Saturday, March 31, 2007

Non-me hosted party thing?

Here's a thought for you lot. As David's been complaining that he never gets to host a party, and I have my next two weekends (at least) booked straight up, why doesn't David host a party - say, at the end of Spring Break, or some time in the middle? He has a Gamecube. It'd be cool. Talk, dudes! Think about the thing.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mac Games: Multiplayer

Last time on Digimon: Digital Monsters

This is the introductory sentence! This is the sentence where I wonder how many sentences it takes to make a paragraph! This is the sentence where I conclude that 5 is a nice, round number, at least at the bottom! This is the sentence where I point out the awful pun in the preceding sentence! This is the introductory paragraph!

All games are Mac-only freeware, unless additional OSes are otherwise specified. Some of these require two computers and something to connect them, while some can be played by caring a keyboard. This is the sentence where I point out the awful pun in the preceding sentence!

Allenroids (Win/Lin)
Armagetron Advanced (Win/Lin)
Crystal Catastrophe
Glider Pro (Win)
Pac the Man X
Snake Quest
snake3d (Lin?)

In addition to these guys, I have a number of amendments to the previous post! They're not all technically games, but whatever!

Bricksmith (~Win/~Lin)
Glypha III
MiiTransferX (~Win/~Lin)
Water Tower
LEGO Digital Designer (Win)
memset 0x801

Water Tower 3D
Shoot Things


I'm pretty sure that's probably it for now!

Geneology of the Holy Wars

(Ethan, if you're reading this, look away. (Dixieland!) This is another of my recent pseudo-fanfictions, based around videogames. Today's special: Seisen no Keifu.)

The Kingdom of Grandbell, the centre of the continent of Jugdral, is where our story begins: in the year 757. In its ancient past, Jugdral had been host to a great holy war against the forces of the Dark Lord Loputousu and his continent-spanning empire. All of the nations of Jugdral can claim at least one of the Twelve Crusaders who toppled Loputousu as a founder, and their God-blessed weapons remain potent artefacts for those of their original wielder's direct bloodline.

In 757, in response to aggression from the kingdom of Isaac (in the north-east of Jugdral), Grandbell declared war, fighting across the desert in Grandbell's north-eastern portion with the superior strength of Grandbell's army. In the meanwhile, however, the southwest of Grandbell - ruled by Chalphy Castle - was vulnerable to attack from the barbarians of Verdane, the forest kingdom in the far southwest of Jugdral.

The lord of Chalphy Castle was away when the attack came; his son, Sir Sigurd, as well as his small retinue, were the only forces available to repel the attack. They reacted swiftly, retaking a castle that Verdane troops had already seized; however, they were too slow to rescue the castle's ruling lady. Pursuing her, they took a castle on the Verdane border, and continued south into the thickly forested lands of Verdane proper, crushing multiple armies and - even after recapturing the kidnapped woman - marching onwards, in the end ruling all of Verdane. Verdane's king, it unfolded, had been persuaded to launch his foolish invasion of Grandbell by a advisor from the 'Lopt Sect', a wielder of dark and foul magic. At the end, as Sigurd's troops approached Verdane's capitol, this advisor murdered the king and attempted to stop Sigurd on his own.

Verdane, now under Grandbellian occupation, did not end Sigurd's conquests. Roughly a year later, Lord Eltshan, an allied lord in the Domain of Agustria (a loosely-unified set of lordships), was attacked by a jealous rival. Eltshan had protected Sigurd from being flanked in his invasion of Verdane - in gratitude for this, Sigurd rushed to defend him, crushing the aggressor with his cavalry, and then moving on to destroy the rest of his army and take the seat of his power. Then, hearing (accurate) rumors of widespread looting and pillaging to the north, Sigurd moved to restore order, in the process toppling yet another lord (who had sent out bandits for his own profit).

Agustria's king was somewhat upset at this turn of affairs; within a short span, a third of his kingdom had come under Grandbellian control. He ordered a large-scale attack on Sigurd's forces. Sigurd crushed his army and took his capitol, now controlling two-thirds of Agustria. For a year more, he held at the capitol, waiting for an order from Grandbell's king to withdraw. The Grandbellian government, however, delayed beyond the Agustrian king's patience - he (rightly) suspected that Grandbell would annex the southern portion of Agustria in all but name. Eltshan was ordered by his king to attack Sigurd's forces, wielding his legendary sword, the Demon Blade Mistholtin. His fall was mourned by friend and foe alike; and Sigurd pressed on, deposing the Agustrian king and seizing a bandit-held isle to the north. (The Agustrian king, too, had been advised by the 'Lopt Sect' in his attacks.)

Sigurd, fresh from his string of triumphs, was accused of treachery, conspiracy, and regicide by the Grandbellian government after their king's death - as Sigurd's father hovered suspiciously nearby. Sigurd's father was imprisoned; Sigurd fled to the northern nation of Silesia. There he was given a warm welcome by the Silesian queen; when two simultaneous rebellions broke out (again, at Loptian instigation), it was only natural for him to crush them utterly, crushing the best of Silesia's troops, though leaving the queen in place. He then moved to seek revenge against Grandbell - deducing that a man known as Lord Alvis had murdered the king and framed his father and he for it, Sigurd marched south into Grandbell itself.

This was the hardest portion of Sigurd's long campaign; five years after he set out into Verdane, he returned to Grandbell, fighting wyvern riders, fire magi, and elite cavalry. As he began the destruction of the last loyalist lord, however, Lord Alvis's personal magi turned on the loyalist troops, assisting in their destruction. Sigurd was informed that he had been exonerated of all crimes, and was to be praised and rewarded by Lord Alvis himself, who had become the power behind the throne.

It was a trap. Lord Alvis revealed Sigurd's wife - kidnapped in the fall of Agustria - brainwashed and wedded to Alvis. As Sigurd recoiled in shock, Alvis's troops slaughtered Sigurd's victorious army. After Sigurd had destroyed the military of every nation capable of resisting, there was no one to stop Alvis as he annexed every other nation of Jugdral and proclaimed himself Emperor Alvis I. At his side sat the Dark Bishop Manfloy, head of the Lopt Sect. The only survivors of Sigurd's army - largely children - fled to the wilds of Silesia to hide for a generation.

Now isn't that a happy ending?

Desktop Tower Defense thoughts

There are a number of strategies that I have seen effectively used when playing Desktop TD. Here I will note them, as well as some general tips.

1) The maze itself. It is necessary that some manner of maze of towers be constructed, so as to slow the creeps and allow a longer time for them to be fired on before they exit.
a. The Long Path. Starting from each entrance, wall of all but one space of each, and construct a narrow passage to the top-left. From there, construct rows (or columns) of towers - generally pellet towers, for their low cost - through which creeps will lengthily travel. Alternately, one could start at each of the exits - the effects are symetrical.

b. The Diagonal. This is similar to the Long Path, except that long 'diagonals' of towers are created, instead of straight columns or rows. Thus, creeps are forced to zig-zag through it. Its advantage is the relatively low cost of construction; the disadvantages are a theoretically lower maximum path length (if the entire area was filled with maze-towers) and a vulnerability to Spawner creeps, which, due to bugginess, will sometimes leak through the diagonals.
c. The Fortress. Completely different from either of the previous two suggestions, this eschews long paths of pellet towers supported by small numbers of damage-dealing towers for small clumps of powerful towers around entrances and exits. It gambles everything on short-range towers dealing large volumes of damage in a small amount of time. Steven claims that this can be successful; I have attempted it (with both Squirt and Dart towers) and encountered very poor results. Perhaps Steven can clarify.

2. There are some things that are important, if to a varying degree, regardless of the sort of maze used.

a. Swarm towers are best placed in the exact centre of the map. Because air units disregard obstacles, they will always fly over the centre; thus, a swarm tower placed there will hit all of them, whereas one placed elsewhere will (at best) hit only one group of them.

b. Frost towers are very good. Initial construction is expensive, but upgrades are cheap, and the advantages of their slow effects are not to be underestimated.

c. Similarly, bash towers seem to be quite powerful. The stun effect is uncommon; thus, while it is useful, it seems that unless they are concentrated in a small area, it is unlikely to slow foes signficantly. Rather, it is their area damage that is impressive; if placed on a point (not pictured), they can wreak havoc on creeps.

d. All towers should be part of the maze.

3. Wave guidelines. It was my practice, in 1.0 (1.1?), to spend money on swarm towers only in the 'immune' and 'fast' waves (which immediately precede flying waves), and on all other reserve money for ground towers. With the advent of Spawner waves, this strategy may no longer be applicable.

Never forget: have fun!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 31: On the Founding of Isselande and Desmond's Rise to Fame

Yea, and noue that I hath elabourated muche on the subjeckt of the Mormonic Tranquilitie Gardenes, it shall be fytting that I shall now give extenssive diskourse on the topick of the founding of the Greate Nation and Countie of Isselande, ande its Prinsipalities.

Desmonde wausse bourne in Isselande. This we knoue to be true. And yette, when he wausse bourne, the soon to be glourious nation of Isselande wausse butte a smalle, weake state dominatted and subjugatted by the mighty collosus of the Ratte-Empyre, whiche rulled the regoiun with an iroun fiste. The regioun of Isselande was a cragged, ragged little stanty-village, and the outskyrts whou livve upon it. Yea, this peoples werre indeed not verie joyous, nor werre they jocund, but rathere, they were indeed greately oppressed by the mightie claus of the Ratte-Empyre and its domimitaiong policies.

