Mental Access to MTKuszek

Mental Access to MTKuszek
A Window of Opportunity

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12--27--12 Profound Prose

a simple elegant haiku.

i hate this art form.
it's a stupid way to write.
Fxck you, you haiku!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

10 21 12 Building a Better Mask

my wife and i went to the local halloween stores yesterday, and for the first time, there was nothing there that really tickled my fancy, but i was feeling in a creative mood.

i began to think very hard about something i could do myself.

i saw a marked down plastic mask. i could see that there were some flaws in the design, thus the markdown. it was nothing i couldn't fix myself. problem was is that i wear glasses and a mask really doesn't work for me that way.

but if i make a full helmet, i can keep some extra room for my glasses. interesting.

i found a roman legionnaire helmet made of a heavy plastic. i looked at it, making sure that i could tear it apart as i needed. i checked to make sure that the two pieces could connect at some place. they did, with some adjustment.

i smiled.

i got the pieces home, and set upon my terrible task. after some disassembly, testing, and reassembly, i had my base form.  since then i have added an outer shell, and am now shopping for a few extra pieces.

my deadline is the 27th. fitting, its my birthday.

will i finish it in time? stay tuned.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

10 20 12 Minor Musings

just some random thoughts this week

it is just me, or does everyone's @$$hole factor jump to 11 when it's a election year?

there are some things i love, some things i hate, some things that i love to hate, and some things i hate to love.

the truly nice people are a dying breed.

there are things in this world that are more important than money and fame. being a person who is good example to others is one of the best things to do. i understand that now.

never apologize for some moments, but apologize when its right.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 10 12 relaunch and reboot.

the firs thing that i need to do is separate my gaming posts from the rest of my normal posts. from now on, all my gaming related posts will be here.


this is something that i've wanted to do for a while, and i think it deserves a home.

other than that, i'll hit you with some more stuff tomorrow.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10--09--12 Something New

I'm a bit tired of standing on the soap box, especially now that it seems that everything has to be scrutinized, debated, refuted, and generally argued.

I'm tired of the shenanigans of politics.

I'm tired of the blind hypocrisy of religion.

I'm tired of the general populace refusing to see the problems that plague us, tucking into their warm beds at night and pretending that everything will be ok.

the whole state of everything is spiraling out of control.

so, i refuse to acknowledge much of anything anymore. there's no point to it anymore.

this blog is taking a different approach now. i'm going to use this blog as a depository for my mind.

for the things that affect me, how i look at things, and more importantly, the things that i want to get out there.

so i'm just going to spill stuff here, as my mind wants, an just let it go.

i can't promise you'll read every moment, but it will probably be entertaining.

stay strong.


Friday, August 24, 2012

08--23--2012: GenCon Qags-in-a-Bag 2012 :Hardcore Insanity

Proof again that not only do I tread that line between genius and insanity, I pick up that line and skip rope with it.

Again, brackets “[ ]” denote pulls from the bag, while parenthesis “( )” denote my thought process and out of context comments to the players.

Brady and Kevin were the first to arrive at the table, pod-casters that were at the game last year and wonderful individuals that I invited back this year. We were able to talk for a while as more players made their way to the table. Apparently everyone was coming from the farthest side of the convention to get to my table. Needless to say, we didn't get started on time.

One thing that was nice was that everyone at the table had played Qags before except one person, but he caught on right away. After a 20 minute wait, we got started.

( I pulled a clump of papers out of my bag, something I rarely do. I even told the players that I was not happy with the clumping of the papers.)

the initial pulls (10)

man knows things he's not supposed to know
we are broken
people part company
axe-wielding maniacs
thirst for knowledge
represent the dead
big bad bertha takes on giant monster
I question mother nature
cathedralpult found

the initial theme:

(at this point, I plant my face squarely in my palm. First off, this is the third time that [we are broken ] has been pulled from the bag. Initially, that's a trigger for some sort of genetic mismatch, i.e. broken ones from Dnd 2nd ed. Tying that idea in with [thirst for knowledge],[man knows things he's not supposed to know](which is a reference trigger for anything Lovecraft),[ I question mother nature] and [represent the dead], I've got a lot of pulls that kind of fit together in a large clump of WTF. )

(initially, my mind reached back to the concept of the broken ones, and I think of “the island of Dr Moreau” and I also remember the doctor from the HP Lovecraft story “Cool Air”. I reference the doctor in my Kindle and find the name of Dr Munoz. There's my main villain. My mind looks across the pulls again and sees the Big Bad Bertha and I Question Mother Nature pulls. This combination triggers a look back at 70's films like “I Spit on your grave” and it also pulls in a bit of the character “”Papa Ceasar” from the video game “House of the Dead: Overkill” which is supposed to be like a exploitation/Grindhouse film.)

So, with some reluctance, I tell my players that i'm going to put together some words that probably shouldn't go together in the first place.

Theme: Lovecraft Grindhouse.

Character' creation: I tell my players that i'm looking for characters from the 1970's that might be found in grindhouse films. Detectives, private eyes, scientists, intellectuals, etc. as they hash out their characters and talk amongst themselves about what they need, I try to piece together an initial bit of plot.

