Friday, August 31, 2012

Time and Children

Katie and Terry have been weird about kids in the news ever since they popped one out. I can't really relate, as they're all loud, irrational, and smell faintly of urine.

I think the best analogy is that it's like having a Minecraft world that you're forced to work on during every waking hour that you're not working for money, and then a few waking hours that you should be asleep for. You build a shelter for the first few nights, and eventually you have some plans and look online for some videos to get some fucking direction. There are a few hard and fast rules, but everything else is subjective and everyone is ready to examine a single chunk and offer you their advice on the tiny walls you've constructed to fend of the creepers that are actively trying to blow your little world to hell.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Comics: Stormwatch, issues #7-12

Four months ago, I did a brief write up on the first six issues of the new Stormwatch series launched in the wake of the DC New 52 initiative. Those issues were written by Paul Cornell, the guy behind Knight and Squire, the Batman and Robin arc Sum of Her Parts, the run of Action Comics which features Lex Luthor as a protagonist while he fucks a robot Lois (aka, Superman: The Black Ring), all of which were awesome.

But if Cornell smoothed the felt, racked the balls, then broke and sunk half the solids, the subsequent work has been largely continued with pogo sticks used as pool cues and half the balls hermaphroditically swapping their color patterns. By the time #12 slides across the line in preparation for #0[1], the score is 15 to X with each camouflage ball counting for half a parsec, depending on its quantum state.

It's not that I have no idea what's going on; it's that the book doesn't know and isn't paying attention.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's the Magic: Well-Adjusted Scientist

I make a lot of cards, and I try not to publish too many of them because I find other people's custom cards boring or stupid. Anyway, while I wait for more feedback on my other string of It's the Magic articles, I'm putting up some of the more conceptual and fun cards I've made.

Man, despite the fact that it is undeniably a generic sitcom, How I Met Your Mother does have some high points. Anyway, I like Uiel as the one that survives, a creature that dodges the "X all creatures" effects. He strangely dies to Divine Reckoning which targets a specific group of creatures. I'll be honest though; I'm not sure if he's unaffected by Hour of Reckoning, which affects "all nontoken creatures," Aboshan, which affects "all creatures without flying," Akroma's Vengeance, which affects all creatures, but also affects artifacts and enchantments, Awakening, which is like Akroma's Vengeance, but specifically says "all creatures" before mentioning lands, or Apocalypse, which affects all permanents, which include creatures. I'm guessing "no," "yes," "yes," "yes," and "yes."

Friday, August 24, 2012

1,012 Word Brief Review of The Dark Knight Rises

I've been running late on this and I haven't felt much like writing lately, but here's a quick review of The Dark Knight Rises:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Linkstorm: How Far We've Come

Eddie Izzard-Loves Britain, plus Olympics.

io9 does a piece on a piece about distinguishing conservative denialism from reasonable, scientific debate.

More riots are going on in France, as the fundamental inequalities that fueled the riots years ago still haven't been addressed. More notable is that President Hollande isn't interested in addressing the underlying causes of this violence, just directing more funding to suppress it when it happens again. Truly, The West has much to teach the rest of the globe about the merits of civilized democracies.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's the Magic: Red and Green Make Poo

In order to best use my Magic resources, I'm trying to take the two dozen standard decks I have and narrow them down to fifteen decks with an even distribution of colors and color combinations (White, White/Blue, White/Black, White/Red, etc.). 

However, I'm rubbish at Red and Red/Green decks, so three weeks ago, I thought I'd publicly work on the Red and Red/Green decks so that readers, friends, and random passers-by could offer input on the deck creation process. My rules for the decks are in that post.

Three weeks ago, I made a short-list of cards I had that I wanted to build a deck around. This week, I'm going to outline some cards that have been cut and the threats that my decks will need to address.

