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Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:44 am
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[personal profile] dolari
Thoughts before bed:

While most of my stories tend to involve studies in what is identity, there's a secondary theme you see a lot of people being taken from somewhere, and involuntarily placed somewhere else.

I find those stories fascinating to read and fascinating to work out on paper. Maybe because I feel a lot of my life is being involuntarily put places and trying to find ways to fit in where I find myself.

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Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:32 am
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[personal profile] dolari
Seriously thinking of taking what little work I've done on the Rough Draft of Genevieve, moving it over to the Jagged Draft, and redoing the Rough Draft as a screenwriting script. Just cause it's easier for me to write it that way. THEN once it's all laid out, make a revised rough draft (or first draft), that's actual narrative based on the script.

It worked for Dances with Wolves....

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Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:11 am
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[personal profile] dolari
Unpopular opinion: I'm actually not the biggest fan of Breath of the Wild's music.

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Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:10 am
dolari: (Default)
[personal profile] dolari
Tonight's Jenn:
8PM: I'm gonna write!
8:30PM: Well, I'll write SOMETHING.
8:45PM: ::hears the Star Trek: DS9 opening music:: STOPS EVERYTHING
kshandra: The stylized 7 sigil that featured in the "New Moon On Monday" video (Duran Duran)
[personal profile] kshandra
But I can tell you, without question, that this is the Istanbul we went to.

The cats and dogs of Istanbul are its best rebels. Cats wander freely through the fences of military installations, eating and shitting and pissing where they like in between long suspicious stares at passersby. Just behind the military museum behind the big scary military apartment building you definitely should not take a picture of, a ring of statues rolls clockwise through Turkish history. There is a statue of Attila the Hun, and Timur the Lame, and then Ataturk, huge and bronze and gesturing in the general direction of a blood-red Turkish flag.

A dog sprinted across the park, circling and setting down in the grass to gnaw a bone he'd found somewhere. Two other dogs followed in tow, waiting with all the intensity of a thousand suns for the hound to drop it. He ignored the soldiers and the signs and the other dogs and everyone else, gnawing on a meal at the feet of the father of the nation.

The Istanbul Derby: Soccer, Fire, and a Game at the World's Crossroads

Glub. 4am

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:42 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
 I am NOT a 4am kind of person.  
Still, at 4am yesterday morning I was being bright and cheerful and very prepared.  Sign In sheets, printed copies of the crew list ect.  We installed a small show in the Palace Hotel, operated it, then took it down and stuffed it back in the truck by 1:15 pm.  The nice things about this 10 hour work day were the hourly rate which was almost $10  above our normal rate (special contract for companies who refuse to sign a long term contract with us) AND the fact that it was all at double time.  The Union contract says that anytime we are forced to go to work before 6am (or after 12 midnight) that the employer has to pay us double time until we get a 9 hour break.  In this case the company didn't want to pay for an extra day for the hotel ballroom for our setup, and the event started at 7am.

Had a nice day with Donald today.  

Another birthday!

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:17 am
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[personal profile] sine_nomine
Happiest of birthdays to [personal profile] outofwater!!

And hoping all of your journeys, literal and metaphorical, are good ones!

(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:30 pm
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[personal profile] dolari
I'm exhausted. Goodnight, all.
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)
[personal profile] gridlore
As anyone who has spoken to me for more than five minutes knows, last year Kirsten and I traveled to Istanbul for our 25th anniversary. Amazing trip. Let me tell you about Istanbul.

Istanbul has 39 Districts. The mayor is Mevlut Uysal. The city's area is Urban 1,539 km2 (594 sq mi), Metro 5,343 km2 (2,063 sq mi). The population is 14,804,116 as of 2016, with an average population density of 6,970/sq mi. The average annual income is $22,765 (US Dollars.)

That was informative and totally useless when it comes to describing what Istanbul was like to experience. It tells nothing about the crowded cobblestone streets of the Fatih District, or the magnificence of the Hagia Sofia and the Süleymaniye Camii. It doesn't give you the smell of the sea, or the taste of the food, or the alien sound of hearing the first call to prayer of your visit, which soon fades to a background noise, just part of the city.

The numbers don't do anything to truly immerse the reader in the Queen of Cities. So why do we, as the designers and writers of science-fiction role-playing games, spend so much time on these pointless details? As an old-school Traveller player (and one who also love FGU's Space Opera as well) I've spent endless hours with a notepad and a scientific calculator calculating every detail of a world down to excruciating detail.

