News: September 8 to October 30, 2004
well I'm going to Pullman in about 9 hours. I'll repeat Monday's
message here since our GURPS group is somewhat thick on these sorts
of things (still don't have anyone's character sheets, for
example): I WILL NOT BE HERE SATURDAY. DO NOT COME TO MY HOUSE AS
IT WILL BE LOCKED AND EMPTY.
2004 (Sat); Post #524
Hopefully that'll sink in. Anyway, here're some amusing links:
Made a really cool Honden deck. It really needs some Sterling Groves
to protect the enchantments. But it works pretty well... lots of
dual lands (and stuff like Mirrodin's Core and City of Brass), lots
of Scry spells, a Darksteel Pendant, a Sensei's Divining Top. Oh
yeah, it could use a Teferi's Puzzle Box or two. If I get all the
Hondens out, every turn the following happens: I get five 1/1 Spirit
tokens, I can deal 5 damage to target creature/player, target opponent
has to discard 5 cards from his/her hand, I gain ten life, and I
get to draw five additional cards.
Machine 4. Neat Java applet that displays computer's "thought
process" visually as you play chess against it. Some situations
can result in really interesting patterns.
Funny Flash animation with a catchy song. Very well done.
Another Flash animation/music video. The text is all Japanese,
but it doesn't really matter. The song is Dragostea Din Tei
by O-Zone... it's this obscure Romanian (well, Moldovan)
song. Here's a link to the MP3
if you're interested.
Lunar eclipse from October 27/28th. Photo by Bill Lohrer.
eclipse tonight. Totality will occur in 25 minutes. BTW, I won't
be here Saturday (going to Pullman), so the group will probably
want to arrange to play elsewhere (or just wait till Nov. 6).
2004 (Mon); Post #523
is out! I bought five tournament packs and the Kami Reborn theme
deck. Made a pretty cool white/green spirit deck from that card
pool. It has two Long-Forgotten Goheis (Spirits you control get
+1/+1.), two Honden of Life's Webs (put a 1/1 Spirit token into
play each turn for each Shrine you control), two Honden of Cleansing
Fires (gain 2 life each turn for each Shrine you control), lots
of Soulshift Spirits, and a Sword of Light and Shadow. The only
thing it really needs is some creature removal (got beat by a sadistic
Leonin Abunas-protected artifact deck earlier tonight).
2004 (Mon); Post #522
We played GURPS this weekend. Dimension Jumpers and all that. Pretty
fun despite the condescendingly simple plot. But then again, it
was an introductory session and there were PC relations to sort
out and so on, so a lack of complexity wasn't exactly a horrible
thing. BTW, I'd still like everyone (including Justin since his
character changed) to submit their characters via email so I can
post them here. It's kind of important that the GMs have access
to character sheets so they can properly plan adventures. Anyway,
Hanwool's done until (possibly) Nov. 27th and Paige takes the screen
this coming Saturday.
A photo I snapped from the truck on the way back from Oregon.
promised, I've posted my notes
on Justin's character. Still don't have Paige, Ryan, or Hanwool's
characters or anyone else's notes.
2004 (Thu); Post #521
BTW, found my good CD binder and came in 4th in another 4-4-3-2
8th Edition booster draft tournament (winning 2 more 8ED boosters).
I should've done this a long time ago; if you only make it to the
2nd round you're still effectively getting a 72% discount on two
boosters (since it costs $2 to enter the tournament). Easy way to
build your collection if you're a decent drafter. Four days until
Champions of Kamigawa.
afternoon, I found out I came in 4th in Monday's tournament and
won 2 boosters (I logged off before the tournament ended). Keen.
Then, around 9:00 pm, I was over at my parents' house getting some
old Legos and I found three thousand-card boxes of Magic cards,
mostly from Legends, Mirage, and Ice Age.
2004 (Wed); Post #520
Here're some neat links: The Zoomquilt
(a collaborative art project; kind of like that old Powers
of 10 Java slideshow) and Chocolate
Nibblet Beans (one of those nonsense Flash animations that mash
random pictures together as a music video for some Japanese song...
but the tune in this one is very catchy).
Still need ppls' GURPS characters. I'm not eager to spend a whole
Saturday waiting on character creation and tweaking. Tomorrow I'll
finish writing up my notes on Justin's character and post them here.
The rest of you are encouraged to submit your notes on the characters
currently available for inspection. Remember, you will have
to GM these things. It's in your best interest that they be balanced,
manageable, and error-free.
