mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
I think it's best to just be blunt, here: as of this month, Rain and I are legally divorced. We moved on from the relationship sometime ago, but the Virginia legal system (specifically, the law firm we were paying to handle this) was in no hurry whatsoever to recognize the situation.

Rain's doing pretty good right now with her work, and what I know of her personal life seems smooth too. I hope the future goes very very well for her.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Local weather is trying to be obliging. "You don't have a light jacket right now? Okay, we'll just drop the morning temp to 45 degrees so you can wear your winter coat, does that help?"

Had a very weird dream the other night where I climbed down a narrow drainage pipe to find myself in a secret underground studio where they were filming the return of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to the cable channels. I was privileged to sit in on one of the sessions where they watch the movie and write the jokes; I started ad-libbing along, and they hired me on the spot, causing me to draw the wrath of one of the other writers for some reason. Any dream interpreters wanna take a shot at that one?

In the ongoing Stuff Reduction Plan, I did some heavy game materials archaeology yesterday. I found my copy of Amber Diceless, a fascinating take on RPG mechanics that uses no random chance at all; Star Warriors, a fast-paced, careening tactical game of Star Wars fightercraft; and Ogre, light infantry and vehicles against a robot tank the size of a small city block. I'm keeping those. (Actually, I fear the Ogre set may belong to [livejournal.com profile] rattrap.)

Going away is the stack of official Star Trek fan magazines, which will be probably be trashed; and [livejournal.com profile] raininva has dibs on the bigger stack of West End Star Wars RPG and Indiana Jones RPG books. Battletech 3025 scenario and source- books are going; Battletech 'Mech listing books are staying. I'm not sure whether I'm keeping Castle Falkenstein, or the hardcover first-edition copy of White Wolf Mage. (Starr, a onetime Vampire LARPer, may give me permission to keep that.) However, I will divest myself of the two Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG hardcovers, and the Traveller: A New Era core book. I have a lot of gaming stuff.

Last treasure unearthed: my Wireframe Babylon Project books and GM screen. The savvy fan will find the names of [livejournal.com profile] jsciv, [livejournal.com profile] yubbie, and [livejournal.com profile] impink within; and down in the playtesting credits, a listing for some doof that goes by [livejournal.com profile] mikailborg online. Yeah, I'm keeping that one.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Definitely a traditional Christmas for me... History and Science channels on the tube, wrapping presents for others while being unable to wait to unwrap ours :)

My Munchkin collection is looking healthier! Starr gave me Munchkin Impossible and Munchkin Cthulhu I & II... now we have to invite someone over to play them with us. 2-handed Munchkin is much less fun.

Back in my Decipher days, Justin taught me how to play Carcassonne, and I've been wanting a copy for the years since. Never managed to pick it up, but I knew it was fun to play, so I picked up a set as a Christmas present for [livejournal.com profile] raininva when I heard she was gaming again. Well, guess what other game I got yesterday :) Already broken it in, too. Fun!

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 85 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Take the Sci-Fi Movie Quizdigital camera ratings


I had a little trouble with some of the older movies I haven't seen yet...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Thursday night, the Norva hosted They Might Be Giants for an evening. I'd wanted to go, but hadn't gotten around to getting tickets and would probably have eventually blown it off; however, I got a phone call from Dwight offering me a spare ticket. I wasn't going to turn down a free pass! We swung by on Tuesday and picked up a ticket for Starr, and looked forward to the evening.

When I arrived the night of the concert, I got a shiny green wristband to go with the "yes I'm over 21" wristbad. I learned that this band would get me upstairs into the VIP balcony seating, and VIP restrooms and bar/lounge. Swank! [livejournal.com profile] raininva and [livejournal.com profile] torn757 showed up for the concert, and I got to wave to them from the balcony before heading down to chat. (I said it a couple of times at the show, but I'll repeat again that Rain's really looking great. And I got to meet her boyfriend, which was cool.)

Starr finally got out of work, and arrived during the opening performance - a band from Ireland named Oppenheimer. She didn't have a VIP pass, though! So I told her I'd stay downstairs and enjoy the show with her. The question turned out moot; Starr walked up to a bouncer, smiled sweetly, and made an impressive Fast Talk roll. Soon we were all upstairs for the rest of the evening.

The show itself was awesome. The band sounded incredible, and put on a goofy, geeky hilarious show. They played everything I'd hoped to hear, including "Mesopotamians", "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas", "Particle Man", and of course "Birdhouse" and "Istanbul". (Did you know that one of the primary components of the Sun's nuclear fusion is Advil?)

