Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 May 2005 - Tuesday

I guess the price we pay for a holiday is having new games and new comics pushed back a day. Oh well.

* * *

I considered playing WoW but didn't actually do so. Instead I watched some more Farscape and went to bedstayed up to late reading.

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30 May 2005 - Monday

It occurs to me that the setting of Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series (are italics right for a series name?) is somewhat like what I wanted to do with Paradise Mislaid. But Nix is an actual writer, while I am a huge lamer.

* * *

It took a long time to get up and moving, and there was some playing of zangband, and some geeking with Chris about his wikioid thing (which I may have to steal) but eventually I got out of the damn apartment and hiked down to Castro Street. I don't know if what happened was really a bookstore accident, since I would have planned to buy all these books had I known they were available, but I certainly ended up with more books than I had expected to, including:

  • New Glen Cook
  • New Jim Butcher
  • New Charles Stross

The coffeeshop was closed, so no Sicilian smoothies while I chortled over my loot, but TCBY sold me a low-carb frozen yogurt shake, which at the very least was cold. And I chortled.

* * *

Since I got home only about two hours before anime time, I didn't start reading any of my loot. Instead, I made a new WoW character, an undead warlock. Boy, the undead starting area is grim. No happy shiny immaculately-coiffed vampires here!

* * *

Bah! Not only did no one new show up for anime, but Neil bailed without warning! Or without telling us at all, really, but we figured out that he wasn't coming after a half-hour or so.

The bonus Chobits material was just summarization, with a little bit of framing, so no loss there, but ROD the TV went over well, and the people who didn't show up missed the first two episodes. Hmph.

* * *

Rather than playing more WoW or starting a book that would keep me up until 158906293521 o'clock, I watched an episode of Farscape. It still doesn't suck!

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29 May 2005 - Sunday

I really meant to do something useful today! Instead, I spent all morning and early afternoon reading manga, and the afternoon and evening playing more World of Weasels. Somehow, I don't think this was actually useful...

On another tentacle, Tshenaly has completed a whole bunch more quests and reached level 16 (bigger Moonfire, yay!).

* * *

Ayse and Ken called to make sure the cats were doing well, which they are. They (the newly-weds, not the cats) seem to be having fun in Vancouver, which is good. They say they expect to be back Friday or Saturday.

* * *

Because I could, I went to the Thai restaurant next to Trader Joe's and made them feed me dinner. Alas, my experimental ordering turned out poorly, and I ended up scraping out most of the calimaris stuffed with ground pork and eating only the veggies. Ah well. If it didn't fail sometimes, it wouldn't be experimental.

* * *

Marith and I watched more Buffy. Meep! Oz! :(

* * *

Upon finishing watching TV at 23:30, it would have been sensible to go to bed, but neither of us did.

Tshenaly completed the timed part of the trial to get sea-lion form in about 10 of the alloted 30 minutes, but the second part, which involves grilling everyone in the Secret Druid Valley to find out where the two pieces of the Mystical Maguffin are hidden, is not going so well. Only two people have said anything out of the ordinary, and in both cases it was some variant of "you already know". However, none of the places in the valley that were significant before seem to be it, so I got frustrated and finally did actually go to bed.

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28 May 2005 - Saturday

In the morning, I got Marith to drive me to the post orifice by dangling the possibility of more Full Metal Alchemist before her, but the package was actually disc 3 of Samurai Champloo. Oh well.

From the time we got back until well into the evening, there was only World of Weasels. As a result of this frenzy of geekitude, Tshenaly is now 15th level, has mightier spells, has finished off the quests in the Dungeon of Hideous Death, and has travelled to the mainland to pick up jillions more quests. Oh, and she can finally turn into a bear. Woot!

Also I have finally understood the coolness of Moonfire, which doesn't do nearly as much damage as the standard druid zap, but is instant cast and does continuing damage, making it ideal for finishing off monsters that try to escape. Muahahahaha!

Hm. Bears don't swim very well.

* * *

Finally Marith and I decided that we had played enough WoW for one day, or possibly for one weekend, and watched some Buffy instead.

Beer foamy.

* * *

Because going to bed would have been far too sensible, I then watched some Stellvia. Aw! They're so cute!

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27 May 2005 - Friday

I am sleepy today. Shock. Surprise.

* * *

Have I mentioned how much I like my screensaver? It is all about the flanges! I should see if there's an equivalent for spore.

* * *

Yay long weekend!

* * *

I could have stayed up all night playing World of Weasels, but instead I stayed up all night reading the works of world-famous author C E Murphy. Neener neener!

Now my eyestalks are square. Ow.

square eyes by World Famous Author C.E. Murphy (Mon May 30 12:14:44 2005)

*massages your eyes back into shape* Poor Trip!

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26 May 2005 - Thursday

Hm. I should have done laundry tonight. Oh well. Instead, I watched a couple of episodes of 4th-season Buffy with Marith, finished the Dungeon of Hideous Death, wandered over what seemed like half the island looking for one particular named furbolg, got Tshenaly up to 13th level (gaining access to a total of 0 exciting new druid spells), and finished a couple of random quests she found along the way. Her actual quest log is now free of quests on Teldrassil, although really she should probably go back into the DoHD and look for the quest that is alleged to be down there.

