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Interview with LadyMOI- Lum
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Part 3: The Punchlist
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Macroing: Punishment and Crime - Tal'Mah'Ra
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Friday, September 10, 1999 Bitch at Lum

11:00 AM I'M ONLY YELLING AT YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, MAN...

Brimstone writes in:

Before I say anything, I love your site. I love the content, the bitching and moaning, the cut and dry stance you take on issues, and so much more. With that said... how DARE you make fun of that signature that Sunsword is showing off! I am the artist, and make logos for 'geeky UO players who like having a signature for forums'. So, as much as I love you, man... EAT SHIT!!

See, I feel much better now. (I know, I just opened myself up to a can of lum-whoop-ass)

Glad I could help.

LUM THE MAD


Thursday, September 9, 1999 Bitch at Lum

6:30 PM HEY, I'M ON A SHARED OC3 TOO! OF COURSE, I SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE ELSE ON MY ISP, BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS...

Fool, head fool of Gamehut and presumably the only sysadmin Dr. TwisTer doesn't advocate using exploits on, writes:

Hey lum, we are moving the whole Gamehut server over to a shared OC3 (Was on a shared DS3) line to give you access to drtwister.com even faster then before! Feel better?

Hopefully Ron can quit humping a tree now. (We'll refrain from commenting about basic migration plans that avoid multi-day service outages.)

4:30 PM A DAY WITHOUT UO PATCHES IS LIKE A DAY WITHOUT THIS SITE

Origin implemented another patch today. Shortly thereafter all the shards moaned quietly, rolled around in the dirt, and finally laid on their backs, legs and arms sticking straight up into the air. The intrepid OSI Quick Response Team is holding smelling salts under the servers' noses as we speak, and I have word from reliable sources that they are beginning to twitch.

Origin also said things about houses. Apparently the new policy is that housing placed using stacking exploits falls under the "Don't ask, don't tell" rule, but some time in the future a house may be deleted, if it was illegally placed, unless it wasn't. No one understood what they meant, including apparently the dev team. As Sunsword put it on the Dev Board,

I think it would be wise at this point not to overreact to the housing announcement. The point is, we are going to give you plenty of warning about any such change in policy and until we have more info. I just wouldn't place anymore illegal houses...

The question is: are pre-patch houses still legal?

The answer is "I can't give you the specifics on that". But common sense would indicate that the answer is "probably". The point of the communication was to stop an exploit, not dismay our legitimate players.

Will we EVER see house maintainence?

You should hear something on that subject in the next week or so.

On a related note, what is up with this?

I suppose it's proof that Sunsword is in fact a real UO player and, like every other real UO player, has a dorky signature graphic that is 30 times the loading time of any message it's attached to.

You know, Gordon the Tyrant doesn't have dorky signature graphics.

4:30 AM THE RUMOR IS THAT SOMEONE DUPED HIS GRAPHICS AND NOW EVERY TIME THE WEB SERVER TRIES TO LOAD THE PAGE, IT CRASHES FROM TRYING TO LOAD "TITLE.JPG" 9,000,000 TIMES

Dr. TwisTer is GoNe. As is the rest of the delightful Gamehut network. No one has any clue where the good Doctor has gone to. Rumors of course are flying about either Origin or Verant threatning legal action, as drtwister.com posted dupes for both UO and EQ the same week. (My bet is on the Gamehut-doesn't-know-how-to-reboot-a-router theory.) As intrepid webmonger Ronald McDonald put it on his fresh site,

Dr. TwisTer has gone AWOL, if you have seen or heard from this man, please contact Robert Stack. He has been missing for a week or so now. I am getting sexually frustrated.

For the love of God, please find Dr. TwisTer before Ronald gets any more sexually frustrated.

11:30 AM WELCOME BACK TO HELLMOUTH HIGH, KIDS! REMEMBER, WHEN THE JOCKS AND PREPS KICK YOUR ASS AFTER SCHOOL, AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE!

It's back to school time, and the healing has begun.

(Not MMRPG related, but I figure most of you geeks can relate.)

10:00 AM AUSTRALIA... UM... THAT'S IN KOREA, RIGHT?

Gordon "Tyrant" Walton sent out this mail to the Australian UO community, who were able to read it 10 minutes after he sent it due to lag between Origin and Australia;

Hail and well met!

