News: May 19, 2004 to June 14, 2004
was pretty action-packed this last weekend. We finished Crypt of
the Lizard King. Notable events: Goldaf touched a magic book and
was teleported to a sealed chamber where a huge stone block fell
on him and would've crushed him in an acid-filled spiked pit, but
he was somehow able to lift it by flapping his wings (?), then maneuvered
it into his Bag of Hefty Capacity (??), and then somehow rolled
divine intervention (again), convincing his gawd (who wasn't happy
with him) to spare his life (???); we lost pretty much all our treasure
(it was in the BOHC Goldaf gave away); we killed forty lizardmen
with the help of Mordecai (Aaron's Gray Elf Battlemage); I traded
my Short Sword +4 for a Short Sword of Annihilation (doesn't have
any bonuses, but it does 3d6 damage instead of the usual 1d6); Po'Tal
(Phill) killed the best blacksmith in Aarz, accidentally ruining
Kherami's (Paige's) Spear of Impalement; Po'Tal was also cursed
by a lich's tome and sort of went crazy... we found him eventually,
but the necromancer we took him to for curse removal decided to
kill him, turning his body into an unraisable husk; later, we managed
to revive the Drow by haste/regenerating him from one of his thumbs
we'd severed (that was back when he wouldn't let go of the book);
we killed an Overhoard; I made 10th level (still need to go to school);
we triumphed over Shadryzar and his cleric crony; we sold a bunch
of magic stuff (including a Chest of Hefty Coin Capacity which went
for ~22,500 gp); found out this one ring we picked up was actually
a Ring of Three Wishes with one wish left on it.
2004 (Mon); Post #492
Erf, that wasn't arranged very well, but w/e. Not a whole lot going
on. Northwest Restoration almost finished the interior work
on my house, but then, like, decided to stop coming apparently.
Kind of annoying since I just need this last light/fan fixture reattached
before the table arrives tomorrow.
Speaking of gaming tables, saw this neat link to the Ultimate
RPG Gaming Table in one of the Kenzer & Company forums (specifically,
found out that the box of Fifth Dawn boosters I ordered on 5/20
probably won't even ship until next Friday. Meanwhile,
Drew was able to pick up a box at Dan's for a whopping $4 over what
JD and I paid. Of course, it was the last one. Argh.
2004 (Fri); Post #491
Finished reading Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes last night. Very
good. HackMaster in 2-3 hours.
the local southeast-Washington ppl: Have you heard about the tornado
south of Prosser? Got these amateur digital photos through the local
email grapevine; some farmer (probably from Yoshind Farms) took
them on either the 9th or 10th. Pretty surprising images
I mean, we expect the occasional dust devil, but I don't think I've
ever seen anything that big in our area before. (Pictures below.)
2004 (Fri); Post #490
Anyway. Took my last final (CS231) last night/tonight. Went well.
Think I'll have a pretty good grade in that class. The best thing
about it ending is that I don't have to see "Derek" anymore.
He's this ill-mannered dolt that Drew and Phill have to work with
at the school district. Sat behind me... constantly making all sorts
of gross noises, scratching himself improperly, passing various
sorts of gas. Not someone you'd want at an important social event.
Or anywhere really, for that matter.
HackMaster tomorrow! We'll be starting at either 6:00 or 7:00 pm.
The fridge is stocked with Fresca, Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew
(Ryan, Drew, and I hit WinCo on our way back from Denny's this evening).
Next week's games will be even better since I'll then have a nice
big wooden dinner table (arrives on the 15th) and we'll finally
be able to use the large room (where the 10/100 switch and fans
are; the interior restoration is nearly complete), so there should
be a minimum of space and lighting issues.
Recent tornado just south of Prosser, WA.
