Showing posts from September, 2015

D&D Update: The Hunt for Beyrin Teth and Carmella of Dreadwood - Plus new Players

EDIT: I wrote this a few weeks ago and didn't notice that I never published it.  I'm publishing it now because I intend to give more DnD updates and need to provide context. The last I mentioned of our heroes, they'd sailed off after stealing a cache of weapons from some bad guys to sell to other bad guys in order to advance in the criminal underworld.  They stopped over on Dreadwood Isle along the way, since everyone had something they needed to do there.  Honton, the captain, needed to hire additional hands.  Sincey, the monk, had agreed to capture a wanted outlaw of the empire named Beyrin Teth in exchange for a relic of his order.  Lucious, the muscle, was set on finding the infamous warlord who'd maligned his reputation.  He'd heard that Dreadwood was ruled by a despot that paid tribute to his quarry. We met Lady Yin and Jim Lee, our two new players.  We've actually been playing with them for a few months now, but this campaign was established much earl

Marijuana, Cancer, and Conflicting Messages Within the Government

There is a very public discontinuity between the federal ban of marijuana and the many states which have decriminalized it in one form or another.  This is about something else, though.  A friend posted an article highlighting the irrationality of the Drug Enforcement Agency declaring cannabis to be without any known medical benefit while the National Cancer Institute includes information on its website recognizing benefits attributed to cannabis.  Here is the article: "National Cancer Institute Quietly Confirms Cannabis Can Cure Cancer" It's a pretty sensational headline, so I followed it.  What I found was worth making a blog post about.  The short version is that the article is predictably misleading, but there is an element of truth it it.  Remarkably, this truth is somewhat encouraging. Some quick context: the DEA rates drugs in "schedules" based on their potential for abuse versus their potential for benefit.  Marijuana has long been a schedule

Goin' on a Nature Adventure

Here are pictures from a camping trip last month.  Julie and I took Ruby camping for the first time.

An actual strategy for curtailing climate change? Seriously??

My neighbor recently invited me to attend a meeting of a civic action group called the Citizen's Climate Lobby.  I was impressed enough to share their proposed goals, which I wasn't previous familiar with.  If you're anything like me -- an American who cares about the environment but often finds Environmentalists alarmist and feckless -- then you'll find this pretty impressive. The Citizen's Climate Lobby is -- as its name suggests -- a lobbying group designed to encourage the adoption of a carbon reduction plan called "Fee and Dividend".  Fee and Dividened would place a fee on each ton of carbon produced.  Mining and drilling companies would be required to pay what is essentially a tax on each ton, however that money would then be divided evenly and repaid to every American. What? Yeah.  Charge carbon producers and give the proceeds away.  If this makes immediate sense to you, congrats.  I had to have it explained a bit. First, lets consider that

Keepin' Busy: I'm DMing an RPG

It's been a busy few weeks.  Here is what was going on outside of work.  For a few weeks I've been planning this secret project I'm starting.  It'll stay secret until I build some momentum.  I was held back, though, because I wanted to install some software on my computer for design purposes but my computer developed some problems.  I'm trying to resize partitions, so if anyone knows how to do that please call me. I'm still trying to finish the chicken coop that I started six months ago.  It is very nearly done, however I was held up trying to find a way to secure the chicken wire on the roof to the edges which were rimmed in cinderblock.  I ended up deciding to attach wooden planks to he cinderblock wall and then attach the chicken wire to the planks with a staple gun.  It was a massive pain, partially because I was trying to alter the design in a very late stage and partially because attaching things to masonry requires drilling with a special bit that wea

Stuff I've been doing

Oy.  I swore I'd never make a post about low posting frequency, but here I am. I'm going to try a new strategy of shorter, more frequent posts in the hope that I'll regain my momentum. Work's been a little crazy lately since our lab assistant left for a new job, which means that all of her responsibilities are on me until the position is filled.  Yikes. Last Tuesday, I took Julie to see Audra McDonald and some ballet dancers and also the LA Phil at the Hollywood bowl.  You know when you go to something with high expectations and it's good, but still disappointing?  What is the opposite of that?  Because Audra McDonald was amazing.  She sings like some kind of genetically engineered super-singer, and she was really charming in between songs.  The ballet was a little too classy for me, but still fun.  I haven't seen legit ballet since I became an adult and stopped having parents and teacher around to try and culture me.  They did "Fancy Free", whic