Thursday, 31 May 2007

Q: Mark of Chaos computer v. computer play

Does anyone out there reading this infinitesimally small corner of the web know: Is Mark of Chaos capable of computer vs. computer play?

At the risk that my coworker, and player, has been cyber-stalking this website (something said post game threw a flag), I did ask him this question already, but his initial answer was, paraphrased here: "Yes, if you get the game I can play you." Folks, that's not the answer I'm looking for.

I want to know can the Mark of Chaos A.I. play itself, allowing me to watch the outcome in the context of an RTS?

The answer is not in the online marketing descriptions of Mark of Chaos, so I turn to the audience.

I would find any modern game lacking if such a feature was absent. Really. Maybe I want to play a specific scenario in the single player campaigns, but to get there I want the computer to play all of the inbetween action. Wha? you ask. People, I have been playing computer games a long time. Even the early consoles did this, a lot of football games do this to play a season out to the championship. Hell, even some of my favorite tactical games on the computer did this, Close Combat and the V for Victory series comes to mind.

If you know the definitive answer, post it in a comment, or email me. Many thanks!

Posted by caffeinated at 2:05 PM in nerdery

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Session Narrative

The party was able to get together yesterday for a long overdue session. Much fun was had, as the party concluded one objective and embarked on another, learning that Chaos has many friends in unlikely places.

Update
Added meta-gaming notes for the reader in the form of footnotes and corrected some typos.

When it absolutely, positively needs to be there sometime in the next fortnight

Our heroes1 limped south across the rolling plains of the Kölsa Hills to Dohna. A new friend2 fought the pain and accompanying delirium of a nasty jaw injury. An injury delivered by a goblin’s intended death blow, saved by fate3: the cold, filth-covered, bastard steel striking an awkward angle, landing flat, rendering the young bounty hunter unconscious for an hour. And having fulfilled, at least in spirit, the mission directed by the General of the Talabecland units: cross the breadth of the Great Forest at Lieske, gather information on the size and movement of greenskins, meet a similar party at Taal’s Knobb and return to Dohna to possibly recruit forces for attack on an eastern front at Ossino; any form of comfort was sought. If not for the help of an elven ghost strider and her apprentice, they might have been hauling bodies of friends as well. Instead they were carrying the scalps of 10 orcs and thrice that in goblins. Taking the word of the eleven ghost strider, they scribbled in the crude marks of a hunter4 the approximate size of the greenskin force south of them and released the homing pigeons provided by the Talabecland general.

Dohna would be welcome respite. Three days and nights crossing the forest left the each of them worse for wear. As the friends approached the gates of Dohna, it became clear it was nearly abandoned amidst rumors of Waaagh! by the greenskins. So close to the edge the Great Forest, many left for Gersdorf. Only 4 village guards, 2 of which were drunk, barely useful for opening the gate, a fat innkeeper and his homely daughter provided ale and edible stew, and a fat Sigmar priest offering healing, for a price of course, remained.

The priest’s initiate was one that had previously sought adventure, but returned to prayer after seeing Chaos at work in the Empire. Martin Aulenbach5 immediately recognized the eleven hunter Ravendil Shadowstar. Martin and Ravendil had previously adventured together in the Reikwald Forest.6

Martin had grown tired as an initiate in the village of Dohna and equally tired of the depression inherent of an aging priest of Sigmar relegated to service in a poor Talabecland village, having to beg for offerings against the more appreciated Taal priest in residence. Seeing Ravendil was an excuse to leave for more adventure, and with the newcomer’s injuries, some gold would be rattle the altar plate, easing Martin’s separation.

The innkeeper could only talk briefly of another party that had passed through Dohna three days past. The party carried a bird cage and headed north, out the western gate. No word had been heard since from, what the party could only assume, those headed north. They debated looking for the other scouts, but it was soon decided by the Lieske woodsmen that Gersdorf and travel by the road west would be safer than backtracking through the forest. They, the woodsmen, felt that the mission fulfilled, Gersdorf would be fini, officially.7

Gersdorf was a day hike southeast of Dohna. Easier that everyone was slightly more healthy. Harder, because it had started to rain again.8 At the gate of Gersdorf, they were met by beggers. A large tent and lean-to camp, mostly refugees of Hermsdorf not welcomed at Ossino, had set up outside the western gate of Gersdorf. Mud and rain soaked, the party had little patience for beggars and went straight to plying their way past the gate guards. A dry, and lazy, guard was not going to get his hood wet for less than 2 karls.9 Paid, he pounded a riveted, leather fist on the heavy wood of the gate. The mood of the guard’s companion on the otherside was not one to be tested, but not too surly given the karl he was just handed. The party moved quickly through the gate. The area closest to the gate had been overrun by tents housing refugees rich enough to pay the guard. No beggars provided some sense that the Gersdorf guard might be heavy handed.

