The Old Ways


While I haven't gotten back into blogging, I do want because of this sentiment:

My desire for an internet that is no ads, no monetization, no creepy data collection, and no surveillance is making me thirst for the heady days of 2001. โ€” flotisserie @flotisserie 2:33 PM ยท May 9, 2022

Write and publish in a place you "own". You can always cross-post to whatever social media platform you want.

You site is "the source of your truth" and should lead folks to it.

This blog is on a Digital Oceani (DO). It's probably the easiest way to stand up something that is your own. I suppose Square Space or Wix are easier.

For cheap, I also use Rack Nerd, Desi VPS nee Los Angeles VPS, and Nearly Free Speech (NFS) with varying degrees of success.

NFS is a bit more friendly to do some things than Rack Nerd or Desi VPS. I haven't run the numbers to make sure that NFS is any cheaper than so DO or the others.

All of that said. Find a place to make your own.

Time Flies


Well, as part of the uproar over Elon Musk buying twitter folks have pointed out the benefits of owning your own domain and such

Thus, me revisiting my blog that I have neglected for a year.

Folks I know and writers have wrote that the habit of writing helps you be a better writer.


If nothing else a year has gone by and I'm still here.

Gary Con 13


This past Thursday to Sunday, March 25th-28th was the 13 Gary Con.

Gary Con is a gaming convention put on my Luke Gygax and crew to honor his father and creator of Dungeons and Dragons. "To celebrate a life well played" to quote the tag line of the event.

I've been going since Gary Con 6. I have friend that have been going since the first one and even at Gary Con Zero, the impromptu gaming that happened after Gary's wake. The spark of the idea of the convention.

I've been running events since the first one I've attended. I ran Circus Maximus events as qualifiers to get into the Circus Maximus Championship. It was a way for me to get into that without having to race. Tim Kask had been running Circus Maximus for years at Gary Con. Going back to one of the Lake Geneva Gaming Conventions pre-dated Gary Con.

As it turns out I won the Championship in Gary Con 6 and 7. I came close to a third trophy in 8 but alas, I got unlucky at the end. It was after that championship that Tim turned running everything over to me.

In 2017 I added a figure 8 track to the events I ran. I call it Wreckus Maximus.

In 2020 covid 19 changed things and I didn't run any Circus Maximus events. I did run an RPG event however.

Enough about the past.

For this year I wanted to see if it was possible to run them online. A friend pointed me to Vassal. As it turns out it works great.

I submitted 2 regular Circus Maximus events, 1 Wreckus Maximus event, and 1 Hyperborea event. I played in 1 on-grid event.

Thursday my oldest kid and myself Searched for Pantheras. The group was eventually able to find him. I think all of us even survived. It was a fun time and Bryan is a great DM.

I was scheduled to run Circus Maximus. The one person that did register for it decided to jump into the Friday event where there were more racers.

Thursday night I gamed with some folks that get together at the physical con. It was a fun time to hang with folks. We were able to "beat" the scenario rather quickly so we mostly just sat around drinking and chatting with each other.

Friday was a great Circus Maximus run. There were 4 players. The Purple racer mostly kept to the inner lanes of the track and avoided getting into any problems with the other racers. It was pretty close until the start of the final lap.

That is when Blue and Green had their chariots flipped. They then tried to hold on long enough and take minimal damage to try and cross the finish line alive. Alas, they did not. Purple was able to take the final egg and win the race.

I wanted to run Wreckus Maximus ( figure 8 track ) so I created a Vassal module (that I need to resubmit it get in the "approved" module this).

I use the Optional Rules from The General, Volume 17, Issue 5. This gives a way to create more customized teams as well as weapons. So, increased lethality and options for the racers.

I created some pregens so we could get to racing as quickly as possible.

The race is started with the field split.

Half start at the red line on the bottom left, and the other half on the blue line on the bottom right.

This usually creates this nice interaction in the crossover section.

Things are a bit closer than expected. Black and White teams have team speeds of 32! This pregen I labelled "Speed at All Cost".

Blue took "Whip It Good" and Purple took "Small Blades 2".

I forgot that White was going 32(!) in the 28 lane and had to make a flip check. They passed it without any ill effects. This would set the tone for the rest of the race for them.

During this turn Blue tried to lash the White driver. They had the bad luck to have White grab their nice Long Whip.

I don't think Black and Purple did much in their interaction.

Then again, Blue might have lost their whip here.

Regardless, this shows a bit about how fast the White team is and how they can "drift" through the crossover section and stay in the "fast" lanes.

Lots of "just racing" going on here.

A little bit of interaction between Black and Purple.

This was actually a brilliantly bastardish move by Purple.

Black had just got jostled or something so they couldn't strain. Purple drew before Black and positioned themselves such that Black would be forced to change lanes which would cause them to flip.

Instead Black burned endurance, they had 28 movement factors written and had to burn 26 endurance. It was a great bit of racing from both of them.

Another "boring" turn :-)

White is really close to lapping Black here.

I think it helped to have only 4 teams and having 2 teams that are just stupid fast.

Purple rammed Black's cart and if I recall correctly they both damaged each other's wheels.

Blue decided to go to a dead stop in front of White in an effort to frustrate their easy roll to completing their 3 laps.

A lot happened here.

White had to slide in front of Blue, costing 6 movement factors. Consequently, they ended that exact amount from being able to finish the race.

Also, Purple rammed Black's cart again because why not?

Both carts suffered damage! Black's wheel was destroyed causing the flip. Purple only took 2 points of damage but didn't flip.

Black wasn't able to survive to cross the finish line.

White was able to cross the finish line and win. A first for any Wreckus race I've run. At least completing 3 laps in 4 hours.

Human Frailty; Human Impact


TL;DR: Getting old sucks. A little bit of effort in the past can lead to a result that takes significantly greater effort to achieve the same effect in the present. It doesn't take much to help your community be a better place.

Last week (January 31, 2021), we got around 4 inches of wet, heavy snow.

I don't recall how much shoveling I did, it wasn't much because what I did was enough to get this old back sore.

The next day I did some more shoveling. It was mostly the crosswalk across the railroad tracks I use to get to the post office. I live maybe 50 m from the post office, and I like to walk to it every day to get some exercise.

Even that little bit was enough to make my back unhappy. I did contemplate doing the other railroad crosswalk but dear reader, I just didn't want to because push my body that hard. I felt a little bad about not doing it because it really wasn't that much more work. I also didn't want to add that much more pain to myself.

Such is human frailty and selfishness.

I like to do a minimal amount of shovel of things like the stepping stones from our house to the parking pad where our cars are. Then around the cars, and our sidewalk. Also the path to our cottage and the warehouse where my "outside" work from home office is.

I do this because it exposes those stone/concrete/etc surfaces to the sun. Doing so unleashes the power of radiative heating. The sun just gets things hot enough to cause the snow to melt and evaporate. So, that little bit of shoveling made those surfaces basically ice free and more walkable.

A day or two after I shoveled the crosswalk I noticed some folks clearing the other railroad crosswalk using a front end loader/backhoe. This was because the weather slightly melted then froze the snow cover a couple of times. This made a shoveling it by hand a pain.

They were doing this because that is the crosswalk used by students dropped off there by the school bus.

I was clearing my crosswalk as much for me as others. I felt a little bad about not clearing the other crosswalk. I knew that a tiny bit of effort on my part would have created a nicer path for the kids walking home. I didn't really think about how little my effort would have been compared to two people and a decent sized bit of machinery.

It also demonstrated that a little bit of effort in the past can lead to a result that takes significantly greater effort to achieve the same effect in the present.

So, with today's snowfall of about an inch of light, fluffy snow I cleared the same surfaces I did before. I also did both crosswalks. Even though the tennis elbow flaring up in my right elbow was noticeable but not bad. Today my frailty wasn't so great that I couldn't do the small thing to make the world a tiny bit better for others. Hopefully it will also save lots of effort by someone else later.

Not a big lesson in there, other than confronting one's limitations, but understanding that even a small effort can lead to an outcome greater than the input.

Warnings Signs You Are A Bad Human


This is something I posted on other social media. It was in my head since at least the day after the insurrection at the Capitol. I'm bringing it over here because the standard you walk by is the standard you accept.

So, I hope to be better about calling out folks I think are bad humans. I also might even be better about helping them stop being bad humans.

Alright, I'm in a mood so here it goes.

If you have any of the following on you, in your feed, etc. I'm going to assume you are a neo-nazi, white supremacist, racist, not worth my time and will block you and ask you to not interact with me:

  • confederate flag
  • Punisher logo that isn't directly used to refer to the comic
  • Gadsen flag or "don't tread on me"
  • Gonzales flag or "come and take it"
  • molon labe
  • 3%er
  • oathkeeper
  • thin blue line anything
  • an american flag that is only black and white
  • all lives matter
  • MAGA/KAG paraphenalia
  • Qanon anything

I will look at you real hard if you:

  • fetishize Spartans or 300
  • have a lot of Norse runes

These indicate to me that you don't care about all of your fellow humans.

People sporting all of the above engaged in sedition and insurrection this week. If you think it didn't happen or say things like "ask people on the ground about what 'really' happened", well're part of the problem. The treasonous bastards live streamed themselves doing what you said "didn't happen".

Five people are dead, 1 a cop and the rest were participants in the sedition. I would rather people not die, but some times there are dire consequences for dire actions.

If I was a better person I might try to help you, but I'm not that person today. Maybe I will be another day.

Addendum with thoughts from the replies/comments from elsewhere I've posted this:

I wasn't sure how to frame the Boogaloo Bois and related things. They fall into the initial category of people that need to GTFO away from me.

I'm a ACAB kinda guy because policing has so many systemic problems. However, the cop, Eugene Goodman, that led the mob away from the unsealed Senate chamber doors...dude took his life in his hands to give folks time to GTFO. I will note that he was a Black USCP cop. Dude deserves a fat pile of cash and a pleasant retirement free of fascists, white supremacists, and nazis. He even provoked them a bit to make sure they followed him. That ain't nothing.