Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 October 2005 - Monday

First day in the new building! Naturally, the network didn't for the first part of the day, but it was restored to functionality in time for me to take all the tickets and answer them before going home, which is the most one can reasonably ask.

Some cube rearrangement needed to happen so that I didn't have to see the view out the huge window reflected in my monitor, but that's okay.

* * *

I got home just in time to gather up some Halloween-themed games and scuttle over to Ayse & Ken's for the Party-Like Halloween Fun!

The first stage of Fun was dinner! Ayse made a delicious pot roast with vegetables in the slow cooker, and we also had roasted garlic to spread on walnut bread with Gruyere cheese. There may have been swooning.

Because I had the clever idea of cooking the pumpkin some to soften it up, Ayse was able to make Afghan-like pumpkin-tomato-yogurt stuff, which I liked a lot. I don't know if anyone else got any, but I have the leftovers, so maybe I'll share if people are nice to me.

The second stage of Fun was discussing which of the many Halloween-themed games to play.

The third stage of Fun was playing Mythos, for the first time in years! We were a bit fuzzy on the rules, but Ken, who felt most oppressed, crushed us anyway.

The Dreamlands deck I played needs at least one more subtype of monster, maybe two, and possibly some Surprise Meetings instead of the inter-region travel to get Hesper Payne. Also, more green pentagons! The Prop-Setters (which Dave played) needs more inter-region travel, or at least a more accepting attitude toward byakhee.

There obviously needs to be more Mythos, preceded by a deck-building party.

By this point, it was after 23:00 on a work-night, so we exploded to our own lairs.

* * *

Writing: check, although just barely.

Make a comment!

30 October 2005 - Sunday

This morning's in-bed reading was Across the Wall, a collection of short fiction by Garth Nix, who wrote the Abhorsen trilogy and is writing the Keys to the Kingdom septology. It's all pretty good, although I think overall the shorter pieces are strong. (Maybe fiction is like hair, which is most appealing when it's either quite short or quite long?)

"Hope Chest" reminded me a lot of something Carl would run, or threaten to run. "Hansel's Eyes" was particularly good too.

* * *

I peeked into the bookstore and it dragged me in and sold me some books! The horror! (Two Elizabeth Bear, one Ken Macleod, a couple of random others.)

* * *

Special Halloween episode of Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs! Mind control! Spell-casting wolves! Six-legged wolves! The party turned against each other! Wolves that turn into ravens!

Fortunately those who weren't mind-controlled managed to talk the others down without any PC-on-PC bloodshed. Father William got severely wolfed, however.

We have no idea how our poorly-optimized 8th-level characters are going to deal with something that has dimension door, great powers of illusion, and a shapeshifting druid buddy.

* * *

Greencine has delivered to me the complete first disc of Samurai 7, so I was able to watch episodes 3 and 4. No sudden left turns at Albuquerque so far.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

29 October 2005 - Saturday

I stayed in bed reading a long time, but most of the things I read were not that great.

* * *

Grocery shopping. Yummy Thai dinner. Bleach. Samurai 7.

* * *

Writing: check.

Clocks set back for Daylight Spending Time: check.

Make a comment!

28 October 2005 - Friday

A random Googler named Enrique gave me a lift to work this morning, so I got in half an hour earlier than usual. That is like being able to go home half an hour earlier than usual! And I still have time from Tuesday!

* * *

Fortunately, today did not have all the ticket like yesterday did, so I was able to clean things out pretty well. Whew!

* * *

All our crap will be moved to a new building over the weekend, so I had to stop working fifteen minutes before leaving time to pack up the very few things I had in my office. Whee.

I wonder if I will remember to go to the new building as I stumble blearily to work Monday morning.

* * *

On the bus home from work, I finished reading Polaris (Ben Lehman), a very narrative RPG of chivalric tragedy set in the ruins of a dead polar empire who long ago broke their world, letting in demons and causing the Sun to rise above the horizon for part of the year.

Polaris has no GM. Rather, a play group is made up of four people (ideally; there are variants for 3 and 5-6 but they seem to lose coolness). When one person's PC is the protagonist of a scene, the other three players have specific roles defined by where they sit around the table. The person across from the protagonist's player, the Mistaken, plays the demons and generally tries to make the protagonist suffer. The two people to each side are the Full Moon and New Moon, one of whom plays all NPCs heirarchically related to the protagonist and all minor male NPCs, the other of whom plays NPCs who are socially related to the protagonist and all minor female NPCs. The Moons get to make suggestions, but all actual narration is produced by the Heart (protagonist's player) and Mistaken. Since each player's PC will get scenes, everybody gets to fill all four roles at various times.

The character sheet has four sections, so if the Heart puts it on the table, it tells everyone who they are for the scene, and there are also places to write free-from attributes (skills, offices, possessions, relationships, backstory, etc) so that it's obvious who is in charge of them.

Ritual phrases play a major part in Polaris. There's one to start the game and one to end the game, but also several used in negotiation of the narrative. The Mistaken or Heart will describe what happens and the other can, by using the proper phrase, assent, impose a condition, tack something on, refuse to accept the narration, ask for a die roll to settle the matter, etc. (Some of these require tapping one of the attributes, so can't be done often.)