A bouncy, entertaining, endorphin-rush night. Hard to ask for better.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (simpson)
Another round of the hair saga today.

Back when I started paying for my own haircuts, I decided to grow my hair long. It was pretty straight and stringy back then. (First pic) After the car accident, I cut it a little bit shorter, but it didn't get far from my collar line, and it filled out a lot. (Second pic).

[livejournal.com profile] raininva liked short hair on me, so I kept it pretty trim while we were together. (Third pic) This year, though, I figured I'd enjoy growing it back out to its two-decades-ago length. (Fourth pic, though I have put the beard back on since then)

Reviews have been mixed. Some of my BCT co-workers were unimpressed, but the new hair went over great at Invisifest. It's cool at NASA, though with all the military there I think I've got the longest hair on base.

This weekend, an acquaintance told me that it looked terrible on me - it bummed me out a bit. But just today, one of my coworkers told me she loved it, and it was a big improvement over April's length.

I'm going to keep it long for now, but there certainly seems to be very little middle ground here!

1988 1997 2003 2007
1988 1997 2003 2007


Thank you for indulging my little narcisissm moment.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (orbiting)
Got back last night from Salem / Roanoke. [livejournal.com profile] rhaps and [livejournal.com profile] shrewlet let us stay overnight at their place with no notice, and Rhaps even came down to the service on Friday. I'm really glad, too because it was one more familiar face for [livejournal.com profile] raininva, and I think that meant much to her.

Dad thought highly of both Rain and Starr, and I felt they should both be there. The family proved their great class by welcoming and supporting them both; I don't know if I've even been prouder to be an O'Brien. Beth, Cathy, Benny and Jamie (old-guard Batron Starfleeters) showed up for the public reception on Thursday too. Interestingly, [livejournal.com profile] time_shark's name came up a few times, as it turns out that my dad and my dad's dad knew Nelson Bond's family pretty well, and I got to reminiscing with some of the Bonds and their friends about the Showtimers and the southwest Virginian fiction community.

My father was involved in fascinating stuff I never even heard about, stuff I can't even talk about here. There was a long stretch of my life where I wasn't close to the man, but I thought I had a pretty good idea who he was and what he got up to. I was right in some ways, and completely wrong in others. I wonder what else I missed?

My sister Whitney, of whom you've heard me talk almost nothing here because we too have been somewhat out-of-touch, asked me to be a pallbearer. I was honored, and I'm not sure I could have been talked out of at least trying... but this may have been the stupidest testosterone-induced promise I've ever made. I'm not supposed to lift over 25 pounds since the hip surgery; to be fair, I violate this on occasion, but usually with discretion. I strained several muscles, and nearly fell over once. Thank goodness no one said anything. At least I did no actual damage to myself.

Whitney's one-year-old daughter Kennedy was with her for the two Thursday receptions. Baby singing and the throw-the-toy-on-the-floor game was exactly what I needed that day. Everytime the walls started to close in, I'd just look at Kennedy's innocently quizzical expression, and things got a tiny bit better.

Friday on the way home, I stopped by my Mom's, and she and Starr and I grabbed some lunch. While trying to dig up some Tintin comics I wanted to re-read, I found my old I.P.M.S. award for the Ether Flyer Thunderchild model, as well as some Pathfinder group shots and another portion of my dice collection. I can't believe how much of my life is still at Kentland. I despair of fully sorting through it.

This too, is a bit rambly, but I'm getting closer to my center again. Tried to do a little fiction today, but the headspace isn't there, and I'm determined to write something. I don't have the luxury that a Conan Doyle character would of six months of "brain fever". Bills gotta be paid, chores gotta be done, and life goes on.

And on a crass note, Dad was going to take care of my Dragon*Con travel for me. This isn't an entitlement whine, but a note that I don't have a Plan B yet. We'll have to see what I can work out.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
Just came back from a very nice dinner with [livejournal.com profile] raininva at Red Robin. She gave me some loot from Vegas' Star Trek: The Experience - a Starfleet emblem and an isolinear chip keychain.

Rain just got promoted, and is apparently being groomed for bigger things in the future. I'd be jealous, if it weren't for the fact that I'm quite pleased with my new job :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Guitar Hero II arrived in my house this week, thanks to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] raininva's observance of my birthday. Now, I haven't had a lot of free time on my hands, and even my gaming is scheduled by priority these days, but ya gotta take some time out of the day to hold a plastic guitar in your hands and rock out to Cheap Trick, The Pretenders, and David Bowie. (I think some of our guests approved more of the Motley Crue and Danzig tracks, though.)

