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[sticky post] Hello!

Oct. 29th, 2009 | 03:00 pm

Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside!

— Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part II)

Hi there!

If you're reading this, you're probably just looking at my journal, perhaps even thinking about adding me as an LJ-friend; or alternatively, perhaps I just added you as an LJ-friend, and you're curious about me now. In either case, I'd like to use this opportunity to say a few things.

Trevor: You're skating the edge.
Æon: I
am the edge.

— Æon Flux

First of all, I tend to write freely about topics everything that matters to me; more distanced, "professional" entries may directly be followed by more personal ones (and vice versa), and I will, generally, openly write about all sorts of things, including philosophy, sexuality, politics and more. Some of my entries will be friends-only, others will be publicly viewable, too, and unlike other people, I don't use <lj-cut /> tags or specific "topic filters" (i.e., custom friends groups dedicated to specific topics) to shield people from things they may not want to see.

Well, as long as it's text, that is; I will cut images that aren't safe for work etc. (at least if I remember, which I might not always do!), since I wouldn't want for people to get in trouble if their boss happens to be shoulder-surfing at work. Text, though, is a different issue, and if you'll get into trouble for reading about certain topics at work, you probably shouldn't be checking your friends page at work to begin with.

He said, "I am told that when men hear its voice, it stays in their ears, they cannot be rid of it. It has many different voices: some happy, but others sad. It roars like a baboon, murmurs like a child, drums like the blazing arms of one thousand drummers, rustles like water in a glass, sings like a lover and laments like a priest."

— Mike Oldfield, Amarok (liner notes)

Second of all, concerning friending me: feel free to. There is no need to ask if it's OK to do so; everyone's welcome to, as well as to post comments etc. (as long as they're genuine: spammers etc. will not be tolerated, but that goes without saying, anyway). I may add you back if your journal looks interesting or if I know you, too, but this isn't automatic. If you do want me to add you back, engaging me and talking to me is probably the best way to go about it.

Please don't ask about being added back if I didn't do so on my own, either, unless I already know you well and you want to be able to read my non-public entries.

If I already friended you but you don't know who I am and haven't been in contact with me before, that most likely means I became aware of your journal somehow, took a look, and decided I wanted to keep up with what you're writing — "I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter", as it were. I don't expect you to friend me back or otherwise take an interest in me, but if you do — all the better.

If what it is to be furry you still don't comprehend
Then consider this advice, my curious friend
If you're willing to respect that which you don't understand
Then come take my paw and I'll take your hand.

— from "Furry", by Croc O'Dile of TigerMUCK with help from Tony DeMatio, June 1995

Regarding commenting, BTW, I'm always happy to receive comments. However, things like "lol" are not proper punctuation, and correct spelling and grammar would be nice as well. And of course, I expect people to not be insulting or rude, but that, again, should go without saying.

That's about all I can think of for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Looking for a new phone

May. 18th, 2016 | 03:13 pm

I might be in the market for a new mobile phone.

The reason's simple: people I know in real life are starting up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch, and I don't want to be left out. But my old Nokia 5800 running SymbianOS doesn't do WhatsApp, and while there is a desktop version it requires you to have it installed on a phone as well. (The desktop version will display a QR code that you will have to scan using the WhatsApp app on your phone. If you don't have a phone, or if your fun doesn't have a camera, or if it can't run WhatsApp, you can't use WhatsApp on the desktop either.)

So, what do I get?

Last year at CFz a Danish fur (you know who you are :)) showed me his new Blackberry Passport, which I thought was a rather nice phone — I've always liked physical keyboards on phones anyway, all the way back to the Nokia 9210 Communicator (which I personally never had, mind). Leinir also noted that the Passport runs Android apps, which is a plus, even though WhatsApp is also available as a native BlackBerry app. The downside? The phone's very expensive, going for 400-500 EUR at the moment, without a contract. Yowch.

There's other Blackberry phones with physical keyboards, of course: the Classic (~300 EUR), Q10 (~175 EUR) and Q5 (discontinued). They should all be suitable for WhatsApp, as well as email etc. (which is what I'd really want; I don't care about playing games or watching movies on a phone), but cannot run Android apps.

On the other end, there's the Blackberry Priv, the first Blackberry actually running Android rather than Blackberry OS — a rather fancy phone from the looks of it, but even more expensive, going for about 650 EUR. Double yowch.

This leaves me in a bit of a bit. I'd like a phone with a physical keyboard, which I think is uncommon with other brands, but let's face it, Blackberry OS is a dead-end at this point, just like Symbian. Worse, while WhatsApp is available for Blackberry OS, e.g. Telegram is not; I might want to use that at some point (I think there's a CFz staff group, for instance), and I'd rather not have to buy another new phone a few years down the road. OTOH AFAIK the Priv is currently the ONLY Blackberry phone running Android.

So it seems like my requirements, namely basically

  • physical keyboard,
  • runs Android,
  • affordable

are mutually incompatible. Meh.

