prince_corwin: (Default)
2011-11-18 03:08 pm

"No, already."

This morning, buying some new clothes:
Droid: "And I'll just circle this on the receipt, which is a survey you can BLAHBLAHBLAH"
Corwin: "Whatever"

This afternoon, at lunch:
Droid: "And at the bottom, there's a survey, which BLAHBLAHBLAH"
Corwin: "Right"

This afternoon, after a haircut:
Droid: "And do you want your receipt? There's a--"
Corwin: "Survey? No."

Just now, getting coffee:
Droid: "And if you complete this--"
Corwin: [Baleful stare]
Droid: "Here's your coffee?"



[Poll #1796088]
prince_corwin: (Gaming!)
2011-11-07 02:13 pm

I Want This

I assume people have heard that a Mass Effect 3 demo was released accidentally and downloaded before BioWare yanked it back? Below are the first fifteen minutes of the demo. There are spoilers, obviously, so if you're completely spoiler-phobic you'd want to avoid, but this is like reading the first half of the prologue of a new book that's coming out-- meaning, not very large spoilers, and nothing you don't already know if you've been paying any attention to the rumors whatsoever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjvCeKcVMR4

I will assume in the comments that you've succumbed and watched the video.
prince_corwin: (Kill!)
2011-05-01 10:12 pm

"When I Heard The News...

...I looked at my brother, and I said, 'Good.'"

And I meant it.
prince_corwin: (Morons)
2011-02-13 10:14 pm

This Is Not A Sequel

So, back when I reviewed This Is Not A Game, by Walter Jon Williams, I wrote: "Walter Jon Williams is one of those rare authors who can write in just about any sub-genre of SF and pull it off well, so even when he's writing about swords with embedded quantum singularities and talking cats (talking cats!!) I will buy his stuff." It was, overall, a positive review, and contributed to my overall impression that WJW can do anything and succeed at it.

Unfortunately, the sequel to that book, Deep State sort of shattered that notion for me. Unfortunately, to explain why I almost threw the book against the wall (only being stuck waiting for car repairs made me finish it) requires spoilers.

So, I will put this review behind two cuts: The light spoilery normal review stuff, then an HR, then a serious batch of world-destroying spoilers under a second one.

This Is Not A Major Spoiler Section )




But this is. )
prince_corwin: (Default)
2011-01-07 08:49 pm

Braciole Recipe

5 pound Venison Leg
2 cups Romano Cheese, grated
2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
6 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
6 Eggs
Tomato Sauce (lots)

Some Parsley
Some Oregano
Some Rosemary
Some Thyme

Toothpicks or String

1) Prepare the filling: I started by beating two eggs in a smallish bowl, and added the breadcrumbs and cheese in until it felt right. I'd say about a cup of breadcrumbs and 1/2 to 2/3 cup (total) of blended cheese. You're going to have to mix this by hand. It should be a wet, sticky mess that more or less holds it's shape.

Chop (or food process) the various herbs, then mix those in the filling as well.

I started with about an ounce of each herb, fresh; I made about three batches of that filling and still had herbs left over to throw in the sauce later. But seriously, this is by your palate. Exact numbers are superfluous.

2) Prepare the vension: We cut slices about 1/2 inch thick, and then pounded it as flat as reasonably possible, maybe to 1/4 inch thick.

3) Stuff the venison: Because these still ended up being (relatively) small, in an area sense, we just added a healthy gob of the stuffing on each one and wrapped them up like little burritos, then fastened them with a toothpick.

4) Braise the venison: Put some reasonable amount of tomato sauce into a stock pot, then put the venison wraps in the sauce. This will depend on your pot and the quantity you make, but basically you just want to cover the meat. Season the sauce to taste (I added excess herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Had I remembered, I would have added a splash of red wine.) Simmer for several hours. (Seriously, there is otherwise raw egg in that filling, all the way at the center. Make sure it's cooked.)

Notes:

A) Traditionally this is done with beef, something that can be sliced thin but with a large area, like a flank steak. Probably skirt steak would be exquisite.

B) Because that's usually larger in area than the venison cut I used, you traditionally put a layer of the stuffing on each steak, then roll it up. The cross section will look like a pin-wheel, and because they're taller you'll need more tomato sauce to cover them and will need to cook them longer.