Here's what the players come up with

Dictionary Larry: a play on Encyclopedia Brown, a kid detective that solves crimes.
Silver Bullitt: an old stunt car driver and mechanic.
Eagle-Bro: a biker who think he's a shaman and might know magic
Johnny “Lightning” Barnes: actor/stuntman/kung fu badass/ movie star
Dr Bob: Former Radical Professor Hopper Type
Ted Zepplin: seedy nightclub owner
Spanky Diggs: PhD hippie psychic

after approval and general character intro, we got on with it.

The game:

the characters all work for a public company called The Syndicate, which does all sorts of stuff and hires people from all walks of life with different skill sets to do things. (OOOOOKKKAY!!!???) They are called into a meeting with Dr Barnes (no relation to Johnny) who looks like a grizzled Charlton Heston from True Lies. He gives the agents the task of finding Dr. Munoz (I state that there's a lot of doctors in this game apparently). Dr Munoz is the leader of the Zowlow Clan, which is a Haitian Voodoo/ Drug Running crime cartel thingie. Anyway, they are coming into the Miami airport to pick-up/drop off some drug called “grave dust” and that the agents must stop this transaction.

The group talks amongst themselves and formulates a plan to use johnny lightning’s personal plane (an eight prop doubled plane similar to Soul Plane with all the luxury accommodations) to trail the incoming Munoz plane, and then proceed to perform a car stunt with Silver Bullitt and drive her car into Munoz's plane. Ok, sounds like a plan to me.

So, as the group has a little bit of downtime, they party it up on the plane, when they all hear a loud bang and smell smoke. Apparently, there is another plane following them and shooting rockets at them while they themselves are following Munoz's plane. After losing a few engines, Johnny's personal pilot asks them what he should do? He tells the pilot to get as close as he can to Munoz's plane and has Bullitt get ready to drive. The group all packs into Spanky Diggs's bus, and the stunt driver shoots the vehicle out of her plane and into the other plane without a hitch. However, all planes collide and are heavily damaged. They fall from the sky and the group blacks out.

The group awakens, having manage to survive the crash with barely a scratch. They realize that they are no longer in Miami, but on a large jungle island with much dense vegetation. Their ride, the bus is completely trashed and unable to be repaired by the mechanic/stunt man. The hippie decides to climb a tree and finds that there is one lone beach directly to the east and a large mansion to the north of the island.

As they travel through the dense jungle with the hippie at the lead, they fail to notice (on several different occasions) that the jungle sounds are extremely different in this area. ( I was going to have them try to notice that there were sounds of some creature nearby that seemed to be some sort of growling form of communication, but the players failed the rolls every time.) As the group nearly reaches the mansion, the hippie sees a large shadowy creature trailing them on the left side of the jungle he gets a bit freaked, but he has Johnny Lightning come by and take care of the situation the best he can (which at times was great because the character was a big mean talker, but would often either make the matter worse, or react completely different to the way you'd expect him to.) The creature leaps out and gets the drop on poor Johnny Lightning, who is now screaming like a little girl. Both the hippie and the seedy nightclub owner try to help out and eventually get the creature subdued with a serious handful of downers.

Upon examination of the creature, they see that it is a composite animal, a hybrid of human and animal [we are broken] put together with some sort of operation. This discovery leads them to [question mother nature] but They shrug this off and move on, being more cautious as they finally get to the mansion. Spanky knocks on the door and is greeted by a curt and callous small german fellow. The crazy hippie manages to get into the mansion, talking his way in and admitting he has to use the bathroom. He gets in and the rest of the group follows in. the german heads upstairs and a loud conversation starts with what can be assumed to be the master of the house. After a few minutes, the german comes back to the room, and offers lemonade to the group. The german lets the group know that he is supposed to offer hospitality to the group, but that they must leave soon because they are very busy running the mansion.

As the hippie searches the house, he gets a look around and sees several other servants running around and each is more diminutive in stature than the last. Also, the hippie is more lucky than good (his gimmick) and finds a hidden passage. The hippie returns to the group, then leads them down into the passage where they find a huge rough laboratory, there are several animals in cages, and some are being occasionally shocked by electricity. Others are being force-fed chemicals and IV's of various meds. Johnny assures the group that this is all necessary for good makeup products (typical meathead machismo, and a great spot to drop it). Additionally they see a large bay door that has been torn and bent as is a large creature escaped. The group assumes that the creature was the one that they subdued in the jungle. Further research around the lab reveals a door that has been weakly padlocked. Strange sound emanate from the room beyond the door.

The kid detective decides to try and pick the lock. He gets a quirky success. He takes the lock off opens the door and stares directly into the yellow eyes of a panther that jumps out and takes him down. The action star tries to help out, but ends up getting scratched across the face for his efforts. The action star and hippie try to find a natural predator to the panther, perhaps a large lizard that’s poisonous enough to subdue the big kitty. As the two go off and start looking for a predator, the stunt woman whacks the panther over the head with her wrench and rolls ridiculously well. So the scene that unfolds goes like this:

“The Hippie and the Action Star are going through a montage with “Come on, get Happy” playing over the whole scene. They are going through several different doors in a hallway, and each time emerging from a different door. They have a few good laughs as they play hide and seek. Finally, they find the cage of a large lotus eating lizard of reasonable lethality. The duo smiles, slaps high fives, thumbs up, etc, then return to the panther, only to find the beast dead on the floor with a wrench sticking out of its skull an a self satisfied smirk on the face of the stunt driver mechanic. The soundtrack “Come on, get Happy is abruptly cut off with a loud scratch on the album.”

