Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2005 - Wednesday

This extremely interesting discussion at The 20' By 20' Room makes me want to create a game system designed explicitly around the concepts of routine-establishment, routine-breaking and reincorporation.

My zeroth pass is something like this:

There are three phases of play. During the Setup phase, every time you write a plot/character/setting element on an index card and put it on the table, you get some pewter brains (glass beads, M&Ms, whatever). Once a minimally sufficient number of elements exist, play enters the Development phase. In this phase, creating a new element costs brains, but you get more whenever you use an already-existing one. Finally, when the number of elements has reached the point where one more would be too many, the game enters the Resolution phase. Now creating new elements is impossible, or prohibitively expensive, but resolving an existing one and taking it out of play gets you brains back. Once all the resolvable elements are gone, the game is complete.

For a longer game, you could have multiple Resolution (not going all the way to 0) and Setup phases.

Note that during the Development Phase, accomplishing anything substantial requires a new element, like "Beaten Up" attached to a villain who stood in the heroes' way, or "The Secret Hideout" when a stoolie squeals.

* * *

Eeep. Comics.

* * *

Dragonblooded got off to kind of a slow start because the GM didn't even get home until after the scheduled start time, but eventually horrible faerie creatures were defeated, gods were bribed, and extreme munchkinism was perpetrated.

Also, Ayse fed me goulash, the native cuisine of the Midwest. (It's made with V-8!) This was much better than eating breakfast bars for dinner. Plus, leftovers!

* * *

I have finally stopped playing sudoku early enough to finish watching disc 5 of Spiral. The thot plickens!

* * *

Writing: check.

Capes! by Carl (Fri Dec 2 11:43:58 2005)

You've reinvented Capes! Sorta. I don't think it uses the idea of establishing routine / breaking routine / reincorporation but its method of establishing goals, generating debt via superpowers, staking debt on goals that are important to you, and generating story tokens from the debt staked on goals after they resolve, feel vaguely similar. It rewards players for creating things that interest other players.

It's very, very alien to the Hero Games mindset, but if you'd like to borrow my copy to loot for ideas, let me know.

Re: Capes! by Trip (Fri Dec 2 12:53:53 2005)

I've also sort-of reinvented Apocalypse Girl, some parts of FATE, and probably dozens of other games. I never said my ideas were original!

Keeping track of which ideas most interest other players is a good idea, though.

Make a comment!

29 November 2005 - Tuesday

Bah! How dare these customers suggest my advice was imperfect by writing back to me? Even the one who thanked me forgot to include gifts of cash or nubile Earth females!

* * *

All the regulars showed up for Tuesday Night Anime, and some of them claimed they would be showing up throughout December, so I showed the first two episodes of Scrapped Princess. There seemed to be approval. I think I like the opening theme ever more now.

Augh! Full Metal Alchemist! Those bastards! They killed [SPOILER]!

* * *

Writing: check.

those bastards by Marith (Wed Nov 30 22:03:17 2005)

See, now you know why I kept going over to your place and saying "Augh! FMA! Squee augh!"

Re: those bastards by Trip (Wed Nov 30 23:07:12 2005)

Squeagh!

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28 November 2005 - Monday

Unsurprisingly, there were four days' worth of tickets in the queue. By the time I scuttled home, though, there were only two tickets, and one of them wasn't my problem. Go me!

* * *

Wow, Spiral really is all death traps all the time!

* * *

Writing: check.

writing and tickets by liralen (Wed Nov 30 12:47:47 2005)

Go you! Yay for less tickets!

Yay writing!!

Re: writing and tickets by Trip (Wed Nov 30 15:27:03 2005)

Comment from Liralen: check!

Make a comment!

27 November 2005 - Sunday

I liked my own bed so much that I slept way in, and then stayed in bed longer reading the comics I had picked up on Wednesday and not gotten around to.

Eventually I went out to Chinese lunch and shopped for groceries.

When I got back, my phone was behaving oddly so I went over to Ayse & Ken's to find out that Ayse was buried in homework so there wouldn't be D&D.

Yum, frozen pizza.

Since Gretchen had spoken well of it, I moved Mezzo up in my Greencine queue, and today I finally got to watch it. It was interesting. I think the main characters are more like PCs than a lot of characters. One of the main characters is the obligatory stacked teenaged girl in spandex, but the cheesecake is kind of incidental.

I will watch more.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

26 November 2005 - Saturday

In the morning, the Petterson kids showed us Lord of the Bean, Veggie Tales × LotR. It was amusing until the "And the moral of this story is..." segment at the very end, which made it clear that the moral is, "Only Christians can be good people. Also, Special Creation!" Bah. Grr.

