mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Just had the odd experience of finding my fiction published on a web site of which I'd never before heard. It's the Decipher WARS fiction I wrote, and it has their copyright tag on it, so perhaps it's not 'my' fiction; but there's no dispute that I wrote it.

Looks like they've posted all the released WARS fiction, including both of my stories. I have my own copies, of course, but it's good to see them on the web. Hope they don't have to pull them down anytime :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
It's Wednesday night, and everything for the con is packed in the car except for toiletries and pyjamas.

Clearly, there's an impostor in this apartment, cunning but not quite cunning enough to impersonate me properly.

(Thanks to panels, did not manage to pack light particularly. Also, someday need real travel gear rather than leftover Decipher gaming bags.)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (crusade)
Imagine you have a poker deck. But this one only has four suits numbered 2-9. That's okay, because all the poker decks are like that. However, after you've played with this deck for six months, and started getting good, the poker deck manufacturers announce sealed packs of 10 cards each, with new graphic designs for the four suits. Get this - every 20th pack will have the new "10" card in it!

If you play poker seriously, you'll be buying at least 20 packs. Probably a lot more if you're determined to get a "10" in each of the four suits. Hey, they're having a special tournament in California where the winner gets a "Joker"! And there are rumors on the Web of a "Jack" coming out in six months...

This is how the Collectible Game folks make their money. (Actually, it's how almost all modern game companies do.) And I've always been amused by the people who crow, "I've got a complete set of Kings! I am the best player!" when a) it just means you have more resources to put towards the game, and b) it's obvious to anyone with a brain that you'll be chasing the "Emperor" soon, and the "DemiLord" after that, etc., etc.

I'm also repeatedly annoyed by these gamers. The worst part is their screams of outraged entitlement when, after the fact, the game companies announce that having four Jokers turned out to be too many, and the official rules will now limit you to two; or, conversely, having a single Ace in the game wasn't working right, and there will now be four Aces, one of each suit, making it slightly easier for players to get one. They'll scream that the game company is spitting on all the hard work they put out to get that Ace, and that they deserve the "honor" and "prestige" of their Ace of Spades.

Thankfully, the rest of us can just get on with our games - and since we're not on eBay all night trying to buy an Ace for $1000, we can get out of the house more often to boot.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (dressed)
Haven't seen anyone dressed up for the holiday here at NASA. I guess it's not too surprising, we are conducting serious business here frumph frumph frumph. But I have my bunny ears nearby in case of emergency.

The places I've worked have had varying policies about employee Halloween costumes. I think I wore a costume at B&D Comic Shop, but it was so long ago, I can't clearly remember. The "Thrifty Nickel" encouraged dressing up, though many years, no one bothered but me; I usually wore a Starfleet uniform or my Jedi outfit. One of the last years I was there, one of our more conservative salespeople unaccountably chose "Tinkerbell" to make her sales calls in, which led to a panicky alteration of the costume when she discovered how much leg even the tame Disney version would show.

I can't recall any costuming at Decipher, which was a bit of a surprise - you'd think a bunch of game geeks would garb up. My last Halloween at BCT was a smash, though. I dressed up in drag, and was convincing enough from behind that one of my bosses mistook me for another co-worker.

Anyone here dressing up for work?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (space_tech)
My writing suffers from an issue I've had since 3rd grade: I often find settings to be more interesting than plot. I eagerly bought the Atlas of Middle Earth when it came out, enjoy looking up technical speculations on the construction of the Ringworld (or even the Halo), and spend time considering how Hogwarts was built with such odd geometry, and why.

I think I sympathize with the authors of old Dungeons and Dragons game modules in that respect. Many of those old booklets contained fascinating, detailed maps, but the purpose to explore those maps generally centered around "looting". Recognizing that, I tried to resurrect my old copy of Vault of the Drow as a basis for a campaign a few years back, but I didn't do enough prep work and the effort failed. A sizeable underground metropolis shouldn't be a place that the characters pass through with three sentences of description.

Short stories don't tempt me as strongly to lose myself in world-building: the characters have things to do, and I need to get on with discussing what they're up to. But a setting for a novel's resided in my head for almost 15 years, and none of the conflicts I've hung on it seem adequate. In fact, many of the plots I've considered have a strong derivative aroma, and given my complaints that 68% of the SF/Fantasy section at Waldenbooks is actually the same book with the names and dates moved around, I'd like to make an original contribution to the field.

The work I'm doing for Decipher is having the effect of making me pay more attention to my style, anyway. I'm watching passive voice even more carefully than I had been, and checking out web pages such as Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)

Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] southernsinger!


Almost done with the project that's been breaking my back for the last month; a small measure of my sanity should return when it's finally done. It's not helping that the server room has moved to my floor, so everyone's office is chilly all day. I may have some good story news in the next several days (hope hope).

