Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 January 2013 - Thursday

The guy who went to Chicago instead of me seems to be doing an excellent job of happying the customer, so I guess I can put up with the later afternoon meeting.

However, I am not really getting anywhere on passport stuff. I think what I need is an immigration lawyer. Does my devoted readership of what, three or four, have any recommendations?

Skin (Kathe Koja) is clearly tagged "SF", but it is equally clearly not SF. There is nothing outside the bounds of mundane human craziness involved.

Twelve fuzzy paws!

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30 January 2013 - Wednesday

Holy crap, they'll list anything on RPGGeek.

The poor guy who had to go to Chicago instead of me is now there, after flying all night. The customers seem to be happy to have him, though.

I must share a portion of his suffering by attending a meeting until 17:30 so that I miss the best train and cannot easily get comics.

I also did not get any kittywarmers, but the kitties appear warm enough for now.

they really will! by marith (Thu Jan 31 22:57:50 2013)

That's awesome! :) I know it was a long time ago, but SCOOS has flair. You can design some neat stuff when your brain isn't sabotaging you.

Re: they really will! by Trip (Fri Feb 1 11:26:27 2013)

That's a third of my life ago. And what have I done since then? Bah.

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29 January 2013 - Tuesday

Please shrivel up and die, Amazon EC2, so that you don't keep me stuck at work until I miss the last good train again.

I don't remember why I pulled it off the shelf for bedtime reading, but GURPS Technomancer is pretty cool. The magic system (introduced to the world by the Trinity test) is the standard GURPS system, which is hugely mechanistic and fiddly, but therefore possibly a good fit for industrial magic. It has CIA-made atomic liches, ghost-dynamic lasers (radiation = necromancy), teleportation-based space programs, elemental-rights terrorists, military dragons, killer penguin hive-minds, and, because it is by David L Pulver (who Understands), catgirls.

However, because it is GURPS, it has way too many skills and fiddly little mechanics (and I say this as a HERO gamer).

The Hermetic Millenia (John C Wright) is the sequel to Count to a Trillion, covering the hero's wait for [SPOILER]. This takes some time, so the book is in the traditional format of a frame story with flashbacks narrated by a variety of personages who lived through the events in question. Some of the early bits with the variant humans were interesting, but they turned out to be kind of stereotypical when they got more screen time. Also, apparently they were all innately evil because they didn't adhere to monogamous Christian 1950s-small-town-America values.

We still haven't decided what system to use for the Microscope campaign. (Okay, we haven't even discussed it.) There are many superhero RPGs, but probably not many that we would want to play. I do want to try Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, and it is kind of FATEish so maybe people would be up for it. Or maybe not.

When I don't get home until almost 21:00, I have very little time to pet cats. This is clearly not the correct path in life.

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28 January 2013 - Monday

Cow Orker M is now working earlier, but still from the East Coast, so he disappears halfway through the day and the chat room goes quiet. Apparently I need to be funnier (to people who can't see me, I mean).

After Cow Orker A was out most of last week, he lost his foos powers and I was able to crush him twice in a row.

I almost had to go to Chicago, but narrowly escaped for reasons that are not clear to me.

Now that we have a campaign setting, we need a system. Jeremy votes for Hero because he doesn't play enough computer games to get his RDA of minimaxing. It isn't the worst idea in the world, but there are things that I feel must be fixed. Unfortunately, the ways I have come up with to fix them are multifarious and most inconsistent. I'm not sure whether to keep trying or not, since playtesting is really quite different from playing.

Twelve fuzzy paws!

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27 January 2013 - Sunday

Earl is staying home with his hot girlfriend instead of running Diaspora Effect for us, but we can have fun without him! Just you watch!

Surprisingly, we had fun without Earl!

Since Diaspora Effect is winding down anyway, we decided to play Microscope to generate a setting for the next campaign. As often happens, we gravitated toward a rotating-GM superhero campaign. (I'm not sure the Neanderthals are typical, but they certainly aren't atypical.)

After navigating some rough patches early on, the five of us successfully roughed out the history of the world, from when the great Neanderthal hero Mammoth Bain flew his village from Africe to Europe, through the rise of the Cro-Magnon supervillains and the reign of the Dwarf Lords of Sumatra, to the Mage Wars, the uncovering of lost alien knowledge, and finally the transcendence of humanity. It was awesome, even if my nigh-incomprehensible handwriting accidentally introduced the great hominid hero Orangular into the timestream.

