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February 29, 2004

Black Talon is Moving

Over the past few hours, I've made updates to the website of my Heavy Gear: Black Talon campaign, including a post-get-together status update, info on the Black Talon Brain Trust and the guidelines I wrote for my players when creating their characters.

Check 'em out one time, won't you?

The Josef K Memorial Glee Club

Sounds like the name of a dodgy movie, doesn't it? If you agreed with me, you'd be close; in fact, it's the name of a site for a bunch of USyd lit-cinema students who enjoyed the experience so much, they watch and critique movies on their own, without any external incentive (like tests and gradings)!

It's a little sparse at the moment, but very professionally laid out. Boots is hosting it on his OptusNet web space, much as the Cazman is his. In fact, the reason I'm posting this is because Boots razzed me out last night for putting a post up for Cazman's site and not his. Well here it is, Boots! Happy now?

Oh, I suppose you want me to actually link to it, don't you? Well, fine! Here you go! We'll see who's laughing when your little site crashes from sheer volume of traffic, won't we?

February 26, 2004

Evil Dead 2

It seems to be a week of resurrections in the RPG industry. Just days after Gav tells me Paranoia is to be reborn in a new edition, I surf over to R. Talsorian Games' website and discover that Firestorm Ink have licensed the CyberGeneration game line, and are working on a new adventure book!

Here's hoping we see not only new material, but also the finishing up and publishing of the ISA Sourcebook and Generation Gap.

Couple o' Things Today, Ladies...

Firstly: One of the things I forgot to take off my hard drive before the reformat was my ICQ contact list. I've signed back in under my ID, so that's no problem; I just don't have an up-to-date list of names.

So if I pop up on your ICQ contact list, can you send me a request to add you to mine, please?

Secondly: The Cazman has finally turned word into action and made himself a proto-website! He's learning HTML and how to manipulate photos right now, but what he has (best viewed 1280x1024 maximised) is pretty damned good!

Being the righteous dude he is, he's given me some linkage. I'll have to return the favour - maybe set up a Friends header in the Links section.

February 25, 2004

I'm Back.

This missive is to let you all know that I've successfully rebuilt my PC, and can now access my regular e-mail address via my regular e-mail client. So you can stop using the AliensCP one!

Assuming you have been using the AliensCP one...

February 24, 2004

Classic Fear and Ignorance, All-New User-Unfriendly Interface!

My man Gav has already broached this bit of excellent news to the IMAGinewS group, but I thought I'd better post it for all to read: that classic roleplaying game of a darkly humourous future, Paranoia, is on its way back to gaming store shelves everywhere in a brand-new edition!

The Creators of the First and Second Editions, Greg Costikyan and Eric Goldberg, are re-uniting to write what's tentatively titled PARANOIA XP, and will be joined by Allen Varney and Aaron Allston, with kvetching from Ken Rolston, Line Developer for Paranoia back in the West End Games days. The new edition, whatever it's called, will be published by Mongoose Publishing, those loveable lads and lasses from Swindon, Wiltshire, UK (where Roger lives, the lucky bastard).

Although precise details will be hammered out on the Paranoia XP Developer's Blog hosted by Costikyan, the crew will do for Paranoia what classic fans wish Richard Hatch had been given the chance to do for Battlestar Galactica: ignore the crap bits of continuity (the Crash, the ReBoot, the Fifth Edition) and take the game back to its satirical roots while ensuring relevance to the modern world. In Greg Cokstikyan's own words: "Spam. Viruses. Identify theft. Digital rights management. 'Trusted computing.' Weapons of mass destruction.

"Paranoia: Now more than ever."

Also, the crew are foregoing any attempt to shoehorn Paranoia into the D20 System, opting instead to stick with "a modified and simplified version of PARANOIA's second edition rules [which] do use a 20-sided die". Your Friend And Mine puts it perfectly: "PARANOIA is fun. D20 games are not fun. The Computer says so. PARANOIA's second edition rules were, of course, perfect. The new PARANOIA XP expunges certain imperfections introduced by subversive elements, and will be even more perfect."

Gav wrote, "I'm so happy I could cry." While I share the sentiment, I'm sure he'll agree that crying is treason, which is punishable by summary execution, and so we both shall remain within the guidelines laid down by Our Friend, The Computer for the expression of happiness - which, after all, is mandatory.

