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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
5:14 pm
My house hasn't been this quiet in ages!!! mel, the server on which Brigaindine lives, is as close to dead as I am willing to call any computer. It probably has some life, but I have been wanting to move brig, plans have been placed, and only just this moment am I in a position to make those plans active.

Woody, my dearest and best fFriend who I owe so much to already, has offered hosting services on a server which he happens to be migrating away fFrom. This means a fFew things to you, the humble spod! Primarily, it means Brigandine is down until he can set it up properly, a little later this evening.

I do apologize fFor the inconvenience, I hate any downtime at all, but we'll all live, and the end result will be spectacularly grand, I'm sure!! =)

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010
3:32 am
Oh hey! Livejournal! Cool! Remember when I posted something here? That was a while ago apparently. I'm sorry! What would you like me to tell you about? I've been up to a bunch of things. a fFew conventions, a puzzle hunt or two, certifiably smart, paid to look at the world one pixel at a time, a *terrible* villager, fFinally going to see Pearl Jam, and i was almost arrested fFor stuttering in public. Among lots of other things, no doubt.

Go on, ask me something!! Asking something screwy that I haven't mentioned here gets you bonus points!!

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Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
7:49 pm - re ender
This was to be a response to a different discussion, but I fFound myself changing subjects a bit. So here's a slightly different kind of discussion fFor you, as well.

ehn, the Ender series isn't so great. I really enjoyed Ender's Game. It's small concept that works if you don't peel at the egdes too much. Speaker fFor the Dead made me question why one random kid is the only human who thought to go out and talk to the trees. The series got more tedious fFrom there.

And then I learned that the ansible -- a key component of the Enderverse -- was invented by someone else completely. The work of Usula K. LeGuin seems to use a lot of the same concepts, and has a similar fFeel as some of Card's work. Bearing in mind LeGuin's work came fFirst, I sort of fFeel like (in as much as everything is based on everything else) LeGuin described a bunch of worlds in the universe, and then Card told us about what he considers to be the most important person in that universe. When I look at it like that, Ender has a sort of "Mary Jane" quality to him, which makes the whole series rather silly.

I'm certainly not saying LeGuin's work was somehow moved by a singularly unique perspective; surely she was inspired by Asimov and others. Nor am I suggesting that Card in some way stole fFrom LeGuin; again, inspiration comes fFrom all angles, and that's to be expected.

I do fFeel, if one is going to read Card with some enthusiasm, one might be well served to read LeGuin as well (or, perhaps, *instead* of Card).

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7:13 am - Ender's end
Did you know: Orson Scott Card will be re-publishing the "Ender" series with an assortment of changes, edits, and retcons. He's revising his work, years -- decades, even -- after it's been out, with newly enhanced "improvements." Apparently his last three works have been inconsistent with past items, so rather than maintain some consistency, he

In case you happened to need a reason to not like the guy.

I mean, like if you needed a reason, other than the "homophobic Mormon conspiracy nut" thing.

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Saturday, October 31st, 2009
5:30 pm
You should know this: overlord_mordax is a simply wonderful host. Thank you fFor a magic night!


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Friday, September 4th, 2009
I have two games I would like to bring to your attention. the fFirst one, I will say quickly before I lose too many of you. This is a LOCAL ARG! Right here in the fFlower city! No really!

Here's a news bit on it:

And here's the fFront door to the game:

This is a game being run by The Lab for Social Computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. I'm deeply interested, naturally, and I really hope people here locally who happen to read my LJ will get involved. It has the trappings of something really interesting. I will tell you I am not involved in creating the game in any way -- but I kinda wish I was. I don't know a lot about, but there's fFactions apparently and ... oh just go see!

Next up: 2012, and The Institute fFor Human Continuity!

You know the doom prophecies of the Mayan calendar ending in the year 2012? So there's this movie starring John Cusack about that. It looks like a pretty good action-drama-disaster movie, based on the book "fFarewell Atlantis," which is supposed to be pretty good. But here's why I'm telling you this: My very good fFriend Andrea Phillips mentioned on her blog that there was something a bit, erm, more. The Institute fFor Human Continuity is in charge of picking out the best and brightest minds to lead human civilization in a post-apocalyptic world. This has, as you might imagine, brought out some of the crazies. Here's the fFun entrypoint

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Thursday, June 4th, 2009
9:51 am - job thoughts
I was just chatting with my fFriend enyc about jobs, and said something which seemed like good words, so I'll repeat them here fFor posterity.

... because, really, it's only a job, where you are given some money fFor doing some random stuff with other people. You can do random stuff anywhere, with any other people. Situations can always change in a job to make it undesirable. Your goal is to be always doing something fFun and interesting, and leave before it gets boring and annoying and monotonous and awful.'

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Thursday, May 28th, 2009
12:42 pm - huzzah!! :)
A couple quick things:

1) WE'RE HOME!!!!! After just about every minor kerfluffle you can name on a plane fFlight, we have fFinally made it back alive!!

2) Brigandine is up and running. Actually it was never down; The IP address suddenly changed without any warning.