Eagle-Bro , the biker-turned magic man gets an idea, knowing that this panther larger than what it's supposed to be, and decided to imbue the dead panther with the metallic soul of his motorcycle that was destroyed in the plane crash (yes, it was on the plane. Go with it). So now, we have a large panther cycle for transport. I decided that this was an [epic] moment. Anyway, the group looks around and finds that this is the room where the hybrids are held and prepped for shipping. Apparently there is a company called Optimus that better then half of these hybrids are being shipped to their warehouse. It seems that whoever is doing these experiments is being paid quite well. At the back of this holding room there is a large cellar door with a rusty lock. Again, the kid detective picks the lock and heads down into a crypt where there are pieces of the dead everywhere. Some of the pieces are fresh, some are on the verge of rotting, but it becomes all too obvious that these are some parts that are being added to the animals to make the hybrids.

In the center of this crypt, there is a pedestal that has a large book upon it. It turns out to be a scientific journal/ledger/black book that has all sorts of bad bad stuff in it:
to paraphrase (and this is where I was able to really offload a ton of my initial pulls), the passages of the book had the following info.

Journal area: the writer says that he has [learned something that man was never meant to know] and that his [thirst for knowledge] has led him to new discoveries about life. He has [represented the dead] by giving dead tissue a second chance to live, and that the living that uses it has a chance to benefit from such a union. He also mentions that the shocking of animals and chemical induction can both augment the creatures on the molecular level, making them [overly energetic] and more aggressive/ docile (whatever the needs of the clients might be.)

Ledger area: the book holds information about this Optimus group. The writer refers to them as a [“people part” company] it seems that this company is bringing in the components to make these hybrids, and in return the hybrids are being brought to optimus to put them into slave labor, such as mines and dangerous work. There is also a bit of information that optimus wants to get into [deep space operations] which is something completely unheard of in the 1970's.

Upon further examination, the handwriting is clearly that od dr Munoz. The group hears footsteps coming down the stairs in the laboratory, so they take the book and hide as best they can. Dr, munoz emerges from the upper lab, looks around the crypt, then notices that the book is missing, he goes to leave, but the action star kicks some equipment onto the doctor, while another drugs the doc to subdue him.

The doc is interrogated some more, and tells them that he's a bad guy. The drugs (grave dust) is just his side business, but this is where the money really is. He's defiant even under sedation. He does tell the group that there is a group of [axe-wielding maniacs] on the east side of the island, and that is why there are so many hybrids in his possession. He also mentions that he has a boat standing by on the west side of the island, manned at all times by a servant named pedro.

The group thinks that the best plan of action is to get munoz off the island and back to the syndicate. They wish to avoid the axe maniacs at all costs. So they head out. Munoz gets more courses of drugs from those select few that took some drugs from the lab. (mostly the professor, the hippie, etc.) munoz realizes in a drugged stupor that the time warp can indeed be created again with just a jump to the left [rocky horror picture show](yes, that's an actual pull from the bag)

the group comes across a large bayou with a ramshackle shack. There's an old black woman sitting on the porch with a shotgun in her hands. She's rather mean spirited to the group as they approach, but the whole conversation gets cut off when a large bear-like creature breaks through the tree line. The woman, who is known only as big bad bertha, begins fighting the giant monster [big bad bertha takes on giant monster]. The action star gets in on the action, but again proves to be ineffective against the giant beast. Big bad bertha takes the monster down, looks at the action star and calls him a “sucka”. (the action star's dumb fact was that he was a sucka, just once. It was a sore point for him) anyway, the two get to fighting, and the action star takes the woman down. He is glorified and feels that he has reached the apex of his conditioning. I go along with this, and let him see if he can obtain this zen-like pinnacle of perfection. He makes the roll, I reach in the bag, and extract [lake wizard] on a piece of paper. The action star, now has lake wizard powers, and gains a [talisman] that grants him his powers.
The new lake wizard tries to use the bayou to make a wave to ride to the west side of the island. After several attempts, he gets a small wave that makes it a little faster for travel.

The group makes it to the dock with the boat. They find Pedro on the dock...and on the boat...and in the boathouse... there's blood everywhere. The group looks to the treeline as the mechanic tries to hot-wire the boat. As the boat roars to life, and everybody piles in, an axe comes flying out of the treeline and embeds itself into the hull of the ship. There are axe maniacs everywhere on both sides of the dock, and they are flinging their axes with some seriously crappy accuracy (stupid dice)

as they are traveling, the lake wizard is trying to navigate by locking his senses onto the nearest lake, which should take them back to Florida at least. During this time, the professor is “science-ing the panther” and mounting the shotgun from Big Bad Bertha into the mouth of the panther. Additionally, the several course meal of drugs is still being administered to Munoz, who is looking green and sickly. He's still slightly coherent, but pretty much is in a semi vegetative state.

