IMMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT ARETHA'S HAT WAS THE BEST HAT OF ALL TIME! OF ALL TIME!
My rule on this? If you have your Twitter activity automatically posted to your LJ on a daily basis, and you have your LJ updates automatically Twittered for you, and you don't post for a few days yet the two services keep on notifying back and forth every day and even killing you won't stop the pointless spam? You're doing it wrong. Cross-promotion I understand, re-reading your intelligent commentary twice is no skin off my back, but an endless cycle of the two not saying anything new? Bad.
jedimentat and I just finished watching Darkon, thanks to a recommendation from petemagyar. We had previously seen Role Models, which contained quite a bit of LARP action as well, even if it was Hollywoodized.
Do any of you still LARP? Particularly fantasy LARPs? If so, is it all PVP these days?
Back when I was involved with administrating a LARP, a vast majority of the events were centered around PVE. Sure, players had conflicts with each other that led them to engage in combat. We had our race of shapeshifting demonic vampires that everyone hunted on sight that were populated by players, we had our players playing as the local militia and the mercenaries looking to apply pressure from a nearby government constantly fighting. But that was a small percentage of the action.
Most combats were between players and volunteers or players on "NPC duty". We'd come up with major plot events to happen over the course of the weekend, and the players would typically fight skeletons, orcs, bandits, etc. I'd round up a pack of volunteers and attack stragglers leaving the inn with a full belly on their way back to their tent or cabin, having skeletons march on the weak until they finally gathered a force to invade the graveyard. And while we had the one group of mercenaries representing a government who paid them to do so, most of the foreign military pressure was NPC in nature.
Talking with friends who took part in other LARPs during that time frame (1991-1998), this seemed to be the norm. But watching Darkon and Role Models (Hollywood or not), it seems that player vs player seems to be a more dominant theme. Is that something that changed, is it a regional thing, or what?
Sup, those half a dozen of you left on the eljays? Hot damn, haven't posted since October.
Tomorrow afternoon, I'm having my hair cut. Instead of the usual `trim off the split ends' I've been doing since I had a foot hacked off over a decade ago, I'm mixing things up a bit. Having had the same style for even longer than I've worked at drewuniversity as a staff member, maybe it's time for change?
No, this isn't something jedimentat's making me do. It was my idea. I didn't want to get a haircut until I had graduated from college and got a career going. Didn't know it would take me twelve years to graduate from college, but there you go.
I'm taking suggestions for my new style. Here are the ground rules:
No shorter than base of the collar/shoulder length. I want room to trim further, if I don't like what I've got.
I'm keeping my beard, so hairstyles that won't go with a full beard are right out (i.e. no flock of seagulls).
Keep in mind that my hair is fairly lifelessly straight, and I'm thinning up top a wee bit.
I prefer low-maintenance hair, but I'm not afraid to go for something a bit rocking, but I'd like to remain employable, but I'm an IT professional.
Suggestions must be in by 3 PM tomorrow for consideration.
“So far on the drive two different cars have slowed to a stop in front of me. The driver has gotten out and he's gone over to a group of people on the side walk and angrily confronted them so I don't know what's going on today but apparently today is 'Angrily Confront Groups Of Pedestrians While Driving' day. So guess I need to add that to my calendar!”
And some other stuff's happened and been happening since last I posted in mid-May. Like a ren faire, a conference in Utah, and some other stuff. But that's all minor compared to such a major life event. She's really awesome, I'm really awesome, and we're really awesome together. End of story.
Now, to go downstairs for her family reunion, where the ring and I get shown off.
Years ago, when I was in grade school, my mother became involved with a man named Dan Henley. A tall and large man, often grinning and prepared to offer a giant bear hug to friends and family. As my brother cessna182 noted almost a year ago, he really took care of us and easily accepted us as if we were his blood. A bigger heart you would not have been able to find.
Much of who I am today, I can trace back to that period of my life. I was closer to him than my natural father in many ways, and closer to him than my second stepfather (the latter due to my own hangups and perceiving of him as "getting rid" of Dan unfairly). Dan was in many ways a professor of life, encouraging me to think and learn at all times. Instead of teaching me how to play catch, Dan took it upon himself to teach me algebra. Instead of learning about the Yankees current lineup, he encouraged me to learn about history. Dan was a Renaissance man*, familiar with a wide variety of topics enough to encourage a young mind to look further into whatever topic caught my attention. Any question I had, he encouraged me to find the answer to it, and helped me do so. Puzzling through problems and obstacles using reasoning, logic, intuition, and other intellectual tools was his greatest gift to me.