We recently opened the new Korean shard (named Arirang) to our 1,500 Australian customers after getting reports that the connectivity might be better than to the west coast of the United States. Please try your connection to Arirang using the UOTrace utility (available at https://www.uo.com/downloads.html). Anytime you are experiencing packet loss in your connection to any shard, you should use this tool and send the trace route to [email protected] This will help us identify and resolve connection problems between you and the shard.

If you do not see Arirang in the shard list on your Ultima Online software, please send an email to [email protected] Be sure to include your user name (never send anyone your password!) so we can ensure you do get access.

We are working with EA Australia on the possibilities for a true Australian-based shard. There are many issues involved in this decision, and the thing you can do to help us most is let us know at [email protected] the email addresses of any friends whom you believe would join Ultima Online on a local server. This list of emails would be used no more than twice: once for a survey and once if we announced a local shard, if we are able to put one up. Local shards require a significant number of subscribers to support, and with your help we hope to grow the subscriber base sufficiently to establish an Aussie shard.

Thank you for supporting Ultima Online.

Gordon Walton
VP Online Services
Origin Systems, Inc.

I strongly suspect that Origin is looking for around 8 to 10,000 Australian customers to go to the expense of opening up an Aussie shard (shards ain't cheap). I also strongly suspect that Australia will be one of the first places Verant launches a new outside-the-US server in (rumor has it they are rolling out Euro and Asian servers to coincide with the expansion pack next year).

Check the Australian Server Petition site for more details as they dribble.


Wednesday, September 8, 1999 Bitch at Lum

4:00 PM "UH... THAT PATCH SURE SUCKED, DIDN'T IT..."

Krelin, a previously unknown Dev team member, got jiggy wid the Dev Board today. Here's some highlights.

Wanted to let you guys know that we're working on the connections problems with the most recent patch. I think we have a solid fix that should go in, within the next couple of days.

Swell. I have only been kicked 4 times on SP today maybe things are getting better.

Thanks for hoping, but things won't really get better until the next client patch. This is an issue that effects both the client and the server simultaneously, but is revealed only under high-load situations on the server (and usually only if the client has a pretty good link).

Eloquent words for saying, "That patch sure sucked..."

By 1999 standards, maybe :) Certainly this patch was not of the quality you should be able to expect from our team, and while I won't offer any excuses for it, I also think that it was remarkably successful considering the number of massive changes and additions that went in to it.

I sincerely hope you'll give us some leeway on this patch while it settles. The next few months should (we all hope) be better. :)

What about the massive timewarps?

Believe me, we're spending every cycle we've got on this one, but from-the-hip I think there are several factors contributing to this problem:

1) A large number of people are (for various reasons which I'm sure you well know) generating huge amounts of objects in the world, which cause the worlds to require more memory than they normally would. This is being attacked in the next few days; but it has to be addressed carefully, because we don't want to injure players that aren't aggressively attacking the world mechanics.

2) Because of the breadth and depth of what is saved in the world state over the past two years, our world is becoming very large. One of our tasks over the next couple of weeks is to find new ways to shrink this data without losing it. :)

3) Some of the new accessibility features and code require more memory than has previously been required. A lot of this new stuff isn't visible to you guys as it is mostly in place in PREPARATION for things to come. We still need to bring this usage down; because the excessive memory requirements are causing instability in the server (which you experience as crashes and warps).

Why not make multiple piles of gold unstackable? I mean all those people you are talking about are mostly using gold to create those huge item numbers that causes prbs to the shard. If you can't stack gold piles anymore (and most of the time they are 1gp piles) then it will be a prb. Maybe add that restriction to fish steaks and bandages and that should make things really hard

The reason we haven't done this yet is because the physics of the world (both client-side and server-side) aren't defined the way you think they are. :) It's hard to explain, but a variety of factors contribute to making this a more difficult problem, but I _believe_ the proposed solution is pretty close to this.

Are you a new PR hire?

No, I've been on the dev team for a while. Today is the first time I've felt the urge to post. I've seen some really thoughtful posts today. :) And I fixed the CL problem (I hope). :)

3:00 PM "OK, CARLY, GO OUT THERE AND DISTRACT THE MOB!" "WOO WOO! WILL DO, LB!"

