Month: November 2006

Upon Further Review

I’m going to go back over this months posts, but first…

Just watched X3 for the second time, and I think it was better than the first time around.
Maybe it was less of a shock or something?
I’m all over the place with this movie, but my overall impression hasn’t changed much: not as good as the rest.
With any luck there will be a fourth and they won’t have the same lame-ass directer.
Oh, BTW, Juggernaut isn’t a mutant. Just thought I should let you know.

OK, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue.

30 Days, 30 posts(including this one of course) and what have I learned?
-Well, for one, starting to write at 10pm seems to have become a habit.
I guess all the good TV is over by now.
-I’m pretty happy with the fact that I can write about a single topic with little to no prep work.
And most of the time it’s coherent.
-Yet, I think the posts I enjoyed the most didn’t have a single topic.
-The most popular post(according to the comments) seems to have been a tie between Green Tea and Dating.
-I enjoyed writing those ^_^

Have I become a better writer?
Don’t think so, but I’ve become able to write for a solid 30 minutes without much self editing, and that seems cool.

Will I continue to do this on a daily basis?
No. Not the real long posts anyway.

Have I given the world insight into who I am?
A little, but no more than I’m comfortable with. The Dating one could have turned out to be rather personal, and really spiteful, but I think I saved it.

Would I like to go back and edit/redo some posts?
Yea, I think so. The anime and Giant Robot one deserve some tweaking. Maybe another time.
Fandom and Collecting also should be redone. Fandom especially. I think I strayed more than I wanted to just to get some words in.

Will I do this again next year?
Don’t know. I might actually take a shot at NaNoWriMo. Hell, I’m over the 20K mark(with this post) I’m sure.
I mean, that’s just 30K shy right? And I’m not sure if the rules allow it, but I could use the same format.
A bunch of short stories with a single or group of characters. I’m sure that’s allowed.
Best part, the stories don’t even have to match!
I think that would be fun. Like a daily drama(not soap) or sitcom. Oh to ponder the possibilities.

Overall I had a really good time. There were a couple of cop-outs, but I think I’m allowed one or two. That, and the other posts made up for them 😛

Could anyone do this?
Hell yea, it’s the easiest thing in the world.
That’s why I changed the rules to make it more challenging for myself.
My dog could post daily if she wanted to. I know she has a blog around here somewhere.

This contest needs to change a little to make it more of a challenge.
Not to push people away, but to make them work for it. Like NaNoWriMo. It’s not that you have to write a story, but you have to write 50K words. There’s a big difference there.

Anyway, I think I’m babbling at this point, so I bid you good night.
The following post will just be a word count.
Hey, I’m curious ^_^

My Life, thus far, ish.

Knowing that this is the second to last post for this thing, I should have come up with a topic.
But I didn’t.
Or haven’t, whatever.

Why don’t I tell the rest of the world a little about myself.
That should kill some time.

Born in Edmonton, 1975, May 31, apparently 11 days late.
Why not? It’s warm in there 😛

Didn’t live there for long as I spent my first Christmas in Lare Germany. Of which I spent the rest of that day playing with the ribbon from the stuffed, and this is hazy, Yak that I got.
It was a stuffed animal of some sort, and from the pictures it looked Yak like.
As would be expected, most of my time in Germany is, oh, missing.
I moved away at three, what the hell do you want.
So let’s go over other stories that my parents like to bring up.

Driving with my grandmother, she takes a wrong turn somewhere, and get’s jammed between two buildings because the street kept getting narrower and narrower.
In a restaurant, in one of those kiddy seats, I was playing with my rattle and chucked it at the waitress. She threw it back with the same force.
Don’t screw with the waitresses in Germany ^_^
During a trip to Italy, all the old ladies would come by and touch me on the head. Apparently it’s lucky to touch a blond baby.
Also, and this is interesting, the tent trailers in Italy don’t have screens because there are no mosquitoes. Except in Rome, where my parents were staying. I was bitten so many times I couldn’t get out of my PJs.
That, and by the time my father killed them all, it was a blood bath.
Some random Italian taught me how to say Ciao and do some funky hand sign. Apparently I was thrilled.