Why yes, this was a lot like staying up past my bedtime. :(

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25 May 2005 - Wednesday

Instead of going to work bright and early at nine, I got up half an hour earlier and went to the ophthalmologist. It turns out that my eyes are in no immediate danger of exploding, which is fine by me.

By that point, it was only an hour until I was supposed to meet people for lunch in Santa Clara, and I was already in Sunnyvale, so I just went to the restaurant and sat around reading until people showed up.

Mmmm, free sushi! Good sushi, too, although about 50% more spendy than Satsuma.

* * *

Wow, no individual comics this week, only trade paperbacks (and not too many of those, either).

* * *

Sadly, there is no Dragonblooded tonight, because Esteemed GM Ken is still on the Moon of Honey.

* * *

Bah. After killing anything that crossed her path reducing the large-predator population to sustainable levels, Tshenaly made it to 12th level, but only one more druid spell became available, and although it is a good healing spell, it costs gobs of mana. On the other hand, she cooked enough herbed eggs to get a cooking skill of 19 and sold them for enough to buy a stick that does about half again the damage of her old stick. Perhaps tomorrow if Marith is up for it, we should try the Dungeon of Hideous Death again, before departing the island for the dangers of the mainland.

* * *

Instead of playing even more World of Weasels, I watched some Kaleido Star. It is the still the sort of show that makes one go "Awww!".

* * *

After finishing The Way to Glory, the fourth(?) Leary & Mundy book, I have figured out how to describe the series in a traditional format:

He's an heroic naval officer who always has a plan. She's a high-functioning autistic librarian with a pet sociopath. They fight wars.

* * *

Today's stupid game mechanic: Generate some random numbers, say one to five of them depending on character l33tness. Each has a 50/50 chance of turning up Good or Bad, and each that turns up Good has a smaller change of actually being Real Good. (It doesn't matter how you generate the numbers: d12 each, with 7+ being Good and 12 Real Good; playing cards, with red cards being Good and red face cards Real Good; or whatever.) Each Good number is a Fact that you can use in narration, like "I slug 'im.". However, anyone opposing you can use a Fact to negate yours: "My squamous flesh resists the impact of your feeble mammalian fists." This only works if they have Facts left, of course, and it also doesn't work if you used a Real Good number, which is an Incontrovertible Fact. (Therefore it should probably take more than one successful fact to end a major conflict.)

Okay, time for parasites to finish reading GALS! vol 2 and go to sleep.

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24 May 2005 - Tuesday

Nothing to do tonight! Except lie around in a slimy heap and play World of Warcraft.

* * *

Tshenaly isn't 12th level yet, but she almost is (instead of being barely 11th, like when I started the session), and has no quests on Teldrassil(sp?) except the Dungeon of Hideous Death. Marith even found something to cook, so we can raise our cooking skill. Those strigids are a plague upon the landscape anyway. :)

Still not playing Thiarkas for fear whatsisname will page her the instant I log in. :(

* * *

Wow, the Hyper Police manga is a lot raunchier than the anime. Not surprising, as this is always the case, but yeep.

Whatsisname by Jeremy (Thu May 26 11:49:29 2005)

I don't get it. Is there some reason you can't politely (well, maybe politely) inform whatsisname that you prefer to play solo?

Thiarkas is apparently just way oversocialized about this stuff. Take a model mugging class or something. :-)

Re: Whatsisname by Trip (Thu May 26 14:48:24 2005)

Apparently she should! Maybe I just have too much empathy with pathetic internet losers.

Re: Whatisname by Dave (Fri May 27 09:05:18 2005)

Well, you could explain that you enjoy going things by yourself (making doe eyes at him while doing so is optional). Or, you could use him as a convenient source of muscle, and not really participate in the fighting much, and see how long it takes him to notice (doe eyes optional, but possible useful if you want things to last longer). Or you could pretend that that's what you're doing, with an accidental mis-page ("... Was that my out-loud voice?").

Or, you know, try to return the favor by offering to help him with some of his quests, or possibly in some other way.

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23 May 2005 - Monday

Funny how a long (yet action-packed) weekend doesn't make Monday any more pleasant.

Okay, maybe it's not funny at all.

* * *

I guess it's not too surprising that we didn't get more people tonight, what with it being the finales of both Azumanga Daioh and Chobits. Hopefully next week, when we start ROD the TV, or the week after when we start Saikano, will be a bigger draw.

The conclusion of Chobits wasn't as good as it could have been. Not only did they leave out certain aspects of the kind that often get left behind when translating manga to anime, but they left out a lot of exposition overall. I think the visual code used would explain some to the original audience, but I doubt it would be enough.

Ah well.

* * *

Tshenaly is now 11th level, and has only one quest (not counting the Dungeon of Hideous Death) left on the starting island. I guess it's almost time to go to the mainland and try to get all power! Then she can go back and try to conquer the Dungeon of Hideous Death.

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22 May 2005 - Sunday

There are no Ayses or Kens anywhere! Well, except in Santa Cruz, but that hardly counts.

* * *

Spent a few minutes with Tshenaly hunting timberlings, but then had to zip away to Red Room.

