Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 May 2014 - Saturday

I spent pretty much a full work day upgrading the thing for the customer. It would have been faster if they had told me what I needed to know in a timely fashion, but sadly we can't charge by the hour to encourage them.

Jason Yungbluth's Weapon Brown is a crazed parody(?) of pretty much every character from every newspaper comic strip ever, reimagined as scarred survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is crazed, and probably deeply traumatic to anyone who has fond childhood memories of the funny pages.

  • Princess Tutu 10: I guess this is why ducks are rarely recruited as secret agents.
  • Slayers Evolution-R 1-2: How did dullahans become a thing in Japan?
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 53: I think Mustang is still the only human who has managed to [SPOILER]. Can he get two?
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 16: PCs never make morale checks!

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30 May 2014 - Friday

Finally, it is Friday!

Hurray for weekend! Hurray for Avalon! Hurray for cats!

For the past few days I have been reading Zachary Rawlins's "Central" series (The Academy, The Anathema, The Far Shores, and at least two more to come) and quite liking them. The genre is non-four-color supers where people think they understand superpowers, something along the lines of Darker Than Black. In fact, it's a lot like anime: reluctant hero with mysteriously excessive power, too many college-age kids with superpowers jammed together, beautiful women who can crush you like an insect, family vs loyalty, and the terrifying loligoth loli. A lot of the visuals would work well in anime too, although there are some things that would be difficult to translate out of text.

One of the major themes is the necessity of doing awful things to people in the name of even the best cause, which I don't really agree with but is fairly anime.

Since I liked those, I also checked out Rawlins's The Night Market and Paranoid Magical Thinking, which are set in a sort of modernized variant of the Dreamlands, where Ulthar and Sarnath are just neighborhoods of the Nameless City. I did not like these quite as much, but it's hard to go too wrong with schoolgirls fighting moon beasts in the streets of the Nameless City.

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29 May 2014 - Thursday

Thursday Thursday Thursday! MONNNNNSTER customers!

Up way too late interviewing people in India. They still have no sk1llz.

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28 May 2014 - Wednesday

La la Wednesday la, so there!

Up too late interviewing people in India. They have no sk1llz.

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27 May 2014 - Tuesday

La la Tuesday la.

Witch for Hire (N E Conneely) is set in one of the alternate universes where major differences — in this case, the existence of many magic-using or magical sophonts in addition to nonmagical humans — somehow result in a US that is completely recognizable even though local police departments contract with witches for magical services and trolls live on reservations.

In Skin Game (Jim Butcher), Butters's true awesomeness is revealed. There's also some kind of heist plot involving Dresden and his archenemies and his [SPOILER] and a variety of cunning plans, but we expect that sort of thing from the main character.

Silly by Avalon (Wed Jun 4 17:39:20 2014)


Re: Silly by Trip (Thu Jun 5 12:23:24 2014)

Pish tosh! I am never silly! I am like an orange cat with orange stripes!

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26 May 2014 - Monday

La la Monday la.

Twelve paws!

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25 May 2014 - Sunday

While being too lazy to get out of bed, I watched a few episodes of The Irregular at Magic High School. It has the positive message that standardized tests do not measure awesomeness, but it may be headed toward the substantially less-positive message that discrimination wouldn't be a problem if people would just stop feeling oppressed. The message could instead be that people don't always belong to the oppressor class out of deliberate malice, but I'm not sure yet.

The uniforms are pretty.

Today would be Fading Suns, except that Ken is at KublaCon, so no gaming. As an excuse to get out of the apartment for a while, I went up to the con too, but no games that seemed interesting were starting when I looked, so I just pillaged the dealer's room and slunk back home again.

Too many thermions!

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24 May 2014 - Saturday

Ghirardelli's Horrible Tongue Thing seems to have been bothering him, so first thing this morning, I took him to the vet. He otherwise seems fine, so they prescribed the same medicine that made it stop bothering him for like two years after the last time.

  • Princess Tutu 8-9: Bird vs Bird in open dance-combat!
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 14-15: Things look bad for the good guys (again)!
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 50-52: It is definitely the death spiral part of the season, but on the other hand, people are returning as well.

Ghirardelli ate his medicine right up! He is such a good kitty!

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23 May 2014 - Friday

Hurray, Friday! Everybody likes Friday! Friday goes "splat"!

Some guys at the bus stop seemed like they were getting into a fight, so I called the cops. This resulted in my missing my bus while I gave my statement, but maybe I did the right thing. Or maybe I just helped the Man keep mentally ill people of color down.