Dave transcribed our index cards and added some of the commentary, but could not capture the brilliance of our wit.

Dwarf Lords of Sumatra FTW!

Marith is too dead from cleaning, or maybe not cleaning, to watch the Big Bang Theory she made me rent. I will sit with my cats and plot world domination.

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26 January 2013 - Saturday

Today I did laundry, did a little work, and went grocery shopping.

The Last Days (Scott Westerfeld) is the sequel to Peeps, in which a bunch of teenagers in New York while it collapses from peepification form a fawesome band and incidentally save the world. They are practically PC-like in their motleyness.

Oh no, Ja Baby has the Monster-Melting Pyramid! How will I get into the closet to say RAAR now?

  • Ano Hana 4: Marith called it. I wonder if everyone has their own internal Menma? Jintan's seems to be not entirely internal, though.
  • Mouretsu Pirates 19-20: Beach episode! With bulky life vests, because this is not that sort of show.
  • Nodame Cantabile III 1-2: As expected from the end of last season, the doom of Paris continues straight on.
  • Hanasaku Iroha 7: Go Tomoe! Although now they'll never be rid of the paintballers.

Twelve paws!

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25 January 2013 - Friday

It's the weekend! Except that I'm on call tomorrow and we have to continuously monitor a customer cluster that is being scrutinized for examples of an intermittent problem. Oh well, at least I can sleep in a bit.

Above the Snowline (Steph Swainston) is a prequel to Dangerous Offspring, set a hundred-odd years earlier when Jant the Comet is even more of a young punk immortal, and terrible at diplomacy when attractive and/or dangerous women are involved.

When the natives have a bonus to every stat and train in woodscraft and violence from birth but have limited social instincts, becoming a common enemy that they will unite to fight against may not be the path to victory.

Oof, I am crushed beneath cats!

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24 January 2013 - Thursday

I got to go home on time today!

It was in an upper stratum since I had recently lent it to Ayse, so I reread Peeps (Scott Westerfeld). I still like it overall, but the end really falls down for me.

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But I enjoyed it up to that point.

Twelve paws!

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23 January 2013 - Wednesday

I almost escaped, but I stayed a few minutes longer than necessary to finish up a though, which means I was trapped by exploding customers. Only for a while, but it meant I did not get down to the pet supply store to see if they had the right kind of kittywarmers.

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22 January 2013 - Tuesday

I ended up staying late at work, which meant arriving home even later. Blargh. Customers, why do you explode so?

Steph Swainston is another New Weird person, and in fact a couple of chapters of Dangerous Offspring appeared in The New Weird anthology. Those chapters were pretty much the weirdest ones; there is apparently more of the interdimensional stuff in previous books in the series, but this one is mostly straight secondary-world-without-magic adventure. Or maybe I should only say "without magicians", since the emperor does apparently have the ability to make people unaging, although it is very unclear how. He does this as a reward for being best in the world at a skill relevant to fighting the Insect invaders (which does include things like cooking). The main character can fly, which makes him The Fastest Man in the World. He is also kind of a git, although not hopeless.

I have not forgotten you, kitties!

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21 January 2013 - Monday

Wait, how did it get to be Monday already? And why is Cow Orker A not here? Just because he announced in advance that he was taking the day off? What kind of excuse is that?!

Missions of Love vol 2 (Ema Toyama) doesn't have as much battle-of-wits excitement as vol 1, but does have 100% more love triangle (or is going from 2 nodes to 3 only a 50% increase?).

I had all kinds of thoughts about Eclipse World, like switching to 2d10 (soft hit on 10-15, hard hit on 16+) and adding two stats so that you would, instead of roll+Fight or roll+Hack, roll+Physical+Combat or roll+Virtual+Combat. However, I am not sure this is actually a good idea, especially not having a Combat stat.

One thing Apocalypse World did that I like is not have a move for "I do damage to him". The moves are about what you want and are willing to use violence to gain: "seize or hold by force", or "go aggro" (use threats of imminent violence to get people to do what you say).

(Dungeon World does have moves to just roll damage on something, but in 1st ed D&D, violence was its own reward, not a tool for achieving ends.)

Hm, maybe having one stat for combat instead of making a it big thing that you need a variety of stats for is actually the way to go, then.

A white kitty has been sighted in the box of lurking and warmth!

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20 January 2013 - Sunday

Bonus Diaspora Effect!