The game's got a bit more realism than I'd like, though - Rain and I are developing blisters on our fret and strumming fingers.

The book - very little going on. I worked out some background changes to my universe which will allow for more sensible plotting and better conflict, but I'm still not real sure what the ending's going to be. Clearly, this isn't going to be done by the end of the month, but then I'm not that worried; I never expected it to. (The base universe is one I created round about 6th grade. It's weird making changes to something that's been mostly static in my head for 20-odd years.)

I have several episodes of Torchwood in my hands, but I haven't finished watching the 2006 Doctor Who season - in fact, as of last night, I'm behind the SciFi Channel's broadcast (it's sitting on the DVR). Since I'm reliably informed that the series opener of Torchwood spoils much of the end of the Doctor Who season, this means I'll have to wait a while longer to get my Captain Jack fix.

Apparently, Rising Star went extremely well this year. Kudos to Cathy and all how worked so hard to pull it off. I think many excellent decisions were made this year, and it bodes well for the future of the con.

I'm burning DVD data discs tonight in a desperate attempt to find clear space on my hard drives.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] raininva's rogue and my mage assaulted the ruined desert city of Zul'Farrak with [livejournal.com profile] shrewlet's paladin and a little other help. I died a lot; that seems to be the mage's job. When I moved forward to see what was going on, I attracted aggressive attention ('aggroed'); when I hung back, stuff snuck up on me from behind and clocked me before the rest of the party could react. Ah, well. At least Shrewlet was able to resurrect me, and I completed 4.5 quests I'd never have finished on my own. 1/2 a level worth of experience; really, a pretty good evening in the game.

One of the quests involved summoning and defeating the giant water lizard Gahz'rilla. Just for [livejournal.com profile] rattrap's info, Gahz'ruki was nowhere in sight.

Before that, we spent a couple hours at my workplace's Game Day. The host had a really nice place in an area we wouldn't mind living... must weasel some info out of her :) Rain and I spread the gospel that is Apples to Apples, and lo, it was good.

Saturday, I played in the comp a bit and then spent 6 hours cleaning the house; you can actually see the floor of my office now, yay! That night we broke in our copy of the WoW board game in a four-person run with Bert and Meche. Took about 5 hours to finish, and Rain and Bert's Horde characters finished off the boss on turn 33 or so. I have to look up who to contact - upon opening the game, we learned that it's missing one of the character figures.

There's an Internet rumor going around that the PlayStation 3 will cost $600 - $700 upon release in the US. Of course, Internet rumors aren't known for having a lot of basis in reality. However, if it's true, it may be a good thing that I still have many months' worth of PS2 games to finish.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Some cool things about Technicon 23:

Giving [livejournal.com profile] rattrap his combined holiday present for the next several years.
Playing the WoW board game with [livejournal.com profile] jsciv, [livejournal.com profile] meiran, and [livejournal.com profile] candidevoltaire; then buying a copy.
A copy of The Heroic Trio from [livejournal.com profile] kittykatya.
Opening the wrong door and accidentally joining this year's Vile Skit.
Being practically the only character in [livejournal.com profile] vileone's LARP that was exactly what he said he was: no more, no less.
Friday dinner seated between Dwight, [livejournal.com profile] raininva, and Christy.
Friday night panels that went Most Excellently. (Some details soon in a filtered post, heh heh.)
A Vile Script that forced me to wrestle with [livejournal.com profile] rainbowsaber. (Oh, shucks.)
Helping [livejournal.com profile] southernsinger perform "The Dragon & The Lady" for Holly Lisle.
Late Saturday dinner and great conversation with [livejournal.com profile] meiran.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] trenn, chown -R us:us yourbase.
Frequent backrubby morale- and energy-boosts from [livejournal.com profile] shrewlet.
Two boxes full of new reading material from the Auction.
Cool artwork from [livejournal.com profile] kittenchan and [livejournal.com profile] ranchonmars.
It's my 20th Technicon.

-----

Some less-cool things about Technicon 23:

It's my 20th Technicon.
Not enough time to be in Whose Con Is It?
Long drives from and to Norfolk.
Not enough quality time with many friends.
My lousy Simon Cowell imitation.
A body that gave out too early on Saturday night. (For once, stomach issues rather than exhaustion.)
Our air mattress developing a hole.
Not enough time for after-con dinner in Blacksburg. (But a good one with Bert & Meche in Salem.)

