Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Vodkapundit - Me vs. the Varmint Cong

Vodkapundit - Bleg: Me vs. the Varmint Cong
Will has an interesting thread, especially in the comments regarding waht works and doesn't work against mice.

My best luck has been baited poison, although I may have to consider some of the other ideas put forth.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"For Service, Speak English"

Bar sign runs afoul of state

I wonder if " English Spoken Here" would cause the same problems. If so, are businesses that advertise " Se Habla Espanol" also in violation of Ohio law?

It seems to me that Tom Ullem isn't guilty of anything, other than offending the tender sensibilities of some civil service commission employees, who can use this case as a justification for more funding.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Protect your tools

Steve asked in the comments at the Daily Pundit

Does anyone have advice for sharing a kitchen with someone who doesn't treat your cooking utensils properly? My wife, though she makes good food, tends to trash the equipment. I've put my knives on a high shelf and threatened her with unspecified horrors if she touches them (one chef's knife was used to trim brush in the back yard), but can't do much about the bigger stuff. The worst aggravation was the scouring of all my cast-iron cookware, because that shellacky coating can't be healthy, you know. (Do you know how long it takes to get the smell of Comet out of freshly-scrubbed cast iron? You don't want to know. Removing the smell involved power tools.) I've given up on wood cutting boards, after two or three multi-piece boards were left in the sink to soak, and mysteriously developed bends and separations between the pieces.

Don't get me wrong, I love my wife dearly. But I can't figure out how to have any good cooking gear with her around. Any suggestions not involving deportation are welcome.

Obviously , there is a failure to communicate. Steve's wife just doesn't understand, at a deep emotional level, just how valuable his cooking tools are to him.

One quick thought would be to treat some of her prized possesions in a similar cavalier method. Say using one of here favorite dry-clean only dress to wash the truck

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The ABCs of Mutual Funds

The Happy Capitalist: The ABCs of Mutual Funds

Nice short history of murual funds

How to pick a financial advisor

Steve Mertz - Financial Possibilities Expert - In Cash Flow We Trust

Steve reccommends a quick chekc of NASD for any compliance issues ,as well as asking to look the that advisros portfolio and the transformative event... why are they doing this?

Monday, July 11, 2005

I hate snakes

Just finished having the beejeezus scared out of me.

CinCHOME screamed "Get out here!!" NOW!!!"

The K9 scout battalion had found a 4 foot snake in the back yard.

Light brown in color, dark brown spots.

My thought "Crap, I can't shoot these things in the city. Where's the shovel?"

Reading my mind, the enemy quickly performed a retrograde movement to dense defensive terrain, under the prized rose bushes, taking tactical advantage of the defensive nature of the bushes, and my extreme reluctance to damage the bushes in front of the CinC.

After rigging additional light on the battlefield, I spotted the enemy leaving it's cover, trying to flank me. In full view of the CinC, I bravely advanced, shovel held at low port, ready to deal the first and final blow. The enemy consolidated, then counter-attacked with psycological warfare and a demonstration of deadly intent. I fell back to regroup, and pick up the light the CinC had knocked over when she screamed again.

The enemy again retreated to it's redoubt, and begain to dig in under the wood chips.

Visual ID of the enemy led me to believe it was probably not venemous,
although the coloring had me fooled at first. The head is the same size as the neck, not broad like a rattle snake. It did shake it's tail, but no rattles, and the tail looked complete.

Still wish I could have attacked with 2 or 3 dove loads.

Anyone know of any snake traps?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

EFF: Blog anonymously


Re: Dooce.com Posted for future reference

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Red Planet Master

or Why I need 16000

I just stumbled across an old email from Syscrusher, with advice on how to pass the Red Planet Masters Trials. The advice deals with details of the 4.0 system. ( Basically, go fast, don’t give up, don’t give away points.)

Why am I blogging about a defunct game?

Because it was friggen cool, and a ton of fun. There used to be a really good international community of players.

