R.A. Montgomery, of the Choose Your Own Adventure books, dead at age 78.

Children of the 80's will no doubt remember the shelves and shelves of little white paperbacks with red piping from the Choose Your Own Adventure series, where you could play as anything from a deep sea explorer to a shipwrecked mariner, a volunteer time traveler, or anything in between. If you're anything like me, you also spent way too much time looking for mistakes in the sequence of pages to find more interesting twists and no shortage of endings (most of them bad). I can't say they went out of print for a while but they did become harder to …

Read more...

Neil Gaiman at the National Press Club.

Back in June of 2011 Neil Gaiman went on a hastily assembled book signing tour to promote the release of the tenth anniversary edition of American Gods, one of his most famous novels. Neil's book signings (just ask anyone who's met him, you always find yourself calling him 'Neil' forever afterward) are always a good time, though this on was held at the National Press Club so it was a little more understated than most. After being introduced Neil talked a little about the circumstances surrounding the book's publication, namely, that it had originally been a great deal longer but …

Read more...

Kindle highlights may be used by Amazon.

If you're anything like me, at some point you started to run out of room for your dead-tree editions and started downloading e-books. While you no longer have the tactile experience of reading e-books you have to admit that having a fixed-sized device with which you can store hundreds upon thousands of texts makes life a lot easier, plus, not everyone can read comfortably on a laptop or desktop display. Enter Amazon's Kindle, the darling of the e-book reader market which not only lets you buy e-books wirelessly (which can either tank your bank account or save your sanity while …

Read more...

I now pronounce you nerd and nerd.

Lyssa and I are really married now - we've combined our collections of gaming books into a single bookcase.

Here's the end result:

In descending order, the most represented gaming systems in our library are Mage: the Ascension, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire: the Masquerade, and Werewolf: the Apocalypse. The two shelves of miscellaneous games stand unto themselves.

I'm not counting these in the duplicates category because it really does help to have multiple copies of the core book for a game you're running. Nevermind the fact that we have four copies of second edition and two of third.

These are …

Read more...

An assortment of photographs.

Does anyone else find it amusing that a cast metal and plastic drum is manufactured by a company called Touch the Earth? This is about as far away from their ideal as you can get without hopping a space shuttle.

Attention secret societies: you're really doing it wrong if your handbook wound up at Barnes and Noble.

Mist rising off the river near the Kennedy Center after a few days of rain.

A selection of four-resistor sound sequencers built on breadboards. Toward the end of the night we had a veritable symphony of beeps and boops sounding through HacDC

A …

Read more...

UPDATED: Busy life, busy times, and Greene County redux.

Work and life's kept me too busy to post much lately, so I'm trying to play catch-up in between driving all over creation for work and finishing preparations for the wedding. To that end, I'll try to outline everything going on, not only so that I can square away everything going on inside my head, but possibly to help others in the future, should they find my website.

First off, Lyssa's bridal shower was yesterday afternoon. Her parents, sister, and aunt drove down from Pennsylvania to set up and cook for the party. Lyssa and I have been going bonkers …

Read more...

Engineering and re-engineering over the long weekend.

If you normally browse my website directly (i.e., not using an RSS feed aggregator of some kind) you'll see that I made some major changes to the front page late last night. For the past couple of days I've been profiling load times and such like, and discovered that I could improve the code and structure markedly with some changes. I've been using the Firebug and YSlow plugins to see where the bottlenecks were, and as a result I removed a half-dozen or so badges from weblog directories that did little else but add to the page loading time …

Read more...

The Last HOPE.

I arrived in New York City somewhen around 1400 EST5EDT, after getting turned around in Penn Station (what kind of adventure would it be without my getting lost, after all?) and being sent in the direction of the hotel by a wary yet friendly security guard at the office building I'd blundered into. I finally got to the Hotel Penn, which they really did a nice job fixing up since the last time I'd been there (though the air conditioning was still pants, which became a common complaint that weekend). I wandered around for a while because I had no …

Read more...

I nearly forgot to put a title on this post.

The way the last couple of weeks have been going, it's a safe bet that you can guess how Friday went. If you guessed 'more dental work', then you hit the nail squarely on the head. It has been two weeks (now a bit more than that) since my root canal, and I had gone back to Family Dentistry to get the molar in question cleaned out, built up, and have a temporary crown installed. Ordinarily, this isn't such a big deal because once the nerve's gone (i.e., post-root canal) you can pretty much dig around inside the tooth …

Read more...

State of the Time Lord: I never could stay put for very long...

I'm writing this update from Lyssa's parents' house once again - the holiday is here once again (however you happen to celebrate it), and this year we've gone back to visit our families. We left around 1200 EST5EDT yesterday in an attempt to beat the traffic rush headed to points north, west, east, and everywhere but the southern half of the compass rose. Traffic, weather, and being worn out from staying up far too late the night before being what they are, we pulled in around 1730 EST5EDT, a respectable timetable for leaving at noon.

The fairest thing you can say …

Read more...