Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: We are back to the time slot of "Hobgoblins with Motivation" (unlike last week's surprise extra session), and Ken has indeed taken it over to run "For the Glory of Thrace". So far the new mayor of the resettled town of Regium, her half-elven wizard slave, a halfling businessman, the new priestess of Regium, and her paladin bodyguard, have been shoved onto a boat by their respective superiors and then attacked by unhygenic lizardmen.

Arguably they deserved it, as the new mayor is really some sort of fey-powered magician whose father and little brother may have been sacrificed for her magic, her slave is a shapeshifting demonspawn, and the halfling is a mobster. The priestess and paladin seem to be what they seem, but they are clergy of the god of keeping people in their place, so it's not like they're fluffy puppies and rainbows either.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Food: Ken made ceviche[1], carne asada, pico de gallo, rice, beans, and steamed sweet corn[2], so his players would not expire of hunger during the game. He is the best GM ever! (Well, this week. Later Sherilyn will get a chance to be the best GM ever.)

[1] I am always amazed that an acid as weak as lime juice is enough to chemically cook stuff, but it is.

[2] The index of all knowledge, both true and false seems to indicate that sweet corn is not actually related to the massive growth of the high-fructose corn syrup industry. Corn syrups are made from corn starch, which sweet corn gives up in exchange for extra immediately-appetizing sugars.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: After the extraneous thermions of last week, it has cooled down enough that Marmalade and Aspen snuggled up together on the bed. Aw!

Writing: Ayse may someday save me from my fail, but not today.

scurrilous rumors by marith (Tue Sep 2 08:05:51 2008)

What? They were NOT! Resi wants to know who said that about her family! When she finds out who they're gonna get their eyes...uh, I mean they're gonna get a long stern lecture till their eyes glaze over. Because the Grivas are not the sort of family who does evil things. Hmph!

Re: scurrilous rumors by Trip (Tue Sep 2 16:44:01 2008)

Lycoris would never say anything like that. Never ever!

(Although OOC it would be great if she got Eyebite used on her so she can multiclass to Warlock and get Bluff trained and Eyebite once per encounter at second level.)

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30 August 2008 - Saturday

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: Third disc of Gilgamesh. Oh the doom. But at least it's doom with teleport and energy blast!

Also, I determined that the file I had originally downloaded for Dennou Coil 19 was corrupt and downloaded a better one. The anime must go on!

Food: Yummy Thai lunch.

Silly Computer Games: More sudoku than you can shake two sticks at.

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

Writing: Made of fail.

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29 August 2008 - Friday

Work: Tried to set up replicant mysql, but wasn't smart enough. Friday afternoon sleepies, blargh.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Food: Carne asada burrito at Andalé. Yummy, but too much. Blargh.

Silly Computer Games: Additional blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Fail and suck.

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28 August 2008 - Thursday

Work: Mm, mysql.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Extra bonus fail.

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27 August 2008 - Wednesday

Work: Blargh. Sleepy.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: Three more episodes of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.

Food: Ginger chips. Weird.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Made of fail, with an extra serving of fail on the side.

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26 August 2008 - Tuesday

Work: Hm, open-source workflow.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: Kodocha 48: the goofiness and the doom! Shana 9-10: the fan-service and the doom! Spice and Wolf 10-11: the bankruptcy and the doom! Dennou Coil: the failure! Episode 19 is corrupt on the disc. I'll have to see if the master copy on spore is corrupt too. But knocking off early isn't the worst fate.

Food: Feta, pesto, tomato, ground beef pizza. Not bad!

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Made of fail.

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25 August 2008 - Monday

Work: Blargh. Sleepy. Weekends too short.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Food: Suppenküche leftovers! Yum!

Silly Computer Games: Yep.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Made of fail.

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24 August 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: Jeremy and Rachel are dead in a pit, or maybe in a baby shower, so instead of running "Three bozos vs the kobolds" I ran "Hobgoblins with motivation". The goblin camp was easily crushed despite being a level+3 encounter, partly because the two hobgoblin archers with +9 to hit only scored about three hits between them the entire fight. One did get to push the dragonborne off the ladder when the PCs tried to storm the tower, though.

Yay level two!

Ken is probably going to take over this time slot to run "For the Glory of Thrace" now.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve furry paws!

