Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scon erm Magic again...

This weekend a science fiction series convention was held in Prague and I planned to attend it. This year music games' stands were there officially supported and on Saturday there even was a 'Japanese day' programme. There weren't too many screenings as promised but the convention itself lacked catchy speeches/competitions etc that would make you want to go there and attend (except probably the Gala night programme). So we decided not to care about the con much and leave to spent our time at Outpost (local game shop and club).

First I finished collecting Gateway points on Saturday and that got me DCI foil Hellspark Elemental and DCI foil Path to Exile (because of this card I entered that Gateway ... something).
=> Path To Exile cell phone photo

Also my (s*cky) Extended slivers managed to poison my opponent few times and once they managed to win in the fourth round hehe.
=> Virulent slivers winning the game!
The very same player seeing Virulent Sliver in play in the next game's first round proclaimed just 'Otrava'. This word in Czech means 'Poisoning' but has another meaning and that means 'Nagger'. I think you get the picture, don't you? ^_~

Also I managed to win against (Mind's)Desire deck with my standard hm... -how should I call it- deck (BG persist deck) twice. Well my tactic was ... urm Mulligans till Quillspike or Redcap combo and try to put it in play before lovely Desire kills me with Tendrils or ... something else. Too bad blue loves to counter and slow down. (anyway this tactic actually worked few times. More times than I expected at least)

I also got a surprising win against stormy elves with kind of endless mana and I have no idea how big creature that would kill me in one round. In the first game (I got 2 terminates in my opening hand) I killed both of those Dragons (I have no idea what it was...). The player ran out of the 'big creatures' so he decided to kill me with the massive amount of elves and insects. Second time I somehow survived the first attack and he did not tap his elves correctly so I got him with Magma Sliver and co. in that round^_~. But well you can imagine clearly that I have probably 0 chance of winning normally. Same goes to the mind's desire deck.
One of those days I was playing my zombies (Legacy) against few people. One of them who got beaten quite hard by my zombies wanted to compliment me or something and ask me out for a date and he claimed that I'm a 'Dark beautiful zombie'. I tried not to laugh out loud^_~ Now any time I think of this situation I just well...start laughing too much. Dark? hm...not sure. Beautiful? Can't really judge... Zombie??? o_O Good way to ask someone for a date^_~

On Sunday I entered an Extended constructed tournament. I did not know about this tournament and did not have a deck ready for it (a deck worth playing that is). But I got 30 minutes to prepare one. I combined thus my Legacy and Extended slivers and borrowed few cards. Deck was ready and I could go register.

I went to the counter in order to register myself for the tourney (not DCI sanctioned). All the players were gathered in the same room and when I was just about to leave (thus looking away from the counter ... in all the players' direction) someone asked: 'hey, are you a boy ... or a girl?'. When he saw my expression on my face he quickly added: 'I just can't say...if you are a guy or gal.' Me startled and everyone else in the room being completely puzzled as me. Such a nice view it was. Well, I honestly answered that I'm a girl and that was it...

EDIT: Also players usually couldn't find my name in the Gateway player's list. I always said that it is easy to find me (as it's the only female's name on the list).

The tournament was fun. I could have finished with 9(+5) points (second place was 9(4)) but I was too amazed by the 'merfolk' Adam that I let him win. I hoped he would win the tournament and he actually won.
*wink* Adam killed me once with Umezawa's Jitte so I guess next time if I go there I'm going to HAVE a sideboard ready (at least be able to get rid of those nasty artifacts I don't like).

After we finished our game we usually went to the counter...and you know what happened there? One player - Simon - came to the counter, ordered Betrayers of Kamigawa booster and ... Umezawa's Jitte! Lucky man as it seems. *sniff*

Thanks to everyone who played against/with me and especially to Squop with whom I primarily spent my weekend and thanks to him for moving my stuff to Beroun as well (thus Kriss as well - hopefully it's spelled this way...if not I apologize)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Algae Gharial vs persist/elves

Today me, Squop and Had decided to go to Outpost, sign up for Gateway and get some points. (Because we want the foils!).

I'm too tired to write more about what happened to I'll just post a photo. It could be entitled 'How about a 69/69 with shroud, or just a 56/56 with shroud?'.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This weekend...

...I went to my grandmother with my mother. At grandma's we were trying to talk to her and cheer her up a bit and try to calm her down. Quite exhausting...And as it usually is at grandma's place, we were eating a lot (I hate this, I probably gained few kgs^_^).

