Wednesday, August 31, 2005

You Can Take My Sword When You Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers!

Stories like this one involving people fighting off robbers with samurai swords make my methods of home defense seem much less geeky.

One From the Vault

In lieu of real new content, I present to you old content from Arch's website a million years ago.

    Driving Problems
    by Nuke-Toting Psycho

    Well, last week I was driving see, and oh yeah, I guess I should tell you that I'm the world's best driver see, well anyway, last week I was driving along, going the speed limit, obeying all the traffic laws 'cause hey, that's the kind of guy I am, and like I said, I'm the world's best driver, well anyway, I'm cruising down the street, and the light in front of me is green, and the cars aren't going anywhere, so I'm thinking to myself, what the heck is all this? well anyway, I was going nowhere fast, so I look up ahead and see a car waiting to turn left, and I'm thinking, man, can't this guy read the sign that says "No Left Turn?" and what is his problem anyway, well anyway, I'm thinking all these thoughts and everyone behind this guy, me included, get screwed out of a green light because he thought he had to turn left, and he had to wait for all the other cars to go by on the other side of the road, and no one could get around him because it was a two-lane street, and I'm thinking, hey, what is this guy's malfunction? well anyway, as I'm sitting there, I realize that since I'm the best driver in the world and all, I might as well be the one telling people how to drive, so I drove to the closest weapons store and bought myself a rocket launcher and a bunch of rockets, and paid by credit card 'cause I don't usually carry that much cash on my personage, and went out into the street and drove around some more, 'cause hey I'm the world's greatest driver, and right as I'm pulling out and going the exact speed limit, some other driver pulls out right in front of me, cutting me off, and I looked in my rearview mirror and there wasn't anyone back there, so I start thinking, man, what's this guy's malfunction, its not like he had to cut me off or anything, so I shot his car with a rocket and it exploded in a huge fireball and drove off the side of the road, and after that I pulled up alongside and got out and the guys charred remains were sticking out of the car, so I kicked them and asked him just where cutting me off got him anyway, and like I said, I'm the greatest driver ever, well anyway, I got back in my car and drove off, happy that I had taught a driver a valuable lesson, and I'm getting on the freeway, and I'm minding my own business in the right lane like I'm supposed to, and I go to pass someone and this stupid woman in a pickup truck comes speeding out of nowhere and sits like two inches off my bumper, and I'm in the left lane and I'm thinking fine, she wants to pass me, so I get back over and she speeds around me and starts tailgating the next guy in the left lane, and now I'm getting a little upset, and then she cuts me off because she needs to pass him on the right, and I'm thinking woman you aren't pregnant, its not like you need to drive like that, so I pull out my rocket launcher and send some hot fiery death her way, and sure enough the truck explodes in a glorious little mushroom cloud and I pull over and she is still alive but twitching a little and I say, hey, you know I'm the world's greatest driver and you were being dangerous, someone could have gotten hurt or killed back there, and she just screamed about how much the flames hurt her, and I looked at her and said maybe you shouldn't drive like that and people wouldn't be shooting rockets at you and then got in my car and drove off, and it was about this time that I realized that since I was the greatest driver in the world, that I would have to be the one to teach everyone else, so anyway I bought myself a nuke and here I am with it wired to me, and there are some cops below who keep shouting things like don't do it and it's OK and there is more to life and all that, well anyway, they are all pretty bad drivers compared to me and that is why I'm going to press this little button and teach everyone in a 20 mile radius how to drive.
I was inspired to dig for this by encountering such great stupidity yesterday that I contemplated beating a person to death with an umbrella.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

106 Miles

Last night, I caught up with a gaggle of folks from the office to catch the 25th Anniversary screening of The Blues Brothers. I've seen the movie probably a dozen times, but it was still fun to watch it on the big screen and hang out with friends. They had a live Q and A session with Dan Aykroyd, John Landis, James Brown, Henry Gibson, and a couple of others, projected into the theater through the miracle of digital somethingorother.

Sadly, the movie itself seemed to just be the DVD played on the big screen - which meant that, at times, the digital artifacting and pixellation were quite obvious. I was disappointed they didn't use a film print, since I very much would have liked to see how it was supposed to look in a theater.

That being said, it was still a most excellent time!

Welcome to SUV City

Via Andrew Sullivan, a short film called SUV City, exploring the various kinds of people and their reasons for driving enormous, gas-guzzling vehicles that infringe on the rights of everyone around them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Peacemakers Rarities

Let's say you're looking for rare tracks from the Peacemakers or The Refreshments. Try this site, which has the entire Seattle Demos, a bunch of B-sides and unreleased tracks, and more live tracks than you can shake a stick at.

Saturday and Sunday

I love it when I'm running around my driveway at six in the morning, trying to haul the recycling bin to the curb because I forgot to put it out last night.


I spent most of Saturday cleaning the house. I sold off one of the two video games that came with this place (it's OK, I still have Pole Position), and helped move it to a co-worker's place Saturday morning. After that, I came back and cleaned. We let this place go a little too much; it took us most of the day to get it back to normal.

Yesterday I spent most of my day at the company picnic, helping set it up and having a good time with my coworkers. A fair number of people showed; it certainly wasn't like the last time we did this (2003) where the entire office was there. I threw the diet to the wind and gorged myself on cheap beer, cookies, and cake; I'm paying for it this morning, but I figure one day of dietary debauchery since March isn't going to kill me. It just means I'm going to have to bust my ass even harder at the gym this week.