Fear's public relations strike force sent this:

Battle Vortex has released a new Audio show about UO. (Episode 38) An Interview with LadyMOI of OSI. Total show time is 30 minutes, Enjoy!

Please Note: You must have Free RealPlayer G2 to listen to the New BV Audio Show!
-Fear


Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Bitch at Lum

1:30 PM CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN SIGHTED; MULDER AND SCULLY IN PERIL SHORTLY

OSI updated the FYI page of uo.com with a statement by Gordon Walton, important corporate type, addressing both the weeekend's exploiting festivities and the current seeerrrrvvveeeerrr laaaaagggg.

11:30 AM BUGS AND BOYS, MORALS AND MEN

SUN is still around, in case you still cared. (I don't.) Apparently many of them were on 48 hour temp bans which expired, and are busily crowing about how they did nothing wrong and 0wN uS aLl. Of course, I don't imagine they'll be too terribly popular when wandering around Sosaria. Not that I'm suggesting any course of action (kill them all) or anything (kill them all) like that (kill them all). That would be (kill them all) wrong.

Moving on to the aftermath, drtwister.com has actually been an interesting read the last few days, for those interested in human dynamics at any rate. Basically the Minions and Henchmen of The Dr. Twister NeTwork, Inc. (MHTDTNTI - ah hell, just call 'em Twisties) are in disagreement, between the Post The Damn Dupe faction and the Um, That Would Wreck UO faction. The Post The Damn Dupe faction apparently won, and the details of the dupe are slowly starting to leak into the dewdish consciousness, as anyone who tried playing UO through the monstrous lag this weekend could tell.

My take? Well, glad you asked.

Dr. TwisTer posted that his job was to post bugs, and implied that it was the best thing for your own protection (yes, you), since most people check his site to protect themselves against other bug exploiters and "only a few" seek to use them for their own gain.

Um, *koff koff* BULLshit. No one wants to know how to dupe "to protect themselves". How do you protect yourself against a dupe? Dupe yourself? The only people who wanted to know how to dupe were people who wanted to dupe. Period. End of sentence. Any sort of highminded sentiments, such as "This is for your own protection" and even better "This will force Origin to fix the dupe bug" (um, I think they already have it pretty high on their priority list) are just crap. It smells like crap, it looks like crap, and I sure in hell ain't eating it. Dr TwisTer proved, to the three people who weren't already convinced, that he cares more about his "rep" with the kEwLdEwD community than for the game (if you believe his press releases) that he so valiantly and heroically tries to save. So now, thanks to the details of the dupe being out, we now have every shard crashing and burning on a regular basis and lagged to hell and back when actually up and running from I0WnZj0o trying to manufacture 30000 castle deeds.

Meanwhile, Origin has been fairly quiet. I only hope it is because they are knee deep in source code, and not because they took a page from Verant's book and decided that the loudest 5% of the community no longer needed to be coddled.

11:00 AM DUPE? WE DON' NEED NO STEENKIN DUPE TO RUIN OUR GAME!

Our Everquest informant (yes, at this point I think we only have one) writes:

Here's a good one for ya. Tonight on Veeshan all of a sudden my guildmates start getting CRAZY offers, like 7000pp for a runed mithril bracer. I go to freeport and people are examining my equip and offering me 15,000pp for my rubi BP, 10,000pp and items for my crested helm, there are people auctioning offering 10k for silvery legs, etc, etc.

My guildmates confirmed there is a bug, it involves killing something in butcherblock repeatedly, and you can make 10,000pp an hour or a day, unsure which. I reported it with petition and was quizzed by two guides, so this might not be a scoop anymore. :) Anyway suffice it to say that there is a good chance that not only is platinum now VALUELESS in EQ, but also (a) the player-based economy is hopelessly fucked up and (b) everyone is going to have some REALLY nice magical jewelry soon, since jewelry is completely based on how much plat you have and cannot really be market-driven.

We don't need dupe bugs in Norrath - we just wait for the programmers to put in everflowing fonts of platinum...


...and on Labor Day, Lum rested.


