Archive for April, 2014

Finding RPG Gaming Groups

Posted: April 28, 2014 in RPG/War Gaming

The following post grew out of and is largely in response to a forum post I was replying to. I realized my answer was getting a bit long winded, so I thought I’d spare the original poster my verbosity and instead inflict it on the world at large. The question I was replying to was, “What do you want to see in a [online] gaming advert to get your interest?”


The one time (so far) that an online presence lead to an IRL gaming session was because someone PM’d me.

I’m currently engaged in preliminary conversation on It was a more generic add, mentioning a specific system but indicating the flavor of the game was more important. The things which drew me into the add were 1) Location 2) Feel of the game/add/idea (in this case, classic/vintage gaming) and 3) Openness to a different rules system.

But that’s just me.

The way I’ve typically found players was by volunteering to host a game at a local small gaming con. A couple years back approached an organizer with the idea of running an AD&D 1st Ed. game just to demonstrate some of the roots of where our modern systems came from. They loved the idea and I had two sessions scheduled. I got a chance to introduce a bunch of college kids to the (near) beginning of modern gaming and they loved it (not to mention a few older folk like me who were excited to wallow in some nostalgia). Out of that my regular gaming group was born. Since it’s rather hard to get AD&D 1st Ed. books, we opted to use Basic Fantasy Role-Playing which feels more like Basic/Expert D&D. Again, these younger folk who normally play games like Pathfinder loved the feel of Old-School Gaming (OSG). And BFRPG has enough official support as well as a sizable player community providing new materials vis a vis classes, optional rules, and adventures that my players didn’t feel like they were stuck on a dead end road.

Now that I’ve moved I find myself needing to start all over again. While I haven’t started or joined a group yet, a chance encounter has netted me a new friend who’s also a gamer and we’re just trying to get the ball rolling. Looking at the add board on has started another conversation which might prove fruitful. Last weekend I visited a few gaming shops in my area and tried to make some connections.

We’ll see how things go.


Notes From a Former Dreamer

Posted: April 25, 2014 in Life


My sister-in-law has a really neat blog about their hunt and acquisition of a home for their growing family. I remember when I used to dream about a home for my family. Reading her blog I realized those dreams evaporated a long time ago. It is said that the only common denominator to all one’s failed relationships is oneself and I’m sure that applies to this situation as well.

A while back I did manage to acquire a dream. I had a dream job. It turned into a nightmare. I’m sure a large part of that was my fault as well. In fact I know it was. But that dream too died.

We’re attempting to buy a house now. It’s not a dream (unlike Querencia). It’s just a house. I’d like to dream, but I’m not sure I have the emotional fortitude right now.

The latest hiccup in the process: the house failed its radon test. And by failed I mean catastrophically. If it were a student in school it would not just be held back a year, it would be sent to the short bus (and I’m sure that reference is gonna piss someone off). Point 1) Radon levels were not disclosed. It is possible the owners didn’t know. Point 2) Two other buyers have backed out of purchasing this house. This diminishes the likelihood of the owners not knowing. It greatly increases the likelihood of the owners knowing and failing to disclose. Oh, and did I mention that the test failed catastrophically despite the owners not keeping the house closed up during testing? This greatly increases the likelihood of the owners knowing, not disclosing and actively trying to skew the results of the test.

Oddly enough, we’re not as concerned about the radon test as that can be mitigated against. The type of soil the house sits on is actually rather conducive to radon mitigation. The issue for us is that we have to wonder what else the owners are not disclosing? The house inspection came back with nothing else major (just a ton of little fixes), but having purchased houses before I know an inspection can’t cover everything.

No, I find no dreaming. Maybe someday. But today is not that day.


Posted: April 24, 2014 in Technology


When I first saw this shirt I thought of my kids… When I was the age of my oldest (13) I was fairly unaware of the “internet”. While our home PC had a slot for a modem, we didn’t have one installed. I knew about Compuserve and Prodigy, systems that allowed computers to talk together an send messages to different users, access news & bulletin boards, etc. but the Internet as we know it today, i.e. the World Wide Web accessible via a web browser, was not quite a thing yet. Mosaic wouldn’t come about till ’93 (later becoming Netscape Navigator … oh the browser wars!).

So for me to say this to my kids would be slightly inaccurate. Yes, the internet still went skaweereweert, but I was unaware of that fact until 1994.

Getting To Know You…

Posted: April 23, 2014 in Life

We just purchased a house and will be moving into it in the next month or so (depending on closing and how long it takes to make some necessary repairs/upgrades. All this has me thinking about good ways to get to know my new neighbors. Of course I went to the internet to find some ways of getting to know the neighborhood. Most of the suggestions were all about joining clubs, groups, etc.  Yea… I work two jobs. That’s not going to happen. Many suggestions were geared to big building apartment living, not suburban neighborhoods.

Here are some suggestions which seem more practicable to me:

  • Hang out in the front yard to hopefully see my new neighbors in passing and take the opportunity to introduce myself.
  • Take something over to a neighbor’s house and introduce myself.
  • Host a neighborhood cocktail party.
  • Host a BBQ for my new neighbors.

Any one out there have any good ideas and/or suggestions?

What is Maundy Thursday?

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Church, Faith

I had quite a few folk among my friends and church family ask me what Maundy or Maundy Thursday meant. Here’s my quick reply to that. I’m not digging into the history…just the basics and my current application.

Maundy (as in Maundy Thursday) comes from the Latin, “Mandatum” which is the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34 “A new commandment (mendatum novum) I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

So, Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of the Commandment. But that’s just the title. The event, that is to say, a Maundy Thursday service, is to remember the night of Christ’s betrayal and institution of the Lord’s Supper (or Communion).

I grew up in a church tradition that did not observe Maundy Thursday. I’m a newcomer to the celebration of this traditional church holiday. As such I rather like it. I see the value in making a big deal out of the entirety of Holly Week (another term lacking in my religious upbringing). The danger in any thing is that it becomes rote. These types of services need to be something unique, a departure from the normal Order of Service or Liturgy. Time and energy need to be poured into the planning and setup of these types of special services.

This little church is already growing. As we grow and I’m able to recruit more people to help with the planning and execution and, God willing, I’m able to move into a full time pastoral role, I hope to make a bigger deal of Holy Week with meaningful, moving, challenging, encouraging services for each event in Holy Week.

While Christmas is my favorite Christian Holiday family/sentimental reasons, Holy Week in general and Resurrection Sunday (AKA Easter) in particular is more important.