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First Post · 6244 days ago

Welcome all to the new (and improved) Memoirs of a Novice. This is one of my few projects that I’ve really neglected, so I thought it would be kind of nice to revamp the project and give it another go.

For my previous visitors, the site will be functioning much the same as before with stories of those moments in our lives when we realize that ourselves (or some other individual) has been blundering through life with no regard for the rest of us, but somehow quites through the end of the day without a meeting between anvil and head.

As for my new visitors, this site is an old hobby/project that I (Josh Ricart) started many years ago when I realized I’d like to share some of the stories and my blunders (though few as they were). I’m a professional web developer and currently manage a small company in Miami that deals in heavy equipment sales (that would be those big machines used to build your homes).

So then, much like my previous site’s welcome message…
“We may not have a fireplace and some hot cocoa waiting for you, but we’ll offer some attentive listeners.”

— Josh Ricart

Comment [1]

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My Community Service Lie · 7081 days ago

In the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year I was informed that the Red Cross was a new, fun way to help out the community. While in the club I participated in a few school spirit activities, and I even visited an orphanage during the holiday break among other community related events. We would meet once a week on Wednesdays and give our thoughts on how we can make the community better, or give suggestions on how to make the school better. While not all suggestions where transformed into events and activities we would still give our thoughts.
During the first month of the club’s opening we participated in a “Red Cross Picnic” where we raised money for future activities and even tried out a few games for a future event. The future event was “Gater Growl,” modeled after the University of Miami’s “Gater Growl.” While UM’s “Gater Growl” is a giant pep rally where the entire school participates, our “Gater Growl” was a weeklong competition among all the clubs in the school. The events that were suggested and practiced during the picnic were then reviled and after the week was up three clubs were chosen. Even though it is a competition sponsored by our club we only received third place.
About a week ago a small group of us participated in giving out blankets and comforters to the homeless in Downtown Miami. Our club sponsor drove us there, and we were received with open arms. Only one incident accord, in which when the trunk was opened a group of homeless people showed up and took one bag filled with comforters and disappeared into the dark. The other two bags were taken into the homeless shelter and handed out evenly. I felt glad that night, because it was an abnormal 40 degrees out that night. I believe that we helped many people that night.
My most memorable memory while in the Red Cross is going to the orphanage to deliver Christmas toys to the children. We had collected toys from within our group, and even from some outside sources, for weeks. By the time we got there we had three large boxes filled to the brim with toys. The children’s faces were light with happiness when they saw what we had brought them. It was a bit hectic at first, but after order was restored we handed out the toys trying to make sure that every child got his share. After they played with their toys for a while we gave them an even bigger surprise. We had brought some extra items with us, and after unloading them from the car we explained to the kids that we would be playing games with them. We played games that were featured in “Gater Growl” like Mummy Relay, Tug of War, and a Water Balloon toss. I believe we gave the children a memory that they will not soon forget.
All in this entire club has made many changes in the community. We made changes not only within the community, but also within our own school. I know that there is a secret idea in the works to leave a legacy in the school, but like many things in this club we will only find out when it is final. I can’t wait for the next event to come, another picnic.

Note: It is mostly a lie….

— Adan Gonzalez

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'... The voice says "Un-freakin''-believeable"' · 7140 days ago

Saturday night, while puzzling through story lines for comix that i promised to finish… Sean A.K.A “The Black Democratic Bastard” IMed me, and so a conversation between two halo veterans began… Some topics worth looking over.

