May 22nd, 2004

wombat

From crappy to happy

Strange how the sunlight, or lack thereof, can affect one's mood so much. Wednesday night the sky was overcast and I didn't feel much like doing anything, so I toddled off to bed early after looking over a few blogs on my list that I hadn't checked out in a while. Woke up Thursday feeling like I hadn't slept at all, but still managed to shower, dress, suck down coffee & pills and make it outside to catch the bus without having to drive over to the Park & Ride as I'd been doing so far this week. It was still mostly overcast this morning, though without the occasional drippiness that had marked Wednesday's evening rush, and not even the cheerful nihilism of Cake did much to lift my mood.

So I gave into it. I ate my McBreakfast, plugged in the U2, and began slogging through the database updates. Finished those in time for the 10 AM meeting with my boss, who went over some changes we need to make in the procedure for doing the month-end balancing, formally informed me about the new guy coming on board in June, and bled on me about the stupid and pointless procedure changes we have to do because some wonk in Accounts Payable found a neato-keeno Procedures template somewhere. Another triumph of form over function at the Evil Banking Neighbor, to say nothing of all the trees we're going to kill reprinting all the procedures for our manuals now that the spreadsheets have to be scanned into the documents instead of just being indicated by links. Totally fscking stupid, but It Must Be Done. I don't know what's more scary, the idea that we're doing this kind of pokazukha to please the auditors, or that soembody in AP has even less work than I do and is wasting their time on thinking up stuff like this. Ah, bureaucracy. Having had a good laugh at this (we're crying on the inside, believe me) my boss and I adjourned the meeting and went back to our cubes. I noticed that the sun had come out - don't have an exterior office, but I have a nice view of LaSalle Plaza and the Multifoods Tower through windows in the library and Brian's office- and for no good reason felt better.

For lunch, I decided to try out one of these Go Active! Happy Meals (yeah, followed up the McBreakfast with a McLunch - and actually it works out just fine within the parameters of the Weight Watchers program), opting for the Chicken Caesar Salad and a large Diet Coke instead of the bottled water. I can get all the water I can stand from the tap in the mail room, after all. The salad was okay, mostly iceberg lettuce without too much arugula or other annoying mutant grasses, and the Newman's Own dressing was good stuff too. The free pedometer is a tiny little thing that may well be crushed under my spare tire before I reach the goal of 10,000 steps per day, but it's functional and I'll give it a try. Any nudge toward more exercise is a good thing, it is, which was part of my excuse for being antisocial and skipping this month's birthday celebration. I wandered down to the Farmer's Market on the Nicollet Mall and bought two boxes of tomatoes and one of apples for $5 and then lugged the produce over to Dunn Brother in Six Quebec for my iced coffee and Internet fix. They've improved that place rapidly - from one Gateway with a sticky keyboard, they've upgraded to what appear to be a couple of flatscreen workstations. Plus, the baristas were playing the Flash Gordon OST - with music by QUEEN! Suck on that, Starbucks!
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wombat

"I open the door again." "You die again."

Among other coolness, the CD included with the hardback edition of John Ringo's Hell's Faire has a rulesbook for an RPG set in the Legacy of the Alldenata universe. It's based on the D20 Open RPG system that Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro developed (which means it still has that sucky hit point-based combat system rooted in the original D&D rules) and looks quite playable - unless you're silly enough to try and do a campaign set in the time of the four novels. One thing that should become immediately apparent from even a cursory reading of Ringo's novels is that anyone getting into a standup fight with the Posleen is going to get wasted - and eaten - unless one of three conditions is true. One, you're in a fortified position with lots of artillery and the Posleen have no landers, B-Decs or C-Decs. Two, you're in a fortified position with lots of artillery and at least two SheVa guns, and the Posleen don't have very many landers, B-Decs, etc., in which case you can probably blow away most of the Posleen "air support" and get back to the relatively happy first scenario. Three, you are in a fortified position with the ACS in support, lots of artillery, plenty of cluster-bomb nukes, plenty of SheVa guns (preferably including Bun-Bun) and a chunk of the Fleet showing up at the last minute. Even with all those good things going for you, the odds of any individual PC surviving the battle are about as good as those of a British rifleman at Ypres, or perhaps a German tank driver at Kursk. All in all, I'd rather be in Philadelphia, since it's a fortress city. The suggested campaign scenarios set after the novels, when humanity is reconquering the lands taken by the Posleen and dealing with the obnoxious alien pests the Posleen brought with them (abat, grat, and feral Posleen) sound much more fun and survivable. Not that I'm likely to find the time to test that theory any time soon.

And yes, I'm up way too late again. Bad habits die hard.
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