Monday, March 20, 2006


Well, Daffodil Tourney was a lot of fun. It was my first SCA feast, and I have to say, it was pretty good. All 12 or so courses of it.

Unfortunatly, we were all up late Friday night playing Settlers of Catan, so we got up too late to make it to the site in time for me to sign up for the archery. Oh well, next time. I don't even know if I would have been able to hit the target, after so many month away from the bow.

When we got home, Sara said she had a surprise gift for me. She handed me the bow and told me it's mine now. Yay!

Friday, March 17, 2006


I need some leather. Unless I can find some nice ones for sale cheap this weekend at Daffodil, I think I'm going to have to make myself a couple leather bracers. If I make them almost as long as my forearm, and wide enough to wrap at least half way around my arm, then they should be able to hold down my baggy SCA garb well enough for me to shoot my bow.

I all honesty, the style of garb I've been wearing isn't quite correct for an archer, but my girlfriend is a rapier fighter, so I've been using some hand-me-down garb from her. She's also made me a couple very nice doublets, which go well with the time period she dresses, but unfortunatly, means baggy shirts that don't cooperate very well with a bowstring.

I think some bracers designed the right way would probably alleviate any problems though. I'm thinking just one big rectangle of leather, about 12" x 6", with leather straps coming off two corners, going through slots cut in the other two corners, and tied to each other. Should be easy enough to make, although I'm sure it's not "period". As long as it helps me shoot, and doesn't appear too out of period, I think that's what I'll do.

Now I just need to find some leather.

Spring MVC + Hibernate?

A couple months ago, when I was still working at CUCBC, Scott gave an awesome presentation called, I think "Java on Rails", that showed how Hibernate and JSF could be used to build simple webapps in Java almost as quickly as Rails allows you to do in Ruby. Today, a co-worker here just did a presentation on the Spring MVC framework, which looks very impressive.

I'm wondering again if I'll be able to find the time to put these tools to use building... well, I don't want to give it away. ;)

It looks like the general process is this:
1. Build out your database schema
2. Use in ant to create the hibernate mappings and POJOS:
<hibernatetool destdir="generated">
<jdbcconfiguration packagename="com.lewisd"
<hbm2cfgxml />
<hbm2hbmxml />
<hbm2java jdk5="true" />

3. Extend the POJOs with whatever finder/lookup methods you need, or put them in some other class maybe.
4. Use Spring MVC and the Spring Framework to tie everything together.

Apparently Spring MVC even has some cool stuff for doing "Wizards", as they're called. Complex forms.
I hear the tags it uses for forms wrap around regular HTML tags, rather than replacing them. Sounds interesting.

Daffodil Tourney

I'm quite looking forward to the SCA event this weekend, in Victoria. It's my first time at this event, and my first even this year. Apparently it takes place mostly in a sort of barn, in a field filled with daffodils.

I wasn't expecting there to be any archery, but it turns out there is some sort of prize shoot. I haven't even drawn my bow (well, my girlfriend's bow) since October or so. The practices move indoor for the winter months, and I just couldn't drag myself all the way out to Burnaby to shoot indoors.

I haven't decided yet if I'll actually enter the archery lists. Being so out of practice, and my last experience shooting while actually wearing proper SCA garb... it just gets in the way. I need proper bracers for both arms, to hold the baggy shirt sleeves tight against my arms so they don't get in the way of the bowstring.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Great vengeance and FURYous anger

About a month ago Sony added PvP (player-versus-player) to Everquest 2. I had stopped playing about 3 months prior to that, but the lure of PvP was just to great for me to resist. Since February 21st, I've been playing a evil-aligned Fury called Exiok Thunderpants on the Nagafen PvP server. It's the same class I played on the PvE (Player-versus-Environment) servers, but hey, who am I to mess with a good thing.

The PvP has been mostly entertaining so far. While it's sometimes frustrating to be trying to just get quests and such done, and having an opposing player jump out from behind every tree to kill you, the vengeance I've been able to wreak on those poor souls has been worth it.

I had one of my most enjoyable PvP experiences yet last night.

I was over in Antonica, the lands of the opposition closest to their city, just doing some quests while I waited for some friends to come with me to help wreak havoc on other players. While wandering around, I saw something moving in a straight line in the distance, quite quickly. NPCs don't move that way, so I clicked to see if it was one of my side, or the enemy. I was surprised to see that it was another Fury, on the opposing side, of the exact same level as myself. I dropped what I was doing immediately, and headed towards him. I was rather interested to see how an even 1-on-1 fight would go. That is, assuming he didn't have any friends with him.

I gave chase, but was a long ways behind, and not gaining any. I used my sprint for a little bit to catch up, but was careful not to let my sprint use up too much of my power, which would have left me weakened even before the battle.

At level 24, the Fury class does not have stealth, or invisibility, as some others do, so there's nothing we can do to hide from other except to use obstacles. We also don't have "tracking", the ability scouts have to track players and NPCs they can't see, but that are within a certain distance. Chasing this Fury, this meant to me that if he turned his camera around while running, he would see me, unless I used obstacles to hide. But using obstacles to hide too much would have slowed me down, so I only did a little bit. Thankfully, he never saw me.

He arrived at the teleportation spires, and talked to the gatekeeper to start the teleportation. Thankfully for me, I arrived before he teleported, and using the spires as cover, I got as close as possible before jumping out. Booya!

I used a debuf on him, an ability that decreases his wisdom stat, the most important stat for a Fury. He engaged me, and the fight was on. It lasted a while, almost a minute, as the Fury is a healer class, so we just kept healing ourselves, and attacking the other. In the end, I think the fact that I struck first won the day for me, but it was a close fight the whole time. At one point I thought I was done for, but I managed to heal myself in time.

Wow. I realize that was pretty long-winded, but I just had to share that experience.

Windows XP on Intel Macs

I have to say, this is some of the best news I've heard in a while. Ever since the first rumours of Apple switching to Intel, I've been craving a dual-boot powerbook. They're just such sexy hardware, with a great OS... it's a shame I can't play Everquest 2 on it. It looks like now I might be able to, if the driver situation works itself out. The forum is so swamped and slow I haven't been able to finish reading the thread to see how the ATI drivers are working out. For the time being, I'm quite happy with my Acer Ferrari 3200, but when it just won't cut it any more, I would love to replace it with a Macbook pro.

Here we are, born to be... bloggers?

Well, here it is, my entry into the world of blogging. Actually, this is my second entry, but my first one didn't last very long.

It feels somehow, I don't know, narcissistic? To think that I can put my thoughts into words that will have any import to anyone other than people who know me directly. But, having realized that, at least if those people read this, I'll have been able to share some of my entertaining or informative experiences.

A couple people have mentioned to me over the last few months that I should start a blog. I just waved it off at first, but for some reason the comments stuck in my head, and I've been unable to rid myself of them for the past few weeks. Hopefully this will satisfy whatever bizarre craving it is that's kept me thinking about blogs.

I think maybe reading slightly-less-random's blog was what finally pushed me over the edge. Damn you Ben. :)