Daigo Kazama 7: 25 straight kills on Live.
Daigo Kazama 7: “Overkill” medal. The voice says “Un-freakin’-believeable”
Jota4sho: either they suck…or your getting better
Daigo Kazama 7: A little of both.
Jota4sho: ...
Daigo Kazama 7: I’m becoming more competent with the beam rifle.
Daigo Kazama 7: And sniper rifle.
Jota4sho: id they the first to keep a false sence of security
Daigo Kazama 7: Oh, I know I could never do it again, and it had a lot to do with them sucking.
Daigo Kazama 7: But it felt good.
Jota4sho: .... they prove useful in getting easy kills…
Jota4sho: lol
Daigo Kazama 7: I boarded Tanks like nobody’s business, sniped 10 people, it just…flowed.
Jota4sho: oh well…id like to see it happen again…mabey next time id let you kill me instead of throwing the gernade
Daigo Kazama 7: Might be nice.
Jota4sho: you were close
Jota4sho: i guess the adrenyline got in the way of your judgement
Jota4sho: i was an easy kill too…jus got out of a battle
Jota4sho: but you just had to go around that corner didnt you…
Daigo Kazama 7: I had just gotten out of 4, remember?
Daigo Kazama 7: I was trying to run!
Jota4sho: true
Daigo Kazama 7: There was nowhere to run..
Daigo Kazama 7: Only death….
Jota4sho: but really…you against me in close combat
Jota4sho: you have the advantage in skill
Daigo Kazama 7: I’m sure, but then there’s that…sniping..
Daigo Kazama 7: Fuckign..distance…
Daigo Kazama 7: Rifles…
Daigo Kazama 7: Bullets…
Daigo Kazama 7: Headshot.
Jota4sho: ...death…
Jota4sho: aww man bringing memories of me and azzmasters duel
Daigo Kazama 7: The cold embrace of the reaper…
Jota4sho: we just kept assasinating people
Jota4sho: and they just kept letting us…
Daigo Kazama 7: Too many people to pay attention to.
Daigo Kazama 7: No radar.
Jota4sho: oh yeah…that got crazy
Jota4sho: especially for snipers…who lose vision while targeting
Daigo Kazama 7: Yup.
Jota4sho: edgar kept killing ruth on her sniping position becouse of that…
Jota4sho: she never saw him coming
Daigo Kazama 7: Ruth has a problem seeing a lot coming.
Jota4sho: ...
Jota4sho: i can see he fear in her face whenever i came at her…
Jota4sho: i usually charge them so that they back up into things
Jota4sho: its interesting the way their aim detiriorates as they freak out even more
Daigo Kazama 7: That’s what I like about being the best player, and the easiest to recognize…being a seven foot tall pink monster.
Daigo Kazama 7: People freak the hell out.
Jota4sho: oh yeah… they knew when me and edgar were coming, the white [edgar] or black [me] elite were something to consider shooting at first
Daigo Kazama 7: THAT being the down-side.
Daigo Kazama 7: When people see you in battle…you’re always the target.
Jota4sho: ...thats why we make our kills quick and clean…the only way to survive to the next target
Jota4sho: we spend too much time on one guy…were asking for it
Jota4sho: you cant tell me you spend more than 5 seconds on one enemy…any longer and you can expect company
Jota4sho: [and you know which of the two theyll be shooting at]
Daigo Kazama 7: True story.
Jota4sho: yeah
Jota4sho: especially if its another advanced guy… ike josh… or edgar…. not to mention armando…
Jota4sho: they go for you first… then take out the wounded rookie for a double kill…
Jota4sho: [i would know…ive done it befor]
Daigo Kazama 7: I can imagine. Although I think a friend of mine may be getting even better with grenades than Josh.
Jota4sho: ?
Jota4sho: !!
Jota4sho: i fear
Daigo Kazama 7: I know. I was shocked too
Daigo Kazama 7: I swear he’s a fucking plasma grenade quaterback.
Daigo Kazama 7: quarter*
Jota4sho: ...becouse there was a time when we could kill josh, only to be sent to our deaths by hanging around the body too long
Daigo Kazama 7: EXACTLY!
Daigo Kazama 7: I kill Phil…and then I randomly explode into a cloud of blue.
Jota4sho: but if this guy is the dan marino of plasma….
Daigo Kazama 7: I don’t even see that I’m tagged half the time.
Jota4sho: i fear
Jota4sho: lol
Jota4sho: you trun around and splooosh!
Daigo Kazama 7: He absolutely sucks with most guns though…
Jota4sho: LOL
Daigo Kazama 7: Surprisingly good with a needler.
Daigo Kazama 7: Or…two of them.
Jota4sho: WELL THEY DONT REQUIRE MUCH PRECISION
Jota4sho: just fire and forget
Daigo Kazama 7: Yeah…but how often do they actually HIT anything?
Jota4sho: ....well that depends on distance
Jota4sho: you cant out run them at close range… but that leaves you at risk of the explosions…
Daigo Kazama 7: Well yeah, he uses them from up close, but the thing is that he’s sneaky..that’s how he gets tag kills.
Daigo Kazama 7: And You don’t know you’re being hit by needler until they go boom.
Jota4sho: im good with the needler…but dont use it enough in multiplayer combat
Daigo Kazama 7: And if like…7 are in you at once before any explode…fuck an over shield…that’s it.