My mother went shopping later and I was left with my grandma, which wasn't probably the best idea^_^. I was playing Magic at the time my mother was leaving and well how to start a conversation (I'm not good at that even with people with whom I have a common topic)? Grandma asked me about the game so I ehm tried to explain something I did not (yet) manage to explain to a person who comes from the same generation as me and has no memory issues.
I tried my best and tried to avoid the more "brutal" aspects of the game which kept us busy for some time and hopefully my mother came back.

First day "survived"^_^.

Second day, my time spent with grandma was better. I showed her some photos from some events and some videos (GamePage/Level shootings and convention videos). I also showed her some of my drawings and stuff. Later on I was called 'an artist' and grandma seemed to be happy.

Later on it was my mother's time to talk to her and I went to a different room to be wondering about a persist deck. I also discovered that I have few cards on me that probably don't belong to me and started to wonder where the hell I got them. (I remember that the first time I saw them was when Squop played with me with his Redcap deck...???)

Today, we went to see my aunt and we had a chat with her. Later, we stopped by my other aunt where I had a small chat with my cousin (I'm probably the only living person who managed to talk to him in ages in person). Anyway I was just well thinking about this a bit. When I was little I was often asked to spend my time (with my sister) and my cousins. Our parents decided that it is better than a boring chat with our grandmother. (disadvantage of this was that I never really had the chance to know my grandmother from my father's side)

My cousins weren't talking to my sister, neither did she (and as my mother told me today it seems that these cousins were more dangerous than just some local rascals). But with me they were quite fine. Ok, I have to admit sometimes I was afraid that I would end up with a bullet in my head or with a knife stabbed to my back but this never happened. First thing I discovered with them were NES/SNES games, later on TCGs and miniature games (among other stuff like our LEGO battles). I'm glad that I started playing trading card games like Magic: The Gathering and my thanks should go to these people.

So well this entry is dedicated to my grandma, Filip and Bert.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grygar in Beroun

A day after his own birthday a famous Czech astronomer and famous popularizer of the science arrived to Beroun's Museum to have a speech about the Future of Astronomy in the next 10-20 years.

This year it's been exactly 400 years since the time Galileo Galilei first invented a telescope (Galileian telescope) and started to study the night sky. A year later he published a Starry Messenger in which he described all he found out. And not only this was also the period of Tycho de Brahe and Johannes Kepler. It was Kepler that replied to Galilei's Starry Messenger with his own speculations about the meaning and implications of all this new era of discovering what is above our heads (Conversation with the Starry Messenger). Later it was him who published his own book about his own discoveries (as he invented a much more sophisticated telescope - Keplerian telescope) which later led to Kepler's laws.

We were told about all the discoveries and inventions that made us progress and made us learn many new things we did not expect to find out. And from all this he speculated on what we could probably find out in the next 20 years and what mankind could possibly invent to help us in this cause.

Monday, March 16, 2009

DDR Extreme not booting #2

EDIT: if you are looking for a solution to the 151 error, it was the flash drive that was causing this. not easy to get your hands on one, but I managed that so it started working again.

Today I decided to mess with my DDR Extreme cabinet. Maybe two weeks ago it stopped booting and the errors I encountered were 189, 190 and 151. Not really knowing which one is triggered by what I decided to try all the possibilities I have at hand.

189 is Unknown cabinet error and 190 is platform wiring/connection error. So I checked each wire coming from the platform whatever stuff inside to things inside the cabinet. I found a dead wire and one wire that is probably close to being dead. (and has to do something with the up arrow on P2 - reason why it does not work as it should probably).

Some time later I fixed this (at least for a while - not the up arrow problem though) and booted the machine once again. This time I got past the goddamn 189/190 errors. But I got stuck on 151 error which says "count not locate file/cdrom" or something in that sense.

So is this a hardware problem? A software problem (medium problem)? I don't know so I decided to try...

- to make a copy of the CD inside the drive and run the game from it
- change the cd-rom drive for some other one (original 3rd/4th mix one or those laying around)
- download the arcade iso from somewhere and use that one...

Well, I made an image of the CD-ROM and my computer stated that there is NOTHING wrong with it. So I have the image on my HDD and I burned it on some not so old CD I found here. I put it in the machine and booted (could not locate file/cdrom)

So the more annoying work began. I got the 4th mix PCB out of that cabinet and tried to unplug the drive. I managed that quite easily but what I did not manage to get out was the drive itself from the case. After few minutes of trying to get rid of 6 screws that I couldn't reach I just gave up and decided to boot without the case and without the cd-rom giving me this nice error.

So I put all the stuff inside the cabinet along with connected cd-rom originally from the 3rd mix and booted. It did not pass the hardware check.

