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Also, I am tired of waiting for the singularity. I want my own pet mobile t-rex skeleton now damnit. (Thank you "A night at the Museum")

Today we went to the Smithsonian! We looked at dinosaur bones and paintings and bought overpriced food. Now our feet hurt and we are sick of Impressionism. Tyrannosaurs are still pretty awesome though.

A men. That is pretty close to my feelings whenever I visit an art/natural history museum.

One, there is something wrong about having to apply a summer time flea treatment to your dogs on December 27th.

Two: awesome

buttsex is an anagram for subtext

the above is something that made me chuckle from

The loot:
Well we do this advent thing and I think I'll start there.
Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time Dark Tales, Barenaked for the Holidays, A Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert Dvd (also has a story. I didn't pay too much attention to the video the first time, prefering to listen mostly.), and a Milk Chocolate Almond whacking orange thing. Also, a fair amount of candy.

Christmas Proper:
$225 in cash, most of which went to presents and a movie and a few dinners.
15 dollar Lowes Card from Rick and Sherry.
Firefly Boxed Set (Brie and Lloyd)
Serenity Movie (Mom)
Best of Bare Naked Ladies (Lloyd)
6 pack of Staples Optiflow (really optiflow 2) pens
second six pack of Staples Optiflow pens *
Pocket Kite
Descent: Journeys In the Dark Board Game
Long Live the King (How to host a murder sort of thing)*
Second Battle Map*
All in One Wind Up Flashlight
Sharn City of Towers*
Laser Printer
Girl Genius Book 4 and 5
Battle Angel Book 4
Towel Set (Aunt Christi)
50 pack of CDrs.
Marvel Civil War 5*
Milk Chocolate Toffee Orange
Got to See Jessica and Christiane and the McClures, and it is entirely possible that Nate will be here (though this is his first Christmas with his new girlfriend, so I wasn't pushing that too hard. You get the first one for free with a SO, but then life must move on.)

* means things I used Christmas money to buy myself.

So, I'm making things to give away to persons and I just came to the awful realization that sitting in two largeish containers on my kitchen table there is something in excess of 30,000 calories worth of not quite finished chocolate and peanut butter candy. And mom is intending to either make or have my brother make another batch (I made a double.) Which means the kitchen actually contains somewhere in excess of 45,000 calories of the makings of these candies. You should come over and eat them for me.

has a lovely post about how to help the people who say that they personally aren't ready for a black president gently ease into being a little less of a racist scuzzball. (My words not his.)


My computer just decided to screw up in a manner that I can't repair. I've got workarounds, but nothing that I can fix and walk away.

It claims not to be able to find ntldr.
I created a boot disk from the other 2k box in the house. My computer boots fine with this disk. But when I copy it to the hdds and reboot, I still get the same message. This screams "screwed up book sector" or possibly "fubared 2k installation" (which I already knew, I didn't need further confirmation damnit.)

Neither of those problems are hard to fix. The first I'd go into the recovery console and type two commands.
The second, I'd format the harddrive and reinstall (which I need to do anyway)

Why don't I?

Because my copy of the windows 2000 disk was shattered into many little pieces by someone several years ago. And of course I haven't bought a new one. I've been mostly broke.

So currently I'm booting from a floppy disk like I'm back in 1993 trying to free up 24 more kilobites of ram to play Aces of the Pacific.

I obviously need a good bitching session. And maybe a new computer.

It is 3.5!

I just realized something. The game I'm running is D&D 3.5. Undead Elven Ninja Assassins are totally legit!

107 World War Z Max Brooks. I should have read this one months ago. Other than the base premise, the book was completely reasonable. Well, actually, I’m not sure that the various survivor populations would really have acted as sensibly as they did in the end, but gods, the Israel thing in the beginning, exactly right. Even down to the ultra-orthos’ response. A pure bio-zombie that didn’t gain nourishment from eating people wouldn’t actually last all that long though.

only in the KOL community would you get someone who does an open source project and who also gets upset when people publish their own updates to said project. *sighs* this is just another example of what's wrong there.

My brother has to do a journal for his english class. Each day they get a writing prompt. Today I played along and wrote an entry for the prompt he was writing. My goal was to keep it close to 150 words. Need to tighten up the sentences a bit for that. Or double the length to make the transitions more natural, or do both. Not particularly good, but the creepy factor is edging up to what I was aiming for. Some more work and I think the creepy could probably wrap its fingers around the story's neck and giveit a good hard shake.

He haunted the night like a silent guardian. He watched her sleep and dream in her room. His vigil went unnoticed, unmarked. She never saw him in the daylight so why would she suspect that he watched through her window at night? Some day, surely she would notice him, see his devotion, see the hidden inner spaces, the parts he kept from his friends and family and she would not be repulsed, no, she would come to love him as much as he had come to love her. They were destined to be together forever. He reached out and could almost feel her satiny skin, the smooth silky of her hair, but no, the window still stood between his arboreal perch and her nocturnal demesne. They would live together in a little cottage just the two of them, and she would make him breakfast and he would keep the others from coming to their home. But wait, what if she was unfaithful, like all the others? No she wasn’t like the others, she wasn’t fickle. He reached into his pocket and ran his hand over the springy masses, all that he had of his earlier loves, cartilage and gristle and tattered skin, taken so that he could always hear what they heard down at the bottom of the old mill pond.

So, time to do christmas cards. And almost all of my addresses are missing. *headdesk*

Comments are screened for this one.

In case you ever get a chance to apply this tidbit, 6th level d20 characters don't fit on a single side of a 3 by 5 card and choosing to standardize on the 3 by 5 card instead of the 4 by 6 is a mistake no matter how well cr 1 and 2 creatures fit on the smaller cards.

things in progress

Flipside Stories
Matt and Pallas
Fancadarin lu Ridahm
Birth of a World
Grendels (Not the final title, but the dream that inspired the story)
Alana's World
Territh's War
The old man and his Goddess

Science Fiction
Earth's Empires Series
Before the Prophet's War
A Perfect Day (Catapult Story)
Gem on Tam Hall
Emerald Prior
Samuel Prior 1 (Utah)
Starstruck Wanderer
Samuel Prior 4 (Coreallis 3)
In the Room (Suicide and Memory Story)
Don't do Biotech Firms
Colonial Era
The Death of Samuel Prior
Xerses Devistator
Cognative Dissonance (An AI's Struggle)
In the Early Days
United Worlds of Humanity Era
Early Days of the Terran Empire

Horde War and the Fall of Man
The Wind Blows Across the Plain
Confederated Peoples Era
Second Horde War
Galactic Era
Sister Beatrice series
Zepplin over future NYC
Bremen Assassin
Exile (A "criminal" who is forgiven by everyone but himself)
Eternal Love/Eternal Conflict. Might go to the Imperial Era of the Empires of Man

Also Annie, you were right. The beginning does owe too much to Neverwhere, but I can't fins another place to start it.

Oi vey. I've got a couple of sets of stories that I want to write. Today I'm going to bitch about the ones in the future history that I'm trying to work out.

So for a future history, I didn't want to start too close to now. My first story is about 200 years from now, about 50 years after the serious approach to going to space begins. (And if I live long enough to have to eat crow over that, so be it. You won't hear too many complaints from me.)

First story is actually a concepts I found interesting piece that I happened to set in the "early" part of the history. Other than some editing that I'll get to any day now, it is done. It is also at least a century earlier than the next story. After the catapult story, I don't have much I want to write about for the next couple hundred years. I've got lots of setting and not a lot of interesting, though I do have a couple of ideas that aren't too strongly bound to a particular time that I might slide in to illustrate some of the events that I mention in later stories. The next set in stoneish (my timeline shifts but relitive orders of events mostly stick) story is one of the sets.
For the science fiction I have written so far, I mostly see a particular scene and then go back for the story. The Prior Family started as exactly that. In fact, the first Prior story I ever typed even the first word of is the Fourth or possibly fifth Samuel Prior story and it started with the image of a a wounded man eating dinner in microgravity and a later chase scene with him running from thugs through the environmental systems of the station. Which leads to story three (which I've yet to write a word of) where he mistakes a government doctor for a corporate assassin, detains her, threatens her, and eventually (either lets her go or gets picked up by the good guys) and she gets drafted into the section he works for. Therin to make his life quite difficult what with her ability to scrub him from a mission for mental instability. This all grew out of a throw away line that may not even be in the current draft of the first story to be consigned to the hdd.) Of course, that lead to the very first Samuel Prior story (which opens with a dream that shows that he really is getting better from a fairly broken past) where he has to deal with members of a Theocracy down dirtside. I need to talk to more LDSers for that one. The dream sequence was hard to write because it was about mostly bad people doing mostly bad things to eachother and to innocents. Sam struggles with being something better than Bad People for most of the rest of his life.) I've got four or five more stories after the one I first started writing, mostly about his later life, his wife and kids and his eventual (and tragically early for the era) death.

