Tag Archive | GURPS

Focus on the Author | An Interview with Christopher R. Rice


Full disclosure: Christopher is a friend whom I’ve known for years and has done a lot of great writing and GMing for our gaming campaigns. So this interview, conducted by email correspondence, will be the first installment of this series of posts. I’ll include many other writers in it as well. Enjoy!

So, Chris, tell us about your magazine articles and any books you’re working on or had published.

I’ve written quite a bit of gaming material for Steve Jackson Games (at last count 47 articles, a book, and numerous supplemental material appearing in books I didn’t write). I’m currently proposing another (gaming-related) project, working for a nascent publishing company as an indexer, starting the beginning of a series of urban fantasy fiction novels, and another project I can’t talk about at all.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of ghost content for various magazines, blogs, and gaming engines. Odd, because I got my start as a poet (I won something like $11,000 dollars from age 10 to age 16 for my poetry in various publications).

What was the turning point that led you to become a writer?

I almost died. No, seriously. In early October 2011, I almost died due to complications of severe septicemia and diabetic ketoacidosis. The first was from a systemic infection in my right leg by MRSA and the second was due to the infection triggering my latent Diabetes (I’m a type 1 and thus dependent on insulin). I only wanted four things while I was languishing in the ICU: 1) to live and get out of there; 2) to get healthy and exercise more; 3) to become a writer; 4) to drink Orange Crush until I peed pumpkin. I did 1, 3, and 4 – still working on 2.

I actually started writing seriously because my family needed the money at the time. Imagine my shock when it kind of became a career. That’s when I started taking it seriously. I started my blog soon after and then began to work on the skills I’d need to continue in my chosen profession.

What were your major influences, and who and what are your top 5 inspirations?

Wow. There is so much. I’m going to break this down to personal inspirations and popular culture inspirations.

1) My other half. Seriously. She’s amazing. I don’t think I could write without her.

2) A man named Donald Johnston – my “foster” dad. I remember asking him what he thought about me being a writer about 7 years before I started doing it seriously (only 2 years later he died). He replied with this gem: “Is it a passion? Does the idea of being a writer fill you with fire? If so, follow the burn.” Simple. But moving. That was him all over.

3) My mother. My mother would have liked for me to be a scientist or something else, but she saw in me a talent for writing and observing the fantastic and urged me to continue writing.

4) My friends. I don’t have many, but they are supportive and never ever let me feel less than up to the challenge. I’m lucky like that.

5) My fans (what few I have) and pretty much for the same reasons. They really keep me going.

What are your thoughts on the writing process, and your favorite things and pet peeves on it?

I’m kind of weird when it comes to writing. I just kind of decide to do something and then it gets done. The “process” is different for each writer and I won’t give any advice on it other than just never give up.

I’m terrible about the editing process. I’m better than I was six years ago, but nowhere I need to be. I continue to try to better myself, but even being an autodidact there is so much to learn about the English language. I have a mentor/teacher/friend (Elizabeth McCoy) who helps me so that’s also a bonus.

My favorite part of writing is taking the thoughts from my head (ephemeral electrical impulses) and putting them into something real, solid, and concrete. Something others can see. That’s just magic to me.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you have been, what pursuit or profession?

When I was a boy I wanted to be a scientist (probably a geologist or chemist, I’ve a penchant for both fields). I’ve got what you might call “guardian” tendencies so I might have ended up in security, law enforcement, etc. No matter what I would have done I would have done it to the fullest extent of my ability. Duty to one’s profession is something of a code I live by.

You like to cook, often yummy Indian food, but without precluding any nationality, what’s your favorite dish to eat, and your favorite to cook?

Hmmm. Favorite food to cook, gosh. That’s hard. I like complex recipes that take time, skill, and effort to prepare because cooking is sort of Zen for me. There’s this list of instructions and following it requires little in the way of brainpower. It lets me think about other things (often stumbling blocks within my work). I’d have to say the most complex thing I’ve cooked to date is beef bourguignon served with a spinach and gruyere cheese soufflé.

What do I like to eat? It’s a toss up between my mother’s homemade fried chicken and my other half’s beef stew. I could eat my weight in both.

What are some of your favorite places, and what would be your dream destination? Why?

I don’t get out much now, but I used to be a fairly avid hiker, rock climber, and outdoor enthusiast. This is something I’d like to change in the coming years if I can. I like being outside. I also like to be in places where I can be fully alone; I tend to prefer being alone sans the company of a few individuals in my life.

