Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2009 - Monday

Work: Meh.

Visual Entertainments: Doctor Who 2-parter! Those bastards! They killed Kenny Big Ben!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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30 August 2009 - Sunday

Gaming: I oppressed the PCs in the Palo Alto D&D4 game so much! Impassable volcanic wastelands! Tentacle monsters that attack in the night! Glyphs of warding! Unbeatable martial-arts robots! Worst GM ever!

Visual Entertainments: For unclear reasons, GreenCine sent me Trouble Chocolate, so I watched some of it. Enh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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29 August 2009 - Saturday

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Socialization = FAIL.

Socialization by Jeremy (Tue Sep 1 20:18:25 2009)

See, now, in a Capitalization society, you'd be more motivated to write.

Re: Socialization by Trip (Tue Sep 1 23:01:41 2009)

But I'd be writing in an invisible hand, which would really frustrate my beta readers.

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28 August 2009 - Friday

Work: FAIL.

Planned Encounters: For what seemed like good reasons at the time (mostly, I could!), I trundled over the hill to Santa Cruz to see District 9 with Gretchen. The busses aligned well, so it only took about two hours from my place to downtown Santa Cruz, and Gretchen had enough spoons to drive me back in the evening (with some help from the dogs). Yay! (Brad was at work most of the time I was there, but had many entertaining QA/project management anecdotes over dinner.)

Visual Entertainments: District 9 wasn't a cheerful movie, but it wasn't as depressing as I expected, and it was pretty cool. Not for the squeamish, though.

Food: Gretchen and her amazing spoons made excellent fritatta, salad, roasted peppers, and assorted vegetables! It was excellent!

Cats: All twelve paws survived my absence!

Writing: FAIL. Socializing used up all my brain.

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27 August 2009 - Thursday

Work: FAIL.

Gaming: Still not sure what to prepare for Sunday. It sounds like the PCs might be heading back to civilization, but they might poke around the volcanoes of death some more.

Visual Entertainments: Finished the ninth disc of season three Farscape. That's a lot of doom.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check for wordcount, FAIL for quality.

Plans for tomorrow by Jeremy (Sat Aug 29 19:48:08 2009)

I think our best idea so far is to head back downstairs and acquire some large barrels and a cohort of zombies (or animated suits or armor). So, um, maybe heading back to civilization. But not until after that plan fails spectacularly.

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26 August 2009 - Wednesday

Work: Jobs applied for: 3.

Cats: I saw Marmalade sitting on the cat shelf a couple of different times this morning, so I guess it has been officially approved of. (I don't expect to see Aspen on it any time soon, though; she is very much a ground-level, hiding-under-things cat.)

Writing: Double check.

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25 August 2009 - Tuesday

Work: FAIL.

Gaming: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is another TV series with a large disparity in power between main characters, and the way the RPG handles this is to give the non-Slayers many more action points/fortune dice/karma/whatever they're called in that system. I guess the Hero equivalent would be to make up the difference in points between Time Lords and companions by giving the companions a few dozen dice of Luck.

Visual Entertainments: Dave made it back in time to host Tuesday Night Anime!

  • Kurau Phantom Memory 21: Okay, should have seen that one coming.
  • Code Geass 22-23: That is a truly astonishing amount of doom.
  • Avatar 2.6: GO TOPH!
  • Bleach 150-151: Oh dear, Orihime is going to be noble, isn't she?

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAIL.

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24 August 2009 - Monday

Work: Jobs applied for: 3.

Visual Entertainments: One episode of Farscape. Okay, I guess technically Aeryn wasn't completely maxed out on angst...

Cats: Mighty Hunter Ghirardelli slew a bug! While he was admiring it on the bedroom carpet, I took it away to dispose of and replaced it with a kitty treat, which seemed to be okay by him.

I nailed the cat shelf that Cat gave me to the balcony railing and tried introducing the cats to it, but they seemed dubious. I think what the box calls "hammock-like structure that molds to your cat's body shape" is really more like "dangerous instability" from a cat's point of view.

...or maybe not! Late at night I looked out on the balcony and discerned the unmistakable fluffy silhouette of Ghirardelli on the shelf!

