Old News: November 23rd to December 16th, 2001 (10 entries)

4:20pm, 16 Dec. 2001:
Just read Role-Playing Tips weekly #108. Good stuff on making your campaign world seem more alive. Also, there's an interesting thread on the GURPSnet mailing list right now... Mark Gellis started a contest to see who could come up with the most bizzare/weird idea for a GURPS supplement. Here's my entry. Anyway, some that ppl have come up with already: GURPS Smurfs, GURPS Musicals, GURPS Disney, GURPS Serial Killers (this one sounded really kewl), and GURPS GURPS (you play ppl playing GURPS...). Oh yeah, last night we had our 5th (or 4th?) GURPS Spirits (now: Phasma Mundus) campaign session. Looks like Matt and Justin are going to Imperial Rome. Anyway.

10:30pm, 12 Dec. 2001:
Hm, just got some messages from Jason Stejskal. I havn't spoken to him since April or so (8 months ago, I believe). Anyway, here's the log I made of the exchange with some bits censored for privacy purposes (everyone on the internet doesn't need to know where I live, etc.). Also, I found an FTP on #MangaProject that has a lot of Chobits on it (which I've been unable to find for a while). Speaking of manga/comics, I got my Penny Arcade book today. Really good... worth every, um, penny.

8:39pm, 12 Dec. 2001:
Wow, a lot has happened in the last 5 days. I went to Phillip's LAN party where I thoroughly whipped everyone at Quake III. OMG, they all suXXored so much. I won nearly every session. Anyway, the network was really screwy cuz Jason (not Stejskal -- Crazy Jew) and Phil insisted on using these crappy Windows NT server domains, plus Phillip uses an iMac which generally messes everything up (apparently, Macs can't do anything with IPX protocols... WTF is that? Like every multiplayer game I have supports IPX!). But it was all still fun. We also played StarCraft: BW. We lost (I had no backup), but I was one of the last two standing. Then, on Sunday when I got my 1.4 GHz back up and running I found it to be incredibly unstable and unable to do anything with networking. I tried removing and reinstalling all the network components, reinstalling Windows, importing my registry backups... nothing worked. My CPU is at a slightly higher temperature because it's up in the heated part of the house (it's up from 104 F to 119 F), but that's still within normal operating params. So, Sunday (Dec. 9) Justin, Matt, and I had our 4th Spirits session. The guys got set up in Newport (Jack/Matt became a jeweler's apprentice, Gabriel/Justin became an interpreter for some mystics). Then we watched Futurama, Simpsons, Malcom in the Middle, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It was the premiere for Futurama... Fry traveled back in time to 1947 and killed his grandfather. It was really funny. BTW, when has a show ever premiered in December? Wow. Well, then on Tuesday we had the 5th Spirits session. It went well and we played 2 games of Munchkin starting at 11:00pm. I won both games. (I have incredibly good luck at board games -- I've won every board game I've played in the last month and a half, including at least 3 games of Othello and Abalone against Justin.) Oh yeah, I talked to Hanwool last night (for 2 freaking hours). He's building a new computer over Christmas break (well, combining some anyway... it's a dual-CPU system). There were the obligatory references to Bickenheuser, Knutsen, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Gay Eskimos, Zakharov, Nwabudike Morgan, that Japanese girl, Chobits, and his adventure in water-cooling. Then today, I played some more Civ III and watched South Park. I need to write up some stuff on the Spirits campaign (esp. the translation ability). I gotta do some X-mas shopping tomorrow. Anyway, more to come.

2:49pm, 7 Dec. 2001:
Did you know today is the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack as well as that of the first U.S. execution by lethal injection (1982)? Anyway, at about 4:00pm I'm going to start packing up the computers to go over to Phillip Rabideau's house for the LAN party. It'll be fun. I got SWAT 3 and Aliens vs. Predator (I know, it's old) from Justin last night and he and I played some more of the 1506 Spirits campaign (from 9/5 to 9/10). He managed to escape, with the help of an earth elemental, from the evil priest who captured him after he was struck down by the ifrit he released. Anyway, it was a good game. I just downloaded and installed Trillian 0.70. It's an awesome program! It combines the abilities of ICQ, AIM, MSN Messenger, and the Yahoo! Messenger into a single app. BTW, if you want to contact me, I'm ubergeek00 on Yahoo!, ubergeek18@hotmail.com on MSN, and ubergeek18 on AIM. The program is only about 2 and a half megs, so go download it right away. I captured this picture of Trillian below. (Oh yeah, it's totally skinnable.)