The group gets back to Miami. They dock the boat, head to the Syndicate building, when all of the sudden the whole building collapses into a large [pit]. The group looks down into the pit to see a gibbering mass of tentacles, teeth and eyes rise up to greet them. The colossal beast emerges from the depths, looks squarely at the seedy nightclub owner and demands the book. (mainly, the creature picks out this player because he failed his nerve roll) the nightclub owner is grabbed by the large Cthulhu like creature, and is carried off into the city.

Diggs, our hippie drug user who communes with the spirits, has a fantastic idea. He attempts to switch spirits between the seedy nightclub owner and the lizard that they saved from the mansion. (yes, they still have the lizard, go with it). Diggs enters a trance like state, and manipulates the energies to make this happen, and surprisingly it works, so the nightclub owner is now a kung-fu fighting lizard.

Instead of giving chase to Cthulhu, the group peers down into the depths of the pit and see a distant fire burning on the bottom of this pit, and there is the sound of chanting wafting ever so faintly from the pit. Using both the motorcycle panther and a stunt car, the group gets to the bottom by death spiraling around the pit at top speeds to keep them stuck to the side of the crater. (genius!) they reach the bottom to find a makeshift alter, torched mounted on the wall, and there is a walkway leading into another room. The group goes through the passage to find themselves in a large circular room with metal catwalks on the walls and an empty floor with a large seam that run across the room from north to south. A very large window is up high on one of the cylindrical walls. The lizard decides to climb up the wall, and takes the professor along for a ride. The two scale the wall with reasonable difficulty, but make it up to the window to peer in. they see people in robes with hoods manning several different stations with technical readouts, keyboards, and monitors. There are also five men in orange jumpsuits with numbers on their chests chained together, and one of the robed figures hands each a different weapon (generally something that looks scary and does a lot of damage in the right hands. Machete, chainsaw,etc.) odd, right?

the large circular room gets bathed in red lights and sirens go off all around the group. The seam in the floor splits open [beneath their feet] and a large rocket rises into the room. The group realizes they're in a missile silo, and that they need to stop that thing from launching. It is about this time that the lizard and the professor bust into the room, and the professor uses a vial that he procured from Munoz's lab. The vial breaks open upon impact and there is a [gooey caramel nexus] that looks like the Mars company made a black hole weapon. It swirls around the room and takes the cultists and killers with it before it seals itself up again. (cool!)

meanwhile, Diggs decides to have a close look at the rocket, and climbs up into the cockpit area. There, he finds a file called “project alpha: aka [serial killers on the moon]. For what purpose this project was for is still unknown, but Diggs was sure that their math and theory was way off and that the project was doomed to fail. Moreover, Diggs shuts down the rocket.

Now the epic part:

there's still a cthulhu running around town, and that needs to be taken care of immediately. The team decides to create a fighting machine out of the motorcycle-panther. With many rolls and yum yums, the group disassembles the rocket, then builds it into the panther. The result is Giga-Panther

this robotic beast was described as such:

shotgun enabled roar
powered by lakes
the soul of a motorcycle
the heart of a panther
it has the gooey caramel nexus laser
it is kung-fu compatible

instantly, I think that the creature is missing something (having seen way too many monster movies) I look over my list of pulls and notice that i've forgotten something. I tell them that the cultists had found a special weapon from ages ago, and now the group had [found the cathedralpult]. Needless to say, we all decide to mount the weapon on the Giga-Panther

we break the workload down into several stations before the fight with Cthulhu

Johnny Lightning controls the power systems (lake wizard powers)
Eagle Bro and Spanky Diggs are using a spiritual guidance systems
Silver Bullitt is running the engineering
Dictionary Larry is looking through the book, trying to find any sort of ritual that could weaken or banish Cthulth
Dr Bob is running the science area
Ted Zepplin/ lizard is hooked into the kung fu interface and running weapon systems.

So the battle rages on for a while, then eventually the cathedralpult is fired. The damage roll is terrible, but it's enough to stun the creature. The Giga-Panther grabs cthulhu and throws him high in the air, then fires the gooey caramel nexus at cthulhu, who basically turns into a heath bar and is trapped and ported away to another dimension.

The game ends with the character's planning on rebuilding and running the new syndicate, they find that Munoz is dead due to extreme chlorophyl poisoning, and the group lets Giga-Panther free to defend the world, which walks away in the tide towards the setting sun, raising a steel paw to the sky and roaring loudly.

So I have to say this: the game was fun, though I really had to work just to get several pulls out of the way all at once. It was still random, but slightly more structured than most years. I really look forward to next year, and I hope to get to run this event real soon.

