Previously, in Trip's Life...

29 February 2008 - Friday

Work: No work today!

Modern Medicine: I finally managed to pick up my new glasses from the optometrist's. They are much like my old ones, but with a slightly different prescription that may give me better range mods on perception.

Silly Computer Games: Check. So much check.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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28 February 2008 - Thursday

Work: No work tomorrow, since the office will be in transit. Whee!

Silly Computer Games: Chain Factor: 375 512, #6 on the high score list for the day.

Just in case you thought I was doing something with my life.

Writing: Check. And check for yesterday. And then another check. But I still suck.

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27 February 2008 - Wednesday

Work: Argh, no brain.

Gaming: Down with Dragon-Blooded, Up with Earthdawn!

Or something like that. Anyway, tonight we levelled up (yay fourth circle!) and introduced Mike's weaponsmith character to the group. He hasn't actually run away from home to join us yet, but we know that's coming, and he's ingratiating himself by making our weapons better (+4 damage steps! yay!) so we'll probably accept him.

Silly Computer Games: Only a tiny check.

Cats: Twelve furry paws!

Writing: FAILURE. Gaming ran long.

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26 February 2008 - Tuesday

REAL Bloggers: Abel Pharmboy (of Terra Sigillata).

Visual Entertainments: There was some doubt, but everyone made it for Tuesday Night Anime. SuperGALS 20: Oh the doom! (But it's the doom of a minor character, so that's okay.) Ergo Proxy 21: Oh the confusion! (And the doom, but mostly confusion.) Kodocha 11-12: Oh the cuteness! (Also, perforated ulcers are bad.) Kaleido Star 7-8: Oh the even more cuteness!

Silly Computer Games: Only a little check!

Cats: Poor boy kitties! I oppressed their formerly razor-sharp paws of pointy death with the crinchy thing, undoing all the effort they put into the scratchy circle!

Someday, I will do that to Aspen's paws too.

Writing: Check.

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25 February 2008 - Monday

Work: Not only did my notes from Friday make sense, but apparently the brain suppression rays in the office were turned off!

Gaming: Hm, those are like ideas for an M&M campaign. I wonder if I can actually implement them.

Visual Entertainments: Another episode of Avatar: The Last Air-Bender.

Silly Computer Games: 290 366 in Chain Factor!

Cats: Marmalade and Ghirardelli tussled! I think Marmalade would rather have washed him, but oh well.

Writing: Check.

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24 February 2008 - Sunday

Abomination: Check.

Gaming: More Mutants and Masterminds! The PCs managed to avoid finding out the obvious piece of information that could have precipitated a big fight, so there wasn't one. I'm obviously doing something wrong, since being reasonable worked! But we then had a basis from which to discuss changes, so that was good. Plus, they got XP!

Next adventure: more evil plots that must be foiled! Also, maybe some recurring NPCs.

Visual Entertainments: First episode of Avatar, the Last Air-Bender because someone (Liralen? Angie?) recommended it, and the DVD was cheap used at (Rah Rah) Rasputin. American voice acting is still weird and cheesy, probably almost as bad as Japanese voice acting would be if I understood the language, but overall it wasn't bad. I will at least watch the rest of the disc.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Aspen snuggled up with Marmalade on the bed, so I oppressed her with pettins and snugglins!

Writing: Check.

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23 February 2008 - Saturday

Food: Thai dinner with Marith.

Silly Computer Games: Check. Maybe quintuple check.

Cats: I am a horrible cat-dad who does not let Marmalade sleep on my keyboard for as long as he wants!

Writing: Check.

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22 February 2008 - Friday

Work: I think there must be brain-suppressing rays at work. I haven't accomplished much of anything this week, but as soon as I stepped out of the office, I realized that the awkwardness of putting that information in file x comes directly from the fact the information is already implicitly in file z, and it's file z that actually gets used. Also, checking files x, y, and z against each other doesn't need to be combined with verifying them individually; it can be a separate fourth step.

Hopefully my notes will still make sense on Monday.

Silly Computer Games: Hm. The Mouth of Sauron is kind of tough.

Cats: Twelve paws! With fresh crunchyfoods!

