wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
If you've had to sit through this before, feel free to walk away and read something else.
If you have more insight into how MMORPG like World of Warcraft work than I do (THIS IS NOT HARD) I would appreciate your comments.
In the beginning there was a little white box. )
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Spent some time flailing around last night trying to install a couple of games that my brother gave me a while back, but the first one wouldn't run after being installed and the second one locked up during the install when it couldn't find the now-defunct web site of the publisher. Oh, well. Wound up downloading the freeware version of Steel Panthers and playing that instead.

Also went through the three boxes sitting next to my desk and (mostly) emptying two of them. One of the boxes had a number of the books I've been looking for since I moved in, such as Bill James The Politics of Glory, Pournelle & Stirling's Go Tell the Spartans, and P.J. O'Rourke's Give War A Chance. I missed them all very badly and am very very glad to have found them. Now to assemble the last bookcase so I have somewhere to put them.

I'm a little reluctant to do this because of the crappy weather and the way my leg felt after Friday's sub orientation, but I'm going to go out to Blessed Sacrament and see how the 1100 Mass is. Since my morning glucose was 87 (wtf?) I'm going to take care of that first, though. Not taking Communion anyway, so...*shrug*
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Pulled out victory in tonight's game of Kingmaker against the Dunhams by dint of old age and treachery. At one point Mason had all the Lancastrian heirs and I had the sole Yorkist (after having bumped off two of the others as his nominal ally) and then he -predictably- turned on me. Edward VI died to an event card pull, and then I managed to draw a Catastophe. Two of his most powerful lords got drawn off by peasant revolts, so I went after him and managed to nail one of the other heirs. Catastrophe then expired, and he piled on. I lost the Earl of Arundel, who with his offices was worth a good 100 troops, but managed to preserve my heir (who had already been crowned George I), and took off for the Irish Sea. As a parting gift, I sent a minor lord after his stack - and managed to bag the last Lancastrian heir. This put Beaufort into play, but Dutch and Brenda were too tired to want to keep playing.

So, I was treated to an excellent dinner with lots of fresh garden veggies and had a thrilling game of Kingmaker. Yeah, I should have been home assembling shelves and doing laundry, but being social with people is a Good Thing.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Futzed around some with the OB of a scenario I want to do in The Operational Art of War, because I'm bored with Bejweled Blitz and Civicrack and not in a good headspace to work on the APAzine and cover yet. (I wish to God they'd quit screwing around with the National Guard OB. ;_;)

Anyway...going to take the floppy drive, Failbox and some chikuns up to [livejournal.com profile] brian_edminster's place for grilling and hacking and stuff.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
[livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye and I headed up to chez Dunham today for a game of Kingmaker, which unfortunately ended in a draw after nine hours but was still fun nonetheless. I started surprisingly well in the early rounds and seized both Lancastrian heirs early while Dutch, Mr. B and Brenda ran like hell for Scotland, Calais and other places Not In England so they could avoid being crushed by the Leviathan of Lancastrian puissance. I eventually came to terms with Brenda and moved on the Yorkist pretenders, but was waylaid by assassins and stalled by catastrophes, and eventually we just ran out of time. Game probably would have been better with the two extra people who were no-shows, but this was a ton of fun. Looking forward to doing it again, maybe sometime next month.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Well, the Romans Mark B and I were running lost to Paul's Late Hellenic Spartans on points after three hours, though I think if things had gone on for another hour his pikes would have been dog food along with the middle of his line. They didn't, and that's that. Paul's opinion was that we lost from the get-go when he won the aggro roll and got to choose mountainous terrain, but I think we would have been better off swapping our cataphracti and medium cavalry for some more light cavalry and skirmishers. Not that it mattered since Mark didn't have any more of those, or left them off the army list at any rate. Anyway, it was three hours of fun, and it gave me some idea how the mechanics of the game work. It's not too different from PRESTAGS, really - you spend most of your time trying to force morale checks so that you can wear down the enemy and eventually inflict losses, which further lower morale and eventually break the group you're attacking. I'm going to start shopping around for a legion and auxiliaries; maybe some Maccabee-period Jewish allies as well, because it amuses me.

