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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat!

Dang. I've gone through three bags of little snickers in like 45 minutes. Krissi and I both got home about 25 after, and had time to change clothes and let the dogs out, before the doorbell started ringing. Then it was once every 5 minutes. And at least once I had a party of Trick-or-Treaters arriving as another group was departing.

Its fun giving treats out to kids on Halloween. It always feels a tad socially awkward to me though. Especially when its kids who're like 16 or so, but what the hell, who am I to decide how old is too old to go ask strangers for candy. Still, it was fun. I tried to make it last, giving a small handful.. three or so of the little bite-size snickers to each kid. The dogs were super well behaved. Super curious, but not being terrible about it. I'm very very fortunate that neither of them are much for barking.

I did not dress up at all. We did have the previously mentioned Jack-o-lanterns out, but I fear the wind blew the candle out early on. I shall have to make an effort next Halloween to come up with a costume of some sort for giving out treats.. maybe I'll be a mummy, that seems fun and easy.. and to have more and better treats prepared. Anyone care to offer suggestions for stuff other than sugar to give to kids on Halloween?

Also, Blue Moon beer is excellent stuff. I was recently turned on to their Belgian White, which is a sweet beer, but not like a sticky sugary soft-drink. Right now though I'm drinking a Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. It is Fall, after all. =)


Happy Halloween!

Over the weekend we carved pumpkins, failed to run any TSOY, watched Hard Candy, and played Arkham Horror.

Apart from the not running TSOY, everything went really well. Even the not running TSOY was only a small let-down, and that was my fault. We carved pumpkins with Maddie, John, Beth and Jeremy and Riley. I'll get some pics and put them on here. Hard Candy was a terrific psychological thriller/horror we caught on PPV. I highly recommend it. And Arkham Horror was interesting. Jason had purchased it and brought it over, so we proceeded to try to figure out how to play the game. We didnt get through a whole game. It was fun, but quite complicated. I'd play it again. It also made me want to dig out my Call of Cthulhu book or fire up some Inspectres.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Running Blues

Hey look, I've got a theme going, or something.

Shit, I'm working on two weeks of not running. At all.

It's weird, I'm not even interested.

See.. I've gotten accustomed to being interested in running. Or, at the worst, concerned about it, but willing to make excuses to let myself skip.

But I've been totally like "no thank you". Not even trying to bargain with myself. Its concerning to me.


Cacheing! or is it Caching? Anyway..

Just wanted to mention that we went Geocaching the other weekend. We went after 4 caches and found......... 4 caches!! Woot!

Gaming Blues

Ok people, I'm going to talk about my frustration with gaming. This covers both some commentary on own gaming habits, and the seeming lack of any gaming to be had hereabouts.

So.. me. I have two complaints that I have to level at myself. One is my short attention span. My short attention span doesn't just apply to role-playing games, it seems to be a game thing in general, cause I see some of my habits in RPGs reflected in computer games as well (I own a ton of them, and rapidly switch gears, going from one game to another as the mood strikes me). Sadly, its had a negative impact on gaming before. I'd love to (have the time to) run both many and varied one shots, as well as some arching stories. Man, I want to play TSOY, and Sorcerer, and Burning Wheel, and Riddle of Steel and Vampire and Werewolf and.. and.. and.. See? The other is perhaps related to the first. See, I'm kinda lazy. I've observed myself getting a game going and getting people interested and getting lazy about it and thinking "Boy I sure would rather catch up on Daily Show episodes or play Alpha Centauri than run the game tonight." Which is setting myself (and the players) up for a less than awesome game experience.

And everyone else. I've complained about this before. Memphis has a sad lack of a gaming community. Well, that I've been exposed to anyway. Seriously, I'm not even talking about "*cry* there's no gaming community dedicated to burning wheel!". Truth be told, I'm aware of a F.O.R.G.E. group, which I believe is an ongoing tournament-style D&D game, and some LARP/nerf sword people. Maybe its that the city is so spread out. Anyway, I've appealed again to the two small groups that I've gamed with in the past, looking for takers for a TSOY Wuxia game, but I'm not expecting much reaction, if any. I've been semi-successful in initiating a game with two other folks who I've not gamed with in the past, but so far we've only managed to talk *about* gaming, and not yet actual *do* any gaming.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Prestige

Went and saw The Prestige over the weekend. Two words: Fan Tastic.