That's all for now


Sunday, August 19, 2012

08--19--2012 GenCon 2012: Hardcore XP

Yesterday, i took a day trip to Indianapolis to go to GenCon and run my signature event "Qags-in-a-Bag". this was a psychotic 15 hours of insanity that was over in a blink of an eye.

i left the comforts of my home a little before 1pm and set off down the road. this first half of my trip led me from Toledo, to Fort Wayne, then deep into the heart of Indianapolis. apparently, GenCon this year fell on the same weekend as the Indiana state fair and also the Preseason opener for the Indianapolis Colts. Traffic and parking was a total pain, but i managed to get squared away around the 4:30p mark.

first steps i took were right to the dealer room, the mecca of geekdom. now, i can see myself spending tremendous time and money here, but i was on a tight schedule. i didn't really see anything that tickled my fancy. Star Trek Catan was there, but i figure i need to buy the base game first before a special set. i saw the actress that played Uhura on Star Trek, but i wasn't all that impressed. EHH. maybe it's age, maybe other things were on my mind.

i made my way out of the dealer room, and headed towards the JW Marriot. i was going to do a little scouting to find the room i was going to use for my QIB game. didn't find it straight away, because i was called by my friend Joshua to head to the RAM, a microbrewery in Indy, about four blocks away. i huffed it over there, not missing a beat since my other associates were waiting in line. i had a sumptuous dinner of Primal Chicken and Morgoth's Fury. dinner seemed to take too long and it was 20 minutes to 8pm before i headed back to the room for my game.

i had a full table, though some players were missing and had been replaced by others. it was a crazy time for certain. i'll have more detail about it in my next post.

directly after this game, about 12:15am, i made my way back to toledo and arrived home at 345 am. so far i've slept about 4 hours today. i've got a nasty lack of caffeine headache, but i'm coping. looking forward to a full night's rest.



Sunday, August 5, 2012

08-05-2012 The Truth

it has been far too long since my last post, but a lot of things have happened.

1) on the 21st of june, i terminated my relationship with my work.

yes, i'm unemployed again, and actively looking for a new job. money is tight, but i have no regrets about leaving whatsoever.

there were many factors in my decision to leave the company. i didn't feel secure in my job. i was comfortable, yes, but i knew that the company had no problem getting rid of people. also, from what i was told at the beginning of my hire date about the house, and what i was actively getting in hours were each week were way out of proportion. 12 hour days with overtime on the weekend is unacceptable in that climate. they have three shifts, there's no need for twelve hour days, but apparently that's just part of their culture. i have a close friend who works at another division of the company, and he's still on 12 hour rotations. they talked about fairness, and i saw nothing to accredit that.

the situation came to a head when i was scheduled for overtime on a day that i was supposed to have off. i had discussed a trip to cleveland with my oldest child several times over the last year, and i talked to HR several times about taking my merit day, which they told me that taking such a day on the last day of the work week allows me to have the weekend for myself. i put the plans in motion, hotel reservations, event registrations, and a smiley daughter emerged.

on that friday, i had to talk to hr, who sent me back to my direct supervisor (who i know didn't like me because of the incident after three weeks) and she had no information for me. she called several people and put them on speakerphone, trying to get me an answer. all the time there, i could begin to feel my blood boil

inevitably i was told "no" and that i was to report to work that weekend. however, they would call me if that they had a different answer for me. (which i know they wouldn't call)

that was the last straw. that was two times that they had screwed me over at the last minute, and that was two times too many.

i returned my uniform, scan card, and handbook later that day. i still get mad when i think about it.

2) life at home is on the rocks:

i thought that this job was going to cost me my marriage, but apparently leaving my job can also cause the same issue. my wife is distant, and she looks at me like i'm just another person in the household. she was happy, carefree, didn't have to worry about anything, but now she's depressed and i'm the source of her suffering. there's little to no physical contact, and i rarely hear "i love you" escape her lips. that's where the real pain hits me. it's the fact that i've let them down, even though i was the one that was suffering. that job sucked the fun out of everything, and little brings me real joy.

so that's my situation at the moment. i hope i find you in a better situation.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6-12-2012 Clarity

I've had enough. I've analyzed over and over the current situation that I'm in, and find it to be unhealthy.

after long consideration, i have chosen to exercise my options and explore other possibilities for employment.

what could change my frame of mind in such a short period of time?

i had a discussion with a few of my co-workers, cutting through the BS about everything, and getting to the very root of how we see our place of employment. just like every job there are serious issues that need to be addressed.

they preach job security, yet i don't feel secure in my job, especially now since there is a point system for each infraction you have on a forklift, and with the kick in the ass of 12 hour days at a moment's notice, fatigue will set in, and accident will happen.

i don't mind working the standard hours, but there is overtime...a lot of overtime...and not just during the weekends either (again the 12 hour shifts) and there's no way to sustain financial stability and a family life.

i refuse to have my family become strangers, and to have to inconvenience them is not a thing i want to do. the clash between work and family has never been something that i tolerate. and to tolerate it now just because of this job is, in my terms, "a bunch of crap"

i asked myself one question; " do i see this place getting any better with their policies?" and my answer was no.

the balloon has deflated, i have no motivation to continue. i need to trust my gut feelings more often.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

06-03-2012 Far Too Long

Day ???

It's been far too long since my last post, but you know how life is: $#!+ happens.

Work: i see the end in site for my scrap hauling days. i've been given notice that i'm moving back to shipping on 3rd shift at the end of this week. i feel more relaxed about things, and i know that this time will be different. no screw ups, no anxiety, moving forward with positivity. if not, and it doesn't work out, so be it. i've made some interesting companions within the last 6 months, and i'm looking forward to the next phase.