The PCs had a plan so cunning you could put an extra pair of eyes on it and call it a batarian! Aylira, cleverly disguised as her identical twin sister, got "ransomed" from the pirates and returned to the loving arms of the Mays Foundation and its director. While she was busy trying to remain in a superposition of ardat yakshi and normal asari, she managed to learn about the salvaged prothean AI (did we mention she had a quarian geek she "befriended while a prisoner"?) and the Evolution Engine's first success, Antera (a Banshee, if you know Mass Effect 3).

The rest of the team infiltrated the public side of the private island as seekers after funding to do archaeology to a prothean ship in cometary orbit they happened to have a lead on. Unfortunately, the next run of the Evolution Engine needed some fuel, so their beach interlude was interrupted by Bella and the Beasts. This did not go notably better for the pirates than previous encounters.

Everyone converged on the secret side of the island, where Litra was prepping the AI for theft transport and Aylira was engaging in drama with the director and the rightfully one-and-only Banshee. Naturally, the Evolution Engine got engaged and the green replica of John Carver of Feros was unable to shut it off, the failed banshees got loose, and there was a huge melee that ended with Norbert clinging to the soft spot in Antera's skull with one set of smart-knucks while she rebooted into maintenance mode and the pirates snuck out the back. John Carver B, being human, figured he would make use of his green physiology to sneak off into the forest, but most of it was the kind of plants that asari evolved to hide in: blue.

Next, something needs to be done about Ti-Shak the many-eyed alien, who is at the center of far too many webs and probably thinks he's safe on Khar'shan where the PCs are persona totally non grata.

I ate way too much gaming munchy. I hope the cats don't jump on my bloated abdomen.

Bleah, work tomorrow.

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19 January 2013 - Saturday

Making waffles appears to have been inordinately stressful for Ken, but they were tasty.

Jinian T Cat was curled up on her heated bed, anyway. I petted and petted her.

Dominion: Dark Ages plus Prosperity is a weird combination, but I suck just as much at it as at any other combination, so I guess it's valid.

This time, Dave plugged in his computer so we could watch more than 5½ episodes.

  • Mouretsu Pirates 18: Triumphant conclusion of the plotline! Girl-smooches 1, Capitalism 0!
  • Ano Hana 2-3: Some of these kids grew up to be cooler than others. I wonder if anything interesting will be done with the ghost, or if it will just be a plot device to draw the characters back together for mundane purposes.
  • Nodame Cantabile II 10-11 (end): Trimphant conclusion of the season! Nodame 2, Mozart 0, Chiaki 1! But it's not really very conclusive, so it's a good thing season 3 is starting next session.
  • Hanasaku Iroha 6: The theme of this show seems to be "traditional Japanese female values are always right", but perhaps it will overcome that.

We got an early start, so we chose to finish early and go to bed like sensible grownups instead of watch extra anime.

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18 January 2013 - Friday

Can it be the weekend now? Oh, it can? W00t!

Nova Swing (M John Harrison) is a sequel to Light, but with twice the literary angst and half the SF ideas. Maybe less, since it's set on the same planet as one strand of Light, but apparently nothing has changed in forty years. Meh.

I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space (Megan Rose Gedris) is extremely silly. However, I don't care for the art, which is supposed to resemble an old comic from before modern printing technologies.

Marmalade and Aspen snuggle up in the new heated basket, but I haven't seen anyone in the relocated box of warmth.

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17 January 2013 - Thursday

Look, more customers.

So what are the themes and elements of Eclipse Phase that we have to support for Eclipse World?

  • Secrets: The PCs are secret agents of a secret organization that exists to dig up the secrets of others before they grow up to eat the solar system.
  • Terrifying Alien Mysteries: the TITANs, everything they did, the Pandora gates, everything beyond them, the Exsurgent plague, the Factors, ...
  • Transhumanity: Body-swapping, forking, bizarre morphs, AIs, uplifts, bioconservatives, nanotech, post-scarcity economics, ...
  • Isolation: Sure, you can visit anyone anywhere at the speed of light... until your network goes down. Then it's a long walk to the nearest reinforcements.
  • Fragmentation: Humanity is scattering, not so much physically (although the Pandora gates and Oort cloud colonization are doing their part), but philosophically. Hypercapitalism vs reputation economies, bioconservatives vs everyone else, ultimates vs everyone, everyone vs TITAN cultists, ....

Some of these don't need mechanical support, being purely fictional, but which ones?

