Forty Four

-The atomic number of ruthenium (which is very pretty)

-The code for international direct dial phone calls to the United Kingdom

-Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC

-Wu Han died in 44AD

-Gary Busey was born in 1944

Yesterday marked the forty fourth anniversary of my entry, in approximately this form, into what we perceive as this state of existence.

It is an arbitrary date to use. A theoretical shift forward on the scoreboard of life… But I suppose it will do.

The day itself was not terribly remarkable. I woke up in a borrowed house and had a pleasant morning. I took a relatively luxurious shower and had plenty of time to settle into the harsh reality I call “being awake.” I had to work and it was a later shift so there was no time for any particularly fun activities… But work passed quickly enough and afterwards I was treated to a lovely Thai dinner. Cake and presents happened the night before, so all told the rituals were pleasantly observed.

So this leaves me thinking about the significance of passing this particular milestone set to the side of linear time.

That nasty little voice hiding somewhere behind my eyes would love to endlessly recount all of my many failings and dissapointments. I am increasingly finding that voice to be incredibly dull however, so it can go cheerfully fuck itself raw for a bit. It is a lot more interesting to look at where I currently am, where I want to be, and what tools I have to deal with the obstacles in my way (both internal and external).

This was supposed to be the year of “getting some stuff done.” Instead it was the year of recovering from disaster and wallowing a little in the comforting embrace of depression who loves me and is always there when I need it… Depression is also very boring and can fuck itself raw.

So this year will be a year of getting a few things done and knocking down a lot of obstacles so that I can get even more done. It had an OK start and is sitting in a bit of a swamp, but I am thinking it’s going to be a pretty satisfying tick forward on the arbitrary scoreboard and quite a few ticks forward on some much more interesting scoreboards. 

My first scooter mod

One of the things that attracted me to the Honda Ruckus was the open frame construction. The big open area under the seat just screams potential to me.

The one problem of all this potential is that is just that. The area is great for holding a bag of laundry or a bag of cat litter… But with the wide open sides if you don’t stuff it full you rust having things just fly away as you ride.

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so I did something about that.

I had this roll of plastic mesh at  Bloominglabs so I dug it out and cut some panels roughly the size I wanted them.

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I also grabbed a bag of zip-ties and a pair of “titanium” EMT shears.

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I have some issues with the wasteful nature of zip-ties, but they were there and I didn’t have anything better at the moment.

the front panel just needed to be trimmed a little and installed.

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The back panel was a more challenging shape and I had to nibble away bits until it fit.

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The sides were the same shape so I just made two and cut out a little area for the helmet lock.

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With the ties trimmed I had my cargo area nicely closed off and Rocinante looks 15% more post-apocalyptic!

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Done! Though as soon as I find them I will replace the zip-ties with Velcro straps so I can pull off the panels when I need to.

 

Kublacon 2015: Part 6: Bye Bye Kublacon

Woke up with plenty of time, took a long shower and wrote until I suddenly didn’t have any more time. An hour goes really quickly if you let it get away from you.

Tracy had come up to visit so we talked as I packed up everything. Then I said my quick goodbyes and rushed down for paranoia, barely making it I time to the room it was scheduled to be in… Then rushed halfway across the hotel to the room it was moved to (this seemed to bea theme this year).

After paranoia I had a last beer and chicken wings with Duane and tried to get in touch with Damon. He had left the con to go see mad max so Duane gave me a ride to BART.

One last BART ride out to the bus… I was constantly tempted to get off the train and explore the areas around each familiar station, but I just watched them go by until I got to the far spur where one connects with the bus to Marin.

The phone system once again did not believe that the bus stop actually existed… I swore at it a lot and tried to get it to understand the line number or agency… But it had no luck with those either. Technology making our lives easier.

