News: February 9 to March 14, 2004
2004 (Sun); Post #456
Had the second session of our new Upsidaisium campaign; Ryan ditched
us, but Phill, Justin, and I gamed. Ryan's character, run as an
NPC, died (Sarone convinced him to try taking on an RAF guard single-handedly;
he ended up taking a bullet in the gut). Phill's character, Ace
McGregor, also expired (got horribly tangled in some barbed wire
trying to climb an 8' fence, but died only when he had a bad reaction
to a coagulant the doctor gave him).
Later, Hanwool, and Ryan showed up. We played some Settlers of Catan
(I won with 3 cities and "Longest Road"; Drew showed up
halfway through) and watched most of Saturday Night Live.
Have a ton of finals Sunday and Monday. And homework that's due
Monday. Ugh. Saw this really cool plumber's
bag at Bohemian Traders that'd be perfect for my Inspiron (it
was mentioned in a Gizmodo
article that Slashdot
ordered a Dell Inspiron 9100 notebook (got a good deal on it via
be arriving at my grandparents' house in Coos Bay around the 23rd
(remember, I'm going down there on the 22nd). It has nice stats
for a laptop:
2004 (Wed); Post #455
Pentium 4 2.80 GHz, 15.4" screen, native res of
1280x1024 (WXGA), 512 MB DDR400, 64 MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9700,
4x DVD burner, 40 GB HD
Plus I added the TrueMobile 1400 WLAN 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCI card
(the 9100 has an integrated dual-band antenna). Anyway, gotta go
fix someone's computer... somehow they ended up with the Blaster
worm, so I just need to pop my thumbdrive in and install the XP
Dell Inspiron 9100
tons of homework hanging over my head. Been doing a lot of tech
work lately. Put up some curtains in the living room. Had a GURPS
game on Saturday (Upsidaisium).
In a nutshell: PCs crashed in the Sargasso, nearly died of thirst,
bribed their way onto a British zeppelin, set an Australian cave-goblin
loose on a crowd in Wilmington, and Justin's character died in a
fight with a bum in a sleazy hotel.
2004 (Mon); Post #454
Some great stuff happening around the 16-19th; UT2004 comes out,
Dawn of the Dead and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind open
Ordered the Stargate SG-1 Season 6 DVD set on Amazon. Should be
here on the 12th or 13th.
Got the final cards for my new blue deck. I think I'm going to swap
out some cards for another Icy Manipulator and some more counterspell-type
cards... might try to fit a Pemmin's Aura + Prodigal Sorcerer combo
in there. Or maybe rearrange things to include a couple Ertai, Wizard
Put up my neon sign. Picture below.
Henry's: Since 1856.
busy. Went to the LAN party on Saturday; it was okay. UT2004 was
thoroughly dominated by Drew. We also played this custom WC3:TFT
map, 7 Hero Siege, a lot. Had dinner at Round Table with Phillip
and Justin that day. The pizza was good.
2004 (Wed); Post #453
Sunday and Monday were mostly spent backing up/ wiping/ setting
up this really pooched PC. Monday night, JD and I played a lot of
MTG. Today, he, Drew, and I went to go buy a box of tourney packs
at Best Bett, but they didn't have much and their prices were higher
than Infinite Frontiers'. Anyway, we each got three Mirrodin starters.
I got some keen artifacts. We're tentatively planning on going to
IF tomorrow to pick up a box of Eighth
Edition. Ad interim, I've been altering my white deck.
Generally swapping weaker creatures for strong, adding more denial
elements, that sort of thing.
I rearranged my living room. Now I've got three systems (Freya,
Eir, and Tabatha) and desks in here, all with network connections
direct to the 16-port switch.
New living room setup.
I need to update this thing more regularly. Lots of homework is
coming due very soon. In one class, I have a huge amount
due on March 15th. Just did a test this evening, have another Sunday
afternoon. Also have some tech work to do in Pasco that afternoon,
but it sounds like all I need to do is the standard AdAware/ Spybot/
HijackThis de-ickifying and immunization plus some basic Office
2004 (Sat); Post #452
Tomorrow (today?) is the LAN over at Kevin Sanders's apartment.
