Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fluids, Fluids, Everywhere: day at the plasma center

The other day I went to donate plasma. It started out as an expected 3 hour wait to go through the entire process that includes a brief exam and urine test for the first visit. I expected this, so I pulled out my game boy advance, had a seat and started playing. It was a metroid game I borrowed from Justin. (yay justin)

I love Metroid games. They are lots of fun. So I'm playing Metroid in the waiting room about an hour passes but no worries. To make a boring waiting room visit short. I got called up, photographed, sent to the other waiting room, got my blood sample with the little pin prick. Then they tell me to give them a urine sample. With my little cup I head into the restroom. ****EDITTED FOR YOUR CONVIENCE****
I have a half full cup of urine. Oddly, I don't have a lid to seal it in. Now the man said to not flush or wash my hands till I give him the cup, then I may do so. ICKY ICKY I'm unclean. But I suck it up and open the door to hand him the cup. As I start to hand him the cup I see someone walking right between us. Doing the polite thing, I do not thrust the urine into her path. About that time the spring loaded door swings back and slams into my holding hand splashing the contents of the cup on the floor, on my hand, and perhaps even on my (soon to be washed) shirt. The man i was attempting to hand it too says "That's not good." I agree with a freaked out disgusted/horribly embarrassed look on my face, but I retreat to the restroom and begin to wipe up the floor with paper towels and scrub the top layer of skin off my hands in order to insure that I am clean. Questions I ask myself.
1) Why place the restroom in a high traffic area which this was (you'd understand if you saw it) if people are going to be running around with urine samples?
2) Why have the door be spring loaded to close behind you if people are going to have to stand in the entrance of the door to avoid splashing passers-by with human waste?
3) If you must have a spring loaded door for a bathroom in a high traffic area WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS SANITARY DO YOU NOT INVEST IN TINY LIDS FOR YOUR CUPS OF URINE!!!

I get cleaned up, and apparently I pass all the tests because eventually I make my way to the plasma giving center. Now I am leaving out a very humorous and pleasant conversation with marlena (i think) the physician assistant who checked to make sure that I wasn't a druggie or a man of loose living. I also learned that you cannot give plasma if you are bi-polar. NEAT! I'm on the bed, needle in the arm and blood being taken from my body. This doesn't bother me, what is making me squirm is the movie they are playing. You may ask "Llama, why not use the gameboy?" 1) because it was now about 3 hours later at the start of the actual plasma removal and the batteries were about dead 2) I can't play metroid with one arm and the other arm was in no position to help me play.

Anyway, they are showing Aeon Flux. I know it was a great cartoon, but it made a horrid movie. It smelled of a bad matrix clone. I will admit that I found the "bad guys plot" to be very interesting and entertaining, but I could not get into the characters or have concern for the future of the human race which Aeon threated to put into jeopardy at one point. To be fair, I did miss the opening of the movie, but it just seemed mostly bland. I know a lot of the movie was supposed to just be hot women in skimpy outfits fighting, but even that didn't do much for me. Maybe its hard to get a blood flow to the penis when it is going out a tube from your arm?? I dunno.

My digust for this movie was so bad that when the nurse came to check on me, she asked if everything was okay, I said "no, your movie really sucks." She agreed with sympathy. The lass beside me agreed as well. Ah well, at least I didn't have to pay to see it. I do wonder if the cartoon was good.

Sorry I've been a bad little blogger, but I've gotten addicted to the Order of the Stick message boards and spend a lot of time on them lately. They have a great game called Stabbity Death where you simply inflict a stabbity death on the person who posted above you and explain why. Its simple, its silly, its a shame my friends forums don't have enough people to play.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

grab a canoe

Its a stream of thought process.

Today my cable was shut off. It will be sorely missed, especially since, thinking I wouldn't need it anymore, I gave the antenna back to Eric. On the plus side, this is one less bill to worry about.

I became a pixie in the playground today by stabbitying to death some poor guy named mikoto. I was stabbityed to death shortly thereafter as a proper welcome to the OOTS forum.

I have a new answering machine message.

I suppose that I'll finally get around to watching all those movies I have been wanting to watch lately now that the cable is gone, but what am I gonna watch before bed now that I don't have Adult Swim.

Oh well, tonight adult swim was committing a terrible heresy in my eyes. They were going to start showing Saved by the Bell at midnight tonight. I HATE Saved by the Bell. Its mostly the same damn jokes and it just promotes sickening stereo-types. Even worse, I hate it on CARTOON NETWORK. That network is really going downhill. First they start showing Dumb & Dumber on primetime and now SbtB? When you stray away from your gimmick as a TV station bad things happen. Ask Game Show Network how well its Reality Show about Chuck Woolery's life went. GGGAAAHHHH!! Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an exception to no-live-action on Cartoon Network because it is full of cartoon characters.

I find myself arm-chair GMing my own game the next day. I really should have had Aust make a save or have the Crystal Ball start to take over his mind as well. Oh well, I'm proud of having the succubus pop out of the crystal ball was a nice touch.