I’d be at peace in the mountains, by the sea, or forest in the middle of no where – as long as I had access to the internet.

Dream destination would probably be the Maldives, Rocky Mountains, or in general somewhere up north. I like the cold and I like just being by myself so all that fits for me.

Besides gaming, and GMing GURPS campaigns, what hobbies and pastimes do you enjoy when not working on something?

I read. A lot. Usually between 1.5 to 2.5 books per day. I love to carve and whittle, but it’s been a while for both. I also consume a lot of popular culture like TV, movies, etc. mostly because I have issues sleeping. I’d probably have gone mad by now without the advent of On Demand technology. I love to cook as it relaxes me and gives me something to do at the same time. I also enjoy writing poetry on occasion, but it’s mostly for myself. Therapeutic in a way. I tend to get philosophic around 3am (no idea why) and that leads me to questioning, well, everything. I do enjoy thought exercises and I’ve been known to just stare off for hours thinking.

How do you deal with life’s difficulties? What life lessons have you learned from your experiences, or survival tips to pass on to the readers?

I try to take things a day at a time (sometimes an hour at a time if everything is on fire like it seems to be lately). I concentrate on the things I can fix and do my best to be aware of, but ignore everything else.

I’m bi-polar so this is really hard, but I’ve literally spent 13 years using various practices, meditative techniques, and breathing exercises to allow me to keep my emotional state. Combined with my medications I function almost normally (as long as I can get breaks – another perk of being a freelance writer).

TL;DR Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.

What’s your current favorite quotation, and overall favorite quotable person, real or fictional?

There is a series of books by David Wong – the first being “John Dies at the End” – which are quite excellent. Don Coscarelli directed a movie version in 2012 with a quote I rather like about insanity and perception of reality.

“Dave: What do you think it’s like, Father?

Father Shellnut: What’s what like?

Dave: Being crazy, mentally ill.

Father Shellnut: Well, they never know they’re ill, do they? I mean, you can’t diagnose yourself with the same organ that has the disease, just like you can’t see your own eyeball. I suppose you just feel regular, and the rest of the world seems to go crazy around you.”

John Dies at the End (2012)

I remember being a quite bitter and angry youth and asking my foster dad a question which he took the time to answer:

“Nothing I do matters so what’s the point?”

“If nothing you do matters than the only thing that matters is what you do. You have a choice, you can choose to be angry, bitter, and full of hatred and self-loathing and tear down everything around you or you can use your pain to build everything up around you.”

That really stuck with me. I mean really stuck with me. I’m remind of those words every day of my life and I try to live by them.

If you were to strike it filthy rich virtually in a night, verging on being a trillionaire, what would you do with the money?

Too much. It boils down to making sure my countrymen have healthcare, fixing some of our social intuitions, etc. I’d provide for all my friends and loved ones in some many and generally invest in the future of the planet. I know that makes me sound like some hippy-dippy do-gooder, but that’s what I’d do. There’s only so much money you need.

So, I’d like to establish a precedent for these interviews, attributing its origin to Cara Santa Maria of the Talk Nerdy podcast, to wrap up with a double question, so…

…what current trends and events most tempt you toward pessimism of things to be? And…

“A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history.”

The apathy of man and the general lack of critical thinking and asking the big questions among the populous. I cannot personally stand the willfully ignorant in any capacity and it tends to angry up my blood when I see someone who fits the bill. Ask questions! (Respectfully) defy authority! Hold others accountable! Be personally responsible. The lack of personal responsibility is something that deeply disturbs me.

…on a much lighter note, what gives you the most hope toward what the future holds?

Not much. But I still hold hope. It’s a foolish, optimistic hope. The best kind. I believe that in the end people will do the right thing – and not just for them.

I remember something my grandfather told me once: “A man goes out into the storm and he has a lantern. The rain is pelting him in the face and he’s sheltering the lantern with his body when he comes across another man who stands shivering in the dark and cursing his fortune. He asks the man what’s he’s doing. The man replies ‘I am lost and my lantern has gone out.’ So the man with the lit lantern pulls the candle from it and lights the other man’s candle knowing full well that the rain could extinguish it and leave them both in the dark. But by some miracle the fire is shared and the lost man is helped home. Was the man foolish for risking his own candle? Brave for facing the storm? Something else? To put it another way: Is it better to curse the darkness or to light another’s candle?”

Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2016.07.16


Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 21.10.01

Good evening! I’m posting this some hours later than I’d like, as last night I had a fantastic game session and dinner party with my GURPS group, finishing up the prequel to our AEON superhero campaign, and getting our baptism of fire in a major battle. Twitterer @Ravenpenny was our GM for the session.

This fortnight, Juno is still in the news, with the spacecraft’s settling into orbit around Jupiter and sending us our first clear views of the giant planet in a long time.

I’m still importing video posts to Blogger, though keeping most on this site, save junk posts and expired videos and images. I’m considering not abandoning this site entirely, but posting infrequently, say once a fortnight or month, depending on my personal schedule for posting on Blogger. For those of you without Blogger who want to keep up with my posts there, I’ll set up an RSS link and email subscription box on The Collect Call, so you can get updates in your feed or inbox, as I do with several of the Blogger sites I follow. I’ll do that once regular posting is underway there in November.

Stay cool, stay cosmic, and as always,

Tf. Tk. Tts.

The Cat’s Eye Nebula

IC 4628: The Prawn Nebula

The Colorful Clouds  of Rho Ophiuchi

Arp 286:  Trio in Virgo

The Altiplano Night

The Swirling Core of the Crab Nebula

Nocticulent Clouds Tour France

Moon Meets Jupiter

Aurorae on Jupiter

Chasing Juno

M7: Open Star Cluster in Scorpius

NGC 1309: Spiral Galaxy and Friends

NGC 2736: The Pencil Nebula

The North Celestial Tower

Image of the Fortnight

The Tarantula Nebula on the Large Magellanic Cloud

The Astrognuz:

Dark Energy Illuminated

Hubble Photo of NGC 6814

The View from Juno

Full Speed Ahead for Solar System Exploration

Dark Region Grows Eerily on Sun’s Surface

One Year after New Horizon’s Pluto Flyby

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Microbes: Resistance is Futile

The Next Mars Rover’s 2020 Launch

The Constellation Boötes

Plans to Test Space-Debris Clearing Satellite

The Call for New Tools to Search for ET

Matter Wobbles around a Black Hole

Carbon Nanotube Mirrors in CubeSat Satellites

The Moon Photobombs the Earth: DSCOVR

“Independence Day”: Core Values

“Frankenstein” Galaxy Surprises Astronomers (Astronomers love surprises!)

xkcd: Juno


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The Weekly Gnuz & Lynx Roundup: 2014/08/24


English: Photo by E. O. Hoppe of author Sir Ar...

English: Photo by E. O. Hoppe of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seated, eyes downcast, in reflective pose. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day, and happy Sunday! This week has been interesting so far. I’ve recently started a file on my Gods of Terra setting material, starting with blog drafts from across my sites, and while the first part of that project is finished, pending a more extensive draft of ALL current material, I’ve discovered errors, grievous ones, in some of the original blogs used for the file.

Those articles, mostly the remaining Eldritch Nine articles I’ve posted, have been taken offline for correction and further proofing before reposting them.

The reblogged versions of those posts will also be corrected when the originals are finished.

I’ll also put the About page back up when it’s finished, and no sooner.

Tamil study is coming along wonderfully now, as I no longer butcher the pronunciation of the vowels and consonants quite so badly as at first. Progress is mandatory, and I’m penning the draft for the piece on the mnemonics I’m using to learn the language’s abugida, its alpha-syllabary script, which looks absolutely gorgeous to my eye, but then, I’m biased.

This week, Monday will see the next posting of the updated Indra’s Pearls entry, and the beginning of new lectures now that I’m halfway through a course module despite delays from annoying moody spells. Nevermind that, though.

This week is looking up, and maybe, just maybe, I can convince Mr Eccles and Rockykins to not try taking over the world…We’ll see!

20140611_183109

 

The Blogs

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The Odd, the Gnuz & the Sciencey

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Thanks to all of you awesomositous people, for your kind and generous support. Talotaa frang!

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Abiogenesis (Short Film)

2013: Both the Awesomositous & the Awful, a Year in Review


mkuyfku,yfk,uyhf,yhf,hycfmcmgcmhgc copyFunny that this far into the new year I should finally do a review of the last, but here it is.

I’ll note a few things that went on on, dealings with and situations of others online and face-to-face, the high and low points of 2013-early 2014:

The Awesomositous:

In 2013, as in any year, I’ve been thoughtless, uncharitable, even overreaching in some goals, but there were things that went well, both for my friends and myself…

My friend Kate aka @AButchersWife (*waves at monitor*) has been doing a series of giveaways and book reviews over on her blog, and has acquired some new feathery pets — her rapidly-growing chicks — who shall serve her in the laying of the eggs when fully mature. She’s gotten a lot done in only a year, between blogging, family duties, tons of study at University. She’s also a grandma, by way of her daughter Jessie, and all things considered, 2013 seems to have been very good for her, the resident critters, and the family despite the heatwave going on.

