Sunday, March 23, 2008


Leaving for vacation in a few hours. I won't be posting or responding to emails for the next week (probably).

Happy Easter to all!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Well, another day, another battle with the "gunk." Not the best day, but I am feeling ever so slightly better so I am hoping a good night's sleep will help throw this off. At least my throat isn't as sore. Of course, tomorrow DD has a 3v3 soccer tournament and will be playing 4 games throughout the day. I guess I'll probably lose my voice during the first game at this rate. Beyond that, we need to pack for our trip to visit my parents in Colorado. I had heard that the "local" schools had their Spring Break next week too, but I guess they had it last week. Not sure about the Denver area though. If the Spring Breaks are indeed over that will make skiing MUCH easier (and cheaper-local discounts my folks can get are generally not good during Spring Break).

Turned the tax paperwork over to the accountant, he asked for a few more things so I'll send those off to him via email. He is VERY good and I like that. I COULD spend hours with the software and poring over the various little rules that apply to self-employed workers (aka: SUCKERS) but he knows everything already and easily tells me what I need to do.

Got a little editing done (on paper) today, but not much. Still pretty much feeling like death warmed over. I went to bed last night at about 9:30 and "slept like a baby." In other words, the severe congestion woke me up about 45 minutes to an hour after each time I feel asleep. I am hoping tonight will go a bit better.

I need to make a list, rather long list, of things to do tomorrow. The list needs to include little things like the stuff to pack (for each of the 6 family members), oh, cancel the newspaper, oops, forgot to put a hold on the mail, crud, hmm, email auto-responder for GU that I am out of town, and I suppose some sort of short note on the website mentioning the "out of town" bit. Oh well, off to do that then.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gunk and Taxes

Okay, still fighting the gunk today. Can't say it is a winning battle. DS#3 is fighting the same battle, fortunately my wife has been home today (comp day for 24 hour call last Saturday).
I am getting all the Tax paperwork today. We are both considered self-employed so our taxes are particularly fun. I am actually getting the paperwork organized and put together for the accountant. I could probably do the taxes myself but this way we are absolutely certain our deductions are "real" and legal. When you are self-employed there are lots of things that are deductible that normally aren't. Don't worry, this does NOT make up for paying both halves of the Social Security and Medicare.

Anyway, this normally takes me only an hour or two but today it has taken a very long time. Each break sets me back a bit as I have to remember where I was and what I was doing. Almost finished now though.

I have a number of goals for GU this week and being sick has set me back a lot farther than I'd like. We leave for Easter vacation on Sunday and I really wanted to have some things finished off before going on vacation. I am hoping I'll be feeling MUCH better tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Okay, fighting off "gunk" today and it has been a bit rough. Went to DD's soccer practice anyway and I am presently suffering for it.
Latest News:
Arther C. Clarke died at 90 years old today. Damn shame. I remember being thrilled by some of his stories and novels when I was a kid. This is a man that not only understood technology advances throughout his lifetime, but also helped drive them.

Paizo Publishing is going to release the "Pathfinder RPG." Basically, it sounds like their market info said that they could support their company (and, therefore, their employees) with sales of a new 3.5 (DnD/OGL) based system and adventures and other support to go with it. I would say it is a risky move that is partly driven by WotC's slow release of info to 3rd party publishers. I honestly don't know how well this will go for them. The local game store, one of the best FLGS's I have ever experienced, knows of their stuff and orders it, but last time I was there the manager said that sales were suffering and he was probably not going to get anything else after 4e. Basically, you need to special order to get the latest Paizo adventure material. Now, I guess the decks of magic item cards, map packs, and such are selling fine.

I have to wonder if Paizo is doing this partly based on rumored market data that almost a third of people are going to either a) not buy 4e or b) delay buying 4e until they see it, see what their group will do, etc. Like I said in the last post, that is a RUMOR. I have no proof of it whatsoever.

I think Paizo is cutting a niche of a niche here. It is a risky move that I personally think is going to have difficulty supporting the staff they presently have for the long term. I think short-term it'll work out okay, but long-term I have serious doubts. Then again, that is partly dependent on 4e itself isn't it?

Oh well, head is throbbing, time for bed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

4e Rumors??

Okay, why not post a few rumors, not enough of folks read this to make a big deal about it so it should be okay.
First, rumor has it that several people inside WotC aren't happy with the way 4e is going and are deathly afraid they have a dud on their hands. hmmm. This rumor COULD be based on another rumor I have heard about some polling done after the 4e demos at DnD Experience. RUMOR has it that over 30% of the people that TRIED the game said they would either a) not change or b) wait for a while to see how many of their friends change before buying the new edition of the game. When something like 1/3rd of the people that play your game say they are either not going to change to the new edition or are going to wait for a while first, well, that isn't a good sign.
Now, something that isn't a rumor is the replacement of the WotC CEO (link). The question is, why the sudden "resignation" and was it a resignation?? It is rather strange that nothing else was said about it. There could be issues unrelated to the game and company, but a change like this several months before the release of a major product is suspicious.

