Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2007 - Friday

Work: Friday!

Silly Computer Games: Spent the whole evening playing DTD, because I suck.

Cats: Argh, Benny and Marmalade have both gotten out of their collars! I was able to find Marmalade's, in much the same place as last time -- I guess he has a favorite place to sit while scratching his neck -- but I can't find Benny's. Sheesh!

I did manage to pick up Benny to make sure his black collar wasn't just lurking around his black-striped neck!

Writing: Check.

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30 August 2007 - Thursday

Modern Medicine: Not dead yet, despite having to get up a million jillion hours early to go to the doctor. Like many Americans, I need to give up my desk job and stop eating.

Visual Entertainments: Final disc of Solty Rei. I'm not sure about the Sudden Extra Bonus Threat; what, was the ending looking too happy? On the other hand, it was an actual end, with things explained and wrapped up.

Cats: Twelve paws of cuteness!

Writing: Check.

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29 August 2007 - Wednesday

Gaming: Ken lured Dave and me over to help him try out Phoenicia. I almost won, but Ken pulled ahead at the last moment by a single point! Bah! Possibly I could have won if I had spent my money on clothmakers instead of development cards, but I'm not sure. Those would have been awfully expensive victory points, but maybe the production would have made up for that. Dunno.

Even with Dave, I think we could probably play a full game in an hour and a half now that we know the rules. It might be too easily analyzed to have long-term interest, but the bidding aspect might negate that. We'll have to see.

Visual Entertainments: No visual entertainments tonight, because Cat and Earl are in Japan having fun without us. Also, Ayse will be busy every Wednesday night for the rest of the year, so no more Ghost Hunt. Bah! I wanted to see that!

Silly Computer Games: Note to all who play DTD self: Really, just level up your main towers. Don't try branching out to specialized towers until the main cluster is complete. Typhoon towers FTW!

Cats: Twelve paws! Of scampering!

Writing: Check.

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28 August 2007 - Tuesday

The Future: Cybereyes!

Visual Entertainments: Neil isn't dead! I was able to give him many DVDs to catch up! I think he was confused by Coyote Ragtime Show but it still rocks! Bleach is still spiraling toward death! El-Hazard: The Alternative World is about to spiral toward death! Honey and Clover Special F is, if possible, sillier than Special L!

Silly Computer Games: Apparently completing DTD on hard was a fluke. Bah! I pulsate sullenly!

Cats: I petted Aspen while she was on top of the cat tree trying to eat the Kibble of Skinniness! I don't think she enjoyed it, but I stopped before she ran away, so it was all okay. Such a cute kitty!

Writing: FAILURE. Couldn't think of anything to write, because I suck.

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27 August 2007 - Monday

Twisted Genius: Ninja Princess Usagi-chan Go!

Well. It's twisted, anyway!

Visual Entertainments: Penultimate disc of DNAngel. Needs more doom.

Cats: Twelve paws! And I almost petted Benny while he was demanding breakfast!

Writing: Check.

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26 August 2007 - Sunday

Silly Computer Games: Ahahahahaha! I have completed DTD on the hard level! Victory is MINE!

Cats: I refilled the cats' food supply with diet kibble, in the hopes of getting Aspen to be somewhat less bloated.

Writing: Check.

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25 August 2007 - Saturday

Food: Marith came to have Thai lunch with me! Muahahaha!

Visual Entertainments: Second disc of Moon Phase. Random scary bits!

Cats: Twelve paws! No more, no less!

Writing: Check.

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24 August 2007 - Friday

Cats: Today is Marmalade's birthday! Yay Marmalade!

I didn't do anything special, but I gave him all the love I usually do!

Writing: Check.

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23 August 2007 - Thursday

Silly Computer Games: DTD is still pretty hard in hard mode. Part of it is that certain creeps don't seem to be taking damage from what damaged them in medium mode. Maybe I just haven't upgraded those towers enough?

Apparently I have infected others with DTD, though. Muahahaha.

Cats: Twelve paws! Mostly on my keyboard!