VWE sponsored World Championships with the 3.0 software, with teams from Japan, UK, Australia, and several US teams competing.

A company called VirtualWorld (VWE) had two games you could play in their system: BattleTech(BT) and Red Planet. (RP).

BattleTech is/was a fighting robot game, set in the BattleTech universe. I’ve played both version 3 and Tesla 4 (4.6, 4.7, 4.8…) for both BT and RP. My first game was December 24th, 1997. I took an Avatar, and finished 4th place, 2 kills 1 death, 3109 points. I was hooked. I played another 557 games during the next year, moving from Standard to Expert. (Over 400 were in Expert, which adds heat management to the game, making you pick your shots) I stopped actively playing in December of 2002, with a total of 2424 missions. Yes, I logged every game in Excel and Access. Didn't everybody?

Currently I have 2464 BT missions, and 1014 RP missions. I haven’t played since 9/11/2003. I played BT: Firestorm. Much better graphics compared to Tesla. It’s basically a port of Mechwarrior:4. Still like the gameplay of Tesla, but that’s what I’m used too.

I’ve Mastered in BT in the Satyr, Avatar, Madcat, Summoner, and Sunder. I Mastered in RP in the Quark.

Quick summary of Master Trials.

For Battletech, it’s 3 v 2, with 4 pilots. To pass, the candidate must defeat 2 Masters, and survive until the end of the 10 minute trial. The candidate gets 2 mechs, each of the 3 Masters gets 1 mech. A typical way to pass is the candidate calls out 1 Master, they duel, candidate defeats 1st Master. Candidate calls out 2nd Master, does as much damage as possible, dies, gets 2nd Mech, kills 2nd Master and runs out the clock.

For Red Planet, it’s a 8 person race. 4 candidates, 4 Masters. Candidates must beat 3 of 4 Masters to pass, so 1st or 2nd place is a guaranteed pass. What makes it fun is all the players are anonymous for a Trial, so it is difficult to know who is a Master and who is a candidate. And you can only see your score, and the scores of people ahead of you. If your in first, you don’t know where 2nd place is, so you have to keep pushing, and taking risks to win.

If you never seen RP, think about racing at Indy speeds. On a 1 mile drag strip. Where the most laps (down and back) wins. And you can take Formula 1, NASCAR, jet engine semi trucks, all on the same course. With rocket boosters. And some of the cars have weapons…..

It’s insane.

Which is why it’s a great game.

Paingod's Passage is the classic RP 4.0 Master Trial track, with two 90 degree turns, and 2 straightaways for speed.

Brewer's Bane is another Master level course. You can power slide through the big 90 bend.

Important point: the amount of points gained from going fast is based on the square of the speed. The amount of points lost in a collision is equal to the damage suffered in the collision, which is again based upon the square of the speed of impact.
“Go really, really fast, get big points. Screw up going really fast, lose even more points."

Now this is why I need $16,000


I can get 8 pods, and start playing
The. Greatest. Game. Ever.

Martian Football.


Red Planet is a racing game set on Mars. The races are really just training for Martian Football, TGGE.

Game theory behind BT and RP

Red Planet’s Martian Football
• Each team had a “runner” who scored by
going fast and not getting killed.
• “Crushers” got points by killing the runner.
• “Blockers” got points by killing “Crushers”
• Blockers and crushers lost no points for
dieing and had an unlimited booster supply.
• Every lap completed without being killed
raised the runner’s score multiplier.
• Players constantly overloaded and near
panic for the whole game.
The Adrenalin junkies loved this game.
• You never got a break, someone was always
flying straight at you at extreme speed.
• People would sometimes exit the pod
covered in sweat or visibly shaking.
• It was quite a spectacle for people watching.
• The noise (from screaming players and
spectators) was unbelievable.
• It was what convinced many people to try
the game

Want to see some replays of a Football game?
Look for Chicago, Games 1 and 4.

Oh, and why is this blog called Piper's Musing's?

Because Piper is my call-sign. And I love crushing little bugs.