Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Writer's Block, Oh Joy

I've suffered this on occasion, but usually I just stop writing until something specifically inspires me to write, but that is not an option this month. I made a decision to write a number of blogs that reached multiple digits, ie 10 or more. I missed it by one last month, not again, I probably won't have an excuse of being run over by a car to shelter me from self-degredation and shame. Moving on.

I've got something to Heart today. It's a website I recently found through my multitudinous journeys through the interweb. Mashable.com
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What they mean by social networking news is that they have little tidbits, stories, links, lists, reviews and articles related to networking online. Generally it's related to specific sites, ie Facebook, Myspace, Blogger (which is who hosts this blog you're currently reading, if you were previously unaware) I've already picked a few things up for it. For people that are interested in connecting to others online, it's a veritable smorgashborg of fun facts, gadgets to use, ways to protect your privacy online, while still connecting. I picked up the nifty RSS feed button to your right from there.

I'll be honest that I'm kind of addicted to the internet, I'm active on Myspace and Facebook pretty much on a daily basis, I check my email waaaaay to much, spend hours on wikipedia, IMDB, Youtube looking up information I'll probably never use, but I enjoy it. I also understand that most people aren't interested in using the internet nearly as much as I am, so Mashable is a great way to add that little extra to whatever little bit of interwebbing that you do.
Cracker out

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to GM Your Own Habit Abatement Campaign

[Editor's note: I am reposting this in light of my last post and because I think it's hilarious and a rather good way to go about it, in my opinion. Nothing outside these quotes, was written by me. This was writtne by MC Frontalot on his site http://frontalot.com/ check it out.]

I don't like to talk about Quitting Smoking. It sounds so final, and it turns the inevitable backslide into a major failure event. But I do Stop Smoking from time to time, which lasts anywhere from a few weeks to three years. I am in process of stopping right now, in fact. Usually I stop by not smoking, which is a pretty okay way to do it. This time I'm trying to make it more interesting by gradually diminishing intake with the help of a couple D&D rules.

You can play too! Here's how.

1. Name your character. Mine's Breathorr Inflatagon, a level 2 Lung Elf. You don't have to roll up stats. If you're a real stickler for form, go get your lungs x-rayed. The x-ray film is your character sheet.

2. Keep a d20 in your pack of cigarettes. If it doesn't fit, keep die, lighter, and pack together in some kind of totable container. May I suggest a pouch?

3. Whenever you feel like smoking, that means the GM (you) is trying to poison your character (also you). Time for a saving throw! I decided the DC (Difficulty Class) for my save vs Poison is 15. Roll the d20. 15 and up: I am saved from that cigarette I wanted! Hooray? 14 and under: oh darn, I get to enjoy another satisfying and flavorful cancer treat.

4. If you make the save, you really can't have a cigarette. Rolls have to be at least an hour apart. If you haven't rolled for two hours, that does not mean you get to roll twice. Be strict, or the GM Regulatory Cabal will revoke your authority. (I assume? I haven't GM'd since like 1988.)

5. Every day of the campaign, your Wisdom increases slightly. You're using Will to save against Poison, so increased Wis modifies in your favor (well, in your character's favor — your GM prefers that the poison attacks land). I'm using a mod of +1 for each day, so on day two rolls of 14 and up are successful saves, on day three it's 13 and up, etc. Fifteen days into the campaign, I will only be allowed to smoke when I roll a natural 1.

6. Rolling a natural 1, of course, is a critical fail. Thus, no matter how wise I get, I will always be able to sneak a cigarette if I can roll a 1. But after fifteen days I'm going to limit myself to one poisoning attempt per day, instead of one per waking hour. The game logic behind this is: fuck you, I do what I want.

You can design your own system, of course. The DC of 15 and the minimum hour between rolls seemed suited to how much I was already smoking. If you go through two packs of Chesterfields a day you are probably not going to survive on so meager an allotment of poison.

I realize also that this system is nowhere near complicated enough for some gamers. Feel free to adapt much more sophisticated rulesets. Probably "internet" would be a good place to post them once you've got the kinks worked out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nerdcore Represent

I have a hearting today that strikes very close to home. This is a bit of a double hearting, one for a Rap Sub-genre called Nerdcore, and for the rapper that coined the term for this sub-genre, MC Frontalot.
MC Frontalot
Nerdcore is when a rapper has a specific lifestyle and chooses to rap about things that are very unusual when compared to mainstream rap. Specifically things about computer programming, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Data stream encryption and blog hating. I've found that aside from Eminem and 2Pac who are considered lyrical wizards in their own right, I don't really care for the usual topics that are important for most rappers. I guess we can say that blunts, 40s and bitches don't really do it for me as Nick grade rap material. Enter Nerdcore, with it's realistic approach to it's major audience, ie nerds and geeks, and how they "obtain" their music, which would be pirating it via Bittorrent Download clients like uTorrent and Vuze or Filesharing programs like Limewire. They rap about being attracted to and nervous around Goth Girls, or a crappy roommate in college, or how everybody just calls them up for Tech support. While I can't identify with every single thing they quantify, I still do with the majority and am amazing how entrancing this music has become for me.

