Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 April 2005 - Saturday

The mailcreature delivered me a package for Ayse, which confused us until we figured that it must be from the new Mrs Zable (which Marith later confirmed). Then I went home and tried to install World of Warcraft.

First, it said, "Your OS is unworthy! You must upgrade!". But that was fair, so I installed all the patches I had been neglecting, while watching Blue Gender. Installing from CD took a long time, but then my drive reads CDs and DVDs, writes CDs, and fits in a 12" Powerbook, so expecting it to also be blazingly fast seems a bit much. Anyway, it let me watch some Tsukihime.

About the time it was fully installed, Marith came over to eat my chicken strips and watch Buffy, so I put off firing it up until later.

When we had watched enough Buffy for one night, I went back to the WoW Installation Project and started it up. It said "Patching... Okay, click here to start up the patched version." I clicked there, and it said, "Ha ha! Sucker! Now I will actually do the patching, which involves downloading 140 megs through a soda straw!"

"You do that," I said, and went to bed.

* * *

Blue Gender was okay. Apparently the creator has learned about pacing since making Gasaraki, but even though I can't blame the protagonist for wigging out, it's hard to sympathize with him.

Tsukihime is, strangely, not all that creepy, but I really want to know about all these secrets they keep alluding to! Hmph!

The first three episodes of fourth-season Buffy (Buffy goes to college) were still okay, but the knowledge of what comes later in the season makes me sad. Oh well.

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29 April 2005 - Friday

I'm not all splortched like last Friday, but I'm still glad the work week is nearly over.

* * *

Surprise! Big new project! I wonder if there are any canned brains I can eat to learn about this.

* * *

Still nothing terribly good at Gamescape. Bah.

* * *

Ayse and Ken went to see HHGG without us, and then Ken went to SF to vampirize, but the rest of us descended upon Ayse and entertained her mercilessly with SupeGALS! until late into the night! Muahahahaha!

The review of HHGG makes it sound worth seeing, so perhaps Marith and I will go see it Sunday.

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28 April 2005 - Thursday

The doctor scolded me for not being a good parasite, and also for being too lame to get my ichor tested before my appointment. On the other hand, my motile tentacles still have nerves in.

* * *

Bah! My prescription has been messed up, so I can't use my Home Ichor Testing Kit even if I try! I shall have to complain vociferously tomorrow.

* * *

Finished the first disc of Dual, which is still quite shonen, but not quite a harem anime, and still amusing.

stay good, Trip! stay good! by marith (Sat Apr 30 18:32:34 2005)

hugs Poor Trip! I will have to help you be a good parasite by picking on you more. Yeah.

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27 April 2005 - Wednesday

Of course after writing everything I wanted to get/subscribe to at Lee's on a post-it note, I left the post-it at work. Bah.

I think I actually remembered most of it, though. Writing is good for that, even if I then misplace the written notes.

* * *

I finished Spin (Robert Charles Wilson) on the bus home. It was pretty good, and distinctly Wilsonian. I'm not sure the interweaving of multiple scales worked as well as it might have, but you have to love a chapter heading of "4x109 AD".

* * *

Tonight's Dragonblooded session was not a huge fight, but it was a lot of engineering and a lot a lot a lot of planning and arguing. Toward the end of the session, some NPCs showed up to argue with, and I think we can use our superior bureaucracy to overcome them, which is good, because it's not working very well on my fellow PCs!

Oh, and did I mention the sordid sex?

* * *

Tonight's anime: Dual, which has giant robots, but may be interesting enough to keep watching. It has parallel universes that actually diverge from one decision, bizarre visions, and a mad scientist with a beautiful daughter! (But, why is it never a beautiful scientist with a mad daughter? Oh, wait, there's an example. Do you know what it is?)

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26 April 2005 - Tuesday

Nothing exciting at Gamescape, sniff.

* * *

I offered them the choice, but they didn't want to stop watching any of the current series! I guess I should extend the anime schedule a few more weeks.

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25 April 2005 - Monday

My lack of illness seems to be continuing! Yay me!

* * *

Still didn't feel like doing much after work, but I did watch the first disc of Argentosoma. It was okay, but no more than that.

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24 April 2005 - Sunday


* * *

Despite being inefficient, I managed to get laundry done in time to brunch before gaming, and poke around Fry's between. I still don't know if I want to replace my defunct external brain, or try to get it repaired. I'm not even sure how to go about getting it repaired, for that matter.

