lowbeyonder: (Default)
Hey, remember when a fantasy series that had started out really well got popular, the author decided it didn't need to be edited anymore, and then eventually an entire book got published where basically nothing happened, but then a new author came out with a new breakout series that was fast-paced and things happened?

Those were good times. Good times.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Two MtG tournaments this weekend. Legacy last night, piloted Dredge to 3-0, won a bunch of packs. Vintage today, piloted Metalworker MUD to 7-0 (with only one game loss, in the finals) and won a Library of Alexandria.

There's a Legacy tourney next week for a Moat, so I'm happy with this trend.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
So, 4e at the NYS was entertaining enough that I've looked around, found a nearby shop that runs modules on Wednesdays, did some reading, rolled up a couple characters (and believe me, Essentials-only is hard to break, which I believe is the point), and I'm headed there tonight.

If nothing else, it's a different player pool than the MtG shop to recruit from for a Mage game.

I don't think 4e will ever be my favorite system, but it does seem to have hit a point where I'll enjoy playing it.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
A light bouquet that belies a rich, earthy flavor, with a shockingly long finish redolent of cherry. An unexpected find on the shelves of a venue I'd otherwise written off, and worth buying another bottle of to cellar for the future.

Oh, I guess the book was pretty good too.

(PS. I'll have another post on that, I'm sure.)

(PPS. Chateau Ste. Michelle 2003 Merlot.)

Bad call.

Oct. 26th, 2010 12:01 pm
lowbeyonder: (Default)
The soundtrack to "Voices of a Distant Star" is not ideal music for listening at work.

Just, for reference.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Got back from the card shop tonight and arrived in the middle of an impromptu apartment complex party. Someone had caught a bunch of fish and it was being grilled and eaten. There was alcohol. It was pretty awesome.

Trade pickup of the weekend: English Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed. Portal Three Kingdoms was a Magic set with an incredibly tiny print run, and mostly in Japanese and Chinese; the English language run was available only in Australia and New Zealand and not very common there. So scoring a Xiahou Dun was pretty awesome.

All the books I'm looking forward to come out in early November. Any recent sf/f suggestions to tide me over until then?
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Coming out next month is Book 3 of "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (For Realz This Time, Yo)".

The sequel to The Name of the Wind is out like everybody except me wanted and I still don't care.

Simon Green's "From the Nightside" books: Possibly the worst of the current crop of urban occult. Seriously, just babypunchingly awful.

Goddamnit somebody publish the rest of the Felix Castor books in the US.

Since per previous entry I haven't been doing enough sitting and reading lately, I think I shall rectify that. Acquired on recommendation: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Dervish House.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Package from Amazon arrived today. So that[1] was certainly a thousand pages of Book 1.

I enjoyed the hell out of it. It did feel much more conventional-high-fantasy than his other books did, but certainly a high quality example of it.

It was also nice to just settle in with scotch and a cinderblock of a hardcover and sink a few hours into reading it. I haven't done that nearly enough lately.

[1] For the latecomers, we're talking about Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
The MtG trade binder continues to grow. Finally breaking into some Legacy staples, which is nice. Really need to get around to more of the shops in the area. There was a major Standard tournament on Saturday with some really nice prizing. Took 7th with green/blue Temple Titan Ramp. 3-2 record in Swiss, with crushing victories over major tier-1 decks and total losses to jank bullshit like Allies. Hate allies. Wish I could hate them to death.

First round in elimination: Allies. Goddamnit. Ah, well. Haven't found good sideboard tech yet, so while I'll keep testing, I may just shrug, admit I have a bad matchup against it, and move on. Dear Wizards: Reprint Maze of Ith, please.

That is all.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
I've had my Mythwear NERV bag for... gods, ten years now. It finally started to deteriorate last year and its decline is accelerating. I'm tempted to replace it with something substantially similar, given that it does what I need and has held up through a decade of abuse and neglect, but if anyone has any suggestions for a replacement, I'll take them. I prefer messenger/courier bags to backpacks, and its primary uses are to carry cards, game-related-stuff, and books to/from the card shop, and to carry books and personal electronics when traveling. Laptop bags need not apply.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
I found out why the work coffee here is so dreadful: people are using about half as much coffee as they should when they brew it. Fortunately, this is easily remedied. I even labeled[1] the carafe as a concession to people who like terrible coffee.

[1] In the spirit of intraoffice diplomacy, it is labeled "extra strong", not "coffee that actually tastes like coffee and not like dirty brown hot water".
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Been improving my performance at the weekly MtG tournaments. Finally got the last few cards I needed to build a competant Standard control deck, which has helped -- it's, by far, the archetype I'm best at playing. Combo is more viscerally satisfying, because ripping a win out of nowhere on the back of a degenerate interaction is just neat; but it turns out I'm pretty awful at playing it. And worse, I'm bad at tuning combo decks.

Been playing Starcraft 2. It's fun.

Still no television.

Apparently Baen has an electronic ARC of Cryoburn available for $15. I haven't decided if it's worth it yet; I probably want it in hardcover regardless, and I'm not really inclined to buy it twice. On the other hand, it's available right now...

I still need to see Inception. Turns out it's difficult for me to work up the momentum to go see a movie by myself.

Goddamnit.

Jul. 23rd, 2010 10:54 am
lowbeyonder: (Boston)
I'm slightly furious beyond words right now, though at least I figured out what that dull ache in my head was.