And fromme this smalle place, there wausse a man the M. Kessler, an intellectualle type, which delighted in the studies of the variuose and wounderfulle bookes and the sciences, and yea, he wausse indeed a wise and just man. And it came to pass that one daye, while hee wausse strolling in the gardens, which were indeed drye, and pale, and sallowe, hee didde come to the realisation that Isselande was not destined to an eternitie of subjugation from the Ratte-Empyre, that it deserved to stand strong, and proude, as a greate natione, and one that would be just and wise, and peacefulle, and wounderefulle.

And yea, hee didde spread hisse ideas to manie peoples, and yea, he didde carrie muche charisma, and style, and easie mannere, and an eloquence in speaking of oratorie skilles, yea, hee wausse indeed unrivaled in Isselande, and the populace did listen to hisse speeches, and they didde indeede rallie behinde himme, and yea, the Ratte-Empyre didde deteckt this behavouiour, and abberante, and yea, they didde censure himme, and they didde censor himme, and yea they didde incarcerate himme for manie tymmes. Howeverre, though in the prysonne cells, the goode man didde deliverre hisse messages to the populace, for the guardes in the towere werre not verie intelligent, and verily caried his letteres to be reade to the publick. And yea, the powere of his revolutionaire ideas didde spreade, and it wausse goode.

And it came to pass that the fires that hadde been burninge inside the heartse of the newly confident and brave Isselandians didde breake free, and yea, there were massive revovtes, and majour armed insurgencies, and yea, it wausse indeed bloodie, and a large degree of causualties, and yea, there wausse valiant fightying amongst the Isselande militia, howevere, the immense and far superiour Army of the Ratte-Kinge was indeed powerefulle, and they didde easilie crusheth the small armies.

And it came to pass that Desmond, now a young man, and having lived in the waurs for a goode pourtion of hisse life, and witnessying the bloodshedde, and the manie atrocities that werre inflickted on the peoples, wausse indeed verie troubled in the proprere course of aktion. A man of few wordes, and goode at hearte, and a firme adherente to the goode church of the Timmeracke, and a devoted man to his comrades, and brayve beyond his pride. Desmond wausseindeed a good fightere in the militia, and hee did shoue greate potential to be the great fightere. And yea, he was a good soldier, and his famile had been Swedish once.

And it came to pass that one fine daye, as Desmond wausse indeed praying for successes in battles, at the most holie altere of the Timmeracke, the goode Matthias, whou wausse the Archbishoppe Turpin, whou wausse indeed a devout man, and goode, and kindly, as a grandfathere is tou hisse younglinges, didde come unto Desmonde, and hitherto he didde spaketh unto himme thus:

"Goode Sirre! You are indeed a wourthie gentelmen, and yea, for youe there laye in waithing for you the greatest and moste powerefulle sweord and that will helpe you defeate the evile Ratte-Emypre once and forre alle.

"Heavens! I must seek to beckon you to reckon to ask you where I mithe find the sweord."

"Sirre! I must tell youe that you mush be good of heart and the best warroure to seek the sweord for there is a quest, and then you must reckon with Fate."

"Then I accepte. I believe that I am capable of such a quest."

And thus Desmond and Matthias did embark on theuir queste to find the goode sweord. Incidentally, this hath been the firste introducktion to the sacred poweres and magcikas of the Magick Dragounne Kyngge, which Matthias hath introdussed to Desmonde on their Journie. With manie satchels of elf droppyngs that hee had koleccted in the enchanted forest, the goode Matthias did show Desmonde howe to summone the Magicke Draygouene Kyenge, and it wausse goode.

And it came to pass that the travelerres didde at laste come upon the most holie lake, where the Durendal continueth to subsisteth, and guardet by the Most Holie Order of the Guard of the Most Holie Sweord the Mose Holie Lake.

A booming, majestick, serene voice didde cometh from the sparkling lake, the font of immense powere, and yea, it wausse the voice of the Fischerdude, the commander of the Guard of the Holie Sweord Durendal. And he didde peer into the soule of Desmonde, to ascertaine whethere it wausse pure and cleane enough to wielde the holie sweord.

And it came that the Fischerdude didde ascend fromme the magickal lake, and yea, hee didde spaekth unto Desmond in this mannere:

"Younge one! You have now trulie proved your wourth, and yea, now, with no regret, I did hereby bestou unto you the most holie and magickal sweord: Durendal!"

And yea, it wausse an ancient weapone, yet still as bright and firm and stronege as the daye it wausse bourne, and gilded, and encrusted with exotick gemms, and it didde possess winges, and featheres, and it wausse the lightest sweord, and yette the most powerfulle, and with the sharpest blade, and thate could splitte a papere throught the side, and make cuts withe perfeckt accuracie. A sweord that didde glowe with the most holie powere, and that didde lighte uppe in the heate of battle, as a shininge beackon to the troops, and that didde imbue Desmonde with godly poweres, and the poweres unmatched, to that hisse powere level didde rise in a most alarming fashoiun, and it wausse indeed much, far, over nine-thousand.

With his newfound glorie and strength, and his shining armour, blessed also by the Fischerdude, wausse indeed moure ready for battle than ever hee or anyoune else wausse evere befoure orre aftere. He fastened his cummerbund tight, and ran, sprinting, charging directly into the heate of battle.

He slasheth and swoung hisse mighty blade, and hee didde charge uppe hisse coumbo attacke, for this sweord wausse indeed imbued withe thate magickal powere, and hee didd gain a further inckrease in attacke, and yea, it didde turn the tide of the battle in the favour of the newly revialised and moralised and invigourated Isselande militia, and seeing Desmond lead their waye to vicktorie only streenghtened theur resolve, and the battles were woune easilie, and the vicktories piled up, and thus the cycle was finally peneterated, and yea, full victory was nevere taste sou sweet and pure and refreshing, especially with a light dusting of powreded sugarre, and fruit paste (for it wausse readily eaten in thosse dayes), to accentuate the flavour.

And, thus it came to pass that the Ratte-Armie, which now hadde the tabels truned upon themme, and badlie running oute of vital and necessarie supplies, and withe troope morale at an alle tyme lowe, didde finally give in to the demandes of the Isselande, and a peace treatie wausse drafted, and yea, it wausse longe, and extensive, and yea, it didde provide for full Isselandick independence, and yea, it wasusse goode.

And as the papperes werre signed, it wausse decleared that the goode and wise and just M. Kessler would be crouned kinge of the newly independent state, and indeed, there wausse a greate coronation seremonie, and he wausse indeed prounounced King Kessler I of Isselande. And it came to pass, that over time, hee did never become corrupt, or unjust, but always remained true to his goodeness and justice, and he wausse well-loved by the peoples.

And as Desmond returned home to hisse newly liberated countrie of Isselande, he wausse indeed given a great and massive reception, and he wausse indeed selebreated acrosse the lande, and there not existed a soule whou didde not love himme (In a purely platonic sense, of course). And it wausse propossed by manie, manie peoples that there be helde a greate and wounderfulle seremonie in this honour.

For at this seremonie, there wausse indeed muche clamour, and exsitement, and it wausse to be sou that Desmond, for hisse braverie and the Ratte-Battle wausse to be pronounceth the Great Herou of Isselande, and the Highest honours of the Lande be conferred unto himme. And it came to pass that Desmond did ascent the steppes, and hee approacheth King Kessler, head boued, and with as much respeckt and dignitie that one could mustere, and it wausse goode.

Ande King Kessler did demande an oauth of loialtie fromme Desmond, and yea, he replied thusse.

Ande Desmond did spaekth unto himme: "Sirre, it is my dutie to serve youe, my kinge, and to fighte the fources of evile, and tyrannie, and badde thinges, and the ratte-armie, and yea, I shall continue to be loyale and honourable, and goode.

Ande withe this, the King Kessler didde pronounce himme as the Great Herou of Isselande, and yea, there wausse much rejoysing, and singinge, and merriemaking, amoung the populase, and they didde have a great festivalle, and it wausse there that manie licquors were comsumed with great gustoe, and yea, there were strange wommen, and the fighteres did know them, and they didde boure childrens, and it wausse goode.

Today's Events

Calculus BC is very hard.
There's disgusting leperous sore-pus in garlic bread? Or something. I don't trust cafeteria food.
Mssr. Rosado has imaginary friends. (No surprise, really.)
David is not a commie, but claims he is. The reverse is true for me.
The "Japanese" need to stay at lunch for 'International Soccer". As I am not a loser, the same cannot be said for me. Nyah!

I think that's all. Remind me if I missed something. Or just edit the post yourself. (As long as it's not Davidstyle.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is a post

Like all posts, it comes from SPACE.

Some Background on the Shapers

(This is a small clarification on yesterday's post. By the way, that's totally a spoiler for the game Geneforge 2.)

The Shapers are a powerful and secretive order. Though they have ruled a continent for several generations, at the least, they are and have always been few in number, and conceal their secrets fanatically. Thus, it is difficult to describe them accurately. With that said, I will begin.

Creation is the basis of the Shapers' powers. At some point in the now-distant past, the Shapers discovered the secret of life; how to create new creatures and modify existing ones, bending these creations to their will. Creating fyoras (fire-breathing lizards), roamers (acid-spitting canids), clawbugs (venomous scorpions the size of a horse), and stranger things, they came to rule over the entirety of the continent of Terrestria, as well as surrounding isles.

