Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 July 2010 - Saturday

Work: I poked at the thing some, but I still have no idea why it doesn't work.

Gaming: Enh, that's like preparing, although it still sucks. But when has my GMing ever not sucked?

Visual Entertainments: I think I've seen the second disc of Burst Angel before, but I watched it anyway because it's what I had from Netflix. The music reminds me a lot of Vampire Princess Miyu.

Silly Computer Games: I have completed Puzzle Quest as a wizard! Perhaps I will try again with another character class, but perhaps not.

Cats: I was at home almost all day, so I did not exile Ghirardelli to the back room of confinement and sadness. Things seemed to go okay anyway.

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30 July 2010 - Friday

Work: We tried doing the thing from a blank slate. The guy who can do it made it work with no trouble. He even did it backwards. However, I still can't do it, even though I can't see any different between what he did and what I did. I'll have to try it again from a clean slate on Monday, when I can get to the slates to clean them.

Being stupid sucks.

Cats: Eight paws out front, four paws in the back!

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29 July 2010 - Thursday

Work: I had a phone meeting with the guy in India who can do the thing (because he wrote the code, or maybe just because he's samrter than me). It still doesn't work for me, even though I ended up staying at work until 29561956190 o'clock (okay, really only 20:30, but at that hour, by the time I get home I have to go to bed) trying. ARGH.

Sequential Entertainments: Wow, I didn't remember Scott Pilgrim volume 5 at all. So it was almost like having two new volumes to read!

That was a pretty triumphant ending.

Visual Entertainments: There is no Slayers, there is only Zuul.

Cats: Ghirardelli seems to be okay despite having been confined for much longer than I expected. Marmalade is also fine, and orange. (Aspen still hates me.)

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28 July 2010 - Wednesday

Work: Check, although I am apparently not smart enough to do this job.

Gaming: I have sort of an idea for what to do differently, but my brain is very small, and full of work.

Sequential Entertainments: More Scott Pilgrim, yay!

Cats: Ghirardelli was indeed confined to my room all day. It does not seem to have done him any harm, and Marmalade does not have any more injuries (so it is not the case that Aspen is secretly abusing him and letting Ghirardelli take the fall, whew!). Marmalade is affection-kitty, so I think he is less stressed. Yay!

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27 July 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Still waiting for people to throw money at me.

Sequential Entertainments: I'm rereading Scott Pilgrim from the start, so as to properly appreciate vol 6 (which just came out). I'm not sure a movie can live up to this comic, but I'll definitely go find out!

Visual Entertainments:

  • Soul Eater 34: We get to see more DWMA students and their freaky weapons. I wonder if having a weapon of the same gender means the same thing as having a daemon of the same gender did in The Golden Compass?
  • Higurashi When They Cry 25-26: First season finale, in which we learn more about the explanation given in the previous couple of episodes but less about the series as a whole. Surprisingly non-doomed, but I'm not sure that's more than a temporary abberation.
  • Chrome Shelled Regios 3: Beware dominatrix loli + English!
  • Kimi ni Todoke 21-22: Awwwww! (What, you expected me to say something else about this series?)

Cats: Marmalade has a chunk of fur missing from his neck, which he's had for a while, but now instead of a little scab he has an actual wound. :( It doesn't need stitches, and it doesn't seem to be bothering him, but that's still Not Okay. Apparently the Collar of Mellowness was ineffective on Ghirardelli, even before he managed to shed it sometime today. :(

The cats mostly behave while I am around, so tonight I will not do anything except give Marmalade lots of love, but tomorrow while I am out, I think Ghirardelli will be confined to my room. Also I should call the vet and ask for advice.

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26 July 2010 - Monday

Work: Why does nothing work right? (Because humans are weak against software.)

My, the Internet really is full of things: Analysis and Reverse Engineering of an Animal-Style Double-Double.

Visual Entertainments: Finally finished the disc of Tweeny Witches that had been languishing in my DVD player for ages. Now, a new disc (I think it's Burst Angel 2) can languish!

Silly Computer Games: Hah, take that, elf cities! But then I forgot it's possible to use spells in a battle, and got pwned by a doomknight because I didn't keep Light up.

Cats: Bad Ghirardelli! Don't attack Marmalade! (I guess the collar of mellowness is not strong enough.)

