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Rich Diver

Klaus van der Kroft's page

Goblin Squad Member. 1,619 posts (1,694 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 17 aliases.


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Watched Galavant last night. Loved it.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

In 1883, Spanish King Afonso II visited Strassbourg, where he was honoured by the Prussian army. On his way back home, he passed through Paris, where the locals (including government officials) booed at him, insulted him, and even threw him stones, as they were still furious over the losses incurred during the Franco-Prussian War.

News of this treatment reached Spain, where the public became deeply offended, but none as angry as the inhabitants of the tiny village of Líjar, in the south.

Calling for the village council, the mayor proposed declaring unilateral war to France over vexations incurred upon the Crown, which was passed with 100% approval; a formal letter of commencement of hostilities was then sent to Paris, though the French didn't pay much attention to it.

The council's ledger for that day reads that they expected each able-bodied man in Líjar (600) to handle about 10,000 frenchmen.

Though not a single shot was fired, the war officially lasted for a whole century. King Juan Carlos I visited Paris in 1983 and sent notice to the mayor of Líjar that he had been treated with the utmost respect. This pleased the locals, who then signed a formal peace treaty with the French consul and viceconsul, thus ending 100 years of blodless conflict.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks man. So far the volcanoes have caused no fatalities (a climber who had been lost was found yesterday) and the police managed to evacuate everyone quickly.

A friend who lives nearby told us last night the ashes were already piled up to almost 2 metres (about 6 and a half feet) in some areas, and vulcanologists have said the belching could last for several weeks. The last time that volcano exploded with noticeable strentgh, in the 1860s, it belched smoke and ash for 6 straight months, lowering Earth's temperature by about 1-2 degrees C°.

A couple of hours ago the ash plume started to be seen over here at the capital (about 1,000kms to the north), so we're likely to see ash rain on Sunday. Agentina is getting the worst part of the cloud, though, due to prevailing winds from the west.

The main concern right now is the incomming acid rain in the south and the fact that agriculture in the area will be devastated. Milk prices are skyrocketting (the affected area is our main milk and beef producting region).

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Knowing our luck, this will be a Blacker Plague, released by an earthquake from its million-year slumber underneath Earth's crust. And they will be explosive bacteria, of course.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

2015 so far here in Chile:

Eartquake in the far north
Flash floods in the north-centre
Rouge storms in the centre
Extreme drough in the south-centre
Volcano in the south-centre
Wildfires in the far south

And as of two days ago, add another volcano to the south-centre, with likely chances of the previous volcano pumping action back up and a third, unrelated volcano also blowing up. Massive rainstorms in the centre and severe blizzards in the south expected for late May as well, just in case the volcanoes weren't enough.

Seems the titans were buried over here after all, and someone decided to wake them up.

Stay tuned for asteroid impact, the Black Plague comming back, and the release of a previously unknown Ed Wood drama.

Aye, it's easy to lock yourself into a dysfunctional traffic network early in the game. But then again, dealing with those issues is one of the most entertaining aspects of the game!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Piracy has reached such massive levels in Somalia that there's a Pirate Exchange in the city of Harardhere. The Exchange has an index calculated from the performance of over 70 "pirate entities" and, although no official data is known, its director Mohammed Hassan Abdi has said it has been "showing continous growth rates".

Both individuals and public or private organizations can purchase shares in the Exchange, which are used to finance piracy operations and then pay based on the profitability of the scurvy venture.

Piracy has become Harardhere's main economic activity; the city has the highest ratio of luxury cars per capita in the country. Though officially against it, it's said the local government charges a special fee over profits earned from the Pirate Exchange, which is used, at least in theory, for funding public infrastructure.

Meeting with a friend for some beef tartare.

Ravioli with pesto. Sauce done last night.