Eight ppl are coming; Drew, Kevin S., Kevin M., Justin, Phill, Hanwool,
and me. Hm, that's only seven... I can't remember who the eighth
is. JD dropped out because he couldn't get out of work. Something
about shifts or something. Anyway, the event is supposed to be from
10:00 am to 3:00 am. Bring network cables and power strips. UT2K4
and Savage will probably be the big games. ATM, I'm working on setting
the Shuttle up as a dedicated server for UT2K4. If you need any
info about the LAN, call Kevin S. @ 430-2090.
Finished watching the Malcolm in the Middle season 1 DVDs. Good
show. Also saw Scrubs 3x14 (who needs Tivo when you can BitTorrent?)
and Planetes 15 today. Still haven't gotten to Full Metal Alchemist
19 & 20.
Got and read Transhuman Space: Deep Beyond. Really great.
At least as good as In the Well, possibly better. Has some
really interesting stuff on the construction of various habitats
towards the end. And there's this awesome vignette series and character
write-up about a USAF AKV SAI (boy, that's a lot of acronyms). Speaking
of THS, we had [Credo] session #7 on Thursday; it was pretty fun,
even though our characters hardly left a hotel room. The GM's trying
out this new CP award system where players award tokens to other
PCs for good roleplaying, heroics, etc.
In MTG news, I'm building this cool blue deck right now. Received
three of the cards I needed (got em on the 26th), now I'm just waiting
for four more from a single eBay auction I won on the 17th. The
guy I bought them from is in Klamath Falls, OR... you'd think shipping
would be faster. Anyway, built this big green creature deck (I was
somewhat inspired by Hanwool's preconstructed). It's very fun to
play. Its only real weakness was dealing with flyers, but that seems
to have brought to a manageable level by adding a second Neurok
Hoversail (common Equipment artifact), which I traded from JD. Also
been fine-tuning my goblin deck. Just got some cards from Drew on
Thursday that should help it along (another Spikeshot Goblin, a
second Goblin Striker, and a Raging Goblin).
BTW, saw Lost in Translation. Verdict: good, but a little
slow. Okay, got to pack up stuff for the LAN party.
Friday, Drew came over and we played a lot of Magic (I built this
really cool white deck that uses a Dawn
Elemental + Pariah combo). Then Phill came over and we played
some more Magic. Then we watched American Splendor in the
green room (I set up the 2.1 sound and projector for Baron Munchausen
the week before last). Really, really good movie. It's simultaneously
depressing and happy. Pretty funny too. It's a little like Adaptation,
the way it mixes real life people and events with the movie, but
it's really more like a documentary. Anyway, it's probably in my
top ten, or at least my top fifteen.
2004 (Sun); Post #451
On Saturday, yesterday, Drew, Brittany (his SO), Phill, Hanwool,
Justin, and I got together at Round Table Pizza and had dinner and
played M:TG. While I was engaged in a fierce battle against Hanwool
and Justin (my goblin deck vs. a mono-black and a green giant-creature
deck), one of the owners of Best Bett Cards & Comics came up
to our table, gave us a couple business cards, and said he added
a gaming room and might be hosting Friday
Night Magic in the near future (after introducing himself and
mentioning his store, of course). Anyway, that'd be pretty cool.
Right now the nearest places with FNM tournaments are in, like,
Spokane and Wenatchee.
Incidentally, when I fly down to Coos Bay, OR for 9 days in March
(the 22nd to the 31st) I'm going to try playing in a FNM tourney
at a local shop. Kinda strange that Coos Bay (population 15,374)
has a DCI-sanctioned tournament place and the Tri-Cities doesn't.
Later, we went back to my house and played some more Magic (including
an interesting 2 vs. 2, me and Phill against Drew and Justin; we
won). Then we played a couple games of Lunch Money (Drew won both)
and a game of Tile Chess (Justin won).
haven't posted for a while. Been playing a lot of Unreal
Tournament 2004. Actually, just finished up a 2.5 hour session
with Kevin S. and Drew on the [HOG] Crunchy Critters server. There's
a screenshot of our scores below. Definitely going to pick this
game up when it comes out on March 16th. We're hoping to play the
demo at our next LAN party (which'll probably be next week).