* * *

Even though we had a different set of three players than last session, we went ahead with the Vampire Underground adventure, and triumphed adequately. The fight on the catwalks above the spreading pool of boiling mutagenic blood was quite exciting, but we nevertheless accomplished our mission and saved the random yobbos who had tried to sting the vampires. The head vampire got away, but judging by past experience, next time we meet her we'll gang up on her from ambush.

* * *

For no readily apparent reason, we all went to the Bertani's to hang around. Chuck was there, and apparently not dead, and there was also someone I didn't previously know, whose name I gathered was Rebecca. She commiserated with Cat and Christy about breasts. I hid under a rock.

* * *

Wah! Sidonie is 12th level and Tshenaly is still only 10th! I am a failure as a World of Warcraft player!

Well, okay, not really. I'm just not an obsessive freak.

Anyway, Tshenaly has found the secret land of the druids, spoken to the Great Bear Spirit, picked up more quests that involve going to the mainland, learned first aid, cooking, and fishing, cleared out a couple of quests that would have been more exciting had she found them earlier, and learned to tailor new things that might be profitable. I just fed the cats.

Obsessive freaks! by marith (Mon May 23 18:30:24 2005)

This is because you have a life and do not spend 23532465346 hours playing video games. :)

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21 May 2005 - Saturday

Augh! Wedding! Augh! Must decorate! Augh!

Actually, it all went pretty well. Marith and I did not get lost on the way there, and got the crane curtain hung over the fireplace, the stuffed animals settled into their seats, and the groom kept from doing anything rash, and no one exploded! (Of course many other people helped with these and other tasks, but they can post about what they did on their own pages.)

A surprising number of additional people brought stuffed animals.

The ISO standard for a wedding was complied with: The bride was beautiful, the groom was stunned, tears were shed, etc. Ryan, an old friend of Ken's, performed the ceremony, which was sort of Christian and sort of Jewish ("MAZEL TOV!") and seemed to meet the approval of all present.

Pictures in the hot sun, and then Marith and I had to distribute more origami over the tables before lunch. Flower Girl Kate and Ebeth (? - one of the Mittmann girls) helped, which was actually helpful!

Lunch featured much dinging of glasses, not enough toasts to suit some people, and lots of newlywed smooching. Of course the food was good; it was the Plumed Horse!

Speaking of which, the restaurant people deserve mention for their niceness and efficiency. They were pretty swell.

Because I am lame, I missed out on getting either of the first two levels of cake and only had a piece of the tiramisu level, but it was still yummy.

When it was toast time, Ken's parents sang Gilbert and Sullivan filk, which was such a hard act to follow that we didn't get any embarrassing stories about the newlyweds, sniff.

When the new Mr and Mrs Shields made ready to leave, there was a brief moment of panic as some of the stuffed animals appeared to be missing, but I found them, and all was well. The restaurant people were trying to set up so they could do business that evening, so Marith and I started cleaning up at that point and didn't get to see the newlyweds off, but I did see the properly shaving-cream-decorated car. Apparently empty plastic water bottles are the 21st century equivalent of tin cans.

Ayse's mom and dad, who are very nice, and understood about the stuffed animals, helped us cart the presents and whatnot back to Ayse and Ken's apartment so I didn't have to walk home from Saratoga. Whew!

Then there was the changing out of hot formal clothes and the lying around in front of a fan going "Glaaaaaaah".

* * *

Rick, the friend that Ayse and Ken were letting crash in their apartment while he was out here, was still around when I went to feed the cats. He seems like a nice guy, although perhaps too good-looking by half, but I don't think Aimee had entirely warmed to him.

* * *


* * *

I finally got Tshenaly to level 10, so she can use all the stuff Ken's character sent her, and killed those damn harpies, but I don't think she can take the furbolg caverns yet. Also, getting to turn into a bear seems to involve extra quests. Fooey.

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20 May 2005 - Friday

Well, we rehearsed. Fortunately the wedding is simple and will not strain my limited intellectual capacity.

* * *

Chef Chu's food makes for excellent positive reinforcement! Sadly, Ken's groomsmaid Courteny was quite late, so I did not get to make googly eyes at her as much as I might have. Overall, this was probably for the best.

* * *

You are not cleared for this paragraph, but if you were, you would go "Awwwwww!"

* * *

Even More World of Warcraft. This time Tshenaly teamed up with Marith's character Sidonie to pillage the dungeon of numerous scary monsters in search of four quest objects. Because I am LAME, we got lost a lot and died horribly several times. Fortunately, you can reincarnate when you're within X distance of your body, regardless of what's in the way, so I was able to reincarnate on a higher level and escape.

Bah. Dungeons are still massively confusing. So is melee combat when you have a cardboard box taped to your head.

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19 May 2005 - Thursday

So. Sleepy.

At least today is Virtual Friday, since tomorrow instead of being at work, I will be rehearsing for the Ayse&Ken Wedding. Eeep.

* * *

I played Thiarkas (my troll shaman) some more, and some random guy offered to help her with quests. I let him, and it's true that the centaur-smiting would have been more difficult alone, but enh. Even when it's frustrating, I think I prefer figuring things out. Plus, random strangers are faintly creepy even when they probably mean well.