-----

I'd call TCon 23 a success, for my part. Well done, [livejournal.com profile] nius, and thanks for the good weekend!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
[livejournal.com profile] raininva and I went to see V for Vendetta yesterday. Considering the amount of whining that I'd seen at various 'Net sites, I was surprised to enjoy it a great deal. It never went all stupid on me, and it practically begged for thought and argument about its 'message', rather than blind acceptance.

I'm really looking forward to Technicon. It looks like I'll be a very busy camper that weekend, but that's okay - I won't get bored :)

I'm working my way through my yearly LOTR re-read. I've got a lot of new books on the shelves waiting for me, but I needed the familiar lands of Middle-Earth for a while. I haven't made it a page farther into "Wicked", which tells you how gripping I've found it.

And I'm really done with 40-50 degree temperatures. It needs to get warm, and stay warm.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
Been away for a while, again. December was a rough month for me; one of the high points was the sinus infection that kept me feverish, nauseated, and flat on my back for all of Christmas weekend. On the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] raininva trumped her Valentine's Day gift to me with an even more geeky present: a 30GB iPod video. Dang, but that thing is small. It's full of anime and British SF right now, but even with video-on-the-go I never have time to watch anything right now.

Back in April, I barely resisted a rant about SF fans and reviewers. However, this review of the "Starship Troopers" novel pushed the rant to the surface again.

Rant follows... )
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Halloween's a holiday dedicated to things that aren't what they seem, so it's a bit appropriate that George Takei is choosing it to come publically out of the closet.

http://www.frontierspublishing.com/features/feature_second.html

Good for him! I can't help thinking that some of the people involved with RoVaCon way back when would have been less excited about inviting him had they known... but that's far in the past now.

I haven't decided yet what to wear to Mandy & Krys' party tomorrow night. I do wish VTSFFC Halloween wasn't 5 hours away. I also wish Rain didn't work Saturdays and Sundays, making a 2- or 3am Rocky Horror evening this weekend a bit impractical.

In good news, Rain welcomed me home last night to a spotless living room lit by candles, served me an excellent dinner, and snuggled down with me for a romantic evening of TiVo'd MythBusters. (Hey, mad science is too romantic.) It was a good way to wrap up the day.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Busy life these days... I haven't been taking time to slow down and write lately. I'm hoping to do more of that this weekend.

Went to Rising Star last weekend, and had lots of fun. I showed off the new Utilikilt on Saturday, and it went over quite well, though I have to think more carefully about the process of sitting down while I wear it. [livejournal.com profile] raininva and I scored over 20 PS2 games for around $100 or so at the auction - of course, lord knows when I'll play any of them. With WoW on the computer, I have to poke myself to make time for my new copy of We (Heart) Katamari.

I missed [livejournal.com profile] meiran, [livejournal.com profile] ranchonmars, and [livejournal.com profile] madwriter... maybe I'll see some of you at Marscon, and if not, there's always T-Con.

We listened to the audiobook of "So You Want to Be A Wizard" on the way up and back. The narrator does good work with the voices, I'd recommend it. We bought it from iTunes, and while I understand this is not Apple's idea, the process of getting the audiobook onto an MP3 CD for my car player was unpleasant. I hate the freaking music industry.

Three movies I want to see soon... Serenity, Mirrormask, and Curse of the Were-Rabbit. I haven't been to see a movie in a while - no idea if I'll make it to any of these.

I've been offered a ride to VTSFFC Halloween, and heard about another H'ween party in Richmond I'd like to go to, but either way, Rain can't go because of her work schedule. This bites in great measure. OTOH, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming to Newport News in November, and that I might be able to see! There's something about "Xmas Eve / Sarajevo" that makes me tingle when I hear it for the first time every season... it's so angry and beautiful at the same time. Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend" is the same way.

Tried "Second Life" last night. Lousy framerate and poor responsiveness were my first impressions... and this is on a Mac that does WoW quite tolerably. We'll see if I go back.

More on my mind, but I gotta go to work.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
(Actually, probably not - they're associated with rival Houses. But anyway.)

Rain's now an official part of the Battletech universe, allowed to pilot any medium-weight 'Mech from the "Age of Destruction" or later. (Yes, that could well mean Hunchbacks some day. *shudder*)

Meet House Kurita MechWarrior Reign O'Broin (time-travel does such terrible things to spelling). Personally, I think she's a lost Kerensky; but that's just me.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Happy seventh anniversary to my beloved wife [livejournal.com profile] raininva!