Are you happy, Citizen?

(Footnote: This'll really hike the going price of my 2nd Edition set on eBay - if I wanted to get rid of them, of course...)

Building Back Up

Well, I've got the trickiest part of rebuilding my PC - swapping all the hardware over onto the new motherboard - out of the way, and the PC is now booting up at the hardware level (which goes to show what one slip of a pair of pliers can do to a computer). However, just as predicted, Windows XP isn't loading. Most likely, the motherboard drivers Windows XP installed at the last setup don't like the new mobo, and as they're pretty much the foundations of Windows XP's interaction with the hardware, there's not much I can do short of a full reformat and rebuild.

Before I take that drastic step, though, I want to copy all of my data off my hard drive and onto Vickie's PC. This means taking the hard drive out of my PC, setting it up as a slave on hers (much as her old drive is right now - in fact, as Vickie hasn't mentioned any gaps between the stuff on it and the stuff on her current HDD, I can pretty much take her old HDD out safely) and copying the data I want to keep across, dragging it back over across the network once I've put the basic WinXP build on my hard drive.

After stuffing around with my motherboard and bits tonight, I think I'll leave that for tomorrow.

And I thought running Heavy Gear was intimidating...

Wil Wheaton is preparing to do something he hasn't done in 19 years: Run a Dungeons & Dragons game.

He's also preparing to do something he's never done before, and really badly wants to not screw up: Run a Dungeons & Dragons game for his two step-sons.

He's run into the inevitable scheduling conflicts a GM has when organising a game, but with any luck, he'll be able to get things rolling next week.

At least he only has two players. :-D

February 21, 2004

Off the Air

Last night, in an effort to get all of the computer stuff out of the way before Dan rocked over (and because I knew we'd be too busy today preparing for the market tomorrow), I tried putting the fanless chipset heat sink on my motherboard. Unfortunately, in doing so, I managed to scratch the underside of the board, and now my PC refuses to boot up.

Thankfully, I do have a spare motherboard, and considering my other components, I shouldn't have much, if any, of a performance hit using it. Still, as it's a change in motherboard, Windows XP will probably throw a tantie, necessitating a rebuild (again).

So for the moment, I'm off the air (I'm posting this from Vickie's PC), which means I won't be checking e-mail regularly (I can get to it via Yahoo, it's just a pain in the arse to do so).

By the way: I vaguely remember loaning my Animatrix DVD to someone, but I can't remember whom. Is it one of you? And if so, can I have it back soon, please? (If it's you, Gav, I'll give you back The Gamers at the same time.)

February 20, 2004

A Couple of Vickie-Related Items

I've already posted the details of our FantaC Jewellery stall at the Frenchs Forest Markets over on Vickie's website. Please rock on along; we'll be there from 8 AM until 1 PM.

Also, as of the beginning of March, Vickie's work shifts will be changing to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This means we'll have Friday night free to hook up with you cats, should you wish to dash out and do something (that includes the Noodle Market, Boots)!

February 18, 2004

Indier Than Thou

Apologies for MC Frontalot for stealing his song title for my post title, but I seem to be doing pretty well with independent RPG writers on the linkage front. You've already read about das linkage to Cars Needs Women! by Jared Sorensen, and the acceptance of das character sheet for Lacuna by same.

Well, I sent the URL for my Wushu Guide to The Matrix Optional Rules to Dan Bayn, and he was so impressed that - guess what - he put a link to them on the Wushu Guide to The Matrix home page.

Not bad, eh?

On other news, I finally have Vickie's new case buttoned up. The fan filters, cables and North-bridge fanless heat sink finally arrived from PC Case Gear. One filter and the 3-pin to molex fan connector went into Vickie's PC, and I have another filter and the Northbridge heat sink yet to go into my beast, probably on Friday or Saturday. While doing the work on Vickie's PC, I discovered which RAM stick has been giving us so much trouble lately - even with two 256MB RAM sticks, Vickie's PC was only reporting 384 MB RAM present. This I took to be a bad sign, so I did some trial-and-error swapping of the sticks to find out which one was causing the trouble (the oldest, a generic 256MB stick of PC2100 RAM) and took the offending stick out.