Close-up from a second photo.
two finals today. Have my last one on Thursday. Been burning a lot
of CDs. Burnt all of Planetes. Also downloaded and installed Mandrake
Linux 10.0 on Freya (using Virtual
PC 2004). Got the ISOs really fast; about 35 minutes to download
each one. It's been interesting to play around with, but I can't
get it to install the driver for my 9800Pro properly... not sure
if that's a problem w/ VPC2K4 or what. Oh well, it's not like I'm
going to use that OS for gaming or multimedia.
2004 (Tue); Post #489
Also downloaded a lot of Home Movies episodes. I've got most of
the last three seasons (about 85%). The "Camp" episode
(#41) is especially hilarious. Drew and I were laughing for like
a minute at the end.
Yesterday JD, Drew and I went to NCC&C and got some MTG... I
picked up a Fifth Dawn Fat Pack (had 6 boosters, two foils, a paperback,
and a 20-sider in it), a Fifth Dawn preconstruct ("Special
Forces" a black/blue deck), 7 boosters from various
sets (8th, Darksteel, Mirrodin), and a Mirrodin tourney pack. Highlights:
Gilded Lotus, Razormane
Masticore, Mogg Sentry, Beacon
of Immortality. Hopefully my Fifth Dawn box will be here tomorrow
(should've shipped on the 4th). We're organizing a sealed deck tournament...
1 Mirrodin starter, 3 Fifth Dawn boosters. It'll be sometime next
week, possibly the week after.
Anyway, didja hear that the Firefly movie, Serenity, has an official
release date? April 22nd, 2005. Then again, this info comes from
so its verity may be somewhat questionable.
Need to work on my HackMaster adventure... will prolly be GMing
it next Friday or Saturday.
Planetes backup CDs.
playing this dumb game, Grow
(it's also from EyezMaze, the same place Tontie comes from). Finally
beat it after messing with it off-and-on for a few days. [spoilers]
Here's the sequence I finally won with: Egg, cube, pipe, ladder,
mountain, propeller, ball, tornado, tilted gear, dish, horizontal
gear, TV. The trick is to keep clicking the pipe after the game
seems to end.
2004 (Mon); Post #488
Also been playing Geosense.
This one's really fun (it's multiplayer, too), even if you're not
big on geography. I really suck at Africa and the middle east, but
still manage to score around 2,800 on the world map. Need to study
some maps... failing to locate Accra, Ghana is more humbling than
one might expect.
We had HackMaster on Saturday it was our 11th session. We
finally made some real progress on module I2. Very bloody though;
Justin lost a foot, Phill took more than 100 points of damage (not
all at once, duh), I was hit by an exploding statue for 26 damage,
the giant dog-thing was turned into stone (along with a promising
gnomeling who seems to be a follower of Rigel). Oh, and I made it
to level 9 (4x backstab damage and 95% find traps, hoody hoo!).
Snacks were also plentiful; Ryan and Paige brought a 10-pound bowl
of diabetes-bricks (1 layer chocolate rice krispie treat, 1 layer
regular rice krispie treat, 1 thick layer of caramel, and a layer
of chocolate chip cookie on the bottom) and I had the fridge stocked
with Fanta, Barq's, and Country Time; I think large amounts of sugar
make for better gaming.
Picked up a 300-watt halogen light Friday; some lunatic had cut
the wires in it, so I had to exchange it for another today. Going
to put it together in a couple minutes. Also gotta install this
52x CDRW drive in Freya.
is it that every time I see the word "ridiculous" used
on the web, it's spelled wrong? Slashdot, AnandTech, the Wizards.COMmunity
Boards... it seems like everyone spells it "rediculous."
How can anyone make that mistake? There isn't even an "E"
sound (short or long) in the word... Even in the Latin root,
"ridiculus," the first syllable is pronounced with the
long "I" sound. Bah.
2004 (Tue); Post #487
Anyway, I got the oil changed in my car today (~96K miles
making a note so I'll remember at 99K, hopefully). Also pressurized
the tires and got new windshield wipers.