Yes, it is awful to say these things isn't it? Let me say it again, RUMORS. Let's be honest there are enough people on the internet that hate 4e before it is out that easily some of these rumors could be quite "bad." Then again, perhaps I heard a few things from some fairly reliable sources, so ... I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
I'll be buying a copy of the first three books so WotC has those sales. Can't say whether or not I'll buy more 4e material after that, but I probably will. I am sure that sales of 4e will "rock and roll" the question is, will they "rock and roll" as much as WotC is planning/hoping for or will it "rock and roll" more like a couple of kids playing Guitar Hero? Remember, for WotC PHB sales that are only 10 times as good as the next best selling game system would be terrible news (as far as they are concerned).

I have to admit that I haven't really looked over the 4e information released at the convention. I downloaded the bits that people put up on the internet, I just haven't gone through them yet. I was thinking about printing some of it out and maybe trying it out a bit with my boys this afternoon. If we get to it, maybe I'll post my own "playtest report." If we get a chance to do it, well, I don't expect the results to alter the fact that I WILL be buying the 4e core books when they come out.

Oh, one last thing, apparently the GSL STILL isn't out. Much longer and companies won't be able to get anything out for GenCon making the $5,000 expense for the "developer's kit" hardly worth it. The deadline to submit products to distributors for early fall is already past. Some of the more well-known publishers might still be able to push things into distribution for early fall, but who knows. Without distribution, the $5,000 is unlikely to be "worth it."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Soccer

Okay, I should have posted sooner. Thursday I did do a small update to the GU website adding a picture of the cover that will be used for the City Streets product line. I neglected to post here however. Oops.

Today has been hectic, my wife is on-call which, for her, means she is at work until 7 AM tomorrow. DD and DS#2 had soccer games scheduled at 9:00 and DS#1 had a game at 10:00. Basically, I dropped DD off with a friend who took her to her game and will take her to a birthday party where I will pick her up. She is having a blast playing in their pool right now. Then I ran DS#2 over to his soccer game and left him with the team manager there so I could run DS#1 out to his game. DS#3 began to get very unimpressed with all of the driving. an hour and a half in the car is rough on a baby that refuses to sleep during the trip. He is sleeping now though, and that is a good thing. After he wakes up I'll feed him and we'll go to the birthday party to pick up DD (oh yeah, we picked up DS#2 before lunch). THEN we plan to try to go to have dinner with my wife (depending on how busy they are and whether I feel like driving there).

Soccer results? Well, DS#2 was in a "club friendly" and they won 6–1. DS#1's team dominated the other team most of the game but managed to lose 2–1 due to a penalty kick in the last 3 minutes. I have never seen his coach complain about officials because it is a "rough job man." Today, he was NOT happy with the official and made it abundantly clear. Let's just say there should not have been a PK called in that game. Worse yet, two PKs that give the team a win.
Oh well, enough complaining, DS#3 is awake so it is almost time to get "on the road again."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


DD is in Daisy Girl Scouts (I think that is what it is called). They had a "pinning" ceremony today so the whole family went to it. Basically, this means that DS#1 and #2 played outside at the playground, DS#3 fussed so he played outside on the ground, and DD had a great time. My wife, of course, took pictures.
Yes, the only day of the week without something soccer related and we had to find something else for the whole family to do.

It has been a good day and I am looking forward to a bit of reading before going to sleep. I might just go to sleep, I need it, but that probably won't happen.

I have a lot of plans for tomorrow, the list of "things to do" is, well, impressively long. Okay, it is clearly so long that there is no way on earth I can get through all of it. I do hope to knock as many things off the list as possible. Unfortunately, the reason it is so long is that I didn't get some of today's list done. Not upset about it though. Today's list was rather long too.

Anyway, I hope to have an update to the website posted tomorrow. I was waiting for a few bios from some authors but I guess if I'll just post them when they come in. We'll see what else I am able to add in.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Moving along, sort-of

