Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dissociated Mechanics

— Matt Harris @ 2:06 pm

The D&D Contact mailing list I am on referred to this 2008 article on the skill system in 4th Edition D&D. I found the article to provide some very interesting insights into game mechanics and game design, further reinforcing my belief that 4th edition is not for me.

Note: I haven’t played 4th edition, nor do I own a copy of the rules, but I have picked up smatterings of it here and there.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Impractical Wisdumb of Bob Tzu

— Matt Harris @ 5:06 pm

Found via the This Is True weekly e-mail, enter Duhism, the philosophy of Lao Tzu’s dum American brother, Bob Tzu.

It is a fairly funny site, although I think the joke might go stale fairly easily.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Went Down To The Demonstration, To Get My Fair Share Of Abuse

— Matt Harris @ 5:59 pm

Well, three demonstrations actually – I went to three of the tax day Tea Parties yesterday. These were the first ever protests I have attended and I found them to be pretty impressive. No abuse to be found, however ;-).

I took my new digital camera with me and learned that I am a really lousy photographer, as you can see below:

The Glendale Tea Party was held outside Glendale City Hall, from Noon to 2:00 PM. There were a couple of speakers – the organizer Debi Devens spoke and comedian Evan Sayet also spoke. There was some assistant to a state legislator there, but he wasn’t as good as the other two.

I estimated turnout to be 400 to 500 people and then asked one of the police officers in attendance what he thought. He said he thought there were about 400 or so. Other estimates I have seen on the web say 250-300, but I think there were a few more than that.

Not a whole lot of media showed up. KTLA 5 and KCAL 9 had vans there. I saw some people who wore stuff for PJTV and Reason TV as well.

The Glendale photos I took turned out the best:

Glendale Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 1

Glendale Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 2

Glendale Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 3

John and Ken (local radio talk show hosts on KFI) did live broadcast outside the Republican Party Headquarters in Burbank from 4 PM to 5 PM. This wasn’t really a tea party – just their show, but I am guessing about a hundred people showed up. It is my understanding that it was a last minute thing they threw together. They spent a good portion of the show chewing out a Republican Party Spokesman for waffling about supporting Propositions 1A through 1F.

One interesting item is that the office was closed and locked. Strange to see in the middle of the day.

Only one half-way decent photo of the event. This is what I get for playing with the settings on my digital camera without really knowing what I am doing:

Burbank Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 1

Van Nuys
The best Tea Party I went to was the one held at the Van Nuys courthouse. The official start time was 7:00 PM but people started showing up by 6 PM. My estimate was that between 2,000 and 3,000 people showed up. On the Kevin James show later in the evening, he said that the police estimate was almost 3,000 attendees.

The Van Nuys event also had a pretty impressive speaker list:

  1. Kevin James – Local talk radio host on 870 KRLA from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  2. Michael Patrick Leahy – Host of Top Conservatives on Twitter
  3. Stephen Kruiser – Comedian and Blogger.
  4. Evan Sayet – Comedian. He spoke earlier at Glendale as well.
  5. Morgan Brittany – Actress and former Dallas cast member.
  6. Victoria Jackson – Actress and former Saturday Night Live cast member.
  7. Mr. E Pluribus – Online TV Show host.

Only a couple of photos, which I took about a half-hour prior to the start of the event:

Van Nuys Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 1

Van Nuys Tea Party Crowd Photo 04-15-09 No 2

General Impressions
There were a few things that really struck me about the Glendale and Van Nuys Tea Parties:

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

What If Frank Miller Did Peanuts?

— Matt Harris @ 12:10 pm

I don’t know where I found this, but someone did a couple of Peanuts comics in the style of Frank Miller.

Pretty funny stuff.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turn Off The Beep On Target Cheap Digital Watches

— Matt Harris @ 1:49 pm

I actually meant to write this post a while back, but just never got around to it. About 6 months or so ago, I bought a cheap digital watch at Target. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with directions and I couldn’t find a way to turn off the beep that happened on some weird schedule I couldn’t figure out.

Google to the rescue!

A quick Google search brought up this website which had the instructions for the watch hyperlinked, as well as the name of the type of watch (ProSpirit).

The instructions weren’t 100% accurate, but in the comments to the previous post was a note by a gentleman named Tim that showed exactly how to turn off the beep. If the backlight is activated via the upper left button, hold down the lower right button and then push on the lower left button.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dungeons Daring

— Matt Harris @ 11:28 am

There is a new, free RPG out there that looks somewhat interesting: Dungeons Daring.

I’ve only done a cursory glance at the rulesets, but it looks to be spun-off of the 3.5 SRD. It uses a spell-point based magic system and seems somewhat simplified, but I don’t see any really new ideas in here. Still – it is free and releases under the Open Game License.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spam Karma 2

— Matt Harris @ 12:43 pm

I have been using Spam Karma 2 for WordPress for a long time. Since I installed it, it has caught 100% of the comment spam with no false positives on this blog.

Unfortunately, the original author is no longer developing it. Fortunately, he has released it under the GPL.

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Harry Potter/Pokegirl Fic Recs

— Matt Harris @ 12:35 pm

A couple of incomplete fic recommendations – Harry Potter/Pokegirl crossovers:

I really don’t care for the Pokegirl setting, but these fics were fun.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

To Boldly Go Where No One Wanted To Go Before

— Matt Harris @ 6:41 pm

Via the Grouchy Old Cripple, here is a rather amusing “new” episode of Star Trek: The Original Series .

Very funny stuff, but now I am going to be nostalgic for the old show for the rest of the day. 🙁

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Goblin Holiday

— Matt Harris @ 1:20 pm

I took part in the Christmas sale. They had lots of books and items that were only a couple of dollars each. Unfortunately, the order was delayed due to them overselling some items, so I didn’t get my stuff until early January.

Included with my order was a Christmas Card with the following song:

Sneaking through your yard,
Going through your stuff,
Hope you didn’t like your dog; we got a little rough!
Tied him to a stump.
Lit the stump on fire.
Maybe you’ll wake up in time to put out puppy’s pyre!

Now we’re in your house,
It’s fancied up so nice!
With shiny things set all about, there’s lots to break and slice!
Here’s a stocking full,
And there’s a gift-wrapped toy,
For a bit we stand agog-there’s so much to destroy!


In a pile, Goblin style!
What could be more fun?
Breaking toys for girls and boys
Until we’re finally done!

When you wake, hearts will break;
Because we’ve had our way!
This is great! Let’s celebrate!
A Goblin Holiday!

The really funny thing was that the card offered a 10% discount on my next order, but the offer was void after 12/31/07. As I didn’t receive my order until early 2008, the discount was worthless. A “Goblin Discount” for the “Goblin Holiday”.

P.S. Later in January (unprompted by me) Paizo did give me a 25% discount on my next order, due to the delays etc. in my previous order.

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