And now, on with our journal entry.
Health & Exercise:
I think I might have gotten my full walking exercise quota on Tuesday. You see, I went, with full blessings from my boss, to the Oracle OpenWorld conference tuesday after noon. Walked all over Moscone South and got home with 3 t-shirts, a cap, a number of pens, CDs, a top, a rubik’s cube, suntan lotion, and assorted doodads and buttons. I watched a number of little presentations, and both my feet and my arms got sore. Thursday Morning I repeated the process, going back to Moscone South and then going over and doing Moscone West. From that I came back with more T-Shirts (only one of them my size, so I gave the others to a co-worker), CDs, a Microsoft commuters mug, a poster of Oracle Database 10g Static Data Dictionary Views, a hand fan, more pens, more doodads, mints, and carrybags. And more sore feet and back.
I’ve had good health days and bad ones this week. But nothing outside of nominal operating conditions. Mental Health-wise, I’m doing fairly good. Only have minor doubts about myself and slight lonely feelings. I have my outlook adjusted some such that work isn’t bothering me quite so much. And I’ve made it though the week fairly good.
Dang! Heroes is getting REALLY good. I loved seeing the ‘Hiro from the future’ and the elder brother flying. Peter seems to be getting revealed as something of a Mimic. He can use the other special’s powers when he’s near them. He used Issac’s painting the future. So this explains why he could fly around his brother but not alone. And I LOVE the catchphrase that they used the last two episodes: "Save the Cheerleader. Save the World." Said in that fake-whisper voice. It just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, in the good way. The writing on this show is showing a DEEP knowledge of both the television medium, good story-telling, and a better knowledge of pacing that I really expected. This show is going to REALLY rock when it goes to DvD.
And the folks writing the ‘last week on Heroes’ segments and the ‘coming next week’ segments know their stuff. I really feel like some of the stops are being pulled out in making this thing. They’ve been doing a lot of the ‘powers’ with really minimal special effects. All stuff that if it had been used with less style and grace would come across cheesy, as they HAVE done on shows like Mutant X. Ramping up the special effects a little at a time is really working here.
And the acting that’s going on, especially from the Cheerleader and her creepy ‘father’ is working very well. I love what the telepath finally did with his power to woe is wife back. And I like how the power, unchecked, in the convience store is messing things all up for him.
I don’t know if I have only watched up to last week’s episode, and need to watch this week’s, or if I have watched this week. Time shifting it with the DVR is throwing off my knowledge of which show I have watched. I -think- I have only seen it through Oct 16th. And that means that tonight, before CoV, Mhari and I can watch the one from the 23rd. So long as Baseball doesn’t get in the way.
I never thought I would take a disliking to baseball… but I am a little at this point. Neither team of mine is in it. But Mhari seems to enjoy it so much I can’t begrudge her it. And there’s only 1-3 more games to go. It might be all over tonight… and then we can watch some shows together again rather than having to put it off for Baseball.
We’ve got a lot of West Wing season 3 and Firefly to watch…
I’ve managed to get two books read this week.
1. Lost in Translation by Edward Willett (Author’s Website)
In this Science Fiction novel from DAW books, Edward Willett shapes a future universe where there is a Commonwealth of planets with 7 different species in it. Humans are the newest species in the Commonwealth, and they are in conflict with the S’sinn, a species that looks like something again to the classical devils or demons – winged, darkfurred wolven creatures with big sharp teeth and claws and hunter ways and society. They get in a war over worlds that they tried to settle at the same time. Enter the concept of ‘Translators’, a caste of people in the Commonwealth from all the species (humans and S’sinn included) with Empathy and the means, through alien biotechnology, to Link and become sort of a mind-melded pair for a time to provide translation services. The main characters of the book are a human female and a male S’sinn that have been scarred by the war, become Translators, and get linked to each other in the course of negociations regarding the war.
It’s a wellwritten book that surprised me in a number of ways. Willett does a wonderful job of bringing his characters alive for the reader, getting you interested in them, and having them do amazing things for all the right reasons.
When I first bought the book, I did it for the cover. I was a little worried by it’s seemingly small size (compared to most books on the shelves these days) and that I would not get good value for my money. Boy was I wrong. It felt just the right size. I rather strongly recommend it.
2. The Fifth Quadrant by CJ Ryan (Link about book)
This is the third book in Ryan’s Department of Extraterrestrial Affairs (Dexta) series. This series follows the exploits of Gloria VanDeen, a ultra-sexy goddess of a character in a future where sex mixes with the tiger-eat-dog corporate world in an imperial empire of humanity. Gloria uses her body, her smarts and her ability to delegate to have amazing adventures, get involved in imperial intrigue and corporate corruption. The first book, titled Dexta, was rather good, and the second, Glorious Treason was also rather good. This one took some work to really get into.
Gloria is now the head of her own division in Dexta, which has been created by the company’s ‘CEO’ specially for her, called the Office of Stratigic Intervention (OSI). But the Quadrant Chiefs don’t like her rebel ways of doing things as she is still quite a ways below them in the corporate ladder (She’s a ‘ten’ and they are ‘fours’.) Add into that mix the fact that she is starting to look into some things that others don’t want looking into, organized crime, and the fact that Gloria’s Exhusband (now Emperor of the Empire, though they divorced before he got that ‘job’) has proposed to her and wants to make her Emperess. Throw in a sidekick by the name of Petra Nash that is a cute, bright, and intelligent secondary character and it all works.
