Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hand update

Arm is finally out of sling; now I am slightly more useful. Still can't hold anything in left hand but now can at least make use of left arm for basic tasks. Also, can use fingers (sparingly) so that typing is only a partial chore instead of full-blown PITA.

Have found new respect 4 txtspk.

Dr's appt. next Fri to get stitches out, unless the itching drives me mad and I rip the bandage off earlier to enjoy a decadent scratch.

Still on Percocet for pain although taking it less often.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mine is an evil laugh

Hey there, annoying Asian link-spammers! Your shitty bots are no match for Disqus, which now auto-deletes your useless fucking comments.

I shall now take another Percocet and chortle wickedly for I have vanquished thee!

Results

Surgery went well, still groggy 4+ hours later, Thanks for all thoughts & prayers, will know more & type better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Going Under (the knife)

Tomorrow at 3:45 pm Eastern time, I will be in surgery to reconnect the radial digital nerve in my left thumb.

I'm a little nervous about this, even though there is basically no chance of anything going wrong. My surgeon is the guy who reattaches your arm when it gets cut off in a car accident, so this procedure is practically a cakewalk for him. My biggest complaint is that the procedure will be done under general anesthesia rather than local.

My objections are threefold:
  • One, this is outpatient surgery on my hand; why do I need to be unconscious? 
  • Two, anesthesia is kind of unnatural for the body. I've been knocked out for surgery twice in my life, and coming out of it was always a nasty experience for me because it seemed like it took my body forever to "wake up" -- you don't know what performance anxiety is unless you've been told by a nurse that you can't leave until you pee, and despite running the faucet and thinking pee thoughts nothing comes out, no matter how hard you strain. 
  • Three, and this probably relates to my neurosis regarding point two, I am a control freak and don't like being unconscious and therefore out of control. I'd much rather they just get me high on painkiller, strap my arm to a table, and go to work that way. But alas, my opinion was not consulted in this matter. 
 So barring a freak accident, I should be fine tomorrow. But prayers for a safe operation and speedy recovery are welcome regardless. :)

Pellatarrum: Elementals

This post here, and the mental exercise it presents, is responsible for making the Pellatarrum: Spring post so late, and directly delaying Pellatarrum: Summer. Kudos go to Shawn Sage, who in a few minutes of brainstorming helped me solve a conundrum which has been bothering me for months. Go Shawn! Next time I have a problem I'll just bug you instead of trying to work it out on my own. ;)

So: Elementals. According to both the D&D Monster Manual and the Pathfinder Bestiary, Elementals come in a variety of sizes which range from wee to not-so-wee to fricking HUUUGE, they exist on a plane which is made out of the same stuff they are, and the larger they are the smarter they are. Which leads me to ask the following question:

Where the hell do Elementals come from, anyway? If there are small dumb ones and smart big ones, that clearly suggests some kind of life cycle, but it's not like Elementals are ever mentioned as having sex, and besides the entire idea is patently ludicrous because the entire point of an Elemental is to be a simple, pure embodiment of that element, in both a physical and a symbolic manner. Reproduction is for messy, complex organics, not entities of a single metaphysical concept.

In fact, I am surprised that no one has asked this question before. Maybe it's been answered somewhere in some book I've never read (and if so I'm sure one of my readers will point it out to me), but in my experience everyone just seems to go "Elementals are just there, you know?" and then carries on with their lives.

Well, maybe that's fine for regular D&D games, but not for Pellatarrum. And so tonight, I answer the burning question "Where do baby elementals come from?"

It's not an easy question to answer, because it relies on some complex metaphysics. Consider the following:
  • The Elemental Planes exist in a constant state of energetic change known as the Churn;
  • Every element is birthed from pure creation (Positive Energy Plane);
  • They get smarter as they increase in size;
  • They are made of the exact same stuff as their home plane.
All of these indicate to me that Elementals are actually gestalt entities -- a collection of "somethings" that reach a critical mass and gain self-awareness and mobility. This leads us to the very interesting conclusion that smaller elementals were somehow splintered off from larger ones, either through trauma or through asexual reproduction akin to fragmentation. Of course, elementals being homogeneous, this also means it can works backwards, with two smaller elementals merging to create a larger, stronger, smarter elemental being.

All of this leads to another question: if an elemental is just a conglomeration of similar material that has reached a critical size, why isn't every stream and boulder across Pellatarrum an elemental? Again, the answer goes back the Churn: the entire Elemental Plane is in a constant state of flux, of creation and destruction, whereas Pellatarrum -- the Material Plane -- is not. It was born of the fusion of 4 elements by 4 elder races; it is artificial. The Elemental Planes, however, are suffused with potent energies of creation and destruction.

