Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 March 2012 - Saturday

Today we brunched with Ja Baby, played Dave's Academy of Science game, took Ja Baby to the park without her parents (and returned her home almost entirely intact), and caused Ken to explode in a fit of San-Diego-style-burrito making (carne asada, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa, no rice or beans or any of that wimpy San Francisco stuff).

The PCs in Dave's game successfully escaped the Mysterious Underground Labyrinth of Mysterious Mystery with some insights and a seemly number of ghosts, but now will discover the shape of their doom.

Marith and Dave and I did not eat Ja Baby or sell her to goblins or anything, even though Ken left her with us at the park while he went to buy San-Diego-style-burrito ingredients. Eventually it rained and we had to take her back inside, though.

Ayse played about 256929341 hours of Dungeon Raid on my iPad. Dave kept saying we were doing it wrong, and once he got it on his phone he was able to keep playing pretty much forever, so I guess we are.


None of this was anything like preparing D&D for tomorrow.


Ghirardelli is down to one gooshymedicine per day, but still gets the horrible squirting twice a day. He is playing chase again, though, and tussling with Marmalade!

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30 March 2012 - Friday

Yay! I'm not on call!


I picked up Eyes to See (Joseph Nassise) at the library because it had a blurb by Seanan McGuire, but although it started off interesting, it declined pretty steeply in quality. The (first-person) sections from the main character's PoV were pretty good, but the female lead was pretty clichéd and her (third-person) sections were not even terribly well-written. And, as the book went along, the genre devolved into Angel-esque action/adventure with demons just hanging around.

I think it's supposed to tie in with Nassise's previous series, so perhaps I'm not really the target reader, but on the other hand, he doesn't have the excuse of it being his first book.


Ghirardelli still flees when he sees me coming with the Squirter of Oppression, because I am horrible. :(

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29 March 2012 - Thursday

The Serpent Sea (Martha Wells) is the sequel to the The Cloud Roads, in which more parts of the fantastic world are visited. This one feels a little more like standard fantasy because it has cities with the kinds of social structures we're used to (although not the kind of physical structure we're used to), and recognizable wizards. Also, this world seems to have no scaling laws.


  • Katanagatari 6: Those ninjas are dropping like flies (and not just the Insect Squad, either). I wasn't expecting next episode's encounter until much later in the show, though.
  • Penguindrum 7: Just how many "Project M"s are there, anyway?
  • Red Garden 13-14: Yay Rose! Boo Hervé!
  • Madoka Magica 10 9: The amazingness of Homura's power was a little lessened by having seen it in the flashback episode that we watched out of order, but she is still pretty awesome. Kyubei, on the other hand, is still a lying little space weasel. (Or maybe a lying little extradimensional weasel.)

Ghirardelli is disdainful of the medicinal treat when I offer it to him by hand, but if he's eating kibble and I put in the bowl, he'll nom it down. Also, either I'm getting better at feeding him the antibiotic juice, or he's getting more resigned to it, since he didn't try to hork it back up either time today.

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28 March 2012 - Wednesday

Ghirardelli knows what the approach of the Evil Throat-Squirter Thing means, but I can't let him escape. It really is for his own good (probably). Poor kitty!


Now that we know the shape of Ghirardelli's doom, I can go to work and beat Cow Orker A at foosball.


When I got home, my internet was mysteriously working. Support said there had been an outage, which was news to me, but whatever.

I did not manage to use this internet to do anything productive.

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27 March 2012 - Tuesday

This has not been an epically bad day, but it wuz not so grate.

Ghirardelli was not in the heated room when I got up, and he did not zoom to devour his gooshyfoods. I carried him from where he was being a fuzzy lump to the kitchen, but he remained a fuzzy lump and turned his nose up at the gooshyfood, so I decided to work from home and keep an eye on him.

Unfortunately, working from home requires a network connection, and mine went out sometime while I was sleeping. As far as I can tell from the diagnostics available to me, everything is fine on my end, it's just that the router has no PPPoE server to talk to. Aeriodisconnect was really not very helpful. Changing email addresses would be a huge pain at this point, but maybe I could ditch my DSL in favor of a more reliable provider and just keep the shell account? Or maybe I should bite the bullet, get my own domain, and change everything I'm signed up for on the intertubes.

