News: June 30th to July 24th, 2003
what a couple of days! The LAN party went great Kevin S.,
Kevin M., Keith, JD, and Phillip came. We gamed seriously from about
2 pm (most everyone wanted to show up early) till around 3 am. The
games we played most were Warcraft III (the Frozen Throne expansion
kicks ass!), Counter-Strike, and Battlefield 1942 (which I'm downloading
Desert Combat 0.38 for right now; 327 freaking MB). Then
I introduced Kevin S. to Dance Dance Revolution, which he took great
interest in. We DDRed until about 5 am.
2003 (Thu); Post #345
Then I woke up this afternoon and hauled pipe/ assembled fencing
with Drew, Phillip, and Hanwool from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. We got
a little more than half of the pasture fencing finished. Phill went
to go do something for his grandpa, Drew, Hanwool, and I went to
Denny's. (I had the double-cheeseburger with seasoned fries and
a side Caesar salad, it was very good.)
When we came back from Denny's JD was here, so he and I hopped on
a Seattle CS server with Kevin S. and Taryn (Kevin's brother). Drew
played Gauntlet (Xbox game) while we were killing each other. Then
Kevin came over and he, Drew, JD, and I DDRed. I got out my old
mat and we did some couple songs and Dance Magic on the Disney CD.
JD went home a little while ago and I had to stop playing cuz my
chest was going to explode.
Right now I'm in negotiations with this guy in California to get
2500+ processor and MSI
KT4VL motherboard for $125 shipped. He's really cool, convinced
me to download DC (speaking of which: 181 KB/s stable! Oh yeah!).
A page of funny quotes from
IRC channels. And my daily example of annoying British grammar:
"The government are too involved in inefficient bureaucracy."
my cable tester eBay auction just went online. Yup, item
#3036994682. And only $1, cheap. We'll see how this one goes;
it looks like the cable tester category is a lot more crowded than
the one for crimpers (the item I sold last time).
2003 (Mon); Post #344
I can't stand British grammar. "I met her at the weekend."
to Phillip, Drew, and Hanwool: Wednesday night around 6:00 pm. Also,
I assume our larger group will organize something to help Justin
move this Saturday/ Sunday. I'll be there with a truck.
2003 (Mon); Post #343
LAN party details: I'm getting a big table tomorrow morning. Still
need to fix the file server. Should have room (read: tables and
chairs) for 9 ppl total in the long room (the one with the blue
and white walls), others can go in the living room (right now, have
tables there for up to 4). Invite other gamers! Right now, I only
have 5 ppl confirmed... it'd be nice if we had at least 10. Please
IM me (hjo333 on AIM) or e-mail me ()
if you plan on coming. It's not required, but it's appreciated.
party next Tuesday (07/22/03). Start time: 4:00 pm. What should
you bring? Computer, monitor (I have a couple extra, contact
me if you want to use one), peripherals, mouse pad (I emphasize
this because it's the main thing everyone seems to forget), speakers,
power strip. I figure we've got room for as many as 14 ppl. So invite
your friends, etc. Everyone's welcome. Games expected to be played:
WC3, BF1942, some CS, Q3, whatever else ppl like.
2003 (Fri); Post #342
Been working with Maya a lot. I've got polygons down really well,
but NURBS still confuse me. I'm actually contemplating purchasing
a book on it. Possibly from eBay.
Update: Oh, gee, I just went to check eBay/ Amazon, and guess what?
Yup, no internet access. Again. Well, I called Charter (they're
#16 on my speed-dial) and they're blaming AT&T for messing around
with the backbone. Hm. Odd, I never had these sorts of outages on
other ISPs... Argh, stupid Charter.
GURPS tomorrow at 4:00 pm.
find my copy of GURPS Magic (need it for the space setting, currently
tentatively titled "Raumwelt"). Would whoever has it please
give me a call? Thanks.
2003 (Thu); Post #341
to post about something that's been bugging me since Sunday. Some
jackass keeps parking on my lawn. It's bad for the grass and ticks
me off to no end. Well, last week (Saturday morning, actually) I
hammered some stakes into the ground at the edge of the lawn to
deter this half-wit from damaging my withering plot. They stuck
up in the air a good six inches. What did the offending he-bitch
do? He drove right over them. Stupid cur. Proposed solution?
Caltrops. Lots and lots of caltrops. Big steel ones.