I don't know what the traditional seventh anniversary gift is, but it probably has nothing to do with the gifts Rain and I got for each other (both of which can likely be viewed at Rising Star).

I love you, Rain!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
[livejournal.com profile] raininva and I watched Robot Jox this weekend - I hadn't seen it since the early nineties. I liked the mech designs better than I did when I first saw it, and Gary Graham's an old genre friend now (once considered for Captain Sisko, according to the IMDB). But the script is still ungood. My favorite bit is still the one where the bad guy uses a prohibited ranged weapon during a match, causing the death of hundreds of spectators, and the referees just shrug and say "do-over!"

Contrast this to Gunhed, which has a cooler mech and more interesting characters, but is confusingly edited and is willing to let the audience make up their own explanations for a bunch of plot points. There was enough left unanswered in that flick that I was easily able to steal the whole plot for a Shadowrun game without giving too much away to the players. Still, I prefer it.

I'm trying to make a mental list of live-action "giant robot" movies that are worth spending 90 minutes or so on. Iron Man #28 looks good, but I don't know if it will ever be dubbed or subbed. And though I love it for camp, I'm not sure I can bring myself to include the first Power Rangers Movie.

Speaking of such, I've procured the Cutey Honey live-action flick, which will go into the "to be watched" queue after the latest Orion Slave Girl episode of "Enterprise" and this week's "Doctor Who". The movie's looking very cheesy, which of course is just what I'd be looking for.

The other serious Whovian at my office wants me to bring in the Whoman DVD that I still owe [livejournal.com profile] rubinpdf money for. I will do so. He has been warned :)

Booklist: I re-read Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil, and am trying to finish his Beyond This Horizon, but the latter's just not grabbing me. OTOH, the local library had a hardcover of Larry Niven's Ringworld's Children, which I'm enjoying much much more than The Ringworld Throne. It's feeling more like SF than the "fallen-civilization fantasy" that Niven admittedly loves, but I think is a bit mined out. I've got another nonfiction library book on the OSS to read after that.

Wow. This got long.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (magical)
I've always liked Niven's Laws. I don't slavishly agree with them, but they are an excellent source of topics to ponder.

This leads to the fact that I've just deleted a lengthy rant about SF/fantasy fans who, despite entreaties from their favorite authors that they start thinking for themselves, are still want to be told what to think and what to believe. The only thing we humans got that the rest of the animal kindgom didn't is a more complex brain. It's way past time that we as a race consider trying out some of its higher gears, just to see what happens, you know?

Ok, wow, Technicon report, cool. )
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rabbiteer)
Sunday night [livejournal.com profile] raininva and I celebrated both an early Valentine's Day, and a late anniversary of the day we began a serious relationship. We drove out to one of Rain's favorite restaurants as she told me about the incredible gift she'd got me that would blow me away.

Well, we got settled at the table and she presented me with my gift - the first season of Gargoyles on DVD. Now, that was certainly cool and something I'm pleased to have in my collection, but it didn't quite measure up to the hype she'd been giving me. But I played along, and told her I was very pleased with the gift (not hard to do, since I did like it).

She said, "Yeah, I'm glad you like it; though I did get you a backup gift in case you didn't." And she hands me a 1 GB iPod shuffle.

iPod!

An iPod has spent quite a long stretch on my list of "things I'd like to have but I'm not holding my breath". And I have to admit it's keen to have a device which plays hours and hours of music on a single charge, with no moving parts besides the control switch. And it's tiny, and weighs nothing!

A passing waitress saw me looking at The Precious and said, "You must have been a very good boy lately!"

Not really. But my sweetie loves me :)

*****

Rain got a nail in her Pontiac's right rear tire Friday night, and assuming the tire was unsalvageable, we headed to Wal-Mart on Sunday afternoon for a replacement. There was a five-hour wait there! I swear, I'm going to start boycotting Wal-Marts not because of any political feeling, but because they are always overcrowded and scary. I want to start bringing a machete when I go to the Superstore down here!

So, I was about to admit defeat - Wal-Mart was impossible, and everything else was closed - when I saw a Shell station with a bunch of tires propped outside; I rolled the dice and pulled in. Turns out there was a friendly good-ol-boy in there who wasn't even busy, and had the tire plugged and airtight in 15 minutes, and even re-inflated the spare for us. Only charged about 15 bucks, too!

Here's some karma for you, guy. You deserve it.

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
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