The USB cellular modem IT issued me sometime last year doesn't work. It has never worked for me, and the interwub suggests that it has never worked reliably for anyone. Bah!

Fortunately, someone nearby had an open wireless network (with a fairly hippyish name, so hopefully it was meant to be open) and I used a little of that to connect to work and do a small amount of productivity. I would like to contact the person whose network it is and thank them, but there doesn't seem to be a reasonable way to do that.

Ghirardelli stayed sitting on the bed, with no interest in water or gooshyfood when I brought it to him, and didn't even tussle with Aspen when she curled up by him, so I called the vet and they said to bring him in right away. He was not happy about being stuffed into the small carrier and then lugged outside through the wind and rain with giant loud moving things, but it's only like a mile so he was not really too oppressed.

Once we pried Ghirardelli out of the carrier, he totally charmed the vet-techs! He got smooches and everything! And he was very brave about being irradiated and stung in the neck and everything, because he is a cat of high quality. However, he is also a cat with bronchitis, so he has medicine. I failed to pick up the more horrible kind, so I had to go back to get it, but now he can be thoroughly oppressed with yucky goop and only slightly mollified with chewy bits.

Also, he must receive many hugs.


No Lucifer, since Ken is out of town, and no bonus live-action Sailor Moon because Ayse is going to sleep! Like a sleeping thing!

sick fluffy cat! by marith (Thu Mar 29 08:50:00 2012)

Poor Ghiradelli and poor you! It sounds like your day yesterday was even less fun than mine.

Re: sick fluffy cat by Trip (Thu Mar 29 10:05:43 2012)

Ghirardelli had sickness and cold and the land of oppression and terrible medicine, but at least he was properly admired!

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26 March 2012 - Monday

Nobody likes Mondays, not even other Mondays.


I didn't find the stories in The Square Root of Man as strong as the other William Tenn collections I've read. Also... well, it was the past, they had different notions of gender roles and relations.


So many cats of fliffiness!

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25 March 2012 - Sunday

When I started the second volume of Gate 7 (CLAMP), I had no idea what was going on, so I went back and reread the first volume. It only helped a little, because there are about eight thousand characters, most of whom have at least two names, and many of whom are related so those names are very similar. They're names of Japanese historical personages, so presumably CLAMP's original readers were able to keep them all straight, but I am confused. It's too bad, because the artwork is very pretty.

The back cover blurb claims Hana is a girl, but the text makes it clear that that's not clear. Apparently the art of writing back cover blurbs has not advanced since the days of Wish.


With Fate Conspire (Marie Brennan) is apparently part of a series, although it was not clear until the author's note at the end. Structurally it works fine on its own; there are some things that are not fully explained until near the end, but that's because at least two of the viewpoint characters have had their memories tampered with. Maybe I would have cared more about the characters if I had read the previous books, but it's not like I gave them the Eight Deadly Words. Some parts of the ending would have also have benefited from seeing how things got to be the way they were, but other parts would probably have seemed kind of DXM no matter what.


I still have both Dominion and Dungeon Raid on my iPad, so not much got done today.


While I was sitting on the couch reading, I got snuggles from both Marmalade and Ghirardelli!

Dungeon Raid by Jeremy (Thu Mar 29 06:44:32 2012)

Augh dammit!

Re: Dungeon Raid by Trip (Thu Mar 29 07:05:27 2012)

Sorry about that!

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24 March 2012 - Saturday

Aspen and Ghirardelli slept on either side of my legs, trapping me for hours!


Judging by the first omnibus, Young Miss Holmes (Kaoru Shintani) is very silly. I'd say it probably causes heart attacks in serious Holmes fans (if any are left living after the recent movies), but at least for the cases I recognize, Sherlock Holmes does mostly solve them. His 10-year-old niece just also solves them.

Also, random Dance in the Vampire Bund crossover.


Today was a day of feasting! In the morning, plentiful dim sum at Fu Lam Mum, and we were there when they opened so it was all fresh and hot.

In the evening, Amarin Thai Cuisine until it was coming out our ears. Even Dave ate huge amounts, which he rarely does.

By the omens, this will be a year of plenty!