The party went to work. Resupply was in order and food was needed. Maybe some news from Hermsdorf or Ossino. The woodsmen, Martin, Erich, a bonepicker from Norland, and Andric, a sellsword from Wissenland, found an inviting tavern and set their collective hinds by the hearth. Ravendil, the elf hunter, and Volkmar, the bounty hunter with a black and purple jaw (though fading at the healing hand of the Sigmar priest), sought out a hunting supplier for arrows and bolts.

In the tavern, Andric was beset upon by a former sergeant of the Konigsdorf Guard. The sergeant had recognized Andric’s cloak as one of the Konigsdorf guard, but did not recognize Andric. Andric however recalled the sergeant. Brave and fearless, Sergeant Felix now drowned himself in ale to num the pain of a near fatal head injury that left a long scar across the level of his forehead. A scar left by the point of a blade so sharp it carved a permanent furrow in scar and bone. Felix had taken to selling his sword, as had Andric in the recent past, and was in Gersdorf to muster with like minded and experienced men to march to Hermsdorf, meeting the ruinous greenskins on the muddy fields.

Andric longed for the known battle versus the happenstance of adventuring. And the pay was regular. Taking his leave of Martin, Erich and the woodsmen, Andric returned with Felix to learn more of the muster the next day and reminisce with the sergeant.10

Ravendil and Volkmar left the hunting shop to rejoin the party at the tavern. Still raining, they tried to keep to the eaves, where possible, but found themselves trying to keep out of the mud of the road more often. A holler from across the road caught their attention and a hooded man dashed, jumped and ran across to meet them. Introducing himself as Ulrich, he saw them exit the shop and thought they might be interested in work guarding a shipment of goods to Ossino. If so, they were to meet him and his patron at the Green Cloud tavern near the docks.

The party rejoined, they considered Ulrich’s offer and agreed. Working passage by cart west is better than hiking. They said their goodbyes to Andric and the woodsmen, and went to finding the Green Cloud, in the rain.

The Green Cloud was a riotous tavern, packed with rivermen waiting out the rain and the swollen River Stir. Most were drunk, some were close to fighting, but it was a lively place all around. Ulrich stood, back to the bar, watching the men come and go, waiting to see if anyone he plied for service would enter. And the party of heroes did. Ulrich waved them through the floor, tipped the barkeep and ushered the party to a door marked private. Rapping in a practiced code, he entered and held the door for the party.

In the room, lit by many musky candles, Martin, Erich, Ravendil and Volkmar were greeted by a tall, well-dressed woman standing at a window, hand gently holding the heavy drape aside, watching the rain pour and overflow the gutter just beyond. Ciarra Soliel11 needed guards for her goods being hauled to Ossino this night. It would be a two day job ending at Ossino. 15 gold crowns apiece was the payment.

The party accepted and Ulrich escorted them out of Ciarra’s room, outside into the rain and to the docks. At the docks, 12 porters worked to carry 16 heavy crates off a barge to 3 large carts teamed by four horses in leather armor. The horses were burying their mouths in oatbags overflowing with rainwater. It was hard to keep a firm hand and steady foot in the rain. A porter lost one of the crates and it splashed into the mud with muted sound of steel hitting steel.12 The crates loaded, the porters done, Ulrich paid and dismissed them. The party was assigned each to a cart with a teamster. Ravendil and Volkmar took the lead cart with a teamster named Gustav. Ulrich saw having an elf a fortunate hire; on the lead cart his improved vision would maybe provide an edge in the dark. Martin sat in the second cart with Leopold, and Erich sat with Ulrich and a halfling teamster named Walter.

They drove the carts to the Gersdorf gate. Ravendil was sure he spotted monies changing hands, rain or not, the goods on board would pass, and the guards got wet as larger gates were opened for the carts.

