A fraternity brother of mine, Norm Spain passed away last Thursday at the age of 95. I met Norm when I was an undergrad and I always saw him as the epitome of a gentleman in my Fraternity. He was a true gentleman, a kind man, a good brother, a great family man, and I will miss him greatly.
He was old when I met him, but served with zeal for multiple community organizations: United Way, The Thurber House, my Fraternity House Corp, his church, etc... When I graduated, I had the pleasure of serving on the fraternity house corp with him and when he would speak, all the men in the room would stop and listen. It was like an old EF Hutton commercial.
He is from the greatest generation of America. A generation that could have taught us many lessons that would have made America greater, but most of us did not listen. I did, but my ears are but like one grain of sand on a beach. I am not ashamed to say that I shed a tear when I read that he had passed. I am saddened by his loss and the world feels a little emptier now.
I started a job at age 18 and will be eligible to retire at 48 with 65% of my salary, adding 2.2% per year thereafter. I will likely wait until my daughter is in college which will give me over 70% with an increase of 3% per year. I also have an IRA as does my wife. she will be eligible for SS at some point, but we will not plan ont hat being available. Our house will be paid for in 5 years and a good majority of our kids college savings are invested.
This is an update on the campaign that I write for:
During the first year of the Fellowship of the White Star campaign, the campaign staff had a tons of fun and we hope you did too!
It turns out we had 23 modules. 12 A's, 8 B's, 2 Intros and 1 D. The last two modules for 1905 are A112 Turf War and B107 Silent Night. They should be available soon.
We just posted the newest 1905 module to the website, Lady in Red, an adventure that features the heroes meeting Mata Hari in Paris, France.
I should note that you can play the 1905 events in 1906 (2009). The only catch is that if you play some 1906 modules first, they may contain some spoilers for 1905 modules.
We have three modules already for 1906 and will be playtesting and releasing them soon.
We will be checking through the critical event forms soon and will make some decisions on which Hero actions affect various plot lines. If you haven't turned some in, please do so asap so we can include your heroes work into the summary.
Lastly, the monster book is almost done. Some final layout and then printing. When we have it ready to go to the printer, I'll put a notice up so folks can order it.
We want to send out a special thanks to all the players for making the campaign a success!
So I went over to the neighbors house the other day. He is also a good friend of mine and my son goes over to since he likes playing with my friends step-son. My buddy is painting some little lead (ok so they aren't lead anymore, I still call them lead, dela with it) soldiers for "flames of war".
Son: Looks at them and says "cool, how many do you have Uncle Paul?"
Paul: Oh, about 300 Russians.
Son: "Well, do you have any that stand still?"
Paul and I burst out laughing and my son was happy that he made us guffaw.
Why is that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" -Ernest Gaines
We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on livejournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights." If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.
I've pretty much had it with the vast seas of intolerance that are passing for society these days. Time to show a little human respect for everyone.
Edit: </a></font></b></a>wickedthought makes a good point - many people don't like to post memes, and while they might believe in gay rights, they might not want to feel that they're being forced to post 9on the subject. It certainly isn't my intention to do that. Post it or don't - I won't judge.
Daves edit: I HATE memes. They piss me off. But intolerance and prejudice pisses me off more, so I am reposting this.
How much do I hate intolerance? I may vote for Obama, even though I don't agree with half his policy stances, just to cancel out some of the bigots votes.
Who gives a flying fuck who screws who in what hole. It ain't none of anyones business. If you got time in your life to worry about what other people do in their bedrooms, you need another hobby. Might I suggest Settlers of Catan :)
You scored 65% Personal Liberty and 71% Economic Liberty!
A libertarian believes in little to moderate government intervention on both personal and economic matters. They generally believe in a government that is small and limited to the extent of protecting people's liberty. They tend to be opposed to war, police powers, victimless crimes, foreign intervention and what they consider to be a welfare state. They support both property rights and self-ownership. More moderate libertarians may use a more utilitarian or gradualist approach, while the more heavily minimalist libertarians allow less room for compromise in a direction that they consider to be away from liberty. Libertarians generally support capitalism as an economic system. Libertarian thought tends to be individualist in nature.
This past fall I decided to start writing letters to the Editor of the local paper (The Columbus Dispatch) when things I read perturbed me. I did this for three reasons.
One, it helps me vent on things that annoy me. Not anything that I dwell on, just things that I read that I think to myself, "Oh my lord, what are they thinking".
Two, it is good writing practice for work and for my side business. I've been writing modules and such for the Fellowship of the White Star game and any writing is good practice to keep in writing shape. It is also good for work, since I understand that when I write, I need to be succinct, on target and politically correct. If I rant, it won’t get published and if it does, no one will listen.