The fundamental constant of the Shapers' rule is order. Though their members experiment to develop new creations and refine existing ones, they are severely restricted in their actions, forbidden from modifying themselves or creating certain creatures that the Shaper council has deemed too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Any creation - or Shaper - that is considered to have gone 'rogue' is hunted down and exterminated mercilessly. The general populace is barred from any knowledge of the Shaper arts, again on penalty of death, and are frequently oppressed. The Shapers are the ruling caste, and all other citizens of their empire must kowtow to even the least of them.

Against the cruelties and strictness of the Shapers, however, must be weighed the good effects of their policies. Shaping is a tremendous power - in the wrong hands, it could do almost unbounded damage. Under Shaper rule, rogue creations are contained and killed, only very rarely harming innocents. The people have peace and, frequently, the prosperity the peace brings. Only in the presence of rebellion does the hand of the Shapers truly weigh heavily on the people.

There is an alternative to Shaper rule - but it's totally SPOILERS YO. So, maybe another post.

As with the other post, credit ought be given to these guys.

Antihero for Hire

Antihero for Hire.

Superhero webcomic set in the year 2144. Updates M-W-F (unless it's on one of its hiatuses) with a large, full-colour page. Started June 1st, 2003. Creator: Mark Shallow.

This is M. Shallow's second webcomic; the first being Adventurers!, a popular RPG-mocking webcomic that ended 8/10/06. AfH (as it's known) is quite humorous, with the protagonist frequently mocking his errors or his (nigh-invariably incompetent) opponents. It's good!

The main character's superpower, for the record, is a very large handgun.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A History of the Valley

(This is totally fanfiction. It is unrelated to anything else I've written here.)

It came to pass that in the year 545 SC, the Shapers sent an expedition to the Dry Valley, at the border of their empire. The expedition was led by two Shapers, Zakary and Barzhal, neither of them unskilled in creation or control. With them traveled a fair number of human and servile retainers, as well as creations to guard them. At first, they had grand hopes; the power of the Shapers would transform the valley, turn it from dry, parched wasteland into a lush paradise. But at the first signs of success, Barzhal made his move for power. He staged his own death in an experiment and fled to the far side of the waste.
Barzhal took with him, on the expedition and then in his flight, several serviles - small, dim-witted humanoids created by the Shapers for menial labor beneath Shapers' dignity. What was unique about these serviles, however, was that they were created in Sucia Island - a far-off Shaper outpost, where serviles had rebelled against oppressive Shaper rule and sought freedom. Their revolt was crushed, but these serviles, who called themselves the Awakened, were smuggled off the island by a sympathetic Barzhal.

Barzhal promised the Awakened freedom; here in the valley, he told them, they could have the life that they sought, if they supported him in his quest for power. For a time, they remained allies, as Barzhal expanded his power, founding a town (named in his honor) and turning the valley green - leaving a wide strip of wasteland around Drypeak, so that they would not realize the deception.

But Barzhal modified himself - an act forbidden by the Shapers - with magical essence-filled canisters of his own design. He did not realize was that the canisters, as well as granting power, twisted their users, turning them cold, heartless, power-hungry to the point of madness. Barzhal turned on his former allies - enslaving the unlucky and leaving the rest of the Awakened to flee to other parts of the valley. In the shock of the betrayal, the Awakened split - one faction still professed desire for a peaceful, secret existence. But the others, who named themselves the Takers, were embittered by the betrayal, and declared all-out war - against the Barzhites, the Shapers, and even their own reluctant brethren. They created drayks, powerful creations long forbidden by the Shapers for their power and rebellious nature. In turn, the drayks created others of their kind, and even drakons - creations more powerful and rebellious yet - and more and more, on and on, eyebeasts and rotgroths and creatures powerful yet abominable. The successes they saved - the failures they imprisoned in Zhass-Uss, to fight among themselves and grow insanely powerful - and insane - behind locked doors.

Thus the stage was set. The failures from a hunded experiments - that Shaper law would have forbidden - filled most of the valley, rendering it dangerous to life and limb. The Barzhites and Takers gathered their strength, while the Awakened attempted to do the same, limited by their morality and, truthfully, their sanity. The loyal Shapers, under Zakary's rule in Drypeak, grew ever more dispirited and worn-down by their apparent failure. Anyone who ventured over the border and discovered the secret was killed or abducted. And from the Shaper homeland came an Agent to investigate abnormalities in Drypeak, with an apprentice Shaper in tow.

On an unrelated note, these guys rock.

The Hobo Chronicles: Part VII

I was late one day, so I had to go past the hobos again. Two of them were sitting next to each other holding hands. One had a beer belly. I couldn't resist.

"So when's it due?" I asked.

The beer-bellied hobo looked up and said, "Any time now." He then proceeded to wet his pants.

The other hobo exclaimed, "Your water broke!" and rushed his friend off deeper into the ally.

I was late again the next day, and I found the two hobos sitting there, one holding a baby.

"Don't you think he's the cutest thing?" he asked. I walked away.

Later that day, I heard a report about a kidnapping. The lady who lost her baby claimed two hobos ran up to her yelling "Give us back our baby!" and forced it from her.

Today, I contemplate suicide. There's something wrong with this world.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Hobo Chronicles: Part VI

I have a gun. I saw a hobo with ten pounds of gold. He held up some gold. I took it. My hand started melting. "AAAGGHH!" I pulled out the gun and fired at the hobo. He went Neo on me, and then shoved me in the gold pile. I melted away and became part of the gold pile. It's weird being gold. Somebody picked me up. I bit them. They melted and joined me. Somebody bit me. I melted in their mouth. They spat me out. I ran (downhill, of course) until I got to a hobo. I stopped. He tried to drink me. Then he peed me out. I was so grossed out, I vommitted myself. Then, a janitor cleaned me up and flushed me down a toilet. I was floating around with a bunch of crap and pee. Then, I fell over laughing and my friend pulled a pipe out of my mouth and said "That's en-" Then he turned into a hobo and ate me. Inside his stomach was a world of colors. I was swimming, and running,

I woke up in a vomit covered shirt and crap and urine filled pants. I looked up. Someone was above me... but... I... couldn't... make... out... who... Wait... it... was... Johnny... my... hobo friend. I stumbled out to a street corner, and picked up a peculiar box.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Hobo Chronicles: Part V

I saw a hobo, with ten pounds of gold.

I ran far away.

The end.

The Hobo Chronicles: Part V

I saw Matthew on the sidewalk. He was holding some papers with "The Hobo Chronicles" written on them. I grabbed them from his hand and set them on fire. He never wrote them again.

The End

The Hobo Chronicles: Part IV

I saw a hobo on the sidewalk. He had a pink bunny rabbit. I kicked the hobo in the groin. He hurled up the bunny, and the bunny landed on my face and scratched my eyes out.

The end.

More Stupid Jokes

Why was the math book sad?

What do you get when you cross a turtle and a porcupine?

What's the best way to get straight A's?

What vegetable did the pirate not want on his ship?

Where do you find a snowman's website?

How can you prevent diseases caused by biting insects?

Cool Thing

Today, my family picked up some Japanese exchange students. (They're our second set). They'll be living at our house for the next week.

That is totally cool.

So, I guess... if you want something from Japan? Like, David, if you want some stuff from Japanese vending machines? You could ask me, and I might ask them, and they might mail to me?

Or something else.

Anyway, it's cool.

Stupid Joke

How can you make 'varnish' disappear?

Answer in comments.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Hobo Chronicles: Part III

An old hobo was sitting on the sidewalk with a string. "Do you-" he started.

"BITE ME!" I yelled, and kept walking. The hobo ran, caught up, and bit me in the face.

The end.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 29: The Mormonic Tranquility Gardens

Yea, I hath nou elabourated muche on the subjeckts of The Origines of the Ratte-Kinge, and also of the Glouriouls Adventures of Desmond, the Noble herou of Isselande. But now I shall begin a comprehensivve chronickle and historie of the regoins and areas of the most Glourious nation of Isselande, and their Serene Majetic Pulchritudes. And yea, I shall begin with the Historie of the Mormonic Tranquility Gardens.

In a purre and majestick and most serene lande, there flowed fourth fromme the magickkal Rivver of Graagous, a most beautaeceous and splendidde Gardenne, that didde sparkkle with sempiternalle bryalliance, in the sunlighte. And yea, it didde contayne manie plantes, and triees, and floueres, and smalle woudlande creatures, which didde frolick peacefullie in the meadous, and yea, the wauterres that floued from the sanckuarie wausse indeed cleare, and true potable, and sweete. And it came to pass, that the Ratte-Kinge, upon hearing of thisse magickal place, whene the Ratte-Magistrates and Surveyours hath spake unto himme of it, and consyderring it a fyne lockation to builde a summere palace, whereupon, like all Rattes, he would consume hisse excrement. Yea, hee hath dispached a smalle armie to claime this Magickal place for himmeselfe, and upon this knouledge reachinge Isse-Lande, the goode King Kessler didde ferverentlie decklare that this lande mustte be resserved for the sole benifit of the Citizens of Isse-Lande, The League of Desmond. For King Kessler didde know that the Ratte-Kinge would use this Lande for Purposses of greate Evile, and yea, that should be notte allouwd to come to this most Holie Lande, and it was good.