Family: i was able to see another cousin married. i was glad i was able to spend time at both the wedding and the reception. it was good to spend time with people i rarely see. i was a good time, and i wish the newlyweds the very best. I'm also planning the AnCon trip for my daughter and I. it's coming up in 2 and 1/2 weeks. getting excited, and i hope nothing gets in the way of all the fun to be had.

Recreation: A while back, i tentative agreed with Hex Games to run another installment of Qags-in-a-Bag at Gencon 2012. i was given one of the last spots available; a Saturday primetime spot from 8pm to 12am. Ok, this works for me, sort of. i figure what the hell. if it runs, great, if not, not a real problem, right? well, apparently when the events became live for people to buy tickets, my event sold out within the first three hours of availability. whoa! that's crazy, that's similar to having a concert sell-out within the first 20 minutes. incredible! i'm very excited about this, and this means that this has become a serious priority. i can't cancel it and it must be completed. i've gotta bring my a+ game for this, and try to top my previous year's spectacular outing.

nothing else to report, move along, nothing to see here.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

04--07--2012: Overtime Overdose/ General Nonsense

day 685

i've been working a lot of overtime, since apparently we're in our busy season. i worked almost three weeks in a row, and have had very little time to do anything else. any small projects i've had have stopped altogether. grr.

other than that, life is good. for the first time in years, we're extremely financially stable. its a good feeling.

the family home-front dynamic has changed a bit though. i feel more like i'm just a person who lives here, but i've had little interaction with the rest of the family. weekends, if i get them off, are for catching up with the family. unfortunately there are the friends of mine who i haven't seen in months. again i need to correct this. i need to call them, see them. i need to let them know that i'm still around and that i care.

it's really hard to let go of the "Family man" template and start becoming the "working class" man. man, am i bringing home the bacon. :}

all things are good, all people are healthy. i hope all is the same for you.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

03--04--2012 General Updates

day 651

it's been too long since my last post. been working 6 and 7 days a week for the past few weeks, so forgive me for the lack of posts. anyway, here's some things going on in my life at the moment.

1 totally missed Bashcon this year, due to a 7th day being added to my work schedule, and finding out about it as i walked into work friday night before my event. i was fuming about it, but the paycheck was good. however, i've learned a key lesson: money is nice, but there are things more important than money.

been busy when i've had time: from paying bills, maintaining vehicles, and just making sure things are set for the week before i disappear into the work schedule. the moments i have to myself are fleeting, but efficient.

i helped my mom with some tech support today, setting up her Nook so that it reads library books. not too thrilled with the extra steps you need to complete the task, but at least it works now.

family time comes at a premium now. so the time that i spend with them has to be quality time. it's a bit taxing on me for sure, the girls demand a lot out of me as they scramble for my attention. i try to make sure they're all happy before i go to bed. i do worry if they get along after i leave.

that's all for now. i'll try to update more when i can.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

02--12--12: Creativity! GO!

day 630

i was worried that the creative aspect was beginning to slip away from me, with the new job and all. i had become preoccupied with the aspect of trying to secure my spot at the plant. i think i took some good steps towards this goal this past week.

for two days, i was alone in my scrapping duties, having to run two forklifts at once for a full eight hours, in non-stop movement. now that part has been rectified, and i seriously doubt that i will ever have to worry about being solo ever again. the oversight has been corrected by staffing. the key thing that i took away from this experience is that nothing was able to stop my determination to do a good job without any mistakes, and this was a huge boost to my confidence. confidence was something that has been at a deficit mostly with some ebb and flow here and there since i started this job. i think the worry is finally over, since i can overcome pretty much anything in my area now.

on Wednesday, i was able to really feel comfortable with other people at the plant, throw a few wisecracks and jokes here and there with the other coworkers. things are returning to normal now for the most part, and my normal pattern of thought is starting to return.

additionally, this past weekend i was off from the job; no forced overtime luckily for me. having said that, i was going to return to my friends' home for a weekend gaming session. unfortunately, due to other family demands ( the daughter's swim meet) they had to change the schedule from sat evening to a sunday day session. now normally, i sleep at this time, and i pretty much concluded that i wasn't going to be able to make it to the game. more than slightly bummed, i realized that my first comvention was now about a week away, and that i hadn't run anything since Gencon back in august of last year. i needed a tune-up, a chance to flex my mind muscles and get ready for Bashcon.

then i realized something: Mr. Joshua Burnett is on the same sleep cycle as me, and i knew that he would be up late on saturday evening. moreover, the last time we saw each other, he mentioned that he wanted to try out "Dread" and he knew that i had it.

a plan began to form...

i had a few Dread scenarios that i had run within the last year or so, and had everything that i needed to run them in the closet upstairs or on my computer. i checked with my wife to make sure it would be alright to leave for the night on saturday evening, and i received her blessing. quickly i sent off a text message to Mr. Burnett about the possible gaming session. he was more than thrilled at the prospect.