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18 May 2005 - Wednesday

Okay, now it is actually Wednesday. But more importantly, I have finished Urban Shaman, by world-famous Luna author C E Murphy! It was pretty good!

The magic is a little more wish-fulfilly than I would prefer, but well-described, and there was plenty of extra doom that I didn't see coming, which is always good. Bonus points for the main character not refusing to tell anyone anything ever.

You can tell this is going to be a longish series, given how little progress was made with any of the romantic leads even though Luna is allegedly a romance line. :) (She seems most likely to end up with [SPOILER], though I'm rooting for [SPOILER] and sorry that [SPOILER] isn't in the running.)

I'm not sure what the main character is going to do for an encore after defeating a god and two demigods, but the title of the next book leads me to believe that she's going to get mugged by the other side of her ancestry, which should be entertaining in a doomed sort of way. Also I want to see what happens with the loose ends she left lying around from this book.

It was a very Kit book.

* * *

Hah! I have avoided being beaten up by the hostile ship that's better than me at everything except doing damage at the ranges I can't get to! Admittedly, I did this by hiding like a tiny bunny, but TBG is all about what works, right?

* * *

Yay Hounds of Balazar! This time, we got hooked up with a dwarf who threw a grenade at the dryad before we could try to talk her down (and subsequently got crushed by a gnome), hid in a cave, fought a giant beetle (which beat the crap out of Jerak, but Dobromil saved the day again), got a magic rock, and chased off a gargoyle. Next session we get to figure out how to get out of the cave without being gorbled by the dryad and her walking trees. It'll be great!

* * *

No WoW tonight, but I still managed to stay up too late.

book! (how repetitive of me!) by Kit! (Sat May 21 23:28:12 2005)

The magic is a little more wish-fulfilly than I would prefer, but well-described

I was very curious to see how you'd react to the magic, and the "but well-described" is higher praise than I'd expected. I'll take the wish-fulfillyness, too, especially if you wanna email me with more comments so I can think about whether it's an improveable aspect or not!

howls! and you have to email me about SPOILER, SPOILER and SPOILER. :)

Re: book! by Trip (Sun May 22 18:58:19 2005)

I have sent you email accordingly! Hurray for the Kit!

book! by kit (Mon May 23 13:22:37 2005)

beam You rock.

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17 May 2005 - Tuesday

Anime was last night, so this must be Wednesday, right? Right?


* * *

I have now been briefed on how to take care of Jinian T Cat while Ayse and Ken are away on the Moon of Honey. It is still worrisome, because what if Jinian gets sick while I am responsible for her? Dave is also responsible for her, but I can't blame him, because he won't make any mistakes!


* * *

I don't know if the problem I was having with buffing Tshenaly was real but transient, or if I was screwing up due to brain fart and now am not, but +25 armor is happy! (Well, it was until she got to Darnassus and looked at some of the multi-gold-piece armor. +1500 armor for a shield?! If only she had two orders of magnitude more money and an order of magnitude more character level...)

Now that she has some hope of taking on level 5-6 monsters, of course she encountered none of the Gnarlpine Ambushers that are allegedly plaguing the road between the first D town and Darnassus despite going all the way there and back. Bah.

She did find a dungeon with Shadow Sprites, but hasn't gotten any quests for cleaning it out yet, so left it mostly alone, which was probably a mistake since she was still in the double-XP-for-monsters period. Oh well, she made 7th level and completed a couple of quests anyway.

* * *

I meant to stop playing WoW much earlier than this. Bah.

Stop Playing? by mony (Wed May 18 20:56:21 2005)

But... but... just /one/ more murloc! Oh, look, now you're only five kills from the next level! Oh, hey, now you've just got this really quick quest to finish...!

Re: Stop Playing? by Trip (Wed May 18 22:04:38 2005)

Yah! I only need three more timberling seeds!

...oh look, it's almost midnight. But just a few of these sprouts and I'll complete another quest!

Double XP by Bryant (Fri May 20 14:02:29 2005)

I'm pretty sure the double-xp period is a set amount of XP, not a timed thing. So it doesn't matter how fast you kill mobs or what mobs you kill; you'll get the same bonus either way. Happy.

Jinian by cat (Mon May 23 11:22:20 2005)

I have a car, a cat carrier, a love of kitties, and a knowledge of where Adobe Animal Hospital is. Feel free to call in case of emergency. Calling in case of nervousness is okay, too, since i've had a diabetic kitty before. =)

Re: Jinian by Trip (Mon May 23 11:55:20 2005)

Thank you! Can you email me your cellphone number, just in case? I am pretty certain it won't come to that, since apparently the vet was quite happy with Jinian, but...

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16 May 2005 - Monday

I finally finished reading the latest huge Exalted hardcover, The Autochthonians. I don't believe Ken's assertion that the Authochthonians are actually good guys, but they're reasonably sympathetic. Plus, they have killer robots! The campaign ideas in the latter part of the book are suitably apocalyptic for one of the makers of the universe returning from exile, too.

* * *

Many people are having an exciting time at work today, but not me. I am just writing a man page, and pushing a shell script that I couldn't really test ahead of time.

* * *

After all that work to move anime to Mondays, no one except the regular three and a half were present. Hmph!

