Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 June 2011 - Thursday

Work: Yay, I can have half of next Tuesday off! This means I can go to Roseville! Hopefully the customers will not abuse my cow orkers so much that I feel guilty when I get back.

My, the Internet really is full of things: Apparently all the webcomics I read have very similar art styles, because I came across a bunch recently that have different styles and they seem very remarkable. (You can tell, because I'm remarking on them.)

Food: Yummy Indian okra and cauliflower and beef and samosas from Shezan! Although I think something is wrong with Ken because he only got four samosas for three people. (Hopefully Marith actually got lizard food to eat and didn't just starve politely.)

Gaming: The gladiatorial games for charity went well, with extra-snarky lizard announcer (Marith is a way better MC than I would ever be) and a 5-1 victory of the Jheris Gentlewomen's Needlework Society (the PCs) over a team from the Grim Legion, until the main event, in which the defending champion tripped over her own feet and the obsidiman hero the PCs had lobbied to get into the city struck her down with a single mighty blow. That sort of thing just doesn't happen in Earthdawn, unless people's magic powers happen to have been supressed by a Horror curse on the defending champion's magic crystal snake stick.

Next week, the PCs and their new lizard buddy must figure out WTF is going on and how to fix it without having their souls eaten. Should be easy, right?

Cats: Twelve paws!

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29 June 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: Paizo (former publisher of Dragon, current publisher of D&D3.5¾) has started republishing pulp-era or otherwise obscure SF/F which is good or seminal enough to get modern writers to blurb it. The one I saw in an actual bookstore comes recommended by China Miéville, according to the cover, so I picked it up.

The Walrus & The Warwolf (Hugh Cook) follows the exploits of a slimy weasel in a setting somewhere between Gamma World and Tekumel, with bonus pirates and random weirdness. Drake does become less slimy over time, if not less weaselly (he gets the most benefit out of 8 points of Life Support that I've ever seen), but the characters we meet span the whole alignment scale from evil all the way up to neutral.

(Note: there's a printing error that loses three pages, but the missing pages are available on Paizo's site.)

Cats: Twelve fuzzinesses!

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28 June 2011 - Tuesday

Modern Medicine: I seem to be getting slightly better at sleeping. Maybe due to the lack of thermions?

Work: Apparently Cow Orker M still has weeks of physical therapy ahead of him, but he is bored enough that he might do some work anyway.

My, the Internet really is full of things: How did I go this long without adding Hark! a Vagrant to my reading page?

Weather: Since when do we have weather at the end of June?!

Visual Entertainments: Marith is back from familial oppression!

  • Death Note 28-29: It's sad that that's probably about the best possible ending for that character. Also, Light has apparently been slacking for years and losing his edge.
  • Clannad 22: The end! (of the plot; there are still a couple of bonus episodes)
  • Durarara!! 15-16: That makes perfect sense, but we totally didn't see it coming! We didn't expect the Yotsubato reference either.
  • Umineko 21: Humans suck.

Cats: So fuzzy!

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27 June 2011 - Monday

Work: Check.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Most of the quests in Blade's Edge Mountains were either too easy or required large groups, so Zmorcia just explored the region for the achievement (and did the daily on the west side for random items). Next, Netherstorm!

Cats: I am still sad that Aspen still does not like me. Oh well.

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26 June 2011 - Sunday

Work: Still no on-call. Hardly any work mail at all. Weird!

Textual Entertainments: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Catherynne M Valente) is definitely Valente, but reminds me a bit of R Sean Borgstrom, what with the offspring of libraries and wyverns running around. Also it has many bits that are pretty sad, but the ending is reasonably triumphant.

Textual Entertainments, Cont'd: Moon Over Soho (Ben Aaronovitch) is the sequel to Midnight Riot and is equally cool, with new and different doom, and strange old wizards. Plus, <rot13>xvgglobl</rot13>!

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia trundled around Nagrand/Terokkar/Shadowmoon by herself, cleaning up the last quests that seemed both doable and interesting. Then, onward to Spiky Mountains of Spiky Spikes!