Before I sign off, Meghan and Carissa and anyone else near the Big Easy - I hope you're safe and dry, and when you go back to your places of living, everything is OK!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Concert: Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at the Tractor Tavern, August 26 2005

I got back at 1:30 this morning. In typical Jason fashion, it's 8 and I'm wide awake. My ears are still ringing a little and I think I'm a tad hung over, my eyes are burning and my throat still feels like it's bleeding a little, but goddamn it was worth it.

What a great show.

I've been waiting since 1996 (since I missed them at Edgefest in Tulsa that year) to see The Refreshments or Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers live.

The venue was pretty much standing room only, so getting there when we did was a good idea. I got our shirtshopping out of the way and ran the goods back to the car. The opening act was decent but nothing special. The band took the stage about 10:30, and went until about 12:45 - two hours and fifteen minutes of music, and they usually played nonstop, moving right from one song into the next.

They started working the crowd, picking up on the mood, and getting people to sing almost right away. They mixed Peacemakers and Refreshements songs in fairly even quantity, and I surprised myself by knowing the lyrics to most of the Peacemakers songs they played (except for the ones off Sonoran Hope and Madness, their one album I don't particularly care for). They did a two-song encore with Jack vs. Jose and Nada, so I got to hear every song I wanted to hear excecpt for one, and I'll just have to go to another show to hear it I suppose.

It was hot, sweaty, crowded, and generally a great time. Roger is surprisingly interactive with the crowd, and the crowd surprised me by very much being fans - people all around us were singing along, knew exactly when to belt out the good bits, and were having a great a time as I did. Angela, John, Travis, and Liz all came along and agreed that it was an excellent show (Liz got her first concert t-shirt!) I did manage to get some pictures:

The crowd sported appropriate hats.

"So just how far down do you want to go?"

"The good guys, and they bad guys, well they never work past noon around here."

"I tip the bottle and bite the lime!"

Thanks again, guys: I'll catch you the next time you're in town!

Anyone Up for a Bedtime Story?

And who says there's no good children's stories anymore?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Making Your Art Work For You

A website where you can sell copies of photos you took, for money. Cool, eh?

Cop Motor, Cop Shocks, Cop Brakes

In preperation for next Monday's 25th Anniverary screening of one of my all-time favorite films, The Blues Brothers, I offer a link to three lost audio tracks from the original film.

Cyber Temple

It appears that my few faith, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, has an online church.

The Revolution Begins On Friday Morning

My company makes its home in an innocuous, two-story office building in downtown Bellevue. Looking from the outside, you'd never know there was a game company in there - unless you got close enough to the windows to witness our frivolity of course.

The upper portion of our building has remained mostly empty for the two and a half years I've been here. About six months ago, some construction project started upstairs. The floors are thin enough that we've been privvy to every hammer, drill, and loud noise they could possibly make (I even managed to identify a tile saw one day). This was all in preperation for a Real Estate agency moving in upstairs. Gamers. Real Estate Agents. This could get interesting.

So this morning, I drove into my office parking lot and taking up my normal parking space was a gigantic Ford pickup truck. This is one of those extended cab models with a bed big enough to land helicopters, that get 13 miles to the gallon if they extend the solar sail. It wasn't just taking up my parking space, it was taking up the parking space next to it as well. And it was parked so poorly that it stuck out so far into the regular lane that I could barely get around it in my little Galant. I checked; the front end was a good three feet from the end of the parking spot.

If that isn't the pinnacle of American arrogant consumer egoism, at least it's the symbol of it.


Update: It belonged to a woman who drove off after reading the note and scowling.

She didn't learn her lesson and abandon her vehicle in favor of a hybrid? Damn. The Revolution is flawed!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Here's a zombie simulator: a program that tracks the spread of a theoretical zombie outbreak through a city.

Peacemakers This Friday

If you're planning on joining me to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers this Friday at the Tractor Tavern (great name, eh?), be aware that you can buy tickets online. Also be aware that the doors open at 8, the show starts at 10, and I will likely be there around 8:30 to catch the warmup band. Look for the longhaired guy with the cute girl ready to rock out to some good tunes.

What Kind of Teh Gamar Are You?

Now here's a big surprise:

You scored as Storyteller. You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director.



Method Actor


Power Gamer








Casual Gamer


Law's Game Style
created with

Via Scott.

Anti-War Protestors, Beware

Sorry for all the political posts lately, but it seems like there's a growing discontent - and desperation - that is happening behind the scenes in our country.

It saddens me to read that the American Legion has advocated "an end to all public protests and media events against the war," and worse, to use "whatever means necessary to ensure the united backing of the Americna people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."

There's two things wrong with this. First, being against the war is not the opposite of supporting our troops. We're not spitting on soldiers when the come home. Quite the contrary - when my former classmates and friends come back alive, it helps me sleep better at night. There are at least two people currently in Iraq that I count as friends, and one more that could be in Iraq or Afghanistan - I haven't heard from since before the war, so I have no idea where he is, and his unit is the kind that moves around quite a bit.