Never made it over to Fox Way - just too tired after getting up early and running out to Chantilly. Fortunately I managed to get in and grab one of the washers, so I'll actually have clean shirts for tomorrow. Must remember to pick up laundry detergent at Walmart tomorrow so I can do the white laundry Monday night.

Adding to the day's discontents, the Omniplex shut down completely while I was out and won't go back on long enough to boot up, so I guess that'll be going into the shop tomorrow as well.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Went out to breakfast with P at the Amphora despite only having slept for six hours, then grabbed a coffee and sinkers at the Dunkin' Donuts on Route 50 to kill time while waiting for Games Parlor to open and Mark B to arrive. This he presently did; I helped him lug figure trays in and watched as he set up a passel of knights, crossbowmen, and other parts of a 15th century condottieri force, which was being confronted by a similar mixed bag of troops from the Papal States. It was an interesting primer in the Field of Glory miniatures rules system, which I was skimming through while they were doing setups. I'm going to be getting involved with it, though not buying figures for a while as Mark has (literally) a trunkful of 15mm figures, more than enough to outfit several armies in various periods of history from Ancient Hebrews to late medieval Swedes, Swiss and Burgundians. So handing me a legion of Romans from Caesar's era (I'm thinking the Legio IX Hispana, which would justify slingers) next week won't be a problem for him.

That ate most of the day; I came home, picked up some shrimp for dinner, and now I'm pretty much ready to crash. Tomorrow we'll see how everything works out, or doesn't.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
So after all the angst and rage of the last couple days., my paycheck was waiting for me in my mailbox out in Chantilly - along with the mother-huge directory of physicians and clinics that made up most of the package from HR. WTF, people, wtf? Why send all this to my PO box when you could just as easily have sent it in the interoffice mail?

Anyhow...I deposited the check at a SunTrust on Centerville Road, took out $100, refueled the Kia, and headed off to Mark Taylor's for gaming. Paul Hammer and a fellow I hadn't met before were there, and we played one game of Munchkin followed by many games of Guillotine. This latter was clearly the favorite game of the night, since it allowed for plenty of bad jokes, lewd comments, and references to classic movies.

I suppose the smart thing to do would have been to head for the local Wal-Mart, get the bandages & Claritin I was low on/out of, and head home. However, as a Goonfleet member, I did the not-so-smart thing and went to Dr. Dremo's to hang with the lads from the Fleet. I mean, Sesfan was supposed to be there, and he was. He remembered me from my constant attendance at PVP ops in the desperate days right before the Titan nerf, which was nice for my ego, and confirmed that I was indeed the oldest guy in Goonfleet. Wow. Also attending was the Mittani's wife, dark and Gothic in leather jacket, short black skirt, and leather boots. Yeow. Hard to understand how he could pull himself away from her long enough to pay attention to EVE, much less running the GIA, but there are many things I have no need to know. This is one of them. (Come to think of it, she reminds me of [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik's better half. Weird.) Fleet Meet broke up around 0145, one Redneck Ale and four Diet Cokes after I got there, and I headed for home to take meds and giev LJ entry.

Shopping later today after sleep.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Wow, almost no time for internet spaceships at all this weekend. :)

Spent most of my time yesterday at the Convergence post-mortem, which actually went better than I thought it would. This is a process I think AD could stand to adopt, since feedback sheets and the public post-mortem panel alone are not enough to give us a feel for how we're doing from year to year. After the post-mortem and breakout sessions were done it was 1800 and pointless to go home before the volunteer party started at 1900, so I went over to BK and grabbed some burgers and rings. There was still time to kill after I walked back to the hotel, so I talked to Bridget (who runs parties for CVG) in the Garden Court. [livejournal.com profile] qob, [livejournal.com profile] tjstriker, Don, and one of the Detour folks who spent most of his CVG as a wandering host dropped by, so we had a nice little conversation before things got rolling in 214 and we all headed upstairs.

More conversation and munchies ensued, continuing until 0100 when [livejournal.com profile] windelina finally kicked the handful of us still watching Soylent Blue out. Which was a lot longer than I meant to stay, but [livejournal.com profile] michaellee and [livejournal.com profile] geekboyonlineand [livejournal.com profile] kurai_tsuki and [livejournal.com profile] cajones and lots of other folks were there, and it was all good.

