Old News: February 18th, 2003 toMarch 16th, 2003

10:22 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
16 Mar. 2003 (Sun); Post #269
On Friday, some ppl came over. I think we played Tile Chess. I don't quite remember. Anyway, late that evening, Jones, Hanwool, and I played rummy. It was very fun. We played to 200 points and used the rules from Hoyle's (I have a paperback with tons of game rules in it). The score sheet is below. Jones actually won by more than 100 points.

On Saturday, we had two GURPS sessions. Quick summary: Hermes called a conference of all the gods, JD joined Hanwool's group as Gratamenos (the god of generosity and gratuity), some decisions were made (about Exoriamundus, humanity, and the Fourths), and Hanwool's group lived and worked on Cheju, Korea for 3 months, then found and killed Kokytos, a Potamoi, and some nameless Drakon at a Denny's in Everett, WA.

Also, mostly at Phill's request, I made a site for the Greek gods campaign. Here it is: Theomundi. The image next to the rummy score sheet is a title image I whipped up in PSP 7. Today's MP3: Castlevania - Dance Of Pales.mp3 (2:30).

8:31 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
13 Mar. 2003 (Thu); Post #268
Wow, it was really warm today! 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I went outside around one and it was actually warmer outside than in the house. Very strange, considering the mean temperature for this time of year is 47° F. It was really windy last week. I just finished my CptS 401 midterm an hour and a half ago. It seemed pretty easy, but the true/false part made me uneasy. I answered false to all but one... statistically, it just feels wrong. Anyway, I reviewed my answers. When I left, there were only two people left in the room. One guy turned in his test after only 15 minutes. And there were 5 short-essay questions. Hm. He either did really well or really badly.

Umm. Next week is my spring break. Earth 2025 just restarted yesterday, so I've been playing. And Battlefield 1942 is still okay. I updated to 1.31. I play medics a lot. You can probably tell I don't have a lot to talk about. I'm thinking about building something in my dad's shop. Like a table or something. I wish he had a lathe. Maybe I'll go to the toy shop tomorrow and get a model to build. That'd be kewl maybe. Anyway. As I still have no digital camera, here's an animated GIF to amuse and amaze you.

12:43 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
12 Mar. 2003 (Wed); Post #267
Been a while since I posted. Eight days... oops. We had a LAN... thing... this weekend. Only Phill, Drew, Kevin (Moore), Justin, and Kevin (Sanders) brought their machines. We played a few really awesome games of CS. Drew and I played some games of Warcraft III, but the rest didn't participate much. See, most of them have trouble copying ISOs across the network, installing Daemon Tools, and downloading and installing updates from Blizzard. The level of computer literacy in some of the members of our little cadre is sorely lacking.

I finally got around to building those shelves. Phill took a picture for me (shown below). I'd have taken it myself, but my parents still have the digital camera. They're using it to track the progress of one of their horse's wounds (she lost a lot of tissue on her leg to necrosis from a spider bite and it has been healing slowly). Anyway, I worry about it. It's a 4.1 megapixel SONY, but my mom leaves it out out on the hay bails in the barn at night.

I drew up a list of (nearly) all the gods in the campaign. Did it over the course of a week and a half... 17 pages, 284 gods. Borrowed American Gods from Jones. He says it's a really fantastic book. I'm going to start it as soon as I finish Stinger (Nancy Kress). Speaking of Mrs. Kress, I wrote to her and yadda-yadda, she's sending me a signed photo! She's my favorite author. Not many writers can really hold my attention the way she can. Some of Spider Robinson's stuff has come close, maybe even Douglas Adams. I like other authors, like Asimov and Gibson, but they aren't flat-out fascinating like Kress is. Of course, that's just IMHO.

Jones, JD, and (later) Meghan came over earlier this evening. Jones and I played Proteus (chess variant) while JD and Meghan watched Baseketball. Of course, I beat him 22 to 16. I don't know why he keeps trying to lose...

