D&D Podcast

So I listened to all of the PA/PvP/WW/D&D podcasts that are up yesterday.
A. It would be awesome to game with any combination of those people.
B. The first adventure was run sort of lacklusterly. I wasn't sure if it was Perkins and Wyatt being just okay dms, the adventure being just an ok adventure or what, but it lacked a lot of the cool that 4th edition is supposed to have. The active battle fields and such. But, and this is important, even with an average performance by the DM (and I've played for 20 years. Neither of them were bad in the first episode, I've played with DMs who would make them look like paragons of the art.) the game was incredibly awesome. Part of that was the guys around the table (In this case, Tycho, Gabe, Scott, and Chris or James) being the sort of people who, when you are in a room with them, you are having a great time, but part of it was the strongest part of a relatively rules light tactical rpg. It is a social game, not a world simulator, so you dn't need an awesome DM to make for a great game.
C. Episode 2, the third adventure brought back Tycho, Gabe, Scott, and Chris, and introduced us to Wil Wheaton. Wil had done his homework, had learned a fair amount about the system and was that treasure amongst players, the rules guy who isn't an ass about it and who likes to role play. He is also one of those fun to be near people. If that had been all, it would have been a good game. But. Chris Perkins brought his A game to the table and ran as well as i've seen a person run a game. Wil helped out by being an actor who has spent serious amount of time learning about presenting things via non-static media. 4.0 is a minis heavy game, very visual and tactile, and the presentation was helped immensely by his table descriptions.

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so I had a good day

Well I had a good day.
Actually the first 10 hours were pretty meh.
I woke up, too tired, went to work, too few employees too many customers. Did get to polish my "I am Homo sapiens sapiens, descendant of..." speech so that was ok.


(oh I forgot, almost all of my crocuses, crocusai? croci? are up and blooming! That was a cool part of my morning.)

After work I stopped at the good will to see if there were any vintage electronics (read "Atari 2600 or Intellivision or any of a few dozen games I'm looking for) or old board games in. There weren't. But I was checking out the tee shirts. I almost never do that. I found a don't panic shirt in my size (with the little green guy on it) Now, I am less of a HHGTtG fan than almost every other HHGTtG fan on the planet, being less than enthralled by a lot of the supposedly clever bits, but I do still like it and it is, overall, rather funny in that "please for the love of god stop quoting the same 10 dammed lines" sort of way that a lot of Monty Python is funny. Well for all of that, I am still a fan, and the little green guy was on the cover of one of the games that I played as I learned to read and type (Specifically the Infocom Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Fucking Brits and their analgesics instead of pain killers or asprin) so way cool.
Then as I was riding down town I forgot that I can't ride my bike without my hands on the handle bars and wham I was peddling along and I took my hands off the handle bars and I so didn't crash or anything. And I'm not talking about riding down a hill without your hands on the handlebars, I'm talking about pumping the peddles handsless. Okay okay I know, but brain damage as a wee one and crappy small motor skills and every victory is a victory. So yeah, good day. And no work tomorrow, so sleeping or the equivalent will be caught up with by YT.

er... elm...

march flowers....

My crocuses are blooming and my Ash is about to undergo bud burst.


I'm looking for a good Dinosaur book, something with pretty pictures that is a decent snapshot of the state of modern paleontology via dinosaurs. I had a few of those as a child, but they were getting dated before I shifted interests to other fields.

Blogging and me


So, I've got three new blogs up and around.

The first, The Bell Feminist Bi-Monthly is not actually my writing. It is, instead, the online branch of the IUB FMLA's newsletter. My only content on it so far is the pathfinding posts. I'm potentially interested in running a similar blog in the not too distant future that isn't tied into an outside organization.

The second .roiretni eht ot doar worran eht morf snoitcelfer is another mirror of Reflections From the Narrow Road to the Interior. Same content, slightly different interface.

The third is my roninlabs.org blog which has not, at this time, been particularly active. I'm working on it.


A reminder to those of you who might think that listening to me is a good idea.

If you step on your sword online, please don't just delete the offending text.

If you have to edit something, use the strike tag or something similar to mark the disavowed text. If you add things to something, make sure that the additions are marked as such (preferably with the date and time of modification clearly denotated.)

This keeps you honest and means that you can not be accused of changing your text in order to undercut an opponent's argument. (I think that if you were to spend a lot of time going through this very journal, you'd find examples of exactly that process.)

*edit The same night* Of me crossing out things that I no longer agreed with and flagging edits as edits, not me undercutting arguments by editing and or deleting the things that they are in response to)

reading 2009

1. The Stepsister Scheme Jim C. Hines The first of Hines's fairy tale kingdom books. Action, espionage, and fairytale princesses. Here's hoping that the next two are as good.
2. Strength and Honor R.M. Meluch. Rome is on the offensive after the fall of the hive with the mad Emperor planning to take Earth once again. Farragut and the last emperor's patterner stand between him and victory. The ending gives me hope that there will be at least one more book in the series.
3. Storm From The Shadows David Weber A mostly non Honor book set in the Honorverse. The first shots in the Solarian War that has been seeming more and more inevitable have been fired. Hopefully the next Honor Book will allow for peace with Haven, especially since the confrontation between Elizabeth and Honor happened in this book and it didn't end with a break between them.
4. The Queen of Stone Keith Baker I've yet to dislike one of Baker's Eberron books. This one introduces us to the politics of Droaam via a Brelish Dark Lantern. Since the King's Citadel in general and the Dark Lanterns in particular are among my favorite parts of the setting, I'm predisposed toward this one.

Anyone read anything cool yet this year?

Post Valenti Post

I meant to be posting this earlier, like the night that it happened, but well that didn't happen. Instead, here I am 11 days later...

I caught the Jessica Valenti: Feminism Still Matters lecture last Monday.
I didn't get a chance (was left off the RSVP list even though my name was definitely on the list of interested parties from the FMLA) for one reason or another to go to the dinner before hand. I'm going to assume snafu instead of malice, though knowing the personalities involved, it could easily go either way. More of why I dislike strongly hierarchal activism.

I actually arrived to an event early. I know, I'm shocked. At the last minute I moved up to the front rows. There were lap desks in the first few rows, though no access to an outlet (or this would have been posted that evening.) Well, there was the power strip that the projector was plugged into, but um, no. Not going to be the one to Fu that particular bar.

It turns out that Jessica is not 2.5 meters tall in real life. Nor does she bend steel plating with her teeth. Alas for the shattering of illusions. She still has the moral stature to support them though.

Ugh. The desks are right handed. Frack.

The WSA provides her with bottled water. There is a rant here about the essential connection between environmental causes and feminist causes and the tendency for the proponents of the second to ignore the first, but it isn't actually here .

She is 30 years old. I hate that the heroes of the current memespace are my age now. Completely underlines my lack of doing-thingsness.

She brings up one of my major issues: Most women are feminists, even if they don't know it, or deny it. A Lot of women are still too freaked out by the word to embrace it. (Frex, if you are reading this via my friends list, you are most likely a feminist. No matter how much you dislike labels. LLAD,QLAD,PAD)

From the viewpoint of the anti-feminists, telling women that feminists are all shrill man hating sexless sluts who are all super activisty bitches is both smart and tactical. If you can control the conversation, you can convince otherwise core feminists that feminism isn't for them at all since they aren't activists or they aren't man haters, or they aren't sexless, or they aren't sluts. Control the terms of the conversation and you can get people who should be your opponents' strongest supporters to do your work for you.

A discussion of the cyclical media claims that "Feminism is dead." If that were so, there would be a lot fewer people with a vested interest of maintaining the current social structure as it is trying to kill feminism.

Jessica is hella funny. "Yeah, I guess if I don't like rape tee shirts, I'm a bitch."

One thing that feminists need to do is start shaping the conversation. The blackhats have managed to define the terms so far, but if we can manage to tell the truth about feminism often enough, we can get young women to embrace the identifier.

About the current political culture.
Now that we have a supportive administration, one that isn't actively trying to regress women's rights and self determination, it is time. to address the underlying belief systems and cultural baggage that reinforce anti-feminist sentiment.

We need to combat moral panic over women's sexuality. She mentioned a FDA memo that sounded like it came out of a Dark Dungeons style tract, warning of the potential for plan b based sex cults.

Jessica's next book is called The Purity Myth. It is about the cultural construct of virginity, the fact that "It is time to teach our daughters that their ability to be good people is dependent on being good people, not on their sexuality." She reminds us that when women are taught about morality, they aren't taught that the important issues are things like courage or compassion, but the state of their hymens, that their ability to be ethical actors is primarily an aspect of their bodies instead of their actions. "Our daughters deserve a model of morality based on ethics, not their bodies."

When we got to the Q&A, we had some of the best questions. She got the mudflap girl/bare midriff picture question. I knew that she recieved that question, but I didn't really expect to hear it in real life, even at the lecture.

There was an awesomely long academic activist loaded wording question about women wearing things that cover their tits (while avoiding actually saying anything about what is being covered.) It was all dominant masculine paradigms and shit, with full out prefered answers coded into the question. Buddy boy had to read it off of a sheet of paper.

Should we pick a new word for feminism? "No!"
(I will eventually write my "No!" post.)

Abstinence and etcetra are fine but not moreally superior positions. Well handled, though the answer deserved more time than the format allowed.

She made another majorly important point. Opposition to women's reproductive rights is not structured around protecting life, it is structured around punishing women for their self determination/sexuality.

All in all the lecture was awesome, and I left with a signed copy of Full Frontal Feminism, my absolutely favorite primer on feminism, even if it happens to be aimed at women instead of a general audience (meaning specifically men and women.) (The kid who asked about that steped on his cod hard in his question. When I was his age, I would have too.)


so don't forget to celebrate 3:14 tomorrow.

meta to racefail '09

If you want to say "You are doing it wrong" that is okay. Even useful. In fact, at least in my case, I appreciate the input. But, if after doing so, you get hostile when asked "How do I not do it wrong?" then I really don't think that you have any claim to being taken seriously in your implied desire for me not to be doing it wrong.

Essentially, you are not obliged to educate, but if you are unwilling to educate than I am not obliged to give a rat's ass about your criticisms. Reducing hostility in a given medium is a two way street.

less catchy maybe

War what is it good for?
The shaping of the political environment via the application of force!

defining the memespace


Feminisim: the belief that while personhood and the right to self determination are universal among sophonts, experience is not.

don't comment here please

i carred my phone, then, because i have a very crappy provider, i was unable to use my current sim chip in the replacement. so i have lost my contacts list. if i should have your number on said list, go ahead and leave it here (comments are screened lj only)