Ja Baby gave me a birthday card! It has stickers with tigers and pandas, and her signature, and lots of orange coloring because Marmalade is orange!


I'm sure it happens all the time in tournaments and other high-level play, but this is the first time I've seen a Dominion score break 100. We bought out almost all the victory point cards, including the ones from Prosperity, and only split them three ways, so Ken ended up with 102 points.


Ayse played Dungeon Raid extensively, because it is addictive. It's probably not enough to make her buy an iPad, though.


In Lucifer episode 14, the doom veers back in the direction of Kang not getting anywhere. It's hard being Kang.

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23 March 2012 - Friday

I burned out on Dominion for the moment, but I still can't accomplish anything because Dungeon Raid is surprisingly addictive, given how nonbrainful it is.


Twelve fuzzy paws!

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22 March 2012 - Thursday

I don't remember how I got there, but I was thinking about the stories of Vietnam veterans being spit on when they got of the plane back in the US. I haven't researched it extensively, but my understanding is that although many veterans have vivid memories of this happening, no one else does, and there are no film or tape records of any such thing. This is perfectly consistent with what we know about how memory works (that is, not much different than the way imagination works); everyone's life is built on that same shifting sand, and everyone's always has been.

In the near future, it's going to be possible to record everything you see, say, or hear, and retrieve specific incidents from your lifelog. Not too many Apple product cycles after that, it's going to be trivial to do so, and probably enabled by default. What will having reliable memory do to the human psyche, which has evolving having the past be completely malleable?

"Mistakes were made, but not by me—"

"Actually, if you check the timestamp I just sent you, you'll see that you did make that mistake, and then called Bob an idiot when he suggested a better alternative."

"..."


  • Katanagatari 5: I guess Shichika really is that oblivious. Also, those eyes remind me way too much of Alien Nine and Oh! Edo Rocket.
  • Red Garden 12: Don't worry, dude, Hervé is totally not up to anything, and you're totally not about to monster out.
  • Penguindrum 5-6: Ah hah, that's what they're after! And that's why Ringo is so warped. But where did it come from in the first place?
  • Madoka Magica 9 10: Oops. But that explains so much!

I still cannot accomplish things, because there is Dominion on my iPad.


Okay, I can accomplish cat-fuzzling, but that's a pretty basic requirement, only slightly more important than breathing.

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21 March 2012 - Wednesday

Apparently it's Me-Day. I should figure out how to log in to Facebook and reply to all the well-wishers before I crumble into complete decrepitude.


Not only did I log into Facebook, I even figured out how to clean out the all people I added to my friends list for stupid games way back when. But it took up all the time I was going to use to buy indie games for my iPad. I guess I'll have to spend money some other day.


I always feel so bad when I have to dislodge Marmalade from his purrbucketing spot so I can get something done!

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20 March 2012 - Tuesday

I'm almost certain this would be easier if the customer would upgrade to the latest version. But I don't think they ever will.


No Lucifer for us, because we have no Mariths, but there was conversation and pasta with broccoli raab and ricotta salata(sp?).

Also, walking.


It looks like volume 19 is the end of CLAMP's xxxHolic. It's not what you'd call climactic, but I think it does fit the way the series has been winding down since [REDACTED] a few volumes back. It's also not that happy of an ending for fans of [REDACTED], but it would be wrong for it to be.


Twelve paws!

life, the universe, and tripchan by marith (Thu Mar 22 09:05:46 2012)

You are 42 now, right? Happy birthday! Neener!

Re: life, the universe, and tripchan by Trip (Thu Mar 22 11:10:38 2012)

It's 2012, so I guess I must be!

This is older than I have ever been before!

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19 March 2012 - Monday

Someday we're going to have to make customers actually open incidents to receive support.


Tonight's Gravity Beast will be played by Marmalade O Cat.

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18 March 2012 - Sunday

One question from a customer, but he didn't wig out, possibly because he's on vacation.


I tried to do some python coding to figure out the shortest way to get from a 4-peak skill pyramid to a 5-peak, but it never really worked right, even after I rewrote it from scratch. However, it seems to confirm that, if you add each skill point to the pyramid as you get it, it takes at least 24 skill points to push the peak to 5. If you can save them up to spend in batches, then of course you can do it with only 15.

