News: November 4th, 2002 to November 17th, 2002
the latest Malcolm in the Middle episode. Boy, that show
just keeps getting better and better. Some shows, like Drew Carrey,
start out good, but turn to absolute drek after the third season
or so. Malcolm, on the other hand, seems to have gotten better
as the background for the characters was established and the younger
actors have gotten older, acting better.
9:50 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Sun); Post #226
Still enjoying the three monitors, though I have to turn them off
to play Civilization. On Thursday night, Hanwool and I played a
4-hour game of Play the World. We both retired (it was 4:30 a.m.)
with around 730 points. I was the Egyptians (Religious and Industrious)
and he was the Persians (Scientific and Industrious). I had a major
war with the Zulus that I had almost won, and he was making slow
but steady progress in his on-and-off-again battles with the Chinese
and Japanese. Unfortunately, since we were on different continents,
we didn't really get the benefits of total technology sharing, resource
trading, etc. Still, it was a pretty good game (though Civ 3:PTW
still seems to have some bugs, esp. with Simultaneous Turns
even in 1.04f).
Well, The Practice is on, so l8er.
just left. He, JD, and I played some MOHAA: Spearhead a little while
ago. Decent game, better than regular MOHAA. On Friday, Ryan, Shea,
Aaron, JD, and Kevin (I think) came over and we played Magic and
stuff. Ryan, Aaron, and I ordered some Magic cards from Cardhaus.com.
By Tuesday or Wednesday, I ought to have the cards I need for my
mono-blue deck. It focuses mainly on a Palinchron-High Tide-Stroke
of Genius combo (infinite mana > make opponent draw his entire
deck), but also has a denial/steal permanents theme in it. Lots
of Counterspells, Dismiss, Control Magics, etc.
5:17 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Sun); Post #225
On Saturday, we played GURPS. JD and Aaron joined the game (JD as
Tykhe, Aaron as Triton). Basically, they got noticed by the media,
had some slight interaction with the military, defeated Menoitos,
the titan-god of angry thoughts, and had a brief encounter with
Hekate, who basically told them to stay out of things or they'd
get hurt. It was a good session, and my first time GMing such a
large group (8 people).
That night, JD, Ryan, and I made up a game that we don't have a
name for yet. It's played on a hex map and involves the building
of roads to connect certain tokens to your base point. It's sort
of hard to explain. I might type of the rules and post it here.
It's pretty fun if I don't say so myself... maybe we can sell it
to Cheapass Games or something.
The pictures below are from this weekend; the first is Taryn (Kevin's
brother) and Ryan (on the couch in the back). The second is the
invitation I got from Keith's family to his mom's wedding. It's
a double-ceremony in Pasco on the 23rd. Kewl. Well, farvel.
got back from an appointment with my neurologist, Dr. Lahiri. This
time, I got to wait in his office instead of an exam room. After
20 minutes or so, he came in and told me this stuff that he told
me last time about my MRI. I guess he forgot he told me. Then he
said I need to go to a physical therapist two or three times a week
to have this galvanic shock therapy stuff. Basically, if I don't
stimulate the muscles on my left side (with this electric shock
stuff), my face might get deformed as the atrophying muscles contract.
It'd sort of look like my face was stretched back on the left. Anyway.
Not really eager to go to these things since they're at 9:00 a.m.
in the morning on weekdays. I have my first one next Tuesday at
9:00 a.m., but I have to show up early to do the paperwork.
10:20 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Thu); Post #224
Went to WalMart last night with Hanwool; we each bought a copy of
Civilization III: Play the World and Armitage: Dual matrix. I also
got the Powerpuff Girls DVD. It's actually a really great movie,
surprisingly funny and interesting, even for an adult audience.
Can't wait to play Civ III multiplayer. Started a game on a Large/Arid/Warm/5
billion year old world last night; ended up playing till 4:30 a.m.
Then I went to bed and read the Straight Dope Compendium cuz
I couldn't sleep. Finally put the lights out at 5:10 a.m.
