News: November 2, 2004 to December 17, 2004
that, hotlinkers! I noticed that I was losing about 50 MB of bandwidth
per month to ppl hotlinking
my images (i.e. showing a pic on their site that's actually served
from mine), so I randomly investigated some of the offending asshats
(thanks, AWStats 6.2!).
One turned out to be an incredibly dopey college girl's LiveJournal.
She was using one of my images as a tiled background for her idiotic
musings about Saved by the Bell and "shoutouts." Anyway,
I decided I'd screw with her before uploading my new .htaccess file
I replaced the JPEG she was stealing with the sickest thing
I could find with a quick Google
Images search. She got some funny comments in the amount of
time it took her to fix it. Here's a cropped screenshot of her post
from right after she changed the <img> tag:
2004 (Fri); Post #537
But now it should be impossible to hotlink my images at all. That's
one thing I liked better about CPanel: automatic hotlinking protection.
With HostPC's DirectAdmin interface, you have to manually make the
file and upload it.
My "swineball" submission actually got posted on Able
and Baker! It's a really bad drawing I did in Painter IX with
the Wacom tablet in about three minutes. Mr. Burgess posted it on
12/16. I didn't include my name in the email, so he credited my
Charter username, which I think's a little funny.
Picked up GURPS Fantasy and The Walking Dead #13 at Infinite Frontiers
yesterday. TWD was fantastic. I only skimmed through Fantasy, but
it looks pretty neat.
Saw this on MySpleen.
4 hours of equine pregnancy talks earlier this evening (6pm-10pm).
This was the last in a series of horse-health nights at a West Richland
feed store. Glad that's over. Since I'm just the A/V guy, I have
to sit in the back on feed sacks. After an hour, a sack of oats
feels like a slab of concrete.
2004 (Wed); Post #536
Wanted to quickly note that I won't be here Saturday since I have
to help with the office Christmas party. This year we're having
a photo scavenger-hunt at the mall. Should be fun.
Slashdot (well, Reuters and The Register, actually) says the MPAA
is going to start cracking down on BitTorrent tracker hosts.
That sucks, but I'm not too upsetI mostly just use BT for
TV shows. In the posts below, someone mentioned mediachest.com,
which I hadn't heard of before. It's basically like a personals
search, except you search for books or DVDs you want to read/watch
and it returns a list of people in your area willing to lend those
materials. I tried it for the 99301 ZIP code, but it looks like
the nearest registered users are in Walla Walla. If I get bored,
I think I'll catalog my DVD collection and try it out.
ATM I'm DLing a demo for this game, Gish.
ZZZ Online mentioned it for its realistic lqiuid physic engine.
Look interesting. Anyway, I'll leave you with this Googlewar
much happened today or yesterday. But Beefy's all "post more
often!", so here's post #535. Like he said, we're working on
part six of the Ultimate
Online Riddle. It's really tough. I'm pretty sure the answer
is an anagram, and I'm pretty sure I have the first three words
of the resulting phrase, but it seems like every combination of
the remaining nine letters fails the test. Talked to Krunk4Ever
on AIM about it, but he hasn't made any progress either. Actually,
he had an interesting thought about it being a calendar-based acrostic,
but it was a dead end. If any of you want to collaborate on this
or whatever, AIM me (s/n: hjo333).
2004 (Mon); Post #535
Saw a couple neat flashes recently: Mr.
Sandman and Dad's
Home. The former's randomly weird, but has great music. The
latter's just really funny.
Robot-horse loves America.
10 days between updates. Oh well. Here's the stuff that's been accumulating
in my "stuff for blog" file:
2004 (Sat); Post #534
Here are some pictures to make up for the lack of posting.
This Straight Dope thread was really hilarious. I LOLed.
Pravnik supplied this memorable quote:
Would I shoot my child if he was trapped in
a burning car?
Well, I wouldn't shoot him right away. I'd fire a warning
shot first, just to let him know I was serious. Then, if
it absolutely couldn't be helped, I'd try to shoot him in
the leg or something, just to disable him long enough for
me to get away.
