tablesaw: Two yellow roses against a bright blue sky. (Family Roses)
This past weekend was a lazy one, like the New Year weekend before. (The Xmas weekend was stressful, with most of my Christmas Day trivia written on Christmas Eve.) [personal profile] temptingcuriosity and I went to LACMA on Saturday, avoiding the bigger events (Kubrick and Caravaggio) and indulging our own personal preferences (Surrealist Drawings and Maya artifacts). On Sunday we stayed in, made bacon pancakes, and lounged around because it was cold outside.

I asked her what she was looking for from the new year, but I already knew what her year looked like, when I thought about it. Really, I wanted her to ask me the question. I know I want to get hired permanently at this new job, but past that I wasn't sure. Talking about it, I realized that I wanted to create more in 2013. Not a particular thing, or a big thing, just lots of things.

Recently, I say a lot that I'm too much in my head. I talk to folks a bit more on Twitter, and I'm talking to people in person, but I'm not getting things out in non-conversational settings anymore. As a true geek, I worry about the narrow bandwidth of talking to people one-on-one; I just don't have enough time to tell things to everyone I would like to. Blog posts allow you, my friends and readers, to time-shift the Tablesaw experience to fit your schedule (something I know I appreciate).

But while blog posts are always things I need to do more often, to get into the habit of writing long things (or just short things that aren't twitter), what I want to do is just create more things that I can share. And saying it the other day made me excited and happy. A good sign, I think.

This year I don't just want to do things I love, I want to make new things to send out into the world with them, so that my experiences can travel beyond the horizon of my personal bubble. I want to write about at least one thing a week, TV, movie, game, what have you. I want to make some more puzzles, definitely at least one thing I can bring to the NPL convention in Austin. I want to finally hide a geocache in LA. I want to make some games, eventually, somewhere. There's a pre-Companions DW/AW game knocking around in my head that mostly needs a lot of research (that TemptingCuriosity is eager to help with).

My birthday is on Thursday, and I turn 35, a number that is a multiple of the amount of fingers on one hand, which means that I'll probably freak out sometime this year, though I'm successfully blocking it out for now. It's a good time to have a plan, and it's a good time to have a plan that focuses so much on simple joys. Last year was not a good one, this one will be better.
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
As the players both stand foot to foot, face to face,
One should aim to go east while the other goes west,
Though they're out of the game if they step out of place.

Player one starts a volley by making the case
Why the other one budging would really be best,
As the players both stand foot to foot, face to face.

The opponent can then, if they choose to, embrace
This persuasive protreptic profoundly expressed,
Though they're out of the game if they step out of place.

So instead, they must fully expound the disgrace
That would fall upon them should they meet that request,
As the players both stand foot to foot, face to face.

Player two then returns a demand for the space
To move forward. The foe may choose not to protest,
Though they're out of the game if they step out of place.

Then repeat and repeat in a motionless chase
Where the mulish participants grow more obsessed1
As the players both stand foot to foot, face to face,
Though they're out of the game if they step out of place.
1For a more somber game, replace "obsessed" with "depressed."

Probably Much-Needed Context )

Spare Wheel

Aug. 1st, 2012 02:25 pm
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
I'm getting the itch to do more tabletop RPG right now, just as one member of my regular group is in the hospital helping his wife through labor, and another member is preparing to do the same in two weeks.

This is a little bit heightened by going over to my friend Laz's house. I was just there to pick up my headphones which I'd left the night before, but it turned out he was running his own game. Using "The Keep on the Borderlands on a "rules light" system. This turned out to be a fuzzy simulation system with some unusual implications during combat. It was a decent time playing, but it was disconcerting to go from a group dedicating to breaking down the rules of RPG systems in playtest to a DM with hidden information adding hidden bonuses to hidden rolls behind a screen (an unknown number of them fudged) who categorically refused to give details about the system or its implications. (If I write about that, I think I'll make it separate, since there's a lot of stuff I'm processing, much of which is not particularly groundbreaking.)

It did get me fired up about Dungeon World and World of Dungeons, the sparseness of the latter vaguely resembling Laz's simple game. It also got me thinking about Burning Wheel, which is a system I played once at con, but always wanted to learn more about. And I'd just come across my copy of the book, so I thought I'd actually read about how the system works.

