Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2004 - Tuesday

Sniff! No Invader Zim tonight! Instead we watched something called Cosmo Warrior Zero which seems to be part of the Harlock clade.

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30 August 2004 - Monday

I got there a lot later than I had originally planned, but I did in fact make it to the Taos office to talk to people today!

The story with Corio turns out to go something like this:

Corio: We'd like someone who can write scripts.

Taos: Okay, we have this space parasite. Cheap at half the price!

Corio: Cool, thanks.

[ . . . ]

Corio: This project lead you gave us sucks!

Taos: Uh, we gave you a scripter. And we had our senior gurus check the scripts he wrote for you, and they're fine.

Corio: . . .

So apparently Taos doesn't hate me! Yay!

I talked to the account managers to make sure I'm loaded into their short-term memory, sat with one of the guys who checked my script and attempted to explain part of my thinking, and then went home to do laundry.

* * *

Marith finished her Paper of Doom today, so for celebration I bought her ice cream and watched Ordinary People with her. (I really wanted to watch the Inu Yasha movie, but I should be supportive of her psychologicalness, and it was her celebration.)

Do they even make psychological dramas anymore? I mean ones where the characters are just depressed and broken and need help, not ones about the Joker.

celebrating by marith (Mon Aug 30 23:44:29 2004)

Nicest brother ever! Next time we should definitely watch the Inu-Yasha movie.

Re: celebrating by Trip (Tue Aug 31 10:51:13 2004)

Okay! Hurry up and finish more papers!

corio by cat (Tue Aug 31 11:08:23 2004)

yay for taos knowing that corio are idiots!

Whining by mony (Tue Aug 31 11:45:30 2004)

Buy meeeeeeeeeeeeeee ice cream!

Re: Whining by Trip (Tue Aug 31 22:50:46 2004)

Have you finished all your papers?

re: Whining by mony (Wed Sep 1 05:24:16 2004)

Meanie! Slave driver! Sadist! :)

Re: Whining by Mean Trip (Wed Sep 1 12:09:39 2004)

Yep! That's me! Wh-cha!

Make a comment!

29 August 2004 - Sunday

I have no idea where my Roborally set is! If you know, please tell me!

Anyway, I couldn't find mine, and Dave didn't want to haul his all the way to Palo Alto, so we ended up not playing Roborally today. On the other hand, we did decide to make Earl run Champions for us (shock! surprise! unprecedented bogglement!).

We are mutants from the government, here to help. More specifically, we're with the action arm of the NRO, code-named Red Room. Since mutant power detectors work, we must use our skills to infiltrate villains and only use our powers once things have gone to hell.

Earl will be writing up our powers, but is taking requests. It should be interesting.

* * *

Too lame to play D&D.

* * *

I have now finished all 52 episodes of You're Under Arrest!! Now I will have to watch something else!

crazed robots by marith (Sun Aug 29 22:12:39 2004)

Oh, I haven't played Roborally in forever! We should do that when your set turns up!

Re: crazed robots by Trip (Mon Aug 30 22:58:05 2004)

And if my set never turns up, we can play Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the RPG!

Hm, I wonder if Ayse & Ken have my Roborally set.

Things going awry by Dave (Tue Aug 31 10:57:01 2004)

Going pear shaped, you mean?

Roborally sets by Ayse (Tue Aug 31 12:29:53 2004)

I don't think we have any Roborally sets around here, but I'll keep my eyes open.

Pear-shaped? You mean like my cats when they put away their feet?

Make a comment!

28 August 2004 - Saturday

Not quite as lame today, although I did fail to get up in time to do laundry before going off to Book Buyers with Ayse & Ken. After dropping off books, we went to the coffeehouse to drink Sicilian smoothies and eat tomato-garlic soup. Ken got me hooked on 8-bit Theatre, the rat!

Eventually we had sucked all the fun out of the coffeehouse, so we went to Lee's for Ayse to finally update her subscription list. On the way, we stopped at the sketchy burrito joint on the corner of Old Middlefield and Rengstorff, which Ken (connoisseur of sketchy burrito joints) gave a passing mark.

When we finished with Lee's, it was still not time to find out what Book Buyers thought of our offerings, so we were forced to go wander the aisles of Golden Phoenix supermarket and admire the strange and sometimes dubious Asian foodstuffs. Ayse got taro root icecream, so it was all okay.

