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August 2004 Archives
August 31, 2004
I need a 40GB iPod

5176 songs and counting now imported into iTunes -- and I'm not even halfway done. The 10GB iPod just ain't cutting it any more....

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 10:27 PM
August 27, 2004
In the distant past...

...somewhere B.C. (Before Children), I spent a lot of time playing Mechwarrior II online, through Kali. It was a wicked combination of online community and online gaming, long before there was, Gameranger or any of the other online services. Often frustrating, as pings would climb impossibly high on your 33.6kbps connection, and, being out in the boonies, the weather would even have an adverse effect on the quality of play (-40 C clear nights made for low pings, since the ISP's backbone was microwave tower).
We (that is, Joe Carlson and I) were playing together as part of a clan, Clan Wolverine in the Grand Council league. Our clan's motto?

< >< >We suck, but we're honorable.

Joe was more into the immersion within the clan and his warrior persona, which, of you know Joe, would take as a given. Consequently, he wrote back stories for both his online warrior and mine. I recently stumbled across a site that had both of these still online, and thought I shoudl grab them for posterity's sake. The writing's not bad, and I had no input into mine, but, then again, I didn't care that much. Continue reading for the full text of the short stories.

Zzorhn Ba'Atol

Parents: Krysatal #EM583923GP3 (Mother - Wolverine Elemental), Baker Jones (Father - Wolverine Scientist)

*Zzorhn is not a clone....In fact his father was the head scientist in charge the Neural centre and he also was responsible for creating Zzorhn's mother as an Elemental. He fell in love with her, and when she married his brother, he secretly used her genes and combined his own to create: Zzorhn BA(ker) (krys)ATAL

Height: 7'2"

Weight: 312 lbs

Hair Colour: Midnight Blue/Black

Eye colour: Green

Skin Colour: Golden tan

Training/Schooling: Wolverine Neurological Centre -- Training consists of discipline, honour, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry.

Favourite mechs: Elemental, Nova, Gargoyle, Warhammer, Mad Dog, Rifleman, Timber Wolf, and Summoner.

Favourite battle site: Maze

Favourite Class: C6


The year is 2799. A secret clan wolverine science experiment to create "genetically enhanced" mechwarriors is underway. Using the clan's best warrior's DNA, they begin to clone humans. The screening process is intense, any embryo found to have any type of defect is immediately terminated. 9 months later, baby Zzorhn is lifted out of the "artificial" womb. Given to screened parents, he is raised in a foster home for two years. After his second birthday, he is given back to the cloning centre for neurological implantation. Using experimental technology, they implant electronic sensors and micro-computers that are attached to the brain of the host. This procedure finished, the candidates are transported to a training facility to complete their training.

Training consisted of discipline, honour, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry. As the warriors become older and more skilled, the training becomes more intense.

Failure is not recognized, eventually to the point where death is the punishment for warriors who can't keep up to the training or fail in combat. Twenty-four years later, there are only four cadets left out of fifty-two.!

In 2824, the trial of annihilation was to be the highlight of the young mechwarriors career, as Zzorhn had achieved Star Commander by then. Eager to prove himself to his clan, he bided for his point to be present in the trial. He never made it to the field, however, as he was overtaken by a unknown assailant just before the battle....

Zzorhn's wingmates notice that he is not present at the trial, and are puzzled and angered by his disappearance, but not for long. They fall to Clan Wolf in the trial. Their deaths silence their questions.

A small dropship bound for Dustball, is impounded by inner sphere warriors allied to Clan Wolf. At first the ship is thought to be empty, but a second search reveals a comatose male in a hidden secret compartment. Seeing the immense man with neural implants on his face and clan Wolverine's logo tattooed on his chest, they immediately imprison Zzorhn in a maximum security facility.

For three and a half months, Zzorhn is treated worse than the inner sphere scum who share his fate. Instead of becoming defeated, however, he excels. Eventually, he gains the trust of some of the prison guards and is moved to the "kitchen wing". Instead of rotting in a small cell all day, Zzorhn is put to work washing floors and cleaning offices. This also gained Zzorhn access to the weight room and gym facilities.