There are other Prior family stories in the pipelines, and even part of the Fall of Man series will involve the Priors trying to hold the center. (The hero of the Fall of Man Cycle won't be that particular power group, though worlds with signifigant Prior presences will come out of the silent years with a much smaller chance of being corpse worlds.)

Then there's the Illustrated series. Right after the collapse of the United Worlds and the Rise of the first Empire, there is a story that I originally wanted to do as an illusttrated thing, but my drawing won't get to that point in this lifetime. The first one is set 5 years after the First Emperor of Humanity took the collapsing forces of the United Worlds Council and forged the Terran Empire. It deals with a Prior drummed out of the service for refusing to follow orders (and only not executed because of who her family is) and her life as the captain of Arabella's Needle, a fast trade/scout ship owned by her Grandmother Arabella. This story ends with the first thrust in the last Sarthaki War in a mostly abandoned system nearly 400 LY from the nearest inhabited world. (Though the worlds under Aldoni guidence number above 10,000, most of the galaxy is essentially uninhabited.)
The second story (and source of a lot of groaning about how I haven't even really started the story that is essential for this one to work) is set between 20 and 400 years later and follows one of my absolute favorite characters (who makes me wish I could draw half as well as I need to make this one work.)

And now we come to the one that I am really bitching about. This one is another one on the Fall of Man board, though it will focus (sort of) on the Fall of the Aldoni and the actions of a fairly illegal entity. It is set not too many years after the end of 2.

I've also got a short story (that one reader has told me has a completely unrealistic protagonist, but she is a Prior from the height of the family's power. It is kind of icky that that doesn't stand alone though) in the series of stories that will include the Emperor's announcement of the Fall of Man (and Alien) already mostly done. It doesn't have a happy ending.

*blink* That is... bleak.

12:30ish 11/23/2006. Guess that makes me 27. I was so supposed to be unleashing my first global pandemic genome modifying virus by now. When the arch-bishop warned me against hubris when I said I wanted to be a genetic engineer, he had no idea. (I was the strong arguement for the badly flawed "precautionary principle" that is touted by the luddite branch of the environmentally conscious.)

The kids these days with their word processor based programming utilities. Bah.
In my day we entered our programs at the command line and if we screwed up, there was no scrolling back and modifying the part the didn't work. By God we reentered the line number and retyped the code. And we liked it. Damned kids. Get off my damned lawn.
And take your GUI with you.

So in the game last night I got to playtest a new rule. I'm not sure how well it will work out, but we'll see. I'm running an Eberron campaign, which means that the players have action points. Last night, during a moderately tough fight, one of the PCs was dropped by a fairly massive critical (and this wasn't the hard fight of the night) and unfortunately, everyone had seen both of the dice rolls and they knew the extra damage this opponent had been doing, and they knew it was a critical (the base attack plus strength bonus would have killed the character, the crit shoved him below -10.) Well, I hadn't intended any party members to be all the way dead at this point, so I instated an off the cuff rule. Assuming your character has at least five action points, I am letting the players take half experience for the encounter and burn five action points to bring their character from -10 or below to -9 and stable. This only applies to death through damage (no using this to counter a disintigration spell) and there will be cases where it doesn't apply, though not too many. If they do something that leads to an unescapble death situation, like jumping into a volcano unprotected, they don't get to burn action points to survive... or they do, but then they continue taking damage and die anyway. (And I do have intelligent opponents who have nothing to do in a combat round do things like finish off fallen foes.)

Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert*
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein*
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin *
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson *
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick* (Quite different from the movie)

9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury*
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov

14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett *
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison

18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling *
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny*
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven *

40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien *
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson *
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein *
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock *

48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

So, I just did something that I haven't done in quite a while. I finished a game. I just beat Return to castle Wolfenstein, which has been sitting on my hdd for considerably better than a year. Yeah, when I was in college, I was finishing lots of games, but since graduation (and not having a real job) I've sort of spazzed on my game playing. I've still got a copy of NWN sitting unbeaten on my hard drive, Baldur's Gate 2 with expansion (though All I have to do is finish the ToB stuff then kill Irenicus, and I'll be done), Deus Ex (also sitting near the end), Temple of Elemental Evil (in the Temple, need a better graphics card), Fallout 2 (at the beginning), Planescape Torment (At the very beginning), Arcanum (right in the middle. I need to level a little more before fighting these golem things), Thief 2 (midpoint or better), American McGee's Alice (late in the game), Warcraft 2 BNet edition (near the end), System Shock 2 (within spitting distance of the last boss), At least 5 of the old SSI gold or silver box games (Secret of the Silver Blades, the Savage Frontieer series, and the Dragonlance Games), Nethack (nowhere near completion ever), Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain (I've yet to finish a single dungeon), Battle Tech: Crescent Hawk's Revenge, Some Sam and Max game, Several Sega, GB, NES, and SNES games, Most of the Infocom games on the HDD, Commander Keen 1,2,4, and Dreams, n, and others. On DC, I've yet to beat Skies of Arcadia, Grandia 2, Shenmue, D2 (not in the same ballpark of as brilliant or even playable as D was, Time Stalkers (Haven't even put it in the machine), and for the PS, I've got Omega Boost, Final Fantasy 5 and 6, Rhapsody, Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat, Dead or Alive,Tenchu Stralth Assassins, Wing Commander 3, Parasite Eve (at the last friggin boss too), Tomb Raider 2, Syphon Filter, Legend of Legaia (probably not happening, lost the memory card and it just wasn't very fun to start with), Fear Effect (control scheme sucks ass, probably won't finish it), Alone in the Dark: Jack's Revenge, and Lunar 2 (a very good classic style console RPG. Like pulling teeth. I beat the main game, but there is an optional epilogue that I was playing when I lost that memory card. It wasn't fun enough the first time to suffer through close item management and repetative combats again) that all remain unbeaten.

more about grad school

My biggest worry is that I'll probably be faking it more than I ever did before. And I faked it a lot back in my undergrad and my grad work.

See, I am reasonably smart, but I'm also not the most dilligant student (something that annoyed both my teachers and some of my more effort-centered friends. One of my teachers wanted me to have it so that I couldn't just get by in college the way I did in Highschool. Hah. I did a little more work in college, though when compared with the seven hours a day, 5 days a week schedule from highschool, I probably put in fewer hours. The reason I got better grades in college than in highschool was mostly that I recieved less of the pointless busy work that the above mentioned teacher (and many others) routinely assigned for grades. I'm very good at synthesyzing things and working out stuff from first principles, but I am not as good at brute force memorization. I never bothered with all of the latin and greek roots stuff for working out the meanings of words. Instead I based it off of the words I knew in English (and since english words seldom are identical to the words that their roots come from, I am glad that I went that route. my sister is overly attached to the roots of those words. If she isn't careful, she'll become one of those people who get pissed when you use decimate as an english word instead of as the dictionary latin definition of the word. I'd bet that the latin speaking world back when latin was a useful language used their words with much less rigidity than the latinate pedants of today.)

So, it looks like I'll be going to Bloomington on the 16th to talk to the SPEA about possibly going there for grad school. I'm not 100 percent sure I am up to the whole school thing again, though I suppose it is better than the job offerings around here, and a lot more fun. I did okay in school, 3.7 for both undergrad and the year of graduate work I've already done, and as long as I get close contact with my advisor, it won't be too bad. (I really needed to go up a week earlier at Oregon. I never really did meet with my advisor there. My fault. At least I had a class that he taught.)
Ugh, anyone want to bet on how many or few of my credits will transfer as anything except generic credits? Especially since OSU was on the quarter system and IU is on the Semester. I won't miss the quarters. For all of my classes it turned out that either we did a semester's worth of work in 2/3ds of a semester or we did half a semester's worth of work in 2/3ds of a semester.