It turns out that Chobits has only 24 episodes, not 26, so it will end next week (along with Azumanga Daioh), but there are some extras and specials on the last disc that can fill the spot on the schedule marked "25-26". Either way, new serieses coming soon!

* * *

I got my trial WoW account realified, but didn't actually log in. Instead I stayed up too late reading Testament (Bronze Age d20! Complete with Babylonian astronomers and temple prostitutes of Ishtar!) because I'm not very smart.

Exalted and Testament by Ken (Tue May 17 21:10:39 2005)

I haven't actually read that Exalted book, I was just parroting what someone better informed than me said about it.

And re: Testament, you will clearly have to run it. So I can play a Babylonian Sorcerer King. And ride around in my chariot, smiting n00bs. Err, I mean, Assyrians.

Re: Exalted and Testament by Trip (Tue May 17 23:31:46 2005)

Well, maybe the other person was a Republican, so he doesn't think strip-mining is bad.

Maybe your Sorcerer-King should go south of Egypt, so he can smite n00bians?

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15 May 2005 - Sunday

Having stayed up too late Friday night as well as Saturday night, I was pretty lethargic, but eventually I crawled out of my lair in search of the collector's edition of World of Warcraft, and also a mouse that I could lend to Ayse in order to get back the mouse I lent her before, which is the special Masamune Shirow-designed one that Jeremy gave me for Hanukkah a few years back.

Alas, I was cruelly betrayed by Blizzard, who apparently only produced one print run of the collector's edition, and had to settle for the regular edition. No zergpandiablo for me!

When I arrived at Ayse's for D&D, I discovered that she had already bought a mouse of her own, but it is hardly a bad thing to have a spare mouse handy. Also, she made chicken with fourteen thousand cloves of garlic, and broccoli and vinaigrette asparagus!

Alazaïs and Jehanne didn't make much progress toward finding out who wants to kill them, although they have a little tiny lead that may eventually lure in greedy but stupid villains, and found an evil professor who will probably need to be squished at some point.

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14 May 2005 - Saturday

Finally I have taken my suit to be cleaned, so I can feign spiffiness next weekend!

* * *

Huh! I have a package from Kit! I wonder what could be in it?


SQUACK! It is a BOOK! Kit is a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! SQUACK! She is the best Kit in the ENTIRE WORLD! I shall have to put the book on display so everyone who comes to Ken's bachelor party can admire it!

* * *

Did I mention that not only is this Kitbook signed to me, but I am also in the Acknowledgements? Well, it is and I am. Hah!

* * *

I guess Ken's bachelor party went pretty well. In addition to myself and the guest of honor, we had Ken's sister Jamie, his friends Chris (who is also in the Dragonblooded game) and Cy(sp?), Dave, Jamie's boyfriend Dan, briefly Ken's boss whose name I have forgotten, and for the last part, Mike Mittman and his Enormous Stack of Games. We got in one game of Roborally and one game of Primordial Soup, and then two games of Haunted Hill and one of Puerto Rico, before the drinking really got going. Then there was one large game of Haunted Hill, in which I was revealed to be a ghoulish psychopath, but was foiled because there weren't enough rooms in the basement to bury a victim in. Bah!

After that people started escaping, until it was down to just me and Dave watching Ken, Chris, and Cy get wasted and tell stories very loudly. Eventually Dave went home and I threw the others out at sword-point. I hear later they wandered the street of downtown Mountain View looking for a Denny's until the cops scolded them, but that's just a rumor.

Later I heard that Ken enjoyed his party very much, and they didn't actually trash my apartment nearly as much as the bridal shower, so I'm willing to say it was a success even though at no point did Mike Mittmann pop out of a cake dressed as Frank N Furter.

book! by Kit! (Sat May 21 23:15:16 2005)

beam I'm glad it got there! beam

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13 May 2005 - Friday

I had some sort of strange MMORPG dream this morning. It didn't make much sense, but I'm sure it still can't be good. DOOOOOM.

* * *

Most everyone at work is still off getting half-drowned, so the office is dead, and it's very hard to not fall asleep. I am still getting work done, because I'm all motivated and stuff1, but the lethons are dense.

1: And I have this bridge...

* * *

Somehow, I survived the day without lapsing into unconsciousness! Which is more than can be said for the guy who came to sleep on the couch in our cube.

* * *

I have executed the first stage of the Sinister Plan! Muahahaha!

* * *

While Dave and I sat in one corner talking about Motif internals, Marith and Ayse sat in the other corner talking about relationship problems. I think I have become a stereotype.

After that, though, we watched more Super Gals, which Ayse still likes, and then everyone went ker-tud.

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12 May 2005 - Thursday

All the work I have to do is kind of boring, but my boss (along with many other sysops) has gone to some icy river somewhere to fall out of boats, so I can't pretend I'm out of work and ask for new tasks. Oh well. I'm sure it will build character or something.

* * *

Meep! Jinian is back in kitty ICU! Apparently they have made her okay and conscious and stuff, but it is still worrisome. :(

* * *

Instead of doing anything useful with my evening, I played zangband and watched the first two episodes of Farscape, which didn't suck! I particularly liked the second episode, "I, ET", but the premiere was good too.