Will try to catch Marie Antionette, and Flags of our Fathers as well.

Looking forward to Catch a Fire, Casino Royale, and (I'm slightly ashamed to say) Borat.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ninja Death Theatre

Taken from: http://attacksofopportunity.blogspot.com/2006/05/ninja-death-theatre.html

You know that scene where the ninja kills, like, five guys in one round?

I’d like to see a mechanic where ninjas must deal with things that happen too fast to react too. Maybe instead of things happening once per round, some things can happen “between rounds”. The only way to deal with them is to pile up some kind of debt. The deeper the debt gets, the greater the results of failure. Part of the game then becomes trying to get into a clear space where you can rest for a beat and clear your debt.

That is bad ass, and I would love to use this in play sometime.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Government

I am continuously incensed and infuriated at the actions of our government.

That's right, incensed AND infuriated.

Today, Bushie signed into law a bill that undermines the Constitution that was part of the foundation of our nation.

In it, things like rape are outlawed, but the President is given liberty to define "torture".

In addition, and thanks to for bringing this to my attention, apparently Tennessee is working on state legislation to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. Why are we so fucking concerned with whether two consenting adults might want to bring some formality to their commitment to each other? Oh, because they're THE GAYS? Please. A threat to family values in America? How about divorce, people? Want to know what is a threat to family values in America? How about single mothers who, despite working perhaps two minimum wage jobs (note that the government recently voted to keep the minimum wage pretty fucking minimum) are barely able to support their families? How about our failing schools or any one of a hundred other things that I'm sure you could find that are wrong and fucked up in this country, and that maybe we could fix if we spent just half the time on it that we spend worrying about the god damn gays.

Oh - Foley - right, cybersex with underage pages Foley - is about to name the priest who molested him.

I have to apologize right now. I rarely wish terrible things on people. I'm pretty damned opinionated, but I try to see things in a positive light.

This guy can go fuck himself. I hope that he fades immediately into obscurity and that along the way something moderately terrible happens to him. Quit begging for pity, asshole. Fuck off.

Oh, and remember Ken Lay? From Enron? The guy who was responsible for fucking a ton of people out of their pensions? Well, he didn't do it. Not according to a appelate judge who, since Lay died this past summer, has abated the conviction. I bet that asshole is laughing in his grave, at all the people he fucked.

also on the topic of social contracts and gaming..

taken from: http://www.realms.org.uk/cms/articles/social_contract_gaming

Now at this point you may be saying, "but we always go by the rules!" And if so, then good for you, that probably means your group's social agreement fits quite nicely with the rules you are using. But think back, when was the last time your GM fudged a dice roll instead of killing a character? Did you let it slide, accepting that this is how things are done, or complain that he cheated? This is a prime example of the social agreement that players should be heroic characters who don't die arbitrarily, overruling the system's rules of character death.

Does your GM allow other players to interject with cool story ideas? I do, it's not part of the rules, but it's an accepted part of the games I play in. If I did it in some peoples groups they'd probably look at me funny, why is he suggesting how his Call of Cthulhu character dies?

TSOY Wuxia

One day I hope to be able to run a Shadow of Yesterday Wuxia game.


I note this here, mostly as a note to myself. Man this would be so bad ass.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Social Contracts

[note: this is a kinda rambly, fragment, thought-flow post, I'll try to repost and clean up/elaborate on some things sometime.]

So I'm talking to some folks about cranking up some gaming, which is damned exciting stuff.

Some of the things that you have to discuss include:

Character death. (taken from here) Choices are: Yes. Yes - Dramatically Appropriate. No - except with player's permission. No.

Character Death.

Out-of-game stuff at the table. (how much conversation do we want to tolerate at the game table? No one wants to be a game nazi, but if we're just gonna chat about Lost, then we need to stop or pause gaming to chat about Lost.)

(Expected) Length of the story arch/campaign. Are we playing a straight up one-shot? Is it a short or medium story arc, with a definite end that is planned? or is it a throwback to "a campaign" in which we'll play until the group drifts apart?

Where and when to play, and how long to play there. (And other aspects of this - who buys the food? Smoke outside. Kids? Pets? Drinking at the game? Late arriving or not going to make it?)

'Be a team player, not a dick.' or 'play nice'.

How many players to have at the table.

Policy on introducing new players.

Social contracts are important at the game table. We dont think of the word "social contract" on a daily basis, but we live by social contracts. You're kind enough to close the door when you use the bathroom if you're at someone elses house, etc.