Writing: Check.

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23 August 2009 - Sunday

Food: Ayse and Ken fed us salad, more salad, tomatoes, more tomatoes, bread, and cheese. Excellent summer food!

Gaming: Dave is out of town, so no Thrace for us! Instead, we played one game of The Red Dragon Inn, which nobody won (the last two conscious simultaneously knocked each other out), and one game of Dominion which Ken won even with the mistakes he made.

Ken is a threat!

Cats: Other people's cats may be cute, but my cats are cutest.

Writing: Check.

weekend games by marith (Mon Aug 24 20:14:19 2009)

Playing , was fun! We should play , again sometime!

Re: weekend games by Trip (Mon Aug 24 23:10:22 2009)

Bah!

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22 August 2009 - Saturday

DED OV TEH KYOOT: Baby cheetah with mohawk!

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

Writing: Check.

dedness by kit (Sun Aug 23 09:25:30 2009)

ded

Deadly cuteness by Jeremy (Sun Aug 23 10:44:44 2009)

Ah, I see you're familiar with the Internet Institute for the Study of Extreme Cuteness.

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21 August 2009 - Friday

Work: FAIL.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Double check.

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20 August 2009 - Thursday

Work: Otherwise promising leads cut off because, once again, someone is both faster and better than me: 1.

Random Encounters: Ack, it's a Flitterby! Where did she come from? Oh, right, the distant past.

Gaming: Related to previous section, I was thinking about Doctor Who games. About a million years ago, I played like one session using Hero, but that was pretty clearly the wrong choice. (unless the group is okay with one character having all the abilities and everyone else being window dressing, Hero works, but most groups don't go for that). I'm not sure what a good system for Doctor Who would look like, though.

I thought about Dogs in the Vineyard, for the "crazy people show up, turn everything upside-down, and disappear as mysteriously as they arrived", but DW has strong mystery/exploration elements, which Dogs is opposed to, with the explicit stakes-setting at all. Also, the town design is a big part of Dogs, and I don't think it really works for this genre. On the other hand, with Heart being one of the four stats and traits being ideally as much personality-based as ability-based, the inequality isn't as strong.

If I could figure out what quantifiable thing Time Lords and companions are equal in, I could build or steal a system based around using that as currency, but I'm not sure how to quantify "personality". Maybe "screen time"? Probably too vague.

Maybe equal magnitude but opposite effect would work? Companions often cause trouble which Time Lords have to solve. Maybe a variant of Don't Rest Your Head which replaces Exhaustion and Madness with Trouble and Strangeness, which can only be increased by companions and by the Time Lord, respectively?

Or, of course, the Time Lord could not be a PC. If he* is a regular NPC, it's easy for the GM to provide exposition, but it could lead to the "PCs watch while Elminster saves the world again" effect so beloved of Forgotten Realms players. Or, the Time Lord could be controlled jointly by the players, but that runs the risk of him having insufficient personality.

*All Time Lords are assumed to be male and all companions female, because how can you resist Doctor Who as a harem comedy?

Keeping the Time Lord off-screen entirely would be contrived in the general case, but could work for a one-shot microgame like Lady Blackbird. "The Time Lord is slowly turning into dust as a result of the Dalek superweapon, so he's in medical stasis. You can bring him out of stasis for short periods if you really need something only he can do (like pilot the TARDIS), but each time you run the risk that the damage will progress so much you won't be able to bring him out again, so it's really up to you companions to save the Day."

Conclusion: Heck if I know anything about gaming.

Cats: Three fluffy tummies!

Writing: Check.

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19 August 2009 - Wednesday

HAPPY HAPPY KEN-DAY!!

Work: Jobs found to apply for: 0.

Visual Entertainments: No Wednesday Night Whatever, so I stayed home and watched another episode of Farscape Oh the doom!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

farscape by kitkitkit (Sat Aug 22 07:46:39 2009)

How far are you into Farscape? We're halfway through re-watching season four and OH THE DOOM!

