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Scarab Sages

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captain yesterday wrote:

Crookshanks had a successful first day at work!

She helped aerate and smooth out the concrete and then helped dig out a thirty foot stretch for a walkway (which we dig down a foot).

I even gave her the opportunity to ride with me to dump a load of dirt and she stayed behind to dig.

Hooray! Go Crookshanks!

EDIT: No cheering for crookshanks naked. Not untill she's a bit older.

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM wrote:
I am cooking a lot more in quarantine. Last night was mozzarella stuffed chicken parmesan.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Shadowrun, Heroes Unlimited, or Nightbane (or Nightspawn, I forget which name they got sued for using and had to switch).
the entire reason I bought nightbane was to stick it to McFarlane. Legalistic jerk.

Mutants and Masterminds?


Woran wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Shadowrun, Heroes Unlimited, or Nightbane (or Nightspawn, I forget which name they got sued for using and had to switch).
the entire reason I bought nightbane was to stick it to McFarlane. Legalistic jerk.
Mutants and Masterminds?

Todd McFarlane is the creator of Spawn and is very protective of what he perceives to be his IP to the point that a somewhat maligned role playing game company who decided to make a game with a similar name was instantly threatened with lawsuit by him and his company. The roleplaying game company tried to be nice about it and invite him to be a part of the games process if rumors are to be believed, but McFarlane was just being a jerk about it and threatened to sue even harder(if that is a thing). Eventually they just changed the name to Nightbane and moved on.


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You have to love the boundless optimism of youth.

At the moment, Impus Major is the strongest proponent in the family of sheltering in place and refusing to associate with others; he actually took me aside and voiced his strong objections when our housecleaner finally returned. (And she was amazingly careful, wearing a mask and staying at least 10' from any of us.)

So, as I mentioned, he's pretty sure he's going to take the Fall semester off. And he's sitting there saying, "Yeah, maybe I'll get a job. Or my best friend and I can go on a road trip across the country."

Just charming that he's so paranoid about COVID-19 now, and he thinks that by September or October it'll be gone.

So far during this crisis, the progression has been eerily similar to the 1918 Spanish flu, up to and including premature relaxations of restrictions. (It's really an amazingly parallel story; worth reading up on.) The Spanish flu hit in March of 1918, and had a massive resurgence in the Fall... right when Impus Major is planning his trip.

Er, no, Impus Major. Just... no...


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This virus is a mess. Alvin Toffler was right - we are in information overload. Too many voices talking before they know anything.

In NC, we are now seeing people who were sick in early January testing positive for antibodies. NC's first reported viral positive case was around March 3. So, while it is not certain that these early sicknesses were in fact COVID illness, it appears that we had the virus active in NC two months before detection.

Likewise, this would suggest we had community transmission a month before the CDC is willing to admit that community transmission was detected in the US and before the January 21 date that is what abc reports as the first detected case of a traveler from Wuhan.

The ramifications for herd immunity are unknown.

Back to the grindstone.


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Nylarthotep wrote:

This virus is a mess. Alvin Toffler was right - we are in information overload. Too many voices talking before they know anything.

In NC, we are now seeing people who were sick in early January testing positive for antibodies. NC's first reported viral positive case was around March 3. So, while it is not certain that these early sicknesses were in fact COVID illness, it appears that we had the virus active in NC two months before detection.

Likewise, this would suggest we had community transmission a month before the CDC is willing to admit that community transmission was detected in the US and before the January 21 date that is what abc reports as the first detected case of a traveler from Wuhan.

The ramifications for herd immunity are unknown.

Back to the grindstone.

My general feeling about such things is, "Find the closest historical parallel. Assume that humanity has made no progress and will behave in exactly the same way. Read up on what happened."

It's depressingly effective.

(And now I want to add that to a Pokemon game. "Downlow uses Sad Tales. It's depressingly effective!")


We need some level of after-COVID planning however it needs to be linked to levels of cases and transmission within that time period. While I do not think this is just going to up and vanish, I dont think we can pull off this level of sheltering in place for too much longer.


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Freehold DM wrote:
We need some level of after-COVID planning however it needs to be linked to levels of cases and transmission within that time period. While I do not think this is just going to up and vanish, I dont think we can pull off this level of sheltering in place for too much longer.

If you ignore the politicians (hard, I know), there seems to be general consensus in the scientific community:

(1) Have adequate testing so that anyone who needs a test gets one. Their claim is that the U.S. has not reached this level of testing yet.

