Previously, in Trip's Life: August 2001
31 August 2001
Gretchen seems to have sucked
everyone into TBG: Dave's handy reference page has ten people
listed as of this writing, and I know there's at least one more not on
the list yet. Most of us are roleplaying our ships as strange aliens with
alien translators made by aliens, for aliens, and possibly of
aliens (wumwumwumwumwumwum), because that's the kind of freaks we
* * *
Bujold's first fantasy
novel was okay, but nothing spectacular. Now she has figured out how
to write like Bujold and write fantasy, so you must all go and
buy and read The Curse of
Chalion RIGHT NOW.
* * *
Wonderland is very peculiar. And also very short.
29 August 2001
is what I want to be when I grow up.
* * *
"Pokémon has one great aspect: Young people with concealed
weapons going around helping people and defeating badguys. Morally
speaking, it's a gun-control freak's nightmare!"
--Bob_Robertson @ /.
28 August 2001
Yay, Amazon shipment! I had been combining all my orders into one huge
order out of some vague sense of tidyness, but I finally got tired of
waiting on the bits that haven't been published yet and changed it to
"ship what you've got". Now I have the latest Bujold
book, a couple of random fantasy novels, a book on user interface
design, and CLAMP cheesecake.
I am in grievous danger of becoming a sweet-potato-chip junkie.
27 August 2001
Whee, first To Boldly Go
turn today! I resisted spending all my money and also resisted becoming a
pirate, and instead am mining chocolate from the asteroids around Algol.
Hey, it's a living (maybe). Or, poorly translated from Parasitic,
"wuwmwumwumwumw salt-baked space parasites interconvert chocolate with
nonspecific resources wuwmwumwumwumwum".
It is Monday, so tonight will be Writing Night, but I have no idea
where Transmundane goes next. This
could be a problem.
* * *
I was pleased to notice while I waited for the bus home that my
external brain still has half a battery icon left even though it's been
more than a week since I last fed it. I am pleased not because it means
spending less on batteries, but because it means I have been doing things
the past week, instead of rotting my brain with endless Shisensho.
However, I still have no idea what to do with Transmundane. Maybe
dinner will inspire me.
* * *
No inspiration to be found in roasted turkey breast and crackers with
cheese, alas, so I flaked on Transmundane and instead wrote 1600 words of
cheesy gaming stuff. But it was
words, and some of it even grammatical English text, so I may sleep with
a conscience only slightly murky.
25 August 2001
Staying up excessively late caused me to sleep with vigor,
determination, and grace, and I awakened on my own feeling much
better-rested than on any previous morning this week, yet without the
loginess that comes of oversleeping. Yay me.
This morning I also feel smug for keeping my record of my life on an
antiquated, monthly-fee-for-services-rendered, ISP-hosted home page,
because people can still read it, which is much more than can be said for
* * *
Transmundane episode 4 is finally done!
Now I may fall over like a tired parasite who has written 1600 words
24 August 2001
I did go to bed not late, I did! But I am still tired, hmph.
And I will be up until all hours playing Knights of
Atlantis, or more likely being frustrated at being unable to play
because everyone will be busy fawning over the new KITTENS.
Not that I'm skeptical about people's willingness/ability to focus on
gaming instead of KITTENS, FLTD, and everything in the world that is not
the game currently in session, or anything. Oh no.
Er. Not that I have any objection to KITTENS, I should point out. Just
not while I'm trying to game.
* * *
Knights of Atlantis went as well as could have been expected, given
the four month gap between sessions. The very low duty cycle of KITTENS
for viewing prevented much disruption from that source, so I must hide my
face in shame at being proven wrong, or something. There was some
digression, but not too bad, and the villain was successfully defeated
and devillainized and we at least have a concrete plan for scaring the
last PC into realizing his powers.
Sadly, the propensity of websites which provide services without
getting a revenue stream in exchange to vanish softly and silently away
in the night has caused the wonderful character pictures Christy drew to likewise vanish. :(
Hopefully she has enough in local storage to be able to recreate them
without too much trouble.
* * *
Twelve-hour-old KITTENS are very very very cute
23 August 2001
Iä! Shub-Claus! Dark beast of the Pole with a thousand blasphemous
* * *
Due to small brains and overloaded schedules and general lethargy,
Infinite Sea was cancelled for tonight. I should have written, but
instead I lay around like a slimy lump, reading Frumpy the Clown. Now I
go to bed not late. Really.
22 August 2001
Today I am experimentally removing half the machines from the pool
that provides a popular internet service, to see what happens. I never
got to do that at my other
I guess it's for the best that my boss said all sorts of nice things
on my performance review, or at least "Trip sucks less this year". Which
really is about all you can expect out of a year.
