Umm… it stands for “Nuclear Command Cruiser”. Yeah.

Back when I did a lot of Trek roleplay with the Starfleet crowd, we established space fighter squadrons on our ships, and decided eventually that we needed flight jackets. So we all bought dark-colored jackets in various materials and put Trek emblems on them in configurations that looked more-or-less authentic. Mine’s always been black denim, though it’s gone through different versions as the jackets each wore out. This one has a Next Gen combadge, a USS Yeager patch on one shoulder, a UFP emblem on the other, and a “Team Banzai” graphic on the back. (Why not mix my fictions?)

I’ve worn it a lot, in weather suitable for a light jacket and in practically any social situation that doesn’t require formal wear. I wore it to my Decipher interview, figuring it might help get me a job at a game company that made Star Trek cards. (Seemed to work…) Wearing it always felt like a bit of passive geek defiance: a declaration that yes, I was weird, but not unapproachably so.

Well, I wore it around during the unseasonably warm weekend, and if I needed further evidence that I live in a different world than I did in 1982, I got it. Twice, random strangers highly complimented my ‘flight’ jacket, both times following up with a brief conversation about the latest movie. I’m just not used to this. Eyerolls and smart remarks were once par for the course, but “wasn’t Uhura hot?” is a comment I’m not used to from the gentleman at the auto shop.

Whatever we old-schoolers might have to say about the recent film, it looks like interest in the franchise is back. Combine this with Obama’s public use of the Vulcan hand salute, and I’d say that the 21st century’s brought a different world for Trek geeks. I approve.

If you liked it, then you should have rolled Need on it.

Yep, I’m posting a lot of videos and a lot of MMO-related stuff right now. That’s in part because I’m too overwhelmed with life at the moment (sometimes positively, sometimes not) to be very deep.

So: if you’re familiar with the politics of loot distribution in high-level World of Warcraft raiding, you might find this as funny as I did. Otherwise, probably not.

Level 80

Level 80

Mirandala hit the level cap. I barely know what to do with her now, she didn’t manage that at 60 in original WoW or at 70 in Burning Crusade.

Also, she made a pair of X-Ray Specs: a gadget which, from her perspective, strips all the other player characters in the game down to their underwear. But what else would you expect from me?

Arrgh, we are warriors, arrgh, so there, arrgh, I mean it, arrgh

So, here’s a trailer for the Star Trek MMO coming early next year (y’know, if there aren’t any delays, which never happen to MMO releases anyway, right?) Windows-only at this point, so we Mac folks will have to either dual-boot or forget it and just keep giving our money to Blizzard, who’s been happy to take it for years.

I know that lots of the audience for multiplayer online games want to be the badass characters, so we get the Klingon trailer first. But as usual since TNG, the Klingon narrator sounds less like a proud warrior and more like someone compensating for erectile dysfunction. “Hi. My name’s K’Bob, and I’ve had this terrible inferiority complex since the Dominion War…”

Interesting, by the way, that in a setting placed decades after “Voyager”, the Federation’s still using Constitution-class ships (ones that look like Shatner-Kirk’s Enterprise). When your ship design’s still in use 200 years after the first launch, I’d say you’ve earned your contractor fees.

Losing things

We went out for dinner tonight, and then Starr asked to swing by the thrift store, and that just about wiped me out. I have to build up some stamina in the next week or so, because I’ll probably be heading back to work shortly thereafter. Must exercise more.

When I went in for the surgery, I weighed about 197 pounds, which is not especially unhealthy for my size and build, but it’s not trim either. I weighed myself today and I’m about 180, which is much better if I can keep it there while building my strength back up. Still, this is not a recommended weight loss plan.

I remember going in for the surgery, a little later than we’d thought as I’d misread the schedule – 11:00 was the report time, not the surgery time. I lay in pre-op getting more and more nervous until it came time for them to put in the epidural needle. According to Starr, I was conscious and lucid for several minutes after that, but I have no memory of it – they warned me that was likely.