Skid Row

Friday, August 17, 2012

Minecraft Tour, Part 6: Even If It's Through Our Deaths, This Will End

If it's one compulsion that no Minecraft player can resist, it's sharing their Minecraft world. We spend stupid amounts of time collecting resources to make functional structures, fantastic monuments, and the occasional erection that melds both into something whose magnitude is reinforced with every use. Sometimes, the exotic landscape generated from basic blocks through simple algorithms is worth sharing with others.

Through The Nether Gate is the nether. I keep nether gates in my central base and by each of my eastern and western bases. This is the run from my eastern base to my central base. Traveling 1 block in The Nether is equivalent to eight blocks in the overworld, so it's quicker to get around. Once you get into it, though 90% of it looks like this.

The other 10% of the nether is these fat, floating octopi fuckers called Ghasts who shoot explosives at you with disastrous results. For example, this used to be a flat plain.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 4 of 4

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap presents select treasures from yesteryear for the enjoyment of my readers and the easing of my creative duties. 

This one is dated 15 October 2007: 

>My Assault Marines, despite being under lots of enemy fire, managed to totally decimate a pair of Tau Crisis Suits that Derek dropped in front of me to help out his ally. They got off a really good turn of fire before my Marines tackled them and ripped them into Taufetti.

>Terry's dudes didn't move very much. He sat back and made about four long range attacks each turn after his first advancing squad got wiped out. Derek's Tau moved a bit (a bit like a glacier) and managed to thin my ally's ranks. Most of this kept them from interfering with the Richard/Kris side of the map. 

>And the Tau really are spectacular at range.

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's the Magic: Is it Monday Already

Whoops. I was working on this for a video, but Monday definitely snuck up on me this week. Enjoy. It's long and full of irony.

This place is packed and there are like, two seats free. One's by a bunch of kids and I'm like, "fuck that." So I go over to the other table and I ask that guy if he wants to play and he says, "No. I can't, I'm just sleeving this guy's cards." And sure e-fucking –nough he's just sleeving this other guy's deck, and all I can think of is "who does that?" "Ah, geez guys sometimes Monday's blue, or ahm, maybe Tuesday and Wednesday are grey,  and I don't give a shit about Thursday, but come Friday, my fin de semana comienzos with going to motherfucking Dragon's Lair to sleeve someone else's deck, something that anyone could have done at any point during the previous week and does not require that I leave his house.  Because I am a people person!"

So I sit at the kid's table and I play this guy with Strategema—

/Which one is that?/

White blue deck with Venser and Karn. It's built to stay alive until it restarts the game and then stay alive until I restarts the game and then stay alive...

/I get it/

So, I go up to a guy and we play. I asked his name twice. I forgot twice. I could not bring myself to care. His name was Kevin, or Kyle, or K-Pax. Some shit. We're playing and at one point, he's got two indestructible oozes and a pair of two-one deathtouch, flash asps in play and I play Divine Reckoning. Everyone chooses a dude they control and the rest die. I didn't have any dudes, so I considered myself ahead of the curve. He chooses—he fucking chooses so help me god, Terry—an indestructible ooze. I had to stop him. I had to say, "No. Stop it. I thought we could handle this quietly and with a bit of dignity, but I'm paying 2 and two white to kill a single asp. You choose the other one. You oozes will be fine. I'm just casting a fat, slow doom blade here." So he's a nice guy and he's sitting on front of me I squeak out a victory at 2 life from under two [Predator Oozes] and the spell with flashback that lets him get all his dudes in his graveyard back into his hand.

Friday, August 10, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2011: Editing is Complete

I just finished editing my NaNoWriMo 2011 work, Denver 5. I'm currently revising it, which includes adding (some) pieces I haven't written yet, punching up the parts that are written, and working out basic grammar, continuity, and typos. 

