Saturday, October 25, 2008

You all wake up in cell with no idea how you got there...

Only slightly less hackneyed than "You all meet in a tavern..." for a campaign start. It's used mainly to annoy the folks who go into great detail about the specific gear with which their character is equipped. ("My character carries an Springfield GI Model 1911A1 with Trijicon sights, a 20 lb recoil spring, full-length guide rod, Swinson trigger, Wilson beaver-tail grip safety, damascus steel commander-style from STI, and a Gunsite lo-ride safety." "Actually, Bob, your character is wearing the same prison rags as everyone else, and isn't packing so much as an improvised shiv. You have no idea how you got here.") While discussing this at the start of a friend's Star Wars game recently, Jason said, "Yeah, you notice it's never 'You wake up at, say, a fancy dinner party...'" This started the gears turning in my head, and got a terrified reaction from my buddy D when I said, "You know, that'd be the perfect start if I ever run a GURPS: Illuminati game." Think about it. Your characters are typical Joe or Sarah Sixpacks who suddenly wake to find themselves in tuxes or ball gowns and domino masks in very swank digs and a bunch of similarly attired folks and the casual conversation around them involves things like, "Yes, we'll be discussing the Reptoid situation with Mr. Johnson after the ritual. "His" work on the web has been nearly effective as his previous jazz guitar playing in advancing their cause, don't you think? And talk about hiding in plain sight!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Omnivore's One Hundred

Omnivore's One Hundred

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (if alligator counts)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (Or any other bowl, for that matter)
33. Salted lassi (Sounds good, though)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo (Dude! I'm from New Orleans! Of course I've eaten gumbo!)
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (Only half that price, alas...)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (Via Kaopectate)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (All of the above, actually...)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (But I do make a decent Eggs Sardou)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (No, but I'm going to have to try it)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

63%, assuming half credit on two of them, and some of the ones I've missed are on account of having not heard of them before.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Of all the gin joints in all the world...

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test...

Humphrey Bogart

You're the original man of honor, rough and tough but willing to stick your neck out when you need to, despite what you might say to the contrary. You're a complex character full of spit and vinegar, but with a soft heart and a tender streak that you try to hide. There's usually a complicated dame in the picture, someone who sees the real you behind all the tough talk and can dish it out as well as you can. You're not easy to get next to, but when you find the right partner, you're caring and loyal to a fault. A big fault. But you take it on the chin and move on, nursing your pain inside and maintaining your armor...until the next dame walks in. Or possibly the same dame, and of all the gin joints in all the world, it had to be yours. Co-stars include Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall, hot chicks with problems.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

Take The Classic Leading Man Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Golden Horde

No, we're not talking about Genghis Khan's crew. The Golden Horde is a term used on some preparedness boards for the mass of evacuees from major population centers once the SHTF. Think of all the resources that a city uses in a typical day, plus the gasoline needed to fill the tank of most every privately owned car in the place. Now imagine trying to fill that need with the contents of small town convenience stores within a hundred mile radius of that city. You no doubt heard of shortages along the evacuation routes back in '05 for Katrina & Rita, and again last week for Gustav. Ok, imagine that instead of New Orleans or Houston, it's every city in the US that's being emptied. Now add a mushroom cloud, UFOs, or a mob of zombies in their rear-view mirrors and watch the road rage turn lethal. That convenience store's last box of diapers could end up the subject of bidding, deal making, or outright violence.

It's not just upstanding suburban citizens in this mass migration. You're also going to be having all manner of thugs and junkies fleeing whatever it is that's being fled from. And even if you aren't one, you can sure that you'll be suspected of being such if you fit the profile in the locals' minds. During such an evacuation, double any negative reaction penalties that characters might have, if they're the sort that the locals might notice. (Not so much for appearance, unless it's specified as "creepy". Very definitely for things like low Social Status or being a member of a Minority Group.)

This sort of encounter works anyplace you've got population centers, hinterlands, and something to cause the former to empty into the latter. Perhaps the semi-obscure smuggling port your characters operate from could be unexpectedly filled to the brim with refugees fleeing a shift in the battle lines. Now you've got to get that questionable cargo from the storage facility to the docks without running afoul of either the enhanced security presence or the desperate refugees. In the fifties or sixties, flying saucers or giant radioactive dinosaurs could be curb-stomping the cities. A rouge nano-weapon could send streetwise cyberpunks scrambling to the sticks. The Dark Knight had the threats of a facially scarred madman emptying out Gotham. A minor "Ooops" on the part of the Mage Guild might force the thieves & merchants of a city into the countryside, as could a steampunk mad scientist's latest creation.

It could also factor into a character's backhistory, either as a victimized local, or an ordinary citizen who had to do unthinkable things to escape from Doomedville after the traffic ground to a halt.

UPDATE: A post from Bayou Renaissance Man on real world examples of the Golden Horde during Katrina & Rita.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Looks like me & mine all made out ok with the storm. If you want to help out those who weren't as lucky as I was, contact these fine people.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

1,000th visitor

I was going to congratulate my 1,000th visitor, but checking the IP addy, it was me hitting it from my cell phone. Ooops. Congrats, then, to my 1,001st visitor, who came here via looking for inspirational gaming music. (I appear to be the number two hit for that search)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maybe I can hide from the zombies on the moon...

