Sunday, December 29, 2013

The adventures of Bill the Butterfly and Mr. Manman's hat

So yeah. All my friends in real life will know that I have been making a comic for years and I finally got a drawing tablet to try to actually put it up on the web. It will probably be a little while before I have any idea how to use proper programs so for now enjoy this little joke at my own expense.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fitness Friday #5

Today my weight is 185.5 that is 2 lbs from the last time I weighed myself and I think a pound and a half since last week.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately but that isn't a big issue right now. I did bike 6 out of 7 days in the last week but my bike route time has gotten shorter but more work.

This week I've been thinking a lot about biking and what it was like learning to ride a multispeed bike. When I was I think 12 I got my first ten speed bike.  I remember my dad explaining how to switch gears and when to do what.  I asked him how to go faster and he looked perplexed and then told me "if you want to go faster pedal harder."

I've been thinking about that a lot since I started cycling every day. There is a lot of truth to this statement. Yes higher gears can make you go faster but you have to work harder for the length of the trip. Also its harder to start up from a higher gear. However a higher gear is good. I've been using 3rd gear as resistance training. And it seems to be working.

As usual my goal for next week is 184.5 lets keep it up.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


This is just an update for anyone who actually checks this regularly. I have hit a wall, a teensy bit of writers block so other than fitness friday updates I'm going to be taking a break to get a bit of a buffer.  If you have any interest in seeing more updates please donate if you can.  I would love to get a drawing tablet. If I had a tablet I would be able to draw the comics I've been wanting to start.  Money also would probably take a load off my mind so that would always help.  Thanks for your patience.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Fitness friday 4

Today my weight was 186 lbs so it is going down. I did eat pizza last night so that is probably part of why it actually bounced up from earlier in the week (on Tuesday I weighed in at 185.)

I'm still biking  5 days out of the week and it is making a difference.  I have been having some trouble maintaining a normal sleep schedule and was not feeling well on Thursday but I think I am doing better in many departments. I don't really have much more to say on the subject this week. stay tuned.

Next week's goal 185 on Friday.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

D20 versus 2nd ed.

     "Lis I have a problem with my players." My brother mentions on the phone while talking with me to fill the silence between my work and my apartment.  "They're all Munchkins*."  I roll my eyes a little at this only a little jealous that my younger brother has been running a campaign in Dungeons and Dragons and I have yet to run something in anything.  But he did have an older sister to guide him into geekdom.
     "Well that's what you get when you play 3.5." I put in my normal jibe at his choice of game. To which he replies, exasperated "that's what they said."

     It should be noted I don't play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 or D20 system (both copyright Wizards of The Coast.)  I have played one extensive D20 Star Wars campaign and I once, long ago, played one 3.5 campaign that I dropped out of.  My overall impression of the system is blandness.  Not that they don't have good points.  The GM's and groups I was playing with were fun.  The Star Wars game was where the weird intergame intragroup trope of me playing small fuzzy things came from.  Yet overall I just don't have a lot of love for the system.
     Some good aspects of 3.5: its adaptability. There are many D20 system books out there for almost anything you are a fan of and they can be effectively combined. Want to play a game where a Stargate team goes to a planet where Darth Vader is currently pitching a battle against Cthulu? All you need is those three D20 books (all of which exist). If you are looking for more firm rules in your role playing experience D20 gives you what you need.
    Mostly I play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd ed.  There is the fact that this is what the people around me run (or run slight alterations of).  I still have to agree with my friends' reasoning for running this system. One of the first is you can make choices as you go. Now I know there are 3.5 players who will say that you can definitely change your mind about a character as it evolves but so many skills have such weird prerequisites that you need to plan everything perfectly in advance half the time.  With 2nd ed there are no feats to get prerequisite feats in. The skill system is very simple.
    Another problem with D20 is topending.  In 2nd ed most rolling for skills is dependent on rolling under your stat. So the higher your skill the more likely you are to roll under it.  In D20 all skills have a skill check that you have to get by adding your skill to a d20 die roll.  There are examples of why this doesn't work too well. The first example is that it is very easy to just make an unpassable check.  A DM can simply set a check so high that a player can't possibly make it.  The other end of the scale I like to use a personal story to tell people about.  In the starwars game I played I was a tech specialist.  All of my skills were maxed to mechanic repair, astrogating, piloting and computer use.  At one point we were doing something that involved breaking into a computerized lock. I made a roll of like a 4 and had enough skill points that when I said what my final roll was (I honestly can't remember it was somewhere in the 30s I think) the GM just said there was basically no way I could fail this roll as the challenge ratings were all below my skill numbers. I couldn't shoot worth a damn (all combat skills were hard to get with my class I wasn't trying to minmax but it just happens) in combat my best bet was hiding which I sucked at. But if we had to fly somewhere or hack something there wasn't even a brief moment of "oh maybe she won't make this" tension. I just automatically did it, rolling was a pointless action that I took to make it feel like I as a player had some contribution.
    The third and final problem I have with D20 is it is hard to take what you want and make the game you want to play (aside from setting information.) Original Dungeons and Dragons was made to be modular. A GM could take rules that he or she felt made a good game and expand on them as they wished.  With D20 if you take something out there is always a fear that the tower will go tumbling down.
     I prefer to play my games with a certain amount of give and you-can-mess-up-ness.  I like to get to a point where I can go. You know what my character is changing or hey we are in a different environment and I need this new skill.  So for me 2nd ed is the better choice for Dungeons and Dragons.  I really don't have a lot of fun with D20 systems.