Since the same people who were absent from the last Red Room session (Chrisber and Jeremy) were also absent today, we decided to turn the previous problem over to NPCs for monitoring and go on to new and more exciting problems, which seem to involve the Los Angeles vampire underground, new drugs, and pillaging of paid-up members of the military-industrial complex.

There was talk of dinner, but we were sated with cheese and seedy crisps (which were indeed both crispy and full of seeds), so after boring Earl and Cat with TBG talk for a couple of hours, the rest of us scuttled off.

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23 April 2005 - Saturday

And indeed, I feel significantly better this morning! Too many dreams, so kind of woozy, but eventually I got my act together and went off to run errands. While erranding, I encountered Shadow Star anime, which was so surprising I had to buy it. No idea if it's any good.

Upon arriving home, I discovered a message from Earl inviting me to see something called Kung-Fu Hustle. I'd never heard of this movie, but why should that stop me? So I went with Earl & Cat and Chrisber & Christy, who were all very nice even though I am a mere single non-real-estate-owning prole-creature, and we saw a wacky Stephen Chow movie with martial arts way over the top. It rocked pretty well! I especially liked the main villain, but it had many good bits all through. Go see it!

Ayse and Ken were already making dinner when I called, so only Marith got to eat yummy Thai dinner with me. Ha hah!

After that, there was a vague motion toward having fun, but it dissolved into lying around chatting and eventually we got kicked out because Ayse had to rest up for tomorrow's class. Splut!

I lay around slimily and watched the third (and final, apparently) disk of Gokusen, and then went to sleep.

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22 April 2005 - Friday

Bleargh. I feel terrible, but not so terrible that I can't work, which means I really can't justify going home sick. At least it's Friday, so I can sleep in and take it easy tomorrow.

* * *

It is no secret that Google is hiring a lot, and anyone of average intelligance can deduce that means internal changes, so I don't think it's actually a company secret that the group I'm in has suddenly become more in need of people. Linux or Windows sysadmins with l33t sk1llz and huge pulsating brains, send me your resumes to sit on until I go perm[1] and can get hiring bonuses!

1: If I am judged unworthy, I will pass any resumes I have onto one of my smarter cow-orkers. No, really.

* * *

I still feel terrible, but at least my zangband character is doing okay.

* * *

Tonight's anime: Onegai Twins!. Like its predecessor, Onegai Teacher!, it is distinctly shonen but fairly cute. It also gets bonus points from the parasite judge for a) having a character who looks a lot like my character Blake from Chrisber's defunct Knights of Atlanatis game, and b) having someone whose laugh would actually be written "fu fu fu".

Now I sleep, perchance to get less unhealthy.

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21 April 2005 - Thursday

I have finally finished the copy of The Phoenix Guards which Marith lent to me (it is about four or five centimeters thick, after all). It was pretty good, although I still do not share the urge to leap up and down and squeal that Brust apparently induces in some people. If I encounter the others, I will probably read them, but I doubt that I will seek them out.

* * *

Huh. Although the major plot point of Stellvia has been resolved, the series is apparently not over.

But now my brain is very small, so I will sleep.

Phoenix Guards by marith (Sat Apr 23 17:40:36 2005)

Unless you actually object, the others will probably be foisted upon you :) I do think the books improve as they go on, even if Five Hundred Years After has a slow start.

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20 April 2005 - Wednesday

Al is dead, so there will be no Hounds of Balazar tonight. Sniff!

* * *

Finally I am debacklogged at Lee's! I think this means that from now on, my average week of comics will be about half what it was before the Great Hiatus.

* * *

Instead of gaming, I guess I will have to watch some Stellvia, which seems to be nearing the end of the series.

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19 April 2005 - Tuesday

Neil has returned, bearing many anecdotes about Japan! And thus, we return to watching Azumanga Daioh (silly!), Chobits (silly, but with promise of plot soon), Ai Yori Aoshi (...), and Haibane Renmei (slow, yet intriguing).

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18 April 2005 - Monday

Bah, no Monday night gaming tonight. I will have to sit at home and watch Equilibrium.

* * *

Enh. The gun fu was kind of cool, and had one really good moment toward the end, but overall, like every SF movie I can think of, it was pretty bad SF. I suspect that to get good SF in visual form we will need to wait another five years or so, until individual creators can make movies. (I estimate the time based on Voices of a Distant Star having been made a couple of years ago but by someone with unusual access to high-end equipment.) Even then, of course, most of it will suck, but without the interference by people concerned only with the millions of dollars they might not get, there will be at least the chance to not suck.