* * *

I AM L33T! Five bags of stuff in, one single book out! Muahahaha! (But then, according to the clerk, the overall acceptance rate is about 20%, so I am always above average. Hah!) Ayse & Ken didn't do nearly so well, but they still got some credit with which to obtain even more books. It's all good.

Randomly, the late husband of the clerk who converted my slip of paper into credit for books knew the author of one of the books I got.

* * *

I printed out Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: The RPG, because I CAN. Muahahahahaha! (However, I must remember that it works better if I don't close spore in the middle of printing.)

Reading it rocks. I don't know how well it will work in practice, but it still makes me feel like a very small and stupid wannabe game designer.

Ah, sweet, sweet uranium!

* * *

Kaze no Yojimbo failed to grab me. The weird overlay-closeup-on-whole-scene visuals were kind of obtrusive, but I think mostly it's just not my genre. Fortunately, I have spent almost zero marginal money to find this out! Yay GreenCine!

Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the RPG by Chad Underkoffler (Sat Sep 4 21:28:43 2004)

I'm glad you like the game.

Re: Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the RPG by Trip (Sun Sep 5 16:17:53 2004)

Hey, cool, Chad Underkoffler commented on my web page!

I haven't gotten a chance to play MNPR, but between my friends who are monkey-crazed and my friends who are pirate-crazed, it's only a matter of time!

Make a comment!

27 August 2004 - Friday

I meant to go to Taos and remind them I'm still alive, but then I remembered that my staff manager is out today, so I slept until 14:00.

* * *

Bah! Gamescape does not have any new cool stuff from Gencon yet.

* * *

Because I can, I had dinner at Chef Chu's. Vegetarian goose, yum!

Also, I hit the fortune jackpot with my cookie:

  • A good time to finish up old tasks.
  • You are very expressive and positive in word, act and feeling.
  • Idleness is the holiday of fools.
  • Sing and rejoice, fortune is smiling on you.

* * *

Anime extravaganza at my place! (My apartment has much less temperature than either Marith's or Ken & Ayse's.)

Three episodes of Azumanga Daioh, three episodes of Inu Yasha, and one of Yes, Minister. That's a lot of watching!

fortune cookie jackpot! by kit (Mon Aug 30 09:31:33 2004)

Rock on!

Make a comment!

26 August 2004 - Thursday

The DSL guy was supposed to show up sometime between 8 and 12, so I sat around reading more Excel Saga. It has fine cultural notes, anyway.

Finally, the guy arrived and poked around at various parts of my phone system. He was able to confirm that, before he did anything, the margin (measure of line quality, basically) fluctuated from just fine to unworkably bad over a few minutes, which made me feel better. Then, he opened up my phone jack and excised a branch circuit that went off somewhere into the depths of the apartment complex. Apparently the branch had been tapping into a rich source of noise, because right after that everything became fine!

I revelled in my superior net connectivity for a while, and then the UPS guy showed and delivered my sporepod! (A powerbook-optimized laptop bag from Willow Designs.) Yay!

Feeling much better about life, I packed up spore in its new pod and swept it and Ayse off to the coffeeshop, where I now sit full of fungulicious five-star mushroom soup.

Happy parasite!

* * *

Now I have finished writing up Writer's Weekend! Only a month late!

* * *

Ayse and Ken ran off to play D&D with the St Francis Mafia, so I went to King of Krung Siam and ate spicy Thai food. Yay!

* * *

Fortunately, the replacement disk 11 of Rurouni Kenshin that I got from GreenCine worked. Doom, all the doom!

yay! by kit (Fri Aug 27 09:20:28 2004)

Yay for your writeup! You rock! beam

Re: yay! by Trip (Fri Aug 27 15:15:30 2004)

But think how much more I would rock if I had written this up while I still remembered something of what went on!

writeup! by marith (Fri Aug 27 15:46:02 2004)

I sent scribblemoose to read your notes!

Make a comment!

25 August 2004 - Wednesday

Also useless today! I meant to get up to go shopping early and then go to Lee's and then infest the Taos offices (although I'm still not sure they don't hate me). Instead, I slept in and finally went to Lee's (and the burrito joint on the way, yum) and then I discovered the UPS had shown up in my absence and became all disheartened. (Plus, it was well into the afternoon by that point.) So instead I watched some Infinite Ryvius (which apparently is pronounced "ree-vie-us", not "rie-vee-us") and shopped and made brownies. I don't know what's up with the space ghost chick, but presumably I will find out.