(No, I am not reading too much Pharyngula. Other people are reading too little.)

In the afternoon, Carrie of Dave & Carrie the Gaming Neighbors came over to be entertained while Dave did all the heavy lifting for their move to Washington. Ken finally got his way, and we played Age of Renaissance.

Well, we tried to play AoR, but in fact we started out playing something more like Civ because none of the people who had played it before remembered the rules. As the game went on, we approached the actual rules asymptotically, but I don't think we ever quite made it.

I was doing okay until Carrie destroyed my Black Sea holdings with the Black Plague, and I never recovered. I finally came in second-to-last.

We had to stop a couple of rounds before we ran out of Epoch III, because otherwise Ken would fall asleep on the way home and we would die in horrible flaming wreckage. Carrie won because she got all the right cards. (But of course we'd say that.) Sherilyn came in second, Al came in last.

* * *

On the way home, we burbled about what a fine Thanksgiving it had been, and how many kids had swarmed over me like monkey bars.

* * *

Writing: VACATION.

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25 November 2005 - Friday

Happy National Food Coma Day!

* * *

Al took Ken and I (and Josh) to the local gaming store, upon which we vented the appetites that have been pent up ever since our local gaming store imploded earlier this fall.

I got some Munchkin stuff, some Transhuman Space stuff, and the Farscape RPG (d20, but what can you do?). Ken got the original module B2, "Keep on the Borderlands" because it was half-price, an Exalted book he didn't yet have, and his own copy of Complete Arcane so he doesn't have to keep borrowing mine.

Since the gaming store is also a comics store, I picked up a couple of TPBs that Lee's had been cruelly depriving me of.

Muahahahaha!

* * *

I foolishly let myself be dragooned into running something for Al and Ken (who hardly never get to play) and Ayse and Dave. (Marith was asleep all day, and Sherilyn had to beat her children.)

While everyone else made characters, I tried to quickly build an adventure on the premise "pirates!".

Sometime late in the afternoon, we ended up with:

  • Joe Suzuki, the scion of a fallen warrior-aristocrat family
  • Oghal, the uncivilized sea-druid and his menagerie
  • Yuri, the misunderstood warlock

all returned to their hometown of Blue Dragon Cove after adventuring their way up to 4th level, and

  • Lis, the elven swashbuckler raised by pirates

who they had met on their adventures. It was a dark and stormy night.

Their drinking in the town's one inn was interrupted by a commotion in the back room, which turned out to be a short frog-like humanoid who menaced the innkeeper when he was interrupted in rummaging through the old-cheese bag. Lis whapped the frog-critter upside the head with her chain, which solved that problem.

Suddenly, someone stuck his head in and yelled "Shipwreck!" Everyone ran down to the part of the shore where shipwrecks happen and found a sailing ship foundering on the rocks. Someone yelled for help, but before anyone could reach the ship, it broke up and sank.

The bodies recovered from the sea showed no obvious signs of what killed them, but Oghal determined that they had been poisoned. When the storm passed and the local youths could dive for sunken treasure, they found that the ship had apparently carried no cargo. Clutched in one corpse's fist was a piece of waterproof parchment with the message,

Arbus Key - tree with bells - 17 pace ENE - look NW to big thorn bsh, dig between bush & rock

A boat is quickly hired and charts for Arbus Key, a pair of small islands two days' sail from the mainland, obtained. The frog-creature, having proved unable to speak anything except Burble, is untied and tossed back into the ocean. The treasure hunt is on!

At Arbus Key, the treasure-hunters find some reefs that make access to the lagoon between the two islands tricky, what look like coral-covered ship pieces imbedded in the hill of the larger island, and not a lot else.

The trees along the shore of the smaller island each have a bell tied to the trunk. After determining that the first dozen they encounter don't lead anywhere that looks like the directions they have, the group is about to give up, but Lis notices that one of the trees has two bells. 17 paces ENE of it is just far enough around a hillock to bring a huge thornbush into view to the northwest, and a hundred feet or so past the bush is a distinctive pyramid-shaped rock. Captain Lis sets the brawny human guys to sweating, and eventually a chest is unearthed. In it, they find twenty pounds of silver coin, a few small gems, and a wooden carving in the shape of a star covered with vines and flowers, which is enchanted.

During the night, they find a frog-creature spying on them and Oghal entangles in in thornbushes, but it provides no useful information so they toss it back.