Equilibrium by Earl (Mon Apr 25 10:35:50 2005)

The gun fu was definitely a lot of fun. Although I wanted the trilogy: the second movie has got the opposite drug (makes people wildly emotional) and our overly sensitive cop ("harmonizer") has to deal with learning self-discipline and ruthlessness to deal with the problem of the day. Movie three probably has something about having an appropriate range of people interfaced with each other being a better plan than a totalizing social theory.

Noting Nick Bostrom's argument that it seems a flawed argument to suggest that any given parameter is in fact set at a global optimum (even assuming there is such a thing) for base-line human nature.


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17 April 2005 - Sunday

This is the weekend of all D&D all the time! In AoJ&A, we got attacked in the tavern of Thrushton again, this time by cut-rate werewolves and vampiric pseudo-undead. Fortunately the townspeople pitched in (as well they should, since without us they'd all be thrushes by now!), so none of the good guys actually died, but Jehane was drained down to first level and we had to abort our expedition to the Wild East and return to the city to drive our patron further into bankruptcy.

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16 April 2005 - Saturday

It would probably have been better if we had left on time, as that might have avoided the horrible traffic on the 80, but we still made it to Roseville in good time for...

Amazon Quintet of Justice IXc: "...and TEN THOUSAND DRAGONS!"

Seeing the prisoners about to be sacrificed by necrotheologians, Our Heroines spring into action! Unfortunately, so do the two hulking yuan-ti abominations guarding the door and the two spell-casters stringing up a baby dragon over a pool of shimmering light!

Alyra darts forward and grabs the wyrmling, but the others are stuck in the narrow corridor as the abominations charge. Amaryllis covers the pool with a sheet of stone and makes a refuge for Alyra to get her back against, but then is savaged by one of the abominations and only survives by a miracle.

Fresa causes one of the abominations to implode into nothingness, and then distracts the other while Gabrielle fills it full of magic arrows. In the meantime, Marika, who for reasons as yet unexplained is among the prisoners, wriggles free of her bonds and joins the fight, though she is clad only in the standard diaphanous white gown.

When Amaryllis recovers from her near-death experience, she opens up on the yuan-ti spellcasters, incinerating one and then freezing the one that Alyra and Marika have been fighting. Justice is served!

Once uncovered, the pool turns out to be still mostly shimmery and non-evil, except for a few bits where the wyrmling's blood dripped into it, and it also has a sword resting on the bottom. An accident reveals that having the dragons swim in the pool reduces the amount of contamination, so soon the pool is pure again, and incidently, everyone is fully healed. From the strength of its magic, the sword is undoubtedly one of the Five Mystical Items needed to save the world. Only two more to go!

Marika explains that she was tricked into working for people who then hit her over the head and stuffed her into diaphanous robes, and did not actually sign on with the Forces of Evil, so the other Amazons take her along when they gather up the four dragons (two adolescents and two wyrmlings) and scarper.

Although leaving the city might be the safest course, the Quintet decide to stay and rest up overnight, incidentally finding out what happens when it's not dawn in the magical city. Fortunately, the most alarming incident is the attachment of one wyrmling to its rescuer, Alyra.

The morning is quite a different story, though: the moment dawn opens the gates to the city, the western sky darkens with an enormous flock of huge dragons!

After a few tense moments, Alyra defuses the situation by wearing one of the wyrmlings as a hat, and the Amazons are able to explain about the necrotheologians (including the now-deceased dragonnappers) and the importance of saving the world. Alas, the majority of the eighty dragons are unimpressed, but Aurmvoris, the father of the kidnappees agrees to help against the blue dragon (the most responsible surviving creature.)

Aurmvoris causes some consternation back at the oasis, but a few days of shopping are necessary for the Amazons to be ready to go after the blue dragon and his gang of hieracosphinxes. Not to mention, the sword from the pool needs to be properly analyzed; it is determined to grant the holder resistance to fear of reptiles, and therefore allocated to Alyra. Finally the preparations are complete, though, and the six set off.

Methods similar to those used in the search for the Lost City quickly lead them to the blue dragon's new lair, which is buried beneath a mountain ridge, and some invisible scouting by Alyra finds the three entrances, each guarded by a pair of well-camouflaged hieracosphinxes. Going into the caves after their target would be even more foolish than usual, so eventually it is decided that Aurmvoris will leap upon and savage the guards at each entrance in turn, until the blue dragon is drawn out and can be fought in the open.