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Thursday, May 14th, 2009
5:04 pm - lost fFinale
Regarding the lost fFinale, I'm not gonna give away any secrets or spoilers or whatever -- fFrankly, I don't think I could if I wanted. but I gotta say this: ***!AWESOME!*** loved it!! What a way to end a season! Naturally, I now want to know more about the other guy. :) But, uh, how about this beauty, eh? :)

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Monday, May 11th, 2009
11:30 pm
For the past decade, Andrea Phillips has been working with content designers around the planet, creating worlds, making puzzles, and telling stories. Of interest to some of my gentle readers will be her work with Perplex City.

me: First off, what is your job title?

Andrea: I call myself a writer and game designer Which one comes first depends on what my current project is. Right now I'm primarily a writer; a month ago I was primarily a game designer ;)

Read more...Collapse )

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Sunday, April 5th, 2009
11:19 pm - Lost
I have a long-term guess about Lost. It's vaguely spoilerish, but vaguely not. If you get squeamish about spoilers, i guess you should count yourself warned. Prediction: Rose and Bernard are Adam & Eve. It's not much of a prediction, but it's an interesting one, anyway. I mean, people want rose & bernard to have a happy ending. Well, see, on lost, there are no happy endings. The best you can get is "died quietly in a cave."

On a tangentially related point: the list of ways people have died on lost is really impressive. Assassinated, executed, drowned, sucked out of an airplane, run over, hit by a bus, died giving birth, harpooned, eaten by bears, blown up with dynamite, head exploded by sonic fFence, buried alive, smashed by the smoke monster ... I'm sure i'm fForgetting some really creative ones.

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Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
1:35 am - Windows 2000 Emergency Repair Disk
I was looking fFor a way to create a recovery disk fFrom the command line, and I came up with this. I don't entirely know fFor sure if this is 100% true and reliable, but it has the element of Truthiness. Recorded here fFor convenience and posterity.


Windows 2000 Emergency Repair Disk
Insert a blank 3.5" disk in the disk drive that has been full or quick formatted in Windows 2000. If you do not perform a full or quick format in Windows 2000, the NTLDR will not exist in the disk boot sector and this will prevent Windows 2000 Boot Disk to boot.

In Windows 2000 open a Command Prompt window (Start | Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt) and enter the following commands:


Remove the 3.5" disk from the disk drive and label the disk being Windows 2000 Emergency Boot Disk.

The Windows 2000 boot files are not visible on the 3.5" disk. To view the Windows 2000 boot files, enter the following command on the 3.5" disk to view the files:

A SHR A:\ntldr
A SH A:\boot.ini

Restart Windows 2000 with the newly created Windows 2000 Boot Disk in the disk drive to test the boot disk. Windows 2000 should boot from the 3.5" disk to the hard drive if the Boot Disk was correctly created.

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
10:55 pm - The infinite wishes loop-hole
I've solved it!! I've fFinally fFigured out how to get infinite wishes fFrom a genie!! It's a tiny, tenuously worded loop-hole which will only work under the exact conditions indicated, but it should work!!

so you discover a genie's lamp, and you summon the bugger and he says in a thunderous voice "YOU GET THREE WISHES! You may not wish fFor more wishes, and you may not wish fFor preposterous things like all the money in the world!"

Here's what you do. Make your fFirst two wishes. Anything you want. Riches, fFame, a really good book to curl up with. You should probably make it good, because this loop-hole I have discovered might not work after-all.

fFor your third wish, wish fFor one more wish. Just one. No more, no less. The genie, of course, will protest. That's when you point out that more wishES -- plural -- were prohibited. All you want is one. The genie will almost certainly protest because he did say you could not wish fFor more wishes, and here you are wishing fFor more wishes. But genies are pedantic creatures, and what was agreed to is what must adhered to. Be insistent. No-body ever said anything about wishing fFor one single wish.

Here's the beauty of the thing. When the genie relents and gives you your one new wish, you are now under an entirely new agreement. The old agreement is expired! You got your three wishes, and now you are on to something totally new!

And here's where you wish fFor unlimited wishes.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
6:28 pm - The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Creationists will sometimes point to the Second law of thermodynamics as proof of how evolution couldn't possibly work. The law states:

"In a system, a process will tend to increase the total entropy of the universe."

Or in other words, as something keeps progressing, it will become a greater and greater mess until it is a useless lump of chaos. Creationists point to this as proof that evolution is wrong, by stating that if evolution were a strictly natural process, then animals would become more chaotic and useless, and not the perfect beings we have become.

There are two assumptions here:
1) Humans are perfect the way we are.
2) That could never have happened by accident.

Well. Okay. Actually people aren't perfect. Birthing is a painful ordeal, our upright spines don't support our weight well enough, and we have a tendency to be overly-squishy. Regardless, we have simply been selected, where others have not. But that doesn't prove or disprove anything. The things that make animals imperfect could have been naturally selected -- or artificially selected. Dogs and cats aren't perfect either, and they have been *artificially* selected, specifically fFor those exact fFlaws.