Protagonists improve their two numeric stats when the Heart wins a die roll, but when the Heart loses, they progress one step along the track to inevitable cynicism, misery, and (if the Heart doesn't propose the protagonist dying first) demonhood. Acts that everyone agrees are heartless also move the protagonist along the track. This is not a game in which you should get attached to your character!

I think it would be interesting to play Polaris at least once, but Ayse and I are only two people, and I'm not sure who else would be up for it. (Well, Earl and Carl, but they're scary.) It's a lot different than most games we play around these parts.

* * *

Yay! KoL is back! And there's a little new content to poke at!

* * *

YAY MARITH! Marith has an offer letter for full-time regular employment in the job she's been contracting in! She will make more money than me! And get great Stanford benefits!

* * *

YAY AYSE! Ayse has been accepted to UCSF SFSU as a real student! She will become terrifically brilliant!

* * *

Yay Sailor Moon! And hugs!

* * *

Writing: check.

Tud.

meer! by Ayse (Sat Oct 29 20:44:49 2005)

Not UCSF, which doesn't have many useful undergrad programs, but SFSU!

Now I must get back to my homework so that this can eventually become a reality & I can have even more homework!

Re: meer! by Trip (Sat Oct 29 22:04:19 2005)

I knew it had an SF in it!

Do not die from an excess of homework!

Make a comment!

27 October 2005 - Thursday

Today, there are even more annoying issues that drag on and on. Bah!

* * *

Wow. For the first time since I started doing this job (that is, not counting the few days at the start when I didn't actually do anything), I have not completely emptied both my queue and the incoming queue. Stupid issues. Stupid computers.

* * *

Tonight, I watched the second disc of Madlax, which tries to imply that it is all going to make sense, or at least come together. I don't trust it, but on the other hand, Necronomicon!

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

26 October 2005 - Wednesday

I hate mysterious problems that drag on and on.

* * *

Apparently the cellular merger trick that brought us mitochondria and chloroplasts isn't that unusual...

* * *

No Dragonblooded, no Utena... time to lie in a slimy heap! And do laundry.

* * *

Sniff, Kingdom of Loathing is all broken!

* * *

Three action-packed episodes of Bleach and four(!) recap episodes of Wolf's Rain later, I fall over splut.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

25 October 2005 - Tuesday

Maybe three was the wrong number of Farscape episodes to watch last night, because I have the Very Big Sleepies again.

* * *

Wow, I actually have a significant amount of work today. Probably it would be less significant if I were better rested, of course.

* * *

And surprise extra work to keep me at work later, because stuff like this never happens on days when I don't have stuff scheduled in the evening. Bah.

But it did have to be done.

* * *

New webcomic stolen from Dave: Count Your Sheep. I think I like the earlier strips better, but I'm not sure. Anyway, sheep!

* * *

Fruits Basket, now with extra sign-waving onigiri! Earth Maiden Arjuna slams on mass production! Full Metal Alchemist I haven't already seen! Noir draws toward its inevitable climax of doom!

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

24 October 2005 - Monday

Maybe I should have watched only one episode of Samurai 7 last night, because now I have the Very Large Sleepies (tm Kit). Fortunately there is not much work to do this morning.

* * *

Jo Walton has written a fine secular humanist hymn. This is because she is a genius.

* * *

Blorg.

* * *

Tonight I watched three episodes of Farscape. The [MILD SPOILER] device raises all sorts of ethical questions that were completely unexplored, because this is TV.

Make a comment!

23 October 2005 - Sunday

HAPPY HAPPY AYSEDAY!!

* * *

The first phase of the Ayseday celebration was dim sum, which we (meaning Ayse) haven't had in ages and ages. By some recommendation or other, we (meaning Ayse, Ken, Earl, Cat, Marith, Dave, Carl, and me) ended up at Bamboo Garden, in Sunnyvale, and it worked out pretty well. There were carts, and pastry things with barbecue pork in, and sesame balls, and no exorbitant bills!

Upon declaring ourselves stuffed, we repaired to Earl & Cat's for light gaming and also chocolate-ginger cake (except Marith, who went home and fell asleep. Hopefully soon she will have a job, so she will have health insurance, so we can make her go to a doctor.)

Dave crushed us at Courtesans[sic] of Versailles, although he probably didn't really mean to only read important rules after it was too late to help us.

Munchkin Bites combined with Munchkin Fu and its expansion was amusing, but perhaps not as good as a game with fewer cards might have been. You can tell, because I won.

Cat's ginger-chocolate cake was pretty darn swell. More to the point, Ayse liked it very much!

* * *

In between turns or games, I flipped through a couple of indie games Carl had brought to lend to Earl, Death's Door, and The Big Night.

Death's Door is one of those new high-concept indie games that reminds me that there is actually no point in my pretending to be a gamer, never mind trying to design games, so I'll just go hide under a bed for the rest of my life.