C) (Just as a side note, what I did was more akin to a Czech dish called... well, phonetically called "thatchy". It's about the size of what I made, but uses thin round steak and a stuffing of finely chopped bacon, onions, and garlic.)

D) That stuffing can be pretty much whatever the hell you want, in my opinion. What I put in was traditional. What I forgot to put in was pine nuts (which, by the way, would have made it even better.)

One day, I will experiment with a sweeter filling-- I'm thinking mascarpone instead of parmesan and romano, and dried cranberry or raisins instead of pine nuts. But I wouldn't spring that on y'all without a taste test, first.

E) People kept asking me what I did to the sauce. IT WAS HUNTS FRICKING TOMATO SAUCE, PEOPLE! I put very tasty venison and fresh herbs into it, is what I did.

F) I liked the chile well enough, but I fucking loved this. You're all lucky I didn't take the pot and leave you to fight over the chile.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2010-11-14 09:50 pm

A Yearly Ritual

So, for my birthday (as opposed to Christmas) the parents have sent me the traditional Amazon gift certificates. (Early, so I can get stuff sent to me by the end of the month. They haven't quite twigged to the fact that I order so much stuff from Amazon, that Amazon Prime is a serious money-saver.) I also cashed in my card points and three months worth of pocket change, so I have gift certificate money coming out of my ears.

Recommend to me, please, some bookses you think I might like and don't already have.
prince_corwin: (Morons)
2010-09-01 06:41 pm

One Benefit

...To being effectively mute, but not deaf, during the day, is that when an LJ kerfluffle like the comments linking to tweet and facebook blows up, everything worth saying has been said by the time I get home and have the ability to post.

Which means all I have to do is agree: Yeah, LiveJournal, that's really fucking stupid.

Since I have neither a facebook nor a twitter account, everyone knows I'm safe.

I will be displeased if I find people forwarding comments from here to other media.
prince_corwin: (Gaming!)
2010-02-07 03:03 pm

Also, Mass Has Been Effected

This review is going to sound negative, but only by comparison to excellent games like Mass Effect 1 and Dragon Age: Origins

spoilers for and thoughts on the whole damned thing )

Spoilers for everything and anything Mass Effect allowed in the comments, even stuff I didn't get to.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2009-10-22 09:18 pm

Bookses (Et Al) So Far

Things ordered:

Dragon Age: Origins Because, well, I had a gift certificate and I want a game. The advertising for this really turned me off of i, so hopefully it won't be a huge disappointment. It's sure been hyped enough.

Rhetorics of Fantasy recommended by Karl-Johan and Skwid. Karl-Johan hit it on the head, because it does look like the sort of thing I'd read as GM research.


The Devil You Know recommended by Desdenova and Rysmiel. Ultimately, it's only seven bucks, although I do remember looking at this in stores last year and wondering if it was any good.

The Gathering Storm because, well, you know. Why stop now?

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement because, yes, engineers do read philosophy from time to time, and this has been on my list for a long time.

Natural Justice as part of the same project, and because I like th Binmore text on game theory I've been reading for a while, anyway. My understanding is that this is part investigation, part rebuttal, and part refinement of the above... and Binmore is a seriously smart guy, based on his role in the telecommunications spectrum auctions.

The Third Claw of God because the first one in the series (Emissaries From the Dead) has been excellent so far, and will be reviewed shortly, probably this weekend.

That seems like enough for now.

(It was a big gift certificate. I have a mug of change that's probably worth $40 on my counter, and a $25 certificate from my credit card on the way, yet. This time of year is always good for massive splurgey book buying.)
prince_corwin: (Default)
2009-10-21 09:55 pm

Bookses

Recommend some to me, please.

(Because I just got my great big birthday gift certificate from my parents, a little early this year.)

No particular topics I can think of.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-10-20 07:04 pm

Dead Space

Well, this is encouraging.

This definitely has the same atmosphere and feel as Bioshock-- same claustrophobia, same story-based FPS, same creepiness... This has potential. And the controls are interesting, too. The 3D map took a little while to grow on me, but I think I like it.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-09-08 08:54 pm

Notes for The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "Dungeons and Dragons," and "The Demon Hand"

Note: I've seen the season opener for the second season, but this contains no spoilers for it, and as much as I am able to, I try to ignore the perspective from that episode.