Also, I made an appointment to have someone come and look at my DSL line, which seems very unclear on the concept of "continuous function".

* * *

Finally, after missing one session of Hounds of Balazar and then having one cancelled from under me, I got to play Dobromil again!

This session was all about the castle of the Issaries giant (or giants; I don't think we ever found out if the 200m giant was an Issaries cultist, but the 12m one certainly was). We traded away the stuff we looted from the tomb of our ancestor, plus some creepy troll loot and the technique scroll we'd all already used, for ph4t l3wts! Several Pow storage crystals, so we can buff for combat without hosing our ECV, a Bladesharp 4 matrix, a rock that acts as a Shatter (rune magic!) matrix if you drink heavily and pee on it, and coolest of all, a THUMB! Really it was made for a morokanth, but it works fine on a dog! Dobromil is now officially the coolest dog EVER!

Oh, yah, and we gave the ring of giant compulsion to the huge giant from before Time instead of trying to use it on him, so we found out some stuff about the fire goddess we're trying to revive. It looks like a hacked version of the Lightbringer Heroquest is in our future.

Go us!

* * *

For light bedtime reading, I borrowed the Excel Saga manga from Dave. I like it better than the anime, a bit, but apparently my sense of humor is still somewhat defective. Ah well.

Excel Saga by Dave (Tue Aug 31 11:06:45 2004)

I think it works better to read the manga then watch the anime. Among other things, it makes more sense out of the first episode (the plot of which is trying to get Excel to kill the original author), and it's a running gag that the author promised not to sue whoever made the anime. I did enjoy the anime, although it's surprisingly different from the manga. Still exceeding random, but in very different ways.

Make a comment!

24 August 2004 - Tuesday

I meant to be useful today, but in fact failed utterly.

Well, perhaps not utterly, in that Norm and I decided that the current approach isn't working (I can consider ideas all day long without being particularly affected by them) and we need another. Experimentation, if not hilarity, is scheduled to ensue.

* * *

Three episodes of Invader Zim in a row may be Too Much. (Planetjackers, Pustulio, tacos, time travel, the room with a moose, and the hamster.)

Make a comment!

23 August 2004 - Monday

Lethargic blob that I am (does this sound familiar?) I lay abed until almost noon, but hey, it's not like I have to go to work or anything.

I achieved minimum reasonable turn-around on a Greencine disc by plucking it from my mailbox, watching it, and putting it back in to go out tomorrow. I suppose I could have found a curbside box so the disc would go out today, but that would be silly.

Also, I did laundry.

In the eveningish, I went with Ayse and Ken to the coffeeshop where we met up with Marith and her alarming paper about caffeine allergy being very difficult to diagnose and leading inevitably to cognitive damage and schizophrenia. I drank Sicilian smoothies (no caffeine!) and wrote up a day and a half of Writer's Weekend. At this late date, I can't do more than transcribe and grammar my notes, but that's better than nothing. I think.

I hadn't expected writing in a public place with other people around to work, but it actually was okay. I don't know if it would continue to be okay if I were trying to write fiction or something else requiring thought, but so far so good.

Eventually people wanted to go home, so I watched another disc of You're Under Arrest!. Only three discs left!

Make a comment!

22 August 2004 - Sunday

More Civ! Only about four turns, during which I failed to stage a massive comeback. I finished fourth of seven. Ken (as Crete) won, which seems fair, since it was his birthday game. Then everyone fled Bayward through hideous traffic.

On the drive home we discussed Ken's strange "trading calamities is evil and wrong and people who do it should be crushed like insects" worldview and determined that he had been scarred by a bad gaming group in his impressionable youth. (When trading someone a calamity results in them throwing away their chances of winning just to get revenge, it is pretty reasonable to swear up front that you have no truck with such activities. (Especially if you're playing Basic Civ (I didn't know people still did that) and holding onto calamities doesn't hurt you.))

* * *

Home. Shopping. Watched two discs of You're Under Arrest, because I could. Reread Buck Godot: The Gallimaufry. Bed.

Somewhere in there, I finished rereading Emergence, by David Palmer. It is, obviously, product of its times, but still pretty well done. In fact it's better done than I remembered, as many of the flaws I recalled from the last time I read it weren't actually there. Whether they were covered believably or not is another question, but the possibilities weren't just ignored. And, of course, Candy is still a remarkably engaging narrator, although I can see how she might give someone else the hives.