Okay, you can take off your life jackets now. I'm done with the random streaming. Time to make supper. Speaking of supper, Eric still owes me a snowcone.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Opening night movies

There are 2 movies I want to see on opening night this year. Sorry, but X-men 3 isn't among them. Number 2 was great, and I love the character of Hank McCoy. He reminds me so much of everything I want to be. But I think the curse of the hype has bitten me already on that movie and I know it won't get any better. The hype that is. Anyway, I'm tangenting..
The first movie is Silent Hill. The movie plot looks very similar to the first video game, but instead of the father, its the mom looking for her daughter. I'm afraid that it will be Hollywoodized, but so far it looks good, as opposed to almost every other video game made movie. See also, Doom, Resident Evil. However, my love for the game series gives me faith.
The second movie is Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson as an F.B.I. member guarding a mafia informant on a flight to testify. An assassin turns loose a "slither" of snakes while on the flight. The movie title has garnered so much attention that it is the sole reason Samuel agreed to the part. In fact, whenever the company making it changed the title, it was quickly changed back. To learn more about the bizarre history of this bizarre film, visit and search Snakes on a plane or This sounds just so odd that I have to see it. Greg Dean from Real Life is excited too apparently as S.o.a.P. recently made a reference in one of his comics.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

GMing thoughts

My group recently finished the major portion of their storyline that ended in an epic brutal involved combat with the villian. He was a 10th level Cleric with a Nightmare mount. Justin's character did die thanks to a Slay Living spell but he was quickly revived thanks to a cleric that did happen to be nearby. (No, seriously, he wasn't planted by me. He just worked out really nicely.) After a long battle, in which Justin did rejoin, the villian was slain and the party rejoiced.

It looks on paper that the battle was way too tough for them and I'll admit I was worried for awhile. Heck, even The Lord of Faerun "The Slayer of the Player" himself shot me a look like "dude, too much" when I told him of the encounter. But, I find that things at their challenge level aren't challenging to them. Adam was on a solo quest,he rolls a 100 on the random encounter chart. He encountered a spectral panther (MoF) CR 4. He was a level 5 barbarian. It was slain in 3 rounds and he had 1 scratch on him. GAH! Where's the challenge?? His sword wasn't ghost-touch, just +1. He should have at least had to think about raging...shouldn't he? So I have a hard time judging what to throw at them, and this was supposed to be the culimnation of a lot of work, the final showdown with the vile evil overlord and I couldn't take it if they just ran up and stabbed him for 2 rounds then he died. That's really not satisfying for all parties involved.

In all fairness, except for damage and AC and HP the Nightmare was nothing more than a horse. He didn't use his eatherialness or his flight and his flames were negated by his environment. As for the cleric, a lot of his nastier low level spells were targetted at the NPC healer. Blindness/Deafness and Hold Person were used to zap him instead of the PC's. Also, the PC's had a hound archon helping them out, at least until he rolled a 1 and threw up. (it made sense in the story). Overall, it was a hellacious fight with them thinking they were doomed throughout most of it, but with a sense of triumph and joy when he fell and Justin cut off his head. Its what it was supposed to be.

I don't like death effects. I may still use them, but it won't be as easy. I think that if I do use them in the future, be it by spell or gaze attack (bodak) or flashing her chest at the PC's (nymph), the victim will have to fail 2 saves or maybe i'll just alter it so the victim goes to -9 HP (no need to stabilize). Death should be feared in games, as such, it should not occur so easily as one lousy roll.

This is not to say that fate should not come down to a lousy roll. Things such as "if my character doesn't make his reflex save against this lightning bolt, I'll drop to -13" are okay because things have led up to drop his HP to such low numbers.

All that being said, I do really enjoy DMing for this group. Hell, we gamed on the fly from Midnight till 4 AM and general concensus was that it was one of my best sessions even though I was making up 2/3 of it on the fly. (I totally did not expect them to go to Celestia, but there they were and wanting to explore it and pursue their backstories.) One last thing, now that they are at 6th level, they both get 2 attacks per round and Adam is getting a cohort fighter too. Plus they have earned some loot lately. So now I wonder what I can do to possibly challenge them?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

forwarded email

I received a forward today about an NBC poll and religious beliefs. These always get me in trouble because I feel to need to respond to them with an alternative point of view. Here is the letter I got today.
Do You Believe in God?
NBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the percentage was the same as this:
86% to keep the words, IN God We Trust and God in the Pledge of Allegiance14% against.
That is a pretty 'commanding' public response. I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't. Now it is your turn ... It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why is the world catering to this 14%?>> AMEN! If you agree, pass this on, if not, simply delete. In God We Trust
Here is my reply
Dear {name removed}
I wouldn't worry about it. I don't see uscatering to the 14% anytime soon. That would alienate 86% of the voters and that's just not happening. But its interesting, the words "under God" were added to the pledge on June 14, 1954 while the original pledge was written in 1892. In fact, the major reason the words "under God" were added was to fight the fear of communism. David Greenberg says:

The legislative history of the 1954 act stated that the hope was to "acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon … the Creator … [and]deny the atheistic and materialistic concept of communism. {I had the link here, to the article, but it didn't copy right}

Essentially those 2 words were added for political reasons. This upsets me. God should not be used as a political tool to fight the commies. I'm not proposing that you stop saying "under God" in the pledge. However, I would put forth the hypothesis that Christians should not make pledges of loyalty to anyone other than to God and to His church. After all, a Christian is called to be a man of his word and should the goals of the country ever seperate from the goals of God, and a Christian has pledged his loyalty to both, then he must break his word. Also, as mentioned earlier, the pledge of Allegiance attempted to manipulate God by forcing Him to fight the Reds. That doesn't sit well with me.

Its not as well done as previous replies have been, but its not really a topic I have that much of a passion for. Ah well, I needed to write something on the blog.