The next day, while trying to figure whether the thing the wooden star goes with is on the island, they notice a ship with the blue-green sails and hull of a pirate coming around the larger island. With their smaller, more nimble vessel, they get around to the far side of the small island before the pirate ship makes it through the reefs, even though the skull-prowed pirate ship is being guided by more of the frog-creatures.

Yuri, who has stayed behind to keep an eye on the pirates, watches them drop anchor at the larger island, and send ashore a party who goes up into the brush and rocks. Near nightfall, after everyone else has joined him, the shore party returns to the pirate ship.

After full dark, Yuri goes to remove one of the bells from the important tree while Joe and Oghal attempt to erase the signs of their excavation. In the midst of their labors, a longboat with muffled oars appears and unloads half a dozen tough-looking sailors with cutlasses and longbows who head up to the top of the ridge. Lis accosts the thug left to guard the boat with her piratical banter, which goes okay until his buddies are in position, at which point the arrows start flying!

The boat guard shoves the boat out into the lagoon and jumps into it, but Joe jumps in after him and persuades him of the unwisdom of trying to escape. One archer sends a signal flare up, and the rest shoot ineffectually at Lis and Oghal. Having retrieved the boat, Joe flips it over to provide cover, although it's hardly needed. Possibly this is because the archers are being advanced upon by a huge sphere of darkness which emits sizzling bolts of shadow energy.

A group of six frog-creatures attacks from the sea, but Joe kills four of them in a single flurry of glaive-work and the survivors flee. By this time, Yuri has whittled down the archers, and soon they surrender.

Questioning the prisoners reveals that they work for captain Lyris, who has a minotaur navigator and an ally (or girlfriend?) on Big Arbus Key. Apparently the frog-creatures, aka murlocs, poisoned the crew of the Golden Star so Lyris could pillage it, but the storm sent the nearly crewless ship onto the rocks first.

At least a few of the pirates seem to be honorable, so Lis decides to leave them tied up on the beach and take their longboat. (It is considered unlikely that they would be able to find the hidden ship that Lis and her crew arrived on.)

Lis, Joe, Oghal, and Yuri row across to the eastern tip of the larger island, as far from Lyris's ship as they can get without leaving the lagoon. Just as they are about to make landfall, their boat is rammed!

The boat that appears out of the empty ocean initially seems empty, but a sudden minotaur starts hacking at Yuri! Then another minotaur and some murlocs appear to put the hurt on Joe! A female elven voice is heard giving orders in the murloc language.

Everyone bails for the shore, which results in a chaotic melee as Yuri tries to keep all the bad guys in his sphere of darkness so he can safely zap them. Joe, badly wounded, heads for the hills, but Oghal sends his leopard with a healing potion after him so that he can stop and start using his bow on the murlocs.

Both minotaurs are finally taken down, but then a handsome elf, in white leather and silk to set off his gorgeous black hair, appears and engages Lis in swordplay and repartee. When he realizes that he is getting the worst of the exchange, he holds out his hand and vanishes. Moments later, the body of the minotaur who died near the shore tumbles into the water and likewise vanishes.

Lis and her crew scuttle the longboat they came in (it having suffer from some misplaced axe blows), lug the other one well up from the waterline and under cover, and make camp some distance away.

* * *

At that point, the players escaped on the excuses of of tiredness (Ayse) and going-home time (Dave). However, everyone was polite enough to say they had fun and suggest finishing the adventure some night when Al is in Mountain View.

* * *

Writing: VACATION.

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24 November 2005 - Thursday

Happy National Gluttony Day!

The first part of today consisted of people showing up. Also, cooking. And eating.

Some time was passed by playing SPANC and Munchkin Bites, and by trying to suck the brains out of children but getting stopped by the Galactic Police. Bah!

* * *

By the time everyone was assembled, we had 23 people including those previously as well as Chrisber & Christy, some of Al & Sherilyn's local gamers, Sherilyn's sisters and their boythings (husbands?), and some people from down the street with their spawn.

* * *

FOOD! Multiple turkeys, two different kinds of dressing, mashed spuds, yams with cinnamon, green bean cassarole, rolls, gravy, cranberry glop, and about five hundred different kinds of dessert!

* * *

The last part of the day consisted of conversing and rolling around bloatedly while people trickled away.

Even Chrisber & Christy went away, because as usual they have huge amounts to do Right This Minute, but at least we got to see them for a bit!

* * *

Writing: VACATION.

Make a comment!

23 November 2005 - Wednesday

I meant to go in to work earlier than usual today, but failed due to laziness. Then I had to split at noon so as to make it to Lee's and then home by 13:00. Total work time today: 2½ hours. Total other people in my group in the office when I left: 0.