Got Kill Bill on DVD today. Forgot to mention it last time, but
The Triplets of Belleville was great. You know there's only three
lines of dialogue in the whole movie? And to think, I waited like
two months for the English version to come out.
Just had a big AIM debate w/ this guy in CA about whether you need
a hard drive to run Folding@Home. He was convinced you couldn't
fold unless you were running WinXP at 1024x768... oy. I mean, heck,
you can fold with just a CPU, mobo, PSU, some RAM, and Damn
Small Linux on a USB thumbdrive.
The Northwest Restoration ppl have been working on my house lately,
so my internet connection has been kinda spotty while they've been
messing with the circuit my switch is on. Getting ready to replace
the land line out to my cable modem (300') with a wireless bridge.
Prolly going to IF tomorrow.
a new Knights of the Dinner Table wallpaper.
Basically, I resized and cut-pasted a bunch of pages from the online
strip into a big image, upped the brightness and lowered the contrast,
softened everything, then "transparentized," resized,
and arranged some character pics from kodt.de
to make the group in the center, and finally pasted-as-transparent-selection
a slightly modified logo image just beneath that. It looks kinda
2004 (Tue); Post #486
Have you seen this 20 Questions
AI? It's surprisingly good at the game.
HackMaster was intense this weekend; we played three sessions (though
Friday's, which was supposed to be a two-player thing, only turned
into a full game by chance). Basically, Kherami (Paige), Kroenen
(Justin), and Sheshko (me) killed the leader of the assassins guild,
but had to hide in a basement for a week afterwards. The thieves
guild was burnt to the ground and its guildmaster slain, Goldaf
(Drew) was arrested for looting and lost a lot of magic stuff, and
we began our journey to Fangaerie (the capital). Along the way,
we found a town named Beron (well, actually "Beorn," but
our GM is mildly dyslexic) and got recruited to take down a bunch
of highwaymen, thus beginning module I2: Crypt of the Lizard King.
Killed lots of stuff (including: hill giants, lizardmen, a doppelganger,
some farmers, and an old man). Worst bit: my Short Sword +5 broke
and, after paying more than double its original value
to repair it (not to mention traveling 160 miles round-trip to find
a blacksmith), it was reduced to a Short Sword +4 (and only +3 for
damage). Oh yeah, also: Kherami killed a chimera (1 hit from a thrown
Spear of Impalement) and we stole two inns.
Started using this new Java BitTorrent client, Azureus.
It's very nice... makes it much easier to manage and monitor multiple
torrents. Incidentally, I just submitted an ObjectDock icon for
it to WinCustomize.com.
I think you can see all my icons here.
(Might only work if you're logged in or something weird.)
Was going to see The Day After Tomorrow, but after reading the reviews
Tomatoes, I decided not to. Looks like it's really politically
biased, has a couple shockingly bad CG effects, and virtually no
story or character depth. Oh well, Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opens on Friday. (That's
also the day Fifth
Dawn comes out, BTW.)
Drew mentioned that Full
Metal Alchemist 32 is out. Also, saw a 250
GB Maxtor HD (8 mB cache) for $130 over at SlickDeals. Hey,
and there's a new
Maddox rant about CompUSA.
playing this flash game, Tontie,
lately. I took a screenshot (pictured below; too bad it's of me
losing). So far I've only been able to just barely make it to level
9. It's pretty fun and builds number-pad typing skills. Blah.
2004 (Thu); Post #485
Jones and I are going to be watching The Triplets of Belleville
on the projector tonight @ 9:30. Anyone who wants to come is welcome.