2003 (Wed); Post #340
Anyway, a warning to the rest of you: don't park on my freaking
In other news, LAN gaming should occur sometime soon. What's a good
day for everyone? Ideally, we could get something like 8-14 people
I forgot to mention some things in post #338. Fortunately, some
2003 (Tue); Post #339
anal retentive watchful players caught my mistakes. (1) Duran,
Archer, and Takem were played by Justin, Ryan, and Drew, respectively.
(2) Sometime while everyone else was in stasis on the trip to the
Capellan jump-skirt, Duran popped the tech from Capella V out of
stasis (they had taken him with them) to torture him. For four days.
Then the tech died, so Duran flushed him out the airlock.
Hopefully Hanwool will be running HDHC this weekend, but it's not
a sure thing since his cousin (a chemist from CA) will be in town.
ION, I just got back from taking the jet skis in for service. Looks
like they'll be done next week. I stopped at 7-11 and got some of
this Japanese melon soda (pictured below). Well, I have work to
new favorite drink. The metal bottle is really cool too.
I ran my space game last night. I don't know how the players liked
it, but I enjoyed it. I think some of them were probably bored by
the calculations, physics minutia, and astronomy details, but I
like that kind of stuff. The game was very useful to me for figuring
out balance issues with space combat and interplanetary travel.
This'll make it possible to generate plausible background material
2003 (Sun); Post #338
A quick summary of the game: The PCs (played by Hanwool, Phillip,
Justin, Ryan, and Drew) ended up on a jump-capable shuttle together.
Hanwool's character, Rhee, had won the ship's lease in a high-stakes
poker game with a well-to-do merchant. The outdated (about 80 yrs.
old) robot in the cargo bay, ZAMWO-112882 (Phill), came with the
ship. In pursuit of quasi-legal profit and knowing he'd never be
able to keep up with the ship payments, Rhee headed for the frontier.
Along the way, he picked up a crew member named Archer who turned
out to be a good, but impulsive, pilot. In anticipation of their
piratical activites, Rhee and Archer stopped at the last established
colony to pick up a couple mercenary-types. Luckily, they stumbled
across Duran and Takem, a couple of mercs willing to work for cheap
(apparently, they were in some sort of trouble, probably of the
Anyway, they dock at Mong Lo station (just a deep-space collection
of cargo pods, old hulls, etc. welded together to form a habitat
of sorts; zero-gee, no spin) to meet a contact of Rhee's. They go
through quarantine, find Susan M., and trade her a $1200 tool kit
for a "hot tip" about some unattended automated terraforming
equipment in a nearby system. They take off for Capella, a nearby
(well, 21 ly away) Sol-like system with a cold terrestrial world
and four Jovian gas-giants. Unfortunately, due to solar phenomena,
the jump-skirt is about 92 AU out, so it took them 1.68 years to
get to Capella V at constant 1 G acceleration (of course, it didn't
take all that long from their perspective because of stasis).
They arrive at the planet, receive a message from another slightly
larger shuttle (the standard "Don't come any closer, we're
doing stuff" recording). Apparently, two technicians were on
the surface doing maintenance on the 600' flexibody super-terraformers.
Everyone, except Archer and Zamwo, gets into stasis. Then Zamwo
"breaks" the life support unit. Archer radios the techs
for emergency assistance, permission to land. They grant it. Rhee's
ship lands, everyone's ordered to evacuate to a half-mile away while
one tech takes a look at the life support.
On his way out, he sees Rhee, then others running towards him. He
starts jogging away, then seeing that they're still pursuing him,
takes out a holdout blaster and fires a warning shot. At this, Duran
takes aim with his blaster rifle and blows half the guy's face off
at 440 yards. They loot the body and, with the aid of TL10 medical
technology, keep the guy from dying. Skip ahead a few hours, they
take out a few incoming missiles, blow up a terraformer (and the
tech working on it), and crash their shuttle in a forest (Archer
decided to try a barrel-roll at 40 mph... on a ship with no streamlining
and 1 G of acceleration on a planet with 0.97 Earth-gravities).
Fortunately, there didn't seem to be any damage (hey, the thrusters
still fire, right?), so they got into orbit and tried to dock with
the techs' shuttle. When they touched docking clamps to it, it radioed
a "stop or face offensive measures" message and a countdown
timer. Rhee disconnects, then reconnects. This time he just waits
for the timer to run out. Of course, the techs' shuttle then fires
a barrage of missiles (presumably, LE). Somehow, Rhee's craft
survives the explosions, only losing its right-facing armor. In
the wreckage, they manage to find a 9-ton chunk of reactionless
thruster and fifty rE-cells. They inspect the 7-ton orbital (used
for coordinating terraforming, gathering planetary data, etc.) but
decide its not worth hauling back for sale.
