Aug. 15th, 2010


Word to the wise.

When you are trying to import your LJ into your wordpress site, TURN OFF ANY CROSSPOSTER PLUGINS.

Yeah, Now I have duplicate LJ entries for everything, and all of my public LJ entries are on my deadjournal now. At least they have different tags so things are totally mixed up/confusing. :(

Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

This weeks Mutants and Masterminds game was.. Interesting..

First off, we had 10 (!!) players show up to game.  I know all of the ST’s out there are are thinking to themselves “Wow, that’s a ton”.  It is a ton, an unplanned for ton.  Unfortunately in order to keep order I had to act like an asshole, understandable if you wish to get anything accomplished with only about 4 people playing in the game and the remaining 6 goofing off or having outside conversations.

An interesting tidbit of experience that I have gleaned, is that when you throw a few players a tidbit of information, they are more than likely going to make a whole bunch of assumptions, take those assumptions as complete word-of-God fact, then run with them.  Usually this okay, but sometimes it can invoke a bunch of arguing and drama (especially when it starts to get really late and tempers/patients grow shaky due to fatigue).  I can handle in-game drama to a point, but arguing over rules and semantics get to me (especially when I’m tired as well).  I guess when you have more ST-time under your belt you can see these things coming and prepare for them.

Game otherwise is going great.  The players got through the first part of my plot and are on now to diabolical plot number 2.

My current challenges:

  • Player count has gotten way too high.  Need to send the word out that we are no longer accepting new players.
  • Need to find out a method of increasing the difficulty of the game to compensate for a few players having some broken powers without making the plot unbeatable (when the burly players are not there) or party-wiping everyone.

Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

This weeks Mutants and Masterminds game was.. Interesting..

First off, we had 10 (!!) players show up to game.  I know all of the ST’s out there are are thinking to themselves “Wow, that’s a ton”.  It is a ton, an unplanned for ton.  Unfortunately in order to keep order I had to act like an asshole, understandable if you wish to get anything accomplished with only about 4 people playing in the game and the remaining 6 goofing off or having outside conversations.

An interesting tidbit of experience that I have gleaned, is that when you throw a few players a tidbit of information, they are more than likely going to make a whole bunch of assumptions, take those assumptions as complete word-of-God fact, then run with them.  Usually this okay, but sometimes it can invoke a bunch of arguing and drama (especially when it starts to get really late and tempers/patients grow shaky due to fatigue).  I can handle in-game drama to a point, but arguing over rules and semantics get to me (especially when I’m tired as well).  I guess when you have more ST-time under your belt you can see these things coming and prepare for them.

Game otherwise is going great.  The players got through the first part of my plot and are on now to diabolical plot number 2.

My current challenges:

  • Player count has gotten way too high.  Need to send the word out that we are no longer accepting new players.
  • Need to find out a method of increasing the difficulty of the game to compensate for a few players having some broken powers without making the plot unbeatable (when the burly players are not there) or party-wiping everyone.

Mutants and Masterminds, one game down.


Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

Last Sunday (yeah, I’m a slacker), was my first game as the Mutants and Masterminds storyteller.

I must say, it went rather well.

There is one aspect that I got a taste of when I ran Shadowrun that I really see now.  No matter how concrete you think your story outline is.  No matter how much you have prepared for the game thinking of all of the possible sidetracking your players will go on, they will always think of something that you didn’t.  We spent most of the game ignoring the fact that all of the superheros of the world went missing (except the ones in Stockton) instead on trying to balance the budget of California so the Stockton Arena wouldn’t get shut down.

Yeah.  My players wanted to move the prision system to another dimension to save California money.  Yeah, I’m at a loss too.  It wasn’t until I made something very dear to them go missing did they get back on track.  Wow, screwing over the rest of the world to save the Stockton Arena and California.  Never saw that coming.

Other than that, keeping my fingers crossed for another good game.

Making music with telsa coils


Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

Wow.  I’ve never seen this before, but its really neat.

Basically if you switch a telsa coil on and off at a specific frequency, it creates lightning that ionizes the air at that frequency.  Thereby you can turn telsa coils into gigantic speakers that shoot out lightning that resonates.



