Almaran (Cao Pi)

RIP Stormy, 1994 - 2011...

I was mentally prepared for it, been expecting it for a while now, but it finally happened.  Stormy, my family's cat of 18 years passed on.  Due to circumstances, we aren't totally sure what happened, but my Dad founder her and blames himself.  He was really torn up about it, and so couldn't focus.  Tom and I were out running some errands when we got the call, and headed right over.  I had to organize things to keep people focused.  Dad made her a coffin out of rough-hewn white pine, appropriate for the graceful outdoor hunter she once was.  Tom and I dug a small grave for her in the front-side garden where she always slept and lazed about come warm weather, and together the entire family placed her in the ground with a small wood cross as a memorial.

Unlike Thunder's passing where we knew it was coming and had more time to say goodbye and prepare, this was sudden.  I didn't really get to say goodbye to the old cat, but many fond memories live on of her.  From her complete eradication of the vole population of the yard, to her unusual habit of jumping on the roof from the back porch to sun herself.  Her constant bringing of presents, to how when the weather turned cold she would consent to being held and receiving petting, when normally she refused to acknowledge allow you the honor of touching her, unless she felt like it.

Her coat started out as the color of the sky right before the big thunderstorms, such a dark gray it might have been a black.  At night she was invisible, hunting and stalking any hapless prey that she set her mind to.  Or, as Tom put it: "she had a great kill-death ratio."

So, goodbye Stormy.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories and all the times where you showed you did care for us.  Goodbye, finest hunter I have known.  Goodbye trickster cat, who liked to lure enemies she couldn't handle to meet her "brother."  Goodbye, old friend who like a warm bed and good food by a fire.

Rest in Peace.
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Almaran (Cao Pi)

Second best day of 2009...

Yes, this is completely shameless.

Perfect sweep for conservative Republicans in the Virginia state-wide races.  This is good, as far as I'm concerned (I know many folks won't agree but ;p)

Also, what I think will quickly and rightly be called the best RPG of 2009, and quite probably the best RPG I've played since Suikoden 5, came out today: Dragon Age: Origins.

So why is it only the second best day of the year?  Well, there was this little thing called getting married back in April. ;p
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Almaran (Cao Pi)

November 1st

And shepherd we shall be, from thee my Lord to thee. Power hath descended from thy hand, so our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. And we will send a river forth to thee and teaming with souls it shall ever be.

In nomine Patre, et Fili, et Spirit Sanctum.


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Almaran (Cao Pi)

As TJ and the FF wrote 233 years ago...

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
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Almaran (Cao Pi)

War. War never changes...

Just finished my first playthrough of Fallout 3. I know, people have had it for a long time, but I didn't have money so I had to wait until Christmas to get it as a present.

A worthy addition to the Fallout canon. For those who didn't know, I've actually been a fan of the franchise for years. I was skeptical of Bethesda at first (having been unimpressed with Morrowind) and concerned what a new team would do to a favorite of mine.

I shouldn't have been worried, and I think Fallout 3 is the most engrossing of all the titles. It doesn't help matters that whenever I got a look at the western horizon I always did a double take... those ain't just mountains that happen to look like the Appalachians, that is the Appalachian skyline you see from the DC metro area.

I think I'm going to be getting as much downloadable content for this game that I can... it is an incredible game.
Almaran (Cao Pi)

Hmm... I could see it coming, but it figures...

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with
You scored as Serenity (Firefly)

You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


Moya (Farscape)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


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Almaran (Cao Pi)


You Are 14% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.

Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

This probably does not come as much of a surprise to anyone. I'm a freakin' goody-two-shoes.
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Almaran (Cao Pi)

I HATE my car...

Well, my car has decided that another expensive and annoying thing is going to go wrong with it... the radiator decided to go bad... again, it went bad back in '04 over the summer, so its been a little over three years.

Most annoying, very annoying. I need my car, looks like my weekend is shot.