National Talk Like a Pirate Day, Aarrgghh

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Ahoy, Me Hearties and welcome to National Talk Like a Pirate Day. That's right ye land lubbers, today is the day when all real men take back the decks of their mighty ships and make those scurvy dogs walk the plank into the bright blue sea. So grab your grog and find a wench or two to chase.

Star Wars Miniatures Experience

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Updated: Aug. 23, 2008

I got a chance to play in a small tournament of the Star Wars Miniatures this past weekend. I’ve gotten minis from various sets over the past few years for use in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game (D6, not D20). I put together an army together (Imperial) and headed off to my FLGS. Eight other players were there that day and we each got to play three matches each with ones success in one game determining who they would play in the next. I lost each of my matches, but still had some fun. The interesting thing was the players that came out on top were all using smaller armies of more expensive and rare (or very rare) army units. This isn’t really surprising to me as that seems to be the case with almost every collectible game (card, minis, etc…).

Phoenix Mars Mission Tour

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A friend of my father, Dr. Urs Staufer, invited us all down to Tucson to see the Phoenix Mars Mission Command Center. Unfortunately the place isn’t open to the public for tours and what not as they are working and on an odd, rotating schedule due to Mars being a longer day than Earth (24.6 hours to a day).

Dancing Antibody

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I've been playing around on occasion with 3D animation software, specifically Lightwave 3D for a bit of time, but haven't really spent the time needed to really learn to use the software and get good at it. So, I was playing around with it a bit over the last few months and created an amusing little test animation of an Antibody doing the Can-Can. It's basically three capsules merged at the joint (each one was positioned 120 degrees apart). I created the eyes with a globe and then boolean removed them from the "head" area so they are recessed in a nook designed for them. Bones were then extended from the center out into each capsule to create the knees and neck. The collar (which isn't very visible in this animation) was wrapped around the upper capsule and then spikes were cloned around it. I keep meaning to go back in and extend the length of the animation but haven't yet found the time to do so.

MyMiniCity City Fetcher (Updated)

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So, I updated the myminicity fetcher to also have the ability to post a report to a web forum (vbulletin) after it gets done going through the various cities it has been asked to work with. To do this I added a few options to the script to take in the location of the forum, the thread ID that you want it to post to and the username/password that it needs to log in to the forum to post. To make it a little easier to use I have included a .bat file that can be edited to hold the username and password and other options and then just double-click the .bat file to run the fetcher.

First impressions of D&D 4th Edition

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I got a chance to play in Worldwide D&D Game Day this past Saturday. I arrived at the Game Depot (my FLGS) and went to the table I was assigned to. We all introduced ourselves and then selected our characters from the pre-built choices. I picked the rogue and went looking through the character sheet provided with the figure. A lot of what I saw on the front side of the character sheet was familiar to me from older editions of the game. The same 6 attributes are still on the sheet and continue to use the same modifiers that were first introduced in 3rd Edition. Initiative and AC are calculated the same way as in 3rd Ed, but the saving throws are gone.

MyMiniCity City Fetcher

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I found this site, MyMiniCity, from another site. It is basically SimCity in a webpage, but instead of the city creator controlling where and what gets built, that is decided by the links that users follow to get to the particular city. Since each IP address can only visit the city once a day and have an influence on what the city gets (population, roads, parks, factories, strip malls, etc...) and that is decided by the link the user follows, I decided to write a little perl script that can parse the XML for the given city or cities and from that decide what link should be followed when going to the city itself.

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