Old News: April 8, 2005 to May 1, 2005

7:09 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
1 May 2005 (Sun); Post #590
So in GURPS we destroyed some classified records in France for the leader of some cult. He's the guy who turned Nathan Troy into a child... seems he can heal ppl too. Anyway, Deadeye got nabbed, so we had to break her out of a Paris hospital. Then we went back to New York and talked to Uncle H about a reward for saving him from Werner. We're building a subterranean fortress near lake Seneca and Uncle H is paying for all the labor. We bought a section of lightly wooded land and paid a San Francisco architecture firm to draw up plans (10,000 sq. ft., includes 5 ft. thick reinforced concrete walls around the entire complex and an elevator for vehicle access). Oh, and we ran an insurance fraud/arson scheme with Vincent Young that netted us about $51K (and that's in 1927 USD, remember).

Beefy and I got Hanwool to buy WoW. So on Friday we all played night elves together on the Dalaran server. I was a druid, Hanwool was a priest, and Beefy played a warrior. On Saturday Hanwool and I played humans (paladin and mage). My main character, the troll hunter on Draenor, got up to level 18 this afternoon while Beefy and I were in the Stonetalon Mountains working on the "Protect Kaya" quest.

Night Elves
Beefy, Hanwool, and Hank's night elves.

4:53 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
28 Apr. 2005 (Thu); Post #589
Oh man, World of Warcraft is awesome. I'm up to level 13 now. At level 10 I got the ability to tame pets. I went through a couple boars and a plucky scorpid, but I didn't really get the whole loyalty system so they kept disappearing. My current pet is a raptor (the pale yellow kind, forget the exact name). Been feeding him a steady diet of tough jerky and boar meat; got his level up to 12 and his loyalty to 3 (I think 5's the max). Got some cool stuff through the auction house, like this magic chest armor that gives bonuses to strength and stamina. And I got all these neat abilities, upgraded some old ones to rank 2. Anyway, great game.

BTW, the MS AntiSpyware Beta is really great. Got a few things Spybot couldn't, including this annoying Trojan that kept reappearing on my system.

For the past week or so I've been stopping at Jack in the Box on the way home from the gym at night. I always get a large iced tea. They're running this promotion right now where large drinks have a ticket you can peel off for a 50% chance of winning some food item. So far I've won a Breakfast Jack, an Ultimate Salad, and two regular tacos. Think I'll be eating JITB for a while... the food's not great, but you can't get a better deal than free, right? Okay, gotta sleep.

World of Warcraft troll hunter
Wajoongo, lvl 13 Hunter, and Prawgash, lvl 12 raptor.

1:28 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
27 Apr. 2005 (Wed); Post #588
Okay, World of Warcraft is way better than I thought it would be. Very fun. I played through a ton of quests and managed to get my Troll Hunter, Wajoongo, up to level 7. I'm on the Draenor server if anyone wants to team up sometime or anything. I only stopped playing just now cuz I've gotta go to the gym. Here's a screencap of my character:

World of Warcraft screenshot
My Troll in front of the Razor Hill barracks in Durotar.
[1280 x 1024; 230 KB]

Beefy's an Undead Rogue. When I logged off, he was level 5. Seems like some of the classes level slower. Can't wait to party together; then maybe I can handle those dang Dustwind Harpies when they gang up on me. Great game. Everyone buy it and join the Draenor server.

8:19 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
26 Apr. 2005 (Tue); Post #587
Right now I'm downloading the World of Warcraft 1.4.0 patch... the game uses some kind of P2P system for patch distribution, so it's not as fast as one might expect. Beefy says he's gonna pick up a copy of WoW tonight. He, Nick, and I are all gonna get on the same server (Draenor) and play Horde races so we can party together. I think I'm going to play a Troll Hunter.

I got my "Viva la Relativity!" T-shirt (from ThinkGeek) in the mail today.
I really like it; fits well.

Viva la Relativity T-shirt
Einstein/Che Guevara-parody T-shirt.

Did you see that #TVTorrents died? There's just this brief message on the site now:
Sorry, but TVTorrents is down. No, I will not return. Sorry for any hassles. Thanks for all the memories and good times we had together in #tvtorrents. As of now, the channel will remain open, but stay +m (no talking).

Again, sorry for having to leave, but it became necessary. If you can donate to help with the pending settlement, please do so!

So I guess he just succumbed to some **AA lawsuit. Really sucks... they always had the best selection of recent shows. Not as fast as BTEfnet, but more variety. AFAIK, they were the only place you could DL the Modern Marvels episodes (I snatched just about every one of em, something like 7 GB total).

Beefy just told me the Serenity trailer has been released. Will view it when I finish this blog post. Oh crap, Scrubs is on... TTFN. BTW, Family Guy Live in Las Vegas is awesome... the TV Medley and "But Then I Met You" songs are really good.