* * *

We decided to break there, since there was no way we could finish the blue dragon battle quickly enough to get home in time for Ayse to give Jinian her medicine.

Zoom. Zoom. Splut.

wumwumwum by marith (Tue Apr 19 16:30:36 2005)

It gets harder and harder to make up random invalid urls... I just stuck "http://wumwumwum" in the worksite I was creating to qa, and now my worksite is talking about the great work and the carnivore patron!

I blame you entirely.

Re: wumwumwum by Trip (Tue Apr 19 18:19:03 2005)

wumwumwum return to our lair wum that your neural tissue may nourish the great work wumwum there will also be visual entertainment wumwumwum

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15 April 2005 - Friday

Friday at last! Now I can wreck my sleep cycle so as to be ready for the next work week! Wait, it seems like there's a flaw in my plan...

* * *

It is Tax Day, and yet I already have both my state and fedaral refunds. Muahahahaha.

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14 April 2005 - Thursday

More Buffy! I had hoped to finish third season so we could have Ayse return it to Carl tomorrow, but Marith was too sleepy. Still, we did see the prom episode (the one with the sparkly umbrella), which was quite good. I think it would have been better if they hadn't spent so much time with the camera pointed away from Willow in her prom dress, but this turned out to not be the majority opinion.

Only two episodes left!

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13 April 2005 - Wednesday

The fight against the hobgoblins and their spirit of hair took the entire session and then some, because one attack in Exalted involves figuring out the size of three or four different handfuls of dice and then rolling them and counting successes in one of two different ways. WAY too many rules.

It was fun anyway, but it could have been so much more fast-moving and action-packed.

* * *

ROD the TV was fairly action-packed, or at least disc 5 ended on a big cliffhanger!

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12 April 2005 - Tuesday

Neil is STILL in JAPAN, so Dave and I watched I Can Hear The Ocean, a non-Miyazaki Studio Ghibli production. It was a slice-of-life sort of thing, set sometime in the last century. It was amusing in places, but it's obvious why Miyazaki is the big name.

We also watched some Slayers OAVs, which were silly but not so big on the plot. Also, full of Naga the Serpent.

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11 April 2005 - Monday

Back to work! So sleepy!

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10 April 2005 - Sunday

Harold and Chris sneakily scheduled their wedding for an hour before we thought it was, but it didn't save them! I even wore the Suit of Compliment-Gathering +3!

I don't know anything about the ways of Harold and Chris's people, but the ceremony and the program/explanatory pamphlet were very Harold-like, and I am assured that they were also traditional, so that was good. Anyway, there was precessing (with Harold covering a Heather Alexander song) and blessing and recessing, and a female rabbi, and a pretty impressive wedding canopy that Harold made himself. Also there were many small purple skullcaps, but I had my own hat. Muahahahahaha.

Then there was a milling-about phase, while the new Zables followed the ancient Jewish custom of hiding out for a while after the ceremony. The hors d'oeurves were pretty good, but there were too many people in too small a space for my liking.

Eventually the married couple of honor reappeared, and we were herded into the dining area, where people were seated at tables named after locations in the Vorkosigan books. Ayse and Ken and Marith and I were seated at "Vorbarr Sultana", along with Yair and Linda and their spawn Hazel, and a couple of completely random people. We were supposed to guess why we were seated where we were, but no pattern was apparent.

It is the custom for those of the guests with actual skills to entertain the newlyweds, and so it was. Ebeth and Erin danced and contorted (small children don't actually have bones, do they?), Earl juggled, various people sang and played accordions, and someone who I don't know bellydanced. Possibly the best, though, was the MC, who read Jewish haiku. They didn't have the seasonal theme that haiku are supposed to have, but they did have the twist in the last line, which puts them above most haiku written by white guys.

Is one nobel prize
so much to ask
after all I've done?

Left the door open
for the prophet Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

Anyway, eventually there was food and stuff, and dancing, and conversation, and noise, and all that party stuff. Ayse got to dance with Kate, who she thinks is the perfect kid, so that made her happy. I avoided interacting with people as much as possible, which at least didn't make them UNhappy. Harold and Chris were extremely happy regardless of anyone else, and Harold professed to not be stressed at all, which was surprising yet excellent.

All in all, the event was a fine display of romantic love, just the sort to remind me that I am the least desirable person in North California, if not on the entire continent. But I am glad Harold and Chris are not doomed.

* * *

We got home at about 21:30, so I had time to be unimpressed by the first disc of Stratos 4. Archaic airplanes and butt shots are not enough to make an anime, even when the trailer holds out promise of a zero-gee gun battle.