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25 July 2010 - Sunday

Gaming: This time Marith and Ayse were too floppy for Thrace (Marith wasn't even able to show up) so we played some Dominion. In the second game, Dave had 8 money early on but passed up a Province in favor of Gold, so I told him he was going to lose by less than 6 points. Sure enough, Ken beat him by 3 points. Muahahahaha. (But really, if he hadn't bought that Gold, he probably would have lost by a lot more.)

Silly Computer Games: Dave is right, it's a lot easier to conquer elven cities (and their stupid STUPID mana nodes) if you swap out the axe of extra turns for a crafted axe that does 12 damage on a match of 3 skulls. The 40% chance of inflicting poison on each hit is just the horrible acid-green frosting on the cake.

Cats: Aspen was on the food tree, so I oppressed her with some fur groomins and chin-rubbins and assorted pettins, because I am a cruel horrible monster.

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24 July 2010 - Saturday

Visual Entertainments: Marith and Earl and Cat and I went to see Inception. It was pretty swell! Definitely recommended.

Food: After the movie, we went to Chef Chu's and Earl explained to us what was really going on in the movie. (The evidence in support of his position is of course circumstantial, but that's all you get in a work of fiction.)

<rot13> Rney'f gurbel vf gung gur cybg vf npghnyyl na nggrzcg ol Zny gb erfphr Pboo sebz gur qernz ur vf fgvyy genccrq va. Svfpure, bowrpg bs gur bfgrafvoyr cybg, vf whfg n cebwrpgvba bs Pboo. Nevnqar (jvgu ure zvtugl qernz-nepuvgrpgvat fxvyyf) vf cebonoyl Zny. </rot13>


Marith found an article with six different interpretations (HUGE SPOILERS) of what's going on, but Earl's theory is not quite the same as any of them. I guess it's a variant of #4.

Silly Computer Games: Oops. Well, it's not like I have to go to work tomorrow, right?

Cats: Ghirardelli and Marmalade were fighting some, so I tried putting the Collar of Mellowness +1 on Ghirardelli. He's not fighting at the moment, but otherwise doesn't seem to be acting differently from the usual.

inception by eyelessgame (Fri Jul 30 23:44:47 2010)

Here's my wacky theory.

Zny naq Nevnqar ner npghnyyl Pboo'f fba naq qnhtugre. V unira'g haeniryrq gur jubyr fgbel lrg naq jung gung zrnaf va gur ynetre fpbcr bs guvatf, naq znlor V whfg unir Jung Qernzf Znl Pbzr ba gur oenva, ohg gung'f jung vg ybbxrq yvxr gb zr, gjragl zvahgrf vagb gur zbivr, naq abguvat znqr zr punatr zl zvaq ol gur raq.

the wrong name by eyelessgame (Fri Jul 30 23:47:27 2010)

Bbcf. V zrnag Neguhe naq Nevnqar ner npghnyyl Pboo'f fba naq qnhtugre. V pna'g erzrzore anzrf.

the wrong name by Trip (Sat Jul 31 09:50:45 2010)

Names are hard!

I dunno, did they really act like oebgure naq fvfgre?

I could not replicate the full Earl Explanation, but he was pretty convincing. Clearly we need to get you two together to discuss.

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23 July 2010 - Friday

Work: I really think people should give me piles of money just for being me. (If they need a stronger excuse, they could give me piles of money for being Marmalade and Ghirardelli's cat-dad. That's an important position, right?)

Textual Entertainments: The Devil's Alphabet (Daryl Gregory) is about a small Southern town whose inhabitants suddenly mutate drastically. (The mutation is never explained, although the characters speculate at some length and I think we're supposed to take that as the explanation, since no other explanation is ever offered.) It's not quite slice-of-life, but it's certainly not the kind of story in which issues beyond the personal get resolved.

Silly Computer Games: Oops.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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22 July 2010 - Thursday

Work: I actually escaped work at the correct time!

My, the Internet really is full of things: Including Ted Chiang.

Gaming: Why do people game with me, when there are games like this in the world? Sheesh.

Food: They may call burgers "fast food", but at 19:00 on a weekday, In-N-Out is not particularly speedy. It would have been faster to execute a Thai City Restaurant plan, because at least then cooking and driving could have happened in parallel. On the other tentacle, we all got fed, and burgers are yummy.

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Next 5-6: Martina is such an enormous loon.

