Monthly Archives: November 2007

A very minor bit of glory

Each week the Albuquerque Tribune website (at least) runs a feature where they show a photo from somewhere around Albuquerque, and ask people to identify it. I successfully identified the photo from November 15 (article here).

Since this was a photo of a sign at an intersection near my parents — an intersection I drove through nearly every day in Elementary and Middle schools, and quite regularly since then, including when I visit them — I had no problem recognizing the location. I wasn’t the only one, but I still get my small piece of glory.

Fire Drill

I went through a bit of a “fire drill” this afternoon. Since it turned out to be a fire drill, I’m here instead of sitting at O’Hare getting ready to leave to Boston

the details

More meta-playing with D&D 3.5

I’ve spent some time this weekend playing around some more with RPGXplorer and creating D&D Characters. As a result I’ve updated my character reference page at

What I’ve done to the web site

Interesting Political Hapenstance in my Home State

At the start of the next Congressional session in 2009, New Mexico will have new people for 4/5 of its representation in Washington.

Longtime Republican Senator Pete Domenici is retiring and not seeking reelection. So far both the First District Representative, Heather Wilson, and the Second District Representative, Steve Pearce, are running for the Republican Nomination so are not running for reelection to their seats. Reports are coming out that Third District Representative, Tom Udall, will seek the Democratic Nomination — which is also being sought by Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, but not by Governor Bill Richardson who is still trying to get the Democratic nomination as President.

Thus, all three congressional districts, and the senate seat up for reelection, will be served by new people starting in early 2009.

I don’t know enough electoral history to know if any state has seen this level of new representation in Washington since statehood or not. Of course this can only happen to the smaller states, since there is no way a state with a large number of House Seats could possibly have every representative run for a vacant Senate seat or other office.

At least it was just a sample

This evening, I decided to play a bit with D&D 3.5, and took a bunch of characters I had generated and throw them into some combat (with me controlling all of the characters, and the monsters). Apparently, I overbalanced the encounter in favor of the monsters, since after only about two rounds, all of the PCs were down, and most of the monsters weren’t wounded.

The Gory Details

Karate Tournament (et. al.)

This weekend was the semi-annual intramural karate tournament for the National Karate Schools of Chicago. The fact that both Derrick and I were competing in it was a lot of the reason we weren’t at Windycon — and I’m sure most people who are interested and don’t know can probably guess what the other were.

results, description and other stuff

An odd thing I noticed over the last couple of days

Yesterday and today, I’ve been playing a bit with Google Earth and Google Maps. I’ve noticed that when asked to route between the same two points, they can give two different routes.

Two cases in point. Yesterday I asked for the route from my house to a hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Google Earth routed me through Wyoming, and Google Maps did not. Using the route adjustment feature on Google Maps I discovered that it reported the Wyoming route as a bit shorter and, since both routes are mostly freeway routes, faster.

Today, I ran the route from the Schaumburg Sports Center — home of the National Karate Tournaments — and the Westin in Lombard — the new home of Windycon — to see how easy it will be to get between the two next year if we go to Windycon. In this case I started with Google Earth since I don’t actually have the address for the Sports Center so it is easier to set the start place in that tool. It routed me down Irving Park road to Medina and then to Lake Street before catching I-355 and Butterfield to the hotel. I then did something that popped up the map in Google Maps, which came up with the route heading up Wright road to the Elgin-O’Hare expressway then to I-290 and I-355. The latter is a more sensible route, regardless of which is longer or appears faster.

My conclusion is that the two tools, while sharing a common corporate creator and some other interaction, have either a different route model or routing algorithm. Since I’m fairly sure that most routing programs still pretty much use a least cost routing algorithm on a weighted graph, I suspect that it is the route model — i.e. the underlying graph — that differs.

Murphy has his ways

Yesterday, I filed most of my expenses for my recent trip to India. I had held off since the current expense system wants the expenses that will be automatically paid to the corporate card transferred from the Amex system to the internal system, and not all of my charges had posted. Specifically the charge for the car and driver for 2+ weeks — which oddly enough isn’t that much more than just renting a car in the states for 2+ weeks — hadn’t been posted yet.

But yesterday I decided that I’d waited long enough and a couple of the charges related to changing the tickets to give me a sane layover in Frankfurt were over 30 days old, so I filed the expenses I had. This morning I went to the expense website, and discovered that the last charge had finally been posted. The result, I’ve had to file expenses twice in two days for the same trip.

A comic idea

I just had an idea, generated in part by a conversation I had with a dealer briefly at Rock-Con this weekend, that would essentially be a comic crossover between Pluggers and muskrat_john‘s Dork Tower.

The caption would read: “A gamer/plugger’s d20 doubles as his d10 and half of his percentile dice.”

In case you don’t understand and want to


This weekend Tara and I took advantage of her parent’s hospitality to attend Rock-Con, the Rockford area gaming convention, and Dorkstock the “con within a con” honoring muskrat_john, and his comic Dork Tower. Unfortunately, due to his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, John was unable to attend.

Report, et. al., follows