*Munchkins are a term for players who try to make the "best" character in a competitive manner. Usually this involves downgrading certain traits to make others better (known as minmaxing). Many of these players think that one type of character is superior to others and are interested in "winning" a game that at its very core is a cooperative game.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ring Ring

A couple months ago I was at a family gathering and it came around to the point where I had to tell people what I do for a living (or a just-getting-by-through-college-ing) and of course it starts with that I am still life guarding. "Oh and I have a second job now I do phone surveys." And that's when it happens. Every time someone has to make the comment about how they hang up on survey takers. I usually laugh at it or just smile depending on how much I want to stay in the good graces of the person I'm talking to.  But seriously people lets not kid ourselves there are few things you can say in polite conversation that will tick people off more than "I usually do what I can to make your job harder."

Now don't get me wrong I know that phone surveys are not peoples top choice for what to do with their time but lets take a moment to think about this.  I am lucky, I am not paid per survey.  Most people I know who have done this outside my work place are.  And most of them are struggling to pay rent, school, grocery bills whatever with this job.  Can you honestly say that if you did not have to take a job where you were yelled at regularly hung up on and insulted for what you do by your friends you would still take it for fun? It's not something everyone can do and as an aspiring Statistics student I appreciate any data gathering that goes on and recognize how much various strategies are needed.

But lets get to the point of this post there are some things people should know about phone interviewers and how to deal with them.

1. IMPORTANT. No interview is required. There is one survey that is required in the US and it is issued by the government every ten years. So you don't need to ask if you have to take this.
2. If you can take the survey you should. As I said most survey takers are paid by the interview. Be nice to them.
3. The person giving the interview did not write it. They can only read the questions as they are written. If they are written poorly it is not their fault and they can't do anything to change it. Be patient, ask them to repeat the question and always be willing to answer "I don't know."
4. The person giving the interview does not control who gets called. In some cases they don't even dial the phone. If they are calling at an inconvenient time. If they are dialing your cell phone. If you think they can't call you because of some do not call list. Please do not yell at them they are not in charge of it.
5. If you have a problem being called on your cell phone take it up with lawmakers. Many surveys are now calling cell phones because many people do not have landlines. In order to make sure they get a wide variety of surveys they have to make sure to reach a wide variety of people.
6. If you can't take the survey don't take it out on the survey taker. Just say "Do not call me again" and hang up. Trust me they can take a hangup, calling a survey taker the c-word or the f-word are harder to deal with.

If you can do these you will make many many Americans' jobs so much easier.

Friday, August 30, 2013

fitness friday 3

     As of yesterday my weight is 186.5 lbs. No, that's ok world I'll take a punch in the gut for my troubles, no worries.
     I have been getting a lot of what I like to call incidental exercise.  On Saturday my friend had his birthday party at various locations in the downtown area so I got a lot of walking done.  Sunday morning I had to go to the pre-semester training for lifeguards. We played some kickball and did some saving drills. Later that night I walked a little ways downtown for some sandwiches.  Then on Monday school started.
    School being in session means I am walking around campus a lot with the added weight of my laptop. I also discovered that I can't park anywhere on campus in a decent amount of time.  Thus I need to ride my bike to school every day.  This gives me a good twenty minute work out twice a day.
     I also bought a combination fitness pass at a $36 discount. So be ready for wild Zumba stories.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Srewn

Ok This one takes a little bit of explanation. To start with a Sloon is a lizard creature from the D&D campaign Land of Ruin, created by Josh Sterns. They were a super advanced society with magic and psionics to rival the most advanced races. I thought it would be fun to have a call forward to Persephone's adventures in Ya. 

This is one of my favorite stories I've written I would mostly write it by hand before class it took a while to finish it.