One day, Zzorhn notices a holo-disk left on one of the office's desk. Looking around and noticing that the attending prison guard was busy reprimanding another prisoner, he slipped the disk into the desk-top computer. Zzorhn's eyes bugged out of his head, when he realized that the information that rolled across the screen was the codes that ran the entire prison's computer system. Looking up he saw that the guard was heading back his way. Zzorhn scanned the screen again and saw what he needed, the system wipeout command rolled across, just as the guard entered the room. Zzorhn memorised the code, and bumped the "kill" button to shut down the computer, seconds before the guard realized what had happened.

Back in his cell, Zzorhn activated his neural controls for the first time since his capture. Entering the remote scanner, he uploaded the shutdown command into the main CPU. Instantly the system shut down. Light went out, doors unlock, and prisoner identifications blink out. Zzorhn races out of the prison complex.

He made his way to a remote `mech base located near to the prison complex. When he attempted to grab a `mech to get away, he was noticed by security. In the struggle that ensued, Zzorhn killed 13 guards, and 1 inner sphere `mech warrior before they finally brought him down. Zzorhn suffered a broken arm, a fractured vertebra, 4 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and 5 needler rounds before he collapsed. To ensure that his escape would not happen again, the inner sphere guards shattered his skull by hitting him in the face 3 times with a crow bar.

The security at the detention centre is notified of Zzorhn's capture, but they refuse to deal with the crippled inmate. He is taken to a cryogenic plant to be frozen in order to transport him to his new home, the moon of Raspukta, otherwise known as the death world of the inner sphere. Broken and hope of all incoming help destroyed, Zzorhn endures the agony of cryogenic freeze. Every part of his body perfectly preserved, he awaits his trip to his final resting place. To ensure that their captor will not be frozen in luxury, the inner sphere scientists allow enough brain waves to register and process thought commands. Then, they hooked him up to a small video receiver programmed ONLY to receive inner sphere transmitions, to give him something to do on his 5 month non-light warp trip aboard a small transport pod.

The transport pod didn't make it to the moon. Instead, the inner sphere received a final message from the pod saying that the engines overheated and the vessel imploded. Assured that their Wolverine hostage was dead they closed the file.

356 years later, a small rescue beacon attracts the attention of an eighty ton war machine. As the huge warhammer closes to inspection range, it finds an inner sphere transponder code receiving inner sphere transmitter codes. Closer inspection reveals that the contents are that of an inner sphere convict. An search and rescue inspection team is sent into see what the pod contains. Imagine their surprise, when they find a member of their own clan, cryogenically frozen and crash landed on the new home planet of Clan Wolverine!!

Zzorhn is taken to a medical shelter and after many operations to clean him up, he is taken to a neural centre to have his implants fixed. After a week in recovery, he learns of the lack of leadership in Clan Wolverine, so he gathers support from his new found comrades. With their support, they begin to build the clan anew. With the co-operation of the newly founded Keshik, the clan continues to grow, however, without any Bloodline present in the new clan, there cannot be a true Khan.......Then Zzorhn hears of rumors to his father's existence.....


Bel'gar At'ahn

Parents: Baker Jones (Father - Wolverine Scientist), Krysatal #EM583923GP3 (Mother - Wolverine Elemental)

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 234 lbs

Hair Colour: Jet Black

Eye colour: Grey

Skin Colour: Pasty White

Training/Schooling: Wolverine Neurological Centre -- Training consists of discipline, honor, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry.

Favourite mechs: Dire Wolf, Kitfox.

Favourite battle site: Galuzza

Favourite Class: C1


The large figure brushed away the years of dust from the desk terminal. Suddenly the darkness parted as pulsing neauralogical implants jumped to life....

"Initiate terminal engagement," commanded the over-sized humanoid.

A whining sound, low and omionous, enveloped the cave, building in pitch, then silence. Then lights, that had not been activated for centuries flashed on, almost blinding the two humans standing in front of the computer terminal. The much smaller of the two humans flashed her steel gray eyes up at the huge man beside her. They both turned and looked at the surroundings.

"Look at that!" she exclaimed. Then pointed.....

....The cryogenic tank was melded into the wall. Long black hoses, hung as snakes climbing out of the silver-blue freezer. Storm read the computer console...