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

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25 June 2011 - Saturday

Work: No on-call events today! For a while I wondered if the mail server were broken, but I still got spam, so apparently people really are just not sending me email.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Gaming: No Thrace because Marith is still back East being tortured by her family. We did poke at the kingdom-development rules Ken found in a D&D 3.5¾ supplement and will probably use them, although they'll need to be adapted to 4th ed's exponential pseudo-economy. (Also we need to get Marith's character married off.)

Ken made us build Vampire characters a while back, to have something for when Marith is not available, but I voted against actually playing, because my character sucks. Instead we played a few more games of Race for the Galaxy. I got my high score up to 35, but Dave pwned us with his strategy of all 6-cost developments all the time. Bah!

Food: Bacon! Eggs! Potatoes! Posole! (Not all at once.)

Textual Entertainments: Harmony (by the late "Project" Itoh) should be shelved next to Peter Watts's Blindsight, maybe with Neon Genesis Evangelion on the other side.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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24 June 2011 - Friday

Work: No word as to whether Cow Orker M passed his medical review, but I'll keep my tentacles crossed for him.

Oncall this weekend, bah.

Textual Entertainments: Earl recommended Midnight Riot (Ben Aaronovitch), and as usual he was right. Points awarded for: setting that isn't a generic American city; protagonist who tries to figure things out in a sensible way; protagonist who is not white (not even a white guy with vaguely exotic looks); long-lived character who is not an idiot but is still a product of his times.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Playing WoW with other people is huge fail because they have all done all of this a million times before and know what to do and do it, and do not need n00bs getting in the way of their questing and instancing. They are so busy and important, like cats.

Cats: Cats are so busy and important, but some of them will make time in their schedules for pettins.

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23 June 2011 - Thursday

Work: Cow Orker S is back to doing house stuff again. He should be done and back at work full-time by next week, though.

Food: BLTAvocado, nom! ("Beef bacon" is not actually bacon, but it is salty, toxic goodness.)

Gaming: This time there were no doomed attempts at library action or takeout food, and the trains were not unusually victimized by class warfare, so we started Earthdawn not too much after the appointed hour. (Still no Marith, since she is back East being tormented by her relatives.)

For really no good reason at all, the PCs have decided to help a random obsidiman (who is persona non grata in Throal) get a duel with a random dwarf (who is contractually obligated to stay within Throal) by putting on gladiatorial games for charity (with the assistance of the locally-unpopular ambassador from their hometown and to benefit the locally-unpopular orcs). Surely there is no way this plan can go wrong.

Textual Entertainments: I brought many very heavy Liz Williams books to Ayse. Hopefully she will be pleased.

Cats: Twelve scampery paws!

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22 June 2011 - Wednesday

Modern Medicine: The stats from my brain-inflator suggest that I'm forgetting how to sleep. Maybe it's the heat.

Work: Check.

My, the Internet really is full of things: Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell (but he has an awesome pet manticore).

Gaming: Tried to make a PDF character sheet for Isidari, but failed.

Textual Entertainments: I'm not sure about the title The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagaru Tanigawa), since that describes pretty much every instant of Haruhi's existence, but it's not any less appropriate here, so whatever. The "Endless Eight" story is much different than it was in the anime, so the adaptors apparently did that thing (you know the thing I'm talking about) deliberately.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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21 June 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: I liked Michael Swanwicks' previous "Darger and Surplus" stories quite a lot, but Dancing With Bears kind of fell down. The density and novelty of wacky future stuff were too low, and bringing the Lurking Threat onscreen made it less scary. It was still entertaining, but not up to the earlier short stories.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Death Note 27: And the plot twists again!
  • Clannad 20-21: Oh the doom.
  • Durarara!! 14: It's a good thing Celty is actually a nice person.
  • Umineko 19-20: Good thing that family isn't at all dysfunctional.

Cats: Paws, assorted, package of 12.

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20 June 2011 - Monday

Work: Cow Orker S is back, kind of, although he keeps having to log out to do housebuying stuff.