Writing: Check.

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21 February 2008 - Thursday

Work: Blargh. Why don't people just give me money?

Gaming: Now I don't remember exactly where I saw it (probably in some LJ I read), but someone said, "Characters based on questions are more interesting than characters based on statements." This seems obviously true, since it gives you the tension between all the possible answers. It is less obvious how I can use this knowledge to decrease my suckage, though.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws! Some of which attempted to savage my suit so now the closet has to remain closed! Bad Marmalade! (But still adorable.)

Writing: Check. And check again. But I still suck.

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20 February 2008 - Wednesday

Work: New office after not this coming weekend but the one after. On the map it looks like there is about the same distance between office and train station.

Astronomy: I saw the first bit of the eclipse, but failed to see the rest due to being on a train. Or due to suckage. Maybe both, although that is not to imply that trains suck.

Gaming: Ken and Ayse want me to run Weapons of the Gods, because they want Kung Fu Drama(tm).

Visual Entertainments: Success! We actually gathered and Cat & Earl's and watched some Ghost Hunt! Yay us!

Silly Computer Games: Argh.

Cats: Twelve paws! At least four of which try to help me sleep!

Also, when we visited Earl and Cat, I got to oppress Madeleine Kitteh with pettins and even some scoopins. Ha hah!

Writing: Check.

cats by cat (Thu Feb 21 14:04:38 2008)

Tee! Thanks for oppressing Madeleine! She needs more lessons in being huggled. =D

Re: cats by Trip (Thu Feb 21 14:37:11 2008)

And then we can get her to explain to Aspen that it isn't so bad!

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19 February 2008 - Tuesday

Work: My brain is so small today. Not only did the cats help me sleep, but I foolishly had DDP last night, and after being uncaffeinated for a while, I was actually affected by it. Bah!

Random Encounters: My old boss from AV, Greg Connor, apparently works just down the road a bit. Huh.

Word of the Day: Asshaberdashery (attributed to someone named Cleolinda).

Visual Entertainments: Despite Monday being held on a Tuesday this week, no one forgot to show up to Tuesday Night Anime. We meet a minimal standard of competence!

  • Kaleido Star 6: Sympathy for Layla appears to be growing among the audience.
  • SuperGALS 18-19: You can do it, Aya!
  • Ergo Proxy 20: Oh the doom!
  • Kodocha 8-9: Go momma with the Giant Squeaky Hammer of Truth!

Silly Computer Games: Ow, my brain.

Cats: Ghirardelli came to flop on me and purr and get pettins last night! Later, Marmalade came to curl up next to me and purr and get snuggles! It was not a very restful night, but it was certainly fuzzy!

In the morning, Ghirardelli and Aspen tussled briefly! Also, I was able to seize Aspen and hold her for a few seconds before releasing her completely uneaten! I hope she has learned the right lesson from this.

Writing: Check.

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18 February 2008 - Monday


Silly Computer Games: Check. In fact, I set a personal record in Chain Factor, of 279k. (50k of that was from clearing the board early on.)

I have wasted my life, haven't I?

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check. And additional check for yesterday, so yay me, or something.

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17 February 2008 - Sunday

Visual Entertainments: While eating lunch, I watched the one existing episode of The Amazing Screw-On Head. It was very peculiar, but definitely Mignola-style art. American voice acting just sounds silly to me, though.

Then, Marith went to see the Spiderwick Chronicles because her LJ friendslist told her to, and Earl and I went with her. Eh, it was okay, and sufficiently creepy in parts. Fencing chick should have gotten more screen time, though.

Gaming: Triumphant conclusion of the current chapter of Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs! Having teleported into the enemy stronghold as it was being assaulted by the armies of the Noonday Sun, our heroes planted their dwarf seeds, cleared out a few zombies, tracked down the master vampire, and beat the snot out of him. It was pretty close, and Alazaïs would have died if her sister hadn't tracked her down and healed her when she passed out after being mind-controlled to run away and Tobias's temporary healing expired, but the four PCs survived the fiendish wolves, two kinds of toxic vapors, and a vampire with munchkin magic from Forgotten Realms supplements!