Three, I actually care a great deal about my local community and plan on running for local office eventually. I believe in the ideals our country was founded on and many of the organizations I have belonged to in my life promote community work (Boy Scouts, A job with a Veterinarian, Fraternity, Jaycees, etc...). Anyway, I think that voicing my opinions on these subjects in a clear and logical manner tends to get people to start talking about those issues. I also feel that I think outside of the box with many of my ideas while most politicians live in the box and worship the box.
My first two letters ended up on the internet editorial site, but the third I wrote last weekend made the paper today. Here it is for those interested.
In the Friday Dispatch article "Tax hike may lie ahead," Columbus City Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian said that in 10 of 12 months during 2007, business taxes paid to the city were below 2006 amounts, and that's usually a precursor of job cuts for taxpaying workers. City Council President Michael C. Mentel says a tax increase is "on the table with many other options."
What kind of backward thinking is this? If a recession is projected and job cuts are predicted, as well, you don't increase taxes. That will aggravate an already precarious economic situation.
Government should do only what the private citizens cannot do for themselves. If you believe in a free-market economy, then lower taxes, reduce services that are more efficiently done in the private sector and cut away at cumbersome regulations the government puts on businesses. If you do those things, you might see businesses flock to central Ohio and create more jobs and increase those tax revenues.
Well, the game some friends and I wrote seems to be doing well. We are at 111 copies sold with modules being played at 6 conventions/game days so far and 9 more scheduled. We have 9 modules and seem to be on track to release about one per month.
For those who don't know, it is a d20 based role-playing horror game set in semi-historic earth, 1905-1914.
The game seems to be catching on, with folks actually coming to us to get modules and to schedule events rather than me actively promoting it.
This makes me very happy as we now have a campaign that my group of friends can play for the next ten years.
The historical research involved in my portion of the book (I did the supernatural history of the world section) was very stimulating to research. I learned a lot and writing the modules is having a similar effect.
I wrote my first two modules about Russia in 1905, set in St. Petersburg. I'm currently writing the third part of that series and am almost done.
I think my next module will be set in Gibraltar. OOooo, the horrific things I have in mind for that one, muhahahahahha.
Funny story at the bottom, next paragraph is just setup.
Ok, so my kids went to bible school this week. My wife and I consider ourselves christians, but we don't go to church or actively discuss religion. We are completely cool with whatever religion or not anyone wants to be. But our cousin, who watches our kids 2 days a week was going to her churches bible school/camp this week to help out and asked if our kids could go. They had gone last year too. The church has some very nice people in it and I had met both pastors in the past. So we said sure, and I took the kids the other days that our cousin doesn't normally watch them.
The kids had a great time and we get a good story out of it. The school has a theme each day. Day one - god is real, day two - god is everywhere. OK, day two is the funny line from my son. When I ask him what he learned that day, he says, "I learned that God is always in your face". LOL.
I saw Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End today and boy was it bad. There were times when the dialog would drag on so long that I actually caught myself wondering when the scene would end. About 3/4 through I started hating myself for not getting up and leaving. Five minutes before the end and I moved to a seat near the exit where I could leave immediately upon seeing it end. And worst yet, they ended it with the ability to make another, arrrrggggg. Now don't get me wrong, I thought 1 and 2 were OK, but this one sucked. The plot sucked, the dialog sucked, most of the acting sucked, one special effect of a boat at the end was so obviously a model it recalled images of 30-40s Errol Flynn swashbuckling movies to my mind. It sucked so bad, it should have been a blow job porn movie.
The only saving grace was Depps hilarious portrayal of a pirate who appears drug addled and Keith Richards guest appearance as his father with the same tendencies.
Thenodrin Presents is putting the final touches on our new campaign, Fellowship of the White Star, but there is still time for you to make your mark on the game.If you have an idea for a character of any level that you feel would make a good NPC in a D20 gothic horror game setting in the year 1905-1914, we would like to see it.Read and agree to the contest rules located on our website and write up an NPC to be included in the campaign.(We will make the necessary edits to include campaign-specific skills, feats, etc... that haven’t been published yet.)
1. Online entry forms must be filled out completely and sent before , June 1, 2007. The entry form is found at: http://www.fellowshipwhitestar.com/contest.html 2. Entry fees: $3, includes complimentary discount coupon on the sourcebook "Fellowship of the White Star, Legacy of the Rose"good through July 31, 2007. Entry fee payable through our website via paypal. 3. Entrants may submit multiple entries. Each submission must include its own entry form and entry fee. 4. All entries must be in English, original, and unpublished. 5. Your legal name must appear on the contest entry form and with the payment of the entry fee. 6. Entries will not be returned. You agree that you are not entitled to any compensation for use of your entry in any material published by Thenodrin Presents LLC. 7. By entering the contest, you represent that your entry is your original work, and does not infringe on the copyright or other rights of other people or companies.