Details which almost never get used in play. Much in the same way that I never cared about the details of how Ataturk International worked, just that it was there and my flights landed and left without incident; a designer needs to focus on details that make the game move. The things that players will notice. The things that affect the game.

As an example, let's say I'm planning an adventure where the party gets wrapped up with a criminal group and ends up fleeing across a world that used to be a booming mining colony, but has gone bust. What do I need to know?

1. The basic nature of the world. Can the characters breathe unassisted? How hard is it to survive on the surface? Are there unusual threats that make this planet "sing"?

2. Who lives here? What are the people like? Are they gruff and suspicious of outsiders, or do they bring strangers in without question and offer food and shelter? What are the social codes that may not be apparent? To go back to Istanbul for a moment, we learned the hard way that you are supposed to sit in the front seat of the Taksi (Taxi); to do otherwise is an insult to the driver. Little errors like that can change attitudes quickly.

3. What's the local government and law like? Who is in charge at the level the characters will be acting? The style of government and the harshness of law don't necessarily correlate. A benevolent dictator loved by his people might have a very light police presence, whereas a republic might have an extensive secret police force. Think of Hoover's FBI in the 1950s.

4. What is the local sustainable level of technology? Go to Afghanistan and you'll see that everyone has cell phones, and pilfered US laptops are on sale in the souks. Afghanistan depends on imports and outside technicians to sustain their cell network and computers. So what can this world actually build, and what does it need to bring in? This can be a huge issue if something high-tech breaks.

5. What is the economic situation? Istanbul is a rich city, and it shows. Lots of new construction in the New City, lots of newer cars, full store shelves. Sail to Athens, and you see a very different picture. So how the world is doing is a big part of the picture. Is the local starport sprawling and busy at all hours, loading and unloading cargo shuttles? Or is it nearly deserted? If there is an interstellar currency, how much can it buy locally? A bad economy might also mean that there is a Doom Trade in people trying to emigrate, willing to spend anything to get out.

There, a five-paragraph essay that gives a useful guide to a planet. I tend to use bold face on important keywords that can really impact play, like "high gravity" or "many areas off-limits to heretics." Any of these sections can be expanded if needed.

The same system can be used on anything normally given over to gearheading. Starships, vehicles, big pieces of equipment, all can be described rather than designed down to the last decimal point. You can also use this to record details of recurring setting and characters. A favorite bar, the broker they use when in town, whatever.

Game Masters and designers unite! You have nothing to lose but your calculators!

About Vitamin D Deficiency

Oct. 20th, 2017 05:51 pm
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
Went last week to a new medical practice - to which I won't be returning because they only have one size chair in their waiting room (with arms), one size gown (not super-sized) and, apparently, one size blood pressure cuff (that they wanted me to try and "hold closed" as it blew off my arm (um.... if the lines don't line up it's TOO SMALL and will artificially inflate my blood pressure). Also a doctor who was willing to prescribe compression hose but not the pressure required (she wrote 'measure for pressure'; um....).

But they ran the bloodwork et al and came up with two really interesting things.

1) For the first time in recent history (and by recent I mean more than 20 years) my testosterone was ostensibly in the normal range. I note this also is a completely new to me lab and I don't know how they calculated such things; I'm not sure I trust them.

2) Apparently I have a not insignificant Vitamin D deficiency (they say anything under 30 is low; under 20 is "deficient" and I'm at 18... other stuff I saw said that 20 is normal... who knows?). Normally I'd blow off such things (EVERYONE these days seems to have a Vitamin D deficiency!) but for a couple interesting points I noted when I looked up Vitamin D deficiency online. To wit, it contributes to lower back pain - up to and including influencing one's ability to do regular tasks, can cause depression, and a lack of focus and feelings of lethargy.

Why yes. E - all of the above, especially for the last month or so.

And yes, there are many physical things going on (my body it is falling apart) but the supplementation route should be easy and, perhaps, worthwhile even!

Who knew?!?

(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2017 01:33 am
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[personal profile] dolari
Was supposed to be in bed 30 minutes ago, but had a government induced headache come up at 12:59.

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:27 pm
dolari: (Default)
[personal profile] dolari
So, catching up with ST: DSC.

Everytime I buy in a little into Discovery...it gives me something to buy out of it.

Tilly: "This is so fucking cool."
Jenn: "This is...uh...well..um...no?"


Oct. 19th, 2017 10:54 am
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[personal profile] ranunculus
 Worked 14 hours on the clock day before yesterday.  Didn't do much yesterday.  Today I'm caching up with chores, welcoming M back from Indiana and getting ready for tomorrow.  Tomorrow I have to be at work at 4am.....   Good money tho!!
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