Next fortnight, the post-victory party, and then we decide what to play next. (Probably not Earthdawn, although I suppose one never knows.)

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Aw! When I went to get socks, I found Marmalade curled up asleep on my bed, like he often is, but Aspen was there too with her arms around him! So cute!

Writing: FAILURE. The climactic battle didn't end until after 23:00.

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16 February 2008 - Saturday


Food: Thai lunch!

Silly Computer Games: I finally defeated the level full of undeads! The stupid immobile undead (drujs) were hardest because I couldn't lure them to their individual dooms: they just sat in big open rooms covering each other. But finally I squished them!

Also, character level 50! Now my only hope for improvement is stuff better than the best of what I've already found.

Cats: Aspen slept by my feets again!

Writing: Check.

Angband! by Dave (Tue Feb 19 08:40:30 2008)

That's what wands/rods of Teleport Away are for. ;)

Re: Angband! by Trip (Tue Feb 19 12:03:50 2008)

Huh, I never even thought of that. I even have Teleport Other as a spell. I ended up digging around the edges of the rooms to make firing positions where only one or two could attack me while I attacked them. In some cases, I was able to arrange it such that I could target my area-effect holy blast near them without having to expose myself to any attacks at all.

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15 February 2008 - Friday

Work: The Responsys Contractor Army had lunch with our Taos staff manager today. We tried to not say anything about the coming revolution.

When I go to Armadillo Willy's on my own, I never have ribs because they don't go well with books, so I've been wanting some for a long time. They were good, but not really worth the anticipation. There's probably some life lesson here that I should have learned long before reaching my advanced age.

Space Monsters: It's a dragon-thing!

Looking at nebulas on APoD always fills me with longing for old-old-skool SF. Then I think about the impracticality of spaceflight, become embittered, and almost experience sympathy for the Mundane SF people.


Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Paws: 12. Cuteness levels: 100%.

Writing: Check.

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14 February 2008 - Thursday

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws! And a super-fluffy tummy!

Writing: Check.

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13 February 2008 - Wednesday

Work: La la la.

Parasitism: This is what baby space parasites get to play with.

Gaming: Yay Dragon-Blooded! We beat the snot out of the Anathema in about six segments (seconds? ticks? phases?) without any of us actually dying, although the melee fighter came close, then grabbed all his loot and used it to make the airship's power system less marginal, and flew out just ahead of the giant magical storm conjured by the Ghoul King. Upon returning to civilization, we were all lavishly rewarded and we are TEH W!NZ0RZ!

Next fortnight, more Earthdawn!

Silly Computer Games: Argh, stayed up too late playing Chain Factor again. But I got like 120k on regular mode!

Cats: Twelve paws! And a curly undercattage with a faint lavender tinge!

Writing: Check.

Kawaiii! by marith (Wed Feb 13 20:03:24 2008)

The underhiders totally need one of those to play with!

Re: Kawaiii! by Trip (Thu Feb 14 13:23:16 2008)

Quite possibly, but I fear to look at the Giant Microbes website lest I end up with more underhiders than you can shake a spine at!

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12 February 2008 - Tuesday



You Cannot Escape the Internets: Not even in the UK.

Gaming: We don't actually seem to be reaching a consensus on what to play after the Dragon-Blooded game ends with our ignominious deaths. Perhaps we will need to suspend people upside-down from the ceiling until they express opinions!

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments: Kaleido Star 4-5: Sproing! Kodocha 8: Doom! Ergo Proxy 18-19: DOOOM! Also, WTF is going on with Romdo? SuperGALS 17: Doom!

Food: Check.

Silly Computer Games: Hey, cool, Spore will be out in September! Or, you know, later, but at least there is a date now, instead of just "maybe in a year or two". And it will have a Mac version!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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11 February 2008 - Monday

Work: Augh Monday augh! But I'm not actually doing badly on time spent vs time expected to be spent for this project. Maybe I only mostly suck!

Gaming: The more I think about Rachel's M&M character, the more my brain hurts.

Silly Computer Games:

  • Chain Factor: I've been playing in power mode, but apparently not all that well.
  • NPPangband: Ow, the level full of undead is scary! On the other hand, I've gotten my base speed up to +21 since I tried it, and somewhere I have an artifact ring that provides nether resistance. Maybe it's time to try it again.

