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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Julie's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, June 6th, 2010
9:40 am
Shameless self-promotion
FYI,
My webcomic, The Dragon Queen, has just begun its second story line.

If you haven't given it a look lately, why not pop over there and see.
If you have given it a look, why not look again?





Current Mood: proud
Monday, February 1st, 2010
7:23 pm
The new webcomic is up...
Let me introduce you to The Dragon Queen!

Only the first strip is up right now, but look for it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After two or three months I will start advertising it in earnest for new readers, by that time there should be enough of a storyline going to keep people's interest.

Lou has graciously done my website for me, she is awesome.

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
8:02 pm
Thursday, November 5th, 2009
8:37 pm
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
11:31 pm
Quite annoyingly, GIMP has decided to stop liking the Wacom tablet today. It was working just fine yesterday, but today I can only draw in the upper left quadrant of the screen.

What's up GIMP, why ya gotta be like that?

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, October 19th, 2009
9:02 pm
Paulo Nutini - Pencil Full of Lead
I do not expect that sound to come out of that man.

Friday, October 9th, 2009
6:15 pm
Sunday, September 20th, 2009
3:15 pm
The other thing I was up to: sketching
For the past two weeks I've been sketching 8 panels a day in my sketchbook.

I've posted up to last Saturday on my Tumblr.

If you want to see, click HERE.
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
5:50 pm
What was I up to this week? Gettin' hitched.
Julie & Lou’s Wedding QWAPMAF
(Questions We Anticipate People Might Ask Frequently)

Wait... so... what? You’re, like, engaged now?
No, Lou and Julie eloped and are married.

Since when?! Where?
Since Tuesday, September 15, 2009, in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

HOLY CRAP IS LOU PREGNANT?!
No.

... Is Julie pregnant?
Yes.

No, wait... that other thing. No.

Was this a spur-of-the-moment thing? Were you drunk?
No, Lou and Julie have been planning this since May of this year.

MAY? WTF? Why all the secrecy?
If we told people, it wouldn’t be an elopement, it would be a
destination wedding to which no one was invited.

Well, then why elope?
We didn’t want any fuss, and we didn’t want any awkwardness about the
lack of fuss.

Weddings are expensive -- not only in terms of money, but they also
cost a lot of time, effort, attention, emotional involvement, drama,
and hassle, not only from those getting married but from their
families and friends. These were resources we thought could be better
spent than on a symbolic ceremony.

(For examples of the kind of stuff we wanted no part, check out stfumarrieds.)

Plus, Julie and Lou really hate jordan almonds and tulle.

(Well, Lou hates tulle; Julie sees its uses on occasion...

Regardless...)

You still want gifts, though, right?
No, not really. If you’d like to send a gift, we suggest setting
aside that good will and cash until we have a housewarming party.
Then you may shower us with toaster ovens and purple towel sets to
your heart’s content.

If you’re insistent on commemorating our wedding with money (you
weirdo) you could send us a check, but we aren’t expecting you to.

What do your rings look like?
They look like this: link.

What was the ceremony like?
Sunny, short, sweet, and secular. The officiant was Vernon Dianah Porter. (link,
link) It took place
at a little monument at the far end of Commercial Street. Here
is a set of photos by another couple who were married by Vernon in the
same spot
.

Are there pictures?
Yes. You’ll see them within a few days. Check your local social
networking site, or Lou’s flickr.

Where will you live?
Julie and Lou will be buying a house within the year. Until then, the
current housing situations will remain.

So Julie will live in Hartford, Connecticut and Lou will live in
Springfield, Massachusetts? That’s a bit weird.

So’s your face.

Who took the last name of whom?
We both kept our maiden names. We may change our names at some point
in the future, but for now they have not changed.

I have a question which is not addressed in this document!
Leave us a comment to this entry or contact us in some other medium, and we will do our best to answer with due haste.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
6:15 pm
Monday, June 8th, 2009
5:17 pm
Posted here for your approval
Tom Smith posted this on his LJ, I thought I'd pass this along for those who may have missed it.

Monday, June 1st, 2009
9:33 pm
For Doctor Who fans
I just found a link to this.

The Ten Doctors

A bit of fan fiction in comic form. Surprisingly done well, though its a bit chaotic in the middle.
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
5:31 pm
Science Rules!
Some scientists may have just figured out how to make a universal flu vaccine.