BTW, only five days 'till CHK comes out on MTGO! Exciting. Got the
Ghostworld DVD from Amazon in the mail and received an 1880 20 Kopek
coin from an eBay auction. Woo. Looks like "bayareastuff16"
is trying to screw me out of my money on a copy of GURPS Uplift
though. I paid the guy on Sep. 13th and he still hasn't sent anything.
But I just gave him an ultimatum (after an inquiry and a warning);
if he doesn't respond by Friday he's getting some nasty feedback
and a PayPal complaint.
Oh well, I have a neato
Mars poster coming from ThinkGeek.
A battlesuit or cyborg from Appleseed. I forget which.
a lot going on. I got 2nd place in an MTGO Extended tourney (used
my red deck). The guy I played last said he'd give me most of the
grand prize if I would let him win (and get the rating boost), but
I turned him down cuz it's against the tournament rules (which,
if broken, can result in a ban from the system). Plus I thought
I'd have a chance. But he had this super-fast green deck with basically
unkillable crits, like Phantom Centaur. Anyway, I still won 4 booster
packs (2 MRD, 1 DST, 1 FD).
2004 (Tue); Post #519
Then I played in an 8-player booster draft (8ED/8ED/8ED) on Sunday
or Monday. Won the first round, lost the second. But that's partially
because I passed up some strong cards for valuable rares (e.g. a
foil Hammer of Bogardan). My black/white deck wasn't too bad though.
Probably could've won against the blue/white deck in round 2 if
I had had some better creature destruction.
On Saturday the gaming group discussed our roleplaying situation
and future plans. We decided we'd try a generic infinite worlds
campaign with a rotating GM. 300 points, no disad limit, languages
are universal (that is, in the land of Middle Earth Elves might
speak French, Dwarves German; the largest culture near the PCs'
insertion point will always speak English), PCs are granted an illusion
to make them look like natives (which can be deactivated at will),
the current GM's character is never included in the session he/she
runs. There're some other rules and guidelines, but those are the
Since we'll be having five GMs, everyone's character needs to be
approved by everyone else. To that end, I'll be posting them here.
Currently, I only have Justin's and mine (links below). Just need
Paige, Ryan, and Hanwool's. Email the file to me ()
in whatever format you prefer and I'll put them up. Also, feel free
to send me your notes on others' characters and I'll compile those
on a separate page.
Anyway. Last week I had to go to Coos Bay, Oregon and drive back
up from Eugene. While in Eugene, I ate lunch at Sakura
Japanese Restaurant (across the street from the OSU campus).
It was pretty good. After the meal, I got a dozen pieces to go (half
tuna, half salmon), which I had for dinner that night. Those were
even better than the lunch I think.
Also stopped at Fry's in Portland
and picked up a Wacom tablet (the 6x8"
Graphire3; a late birthday gift from my grandma and mom). It's
fun to play with. The image at the bottom of this post is something
I did with it in Corel Painter 8. Used pencil for the sketch, then
added color as a separate layer with watercolor brushes. It's not
very good, but practice makes perfect and all that.
[24.0 KB; MS Word .DOC]
character [29.0 KB; MS Word .DOC]
a DVD-burner installed in my system. Used the black SATA
Plextor 12x±R/RW. In fact, I just finished burning episodes
1-20 of Planetes to a Memorex DVD-R. Way more efficient than CD.
On CD, Planetes 1-26 took up 8 discs. But on DVD, it's only 2 discs.
2004 (Tue); Post #518
Noticed a post on the SJG GURPS forum that made me realize we'd
been doing wait maneuvers wrong in combat:
The Wait maneuver requires the player to specify
what the character is waiting for (the trigger) and what the character
will do (the action).
Brothers keeps getting better and better. I wish they hadn't
killed off Girl Hitler though. She had potential. At least the Mr.
White/Master Billy, Quiz-Boy exchanges are getting more entertaining.
Their commentary about Doctor Girlfriend and the baboon's uterus
from this week's episode was hilarious. BTW, did you know the Scrotal
Safety Commission web site mentioned in episode 9 is real? Well,
not real-real, but it's there. Funny stuff.
For example "Wait for That Evil Wizard to Concentrate, at which
point I'll do an All-Out Attack (Strong)."
The four actions you can Wait to do: Attack, Feint, All-Out Attack
(and which AoA option, melee: Determined, Double, Feint & Attack,
Strong; ranged: Determined, Suppression Fire), or Ready.
Java applet is fun to play with. You can draw these curvy blue
chords by left-clicking. Right-click to clear the screen. I made
a cool picture of a guy in a trench coat, but I messed it up by
trying to add legs (can't undo changes).