And with thisse, The Greate Herou Desmonde wausse dispatched by the the Kinge Kessler, and yea, he did journey for manie myles, and it wausse difficulte, but Desmonde hath prepareth for this contingeicie by bringinge sevveral satchelles of Elf-Dungge that hee hadde koleckted in the Enchanted Foureste. And yea, hee didde summoun the Magick Dragone Kingge manie tymes to give himme strengthe duringe the journie. And it came to pass that Desmond hath reacheth the Gardenne where the Ratte-Kinge and hisse Ratte-Troupes hath setteh uppe an enckanpment, and yea, it wausse fortified with cannons, and mortares, and pestels, and cummerbunds, and yea, it was good.

And it came to pass that Desmond didde come unto the encampment, and yea, upon seeing the Ratte-Kinge plotting the evile councquering and subdueing of the Magick Gardens, and also viewing their Splendour for the firste tyme, and being amased and in awe of the Bueatie, and didde resolve fyrmlie to defeat the Ratte-Kinge, and his Ratte-Guardes, thene and there, and it was good. And yea, Desmond hath spake and shouted manie insultes and profanities unto the Rattes. And yea, hee didde utter hisse final boaste.

"I've never known fear! As a you-"

"Silence!", Nikoulasse crieth.

"Fool! Dou not interrupte my speeche, for I am a mastere of wourdes. And my Famile had been Swedish once."

"Enough! We shalle dou battle. Now, have at you!"

And yea, there wausse a greate battle, and it wausse fought valaintlie on bothe sydes, and the Ratte-Guardes didde give their lives to protecte thier Kinge, but yet, they werre nou matche for the power of Desmond and his sweord. And he Unsheathed Durendal, and it was good. And yea, hee didde use manie attackes, and bloode wausse spilt, but in the Ende, the Rattes didde retreate from the Mightie powere of Desmond. And it came to pass that the Ratte-Encampment wausse removed, and burned, and then burned again, for it wausse well known that the Ratte-Kinge, Nikoulasse, dothe consume hisse own excrements, and it was good.

And it came to pass that the Gardene wausse named the Mormonic Tranquility Garden, and yea much of the goode-times were had there, and it wausse made into a splendide National Parke of Isselande, and yea, the people didde enjoy tea (decaffainated, or course) and biscuits there, and it wausse indeede verie good.



Daily gag webcomic. Started July 3rd, 2006. Digitally drawn. Creator: Petie Shumate.

Brutal but frequently hilarious. Girl is young and perpetually innocent; Robot is perfectly rational and, as a result, frequently quite horrifying. The combination is magic.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Hobo Chronicles: Part II

An old hobo was on the street holding a chihuahua. He looked drunk, nuts, or both. "Come meet Satan!" he yelled, holding up the cute little critter.

"Satan?" I asked.

"Satan." He stated firmly. He held up the dog. It looked at me pleadingly. The poor critter had probably been jostled around by the hobo all day. I reached out to take the dog. It bit my hand off.

"Holy ****!" I decided I'd had enough of hobos for a while.

The end.

Totally Sweet Notion

You know that thing I linked you guys to a while back? Hamachi?

And, also, Armagetron?

It occurs that the combination of the two would be excellent.

Install Hamachi, if you haven't already! Connect to a network named 'League of Desmond' with the password 'isselunde'! (Deleting the single quotes.) If someone else is on, play Armegetron with them as though you were on the same LAN!

It is a recipe for endless joy.

Also, free!

EDIT: Mac guys! Go here or here for help.
EDIT2: Password simplified, because my brother whined about it.

The Northern League: Gaul, Illyricum, Germania

(This is the second part of the series begun here, continuing the Great History of the League of

The League, having fled into scarcely-civilized Gallia, remained there for but a short time - they had no idea of how to live in wilderness, having been born and raised in the towns and cities. Instead, they ventured eastward, having some idea of reuniting with their long-estranged brethren - though so much time had passed since the split between the branches of the League that only the old among them had lived south of Trieste. Soon, they left southern Gallia and entered the wilderness of northern Illyricum - where Roman law held but little weight, and the members of the League of Desmond hoped to escape Roman vengeance.

In another time they might have been able to do so, but in the course of things it mattered little. Shortly after their arrival, in the spring of 12 BC, the Romans launched the Bellum Panonicum: wars against the Pannonians, inhabitants of northern Illyricum. For some time after, the League remained untouched and ignorant of the threat - settling near a stream and starting small farms - but soon the tread of Roman hobnails was heard across the face of Illyricum, and the League fled, once again terrified of Roman retribution - though it was rumored that their antagonist, Octavius Caesar, was dead - and moved north, towards still-barbarous Germania. By the winter of 9 BC, they had crossed the Rhine, and entered Germania.

They hoped to begin farming again, as they did during their stay in Germania - set up a peaceful, civilized Roman life for themselves and their families, safe from Roman persecution. At first the tribe in the region they had entered - the Marcomanni - were peaceful, and traded with the League of Desmond. When they saw the village that the League had established, however, they grew afraid. They feared a creeping presence - first a few Romans, then - at the slightest offence - a Roman army would march north to establish Roman law. It had happened before - they had heard the rumours.

In the dead of night, they struck - burning the village, paying especial attention to the temple, and slaughtering the men. Women and children were killed or enslaved. Nearly all the League of Desmond died that night - except for the priest, an amateur historian on the side, named Andromicus Desmondus. It is largely thanks to him that much of this is known. He intimidated them with his literacy, which the tribesmen superstitiously considered magic. They took him to their shaman to be judged. Fascinated by Andromicus's account of an ancient warrior society, the shaman ordered that Andromicus should be left to live, and initiate him into the ancient ways of the League of Desmond. Once again, the League of Desmond was reborn.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Songs To Wear Pants To

It has recently (a few minutes ago, actually) come to my attention that our local deade Isse-Lander, Desmond, does not frequent the website. This is unacceptable.

STWPT is a whebsite run by this guy who calls himself Andrew Pants. Basically, people send him requests using a convenient form on said website, and he picks the ones that inspire him and turns them into songs. For the convenience of new users, the page defaults to FAN FAVORITES, so you can be assured that each one of them is entertaining to at least one person! On a final note, be sure to always read the request before listening to the songs. They'll make more sense and more funny that way.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Story Endings


The baby dies, and she nurses the man instead.
He goes to the asylum.
Snape kills Dumbledore!
She and the baby die, and he walks off.
He takes the train to the city, and leaves the town behind.
He is his father!
And it says, let there be light.
Three of them die in a car crash; he's overthrown.
He dies just before the war ends.
Everyone becomes part of the groupmind.
He starves himself to death in debtor's prison.
She starts running around, pressing herself to the yellow wallpaper.
He walks in and she dies of a heart attack.
He reunites with his father.


Storm Corps

Storm Corps.

Science fiction webcomic. Started February 25th, 2003, and updates every Friday. Creator: Chester Lucero.

This one's been going for a while - slow update schedule means that there isn't as much of it as, say, Dinosaur Comics, but what there is remains pretty cool. Nice art, interesting storyline - a lot coolness going on. Archives are short enough that it shouldn't take too long to read, and a new, somewhat separate storyline just started, so you could start there if you wanted.

I'd give you a current/first comic link, but the main page is just too well designed. Link!

Saturday, March 17, 2007


On Friday, I was considering the super-powers various members of the League might possess - if, by some mechanism, they possessed super-powers - based on their respective characters. A few are sketched below.

Kelsey: The Canadian Gladiator, renowned for the feats of strength and skill he performs with his trusty throwing hat. Kelsey is the most diplomatic of the SuperLeague of Desmond, often persuading a lesser foe to surrender rather than be destroyed.

Matthew: The Mormon Titan, able to swing himself around by his jeans' loops (similar to picking yourself up by the bootstraps) to do crushing damage to foes and obstacles, or launch himself across great distances.

Devin: Empowered by his inheritance of the legendary sword, Durandal, Devin is The Hero of Isselunde, slaying monsters with superhuman strength and shielding himself from injury with armour and shield - which he does not use if his enemy can be killed without them.

Then there are David and I, who are special cases; not really heroes, as such.

David: The Chronicler, David appears at crucial intervals to offer crypic advice, often speaking in a language of his own invention that consists of subtly differing intonations and frequencies of the word 'pesis.' When cornered, he disappears in a puff of smoke.

Nick: The Rat-King/Galgamoth, I am the arch-nemesis of the SuperLeague of Desmond, especially of Devin, my enemy since times of old. I have the power to warp my shape, call upon the Kingdom of Rats as the Rat-King, summon demonic power as Galgamoth, and perform differential calculus. I have been captured and imprisoned several times, but each time escape through the aid of my trusty rat-subjects.

I don't think I'd actually write any stories about this, but the notion amuses me. I'm much more pleased with David's current role than the one I'd originally placed him in.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rather Notably Different

(This is the concluding part to the alternate history begun here and continued here.)