These are guys I know, guys who signed up in the military thinking they were going to protect the United States. That's exactly what we did in Afghanistan, but Iraq - no way. And two of those current soldiers have told me that it's a fucking waste. There's a former soldier in my office who feels exactly the same way. The sense of betrayal is plain sickening.

So guess what, Republicans: I'm the one supporting the troops. Your blind obedience to your President is what's hurting them and betraying their trust. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

The second thing is that the freedom to protest in a peaceful manner is exactly the kind of freedom those soldiers are putting their asses on the line to protect. One of the good things that has come out of Haliburton's $60 billion in contracts (AKA the Iraq war) is that the Iraqi people are now free to express their minds in ways that they could not under Saddam, because they were threatened with violence should they publically gather and speak out against the government.

Have we given them that ability, only to have it taken away from us in exchange for some twisted view of patriotism?

Whether it's from a private group or the government itself, if I cannot publically assemble and speak a view contrary to that of the current administration, then we might as well put down our guns, because the war is fucking over.

And our Mission is Not Accomplished.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ground Control to Major Tom

What's a great movie to watch today?

Why, how about one showing how dust devils form and move on Mars?

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo!

I think I found a new religion: Flying Spaghetti Monsterism!

Ia! Ia!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why I Respect Veterans

Not only do they serve our country and make sure people like myself have a safe place in which to write all the bullshit I write, but they have the balls to call it like it is - in front of the President, no less.

Link from Daily Kos.

Recommended Reading: Delta Green

Since I spent a considerable amount of time cooped up on aircraft this weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time reading. Jon loaned me the first collection of Delta Green short stories, and it blew me away.

Delta Green is a Call of Cthulhu setting where a vast government conspiracy is trying to fight against the usual Cthulhu horrors: Deep Ones, the Mi-Go, Colors Out of Space, etc. But the quality of these stories rocked my world. I was expecting the usual gamer fan-fiction, but the authors did an incredible job of nailing not only the mythos, but the grinding and complete horror at trying to fight it, and of humanizing the insanity knowledge causes. Standouts were Greg Stolze's Potential Recruit, hands-down probably the best Cthulhu-cult-ish story I've read, and Blair Reynolds' Operation Looking Glass.

I find myself thinking one of two things when I read a book: either "I can do better than this," or "damn, I wish I could do this." This Delta Green anthology was definately a "I wish..." book.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wanna Playtest?

Are you a gamer? Do you want to test-drive an RPG system based on resource management mechanics rather than random dicerolling mechanics? If so, download >Crescent City, my homebrew Tarot-based game and system, and comment here or at the email address at the end of the document.

The Post-GenCon Report

Got in at midnight last night. This is my story and I'm sticking to it.

The flight out was uneventful but I was stressed all the same: for some reason, it was booked so I arrived an hour before the big presentation I give at every one of these shows. This presentation was the biggest of the big: a major announcement, 200+ volunteers, and most of the company. It took me a couple of minutes to hit my stride (I psyched myself out too much and blew some of the introductions), but I think it's one of the best ones I gave - and it's so strange how introverted little Jason has become someone who can not only speak in public, but is kind of good at it.

Friday and Saturday I spent doing meetings with press every hour on the hour. I got a few minutes to walk about and look at stuff, but not much more than that until Sunday. I managed to play a game of HeroClix late in the day on Friday, and we had our big Mage Knight bash Friday night - a kind of bittersweet event. It was really cool seeing some of the old players come to hang out and talk about the game for a while.

And of course, I ate the Cincinnatti chili and hit the Ram, who have now taken their cool custom menus and sold them out to sponsors who have slapped their logos on everything. I couldn't bring myself to buy one for the new price of $5.50, when they have been free the last two years. Everything falls apart, as they say.

The main thing that sticks out in my mind about this event is that there wasn't really anything "must-have, super-cool, etc." The Serenity RPG sold out quickly and I wasn't willing to fight the psychotic fans for a lame paperback copy. I already ordered the Game of Thrones RPG. Axis and Allies was OK, but it's not my thing. Unlike last year and the year before, there just wasn't anything supergroovy I wanted.

However, I did make some good contacts - one of the guys from The Forge and I are going to exchange some emails, I might have found some more writing work, and I even discovered that some of my past work had been printed without them telling (or paying) me!

At least it's a notch in my belt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Here's One for the PR Portfolio

Four gorgeous models playing HeroClix coached by four HeroClix geeks: it's HeroChix! Higher-speed Internet connection recommended. And a strong shot of tequila.

Attention Humanity: What the Fuck is Wrong With You?

In the last twenty-four hours, I hear about some sick fuck running over ducks for 15 minutes at a car wash, some other sick fuck running over crosses representing slain soldiers at the peace vigil in Crawford, Texas, and some guy who lives around here who is taking the furry lifestyle just a little too far.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Monetary Matter

Because it came up at work today, I thought I'd link to a great picture of the $2 bill, my favorite US bill in terms of the artistic design on the reverse.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday, Groovy Sunday

I spent most of the day yesterday playing in a D&D game at James.' The game was run by another James, and attended by yet a third James. It was a James-a-riffic day. I forgot how fun (and annoying at the same time) a first-level d20 game can be - like when one shot from an enemy puts you at -2 hit points and you spend the rest of the combat bleeding.

Yes, I am a geek and take no pains to hide it.