The Big Night is an RPG for small kids which I want to make Al try on his spawn or their friends, 'cause they aren't hiding under their beds. Yet.

* * *

No additional fun occured during the evening, as Ayse must rest up for school. Instead, I ate Fresh Choice while reading the first part of The Last Guardian of Everness (John C Wright). Dreamlands lore, woot!

Also there was a lot of KoL, because it's extra-Mysticality-gain night. Sadly, this was much less productive than the Moxie-grubbing a few nights ago.

* * *

I seem to be able to read all the DVDs of digisubs that Carl gave me on spore, but there was a weird bit where the first 1-3 times I put in a DVD-RW disc, spore's Superdrive recognized the format but thought it was blank. Any Mac people seen this before?

* * *

Among the things Carl sent me was a preview disc of Samurai 7, with the first 2 episodes. It is strange, but possibly not as strange as the first few scenes with freaky mecha and giant hovering laser-scanning banditborg(?)s imply.

I think I will probably watch more of it.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

22 October 2005 - Saturday

Grocery shopping, coffeehouse with Marith, lying around in a heap, the usual.

While at the coffeehouse, I read Night Train to Rigel (Timothy Zahn), which was an okay SF action story, and solved a sudoku puzzle in the newspaper. It turns out that sudoku is much like PictureLogic, but slightly more constrained. On this one, at least, I didn't have to make any guesses, as I so often do in PictureLogic. It was not all that exciting, though, so I probably won't take it up as a hobby.

In fact, it would be more fun to write a program to solve sudokus than to solve them myself. This makes me a freak, doesn't it?

* * *

Marith came over to watch stuff, but ended up just catching up on Tuesday Night Anime she had missed while I splooted at KoL and writing in the other room.

* * *

Stayed up only moderately too late watching episodes 24 & 25 of Bleach. That's a crazed plan!

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

21 October 2005 - Friday

Yay Friday!

* * *

I finally made up the rest of the time for Monday, but now it turns out that nViDiA scorns me. Oh well.

* * *

All the fun is being reserved for Sunday, so nothing exciting is happening tonight. I watched Cool World, which I had never seen before; it was okay.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

20 October 2005 - Thursday

Hey, look, it's an evening when I'm not scheduled to do anything!

For some reason I did not use this to make up the remaining time from having cut out early to embarrass myself in front of nViDiA. Probably the reason is that I'm a bozo. Oh well, there are plenty of days left in the pay period.

* * *

Indeed, Ronald and Grimace do not have the same phase tonight, so I do not feel compelled to scrounge madly for Moxie. As an added bonus, I finally figured out the very simple trick to completing the Giant Castle Map quest, so now I can collect constellations.

* * *

In between finishing the last disc of Wandaba Style (which Greencine sent to me because I didn't change my mind fast enough), I finished up It Must've Been Something I Ate (Jeffrey Steingarten). It doesn't have as much ranting about diet fads and food phobias as The Man Who Ate Everything, and the recipes are brought back from less exotic places, so it was not as much fun to read. I should not be surprised, since presumably the best of Steingarten's articles were used for his first book.

The last chapter makes up for it all though. "Here! These recipes have been published in cookbooks! I am publishing them again! There is no longer any possible excuse for making bad chocolate chip cookies, tuiles, or tart pastry, so stop it!"

* * *

Of the random comics I picked up yesterday, I like Unearthly quite a bit. Not too surprising, since the writer is Ted Naifeh, who did Courtney Crumrin, which I also like.

Shoujo manga in space!

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

19 October 2005 - Wednesday

Wow, no new tickets when I got in. Of course, there were several old tickets from people who didn't understand how I had actually solved their problem ealier, so it's not like I got to take a nap.

* * *

Lots of random new comics this week. I will report if any of them are actually good.

* * *

Marith and That Other Chris didn't show up for Dragonblooded again. This is sad, but becoming fairly predictable. Maybe we should eat their brains.

The characters of people who did show up got to talk to old gods, find a wrecked First Age airship, chase down (up) and board an elevator full of hobgoblins, and get insulted by a faerie. Next session, the Immaculate monk engages the faerie in ritual combat, and it'll be all downhill from there.

* * *

This is also a +50% Moxie day, so I again stayed up too late pillaging the Castle in the Clouds in the Sky for Moxiousness. I'm pretty sure tomorrow the moons will not be in phase, though.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

18 October 2005 - Tuesday

This week, I wasn't late to my own anime gathering!

Earth Maiden Arjuna is supposed to be thought-provoking, and it was, or at least discussion-provoking. Mostly what we thought was things like "Food crops can't survive and maintain their tastiness without human assistance" and "In what way is making food 10 times more expensive a good thing?", but Dave was a pretty good Devil's advocate, and there was certainly no love for Monsanto.

* * *

I seem to have spent my whole evening scrambling for adventures (turns) in KoL to adventure in the Castle in the Clouds in the Sky, because it's 50% Extra Moxie Gain day, and the big wheel is set to have the random event be 250 moxiousness points! 375 points is about 1½ Moxie, and Moxie is my lowest stat, so how can I not take advantage of this?