I've mentioned contracts before, and that's of course something else I'd have to look into. In fact I might get the phone for free then; OTOH I'd pay more for the contract than for the phone. (Contracts for the Priv, say, appear to start at 50 EUR/month, running for at least 24 months.) But OTOOH, I'd also have to pay with a prepaid card, so it's unclear to me right now how the numbers would work out in the end. (My gut feeling is that a contract would, all things considered, be more expensive despite being designed to appear cheaper.)

So, any ideas?

Perhaps I should just drop my "physical keyboard" requirement (I'll admit that's really just for the "cool/unusual" factor anyway). Or perhaps I should be looking for a used phone first.

Actually, I might as well as ask here. Since there's presumably people who have contracts and get new phones every few years reading this, do any of you have any older phones (Blackberry or not) lying around you'd like to part with?

If so, let me know! :) I'm sure we can work something out.

Alternatively, if you have other thoughts or recommendations, let me know below, too.

EDIT: I've since learned two things: one, there apparently is a Symbian client for WhatsApp after all; and two, both that and the Blackberry version will be discontinued at the end of 2016, whatever that means in practice.

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The Black Door

May. 16th, 2016 | 11:36 am

Here's another Skyrim fanfic fragment, creatively titled The Black Door and (mostly) based on real events:

"What... is life's greatest illusion?"

The toneless whispered words hung in the air even as Oglala removed her palm from the black door. The khajiit stood motionless for a few moments, then began stroking her chin. She had removed her mask for the day, a rare display; usually she was not seen without it, but the day had been too nice, sunny and surprisingly warm, and the ragtag bandits littering the coast knew better than to bother the Dragonborn. A light, pleasant breeze tugged at her dreadlocked hair now, and her brow furrowed as she pondered the question; she had never been much of a thinker.

After a few minutes of silent deliberation, she placed her hand on the door again. The tarnished metal was cold to the touch, and strangely oily; it drew her in, threatened to pull her toward a terrible unknown, as if a black writhing mass of eels were dragging her down a lightless well. She dispelled the thought with a shake of her head, then steeled herself and firmly announced, "the one where you saw a lady in half!"

There was an almost palpable pause. The waves of the cold seas sloshed back and forth, soothing and rhythmic; seagulls circled lazily overhead or bobbed on the waters. The spiky grass growing in the coarse black sand waved in the breeze as the Dragonborn stood confidently and waited.

Finally, the door spoke again, disapproval resonating in its ghostly disembodied voice. "You are SO not worthy." Oglala grinned in spite of herself and cast a quick glance at Lydia, who was trying very hard to suppress a giggle; then the khajiit stuck out her tongue and blew a raspberry. A fine mist of cat saliva descended on the unmoving, unmoved metal like dew on mountain flowers on a cool spring morning, and as the Dragonborn remounted her horse and rode off towards Dawnstar with her companion, only the echos of their shared laughter remained behind.

If you've played Skyrim, you'll probably understand it alright. If not, let me say that in the general area of Dawnstar, at the coast of the Sea of Ghosts, there's a disused sanctuary belonging to the Dark Brotherhood (the assassins' guild). The Black Door leading inside asks the above question, and if you don't know the right answer, you only get a choice of various silly replies, among them "um... the one where you saw a lady in half?"[1]. The door will then inevitably reply "you are not worthy", and refuse to open for you.

I've always imagined that it would be a bit less dispassionate than it is in the game, though, when faced with a certain khajiit. :)

  1. As well as "Dreams are reality, and reality is really a dream?", and – my second favorite – "Being happily married?". On a side note, if you opt to destroy the Dark Brotherhood (like I did) rather than joining them, the Dawnstar Sanctuary will remain permanently inaccessible to you.

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US-American politics in a nutshell

May. 5th, 2016 | 11:08 am

US-American politics in a nutshell, courtesy of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin:

When he met Obama, [Michael] Stautmanis [of The Barack Obama Foundation] confessed, “I thought he was an egghead.”

But then he saw Obama do a left-handed jump shot on the basketball court, Stautmanis said, and he realized the future president was not someone to be underestimated.

Reports that Ted Cruz suspended his campaign to become the Republican presidential nominee after Donald Trump burped his own name, on the other hand, could not be confirmed.

Tags: ,

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Converting raw CCITT image data?

May. 2nd, 2016 | 11:03 am

Does anyone have an idea of how to best convert CCITT image data (extracted from a PDF file) to something usable?

My initial plan was to just extract them, open them in GIMP, and save them as B/W PNGs, but GIMP can't read the raw CCITT data (shame, shame). However, CCITT is one of the compression schemes used in TIFF files, so why not just take the raw data and stuff it into a TIFF container?

The most natural tool for that is likely fax2tiff from libtiff's tools. Unfortunately, this doesn't work, inexplicably: input.ccitt: Not enough memory. Great.