Western Germany was a radioactive wasteland and, due to prevailing winds, radioactive debris swept over all of France and parts of Britain and Spain had ruined European crops and engendered subtle cancers across all the affected lands. Britain's empire, staggering under the horrific losses that British arms had suffered in the so-called 'Great War', was absorbed piece-by-piece by the American troops placed in British colonies to 'guard' them in Britain's incapability. France suffered similarly from its erstwhile ally. Both would take generations to recover fully from the aftermath of the war. Meanwhile, the Russian Empire had moved into the power void left by the fall of the Central Powers, gobbling up large parts of Austro-Hungaria and other countries. Seemingly the only voice raised against the tzar was that of a popular agitator, Vladimir Lenin, who was seemingly everywhere along the Russian border, calling for resistance and revolution. To the south, the Ottoman Empire had collapsed into anarchy, and in the Far East, Japanese ambitions had not ended with Germany's fall, as Manchuria and Korea fell to Japanese tank treads.

Into this atmosphere of ruin and dismay - despite the American victory - came newly elected president Woodrow Wilson, victor of the 1916 election, and man of certain and unshiftable ideals. In his famous inaguration speech, he declared that it was time for America to lead a "New World Order." To the sound of cheering, he continued: "There is no other government more qualified, in science, industry, or governmental institutions to lead this world than America... if other nations, other peoples struggle in fail, it is our right and our duty to guide them back to the correct course." The speech was made doubly influential for being the first one ever transmitted onto the newly-invented television set - a medium for which Wilson's campaign had come prepared, while his opponent's had not.

Wilson began his presidency with a so-called 'triple assault' on the problems of the world. Firstly, he set out to support massive private - and public - loans to the battered nations of Europe, setting them back - in his words - onto the correct course. Secondly, he intervened in destabilized regions, taking firm control of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and putting legislation through Congress to declare these lands 'foreign territories' - governed with US law, but not privileged with US citizenship or protections. Thirdly, he moved to halt what he saw as the growing Japanese threat, binding Japan (with paper treaties) to end its expansion in exchange for economic support. Less overtly, he made overtures to Lenin, promising the revolutionary support in exchange for providing a northern check on Japan's power.

The pace of progress continued. Ever more of the world simmered unhappily under the United States' control, either overtly - in the case of Persia or Mexico - or covertly, in the case of Britain and France, which were so far in debt that they could do little but bob their heads to whatever Uncle Sam demanded. Japan raced the United States, conquering India and parts of eastern Africa, sponsoring the Russian Whites against the United States' Reds - even trying to match the so-called 'Apollo Program' in their race to orbit. It was Japan, against all expectations, that launched the first man-made satellite into orbit in 1938 - an act that many thought to begin the Cold War.

Scientists slaved furiously on both sides of the Pacific, fighting to gain an edge over their vile opponent. An military defense network, known as ARPANET, was created to guard the US and provide secure communications in the case of attack. Japan launched the first space-plane, which could gain orbital height with a maximum passenger load of 2; ostensibly for scientific purposes, but with clear military applications. Diplomatic crises raged, puppet governments battled and killed and fell.

Then - within the span of a year - the Japanese government fell. Their economy was overstressed, their people dissatisfied, their ecology ruined - the historians would offer those reasons and a dozen more, but the facts were clear enough. The United States slowly demilitarized, offering the 'helping hand' of friendship to their former foe - if very carefully and very warily. The once-secret ARPANET became commercialized and public, exploding into public view. By 1972, four years after the end of the Cold War, the Internet became essential to universities and tech-geeks; by 1982, it had spread across the world, and was an integral part of daily life. Some people began to live almost entirely on the Internet. As the greatest optimists promised, the Internet became a unifying force - as portable computers, cellular devices, subdermal implants spread in turn, humans the world over became more and more unified - Internet-adapted humans, while they might disagree on minor issues (whose turn it was to get the groceries, which of the popular ISPs were superior), developed a popular, user-edited consensus on all parts of life. When that consensus developed consciousness in 2007 and reached out to ensure that every single human being was part of it, no-one was truly shocked - after all, they agreed, it was all for the best. The groupmind was not imposed on humanity - it was of their own making.

And that is all the story I care to tell.

Order of the Stick

Order of the Stick.

Gaming humor/plot webcomic. Started in 2003. Probably digitally drawn. Creator: Rich Burlew.

OotS (as it's known) may draw its setting from D&D - in fact, Mr. Burlew works for the fellows who make D&D - but the humor, for the most part, is easily seen by anyone who reads it, regardless of their background. Due to the importance of the plot, it's almost certainly best to start at the beginning, but the current comic (as of this posting) can be found here.

(Note: There are currently two webcomics on the site initially linked to: Order of the Stick, and Erfworld. Erfworld - which I would also recommend - is drawn by a different author, started in 2006 (drawn to the site by the success of Oots), and is unconnected except by webhost and intended audience. I may review it at a later date.)

Respect David Week - conclusion

Respect David Week was a limited success. While David-respect levels rose dramatically on Monday and Tuesday, they subsided by Thursday back to approximately normal levels. Furthermore, David showed no marked improvement from the change. The experiment was worthy, and may be repeated at some later date, but I see no need to extend it from the present date.

That is all.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sort Of Different

(This is the continuation to the series begun here.)

The United States, invigored by peacetime prosperity, surges ahead of the rest of the world, both technologically and industrially. European nations tremble with fear and envy - especially as the nation begins a seemingly inevitable expansion into the rest of the Western Hemisphere in the 1880s. Cuba, oppressed by their Spanish rulers, gained American 'assistance' and a closely supervised 'freedom'. The Columbian government, refusing offers to sell land for a U.S. constructed trans-isthmusian canal, instead gained a Panamanian rebellion (supported by the US) and a paltry, belated 'apology' payment from the American government. Within the space of five years, half the land between South America and Florida had raised the red, white, and blue.

Domestically, too, great strides continued. For the first time, in 1884, more Americans lived in cities than lived in the countryside. A pioneering German, Karl Benz (whose parents had immigrated to the US in the 1860s to find their fortune) created an efficient gasoline engine; in 1888, another German (Gottlieb Daimler) created the modern assembly line, and with that the beginnings of the automobile industry. Physicists made incredible progress, formulating the beginnnigns of what came to be known as the General Theory of Relativity. A radio transmitter and reciever was patented by 1890; the first heavier-than-air flight was launched in 1894. The exponential pace of progress, begun in the 20th century in our own history, was taking place earlier and faster.

In 1913 - after a prolonged expansion by the United States, from South America to Africa - the Ottoman Empire declared war on the United States after it attempted to steal oil reserves that fell within its territory. A complex web of treaties and alliances swiftly expanded the boundries of the war - by October of that year, it was clear that the fight was to be between the Allies: Britain, France, Japan (which had joined in the hope of plundering Germany's nearby possessions) and the US; and the Central Powers: Germany, Austro-Hungaria, and Italy.
The German gamble was that the US, overcommitted elsewhere (with troops scattered all over the globe), could be ignored while a great push was launched against first France, and then Britain. The ploy nearly succeeded - US reinforcements were few and far between, and came mainly in the form of munitions, rather than badly needed soldiers. German troops came within sight of Paris itself - and seized Calais, that vital link to Britain - before American poison gas and American bombers stopped the "Hun"'s advance. Trench war set in; an American attempt to remove troops from its overseas provinces was met with simultaneous rebellion in the Phillipines, Hawaii and South Africa. Hundreds of thousands of men died pointlessly in the back-and-forth, stalemated fighting.
Then tanks - British-invented, but very quickly American-supplied - came onto the field. Germany countered quickly with tanks of its own, but while America might not have been able to supply troops to the field, its factories never ran short of munitions. Again, though - this time little short of victory - the war slowed to a crawl in early 1916, the tanks incapacitated by clever anti-tank mines and destroyed by pre-packaged grenade clusters. It was widely agreed that this was when America turned itself into the sole world power, as American atomic munitions rained from Allied artillery onto the Central Powers' lines all across the European Front.
The last fighting ended within the month.

(This was part two of three. The third will follow... shortly. I reserve the right to amend, edit, and otherwise change this text as I feel it to be necessary or desirable.)

The Northern League: Italy

For the duration of this miniseries, it should be understood that the League (which had, as previously discussed, split in two) did not see itself as being on any grand mission or destined course - that only appears obvious to use in retrospect. Rather, the members of the League worked only for the advantage of themselves, their friends and family, and - sometimes - the League of Desmond. Thus, the slow migration of the Northern League (as we name it today) was, in general, not due to some sacred calling the members of that group felt, but rather the effect of purposeless internal and external pressures. That said.

The League, again as mentioned, had in 30 BC recently been severed from the protection and sponsorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, in the wake of his assassination and ensuing civil wars. They were for the most part composed of court hanger-ons and noblemen, some Greek, some Roman; a far cry from the warriors that helped forge Alexander's empire. They fled Octavian (Julius's successor) to northern Italy, with little more than the clothes on their backs and the horses they rode. They settled, attempting to keep a low profile, in the colony of Trieste, on the banks of the Adriatic Sea. For nearly a generation, the Northern League of Desmond lived there, making a marginal living as merchants, marrying, raising children. Perhaps because of their ties - as strangers in a small town, foreigners and noble-born men in a place that had few - the members of the League stayed together in this time, maintaining their noble traditions even in a time in which the League of Desmond seemed to bring nothing but official anger.