Ghirardelli has many admirable qualities, but I don't think he has much of a future in pair programming.


Raven Calls is the 8936459234th in the "Walker Papers" series by internationally acclaimed author C E Murphy (now with new author photo!) and may wrap up the Irish part of the overall plot — just in time for the Native American part to destroy Jo's life! Again.


I cannot accomplish things. There is Dominion on my iPad.

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17 March 2012 - Saturday

No on-call trauma today!


Marith has found a list of the ways in which I fall short as a GM!


I am also terrible as a player, but we did manage to play Dave's new Academy of Science game. Our characters are exploring a mysterious underground ruin, because there is no Go-Home Club, but seem to be doing okay at uncovering its secrets. They will probably be shocked and appalled to discover that the Academy has been disestablished or maybe just destoryed while they were doing fieldwork.

FATE seems to work okay, although we need to break people of the habit of reporting only their dice rolls and not their actual results.


The best WordDot output today: tie between "ambulant implement" and "swashbuckling analysis".


It is St Patrick's Day, so we pretended to be Irish and ate a corned beef as big as our head (okay, as big as Ja Baby's head) with cabbage and potatoes and more potatoes and bangers ("we feast upon the sausages of our oppressors!") until we became extremely round.


Aime is almost as cute as my small cute white cat!

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16 March 2012 - Friday

But I don't want to be on call!


The cats are unsympathetic to my plight, as it seems unlikely to interfere with gooshyfood breakfast.

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15 March 2012 - Thursday

Ayse has discovered Peer-to-Peer Lasagna. It's like the future!


The Rise of the Iron Moon is the third in Stephen Hunt's steampunk series, and it's a cool setting and all, but something about the writing leaves me cold. Maybe the Show/Tell balance is off.


The leftovers we bequeathed to Dave have added up to the point where he made us beef stew with a butternut squash base. It was pretty good!

  • Katanagatari 4: That was a pretty good sword-collecting fight (or so I hear). My prediction: <rot13>Fuvpuvxn'f Arr-fna vf gur gjrysgu, be znlor guvegrragu, Cresrpgrq Qrivnag Oynqr.</rot13>
  • Red Garden 9-11: Lula's story sounds doomed enough that might be the truth.
  • Madoka Magica 8: It was pretty obvious that was going to happen from at least the beginning of this episode, but it shows that my suspicions are entirely well-founded. And, with only four episodes left, <rot13>Znqbxn vf fgvyy abg n zntvpny tvey</rot13>!

Aspen rolled over to expose her fluffy undercattage while playing with a toy! Then Ghirardelli flopped down next to her and rolled over too! So cute! Then there was tussling, which was also cute!

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14 March 2012 - Wednesday

The new guy in Engineering is pretty good at foosball, but as long as I side with Engineering Manager I, the safe money is on us.


Psyren (Toshiaki Iwashiro) looks like pretty standard phone-based interdimensional travel and super-powered games shounen. Maybe I'm holding out hope that the female lead will remain tsun and not become dere.


In only three books, the protagonist of Demon Song (Cat Adams) has escalated to saving the entire world with vastly powerful magical artifacts that only the special few can use, and at the end she's being dragged away for something even more desperate. I'm not sure how much longer this series can continue without becoming excessively epic.


Now we shall sing the Giant-Fluffy-Cat-Brushing Song!

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13 March 2012 - Tuesday

Cow Orker M is back, but he's been tapped for a surprise special project so I can't make him do all the work.


We did not get the full pre-Columbian effect since Ken ran out of masa tortillas, but black beans cooked in duck fat make pretty good burritos. I wonder if they had cheese? Llamas are mammals, right?

Is someone's plan starting to break down? Or is this exactly how it's supposed to go? It's only episode 13 of Lucifer, so there's plenty of time for exploding.

Geez, reporter guy, that was pretty harsh.


When I get home at 935612905 o'clock, I cannot adore the cats as much as they deserve! (Arguably, I never adore them as much as they deserve.)

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12 March 2012 - Monday

Cow Orker M is still on vacation, and Cow Orker A is at training. Fortunately the customers are not too rowdy, and Promised Cow Orker G has finally arrived.