Moved to just outside of Montreal. I remember a lot of this, so I’ll sum up.
Best friends lived down the street and I had this small forest in the space behind the house.
There was also some construction garbage, including this huge concrete…thing.
Think it was like a concrete tube, but I remember it as square.
That was the only place we had a pool. It was above ground and really fun, but I guess a huge hassle to keep clean.
I think I broke my toe while living there, but I can’t be certain.
Went to an all English school, and spent recess trying to play on the big kid sets. Remember, I was in grade one.
Backed myself into a corner and swore at my mother. “I don’t want to do my fucking homework!” I had a very clean mouth after that.
I remember a really big snow storm and loosing a crazy carpet in the wind.
Also remembered vowing not to be in school past 16, because I had that option apparently.

Next up, Oromocto.
Saw the Queen there a few times. Or maybe just once, but it felt like more than once.
Almost all of my friends lived on the same block as I did, and they were all a year older than I was.
Transformers was on TV. So was Voltron, He-Man, Thundercats, GI Joe, and all the good cartoons that were ever created to sell toys.
It was a busy 4 years.
We got snow. We got a lot of snow. Granted I was shorter back then, but I remember the snow banks being 3-4 times higher than I was. It was awsome.
We had a fort. An inground fort. I must have been really short at the time.

Belleville.
Grade 6 through 9 was spent there.
Those were odd years, with many ups and downs.
Picked on a lot since I was was easy to anger. Or at least irritate.
Didn’t much care for the majority of the people in school, other than a select few of course ^_^
Got crushes on girls, didn’t do anything about it.
Played a lot of D&D, which probably explains the last sentence.
Had a paper route, and like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Got caught stealing.

Kanata.
Last time I moved. Well, permanently moved anyway.
Finished High School, and like Belleville, didn’t care for many people I went to school with.
Got myself into the occasional bit of trouble.
Fell in love. Although looking back I’m not sure why I stayed there.
Played BloodBowl when I should have been studying for math.
Wrote Master of Puppets while programming in Pascal.
Joined a band. Ish. We never did get that song written.
Did some drugs, egged some houses, got a job. Not in that order.
Started smoking. Don’t know why.

Went to college in Barrie.
Best. Time. Evar!
It almost removed all the evils of High School.
Learned to drink, a lot.
Got bored of drugs, kept smoking though.
Gained a lot of weight.
Met some nice folks.
Worked for EDS, then didn’t work at all and moved out, then worked for EDS again.

Moved downtown. Had some fun, spent too much money. But I was making money, so why not?
Bought a car.
Got laid off.
Moved back in with the folks. That was tough, for everyone.
Finally started working again.
Moved out and down the street.
Started eating Sunday dinner with the folks.

Contract work turned into full time.
Stayed with Jim for maybe a little too long, but I’m sure he’d still like the money.

Bought a house.
Bought a dog.
Haven’t fallen in love again. Working on that.

There we have it.
More or less.
In a nutshell.
Ish.

Nothing really

OK

I feel like crap for some reason.
It could be the fact that I’ve been eating Thanksgiving leftovers for the last 4 days now.
Mind you, the first day was fresh, the rest have been leftovers.
My stomach is doing some funky stuff and I’m just not feeling up to actually blogging at the moment.
That, and I have nothing to really blog about, so I’ll make it up as I go along.

As I mentioned, I picked up the ShadowRun book last night.
Didn’t read anymore of it today, but decided to work on the server instead.
This is where I might fail.
Not at the server itself, but filling my time with the little details that don’t actually have anything to do with getting a game going.
Buuut, if I can get the little details out of the way fast enough, I should still have momentum to think about getting the actual game started.

Ok, back to the server.
Installed Ubuntu 6.10 with all the updates onto a spare PC. I seem to have a few of those.
Mind you, now that it’s plugged in, I don’t have a spare plug for the sound on the main system.
That just won’t do.

Anyway, so Ubuntu installed like a charm, it almost always does, and then installed the Undernet IRC server.
That was stupidly easy.
Too easy to be honest. Yet I connected to it, so something must be working.
Not that I have any documentation, so of course I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.
But really, I never do.

Next will be to install the web server and the teamspeak server.
Both of those should run smoothly.