Today I'm back at the workaday grind. We got our unpopular announcement out of the way nice and early this week, so we can focus on more fun stuff later.

On a completely different note, my zombie in Urban Dead is fast becoming Jesus Christ Superzombie!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Movie: The Devil's Rejects

For all the hype, there was surprisingly little gore in this movie. And considering it's a follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses, there was very little in the way of shock either. Schlock yes, shock no.

After the events in House, the evil cannibalistic sadistic etc.-ic Firefly family takes their freakshow on the road, hunted by a Sheriff determined to kill them all and make them know the pain they have visited upon others. The Sheriff-serial killer relationship is byfar the most interesting thing in the movie, because the Sheriff is never a "good" person insofar as he tries to follow the letter of the law - he simply wants to stop the killings and sees himself as a hand of justice or divine retribution as much as the killers see themselves as doing the Devil's work.

Also, I'll never hear "Freebird" without thinking about the end of the movie.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sicky Poo

I'm now ready to subscribe to Jeff's Health Care Plan: Don't Get Sick.

I spent most of the day yesterday either sleeping, on the toilet (ahem), or trying very hard not to throw up. I went into work for about three hours in the morning, but I think I may have caused more trouble than I solved by being in the office. At 11, I felt like the grim reaper was knocking on my skull, so I vacated the premisis, came home, and slept until about 7 this morning, with a brief intermission to drive two blocks to the grocery store for some bread and chicken noodle soup (thank GOD for a store two blocks away!)

Today, I feel better, but not quite 100%. I'm going to be taking it easy today, piddling around and enjoying my weekend off. There's a sale at a local pet store this morning, so I'm going to stock my aquarium with some fish.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tooting My Own Horn

It actually looks like some of the RPG writing I did might be published. All Flesh Must Be Eaten is finally publishing Deadworlds, and they blurbed mine in the ad copy!

Movie: City of God

It's just your standard movie about 10-year-olds killing 5-year-olds.

OK, not really. But that's in there.


Liz added this one to the Netflix queue, although I heard really good things myself and wanted to see it. It basically follows a gang war in Rio in the 1970s (a true story, I might add) through the eyes of a wannabe photographer. The characters are all pretty awful, and it's violent as hell, but incredibly well-filmed.

I doubt I'll ever want to watch it again, but it was certainly worth two hours and ten minutes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How to Win an Online Fight

He who writes the largest, wins.

Survive This Suckas

I scored 75% on the zombie survival test. Will you make it out with me, or are you zombie chow?

Movie: National Treasure

On Seth's recommendation, I blind-bought National Treasure. It was worth every penny.

The closest thing it reminded me of was Cloak and Dagger, a movie I spent a lot of my childhood watching. It's clean - not a curse word to be found - and relatively violence-free (some shooting). I would let kids watch it, and they would have as much fun as I did. Additionally, it read exactly like I thought it might: like an RPG adventure that I'd write.

Mindless, clean, and incredibly fun.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gaming Fun

Brook sent this to me today. Gamers will get it, others may be left in the cold.

