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Senatorial Travel Allowance

Andrew Long - November 5 '03- 03:02 Eastern Daylight-Savings Time

I HAD TO LAUGH LIKE HELL, as my favorite author was once known to cause a character to remark repeatedly, that for some reason a decision involving $87.5B warranted the vast majority of the US Senate taking leave of its cajones and sitting uneasily by as the remaining six of its membership with enough steel or at least political security (or lack thereof, I suppose), the brazen few, made the decision that, in essence, would be the same no matter what. Call me crazy, but I think there's a certain complicity involved there, regardless of whether these old men were off sunning their nether regions on the roof of the Capitol building or keeping the seats warm.

Still if this sort of thing is possible then maybe bribing the Senate is easier than I thought. Now, if only I had some sort of giant death ray I wanted to legalize and didn't also have to worry about the remaining two branches of the American government, to say nothing of the Canadian Parliament which I hear can look really spooky when it hangs fake cobwebs on the clock tower during Halloween. Heck, a kid even fainted once when he caught sight of our Prime Minister, who after all does rather look as though he's been dead a few years, so I bet cowing them would be trickier than it sounds from the outside.

Halloween, however, is a thing of the past, as television misses no opportunity to remind me with its sudden deluge of Christmas Moments and Ford Trucks pulling other Ford Trucks that no longer work but were once used to pull giant ships through Arctic Ice so the seals could arrive at the Snow Ball on time (yes, that's the clever sort of Canadian wit that dominates our social gatherings! You haven't lived until you've been to a Loyal Order of Moose chapterhouse and done something that involves a similarly terrible pun, and although I haven't I certainly hope writing this gets some sort of Shriner Death Army mobilized and headed to my house.)

So anyway, yeah. I remember back in the day when "Canadian Winter" ads got stuck in between Halloween and Christmas, because you can never have enough snow tires in a land where snow allegedly flies in the sunny afternoons of mid-July. Those were ads in the day when ads could be proud to be called ads, and not from the "Hey, I know... Annoying the hell out of people works just as well as being clever, and doesn't even require good writing! HUZZAH!" era we know and love today. Yes, they had bald guys spouting purported dry humour and computer mock ups of ice committing suicide at the prospect of being tread upon by luscious rubber, and remember, this was before computer graphics were even used to make Bob's Discount Flea Market look like it might possibly contain a mascot that looks vaguely like a happy cat selling mail-order brides from Uzbekistan!

So before you set your TV on fire this pre-pre Christmas season, stop and take a minute to think about the tires! The-tires!!! WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE TIRES?!!!



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Fallen from grace, apparently


Ack! I decided to get FFXI. I never thought that would ever happen, but it did. You're gonna join me in hell, and give FFXI a shot, right Andrew? Right!?

Any news on a release date for Xenosaga 2?

- Thor

I am already blazing in my own merry little personal fire, located within the leafy confines of Windurst, not to be mistaken for Fred Durst. I'm a little Tarutaru black mage and just so that nobody else asks, I will not, in fact, "suck off" characters taller than myself.

Now that the one thing I was dreading has happened (a giant lamer has been gigantically lame in-game, thus breaking character and ruining the magic and all that jazz) I'm actually liking FFXI. It's pretty much Everquest with a shiny chocobo-based coat of paint, but hey, those old rat-hunting jokes were getting old anyway, so now everyone can bemoan the joys of striking down bumblebees in their prime. Let me tell you, they give "buzz saw" a whole new meaning, ahaha HA! I'll be here all week..

But seriously, folks, why on earth do you think we hoard information? I mean, I've heard all that fun stuff about knowledge being power, which I hear totally pissed off Strength and Charisma, but once they contract Constitution to perform a drive-by saving throw against death, I think we can all agree that it would be silly for RPGamer to sit on news. Scoops didn't become desirable because they involve taking your sweet time, and suffice it to say, any important news gets posted immediately, with less significant items ASAP thereafter.

Which is a really long-winded way of saying no, no I haven't got any.

No, here's the part where I insert my hatred: HATEHATEHATEHATE


Things are looking up this week. FFX-2 (although I know your gripes..) will be realeased one month earlier, and the "Eternal Calm" will be released as a demo in the Official PS magazine. (here's the part where you insert all you hate about FFX-2) Anywho...I actually played my games since like...2 weeks ago. Which was...well...maybe last week.. So on with the story!! I attempted to beat both Emerald and Ruby Weapons in FFVII, but even with high levels, ultimate weapons, maxed limit breaks, and great materia (including KotR), I still lost all 500 or so times.. Ah well, I'll have to wait for another sleepless Saturday...

