2:26 am, Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Well, I’m back in Federal Way. Beefy was busy pretty much the entire time I was in the Tri-Cities (with what, I have no idea), so I mostly hung out with Jones and Paige. On Friday night we all went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, then watched Venture Bros. DVDs while playing Scattergories and Quarto. Paige thoroughly trounced us at Scattergories, but the margin wasn’t as wide as it was with Pictionary. BTW, the special features on the VB DVDs are awesome — especially the “behind the scenes of the live-action movie” mockumentary and the “how Hank and Dean are animated” bits. I can’t believe how Monarch-like Chris McCulluoch is in person.

The pirate movie was okay. Way too long, but the special effects were good and there were some funny parts. There was something really familiar to me about the Davy Jones character and I finally figured it out from the actor’s IMDb listing: He played Phillip in Shaun of the Dead. And he was Slartibartfast in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I don’t have much else to say about the film except that Orlando Bloom annoys me. He was cool in Lord of the Rings, but I don’t care for him sans elf ears.

Monday’s D&D game seemed to go awfully slowly, mainly due to the group ballooning in size, too much table talk, and people not paying attention (esp. during combat). Brandon (Anthony’s friend) and EJ (Brandon’s friend, I think) joined the game as a monk and a sorcerer. Basically, we woke an archon at the yuan-ti-infested castle and fled back to the orc cave via the waterfall tunnel/underground lake. There, we found Chernoy (our NPC rogue) murdered (along with our horses) and our Chest of Holding smashed apart (the resulting explosion killed nine “hollow men” raiders). Fortunately, we’d transferred all the party loot into Chernoy’s Bag of Holding which we’d taken with us into the hidden valley.

We walked to town and liquidated the loot we’d collected. The average share ended up being something like 7,500 gp per person. I used mine to get my bow enchanted again… it’s now a +1 Bow of Shock that deals 1d8+1d6+4 damage. Very effective in the hands of my ranger. Eventually we caught an airship north to Trawna, a gnomish city on the eastern continent. Then we traveled by foot to the next “X” on the map (the one we took from the Giant Eye war stronghold). After a run-in with some werewolves (Saur and Ollimar, Pat and Keith’s characters, became infected) we discovered the Tree of Life stronghold. Long story short, it seems some enemy wizard had snuck in and summoned a demon which turned everyone to sand. We looted the place, briefly tangled with some nigh-invulnerable feline guardian golems, and opened a portal to another mummified archon’s throne room. Cloven (Anthony’s rogue) navigated a tight maze of wickedly fast animated stalactites to fill her offering dish with magical water from another part of the complex thus bringing her back to life. She explained that her purpose (and that of all the other “sleepers”) was to defeat the hollow men/raiders (same as they had in the previous war). So now we’re on a quest to reawaken the other uber-powerful sleepers (I think we have 11 to go) to stop the world from being conquered by these Borg-like drones. Oh, and she cured Saur and Ollimar of their lycanthropy.

I submitted a model for the 3rd weekly SketchUp 3D Challenge. Here’s my post. It was hardly my cup of tea — “design a soccer trophy.” But I managed to crank out something I’m not too ashamed of. If you’re wondering what the circular symbol on the embedded medallion is, it’s a Teamgeist ball viewed head-on. This week’s challenge is to design outdoor furniture. I’ve built an unorthodox deck chair; I think it’s my best 3D work yet. Here’s a sneak peak (90 KB).

I finshed reading Monstrous Regiment on Saturday. It was very good, but (as predicted) didn’t top Going Postal. In my own personal hierarchy of Discworld books, I think I’d rank it my fourth favorite, right after Small Gods and The Truth. I’m now about fifty pages into Greg Egan’s Axiomatic. I picked the book up because a few people on the SJG Forums, including the terrific Phil Masters, mentioned Egan as a good Transhuman Space-ish author. I haven’t seen a whole lot to support that claim yet, but the stories I’ve read have been mind-blowing. Especially The Hundred Light-Year Diary… it made me think about fate and the philosophy of free will in completely new ways.

My mom got me a little propane grill while I was visiting. It’s really cool — I grilled chicken with it on Tuesday and today I used to to make some really fantastic patty melts for lunch. Tomorrow I want to do steaks.

As promised, here are my 4th of July fireworks photos from the Pasco baseball stadium. Next time I’ll have to remember to bring a tripod.

Pasco Stadium Fireworks 2006
(800×754; 54 KB)
Pasco Stadium Fireworks 2006, #3
(1000×883; 179 KB)
Pasco Stadium Fireworks 2006, #2
(600×571; 38 KB)

6 Responses to “#699”

  1. Keith:

    So what sorts of treasure did I miss with leaving early? Hopefully I get my cut. :P If you’re on AIM tonight I’ll message you as I have a few things to talk about.

  2. hjo3:

    Well, we ransacked the barracks kitchen (some silver platters, marble plates, etc.), found a handful of unidentified potions, and in the soldiers’ quarters we picked up a magical crown (something to do with mind control, IIRC) and earrings that shroud the wearer in banded mail. And we took in somewhere around 400-1,000 gp in gold and platinum. There might have been some other odds and ends (have to check my notes), but those’re the highlights.

    I keep forgetting to log onto AIM… I don’t have Trillian installed on the laptop here and the basic client is so awkward. I’ll be on in a bit though.

  3. JediBear:

    It strikes me that I apparently entirely forgot to call you while you were in the Tri-Cities. Less surprisingly, you also failed to call me. Well, let me know the next time you’re over here, I guess…:P

  4. hjo3:

    Ahh, yeah, completely slipped my mind. I should be over there fairly soon — have to overhaul the clinic’s daily/weekly backup system.

  5. Krunk:

    Nice pictures of the fireworks. Did you get to see the fireworks in Seattle? I heard there was one with a happy face in different colors.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  6. hjo3:

    Haha — there were a couple like that at the display I saw, but the happy faces tended to be lopsided and sideways/upside-down. I didn’t go to the Seattle display, just the one in the Tri-Cities. Maybe next year. Did you go see any?