“Give it back!” Persephone lunged at her sister grabbing at the small doll that she had carried with her since it was given to her by a soothsayer in sigil.
            “You don’t even know what it is” replied Florentine, jumping lithely away from her sister’s grasp. She looked at the strange lizard creature. It didn’t look like anything she had seen in the plains.
            “Yes I do! It’s a Srewn and it’s mine. Give it back!” Persephone jumped at ther sister and the two rolled back and forth trying to grab the doll. Persephone was bigger but Florentine was better at dodging out of the way and quicker with her hands.
            After about five minutes of this Cyrus, their father, stepped in. “You two stop now!” he grabbed both his daughters and lifted them from the ground. “You are going to give away our position.” He grabbed the doll and handed it to Persephone. Then he turned a reproachful eye on Florentine. “There isn’t much point in taking something if they can tell you took it right away. I expect better of you.”
            “Cyrus get back here,” Shir’tha, the girls’ mother, hissed. “There is a cave down that way I think that looks like a good place. I need you to look for me.”
            Cyrus rolled his eyes but quickly set to work almost entirely disappearing before their eyes. Florentine watched in awe as her father moved out of sight, completely silent. He could still always catch her when she tried it.
            “What is a srewn then?” She asked her sister as if they had not been interrupted by either the fight or the scolding.
            Persephone looked at her sister warily as she clutched the doll to her chest. She didn’t answer but squeezed up closer to the rock at her back and just stared suspiciously at her sister.
            “I bet you don’t know.” Florentine said teasing. “You say you know all these things but you don’t.” She crawled a little closer, whispering in order to avoid being told off again. “You don’t know anything. I bet you made up the word. Srewn doesn’t even sound like a real thing. I bet the magic lady didn’t even give it to you it looks like something you found in the dirt.”
            Persephone threw her precious toy to the ground and launched at her sister. This time the fight lasted barely a minute as Cyrus deftly picked them both up. Holding the two struggling girls by the waist one in each hand he looked at his wife. “The cave is clear and I found a good path that is hidden in shadows.”
            Shir’tha looked at the two squirming masses her husband was holding. “Then we better get going soon before the sparks start flying.” She grabbed her older daughter and said to her “if you are going to start fights you are going to have to learn to do it properly.”
            Persephone calmed down enough to walk on her own. “Can I have a sword momma?” a gleam entered her eye at the thought of a big beautiful sword like her mother’s.
            “Well you obviously can’t have one right now. Now be quiet until we get to the cave.” Shir’tha took her daughter’s hand as they walked down the path following Cyrus.
“Daddy my Srewn!” Persephone was inconsolable. It had been a good three hours since they had arrived in the cave and she had discovered her most treasured possession was missing. Cyrus looked outside worriedly. The path they had taken had become much better lit since they had travelled it.
            “Dearest I would gladly go and get your doll but I can’t hide in shadows that aren’t there.” Cyrus tried to calm his daughter.
            “No daddy now!” Persephone stamped her foot and Cyrus nervously looked around for any fires that could be amplified by her abilities.
            Shir’tha looked at her husband. “How long until you can?”
            Cyrus looked at the entrance trying to judge the strange sun. “Three hours, maybe four.” He looked at his daughter who was on the verge of another fit then said quietly to his wife “are you sure we must? She has to learn about loss sometime.”
            Shir’tha looked at her husband. They normally were in accord on how to raise the children despite different upbringings but sometimes he just didn’t understand. “It’s all she has. She can’t steal whatever she wants like you and Florentine. She has no hoard of trinkets like you two.  No wonder she clings to it. With as much as you speak of wealth she thinks she is the poorest of all of us.”
            Cyrus pondered for a moment. “Well I suppose if our pursuers had seen her with it it may lead them here.” He knelt down and looked his eldest daughter in the eye. “I can’t go now but as soon as I am able I will fetch your doll. For now you two should have supper and try to sleep.”
            Persephone sniffed and nodded. As her father went to take watch her mother unpacked rations for dinner. Within an hour both of the girls were fast asleep.
            Later that night the menacing form of Cyrus made his way back into the cave. Checking to make sure the girls were asleep he looked at his wife and shook his head. “It wasn’t there” he said with a look of apprehension.
            Shir’tha looked at her husband quizzically. “Someone took it? Even if we are still being followed why take a ragged childs doll?”
            “No one took it.” Cyrus shook his head. “No one had been there.” He looked at his wife. “You never sensed any magics about it did you?”
            “No I’d have said.” Shir’tha matched her husband’s confused look. “Why?”
            Cyrus sat down next to the entrance looking out. “Well the gods know I haven’t your expertise in spell types. But when I looked where it should have been I could sense something. It felt like it had just disappeared.” He looked over where the bedrolls were laid out. “If you can cast a guardian perhaps we can both get some sleep. It’s been a long day.”
            Sometime later Florentine woke to hear quiet crying from her sister. She turned over and saw Persephone was awake trying to hide her tears. “What’s wrong Pers?” she asked with genuine concern.
            “It’s gone. Daddy came back but he didn’t give it to me.” She spoke with the voice of a child trying to be brave.
            “Maybe he just didn’t want to wake you.” Florentine tried to reassure her sister.
            Persephone shook her head. “I can feel it. It’s not here. It’s not anywhere.” Her mournful tone struck through Florentine.
            They lay in silence for some time though Florentine knew her sister didn’t sleep. Florentine stared at the ceiling. She knew the desire to posses things but there was nothing she owned that meant so much to her. She rolled over onto her side. “Persephone, what’s a srewn?” All mocking had left her voice.
            Persephone looked at her sister suspiciously then smiled. “They were lizard men but they were more like dragons. But instead of breathing acid or fire or lightning they were so powerful they could breathe magic…”