(That was a rhetorical question, because the obvious answer is "Go to bed on time, you dork". But now I have much bigger piles of Moxie!)

* * *

Writing: check.

Playing Late by Dave (Thu Oct 20 10:26:08 2005)

You know, that sounds like something that should give a chutzpah boost, rather than a moxie boost.

Re: Playing Late by Trip (Thu Oct 20 11:04:18 2005)

It's complicated. The stat is called Moxie, but I think chutzpah is one of the terms applied to what are essentially experience points toward raising your moxie.

Re: Playing Late by Dave (Fri Oct 21 12:08:20 2005)

Well, that's okay, then.

Make a comment!

17 October 2005 - Monday

Even though it is Monday, I got up and went into work half an hour earlier than my usual time. Aside from today's special schedule (see below), I think this may be a good thing in general.

* * *

I scarpered from work early to traverse the maze of public transit (bus! train! different bus!) to Santa Clara, where I interviewed/was interviewed by Al's boss. I don't think Al will actually be fired for having recommended me for interviewification. He might not even be asked to resign.

Then I took a shortcut (in complexity, though probably not in time) back through the maze to buy more blank DVD-Rs to store my collection of ill-gotten digisubs on. Spore only has an 80GB disk, after all.

* * *

I seem to have spent my entire evening looking for pictures of Makoto and Orihime (see yesterday's entry), and mostly failing except when I conned Marith into doing it for me. I am disappointed in this Internet which does not immediately and conveniently bring me the pictures of red-headed anime babes that I desire!

Okay, that and finishing up the Scary Go Round archives.

Blorg.

* * *

Writing: check.

Internet Anime Babes by Dave (Wed Oct 19 09:43:55 2005)

I dunno. Google images seemed to find plenty of each of those two, with straightforward incantations. I couldn't come up with a way to specify "generic redheaded anime female", though.

Re: Internet Anime Babes by Trip (Wed Oct 19 12:02:39 2005)

But I wanted the right pictures!

Orihime Desires by Carl (Thu Oct 20 19:02:39 2005)

But couldn't you make your own Orihime snapshots from Bleach anime via some kind of Mac software? Which is not to say that checking Google first to fulfill any desire is not a laudable virtue. Go Go Google! (Which reported it's quarter today, yay them!)

Re: Orihime Desires by Trip (Thu Oct 20 19:13:29 2005)

Screencaps are usually pretty cheesy. I was hoping for a scan of a poster or trading card or something like that.

Make a comment!

16 October 2005 - Sunday

Today's not-getting-up reading: It Must Have Been Something I ate, a subsequent book (I don't think you can say "sequel" for non-fiction, but I might be wrong) by Jeffrey Steingarten, author of The Man Who Ate Everything. So far, less travel and less mockery of diet fads and nutritionists, but equally many recipes and just as much description.

* * *

Marith, Air, and I went to see the new Wallace & Gromit movie. It was very very silly. Maybe sillier than that. Gromit doesn't get nearly enough appreciation.

* * *

Yay ratatouille of eggplant!

After the feeding frenzy quieted, we played some of that D&D stuff. Jehanne, Alazaïs, and their entourage took delivery of their Items of Twinkiness, returned to human "civilization", and set off to make one last sweep of their assigned territory before winter shuts things down. Unfortunately, in their absence, giant scary clever wolves have started terrorizing the villagers, and must be dealt with. Also, the glade once occupied by the evil nature spirit that was turning the people of Thrushton into thrushes has acquired an aura of evil which sometimes creeps outside the glade as a single concentrated Evil Entity. This must be dealt with too, if it is separate.

Plus, Jehanne has a sweetie in Thruston, so Alazaïs is sullen.

I need to figure out what Alazaïs's mithral chain shirt looks like. After much searching, I found the cool elven chain picture in the DMG3.5, but it's for full chain mail, not just a chain suit. Plus, it's not chameleony.

Swapping Alazaïs's character design from Sailor Jupiter to Orihime (from Bleach) would be wrong. Orihime isn't particularly tall or cool! But I think about it anyway.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

15 October 2005 - Saturday

Because I actually did work during the week, I can be useless on Saturday with only a small amount of guilt!

Anyway, reading isn't useless! Well, not very useless. I stayed in bed finishing The Big Over Easy (Jaspter Fforde), which was very silly but had some good plot twists. I think mony should read it.

Spent the afternoon playing nethack, watching Bleach, and reading Scary Go Round, which people have been recommending to me for ages, but I only just got around to reading. The dialog reminds me a lot of Questionable Content, to the point where I suspect a causal connection.

Ayse and Ken apparently returned safely from Santa Cruz, but remain hidden in their monkeycat lair, so I went all by myself to Chef Chu's and fed upon the food of the other side of the planet while reading Woken Furies (Richard K Morgan). Aside from a short break for Kingdom of Loathing, in fact, I kept reading Woken Furies until I finished it, well past my bedtime.

Splut.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

14 October 2005 - Friday

Al has finally persuaded me that nViDiA does not practice human sacrifice, so I suppose I will interview them.