I'm finally catching up on my Enterprise episodes. I've now seen the first three of the season, and I've been satisfied with them - nothing yet to go in my "favorite Trek episodes ever" file, but I've had fun and haven't felt insulted. The mention that the NX-01 class was designed by "Captain Jeffries" was a nice nod. I'm going to try the first non-pilot Battlestar Galactica episode this week - I've heard that the individual episodes are much more appealing to my kind of fan than the pilot was, so I'm crossing my fingers.

Oh, yeah, Lloyd Eldred has made it into one of Decipher's card games. (This is a old VTSFFC Halloween in-joke.)

Photo ops

Oct. 7th, 2004 12:08 pm
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
My hometown newspaper made someone's blog! I'm so proud.

Decipher officially launched the WARS game yesterday - I even showed up in the staff pic on the web site. (Green shirt, right side, partially obscured.) The sense of optimism and excitement was very high... unlike all the licensed properties from our past, this is our baby and practically everyone in the building had a hand in it.

I'm really glad I've taken this job.

Edit: There seems to be a problem with the link to the staff pic. Going to "http://warstcg.fanhq.com", clicking on "Articles" in the right-hand sidebar, and clicking on "Happy WARS TCG Release Day From the Gang at Decipher!" should show the pic.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
With only a few weeks left before the release of Decipher's WARS Trading Card Game, we've posted a PDF copy of the rulebook for the first set so that people who want to can brush up on the rules before hand.

There's a nice little piece of text on the 21st page of the PDF, in the "Credits" section: "Concepting: Tim Ellington, Michael Girard, Kathy Lischke, Tom Lischke, Andy Lupp, Michael O’Brien, Justin Pakes, Erika Stensvaag."

Me happy.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Yesterday started good. I didn't feel well when I got up in the morning, but I never feel well if I get up before 10am, so I didn't think twice about it. In the first half of my work day, I completed the resurrection of a dead Titanium PowerBook with a broken hinge and sheared display wires, which was nice bit of ego-boost.

By lunchtime, I realized that my throat was super sore, and I was pretty dehydrated. I took a break and went to the tiny pharmacy a couple doors down, and came back to work. My nose had started running too, so I grabbed some tissues.

By mid-afternoon, there was no doubt that I was sick. I was coughing, blowing my nose, had a nice headache and serious nausea. Throw in some light-headedness and chills, and you know I was really enjoying myself by that time. I had to reassemble an iBook in that condition, too, which as I've mentioned has 50 screws in about 10 different sizes. Literally. I figure it was sinus brought on mostly by over-exerting myself over the weekend and the crappy weather on Saturday.

Finally, work was over, but there was an event I had to attend yesterday evening, to insure I'd be properly prepared for something else happening Saturday. I'd have blown it off, but that would have screwed up the next month's worth of planning. Only problem? No one had sent me directions yet.

I drove to two places where this group had met before, but they weren't at either place. In desperation, I did my first bit of intentional wardriving: cruising slowly around the residential neighborhood seeing if my iPaq would pick up an open wireless access point. I actually found one, and confirmed that no one had sent me e-mail, so I gave up and headed home.

The good side of that was that I really shouldn't have been around all those other people when I was sick, and I was able to head to bed early. On top of that, I got home in time to catch a phone call from [livejournal.com profile] raininva before I dropped off, and we talked for a good long time, which cheered me up a lot. On the other hand, my upcoming plans are trashed.

I'm still not well, but I'm better than I was yesterday. I can function, and my throat and stomach are mostly okay. If my nose and head would follow suit, I'd be fine. I might even go down to see Tom at the pub tonight.

*snort*
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Quite a weekend! I burned myself out just a teeny bit, but I did have a lot of fun.

Friday morning, I decided I'd get right on the road after work, so I threw a weekend bag into the back seat. I even got to leave work a bit early to take care of an iMac repair at CompUSA. It was a good thing I did leave early, because there were 30-60 minute delays at every tunnel out of Norfolk, and if you're heading north, you pretty much have to take a tunnel.

I'll spare you the next in my ongoing series of traffic rants, because I still showed up at [livejournal.com profile] kittykatya's place just in time for [livejournal.com profile] lekythen and [livejournal.com profile] pulp_tarentino to return from an errand. Spent a couple hours catching up with J.J., whom I haven't seen in 6 years. We've both grown up a bit, and I almost felt that we clicked better as reunited friends than we did when we were dating. So that was quite good.

Friday night and Saturday morning were spent catching up with Alex & Barb & Chris (look, alphabetical). Unfortunately, I had to head off before J.J. came back for her stuff, so I didn't get a final goodbye. It was a good thing I left when I did, because the sky opened up as I left, and I lost another 90 minutes heading back down 95. Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] platypusgirl and [livejournal.com profile] krysturtle were willing to accept a soaked, bedraggled Borg into their home and I had a very good time at their party.