*: yes, a flaw that I came to see what problems it caused him later in life
He and my mother quillter introduced me to a myriad of things at a young age, from Shakespeare to sushi. Playing Dungeons and Dragons from the age of eight or so, the two wrote pencil and paper role playing game modules for Iron Crown Enterprises. Rusak? The name of my World of Warcraft character? Came from a god of destruction they named after me (says a lot about their view of me as an adolescent, eh?) They encouraged me to game master as well as play, fostering my story telling skills, creativity, and imagination.
This year, as I'm getting conned back into taking part in the New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom, I remember going to ren faires with them as a young child. 21 years ago, I was at the first NJRK - and the next few. I won the costume contest at a New York faire as a child, and went to many other faires with family and friends. Every faire we went to, I watched Dan wheel and deal and bargain with the shopkeepers.
Dan's high school and college friends were wonderful, like a family to me, and really instilled in me a desire to surround myself with good friends to make my life richer. Frank the doctor and DC Comics fan, Geoff, the other Dan, Bill, etc. Bill lived with us for a while, and was probably one of the most influential people in my life - Bill got me into computers. Without Bill teaching me to learn how to program on his Apple ][e, and him encouraging me how to creatively circumvent primitive copy protection schemes on my 8088, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. Bill gave me a hunger for computer games, a desire to understand how computers tick, and the fundamentals of how to learn that. CyberSphere? WoW? My present career? All trace back to Bill. My brother and I both owe a lot to Bill.
Every year his friends would go to one of the NY faires with him, engaging in a friendly wager where the men competed at all of the games throughout the day. Bill would win at knife throwing, Dan would win at the test of might, etc. I believe the winner bought drinks for the rest. Some of my fondest childhood memories come from trips with them to the ren faires, or playing D&D with them. And they weren't the only RPG companions my parents had, the local comic book store's manager hosted an evening that they frequently GMed at, and I met Scott - one of my closest friends through the chaotic and tumultuous period of high school - through that. He met me as a nine year old child to his fifteen years, and when I was fifteen and suddenly in a new town without any friends, that twenty-one year old helped me find friends and learn a lot about love and life.
Musically, Dan was a massive influence. Dan was a connoisseur of classic rock, and was willing to discuss it for hours at the drop of a hat. From Led Zeppelin to Lynyrd Skynyrd and everything in between, Dan introduced me to lots of music I would have been otherwise without. While cessna182 gave me the gift of heavy metal, Dan taught me all about rock and roll.
Dan held a wide variety of jobs through the time I knew him, and was often running a few things on the side. Making and selling jewelery, working to create a network of non-profit organizations, whatever project he had brewing up there, he was pushing. Dan was a master salesman, and amazing barterer. One Red Paperclip reminded me of him, particularly of the day Dan caught and brought a fly on a string to a faire, trading it and trading it to see what he could work his way up to.
Not to speak ill of the dead, but Dan was not perfect. He was not the perfect man, husband, or father. In retrospect, hindsight being 20/20 and whatnot, I've seen the flaws and understood things better now than I did in the moment. But I loved him, and during the second divorce I argued with all parties (my mother, my father, and Dan) that I most wanted to live with Dan. This didn't happen, and he slipped out of my life. He kept in contact with my mother's family, but being young and Dan not sticking with a permanent address or online address often, he was oft hard to get a hold of.
We saw Under Siege together one night, as a sort of visitation. We went to Bill's wedding together, which I was honored to have been able to attend. A few times I visited New Hope, I'd run into him. One time he was selling books and candelabras by the river with a partner, another time he was selling sports memorabilia, another time he was selling art while also bouncing. Everyone in the tight-knit local artists community knew him, and every store I walked into for the rest of the day I was recognized as "Dan's son". But I stopped going to New Hope for a while, and a few times I returned I didn't see him. Instead of immediately running into him at the second or third store, I had to ask around for him and still couldn't find him. The last couple of times I went to ren faires with my mother's family and Dan's friends, he wasn't with us, and we discussed how hard it was to track him down.