Cats: Ghirardelli likes frolicking on the freshly made bed too! I think the appeal may be that the new sheets are kind of slippery and obviously in need of being scent-pwned. Maramalade didn't frolic as much, but he came and watched and sat on the bed a bit. I tried to get them to become better friends by flinging the top sheet over them and leaving them for a while (hey, it works in shonen-ai!) but no dice. Ah well.

I don't love Ghirardelli as much as Marmalade, but there is no denying that he is a fine cat, and very huggable! I feel a little bad about neglecting Aspen, though. Maybe I need to get the thick gloves and seize her repeatedly until she learns that I really don't eat cats.

Writing: Check.

aspen by kit (Sun Feb 17 01:59:37 2008)

Eh, some cats just aren't as lovey as others. Aspen probably doesn't feel neglected. :)

(Look! I remembered the password!)

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10 February 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: Now I have three players for Mutants and Masterminds! Muahahaha!

Rachel is playing a semi-fallen angel of death, with a distinctive but uncertain appearance and a flaming sword. Maybe I should discard the generic superhero parts of the setting and make it all supernatural, all the time...

Like the previous session, we had a lot of character generation and only a little adventure, but that's okay.

Silly Computer Games: Plenty of both Chain Factor and NPPangband. I wasn't using that brain anyway.

Cats: Twelve paws! Of which at least a few need to be trimmed!

Writing: Check.

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9 February 2008 - Saturday

Visual Entertainments: Earl lured me to see Cloverfield. It was much as expected, with a bonus explosion (in addition to all the regular explosions).

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Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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8 February 2008 - Friday

Visual Entertainments: Couple episodes of Master Keaton. Apparently he's not up to the standard set by Humphrey Bogart.

Food: Bacon flowchart. (via)

Silly Computer Games: Oh yes.

Cats: Ha hah, I petted Aspen in the middle of the hallway! I don't think she meant to let me, but she did not skedaddle fast enough, so she got petted!

Also, my total number of cats eaten to date: 0.

Writing: Check.

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7 February 2008 - Thursday

Work: Bah, commute. But if I walk from the train station to get comics, instead of trying to catch buses, I can get home at like 20:15 instead of 21:00.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Ghirardelli is very interested in people food! I have been sharing little bits with him, and he goes nomnomnom!

Writing: Check.

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6 February 2008 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Gaming: Rachel wants to play Mutants and Masterminds with us! I won't be able to keep the players in line with physical intimidation any more!

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE. Ken is too sick to go out, and Ayse has to soothe his fevered brow, which leaves us without critical mass. Cat will just have to spend her evening oppressing Madeleine!

Silly Computer Games: In my first game of Chain Factor, I got 170-odd thousand points. Since then, the closest I've come is 140 thousand, and usually I don't even break 100 thousand. Perhaps I'm overthinking my strategy, but I was under the impression one first had to think for that to happen.

Cats: Ghirardelli really wants to use the right side of the keyboard as a pillow. Unfortunately, this obstructs important keys like Delete and Enter, so I must oppress him horribly! But I also pet him.

Writing: Check.

Chain Factor by Jeremy (Sat Feb 9 17:11:10 2008)

...Damn you to hell, anyway.

Chain Factor by marith (Sat Feb 9 18:58:56 2008)

You're doing better than me! I have only ever cracked 100k once, and often don't top 50k. This is depressingly not a whole lot better than the score I get just dropping discs in sequential order. :)

It's the 1s and 2s that get me. How does one get rid of them when they're entrenched in lower rows?

Re: Chain Factor by Trip (Tue Feb 12 10:42:17 2008)

Jeremy: Muahahahahaha!

Marith: To root out the low numbers at the bottom, you pretty much have to just dig all the way down and put 7s next to them so they can match the column count when you fill up the row. This is much easier said than done; I think the winning strategy is to not let them get down there to begin with.

I got up to like 296k in my first game on power mode, and haven't matched that since. Maybe I really am overthinking.

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5 February 2008 - Tuesday

Work: It's like Monday, except it's Tuesday!