What this boils down to is that summoning an elemental to Pellatarrum is like pulling a fish out of the water. Without constant exposure to the energies of its native plane, an elemental will slowly die, gradually losing its mind and motivation until it is just a brainless collection of rocks, volume of water, dying embers or dispersing gases. This quite handily explains why most elementals are in foul moods when summoned, hate serving their summoner, and are eager to leave -- how happily would you obey the commands of someone who kidnaps you and says "Do what I say, or slowly lose your mind before dying?"

There are several theories as to how exactly elementals are born. Some scholars believe that the kernel of elemental life, whatever that may be, is created from Positive Energies along with the rest of the plane. This is very tidy, metaphysically speaking, since every major race on Pellatarrum knows that all souls are created by Positive Energy (indeed, it is a major tenet of their religion), and therefore elementals can be shoehorned into the same framework as everyone else: a soul is created, lives its life, and then dies.

Another belief, popular among Gray Cabalists and regarded as heretical by everyone else, is that after death a soul is ushered into an afterlife as an elemental being, where it can live forever in a form perfectly suited to its environment and personality.

Others have taken a more controversial big-picture view, and posit that if every elemental is a conglomeration of smaller elementals, then it logically follows that every Elemental Plane is actually a single elemental entity of unfathomable size and intelligence. This idea makes many people very nervous, especially the Dwarves (who deny it vehemently), whose regular mining of the Planes with the Dayspire could be construed as parasitism upon an entity of nearly godlike power. Fortunately for them, if the theory is true, then the Elemental Intelligences seem to have taken neither notice nor offense at the mining. Perhaps it is beneath their attention, akin to how humans are unaware of the multitude of organisms which live upon their skin. Or perhaps the Planes are simply slow to act, and when they finally do, their revenge will be terrifying in its scope....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hello, I am old

I have now reached the point where I literally have to stop in order to think, because if I keep walking (or whatever) either I end up losing my train of thought as I do whatever I'm doing, or I end up someplace wondering what the hell I intended to do when I got there.

I'm not even 40 yet. FML.

And every time I complain about this to my mother, she laughs hysterically. 

Update

4 ounces Malibu rum mixed with 28 ounces of lemonade takes the edge off quite nicely. Of course this is in addition to the Tylenol I took earlier (about a gram of acetaminophen in total), so please don't think I'm a lightweight.

Note: I am a professional headache-haver. I do not in any way endorse the combination of painkiller and alcohol for non-professionals, and I don't drink often enough that liver damage could result.

Cheers!

Not Tonight, Dear

The worst part about having having headaches brought about by weather changes (during hurricane season, no less, so that's double the fun right there) isn't the constant pain that flutters in intensity between "nagging" and "painful but not yet crippling".

No, the worst part is realizing that the pain is making me dumb. I flat-out cannot think worth a damn when I have one of these headaches, and the most frustrating thing about it is that I know my thinking is impaired. It's a bit like being drugged or drunk, except not by choice, and without all the fun side-effects.

I would actually rather have a far worse headache, because when that happens I have no interest in thinking at all. Instead, I take as much painkiller as my body can take without OD'ing and then I lie down in a cool dark room. Because my body doesn't want to stay in pain, it generally falls asleep within 10 minutes and then I am blissfully unconscious (the best kind of anesthesia possible.)

But in cases like this, I don't hurt enough to be able to surrender to sleep, and constantly taking pain meds does little to nothing for me. (I must have built up a hell of a tolerance by now.) It's like someone is constantly poking me in the side of the head. It hurts just enough to keep me distracted, and over the course of hours it wears me out through simple attrition. If you can't comprehend how much this sucks, hang out with a toddler who enjoys screaming the same word over and over again for hours at a time. You will feel my pain sooner than you think, although you at least will have the option of putting the brat down for a nap or leaving the house. I'm stuck with having my head on my shoulders at all times.

Time to break out the big guns: liquor. I figure if I can't kill the pain, I might as well get buzzed enough that I won't care about it (and don't worry, I know what my tolerances are, I won't drink so much I get sick from mixing booze & painkillers).

Goodnight & I'll see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WNW: Lightsabers x2

I am back from my census job (again)! To celebrate I give you not one but TWO geeky, nerdy, light-sabery videos!

1) Legoes Legos Whatever the plural of Lego is:



2) Lasses:

The Fine Print


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