1:42 am, Monday, July 31st, 2006

Just finished having some sushi take-out from Akasaka whilst watching Law & Order: SVU. Great stuff. I actually did a little calling around beforehand to see if there was a cheaper place nearby, but Akasaka seems to be the best deal. Hanabi and Koharu (other nearby sushi restaurants on Pacific Highway) were ~15% and 35% more expensive.

I installed Akismet last Sunday because my comment spam spiked to 19 entries (and I received 12 the day before). Most of it seemed to be for German online casinos. Anyway, I haven’t gotten any spam since Tuesday or so. Which is weird, because Akismet’s just supposed to filter it, not prevent it altogether. I think possibly the spambots somehow detected I’d installed it and stopped posting here to conserve bandwidth. Or maybe it was just a coincidence, I dunno.

Brett and I went to the Pink Martini concert at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville the Friday before last. The opening act, Bird York, was pretty awful and it was really hot outside, but after the sun set it was pretty comfortable. PM did this one as-yet unreleased song I really liked called Do Svidanya Mio Bambino. It was a good show. I was really surprised at how popular it was — there must have been over a thousand people in the outdoor amphitheater.

We were supposed to go to a Panic! at the Disco concert in Seattle on Friday, but the show was canceled because of a death in the family (Ryan Ross’ dad died earlier that day). Still trying to get the tickets refunded.

My primary machine is still suffering random lockups even now that I’ve replaced the failing hard drive. Since that leaves only the motherboard and processor unchecked, I had to order replacements. I settled on a socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (codename Manchester) for the CPU (dual-core, woo). My friend James (from CA) kept urging me to get a Conroe (the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor), but I checked the benchmarks and did some math: Turns out the X2 3800+ is actually a better value if you don’t overclock (and I won’t be). Anyway, I tried to find a motherboard that would support the Manchester and my Radeon 9800 PRO video card. Seems there’s only one that does — a Gigabyte board (the GA-K8U-939) which is out of stock everywhere I’d normally buy parts. Sure, there was a Biostar board that could handle AGP (via XGP), but it had a very short list of supported cards and the 9800 wasn’t on it. Seems everything is PCI-E x16 when it comes to video these days.

So I had to get a PCI-E motherboard. After a lot of consideration, I chose the ASUS A8N5X. Newegg had a combo for it with the Radeon X800GTO ($50 discount), so I got that. It’ll actually perform better than my 9800 PRO, based on the benchmarks.

I saw Lady in the Water and My Super Ex-Girlfriend last week. I really liked LitW; clever plot, lots of funny, quirky characters. It had a neat collaborative “deliberately irrational-but-enthusiastic suspension of disbelief” feel to it (which might sound obtuse but should make sense once you’ve seen it). Of course, I don’t know that I’d recommend it to anyone… I’ve enjoyed all the M. Night Shyamalan movies, especially The Village and Unbreakable, but it seems like everyone else I know hates everything he’s made since The Sixth Sense. My Super Ex-Girlfriend was pretty mediocre till the last thirty minutes. Had a nice ending. I think it’d have been better if they’d focused more on Prof. Bedlam.

Our last D&D game was pretty slow… yet another player joined the game, bringing the group to nine people (which is about four more than Keith and I prefer). The new guy is Jay’s brother; he’s playing a half-elf fateweaver (a custom class that randomly aquires and loses the abilities of other classes each day). Basically we cleaned out the airship we boarded last week, save for a high-level swashbuckler, taking a lot of damage in the process. Killed two barbarians and a blue-cloak (one of the wizards in league with the hollow-men). We negotiated a deal with the swashbuckler/captain to pilot the vessel for us for 675 gp/month plus repair costs. When we found out he wasn’t the rightful owner of the ship, we contacted New Avalosa. They showed up and neutralized him and offered us the ship for 750/month or the unspecified contents of a sealed chest. The party vote was something like 4 to 3 for the ship. (After the game, we found out the chest contained 180,000 gp — a prize I’d have preferred, even though the ship will be more useful for our long-term mission.)

After repairs and loot liquidation (I got a frost enchantment added to my bow), we headed up to the northern continent to investigate another question mark on the Dragon’s Eye stronghold map. As we landed near a ruined coliseum, about a dozen aberrations vaguely similar to fomorians came lumbering towards us.

Wednesday was the first session of my Seattle GURPS game with Martin. He’s pretty cool; really seems to know the game, just moved here from Montreal — has a neat accent. I also met Michael and Christian, the other two players (I understand another two will be joining the group in August). The game was short (about three hours), mainly just an introduction to the setting and campaign plus some character tweaking. I’m playing Cepheus Ovidius Scapula, an engineering prodigy from Roma Aeterna, Michael’s playing Kaleb, a necromancer with subtle powers, and Christian’s playing The Professor, an anthropologist. Since ISWAT teams consist of six people, we have three NPCs rounding out the group.

Our first mission was to an explore a newly discovered parallel. Long story short, it was a world hit with some kind of catastrophe circa the late 19th century. We found a LOT of radioactive undead that seem to have an affinity for lurking in the ocean shallows. I shot one with my 10mm service pistol which turned out to be a very bad idea — apparently these things can run. Thousands of them climbed out of the Puget sound and chased us — we barely made it back to the conveyor alive. In our next mission, we actually have to go back there (heavily armed and armored this time) and collect samples.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I was relieved to find that the GM and other players were nice and easy to get along with. I think this was Michael and Christian’s first time playing GURPS, but they’re picking it up really quickly.

Kay, gotta get to bed so I can be alert for D&D tomorrow. I’ll leave you with this neat wallpaper someone posted on 4chan.

MP3 Pirate
(1600×1200; 84 KB)

6 Responses to “#704”

  1. Tim:

    I would have also gone with the ship. With our DM, walking takes forever. We walk like a quarter – a half a mile, and have to battle some big monster, or an ass load of small monsters, or find some wierd cave, or something like that. Of course, I wouldn’t remember, seeing as we haven’t played a game in like 8 months…

  2. hjo3:

    Heh — I’ve had games like that. I’ve even GMed games like that… my friends still talk about the 10-mule train we spent two hours organizing in HackMaster. In hindsight, it’s one of the things I wish I’d been less particular about when I was still GMing.

    But yeah, I guess the airship will be more valuable in the long run. At tonight’s game, we raked in about 5,000 XP — enough to make level 6 and almost enough to make level 7 (we’re about 750 points shy).

  3. Ian:

    lmao ya it was a awsome game i had fun i dono i cant wate till next week

  4. Keith:

    I wonder how much experience I’ll get out of the session I missed.

  5. Ian:

    keith ur gona get alot u leveled

  6. hjo3:

    Same as us, I’m sure; that’s what we did with Pat and Jay’s characters when they missed sessions. Besides, I played your duskblade, so it’s not like we didn’t use you. BTW, we used two of your light healing potions.