Twelve paws!

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16 January 2013 - Wednesday

Cow Orker D (who is generally awesome) has been elevated to Senior Member of the IEEE. I think that means he's at least 9th level.

I am vindicated! Why did they not believe me when I told them it was a failure in X the first time?

But, why does this script store the components of everything in parallel dicts, instead of putting each thing in its own object? Either it is using OO techniques too advanced for my small brain, or it is badly written, and I can't tell which.

The cat supply store did not have more kitty-warmers like the one I wanted, but they had a slightly different one. It seems to be more like an electric blanket in construction, but I figure it will be okay if I don't keep folding it back and forth until the wires fray and short and kill everyone. I put it in the basket, and moved the old box of warmth to the spot under the window in the back library where Aspen sometimes hangs out. This may be a mistake, though; if I can tempt her out to where I am with the promise of sweet sweet thermions, maybe I should!

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15 January 2013 - Tuesday

Is Tuesday better than Monday? Maybe a little.

Alas, there is nothing terribly interesting about Black Gate (Yukiko Sumiyoshi).

Kathe Koja was also mentioned as a seminal New Weird author, so I picked up Bad Brains from the library. It is somewhat weird, but there is nothing provably fantastical involved in the descent of an artist into homicidal madness and death. (It could totally be Cthulhu's fault.)

Because I am incapable of original thought, I have been thinking about adapting Apocalypse World/Dungeon World to a few different genres, including fairy tale (what do I mean by that? I'll know once I've written the playbooks!) and space opera (should be easy to adapt from DW, since it's usually just murder-hobos in space). But it just occured to me that Eclipse Phase would work pretty well for this. The moves practically write themselves:

  • When you convey information secretly, roll+Subtlety.
    • On 10+, the message arrives with none the wiser
    • On 7-9, pick one:
      • The information is revealed
      • The communication is traced
      • No one knows anything about it, not even the intended recipient
  • When you understand a manifestation of an alien intellect, roll+Analysis.
    • On 10+, you are unscathed and can ask the GM one question from the list:
      • [...]
    • On 7-9, choose one:
      • You can ask the GM one question from the list
      • At least you didn't get any of it on you...
  • When you sleeve into a new body, roll+Resources.
    • On 10+, hold three.
    • On 7-9, hold one.
    At any time, you can spend one of your hold to establish an interesting or useful feature of the body.

I guess the first and third could be generalized, but you get the idea. It should totally work.

Twelve paws!

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14 January 2013 - Monday

Ew, Monday, bleah.

Twelve paws!

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13 January 2013 - Sunday

No Diaspora Effect today, since Jeremy is visited his dad who just had heart surgery, complete with rip cage being pried open. (Endoskeletons are a hazard, I'm telling you!)

I finally finished and sent in my performance review. Eventually someone is going to read it and take action based on it, so I suppose I better start polishing my resume now.

M John Harrison was listed as one of the seminal authors of the New Weird, so I made the library yield up Light, which was blurbed by China Miéville. It is definitely literary, or at least most of the characters are miserable and horrible, but it is definitely SF. It is not even stupid about QM, although it is a bit trippy.

Darlin' It's Betta Down Where It's Wetta (Megan Rose Gedris) is, well, lesbian smut, but gets so many bonus points for the characters not being glamorous. I found it on Filthy Figments, which is a site of smut drawn by women. (Yes, I am a terrible person.)

Based on episodes 1 and 6, The Big Bang Theory is in fact "the people who made of you in high school pretending to like you now that you have money". At least the cats got admired by Marith.

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12 January 2013 - Saturday


3:16: Carnage amongst the Stars (Gregor Hutton) probably gets described as "the Starship Troopers RPG" a lot, and it does involve armored humans gleefully exterminating aliens, but it seems designed to lead the PCs to conclusion that this is not a good thing. Or maybe not; there's nothing explicitly to that effect, although the additional orders characters get as they advance in rank seem increasingly difficult to stomach.

3:16 may be a brilliant feat of game design, but like Kill Puppies for Satan I don't see how trying to play it could fail to end badly.

I successfully gave a kitty-warmer to Jinian, but it was neither needed or wanted because she is already about to get several from Cat. Also, this one requires a three-pronged outlet such as are rarely seen in houses a hundred years old.

I suck at presents.