Everyone goes back into stasis to get to Capella's jump-skirt, but
Zamwo wakes Archer up six months into the journey because a micrometeor
had breached their hull (since they had no armor on one facing)
and taken out 4 rE-cells. Of course, they don't really have the
skills for it, but they manage to cut the ship's thrust and repair
the damage/ replace the powercells in 12 days (good thing they had
some replacements handy). Archer goes back into stasis, they get
to the system's "edge" and make the four jumps back to
Mong Lo. They manage to sell off the remaining cells and thruster
parts for $325,000. Of course, $80,000 goes to pulling the ship
into dry-dock and repairing the armor. $10,000 for manuals, databases,
and schematics. $20,000 in other costs. The PCs split the rest of
the income; $43,000 each. Not a lot of money to show for four years
time, but a fair income if you consider that most of the PCs were
only conscious for one or two days during that period.
That took longer to type out than I thought it would. Anyway. Below
is a composite of a few renders I made of a model I built in Maya
4.5. It's supposed to be Hanwool's character's shuttle, the "Red
Dwarf" (hey, I didn't name it).
when everyone's coming over? No, not 4:00 pm as was scheduled. 5:30
pm. Well. I don't think I've ever actually used that old
saying "He'd be late to his own funeral," but it probably
applies aptly to our group. Punctuality is not their strong suit.
2003 (Sat); Post #337
Anyway, I just finished helping my dad put in the last posts for
the metal fence around the front pasture. Looking forward to swimming.
Justin just got here (4:45 pm).
got back from seeing LXG at the Carmike. I liked it. The only major
nitpicks I have are that they revealed everyone's powers/
history in the first 20 minutes of the movie and they never bothered
to explain Moriarty's background. There are a bunch of minor (and
some not-so-minor) inconsistencies between the movie and the comic,
but I'm not so niggling that I'd bother listing such offenses or
degrade my opinion of the movie because of them. It wasn't great,
but it was definitely presentable. It looks set up to foster sequels
that I would have a lot less confidence in... I'd rate it a B minus.
The "Phileas Fogg" reference had me cringing though. It
was poorly delivered (felt like it was added in at the last minute)
and really beat the audience over the head with the "this is
a Jules Verne-kinda world" thing. Anyway.
2003 (Sat); Post #336
Saw JD at the theater, but he didn't seem to want to talk to us
in front of his girlfriend or something. I'm going to a school district
auction tomorrow with Phill and possibly Hanwool. I hope to get
a large table or two. Maybe even a cheap ATX case. Finished watching
the DS9 season 2 collection last night.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out today. I may go see it
tonight. Phill's coming over to swim in about 30 minutes or so.
As usual, anyone else who wants to come is invited (call my cell
or just show up at the pool). I'm taking the jet skis to get repaired
on Tuesday (apparently the service dept. at Polaris is very busy
2003 (Fri); Post #335
Oh, and I finally got the freaking ME102 WAPs to work!! Turns
out the tech support ppl I had been talking to were just stupid.
Finally got ahold of one who understood networking sufficiently
to help me. For any of you out there trying to bridge wired networks
wirelessly, here's the secret: You have to change the WAPs' IPs
so they fall within your network's range (e.g. 192.168.254.x). Then
you set the operational mode on each to "wireless bridge >
point-to-point." Then type in the MAC address for the opposite
transceiver on each WAP. Okay, there's a little bit more to it than
that, but that's the major/ crucial part I was misinformed about.
Do yourself a favor and download Daft Punk's "Harder, Better,
Faster, Stronger" and "Aerodynamic." They're really
amazing songs. I can't get enough of that polyphonic-synthesizer
stuff. GURPS of some kind tomorrow.
had a power outtage earlier tonight. Lasted about 5 minutes, affected
at least a 4-block area near my house. I was working on a complicated
GVD design (a 6-8 person TL10 space yacht with a 3-ton vehicle bay)
at the time, but fortunately I had saved it like a few seconds before
the lights went out.
2003 (Tue); Post #334
Found this useful article
by S. John Ross about freighters and cargo transport. I posted a
couple messages to GURPSnet about laser communicators used as weapons/
vice versa. What SF setting is that from? I could swear it was from
Niven... but I'm not sure. It's either him, Brin, or Kress. It was
a fairly small reference in the book anyway, so I doubt many ppl
would remember. It's something I want to use in our space game at
any rate. (The setting is basically Shinpi Nokori, but heavily reworked.)