High School Gaming Group by Ken (Mon Aug 23 21:14:56 2004)

I would not define them as a bad gaming group. They were certainly very different, and are a sizeable part of why I find KotDT funny, but I enjoyed gaming with them, and suspect I still would. They just go in much more primed for the ultraviolence, o my brothers.

emergence by kit (Tue Aug 24 09:49:40 2004)

I love that book. :)

Re: High School Gaming Group by Trip (Tue Aug 24 23:25:03 2004)

If they dish out the ultraviolence but go off the deep end when they have to take it, I heap scorn upon them.

Re: emergence by Trip (Wed Aug 25 18:10:50 2004)

That is because you are a Kit of cleverness and taste!

Make a comment!

21 August 2004 - Saturday

All Advanced Civ, all the time!

Really, that's about all we did today. (Well, and eat, but that's implicit in "trip to Roseville".) As Africa (with OLIPHAUNTS!), I did pretty well but peaked too early and got beat down from nine cities to two in the second-to-last turn of the day. Ow.

I consumed way too much chocolate cereal treat stuff, and not nearly enough Chinese food. Bad BAD parasite.

Make a comment!

20 August 2004 - Friday

So far, no call from Corio.

* * *

Aw! There are only four episodes of Magical Play! And one not-nearly-as-good episode of primitive CGI without most of the characters.

* * *

Hm, now Taos is calling, wanting me to send them the stuff I wrote for Corio. I wonder what's up with that? I already told them it wasn't writing the code that took time.

Oh well. If it was important, they'd answer their phones or call me back, right?

* * *

Since the second disc of Magical Play failed to deliver on the brain-hurting, I had to read the rest of the archives of The Parking Lot is Full. Not quite the same, but still deeply surreal.

* * *

I got a thick envelope full of graded submissions to the RMFW contest and read them while attempting to pillage Gamescape. Ignoring the suckfulness of my synopsis, of which I am already painful aware, I actually got pretty good marks: 84/110 and 89/110! My score in each category ranged from 7 (publishable!) down to 5 (almost nearly-publishable), which is surprisingly high considering how pathetically miserable SMS really is.

I'm not sure why RMFW graded me so much better than WW. Maybe they get lower average quality, maybe they have instructions to not discourage anyone who shows the ability to use proper English grammar, maybe they're just wimps. :)

* * *

Sniff! The cafe we lurked at while Ken played VampireLARP had no wireless! I was unable to use spore for evil!

* * *

Okay, 2:00 is closer to the predicted time of 1:00 than to my estimate of 5:00, so I have to admit defeat.

I would have been even more wrong if it hadn't been for all the stupid people driving on our road.

Make a comment!

19 August 2004 - Thursday


* * *

I fixed all the obvious problems I could find. The test failed anyway, but not because of anything I can fix. I suggested a workaround and told them to call me if they want me to come back tomorrow.

Tentacles crossed!

* * *

As I was leaving the building about 20:30, I saw some guys with a cherry-picker removing the Corio sign from the building. Somehow I suspect no one will call me tomorrow...

* * *

This week's bizarre anime discovery: Magical Play. Living fish coat that serves as a familiar and an emergency food supply! Failed magical girls that have been reduced to working in the police department! Clothing made from live flat cats! Bright primary colors!

My brain hurts now.

Make a comment!

18 August 2004 - Wednesday

I've been at work until after 22:00 the last two days, and probably will be again tonight, so I felt remarkably little guilt in blowing off going in until noon, so I could get my new comics. New Invader Zim! New Azumanga Daioh! Woo hoo!

* * *

Last night, it ran. Tonight, it does not run. Computers are like that.

Actually, I think I know the proximate cause of it exploding, and can fix that easily, but it doesn't really inspire confidence.

Make a comment!

17 August 2004 - Tuesday

Some stupidness of nohup/bg made the process hang until I got in this morning. So, I unstuck it and then the customer exploded because god forbid I test this thing when anyone else in the country is awake and might be using it. But we must finish it as soon as possible!


* * *

Look. This is, as far as I'm concerned, *war*. People die in war. So does truth. Winning is what matters. When the war ends, then you figure out how to make things truthful and people's lives better.

Question 1: To which major US political party does the originator of the above quote belong?

Question 2: Is the party you named the one you belong to/most sympathize with?

Make a comment!

16 August 2004 - Monday

Corio finally got their act together enough to call Taos to call me to come in, only half-way through the day.

