Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 January 2003 - Friday

882 words, and lots of bad zangband. And some comics.

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30 January 2003 - Thursday

Sleepy parasite. Are you sensing a theme here?

* * *

Argh! My good game of zangband has come to an end! Stupid Monastic Lich! Stupid 93hp shot!

* * *

1068 words. Yay me.

words by kit (Fri Jan 31 09:40:16 2003)

YAY YOU!

Re: words by Trip (Fri Jan 31 10:32:28 2003)

Yay me! Of course, I am still way behind as measured in ways other than 200w/d, but oh well.

Why hasn't Winifred published us yet?

winifred by kit (Sat Feb 1 17:17:10 2003)

she HATES us!

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29 January 2003 - Wednesday

Yay! Bruce is back! However, Greg is going on vacation, so there's still extra work. He richly deserves time off, though, so, I'm not going to complain about that. About the people who give us the work, well...

* * *

Scarfing a quick dinner before gaming is a lot more like zangband than it is like writing.

* * *

Tonight in Hounds of Balazar, our heroes learn about the magic of coins, and how to breed them! Also, the accents of Lunars are mocked, a vengeful ghost is laid to rest, and formerly mad dogs are set loose to be actually feral. No dogs, however, are impaled on the horns of ungulates.

Woof.

Mocking accents by Image (Thu Jan 30 18:07:37 2003)

You didn't mock the Dragon Pass accents, I note. Celtic accents are just better than German ones.

Re: Mocking accents by Trip (Fri Jan 31 08:14:34 2003)

Hey, red-headed babe vs Chaos-tainted thug overloaded with ostentatious amounts of metal; whose accent are you going to mock?

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28 January 2003 - Tuesday

Bruce is still out. This means I have to do work. Bummer.

* * *

In fact, I ended up staying at work until 19:00, because I was stupid and didn't find the obscure stupid problem for hours and hours. So, no Whisman Station Anime for me. However, I've already seen the feature presentation (Metropolis), so I won't be missing more than a couple of episodes. But still, bleah.

* * *

888 words. I am all caught up.

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27 January 2003 - Monday

I stayed up late playing zangband over the weekend, so of course I am sleepy now. And work sucks, so I'm not getting writing done and seem to be cutting it very close on getting to gaming in time.

Is it just me, or is mandating that the two columns in a file that's supposed to be created by hand be separated by exactly a single tab character pretty stupid?

* * *

I was mostly on time, and Chrisber and Christy fed me curry glop on rice, so really the amount of doom was quite small. Plus, the horse is recovering, and hardly anyone was eaten by monstrous fungi.

file formats by Dave (Tue Jan 28 13:58:05 2003)

Well, it's not all that uncommon, really. Also, fairly easy to create, with the right tools (like awk, or sed).

Re: file formats by Trip (Tue Jan 28 14:51:35 2003)

It's not hard to create if you know that's what the file format is supposed to be. It's not obvious from looking at an existing file that you really have to have exactly one \t, and that \t\t or an equivalent number of spaces will make the script silently blow off that line. (The silence part is bad too.)

I changed it to split on /\s+/, like a good perl script.

Re: file formats by Chrisber (Wed Jan 29 14:36:09 2003)

Well, I often do it the first way, but if anyone other than me might be editing the file, I'd certainly want it to split on whitespace. Unless there should be a reason for empty columns.

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26 January 2003 - Sunday

Reading. zangband. Grocery shopping. More zangband. SUSHI!! Laundry. Rurouni Kenshin! More zangband. No TT preparation. No writing.

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25 January 2003 - Saturday

Three guesses what the only thing I did today was.

Well, and 368 words, which is only 34 words away from being caught up.

These are awfully small numbers, aren't they?

small numbers by kit (Mon Jan 27 16:57:07 2003)

They're numbers that are in keeping with your stated daily goal, so I'd say they're just about exactly the /right/ size!

Although perhaps you should step away from the zangband crack for a while. :)

Re: small numbers by Trip (Tue Jan 28 08:20:36 2003)

But but I'm on level 29!

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24 January 2003 - Friday

Oops, no writing tonight. 400 words for tomorrow, I guess.

