Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher
selenite

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Random Stuff

I re-read a few old Heinleins recently. I suddenly understand why he may have thought Starship Troopers wouldn't get much reaction for it's political content. Most of the juveniles don't have much politics but Space Cadet is about joining the enforcement arm of a world government. This leads to a conversation between Our Hero and one of the academy instructors going roughly like this:

"Sir, when I was on home leave my mom got upset about how the Patrol could nuke our country."

"Well, son, to keep the peace the Patrol has to smack down any country that acts up. That's why we insist on you swearing loyalty to the Patrol instead of your country."

"Yessir, but that means I might have to drop on a nuke on my home town someday. I'm not sure if I could do that, sir."

"No worries, if your ship is ordered to nuke your home town the captain will have you confined to quarters."

"Oh, that's all right then."

Kinda puts restricting voting rights in perspective, doesn't it? The first thing our hero saw arriving at the Patrol was "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" From the rest of the book the answer seems to be "no one," which historically has led to bad ends. The origin of the Patrol is described in the short story "Solution Unsatisfactory" and I still agree with the title.

***

Had my first World PvP honor kill last night. A level 70 belf paladin was attacking the inn in Honor Hold and I took my level 65 warrior to help whack him. Didn't do much damage, but a friendly tree kept me alive and eventually the belf ran out of mana and took off running. I didn't maneuver well enough to stay with him so I was watching him run out the gate with a pack of NPC guards following, too far behind to attack him. Eventually he'd get far enough away the guards would give up and he'd be home free. Then the game decided I was "out of combat" since X seconds had gone by without him trying to hit me or vice versa. Charge. Hamstring. And the guards finished him off.

Note that this wasn't my first World PvP kill. But the guy who rezzed right next to me while I was torch tossing in Exodar doesn't count. He was 15 levels below me. Hopefully he's learned to not suddenly appear next to skulls.

***

My MS paper on the history of the NPOESS program got yet another piece of fan mail. This reporter is working on "bungling in federal contracting" and wants to chat about NPOESS as an example. Thanks, not interested in destroying my career. I'd be tempted if I thought I'd be able to get across how the problems are built in from the beginning by government constraints. Looking at his prior work I suspect he's already written a story about evil businessmen stealing from the government and just wants some quotes to support his conclusions.

***

Another fun Warcraft moment. I was on defense in Alterac Valley. We were getting stomped. After one attack on the general I was left the only player alive in the bunker. Four+ horde 70s came in. Charging them was instant death for me, but they didn't want me interfering as they killed the general (which would automatically win the battle). So they started shooting and dotting me. "Ah, it's just a 65, we'll kill him with the dots and then take the general." I just had to stand there and take it, plinking them with my crossbow (no visible effect). While that's going on the victory screen popped up: "Alliance Wins". I stalled them enough for the Alliance offense to get to their general first. I had a huge laugh.

***

Had an ER visit on Saturday night after splashing boiling water on myself. 2nd degree burn on the belly, nothing critical, but very annoying. celticdragonfly's been taking good care of me. A big part of the annoyance is that I'd just gotten started exercising again after dealing with another problem. It's always something. I also felt bad about making the whole family miss church but after driving me back home at 3am Laura needed sleep and I wasn't up to driving.

***

Jamie's getting better at talking. He's starting up actual conversations. Usually this is a way to avoid going to bed or potty-time or something, but hey, it's progress.
Tags: books, daily life, gaming, projects, science fiction
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