Writing: Check.

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22 August 2007 - Wednesday

Work: Bah, customers. And software engineers.

Gaming:Dragon-Blooded! Our plan now is to finish fixing the airship and flee the Ruined City of Phat Lewts, returning home in triumph. Hopefully we can do this before getting eaten by Mike's character's offended flower-goddess girlfriend, the Ghoul King, the giant leeches, or any of the other uppity locals. (Then we can sit in luxurious safety at home, making the next generation go out into the jungle to fetch us ancient artifacts.)

Cats: Benny used his feline wiles in an attempt to get me to feed him breakfast sooner! Aspen let me pet her even though she wasn't eating gooshyfoods at the time! (But it was immediately after breakfast, so I guess she was still in a good mood.)

Writing: Check.

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21 August 2007 - Tuesday

Visual Entertainments: Still no Neil! Hopefully someday he will show up so I can hand off all the DVDs he needs to catch up, as my DVD bag is getting quite full!

"Special L" of Honey and Clover is almost entirely plot-free, but extremely silly. Bleach is obviously entering the end-of-arc death spiral. El-Hazard: The Alternative World continues to portary Fatora as deeply unsympathetic, although I don't know what people have against Alielle.

Carl has not led us astray with Coyote Ragtime Show! It rocks! Although I'm not sure Angelica has any room to be criticizing Chelsea there.

Silly Computer Games: Hm, hard mode is more difficult than medium mode. Who would have thought?

Cats: Still twelve paws! No paws have escaped the apartment!

Writing: Checkish.

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20 August 2007 - Monday

Work: Ew, Monday.

Visual Entertainments: Fifth disc of DNAngel. There's a little bit of doom!

Silly Computer Games: VICTORY! I actually swiped the technique from a different other smarter person, and it turns out that some creeps are more explodable than I thought. However, the principle of upgrading to the highest level of whatever tower type you concentrate on seems to be generally applicable. 'cause I'm an idiot.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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19 August 2007 - Sunday


Marith and Dave and I went to Santa Cruz with the birthday boy and his wife, to eat and buy books and sit at the Perg reading and then eat more. I bought so many books!

Food: Pearl Alley Bistro food from Sicily! I had a pork chop, because none of the pastas were what I wanted, but it was a very good pork chop! Also, chocolate souffle!

Visual Entertainments: Finished the disc of DNAngel like a couch potato with numerous eyes. Now I can send it back and maybe get something cooler in return.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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18 August 2007 - Saturday

Silly Computer Games: I finally gave in and looked at other people's solutions to DTD. As anyone able to outwit a turnip would have predicted, the key is the one tower type I had disdained as not cost-effective. It doesn't help against the fliers, and I haven't figured out how to balance building air defense while also keeping regular creeps in check long enough to scrimp and save and build the Tower of Doom, but building a ToD early and upgrading it to crush later waves is clearly much more functional than building the basic model later in the game and going enh.

Visual Entertainments: DNAngel. It isn't that great, but it's okay, and apparently someone else is renting all the other discs in my GreenCine queue.

Cats: Aspen tolerated petting that once, but scooping is Not Okay! Ow.

Writing: Check. An actual check, with The Transmundane and everything!

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17 August 2007 - Friday

Work: Blah, customers. But physically I am well!

Cats: I petted Aspen! She was sitting on a paper bag by the screen door, and I just reached down and petted her! She twitched twitchily, but I stopped when it looked like she was going to get up.

Yay Aspen!

Writing: Check.

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16 August 2007 - Thursday

Work: Not dead! But I mostly avoided the cafeteria, so I still don't know why I felt so bad yesterday.

Visual Entertainments: Disc 5 of Solty Rei Hm, that's a plot twist! And that's another! And there's some doom!

Cats: Marmalade has been successfully recollared! Benny has been seen all the way at the top of the cat tree eating kibble! Aspen is still very plump!

Writing: Check, ish. Writing is hard, let's die in a pit. A deep pit. With no ponies.