Writing: Full of fail.

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23 August 2008 - Saturday

Gaming: Ken celebrated his birthday by making all of us (ADKMT plus Mike) play Republic of Rome. We got to the very last turn before the second phase before blowing some rolls and being crushed by having four active wars. We could probably have survived the wars if we hadn't worked so hard to tear down Mike's best senator, but if we hadn't, we wouldn't have had the wars because Mike would have won long before that.

Food: Mike provided a chocolate-peanutbutter pie and an apricot-honey custard with a honeycomb pattern and chocolate bees, because that is the sort of thing Mike does. Also Ayse fetched some cakes because apparently it's just not a birthday cake without cake.

Mike had to take off, but the rest of us met Cat and Earl at Suppenküche, because German food is the celebratory food of the Kens. We feasted mightily! Roast suckling pig! Venison! Rotkohl! Sauerkraut! Potato pancakes with applesauce! Jägerschnitzel! [1] Butternut squash soup! Pickled herring!

[1] But what is menschenjägerschnitzel like? (I totally blame Planet Karen.)

After the feasting, we went up a very tall hill (it was SF, after all) and pillaged Gamescape and sat around at a coffee shop and eventually trundled home.

Ken pronounced himself satisfied.

Visual Entertainments: Too full and/or lame to go to bed, so I watched Colorful. It was stupid and incoherent, but the theme seemed to be that men tend to be gits, which I can't argue with. Still, strongly disrecommended.

Silly Computer Games: Not too much!

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

Writing: Still made of fail.

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22 August 2008 - Friday

Work: I don't seem to have actually accomplished much this week. Bah.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: I have verified that I have all of Simoun, and the last piece of Gurren Lagann is coming out in a couple of weeks, so even if Neil is foiled on Kaleido Star II and Marith fails on Rose of Versailles, we will have stuff to watch after the current serieses end.

Food: Marith lured me to Country Gourmet for dinner. The stir fry was good, but augh so much food! No wonder Americans are bloated!

Silly Computer Games: I got crushed at Scrabulous again. Ivpiter is alarming, while my tiles were alarming in a completely different way. Or maybe the same way except they were supposed to be on my side.

Cats: Marmalade and Ghirardelli like the other kind of cat treats I got, but Aspen is still unimpressed. How am I supposed to bribe her?!

Writing: Wum.

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21 August 2008 - Thursday

Work: Sleepy. Also, my boss spent most of the day at the data center so I couldn't explain to him what I have learned.

Random Links: Bugs with water. Daniel Pinkwater FTW. Extraordinary depravity.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Food: Chipotle burrito! Spicy yum!

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Wum.

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20 August 2008 - Wednesday

Work: Readingu readingu la la la.

Gaming: FAILURE. Dave is still out of town, so no Earthdawn, and Mike bailed to see relatives, so there was no backup board gaming.

Visual Entertainments: Gilgamesh episode 9. Look, doom!

Silly Computer Games: Sudoku and Sand Sand Sand.

Cats: None of the cats are at all interested in catnip-laced kitty treats! My cats are mutants!

Writing: Wum.

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19 August 2008 - Tuesday

Work: I think you can do that with this thing.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: No Tuesday Night Anime, because Dave is out of town, but I managed to watch episodes 6-8 of Gilgamesh. I had forgotten how weird the art style is.

Silly Computer Games: Sudoku.

Cats: Twelve paws of cuteness!

Writing: Wum.

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18 August 2008 - Monday

Work: Made the last few changes and now I get to learn about this other thing and determine if it is useful for that purpose.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: More Scrabulous. I won twice and came in second (of three) the other time, so I probably can't claim to have been crushed like a bug.

Cats: Twelve fluffy paws!

Writing: Wum.

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17 August 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: Dave has abandoned us, so there was no D&D4. Instead, Ken crushed us at Spacefarers of Catan. I was within one point of winning when he bought six fame rings and catapulted into the lead with his good PR. Hmph!

Also I was reminded why I suck and should die in a pit.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE. Current status: made of fail.

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16 August 2008 - Saturday

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE.

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15 August 2008 - Friday

Work: That does in fact work.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments:FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Marith and Ivpiter lured me into playing Scrabulous and crushed me like a bug. Apparently I don't actually know any words.