Of course now Corio is complaining about how much time (ie, money; apparently they're doing about as poorly this quarter as I would have expected from looking at their offices) this took, so I had to spend an hour explaining to Taos people how Hofstadter's Law1 is manifesting in this particular project.

1: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account."

* * *

Well, that almost worked. I guess I'll set it going again and try to catch the last train before midnight.

Make a comment!

15 August 2004 - Sunday

I feel all productive, having not only gotten up but successfully pillaged Target for furniture objects before 11:00!

* * *

A word problem:

I have two DVD racks. Each has five shelves. Each shelf holds 22 DVDs. Both racks are full. There is at least one shelf worth of DVDs (and several video tapes) piled atop the racked ones.

Q: What can you say about the number of DVDs I own?

Q: What could I have more usefully spent that money on?

Q: How much credit would I get at Book Buyers if I gave them all the DVDs I'm really not going to watch again?

* * *

It works! IT WORKS! Ahahahahahahaha! Now spore can drift wirelessly about my apartment and still connect to the net! And still print! All power is mine! Go spore!

I'm much better now. Really.

* * *

We played Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs again tonight. (Wow, two Sundays in a row!) Little to no progress was made on the doppleganger plotline, but now we have a source for high-quality stone to build a keep!

dvds by kit (Tue Aug 17 10:01:39 2004)

Q: What can you say about the number of DVDs I own?

It's a lot more than I own!

Q: What could I have more usefully spent that money on?

Books! Visiting Alaska! Food! Saving the world!

Q: How much credit would I get at Book Buyers if I gave them all the DVDs I'm really not going to watch again?

Lots! We did that with our DVDs a while back and we're still up to our necks in credit at Title Wave. :)

Re: dvds by Trip (Fri Aug 20 14:09:32 2004)

Those are good answers!

I really should make a run to Bookbuyers before I have more than a whole carload.

Make a comment!

14 August 2004 - Saturday

Oh, look. Corio wants me to come back. You think maybe telling me to leave before they had the finished product clutched in their grimy little paws was a mistake?

Well, they can talk to Taos about it.

* * *

Christy and Chrisber invited me over to partake of waffles (savory waffles, so no sugar) while picking up the final element of spore's hardware. I would have had to be even more of an idjit than I am to decline Christyfood!

The other waffle-eaters were Jim and Mel, and Jen and Michael(?), so I felt like the non-real-estate-owning bachelor scum that I am, but it was a pretty enjoyable afternoon anyway. And the waffles were great!

* * *

Marith and I tried to watch Rurouni Kenshin, but disc 11 is bad and won't play! Sniff! Instead we had to watch Inu Yasha. The horror, the horror.

* * *

Hah! The other phone jack does work! My insidious plan can move forward!

Make a comment!

13 August 2004 - Friday

Oops, I forgot that fast food is actually poisonous, and I don't mean in the long-term sense of contributing to atherosclerosis and hypertension.

So yes, it is possible to eat worse than I have been the past couple of weeks.

* * *

Hm. If the customer wants this database copy to take less than two hours, they should stop putting gigs of new stuff into the database.

* * *

I'd never actually been in a brain dump meeting before, never mind been the dumper, but I think that went pretty well. The guy who came into the meeting very mistrustful of the whole thingw was at least able to fake being cool with it when he left.

* * *

If the machines I need for this test were up, I would be able to do it. But it's 21:00, the machines are not up, and I've already been told this is my last day here, so I guess it sucks to be Corio.

* * *

Leaving work, eating Pizza Olympiad, and watching bad anime all seem to be positively correlated with recovering from Burger King poisoning.

Make a comment!

12 August 2004 - Thursday

Hm, looks like this is my penultimate day on this project. I wonder if Corio will find more stuff for me to do.

* * *

Corio providing free ice cream does not make up for their using Windows.

* * *

Yay! New Negima!!

Also new Inu Yasha anime, but Marith wanted to watch Rurouni Kenshin instead, so we did.

* * *

Between work, anime, and new comics, I didn't do much with spore tonight, but I did get some of my important bookmarks set up. I like Safari's bookmarks bar, although its habit of discarding selections from the current <select multi> when you switch to a different tab is less appealing.

* * *

Apparently new Negima! is more interesting than going to bed, even when I am tired. I'm sure this says something unsavory about me.

remote bookmarks by Bruce (Fri Aug 13 13:32:25 2004)

The coolest solution for bookmarks is Sitebar. It stores your bookmarks in a mysql database, which is accessed via a php frontend that you stick in a browser sidebar.