Back to the specific, MC Frontalot, the so called Godfather of Nerdcore. He actually coined the phrase while writing lyrics and decided to throw it around a bit with his indie stylings until it caught on a bit like wildfire, but like wildfire contained in a small area, like haiti. Nerdcore is a pretty specific and narrow sub-genre with an estimated dozens of rappers that populate it as opposed to the thousands, or tens of thousands of other rappers. Anyway, Frontalot is smooth with his lyrics, straight up with his frontin' and here to get the word out about Nerdcore. I gotta say, I'm a devoted fan now, hope you will be too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mmmh...Astrology

I've ridiculed and condescended many a follower of astrology over the years. Mostly because I despise daily horoscopes, and still do. I think they are retarded, despite the fact I've shifted my zero belief in astrology to a miniscule, non-zero belief in Astrology. While this shift in belief seems very small, to me it's the difference between door being shut, locked and barred closed, and a door that looks closed, but wasn't quite closed enough to even latch, let alone be locked and barred. To be a bit more non-metaphorical, I read up on a general description of an Ares personality tendencies (because they are described as tendencies and sure as hell don't qualify as truly detailed personality profiles) and was surpised to find it fits quite well overall. Not surprised, more reminded, which sparked interest in finding out my rising astrological sign, which is the sign that is on the eastern horizon which depends on the time of day you're born, and it is supposed to be what peoples first impression of you tends to be. I also found that to be relatively accurate, which sparked more research into the Chinese Zodaic, of which I'm an Ox, on number of different levels. Because of this, I found there are actually three aspects of the Chinese Zodiac and actually a 60 year cycle, not just 12 years. So I found that I'm a Yin/Wood/Ox person which all relate to personality tendencies which I also found to be relatively accurate. It kind of blew my mind. One of the things that I like to believe about myself is that I am always willing to revise my beliefs if I can find/be given reason to believe otherwise. So daily horoscopes are still a steaming pile of dung, but I'm starting to think Astrology in general may be a treasure buried under that stupid pile of dung. Well anyway, I'll be back again to ramble on about random aspects of life another day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

I have no great revelation that you're not sure about whether or not it's a joke, or at least, none that I'm going to reveal anyway. I just have my b-day in just two days. Weird. Turning 24 kind of sneaked up on me this year. I feel like it should be more momentous, but I guess that should be when I turn a full quarter century old next year. Ah well. So I failed last month. My goal was to update 10 blogs during the month of March, but I think it might be excused as I set that goal on march 30th and the whole I got run over by a car on March 31st kind of distracting me.

For those of you who are interested in what happened here it is, is my normal, meandering format. I decided to opt for a little excercise by skateboarding from the bus transfer stop because it wasn't an unreasonable distance from work. Yesterday was not the best day to do that apparently. As I was skating down the sidewalk, I saw some traffic waiting at the stop light. I didn't think anything of it, so I just continued skating into the crosswalk. I didn't realize that the car closest to the sidewalk with it's right blinker on had a driver that had not seen me, and he was checking for incoming traffic for the lane he intended to turn into. This is all well and good right up until he hit the gas without looking back to make sure that no one had sailed directly into his path. I was several feet away, so I had a bit of time to react, not enough time to say, "You're about to strike me with your vehicle!" I shoved my longboard behind me as I stepped off and tried to jump back out of the way. The problem was that as I tried to land, my heels caught on the pavement and I fell back with my legs splayed out. At this point that left the car's trajectory to run both wheels on it's right hand side over both my shins, which it did. The driver immediate pulled over after realizing what he'd done. I tried to stand up immediate, which was a mistake, as I almost passed out. I sat down on the grass and a guy pulled over right in front of me and another truck pulled over and another man and a woman got out. They all asked me if I was okay, if they could give me a ride to the hospital. I was in shock at this point and kind of working my head through the pain. After a minute I got up and said I'd be okay and sent everybody on their way and proceeded to finish skating to work. Let me pause for a moment and say yes, I was an idiot. I didn't ask for any of his information, I didn't call the police, yet, and I didn't go to the hospital, yet. I was worried about work and so, in shock, I just insisted on going to work. After about two hours at work my legs started to really bother me and numerous people insisted that I both report it to the police and go to the hospital. I followed their advice, talked to both, although I didn't have any information other than a vague description of the guy and his car so the Police really couldn't do anything. Went to the doctors after that, had only one of my legs X-Rayed, because that one was the only one really troubling me. X-rays came back showing not a single crack or fracture. I lost a lot of skin and hair, and there was a little muscle and ligament damage, but definitely nothing serious. I can already dance a jig, not that I dance jigs.
Guten Morgen, und wenn ich nicht sehen k├Ânnen, Guten Nachtmittag, guten Abend und gute Nacht!

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