Pixie Noir (Cedar Sanderson) has a good title but is not otherwise impressive. The characters go from a crisis to another completely separate crisis back to the first crisis. Probably in a future book they will all be pulled together, but as this book stands, it lacks thematic unity.

The Revolutions (Felix Gilman) is Victorian fantasy, but not steampunk. The magic is really magic, and even when Victorian Progress is applied, it's still creepy magic. It has also magical interplanetary travel that is way more interesting than most.

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22 May 2014 - Thursday

Today I um went to work? And did a thing? And then there were cats and hugs and stuff.

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21 May 2014 - Wednesday

I must have done something today, but apparently none of it was as interesting as date night with Avalon.

Interesting by Avalon (Tue May 27 18:32:12 2014)



Re: Interesting by Trip (Wed May 28 08:07:09 2014)

It's a pretty high bar!

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20 May 2014 - Tuesday

Big Customer X is flipping out because their guy can't read error messages and thinks a syntax error is an emergency.

Defenders (Will McIntosh) is pretty depressing, although perhaps not unrealistically so. Humans probably wouldn't get along with giant telepathic starfish monsters, and gant death monsters, even if human-derived, probably wouldn't be much better. Doooooom.

However, I do not even know what to call the kind of fail that concludes that because serotonin is associated with positive moods in the human brain, a creature with a brain constructed to work without serotonin must be devoid of happiness or humor. It's like the territory not being the map, or something.

syntax errors by marith (Sat May 24 16:10:11 2014)

Hey, I've seen some pretty dire syntax errors in my time, to be fair. I much prefer the five times my coworkers report similar minor error messages to the one time they ignore "system on fire. syntax error line 2349 near unexpected token 'extinguisher'." :)

Re: syntax errors by Trip (Wed May 28 10:05:53 2014)

Actually these are semantic errors, I guess, but either way, when you type in statement X, the database says, "You can't do that, you have to do Y", you complain to Support, Support explains that instead of two lines slanting across each other you need a short line going up and splitting to both sides, you type statement X, and you get the same error message, you're not looking at a defect in the product.

Re: Re: syntax errors by marithlizard (Thu May 29 11:00:12 2014)

You have a point. (well, no, you have two lines. Hey, maybe the customer is in Flatland?)

Re: Re: syntax errors by Trip (Fri May 30 15:50:43 2014)

Maybe Flatheadland.

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19 May 2014 - Monday

Customers are not all as bad as four-year-olds, at least.

Veil of the Deserters (Jeff Salyards) is just as grim as Scourge of the Betrayer but somewhat higher-magic, in that we finally get to see real sorceresses. Also the heart of the Scary Empire, but not actually much of the Veil.

Scholarship for time and distance! Go!

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18 May 2014 - Sunday

Today, I did manage to swim a bit, but there was no gaming. Then, there was driving home, which involved no potty stops. Mysterious are the ways of children.

Hello, cats who are not dead!

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17 May 2014 - Saturday

Yay Roseville! (After the very long phase of being in a car with a whiny four-year-old who had to go potty every thirty minutes.) I failed to swim, but did get to hear more about Dave's Vietnam expedition and Sherilyn's glamorous life of school volunteering. Also, there was some not-very-heroic Dungeon World, and an immense amount of Chinese takeout.

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16 May 2014 - Friday

Another work week successfully defeated escaped!

Slashback (Rob Thurman) has too much "oh I'm a monster" angst, but all the ass-kicking expected from a Cal Leandros novel. I have to wonder if the Big Reveal at the end was planned (and if so, how far back?) or a retcon, although it probably doesn't matter.

Volume 1 of Zero's Familiar: Chevalier (Noboru Yamaguchi, Yukari Higa) follows on immediately from where the last volume of Zero's Familiar leaves off, with the war and the cheesecake and everything. We get to see Louise's family, which pretty much entirely explains her tsundereness.

Lockstep is definitely Karl Schroeder, but a YA version, with no sex, less real violence, less (but not no) villainy, and more fluffy animals.

I don't want to spoil the core future idea, because future ideas are what we read Schroeder for, but I am glad he realized that it wouldn't be stable without harsh enforcement from above. (I'm not sure it would even be that stable, given what else was going on, but that I can let pass.)

Oh, and we also read Schroeder for the future scenery. Wheee!