(2) Once adequate testing has been established, enforce isolation and contact tracking for those who test positive. As we've seen from anecdotal evidence, this is similarly problematic because people worldwide have shown that they're incapable of self-isolation, so some measure of enforcement is necessary. Once again, general consensus is that this will almost certainly not fly in the U.S.

(3) For everyone, continue to practice safe hygiene and social distancing. Once again, we see that the population is not ready for this.

Since we're not going to see any of the above this year, I'm just expecting a repeat of the Spanish flu, and my best hope is to protect myself and my family by continuing to be personally conscious of the risks.


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We already had it in January ourselves, or at least The General and the kids did.

We don't know 100% sure because they weren't testing then but they had the symptoms.

Either I didn't get it or my symptoms were very mild (my throat felt a little scratchy and I had a slight temperature and headache for a few days (I already have almost no sense of smell or taste).


NobodysHome wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
We need some level of after-COVID planning however it needs to be linked to levels of cases and transmission within that time period. While I do not think this is just going to up and vanish, I dont think we can pull off this level of sheltering in place for too much longer.

If you ignore the politicians (hard, I know), there seems to be general consensus in the scientific community:

(1) Have adequate testing so that anyone who needs a test gets one. Their claim is that the U.S. has not reached this level of testing yet.

(2) Once adequate testing has been established, enforce isolation and contact tracking for those who test positive. As we've seen from anecdotal evidence, this is similarly problematic because people worldwide have shown that they're incapable of self-isolation, so some measure of enforcement is necessary. Once again, general consensus is that this will almost certainly not fly in the U.S.

(3) For everyone, continue to practice safe hygiene and social distancing. Once again, we see that the population is not ready for this.

Since we're not going to see any of the above this year, I'm just expecting a repeat of the Spanish flu, and my best hope is to protect myself and my family by continuing to be personally conscious of the risks.

1) I got tested the other day and we are FINALLY in a place where antibody testing is free. I plan to go for the antibody test soon myself. Not sure how things are in the rest of the country.

2) Not everyone is going to handle isolation well, or even the same. I'm having trouble with it myself. But we are actively looking for people to be hired as COVID 19 trackers, I am reaching out to people on my caseload to see who is interested in doing so.

3) People are growing a bit cooler to masks around here, but most people still wear them. The biggest issue is people who wear them poorly or incorrectly, citing breathing issues, and that is a frustration. Again, I have no idea how things are in the rest of the country.


NC at least has the antibody test readily available. And it is free/cheap at $10. Quick too at about 15 minutes. With one false positive out of 1204 in its primary study.

The problem is several states are conflating the antibody test with the viral test. They tell you different things. The first (who has had it) and the second (who has it at the time of the test). One is more rear view than the other, but given the asymptomatic incubation (but contagious) period, both are to some extent rear facing.

If there are, in fact, large numbers of us running around with antibodies (with admittedly unknown possibilities of being reinfected by a different strain), then we are maybe ok opening up so long as the at risk population continues to self-protect.

I think NC is reaching the F it stage soon. "People are not putting up with these conditions any longer, the virus is both more transmittable and far less deadly to most populations, and people are going to conclude that either the chances of getting it and dying are minimal, or the chances of getting it are so guaranteed, that they figure it's inevitable."


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Hello, everyone.

I wish that I could say that I enjoyed my day off, but my mother was physically sick. Some kind of food poisoning, I think.


NobodysHome wrote:
The Vagrant Erudite wrote:

What system would you guys use for a gritty, street level supers game? Where the government is hunting the PCs for unknown reasons, and they're constantly on the run and hiding?

Power level is like "rip a car door off with one arm", "run about 100mph" or equivalent, depending on powers.

Not that I could run one with the baby keeping us busy, but I sometimes brainstorm future game ideas and do some writing while I'm watching the vagrant infantite.

We had good success with 150-point builds in Champions and a generally-accepted, "Don't take powers that would break the feel of the game".

But it was definitely a group of players who loved to play with "theme builds" instead of optimized builds, so you have to trust your group to behave.

I Second Champions (AKA 'The Hero System') I've played Champions, Giant robots, and 'Fantasy Hero'. They all using the same rule-set, just a few rules tweaked slightly for each setting. VERY flexible. You can literally build ANYthing in it. As NH mentioned, a 150-pt buy will get you low-mid lvl powered Supers, or low-lvl D&D type persons, or a VERY skilled Super Spy (James Bond).

I own Marvel boxed sets 1 & 2, but never got to play it enough to actually figure it out. So Can't say whether you should try it or not. It was definitely a different system from anything I'd played at the time. (D&D & Champions mostly) But I DO know folks that played with it and said they liked it a lot. So there. :P


So, seriously, WTF is wrong with the teachers around here?