This way, no matter what computer I'm using, I always have my bookmarks available. Very convenient. If you'd like to give it a shot, I can create a sitebar account for you on my server. by Carl (Fri Aug 13 17:41:00 2004)

I'm not using it myself, but Gretchen seems sold on for storing bookmarks, and peeking in on bookmarks others like.

I bought James Alan Gardner's new book Radiant in hardcover too, and liked it a great deal. I'm very fond of the Moss, but claim that says nothing whatsoever about me.

Re: by Trip (Fri Aug 13 17:49:14 2004)

I dunno, I think the Balrog was more sympathetic in Hunted. But perhaps it's presumptuous to think of sympathizing with such a highly-evolved being.

Make a comment!

11 August 2004 - Wednesday

I was all ready to cut out to buy comics and play Hounds of Balazar, abandoning Corio to its Windows-using fate, when Al sent email saying he was too busy at work to game. Foolishly, I admitted to my cow-orkers that I could stay a little later. That is how I ended up at work until after 20:00, beating my head against Windows NT crap.

Fucking stupid Microsoft. Fucking stupid pawns of Microsoft.

* * *

The day was not a complete loss, however, since I finished reading James Alan Gardner's latest. (In hardcover! I guess I wasn't the only one to buy his last few.) The plot, as has been its wont since at least his third or fourth book, thickens. Plus, interesting bits on Western vs Eastern heroes.

Make a comment!

10 August 2004 - Tuesday

The guy in charge of this project is apparently serious about documentation. Since I'm not anything like a tech writer, this could be unfortunate.

* * *

Millbrae for the first time in a month. We went off down the rathole of my comment about instinctively distrusting attractive women and came to the conclusion that it was a defensive reaction against something which was probably better ignored than avoided, which I already pretty much knew.

* * *

I forgot about the sad part at the end of Someday's Dreamers. Sniff. :(

Muahahahahaha! More Invader Zim! This week: cultists, water, career day, and Dib's big presentation.

* * *

I got home at 22:30! Why is it now almost midnight? Where did my hour of sleep go? CURSE YOU, PICTURELOGIC!

Make a comment!

9 August 2004 - Monday

Oh, look, more work. At least the thing we did over the weekend seems to have eventually submitted to our will (okay, mostly Thillai's will) and completed successfully.

Documentingu documentingu la la la.

* * *

Getting from work to home at the optimum train alignment takes about an hour and a quarter. Getting from home to the Bertanis' takes half an hour. Paradise Mislaid (or the PM Memorial Gabfest & Boardgame Night) starts at 19:00. Spot the problem with leaving work at 17:30.

On the other hand, once Chrisber plugged the AirPort base station back in, I was able to download "Eric's Ultimate Solitaire X" without spore having any wires attached to it!

Almost no Paradise Mislaid took place, but playing Battle of the Bands may be the moral equivalent.

The word of the evening is "stridulate".

* * *

While heating pizza for tomorrow (no, it doesn't make sense; don't bother asking) I finished watching the first disc of the R.O.D. TV series. It is definitely a sequel to the OAVs, although what's happened in the intervening N years is still a mystery.

But I wanna know! Why isn't the second disc out now?

Make a comment!

8 August 2004 - Sunday

I had forgotten how nice a day off can be! Not that I did anything useful with it, but eating at Chef Chu's and watching anime is hardly a waste of a day.

Also worked some more on spore (which doesn't seem to understand that it can have a name, bah) and made a long list of things to do or buy for it.

Now that I have two whole computers, maybe I should get a domain name. Shockingly, is taken, but is still free. It's not like I sell space parasites anyway.

* * *

Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs continued the search for the mirror, which turned out to be in pieces in the basement of a trading company that had been taken over by dopplegangers. Bodies in the pickle barrels, ew.

As usual, I proved that I cannot play a character with social skills at all. When combined with my inability to do tactical planning and my gross failure to GM entertainingly, it becomes a mystery why I spend so much time gaming. Maybe I should be spending that time writing, so that I'm the only one who suffers.

Social Skills by Dave (Mon Aug 9 15:02:17 2004)

Yeah, it's tough, like playing a character more intelligent than yourself. However, it can be amenable to some of the same tactics, such as asking other players for assistance, and taking extra time so you can think things through. Also, reminding the GM that your character is way competent, and he should account for that.