The teamsters and party drove through the rain and mud. The rain made the rutted river road’s dips and pits softer, but no less disturbing to attempts at rest. Dawn came as the rain stopped and the next bend in the road offered real rest, the Inn of the Strutting Cock. The carts pulled into the rear of the inn and the makeshift livery. The teamsters went to work unyoking the horses as Ulrich and the heroes entered the main room of the inn from the rear.

Everyone was greeted with a genuine welcome by Josef, the proprietor. Ravendil and Erich had previously met Josef little more than a week ago, when the rumors of greenskin war unconsidered; the greatest threat then: bandits or Stirland raiders.13 Having departed on good terms, Josef treated them to hot stew and drink. Ulrich charged his hires with setting a watch on the carts with the teamsters, they were to be ready for another night of driving early afternoon. Ulrich retired to a rented room for real rest.

Josef shared with Ravendil and Erich that Lars, a bounty hunter holding ill will towards them, was through the inn just two days prior on his way to Ossino. They both took note of this, judging how to handle their passage through Ossino when the time came.14

The day passed without incident, Josef hosting the usual farmhands and travelers, as well as passing roadwardens. The roads had been heavy with them of late as they could not safely pass through Hermsdorf to the roadwarden operational base in Obelheim. The marching Talabecland army of professionals, flagellants, conscripts, and followers blocked simple passage.

Ulrich, rested and with duty, made ready to leave. The party took their seats with each cart and the teamsters drove the horses back onto the road. The road was thick with mud.

A good pace was made and despite Ravendil’s keen vision, the heavy rope draped across the road, coated with mud, was invisible. Pulled tight with an audible snap, the lead horses collapsed into the mud. Ravendil and the teamster braced and held to the bench with the sudden stop. Volkmar pitched forward, almost kissing the hindquarter of horse, but landed with a splash in the waterlogged road. The heavy crates pitched forward and slammed into the front wall of the cart. The teamster and elf held tightly again. Behind them the calls of the other carts stopping their horses were heard.

The rear carts pulled forward, closing the gaps between them. Roping a road was a trap… where were the bandits? No one waited long for the answer. 8 men wearing kerchiefs step from the sides of the road, swords drawn. No words were spoken at first. Then the obvious call, “Bandits!,” from the halfling in the rear.

The fight lasted 2 minutes. Swords slipped from hands in the mud. The elven bow delivered swift death twice. Martin’s hammer smashed shoulder and face. Volkmar and Erich’s swords landed with a butcher’s precision, cleaving flesh from bone. Ulrich left one bandit mortally wound and beset another unarmed. In the closing moments, Ulrich’s bandit unharmed, but subdued, Ulrich groin kicked him, letting a familiarity slip as he readied his dagger to dispatch the bandit with no mercy. “Gottfried, you fool!”

Quick to question, Martin stayed Ulrich’s dagger, and joined by Erich. The bandit wasted no time choosing his saviors. Kicking away from Ulrich, and coughing from the sharp pain in his groin, the bandit Gottfried spilled the reason he and his men beset the party. The crates were filled with weapons for the greenskins! Ulrich’s patron was in league with Chaos and profiting from the greenskin raids. Helping the greenskins win at Hermsdorf would be windfall to her trading in the spoils of war. All the heros had to do was inspect the crates and he would be shown right. Ulrich vehemently denied the accusations, calling the heroes to inspect the crates. Suddenly, the halfling teamster, hiding in the cart between the crates during the fight, jumped from the rear cart and bolted east down the road. Volkmar gave pursuit. Ulrich saw this opportunity to run to the wood. If he wasn’t guilty, he was guilty now.

Ravendil loosed an arrow, only to miss. Martin and Erich gave pursuit. Martin’s hammer missed and slipped from his fingers. Erich delivered a grave blow with the swing of his sword, nearly cleaving Ulrich’s arm at the shoulder. Ulrich pitched forward into the wet ground, going white as his life drained from his arm. Martin and Ravendil caught up to Erich standing over Ulrich, ready to deliver the coup de grace. Ravendil quickly suggested a tourniquet for the wound. Ulrich and the crates needed to be delivered to Ossino at once to the roadwardens. His patron, the woman named Soliel, must be outed as corrupted by the ruinous powers of Chaos, and hung, or burned, or both!