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15 August 2007 - Wednesday

Work: Maybe it wasn't something I ate yesterday after all, since I started feeling horrible around midday despite not having eaten anything from the cafeteria since breakfast. Hopefully it's just germs and not alien waves being beamed into the building, the ancient Indian burial ground under the site, or formaldehyde in the ventilation system. Anyway, I went home early, and soon felt better, but getting out in the fresh air probably accounts for that.

Visual Entertainments: Marith successfully showed people (well, monkeycats and Cat) the first episode of Mushi-Shi, which they liked! Then Ayse showed us the first story arc (3 episodes) of Ghost Hunt, which I like! I think other people like it too!

Cats: Aspen seems somewhat less interested in gooshyfoods. Maybe she thinks she finally has enough reserves for when I reveal my cat-eating ways and she has to escape and live of the land. (Hopefully it won't come to that, because I am not optimistic about her ability to fight off a raccoon.)

Writing: Check.

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14 August 2007 - Tuesday

Work: I think Marmalade ate my brain while snuggling me last night!

Food: Bah, something I ate at lunch was the wrong thing to eat. I am saddened that the nearest cafeteria serves only rich and fancy food, not simple things like chicken.

Visual Entertainments: Neil had too many detached single-family residential units and genetic recombination carriers to make it to Tuesday Night Anime, but we don't hold that against him.

Last episodes of Mushi-Shi! A little more of Ginko's history was revealed, but no more than in previous episodes. That is as it should be.

Bleach episode 100! Definitely a new record for any series shown at Tuesday Night Anime or its ancestors! Also, go Soi Fon!

End of season one of Honey and Clover! Now two specials and then the twelve episodes of second season!

Oh, and more El-Hazard: The Alternative World. Sorry, no records set here, except maybe for denseness on Makoto's part.

Cats: Among them, my cats consistently have twelve paws. However, I'm pretty sure Marmalade has more than his fair share when he walks across my keyboard!

Writing: Check, ish.

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13 August 2007 - Monday

Work: First day of work in the new digs. It is still convenient to the bus, but much more isolated from the main campus (a few blocks, instead of across the street) so lunch choices etc are more constrained. Ah well.

The restroom seems to have only scary electric toilets. I fear them.

Visual Entertainments: Seventh and final disc of Madlax! It sort of makes sense, but the mystical bits are pretty vague. Maybe that is as it should be. Anyway, victory, tragedy, hot girls in skimpy evening gowns, how can you go wrong?

Silly Computer Games: Snivel and whine.

Cats: Benny likes to whirl and pounce upon the Red Spot of Uncatchability, and will chase it up the wall. Aspen just likes running up and down the length of the hall after it, and will sit at the base of the wall and wait for it to come down. Marmalade is too cool to be interested in a mere dot of photons, but when I went to bed he came to be Super Snuggle Beast Marma-Marma!

Writing: Check, ish.

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12 August 2007 - Sunday

Visual Entertainments: Disc 6 of Madlax. Doom! DOOOOOM!

Food: Blackberry whatsit that Al pressed upon us as we were forcing ourselves out the door. It was pretty good!

Silly Computer Games: Snivel.

Cats: Argh, Marmalade has taken his collar off and hidden it somewhere! And I still haven't managed to grow enough additional tentacles to both hold on to Aspen and put a collar on her. I'm sure Benny feels unjustly oppressed!

Writing: Check. Maybe even enough to make up for yesterday, although of low quality.

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11 August 2007 - Saturday

Travel: Our path was plagued by delays of various sorts, but Marith and I eventually made it to Roseville, only slightly delaying the start of...

Amazon Sextet of Justice XIId: "Death Spiral II: The Lich's Cursed Library!"

After defeating the enlarged giant dire elk of unusual size, the Amazons return to Rati to regroup (and exchange the druid's belongings for more useful magic). While Amaryllis is out negotiating with wizards, Natalya is accosted by an urchin who informs her that a large, scary guy is asking after her in seedy bars. Amazons are not afraid of seedy bars or strange men, but a reasonable amount of caution seems indicated, so Natalya takes Gabrielle with her to meet the inquirer.