Re: Social Skills by Trip (Mon Aug 9 15:32:29 2004)

Except that most gaming styles are more cool with taking time to plan, which after all is usually a group activity, or at least can have kibitzing rationalized in ("I wonder what Father William would do in a situation like this? I can almost hear his voice now...") than with taking time to fast-talk. I think this is doubly true when the gaming style comes from the LARP tradition, where player fast-talk and character fast-talk are one.

Gaming by Ken (Mon Aug 9 21:18:57 2004)

I suspect you game because you often enjoy it, and because your friends enjoy gaming with you, and thus keep inviting you to game with them. And as I think I've said before, I feel you do a fine job playing social characters. And taking time when you want to think about something is not a problem. I've gamed with one or two people with whom it was, because they took upwards of five minutes every single line of conversation. Rest assured, however, that if you need to think about things for a long time, that's not a problem. Your character is different from you, so it might take a little bit for you to figure out how your character would act. And if you do start taking too long, history indicates I'll make it clear by having ninjas every time you pause and/or refuse bribes to unpause.

And hey, ninjas are worth xp, right?

And while I haven't played in a game you've run, I suspect yours at the very least have the comparative advantage over mine that some criminals don't have the exact same vaguely new york accent, regardless of setting or time period.

Why Trip keeps gaming by marith (Tue Aug 10 10:34:21 2004)

Because the rest of us think your roleplaying is just fine and keep pestering you to be in games despite your low self-opinion, that's why.

Neener. :)

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7 August 2004 - Saturday

There was confusion as to who was going to be present or available by phone or what, but it all turned out okay. Well, as okay as working on a Saturday gets. After that, it was mostly downhill. So far as can be determined, my script worked fine, but the db was fuxx0red. There was much calling of Ravi in the late forenoon and early afternoon, which was regrettable because he is 12 hours out of phase.

Finally we set the script going again and I went home. Thillai will send me email when he logs in from home later.

* * *

Wow, look! A whole evening all to myself! What shall I do with it?

Clean out my backlog of geek accreditation tasks, of course!

Watch Young Frankenstein, check. (Do you love me again, mony?) It did not make me roll around on the floor laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, but it was pretty amusing. The hunchback stole the show, of course, perhaps partly because he reminded me of Ted.

Set up Powerbook, check. It only took about fifteen minutes to get it up and running, although getting all the preferences just right could take ages. But it works! It speaks to the net! It gives me xterms! It is shiny!

Answered own rhetorical question, check.

* * *

Okay, I see what people mean about the OSX interface having been made prettier at the expense of usability. So far I've spotted two serious flaws:

  • The dock moves to remain centered, so the screen always looks neat and icons are never where you left them. IMHO, the dock should always stretch across the entire bottom of the screen, with the Finder icon pinned in the left corner and the Trash pinned in the right. Icons should stack up from the left, and if that means some of the dock space is unused, oh well.
  • The close, minimize, and maximize window buttons are all right next to each other, so it doesn't take much of a mousing error to accidentally close a window and lose all your hard-won data. I've already developed the habit of minimizing windows by double-clicking in the title bar, so I probably won't be hurt by this too much, but it is still definitely a Bad Thing.

On the other hand, only two immediate annoyances is pretty good for a new computer!

I think I'll name it "spore".

frankented? by kit (Mon Aug 9 10:02:43 2004)

The hunchback reminded you of Ted? O.O

Re: frankented? by Trip (Mon Aug 9 12:41:01 2004)

Well, all you vertebrates look alike to me anyway!

Young Frankenstien by mony (Mon Aug 9 14:31:42 2004)

Hee! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. :)

Docking by Bryant (Sat Aug 14 05:54:55 2004)

I do not know of any way to "stretch" the Dock, but I do know how to pin it to a corner:

Re: Docking by Trip (Fri Aug 20 12:33:12 2004)

Bryant's contribution to the Great Work will be remembered!

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6 August 2004 - Friday

Another fine day of waiting for the customer to figure out what they want. Finally we began testing on the second weasel. The weasel ran for two hours, then filled up the disk and died because someone had left a multi-gig file on that filesystem. At this point there was only an hour left before the machine was going down for maintenance, so I scarpered.