Silly Computer Games: Oops.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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21 July 2010 - Wednesday

Work: Extra check again. Bah!

Silly Computer Games: Oops.

Cats: I gave Marmalade some love-carry. He purred. I also tried to seize Aspen, but she escaped. Bah!

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20 July 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Too much check! Why are humans so bad at writing software?

Textual Entertainments: Red Hood's Revenge is the third in Jim C Hines's swell series about fairy-tale princesses kicking ass, and finishes clearing up the backstories of two of the three protagonists. But now we must wait until 2011 for the next book. Bah!

Visual Entertainments:

  • Chrome Shelled Regios 1-2: Yep, that's shounen, all right.
  • Soul Eater 33: Also shounen. Tsubaki is a sweetie.
  • Higurashi When They Cry 23-24: Wow, an explanation! It explains things! It even makes sense! I wonder if it's actually true.
  • Kimi ni Todoke 20: Not even slightly shounen. Awwwwww!

Silly Computer Games: Almost none!

Cats: Paws, fuzzy, twelve (12).

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19 July 2010 - Monday

Work: Check.

Silly Computer Games: My internets were sad for most of the evening, so I was forced to play Puzzle Quest. I successfully defended the second elven city against [SPOILER] and killed [SPOILER]. Also, new territory means new runes!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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18 July 2010 - Sunday

Gaming: As Earl correctly pointed out, my GMing sucks, but once I railroaded the PCs into a meaningless fight, I was able to get the giant salamander to swallow Dave's character whole. This was gratifying, but led to the party hanging around beating on the elite until it finally keeled over, which was less satisfying. Maybe I should have just had it swim away and let Dave do the math as to whether his character would have killed the salamander before it digested him, but that would also have been anticlimactic.

We had to break partway through the fight with gnoll zombies and drowned ghosts, but perhaps next fortnight I will have more ideas.

Extra Gaming: Ken used the power of his pasta to lure people over to entertain him with Dominion. While Marith was apologizing for getting lucky draws, I quietly bought up a bunch of provinces. Muahahahahahaha.

Food: Home-made pasta with assorted vegetableses! Bread in the shape of a stalk of wheat! Goat cheese! Strawberries!

Cats: Twelve paws!

slander! by Marith (Mon Jul 19 22:45:06 2010)

I do not believe that Earl pointed out any such thing! Produce your evidence!

Also, </b>.

Re: slander! by Trip (Tue Jul 20 10:34:35 2010)

What, now I'm supposed to record all gaming sessions to defend myself against spurious accusations of spuriosity? Hmph!

PS: I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about with that </b> tag. None at all. Really.

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17 July 2010 - Saturday

Gaming: That's sort of like preparing, I guess. I can finish copying stat blocks tomorrow morning.

Silly Computer Games: I defeated a Doomknight! But I can't defeat a blizzard.

Cats: The cats were so very oppressed because Marith gets to go out on the balcony! Injustice! Misery! I am a terrible cat-dad!

Maybe that's why Ghirardelli was trash-talking the manager lady the other day: he blames her for the loss of his balcony. (Really it's the Faceless Corporate Bozos at fault, but I doubt cats understand these subtle distinctions.)

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16 July 2010 - Friday

Work: Check.

Gaming: Preparation fail.

Textual Entertainments: Reread The Jennifer Morgue, second in Charles Stross's series of British intelligence vs the Elder Gods. Contains an excellent excuse for a Bond pastiche.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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15 July 2010 - Thursday

Work: Check.

Food: Today, the stars were finally right for Thai food!

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Next 3-4: Only half a Dragon Slave this week. However, next week looks promising!

Cats: Aspen has been exceptionally unapproachable lately. I wonder if I did something to confirm that I am a horrible cat-eating monster?

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14 July 2010 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

My, the Internet really is full of things: Human brains: not as useful as one might hope.

Laundry: It's the future, can I have my self-cleaning clothes now? Or at least a robotic valet?

Silly Computer Games: While fighting with the laundry machines, I trained up my mount a couple of levels and crafted an almost godlike artifact, but then I went to bed.

Cats: So furry!

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13 July 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Check. At least, my body was there!

Apparently I have time off at the end of the August which I will use to go to Portland. This may be because I am crazed.