2004 (Fri); Post #450
Also been building Magic decks. Right now, I'm working on a mono
blue and a mono white (waiting on some cards I ordered through CardHaus
and a couple eBay auctions). Darksteel and Mirrodin have some cards
that let you do really cool combos. I put up my
deck from the Friday-the-13th Sealed Deck tourney (mainly because
I had to cannibalize it for my new decks and wanted to be able to
remember what I used to cream the other guys). I tried to use the
format they use at the Wizards web site. Unfortunately, I don't
think it's possible to link to their little Java card-encyclopedia
thingy from outside the site. I'll ask about it on the message boards.
Read some trade paperbacks I got from IF; one of the Lenore TBs
and two from Alan Moore: Tomorrow Stories Book One and Top
Ten (Book 1). Top Ten is awesome... it's kind of like The Tick,
but a little more serious. Actually, I guess it'd best be described
as The Tick meets Powers. Anyway, I've got Top Ten (Book 2) and
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2 coming in at IF. Also
went through 4 KoDT issues. Really like the storylines, need to
get #88 and Blackhands Special #2.
Been meaning to rearrange my living room so I can fit another desk
in here and hang this really cool neon sign my parents got me (it
says "Henry's," and then below that "since 1856").
I'll post pictures as soon as I get it up. Also, going to get some
decent curtains for the front living room window.
Oh, had our 6th session of the online THS game, Credo, today. It
was really good. We were riding in a cab back to our hotel from
some restaurant and the automated cab started taking a bad route
(my VI picked up on this because it was running cartography software
in the background). So we're all trying to hack the cab computer
when we enter a wireless dead spot and get ambushed by these spider-mine
things. They blow us into the air (not hard in 0.16 G; we were on
Luna) and topple a semi-truck and a tour bus. Somehow, we survive
and escape the locked cab, rescue the bus passengers, save the truck
driver, and investigate the trailer (there were some odd sounds
coming from within and I was picking up a heat signature on infravision).
Then this van smashes out of the back of the trailer (which was
on its side) and streaks away. Anyway, then the cops showed
up and we concluded the session. Some guy, Randy from Albuquerque,
lurked in the IRC chan to see what the chat was like.
Well, that's about it. Prolly play M:TG at Round Table this weekend.
UT2K4 scores from a ONS-Torlan round.
Magic tournament was lots of fun! Had it last night. All the pairings
were determined randomly (except the last one, of course); each
contender rolled a d20 and the highest rollers played each other,
the lowest was given the "bye" (allowed to jump to the
next level without playing in a match). Then each pair played until
one player had won two out of three games (we didn't have any draws).
Against all odds, Matt Tomsinski got the bye every time in both
brackets. I won the tournament with a white/ green/ blue deck (creature
heavy thing with a 26:33 land-to-spell ratio; relied primarily on
some big green monsters, artifact creatures (like the awesome Darksteel
Gargoyle), and some white instants for life gain and creature boosting).
Drew won the Loser's Bracket with a white/ red/ green deck.
2004 (Sat); Post #449
The ladder results are included in the image below. The loser's
bracket had a bye in the first round because JD dropped out (he
had just flown in from Utah and was tired, apparently). Anyway,
I won 4 boosters (Scourge, Nemesis, Mirrodin, and Onslaught) and
Drew, winner of the losers, won a Darksteel booster. The sealed
deck supplies we used for deck construction were 1 Mirrodin starter
plus 2 Darksteel boosters.
Okay, Ryan, Paige, and Tanya are here, so I have to go.
Our Friday-the-13th Sealed Deck Magic Tournament.
got the CGI counter working properly. You can see it at the bottom
of this page (the italicized text). Turns out I made a small mistake
when I uploaded the files to the new server; I CHMODed the counter.cgi
file to 766 instead of 755... see, so it had permissions for read/
write instead of read/ execute. D'oh.