Pale with blood loss, the heroes pushed Ulrich back to the road and the rest of the party. The teamsters, along with Volkmar, had pushed two crates to the ground. Opened by the fall, the contents spilled across the road. Orc choppas, short swords, and small shields for goblins. All crudely and cheaply fashioned by those in league with Chaos, but deadly still. These weapons were bound for the fields of Hermsdorf and would have spilled Talabeclander blood.

The halfling teamster had revealed himself just a coward, running at the mention of Chaos. The teamsters dispatched the injured horses, helped shift the crates, and re-teamed the carts. Gottfried had removed some personal effects from his compatriots before helping the teamsters load the empty cart with the bodies. Ulrich was laid atop the dead, uncaring and nearly Funconscious. His arm, covered in dried blood, otherwise white below the tourniquet. The teamsters fashioned a hitch and teamed the cart to the other now pulled by six horses.

Next stop: Ossino.

meta-footnote-1=The heroes are: Ravendil Shadowstar, elven hunter; Erich, bonepicker from Nordland (GM/NPC); 2 Leiske woodsmen (NPCs); Volkmar, bounty hunter; Andric Vogt, Wissenland mercenary meta-footnote-2=Volkmar, a new PC. During a night in the forest, Volkmar was “deposited“ with the party, having been caught by an Elven ghost strider, foolishly tracking a bounty too deep in the forest. meta-footnote-3=Fate, or fate points, is a game device to give PCs a second chance when dealt a death blow. They are limited in number by race. meta-footnote-4=No PC can read or write, but the elf has the skill of ranger symbols, an almost universally understood code, at least by anyone having hunted for food. meta-footnote-5=Martin is a new PC that is being introduced by a player to replace, i.e., “sunset,” Andric, the mercenary. Martin is a Sigmar initiate that will bring much needed skills of reading, writing, and magic to the party. meta-footnote-6=This was briefly discussed in Session, party of one, ... meta-footnote-7=I used the woodsmen as reluctant swords for the PC party. Done with their service to the Empire, as simple men, they just wanted to return home. meta-footnote-8=The environment was well played by the PCs and added depth to the session. meta-footnote-9=Karls are the gold coin of the Empire at large. meta-footnote-10=This encounter was crafted to provide a roleplaying opportunity to the player to sunset his mercenary in a natural way. meta-footnote-11=Ciarra is an NPC introduced by the Orc Evil Overlord. meta-footnote-12=This was a plot device on my part to have the PCs question to themselves what was in the crates, and given that they were traveling at night, the mystery was ratcheted a little bit. meta-footnote-13=Pretty Things, mini-adventure from the Game Master Pack. meta-footnote-14=Lars is an NPC nemesis from Pretty Things. His reputation tarnished by the PCs, he has sought to have them hung or killed since meeting them at the Inn of the Strutting Cock, only 7 game days past.
Posted by caffeinated at 11:38 PM in d10

Friday, 25 May 2007

Gameday, yes

Two long months of delay after delay, most well-founded and reasoned, the crew gets together tomorrow.

The EOs have submitted turn 3 and the campaign is getting richer. I took some time to use Dr. Rotwang’s Adventure Funnel and the party arriving in “civilization” after a bloody haul through The Great Forest might prove to be one of the better games I’ve run.

Another NPC by the Orc EO has been visualized as well! Titled “Corrupt Merchant,” I think her allegiances will prove great story fodder tomorrow. Enjoy!

meta-photo-album=corruptMerchant.jpg meta-photo-album-thumbnail=merchantThumb.gif
Posted by caffeinated at 10:45 PM in d10

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Broadsword

I’ve been reading The Lair of the Evil DM for several months now. Occasionally, there is word about Broadsword, a game of “Barbaric Fantasy” using the 1PG system from Deep7.

The Evil DM announced the release of Broadsword this week and at the same time revealed the karmic goodness baked into its publication.

