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September 8th, 2014

01:29 pm
On Awards and Orders in the SCA... I had a lot of time to think, on the trip up to Lake Huron, about some of the items brought up during the Kingdom Moot. One in particular that leaves me thinking about how we regard our reward system, and how different people seem to struggle with and take great personal pain from that idea. I wonder if that pain comes from a fundamental difference of view in how reward structures work (or "should" work)... or from a deep difference in personality types and personal background.
A few thoughts I wanted to jot down, unpolished and inconclusive that they may be. I hope they provide some grist for your personal mill if you, like me, have been thinking about this topic after the moot.
(long post about the SCAdian experience)Collapse )

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August 16th, 2013

05:15 pm - That "What D&D Character Are You?" Meme
I actually liked the "detailed stats" block at the bottom, so I'm posting it here, for that. It made me think a little differently about alignment, etc.

I Am A: Lawful Neutral Human Monk/Wizard (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:







Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Monks are versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Good-aligned monks serve as protectors of the people, while evil monks make ideal spies and assassins. Though they don't cast spells, monks channel a subtle energy, called ki. This energy allows them to perform amazing feats, such as healing themselves, catching arrows in flight, and dodging blows with lightning speed. Their mundane and ki-based abilities grow with experience, granting them more power over themselves and their environment. Monks suffer unique penalties to their abilities if they wear armor, as doing so violates their rigid oath. A monk wearing armor loses their Wisdom and level based armor class bonuses, their movement speed, and their additional unarmed attacks per round.

Secondary Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Detailed Results Block below...Collapse )

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March 17th, 2013

11:45 pm - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
For whatever that's worth.  I'm not Irish, not even a little (can you imagine?  FitzWestergaard?)

I've embarked on a few health habits, but they kinda fell apart this weekend.   I'd been trying to adjust my diet somewhat, but have been finding it exceedingly difficult to maintain when I'm outside my own home.  And I've been aping Kirsten/Dagmar on her 100-a-day for 100 days kick... except, like I said, it kinda fell apart this past weekend.

Busy week coming up, on a few levels.  Work that needs completing, home needs some attention, and a few other areas in my life I need to spend some deliberate hard focus upon.

But spring is nearly here, and that's hopefully bringing uplifted moods and regrowth, looking forwards to that. 

I've been gaming again, started a side-line game for the Pathfinder group I'm playing with.  While our main campaign is on haitus (the DM is getting MARRIED, I mean... Priorities!?) I'm running a game about Pirates - episodic in nature rather than deeply plot-oriented, and I see how the play style is different.  It's a little more like improv... I sketch out some major plot points and important encounters, but I also prepare (or at least leave myself open to) a series of side-plot-hooks that can be explored if they come up.  And when they do, (as they so often do with a creative group like this one) I get ideas for other plot-hooks.  Much different from an adventure-path scenario where things follow the rails to a large degree.    My job in those situations is to be astute enough to keep panning the camera to turn the side-plots into main plots when they're worthy and enjoyable. 

Also, watched Unicorn City this weekend (OMG weird and funny), and also 500 Days of Summer, which I found really thinky, about the nature of relationships, and compatibility, and expectation.   Not so deep that I'm still sifting through it for meaning, but it was a bit of a downer and kinda derailed my mood for a while, probably hit me close to where I spend some time.

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January 3rd, 2013

04:20 pm
In response to requests for the awesome texting gloves. :)

Medieval Texting Half-Gauntlets

Thanks, Amanda!

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December 18th, 2012

10:43 am - (Also, hello again)
I dusted off this old thing, and might post a few more times, perhaps?)