Oh yea, then I have to finish reading the Shadowrun stuff ^_^

I think for the first time ever, I’m excited about running a game.
I’m never exited about running the game, I generally want to play it.
Now I just need people to play.
If I keep going and actually get stuff done, I suspect I have at least 3 people that would sign up for this.
4 maybe.
Now, if I can convince the local crew to join, I could have 6, maybe 7.
That would be ideal.
The next trick of course is to make this actually enjoyable.

I’ve never been a very good GM, but that may have been more to bad planning than anything else.
Or it could be that I’m not a very good GM. But odds are no one else will do this, at least not initially, so what the hell.
And it’s not like I have money riding on this.
The book was the first/only expense so far. And it should be the only one.

So Yea, things are progressing.
It’s only Tuesday, and it’s not like I plan on having the first game on the weekend, but it really shouldn’t take much more planning.
At least the technical part.

Just shy of 500…

Work almost picked up today. There’s a critical event happening with a customer, and I should be putting all my attention on it.
However, they haven’t sent logs.
And there’s not a lot I can do without logs.
I guess I’ll try to replicate it tomorrow. Shouldn’t be that hard.

Only two more posts before this thing finishes.
I’d say I’ll take some kind of break, but I won’t.

RPG Goodness

I can’t think of the last time I bought an RPG book with the intention of actually using it.

Picked up ShadowRun 4ed last night. A little more than $25, but it was from a local shop, so it’s all good.
I’ve made it through the basics and so far I like what I see.
They’ve simplified the rules and dice rolls, which is good.

Haven’t gone through combat/magic/matrix, but it shouldn’t take too long.

I’ve also downloaded as much as I could, both officially and otherwise.
If I’m going to run this as a multi-city experience, I don’t want other people to have to shell out money for this.
The general concept is, if I send them the PDF, it’ll be “like” they were in the same room looking at my copy.
It’s weak, but it works.

I’ve also downloaded 9 missions from the official ShadowRun page. I don’t know if I’ll use them as-is, or tweak to make a different campaign.

Right now I think I’ll host most things locally. I’m sure I can throw together an IRC and TeamSpeak server.
Both of which are free. And cross-platform, which is good.

I must be driving Pandora nuts.
Trance type music enjoyment is a finicky thing.
I like Juno Reactor, so that’s what I tell them.
Then it’s “nope, nope, nope, good, nope, nope, nope” and while quantifiably they’re the same, there’s just something different about them.

Left the dog out again.
We’ll see what she finds today.
I think I’m getting through though. When I returned home last night, she had chewed something, but was also hiding in a corner knowing she had done something wrong.
I guess it’s a start.
Too bad the spud trooper had to be sacrificed.
And I didn’t even know they made Darth Tater t-shirts….

Edit: Even better!!!

Edit again: WOOT! She didn’t chew anything! Well, anything important. She snagged one, only one, empty 591ml coke bottle. That’s it! In 4 hours that’s all she got. And with her height she could have gotten more. I think we’re on to something.

Sci-Fi Meme

This a list of the 50 most significant speculative fiction/fantasy works, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.
Bold the ones you’ve read, strike out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished, and underline 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

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 (I think…)

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 (Edit:Turns out I own this…)

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 José Farmer

Is it bad that I’ve only read 16% of this list?

On Dating

Oh this should be a riot!

At the very heart of my being I’m stupidly shy.
I don’t go places to meet new people.
Not specifically anyway.
I don’t hang out in clubs, the drinking or the geek kind, and I don’t pick up women.
Mostly because I don’t talk to them, I don’t approach them.
As a shield, I simply say that I just don’t care, or that’s the way they would prefer it.
I mean really, do you want some random guy coming up and trying to start a conversation?
Possibly, maybe, I don’t know.
But that’s my excuse, and it’s worked wonders over the last 10 or so years.
Hell, the last person I dated practically fell into my lap, and I guess I’ve been waiting for that ever since.

So what’s a geek to do?
Well, the path was obvious; online dating.
Except I immediately hit another hurdle. I now had to ‘sell’ myself online.
By that I mean talk about myself in a way that might be appealing to the opposite sex.
Imagine a resume, but designed to be witty and less informative.
I have a hard enough time with resumes.
So how do I sum up myself in 1000 words or less?
Poorly comes to mind.