11:20pm, 5 Dec. 2001:
Well, I just bought the Penny Arcade: Year One hardcover. Total: $38.78 with shipping/tax (I live in WA). It looks really kewl. I'd like to have gotten the limited edition with Gabe and Tycho's signatures, but the things cost more than a hundred freaking dollars. Anyway, got some Christmas shopping done today. Oh yeah, I downloaded the DivX 4.11 codec and Virtual Dub 1.4d (build 12667). Amazing stuff, but I have yet to figure out how to get those really good compression rates... I must be doing something wrong (a 1 min. 38 sec. 640 x 400 AVI compressed w/ DivX 4.11 at 5 kbits/s came out to 13.8 megabytes; isn't that awfully large, considering?). There's some interesting conversation going on on the GURPSnet mailing list right now--especially interesting are the Metric/Measuring Systems and Spirit Combat threads, IMHO. This e-mail from the afternoon outlines my best suggestion for spirit combat thus far (TXT format; 2.81 kB).

1:10am, 4 Dec. 2001:
Updated the GURPSnet Statistics thingy (first time since July... oops). I have a Geology final tomorrow, so I'd better go to bed soon. Oh, and I registered for my classes for next quarter: Investments, PC Hardware, and Criminal Justice. Saw the Good Morning America piece on the "IT" machine. The Segway Human Transport. Looks really kewl. Fun, too. $3,000 for one is kind of pricey though. I started doing a serious write-up for the alternate history 1506 England GURPS Spirits campaign. Also, I posted a question on GURPSnet asking for ideas for spirit combat (all the suggestions I've found to date are way too simple for my tastes). Eventually, I'm going to have to do something about the ritual system in the setting; I'm thinking of scrapping it all the way down to a single skill group that amounts to nothing more than asking spirits to do stuff for you. In order to keep game balance, I think I'd have to make seperate skills for each of the five different parts of a ritual, and then make each skill group unique to its own spirit type (ghosts, wraiths, etc.). Anyway.

4:38pm, 28 Nov. 2001:
I just picked up GURPS High-Tech from Infinite Frontiers. 3rd edition. I'm disappointed that it's not in the same format as Low-Tech (I've never had HT before). Anyway, GURPS Steam-Tech is supposed to be out this month (or next; it shipped this month), so that'll be interesting when Dan (proprieter @ IF:CE) gets it. Hanwool e-mailed me... turns out he was in town last Saturday, but I never got his call. Anyway, he was complaining about how expensive the Athlon XPs are. I have to agree. Really, the best one is only like 200 MHz faster than mine, yet it costs more than double the price (the 1.4's having been reduced to ~$100). Oh yeah, I got the whole Planet of the Apes movie series on DVD at Costco a while back and I just finished watching the last one about a week ago. Really good movies (except number two). Well, the new one is out now on DVD (the sort-of-remake) so I need to get that next month (though I still have a lot of Christmas shopping to do). My favorite song this week is Heywood Banks' "Wiper Blades."

5:42pm, 26 Nov. 2001:
I just finished moving the old files for my TL10 Space campaign over to the new (well, old now) format for the website. There's about 750 kilobytes of stuff there, and it's fairly organized now. Of course, a lot is missing... anyway, you can see it in the GURPS section or directly here. It's called 'The Shinpi Nokori Collection.' Catchy title, huh?

4:05pm, 26 Nov. 2001:
Okay, just made some rather important additions to the GURPS House Rules section. I numbered them starting from 100 for easy reference. Players: remember, we have a GURPS Spirits session coming up this Saturday at 4:00pm. The point caps were 150 pts., -40 pts. disads, but I'm giving you all 2 more points (free!) because I didn't mention the 'Shadespeak' M/VH language that is native to all spirits (they get it free at IQ and can improve it as a M/A skill). There are some special rules for communication in general (in this setting), so be sure you're up on them before you come to the game. Also, Phillip just informed me (well, yesterday) that there's going to be a LAN party at his house on Dec. 7th and 8th, so expect pictures here that Sunday. That's all for now, so sayonara.

2:49am, 23 Nov. 2001:
Aaaaagh. I'm here at the computer updating this blog because I can't sleep. About five minutes ago I was lying in bed, almost asleep when I felt something on my arm. I brushed it away, thinking it was a thread or soemthing. Then, just when I was on the edge of sleep, sort of barely conscious, I felt it again. But this time it was moving. And for about seven-tenths of a second, I felt the little tickling sensation of eight legs dragging across my forearm. I jumped up, turned all the lights in my room on and started shaking the comforter, trying to find the spider. I tore the bed apart but I couldn't find the stupid thing. So I came down here to the computer to wait for it to go away or something. I hate being near spiders, especially the gigantic brown ones we have around here (I swear, I've seen some in the house that are two and a half inches across). Eeugh.