i ran my "Welcome to Saw Hill" scenario, a mash-up of elements from Silent Hill and Saw. using my silent hill air raid siren audio file, i was able to really put the players on edge, and the unfortunate demise of Mr. Burnett's character at the middle of the game. following the loose framework of the game, the other two players were able to finish the game without significant incident, though there were some close calls here and there. they even caught some of the references to the actual silent hill franchise, since they had played the games prior to this event.

the game went over very well, and seem to be looking forward to the next installment, whatever that may be, in the future.

i felt the cork that had been on my creativity break loose, and now i'm here, looking at some of the things i have slated for the rest of the year. My Qags-in-a-Bag hits its fifth anniversary next week, and all the stuff i need for that game is sitting out ready to go. i'm also working again on my projects, which i have been completely lacking any interest in completing the past several months. i feel that the worst is finally behind me, now to just prevent any relapse.

Creativity Powers..GO!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

01--24--2012 High School Anthems

day 611

i haven't really given my years of high school much thought since i graduated. my time was great at St John's and i've managed to stay in touch (more or less) with fellow classmates. other than that, there really isn't much to tell. it's school, plain and simple.

now something interesting has occurred: my cousin had posted a FB post about how great Green Day's DOOKIE is after all these years, since he found it in a used music shop. furthermore, my cousin's kids (different cousin now) was posting on his page the song "Once" by Pearl Jam .

normally this would spark nothing, but these are from albums that were released during my high school tenure. so, i think it's time to talk about the cassette tapes that i owned in high school, and the albums that everyone seemed to have in their collection.

Note: remember kiddies, this was before itunes and digital media. at this time period, you only had the choice of CDs or Cassette Tapes. i had the latter, since i was a cheap bxtch and didn't own a CD player until after graduation. also note that these CD's are not in any release date order, just within the time period of high school.

Metallica: The Black Album -- "Enter Sandman" could be heard from the varsity football team's locker room on game day, or when the classes let out and all the parking permit kids got into their cars and peeled out of the parking lot.

Nirvana: Nevermind -- pretty much went hand in hand with Pearl Jam's TEN album. the real beginning of the grundge movement. Great songs all around on this cassette.

Pearl Jam: TEN -- i actually prefer this over Nevermind. Anthems like "Evenflow" and "Alive" seemed out of place when you really got into the meat of this tape. songs like "black", "garden", "why go" and "jeremy" really were the backbone for a moody and frank collection of songs.

Dr. Dre: The Chronic -- Dre on Death Row records, with the help of some guy named Snoop Doggy Dogg. first real introduction to gangsta rap. I still know the words to "nuthin' but a G thang"

Red hot chili peppers: blood sugar sex majik -- "give it away" and "under the bridge" are the keynotes to this tape. couldn't go anywhere without hearing those songs.

Stone Temple Pilots: Core -- i was listening to this group almost for a month before anyone else knew about them. i had heard "sex type thing" on a small tv station called the video jukebox and i loved what i heard. the whole tape was amazing, and a few of their songs still get rotation from time to time.

ah, memories.


Friday, January 13, 2012

01--13--2012 Trauma Training

day 600

i always thought that training videos about "blood on the highway" were more of an urban legend, something that is whispered to your kids to keep them in line. how naive i was...until last night.

the new job is very aware of things in the plant, and part of that is constant training and awareness power-points. it's a good thing.

now last night, we had a power-point for PPE (Personal Protection Equipment, such as goggles and gloves, etc.) it was presented by the new safety department assistant, so this was her first time presenting to us.

it started out fine, talking about goggles and safety glasses, then this icon came up: a picture of a camera with the word "gross" underneath it and an arrow pointing to the next slide. so, naturally, we saw pictures of eye trauma: Staples in the eyes, metal shards, and even a very serious chemical burn. ewww. my friend Matt from Bax would be sick to his stomach. additionally, there were bad puns along with each set of the sick pics, such as "Keep an eye out for hazards"

this same formula continued for the entire slide show. a type of PPE, followed by trauma pics, and bad puns. not exactly a great way to start your shift. we saw arm lacerations, gashes on the head, mangled and stitched fingers, and the coup de grace, feet trauma. the last pic was epic. a dude had no steel toe boots on when a die slammed down on his foot and they pulled him out from underneath the die. so the pic was something that a zombie would have for a foot. a few missing toes, a bunch of meat stripped to the bone.

needless to say, kinda gross, but it does get you to think. i know the place is dangerous, and i use my PPE religiously there. still, sick pics at 11pm at night aren't the best way to start a 3rd shift.

can't wait to see her next presentation. :P

grossed out


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

01--11--2012 Kindled Inspiration

day 598

this past Christmas, we were given a kindle as a gift for my wife and i to obviously use at our leisure. i don't think my wife has laid a hand on it, since i did the geek thing and learned how to load it up with all sorts of stuff i like. :P

i've been taking it into work and reading it as i take my half hour lunch, and it has become an integral part of my enjoyment. that's amazing to me because all i'm really doing is just reading. i've never really been a fan of reading, but now i'm doing it everyday at a surplus.

i used to bash these things, but i'm actually quite impressed about what these things can do. true, the screen is rudimentary, but it really gets rid of the hassle of losing pages or messing up a book because of a spill or dropped food, or smears. as i told one friend about digital media, "It's materialism without the clutter."

so, what do i currently have on my kindle that i enjoy reading so much? let me share:

1) The Complete Works of HP Lovecraft: i think someone scanned in this book, or painstakingly recreated it. whatever the case may be, this was a rare find. some of the words are off, wrong in places where one word is there but you know what word they mean, but the quality is pretty good. it was free, and i managed to find it somewhere on the internet. i like it when i read something that i hadn't read before and it becomes my favorite. i really liked "The Outsider" and "The Beast in the Cave". taking a break from it for a bit because i'm only on the letter C in an alphabetical catalogue, and i had other things to read too.

