Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ruling Rosveltia

"Every mushroom has its owner."


In the land of Rosveltia, two princes reigned. One was a man of honour and nobility. His name was Charles. The other was a vile wretch of a man, who should have never been allowed to live to adulthood, much less inherit the dual throne. His name was Dans.

Naturally, some enmity arose between them. Yet they were opposed to violence, in this matter: Charles feared of the consequences to Rosveltia in the event of war, and Dans was too much the coward to fight. So instead, they arranged for a peaceful contest, with binding results: whomever was defeated would be instantly beheaded, and replaced on the dual throne by whomever the winner chose.

Unfortunately for Charles, the contest was a spitting-on-orphans-contest. "Oh no!" cried Charles. "I've never done this before - nor do I want to, really - and Dans has so much experience! I'll lose - and die -and Dans will rule Rosveltia!"

So he stood back - watched Dans start spitting on the orphans, waited until he got really enthusiastic about it - and then lopped Dans's head off.

"Ha!" Charles cried. "Justice has been done!"

Then he noticed that Dans was still ahead on points.

"Aw, shoot," Charles said.

Then his head got chopped off.

Now Rosveltia is a democracy!

Hooray for nonviolent conflict resolution!

Woeful Tales of Women and Boys

There once was a boy.

The boy lusted after the women of his acquaintance. But he was timid, and shy; rarely did he muster the courage to approach, and he did not speak long even on those occasions. Such was his character at that time.

There came an event which brought this side of him to the fore. He encountered a woman wearing the livery of his own service; this would provide ample opportunity for the boy to speak with the chance-met woman; yet he did not. They together boarded the same aeroplane; the boy again spoke not a word, nor did he approach her. Several times more did the boy pass the woman, and then found himself entering the bus; and still he neither approached nor spoke to the woman. Together they went from the bus, and entered the same dorm; and here the boy, silent still, saw the woman speak to, then suddenly embrace, an older man. The boy entered his room; and there, bitterly, he wept.

He never saw the woman again.

This was the catalyst. He had squandered enough opportunity; there would be no more wastage! He focused his energies as he never had before. He studied; he practiced; he achieved. He became wise and learned, his hair greyed under the weight of years. At last he assembled the device of his own design and making; he stepped in, and found himself transported back to that fateful day.

Driven yet by the vows of so many years past, the once-boy made haste. He made entrance to the dormitories in which he had lived in his callow university days, set himself in readiness. The woman appeared; the once-boy spoke to her warmly, won her affection instantly with that charm that he had practised so hard to gain, and embraced her, as he had so long wished to do.

The once-boy led the charmed woman to his apparatus, there to bring her back to his own time. This he accomplished; the two vanished, air rushing in to fill the gap where they had stood. In the dorm they had just left, the boy wept bitterly, a new resolution forming...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hoops of Steel

"CRACK HIS WALL WITH HOOPS OF STEEL!" the giant thundered. One finger pointed forward

His thousand reptilian minion hissed and crackled, singing foul war-cries - then they charged.

The Nikolas held the line, his beard forking a thousand ways, glowing with an eerie light. "Never shall you defeat us, foul ratte-kinge!" he cried. "For my beard is mighty, and blessed by the LORD, who is named to us TMRK*. Our walls shall hold, even against your mightiest weapons!" His own followers cheered, each brandishing a croissant in hand.

Then came the ratte-kinge's minions - and there was no more time for speeches. There was only the struggle.

It was an epic sight that would have greeted any observer that day. The Nikolas's forces were well-matched with those of his foe, and each had difficulty gaining any way. The lizard-weapons were matched and neutralized with the power of the croissant, and for each of the Nikolas's soldiers that the ratte-king knocked aside, the Nikolas's beard claimed another victim. Each side unleashed secret weapons - huge hoops of steel**, wound about with gold and amber, thundered into the Nikolasian ranks. But they were swiftly countered, as terra-zeppelins burst from the earth, sourdough-cannons ringing out a thunder like that of a hundred bell-towers falling. In this manner, with heroism and folly intermixed, did the Nikolas and the Ratte-Kinge battle.

Perhaps inevitably, both Nikolas and Ratte-Kinge still stood at the battle's end. Terra-zeppelins lay sadly deflated upon the earth; hoops of steel were cracked and broken, covered with the crumbs of the croissants that shattered them. Only a few minions from each team still remained, less than two-score lizards or Mini-Nikolases still upon the field; they huddled behind their respective commanders, eyeing their counterparts warily.

The Nikolas's beard curled upwards slightly, giving out sharp sparks of electricity. "Need we continue this contest?" he asked sonorously. "From what I can see, it is over - and you lost! Your build points were wasted on poison-darts and 'hoops of steel' - ridiculous contraptions! My humble croissants defeated them with ease. Now my personal buffs will be more than enough to swat you from the field?"

"THEN WHY DO WE STILL TALK?" the giant Ratte-Kinge inquired. "HAD YOU SUCH POWER, YOU WOULD NOT HESITATE TO EXERCISE IT. I THINK YOU BLUFF - THOSE TERRA-ZEPPELINS COST YOU MORE THAN YOU ADMIT. YOU ARE VULNERABLE - I HAVE BUT TO KICK IN THE DOOR, AND THE WHOLE ROTTEN STRUCTURE WILL COME FALLING DOWN!"***

A terrible battle ensued.

"You have vanquished me!" the Nikolas lamented. "But wait - what's this - one last reservoir of strength?"

The Nikolas won.

"Hooray!" cheered his team-mates.

The Ratte-Kinge was sad.

Now he would never make it to finals!

*Like YHWH.
**These were actually not that secret.
***A misquote.

EDIT: Spelling fixed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Noah the Omnipotent

His power is unbounded; his knowledge all-encompassing. His strength is that of mountains, his wisdom greater than that of the Oracle. His name: NOAH.

Into this world he came two and a half years ago; yet still in majesty and grace he surpasses all others inhabiting it. He is the scourge of tyrants, who toss and turn at night, dreading his coming; he is the hope of all who are oppressed or afraid.

This is a tale of the actions of NOAH.

There was once a city, known to its inhabitants as Sacrament. But its character did not match its name; its people were dark and depraved, its nights dark and filled with terror.

This was a thing NOAH could not abide. Into Sacrament he strode; with each step, the ground was made to tremble. The people cowered before him; with a mighty hand, NOAH took the Jews out of Egypt. Wait! No. He cast out the depraved, the vile, the unwholesome, with justice and an impalcable firmness. With one hand, he cast away drug dealers, gangsters, and common thieves. With the other, he flung away corrupt politicians, scam artists, and televangelists. These two were not separated, nor were they divided; they were left to their own devices, to make their own lives heaven or hell without troubling the innocent.

Now the innocents of Sacrament were untroubled by the corrupt and vile. NOAH spoke unto them, bidding them to forevermore follow the law of the righteous, and obey ever the golden rule, so that never again need NOAH come to their city; to him they swore it. Then NOAH departed, justice done.

That is the way of NOAH.

(A photo may later be appended to this post, to clarify.)

Annals of the Amanuensis

The humble servant woke late on that fateful morning. His first task was to return the personal belongings of a friend. This was, the servant knew, a story in and of itself. The friend - known as the Iguana - had volunteered his Macbook as a video-recording tool for a project assigned to the humble servant. The humble servant recorded the short clip required - this in itself only a minor challenge - but, when the editing process began, the Iguana transformed - became consumed with the need to eliminate all flaws from the video, no matter how trivial! Every um, every uh - painstakingly eradicated! The task consumed the Iguana - and in the end, he left his portable electronics behind, in his rush to return home, recharge his MacBook, and complete the task!

So the humble servant fufilled his duty, returning the friend's belonging. He continued in the course of a normal day - maths class, attended. Bagels, eaten. View, admired and photographed.


He returned to his dwelling, and set to work - and somewhat was accomplished! But he, the humble servant, could not work long, for there was packing to do.

The humble servant assembled many things onto his person. His computer, battery, associated cables. His iPhone, iPod, associated cables. His notebook, pens, pencils, calculator. Enough clothes to last four days in the wilderness - for this the servant was forced to pack only underclothes and a single shirt, for he had not room for any more jeans than he wore upon his person. And still he packed - DS, wallet, sweatshirt, aeroplane ticket... and there was something he was missing, he realized.