Web-searching then found this blog post talking about the same matters and sharing a snippet of Java code (cue Indiana Jones: why did it have to be Java?) to do the conversion. But somehow code like this:

for(int i=0;i<headervalues.length;i++) bos.write(integer.parseint(headervalues[i],16));="" int="" tagcount="9;" appears="" to="" be="" minimum="" needed="" writeword="" and="" write="" tag="" are="" convenience="" methods="" add="" the="" values="" as="" bytes="" stream="" **="" *="" ifd="" image="" file="" directory="" writeword(string.valueof(tagcount),bos);="" num="" of="" entries="" writetag("256",="" "04",="" "01",="" string.valueof(w),="" bos);="" **width*="" writetag("257",="" string.valueof(h),="" **length*="" **bitspersample="" 258="" -="" b&w="" 1="" bit="" image*="" writetag("258",="" "03",="" "00010000h",="" if="" (k="=" 0){="" writetag("259",="" "00030000h",="" compression="" }else=""> 0)

does not inspire confidence. (In fact I dare say that's badly-formatted rubbish, and I have no real desire to untangle it.)

But the basic idea is sound, and I have a copy of the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats (the first edition) lying around, so why not just cast that crufty Java code aside and write my own? Not a bad idea, but TIFF is a baroque and complex format, and you'd still need to look at the PDF various image parameters. It'd be possible, but it'd be also be more work than I'm willing to do.

There's other options still. Although GIMP can't read raw CCITT data, it can import PDFs; unfortunately even without antialiasing you end up with a grayscale image that doesn't match the original B/W image. Why? I wish I knew.

The last thing I can think of would be screenshotting the (correctly-rendered) PDF and working with the screenshot in GIMP. Doable, but it feels like a rather impure solution. So, any ideas?

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Two more Skyrim fragments

Apr. 20th, 2016 | 12:34 am

The following are two Skyrim fanfic fragments I wrote down ages ago. I intended to polish, expand or otherwise edit them — perhaps turn them into something resembling a story, even, but I felt they weren't ready to post yet. However, they've been sitting in my metaphorical notebook for a while now, and it's become increasingly clear that I'm not gonna do any of the above, so in the interest of at least publicizing them, here they are.

The first one was written on the 8th of October, 2015 (in other words, about six months ago), in German.

[...]

Die Ruinen der Zwerge breiteten sich endlos vor ihnen aus. Bald durchschritten sie enge und baufällige Korridore, voll von Schutt und Geröll; bald öffneten sich gewaltige Hallen vor ihnen, mit hoch und weit sich schwingenden Freitreppen, deren Enden sich im Dunkel verloren, Thronsäle und Arenen aus verwittertem Stein. Und immer wieder sahen sie uralte und riesige Maschinen, glänzend von rotgoldenem Zwergenmetall, deren Zweck im Dunkel der Zeiten verlorengegangen war. Kristalle in barocken Fassungen schlugen tiefe Schatten, tauchten die Ruinen in ein unwirkliches Licht.

Je tiefer sie kamen, desto heißer wurde es. Der Eingang, halb verborgen inmitten zerborstener Türme und überwuchert von Moos und Flechten, hatte noch unter eine Schneewehe gelegen, und Schnee war auch in den Tunnel gefallen, der dahinter lag. Aber wo anfangs noch ihr Atem in der Luft gehangen hatte wie ungesprochene Worte, da war es jetzt heißer Dampf, der aus hohen Röhren entwich und die Luft erfüllte, ihnen den Schweiß auf die Stirn trieb. Sein schwefliger Geruch ließ ihre Nasen sich kräuseln und legte sich schwer über ihre Zungen und Gaumen wie ein Seidenstrumpf.

Oglala hob wortlos eine Hand; Lydia stoppte, schaute sich dann argwöhnisch um, während die Khajiitfrau ihre Maske zurechtrückte. Das Stahlgesicht war ausdruckslos, aber unter der Maske schnitt sie eine Grimasse und fluchte still; sie hätte sich gerne ausgiebig gekratzt, denn ihr schweißnasses Fell juckte elendig, aber die Ruinen waren gefährlich, und sie wagte nicht, sich diese Blöße zu geben.

Minuten verstrichen, während Lydia geduldig wartete. Endlich war die Drachengeborene zufrieden mit dem Sitz ihrer Maske und gab das Zeichen zum Aufbruch; die beiden Frauen griffen ihre Waffen fester und machten sich erneut auf, gingen gemessenen Schrittes, immer darauf bedacht, keinen unnötigen Laut von sich zu geben. In der Ferne tapperte es; Zwergenspinnen eilten geschäftig umher, und ab und an erklang das metallische Scheppern der patroullierenden Sphärenwächter.

Erst Stunden später gelangten sie an einen Aufzug, eine steinerne Plattform in einem metallenen Käfig, umsäumt von gewaltigen Zahnrädern. Erneut hob Oglala die Hand, machte dann das Zeichen zum Nachtlager, und Lydia nickte; auch sie war müde. Die tieferen Ebenen, noch verborgen im Schoß der Erde, würde einen weiteren Tag auf sie warten, so wie sie bereits Jahrtausende geduldig gewartet hatte.

Später saßen sie verborgen hinter gewaltigen Felsbrocken, die vor Urzeiten von der Decke herabgebrochen waren. Sie hatten kein Feuer gemacht, nur Dörrfleisch und Trockenobst hatte es gegeben; dann schlüpfte Lydia in ihre Bettrolle und legte sich schlafen, während Oglala die erste Wache übernahm. Die Khajiitfrau spähte durch die Sehschlitze ihrer Maske und lauschte, aber nichts regte sich, und Stunden später weckte sie Lydia, die mit einem unterdrückten Gähnen die zweite Wache übernahm, während Oglala nun ihrerseits einschlief.