Oh, I added a third monitor to my computer setup. Now I can have
Windows Explorer on the left, with Outlook under it, various IE
windows in the center, and Winamp and AIM on the right. Of course,
I took a picture (below).
Right now, I'm feasting on the gummy bears I got at WalMart
good deal, 11.75 oz. for a dollar. Course, they aren't really high
quality gummy bears, but still. Well, I'm gonna drink some water,
watch a little Martha Stewart, and sleep till noon. Farvel.
am I tired. Got two hours of sleep this morning. Woke up around
ten, showered, and ran errands till mid-afternoon. Today was my
mom's birthday. I got her a silver bracelet with turquoise stones
and matching earrings from her favorite tack/gift shop. Then I placed
an order for a dozen yellow roses from the Kennewick Flower Shop
on my father's behalf. Cards, wrapping paper, etc. At 7:15 p.m.
we went to dinner at the Sundance Grill.
9:54 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Tue); Post #223
Oh, earlier in the day my mom gave me a smaller replica of one of
the terra-cotta warriors of the Qin dynasty. Chinese statue. Pictured
below. Someday, I'd like my house to have an eclectic Asian-mix
decor. Like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese. Of course,
cost usually wins out when picking furnishings (e.g. my parents
gave me a perfectly fine couch that's in a southwestern motif, but
it's comfortable and not bad-looking, so why turn it down?).
My stock portfolio's doing better. It hit its lowest point at the
beginning of October, but now it looks like it's following a steady
rise. Since American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) and Amazon (AMZN) make
up a little more than 40% of my portfolio, I'm crossing my fingers
and anticipating a increase in value until Christmas, hopefully
with a spike right after Thanksgiving. ATM, Amazon is my only stock
with a positive PROI (Potential Return On Investment). It's gone
up 33.65% since I bought it. OTOH, Pfizer (PFE), making up 46% of
my portfolio, is down 16.18%. People, go buy lots of Accupril, Zoloft,
Diflucan, and Zyrtec. I desperately need more Magic cards and a
plasma screen television. Heh. Well, maybe not desperately...
#222. The number of the beast, but 66% less evil. Or something.
I dunno, it's really late. I can't sleep (but I know I have to 'get
up' in about 4 hours). Just finished reading Beggars Ride.
Something I just noticed about the book as I put it away on the
shelf: they spelt 'Beggars' in the title on the spine "Beggers."
How the heck did anyone at Tor (the publisher) let that misspelling
get to print? Wow. I mean, I see misspellings and grammatical errors
in paperbacks all the time and just think "Oh, tch, sloppy
editing," but to let a mistake like that get printed on the
cover...? I bet somebody got chewed out for that one.
5:56 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Tue); Post #222
I had a dream yesterday that really upset me, but I won't discuss
it in detail here. Suffice to say that it wasn't a nightmare per
se, but it was the most vivid, distressing dream I can recall.
Anyway, I keep thinking about it. Unlike my other dreams, I remember
nearly everything about this one. Anyway.
Speaking of dreams, I woke up from one Friday morning in which my
palsy had disappeared. It was kinda weird, cuz the left side of
my face was still weak and I kept smiling in the mirror... you'd
think that if it were a dream, I'd have had no side effects or whatever.
But it was sort of realistic. For a few seconds after waking up,
I still thought it had really happened, and that was pretty strange.
It's funny that I had these dreams so close together. Usually, I
don't dream (or rather, remember dreaming) at all. It might be because
I've been screwing up my sleeping patterns lately, staying awake
longer than usual. Or later than usual, anyway.
I was talking to SparkSSter on AIM earlier you know he didn't
know what a 'blog' was? For those of you unfamiliar witht he term,
it's a shortening of web-log. Like an online journal (e.g. this
very website, my friend's sites,
etc. etc.). BTW, if you're thinking of starting a blog, there's
tons of websites that will host it for you for free. Blogger
and LiveJournal seem to
be good ones. Personally, I prefer a bit more control and freedom.