- Beefy turned me on to this really funny webcomic, Perry
Bible Fellowship. Also made me update my Links
- Got some DVDs. Greg the Bunny, Dawn of the Dead (2004). Volume
2 of Invader Zim is on its way from Amazon.
- Picked up the second Walking Dead trade paperback. Very, very
good. Possibly my favorite 'serious' comic after League of Extraordinary
- Been eating a lot of hot-dogs lately. I prefer boiling them
to the George Foreman grill or microwaving. But now I'm kinda
sick of them.
- Made a new blue control deck for MTGO. But no one cares about
my MTGO stories 'cept for me, so I won't go into details.
- Started watching Tom Goes to the Mayor (from Cartoon Network).
Funny. Episode 3 is my favorite.
- Finally got Painter IX. Awesome, but now my Wacom tablet is
wigging out, so I'm gonna call tech support on Monday.
- "Tard" in French means "late."
- Beefy, Hanwool, and I were playing Alpha Centauri earlier
this evening but the game got into an endless synchronization
mess. We tried patching it, but that made it not work on the
Win XP machines and I couldn't find the original disc, so we
adjourned. Pretty good game up till then though. I was the Morganites.
- Welp, Beefy and I are gonna go watch cartoons. Or play games.
it's December. I saw an amusing post on a GURPS board (I'm pretty
sure it was one of Emily Smirle's) that theorized that Robin (from
Batman) was intentionally employed by Bruce Wayne as a decoy. The
supporting evidence was this: Batman wears navy and black, with
a dark cloak; Robin wears a bright green and fire-engine red suit
with a yellow cape. If a crook's going to shoot at anyone, it's
going to be Robin.
2004 (Wed); Post #533
Burn in Hell is in stock at IF right now. Prolly pick that up tomorrow.
GURPS Fantasy will be in next week.
Gotta go fix a payroll problem at the clinic. Looks like one of
the checks was way off.
Donald Duck family tree. Click for full sized version (348 KB).
over. My family had a good spread, even if there were pecans in
the stuffing. The gravy was superb. Deserts included chocolate-topped
cheesecake, crustless pumpkin pie, and chocolate-caramel cream pie.
2004 (Sun); Post #532
Beefy has some bizarre comics
up that were donated by a mysterious stranger. They're quaint. I
helped translate the original email and convert the attached images
from TIFFs to JPGs.
Yesterday was Saturday and we were going to play GURPS, but Jones
arrived with news that Paige (the GM for that week) was sick. But
around 5:30 she showed up anyway and we had a short game. It's probably
best (or, at least, most easily) described as cowboys-and-Indians
on Tatooine. With cat people. My impression of the game wasn't fantastic,
but that's probably because I had to spend the majority of it as
a cow. Role-playing is significantly less enjoyable when you're
not allowed to talk... or have thumbs.
The Hyrenguard campaign on MTGO (run by the 19th Circle clans) started
yesterday too. I ended up submitting my Dawn Pariah and Hyper Scorch
Mk VI decks as the two I'll use for the whole game. Both were heavily
revamped for maximum effectiveness on Friday. Still can't straighten
out the mana curve on Dawn Pariah to my satisfaction.
I've got Charizard.
GURPS Saturday. I wrapped up my game and we played Jones'. We visited
Farzy (a city in Garweeze Wurld, part of the HackMaster setting)
and defeated some kind of organ-harvesting monster. Here's where
we've been in the campaign so far:
2004 (Tue); Post #531
over on sjgames.chatter.books (part of the NNTP Pyramid message
boards) that Neil Gaiman's writing a sequel to American Gods
called Anansi Boys. Apparently it's going to focus on Mr.
Nancy. Chris Helton said that another book, focusing on Shadow,
is also in the works.
Earth, specifically the Florida everglades (then, later, southern
California). GMed by Hanwool.
Mesa Research Facility (near-future Earth). GMed by Justin.
BC Persia (Jerusalem/Babylon), complete with actual gods and
spirits. GMed by me.
