Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2013 - Saturday

Encore feasting! I think I ate about as many Thanksgivings as I did yesterday.

  • Nurse Angel Ririka 6: I guess this is continuing to espouse healthy values, like "don't let nine-year-old kids travel in the wilderness on their own".
  • Cross Game 38: I can see this romance going a variety of ways, actually.
  • Toaru Majutsu no Index 9: Susceptibility: 3d6 Drain, all powers, when subject to successful Presence attack.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 26: Dave called it.
  • Legend of Korra 4-5: Workplace romance = fail. Also, villainous villain is villainous.

Wandering Son (Shimura Takako) is about a small cute boy who might like to be a girl, and a tall handsome girl who might like to be a boy. Since the characters are in 5th grade, it is much more about gender than sex, and as of the second volume, it is pretty darn adorable.

Twelve fliffy paws!

Wandering Son by Carl (Sat Dec 7 19:49:04 2013)

Wandering Son is excellent, especially when Chizuru shows up. Crunchyroll has the anime, which I haven't watched yet, but plan to.

Re: Wandering Son by Trip (Sun Dec 8 11:37:05 2013)

Maybe soon it will be time to test out whether our current anime setup can successfully stream Crunchyroll! I'm pretty sure I can get Ayse to buy into this plan, anyway.

Crunchyroll by Carl (Sat Dec 21 20:57:25 2013)

If you can stream Crunchyroll, I'd expect Ayse could be easily talked into Chihayafuru as a substitute for Nurse Angel Ririka. 100 Poets Battle!

I also strongly recommend The Eccentric Family, especially after sharing a delicious hotpot dinner.

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29 November 2013 - Friday

Thanksgiving, with feasting!

The Austrian friends of Ayse, Ken, and Ja Baby were late, but they were ready to serve the food they brought pretty much as soon as they arrived, so it all worked out.

I think I ate several Thanksgivings.

Later, after the Austrians had departed to take their visitor back to the airport, Dave showed Ayse the first episode of Magical Project S, which she appeared to like. Then, everyone collapsed into a terminal food coma.

Twelve fuzzy paws, who get no turkey, because I am terrible.

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28 November 2013 - Thursday

Thanksgiving, but no feast! Ayse and Ken were sick earlier this week, so they did not get to prep, so there is no feasting until tomorrow. However, I went over and suspended Ja Baby upside-down a suitable amount, and ate noodles. It is all good.

Also I exchanged many mushy texts with Avalon.

The Technician (Neal Asher) address the Gabbleduck Question in more detail. Very few planets are depopulated, and hardly anyone cuts their own face off, so I guess by Asher standards it's a pretty positive outcome.

Twelve paws!

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27 November 2013 - Wednesday

Since I have Friday off, today is like Friday! Wheeeee!

Even better, Friday with Avalon! Although I will probably not get to see her much over the next few days, with the Thanksgiving foofooraw.

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (Mark Hodder) is the third book of the adventures of Richard Francis Burton and Algernon Swinburne through broken history, and could be the last, although that would be awfully harsh and probably not artistically satisying.

Hunnish biotech, the scourge of Africa! (Or, never trust a Prussian with a triffid.)

The Gabble and Other Stories is a collection of Neal Asher's short work, mostly set in his "Polity" future history, mostly containing horrible alien biological horrors and/or DOOOOM. There is a lot about gabbleducks, which are anthropophagous, and I think established as full of DOOOOM, so they count double.

Twelve fuzzity paws!

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26 November 2013 - Tuesday

Blah, work.

Yay, Avalon!

Yay, cats!

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25 November 2013 - Monday

Today, I helped a customer fix a thing, and also got to laugh at my stupid cow orker for being stupid. (For a little while, I thought he was merely ignorant, but no, he was actually being stupid.)

My conversation is still lacking, but smooches! Also cats who want to help me computer by giving me something more orange to look at than the silly glowing rectangle.

Volume 1 of From The New World (Yusuke Kishi, Toru Oikawa) is post-apocalyptic telekinetics in a mysterious world overrun by sapient naked mole rats, with bonus girl-smooches (not for the mole rats... yet).

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24 November 2013 - Sunday

There was no brunch yesterday because of Ja Baby's party, so there was brunch today! Apparently my rule is that I will eat meat if someone else is providing the food OR if Ken is present. But, sausage!

Also there was Dominion. I managed to come in second! Then I pulled some weeds.

Perhaps eventually I will stop being lame at Avalon and have interesting things to talk about.