I've done the very same thing with other drives I found at home and I got the very same hardware check error. I gave up and put back the original stuff that get me one or other error...I booted and nothing happened. I checked the JAMMA, found it's out as usual ... put it back and booted once again.

And now I'm at point zero...

Now I need a different arcade ISO so I can try the last possibility.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Riptide Project

Well, tonight I wrote a short story entitled The Riptide Project. The story itself is written in Czech so if you don't speak it you won't be able to read it...Still I haven't written anything in ages so that's why I write this entry.

Riptide Project by STsung (pdf document as I don't have MS Office installed...)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vector Art - Xia revisited...

I updated my vector version of Xia and I start to like it more. It still needs some work till I will be satisfied.^_~. But I think that this version is already presentable..unlike the previous one.


I took the TOEFL test in February and today I got the results (I checked them today, to be more precise) and well what is the outcome of it?

Well, it says that my level of writing/listening/reading skills is high and that my level of speaking is good (there is one more level I could achieve). In general it says that I can cope with anything except expressing my own ideas^_~ and talking about familiar topics (ie. children education).

I got twice as many points as I need to enter the University so...


Sunday, March 8, 2009

MtG - Scrap no.7 - Choking sands

Today I had the idea of trying to draw something like Choking sands card from MtG. I wanted to draw something like a desert where you could see some ruins buried in the sand or something that would look a plain that ended up burned by the sun ... becoming sandy.

I was more concentrated on the sun that would burn your skin and kind of forgot about the ruins I wanted to add to the whole picture...

Anyway this is a few minutes doodle that taught me a bit. I should learn something about perspective and I should really start to think of all the details that would make the "land" alive and vast...

Dockinez, DJ Joker and MtG

Yesterday was dedicated to Dockinez. He invited me to a Indian restaurant called Himalaya somewhere in the Golden Alley. I was thinking about having Chicken Tikka Masala or Butter Chicken but later decided to take Non Veg Thali and see what different kinds of meals I get. Everything was quite spicy ^_~. But the chicken was good. The vegetable salads or what it was were more interesting. One tasted completely different than I would expect, but it was good. The second vegetable "something" looked like ... a sprout so I called it Saproling since then. Even though it looked terrible it tasted well^_^. It was really a good meal and nice enjoyable stay there.

After that we walked to Narodni Trida still continuing in our chat. From there we took the subway to Andel and headed to Outpost (On our way we met Hobit - the owner of the place).

There we played 2 headed giant games against other people. The first two were playing all common standard decks that were more or less blue/black oriented. First match was played against these two decks. We had both T1.5 decks which wasn't fair so we grabbed different decks that were slower and less powerful later. (blue in both decks^_~)

Our opponents played some of the cards we did not like at all 4 times each. Like some deathtouch owl eight times per match (Tidehollow Strix) and Agony Warp (Target creature gets -3/0, Target Creature gets 0/-3) seven times or so. Once there were 4 owls and 3 gargoyles on our opponents' side of the table. The only thing that saved us from dying were my flying regenerating slivers, otherwise we would lose for sure. I was b*tching with my spectral sliver that was killed/counterspelled X times till it finally ended up on the table (and not being in the graveyard). I should also mention Oona's Gatewarden whom we call "Michael Jackson". This faerie was bothering us quite often as well and it's one of the cards that did not want to end up countered (beh!).

In this game I was swearing all the time because each creature was BLACK! or artifact. I'm fine with Artifact Creatures, I have nothing against them. I hate Mirrodin Block and Affinity and some other nasty things (that's why I build my Disciple of the Vault deck and decided to beat all the artifact decks at school - so they would build a new deck not based on affinity and such). But what I don't get is... First creature on the table - Michael (BU), second creature on the table - Owl (BU), third creature on the table - something blue. So I wanted to check the card and see what it is (so I could finally destroy something) and the opponent was just "It's an artifact". So I said ok...maybe later a blue or white creature would come into play. Later on a completely white card (or at least seemed to me) came into play...and you know what? In addition to being white, it was as well blue and ARTIFACT! I know that ok...being an artifact is usually a disadvantage against other colors except the one I play - black (which usually does not target artifacts and black creatures) But this is just too much for me. Weren't artifacts colorless?? o_O when did colored artifacts show up for the first time?

We also had a match against some other two standard decks - red elementals and something that did not even get to play something worthy mentioning.

After few more plays we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner talking about TCGs and CCGs and discussing some artwork and B/W borders^_~. Then we came back to outpost to play a bit more. There I noticed that there's preconstructed Sliver deck for sale. So I bought it for the third time. This time hoping that inside I would really find slivers and not some wizards I got there twice already. I was lucky today^_~ It really was a sliver deck. Dockinez bought Fun with Fungus deck for his friend so we had to try these decks out. Slivers have bad match up with Fungus but still I managed to win the first round and I have to say it was unforgettable win.

