Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 September 2004 - Thursday

Went in to Taos to meet with my staff manager, but there wasn't much to say since I haven't been working. Also hit up the account managers for work, but nothing they had was both nearby and something I could do. Bah.

Staff Manager Angela suggested that it would be okay for me to seek outside contracts, so perhaps I will do that if work doesn't materialize in the next week or so.

* * *

I guess I was hungry, because I ate an entire high-heaped plate of mushrooms!

Marith showed me more Yami no Matsuei, which continues to be big on the doom. Sadly, she has a cheesy bootleg copy, so the subtitles are quite iffy.

Yami no DVD by Carl (Fri Oct 1 21:10:15 2004)

If Yami no Matsuei is the same series as Descendants of Darkness, the latter is available from Greencine and Netflix, although Netflix doesn't seem to have the 4th disc.

Re: Yami no DVD by Trip (Sat Oct 9 00:47:42 2004)

And Amazon also has it! This is probably related to Marith having a birthday!

Make a comment!

29 September 2004 - Wednesday

Go go SpaceShip One!

* * *

So much for getting to comics early. And I forgot to fill out the Previews form. On the other hand, there weren't very many new comics, so I escaped with my debit card mostly intact.

* * *

Okay, dammit, I am going to do something creative involving text every day starting today. Even if it's just a couple subsubsections of Antihero.

* * *

Overall, Risky Safety was amusing, but it didn't have much of an overall plot arc. There was some beginning, some doinking around with flashbacks in the middle, and then an end, but none of them really connected to each other. Oh well.

Futurama was also amusing, in a much more vulgar way, but not as insanely funny as The Simpsons. I've only seen the first four episodes, though, so maybe it picks up later.

Futurama! by Ayse (Sat Oct 2 13:15:05 2004)

Futurama has some very excellent moments! I really like the lobster/crab guy.

Re: Futurama! by Trip (Sun Oct 3 16:48:26 2004)

It does have some very excellent moments! I liked the three beautiful robot daughters.

I will probably watch more. Maybe it will star brain-sucking aliens at some point.

Make a comment!

28 September 2004 - Tuesday

Slug-like parasite!

* * *

Hm. The second Card Captor Sakura movie was okay in itself, but as an ending to the series, I dunno. It seemed pretty obviously tacked on.

The Invader Zim Halloween special gave me FLCL flashbacks, which has to be good! Kinda. In a creepy and surreal way.

* * *

Wow, I really wasn't expecting Risky to show up with those.

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27 September 2004 - Monday

Bleah, sloth. I did manage to do some shopping (yay drugs! yay diet orange cream Stewarts's!) before scuttling over to Ken's for D&D. We tracked down the evil cleric who was raising undead (and summoning demons!), but his absurdly powerful buddy teleported him out and a werewolf in. We did in the werewolf, who turned out to have been carrying a City Guard token, but the demon flew away and dematerialized, taking Alazaïs's magic rapier with it! Argh!

I meant to watch more anime, but instead I played Button Men and zangband and Bejeweled (high score 59660!) until well past time to go to bed.

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26 September 2004 - Sunday

Sunday Sunday Sunday! Monnnnnsterrrr gaaaming!

Okay, really they were supervillains, not monsters, but they provoked fits of righteous wrath and were subsequently smacked way way down. That'll teach them to try to get hold of nerve gas precursors!

* * *

Gravitation disc 2 is much like disc 1, but goes further than I've read in the manga. Or perhaps goes off in an entirely different direction. Were we supposed to assume that the main character suffered the fate that heroines are usually scheduled for when the main villain gets several of his large seedy friends to surround her in a deserted parking garage? It wasn't mentioned at all, but...

Anyway, it is awfully cute to watch Shuichi bounce around the morning after he's gotten some. It almost makes me not hate people who get to have sex!

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25 September 2004 - Saturday

Oops, slept in forever and ever again.

* * *

Nothing good at Gamescape, bah.

* * *

Ack, I forgot to get my prescription! I was hungry after failing to pillage Gamescape, so I went straight to Milk Pail to load up on yummy stuff and missed the drug store entirely!

But I have lots of fruits and vegetables and whole-grain breads, as recommended by my doctor!

* * *

Clearly Omishi Magical Theater: Risky Safety should be shown as a double feature with Yami no Matsuei. After all, they both have shinigami in them, right?

