Chad Perrin: SOB

14 August 2008

ghost story time

Filed under: Humor — apotheon @ 09:25

I turned on the TV and saw that Futurama was on. I sorta stared at it brainlessly for a few minutes (that’s what one does with TV, after all — one stares brainlessly at it). It got to a point where several characters were sitting around a campfire, and Bender was telling a ghost story. Unfortunately, we (the viewers) only got to see the very end of him telling the ghost story. It went something like this:

Bender: And even though the computer was off and unplugged, an image stayed on the screen. It was . . . the Windows logo!

Fry: Pft, that’s not scary!

Bender: It is if you’re a laser printer.

Yes — I laughed.

A funny thing happened on the way to the bank.

Filed under: Miscellaneous — apotheon @ 04:19

I decided I was going to ride my bicycle to the bank today, to deposit this month’s check for writing articles for TechRepublic. I rolled my bike out to the car, and brought my air compressor with me. I plugged the compressor into the cigarette lighter in the car, and filled the tires on my bike up to 120psi. See, I have one of those really expensive bikes with high-pressure road tires, and they don’t stay at full pressure very long.

While I was filling the tires, it started sprinkling on me. I looked up, and noticed that there were some big, dark clouds moving in. I brought the bike back inside and decided to drive to the bank.

Halfway there, I realized I had forgotten the check, so I came back home to get it. Then, I turned around and headed back toward the bank. This time, when I was halfway there, I noticed something else: there was a gigantic, scary, black cloud formation to the north that had sunlight coming through a space in the middle of it. Then, I noticed that on the far side of the hole, the clouds were moving westward, and on the near side of the hole, they were moving eastward. In other words, this gigantic, scary, black cloud formation with a hole in the middle was rotating.

I pulled into the bank parking lot, and went inside. One of the people there came out of the back office and told everyone that anybody in the bank that didn’t have a car to drive home should stay put for a while, because the weather was getting worse and would be very bad. I found out they didn’t have any dollar coins today (dammit), so I just deposited the check and got a little cash in twenty-dollar bills instead.

By the time I got into the car again, water was coming down hard and at about a 45 degree angle. I drove home through that, the windshield wipers on at maximum speed. Just as I turned into the parking lot at my apartment complex. “Damn,” I thought, “I hope this lets up soon.”

Well, it didn’t. I spent about twenty minutes sitting in my car in the parking lot, watching and hearing hailstones the size of marbles falling on my car. When it let up to the point that the hailstones were the size of a BB at most, I decided to make a break for it. Luckily, it didn’t worsen again before I got under cover.

In general, I don’t really have a problem with a little rain. This, however, wasn’t my favorite weather ever. It was a little like being back in Florida.

Pathfinder RPG Beta released today

Filed under: RPG — apotheon @ 09:56

This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.

Paizo Publishing made the free Beta test PDF for its upcoming Pathfinder RPG available for download at the Pathfinder RPG Webpage. The “softcover” print edition of the Beta is available for order in the Paizo store, as well (though it’s not free like the PDF download). I’m going to have a look through the PDF in the next few days and decide whether I want to buy a copy of the Beta. Whether I buy a hardcopy Beta will probably depend mostly on how complete it is. It’s always nice to have a physical book to refer to in the course of a game session, after all — but if I have to refer to the D&D 3.5 core books too much in addition to the PRPGb book, I may not consider the book worth its price tag. On the other hand, it’ll be a piece of gaming history.

We’ll see.

Anyway, immediately after downloading the Beta and unzipping it, I noticed that there’s a “web enhancement” PDF included. It contains a bunch of spells and magic items that didn’t make it into the Beta’s page count. It might be worth printing the web enhancement document on my black and white laser printer, if I get the print version of the Beta. That being the case, having these spells and magic items in a separate document won’t dissuade me at all from paying for a print version of the Beta. After all, cutting a bunch of usually unimportant magic items out of the Beta so they can fit in other stuff that’s more important for day-to-day use of the book strikes me as a good sign. That means the Beta actually contains more stuff that’s important to the game than Paizo expected it to contain, after all.

The Beta still has a problem that the Alpha had, though: instances of capital A in headings don’t display in PDF readers using FreeType for font rendering. I talked to someone at Glyph & Cog (the developers of xpdf) about it, and it seems to be a matter of Adobe’s PDF authoring software violating Adobe’s own PDF document specification standard with regard to how fonts should be handled. It’s not a huge problem — but it’s enough of a problem that I wouldn’t spend actual money on the PDF, since I don’t want to spend real money on something that doesn’t display correctly in the software I prefer to use. I could use Acroread, except it sucks almost as bad as the Adobe Reader application for MS Windows — so the fact capital As aren’t displaying in heading text is a small price to pay for getting to use a slimmer, simpler, easier to use PDF reader.

Luckily, the Beta PDF is free.

I’m pretty sure I’ll comment more on the Beta in the near future.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License