Stu, whose blog is here, is a dad…again! He also has done VERY well in his writing career, so congratulations and more success to him. Few have what it takes to do it well, and this seems to be the case for both he and…

…Christopher, aka @Ravenpenny, who has gotten lots of articles for GURPS done, and though he had to deal with a loss in the family along the way, has come forth victorious over the that dire multitentacled horror, the dreaded scheduling deadline, even winning 2013’s NaNoWriMo contest.

Chris got to stay over at my place during most of the month, as otherwise I’d be alone with the kitties, which is not a healthy thing for one with my peculiar psychopathology. I picked up a few really cool things during Chris’s stay, including new ways of avoiding writer’s block, and am currently fixing unconstructive writing and blogging habits of mine.

*Waah!*

I’m back to study this year, and experimenting on optimal ways to better manage my time, better study methods, and with cool tools to make those easy — I purchased a new laptop in March, an iPad in November, and am using them with the fractal apps (four of them now), and cool study tools like Evernote and Peek. I’ve done tons of images, many of which I would put in the category of ‘not quite as crappy as they were a couple of years back,’ and have finally started posting the Mandelbulber Tutorials, with the first installment here.

Last year, I announced that I would likely be ending activity on this blog by the end of 2014, switching over to my blogger site, The Collect Call of Troythulu. I deactivated my other WordPress site, I am Troythulu, early during the year, only to reactivate it later the same.

Instead, I’ve decided that I’ll be continuing activity on this blog at least till the end of 2015, maybe longer, but we’ll see, and of course will also step up posting on the other blogs over the course of this year. WordPress hasn’t been too rough on me in terms of user-friendliness, though there is the matter of videos showing in some browsers. That may turn out to be a good reason to fully transfer, but for now, I’ll stay with WordPress.

I’ve posted a giveaway for this blog’s 5th anniversary last year, but without a conclusive winner I’ve posted it again here, and extended it until February. The prize is a first edition copy of Guy P. Harrison’s book, ‘Think: Why You Should Question Everything.’ Check it out. Delivery is to anywhere on Earth except where prohibited by law, Low Earth Orbit, or Antarctica.

English: Profile Photo of Kylie Sturgess

English: Profile Photo of Kylie Sturgess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also, this December, I received a holiday card from one of my favorite skeptical podcasters, Token Skeptic’s hostesss, Kylie Sturgess, with a Krampus on it no less!Photo on 12-31-13 at 14.46 #2

Photo on 12-31-13 at 14.46

Awesomely cool of her to send it all the way from Australia, and personally signed, too! She’s working on her latest podcast project on Patreon right now, the Urban Legendary Radio Show, with its first episode already out!

*waves tentacles*

We’ve another addition to the family, a new cat named Willow, and a big, fluffeh beast she is, though she scares even Mister Eccles and Rockykins!

Okay, enough of the felicity, and on to…

The Awful:

Two of my friends, Christopher and Ani, lost loved ones this year, and my heart goes out to them. Chris’s Nana and Ani’s mother both passed into the Ultimate Mystery in 2013…Their loss is mine as well.

Two of my favorite blogs, Left Hemispheres and Krissthesexyatheist have closed down in 2013, though I maintain some contact with their owners through Facebook. Good people, all of them.

One of my blogging friends, Zor’ra, has gone silent over the last few months, and I’ve no idea why.

There’s no sign of her online recently that I’ve been able to find, and I truly hope she’s doing alright. I’m concerned for her health and safety, but she’s capable and tough. It’ll take more than online trollery or whatever to get her down. My thoughts and hopes go out for her good fortune, wherever she is… Know that I miss seeing you, Little Sister…

So things have been rough for some of us, good for others, and for most, a blend of the two. Let’s see if we can make this year better than the last — for all our sakes.

Be strong, be well, be brilliant as the stars… or in the Old High Kai’Siri, what would render as:

Talotaa frang…

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[fiction] Entry 3, the Journal of Sergei Romanova


I am Sergei. No, not the rather large fellow in the ice cream ads who said you look like his sister and he will crush you. Hmph. More mindbleed from Angel, I suppose…

I’m Sergei the shinobi, and this night dimmed day, I run with cats, the mooncats of Dream.

