A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

same old... and werewolf

Not much new or exciting going on as of late. Andy (a friend through work and later through paintball and later just through hanging out) brought his out of state girlfriend down and we hung out this past saturday and watched The Aristocrats, Chasing Freedom, and The Chumscrubber. Loved the Aristocrats, very funny. Chasing Freedom was poignant and had a good story to tell, and Chumscrubber was good... I'll have to watch it again sometime.. very American Beauty meets Donnie Darko.

Work is busy as of late, which is cool I guess. I do like installing phone systems.

Maddie and I gathered this evening for a Werewolf game. I'm trying to keep a journal of our exploits which I'll post sometime. For this evening.. as follows...

Jake met with Sun and asked if she could get with some cahilith, or if there was any good werewolf lore on paper or otherwise available. Jake met up with sloan at club Umbra, where there had been a shooting recently. they went out wandering and heard a gunshot. they went looking and found a robbery or holdup in progress which they disrupted, driving off one, downing another and rendering the third incapable of escape. Jake and Sloan left the scene quickly. A few minutes later, still putting some distance between them and the crime scene, they ran into the scent of another werewolf. Someone up ahead apparently also caught their scent, because she stood up, and asked if they were forsaken. They replied yes, then asked if she was as well. She responded that she was, but said that the territory ahead in their path was not, that it belonged to a Pure tribe. Her name is June Fitzgerald. She is Elodoth Iron Master. The three of them hunted that evening.
* How does Jake feel about being shot at, and about putting her teeth in someone?
* What are Jake's thoughts on the Pure?
* Jake is working on carving out some territory around and including NYU in Greenwich Village.
* Jake is looking for some Loci in this area.
* Jake is working on gaining some reknown.
* Obviously, Jake is working on putting a pack together.

Otherwise.... my very wise friend Shasticon has pointed me toward FUDGE. [better link here for description of what FUDGE is]
He directed me to FUDGE after I'd expressed interest in a game system that was fast, easy and low maintenance. I'm a big fan of the new World of Darkness system, but I'd enjoy trying a system that both required less *looking up rules and powers and tables* and more *encouraging player creativity*. FUDGE seems cool.

In other news, quickly falling by the way-side, I need to get around to hashing out my failed Dogs in the Vineyard session.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Letsee, what's going on...

Work sucks. I'm so being fucked over. I have worked for almost 4 years for absolute beans. That was okay three years ago. However I'm now armed with a degree and married. And older. And I want more fucking money. So I'm looking.

Ran Dogs in the Vineyard this past weekend. I'm sad to say that it failed miserably. It was my fault. I just dont have a good enough grasp on the rules. So it was super disappointing though. We did however watch The Constant Gardener, which was very good.

Um, we replaced my car battery recently, even though we couldnt well afford it (story of my life). And now - this very second, the alternator in the car is dead. So we will produce some money from some magical place somewhere...

Maddie and I dove back into our Werewolf game though, which is very cool.

Anyway, I leave from here now to play some Feng Shui in our Wednesday evening game :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

bullshit politics

I'm not a political blogger. However interested in the state of the nation, the world, and heck even my city and state. No secret that I think Bush Co. are a bunch of liars and thieves and I'd love nothing more than to see the public wise up and them get some recognition for all the shit they've pulled this country through.

Now for more focused ranting:


This article talks about how the Tennessee House Speaker Pro Tem took cash from an undercover FBI agent, but the rest of the committe didnt think it needed to be investigated.

And meanwhile, I'm pissed off that Bush Co was willing to secretly use wiretaps on americans on the phone with international callers. I think he ought to be impeached. And now some folks in congress are talking about passing legislation to "officially" make it legal. We've already got a FISA court that allows the government to get a secret wiretap on anyone and tell NO ONE for 72 hours, before bringing it before FISA. That's practically blank check. Don't get me wrong, I'm down for some fighting terrorism, but this is ridiculous. This is not supposed to be 1984 or Soviet Russia.

And I'll write my congress-people and tell them I think so.