Cats: Marmalade did not jump on the keyboard while I was trying to play Scrabulous!

Writing: FAILURE.

scrabulous by marith (Sun Aug 17 10:14:21 2008)

You have the strangest definition of crushed like a bug that I know! The only crushing I saw was done by his Ivpiter and his army of mutant ninja consonants.

Re: scrabulous by Trip (Tue Aug 19 12:59:07 2008)

Darn those turtle consonants!

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14 August 2008 - Thursday

Work: That almost works! Kinda.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: Finished off Samurai Gun. Enh.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE. Although if you look at it a certain way, not having more of my writing in the world is a good thing.

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13 August 2008 - Wednesday

Work: Hm, that's a little better.

Gaming: I fail so much at gaming because I'm not over-the-top enough. This was definitely true in Zorcerer of Zo, and probably true in Mutants and Masterminds. D&D4 adventures are a lot more mundane, or at least constrained, so that's probably within my abilities.

Visual Entertainments: Three more episodes of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. People still like it, although no one is impressed with Haruhi's ethical sense. (I think the way she treated the computer club is worse than the way she treats Mikuru, although I can see room for disagreement.)

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Aspen ate her breakfast today, and seems otherwise Aspen-like, so I guess I will not worry.

Writing: Anime was delayed, so I did write 250 words, but then I was in the same room as Ayse and Earl, who actually write, so I think I have to count as a failure.

weasels! by marith (Thu Aug 14 20:51:40 2008)

I don't remember, what did Haruhi do to the computer club?

(And to be fair to her, I am actually more annoyed at narrator boy, who is not a sociopath and who never does anything effectual to help.)

You do not fail at gaming! As one of your players, I say so! Nyah!

Re: weasels! by Trip (Thu Aug 14 21:15:44 2008)

<rot13>Fubirq gur pyho cerfvqrag vagb Zvxheh'f oernfgf, gbbx cubgbf, naq guerngrarq gb fcernq gurz nebhaq pnzchf hayrff ur tnir ure gur arjrfg znpuvar gurl unq.</rot13>

I definitely failed at Zorcerer of Zo and Mutants and Masterminds.

Haruhi & the narrator boy (no spoilers!) by Ayse (Sun Aug 17 15:35:01 2008)

Well, given how she _did_ act towards the computer club, I think any moves he actually makes towards intervening might end up with him looking like the bad guy. Which isn't really a good reason not to intervene, but I suspect this is another story about teenagers gaining more humanity over time...

gaming! by Ayse (Sun Aug 17 15:36:53 2008)

I can't speak to M&M, but I don't think you can attribute the difficulties around Z of Z solely to your own GMing... I think it was hard for us all to get traction, and that's a group challenge, not simply a GM challenge. And the problem was certainly not that you weren't giving us big enough/interesting enough plot!

Re: Haruhi & the narrator boy (no spoilers!) by Trip (Mon Aug 18 19:09:17 2008)

Could be! You'll find out!

Re: gaming! by Trip (Mon Aug 18 20:57:38 2008)

But a large part of the problem with ZoZ is that I set mixed expectations by succumbing to foolish realism, like giving the kingdom a location and the PCs jobs and stuff.

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12 August 2008 - Tuesday

Work: That should work in theory. I wonder why it doesn't work in practice.

Gaming: Bah, there won't be any D&D this weekend because Dave will be out of town.

Visual Entertainments: Kodocha 47 has more silliness and melodrama. Dennou Coil 17-18 have more plot and doom. Spice and Wolf 9 has more cuteness. Shana 7-8 have more glowing purple werewolf ninja action (and the promise of future hot springs episode, alas).

No anime next Tuesday: Dave is out of town.

Silly Computer Games: Not too much!

Cats: Aspen did not seem to want her gooshy-food breakfast this morning! I finally dragged her in with only mild bloodshed, but by that time Ghirardelli had pillaged it all. She seems well enough otherwise, so I will resist the urge to panic. She could stand to lose some weight anyway.

Writing: FAILURE. Current status: 5 days ahead.

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11 August 2008 - Monday

Work: Most of what I did last week was wrong and stupid, so I fixed it. Now dates are stored in a sane fashion internally. Next, non-text output.