* * *

The new Munchkin weasel was sold out at Gamescape, but there was a new version of The Big Idea (I guess Cheapass Games isn't dead after all!) and the new Call of Cthulhu CCG, which isn't Mythos. I picked up one of each of the two types of starter decks in a spirit of experimentation, and from the rules it looks like the mutant offspring of Shadowfist and Mythos, with a little Magic. It will be interesting to playtest.

* * *

Tonight is a Vampire LARP night for Ken, so the rest of us watched another disc of Sailor Moon. Yay Rei! Yay Ami!

I am glad to have gotten to see my friends, especially Ayse. Hopefully it will not be weeks and weeks more until I see them again.

* * *

As expected, I will have to go in to work tomorrow to finish the weasel that failed today, but I don't have to be in until 10:30.

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5 August 2004 - Thursday

Not only did the customer suddenly add items to the requirements we'd been working towards all this time, but when we tried to implement them, it turned out they'd given us the wrong extra bonus requirements. Gargh.

* * *

After taking out the trash and such, I had time to watch one episode of the Ghost in the Shell TV series, which was very CGI. It had a couple of plot holes, and they made Major Kusanagi's face too pretty, but it was still clearly Masamune Shirow's fault.

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4 August 2004 - Wednesday

The customer doesn't want to move ahead with testing until they can persuade us to accept responsibility for all their problems, so I got to split from work at 17:30 today. However, instead of setting up my laptop, I got comics and burgers with Marith and then we watched the latest disc of Inu Yasha. (It ends on a cliff-hanger, to no one's surprise.)

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3 August 2004 - Tuesday

Today was less horrible than it could have been, considering I wanted to leave at 16:30 so I could get my prescriptions refilled. On the way home, I realized that the changes I had made to the script would stop it from working properly, but I wasn't there to run it and anyway the customer wasn't ready for the second test.

* * *

Ray made us hamburgers before anime, because he is that swell.

Yay Invader Zim! Parents! Navigation! Germs! Organs! Eehehehehehhee!

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2 August 2004 - Monday

Another day of excessive length, even though I scuttled into work an hour later than usual. However, the test we conducted tonight appears to have been successful (modulo the bit where system() doesn't seem to exit when its job is complete if that job took a long time, or something). I don't think the end is in sight, but maybe if I piled up a bunch of conference-room tables and got a spyglass...

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1 August 2004 - Sunday

No Rachelday celebration for me! This means no seeing anyone important until who-knows-when. Also, no putting together my Powerbook, which has now been languishing for more than a week since its arrival in MV. :(

* * *

I've spent all day running test scenarios, and I can now state unequivocally that PeopleSoft suxx0rs. Stupid Windows-brained non-error-message-logging gits.

Aside from the PeopleSoft bits and the one part that requires the attention of the Supreme Master, everything works to the limits of our ability to test it. Sadly, the bits that don't work are the most complicated and important.

* * *

I should be journalling Writer's Weekend, but instead I will fall over dead. Splut.

A whole WEEK?! by Bruce (Mon Aug 2 11:45:32 2004)

Geez. What kinda computer geek are you? Just open the box, and plug the thing in! It's a Mac. I'm assuming the set-up will be pretty minimal. If you can't turn it on and be up and running in less than 30 minutes I'd be surprised.

powerbook deprivation by marith (Mon Aug 2 12:31:43 2004)

Except the computer is far away from where Trip is, and a working geek with no car can only wave his tentacles feebly in its direction. sniff

Rachelday doom by Jeremy (Tue Aug 3 09:03:04 2004)

You were greatly missed. OTOH just looking at the cake would have cost you all semblance of endocrinal sanity....

But I laid in extra Stewart's diet orange cream soda! Sniff!

Re: A whole WEEK?! by Trip (Tue Aug 3 09:23:49 2004)

It's not news that I'm a pathetic excuse for a geek, but now I have an excuse, which is that I haven't had more than an hour between getting home and going to bed in some time, and even making dinner during that time is often beyond me. Giving a new computer the attention it deserves is right out.

On the other hand, the stupid project may have executed successfully last night, so there is hope for free time in the future.

Re: Rachelday doom by Trip (Tue Aug 3 09:26:18 2004)

I could probably have gotten special filter goggles to look at the cake! But instead I had to leap through the hoops of PeopleSoft. And miss Stewart's Diet Orange Creaqm. Grrr. Sulk.

re: powerbook deprivation by Bruce (Tue Aug 3 15:22:06 2004)

Ahhhh. Ok. I thought it was just sitting in your apartment in a box. Now that would be a travesty. :)

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