Oh, and the other thing that gets to me... read this email:



On Monday, Feb 6 @ approximately 1:45 pm the brother-in-law of my friend Donna was attacked on Hwy 70 (Summer Ave) between STAGE RD and KIRBY WHITTEN RD. This was in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon! 3 black guys all dressed alike, had 2 cars parked sideways across Hwy 70 near Kirby Whitten, Gene went around them in the turn lane-they jumped in the cars and followed him to the red light-got out of the cars and started attacking his truck and telling him to unlock the doors they were going to kill him. He hit the accelerator and thinks he ran over the foot of one of them. He turned on Reese Rd and they were following him, but luckily he knew the neighborhood and lost them. When he reported this to the police they told him that gangs are hanging around the Bartlett/Memphis City limit lines and this is a type of initiation to belong to a gang.

Be extra careful around Yale/ Old Brownsville--Summer/Kirby-Whitten and the Wolfchase Mall areas. Always keep your doors locked and be aware of your surroundings.

Please tell your friends and family and especially your children that drive to be extra cautious.

Now what do you think, just on reading this?

Well when I got this email from my dad, my first thought on reading the subject was that this was the "OH DONT FLASH YOUR LIGHTS AT CARS WITH THEIR HIGHBEAMS ON CAUSE THEY'LL KILL YOU" email. My second thought was "Wow, this seems increadibly implausable." Wouldn't something like this make.. um.. the news? I'm not in a gang, and never have been. Still, it seems to me that running around town killing people would not be particularly profitable or fruitful for a gang. When people get bullets in them, the cops start looking into it. Now I'm far from saying that street gangs dont involve themselves in violent behavior, but they're criminal enterprises. Busting people up on their way to work seems like it'd be more trouble than it'd be worth. Anyway, matters of street gang social economics aside, this screamed hoax. Sure enough, Krissi found this article for me (requires registration, but text reproduced below).

In the news: Police say e-mail on gangs not true
February 10, 2006

Greater Memphis - Bartlett
Police say e-mail on gangs not true

An e-mail being circulated that there was a gang initiation attack in
Bartlett has not been substantiated, according to Bartlett police.

The e-mail said a man was harassed by three men at about 1:45 p.m. on Monday
on Summer Avenue between Kirby-Whitten and Stage roads. The man came into
the Bartlett police station and reported the incident after he got off work,
which was about 12 hours after it happened, according to the e-mail.

Bartlett police, Memphis police and the Metro Gang Unit said there's no
evidence of gang activity, said Bartlett Police Chief Mark Hopper.

The police began receiving phone calls Thursday after the e-mail began to

A police report on the incident wasn't completed Thursday so no details were


So... This is ridiculous. What moron writes this stuff up so that we can just keep the good ole "black people sure are scary" flame alive. As a friend pointed out, we white folks are so worried about black people somehow doing something terrible do us, when the folks who must fuck us over are old white men in comfortable leather chairs who smoke cigars and drink expensive scotch. That's what I think anyway.

(Dad, if you stumble upon this, gimme a call, we'll chat)

quick update: books!

Fortune smiles on me.

For Valentines my sweet wife got me Blasphemies and Lodges for Werewolf the Forsaken. Both look like excellent books, and I've skimmed through each. The intro fiction in Lodges is absolute awesome. And BlackHatMatt (Innocent Man) wrote it! Maddie has already stolen Lodges from me for her own reading, so they're being thoroughly enjoyed.

Also worth mentioning, since I'm on the Werewolf tip, I'm making a conscious effort to pick Maddie and my Werewolf campaign back up. I'll try to get into some details of it soonish.

My copy of Dogs in the Vineyard should be arriving in the mail this coming week which is super cool. And I'm hoping to actually get a game of Dogs going for some folks this weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

valentines day and chicken!

I hope that you had a fantastic Valentines Day!

I certainly did. Me and the missus (after she finished taking a test at school) cooked a deeeeeeeelicious supper, and I'll post the recipe.