Killing Rites is the fourth and most recent book in M L N Hanover's "Black Sun's Daughter" series, in which the heroine becomes even more morally conflicted but levels up anyway. It's not as dark as the previous book, but it does end on a cliff-hanger.

I cannot find information about when the fifth book will come out. This series better not get truncated because readers suck like Connolly's "Twenty Palaces" did!


I meant to do all sorts of useful things tonight, but ended up not doing much of anything except brushing Ghirardelli within an inch of his life.

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11 March 2012 - Sunday

The manga adaptation of Soulless (by the original author, Gail Carriger, and a mysterious entity know only as Rem) is labelled volume 1, but it seems to cover the entire book and maybe some bits from other books. This means it leaves out a lot, and I'm not sure anyone who hadn't read the book would know what was going on, but maybe exposition is not required. There are fabulous vampires, Scottish werewolves, and people getting hit with umbrellas, and the main character shows 847 times as much cleavage as anyone else in the book.


Not being on call fails to save me yet again.


Amazingly, everyone remembered the DST transition and arrived at brunch and gaming at the same time! Except Earl, but he's not even in the state, so he didn't arrive at gaming at all. His character was sorely missed, not for her sparkling personality and unique approach to morality but because a fight where the enemy gets bonuses based on their position is a pain without a controller. However, it takes a whole lot of monsters of similar level to threaten a PC group, and there just weren't that many of them.

Fights with gimmicks seem to go over well. Monsters with -33% hitpoints and +50% damage are also adding to the fun, since individual attacks can now make a significant difference to the fight on either side.

I'd like to think that an NPC having a silver demon-binding nail driven through their heart is kind of creepy, but when the NPC is a female minotaur in a low-cut kimono, there is no way to describe it that does not lower the tone of the game.


Hello, very opaque cats! It's just not the same standing on the computer desk when I'm away, is it?

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10 March 2012 - Saturday

Somehow, not being on call doesn't keep me from getting called.


Volume 3 of Ouoku (Fumi Yoshinaga) concludes the story of the first female shogun and the transformation of the shogun's harem into the state we see in the first volume, with only a few people along the way murdered by Buddhist priests.

There are at least three more volumes, which Link+ will deliver to me in due course.


I spent most of the day doinking with D&D stats, to little effect. Anything that doesn't get used tomorrow will probably get changed by next fortnight anyway.


Poor Aspen! I was home to oppress her almost all day!

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9 March 2012 - Friday

The first two books of the series were pretty good, but Vicious Grace (M L N Hanover) is where the doom starts raining down on the PCs and washing out the underpinnings of their world. The climax is pretty dark and harrowing, although it will obviously haunt some characters longer than others.

I don't know if it will be addressed explicitly, but it seems to me that in this universe, <rot13>gur uhzna fbhy vf whfg n fcrpvrf bs e-fgengrtl evqre</rot13>.


Due to lack of organization, we only managed to watch one episode of the live-action Sailor Moon tonight (go Sailor Jupiter!), but we did have abundant sushi from Hanamaru.


Today's WordDot results: "iridescent homework", "resonant feather", and "brackish violence".


Twelve paws!

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8 March 2012 - Thursday

Volume 2 of Ouoku (Fumi Yoshinaga) is backstory, about the early days of the conditions in volume 1, and the first female shogun and her extremely annoying old lady.


I figured out the twist in Darker Angels (second of the "Black Sun's Daughter" books, by M L N Hanover) pretty early on, but I don't blame the characters for not getting it, since I had the advantage of not being beaten up by possibly-not-evil extradimensional parasites.


House of Ashes is allegedly a novella that accompanies the Mistborn Adventure Game, but is more like a bunch of vignettes. None of the people who wrote it (Shivam Bhatt, Logan Bonner, David Hill, Will Hindmarch, Jeremy Keller, Filamena Young) is Brandon Sanderson, but it's okay anyway, and possibly even like what PCs will do..


Gnomes ate the Red Garden disc. Maybe they'll cough it up by next week.

Marith tried to adventurously order something new from First Wok, but it turned out to be full of bell peppers. I picked out some of the veggies but then I encountered a stratum that was pure shredded pork, so we gave it to Dave.