* * *

By the time Ayse and Ken and I got all packed and lunched and whatnot, it was 13:30, which is doing pretty well for us. However, it was about two or three hours too late to be leaving, judging by the point at which the traffic became horrible.

Somewhere between Davis and Sacramento, at about 18:00, we decided to stop for In'n'Out so that no one (who we care about) would die of hypoglycemia. This turned out to be the right move, because by the time we and our blood sugar got back into the car, the traffic was much better, and we made it to Roseville before 19:00. Whew!

* * *

Marith and Dave got in at some fairly late hour, having departed after work (probably well after).

Nothing much happened tonight except flopping around and conversing. Almost like a vacation!

* * *

Writing: VACATION.

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22 November 2005 - Tuesday

Blargh. I woke up half an hour early and couldn't get back to sleep so I just finished getting up and going to work. I'll get to go home a half hour earlier (or not, if I want to virtuously build up some time to cover bailing early tomorrow).

* * *

I did stay the extra half-hour, although I didn't get much done.

* * *

The triumphant conclusion of Earth Maiden Arjuna! It seemed to go over well, although we had only one viewer who hadn't seen it before, because Neil has abandoned us on some preposterous excuse or another.

Next week: Scrapped Princess! I think, although if people start sending me mail about how they're unavailable for the whole month of December, I might put off starting anything new until after the season of scheduling failure.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

21 November 2005 - Monday

Monday is less horrible when I know it's a short week!

* * *

Our shiny new manager is on vacation for three weeks, so we have a new different interim manager. Wheee! (But it's someone who has been part of the group since ages before I arrived, so it's not actually some random lunatic inflicted upon us.)

* * *

Finished Pushing Ice (Alastair Reynolds). It is in the "hapless humans engulfed by insanely advanced alien structure" microgenre that I associate with Sean Williams & Shane Dix, which differs from older variants of the theme by making the structure more advanced and less comprehensible.

Watched a couple episodes of Tenjho Tenge, but didn't finish the disc because after feeding my evening into the ravenous maw of sudoku there wasn't enough left.

* * *

Writing: check.

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20 November 2005 - Sunday

For the first time in N weeks, we have successfully played Red Room!

After making a daring mid-air transfer to rescue a senator's brain, the intrepid agents of Red Room infiltrated the secret Brain Hideout in the secure Mormon genealogical record facility under a mountain in Utah, which turned out to be filled with killer robots, laser-shooting brain tanks, and annoying paranormals. Earl had to flee to eat the brains of classical guitarists, so we didn't get to finish the fight, but things look moderately auspicious for next fortnight.

* * *

Marith came over and we watched some Buffy. So much doom!

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

19 November 2005 - Saturday

I intended to pillage Thai City for lunch, but Earl abducted me to see the new Harry Potter movie.

It wasn't bad. I think someone who hadn't read the book would have a bit of trouble following the plot, but possibly that's not a concern for the target audience. (Thus, I will not worry about spoilers.)

Rabid Snape fans will be disappointed. Rabid Harry fans will salivate. Fans of teenaged girls will be pleased - Hermione is in imminent danger of developing a figure, and although Fleur Delacour isn't as inhumanly perfect as she should be (they dropped the whole veela thing entirely), she's not bad for a human. The dragon was good, the maze was creepy, and how can you go wrong with octopus-goblins?

* * *

Ayse & Ken are no longer deathly ill! They aren't well, but it was deemed safe to eat take-out Thai food with them, and play Carcasonne. There might have been hugs.

* * *

Spiral continues to be all deathtraps, all the time.

* * *

Stayed up much too late reading Pushing Ice (Alastair Reynolds).

* * *

Writing: check.

harry potter by kit (Tue Nov 22 04:32:42 2005)

I thought the dragon was the best dragon I've seen yet. I'm very picky about my dragons, and nobody's convinced me that that was really a dragon, so far. Except they might've, with Harry Potter. I was very pleased with it.

Make a comment!

18 November 2005 - Friday

There is not a lot of work going on here today. Possibly this is because it's our former interim manager's last day here, or possibly it's because there is an electric-scooter race scheduled for this afternoon. Or maybe just because it's Friday.

Bizarrely, the first draft of the thing I finished yesterday is meeting with great approval among my cow orkers.

The scooter race wasn't that exciting. No deaths, not even any maimings. Don't these people know what we want from motor sports?

* * *

Nothing exciting happening tonight. I flopped around and then watched some Wolf's Rain. Since it's mentioned in the Gratuitously Depressing Awards (warning, spoilers for lots of depressing fiction), I'm sure it will end badly, but so far a surprising number of major characters are still alive. Presumably there will be a huge climactic outbreak of doom on the last disc.