2) The King in Yellow, by Robert William Chambers: again a reference to Lovecraft, or rather Lovecraft references this work in his catalog of stories. a strange play that makes people surprised i was to find out that this is a real book and not a fictitious piece of work. again, found it for free, and have read a bit of it. problem is that it was written in the late 1800s, so it's a bit clunky in its grammar and structure.

3)Hex Games Products: i've loaded this thing up with a few products from the great writers of Qags. i have downloaded ALL-Stars and All-Stars: Vice Squad from them, and both were read from virtual cover to virtual cover in less that a 48 hour period. i absorbed those books with a great fervor. now i have a small queue lined of of things that i'm going to read from them. right now i'm reading "Leopard Women of Venus, and have never been happier. Then on to Laser Ponies and JINGO

4) Dread: ok, so what do you do when you have 2 copies of an independently published horror game that you really thinks is the coolest thing on the planet? You Buy A Digital Copy, of course! i'm a sick bastard, but i never tire of reading this thing, and i think i'm going to pick up "Microscope" and "Fiasco" as well, even though those have nothing to do with each other, they always end up being found together. future plans i guess, but still down the line.

so that is it for now, though i think some classic novels are going to get downloaded in the near future too. now leave me alone...time to

peace my readers.


Monday, January 9, 2012

01--09--2012 Conventional Motion

day 596

my personal growth continues at a steady pace. however, there are some aspects of my life i'm not willing to give up.

as some of you know, i often travel to various game conventions throughout the area, and volunteer to run events. it's kind of my way of giving back. again i cannot stress the luck i've had with meeting fantastic people because of these conventions.

anyway, i'm staring down the barrel of convention season again, and of course the first one up is the hometown college convention, BASHcon. now, due to possible overtime and lack of vacation days, i really don't have that much room for leeway or error when it comes to going to these places this year, so i'm a little hesitant to really apply myself to anything extracurricular.

additionally, i been receiving email from other associates and partners in crime about GENCON, the biggest and baddest in the states, trying to get me back to run another installment of Qags-in-a-bag, my signature event (man, that sounds strange to say). so now, i have that in the back of my head, and now i'm thinking "day trip"...i must be completely insane to even think about driving there and back in the same day. but there is no rest for the wicked.

one thing that i've noticed is that my creativity is not as strong as it once was, only because of this new job and i have so many other things to think about before plot lines and story arcs, but at least i'm still blogging. today i did pull out the old bag, dusted it off, and began to think of things to toss into the idea chasm.

and so it begins...again...


Sunday, January 8, 2012

01--08-2012 The End of the World...And I Feel Fine

day 595

So this is the year that everything ends, right?

so the mayan calender ends abruptly a few days before Christmas, and instantly we're all supposed to thing that there's nothing after. some doomsayer proclaimed "Oh Shit! We're all going to die" and we, as intelligent people are supposed to believe that?

come on, we're more intelligent that that.

first off, even if the mayans were "the most advanced civilization ever" (and that's granting all sorts of leeway) let's take a look a some factors that everyone seems to be ignoring.

1) The Mayans existed between 2000BC and 900AD. this year marks that they will have been gone for 1112 years. do you think they had that much insight. do you think they might've see their own end first?

2) the mayans were human, and as such had human faults. did anyone think for a moment perhaps it was a mistake? they ran out of room? perhaps the stone carver developed carpal tunnel? maybe he woke up one day with a severe case of "FXCK IT" and decided to do something else. maybe he was a visionary, and thought to himself that maybe, after a couple thousand years, that someone would come up with a better way to keep track of a frickin' calender.( Hell, we have them in our computers, phones, and just about every electrical device we own.)

3) i'm pretty sure the mayans had no clue that Nostradamus was coming down the pipe about 600 years later, so if we don't believe the mayans, why should we believe nostradamus's predictions on the Mayans' calender.

4) religious fanatics and other religious groups are going to make money by inciting fear and harvesting in the lost souls who are trying to cover their ass and get into the pearly gates. (keep an eye on the news and see if people are retuning to church, and if those numbers are going up steadily month after month.) these organizations will point out that the savior is coming back and the end of days will begin. Really? If the Mayans were right, you really think they were holding the door open for Christ to walk back in?

i'm not afraid about the end of the world, this year or any year. live each day as if it was your last. bring joy to those you love. make each moment count. if you count the days to the end, you will have a bunch of joyless days that have passed you by.

Carpe Diem, Peeps