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23 January 2003 - Thursday

Hm. As a first approximation, I'm in favor of anything the President's Minister for Suppressing Biotech in the Name of God opposes, but I certainly can't deny that this possibility raises many thorny questions. Fundamental changes to human nature in pill form: this isn't just the future, it's the singularity!

* * *

419 words. And, of course, lots of zangband.

how appalling by kit (Thu Jan 23 10:00:51 2003)

You're right. It's the singularity. And I think it's appalling. It's ... I mean, literally, that's the stuff of science fiction nightmares. _Gah_. What war does to people is horrific, yes, but the answer isn't drugging the nightmares away. The answer is finding a way to stop war. And while I realize that's terribly idealistic, and I have no answers as to /how/ to achieve that end (getting Bush out of office would help), wow. I can't help seeing the long-term effects of that kind of drug being either a society of sociopaths, or a society of numb lumps.

It's hard to imagine a world in which guilt and fear had been eradicated. And what else would be turned off? Ambition? Ambition, I grant you, is the cause of many wars, but ...

It does make a person want to write about such a world.

Equlibrium by Bryant (Thu Jan 23 10:06:36 2003)

See? Told you all you oughta see Equilibrium. It's all about this technology.

Plus guns.

Re: how appalling by Trip (Thu Jan 23 11:07:04 2003)

So the only thing keeping people from doing bad things is knowledge of the guilt they'll feel and the fear of punishment? And the only motivation to do things is fear of not doing them and the guilt of failing in obligations? I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but that's a pretty depressing view of human nature.

Personally, hm. I think freedom from fear would overall be a win. Yes, fear of consequences keeps some people from doing some bad things (but never underestimate the human capacity for self-delusion in the matter of consequences), but isn't it generally fear that pushes them toward doing those things to begin with? Fear of being unpopular, fear of being poor, fear of not making it into heaven (all the dangerous parts of religion, and perhaps all of it, are direct products of fear), fear of looking like a wuss...

Guilt I'm less sure about, although I think it may fundamentally be just a shorthand for fear of the specific consequence of being unpopular/outcast through not meeting cultural norms, in which case see above.

What would it be like if people only did things because they liked to, or because they could rationally consider whether the outcome would be better than what they have now?

Timothy Zahn has sort of written about this, in Angelmass. It's not a great book, but it is relevent.

fear & guilt by kit (Thu Jan 23 11:43:34 2003)

In fact, I think probably in general the world /would/ be a better place without fear and guilt. I was sort of trying to retrofit the idea onto history, but I don't think it can be done.

But but but. thinks I'm not sure that freedom from fear or guilt necessarily equates with the success of logic. I'm not sure, to take a wildly incindiary topic, that a lack of fear in human nature would have prevented slavery. An element of fear is certainly involved in slavery; that which is different is to be feared and that which is feared is to be destroyed (or enslaved). But I think slavery, or genocide, while partially based in fear (the Jews will take all your money!), are also matters of power.

Hm. I think I'm about to talk myself in a circle, because there's a pretty solid argument to be made for 'the reason that it is important to destroy the blacks or the Jews or the Irish or the (insert whatever ethnic group you care to here) is to prove that we are superior', and perhaps without fear there's no longer a need to prove superiority.

But again, that line of thinking relies on logic. We're not tremendously logical creatures; see your point about self-delusion.

I would, though, still like to know about what else can be eradicated with a little fear-zapping pill. I'd really be afraid of such a cure-all. I suspect that ultimately I would prefer a world with war and fear to one of stagnation, and I'm not sure that I trust long-term use of drugs like that to not dull human ambition.

uses by marith (Thu Jan 23 11:43:59 2003)

My first thought is "standard military issue for all troops going into combat. Here, take this and you won't have to be afraid just because you're cannon fodder."

Guilt and fear of punishment are not the only reasons not to do something, but they're part of how we learn to be human. Doing X results in praise and benefit to self, doing Y results in pain, damage and condemnation by others. Aren't sociopaths people who do only what they like and what benefits them?

A chemical means of relieving PTSD would be great, but military use seems inevitable. They already screw with X and Y extensively. I want to know more about that "desensitization training", or perhaps I don't.

Not to mention the idea of a happy pill to make torturers okay with their work.