Fillet with french fries

Shrimp and crab ceviche

A very unispired cheeseburger.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The small town of Peor es Nada ("Better Than Nothing"), in central Chile, got its unusual name from the estate that used to be there. In the late XIX century, Enrique Oettinger used to own a large piece of land in the area, and in his testament he split it among his many children, leaving the smallest one to his youngest daughter. Upon hearing of her inheritance, she exclaimed "Oh well, better than nothing", which subsequently became the name of her estate and the village that grew around it. The locals are officially called Peoresnadiences ("Betterthannothingians").

Further south, the ominously named Salsipuedes ("Leave if You Can") got its name due to the moody Claro river which surrounds it. In the late XVIII century, the town would often spend most of the winter completely cutoff due to how massive the river could get (new bridges had to be built regularly). Problem is, due to a severe lack of foresight, the cemetery was on the other side of the river, so when people died during the periods of isolation the dead had to be buried within the town itself, leading to the usual saying in that locale that, upon entombment, "He didn't get out while alive; he'll never get out now that he's dead". In a similar fashion as the previous case, locals are formally listed as Salsipuedenses ("Leaveifyoucanians").

Not far from the last one, the coastal village of Matanzas ("Killing Sprees"), although peaceful today, was once entirely wiped out by English pirates. When officials showed up to assess the damage, they were confronted with the gruesome scene of a groom and bride with their stomachs sliced open right in front of a church, the priest and guests also dead nearby. The place came to be known just as "La Matanza" ("The Killing Spree"), and with time the town that formed nearby took it.

I've never really enjoyed liquorice in any of its forms, though those twisty red things from the US are mildly tolerable, mostly because I can't find any flavour in them (interesting for chewing idly while playing Civilization).

I have an uncle who always carries a tiny box of salty liquorice candy with him; that thing's nasty. Called salmaki or something like that.

I've heard regular ingest of liquorice is supposed to be good for you, though.

Sweet roast pork with potatoes.

It's been a pig-heavy week.

Poor Man's (ie, side of french fries, fried egg, and fried onion) Porkchops

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mass transit is pretty expansive. You have bus, trains, trams, metros, and ferries, with route customization and overlays showing the types of passengers.

That way, instead if just plopping, say, bus stops all over town, you build a bus station that services vehicles and then draw different lines, determining where the stops will be. Then the station starts pumping out buses to meet the line's requeriments (basen on how long it is). This way, you can have multiple lines serving different areas or purposes, such as one meant to drive tourist across landmark sites, students to school, or workers to the mines. These vehicles still have to move, so a gridlock will affect buses just as much, while trains require careful planning to avoid collapses.

Coupled with all the road/track building freedom, it's the deepest mass transit system of any citybuilder. Which makes sense, considering the game was built on Cities in Motion 2's engine (a transit simulator).

Anyone else playing this new citybuilder?

Developed by Colossal Order (same people behind Cities in Motion), Cities: Skylines is a pretty comprehensive city-builder in the same line of the SimCity series. It takes several hints from SimCity 2013 (on the surface they actually look very similar), while avoiding pretty much all the things it did wrong (in particular: No online requeriments, huge city sizes, functional simulation, and lots of modding tools).

Graphically it looks great, though I admit the style is a bit bland. But with thousands upon thousands of custom buildings, parks, intersections, and landmarks already available from the modding community, it's quickly being fixed.

Maps are huge; you start with a 2x2 km area, which you can expand by purchasing additional 2x2 km lots, up to 9 in total (with mods you can purchase up to 25, for a massive size of 100sq kms).

Difficulty is pretty low, particularly if you compare it with SimCity 4. Though there are ways in which the game can throw a wrench at your carefully built utopia, save for the very early stages you will never really encounter money issues.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game is the traffic simulation. The engine can hold up to 1,000,000 individual agents, each with their own homes, works, and needs, which scurry about your roads and walkways in a very realistic manner. And with the extremelly flexible road tools, you will soon find yourself experimenting with 4-level fractal highway junctions and spiral bridges.