Also, smooches.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Mark Hodder) is the sequel of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, or perhaps the continuation, since the events of the first book are still causing immense trouble in this one. Burton and Swinburne manage to save the day again, but that doesn't really help much with the inevitable tomorrow.

Nooooo, do not be opaque when I am computering!

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23 November 2013 - Saturday

I was not there, but I hear Ja Baby's birthday party in the park with all her friends from preschool was quite the bash!

But, that was not the only festivity! Ayse celebrated her birthday by feasting upon the barbecue of Korea, along with many usual suspects, some unusual suspects like Susan, Mike, Earl, and Cat, and extremely rare suspects such as Carl. It was very loud and full of meat, but festive!

After listening to Ayse and Earl talk about Black Wine, I have concluded that I am not qualified to read books and should just stay in a dark hole.

Then many of us went back to Ayse and Ken's place and searched for the lost art of conversation, with only this delectable tiramisu to guide us.

As of volume 5 (omnibus 2), Zero's Familiar (Noboru Yamaguchi, Nana Mochizuki) pretty much follows the plot of the anime, although Kirche is not as cool in this version.

Complete in one very thick volume, Another (Yukito Ayatsuji, Hiro Kiyohara) is the story of the curse on (third-year middle school) class 3 and how it finally ends. There was an obvious solution to me, but it would have required official notice, which I guess is too close to Rocking The Boat for upstanding citizens like school administrators. Moderate gore, plenty of creepiness.

Bronze Gods (A A Aguirre) is magic-steampunk-police procedural set in Hy Braseal several hundred years after it was colonized by Vikings. (The Vikings do not appear except in historical flashbacks.) This is the improbably-sexy-protagonists-with-massive-UST model of police partnerships, but I hear some people like that sort of thing. Also, dashing adventure! Foul villains! Infernal devices! Masked crazies beneath the opera house! Mysterious and charming noblemen!

No, cats, I did not bring you any of the Korean barbecue. Yes, I am a terrible cat-dad. But I am warm at night.

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22 November 2013 - Friday

Yay! I made it to Friday!

Boo! Broken customer, spent all day watching Engineering work on it, went home and tried some things they suggested, but the workaround works around so we can now leave it until Monday.

Avalon likes me even when my brain is very small and I cannot give her food. Very mysterious!

Jekyll on Trial (Elyn R Saks, Stephen H Behnke) addresses the question of what the criminal justice system should do with people with multiple personalities. The author's position is that they generally can't be convicted, regardless of what you believe about MPD: if each personality is a person, or even a pseudo-person, then convicting the one who commited a crime is to punish the ones who are innocent (the obvious exception being if they were all involved or at least depravedly indifferent), and if the personalities are just facets of one person, that person is too dissociated to be mentally competent to be convicted (although they could reasonably be committed). I might be missing nuances because I'm not a philosopher, psychiatrist, or lawyer, but her logic seems pretty compelling if you accept that it's better to let the guilty go free than to punish the innocent, which our criminal justice system explicitly claims to do -- the standard for conviction is "guilty beyond doubt" rather than "seems kinda skeevy", even if actual trials often fall short of that.

Twelve paws!

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21 November 2013 - Thursday

Still kind of zombtastic. I added a feature to a thing for a customer, but then spent like half an hour trying to fix the new feature after it was already working correctly. Good thing I wasn't hired for my intellect.

Oh, wait...

Today, no errands! Only Avalon!

Poor Marmalade! I cannot do purrbuckets with him while I am typing to Avalon!

Poor Aspen! I cornered her on the food tree and cut the mats out of her fur!

Poor Ghirardelli! I... do not give him extra gooshyfood for being brown? I dunno, but I'm sure there's something!

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20 November 2013 - Wednesday

About an hour after I went to sleep last night, I got called to fix something that none of the n00bs could. Fortunately it did not require figuring out anything new, but it did take 2½ hours to implement the known solution. Now I am sleepy and zombie-like, and furthermore afflicted by a phone meeting in which everyone has to shout down everyone else to get their rants heard, repeatedly. This gives me a headache, and also eats away at the tattered remnants of my soul.

I left work a couple of hours early to run errands, and was ultimately successful. I bought a huge pile of stuff at Lee's (reviews to follow) and although the nice pharmacy lady had to argue with insurance on my behalf I did eventually get my new brain pills. Also, pizza!

Also, Avalon! And opaque cats.

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19 November 2013 - Tuesday

I sort of understand how this thing was written, but I have no idea why someone would write it this way. Some perverse attempt at improving performance, maybe? Gah, humans.

