Up at o dark early for the flight back to Cali after a wonderful vacation home.  We got some nice snow later in my visit and walking through the silent and snow-covered woods was, as always, divine and beautiful.  I got to visit with a bunch of friends, spend great time with my parents, and work on the uber-project of 2012.  Goooood holiday.  Is that 2013 I see around the corner?  I think it is…  (even as, humourously, the song Ghostbusters is playing on the airport’s PA system!)  And welcome to!  May the coming orbit be full of possibility, peace, love and discovery for everyone.

Module LR-0: The Hobbit

I’m re-reading the Hobbit and man, I tell ya.  Barely past a tenth into it, when the PCs couldn’t have gone more than three hexes along in the overland map, they find (after a fight won by trickery by the NPC!) not one, not two, but three magic items that turn out to all be crazy well known artifacts.  This JRR fellow who wrote this adventure is a hack!  What a monty haul campaign this looks like it will be.  Or maybe there’s going to be some serious railroading what with those swords  and NPC already in the game.  Either way I’m not sure it’s good adventure design.


This much we know: We allow humanity its wild flux and pulse because we are an experiment in divine creation every moment of every day, not fixed in stone, not tied to a code of impossible conduct like a drowned criminal stuck in concrete shoes. One size of God never fits all. One size of hero is never the human way. As the Buddha said, “Sorry pal, but blind faith is total bull, not to mention a cop-out. You gotta live it. You gotta figure it out for yourself. Every. Single.Day. It’s the only way.”   He would know.

— Mark Moford

Dirty Jokes

I have often joked that if I ever did buy cable or satellite, and therefore had Discovery Chanel, the Learning Chanel, and PBS at easy reach, I’d never leave the house.   There’d always be something good on that would fascinate me and tickle my love of learning.

I think that joke will be used no more.  I hadn’t noticed, not actually ever having chosen to get cable/etc, that the Discovery Chanel and its ilk (that Discovery mostly owns, anyway), has actually changed quite drastically from what I envision.  Reality is out, REALITY TV is in.  Discovery is out, FREAK SHOW is in.  Learning is out, EXTREEEEEEME is in.  They have debased themselves.

I started to get an inkling earlier this year when I saw some architectural programming that I swear the narration was ripped straight from a monster truck rally crossed with 50s serial way of speaking.  “But his building had a foundation that was weak.  Would his vision triumph over his critics?  And could he keep his building on schedule??!”  (Cue ominous music.)   But it was with the cancellation of Dirty Jobs and, moreso, what’s replacing it, that I really got the point.  I agree with what Eric Deggans and others have said, about what Mike Rowe has done and what he has created in people’s views with his show, and what a generous person he has been, and the passion he spoke about the people he had on his show.  There was much that could be learned and a difference to be made in our society out of all his mucking about.   What’s taking its place I very much doubt will have any positive impact on either learning or living.

Unfortunate.  And today my joke is cancelled along with the show.  If I had cable/satellite TV, it would be a waste of my money.  (PBS is fortunately grabbable over the airwaves and easily in reach on the web.)

Creative and Unreasonable

With the drivingly pouring rain yesterday our usual Sunday practice spot was rendered unpracticable, and with the continuing repair saga at my house my patio was not available as a backup.  What to do?  Want to practice, but where?  Evan came up with the idea of “pulling an airport on the China trip” and grabbing a corner of one of the local malls and practicing in there.  It seemed weird, who knew how it would go, would it be appropriate, etc… and we just let that be and did it.  We found a good spot with room and little traffic, and had a good practice.  Hooray for letting go of our mental chatter and fulfilling on what we wanted to:  practice!  Satisfied we checked out the gaming store in the mall and headed out.

In true California weather fashion, an hour later weather had changed and the sun was shining brightly once more.