250 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG

1. Cannot base characters off the Who's drummer Keith Moon.
2. A one man band is not an appropriate bard instrument.
3. There is no Gnomish god of heavy artillery.
4. My 7th Sea character Boudreaux is not 'Southern' Montaigne.
5. Not allowed to blow all my skill points on 1pt professional skills.
6. Synchronized panicking is not a proper battle plan.
7. Not allowed to use psychic powers to do the dishes.
8. How to serve Dragons is not a cookbook.
9. My monk's lips must be in sync.
10. Just because my character and I can speak German, doesn't mean the GM can.
11. Not allowed to berserk for the hell of it, especially during royal masquerades.
12. Must learn at least one offensive or defensive spell if I'm the sorcerer.
13. Must not murder canon NPCs in their sleep, no matter how cliche they are.
14. Ogres are not kosher.
15. Plan B is not automatically twice as much gunpowder as Plan A.
16. I will not beat Tomb of Horrors in less than 10 minutes from memory.
17. Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate name for a super hero.
18. When surrendering I am to hand the sword over HILT first.
19. Drow are not good eating.
20. Polka is not appropriate marching music.
21. No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
22. There is no such thing as a Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino.
23. Any character who has a sensitivity training center named after him will be taken away.
24. Even if the rules allow it, I am not allowed to summon 50,000 Blue Whales.
25. The green elf does not need food badly.
26. Valley speak has no place in a fantasy setting. Especially if you're the paladin.
27. I am not to shoot every corpse in the head to make sure they aren't a zombie in Twilight 2000.
28. The Goddess' of Marriage chosen weapon is not the whip.
29. I cannot have any gun that requires me to continue the damage code on back.
30. I am not to kill off all the vampires in the LARP, even if they are terminally stupid.
31. The backup trap handler is not whoever has the most HP at the time.
32. I cannot buy any animal in groups of 100 or over.
33. There is no such skill as 'improvised cooking'
34. I am not allowed to base any Droid off any character played by Joe Pesci.
35. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to play R2 units.
36. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to sit on the same side of the table.
37. They do not make black market illegal cyberweapons for rodents.
38. When investigating evil cultists not allowed to just torch the decrepid mansion from the outside.
39. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'can lick their eyebrows'
40. Gnomes do not have the racial ability to hold their breath for 10 minutes.
41. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'impromptu kickstand'
42. Having a big nose adds nothing to my seduction check.
43. No longer allowed to set nazi propaganda music to a snappy disco beat.
44. Not allowed to spend all 100 character points on 100 1pt skills.
45. My character names are not allowed to be double entendres.
46. Sliver rhymes with silver because the computer frelling says so.
47. They do not make Nair in wookie sizes.
48. The elf is restricted to decaf for the rest of the adventure.
49. Not allowed to blow up the Death Star before that snotty farm kid gets his shot.
50. Not allowed to use thermodynamic science to asphyxiate the orcs' cave instead of exploring it first.
51. No longer allowed to use the time machine for booty calls.
52. My bard does not know how to play Inna Godda Davida on marachas.
53. Not allowed to start a drow character weighing more than a quarter ton.
54. Cannot pimp out other party members.
55. Before facing the dragon, not allowed to glaze the elf.
56. No matter how well I roll, a squirrel cannot carry a horse and rider at full sprint.
57. In the middle of a black op I cannot ask a guard to validate parking.
58. Expended ammunition is not a business expense.
59. Not allowed to pose the Netrunner in embarrassing positions when he's on a run.
60. Not allowed to short sheet the bedroll of impotent dieties.
61. Can only taunt the ranger about his lack of swimming after my USCG E8 saves him.
62. I am not allowed to do anything I saw Han Solo do once.
63. No, I cannot buy 10,000 marbles even if I say please.
64. My paladin's battle cry is not "Good for the Good God"
65. There is no Summon Bimbo spell.
66. Not allowed to start a character that speaks every language except ones the party speaks.
67. There is no Kung Fu manuever "McGuire Swings For Bleachers"
68. Bring him back intact includes redundant organs.
69. There is more to wizardry than magic missile. Even if I can do 200 damage automatic with no save.
70. Not allowed to cook up nerve gas in the sink even if the target number is 5.
71. There is no 'annoy' setting on a phasor
72. Not allowed to start a character who is over 100 years old unless he's an elf or dwarf. Humans are right out.
73. Not allowed to name my cudgel Ceremonial Whoopass Stick.
74. My thief's battle cry is not "Run And Live"
75. Nor is it "You take care of the orcs, I take care of the traps"
76. I am not allowed any artistic license while translating.
77. I did not get my super powers from James T. Kirk.
78. Not allowed to commission a pistol that costs more than a sedan.
79. I am not liquid metal.
80. When accepting a challenge for a duel, I must allow the other guy time to find a pistol.
81. A picture of my ex-wife is not an acceptable backup weapon.
82. Victory laps after killing the dragon with my 1d2 bow is considered in poor taste.
83. My gnome does not like big butts and he cannot lie.
84. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying a 220lb pull crossbow.
85. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying an industrial strength flamethrower.
86. Not allowed to make a superhero with a 99% chance of dodging even after the -10 penalty for a successful called shot.
87. There is no such thing as a dwarven katana.
88. My bard does not get a bonus to perform if she is obviously not wearing anything under her tabard.
89. The elf's name is not Legolam.
90. My swashbuckling fop cannot take the flaw Dark Secret: Not Gay
91. A wet towel does not constitute an improvised weapon.
92. The name of the weapon shop is not "Bloodbath and Beyond"
93. I am to remind my DM that he must never, ever give my paladin a dire boar for a mount again.
94. I cannot base my ancient kung fu master on neither Gene Simmons or Bluto Blutarski.
95. I must not put the Thunder God on the spot again.
96. No making up polearms.
97. My one wish cannot be 'I wish everything on this piece of paper was true'
98. There is no such thing as Speed Polka.
99. Not allowed to see if Jedi can parry a shotgun blast with their lightsaber.
100. When any character from a d20 sourcebook is allowed, that doesn't include System Lords.
101. I am not allowed to pave ANYTHING.
102. I am not authorized to start any civil engineering project on the taxpayer's dime.
103. There is no such thing as a Club +3 of Cup Checks
104. Nor is there a +1 Longsword, +5 against party members.
105. I am not allowed to polymorph anyone into Abe Vigoda.
106. I do not have weapon profiency in cat.
107. There is no such game as Wereshark the Buffet.
108. No, I do not get XP for every single crewman on that Star Destroyer.
109. Not allowed to kill a vampire with any part from a DC-10 larger than my car.
110. Not allowed to serenade the party even if my character has an internal tape deck.
111. I did not pick the garrote skill last week from my grandmother.
112. If the gun can't fit through the x-ray machine, it doesn't go on the plane.
113. My Droid is not allowed to paraphrase any Jack Nicholson soliloquy.
114. The Demilich only falls for getting stuffed in the bag of holding once.
115. My musical instrument does not double as a personal flotation device.
116. Not allowed to take a coffee break during the final super villain showdown.
117. I am restricted to memorizing Floating Disc only once per day.
118. I will pick a more traditional paladin weapon instead of a sledgehammer.
119. My character's names cannot be anagrams of playboy playmates.
120. Not allowed to kill another party member with a boomerang again.
121. I am not a contractor for Dragon Cave Cleaning Services Inc.
122. The paladin's alignment is not Lawful Anal.
123. Not allowed to forget to mention traps when the powergamer has point.
124. I cannot insert the words "Kill Phil, Sorry Phil" into any list of instructions.
125. Lingerie can only snap coincidentally so many times per day.
126. Dwarves do not count as burrowing animals.
127. Not allowed to download AOL 6.0 on the Arasaka mainframe.
128. Polka Gnomes exist only in my mind.
129. Not allowed to name my ship The Antidisestablishmentarianism.
130. I am not authorized to form the head.
