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July 28th, 2010

Going all out

Today I've been working on a map of the Traipahni continent of Ah'Bahss, where the Duenicallo evolved. It has not been easy, and it's far from done yet. My first hurdle was that it was cut in half, half on each of the two world maps for Traipah. Second hurdle was that, because the two halves were curved away from each other and were at slightly different scales, stitching them together took some fiddling about with the size and tilt on GIMP.

Next challenge was that the original image was a scanned drawing. That predates my knowledge about the importance of Ah'Bahss, and other information about that continent. So it's been taking a lot of editing. But it has two huge plains-lands, which the Duenicallo evolved in one or both of them. There's also a bunch of forests, some mountains, some swamps, a desert, and something called "fire plains." Fire Plains are areas dominated by the Morph'Ohnii flower and a kind of tree whose name I forgot but I have written down somewhere. Both of these plants need fire to germinate. Only, the tree I mentioned evolved to speed up the process by producing fruits with flammable juices. Fires are frequent in the fire plains, but if you get enough rain and other stuff going on in the area, you could confuse fire plains with the normal plainslands if you don't know what to look for.

Anyway, what's all this effort doing the map for? Well, aside from potential future use, I'm also doing a short story set in Ah'Bahss, and the environment is VERY important to this story.

Oh yeah, one other thing. A first for Traipah. Ever since The Reformation 7000 years ago, big cities have been pretty much a no-no unless it was limited to pretty much dead land or land already ruined by previous habitation. Traipahni people tend to build villages or towns that are small and have domestic plants and animals in them, with walls to keep out some of the nastier wild things. But on Ah'Bahss there is now the largest urban area on Traipah, made up of three major cities, a bunch of suburbs, and some towns. I don't know how big it is, but it's the biggest urban area on Traipah.

Lovejoy

kengr and I have been watching this cool old British series called Lovejoy. It's pretty awesome. Lovejoy is an antiques dealer with a criminal past, trying to rebuild his reputation, with help from his apprentice Eric Catchpole and his friend Tinker Dill, and other friends. Lovejoy has a keen eye for catching hidden treasures, as well as for spotting fakes.

I think what I love the best about this series is that a frequent happening in the series is someone trying to con one of Lovejoy's friends or clients, or trying to frame Lovejoy for something criminal, and Lovejoy either helping bring them to justice or con the con artists in ways that give him plausible deniability. Tactics include feigning ignorance (like the last episode I saw, Eric seeming to be honest and humble about flaws that he pretended to worry needed to be fixed, when in fact those flaws made the baddy jump to the conclusion that it was a very valuable ______.) or playing the skeptic. Lovejoy is very good at playing the skeptic. :-) I love it when assholes, bullies, villains, and other horrible people get bested.

The only thing is, I might have to find this series on DVD and watch some of the episodes over again, because the plots are sometimes hard to follow. On several occasions the episode ended and I was like, "Wait, what happened?" But all in all, a fun series.

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Meat

On another site, some vegan was hating on meat eaters. I replied thusly:

I used to be a vegetarian, but I had to stop because my body wasn't getting enough protein. I switched to eating eggs, seafood, and dairy products with my veggies (pescatarian). My body still wasn't getting enough protein, because it couldn't process those proteins properly. I now eat red meat, pork, and poultry because my body needs meat to get enough protein. When I was a vegetarian, I was hungry every hour or two despite eating big meals no matter how many nuts and other plant protein sources I ate because my body just can't process plant protein. It can't process eggs or seafood very well, either; I was less often hungry as a pescatarian, but not by much. Even now, when my stomach is growling in the morning, it will keep complaining if I try to give it carbs or veggies. A slice of lunch meat or other meat is all that will silence it.

The basic truth of humanity is that humans are omnivores. If we hadn't eaten meat, it's unlikely we would have evolved to be very smart. Herbivores are generally not too bright; they really don't NEED to be very intelligent.

Oh so cool

I spent hours earlier writing. Most of it was character development and becoming familiar with the lifeforms of Ah'Bahss. I am once more impressed by the stuff coming out of my imagination. I'd say more, but that would give away too much. But these poor people are NOT going to have a good experience on Traipah. But damn, the journey will be awesome for the readers. :-D

EDIT: Ha! In something like 5 minutes I just cranked out a picture of the Hkiith'yarrat, one of the predators of Ah'Bahss. They're large pack hunters that look a little like lean, mean, pigs with eyes that swivel around like chameleon eyes. Though I'm not entirely pleased with how it turned out.

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