I got a pair of excellent books for Valentines presents, which I'll talk about later.

Anyway, we hung out, cooked food, drank wine, played Carcassone Castle and enjoyed each others company. Good times.

Also, Maddie cut all her hair off, and now sports a haircut that would make Alyssa Milano grind her teeth with envy.

Baked Chickenw ith Apricots and Olives
Two chickens (3 to 4lbs), cut into 8 pieces each
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 to 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 bayleaves
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dry white wine

Rine and dry chicken, then season with salt and pepper. Double two one-gallon resealable plastic bags and combine remaining ingredients in them,. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator overnight (or at least 2 hours), turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large roasting pan or two 9 by 13 inch pans, arrange chicken and sauce in a single layer with skin side up. Bake 1 hour, basting frequently during second half hour. If chicken isn't golden brown, place under broiler. Transfer chicken, apricots and olives to serving platter. Put remaining juices in small saucepan, skim excess fat and cook over medium-high heat until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour over chicken. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 10 to 12.
(recipe comes from http://www.weekendmag.com/)

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Another weekend.

I wish I handled disappointment in a more mature way. Instead I work myself into a 7 year old temper tantrum and make life generally unpleasant for those around me.

There was no Donjon or Dogs this weekend. I did see Lord of War, and it was pretty good. I did *not* see Doom or Puddle Chasers, thankfully. Though Doom was watched while I retreated to the laptop and we tried to watch Puddle Chasers for a few minutes.

Friday, February 10, 2006

random stuff

Randomly, here's what I'm up to.

Music: My last.fm page that keeps track of what I'm listening to in itunes.

Rome Total War. My friend Mike gave me the Barbarian Invasion expansion pack, as he bought it but found that he doesnt like the game. Weird. On the same subject, they're working on getting Total War: Medieval 2 for late this year and that freaking ROCKS!

Dogs in the Vineyard, more properly, the Lumpley games forum on The Forge.

Donjon, more properly, the anvilwerks forum on The Forge.

I've been MUSHing on Anytown, a new World of Darkness MUSH that I think I mentioned previously, but I'm afraid I'm already beginning to lose interest.

Oh Oh! And Krissi just got me Blasphemies!!! SWEET!

That's about it!


That's right. Snow. Right here in Horn Lake. (click the images for larger views)

Right now I sit in the warm breakfast room by the bay windows, glancing occasionally over my shoulder to watch Yazhi tear through the snow. She'll stand and look at it around her and sniff at it, then like a bolt, she'll take off across the yard at full gallop.

And here's a pair of movies of her playing in the yard..

http://slithytoves.sytes.net/~jerm/lj/nv/SUC50263.AVI (about 10 MB)

http://slithytoves.sytes.net/~jerm/lj/nv/SUC50262.AVI (about 6.5 MB)

This weekend I'm looking forward to getting some Rome Total War in, as well as some dice based gaming!

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Call of Cthulhu/World of Darkness

So on Wednesdays a small crew of us gather for gaming. I think it was at one time John's homebrew d20 fantasy game. Then it was Mike's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game, then it was Jason's Shadowrun 4e game, then it became my Call of Cthulhu with World of Darkness rules... game.

Last night was session #2 of the CoC/WoD game, and we were carrying over from session #1 the previous week. We lost a player, but the four remaining players and I carried on.

The players found themselves in a small mining town in the midst of a blizzard. They settled into the Hotel after hitting a Native American with their car on the way into town, and soon after the murderin' started. Naturally our party were looked at as suspects by the local law enforcement. They did some digging and a little investigating and before long we had more murders, dead law enforcement, native americans who wanted them to retrieve a magical silver disc and some shot up investigators. Turns out there's a werewolf involved, but the werewolf is just a servant to some other "Darkness". By the time the story wraps up, the investigators kill the werewolf and then drive off the "Darkness" with help from the native american shamans.

Well, they kindof stumbled through it. The adventure is pulled straight from a published Call of Cthulhu book, which I might (or might not) continue to run through. John and Dave and eventually Jason did a pretty good job of investigating some stuff, and Mike did a good job of snooping around town.