Cats: I was looking for something in the archives and came across entries where the cat report was "orange". :(

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19 June 2011 - Sunday

Gaming: Despite the opposition being lower level, the fight against the half-century of kobold soldiers was pretty entertaining. The fight against the lich and his shadowy minions was not so entertaining, because the minions both did little damage and reduced incoming damage, so we didn't play it out. (Adam's character got mind-controlled and spent most of the fight punching himself in the face, but that was okay because Adam had to take off early.)

I had another encounter prepared, but really it's surprising that the PCs failed even one roll of the skill challenge. Unless the GM is completely unfair, someone will always have a high stat for any roll, and either training in the skill or assists from everyone.

Do people really play with the DC of assist rolls always being 10? That's a free +8 to all rolls out of combat.

Food: Ken burritos (made by Ken, not of Ken, unless Ken is secretly a swarm of tasty shrimp).

Gaming, Cont'd: The power of Ken compelled us to play Race For The Galaxy after dinner. In the second game, I got out the 6-point development that gives victory points for every settled planet and the development that lets you settle two planets per turn, and then saw a total of zero more settlable planets in the game so I only increased my best score by 2 points. Sheesh.

Visual Entertainments: I'm not sure there are enough episodes of Moribito left to resolve the plotline...

Cats: Twelve paws!

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18 June 2011 - Saturday

Gaming: Preparingu, preparingu, la la la

Textual Entertainments: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagaru Tanigawa) contains a story that did not appear in the anime, possibly because it wasn't actually Haruhi that screwed up Kyon's life that time. But it was very screwed up, and Kyon was very Kyon-like about it.

Textual Entertainments, Cont'd: The future China Miéville's describes in Embassytown reminds me somewhat of Jo Clayton's work (the Skeen books, I think). However, the wierd philosophy is definitely from the Miéville who wrote The City & The City, although Embassytown is not as densely weird. (Possibly that's just because future setting weirdness no longer boggles me, and a mainstream reader would be just as confused.) Additional bonus: not as slime as in the Bas-Lag books.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: I played for about ten minutes, but then Marmalade purrbucketed with great adorableness.

Cats: The word "purrbucket" has been absent from these pages for too long.

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17 June 2011 - Friday

Work: Check, but now it's Friday.

My, the Internet really is full of things: MS Paint Adventures (not actually created in MS Paint, but a work of twisted genius).

Textual Entertainments: Sheesh, you go to the library for a few months and suddenly Internationally-Reknowned Author C E Murphy has a new book out! But now I can tell you that Spirit Dances, the sixth book in the "Urban Shaman" series, is composed of 57% shapeshifting embarrassment, 84% doom, and 100% awesome.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

Internationally-Reknowned Author C E Murphy by kit (Fri Jun 24 13:53:03 2011)

laughs hugs :)

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16 June 2011 - Thursday

Work: Cow Orker S has reported that he and his family were not eaten by roving packs of mutant Texans. Cow Orker M's medical status will be reviewed next Friday.

Gaming: For the first time in a million years, Earthdawn! I was horribly late and made Ayse late too, so our characters did not get as much action as Dave and Mike's, but Isidari did get to beat up some shaven dwarf calling himself The Mole and get 150 legend points.

Marith plans to join the campaign, but not until she is done being doomed from having to visit her horrible family.

Visual Entertainments: No Slayers Revolution until summer is over and Mike can no longer game.

Food: BBQ Kalbi bibimbap chicken burrito.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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15 June 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Blargh-check.

Gaming: Instead of rewriting my Earthdawn character sheet, I flailed uselessly at D&D prep and ended up with almost nothing done for either. Bah.

Textual Entertainments: Sleeping Helena (Erzebet Yellowboy) is a vaguely modern remix of "Sleeping Beauty", with extra forbidden love, dream-like time travel, and surprise personal growth. I didn't much care for it, but probably I'm not the target audience.

Cats: Ghirardelli! Do not bully Marmalade out of the spot of pettins and cool breezes! There is enough room for both of you!

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14 June 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Cow orker M is still on sick leave, and now cow orker S is out for most of the week (scheduled well in advance, but that doesn't make him any less not-here). Gah.

