facepalm: it's what's for dinner

Earlier, to Mike

"Welcome to the life of a system administrator ... spending all day fixing the bug that lets you read the documentation that helps you diagnose the issue that was stopping you from implementing your original five-minute fix."
odd baud skins (pic by Waywind)

Oh! And! :D

Remember the mask I talked about wearing to Furcon? The official con photos are out! I do look quite dapper, if I say so myself.

Also, I've touched the Draconity FAQ for the first time in years. Don't faint from shock yet - no new content. But I did feel the need to acknowledge the work of several foreign collaborators and post links to their translations. So you can now read about draconity in Spanish, German, and Russian.
in my what killin my who? (art by eclect

update of the whenever

Happy Pi Day! I marked 3/14 1:59:26 by texting a few fellow geeks. My boss was also amused.

I'm actually happier about Daylight Savings Time kicking back in, because this means that there is sunlight after work again, and I have a chance of leaving the office before sunset and actually catching some sunlight on a daily basis. Of course, Mother Nature loves her some delicious irony, so both today and yesterday have been dreary and gray. Boo.


My life continues to be interesting on a ropelaying* front, with not much else to say outside of it. I got to playtest Deathbird Black - fun was had by all, and it gave me some great ideas for streamlining the game (I keep procrastinating on version 1.3 and need to get it written). Also had a really epic game of Dogs In The Vineyard this week, in which I murdered the first PC of my 20-year GM career. And I've been getting props (two weeks in a row, actually) for some gaming microfiction I've posted at Reddit to win their weekly RPG idea competition.


LJ metastuff:

Livejournal's current spam issues are frustrating - I've actually been getting an average of a spam comment per day, which prompted me to tighten up my comment security settings - but I'm actually more disappointed to see their recent news posts. There is apparently a new gaming area with exciting new features such as a Farmville clone (gasp!).

I haven't been keeping up with my friends list for personal reasons -- most of that is my Minecraft addiction, which too shall pass -- but I can't say that they're giving me a lot of incentive to come back. I'm getting the sinking feeling that LJ is entering its death throes. It can't compete with blogs as a serious writing platform (it never really has), and it can't compete with Facebook as a social hub, but its new solution to this is to double down on Facebooking and somehow out-Facebook Facebook. (If that's what I wanted, I'd go get a Facebook account.)

I think I'm going to be doing a major reading list purge in the future and refocusing my LJ use as an RSS reader to keep up on the people I care about. For my own writing, Dreamwidth possibly, but, meh, I'm also moving out of the journaling phase of my life; there's not a whole lot to say about my day-to-day now that I've settled into comfortable married adulthood, and the things that *do* interest me are focused enough that I might be better served making a proper blog back at Tomorrowlands. If I do, I'll make an RSS feed for it here and let y'all know. Thoughts?

* That was supposed to be "roleplaying". I was typing a little too fast, and honest to gods that's how it came out. It's too cool a Spoonerism to correct.
generic lament

Deathbird Black: Ronnies Update

A winner is me! :D

I'll be doing a rewrite this weekend to better organize the material and clarify some rules - and I'll continue working on it as playtesting identifies and irons out the bugs.

This was a game I felt good about even before I learned the results. And the Ronnie is going to be a real shot in the arm in terms of available resources and prestige. So I'll state it out loud and commit myself: I want to refine Deathbird Black and take it all the way to publication.
Redtail - learning to walk


So! I entered the February round of the Ronnies, a 24-hour RPG design competition. I took quite a different tone this time than I did with Egregore. I'll let the blurb speak for itself:
You're a hard-boiled man (or woman) in a gritty, corrupt world. Lust, greed, vengeance, jealousy - one of these is the bitter taste in the back of your throat. Some might call it a sin. You call it a mission. And you're not going to let anything stand in your way (except maybe your own flaws).

Meanwhile, the city is seething around you. The night is steamy, and ready to boil over at the slightest provocation. And in the shadows, steely eyes glint from above a demonic black beak, silently driving people into ever greater acts of desperation ...

Waiting to unleash chaos and hell ... with one mighty CAW.

Deathbird Black is a comedy game in the film noir genre. Tongue-in-cheek, dice-flinging, bird-screaming fun.

I am still giggling over the fact I got to write the phrase "ritualized catharsis of incomprehensible crosstalk and flying objects".

I haven't yet playtested it - that's a tall order in a 24-hour competition - but if you're curious to play it, here's the alpha; let me know how it goes. Otherwise, I'll get some feedback in the Ronnies 2011 forum, and improve it from there.
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pacific torus vedic echoes

I'm sure this means something

Dreaming, this morning:

We drove along the backcountry dirt road, chatting about hiking, about the mountains, about life.

Then, pointing to two mountains in the distance - one small and pristine; one large and scarred by time - the park ranger asked: "How long do you want to live?"

Without hesitation, I answered: "I want to live just long enough to be offered the choice of immortality."

("I think there's a fairly good chance that will become possible within my lifetime," I added.)

He looked a bit startled. "But what if the cost of that choice is too high?"