Sure, I was annoyed by the handwavology which clearly came from someone who once heard about gravity slingshotting from someone else who had heard of it but didn't really understand it, but on the other hand, they were at least vaguely consistent with it.

For some reason I can't put my tentacle on, the blue chick puts me in mind of Christy. Maybe something about the way she moves her head, or the shape of her face from a certain angle?

Anyway, I will induce Greencine to send me more of this series.

* * *

Farscape was only two hours, so then I watched the rest of the disc of Gungrave I have. After about fifteen episodes of flashback, it has finally caught up to the in media res first episode. Whee!

Blue Chick by Christy (Fri May 13 12:33:58 2005)

Wow. I'm flattered, I think. It's got to be body language because that actress weighs about half what I do and has a much nicer skull.

I wish I had a nice skull like that.

Blue Chick by Trip (Fri May 13 13:00:54 2005)

At the risk of deflattering, it's definitely something about the face or head. Obviously I will have to watch more Farscape to try to figure it out!

Blue Chick by Christy (Fri May 13 22:36:46 2005)

My mood is irrepressible! You cannot deflatter me!

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11 May 2005 - Wednesday

I'm sort of making progress on the project at work that requires me to talk to people. Now I have to produce concrete demands to be mocked.

The first-draft unit tests are done, though!

* * *

I didn't spend quite as little on comics as last week, but still not very much, compared to past expenditures. I hope I'm not putting Lee's out of business.

* * *

Dragonblooded was cancelled so Ken can worry about wedding stuff more effectively, leaving me with a whole even unscheduled! Instead of doing anything useful, though, I watched some Full Metal Alchemist with Marith (Yow! That's a lot of doom!), shopped for parasite_okay snacks, and watched some Futurama.

I think Futurama might be nearing the shark, but I'm not sure. Maybe this was just the disc of other-genre-parody episodes, and the next disc will be back to the previous variety of silliness.

On an unrelated series of notes, I have noticed that the first part of the opening theme of Futurama bears a strong resemblence to the first part of the opening theme of Dual, and now I wonder.

* * *

The setting of Full Metal Alchemist seems akin to that of Haibane Renmei in its generic-early-C20-Europeanness. It seems like someone clever should be able to do something with this.

Bonus points for working Kiki's Delivery Service in somehow.

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10 May 2005 - Tuesday

Ah, the joy of writing unit tests!

* * *

Apparently Chrisber's work has scheduled him to be dead on Mondays, so Monday Night Gaming has been removed from life support and allowed to expire. Monday nights will now be used for Tuesday Night Anime1, so that Cat and maybe other people can attend.

1: I guess we should get a new name, huh?

* * *

I tried to play Tshenaly more, but I had only 57 minutes left on my trial weasel, and spent most of those dying horribly because her healing and armor-buff spells wouldn't work when monsters of her level rudely assaulted her! The icons made a click noise when I hit them with the mouse, but there was no casting action, no buff icon, and no message explaining how I couldn't cast magic because a nightsaber2 was eating my face. That last isn't surprising, because my zap spell worked fine, or as fine as a zap spell can work in close combat. So, uh, please advise.

2: For some reason, this is not actually the opposite of a lightsaber. I have no idea what they were thinking.

Armor-buff by Bryant (Sat May 14 05:19:22 2005)

Hm. Did you have yourself selected?

Re: Armor-buff by Trip (Sat May 14 10:31:44 2005)

The way I've done it in the past is to click the spell icon and then click myself, and that worked... I don't think the mouse cursor changed like it usually does when I cast a spell that needs a target, either.

Broke! by Bryant (Tue May 17 11:54:15 2005)

Hm, yeah, that sounds broken.

Re: Broke! by Trip (Tue May 17 11:58:17 2005)

But now I have a real account, so I can try again!

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9 May 2005 - Monday

All meetings all the time at work today! Well, okay, really it was three meetings of an hour or less, but it seemed like all meetings all the time.

* * *

Since I have nothing else to do with my evening, I shall play WoW.

* * *

Finally, I have worked my way through the horrible cave near the troll starting area! It turns out that the mysterious thin black lines indicate cliffs or overhangs, and so eventually I was able to find my way around to the correct side of the correct black line and beat up the boss. I never did visualize the layout, but whatever.

What with the multiple quests in the cave and beating lazy peons and then heading to the wider world with some more quests, Thiarkas is now 7th level and an alchemist/herbalist, and has seven quests outstanding in various surrounding territories. Some of them are written in red on the quest list, which alarms me. Also many of them are on islands, which suggests that I should be getting a two-button mouse so that I can swim without having to simultaneously manipulate the coverleaf key, the trackpad, and the trackpad button with my limited number of tentacles.

Money! I need money! And levels, since it looks like the next interesting spells require level 8.

WoW by mony (Thu May 12 05:25:37 2005)

For quests, you want to do ones that are yellow or below. If it's red, it's probably too high for you (at least solo'ing. You could probably do them with a group). If it says 'elite' on the description line, then it's got a Big High Scary Ass Monster involved that will probably take a group to kill.

I dunno about the spell casting problems, sadly. Though, if something is hitting you it could be that the cast isn't completing? Is the timing bar coming up after you hit the icon? I haven't played around much with casters yet.