Textual Entertainments: I didn't like Fathom as much as Cherie Priest's more recent books. It didn't feel like there was enough to justify a whole book, even a shortish one. It might make a good Call of Cthulhu adventure plot, though.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Death Note 25-26: That was a pretty unexpected plot twist! (Except to parasites who were spoiled by the manga.)
  • Clannad 19: Nagisa is too nice to smack Tomoya upside the head, but it would probably do him good.
  • Durarara!! 12.5-13: For being what she is, Celty is awfully spazzy and fluttery. (Maybe she spent all her points on her vehicle and couldn't buy up her Presence.) The relationship between Anri and the two boys seems believably adolescent, although not necessarily in a good way.
  • Umineko 18: I thought that was a little too dere to be true. But now we know who the person in the opening credits is!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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13 June 2011 - Monday

Work: Stayed late to do a thing for other servants of our Corporate Masters, then the train was late. Bah.

Textual Educations: At the Water's Edge is one of Carl Zimmer's earlier books (1998), so reading it mostly made me want to know what we've learned about the evolution of whales and early tetrapods in the subsequent 13 years. I now know more about the sonar apparatus of odontocetes than I did before, though!

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia spent a few minutes running around Shattrath City withdrawing low-level gems and metals and crafting them into shiny things to send to R—.

Cats: Twelve paws that still have not been eaten by horrible monsters!

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12 June 2011 - Sunday

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: The quest where you have to fight off ravenous flayers that come from both sides to eat the pigs, while getting the pigs to dig up tubers, is a huge pain. It is doable by one person, but it took Zmorcia like an hour to get 4/10 tubers. So frustrating!

But suddenly, people were logged in! The Worgen group went through a short prison-themed dungeon (Stockade?), which brought Daphona from level 21 to 22, and so close to 23 that the introductory "click on six objects to get +1 fishing/cooking and a knicknack" quests in Darnassus pushed her over. Hopefully this does not put her unfairly ahead of R—.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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11 June 2011 - Saturday

Food: Brunch day! Ken felt like cooking so we had eggs and potatoes and a bounty of bacon. Nom!

Gaming: Ayse was too sleepy for Thrace, so she took a nap with toddler. The rest of us played a couple of games of Race for the Galaxy (Ken blew us away in the first random-start game, getting more points than in his three previous games combined) and then Marith made an Earthdawn character (t'skrang troubador) since Ken wants to start his Earthdawn game back up over the summer.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia finally made it to level 71! Also she has explored all of Shadowmoon Valley, although not done all the quests. I'm still waffling over bailing on the zone and going to Northrend to find better gems and loot.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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10 June 2011 - Friday

Work: I still had a comp day left over from working President's Day, so it took it today to avoid having to trek in to work after the doctor appointment. Or maybe just because I'm lazy. I'm sure success-oriented type-A startup employees don't take comp days.

Modern Medicine: Having drugs injected directly into my eyeball (not as bad as it sounds, but then it would have to be) did not help. The next step is different drugs (also intravitreal), but these ones have a ~30% chance of causing cataracts within a couple of years. I'm not sure my vision is really that much of a problem now. But maybe it is.

Random Encounters: In the afternoon I went over to Ayse's for a Baby Adoration Session. That is quite a toddler! She has words! That people who aren't her parents can understand!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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9 June 2011 - Thursday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: Blackout is the second book after the main arc of Rob Thurman's Cal and Niko series, but it is still full of brothers and monsters. Also: mysterious doom.

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Revolution 1-2: Huh, I guess that really is a zipper. And that really is a Dragon Slave.

Food: Ayse and Ken had extremely bargain-tastic coupons for Pizza My Heart, so we feasted on enormous pizzas of enormity. Apparently PMH is notably salty to people who real food, which probably explains its appeal to lamers like me.

Cats: Paws: still twelve!

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8 June 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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7 June 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Look, more work!