Created by OnePlusYou - Online Dating Site

Clearly, I need to work on that...


Created by OnePlusYou - Online Dating Service

What I did on my summer vacation...

At least the last week or so, I've had an actual excuse for not posting. I've been attending CERT classes in the evening before work. On the plus side, I'll be able to add NIMS-100 & CPR certification to my resume once we're done. Add in being best man at a buddy's wedding, construction work around the apartment complex while I'm trying to sleep, and a few dates here & there (Including a few second dates, no less. How'd that happen?), you can see why the bloggage has slipped so much. Doesn't help that, other than the Revoke The Games link over in the sidebar, I've been keeping this blog politics free. Got plenty I could say on that subject... Maybe I'll write up the CERT training in GURPS 4th Ed. once we're done.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Robert Asprin (1946-2008)

Bob passed away Thursday. The folks coming to pick him up to go to a con found him dead on his couch with a sci-fi novel in his hand. (As a fan, can you imagine a better way to go?) Details at SFWA. I met Bob at Midsouthcon last year. Hell of a nice guy. He's gonna be missed.

*UPDATE* An unofficial wake will be held tomorrow night, Sunday the 25th, at Fahy's in the French Quarter, 540 Burgundy. 9pm 'til.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Picket up a meme from Chris regarding a few random things about myself. I'm skipping the health stuff & answering the rest of it broken down into categories.

Collections: Boomsticks, costuming props (some overlap there due to being a Browncoat...), slowly rebuilding my roleplaying game & movie collections.

Hats: A couple of ball caps, still haven't gotten around to replacing my western hat or getting a cavalier hat for the ren-faire costume I plan on doing.

Jewelry: Except for my Mjolnir, I don't wear jewelry. And even that is worn inside my shirt unless I'm in Viking garb. I don't even wear a watch.

First real book: The first non-kiddie book I clearly remember reading was John Gardner's "Grendel". When I was eight. Kind of a WTF moment for me back in the day. I'm sure there were others. I may have gotten my hands on Blish's Trek novelizations earlier, but that's the first one that really stuck with me.


Food: Bacon. Baconbaconbaconbaconbacon...

Colors: Dark green & earth tones.

Song: Depending on my mood, either "March of Cambreadth" by Heather Alexander (The bagpiped version off of the album "Midsummer") or "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones. If I'm in a rare mushy sort of mood, then "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel or "Time Stand Still" by Rush will get the nod.

Poem: Gotta be something from Kipling. "Recessional", "Grave Of The Hundred Head", "The 'eathen", "Helen All Alone"... too many to choose from. It's horribly cliche' to say so, but Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII ranks up there as well. I mean, really, how can you top that final couplet?

Movie: Gotta agree with Chris that "The Princess Bride" is my favorite.

Book: Mu

Soft drink: Dr. Pepper, which I make a point of NOT keeping on hand, lest I end up even rounder than I am already. Even worse, I discovered the Dublin, Tx version of Dr. Pepper on a recent trip to Austin. Twitch, twitch...

Coffee: CDM. Brewed strong. Black.

Coffee mug: Right now it would either be the big blue one labeled "Evil Overlord" I picked up at Gulf War XV, or the "Warning: Contains Polonium-210 in liquid suspension" mug I got from United Nuclear.

Favorite beer: Shifts around a bit, but currently Eel River's Triple Exultation. 9.7% by volume is a Good Thing.

Hard liquor: Laphroaig Quarter Cask. (Heh. The spell checker's first suggestion for "Laphroaig" is "Aphrodisiac"...)As far as booze I can afford on a regular basis, Tito's Vodka from Austin, of all places. Try it and you'll be amazed that this stuff goes for about $15 a fifth.

Wine: Not much of a wine drinker. Only one I've found that I can stand the taste of is Tokej Azou. At $40 per half-liter, it's not a regular indulgence of mine.

Ice Cream: Either coffee or dulce de leche.

Dessert: Again, Chris has good taste. Creme Brulee. Either I'm not as picky about it as he is, or we've just got better access to folks who know how to make it right here in New Orleans.

Cake: White cake with my family's recipe for chocolate frosting .

Favorite place: Chincoteague, Va. Heck, you could say the entirety of the Va. Eastern Shore.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And then there was none...

The last of the giants of Sci-Fi passed away yesterday. Arthur C. Clarke passed away in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

1d4+1 minutes of silence...

Gary Gygax, pretty much the inventer of the whole roleplaying hobby passed away yesterday.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New links

Color me rather (pleasantly, I might add) suprised to find I'm linked to by Jay Manifold over at Voyage To Arcturus. From the link title on his end, it would appear that he had been linked to atleast one previous incarnation of this blog.

I've also updated the link to Karen's blog. Unfortunately, blogger doesn't like the strike tag in the formating areas of the blog, so I couldn't properly show the name change.