Sunday, September 5, 1999 Bitch at Lum

Been a busy couple of days, hasn't it? In case you're just joining us...
Lum's updates on the Verant guide manual/legal threats
Lum's earlier updates on the Siege dupe/SUN mass banning

4:30 AM MORE FROM SUN

Discussion on the SUN bannings continues. Vapor of drtwister.com posted why he wouldn't post the dupe, immediately followed by Dr. TwisTer of drtwister.com who said he would. (Check the twisted site for details.) What do I think? Well, it's obvious, since I know what the dupe was (yes, Dr. TwisTer, I do know, I'm not lying about it, and believe it or not there may actually be a dupe out that you don't know about) and I haven't posted it. Essentially for the same reasons that Vapor posted. I can understand why Twister would say what he would - what's a bug site that doesn't post bugs?

On that same subject, Soldier SUN writes:

This is my first public speaking about the incident to date. Ive had a few impersonators, but thats another story.

This is all real funny, I think so anyway. First and foremost, I think Lum the Mad and DrTwisTer's people, and all of the other anti-social, bug, powergaming, alternative, and PK sites that have badmouthed SUN are hypocrites, not to mention biased and two-faced (Lum this ones for you :)). You *know* you really did something special when your fellow lackies are pointing the finger at you and saying ban (anyone remember when DrT's website was straight bugs for the people? nothing held back? screw OSI? ahh.. good memories). But honestly, had Vapor of DrTwisTer's site discovered the bug, he'd be duping right now, even though he thinks it was so horribly wrong. 99% of CoB discussion board would dupe if they could or accept duped items, if they knew there wasnt a good chance of getting caught. Thats where the irony is. Not one of you out there in UO land, except the most dedicated roleplayers, can truthfully deny this. But its okay.. no really, everything is just fine.

The bannings.. well, the bannings were interesting. Last I heard I believe 40+ accounts have been blocked/banned. Three people actually participated in duping. 15 or so people have used the duped items. This adds up to .. 22 innocent people banned. Possibly more if you consider people who used duped items without knowing it (on the contrary to what you may believe, none of the SUN members knew or saw the castle(s) or the plethora of regs [except for the few who exploited]. The most *I* saw, was a few thousand regs and a tower, which all couldve been legally bought [not saying it was], and definantly lied about to fellow members in a believable way.) To those who dont believe it couldve been earned, im sure there's plenty of SP players that would admit to seeing us in levels 2-4 of Shame nearly all day. Not to mention 5 red members that had been amassing quite a fortune from PKing (30k arrows? oh thats about.. 90 archers looted? in 3 weeks? VERY possible.. with even 1 PKer). My point? Most members like myself didnt think it was duped, especially since we had been working our butts off in Shame together since day 1. So when we were lied to, we:

a) Didnt suspect we'd be lied to by our own guildmates.

b) Didnt consider a dupe since we never saw half of what was duped (including castles and mountains of regs).

c) Figured that it was all paid for. Lies included all of the SP gold on the eBay market being bought for real money, all of the PK loot being invested and sold for gold, and all of our guildtrip hunting money saved (which was quite a lot i might add), and a combination of all 3.

*IF* You would have bought all the SP gold on the market (I was told a SUN member owned a business and bought it all), sold all the PK loot youve recieved (countless suits of GM armor selling at 1k for 2 sets, not including magical weapons and armor that can sell for 10k by themselves), and all of the guildtrip money (6k per person per 45 minutes, 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, 1 week after the shard being official, 20+ members participating), you'd have quite a bundle of cash. Probubly easily enough to buy a tower at 3x the cost and a couple thousand of each reg. And this is what we were led to believe. Did I suspect a dupe? The idea floated around in the back of my mind once or twice, but I figured that it just isnt possible to do such a thing anymore, and I knew the guild wouldnt lie to itself (or so I thought). So what we have here isnt SUN whining because they got banned, but because they simply didnt even know what the hell was going on. Honestly, I was standing in the tower with a few people and suddenly I'm told to resign and next thing I know everything's being destroyed and everyone's going nuts. No one knew what had happened until they saw the pics for themselves, needless to say, we were suprised. (To this day no one captured a screen shot or location of our SP tower.) Did I get banned/blocked? Yes. I'm currently under suspension .. will it become a ban? who knows.. who cares.. not me. Again, more irony. I thinks it's pretty funny that the unaffected people are getting more bent over this subject than SUN themselves. I can speak for myself when I say I honestly dont care what happens. I also know many of the other SUN honestly don't care what happens, or if they got banned. UO is a dying game for me anyway .. SP was the only reason I had reactivated my account to begin with, same goes for most of the other SUNs. If my account doesnt get banned permanently, I'd probubly quit playing anyways, although I havent decided.