He had no ticket for the shuttle-bus to the aeroport.

This caused a panic. He ran to a friend's digibox, his own packed away - could he sign in somehow, re-register, re-print - he knew he had saved it - but it was nowhere! Disaster! All seemed lost, and the hour grew near when a precipitious departure would be called for - yet a friend saved the day. He unraveled the riddle of the database, and from his electrobox spewed the ticket required. The servant, overjoyed, seized it, offered thanks, and fled - only to realize, minutes later, that he had forgotten to lock his bedroom door in his haste.

Alas! There was no time to return. The humble servant offered whispered prayers to the family gods, and rushed onwards.

The humble servant noted, as he arrived upon the shuttle-bus - in plenty of time, perhaps owing to his haste - that despite all seats having been reserved beforehand, there was much space left open upon the bus. This was contrary to the stories he had heard, and he hoped that no-one had missed their bus - but it rendered the uneventful trip to the aeroport more comfortable, so he offered no complaint.

Inside the aerodrome, the line was long and the crowds were thick - yet all moved swiftly. The servant progressed through the trials, and all ended well - yet, on consideration, the servant deemed one event worthy of note.

After the Ceremony of the Queue and the Ceremony of the Identification, the servant found himself naturally at the third ritual, the Ceremony of the Unburdened Soul. He took the steps required - the Separation of the Laptops, the Placement of Metal Objects in the Provided Bins, the Removal of the Shoes - and noted, as he did the latter, that one of the TSA Priests was examining his DS. Opening it, closing it, removing the dummy-GBA cartridge in an attempt to see its markings...

"Why do you do this?" the humble servant asked.

The Priest of the TSA seemed sheepish. In return, he inquired evasively, "What game do you have in there?'

"Mario Kart", the humble servant answered truthfully - as is ever his nature.

By now two of the TSA Priestesses had noticed the conversation. One remarked, "Hey, I have that exact one!" After a request from clarification from the other priestess, the first clarified, "A red DS Lite".

This concluded the encounter, for the most part - though it was a thing of such pecularity that the humble servant could not help but note it at this later date. (He suspects that the priests and priestesses may have been bored.)

(Some would say that his DS Lite "attracts womons", which renders the humble servant a "pimp". Obviously, this is not a thing he would claim himself. He is far too humble.)

The ceremonies were all completed a quarter-stroke before the first hour after noon; the humble servant's journey was scheduled to begin a half-stroke past the second hour. So for nearly two hours he waited, watching people pass and go in the crowded aero-atrium. Across from him a man opened the magazine "Maxim", perusing it with great concentration. The humble servant occupied himself by other means.

This long period of boredom was - as such things sometimes are - followed by a short period of panic. The humble servant entered the queue to board his flight - at the Gate and Time which he had checked repeatedly. He found that he had the same boarding-identifier as another person. His flight number was not the one being boarded.

The humble servant considered that he might have missed his flight.

After seeking advice from afar, he looked to the aero-employees to find the truth. They told him - "Go there, to the place opposite this, where you will find the gate you seek." The humble servant ran and rushed, and boarded on time - setting himself in readiness for the flight. He breathed a sigh of relief.

It really had been a matter of some concern.

The aerotrip was swift and painless. (Little of interest occured during its length, saving only the offering of salted peanuts, which the humble servant consumed.) From the sunny land of Saint Diego, the servant arrived in the bleak and rain-filled land known as the Sacrament. There his family elders met him, and in their company he traveled to their home. For hours he ate of their food, made in the old style, and partook of their company and - later - those of his own parents. The Humble Servant had arrived -

And he was content.
Happy end!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

history of kessler

20 AD kessler born to romans in cahrae

he was raiased on wine and frumenturm

300AD kessler born to etruscanns
they raised him on fish

500 AD kessler dies
revived my the boly hater
i cant spell

2000AD kessler reborn of holy child
fights world demons becones bamous kils bill
they make a movie about hinm

his quotes(courtesy of goggle transated)

you gay 

I have many gay 

where 

under my cap and 
in my bag 
 
why 

because 
the homosexual is useful 
 
why 

to hit on women 

:O
 »  
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Words of Wisdom

As the nikolas drifted by on his cloud, he whispered, like the wind, "...the cawing sheep have trouble with a cicada infestation. They call in an expert to sort things out... but the expert is... a womon. Gasp!"


And I turned around, and behind me I saw, just like he said, a rolling meadow, covered in sheep, which were cawing delicately, but with swathes of black cicadas hissing up tarry black plague upon their wool.

The shepherds were baffled at the infestation, so they called the doctor of sheep, in Birmingham, who was hot, and wore minimal clothing, and who was a womon, and that did know many things.

But that story is not interesting.

So the Nikolas drifted by again, on his cloud, of gold silk, and he said, "Also, you should blag about your travels."

So like one day was coole. I went to class, and like it was sort of interesting. Then I went to cymistry class, and it was cool because there was like people talking about their research, and there was this russian lady, and she had like a cool accent, but I could not understand what she said. Then there was this guy, and he gave a cool presentation, except his laser pointer was really bright and it blinded me many times, and he showed us really cool stuff, like there were molecules that "walk" around on things, and his name was actually Professor Cool, but I think it was spelled differently. And then I was going to talk to them about research, but a womon dashed out of there really fast, so I had to follow her, and like I asked her what she was doing later, but she was "busy" again, and I was sadde. Then a cool dude came up and talked to her, so I run back to the class room, but prof. Cool was gone. Also I was sad because I did not talk to the professour about researches. And it reminded me of a movie that I had seen a short part of, the other day, about this dude that goes into the airplane without telling this womon that he love her, so he run through the airport or something. 

And then the omnibus came, and I did not realise it was so far away, so like I was going really fast hoping I was not late for it cuz it was the only way to get to the airport. So I missed the bus. That was not fun. It was ok though, another one came in like 5 minutes. Also it was supposed to have wi-fi but it was broken so that sucked. They showed "Indiane Jones" though , which was cool. The ride was 3 heures long, though, which was not cool. But I sat next to a hot womon though, which was cool. But I did not talk to her, though, which was not cool.

And it came to passe, that the Omnibusse did arrive at the Porte, at Boss-towne, which was large, and full of clipper shippes, that did carry much cargoe, and passengeres, and I, being afflicketed by many wonton exitationes and motiouns of the stomache, did go to a locale marchant stande, which was named "The Kinge of Burgeres" and it tasted foule, of the streetes, but it was fyllinge, and I ate, in haste, and with relishe, and I saw a couple, which were Orientale, but they spoke in a toungue of the Hispanicks, which both pussled and perturebed mea, and it was goode. And did I goe throughugh the Gates, which were fortified with twentie of the Kinge's Men, and was I stripped downe, and mine weapones examined, and did I swore an oathe that I was a goode Chrisitiane.

And then I saw a comrade, from the university, whom I knew briefly, and I discussed worldly matters with him, and I ate yoghurt, which was tasty. And it turned out that he comrade knew the womon that I tried to hitte upon in the university, and I considered asking him for ad-vice, but I was afeared of him. 

Then I came upon the great aero-plane, and there were screens in the seats, and they had tele-vision shows, and I saw a most wonderful show, except I felt great nauseas, and it was not counfroutable. Also I saw next to a hot womon, which was kind of cool. 

Then I went home. It was cool. Total travel time, about 12 heures.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fish Koan

Here is a koan for a sad, undernourished blag.

Once there was a fish and a man. The fish asked the man, "How do you walk upon the land?"

The man told the fish, "With my legs."

And the fish was enlightened.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

King Nikolas: Kidnapped!

(Sequel! Though you don't have to be familiar with the original to enjoy this stirring tale, collaboratively drafted between the inimitable Mr. Zhang and myself.)

(Content warning: This post contains gratuitous Dutch and libeling of undeserving acquaintances.)

King Nikolas was on the top of the world. (This is good, because otherwise he would be underground.) He had a gold rock, and a staff. His name was Mansa Musa! He was very happy with all of this.

But then he was kidnapped by robots from space!

This made him less happy.