Patterns by Dave (Fri Apr 15 10:04:31 2005)

Well, Star Creche aside, there was certainly a 2:1 ratio at the tables I looked at (that is, 2/3 were from the bridge or groom side, and 1/3 from the other). I suspect the naming was mostly aimed at one group at the table (Mike and Elaine were probably the reason for Sylvie Vale, as they like on a farm, for example).

Rhyme, or reason, or something by Jeremy (Fri Apr 15 20:06:53 2005)

We (meaning Rachel et al.) were seated at ImpSec HQ. Not much to guess at there.

Our table was about evenly split between bride's and groom's friends, if you count our two spawn as equivalent to one adult (an odd calculus; they're quite a bit more troublesome than that). As it turned out we had mutual friends and interests. Good seating plans!

weddings by cat (Wed Apr 20 11:05:42 2005)

I avoided interacting with people as much as possible...

Me too. =P Folding paper was a good excuse.

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9 April 2005 - Saturday

Tonight's lackluster anime: Star Ocean EX. It's not actively egregious, it's just not very interesting.

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8 April 2005 - Friday


After sushi, I crushed everyone at Hearts. I even shot the moon!

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7 April 2005 - Thursday

I've been reading the Slayers text novels on the bus too and from work, and they don't entirely suck. This isn't to say that they're good, or anything, but they are told in first-person Lina Inverse, which is a lot like first-person smartass, only with more fireballs.

* * *

Gokusen disc 2 is much like disc 1 ("High school math teacher by day, Yakuza princess by night!"), and I have finally realized that it is in the same genre as Great Teacher Onizuka (but not as over the top).

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6 April 2005 - Wednesday

Hounds of Balazar! Only a short session, because the GM's brain was shrinking, but we managed to get the support of our community to set out on a quest to defeat the perfidious Lunars and bring the fire of Firshala back to purify the world of Chaos! Since we are playing Fantasy Hero, not HeroQuest, we don't get any plusses for this, but we do get a warm fuzzy feeling. And next session, we get to start by beating the snot out of some perfidious Lunars!

* * *

The rest of the second disc of Samurai Champloo is also good! I think Exalted players might need to see Mugen fight.

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5 April 2005 - Tuesday

Fortunately the person who wanted to make me do a lot of work on one of my projects has been shouted down. On the other hand, a project I thought I was nearly done with has suddenly had the requirements expanded (courtesy of the same person, I think). It does not seem likely that Google will ever run out of things for me to do.

* * *

Since Neil is in Japan (the bastard!), there is still no Tuesday Night Anime. Instead, Dave and I watched Shaolin Soccer, which was remarkably silly, and Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland, which is, well, what it is. But it's CLAMP!

* * *

Disc 2 of Samurai Champloo starts off well!

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4 April 2005 - Monday

Yay! A new project which is not diffuse and undefined! Also, lobster quesadillas for lunch.

* * *

I figured out what was up with the panda demons and everything, but then Christy was taken ill too late to notify Adam to not come down, so the three of us played Fluxx v3.0 and admired Cthulhu 500 cards and talked. No one had any ideas for a sport of similar complexity to car racing that I could use in Lovecraft Country, though.

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3 April 2005 - Sunday

D&D fell through because Ayse was too worn out from having been mommed all weekend, but we did get to see pictures of the wedding dress she will have! Also there was Monkeys of Catan, and Ken crushed us all like the insects we are, despite his disclaimers.

* * *

Because it was free, I watched the first disc of Onegai Twins, which is quite shonen, but pretty cute, and apparently is a sequel to Onegai Teacher, not just in the same art style.

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2 April 2005 - Saturday

Read manga, did laundry, went shopping, bought the new Tékumel game because it's seminal or something. Yummy Thai lunch. More Buffy doom spiral; only four episodes left! Marith tried to extract monsters from my CDs, and got some pretty strange ones, but none better than what she already had.

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1 April 2005 - Friday


* * *

Oh, look! Requests for new features! But they are implementable features, so I guess that's okay.

* * *

People seem pleased with my thing, so I guess that's good. The next project I've been given is pretty diffuse, though, and hard to concentrate on when it's Friday afternoon.

Things by Jeremy (Mon Apr 4 13:07:10 2005)

You say, "People seem pleased with my thing...." I immediately think of _Penny_Arcade_. Am I a bad person?

Re: Things by Trip (Mon Apr 4 17:29:44 2005)

Yes, but that has nothing to do with Penny Arcade.

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