Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Merging my dice bags

I'm playing tabletop - dice throwing - gaming again. Dungeons and Dragons 4th Ed, is it? Jeez, I'm old. Anyway - there's two big stacks of dice that I had - the one in the old English candies tin, which I think has hella charm, but on the other hand is the velvet dice bag, that was FOR REAL SEWN CUSTOM FOR ME BY MY GIRLFRIEND. Who I met at Renaissance Festival. Where I became a Pagan. Which I was first introduced to by Dungeons and Dragons. My, how things are connected...

So - in addition to having to determine which dice container I will use, I have to customize the dice mix.

The reason for this - all those tabletop dice rolling games? They use a number of dice types. - not just your six sided dice but twelve sided dice, eight sided dice, four sided dice like pyramids. And the ones that they use vary by game. The candy tin, which had been the container of choice, had been used to play games that used lots of six sided dice (Champions, where a ten-die attack was common) and games that used percentiles like GURPS and Call of Cthulu, which were both excellent systems.

But now it's D and D, and that means not just 'sixers' as they are called - The primere gaming die, however, is the twenty sider.

The D and D standard is the D20 - the modern knucklebone, the geek die, the one they named the system after. It's a talisman for gamers, that one. The tin had a couple but not good ones, and I'd bought two at the gaming convention that I showed up at for an hour.

So those were the ones I would set aside, and decide what to base the set on. I had a couple of differnt color themes I could play with.
The dice are made with different plastics - transparent/translucent, solids, mottled survaces, green with white numbers, yellow with black numbers, and a set of big black sixers with deep red spots.

Actually, those two are looking good. The last set had had an emerald theme - clear greens, light greens and dark greens, green solids. But I think I have enough black dice to get away with a gothic underlay for this set.

The black sixers are in, and the really large dice are out. They're ok but they're just too big. The red set is black pipped, and I'm looking at them and omg - they're Gencon dice! The 'ones' side is a Gencon Origins 25 logo, which I don't even know for sure what that means. Could well be a direct connection to my geek prime; five years of a three round elimination AD and D tournament (creative team of five).

Yep - that was in 1992, which is what - now fifteen years ago? Oy, how we age.

I started role playing gaming when my dad was in treatment for alcoholism. No joke. We were up with my cousins who were gaming. This woulda been in 1977. This became VERY important at some point because it was cool to be into D and D earlier rather than later, when we played in highschool. Longer you were gaming, cooler you were. Joe was hardcore - been GMing at his highschool (this is college now) and had more convention experience. And has been hardcore to this day.

Anyway - I digress and the red dice make the cut.

The D20s get tossed first the ugly ones, then the smaller ones, keep the two new ones. Theres a long pause around the old skool low impact TSR dice (which you don't use but it's cool, they were crappy and in the first boxed sets) and then the D20 I played with the longest - a different plastic, light blue, totally did not go with the rest. I ditched that, but on restrospect I'm gonna dig it out.

I've clearly got enough black and red for a diabolic set.

All the green and white d-sixers are out. The vegas dice get tossed - very diabolic, but big and sharp cornered. There are a pair of d-12, which you don't use very often, are black and red, keep those but go with a legible one too. The old d8 from my first set, a red clear d8, and then I think about how Khaz has 2d8 on his dual attacks, so toss another one of those in. A red d4 from the early days, the other two go because the d4 is a hassle; you can't pick it up easily. They used to be called caltrops.

Then I toss them all into the tin, and see if the other black and red dee sixers can get included, and they can, and that's that!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Police Lookin' to do some Arrestin'

Twin Cities Indymedia reports

Video: RNC 8 Supporters Mobilize as Police Continue Intimidation

On March 27, RNC 8 supporters delivered petitions and letters in song to Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, demanding she drop the charges. Several plainclothes deputies were present and photographed activists. The next day, the National Day of Solidarity with the RNC 8, supporters held the Tour de Fletcher in Minneapolis, a bike ride to the sites of pre-emptive house raids last August. They were trailed by a disproportionate, multi-jurisdictional police presence which filmed, took photos and recorded license plate numbers outside the ride's conclusion at a benefit chili lunch. One activist was arrested, charged with disorderly conduct and released on bail. Long after the ride concluded and was declared a success, the cops stayed around, prompting many to draw the parallel between the waste of resources on the RNC 8 prosecution and the waste of 20-30 police officers to monitor a legal bike ride and lunch. Other events were held in at least 15 cities nationwide.