Nach viel zu kurzer Zeit wurde sie wieder geweckt, und erst das Stück Fleisch vor ihrer Nase bewog sie nach einigem Zögern, sich aus ihrem Lager zu erheben. Das Frühstück blieb schweigend, so wie der vorangegangene Tag ohne Worte geblieben war, aber am Ende küssten sich die beiden Frauen zärtlich; dann setzte Lydia ihren Helm auf, und Oglala legte ihre Maske an. Noch verstauten sie ihre Ausrüstung, dann machten sie sich wieder auf, um noch tiefer in die Ruinen einzudringen.

The second was written about four weeks later, on the 4th of November, also in 2015. It's not connected to the first in any way; Oglala's adventuring with Serana rather than Lydia here, and has returned to a familiar location:

Butterflies danced. It had been years since the ancient wisdom of the Elder Scroll had been revealed at the Ancestral Glade; yet still the tiny wings danced on, flittering in the glade's hot and humid air, oblivious to the outside world with its cares and complexities.

Oglala sighed. She had shed hed armor before descending the final few steps and stepping into the hot volcanic water; now she paused for a moment, allowing the butterflies surrounding her to get used to her presence.

Eventually she moved again, waded deeper into the pools and towards the waterfalls. The water was starting to soaked into her fur and its soft woolly undercoat, but it was a pleasant feeling, and she let out another small sigh.

Serana's words came to her mind again. The vampire had declined the invitation to join her in the glade, instead opting for a wry remark on Oglala's propensity for bathing. It was true, Oglala mused; she really did love bathing. There was something sensual about the water's soft caress, like a lover's embrace, but more than that she also found it relaxing, especially in hot springs, or invigorating, especially in Skyrim's cold, clear rivers and lakes.

She knelt and splashed water over her shoulders, then onto her face, before lying down and submerging herself for a second. The glade's pools were not deep enough for diving, unfortunately; even beneath the waterfalls that had patiently carved away the rock for thosuands of years, the water was barely more than chest-deep.

Oglala let herself float lazily, her eyelids fluttering closed. Moments later a curious butterfly landed on her muzzle, and she grinned before exhaling through her nose, startling the animal and sending it flying back to the swarm. Oglala's whiskers twitched; her nose was one of her most ticklish spots.

Yet the sneeze never came, and eventually she simply relaxed again, drifting for another while. Finally, she yawned hugely, and opened an eye to peer at the sacred trees growing around the ritual stone. Surely a nap in the glade would not be out of order. [...]

It is true, my characters really have a propensity for bathing (not to mention a healthy appetite for both good food, good sex and good sleep). It's moments like the above when it's most obvious that I'm really writing about myself and that Oglala is me; not the way I actually live, but the way I'd like to, by and large.

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P.S.A.

Apr. 7th, 2016 | 02:10 pm

We interrupt this regular scheduled broadcast for a Public Service Announcement:

Really, guys? Really?

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Cards Against Humanity: Schnee's expansion

Mar. 31st, 2016 | 03:52 pm

I'm prone to the occasional burst of random creativity, and I've found that the best (only, really) thing I can do is just go with the flow and let it out.

See, we've been playing Cards Against Humanity with fair regularity in the last two months (online, using a version that I think doesn't actually include all the cards, but that's a different story), and shortly after we started, one morning, I started getting ideas for new cards. So I wrote them down.

After about an hour, I had almost 100. At the end of the day I had more than 250, and over the next couple of days this figure rose to over 300. I've been sitting on the list since (as it were), and now I'm finally getting off of my lazy butt and sharing it.

I should note that several of these may in fact be inspired by cards in the game that were still present in my subconscious mind at the time I wrote these down; I've not tried to identify those and weed them out. Other than that, I think the list's self-explanatory; cards marked with "(B)" are black cards, others are white cards. (And I do apologize for not formatting links; this is how I wrote the list down, and editing it would be too much work.)

Oh, one more note: this hasn't been play-tested in ANY way whatsoever, since the version we use doesn't allow you to add new/custom cards. (Fiddlesticks.)

But now, without further ado, Schnee's CaH expansion (so far):