'Dungeons and Dragons,' and 'The Demon Hand' )
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-09-08 07:35 pm

Just As A Note

I will not be LJ-ing the season premiere of the Sarah Connor Chronicles until I do the last episodes of the previous season. Which should happen in the next day or two, so I'll be properly caught up by next week.

But I am watching.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-09-07 03:18 pm

Notes for The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "Heavy Metal," and "Queen's Gambit"

'Heavy Metal,' and 'Queen's Gambit' )

Damn, this season was good.
If the second season is as good as the first, this will end up being the best SF show on television for the whole 2008-2009 season.

Also, I think I need a Terminator icon.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-09-05 10:53 pm

Notes for The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "Gnothi Seauton," and "The Turk"

'Gnothi Seauton,' and 'The Turk' )

You know, it occurs to me that if I were a fanfic kind of a guy, this is probably the setting where I'd indulge that urge.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-09-04 11:16 pm

Notes for The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "Pilot"

So, I have the whole first season TiVo'd, and since it's only nine episodes, it's fairly easy to watch them all as a refresher before the season starts in earnest. These are notes and thoughts after watching the episode fairly closely, but not with too much thought about episodes that are coming up-- it's not that I don't remember anything, but the memories are fairly dim.

Notes on 'Pilot' )

All in all, I thought the pilot really did an excellent job of setting up the rest of the season. It's actually better the second time around, in my opinion.

I don't know if I'll write up notes for the rest of the first season episodes, there are only eight more after all, but I'll probably write up the second season ones as I watch.
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-06-22 03:46 pm

4e: Dissections and Digressions

This is a continuing review section of the new 4e rules. There is a running score sheet at the end, and links to previous review sections, but the bulk is under the cut, to spare your flist view.

These are also kept unlocked.

DMG: Preliminaries and Tactical GM Rules )

So at this point, I grade things as follows:


  • General Advice: B (Nothing brilliant, nothing bad, but nothing I need.)
  • Non-combat Encounters: A (I think this is as good as it can be, and makes me more positive about the PHB in retrospect)
  • Combat Encounters: B+ (I think my B+ is predicated on using the rules a little differently than they're intended, but good tools are always used in ways that surprise the maker.)


I'm honestly surprised at how positive I came away from this section. But really, that whole extended skill challenge thing looks nifty, and actually useful as a higher level tool for me, as a GM, to help sketch out sessions and pace my games. It's simple enough, even, that if the PCs do something unorthodox but that seems difficult, I could probably wing my way through one unprepared.

The Combat encounters has a similar feel, as being a set of guidelines to actually help me, as GM, achieve the effects I want, including smaller combats if that's what my group wants, and including combats that are more than slugfests if that's what I want.

Other reviews:
PHB: Characters, Preliminaries and Basics
PHB: Characters, General Differentiation and Advancement
PHB: Characters, Class Particulars and Advancement
PHB: Characters, Feats, Skills, and Miscellanea
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-06-21 03:58 pm

4e: Dissections and Digressions

This is a continuing review section of the new 4e rules. There is a running score sheet at the end, and links to previous review sections, but the bulk is under the cut, to spare your flist view.

These are also kept unlocked.

PHB: Characters, Feats, Skills, and Miscellanea )



So at this point, I grade things as follows:


  • Feats: D+ (Too repetitive, not enough substance, too much genre bleedthrough.)
  • Skills: F (Just fundamentally broken. A huge step backwards.)
  • Rituals: C (too skimpy a list. This book is really only 70% complete.)