131. Not allowed to bet how many times the lich bounces.
132. There is no such feat called "Death Blossom"
133. My acrobat cannot balance on the warlord's head for more than one round.
134. The King's Guards official name is not "The Royal Order of the Red Shirt"
135. I cannot demand payment in electrum, backrubs or bubblewrap.
136. I cannot start the 7th Sea campaign with 3 confirmed Drachen kills.
137. I do not have a scorching case of lycanthropy.
138. If the mere thought of it costs the others sanity, I'm forbidden from doing it.
139. My bard is required to take levels in the perform skill and cannot 'just play by ear'
140. The Dutch language does not exist in the Forgotten Realms.
141. My maid does not know kung fu.
142. Not allowed to give a 4 year old a sugar rush just to jack up the CR later.
143. Not allowed to by a holy symbol for every god just in case one of them is right.
144. There is no such thing as pleather armor.
145. I cannot go back in time to cut in line at the Declaration of Independence so everybody now is asked for their Terrence E. Woczinski when signing documents.
146. Not allowed to play an Australian in any game set before 1600.
147. Hobbits are not allowed to have Norse ancestry.
148. There is no Gnomish Deathgrip, and even if there was, it wouldn't involve tongs.
149. Looting the unguarded baggage train is not considered a glorious victory.
150. Not allowed to create recreational drugs in suppository format.
151. Halflings do not have a racial proficiency with the flamethrower.
152. When the guy is at -9 HP is not the best time for my cleric to convert him.
153. I will not propose to every noblewoman at the royal ball until I crit my charisma check.
154. I am not allowed to rub the monk's head for luck.
155. I am not allowed to rub any part of the elf chick for any reason.
156. When one person forgets to buy rations eating the half-elf is not our first option.
157. Any capital scale weapon is not 'my little friend'.
158. I will not declare myself a god just so I can grant myself spells.
159. Airlocks do not double as trash disposals.
160. I will not load any gatling weapon with nothing but paint rounds.
161. I will not nail every single female party member except for the elf chick played by that creepy guy.
162. What ever monster we just killed is not to be tonight's dinner.
163. Not allowed to try and make a dire version of any dog of the toy breeds.
164. I am not to tattle to the halfling assassin's mom about his career choice.
165. I am forbidden from replacing anything with folger's crystals to see if they notice.
166. Not allowed to bribe the enemy commander into withdrawing with a stolen Elvis LP collection.
167. I was not recruited by Star League for any reason.
168. I was also not recruited by 12 dwarves and a wizard to rob a dragon.
169. I am neither the pagan god nor goddess of fertility.
170. I cannot name my character Xagyg or any anagram thereof.
171. My character's dying words are not allowed to be "Hastur, Hastur, Hastur"
172. At no point can I justify spending force points on a seduction check.
173. I am not allowed to recreate Veers' March of the AT-ATs on Zhentil Keep.
174. There is no use of Shatner's spoken word album that doesn't require a humanity check.
175. I am not directly descended from either Huey Lewis or any member of the News.
176. I cannot make called shots to the plectrum, anvil, stirrup, hammer or Isle of Langerhans.
177. Stinking cloud is a privilege, not a right.
178. There are no profanities in Celestial.
179. Chummer means he is my friend, not that sharks find him tasty.
180. I have neither the touch nor the power.
181. I cannot quote Shakespeare in Crinos.
182. No figuring out the plot and killing the actual villain five minutes into the adventure.
183. There are no rules for cooking corn dogs in any d20 supplement.
184. A starting character has no need for 100gp worth of hemp rope.
185. My bard does not need roadies for a dungeon crawl.
186. No cutting line to be a god.
187. I cannot gain more than three drama die per session for making the GM pee.
188. I cannot play a elf with a scottish accent, nor a cajun dwarf.
189. Tourretes is not a flaw, it is a reason to kill the character at creation.
190. Duel wielding small animals is strictly forbidden.
191. My character is not related in anyway to Boba Fett. This goes double for Star Wars characters.
192. If the gun is best fired using the artillery skill, my character is not allowed to have it.
193. Not allowed to kill vampires with seismic charges.
194. When the other guy picks swords for the choice of weapons, that does not leave me pistols.
195. I cannot use a silent feat enambled power word stun and blame it on the dog.
196. I cannot name a character anything that I can't say politely in another country.
197. My epic level character cannot take on the minor goblin menace to his country just to stay sharp.
198. Not allowed to steal my own soul.
199. My third wish cannot be 'I wish you wouldn't grant this wish'
200. I cannot name my character cliche canon characters from other systems.
201. My thief is prohibited from speaking solely in Cant.
202. Character descriptions cannot contain two of the following words: Slavic, Tonedeaf, Karaoke, Musician.
203. My superhero's strength is not classified as snazzy, neato or bodacious.
204. I am not too sexy for the elf, too sexy for the elf, so sexy myself.
205. My 3rd ed. Red Wizard is not allowed to start a business named Thay Co.
206. I cannot forge a +1 sword of Brad's Min/Maxed Paladin/Monk Slaying.
207. The following weapons are not legal choices in a duel: Steamroller, Nerve Gas, Landmine, Midget.
208. I cannot whine about the crappy selection of magical bec de corbins.
209. My Paladin's heraldry is not a smiley face.
210. My Antipaladin's heraldry is not Mr. Yuk.
211. If at any point if my dwarf takes on the mannerisms of Macho Man Randy Savage, he dies.
212. If the party always starts the adventure in a tavern, I cannot opt to start in a brothel.
213. I am not the patron saint of common sense.
214. There is no prestige class Drizzt Slayer.
215. They do not make heavy weapons in pump action.
216. There is an upper limit to the number of Bozo boostergangers I can get in a Volkswagon.
217. If the weapon is capable of staking vampires hiding behind engine blocks, I can't have it.
218. No matter my alignment, organizing halfling pit fights is a violation.
219. In formal introductions to royalty, I must not introduce my companions as just "The Other Guys".
220. I am not the master of the low blow or the gang up.
221. If I get that Yugo up to 120mph again, that's gonna get some paradox.
222. Druids are not against my religion.
223. I cannot convince the Solo he has a cortex bomb when he really doesn't.
224. I cannot insinuate elf chicks are all easy, even though you never hear about a half gnome do you?
225. I am forbidden from monologuing.
226. Troll bubblegum...bad idea.
227. My last wish cannot be "I wish we were playing another game."
228. I cannot use my time machine to hire Hitler a hooker in 1920, thus avoiding WW2.
229. Not allowed to spontaniously check if the elf can take a punch.
230. There is no such thing as monofilament tooth floss.
231. I am not allowed to do anything that would make a Sith Lord cry.
232. It is not possible to recreate any scene from Dr. Who in Crinos.
233. If I am the medtech it is generally assumed I am going to have skill in medicine.
234. My character does not get d34 HP a level.
235. My Samedi is required to have dots in obfuscate. Plural, as in more than one, two more than none.
236. My character has no need for 24,000 cartons of cigarettes, especially in his neighbor's garage.
237. Not allowed to use more than 3 words per game that the GM has to look up the definition.
238. My bard cannot play or has ever heard of the theremin, didgeridoo or glass armonica.
239. My rockerboy cannot play or has ever heard of the theremin, didgeridoo or glass armonica.
240. Any character with more than three skills specializing in chainsaw is vetoed.
241. Cannot use the jedi mind trick to get out of a speeding ticket.
242. Not allowed to give quicklings Mountain Dew.
243. Cannot cast haste on the king during a long winded speech to get him to hurry the hell up.
244. Not allowed to taunt the rest of the party in 8 different languages because they forgot to take any.
245. Not allowed to attend any opera whose name the GM confuses with a strip joint.
246. I cannot keep selling that creepy guy's always naked elf chick to nomads every chance I get.
247. If the king rewards me with a forest, I am to assume he intends for me to keep it a forest.
248. There is no Halfling god of groin shots.
249. If a black op requires me to impersonate an employee, I cannot bill the target for overtime.
250. Superfluous Man is not a viable superhero concept.