Contest Prizes: Everyone who enters will win a $3 off coupon good towards the purchase of the campaign sourcebook, "Fellowship of the White Star, Legacy of the Rose," redeemable at Origins or until July 31, 2007.
Multiple winners will find their entries included in various stages of the campaign development. They may be used in the campaign sourcebook, or in future supplemental publications, or in published adventures. Winners will receive acknowledgement whenever their winning entry appears for the first time in a Thenodrin Presents game, publication, book, or module.
One grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of the campaign sourcebook.
Below is an announcement for a d20 based rpg game some friends and I have developed. The game will go on sale in July at a local gaming convention (Origins) here in Columbus, Ohio. We're pretty excited!
Thenodrin Presents LLC is excited to announce that our new d20 rpg gothic horror campaign, Fellowship of the White Star, will premier July 5th-8th at the Columbus, Ohio gaming convention, Origins 2007. Visit us at booth #816 or play one of the two events we have scheduled. Events will be run through the Gathering.
The game uses d20 rpg rules and is set in semi-historic earth 1905-1914 with a horror atmosphere that is hidden from the view of the common people. In our version of earth, magic still exists in a limited form and the players will create heroes to investigate suspicious events and battle evil supernatural beings. We envision western cowboy heroes battling zombies in mines, archeologist heroes investigating tombs in Egypt, British soldier heroes weeding out voodoo cults in Jamaica, Arctic explorer and Eskimo guide heroes seeking the Yeti, City detective heroes investigating strange crimes, etc... It is an ongoing campaign that we plan to have run until 1914 (each real year, we will roll the clock forward and have modules set in that year and base part of them off historic events) and certain missions can change "real" world history events. This game will allow the players to continue to build up their character within our campaign. Our game has an exciting set of unique skills and feats and is certain to please anyone who finds adventuring in the early 20th century intriguing. The book also includes unique artwork from artists we have recruited. If you don't have a character, no problem, simply stop by our booth in the Origins exhibit hall and we'll help you develop one or you can pick one of the pre-made characters available.
Authors that have agreed to provide modules over the next ten years include, but are not limited to:
Dan Donnelly, John Jones, Victor Long, Jennifer Middleton, Mark Middleton and Steve Yee.
If you are interested in learning more or want to order our product, please visit our website at:
Fellowshipwhitestar.com (paypal only please)
There, you will be able to order the new campaigns sourcebook, modules, dice for our game, t-shirts, short stories and more!
SPECIAL DISCOUNTS AND BONUSES will be available on the sourcebook for anyone who pre-orders the campaign source book or buys it at Origins. The sourcebook is normally $25 (plus applicable sales tax in Ohio), but pre-orders and patrons at the Origins exhibit hall will receive a 10% discount on their total purchase ($22.50 plus tax). In addition, anyone pre-ordering or buying the game at the con will receive a certificate granting one of their characters 1,000 XP. This will allow your character to start at 2nd level! In addition, if you'd like to pre-order the game or accessories and pick it up at Origins, you can save on the shipping costs (just check the proper paypal box in the store).
Thenodrin Presents LLC was formed by gamers who lament the lack of an ongoing campaign set in this time period. We are making a promise to the gaming community that our primary focus is, and will continue to be, the development of a fun and enjoyable campaign. This game will be developed by the players and for the players. If you enjoy our game, please support the campaign so it can continue!
My childhood days were spent growing up in Toledo, Ohio (0-14). I watched a lot of TV and was really into monster and war movies. Enter my affinity for TV movie hosts. I watched Sir Graves monster movies, Bill Kennedy's war movies, and monster movies late at night with The Ghoul. Most of them seemed to be from Detroit, channel 50 (no idea why Detroit seemed to have so many hosted shows). I'm sure there were others, but I can't recall them right now. Watching TV certainly isn't the most productive use of a child's time, but its better than many things they can do. Granted, I limit the time my kids spend on it (kinda hypocritical of me).
Anyway, I have fond memories of these TV hosts. I remember sending crayon drawings to them. Occasionally, the Ghoul or Sir Graves would show drawings sent in and I'd look furtively for mine. I remember laying on the floor in front of the TV in my house on Wildwood and enjoying a show. I remember going to my friend Greg Porters house and watching the shows in his basement (he had hundreds of monster movie magazines). I remember spending weekends at my grandparents and watching shows, with Grandma occasionally letting me drink a soda (what a treat!) while I snuggled under a blanket.