97. Aerie Mercedes Lackey. So yeah, Lackey is my guilty pleasure. I’ve been reading the “The Dragon Jousters” series as they come out. I think there has been a backlash recently against the likes of Robert Joran, George Martin, Kevin Anderson, and David Webber. (And personally, only Webber and Martin of those four could actually pull off both “long” and “good” at the same time, and you are free to argue about Webber.) This book felt like it had been edited down by 80,000 words, and not the 80,000 words that every King or Hubbard (well okay, Hubbard’s novels need to lose more than that. All of the words would have been a good starting point) novel needs to be edited down, but the 80,000 words that were dropped from Stranger. The ones that added depth to the story. (Stranger worked in the short form, but it was, I thought, a better book in the unabridged version. Especially the scene where Jubal lost an argument. People accuse Heinlein, somewhat rightly, of having one older always right Heinlein-stand in in his storys (and several other Heinlein stand ins in most of his stories. Number of the Beast 4 in the first section and most of the Heinlein stand in characters from his other books in the last sections. I loved the tip of the hat to the Dorsai irregulars at the end. Apparently they actually helped him out a lot at one con where he kept getting lost.) Oh yeah, this is about Lackey...
Well, it felt for a bit that there was going to be one of those idiot love triangle plots where a and b have a stupid misunderstanding and c courts b innocently, and everything is out of whack because a and b are obviously destined to be together. Actually you can drop c out and it is still a dumb plot. *cough Bujold cough cough*1 But then it didn’t happen. C did have one of those blinding realizations and a and b made up and never really noticed c’s interest and that was annoying. If you start the gambit, don’t just make it go away without at least having some interaction leading to it.
Oh yeah, about my comment at the start. Yeah, this book was over edited, but it also really needed to be 2 books. The lead up should have been one book and the other bits should have been the second.
Ooh, I just thought about a way to make the fizzled romantic hijinks plot more interesting. A and b carry on, only apparently distanced because of outside responsibilities but getting along quite well when c can’t see them. C keeps following a, and falling in love, completely unnoticed by a, and only realizes that a didn’t return the feelings when a and b get married or some such At least there wouldn’t have been the magical revelation scene. I still would have been annoyed by c, but less so as she was resolved in a more logical conclusion type manner. Longest entry yet. Much of which was, sadly only peripherally about things that were peripherally about the book.

New York City's Board of health is considering allowing people to change their official sex even without surgery. might only work this week

So, as of 10 till midnight here in Indiana, it looks like we'll have a Speaker Pelosi. If we get the House, the Senate can sit and rotate. Sure, we'll never convict, but the stuff that is only marginally in the open at the moment, well subpoena power worked wonders for the blackhats and all he did was get a blowjob.
Oh and in the "couldn't have happened to a slimyer blasckhat" category, looks like Frothy Mix isn't in office any more. Well, I guess Hatch could have gotten kicked out, but the odds of that in Utah? Yeah, not this century.

lank Label Comics' Dave Kellett needs your help. He's moving his daily strip, Sheldon, to tomorrow.

He is leaving United Media to go completely independent... which means he needs help spreading the word to as many people as possible. The majority of Sheldon readers currently get the strip via “”, or via United Media’s e-mail delivery. When the strip moves, these readers won’t have any way to know where the strip went. (Dave tried putting a notice in the strip…it got edited out, and United Media won't send a "Sheldon is moving" message either.)

(If anybody from United Media is reading this... it may be too late to save the syndication business model, but it's not too late for you to go out of business with a clean conscience.)

Here's how you can help not just Dave, but also the thousands of Sheldon fans that United Media is trying to put the screws to. Right now, while you're thinking about it, take two minutes and post this infomation on your Web site, in a forum you visit, or on your personal blog:

Dave Kellett's Sheldon is moving to .

Why are you still reading? Go Do That Right Now. When you come back you can read about the cool new site features like:
- Free access to 5+ years of Sheldon strip archives
- Larger-sized Sunday and daily comics
- Faster loading times
- Free daily delivery of Sheldon by e-mail
- Free RSS feed
- Free “Send This Strip to a Friend” feature
- “Jump to a Random Strip” feature
- No pop-up/pop-under ads
- Daily blog
- Direct links to the forum, store, and more
- … basically, everything the strip didn’t have at

So, I spent much of last week making six Imperial Guard Sentinel models out of sheet plastic. My fingers still hurt a couple of days after I have finished cutting that damned plastic. In other news, I have the sequel to a story I haven't written infesting my head. I really wish it would wait its turn. (I think it is getting impatient seeing how I haven't actually made any progress on the parent story in, well a very long time. But it is just going to have to realize that the events of the first story are essential to proper setting development and that going out of order is how you get idiocy like "A Stainless Steel Rat is Born" from authors much more skilled than I.

I'm one box of Sisters of Battle away from being able to field a 500 point Warhammer 40K army. My ToC has changed a bit.

500 Point Army
(120) Felicity Argent Sororitas Heroine (Canoness)
Canoness 45, Inferno Pistol (15), Bionics (10), Cloak of St. Aspira (20), Litanies of Faith (25), Purity Seals (5)

(190) Argent’s First Flamers
Krak Grenades (20)
7 Battle Sisters (77)
2 Battle Sister with flamer (34)
Veteran Sister Superior (71), (24), Mastercrafted Bolt Pistol (15), Power Chainsword (10), Purity Seals (5)

(190) Holy Noise
Krak Grenades (20)
7 Battle Sisters (77)
2 Battle Sister with Storm Bolter (32)
Veteran Sister Superior (71), (24), Mastercrafted Bolt Pistol (15), Power Chainsword (10), Auspex (2), Purity Seals (5)

Yes, I could field a larger force of Sisters for the same points if I stripped the vets down to minimal gear, but I am fond of quality over quantity. That trade off will plague my army building throughout the series.
Here's my 3000 point List

3000 Point Army
1910 Point Sisters Army
(152) Felicity Argent Sororitas Heroine (Canoness)
Canoness 45, Mastercrafted Inferno Pistol (30), Mastercrafted Power Sword (25(10)), Bionics (10), Cloak of St. Aspira (20), Purity Seals (5), Litanies of Faith (25), Melta Bombs (5), Krak Grenades (2)

Argent’s Own (350)
Krak Grenades (20)
Celestine Veteran Superior (43) (23), Mastercrafted Bolter (15), Purity Seals (5)
Celestine With Multi Melta (28)
Celestine With Storm Bolter (18)
4 Celestines (52)
Celestine Imigifer (33)
Celestine Banner Bearer Ordo Militant Sacred Standard (63)
Rhino (93): (50), Extra Armour (5), Holy Icon (10), Hunter-killer Missile (15), Pintle-Mounted Storm Bolter (10), Smoke Launchers (3)

(300) Argent’s First Flamers
16 Battle Sisters (77)
Imigifer (31)
2 Battle Sister with flamer (34)
Veteran Sister Superior (71), (24), Mastercrafted Bolt Pistol (15), Power Chainsword (10), Purity Seals (5)

(338) Holy Noise
Krak Grenades (40)
17 Battle Sisters (77)
Imigifer (31)
2 Battle Sister with Storm Bolter (32)
Veteran Sister Superior (71), (24), Mastercrafted Bolt Pistol (15), Power Chainsword (10), Purity Seals (5)

Retributor Squad (375)
Krak Grenades (12)
4 Multi Melta Retributers (144)
Veteran Superior Retributot (70) (25), Mastercrafted Eviscerator (40), Purity Seals (5)
Retributor Imafiger (31)
Immolator(118) (65), Extra Armour (5), Holy Icon (10), Hunter-Killer Missile (15), Laud Hailer (10), Smoke Launchers (3), Holy Promethium (10)

Exorcist (185) (135), Extra Armour (5), Hunter-Killer Missile (15), Laud Hailer (10), Pintle-mounted storm bolter (10), Holy Icon (10)

Living Saint (210)

1090 Point IG Auxiliaries
First Candian Fire Support Platoon (413)
100th Command Squad (225)
Junior Officer (75): (40), Honorifica Imperialis (25), Bionics (5), Laspistol, Power Sword (5)
Lascannon Team (25)
Veteran Medic (11)
Vox Caster Guard (5)
Chimera Transport (150) (70), Multi-laser (10), Heavy Flamer (5), Extra Armour (5), Hunter-Killer Missile (10), Pintle Mounted Stubber (12), Smoke Launcher (3), Track Guards (10), Rough Terrain Modification (5), Improved Coms (20)