"system activation....October 19, 2823 15:32:36 GAT

deactivation of system....October 21, 2823 13:03:26 GAT

deactivation aborted....October 21, 2823 13:16:56 GAT

system activation.....October 21, 2823" 13:17:05 GAT"

"Hey, Zzorhn.....why would anyone turn off the cryo freeze, and then turn it right back on?", asked the golden blonde woman.

Then suddenly, both warriors froze as the sound of booted feet entered the room. A well-muscled young warrior snapped to attention, and flashed a salute,

"Hail, Zzorhn and Storm."

The pair raised their hands in salute, and as one, the trio lowered thier hands.

"Tingtang, how close are those ships?", asked Zzorhn.

"Uhhmm, well you might want to hurry up with whatever you're doing, `cause in about 20 minutes we'll be space bait!" exclaimed Tingtang.

Storm turned and asked, "What clan is it?"

"Not sure, Storm. What was the name of the freezer's occupant again?" he asked.


Back aboard the Wolverine dropship, Orion, Storm stared at the information flashing in front of her. She whistled in amazement, as she declared, "Zz is definitely going to have to see this."

To whoever finds this lab:

My name is Baker Jones. I am a neurological doctor at the Clan Wolverine Neurological Centre. We are under attack. Wolf infantry have broken what remained of our proud clan, and are destroying all Wolverine facilities. My brother is dead, and his wife, Krysatol Khan is dead. With no remains of our khan to even get a DNA sample to recreate a bloodline, the truth must be known. In the cryogenic freezer located in this lab, is the bloodline to the Khan family. I used DNA from Krysatol's own samples, and combined them with mine. I made 10 sibkins, then I simply added them to the program when they were developed. Of the 10, only 2 survived. When the annialation of Clan Wolverine was declared, I took it upon myself to subdue both warriors and separate them. The one I have left here, Belgarion Atreides Vaugahn, is a good warrior with a strong heart. The other one I sent to the planet of Dustball. If needs should arise, and this Khan is destroyed, find this warrior.....Zzorhn Baker Krysatol Vaughan. With 2 chances, perhaps one day Clan Wolverine will become feared again.......Transmission interupted!!....

Back aboard the Wolverine dropship, Orion, Storm stared at the information flashing in front of her. She uhistled in amazement, as she declared, "Zz is definitely going to have to see this."

"See what?" A commanding voice called from the pilot's station. "I'm a little busy getting us the hell out of here right now."

Storm put her hand on Ting's shoulder. "Go take over the ship. Zzorhn REALLY needs to see this. It changes everything."

Ting nodded, and sat down in the co-pilot's station.

"Zzorhn, give me the stick. Storm needs you over there," he murmured to Zzorhn. Frustration welled up in the leader's eyes, turning them to jade slits.


"Zzorhn, go! I've kicked more dropship ass than you ever will. I can handle it," Ting barked.

He got up and stalked over to the display Storm was hunched over. He glared over her shoulder at the screen.

"Storm, this better be good," Zzorhn fumed. "We don't have time'gar? What...SAVASHRI!" He swore. "Ting, how many out there?"

Ting glanced at the threat receiver. "I count just two left. One vaped, the other limping back home. I'm almost clear of this debris field, and then I can outrun the last two."

Zzorhn threw himself into the weapons station. "We can't leave. There's unfinished business down there -- and possibly another heir to the Wolverine Khan Bloodright." He frowned, momentarily unfamiliar with the weapons console. "Storm, take the pulse turrets onto manual. You shoot better than this hunk-of-junk fire control computer."

"Thanks, I think," Storm replied wryly, sitting down across from him at the three-dimensional hologram that tracked their opponents.

Storm asked, "Ting, you remember that Zulu-6 maneuver you pulled over La Grave?"

"Yeah, I still have the bruises to prove it. Strap yourselves in, boys and girls. Time for double-T to show y'all how we do this down south."

Five minutes later, two more fields of rubble circled the planetoid.

"Zz, one of those Freebirths got a distress signal off, sub-space. Whatever you need to do when we land, do it fast."