"I never said I would accept it," I replied. "Did I?"
classified outreach (pic by me)

Signal boost: Boston (or elsewhere) roommate search

eredien, a 29-year old queer genderqueer woman who lives in Boston (who I've known via dragon circles for forever), is moving out by month's end and needs a geek-friendly roommate:

I'm still job and apartment-hunting. ... I'm willing to relocate to other places - though it might be easiest for me to stay in Boston currently (preferably near Teele Sq or Alewife), I in fact wouldn't mind relocating from Boston, and I've applied to jobs in Chicago and DC.

For more roommate details or to pass along leads, check her post.

Further Confusion: Sunday

Wake stagger stagger eat text wait shower dress. Wander wander talk wander wander dragon dress stroll photograph stroll chat stroll stroll photograph wait dragon photograph stroll photograph dress wander hunger text equip text wait. Hunger. Wander dragon dragon dragon dragon dragon dragon hunger wander hunger dragon wander HUNGER dragon dragon HUNGER dragon HUNG--eat.

Text dragon dragon dragon movie dragon game wander chat wander dragon wander dance dance dance wander dance dance wander game. Type wander* dragon wander sleep.


So yeah, a day full of costuming, dragons, and dancing. Thanks to postrodent for yesterday's photograph; I have more on my camera card that I will process once home, along with a few that others have promised to send me, and some from the official con photography station.

I got to take a walk through town with postrodent, circuit_four, indicoyote, and cryptodragon (who gets special props for being my handler for an hour or two, with no notice and little reward). Most of the photography was in the alley outside the hotel, but the walk was architecturally and conversationally rewarding and there was a British-style telephone booth I got to pose at.

Dinner was a bit later than my mood would have preferred, but in exchange, I got to make a pizza run with a group of 11 dragons (and a lone badger). It was good sharing a meal with Baphnedia, Kaltezar (visiting from New Zealand!), Skadjer, and the Bad Dragon crew - Varka and a number of folks whose names I didn't catch.

Dancing wasn't quite as great as last night's - I liked the music better, but the DJs were really not handling the song breaks well, and it would jolt the mood every few minutes. On the other hand, I didn't have to awkwardly and unintentionally play cocktease to a rather forward gay man, so there was that.

Con is basically over at this point - tomorrow will consist of a little socializing, one last meal, and then a drive home. But it has been rewarding. The mask worked out despite all the shipping problems, and while I've dealt with my share of social roughness, I did at least get to touch base with most of the folks I came here to see, as well as some others that were pleasant surprises.

* Edited to add: And, for the first time in 16 years of convention attendance, I found myself unable to get into the con hotel despite having a legitimate badge.

Shortly after 2 am, I walked outside to look for Kaltezar, didn't see him, and turned to go back in. A hotel employee stopped me and demanded a room key. I showed him my badge. He said that because con activities closed at 2 a.m. (Con EVENTS stopped at 2, but Con Ops, Gaming, etc., were still open), I needed a room key to enter. I asked in disbelief, you need a key, despite the fact there was a con going on through Monday night, and I had a badge, and he had watched me step outside through that same door not 60 seconds earlier? He repeated that I needed a room key to walk through the otherwise open front door, and refused me entry.

This is the first time in 16 years of regular convention attendance that I have had to deal with this bullshit. The con has an official overflow hotel; it is no secret that many attendees won't have room keys. And this was the hotel's FRONT DOOR.

So, total bullshit.

Screw you, San Jose Fairmont Hotel. Way to treat your customers. (And yes, I'm a customer despite not having a room key. I paid for the convention that booked your room blocks. Not to mention your shitty overpriced concessions.)
epitomize ablutions (pic by bis)

FC Update: Friday Night

I would not exactly say I have had an auspicious start to the con.

Thursday I dealt with some crises at home (including some USPS shipping problems with the Baxil mask, and the death of two of our clown loaches), mostly thanks to kadyg, who has been eight sorts of awesome. I arrived at the con at about 1 am and crashed hard.

Today feels like it has been a day of missed potential. The mask finally arrived - back at home. kadyg graciously drove for four hours to get it here, and is now at 11 sorts of awesome and counting. At which point we discovered that it got damaged in shipping. It's cosmetic damage, fortunately; the mask is still wearable, but there's a big ugly crack in the side. I'm going to have to file an insurance claim with the post office next week, and then ship it back to Aubriana for repairs (it should be noted that she has been a real professional about all these problems).

So I had to spend an hour or two of prime con time in the evening dealing with that. There was also a lot of down time in midafternoon, in the lull between "I've said hi to all the Thursday arrivals" and "all the Friday arrivals are starting to show up". I got in some nice socialization in the meantime, and played some epic* games of Dominion with krinndnz, Crypto, and Jummi to round out the evening, but so far I haven't eaten any meals at con with more than one other person for company, I haven't hit any panels or big gatherings, and I'm just emotionally exhausted enough from pre-con bullshit that I'm feeling doubt about the whole thing creeping in.

I expect it to pass. I'll get to do some costuming tomorrow (after emergency repairs on the mask); I'm assembling the annual Baron Munchhausen game around 8 pm; and unless awesome social circumstances stop me, I'll go ground out the remaining negativity with some high-intensity stomping on the dance floor.

But right now ... augh. I just want to call a mulligan on the weekend so far. I've been surrounded by enough cool people to enjoy myself enough to keep from falling apart, but under my own steam, I'd be kind of a mess.

* "You used it as an adjective. Put 25 cents in the epic swear jar." -Jummi
"Oh. ... uh ... was that my outside voice?" -me