* * *

New webcomics discovered recently, thanks to Dave:

  • The Devil's Panties, which has very little underwear and only occasional appearences by the devil, may be semi-autobiographical, and reminds me of Questionable Content.
  • Angel Moxie, magical girls with brains!

    A positive number of tentacles up.

    * * *

    Ayse and Ken have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning, which means Ken is not so into the staying out until 3, which in turn means no Sailor Moon. However, there is lying around floppily and watching Marith demo I <heart> Katamari, which is also nice.

    * * *

    Writing: check.

Make a comment!

13 October 2005 - Thursday

Fortunately the customer I failed most egregiously today wasn't upset.

* * *

Bah. Having to pay bills sucks.

* * *

Suddenly, more Bleach appears! I must download it! (Thanks, Chris!)

Of course, I've only watched up through 17, so it's not like I'm in a hurry.

* * *

Huh, pizza. That worked okay, although it might have been better if the circular bread thing and the mushrooms were fresher. Still, mozerella and tomato glop cover a multitude of something.

This does not count as cooking.

* * *

Ah, the Oyster Eggs make yeti hunting even more profitable! Whee!

* * *

Finally I have finished the disc of Bullshit!. The last two episodes: apocalypse/survivalist bullshit, and second-hand smoke bullshit plus baby Mozart bullshit. I hadn't realized the evidence for health risks from second-hand smoke was so weak (this information subject to the usual reliability penalty for having been on TV, even though Penn & Teller seem to be pretty competent). When I conquer the world, I guess I'll just have to use aesthetics as my excuse for making smokers wear plastic bags over their heads.

* * *

Writing: check.

Bullshit! by eyelessgame (Mon Oct 17 11:21:16 2005)

There's always someone's ox being gored by reality.

They take on (I think) repressed memories too -- which are sacred cows to some people I know.

Secondhand smoke is another one. Given how evil tobacco companies are, and given how much it tears the human body apart to smoke, there is strong visceral desire to want secondhand smoke -- a product of those twin evils -- itself to be just as evil (especially since smoky air sucks the PMW, especially for allergy/asthma-prone folk), and that it may not be nearly so bad as tobacco companies themselves or as bad as smoking itself offends one's sense of the justice of the universe. Godwin's Bane should have been a child molestor, and all that.

But there's as much sensory offense, and thus aesthetic reason to prohibit it, as there is to prohibit public nudity or loud cursing, which should be good enough to keep it out of restaurants and other places normal humans go.

Re: Bullshit! by Trip (Mon Oct 17 11:56:27 2005)

"Repressed" "memories" "uncovered" by hypnotherapy got some mention in the alien abduction episode. It may get its own episode later, for all I know.

It did occur to me to wonder if second-hand smoke is such a small health risk because it's a negligible amount of additional crud compared to what people breathe anyway.

Recovery, not repression by eyelessgame (Wed Oct 19 17:12:08 2005)

I should emphasize that I was talking about, as Trip puts it, "'repressed' 'memories' 'uncovered' by hypnotherapy" and was in no way expressing skepticism that people can forget traumatic events -- sometimes specifically because they are traumatic -- and then remember them later.

Thank you! by Ayse (Wed Oct 19 17:24:39 2005)

Your clarity is definitely appreciated!

Make a comment!

12 October 2005 - Wednesday

All the Bleach that is available as digisubs (at least from this one site) is now mine! Muahahaha!

* * *

No Dragonblooded and no Utena tonight, which is sad, but on the other hand means I can stay at work late to make up for yesterday and still get comics without exploding any evening plans. Parasitic laziness powers... ENGAGE!

* * *

I seem to have spent most of the evening playing Kingdom of Loathing, having been sucked in by the Oyster Egg Hunt. Oh well.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

11 October 2005 - Tuesday

I seem to have failed to alarm myself. Only an hour late to work, but since I need to scarper expediently to clean up before people come over for anime, this was not the correct day to spaz in that fashion. Bah.

* * *

Not only am I personally lame, but the VTA is conspiring to increase my lameness by not sending a bus at the appointed hour! Thus, my apartment remained smelly for anime, even though I took out the trash as soon as I got home and let people in. Double bah.

* * *

I came across these writeups of gaming with kids on RPGnet, which were pretty interesting in themselves, but also spawned a thread on mechanics for non-combat, and why all games have either no rules or endless pages of rules for combat.

After considering non-combat conflicts, I think the reason game designers tend to focus on combat is that it's a lot less complex! Even bugs can engage in physical combat, but only higher mammals can even try to use language or social constructs against their enemies. Physical combat is also reasonably concrete (you're in position X on the map, you're wounded this badly, etc) and, armchair Green Berets not withstanding, sufficiently unfamiliar to most gamers that it can be glossed over with a relatively simple set of rules. Finally, it doesn't dictate character choices, something that many players are loathe to cede to mechanics.

I'm not sure what this means in terms of mechanics for social conflicts, especially in light of the recent research showing that people not only don't change their minds, they don't even realize that they don't change their minds.