Who laughs last? Good question. If the masses werent screaming "KILL EM ALL!" and waving their pitchforks in the air I'd probubly feel sympathetic if/when the shard gets wiped. But of course I'm spit upon for knowing someone who decided they should dupe, can't really say I expected anything different. One thing remains true, and that is that SUN has recieved so much negative attention that we're going down in the UO history books as the most infamous guild ever. Cant really complain about that you know.. what more could a PK guild ask for. From recieving this much publicity to watching OSI try to deal with the problem effectively only to fail horribly, its all been a great laugh and a good read. Even the UO addicts pressing for real life lawsuits crack me up. Talk about too much UO.

The bottom line of my entire arguement is simple, theres 2 parts actually.

40+ players whom had little or no knowledge should not be banned for the actions of 3 people. 2 cybercafes in denmark should not be blocked because of the actions of 3 people; the owners of those cafes should not be forced to go out of business because of these actions. OSI is heartless and stupid,their methods of dealing with this are incredibly moronic, so stupid that you can't help but laugh.

And secondly, we really just dont care. Yes, believe me, you are spending more time reading about our actions and consequences than we are. Yes, you are posting more messages about it on the boards than us, and yes, you are spending entirely too much time on the subject(directed to everyone). People like me basicly have it the worst off out of everyone, since we havent done anything yet are recieving punishments as if we had. Common sense will tell you that if someone hasn't commited a crime, didnt help someone commit a crime, didnt knowingly (keyword) accept and use the items recieved from a crime, and didnt know a crime was being commited, they shouldnt be liable for a crime. Me and quite a few others are innocent, the actual dupers arent speaking, and youre looking for someone to blame, someone to attack with your misguided anger. Well, It isnt me.

I had fun.. what about you? Goodbye now!

- formely known as Soldier SUN

A lot of good points, and probably the first word from SUN that doesn't make me laugh uncontrollably. I tend to believe this guy when he said he had no idea what was up. Should he be banned? *sigh* Probably. Even though he didn't dupe, he benefited directly from it, as did everyone in his guild. Knowing or not, that is a bannable offense. Sorry.

He does say one thing that I have a problem with, and it's something that SUN and their allies have been saying all along... "everyone would do it if they could".

No.

Everyone WOULDN'T do it. Not everyone is a theif. Hell, there's even folks like me who didn't dupe in Diablo, and duping in that game had far less impact on others than in UO (and was far easier). Some folks are actually... I know it's hard to believe... fundamentally honest.

"Character... it's doing the right thing when no one is watching."

-- Rep. J. C. Watts


Saturday, September 4, 1999 Bitch at Lum

4:30 PM SUN'S RESPONSE TO LUM, LUM'S RESPONSE TO SUN'S REPONSE

I was mailed the location of a long and almost completely coherent defense of SUN and an accusation of how this website (you know, the one you're reading now) contributed to their unfair banning.

Check it here.

Then read my response.

11:30 AM UM... YOU GUYS DUPED... WE KNOW IT... GET OVER IT... HAVE FUN IN EQ...

FZuul from SUN writes:

Anyone ever noticed how when USA attacked Iraq they didnt kill all the civilians... at least tried not to... the problem here is that alot of innocents were also hit by the ban... and what happened to the phrase innocent till proven guilty...?

OSI has banned any account that was playing of the Cybercafe called Mekka... and another Cybercafe too... Problem doing this is... alot of people that havent even been involved in anything illegal have been banned... 10-year old kids that play on Sonoma and Great Lakes and other roleplayer shards are banned... people that once visited the (in-)famous players of Mekka and BT-Cafe and once played from there... have also lost access... This is OSI's sense of justice... and trust me they cant ever prove who duped and who didnt... we have all seen it done... but very few are guilty... and OSI cant honestly think that we will backstab our RL friends...?