I was going to pick up HOB Volume IV at IF today (the next one I
need; covers liches, incidentally), but they were out so I got Volume
V. Also bought Book 2 of Y: The Last Man, the KoDT/FAANS Crossover
Special, and a few packs of MTG (Darksteel/Mirrodin no great
rares to shout about, though the Fangren
Firstborn is okay). Finished all my TPBs and single issues earlier
this week. Here's my super-fast evaluation of 'em all (rated 1 to
10 with 10 being the best):
Walking Dead: Days Gone By (Vol. 1)
The Last Man: Unmanned (Book 1)
#91: The Gawds Must Be Crazy
Tower #27: Clanbook Mopey
Oh, and someone left their coat here... it's green and black. It'll
be on a peg in the hall if they want to claim it.
Have you heard that "Donchu Wanna Wanta Fanta"
song? I need to get an MP3 of that.
Triplets of Belleville.
is just a quick update. I was feeling guilty about not posting for
2004 (Wed); Post #484
We had HM on Saturday. Justin's new nameless character tried to
kill us all with an army of bums, failed. I snuck up behind him
and backstabbed the bugger. That ate up like 3 hrs. of game time.
Then we unleashed this lich (turns out Big Elliot tricked me; he
actually made his save against my Dagger of Interrogation). The
lich was going to kill Phill's character and I, but I kicked ass
with some totally 'leet groveling skills and saved my hide while
Phill was turned to stone. Did end up losing a lot of my stuff though.
At one point, the lich slipped in Drew's healing potion as he was
leaving the crypt, so I ran over and helped him up and brushed him
off (healing potions are like acid for undead). For that, he threw
me my portable hole. Later, IRL, I backed into Drew's car. Waiting
for an estimate so I can pay for repairs.
Not much else has been happening this week except for Phill and
I going to see Shrek 2 last night. It was good. I've been BitTorrenting
like mad since my upstream cap was raised. I can actually pull a
lot of episodes down in under an hour now. Have a lot of Harvey
Birdman: Attorney at Law eps. #206 ("Back to the Present")
is especially good.
My Triplets of Belleville and Invader Zim DVDs arrived yesterday.
The commentaries on the IZ episodes are pretty hilarious. Haven't
watched ToB yet.
Amazing HackMaster session. We sold some stuff, saw a sage, went
to school, fixed up the inn some more, hired a cleric of Rigel (he
gets a permanent free room, stabling, and 23% of the profits from
the Temple of Rigel/casino), and attended a dogfight. Also, I turned
Justin's 5th level assassin, Malakai, into an NPC. When his Honor
reached 2, I performed a Mocking Jig on him, draining him of all
Honor (1d4+1 points). According to the GMG (p. 59), a character
whose Honor falls to zero becomes an NPC and gets added to the hireling
pool. I hated to do it, but Sheshko needed to exact revenge
you can't poison and rob a thief and expect nothing in return.
Later on, we allowed Malakai (as an NPC) to commit seppuku. Then
we looted his body and buried him in the basement. But before that,
I somehow got infected with a flesh-eating disease (took root on
my foot). WTF? Anyway, a cleric of Benyar took care of it for me
(well, for 1,000 gp).
2004 (Sat); Post #483
At the dogfight, we managed to swindle a bookie out of 15,000 gold
pieces and I killed Big Elliot (Alex's rival). Pulled some neat
stuff off his body: a Rod of Terror +2 and a Pendant of Invisibility
(extracted the command word from him with my Dagger of Interrogation
before offing the SOB).
IRL: Tested my download/upload speeds a few times and I found I
was only getting the usual 2mbits/128kbits, so I called Charter.
Turned out someone hadn't properly updated my account, so they fixed
it. I'm now getting the full 3mb/256kb (see image below; used a
Speakeasy speed test).
Oh, and Ryan told me to post that Justin should show up at the usual
time (4:00 pm) to roll up a new character. We game at 6:00.
opened two packs of Darksteel and two packs of Mirrodin. The cool
stuff: a Mind's
Eye, a Fireshrieker, an Ageless Entity, a foil Vermiculos,
and a Memnarch!