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15 May 2014 - Thursday

The Indestructibles (Matthew Phillion) is the story of an aging superhero who recruits teenagers with superpowers to form a new superteam now that Evil is Afoot again. It is not terrifically imaginative, but prose superheroes are the New Thing.

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14 May 2014 - Wednesday

I spent all evening running errands and none of it doing anything fun. At least I have sugar-free ice cream to be put together with diet soda and extracted brains for parasite shakes now.

I am not sure what to write about Hild (Nicola Griffith). It is certainly very good, and Hild is awesome. And doomed, but then everyone in the book is doomed by having to live in the 7th century, even with someone as smart as Hild around. And Hild is believably smart, and scary, enough that it's not surprising people think she has magical insight.

Hereditary monarchy with a warrior caste raised to believe that dying for a monarch is the best thing ever: arguably natural for humans, but still not okay.

Android Angels (Kosuke Kabaya) doesn't actually do much to explore what is allegedly the central conceit, of robots getting partially mindwiped after every four-year lease. It does at least admit that the point of making robots look like cute humans is so that you can sleep with them.

Scourge of the Betrayer (Jeff Salyards) is very low-magic and gritty fantasy. If you thought Glen Cook's "Black Company" books were too cheerful or too fantastic, this is for you.

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13 May 2014 - Tuesday

You would think the Internets would have better pictures of anime girls in skin-tight outfits. Well, maybe not, since in this case "better" means "covering more".

Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) is an autobiography of someone who grew up in Iran during the time the US was destroying secular democracy in the region, so it makes me go, "Augh, who thought putting humans in charge of anything was a good idea?!" a lot. Satrapi telling off authority figures also made me go augh; I don't think I could possibly have done that.

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12 May 2014 - Monday

Hurray for Avalonsnuggles! But maybe it's good that they are only virtual today, because it is Too Warm.

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11 May 2014 - Sunday

There was almost gaming today, but Ken was too sick. Instead, I went blblblblbl. With no Avalon.

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10 May 2014 - Saturday

Blblblblblbl. (In this case, going blblblblbl was like watching a pile of Haiyore! Nyarko-chan, which is not as good as it could be, but has CoC jokes.)

In celebration of having reproduced (repeatedly, not just a fluke!), Ayse feasted upon ribs. And more ribs. And then, additional ribs. I may have unintentionally misled her about what was a good number of ribs to order, but she has a chest freezer.

  • Princess Tutu 6-7: Lack of certainty can be fatal to a magical girl duck.
  • Slayers Revolution 12-13: Now that the simple plot has been solved, the demon lords can come out to play, right?
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 13: That's a lot of snake.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 49: Fifteen episodes left to cover the appointed day. That's not quite real-time, I guess.

Twisted Miracles (A J Larrieu) tries to have psionics that conserve energy, but ends up conflating élan vital with joules. Also there was some sex and bad religion and unexplained angel things.

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9 May 2014 - Friday

Yay! I am no longer on call! And Avalon has emerged, like Amaterasu, from her cave with shininess and joy for all parasitekind!

Wicked As They Come (Delilah S Dawson) is supernatural romance, with the emphasis on romance. Quasi-vampire alpha male, fated romance, beautiful clothes, hot sex, alternate less-worthy guy, etc. It does have an alternate dimension with vampire bunnies, though.

The playtest packet for The Queen's Cavaliers is rough, but it looks pretty swell. Matriarchy, swashbuckling, generating successes with die rolls and spending them for various effects, characters created by combining two classes, fashion-based magic, what's to not like?

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8 May 2014 - Thursday

Look, meetings.

Avalon is still sad, so I am still sad.

The end of Strawberry Panic was not unexpected, although at least the main character did have to make a choice. It wasn't much of a choice, though. Girlsmooches for all!

Deadweather & Sunrise, New Lands, and Blue Sea Burning (Geoff Rodkey) are sort of humorous in a vaguely Lemony Snicket way, but also fairly serious. People get killed on screen, and it is clear that letting the teenaged girl get dragged off by bored pirates would be Bad even if no one says what would happen to her. The theme seems to be "the world is more complicated than that", which is probably a good lesson for thirteen-year-olds. With pirates!

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7 May 2014 - Wednesday

Oh no! Avalon's trip to Macau was cancelled and she is super-bummed. She must hide in her cave and glare at people, like a dragon from Chile. :(

I guess Irenicon (Aidan Harte) is hydropunk, since it has highly advanced river-based technomagic, and street gangs. Also, secret martial arts styles!