Soul Hunt (Margaret Ronald) is the third (and final?) "Evie Scelan" book, in which the doom from the first and second books gets together with some new doom to whack the protagonist upside the head. Again.

I got the brain pill doctor to promise to phone the new prescription in to the pharmacy, but the bus failed to get me to the pharmacy to see if it actually came to pass. Argh. Maybe I should tell Marmalade that the VTA is made out of string.

No Avalon for me! Except in mushy text messages.

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18 November 2013 - Monday

I made a thing, which will do what was asked, but I'm not sure it's even possible for it to do its things without interfering with the things done by other things. The customer environment is so crazy I'm not sure we can do anything except give it to them and see if makes them break out in hives.

Wild Hunt (Margaret Ronald) is the sequel to Spiral Hunt, where it turns out that being blamed for PC-like activities is not so great, and also warped spirits can be serious assholes. Almost as bad as mages.

Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh) is now available in dead tree format! I know this because Marith got it for me because she is the Best Lizard Ever.

I can't refute Ayse's position that some of the HaaH pieces are about horrible brain stuff and/or horrible behavior, but the way it is described still makes me laugh uncontrollably.

I was blargh when I got home, but Avalon makes everything better.

I have brought back the warmth, cats! Do not despair!

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17 November 2013 - Sunday

Adam is not dead, so we successfully had brunch before gaming! Hurray for nourishing food!

Gaming was sort of a success, although I was unable to resist throwing in a red herring that distracted people for a good two hours. By the time we had to call it a session, they had decided who to blame next, so I think next time we'll start with that, and if it doesn't conclude things, I'll have ninjas burst in and we can move on to Dave's truffid-rustling adventure. (In which everyone will have a -2 to everything because they aren't doing what the Empress told them.)

My friends are extremely silly.

Avalon is also pretty silly, but cozy and adorable.

Thank you for being fuzzy, cats!

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16 November 2013 - Saturday

Ken and Ja Baby were in town for a puppet show at the library and they lured me to dim sum, like fiendish luring things! (Ayse was not there because she was busy watching over Ta Baby, who was sleeping like his health depends on it, but we carried some dim sum back for her.)

Overwhelming Carcassonne victory! Muahahahahahaha! (That is to say, my gambles on fields paid off and other people's didn't.)

Ayse was available for anime, and we had nothing better to do, so we started early and watched NAR AND all the regular stuff!

  • Nurse Angel Ririka 4-5: Our theory is that this show didn't do as well as Sailor Moon because it promotes unpopular values like "work hard" and "don't pig out on all the cookies".
  • Cross Game 36-37: Apparently this arc about Aoba and nationals wasn't in the manga at all
  • Toaru Majutsu no Index 8: Ah, now we are in the Creepy genre.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 24-25: Gluttony hit a limit break! However, there is much more his victims should be doing before they despair and fall to fighting among themselves.
  • Legend of Korra 3: It's not 1930s without mobsters!

Senran Kagura vol 1 (Kenichiro Takagi, Amame Takatsume) is 10% ninjutsu, 90% cheesecake.

Volume 2 of Midnight Secretary (Tomu Ohmi) gets to the smut. Presumably next volume, some event will eventuate to tear the lovers apart, but maybe not.

Heart of Briar (Laura Anne Gilman) starts a new series, about unpleasant supernatural creatures vs even more unpleasant interdimensional invaders, with humans caught squarely and unknowningly in the middle. Internet dating sites are involved in the villainous plans. Also, bonus Tam Lin references.

Twelve fliffy paws!

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15 November 2013 - Friday

Hurray! I made it to Friday!

Avalon was kind of busy, but we chatted slowly.

A Centaur's Life vol 1 (Kei Murayama) is slightly raunchy highschool slice-of-life in a world where everyone is a centaur or has goat horns or dragon wings and tail or whatever.

Three tails!

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14 November 2013 - Thursday

I spent like an hour fixing a thing, and as soon as I handed it back, they broke it again in exactly the same way and I had to spend two hours fixing it. Gaaaaaaaaah.

Under the Moons of Mars (ed John Joseph Adams) is an anthology of Barsoom fanfic. The stories are by serious authors (Catherynne M Valente, Joe R Lansdale, S M Stirling, Austin Grossman, etc) and the introduction is by Tamora Pierce, but it's undeniably fanfic. This is not a bad thing, although most of the stories didn't really do it for me.

Shadows (Robin McKinley) is YA set in a world with day-to-day life much like our own, but many strange goings-on to annoy the characters. It seems like the beginning of a series, but doesn't explicitly say so. Also it made me think of the Captain Awkward thread on embarrassing teenage crushes.