It also deals very well with gridless city shapes, as lots are subdivided into tiny tiles that orient themselves to the street rather than the ground, allowing you to have very natural curves and corners.

All in all, a fantastic citybuilder. A bit easy, yes, but it more than makes up for it with its depth and replayability. The absolutely ludicrous amount of mods also give it a constant stream of free content, and the devs are very committed towards quality DLCs, both free and paid (the publisher's Paradox, and they've announced a release system like that of EU4 and CK2, in which even paid expansions provide free content for everyone).

Truly, Cities: Skylines is the first citybuilder since SimCity 4 that has managed to enchant me.

Also: The game includes poop dynamics. Sewage drains actually add volume to waterways and, if you build a dam to close them, you can drown your city in literal, volumetric crap. Sewer surfin'!

If graphics are not a primary concern, the Exile/Avernum series by Spiderweb Soft are some of the best RPGs out there, in my opinion. They are not downright ugly, just very early 90's in terms of visuals (which at the same time means they can run on a microwave), but depth and setting are amazing.

Lunch at my godmother's house. No idea what's for eating, but she's one of those people who can make pastries while sleeping, so probably lots of sweet stuff.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
if your son said he wanted to go into porn, would he get the same lecture? What about your parents?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kajehase wrote:
The highest situated capital in Europe is Andorra la Valle in (well, duh) Andorra

As an addendum, Andorra is one of only three countries in the world that are ruled by a diarchy ("with two rulers", the other two being San Marino and Swaziland), and the only one that's ruled by foreign dignitaries. Specifically, the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell (in Spain).

For approximately 800 years, lasting until 1993, Andorra would pay tribute to each ruler on a every-other-year basis; the French President got money, while the Bishop got 6 hams, 6 cheese wheels, 6 live chickens, and 12 USD (as equivalent in 1993).

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
Never understood why people were so into having some type of top-down overview and control over their kids sex life. Not necessarily pointing fingers at you, klaus, as this is just an observation I've made over the years as *everyone* seems to say that about their kids getting into porn(also why don't people ever consider their parents getting into porn?). I don't think anyone would approve of their kids sex lives on the whole, and on the flip side, who would want their parents watching while they had sex anyway?

I think it is perfectly reasonable for parents to be mindful about their kids' sex life; sex is a big thing with pretty big consequences, and it's every parent's impulse to care about stuff that can deeply affect their kids. I see it just like how parents are reasonably worried about their kids' career and couple choices. It's natural to worry about that stuff; you want those munchkins to have a good life.

That doesn't mean I think parents should micromanage their kids' sex life or trample over their personal desires once they are mature enough to know what they are doing, just that I don't see anything odd in parents wanting control.

As for why not porn, I would be pretty creeped out to know my kids are being featured in high-impact porn streaming, to be honest. If my daughter came to me and said she wanted to become a porn actress, I'd try to talk her out of it to the best of my ability, but if in the end she remained adamant, I would have to let her do what she wanted and try to find a way to live with it. She would have the right to choose her own life, and other than advice one can't and shouldn't do more than that.

Wouldn't want my kids working in porn by any measure, but as long as those working at it are doing so freely and aware of the risks and implications, I have no problems with it.

Hackbraten with mashed potatoes and spicy tomato/champignon sauce.

Made a lot of the stuff, which was probably a bad idea considering the date.

Meeting with a friend in about an hour at a new place specialized solely in tartares.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A burger that had fried onion rings inside the patty.

I'm a better person now just for having tried that dish. Probably slightly more likely to die early, but better nonetheless.

Manjar Mousse icecream, even better if combined with berries (manjar, also called dulce de leche in some parts -though technically manjar is sweeter and thicker- is a caramel-like substance made from slow-boiled condensed milk. The name means literally "Delight").