I got slivers that add +2/+2 and 0/+2, +2/0. The last ended up dead. Later Gemhide Slivers joined the other slivers. So I had nice 5/3 slivers.
I decided to attack with those hoping 2 saprolings would get killed each round. (Fungus deck was still a bit ahead as it was generating saprolings faster than I was killing them). Anyway I drew a card and *evil grin* showed on my face. Dockinez horrified asked "Double Strike?". I put it into play and attacked again with my lovely Gemhides. ^_^ Few more turns and the victory was mine. Ever killed by 5/3 double strike gemhide slivers? The other two rounds were fast victory for Fungi so I decided to play my fungi against the PCD. I was faster in generating saprolings and won even though I still was getting swamps and not forests. Maybe I should change the numbers but still 14 forests should be enough?

By that time it was 10 pm so we decided to leave. I left for Zlicin to catch the bus to Beroun and Dockinez headed to Mustek. To make long story short...I waited there for one of the three buses normally going to Beroun at that hour. One did not arrive, two arrived but said that they won't go to Beroun for some reason. At the same bus station I met DJ Joker and we had a small talk about music, DJing and such and I'm honored meeting him. Same goes to Dockinez.

When all the buses left I called Molik if I can stay over for the night. I arrived home this morning, completely exhausted and starving^_~. But it was worth it.

Thanks to everyone.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Exalted and Battlegrace Angel

Yesterday we went to Outpost (not really counted with that so we came there completely unprepared) to have some fun. I wanted to buy some slivers like the Virulent one^_~ and some others but all the slivers were already sold.

Later Lisak came and soon after (ok NOT that soon) that Squop as well. So we started building some decks. I had all my slivers with me so I decided to try some B/U colored deck. Lisak was trying to come up with some G/W life generating deck. But we soon found out that the best life generating deck was the Squop's one^_~.

After some time we started to play and I first encountered Exalted. I did not know yet that the deck was based on this ability. Ok, Exalted gets a single attacking creature +1/+1 for each creature with Exalted... how could this be bad? Shouldn't it? With 10 creatures with Exalted the attacking creature gets +10/+10. I wouldn't care that much about it if the goddamn creature did not have first strike (my deathtouch was thus useless). How can I deal damage to such creature? Ever seen a 11/11 sliver? (in BU? yeah, maybe with 20 mana

If my slivers would become unblockable I could deal lethal damage but that's the time when Battlegrace Angel comes in play. This beautiful Angel (I have no idea how it looks like as I can hardly read the text on cards in my hand) reads:
Flying, Exalted. Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gains lifelink until end of turn. So there was a really nice 10/10 creature attacking each turn with lifelink. That's 10 lifes per turn and me dealing 9 dmg each turn with some of my slivers. I have to say that I regretted not putting Nevinyrral's Disks into the deck^_~(or damnation).

You know I remember Banding, Flanking and Life giving Angels when they came into play and some other life generating cards and creatures. But Exalted/Lifelink triumphed all this. True when people were playing Angels years ago they usually had protection from [color] so getting rid of them was a bit more problematic. I could destroy Battle Grace Angel with Dark Banishing but it did not bother coming to my hand.

Next game it was Lisak who was the life generating player. I got Shifting sliver out soon so I was doing some damage to both of the players. Squop was the one with low life total as Lisak was gaining a lot of life this time. I decided to kill Squop and concentrate on Lisak. So I was attacking Squop with my slivers and he turned them in 0/1 snakes. I usually played Counterspell but that spell ended up counterspelled as well. So in the end poor slivers ended up without abilities ... Anyway Squop ran out of the Snakeform cantrips and lost. The important thing about Squop leaving play was that Oblivion Rings were destroyed and I was again unblockable. It was about me and Lisak then.