Captain Awkward recommended Spiral Hunt (Margaret Ronald) because the author commented on a post a ways back. It is not bad, and has creepier magic than a lot of urban fantasy.

My brain is almost too small for Avalon. But not quite!

Opaque! So opaque!

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13 November 2013 - Wednesday

I am only coughing a little. Probably this means I will not actually die.

Suddenly, no Avalon, because she had to go to a work thing. I will console myself with comics, or maybe brains.

Three tails!

Silver by Avalon (Thu Nov 14 19:32:19 2013)

At least we won silver. =) It is funny, one of my coworkers' husbands said don't come home a loser. HmmmMMmmm I thought that was a bit much although I am sure he was joking.

Re: Silver by Trip (Fri Nov 15 08:16:11 2013)

Did you get an actual chunk of silver she can bludgeon him over the head with?

No... by Avalon (Fri Nov 15 17:31:40 2013)

...this is Canadian publishing, we got a certificate and no frame. =)

Re: No... by Trip (Sun Nov 17 10:05:11 2013)

Bummer! That makes gloating so much less satisfying, or at least less showy!

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12 November 2013 - Tuesday

I really did go to work today! I didn't even die!

Hopefully Aspen appreciated it.

The Hydrogen Sonata (Iain M Banks) must be literary SF, because it pretty much goes nowhere. Semi-transcendent AIs rush around, exotic locations are visited, innocent lives are snuffed out, and none of it makes any difference.

Sometimes, when the library says there is one Link+ book waiting, there are actually four!

Lately I have been going to bed only a little late, but today I was actually on time! Eight full hours of sack time!

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11 November 2013 - Monday

I was able to set my alarm to the correct time, but not actually turn it on, which is another thing I haven't done in years. I wonder if they might be related?

Time for another verse of the "Working From Home Blues".

I did some work. I also read some more Captain Awkward. The core messages of "use your words to set boundaries", "take care of yourself", and "you can't control what other people think or do" seem like ones everyone should learn.

Then I talked about it with Avalon.

It's okay, Aspen! Tomorrow I will definitely leave!

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10 November 2013 - Sunday

It's an off week for gaming, so I am still at home with my germs. I only slept in about half as far this time!

I don't know what they put in the sauce for Sizzling Rice Stuff — sugar? umami-juice? crack? — but it was exactly what my body wanted.

Curse you, Republicans! If there were money for libraries, I would be able to pick up the book that is on hold!

After panning In a Fix (Linda Grimes), I'm not sure why I picked up Quick Fix. Possibly it's because I'm an idiot, because it's not any better than the first one. I'm a guy and I can still tell this is Enormous Feminism Fail.

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Mark Hodder) is the first in a series of steampunk books, with Richard Francis Burton and Algernon Swinburne as the protagonists in a setting somewhere between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Westerfeld's Leviathan.

Fortunately, Avalon need not fear my germs!

Twelve paws!

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9 November 2013 - Saturday

Ayse also has germs, so no brunch today. Instead, I slept until after 13:00, which is the first time I've done that in years (probably not actually decades, although it feels like it). This will probably result in my never being able to sleep properly again and getting fired and DYING, but hopefully it is also leading to fewer phlegmy germs.

No anime for me, and it sounds like Marith and Dave played the Furniture Assembly Game instead of watching anime.

The cats are not playing with my germs, which is good.

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8 November 2013 - Friday

Back in the office today, although my brain is still full of phlegm. Or my phlegm is empty of brain.

The Daedalus Incident (Michael J Martinez) is Double-Genre Mars Action!™. I like the fantasy elements better, I think.

Fortune's Pawn (Rachel Bach) starts off as military SF about an ambitious powered-armor merc and then halfway through the book goes off into I-don't-know-what. Maybe Lovecraftian doom.

Three paws!

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7 November 2013 - Thursday

Too much sore throat. Too little brain. Working from home so as to not spread the plague, which means not productive enough. Also, sore throat.

I felt a little better by evening, so I dragged myself down to Palo Alto to get my shiny new iPad. It is so shiny and thin and light! I even got pretty much everything transferred from the old iPad, which I will now do something with.

Also I had stuffing and mashed potatoes for dinner, which were more or less what my body wanted.

When I was not going "blblblblblbl" at work, I read some more Captain Awkward. Some of it makes me think a quick death is too good for humanity, but a lot of it makes me think some bits could be salvaged.

Twelve paws!

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6 November 2013 - Wednesday

Ugh, I'm starting to get a sore throat. No idea if it's from visiting Monkeycat Towers, or being at work, or what, so I will refrain from accusing people of being plague-spreading supervillains.