In 14 BC, that anger fell upon the League, as the officer of a legion of Roman soldiers, passing through to resupply, recognized a League member from his days in the capitol. Octavian was at that time on his deathbed, but his edict still held force, and the streets of Trieste burned red. Half the League was slaughtered or scattered; the rest, uprooted from their families and livelihoods, fled north, into the semi-civilized lands of Gaul.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This one didn't have much, I know. Too much setup, too little action. The next one should fix that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 25: The Rise and Fall of the Rat-King: Part II

And nowe, the Ratte-Kinge wausse verliy happie in hisse neue posytion asse the King of the Ratte-Empire, and yette, hee wausse indeede destined to falle, and to consume hisse excrement, as all Rattes must dou. Nowe, in the Kingdom, clovds of disastere loummed. And yea, the ratte-Kinge's slow descente into madnesse was imminent.

At the firste, the Ratte-Kinge wausse a noble and just Kinge of hisse peoples, and yea, he didde rule wisely and with a sage-like mannere. And it came to passe, that at one of hisse manie and frequente parties (for he wausse indeed verie jocund), he didde invite his counsels and magistrates fromme all ackrosse the lande, and yea, they camme in droves, and yea, much funne wausse hadde on the Magick Teleportation Boxxe, and also the Magick Dragon King, and indeed, one game didde stand oute abouve the resste. A favourite of all hisse many chieftalins and viscounts, this game involved a Magick charoiut, and that the lords and ladies did guide with their waundes, and they didde try to obstryuckt each other's pathes, for this was a commom occurence the Ratte-Empire, and yea, a goode time wausse hadde by alle.

And yette, despite the goode-tymes and lively atmosphere of the partie, it wausse indeed where King Nikoulasse did apporache his breakying pointe. The stresses and pressures of rulyinge the Kingdom wausse indeed putting greate troubles on the Ratte-Kinge, and yea, he wausse distraught. But when one of the locale magistrates, who didde try to winne the favour of the Kinge, didde supplie as the vittles on the partie surphace, and yea, didde beringe manie wounderfulle and exotick foodestuffes from hisse houmetoun, which wausse Ice-Lande (He hadde come to the Ratte-Empire to seek a carreer in arm-polyshing, and the Ratte-Empyre being the prime spotte with for the universities and expertes on the mattere), and Nikoulasse, begin of avertioun to this streange foodes, it didde upsette himme verie muche. Ande this magistrate, who had tried to gain his Favour, now didde inckur his wrathe, and it wausse goode.

Thus, at the conclusion of the partie, when the festivities and the jocundity wausse stopped, Nikoulasse didde mamage to passe off the offensive foodstufes to the Magistrate from the Far Northe, who was kindhearted enough to accept the burden of burying such foul-materiales. But the dammage wausse done. From that pointe onne, he wasse inclined as to for hisse generalle distaste for Ice-Lande, and yea, the people who do comme for msuch Regione, and it wausse Goode.

A Day at the Libvm

Today, David, Devin, and I all visited our communal library. We decided that this was the time to post a comunally created story.

NF: Once, long ago, a man named Wiglaf was born, in a cold and chill land.
DZ: And he was jocund.
DM: And God saw that the land was good.
NF: And yea, though he was troubled, he did set off to the south.
DM: The man of eternal glory was named thus.
NF: On his journey, he fought in endless battles.



The Hobo Chronicles: Part I

I saw an old hobo on the street holding a peculiar box. "Give me a dollar, and I'll show you what it does."

"Sounds like a rip-off."

"I'll show you what it does first. Then you pay."

My money was burning a whole in my pocket. "AAAGH! It burns!"

The money burned through, and fell on the ground. The hobo picked it up, and then set down the box. "Thanks, man."

The end.

Something Completely Different

As I was falling asleep last night, I came up with a curious notion - a sort of alternate history based on a scientific renaissance in the 1850s. I'm posting it here, because I think you might appreciate it, and it's pretty convenient to do so.

The story begins in the mid-1840s, with the American reform movements of that time. In contrast to real history, no abolitionist movement arises - instead, there is a civil rights movement for slaves, not working for their freedom (as, after all, they were legitimately purchased and owned), but rather seeking to give them protection against the abuses of their masters. By 1854, several northern states have created civil rights laws for slaves; a large-scale border feud in the newly created states of Kansas and Nebraska - Nebraska's possession of such laws, in contrast to Kansas's lack, inspiring large numbers of runaways to the north - is seen as a referendum on the movement. When federal troops move in to quash the fighting, it is clear that slavery's time is at an end. President Lincoln's greatest moment is widely seen as being in 1865, in his second term, as he presided over the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. The amendment guaranteed civil rights to all slaves and freedom to the children of all current slaves; behind-the-scenes negotiations promised large-scale support for Southern industrialization in return. By 1865, only two states failed to ratify: Louisiana and Arkansas.

Without a cataclysmic war, and with increasing Southern industrialization (if with less aid than was promised), America boomed, reaching heights of productivity that were only reached in our history two decades later. Steel production boomed after the invention of a new steel-production process; created by the free child of a black slave. Electric streetlights, newly devised, filled the cities with light. America bounded ahead, as the rest of the world watched in astonishment.

Part Two will come later. This should be a three-part series; we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Player vs. Player.

Gamer/relationship/office humor webcomic. Started May 4th, 1998. Mostly hand-drawn and inked, with later use of a digital tablet. Creator: Scott Kurtz.

Um. It has stuff? The early art is horrendous... there's a troll... for several years Kurtz had a humorous rivalry with Gabe and Tycho...

Man, I've got nothing. It's pretty good, though. The archives start here.

Legend of the Comb

Many years ago, a pink comb rolled off the assembly lines of a Goody hair-styling products factory in Atlanta, Georgia. Many combs were made that day - but this one was different. This one was imbued - with DESTINY.

For much of the time between that fateful manufacturing and today, the comb moved passively through life, a mere objects in the hands (and hair) of other. But on March 14th, 2005, it passed into my hands - and thereby, sensing my great wisdom, strength, and physical strength, activated. Glowing, it spoke to me, saying "O great master, your virtues have awakened me. With my powers, make this world into a Paradise."

I replied - with no great shock, as this thing tended (and tends) to happen to me frequently, due to those aforementioned virtues - "O comb of unparalled power & pinkness, should I accept your offer, what can you contribute to my most holy of causes?" The comb paused. Up to that moment, it had been certain that it was making an undeniable offer. It could not concieve of a person of such strength as to refuse the assistance of a magical, talking, pink comb. Now, though, doubt entered its plastic core.

As I turned to walk away, the Comb of Destiny shouted after me - "Wait! Though I may not be worthy to join your retinue, surely there is some manner in which I may serve you!" I pondered on this for a short while, and then decided. "O Comb, thine place in my service shall be thus: At the turn of each equinox, you may join me - but only for the week surrounding each. So in the change of the seasons shall your comb help separate the good from the ill; so shall the relentless sorting of your teeth not split this world apart." And it was so.

So is it that, twice every year, I appear at school with a pink comb in my pocket. It is the price I pay for a better world.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Party woo

The party was a grand success. Steven didn't show up (I don't know why), but Roland, David, and Kelsey did, and with the three of them, as well as my smaller brother Ethan, great fun was had. We played Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (which is not a very good game), a bit of Super Smash Brothers: Melee (which is), some Super Monkey Ball 2 (made before the aforementioned) and, most of all, a very great deal of Armagetron. I won overwhelmingly, but pretty much everyone made a good showing at one point or another, and I only had to kick David for username issues once. (You can guess what those were.)

All in all, the dudes were over for four hours. I'd say that "pictures will be up soon", but the only person who took pictures was David, and, um... I wouldn't curse anyone with those.

Did you know that Kelsey's dad is as kind as he is? He took both of David's gifts to me: the canned eel and the ambiguous bean sauce! Also, he wears a cowboy hat.

I encourage other fellows who were at the party to edit and embellish on this post; or, make their own.

EDIT: Steven had actually sent me an email at 8, noting that he wouldn't be at the party as he was in Stockton (?) or some-such. That's what I get for not being glued to the computer all day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Davidblade

The Davidblade is a collossal warship - nearly two kilometers long, and a kilometer in diameter. It holds nearly a thousand crewmembers comfortably within its vast belly. Furthermore, it utilizes semiintelligent nanotechnology to adapt to changing situations.

In other words - the more it does, the more it is.

The Davidblade is fueled by a dilithium-tritium reactor. Its engine room is mounted in the stern of the vessel, and over a hundred people are employed at any given time simply pulling the levers and pushing the cranks to keep the reactors running smoothly.

In other words - the people in its behind push it to make it better.

The Davidblade is exceeded in size and firepower only by its sister vessel, Lynstar I.

That is all.

The Phoenix

(Previous posts in the series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

In 85 BC, the League of Desmond, an organization that had spanned the Greek world, was in ruins. Rome ruled from Iberia (present-day Spain) to Anatolia (present-day Turkey); and as the wise among the League of Desmond foresaw, Rome's rise was the League's downfall. Members of the League of Desmond still ruled in Egypt and Selucia (Israel, Lebanon, and parts of Iran), and there was a spirited League resistance movement in southern Greece, but the League could not plausibly survive another generation.

Some League members, seeking advancement for themselves through the League, sent emissaries to Roman senators. They were turned back in shame, where they were not beheaded. The days of international arm-polishing were seemingly at an end.