Except that the book that I'd found was actually The Character Burner, one of the two books that describe the system. And the other one, the half that has most of the system rules, was missing. I searched on and off for a few days, becoming more forlorn. By the time I told Psyche about it, I was near certain that I'd left it somewhere foolish, like the DMV.

She found it in about seven minutes.
tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
I've joined Twitter as [twitter.com profile] sawofthetable.

I don't know how much I'll use it or check on it. But being unable to use either Google+ or Facebook under my pseudonym has left me frozen out of things. I was looking at friend's Google Plus page and discovered that last month, he had gotten into an involved discussion about a role-playing game inspired by the problems that I had when playing it. Of course, I hadn't known about it, and couldn't comment on it if I wanted, because I remain banned under Google Plus's naming policy, despite claims to have loosened the restrictions.

Of the Big Three social-networking sites, having one I can use as Tablesaw may turn out to be useful for connecting with the folks who are wrapped up in Realnamia.
tablesaw: Ration Hornblower, from the cast of Smile Time, peeks his horn nose out at you. (Ratio Hornblower)
So this week didn't work out so well.

After an initial flurry of activity filing for unemployment insurance and sending a few e-mails to staffing agencies, I fell into a funk of avoidance, leading to a mini freak out on Thursday. I talked with friends and family who reminded me that it's ok to be freaked out about being unemployed for the first time in over a decade, and that a few days of not doing anything productive is fine.

I'm going to try to set myself onto a daily working schedule come Monday. While it's nice to sleep in until 11 or noon, I'm not actually productive when I stay up late. Once it nears sunset, I start feeling like my work day is over, and I stop doing other things. I think that forcing myself to at least be awake by nine every morning will add a few hours to my "working" day, at the very least. More measures will probably be forthcoming.

I did manage to do a lot of nonproductive things, though. I entered a local crossword puzzle tournament and participated in a sudoku contest at Logic Masters India. boardgaming night (played Roll Through the Ages), role-playing-game night (beta-testing a game by Josh Robern), a party to read and mock Fifty Shades of Grey as a group, and an NPL party. And in addition to that, I saw a bunch of friends at different times. I joined the site Quora despite its "real names" policy, by hacking together a form of pseudonymity out of its nascent system. And I sauteed chicked without freaking out.

Starting Monday, I'm going to add DW to my list of daily things to do. For reals.
tablesaw: Ration Hornblower, from the cast of Smile Time, peeks his horn nose out at you. (Ratio Hornblower)
Poll #9541 GEEKY SATURDAY
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 5


What incredibly geeky thing should I do on Saturday?

View Answers

Attend OrcCon, a local gaming convention.
2 (40.0%)

Attend a screening of all five original Planet of the Apes films.
3 (60.0%)

Defend your position:


I'm working on the Monday holiday, so I'm going to take Saturday off, and there are two competing amazingly geeky things to do, and I'm having a hard time deciding, so I'm polling opinions.

Things to consider (ETA: These are all things that people have asked me to help make a decision):
  • Links: Planet of the Apes | OrcCon
  • Distance: The Egyptian Theatre is in walking distance from my house, while OrcCon is a bit of a drive to the LAX area.
  • Cost: Between registration and parking, a day at OrcCon will cost about $40. A ticket to all of the Apes movies is $15.
  • Friends: Although the Apes marathon will undoubtedly be packed with Apes enthusiasts, I will probably not be attending with any previously known friends. On the other hand, a number of friends and acquaintances will be attending OrcCon either for boardgaming or role-playing. In fact, several of my friends are organizing a Houses of the Blooded LARP.
  • Uniqueness: Strategicon is held three times a year, while Planet of the Apes marathons are . . . somewhat more rare. On the other hand, I have all of the movies on DVD and could organize a showing in my house (with booze, even), while gaming is often ephemeral.
  • PKD: In A Scanner Darkly, the characters plan to attend a marthon of all of the Planet of the Apes movies. They do not plan to attend a LARP.
tablesaw: -- (Real1)
Hello, Google Profiles Team Member, and others!

There's not a whole lot I can do to talk to you as you go through this appeal, so I'm making this public post as the first informational link on my appeal, to help you get some context about what's going on here.