2004 (Thu); Post #448
Drew's probably got either an ulcer or a gall stone, so he's getting
an ultrasound on Friday. (He went to the doctor today.) Apparently
he's not allowed to eat anything with fat in it till then b/c it
might aggravate the gall bladder. Anyway, he'll still be coming
to the M:TG SDT (Sealed Deck Tournament).
You've prolly all heard the UT2K4
demo is out. I looked at the features and stuff... doesn't look
very different from UT2K3; seems like they just added vehicles,
spider-mines, more maps, and integrated VoIP support. Iono, I'll
still download it and try it out, but I'm not expecting much.
Been meaning to start playing BF1942 again. I really like that game.
Actually, after I post this, I'll probably just cancel my current
BT download and try a few rounds on Wake Island. Ergh, I see they've
released a new version since I stopped playing; v1.6.19 seems to
be the latest. I'm still running v1.5. And FilePlanet's bound to
be fairly overloaded with the UT2K4 demo. (Actually, just checked
it: estimated wait time is only 16 minutes. Hmm.)
Alright, I'm gonna go read the 12/01/03 M:TG Comprehensive Rules
doc while my downloads are going... need to figure out this new
"Imprint" ability. Maybe I'll clean for the SDT.
finished my last test in the W-building open lab; just barely finished
in time... apparently the lab closes at 9:00 pm. Got a 90% though.
2004 (Tue); Post #447
Watching Scrubs right now. Missed one of my favorite shows b/c of
the midterm, but I can BitTorrent it later tonight.
Set up my Shuttle, a 2.1 speaker set, and the projector for a PowerPoint
presentation and some video clips for my parents' polo club meeting
earlier this evening. They had some really good food there... key
lime pie, fruit tart with custard, pettifores (sp? it's some kind
of miniature cake-like confection), salami, cheese, bread, and some
kind of fancy Danish butter.
looks really cool, but loads slowly. It's some kind of sci fi anime
Seems like the sealed deck M:TG tourney on Friday is a go. Will
prolly start around 8-9 pm. A bunch of us will go to Infinite Frontiers
earlier in the day, prolly 3:30-4:30 pm. So far, the list of players
is: me, Drew, JD, Matt T., Ryan (probably). I haven't bought Magic
cards in a long time, so I'm not exactly sure what's out, but Drew
and I were talking about Scourge, Mirrodin, and Darksteel as expansions
Thinking about moving things around in the living room some more.
I'd like to put the Shuttle on its own desk. Or maybe move the Vaio
in here (or rebuild DeadLois/ Chesty). Anyway. Decided it was time
for a desktop screen shot (I like looking at them later on to see
how my UI tastes have changed; my last one was Oct. 15, 2003).
Hippo Girl is an
awesome song. Can't really understand the words though.
Full Screenshot (1280 x
1024, PNG) [445 kB]
on my way to Kennewick to do some real estate photos and there was
an accident on the blue bridge (about a score of cars ahead of me).
Involved a little white four-door sedan and a big semi-truck. Not
sure how it happened, but the sedan had its whole front smashed
in. Anyway, got to the address and snapped some pictures. The owner
was out front when I got there. For some reason, ppl tend to get
really uptight if they see you taking pictures of buildings. Spent
like 10 minutes explaining the whole thing to him, i.e. how real
estate comparisons require pictures of houses with similar specifications.
I hate talking to dumb hicks. Got Zip's on the way home. Really
good. I like their fries a lot.
2004 (Mon); Post #446
Saturday's GURPS game was a typical disaster. Justin and Ryan's
characters died (killed by Drew's PC on an alien world). Kurtz (Justin)
killed one of the other humans revived from cryostasis and a Hemmalar
scholar. We won't be playing this weekend since Drew's going to
be out canoodling, Phill's getting drunk with RadCon nerds, and
Hanwool seems to have been grounded by his mom. Instead, Drew and
I are hoping to organize a Magic: The Gathering sealed deck tournament
on Friday. Hopefully JD and Matt Tomsinski will be able to come.
Anyway, I've got a lot of homework due, plus midterms today and
and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at."
Carlos A. Urbizo