101st Fire Team (98)
Team (60)
Grenade Launcher (8)
Lascannon (25)
Vox Caster (5)

102nd Fire Team (90)
Team (60)
Lascannon (25)
Vox Caster (5)

Second Candian Fire Support Platoon (289)
200th Command Squad (91)
Junior Officer (50): (40), Bionics (5), Laspistol, Power Sword (5)
Lascannon Team (25)
Veteran Medic (11)
Vox Caster Guard (5)

201st Fire Team (100)
Team (60)
Meltagun (10)
Lascannon (25)
Vox Caster (5)

202nd Fire Team (90)
Team (60)
Lascannon (25)
Vox Caster (5)

Imperial Sentinel X 2 (176)
Armegeddon Pattern Sentinel (88): (55), Covered Cockpit (15), Extra Armour (5), Hunter Killer Missile (10), Smoke Launchers (3)

Vengence Leman Russ Battle Tank (220)
Leman Russ Tank (220): (140), Lascannon (15), Pair of Heavy Flamers(10), Extra Armour (5), Hunter-Killer Missile (10), Pintle Heavy Stubber (12), Rough Terrain Modification (5), Smoke Launchers (3), Track Guards (10)

Ugh, I don't even have the Inquisitor and the Assassin that I wanted. Also, you'll notice that it has 2 Sentinels and I've made six. On the other hand, those 90 point Lascannon fire teams are nice long range support for the Sisters' medium and short range excellence. For the living saint, I'm going to skip the Saint Celestine model (I'll still use her stats though) and grab a 72mm scale Inquisition model. More expensive, but very pretty. Or possibly one of the Reaper Minis models. Apparently to fill out the units I had initially wanted for the Sisters Army, I'd have to field a much larger force than I'd thought. (And to use the Land Raider that I want, I'll have to pull celestine since the only sororitas unit that can use one is the Inquisitor Lord and he is an HQ unit too. Notice the IG Chimara. Much nastier than the Sororitas version (it has six internally controlled lasguns for the guard. That means fully loaded, it gets 11 or 12 shots a round. Of course I have it loaded at 5 units not six...)

The game Friday went well. Lost another PC. 2 deaths in seven sessions isn't too bad though. Party's 3rd level, but they have some serious healing resources. 2 permanent healing wands mean that they can keep going where other groups would have to say "this adventure is not cost effective." My Ogre Golem (like a flesh golem but weaker, though hellish damage from that size large greatsword it was wielding) put the fear of the reaper in the group. CRs for traps are, by the way, not as accurate as crs for creatures (and if you run a game you know how bad that makes the trap crs.) I used an Insanity Mist trap with a dc 25 disable and a 15 foot area of effect and it was almost nothing (CR 6 by the book) to a mixed party of 2nd and 3rd level characters. Only one character who was in the area missed the first save, and he made the second. On the other hand, the "CR 2" improved Iron Guardians ended up rather tougher individually than theiy should have been. Not as bad as the second level wererat rogue that might well have taken the members of the party out. His henchmen didn't last 2 rounds of combat. He went quite a bit further. (I had someone lose 6 hp to bleeding during that fight.)

As a fortuitous side effect of the PC deaths, the current inter-party conflicts have all ended. Well, there's a potential one between Derek and Lloyd, and Derek's character is a bit tougher than Lloyd's Ranger... at least if Lloyd doesn't play smart. Especially since the warforged fighter may well side with the priest (bad call. Priest of the void. He'll turn on him eventually) but the Silver Flame Fighter who specializes in Trips and Disarms will probably back the ranger, and Lloyd, having seen the utility of the Priest's wand, has ordered himself one. The priest has been leading the party a lot, but we'll see how that lasts with the other players getting their feet under them more and more. I don't know which way the warlock will go, and the new fighter (yeah, I've got a party of six with 3 fighters and a ranger. Ask about alignments some day. I don't know what all of them are, but there are/were at least 2 chaotic neutrals. A True Neutral, A Neutral Good (I think) who wants to be all demonic, a Lawful Neutral, a Lawful Good, and one I'm not sure of (one Chaotic Neutral died already.) By the way, a warlock does not make up for the lack of a wizard. And yes, summon spider swarm is nice, but not that nice. His ranged touch attack ability should be his focus until it doesn't work. This next adventure promises to be all talky, which in a group with a warlock, 4 fighter types and a priest is not completely optimal. Yes RP chances are great, but the more RP time there is, the more likely the party is to self-destruct, and I'm not quite ready to ensure my prefered sequence of events occurs in the case of major infighting. A little more setup and I can have it strengthen the group if it ever happens. Ooh, I just realized that they are high enough level (but heading the wrong way) for an encounter I've been imagining since the start. Well, not the wrtong way, but they are going to the Eldeen Reaches and I want to use the next couple of adventures there to advance a plot that is unrelated to the encounter I really want to run. Oh well, the forests and fey need their turn too. Heh, 6-7 players. 3rd Level Characters. That means I need a potential 21000 exp in the next session to hit 4th. Sadly, we are leaving the region where poison gas traps are reasonable for a bit. (Yes, yes, 4th level in 8 adventures is a little fast, but I want to get them to 6th to 8th fast. Nice pitched battles at those levels. I'd love to see 8th level in 12-14 adventures, but that would be pushing things a bit.) We'll see what happens. Having 6 players actually makes quick leveling easier. Sure they need half again as many xp to level the party, but they are tactically much more flexible than a party of 4. That ogre getting a critical on KC's character (and comming out near maximum damage on the rolls too) was a fluke sort of. Also, more character interactions means more story hooks shoving themselves at me means more RP rewards.


66% Combativeness, 40% Sneakiness, 73% Intellect, 5% Spirituality

Aggressive, but with the brains to back it up: You are a Spellsword!

Score! You have a prestige class. A prestige class can only be taken after you’ve fulfilled certain requirements. This may mean that you're an exceptionally talented person, but it probably doesn't.

Spellswords combine arcane might with combat know-how. They're much tougher than mages, like to wear armor, and can cast spells through their weapons. They're very, very, good at doing lots of damage to a single target very quickly, and while not quite as tough as most fighters, are still pretty hard to kill.

You're both smart and aggressive, which means that you're probably pretty dangerous when pissed off. You also tend to be somewhat straightforward, which is nice, and don’t have much use for spirituality or mysticism.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Combativeness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Sneakiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Intellect
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Spirituality

Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

*sighs* People are dumb. I need to quite going to the comment threads if I don't want to be brutally reminded of that at random and semirandom intervals.
There was a post about an English commedian, a real racist ass, named Jim Davidson, who refused to be served at a resturaunt because the server was Welsh.

Down in the comment thread there was this post:

I do not think white people behaving badly towards other white people is racism."

Er. Yeah.
So apparently in this fellow's world there are what? 4 Races, maybe as many as 8? (I figure he is getting white, Asian, Native American, African, and then maybe Pacific islanders, Jews, Hispanics, and Middle Easterners.)

Of course, he is probably American, where it is fairly easy to glom all vaguely similar ethnic groups together in your us vs them games.

So it has been a while since I posted here. New in my life:
I have Books 1, 2, 22, and 23 of Oh My Goddess (the new reprints. very nice.)
I also just got the second What's New with Phil & Dixie book from Amazon. Also very nice. I love the commentary from Phil's own Ginny (and if you can figure out who she is, who Ginny is and why I am comparing them, congratulations. You are as obsessive as I am.)
I've ordered some Warhammer 40k figures, not quite enough to make a basic army, but getting there.
I also just got a small bamboo steamer. Something I've wanted for a while. I also pucked up some new books at borders. They have a 4 for 3 sale on science fiction and manga and I bought a Warhammer 40k novel, a Shadowrun novel, and 2 Eberron novels. Oh and two new pairs of shorts. I'm all set for the winter.