9:40 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
25 Apr. 2005 (Mon); Post #586
Just got back from Anthony's
, that new seafood restaurant near the Columbia Point marina. I had a salad with shrimp and bleu cheese dressing, a couple medium-rare yellowtail tuna cuts, a pilaf with almond slivers, some asparagus spears, and a blueberry cobbler. It was all very good. Would definitely like to eat there again. I went with my parents cuz today's my dad's 50th birthday. I got him a DeWalt plate joiner which I think he liked.

GURPS wasn't super exciting, but it was productive. We recovered a lot of the loot Kamikaze had stolen from us (roughly half the cash, most of the safety deposit box contents), then collected "tax" from everyone in Charleville-Mézières (which, despite being a city of ~60,000 was a tiny village in the Sinclair setting). Then we tortured Werner until he oathed himself into servitude. Then we went to Zurich, bought a car, set up some Swiss bank accounts, and fenced a lot of jewelry. Later, we ripped off some jewelry shops in Antwerp and took a zeppelin back to the states. Oh yeah, and we made the mayor of Brussells swear a Werner-oath to us (obedience, secrecy, etc.).

This ("RentMySon.com") is just wrong. At first I thought it was a joke, but it looks like they're serious. Ick.

Hey, did you know Marge Simpson's mother's name is Jacquelin Bouvier? Which, of course, was Kennedy's wife's maiden name.

Beefy posted a bunch of LoTR pics, so here:

I did not Mordor him!
An old 4chan "Mordor" pic.

3:23 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
23 Apr. 2005 (Sat); Post #585
Wow, we just had the worst thunderstorm I've seen in a long time. It was most intense around 2:40 pm I think. Hey, didja see Family Guy 4x01 was leaked? Yup, I've got it a full eight days before it's sposed to air. Woo. You want a link? Too bad! Aw, okay, here.

This TypeDrawing thing is fun to mess around with for a little while. Okay, gotta get ready for GURPS.

Now is the winter of our discount tent.
A dumb/funny random 4chan pic.

1:48 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
20 Apr. 2005 (Wed); Post #584
Just got back from the gym. I can actually feel those muscles next to my shoulders... the pectoralis minors I think. Anyway, I stopped at the 10th Avenue Jack in the Box on my way home for an iced tea like I did the night before and when I went to grab my credit card the guy said, "Oh no, that's okay, sir." Hah! So, yeah, the Kennewick 10th Ave. JITB... nice staff. Left some feedback on their site.

Free iced tea from Jack in the Box
Free JITB iced tea, woo.

Not having to GM has given me some extra time/energy for GURPS stuff. Now that I've finished the design, background, and illustration for my current character, plus the groundwork design for a backup character, I've started working on Jovia stuff again. I'm in the progress of writing two articles for the setting: one on god mechanics and motivations and another on demons (origins, powers, etc.). The first one's about done. Ought to help players roleplay and understand future plot a little better. To do's: general timeline, individual country profiles (detailed maps, brief histories, government details, major city details, population statistics, etc.), religion write-ups (holidays, customs, important places, notable saints). Oh yeah, and something on thaulites (the name I made up for Jones' anemone/barnacle-like creatures that grow on ley line ship thrusters).

Beefy sent me this link: Nintendo Acapella. A little goofy, but amusing. I like the Zelda part.

Added 7 new O RLYs to the O RLY Gallery (they're at the bottom). I especially like the Bob Dole O RLY.

Here's a really awesome Lord of the Rings picture I found on 4chan's new "high resolution" image board. K, gonna go play a little BF1942... I did really well on Operation Aberdeen earlier this evening.

Minas Tirith
Gandalf riding towards Minas Tirith. Click thumb for full-sized version. [1300 x 933; 164 KB]

9:07 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
18 Apr. 2005 (Mon); Post #583
Was just talking to Sanders. Mostly 'bout the Disney DDR game (apparently it's really rare now; going on eBay for $90). He told me about Battlefield 2, which I hadn't even heard of. The screenshots and videos look amazing. Oh yeah, and his wife is pregnant! They don't know the gender yet, but probably will soon.

I signed up for six months at Club 24 in Kennewick. It's this 24-hour gym. Their key-cards are really neat; you just hold them near a sensor and the door unlocks... must be some RFID thing. Much cooler than the usual magnetic strip. Price was really reasonable. Will prolly go there tonight and try it out.

Here's a link I missed in post #582: MacBidouille.com's transparent screens. Fun trick to do with a digital camera.

Do you want a banana?

Kerry: blah, blah, blah.