After last year's failure with the Blu-Ray Player of Treachery, I just pushed the failed episodes to the next session, so we had kind of a weird lineup for anime this week. Also Ken's sister was exposed to some of it, and probably now thinks we are all huge freaks.

  • Nodame Cantabile II 8-9: Nodame is getting serious, but may be thwarted by Mozart. Chiaki is losing his will to fight her.
  • Hanasaku Iroha 3-5: Most threats to turn to the dark side have been averted. Fluffiness reigns.
  • Mouretsu Pirates 18: Well, what can you expect from a guy with a ship named The Glorious Coolph?

Next week, Ano Hana for sure! Probably.

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11 January 2013 - Friday

Friday! At last! I am still not officially on call, but hopefully for everyone's sake this weekend will not be as awful.

Volume 1 of Oreimo (Tsukasa Fushimi, Sakura Ikeda, Hiro Kanzaki) set up the premise and had the characters exhibit their damage, but volume 2 is not as interesting. Sad.

The Inexplicables (Cherie Priest) is the second(?) novel set in Seattle + Zombie Gas (I think there are more novels set in the same world but in distant parts of the continent where zombies are exotic imports). It is a fairly standard tale of a young man becoming a person worthy of respect, although the young man starts off sleazier than usual, and there is no romance subplot. But, zombie gas!

I should be working on my performance review, but instead I will pet this cat. The cat is warm and fuzzy and makes pleasing sounds, unlike a performance review in every way.

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10 January 2013 - Thursday

Oh, right, we're supposed to have our mandatory voluntary self-criticism forms done by tomorrow. If only there were fewer customers.

Warrior, Rogue & Mage (Michael Wolf) has three stats: Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. Add your stat to 1d6, compare to the target number, roll weapon or spell damage as applicable. That's pretty much the entire system.

Unfortunately, a lack of system is once again being billed as the ultimate in flexibility. I swear, someday I'm going to start selling the Ultimate Universal System, which consists of a ballpoint pen and a blank notebook.

There are half a dozen supplements which add some complexity to the combat system, some complexity and some flavor to the magic system, and some length to the magic item lists.

Bah, the kitty-warmers aren't going to be in until next week. Perhaps I will check the other store.

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9 January 2013 - Wednesday

Big Customer X (different X than yesterday) has streamlined their clusters to avoid logging useful information, so I had to rewrite a maintenance script to get the information from a manually populated file. Now I have to go back and write that code correctly instead for a one-off, and maybe change another script to produce the necessary file with one command.

Mind Storm (K M Ruiz) is post-apocalyptic dystopia with enslaved psions and competing plans for the future of humanity. Would make a decent superhero comic. Apparently the first of a series.

Macabre Tales (Cynthia Celeste Miller) is a Lovecraftian RPG that is supposed to simulate Lovecraft's stories, not the pile of Lovecraft + Smith + Derleth + Chaosium + Lumley that most Lovecraftian games use. As part of this, it is explicitly designed for one player (and a GM), since most of Lovecraft's stories have a single protagonist. It does have a lot of investigation, which is arguably non-Lovecraftian (see Stealing Cthulhu), but the PC has to have something to do on his way to death and/or madness.

The other notable thing about the game is that it uses dominoes for randomness. The player has a hand of three, so can choose whether to play the good domino now or save it for a later action, but things other than success or failure of the PC's actions are mostly determined by random dominoes ("...taking a number of hours equal to the low side of a randomly-drawn domino."). I'm not sure this is more than a gimmick, but it's a gimmick that doesn't impose an unreasonable congitive load, so I have no objection.

The pet supply store hasn't called about having more kitty-warmers, so I punted on going down that way to pick up comics since hopefully I will be down there in a couple of days.

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8 January 2013 - Tuesday

The thing that was a minor issue at Big Customer X has been noticed by their executives, so suddenly it is a Huge Flaming Deal and everyone has to cut off their own heads and run around.

Blood Riders (Michael P Spradlin) has vampires and steampunk technology (but not much punk) in the Old West, but the PCs had too many points so they didn't have to buy any disads, and most of the NPCs had little motivation except antagonism.

I took three books back to the library (including Blood Riders) and only got two new ones, so I guess that's progress.

With the assistance of opaque cats, I looked up reviews for some anime serieses that I encountered trailers for. If we ever have anime again, perhaps we will watch some of them.

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7 January 2013 - Monday

Nobody likes Monday, not even other Mondays.