Monday, August 26, 2013

Selena of Riverfork

After Persephone died I made a bard. She was OK. My GM is particularly adverse to sonic, song, and music attacks so I made a poet bard. She actually isn't dead I lost the character sheet and then found it again so I may play her again sometime.

This story refers to the game world that was created by our GM, Josh Sterns of Winter's Riddle. The Opallus was a macguffin that we were looking for and boy when we found it did we find it.
Selena of Riverfork
Selena crouched down next to a rare desert flower in the ruinous landscape.  She attempted a quick sketch and then gave up and plucked the flower, squashing it between two pages of her book.  It would not be the source of an epic poem but it may make an interesting piece for her group to listen to.  That is if she ever found a group. Bards did not do well travelling alone, especially in this wasteland.

“The Last Survivor,” that was the epic she was working on.  The title was deceptive, the story was not her own but that of her group and the search for the Opallus. Selena had been working on the piece one member at a time ending each section with their tragic end in this horrid land. Checking her notes Selena carefully put her book away and recited the last section she had written to herself.  “The brave Paladin Shola, had taken up her mighty spear/ and with her mighty battle cry drove it straight into the heart of Feyr.” It would be a living testament to their glorious battles.

The slight framed girl climbed over a rock and gazed into the distance. She had seen the tower from far away and was sure it must hold some secrets of the ancient Sloon.  Selena couldn’t wait to write all she found within the tower. The Opallus was the quest she had started on but the Chronicles of Ya were her true goal.  Looking up at the sky, Selena judged that she had at least a few hours before she needed to make camp.  She wasn’t sure if she could make it to the tower before then but she would definitely be there before nightfall tomorrow.  With that thought to push her on, Selena stepped off her rock and walked onward.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitness Friday 2

Today my weight was 185.5
My exercises this week have been limited to walking at the pool.

Next week I start school again. As I am typing this my fellow guard and I are talking about the fitness classes available through the University Rec Center.  I also want to start doing the slimfast thing again. Since I will have class at 9:30 every day and I hate getting up any earlier than is absolutely necessary that will help me get a breakfast and hopefully lose some weight. It has worked somewhat for me in the past so I think it should again.

Also with school starting hopefully I will be biking a little more because it usually ends up being more convenient than parking on campus.  Even when I am not biking there aren't many good lots that are close to where I will be taking classes so I expect I will be getting some exercise from walking.

My goal for next week is 184. Lets do this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


This was the first wizard I ever played in D and D this story refers a lot to the setting as this character came from the native people of the prime world we were on. So again lots of thanks to Josh Sterns (author of Winter's Riddle)

I also just remembered this was the other character that saved the evil priest. 
They would bring back books. Those braves who came back at all. They would take them to the treasure pile as offerings to Collu'qan. Later, Enasan would sneak out and take the books one at a time. The dragon and his hero never seemed to mind.

She spent months, sometimes years on a work, deciphering the tomes little by little from the time she was young. She hid her studies from everyone, her parents, her elders, the chief, until the day she practiced her first spell. She didn’t realize just how loud the shout would be.

She spent the next three days in the isolation lodge. Finally the decision was made that if Enasan gave up her pursuit of forbidden knowledge from the Time of Nightmares she would be allowed to stay. Yet knowledge was the only joy she had, so she left to make her way through the mysteries.