Jota4sho: yup
Jota4sho: lets not forget his taggin happyness
Daigo Kazama 7: Damn it all..
Jota4sho: the ol one two pucnh
Jota4sho: if the frag dont get you first…the needler will
Daigo Kazama 7: I swear…one on Lockout I COULD NOT kill him without exploding right afterwards
Jota4sho: lol
Jota4sho: hahaha
Daigo Kazama 7: Fucking 17 “Stuck” medals.
Jota4sho: whoa
Jota4sho: thats ludicrus
Jota4sho: just to use the word
Daigo Kazama 7: That’s ALL he did.
Daigo Kazama 7: If you killed him, you were going to explode..
Jota4sho: well hes got sumthin
Daigo Kazama 7: It was like a gypsy curse or something..
Jota4sho: “no stay away”....“comon shoot me i dare you!”
Daigo Kazama 7: Exactly. Lockout isn’t exactly a distance level.
Jota4sho: how does he fair in the larger levels
Daigo Kazama 7: Example….Okay…Well…you know where the sword is in Zanzibar?
Jota4sho: yeah i think i remmeber
Jota4sho: have to play
Daigo Kazama 7: Right like…in the windmill.
Jota4sho: mmhmm
Jota4sho: yea ok
Daigo Kazama 7: And you know that wall that separates the beach and the rest of the level?
Jota4sho: jea
Daigo Kazama 7: He tagged me from atop there while I was getting the sword.
Daigo Kazama 7: Twice.
Jota4sho: ...
Jota4sho: talent
Jota4sho: evil…
Jota4sho: but talented
Daigo Kazama 7: Again…he sucks at almost anything else.
Daigo Kazama 7: It’s all just focused there…
Daigo Kazama 7: I’m sure he’d be incredibly useful in a team setting.
Jota4sho: scary thing though… to be that good with gernades…
Daigo Kazama 7: Only plasmas
Daigo Kazama 7: Can’t hit shit with frags.
Jota4sho: ooo…
Daigo Kazama 7: It’s all that Madden 2005 playing he does.
Jota4sho: well then keep him away from those things then
Jota4sho: >_<
Daigo Kazama 7: It’s his favorite game.
Daigo Kazama 7: Apparently it makes good Halo training.
Jota4sho: im glad i didnt bring ralf to halo night
Jota4sho: he says he dominates in that…
Jota4sho: imagine a hale mary toss with a plasma to a jeep full of master cheifs
Daigo Kazama 7: That probably stings.
Jota4sho: ....josh be driving, id be side seat… and youd be gunner…. all blown to smitherines…
Jota4sho: by a plasma
Daigo Kazama 7: I can’t remember thae last time I used a regular Warthog…
Daigo Kazama 7: All Gauss Warthogs or Spectres if available.
Jota4sho: hmm… capture the flag?
Daigo Kazama 7: Spectres.
Daigo Kazama 7: Wait, no.
Daigo Kazama 7: SPectres in team slayer.
Jota4sho: better to be rid of them than get run over later
Daigo Kazama 7: CTF the vehicles we turn on are Gauss, ghosts, and wraiths.
Jota4sho: and they get pummeled early
Daigo Kazama 7: Since Wraith tanks are easier to take down that Scorpions.
Daigo Kazama 7: A little more fair.
Jota4sho: lol
Daigo Kazama 7: than*
Jota4sho: damn scorpions and their mini guns
Daigo Kazama 7: Gauss Warthogs because they rock, and Ghosts for those Cowboy flag thiefs.
Daigo Kazama 7: Exactly.
Daigo Kazama 7: Although I don’t have TOO much of a problem taking them down anymore.
Jota4sho: not even the big guns scare me… its the fact that they can shoot you down even if the cannon misses
Daigo Kazama 7: I’m trying to teach my friends how, but they alwasy shoot at it or throw grenades to give themselves away.
Daigo Kazama 7: always*
Jota4sho: just ride em and knock em out
Daigo Kazama 7: Exactly.
Jota4sho: you come you see you coinquer
Daigo Kazama 7: But my friends insist on Grenades and battle rifles.
Daigo Kazama 7: Against a TANK...
Jota4sho: mabey if he had an over sheild…and a onvisability…and some luck…lots of it…....
Jota4sho: mabey not
Daigo Kazama 7: the problem is not that scorpions are nigh invincible to all small arms fire.
Daigo Kazama 7: Even plasmas don’t do much.
Daigo Kazama 7: Rockets, vehicles, and boarding.
Jota4sho: yup..
Daigo Kazama 7: And vehicles are RISKY.
Jota4sho: rockets are fun…
Daigo Kazama 7: Oh my yes.
Daigo Kazama 7: Homing sweetness..
Jota4sho: although i have killed some one with a sniper rifle…
Daigo Kazama 7: In a tank?
Daigo Kazama 7: How?
Jota4sho: ... i had the distance
Daigo Kazama 7: Oh..hatch already knocked off?
Jota4sho: and the ammo
Jota4sho: and some ideot was trying to get in
Jota4sho: he died first
Daigo Kazama 7: Ah.
Jota4sho: ...then the tank driver followed
Jota4sho: it was sweet…
Daigo Kazama 7: Because Sniper rifles…either kind…do zero damage to vehicles…unless the driver is in the open.
Daigo Kazama 7: Like..if some ass knocked the hatch off..
Daigo Kazama 7: And some ass sniped him.
Daigo Kazama 7: You’d be that second ass.
Jota4sho: ...you should see me dehorse people from ghosts…
Daigo Kazama 7: I still can’t do that.
Jota4sho: i love
Jota4sho: it
Daigo Kazama 7: I can snipe people on foot fairly easy now…I’m not trigger happy…
Jota4sho: ..its best when they try to tackel and miss