So between that and finishing Drake's Counting The Cost, I didn't get to bed until 0300, which is why I didn't get over to [livejournal.com profile] redmartel's for gaming until noonish. We played about a third of the way through White Eagle Eastward before I used my hideous advantage in political points to end things with a Polish win. Wargame and convention geeking followed until I left at 1900 to pick up [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor for the weekly swimming. We didn't stay in the water long on account of not getting into the too cool water until 2000, and since all the Chinese places were closed we wound up eating at Little Caesar's down on Lake Street. It's where the Trieu Chau restaurant used to be, and I have to say Little Caesar's has changed a lot since I was an assistant manager for them back in the early 1990s. No Deliverators or Abkhazian managers, but they've radically stripped down the menu so that you can now get a decent large pizza for $5 in about 30 seconds. Pretty impressive. Pan pizza is still square and yummy but is now cut like a normal pizza, and the soda available (only in bottles) is Pepsi. :(

Home to change skills, giev post, take meds and head for bed. I'll probably get stuck doing balancing tomorrow fuck the EBN oh wait I did already.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Played a lot of UT2k4 at Claycon this weekend. I don't like it as much as HALO 2, especially since after about an hour I start getting motion sickness. This irritates me, since I don't get that from most of the other things that cause it (eating in cars, high-speed elevators, fast-moving helicopters at nap-of-the-earth altitudes, etc.) but between this experience and the one time I tried playing Doom back in the day I'm ready to swear off PC-based FPS games. I wonder why I get motion sickness from these games but not from HALO and other, similar console games. Is it because I'm right on top of the computer monitor as opposed to being across the room from the V that the XBox is hooked up to?

On my mind

Jun. 4th, 2007 12:12 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
The LJ client and update pages still aren't working here at EBN, and I don't know if that's a firewall issue or an LJ issue, what with the DDoS attack and the ongoing restoration of journals going on. I did want to take a minute and look at some interests that have waxed/waned in importance over the last few years.
Read more... )
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Cobb says:

The more your children play video games at the expense of television, the less they are exposed to marketing.

The more your children play video games at the expense of television, the more likely they are to expect to control what they watch. Gaming, by definition, requires interactivity.

The more your children play video games, the more demanding they become of those games. With a small bit of informed parental criticism, their taste in games improves along sensible lines.

This.
I have no patience for parents and interest groups who complain about games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or the various iterations of the Dead or Alive franchise. This is not the same as complaining about Howard Stern back when he was on the radio or the various things that happen on broadcast TV; while your kids can access Stern and whatever offensive stupidity is on the boob tube by pushing a button or clicking your remote, you have to go to some effort to buy violent console games and the equipment to run them on, and so you have a correspondingly higher amount of involvement (if you're any kind of sensible parent) in what comes into your house. So the argument for banning violent videogames loses from the outset, and gets even weaker when you consider - as Professor Death has - that there may be a correlation between the increaed availability of violent videogames (and pr0n) and the decrease in violent crime (and rape).

If I ever have kids again, I'll be much more likely to let them have a couple of game consoles instead of access to a cable/satellite-enabled TV. If nothing else, it'll get me playing DDR and HALO 2 more often. Cobb makes some very valid points about the advantages of console games, especially when compared to TV, and has some things to say that might surprise you.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
There's about 17" of snow on the ground this morning, but enough people stayed home from work that getting to the P&R and riding the bus to work was no more difficult than getting home was yesterday, albeit without the ramp-sliding excitment from yesterday. This is the way it is; we get a foot and a half of snow, the plows go out overnight, and the next day it's business pretty much as usual, except for some state offices, schools, and business that decided to take the day off.
The Evil Banking Neighbor isn't one of those.

Last night on EVE... )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
So I went over to Aspen Medical's Urgent Care in Bloomingon last night after stopping at home to grab a couple of sandwiches, start a loaf of bread, and get in a little EVE. Doctor agreed that it was probably cellulitis and prescribed some Keflex, for which I and my HSA thank her; the Levaquin I've been taking was about $100 with the Definity discount and the Keflex is $5 and change. Both of these are WalMart prices, BTW. It's been suggested that I get myself a course of intravenous antibiotics to burn out all the hostile bacteria, and I'll talk to Dr. Swendroski about that on Monday when I go in for my annual physical.