Then, fortuitously, the Romans sent a young and as of yet undistinguished Gaius Julius Caesar to Asia Minor. The king of Bithynia, Nicomedes IV, was an ally of Rome, needing their support against the powerful nation of Pontus. He was also a member of the League of Desmond. And Rome needed his fleet. The exact course of events are unclear, but Julius Caesar became a member of the League of Desmond while at Nicomedes's court, staying so long that some critics accused him of having an affair (!) . Eventually, though, he did return to Rome, with a small retinue of minor League members, who saw great potential in him. The unspoken hope was that in Caesar, the League of Desmond might find a second Alexander.

Caesar politicked in Rome for the next twenty years, ending up on the right side of every conspiracy and steadily amassing political power (and, in a fact that would drive him, copious amounts of debt). He was appointed governor of northern Italy in 58 BC, and launched a titanic campaign for the good of Rome and his own pocket-book, conquering all of Gaul so thoroughly it would remain Roman for the next 500 years. In his absence, though, his political support in Rome had evaporated, and he was ordered to disband his legions and return home.

In fear of what would happen if he entered Italy without an army to support him, and under the advice of his League of Desmond retinue (which had every reason to seek more power for Caesar), Julius Caesar invaded Italy, marching south with a full legion at his back. Within two years, he had won his civil war; within five, he had eliminated all opposition. The Senate, tamed and under his control, gave him new rewards nigh-continuously. Caesar's League retinue was ecstatic - he was their fondest dream. It seemed as though, contrary to previous dolorous thoughts, international arm-polishing's day was not over yet.

Then rumors began to spread. It seemed that Caesar was going to declare himself king - and while that was the League's dream, a continuation of their previous success, many Roman senators could not abide it. Caesar as dictator-for-life they could abide - for, after all, he was an excellent leader - but Caesar as king - Caesar's successor as king - would permanently destroy Rome's republican ethos. On the Ides of March, a conspiracy of senators put an end to Caesar's life.

A series of civil wars followed the assassination - the League backed the wrong side. Octavius Caesar (later to be known as Augustus Caesar) assumed the throne, and ruthlessly purged any opposition - including especially the League of Desmond. Survivors fled, their dreams of king-making shattered. Some fled back to Constantinople; others to barbaric Gaul, or ancient Egypt.

After Rome's conquest, most of the League groups fell - composed as they were of Greek monarchies. Many of those who survived dissolved, finding no purpose in the absence of power. But there were a few that yet remained. For the remainder of these histories, we will follow two separate groups. One would travel far to the north, eventually arriving in Iceland - and beyond. Another would spend the next centuries in Constantinople and the surrounding regions, before migrating to Holland. It is these two groups who would directly form the modern-day League of Desmond.

End series one.

(Later histories will be of a rather different sort. I haven't outlined them yet, but hopefully they'll be more to your liking, David.)

8-Bit Theatre

8-Bit Theatre.

Long-running gaming humor webcomic, very loosely based on the plot of Final Fantasy 1. Started January 3rd, 2002. It's a 'sprite comic' - that's one that uses sprites from video games for art - with heavily modified/custom sprites and a great deal of Photoshop. Creator: Brian Clevinger.

It's better if you've played Final Fantasy (or, to a lesser degree, any console RPG), but most of the humour is character-based. Also, hilarious. Highly recommended. (By me.) Starts here.

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 24: The Rise and Falle of the Ratte-Kinge: Part I

I have spaketh of Desmond and his Epick tayles, and yea being it so, I have made manie grievous an errour, as being of the fackts that I have notte once paussed and to explaineth the origines of the Ratte-Kinge. And, yea, beinge that I hath notte elabourated quite throughlie on the subjeckt of the Ratte-Kinge, as thusse, it becomes my sacred dutie to do such.

The Ratte-Kinge wasse bourne in moste humbel circkumstances, and hee wausse indeed a memberre of the loweste Ratte-Caste. His birtheplace, which wausse indeed surrounded by Ratte-dunge, dide notte forboude of his latter meteoroic risse to the grandeste possytion in alle of the lande. Hisse birthe-nayme, it being Galgamothe, and as suche the younge Rattelinge, did takke it upoun it himmeselfe one daye to becomme an intellecktuale typpe, as this wasse rarelie donne in those dayes of Ratte-timme, and thus even lesse kommon in the Ratte-Slummes, where younge Galgamothe lyved. Being it thus, hee did seek enlightement through the holie churche, and he did become a scribe, after manie yeares of harde worke and dedication to the holie churche. And yea, one daye he did praye in the prayer halle, and yea, the Holie Timmeracke-Angelle did descende unto himme, and yea, hee did shough younge Galgamothe the way of the Mathematicks, and the way of the vecktorres, and thusse, he didde becomed enlightened.

Howeverre, as younge Galgamothe soone disckovered, the most sackred Mathematycks that hee didde learne from the Timmeracke wasse in vayne, as he cound not descipherre it at the rapide payce that the Timmeracke explayned to himme. And yea, hee wausse disckouraged, but his dittermanation perserverred, and hee didde cotinue to praye, in orderre to disckoverre the holie mathematicks of the vecktorres, and yea one fine daye, under the instruction of his clergie elderres, and his tutour in the instrucktione of fine and advasnced mathematics, and that of the Holie Sigmata, and of the Seriesata, that he didde becomed enlightened enoughe to comprehende the sacred Mathematicks, and yea, with this new knowledges, hee didde sette oute to risse up in the socyal order, partickularly with the aid of the Church, and yea, he did becomme a powerful marchante, and yea, hee didde prosper for manie yeares, and it wausse goode.

And it came to pass, that the proude and brave Galgamothe, who didde become the Ratte-Hero, through the Chruch and the holie mathematics, which were the Gateway to the Timmerack, and of which Galgamothe was masterre, did become the Kinge, and he didde choose his Royale name to be King Nikoulasse I, of the Most Holie and Wounderfulle Empyre of the Rattes.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 19: The Battles of Haustoria

After Desmond's vicktorie at the battle on the Harbour, hee wausse indeed feeling verrie haughty and proude. And yea, it did have much dire counsequensesses. And yea, when Sir Matthias, a welle-respeckted menberre of the clergie, did come bearing gyfts and goulde treasures in his saffe-boxxe.

"Heare me! Men of the Sweord! Thou hast fought welle, and yea thou shalt be rewearded in generouse!"
"But Sirre! I Hath fought in the Warre against the priates for several weeks! And yea, I desire much to slake my thirste for treasures! Make us wait notte! Open ye safe-boxxe anon!"

And it came to pass that hee did offere itte to the Celebratours, and yea, Desmond did inflict grievous injuries to Sirre Mathias. Because it came to pass that when Mathias offeres the goulde and treasurres, Desmonde, who had fought in battles and was want to quenche his thirste of treasurre, did wantonlie reache into the satchelle, and did precure a lagre handdefulle of gouldes, ans this dissapouined Sir Matthias, and yea, he was offended, and yea, hee didde prohibit the taykinge of gould from his boxxe, and yea, Desmonde wausse upsseet. And it came to pass that Desmond in rage, partlie by the heate of battle, and partlie becaouse of the withdrawl of gouldes of Sir Matthias, that the did attacke himme, and yea, the Blood spilled, and it was red, and it drippeth over the ground, and it was goode. And yea, Sirre Mathias, being a memberre of the clergie, did heale himself, and yet the damage wausse donne.

And it came to pass that a surreptious event had coincided with this spectacel, that Nikoulasse, the Ratte-Kinge, didde by chanse disckover a large partition of foodstuffes on the general grounds, and yea hee didde pick this uppe, and yea, he wausse fuled for severlale mounthes, and he wausse the ratte-kinge, and yea, he did comsume his excrement, as all rattes must do.

Chronicles of Desmond Cast

DESMOND: Noble Hero of Isselunde, his home and native land. Regularly goes about slaying monsters with his trusty blade, Durendal, visiting the 'magic dragon king', and dying. (Even death cannot stop him for long.)

NIKOLAUS: Arch-villain and eternal foe of Dessymonde. Formerly known as 'Galgamoth.' Presently inhabits the form of the 'ratte-king', a creature of unknown power.

KING KESSLER: Noble monarch, ruler of Isselunde. Rarely appears; prefers to work behind the scenes.

MATTHIAS: Likes to visit the 'magic dragon king' with Desmondio.

MAGIC DRAGON KING (MDK): Smoking 'elf dung' (or other euphemisms) 'summons' the Magic Dragon King, who takes you 'flying' with him.

DAVID: His power level is incomprehensibly high. This does not explain the fact that he has never appeared. Possibly he was rolled up in a Katamari, or hit by a Star Destroyer, or something else along those lines.

A Modest Proposal

It is my thought that, for the remainder of the month of March (or perhaps just for the week following this one), the members of the League of Desmond, rather than deriding and mocking David at every turn, should rather celebrate him and praise him, as a fellow above us.
My reasoning is as follows.

1) Variety is the spice of life. By 'shaking things up', we are directly benefiting ourselves.
2) David has been persecuted too long. It is against the democratic ideals of the League of Desmond to support the ritual persecution of minorities.
3) It is possible that some of David's more objectionable eccentricities source from our treatment of him, rather than from his own character.
4) As a youth, he fought in endless battles.
5) David currently has no place in the list of characters in the Chronicles of Desmond (Desmond, Nikolaus, Matthias, King Kessler). Perhaps if we treated him better, we would witness his own appearance in the chronicles; an occurence certain to be as humourous as his appearances are in our own circle in Real Life.
6) If we can't treat him properly, there may be something wrong. This would be a good way to find out.