(Ryan, Paige, and I went to IF around 5:00.) Also picked up Unmanned
(Y: The Last Man, Book 1), The Walking Dead, Vol. 1,
Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes, KoDT #91, Dork Tower #27,
HackJournal 4.08, and HOB Vol. III.
2004 (Fri); Post #482
I've been reading this guy's
blog lately. He's a student at UC Berkeley; seems to be studying
Japanese and computer science. His site's a little too otaku
for my tastes (not to mention the poor spelling/grammar), but he
collects interesting links and pictures.
Okay, time for HackMaster.
back anything bad I've ever said about Charter! I just called them
to ask about their new plan (heard about it from Phill). Basically,
they reduced my bill by $35/month and upgraded my bandwidth to 3
megabits down and 256 kilobits up, double what I had before. No
strings attached! Apparently they're doing this now because they
just got our whole area wired with fiber optic or something. Anyway,
2004 (Fri); Post #481
Had this weird dream last night... it was Thanksgiving, I was in
my parent's dining room, and for some reason I cut my arm off above
the elbow with a chainsaw. Then everyone started screaming at me.
There's a HackMaster game tonight. We called everyone, but couldn't
get ahold of Drew. I'm going to call his parents in a sec to see
if they know where he is. His character is pretty important for
tonight's game. Well, TTFN.
Williams is a total ass. I'm watching Conan and he just keeps telling
unfunny joke after unfunny joke. And he sure is stupid looking.
There's just nothing redeeming about this guy. This has got to be
Conan's worst show yet. His guests tonight were Harlan Williams
and Al Roker. Al Roker's slightly less annoying than Harlan Williams,
but still like a hundred times less risible than the average talk
show guest (which isn't even that entertaining since it's usually
dopes like Sarah Jessica Parker and Tom Arnold).
2004 (Thu); Post #480
Downloaded FMA #32 (subbed version) today. Comes from some group
called "Aoi." Here's a link to Aria's
torrents page if you're looking for the AVI. Drew found it.
Here's an awesome site I had a lot of fun with this evening: Set
other peoples' Away Messages. Only works on AIM users though.
Here's a clip from my DeadAIM log of a convo w/ Drew:
Auto response from Baalzamon0 (10:05:08
pm): I'm out kissing men and fondling goats!
Mmmm! Life is simply FAB-ulous!
pm): that's funny
pm): thats good
Unlikely as it sounds, you're just going to have to believe me when
I tell you that's not one of Drew's usual away messages.
Anyway, Saturday's HackMaster game should be interesting.
Pic of a really huge catfish that I decided to post for no particular
placed an order with Newegg for some parts (mostly for someone else's
system). I threw in a CD-R drive for myself since shipping is free
and my 40x12x40x Sony CD-RW keeps producing coasters. Turns out
Sony is a pretty lousy brand for CD-RW drives... asked around AnandTech
and ppl seem to prefer Plextor, Lite-On, and Pioneer (in that order).
I was going to get a Plextor, but the 52x32x52x Lite-On was $12
2004 (Wed); Post #479
Saw this funny little Korean flash animation, "Ddautta,"
(pictured below) over at AlbinoBlackSheep. Actually, I saw it a
while ago but forgot to mention it. Anyway, it's got really awesome
music (by this group called Witches). Been trying to find the song,
but it seems to be awfully obscure. (Update: found
They finally posted a Fifth Dawn preview card that
uses the new Scry keyword over at the MTG site. Looks nifty.
Hope Champions of Kamigawa (the next block) has some good cards
with a high Scry value. My red burn deck would be so much more deadly
if it had like 4 Shock-type
spells with "Scry 5" for 2R or something.
Drew was able to download Full Metal Alchemist #32, but unfortunately
it wasn't subbed. If you're at all interested in the Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy movie, Ain't It Cool News posted this link to
of the prototype Marvin suit in action. Apparently the first
15 minutes of the film are already "in the can."
A scene from the "Ddautta" flash animation.
die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of
death but once." William Shakespeare