Today's MP3: Dance Dance Revolution - Bu Dam (Full Version).mp3 (3:53).

some shelves I built

11:49 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
4 Mar. 2003 (Tue); Post #266
I spent most of the evening with my dad building shelves for my room. As of now, they are totally done except for the pine facings. They look pretty good. Dimensions: 39 1/4 inches high, 36 inches wide, ~4 1/2 inches deep. Of course, that's without the facing. Anyway, will probably finish it tomorrow. I'll have pictures then.

The second Animatrix episode came out today. See it here. The large (640 x 272) MOV is 160 megs. Pretty good. I liked the first one better though. Then again, I'm kinda biased; the second one didn't have robots in it. I like robots.

Saw The Majestic (stars Jim Carrey) today. Good movie. No surprising plot twists, but it's still enjoyable. Well, I'm very tired, so I'm going to bed. Today's MP3: No Doubt - Bathwater (4:02).

No Doubt

Members of No Doubt

12:03 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
4 Mar. 2003 (Tue); Post #265
Some stuff happened. On Friday night, Hanwool, his little sister, Jones, and I went to dinner at the Olive Garden. I had the chicken alfredo. Very good. Their salads are fantastic, but Jones wouldn't eat any. The waitress even threatened him. BTW, if you want really good service at the Olive Garden, take a 12 year old Korean girl with you.

Then, on Saturday, I ate at Mongolian Grill not once but twice. A bit much, but still good. When I went for lunch (take-out, by myself), I saw Patty Cooper. She was the wife of my friend (and boss at Uncle's Games) Bill Cooper. He died from an aneurysm (technically, a subarachnoid hemorrhage — a ruptured artery in the brain) back in the spring of 2000. Anyway, we talked for some time. She bought a computer from Computer Renaissance (a local shop which I don't think highly of) and is having some problems with it. I gave her my number.

Oh, Saturday morning I had my Psych class. My group finally met (we're doing a project on Les Schwab, the company). There's this... woman... who's really bossy and rude. She seems to have appointed herself as our leader. Anyway, I didn't reply to her group e-mail so she lectured me and this other person for like 5 minutes. OMFG, what a harpy. She's the reason we're doing the project on Les Schwab. I mean, there have got to be better subjects for an Organizational Psychology class. And she wants to spend an eighth of the presentation (45 minutes total) on trivial, irrelevant crap like what brands of tires they sell. She's making the whole thing into a stupid infomercial just because her husband sells hubcaps or some dritt for a living. Pule, the way she talks about him, you'd think he owns the company. Newsflash, you witch: a lowly sales job isn't such an amazing thing to brag about. Tispe.

GURPS news. GMed Kevin (he killed some people and ended up in Stockton, CA, IIRC). Then Phillip and Beefy. Zephyrus hunted down Phobos and killed him. It was pretty dramatic, too. They were fighting in the air while flying at high speeds, one of them invisible. Phobos managed to burn Zephyrus's left leg, crippling it permanently (later reversed by Panakheia). Anyway, they got seperated; Phobos was on the sidewalk, Zephyrus perched on the ledge of a 4-story building. Zephyrus whips out his god-knife, dives at Phobos at 80 yards per second, kills him. Then he plunges through the body, hits the pavement, ends up with many broken bones and falls into a coma. Yadda yadda, he manages to join Hanwool's team, Drew's character heals him.

Beefy re-enters the game as Diktyon, god of networks. He and Michanamatos are neo-theoi (new gods). Hanwool & co. grab Solodater (a god of portals), go to New York, pick up Zephyrus and Diktyon. Michanamatos experiences his second apotheosis (lots of machines and tools in the hospital become animated). Meanwhile, they steal Phobos's remains from the morgue. Everyone meets on the roof, Solodater opens a portal to Australia. They go to Zephyrus's former home in the outback and hang out for 4 days. Then Hermes (da da DA-A-A!) shows up and ushers them through a portal (pausing briefly to end Zephyrus's Time of Dormancy) to an all-inclusive meeting of the gods.