What will they do then...? Well... my guess is theyll use the good old gangster-method of : "If in doubt...? Shoot em all...!"

If this is how OSI thinks they can treat their players theyll end up broke... and if other players thinks we deserve it all of us... I will surenly make them suffer too... cause OSI bans everyone we talk to on IRC... and everyone we helped in game... so dont be glad... be afraid... cause OSI is coming for you next...

If u think hard about this situation... itll remind you of a once notorious ruler and his ways... This way of ruling the game is much like how Hitler ran Germany leading up to WW2...

Maybe ill get banned... maybe i wont... but i DO have some guildmoney in bank... so ill be banned for that...? Theyll ban everyone in SUN and everyone else for having a ton of money...? Let me let u in on a secret... one of the reasons that SUN/TeamDK/DeathJester players have allways been good... is that we know the game inside out... we play alot... and we do our best to excell at the game... unlike most of the roleplayers who are content at speaking a funny language and generally not knowing if they can kill a mongbat or not... On any shard moneymaking is easy... eventhough some think they need to make a GM tailor to gain gold... Hey newbie... try killing some monsters... like Air elementals... or Bloods... then u can make 80k / hrs... And therefore u have a problem...

How can u be sure that we duped...? If all SUNs members had been doing the Air Ele or Blood Ele trick for 5 days... for 10 hours... that would be 5*10*80k... we would all of us be the owners of 4 mio GP... therefore it aint hard to place castles...

I rest my case... and will let OSI decide what to do... no amtter what they decide... i know they have never even done anything the right way... so why do it this time round...?

FZuul
We are rich and we love it...!!!

Um, no, you are banned... and we love it!

9:00 AM A DISSENTING OPINION

Here's someone commenting on the SUN incident from the other side. I suspect most of you will disagree with some of his points:

Number one, in my mind its Origins fault there is a dupe. Why you ask? Well because they are stupid and they always kiddy corner thier code. For example, thier magic fix for animals going wild upon transfer is "transfer" is now "friend" its the same code cut and pasted. Notice they didnt even attempt to fix it until there was a way to "exploit" it to gain animal taming quickly. They cant even fix reactive armor without somthing else related to the spell re-breaking. Number two, this dupe has been around on Siege since it first came up. Many people knew about it, only the idiots exploited it to the max and got busted. (prime example is to why Denmark is not a world power) I guarentee for the 30 people who were banned there are 50 more with over three million gold in the bank and many other items, I promise. Number three, there are so many bugs on SP its not even funny (unless you use them, then its a crackup). You think this was the only dupe? There are at least six more item specific dupes around (among other big bugs), none of which rely on the method used to dupe generic stackables. Wonder how he got 30k arrows without this particular dupe, hmmmm, mabey there is a way to combine feathers and shafts without using the feather or shafts and placing 1 arrow in your pack. Macro that over a couple days and you have a GM archer. All of these "new" bugs on Siege were around at one point or another on the other public shards, OSI just never retrofitted the old code. In addition you may want to reccomend they check into thier billing software, I havent paid for UO in eight months. They have bugs EVERYWHERE!

In all video (and otherwise) games there are the cheaters and the non-cheaters. I know most people arent cheaters, thats only because theyve never been given the opertunity. I dont know if you ever played Street Fighter 2 or games like that but there were always where you could keep your opponent in the corner the whole round and they couldnt do a thing about it. Eventually everyone knew the method and it ruined the game. Then again it was fun while it lasted. Kind of like the direction UO is going, this shard was supposed to be a challange. The only challange it provides for a lot of people is the challange of how to cheat the system. Insted of spending time chooping wood or mining ore we spend hours figuring out exploits.

I guarentee that if the population of siege knew about this dupe, and knew they wouldnt get banned for it 97% would use it. This game will never be bugless, therfore there will always be cheaters. The cheaters always win, for every one cheater that gets banned there are 50 more who can still login.

Master Woo

 


All original copyright © 1999 Lum the Mad, LLC. Investors are invited to watch for our IPO. Trademarked content on this site owned by its original trademark owners. Stuff I made up still is mine. What's yours is mine. What's mine is mine. In 1999. Hunh. WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely NUTHIN. (Say it again!)