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--Much to talk about here. It can be truly said that this 'diary' mostly appeals to its author. It's a record. An archive. A notebook. Get over it.

--No gaming at Talon today. Probably in a couple of weeks. It's just as well, I'm not quite finished with my character, though I really like the direction I took with him.

--There's a rumor that Gwen Stefani will play Harley Quinn in an upcoming Batman movie. It's supposed to break continuity with the increasingly terrible series which started under the reins of Tim Burton by featuring the Joker (whom they killed off about an hour after he was created in the 1989 movie).

--If you haven't been there yet (where you been?), you should go to wilwheaton.net. I love this site. His April 22nd post sounds frighteningly similar to a post I made about a week ago ('hyper-nostalgia' and all!). You've gotta like how down to earth and intelligent and normal Wil is. The site just makes one glad to have visited. The plainspeak and the lack of pretense is refreshing.

--My Mavs beat the Timberwolves going away up in Minnesota to sweep the series. They played almost decent defense and excellent offense. Six days rest and then off to Sacramento for the next round.

--I have been remarkably allergy-free this season. I've been taking daily doses of Allegra, 90 to 180 mg each day, daily Flonase, occasional Astelin, and not lingering outdoors any longer than necessary. A couple days of somewhat peaked itchy eyes, a few sneezes, a slightly runny nose here and there, that's about it.

--The first human clones will be born in seven months. Oh won't that be fun. Where do you see this in thirty years?

--The new CDs are going to include some strong copy protection. Okay, but I just read an article about a technology which would prevent people from making copies of TV shows.

--I've had my computer for nearly twenty-five months now. It's a clean machine.

--New Balance is now producing tennis shoes which are made right here in the United States. Amazing, isn't it? Not even Converse All-Stars are made in America any more (made in Indonesia in sweat shops). If I ever wore tennis shoes and needed a new pair I'd buy New Balance.

--In other Batman news, I must rent the DVD of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Original Uncut Version. Oh yah. Luke Skywalker returns to voice the Joker (as he did in Mask of the Phantasm).

--Gawd, I love a good active message board. Post an obscure, complicated question. Five minutes later get a great answer. Twenty minutes later get five more answers. Watch an issue get tossed around and explored.

--I bought and tried Lipton's new 'Asian Side Dishes' stuff. The Beef Lo Mein was really good, while the Sweet and Sour was offensive. I was a little put off by the fact it costs more and gives you less than the normal stuff.

--Spiderman is five days away. FIVE DAYS. The perfect Friday to the final week of class before Finals.

--G4, the video game channel, launched on Wednesday. Hmm, now I'd need a TV, and cable, and to move to an area that might actually carry this channel in the next few years before it flops.

--It's sincerely disturbing that 'Near Future Fascist America' is a legitimate and well-realized campaign setting for role-playing games. Tell you what. I don't really want to live in this world we've got coming up. They're warming up the frog very slowly but surely.

--I always come back to John Locke and Adam Smith.
--Microsoft Passport may be the online standard for the upcoming National ID. What a shocker.
--The penalty for a group of college students caught operating a software piracy ring is twenty years in prison.
--There is talk of abolishing the INS in favor of a much more streamlined, efficient, and competent agency with a focus on keeping people out rather than letting them in. Amen.
--Kawasaki has developed a Hybrid Sportbike--an electric motor and an IC engine in one.
--Well, Kate Botello is gone. Über-geek girl will be missed.
--How about this odd Batman and Wolverine Amalgam. It's written up in the lame Blood of Heroes system.
--They just set up a new online chat-based gaming room at HeroCentral, and I'm thinking of striking up a campaign or at least getting people together to start one. The rooms are really cool with some nice features (including auto dice rolls).
--Remember the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks? Or Time Machine? Great books.

--Several people around town and campus have asked me why the hell I wear bicycle gloves. Huh. First and foremost, for protection. I've been down several times, most notably last August and over Spring Break, and my gloves absolutely saved my hands from weeks of painful healing and scarring. Granted, I've only been down once when I wasn't pushing the bike and myself hard and leaning like a MoFo, but I'll be damned if I'll let vanity or disapproving glances from stupid lemmings deter me. Other reasons: protection from cold/wind, protection from UV rays, better grip (especially when sweaty), visibility when using hand signals in traffic (my gloves are bright red), resistance to blisters, and comfort. Some might ask why I don't then wear a helmet. Well, I've actually considered it. I've considered wearing my motorcycle helmet that is. The bicycle helmets I've seen are pretty weak and don't protect the face. My head hasn't been anywhere near the ground in all the times I've been off, and I don't believe one of those little bicycle helmets would do much anyway. Even so, I plan to buy a good one soon ($80) so I can use the trails. I've also considered knee and elbow protection. But I'm not going to give up my gloves (and possibly my skin) because a few people think I'm strange for wearing them.

--D&D 3rd Edition came out two years ago, following Wizards of the Coast's purchase of the license. It had many changes from 2nd Edition. After much research, I've learned: it's still a kludgy and outdated system. Why? 1) The character generation system still uses random rolls of dice. The character you play won't be the one you want to play, the one in your head. 2) It still uses classes. It just has a huge and highly imbalanced collection of them. They're still very rigid and they still include all kinds of pointless restrictions. 3) The Alignment system and its game effects are dumb. 4) You still gain experience by mowing down monsters and grabbing gold. 5) The levelling up system is seriously broken. You go for weeks not working on a particular skill, then all of a sudden in some hack n slash dungeon most of your abiliites suddenly jump and you also gain new ones. 6) The way Hit Points accumulate is dumb. It enables mid to high level characters to easily shrug off crossbow bolts, falls, fires, bears, etc. 7) The Skill system, including acquisition and use, is broken in several places. 8) Feats aren't handled well. They could have been a good way to individualize and break up the monotony of your average class/level-based D&D characters, but what they used them for was as a Munchkin's treasure trove and to patch up rules holes. 9) Combat manages to be both simple-minded and over-complicated. Attacks of Opportunity are stupid. D&D combat can't decide if it wants to do this or it wants to do that. And using a D20 to resolve actions, saves, skill rolls, and combat is clumsy. 10) The rules are still spread across a huge number of books. Good things about D&D3e: the setting, the massive support, the number of players, the art, some of the flavor (copyrighted spells, the classic monsters, some of the newer settings like Planescape and such). The thing is, D&D3e was just the vehicle for the start of the d20 onslaught. Wizards of the Coast intends to swallow or destroy every other system on the market. And if you think the system sucks for high fantasy, you haven't seen the espionage or supers or Cthulhu games.

--I had some slightly bitter stuff and some slightly political stuff, but I believe I'll sign off here. G'night.