Gaming again, it’s been… a little while.


I posted this on G+ just a bit ago, and realized that I wanted to save this at least for me.

Last night I rolled up a character for my first ever Pathfinder game, and my first non-convention game since The Game Master Show ended a few years ago. It was fun to get back into it, and I also found/created a new drink that I like.

Gaming drinks:

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple, and Wells Banana Bread Ale.



Drink recipe:

Banana Cinnamon Bread 1/2 pint Cinnful Apple
1/2 pint Banana Bread Ale

Delicious. The Banana Bread Ale smooths out the bite of the Cinnful Apple, while it’s own banana bread flavor is enhanced by the cinnamon and apple flavors of the cider.

On a positive note…

Reviewing the last several posts, it would appear that for a few months that I have been in the doldrums of despair. While that is partly true, it is not where I have spent the majority of my time.

At work, I’ve been working on several projects dealing with online video, digital publishing, and helping out a team re-architecting several systems within a client’s structure. In other words, work has me busy and it’s been the good kind of interesting.

If you’ve been paying attention to the weather in the mid-western United States, then you can guess that I have been mostly indoors during the record cold and snows this year. It’s put my woodworking, and anything in the garage on hold, almost everything.

Earlier I had a picture of a cat resting in the partly assembled shelves of a bookcase I build last year. That cat, Angel, is kind of the neighborhood cat, and since her original owners didn’t take her in anymore, we’ve had her wintering in the garage. She’s quite happy there, but a little stir crazy like all of us since she can’t go outside. She’s even gotten into the house a few times, and while our dog likes her, the cats in the house, one of which is a daughter of her’s, definitely do not like sharing the house with the newcomer.

I’ve been working on a talk about Grunt, a task running utility that I use at work to reduce the redundant things I do (building, running tests on code, and making deployments). I’ve applied to give a talk at Chicago Code Camp in a few months, and plan to give the talk before then to the people at work.

I was planning on going to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards given the current focus of projects at work. Though I should be seeing Jim Van Verth next month, and he will be speaking there. He is wicked smart, and now works at Google. Sometimes I hope by being in the room with him that I get better at my own math skills.

So until it warms up outside, I plan on continuing the inside hobbies. Oh, I’ve also played far to many games while stuck inside this winter, finishing Batman Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Tomb Raider, and playing many levels of Orcs Must Die 2 with Erin (my wife). When it warms up, the workshop will be aired out, and I can continue on the secret project. Until then, I am endeavoring to not distract myself from writing and editing the writing I have done. It’s a losing battle right now, but I hope for at least a Pyrrhic victory over my procrastination.

Erin hasn’t seen the Avengers movie yet, and I am making sure that she is fixing that gap in her knowledge now. So until next time, stay warm.

Fear is holding me back

I’ve know this for a while. That fear of failure, fear of not making monthly bills, fear of not raising my kids right and not being with them as much as I can, fear of rejection As I said. I’ve known this for a while. I struggle with myself to break the habits that I have built up to shield myself from the perceived pain that those fears imply.

I have failed before. I’ve not been able to pay monthly bills when I was out of work, wracking up debt just to keep our house. It is not something I ever want to face again. Unfortunately, my mechanisms for defending against that have been as bad or worse to my psyche as going through it had been.

I am in the midst of steps to make things better. I have parts of a plan, but more important to my mind, I am acting. One of my methods for coping, and I know other people who use the same, is to just keep going. To shield, to turtle, and to hope for a better tomorrow.

This does work, but not well. It is not what I want.

I want to be able to travel the world. To do the things I love to do: meet with friends, meet new people, write, create things in code and wood, to be a creative and interesting person.

Turtling does not do that. Turtling is boring. I hate being bored, but I have gotten used to being bored. I hate that I have accepted being bored for so long.

So I have been doing all sorts of projects. Finishing some of them, some becoming dusty. Its all been a way to pretend that I am doing a something, when in fact I have not been. I have, over my lifetime, honed the skill of procrastination. I have even been proud of it in the past. I have always been most happiest however when I  under a good stress.

When I was in college, I tore down my single desk, and bought a sheet of plywood to replace it, propped on books and boxes, so my friend Steve and I could work together on projects. I was at my best during those times. Steve, unknowingly, kept me honest with myself. He was there to make sure I didn’t slip, didn’t procrastinate.

I work best with others for that reason. I stay focused. Part of my plan is working on finding people who I work well with. Another part is to not need others to keep focused. Both are not easy, and are taking work to accomplish.

I needed to write this so I could reinforce myself. If it helped you that is both great, and surprising. If it sounds like you, then get up from the computer, put down the phone, and make your plan to break out of that turtle shell. Leave it behind. These are the only days of our lives. I don’t want to be bored for them.

Life, it’s never dull.

[Warning: This is an update post, and may ramble a bit. Carry on!]

Things at the tail end of this year have certainly been interesting. Interesting times indeed, in all of the senses of the word.

You’ve read hear about some of the things that have gone on, and if you haven’t I invite you to take a look. I can wait.

Back? Good.

In addition to family health issues, building a deck, participating in HoNoToGroABeMo, and the normal things like work, raising kids, etc. I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve been working on my Secret Project, though much less of that lately. I’ve built a 3D printer, the PrintrBot Simple, and it’s printing nicely now. I’ve also been researching Machine Learning and Adaptive Bitrate Streaming, trying to see how the former can work with and for the latter.

Over this last week, things continued to be interesting.

On Monday, I was told that my new MacBook Pro had arrived and on Tuesday I had it in my hot little hands. I’ve been working with it and my Windows desktop off and on since then. I will have a post soon about the reasons why I switched to a Mac from Windows, and how my switch has gone so far. A teaser: It’s going pretty well, with the normal bumps of getting used to the different places for the things I normally use.

Tuesday night, I found a fairly heavy package sitting on the kitchen counter when I got home. I have been expecting my Kickstarter order of my FATE Core and FATE Accelerated books (along with a few others) to come in soon, but this package was far too heavy and large for a few books. What could it be?

To my great surprise, I found that the 3D printer parts for the Eventorbot had arrived! It had been over a year since I backed that Kickstarter, and given that the creator had disappeared for nearly three months, I had resigned myself to never seeing it. The creator had a bout of depression, and in my opinion, was overwhelmed to an extent that he stopped communicating. Which unfortunately made the problem worse.

So now I have parts for a second printer. So what will I do with it?

Well, I’ve written a book on 3D printing, I enjoy learning the technology, so I’m diving into it deeper by putting out a 3D printing show. My friend and former co-producer on The Game Master Show, will be joining me as I delve into the current events of the 3D printing industry, and tackle subjects both beginners and experts of the subjects can learn from.

Is that all? Nope!

Tuesday evening, Erin called me with news about her father. He’s doing much better, still not great, but he’s sitting up, eating, and has a positive attitude. The ICU nurse let Erin sneak the girls in to visit, and he really perked up when he saw them, vowing to get better and get out of the hospital so that he could be with them more.

So after a very interesting several months, more good things than bad are starting to happen. I’d like to take credit for planning it, for navigating my way through the storm, but I can’t. I tried my best to make my own luck, but it wasn’t all me. It was a combination of people, of supporters, of genuine luck (that’s what you call it when you can’t pin down the butterfly that caused the events).

So the light is shining. The deck is nearly done. My beard does itch (go donate!). It’s a good time right now, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the start of new year just after.

Life. It’s never dull unless you let it be.

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