Category: Updates


Re-direct

If you followed my profile and ended up here instead of at my other blog, expecting something brilliant to be said, it’s because I didn’t realize that it was going here instead of my more active blog.

So feel free to head over to http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com for my pointless ramblings on Very Serious Topics. And comic books.

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I’ve gotta say, I’m really liking my new Linux box. I’ve finally gotten the system on there and I’m slowly putting the applications I need onto it.

The best thing is, Gentoo makes things like this so remarkably easy. All I have to do is type “emerge” followed by the name of the application that I want and it accesses the ebuild, figures out what other programs I’ll need, downloads all the appropriate files, compiles them, and puts them in the right place so all I have to do is wait for it to be done and use it. And it’s so quick about it! And with so little RAM since I lost one of my chips!

I’m compiling KDE on the computer itself, and I was using another terminal to try and get my printer working, specifically so I can use it over the network. Now I’m ported into it from my laptop using an SSH client doing basically the same thing, making all of this so much easier. Then I need to work on being able to access my ntfs partition, which shouldn’t be too hard, and figure out how to display on my television, but that might have to wait for a GUI.

In general, I love having the ability to do whatever I want with this system, from wherever I am. One of the best parts is, anything I can think of, somebody smarter than I has already likely thought of it and written something to make it happen. And if they haven’t, I guess that’s a reason for me to learn how to do it. And since Gentoo seems to have the most helpful community of people to help as compared to any other Linux distro, if I have problems I know who to ask.

So, I’m going to go back to loving Portage and watching Charlie Bartlett (great film, BTW). But I wanted to geek out a little on Gentoo Linux.

Yea, that was dumb

Went to the South Florida Requiem game last night and had an absolute blast. I got to do just about everything my character was designed for and kicked ass at most of it. Only thing that I failed at was “thunk” for those who know what that is, but it allowed me to kick ass in entirely new ways and I feel like I was able to access the plot without having to search for it or fight with the people who usually eat plot as a light snack. In fact, there was enough to go around and I was able to work with other PCs, making sure several people got a piece of it.

That wasn’t dumb.

What was dumb was taking shots. Lots of shots. So, so many shots. I normally don’t do shots, prefering cocktails, mix drinks, or some sort of sipping alcohol, so I had no idea what my tolerance was for them. I minorly Neglect-ed myself, but was at least smart enough not to even try to drive (handed over my keys, in fact), and other than being very bad (verbally), didn’t do anything stupid like get into a fight and have to deal with the police. I was throwing up while that happened (seriously).

I’m feeling better now and cannot thank my friends down here more for taking care of me, making sure I drank water, getting me something to throw up in so I didn’t persist in sleeping in the bathroom, and generally helping me get through things. You guys are amazing and I wish I had the words to let you know how much that meant to me. Since I still haven’t found them for the people who helped me the last time I did something like this, you’ll just have to search for my gratitude in my actions.

Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep at all. I want to, I don’t want to watch a movie, don’t want to read, exhausted, but just can’t seem to sleep. I should work. I don’t want to work. I want to work in Linux. Sometimes I get the Linux bug and simply want to play around in that environment for a while. There was only one time that I was fully functional in Linux for a significant period. It was awesome. I think I’d like to do that again. I would on my laptop if I didn’t have to repartition to make it happen. Could do it on my desktop, but I think my hard drive is fried. Could get a new hard drive, but I need to be paid first. Want to play guitar, but not really. Rambling, only half-ironically. Does this count as crazy if I realize, in my head, that I’m typing like this in order to make an amusing point about sleeplessness and therefore am not crazy, but am driven to make this point despite the possibility, however unexplored, that I might want to write a straightforward, clear post?

Gonna try to get some rest.

So, the other day I get a message on my big computer that ntfs.sys is missing or corrupted, and I need to use my Windows CD to repair it. No big deal, right?

Except that my Windows CD doesn’t boot. But this also isn’t a big deal, I just need to get in there and transfer the stuff off my F partition. I don’t care about C since I don’t keep anything on there, so erasing is no issue. I decide to break out my old Knoppix DVD and try that. I get the initial screen where it gives me boot options, but then the screen goes blank and nothing happens.

I figure, at this point, the hell with it. I’ll simply install Linux on this computer. Format the C drive, install Gentoo, everything’s set. Except that the Gentoo install CD does the exact same thing as the Knoppix DVD did. I don’t know why. Anybody have any suggestions on what I can do? At this point either to get Windows working again or, better, to get Gentoo going on there. As long as I can use BitTorrent, network with my laptop, and play videos on my TV, I don’t much care what OS is on there, but I do want one that is reasonably stable and doesn’t pick up spyware like gum on the bottom of my digital shoes.

EDIT: And the Cam site is down so I can’t check on my Legacy app, which really annoys me. I think I need a hug.

EDIT 2: Gonna kill, gonna kill, gonna kill.

Still haven’t found it, but on cellshade‘s advice, I decided to see if any public libraries have it that I might be able to get a copy via ILL.