Today is Impus Major's last day. He has a physics final, then an English paper (technically due tomorrow morning at 5:59 am), and he's done.

So, of course, his English teacher just this morning announced a mandatory class today during regular class hours.

What
the
actual
f?

EDIT: And now his physics final has started...
...except neither he nor his classmates can find it anywhere.


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The Vagrant Erudite wrote:

What system would you guys use for a gritty, street level supers game? Where the government is hunting the PCs for unknown reasons, and they're constantly on the run and hiding?

Power level is like "rip a car door off with one arm", "run about 100mph" or equivalent, depending on powers.

Vampire? :P

Scarab Sages

John Napier 698 wrote:

Hello, everyone.

I wish that I could say that I enjoyed my day off, but my mother was physically sick. Some kind of food poisoning, I think.

Oh no. She doing better now?


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Woran wrote:
John Napier 698 wrote:

Hello, everyone.

I wish that I could say that I enjoyed my day off, but my mother was physically sick. Some kind of food poisoning, I think.

Oh no. She doing better now?

Yeah, she's okay now. Thanks for asking.


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Speaking of sick, our little Fluffernutter is in the cat hospital. And I love GothBard's ability to sense such things in cats. She realized that Fluffernutter wasn't being as loud as usual, got worried, and took her in. A 105-degree fever (equivalent to around 103 in a person) and a faint heart murmur after a lifetime of no issues convinced them to hospitalize her.

The sad thing? An overnight stay in the hospital and a full battery of tests (bloodwork, ultrasound, urinalysis), plus IV antibiotics and fluids is costing us $2200.

Roughly 1/10 what it would cost for an uninsured human...


I downloaded Gods of War 3 Remastered.

The fact that it's called "remastered" does not instill a lot of confidence.


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How we got our current job (two patios, a fire pit, an outside kitchen and a transforming pergola) despite being the third company to look at the project.

First company: Yeah, we can probably do that, but I'll need 5 grand to draw up the plans

Second company (which I used to work for): Yeah, we can't do that

The boss: Wow, this looks like a fun job, I have just the guys to do it!

Enthusiasm and confidence, that's how we get all the good jobs (co-worker and I have at least three huge projects this summer).


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captain yesterday wrote:
How we got our current job (two patios, a fire pit, an outside kitchen and a transforming pergola)

Are you sure that pergola is not a Gazebo?


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With what they're paying for it they can call it whatever they want.


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Aw, isn't baby Splinter adorable!


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Vampire (to Guillermo): I smell death on you!

Guillermo: That's just my axe body spray.

Silver Crusade

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captain yesterday wrote:

Vampire (to Guillermo): I smell death on you!

Guillermo: That's just my axe body spray.

We just watched that!


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I do enjoy that show.

It is definitely someone's vampire game.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How we got our current job (two patios, a fire pit, an outside kitchen and a transforming pergola)
Are you sure that pergola is not a Gazebo?

Actually I asked him the same thing a week ago,

But after a short trip to the Interwebs,...
Turns out that they are similar, but a Pagoda usually seems to have a solid roof, while a pergola is more a structure without the roofing materials on top, just the framework.

What is a pergola with a roof called?
Traditionally, a pergola is a structure with a crossbeam or latticed covering that can be freestanding or attached to your home to provide visual interest to your landscaping or patio. ... Structures that are similar to pergolas but have fixed roofs may be referred to as pavilions or gazebos.


Yup, it's a pergola that transforms into a gazebo depending on what the radar says.


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*adds Change Shape (Su) to its statblock*


About to go home. Good night, everyone.


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My Dad used to be in a band called "The Hinges". They opened for "The Doors".


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What's the opposite of "isolate"? "Yousoearly".


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My wife told me that I need to grow up. I was speechless. It's hard to talk with 45 gummy bears in your mouth.


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I play Chess-by-mail with a girl in Prague. She's my Czech mate.


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Puns are, in general, corny. But puns about the eye are cornea.


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An old friend of my wife commented on a picture of our son, saying "He's so big! What is he, four?" I wanted to reply "I have no idea what he's for."


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Well, Fluffernutter is home and feeling MUCH better, but we're out 2 grand and none the wiser.

The good news is that there's nothing internally wrong with her: No cancer, no foreign bodies; nothing that's causing the problem. Other than a bit of arthritis in the hips (natural for a 13-year-old cat) and the inflammation in the intestines, nothing's particularly wrong.

But then why does she have a high fever and inflamed intestines? The blood work comes back on Tuesday and we'll know more.

