30 January 2010


Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

Found this on a D&D board. I don't think I've taken it before, but back when I was still fiddling with Magic The Gathering, I found I usually liked the blue cards better than the others, but I also remember that they required ridiculous amounts of mana even to play them.

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27 January 2010

Poison and Spiders and Bombs, Oh My!

Really weird dream this morning.

It started out with me lecturing to a class (oddly all the students were male), and the classroom was in the old engineering/physics wing at CSU. I started hearing an odd noise, and eventually realized it was coming from the ceiling at the back of the room. It was a strange sort of ticking. I listened to it for a moment, and the more I listened, the more I became convinced that it was a bomb. I yelled for everyone to get out of the room, now. The door was stuck.

After enough of us slammed into it, it finally opened, and I saw that someone wedged a cloth under the door. I wondered if the device would have released poison gas rather than exploding. Then I noticed a very short, slight woman, with dark hair cut in a bob just past chin length. Her face reminded me of Ro Laren from ST:TNG, but she was much thinner and smaller, with angry red eyes and vaguely Asian features. She glared at me, and I knew that she was behind the ticking device. Before I could do anything about it, a missile crashed through the ceiling and into the corridor, exploding maybe 20 feet from where I was standing.

When I woke up, a female doctor was treating my wounds, which seemed to be mostly healed. There was a strange, x-shaped scar on my belly. For a moment I thought the missile had hit me directly, but then I realized I wouldn't be waking up if it had. The doctor would alternate looking at my wounds with petting a large spider in a jar. When she stuck her hand into the jar, the spider would act as if it was going to bite her, but then she would reach her fingers around to scratch the back of its abdomen, and it would act very happy. The doctor seemed obsessively interested in the spider, and there was something in her eyes that reminded me of the presumed bomber. I was convinced the doctor was under her influence.


The bomber-woman now tries to put a spell on Greg Dean (of Real Life Comics). It will make him obsessed with something (I think it was a black MP3 player) and allow her to control him. If he manages to pick up the object, he will have no chance to resist. For some reason, this is out in a grassy yard, and the object is sitting on a picnic table. I grab Greg and keep him from going for the object, trying to save him from the spell. The further I get him from the table, the easier he finds it to resist the urge to go back, but he still looks like an addict in need of a fix. We're going into the house to warn Liz when the bomber-woman appears.

That's when my alarm went off.

A few of the elements I can trace back. The spider looked a lot like a plastic spider I got to use as a D&D prop, and yesterday at Fred Meyer I came across a larger toy spider that supposedly "felt alive." Now, they were using the rubbery squishy material that does feel vaguely like "flesh," but spiders do not have flesh. They do have exoskeletons, but the only way you could feel the soft bits inside is if the exoskeleton were cracked, and the spider were either dead or dying. Claiming that a squishy spider "feels alive" is completely ridiculous.

I'm not sure about the sorceress/bomber lady. If you take Ro Laren and cross her with a professor at ISU (Gironella), you might get someone who looks like she did. Why she wanted to attack me and use mind control on everyone else, I don't know.

but then a missile crashed through the ceiling and into the corridor maybe twenty feet from me. It exploded and I blacked out, and woke up to find a doctor treating my wounds, which were mostly healed. There was a strange x-shaped scar on my belly that made me wonder if it had been put there to mark me as a target for the missile.

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23 January 2010

Ring Dream

Last night I dreamed that I was working with Gandalf to hide the one ring and construct a character for a decoy to run a fake ring into Mordor. The real ring, we recoated in a dark grey metal and, I think, stuck inside a skull with a bunch of other similar looking rings. Then we started working on the character sheet for the decoy. All I remember for sure was that it wasn't a halfling, and he had lots of "hide" abilities.

I think that in this version, it wasn't possible to destroy the ring at all, so concealing it was the best bet. *shrugs*

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13 January 2010

Inner Character

According to this site, my inner character is an Evil Eladrin Wizard. Not sure why I wound up with evil, but I'm rather fond of the eladrin race, and the arcane classes in general. ^!^ Actually, I may have wound up with "evil" because I picked the "lifedrinker" sword. Ah well.

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11 January 2010


Hmmm... I never bothered to post a Happy New Year. Oh well. Consider this a belated one.

Between reading and cleaning and helping with things, I've had less interest in blogging lately. I suspect part of it is that I've finally come out of a cycle of depression and would rather be doing things than writing about them (unless the doing is also the writing).

Anyway, reading Mistborn took up a large chunk of that time. Here's the whole trilogy in one package. Depending on local discounts, this is probably cheaper than buying each book separately. Either way, they're well worth the price. I finished the first book and I'm about halfway through the second.

Mistborn is an incredibly intricate and well-plotted story. It asks the question, what happens if the prophesied hero fails? We find a society with an immortal, godlike "Lord Ruler." The common people are treated worse than slaves. The uncommon people tend to be hunted down and/or strictly controlled. The world is mostly brown due to ashfalls and the ash seems to be so pervasive that the sun always appears to be red.

Enter Kelsier and his merry band of misfits. They manage to do mostly as they like, despite being uncommon, and have decided that, for the ultimate heist, they're going to go after the Lord Ruler's stash of atium (an incredibly valuable metal, used by allomancers to see possible futures). Anything else I might say on that would quickly turn into a spoiler.

However, I do want to mention that magic system in Mistborn. It's fascinating, and unique. Some people have the ability to "burn" metals. Specific metals connect to specific powers. Someone who can burn only one metal (and hence having only one power) is a Misting. Someone who can burn them all is a Mistborn. So far as anyone knows, there is no in-between ... but a lot of "common knowledge" about Mistborns has turned out to be false. At the beginning of Mistborn, there were 10 known metals. Kelsier discovered a missing eleventh, and later we find that there are still others unknown, except perhaps to the Lord Ruler and his cronies. From a bit of scouting, it looks like there will be 16 total by the end (4 groups of 4), but they haven't all been found yet by the middle of the second book.

The other thing about the second book [SPOILER] is that Sanderson actually takes a realistic look at what would happen after the evil tyrant has been deposed. It is messy. Everyone who had power under the tyrant is vying to keep it/get it back. The few idealists are fighting a losing battle against indifference and fear. Even if the Lord Ruler was evil, things were stable under his rule, and some people would prefer stability to freedom. I have a feeling that Sanderson was influenced by the fall of the USSR in this. ^!^

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