"Who are you?" Nikolas asked his captors. "Where do you come from? Why have you taken me from my home, in a small country in Africa, and imprisoned me on the Moon?"

Just then came a clomping noise from beyond the door to Nikolas's cell.

A grim visage appeared before King Nikolas. It looked like de Nikolas - "Or," King Nikolas realized, "Like Van Dijk!"

Grim indeed!

King Nikolas realized the seriousness of his situation. "You're robots from a factory on the Moon!" he cried. "And you-" - this said pointing at the terrible face before them - "-you must be the Dutch King of the Moon Factory Robots!"

"U HEBT GELIJK," the Robot King agreed.

"But why have you kidnapped me?" King Nikolas protested. "I have done no wrong!"

"LEUGENAAR, JE HEBT," the Robot King said. "U VERLEIDEN VAN EEN VROUW OP FACEBOOK EN JE FOTOGRAFEERDE HAAR EN EEN ANDERE VROUW DAT IS EEN MISDAAD TEGEN DE ROBOT RECHT"

"But that's simply not true!" King Nikolas said. "I have made advances on no-one, and I took pictures of one 'womon', at most..."

"Wait," King Nikolas said, as the Robot King's guards approached to deliver summary justice. "You have been misled, Your Majesty - and I think I know the culprit."

"Wie?" the Robot King asked, holding a hand to stay his guards a moment longer.

King Nikolas told him.

-

King Nikolas, the Robo-King, and a swarm of Robo-Minions appeared on the lawn of the Enemy. Nikolas knocked on the door. Presently, it opened.

"Who is it?" said the Enemy, evidently a bit groggy. A buxom beauty leaned on each of his shoulders, for it was the power of the Enemy that he might act in any way to a "womon" without repercussion.

"It is I - he who you have wronged!" cried King Nikolas, robo-horde gleaming behind him.

"It you!" cried the Enemy, alarmed. "How did you realize it was me?"

"Once I realized that it was slander involving 'womons', there was no other candidate," King Nikolas said with an outstretched finger. "No other might have uttered such vile calumnies and been believed - except you, Ryan Tseng, enemy of all that is good and right in the world!"

Ryan's eyes darted back and forth desperately - and set upon the face of the Robo-King.

"Override one-delta-one-zero-tau!" Ryan shouted. "Override, override, override!"

The Robo-King's eyes glowed red. "EEN EEN EEN NUL EEN," he intoned, and with one lurching movement had King Nikolas in chains.

"No!" King Nikolas cried. "Betrayal most terrible! How can this beeeeeeee!?" he wailed to the sky.

Ryan kicked him over onto the ground and laughed. "Ha!" he laughed. "Ha, ha!" Then he embraced the Robo-King.

He embraced this.

"Oh, my good friend!" Ryan cried, much relieved. "I was truly worried there for a moment - but your mercenary nature has saved me!" Then he paused.

"What are you doing?" he asked of the Robo-King, whose arm was clamped uncomfortably tight about Ryan's body. Also, glowing.

King Nikolas answered him - now free of the chains, for they were but a ploy! "He is draining you of your powers!" Nikolas said. "You are growing weaker by the moment - and when you are done, we will have the ability to have social intercourse with 'womons', and you will be doomed!"

Then they took two of Ryan's harem and left to their separate, happy existences, leaving Ryan to a doom that he richly deserved - the poetic fate of being left with his own harem, all of whom now hated him forever.

Happy end!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The History of Thanksgiving

(Loosely based on a conversation overheard earlier today.)

The Pilgrims stepped onto shore, their faces grimy yet shining in triumph. They had crossed the Atlantic! They had reached the New World!

One pointed to a big rock nearby. "This rock will be called... Plymouth!"

The others looked at him. "Why?" they asked.

The proclaimer was saved from answering when a pack of wolves was spotted, approaching from the woods to the west. "My god!" the assembled Pilgrims shouted, terrified. "Wolves!"

They panicked. "No-one told me there'd be wolves in the New World!" one whined. Another bellowed, "They'll eat us from the outside in, starting with our eyes!" A third screamed, "God, god, don't let them eat my babies!"

This panic was almost certainly unwarranted.

The wolves stopped before the ship, where musket-wielding Pilgrims now quivered in their general directions. Then the wolves turned into Native Americans.

"How!" one amiable sort suggested.

Then everyone ate corn and turkeys!

Later that night...

A dark shadow drifted over the Native American village. Squaws and braves alike shivered in their teepees. Squanto turned over, mumbling something about "delicious human flesh". (In Werewolf Native-Americanese, of course.) Shapes formed out of the darkness, and silent as the night itself, entered the Native American dwellings. (The night was pretty quiet. Otherwise there'd have been a lot of cricket-noises and owl-hoots and it would have been very embarassing for everyone.) They knelt down to where the Native Americans slept - and drank their blood! Then, refreshed, they left the way they had come. As they departed, one of them passed before the moon, revealing their true appearance. (The narrator is on the ground somewhere, I guess. Maybe he's a frog, or a cricket.)

Anyway, we were about to reveal the vampires' true appearance.

They were the Pilgrims!

They came from the Old World to seek freedom of religion - and also to suck blood!

Spooky!

This needs some backstory. Let's arbitrarily redefine all of history in terms of some ridiculous war between vampires and werewolves. That'll make everything better.

One - the werewolves roamed the land. They weren't touched by original sin, because they were made from Adam's zeroth and negative-first rib. They were magic! Everyone liked them. Unicorns and rainbows followed them everywhere they went.

Then Cain - or Kain, because "k" is "kruise kontrol" for "kool" - murdered his brother Abel. (Maybe Abel was a werewolf too. See, he was actually Kain's half-brother, he was a bastard sired of the space-werewolf Lilith... that doesn't actually make any sense, so let's go with it.) So Kain was cursed by God to turn into a vampire! (They're properly vampyres, because ys are also cruyse control for cool. I will refer to them as vampyres henceforth.) Anyway, Kain was cursed to turn into a vampire. It was such a terrible curse that he became immortal, gained the ability to turn into a bat or a cloud of mist, and could control people's minds by sucking their blood. He gained vulnerabilities, too - to the sign of the Cross, garlic, and a stake through the heart!

Of course, Christianity wasn't invented for a few thousand years after Kain became a vampire, and a stake through the heart is notable for also killing humans, so those vulnerabilities are kinda underwhelming. (Vampires aren't vulnerable to daylight in this continuity because that would be boring. Obviously.)

Anyway: historical background!

So, the werewolves were totally ticked off at Kain because he killed Abel, who was one of them, and they all knew the truth telepathically. (They're telepaths, too.) So they tried to kill Kain. But Kain was totally a brooding antihero, and he killed tons of them. (In no small part because of the Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu.) Kain raised an army of vampires and exterminated all the werewolves around the Mediterranean! Then he headed to China and killed all the werewolves en route. It was totally epic! But you don't get to hear about it.

The Arabs were totally werewolves. That's why Europe hated them so much! Christianity was a vampire religion - ironically, I guess? Irony's big with vampire fans - and Islam was a werewolf religion. (Thus the crescent moon.)

No, wait, wait. The Jews were all vampires! (See, they had to have come from Kain - it's not like Adam had any other kids, right?) So they had to hide from the Christians - but they had all the wealth and power. All that stuff about 'secret Jews' and 'Satanic Jew rituals' - totally true! The Inquisiton was a trick - it only persecuted poor innocent witches and vampires that didn't obey the Vampire Code. (There's a Vampire Code now.) The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was written with help from a rebellious, nonconformist vampire - the Deep Throat of his day!

Jesus was a werewolf vampire. Which... I don't know, maybe Mary was a vampire and God is a werewolf? Just roll with it.

Anyway, anyone important ever was a vampire or a werewolf. Christopher Colombus? Vampire. De Sota? Vampire. British Royal Family? Hell, they're even vampires in real life. (Don't try to deny that one, royalist-fanboy/girls!) The Americas were populated entirely by werewolves! The Conquistadors were just continuing their age-old rivalry with the werewolves when they butchered and enslaved the populace. No ethical qualms there!

Okay, that's probably enough background. We were talking about the Pilgrims. They were hanging out, abusing the natives' hospitality, making farms and houses and stuff. One day they had a celebration feast. "Hooray!" they shouted. "It's Thanksgiving! Fall quarter is nearly over!"