  1. Troy Powell, checking in
    See http://spamusement.com/index.php/comics/view/180 .
  2. Rolling in Jell-O™ while yodeling
    See http://dilbert.com/strip/1990-11-27 .
  3. The tiny arms of a T-Rex
  4. Masturbating with a vaccuum cleaner
    See https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penisverletzungen_bei_Masturbation_mit_Staubsaugern .
  5. Sexy female fursuits
  6. (B) How come I can't sleep at night?
  7. Fruitvikings
    See http://oglaf.com/seduction/ .
  8. The CFz art show
  9. Erotic Barbie™ doll outfits
  10. Intensive pig farming
  11. Serial polygamy
  12. Clubbing seals
    "I ♣ Seals"
  13. Rumor has it Peter Jackson's next film will be about ______.
  14. Blair's DEATH™ sauce
  15. (B) Bet you can't tell the difference between ______ and ______. (Pick two)
  16. Surreptitiously distilled moonshine
  17. Antimatter hydrogen
  18. Ol' Blue Eyes
    A.k.a. Frank Sinatra
  19. (B) ______ is better known as ______. (Pick two)
  20. (B) Two ______, one ______. (Pick two)
  21. (B) Who's your daddy?
  22. (B) Breaking news! ______ found in ______! (Pick two)
  23. (B) Sorry Mario, but our princess is ______.
    Actual quote: "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle."
  24. Guzzling engine oil
  25. Neckbeards
  26. Warwick Davis
    British dwarf actor, lead role in "Leprechaun"
  27. Fucking a dead pig
    Cf. David Cameron's pig-gate
  28. Pinkamena Diane Pie
  29. Wearing sex dolls as suits
  30. REGULAR! ORDINARY! SWEDISH! MEALTIME!
  31. (B) Do not pass Go. Do not collect ______.
  32. A boot to the head
    See http://beagleweb.com/fun-lastwillandtemperment.html .
  33. Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney
  34. Advanced mathematics
  35. (B) Help! I'm stuck in ______!
  36. Donald Trump's hairdo
  37. (B) ______, I choose you!
  38. Having your nuts bitten off by Laplander
    From "The Naked Gun"; see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095705/quotes
  39. Dutch ovens
  40. Excess earwax buildup
  41. Giant killbots
  42. Hamming it up
  43. (B) It's dangerous to go alone! Take ______!
  44. Blinkenlights
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinkenlights .
  45. Hacker culture
  46. The Republican National Convention
  47. The front row of a Kenny Chesney concert
    What's got one hundred feet and two teeth?
  48. The Iowa Butter Cow
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_State_Fair#The_Butter_Cow .
  49. Dixie
    I.e. the southern USA. Could be rendered as "The Deep South".
  50. (B) Hark! It's the call of ______.
  51. (B) Whoso pulleth ______ out of ______, is rightwise ______. (Draw two, pick three)
    Actual quote: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise King born of all England".
  52. (B) I can't believe it's ______!
    Actual quote: "I can't believe it's not butter!"
  53. Hyena butter
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyena_butter .
  54. Skunk oil
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk_oil .
  55. Sexual slavery
  56. (B) I was working in the lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight:
    From Bobby Pickett, "The Monster Mash".
  57. Marmite™
  58. Obscure xkcd references
  59. Adult Skyrim mods
  60. White Castle sliders
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Castle_%28restaurant%29 .
  61. A shotglass full of snot
  62. (B) From hell's heart, I stab at ______.
    Actual quote: "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee." - Herman Melville, "Moby Dick".
  63. Roasting cats on a hot tin roof
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof .
  64. (B) G'day, mate! Grab ______, and I'll throw ______ on ______! (Draw two, pick three)
    "G'day mate! Grab a coldie, and I'll throw another prawn on the barbie!"
  65. (B) There's something I want to share with you!
    MandoPony, "Picture Perfect Pony"; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAWLQjNEa8s .
  66. Dried bull pizzles
  67. A rectal prolapse
  68. Pasteurella pestis
    Nowadays known as Yersinia pestis; might use that instead.
  69. Toxic shock syndrome
  70. Premature burial
  71. (B) I said, do you speak-a my language? And he just smiled and gave me ______.
    Men At Work, "Down Under"; actual quote: "...a vegemite sandwich".
  72. (B) Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Lend me your ______.
    Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"; actual quote: "...your ears". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends,_Romans,_countrymen,_lend_me_your_ears .
  73. (B) ______ doesn't advertise.
    The Simpsons, "Disco Stu doesn't advertise".
  74. Baron von Chickenpants
    The Simpsons.
  75. (B) Oh! Super ______!
    "Oh! Super Toaster!"
  76. (B) You killed ______! You bastards!
    Kenny.
  77. Mother Theresa
  78. Young and hot Margaret Thatcher
  79. (B) If you need me, I'll be over here, ______.
  80. (B) Oh ______, will you be my ______? (Pick two)
  81. Banging seven-gram rocks
    Charlie Sheen.
  82. Ostrich politics
  83. L. Ron Hubbard's fever dreams
  84. Gunboat diplomacy
  85. Stuffing chopsticks up the urethra
  86. (B) Congratulations! You may already have won ______!
    Ed McMahon
  87. A Las Vegas hooker convention
  88. (B) No, Mr Bond. I expect ______.
    "...you to die".
  89. (B) How did Vladimir Putin secure his reelection?
  90. (B) ______ is dead, long live ______! (Pick two)
  91. Little white pills
  92. LSD blotters
    Alternatively, "LSD puddles".
  93. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_colonel .
  94. Acquittal by an all-white jury
  95. (B) No TRUE ______ would stoop to ______! (Pick two)
  96. Smørrebrød, smørrebrød, røm pøm pøm pøm!
    Swedish Chef (in the German Muppets dub).
  97. (B) Why did the Grinch steal christmas?
  98. Blood diamonds
  99. (B) Can't catch me, I'm ______!
    "...the Muffin Man".
  100. Dropping the bass
  101. (B) I'm all about ______.
  102. Baron Samedi
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi .
  103. Rolfing®
    See http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rolfing .
