Archive for May, 2006

#690

2:29 pm, Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

I finally got that tall dresser from IKEA assembled. Really looks awesome in my room. After I got it put together, I decided to do a ton of laundry so I could fill it (and my hamper had been overflowing for a while). Getting things more organized in my bedroom spurred me to tack up the other posters I hadn’t yet unrolled… The west-facing wall is now covered in pictures from The Walking Dead, Rocky Horror, Panic! at the Disco, Appleseed, and Ranma ½.

Yesterday was our D&D group’s second session. Patrick was absent this time, but we picked up another player, Jay, who ran a half-dragon cleric. Jay’s in the army, so he’ll probably miss a lot of games. But the DM has said he’ll run his character as an NPC when he’s not there.

Anyway, we had to escape from this gnome’s tower at the beginning of the session, but there was a homicidal wood golem in the way. I think we were only three rounds into the battle when I scored a critical hit on it with my longbow — took its head right off with one shot (doing 19 damage). Then we had to deal with the logistical nightmare of transporting four stone statues ~175 miles. Along the way, we picked up Jay’s character, Shay, who was camping near the entrance to some horrible, ancient dungeon. After getting the statues back to Merrolynne, collecting our reward, getting the knight cleared of arson charges, and some equipment upgrading (I now have a composite longbow that allows me to apply my +3 STR bonus to arrow damage), we set off for the dungeon. It’s shaping up to be a lot of fun. We killed a wight (thanks in large part to Keith critting with his longsword) and found a council chamber before things wrapped up for the night. This game’s pacing was much better than the first session’s. Like the DM said, everyone’s starting to find their niche.

Our old GURPS group is starting up a play-by-post game. Everyone’s on board right now except Paige, but I know she’s really busy over in Bellingham. I was surprised Hanwool replied — that guy never checks his email. Don’t know what setting we’ll be using… Justin’s voted for a supers game, Beefy favors something like Theomundi or Hunter: The Reckoning, and Jones has suggested steampunk. I’m pretty psyched about this thing — it’ll be awesome having the old group back together.

BTW, if you have a Thriftway near you try the spicy beef sticks they keep in their deli case. Those things are amazing, and much cheaper than Oh Boy! Oberto.

#689

11:18 pm, Friday, May 26th, 2006

I changed some stuff on the site… The header now has a larger, centered title in a much better font and I created a FAQ page (also linked under “Navi” in the sidebar). The site probably didn’t actually need a FAQ, but I wanted to centralize some details that I thought were important. Like proper credit for the artist of the header image.

At our last D&D game, the DM announced that anyone who gave him a 1-page PC background could advance their character one level. I wrote mine and emailed him, but I haven’t heard back yet. I went ahead and leveled-up Kreft (my elf ranger) anyway. At second level I was able to take the archery combat style, so now I can fire two arrows per round at +5 to attack (+6 if the targets are within 30 feet, thanks to my Point Blank Shot feat). Pretty neat. Next level I plan to take the Precise Shot feat to negate the -4 penalty for shooting at targets engaged in melee combat.

I saw X-Men 3 at 6:00 pm tonight. Overall, I liked it. Much better than I’d expected. There were a few corny lines and some plot developments that didn’t sit well with me though. (Minor spoiler warning.) The death of two major characters bothered me since there was still tons of story potential for each of them. I suspect they’ll bring back one or both, but that would be such a big cop-out… plus it cheapens the Phoenix/Jean Grey resurrection. Kelsey Grammer was awesome — Beast’s “stars and garters” catch-phrase seemed totally in character with Frasier saying it, unlike the horribly lame “clobberin’ time” and “aunt Petunia” references made by the Thing in Fantastic Four. And who couldn’t love a superhero named Hank?

The picture below is made up of photos of my new swing-top bottles (from Specialty Bottle) filled with Darjeeling/Lipton iced tea, some really good fried rice Brett made Wednesday night, and the lunch I made yesterday (reheated chicken Kiev, a ghetto version of Welsh rarebit, and steamed zuchinni).


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#688

6:58 pm, Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

On Saturday I made some pretty boss lasagna. Used Monterey Jack and Colby Jack cheeses this time. Picture at end of post.

On Sunday, I saw a matinee of Over the Hedge at the local Starplex theater (an 8-screen cinema just off S 317th St.). Pretty good movie. Great voice acting. Better than Finding Nemo and Madagascar, not as good as The Incredibles. Really looking forward to X-Men 3 this Thursday, even if everything I’ve heard about it from Beefy seems to indicate it’ll suck.