The bus did finally come, and one $7 bus ride later I was in San Rafael. Dad and Sarah arrived a few minutes later and we went to Pancho Villas for chille rilleno and a margarita and then home to Woodacre to sit around talking until once again sleep demanded our presence

Kublacon 2015: part 5: day 3

Another leisurely morning. I woke up with two hours until Damon was due to start his game so I had plenty of time to shower and lounge around. On the other hand, Damon realized he had forgotten a bag of props and things and so had to run home and get them. I hung around and slowly got ready then went downstairs to see if I had gotten into his game. I had so I made my way to the room it was scheduled to be in… Then to the room they had moved it to. I beat Damon there by a few minutes.

The game was a lot of fun, and Damon has seriously raised the bar on in-game props. It was only the second game he has ever written, and the very first run of the game, so it did have some rough edges. The players (myself included) had a lot of fun though and almost everyone stayed after the gameto talk about it… That is usually a really good sign.

He and I spent some time walking around and discussing the scenario and his style. We returned to the room to refill flasks then met the others for Beta Team.

Beta team is a game that has been running for years now by Michael Silverling. We meet at conventions and find a quietish space and bash our way disastrously through time and space. We play the expendable foot soldiers of an organization that polices the timeline and tries to prevent others from mucking it up too badly… Usually we muck it up pretty badly.

After the game we all sat talking for a long time about Beta Team, cons, and life in general. People filtered out to sleep until it was just Michael, Badger, Damon, Duane, and myself. Then the hour made itself felt and Damon and I headed upstairs where we Watched tv, wrote, and talked, until 2am

Kublacon 2015: part 4: day 2

Is it the future yet?

I woke up a bit later than I had planned and scrambled to print out the character sheets and other materials I needed. The hotel had terminals set up with printers but they we’re pay by the minute and of course ran very very slow and froze a lot. It probably cost me $9 to print out 12 sheets of paper… Such is the stuff of convention life.

The game went very well. Goblin City is always a thrill ride of insanity and property damage, and the players did it disappoint. The city was largely on fire by the end and has no remaining air force. I should probably talk about Goblin City and the Surreality Engine soon.

After the game we wandered for a little bit, then Duane headed out to get Arabis and I found Damon. We wandered down to check out the dealers room and ended up in a tournament of Dubious Alliance, a card game based on a band that dresses as orcs. It was fun but a bit fiddly. I would certainly play it again but would be unlikely to actually buy it for myself.

Damon and I went out into the world to find food that was Not Of The Con. There was an interesting Mexican food place, but they were just closing. We went to a dinery burgery place that we had found to be just fine in previous years and that turned out to be a fantastic idea since they had chorizo burgers… Those were really really good!

We went back to the room and just hung out talking about random things and watching hotel tv while we waited for other people to become available. I had been afraid that I would come back to find that I had drifted away from my friends, but we fell I to the same easy banter we have always had.

Before we went down to play games we stopped by Duanes room for Arabis birthday. There was cake and balloons and one little girl in a room full of old people singing happy birthday… That seemed odd to me, but she was happy with it.

We then went down to the atrium of the hotel and played a game of Dead Of Winter. A very fun zombie survival board game. I think we won…

The ending was a bit fuzzy and I think we might have misread a rule. Fun was had by all however.

Then back to room, drinks, and sleep.

Kublacon 2015: part 3: The first day

The internet here is utterly wretched, this may be posted in the future… If the world is on fire or overrun with aliens, robots, or zombies… It’s probably the future now.

I awoke to my brain and gut gently nudging me and reminding me that there is A Price To Be Paid.

Did a little sewing and watched a documentary on the last days of Atari and the burial of the E.T. Cartridge. It was a bit disappointing in its scope, but worth watching.

Hung out while Jessica made all the food In the world. This begun with eggs and spinach and then there was cake and every frosting ever, and then later on a delicious Asian soup of some kind.

The con was starting and Duane needed to wait to deal with Arabis, so I Headed out to BART. The familiar stations and trains seemed slightly surreal.

I took the train to SFO and found the shuttle platform. I spent 20 or 30 minutes of time stress as shuttle after shuttle to other hotels came and went, but finally mine arrived and after a short ride I was there!