* * *

Writing: check.

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17 November 2005 - Thursday

Finished one of the things I am supposed to finish by the end of the quarter and sent it to my cow orkers for mockery.

* * *

Whee! Anime!

I now have the first 2/3 of Scrapped Princess and all of Paranoia Agent, so we are set for Tuesday Night Anime for some time to come.

I also have the latest commercial disc of Full Metal Alchemist on real DVD, but it only has two episodes we haven't seen, so it'll be back to the cheesy home-made fansub discs soon enough.

* * *

I have run out of Bleach! Oh NO!

Oh, wait, Chris has pointed me to a translation of episode 58 by a different group, so I'll set spore to downloading it.

* * *

Six episodes of Futurama in a row is Too Much.

* * *

Writing: check, but just barely.

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16 November 2005 - Wednesday

Still no volume 4 of the Full Metal Alchemist manga at Lee's. I think their distributor randomly decided to not ship them any. I'll have to buy it elsewhere, I guess.

* * *

Stopping off at Lee's puts me on the same bus as the cute girl, but I'm still lame.

* * *

No Dragonblooded, because Ken & Ayse are still snot-based lifeforms, but they are optimistic about next fortnight!

* * *

Now I have watched up through episode 54 of Bleach. Woo!

I still don't know where the plot is going, though. Some signs indicate that this should be almost the end, but there are still 20-odd episodes of the anime, and apparently the manga continues on much further.

* * *

Wow, six episodes to a disc of Futurama!

"Luck of the Fryrish" was actually pretty touching, although I think it was supposed to be mocking the idea of being touching.

* * *

Writing: check.

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15 November 2005 - Tuesday

Bah, the next commercial Full Metal Alchemist DVD hasn't arrived yet, so we have to watch my cheesy homemade DVD. But that does not prevent us from experiencing the augh!

They missed a great chance at soul-crushing, fangirl-squeeing angst, though.

* * *

For lack of spoons to do anything better after Tuesday Night Anime, I watched some Futurama. Yay parasites!

* * *

Writing: check. (Really more rewriting, but whatever.)

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14 November 2005 - Monday

Back to the ticket mines!

* * *

Splut. I watched one episode of Bleach, but then wasted so much time playing sudoku that I couldn't watch the next (double) episode before bedtime.

* * *

Today's hideously geeky D&D3.x question: Suppose I want a spell that duplicates the effect of two lower-level spells. How many levels higher should the combo spell be?

For example, take the (currently nonexistent) spell Robin's safe strategic withdrawal, which puts a shield and expeditious retreat on the caster. Both of these are first-level spells. (Neglect for the moment the possibility of having to change the range/duration/targets of one or both spells to make them the same, which could result in one of them changing level.) What level should Rssw be? Second? Third? Fourth?

Haste, a third-level spell, lets you cast two spells a round. It also lets you cast a spell and do something else, or do two other things, and lets you do this for several rounds, but doesn't start letting you do this until the next round (one action of the first round of haste being used to caste haste itself). So, in this case, it would be hard to argue that Rssw should be higher than third level. However, you can make this same argument for ninth-level spells, so it doesn't generalize except to suggest that the combo spell shouldn't be more than two levels higher than the component spells.

Hideously geeky D&D3.x GMs?

* * *

Writing: check.

DnD by Ken (Thu Nov 17 15:17:38 2005)

Hrm. Well, there's a metamagic feat called "Twin Spell", which basically means that when you cast the spell, you actually cast two exactly identical copies of it, that both have to be saved against. The level adjustment is +4. I'd probably run it in a similar fashion, though I'd say it's 4 higher than the cost of the hightest level spell. So the example you gave, since they're both first, would be fifth level.

Re: DnD by Trip (Thu Nov 17 15:32:53 2005)

That seems a bit high.

I think Twin Spell is mostly useful for attack spells (damage always stacks), while a combo spell is probably most useful for buffs.

Dave has a complicated[*] scheme involving the 3.5 item creation rules that makes some degree of sense. The basic idea is that you figure out what the cost of an item that invokes the two spells with a single standard action would be, and then figure out what level a single spell that cost that much would be. It depends a lot on the similarity of the spells, and on their duration (comboing two spells that have a long duration anyway isn't that useful), but for the example above, it would be a second level spell. Two second level spells with a duration of minutes would be a fifth level spell, two third level spells would be a seventh level spell, and two fourth level spells would be OVERFLOW.

[1] Not more complicated than the 3.5 item creation rules themselves, though.