-Kit, who finally applied the username & password from email to the site so she could comment here again :)

Re: farscape by Trip (Sat Aug 22 14:00:08 2009)

That was disc 8 of third season, where Aeryn is sad because of [SPOILER]. I suppose they did have to resolve that eventually.

sad aeryn by kitkitkit (Sun Aug 23 09:24:53 2009)

Maaaaaaaan that made me cryyyyyyy. I'm such a sap. :)

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18 August 2009 - Tuesday

Work: Jobs applied for: 3. Encouraging recruiter responses: 1.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Kurau Phantom Memory 19-20: Oh the doom!
  • Code Geass 21: Oh the doom!
  • Avatar 2.4-2.5: It's pretty cool that one of Aang's previous incarnations was female but no one makes a big deal of it.
  • Bleach 149: At least we got to see Orihime this episode!

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

Writing: Check.

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17 August 2009 - Monday

Work: FAIL.

Visual Entertainments: Wednesday Night Whatever was successfully held on Monday this week, featuring episode 1.3 of the new Doctor Who. So far no one seems horribly disappointed.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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16 August 2009 - Sunday

Gaming: PAD&D4: Against the Mistress of the Green Hall! I'm not sure solos work well in D&D4. They take forever to put down, but they don't have enough different powers to continue to be interesting for all that time. Maybe they would work better with five times the damage and normal hit points than vice versa.

Visual Entertainments: Another episode of Farscape. Meep.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Double check.

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15 August 2009 - Saturday

Gaming: For Ken-Day (observed) we played a few games of Dominion. It is slightly reminiscent of Fluxx, but does require some braining in addition to luck.

Food: During gaming secret Black Forest Cake and peanut butter pie! After gaming, expedition to Suppenküche! Then, macarons and artistic truffles and hot chocolate (which I didn't eat, sniff)! It was a pretty well-rounded expedition.

Cats: All twelve paws seem to have survived my absence.

Writing: Too much socialization = FAIL.

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14 August 2009 - Friday

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments: Started another disc of Farscape, with extra wackiness.

Cats: I cut some of the horrible mats out of Aspen's fur, but it made her sad to be pawed by a cat-eating monster. It's very hard being Byutiful Kitteh!

Writing: Double check.

Work check? by Jeremy (Sat Aug 15 20:57:34 2009)

Is this good news, or are you just teasing us?

Re: Work check? by Trip (Sat Aug 15 23:55:43 2009)

Just teasing you, I'm afraid.

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13 August 2009 - Thursday

Work: Interviews conducted: 1. Or maybe 5, if each person counts separately.

Thermions: EXCESSIVE.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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12 August 2009 - Wednesday

Work: Phone interviews conducted: 1. I don't think I did so well, but we'll see.

Awesomeness: Rat-eating plants!

Not as awesome, but still cool: cupcakes for space parasites!

Visual Entertainments: FAIL. Ayse and Ken are at spawning class, so we don't have critical mass for Wednesday Night Whatever.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAIL.

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11 August 2009 - Tuesday

Work: In-person interviews arranged for this week: 1.

Awesomeness: When we were robots in Egypt (Jo Walton).

Visual Entertainments:

  • Kurau Phantom Memory 18: Hey, look, plot!
  • Code Geass 19-20: Looks like the beginning of the Death Spiral™!
  • Avatar 2.3: Go teenage girl ninja squad!
  • Bleach 147-148: Things are always fine until the PCs show up. (This is because PCs are catalysts for change, not because they're randomly destructive. Sometimes.)

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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10 August 2009 - Monday

Work: In-person interviews conducted: 1 (Friend-Finder Networks, in Sunnyvale). Phone interviews arranged for this week: 1.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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9 August 2009 - Sunday

Random Encounters: Ayse had her baby shower today, and it was well-attended. Even the Pettersons trundled down from their Trans-Sacramento lair!

There may have been scrapbooking. Also, I hear someone was surprised that I am silly.

Food: Ken made us all eat hamburgers before gaming! Oh no!

Gaming: Thrace! Last session we had no fights, so this session we had all fights as we worked our way through the Enchanted Cathedral of Evil and its sentient spells and animated statues. Next session, we either save the day or die horribly!

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Too much socializing = FAIL.