Jota4sho: when they turn around is when you gotta get em
Jota4sho: lol
Jota4sho: well its hard not to be at close range
Daigo Kazama 7: hi
Daigo Kazama 7: That was my roommate.
Daigo Kazama 7: Anyway, back to Halo.
Daigo Kazama 7: Do you prefer the Particle beam or sniper rifle?
Jota4sho: how much do you play noadays
Jota4sho: sniper
Daigo Kazama 7: A-fucking-lot
Jota4sho: particle can get in some extra shots
Jota4sho: but nothing beats being abole to find a nest and continue with the same rifle
Jota4sho: that and the other feels weird…
Jota4sho: if there isnt a loud bang after a head shot…it doesnt feel right
Daigo Kazama 7: I prefer the beam.
Daigo Kazama 7: Dunno why.
Jota4sho: rapid fire?
Daigo Kazama 7: There’s just something endearing about the purple stream of justice.
Jota4sho: i mean if you dont over do it…you can get in plenty shots with out reloading
Daigo Kazama 7: Exactly.
Jota4sho: ....still i think being a shell weapon.. the sniper has its tactical advantage over a more broader range of targets
Daigo Kazama 7: I just prefer how it kills. I mean…the loud bang is nice, but I just love the the more quiet beam of doom.
Daigo Kazama 7: I believe that’s true.
Jota4sho: although it is degrading to be killed by that thin purple beam….
Daigo Kazama 7: I just think the beam is cooler.
Jota4sho: to be honest ide rather be killed by the sniper than the beam
Daigo Kazama 7: And when it over heats you do the cool smoking, shaking hand thing.
Jota4sho: it feels like more effort was put to kill me
Jota4sho: well then your in for some shit if that last shot didnt kill your target
Daigo Kazama 7: That’s becoming a bigger and bigger if by the day.
Daigo Kazama 7: I’m still nowhere near your level.
Daigo Kazama 7: But I can get consistent kills sniping now.
Daigo Kazama 7: Which is a nice feeling.
Jota4sho: its what drives me to kill…...... still, id like to sniper duel you one day when your ready
Daigo Kazama 7: Ha. Like that’ll ever happen.
Daigo Kazama 7: I still enjoy personal massacres more.
Jota4sho: beam verses shell
Daigo Kazama 7: Especially taking down sword-wielders.
Daigo Kazama 7: That just SO rewarding.
Jota4sho: ....yeah, they can get plucky whle carrying those things
Daigo Kazama 7: I used to think they were like…the ultimate weapon..
Daigo Kazama 7: Now they’re kind of a joke.
Jota4sho: ...we wary
Jota4sho: when the right person weilds it
Jota4sho: but true… i mean were used to killing guys like that since halo 1
Daigo Kazama 7: Plasma pistol in the right hand, Sub-machine gun in the left. Or Submachine gun in the right hand, pistol in the left.“Haha! You’ve got a plasma sword! Cute! Now die”
Jota4sho: ...
Jota4sho: lol
Daigo Kazama 7: They almost always die in mid-lunge.
Jota4sho: im familiar with the tactic
Jota4sho: ... i jump
Daigo Kazama 7: Yeah…because that always works..
Daigo Kazama 7: Or never..
Jota4sho: the sub is whats gonna get me but the plasma is your touch for the kill
Jota4sho: if it misses… you gotta hope for some distance
Daigo Kazama 7: True.
Jota4sho: but with your aim, i wouldnt worry too much
Daigo Kazama 7: I don’t worry. Swords are no problem so ling as I see them first.
Daigo Kazama 7: long*
Jota4sho: ...why i only use em after im sure theyve got a nice warm feeling of victory…
Daigo Kazama 7: But with no radar, and since I don’t screen-look anymore, or at least not intentionally…I get snuck up on a lot.
Jota4sho: remmeber my assultrifle-shot-then-suddenly-switch-to-the-blade kill tactic
Jota4sho: they get close thinking their gonna mow me down
Daigo Kazama 7: That’s a good one.
Jota4sho: ...too bad it only work one on one
Daigo Kazama 7: Of course…word spreads that you have the blade quickly.
Jota4sho: ....then the bullets pur in your direction
Jota4sho: *pour
Daigo Kazama 7: Oh yeah…question..maybe this is just a glitch, but Phil was on the back of a wraith today and was punching it for like…7 minutes straight, and it never busted open so he could plant the grenade. Can you not crack a Wraith open by punching open the back?
Jota4sho: you know ive never tried it… something to ponder on….
Jota4sho: ask josh… hell test it for ya
Jota4sho: remmeber im the only one here who doesnt actually own the game
Daigo Kazama 7: Still?
Jota4sho: i have to plractive off of other fps to compete
Jota4sho: (practice]
Jota4sho: jea
Jota4sho: well dont even have xbox dont ja know
Jota4sho: >_<
Daigo Kazama 7: Aaaaah.
Jota4sho: it give me a warm feeling inside when i kill people in halo while knowing that
Daigo Kazama 7: As well you should.
Jota4sho: although it takes a game or tow for me to adjust
Daigo Kazama 7: Anyway…I’m off for the night.
Daigo Kazama 7: Later man.
Jota4sho: alright… ive got some cix to finsh so laterz
Jota4sho: *comix
Jota4sho: night man
Daigo Kazama 7 is away at 3:39:34 AM.