She spent her first days sneaking into the ruins across the lake. Managing to barely survive she amassed enough knowledge to learn more spells and there she also found even more texts had on healing arts unknown to her people. When she had found as many spells as she could she studied the medical texts until she was an expert in the art.

After learning all she could from the ghostly ruins she turned to the forest and studied the creatures there. One day while watching some giant beetles a group of strange people attacked them. The group fought bravely but Enasan felt she had to step in. Using the first spell she learned she made the sound of the Rocs which hunted across the valley. Hearing the cry the beetles ran off.
Finding that the outsiders wished to meet the Strange One in the tower, she decided to follow them. The chance to learn was always the driving force in her life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Florentine Ov'Cyrus

Florentine was my next character. Her life was so short that her history wasn't written until after she had died. But there was one aspect that made some in the party groan and others loved, she was Persephone's sister. A funny aspect of this story is that some people, who didn't know me well, noticed I was upset. They thought that Florentine (who everyone called Persephone Junior) was the cause. I can't remember what I was upset about but I was all about making new characters especially when my characters died in weird ways so yeah, that wasn't the deal.

Also this refers to another character who was played by someone who has now become a great friend (cause he is such a cool guy.) Since our characters entered at the same time we decided we were pulling the same scheme in Sigil, cannot for the life of me remember what the scheme was.

Florentine Ov’Cyrus
“There are never enough Berks in sigil,” Florentine remembered her father’s favorite phrase. “Fresh meat abounds there but you aren’t ready to tell the difference.”

The memory flashed before her eyes. Cyrus grabbing a purse off the elderly woman walking past. Florentine watched in awe. She had been training in masteries of 12 chimes with her father. She could pull something out of almost any pocket in almost any normal garment but she had not even begun to master the casual way her father could walk past an unsuspecting mark. He said having a seven year old with him helped, though she doubted her father’s appearance could ever be looked at without suspicions. He still had both his wings and an eight foot tall tiefling even in Sigil was an intimidating sight.

As her life bled from her Florentine remembered a later point. “The lawful plains have easier marks but the punishments for getting caught are worse. Remember Persephone?”

Florentine laughed “well primes are easy marks too right?”

“If your sister was interested in profit she may have a chance there. Though it was probably some barren place full of barbarians. Those poor barbarians.”

Now as Florentine was being dragged away from those very barbarians her last flash of memory was sitting around the fire with her dad before running off to start her own adventures that brought her to her partnership with Nuqyryn and led her to this place. She remembered her father’s last piece of advice.

“My daughter you are most like me and therefore my favorite so I will give you my most important advice.” As her consciousness fully left her she could hear in her head the last words from her father.
“Never get killed and dragged off by skeletons to their master.”

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday 1

     I recently was told by my doctor that I need to lose weight. This is really a scary thing to hear from your doctor. For me its because I have been waiting for it for a little while.  I've been seeing myself get fatter and fatter and I need to reverse the process.  But when you live alone and don't like to cook that much this can be a tall order.
     This is something that I can tell needs to happen.  I have hypertension mostly from genetics but this doesn't help. I have had extreme problems with anxiety (not as much now but it happens.) I deal with depression.  Lastly there is a history with heart disease in my family. All of these things can be helped by exercising more and eating better.
     The thing is I have almost no excuse not to be exercising more.  I live within walking distance, or at least biking distance of my work and school (which happen to be in the same place.)  I work at the campus rec center.  Heck I live in one of the flattest cities ever I could bike anywhere. It would certainly save on gas.
     So I figure why not use the blog as a way to keep myself accountable.  Maybe I can post updates on my weight loss and exercise regime.  I could do it weekly.  Fitness Fridays would be a nice way to do it. Heck it would up my buffer quite a bit. It wouldn't take a lot of effort to write.

     So that is what this is my first Fitness Friday. My current weight is 185.5 as of this morning. This week I've done the following exercises
15 minutes of walking around the pool

Its been a tough week for me and a rainy week for Lincoln.
My goal for next week is 184 lbs lets do this.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Death of Persephone

This is an add on to the Persephone story Persephone died trying to save another party member from a fiery death. This character would be saved by other characters of mine and he was an ass. It became a theme for me to the point of the other player getting mad at me for saving him. I really liked this description of Persephone's parents.

A small demon ran against the winds of Pandemonium.  Cyrus the Liar should not be hard to find.  Soon the young servant of darkness saw the characteristic single green batlike wing of his mistresses first husband.  The tiefling thief turned around quickly, knife in hand.  The demon shrank miserably at the sight, Cyrus was not known for waiting for explanations before he started killing.