For now, she's all drugged up on steroids and thinks the world is awesome and maybe the vet isn't so bad.

Or maybe not...

Scarab Sages

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John Napier 698 wrote:
Woran wrote:
John Napier 698 wrote:

Hello, everyone.

I wish that I could say that I enjoyed my day off, but my mother was physically sick. Some kind of food poisoning, I think.

Oh no. She doing better now?
Yeah, she's okay now. Thanks for asking.

Good to hear.

Scarab Sages

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NobodysHome wrote:

Speaking of sick, our little Fluffernutter is in the cat hospital. And I love GothBard's ability to sense such things in cats. She realized that Fluffernutter wasn't being as loud as usual, got worried, and took her in. A 105-degree fever (equivalent to around 103 in a person) and a faint heart murmur after a lifetime of no issues convinced them to hospitalize her.

The sad thing? An overnight stay in the hospital and a full battery of tests (bloodwork, ultrasound, urinalysis), plus IV antibiotics and fluids is costing us $2200.

Roughly 1/10 what it would cost for an uninsured human...

I did take MrT to the vet once...


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Work work work.


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Life Lessons Learned Too Late:

One of the things you always hear is, "From the moment you get your first job, put 10% into savings, 10% into retirement, and you have to live on 80% of your income."

That's all well and good if you're making $50,000 a year, but when you're trying to get by on a $12,000/year student stipend you're thinking, "What are you, stupid?"

The trouble is, living paycheck-to-paycheck becomes a habit that you start following even after you finally get to a point where you could live on that 80%. We've been that way for many, many years.

This year I finally said, "No more!" and started putting money away in savings.

And our cat promptly had a $2000 vet bill.

And for the first time in ages, I just paid it with cash, no sweat, because I've been saving 10% of my income for the last 5 months.

Lesson learned. Now to hammer it into my next generation with a blunt instrument.


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Yeah, except for when you finally get the better-paying job, the thing that makes most sense in the short term is to pay down monster debts asap so the interest doesn't keep eating your soul. (Trying to do that now.) And when you get one paid off, use the money you were paying that one to double up on another one.
No lie, we're probably going to be in debt until we retire (eleven years of grad school for WW killed us), but we're slowly chipping away at it.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Work work work.

Yep. And dealing with a crabby boss about a personnel vacation decision I approved. So, head down and chip away at applications.


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lisamarlene wrote:

Yeah, except for when you finally get the better-paying job, the thing that makes most sense in the short term is to pay down monster debts asap so the interest doesn't keep eating your soul. (Trying to do that now.) And when you get one paid off, use the money you were paying that one to double up on another one.

No lie, we're probably going to be in debt until we retire (eleven years of grad school for WW killed us), but we're slowly chipping away at it.

*Almost* the same boat here. Two years ago I took out the "final" loan on the house and used it to pay off all the credit card debt, so all my debt now is either tax-deductible (mortgage, HELOC) or being paid back to myself (401(k) loan).

Debt is a monkey that grows like a virus.


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Great Priorities, Idiot Edition.

A production environment has had major issues reported this morning. No reply from the team responsible or their manager.

A test environment had a single person get kicked out of it. Same team is responsible. The manager pipes up that they'll look into it immediately.

Still have not seen a single response to the production environment ongoing issues.

And they wonder why I keep talking about just disappearing for a couple weeks.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Work work work.

Smash hammer saw.

Dataphiles

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NobodysHome wrote:
Debt is a monkey that grows like a virus.
Terry Pratchett, 'Men at Arms' wrote:

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."

James Baldwin wrote:
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.


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Speaking of the kitty, it really is depressing how much better medicine is for animals than for people, because vets don't worry about addiction or legal ramifications or whatever, they just give the animal the best-suited medicine for the job.

So Fluffernutter got shot full of steroids yesterday. And today she's running around as if nothing ever happened, eating like a horse, and totally happy, noisy, and purr-y.

If she were human, the doctors would've said, "Well, we *could* give her steroids, but... (mumble mumble mumble)" and they wouldn't have given her something half so effective.

Thank goodness for being a kitty!


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Lamiabrarian wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
Debt is a monkey that grows like a virus.
Terry Pratchett, 'Men at Arms' wrote:

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."

James Baldwin wrote:
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

The sad thing is that this is *exactly* where I am in life right now. We have thrown out over a dozen $35 bookcases because they kept falling apart. My parents were huge fans of the "lumber and cinderblock" arrangement. We finally bought a hand-crafted solid-wood bookcase for $450 that will last us the rest of our lives. Because we could afford to buy the quality that would save us money in the long run.

Sad, but I know that tale all too well.

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