Also watched the first disc of Gravitation, which predictably is not as steamy as the manga. Color-coded hair sure makes it easier to tell the characters apart, though.

good foods by kit (Mon Sep 27 09:44:09 2004)

Now you have to actually eat the whole-grain breads and fresh fruits. That's the part I always have trouble with. :)

Re: good foods by Trip (Tue Sep 28 15:10:16 2004)

Indeed! I can usually do okay for a while, but this time I bought enough veggies that I had to put them in the special veggie drawer of the fridge, which is opaque...

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24 September 2004 - Friday

I got up sort of earlyish and without breakfast to get my ichor sucked out. This wasn't really unpleasant, but it did make me appreciate my chicken strips more.

* * *

Yum, sushi! We sat at the bar so we could watch the boats go past, but that turned out to be okay because we beat the rush and it wasn't too crowded/loud until we were getting ready to leave anyway.

I should probably have waited for the more interesting sushi to come out before pillaging the boats, but on the other hand, I would then have spent even more money.

Marith is sickish, so she went home while the rest of us admired cats and watched Azumanga Daioh. Poor Yomi!

After that we did not much of anything. Dave made an Exalted character, and Ayse tempted me to Orycon, and somewhere in there I read all of a book on Japanese food, but not in order, but that certainly didn't occupy all our time. Oh, and Ken laughed insanely at Paranoia XP.

* * *

Finished Kurogane Communications; it's only 24 half-length episodes. It was pretty good, although hardly hard SF.

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23 September 2004 - Thursday

And today I got up at 7:30 after going to bed after 1:00! However, this was because I had a doctor's appointment at 9, so it doesn't really count as innate virtue.

* * *

Not dead yet! And I will get more antiunhappiness pills! But I really should be eating better (not even Trader Joe's frozen pizzas are that great for you), exercising more (remember my rowing-machine plans?), and checking my blood sugar and blood pressure reasonably frequently. I was Lectured by the nice doctor.

* * *

After escaping the doctor, I have scuttled to Taos to beg account managers for assignments. Sadly, account managers are very hard to fine. So is my staff manager, and the recruiter I sent Tien's resume to. Bah.

* * *

Here in the middle of the boring recounting of my daily activities, I will take a moment to bore you with gaming stuff!

Having seen from the 20' x 20' room that I am not alone in thinking the Exalted system is too cumbersome, I have devoted more thought to "Exaltedway". My current idea of how the five elements work is this:

  • Air: Reason, logic; memory; eloquence
  • Earth: Physical toughness, health, and endurance; resistance to drugs, torture, etc
  • Fire: Physical agility, speed, strength; daring
  • Water: Subtlety; adaptability; stealth; deception
  • Wood: Perceptiveness; intuition; psychic awareness; creativity; resistance to persuasion/manipulation

Any Exalted gurus want to comment on my division?

* * *

Finally, I find an account manager! She says it is a slow week. Disheartened, I doink around on the net some more and then, hungry, go home.

* * *

Yay new Inu Yasha!

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22 September 2004 - Wednesday

Apparently I have finally slept enough, because I woke up at 7:15 after going to bed at 2:30. I then sat in bed reading for a couple of hours, but I was definitely awake!

* * *

Not much at Lee's except new Inu Yasha and a heartfelt plea from Sean to use Previews instead of making him call the other store all the time, but Gamescape finally got in Paranoia XP, and of course there is yummy Thai food.

* * *

It may not be as hot as it was a couple of weeks ago, but it's still annoying to go shopping. Bah.

* * *

Today's brownies: double batch of cherry-pecan. After testing, I conclude this recipe is not particularly poisonous.

Bladesharp IV rocks on toast! However, although we were able to kill the dragonsnail with only one casualty, it then exploded messily. Stupid Chaos.

Yay eep!

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21 September 2004 - Tuesday

Argh. Wasted most of the day sleeping yet again.

* * *

Norm attempted to confuse me by not saying anything so that I had to ramble on take the conversational lead, but I caught on pretty quickly. Hah.

* * *

Ray is moving to Seattle within the next three weeks or so. Bummer. Now I'll have to watch anime all by myself.