I tried bullet points. Oh, that’s sexy!
Brief and to the point doesn’t even work for resumes.

I tried reading other peoples profiles and taking some hints.
Seems everyone else did the same thing. They all sounded about the same.
No help there.

Now I have to provide a picture. Here’s another problem.
I can’t take a good picture of myself. I don’t fake smile well. In fact, I try to avoid it and go for that stoic look.
Or the bored look.
Or the mildly pissed off look.
I am the Labrador Retrieve of self portraits.

So let’s now assume that my profile is decent and the picture is one someone else took.
Now I have to send smiles out across the ether to prospective dates and hope they send one back.
At least, that’s the method I use.
See, you can either send a smile(free) or an email(not free). Since not free costs money, I try the free option first.
This gives them a chance to read the profile and look at the pic.
Generally, that’s as far as it goes.
But there are the rare occasions where they ‘smile’ back.
That’s where it get’s complicated.

Now I have to ‘up the ante’ as it were and send an email.
OK, so I’ve read their profile, and with any luck they have something in there that I can discuss a little bit.
Now I write a blind email to whomever, trying to sound both interesting and inquisitive without using the phrase “PLEASE GO OUT WITH ME!!!!11”

This falls under ‘chit chat’. I don’t like chit chat. Mostly because it forces me to think about things I don’t care about.
The weather.
The local sports whatever.
The latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
These are not the things that interest the me. Yet people insist on talking about them.
This is why I’m generally regarded to as quiet.
If I don’t have anything interesting to say, or comment about, then I don’t.
Why add to an already pointless conversation?
I’m sure it’s a useful social skill, but I don’t like it.

Chit
Chat

Anyway, assuming that I didn’t sound needy and desperate in the email, they write back.
OK, this I can deal with mostly because they’ll try to follow the same guidelines. Respond to questions, chat, ask questions.
This I can deal with. I’m an email ninja.
However, there are times when you get thrown a curve ball, and they send you something that’s best described as a ‘sympathy email’.
God, what technologically advanced times we live in when people are sending sympathy emails.
“I’m sorry, but your last email told me that I shouldn’t go out with you, but I didn’t want to appear rude, so now I’m replying. Please don’t talk to me again.”
It’s weird, because you wonder if:
a) They haven’t reached the same level of email ninjary as you have
b) They’re really just not interested in you
So, like a twit, you send an email back hoping for a.
It was b.

The cycle continues.

Then, surprise and shock(maybe a little horror) someone responds with a real email.
And then you respond.
Then they do it again!
Woot!
This goes on for a little while.
Then you have to take it to the next level and just simply ask them out.

Looking back, this might have been my mistake from the get-go.
See, as I’m sure you’re staring to figure out, I get nervous in front of people.
People I don’t know.
But I’ve found out that the nerves go away pretty quickly once I get into it.
So that’s what I do, I rush into the first date just to get it over with.
I swear, it seemed like a really good tactic at the time.
Maybe thinking of it as a tactic is a bad idea too.

So you’re sitting there, all nervous, waiting for them to show up, secretly hoping that they don’t.
You then realize that you’re in a coffee shop drinking the strongest coffee that they offer.
Right. Perfect for the nerves.

The date progresses, and this is it, the one chance you have to show to her that you’re not a total screw up.
Just keep the conversation flowing.
That’s right, back to the chit chat. There’s gotta be an online course for that.
No!!!
Now you’re thinking about the internet.
Crap, you’re wondering about the kind of security an IMAP server needs!
Fool!
Turn back!
Wait, what did she say?
Nod!
Smile!
It’s going so well!!!!

On the drive home you wonder what she thought of you.
Should you call her the next day, or just send an email.
You wonder if you had a good time. Did she?
The evening replays itself.

Wonder how long it would take to set up an IMAP server anyway…

————–

Blogging makes me happy.
This post started out all moody and gloomy because that’s how I felt.
It always happens after a large party full of people I don’t know.
Maybe there’s some jealousy in there.
Maybe it’s pent up awkwardness.

musings

wonder what the dog has chewed?
I know I shouldn’t be negative, but I’m sure she’s found something.
With any luck it’s just a paper town or something.

The anticipation is killing me!