Gaming: Both the Dresden Files RPG and HERO 6th edition arrived today, each in the form of two thick hardcover books. It's not surprising that Hero6 is by far the thicker, even withou DFRPG's excuse of having to summarize multiple novels of worldbuilding, but it does suggest that it's probably going in the wrong direction. But we shall see!

DFRPG is based on FATE/Spirit of the Century, so I probably can't run it, but I can admire it.

Textual Entertainments: Already Dead (Charlie Huston). "Down these mean streets a vampire must go who is not himself mean...." (There is a dame, and she is trouble.) First of a series.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Soul Eater 32: Poor fairies!
  • Higurashi When They Cry 21-22: I think we now know most of what happened in that arc, but the larger questions (eg, "WTF?!") are still unanswered.
  • Kimi ni Todoke 19: Poor Chizuru! (But Marith totally called the shape of her doom.)
  • Natsume's Book of Friends II 12-13: Awww! Also, The End.

Next week, Chrome Shelled Regios!

Food: Apparently Marith had not previously been exposed to the Watsonville Apple.

Silly Computer Games: I escaped! For the time being.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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12 July 2010 - Monday

Work: Check.

Gaming: I appear to have spent the past three weeks not actually coming up with anything for D&D at all. That's not what I meant to do at all!

Silly Computer Games: I stayed up less late playing Puzzle Quest this time!

Cats: Marmalade has not repeated the strange finger-gnawing behavior. Maybe he just had something stuck in his teeth.

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11 July 2010 - Sunday

Work: I had to log in for about five minutes to make sure something was still running, but that's it. Yay!

Gaming: The FDA audited Ken's brain, so there was no Thrace. Instead, we played Dominion with (mostly) random cards and complained about Minions.

Textual Entertainments: The Fuller Memorandum, third in Charles Stross's story of intrepid yet geeky British intelligence agents vs Lovecraftian horrors from beyond space and time. I suspect I would enjoy this series even more if I knew more about Cold War-era spy novels, but they're still pretty swell.

Silly Computer Games: Remember how I said I was going to only play a little Puzzle Quest and then go to bed? Me neither.

Cats: Marmalade did a very strange thing involving his teeth and my finger, like he was trying to rub his gums, or maybe he just wanted to use my finger for a chew toy. If he does it again, perhaps I should take him to the vet to have his teeth checked.

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10 July 2010 - Saturday

Work: While the guys in India were working on something that come up over (California's) night, the machine that runs our end of the VPN to the customer keeled over. Since I'm on call, I had to commute in to the office to fix it. (I could probably have gotten someone else to do it, but that would be lame.) While I was en route, the process the guys in India had set in motion completed and the customer's cluster was working again, but I put in the extra hour of walking and rebooted the VPN machine because I would feel very foolish if this were to happen again tomorrow and the machine was still not up.

I've spent more relaxing Saturday mornings, but on the other hand, I've done this commute more than a hundred times (possibly coming up on two hundred, counting when I worked out this way before), so it's not like I had to do any braining.

Textual Entertainments: Metatropolis (edited by John Scalzi, stories by Jay Lake, Tobias S Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and Karl Schroeder) is representative of a strain of near-future SF that I have no good name for. Maybe it's Mundane SF? Ah, it's BoingBoingian SF: all decentralized, all networked, all people! (Though sadly, Cory Doctorow and his balloon do not appear in any of the stories.)

Visual Entertainments: Couple more episodes of Tweeny Witches. Enh.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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9 July 2010 - Friday

Work: Check.

I'm on-call this weekend. Blargh.

Silly Computer Games: Sleep is nothing next to the glory that is Puzzle Quest!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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8 July 2010 - Thursday

Work: Check.

My, the Internet really is full of things: This mind flayer is ready for prom.

Textual Entertainments: Kraken (China Mieville) is more like King Rat than his books since then. It's in the modern fantasy subgenre that I think of as Mage (darn you, White Wolf!), but extra Londontastic. Plus, weird religion and supernatural unionizers!

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Next 1-2: If you skimp on basic maintenance, not even Zoamelgustar can save you! (Also, anyone who introduces himself as "the Mysterious ____, but I'm not suspicious" is totally suspicious, but that goes without saying.)

Food: I never used to like pasta with red sauce, but now I do. How convenient!