That left Vickie with only 256MB, which can be a little slim when you're running Neverwinter Nights. As you just can't get PC2100 RAM any more, I've ordered a single stick of 512MB PC2700 RAM from EYO, along with a set of cheap Creative 2.1 speakers. I've mentioned a new set of speakers on and off to Vickie, and she's never really been interested, so I've not pursued it too much - but while I was re-connecting her peripherals after transferring her stuff to the new case, I noticed that the right speaker (which has the power connection and the input cable from the PC) would blow sparks from its power port whenever I plugged the power cable in. This I took to be another bad sign, so I'm bloody well replacing them - they must be five years old by now, at least.


Hey...the things you find out by reading your partner's website!

Apart from doing what you've already done to my machine, now I find out that I'm going to have my other problems with it fixed.

Thank you darling.


Posted by: Vickie at February 19, 2004 12:29 AM

:-) I was waiting for you to notice it last night, but it looks as though you hadn't read the e-mail before I crashed !

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 19, 2004 06:51 AM

February 17, 2004

Wushu Guide To The Matrix: Optional Rules

The Optional Rules for A Wushu Guide to the Matrix have now moved here.

Old Comments

By the way, I am now (thanks, Gav) fully aware of Steve Darlington's competing product ( http://www.azathot.com/steved/roleplaying/rules/MatrixRPG.pdf ). Frankly, even though Steve's Australian also, I honestly prefer Dan's system (especially with my tweaks above). Steve's game, though, is still worth reading for his advice for getting that Matrix ethos into your game.

Either way, as both games are free, I'd say get your mitts on both and make your own call.

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 18, 2004 09:05 PM

I also don't know what Steve's problem is with a player giving their character the handle "Chupacabra." I like it. It's got a ring to it.

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 20, 2004 01:40 PM

The Version 1.2 changes include material on the Special Trait of Exiles, an expanded example on how Zen, sysop rights and Altered Code work and various error fixes and minor re-writes so that things make more sense.

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 23, 2004 12:51 PM

I also stumbled across a third roleplaying adaptation of The Matrix. It's a little unfinished and needs polish, but can be found here: http://infiniteshadow.net/rpg/matrixrpg.shtml

It takes a more "straight" roleplaying approach to The Matrix, which I think is detrimental, especially cconsidering Dan and Steve's pared-down efforts.

Posted by: IMAGinES at March 8, 2004 08:17 PM

Chez Geek On The Brain

While you're here, I'd just like to point you to a post from late last year that's seeing an unusual amount of comment traffic. I've had Chez Geek card idea posts from at least two people who I've never heard of before, including a complete new Job card!

Heck, if you have any card ideas for Chez Geek, why not put a comment in yourself?

February 15, 2004

All RPGed Out

I realised something earlier this afternoon while reading an e-mail from Dan. At the moment, it looks as though Vickie and I are going to be involved in three roleplaying campaigns:

  • Gav's Star Wars: Jedi Academy campaign is approaching readiness. After a few hiccups with organising venue (finally settling on our place), most of us have characters ready to go, and Gav's seriously talking about a start date.
  • Dan has announced that his Bubblegum Crisis campaign is almost fully written, and he's expecting to kick off in late March/early April. Although his players have concepts by and large, no-one's sat down to put characters together - mainly because, out of all of us, Dan's the only one with the HERO System rulebook.
  • And, of course, Heavy Gear: Black Talon looks to be coming out of hiatus. My players and I are getting together with a prospective new player on the Saturday week, and with any luck, we'll be able to get the final training session out of the way sometime in the next month or two.

This is, quite lierally, going to be the most roleplaying I've ever done, and I've been in the hobby for about eleven years. As for Vickie...

I am Jared Sorensen's bitch.

UPDATE 23 March 04: Jared's taken what I was pointing you toward - my home-brew Lacuna character sheet - and posted the Official Character Sheet from his upcoming Print Version of Lacuna I. I like the new one; not only does it still use some elements from the one I cooked up, but the layout in general is much nattier.

Original Post:
Take a look at the Lacuna web page. Over there, on the bottom right.

See what I mean?