We seek the missing grandchild of a matronly colonel in the army of cats. There are only two options I see before me: to ensure the safety and well being of the old queen’s granddaughter, or to enact my own unique and rather unforgiving brand of vengeance for any harm done to either.

I’m in the process of formulating a third, just in case, though there may be some risk. I formulate a basic idea, then file it in my mental cabinet labelled “amusing but completely batshit failsafe plan that just might piss off Angel if I have to carry it out” and putting it aside for the task at head.

We journey to the Moon, unlit by the Sun, of course, but still there, myself being carried along with the cats by synchronizing my leap with theirs.

But that’s the easy part. The fun begins when we find the colonel’s grandchild. As we soar through Dreamspace, the Moon begins to faintly shine of its own light. It is an analogue of the Waking World’s Moon, and yet not, it seems as we get closer to its surface.

It seems an altogether different world, yet oddly familiar. I push the thought from my mind as I note the seas of pitch, the cratered face covered with fungal forests, and mountain peaks taller than any on Earth reaching into the dimly lit grey sky.

Even here, the light of the Sun does not reach.

We land, and my legs go lax as my feet touch ground, the soil oddly firm, not at all like the dust trod in the Apollo moonwalks of the waking world. More mindbleed? Probably. I raise myself to my feet, making sure to position myself with the local terrain features for best effect.

I go into tactical mode and my eyes minutely scan the area, alert for any sign of barghests or kitten, the old colonel trilling and softly mewing a command to the others and myself. I follow her lead, quietly telling her all I see in the fewest possible words, and despite my human speech, she understands it all.

Perhaps by some coincidence, I’m speaking a language common among humans in their region of dream…but no matter.

There are signs of recent passage here, the matronly Persian says with a purr and a soft hiss, this is the likely landing spot of our foes. Our shinobi says there are signs of flight, kitten prints in the ground, here, and here, and here are barghest tracks in pursuit.

The colonel points with her paw to the spoor left by those we seek. I begin thinking of roast barghest on a spit over an open fire, using Angel’s favorite cooking spices to liven the taste up perhaps, but I find such thoughts distracting, and banish them. We follow the trail, which leads to a forest of phosphorescent shelf fungi, themselves growing from the stems of enormous mushrooms of dull colors, mostly browns, olives, and luminescent greys.

The trail terminates at a low-mouthed cave among the fungal forest. There are signs of a struggle, some fluid, what type I’m not sure, but bluish, so not the blood of a kitten barely two months old. Probably of her assailants, and I signal the colonel, who purrs an order to the sturdy old toms with us to take defensive positions outside the cave entrance.

A plaintive mew comes from the cave. A good sign. The old queen tells me likewise, that her granddaughter yet lives. Dark and twisted thoughts cross my mind unbidden concerning the possible fates of the missing kitten, but the colonel has seen and won more battles than I against the most horrid foes by the look of her, and I follow her lead.

I draw my blades silently, as I do, and the colonel and I step unseen and unheard into the cave entrance, swiftly as thought and concealed in shadow the two of us.

Today we save a life, or avenge one. But either way, blue ichor shall be spilt. Death and destruction shall have Her fill. Even if the price is mine to pay. It matters not to me. I’ve made a deal, and I will see it through to completion.

Just so you all know…


Good morning. I’ve recently bought off having ads posted on this blog by WordPress, and it’s now possible for me to post ads here myself…

But I’m not going to do that.

Ever.

Sure, it would allow me to profit from posting on this blog, but that’s exactly what I don’t want.

It would force me to be concerned about page views, to put out…worthless, crappy click-magnet material to inflate this blog’s traffic, and that not only is against my reason for posting on this site, but it’s a concern that I don’t need to add to my already filled work and study schedule.

No ads. Not here. Not if I can help it.

Later this afternoon, I’ll begin the first of the in-between GURPS gaming sessions adventures of Sergei the shinobi, which should be fun. It’ll probably be a short piece, as I must devote some time to do the finishing touches on a set of twenty-four lecture notes I’ve completed, but a good change of pace, and an opportunity to explore and expand my weird writing style.

There are things I will no longer post on, things I’ve done to death, but fiction is not one of those. I’ll see you this afternoon.

Talotaa frang.