We are supposed to start tracking our time today, but this is a huge fail because I do not work on the same thing for long periods before moving on to work on the next thing for long periods. New Boss G3 will probably despise me for messing up his metrics. But he does understand about not bending over for customers who try to make us support their crazy unsupported configurations.

Cats don't know that it's Monday, only that the box is warm!

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6 January 2013 - Sunday

Glitter Kiss (Adrianne Ambrose, Monica Gallagher) is a cute graphic novel about the supernatural punishment suffered by the boys who trifle with a high-school girl's heart and lips. It's not very subtle, but then it's not a very subtle issue.

I tried to buy more electric kitty warmers, but they were sold out! I guess all the other kitties were jealous and wanted their own! Anyway, I got a rain check and they thought more might be in on Thursday.

Aspen was in the box of warmth today!

The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye is still somewhat interesting, although I am highly dubious about the voiceover. I like that they never said what <rot13>Tenirfgbar</rot13> actually was, which is weird, because usually I don't like failure to explain. I guess they explained just the right amount.

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5 January 2013 - Saturday

No brunch, because Marith was still dead, but in the afternoon she woke up and we went over to Monkeycat Towers with bags of stuff, and there was Ken-cooked dinner with Ja Baby.

Dave is in Hawaii, so we had no anime, but Ken made me watch Snatch. (Marith hid because she was sleepy again.) I didn't follow it entirely because of thick accents (not counting the one that was deliberately incomprehensible), but it was pretty swell. It had Colorful Characters, with names like Bullet-Tooth Tony and Brick Top and wildly varying levels of competence, all colliding around a huge diamond. It's kind of the same genre as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

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4 January 2013 - Friday

Now the customer is super-broken and complaining to VPs and I was on a Webex for like seven hours and at work until 728542385 o'clock and Cow Orker M volunteered me to be Superior Technical Contact this weekend while New Cow Orker R is on call.

I think this customer's problem is that they had someone who was very smart and knowledgeable and set up infrastructure and made everything look easy and left, leaving his successors flailing while the sharks circle in.

Blood Lad (Yuuki Kodama) is wacky shounen adventure about a vampire obsessed with Japanese culture and the cute Japanese ghost he winds up adopting. Goofy and not notable for active female characters.

I picked up This Case is Gonna Kill Me (Phillipa Bornikova) because it was blurbed by MLN Hanover, and although it is not up to Daniel Abraham standards, it did not disappoint. It's urban fantasy about a lawyer raised by vampires and a legal case against werewolves, which goes about as well for bystanders as you would expect. The main character does score with a couple of guys, but one is horrible and one is doomed, so I don't think this counts as paranormal romance.

There is definitely something going on with the main character's failure to expire, and mysterious hints about the monsters the vampires keep on hand just in case.

Eventually I got home to find the BoW still full of adorangeableness!

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3 January 2013 - Thursday

Working from the office is more productive than working from home, but there are so many customers. And they are broken. And they want us to fix them. Also we have to get used to New Boss G3, who seems to like metrics. He will fit in well with TD culture, at least.

When I got home, Ghirardelli was in the Box of Warmth +1, but after a while he left and Marmalade reclaimed it. Perhaps this object is a hit.

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2 January 2013 - Wednesday

I did manage to sleep, kinda, but did not feel up to going into work to spread my germs. Unless I feel much worse tomorrow, though, I will go in because now I remember what a pain it is to work from home.

Bleah, Webex, bleah.

For no apparent reason, I bought a huge pile of comics and art books and stuff. Presumably I will review the ones that are not too embarrassing here.

Also purchased: electric kitty-warmer! I put it in a box in the living and Marmalade promptly claimed it and would not leave. If he still likes it in a couple of days, I will buy more of them, but I should make sure it is not mere novelty first.

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1 January 2013 - Tuesday

First day of the new year, and what am I doing? I am falling over because I am not used to staying up past midnight!

The cover quote from Lev Grossman says, "I can't think of any other writer whose stories terrify me the way [Kij] Johnson's do", but the stories in At the Mouth of the River of Bees more tend to make me want to cry (they include the Hugo-nominated "Ponies" from a couple of years back, if you remember it, as well as a short version of The Fox Woman). Not all the stories end completely tragically though, so I did not have to break down crying in the restaurant after reading the cat story. (Possibly now I dare read the book version.)

Augh. "Ponies". Augh.

Tomorrow I must go to work. Fortunately I have enough nose to use the brain inflator. Hopefully the cats will not help too much.

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