* * *
I have defeated the Dishes! After ruling the kitchen from their sinky
lair for mumble aeons, they have been overthrown and
their lifeless skeletons stacked in the drainer! Their reign of terror is
21 August 2001
I feel sort of guilty for not writing up anime nights here, but
although they are pleasant, and involve walking probably three or four
kilometers, they aren't really that exciting: we're rewatching Sailor Moon SuperS, which
I've seen before, the people who show up are all people I see on a
regular basis, and even if something exciting did happen, it would be
FLTD plotting, so I wouldn't care.
20 August 2001
Small-brained parasite. I did write, but only about half the usual
amount, so I will have to declare another Writing Night this week.
19 August 2001
More inert lumpishness today, but at least I finished reading Exalted.
I still like it. Maybe I'll run it. Maybe I'll come to my senses.
18 August 2001
Last night, I actually ran Pokéthulhu,
because there might have been some people who doubted what a
giganticenormous freak I am.
Surprisingly, for a game run immediately after a long week of work,
with a system and genre never intended to be seriously used, it went
pretty darn well. Chrisber and Tamago are naturally extremely silly, so
they got into it right away. Angie was
sort of tired and defocused, but livened up once her character was
assaulted by Mutant Fungal Clusters. Obnoxious teenager butt was kicked,
thulhu were defeated, historic buildings were burned, and the world was
made safe for monster-wielding hoodlums. Hurrah!
* * *
Today, while lying around as an inert, useless lump, I have been
Sure, it's White Wolf, and therefore philosophically dubious, but reading
the introduction made me think, "Sure, I could game in this", and the
list of inspiration fiction includes Sean Stewart books, Glen Cook's
Company books, and the movies Swordsman II and Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon. White Wolf may be full of Rifkinites and over-inflated Web
Artistes, but at least they have someone who knows good fantasy.
* * *
As part of my inert, useless lumpishness, I finished watching El Hazard 2, which wasn't
bad, but was not nearly as good as the first OAV series, both in the art
(character designs, anyway) and plot. I also watched the first four
episodes of NieA under
7, which turns out to be a strange slice-of-life anime about a
struggling Tokyo girl with an alien bum living in her closet. Not
particularly my sort of thing, so I feel foolish for giving money to the
sucking evil that is the MPAA, but oh well.
16 August 2001
It's all Gretchen's fault that I have
signed up for To Boldly Go.
Hopefully I won't become one of those evil people who plays one turn and
then gives up, causing the moderator to explode in frustration and
15 August 2001
Why no update for yesterday? Because yesterday wasn't very
Tonight, however, I finished El Hazard. It remained
pretty good throughout, so I am pleased. I really like Ifurita (and would
continue to like her if she wore a higher neckline, hmph!). Although I
hear that a friend of a friend read something on Usenet indicating that
El-Hazard 2 is No Good, I am sufficiently pleased by the first OAV series
that I will try watching it.
13 August 2001
Aieeee, it's Monday the 13th! Doom, dooooom!
Actually, I hear that in Latin America it's Tuesday the 13th that's
considered bad luck, but I didn't get around to asking our Colombian
hardware guru if that was true.
At work, I continued to block on input for most of my open tickets,
and the one I did work on is being a horrible kludge.
I have mostly not sucked for Writing Night, though, even not counting
the words I stole from Emma Bull.
One more good writing night and episode 4 will probably be done.
12 August 2001
Today was Random Sunday at Jeremy&Rachel's. I fled relatively early on
because their quite small house is not really designed to have twelve
gamers all talking over each other in the front room, but before my
ignominious retreat I got to try out Munchkin. It was pretty
fun, overall, and very very silly, but I think game duration scales as
much more than N, because a) the Ph4t L3wts are more thinly spread, so
you accumulate plusses more slowly, and b) the more other players there
are in the game, the greater the chance someone will be able to drag you
down when you start to get somewhere. A corollary of b is that ganging up
is very effective: instead of N-1 players dragging you down, there are
N-2 or N-3 or whatever size of cabal you've managed to form. I'd like to
play again with only 3-4 players; I think it would probably be a lot more
fun and less frustrating.
After wasting the rest of the afternoon and evening, I watched the
rest of the first disc of El
Hazard. It is still entertaining and pretty, and the plot continues
to thicken at an appropriate pace.
11 August 2001
Morning: Lethargic parasite.
Afternoon: Amber High
School. That the people who had participated in last weekend's FLtD
session might not have recovered and would have to lie around twitching
had been predicted, and in fact it was so, if you consider remarkable
silliness a form of twitching. Nevertheless, we completed a reasonable
amount of intellegence gathering for our project of fumigating and
culturally assimilating the Shadow Aunt Fiona had given us access to
without being lynched as vampire collaborators, and got Omar back in time
to finish his magic horseshoes. We then did as about well as we each had
expected in finals, and Omar got to give the horseshoes to Lizzie and be
all cutely embarrassed.
Evening: Immense, gigantic, titanic, very large
amounts of inability to plan and execute dinner. Fortunately, before we
were reduced to cannibalism we arrived at Rangoon and were fed.