Oddly, not getting enough sleep makes Avalon need to go to bed early. But we still had a few minutes!

I heard about Ancillary Justice (Ann Leckie) from Marith, who read about it on John Scalzi's blog. The main character being a fragment of a larger intelligence is not as much of a difference as I might like, but the cultural and especially gender stuff is pretty awesome. In some ways it's very minor, but it makes the setting very alien.

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Gail Carriger) is the sequel to Etiquette and Espionage, silly YA set at a finishing school for teenage female spies in the past of the setting of "The Parasol Protectorate" books.

Six ears!

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5 November 2013 - Tuesday

Blah, work.

No Avalon today, so I had to read books.

Possession (Kat Richardson) is the eleventeenth in the "Graywalker" series, about a slightly-dead private eye and magic that seems a lot like electrical wiring. (Not that is unusual, or even bad, it just seems... something. I'd rather see magic that's not based on an electricity metaphor.)

Speaking of which, Two Serpents Rise (Max Gladstone) has magic based more on a financial or legal metaphor, much like Three Parts Dead, with which it shares a setting (although Alternate LA instead of Alternate NY) and general awesomeness.

Dead Set (Richard Kadrey) has some cussing, but is otherwise very much a YA surprise-mythic-adventure story. It reminds me of something, but I am not remembering what just now. Not Diana Wynne Jones, I don't think, but maybe.

Chaos Quarter (David Welch) is not the concentrated wrongness of The Goliath Stone, but it is made of fairly high-purity fail.

Twelve paws!

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4 November 2013 - Monday

Getting up an hour later doesn't help as much as I think it should. It never really does. You'd think I'd learn (but only if you didn't know me.)

The more I think about yesterday's game, the more I think it didn't fail completely. This is probably dangerous.

Seriousness is vastly overrated.

Twelve paws!

Yes! by Avalon (Tue Nov 5 17:50:28 2013)

Seriousness _can_ be very overrated. Insert giggle here!

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3 November 2013 - Sunday

Did I come up with a plot for Immortal Empire, to go with all the setting stuff? Yes, in the half hour before fleeing to catch the bus! I am such a terrible GM.

However, I did successfully run, although it was pretty boring since I mostly just described the shape of their doom. I did make them go "awww" when they found out the victim of the inevitable murder, and I was able to give divination results that did not immediately obliterate the mystery. Oh, and everyone went "woo" when an NPC lied to the Immortal Empress of the Entire World[*] right to her face. Mechanically, there was some semblence of a FATE point economy, and someone took a consequence for what I think is the first time in the whole campaign. Oh, and Jeremy was the one who lowered the moral tone of the proceedings, not me.

What? I said it was successful!

[*]All the parts worth conquering, anyway.

Many and adorable Avalon snuggles!

I think I need to be entertaining Marmalade more, or maybe just snuggling him a lot.

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2 November 2013 - Saturday

Today I managed to pick up a book that was on hold at the library, and um, that's about it.

No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! (Nico Tanigawa) doesn't overtly rely on Japanese culture the way Sayonara, Zatsubou-Sensei does, but it gives me the same feeling of Just Not Getting It.

Before The Fall (Francis Knight) follows directly from Fade to Black, where the main character pretty much destroyed the entire city's economy because he is not a completely heartless bastard. (He really wants to be a cold-blooded antihero, but in practice he's a pretty good guy.) The heroes came up with an alternative, but it might disrupt the status quo even further, so adventure ensues.

  • Toaru Majutsu no Index 6-7: Fortunately, the head is not a vital organ for teenagers. The circulatory system probably is, though.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 23: The deadbeat prince is pretty badass when he can be bothered.
  • Legend of Korra 1-2: The one element that Avatar lacked: zoot suits! And now we know which shippers of the first show won.
  • Cross Game 35: Go Aoba!

Twelve paws!

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1 November 2013 - Friday

Today, I did not do any of the things I was supposed to do either. I read some Captain Awkward, though.

Avalon smooches!

Kill City is the...1, 2, 3, 4, fifth in the "Sandman Slim" series by Richard Kadrey. It is not as cosmic as some of the others, although the goal of all the mucking around on Earth is related to cosmic events, (eg, DOOOOOOOOM).

Chronicles of the Void is overly fond of acronyms and is too impressed with its fairly generic space opera setting.

Ten paws?! Oh, Aspen was just hiding some of hers so I wouldn't eat them. That was silly of her! Everyone knows the ears are the yummiest part!

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