Go spend $4 for a good cause and introduce yourself to a new game at the same time.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:36 PM in d10

Sunday, 20 May 2007

I got a shitty camera phone

I finally got the moblog plugin for blojsom 2.x, $blojsom$, running. And with getting it running I’ll be submitting some fixes to the plugin:

  1. Weak, or flaky, support for authenticated pop3 servers
  2. Undocumented configuration hiccups
  3. Too quiet on the debugging calls

And having the plugin running means I’ll be doing the mobile-weblog, “moblog,” thing; if for no other reason to torture you with my shitty camera phone.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:15 PM in kaffehaus

moblog

a704e6cb6be84d92d3bcf88edcbfc7af.jpg

Posted at 10:51 AM in experimental madness

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Configuration hell

Move along

Posted by caffeinated at 8:40 PM in experimental madness

blogger sux

Is it just me or is the lack of support for trackbacks and pingbacks in blogger annoying? I suppose on thinking about this, this is one of the many reasons I choose to run and administer the software that runs ACD, $blojsom$, on a Linux VPS with Java, Apache and other such open-source accessories.

blogger's opt-in support of these features is just a poor decision on the part of Google. Sure you can trackback to other blog's in blogger, but external blogs are not on by default.

Sad really.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:34 PM in kaffehaus

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Taking the game out of the closet

One of my favorite game bloggers, Dr. Rotwang! of I Waste The Buddha With My Crossbow has a great post about being “out” as a gamer, at work, at home, anywhere really.

I have to be honest, I'm not that out as a gamer.

Oh, my wife gets it. My daughter, 4, likes “Daddy’s books” and wants a PC, WFRP career: Servant.

Yet aside from an Onion day-by-day calendar tear away: Decision To Ask Out Girl Made Using 10-Sided Die, not much in the way of WFRP and my gaming makes it out at work.

My coworker is more open about this to be sure, sometimes to my embarrassment, but he is one of the stereotypes you might think of when you think of “gamer.” Why I cringe or avoid conversation is beyond me, though I find some of it inward, rooted in the “80s witch-hunts” and the classic stories of friends over the deep end: one turned meth-maker, one turn child-porn freak, one 3x divorced, one impossible to talk to without translating to “mundane-speak,” and others, most just not socially capable in dead-end jobs; happy maybe, but damn sad. These are, and mostly were, my real close friends from my heyday as an Assistant Manager of the FLGS.

Add that I am not as quick witted as Dr. Rotwang! and that may also, in some part, account for my closeted nature. But the Dr. is inspiring and prescriptive. I'm an adult with a hobby, not an obsession, working with successful geeks just like me. Many of whom have been exposed to gaming without doubt in college.

I should open the closet door and take a peek.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:31 PM in d10

Monday, 14 May 2007

Evil Overlord: Orc

My WFRP campaign is underway again. I have reactivated my Evil Overlords (much thanks to them for patience and a continued interest amid my inactivity).

The Orc EO provided same great art at the very beginning of the campaign of an NPC: Hargakk, Orc Shaman. Hargakk is working to coalesce the power of the Waaagh!

You can see more of this Evil Overlord's work at devianArt.

meta-photo-album-thumbnail=hargakkThumb.gif meta-photo-album=hargakk.gif
Posted by caffeinated at 7:15 AM in d10

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Session, party of one, your table is ready

I was inspired by Dr. Rotwang! at I Waste The Buddha With My Crossbow to write about a recent WFRP session I hosted with my coworker. It was a party of one.

Mr. D (to protect his anonymity) arrived with his eleven hunter and a recently drafted, yet well detailed, background for said elf. Ravendil Shadowstar has already seen a lot of the Empire and has been most recently providing scouting services to the armies of Talabecland against a rising Waaagh! on the borders of Stirland.

Because the rest of the party was not available for play, we opted to retcon the current campaign with events that led to Ravendil joining the larger human society of the Empire. We rolled back all advancements and trappings to “just rolled goodness.”

I largely began with a narrative that had Ravendil tracking an elk out of the Reikwald, where he was born, into the foothills of the Hagercrybs. Spotting a human trading caravan on the road to Bögenhafen, Ravendil joined the stragglers.

Here it was an opportunity to introduce a new PC that had been rolled by proxy for a player that has committed to playing in our next full session. Martin the Sigmar initiate. This PC is intended to be a replacement character for a PC being sunsetted in the current campaign. This introduction would provide background to merging the new character into the campaign.

I played Martin as a forceful believer in Sigmar with a respect for elves. When the Bögenhafen guard demanded an “Ear Tax” from Ravendil, Martin stepped up to defend the elf and ease his passage into the city.

Some atmosphere of Bögenhafen was played while Martin joined other initiates in the grand Sigmar Temple for the day. Ravendil was joined by Martin in the evening for ale. Here they were tapped by some adventurers seeking a priest and a bow for a trip north to a rumored cache of gold in an abandon elf settlement on the River Reik east of Holthausen.