A Shift of Direction for this Blog, and Plans for the Future


As I sit at my desk this morning, fueling myself with such unhealthy but tasty things as Halloween themed gummy candy, I wonder where I’m going to take this blog. I don’t know with certainty, except for one thing:

No more posts on organized atheism. Organized atheism is dead where I am concerned. I do not identify as an atheist, for it says nothing at all about me save my lack of belief in gods.

Historically, ‘atheist’ was a strawman invented and argued against by religious apologists since the ancient Greeks, and this was certainly the use to which those like Blaise Pascal have put it. ‘Atheist’ was also a convenient epithet used to accuse and point fingers at rival theists of other religions.

Everything good was ascribed to religion, or theistic belief, or a specific subset of theistic belief, and everything bad to the reviled unbeliever or heretic.

I do not identify as an atheist because it makes no sense and serves no purpose than to point me out as a choice target for conversion, pity, and discrimination by proselytizers and zealots.

I might as well specifically identify as an adraconicist, for my lack of belief in magical, fire-breathing dragons, or perhaps an asidheist, for my lack of belief in Celtic faerie folk, an aZentradist for my nonbelief in ten meter tall alien cloned warriors…

The list of useless labels could go on forever, but you see my point. ‘Atheist’ only serves as a label to point at and judge for theists, even liberal theists, and serves no real function. I find ‘agnostic’ also philosophically and descriptively useless.

I do identify as a skeptic and as a humanist, as at least those actually say something about me. ‘Skeptic’ says something about my approach to claims of fact and the examination of arguments, while ‘humanist’ speaks of my ethical views in a positive way, by what I do believe is right and wrong, not by what I don’t believe exists.

I am a proud skeptic and a proud humanist, but being proud of a lack of belief in gods is just as silly as that of not believing in three-headed Martians. I may as well be proud for not believing in Leprechauns or the Easter bunny! (Thanks, Maria. Your FB post earlier this evening went to good use.).

Pointless!

So, no more written posts by me on atheism or any discussion by me of religious faith on this blog. You saw it here first. I may not even post on logical fallacies that much if at all, as by themselves I don’t think they’re that interesting. Cognitive biases, yes. Posts on effective methods of rational thinking and practical tests for their reliability, yes. Those have some value, and fallacies will be discussed in brief, but really, no longer at length in their own posts on this site.

I’ll continue to do the fractal posts, writing on skeptical issues at times, thoughts that come to mind, reviews of books, movies and the courses I take, and such. But the rest is kind of up in the air. I’d really like to have the *Oomph* to post more on mental health topics, particularly schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, since that’s something important and needed, and something I’ve just never been able to do very often to my satisfaction.

Over the next few days, while I’m sorting out this blog’s future, I’ll be doing fictional journal entries by a character played in my gaming group’s GURPS campaign, Sergei, the ninja who ninjas wish they were.

I’m planning, in about a year, to shift my blog posting over, bit by bit, to my blogger site, since I find the user interface more friendly and versatile than WordPress, but all in due time. I will, even after fully moving over, keep this site online, but inactive for posting purposes.

There’s a lot to do to get that going, and I’ll probably have to purchase extra storage and other options for image files I post on Blogger, but it’ll be worth it.

In the mean time, let’s see what I can do to make THIS blog better! Thanks for tolerating my silliness.

Talotaa frang.

Update:

I’ll have to clarify some of what was said above:

I’ll not post material dealing directly with organized atheism, its activism, and particularly the topic of Atheism+, as I know next to nothing about it and want no involvement in anyone’s conflicts.

I know people on both sides of the argument, and on neither side; good, smart, sensible people, and friendship is more important to me than ideology.

I’ll not post direct attacks on religion, on the matter of religious faith as an epistemology, nor attacks on the arguments of religious apologetics, as I’ve done plenty of those ad nauseam in earlier posts. Also, others do it and have done it far better than I. Seriously, it’s time to move on.

I’ll likely continue to post on some matters of specific secular importance, like issues of separation of church and state, science education, religious and ideological attacks on science, and on discrimination against the rights of religious nonbelievers.

A disclaimer: I do not think that my skepticism, my humanism or my theistic nonbelief say anything about me as a person compared with others, and I can only be better than myself as I was. Skepticism speaks only of the intellectual principles and methods I strive to employ in evaluating claims, humanism of ethical principles I strive to follow, and theistic nonbelief says nothing at all. I try to avoid dogmatic thinking and entanglements in ideology; economic, political and religious, but also other sorts when I can. I recognize that these can be and are toxic, tribalistic, and dangerous, even if and especially when they seem to agree with my prejudices a bit too much.