Some of my favourite favourites:

Tiny Coffee Golem:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
In Bhutanese art, a flaming penis is a sign of good luck.
In real life it's a sign of very very bad luck.

meatrace wrote:
My favorite misspelling is Monster Manuel. I want to meet THAT guy.

Tirq wrote:

Usually, I'm an adventurer. I traditionally plunder the loot, kill the bandits, and buy the fancy stuff with the spoils. Unfortunately, do to the recession, I'm the guy who does the banditry. Not my finest moments. I barely had enough to buy my Longsword, let alone armor. What about my family? I have to feed them as well!

Now, picture this, I'm sitting in a cavern, chilling with my buddies, counting some money that we recently "Obtained" from some rich "Donors" when suddenly this group of people show up. Now, it could be anyone, but nooooo it's a freak show! I mean, since when do Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and Humans even get along?! I'm willing to bet at least half of them were "Hidden Nobility" or "Destined for Greatness" or even "Experts in their Field." How come nobody ever comes into our hideouts just to say "Hey, Tirq, how's it been?" It's always "Die you bandit scum!"

Monsters aren't the only ones with problems... *sniff*

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Liz Courts wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
But...but... without a specific rule telling me to not be a jerk I won't know not to be a jerk.

Note how you can make Liz extra-annoyed if you pass the pointer over her face.

Empanadas. Lots and lots of empanadas.

Before they had their first contact with Europeans in the XVIII century, the Rapa Nui of Easter Island though they were the only people in the entire world, after being completely isolated from everyone else for almost 1,000 years.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Fancy Staircase Simulator is getting a sequel?


Did You Know overload.

<Queue russian lady's final scene from Indiana Jones 4>

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thejeff wrote:

OTOH, that very growing productivity, and the resources that drive it, are the root of the problems that we face now. More productivity won't grow us out of climate change or water crises or even Peak (Cheap) Oil, silly as that last might look today.

We might work out a revolutionary new power source that doesn't add carbon to the atmosphere or use up water and use that new source of cheap power to bootstrap past our current limits, but I don't see it yet. And cleaning the atmosphere and the oceans will still be a monumental task, even with near free energy.

I'd say instead that productivity is the solution, rather than the source of the problem. Productivity is not just about the output (ie, how much you produce), but also about the throughput (how many resources you need to produce). It's all about efficiency, which is precisely what we need to face such problems as global warming, water crises, and availability of cheap fuels.

It's is not a new phenomenon. Early in the Industrial Revolution, modernizing european societies were facing a critical depletion of fuel sources, as forests began to disappear, until advances in technology allowed for an efficient and practical mining of mineral coal.

Coal itself started to become a problem in the late XIX century, prompting a quick development of alternatives such as solar power, though the appearance of cheaper and more efficient oil derivatives halted progress in those areas.

None of those scenarios had evident solutions at first; both coal and oil were long known to be useful sources of energy, but we were simply too inefficient at getting them in economically-feasible manners. Both times, it was an increase in productivity that allowed not just to avoid the crisis, but open the gates for even higher increases in life quality.

Now, I'm not saying we should just sit tight and wait for Black Mesa to create a new wonder fuel made out of endless amounts of YouTube comment bile, but we need to keep in mind that increased productivity is what is going to get us out of this, and thus focus on efforts to promote that (always, in my opinion, with the ultimate goal of human dignity driving it, however): Know-how, logistics, and R&D. And that basically boils down to education, better distribution of resources, and the promotion of innovation. And so far, we're doing those three things better today than we have done so in quite a while.

So that's what drives me to think we are not living in the End Times.

A hearty Barros Luco (marraqueta bread with churrasco and large amounts of gouda cheese).

3 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
I see no concrete signs that would indicate this particular era to be any closer to Rule by Biker Gangs
More like Walker Gangs, because when civilization goes, so goes the easy access to gasoline and spare parts.