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6 May 2014 - Tuesday

If I were better at going to bed on time, I would be less tired, wouldn't I?

The Thousand Names (Django Wexler) is military fantasy based, I think, on Napoleon in North Africa/Egypt. So far there have not been any sphinxes to have their noses shot off, but the thing that seems to correspond to the Rosetta Stone is quite alarming. There will, naturally, be at least two more books.

Sparrow Hill Road (Seanan McGuire) seems to nominally be in the same setting as the "InCrypted" novels, but the events don't connect at all. SHR is the story of a ghostly hitchhiker and the necromancer who done her wrong, across the roads and decades of America. Being a ghost in that setting is surprisingly complicated, and also sucks in many ways.

I should totally have guessed the surprising secret in The Mark of the Dragonfly (Jaleigh Johnson), but I didn't. You probably would if you read it, though.

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5 May 2014 - Monday

The weekend is gone already? Bah.

When I am preparing gooshy breakfast, sometimes Aspen will walk past my ankles just close enough for the very end of her tail to brush them. I guess she heard food-providers like anklesnuggles, but can't bring herself to get that close. Such a silly cat.

Alabaster: Grimmer Tales (Caítlin R Kiernan, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg) is more Dancy Flammarion Southern crazy supernatural doom in GN format. Oh, so much doom.

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4 May 2014 - Sunday

There was too much waffling about Roseville, so Immortal Empire got unscheduled and never rescheduled. Apparently Jeremy and Rachel are barbecuing Girl Scouts today instead.

I stayed home with my cats and my Hot Internet Girlfriend™('s virtual presence) and went blblblblblbl.

The Golden City (J Kathleen Cheney) is set in an AH Edwardian Portugal, which is not something you see very often. It also features several different kinds of sea-people, desperate scrambles to preserve respectability, and political necromancy.

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3 May 2014 - Saturday

Today we did not go to Roseville because the Monkeycats are still full of germs (as is the way of households with small children). This is probably okay by me, since I had enough loudness and humans last weekend to last me for a while.

Instead, I got called by work again. This should have taken half an hour to resolve, but because the customer VPN kept falling over, it actually took about two hours. Sheesh.

  • Slayers Revolution 10-11: Look, it's a plot! Xellos must be involved! Also, not completely irrational bitterness.
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 11-12: Both halves of the split party continue to engage in Big Fight.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 46-48: Augh Pride! Aaaaaaaaah!

Twelve paws!

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2 May 2014 - Friday

I guess a four-day work week isn't too bad. However, being on call because my cow orker has to deal with his mother-in-law's estate is pretty much bad.

Especially when I get called just as I'm thinking I'm up way too late and should go to bed. It only took a couple of hours to resolve, because I am just that good, but they were hours I had allocated for sleeping.

The "rei" in xxxHolic Rei (CLAMP) means "return", and the first volume, at least, is definitely a return to the early/mid part of xxxHolic, when people with varying degrees of damage come to Yuuko and she gives them what they deserve while her manservant and hanger-on bicker. But, that story has already been told and linked into the later part of xxxHolic, so it's not very satisfying to read it again. If it's by the original creators, is it still fanfic?

Sword Art Online Aincrad vol 1 (Reki Kawahara) is a translated light novel about the poor schmoes who discover that the first MMORPG with direct neural interface is actually a massive deathtrap set up by a mad scientist who wants them to dance for his amusement, and the lives they build therein.

Cleopatra in Space (Mike Maihack) has pretty much nothing Egyptian in it beyond the title and some of the names.

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1 May 2014 - Thursday

Today I went blblblblblbl!

Volume 8 of Atomic Robo (Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener) is titled "The Savage Sword of Doctor Dinosaur", and it does indeed contain much Doctor Dinosaur, along with lost cities, crazed scientists, and Conspiracy. Wheeee!

The Vanishing Girl (Laura Thalassa) is nominally YA SF, but only to the extent that Marvel comics are. At least the vast, super-secret government conspiracy is able to outsmart one not-too-bright teenager.

The Forbidden Library (Django Wexler) is also YA, but younger (so no sex) and explicitly fantasy. It has interestingly-limited book-based magic with an obvious way to corrupt practitioners (and for the heroine to avoid falling into), mysterious uncles, and alarming cat(?) monsters. I hope there is more.

Volume 6 of Sankarea (Mitsuru Hattori) makes me, as a cat owner, very sad. But a love story involving a zombie pretty much has to pass through tragedy, no matter where it finally ends up.

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