Check it out!
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
6:38 pm
On the subject of a Rabbit Hole
I've been suspicious for a few weeks now. The network at the office has been slow, Pixel's computer got fried, the X-Box has been locking up with a disturbing frequency.

It was the microfilm machine that finally revealed the problem, though. It was working just fine until the printer door popped open and a plastic cog shot out with such speed that it made a dent on a nearby file cabinet where it ricocheted off and flew into cubicle country.

I swore under my breath, then bent down near the vent of the side of the machine.Collapse )
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
8:03 pm
On the subject of quantifying magic
A lot of my posts have been about role-playing games. I can't help it, its very much on my mind lately. For those who don't know, I have designed an RPG. Its one that specifically is made to fit just about any setting.

I've been working to get the core rules written up, but one part has been giving me a problem and that is the section on magic.

The problem is that magic is, by its nature, difficult to define. By making rules for it, you end up quantifying its effects. In doing so, I am struggling with how to keep the fantastic feel of magic. One of the main benefits for having magic is the sense of wonder it can invoke. By reducing it to numbers on a page, it becomes very easy to ignore the wonder and focus on the amount of damage you can do and the number of dice you need to roll.

I realize now that I've been avoiding the magic section for this very reason.

I've put down the rules as best as I can. They explain schools of magic, the different between memorized spells and spontaneous magic, and the tools of the magic user's trade. I've also put down some suggestions on how to keep the fantasy alive during game-play. I still want to clarify the creation of spells and the bonuses and penalties applicable to them, as well as some basic sample spells. There is a lot left after putting this info down, easily enough material to expand into an entire supplement.

Maybe I'm looking too close at the subject. I used to love playing mages in 2nd Edition AD&D, and the magic rules there were absolute crap. And I had the DMG, Tome of Magic, and the Complete Wizard's Handbook. Frankly, not only were the rules crap, but with all the books they were often contradictory as well. I very much think that my rule system is more flexible, and the possibility of varying the schools of magic to fit the setting gives it a lot more versatility.

But is it more magical?

The thing I liked from D&D was the sheer number and variety of spells. That is one aspect that I'd like to bring over to my system. I love the idea of a bunch of wizards huddled around a table flipping through old books, trading scrolls, and showing off the tricks they've managed to find or create. But then, my favorite spells from D&D were the ones that no one else seemed to choose; Alter Self, Wraithform, Tenser's Floating Disc, Wizard's Eye, Grease. I would almost never memorize Fireball or Lightning Bolt if I had a more subtle or clever option.

You know what, I'll save the second guessing. The great part about an RPG is that the action is in the imagination. The character sheet is just numbers and the rules are there so people know how to keep up. The fantasy is in the hands, or rather minds, of the people playing.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
8:32 pm
It occurs to me...
...that last post works better if you can imagine Norman with a stuffy British accent.
6:29 pm
On the subjects of a geek overload and the voices in my head
My mind has been racing for the past 48 hours. I've been thinking of running a pick-up RPG at Arisia. The question I've been mulling is two part; when would I try to do this and what kind of game should I run.

I figure that Sunday afternoon would be a good time, since by then a lot of people will be burnt out and may want a nice sit-down type of game. However, at least one person that I'd like to game with is scheduled for a whole mess of panels during that stretch of time. So... maybe Saturday?

Then there is the problem of what to use for a setting. I suppose I could do a classic high fantasy setting, but that might be a little too mundane. Part of me would like to burst out something really unusual but also resonant with the crowd.

I've arrived at a game based on the world of Buckaroo Bansai. The players would by a mixed collection of scientists, musicians, and mercenaries working for the Bansai Institute. They might even be some of the original characters like maybe Rawhide or....

...No, No. This has to stop nowCollapse )
Monday, January 5th, 2009
9:11 pm
On the Subject of Video Game Addiction
My video game addiction started back in the early 80s when my parents acquired their first home computer, the Commodore Vic 20. The Vic 20 was so named because of its shockingly large amount of memory. It had a full 20 Kilobytes of RAM. I mean, Holy CROW. I even remember the spiral bound dot matrix printed manual that came with it.