Once I'm done with that, I'll be ready to put out another version for folks to read, with the intent of getting feedback from them. My overall plan is to cycle through editing/revision and feedback cycles before calling it complete in a few months (possibly a year or so). For each cycle, I'd like to get one person who is intimately familiar with the source material (you know who you are) and one to two people who aren't so familiar with it to read and give some feedback. Ideally, each cycle except for the last will let me get feedback from people who haven't read it before, ensuring I can keep fresh eyes on it. The last cycle will be a "general" release so that everyone interested can give some input on the final version (not that I'll be super-worried about feedback at that point).

Long story short, if you want to read about super-folks being jerks assholes in a team origin story obviously written by a 20-something white middle class American dude*, then let me know.

1) I'll mail you a printed, hard copy in a three-ring binder and arrange some included return postage. I can do an electronic copy, but the hard copy is a must because:

2) If I'm gonna pay to print, "bind," and ship you a 97-page booklet, you gotta be invested enough to read it, legibly mark it up, send it back to me, and be willing to arrange a conversation with me where you articulate your response to it (via phone, chat, skype, whatever).

3) This really only applies to folks I know in real life who already talk to each other about mundane stuff, but because I need fresh eyes on each revision, going to ask you guys not to share.

Anyway, comment, email, text, or hit me up on twitter if you're interested. First come first serve, just remember that because my current habitation, employment, and mood are determined by a series of daily 1D6 rolls, it might be a few weeks before any of this happens.


*Niche markets. Am I right, guys?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Blog in 1000 Words: Nope

Nothing here about congressional exemptions.

Try again, fellas.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 3 of 4

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap presents select treasures from yesteryear for the enjoyment of my readers and the easing of my creative duties. 

This one is dated 15 October 2007: 

The Play
I was visibly concerned about Richard's armies. Concerned. Not, 'concerned that he was cheating' like I was about his handwritten army list (We are collectively convinced he exports 99% of Louisiana's willful ignorances, self-justifications, and outright cheats). I can lose a rigged fight and salve my wounds with a one-off barb that gets under his skin. It's the fact that I knew I should have expected a gathering of elite, special ability unique-type Imperial Guard characters. That's what was bothering me before. Massed tactics with untrained units are something Richard sees as inelegant, clumsy, and relying on luck. He'd rather take one guy with fifty special abilities than fifty guys with one each. I figured each one of his guys was going to possess some kind of butt-kicking thing that would--when activated in concert--turn my Space Marines into so many genetically-augmented, pre-packaged cans of soylent green.

You see, at this point I thought he was merely inattentive, overprepared.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

No blog today

Sorry about today and Friday. Totally wiped out by having company over and I have to get up for a job interview that's happening around noon plus school stuff. If I don't have an offer here in San Antonio by Friday, I'll probably be packing up my stuff and rolling back to Louisiana.

So...kinda busy over here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 2 of 4

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap presents select treasures from yesteryear for the enjoyment of my readers and the easing of my creative duties. 

This one is dated 15 October 2007: 

Learning Lessons
Derek had arrived earlier and given some color commentary towards the end, but it was a new familiarity with the rules and Terry's analysis (and the equipment that he used to kill me) that let me retool The Earls of Sandwiche to be less than a jet pack-enhanced suicide squad.

Terry still hadn't explained the mechanics to me(about strength/toughness, Ballistic Skills, Weapon Skills), but I had picked up enough from memory and watching that I was comfortable with how things rolled.

Derek also ran his army through the Army Builder program, and he and Terry argued quite a bit, flipping through the Codex (a list of all the different options an army for a certain faction has) of Derek's faction--the space-American Tau--and talking about point costs and special abilities and the program. I left, not because the conversation was heated (it wasn't), not because it was annoying (it was), and not because it was irrelevant (Derek's army composition was very relevant to me), but because I knew it would end with Derek relenting because he didn't know the rules as well and just using the army builder anyway because he didn't want the faint chance of dishonesty associated with making his army by hand.

Image courtesy of Requiem (Francisco Salinas)
You can check out more of his stuff on his deviantart at: