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Thursday, December 31, 2020

In the closing days of 2020

 I got nothing, I sat down a couple of days ago to write something about 2020 and I really have got nothing. Happy New Year Everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Larceny in my heart

Some co-workers were talking today about how one of their children had been caught forging their parents signature. This reminded me that I started doing this in the 7th grade, I had two techniques.

The first, was to get my mom to sign something, take tracing paper and trace over her signature with a heavy pen. Then I would turn it over and rub a pencil all over the back. Then when I needed my Mom's signature, I would just put my tracing paper on the line, and trace over the signature, this would leave a light pencil trace on the line, where I would once again go over it with pen. Worked like a charm.

The second method was to simply sign my Fathers name to whatever needed signing. Since I was always the one signing it, they could compare it all day long and it would always be the same. When someone would ask me saying, I thought your Father did not live in the house and your parents were divorced, I would simply say, yes, that is true, but I am staying with him for a couple of weeks. No one ever questioned me about it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Review: Ready Player Two

Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first question about this book was, did all the people who wrote bad reviews about this book actually read it? Okay, Ernie Cline is not the best writer ever, I doubt there will college courses taught on his works. However, with Ready Player One, he struck a cord, the story worked and he redefined the Cyberpunk genre for a generation. His second book Armada, fell very flat and was more or less a re-enactment of The Last Star Fighter. However, with Ready Player Two, he did regain most of his footing.

The weakest part of the book was the beginning, where Wade Watts is bringing us up to speed with what gas been happening over the last 3 years. This is fine, but way too much time was spent on it and it turns into a bit of slog as it is a lot like reading a Wikipeadia page at times. Cline could have easily compressed this down to maybe 6 pages and dropped anything else the reader needed along the way as it became necessary to know, instead it encompasses the first quarter of the book.

After that the story starts to pick up speed. We become engrossed by the new contest, a couple of the challenges are glossed over a bit, but several of them are quit fun to read. I was especially enjoyed the arena fight with the 7 aspects of the Purple One, Cline very obviously had fun writing this scene and I had a lot of fun reading it.

Over all, a good read, and a solid follow up to Ready Player One. If you are on the fence about reading it, I would say ignore the haters and go for it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Things I should have probably talked about, but didn't

 Wow, my last post was in October and it is now December. I feel a bit guilty about this, but frankly nothing I particularly wanted to talk about happened. I know, I know, some of you are saying "But Chris, what about the election!" or "Chris, you wife got COVID-19!". These things and lost of other things happened, but I just did not want to talk about them. I just kind of shelled up as the shit started to pile up, insulating myself from the bad things happening around me. I know this is not the healthiest way to deal with things, but I think now that the worst of it has passed, I will be fine. On the other hand, I did express myself pretty regularly on Facebook, so I have not been entirely silent.

The Election: Biden won, whew, bullet dodged. Trump will be gone in a few weeks, hopefully we can get this country back on track and Republicans can start feeling some shame for what they did these last 4 years.

COVID-19: My wife contracted COVID-19 from an idiot anti-mask co-worker. Yes, if you are one of those anti-mask people, you are a fucking moron and I ask that you do not procreate. This was a difficult time for us, this was definitely not "Just like the flu", this lasted 6 weeks, where there were times I thought I was going to have to take her to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing. Again, if you are one of those people, go fuck yourself.

Friends: My friends lives have been in turmoil to say the least I have two friends who are in the middle of divorces, no not from each other. I also had a friend loose her job, to make it worse her live in boyfriend caught COVID-19 and then gave it to her.

Dungeons & Dragons: So I has a spat of bad game sessions over the last month, both in my own campaign and the campaign I playing in.

In my own campaign, we put our foot back into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1E and Hackmaster, this was a mistake, none of us could really get back into it after playing D&D 5E. The old games are cool in retrospect, but really those old game mechanics suck and I think it detracted from the game, which lead to several sessions bad sessions where none of us could get into it and the final game ended in a near Total Party Kill and we decided to give it up.

In the campaign I am playing in, there are a couple of factors bothering me. First, I was not particularly happy with my character, which was 100% my own fault. When I built Du Lac, I did not want to optimize him to be a killing machine, instead I focused on making him a interesting character. Instead he ended up being terribly ineffective and terribly boring to play. The second issue I had, was in our last campaign, I dominated the game. I was the party leader and i directed the flow of play, as the DM put it, I was the puppet master. So when we started a new campaign, I wanted to be in the background, let the other players have their turn in the spot light, this did not go as planned at all. 

In my own campaign, we started over with 5E, beginning as Zero level characters, writing the backstories of everyone to explain how they became adventurers. In the game I am playing, I have changed characters and I have taken the reigns of the party again. In both games I am now enjoying myself again, which I am very happy about. D&D is almost my only outlet these days, so disappointing games bother me a lot.

2020?: So what can i say, 2020 is finally coming to an end. I cannot honestly say this has been the worst year of my life, because it is not even close. I cannot honestly complain a whole lot about it, because I know many people are have a much rougher year than I am. I still have my job, I still have my wife, I still have friends, and some how I managed to avoid getting COVID-19. So while 2020 has not been a great year, I will survive.