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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.
The Last Ten
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Post Quarter Century
The Oncoming Week
Sweet God! It BURNS!
Finally Bottled the Wheat
Cut Things Close
The Big Gay Post
Halloween Party: Images 2005
Deviant Paradigm: Beware of Catgirl
Semper Nox Noctis
Semper Nox Noctis: Memoirs of the OverAlpha 1
-- Sapph's Blog --
-- Jonathan and Luke's Blog --
Fear No Darkness...
-- Jamie's Blog --
Little Green Footballs
-- My source for political news !!Conservative Site Alert!! --
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saw V for Vendetta at Sapph's birthday party -- Happy Birthday, Sapph! (Sorry you still get sick at the thought of the bartender's bread and butter; it just takes time, and until then we can use other liquors. I've been looking for an excuse to get Rumplemintz and Bacardi 151.)
I'm going to reserve judgement on the movie until I've actually watched it in a context where I can analyze it, but from what I saw I found the the premise to be a bit preposterous (okay, I love Snakes on a Plane, so that's not a very valid excuse). Let me be honest, politically themed movies are a hard sell for me. I like to just have to deal with the movie, and if you can hide politics in it for me to discover like a chocolate egg, that's fine. If you write the politics into the forefront, I find it tiresome. I already have a not-so-great opinion of the Wachowski brothers and getting infused with their politics just bothers and annoys me. Visually, V is pretty impressive though. The real thing that bothered be is that (at least this is what I was told) this is supposed to be a "neo-conservatives take over the world" scenario. Now I already don't believe in "the government should be afraid of the people" any more than "the people should be afraid of the government." I'm also a pretty conservative guy. So I'd like to imagine that I can recognize conservatism when I see it. Instead of conservativism as I know it, I saw this twisted-mirror conservatism, a sort of nightmare conservatism that really only exists in the minds of the far Left which they use to demonize conservatives at large. Maybe, maybe if you go out far enough on the fringe of the Right, you'll find some arguments which could lead to the sorts of things you see in V, but they aren't any more valid than people believing that gays are out to destroy the world (to use an example from an earlier post's comments). Both concepts are preposterous. For you to believe that conservatism as we know it leads to a universe like V's implies a very poor grasp of what conservatism is, means, and stands for. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is believed by far too many. As wingnuts like myself and Impresario have been lamenting, the Right tends to view the Left as misguided, and, given sufficent argument, could be convinced to come around. The Left often enough views the Right as Evil which must be stopped. Since the Right is evil and not just wrong, obviously anything that we disagree with in the slightest, were we to assume total power, would be made illegal and people disappeared for it. This is where you lose me. Conservatism is a bastion of classical liberal thought, tempered with a fairly pessimistic view of human nature (which is what separates conservatives from libertarians and makes conservatives oppose things like the legalization of marijuana). In other words, conservatives are more likely to want the government to stay out of their lives. I might give you monitoring (though that might just be because there are more people like me out there who think privacy is just a feel-good illusion any more), but when it comes to actual interference (breaking into your home and arresting you for being different, for instance), conservatives will draw a line. You all remember the Texas sodomy law? Ever met a conservative who wasn't on the fringe and still thought it was a good idea? I never have. And what about the experimentation on people which produced V? You're saying that the people who oppose stem cell research to cure cancer if you have to harvest the stem cells from human embryos are going to, quite suddenly, decide that it is just dandy to do horrific experiments on people who qualify as "undesirables"? See how absurd this is starting to look? And yet, people still believe this drivel.
Maybe I'm all wrong, maybe it all makes sense in V's world and I just missed some important point (hey, there was a party going on, this is easily possible). So I'll give it another watching. But right now, it seems about as believable as the Matrix (2 and 3 to be specific), and you don't want to get me started on that. If the Wachowski brothers know as much about politics as they do about computers, I'm being generous to V, even at my harshest.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The thing I miss most from Cable is the Venture Bros. Fortunately, I've got YouTube. And now I'm ever more excited. According to the series, Brock's from here. See what sort of a guy comes out of Nebraska? That's what corn-fed beef produces. Brock Sampson.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Finally got my Internet yesterday. So I'm back online, time for me to make my grand reappearance on Imperian. I'm kind of tiring of the game, largely because taking care of the stupid shop is a lot of work that isn't much fun, and even my character isn't getting paid for it. He's gradually getting more and more poor, right when he needs to have some serious dosh to pay for new armor.
We are rejoining our Spycraft game this upcoming Wednesday, for those that are interested. I am hoping to finish the current episode so that we can get on with things, we've got several more adventures to go through before we hit the season finale.