What to play:


Pirates and Privateers. In the mostly-historic 17th Century Carribean, just add low-grade magic. I'm thinking magic in the Carribean will be restricted to use on ships. That sailors tolerate it ONLY on the water, and that the authorities, and even the sailors will not tolerate its use on land. Sailors call it The Gift, others call it Sorcery, Heresy, Witchcraft, Satanism, Demonics, etc.

Also, I'm putting this: http://attacksofopportunity.blogspot.com/ on my reading list :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"At least no one died."


From the article linked above:
Republican Rep. Christopher Shays defended the House speaker's handling of a congressional page scandal, saying no one died like during the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident involving Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.

"I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water, and then have a press conference the next day," the embattled Connecticut congressman told The Hartford Courant in remarks published Wednesday.

"Dennis Hastert didn't kill anybody," he added.

What the fuck? Talk about some fucked up logic. "Yeah, I'm sorry, I really shouldn't have done that. But remember when Saddam Hussien gassed those Kurdish villages? Boy, I didn't do that, you know."

I just don't think that "I didn't kill anybody." is a valid defense. Unless we're talking about a murder trial. And we're not. Let me remind you, since the Republicans are trying really hard to generate a smoke screen, that we're talking about a Congressman who engaged in some pretty goddamn questionable behavior, and a party that apparently had at least some information about this problem going back to 2001.

Give me a fucking break.

Monday, October 9, 2006

North Korean Nuculer Blues

Ok, so unless you specifically don't watch the news, you're probably aware that North Korea apparently tested a nuclear weapon. Our government is (understandably) upset, as is China and most of the global community. Don't get me wrong, I dislike that we bully other nations into not pursuing nuclear power while we continue to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons, but North Korea with nukes is scary to me, because I think they'd use them without alot of hesitation.

So.. I'm taking wagers on what will happen next.

I'm afraid that we're going to see a unilateral military response from the US. Maybe the bombing of select targets in the North. I don't see how this wouldn't rekindle open war on the Korean Peninsula, and I'm certain that China would not take kindly to our acting directly and without their input. I'm not putting money on that, but based on the track record of our administration, I'll be horrified, but not surprised if Bush picks this option.

Your thoughts?

school shootings

Crap, this is terrible, terrible stuff. It makes me SO glad that I dont have children in schools, because I'm sure I'd be absolutely terrified.

Anyway, I'm posting because I heard a very interesting interview on NPR over the weekend, discussing journalistic censorship and how it could relate to school shootings. Part of the discussion centered on copy-cat crimes, and the question of whether media coverage of school shootings was somehow glorifying them, and causing more.

Censorship is a bad thing, in my opinion, but I hadnt considered this perspective. I dont think that the government should have any hand in censoring the media, cause that's a slipperly slope that we're already on, IMHO, but I wonder if the media could censor itself, and whether it would be a positive thing or not.

What do you think?

in-laws, running, and haunted corn mazes

Howdy folks,

I'm loving the shift in weather from summer to fall.

This past Saturday I slept in good and late, till 8:15 or so, then got up, got my running clothes on and set out. My handy weather-telling plugin for Firefox told me that it was 48 degrees (F) outside, and it did feel chilly, but not cold. I had mapped out a 10 mile route around the area near me with Google Earth. The run was great, great, great. I wasnt %100 certain that I would be able to do the whole 10, having mapped it in such a way that I could cut off the last bit of the run and only end up doing 8, but I made the entire 10. The weather couldnt really have been more perfect.

Before I left for the run I took my Claratin, a One-A-Day Active vitamin, and ate a half of a peanut butter sandwich (for energy- long runs on an empty stomach is bleh). This was the longest run I've done in.. a couple months. Which sucks, because if I'm going to do the Marathon the end of this year, I need to be doing way more than 10 miles. We'll see. Anyway, the run felt great. Its been my experience that somewhere around 8 miles the adductor muscles start to feel sore and tight. For the sake of clarity, its a tired sore, not really a painful sore, nor is it a soreness that prevents me from completing the run. It does slow me down a bit, and I'm sure have an effect on my stride, but I dont consider it abnormal or anything. Its just what happens when you've run 8ish miles. I managed it in just a little under two hours, which I consider to be pretty good time for me. After I got home I hopped in a hot bath for a bit, got some food, and promptly took a nap.