I registered, got my badge, and hooked up with Damon. We got settled in to our room, found Badger, and went for a beer and some food at the hotel bar. We were joined there by our friend Mike and just hung around talking for a while until Damon and Badger had to go to a lustmord show so I found Duane and we went up to the room and bashed out the details for our Goblin City game. We worked until we were no longer capable of useful thought. He returned to his room and I slipped in to unconsciousness

Kublacon 2015: Part 2: Murdering Time

I was woken up by Arabis and given an impromptu lecture about Minecraft mods for a while as Duane gently nudged her to get ready for school.

We then went to Oatez for breakfast which used to be terrible but was quite nice. We ate chilequilles (or however that is spelled) and then returned to Duanes place and watched bobs big burger, a show I had never paid attention to that is actually hilarious!

I showered and settled into the whole “being awake” thing. Duane had to run his Warcraft dailies… And actual work, so I Headed out into the world.

It turns out that I was much less certain where I was than I thought, and the first bus stop I found seemed defunct… Or at the least so limited in use that the phone system did not recognize that it exists. I waited for a bit before abandoning it to its fate and Wandered aimless until I saw a bus in the distance. I followed its spoor and found a bus stop that claimed to exist.

The bus deposited me at the Fruitvale BART station so I wandered around a little. I have spent a lot if time in that neighborhood and it was comforting to see it had not changed very much. From there I hopped on a bus to my old neighborhood to grab a Vietnamese sandwich. The banh mi place had redecorated and moved things around, but the people who worked there were the same and so were the sandwiches. I got one and a few drinks for later and wandered up to my old place at the print shop. The entire bottom floor was a ruined shell. I found that a bit depressing, but also felt a sense of relief that I was not still there when whatever did the damage happened.

From there I hopped back on the bus and got a little dim sum from my favorite place in china town. I also ducked into a market and grabbed a couple snacks for later… I should get more snacks and things before the convention.

I got a text from Josh and jumped on a bus to see him and his larval human. We played a card game that was a lot of fun. I couldn’t remember its name a minute after leaving though. It was battle something or something battle… Lords of War! It was fast, simple, with interesting play mechanics. I won the game when Josh played a risky card to see what would happen.
After that I headed back to make it to forbidden island by 5, but got off the bus a mile or so early. I walked the rest of the way, spotting Damon on his bike, and made it there only 15 minutes or so late… Which was fine as nobody else was there until 7 or so when my dad showed up.

I enjoyed sitting and talking to my dad quite a lot. Before I moved we were getting together every week or two for lunch. I miss that a lot.

Nobody else showed up to Forbidden Island… Well badger did, but by accident. All my friends are grownups with real jobs and small children and things so I am not surprised or upset, just a little disappointed. That disappointment was drowned in banana mammacows (or whatever they renamed that drink to.)

Dad and I bailed when the band started setting up pretty much directly on top of us and went to toomies, a Thai restaurant I remember everyone loving. We set out to go to Burma superstar, but it seems to have ceased existing which is very sad, that place was delicious!

Duane joined us and we sat talking about life and bicycles until the waiter begged us to let him go home. Dad headed back to woodacre and Duane and I set out down the street to see if the new retro-arcade was open.

It was not, so instead we went to a rather nautical bar that’s a lot of fun and played darts not entirely badly for a few pints. There was some drunken tv watching then face planting and oblivion.

Kublacon 2015: Part 1: Getting There

Phase 1

After a few days of frenzied cleaning I Woke up early and cleaned up from cleaning up… It annoys me how much I need to clean up my cleaning up… I really need to clean up so I can stop cleaning up… anyway…

I saw Mad Max, it was… fantastic… more on that later.

Erin and I then tried noodle town, I got chicken won-ton soup and it was fantastic. Erin got lo-mein* and it was pretty good in a lo-mein kind of way… I did eat like 15% of it so it certainly wasn’t bad.