Gaming: What I would do to interlopers if I were a kobold ambush?

Visual Entertainments: GreenCine sent me the last disc of Samurai Gun, so I started watching it. Oh the doom.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check. Current status: 6 days ahead.

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10 August 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: Having admitted that my brain is not large enough for a real game, I fell back on running D&D4 for Jeremy/Rachel/Dave. Three is pretty small for a party in 4th ed, but they beat up some mooks in a bar and some fire beetles scavenging the wrecked caravan. They've had the kobolds described to them, and the kobolds shown to them, so I guess next time I'll have to actually use the kobolds. Muahahahaha.

Visual Entertainments: Finished the third disc of Hell Girl. Why yes, that system is prone to error and abuse. Maybe somebody will do something about it eventually.

Food: I think I ate most of a box of Triscuits at gaming. Gah.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws! Some of them have little tufts of brown fur sticking out between the digits like nerf claws!

Writing: Check. Current status: 6 days ahead.

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9 August 2008 - Saturday

Gaming: Picked up a spare 4th ed PHB so there can be almost enough to go around.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Even more sudoku. I should find a new game to play.

Cats: Marmalade was such a snugglekitty this evening!

Writing: Double check. Current status: 6 days ahead.

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8 August 2008 - Friday

Work: Bah, too slow to run the main routine for every chunk of output! Time for more deeply-nested hashes!

Has anyone seen my brain?

Gaming: Okay, that's like a plan for D&D4 on Sunday, unless they want to start at higher than 1st level or something. I should draw maps, though.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check. Current status: 5 days ahead.

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7 August 2008 - Thursday

Work: Okay, that part was easy. Now, to interface with a Microsoft format. (Fortunately, it's perl, so there's a module for everything.)

Gaming: Finally admitted I have no inspiration for Angel Bay and pleaded with people to play something else. Looks like it will be D&D4.

(Ideas are easy, execution is hard. Also, I'm not over-the-top enough.)

Visual Entertainments: One episode of Hell Girl. Oh the doom.

Silly Computer Games: Thinking is hard, let's play sudoku.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Check. Current status: 5 days ahead.

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6 August 2008 - Wednesday

Work: I guess hashes of hashes of hashes are like data structures. Close enough for my fairly simple purposes. But I hate stupid American-style dates.

My previous staff manager (who was my staff manager when the process started) came to deliver the results of yearly review. I get a raise of about 9%, which seems good to me, although perhaps I have poor expectations. It almost makes up for my increase in rent!

Gaming: Ken and Ayse are back, so we had Earthdawn! There was a lot of screwing around, but we got a clue, got back out of the kaer without having to kill any griffins, and tracked down the Horror-marked obsidimen who had stolen our hosts' levitation crystal. My character wasn't the one clinging to the crystal as it slowly drifted away, but she had an arrow with a line already prepared to recapture it, so I will take the credit.

Now we need to figure out how to rescue the obsidimen from the Horror that's holding their Lifestone hostage.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

Writing: Failure. Current status: 5 days ahead.

Dates by Jeremy (Fri Aug 8 22:43:30 2008)

Yeah, geeze, why do I always have to pay for the movie?

Oh... but Perl has at least seventy dozen ways to handle dates. As long as they don't randomly change format on you, like certain data sets I can recall.

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5 August 2008 - Tuesday

Work: Bah, perl has no data structures.

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: Kodocha 45-46: Silly! Dennou Coil 16: More doom! Shana 5-6: More doom, less cheesecake! Spice and Wolf 8: Aww!

Silly Computer Games: Still too much sudoku.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: FAILURE. Current status: 6 days ahead.

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4 August 2008 - Monday

Work: Now I am doing perl! I remember perl! It isn't object-oriented! But it does do regexps as first-class thingies.

Gaming: Of course my brain is all full of D&D4 now, which is useless. Because I suck.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Writing: Double check. Current status: 7 days ahead. I still suck.

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3 August 2008 - Sunday

Gaming: I ran two more D&D4 encounters for the fearless defenders of the coffee press, who assaulted a prepared lurking-spot and bumped into some goblins on a trail. Vexing cloud is good, but the goblins in the first encounter did not retreat up the rope ladder and mock the PCs with arrows from above, like they should have. Also, Dave respecced his wizard to use Thunder Wave instead of Scorching Burst, which made him excessively gleeful.