Then - dramatically - something crashed through the ceiling of their feast-hall!

"What the heck is that?" one of the Pilgrims asked.

"It looks like a giant floating cybernetic brain," Squanto guessed. (In Werewolf Native-Americanese. He didn't know the English word for "cybernetic".)

"YOU WILL ALL KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!" the brain thundered.

And that's the story of Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

King David

Once upon a time, a Great Master cried out:

David: i am depress

He was wounded; his life's blood spilling out upon the ground! (In the land of metaphor.) His student, desperate and afraid, sought to help.

nick: noooooooooo
I must cheer you up.

The Great Master counselled against it:

David: it is imposibel

But the student was too loyal to abandon his master so readily. He thought for a moment, and then decided on a course of action.

nick: I will tell you a tale!
One upon the time, there was a man called David.

The master was unimpressed:
David: ...

nick: He was the King of the Jews.

The master was offended.
David: hey!

nick: One day, a man came up to the David.

The master was confused and delirious from blood loss.
David: is this that naked womon story


Then he fell silent, and let his student tell the rest of the tale.

-

nick:
"You are not the King of the Jews!" he said.
"I am!"
"By what right do you claim that?" replied the noble, wise, and just King David, from his twenty-foot tall throne.
"Look at me!" said the interloper.
King David looked.
The intruder had a sign upon his chest:
"I am JUDE", it proclaimed.
A man named Jude! "Why," King David said, shocked, "That's the name of the man destined to kill me and take my throne!"
"That's right!" said Jude, drawing his sword and advancing upon the King.
"And," King David continued, "That's the name of my son, who my wife sent away for fear of the prophecy!"
Jude stopped, alarmed.
"...your son?" he asked.
"Yes, you are," King David told him.
"I have missed you so much..."
The two embraced.
Then they hunted down the prophet and killed him!
It is a sin to practice false prophesy, you know.
Then everyone was happy!
All thanks to the wisdom of King David.
The end!

-

The master considered the matter for some time, chest moving up and down raggedly. (Metaphorically.) He opened his mouth once or twice, as though to speak; but nothing of value or meaning came out. The student watched anxiously, uncertain of the merit of his efforts. Then the master offered his judgement:

David: you should blog thta

The end!

King Nikolas

Nicholas:
My anger is terrible and vast.
Calm me down with a soothing tale.

Me:
i will tell you a story  
of king nikolas 
he was the king of a small country
in africa 
and there was a spider-man 
in the buches 
who liked to steal the childrens gruel 
and eat it up in the buches 
and the children was very sad because they liked to eat their gruel in the morning 
so the villegers went up to king nikolas 
and told him of their perrils 
so the king went to the vellage 
and waited in the night until the spider-man came out of the bus 
in the moon-lite 
and 
the spider man took his web, and he wrapped up all the greul in it 
and sneaked into the buches 
king nikolas said 
aha what a trisckster is he 
but i know how to catch him 
so the next nite 
he went into the coocking room 
where there was gruel 
in the sotove 
and when the spider man came onto the place 
he put some isotops in the guel 
and so when the spider man come to eat them 
he could track it with his radoiactive tape 
so he kill the spider man 
in the bush 
with a big rock 
and the vilagers were happy 
so they gave king nikolas 
a gold rock 
and a staff 
and then he became 
a moslem 
and his name was 
mansa musa 
the end

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Knight of the Five Crosses

It may be said that a knight of the order of the Fifth Cross is a man of impeccable virtue; such was the saying in the rule of Charles the Fifth, at the apex of the Fifth Cross. The saying fell into disuse over the reign of Charles' successors, as the Fifth Cross's reputation became tarnished by the sins of men; it was nearly forgotten by the reign of Eric the Second, one hundred and twenty years after the founding of the Order of the Fifth Cross.

Well that it were not; for though the Knights of the Fifth Cross had long passed their apex, yet there were many men among them truly deserving the title Chevalier. One of them shall feature in our tale to-day.

A gaggle of youths stood in a forest clearing, not far from the village which they called home. Each stood on one side of a tarpaulin strung between two poles, throwing a ball back and forth over the tarp. Their competition was fierce, and tempers ran high; so it came as a surprise to all when the ball flew, wayward, past the net, over one team's head, and into the side of the passing knight's horse.

The knight drew his horse to a stop. He was clad in blue-lacquered steel, and his helmet covered his eyes in shadow. A crest on his breast illustrated a complex geometrical symbol. His head turned toward the children.

They rushed toward him, filled with remorse. "We're sorry!" they cried in an unruly chorus, "So sorry, we didn't know you were there, we meant no harm, we'll repay you, please don't kill us!"

Such was the reputation of knighthood in that land that children - nine to twelve years of age - feared death by any arbitrary knightly whim!

The knight took off his helmet, displaying a tonsure beneath. "Be at peace, children," he told the fearful mob before him. "My name is Ser Antony, and I wish no harm to you." The nobility of his spirit was visible in both his voice and visage; some men are noble but of ill appearance, and equally the opposite, but none such was Ser Antony. For he was of the Order of the Fifth Cross, as you have likely guessed, and though his reputation was ill-known, after his death, the historians would would rightly place him among the greatest of his order.

He let the children lead him to their village, where he met the hetman of that place; there he heard of the troubles of that place, their struggles with bandits and wild animals and near-starvation. He considered for a time, whether the purpose that brought him to the playing children was of greater import than the peasants' need; he slept on the matter, awoke, saw the lavish meal that the peasants set before him, despite their own poverty; and decided upon his priorities.

Ser Antony met the hunters of the village and took them out into the forest; there he taught them the art of snares and traps, more clever than those known to them. They told him of dreadful beasts, boars and wolves that had learned the taste of human flesh, and now hungered for it; Ser Antony hunted each down, over the course of a fortnight, and slew them with sword and lance. Their meat fed the village better than ever it had known.

Next, Ser Antony brought together the farmers of the village. He beheld their tiny, cramped fields, and frowned; then he set to work. In workman's clothes, he led the villagers in clearing more land, removing weeds from the original plots, fencing off the land and preparing it for later use. With the coin of his own purse, Antony arranged purchase of items from the nearest town; a proper iron plough, for use when the harvest came, and various mechanisms and components. With help from the strongest villagers, as well as those skilled in wood-working, Ser Antony built a watermill upon the banks of the nearby brook, and therein set a mill-stone which he carried alone.

Months had now passed since Ser Antony had arrived in the village; word of its increasing prosperity spread, and the bandits of the region descended to plunder. Ser Antony had trained the villagers, however, and armed them with spears and simple armour; he led them against the attacks, and broke each in turn by virtue of superior leadership, courage, and swordsmanship. The village hunters tracked the bandits to their lairs, and Ser Antony led them in finally exterminating the threat.

In just over six months, Ser Antony had transformed the village. When he arrived, it was on the verge of extinction; now it was thriving, attracting traders and refugees alike to share in its new prosperity. The villagers knew well the source of their good fortune, and they showered food and goodwill upon Ser Antony; until he vanished one night, off to another land, there to complete whatever tasks were assigned to him. If there was regret within him that he must leave such a self-made paradise, he never showed it -

For he was a knight of the Five Crosses; and duty was foremost among them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WOMON SAGA VI

ONE DAY: In the meadews, where thar waus much grasse, did a Nikolas goe, and unto a greate castle, where there were manie Kinghtes, and they were stronge, and the Nikolas did destroye their soules, and 'twas goode. And when the treasure was begooten, then, yea, did it comme to passe, that, he did run out of the Castle, unto the Streetes, after a womone, for he was wont to speake with her, and take her to the meate-place, and eat meate, and the bones of the lambe, and the salte, but the womon, fearing thisse, did hasted, out of the way, and she did go unto a cliffe, such that the Nikolas could notte go uppe, and follow her, and he walcked off, and it was goode.


Thus, they were in another castle, and they worked on leevers, and catapultes, and seedes of oaets, and the womon did come unto the Nikolas, but she did not speake to him, but, rather, did she steale hisse bottle of whiskey, which he was using for criticalle meanes, and she did notte see himme, and he was disenheartened by thisse, and it was goode.