Ravendil, and Martin, joined the NPC party. I opted to quickly take the party via road and river through Osburg, Ussingen, and Eilhart. Each stop progressively more hostile to elf travelers. But it was Holthausen where Ravendil had to start fending off the hostility. A hostility that I hinted was possibly originating from the abandoned elf settlement and dark elf influences.

The Holthausen customs agents refused Ravendil’s entry to the ports, suggesting that the elf take to the shore by way of one of the smaller boats in tow. Ravendil obliged, but not before a customs agent could no longer control his sword arm, attacking the elf in a swashbuckling jump to the boat on the waterline. The agent avoided injury only to be unbalanced by Ravendil and tossed to the river.

After a night on the boat, its captain was forced to leave the port walls of the city, north, where he was told by the Holthausen guard to leave the elf on shore before returning south. Ravendil, Martin and the party were rowed to shore, where they made camp for the night.

That night a raiding party of vigilantes from Holthausen attacked. A fight ensued, leaving the raiders dead or dying, and the NPC party leader with a critical injury and another with zero wounds to spare. Ravendil had no patience for the screams of one raider, his knee pierced by an elven arrow, and dispatched him with naught a word.

We closed the session with Martin applying what healing skill he had to the injured party (no spells as yet). A search of the dead raiders revealed only a piece of paper, read by Martin, with a crude drawing of a elven ear and the words, "bring back the elf."

As I winged the entire session, I have yet to tie all of it together or tie it to the abandoned elf settlement, if such a settlement even is in play. Mr. D enjoyed it all and is looking forward to the next session to wrap it all up. Maybe it’s time to turn to The Adventure Funnel by Dr. Rotwang!

Posted by caffeinated at 9:05 AM in d10

Saturday, 12 May 2007

config.nice

As I sit in the shade of my garage, watching the kids play in the plastic pool, I compile Apache 2.2.4 for some local development.

Apache 2.2.4 is the latest version of the dominant httpd server.

For your own inner geek, my config.nice, sporting SSL and AJP (for built-in Tomcat backend support):

#! /bin/sh
#
# Created by configure

"./configure" \
"--prefix=/usr/local/httpd-2.2.4" \
"--with-ssl=/usr/include/openssl" \
"--with-mpm=worker" \
"--enable-mods-shared=all" \
"--enable-proxy=shared" \
"--enable-proxy-http=shared" \
"--enable-proxy-ajp=shared" \
"--enable-proxy-balancer=shared" \
"--enable-ssl=shared" \
"$@"

Oh, the worker MPM is intentional, I have no need to think about PHP support, or said another way, no need for the outdated prefork MPM.

Update

It works!

joe@mars [/Library/StartupItems] % curl -I localhost
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 23:25:20 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.4 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.4 OpenSSL/0.9.7l DAV/2
Last-Modified: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 20:16:24 GMT
ETag: "471298-2c-4c23b600"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 44
Content-Type: text/html
Posted by caffeinated at 2:53 PM in nerdery

BSG is dead! Long live BSG!

This morning I read that EJO and KS may have prematurely announced the end of the Battlestar Galactica. Oops. I feel like an ass. Or maybe I don’t.

Let’s face it BSG is a great show. Yeah, you might not like the drama or character development of last season, but it helps provide motivation for story elements.

I stand by my words from yesterday. BSG should follow the natural termination of the story: earth found, cylon threat no more. How the latter develops, I don’t care, but it should be plausible (hints of biological threats, network viral threats and other ways have been provided across the seasons and can be built upon to end the series).

What no fan of BSG wants is Battlestar Galactica 1980. And it can happen: I recall Enterprise using the <sarcasm>novel and unique mix</sarcasm> of time travel, Nazi’s, and technology to fill holes and tie up loose ends. What happened to Enterprise? Oh, it got canceled. Not to my dismay—I hated the series; watched maybe five complete episodes and turned it off when the alien Nazi’s entered stage right—but some people were disappointed.

Save BSG by praying for an end. Please don’t pray for more.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:47 AM in 0xDECAF

Friday, 11 May 2007

BSG should end

/. is reporting via some other outlet, as /. does, that Battlestar Galactica will end as a series with the fourth season in 2008.