“I bring a message from my mistress Shir’tha of Hgrath.” He spat it out as quickly as he could. Bdus did not like his mistress, he had reason to suspect she had been cheating when she won him and took him away from his home in the Abyss. He would follow her orders though since she always knew when he did not and, though her wrath was sporadic it was often cruel and strange even to a native of the pits of hell.

Cyrus looked down at the small figure holding up a scroll defensively.  He laughed his signature laugh that caused the demon to shrink even further, this only caused more terrible mirth from the scarred and ragged figure. He took the scroll in one sharp movement. “You better scamper off to your mistress I hear she has developed a habit of feeding bad little demons to her newest husband.” Bdus did not disbelieve this at all even coming from the mouth of a liar. He quickly scampered off to find a portal back to Limbo.

Chuckling to himself, Cyrus unrolled the scroll and read its contents.

Cyrus, I write to inform you of an amusing story that one of my contacts recently told me.  You should remember that our first daughter Persephone recently got herself banished to some prime plane after her attempts to teach the trees of arcadia to rebel against their Lawful masters. Well my friend who is a great source of information on the movement of souls has given me his word that she managed to get herself killed while trying to find a way back to some less friendly climate.
Apparently a companion of hers managed to light a cursed object that caused a denizen of the Plane of Fire to leap forth.  While many of her companions (mostly primes) left her and her friend to play with the object she stayed in some silly attempt to defend him from whatever came forth from it. At least this is what my contact managed to glean from her he is a master of speaking with souls in transition.  I personally suspect she stayed in hopes of speaking with the elemental, you remember her obsession with that particular inner plane.
Anyway apparently she did not even die at the hands of her attacker but was left to bleed and according to her was almost saved by her travelling companions. Knowing our daughter I’m not sure how hard they were trying she often was a little hard on Primes.
I do not know if anyone is interested in resurrecting her at this time but I certainly hope she has learned something about the worlds if she is.

Your favorite wife

Cyrus’ acid tears burned his face as his howls of laughter caused several nearby rodents to flee in terror.  Oh, Persephone, he thought. He was sure Shir’tha was in fact proud of her daughter, her side of the family tended to have a bit of a noble streak in them.  He was sure his younger daughter Florentine would not have been so foolish.  Then again he had not heard anything of her in a while, she was probably in prison somewhere like Sigil, she always had lacked his finesse though she tried to follow in his footsteps.  Ah well, he skewered a nearby rat to stupid to run away.  Thus was the nature of the Planes.

Monday, August 12, 2013


In order to keep regular content occurring I thought I would put up some things that I have already written.  Starting with stories and characters that were written for experience in a friend's Dungeons and Dragon campaign.  This is my first character for that campaign her name is Persephone. She was a Tiefling priestess of Chaos. The story behind the story is that we were talking about making characters for this campaign and my good friend said he wanted to make a priest of law. Well me being contrary me I said, "hey you know what would be great to have in that party as well, a priest of chaos." This campaign is still ongoing and starts out as an introduction to Planescape while still being on a prime world. I believe both Persephone and the law priest (Lex) were from the Outlands, the area beneath Sigil where the outer plains have gateways. So this is the first of Persephone's stories, I had so much fun with her and her history I just sort of kept on writing. So watch out for more about her.

Persephone Holysword
Persephone was born to a conman and a priest of chaos .  Some would consider the middle of the outlands, far from any town, an inconvenient place for a birth.  It was but in her parents defence she was a little early.

Persephone had a blast travelling the planes with her parents.  Some of the walkers in sigil would have a hard time racking up the number of adventures that Persephone had before she was ten.   There was the time her sister was born on the first ring of the Abyss, there was some sort of strange forshadowing in the way her sisters were born.  Unfortunately by the time her second sister was born Persephone’s  parents were beginning to feel the strain of travelling the planes with too many children.  So in a spur of the moment decision like most of the ones her parents made they found places for all three of the girls.  Persephone, who was old enough to decide, chose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and so she and her baby sister went to the aBby OF divIne Chaos.

Persephone received her Chaotic orders and decided to spread the message throughout the planes. At some point she managed a stint on the Plane of Acheron where she learned much in the ways of battle and sword play.  However, even with the constant threat of crushing, Persephone found the cubes and overall lawful nature of Acheron boring and soon moved on.

Despite being overall of Neutral leanings on the idea of good and evil, Persephone has found herself entangled in the blood wars from time to time.  She looks on the entire prospect with amusement and claims she has only acted in the effort of continuing the wars for the sake of maintaining the balance of good and evil on the planes.