Wurld (Farzy), many years after the Hell's Caretakers saga (and
post-Lich Wars). GMed by Ryan.
On the 21st, SJG announced that they're now accepting applications
for the GURPS Powers playtest. I submitted mine to Dr. Kromm,
but I doubt I'll get in. Lots of ppl interested in this one.
But just think how awesome it'd be to get a look at those rules
six months before anyone else.
Got my "Will Dance 4 Gil" T-shirt from the VGCats
store. I like it.
My grandma told me she's going to buy me Painter IX (well, send
me a check to buy it) as a Christmas present. Woo! Speaking of cool
Corel stuff, I finished downloading CorelDRAW and installed it.
Kinda neat to mess around with, but it's mostly geared towards making,
like, flyers and stuff. Painter 8 was super-keen; can't wait to
see what IX is like.
Beefy showed me this neat game, The
Political Machine. It's made by Stardock, which is the company
that makes ObjectDock
(the best desktop augmentation program ever). Speaking of ObjectDock,
there's now a "Plus" version which has some really awesome
features, like tabbed docks and system tray support. I think I'm
gonna buy it, despite my aversion to paying for piratable software.
Some progs are just so scrundelescent you feel compelled to give
their creators money. Like Azureus.
Anyway, The Political Machine is really fun. You play a democratic
or republican candidate running for the presidency in 2004. You
can buy ads, hire operatives, acquire endorsements, select your
running mate, build headquarters, and more. The games against the
computer begin to lose appeal after a while, but multiplayer is
very exciting. Here's a pic of my greatest victory over Beefy (from
(a Magic set, the sequel to Unglued) came out last Friday. I'd like
to have some kind of tournament with 'em; the cards are really silly
and make for great casual game play. It's also the only new set
not available on MTGO (for obvious rules reasons).
Had some major problems with my main system in the latter part of
last week. Had to reinstall Windows. Inconvenient, but everything's
running properly now. I just realized I'm going to have to reinstall
SmartFTP to upload this post. Oh well.
I tried this new snack I saw at the 7/11 Chill Smooth Fruit
Ice. I had the strawberry/banana flavor. That might be the only
flavor they make. Anyway, it was really yum. A lemon version would
be especially good, I think. I took a picture of the container so
ppl would know what I'm talking about. The yellow parts of the swirl
were better than the red parts, but not by much. The red "ice"
was slightly more tart than I'd prefer. 8.0 out of 10.
the Ppl page. It's a lot simpler now.
I tried to pick out good, recent pictures of everyone, but some
of you just don't photograph well (or simply haven't been shot recently),
so in a few cases I used older pics that I liked. If anyone really
really hates the picture I picked out for them, email me and I'll
2004 (Wed); Post #530
posted a little preview of GURPS
Fantasy (PDF). It's basically just the table of contents and
index, but it's interesting.
2004 (Tue); Post #529
Made a couple cool MTG decks. One's based primarily on a Triskelion/Mephidross
Vampire combo (makes it so the Trisk gets a +1/+1 counter every
time it damages a creature lets you take out every enemy
crit on the board; also has the potential to make an infinite/infinite
Trisk if you get two Vamps out). It also has some Extraplanar Lenses
for mana accel and Consume Spirit/ Swallowing Plague sorceries.
Works pretty well, but doesn't have anything to deal with artifacts
or enchantments, so something like a Platinum Angel + Lightning
Greaves combo beats it pretty easily. The other deck is a mono-red
with Honden of Infinite Rage, Slith Firewalkers, War Elementals,
and lots of pinger spells/artifacts/crits. It works very quickly.
It's a beautiful thing to see your opponent get taken out by a 16/16
War Elemental on turn 5.