Dozens of Tour de Fletcher photos from photojournalist Alan Wilfahrt | Friends of the RNC 8/CRASS press release | Rowley: Prosecutor Gaertner Petitioned by Thousands to End Persecution | Letter to MPD Chief Dolan | Arizona IMC: Flagstaff Pillow Fight for RNC 8 and other targets of state repression | More photos below

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tim Pawlenty - Bush Republican

Why is it that Tim Pawlenty, who got aced out of the VP slot by Sarah Palin, is still considered credible in this town?

He's a tried and true Bush Republican. He's a representative of the failed policies of the last eight years - or more - and he's still able to stand up and say 'no, no new revenue' and people don't laugh him out of the Capital.

Of course, our corporate media, who are more obstreperous than ever, are helping in this. Politico does the Pioneer Press's dirty work, and Corporate Slashpaper Star Tribune (poor thing) carries his (and Norm Colemans) water like a good little corporate lapdog.

Tim Pawlenty - Corporate Lapdog, Bush Republican. Time to send Mr Hockey Governor to the penalty box and let the adults figure out the budget.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Black folks I first knew

Over at BitchPhD my compadre Taddyporter has a post up about guitars with some awesome Beatles clips at the end.

Anyway - I note he opens with black folks and then links to whitey, so since this post made me think about race, I'll give him some grief about that, and then link you to Berry.

Here's a killer performance of Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry. Sadly, there's commentary in the middle, so to listen to it straight try this one. (and the youtube caveat - some prick with a lawyer might cause these to be dumped.)

Interesting that the first great clip has a bunch of white rockers in the middle. Anyway - Chuck Berry and Chubby Checker were two of my first ever 'black people I knew something about' as well as Uhura. I've been thinking about my experiences growing up in very white small-ish town Winona in the 70s with a lot of white faces.

First probably was Sesame Street, although living in Minneapolis until I was 1.5 years old I suppose I saw black folks up there. Ali in my grade school was from Egypt, the son of a professor. Not a black person in my grade school. I think the staff was all white.

Chuck and Chubby we had albums of. I remember doing the twist a lot...

We were Oz fans, and got dropped off to a showing of The Wiz in a hugely black audience when we were young. It was showing in the Cities, and I would have been 12 and my siblings 10 and 8. I remember we sat front and center, and that it was a marvelous movie. I was scared to be in such a different and black group. Everything went fine, and after the movie we were relaxed.

We used nigger as a swearword. Smear the queer, nigger in the tree, brazil nuts were niggertoes. I got in BIG trouble for that word, using it in front of my high-society grandmother when I was 8 or so. So I learned to avoid that.

It was the 60s filtering into smalltown, so feminism and racial equality were accepted as the norms. We hung with an academic crowd, though when Dad lost his job and the drink ramped up it was less folks around. I came out of high school a prochoice Republican, who knew racism and sexism were bad. But so were the Commies...

First college roommate was black. I was freaked, he was into heavy partying, we didn't get along. Probably all sorts of racial crap I did, not that I recall. By this time I was heading to the left, doing Renaissance Festival. I had a huge crush on one of the few black kids working at Festival, but there was definitely a weird 'taboo' aspect to it. One of her brothers caught me calling him 'boy' and he roundly yelled at me for that. I should thank him for that!

Anyway, this memory-lane trip is brought to you by a sore throat and a rainy day indoors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Keith Ellison

I met Keith Ellison, who (according to my roomie) is now my new homie.

It was for work; there's an anti-Somali Muslim campaign going around. We were both at the storefront mosque in Saint Paul that was the second target (after the Minneapolis one). We were both showing solidarity.

I hear tell that there was a Katie Couric thing, and the Star Tribune, which has been pretty creepy and right-wing and kinda racist lately has been flogging it, but it's too much for my brain right now. I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Oh - Somali Terror Cells in Minnesota? Let me put it this way - Joe Lieberman's not been right about much of anything for a while now. He's wrong on this too.

The cats that make me laff

OK another week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Once a week...

If you read the back pages of this blog, you'll find a number of goals; some met, some not.

So I was thinking... maybe if I blog once a week, that'll feel ok and be do-able.

I get all caught in stories, and it's work! To get a seven link story, two or three main ideas mushed around, it's like all night! What about email? What about gaming? What about downloading free audiobooks for your new ipod?

You see - that's a link, and I almost went to get a picture of the new ipod. and its pricy case.

Bitch PhD
is rocking my world, I've been printing out lolcats - well, loldogs, mostly.

See, now I gotta post links on those! Or ADVENTURE DOG will get me!