On the up side, we finished the Card Captor Sakura TV series (although apparently we still need to watch a movie (and some OVAs?) to get the full story). Also, more Zim! Bologna! The Wrath of Gaz! The Secret of Mars! Ahahahahahaha!

watching anime by Dave (Thu Sep 23 13:07:57 2004)

Should it become necessary, I'd be willing to host. I'd probably even get a proper dvd player. ;)

Re: watching anime by Trip (Thu Sep 23 15:20:56 2004)

I can host; I even have a real DVD player already. But I don't know if Neil would show up, which leaves, well, you and me. At best.

Make a comment!

20 September 2004 - Monday

Yay! Finally, resolution on the Corio thing! I am not going out there after all; Taos paid Corio (hopefully not much) to just forget the whole thing and go away.

* * *

No more Paradise Mislaid, wum. Maybe I should run cheesy dungeon-crawl D&D for Adam on Monday nights or something.

* * *

I asked Kit if I should go spend lots of money on food at Chef Chu's because it's right across the street from the pharmacy where I can finally pick up my prescription, and she said I should. So you see, I had no choice!

no choice! by kit (Thu Sep 23 12:24:36 2004)

giggle O.O giggle

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19 September 2004 - Sunday

More zangband! Also, Kurogane Communications, a charming anime about the last girl in the world and her five robot friends. I think it was another Carl recommendation.

Is it that fifteen-minute episodes are becoming more common in Japan, or just that series that do that tend to be marginal so it took longer for them to be brought over?

* * *

Apparently feeding the Ayse unsweetened chocolate makes her silly. Who knew?

Anyway, we played Ken's D&D game for the first time in quite a while. The cache of food and defensive weaponry watched over by a manticore was kind of interesting, but we weren't sure what to do about it except leave a note. The Mysterious Magic Item the wacky goblins have is apparently worth a lot, if not as much as they're asking, but since only Dave's character got to see it, we really just have to take his word for it. Finally, we squished some undead (yow! Tobias has sphere of corrosion!) in the haunted village. Alazaïs got to cast her first paladin spell, but never managed to hit the biggest undead with the blessed weapon, so isn't sure this spellcasting thing is all her friends say it is. The bonus to saves is nice, though!

The evil cleric managed to scarper before we finished with his minions, so we broke there and will have to track him down next session. (Friday, perhaps.)

Today's discovery: small paperclips work very well for both holding cardboard heroes together and weighting their bases.

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18 September 2004 - Saturday

Look, zangband is still firmly attached to my cranium. I can feel its hold beginning to loosen slightly, but it may still be some time.

* * *

Gad Guard is better than I thought it would be. TV-quality animation, but an at least somewhat interesting look (bonus points for a female character (admittedly a fairly minor one) who is neither a pinup girl nor a crone). I dunno, it has all the standard elements (dystopian future, young hero who lucks into a giant semi-magical robot and is reluctant to use it, criminals in converted industrial mecha, etc), but apparently assembled in a sufficiently non-standard way that I liked it. Good poverty. ("They shut off the power at midnight, so you'll need a battery to keep your fridge running. Go to so-and-so's shop and get one and I'll help you install it. Oh, and tell him I sent you, or he'll overcharge you.") And I liked the ring-mount arm on the first opposing mecha.

* * *

Ayse and Ken wimped out on us, so Marith and I had to go see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow by ourselves. It was pretty entertaining overall, but I wanted to STRANGLE Gwyneth Paltrow's character about every two minutes. Yes, yes, she saved the day at the end, but if I had been playing that plot as a game, I would have had to improvise another solution, because she wouldn't have made it that far.

But the robots rocked!

* * *

About an hour after I got home, Earl called to invite me to see a 22:00ish showing of SCatWoT. Sadly, I was away from the phone at the time, but I trust he went and saw it anyway.

* * *

I really should stop staying up until 2:00 playing zangband.

Sky Captain and his sociopath DNPC by Earl (Mon Sep 20 16:33:04 2004)

Cat and I and Eric saw it. Pretty visuals, and I was attempting to construct the alternate history underlying the society ("So, giant robots secretly preying upon industrial areas, with advanced technology (captured from the robots) enhancing human gadgetry without necessarily increasing human science. How exactly does this lead to apparently quasi-national independent military groups run by heroes? And where does the Pulp Singularity (energy/transport) fit in?").