Maybe a lingering space virus is the only hope. :P

Re: fear & guilt by Trip (Thu Jan 23 11:51:31 2003)

A big part of the reason humans are so bad at logic is because they have so many drives that are as strong or stronger than logic and don't have the same goals. With fewer or weaker such drives, there's more time to spare for thinking instead of only feeling. Would this make a utopia? Probably not. But it would probably be better than what we have now.

Note that the pill described does not magically eradicate the ability to feel fear from the human brain. When taken after a traumatic event, it reduces the amount of emotional weight given to the long-term memories of event as they're laid down. This is a hardly a cure-all, but a cure-PTSD would be plenty good enough for me. (Well, not me specifically, but insert your own traumatized person here.)

Re: slavery and genocide by marith (Thu Jan 23 11:52:02 2003)

Economics. The ideology of slavery, oppression and genocide always seems to be hiding economic benefit at the bottom. Those icky foreign people are a convenient cheap labor force/ those icky foreign people are stealing our jobs / our society is very comfortable because we're willing to allow those people to suffer. Oh, and "we need a scapegoat because we can't fix the economy; point at them!"

Fear and guilt end up in the mix in plenty, but I don't think removing them would help; it'd just make institutionalized slavery that much easier.

Re: uses, slavery and genocide by Trip (Thu Jan 23 14:43:31 2003)

Hasn't it been shown that intermittent positive reward is best for conditioning responses? In animals, at least; sophonts may be more ornery, I suppose, but I wouldn't expect so.

It's definitely been shown that you don't need drugs to get as many torturers as anyone could possibly need. :(

Do you really only do nice things for people because you're afraid of what will happen if you don't? Conversely, does reading the news lead you to believe that fear of the legal system stops people from being rat bastards? Not being afraid of something at the neurochemical level doesn't mean you can't decide it would be a poor idea.

I repeat, "Note that the pill described does not magically eradicate the ability to feel fear from the human brain. When taken after a traumatic event, it reduces the amount of emotional weight given to the long-term memories of event as they're laid down." It doesn't make you fearless when anticipating marching into machine-gun fire (and if it did, it would also make you unafraid to frag your stupid officers and do something sensible).

The cure for slavery is wealth. The cure for genocide is heavy weapons; the courage to use them is good, but doesn't seem to be in terribly short supply even now.

The cure for conflating "X is good" with "X will solve all problems and usher in the Millenium of Peace on Earth" is also heavy weapons, but with a slightly different target set.

uses, rape, and cynicism by Tayefeth (Thu Jan 23 21:32:13 2003)

The idealist's use for this pill is to give it to the victim of rape, to dull the trauma. The torturer's use for this pill is to give it to the torturer, and deliberately deny it to the victim of torture.

I don't think fear is the sole cause of rat-bastardness, but that means that this pill hasn't got a shot (even if all it does is cure/prevent PTSD) of eliminating or even reducing, the number of rat bastards. All it will do is give the rat bastards one more way to be obnoxious.

As an aside, I don't think the cure for genocide is heavy weapons. Human beings can find very minute details to focus on when they're looking for an Other to blame for Everything Bad. Wipe out one group, and the remaining group will fragment over time, until there's another looming genocide. IMO, the cure for genocide is actively valuing diversity. It's not enough to not mind living near/working with/studying with people who are Different. What Jane or Mohammed does doesn't have to become Bill's way of life, but there won't be an end to genocide until Bill, Jane, and Mohammed want to get along because of their differences, not in spite of them.

Re: uses, rape, and cynicism by Trip (Fri Jan 24 09:28:37 2003)

Again, history shows us that if you want torturers, you can get them, and you don't generally need to offer health insurance that pays for anti-guilt drugs.

I think the anti-trauma pill could reduce the number of rat-bastards, at least slightly: most abusers were themselves abused, etc. But yes, there are plenty of other reasons to be a rat-bastard.

Heavy weapons seem to have done the job for specific instances of genocide (WWII is the one I'm thinking of), but it's true that there are few applications that would eliminate the possibility of future genocides. If you want a solution with less extreme side effects, I'm not sure what it would be. I think what you're describing is how to tell when you're getting close, not how to accomplish the thing itself.

heavy weapons and genocide by marith (Fri Jan 24 13:27:17 2003)

Hm. What would you have done about the Bosnian massacres with heavy weapons? You could defeat the Serbian army, but that wouldn't make the general population particularly more tolerant. I suppose you could forcibly separate the two sides until whatever was causing the hatred died down. But that could take generations, judging by the examples out there. :/

Re: heavy weapons and genocide by Trip (Fri Jan 24 13:53:26 2003)

Well, I have no opposition to Killer Robots From Orbit. :) But yah, someone going in and actually stopping them from killing each other is probably what's needed.