The Vic 20 was useless unless you could program it. And since it didn't come with any storage media, you had to program it from scratch each time. That is unless you bought the first peripheral, the cassette tape drive.

Well, As you might imagine, it was not the most sophisticated piece of equipment. Software was hard to come by, but what software there was came in the form of a cartridge, not dissimilar to the kind of cartridge used in an Atari 2600. It was through one of these software cartridges that I was exposed to my first video game, the total Pac-Man ripoff Cosmic Cruncher.

My 6 year old self was totally addicted to this game. Really, who could blame me. It was either this or watch Speed Racer on channel 45 after school. And I mean, I couldn't let my sister beat my high score.

I finally became cognizant of how dangerous an addiction video games were going to be when we got our third computer, the Tandy 1000SL. The Tandy was miles beyond the Vic 20 or the C64. I acquired with my own money, Rad Warrior and played it through to completion one day. I started after school, skipped dinner, and finished at 1:00 am. My parents let me be miserable at school the next day and took away my computer privledges for a week. I was insane for that week. I didn't know what to do with myself. I watched too much TV, I got my homework done, I went to bed early, mostly I just hid in my room and played with whatever sad analog toy I had available.

These days the addiction is just as strong. Stronger even. We have multiple next-gen game systems as well as the desk-top PC (which has a GameTap subscription). I've had to go so far as cut myself off from video games for a while, with the exception of Wii Fit because I use it for exercise. That's because these games are not really fun for me anymore. They occasionally intrigue, but the fun factor has been lost to me.

Though you could argue against video games in terms of lost time, poor health, poor social skills, repetitive stress injuries and so forth, the number one reason anyone should stop playing a game is when it is no longer fun.
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
1:45 pm
On the Subject of sandboxes I'd like to play in
!!!Warning: Geek Content rated at 8.5 out of 10. Continue reading at your own risk!!!

As I've stated before in my journal, I'm an avid role-player. Hell, I've even written my own game system. I am currently running two campaigns. One is sort of a classic sword and sorcery game set in the Earthdawn setting. The other is a modern fantasy game set around a group of paranormal specialists (consisting of an earth elemental, a fairy trickster, and a kid from the midwest who has an empathic connection to machines) who all work for the government to protect the US from otherworldly dangers.

Both of these games are quite fulfilling. In the past I have also run Shadowrun scenarios, 3 different superhero settings, a game set in the Highlander universe, a modern fantasy setting of my own design in which the players were the go betweens for the fairy courts and the human world, Robotech, my own vastly different version of the Rifts setting, Star Wars, a pulp-era action game set in 1920's northern Africa, the Wing Commander Privateer universe, and two different fantasy worlds of my own design for 2nd edition AD&D.

In addition, I have played in innumerable other AD&D fantasy worlds, Star Wars (post Battle of Endor), a Shadowrun variation set around 2030, the Serenity 'verse, the World of Darkness as a Vampire, Mage, and a Changeling, and a Marvel comics setting "Nightmares of Futures Past".

And yet, still I crave for more.Collapse )

Current Mood: nerdy
Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
3:37 pm
On the subject of eating right and exercising
I hate New Year's resolutions. Mostly because they are broken within a few weeks of making them (if not a few days or even hours). So, just FYI, this is not a New Year's resolution. That being said, it has really come home to me how much I need to improve my eating habits and my amount of exercise. I was doing pretty decently with the exercise last year (2007 to be clear, since its so close to the end of 08). That was because I could walk the basement of my office building before lunch every day.

A few months ago I picked up a Wii Fit to make up for the lack. It got a lot of steady use the first month. However, the only person in the house who uses it on a regular basis anymore is andrianna who uses it at least a few times every week.

Last night when I came home, she was using the Wii, and I figured that since I hadn't been on it in about a month, I should probably give it a go. Well, it would seem that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my general poor eating habits of the past month have taken their toll. I must say I was rather depressed by this state of affairs.

Frankly, I'm not too surprised by the change. In retrospect, I have been overindulging a little more often and I have not gotten much of any exercise lately, with the exception of snow shoveling. My own body image has taken a hit recently.

I'm going to be doing a little stepping up. Not just in terms of exercise but also eating habits. I think the office is my biggest hurdle. The availability of baked goods and snack machines is trying.
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