Polly Perkins and her attempts (plural!) at murder by sabotage seemed to fit the sociopath profile to me. Sky Captain Joe was perfectly right to have his finger on the trigger of that gun. -Earl (Loved the moth-ships!)

Gad Guard! And other diversions by Carl (Tue Sep 21 01:09:25 2004)

I was intrigued by Gad Guard after episode 1, but much more so after episode 8, in which a disturbing possibility was raised that felt very Earl-like to me, and thus good.

I also agree about the sociopath in SCatWoT, and enjoyed it anyway, although the graininess was much accentuated on the IMAX Giant Screen. Still, a small price to pay for making the giant robots EVEN GIANTER. And perhaps a more annoying DNPC is more of a problem and thus worth more points, paying for more piloting skill.

Speaking of which, Giant Robo is apparently finally going to be released in the US on DVD, and I'm greatly looking forward to seeing the whole thing after only seeing a couple of episodes long ago. "Big Fire" is such a good name for a villain organization.

I am required by law to mention that Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is playing in downtown Berkeley (a block from BART, very near Games of Berkeley with its rack of deservedly half-price games), San Francisco, and allegedly maybe San Jose. It's a sequel to the previous Ghost in the Shell, unlike GitS: Stand Alone Complex, of which the second DVD is out now in cyborg edition, and out 9/24 in human flesh edition.

Both provide further food for thought for my unlikely-to-be-run Shadowrunime campaign set in the Renraku arcology high school with the Aztechnology transfer student. Namely, what's it like to grow up as a full cyborg from the age of 6, switching bodies every few years, but never actually having to deal with the hormonal swings of puberty? Maybe it's emulated in software.

Re: SCahSDNPC, Gad Guard, etc by Trip (Wed Sep 22 14:20:44 2004)

I'm glad it's not just me who thinks Polly was beyond the limits of normal obnoxiousness!

I think we see the Pulp Singularity in the space drive, or would have (briefly) if it had been used.

Where have I seen the tentacled giant robots before?

Hopefully GreenCine will send me Gad Guard vol 2 soon, so I can admire the doom of episode 8!

Apparently I am not sufficiently well-integrated with spore, because I'm not sure what you mean by "cyborg edition" unless it's "digisub".

Maybe the voltage fluctuations of getting a new power supply every year or two is the cyborg equivalent of hormones? No, you're probably right that it's emulated in software, since human brains are pretty dependent on human bodies; they aren't independent modules.

Tentacles and anime (no, NOT that!) by Carl (Thu Sep 23 19:38:19 2004)

The tentacled robots in Sky Captain reminded me a lot of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, allegedly coming out next year in the U.S.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex comes out in two forms, one with just the usual DVD, and a more expensive (deluxe, thus cyborg) pack a week earlier with the usual DVD, plus a DVD with mysterious "DTS" encoding, plus a CD soundtrack.

As far as I know, Cardcaptor Sakura has the 18 DVD volumes of the TV series' 70 episodes, then two movies. I don't know of any other CCS anime unless you count the unmentionable Cardcaptors dub, of which I will not speak.

Re: Tentacles and anime by Trip (Fri Sep 24 14:22:11 2004)

The Sky Captain robots did resemble the Laputa robots, but I think they are both drawing on a common ancestor.

I presume you mean theatrical release of Laputa? If not, I wonder where this DVD came from.

There is no Cardcaptors. There has never been Cardcaptors. There will never be Cardcaptors. This is the rule of Fluxx.

Castle in the Sky by Dave (Fri Sep 24 14:48:00 2004)

The Disney release of the Castle in the Sky dvd has been around for a little while, I thought. Or do you mean you don't know what it would be if it weren't that?

Make a comment!

17 September 2004 - Friday

Bah, still no word from Taos. And my prescription for antiunhappiness pills is lost in some sort of limbo. Sullen parasite!

* * *

Bah, Gamescape still doesn't have Paranoia XP nor any other cool stuff from Origins. I did succumb to the Monster Manual III (I blame Adam for saying that weeknight gaming has to be something mindless and strongly directed, like dungeon crawling), but it is reasonably interesting. I particularly like the living spells (spell effects turned into oozes) and want to design an entire magic system, or at least a prestige class, around them.

And, Gamescape is still right next to Thai City. Tofu tod and three-season pork, yum!