Here're a couple keen Flash movies: War
I like the song from the first one. Need to catch the name and try
to download it.
We tried to play Dwarven Dig on Saturday, but gave it up to play
Tongiaki. The rules were overly complicated and the quality of the
pieces was pathetic. Kenzer & Co. really suck at making board
games I like their comics but everything else, IME, is pretty shoddy.
Like their editing. It's atrocious. I notice about four or five
spelling/grammar errors in each KODT issue. And these are in the
dialogue. How is it that no one proofreads this stuff? And don't
get me started on their web site. I just visited kenzerco.com and
the freakin' KODT link doesn't even work.
Speaking of Kenzer & Co., there's been talk of a GURPS Hackmaster
game (for our group, not an officially licensed book or anything).
Given the increasingly predictable disintegration of our games 5-10
sessions in, a return to more traditional fantasy roleplaying might
be a good change. Jones' Hackmaster campaign ran about 16 sessions,
if I recall correctly. The gypsy-curse Steampunk campaign ran about
9. Theomundi went an amazing 45 sessions. I'm still not sure what
made it so playable. (Okay, just got back was watching TV,
forgot where I was going with this.)
Finally got my shower caddy. Very handy. Also picked up some towel
racks, a new shower curtain, glasses, a rug, some seat cushions,
and a toilet brush.
"1985" by Bowling for Soup is a good song. Hey, check
submission to this week's Weekly Character Creation Thread (this
week: #6: Robots). Oh yeah, Shaun
of the Dead was awesome. Will prolly talk about it more
my main CD binder, or it was stolen. Really sucks because I had
a ton of backups and legit software in there. So I bought a new
one at Staples, just a 96-CD-capacity one; I find the smaller binders
are easier to flip through and fall apart less. I've already started
reassembling my old collection of essential utilities, OSes, and
apps. W2KP and WXPP I had to download all over again, since my only
copies were in the old binder. But at least now I have the versions
with SP4/SP2 already included. That'll be handy. Things I still
need to recover: WordPerfect 11 (iffy on this; I've gotten so used
to the MS Office suite), WinDVD, Knoppix, Civ III PTW, the Magic
Online disc, and MS Streets & Trips 2002 (might still have the
ISOs around here somewhere). I also have to re-burn a ton of anime
(~15 GB), image archives (7 GB), MP3s (7.5 GB), misc. TV shows (~90
GB), ROMs, docs, web site files, et al. But I picked up a bunch
of DVD+Rs, so it shouldn't be too grueling.
2004 (Sun); Post #517
The GURPS game has been progressing steadily. Last night's session
was especially eventful Cambias (Justin) was killed by a
CIA agent at an Essex county hospital. 51 points of damage to the
vitals with a single shot from a .44 Magnum. Much later, McUmber
(Jones) killed Hunter (Hanwool) and his son in Akron, Ohio. Crushed
Hunter between a Slushie machine and a Suburban at 45 MPH, then
shot him and the kid. Justin's new character, William Bennet, was
picked up in Oklahoma City while the party was making their way
to Arizona in a stolen Marriott van.
I went to IF on Friday. Picked up KODT #93-95, the PvP TPB, GURPS
Magic Items 3, GURPS All-Star Jam 2004, the Smax TPB, and some miscellaneous
comics like Nodwick, Girl Genius, 3 Geeks (new), and PS238. Oh,
and I got Dwarven Dig. We were going to try it out on Saturday,
but it's only for 2-4 players (we had 5). We're still enjoying Tongiaki
anyway, so no problem.
Been playing Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Picked it up at Circuit
City. A pretty conventional RTS, but it looks good and I'm really
liking the resource system. The Space Marine Land Raider is really
cool. Don't really care for the Eldar buildings and units.
My parents and I really fixed up my bathroom last week. New paint,
new carpet, wall repair (from when we fixed the shower plumbing),
light replacement (got rid of those weird hanging lights near the
sink). It's much, much nicer now. I just need to do a little paint
touchup and get a new shower curtain and one of these
BTW, I still have 5 Gmail invites, so if anyone wants one, email
Okay, gotta start my Shaun of the Dead torrent and finish up some
accounting homework. Here are some pictures.
A four-player game of Tongiaki from the week before last.
My new, cleaner, brighter bathroom.
most of my dice from DEC. Also got my Mario All-Stars SNES cart.
Been playing it quite a bit. Oh, and my Xbox DDR game showed up.