Lisak played Silhana Ledgewalker and enchanted her. She got +2/+2, Trample, +3/+3. This was pretty annoying as she can't be blocked normally (needs to be blocked with creatures with flying) and can't be target of spells and abilities from our sides. So Lisak wanted to add +5/+5 on her but I countered that as I did NOT like the idea of 11/11 Silhana. He gave up later on and looked on the top cards of his library to see if he would have a chance to kill me. He got one card that deals X damage to flying creatures and each players (I got 14 life, he got 35). I would sacrifice my flying sliver though and get him back into play next turn via Volrath's Stronghold (so my slivers would still be in play). He got 7 mana spare so he could deal 7 dmg directly and possibly 6 with Silhana but she would be blocked by the rest of my slivers (6 or so...). Thus it wouldn't probably matter. After all the alternatives we were trying to come up with this card and what was in play so Lisak would win I looked on the top card of my library and the card was Counterspell. So all this crazy thoughts were for nothing as I would simply counter the spell and attack with all my slivers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Squop + fungi + Gempalm Polluter

On one Czech discussion boards server there's a board "Identify a Magic card by picture, flavor text etc...". Someone posted a picture of a Zombie Wizard - Coffin Queen I just saw yesterday when browsing cards I could use with my zombies (I was looking for something that would steal other player's creatures). ON that board someone else made a comment that was directed to me about slivers, so I was like...Do I know him?

I found his ICQ number and asked him about those slivers he mentioned. He sent me his photo and I recognized him. But it was an older memory. Not that I would remember seeing him last week. Anyway we decided to meet (we would probably meet as we were heading to the same place). So I left for Prague.

I have to admit something... After a long, long time I've met a really nice gentleman with whom I spent most of my day. We played Magic: The Gathering, talked about TCGs/CCGs and literature. Book of the Malazan fallen was mentioned as well during our chat. It seems that this series got pretty popular^_~.

I haven't smiled and laughed so much in years. I will probably feel the consequences tomorrow^_^ as laughing is quite physically demanding^_~. This is something I did not expect at all. Me laughing and smiling? That's something that does not happen often, actually it happens rarely.

If you wonder who the person is...He introduced himself to me (even though I already found him on the internet) as Squop. But I think that from this day on, he's going to be in my head under the nickname - Gempalm Polluter - as I won't forget his facial expression when this card decided the game.

From him I also found nickname of the "Treefolk" person I played against last week. I hope to meet him again and next time properly introduce myself and let him do the same^_^.


EDIT: Squop: ok...maybe Naturalize would be a better nickname. So who it was laughing more in the end me or you? I really have no idea how come I could draw four Scatter the Seeds twice in a row and no Naturalize cards in ....well....all the games we played? (I've got four of them *grin*)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bad Monday

I really have write something about today because this day is not getting any better. In the morning I was woken up by my cats and Damian who likes to hit you with your head quite often helped me in breaking my glasses. So I see everything twice and have no idea of what is near and far.

Later that day I wanted to cook myself a meal. And you know what...the pot I used was leaking o_O. How can a steel pot leak, goddamn it?

I'm tired, exhausted. I went to Prague to retrieve something and I encounter someone on the way. He made such a turmoil in myself that I completely forgot what I wanted there and arrived back without it. Cool...

Also it seems I will never move my stuff. One person does not care, other is ill and I don't have the energy to be looking for someone else. So I'm stuck once again.

And well the last thing...I decided after a whole day of doing play a bit of DDR. I go downstairs and I turn on the DDR Extreme machine. When the machine went in to Boot Check mode it showed me 189 Error saying that I use an unknown cabinet. So I went like WTF????

I went to get my Manuals (the original machine one and upgrade kit one) and those only say that the machine will show an error message when the game is not properly installed or is hacked. So well I decided to look on the internet.

That did not help much either but I found one thing. One KONAMI technician said that the Unknown Cabinet error can mean that the stage is not properly connected to the motherboard.

So well I went downstairs to check the wires and found the problem. Some of the wires from the platform were misplaced and out of place so...I put them back hoping it would work.

But hell....if anything annoying as this happens to me again today I'm going to sleep hoping for a better tomorrow.

Mortal Kombat

Many people have seen me in the arcades playing a fighting game. Their reactions were usually "Heh, a girl playing MK, she has to be easy to beat" or "OMG a girl playing MK and winning?". The first group usually challenged me and many times it was them who ended up dead.

On the 21st of October, I had the chance to play Mortal Kombat 1. The very first fighting game that I started to like. I used to play this game a lot at home and in the arcades and was one of the few who could beat the whole game while beating Reptile in the pit, succeeding in all test your mights and getting much higher score than normal because of Fatalities and Flawless Victories. Probably all this skill I gained is lost as I haven't played the game in ages. But still I know the game and I surprise people from time to time even nowadays.

Last time I surprised someone was at Games Convention. I waited for a long time to get a chance to play Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. I did not come there with someone so I played against someone I've never met before. The player thought he can beat me easily. The first round I lost as my character was already badly wounded and I had to realize what button does what on Xbox controller. That single fight was ok for me to realize how to control the game and for the next 5 matches it was me who was the winner. The lad was quite unhappy about this and left-_-...