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Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

After over a year of running the Mutants and Masterminds (MaM) game, our Storyteller Sky has decided that he has had enough.  He wants to play for a change so he put his game up for grabs to whomever wishes to continue it.

Needless to say, after my latest Shadowrun game exploding and collapsing, I was a bit hesitant to take the torch.  However, most of the Shadowrun players (some who play in the MaM game as well) told me that running the MaM game would be an excellent experience for me, so I gave it some serious thought.  After discussing time issues with Tiffany (whom if I was not running MaM, I would be there playing anyways), you are looking at the new Storyteller of the Mutants and Masterminds game.  Uh, yay?

I start in 3-4 weeks.  Melinda wants to try to run the game for 3 weeks as a transitional ST while I get some things prepared, but I think i’m capable of starting as soon as tomorrow night with some preliminary story/tying up loose threads from Sky’s game.  Everyone is keeping their same characters, time will just march on under my compassionate hand instead of Sky’s.

However the million dollar question is that I’ve been handed this running game of ambitious, good natures, fun-loving players who really dig their characters.  A part of me wants to turn the game from less zany/comic-bookish into a darker mood game.  Like turning  Adam West Batman into The Dark Knight movies.  I setup a quick survey on our internal gaming website, a few want a change, but the majority was right in the middle (and not everyone has submitted one yet).

Do I make this game darker, give the players more realistic challenges, more evil villains, and have them actually make planned decisions  as to what course of action they will take?  Or do I keep the same zany, wacky, no-real-fear-of-dying that we have had for the past year.  I can do the scientific way and make the game dark until people start to bitch, then back off 10%.  Not sure if there is a good way to do this that will make everyone happy.

I think I need to take a serious look as to why I like to play in the MaM game and what makes it fun for me.   I think I’m going to start writing about the MaM game more here to document how things panned out.

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End of an era


Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

At 10:00pm on 3/18/09, I went down to the InReach building at 4635 Georgetown Place to move my one lone server out of their colocation area.  I got a call 2 days prior saying that they are shuffling everyone left in the building over to their rack at Pac-West telecom.  They are moving out of that building.  That building that I helped wire, that I helped setup, that I spent more hours there than anywhere.

I got to walk around the vast empty InReach building.  I knew where all of my desks were throughout the almost 10 years I worked there.  Looked at the tiny pieces of CAT-5 jumpers that I wired by hand well over 10 years ago.  My eyes started to tear up to realize that I’ll probably never ever see the inside of that building again.  I spent most of my teenage years confined within that small building working on servers, putting out fires, dealing with shit that now-days I could of never deal with.  Remembering the laughs, the long nights, the sitting at my desk wondering how in the fuck I was going to fix this server (but yet always did), the walks to McDonalds.  A ton of people who read this (or my LJ) worked there and grew up there with me.  That faculity saw the birth and the move of DeadJournal and housed zillions of bytes of data that I could never replace.

I unracked my one server, and followed Mike over to Pac-West.  Considering that over 10 years ago VAdept (this server) started out in the PacWest colo was sorta ironic.  I could still hear the sounds of the Ascend modem boxes heating up the room like huge rackmount hair-dryers.  Visualizing the USR 5+U modem chassis with the HyperDSP cards (that could never work right).  The smell of a real colocation faculity, and how a few times I slept on that cold raised floor hearing the air woosh under it while waiting for an array to rebuild.  Remembering the time Andy formatted a web-server array by accident, then said “See ya!” and left me there to restore from tape (you dick, I still remember that.. :P ).  It was a very weird and awkward feeling to be there again.  Everything looked exactly how I remembered it to be.

So since I was there, I decided to help Mike rack the gear that he brought over from customers who didn’t care enough to drive down to move their own damn computers.  It was such a weird feeling, that its hard to describe what it was like to be sitting in that colocation again after so many years.  In a way its fitting that my server ended back up to where it was born, with real generator power, real Halon and temperature monitoring, real 24/7 NOC, a “real” facility.

But using the same rackmount screws, the same power cord, and the same piece of cat-5 I’ve used for years and years; I’ve managed to pocket a few handfuls of dirt from the grave of the InReach colo.  Really, my server is its legacy.