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22 January 2003 - Wednesday

HAPPY BRYANTDAY!

* * *

546 words. Yay me!

* * *

Way too much zangband.

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21 January 2003 - Tuesday

Why is it only Tuesday?

Perhaps I should admit that at my advanced age, two games in one day is not much like a day of weekend rest.

* * *

Maho Tsukai Tai gets points for not having the lame ending they so easily could have.

Magical Project S started to hurt my brain about half-way through the opening song and hasn't stopped yet.

* * *

Total writing for today: 487 words. Extra words passed on to tomorrow: 46. Go me!

Make a comment!

20 January 2003 - Monday

Not dead yet, although I did miss the most optimum bus and had to take the next one.

* * *

HAPPY TED-DAY!

* * *

Today's Millbrae lessons:

  • Own your own stuff
  • Have more confidence in your social skills

* * *

It was only a fifty dollar bookstore accident!

I wonder if it's far enough past New Year's that I can start buying things for myself again.

* * *

Marith came over and we finished watching the DVD of Rurouni Kenshin. It does, in fact, get more serious. Yeek.

I have written 267 words anyway, so only 533 for tomorrow!

bookstore accidents by kit (Tue Jan 21 23:25:31 2003)

Heck, $50 hardly qualifies!

Well, actually, it qualifies pretty well, but er, at least it wasn't $100? :)

I proclaim that it's far enough past New Year's that you can start buying yourself stuff again, although it seems a trifle moot, since you just had a $50 bookstore accident. :)

Re: bookstore accidents by Trip (Wed Jan 22 08:43:19 2003)

True! It wasn't $100! And I think it was pretty safe since none of the books are ones I had particularly known I wanted before I saw them, so it's not likely anyone else would have guessed I wanted them.

But there are more books I want! And DVDs! And weasels!

re: bookstore accidents by kit (Wed Jan 22 10:44:54 2003)

Well, the problem is that now that New Years and the holiday season is past, your birthday is coming up. So you mustn't go overboard in buying things for yourself, see.

Re: re: bookstore accidents by Trip (Wed Jan 22 12:06:25 2003)

Argh!

re:re:re: bookstore accidents by kit (Wed Jan 22 23:09:41 2003)

laugh Poor Trip!

re:re: bookstore accidents by Tayefeth (Thu Jan 23 21:36:03 2003)

That's an advantage to having an early January birthday that I hadn't even thought about! More of the year is left free for bookstore accidents! (And game store accidents, and computer store accidents, and toy store accidents, and...)

Re: re:re: bookstore accidents by Trip (Fri Jan 24 10:38:46 2003)

Now I will sulk. Hmph!

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19 January 2003 - Sunday

I had great plans for getting up at 7:15 to go grocery shopping before All Day Gaming, but instead I slept in so much I was late to pre-gaming breakfast. Bad BAD parasite creature.

From 12 to 17, we played Sovereign Powers. Ultraviolet Rae and the Spectrum Boys took the Chicago Institute of Art hostage using their stolen Mole Machine, so they could spring Saber, but were foiled without a single piece of art being destroyed! The additional complication of Illinois Nazis was pretty annoying, but they got theirs. (Official writeup pending.)

Then Dave and I scuttled quickquick over to Ayse and Ken's to play D&D! Rangers were befriended, orcish ambuscades defeated, and werewolves captured, without anyone actually dying. And we levelled up, so next adventure we'll be even harder to kill!

Then I went home and hide under a rock so as to avoid dying tomorrow.

* * *

No writing today. Words for tomorrow: 600.

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18 January 2003 - Saturday

If there was anything I was supposed to accomplish today, I didn't. Instead, I (all together now) played zangband badly.

I'm sure having been up until 3:30 is merely coincidence.

* * *

Marith came over and we watched the first five or so episodes of Rurouni Kenshin. It was not nearly as serious as I had expected (although I hear it gets more serious later), and boy is the main character awfully cute and femmey for a hardened mankiller of the revolutionary era. But it was entertaining.

