Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:22 pm
September is one of the most beautiful months of the year here in Dursleyville. It’s real Goldilocks weather. Not too hot and not too cold but just right. An added attraction is the wildflowers and weeds blossoming everywhere and driving the birds and bees berserk with all the tasty nectar.

Green and Growing things )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 11:26 am
Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....
Friday, September 22nd, 2017 12:06 pm
 From the court-mandated parole log of Gronk Longtusk:
10 Raquas
Hired on as a guard for a caravan of settlers heading out from Throal. Lareth and Anfalon don't strike me as the smartest of leaders. Only 25 humans to start a new town out in the wilds? I wish them well. If there's hope for them, then there's hope for the Buunda Boys.
 
11 Raquas
Our first day out of Throal. Two brothers, Vah and Zot, got into a scuffle. The other adepts tried to break them up before anyone even drew blood. Cleary these ujnort don't understand what a real fight looks like. If they had intended any harm, there'd have been some broken bones and eye gouging.
 
My fellow guards are Heartscry, a Windling Illusionist; Krel Tor, a Troll Nethermancer; and Ceadda, a Human Warrior. Three of us are quiet, but Heartscry tries to make up for it by sticking her pointy nose into everyone's business. She was able to find out that Vah and Zot's father had run the market in the Hall these Humans grew up in, and did not treat his customers well. Wish I had known these folks before, we could have knocked over his store and everyone would have been better off for it.
 
Heartscry and I will take first watch, Ceadda and Krel Tor the second.
 
12 Raquas
During the night, a sneak managed to take a sword from Rosario, one of the Humans. They placed it in Zot's tent. Odd, though, that we found their tracks so easily. It didn't seem likely to us that he was the thief, but Lareth banished him anyway. Heartscry told him to follow along, a couple hours behind the caravan. She had tried to talk to his brother, but was brushed off. We're pretty sure he knows who the sneak is.
 
During the long walk south we kept an eye out for any suspicious behavior. Setting up camp for the night, we noticed that Kirtar, a dirt poor fisherman, had suddenly gained a tent. He'd slept under a wagon the night before. Now, he was the proud owner of Zot's tent. We have ourselves a suspect for Vah's accomplice.
 
We worked out a plan to catch the real thief. I'm going to hide on the roof of one of the wagons during our watch, while Heartscry will be big and obvious.
 
12 Raquas (again)
The plan worked. Vah made some furtive attempts to get out of his tent, each time seeing Heartscry fly by, and cowering back inside. Once he figured out her big and obvious pattern, he snuck out and met with Kirtar. Vah handed Kirtar a sack of silver, rewarding him for 10% of Zot's stolen wealth. With both culprits caught red-handed in the middle of camp, I needed a little ruckus to wake everyone up, so I shot Vah in the foot.
 
Sure enough, he started screaming, bringing Loreth, Anfalon, a buck-naked Ceadda, and everyone else out of their tents. Faced with the possibility of walking back to Throal on two broken feet, Vah started to waffle. Faced with my glowing red finger on his breast, Kirtar was more than happy to turn in his boss. Loreth booted the two of them out of the caravan and apologized to Zot.
 
14 Raquas
Mid-day, the trail we were following suddenly ended. The Scouts who were supposed to be showing us the way must have gotten into trouble. With a little luck, we were able to find one of them. He was delirious, his skin discolored by a venomous bite. We administered a poultice and continued down, trying to find his partner.
 
We encountered a creature, something called a Dappled Brithan. It was kind of like a big furry Troll that crawled around on all fours. Extremely territorial, we had to prove our worth to it. Ceadda answered its challenge, and though he nearly got himself killed, his tenacity allowed him to knock it unconscious. We had a Scout to find, so we didn't stay to skin and butcher it.
 
Down by the river, we saw something called a Bog Gob, a hideous gray lumpen thing, gnawing on the bones of the other Scout. This was apparently not normal behavior for Bog Gobs. Then it attacked us. We'd've easily handled it, but it had a Blood Raven friend and Ceadda managed to step on some snakes that attacked us. Heartscry was able to keep the Blood Raven occupied and even cast her Displace Image spell on the other two, but that just meant the snakes went after me. That poison was seriously harsh and I blacked out for a moment, but we were able to defeat the monsters and recover the Scout's body.
 
15 Raquas
We've delivered the settlers to their new home. They offered to let us Name it, and Heartscry Named it Borgan's Rest, after the Scout who lost his life helping them get there. I'm still worried that Lareth will too-quickly rush to judgment in the future, but that's their business, not mine. We headed back to Throal and left them to their work.
 