* * *

After missing two fortnights in a row because of Roseville trips, we have watched more first season Sailor Moon. Three discs out of eight, and we're still missing Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter! Hmph!

Dungeon XP by Carl (Sat Sep 18 22:06:50 2004)

You're welcome to borrow my copy of Paranoia XP fresh from Gencon while waiting for Gamescape to not suck.

It's Adam's own fault if you mix it with World's Largest Dungeon, though.

I haven't gotten MM III yet because my players haven't killed all the monsters in the first two books yet, but I glanced at it and kinda liked summoning oozes, although the idea of an ooze with a mind seems kinda wacky. I didn't get Frostburn either, despite a brief twinge to run all-Barbarian PCs (multiclass, of course) vs. Rift of the Frost Giant King.

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16 September 2004 - Thursday

Today's fortunes:

  1. You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy. (Uh...)
  2. The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. (Now if I just had some...)

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15 September 2004 - Wednesday

Bah! Gamescape has the Paranoia XP GM's screen, but not the game itself. On the other hand, they do have Wyrd is Bond, which I didn't expect. Maybe there is some hope for them after all.

Yum, Trip Panang!

* * *

Marith came over and we finished watching the second season of Rurouni Kenshin. There was not as much doom as I had expected, except maybe to the sensibilities of science teachers everywhere.

Now we must find something else to watch! Maybe Chobits.

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14 September 2004 - Tuesday

Darn, not all of my prescriptions are refilled. I guess I'll have to have a bookstore accident.

* * *

Yay Zim! (Babies, pizza night, candy, and mall security.)

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13 September 2004 - Monday

Went to the coffeehouse with Ayse and Marith. That's about it for today.

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12 September 2004 - Sunday

Today we finished making characters for Red Room and had a brief fight in a subterranean bar with Russian FSB agents and German scumbuckets. It was a mess, but our plan worked and we got experience points, so all is well.

* * *

Help my brain has been eaten by zangband!

eating brains by Del from Philly (Mon Sep 13 10:09:29 2004)

Say, how does it feel to have your brain sucked instead of doing the sucking?

zangband by marith (Mon Sep 13 12:40:49 2004)

Mine too, only my new vampire character can't seem to find a ring of light/dark resistance anywhere. I coulda sworn there used to be a mayor in the town giving out one as a quest reward, but evidently not in this version. Sniff!

Also, stupid crypt creeps.

zangband eating my brain by Trip (Mon Sep 13 15:30:52 2004)

It feels much the same, only backwards! Anyway, it just means that I need to suck out more brains to compensate. Here, lean over...

Yah, crypt creeps suck. But they explode nicely when exposed to bright light!

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11 September 2004 - Saturday

I meant to do stuff today, but somehow ended up not doing much except going to the coffeehouse for a little while. I would have stayed longer, but the band was way way too loud, so Marith and I went and had some bookstore accidents and then went home.

ROD TV is getting to the weird stuff! The episode where the protagonists are on the receiving end of a Mission: Impossible-type mindfuck was creepy, and then we found out a bit of what organizations are doing while Our Heroines live their lives.

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10 September 2004 - Friday

Hm, I don't seem to have actually poked Taos. Instead, I have flomped around uselessly. Bah.

I've now watched all the Kiddy Grade that's been released in the US, and it's finally getting to the good stuff that Chris promised was coming. Look, doom!

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9 September 2004 - Thursday

Another pointless day. I need to poke Taos severely to either do something with Corio or bail and give me a new assignment.

Well, okay, not completely pointless: I finished the new Kirstein, The Language of Power. It did not have the huge revelation of the previous one, but it was still darn good. Plus, more Willam!

I watched the first discs of Tsukikage Ran and Oh my Goddess!, courtesy of Greencine, but I'm not sure they were interesting enough to get more of. I think I may getting enough anime that I am becoming picky.

Marith came over and we watched a disc and some of Rurouni Kenshin. There was some doom, but it was averted so as to make the next round of doom more appalling.

One thing I have been considering ever since reading Nocturne for a Dangerous Man by Mark Matz is the emotions of characters in action sequences, and all the main fights in this section of Kenshin have been decided as much by psychological warfare as martial arts skill. I know there is a lesson for me as a writer here, but I am not smart enough to do anything useful with it.