Seems by little brother has exactly two types of question that he asks me. The first is the sort where I don't know the answer. I tell him this and he gets pissed at me. Apparently I'm supposed to pretend to know everything. *shrugs* Sorry, I'm not 16 any more, and I've out grown certain formative experiences since then. The other sort is where I can't figure out what he is asking. Today he asked what "average rate" means. It means what the two words together mean. I get questions like that a lot. I'm not explaining basic concepts to him, that would annoy me. But when I answer, "Which word don't you understand?" it annoys him. When I answer, "It means exactly what the two words mean." it annoys him. I suspect that if I refused to answer, that would annoy him too. (And I won't just claim to not know. He already accuses me of lying whenever I tell him I don't know something. And I'd hate for him to be right about that.) Since all routes are going to annoy someone, I think from now on, I'll pick the one that annoys him without taking up more than a minimum of my time.

Oh and then there was him asking me a question, me beginning to answer it, and then him telling me to prove it, then when he decided that he didn't want to be wrong in his assumptions from ignorance and told me that no matter what, I was wrong. So I agreed with him and quit talking. Then he called me asocial. I hope I wasn't that much of a twit when I was his age. Probably was. Thanks Chris.
Well, this is friends locked now.
Of course, it is still better than people who ask questions where they want a specific answer and then get pissed when you give them a different answer. I try to always give them the "wrong" answer.

Just finished David and Leigh Eddings' latest book. The pov shifts mostly don't work and mostly end up repeating the same things in almost the same words over and over again instead of providing new and useful insight. They needed an editor for that who could stand up to their momentum of fame.
Also, the ending? It sucks when it is done in SF. In fantasy where it isn't even a grand old tradition? Gah.

Also, I think the message would have been stronger if the character who was revealed to be more than they appeared had just been themself.

In all? a mostly enjoyable book with very loose editing and the world's worst plot resolution device. Not their best work.

acquired from <lj user="Seiryu_16">

Leave a list of fictional characters in your journal that you would love to get a message from. It is your friend-list's mission, should they choose to accept it, to write you an in-character "letter" from a character on that list. Then they post their own list in their journal and the process continues!

1 Jubal Hershaw
2 Kaylee Fry
3 Skeeve the Great
4 Kerrigan (Pre Zerg)
5 Grayson Death Carlyle
6 Aphrael
7 Eric Banyon (the older more together Eric)
8 Fiona (Barimen?)
9 Dirian
10 Belldandy

't’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe.
This one be a bit picky. Ye can slack off an' th' results be fine, but then ye’ve put in th' effort fer somethin' that wasn’t worth 't. Do 't starboard, an' this makes an exqusite sandwich, an experience o' more than jus' flavor.

Mike`s "what else be I doin' wi' me free time?" sandwich.

2 slices o' thick sliced roast beef (a wee thicker than an American nickle)

1 slice o' thick sliced roast turkey breast (a wee thicker than an American nickle, roast chicken might work too. Ham dasn't.)

1 sandwich sized slice o' mild cheese (provalone or mild cheddar be me favorites. I make 2 thin slices off o' a 1 lb block o' cheddar or use one slice o' presliced provalone)

1 bun or bun-like roll. I use wee hoagie buns, but I`ve used hamburger buns an' they's turned ou' fine.

1 Microwave safe plate (I use paper)
1 spatula or fork
Regular plate t' eat off o'.

This assumes ye be havin' a bilge watery microwave like me. If ye own a good microwave, yer order o' events be modified.
Prepare all o' th' ingredients before hand. Make sure th' turkey stays away from all heat sources (Ideally put th' slice o' turkey in th' fridge on a paper plate or somethin'.) Let th' slice o' cheese sit ou' but nay 'ere 't will get hot. 'tis goin' t' act as a heat buffer in a wee while.

Turn th' o'en on t' broil an' wait fer th' coil t' glow a nice hot red. While waitin', put th' roast beef on th' microwave safe plate an' put 't in th' microwave. Don’t start th' microwave yet.

When th' o'en be ready, pull th' top rack ou' about 6 inches an' place th' buns cut side up on th' rack. Close th' o'en door an' go stand at th' microwave. If yer microwave be slow, start 't starboard away, but otherwise ye probably want 't t' wait 45-50 seconds so th' bread an' th' roast beef come ou' one starboard after th' other.

When th' faces o' th' bun be browned, remove them from th' oven. (Oh use o'en mits if ye must. Wuss.) Put them on th' eatin' plate. Put th' hot roast beef on one o' th' buns (Ideally th' one that goes on th' bottom.)
Then in quick succession, put th' cheese an' then th' turkey breast on top o' th' roast beef. Put th' top bun on th' turkey an' serve smartly. Ideally, whoereis eatin' th' sandwich will start after th' roast beef has cooled enough nay t' hurt the'r bung hole, but before th' cheese has melted or th' turkey has gone soft.. Th' sooner ye start eatin', th' better, an' if th' turkey be warm when ye start, ye wasted th' preparation effort.

Eat 't plain, nay mayo or mustard or other sauces. Fresh sliced onion (raw) be arrr if ye like that sort o' thin' (I don’t) an' dry spices will nay screw anythin' up much. A wee drops o' flavored olive oil an' a wee bit o' fresh milled pepper put on th' roast beef before ye nuke 'tisn’t completely amiss, but sautéed onions ruin th' texture an' simplicity o' flavor o' this sandwich.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe.
This one is a bit picky. You can slack off and the results are fine, but then you’ve put in the effort for something that wasn’t worth it. Do it right, and this makes an exqusite sandwich, an experience of more than just flavor.

Mike's "what else was I doing with my free time?" sandwich.

2 slices of thick sliced roast beef (a little thicker than an American nickle)

1 slice of thick sliced roast turkey breast (a little thicker than an American nickle, roast chicken might work too. Ham does not.)

1 sandwich sized slice of mild cheese (provalone or mild cheddar are my favorites. I make 2 thin slices off of a 1 lb block of cheddar or use one slice of presliced provalone)

1 bun or bun-like roll. I use small hoagie buns, but I've used hamburger buns and they've turned out fine.

1 Microwave safe plate (I use paper)
1 spatula or fork
Regular plate to eat off of.

This assumes you have a crappy microwave like me. If you own a good microwave, your order of events will be modified.
Prepare all of the ingredients before hand. Make sure the turkey stays away from all heat sources (Ideally put the slice of turkey in the fridge on a paper plate or something.) Let the slice of cheese sit out but not where it will get hot. It is going to act as a heat buffer in a little while.

Turn the oven on to broil and wait for the coil to glow a nice hot red. While waiting, put the roast beef on the microwave safe plate and put it in the microwave. Don’t start the microwave yet.

When the oven is ready, pull the top rack out about 6 inches and place the buns cut side up on the rack. Close the oven door and go stand at the microwave. If your microwave is slow, start it right away, but otherwise you probably want it to wait 45-50 seconds so the bread and the roast beef come out one right after the other.

When the faces of the bun are browned, remove them from the oven. (Oh use oven mits if you must. Wuss.) Put them on the eating plate. Put the hot roast beef on one of the buns (Ideally the one that goes on the bottom.)
Then in quick succession, put the cheese and then the turkey breast on top of the roast beef. Put the top bun on the turkey and serve quickly. Ideally, whoever is eating the sandwich will start after the roast beef has cooled enough not to hurt their mouth, but before the cheese has melted or the turkey has gone soft.. The sooner you start eating, the better, and if the turkey is warm when you start, you wasted the preparation effort.

Eat it plain, no mayo or mustard or other sauces. Fresh sliced onion (raw) is okay if you like that sort of thing (I don’t) and dry spices will not screw anything up much. A few drops of flavored olive oil and a little bit of fresh ground pepper put on the roast beef before you nuke it isn’t completely amiss, but sautéed onions ruin the texture and simplicity of flavor of this sandwich.

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Fifteen men on a dead man's chest!
Cutlass or pistol?
What is the name of your pirate ship?
Where is your secret pirate base?
What kind of loot do you prefer?
What do you and your crew prefer to be called?
Parrot or monkey?
Your capable first mateguipago
Your bumbling cabin boy with a heart of goldmontykins
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Is always the first one into the fraytruepenny
Is the naval officer who ruthlessly pursues your shipkajafoglio
Is the comical pirate who is always drunk on grogvalleyviolet
Is currently in Davy Jones's lockerscarletdemon
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In t' spirit o' t' holiday, I think I'll be double postin' today.