* * *

No writing. Words for tomorrow: 400.

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17 January 2003 - Friday

Yay! It's Friday!

* * *

Way too much zangband. Also, 332 words. And most of a Ted Chiang book.

If you have not purchased and read Stories of Your Life and Others, get with it already!

3:30 in the morning. Blargh.

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16 January 2003 - Thursday

If anyone was wondering what impala horns look like, here's a painting of one with horns. (The photograph I found didn't have any horned ones.)

* * *

Brainless evening spent playing zangband until my eyes glazed over. (More than they were already. (And no, it wasn't a sugar-based glaze.)) But I did write some words. Not sure how much, since I failed to mark where I left off, but at least quota.

Impalae by Image (Fri Jan 17 10:39:06 2003)

Somehow it just comes to me that 'impale' and 'impala' are in some way related words, if I could just put my finger on what the relationship might be.

Re: Impalae by Trip (Fri Jan 17 10:46:23 2003)

<anecdote type="pointless"> When I was in like third grade (more or less), I got IQtested, and one of the questions was "Which of these two pictures better represents the word 'impale'?" I picked the one of the African hunter pointing a spear at the antelope, because not only was there a pointy thing, but wasn't there some kind of antelope called an 'impale' or something like that? </anecdote>

Re:Impalae by Silkie (Fri Jan 17 12:22:55 2003)

Just out of curiousity, what was the other picture?

Re: Re:Impalae by Trip (Fri Jan 17 12:42:46 2003)

I no longer remember, because it wasn't anything like "impale" at all!

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15 January 2003 - Wednesday

Cool, new Kagerou!

* * *

Test your vocabulary!

(I got 180, which seems to be pretty good judging by the high scores list and the scores posted in rec.arts.sf.composition.)

* * *

Session 0 of Al's Balazar (Glorantha) game went pretty well. His homebrew system is a mutant hybrid of Runequest 2.5 and d20, but it seems to work (presuming you consider the "always fail at everything you have to roll for" and "always go down at the first hit" clauses of RQ to be features). We have four hunters, some with varying degrees of hearth-mother inclination, an apprentice shaman, and a dog. Woof.

None of our characters have names, because we didn't have any good sources of Slavic names handy (heck, we didn't even have enough pencils), but we ran a sparring match (the shaman won by Demoralizing everyone) and then an impala hunt. With magic to slow down the impalas and speed us up, it went pretty well, although Dave's character did shoot the shaman in the leg when he unwisely closed to melee range with the target impala. However, he redeemed himself by making a critical first aid roll on the dog who unwisely ran off to catch his own impala, took it down, and then got impaled on its horns. Whine.

* * *

Despite having to zoom to get comics and trudge back home and then game, I have written 450 words today! I am all caught up!

Possibly this means my quota is too low, but on the other hand, it doesn't seem very useful to make a quota that I don't meet.

quota by kit (Fri Jan 17 10:52:03 2003)

I donno, I keep looking at your word quota and thinking "Trip /makes/ his quota," and looking at mine and going, "Dumb overachiever chick."

Re: quota by Trip (Fri Jan 17 12:33:22 2003)

Yes, but you have many finished books to send to publishers and I have er nothing!

er, well, one. by kit (Fri Jan 17 12:44:33 2003)

Well, one -- oh, two. But Angles isn't edited yet. But my other finished books are either unpublishable (IB) or so in need of rewrites that I'm afraid to look at them. Well, it. :)

Re: er, well, one by Trip (Fri Jan 17 13:12:05 2003)

Still better than me!

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14 January 2003 - Tuesday

Wheee, back to work.

* * *

CZR finally started showing up for anime, which apparently was pretty confusing since he's arriving in the middle or end of four of the five shows. Also, nothing we watch is anywhere near serious enough for him to take seriously, but it's not clear that such anime even exists. :)

Anyway, we finished Moldiver, which remained silly and mistranslated to the end, and saw the penultimate episode of Maho Tsukai Tai. I am wary of the message we seem to be being set up to receive, but Micky-sempai is darn cool. I'd join her fanclub and I'm not even a teenaged girl!

* * *

Managed to squeeze out 201 words between work and anime, so I'm only one day behind!