  • Penguindrum 3-4: "Ringo" is Japanese for "apple". This may be significant.
  • Madoka Magica 6-7: I think the phrase they're looking for is "rendered into a more durable form". And now we know what Kyubei eats, but it's not very reassuring. <rot13>Zber guna unysjnl guebhtu gur frevrf naq Znqbxn vf fgvyy abg n zntvpny tvey!</rot13>
  • Katanagatari 3: That was very sad, but also very samurai-like, and I'm pretty sure that's what she was looking for anyway. Also, is it more virtuous to serve a good lord, or one with a crazy alien eye?

Cat Report: Miau! Miau! Miau!

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7 March 2012 - Wednesday

I triumphed at foosball again. Muahahahahaha.


Today, I read games on my iPad.

Lately (by which I mean this century) there have been several games that try to do old-school swords-and-sorcery fantasy rather than the new-fangled high fantasy of D&D. Barbarians of Lemuria does not strike me as a particularly distinguished example of the genre, but I suppose it might hit someone's nostalgia buttons. Especially if he were nostalgic for a time when fantasy was not written by, for, or about women.

Escape from Tentacle City is a small RPG by Willow Palecek (the same person who did Awesome Adventures). Like Fiasco, it is not a game that rewards trying to nurture and protect your character. At most 1/N of the characters are going to survive, so you might as well go out entertainingly. Bonus points for insisting that all characters not be rich white people, but I'm not sure about the advice to enthusiastically embrace stereotypes.

EABAlite is an appetizer for EABA, Greg Porter's generic system. It looks pretty generic (a little like D6), but the interesting part, the powers system, is only barely alluded to here.

I think I read EABA a long time ago, but found it much more confusing than I find this. Possibly because the powers system isn't involved here.


Look at the bounty of gooshyfood I have brought to you, my cats! You will feast upon it for weeks! ("What's a week? Why is the gooshyfood in these hard things where we can't get to it? Can we borrow your opposable thumb? We'll give it back, honest!")

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6 March 2012 - Tuesday

according to the Big List of Books, I've read the first volume of Ouoku (Fumi Yoshinaga) before, but I didn't remember anything except the setup, which is that a plague with a fatality rate of 75% or more among young men breaks out in Edo-era Japan, which leads in due course to the country being run by women while men are valued primarily for their reproductive capacity. This volume is a story of intrigue in the (female) shogun's harem (of cute guys), but seems to be pretty much over by the end. Maybe it will be one short story per volume?


Today, Aquarium Expedition with Ayse and Ja Baby!

On the way up, many Ja Baby tunes! On the way down, many repititions of a few Ja Baby tunes! In between, fish! And more fish! And giant white alligator! Also, starfish and sea urchins to pet, giraffe statues, tiny eels that pop up from the ground, dancing amphibian, small octopus, African noises, projected elephants, Jungle Sphere with parrots and butterflies and humidity, sharks and stingrays, a glass-roofed tunnel beneath the flooded bottom of the Jungle Sphere with assorted large fish swimming over it, disco jellyfish, upside-down photosymbiothetic jellyfish, electric eels, and vegetarian spring rolls!

I took some pictures, but most of the exhibits had no-camera signs (probably they really meant no flashes, but...) and the pictures I did take didn't turn out very well, so you're probably better off going to the website to see what these things look like.


All the excitement was over by the time I got in to work, so I felt very clever. Also, I triumphed at foosball.


Unclean Spirits (M L N Hanover, who is secretly Daniel Abraham) is pretty good urban fantasy. It has a coherent explanation for horrible monsters, plans that don't actually succeed, and a heroine who gets dropped into things without having a clue.


Lucifer episode 12 tightens the nooses on many of the characters, but only one major character actually gets done in. It's really not clear how that could have been set up, though.

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5 March 2012 - Monday

Today I noticed some graffiti on the bench at the bus stop: "HΔ5TΣR". This is the very definition of a bad sign.

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4 March 2012 - Sunday

Bokurano vol 5 does in fact have even more doom. I'm not sure what the motivation behind the doom is, but we have only a finite number of volumes to find out.


Surprise bonus socialization! Mike's family is off doing something, so he brought board games to Ken and Ayse's place and taught Ken how to crush us at Settlers of America[*] while Ja Baby failed utterly to nap. It's a strange variant of Settlers, with a fixed map, semi-fixed production numbers, and designated build sites. All the starting sites are east of the Mississippi, but some of the hexes there have (randomly-drawn) number chits that get moved to empty hexes out west when someone builds there, leaving the eastern hexes productionless. In the production phase, everyone who gets no resources gets one gold (except on 7s, naturally), which is half of any resource and also necessary during the endgame. Settling requires only building a settler unit and spending grain to move it to a city site, but you still have to build railroads so that you can deliver tokens to other people's cities and thus win. We let Ken suddenly leap into the rail phase and deliver 6 of his 9 tokens in one turn, but clearly everyone should be building trains and delivering tokens as they become available (you start with one token and another one is released into the pool every time you build a city, and all of them have to be delivered to win).

[*] Yes, I know it should actually be called "Invaders of America", but it would be harder to look up if I referred to it that way.

Then Ken crushed us at Dominion again, this time while holding Ja Baby on his lap.


Useful things I did: grocery shopping, laundry, replacing the toilet seat.

Not so useful things I did: losing a Netflix envelope. Perhaps this is a sign that I really do need to throw away everything.


The tummy of a cat who has been lounging on fresh laundry all evening is exceptionally warm and fluffy.

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3 March 2012 - Saturday

I've finished rereading Bokurano (Mohiro Kitoh, also known for Shadow Star) up through volume 4, so that I can read volume 5. I often say that manga is full of doom, but compared to this, most doom is a paltry inconvenience.


I guess technically I didn't social all day, but it was like eleven hours, which is a lot of socialling. Activities included flinging Ja Baby into the air, eating brunch, finishing up characters for Dave's Academy of Science game, taking Ja Baby to the library, eating (proper Midwest-style) chili, and playing Dominion.

I am somewhat enthused to play Academy of Science, which makes it sad that we will only get to play for a couple of hours every fortnight.


I should move my cat pictures to my iPad, so Julia can admire them on a grander scale!

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2 March 2012 - Friday

Polly and the Pirates vol 2 (Ted Naifeh, Robbi Rodriguez) is not as swell as volume 1 because it is not as new. But it has piratical action and derring-do.


Chthonian Stars is somewhere between Eclipse Phase and CthulhuTech, but really not as well done as either. Traveller TL 8 is no longer a plausible near future (even leaving out the attempt to make all interplanetary travel take one week), the writing is not very good, and the monsters and cultists are not evocative enough.

If done better, it could be a perfectly fine game of SF horror, but as it is, I'd go with Eclipse Phase. (What do you mean, "Not Cthulhoid enough"? Are you trying to claim the Pandora Gates are NOT manifestations of Yog-Sothoth?)


A History of the World in 100 Objects is by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, so it has many excellent historical objects, from hand axes and cuneiform tablets through suffragette-defaced pennies and credit cards. One can argue about whether it's truly representative of the whole world, but it certainly does a better job than most.

It looks like the original radio programs, everything in the book, and a bunch more, is on the BBC website.


Paw Count: Twelve!

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1 March 2012 - Thursday

I expect it would take many more nights of going to bed not late to have any effect, and that doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.


I don't seem to be able to pull off my one good foosball move any more. I'm not sure if I'm overthinking it, or if defenses are just getting better.


  • Red Garden 8: That seems to have been a smart move on Lula's part, regardless of whether it was true. Perhaps the girls' morale will even improve to the point where they realize that Claire doesn't need to worry about poverty because Rachel could fund her entire life out of her lipstick budget.
  • Penguindrum 1-2: Huh. That's almost FLCL levels of weirdness. But definitely Ikuhara. And clever use of silly supernatural powers!
  • Madoka Magica 5: So... what does Kyubei eat? <rot13>Nyzbfg unysjnl guebhtu gur fubj, naq Znqbxn fgvyy vfa'g n zntvpny tvey.</rot13>
  • Katanagatari 2: Despite Togame's self-aggrandizement, Shichika may still be the smart one. Or maybe it just seems that way because of the high ratio of talking to fighting.

Today, the cats get Old Cat food, since Marmalade and Ghirardelli are like ten, and even Aspen is probably about five. I am pretty sure it won't make any detectable difference, but if it helps them continue to grow older, I won't complain.

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Sproing!


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