And it came to pass, that, the Nikolas was in a Rocke, which was in Space, which had Purpel cristales in itte, and a man with paint-brusshes, and a Kinghte with a sweorde, and there was a womone also, but the Nikolous, being a weake-man, did not corresponde with the womon, rather, she was in the companie of a "gentlemann" who was well-versed in the wayes of the Street, and the Nikolas was much agrieved of thisse, and he did write spytefull messages upon his parchemente, though he did so in toungues, so that the gentlemann could notte read them, and it was goode. And then the rocke did ex-plode, and they were ejeckted.

And the Nikolas did hasten out of the Rocke, on a comete, and he did run with the swifteness of a wilde boare, with tuskes, after the womon, and he did arrest her, in the muddling-place, where there were people from the City, and he did say unto her many thinges, which were triviale, and he did try to take her to the meate-place, and yea, it was futyle, for the womon refussed, for she was beplauged, with the plague, and variousse othere illnesses, and the imbalance of the humours, and she was wont to lay down with several men, who werre professounales, and the Nikolous was repulssed, and it was goode.

And it came to pass, that the Nikolas, who was muche saddened, did go unto his bedchambres, and weepe, and formed a poole of Watter, in the floore, such that it dissolve all manner of Sedimente, and, yea, he was sadde muche, and he sang a songe to comforte himme, and it was thusse:

Nikolaous of Nassouwe
am I, of German bloode,
loyal to the Fatherlande
I wille remain untill I die.
A prinse of Nikkolous
I am, free and feerless.
The Kinge of Spain
I have all ways honoured.

Breakfast-Time

Another lecture from the renowned Professor Z, transcribed and edited by the poster.

AGENDA:
-Breakfast components
-Threats of a Poor Breakfast
-Leeches
-Your Children (also, Saving the Princess; also, Stardust;)

For a proper breakfsot, you must eat:

eggs
bacon
sausage
roast beef
pudding
white sausage
blood sausage
kidneys
liver
beans
tomato
toast with
jam
butter
perserves
and
marmalade
cream
milk
juices
tea and coffee
with
cream
and
sugar
english miffins
scones
crumpets
croisssant
and
cigarettes

What will happen if you omit any one of those? (Also: why beans?)

then you will die
alternativley
it will be "bad for the humours"

(Appendix to the list above:)
cheeses
pastries
fruit
and
yoghurt

You just lump "fruit" as one group?

you can only eat
0.5 grams
of fruit
because
otherwise you will imbalance the humours

(also beans are "traditional")

Should one err - for instance, by eating a whole apple, instead of a healthful cigar-ette - what can be done to repair the damage? How may the humours be rebalanced?

you must drain the blood
preferaby
with leaches
you must buy them
in the market square

Trials to be surpassed in the acquisition of leeches:

you must avoid
the temptatoins
of the brothels
if you have sexuel with the humours imbalanced you will suffer great shocks
and your children will be born with the plague

You will learn of your children's sordid fate thus:

because they will be put in a box
and taken
to your door
and then
you have to go through the magic portal
in the wall
to rescue the princess
that you had sex with
because she was a slave
and like
her brothers
were fiting each other
to becom the king
and you have to go to the airship
but the guy was a homosexuel
o
and like you get turned into a mouse or something
and like the girl tells you she love yo
u
but like you can hear
even tho you are mouse
and then like
i forgot
what happen next
o and you have
a magic candel
that you can go anywhere with
o and like
there were witches
and they like cut animals
to see their entrales
and they used a rock
to make them selfes younge
o and there was a guy
called septimus
snape
and he had 7 buttons
on his shirt
and he had this guy
who told the "oracle bones"
but he was lying
so he kill him
o and the girl
was actually came down
from the sky
like a metore
and the dude like fell on her

And that is how to have a proper breakfast!

Please thank Professor Z. for his generous contribution of time to our humble blag; hopefully we'll see him again soon. There will be a cumulative exam on this material next section.

Another Day's Thoughts

On campus, there are many signs indicating "No Skateboards/Bikes Allowed", fine print beneath noting "Except on Weekends/Holidays." I have never seen anyone obey these signs. The really funny thing, though, is that even the architecture of campus seems to flout the signs' edicts; though "architecture" might not be the correct word. Passing one "No Skateboards/Bicycles" sign earlier today, I noticed a bike rack about fifty feet ahead of me. Turning around, I noted another fifty feet behind. Logically, biking must be forbidden on at least one side of this sign - yet there are bike racks on both sides.

Perhaps there's a traffic spike on weekends.

It amused me, anyway.

Moving on. Later, I noticed that a bike rack had been removed from an already busy spot, forcing me to follow the lead of another and lock my bike to a lamp-post. This is a transition to my next anecdote, about an excellent lecture I recieved today. It was for the introductory, mandatory CSE 91 class, which has a rotating set of professors talking about various CS topics. It's occasionally interesting, more often not, but today was excellent. The professor discussed graduate school, and, as I noted in another context, he was totally "real" and "hip" to the "streets". His name... was Professor Savage.

Surprisingly, I knew him! I had emailed him roughly a week ago, gaining an interview for that very same class, CSE 91. I talked to him after class - didn't have much to say, just felt I should say hello, having never before met him in meatspace - and it transpired that he'd forgotten about the lecture at the time I emailed him for an interview. Quoting from memory (very poorly), "they emailed me a reminder about my lecture in two days, and my response was, 'Great. Remind me what the lecture is about, again?'"

He's pretty nifty. Wonder if any vanity searches he does will pick this up? I've not said anything rude about him, so it's no skin off my back either way. (Weird expression, that.)

Shifting to another thought, CSE 91 is the class which had, as a slide in an early lecture, a graph showing enrollment in undergraduate CS programs, both in UCSD and nationwide. Both were in a decline for the last several years, especially severe immediately after the dot-com bust; the CS Department is something like 60% of its older size, I think. (Don't trust me on the numbers.) It's almost lonely, in a way - being in a major in decline. Hopefully I'm not the bright young lad going to college to learn how to design buggy-whips. (In 1908.) (Metaphorically.)

Happier and less-confused anecdote to wrap things up: Earlier in the day, but after the bike sign anecdote, I was in one of UCSD's many computer labs, preparing to be instructed on scholarly research by a librarian. I noticed the computers were using IE; this was a tragedy, and I decided to try to install Firefox. Didn't expect it to work - most sysadmins are wise enough to disable install privileges for users... but for whatever reason, theirs wasn't. Within a minute of sitting down at the computer, I was happily browsing in Firefox.

(A certain Eastern friend notes that Dartmouth's computers have Firefox preinstalled as the default. Lucky!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

WOMON SAGA V

(Translated by the Honourable M. Kelssie Huggums, who, having recover'd from his vile habits, did become much more healthy, and did take a wife, or two, and he did bear a child, which weighed heavily upon his mind, such that he was much distracted from his labours.)


ONE DAY: In the woodes of Northeumbrelande, and in the castel sieges, of the Periode, was there a greate Blissard, and did it snow from the Heavons, like an Angle pulling hisse Trumpete, and the hourne, of a clarioun Sounde, and it fell upon the Earthe, in a Layer that was not less than five cubits deep, above the Grounde, such that a manne who did walke upon itte, had the Ablilitie to call upon the persons who were not upon it, but who lay on the Ground, Turtle-like, and say, "Hark, hilly ho, ho, Sir! You are a Fool thyng and notte of Worth a six-pense! Sir!" And he saith thus, and he was full of Pride, and was Punished by the Lord, for he was a Simpletonne, and a Foole, and it was good.

And it came to passe, thate, in the Nikolas, 'twas a thynge, and he did thusly goe to the crystale palase, where there was much îse, and snowe, and, many eskimoes, and they hath speares, which swinged them at the Nikolas, and throw snow-balles at himme, but the Nikolous, who wase a sweorde man, did swinge at the eskimoes with his sweorde, and he slay them, and it was goode. And yea, there was a polare bear, and the Nikoulous picked himme uppe, and he entered a cave, and thus, the crystale kinge, who was a large man, which shotted many ice-beames at the Nikolos, and he swinged them with his sweorde, and they were defleckted, and the Nikolas came unto the crystale kinge, and he slay him with his sweorde, for he was goode, and juste, and the kinge saith unto the Nikolas, that he shall be avenged, for he was the kinge of the pastle, and the mourtar, and 'twas goode.