Like the IM said, it ended at around 3:39… I was sleepy and yet decided to post this anyways. I still got comix to finish anyways so im off… Sanitario

— Jorge Vasquez

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Prelude to Halo Night · 7144 days ago

So then, Sean Southwell [the Black Democratic Bastard] came back down from the university for Thanksgiving. Naturally MKG (MarioKart Group*) had to get together for some serious gaming and whatnot. I decided that we should organize one of our ‘Halo Nights’ so started with the planning. Naturally it would be held over at Julian’s house [seeing as how he’s got the space for it].

This time, I wanted to organize a grand event, really big one. So I said we should have some 12-player action for Halo Night. Now, it’s difficult enough to organize enough to get Jorge and Jasser to come and complete a group of 8, 12 seemed a bit radical. First thing Julian said was that he didn’t even have enough friends to get 12 people. However Josh is the ever-resourceful one [and does know more than twelve people {yay}].

The first issue to resolve was going to be the units or sets. The way Halo [we played Halo 2] works is that one XBox can have one copy of Halo running in it while connected to one TV and allow four players on the split screen to play at any one time. Twelve players means that we would need a minimum of three sets. =\ ...hmmm, got me to thinking about where it was I was to complete these sets. The main issue is that a TV screen needs to be large enough to comfortably accomodate for four players on the split screen, so way I see it, a TV needs to be atleast 27 inches or more to have four people play on it. That was the first issue. The second was linking the systems so that the 12 players can interact and play in one map…together. Simple really, I bought the kit they were selling over at GameStop [which includes the router and four ethernet cables] for which I could connect the systems together. The next issue was that of compiling a list of guests, an issue ‘cause I needed to make a list of people that WON’T BAIL OUT.