Re: DnD by Dave (Fri Nov 18 08:19:26 2005)

Note that the item creation rules don't cover your example, Ken. Specifically, there's no way to allow more than one instant spell (such as attack spells) to be cast at the same time.

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13 November 2005 - Sunday

Stayed in bed reading the Garrett book, Whispering Nickel Idols. It was okay, although not the best of the lot. At least it didn't have UFOs.

* * *

I'm glad other people think that atlatls are cool. I feel all vindicated on behalf of my Amber High School character.

* * *

My best time yet for a medium sudoku: 7:17. (Top 14%!)

* * *

I stayed off the computer for much of the afternoon, because I went to the coffeehouse with Marith and she borrowed spore to type in notes for one of the many papers she should be writing.

* * *

No D&D, because Ayse and Ken, though not dead, are filled with germs. Sad!

Dave and I did go over to make sure they are still alive, which they are. Perhaps there will be gaming someday soon.

* * *

My worst time yet for a medium sudoku: 30:18. In my defense, the top and bottom rows were completely empty, so it took a while to figure them out from only the other two constraints.

* * *

The Shadow Star anime is kind of creepy. Possibly more so because you can hear the affectless guy's affectless voice.

* * *

Writing: check.

Make a comment!

12 November 2005 - Saturday

I slept way in, but I feel rested, so I figure I'm doing okay.

* * *

Went to the coffeehouse with Marith. Finished reading Scardown, which was just as good as Hammered. Now I want the next book, which is allegedly out in "Fall 2005".

I found an anthology with stories by Tanith Lee, Mercedes Lackey, and some Irish chick, that looks like it might not be too bad. Also a new Garrett book (Glen Cook), and a new Barbara Hambly. For a bookstore accident, it wasn't too traumatic.

* * *

I'm now up through episode 50 of Bleach. Only 6 more, and then I have to start waiting for more to be subbed. The horror!

Still no idea who the main bad guy is. There's an obvious candidate, but apparently we still have 20-30 episodes to go, so it's not likely to be the one who seems most likely at this point.

* * *

Writing: check.

Bleach 57 by Carl (Mon Nov 14 21:57:10 2005)

Bleach 57 is out now fansubbed by Bleach-Society, but not by Lunar yet. I prefer Lunar's translation but Bleach-Society's isn't bad -- they leave a lot more terms untranslated, and use "vice captain" instead of lieutenant, and like that.

But now that I've caught up, I must wait for the week-by-week new episode. In the meantime I'm watching Spiral so thanks for mentioning that some time ago. (Also Ceres, which I very much like the premise of, but we'll see about the execution. I've only seen the first volume so far.)

Re: Bleach 57 by Trip (Tue Nov 15 12:05:00 2005)

I haven't managed to even watch the 52-53 double episode, so by the time I finish 56, 57 will probably be out.

I should make Greencine deliver more Spiral to me!

Ceres was mocked by Tuesday Night Anime (when it was still at Ray's), but we mocked a lot of things that other people seem to like (eg, Hellsing).

Bleach 57 by Carl (Tue Nov 15 21:29:33 2005)

And indeed, Lunar's fansub of Bleach 57 came out today, going from 30 seeds with 1800 peers to 3000 seeds with 5400 peers in less than 5 hours. At 100x growth every 5 hours, everyone in the world should have a copy by tomorrow!

Ah, a moment of nostalgia for the internet math of the late 90's...

Re: Bleach 57 by Trip (Thu Nov 17 12:23:25 2005)

That would explain why it downloaded in about three hours, instead of thirty!

But I'm up to #54, and I still don't know what the plot is doing.

Make a comment!

11 November 2005 - Friday

Yay Friday! It is not a day too soon, as I have the Quite Large Sleepies today.

Also, Friday means free bagels with many exciting spreads, like Belgian chocolate orange (too sweet and not very good) and roasted red pepper (yummy).

I suppose I should work on the two projects I'm supposed to complete by the end of the quarter. But that would require me to be awake.

* * *

On the bus home, while failing to talk to the cute girl who also sometimes rides the 18:00 #40, I finished Hammered (Elizabeth Bear), which is quite good cyberpunk with girl cooties. (And with abandoned alien spaceships on Mars, but that seems to be standard these days.)

Now I can start the next book, Scardown!

* * *

Ayse and Ken are apparently still dead or sick or something, so there is no Sailor Moon tonight. I guess I will just have to watch the recent Appleseed movie.

[...]

The setting was enough like Shirow's that if they didn't credit him, it would plagiarism. Many of the names and character and mecha designs are also like those of the original work. The plot and characterization, not so much.