Maybe I'm just cynical after reading Pharyngula and The Panda's Thumb and seeing the unbudgeability of creationists. The human aversion to admitting to having been wrong and (on a lower level) to admitting the world is uncertain are awfully powerful. In fact, that motivations can have multiple levels makes modelling difficult.

* * *

After missing two weeks (one my fault, one not my fault), Tuesday Night is once again Anime!

Sadly, rewatching Earth Maiden Arjuna is bringing more factual errors to light, so that I am forced to respect it less and less. Oh well. (Episode 3, where Chris/Cindy harsh on Juna for being a failure as an organism for not knowing what to eat. Essentially all mammals, and I suspect all vertebrates with any degree of parental care after birth/hatching, learn what to eat and how to eat it from their mother. Juna's mother taught her how to find food just fine-- in her native environment, which is not the middle of nowhere.)

On the other tentacle, Noir has entered the Death Spiral!

* * *

All the available episodes of Bleach (1-51) have downloaded! The random special thing will be done by tomorrow morning!

* * *

Writing: check.

"Choice blindness" by Dave (Thu Oct 13 08:53:35 2005)

I think this would be more accurately characterized as people not noticing scene changes, linked to the fact that people are rationalizing, rather than rational, creatures.

A better study might look at, say, giving people different groceries than they ask for, and seeing what they think when they get home and unpack their bags.

Re: "Choice blindness" by Trip (Thu Oct 13 11:24:35 2005)

On the other tentacle, this study used human faces, which you'd think humans would be good at dealing with.

Re: "Choice blindness" by Dave (Thu Oct 13 14:30:04 2005)

Recognition is very different from memory. Visual memory has this very obvious optimization - it's okay to forget anything you happen to be looking at, because you can just look at it again to refresh your memory. In one study, people had trouble noticing major scene changes, like if a picture of sky had a plane in it. And, dealing with people, if you briefly distracted someone and replaced the stranger they were talking to with another stranger, most people didn't notice.

Make a comment!

10 October 2005 - Monday

HAPPY HAPPY MARITHDAY!!!

* * *

Sadly, the tickets I left when I went home on Friday have not mysteriously vanished.

* * *

I seethe with hatred and rage at the Wells Fargo on El Camino near San Antonio! How can they be lame enough to not have any ATM deposit envelopes?

Stupid, stupid bank creatures.

* * *

I successfully gave Marith a birthday present, ha hah!

* * *

Tonight, more Bullshit!. This time, alternative "medicine" (specifically reflexology, magnet therapy, and the chiropracters who claim everything can be cured by cracking your back), and alien abductions. Again in both cases they harsh on the con artists who take advantage of people are sick and broken for a buck, not on the sick/broken people.

The alternative "medicine" episode had some pretty funny episodes with a fake doctor in a mall persuading people to wear the most ridiculous things in the name of magnet therapy (using demagnetized magnets, of course), chiropracty, or snail facials. Of course the victims went on and on about how much better they felt/looked, because humans are more social than intelligent.

* * *

Writing: check.

writing by kit (Tue Oct 11 17:14:53 2005)

It makes me smile to see your writing: check! every day!

Re: writing by Trip (Tue Oct 11 17:35:08 2005)

Yay! Smiling Kits are the best kind!

Make a comment!

9 October 2005 - Sunday

I finished reading Peeps (Scott Westerfeld) this morning. It was overall pretty good -- I mean, teenage vampires × Parasite Rex! -- but the ending did seem a little sudden.

* * *

Jeremy wimped out on us, so we played Red Room at Earl's, but because Adam and I both brought battle maps, Earl found his, so we were not reduced to using a tape measure and a coffee table for tactical combat. We modern gamers are so spoiled.

In this session, Our Evil Government Agents Heroes invaded Hungary, suborned someone who thinks the disembodied brains of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters have lost their moral compass, learned about the secret cabal of disembodied brains who plan to rule the world forever from their Secret Brain Pyramid in Salt Lake City, and beat the snot out of Cuban Liberation mutants, thus exposing the disembodied brains they work for to attack, as part of the plan to push the brain cabal into fleeing to the facility in Hungary.

Next session will be the assault on the hospital where the Cuban Liberation Brains have their lair, and the one after that will be Salt Lake City (unless the PCs learn something in Miami that sends them haring off in a completely different direction).

Perhaps after that, Space Pirate Zeta!

* * *

Whee, laundry. Whee, grocery shopping.

* * *

No anime tonight, but the first episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit!. In this one, they harsh on mediums. I knew all this stuff (in general, not specific scumbags), but the harshing was so very very deserved. I think the swearing was justified, too, since there aren't many non-swear words that properly express what slimeballs these con artists are.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

8 October 2005 - Saturday

I stayed up too late reading Cowl (Neal Asher), which was a pretty good time-travel book, although kind of over-the-top in some places.

I also forgot to set my alarm, which lead to my not making it to Marith's by noon, but apparently no one else did either, so it was all okay.

Once everyone was there, we cleaned Marith's apartment! That is what she said she wanted to for her birthday, so that's what we gave her! I mostly carried stuff around, and assembled Ikea furniture, Ken mostly scrubbed, and Ayse sorted and directed.