With plenty of time we made our leisurely way to the airport.

Phase 2

Me: easiest security ever, I was waved through with no scan even with a pocketknife and five little bottles of high octane booze in my backpack. I didn’t even have to take off my shoes.

Her: Chem swabbed, shoes removed, swabbed again, shiatsu pat down.

We cuddled until boarding time then waited as they called 1st class, platinum, emerald, neobdinium, tin, dirt, then me.

Phase 3

Seated next to a little kid (jack). His mom introduced us then played a video message from the kids dad on her phone. It was the exact sort used in movies to forecast that the flight is doomed.

Jack is a little screamy, but tablets are the best thing ever. Cartoons on tap will save us all.

I worked on DnD emails for a bit while jack watched pirate cartoons and kicked me in the leg, ribs, and the side of my head… good times.

Phase 4

Not a bad overall flight… But the hour and a half layover in LA turned Into a mad dash to get to the flight in time. Following the signs to my terminal I found myself descending a narrow stairway where there was a bus stop. A very nice and happy woman yelled at us a lot and eventually we were bundled onto the bus and taken on a strangely frantic tour of the runways. The little independent shuttle company operating this leg of the flight was in a sketchy ancient ghetto of LAX that seemed to have been built in the 1950s. We had just enough time to pee and grab something to take with us… but since the only food there was gas-station quality sandwiches in little plastic triangles for ten dollars I just stuck with urination and digging an energy bar and some booze out of my bag. Then boarded the plane via stairs like you used to do.

The plane is a tiny little jet made by a company I have never heard of. It may be Soviet. If these are my last words on this earth… Wheeeeeeeee!

Phase 5

I did not die… though the guy sitting next to me may have, he was looking pretty rough.

I spent some time with Duane on the phone as we both described nearly identical locations where we were standing and not seeing each-other. We did finally figure out that rather than being stuck in two parallel universes, never to meet, we were just at the same terminal on different levels.

We went and got me a shrimp burrito. I ate it.

Hello bed, this is my face… face this is mrrmrrzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

* Lo-Mein, for my friends back home, is like chow mein but not quite as good.

A tiny update to get the ball a’rollin’

So some time ago I got into a pretty severe car crash that totaled the car.


This was very fun.

No-one was hurt and insurance was a good thing, but it sent me into quite a depressive spiral and I had very little to say to the world for a while. This was a rewarding and productive state to be in, but it got really boring… The nearly 15 mile commute to work was great with the lovely choice of walking or riding my -very- neglected bicycle… But it got boring.

So thanks to the help of a lot of supremely lovely people I got this:


I have named it Rocinante (after entirely too much reading to determine if Rosinante or Rocinante was the correct form) at the suggestion of my Aunt. Other suggestions were Harkness, Lucitania, and Event Horizon… Two of which are names of horror and doom… But I went with Rocinante because out there are more than a few windmills just BEGGING for a Lance where it will hurt most.

Getting Rocinante has been a huge boost to my mood and my general freedom of mobility. It now costs me less than a dollar to get into town instead of ten dollars. And as much as it annoys the many rednecks whos way I am in, I can go places other than work and home without a session of careful financial planning beforehand.

I have also started keeping a sort of cartoon journal. This has sapped a little of the energy that I would have been using here, but has helped get my emotional feet under me. It has also, by keeping me drawing almost every day, resulted in one or two of the best drawings I have ever done… Which satisfies.


I am considering making this available to the world in some fashion. I wonder if  my scanner survived the trip from California.

Anyhow, that’s my rambling life. Now on to the future!

Random Fact about Will 004

I count things…

As I go through my day I am just about always counting something. My footsteps, the number of steps in a staircase, how many trees I drive past… something.

I do absolutely nothing with this information, it is discarded immediately, it is of no use to me in any way whatsoever. Most of the time I barely notice I am doing it until I hit a number that strikes me as interesting for a fleeting moment. Being asked what number I was on would probably cause it to evaporate.

Brains are weird.