30 January 2009


A great mini from Reaper, sculpted by Tre Manor. He'll definitely make an appearance in a game one day.

For the record, this is what I've completed so far this year:

Paizo Goblin on Goblin-Dog
GW snotling flipping people off
Ironwind swordmistress
Rackham ghoul
This bugbear.

Crap, I gotta paint faster.


29 January 2009

Missing the Story: The MSM Shows Us Why Its Losing Money Left and Right

This has been popping up on a few sites, but it was so darned funny that I had to share.
On his first full day as President, P-BO was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit coat. Now, one might wonder why. After all, the low temperatures are kinda big news, what with the threat of GLOBAL WARMING and all.

So, why are three of those men in that photo not wearing jackets?

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Now, during the campaign, P-BO said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

So, P-BO, which is it? Can we grow orchids in our living rooms, or do we need to turn down the thermostat?

Strangely enough, P-BO was later criticizing the local schools for shutting down due to the ice and said: “We’re going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town. I’m saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things.”

Hey, I got an idea. It'll sound crazy, but bear with me. Maybe, just maybe, P-BO should apply some of that "flinty Chicago toughness" to his OWN FREAKING BEHAVIOR!!!

You want me to stop driving my SUV and turn the thermostat down so that my water pipes are in danger of freezing, but you want to recreate Hawaii's climate in your house?

Do as I say, not as I do, indeed.

The best part, though, the absolute best part, is that the New York Times makes it's story about how P-BO got rid of that stuffy GWB dress code. P-BO is such a great man, he even instituted a "Business Casual" weekend dress code. That evil GWB had the nerve to insist that people dressed up when they entered the most important house in the country.

It's gonna be a loooooong four years.

28 January 2009

From each according to his ability . . .

To each according to his ability.

See, that's where Marx got it wrong.

"From each according to his ability to each according to his need" only encourages people to develop needs.

My position encourages people to develop their abilities, which will lead to greater productivity, greater education, greater life satisfaction.

Of course, my way is harder. One can't sit one one's fat butt and shout out "I need my health care!" or "I need my union job!" all day long. No, under my system you actually have to go and and, oh, I don't know, DO SOMETHING.

If you wait around for someone to fill your "needs" you deserve what you get. This will include ridicule and scorn from those of us who earn our successes and get tired of leeches feeding off our life-blood.

21 January 2009

Ah, the joys of Universal Health Care

h/t to Captain Capitalism for this one.

The above picture shows the average wait times that we have to look forward to with Universal Health Care.

I just can't wait for that time when I might have to wait for a YEAR to get some angioplasty, instead of the . . . um . . . 2 days I have to wait now. Yeah, that'll be great.

I'm sure health care costs will go down, too. Because, while you were waiting a year for your cardiac bypass, you died. WooHoo! Cost Savings Galore!

Couple this with the patriotic act of smoking so we can fund SCHIP programs, and I have no doubt that we'll be rolling in greenbacks in a few short years. Why, bad quality and horrible timelines will make us all rich and healthy!

Stupid people . . . .


13 January 2009

Dwayne Stack

Who is Dwayne Stack? He's an office despot.

My friend Jarvis is running a game of Orpheus (by WhiteWolf), and created a Google group for his players to send emails back and forth. The premise is that the player-characters work for a company (Orpheus) investigating ghosts/spooks/hauntings etc.

Jarvis gave a couple of his old players access to the group so we could add flavor to the game. My own addition was primarily corporate-style emails that everyone in corporate America gets: New laptop security initiative, a reminder for everyone to get their case reports done by the end of the year, and so on.

Well, that spawned Mr. Stack. He is a librarian for Orpheus, and he's been a pain. Nothing really bad, per se, just the normal corporate-type with his little kingdom.

He reminded everyone to get their reports in on time, and then he took it upon himself to revamp the security measures and force everyone to use a typewriter for their reports.

It turns out, at least one of the players HATES this character. In a good way. His character is the opposite of Dwayne, and I'm having fun messing with the poor guy.

Dwayne recently sent an email to "Rodney" that his use of colorful language was unacceptable in his case report, to which Rodney got pissed and sent a rant back. The GM used this opportunity to remind the players that their characters do, indeed, work for a corporation. While the rest of Rodney's team gets some much-needed downtime, Rodney will be taking sensitivity training classes.