It was Continental Airlines fucking me in the eye.

So they can go to hell.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Finally got around to putting some stuff up on my walls. Much of it was sitting in a pile mentally labelled "To go up on walls (whenever)." Well, now that pile is smaller.

Oh, there's still a pile. I'm only human.

Actually came out ahead on MtG over the weekend, due to a combination of unreasonably good luck and getting better at the game. Bought a box of M11 on Saturday and pulled several chase rares that made back the value of the box. The release event was that afternoon, and I went 4-0 with a very aggressive green/white deck. My victory was won on the backs of two Juggernauts and a Serra Angel, which... there's something very, very amusing about winning a modern release tournament with creatures I was putting in decks in fourth grade. Anyway, the prize packs were good to me and made up my entry fee and then some[1]. Did some trading to offload new hotness cards I don't care about for various older cards printed during my personal MtG interregnum.

No, I have not seen Inception yet. Yes, I'm going to go see it soon.

[1] In virtual cardboard money, of course. Which is exchangeable primarily for other cardboard.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Went to the prerelease for the new MtG set on Sunday (format was six-booster sealed). Once again I proved my ability to pilot a reasonably excellent pile of cards into a fairly awful 2-2 result. 2-2 looks kinda okay until you realize that my victories were over (a) someone who opened the worst pool of sealed cards I've seen in many a year, and (b) an eight-year-old.

I can't complain too much, though, since my card pool value came out to about three times my entrance fee.

And... that's about it, really. I should probably buy that television. Any day now.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Things I planned to do over the weekend: Clean up apartment. Vacuum apartment. Do massive amount of laundry. Sit outside on the balcony with beer and a book.

Things I did over the weekend: Play Torchlight[1]. Test and tune MtG decks. Do enough laundry to make it to Thursday. Simulate apartment-cleaning by moving things around. Sit outside on the balcony etc. etc.[2]

Verdict: It'll do. But now I need another book.

[1] Brief review: For $10, it's an entertaining-enough way to pass some time. It's too easy, though.

[2] Namaah's Curse. Brief review: This iteration continues to be somewhat disappointing. Also the first three books by Devlin Monk, which fulfill my trashy urban fantasy quotient for the month. As the genre goes, they're pretty okay, which is, I suppose, a compliment of sorts.
lowbeyonder: (iXterminate)
I still suck at draft. However, I now have two cheap-ish decks (one Standard, one Legacy) built around stupid, stupid combos[1]. So hah.

There is a small WOW scene here, so I'm still playing that, but it doesn't seem very active. There's reportedly another shop further out that has more players, so I need to check that out.

[1]: Valakut ramp (land-based burn) and Dragonstorm (stack cheap spells then zomg dragons everywhere), for the curious. Also a dirt-cheap (I think it has two rares, both one-of and one of them is the free Garruk I got for buying the XBLA game) Big Green Fatty deck for the random multiplayer matches that spring up around the shop, since combo and multiplayer aren't a good mix.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
Still no broadband at home. If it's not up today escalations will occur.

Working on exploring the area, primarily acquainting myself with the restaurants and bookstores. Found a raman bar over the weekend that makes an excellent spicy broth, and a food court today that's close enough for lunch with raman and udon that's unfortunately cash-only. Which is somewhat annoying, but I'm prepared to accept some inconvenience for lunchtime curry udon. There's one more place I'm headed to later this week to check out that has okonomiyaki on the menu. Found a second good Indian place -- better naan than Traditions, but the vindaloo is weaker. They're open on Mondays, though, which Traditions is not.

Also found the local Borders, Barnes & Noble, and used book store. No complaints in that regard.

Down to one box left to unpack, labeled "Misc, decor, and niknaks", plus a plastic tub full of cords for the TV I don't own yet.
lowbeyonder: (Boston)
I'm still processing my coffee, what do you want from me?

I have made some observations about California. I will now share those.

Unwritten California Traffic Laws, #37: "Bike Lane" is a secret code for "Right Turn Lane".

UCTL #34: It's illegal to obstruct traffic at an intersection unless you're trying to get into an In-n-Out Burger.

UCTL #49: When a light turns green, the last car to make it to the next intersection loses. This is true even if the next light is still red.

UCTL #91: When changing lanes, a turn signal implies an indefinite number of subsequent lane changes followed optionally by a turn. Also, it counts if you signal while changing, or up to five seconds later.

In sad news, the Costa Mesa Omelette Parlor, which I'd been to twice and would happily have gone to every Sunday, lost their lease. Hopefully they'll reopen elsewhere.

The moving truck arrived on Sunday and it appears that the majority of my possessions have made it. The unboxing process continues. Apparently I own a lot of books.
lowbeyonder: (Default)
I am so awful that when someone passed me Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief, who absolutely beats face in limited, I still go 1-2. Though at least this time I remember to draft multiple victory conditions, fewer terrible cards, and leave room for more land and better mana fixing. Also went 2-0, 1-2, 0-2 in the matches instead of 0-2, 0-2, 2-0, which is slightly more favorable. I felt like my mistakes this time were smaller, and often play mistakes, instead of huge, gaping deck construction failures; the games were closer and I never got completely blown out or mana-hosed, even running three colors this time (GRB). That's progress.

I did have to laugh when the guy next to me tried the exact same Aura Gnarlid shenanigans I tried the night before and went 0-3 despite my passing him basically every Aura spell that came up.
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