Well.. mostly. I found the first half of this book quite difficult. It’s rather a mix-mash of things that just didn’t gel for me. I put it down and read the book above, instead then came back to it. I think what I found was that I was tired of Gloria using sex as a way of doing things. I felt that she should have outgrown some of that. And that her ‘bad’ ways were rubbing off in the wrong way on other characters in the book. But the author finally pulled things together by pulling all the disparate parts of things together and making it all work by the end and let the characters grow a little.
I’m still not sure if I would recommend this book. If you’ve read the other two Dexta novels, you might want to read this one, too. But this feels like the weakest of the three, so far. Of course, at the end of the book is a sample of the fourth book, aimed for fall of 2007. I didn’t read that. I’ll have to look carefully before I will buy it when it comes out.
EQOA – We finished off the Level 45 quests. Didn’t die doing the beginning of the ‘Black Gate’ one this time, as there was no level 60 group out there this time. So that went sweetly. Though at the end of it my character did die when we got swarmed with Ghouls and I took the hits and agro away from the healer so he’d have time to keep everyone else (and himself) alive. Narcelupe resurrected my character and we finished that one with no further deaths or issues. I was out of debt with the reward for the quest. And the other of the level 45 quests went fine, even if Arpiean did pull a Fungal Eldar by accident while we were waiting for the Ambassador to respawn. Didn’t hurt too much, and we can repair our faction later. We didn’t play Thursday as Narcelupe’s player (Whyaylooh) is packing and boxing and going nuts trying to get everything ready for his movers to arrive this weekend. He’s heading for the west coast next week! Yay! But that does mean no EQOA for the next couple of weeks. We are NOT going to adventure without our healer.
EQ2 – Monday Filthi got level 42. We were in Everfrost, and it went rather fast. Thursday night I did the Haunted House and Trick-or-Treating with Filthi and then called it a night early. I had gotten on early due to no EQOA and wanted to get to bed at a reasonable time. I’m going to keep with this game, it’s getting fun, but I do feel like I am holding the other back during our Monday nights. It helps though that we are also getting one of the other’s players Cleric up in level, too. Or is that Inquisitor… I keep forgetting the classname for the Freeportian Priest.
Second Life – This was another of those weeks where I didn’t do much on SL. But I will mention one thing – I LOVE the new login screen and how it presents data like the titles of the latest secondlife blog entries and the server status. MUCH BETTER use of that screen. Smart move, Linden Labs!!!
WoW – I think I was online here for maybe a total of an hour. I forgot it was Yaoicon weekend, do blackcypress wouldn’t be around Sunday. But I found out before spending too much time on. I can’t seem to be online when my other friends are on, so unless I get hooked up here with Blackcypress on a semi-regular basis, this is going back into stasis until Burning Crusade comes out in January (or whenever, if it gets pushed back again). I’ve got until around Thanksgiving to decide, as I’ve already paid for November up to that point. I -still- say this game is worth it. Just not if all you are going to do is play it solo through the first 30 levels again and again. I’ve done that for like 20 characters now. Not interested in doing that again, solo. At least not until the new playable races.
CoH/V – Having something of a blast here. More folks are getting their ventrillo set up and joining in. Last Friday we had a good group for villian night. And then Tuesday we had six people on! Purple Blur, Katiri, Lost Thrill, FelisTigris, David Paterson, and Avenging Flame stood before a door in Talos Island and Trick or Treated until everyone had their costume pieces. And all of us on the Ventrillo server that Avenging Flame had set up. Wednesday night I got my own Ventrillo server running and Katrianna, Snowslide, Knight of Power and Katiri went out and took on Defeat all Lost in Rage Lab mission that would have been very, very tough for any three of us. It’s one that always has hi powered mentalists in it. As it was, Snowslide got KO’d once. But we got her out of debt, I am sure. And Katrianna, Snowslide and Knight of Power all leveled! We were all on Ventrillo, too. Though Katrianna’s player doesn’t have a mic yet, it still made coordinating the team easier.
So here it is Friday. And tonight will be ‘Trampling Time’ again. That’s where Commander Kitty (Sure to hit Level 40, to night), Pink Squirrel and Broulin take one or more lackeys like FullDark and Trackless Shade out on the town to tear appart other villains and foster mayhem on the Rogue Isles and Paragon City. We call it Trampling Time because three masterminds together… the non-masterminds get ‘trampled’ by all the henchmen! 🙂
What can I say, I am really, really enjoying City of Heroes and Villains again. Voice chat may take a little of the roleplaying away here and there, but we really didn’t do a lot of role-playing when we were typing things, as in the middle of combat it’s hard to take the time to write quips and the like. And slowly we are starting to do some role-play in the voice chat. But we also chat allong in stream of conciousness, or just call out ‘look out’ or ‘trick’ or ‘treat’ or ‘You’re next Felis’ or other things related to the game. It’s going to be interesting seeing where it goes.
Nothing really to report here. I’m working on the random number selection system for selecting the next 12 lucky dealers from the waiting list next week, for Further Confusion’s dealers room. For Consonance I have reminded the chairman that the price increase for pre-registration is the end of the month, so it’s really a good idea to get me a progress report/press release thingie to put up on the webpage and all that. And for BayCon/WesterCon related things I haven’t heard from the box office person yet. So things are rolling along here.
I’m sure I have forgotten something, but I am already going to be one BART train later than I normally for a Friday. So it’s off onto the flash drive for this post, and I’ll upload it sometime from work.
Hope everyone had a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!