*sigh* me Pakistani IMer seems t' have thought I was a lass (or gay, it could go either way.) He eventually asked me if I had any beautys, and when I said "No, I'm straight." He quit chattin'. Oh well. (I'd assume he thought I was a lass, except that me MSN account broadcasts me first name t' t' world. t be entirely possible that me name doesn't actually occur in hus country and thus he has no gender referents for it, but were I him, I would have used a search engine t' figure that one out.)

Oh aye.

*sigh* my Pakistani IMer seems to have thought I was a girl (or gay, it could go either way.) He eventually asked me if I had any boyfriends, and when I said "No, I'm straight." He quit chatting. Oh well. (I'd assume he thought I was a girl, except that my MSN account broadcasts my first name to the world. It is entirely possible that my name doesn't actually occur in hus country and thus he has no gender referents for it, but were I him, I would have used a search engine to figure that one out.)

Oh yes.

So today I have:
Input 10 more Coke Rewards Codes
Read some Oh my Goddess.
Watched Geeks In Love, Ultimate Show Down of Ultimate Destiny, some bizzare anime girl on a loop spinning a leek to the tune of some eastern european singer scatting in a language I don't recognize, the Japanese end of the world asteroid impact video, a 1965 Chevy commercial with the casts of Bonnanza, Bewitched, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a cheesy 1984 D&D commercial, and a new Wierd Al Video.
Plotted something for a D&D adventure some time in the near future.
Made fried rice (was okay, not my best effort)
Avoided writing a response to every article in a 32 page booklet about evolution published by the Jehova's Witnesses and chocked full of either willful deception of idiotic misunderstandings.
Not been Pope Inconsederate Nazi the first.
Written a disjointed "essay" about Belldandy (sort of) and posted it in a mostly public forum.

I haven't felt this geekishly fulfilled in a long time.

Especially when you add that to rewatching Love Hina and Visions of Escaflowne in the last two weeks, DMing an adventure last Friday, rereading Love Hina in the last couple of weeks, playing a few rounds of nethack, and relearning the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets. Oh and hanging out in a game store.

The Geek is back. Long Live the Geek.

What are we going to do tomorrow night?







Wow. That is disjointed, even for WhyTee.

I thought that I had talked about this here in the past, but a quick search of the pdf of my journal that I created a couple of months ago via doesn't turn anything up, and I remember it as having been at least a year ago.

You see, the thing is, I really like Oh! My Goddess.

More embarassingly, I like Belldandy.

Let me digress for a moment.

A couple of years ago, I read a book about anime that included almost as an aside, an interesting thesis. It was something like "Successful (or popular) media confirms society's norms." It isn't that all characters always fit into the rolls that the society that the media was intended for's norms, but the ones who do will tend to be happy, and even the characters who don't conform to the expected will really be contented only when they are filling their socially expected roles. For example, Love Hina. Ketaro plays several traditional Japanes Male roles through out the series and as soon as he finds the first one (Hard working mostly dutiful student) his life starts improving. Naru on the other hand is an agressive girl who out performs everyone. Throughout the series most of the times that she is actually happy are when she is helping Ketaro, being domestic, or generally not being herself. By the end of the series she has become a wellspring of calm and beauty who has faith in her man and isn't even upset by him being late for their wedding. Shinobu really changes very little throughout the series, and is the second closest character to the traditional Japanese woman anyway. Su, well, she's sort of the Pheobe role in the series. Mutsumi Is very much a traditional Japanese woman who is happy throughout the whole series (and has a lot of the positive traits of Belldandy that if she didn't have some strong negatives at least implied, I wouldn't be able to stand her.) Kitsune well she's half of the cautionary tale of the series. She and Haruka both differ from the cultural expectations and are both unhappy. (Haruka becomes a fairly traditional wife and becomes happy) Motoko... Motroko is a tomboy warrior who strives to fill her sister's shoes. Her sister also gave up her accomplishments to get married and a big part of what Motoko learns throughout the series is that that is okay. By the end, she is decorating a wedding cake, and while she is still a warrior, she is also a romance novelist who writes wierd samurai romance novels. As she embraces more of the traditional Japanese feminity, she becomes more grounded and happiert too.

Ooh then there's Friends. Pheobe is the only character in the whole series over how many identical seasons the show ran that didn't fulfil society's expectations, and while she wasn't unhappy in her role, she was constantly the odd woman out. The rest of the cast? Wealthy, pretty, white, boring. Exactly what you are supposed to strive to be in America.

(I am hamstrung here by the smallish amount of TV I watch.)

Tool Time. Tim Allen's character is an absolute geek. He revels in it. Almost every bad thing that happens in the show is due directly to his geekhood.

Vision of Escaflowne.
Van: Warrior. As he becomes a better Samurai, he becomes happier.
Hitomi: Dares to want things for herself. Every freaking time that she tries to get something she wants, she gets to watch people die in fires. The only times that her precognition doesn't cause her pain are when she is using it to aid the male characters, and even then, only if she is helping them for them and not for what she wants. (Seriously, she once tries to use her power to get a guy, and she causes the death of a king, the injury of his son in law, and the firey death of a bunch of random towns people. Her grandmother on the other hand, was very happy but only ever did things when called by the Male character who was obsessed with her. (Other characters. these two encapsulate the series though)

Back to Belldandy.

You see, she is absolutely the image of the suportive subsume-yourself-to-the-needs-of-others ideal that is one of the acceptable roles for a Japanese female (not limited to Japan, but particularly egregious there.) Her older sister (one of two female characters in the series who have sensual sides at all) is continuously unhappy. She is brash and bossy and dominant, and a half-demon to match. The younger sister shows signs of turning into Belldandy as she gets older. The Male Lead is actually fairly similar to Belldandy after he gets over the inexperienced letch bit that all harem manga have their characters go through apparently.

Someday I want to read something like Love Hina or Oh! My Goddess where the two love interest characters partner up/get married whatever early on. From the midpoint of Love Hina, Ketaro and Naru could have been having regular sex (or at least been boyfriend/girlfriend) without seriously changing the story at all. From the point that Naru decided that after all she did like Keichi and that she prefered him to the unobtainable Seta, they acted mostly as a partnership/couple (with a couple moments of stupidoubity.) As things stand, that period gets written off by the words "Four Years Later."

Actually on second thought, in Oh! My Goddess, they do start acting as partners fairly quickly. (I'll have to reread the early issues to see where that happens.)

Hurm... it may be that I've found the answer.

If that happened around book10 to 15, that means it happened at about the same number of pages as it did in Love Hina and is thus much too slow.

In Oh! My Goddess, Belldandy really does care about everyone. And while Keichi isn't as petranaturally good a person as she is, he does too. (He takes on a very culturally feminine role in this series. Which since Skuld and Urd and really everyone but Belldandy and the geek girl and the rich girl whose names escape me at the moment are quite culturally masculine in the series, lends a sense of ballance. (His sister could go either way but she eventually dissapears from the series.)) (<-- Still don't see why I'm not supposed to nest parenthetical bits in other parenthetical bits)

She's willing to give up a lot for pretty much anyone, and everything for Keichi and her loved ones. But this isn't unilateral. Urd, Skuld and Keichi all demonstrate their willingness to give up their most important aspects for her as well. While she expresses this as a strong conformation to societal norms, it is a recriprocal trade.

(There is an awesome issue where Keichi is being quietly despondant while trying his best to cheer up someone who is having troubles that they can't do anything about. She confronts him about this, and he tells her that he's recently come to realize that his relationship with Belldandy has the potential to hurt her a lot. See, he is mortal. She isn't. He's realized that because his wish bound them together and they fell in love, his mortality has the potential to be a huge blow for her. Well, it is more indirect in the comic.)

In O!MG Belldandy's happyness isn't because of her conformation to societal norms. It is because she is a happy person. Two seperate issues.

so a while ago I posted about dual wielding a small and a tiny greatsword. I missed the bit where you get a -2 penalty on attack rolls with the small one and a -4 penalty on the tiny one (On top of the penalty for using 2 weapons)

So, I was looking at the PHB today. I had never thought through the implications of the weapons size chart. For a medium creature, a small creature's 2 handed weapon becomes a 1 handed weapon, and a tiny creature's 2 handed weapon becomes a light weapon.

2d6 medium becomes 1d10 small or 1d8 tiny.

Critical Ranges and multipliers stay the same.

For 100 gp, a human ranger can dual wield a small and a tiny greatsword, do 1d10 and 1d8 damage and get 2X criticals on a 19-20 and have a light weapon in the off hand. All without having to take exotic weapon proficiency bastard sword.