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13 January 2003 - Monday

Oops. Late to doctor appointment. Stupid stupid parasite creature. But I did eventually successfully appoint, and have done other chores which somewhat justify taking the day off (but then, the lameness of the bus service to the benighted backwater where AV now lurks makes justification pretty moot, grr).

* * *

Tokyo Tower went pretty well, since I threw the PCs some bits of plot. Glowing plot, even! And only one encounter with carnivorous fungus! On the other hand, with Mariko nearly (but not quite) killing her horse so they have to camp in fungus central until it either croaks or gets better, they hardly need monsters.

* * *

No writing today, alas. And probably no writing tomorrow (Whisman Station Anime) or Wednesday (Hounds of Balazar). Thursday looks good...

* * *

I can't believe I failed to gloat about this at the time, but I have a New Hat! Two New Hats, in fact! The one I am wearing regularly is hat-shaped and black (indicating that I am still evil, but surely it's just coincidence that it was two of my TT players who got it for me) but leather and not concave and therefore much more suited to California winters! The other is a flat cloth cap with a quilted lining, so my brain won't freeze if I go somewhere with actual cold!

Chrisber and Christy say that next year they'll get me a hatrack. :)

Hounds of Balazar! by Image (Wed Jan 15 00:12:06 2003)

Good name! I like it!

Hats! by Tamago (Wed Jan 15 12:43:03 2003)

Actually, the hats are from me and Chris and Jim. We are the Sierra Vista Consortium, or something.

Re: Hats! by Trip (Wed Jan 15 14:03:59 2003)

Right! Jimweasel! Thank you all!

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12 January 2003 - Sunday

Accomplished today: nothing. Curse you, zangband!

* * *

Words: 295.

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11 January 2003 - Saturday

Because I stayed up until after 2:00 playing zangband, I was very lethargic today, and got nothing done before gaming. But Amber High School went well, and Tia got to outwit a malevolent ghost and preside at Chloe's sacrifice. Then I went with Chrisber and Christy to eat Indian food, and then I came home and er played zangband. And wrote 419 words.

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10 January 2003 - Friday

I'm glad it's Friday.

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9 January 2003 - Thursday

It would be unAmerican to accept responsibility for my own weakness of will, so I'll say it's Dave's fault that I stayed up until Much Too Late playing zangband.

* * *

I appear to have successfully passed on Chris Siebenmann's Sea of Insanity meme, overriding at least one person's self-preservation instincts, so let me try spreading Kagerou too.

Muahahahahaha.

* * *

It's yucky and raining, but I don't have to hike to anime tonight! Ha hah!

* * *

Yep, Kagerou got Silkie. I am unrepentent!

* * *

398 words.

Sea of Insanity by Truth (Thu Jan 9 19:19:40 2003)

Bad space parasite! Evil space parasite!

I'd say more, but I'm now in the middle of reading 'Sea of Insanity' and have to go back to it right now.

ARGH!

Re: Sea of Insanity by Trip (Fri Jan 10 08:28:12 2003)

Muahahahahahaha!

And don't forget to read Kagerou too!

Oh no! by Carl (Sat Jan 11 02:02:23 2003)

Bryant sent me a link to Sea of Insanity and I wound up reading the whole thing, so if there's a memepath between you and him, you can count coup on me too. Darn you!

Re: Oh no! by Trip (Sun Jan 12 21:36:10 2003)

I don't know if he got it from me or from the same source I did. It's all Chris's fault anyway.

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8 January 2003 - Wednesday

Okay, I'm getting used to this work thing. But now some nontechnical people have started storing their filing cabinets and assorted crap in the middle of our area. They must be destroyed.

* * *

On the way to get comics, I stopped to give Christy her New Year's present, bum some wrapping paper, wrap Jimweasel's present, and leave it with Christy & Chrisber to give to him if he ever goes home again. They let me leave, but only if I promised to return and eat pizza things! So I did.

* * *

I need to write 400 words in the next half hour. Yeep!

* * *

449 words, but I am up way too late because I have zangband. Woe.

Make a comment!

7 January 2003 - Tuesday

Hey, look, everything's broken. Fortunately, I have the Power of Automation.

* * *

New Whisman Station Anime night! Unsurprisingly, the experience of hiking to Ray's place is no different. However, we get Stacy back, and might get CZR if he ever works less than 23 hrs/day.