5:47 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
18 Apr. 2005 (Mon); Post #582
So GURPS was... interesting. We met up with Jack Tucker (one of Abelson's goons) in Central Park and found out he was planning a coup. Got some info from him on Mac Werner and a thirty-five year old six year old (long story, I'm sure), then killed/mousified him and his men. Nathan, the contact, turned out to be a super with the ability to locate things (like Comopaise from the Theomundi campaign/setting). Paid the kid $10,000 (in 1927 USD!) for Werner's location and took a zeppelin to England. Found Uncle Henry being tortured by Werner and some thugs in an old factory (they wanted him to agree to a contract because Werner has the power to force ppl to obey oaths, like Horkos from Theomundi). Set him free, killed/mousified everyone else. Pulled off an amazing bank job in Liverpool (no witnesses, no evidence, even convinced the on-duty guard he had done it). Walked away with the contents of all the deposit boxes and a few hundred pounds of bills (roughly $200,000 by my estimate). Took a ferry to France.

And that's where Beefy ripped us off. The whole thing is incredibly shady... apparently his character (who doesn't speak French) found an English-speaking bum capable of driving and hot-wiring a car. Needless to say, we hunted him down and killed him. Though he blew up all the loot just as we caught him. The scheme was out of character and pointlessly wrecked a lot of stuff. First of all, Kamikaze (Beefy's character) knew we had access to a super who could locate him pretty easily, no matter where he hid. Secondly, what the heck did he hope to accomplish by stealing from us and running away? Even if he had succeeded somehow, he would have had to solo-session without the group for the rest of the campaign. Thirdly, supposedly the whole thing happened because he critically failed a self-control check on Greed; this seems like a bad call because (a) self-control rolls are, AFAICT, pass/fail, and (b) based on the group's behavior, he'd have to have known he'd be putting his life at risk (and Greed isn't worth enough points that it should result in suicide 2% of the time).

Anyway, it's going to be hard to integrate any new character into the group; trust issues aside, we're supervillains. Thanks to our careful planning and stealthy execution, we're not known criminals. So even if someone wanted to join a group like ours, they almost certainly wouldn't know about our team. Plus anyone who shows up wanting to join at this point will most likely be suspected of being a Legion spy, undercover government agent, or mafia hitman. They'd probably be killed or mousified soon after we met them.

Blah. Okay, there's a bunch of links in my blog.doc, so here's a bulleted list.
  • Subservientchicken.com. Type an order and the chicken does it. Weird. I tried fly, peck, and dance and they all worked. Kind of amusing.
  • How to destroy the Earth. Not just wiping out life-as-we-know-it, but actually physically destroying the planet. Lots of interesting suggestions.
  • Kameo: Elements of Power is a game for the Xbox that's sposed to be out in the fall. Looks really awesome. I saw a preview/sneak-peek thing for it on X-Play on G4TV. You play this character who can shapeshift into like ten different kinds of monsters that all have different abilities. Going to pick this up when it comes out.
  • Johnny's GHDB. A bunch of Googlehacks. Stuff for finding hidden webcam feeds, MP3 files, ppl's passwords, vulnerable bulletin boards, etc.
  • iSketch. Free Flash-based multiplayer Pictionary-type game. Wasted an hour or two on this in the past week.
  • Family Guy: Live in Vegas. A new CD with songs by the voice-actors from the show. Funny stuff, and some of the tracks sound really catchy. Comes out April 26th.
  • The Doctor Demento Show Digital Archive. A huge collection of old Dr. Demento shows. You have to register to listen to em, but it's free. I'll have to remember to burn some of em to a CD for my next long car trip.
Leeloo multi-pass
Random Fifth Element awesomeness.

6:53 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
14 Apr. 2005 (Thu); Post #581
ZOMG you guys, I got a webcam! Now I can be a camwhore, just like those famous 4channers Joe Barborak, Dash Billions, Era, Cracky-chan, et al. I'll be sprinkling cam pics throughout today's post for your viewing pleasure.

Hanwool called me this afternoon with an amusing story. Apparently he's been downloading a lot of anime through Streamload and pulled down a couple gigs last night. This morning he realized he didn't have any net access. After a lot of calling around, he found out his connection was cut by WSU for excessive use; they suspected he was using some kind of P2P program. The only way for him to get his connection back, they said, was to have them scan his laptop for viruses and copyrighted material. The cost for this service? $25 plus $25 per copyrighted file found (and removed!) . I don't know how they decide what's legit and what's not... but it would basically mean he'd have to format his notebook.

Of course, we discussed means of circumventing the university's block. We decided it was probably based on MAC addresses and the insertion of a router between his system and the network or the installation of a new (USB/PCMCIA) NIC ought to get him back on the internet.

Some lady from the east coast called me yesterday for help with sound editing. Some deal with a girl scout troop needing a song to be a minute shorter or something. Anyway she just found my phone number on the site and called... she was like "Hi, this probably doesn't have anything to do with your web site, but you look kind of knowledgeable about computer stuff. How can I blah blah blah..." Kinda weird, huh? Anyway, I sent her CoolEdit96 and walked her through some stuff.