It's all computer-animated, even the people, which is kind of strange. It's not up to the standard of this year's big-budget movies (but probably cost one or two orders of magnitude less, so I can't really blame them), but better than the Final Fantasy movie of a few years back. The style is weird, but I finally figured out that it's because the characters are computer-animated in anime style, especially in the way that hair is simplified.

Anyway, not one of the better anime movies I've seen.

* * *

Writing: check.

flirting with cute girls by cat (Mon Nov 14 16:14:23 2005)

dunno if you've even done the "shy smile at cute girl" part yet, but if you do get past that, i'd be happy to supply you with origami roses to toss at her. =D

(yeah, flirting is hard. all i've really figured out is eye contact then smile, then i devolve to being afraid to talk in the likely case that i'll sound like a gibbering idiot.)

Re: flirting with cute girls by Trip (Tue Nov 15 12:02:35 2005)

I have talked to her a bit, but only boring stuff like "Isn't the bus ever going t get here?". Even then, I gibber like an idiot. (It's not clear I ever do anything else, mind you.)

Flirting is hard! Let's hide under a rock!

Short Shameful Confession by Trip (Tue Nov 15 12:56:07 2005)

The line "flirting with cute girls by cat" unstoppably enters my brain as "flirting with cute catgirls".

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10 November 2005 - Thursday

Hard sudokus are actually hard. Who would have thought?

* * *

Tenjho Tenge is so very um. But it is definitely better than Ikki Tousen.

* * *

Writing: check.

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9 November 2005 - Wednesday

Yay, comics. Sigh, no gaming.

* * *

I seem to have moved on to medium-difficulty sudokus. Maybe I should just skip straight to the "evil" level and have my head explode now.

* * *

Ordered Scrapped Princess for Tuesday Night Anime. Also more Full Metal Alchemist.

* * *

Finally finished the disc of Lunar Legend Tsukihime, which turned out to be the last one. Sure, that was kind of like an ending.

* * *

Writing: check.

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8 November 2005 - Tuesday

Who would have thought a 2½ hour meeting could actually be productive? I suspect it was successful because there were only three of us. Anyway, now I can be sort of a tech writer, as well as a ticket monkey.

* * *

Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex seems to be pretty well-received, although mockery of the Major's standard outfit was rife. The tachikomas were a big hit.

* * *

I need to be functional by 8:00 tomorrow, so there was no Bleach or even much sudoku after TNA finished.

* * *

Writing: check.

Teusday Night Anime by Dave (Wed Nov 9 17:26:19 2005)

In keeping with the mockery, shouldn't that be T&A? ;)

Re: Teusday Night Anime by Trip (Wed Nov 9 20:54:45 2005)

DAVEBAT!

Re: TNA by Carl (Wed Nov 9 21:27:55 2005)

By the end of the series you may have a better idea of why the Major dresses that way. Pay close attention! :-)

Re: TNA by Trip (Thu Nov 10 13:49:27 2005)

I've watched up through disc 5, and I didn't see anything that registered as a good excuse for having that bodysuit crawl up her butt, but I guess I'm willing to believe you for the time being.

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7 November 2005 - Monday

Whee, Monday.

* * *

Watched a couple more episodes of Bleach and uh... that's about it.

* * *

Writing: check.

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6 November 2005 - Sunday

I didn't get up until almost 15:00, because some fool left The Gate of Gods (Martha Wells) next to my bed.

I am not sure what the best description for Wells's writing is. "Good, solid fantasy", I guess. Not as idea-ful as John C Wright (see yesterday's entry), but perfectly good writing, not extruded. Anyway, I like her stuff.

* * *

Certain Red Room players have left the state, so there is no gaming today. Sad.

* * *

Gwack, it's the Dark Part of the Year! It's only 17:30 and already dark enough to justify watching anime!

Gunslinger Girl disc 3, which think is the end. At least, it's episode 13 and I don't recall seeing more on Greencine. Not quite as doomed and final as I thought the ending would be.

More Bleach. Finally we get to see what Ishida and Orihime have been doing while Ichigo has been getting the crap beat out of him repeatedly: being fairly clever, but running into by far the creepiest villain yet. Also: Yoruichi's secret revealed!

I still like Orihime, for reasons similar to why I like Mutsumi from Love Hina. With just a little more focus, she could be remarkably scary, being just about the only hero who thinks even occasionally. (Plus I liked, "Oh, yah, I learned a little bit of karate from Tatsuki. She says I'm probably about equivalent to a first-degree black belt. Didn't I mention that?")