Seems to be having a problem with my dance pad though (menu options
change when I'm not touching it, sometimes the right sensor doesn't
work). Of course, the PS-to-Xbox adapter might have something to
do with that. Plus the carpet in the green room is much thicker,
which makes the pad less sensitive.
2004 (Sat); Post #516
Been experimenting with some new decks on MTGO. I've kind of rebuilt
my Pariah deck; it's very successful. I also made a red LD (Land
Destruction) deck which everyone really hates. I don't know what
it is about LD that ticks people off so badly. DD (Deck Destruction)
and HD (Hand Destruction) are a lot less rage-inspiring for some
reason. I'd like to make a blue thief deck, but I need more Bribery's,
Confiscates, and Acquires. Speaking of MTG, the card list for Champions
of Kamigawa is out now. Some very nifty cards in there; I'm
particularly interested in the General's Kabuto for my new white
deck. And there's some real potential with the whole Arcane Instants/
Splice/ Isochron Scepter interaction.
I downloaded the Warhammer
40,000: Dawn of War demo.
It seems to be a fairly standard RTS, though you can definitely
see the tabletop wargame influence (units can take cover, leaders
increase troop morale, etc.). It looks amazing though. Really
awesome graphics. The screenshots on their site really don't do
the game justice.
Well I'm gonna go have some left-over pizza and watch This Old House.
GURPS at 4:00.
like a pirate" day. Yarr. The bilge rats o'er on the SJG
forums 'ave picked it up right smartly. Anyhow, me and me mates
had a GURPS game last night. We also gave Tongiaki a try. Good game,
2004 (Sun); Post #515
Okay, ye lubbers, I got nothin' more to say and me supply o' piratical
vernacular is runnin' as low as a waterlogged skiff. Fair winds,
so Justin's back from California. I donated $5 to MySpleen
to get in their contest (the prize is an Adult Swim DVD). Also,
it's like insurance against getting banned if my ratio ever gets
too low (though that doesn't seem likely... current MySpleen stats:
uploaded: 25.53 GB, downloaded: 31.04 GB). Oh, and I got a jury
summons. Someone else messed up my form though, so I had to request
another copy which still hasn't arrived. Gotta call 'em tomorrow...
I'd rather not go to jail for missing jury duty.
2004 (Wed); Post #514
Finally got my shower fixed. It's been like a year since I've been
able to use it (I used to have to shower at the apartment in the
indoor arena). Anyway, the problem was with the valve assembly,
so we had to rip part of a wall out. Works really well now.
Been playing MTGO lately. I've been trying to stock up on Onslaught,
Legions, and Scourge cards from the online shop cuz the boosters/
theme decks/ tourney packs are getting pulled on (IIRC) September
17th. Can't wait for Champions of Kamigawa it gets released
online on November 1. The new mechanics are really neat... Bushido,
Soulshift, Splice, flippable
creatures. Very exciting. And they finally named the
"attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap" thing ("Vigilance").
Hope they name the Spirit Link ability too.
Here're some links: The
Life Aquatic (new Wes Anderson movie; my favorite director).
Seventh Sanctum: some
neat generators/ randomizers. Burn
in Hell new game from SJG, out in November, looks fun.
Have some nifty stuff on the way (all from eBay auctions): Tongiaki
(still hasn't arrived), Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix (for the
Xbox), GURPS Uplift (out of print, based on the David Brin books),
and Mario All-Stars (the SNES cartridge). Oh, and a ton of dice
from Dark Elf Collectibles
(including the kanji
Sunset from last week, taken from behind my house.
my Chessex dice in the mail. Now all I'm waiting on is my copy of
it for $12 on eBay). Hopefully it'll arrive soon so I can play it
this weekend. It's gotten really good reviews; sounds like a Settlers
of Catan-caliber game.
2004 (Wed); Post #513
Found a link to this neat "recursive"
flash animation somewhere, kinda nifty. And here's a virtual
flipbook. Apparently I liked it enough to put the URL in my
"stuff for site.doc" file, but in hindsight it's sort
of lame. VG Cats did a comic
about Final Fantasy: Tactics Advance on Monday. It was okay, but
geez, what an old subject. That game came out like a year ago. To
quote Family Guy: "Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me
as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their
I finished the second set of my 3-D Tile Chess pieces (painted these
ones red). Prolly start on set three tomorrow.
BTW, I just found out I have six Gmail
so if anyone would like an account, email me at .
Also, I'm now looking for 12-sided polyhedral dice (dodecahedrons)
numbered one through six twice. If you know where I can get some,
drop me a line.
My dice collection, including 50 new non-pipped
art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience
and Laziness." Franz Kafka