See, I was suspended on August 3rd. I appealed and was summarily rejected, but you asked me to send an e-mail for further review. The ticket number for that appeal was apparently #845437331. I sent an e-mail on August 4th. A public copy is here: http://tablesaw.dreamwidth.org/484324.html. Over the weekend, I waited to see if you'd respond or simply let it fall into the black hole of non-responses. But something different happened. My account went from having failed its appeal to having never had an appeal. At least, that's what it looked like from my profile page. I'm not sure; it's possible that my profile was reinstated and then re-rejected before anyone could see it. But I'm a little concerned that my last appeal, and the carefully considered words I sent you have been wiped clean from the last time.

But before we dicsuss theory, let's get to the links, shall we?

http://tablesaw.dreamwidth.org/profile

Dreamwidth is essentially my current base of operations on the Internet, where I am Tablesaw. This is a social network, where I am connected to hundreds of people who know me as Tablesaw. As you can see, I have archives for this name going back to 2002. Of course, many of those earlier entries are actually transferred from the previous iteration of this blog.

http://tablesaw.livejournal.com/profile

It was at Livejournal that I started the blog in 2002, and started to be known as Tablesaw to a wider web audience. Again, as a social network, LiveJournal introduced me to many people whom I now associate with offline as Tablesaw.

http://www.puzzlers.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=krewe:noms:tablesaw

Before that, I joined the National Puzzlers' League, an organization with over a century of experience using chosen names in "real life," as Tablesaw. Now, I know what you're thinking, Google Person. That website looks terrible and doesn't itself, vouch for my identity much. I'll admit, I don't use the website much either. But then, you've kind of placed yourself in a bind, asking me to prove things that happen in "real life" with links on the internet. You see, most of the NPL events happen off of the internet (where all of my friends call me Tablesaw), so the web presence is naturally still a bit sketchy. Of course, it's there where I met the woman who would become my fiancée as Tablesaw.

http://ifmud.port4000.com:4001/finger?user=Tablesaw

And before the NPL, I was on IFmud as Tablesaw. Again, an online space that translated into "real life" friends who call me Tablesaw. There was, for example, the time when a dozen or so of us got together and rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, something that we managed without ever having to use anything but the handles from the MUD.

https://plus.google.com/110575895677561507998/posts/YHtqJ5AXeAF
http://tablesaw.dreamwidth.org/482794.html

I don't know if you can see my own posts on G+ while I'm suspended, because I know the technology is still new. The second link is a backup. This link tells the story of the history of being recoginzed as Tablesaw by a small company that you might have heard of called "Google." See, it's hard to document my seven years of using Tablesaw Tablesawsen on my Gmail account as a link, so the best I can do is to tell you about it and assume that you can look up the information on your own. As they say in the legal profession, the documents responsive to your request are already in your custody and control. I can't tell you how to look into the history of my e-mail account, or my web history account (which I've also used since it was brought online).

https://picasaweb.google.com/tablesaw

Though I can show you the place where I've been using a Google social service under the name Tablesaw for four years. (Though, of course, I can't leave comments on most of my friends' pages like I could last month, because they're on Google Plus, and I'm suspended.)

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/
http://forum.caravelgames.com/member.php?Action=viewprofile&username=Tablesaw
http://www.croco-puzzle.com/Ue-Raetsel/ratinggraph.php?id=2249&type=all
http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=1460
http://www.gamersquarter.com/forums/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=159

And a further assortment of links to places where I'm known by Tablesaw on line, and where I interact with people who call me Tablesaw offline. Some of those represent places I don't visit much anymore. In fact, one person I encircled was someone from one of those fora with whom I hadn't really had contact in years, and I was so glad that using the name Tablesaw on Google Plus allowed us to find each other. Of course, that connection's gone now.

https://plus.google.com/110575895677561507998/posts/4hyoVecgxux

Finally, one more post from Google Plus, where one of the people I meet with weekly tells someone mocking my name, in no uncertain terms, that Tablesaw's the name they know me by.

Ok, links done, let's talk about your policy.




See, as I mentioned in that letter I sent to you guys last week, despite suspending me a bunch of times and linking me to your progressively updated Names Policy, nobody's actually told me what it is that's wrong with my name.