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8 September 2004 - Wednesday

Today, I assembled my coffee table and ran all my new dishes through the dishwasher to make sure they had no manufacturing or store grot on them. Um. What else did I do? Oh, I went grocery shopping and was sucked into the doom that is Milk Pail, because Ayse told me they had sugar-free Marianne's ice cream! Then I had to walk home with all my loot, which was less than fun.

Comics tomorrow because Labor Day, so I had plenty of time to make brownies for gaming tonight (this week: mint and hazelnut) and then flee the overheated kitchen to sit in front of a fan and watch some Kiddy Grade. Wow, that's a lot of doom there.

* * *

Hounds of Balazar! Having survived the Giants' Trading Post, we headed back to get out of the mountains before the weather turned awful, but the cave we picked to wait out the first snowfall turned out to be haunted by a troll ghost and a shade, so we had to make pine-bough shelters instead. Then we found cryptic cliff carvings which tempted us to put POW into them, thus taking us out of Time and forcing us to fight one of five ritual enemies of Firshala (the fire goddess we're trying to spring from magical imprisonment). Well, first we had to poke the wards with our shaman to find out what the five enemies were, but since we didn't let the healer stick her brain into the trap (she's going to need to cough up a big Heal matrix if she wants to be first to do stupid things) we patched him up. Of course, then we had almost no POW for when we decided (after much argument) to fight Chaos.

Sadly, we only had half an hour left at that point, so we will have to do the actual smiting of Chaos next fortnight.

* * *

More Kiddy Grade! Even more doom!

* * *

Hm. In search of light bedtime reading I picked up the second Mageworlds book and then discovered it was 1:00. Sometime about 1:30 I actually put it down and went to sleep. Sheesh.

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7 September 2004 - Tuesday

I have to be at a Taos meeting at 16:00, so I moved my Norm appointment to this morning, which meant springing from my parasitenest and attaching myself to the train at a reasonable hour in the morning. As usual, which I have something that needs doing at a particular time, I can get up, so perhaps I should stop worrying about sleeping a lot when I don't have anything to do.

Today was the first session of the New Approach, which is "experiential", and thus hopefully more effective than mere discussion of ideas, which as a geek I can do indefinitely with very little emotional response. However, when Norm talked about the internal consultant to give advice and reassurance, I did not attempt to explain to him the shoulder angel/shoulder devil sequence from episode 1 of Excel Saga.

There didn't seem to be much point in going all the way home only to have to go back to Castro Street to catch the light rail in a few hours, so I hung out at the coffee shop and caught up on my websurfing and Button Men Online. Tamiya adoption is going well.

Oh! And bookstore accident (well, I was pretty much asking for it) which yielded the new Steerswoman book! W00t!

At Taos, we mostly just had a conference call with Cliff where he tried to explain what was going on and failed, because he's not technical. The business guy wasn't there, so I still don't know if I'm going back to Corio or not.

It was agreed that my script would be better if it didn't intertwingle stderr and stdout, but I'm not sure that's really the problem. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that there are problems; I think Corio might somehow be managing to use an older version of the script. Oh well.

* * *

While travelling, I finished the first of the Mageworlds books that I picked up based on some recommendation somewhere. It was very Star Wars in a lot of ways (look, mystic martial artist-psionics!) but reasonably entertaining. I will probably keep reading them, but not until after I finish the new Kirstein.

* * *

Darn, no Whisman Station Anime tonight: Ray's apartment has become unlivable due to the stupid STUPID thermion creatures. I will have to finish watching Infinite Ryvius on my own, I guess.

Wow, they were really losing it at the end, there.

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6 September 2004 - Monday

Ah HAH! I have found my Robo Rally set!

In the rear library there are many boxes of unshelved hardcovers all labelled BOOKS. At the very back of the room, beneath the rearmost one, is another box labelled GAMES. At the very bottom of that box was Robo Rally. Sheesh.

* * *

There are too many thermions! They are displacing the oxygen in the air!

* * *

Chrisber and Christy, who are the best friends ever, took me to IKEA to buy a coffee table. I also ended up with dishes. They got a sheepskin and er something else. And the ancestral foods of Chrisber's people, of course.