-- Update while writing the above --
ARGH! Of course, after this, goodness knows how things are going to look. It seems like I'm the only person who gets to massage their own schedule. Half my players have gotten themselves evening jobs and don't seem to have any control over when they work. From the looks of things, I'm going to be losing a player. It's either that or somebody decides they want to do something in order to play. I'm getting really frustrated. Almost enough to pick an arbitrary day that's most convenient for me and just say "Make it work, I don't care." This same thing is what kept us from playing during the summer, nobody has work schedules that work with each other, and nobody cares enough to make the effort to ask for one certain day off every week. I haven't always worked for a "3AM on Sunday is a perfectly okay time to work" startup company; I've done the grind, I know how it works. It's not impossible, or even that hard, to get certain days off. It's not like I'm asking for even a hard day off -- I just want everyone to chose the same arbitrary day, it can be any day of the week, everyone just needs to agree on one. So I'm left with the conclusion that I'm the only member of the group willing to make sacrifices to play. Since this isn't the first time I've come to this conclusion (honestly, getting you guys to play a game you're supposedly excited about is an awful lot like herding catgirls through a sea of shiny objects), my players are going to have to actually do something to prove me wrong. I may not have much better things to do than play with them, but I'm sure I could find something. I could always go drinking instead, or find a girlfriend or something. Since everyone else's lives are more important than our game and heaven forbid they have to give up anything because Avvy'll sacrifice whatever he has to to make sure we can all play. I'm really sick of it. Time and time again I get sidelined. Players show up late (or not at all), nobody is willing to work out a time to play. Enough is e-bloody-nough. Everybody needs to choose their priorities. Most of the time, it seems to me that I'm not one of them. Note that I'm not asking for more than one day, I'm not asking for radical schedule changes, or for anyone to quit their jobs, I'm just asking that a single day be worked out amongst my players and all of them find a way to deal with it. This is not that hard; assuming you work together. I'm tired of being the only one trying to do it. This time they can work it out amongst themselves.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Well, I should be really lucky for the next few days. This last Shadowrun blew all of my unluck at once -- I have never seen so many consecutive ones rolled.
Okay, here's the setup, I'm being mind-controlled (a situation I expected to occur going into it, so I'm not upset about that in the least). The rest of the squad has accomplished the objective (I'm leading a riot to provide cover, and some third-party mages are enforcing the riot with area effect mindcontrol). So I decide that it's time to break free of the mind control and join the team. I get to roll to break free and I put Edge into it. I'm rolling ten dice now, and will reroll any sixes. I get no successes (fives or sixes) and about seven ones. That means, not only did I fail, it was a critical failure. I hold a windshield wiper, torn from a squad car, high in the air, and with a William Wallace-like cry, I lead an enraged crowd in a charge at the nearest police barracade. Police with shotguns. Roll Reaction to see if I accidentally dodge any of the shot. That's six dice for me. No successes and a couple of ones, but not enough for a critical failure (I think). Ouch, took the whole shot right on. Roll to resist damage. I'm rolling thirteen dice for this. Another set of no successes and a batch of ones. I critically fail the damage resistance -- instant death. Wow. I mean, these things happen, but it's got massive odds against it. Oh well, not really a big deal (I burned a permanent Edge to survive, albeit with now both brain damage and a missing arm, and it was the last adventure anyway; that campaign is now over and fishmen rule the Earth. Nevermind that last bit.)
So with all of that burned, I ought to be on fire for a while. Maybe I should go gambling.
Impresario's trying to get me to play EVE. We're both well aware that he's going to succeed. I've been avoiding the game because I knew I would be addicted to it, even if it is an online game. But my addition is pushed back at least a week because I'm moving back to Omaha next week and won't really be around to play. No way I'm wasting half of my contiguous 14 day free trial on time when I won't be able to play at all.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I've been tempted to put together a bit of action-heavy RPG goodness set in the world of Deviant Paradigm. Most specifically, set in the Labyrinth and Equilibrium City. Since I don't have anything that fits well, and certainly nothing cinematic enough, I've got to make it up. But I know from experience (Phoenix Blood and Semper Nox) that a total RPG build is currently beyond me. I just don't have time to work out base rules. So I've got to start from somewhere. I think I'm going to start with White Wolf's old WoD system...mostly because it's die pool based (which is a feature I'm pretty fond of) and I have it. Maybe I'll have something ready to goof around with when the Shadowrunning has come to an end. But fear not, my loyal readers, Spycraft: Conspiracy will return as scheduled with the beginning of school. Season one still has about three and a quarter episodes left in it (we have to finish the House, for instance). I'm still trying to decide exactly where the Season Finale will be set, but it's going to be another monster. I should have time for about three more episodes -- I'm still waiting on "World on Fire" before I can convert to Spycraft 2.0, since I need the psionic rules, and we're tentatively planning to go to Spycraft 2.0 at Season Two's Premier.
Also, I'm going to come up to Omaha Thursday afternoon. My new apartment lets me have one wall painted a different color, and I have to pick which color I want. Here's hoping the blue doesn't suck and it goes with my couch.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Learned an important lesson this last weekend -- taxes aren't the only thing I'd rather leave to professionals. Trying to save me some effort, time, and money, my mother purchased a home waxing kit to try on my shoulders. One thing we learned is that these kits do not work quite as intended. Or at least how we intended. It certainly removed hair...Along with a decent patch of the first layer of my skin. Also learned is that my mother is very bad at this sort of thing. I do expect an amount of pain in this procedure, and I've had it done before, so I know I'm right to expect it. But this was ridiculous. I think I'll just go to the spa and get it done by someone who knows what they're doing, has all the proper equipment, and is being paid to inflict pain on me, so they won't shy away from it.