Excellent.

I am a massive fan of BSG. So why do I want to see it end? Because the story has a natural termination point. Why drag on a story arc for the sake of more episodes? Why do some fans have to be so militant about continuing the saga?

Before you start waxing on about loose ends and more stories post-Earth-search, consider what always happens to series that artificially extend their story arc: the episodes become contrived, stories insulting to the intelligence of the fans, and worse, the shark will be jumped.

Do me a huge favor BSG fans: do not start a petition for the continuation of the series, do not grovel at the door of USA Networks, do not insult the producers or actors. Instead enjoy BSG for what it has been for the last four years: the best re-imagining of a classic television series since ST:TNG. Otherwise, mark these words, we will be forced to watch Apollo, Starbuck, and Baltar walking the streets of Speer’s Berlin trying to sufficiently advance Earth technology to fight a present day Cylon threat while Boxey (only a mention in the mini-series to date) joins the Boy Scouts, but finds it hard to be accepted because he’s an adolescent homosexual with super-powers on a planet with a yellow sun.

Don’t believe it will happen? Two words and a date: Battlestar Galactica 1980. Remember that piece of shit? Yeah, I think you do.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:13 PM in 0xDECAF

Monday, 7 May 2007

If it ain't broke...

…do you try to fix it?

My VPS is now offering Fedora Core 6 as an OS install. ACD has been humming along for almost a year on FC2. Migrating to FC6 could be a chore.

Oh, the pain. The pain.

Maybe.

Posted by caffeinated at 3:18 PM in nerdery

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Green Fairies?

So me thinks there might be something to the Green Fairy.

A neighbor got me some absinthe some time ago. Not the good stuff (meaning absinthe having thujone, a banned substance in the US), but some knock off that is legal in the US—yeah, I’m dissing my neighbor a little; I think his green card status was something of a holdback to getting me the good stuff from a friend in France, so no blame, but still some dissing is due—and I will just report three things to the reader:

  1. Knock-offs taste like strong licorice, with an almost impossible to drink potency on the palate
  2. It indeed provokes the creative, but being a knock-off, I think it’s just the alcohol thinking for me
  3. Consume without the wife, or with the tacit approval of same

About no. 1: I really don’t know what the good stuff tastes like so I cannot speak to a knowledge founded in compares and contrasts. However, it is reported that Absinthe is expected to have an anise-like flavor.

All said, this glass of absinthe put me in a mood for blogging. Something a beer or a glass of wine will not do for me. This entire post is probably all a romantic fascination with absinthe, having no basis in empirical study.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:27 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Drama

<bill-paxton>The Server is Down, man! The SERVER-is-DOWN!</bill-paxton>

With the right dramatic inflections, maybe that’s a little, teeny-bit funny. I got home from some errands today, day two of temporary bachelorhood BTW, with three movies.

  1. The Fog
  2. GitS:Innocence
  3. Blade: Trinity

So I watch GitS:Innocence first. Good anime to be sure, but not the same with all of the CG. The story is more complex than the original, and the characters as philosophical as ever.

The Fog was next. Not that piece of shit remake, I’m talking about the original John Carpenter’s The Fog. Funny thing about that movie, it is one of those movies that makes an impression on you as a teen (yeah, I was a teen when it was was in the theater). Creepy even now. In a former career I worked with a producer of The Fog and Escape From New York. It’s one of those circle of life encounters that sticks with you.

Having watched it twice today, once raw and a second time with commentary, I went to blog…instead laid my eyes on a Status Code 500.

The reasons turn out to be part server migration, part lurking mis-configuration. The two together made for two extremely boring hours of debugging. The migration part meant a reboot of the UML host. Yet, how the mis-configuration never blew up in almost a year of uptime, I’m not sure. But it all allowed me an op to update some server software at the same time, eliminating a potential DoS hole in my Apache-Tomcat connector.

Now, I’m enjoying Blade: Trinity. Yes, actually enjoying it. The movie as a whole is not as good as the first, but better than the second. Jessica Biel with a ultraviolet arc laser and compound bow is smokin’ hot. “Van Wilder” as Hannibal King is a nice touch, funny as hell. Oh, the vampire flame-outs are much better in this one. And I still have a thing for Parker Posey, though her hair choices in this film really didn’t do anything for me.

Posted by caffeinated at 1:04 AM in kaffehaus