This has proven that, at least for modern RPGs, creating a Google group and getting people outside the players to contribute can create a dynamic environment that most games don't reflect. Dwayne was a throwaway character, just a mook doing his job, and he's turned into a piece of the campaign that the players will remember.

The rules for my contribution are pretty simple. I know the basic plot, having played it before, so I don't do anything that affects that. I can't add a major plot point (like, say, news of a supernatural event) that affects the game. But, I can add anything surrounding the main plot. I initially chose "Corporate Communications" because that was what I was looking at on my computer at work. Everyone hates those, right? Well, that's not something that most players normally encounter during an RPG.

Later, I might add another character as Dwayne's time passes and the group moves on. This character will be reflective of the characters' situation. Maybe a police officer, or a university professor interested in parapsychology. The trick is to make the world seem a little more real.


09 January 2009

The Truth

"The sort of personality that lends itself to obsessive painting is also the sort that lends itself to obsessive bookkeeping, but only in areas where it doesn't matter." - Froggy the Great

A New Daily Read

I forget how I came upon Mr. Schneier's blog, but I like it. He takes a serious look at secruity measures, from computer passwords to how the TSA screens baggage. I have found his blog a great source of information, and even got some game ideas from it.

Do your players think they know how to defeat the corporate security system? Really? Surprise the heck out of them when you introduce a biometric marker keyed to the CEO's palm print and linked to a pulse-sensor.

I've added him to my daily reading list.


Shocking Truths about Doug

I have something to admit: I don't watch television.

No cable, no satellite. No rabbit ears. I don't know who was voted off the island, or if the island sank due to global warming.

I do occasionally catch something on Hulu.com, primarily Heroes (because I'm a geek at heart). And I do love South Park (God Bless the DVD market!).

Naturally, I am chuckling over the fact that the digital-conversion coupon program has run out of money.

Sadly, I'm one of those successful types who actually earns a living, thereby paying taxes so that other people with too much time on their hands can get a coupon so they may continue to get their fix of fine, artistic programming.

The irony is staggering.

08 January 2009

The Game is On!

Rise of the RuneLords, True20 style! The setting will be Golarion, the default setting of the module.

Now comes the hard part . . . working with everyone to determine a time we can all play!

I did have an interesting epiphany this afternoon. At one point, the only people who had accepted were women. Luckily, at least one other guy decided he would like to play, but it could be the first time in my gaming history where the women outnumber the men!

Game on!

06 January 2009

Myths about the Great Depression

As the economy collapses around us and companies are lining up to get their grubby hands on taxpayer's dollars, it might behoove some of you to learn about what actually caused the Great Depression.

For starters, go here.

Then, go here.

Despite what your American History teachers told you in high school, the stock market crash did not cause the Great Depression. Bad economic policy caused the Great Depression.

The stock market crash was caused by rampant speculation. People could borrow money to play the market, and it "always went up." Sound familiar? The exact same thing happened in the housing market last year. People could borrow money (or tap into their house's equity) in order to "speculate" and get even richer. Anyone remember the TV show "Flip This House"? What happened when the poor sap trying to get rich quick couldn't flip the house? Financial disaster happened. And everyone who tapped into their home equity loans to buy a new car, or who stayed up listening to how you could flip houses with no money down got swept away in the financial tsunami.

The worst part of the whole thing is that we have a class of "leaders" who are bound and determined to make the same mistakes of Hoover and Roosevelt. Lesson to all the government types: Keynesian economics doesn't work, because you take money from people who are going to create real jobs and real wealth in order to give it to people who won't create anything. If the government creates a job, it only does so at the expense of a private company doing it.

I fully expect this explanation to fall on deaf ears, since too many people are vested in NOT looking after their own affairs. "Gimme my health care!" "Gimme my unemployment check!" "Gimme my overpriced home that I foolishly put 0% down on!" The list goes on.

Still, the best advice on how to handle the future remains the same: Don't have consumer debt. Have an emergency fund. Live below your means.

01 January 2009

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

An American Creed by Dean Alfange.

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”