Why I Love My Wife

The shower in our new house has a glass door. The top crossbeam that holds the glass door in place is right at head-level. When I'm half-awake (or not paying attention), I've cracked my head on it. It hurts. A lot. I curse about how much I forgot to duck.

My wife had a solution.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love my wife.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Back Again, Again. Again.

Another con marked off the to-do list this year. This time it was a direct flight to Chicago, but I ended up getting back about 1 AM last night so my boss thankfully let me come in a little later this morning (and I'll be leaving a little early today). That means I get my coffee allotment before I come in. I've had a productive morning, wrapping up the first draft of a little project that's been simmering on the back burner for a while.

I've begun drinking Perrier water. I think my dad would have a conniption if he knew that (and since my mom reads this from time to time, she'll probably tell him. Just goes to show you Cosmo was right: there are no more secrets). The reasons for doing so are twofold. First, I like unflavored sparkling water. I ran into it by accident at a convention, and realized I like it. Second, it's cheaper and healthier than booze. And we can get it for a song at Costco, so why not? A bottle a night runs me exactly 51 cents. Now average that against a can of beer, or a bottle of wine, and I'm already a winner!

This weekend I was a naughty monkey diet-wise. I was in Chicago in a part of town with absolutely zero restaurant options, so I ended up having pizza a couple of times. I admit, my body responded to the carbs better than I expected it would. I haven't gotten on a scale to gauge the effects of my little binge, and I won't be able to until tomorrow, but I don't think the damage is that permanent. Looks like this week is going to be a seven-gym-day kinda week.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. It's going to be the first time I'll be home and I won't have any real obligations for, well, a long time. The Skeleton Key opens this weekend, and I'll probably catch an early show of it. It's the first movie I've wanted to see in the theater since Batman. I'm also looking forward to The Brothers' Grimm next weekend - I read a very favorable article about Terry Gilliam in Time, and the movie sounds right up my ally.