* * *

Victory!

We didn't do anything to the bedroom, but the kitchen, livingroom, and bathroom are all cleaned up and cleaned out! The floors are mopped and vacuumed! Many bags of trash have been carted away!

* * *

It's a good thing our reservation at Le Petit Bistro were the earliest possible, or we would have missed out on some things! For appetizers, we had crab tartalettes, escargot, something involving abalone and scallop combined into flat fried things, and French onion soup. I think I must conclude that escargot is just not exciting, but the crab tartalettes were good, and apparently ran out while we were still there.

Marith and Ayse had chicken in some kind of red wine sauce, and Ken had sole, but my duck with orangeness was clearly the best, even if you omit the pear poached in red wine and spices. Swooning now.

I had tarte tatin ("carmelized apple pie") for dessert, even if I shouldn't have, and it was so worth it. Ken had crepes with strawberries and peaches, and Marith and Ayse had mousse-free (and also moose-free) chocolate mousse. It is rare to see Marith defeated by chocolate dessert, but this was enough chocolate to do it. More swooning now.

On the way home, Ayse and I talked about this very paragraph that you are now reading.

* * *

Wandaba Style gets the [INSUFFICIENTLY INTERESTING] stamp.

* * *

Writing: check.

best birthday ever! by marith (Sat Oct 8 23:16:18 2005)

In large part thanks to the best brother ever!

Re: best birthday ever! by Trip (Mon Oct 10 10:42:08 2005)

Pish tosh! Just a parasite!

Make a comment!

7 October 2005 - Friday

Yay Friday!

* * *

Upon reaching home, I joined up with Marith and we zoomed through the traffic to downtown Palo Alto, to watch Mirrormask with Carl (who has seen it several times now) and Ayse and Ken (who hadn't seen it). It is still good! I even noticed a couple of things that I hadn't before.

Ayse and Ken also thought it was swell, so we were smug and repaired to The Prolific Oven to consume warm beverages and discuss cinema.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

6 October 2005 - Thursday

Helped some customers. Disappointed some customers. Pretty standard for a day in support.

* * *

In a failure of laziness, I put some stuff in a pan and heated it. In a failure of cuisine, it's only so-so, even though I put Trader Joe's red curry Thai sauce. Maybe I am feeling extra-inadequate from reading The Man Who Ate Everything (Jeffrey Steingarten), which is about a food writer who goes to so many places and eats so many things and describes them in so much detail and brings back so many recipes.

* * *

Tonight's anime: Witch Nurse Komugi, post-modern magical girl something. I think it may be in the same genre as Magical Project S.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

5 October 2005 - Wednesday

One of my cow orkers sat on the phone with yesterday's customer and determined that yes, their firewall is misconfigured, just like I told them Monday. And yesterday. And this morning.

Bah.

* * *

Not much in the way of comics this week.

* * *

Today's webcomic discovery: Questionable Content.

Well, I like it.

* * *

This week in Ken's Dragonblooded game: the conclusion of the fight with the phasing crocodile mutants and their semi-sapient leader, Viraine reveals his plasma blaster, tracks of the fabled twenty-foot leech are found, a member of the other Realm group is discovered severely out of bounds (but not punished at this juncture), and the First Age planetarium/ultimate destiny prognostication engine is finally reached!

Sadly, it will be a multi-year (at best) task to repair the prognostication engine, but if it works...

* * *

I meant to watch anime or something, but mostly I flopped around playing KoL (badly) until it was time to crawl off to my parasite-nest.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

4 October 2005 - Tuesday

I really want to tell this customer that his problem is that he has no one in his organization who is even remotely qualified to configure or troubleshoot a network. But that would not be professional, or so I am told.

* * *

Neil and Marith have both blown off Tuesday Night Anime, so there will be no anime this week. You know who to blame.

* * *

Lethargic parasite. But I did some writing, and a little KoL, before flopping in front of the TV to watch Midori Days.

Weird.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

3 October 2005 - Monday

As so often seems to happen, I was lazy for an extra half hour this morning. On the other hand, nothing important happens on Mondays, so no one is discommoded if I stay half an hour later at work.

* * *

I guess Ben must have done all the tickets while he was working unpaid overtime from home this weekend, because there sure aren't many in the queue.

Lethargy powers: activate!

* * *

Apparently Ayse, Christy, and I are the only three people in the entire world who don't think that Serenity was the best thing since sliced megatherium.

* * *

Walking home from the drug store should have made me more awake, but actually I feel kind of blearghy and will just finish this disc of Tokyo Underground and fall over.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

2 October 2005 - Sunday

HAPPY HAPPY LIRALENDAY!!!

* * *

Ayse and I went out to run errands and discuss Amber×Utena and narrativism and gaming theory in general, and were successful on all counts. Go us!

I also gave her a disc of Bleach 1-25 to give to Carl, since they lunch together pretty regularly.

* * *

I went to the coffeehouse with Marith and started reading The Man Who Ate Everything (Jeffrey Steingarten), an entertaining book about food and the evils of diet fads.