We arrived back at the Bertanis' about 8 minutes late, which apparently was 3 minutes later than Dave, so he went home instead of applying the 15-minute rule. Then he heard my message on his answering machine, so he walked back to the Bertanis'. At the end of all his travels, however, was a semi-crushing victory in Space Munchkin, which I'm sure cheered him greatly. We also played Greedquest, which is very random, and Fluxx, which is probably about equally random.

* * *

Wow, Hero! The colors! The pond scene! Jet Li! Wow!

Hm. I don't have a good method to make spoilers accessible but not obvious, so I guess I'll end my comments here. But it is a swell movie, and you should all go see it!

* * *

After being social all weekend, I spent the evening hiding in my parasitelair watching Infinite Ryvius. It's not quite Lord of the Flies in space, but there's definite breakdown of the social order by about disc 2.

Social Breakdown by Carl (Tue Sep 7 22:58:03 2004)

So have you seen Battle Royale? And Hero was indeed very pretty and all right-thinking folks should see it.

Re: Social Breakdown by Trip (Thu Sep 9 15:34:02 2004)

I have not read Battle Royale. I saw it lying around at Ray's place, but something about the art style turned me off from ever flipping through it. Was this wrong of me?

Make a comment!

5 September 2004 - Sunday

It was too hot. We went to the coffeehouse, but they threw us out at 17:00, so we went back to my place and watched Marith play Monster Rancher 2. After that, we played a very very long game of Cities and Knights of Cataan. At 23:30 Dave bailed, so we declared him the winner and everyone else went home and slept. It was still too hot.

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4 September 2004 - Saturday

I guess sleeping forever and ever on Thursday did me good, because I was up in plenty of time to get an 11:00 start on...

Amazon Quartet of Justice VIIIb: "Storms Gathering over Pelagos! Attack of the Lecherous King!"

Having beaten off the nagas, Our Heroines continue sailing merrily toward the Pelagos until, a couple of days from landfall, the lookout spots the ship commanded by the wife of Captain Evo being pursued by a pirate vessel.

Taking to the air, the Amazons zip over to see what's going on, but their warning shot is answered by a hail of arrows from both ships! Worse, a tentacled fish-monster reaches up from the ocean and mauls Alyra as she tries to hide beneath the curve of a hull!

Having failed to eat Alyra, the aboleth then tries to mentally dominate her, but fails at that too. It makes the sailors from Captain Calypso's ship leap overboard to distract the Amazons, but Amaryllis makes an ice floe to keep them afloat and imprisons the aboleth in a sphere of ice. Before it can break through the ice and escape, it is slain by archery and magic. The captain of the pirate ship tries to escape overboard, but is knocked out and captured before he can do more than splash.

However, while all this is going on, Captain Evo's ship, with the Rati ambassador Barr on board, is being attacked by nagas. Again. However, this time there are only two of them, and they are unable to stand against the Amazons. The weaker is killed immediately and the stronger, apparently the leader of the whole naga gang, can't dive deep enough fast enough to avoid Amaryllis's and Fresa's spells.

The chief naga and the pirate captain are eaten by the captain's former animal companion, an orca, but post-mortem interrogation of the remaining naga reveals that they were specifically attempting to kill the Rati ambassador.

"Where can we find those who seek to raise the dark god?" asks Fresa.

"We are everywhere."

Despite that, nothing else happens before the Amazons, the two merchant ships, and their prize arrive in the Pelagos. Captains Evo and Caly buy the captured pirate ship for a substantial sum, and the Pelagian government pays a small bounty on the pirates themselves, so once again the Quartet has done well by doing good. (But the source of disagreement about pirates becomes apparent: Rati pays a good bounty for pirates and executes them, while the Pelagos pays a small bounty and tries to reform pirates.)

The majordomo at the castle attempts to tell the Amazons they will be granted an audience in a few days, but Captain Caly ignores him and drags them to tea with her good friend Queen Ditte, Ditte's husband Penn, and assorted flowers of the local nobility. Fresa glowers at the frivolity and Alyra hides from the crowd of city folk, but Gabrielle and Amaryllis make themselves popular.

Amaryllis possibly makes herself too popular, as the king offers to give her a tour of the palace and she is unable to resist his roguish charm. Fortunately for the future of international relations, Fresa notices this and sends Alyra to break up the incident, which she accomplishes by tracking the couple down (just ahead of the queen), snatching Amaryllis from Penn's arms, and leaping out the third-story window. Fortunately only a few of the tea-drinkers notice them alighting on the lawn outside.