4/11's Daily Show was really funny. I especially liked Ed Helms' "colored ppl in Panama City" piece.

Here's a really cool page on the process of creating a composite image from photographs and Photoshop painting. This "progression" is also pretty neat.

Oh yeah, I got a Costco card today. Woo, now I can buy 24-packs of Coke for $6.00. Or a gallon of mustard for $3.19. The gallon of mustard was actually 20¢ cheaper than the squeeze-bottle versions and they were only like 18 oz. a piece or something. Crazy.

12:33 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
12 Apr. 2005 (Tue); Post #580
Ahh, thank god I'm no longer under any obligation to make daily updates to this damn web site. Beefy won the IMBC (Iron Man Blogging Challenge) Sunday night/Monday morning at 12am when I failed (i.e. forgot) to update. We'll probably do the IMBC again sometime, despite lack of interested visitors.

Arrested Development was good Sunday. Lately, though, I think it's been less entertaining. Ever since Buster's hand got eaten by that seal. Still one of the better programs on television ATM, IMHO. All the fans are afraid it won't get picked up for a third season. If you care to, take a look at SaveOurBluths.com.

A while ago I made a character sheet for GURPS 4th edition which I meant to post somewhere on the site, but never got around to it. Hanwool later emailed me the sheet he made for his wizard character. So here're both of em in MS Word format:
Hank's GURPS 4e Character Sheet (3 pgs.) [55.0 KB]

Hanwool's GURPS 4e Character Sheet plus Grimoire (10 pgs.) [623 KB]
While reading Sandman, which is set in the DC Comics universe, something occurred to me: Gotham City is obviously New York... so what's Metropolis? As it turns out, both cities are New York. I found two explanations: Metropolis is New York during the day, Gotham is NYC at night. The other suggested Metropolis is NYC above 14th St. and Gotham is NYC below 14th St. Of course, in the comics, they're separate places. Though given the discord among DC writers, the burgs are about as pinpointable as The Simpsons' Springfield and Shelbyville.

I thought Saturday's GURPS game was pretty fun. We went to Washington DC. Justin, Paige, and I (Nightmare, Deadeye, and Algernon, resp.) had to ditch Jones and Beefy (Chaos Knight and Kamikaze) cuz they were goofing off and blowing our cover. It worked out well for everyone in the end; we did some espionage, hijacked an armored car, and stole $76,000 while the other two held a jazz concert and hobnobbed with the mayor. Oh yeah, and before that we launched an assault on Abelson's Rochester mansion and ended up killing Noxious and capturing Radiation Man (we later dumped him in Canada).

Big American Party!
Everybody disco-dancing! Lots of fun! Good time for all!

1:39 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
9 Apr. 2005 (Sat); Post #579
Last week Hanwool gave our GURPS group an assignment: everyone was to draw their super, complete with costume. I managed to net two points for the attempt below. Did it in Corel Painter IX and Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9.

Algernon's pretty awesome. He can turn people into mice (and back again), speak to mice, "uplift" natural mice (a permanent IQ+1 affliction with the Cumulative enhancement), turn into a mouse himself, and detect nearby mice with a sort of sixth sense. Can you guess his theme? Oh yeah, and he's an albino.

Under the term's of the IMBC, I'm required to include at least one external hyperlink per post. So here's Saturday's: Zaphod Beeblebrox's Blog. Yeah, it's Xanga, but still amusing. Only twenty days till the HHGTTG movie comes out!

Algernon, my supervillain in Hanwool's Roaring 20s supers game.

4:58 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
8 Apr. 2005 (Fri); Post #578
I made a page for some of the "o rly?" images I've collected from 4chan over the past six months or so.

Had a good pizza last night; a stuffed-crust from Pizza Hut with pork, sausage, and chicken toppings.

Here's a History of Perpetual Motion and Free Energy Machines I found interesting.

Been reading Sandman Book I. It's good. For some reason, it's set in the DC universe (Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.), though the tie-in seems totally unnecessary. So far, Vision and Mister Miracle have made appearances. And there're occasional references to the JLI, Gotham City, and other DC trappings. Dunno why... it cheapens the story IMO. Would American Gods have been as epic if Mulder and Scully had made an appearance? Or Urkel? I hate crossovers... I can't think of a single one that was done well. The closest I've ever come to dropping KODT was when I read the KODT/FAANS crossover. Man, that thing was awful.

The Hedge Knight was good. I wasn't very into it until about three-fifths of the way through, but it stayed consistently awesome afterwards. Had some great twists.

Me and Nixon in 2002
Me and President Nixon at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London, 2002.

"Guilt is a rope that wears thin." — Ayn Rand