EVE stuff behind the cut )

I also finished Charles Stross' The Jennifer Morgue last night. Boy, that's one hell of a book, and I have to say my appreciation for it was improved by the fact that I'd just finished reading Simon Winder's The Man Who Saved Britain not a week before, so all the Bond stuff was fresh in my mind. The plot is a most excellent blend of Fleming and Lovecraft, with Stross' own 21st Century twist on the Mythos arts. Pinky and the Brain are back in delightful supporting roles, and Bob Howard's girlfriend Mo plays a surprising but very satisfying part. Most excellent and highly recommended - did I mention that it also comes with a bonus short story that introduces Bob's new intern? Mwahaha.

This morning has been very slow at work, which is just as well because the Keflex makes me very tired and logy. I am cultivating the skill of sitting here in a semi-conscious daze with my eyes open (level 1, 5h 35m, LOL)

Speaking of things British, Liz needs to tell her son his head is leaking again. Best comment, imao: "Any man who is stupid enough to divorce Diana so he can marry his horse should keep his opinions to himself." Hear, hear!

UPDATE: James Joyner makes an astute observation concerning those traditional English Foods that the Prince thinks are better for you than a Big Mac & fries. (Don Surber)
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
I spent a lot of yesterday plugged into EVE. So how did it go?
Yesterday was full of death, buying sprees and - eventually - win. )

Not much else happening. Grinding continues on AD registrations, ejecting bags of garbage from the apartment continues (if for no other reason than it looks like I'll need the space to stack P's boxes) and the right leg continues to heal, slowly and with much itching that (praise Jesus) diminishes as the day wears on.

There's an assload of snow on the ground, replacing the last of the old stuff which had very nearly all melted. Better now than at the end of the month during the convention, though we'll probably get some more snow over the next fortnight and a half.

Today I did the semi-annual desk cleaning after my supervisor threatened to throw everything on my desk in the garbage except for the phone if it wasn't all cleaned off. What a bunch of officious bullshit. It's not like the auditors really give a rat's ass whether I have a pad of Post-its on the desk or anything else that's not a security violation (and if they do they need to find real jobs) but we have a Clean Desk Policy here, and all must conform. Have I mentioned lately how eager I am to GTFO this place?
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
I finally signed up for EVE last night - decided I'd give it the benefit of a two-week trial and see how I lke it. There's no question that it's complicated, and I'm thinking I probably should have read up more on it before I got into the tutorial, but what the heck. I'll have time to hack on that today, since the Convergence programming meeting this afternoon got cancelled ([livejournal.com profile] thaadd having caught some kind of Death Flu) and with the exception of the run to WalMart for Actos and hacking on the registration database I really don't have to do anything today. Picking up the library books would be bonus, so I'll probably do that too, especially since Glasshouse is in now - God bless interlibrary loan!

I'll have to be careful doing all that - it's snowing like a bastard out there right now.

Time to go jack up my gunnery skills and see if I can find a railgun for cheap.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Up way too late last night playing Arkham Horror over at [livejournal.com profile] thaadd's place, but it went pretty well - it's not every game you actually get to thrash the Unspeakable Horror, although I note that both times it's happened, [livejournal.com profile] vorrant has been our tank. Came home about 0200 and wasted more time on a random walk through Wikipedia. This morning/afternoon - laundry, cleaning Masha, and getting ready for this afternoon's trip to the gun range.

I'm sorry, but this kind of behavior is just fucked up. Some people need to have their knuckles whacked and their toys taken away until they learn how to behave. (Instapundit)

Big damn heroes indeed. How often does this happen? (Instapundit)

Last but not least, for the benefit of [livejournal.com profile] redmartel among others, some Korean tabloid crap. I have to agree with this commenter, if they remade this for American TV Rachael Ray would have to play the lead. Judging from the smiling visage on my Triscuit box, (and, say, this pic) she'd be a close match for the original star, Lee Young-ae.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
I've been remiss in relating the events of the weekend, most notably the Black Friday dinner at [livejournal.com profile] thaadd's place, so in order to kill that particular ob...
My dinner with Yog-Sothoth )

Saturday I stopped at Cheapo in Uptown on the way back from dropping P off, and managed to restrain myself from blowing tons of cash on CDs. I did get used copies of the long-sought On The Wires Of Our Nerves by avant-hard electronic band Add N to [X] ([livejournal.com profile] chebutykin, I think you might like them - they sound a lot like the Polysics) and the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over. Ripped both of those and my two Bryan Ferry CDs into Cowzilla pending the purchase of another SD card or two later this week, which was about the only useful thing I did last night before going to bed around 2200 in a feeble attempt to get back on a normal sleep schedule.