Plus, I already know HTML and can do some graphics stuff. Why let
those skills go to waste?
By the way, there seemed to be some dissatisfaction with the current
quality/quantity of Aaron pics in his
profile, so I added 4 new ones. I added one pic to Sheree's
as well (the now-infamous celtic-spiral-knot-sun-thingy tattoo).
If you've got some sort of Aaron craving, you can probably get more
of him at Beefy's PHS
Talent Show 2002 page. He's the one with the guitar and the
Watched some more Stargate SG-1 episodes. The ones I liked best
included #17 - Holiday and #20 - Show and Tell. I wish they'd address
the ongoing battle against the Goa'uld a little more instead of
wasting time on meaningless, boring episodes like #19 - One False
Step. According to the Stargate
SG-1 Information Archive (a useful site for fans of the show),
Season 3 on DVD will be available in January. Argh, that's a long
time to wait. I don't watch the show on TV anymore it's too
hard to catch with it's airing schedule (7:00 p.m. on Saturdays,
IIRC; what kind of time slot is that?).
It came to my attention that I use a lot of semi-obscure acronyms
on this site (well, obscure if you're not really familiar with IRC,
e-mail mailing lists, usenet, etc.). Here's a page I whipped up
to explain them: Internet Acronyms. It
doesn't cover eveything, just the ones I'm familiar with. E.g. who
actually uses GIGO (Garbage-In, Garbage-Out) in everyday [online]
speech? Well, l8er.
we did a lot this weekend. I had lots of fun. My Magic deck performs
better than I expected; I upgraded it with some cards I traded from
Aaron and Shea (I actually got an Underground Sea from Aaron
a very rare dual-land... traded a City of Brass, four Strip Mines,
and some other cards for it). Added a Lotus Petal, Castle Sengir,
Wonder (blue "all creatures gain flying" Jedi), Jayemdae
Tome ("4T: Draw a card" artifact), Howling Mine, Gemstone
Mine, Whispers of the Muse, and a third Demonic Tutor.
10:07 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Mon); Post #221
On Sunday we began my GURPS Greek Gods Reawoken (just a temporary
title; I'm thinking of calling it "Return of the Pantheon"
or something) campaign. I think it went well. The players were given
a pile of paper strips with various god names printed on them (in
the original Greek alphabet and language) to determine which powers/skills
they absorbed from magical laurels they found in a mountain vault.
Justin ended up being imbued with the spirit of Pandaisia, the goddess
of the banquet, attendant to Aphrodite. Ryan became Ephialtes (Giant
son of Poseidon), Hanwool, Pheme (Gossip), Shea, Mnemosyne (Memory,
inventress of words), Phillip, Zephyrus (Winds and Spring), Beefy,
Phobos (Fear). For more information on these demi-gods, visit Theoi
Project. I found it really useful while designing this campaign.
Aaron will be joining the game next session. Hopefully, we can play
weekly on a regular schedule.
The characters battled three Cyclops (25' tall) and won, saving
Shea's character from being eaten. It was actually a fairly short
session, but a lot of preparation was needed (had to make up the
god templates which took a while; each one was about 150 points
worth of skills, powers, advantages, and stat boosts). At the end
of the game, each player got around 1500-2000 experience points
(1 e.p. = 1/100th c.p.).
Phillip, Shea, Justin, and I played tile chess last night. Below
is a picture of the starting configuration, with Phillip gold, Shea
green, Justin black, and myself blue. I eliminated Shea, then Justin
(but without gaining control over any peices), then Phillip. Hooray
for me. Heh. Well, farvel.
Beefy, Aaron, Justin, Drew, Sheree, and Phillip came over. Played
Magic a lot (used my new deck, except with proxy cards for the Nantuko
Husk; haven't received it in the mail yet). My new deck won a little
more than half the time, I think. I need to do something about its
vulnerability to creatures, esp. flyers. Maybe some Wall of Shadows
or Wall of Mists (damage done to them by creatures is reduced to
0). Love the Counterspells. Ryan and Shea never materialized though...
or Kevin or JD. Actually, no one seemed able to find JD even
his girlfriend couldn't locate 'im. I should call him.