  104. Turkish oil wrestling
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_wrestling .
  105. Don't Ask, Don't Tell
  106. (B) This is the age of ______.
    "...Aquarius".
  107. (B) My gaydar is tingling, it must be ______!
  108. Schlitz malt liquor
  109. Oversized angora sweaters
  110. (B) What scratches my itch?
  111. Hitler's brain in a jar
    Irregular Webcomic!.
  112. Reverse racism
  113. Cow tipping
  114. (B) To ______, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!
    "...alcohol"; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_vs._the_Eighteenth_Amendment .
  115. Ear candling
    Or maybe "ear candles".
  116. (B) Starbuck's now charges extra for ______.
  117. Putting lipstick on a pig
  118. A hovercraft full of eels
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Hungarian_Phrasebook .
  119. Sexy pole-dancing
  120. The hokey cokey
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokey_cokey .
  121. Hitler's moustache
  122. Sled dog racing
  123. (B) A federal grand jury has indicted ______ of ______. (Pick two)
  124. Selfie sticks
  125. Laser-lighting police helicopters
  126. Spackling paste
  127. (B) Pardon me for ______.
  128. Justin Bieber
  129. Cis-het Tumblr scum
  130. (B) ______! It's a wretched hive of ______. (Pick two)
  131. Vegan cat food
  132. FurAffinity
  133. Scum and villainy
  134. Used car salesmen
  135. Ed Wood
    Filmmaker, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood .
  136. Scooby snacks
  137. Gigantic waitresses from towns named after amphibians
    Mentioned in Sam & Max.
  138. The biggest ball of twine in Minnesota
    Weird Al song.
  139. A trip down memory lane
  140. Montezuma's Revenge
    A.k.a. "the shits".
  141. Vindaloo sauce
  142. Projectile vomiting
  143. Coach class airline food
  144. Bra burning
  145. A literal roll in the hay
  146. Prenuptial boinking
  147. Cornholin' they's cousins
  148. Rugrats
  149. Shag burn
  150. (B) I support introducing the death penalty for ______.
  151. Texting in cinemas
  152. The Mile High Club
  153. An 800 pound gorilla
  154. Unspeakable debauchery
  155. Hasidic Haredim
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasidic_Judaism and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_Judaism .
  156. Hershey's chocolate
    If it deserves to be called that.
  157. (B) For the first time ever, science has detected ______!
  158. Miniature Shriner cars
    See e.g. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shriner_syrian_corvette.jpg .
  159. Fezzes
  160. (B) May I present the TIME Person of the Century: ______!
  161. The Puppy Bowl
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Bowl .
  162. Ultraviolence
    From "A Clockwork Orange"; also one of the difficulty levels in DOOM.
  163. Back alley cockfights
  164. (B) There's ______ in them thar hills!
  165. The Weight Watchers
  166. Old Spice™
  167. Rainbow toe socks
  168. Cheetah cum
    An old gag from Segfault.
  169. Apple bottoms
    Alternatively, "Bubble butts".
  170. Sharting
    Shitting while farting.
  171. A huge jewfro
    Or "afro". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro#Similar_styles_internationally .
  172. Eating Nutella™ with a spoon
    Taken from Knorkator, "BÖSE".
  173. (B) Cook a delicious gumbo! (Draw 2, pick 3)
  174. Gropecunt Lane
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gropecunt_Lane .
  175. Suicide by cop
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_by_cop .
  176. Charlie Hebdo
    The French magazine.
  177. Barebacking
  178. The hanky code
  179. Glorious Quadrophonic Sound
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadraphonic_sound .
  180. Puff the Magic Dragon
  181. Hookah-smoking
  182. Eunuch harem guards
  183. Philly cheesesteaks
  184. The NYC subway
  185. An open-faced club sandwich
  186. (B) What did George W. Bush REALLY choke on?
  187. Breaking into the dog pound
  188. Luxuriant flowing locks
    Vaguely based on both Improbable's "Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists" and an old Beaver & Steve strip.
  189. Hair Club for Men
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_Club .
  190. Smoking a big fat stogie
  191. The Immelmann maneuver
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immelmann_turn .
  192. Supersonic spy planes
  193. The collected works of Robert A. Heinlein
    Scifi author.
  194. German board games
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_board_game .
  195. Phrenology
  196. The mother of all battles
  197. Excess testosterone
  198. (B) You can always rely on ______.
    Alternatively, "You can always rely on ______ for ______. (Pick two)"
  199. Sheer wingnuttery
    Or "sheer moonbattery", or both.
  200. The restless specter of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonin_Scalia .
    Originally just "Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia", but he died a day or two after I included this card.
  201. Unitarian Universalism
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism .
  202. Liberty and justice for all
  203. (B) ______ is just another word for nothing left to lose.
    Janis Joplin, "Me and Bobby McGee"; original quote: "Freedom".
  204. Compulsory sex education
  205. Minty freshness
  206. Copious amounts of vodka
  207. Sucking the pus out of used bandaid
    Or maybe "bandages".
  208. The voices in my head
  209. The Pillsbury Doughboy
  210. (B) ______ waits for noone.
  211. (B) Sex, drugs and ______.
  212. Farting "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  213. Old money
  214. The secret Coca-Cola™ formula
  215. Juggalos
    I.e. fans of "Insane Clown Posse"; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggalo .
  216. Steely pecs
  217. (B) What did I bring home from Europe?
  218. Rodents of unusual size
  219. The Internet Oracle
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Oracle .
  220. The Committee for Un-American Activities
    Actually called the "House Un-American Activities Committee".
  221. (B) Why can't we have nice things?