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8 August 2009 - Saturday

Gaming: Ah hah! My Divine Power is at Ayse and Ken's place, where I left it after last Thrace. I won't get it before next Thrace, but at least I know where it is.

Cats: The duct tape does not seem to be holding up too well, but the cats have not escaped, or apparently even tried hard to escape, so I will claim it's all good.

Writing: Check.

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7 August 2009 - Friday

Work: Interviews arranged for Monday: 1.

Visual Entertainments: Hey, Greencine is finally sending me Farscape again! Two episodes from third season, "Meltdown" and "Scratch'n'Sniff".

Cats: Marmalade has been extra-affectionate today. I wonder if he is expressing his pleasedness at having a new balcony to explore?

Late-breaking update: Aspen has been spotted on the balcony!

Writing: Check.

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6 August 2009 - Thursday

Work: FAIL.

Cats: The apartment manager kindly lent me a ladder, so I was able to block off the last uncovered escape route from the balcony. Then I applied duct tape liberally to the unsecured edge and let the cats at it!

They have not escaped!

Writing: Check.

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5 August 2009 - Wednesday

Work: Phone interviews conducted: 1.

Gaming: Argh, gnomes (or maybe lizards) have eaten my copy of Divine Power so I can't update Ayse's cheat sheet for her Thrace character! I still have the necessary escalation guide for Marith's character, if only she'd tell me what she got with the new level.

Visual Entertainments: First disc of Nerima Daikon Brothers, which is very silly. Not tasteful or anything, but full of musical numbers, wrongs that need avenging, and panda love.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

Divine Power by Rachel (Fri Aug 7 10:48:44 2009)

Hey, you can borrow our copy of Divine Power--it's not like we're using it right now.

Re: Divine Power by Trip (Fri Aug 7 11:37:15 2009)

Thanks, but for now I really only need one power description, and I can probably make the person who is going to benefit from it type that in and mail it to me if my copy doesn't turn up before Sunday.

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4 August 2009 - Tuesday

Work: Phone interviews scheduled: 2. Phone interviews conducted: 1.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Kurau Phantom Memory 16-17: Classified information for some, disintegration for others!
  • Code Geass 18: That's a cliff-hanger!
  • Avatar 2.1-2.2: Sympathy fail!
  • Bleach 146: We really don't need stupid comic-relief characters. Really we don't.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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3 August 2009 - Monday

Work: Jobs applied for: 2. Recruiters led on: 1.

Visual Entertainments: We intended to have Wednesday Night Whatever on Monday this week, since Ayse and Ken have spawning classes on Wednesdays this month, but Dave has raiding and Marith and Ken are both dead from work, so no Doctor Who for us. Sniff.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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2 August 2009 - Sunday

Food: Ayse and Ken were still having barbecue with their neighbors (in the other half of their duplex) and landlords when Marith and I arrived for gaming, so we helped them reduce the surplus a bit. Yum, barbecue!

Random Encounters: Ayse and Ken's neighbors and landlords.

Gaming: PAD&D4 was yesterday, so today was open for bonus Thrace! We levelled to 4th, discovered that the black dragon/swamp hag crossbreed we're putting up in town to keep her from raising an army of lizardfolk is operating a brothel so she can graze on the dreams of customers who spend the night, and headed upriver to find out what's going on with the siege of the Undead Monastery. We may have to break in to the enchanted chapel to bring down the defenses so that the legion can do something other than maintain the siege for the next however-many months it takes for a legion wizard to show up.

Cats: The neighbors who had the barbecue also had a small black cat who was pretty adorable, although I did not get much chance to make friends with her.

Writing: Check, although I kind of wimped out by writing easy stuff.

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1 August 2009 - Saturday

Gaming: Palo Alto D&D4, on the special variant schedule because people keep being busy on Sundays. After levelling up (arguably I should have made them wait for an extended rest, but I am generous), the PCs extracted information from their prisoner, beat down the duergar Brewmaster and his minions, extracted information from them, and beat up the kitchen staff of the Mistress of the Green Hall before they could escape to give warning. Next session: the Green Hall!

Visual Entertainments: Finished the disc of Baccano!. Augh too many characters.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check.

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