I met many people, some of whom I recognized from con meetings, but few of whom I can remember their names :) The party was fun - lotsa people, good food, nervous kitties. We established that cat toys are far better for amusing small children than small-children toys are, and I have finally seen more than 50% of "The Goonies".

Sunday, I napped a lot. I also tried to track down used copies of the "Riverworld" books - so far, no luck, but there are lots more places to look.

Phew.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (magical)
Contractors are using heavy power tools less than 25 feet from me as some remodeling goes on. Noisy only begins to describe it; at one point they were using some kind of pneumatic punch which made me jump 18 inches evey time it went off. This has been going on for weeks.

Today, I'm prepared - I have headphones and iTunes. I can still hear them, of course, but I can ignore them much easier. I think they know that, too; today they've decided to set off the building alarm 3 or 4 times for my office enjoyment. Oy.

Forged in the fires of Home Depot: While I was snickering, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone still goes to "Toy Depot" to buy stuff for, you know, actual home improvement.

Finished "To Say Nothing of the Dog" last night. Often funny in a "heh" way, and an interesting look at a modern time-traveler stuck in Victorian England, but it was another example of characters dragged helplessly through the plot for a couple hundred pages. My own preference is for protagonists who get some kind of grip on things sooner or later.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Today I have:

Climbed to the roof of our building to help check a wi-fi link (I am not doing that again, I had no idea the last part would be a 30' foot wall-mounted ladder. I don't like heights and I don't need to break the remaining organic bits of my left leg. They can find someone else next time.) Climbed back down.

Walked 4 blocks to the boss man's loft to check the other end of the link, then back.

Walked 4 blocks to the local mall for lunch (I ran out of frozen stuff to microwave and eat at my desk), then back.

Headed up and down 3 flights of stairs all day servicing machines.

Walked 4 blocks to the boss man's loft to re-install the hardware we uninstalled the first time.

Walked 5 blocks to the bank from there.

Walked 4 blocks back to work.

Much more of this and I won't miss the gym membership I left back in Roanoke. At least it's only 85 and breezy out, as opposed to yesterday's 103 degrees.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
Re: my earlier whine about collectible games...

Just played two games of ./Hack//Enemy with one of my co-workers over lunch. I lost them both, but I didn't humiliate myself. Even he admitted that I just got some bad card draws. So now I feel better.

I need to see if we have some spare Marvel Hero Clix, he wants to play some games of that. If not, I'll buy some next week.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
Discovered last night the hard way that certain fansubs are built on computer to be viewed on computer - in other words, the subtitlers added the dialogue to the very bottom of the video image, an area which doesn't completely display on many tube-type TV sets. Growl.

The most noticeable downside of this new job is that I have plenty to do simply keeping people's computers running, and am not involved in the game creation process at all. The conversations I hear while doing yet another re-install sound so interesting, too! But then, I probably get paid more than the entry-level creative people. Oh well.

Downtown Norfolk is quite toasty today - at least the second floor air-conditioning is finally up to snuff this afternoon.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Driving home every day, I drive past the Holiday Inn where they held a lot of Sci-Cons and at least one KatsuCon that I know of. Ahhh, memories.

Got home a lot quicker today, since my car was where I left it.

Today I met the art department, who gave me a nice welcome seeing as they'll only see me when something's wrong. Of course, I'll be coming to fix it, so I guess I would be a welcome sight.

The mall a block away from work (where I park) is huge, four floors. I am trying to avoid going there because I don't want to spend money, and don't want to wish I could spend money.

That's all for right now.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
it's about a 10-minute walk from work to the parking spot. Good exercise, unless it's raining. But when I walked back to the parking garage today, my car was completely gone. I looked for it for 30 minutes of ever-increasing panic.

Turns out that this place has two completely identical parking garages. I was in the wrong one. Grrrr.

Anyway, the people at Decipher are very nice, and I'm thinking I'll do fine there. Though I don't have my own office, my desk is in an isolated corner, which felt a little weird - I've never worked that far away from co-workers before.

I'm pooped. Probably go to bed before too long.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
The registration / software update process to get Final Fantasy XI Online running took 2 hours last night. We were afraid no one was going to wait for us, and I don't want to look at another License Agreement screen for a long time - there must have been a dozen of them.

The dot/Hack PS2 game begins with the player registering for a (simulated) online RPG, going to meet the friend who got them to play, trying some simple actions and battles with that friend, then being attacked by a mysterious force hiding in the game which puts said friend in a coma.

Last night [livejournal.com profile] raininva registered for an online RPG, went to meet [livejournal.com profile] kittenchan, and tried some simple actions and battles with with her help. Rain and I both couldn't help thinking, "If Skeith attacks now, [livejournal.com profile] vond will never forgive us."

I am clearing the personal effects from my desk and this machine's hard drive, on my last day of work here. Everyone's saying how much they'll miss me, and meaning it, which is nice. I'm just refusing to think too much about all this change; it'll probably hit me hard Sunday night. Monday morning, hello Decipher!

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