For the list, I started making my usual calls to Jorge and Jasser; they were in, whether they cared to be or not. Fortunately, Jasser can expand on this and bring some of his ‘homies’ with him [love the language]. So with Jasser I could count on 2-4 players. Jorge would come and so would Becca, ‘cause she’s a player too, decent one at that. I tried Angie [this is Jorge’s sister people…oi], but she had some two-month-planned party that she couldn’t bail out on, as if she would have anyway what with the booze involved. A most recent addition to the [particularily Josh’s] gaming community is Chris [long-time gamer] and Sarai [novice]; gave them a call. My list was coming together just fine, with a few last minute changes, it turned out to have 14 guests total. Here’s a list of the guests:

Guests
Julian [MKG]
Ruth [MKG]
Sean [MKG]
Josh [MKG]
Jerny
Jorge
Becca
Edgar
Armando
Jasser
Jesus
Fabrizio
Chris
Sarai

The following issue was completed at least three sets/units for the gaming to happen. Naturally, Julian’s set [complete with a copy of Halo 2 I had previously rented for him] was at my disposal. The second set came from me and I transported my TV as I had so many times before, except with ease ‘cause I now drive a Scion xA [hatchback baby]. The third set was brought about by Jasser, which used my copy of Halo 2 as my TV used Sean’s copy. The fourth [I came through with even better] was thankfully provided by Armando complete with TV, XBox, and copy of Halo 2 [and we’re sorry his brother couldn’t join us]. So the night was even better as it turned out we ended up with four units; very comfy. However, at our peak we had 12 players playing at once [the last two guests were late].

And so, with two and half days of organizing and preparing, Halo Night was to be our best yet. Although, I was driving every which place, whether to get players, equipment, or simply food. I started that Saturday with some well needed rest as I had gone to the bank on Friday [so no need for Saturday visit in the morning]. I called up Jules [or he me] and we agreed we’d get over to his house to make preparations at about three or so. Instead, about 12 I called him back and went over to drop off my equipment so as to have one less hassle to deal with. Invited him to join Jerny and me for some lunch and we ended up picking Sean up as well. Figuring out where we were going to eat was tough enough; ended up being some quainte little Cuban restaurant in a corner I wouldn’t have looked toward. After the lunch, I spilled my coffee and had to get a quick change of pants, then Jern needed something, then we picked up Ruth and headed for Julian’s. We started playing some until I started making my rounds and had to leave MKG behind; Jern joined me for all my trips.

And thus began…“Halo Night”

Note: *MarioKart Group consists of four members: Julian, Ruth (grapehead), Sean “Black Democratic Bastard” Southwell, and Josh

— Josh Ricart

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The Top 100 Things I''d Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord · 7211 days ago

Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However every Evil Overlord I’ve read about in books or seen in movies invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I’ve noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present “The Top 100 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord . . .”

~

· My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing ones.

· My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

· My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

· Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

· The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

· I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.

· When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”

· After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

· I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such.

· I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

· I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

· One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

· All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

· The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

· I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

· I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s just one thing I want to know.”

· When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

· I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

· I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d betray her own father.

· Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

· I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

· No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

· I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way — even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless — my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

· I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

· No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

· No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.

· I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

· My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

· I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

· All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

· All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

· I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

· I won’t require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

· I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

· I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

· I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

· If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he’s my trusted lieutenant.

· If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

· If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

· I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

· Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

· When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

· I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.

· I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

· I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say “And here is the price for failure,” then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

· If an advisor says to me: “My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?”, I will reply “This.” and kill the advisor.

· If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

· I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

· If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

· My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

· If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess’ cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.

· I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

· If the beautiful princess that I capture says “I’ll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!”, I will say “Oh well” and kill her.

· I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

· The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

· My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

· Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner’s manual.

· If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

· I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

· My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

· If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?”, I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.

· I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.

· Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

· I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

· If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

· My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

· No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

· I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they’d better save my life again.

· All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

· When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

· If I decide to test a lieutenant’s loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

· If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.

· I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.

· When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk “Project Overlord” and leave it lying on top of my desk.

· I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.

· If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)

· If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.

· I will not tell my Legions of Terror “And he must be taken alive!” The command will be “And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical.”

· If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.

· If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

· If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.

· I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

· If I’m eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

· I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

· I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. “Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.” Instead it will be more along the lines of “Push the button.”

· I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

· My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

· If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.

· After I captures the hero’s superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

· I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

· I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.

· If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)

· If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.

· When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

· My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it’s an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.

· My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

· My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.

· If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others’ lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.

· Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.

· Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

Note: This forum post was taken off the Mail Enable forums, during my quest for gathering necessary information for migration to new server. The list is good and true.

— Josh Ricart

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