Now Persephone has found herself on a prime world.  The number of explanations she has given for why she is there is equal to the number of questioners.  Her haste to leave the world and return to the Planes suggests that she is not there by choice, though it is possible she has simply become bored with it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bloggity Blog

Why am I writing this blog?  People have lots of reasons for writing a blog my friend Josh uses Winter's Riddle to write out his ebooks before publishing. Another friend uses his site Outpost Zeta to give reviews of cult movies. But what made me write this mishmash of stuff, and what keeps me writing?

I guess we'll start with the petty reasons. Somehow I think I can get famous by doing this. I know this is unlikely but hey I always dream of people recognizing my name.  Going to conventions and being able to say "Yeah I'm Aquagamer" and have people go "Oh I know you" (note to self: delete okCupid profile under that name.) I also would love to make money off this whether through ads or if I ever put up a donate button or whatever. Both of these seem unlikely, but they are factors.

I also want to have an outlet to voice my thoughts. I like reading from time to time and thinking "Hey I can make lists too." I like the idea of a place that I can call my own on the internet where I can at least pretend people are reading. I like to think that somewhere out there are people who are like minded enough to read my stuff and sometimes the stats show me enough to show that non spambots do come to this page (yay!)

Someday I would like to publish a webcomic that I draw when I'm bored at work. I can't draw much but those little stick figures get some of my friends in stitches. This could be a good launch point for that (note to self 2: buy tablet.)

Lastly I have fallen in love with the essay. I took an English class that had a section on essays and I discovered two things. I love reading essays and I am horrible at writing them. I think a blog is a great place to practice that art (this doesn't count even with how loosely defined an essay is this is a glorified list.)

So I guess that's it. A narcissistic mishmash of pouring my soul into a glass, drinking it and then trying to describe the taste and hoping people will want to try it. That is this blog and will continue to be so. Enjoy (note to self three: no really I'm going to stop publishing these late at night after I take sleeping pills.)

Monday, July 22, 2013


So my mom got my dad HBO for his birthday or Christmas or something a couple of years ago. My parents like movies, not necessarily the same ones I like though to be honest I usually fall under the "more willing to like x than other people" category so this seemed like a good thing for them. Unfortunately for me my willingness to like x does not usually cross into HBO series. Maybe its what I choose to be hipster about, maybe it was how many times in the before we got HBO era people at the places I worked assumed I must be watching True Blood (weirdly when I would say I have basic cable people forgot HBO was a premium channel.) maybe its that my current friends who won't watch Game of Thrones coincide with friends whose tastes tend to match mine (though again willingness to watch x syndrome is a factor). Whatever the reason, I will watch HBO to see the new movies that haven't hit basic cable yet when I am at home and that was all my parents really did so it was cool.  And then all of a sudden my parents started watching this new show. And they weren't just watching this was, "Dearest daughter do not call us from 9 to 10 on Sunday nights as we must worship at the alter of HBO" level of watching (a title previously held for Grey's Anatomy.) And this was all I really knew about this show called Newsroom until I finally stayed over on a Sunday night. (Normally when I visit I drive to Omaha from Lincoln between midnight and 3 Saturday morning because of Friday gaming and then head back between 11 and noon sunday morning to make it to Sunday gaming. Did I mention RPG's take precedence over most things in my life?)

So there I am thinking "hey Sunday dinner with the family this is great we can talk and everything" and then my parents start talking about how we must be watching HBO at 9:00 (I later found out this was for a rerun the season had been over for some time)  so I watched "Amen" (Episode 5 of Newsroom an odd place to start). I thought it was interesting at the time. I liked it enough to download but not enough to stop my current Netflix splurge of "Scrubs" to actually watch it. The next visit to my parents comes around and for father's day my mom bought my dad Newsroom season one on Blu-ray so we all gather around to watch (no really) "Amen" yes at this point in time I had seen one episode twice. But then my dad showed me "5/1" (episode 7) and I was blown away.

So for those who haven't watched it Newsroom is a show with a simple premise. What if in 2010 a cable news show started producing the news instead of a ratings grab disguised as news show.  Yes I agree this is a little conceited and elitist but I know plenty of people who wish for this in great amounts.  There is a lot of personal drama and stuff that are kind of cool but that's not what makes me love it. Newsroom takes place in our recent past and covers real news stories.  I love watching the pilot and thinking about what was going on during the early part of the BP oil spill. I love watching "I'll Try to Fix You" an episode that starts out with the newsroom covering gun advocates talking about how Obama wants to take away our guns and ends with the Gabby Gifford shootings the ACTUAL start of talks about gun regulations. I groaned with the entire show when they were forced to cover the Casey Anthony trial.