Lo, behold, in this endeavour, the Nikolos, who, though hee wasse a streonge manne, was not a lone in his queste, for he, beheined himme had thrice times tenn allyes beheined himme, whoum he could notte see, and if they fornicate, the Nikolas do not pounish them, for he be blinde to that, and if they defame the Nikolas, and if they erect false idoles, he do not pounish them, for he be blinde to that as welle. But the Nikolas saith, that when they die, then they will be judged by the Lord, and they were goode Christians thuslie.

And yea, it wasse true, that when the crystale kinge was slaint, there whate wase a large cheste, which was affixed to the ceeling, by a mechanisme of pullies, and leveres, and streings that were affixed to the ground, such that they were cutte, and the cheste fell unto them, and they opened it and becomed riche, and yea, they didde become greedie, for they had seene wealthe in the true fourme, and they desired the wealthe of each othere, and they did fight eache other for itte, and the Nikoulous, who was a stronge manne, and who was very welle-rounded, like a barrel, or a caske, did use his skilles to slay his allyes, who were weake, and notte reale menne, and it was goode.

And yea, behold, in the after-mathes, was there a womone, who, for her safe-ty, duringe the fyght, was tied upp to a poste, in the backe, whereupon she was free from harme, and couvered in the roubes of a virgine, and the Nikolas saw this, and it was good. And he, though he was tempted by the temptationes of the fleshe, he, being a Christian, and a sworde-man, and having large musceles, did go upp to her, and he did cut the rope, as is obligatory, and he took the womone down from the poste, and he carried her out of the palase, and into the blissard, out side, and it was goode.

And they went outsyde, and they talked, about thinges that were notte relavente to the globale affaires, but of little thinges, that were petty, and notte interesting, and the Nikolas, who wanted to sow his wilde oates, did try to take her to the "clubbe", but he, being a cowarde, and a wonton foole, and a vendour of sousages, did notte, and it was goode.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dimension!

(Could well be a sequel. To a sequel. So it's the third one, then. For reference.)

Two men, one shorter, one taller, stopped short on the edge of a vast crater. Behind them was only desolation, miles and miles of once-bricks turned into powder and then to glass by the force of the Big Boom; an uneven, treacherous surface, broken intermittently by sheets of shattered, pitch-black metal, marking the remains of Combine structures. Only at the edge of vision could any sign of the city that once was be seen.

Turning their gaze to the crater, the two men saw destruction on another scale.

A tower had once stood there; a tower built by the Combine, who held dominion over Earth after the decisive Seven Hour War. From it they had ruled over the surrounding city. Its flesh was made of their blue-black metal, and from deep beneath the earth it rose to the very heavens. But in the midst of revolution, a saboteur had gained entry to the tower - the Citadel, as it was known - and wreaked incalculable harm upon its workings. Less than two days later, the Big Boom occurred, high atop the Citadel; the city was laid waste, blasted into rubble and glass. And the Citadel itself - a structure weighing hundreds of thousands of tons - fell.

The two men stood for a moment longer on the edge of the crater, looking down at the broken Citadel. Strange swirls seemed to move at the edge of perception, like translucent blue scarves.

"So, remind me," the taller man said to the shorter. "What were we sent here to look for?"

The shorter man gave the taller a look. "You remember the briefing they gave us, right before they shoved us out the door?"

"No."

"Really?"

"Might've been drunk at the time."

"****."

The taller man offered no response.

The shorter man rubbed his forehead; then he sighed. "Look, let's just get down there. It's not something that needs a lot of explaining."

The taller man nodded and agreed. They began to walk down the side of the crater, on the lookout for worse-fused ground that might give way under their weight.

"You didn't bring any of the stuff, did you?" the shorter man asked.

"No, no," the taller man denied emphatically. "Drank my last drop before we left. Had been saving it for a special occasion, and what with recent events and all... seemed like a good time."

They walked on a few more meters, watching their footing.

"Shame," the shorter man grumbled. "Could use some liquor right now."

"Can't you tell me what we're looking for?" the taller man asked again.

The shorter man shook his head. "Nah, then you'd be just as bad as me. Need someone who's cool and collected, not terrified out of their wits."

The taller man took his eyes of the ground, taking the time to look his companion up and down. "You look fine," he said.

The shorter man grunted.

-

As they got closer to the center of the crater, strange sights - transient, barely visible even for the short span they lasted - began to appear in the air. Green skies streaked with nebulae, queer shapes moving on islands floating in midair, manta rays soaring high above...

The taller man, after seeing several, tapped his companion on the shoulder. "Pardon me," he said, "But am I seeing things, or are we in some kind of interdimensional hotspot that we should flee as fast as our legs can carry us?"

The shorter man looked up with a noise of surprise. "Oh, strange apparations are starting to appear?" he asked.

His companion nodded emphatically.

"Good," the shorter man said. "That means we're getting close."

"What the hell are we looking for?" the taller man asked for the third time.

"Xen." the shorter man replied.

After a pause, in which no further response seemed forthcoming, the taller man said: "Xen."

"Yes," the shorter man said. "Xen. Interdimensional borderworld, binding medium of the Portal Storms, potential home of powerful allies? All that stuff that they said at the meeting?"

"Look, man!" the taller man said defensively. "It's the end of the world! The Free Man has come, the Citadel has fallen, the Combine are on the run. Can't a man drink at a time like that?"

"NOT WHEN HE HAS A MISSION IN HALF AN HOUR!" the shorter man yelled.

The taller man cringed. "All right," he said. "So we're looking for some sort of interdimensional leak to Xen. Caused by the Big Boom, I guess. What do we do when we get there?"

"We go in," the shorter man said.

"Into another dimension?" the taller man asked, incredulous.

"Yes."

"How do we know that we won't just die instantly? From, you know, stepping into a heatless, airless vacuum? The glimpses we've been getting don't look very hospitable."

"There were expeditions sent in, years ago."

"I think I remember this bit. Weren't they wearing sealed, pressurized hazardous environment suits?"

"That was just for caution. We'll be fine."

After a pause: "Wait. Isn't Xen the place that headcrabs come from? Also barnacles, ant-lions, bullsquids, and half a dozen other species of hideous man-eating alien monsters?"

"You make it sound like they'll all be lining up to eat us as soon as we step through."

"For all we know, they will!"

"Aren't you supposed to be the cool, collected one here?"

"Now you're just being mean!"

"Too bad. We're here."

The taller man and the shorter man examined the portal to Xen.

"This... looks like a floating, green plasma-star-thing," the taller man finally observed. "With weird drifty arms that swirl around it. This does not look like a portal."

"How would you know?" the shorter man asked.

"Wouldn't you be able to see stuff through it if it was a portal?" the taller man asked. "Unless, you know, it was the portal to the inside of a star. In which case I definitely don't want to step through."

They stood a while longer, looking at it.

"Well, it seems kinda like what they told us to expect," the shorter man observed.

"What was that?"

"'Big. Green. Can't miss it.'"

There was another moment of silence.

"Leap of faith!" the shorter man cried, and stepped forward.

He flared green and vanished.

The taller man looked down. "Not even ashes," he noted.

He turned around, looking at the edge of the crater. "Not as far as it seemed," he noted. "I could just say that the portal vanished after him or something. Weird anomaly, very sad, and I'm home free. Fighting the Combine, with all their hyper-advanced technology and resources, and us with whatever we can scavenge. Just like the old days."

He looked at the green shape again.

"**** it!" he cried defiantly, and stepped forward. He, too, flared green, and vanished.

The portal waited a moment, and then shrank into nothingness.

If this alarmed the men on the other side, nothing of them remained on Earth to show it.

Orichalum

Rohit found an ax in his backyard.

"How strange," he said. "There should not be an ax here! This is a place for trees and grass and shrubs, not axes."

He decided to find his parents, so that they could tell him where to put it.

But he ran into something even stranger on the way!

"Anticorns!" Roheet said, alarmed. "Attacking some poor, helpless creature! Look at it, just lying there on the ground."

