Touga’s pretty in that dress at least.
Rym’s High School Bedroom (annotated)
Whatever I have or will become, let it not be said that I was always the epitome of cool. This is a photograph, taken with a physical camera, of my bedroom circa 1999(ish).
A. Classy original Star Wars movie poster
B. Decidedly non-classy Star Wars poster
C. I have no comment about these Star Wars lithographs
D. This was a terrible graphic novel, which I only owned for the fact that it involved dragons.
E. I periodically stacked different manga/comic books here as the whim came or went. In this case, it was Tenchi. Note the hardcover of Cormyr.
F. My cable box, required to gain access to the premium channels in those days before video really existed on the Internet.
G. I used to play darts fairly often, and this was for practice. I was never terribly good.
H. Forgotten Realms and other mostly fantasy books. Few of these were particularly good.
I. My hand-made wizard staff. My grandfather helped me grind down and then install the enormous quartz crystal in the top.
J. Fansubs. Mostly Sailor Moon from VKLL.
K. Commercial anime VHS tapes, including Dragon Half, Project A-Ko, etc…
L. My sword.
M. The 1979 RCA. This survived through Colony, and then into the GeekHaus in Beacon. We left it outside for over a week while we decided how to properly dispose of it. and we amazed that, despite multiple rainings, it still functioned after the ordeal.
N. I’ve used this alarm clock for most of my life, and continue to do so.
O. My mini-fridge. Used originally for band camp, and then later for RIT, this was filled with Dr. Pepper and Canada Dry primarily, plus some cheese and cold cuts.
P. Posted signed by the cast of Les Miserables. Peeking out from behind it is my second varity letter, which didn’t fit on my jacket.
Q. VKLL’s fansub of End of Evangelion. I saw this long before I even knew there was a show that preceeded it.
R. Atari 2600 and 7800 games.
S. I loved this hat. I wore it daily for much of my freshman year at RIT, and it was even stolen once. It eventually shrunk, and no longer fit my head. I don’t know what actually ever happened to it. Note the Forgotten Realms box beneath it.
T. Sheet music, probably for marching band. Music was easily the most important aspect of high school for me.
U. An enormous tin of Altoids. I was semi-addicted to them since middle school.
V. Two very important texts to me (at the time): the collected works of Poe, and a wonderful collection of classic short stories.
W. My NES, Atari 7800, and Macrovision-free VCR. The SNES was in my brother’s room.
X. My M.A.S.K. trash can, which I’ve had for almost my entire life. It currently sits beside my desk.
Y. My D&D books, along with some forty issues of Dragon Magazine, not to mention a handful of Dungeon.
Not pictured is a collection of pewter miniatures (half of which were for playing Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D 2nd Edition), and half of which were purely decorative.
Note the lack of a computer. We didn’t really have laptops back then, at least not when still in high school. The two family computers were downstairs in the study.
this was my favorite picture from the con
This photo is truth.
George Takei responds to “traditional” marriage fans.
George Takei is flawfree.
What gives me hope is that the vast majority of people who express homophobic sentiment do so with crushingly poor coherence. I was reminded of Fark’s most famous “note.”
East Village, Manhattan. $700.00
(Loft Bed Above Closet in Kitchen)
I don’t know who thinks this is a scary or overpriced apartment. It looks crazy awesome.
Revolutionary Girl Utena has become suddenly very confusing.
*cries into hands*
This is now my favorite picture. I feel like it should be the logo for GeekNights. (I’m Touga: Scott gets to be Saionji).
Daryl Surat had three words, three fateful words that rocked the foundation of podcasting and anime conventions forever.
Sic Semper Tyranis.
MOTHERFUCKER SHOT ME WITH A CLOWN PISTOL.
The full flickr set (courtesy Jameskun).
We’re gonna be a TCAF!
Hey guys! Ananth and I are gonna be at Toronto Comics Arts Festival this weekend! We’re gonna be tabling with Benign Kingdom somewhere in the the cluster of 218-221 up on the second floor.
This is honestly, genuinely, our favorite show. Hopefully we will see you there!
A LARP by Luke Crane at Burning Con 2012
At Burning Con 2012, as Hurricane Sandy descended up on New York, I experienced with eight other players what can only be described as a peak role playing experience.
Luke Crane ran a LARP version of his old Burning Wheel scenario known as “Inheritance.”
I’d played it once before, years ago. It was my first real experience with Burning Wheel, and it left a huge impression. But this was different. Instead of using Burning Wheel’s core rules, it was a LARP in the traditional sense. Simple rules, all in character. Four hours.
I will not spoil the events of the story, but I will say this. This is the tale of a Viking clan, the prodigal son returned on the day of their Grandfather’s funeral.