Well, no such luck. I can’t find a copy of the book ISBN # 0825694205 anywhere. The Library of Congress and the New York Public library have copies of The Andy M. Stewart Songbook (which I’m considering getting anyway), but that’s ISBN # 0951330403. The former is 104 pages and 60 songs, while the latter is only 44 pages and I can’t find a song list anywhere since every search leads inevitably back to the former, which is ironic because I can’t find a physical copy of the former but the latter has popped up in two places.

It’s just a book of sheet music. It shouldn’t be nearly this difficult to find. I even contacted the publisher for advice, though I doubt that’ll go anywhere. Still, I continue to search. Eventually one of these books will show up, and then I’ll be able to have it for my own.

Quick and dirty wrapup

Got back from the cruise the day before yesterday, and am just now getting together the energy to post anything about it. Even now, I know that trying to write an LJ post that truly encompasses the sheer awesomosity of this trip is a futile goal, doomed to failure. However, I can give a few perspectives.

I suppose the best thing about this trip was seeing people that I only get a chance to see once a year, roughly. It’s the same reason why I like going to cons and don’t necessarily play as much as simply hang out. A week of spending time with friends was not nearly enough, even if I wanted to get off the boat and go home by the end.

One thing that needs to be said: Slumber Party Room Lives! I couldn’t have asked for more considerate, polite, and, most importantly, fun stateroom mates. We laughed, we cried, we had a great time just hanging out and looking out the port hole some times. Regardless of what we were specifically doing, it was always fun and I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to get closer to all of them. A large portion of my good time was due to those nights making jokes until all hours.

The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful. The minister had one hell of a dirty mind. And the wedding coordinator. Does anybody know if it’s a Jamaican cultural thing that sex is far more widely accepted and talked about than in America? Lana looked amazing and Jake was so remarkably happy to be there. Despite the various trip-ups, the ad hoc planning, and the fact that none of us really knew what to do, it went off really well. The reception was nice, food was wonderful (which was par for the course on the ship), music was beautiful, and the guests were delightful. I wish I wasn’t so worn out by the end of it.

My can-do spirit and obsession with physical activity led me to an injury, but nothing serious. I’d been having a blast on the rock wall and surfing machine all week long. On the last day I pulled a muscle in my shoulder doing the rock wall, but figured that I would be ok to do a little surfing. And then I wiped out (after doing pretty well, I might add) and landed on the self-same shoulder. It’s mostly better now, still a little stiff, but it made sleeping in that bunk bed hell. The stubborn part of me refused an offer of a lower bed, which I realize now was stupid, but so it goes.

On that note, it was totally worthwhile. The Flowrider (their surfing pool) was incredible. I had such a blast just riding the consistent fake wave, learning how to keep my balance, and becoming more adept at the minor adjustments that you have to make to keep the board straight. For those curious, I was near the front when I hurt myself and fell roughly on the left arm of the anchor (http://www.travel-plan-idea.com/liberty-of-the-seas-flow-rider.jpg). I also found out that they have one here in Orlando, so I need to save and buy one of the packages to make it worth while.

Meals were incredible throughout. I was so impressed both by their presentation and flavor, but portion size is what really got me. They managed their portions so precisely that I was able to have an appetizer, main course, and dessert and feel just ideally full every night. It was quite brilliant, really. I picked up a copy of their cookbook because I’m a cooking geek, and can’t wait to dive into making some of their stuff. Even the lunch buffet stuff was pretty impressive. I didn’t do any of the restaurants that you had to pay extra for, but I heard they were incredible in their own right as well.

I got used to telling people what to do and expecting it done. I knew that if I asked Carlo in the Connoisseur’s Club for something, he’d bring it quickly and with a smile. Our server, Shirene, was on the ball the whole time. Every evening she’d ask me what sort of wine I’d like, go over the menu with me and make recommendations, bring anything I asked, again with a smile. I tried to be polite the whole time, but with the air of a person who is comfortable being waited on. It was a nice change.

And oh, the pretty people. I really couldn’t help myself with the flirting. Everybody was so nice, and willing to talk and make contact. What wasn’t to love? Still regret that I went to my room to shower rather than staying in the elevator to flirt with the person I’ll forever refer to as “Hot Irish Chick,” but I suppose you live and learn. I now know that no matter how late to dinner I’ll be, when a girl in an elevator starts hitting on you and smiling in that way that Celtic folk songs talk about, you don’t leave the friggin’ elevator.

I already miss many of my friends, but that’s to be expected. It was so amazingly wonderful to see Lady Nicole yesterday. We stood in the doorway kissing and holding one another for I don’t know how long. I missed Her, I missed being held by Her, I missed touching, feeling, and being near Her. It felt really…right just to be in the same room, let alone the same bed, with Her again. For all the good time I had, it was almost like breathing again to be with M’lady after a week of no contact.

