Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Okay, so as most of you who have heard me whining lately know; I need to get a new job. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired of food service and all the crap that comes with it. The Fratellis job is good, I enjoy it, its not difficult; but seeing as how its a very small business they can't afford to give me many hours and pay me more than minimum wage. Which I 100% understand and I'm not angry or bitter at them at all.

Unlike my other job of course. I have come to hate working at Chilis. The moment I walk in the door I can't wait until the shift is over and I can leave. I feel like, while most everyone there likes me, no one really respects me and especially not my bosses. Like most waiters I'm just seen as another easily replaceable cog in the machine, and it sucks a lot. Plus working for tips is very up and down and I hate depending on other peoples whims to make my money.

And on top of the other bad stuff the schedule is just killing me. I go in at 9 a.m. Mon-Sat. Work till either 1 pm or 11 am; depending on the day; then if its a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday I just go waste a few hours until I go work at Chilis; and I'm there until late in the evening and I just go home and go to bed. I can't grow or change my social life at all because my only available free time is in the middle of the day when everyone is busy with work and school and all that. It sucks.

So I am going to be looking for a new job now. Something 9-5, Mon-Fri. I know the economy sucks and jobs are hard to find; but I'm going to do my best. There are three things all you wonderful friends of mine can do to help me with this pursuit.

1) For them that are the praying type, please do so on my behalf. I could use all the help I can get finding a decent job.

2) I'm going to try and build up my computer/tech skills, get some certifications, learn some new skill sets, etc etc. If anyone knows about computer and IT type jobs I would love any advice and help you can give figuring out what certifications and classes I should look into; and on finding out where to pursue such learning.

3) If you hear of any opportunities; please pass along the word to me. I'll of course be checking listings myself; but maybe you folks will hear of some jobs that I won't.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Proper Respect For Words

Something has been bothering me a decent amount lately. It's the seeming lack of respect for certain words. The casual use of words that aren't casual at all. Here are some examples:

1. Awesome. I'm completely guilty of misusing this word as well; so don't call me hypocritical. I'm admitting my problem. :-) Anyway, the dictionary definition of awesome is "inspiring awe." So the question is, how many times do you use awesome to refer to something that actually does inspire awe in you? And how many times do you use it to refer to things that are just good, interesting, convenient, or nice? Is the count on the latter one much higher? It sure is for me. This isn't a terrible or life-threatening transgression; but it does somewhat annoy me. I think its because as a Christian I believe that God is Awesome. And it just seems wrong to so blatantly misuse a word that is a characteristic of God.

2. Rape. This is a HORRIBLE word that describes a HORRIBLE act. It's just straight up nasty. Yet in my experience as a gamer I see people using this word all the time with total casualness. They use it to talk about how they beat someone at a game, or how they killed some one's character or unit. It's used to talk about the act of defeating another person. Which when you think about the definition I guess the connotations are there; but its just such a horrid word that I really think we should make an effort to use something else in its place.

3. Love. This word and its foibles could take up a whole week of blog posts on its own. My mentioning it is brought on by a song I've heard a decent amount lately on KLRC that I think just really uses the wrong category of love. And yes there are lots of different categories of love; so yes it can be used in different ways. Just make sure you are using the correct one.

4. Irony. When talking to a friend about this post he brought up this word. People label a lot of non ironic things as ironic; probably simply because they don't know the real definition of the word. So here it is:

I'm sure there are tons of other words that are misused every day. The like five people who will read this can feel free to post their own thoughts on this issue.

So be careful what you say and what words you use to say it. Words have power, and with great power....well you know the rest. (And if you don't you don't pass the nerdiness requirement to be my friend ;-) )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head. "

So what fancies do I want to address. Why all the crazy projects I want to work on in the near future. Here's what I'm working on:

1. My Mouse Guard campaign. I've probably got 2-3 more sessions max before the game gets into the stuff that I'm making up completely and I really need to get it written down and planned out.

2. A Burning Empires campaign. I really want to try and run one of those with somebody. I'm loving the Burning Wheel system more and more; and the extra complexity in this version as compared to Mouse Guard intrigues me. Plus the setting is really cool.

3. I want to put together a little booklet that basically gives you a system for producing a one-shot game. I'm planning on making at least the first iteration a zombie survival game. Basically give you a complete system for generating characters, a plot, and a scenario; all in one short, easy to use little booklet. The use I'd like to see it go to is sitting down around a table with no prep, and being able to whip up a party of characters and a scenario, and then play through it, all with very little fuss and in very little time. Just a random idea I had and I want to pursue it.