Tonight's new series is Princess Nine, shojo baseball anime. It's too bad Kirby isn't here to see it.

Moldiver only has one episode remaining, and Maho Tsukai Tai only two, so we will be starting new serieses soon, but Ray hasn't decided what.

* * *

Tonight's words: 0. Er. Um. Bad parasite, no Krispy Kreme?

Princess 9 by Truth (Thu Jan 9 10:44:10 2003)

By wild co-incidence, we just finished watching the first two DVDs of Princess 9.

There was much hilarity. We decided we needed to find and obtain the rest of it.

grins

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6 January 2003 - Monday

Ah, how quickly the old skills come back: using scroll bars instead of scrollymouse, juggling bagels plus water bottle plus keycard through the 17 bajillion locked doors, typing the root password at machinegun speed to 17 bajillion different machines...

But as the first Monday of the year, this is Monday2, so I have an excuse to feel blearghy.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

* * *

I miss my scrollymouse.

* * *

Whee Millbrae. Interesting discussion, but then I had to flee to catch the train. Of course.

Lapsing into gaming metaphor, it seems to boil down to my needing to accept that people have emotional/social Def, and are not actually harmed by small infringements on their time.

Or something.

* * *

My computer exploding threw me right off my stride, but now I must resume writing daily. No excuses!

Well, not many.

* * *

AQoJ writeup: 823 words. Go me.

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5 January 2003 - Sunday

We got home a little after 1, but because I am an idiot I stayed up another hour or two reading the rest of the Sea of Insanity archives. As a result, I was very lethargic and useless all day, but I did manage to get grocery shopping done (Aiee! Work tomorrow!) and clean up my lair before people came over to play D&D.

D&D was good! Our Heroines (entertainers and sisters Jehan and Alasaïs) and their entourage (bodyguard Tobias and random priest of the knowledge god William) took the job of conveying a box to a wizard in a distant town, encountered a mysterious salt mire, fought off robbers, turned over prisoners to the local authorities, heard from a drunken dwarf about a crazy woman running wild in the forest with a wolf pack, learned that the wizard's apprentice was missing, delivered the box, paid off a corrupt official, learned that the wizard's apprentice was still missing, and accepted a commission to deliver a letter from the wizard to one of his strange friends. Also, there was witty banter and the sentence "21; 25 if he's straight".

Eventually sleep overcame us, though.

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4 January 2003 - Saturday

Despite being all tired when I went to bed, I couldn't get to sleep and therefore didn't wake up in any useful way until noon. Because I suck. :(

Amazon Quartet of Justice Vc: "You come to this plane often?"

Although the events in the pocket dimension took no time in the real world, Amaryllis and Fresa have still expended almost all their spells, and Alyra is still poisoned, so the next foray into the caverns beneath the temple of evil has to be postponed for a day. Sophia and Serenity are somewhat annoyed, since they don't get any of Moradin's bounty of gold, and they have to wait another day before smiting evil, but at least there're prisoners to interrogate!

The cutest of the evil monks encountered earlier beckons to Alyra from concealment, and when she sneaks off to meet him, he suggests moving camp and asks if her short cute brunette friend is available. Hmph.

The prisoners turn out to be only hirelings of evil, and not amazingly competent ones at that, so they get the choice of going back to Tigris to stand trial or being set free with minimal equipment. Moments after they grab their minimal equipment (including light armor for one of them, since he helpfully divulged that the necrotheologians have a sphinx) and take off, the sound of boot meeting head is heard. Serves them right.

Camp is duly moved, but the entire city is being swept by zombie patrols, and Sophia, Serenity, and Fresa can't resist the chance to rid the world of fifteen of the walking dead. During the (brief) fight, the cute depraved monk shows up again, expresses despair at the inability of paladins to keep a low profile, and asks Amaryllis out. She tentatively agrees.

Camp is moved again, and the lawful good types put on a leash, so further zombie incident is avoided until the next day, when Our Heroines feel ready to go looking for trouble.

Well, almost ready. Before setting out, Fresa petitions Moradin for divine assistance, which is delivered in the form of a stunning avian celestial by the name of Gabriel. "But call me Gabe," he says to Sophia. "Are you free for dinner?"