  222. (B) Everything goes better with ______.
  223. Bench-pressing 400 lbs
  224. Back-combed deathhawks
    See e.g. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wave_Gotik_Treffen_2007.jpg .
  225. (B) What can the newest iPhone model help you with?
  226. The prickly dick of a tiger
  227. A presidential pardon
  228. Female Russian weightlifters
    MAD had a joke about them once.
  229. Drinking directly from the firehose
  230. Ballet boots
  231. Steven Hawking's computer voice
  232. Obsessive flossing
  233. Mating banana slugs
  234. Prussian blue
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_blue .
  235. (B) We have but one thing to fear, and that's ______.
    Originally as "The only thing we have to fear is... fear itself."
  236. The United States Army Corps of Engineers
  237. Gargling beeswax
  238. Microwaving hamsters
  239. PETA protests
  240. (B) Won't somebody think of ______!
  241. Duelling banjos
  242. Late night TV shopping
  243. Soap-on-a-rope
  244. Gay eagle scouts
  245. (B) God bless ______!
  246. Open-crotch pantyhose
  247. (B) As of next year, there will finally be a Nobel Prize for ______.
  248. (B) Watch out! I have a black belt in ______!
  249. German oompah music
  250. (B) What has become too big to fail?
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail .
  251. (B) ______. Wink-wink nudge-nudge say no more!
  252. (B) What has it got in its pocketses???
  253. (B) Oh ______, you're blowing me away with your ______! (Pick two)
  254. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
  255. Chainmail bikinis
  256. The lotophagi
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-eaters .
  257. (B) Come for dinner, stay for ______.
  258. Tinky-Winky's handbag
  259. The Last Dragonborn
    From Skyrim, obviously.
  260. The very model of a modern major general
    Gilbert and Sullivan
  261. (B) 'cause you are ______ under my wings.
    Bette Midler, "...the wind".
  262. (B) ______ levels are off the scale tonight.
    Maybe.
  263. Vestal Virgins
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestal_Virgin .
  264. Human zoos
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_zoo .
  265. The Toxic Avenger
  266. Dr. Sbaitso singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Sbaitso and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_the_Tattooed_Lady .
  267. Circle-jerking altar boys
  268. Long-distance relationships
  269. A crassly one-sided work/life balance
  270. (B) Why do Freemasons like the Pope so much?
  271. Cultural marxism
  272. America's Funniest Home Videos
  273. 30-minute orgasms
  274. A vulva clamped shut with tiny clothespins
  275. A calf born with two heads
  276. The Ace of Spades
  277. Overweight Elvis impersonators
    Maybe "sweaty" or "balding" or so, too.
  278. (B) We're Ah-Nee-May-Nee-Acs, there's ______ in our slacks!
    From the Animaniacs theme song.
  279. The tortured, flaccid prose of "50 Shades of Grey"
    Porsupah quote.
  280. (B) Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% ______.
    Thomas Alva Edison, "...perspiration".
  281. Lorena Bobbitt wielding a bloody knife
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_and_Lorena_Bobbitt .
  282. (B) George Lucas's next movie will be "Indiana Jones and the Temple of ______".
  283. Honey Boo Boo
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Comes_Honey_Boo_Boo .
  284. Sleeping in until noon
  285. The 3/5ths compromise
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise .
  286. (B) Ain't nothin' wrong with bein' a little ______!
  287. Razor-sharp strips of charred skink bacon
    Also mentioned in Sam & Max.
  288. Fournier gangrene
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fournier_gangrene .
  289. Vaginal tightening
  290. The burned-out husks of life's dreams
  291. Guerilla Tupperware® parties
  292. Black budget skunkworks projects
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunkworks_project .
  293. Poona the Fuckdog
    Theatrical play; see http://jeffgoode.com/pgpoo.htm .
  294. (B) Fathers, lock up your daughters, it's ______!
  295. (B) What's making the streets unsafe at night?
  296. Wining and wenching
    Irregular Webcomic!.
  297. Illinois nazis
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skokie,_Illinois#NSPA_controversy .
  298. Raunchy Burma-Shave™ jingles
  299. Blue boogers
    Someone in the fursuit community mentioned having these after working with fur dye; Lance Ikegawa had some stern words on the health hazards posed by some of these dyes as a result.
  300. Men in tights
    From Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood".
  301. Wet violence
    E.g. Quentin Tarantino's.
  302. Middle-aged mall men
    A woman calls Larry "my middle-aged mall man" near the beginning of LSL3.
  303. Stupendous amounts of pink fluff
  304. Glitter-bombing
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitter_bombing .
  305. A cream pie to the face
  306. Lighting their own farts on fire
  307. Cockvore
  308. Running down the stairs in high heels while putting on a fur coat
    Canis mentioned that somebody remarked the British queen was the only person they knew who was able to do this.
  309. Slack-jawed yokels
  310. Explosive diarrhea
  311. Lesbian horses
    Aka MLP. :P
  312. (B) ______ has been caught faking evidence of ______!
  313. (B) What's all this, then?
  314. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  315. (B) All's fair in ______ and war.
  316. (B) I feel the need, the need for ______.
  317. Trophy wives
  318. Menopausal Avon ladies
  319. Wearing mantyhose
    I.e. tights for men; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantyhose_for_men .
  320. Contergan
    A drug that caused thousands of birth defects in 1950s Germany, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide .
  321. Lawnchair Larry
  322. P-zombies
  323. Moonlighting as Go-Go dancers
  324. Tattooing garish wrestling masks on toddlers' faces
    In one Sam & Max comic, Max suggests the pair do this to unconscious criminals.