"Ok, Storm. Ting, you know if one of those cryo tansk can be pulled from the wall mount? I'd like to avoid taking the portable cryo-rejuve tank out to pull this guy in." Zzorhn threw his rebreather kit over his shoulder, a tenseness there he had never felt before. What was he worried about? The guy -- supposedly his brother -- was probably dead from that shutdown/startup cycling of the cryo tank. Few people survived that shock. But he felt a buzzing behind his neural implants. Something was happening here that his battle-hardened brain was unable -- or unwilling -- to accept.


"What?" he jerked himself out of his reverie.

"Stop dozing, old man. I said we can cut it out, but we'll need both the high-volume plasma torches, as well as a portable cryogenerator to hook up to the hoses and power supply of that beast."

"Got it. I'll get the gear to the drop doors, and you get us down there safe. Storm, meet me at the drop doors once you finish up here. Zzorhn started for the door. "Ting, keep the thrusters hot. We'll move as fast as we can to get this tank back to the ship, but we'll need you ready to go as soon as the drop doors close." Ting grunted his assent, and began plotting his drop trajectory on the navigational computer.

* * * * * * * * * * *

"I got the last of the wall mounts off here, Zz. I'm going to start running the cryo tubes to that generator." Storm dragged the cryogenerator over to the foot of the seemingly lifeless figure, suspended in thick, translucent coolant.

[From the 'Miscellany' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 09:24 AM
August 26, 2004
In Terlingua, no one can hear you scream

Did you know there's a Chili Appreciation Society International? I didn't. Found while doing some research for the annual Fort Frances Chili Cookoff competition, which I participated in two years ago. Dressed as Boba Fett. With an apron.
The most bizarre part of the CASI site is the picture of the trophy. There's a nice addition to the mantle.

[From the 'Amusing Bits' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 03:34 PM
August 25, 2004
Tricks and Tips from Tradesfolk

Via Boingboing, a fascinating array of tricks of the trade for a plethora of trades. One that is patently wrong -- at least in Ontario -- is the paramedic quote:

When paramedics arrive at a car crash or similar accident, they very, very rarely announce any casualties at the scene—almost all deceased will be pronounced “dead on arrival” at the hospital. This is because it involves about 10 times more paperwork to announce someone dead right in situ than it does to say they expired in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

When I worked as a volunteer ambulance attendant on the Emo ambulance crew, we had strict guidelines that dictated when a patient could be determined to be dead at the scene (transection, decapitation, rigor mortis to name a few). Otherwise, we were required to transport and attempt to resuscitate the patient en route to the hospital.
However, DOAs do require a heavier paperwork load -- regardless of your region.

[From the 'Miscellany' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 10:17 PM
August 15, 2004
Some News, Great News, Sad News

So long in updating, it's painful. But there's a good reason. Really.
The whole "Server nuked, lost data, etc." portion of the previous post has a deeper impact than I thought would be felt. Since the beginning of December, I was making a concerted effort to update more frequently, and was really beginning to enjoy the blogging bug. When I lost all my posting for the previous year, I was supremely discouraged. Top that off with the fact that I had just completed a major update to the site design (which, with the Movable Type software I'm using, is a fairly involved process, especially when you're adding/editing/deleting categories, and I've done a lot of customizing of the layout control), and apparently can't locate my source file for the graphic redesign, left me very bummed out.
Time for a new leaf. Look for some major changes in the next few weeks, and for a clambering back on the horse of blogging for me. In the meantime, some news:
1) Great News: Lerrin and his fiancée Kim have been blessed by the arrival of Alexis Hope Dunn, via caesarean section. She's crazily cute, and doing great. Email them at lerrin-at-dunncomm-dot-com to get them.
2) Sad News: My mother and father (and many others, including me) have lost an incredible friend, Noelle Cooper. She was one of the most cheerful, fun, positive and loving people I've ever known, and, even though my contact with her has been scarce over the last decade, I'm going to miss her more terribly than I ever imagined. The saddest part of her death is that we don't know the details, or the specifics -- Mom was in contact with her via email after Alexis was born, but since Noelle was single, and never had children, we only discovered by chance that she had died. When I feel up to it, I plan to write more about the phenomenon, and how I think technology can make a difference, but for now, I'm just missing Noelle. Goodbye, and thanks for the baseball -- and so much more.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 08:46 PM