The big scary man turns out to be a midget fire giant, from the clan Amaryllis and Natalya befriended earlier, bringing a request for the Amazons to help them against their enemies, the frost giants. Normally the frost giants are under the protection of their lich master, but the lich is away at the moment, so the time is right for a massive assault!

Our Heroines are all in favor of destroying liches, but aren't sure they're powerful enough yet, and anyways the world needs saving. Fresa beseeches her god for information, and learns that the lich has important information stored in his library, and that he will return from his horrible undead business in two days. The time is definitely right for an assault on the lich's fortress!

The Sextet travel to the fire giants' village that night, so that before the next dawn Fresa can pray with extraordinary ceremony and receive the spell she needs for their Brilliant Strategem.

Early in the morning, Our Heroines descend into the lich's stronghold, which turns out to be a series of rooms arranged in a descending helix very much like the ancient dwarven tomb they explored during their very first adventure together. The Strategem is shown to indeed be Brilliant, or at least moderately clever: safe inside a globe of anti-magic, the Amazons can't be attacked by the spectres guarding the entrance, nor can the enormous iron golem's toxic breath or the marilith demon's ensorcelled weapons prevail against them. There is a bit of excitement when Marika and Alyra have to venture out of the protection to smite their foes with cold steel and they discover there is an invisible imp on the golem's back setting off fire traps to heal it, but despite the loss of Amaryllis's magic, the monsters are all defeated and none of the Amazons suffer any lasting hurt.

The bottom of the dungeon, and the lich's library, still lie further below!

[Antimagic field is amazingly useful, but amazingly annoying to use in play. Not only does it force everyone to recalculate their bonuses all the time, but using it brings up all sorts of questions like, "Does a +3 holy bow used in an antimagic field imbue its arrows with holy energy for +2d6 damage against evil creatures? (No, we think.) How about the +3 on attack and damage rolls? (Yes, we think.)" and "If a monster takes up 8 squares, but only 3 of those squares are in the antimagic field, are the monster's buffs disabled? Is it protected from spells? (Either both yes or both no, pretty clearly, but yes or no depending on whether it seems like most of the monster is in those 3 squares. Maybe. We think.)" Gah! Games without to-scale maps and detailed rules seem more appealing all the time!]

Food:No deaths from starvation occurred, no matter what Sherilyn may tell you.

Cats: One... five... seven... eleven... eleven... TWELVE! Still twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE.

AQoj by Silkie (Mon Aug 13 19:08:44 2007)

I liked it when someone pointed out that we were doing a reverse horror movie when the spectres kept sending someone to see what you were up to (trying to avoid the anti-magic field) and getting trapped in Gabrielle's Sunlight one by one. :)

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10 August 2007 - Friday

Work: Shut down and packed up my cube so that on Monday I can work in a completely different place!

Visual Entertainments: Marith and I went to see Stardust, and it was swell! I haven't read the original in ages, but it seemed to have the same basic story and major factions and generally not be a travesty, as well as being a fine fantasy movie in its own right. Everyone should go see it on opening weekend so that more movies like it can get made!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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9 August 2007 - Thursday

Work: Check.

Silly Computer Games: I can feel my brain shrinking.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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8 August 2007 - Wednesday

Work: Brain still so tiny! Haven't slept well the past three nights, sigh.

Visual Entertainments: Disc 4 of Solty Rei. After the doom of disc 3... MORE DOOM!

Food: I grabbed the wrong can out of the fridge, which led to having a gingerale float for dessert. It was okay, but not serendipitous.

Silly Computer Games: Argh! DTD still foils me! My brain is too small!

Cats: Twelve paws! And 5.9 ears!

Writing: Check.

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7 August 2007 - Tuesday

Work: My brain is so small. Also, apparently starting next week I'll be working in a different office. I think it's just up the road a piece, but I should probably find out before Monday.