Fresa takes charge and assigns Amaryllis and Gabrielle to take up Evo and Caly's invitation of lodgings; only herself and the equally unattractive Alyra will stay in the palace to guard Ambassador Barr. This turns out for the best, as Amaryllis is able to have a chat with Lizbet's pen pal in the Pelagos, Lord Pudius, at one of the Captains' shindigs. Lord Pudius explains that while Barr is doing much to reduce the enmity between the two countries, Queen Ditte is still strongly opposed to joining any sort of war effort, preferring a more isolationist stance.

After several days of cooling-off, Amaryllis feels able to accept Penn's invitation to lunch without getting in trouble. However, what he wants this time is not her delectable person; he contrives to mention that while Ditte will never commit the Pelagos to a war against evil, he definitely would if he were in a position to do so. Amaryllis promises to think about it.

The pirate-hunting drow that the Quartet met earlier arrive in the Pelagos, where they are apparently local heroes. The drow are fully in favor of saving world (as anyone led by a paladin would have to be), but concur with Pudius's assessment of the political situation.

Apparently Amaryllis isn't the only one Penn has been hinting at, as Alyra's hanging out in seedy bars reveals a widespread sentiment among the populace that Penn would make a better ruler. Despite some suggestions about encouraging the necrotheologians to attack Ditte so that either she takes the threat seriously or Penn becomes king, the Amazons don't have a solution for this. Further research will be needed.

* * *

Harold fled Bay-ward at 17:00, because he had something he wanted to do with his Chris in the evening, but the rest of us decided to stick around and entertain Sherilyn some more so that we wouldn't be driving home directly into the setting sun.

Pizza was ordered and consumed, and Munchkin was played. As seems to be my habit in board games, I looked like a threat early on so everyone hosed me in a big fight, and I never quite recovered.

Sherilyn won, which seems only just after she had to put up with us as players all afternoon.

* * *

Yay! More Chess!

The Pirate Captain by Dave (Wed Sep 8 14:11:57 2004)

I'm pretty sure we took him prisoner (grabbing him from the water shortly before his orca companion surfaced to carry him off). I recall Alyra watching him carefully after we had the sailors tie him up. Possibly this was not the one true reality, though.

Re: The Pirate Captain by Trip (Wed Sep 8 16:21:45 2004)

You appear to be correct.

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3 September 2004 - Friday

The meeting at Taos about the Corio Issue was short and unanimous. Corio was whining that the scripter they had asked for wasn't as good a project lead as a senior person who would have been twice as expensive, trying to claim Taos owed them money because the project wasn't completed when they had agreed that Taosling rental was strictly time-and-materials up front, and attempting to make their failure to properly estimate the project cost to their customer Taos's fault. Oh, and apparently both saying that my code wasn't commented and that they didn't like the comments in it. There was no sympathy for Corio in that room.

Next Tuesday at 16:00 there will be another meeting, at which I will find out whether I'm going back to Corio for another day or two.

* * *

Bah, still nothing good at Gamescape. GURPS 4th edition has been split into two hardcover books, and still has 30547234672346023 individual rules with no metarules, so I turned up my proboscis disdainfully at it.

* * *

We got kind of a late start toward Roseville, but on the other hand, we missed almost all of the bad traffic, so it worked out well in the end.

Wow, it's been a long time since I heard Chess.

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1 September 2004 - Wednesday

This is the week when all the manga comes out! Jeeze, you'd think Tokyopop would learn to stagger their publishing schedules.

* * *

Kit made me do another stage of fractal plotting for Serendipity! Ack!

Writing is hard, let's eat salad.

* * *

There still hasn't been much development on the Corio front, but at least now there is a meeting scheduled to discuss it! (Friday, 10:00.) Perhaps we will decide to send the Taos Ninjas against Corio!

* * *

Marith and I watched the Inu Yasha movie, which was very pretty, but lacking in character development. Not surprising, since otherwise it would have had to be part of the series, but still disappointed.

* * *

Agk! School Bites is the cutest goth cheesecake manga I have ever seen! Agk, the cuteness! (And, no I'm not just saying that because it's got a kittygirl!)

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