4. I want to put together a campaign setting for the crossover world that I worked up years ago back in college and ran a few games in. I really enjoyed the world and I think the players did too. I'd like to get it all put together again and probably adapt it for use in a different system than D&D/D20 Modern; since I'm all about the non-d20 based system love these days. Probably try to use the Burning Wheel mechanics if I can. Though if I ever wanted to try and publish it it'd probably be better to try and come up with my own system or something; assuming Burning Wheel doesn't have a generic, OGL system thing going on like D20 does.

5. I had an idea for an intriguing card game awhile back. The idea was to bring the RTS computer game feel into a multiplayer card game format. I brainstormed quite a few ideas with some friends and I'd really like to get around to trying to get that put together at some point.

6. I'd really love to try and turn my computer into a Hackintosh so that I could download and use the Iphone SDK thing and learn how to make Ipad apps. Not the whole computer; probably just a separate partition. Gonna have to consult some more techie minded friends about that.

7. I'm also considering doing a Forgotten Realms hack of the core Burning Wheel system; once I get around to looking it over that is. I know some friends of mine are fans of the world; and I find it fairly interesting as well. But I do so dislike the idea of running games in the D&D system right now. Its kind of a far off project; so we'll see.

So lots of cool stuff I'd love to do. Of course with me finding the motivation and the time is always an issue. Now if only I could turn this type of stuff into a job.... :-p

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Assault From the Skies Brothers!!

So I spent the majority of today playing in a Warhammer 40K tournament up at Castle House Games. It was a 'Ard Boyz practice tournament. What that means is that there is an official tournament in May, called 'Ard Boyz, and it is a qualifier for bigger and grander tournaments in Vegas later in the year. The format for 'Ard Boyz includes somewhat large than normal armies and lots of really corny/cheesy lists that you would never field normally because they are just stupid good/bad. Today was a practice event to get used to the army size and the tournament style. It was still an official tournament for Castle House as well; so prizes and such were to be had.

I of course fielded pretty much everything I own. When you don't have a ton of stuff to work with you can't really play around with the options that much. But I tossed down a list that had a whole bunch of Blood Angels Space Marines with jump packs and mean tempers. :-p And I ended up doing okay. Middle of the rankings I think. And I won the "Favorite Army" award, which got me a $25 gift certificate (just as good as winning 2nd place I think LOL). So it was a good day overall.

But on the downside of the experience, man GW's games are so....annoying! I've just started to get used to how things happen and then today I encountered so many things that just TOTALLY broke the rules and defied what I thought was possible in the game. And its not like I'm lacking in experience in playing and therefore just haven't seen enough. In my opinion its an issue with the game and the business model it is run on.

Here are the two main issues I have with the game, issues that both came up today.

1. The obsession with mechanized forces (i.e. Vehicles). Vehicles seem to be the be all and end all of every dang army. If you don't take vehicles, you're doing it wrong. If you want to make your army feel more thematic and cool; like for instance have all of them wearing jump packs and leaping across the battlefield to slay their foes; TOO BAD! That option doesn't included vehicles so therefore the rules severely gimp it. Do you want to fulfill the mental image in your head of huge, powerful space marines controlling the battlefield with the power of their armored suits and nothing more? TOO BAD! It's really annoying not to be able to effectively field the army I want the way I want.

2. I played an army today that was just insane. They are called Necrons. It wasn't really the base rules of the army that were bad; but man there were some crazy special characters and special rules that just made them feel way too overpowered. The explanation my opponent gave when I pointed this out, "Oh ya this codex came out back in like '92, its like from 2 Editions ago" That is HORRIBLE!! The business model that GW is following is leaving some forces in play that are no longer balanced and designed for the way the new base rules work; and its really annoying! Is is REALLY so hard to get out all new books for the existing armies each time you release a new edition? You don't even have to change that much, just update and re-balance stuff. *SIGH*

Anyways, despite my whining I had a good time, I still mostly enjoy the game, and I'm looking forward to trying out some new army ideas I came up with today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Wonders of Modern Technology

This is just a test post. If I did everything correctly it should publish this post directly to my Facebook page. Fingers crossed!

Thoughts from a Waiter's Mind

So I had another very annoying incident tonight while at work. A table that was very nice and that seemed to really enjoy their meal ended up stiffing me. And I'm not even certain that it was on purpose. They just didn't leave either of the credit card receipts behind. This is a VERY annoying situation.

When this happens I can not help but be angry because I just put in all that work and got screwed over for it. And thanks to tip-out, not only do I not get a tip, I have to pay for having taken that table. And their check was like $72. So that's a nice "Oh thanks for stiffing me and making me pay $1.50 out of my pocket for the dubious "privilege" of having waited on you." It sucks even worse though because the people were nice and they may not have intended to do this; so one feels even worse for getting mad.

So the lesson here is to be very careful to leave behind the signed and filled out copy of your credit card receipt. It may seem like a small mistake to you; but it really Fs over the server and makes for a terrible situation.