He attacked the anticorns with his axe. "Go away, you meanies!" he politely suggested. "You should not attack things that are smaller than you!" He considered. "Also, things that are not hurting anyone!"

The anticorns complied, galumphing away in abject terror. Obviously, Rohit's silver tongue had won the day.

"This is a really good axe!" Rohit decided.

Then he went to look at the poor helpless creature. "Are you okay?" he asked. "Did the mean anticorns hurt you?"

The creature did not respond.

Rohit became worried. "Are you asleep?" he wondered. "This is a silly time to sleep! I will wake you up." He leaned closer to the creature, reaching to nudge it awake.

The creature suddenly reared upright and roared! Its red eyes glowed like furnaces.

"You are not a small helpless creature!" Rohit said, very upset. "You are a demon-ghost! That is not the same thing at all!"

Then he went for the axe. "I will use this against you, because otherwise you will eat me!" he explained. Rohit was raised to always be polite and explain the reasons for his actions, especially when they might be ambiguous or confusing otherwise.

The demon-ghost seemed unimpressed. It did not want Rohit to get to the axe; at least, Rohit guessed that was why it bit him so painfully. "Ow!" Rohit shouted, but he still got the ax. He was paying extra attention to what he was doing! He did not want to get distracted, not when there was a demon-ghost trying to eat him. He did not think that a stomach was a nice place to be! He wasn't sure, but - wait, no, this was not a good time to be distracted.

Rohit raised the ax. Apologetically, he told the demon-ghost, "I'm sorry if this hurts!" and then swung the axe at the evil creature.

The ax sank into the demon-ghost. "Ha!" Rohit said, crossing his arms over his midsection. He had done a good job!"

The demon-ghost pulled out the ax and dropped it on the ground. It seemed unimpressed.

Rohit scratched his head. "Have I done something wrong?" he wondered. "Perhaps I should pick up the ax and do it again."

He reached for the ax.

The demon-ghost roared again, leapt, and pinned Rohit to the ground. It swelled to many times its previous size. Now Rohit was covered in darkness and nasty-smelling demon-ghost.

"Oh, this is not good!" Rohit said, alarmed. "I do not want to be eaten by a demon-ghost! But I think I am about to be!"

"Maybe it is not so bad," he consoled himself. "Maybe it is fun inside a stomach! There is candy-corn and apple-jacks and all sorts of other nice things inside. It could be!"

Rohit closed his eyes and hoped.

Then he opened them again, a moment later, when he heard a strange noise.

It was the anticorns! They had returned, and popped the demon-ghost like a balloon. It had swollen to become big - but it had stretched, too! Distracted by trying to eat Rohit, it had not noticed the anticorns when they came back. Just one lick was enough to break it all apart!

Rohit was very happy. "Yay!" he said. "You saved me! I'm sorry for the mean things I said!" Then he gave each of the anticorns a hug.

When he found his parents, not only did they know what to do with the axe, but they let him keep the anticorns as pets!

It was Rohit's favourite day ever.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

WOMON SAGA IV

(Translated by the Honourable M. Kelsie Higgums, Ph.D., who, at the time of the work, and, having given up the vile habits to which he was accustomed, was suffering supreme discomfort, due to withdrawals, and was quite paranoid.)

ONE DAY: In the mistes of the tyme, and when the rain droppes swirled acrosse the nighte skye, like a pattren not unlike the chariout of the Kinge drapying ackross the countie meadowes, was there a greate calamitie, for the Nikolas, who, not two dayes earlier had been in the presesnce of manie lively thinges, thwhicich were goode, and solide, like a snake, and did he seek to make a womon not a virgin any longer, though he was a gentle man, and not base, such that he did politely speake of it in a lettre, which was writtein on a parchemente, which was 20 cubits long, and thus whide, such that it encompassed a greate parsel of lande, and he wrote upon it with guilded toungue, and he sealed it with waxe sealse, and it was goode.

And he took the letter, and he affixed it to a post outside the barn, which had been tied down with sand-bags, and he tied it up with several knots, and with the glue derived from his horse-bones, and he un-tied the sand-bags, and the letter flew free upon the currents, and it was directed by the will-o-the-wisp, for he had taken a chant to it, and it flew to the womon, in not more than three days, and it was good. And it came to pass that the Nikolas, knowing not though that his message had been successfully transmitted across the great oceans to the womon, did despair, and dismay, and he fell into a depression, and he was soothed by distractions, such as the dirigible.

And the next day, while the Nikolas was on his lawn chair, and drinking bourbon, and smoking a cigar, and listening to the grass grow, and the sun beat down upon his brow, such that he had to wear a straw hat, did the wind currents shift, in a Northernly direction, such that in the breeze, was a letter in the wind, and did it fall upon the brim of his straw hat, and did he see it, and did he open it, with a knife, and did he anticipate dreadful consequences, and it was good.

And it came to pass, that he did read it, and yea, his suspicions were confirmed, that it was an ill omen, and was it foreboding, and did it entail many missives, such that they converged upon a singular thought, as it were, that he should not take the womon to a place, such that it would be pleasurable, for the womon was in Ipswich, which was twenty thousand furlongs from his present location, and was thus unable to take the night trains there.

And the Nikolas was very sad, and he soothed himself with alcohols, and strong herb, and it was good.

Der Familienvater

(Or: Family Man.)



Long-form strip about an eighteenth-century German preacher fallen into a pot of trouble. The art is wonderful, dialogue is well-written, and there are even jokes! (In a webcomic!) I encountered it yesterday (via Kate Beaton, who I should write a similar post about one of these days - or have I?), and you must go read it at once if you read webcomics at all. (Skip the prologue.)

Go to!

(Note to certain parties left unnamed: Yes, xkcd is indeed a webcomic, and thus counts.)

(Note to all blagoreaders: It's been a while since I did a webcomics post, eh? I'm sure you're all overjoyed that I've written another.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Disgaea DS

Synopsis: Tactical RPG, in the same vein as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance or Fire Emblem, though leaning much more heavily towards the former of those. (Free-form, side-missions taking priority over the main plot, more emphasis on equipment and level over tactics... that last one's dubious.)

Taken from IM:

Disgaea DS starts off really well, and I put nearly 50 hours into it over the last month, having fun for nearly all of that time. The "Item World" system, in particular, is a delight and a joy, taking the grind out of grinding; though the same could be said of all religions. But most of the game is pretty fun.

So it's a great value for money, absolutely.

But:

The plot degenerates; it starts out wonderfully silly, not taking itself seriously at all, and becomes steadily more "emo" as the game goes on. The humour all but vanishes by about the half-way mark. Annoying. That's my first of two complaints. (Though considering FFTA2, which didn't even start with a good plot, it may be more of a virtue!)

The second - not sure if it's a complaint, as such - just something that makes me unhappy for reasons I don't understand -
I beat the game and looked online, so that I would know if there were interesting things to do and unlock once I'd beaten the main plot.
And... well, it's flipping insane.
For reference, my highest level character was level 80 when I beat the game. Most of my characters were around level 60. This is after I sunk 50 hours into the game.
There are bosses - optional side-bosses, mostly unlockable only after beating the main plot at least once - which are hard to kill with level 2000 characters.

2000.

There are guides to grinding levels and optimizing and ugh.

I don't have to do it, I'm not going to, so it really shouldn't reflect on the game... it's only there for the people who like endless repetition for the sake of illusionary treasures, after all.

But somehow, it still annoys me.

Too Long; Did Not Read: Great game, amazing fun, plot starts out very well though it falls apart halfway through, tons of postgame content/different endings available for those who like grinding, somewhere from 40-60 hours in the main plot alone. For a $30 game. So, get it if you own a DS, enjoy games that are like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (or think you might), and haven't already gotten it. (It came out for the PS1 years ago and for the PSP more recently, so it's only the DS version that's really "new".)

I don't have any screenshots of Disgaea DS - it's a DS game! - so here's some more stuff from Fallout 3. Because you just can't get enough, faithful readers.



The matthew supprise

David, of the Ghie, or son of Ghie, or gah.