GURPS game last weekend went okay. Justin wrapped up his Black Mesa
crawl and we started my Tower of Babel adventure. (Takes place in
602 BC, starts in the court of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. He thinks
the PCs are angels sent to destroy the Babylonian god Marduk who
lives at the top of the ziggurat Etemenanki. Thrills and intrigue
Went to Infinite Frontiers last Friday. Picked up KoDT #96, PvP
#9, PS 238 #7, and the Watchmen TPB. Read all of them except the
last one (which I'm about a quarter of the way through). All pretty
Started using AIM again. I kinda stopped using it like four months
ago. Anyway, my s/n is hjo333. I should be on it pretty much 24/7,
though I'm frequently away.
Trying to get Corel
Painter IX. It's usually $429, but I think I can get it for
$100 as a student. Also going to try out the Draw suite to see how
that works. I'd like to "try out" Painter IX, but it's
too obscure to be available through my usual channels.
Ninja and VG
Cats comics were pretty funny.
Currently downloading Stargate Atlantis 1x12. Wasted a couple hours
trying to pull down the TVL version, which sucks. TVL always seems
to use MPGs for their encoding, whereas LOL (my fave enc. group)
always uses AVIs (XviD, specifically). MPGs are crap. Why would
anyone use em over XviD? I have no idea.
Oh yeah, I joined an MTGO clan. This one is actually filled with
adults who seem pretty non-snarky. MTGO's biggest problem,
IMO, is the fact that it's crawling with jerky twelve year olds
who're constantly begging for cards and playing weasel decks in
the casual room (really unoriginal underhanded stuff like land destruction,
affinity, white equippers, etc.). Anyway, my clan's called Shadows
of Oblivion and run by this lady named Bone_Dancer (after the Weatherlight
zombie rare). I had a really fantastic extended two-headed giant
game with another clanmember, I think his name was Jstandingbear.
Our opponents were playing speed goblins and some Eternal Witness/Counterspell
deck. One guy got really pissed off cuz he misclicked while casting
Syncopate on my partner's Armadillo Cloak. The rest of the game
he kept going on about how he had actually won and we were only
ahead on a technicality. Anyway, we totally wasted him. At one point
they had us down to 5 life, but we won with 34. The loser's name
was Escante, BTW (in case you're in the habit of blocking whiners
like I am).
Thought my site was down earlier, but it turned out to be DNS problems
on Charter's end.
This made me laugh.
submitted his character for the Jumpers campaign. It's a fairly
mundane PC, apparently loosely based on the protagonists in a comic
book series ("The Watchmen"). I haven't reviewed it in
detail yet, but the rough drafts he sent me looked relatively error-free.
Anyway, send me your notes if you have any, and they'll get posted
2004 (Wed); Post #528
(prowler.doc; 85.5 KB)
There's a really fantastic article on Pyramid right now: Rationalizing
Rations. It looks at traveling foods throughout the ages, from
pemmican to hardtack to MREs. Very detailed. Probably the most interesting
thing I've read all week. Also explains and supplements the GURPS
rules for food/water requirements.
Got Rama II from Amazon for 1¢. I've noticed that you
can get pretty phenomenal prices for relatively common books on
there. ISTR paying something like 30¢ for Flowers for Algernon.
Sure beats paying $7.99 for the new version. Speaking of books,
I'm about 15 pages from the end of Pyramids. Hope the Clarke
novel ships quickly.
I got a D-Link print server at a local shop for like $80. A very
good price if you compare it to HP's JetDirect cards (which typically
run from $150-300+). So now anyone on the network can print to the
2550L Color LaserJet printer without having to un-sleep the Vaio
first. Very handy. Since I use that printer as my primary now, I'm
thinking about giving my LaserJet 1100 to my dad (since his system
currently prints to my mom's Lexmark inkjet in another room of their
Stargate: Atlantis episode 1x11 finally came out! I had previously
thought we'd be waiting till January, thanks to a couple erroneous
Usenet posts. Anyway, it wrapped up the Jennai/planet-storm story
nicely. Great character development all around, except maybe with
regards to Carson, the Scottish doctor.
Well, I'm going to bed. Just finished doing five and a half hours
of A/V stuff for equine health presentations over at Red Mountain
Feed in West Richland. Listening to lectures about colic, internal
parasites, and the nutritional benefits of fiber might sound
glamorous, but I assure you: it's considerably less exciting
than one might think.