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10:43 am - Rum and Gunpowder
Rum and Gunpowder. Vincenzo (currently staying with us) and I were talking about "Proof" and how it seemed a strange measure. Why bother to give a name to a number that's just twice the alcohol by volume? Wikipedia says the original value was 7/4, however, not twice. Huh? What, besides being ridiculously complicated would be appealing enough to set something as ludicrous as 7/4 of another measurement as an official imperial measure? Reading further on wikipedia, it set me on the trail of a really curious "origin story" (which, let me be frank, I'm accepting with as much hard truth as superhero origin stories). That was this: Sailors in the 1800s would attempt to light gunpowder that had been soaked in rum. This was ostensibly to verify if their purser had been skimming rum off the supply and diluting it to cover his tracks. Rum diluted below a certain point, says the tale, will wet the powder and prevent its ignition. And that point, says the tale, is 57% abv and change. Or approximately 4/7. So if that exact point (where the gunpowder will ignite) is defined as "100 degrees proof", then you convert %abv to proof by multiplying by 7/4. Wow. So the next question is: Does that in fact make sense? Surely it would depend on the quality of gunpowder and possibly on atmospheric humidity. I suppose the quality of the gunpowder in the 19th c English navy could be relied upon to a certain degree. But to within a few percent tolerances? I really don't know. And not having access to period black powder, I went reading online... and found that someone had already DONE this test! http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/gunpowder-on-the-rocks/308251/ How cool! And even though he hadn't (evidently) read the 57% (or 4/7) comment on wikipedia, his experiment seems to imply that 57% was about the cutoff. That was an interesting note. Though as the author also notes, other alcohols evidently scoffed at the proof level anyhow, so chemistry may have a lot to do with it. In any case, it was certainly interesting, and reminded me how ludicrously precise imperial things can be. Even so far as to measure alcohols (again, from wikipedia so ymmv) with fractional specific gravity (12/13 in this case for 100 degrees proof, though I haven't done the math there to verify it corresponds to the 4/7abv).

Current Mood: curiouscurious

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May 23rd, 2012

12:50 pm - Wiki Software
I'm looking for recommendations on wiki software. I have a project in mind and I have a pretty clear set of feature requirements. If you were in this situation, where would YOU go to compare a list of wiki packages to see how they fit your needs?

My needs, for those who are able to offer specific software recommendations:

- ease of use (non-technical end users, so RTF input >>> wiki formatting)
- able to be configured for registered-users-only, no public contribution
- easy ability to manage images (e.g. to include an image in your page edit)
- ability to configure security so that pages can be 'owned' and not edited by users other than the submitter
- easily extensible to include custom MySQL integration (more specifically, allows the contribution of small tagged blurbs that are included in various other pages, appropriately to the tags).
- ability to control the valid tag list, not allowing custom user-defined tags
- allows the administrator to force some pages to follow a template (e.g. the user's one and only one Profile page).

Part of me wonders whether I should just take a very simple wiki, co-opt the user management, and then redevelop the rest of it.

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April 11th, 2012

02:37 am - Gratitude - 2012/04/10
More Gratitude! I meant to do these daily, but disorganization gets in the way. I am grateful though so I will continue! for Family, especially my Parents, the people who supported and provided for me and gave me such a head start. You've been so good to me! I'm grateful for my brain. My best feature, I believe. It may not be a world-class brain, but it's more than sufficient to my needs, and my needs (expectations) are not inconsiderable. I'm grateful for my looks. (See: parents, those handsome devils). My second-through-nth best features. :) I don't believe I've ever abused them, but I have had occasion to be grateful they were mine.

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April 3rd, 2012

10:47 am - Gratitude - 2012/04/03
Inspired by some friends, I'm taking a little time to focus on some of my Gratitude. I'm going to try not to repeat myself, and see how far I go.

I'm grateful for the patience and love and support that my friends and love ones extend to me. When I need it most, I often take the least time to appreciate it. So I'm saying a big deliberate and deeply heart-felt Thank You right now.

I'm grateful for the job I hold. It challenges me, gives me a sense of value to something larger than myself, and lets me connect at least weekly with people I respect.

I'm grateful for the city and the era in which I live. For my context. I'm happy here. While I'm fascinated by other countries and periods of history, I don't think I could have ever realized myself in those contexts as well as I can here and now.

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February 14th, 2012

11:27 am - The difference between accounting firms
Hahahaha... Search google for the phrase "Our firm's reputation for providing quality service reflects the high standards we demand of ourselves. Our high standards, responsive service and specialized staff spell the difference between our firm and the rest" - short URL: http://bit.ly/xFctE3
Current Mood: amusedamused
Tags: ,

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