I understand that you don't want my legal or government-recognized name. That's good, because I don't really want to give it to you. (Though it does raise the question of why you'd asked for a But you do want "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you", and I've already given it to you—you've had it for over seven years.

Let's back up. Because, to be honest, there's a problem with your "Common Name" request, which is that I don't have just one common name. I've really got two. One of them I listed as my main profile name (in fact, as I said, I listed it as my main profile name seven years ago), the other I've listed as a nickname under privacy lock. I'm assuming that you can see that, with Google Profile powers, but I'm not going to mention it in this post, because it is, still, an open letter.

You're not really clear on what the difference is between a "common name" and a "nickname" really is. As far as I can tell, my two common names are also nicknames (since neither is, obviously, the name that my local government rigorously identifies me as). Now, I can see how helpful it is to have that other name in my nickname field, locked down under security so that only people whom I choose can see it, but beyond that, I don't see what your problem is with which common name I've placed where.

There's lots of reasons I don't want my other common name up in the big fancy spot on my profile. One reason is that the other nickname is rather close to the name by which the government rigorously identifies me. As you should be aware by now, what with the My Name Is Me campaign and other e-mails I know you're getting, is that making a name like that public opens one up to a lot of different forms of danger. And a lot of that ties into the circumstances I have two common names in the first place. Many people I know are aware of both names, and which they use at any given time is their business (and can switch in the same conversation sometimes). But the people who know me as Tablesaw (which includes a lot of people like my family (Hi, mom!)) have something in common: they are the people with whom I am more willing to share information about my life. And the people who know me only by my other common name are people whom I want to know as little about me as possible.

In other words, the social network that revolves around me as Tablesaw is far more valuable than the one that revolves around me as my other common name. More valuable to me, personally and emotionally, and more valuable to you because I'll be active in sharing with them.

And of course, there's the simple fact that I was here with this name long before Google Plus. When I went to initiate this appeal, the dialogue box that now appears eager to usher in a new name, wiping away years of history informs me that the name I change to is going to be changed in all Google products. Really? When just a month ago, it was perfectly fine for me to use all (and boy, do I mean all) Google products as Tablesaw, now you tell me that name's no good?

Well, maybe you do.

But you know—I know there's a lot of entitlement issues going around with Google Plus—but I do feel, after all this time, that I do deserve to be told why my name's not good enough for you anymore, if for no other reason than so that I can decide if I can change it for you.

Ok. I think that's it.

I hope you read all this, because I guarantee you, someone's going to.

And you know what? Depending on when you read this in relation to when other people read this, you can probably keep going down this page to see a bunch of my friends, friends in "real life"—and I guess I didn't even get to the part where somehow, "offline" is "real life," as though everything that happens on the Internet is somehow fictional (because, really, if online isn't "real life," then what does that make a web-based company like Google?)—tell you how they call me Tablesaw offline too.

I don't know if it even matters anymore.

After seven years, I'm starting to figure out what the cost will be of moving me e-mail address, simply because you think my name's not good enough for you and you won't tell me why.

Okay, it's late and I'm getting maudlin about this.

Best of luck with all this, Google Profiles Team Member. If you've read this far down, you deserve it.

And hell, you know what, I'm going to turn off IP logging, on the off chance that you want to leave a message. Anons get screened, and I won't reveal if you ask me not to.

Bed now. For reals.

Tablesaw out.
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
Leading up to the NPL Convention next month, I'm taking care of some business, like letting my regular RPG group know that I'm not going to be around. This reminded me of the time that I suggested bringing some RPGs to the next con. Of course, that was before the last con, but hey, I'm remembering now, okay!

So would people be interested in some RPGs after hours? I'd be thinking about some short low- or no-prep games like In a Wicked Age, Apocalypse World or Dungeon World, Inspectres, Fiasco, Leverage (can't link there from work, for some reason), or other things of interest.

But I'd want to know if there's interest, so that I can possibly print some materials and pack my dice.

This offer goes for folks I might be seeing in Boston or Providence outside the con too. And I guess I should post this to the NPL list too.

Infodump

Jun. 5th, 2011 10:58 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Things done since ever.

  • Bought tickets for the NPL Convention in Providence. Will be flying into Boston on the 4th (5 p.m. EDT), looking to bum around before heading to the hotel on Wednesday afternoon, then flying out of Logan early on the 11th (7 a.m.). Who'll be around?
  • I also said, "Screw it!" and asked for the rest of that week off from work, so it's going to be a real vacation for me all through to the 15th. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. But it will not be working.
  • I'm coming out of a funk (well, came out of a funk a week or so ago). It's always hard to identify it when I'm in it, till my body rebels and says, "No, Tablesaw, you need to do things again. You're going to do those situps, and then you're going to go out and see people." I'm looking ahead to when the pushback happens, the time when I feel a little sick or a little tired, and I let my momentum slip, and I can't pick it up again. On the horizon, this is most likely to happen because . . .
  • I'm probably going into the dentist this week to get my other wisdom tooth looked at. I have a feeling it's going to need removal too. The last time that happened it took a lot out of me. If it happens again, I'm going to need to plan ahead so that I can remomentatize myself.
  • I planned to go geocaching with [personal profile] trinker, and then found out it was to happen on her birthday, so I went all out to be the birthday fairy. It turned out kind of okay.
  • All the TV shows ended, and everyone is pregnant, I guess.
  • My phone, my crappy-ass phone—that is only one step removed from a crappy assphone—has started losing its charge, so I'm actually getting a smartphone. Virgin Mobile, which I've been using to keep my cell-phone bill under $10/month, has an unlimited data plan for $25/month. It should arrive this week. So that'll be interesting.
  • The Portal 2 print is framed and gorgeous-looking. I'm also wrestling with framing these prints on the cheap, which would be easier if the United States and Canada hadn't decided that they wanted their own special paper sizes.
  • Oh, I got a haircut too. For me, it's super short. But then, my hair was getting kind of long. For a while, it looked way too young for my big, bearded, thirty-three-year-old face, but it's looking better with a beard trim.
  • I watched a friend run Dungeon World at Strategicon over the weekend, which got me rereading Apocalypse World. After playing through a campaign, the directives made a lot more sense. It's a fascinating game, which is probably why I keep talking about it to everyone I meet. Also, much like with Smallville, I'm seeing it in the shows I watch. Sons of Anarchy and Dexter are totally running on Apocalypse World.
  • Finished Dragon Age:Origins. Pablum is too exciting a word.
  • Visited the Museum of Death, knocking another item off of my bucket list (defined as things that are close enough for me to throw a bucket at). It was disappointing. I was hoping for a curatorial perspective beyond, "WOW ISN'T THIS COOOOOOOOL!? SERIAL KILLERS, MAN! FUCK SOCIETY!" There were some nice touches: a set of crime-scene photographs near (what I assume was) the brief mention of the murder-suicide. On the other hand, relics of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein were counterposed with "ads containing humorous depictions of cannibals." Yeah, that wasn't too pleasant.
Gotta go to bed now . . .
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
I've been avoiding Community because, well, what [personal profile] mswyrr said. But I also know a lot of people who really enjoy it, and I kept seeing fun vids focusing on Troy and Abed. So today, after running through my queue of Daily Show and Colbert Report, when Hulu suggested that my next show be the most recent episode of Community, my first thought was no.

When I saw the title was "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," my second thought was maybe.

When I realized the teaser image was one of the characters in Drow Blackface, I was in morbid curiosity mode.

And then . . . it was good?

I still don't know how I feel about the Drow Blackface issue. It was clearly called out and the defense was noted as hypocritical, but it was superfluous, which I always wonder about. I leave it to someone more experienced to read.

And the show seems to have moved away from privileged white guy being the star to focusing on the ensemble? Maybe? If anyone wants to campaign for or against, I'm all ears.

But what struck me the most was that instead of a parade of geek references, the episode actually plumbed the depth of the social aspect of games. And I think the fact that most of the characters weren't gamers, it made it easier to cut through the cruft of references. Instead of owlbears and beholders, there was a fundamental breakdown of the social contract and conflict over the role of the DM. There's powergaming through metagaming. There's a conflict over role-playing versus roll-playing. There are hooks and callbacks. There's a struggle over the purpose of the game. And it generally seems to give anyone watching a sense of why they might be interested in playing a game like this.

Although the game they were playing was actually in the show was (loosely interpreted) first- or second-edition AD&D, it seemed to be tracing the steps of Forge theory.

The writing staff seems to be mostly ignorant of gaming, which might be the point. Telling a funny story with a role-playing game is different than telling a funny story about a role-playing game.
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
Which is actually kind of impressive now that I think about it.

All congratulations go to [livejournal.com profile] joshroby and [livejournal.com profile] meghatron on their wedding, as well as my thanks for inviting me to the ceremony, party, and afterparty.

I got to catch up with, and get to know better, a lot of the folks I've only met briefly, as well as meet a number of very cool people. (I don't use Facebook in the sense that I don't put anything on my Facebook, but I sure do like the real-life Pokemon aspect of adding everyone I meet.) There were a few times when I needed to leave and take a walk outside, but that was mostly because the music was too loud for me to tolerate without earplugs (which I didn't think to bring). Luckily, I was not the only one, so I was able to make conversation outside the main room most of the time.

After the party was #wedcon which was a lot of folks chilling in a fabulous hotel room in our fancy clothes. Eventually ran the mostly unwritten but excellently named and quite awesome Five Furious Fists of Tiamat. I played "Unnamed Peruvian Teenage Girl," and was quoted for Twitter. By the time I left, it was about 2:30, which was much later than I had intended, but I'm very glad I stayed.

Though I should probably get to sleep early tonight.

(Incidentally, I suggest "Sach'a", which seems to mean something like wood, tree, or born wild in the jungle in Quechua, based ona little bit of web searching.)

Food?

Oct. 20th, 2010 09:35 pm
tablesaw: The Maple Street streetlight blinks on and off and on. (Monsters Are Due)
I'm hungry but don't feel like eating. Or perhaps I want to eat but I'm not hungry. Either way, I'm feeling ambivalent about dinner. I guess this is what happens when I'm not picking something up on the way to game night.
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
Arianna Skye (my superpowered teenage alien character): "The entire point of space is about freedom!



Me (OOC): If you've got an idea for a scene go for it, because if you ask me, "What is Airy doing now?" the answer is sitting alone in her room, clutching something soft, and not crying while listening to Tori Amos.
Judson (OOC): China or Barbados?
Me: China. Definitely China.
tablesaw: Paul, who is a ghost, declares this to be "Booooring!" (Booooring)
I think that the wisdom-tooth pulling drama is over. The last time I posted, I'd popped the suture. Well, the next morning, I called to see if it would be a problem, and they said it wasn't—it was normal and it would be fine if I waited two days until my scheduled appointment to have them removed. So I agreed to that.

Five hours later, my entire mouth hurt. It was the stress of constantly moving my tongue and my mouth around to avoid and accomodate the string hanging down from the top of my mouth. I couldn't focus, I could barely stand it. For a moment, I considered taking vicodin, not for the pain (which was mostly gone by then), but for the constant stress of that damned silk.

I called the dentist's office, confirmed that someone would be there in an hour, and ran out of my office as fast as I could notify my supervisor. Metro to my house, drive to the office, then five minutes in the chair and my mouth felt ten times better.

(Unfortunately, starting an hour later, and continuing until I went to sleep that night, I had the sensation of a phantom thread in my mouth.)

For a little while I was worried that I might have gotten something stuck over there, but the healing process ejected it last night, and all is nice and smoothish in upper-left-rear-gum-land.



It looks like our gaming group will finally all be together to take on out Smallville campaign of Shercroft Academy. I smell Fall finale on this one.
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
A post to say, among other things that I won't be posting for a while, as I'll be in Seattle for the National Puzzlers' League Convention following my recent tradition of going on even-numbered years.



Traveling always makes me anxious, and this is no exception. No major freak-outs, but [personal profile] ojouchan's been keeping me in check because she knows me and is awesome.

My flight leaves early tomorrow morning. Too early, really; I chose the flight based on getting into Seattle early and forgot about getting to the airport even earlier. Since I don't want to leave my car this time, it means getting a shuttle van for the ride there. Which means getting picked up stupid early. Bleah.



It also, then, may not have been a good idea to commit to GMing a game of Cortex K (aka the Smallville RPG), since it means I can't go to bed early. (Would I have been able to sleep? Probably not, but still.) In fact, it probably won't be worth it for me to go to sleep after gaming at all.

We're running our faux Vampire Diaries campaign, Darkwillow as a one-shot. I . . . didn't go into campaign creation with a good idea of what that would mean, so I was a bit stressed out early on trying to flesh out the world quickly. But as things started falling into place, it got progressively easier. I can see how, after a few games of regular play, GM prep goes down to almost nothing.

Josh has also given me a peak at some of his old prep materials for Shercroft Academy, and it's hilarious to see how some of his planned adventures went nowhere near where they were supposed to.



I'm apparently addicted to yogurt now. I was looking for something sweetish to use as an afternoon snack that wasn't a candy bar out of the vending machine, and started eating yogurt. I don't know that I actually like it, but it's just everything I need when I need it. Still, better than a Snickers bar.
tablesaw: Supervillain Frita Kahlo says, 'Dolor!' (Que Dolor!)
It's been a pretty strange few weeks, and I have not posted anything.

  • Planet of the Apes looks amazingly beautiful on the big screen.
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes looks . . . pretty much the same on the big screen.
  • The Back to the Future trilogy . . . also looks pretty much the same on the big screen, but it certainly benefits from a marthon viewing.
  • The Hill Valley 2015 cosplayers looked fantastic.
  • Risk 2210 AD is definitely an improvement over original Risk.
  • Smallville the RPG is apparently out of playtesting, which means that now our group is just playing it because it's awesome.
  • Nightmare on Elm was more horrible than even the horribleness expected. I expected the horribleness of bad and pointless storytelling and filmmaking, but the movie really did decide to take extra effort to be offensive.
  • And I still miss Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • Hey, people, why isn't anyone talking about Mercy? I think it's the best show on TV right now. And there's Bechdel-test passage up the yin-yin.
  • Kaiser Permanente seems like it's a really difficult HMO to work around, but if you have a Thursday off and are willing to wake up early to make a phone call, it turns out you can get almost any appointment you want.
  • Why would I need to get an appointment? GI: it's not just for Joe and Bill anymore.
  • Dear Octavio Paz: stop being wrong about everything. I am trying to finish reading your book.
  • Dreamwidth is a year old. Many people are celebrating by making DW-exclusive posts.
  • I'm going to a Mother's Day BBQ now.
Hopefully more soon.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Been feeling sick. Spent most of yesterday in bed and still didn't sleep well. I've got some sort of stomach bug that's keeping me sidelined. But I will not let it stop me from seeing double/triple features this week.



No RPG last week, and possibly none this week, but I did manage to get some boardgaming in with [livejournal.com profile] cramerica and [livejournal.com profile] ojouchan. Games played: Bang, Red November, Werewolf, and Roll through the Ages. I got hosed in Bang, by the cards as well as the players, but we squeaked out a win in the cooperative Red November. (One gnome died at the very end, but everyone else survived.) Werewolf was meh, which is usually my opinion. And I really enjoyed Roll through the Ages, which had a lot of nice strategy in a simple presentation.



Three weeks ago, we were talking about Bioshock during RPG gaming. Another players was working their way through it and was a bit behind me. Two weeks ago, the other guy had finished the game, and I'd advanced another level. WHUT?

Shamed, I've been trying to hurry my gameplaying, but I'm a naturally slow player. And that caution has taken its toll. I've got way too much money, and when I try to spend it, I usually find that I don't have any thing I need to buy. I think I'm pretty close to the end now, though.



A map of the Southwest United States. The state of Arizona is red, and the label has been replaced with 'Police.' Drawn by Lalo Alcaraz.


Holy shit, Arizona!

It looks like Brewer signed the bill on Friday hoping to bury it in the news cycle. Campaigns like Alto Arizona are still set up to leverage a veto, so it's not clear what's going to happen going forward. But there's a demonstration planned for tomorrow, so I imagine there'll be a new course of action come Monday morning.



In other racism takedowns:

Fourth place in an icon contest. Hey, Dan, want a Ratio Hornblower icon?