I played a chess game on Pogo with some guy named "PENTHOUSEOUTLAW." Beat him in 40 rounds. Took a snapshot of the moves list (shown below). My moves are the ones in red. Anyway. Today's MP3: Rockapella - For the Longest Time.mp3 (3:29).

3/3/03: moves list for a chess game I won against PENTHOUSEOUTLAW on Pogo

7:01 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
28 Feb. 2003 (Fri); Post #264
Been having some really weird things going on with the cable. At 5:15, my router registered a TCP Null Scan attack... the IP originated from Tel-Aviv University, according to IP Lookup. Anyway, I was getting some extremely high pings. I called Charter (my service provider) and the lady said there was some really weird stuff going on. She couldn't explain the pings, suggested I cycle the power on my router. I tried that, didn't do anything. Around 6:50, the problem seemed to take care of itself.

Interesting note about the Speedstream 2 Port DSL/Cable Router: when you cycle its power, it thinks it's January 1st, 1970 until it talks to one of the machines on your network (or maybe when it gets the IP from the ISP... it's hard to tell). The picture below is from some pings I did from Tabatha.

3:35 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
28 Feb. 2003 (Fri); Post #263
Talked to Derek Watts yesterday (he called my cell just as I got out of CptS 401). He might wanna game with us this weekend. GMed a short game for Phillip last night. Yesterday morning I watched One Hour Photo (has Robin Williams as an obsessed guy who works at "SavMart"). It was okay. Robin Williams does psychotics pretty well (he was really good in Death to Smoochy).

I've been thinking about getting Battlefield 1942 (and maybe even the Road to Rome expansion). I wish I could trade my WarCraft III key to someone for a BF1942 key. Not that WarCraft III is bad, it's just that I'm starting to get bored with it. You can only play Zone Control so many times, you know? There's some really clever maps on b.net; Zone Control, Missile Command (my current favorite), Defense of the Ancients, various kinds of Tower Defense, Turret Defense, Risk (weird, a little unbalanced, but fun), and of course, the six hundred or so Hero's Siege variants.

The Straight Dope has an interesting article today on the 1908 Tunguska, Siberia explosion. It seems like every "Mysteries of the Unexplained" book I've ever read has a chapter on this. Anyway. Today's MP3: Charlotte Church - Habanera.mp3 (4:32).

Charlotte Church, singer
Charlotte Church

10:08 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
26 Feb. 2003 (Wed); Post #262
Not a whole lot going on except a lot of school. Tonight, my dad and I are going to build those shelves I designed. I'm going to stain them to match the walls in my room. I may figure out a way to put molding on the front so it's not just a bare plywood facing...

Will probably go to Mongolian Grill for lunch. Of course, you make your own meal from ingredients in the buffet. My standard bowl is roughly: 2 units of onions, 5-7 units of zucchini, 1 large spoonful of sunflower seeds, 1 unit of corn (sometimes), 5-6 units of chicken and/or pork, 1-2 units of mushrooms, as many noodles as I can stack on top without too much spillage, 1 ladel of oil, 2-3 ladels of teriyaki, 2 ladels of Mongolian sauce, 1-2 ladels of sweet & sour, and 2-3 ladels of house BBQ.

I had started watching Bridget Jones's Diary last week, but stopped because it seemed too stupid (and I don't think Renée Zellweger's a very good actress... her English accent kinda sucks). Anyway, I picked it up again yesterday at the 36-minute mark, finished it. It wasn't as horrible as I had originally thought, but it still wouldn't make my top 50.

New Penny-Arcade strip today. Today's MP3: System of a Down - Chop Suey.mp3 (3:30).

5:09 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
24 Feb. 2003 (Mon); Post #261
Was reading Beefy's site, but I had to stop when I got to the phrase "my glorious urine."