If you want to use these cards, share 'em, print 'em or anything, go right ahead, BTW; they're made available under the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license (basically the same as the game itself, except the game uses the older 2.0 version of the license).

Enjoy!

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Another Skyrim fanfic fragment

Mar. 26th, 2016 | 12:44 am

You gotta find your inspiration where you can get it, so here's a little bit of Skyrim fan fiction, a literary digestion (as it were) of recent events in my own life. As usual and for those who don't know her, Oglala is my khajiit character.

Woran es am Ende liegt, Oglala kann es nicht sagen. Das Essen in der Beflaggten Mähre jedenfalls ist tadellos: dicker Eintopf aus Bohnen, Rüben und Kartoffeln, den Saadia frisch und meisterlich gekocht hat, dazu ein Stück gebratenes Wild und, wie üblich und zur Belustigung der übrigen Gäste, eine Schale Milch, die von der Khajiitfrau mit beträchtlichem Genuß und in ebensolcher Lautstärke ausgeschlürft wird.

Aber die Beschwerden lassen nicht lange auf sich warten. Schon in der Schänke beginnt die Drachengeborene, sich unwohl zu fühlen, und wortreich verabschieden sich Oglala und Lydia von ihren Freunden, lassen Wärme und Geselligkeit und Gesang hinter sich, um sich früh nach Hause zu begeben. Noch halten sie kurz auf der Schwelle inne, betrachten das warme, goldene Licht, daß sich aus den Fenstern ergießt wie dicke Butter; dann raffen sie ihre Mäntel um sich in der Kühle der Nacht und gehen endgültig.

Der Schlüssel dreht sich knarrend im Schloß, und nun liegt Brisenheim vor ihnen, stille Dunkelheit umarmt sie wie alte Freunde. Die Herdglut ist erloschen, und die beiden Frauen steigen rasch die enge Stiege hinauf; kaum können sie sich ihrer Kleidung entledigen, bevor Oglala sich erbricht, auf den Fußboden zunächst, dann in eine Schale, die Lydia geistesgegenwärtig ergreift, eigentlich ein uraltes Zwergenartefakt, fein gehämmert aus rotziseliertem Metall. Unter unmenschlichen Lauten speit sich die Drachengeborene die Seele aus dem Leib; ihr muskulöser Körper zuckt und krampft sich zusammen. Lydia kann nichts tun, kann sie nur halten, und ihre Adoptivtöchter stehen bang in der Tür und verfolgen mit großen Augen das Leiden ihrer Mutter.

Nach einer überlangen Weile versiegt der Fluß, nur noch ein röchelndes Würgen ist zu vernehmen. Lydia wischt ihrer Gefährtin mit einem nassen Tuch das Fell sauber, bettet sie dann sanft nieder; ein schmerzvolles Stöhnen entringt sich der Khajiitfrau, sie krümmt sich unter erneuten Krämpfen. Ihre Augen sind glasig, und auf ihrer Stirn steht kalter Schweiß, oder vielleicht ist es Wasser aus dem Lappen, glitzernd im Schein der Talgkerze, die die ältere Tochter entzündet.

Bald benetzen Tropfen die Zunge der Drachengeborenen, sie schmecken seltsam; dann schläft sie, das Gesicht noch zu einer Maske des Schmerzes verzogen, wie lange wird es dauern, was wird mit ihr, keiner weiß es. Die jüngste Tochter stiehlt sich unter die Decke zu ihrer Mutter, kuschelt sich beschützend an sie; die Khajiitfrau merkt es nicht, erst in der frühen Morgendämmerung beginnt die Spannung, aus ihrem Körper herauszufließen in die Schale, die noch gereinigt neben dem Bett wartet. Am nächsten Morgen erwacht sie müde und zerschlagen.

I actually used some German names in this one (luckily there's an extensive reference for this sort of thing) — die Beflaggte Mähre is the Bannered Mare, and Brisenheim is Breezehome, the Dragonborn's house in Whiterun.

No English translation (yet?), so you'll just have to brush up on your German for now.

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R.I.P. Keith

Mar. 12th, 2016 | 05:23 pm

Dang, Keith Emerson died on Friday. If the name doesn't ring a bell, Keith was the "E" in "E.L.P." (i.e. Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

Best wishes and all to his friends and family.

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