Two episodes of Lunar Legend Tsukihime. I think I would be more involved if fewer months had elapsed since I last watched any. (This is one of the downsides of my approach to Greencine, I guess.)

* * *

5:59 for an easy sudoku! But it was the easiest sudoko ever; about half of the rows/columns/squares had the magic 7/9 filled in that lets my tiny little brain leap to the remaining two. My usual time is still more like ten minutes.

* * *

I gave in and looked for spoilers for the KoL quest I've been trying to find a piece for, and it turns out I've been looking in the right place, it's just that the RNG doesn't like handing out this particular item. Grind grind grind.

* * *

Writing: check.

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5 November 2005 - Saturday

Orange Blossom Ribs at Chef Chu's are not best for parasites: they are too sweet, and are not deboned which makes them hard to eat while holding a book in one's other tentacle. Ah well.

* * *

Finished reading The Mist of Everness (John C Wright). I won't say it was without flaw, but overall it rocked pretty well. Mage: The Pretension wishes it were this cool.

* * *

Marith came to force me to watch more Buffy. Oh no. Oh the horror.

Not a slam against the show, but it is very hard to stop looking for reasons for things to happen in fiction even when it's perfectly obvious that the real answer is "Writer wanted the plot to go THIS way, never mind what the characters would do".

* * *

Sudoku seems to be loosening its grasp on the part of my brain that wants to do simple, repetitive, not completely mindless things for hours on end.

* * *

Writing: check.

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4 November 2005 - Friday

Today we had the "going-away" lunch for Todd, the guy who has been our manager for the past few months (since before I arrived, anyway), since Charles, the new specially-hired manager starts Monday. In an example of our usual level of organization, we somehow ended up at Straits Cafe. We forced Todd to give a speech, which I record here for posterity:

You tried to destroy me, but I was too powerful.

Then everyone was sleepy, so we went back to the office and pretended to work.

* * *

Nothing exciting going on tonight, so I watched more Bleach, and set spore to downloading the new bits that had appeared since I last checked (54-56).

* * *

Writing: check.

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3 November 2005 - Thursday

Wow. When I got in, there was only one new ticket and one continued ticket in the queue. Maybe I scared away all the customers!

* * *

Okay, this smart pen is just plain cool, even with the points off for voice interface[1]. I've had dreams about this sort of tech.

1: My belief is that for most serious computer work, voice input would be okay, but output has to be something persistent like text.

* * *

Argh! Curse you, Marith!

Sudoku puzzles still aren't all that interesting, but they are darn addictive. Everything I meant to do this evening (watch anime, eat dinner, go to bed on time, ...) vanished down the rathole of arranging glyphs in careful patterns.

I'm not even any good at it!

* * *

Writing: check. (I did it before getting sucked into sudoku.)

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2 November 2005 - Wednesday

Aw! No Dragonblooded, because Ken is sick, Ayse has to do a surprise midterm, and Mike is bailing anyway.

Time to watch anime!

* * *

Okay, maybe there was some Kingdom of Loathing in there too. I got the pineal glands turned into blowguns and successfully cured one of Ken's characters, but the Council of Loathing is still not impressed. Bah!

* * *

Two more episodes of Bleach, so I'm up to 35 now. I think this particular plot arc has now taken more than half of what I've seen, and seems good for another 20-30 episodes. I guess that does answer the question of where the series would go after this. :)

Then, the first disc (four episodes) of Scrapped Princess. Although the name makes one think of Battle Angle Alita-style cyborgs, it's actually pretty straight fantasy (though with the inevitable hints that it's post-holocaust Earth rather than a secondary world). I read the manga a few weeks ago, and wasn't that impressed, but I never got around to taking the anime off my Greencine list, and that may have been for the best. I don't recall the manga conveying nearly as much of the doom of being fifteen and having actual objective proof that everyone hates you and the world would be better off without you. Anyway, I liked it okay, and will probably watch more when it comes out.

* * *

Writing: check.

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1 November 2005 - Tuesday

Surprisingly, no Very Big Sleepies despite having been all social and vaguely thinkish last night.

Take that, tickets! And that!

* * *

Finally, the finale of Noir! Apparently it was not exactly as Dave predicted, so I guess there is still a point to fiction for him.

Next week, Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex!

* * *

I spent jillions of adventures trying to do the new quest in KoL, but although I have a substantial collection of zombie pineal glands, the Council of Loathing doesn't seem to think I've made any progress, and the pineal glands are in my inventory under Miscellaneous, not under Quest Items. Obviously I am missing something blazingly obvious.

* * *

Writing: check.

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