Monday was my D&D game with the new group. I ended up playing an elf instead of a gnoll (just made more sense as a ranger). The group consists of Saurer, the half-elf dragon shaman (played by Pat, who hosted the game at his house in Renton), Ollimar, who I think was a human duskblade (played by Keith), Iffa, the human knight (played by the DM’s little brother, Ian), and Dawn, an elan psion (played by Patrick). The game started off slow but picked up speed as things progressed. Basically, we were hired by a town council to find a particular gnome and some works of art he owed them. This lead to a lot of travel, some detective work, and a few puzzles involving wood golems, traps, and hidden chambers. It was good to meet some new people and I didn’t have to navigate the labyrinth that is the Renton suburbs on my own since I was able to carpool with our DM, Chris.

BTW, this site is pretty handy for building a D&D 3.5 character quickly.

Lasagna

#687

1:37 am, Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Brett and I went bowling again. Did three games like last time. I scored 77, 101, and 102, in that order. Not great, but not embarrassing either (I think). The ball I got this time was kind of messed up — the finger holes were too loose and the thumb hole was a bit tight. Kept slipping off my hand in weird ways. But there were teenagers necking in front of the other ball shelves, so I didn’t bother trying to find a better one. My technique has improved quite a bit since Brett pointed out that I was ending on the wrong foot. Apparently it’s best to make your last step with the foot opposite the hand you hold the ball with. That way, you can bend the leg on your dominant side as you release the ball and you’ll keep your balance better.

Oh, I forgot to mention this when I was talking about Runaways: What was the deal with Runaways v2 #7 and #8? The illustration in those was so godawful I almost gave up on the series. The way they drew Nico was memorably repulsive. After seeing that, it’s hard to believe Marvel actually cares about the comic.

I picked up the 3.5 edition of the Player’s Handbook and the Savage Species guide at Game-A-Lot today. Savage Species is really cool because it provides rules for playing “monster race” PCs. I’m hoping the DM will let me run a gnoll ranger.

Found this on 4chan… looks cool. Anyone know what it’s from?

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#686

1:48 am, Friday, May 19th, 2006

The 2006 Iron man Blogging Competition is over. Finley and FA tied for first place with 47 consecutive daily posts each. Good job, guys!

Had egg salad sandwiches for lunch and barbequed pork ribs and macaroni and cheese for dinner. The ribs were on sale at Safeway for like $1.69/lb. They came out well… I used a relatively quick recipe for ‘em: boil for 45 minutes, then cover in sauce and bake for 45 minutes.

Been exchanging email with a Federal Way DM I met on Meetup.com. If all goes well, I’ll join the game he’s planning for Monday. He uses Dungeons & Dragons instead of GURPS, but that’s okay. It’s been too long since I did any old school Knights of the Dinner Table-style gaming. And I had a blast playing Sheshko (my 10th level thief) in Ryan’s HackMaster game a couple years back. Gah, was it really that long ago? May, 2004, I think… Sheesh. If this new adventuring party is half as much fun as “Hell’s Caterers” was, I’ll be thrilled.

From my ongoing series of “pictures I’ve meant to post,” here’s part of my bedroom.

My Bedroom in Federal Way

#685

8:11 pm, Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

I’m back from the Tri-Cities. On the return trip I listened to a Mitch Hedburg CD and the audiobook version of John Stossel’s Give Me a Break : How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media… I’m only a third of the way into it, but so far it’s been great. Very infotaining. I love Stossel’s unqiue cadence — it really keeps your attention without wearing.

Didn’t do a whole lot while I was in the Columbia Basin… watched some TV with Jones and Beefy, played some Katamari Damacy (hated the controls and the 3D-ness made me nauseous), went to dinner with my parents a couple times (Outback ribeye, yum), read a ton of comics, and did some stuff at the clinic. I can’t believe how good Runaways and Invincible have gotten in the last few trades.

Ran into Derek Watts at Infinite Frontiers while I was buying comics. He invited me to play in his weekly Darksun game (which Dan, the guy who runs the comic shop, also plays in). Despite my disdain for the Dungeons & Dragons system, I’m considering commuting for it a couple times if I can’t find a gaming group here in Fed Way. Derek and I know each other from school… we both attended TCJA around grades 5-8 and we’ve hung out a few times since then.

After I arrived last night, Brett and I went to Arby’s. I have yet to encounter a non-delicious CCB (Chicken Cordon Bleu) at the local franchise. Today Brett fried up some frozen taquitos in olive oil for lunch. Very tasty. Then we played this game he got off eBay, Mille Bornes. It’s a French card game about auto racing. Really fun, somewhat addictive. It’s sort of like a simplified version of Lunch Money.

BTW, did you see last week’s SNL? The one with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Best episode I’ve seen in a long time… every sketch was funny, especially “Intro. to MySpace class.” Oh, and what’s up with everyone having babies on Scrubs?

I’ve got a bunch of old pictures I’ve been meaning to post, so here’s Jones and Paige playing Ninja Burger (from March 23rd).

Jones and Paige playing Ninja Burger