So happy belated birthday or something. Also, sorry to hear about the womon ( the foreign exchange one) being married and stuff. That sucks. It's probably too late to give advice about whether or not to go to the lunch thing, but I'd say go for it, it'd be good womon practice, and if you totally effed[crossed out] of up, it wouldn't matter, since she'd be gone in 2 months anyhow. But if you didn't it'd be nbd. Again, if it's not moot point already, do ahead and E-mail her, it'd be good practice or something. [crossed out] Keep hitting on the womons, you'll probably get better in time. But if one says yes, don't go and be a pimp, lolz. [crossed out] Keep it pure as well, don't have sex, that'd be impure. Or something bad. I guess. Yah. 


What's the name of your old home town? That'd be weird if I served there. It'd be, like, wtcrap? [crossed out]Like, if it's really close, it might be in my area, we cover Grand Island and North Tonawada as well, lolz.


The Mormon Missionaries would be some totally rando[sic] dudes, but ok, I'll try to send you a DVD via mail, but if you ever are interested, [crossed out] just tell me, and random dudes will go forth. But yah, I think I'll send the DVD about Joseph Smith, all of our other ones are stupid. except this one about Jesus, that's pretty good too. It probably will get there in a monthish. 


I didn't baptise a hot girl, because she was like 8 or 11 depending on which one you're talking about and I didn't see her naked much less have sex with her. Ew. [crossed out]


I don't really get thanksgiving off, and even if I did, unfortunately we're not supposed to see family or friend while we're out on a mission. Which really sucks.  [crossed out]


I doubt I'd try to re-establish contact with the womon who told you to basially[sic] (mormon censor) off. I sort of doubt she'd come around if that's what she basically told you, sry. But I'd probably try to keep hitting on other womons who are hot. 


Pr0n, cigarettes, or strip clubs I doubt'd be good.


Mormonics aside (well, sort of. Not really at all, actually) we are teaching  [crossed out] this guy who's über interested it seems like, he came to church and met with us a lot this week, so that's cool. In general, stuff's been picking up lately. Less door-knocking, more teaching people, which is so sweet for missionaries, especially around here. I think that's about it that's new on my end. 


So Mormonics seriously aside, how's the college life been? Did I tell you that I was playing a trivia game, and we had to guess "snobby colleges," and Dartmouth was one of them? I think I did, oops. But anyhow, Does the League stay in touch pretty well? We were fairly online before. I'm curious how much of that internet correspondence stayed after we all parted ways. I hope it fairly maintained, that'd nice to be able to E-mail ya'll[sic] when I get home. But I digress. On to the interprative[sic] art.



Interpret as you wish, 

Sincerely,

Elder Skowbo


P.S. Penis


PPS Look up "Canadian Middle Finger," it's supposed to be some monument that they put up after we tried to take all of Niagra Falls and failed. I've seen what's supposedly this Canadian Middle Finger.



Me ad Angus. Companion at the time in mirror. That wasn't intentional. Creepy.


Me with the family about to be baptised. Kish Family. The two guys with ties are Art Crater (supporter of Ron Paul ;) lolz), local missionary leager, and Robert Johnson, Branch President (local mormon congregation head). The black guy is my first companion Elder Beta. The Dad is Rick, and the kids are Cecil and Selena. Party.


Me at Niagara Falls. Random Lady. American/Bridal Veil Falls in BG. Canada on left. "Rainbow Bridge" connection them.

Protest: Proposition 8

This does not relate to my own political views, of which I shall say nothing here. Rather, it concerns a protest that I went to see today. It's the first one I've heard of on campus, and its target, Proposition 8, is a subject that concerns many Californians, one way or another. (For historical reference: Proposition 8 amended California's constitution to bar homosexual marriages. It was passed 52%-48% in the 2008 elections.)

But enough background. I went to see the protest and also to accomplish certain minor, unrelated errands which were on route. I failed in the latter, but not in the former. Behold!


They were all gathered in a large circle, occasionally roused by a fellow with a microphone to shout and chant.


A lot of signs seemed recycled from before the elections - disappointing! Wasn't much in the way of slogans I hadn't seen already - "Stop the H8" and variants thereof, mostly. On the plus side, there was both a fellow with a "JESUS LOVES GAYS" sign and someone else with a "SECULAR NATION" sign. They were across the circle from each-other. Good thing; otherwise they might've burst into flames! That would've been no good.


Honestly, with all the chanting and such, it reminded me of a 'school spirit rally' more than an adult protest. Not sure what I was expecting, but... college is like that a lot, actually. More like high school than I expected. Not necessarily a bad thing.

There was a march scheduled for a half an hour later (it'll have started by the time this post goes up), but I missed it. Very sad.

So that's the story of the protest! Very exciting.

(Apology for low quality of photo-grams - cell-phone cameras, eh?)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cymistry

Robert stood, his face shining in triumph. "I have it!" he cried.

Then he looked in a mirror.

"Holy crud, my face is glowing!" he said, dismayed.

He considered the matter for a moment.

"Will have to put less phosphorus in the next batch," he decided.

-

Three hours later, Robert stood in the same place, his face shining only metaphorically. "All right!" he said, delighted. "This time I know I've got it right!"

He checked in a mirror, just to be sure. Then he nodded in relief.

"Okay," he said to himself. "Now that I've got the serum perfected, I'll just ramp up production - pump out another five doses or so. Put it in a bag, bring it to the meeting place, and I'm set!"

Then came a knock at the door.

"Hello?" Robert said, surprised. He wasn't expected any visitors!

The door burst inward, and through it rushed a very large man with a gun.

"Holy crud! Holy crud!" cried Robert, dismayed. He froze in place, hands upraised.

The big man cast Robert one glance and then ignored him. Instead, he occupied himself with piling furniture in front of the door.

"...hello?" Robert said, rather nervous. "What are you doing? Who are you?"

The windows shattered, and half a dozen women came through, clad in metal armour. They seemed physically identical to each-other.

"Holy crud!" exclaimed Robert. He decided to take cover in the stairway to the basement. (He was still watching.)

The six women leapt at the large man, hissing in hideous, wordless rage. Their opponent let loose with his gun, which spat green fury. Their combat blew holes in nearby walls.

Robert was sad. He liked his house. He liked it less when it was filled with smoking holes.

Then came a booming voice. Cast out from some unknown source, it proclaimed, "Beware, evildoers! Your reign of terror will soon come to an end! I, ULTRIMION, proclaim it so - for now I will beat you into submission, but soon I will have the powerful chemical 3-hydremeloth with which to neutralize you once and for all! Ha ha ha ha ha!"

"That's not a real chemical, dude," Robert loudly said. He wouldn't have, but, well - he was a chemist! He couldn't just let that sort of thing slide.

The furniture barring the door was suddenly flung away, revealing the magnificent, shining figure of the hero ULTRIMION - who seemed rather sheepish in tone. "Um. It's not 'hydremeloth'?" he asked.

"'fraid not, dude," Robert told him.

ULTRIMION looked puzzled, considering the matter. "Was it hydrocomine? No, probably not. I know it started with an h..."

The intruders continued brawling, messily and noisily. ULTRIMION ignored them.

With a start, Robert realized something. Dashing down the stairs to his basement lab, he returned moments later with a bag filled with coloured liquid in his hand. "Is this it, dude?" he asked.

"Why, yes!" ULTRIMION exclaimed. "Where did you come by such a thing?"

"Dude," Robert told him, "I'm your supplier. You went by 'Bob Page', right? Some kinda secret identity?"

"I.. couldn't say..." ULTRIMION said, his perpetual radiance turning a red of embarrasment. "Look, could you just give me the stuff? We'll sort out the secret identity thing later."

Robert shrugged. He handed the chemical to ULTRIMION.

One very dramatic and exciting fight later:

ULTRIMION stood ten meters tall, holding the misbehaving-miscreants in one hand. "Now your reign of terror comes to an end!" he shouted.

"Look, Bob," Robert said from about his ankles, "Could you give me the payment? I don't run this lab on charity, you know."

ULTRIMION flushed red again. He looked up. He looked down. "I wasn't expecting to meet you here. I don't exactly have my wallet here..." he mumbled.

Robert shrugged. "Whatever, dude. Another time, I guess."

"I'll fix your roof!" ULTRIMION cried, struck by a sudden inspiration. He looked down. "And... the rest of your house."

Then he turned into a toad.

Hooray for chemistry!