I will rarely say that one can “win” a true role playing game in any objective sense, but I won this one. The story ended with all of my enemies (and one friend) dead, the woman I adored from afar as my bride, the Christians dead, and the fortunes of two families at my command. (And yes, that is Vincent Baker dead at my feet. He was the priest, and had the brass balls to pull a knife on me).
If you EVER have a chance to play a LARP such as thus run by Luke Crane, do it without hesitation.
Implied romance is my anti-drug
What GeekNights Production Looks Like
This is basically what it looks like when we’re recording GeekNights. It’s been a regular schedule since 2005 with well over a thousand episodes, so we basically don’t need to look at eachother anymore.
No one installs the Ask.com Toolbar on purpose. No one.
It’s the thing you uninstall from grandma’s computer every time you visit over Thanksgiving. It’s the malware your customer complains about when he clicks a little to quickly through the Java installer.
Toolbars already serve no modern purpose, but the Ask.com Toolbar is a perfect storm of being useless, being annoying, and being bundled with what should be relatively trustworthy and widely used software (Java).
Toolbars had a brief time and place where they were arguably a legitimate offering, but that time is long gone, that place dead. Toolbars are now in the realm of “mouse cursors” and “smiley packs,” right next to BonziBuddy and Gator. They’re a tier below true, modern malware. They’re shitware.
A Man can Only Take So Much
Normally, I upgrade Java, uncheck the opt-out toolbar, and go on my way. But I recently clicked a little too fast myself, and there it was. The Ask.com toolbar in all its pathetic glory.
I tweeted in frustration (as I do with a particularly troublesome poop or a mediocre bagel).
Now, it’s one thing to have a sleazy product. It’s in the same wheelhouse to use sleazy tactics to spread said sleazy product. But actually pretending it’s useful? Telling me that beautiful, bald lie to my face? “Millions” of people install and use it? Happily?
Intrigued, I engaged.
So Oracle, a big boy company that happens to own Sun Java, just happens to like the Ask.com Toolbar so much that they bundle it, opt-out, with their core JRE? No money, no consideration? Someone at Oracle actually believes in the Ask.Com Toolbar?
Note that I had two of them engaged at this point.
Now, I know what this is. ”Eric” has a job, and his job is to defend the Ask.com Toolbar on Twitter. He knows it’s shitware: everyone knows its shitware. Companies all have social media managers and reps doing this very thing. He’s not a bad person, but he has to lie to strangers and pretend that none of this opt-out bundling of useless software is at all shady.
Man’s got to do his job.
But then there are these two gems.
It’s the rookie mistake. Amateur hour. He lost his cool. You’ll see this from smaller companies from time to time.
Simply put, he made the subtle implication that I (and the small sea of people tweeting/retweeting along with this whole charade) was the weaker party, alone and sad, shouting into the void while he engaged in grownup activities like dinner with family.
If you’re ever doing a job like Eric’s, never lose your cool. But, if you do, don’t show it in this most obvious and common way. Variations of this particular insult are so obvious and transparent that it’s almost mean to make sport of them.
“Legitimate search products?” Really?
The moment anyone has to positively identify their product or service to you as “legitimate” is the moment you should be acutely aware of just how non-legitimate it likely is.
I’m sure your Ask.com Toolbar is a perfectly legitimate business.
Now, I could have just let all of this go. But I won’t. Simply put, Oracle is the problem here. They legitimize and enable this shady-ass bullshit to the detriment of Java. No one, no one bundles software opt-out (as opposed to opt-in) with good intentions.
Notice how Oracle stayed entirely out of this twitter discussion. Big boy companies know better than to engage with the likes of me. Ask.com’s toolbar is but one mote of fecal matter in a sea of things far worse. But that contamination is in my muffin. (The muffin is Java).
Do the Right Thing
If you’re anyone but Oracle or Ask.com, uninstall the Ask.com toolbar wherever you see it. Let the world know that you’re sick of this 90s-style sneakware getting up in your grill. Help grandma uninstall it while you’re at it.
If you’re Ask.com, learn to not engage people like me. You’re shady: we get that. But don’t try to pretend you’re not, and especially not by engaging with people like me. My level of journalism exists to trap people like you into saying things dumb and public enough to be worthy of attention.
But if you’re Oracle (and I know that someone from Oracle will be reading this: shame on you. You should know better. Java is already floundering. Bundling toolbars with the JRE makes you look desparate, cheapens your image, and degrades the user experience of Java.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go have dinner with my family.
Where I Went - April 2012
In comparison with 2013, here is where I went in April of 2012. It must have been warmer earlier, because I clearly went biking further afield that April compared to this year!
You can also clearly see both PAX East and Anime Boston travel.
Fanart of Charmain, Waif, and Calcifer from Diana Wynne Jones’ House of Many Ways. It’s a cute book, except the bad guys get turned into rabbits and eaten by a magic dog (T_T)
I watched her working on this over her shoulder!