I forgot to mention the GURPS session this weekend. The session before, Phobos (Beefy) had killed Pheme (Hanwool) with three shotgun blasts to the latter's chest. Well, Pheme/Johnny (having lost his laurels) appeared in Haides as a shade. At the end of the session, he had decided he would petition the Fates to turn back time so that he could off Phobos before Phobos offed him. Well, I told Hanwool he needed to roll a crit (only one try allowed), and he did. A natural 17 (this is on 3d6, of course). There was much hooting and slapping of palms.

Anyway, Michanamatos (Ryan) hears a knock at the door and opens it to find (surprise) Pheme standing there covered in mud (Michanamatos had dug a grave for the body; presumably, Pheme teleported out when came back to life). Well, that was also session #20 for Hanwool, so Pheme underwent his third apotheosis (a 205 point boon).

Oh, and when Phillip and I were at Walmart, in addition to Warcraft III, I picked up a Phillips Magnavox RF Modulator Video Converter. It cost $25 and converts signal from the three RCA outputs (video, right audio, left audio) into coaxial. I used it to connect Olivia (the new rackmount system; 2000+ Athlon XP, 60 GB, 256 DDR, etc.) to this old, 1970s TV I got from my mom's friend, Kathy. I also had to pick up 25' of coax cable. But, it's cool. I've watched a few movies on it. Hm, need to get my other 256 MB DDR RAM stick from JD. Oh, the humiliation of having to operate a system with less than a half-gig of RAM...

Of course, I'm making this post from my power rig. Athlon 1700+ XP, two 80 GB HDs, 1 GB of PC2100 DDR RAM, GeForce 4 Ti4600, 40x-write CD-R. Had been using Tabatha (the Vaio) a lot, but started using Chesty again b/c of Warcraft III. Well, I've got to go; l8er.

Today's MP3: Rockapella - Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago.mp3 (2:59).

3:57 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
24 Feb. 2003 (Mon); Post #260
A weekend of good eating. Had Mongolian Grill and Shari's on Saturday (yeah, for some reason, I like Shari's hamburgers...), Rattlesnake Mountain (14 oz. teriyaki steak, mm) and Shari's today (just got back from Shari's; went with Hanwool). Been up 27+ hours twice now... did it Friday to Sat. then Sat. to Sunday. Hopefully, won't have to do it again. Though, it feels surprisingly good to wake up at 3:30 a.m. fully rested. Anyway.

Been working on some stuff for the Greek Gods campaign (as for a real name, how about "Theomundi?" It's Greek for "World(s) of Gods"). I'm trying to compile a master-list for the various gods. Names, homes, abilities, dates of birth/apotheosis, descriptions, brief histories, notes, etc. As well as making up new ones, I'm going through my session notes and recording info on gods that were developed through PC interaction (e.g. Melopomene, Comopaise).

I drew up some plans for some shelves I'm going to build (I've got stacks of paperbacks on my dresser right now). 3/4" plywood and pine boards, 5/16" dadoes, 39 3/4" tall, 28 5/8" wide. It'll be cool. I'm gonna hang it on the wall.

For some reason, I kinda like reading other ppl's blogs. I'm always up on Beefy and Phill's sites, but sometimes I enjoy reading stranger's pages too. Yeah, I'm weird. I'm sure no one reads this page except a few friends with internet connections and too much free time. Anyway, I was reading this one guy's blog/collection-of-rants/stories (link: Not My Desk). Really nicely done site, and the pieces are interesting and funny. If you're bored, it's worth looking into.

Today's MP3: Bobbysocks - La det Swinge.mp3 (2:53).

2:48 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
21 Feb. 2003 (Fri); Post #259
On Tuesday night I went over to Pullman (140 miles/3 hours away) because my dad's horse (a 2 year old named Stretch) was colicking (sp?). An impaction in the intestines and what my dad was afraid might be a torsion of the gut. Anyway, we ended up staying the night at a Holiday Inn and having breakfast with my sister at a local Denny's. Actually, I delivered Stretch; pulled him out of his dam. Why? My parents used to pay me to stay up all night watching mares who were about to give birth (I'd then call them when the foal started... arriving). Anyway, Stretch got through surgery okay; had a lot of coarse sand in his intestines. My parents will go pick him up on Sunday.