I got a cramp in my tentacle from drawing out battle maps ahead of time (slopes and cliffs are hard, so what did I have lots of?) but the players seemed to like them.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws! Which are very cute! And some of them are less pointy now!

Writing: FAILURE. Current status: six days ahead. Because I suck.

Battlemaps by Dave (Tue Aug 5 14:20:03 2008)

They were indeed spiffy.

And anything that gives +4 defense to everyone on your side, for the length of the encounter, is pretty nasty.

Re: Battlemaps by Trip (Tue Aug 5 16:35:18 2008)

If you can get out of the cloud, it's only +2 defense! Anyway, I note that you schooled both sets of vexing goblins without having to use daily powers. I'll have to come up with something even worse for the main camp.

Powers by Ken (Tue Aug 5 21:23:52 2008)

It does seem very, very powerful. Probably the closest PC power in comparison is Shield of Faith, a 2nd level cleric daily which gives +2 AC until the end of the encounter to all allies within 5, but that's only to AC and it's only +2, and this is much better than +4, it's +2 and concealment (allowing stealth rolls).

A relatively good comparison that shows how powerful it is - there's a level 29 warlord daily which does a bunch of damage, but also has the effect "You and each ally within 5 gain +4 to all defenses and resist 5 to all damage until the end of your next turn, sustain minor". That's the only thing on casual glance I can find that gives that size of a bonus to all defenses.

Well, probably powerful enough that I'd be reluctant to give it to a home-brew monster, but it's published, and we dealt with it!

Re: Powers by Trip (Tue Aug 5 22:27:02 2008)

Yah, it does sound powerful, but it didn't seem to stop you from squishing them like bugs. Maybe I wasn't making enough stealth rolls, although I don't think any of the goblins had bonus damage on combat advantage, so it wouldn't have helped all that much.

Also, note that vexing cloud is mostly only +2 against ranged attacks, which can be made from outside the cloud, and doesn't seem to help against blast and burst attacks.

Vexing Goblins by Dave (Wed Aug 6 09:48:08 2008)

It's true that concealment does not appear to help against area/close attacks (go wizard!), and if you can get outside of the field, that gets the rest. However, given the concealment, targeting can be difficult if you're outside it.

Re: Vexing Goblins by Trip (Wed Aug 6 22:09:04 2008)

Maybe I just don't use Stealth enough.

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2 August 2008 - Saturday

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: MST3k brought us The Girl in the Golden Boots. It was approximately as terrible as one would expect.

Food: Ayse and Ken came home and were starving, so they lured us over to help eat pizzas! Also we became informed about Portland and the many beautiful, inexpensive houses to be found there.

Thinking about moving is scary./p>

Silly Computer Games: Blah.

Cats: Sixteen paws! They are indeed glad to see their humans again.

Writing: FAILURE. Current status: 7 days ahead.

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1 August 2008 - Friday

Work: The PHP thing is provisionally done, if we can get the group that requested it to sign off on what we've done. It's possible they'll have surprise requirements, but otherwise, I think we're done. My boss says I work too fast.

I hope they continue to give me money, because my rent just went up about 13%. (I can't complain too much, since it stayed flat for about five years, but I can complain some.)

Gaming: FAILURE.

Visual Entertainments: FAILURE.

Food: I stopped by Andalè on my way back from pillaging Borders because I had been wanting Mexican for a while. Their special burrito of the day was good, but turned out to not be quite what I was looking for, so now my desire for Mexican food is mostly but not completely abated. Hmph.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Sixteen paws!

Ayse and Ken are due back tomorrow night, and I bet their kitties will be very happy.

Writing: Double check. Current status: 8 days ahead.

Mexican Food by Ken (Tue Aug 5 21:16:26 2008)

If you're up in that part of town, there's a taco place called El Grullense at 2401 Middlefield. It's probably the best tacos I've had, and easily the best Mexican food north of Santa Barbara. And hey, $1.25 per taco. There are several other places named El Grullense, but the other one I tried was not very good - too greasy and not as tasty.

El Grullense by Dave (Wed Aug 6 09:45:23 2008)

Hopefully they are not located near one another. ;)

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