I kind of want to make a few sessions involve a water world just
so I can use the super-cavitating hull rules from Vehicles Expansion
last night (we went to Burbank; started at about 8:00 pm
lots of fun, even though it was just Phill, CrazyJew, Justin, Hanwool,
and I; others were invited, but refused to come). I stepped on a
Russian olive branch a couple days ago, so there's a painful infection
in my foot. Only had three players for Hanwool's game on Thursday.
Two characters ended up dying. Ryan said he was coming, but after
a long wait and failed attempts at contact, we had to play without
him. My character came out of it all in fairly decent shape, except
that as Captain of the White Guard, the deaths will probably be
blamed on me, hampering my advancement.
2003 (Sat); Post #333
Anyway, we're going to have a Shinpi Nokori session tonight. As
usual, everyone's invited (not that I expect much from that offer;
GURPS enthusiasm in our group seems to be at an all-time low). Here
are some pictures from last night:
Fireworks. I got a sort of grab bag (the yellow box). Phill
got the heavy-duty quasi-professional sorts (mortars and launch
tubes). Jason had a bunch of neat little ones.
think this one was called "Twitter Glitter." It's
one of the few pics I got of fireworks in action since I kinda
got caught up with the fuse-lighting and whatnot.
Some idiots down the street from us tipped over a mortar and
set a lot on fire. About a third of it got burned up before
the fire dept. put it out.
Hanwool and his sister in front of said fire.
A couple hours after the first fire, this one broke out at
the end of the street, behind the train tracks. It looked
hard to get to; don't know how long it took them to put it
installed the Dictionary.com
toolbar. Extremely useful. Still not as great as the indispensable
Google toolbar though.
2003 (Wed); Post #332
I've been looking at some of the anime resin model kits on eBay.
I kinda want to try making one. They look really cool. There's a
robot-girl figure I've got my eye on (it's like $19), but I'm gonna
call Dan at IF and see if he has any good ones/ get his opinion
on 'em (I don't even know how many he has...). I've kinda been wanting
to get back into miniature painting anyway, but I don't because
(1) I don't end up using them and (2) all the good ones are from
Games Workshop and cost $$$. Like, I'd love to play Warhammer 40K,
but an army can cost hundreds of dollars to put together.
Then again, something like Squadron
Commander 3600 looks interesting. And you can play it with any
cheap spaceship miniatures. Hm.
an urge to paint.
Mini's, models, kits, anything.
Robots and spaceships...
My cornucopia of web browser toolbars.
be picking up the Theomundi campaign soon (either this week or next).
A suggestion to the players: It would be a good idea if you e-mail
me a general run-down of what you want your character doing during
the 4-year skip (2006-2010). You don't need to be too detailed,
but you can mention property you want to acquire (those of you on
Hekate's payroll can convert the military scrip to mortal cash [1
chit is worth $15,000 USD] if you like, or save it up and buy magical
items) or skills you want to acquire/ improve. Everyone will be
advancing 1 apotheosis stage, so it isn't vitally important
that you have your past session logs (you can start a new sheet).
If I don't get notes from a player/ players before the next session,
I'll just assume your character has been living normally, accumulating
wealth and working on Project: Rapture (if a Hekate-aligned god).
2003 (Tue); Post #331
Also, I found out (the hard way) that WAPs won't generally communicate
with wireless routers. Does anyone want to buy my CompUSA 4-port
router off me before I eBay it? It's 802.11b compatible (11 mbps
wireless), but has 4 10/100 ethernet ports on it (so it'd work as
a 10/100 router/ switch, too) and one WAN port. Anyway, $25 (or
you can try your luck on eBay, where the opening bid will be $15).
BTW, my last eBay auction ended last week; I netted $10.51 on my
I think Phill, Justin, and I are going to go do fireworks in Burbank
on the 4th. Anyone else want to come? I'm going to buy mine tomorrow
or day-after (they were a little picked-over when I got them on
the 4th last year). I gotta remember to bring the camera this time.
Speaking of cameras, my mom finally bought a digital one for herself
(now she won't be borrowing mine all the time). She got a DSC-P72.
It's a 3.2 megapixel with 3x optical zoom. Very similar stats to
mine (uses NiMH instead of Li-ion like mine). She got the 128 MB
memory stick too, so she prolly won't ever run out of space.
You know what's a pretty good song? The Sounds - Seven Days A Week.