February 11, 2004

Galactica Goes Green

Well, ladies and gentlefolks, it's official: SciFi Channel has announced the green-lighting of thirteen hour-long episodes of the new Battlestar Galactica. Some of the principals - Edward James Olmos (Adama), Jamie Bamber (Apollo), Aaron Douglas (Tyrol) - had already announced via e-mails and fansites that their contracts had been picked up, and from the official announcements, it seems that Mary McDonnell (Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) and Tricia Helfer (Number Six) will also be back.

Vickie and I find this good news, as we did enjoy the pilot. For those of you who are wondering, I have seen all of the original first season, including the pilot, and while it was fun, and I would see a continuation if one were made, I have no objection to the remake's darker direction going to series.

Hot Seat Game Mastering: My Thoughts

I stayed out of it mainly because of time commitments, but partly because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of switching GMs in a traditional RPG campaign. I felt, considering the emphasis most business-making RPGs place on character building and adventure / campaign construction, that everyone would have too much invested in their game roles to readily switch. Also, swapping the starring characters in and out on a regular basis is an obvious break in the campaign’s continuity. (Before you say anything about having the GM run the character, what’s the point when the GM was only just playing the character?)

Lately, though, with all the downloading of indie RPGs I’ve been doing – and wondering when I’d actually get the chance to play in or run them – I’ve been thinking about Boots’ idea. I called him last night, and we talked it over some more. His immediate thought was octaNe (probably because I’ve been harping on about it of late) and while it’s definitely fast and loose enough, it’s too freeform and zany. There’s also little incentive in the mechanics or setting to run a campaign.

Instead, I suggested InSpectres and Lacuna. The “franchise” mechanics in InSpectres give incentive and meat for ongoing campaigns, and the fact that players earn experience for the franchise whilst only healing themselves back to starting levels means they’d be more willing to set their characters aside for a session. Lacuna has a similar sense of structure for its sessions to InSpectres, although it’s nowhere near as hard and fast, and the complete-yet-incomplete nature of the setting would allow different GMs to bring a different spin to what may or may not really be going on – the stronger concepts and plot threads could then be woven into something almost Babylon 5-esque. The “mission” or “job” structure in both games would allow for changes in players and GMs between sessions with little damage to campaign credibility.

I think Boots’ original idea is more adversarial, though. As I understand it, he saw each player having three “criteria”, and when all of a player’s criteria are met by the game master, that player becomes game master while the original game master picks up his or her character sheet and enters the campaign as a player (until, of course, his or her criteria are met). While the GM is trying to steer the adventure toward meeting his or her players’ criteria so he or she can stop being GM, the players are also trying to steer away from those criteria so they don’t have to be GM.

It’s an experiment that’s likely worth trying (a) just to see if it would work and (b) because no one else has yet. Still, I have the feeling that, once the novelty wore off, the regular musical chairs act would be jarring and ultimately detrimental to the fun. I had something closer to a round-robin rotation between sessions in mind, and I’m also not particularly adversarial when it comes to roleplaying games – maybe because I’m used to having my arse kicked in things like Crimson Skies.

Anyway, Boots ‘n’ me’ll have a chat about it soonish. God knows; maybe we’ll be able to surprise Jared Sorensen by actually getting a Lacuna campaign off the ground!

February 10, 2004

Hubble, Hubble, Toil and Trouble

Okay, okay, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist - well, actually, I'm not sorry, and I could've resisted, but I didn't. I have a good excuse, though: an interesting article on the potential death of the Hubble Space Telescope, written by Wil McCarthy, author of such SF titles as Bloom (which I've read, and it's very funky) and The Collapsium (which I've not read). Is Hubble really worth the trouble of saving, or do existing alternatives allow us to ditch it in favour of new Moon and Mars initiatives?

Lacuna and Lawnmowers

After the thunder and rain of a couple of weeks ago, the heat has moved in. It was thirty-eight degrees at midday in Sydney yesterday, one of those times I was thankful for an air-conditioned office to hide in.

First off, good news: I called Aunt Heather in the UK on Sunday night, and Grandma is in hospital, but feeling better. It turns out she’d broken her leg, not her hip (phew), and she didn’t fall; the leg had already been weakened by an earlier bump and picked that moment in the driveway to give way on her. The doctors have put a plate into her, and I think they’re keeping her in for recovery and observation right now.