Re: WoW by Trip (Thu May 12 09:54:04 2005)

I'm not getting the timing bar, no. They don't work even when I'm safe in town and definitely not in combat.

Hm. I don't have anything to do tonight, so I could go try to find a copy of WoW and see if the spells work when I pay for an account. :)

re: WoW by mony (Thu May 12 15:02:43 2005)

Huh! Weird! I wish I knew what to tell you to try. I can't imagine that they've crippled the functionality due to a free trial period or some such. Good luck!

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8 May 2005 - Sunday

Sniff! Red Room was cancelled because Illustrious GM Earl had to work and work! Dave and I tried to contact Ayse & Ken for D&D, but they were dead for tax reasons or something.

Despite all this suddenly unscheduled time, I failed to play any WoW. Perhaps I am lame.

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7 May 2005 - Saturday

I was ambushed by the written word as I attemped to leave my bed, so I then had to rush about frantically to get everything ready for the party (okay, really Marith did most of the work, except for the bits involving broccoli). It all worked out, though, and many people showed up to congratulate Retro 30s Ayse and give her millions of presents and eat food.

I think the plan had been for the party to center around making and decorating sugar cookies (sniff!), and there was some of that (mostly by the younger attendees) but the primary activity was adiring and attempting to emulate Hyper Origami-ka Cat! Also there was talking and stuff.

The party was declared a success by everyone, so yay Marith!

* * *

Argh! Stupid pig-felching comment-spammers! I guess I will have to password-protect my comment page. I'll mail the password to everyone I think of right off, and anyone else who wants it, just mail me.

Stupid STUPID spammer creatures.

* * *

I finally got back to my dark-elf druid after the server splat earlier in the week, and found that the entire half hour of work I had put into her had not been saved. Sniff!

Regardless, I went through a bunch of the newbie quests and got Tshenaly up to 6th level and started along the path of quests that leads to the next village down the road from the starting area and then out into the wider world, so yay.

I did boof one quest, though (the 'deliver object X to person Y near place Z within 5 minutes' one), and now I'm not sure what to do with it. I kept going even though getting stuck between a tree and a hard place ate all my time, but I couldn't find the little dot on my minimap or anything where I was sure the destination was, and the person who gave me the quest has nothing to say about it, but the quest is still on my list. Am I supposed to just abandon it now, or what?

Stupid tree. Stupid clock.

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6 May 2005 - Friday

I guess I have done work this week. I hope so, anyway, since it's only a month until I get tested for worthiness to become a Real Googler. But looking at my todo list is not as fulfilling as I think it should be. Fret. Worry.

* * *

Ack, another big Exalted hardback! But I cannot resist! Must learn all about the Alchemical Exalted!

Someday perhaps I'll even run Exalted. I'm wondering if my hacked-together system based on Sorcerer and Everway should be replaced by one based on Dogs in the Vineyard, though. Too much thinking!

* * *

Today's random thought: creativity is the ratio of cognitive power to memory. (And why yes, this does lead directly to "The most merciful thing in the universe is the inability of the human mind to correlate all of its contents".)

* * *

Augh! Apartment is still horrible! Must... er, let Ayse and Ken clean, because they are nice and I suck. But the apartment is now clean enough that Ayse is willing to hold her bridal shower here, so I guess it's all okay, or something.

Dogs! (in the Vineyard) by Ayse (Tue May 10 12:07:01 2005)

Oooh, Exalted dogs! That could be very interesting... all sorts of dice pressure to pull out the stunts.

Re: Dogs! (in the Vineyard) by Trip (Tue May 10 22:07:56 2005)

Yah, that's what I was thinking. The back-and-forth (or round-and-round) of the seeing and raising mechanic seems like it should work well for Kung Fu Battles.

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5 May 2005 - Thursday

Augh! Apartment is horrible! Must clean! Augh!

I have way too much crap, and way too little skill at housework. :(

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4 May 2005 - Wednesday

Yay low expenditure on comics! Well, relatively low. For me.

* * *

Ayse has successfully accepted my package from UPS! Also she has retrieved her petticoat (which was stored in my closet) so she can get fitted tomorrow.

* * *

After missing a session, we played Hounds of Balazar again, and Dobromil was taken out in the first ten minutes of play, which was about the first thirty seconds game time. If only I had been able to roll average on 2d6+1, or something good on hit location... At least now he has a nemesis, the Luckiest Lunar in All Balazar.

Then we found some dead dwarves, and one dwarf who wasn't dead until Dobromil exploded his flintlock rifle. Sadly, that wasn't until after he shot Jerak. Oops.

* * *

I should be cleaning up for Saturday, when people will come to admire Ayse and mock my apartment, but I don't seem to be.

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3 May 2005 - Tuesday

The Camino Medical Group lab is remarkably efficient, and thus I already know that I am a very bad parasite. Apparently I should no longer pretend that I can eat anything except broccoli and lean chicken. :(

* * *

Bah! UPS did not accept my directions and signature. But their unhelpful phone tree suggests that the option to redirect packages is still on their web page, so I guess I will look for it some more.


Okay, that might be better.

* * *

Astoundingly, Earl showed up for anime! I don't know if he'll come back, since we're in the middle or even towards the end of all four current series and thus I'm sure nothing made any sense, but still. It was almost like being one of the popular kids! Briefly.