* * *

Since last fortnight was the Liralenvisit, this is the first Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs in a month. Fortunately we were at a good breakpoint anyway.

This session: Our Heroines and their entourage travel to the great dwarf city to dispose of the lich-bits and swap their collection of ancient dwarven war-axes for more useful ph4t l3wts.

Dwarves are scary, and there are lots of them. And their cities are unnaturally clean. On the other hand, they make really cool stuff, and seemed glad to have their lich-bits and their axes back.

In fact, they were so pleased that each of the PCs got to request an item from the Dwarf King's Smith, and that dragged gaming to a halt for two hours while we tried to decide what to write on our cartes blanc. (Okay, they weren't entirely blank: Illustrious GM Ken imposed a limit of 20k value on any one item, but he relaxed the rules on multifunction items to a flat +1k for each additional function.)

Eventually, Alazaïs ended up with a +3 mithral shirt that gives +7 to Hide and Move Silently, spider climb, and stores an item like gloves of storing. Father William got a gem that gives him continuous detect magic and lets him spend a round scrutinizing someone to get a reading of their spell-casting power. Tobias has a sword which lets him counterspell as a free action once per round instead of having to hold his action, and may have other abilities as well; I'm not sure. Jehanne has a magic book that gives her +4 to her bardic lore roll and +2 Int, which seems kind of underpowered to me, but of course there is no guidance in the book for pricing bonuses to class abilities. Fantasy Hero really is our friend and we should give it more attention.

* * *

Downloading more Bleach goes well. However, instead of watching Bleach, I watched some Tokyo Underground, which is sadly becoming less interesting the longer it goes on.

* * *

Oh, crap, did I do any writing today? I think I just thought about it. :(

Writing: FAILURE.

The book! by Ayse (Mon Oct 3 12:09:00 2005)

I thought it gave me a +2 int _bonus_ on a bunch of stuff, which means a +4 actual int? I will ask Illustrious GM Ken. Of course maybe that's still underpowered, but having an 18 effective int when doing all the intly things I actually care about seems happy.

Re: The book! by Trip (Mon Oct 3 12:46:45 2005)

Oh, maybe that was it. I thought it was a straight +4 for bardic knowledge, but maybe he changed his mind. You should definitely ask him!

Father William's l4wt by Dave (Mon Oct 3 13:32:00 2005)

Actually, he got it without the scrutinize, with +10 on spellcraft rolls related to the detect, and it also functions as a bead of karma for followers of the candleflame.

The book by Ken (Sun Oct 9 11:04:38 2005)

It's +4 Bardic Knowledge, +2 on all int based skills. I'm currently debating about throwing on the powers of one of the rods of metamagic, no charge.

Re: The book by Trip (Sun Oct 9 18:12:12 2005)

Read your email! +4 to bardic knowledge rolls isn't worth all that much. +4 Int is, admittedly, although I don't know that +2 to Int-based skills is. On the other hand, doesn't require a slot...

Re: The book by Dave (Mon Oct 10 09:06:30 2005)

Actually, it probably does, since I bet you need to have it open to use it, and that usually takes a hand that could otherwise be holding a weapon or shield. Or, I suppose, you could make it head-mounted, but that would probably take the helmet or necklace slot for the supporting struts.

Re: The book by Trip (Mon Oct 10 09:35:11 2005)

You're probably right. Anyway, under the new regime, not needing a slot would only be +1k to the cost, which is pretty minor.

Make a comment!

1 October 2005 - Saturday

I stayed in bed reading manga all morning, but none of it really deserves mention.

* * *

Marith and I went to see Mirrormask, and it rocked!

A few days ago, someone on LiveJournal was complaining that a lot of modern fantasy suffers from over-explanation, as though the author is trying to reassure the reader that she isn't just making stuff up.

Mirrormask does not have this problem. It starts out with eccentric Dave McKean visuals, and then takes a sharp left turn through the fourth dimension into phantasmagoria. Describing it would be just as much of a spoiler as outlining the plot, so I won't, except to say that it really is Dave McKean's art in three dimensions.

It is a very very fine movie. Go see it now!

Carl was there, as expected, but we did not expect Ambar, her boy (Richard?), Angie, Ellie, Jim, Chrisber, Christy, and Gretchen to be there too! There was no talking during the movie, though, because we were too busy staring at the screen in amazement.

After the movie, all of us except Ambar and her boy scuttled across the street to Jing Jing, where we ate dan dan mein and some other stuff and caught up on recent events or at least glibbered madly.

Angie gave me a Parasite Pals poster, to go with my plush tapeworm. I guess that's good...

I usually prefer hair to be either pretty short or pretty long, but aparently this isn't a firm rule, because Gretchen's hair is just past shoulder-length, and it looks amazing.

* * *

Now I am home and doing laundry and bibbling.

* * *

I had vague intentions of watching anime this evening, but instead I stayed up playing KoL and talking to Ayse about Amber×Utena until it was time to fall over kersplut.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

Google Custom Search

Sproing!


This file was last modified by trip@idiom.com.