Visual Entertainments: Marith was too doomed by her organization's incompetent management[1] to make it to Tuesday Night Anime, but Neil wasn't dead, so we gathered anyway. I was too much of a huge dumb dumbass to bring all the El-Hazard: The Alternative World, so we made up for it by watching extra Honey and Clover and then quickly editing the schedule before anyone noticed.

[1]In general, people don't get positions of power by being competent. They get positions of power by being sociopaths having major personality disorders.

Next week, end of Mushi-Shi! Sniff!

Silly Computer Games: Argh. Trying to be more clever than "all pellet towers all the time except a few ink towers" just gets me fewer points. Obviously there is an extremely clever solution that I am not clever enough to see.

Cats: Twelve paws! And also three noses!

Writing: Check.

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6 August 2007 - Monday

Work: Blah. Customers.

Visual Entertainments: Disc 3 of Solty Rei. Ah, there's the doom!

Silly Computer Games: I appear to be getting worse at DTD! This is most unfair!

Cats: Benny gambolled on my legs this morning! I don't know if he doesn't connect the lumps under the covers to my head and arms at the far end of the bed, or if he just presumes the blanket will keep me from devouring him, but he tromped back and forth across me and even settled down between my legs and batted at my hand for a little while!

Writing: Check.

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5 August 2007 - Sunday

Visual Entertainments: Earl lured me to see The Bourne Ultimatum. It was reasonably well-done, but didn't grab me, possibly because I didn't see the preceding movie. Also, there was too much camera motion for how close I was sitting to the screen.

Also, since I bought a new boxed set of El-Hazard a few weeks ago, the one I had lost has resurfaced. Anyone want it?

Gaming: Jehanne, Alazaïs, and entourage have successfully killed the barghast that has been plaguing the area! Sadly, they did it by scrying to find the barghast and then teleporting in, which means we have entered That Phase of the campaign.

Is it just us, or are barghasts drastically under-CRed? 4 9th-level characters were able to take it out pretty easily, but if we had tried to face it at 4th level, it would have been TPK.

Silly Computer Games: So much more Desktop Tower Defense doom!

Cats: I can pet Aspen while she is on top of the cat tree eating crunchyfoods!

Writing: Check.

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4 August 2007 - Saturday

Theatrical Entertainments: Pericles, Prince of Tyre, performed by Los Gatos amateur theater. It was strange, although apparently not as strange as written. (It is believed to be only partially Shakespeare's work, which is why the quality suddenly improves half-way through.)

Food: Ken made a Lebanese feast for the pre-play picnic, since Tyre is now in Lebanon. Marinated chicken, tabooleh(sp?), hummus, pita, zucchini! And bonus yellowjackets, which were less appetizing, but oh well.

Silly Computer Games: Help! My brain has been eaten by Desktop Tower Defense!

I can get up to about 2900 points using my current strategy (channel one entrance to the other, then back and forth across the board, almost all pellet towers, with a few swarm towers and a few ink towers), which is just a little too low for the top 100 list of the Making Light group. Obviously I need to become more clever, but I'm not sure how. Using lots of squirt towers wasn't working at all well.


Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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3 August 2007 - Friday

Work: Bah, customers.

Gaming: Designing games is hard when I don't know what I want out of gaming.

Visual Entertainments: Second disc of Solty Rei. There is not yet too much doom.

Silly Computer Games: I appear to have used up all the fun in PsuedoQuest. At least, I can't find any quests I haven't done.

Cats: Aw! Aspen and Benny were holding hands!

Writing: Check.

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2 August 2007 - Thursday

Work: Check. Bah, customers.

Silly Computer Games: Hm, I seem to have used up all the fun in PseudoQuest. Bummer.

Cats: Aw, Benny and Aspen were holding hands! So adorable!

Writing: Check.

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1 August 2007 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments: Finished Tennimon at Cat and Earl's. Yay Tennimon!

Next we will watch something that is not Tennimon, like Ghost Hunt (by the same person who did Twelve Kingdoms) or strange French film noir. Probably not Hackers, though.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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