Feb 11 19:47:12 2003)

Bruce is fun to game with.

"I'm a brownie!"

Brownies, aie by Angie (Wed Feb 12 08:03:55 2003)

Oh, god, no, not the brownie trick! ^_^

Re: Brownies, aie by Trip (Wed Feb 12 08:15:35 2003)

Nah, this time he's playing a cleric. We're safe from the Killer Brownie.

Cleric! by Silkie (Wed Feb 12 10:37:17 2003)

Oh, good! So now they can heal the horse!

Cleric! by Tamago (Wed Feb 12 13:59:26 2003)

The npc druid chick healed the horse, we think, but we keep getting impaled on sharp pointy things our elf chick accidentally gets her mitts on. A cleric would be nice to have around the party. Nobody parties like a cleric! :-)

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9 February 2003 - Sunday

Did I do anything today? Hm. No, not really. Oh well.

* * *

Actually, I prepared some for Tokyo Tower tomorrow.

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8 February 2003 - Saturday

Apparently Santa Cruz is dangerous. Ayse went there yesterday, and today she said "Augh!" at random intervals throughout Amber High School. This is probably not responsible for our not getting very much done about the vampire city, but at least we've scouted it out and discovered the horrifying mechanical spiders.

Also, there were sandwiches for dinner, made with the Walnut Mustard of Legend.

It was agreed that I should run Exalted, but minor details like who? when? where? and how? received little attention.

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7 February 2003 - Friday

This is the drug I want! I think I need to have a word with my psychiatrist.

* * *

Hm, advice on writing that doesn't make me scowl viciously. Probably because it's kind of vague, but still, a noteworthy accomplisment!

Writing exercises by Dor (Sun Feb 9 09:36:56 2003)

It's interesting advice. Are you planning to do the exercises at the end? If you do, and I do, will you show me yours if I show mine?

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6 February 2003 - Thursday

Hmph. Stupid STUPID router creature.

* * *

I'm running about 1/3 useful in response to oncalls this week. :(

* * *

More zangband failure. Also, 726 words.

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5 February 2003 - Wednesday

zangband. Rurouni Kenshin. No writing.

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4 February 2003 - Tuesday

Bleah. Being oncalled an hour before it's time to get up is possibly the most annoying of oncalls.

* * *

I did remember to bring both necessary DVDs to Whisman Station Anime. Yay me.

Work oncalled me, but I escaped having to do anything by being completely useless. Somehow, I'm not sure this is really a win.

No new shows; we're seeing double episodes of Pretty Sammy as well as Princess Nine.

* * *

Up too late playing zangband, of course, but at least I have a Lantern of Radiance now.

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3 February 2003 - Monday

Bleah. I'm on-call again.

* * *

I better watch Princess Nine tonight or I won't be caught up by the time I return it tomorrow!

* * *

There, caught up.

* * *

There's 200 words but not much more. I am still infinitely behind. Maybe I will die in a pit now.

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2 February 2003 - Sunday

The day of all gaming, part 2!

Sovereign Powers write up to follow, but the short form is that Team Justice uncovered more Hiver infiltration of Chicago, then beat up the most powerful and most respected superhero in the world and argued over whether his being an insidious alien von Neumann machine makes a difference.

In Ken's still untitled game, we explained to a farmer about his kid being a werewolf, continued to not find the missing girl, accepted a commission to uncover and deal with the cause of the mysterious salt mire, and found a goblin who looks awfully guilty.

Dave claimed we mishandled several negotations with NPCs, but his brain was empty and he couldn't offer any better suggestions. Later, I wondered if it might be a Chaotic vs non-Chaotic thing; we got what we wanted, so the chaotics don't care if it wasn't done optimally, and they're in charge. But most likely I'm just incompetent.

Splut.

optimality by Dave (Tue Feb 4 09:27:01 2003)

I think the red-heads were being perfectly in character. Of course, I had issues over the ongoing derision of the would-be bandit, too.

Re: optimality by Trip (Tue Feb 4 11:55:59 2003)

If you had issues, you should have inflicted them upon us! If you desire change, remaining quiet about it is probably not the most effective way to get it.

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1 February 2003 - Saturday

I don't watch TV or get a newspaper, so it took me a while to catch on why people were going on about "the end of manned spaceflight" and such.

Bummer.

It may sound awful, but in some ways the fact that this could put an end to NASA's manned spaceflight program shows how badly we need to get rid of NASA for manned spaceflight. Forty years after Kittyhawk, would a crash in which seven people died have been this much of a blow to manned airflight? Somehow I doubt it. And yes, there are real differences between spaceflight and air flight, but on the other hand there's also decades of NASA exaggerating the difficulty of manned space flight to make sure no one else had any ideas about trying to compete with them, and so long as NASA was devoted to the position that space flight can't ever be cheap or off-the-shelf, something like this was inevitable.

So, is it the end of manned spaceflight from the US? Maybe. Our self-appointed leaders are big on herding pork into the gaping maw of the military-industrial complex1, and the military has little if any use for manned spaceflight, but on the other hand, they make great use of nationalistic fervor to get support for their pig farm, so if China both seizes the challenge and fails to suck, we could see Son of Space Race. Which, admittedly, NASA would probably run right up to some photogenic accomplishment and then fumble, but it would at least be more manned spaceflight from NASA.

1: What, you thought that was a thing of the past?

And that's just what we need, right?

* * *

Marith came over and we watched some more episodes of Kenshin while my laundry processed.

Earthbound parasites of space by Dor (Sun Feb 2 05:27:53 2003)

Even if NASA fails to compete with the Chinese in manned space flight, as long as the Chinese fail to entirely suck, the world will still have manned space flight.

Re: Earthbound parasites of space by Trip (Sun Feb 2 10:03:46 2003)

True! As long as the Chinese don't fumble, and will accept US$ for tickets, it's all okay. :)

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