My extensive and in-depth analysis of the movie Battletruck indicates otherwise. Cars will clearly be powered either by random gas pipes sprouting up in the middle of the desert or by colossal amounts of chicken poop.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

There is no coronation ceremony in Spain. Ever since the XIV century, kings are proclaimed, not crowned. The crown and scepter are still expected to be present, though, sitting on a cushion in front of the new monarchs, like some sort of royal Sorting Hat I suppose.

"You'll be the King of... Panama"
"But Panama has no king!"

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I see no concrete signs that would indicate this particular era to be any closer to Rule by Biker Gangs than any other (asides from the invention of biker gangs, that's it). There's no reason to expect a Malthusian Catastrophe any time soon, while political stability is at an all-time high.

Even though past information cannot be used to predict the future, there is a reason every demographic collapse proclaimed in the last three centuries has been wrong: Per capita productivity as a result of continous innovation has been increasing at a regular rate since the early stages of the Industrial Revolution (for comparison, it is estimated average per capita productivity changed almost nothing in the preceeding three-thousand years), which has allowed human population to become incredibly resilient and adaptative to changes in resource availability.

It is not so much about absent-minded optimism in technomagic as it is the unreliable nature of most apocalyptic predictions, which rarely factor growing productivity properly (which is reasonable, though, as most attempts to actually predict said growing productivity tend to be mistaken. Flying cars, man, flying cars).

Could The Humongous be just around the corner? Aye, that's a possibility. But I don't think the current world-wide situation could be interpreted to make such scenario a realistic choice. Won't be betting the lottery on that, for certain.

The ventilated non-squished well-being of my jimmies objects to the attempted polemization of having a natural inclination to keep them that way.

I see it as simply a matter of bad manners. No sexism here.

What do you know: It was actually hot dogs.

Lunch for today: Fried cauliflower in mozzarella cream with chicken on orange sauce. Finally learned how to make proper orange sauce, not too sticky, not too runny.

Dinner: Planescape with Pathfinder sauce. I mean, most likely pizza or cheeseburgers, depending on what the group's craving.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Had to skip lunch due to work.

Dinner will be at a friend's house for his birthday.

Email invitation specified "Be prepared to eat more hot dogs than it should be allowed".

So probably pizza.

In the family's lake house, underneath the weeping willow where I've spent every single summer reading since I've known how to hold a book, surrounded by family. Cause of death could be something like an aneurysm (several of those on my mother's side) that kills you quickly, so my grandchildren just see they gramp falling asleep. 85-95 year range seems nice.

What happens after that is God's to decide.

I just came back to WoW last week after a pretty long pause. Very happy so far with Warlords of Draenor.

I have most of my character in Moon Guard, but I'll try to check on you guys to say hello!

BigNorseWolf wrote:
After decades of dormancy, violent sports will make a comeback due to advances in medical technology making injuries like concussions and severed spines no more problematic than a broken arm is today.

I agree with this. And would absolutely watch them.

Making some sandwiches out of the white-wine pork I made yesterday.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

-Spend a beautiful weekend with the family, great weather and great food, remembering those we've lost with fondness
-Get back to town, have a good day at the office, get some of my favourite icecream on my way home
-Make preparations for a pleasant afternoon of catching up with Downton Abbey. What is that good old Carson up to these days?
-Check the Paizo forums
-First thing I see involves Yellowdingo getting naked in public

Great, just great.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It took me a while, but I finally managed to put enough attention into a single piece of writing to publish my first RPG supplement, Ottolf's Handy Manual of Everyday Magic.

I also keep a blog about RPG stuff where I try to sound smarter than I really am, but I'm afraid it's entirely in Castilian.

Hey Luthorne!

Come to think of it now, it might sound a bit reduntant, aye. The original intent was to specify you can't use something currently attached to a living creature as an ingredient, nor an entire living creature (particularly tiny creatures, such as a fairy).

Now, dead tiny creatures or undead ones are fair game for turning them into liquor!

Thank you very much for all your help in putting this up, Liz!


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