  • Class Roles:
    • Leaders: A- (seriously, just for moving Clerics out of the medic role, and because I think the Warlord class really adds something)
    • Defenders: B (There's only so interesting you can make a Fighter, but they tried)
    • Strikers: C+ (Rogues are lacking, and Warlocks are too setting-specific)
    • Controllers: B- (They really should have had another type here. I suspect Druids will be future Controllers)
  • Classes Overall: B
  • Paragon: F (Seriously, this is fucked up)
  • Epic: F (Can I give less than an F? How about a Q? Can I give a Q-?)
  • Character Stats: B- (Needs a hack to allow dramatic flaws, but it's an easy hack)
  • Character Races: C (Too much genre dependence over almost half the choices, some of which can't be fixed except by banning.)
  • Class Fairness: A- (I feel like I'm giving this against my will)
  • Class Simplicity: B (Too simple, in some respects. I'll flesh that out more in the next reviews, as it includes feats and skills)
  • Class Aesthetics: C- (This balances out that A- grade, because the spellcasters, while fair, just seem flat)
  • Class Powers: C- (This would be higher, but the Encounter/Daily thing is broken for my style, and because I can't tell without playing whether these class powers are really meaningful on the battleground. Probably would have been a B- without that former.)


This rates about a solid C, actually, since I don't put equal weight on all those categories. It's the Paragon and Epic that really drag things down. If I look at the game as intended only for play below 11th level, it bumps up half a grade, immediately. If I fix a few things that are easily fixable, probably another half a grade to a B-.

I'm not sure if I'll get another review out today; hopefully if not, then at least one tomorrow, and then... well. Maybe when I'm on vacation. The GM stuff will follow, and then the Monster Manual.

Other reviews:
PHB: Characters, Preliminaries and Basics
PHB: Characters, General Differentiation and Advancement
PHB: Characters, Class Particulars and Advancement
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-06-14 03:38 pm

4e: Dissections and Digressions

This is a continuing review section of the new 4e rules. There is a running score sheet at the end, and links to previous review sections, but the bulk is under the cut, to spare your flist view.

These are also kept unlocked.

PHB: Characters, Class Particulars and Advancement )


So at this point, I grade things as follows:

  • Class Roles:
    • Leaders: A- (seriously, just for moving Clerics out of the medic role, and because I think the Warlord class really adds something)
    • Defenders: B (There's only so interesting you can make a Fighter, but they tried)
    • Strikers: C+ (Rogues are lacking, and Warlocks are too setting-specific)
    • Controllers: B- (They really should have had another type here. I suspect Druids will be future Controllers)
  • Classes Overall: B
  • Paragon: F (Seriously, this is fucked up)
  • Epic: F (Can I give less than an F? How about a Q? Can I give a Q-?)

  • Character Stats: B- (Needs a hack to allow dramatic flaws, but it's an easy hack)
  • Character Races: C (Too much genre dependence over almost half the choices, some of which can't be fixed except by banning.)
  • Class Fairness: A- (I feel like I'm giving this against my will)
  • Class Simplicity: B (Too simple, in some respects. I'll flesh that out more in the next reviews, as it includes feats and skills)
  • Class Aesthetics: C- (This balances out that A- grade, because the spellcasters, while fair, just seem flat)
  • Class Powers: C- (This would be higher, but the Encounter/Daily thing is broken for my style, and because I can't tell without playing whether these class powers are really meaningful on the battleground. Probably would have been a B- without that former.)


Other reviews:
PHB: Characters, Preliminaries and Basics
PHB: Characters, General Differentiation and Advancement
prince_corwin: (Default)
2008-06-13 04:50 pm

4e: Dissections and Digressions

This is a continuing review section of the new 4e rules. There is a running score sheet at the end, and links to previous review sections, but the bulk is under the cut, to spare your flist view.

These are also kept unlocked.

PHB: Characters, General Differentiation and Advancement )

So at this point, I grade things as follows:

  • Character Stats: B- (Needs a hack to allow dramatic flaws, but it's an easy hack)
  • Character Races: C (Too much genre dependence over almost half the choices, some of which can't be fixed except by banning.)

  • Class Fairness: A- (I feel like I'm giving this against my will)
  • Class Simplicity: B (Too simple, in some respects. I'll flesh that out more in the next reviews, as it includes feats and skills)
  • Class Aesthetics: C- (This balances out that A- grade, because the spellcasters, while fair, just seem flat)
  • Class Powers: C- (This would be higher, but the Encounter/Daily thing is broken for my style, and because I can't tell without playing whether these class powers are really meaningful on the battleground. Probably would have been a B- without that former.)


Other reviews:
PHB: Characters, Preliminaries and Basics