Re: My Argument with Paige on Saturday: See!
Dean's the one in the Riff Raff costume!
The Incredibles with Beefy and Hanwool last night at midnight. It
was superb; a movie I would heartily recommend to anyone. The CG
animation was fantastic. In fact, I don't think this movie could
have been done any other way and still have been as enjoyable as
it was. Traditional animation, claymation, live action... none of
these would have properly captured the flavor and detail necessary
to tell the story properly. There was also a short, Boundin', that
was shown right before the movie. It was simple, upbeat, and all
in verse. Seemed like a good "icebreaker."
2004 (Sat); Post #527
Been reading Pyramids, a Discworld book. The first third
(where the main character finished assassin's school with explanatory
flashbacks) was really good, but then it started getting less and
less interesting (kind of like Moving Pictures, IMHO). I'm
optimistic that it'll recover though; the main characters just arrived
in Ephebe, a parody of ancient Greece. Before Pyramids, I
read Going Postal, the latest Discworld novel. It was really
good. I'd say it's probably my favorite Discworld book behind Small
Gods. Before that, I read Green Mars. I dunno
what I'll read next... I'd like to try some non-KSR SF before I
tackle Blue Mars. I'm thinking Rama II. If
it's half as good as Rendezvous with Rama was, I'll be pleased.
Hanwool submitted an updated version of his character. Apparently
everyone else was okay with his original design since I didn't get
any email saying otherwise. Here're the links:
rev. 2 (UndeadChampion2.doc;
A takeoff on M.C. Escher's "Hand with Globe." Click
here for the full-size version (181 KB).
Bush won. Woo. I made a new deck. Consists of pumpable creatures,
some crit destruction, equipment (incl. 2 Nightmare Lash, 2 Sword
of Light and Shadow), and 4 Unholy Strength. Works really, really
well. I'd say it's about as effective as my burn deck. And, unlike
my burn deck, it's Standard legal. Thinking about entering a tournament
2004 (Wed); Post #526
Also made a Darksteel Reactor deck (DEC
link; 1.07 KB). Works well, but tends to fail against HD/LD
or decks with lots of counterspells. But pit it against a Samurai
deck and it wins pretty easily. I need to figure out a way to squeeze
some Arrests in there.
Here're Justin and Hanwool's characters. Still don't have
(andalite.doc; 29.0 KB)
Bought a bunch of used DVDs from Amazon; Greg the Bunny - The Complete
Series, Arrested Development - Season 1, The 10th Kingdom, Dawn
of the Dead (2004; unrated director's cut), and Super Size Me. Remaining
on my to-buy list: Hero (comes out Nov. 13th), LotR:RotK, Good Bye
Lenin, Stargate SG-1 (season seven), Spriggan, Napoleon Dynamite
(comes out Dec. 21), and Black Adder - The Complete Collector's
(UndeadChampion.doc; 186 KB)
I have the high bid on an autographed
Royal Tenenbaums poster right now. Really keen on winning. Been
looking for The Life Aquatic stuff too, but so far nothing's really
piqued my interest. It, BTW, comes out December 10th. Can't wait.
Anyway, I hope to see The Incredibles tomorrow. Has a 91%
on Rotten Tomatoes ATM.
Kinda neat Radiohead
- Creep Flash animation. The song's different (that is, crappier)
than the version most of us have heard. Still worth a look if you're
You know what's a good song? ABBA - Fernando. I just realized Malcom
in the Middle uses a lot of ABBA and They Might Be Giants songs
in the series. This particular song's from the season finale where
Dewey's babysitter croaked. I think that must have been, like, the
end of season... four? Anyway, really nifty tune.
and voted around 5:00 pm at the TRAC polling center. Bush is ahead
of Kerry in the national election ATM; 210 to 144.
2004 (Tue); Post #525
Saw I Heart
Huckabees with Beefy last night. Really fantastic movie. Less
confusing than the reviews made it sound.
is no revenge so complete as forgiveness." Josh Billings