Sadly, the balachung that I ordered experimentally (how can you resist
"grounded diced shrimp" with chili and garlic?) turned out to have a
peculiarly ultrafried texture and excessively strong taste, but there was
plenty of food anyway, and Ayse took the
leftover balachung home to experiment on her cat.
Night: All of those people went off to geek
about FLtD until their brains exploded, but I escaped to my lair and
watched the first episode of El Hazard. The story had
recognizeable elements in common with the manga version I've been
reading, but was not actually the same plot and perhaps not even the same
story. This is typical in Japanese fiction, apparently. But it was
entertaining and the art was very nice, so I look forward to watching the
remaining 10 episodes.
10 August 2001
Today I submitted my
mandatory Voluntary Self-Criticism
Form annual self-evalution review thingy. My boss desnided it,
and suggested that I might want to blow my own horn slightly louder, but
agreed in principle, which is probably for the best. I made the suggested
revisions and now... I won't get a raise because no one gets a raise, but
maybe at least I won't be declared Expendable.
9 August 2001
Writing Night, finally. I thought episode 3 was going to be
short, forming a worrying trend, but it turned out almost exactly the
same length as episode
2. Perhaps I am not such a lame parasite after all.
8 August 2001
Since so many people ask: the sale of Temple Square hasn't gone
through, but the current manager doesn't foresee any major changes. Also,
I may have escaped having to clean my bathroom to a deadline. Hopefully
this doesn't mean I will never clean it.
I am clearly lacking in moral fiber, however, because I have bought
Yet More DVDs, pumping money into the pit of corruption and slime that is
the MPAA. Maybe I can redeem myself by making many copies of El Hazard and Ceres:
Celestial Legend and distributing them on the Internet.
7 August 2001
Cruelly led astray by the extra superdeformed material at the end of
the last Ushio & Tora
tape, I did not get to bed until Too Late, and then was unable to fall
asleep for some time, so I am one again a Sleepy Parasite. Hmph.
Quick review of Ushio &
Tora: It wasn't bad. I found the way Ushio is drawn to be kind of
peculiar (no Beauty Man
Garden bishonen here!) but not bad, and Tora is, as advertised,
awfully cool. Asako is awfully cool too. (Okay, so is Mayuko. Heck, most
of the characters are pretty cool, although it does seem to be an
unwritten law of anime that all fathers have to be annoying). I have to
wonder, though, whether the monsters are really from Japanese folklore or
the writer just dropped too much acid in college ("Rotate me!"). Overall:
recommended, but don't pass up Escaflowne for it.
* * *
I just learned from my landlady that the apartment building I live in
is being or has been sold, as a consequence of which I have to clean my
bathroom so it can be repainted. I don't follow the connection here, but
whatever. I can't deny that my bathroom needs it. Since this needs to be
done by Saturday, though, I'm not sure when I'll be able to have Writing
Night this week. Bad BAD parasite.
* * *
I had a long rant prepared about today's philosophical discussion, but
then I realized that all I need say is that within twenty minutes, both
of these opinions emerged from the person I was discussing with:
- Corporations desperately need to be reined in because an entity
with no motive other than profit is terribly dangerous
- I won't put my investments in the stock of corporations
that take pains to be less environmentally damaging because they
have lower ROI.
Pass that flaming liberal environmentally-conscious devoted Democrat
an SUV; he's earned it.
6 August 2001
Tonight is Writing Night, but it is 19:40 and I have just now arrived
home, so writing seems unlikely. Probably I will assemble some sort of
dinner and watch the two remaining tapes of Ushio & Tora and then fall
over splut like a tired space parasite.
Today is also the day my homework was
due, and in proper geek style I didn't do it until the last minute (I
marked up ads on the train to Millbrae). I did do it, however, and so am
rewarded for my efforts by having to think about actually leaving a
voicemail response to one or more of the three ads I circled. Augh.
Bonus points for guessing which three ads it was that I circled in
this week's Metro. Points off for insulting guesses.
5 August 2001
Not a very productive weekend, I'm afraid. Reading, watching anime,
sleeping in way too much, and, er, well, that's about it. Not even
improving books, just cheesy military SF.
3 August 2001
Now my head is all swelled up, for my clever solution to a work
problem has been admired by a Real Software Engineer (not a Fake Software
Engineer of the sort made common by the recent etulip-bulb.com phenomenon).
Or maybe I'm just easily flattered because my brain is all wobbly from
being woken up at 02:09 by the NOC, who were panicked at not being able
to reach any of the people they were supposed to escalate
2 August 2001
I didn't actually go to bed early last night, but at least I
didn't go to bed late. In consequence, I am relatively well-rested, and
able to alertly apply the full power of my intellect to... waiting for
email about my various tickets which are blocked on input. Hmph.
* * *
Christy has the Best
Journal Entry ever.
1 August 2001
Whee, a new month! Now my archives look slightly less pathetic.
Today I initiated Tara into the
mysteries of public transit. Aside from
the required sacrifices to the Bus Gods, casualties were relatively