What I love about Newsroom is it forces us to look back past our five minute ago window of memory and think about what has happened to us in recent history. The current season looks to be covering the Occupy Movement.  I hope that it is covered well and since it is starting out with the chaotic nature of the "Anonymous" movement and the anarchy that ensued through the eyes of the blog writer for the show I think it may be decent (fingers crossed). With the most recent episode's treatment of the Troy Davis execution I can't wait until this show is covering things like Trayvon Martin. I am excited to see how the growing unrest in Africa is covered.  I want this show to last long enough for them to be forced to cover the Royal Baby. Newsroom has made me take time to look at the news now for the same reason the 2000 elections made me watch EVERY election night. Newsroom has reminded me that we are always watching history unfold. We are watching the future be written and we have the power to write it ourselves.

Friday, July 12, 2013


There comes a time for at least some of us when we realize that we are genuinely happy. Let me explain. I have suffered from depression for a lot of my life. Between the ages of 9 and 11 were what I call the triggering events. Middle school was not kind to me (as with anyone who goes through it) but for some reason what everyone else goes through hit me very hard. I don't know that bullying was that much worse for me at the school I was at or if I was more sensitive to it than others but at some point I started being something else and did not begin to mend until I was out of the school I was in at the time.
 At the age of 12 I started going to school at a private school where I could not be ignored (small schools means all the teachers know exactly who you are, who you hang out with, just how crazy you are acting and all that) I did flourish at this school and am glad I went but I don't know that I made any lasting relationships (ok there is one kid 4 years my junior who I still friend on facebook.) I was involved in the school but I don't know if I had really regained the ability to express myself.
 My first year of college met with a relapse that was one of the darkest times of my life (having real adult depression is probably the thing that put those middle school years into perspective.) Suddenly going to a large university made things much harder to deal with. I stopped interacting with people I realized I was dependent on sleep aids and probably the worst moment was when I slept through an entire snow day without realizing that no one else was at class or leaving the dorms.  According to my mother at around Easter I broke down and said I need help. I don't remember this rock bottom moment at all but I dropped out of school and started seeing a counselor.
  While I was seeing my counselor I was still hanging out with a group of friends I met at UNL (I lived about 50 miles away but I made time to go to Sunday role playing.) Years later I am still closer to these people than almost any other friends I have ever had. At the same time I was looking for work and going through school. I started with a 2 week stint at Jimmy Johns (no really they ended my shift 2 weeks after hiring me) and then started lifeguarding at a YMCA. I spent the next two years at a job that professional courtesy allows me to only say sucked. Now this is not a burn on Y's in general. I grew up going to a YMCA and my brother now works for the one I was working at at the time. But factors caused this to be an awful time for me. But after 2 years I left and went back to UNL.
  I got more involved with the Sci-fi club and met more wonderful people in this group. Three of whom would later be my room mates at different times.  However my current room mates were less than perfect. And my studies were also sub par. I was on academic probation and with my grades what they were it soon turned into academic suspension.
  One may see this as a new low and possibly it is but for me this is where things started to get good.  I got another life guarding job that was wonderful, paid well and worked with the hours I wanted. I kept going to Lincoln to see my friends and I went to classes at the local community college that I passed with flying colors.
  A year and a half later I applied to re enter UNL and I got in. I think this was the moment. I found myself in a position where what I was doing felt right. And that's when I noticed it. In the past I was floating aimless and more importantly in a sort of fog.  I had tried to seem happy I had tried to be what was needed for me to be but it wasn't the same. Of course there were good times but overall there was this veil that seemed to separate me from the idea of being ok. I can't really explain it but I know other people who have been through depression describing something similar. A recent anecdote that drives this point home for me is that I was talking with one of my friends who was around at the time I was just joining Sci-Fi club. We were talking about how I used to act back at that time and he said something along the lines of "All I remember is you always seemed so sad" this was a pretty big blow because I was sad. I was not doing well but man was I trying not to show it. I know now that at that point in time I was not ready to trust anyone with knowing me because I was convinced that they would only see this hollowed out horrible thing that I was. Thankfully this was after the miraculous realization of happiness and I was able to shrug it off to some degree.
 So I noticed, I was happy. The best part is it keeps growing. I know people who I can let myself be me around. This was a huge step for me as I said in the previous paragraph. I still cry from time to time. I still stew on things I shouldn't stew on and I still sometimes let things get to me. But I see life with a clarity that I don't think I did for many years. And when I go to bed at night I don't cry myself to sleep, except when terrible things happen... things that I am not ready to talk about yet. And I am able to get past them. Hell even when I look in the mirror and know I need to lose weight I don't think, I'm a fatty who can't do anything right I think, I can totally do this. And you know what, I totally will.