6:55 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Sat); Post #220
Anyway, I set my main system up for dual monitors. I've got a 22"
Samsung (primary) and a 17" Nobilis (secondary) displaying.
It's pretty cool. Looks like some minor issues were fixed between
Win 98's support and Win 2000 SP3. Disbaling the secondary for games
is really easy. There's a picture below.
Looks like we're doing stuff again tonight. Prolly Magic or some
other games. I finished disc 3 of Stargate SG-1 Season 2. Good episodes,
but the Tok'ra two-parter (written by Jonathan Glassner) really
stood apart from the others. Just better casting and storyline,
I guess. I'm on page 349 of Beggar's Ride. It's getting really
Today's MP3: Royal Tennenbaums - 111 Arthur Avenue.mp3 (0:37). Farvel.
and Phillip came over. Guess
what Sheree showed me.
9:29 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Thu); Post #219
this is the new page design. I tinkered with it a lot, so it turned
out differently than the screenshot I showed on October
30th. Note, however, that this is the only page on the site
currently using the new design. I don't even have it templated yet;
this is just regular HTML. Things I'm still considering changing:
the page background (sort of a light-gray, swirly design right now)
and the little animated GIF in the upper right. The GIF is just
some little 4 kB thing I whipped up in Animation Shop 3.00 (comes
w/ Paint Shop Pro 7). Anyway, if you have any opinion about the
new layout, e-mail me. There's a link up there somewhere.
1:17 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Thu); Post #218
Part of the new design is the use of paragraphs, BTW. See, if this
were in the old format, it'd just be one really long block of text.
I think this makes for easier reading. Well, anyway, here's my log
info for this update:
I got Stargate Season 2 on DVD at Circuit City! (See image below.)
I've already watched the first disc and it is awesome. Man,
I thought Season 1 was good. The Circuit City ppl, OTOH, are complete
idiots. Good Lord, are they dumb. I called to ask if they had two
items in stock: Civilization III: Play the World and Stargate Season
2 on DVD. The first time I called, some loser told me he'd have
to check with the "merchandise guy" and call me back.
Then, b/c he obviously didn't know what he was doing (their computer
system must be able to track inventory), I called back and
talked to some girl in customer service. She transferred me to someone
who transferred me to someone else, who... etc. I got transferred
5 times. The last person I talked to said they couldn't tell, but
she thought she saw the Stargate package once. I was rather disgusted,
and rightly so, so I called Best Buy. I punched the number for the
Games, Movies, etc. department and listened to the phone on the
other end ring and ring. And ring and ring and ring. I hung up,
visited some sites, then received a call from the first drone I'd
talked to at CC. He said they had Stargate but not Play
the World. I still drove to Kennewick I had to get a
plunger at the Home Depot anyway.
Civ III: Play the World shipped last Friday, but none of the local
stores seem to have it yet. Tomorrow I might try Software Etc. (or,
Game Stop... I guess they changed their name) in the mall. Beggar's
Ride keeps getting better and better. It's racier than the first
two books, but at least it doesn't seem really vulgar, like when
Niven talks about naughty bits and things. Niven's whole bizarre
"rishathra" kick in the Ringworld series was a
little strange for me. Plus, it makes him look hypocritical (he
seems to hate homosexuals and denounces them as deviants, but he's
totally fine with mass orgies and extreme promiscuity... I dunno,
maybe I'm just reading too much into his character's feelings and
My posts seem to be getting longer. I'm not sure why... Anyway,
I read about a really interesting combo at Magic:
The Gathering.com today; Worldgorger Dragon plus Animate Dead.