This morning has been very quiet and very dull, and the afternoon promises more of the same.

EDIT: Thanks to P for the happy shiny new icon of shiny happiness!
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
I meant to get to bed at a reasonable hour last night, but made the mistake of opening up the World War II in the Pacific scenario for Civ III, which as a simulation is kind of at the same level as SPI's old Blue & Gray quad, or a couple steps above Risk. Short steps. Anyway, it kept me up until 2 AM.

Today I need to run out to Kinko's, make an expedient cover for StippleAPA #225 , and then head over to [livejournal.com profile] jolest and his SO's place for the collation, stopping along the way to pick up the new Drake novel at the library, because the library won't be open by the time I get back. Probably need to hit Wal-Mart and/or SA on the way back, since the supply of milk, mayo, and lunch meat is getting a tad low.

The eBay auctions are going...so far, only two of the six games have bids. Bloody April is up to a respectable $61, and oddly enough someone's made a bid on that ancient creature Korea. People are watching three of the other five, but so far nobody's expressed any interest in Air War. I guess that doesn't surprise me too much; these days there are probably quite decent flight simulators that will let you play head-to head in just about any fighter you like, or make a bomb run with your choice of Bear, Bison, BUFF, Aardvark or B-2 (or whatever fighter-bomber you desire) against all manner of air defense systems. I'd be sort of interested in the latter, having long had an unhealthy fascination with busting the Soviet air defenses a la Flight of the Old Dog or taking on Route Pack Six in a Thud like Jack Broughton and his fellow sled drivers. Ah, well, that'll have to wait until I have more time and money, like so many other things.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Managed to finally get caught up on leftover StippleAPA comments last night, crunching away for about five and a half hours occasionally interrupted by e-mail (mostly comments on the lead paragraph of the previous post) and fiddling with Pandora.com, about which more in a minute. Unsurprisingly, I made a lot more progress after I shut off Thunderbird and closed all the other tabs in Firefox except the one Pandora was running in, and a good thing too since getting caught up on comments is difficult work - you have to read over the disties (back to #221; this Saturday's will be #225), decide whether somebody else has already made a pertinent (or impertinent ^_^) reply, and then drive on with reading and/or commenting. I was damn glad to be done with it by the time I finished around midnight.Still, depending on work today, I may add a couple more pages of personal natter before printing it all out and copying it...and I have to do the cover, too. *sigh*

I do want to say a few words about Pandora.com, which is an offshoot of the Music Genome Project. It has things in common with Last.fm, but since I found Pandora first I'm sticking with it until I have time to mess around with the other system and see if it suits me better. Right now I'm in the early stages of building a playlist I want to listen to, mainly from a base of Roxy Music (and its offshoot bands), Judas Priest, David Bowie, Add N to (X), and whatever bands Pandora thinks are similar to the preceding. Ultimately, I suppose, this will be the internet version of what I would have liked WGTB to have been: an eclectic mix of rock styles without the annoying New Left politics. So far I've been largely pleased by the suggestions, and hope ultimately to educate the software to the point where it can distinguish between the songs I like by the preceding bands and the songs I don't. I guess we'll see how that goes. For now, I'm really happy that I've had a chance to listen to several tracks by Add N to (X), which now strikes me as a truly weird combination of King Missile and Gary Numan (or David Bowie from his Berlin period) without all the angst and with analog synthesizers instead of digital gear. Very bizarre and interesting, even with the heavily distorted vocals, which I normally don't care for.

I think I'm going to make a point of avoiding the more politics-oriented blogs for a few days, because I'm getting burned out and cranky. Say, [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik, any chance of getting together to kill stuff? You were making noises about Gears of War the other day, but I'd be fine with HALO or anything else that allows me to play with my friend Mr. Grenade. [livejournal.com profile] redmartel, want to see if we can get through a few turns of Bloody April if Fearless Leader's bogged down? I really want to lay things to waste, even if it's only cardboard or pixels on a screen, and like sex, it's always more fun when you're not the only one doing it. ~_^

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