08:00. Yet another hour I was not meant to see.

So you can be ambulatory. Which means you have to have a mode of ambulation. This implies the ability to ambulate.

I had forgotten how much I liked Love Hina. The epilogue is quite neat, and I sort of wish that there were a couple of books set in that setting with the main characters from the original being the background characters in the new one. Have them leading their lives, sort of like what the original X-men do in the new xmen groups' comics. They are there, sometimes they are very there, but the new people are very much central. Have a couple of cross over characters (Shinobu, Sarah, Su) but make the story about Emi and some other new residents. (The older characters could be handled like Haruka and Seta. You see bits of their lives and actions, some times they take center stage, but if the viewpoint characters go somewhere else, we quit following what is happening in their lives.)


yane no ue de sora o aogu, hizashi wa uraraka
miageru sora, karadajuu genki ga minagitteku

I liked the fan translated version of the manga better than the official ones I bought. (Comes mostly from them leaving a big chunk of the common words untranslated in the fan translation. There are points where you know that's not what they are saying in the tokyopop edition.)


Astroturf : bad

viral marketing : ?

When a company hires someone to go create a new identity on a forum, establish themselves as respected forum members, and then plug the product? That's bad.

On the other hand? When they create a massive distributed online/offline puzzle/mystery that ties in with an upcomming product? That can be hella cool (I'm looing at you I love bees)

In the middle ground? We have electronics companys hiring attactive well dressed people to wander around high traffic areas using their products. That seems more honest than the forum people, but less honest than is desirable. On the other hand, I'd rather see how a piece of equipment works in the field instead of seeing a commercial for it.

The sound and image quality is much better on the WMV than on the quicktime one:

I wish we had more Olbermanns countering the mostly unquestioned by the mainstream media ex cathedra dictums from the office of the president and his supporters.

Just read two mythosey stories. First one was pretty good. Neither had the pointless purple prose that mars most mythosey stuff. Second one is a little too quick with the motivation dumps. The main character draws conclusions from evidence yet to come, which I would have accepted from the first one since it was written after most of the events in question, but since the second one is a series of as events occured emails, is unexcusable.
They both have the rushed compulsion problem common to the genre.
First (and better of the two)

Second (lots of nice journaly stuff. Should have used several different journal systems though. 2 LJ, maybe a blogger or myspace, instead of all lj)

Today I saw heteronormativity and white guys inhabit the earth fantasy described as vanillia cupcake syndrome. Meaning boring, dull, and not worth eating.

Thing is, I don't know that that's an apt name. I'm not sure I've ever had a vanillia cupcake. I've had white and yellow cupcakes, but I don't think they had any more vanillia than a chocolate cupcake has, I think they were just yellow and white cupcakes. Boring, dull, and not worth eating. On the other hand, it seems that you should be able to make a cupcake that tastes of vanillia the way a chocholate cupcake tastes of chocholate. Then a vanillia cupcake could be a sublime experience. That's a secret covered up by some silly cultural assumptions around these parts. We use vanillia to mean plain, dull, normal, and boring. I suspect the folks that think that way have only ever had vanillia flavored things. Theobromine rush aside, real vanillia is so much better than chocolate (Well, I'm a guy. Chocolate doesn't latch on to the pleasure centers of my brain the way it does for women. I suppose that I'd be unable to convince me if it triggered the same parts of my brain that get lit up during an orgasim too.) The flavor is a more complex thing than chocolate's, it lends itself to considered enjoyment. (Quick, run to the store. I'll be here when you get back. Buy a thing of mid-quality vanillia Icecream. Breyers will do. The one with the vanillia flecks. When you get back, eat some. Don't just eat it, but taste it, pay attention to the things it does in your mouth. See?) If you can make vanillia cupcakes lie that, then the metaphor doesn't hold.

So, I use mentadent toothpaste. Usually one of the dark blue ones. This time though, "Replenishing White" was massively on sale, so I bought it. The colored toothpaste is pale green. Nastiest toothpaste I've ever had. It is in the same category (though not quite idenal with) drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth, even to the point of having a similar lingering aftertaste. Blech.

Did anyone else out there play Call of Cthulhu at a table with the Eldritch Ducks screen?
So, scumfuck political appointee Steven Galson has lost a round to science. He is the asswipe who decided on his own to ignore the reccomendations of the FDA scientists who actually do their jobs in favor of the keep women barefoot and powerless agenda of his political masters. Well, the Democrats forced his masters' hands by tying up the nomination of another scumfuck political appointee until he reversed his decision. RU 486 will now be avaliable to woman over the age of 18 over the counter. He did manage to spike the process (and ignore the science in favor of politics) by insisting that 16 year olds shouldn't have access. (Er? So they send a friend in to buy it, or use a fake ID. Most pharmacists are decent people, they aren't going to check IDs that closely. Of course there are a fair number of asshole pharmacists out there who will use the fact that it is behind the counter to withold it from women, undermining the whole point of making it avaliable. If you can't do you job...)

Stolen (without asking questions yet) from and (I'll try to come back with a couple of questions.)

I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more no less. Ask me anything you want. Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including me) to ask you anything.

I'll answer them.

No promises about the truth of the answers.

*EDIT* So I am an idiot. Not only did Istress and strain to find 18 movies to fill my 16 movie quota, I then posted my key instead of the quiz. *headdesk*

A. Pick 16 of your favorite movies.
B. Then pick one of your favorite quotes from each movie.
C. Post the quotes in your journal.
D. Have those on your friends list try to guess what the movie is without Googling, you cheating fuckers.
E. Strike out the quote once it has been correctly identified and place the guesser’s username directly after the quote (whenever I get to it, since I'm doing this while I'm uploading a huge frickin' file).

In my case I picked 16 movies that I could remember the names of. I can't think of 16 favorites. I don't watch that many movies.

yanked from and

1 "Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?"

2 "Freedom? We have it! And fame? Nah. It's an empty purse. Count it, go broke. Eat it, go hungry. Seek it, go mad!"

3 "If you're looking for a partner, then stop flying solo."

4 "Our domain is the shadow. Stray from it reluctantly. For when you do, you must strike hard and fade away . . . without a trace."

5 "An intelligent guard... didn't see that one coming."

6. "God, I miss Communism! The Red Threat? People were scared, the agency had respect, and I got laid every night."

7. "Greatness. It comes in many forms, sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice - that's the loneliest form."

8. "There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool."

9. "Hey, c'mon. We're superheroes. What could happen?"

10. "He's right on top of us. I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using."

11. "They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession."

12. "That's a pretty big risk for a Science Officer. It's, uh, not exactly out of the manual, is it?"

13. "Archaeology is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall."

14. "I'll kill you with my teacup."

15. "I'd like to wish you the best in your future career, but I doubt you'll live long enough to have one."

16. "Oh, what a romantic notion. Do you honestly believe that I could've amass the wealth that I have if I worried about honor? Ooh, no, no, no, no, no, tisk, tisk, tisk. So, pretty boy, if you don't want Hugo over here to come rearrange your features for you, I suggest you just give it up."

17. "I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm going to take a stand. I'm going to defend it. Right or wrong, I'm going to defend it."

18. "Then, if you'll excuse me, but I'm in the middle of 15 things, all of them annoying. Thank you for coming by."

I checked my email today and when I realized that I was excited about emptying the spam folder, I realized something. I need to write more emails.

Specifically I need to write more emails to people who reply to email. (The majority of my email writing in the last year has been to two people. Neither of them reply quickly or even reliably to email.)

So, I picked up several books from the library the other day. Two and four of the Vampire Earth series (3 was out so I put a hold on it. The other person reading the series ahead of me is slow. I can read books 3 and 4 in a couple of days. If I waited for three and he or she grabbed 4, I'd have to wait 2 weeks for the last book.)

I also grabbed His Majesty's Dragon and the new Stackpole novel. I've been waiting for it, though I did forget about it until I saw it on the shelf.

Choice of the Cat was in part much better than Way of the Wolf. More tightly written, I didn't have to work as hard to suspend my annoyance with the psychic mutant space vampires this time.