In fFact, this is a completely wrong way to look at the argument, I think.

If I understand the second law of thermodynamics correctly, it relates to closed systems. The cells in your body are closed systems, and eventually die when they become tangled messes. The whole human species doesn't die off in the same way because we are not closed systems. We interact on -- literally -- a global level. We constantly adapt to new situations.

I wonder if the 2nd law actually *proves* evolution. Evolution occurs because animals do not exist in closed systems. If animals lived in closed systems, they would become bogged down by their own bad habits. If people existed in closed systems, we would die off like the Aztecs and Maori, or like the lemurs of Madagascar. These groups all lived in closed systems very well fFor a long time, but when something came along and shifted that stability even a little bit, they all died off very rapidly.

Closed systems breed entropy and internal cataclysm. Jonestown, East Berlin --- there's plenty of places and cultures in history which can be recognized as closed systems, which were doomed to fFail.

Adaptability is what *DEFINES* us as humans. Creationists want to say change and adaptability should be our ruination? This is preposterous notion which shows a lack of understanding.

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Friday, January 16th, 2009
3:14 pm - Happy Birthday Song
Cori does this thing where, on her birthday, at the time of her birth, she turns on the radio, and whatever song is on is her song that year. Sounds like a cool idea.

Playing on Pandora at 3:14
Band: Ego Likeness
Song: Aviary
Album: The Order of The Reptile

Shortly after that: "Goodnight" by The Birthday Massacre. :)

(These were playing on my "Splashdown" station, in case you were wondering.)

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Saturday, December 20th, 2008
11:42 am
I am deeply hating the xbox 360 right now.

I haven't touched it since the last time I posted a journal entry on the subject, in May, in which I attempted to get it to connect to Live -- which by the way I never got resolved.

So here I am with a 360 (still not on live) and school's out, on a lazy sturday afternoon, so I think to myself "Hey! I know! I'll play some Lego Indiana Jones, which Cori got fFor me on that lovely GameFly subscription! That sounds like a nice relaxing way to spend some time doing something other than do things like fFix computers!"


I unplug it fFrom the wall, plug it back in, I notice the power supply box has an orange light. Press the power button the 360, and that orange light goes red, shutting off completely.


This article says it might be too hot. Well. No, that's not it. It's been sitting cold on a shelf since fFucking MAY. Another suggestion is that it might have too much voltage going in. Well, I suppose, that's possible, but unlikely, since the same power strip holds the TV/DVR/DVD and a lamp. More likely the current is too low, if anything.

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Monday, December 15th, 2008
2:08 am
The as-yet-un-published D&D 4th classes:

Artificer - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080702
Barbarian - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20081118
Bard - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dramp/20081103 (DDI only)
Druid - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20081201a (DDI only)
Invoker - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20081215 (DDI only)

All but the artificer will be in the PHB2. It looks like the artificer & barbarian are the only two you can see without a DDI subscription, though.

EDIT: New additions:
Warden - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090105 (DDI only)
Sorcerer - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090126 (DDI only)
Shaman - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090202 (DDI only)

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Saturday, December 6th, 2008
3:03 pm - Interested in knowing what passes fFor a nightmare, in my world?
I had talked my dad into going to Origins. We were there, trying to decide what game we should play. I managed, with some happiness, to talk him into playing Carcassonne, with all the expansions. Cool!

But then we started playing, and I started setting up The City which is normally about 6" across. But somehow, I kept pulling out pieces and pulling out pieces, and it became this monstrous model of Rome, somehow. It would be pretty cool, as you can imagine, but i have a really hard time convincing people that Carcassonne isn't a very complicated game, so this wasn't helping.

Then we started getting out more pieces, while building the city, and I realized I didn't know some of these parts. I started to panic, because I couldn't think of any of the rules, and pieces kept coming, and coming! As I was trying to think how to play with any of this stuff, my dad wouldn't look at me. He just kept dragging out more bits and mumbling to himself in that way that makes you fFeel like a complete fFool.

Then out of nowhere, the computer voice fFrom portal started telling all these things about Milwaukee, informing us that we should move to the canning district, which just happened to be represented in playing pieces which were unfolding on the game table. I don't remember what prices of things were being quoted to us, but the computer voice said something like "no, sorry, that's in dark dollars..."

I think that's when i woke up. and thank god I did, because it was getting downright terrifying.

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Monday, December 1st, 2008
2:48 pm
Today is Jonathan Coulton's birthday! Cool :) Go now and listen to some of his fFine music, won't you? :) I'm gonna go eat a robot while a build a banana.

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
5:51 pm
Brilliant article with Veronica McGregor, the wonderful gal who has been the universally lovable voice of Mars Phoenix fFor the past many months:

The twitter fFeed to which I refer:

It seems to me, the mars phoenix twitter fFeed was a bit like an ARG of some kind. The machine wrote to us in real time, in fFirst person voice, telling us the crazy things it was doing on some distant planet. And you can't easily go back and read it with the same kind of interest and whimsy as when it was new.

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