Sir Graves died a couple days ago at age 94.
Farewell Sir Graves. I have many happy memories of your shows from my childhood. If everyone had a life that gave so many people good memories, it would be a better world. Good luck in the next world and safe journeys to you.
My condolences to the family. I know its sad to lose a loved one, but at least he had a full life and made many people happy.
Kurt Vonnegut, dead at 84 Kurt died two days ago /sigh and frown. I credit reading his books to opening my eyes to the world. His writings made my mind wander and my soul jump. Tonight I will drink a beer and smoke a cigar in honor of the old author. This week, I will start re-reading his books. I have almost every one of them in first edition on my bookshelf, many signed.
Here's his obit:
Obituary: Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut wrote with irony and compassion Influential author Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84 after suffering brain injuries in a fall in New York. During a career lasting more than 50 years, Kurt Vonnegut wrote the classic anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse Five, detailing his experiences of the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945.
Vonnegut had enlisted in the armed services a year after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.
Captured by German troops in December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, Vonnegut spent the rest of the war imprisoned in a Dresden slaughterhouse.
On the night of 13 February 1945, Allied bombing raids flattened the city, creating a firestorm that killed an estimated 35,000 citizens in two hours.
Vonnegut and his fellow prisoners were saved by their incarceration in a cold meat locker three storeys beneath ground.
When they ventured out, nothing was left of the city, and their grim task in the aftermath was to uncover the rotting corpses.
Vonnegut referred to his experiences of Dresden in several of his later novels, most notably Slaughterhouse Five in 1967.
Science fiction writers are the only ones who care about the future
Kurt Vonnegut Its protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, copes with the trauma of a similar experience by travelling to the planet Tralfamadore, whose inhabitants see all time existing simultaneously.
Published at the height of the Vietnam War, and embraced by the anti-war movement, the book was excluded from some schools and public libraries on obscenity grounds.
'Loaded with vulgarity'
During a series of post-war jobs that included working as a police reporter and a public relations official for General Electric, Vonnegut supplemented his income by publishing short stories.
Vonnegut found his fame astonishing His mother had committed suicide on Mother's Day 1944. She had been trying to make a living through writing magazine articles, and had become increasingly depressed as her hopes were dashed.
Vonnegut always said that she lacked the vulgarity needed for such writing, whereas he was "loaded with it".
Lost compulsion to write
By 1966, Vonnegut had published more than 50 stories, and had quit the "dishonest" public relations work to write full time. His first novel, Player Piano, was published in 1952.
Although it attracted little critical praise, Vonnegut had already sounded the ironical and compassionate tone that appeared in much of his work, including The Sirens of Titan, Mother Night and the critically-acclaimed Cat's Cradle.
Vonnegut resisted the science fiction label Vonnegut's self-confessed mood of "high hopes for the planet", experienced at the dawning of the post-war period, was seen to waver in his later work, including Slapstick in 1976 and Jailbird in 1979.
There was less humour in his later novels and plays, and Vonnegut attempted suicide during a particularly bleak period in the mid-80s.
Although he was writing until his death, he undoubtedly felt his best work had been completed years earlier. Following the publication of Slaughterhouse Five, he had admitted to losing the compulsion to write.
He likened himself to a flower, which having finished blooming, "has some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served".
He did come out of semi-retirement to write the short story collection A Man Without a Country in 2006, saying that he had "drawn energy from my contempt for our president".
Vonnegut said he was often surprised to have lived for so long, having been a heavy smoker.
He once joked: "I'm suing a cigarette company because on the package they promised to kill me, and yet here I am."
So my wife buys a present for someone we don't like much (married into the family). It's this 6 pack of pop with disgusting christmas flavors, like turkey and gravy, 2-5 and last pepto bismal. Anyway, she wraps it beautifully, just like she does all the presents. They always look like something in a christmas movie or a catalog. Turns out the dip doesn't show up and we decide to return it. Hell, why not, it's $10. So we are talking about it and she asks us if we want to open it (Vic and Paul are over that night). We say no, it'll be funny as hell to return it in the wrapping. We honestly don't think she will go for it.
The next week, we are eating dinner (Pauls over again) and she tells the story of returning it.
She goes to the counter with the wrapped gift:
Jodi: I'd like to return this.
Clerk: It's not opened, how do you know you don't want it?
Jodi: Oh, I bought it and wrapped it for someone who didn't show up.
Clerk: Don't you want to unwrap it.
Jodi: No, you can.
Clerk: Well, it's so pretty, I hate to unwrap it.
Jodi: What, noone else brought you a christmas gift?
LOL. Paul and I bust a gut. We can't believe she went through with it.