Of course, that's just IMHO. I like the part where she sings "whoah-ho-oh."
Gonna go update the Theomundi
They get really angry sometimes.
I don't like rudeness.
one thing that I wanted to mention: 28 Days Later was fantastic.
Very scary, very involving. I think I liked it better than X2 (which
would make it my favorite film this year). Its opening was pretty
good too, relatively, if you compare the weekend gross to the number
of theaters that showed it. Frex, Charlie's Angels was the #1 movie
this weekend at $37 million, but it showed in 3459 theaters. 28
Days Later made $10 million, but was shown only in 1260 theaters.
So Charlie's Angels really only made like 35% more per theater than
28 Days Later.
2003 (Tue); Post #330
Hey, it's 12:17 and I still have internet access... oh well.
gotta make this post quickly since Charter goes off-line at midnight
(four and a half hour maintenance thing). Quick news: got my Cobalt
Flux DDR pad (finally!); got the DS9 Season 2 DVD set; got
an 802.11b WAP to finally finish the wireless project next door;
had some really good nectarines. I'm setting up outdoor speakers
at the pool with a wireless transmitter (RCA's Lyra RD900WB) so
I can listen to MP3s while I swim. In my search for a bare-leads-to-RCA
adapter, I learned that Circuit City drones are idiots, Best Buy
drones are idiots, and Home Depot drones can't find something as
simple as a freaking soldering iron. Oy.
2003 (Mon); Post #329
Been arguing with this guy about LCD/CRT sharpness. Actually, he
started arguing with me for no apparent reason... and he was really
rude about it. The point of controversy? I said that LCDs are usually
sharper than CRTs when they're at their native resolution (I even
provided the URL of a site that proved my statement). This guy's
really starting to annoy me, so here's a transcript of the PM exchange.
Judge for yourself. (BTW, the background: my original statement
was in a thread on LCD displays; he decided to Private-Message me
instead of replying to the post.)
you're wrong about crt's and lcd's, sorry to say. i don't care
what your link says, it's a fact. gamers use crt's because of
their sharpness and detail. educate yourself before you mis-inform
Me: No, gamers use CRTs because of their lack of a ghosting
effect. As for the CRTs being sharper... that's just wrong. LCDs
have individual, sharply defined pixels. That's why their dot-pitch
is usually higher than CRTs... CRT phosphors glow fuzzily...
I am _not_ misinforming people. I don't know why you're so hostile
about a rather unimportant subject anyway. Next time, do your
research before you accuse ppl of ignorance.
not hostile. no research needed my man, i own a computer
business and been a computer tech for over 5 years and work
with very seasoned professionals (old men). cmon man, i happen
to know my stuff, this is not questionable, it's a darn fact.
regarding the ghosting effect you're talking about (seems like
you are piecing together info), passive matrix LCD's can suffer
from ghosting but no one makes them anymore. CRT's do NOT have
a ghosting effect unless they are garbage. CRT's have always
been a gamers and graphic designers choice because of the sharpness
and clarity of the picture. sorry if you disagree, but that's
there is no reason why we can't have a normal discussion/debate
about this, so dont get upset and call me hostile.
don't want him threatening me with libel suits or something
just because I mentioned his web site. (Not sure why he's so
proud of it... it's poorly designed and has virtually no content.
E-mail me if you really want the URL.)
Me: Ah, so since you own a business, you don't need to research
anything? That's awfully arrogant. Aside from your brag about
being a tech 5 yrs. and working with old ppl, do you have any
qualifications? Those would make me put more stock in your opinions
(and they are opinions; I haven't seen you reference
any credible web sites or texts) than simply having worked in
the field a while. I've known some really terrible techs who've
had their jobs as long as 8 years.
for your hostility, you called me uneducated and may have implied
that I knowingly lie to people. I'm not upset, but I'm not exactly
eager to talk with someone who treats me so rudely.
also acknowledged that you won't accept actual evidence I provide
just because it's contrary to what you think. (" i don't
care what your link says...")
I really don't know how we could even begin to "debate"
a topic when you've flat out said that you're unwilling to consider
that you might not be totally correct.
anyway, the guy's a jackass. People who expect you to agree with
them just because they tell you how wonderful they are really
tick me off. I'm sure there's a Latin phrase for that kind of
logical fallacy, but I've got better uses for my dwindling internet
time than googling it.
The Cobalt Flux is awesome, but it takes some getting used to.
Going to bed early cuz I have to go meet with these museum ppl
tomorrow about making their web site.
a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR