Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This was on my porch August 30, 2010 7:38 am

Does this qualify as Early Snow, or Late Snow? It's Madness I tell you!  However, I'm extremely happy for the cooler weather. Have I mentioned that I HATE Summer? It's true.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Deadlands Session Photos August 28, 2010

I'm always forgetting to post the photos that are taken at the session. The figures we use always amuse me. P tends to bring his own Hero Clix, and had some Jonah Hex figs this evening. Everyone else generally uses what I have on hand, which is currently figs from the Deadlands Board Game. This session they were in Shan Fan and were fighting Martial Artists, and I used some Colorful Ninjas that I got at a Party Favor Store some time ago. I apologized for the scale mismatch and Back to the Future was quoted, "Please excuse the crudity of this model, I didn't have time to build it to scale or to paint it."

I'm still laughing about that, just thinking about it.

Using Salt Water Taffy as Rubble.

It's inevitable, if P and I are both taking pictures, we will take pictures of each other taking a picture.

See? I told you.

How Absent Characters Can Simplify Things

Our latest session of Deadlands was great. I had a really good time as Game Master.

One of the players has missed a couple sessions. Now my normal take on this is to just pretend that everyone has been there all the time—kind of like Lost I suppose, there were characters that were present since the Plane crashed, but only featured prominently on one episode, when it was convenient to the plot to focus on them. I wonder if there is a T.V. Trope name for that? Absentee Actor almost fits the bill, but there's probably another, however, after a few hours on the site, I've been unable to locate what it might be (Seriously, that site should come with a warning!—Danger! one article will lead to many more, leave now if you do not have several hours available). Moving on.

Some of my most regular players were unable to make it to the game, and one of the players that has missed a few sessions as of late was able to come. I used this to get things going in the right direction, after the possible derailment of last session—which I allowed, just so I could see what would happen. Before P came to the game I told him why his character had not been with the rest of the posse, he had been gathering information on his own that the rest of the posse had spend a good chunk of the previous session trying to gather, but coming up short.

I didn't give them too much information, and they almost walked away from the exact location they needed to be, due to a miscommunication on my part—a notice check nudged them in the right direction. We were able to complete two combat encounters, and a fun time was had by all.

I love Savage Worlds, and this session made apparent one more reason why it's such a fun system. There were four players; two Novice level, one Heroic, and I think a Veteran—and I don't think that the novices were having any less fun, or feeling like they weren't part of the action just because their characters are of a lower Rank. I've played D&D where my character was lower than the rest of the party by a large gap, and frankly, I couldn't do anything, The monsters were too tough for me to handle, so I could get killed or hide behind the more experienced characters while they took multiple attacks and dealt high damage; in hindsight, letting my character get killed so I could go home would have been the better decision.

Part of that was due to my handing an NPC (that the posse rescued) over to one of the players that has a novice character, and partially due to the player of the Novice Mad Scientist having so much fun with his one invention (even using it when possibly detrimental to the posse; not because it's detrimental, but because his character just didn't think of it that way—Hijinks Ensue).

One final thing. We all owe S a big thanks. Without P, there would not have been a session, and it was a really fun session.

So thank you, Thank you, Thank You.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thrift Store Score

My second daughter had a birthday recently. We had looked for a cheap Ken Doll at the Walmart, but the only cheap one they had was Identical to the one that my four year old has—since we were trying to remedy a source of argument between them, my Wife wanted it to be different.

My Mom mentioned the Thrift Store at the Birthday party and frankly, I don't know why I didn't think of that—I love buying toys at the Thrift Store. So, we planned a trip to the store of thrift.

Now, I have my particular brand of Thrift Store Shopping down to a science. First, go straight to the Toys. What I look for is small scale plastic figurines, not necessarily articulated. When I was a Kid (and to this day) my favorite toys are the ones that are small, make no noise, and inspire imagination. Examples: Action Figures in General, Fisher Price Action People, Muscle Men, Fisher Price Little People (I don't like the new ones as much as the ones they made in the 70's–80's), Playmobil, Little Green Army guys (anything made in the manner of Green Army men), but my favorites are the small PVC plastic figures like the ones featured on my Savage Worlds Character Blog.

After I dig through the Toys, I check the Games (looking for games with interesting dice or components), I  give the electronics a cursory glance, I check the CD's and Vinyl Albums (generally finding some really good stuff in vinyl), the books, the Good Stuff (a.k.a. the things kept locked behind glass), and finally the Ties (it has become increasingly difficult to find the good ties [I like ties that are stiff, thick, made in the 70's, polyester, with outlandish non-repeating patterns])

I started rambling didn't I?

My find this week? An Almost Complete, Dungeons and Dragons—Dragons Quest "Board" Game. The only thing missing was The Cover to the Rule Book (a.k.a. the Dungeon Masters Screen, of  which I found a scan online), and the Adventure Book—which is kind of a bummer; but for two dollars I got six metal fantasy figurines and six polyhedral dice (1d10 was missing), 14 paper doors, and 48 varieties of paper monsters (only 2 missing).

Notice there are three Zombies...any day you can get Zombies and Dice at the Thrift store is a Good Day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Monkey Off My Back

I thought I may have gotten myself in trouble.

Tuesday (the 16th) Emily called to schedule the City Code Officer to come out and inspect our property, he said he couldn't come next Monday, so he planned to come the 31st. I called him back and talked to him I wanted him to come this week (I had Friday in mind). I wanted him to come earlier, in case I had to have him come again, I wanted to have time to be in compliance before the fine started on September First. He stated that the fine didn't really start on the 1st, but when he filed the paperwork.

I had a little chat with him about the papers I received containing deceptive and incorrect  information, he said he would look into having that changed (I've said that a time or two myself on the phone—I understand that that is highly unlikely)

Turns out he was going to be out that day and he stated that he would stop by, I asked him to come to the Door and talk to me so I could make sure that I understood his requirements. Oops, he's coming today instead of Friday was all I could think after I hung up.

Turns out he didn't come...but he did this morning, and he told me that he was going to close the case. Just a lot o' bit of stress off my back. Hopefully I didn't exceed the normal limit of water consumption and incur a higher than normal water bill.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I just approved a comment on my blog, and Google Finally made it say who was commenting and what Post they were commenting on part of the approval page.

I've wanted this for a long time. The only workaround I had was to enable the e-mail notifications, because in the    e-mail notification it would actually tell me what blog post they commented upon. This means I can finally stop spamming myself every time I approve a comment just to avoid confusion for those rare moments that someone comments on an old blog post.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Little Bit of Action—A Lot o' Bit of Social Interaction

Interesting Game Last Night.

In the previous session, Mathias removed an object and killed a creature. This session, the Creature returned, got the drop on a sleeping Mathias and got a pretty good damaging blow in before the object was destroyed.

I'm glad the creature didn't kill him, but I would be lying if I said I didn't get a little bit of pleasure out of hurting a character. (I only hurt him a little, and he soaked the damage, so really he was just shaken—but it was a very satisfying shaken.)

Then play moved to Shan Fan. This is an interesting part of the plot point, I can't say a lot about the details, but what it caused to transpire, was a lot more of the non-combat type of play. My wife gets a little frustrated with these parts of the game because she's not sure what to do.

Recently I've read some advice that says skip the boring parts; which makes me wonder if I should have just railroaded it a bit...but I wanted to see what happened. The plot point book assumes that the party will go about obtaining the needed information a certain way, of course my players never do things the way the book assumes. In many cases when there are alternate ways to go about obtaining information the book at least gives you some idea as to how it might play out, this time it did not. The book also assumes someone in the group has a d4 skill in Chinese (any dialect) and still makes them roll streetwise at -4; so...Big Ears Tam speaks English now, and streetwise rolls are still at -4.

When I have to come up with things off the cuff, I generally inject a little humor—whether purposefully or not. Shan Fan is a city almost entirely comprised of Chinese immigrants, but I still made the Mafioso meetup take place in an Italian restaurant (though Sesame Chicken was still on the menu).

The posse finally got together and made a plan, and in the middle of the plan, a certain someone decided to not follow it. So things got a little weird, I didn't know exactly what to do, it was eleven o'clock (my preferred ending time that I'm always shooting for, but missing)—so I ended things for the night.

I have no idea how this is all going to play out, but I know where it's supposed to go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yard Work

The More Yard-work I do, the more I see problems with the yard. Under normal situations, I would see that as a sign that I need to cut back.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ah, Memories

This is not the kind of post I normally make—i.e. embedding a video, or pointing to another blog post sans commentary, etc..

However, I know a lot of my cousins visit the site, and I know that we used to play Oregon Trail on grandma's computer. I didn't like it or play it that much, I found it to be repetitive, still I played it enough to understand the humor in this fake movie trailer. So I though I would share...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Seeking Employment

My Temp Position ended.

For the past week—and this week as well... I've spent 3–4 hours working on my yard every morning (and sometimes some time in the evening as well), trying to get it acceptable for the impending inspection.

Some time ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and he had mentioned to me that when you own your own house, there is a certain desire to do yard work that you never had when you were a kid and taking care of your parent's house. —I tried to feel that when we first bought this place, but I have to respectfully disagree, I still hate it. Perhaps it's that I dislike the desert, or maybe it's my allergies, perhaps my aversion to temperatures that rise above 68° Fahrenheit.

There is a certain satisfaction when I'm done—but I've always had that, be it an art project, or just cleaning the kitchen really really well. In fact, I don't mind cleaning every square inch of the kitchen or bathroom, but I'm really not fond of yard-work.

It has been a blessing to be unemployed at this time, in a weird way. There is no way I would have been able to get the yard looking as good as it is currently, had I been working. So, I think we'll be able to pass the inspection when it comes due. (Speaking of which, I should probably schedule that...)

On the other hand though, I have spent a lot more money than I really can afford, being unemployed, trying to get things looking decent.

I've been tempted to post my resumé here, but something keeps telling me that's not the best idea. If you're interested in seeing it, let me know and I will consider your request (How Conceited of me...).

Speaking of employment, I have an incredible opportunity waiting in the wings—but I'm in the midst of a waiting game, and it's probably two or three months out. Some of the lawyerly stuff went through on Friday, so things are looking great...I've got to last until then however.

Anyone out there need someone with skills in Animation, Video Editing, Photoshop, Illustrator, Traditional Illustration, 3DS Max, or Desktop Support? . . . Anyone?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

DJ Hero House Party

So, not everyone that said they would come was able to make it.

I never borrowed the Fog Machine from P. No one offered a disco ball. I've been working so hard to get the yard cleaned up to avoid a $25 a day fine from the city that I never put up any lights.

I did however manage to build a Daft Punk Helmet, but the Visor was lacking in both tinting and lighting effects, and I never did complete the costume, but I think what I did was pretty decent considering I'm unemployed.

The game was fun, and I think everyone that came had a good time.

Here are some Photoshopped Pictures:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I Have Not Blogged Enough Recently

Then again, I've had other things on my mind. My Blogger Dashboard is always there when I open my browser, I look at it every day thinking that I need to click the new post button, but I just haven't had anything that truly made me want to post.

We received a courtesy note from the city that our yard is not up to code. No big deal, I've gotten one of those every other year since I moved in. I do not have a green thumb, nor do I have a sprinkling system, so my lawn tends to be on the yellow end of the spectrum. Partially that has to do with my knowing that I live in a desert—why do I need a green lawn? Then there was a little something I learned in Geology Class.

Groundwater related subsidence is when the ground level drops as a result of removing too much groundwater, and it's something that must be closely regulated, because once the ground level has dropped, nature can no longer return the ground water levels to what they once were—very important thing to keep track of when you live in a Desert.

The thing that stuck in my mind is a picture of a Fire-hydrant that is high up in the air. I recall the picture being from Mexico City which, like the city I live in, is built on a dry lake bed—I couldn't find the picture that my Geology class was shown, but I found a similar one from Southern California.

I prefer that water goes to Crops and Drinking instead of keeping grass in the desert green—and if we use too much then we lose our ability to store as much. Also, I think it's a very communistic law telling me what to do with my property. People keep arguing about property values, but my wife is a Realtor, and she has never seen an ugly lawn effect the value of property.

So there's stress from needing to green up my lawn during the worst time of the year to be trying to green up a lawn (What a Brilliant Law—please note that statement is dripping with sarcasm). On top of that I'm unemployed, and I've already sunk way more money into the yard than I want, I don't need to be spending money on grass right now.

We are expecting a third little girl in October. My wife has entered the Nesting stage, so we've been trying to get the house ready for that, since we really don't have enough space.

We also got the opportunity to Host a DJ Hero House party. So we've been cleaning up for that.

Busy, Unemployed, Stressed, Wife Expecting—so blogging has suffered.