I'm not running next week though as I have a staff meeting at work, but will see what's shaking the following week. Either we'll run some more CoC or.. we won't.. and we'll run something else... or.. we won't.

This coming saturday though I'm going to be getting a few people together for Donjon which looks like fun. And if we have time and interest we might take Dogs in the Vineyard out for a few laps.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

four things

Anarkey tagged me with a "four things" meme. So here goes.

Four jobs I've had:

1. Computer Lab Assistant at Delta State University
2. Cook at Huey's in Memphis
3. Tech Support for the Roadrunner national helpdesk
4. Stock Boy at a Piggly Wiggly in Winona

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. Seven
2. Fight Club
3. Snatch
4. Go

Odd that I picked three movies with Brad Pitt in them.

Four places I've lived:

1. Memphis, Tennessee
2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
3. Kaiserslautern, (West) Germany
4. Cleveland, Mississippi

Four TV shows I love:

1. Worlds Wildest Police Videos. It may seem crazy, but I do, I love that show.
2. Law & Order
3. That '70s show.

Four places I've vacationed (and would return to in a heartbeat)

1. New York City
2. Solitude, Utah
3. A Caribbean cruise
4. London, England

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Pizza, supreme
2. Turkey and Swiss on Sourdough bread with Dijon Mayo from Alices Urban Market
3. Sweet and Sour Chicken
4. Chicken Quesadillas

Four sites I visit daily:

1. Google
2. Wikipedia
3. Penny-Arcade
4. The Forge

Four places I'd rather be right now:

1. The City Museum in St. Louis
2. The Great Wall of China
3. Touring Eastern Europe
4. Touring a Middle East that was a little less war torn and anti-american

Four bloggers I am tagging:

I'm going to totally cop out of this one. The top two bloggers who I keep up with have already done this meme, and I'm having trouble thinking of anyone else... So here are the blogs that I read :)

1. Anarkey's Slithytoves Corner: Among Mad People
2. Dave Ex Machina - A Thousand Points of Articulation
3. Innocent Man

Monday, February 6, 2006

Still here


Welcome back! (that part's for me)

Thanks for the reminder that I haven't updated here in ages. That I am sometimes flighty and prone to a short attention span will not shock or suprise those who know me.

Letsee... quick update on the last few months that I've negletect here..

Lets try this in semi-list format, shall we?

I have not been doing nearly as much excercise as I'd like to be. I've been super lazy. I need to get back into running and chinups and such.

I have managed to run myself and my one faithful Werewolf the Forsaken player through some fun stuff, but I've neglected it in the last few weeks and need to keep it moving.

I logged into a New World of Darkness MUSH recently and have been playing a bit. I'm of two minds on this. I enjoy the somewhat ready role playing and getting to play, yet these things usually require enormous devotions of time.

Christmas was very good.

I turned 30 in January. It didnt bother me as much as I figured it might have. In the months leading up to it I assumed I'd be super anxious and such, but its just another day. I'm healthy and in an okay place in life, so I have little to complain about. I do however find myself bristling at age jokes implying that I am in fact older and less fit and so forth. But I got to spend my birthday with dear friends, and so it was most excellent.

I gave Dogs in the Vineyard a test run with the same faithful player mentioned above. And we podcasted it :) (MP3 format, about 18 megs)

I actually picked up a book and started reading it, which I have sadly not done in.. years seemingly. At least a book that is not a game book. It is the Shroud of the Thwacker, by comedian Chris Elliott. Its quite entertaining.

I have been playing the hell out of Rome Total War, again. And it rocks my socks.

I am, this very afternoon, agonizing over the choice between purchasing Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. I can only get one right now, and it is a painful decision.

There's tons more that I'm missing due to having left this unupdated for ages, and for that I apologize to myself and to anyone reading, but I'll try to do better going forward.

Now with that out of the way, I will (shortly) respond to to a tag.

Stay tuned for more!