Cats: The cats have been pretty good lately, but I started reading The Cat Detective (Vicky Halls) anyway. It's a borrowed book, so I was saddened to realize I couldn't fling it across the train station in disgust when she started discussing the virtues of homeopathy. I suppose I should keep reading, because a person can be a complete moron in one respect without being wrong about everything, but my confidence is greatly reduced.

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7 July 2010 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

My, the Internet really is full of things: What's really on the other side of the world from you?

In completely unrelated news Greta Christina still rocks.

Sequential Entertainments: The Darker Than Black manga has some of the same characters, in the same setting, but the plot is completely unrelated. It could be either before the anime or in an alternate universe. But it still has doom.

Silly Computer Games: Way too much Puzzle Quest. But I defeated a sea serpent!

Cats: They seem to be behaving!

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6 July 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Blargh. Waking up is no fun.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Soul Eater 30-31: It's hard being Crona.
  • Higurashi When They Cry 20: Huh, I guess this really is one of the "answer arcs".
  • Natsume's Book of Friends II 10-11: Wow, a non-yokai antagonist! But with only two episodes left in the series, will anything come of it?
  • Kimi ni Todoke 18: Poor Chizuru! But I'm sure she will get her shoujo sparkles in the end!

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5 July 2010 - Monday

Vacation: I didn't quite do nothing today, but it was pretty close.

Visual Entertainments: Finished Claymore. Enh. A lot wasn't wrapped up, but apparently there isn't any more anime, and I don't know if I'd bother to watch it anyway.

Silly Computer Games: I used to suspect Puzzle Quest of cheating, but actually I think it's just that I'm constantly outsmarted by a Windows program. O the embarrassment.

Cats: They are all fine cats!

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4 July 2010 - Sunday

Gaming: Today our intrepid exorcist-heroes found out that fey had been haunting a spooky old house and spiriting away kids who went in to be soldiers in their fairyland wars, and beat up the fey with great beating! They couldn't get the kids back, but otherwise succeeded well.

That was all the encounters Dave had planned out, so we had to stop gaming, sniff.

Vacation: Once again, we were not forced to resort to cannibalism.

We were all poor guests and did not go to fireworks with our hosts, but at least Ayse and Ken and Julia and Dave stayed another night. Marith had to flee back in order to do a work thing early tomorrow morning, so I went back too so she didn't have to drive by herself.

Cats: Change in paw count since I left: ZERO!

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3 July 2010 - Saturday

Vacation: Ayse and Ken and Julia's car seat and Julia's stuff and Julia's other stuff pretty much fill an entire car, so Dave and I went up with Marith instead. Surprisingly, traffic was not too doomed, and we arrived only a little later than we hoped.

It's been a long time since we've been to Roseville! They now have giant cabinets to store their games, and a pool (sadly not fully cured), and Josh is almost 8! Gah!

Julia and her entourage showed up a little while later, to great acclaim. The kids were great with her, possibly because (I hear) she is the Very Best Baby In The Entire World.

Food: Despire Sherilyn's worries, we once again completely failed to starve to death.

Gaming: As threatened, Dave ran D&D4 for Ayse and Ken and Al and Sherilyn and I (Marith didn't feel up to it). He used a variant setting in which all characters are human (but can use racial templates according to what kind of humans they are) and magic is almost unknown because only PCs can see monsters or recognize magic. (Why yes, we have been watching Natsume Yuujincho, why do you ask?)

As is traditional, the graduation exercise went awry, and we had to fight the bottled monster for real, but we were remarkably competent. It's almost as though Dave designed the characters to work together and then told us about it!

There was sleepiness, but perhaps more gaming tomorrow.

Cats: I'm sure they're fine. Really. I even filled up the bathroom sink so they cannot possibly run out of water.

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2 July 2010 - Friday

Work: Ended up staying at work forever and ever (well, okay, maybe only forever) to try to figure out why something mysteriously fails.

The failure, it is mysterious.

Cats: I hope they will be okay while I am gone!

Writing: I am, by the way, still Made Of Fail.

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1 July 2010 - Thursday

Work: Check.

My, the Internet really is full of things: Like Finland.

Visual Entertainments: Slayers 25-26! VICTORY! Well, for the characters. We vaguely intended to watch more than two episodes, but were foiled by bedtime.

Food: Nobody believed me when I said I had food at home, but in fact I ate two slices of leftover pizza (Hawaiian with bonus feta). So there!

Cats: Twelve relatively sedate paws!

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