18 Raquas
Back in Throal. We detected no sign of Kirtar and Vah. I hope they didn't get attacked by a Horror.
 
PCs:
Gronk Longtusk, male Ork Archer
Heartscry, female Windling Illusionist
Krel Tor, male Troll Nethermancer
Ceadda, male Human Warrior
 
NPCs:
Lareth, large Human blacksmith, leader
Anfalon, small Human tailor, his wife
Vah and Zot, angry brothers
Rosario, sword owner
Kirtar, lying liar who lies, fisherman
 
Thursday, September 21st, 2017 10:53 pm
Haven't been around long enough for an adult to reference the technology as something around when they were kids. That's just crazy talk -- 16 years ago, you say?
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:07 am
Cast a 1980s New Teen Titans film....
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 12:22 am
It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 04:34 pm
The sound of a younger cat eating her special food.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 12:25 pm
September can still fuck off, but at least I'm not despairing about it so much.

As long as I was hemorrhaging money anyway, I ordered two new pairs of jeans and two more shirts of a sort I already like. That way I'll have jeans that don't fit in the "waist slightly large and legs slightly long" department, rather than the "melted down and poured into these pants, and not entirely sure I should wear them in public" department.

The only thing I've done to the CODA Tertiary Binders in the last two days is put tabs in them, so they're not depending on my 48 purple post-its in each binder staying put for document-identifying purposes. Now I feel better.

If Dad isn't out of the hospital by the end of tomorrow, I expect he's going to let somebody hear about it. He was feeling better yesterday, but they wanted to give him a stress test and didn't get around to it until yesterday afternoon and this morning.

The place I sent my old phone to for recycling received it, per UPS, four days ago. Yesterday they sent me an email saying they didn't have it yet. As of sometime overnight, they found it. So now I'm going to get a $215 Apple Store gift card in return, and I'm seriously considering blowing most of it on AirPods. That will solve the "Play button on headphones turned itself on while in bag, and drained iPod battery" problem, which I get around by not keeping headphones connected to the iPod and untying massive knots in the headphones whenever I want to reconnect them.

I'm not positive the iPod is new enough to connect to AirPods. Since music is all I use it for, I'm perfectly happy to nuke the whole iPod, install whichever iOS version it wants for AirPods, and put the music back on it. That'll be a nice weekend project. (Because if I try to do it on a weeknight, it will for some unforeseen reason take five or six hours and I won't be able to go to bed until it's done.)
Monday, September 18th, 2017 04:10 pm
Celebrity Death Watch: Maurice Bluestein modernized the wind-chill index. Edie Windsor was an activist who played a major role in overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. J. P. Donleavy was a novelist, whose works included Fairy Tale of New York. Frank Vincent was an actor who sort of specialized in playing gangsters. Grant Hart was one of the founders of Husker Du. Harry Dean Stanton was a character actor who was in too many movies to attempt to single out a few to mention. Paul E. Gray was the president of MIT from 1980 to 1990.

Pete Domenici was a senator who represented New Mexico for many years. In general, I disagreed with his positions on environmental issues. He also got into trouble for reports about having fathered an illegitimate child and supposedly had pretty awful phone manners. However, he was a strong supporter of treating mental illness the same as physical illness.

Book Club: Book Club was on Wednesday. We had a pretty good discussion about Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I like the central question at the heart of the novel, which is who should tell another’s story. But the reason I am mentioning this is that part of the novel involves one of the characters having an affair with a writer she admires. I made a comment to the effect of, "if Neil Gaiman showed up on my doorstep…" and was shocked that two of the people present were entirely unfamiliar with him. (I explained him as a writer of humorous fantasy with floppy hair and a British accent.) It also turned out that there were several people who had never read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Philistines!

Christine Lavin: Friday night I went to see Christine Lavin at Jammin’ Java, one of my favorite local venues, not least for its proximity to home. Doug Mishkin opened for her and was thoroughly delightful, getting everybody singing his song "Woody’s Children." As for Christine, she was as funny as ever, with a mixture of old and new material. Many of her songs tell stories, e.g. one that described a dinner with a famous person with atrocious table manners. (I won’t reveal who it was, so you can have the joy of the surprise at the end.) During intermission, she taught members of the audience how to do some elaborate napkin folds. (I, alas, was in line for the facilities, so missed out on the lesson, though I saw the results.) All in all, it was a thoroughly delightful evening of folk song and laughter.

Loser Brunch: There were several things I could have done this weekend, but it had been a while since I’d been to brunch with the Style Invitational Losers and Devotees, i.e. fans of the Washington Post’s humor contest. This brunch was at Brion’s Grill in Fairfax, so reasonably convenient. The buffet was just okay, losing points from me for not having any fruit beyond a bowl of mixed melon. On the plus side, they did have cooked to order omelets. And they had French toast donuts, something I had never experienced before. This sort of thing is all about people, in my opinion, so I don’t really care much about the food. The conversation was lively and it was a good way to get out of the house for a couple of hours.
Monday, September 18th, 2017 12:19 pm
According to my brother, one should not bounce a chainsaw off one's knee as it is very hard on denim.