Last fall, I was with jedimentat, at a faire in Pennsylvania, when she commented how surprising it was that we hadn't run into him. As we walked down the path, I saw a jeweler with grey hair, a full beard, and jewelery in tackle boxes... Certainly it couldn't be. We hung out by his stall for a while, trying to get his name, to see if it was him, if he would recognize me, anything. He left the stall in the hands of a couple who didn't know his last name, much to our furthered frustration. Finally he made a comment about Montclair or Caldwell, which was enough of a sign to me. Tearfully, I gave him my full name. "I'm your stepson." We both burst into tears, we hugged, and jedimentat cried as well. We chatted and caught up for the rest of the day, I found out how all of his friends were, and updated him with all of my friends and family that he knew. I watched him wheel and deal with customers, and old memories flooded back over me like a river. Yes, this was Dan. The smile, the hugs, the sharp mind, the humor, everything was there. We exchanged contact information.
Unfortunately, we didn't contact each other. jedimentat later told me about how she had recognized him from her years of involvement with local faires, and told me sad stories of him wandering around faire sites drunk, which broke my heart. He had made comments about living out of his car while I saw him, and hoped the best for him. I told cessna182 about my encounter, and about all that jedimentat said. Horribly, I never passed along his contact information to my brother either.
Three weeks ago, jedimentat and I were back in New Hope, reliving our second date together. Near the end of the evening, I saw him from a distance. He called out to us, trying to sell us jewelery, not recognizing us between the darkness and his failing eyes and his glasses that didn't look up to prescription being held together by tape and hope. It being late and me feeling shame at having not contacted him and me wishing he had recognized me, we walked on. Three weeks later, I woke up to an email informing me of his death three days ago. I regret not stopping and talking with him again with every ounce of my soul, and feel an incredible amount of guilt.
Dan was one of the most important figures in my life. Whatever he might have done, whatever he might have become, he helped make me who I am today - and some of the things I love the most about myself I can trace to him, directly or indirectly.
When Dan's father died at a young age, a comment was made that stuck with me. His father was incredibly inquisitive, studying computers and learning everything he could about the early Macs he had in his study, which was filled with books about a cornucopia of topics. "Now he finally understands how it all works."
It's awesome that there's things like ping.fm to notify all my friends on all my networks what I'm doing, or things like FriendFeed to act as a reverse of that, like Natuba did back before it re-invented itself to absolutely blow.
But I want a ping.fm for location based things, like Dodgeball (rip), brightkite, and foursquare. Something that, tied into Google Latitude, lets me check in to all those things without having to sit with my BlackBerry for a minute or two at each new venue.
I've got my flying car, where's my location based multi-network service?!?
Yesterday Blizzard announced two new flavors of Mountain Dew. Yes, Blizzard. World of Warcraft themed Mountain Dew! Halo Game Fuel was such a success, so the world's largest game is giving it a go. Even though I quit drinking it over a year ago, I know I'm going to end up giving these two new flavors a try. Yes, even Alliance Blue.
Just tried Miraclefruit tabs from ThinkGeek. Holy cow are they amazing. Fantastic. Need to do them again, with people. Need people to come over, with a variety of things to try. LFG 4 flavor party, PST.
The most amazingly sweet and flavorful limeade you could ever imagine. Yeah, I love limes. My favorite fruit after mangoes. But holy cow, it was like a sweet lime explosion in my mouth.
Similar to limes. Amazing sweet awesome lemonade. Next time I'll have to mix the two and produce an all-natural Sprite.
Tasted like... plain old soda bread. Oh well. I mostly purchased it to soak up all the acid I knew I was going to be eating, to avoid the upset stomach that many had reported from ODing on citrus while under miraculin's effects.
Nothing different. Oh well.
Imagine a root beer float, made of awesome. I still maintain that Guinness floats taste awesome (I know that's an insulting sacrilege to some people), but this tasted like that - despite the lack of ice cream. Wow.
Pretty flavorful, took a little of the earthiness off from it, leaving some of the more subtle flavorings.
I'm normally a sucker for Ciclón, but it tasted even sweeter and smooth. The lime and agave were really heavily accented. Next time I need to try pure rum and pure tequila to see how they're accented by the miraculin.
Woah. Sweet orange juice. Orange juice with sugar. Sliced that puppy up and devoured it in seconds. Not as amazingly different as lime and lemon, being a naturally sweet fruit already, but still an even more intense flavor than usual.