Come what may,

O' Shrouded One

Eh, if you can see that opening video and not be utterly repulsed, then good riddance ^_^


Since I won't remember later, you get an answer to Google's column. Publishers get the rights to sequels, because in almost every supply-chain I can think of, the closer you are to the consumer, the more clout you end up having. Imagine if Square tried to sell their games to people using nothing except their own channels. No dice. So they license out to, probably, some big distribution company, which in turn distributes the games to the stores who distribute it to you. The stores pretty much (not always) have an 'I can return any product for any reason policy'. At least the larger ones like Wal-Mart or Target do. The distributors are going to have to make money, though, or else they'll eat the returns, so they're going to charge Square a little more for each CD they distribute, and they're going to maybe have some sort of indemnity clause about selling fewer than XXX units.

So, then, the reverse holds true. Square is a bad example, because as far as I know, they own most of their developers. But other companies, like EA or Virgin or whoever, are going to try to find some way of taking all the crap that the distributors give to them, and shove it off on someone else. So part of that is, that when the developer sells their product to the publisher, the publisher gets complete and sole right to the game. I'm sure it's challengeable in a court, but it's one of those great sorts of things where whoever can afford the more expensive lawyers (the publisher) is more than likely going to win.

Actually Square's a really bad example, because they own pretty much everything throughout their development chain, at least in Japan where they have significant interest in the DigiCube stores. That said, I can see your point,, although I doubt anyone was seriously contesting it. It's just a really lousy reality which occasionally results in sheer horror like FFX-2.

The fabled multiparter

Dear Andrew,

First, how did Google get his job back? Was there a petition to get him back on RPGamer or something similar to that?

RPGamer does not accept petitions of any kind, nor have we since the venerable Andrew Vestal was kicking around. How did he get his job back? He said, "Hey, Mikel. Can I have my job back?"

Poetry in motion, my friend. Poetry in motion... Although I do believe there was a sizeable list of people irked at his departure.

Second, do you know if there is any mumbling of a third Lunar game in the works at all?

There was a Lunar 3 (or at least a third Lunar game), but Working Designs can continue to pummel the first two into worse submission than Street Fighter, so why bother bringing over the third?

Third, I must confess this is not my first time writing a letter to your prestigious site. I wrote in under Huge Dreamer and KaPowie K1 and Neo-Omega K1, but since all those web addresses are now defunct, I want to get back in becoming a fan of your website again and put all the stupidity I created under those past identities behind me and start over. What do you say?

I hold a flask of whisky in my giant donkey teeth and look longingly towards the wedding cake on the table over there. Nevertheless, I respect your decision, regardless of whether I need some fuel for me mule., some gas for me ass.

Finally, what is the best way for a huge fan of your website like me to show I like the website? Review RPGs, write a fanfic, draw fan art, or something else?

Thanks for your time.


All of the above, of course. Oh, and send me money.

He are sick.


I notice that in RPGs, particularly Square RPGs, everyone says "At this Rate, so and so and so". They don't actually say so and so and so, I just put that in to emphasize that they would say something after "At this Rate" and not just leave you hanging until the end of disk one where you find out that everyone is related and that the main bad guy is actually the second-hand-man to another even more bad bad guy.

I realize this isn't really a question so I guess my question is "Whats up with that?" (referring to my reference of mentioning that everyone says "At this Rate" and then some other stuff.) Is that what all the cool kids in Japan say or something?

For Halloween I went as the Dude from Big Lebowskii and my friend went as Walter. They had candy there but it wasn't very good. I'm about to fight my brother in Final Fantasy Tactics

Hasta Luego

Tad Ghostal

I do believe that particular expression falls under the category of "Things Translators Think People Say But They Really Don't But They've Been Putting Them In Since Astroboy So Why Stop Now", which also includes such gems as adding "You know?" to the end of every sentence (perhaps in mute protest to "ne?") and "Tortured Thieves," who we must all pray for after that unfortunate tiger incident in Vegas for some reason. Be sure to defeat your brother soundly, for at this rate, great shame will fall upon you should you fail to succeed, you know?


You've all been bad, reticent little monkies this weekend, so no quickies for you. Instead, I challenge you to a duel at high noon, which will involve me printing every letter you throw my way, even if it's not about a topic, which would be pretty pointless to make up at this particular flow of mail.

Sorry to complain, I just feel somehow cheap when I only post five letters. Then again, there's probably still those of you who aren't a big fan of my occasionally lengthy columns, so I guess you win this time. Anyhow, I really shouldn't end so very many paragraphs with sentences starting with "Anyhow", but them's the breaks, kiddo. Besides, now this one doesn't so we can all sleep soundly, cuz everything is all right.
Andrew Long feels better, the pigs have won tonight.



The Leafs, too! And they're the ones that really make me feel better ^^

The Mark of tuinte
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