Vickie and I spent most of the weekend in the garden. An encounter with a tree root stuffed our lawnmower, so I made a dash down to Bunnings Warehouse to buy a new one – and in keeping with the overall fitness kick right now, I picked up a push-mower. Vickie went absolutely nuts on the front and back garden beds, removing the honeysuckle that was growing on (and pushing over) the back fence and cutting our bougainvillea plant back. We filled bags of garden waste, which will probably have to wait until the next cleanup day before we can get rid of them.

Out of interest, I put together a Lacuna character sheet and play summaries for players and GMs, even though I’ll probably never run the game (yes, I’ve been bored lately). I like its premise; that the players are hunting the dark side of human nature through a dream-city of the collective unconscious. It’s one of those games that inspires ideas for campaign rather than handing plot hooks to the GM, and that’s thanks in the main to a setting that’s only semi-complete. Nonetheless, the only thing this game needs to be fully run-able is your imagination; once you start asking questions about the topics the game only touches on, you come up with all kinds of broad themes and adventure ideas.

Interestingly enough, considering Jared Sorensen wrote it, it’s not an iSystem roleplaying game. On the other hand, the iSystem winds up in Jared’s more extensive RPGs (like octaNe and InSpectres) and this one’s only fifteen pages long. Still, the system for this is appropriate for its subject matter. Overall, Lacuna is good quality for what’s essentially a free RPG, and packs a lot of meat into its fifteen pages.

On the topic of octaNe, I think our Dan has had some serious inspiration for a session. When he’ll organise it, I’m not sure, but I think it’ll be soon.

And still on the gaming front, I’m organising a get-together for my Heavy Gear: Black Talon players on the 28th of February. That “development” I mentioned a while ago? Boots has a friend who’s never played a roleplaying game before, but is keen to get involved. Apparently Boots has been doing a good job of selling Black Talon to her, because he described her as “pumped” when I called him this morning (yes, he's back from a week of excess in Byron). The 28th is going to be more of a get-to-know-you thing, whilst giving the existing players a refresher after a four-month-or-so hiatus. (Which reminds me, Boots: are you ever going to do that report or shall I just write something?) We may also guide our prospective player through the process of making a character. With any luck, we'll get that final training session out of the way in March, and then the campaign can begin in earnest...

I still have that Music in Gaming article to finish. I’ll get stuck into it this evening after dinner.

Old Comments

Hehe! I bought a Flymo push mower from Thornleigh Bunnings on Sunday.

Cute little thing... Light-weight, Affordable, Instructions were amusing, yet comprehendable... Went home via my Dad's place, and gave it a test run there down the back...

My arms hurt.

Posted by: Lauren at February 13, 2004 06:31 PM

Just keep at it, Lauren: your biceps will be bloody 'ooge in no time!

Not that mine are yet, but still...

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 13, 2004 08:24 PM


No, it's my forearms and wrists that are stiff and twisted.
No bulging muscles either, but I do have a nice tan line, and a hatred of dandelions.

Posted by: Lauren at February 18, 2004 05:39 PM

February 07, 2004

General February Update

We've been hoping to get Vickie's jewellery business up and running, and Lesley has helped us organise a stall at the Frenchs Forest Markets. The problem is, it's the twenty-second - the day immediately after the planned Battlestar Galactica/Red Vs. Blue day. Getting ready for the markets is going to eat into Saturday, and if we want to get enough sleep, we can't stay up late.

So, after my ranting and raving in that posting a few weeks ago, it looks like it's time I ate my words - I'm cancelling the Battlestar Galactica day. If you're still interested in organising it sometime later, gimme a hoy.

I also got a phone call from Mum yesterday mornig; my Gran in the UK had a fall in her driveway and broke her hip. She's in hospital at the moment, andfrom the sounds of things, she hasn't been feeling too good lately. Vickie and I got her some flowers and chocolates, and we'll give my aunt Heather a call tonight.

In lighter news, I've been keeping an eye on a mysterious project Jared Sorensen (Mr. Memento Mori) has been working on, called Lacuna. It's premiered in Daedalus, a new online roleplaying e-zine, and it looks like a really spun-out little RPG. You can download the issues (as PDF files) for free from the Daedalus website (although they do accept PayPal donations), so you can check it out easily.