My running gear consists of: a pair of imitation oakley sunglasses, sunblock, a 2.1L Camelback Rogue, underarmor boxer-briefs, a pair of nike lightweight shorts, a lightweight poly shirt, my running shoes, my iPod Nano and my ID.

Going to try to put in some miles this week. There are so many good reasons that I cant do long runs during the week.. it gets dark early, its late in the day and after work when my energy level is low, there are only so many available hours in the workday to split up among work, eating, sleeping, goofing off, and running, and um, I'm not enough of a morning person to get up and run before work. Still despite my whining, I'm going to try to do at least 3 miles every night, allowing for one skip night during the week. Yay running =)

Krissi's brother, Travis, has moved down from Virginia. He's staying with us for a bit while he works on getting a job and getting acclimated to North MS. Travis is a good guy, and its nice to have him around.

The Williams-Younger-White gang gathered this weekend. We saw The Departed which was very good, I liked it alot. Beforehand we saw a preview for 300, apparently based on a Frank Miller graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae. It looks really, really awesome, like Sin City meets.. um, the Battle of Thermopylae. The gang also made it out to the Haunted Corn Maze at the AgCenter in Memphis. It was fun and spooky, and well worth the trip.

Apparently I'm linktastic today. Thanks for bearing with me.

That's about it! Happy Columbus Day!

I forgot - we caught a ripped showing of Crank. Let me just say: hehehehehehe! I dont mean to be ugly, but this was easily one of the silliest, most ridiculous movies I've seen. It was all over the top, way far out action stuff. For an action movie, it was damn funny.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Dear Congressman Foley,

Dear Congressman Foley,

Being gay, having been molested, and having a drinking problem are not excuses, or shields to hide behind. You're a sick dude. Sure, you need some help. Possibly some jail time.

You and your lawyer seem to be desperately flailing about looking for some sympathy. You're certainly not going to get any here. In fact, this flailing about just makes me more angry about this whole mess you've created. See, you're helping to foster the idea that that "the gays" are a bunch of savages who molest boys like, as a matter of course.

It's unfortunate that you were molested. But that certainly doesn't let you off easy.

For shame, sir.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Time keeps on slipping..

Man, time slides on by.

I've been in a blogging lull.. feels like there's just nothing exciting or pressing enough to talk about. I'd been in rant/gaming/running mode for a few months there, and its kinda dropped back and I feel like I've nothing to come chatter about.

But.. Here's what been going on.

Running: Bleh. I have to face that I don't know if I'm going to make the marathon at the end of the year. Grrr. I'm really bummed. I'd seriously intended to train and make it, and my training hasn't been anywhere near what it needs to be. Why? Mostly because I'm a little lazy. I'm going to to try to push myself and see if I can build up to do it, but I fear it may not happen. Bleh.

Movies: Saw 'Fearless' the other day. Enjoyed it quite a bit. It felt like a more traditional Chinese martial arts flick than Hero and some others did. It prompted us to rush out and purchase Once Upon A Time in China I, II & III. Watched I and enjoyed it, we'll catch the other two soon. Also saw 'Inside Man' a Spike Lee flick with Denzel Washington and Some Other Guy who's name I think I should know, but I dont care enough. It was pretty terrible. Not super terrible, just terrible. No other movies that I can think of in the past few weeks. On the TV front though we've finished catching up on The Office season two on DVD, and have been watching the episodes of season 3. Good stuff.

Gaming: Not flipping happening. Its frustrating. The gang has been on a tabletop kick, which is pretty cool. Runebound is a fun game, but its so long. And makes me want/not want to look for my D&D player handbook. Played Betrayal at House on the Hill, which was pretty cool too. Sometime, thanks to advice from Legomancer, I'll have to get my hands on games like Puerto Rico, Acquire (out of print), For Sale, Power Grid, Citadels, Tikal, etc.

Other stuff... hm.. ok - I've fought blogging this for a month now, I'll try to just make it a couple of sentences. I made a myspace account. I've got my brother and his wife on there, lots of friends from high school, Weird Al, TMBG.. etc... but damn! myspace is such a terribly implemented, good idea. Its just a social networking site, unlike livejournal which is a blog site that provides a mechanism for some networking. Anyway, I promised to keep this quick. Myspace sucks. I wish there was a less crappy way to catch up with old friends.

Not much else worth sharing, but thanks for stopping by!