His Majesty's Dragon? Well, early this year I read 1602, Identity Crisis, and Kingdom Come. In that order. This was absolutely the wrong thing to do. Kingdom Come was wonderful, one of the best books to come out of DC. Had I read it alone, or even first, it wouldn't suffer from an acute case of nicebut (as in "That was nice, but it was no Dune.") Sadly as I was reading it, I couldn't help but compare it unfavoriably to Identity Crisis and even more so to 1602.

Choice of the Cat could have fallen into the same category had I been unlucky enough to read it after His Majesty's Dragon.

About HMD... Novik and Webber appear to share the same source material. There is a scene that is essentially the same except for setting where the problem Lieutennant sees the error of his ways, shapes up and asks for forgiveness. I suspect that this is straight from Hornblower, but I can't bring the exact scene to mind at the moment. This isn't a criticism. Both Webber and Novik have their main characters do something that Hornblower didn't do, at least as far into the series as I have currently delved. They grow and change and shed the bits of their prickely persona that make them less good at their jobs. I think hornblower does too, but only after he marries his second wife and I've not gotten to the bit where he meets her.

from <lj user="guipago">

Go here: Random Quotations. Refresh the page until you find five quotations that you like, and post them to your journal.

Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.
Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)

Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.
Jack Paar

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944), "The Wisdom of the Sands"

A ship in harbor is safe--- but that is not what ships are for.
John A. Shedd

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903), Maxims for Revolutionists

Runners Up:
There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters.
Alice Thomas Ellis

A specification that will not fit on one page of 8.5x11 inch paper cannot be understood.
Mark Ardis

Work is not always required... there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.
George McDonald


I just let my hotmail account lapse. 30 days without logging on apparently does it, and msn messenger via gaim apparently doesn't count.

Fortunately, back when I got my gmail account, I used mr postman and eudora (and possibly "pop goes the gmail" to transfer my hotmail to my gmail account. I haven't done so again, but most of the important stuff is there.

So, the west wing was, I think, not intended to be watched in large chunks. I started last night and watched till lateish. Didn't watch them in order, but that's mostly because I'm not really as smart as I used to think I was and I failed to notice that going from the first to the second disk brought me up a lot in episode numbers and I convinced myself that the things I hadn't seen in the intro clips had gotten cut from the series completely. Instead, I had not noticed that both sides of the DVDs were playable. The series works skipping 4 of each 8 episodes, but it works even better skipping none.

And Wow.

Bartlet has a speech early in the show where he talks about the armor provided in Rome by the words "civis Romanus" and I can't disagree with him completely even though where he wanted to go with it was wrong. But. The next part where Leo replies to him and says that as the president of the sole superpower left on the planet he can conquer the world, but if he does, Leo will "raise up an army against you, and I will win." is one of my favorite bits from the show. (There's actually several others that beat that, including when he tells his daughter exactly why her being kidnapped is a bigger fear of both the Secret Service and the Joint Chiefs than him being killed.)

I just finished reading E.E. Knight's Dragon Champion. A great deal of fun. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series while hoping he can hold it together. (Assuming that it picks up shortly after this book, which given the potential logitivity of the protagonist, is not a completely safe assumption, there's a danger that he'll spin it out of control as the scope expands. Probably not, but I've seen other good authors fall into that trap before.)

I know that this doesn't effect as many people as the decline and fall of E3, but it still sucks. Guardians of Order is closing their doors.

Mark MacKinnon was very up front about it and said that their financial problems were a combination of the down turn in the RPG market, the recent drop in the American Dollar vs the Canadian Dollar (He is in Canadia but makes most of his sales in the states so his company, which was already having problems was hit hard by the decrease in value of his product where it sells the most,) and his own lack of buisness accumen.

Mark's company made damned good games, with a system that I would frequently use when I wanted to run a new setting without spending months working up all of the mechanics.

He had made a deal with Phage Press to print a new edition of Amber Diceless, which had me all giddy.

And George R.R. Martin had a contract with them to make the A Game of Thrones RPG. A lot of material is almost ready or even printed now, and Mark is trying to make sure that it gets to the stores even though that means handing them to other companies.

To make things worse, the news was broken earlier than MacKinnon had hoped for when there was a miscommunication between him and Martin. (He was trying to get as many of his obligations fulfilled as possible before going public and Martin though that he was making an announcement about it in their conversation.)

I hope that Mark and his staff and family come through this okay. I'm going to miss his work.

So I've not been online as much as usual for the last two weeks. My little brother was home and we usually split the computer time 20/80 during the day. Add to that my uncle Mackie (he changes names occasionally, but this one has stuck for quite a while) and his boyfriend Jim stopping by after a highschool reunion and I didn't actually check any webcomics yesterday. When I got to Penny Arcade, I saw the thing about E3 cutting way back. Well duh. I thought it would take a couple of years but when they did the idiotic move of cutting back booth babes at a trade show, I figured that was the first knell of mediocratcy and decline for the event. Didn't expect it to happen quite that fast. Oh well. I was never really all that hyped about it anyway. Give me Origins, World Con, GenCon Indy, or ComicCon any day over the gated community that was E3.

E3 isn't exactly dead and it is still a gated community, but now it is much smaller and well, it is sort of like gating Gary Indiana. (Without the stench.)

There is something wrong with people. This is by far not the first time I've heard of folks calling 911 over stupid buisness crap. I swear, somewhere in gradeschool or middle school we should have a lesson unit on who you call to report various types of problems.

Okay, I am the first to admit that I really have a hard time making aesthetic determinations about guys, but why the hell would a bunch of people be sending Neil Gaiman an article about how ugly guys are doing better these day... oh. He's mentioned in the article.

Yeah, I've been spending too much time over at and 's head space. I'm seeing "Serious Gender Racial Issues" where none may exist.


So, I finished Way of the Wolf 2 before starting In Fury Born.

This is the third time I've checked it out from the library. THe previous two times I just couldn't get past the cover blurb.

This is a science fictionish book. (Well Science Fantasy at least)

It is about alien psychic invader vampires.


Alien Invaders and Vampires. Who can subsist on the "auras" of humans.

But I can get past that point.

I can accept alien invaders and ignore the vampire bits.

Oh they also have uber minions that are more the traditional blood drinking vampires. Also alien, but probably engineered to eat humans.

The brute minions though...
The big strong stupid alien rapist unable to plan for the future brute minions...

Were there any black face shows on the silent screen?

These guys, Glugs or something similar, well it is is pretty easy to draw a fairly strong case that they are stand-ins for the darker side of white America's view of blacks.

This is probably entirely unintentional. In fact, I am not sure that it would be possible to create a big strong stupid servitor race that you couldn't draw the same parallels to.

So, since they are mostly in the background, I can get past that.

Ignoring the above, these are pretty good books. I was going to say pulpish, but if I ignore the above bits they lose some of the pulp aesthetic.

I'm going to give at least the next book a chance. I'll have to see after that. If the vampires get all angsty and stand-in-for-sex-and-deathy then that'll be the end of it for me.

I think I ought to be reading more David Webber.
He makes me want to write.

His newest book? In Fury Born?

Well, it lifts the drop sequence for the drop troops from Starship Troopers, but then so does everyone else who uses drop troops.

Also, it uses all of his favorite military philosophy catch phrases.

You know what the character will do because you can ask "If Honor was a marine, what would she do?"

(It even has, almost verbatium, the scene in either the first or second Honor book near the end where her sponsor almost comes to hate her because of how she reports her casualties with no feeling, seeming to read them off, not coldly but like a grocery list, but then he realizes how much pain she is in and that hiding it is her method of coping.)

There is an in memorandum thread for Jim Baen over at websnark. Very touching. I do wish that Jim weren't dead and that the thread after the article was after some other Snark. The first one needs no explanation. The second one? Well, there are all sorts of discussions hiding in this thread that I'd love to have, but I don't want to be part of moving it away from a discussion of Baen and his life and the good he has done.

(There is a huge Heinlein Discussion in there that won't be had because of that.)

I also wanted to reply to this:
"So too are Baen Books’ titles. David Weber’s books are more about political and social what-ifs than space battles, but work just as well as “space battle” type stories."

Which is a small part of someone's very long "I'll miss Jim Baen" post.

Problem is, at least if he/she is discussing the Honor Harrington books... well, no. They are all about the space battles.

That isn't to say that there isn't a lot of impressive world building, but the question that inspired the setting isn't "what if there was a high tech monarchy on the edge of human space" it is "What do I need to do to justify putting Horratio Hornblower in a space ship?"