Old Titleless Gunter Log XIII

note to self: always check if a pillow had been borrowed by a cat when i wasn't looking.

didja ever notice how many words you could type simply by pretending to press random home keys?  (or do only famous actors have this ability?)

again, it is your choice of how and where your packages are delivered to you.
    — sunshine powell
(i wonder what color the sky is in *her* world...)

you never know just how you look through other people's eyes.
    — those surfer guys

...but [internet explorer] is probably one of the most easily abused programs, along with e-mail, loaded on our computers.
    — ssgt wayne cloutier
waitaminute - you mean e-mail's #2?  (trying to look vaguely pensive)  looks like i'm gonna have to try harder...

would you call me selfish?
    no.  not to your *face*.
    — cluless

btw, mr bob fry now refers to us as an 'organic workforce'.  congratulations.

blah blah blah ignoring me?
    sorry - i was just trying to figure out how i ever lived without the NetLink...

Old Titleless Gunter Log XII

FW:   gossip  n.  when you hear something you like about somebody you don't.

old friends are always best, unless you can catch a new one that's fit to make an old one of.
    — sara horne jewett

sleep is a poor substitute for caffeine.
    — todd miyasaki

all men have secrets.
    — mysterious shadow - guyver iii

a very common weakness in our culture [is that] we worry about minute problems.
    — attack of the hyper-zoanoid team five

our futures look brighter when the young are born so cold-hearted.
    — the death of the guyver
    // 08 addition:  on the off chance that any young read this, no, a false sense of entitlement is not the same thing.

NB:  not only is it rather difficult to shoot bad guys with a keyboard, but sending e-mail with a gun isn't all that much easier.
    // 08 addition:  if this doesn't mean anything to you, than you didn't have a NetLink and Virtua Cop.

when a society can no longer recognize friendship as a prime motivator, it is doomed.
    — me


oh, and lest i become remiss in my duties and fail to mention this momentous occasion:  john "i'm so cool the AF wanted me to move on base" reinhold is hosting a VG-fest at his place the 22nd.

first the negatives, so that you people who have no interest in this could get back to your ever so important jobs:  there will be two hyper dogs and a fat cat joining us; smoking will not be tolerated anywhere *near* the house; alcohol will not be provided; and the kicker: since it's my Saturn that's gonna be providing half the entertainment, i'm gonna be there as well.

and now the positives, for the three people who somehow haven't been scared away:  john's TV measures a very respectable 35"; there won't be excessive amounts of smoking or alcohol; john's place doesn't suck; and the reason you can't possibly *not* show up: since it's my Saturn that's gonna be providing half the entertainment, i'm gonna be there as well.

and that's about all there is to say, though i *do* ask you to keep in mind that most video games come with a level adjuster - official term, btw - of some kind, so you needn't actually be *good* at them, just willing to have a bunch of fun.  (you remember 'fun', right?)

// 08 addition:  for any of you snickering at the 35", not only are you most likely young, but you forget that those aren't the idiotically small Widescreen Inches that we're all being subjected to now.  (oh, look - my screen is larger *and* smaller.  fantastic.)

War 20XX

War.  Possibly the best example of a game that you play solely for the experience.  Of course, that implies that the main reason we play a game isn't *always* for the experience, but that's a topic for another time.  As anyone who remembers playing War can tell you, the actual wars are pretty much the only reason to play.  Granted, there's naturally some satisfaction in taking a card with a not-much-higher card, but that part's basically filler.  Despite that though, i've found myself hankering for a game not long ago, but knew that nostalgia could use a bit of a boost in this case.  So, to that end, i've updated it.  As a placeholder, i named it War 20XX (twenty exty-ex).

Even more so than Risk 2210AD, War 20XX is based on the parent game, but i'll go ahead and list all of the rules just for the sake of completeness (though not in a "describe how to tie a shoe" way).

0-  One player is Black (Spades/Clubs); the other is Red (Hearts/Diamonds).  Jokers are one step above aces (assuming you play ace-high) and should be divvied evenly.  (my go-to deck is missing them, which means i should choose another go-to deck, but i like its style.)

1-  Each player plays a card face up.

2-  Compare the ranks of the (top) face up cards.  If the cards are more than one rank apart, the winner gets all the recently-played cards.  Go to Step 1.

3-  If the cards are exactly one rank apart, a Small War occurs.  Each player plays a card face up**.  Go to Step 2.

4-  If the cards are of the same rank, a Big War occurs.  Each player plays two cards face down and one card face up**.  Go to step 2.

A-  All captured pairs go on top of the player's inactive pile, face down.  (i feel the hidden Big War cards should remain so.)

B-  When a player empties his active pile, his inactive pile immediately becomes his active pile.  At this time, the other player places his inactive pile underneath his active pile and begins a new inactive pile.

** If a player doesn't have enough cards to complete a Small or Large War, that player has just succeeded in failing to win the game.

Now, some people will read that and go, "well that's not all that different", and they would be absolutely correct.  Of course, that's why i named it War 20XX and not SomethingCompletelyDifferent.  Still though, don't underestimate the Small War.  I was surprised how often they occur, and they sometimes set up some nasty chain reactions.  I had a game end Double Small War > Big War > Small War > Big War > Red ran out of cards.  Had it been played with those same cards using old school rules, Red would've had six left, one of which was an Ace.  My longest combo is Small War > Big War > Triple Small War > Big War > Small War.  Not surprisingly - though not guaranteed - that game clocked in below fifteen minutes.

Time-wise, War 20XX *can* be a barn burner, but it could just as easily last near the half-hour mark.  (Even the winner isn't too thrilled about a five-minute rout, so i recommend considering those a skirmish.)  For the full War 20XX experience, you definitely need the entire deck, but playing with less cards would be good when little kids or a time crunch is in the equation.  Around the twenty-minute mark of a particular game i was comfortably ahead, but then the pendulum swung the other way and i couldn't pull it back in time.  It ended with me losing a Double Small War.

I chose to go Black vs Red because while losing a queen to an ace is bad, losing a queen to an ace of your own color is even worse.  That and it just seemed to make sense.  I added Rule B as a way to keep people from using a just-won card and to stir the leader's deck ever so slightly.  I've noticed that with won pairs, we tend to grab *our* card first.  It's minimal tactics, but mixing that up would keep your deck from alternating low/high, though the Small Wars play a role in that as well.  And that's about it.  Well, one more thing: if you get the grail Quad Big War or any super-interesting combos, let me know.  I had a Quad Small War once.  That was pretty cool.

The Yellow Snow Park Place Log

fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist.  children already know that dragons exist.  fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.
    — g.k. chesterton

you use that much sugar and butter?
    well cookies aren't good 'cause they're made out of broccoli.

i think what's always worried me about being one of the few is the way we keep on getting... fewer.
    — the longest day

well i didn't expect you to be all grabby grabberson.

if you think you're at some crossroads, you are.
    — spanglish  (btw, like the screwtape letters, i'm not recommending this.)

wow.  i didn't recognize a single artist on dick clark's rockin' new year's eve 08, though the chorus of the song by fergie did ring a bell.  as an aside, isn't it amazing how life-like the dick clark animatronic looked?  (give me a break - he didn't *need* to show up to hand the reigns over.)

sincerity is a form of strategy just like any other.
    — becket

one thing i dislike about the internet is that sometimes i have difficulty deciding if someone is failing at being amusing or is just an idiot.  (pause)  then again, maybe that's not a fault the internet...