The temple above the caverns is full of zombies, but Gabe teleports Sophia to the rear of the hall, and she drives the zombies forth to be slaughtered by the rest of the party. Zombies are so passé.

Retracing their steps, the Amazons come to the room ideally designed for undead ambushes, but the mummies and ghasts there are only a momentary obstacle. Finally, they reach the room where they first encountered the hirelings of evil, and find that a barricade of rubble has been built facing the entrance. Discussion ensues.

Finally, Alyra is sent in to scout. She finds only a couple of snakes lurking behind the barricade, so she shoots one, provoking it into assuming human form and shooting back! That's not too bad, but the enormous spider-monster clinging to the ceiling reveals itself and attempts to rip Alyra into pieces! She beats a hasty retreat with her information, and the assault begins.

Serenity and Sophia advance, but the first part of the fight is mostly a contest between the bebilith's webs and Amaryllis's fireballs. Finally, the bebilith completely clogs the tunnel and Gabe has to evacuate Sophia via teleportation. The two sides sit at opposite ends of the web-filled tunnel and plot.

At last, Amaryllis enhances herself with every spell the party can cast and several of the scrolls and potions she's been hoarding for a rainy day, and Gabe teleports with her to almost the far end of the tunnel: behind enough webbing to provide cover, but not enough to block the fireballs she launches into the room. After two or three, the bebilith falls smoking from the ceiling, so the strike force teleports into the room to be able to shoot down the other corridors. The evil cleric, in a stunning display of magical potency, dispels almost all the spells on Amaryllis, but that doesn't stop her from casting more spells, and doesn't remove Gabe's innate abilities. Things look dicy for a moment, especially when the bebilith gets up and starts taunting them, but it can't actually move within ten feet of Gabe's divine body, and Amaryllis has a few more scrolls, so the cleric, the three snake-men, a bunch of ineffectual zombies, and finally the bebilith go down for good!

Amaryllis had conjured a wall of ice across the corridor the snake-men tried to escape down, so they had to return and die like the barbecue they were, and during the final stages of the battle she hears someone breaking through it. She sends an elemental to scout, and it reports people there, who then leave. It is surmised that it was the four depraved monks.

Now, with only one fireball remaining, the Amazons (plus Gabe) must charge into the heart of the catacombs to rescue the sacrifices and destroy the heartstone of the dead god, putting an end to the necrotheologian threat once and for all!

* * *

Al and Sherilyn decided that their new dungeon bits are actually cool, and protested that they merely felt unworthy earlier, but Marith and I talked them down.

On the way back, I thought about Transmundane and now I might know what goes in the next chapter!

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3 January 2003 - Friday

New comics today! (I dunno what's up with the distribution system that it can't handle two holidays in consecutive weeks. Lack of competition, I guess.) But no time to read them because er I'm too lazy. Plus, I have to go to Roseville to appreciate Sherilyn's awesome GMing!

* * *

Roseville is too far away from anywhere civilized.

* * *

Al and Sherilyn seem dubious about their new 3D dungeon bits. Ah well. At least they can't say I never gave them anything!

Dungeons by Silkie (Mon Jan 6 19:25:21 2003)

Not dubious! Just unworthy of their coolness!

Dungeons by Image (Mon Jan 6 19:40:25 2003)

Unworthy is right. We were thinking of ways to keep them from just being appropriated and lost by our protohumans.

Re: Dungeons by Trip (Mon Jan 6 19:45:56 2003)

I'm writing this in chronological order! On Friday you were pretty dubious! Later, I'll write about what you said later!

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2 January 2003 - Thursday

Did I do anything today? I went to Whisman Station Anime and saw more Steel Angel Kurumi and more Himiko-den and more Maho Tsukai Tai and even more Moldiver, and supported the movement to switch to Tuesday nights starting next week. Then I went home and fribbled around, because it's not like I have to be at work tomorrow!

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1 January 2003 - Wednesday

Fooey!

I tried Ayse's suggestion, and it appeared to work for a bit, but I soon discovered it was only taunting me. So now I have the 15" monitor Chrisber lent me ages ago hooked up. Usable, but bleah. I think the signs of disconnection and reconnection Ayse saw after IT fixed her work monitor were really signs of a bad monitor being swapped out.

I guess the post-Christmas journey to the return desk at Fry's is customary in my adopted homeland anyway.

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