This was the main event. People had told me that grapefruit would be the most amazing ambrosia with miraculin, and they weren't kidding. Fantastic. Blissful. All I could ever want from a fruit, and then some. I was expecting grapefruit with sugar, but it was so much more than that. A sweet rich fruity explosion of tangy nirvana. Woah.
I've got plenty of ideas for the next tasting, and for a future flavor tasting party. Well worth trying, if you ever get a chance.
Current Location:Hoboken, NJ Feeling: ecstatic Listening to: Stern show
agent179 is a regular at Drip, a local coffee establishment in downtown Madison. He's friendly with all of the employees there, and has even gotten windexcowboy to make it part of his morning ritual as well.
He's even Facebook friends with the employees there, which leads to a modern web 2.0 version of the daily specials from the local restaurant being faxed to your office (I'm amazed a lot of places still do that). They just wrote the daily specials on his wall a few minutes ago.
Seb Jones wrote at 11:13am todays soup is mediterranean chicken the sandwhiches are a roast pork with cabbage slaw on foccacia, we alsohave an olive cream cheese cucumber red pepper fennel and sunflower seeds on whole grain
Now that's service. If only local Hoboken eateries offered the same. Now that Rue de Jardin is no more, petemagyar and I are reduced to coffee from Empire, which doesn't even offer the best crepes in town, let alone fantastic goat cheese sandwiches which make you believe in a supreme being.
I approve of this sustainable "green" lunch menu dissemination. Twitter, Facebook wall write, Dodgeball shout-out, whatever.
The CNN live feed with Facebook is pretty awesome, I have to say.
Sure, I've experienced similar major events on a MOO, using IRC, or in an IM chat room. But this is pretty awesome. Particularly the explosion as he was sworn in. My Facebook and Twitter Firefox plugins caused a flurry of toaster style notifications, all at the same time. That was pretty cool.
My 31st trip around the sun. Thanks for the IMs, emails, calls, Facebook wall writings, etc. I feel the love.
Now all I want for my birthday is:
To have Malaysian yet again today.
To get some more T7.5, finish off exalted with Sons of Hodir, and get the last 1.8k gold I need for the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth
To get an engineering teleporter to K3, and where are my wormholes?
To get a replacement for Dodgeball. WTF, Google? Now I'll have to actually call mingtm when I'm in the city, and email runstaverun to harass him when we're out drinking together.
A perfect margarita
Time to get started on some of those. Last night jedimentat called me shortly after midnight, staying up late to wish me a happy birthday despite having to get up before the sun for work. As I was on the phone with her, graye mentioned to my guild that it was my birthday. They joked about singing, people gave me cupcakes and the like, and so forth. After getting off the phone a call or two after jedimentat (who was first, if you don't count people on Facebook who didn't wait for midnight and bizarre companies who emailed me before midnight as if based out of Europe or Newfoundland), they asked that I answer future calls with my mic open, so they could laugh at 'em. But no more came, so they lived without it. Plans for this year's annual party (a joint affair for petemagyar and I) are made. If you're not on Facebook and didn't get contacted by me, harass me, and notice my face burning with shame. I'll hook you up with the details. jedimentat's throwing me a smaller romp through the city this Saturday night, and there will be events for her birthday (a week from today) as well. Insert usual excuse about not updating more often here.
And I leave you with a picture of my nephew. My nephew's cuter than your nephew/niece/little cousin/child/young friend/whatever.
Current Location:Hoboken, NJ Feeling: loved Listening to: Stern
It's not surprising, as the former was eighty and the later was eighty-eight, but Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban both passed away today. Many hours spent watching the television work of both. Damn.
Seeing Iron Maiden a few times, Maine, graduating college, my surprise graduation party, both of our birthday parties, both of our cars hitting 100k, the election, it was a busy year! Lots of good times were had.
I suck at updating. As usual for the past year or so, just read jedimentat's LJ (post one and post two) or view my recent uploads on Flickr. Lately I've just been really out of it. Two illnesses, spending lots of time with the girlfriend's family, raiding new content, games I've been waiting years for, transitioning into a new position at work, family in town, and Felicia Day to drool over all suck up a lot of time. So view the photos, and make up your own story to connect them all together.
Last night, while the technology employee post office was being migrated from Netware to Linux, I was joking about RMS with agent179. While trying to find pictures of him playing the recorder, I came across a classic shot of him... and his shirt looked a bit too familiar.