Basically, you make sure Worldgorger goes into the graveyard (by
discarding it, preferably), then cast Animate Dead on it. Animate
Dead brings a creature into play from the graveyard, but sends it
back to the graveyard if it (the enchantment) leaves play. Well,
Worldgorger Dragon makes all permanents you control leave play when
it comes into play and come back into play when it leaves. Basically,
you can set up an inifinite loop with this combo. The upside? Your
lands, creatures, artifacts, etc. come into play untapped, even
if they left play tapped. Infinite mana, infinite use of creature/artifact
abilites that require tapping. Cool, huh? It's all in this
article. Well, I have an English 301 paper to write, so l8er.
Okay, I finished the Margaret Cho autobiography, I'm the One
That I Want. It's pretty clear to me that she used a ghostwriter.
Want a quick précis of the book? Here goes:
11:10 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
Nov. 2002 (Mon); Post #217
grew up in San Francisco and my mom speaks with poor grammar.
I love gay men. I hated my body and myself. I did approximately
fifty tons of amphetamines, pot, and ecstasy. I drank about twenty
thousand gallons of alcohol. Then I found out these things were
bad for me, so I stopped. But then I decided quitting was too
hard, so I went back to being an alcoholic junkie. I had tons
of boyfriends who I hated. I got a dog. Life was so hard for me,
being rich and famous and having tons of friends, whine whine
whine. Blah blah blah.
it kind of sucked. I almost stopped reading it half way through,
but for some reason I was determined to finish it. Talk about
a waste of time. The first third was actually interesting... see,
that was before I'd gotten so thoroughly sick of the "Everyone
hates me, I hate me" theme. She was so amazingly dumb
about the choices she made in her life. She would date people
she hated and (supposedly) try to kill herself with drugs and
alcohol, but then excuse it in her book by saying "But my
parents never loved me." Plus, it turns out she's one of
these Hollywood idiots who drones on and on about "spirituality."
And you know how the book ends? It just sort of drops off. She
tries to wrap the whole thing up in one three-page chapter where
she quickly, if unconvincingly, tells the reader that she's happy
and clean now. Yeah, right, whatever. For the last third of the
book, all I could think of was her dropping into her ghostwriter's
office at four in the afternoon, drunk and high, to talk incessantly
about her, her, her and complain. And the ghostwriter isn't without
blame either. She (or maybe 'he,' who knows) really hams it up
trying to establish this phony Amy Tan copycat style of describing
things. Amy Tan, incidentally, is one of my favorite authors (esp.
The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife) and
has a great writing style, but it doesn't work when it's used
to bitch about deadbeat boyfriends and snotty producers.
don't get me wrong I think Margaret Cho is a very funny
comedian (or comedienne, as some of the more annoying showbiz
types say), but she should avoid not-writing at all costs. Uff
her book taught me something though; don't let your feelings about
an author influence your choices. Of course, I guess I already
knew that somehow, cuz Larry Niven was a jerk when I met him,
but his books are great. In fact, when I finish Beggar's Ride,
I'm going to read The Legacy of Heorot, which is by Niven,
Barnes and Pournelle. Beggar's Ride, by the way, is excellent.
I think Kress may become my favorite author. I'd always sort of
thought of Asimov as my fav., but her stuff is so much more captivating,
this is turning into a really long post, so I'll wrap it up. Magic
cards are in the mail; I should be able to assemble my super-deck
by this weekend or next. I put a Magic: The Gathering page up
here, but right now it's basically
just notes on my red burn deck. Beefy's got around 1700 words
down on his short story about the winged boy. I look forward to
reading it. Everybody Loves Raymond was pretty funny tonight.
This other show, Still Standing, is surprisingly funny
too. I've seen every episode of it since it comes on right after
Raymond and I keep expecting it to Jump
the Shark, but somehow it manages to hang on. Good writing
and the adult actors are all pretty good. The kids aren't atrocious,
but they aren't really passable either. Today's MP3: Janet Jackson
- Doesn't Really Matter.mp3 (4:19). And, for those of you who
actually allowed all this useless text to clutter your screen,
I present you with this little bonus picture I whimsically title
"What. The. Hell." Farvel,
ha det så lenge, vi ses, og morna.
is the last refuge of the unimaginative." Oscar Wilde