Visual Entertainments:

  • Death Note 24: Uh oh! It looks bad for our intrepid detective!
  • Clannad 17-18: No one failed to see that coming, but I think most of the others would have been better choices.
  • Durarara!! 12: Wow, that's a lot of creepy dysfunctional romance.
  • Umineko 16-17: Battler has clearly come a long way if he can act like that toward someone built like that.

Food: Return of gorgonzola!

Gorgonzola sounds like it should turn you to stone.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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6 June 2011 - Monday

Work: Bleah, work.

My, the Internet really is full of things: You call that sapience? It's no wonder things like this are necessary.

Textual Entertainments: Two thin books today, Dreadful Skin (Cherie Priest) and All You Need Is Kill (Hiroshi Sakurazawa). The first is nun vs monsters in the old West, the second is powered infantry vs time loops and alien invaders. Both are not bad.

Visual Entertainments: One more episode of Moribito. Oh the doom.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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5 June 2011 - Sunday

Work: Yesterday's doom seems to have mostly been resolved, yay!

Gaming: No Palo Alto D&D, someone is busy (Jeremy and Rachel, I think).

Textual Educations: Microcosm (Carl Zimmer) isn't Parasite Rex, but then so few things are. However, E. coli is pretty cool itself, even if it totally doesn't deserve to be called a species. (Horizontal gene transfer for the enormous confusion!)

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia trundled around Terokkar Forest and Shadowmoon Valley, beating up invisible desolid bird-guys and whatnot. She's really not levelling very fast any more.

Visual Entertainments: More Moribito. I think Balsa is being kind of obnoxious, but she is also very clearly right to not trust the duly constituted authorities.

Cats: Miau! Miau! Grrr!

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4 June 2011 - Saturday

Work: As it turns out, the worst that could happen is that I could be dragged into a huge clusterfuck where it took 16 hours to perform a simple operation on Big Customer X's (hideously overloaded) cluster and I don't get to bed until after 26:00. (Couldn't have been worse: it was already raining.)

It's not like I was going to have a life of any kind anyway, but I had hoped to get out of the apartment at least for a bit.

Cats: Maybe I should have let them play with the cluster until it came apart.

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3 June 2011 - Friday

Work: I seem to have volunteered to be on call this weekend for cow orker M, who is still zonked out on painkillers. Eh, what's the worst that could happen?

Cats: Twelve paws!

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2 June 2011 - Thursday

Work: Check.

Food: Ayse had an impulse to feed upon the flesh of the slain, so we picked up Clarke's burgers for dinner. They were the exact opposite of nontoxic, but so tasty.

Visual Entertainments: No Slayers, because Ken got a new game at KublaCon and demanded that we play it.

Gaming: Ken explained that the victory condition for one's first game of Race for the Galaxy is simply learning to read the cards, so by that standard I got a qualified victory. Next time, perhaps I can try to get some actual victory points!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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1 June 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Ended up staying late for another of Big Customer X's incessant problems, which meant I was going home at just the right time to get stuck by some bozo getting killed on the train tracks.

Internets: I finally got the useful guy at Aerio, and he was able to get me up and running again in mere moments. W00t!

Textual Educations: I was somewhat entertained by Jennifer Ouellette's blog so I picked up The Calculus Diaries. It was only moderately entertaining, but would probably be good for someone who didn't know anything about calculus but wanted to. I'm pretty sure none of my friends or acquaintances fall into that category, though.

Cats: So fuzzydorable!

Calculus by Ayse (Sat Jun 4 19:00:31 2011)

You vastly overestimate my knowledge of calculus, which is pretty much that it's the math I managed to avoid taking and has something to do with moving stuff.

Re: Calculus by Trip (Sat Jun 4 20:20:07 2011)

I was putting you and Marith (and maybe Ken) in the "too scarred by bad teaching to want anything to do with math ever again" group.

Calculus by Silkie (Sun Jul 10 14:29:43 2011)

Robert doesn't know much about Calculus but wants to! So perhaps this book will be good for him. I ordered him a copy, to replace the one that went missing during our trip.

Re: Calculus by Trip (Sun Jul 10 19:18:09 2011)

I completely don't know if it would be good for Robert! It might be insufficiently dense, since he already knows lots of math.

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