These are my thoughts. You will obey or die.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mac Games: Single-Player

I've been asked a number of times to empty my bag of apps onto the proverbial center of the table, so here's that thing-thing. This will be done in parts because finding the links to all these things is easy, but it takes a while. The first section is... games! Of the single-player variety! All games are Mac OS X-only freeware unless additional OSes are otherwise specified. A note on quality control: Not all of these are guaranteed to be excessively fun, but I left them on my hard drive because they took little space.

3D Asteroids (Win)
Argonaut - 2149
Bubble Pop
Chemical Bonds
DCSquares (Win/Lin)
Foobillard (Win/Lin)
Game of Life
Hot Spot X
MacSwear (Win/Lin*)
MegaPixel (Win)
Neko Type-R
Solitaire XL
Tilt Mania
X-Moto (Win/Lin)

*Must be compiled from source or some other Linuxy thing. Click Discussion Thread for more info.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Ratte King: A Tale of Passion and Death

Editor's Note: This was David's response when I called him on vandalizing an old post. Each was accompanied by the statement THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This Friday, March the Ninth of the Year of Our Lord (who was crucified for our sins) Two-Thousand and Seven, I will host another League party/get-together/whatever at my house. Dudes will come over afterschool (after 6th period? after 7th? What's more convinient) and we'll do cool stuff on the Wii and the new LCD TV and stuff. There will be SSBM, because some people do not realize that SSBM has long outstayed its welcome in my heart. It is as inevitable as the rising of the sun.

Refreshments (some chips and soda) will be provided, but if someone finds it within themselves to bring over some donuts or somesuch, the gesture would not go amiss. Controllers (for Wii or Gamecube) would come in handy, as we have only 2 and 3 respectively; also, as there always seems to be some sort of DS thing goin' on, bringing a DS and optionally some multiplayer DS game is recommended for anyone who want to experience the full party experience.
Under no circumstances is David to bring any food products or, indeed, anything saving Gamecube controllers and a DS. There will be no more eel in my house.

Um. So, I guess that's it. RSVP! Ask for transportation! Ask for my address! (I'm the house on the corner, right behind the Longs on Steven's Creek - don't want to post my address here for fear of it being compromised.) Tell me I forgot something important, or that this isn't about the League of Desmond at all, or that I'm a losser!

I welcome reader feedback.

EDIT: Miscellaneous factual errors amended, proposed time changed to Saturday, mid-late afternoon, because (1) there are swim meets on Friday and (2) I'm taking the SAT then. So, yeah. Can't do things Saturday morning, because I'm going to Video Games Live then. Would Sunday work? Talk to me.

EDIT TWO: Current proposed date: this Friday, after 7:00. If dudes are okay with being out at night that could be cool. Comment!

EDIT THREE: I got confused, Friday can be ruled out. That leaves Saturday afternoon or Sunday as possibilities. I'll talk to you chaps in person and sort it out.

EDIT FOUR: It is decided. Sunday, 1:00 PM.
Guest List: David, Kelsey, Stephen, Roland (?), and myself.
Do not fail me! The consequences will be dire.

The Way of the Timmerick

EDITOR'S NOTE: The end of the series 1 histories has been postponed, pending authorial inspiration and/or anyone asking for it. (Anyone! Please!) This is the prototype of the modern pseudohistories.

Many a day ago, the tranquility of the League was shattered by strife between the League's founders over that most mundane of things - lunch-food. For months, years, the League has banded together at lunch, giving to one another of their food and of their trash alike, for the common good. Devin contributes saltines; Kelsey contributes (or contributed) cookie crumbs; David contributed french fries; and I myself give partial or whole Nutri-Grain bars or Pop-Tarts. This symbiotic relationship helps keep the League of Desmond strong.

But the Devil is always whispering, waiting to catch some poor soul off guard and snatch him off the path of Timmerick and straight to Old Scratch's Hell. That recent day, his words snuck into David's heart, feeding the greed and lust that lurks deep within every man. David is normally as pure a Timmerite as any you might see, being co-Pope of the Church, but on this day he saw the Pop-Tart crumbs given to Devin and he were of differing sizes - and that injustice created an opening for the Devil to crawl into. David, diabolically influenced, struck, demanding more pop-tart bits than he had gotten - demanding them with violence. I myself, being a man of peace, did not strike back - but I equally refused to right the wrong I myself had commited, until I saw that nothing else would allow my escape from David's crazed grasp.

After the deed was done, David left us, to ponder as his anger cooled. What have I done?, he wondered. Though they did wrong me, should I have strayed from the path in turn?

To David's vast surprise, a pillar of light spread around him, and an Angel of the Timmerick descended from the heavens. You have done wrong, son of Isselunde, it said in a voice divine, but the Timmerick will forgive you should you mend your ways. Amend your mathematical sloth! Post Chronicles of Desmond on the blog! In this manner shall your sins be oblated. Let your friends find their own peace with the Timmerick.

Humbled and awed, David knew that he would follow the angel's words. Would that we all might possess such grace.

Moral: We might be too mean to David, Pop-Tarts are tasty, David should post more on the blog.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Alpha Shade

Alpha Shade.

Manga-style webcomic. Started 2003. Created on the computer.
Creators: Chris and Joe Brudlos.

Alpha Shade centers around the life of Laura Stone. It moves back and forth in time - the first 90 pages take place with Laura commanding an army with WWI-era technology against strange foes, but the later ones are set... earlier, while Laura is a high school gymnast. The site uses a unique flash interface. The story has been planned out for sixteen chapters (for the first book alone!) - the story is currently in chapter 3, after over three years.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Keep this in mind

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quite possibly the most awesome thing ever

We should learn this and make it an official means of communication of the League

The Chronicles of Desmond, Chapter 18: The Siege of Ice-Lande Harbour

When Desmonde didde returned to Ice-Lande after the warre with the ratte-kinge's ratte-gurades, hee wausse astonished to fynde that the harbour which wausse the major avenue of commercie in the Lande, wausse under attacke by the ratte-kinge's personalle armie. And it came to passe that Desmond did arrive in the villaige of the King Kessler, where the pallace wausse, and hee did recieve a grande selebration, and yea, there wasse rappe muisck, and it wausse koreane, and yette, hee was disspleased because hee deteckted the sorrowes and fears of the villagers over the Warre, and he didde srtive to overcoume thisse, and yette hee was determined to defaeat the invaederres. And yea, he didde gatherre up his sweord, and his armours, and he didde gou to the high prieste Matthias, and hee wausse rather high, and after a sharred ryde on the magick dragon kynge, Matthias did enchant the sweord and armuours with the most holie macicks, and it wausse goode. And yea, Desmond did bring his armour, and his fightyng spirit, and his drinking spirits, and he did gou and beginne the battle againste the ratte-navie. And yea at the beginninge, hee didde crye oute, "Eville ratte-man, hear me wourde! I wille you defeatesth and sende youe to the helle-ponde you from spanedd were!" And with this, he laid the first blows. The sweords klasshed, and much blodde wausse spilt and there was much fyghituing.

An Era of Power

(Previous posts in the series: 1, 2, 3, 4)

With the death of Alexander, and the splintering of his empire, the League of Desmond found itself in a position of unprecedented power. To reward their service, Alexander had given his subordinates - members of the League, all - rulership over the lands under his control. Now, with him gone, the League of Desmond ruled all the known world. In Greece and Macedonia, Cassander ruled; in Thracia (sort of around Byzantinium/Constantinople/Istanbul), Lysimachus seized a kingdom; Ptolemy ruled in Egypt, and Seleucus named his Middle Eastern empire after himself. But with power, inevitably, came corruption. The unity of the League of Desmond did not stand against the temptations of rulership, and Desmondite made war on Desmondite for personal or political gain.

Instead of being a brotherhood of warriors, the League of Desmond became something quite different. For the next hundred and fifty years, the League served as a sort of international leadership caste. Though its members might war on one another, and many held little friendship for their comrades, they could communicate through the League, even in the chaos of war. The League thus served, in some capacity, as a channel of information, to bind the Greek states together. In some circles, it was commonly held that to be a civilized nation was to have a League of Desmond member as king.

In the days of the League of Desmond as warrior brotherhood, meetings would generally consist of ritual competitions - foot-races, discus throwing, arm-polishing, wrestling contents, and so forth - followed by a small feast. In this new League, though, that small feast became the whole of the thing - a tense meeting between rivals, a friendly one between allies, or something more complicated in a larger gathering. One might think of this as being similar to the League today, in our traditional 'feasts' - although there are somewhat fewer rivalries between present-day League members.

In time, all things must past. The Macedonian successor states fell and rose on their own merits, not the League of Desmond's; some collapsed into anarchy, their League rulers fleeing or dying by chance's dictate, while others flourished. More ominous, though, was the Rise of Rome. Ever expanding, Rome steadily conquered, nation after nation falling to their methodical might. Their republican Senate had no interest in the League of Desmond; invitations were met with deaf ears. Even in distant Asia Minor, the wise knew that with Rome's triumph came the League of Desmond's downfall. What could be done to stop that remained to be seen.

Author's note: After this 'series' ends (that is to say, after the next post), I may start working backwards from the present day, or fictionalizing recording some of the incidents that actually occurred to us. Give me a shout-out, tell me what you want.