That covers most of things. I’m going to get ready for an interview at noon today at a tutoring place, then likely practice my guitar and relax during the day today, possibly even get some lessons made up for Kushal and Ashlee. It was nice, really nice, but this is my home and I’m happy to be back in it.

Just about ready

Ok, so I’m mostly packed except for the stuff I’m going to need for tonight and tomorrow.

I have all my paperwork in order

I sent out my Out of Office (and still responded to a debate on how to deal with Iron among the ARSTs)

M’lady is headed to Her parents’ place.

I have directions printed out.

The house is clean enough for me to return to.

My camera is clear of old pictures and has new batteries in it.

What do I do now?

Practice guitar, I suppose.

Can we please, for the love of God and all that is holy, get an ARST Mage that knows the system? How about one who understands the most basic concepts of the game?

So, I’ve got my custom Legacy in the system and it’s being held up at High because James Nail doesn’t understand that you can’t use the Death Arcanum in the Shadow. He actually said that he really liked the idea, but the dealbreaker is, “The primary arcanum for this legacy needs to be Death, not Spirit.Shaping and/or manipulating epherma is the purview of Death (note it is listed first in “Otherworldly Instrument”.)”

OK, let’s break down this statement into itty bitty pieces. First, where on Earth did he get the idea that Death is the Arcanum for shaping “epherma”? Ephemera is a catch-all term for otherworldly stuff. I make it clear from context and the fact that it does use the Spirit Arcanum that I’m talking about ephemera from the Shadow. How does he think to use Death in the Shadow? It’s like trying to perform surgery over a webcam with a plastic knife. Not only is it the wrong tool, it’s impossible. And it’s not like it hasn’t been made clear in every damn Mage book that Spirit deals with Spirits and the Shadow, and Death deals with Ghosts and Twilight. There’s no ambiguity about that. The point of Otherworldly Instrument (Tome of the Mysteries p. 18 if you were wondering) is that it makes stuff out of material from either other world that can be used by beings from both. I’m seriously paring the fucking power down by only having it affect one side.

Now, this ludicrous idea that Death is somehow more important in the spell because it’s listed first is really driving me up the wall. “Death” is listed first because in every multi-Arcanum spell in every Mage book that is not specifically listed as an “[Arcanum] rote”, the Arcana are listed in alphabetical order. This is not hard to figure out. We’re not talking about deciphering the Enigma code. He doesn’t need the White Wolf Rosetta Stone to break this semaphore. It’s not like somebody gave him a Vernam cipher and a pencil and said “have at.” It’s really, really obvious. More importantly, we can look at this from the other way and say that there is nothing, not a thing, not one single instance in any of the books, that indicates that anything other than level of mastery makes any Arcanum in any creative thaumaturgy more important than any other. I mean, what are the odds that it’s entirely arbitrary? That maybe they don’t actually expect anyone to be so ridiculously anal as to assume that the order in which the Arcanum are listed in any way affects which is “more important”? That perhaps they had to put one of the two first, so they went with that one considering both required the same level of mastery?

Now, I don’t think James is a bad guy. I don’t think he’s particularly stupid. In fact, he was very polite and encouraging about the whole thing and willing to work with me. But I still shouldn’t have to explain such a basic concept as “Spirit works in the Shadow, Death works in Twilight, and never the twain shall meet” to the ARST Awakening. I admit that I don’t know the details of every Contract, and I have a lot less to work with, but you don’t have to explain to me that the Spring Court isn’t better than the Summer Court because it comes first in the book, or that you can’t shape the real world the same way you can the Hedge. I feel like I should take James aside and give him the same speech I give IC to new Mages, explain the Watchtowers, the Arcana, basic magical theory, etc.

And that’s another thing, ICly that’s just bad magical theory. No part of a spell is more important than another. That’s like me trying to build a swing set and wondering, “So, is this screw or this nut more important? Think I can do without the screw because it’s really the nut that does the attaching?” And, again, it’s not like I’m making a swing set for all the little ghosts and spirits to play together on. I’m making a desk for the little spirits to do their homework on and the little ghosts can find their own goddamn desk. Yes, I’m really stretching that metaphor, but I’m so irritated at the moment.

EDIT:

Further, and this isn’t anyone’s fault, but both Christian and James informed me that national and global won’t approve optional 1st Attainments. Yet, taking a random sample of Attainments on the Wiki I found several with them. Granted, some were shields and sights, but some were just adaptations of the Attainment, which is what mine is. So, why wouldn’t mine get approved when several others already have?

EDIT 2: Cut for your Friends pages

Torchwood season 2

I just finished watching Torchwood season 2. My God in heaven was that last episode a tearjerker. I’m still shaking from it. I have to say, this season was, as much as I liked the last one, leaps and bounds more amazing than last season. They managed to plant just the right amount of information throughout it so that it came to an amazing conclusion with intersecting points from all of the previous episodes. I am just so impressed with how they did this season (series). Now, I should get some rest as I just finished prepping tomorrow’s lessons, mostly.