I wish I had more to report creative-wise, but most of my energy there has been devoted to developing a campaign for a roleplaying game I'm going to run with the Thursday group. Jon inadvertatly gave me a great idea, which has since (he'll be happy to know) mutated into something completely different - but I'm very excited about the results. The background story for the campaign is byfar the most extensive I've ever written (it's my Pirate campaign world, brought into the mid 1800s, with a whole new Threat To Humanity that Only the Characters Can Stop). I've got five pages of background materials and notes, and even more on the various NPCs in the game.

In fact, looking over it all, I can't help but shake the feeling that the world would make a great novel - or even a series of novels. I toyed with the idea of developing some of the stuff from my Pirate campaign into a story or something longer, but since I started with only the most bare of skeletons and grew the world on impulse rather than plan, it never seemed appropriate. Now that I've got the history of this little Earth (it's really our own planet, just with a whole bunch of stuff that never made it into the history books), I could conceivably set a story there pretty much from any point after the dinosaurs became extinct until, say, 100 years from now.

In case you can't tell, I'm kind of proud of myself!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pimped My Ride

Yesterday marked the close of the car-theft debacle, when I finally got my car back from Car Toys with the stereo installed. The circle is now complete.

I splurged a little bit to get a slightly better stereo than the one I had. My new one has an adapter for the iPod. This means there is a wire sticking out of the back of my glove box. I can plug my iPod into this wire and it begins charging my iPod. I then close the glove box, iPod inside, and I control the whole kit and kaboodle from the stereo itself.

When I got home last night, I called my roomies out to the car and made them listen.

I have to admit, this may be the one good thing that has come out of this whole experience.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Walk Like A Zombie

I have to admit, ZombieWalk 2005, just a short jaunt up the road in Vancouver on August 27th (that's a Saturday, it starts at 4 PM) sounds like a hell of a good time. I'm trying to figure out why I should not attend.

Anyone out there in the Puppet Show audience care to attend with me?


I admit, I'm rapidly becoming addicted to Urban Dead because I can play it in easy, five-minute bits at lunch at the office. I currently have three characters: a zombie, a cop named Hoover, and a firefighter named Groosome. The firefighter has the most experience so far, because you don't have to reload his axe the way you reload the cop's gun. I want to make one more character, a human who goes around killing humans.

Say "hi" if you see me online.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What If The South Won?

I admit, a mock-documentary about the South winning the Civil War sounds pretty cool, but the execution seems a little harsh (and childish, by reducing the Civil War to a slaves-only issue). Still, this might have promise. If you've got the IFC, you might want to check it out.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Hand That Rocks

Stores like this make me want to have kids.

Or, to play dress-up with all of my friend's kids.

TV: Over There

Over There is FX's second kickass new series (the first being 30 Days by Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock.) I finally got around to watching the first episode of Over There on the DVR tonight.

A few months ago, I made a declaration that good writing on TV is dead apart from cable shows like Deadwood and Carnivale.

I was wrong.

Over There takes no sides but the soldiers' side. It showcases the lives of eight soldiers sent to Iraq, fighting the war we're reading about in the headlines. I personally cannot account for its accuracy, but damn if it seems like they got it right. Rather than take opportunites to club the audience over the head with dialogue that "explains" what's going on and what the characters feel, the directors (wisely) let the actors carry themselves. Watching the subtle change in expression on a soldier's face after he kills his first insurgant - seeing a bit of his humanity fall away - was powerful stuff.

Not for the faint of heart, but highly recommended if you can watch it.

A Weekend Getaway

Yet another weekend I didn't spend at home. I had to ditch Jon's birthday bash on Friday to prepare myself for a weekend at North Cascades National Park. Which is to say I collapsed in bed about 8:45. I'm actually very glad I did, because I would have been a cranky mess all weekend otherwise (sorry Jon! We'll go out on our own.)

So we left yesterday morning bright and early for the drive to the park. We avoided the visitor's center and made a base camp in a US Forest Service campsite about sixteen miles down a dirt road on the park's southwest side. From there, we attempted a 4.5 mile hike over a mountain (!) and to an alpine lake. The hike switchbacked through some incredible forest and through an alpine meadow, cut through by a glacier-fed stream. We made it as far as the meadow - about 2 miles in - before turning around. We gained about a thousand feet in elevation, and the insects - mosquitoes and flies - in the meadow were chewing us up and spitting us out.

Still, it felt good to do the hike and I could definately tell that my exercise is paying off. I wasn't winded, stopping only for some reasonable rests, and had the bugs been less thick and we thought to bring more water, we very likely would have finished the hike.

But we didn't, and went back to camp for an evening of Liz-cooked great food, cards, and sitting around and bullshitting. A good time was had by all.

This morning we broke camp and made our way into the park, stopping at Diablo Lake, an artificial reservoir created by a dam. We hit a trail there up to a hill with an excellent view of the lake. The elevation gain was only about a third of what we did yesterday, but it was nearly twenty degrees hotter (in the low 90s) and we really felt it. The hike was a little shy of two miles one way, almost all uphill. The views were worth the climb, but by the time we got back we were pretty pooped. Later, after we got home, I spent a nice hour fighting heat sickness with cold rags, ice packs, and a cold shower. I'm better now, but I've got to quit underestimating what I need to do these kinds of things (more water, more rest, better AC in the car when we get back).

Gee, do I have to go to work tomorrow? Ugh.