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Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gmrZqrq_6H7mQuJkfn7NHIjHz9aQD96ORJ3O1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reversing an eight-year-old limit on potentially life-saving science, President Barack Obama plans to lift restrictions Monday on taxpayer-funded research using embryonic stem cells. The long-promised move will allow a rush of research aimed at one day better treating, if not curing, ailments from diabetes to paralysis — research that crosses partisan lines, backed by such notables as Nancy Reagan and the late Christopher Reeve. But it stirs intense controversy over whether government crosses a moral line with such research.

Now a ton of people get this confused with “banning stem cell research”.  No, Bush banned taxpayer funded stem cell research.  I think Obama really fucked up by reversing this (surprise surprise).

Think about it; your tax-dollars are now going to be used to fund research that a private company is going to charge you 10.4 zillion dollars for you to recieve benefits from.   Thats right, WE as taxpayers are paying for R&D that a private company is going to profit from.  That sound like a good idea to you?  You think this company that makes something awesome is going to cut us taxpayers a break because they got their research subsidized by the government?  Hell no!

It would be different if the private company used private funds to fund their research.  Then I can see charging an arm and a leg for this stuff, but no, they will be getting a subsidized ride via an already broke government on our broke backs so they can make a zillion dollars.  If we want to socialize the research, then lets socialize their profits too! Its bullshit, and I’m tired of using taxpayer dollars to subsidize things that the private sector should pick up the tab for!  The only way that I will be in favor of this is if all government-funded research gets put into the public domain (ie: not patented) so anyone can use it.

So in 10 years, when we’re still in debt, but a brand new treatment is out for $foo that nobody can afford (and the company is reporting record profits this year!), think of me.

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Railing against society


Originally published at /var/log/vadept.log. Please leave any comments there.

At what point do we, as a society, tell people “produce or get the fuck out”.

Sitting at work today, I wondered why I do it.  Why do I put up with the bullshit? Why do I contribute to a system that just rewards laziness and irresponsibility.  Why don’t I do like everyone does and have my ass wiped for me by the government?

People waltz around without a care in the world fully knowing that the government will provide them with a place to live, food on the table, and their basic needs; a luxury that I do not have.  I stand there, 9 hours a day, serving these people that have contributed NOTHING to the well-being or advancement of society.  They are the hemlock, the blight ; feeding off of us who bust our asses to make ends meet.  I’m at work, they are not.  I bust my ass to do whats right and they just bitch and leech and contribute nothing.  I do everything for them, but what do they do for -me-?  Help thine neighbor is a two way street and all I see are red street reflectors.

They are the proverbial royalty, and we are the serfs who tend to the farmlands so they royalty can eat.  They wake up at 3pm when I’m at work by 9am.  They have no cares in the world other than how they are going to waste away their day living off of their SSI or disability check due to the forms that some quack for an MD that bought their pity-party story signed off on.  Their blight-filled ride is just enhanced by narcotics that WE as taxpayers pay for to treat some “condition” that is a candy-coated rationalization for addiction and abuse.

Sure there are exceptions to this.  People who want to work whom are physically unable to do so.  People with small children that they cannot leave unattended.  There is an exception to every rule, however those people should be as angry as I am because the hemlock above waste they resources that they can use to get into a position of production.  The working class pays to help those who cant, not those who wont.  Why should a man learn to fish when the town provides him with all the fish he can eat?

But no, we rationalize it away that we are ‘helping’ whilst cowering under the heavy stick of political correctness and the squishy “can’t offend anyone” mindset.  We hide in fear of being tagged with stereotypical or racial remarks as the leeches of society grasp at straws to justify their behavior. Race cards get thrown down, feelings get hurt.  People cant take the harsh reality of the situation and would rather just throw money at a problem and pretend it doesn’t exist.  Now the money is running out, and the problem wants their paycheck.

There isn’t an easy solution to this problem, nor am I trying to state one here.  With California nose-diving into the financial ground the boil of society is about to come to a head, and I don’t think we as society are prepared to face the monster that we have created.

More Octomom developments.


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