Dan popped over this evening, and we played some Crimson Skies. I didn't have the utter meltdown that I did the last time we played, and I actually had a fairly solid game, but the dice let me down once or twice. At the beginnign of (I think) the fourth turn, Dan had lost one plane of five, whereas two of my five were down, including my ace, and one was Shaken. I conceded then.

Gav's still organising his Star Wars campaign, although we've yet to settle on a venue. He's organised six players, and while half of us live around the Hornsby area, the other half and Gav are much closer to the city. So we'll have to sort something out.

Old Comments

Can we make it on an odd saturday so I'm not sleep dep please?

Posted by: Lauren at February 7, 2004 09:41 AM

February 02, 2004

Scientific Exploration, My Arse (... actually, Church's)

This evening, I direct you to the newest Public Service Announcement from the gentlemen at Red Vs. Blue - actually, it's more of a cry for help.

We didn't wind up going to Ned & Joe's yesterday, as they weren't home from Crescent Head yet. Instead, I nipped out to pick up some supplies, then dropped over Mum & Dad's for a while, where I introduced them to the wonderment that is Red Vs. Blue. Strangely, they didn't seem impressed, alhtough it was the first episode and things had yet to really warm up (it also helps if you're familiar with those odd little gaming paradoxes known as first-person shooter multiplayer arenas).

Or perhaps they're just Philistines. (And in case you read this, Mum: ;-D )

I also nipped out to Dan and Lesley's to grab my Revised Edition Star Wars D20 rulebook. Gav's working on his Jedi Academy campaign, and is keen to kick off as soon as some details get ironed out - like characters and where we're going to play. While I was there, Dan showed me this amazing Excel spreadsheet that some German lunatic has come up with; it's a character sheet generator that outputs its results in a form surprisingly similar to the official Star Wars character sheet. You can download it in .zip form from here.

And not only does it give you a character sheet, it also gives you a supplement-style stat block, in either plain text or HTML. Here's my character so far, and all I had to do was select the "Stat Block" worksheet after putting the figures in.

Dessen Tass: Male Gungan Soldier 1; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Defense +15 (+3 class, +2 Dex); Spd 10 m; VP/WP 13/16; Atk+3 ranged (3d8/19-20 or DC 15 stun, Blaster carbine, range 20 m) or -1/-1 ranged (3d8/19-20, Blaster carbine with Multifire, range 20 m); SQ Hold Breath, Low-Light Vision; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will -1; SZ M; FP 2; Rep 0; Str 13, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 10, Challenge Code A.

Equipment: Blast helmet, vest (DR 2).

Skills: Computer Use +1, Demolitions +2, Knowledge (tactics) +1, Knowledge (world lore) +1, Pilot +4, Repair +2, Ride +4, Treat Injury +2.

Feats: Armor Proficiency (light), Force Sensitive, Weapon Group Proficiency (blaster pistols), Weapon Group Proficiency (blaster rifles), Weapon Group Proficiency (heavy weapons), Weapon Group Proficiency (simple weapons), Weapon Group Proficiency (vibro weapons).

That's just bloody excellent!

Oh, and while we're on the topic of Games, Vickie's gone and got herself hooked on a new web game from our old friends at Popcap (who've just recently revamped their site, too). It's called Zuma, and right now, she's trying to get me hooked on it as well!

Old Comments

I've made a couple of changes to the write-up since it was posted. Dessen originally had the Force skill, Enhance Ability at +1. As Gav doesn't want anyone starting with Force powers, I've moved the rank to Knowledge (tactics). Also, in keeping with the Soldier class, I swapped the scores of Strength and Dexterity over. The derived scores and skills have been adjusted accordingly. (God, I love that spreadsheet.)

Posted by: IMAGinES at February 3, 2004 11:48 AM

February 01, 2004

Poor Little Bugger...

You'd think that Halo would be one of the more popular games in this household. I'm sure you're as surprised as I was to find out that's not the case.

You see, Vickie likes the Grunts. She becomes quite upset when I run around as the Master Chief, blowing the poor little guys away. The fact they're part of a genocidal alien coalition intent on the destruction of the Human Race makes no difference; they're just those little cute guys who I'm always so mean to.

Ergo, I've found the perfect birthday present for her.