Ratio Hornblower, from Smile Time
tablesaw: Walt Besa, Junior Associate at Wolfram & Hart, Competition and Anti-Trust. (Portrayed by James Roday) (Walt Besa)
First of all, let me show off my shiny new icon. Just one of the perks of being on the most awesome team at [livejournal.com profile] whedonland.



The Smallville RPG continues to be awesome and lots of fun. It's really well made for episodic drama involving people with super or supernatural powers. Since that describes a lot of the TV shows I watch, I think it's fantastic. As a result of this, as I watch some of my regular TV shows, I keep flashing on the Smallville RPG structure as underlying the structure of the episodes.

And this is how I know the game is well made: watching unrelated TV shows is helping me to understand strategies involved in the RPG. Supernatural and Vampire Diaries both illuminated tactics and styles of play that I hadn't considered.

I shudder to think of what will happen if I rewatch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles



Speaking of RPGs, talking with a new friend today, it became very clear that I need to get a new game of In a Wicked Age going. Describing it to her got me excited about the game all over again, and had her drooling over the prospect. Rereading the PDF now . . .



And now, some animated icons:
The Joker (César Romero) rises up from the bottom of the icon: WTF!
http://i40.tinypic.com/6rlxs8.gif
Alt="The Joker (Cesar Romero) rises up from the bottom of the icon: WTF!"
Title="Holy WTF, Batman!"

In honor of César Chávez Day on March 31, I was inspired to make an icon of César Romero, because you don't know what César Chávez looks like.

Also, pixel art and animation recreated from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Game:

The Bad Horse Chorus surronds Dr. Horrible in the 8-bit, pixelated 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game.'
http://i42.tinypic.com/2hmzfvs.gif
Title="Bad Horse (8-Bit)"
Alt="The Bad Horse Chorus surronds Dr. Horrible in the 8-bit, pixelated 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game.'"

'I like your hair.' 'What?' 'I mean . . . I like the air.' Penny and Billy in the 8-bit, pixelated 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game.'
http://i39.tinypic.com/epkw7l.gif
Title="I Like the Air (8-Bit)"
Alt="'I like your hair.' 'What?' 'I mean . . . I like the air.' Penny and Billy in the 8-bit, pixelated 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game.'"
tablesaw: A sketch of me talking and smiling. (Personable)
Tonight I'm get too bed way too late not because of any sort of transitory insomnia, but because I deliberately stayed out too late with my RPG group. And now, I can finally reveal what I've been playing. For a while now, we've been playtesting the Smallville RPG, which has consistently been loads of fun. It's what you'd expect: teen drama crossed with superheroes.

This Week

Jan. 30th, 2010 04:26 pm
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
Some stuff from the past week.
  • Hitched a ride out to Mission Viejo (inorite?) to go to Farrell's for [livejournal.com profile] wjukknibs's birthday party. W's on a quest to have birthday parties at locations when Angelenos our age would have had birthdays as children. We've done Chuck E Cheese's, and he's contemplating a McDonald's party.
  • My role-playing group has been having a lot fun playtesting a new game. Of the games we've played, this is probably the one most up my alley, and I've been smiling because of it for the past two weeks.
  • Went out to eat at Little Dom's. I enjoyed it, but Ojou was a bit taken back by the too-much-porkness of the menu. My entree, linguine with New Orleans–style BBQ shrimp, sounded unlikely, but was very tasty.
  • Short hiking through Griffith Park. I wanted to take the Ferndell-Observatory trail, but I was stopped midway by a lonely coyote. My policy is to just leave coyotes alone when I'm hiking by myself. I repositioned, and walked up from the Greek Theatre to the Observatory and back down again. It's always fun hiking after winter rains. I'm walking along the side of the mountain, and instead of gold, everything's black and green. It was like I was in not!SoCal.
  • I've been playing Sam & Max: Season One. Adventure games in 3-D still feel a little clunky to me, but the dialogue is spot-on and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the used copy I bought is skipping a little bit. I'm goign to see if I still have time to find the recent and try for a different disc.
  • [livejournal.com profile] jedusor was in town for grad school interviews, and on Friday, I met up with her and [livejournal.com profile] cramerica and Artistry and Mr. Pizza on Fairfax. I got a really (really) big calzone, and two bottles of Dr. Brown's Black Cherry. 'Twas yummy.

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