My next memory is of awaking briefly in post-op, and dry heaving twice. I always have a rough time coming out of general anesthetic, which was part of the reason for the epidural – the heaves went away much quicker. After that, next thing I knew I was in my room and Starr was with me.

Much of the next week is blurred. I hate what narcotic pain medications do to my head – I would drop off for a two-hour uneasy nap, awaken, crane my neck to see the clock, and realize that only twenty minutes had passed. At least once, friends came by to see me and I didn’t remember that until long after getting home, when evidence was produced. Sometimes, even when I hurt a bit, I’d avoid activating the ‘as needed’ medication pump simply because I didn’t want to go back to the fog.

They did have to move me to another room once, as we had a bit of a monsoon storm here on the coast, and one of the walls sprung a leak! A couple of millimeters of water collected behind my bed and they realized I had to go. After that, no further moves.

Entertainment was thin. The hospital TV showed about twenty channels, none of which showed any programming which interested me. Though I had wireless access, most everything but email was blocked including the social networking sites I’d planned to use to keep people updated. Oh, I know ways around that, but the fog kept me from doing much with that knowledge. Thank goodness I had Starr to keep me company or I might have gone more insane than I am now.

More in a later entry. I just want to write some of this down before the fog claims it completely.

Any Way The Wind Blows

I’m not saying this video is perfect in execution, but it kept on making me crack a smile, and for that I’ll give it points:

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

Return from the Medical Satellite

I am here, and I haz update.

Some folks may have heard that I was out of surgery last Wednesday night, and that everything went just as the surgeons had hoped. Assuming I held down solid food Thursday night, they’d be sending me home on Friday.

My anaesthesia was much nicer to me this time, with my post-op heaves much better controlled, but it wasn’t enough: my digestion shut down completely, and didn’t choose to restart until Monday. They couldn’t send me home until I handled solid food, so I’ve had nearly a week of being fed through a tube and dazed nights of sleeping via pain medication.

Though the hospital had free wireless, just about everything was blocked besides e-mail, and most of the time I stayed too dazed and weary to do much of anything with that.

Finally, though, they pulled the last tube from my body (I had a half-dozen in me, and you don’t want to know where all of them led (I kept restraining the desire to look at Starr and utter “Resistance is futile,” in an emotionless voice)), and told me to go home. Even that was bumpy enough, and there’s a lot more to tell, but I fear that I’ve literally used up my evening’s energy levels typing this. Pathetic, I know, but I have a lot of drugs and emotional stress to work from my system.

And, oh yeah, as I stayed so long, I got to hear the prelim pathology report. Little of the tissue turned out to be actively cancerous, and what was so was safely surrounded by buffer tissue in the removed mass. So I’m safe now.

TL;DR version: I’m home, I’m safe, everything went well, and I still feel like total crap. And I love you guys. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Medical team to the bridge

11am tomorrow, H-Hour. That’s when I go under the knife.

I know it’s a bit over-dramatic, but that’s how I’m feeling right now. I just can’t seem to maintain an even emotional keel at the moment. I’ve had surgery before, my hip replacement decades ago and my gall bladder just weeks ago, but this one has me really worked up. They’re going to make the second biggest incision a surgeon’s ever made in my body, and they are going to take a tennis-ball-sized chunk of one of my organs.

The surgeon does dozens of these a year, and has had papers published on the subject. I might well be back home before my birthday. The overwhelming odds are that everything’s going to be just fine. So why am I so worked up?

Starr will be posting to Twitter and Facebook, and passing out phone messages to be spread around. They say I’ll have wireless in my room, so I might even be posting here myself before tomorrow’s over. We’ll use the 21st Century to it’s full advantage. To everyone who’s been sticking by me in person and online, thank you so – I doubt I’ll find the words to say how much it means to me.

In a completely unrelated note, Happy Belated Birthday to southernsinger. I’d have mentioned this before, but I’m a bit distracted.

Protected: Nya!

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Circling the calendar

The doctors have scheduled my surgery for November 11th. I’ll go in in the morning – no idea how long they’ll actually be rooting around inside me.

Man, it’s weird knowing that someone’s going to cut me wide open – with my permission, yet.

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