Democracy: Crap, it's actually Tuesday even though it feels like Monday! I suck. A lot.

Visual Entertainments: I did not permit the VTA to betray me this time!

Kaleido Star 3: Kalos clearly favors the Zen master style of teaching.

SuperGALS 15-16: Monkeyboy clearly just bought high stats and saved back some points to buy skills as they came up.

Ergo Proxy 17: The plot thickens! But Re-L must be doomed, because she's showing signs of not being a complete bitch.

Kodocha 6-7: Clear up one doom, find another!

Silly Computer Games: Chain Factor. Curse you, Marith!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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4 February 2008 - Monday

Work: Again no work for appointment. Also, I'm lazy and I suck.

Modern Medicine: Despite the suckage, my ichor is apparently of very high quality. The doctor was sad that there was nothing he could nag me about.


Gaming: Finally finished the writeup of Saturday's AQOJ session. I think I got everything that Amaryllis was there for correct, and the events she wasn't present for obviously weren't important.

Silly Computer Games: Check. Not quite the only thing I did today, but close.

Cats: Aspen tried to tussle with Ghirardelli! They were sitting and looking at each other, and she batted at him a few times and then laid down and rolled over on her side with all her feets toward him. He didn't tussle, but when she gave up and went away, he chased her, which is something!

Writing: Check.

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3 February 2008 - Sunday

Silly Computer Games: Check. In fact, that's pretty much all I did today. Because I am lame.

Visual Entertainments: First disc of Fate / Stay Night. For no apparent reason, it reminds me a little of Tokyo Underground. Art style, I think. But one must like a hero who is devoted not just to fighting in defense of people, but helping them in day to day ways, even if it makes him look unmanly.

Cats: Twelve soft paws!

Writing: Check.

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2 February 2008 - Saturday

Amazon Sextet of Justice XIIIa: "When Calamari Attacks! Insidious Evil on the Streets of Rati!"

The Amazons and their fire giant allies take or destroy everything remaining in the lich's lair and scarper triumphantly back to Rati to have Stephen look over the detentacularization ritual.

During their absence, they learn that a Ratian ship has attacked and sunk a Pelagian ship on the pretext that they were pirates. This is obviously the work of the forces of evil trying to prevent the countries from forming an alliance, but the Sextet can't prove this as the captain of that ship has vanished from his jail cell, along with his guard.

Natalya works more on setting up her urchinarium, which seems to be more urgent than ever as a new chain of soup kitchens has opened up in the city, but (allegedly on the orders of an anonymous benefactor) they only serve adults. This can't be good.

While this is being looked into, a report comes in that another Ratian ship has attacked another group of Pelagian "pirates" and the crew is being arrested at the harbor even now. Amaryllis and Marika hurry down to investigate, and discover that indeed the captain of the offending ship is under an enchantment. Once he is freed, and then consoled for having sunk a ship full of innocent sailors, he tells Amaryllis about the crewman who went overboard during the fight, and the bar where someone put the notion in his head that Pelagians are all pirates. Ah hah!

In the meantime, Natalya has received a message purportedly from Samuel the drow, claiming that his brother Daniel is in trouble. After Our Heroines regroup, Marika and Gabrielle (with Alyra as invisible backup) hit the seedy bars in disguise in hopes of drawing out the agitators while Amaryllis and Natalya scry on Daniel and Samuel.

Daniel is in a magically dark place, just like everyone else who is ever scryed for, and apparently under magical control. At least, there is enchantment magic there, and his behavior is very atypical. Samuel is closeted with some other drow, planning for the impending civil war and not thrilled at being scryed upon, but confirms that he sent the message and that he needs help: if not Daniel, then troops. The Amazons promise to send what help they can.

At the bar, Alyra has found someone who seems to be spreading unsavory gossip about the Pelagians to local seamen. She follows him, first as he tries to talk one captain into being a good mark for his sinister mental powers and then, after he fails, back to his lair in one of the mysterious new soup kitchens.

Gabrielle and Marika, unaware that their invisible companion has left them on their own, spot someone trying to cast a spell on the crowd. He does, precipitating a massive brawl, before Marika seizes him and he vanishes from her grasp. Very suspicious!