* * *

Not being a complete loon, I will not start playing WoW at 22:00 on a worknight.

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2 May 2005 - Monday

Weekends are too short. Especially when one tries to get up early on Monday to get a blood test before work and then ends up flopping around sleepily until it would be time to go to work before setting out.

* * *

Yet again I go "Doh!" upon finding a UPS slip on my door. It's not like I don't know that UPS only delivers when people who work in offices are at work, but I keep giving them my home address.

Maybe I can get them to deliver my package to Ayse, who is at home most weekdays.

* * *

No Monday Night Gaming again, since Adam is at a cool science lecture. Thus, I play World of Warcraft!

* * *

I started a night elf druid on Cenarion Circle, but barely made it to level 2 (and no quests completed) before the server went, as they say across the pond, titsup. Bah.

I then had no choice but to watch disc 3 (of, I think, four) of Onegai Twins!. It is still fluff, but I am still entertained, because my brain, as previously demonstrated, is quite small.

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1 May 2005 - Sunday

When I dragged my pathetic carcass out of bed, the downloading had finished, so I set WoW to applying patches while I ate breakfast and showered and coordinated with Marith. It finished just in time to be ignored again as we scuttled off to watch Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Finally, almost twenty-four hours after I first clicked Install, I was able to log in to my WoW account!

I tried to make an Undead character, but I couldn't get one to look non-icky, so instead made a troll shaman on the Shadow Council server and started wandering around in search of giant glowing punctuation marks. Over the course of the afternoon I did about half a dozen newbie quests and advanced to fifth level, without dying or even being significantly wounded. I got vaguely lost several times, because the map offers no indication of where you're been or where interesting things you found are, but never so much so that I couldn't find my way back to the Den and try again.

I finally stopped when I got frustrated at the map for the caves of the Burning Coven (or something like that), which shows thin straight black lines across open space, when in fact there is often a wall, and not a straight one, across that space. But not for all the lines. I think it might be trying to indicate changes of ground level, but I can't see anything no matter how I tilt the camera around.

The interface did not give me hives, although it does rely on a two-button mouse which I had to simulate with the cloverleaf key. If I am to keep playing WoW, I will need to get an external mouse for spore. But this not a huge problem.

I'm not sure it's fun enough to pay money for, but it didn't suck. Maybe I will try more later.

* * *

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was okay, but not better than that. Maybe worse, to a purist, since they threw almost the entire plot out and reassembled some of the characters and setting bits around a new, more Hollywood, plot. And what was up with that ending, anyway?

This is not to say it wasn't amusing in parts, but...

WoW by mony (Mon May 2 05:35:49 2005)

I really enjoy WoW, but then I've experienced more MMORPGs than you have. One of the very, very nice things about WoW is that it is so kind to the casual player. At least so far. I've only gotten up to level 21 with my first character so far. When school is not kicking my butt six ways to sunday, I will have to log in and play with you!

HH Guide by Ayse (Mon May 2 15:44:47 2005)

This is where my utterly unfamiliarity with the plot probably paid off for me, since it had all the elements I vaguely remembered from having read the book 20+ years ago. I hadn't realised that they'd changed the plot!

WoW by Ken (Mon May 2 22:02:56 2005)

I've found that looking at the Overland map can give you a much better idea of where things are and what you've seen. Not as useful in the Valley of Trials as elsewhere, but still useful. Hit M from the main screen.

Doesn't work in dungeons, though. Dungeons are pretty confusing to try and follow on the minimap. It helps that a fair number of caves follow the same general patterns, but some caves are pretty unique and difficult. Some even have seperate areas on the minmap which are sufficiently dfifficult in elevation that they don't show up on the minimap until you reach a certain point.

I don't have a huge problem with it, because conceptually I just don't mind having difficulty finding my way around a cave I've never been in or seen before. I could see it being frustraing, though.

Hitchhiker's Guide by Jeremy (Tue May 3 08:34:08 2005)

I dunno, I thought it was a pretty darn good adaptation of the book(s) to a <2 hour movie. It retained the feel of the book(s) pretty well. Maybe Arthur came off a little too well - there's your Hollywood influence, but then I can't see Adams liking a continental slant on it better. (Dent, realizing that he's the most pathetic and ineffectual representative of humanity possible, removes himself from the galactic stage at the end of act three. Acts four and five trace Trillian's journey from joyful approval of his decision to burnish humanity's fading image, to eventual despair and ennui at being truly alone in an uncaring universe.)

OTOH, I liked most of what Jackson did to Lord of the Rings, so maybe I'm just a debased slave of the culture of the moment.

Oooh, debased. I like that!

Re: WoW by Trip (Tue May 3 18:45:20 2005)

I wouldn't mind if the minimap was just fuzzy and grey, or something, but it looked like it was trying to tell me something that turned out to be utterly untrue. It's not so much a gameplay issue as a user interface issue, I think.

Hitchhiker's Guide by Trip (Tue May 3 18:51:57 2005)

Perhaps I'm too harsh. It was certainly above-average for a Hollywood SF movie, since it didn't take itself seriously. I don't think it lived up to the potential of the books, though.

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