I came home Wednesday around noon. Had lunch at Mongolian Grill. I love that restaurant. I've eaten there three times this week. Will probably eat there tomorrow if I can get anyone to go with me. Heck, I'll prolly go by myself if it comes down to it. They do carryout, but few ppl seem to know it. They should have those cards like the espresso places use... buy 10, get 1 free. I've been there a total of 5 times, I think.

Been playing Warcraft III quite a bit. I bought the game when Phill and I went to Walmart a week ago or so. Battlenet is pretty good (better than I remember it being when Diablo II came out — virtually unplayable, even over my T1 connection at WSU). The only problem is the dial-up users. I was once one myself, but I didn't inflict my paper-thin bandwidth on others... no, I played games like Literati and Reversi, which work great even at 2400 baud. I have nothing but disdain for people who connect at 19,200 bps and have the audacity to try playing Warcraft III on battlenet. If you play WC3 on b.net, you spend about 70% of your game staring at these screens:

But, those complaints aside, it's pretty fun. I really like Defense of the Ancients (currently at version 2.2, though I've heard that 2.3 is out). The map editor must be a lot more advanced than what came with StarCraft. I've been thinking about making my own map with triggers and whatnot. I'm looking forward to the expansion, The Frozen Throne... comes out in Q2 2003. I actually signed up for the Frozen Throne beta test a little while ago. The cut-off is at 11:00 a.m. (PST, GMT-8:00) today. Well, l8er.

Today's MP3: Rockapella - Michael Jackson Medley.mp3 (13:54).

6:56 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
18 Feb. 2003 (Tue); Post #258
Well, it's been about a week since my last post. Last Friday, Hanwool and I drove up to Spokane for his citizenship test. We had to get up at 3:30 a.m. and it was about a two-and-a-half hour drive. On the way, I helped him study. As a side effect, I've memorized the first thirteen states and the three amendments that have to do with voting rights (15, 19, and 24, in case you were wondering). Anyway, I read The Cat Who Walks Through Walls while he dealt with the INS ppl. Then we had breakfast at this place called Molly's... I had a really super-fantastic German sausage and cheddar cheese omelette. The coffee was good too.

Speaking of Heinlein's novel, I'm about four-fifths through. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you, but just let me say that there's a point in the book where things get extremely weird. In more ways than one. Heinlein gets kind of dirty in this book... it really reminds me of Spider Robinson (whose books can get pretty risque; frex: Deathkiller). Aside from the blue material, it's a really fantastic book. It's funny to see how he writes about computers... I mean, this book came out in 1985, but still. He talks about "Sony Megawafers," which have the truly astounding capacity of half a million words each! Gee, that's like a whole... (8 b * 500,000) / 1,024^2... 3.81 megabytes! And they're 2 cm high, 3 cm diameter... huh. Kinda funny that memory sticks or compact flash cards, etc. from 2003 beat the living daylights out of state-of-the-art storage from 2188.

Anyway, we played GURPS this weekend. Saturday was Hanwool's group (now, or then, rather, consisting of Drew, Ryan, Beefy, and him), then Justin on Sunday, then Hanwool's group again on Monday (President's Day). A lot happened, so here's a quick summary: Ryan was detained, then escaped, then got chased and sorta caught by Apollo, then escaped again, Hanwool agreed to nuke Seattle, got petrified, Justin escaped from Mundus Exoria, the exile dimension, Beefy killed Hanwool, and Ryan and Drew lost fatigue, hitpoints, and stat points trying to revive him (their efforts failed). It was... eventful.

Archived the old news. Today's MP3: Riders In The Sky - Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl.mp3 (3:02).

"You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance." — Ray Bradbury