The next morning, Natalya and Amaryllis go undercover at the Suspicious Soup Kitchen where Alyra tracked the agitator last night. The diners seem like the sort of people who would normally be at a soup kitchen, and don't report anything strange -- people dropping out of sight happens all the time in that social stratum, after all. The food isn't obviously laced with black magic or mind-control drugs, but Amaryllis watches carefully as Natalya tries it anyway.

Suddenly, several of the staff run out the back door, carrying a tarp! Amaryllis goes to see what the commotion is about, and witnesses the three workers throwing the tarp over something invisible and trying to drag it off. She dispels whatever magic is involved there, and moments later the tarp falls empty to the ground.

(Unbeknownst to Amaryllis, Alyra had been struck senseless by some magic, but recovered when it was dispelled and teleported away with her magic helmet.)

Two of the workers seem confused, but one follows his compatriot back inside. The other chats with Natalya (who has come outside to see why Amaryllis hasn't come back) but doesn't reveal anything incriminating before going back into the building.

Amaryllis, around the corner, feels some force assaulting her mind, but it is no match for her magical abilities. However, Gabrielle, by chance coming down the street with Marika, is not so resistant and is struck senseless. Marika has to drag her into an alley and take cover there.

A horrible figure bursts out of the window above Amaryllis and drifts lightly to the ground: a tall humanoid with tentacles for a face! It tries to grab her with its facial tendrils, but she dodges, only to fall prey to its comrade coming around the corner the other way! For a moment, it looks like the illithid is going to succeed in eating her brain, but then Natalya charges to the rescue! She bodily knocks the monster away from her fellow Amazon, which gives Amaryllis time to unleash her spells! One illithid is mummified on the spot, and the other passes out from severe dehydration!

With the monsters out of commission, the human minions are soon rounded up and interrogated. The head minion tries to bargain for cash or immunity in exchange for his information, but his justifications for feeding human brains to monsters from another world are so sordid that eventually Marika punches him out. When he wakes up, he is more cooperative and rats out his former masters' plan to harvest tasty wild brains while fomenting war between Rati and Pelagos to win some kind of horrible illithid wager. The illithid are not interested in the Avalon/necrotheologians issues; apparently the end of the world isn't important to them because that's not where they keep their stuff.

Interestingly, the victory conditions for the other side of the wager are civil war in the drow city beneath Darkport, which gives the Amazons a handle on that problem. Perhaps they will be able to get the drow to join the grand alliance after all!

After some discussion, the captured illithid is enchanted by Gabrielle and prevented from leaving the plane by Fresa. Gabrielle then heals it to wakefulness and asks what it knows about the end of the world. Its answers accord with the information Our Heroines already have, which is reassuring as the illithid are generally considered fiendishly intelligent. They then kill it before the dimensional anchor expires, which is perhaps not something Sophia would have approved of, but the alternative is to turn it loose to eat more human brains.

Food: Ayse lured us all (except Harold, who was feeling poorly, and Dave, who isn't interested in food) to a seafood/sushi/dim sum buffet in Roseville called Mizu. It was pretty good, although I don't think I enjoyed it as much as other people. Ayse got all the salt-and-pepper shrimps with heads still on that she could eat, though, and maybe some more, so it was definitely a win.

Silly Computer Games: Only an hour! Really!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE. But I did extra yesterday, which should count for something.

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1 February 2008 - Friday

Work: No work today! My optometrist appointment is right in the middle of the day, so I would have to commute double, and it's just not worth it. I'll use some of my hundreds of hours of accumulated vacation.

Modern Medicine: Anything that was even vaguely alarming in my eyes has gone away, and they seem to be remaining in their sockets as they should. My prescription has changed a little, but that's okay since I need new glasses anyway.

Gaming: I think Amaryllis's character sheet is all updated for level 16 now! Muahahaha!

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: I think Marmalade and Ghirardelli tried to tussle! First Ghir fell over on his side and batted at Marmalade, then a little later after he had given up, Marmalade fell over and batted at him! Perhaps someday they will get coordinated enough to tussle together!

Writing: Triple check.

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