Okay, posting now because at night I like to try to get a bit more writing done (or reading, lately I admit to reading).
I don't think I have mentioned the cover design that Dave Gilham has completed for me. It'll be used throughout the City Streets line, at least the fantasy locations. He did another design that was also fantastic and maybe I can use that for Modern/Sci-Fi. Not sure I see a real reason to use 2 different covers for those, but as the Modern/Sci-Fi stuff is going out later that decision can wait a bit. I will try to get it posted on the site this Thursday. I have a lot to get done today so I don't want to get off track.
Soccer is going full swing, yesterday the heavy rains soaked the fields so DS#2 did not have goal-keeper practice. I can't say that I am upset about that. Tonight we are spread out again, thank heaven DS#1 and DS#2 practice at the same field and time tonight. After a day of pour rain yesterday, it is sunny, blue skies, and probably going to hit 70 or above. What change a day makes.
DS#1 has decided he wants to go back to Tae-kwon-do so he started again last night. Basically, we all lost our desire with our school's change to a different system that we felt wasn't quite as "challenging" as what we had before. He enjoys martial arts in general and is about 2 tests away from 3rd degree so he wants to finish that. It sounds like after that he wants to start over in a different art. I am planning to look at some different schools nearby myself but, realistically, I have to think about the class times when looking at a school as well as the instructor. I don't like to think that way, but with all of the activities we have going on, I have to. If you are interested in martial arts the important thing to look for is a good instructor, the art doesn't matter as much unless you are planning to be some sort of MMA fighter. A good instructor makes for a good experience in terms of physical workout and learning. A mediocre or bad instructor really hurts the long term enjoyment of whatever art you are studying. Our instructor at this school is very good, but I do not enjoy the system as much. I suppose I might go back for a few more workouts with DS#1, he loves the opportunity to spar with me, but I could care less about testing.

Anyway, enough of that side-trek, oh, side-trek, that reminds me of some emails I need to send.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


This has been a busy weekend. We had 3 soccer games and a wedding yesterday and 2 soccer games today. My in-laws came to town for the weekend to helps us out, otherwise my wife would have gone to the wedding alone.
My goal of 2,000+ (good) words a day tends to get killed on the weekends, but that is to be expected. Last week was pretty good in terms of writing and getting things done.
Soccer Time:
DS#1's soccer team had 9 kids for their game yesterday, they got crushed. Today they had 12, including 2 new players (one who played with them last year) that had to try to fit into the team for their first game. They played to a 2-2 tie but, honestly, would have won without 2 bad calls, but that is life. It was very, VERY nice to see his team dominating a game. They have a number of good players on his team and, ideally, will do well this year if they can field a full team.
DS#2 lost his game yesterday, and made up for it today by CRUSHING the other team 11-0. I missed that game, my wife took him to it while I took DS#1 to his game. At his level they do have a "mercy" rule, if a team scores 8 goals the game is supposed to be over, apparently the ref didn't know this and kept the game going. DS#2's team got to play in a wide variety of different positions. The game they lost yesterday was actually a very close, well-played game on both sides. His team is doing very well and we are very happy about it.
DD had a game yesterday too. Her team played MUCH better yesterday and has shown an amazing improvement in the past few weeks. The other coaches and I were thrilled. At her level they play 3v3 on two fields right next to each other. That way you have 6 kids playing at a time for each team and the kids get to "touch" the ball more and run more. Even though the fields are small they run like crazy. Not sure what the total score was but it looked like we won that one too.

Other Stuff:
I have received a couple of emails asking what happened about the kid's game I have talked about before. Well, I did have a meeting, it went well, and that is about all I should probably say about it.

Random information; I have some small side-trek style adventures that I wrote up, or mostly wrote up, a while back. These are 3.5/d20/OGL adventures and I am trying to decide what to do with them. One was going to be a side-trek submission for Dungeon but when they announced that was going back to WotC I didn't send it in. I have a choice, I can try to release some side-trek adventures on my own or I can talk to a couple of the publishers that are doing 3.5 .pdf adventures and see what they are looking for. Not sure what to do about that.

Well, the battery on the laptop is in need of charging and it is about time to get everyone ready to go out to eat. I have a few more bits of information but I'll have to post about those later.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Internet Service

Well, I suppose sometimes having the internet go out is probably good, it allows me to focus on writing and getting some other things done. Unfortunately, it seems timed to annoy me.

The major road outside our neighborhood is being widened (a much-needed construction project). During the past 6-8 weeks or so they have managed to sever or damage the main cable to the neighborhood about a half-dozen times. Usually this happens during the day and it is fixed during the day so that doesn't inconvenience MOST people. It DOES inconvenience me though. We also tend to get some other minor short outages during the day too, I am guessing that is due to construction somehow as well as these outages didn't occur before the project was started. The past 6-8 weeks have been particularly bad. I try to answer emails at one time and these outages have really messed that up a bit.

Okay, enough ranting. Time to get back to work.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gary Gygax

Well, I haven't posted for a few days. I was going to post Tuesday morning shortly after I learned that Gary Gygax passed away earlier that morning but I decided to wait.

As one of the "fathers" of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary spawned an entire generation of role-playing games and ideas that have truly permeated throughout society. Games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest would look very different, if they existed at all, without Gary's developments. D&D has had a huge influence on a wide variety of games and a vast number of people. How many of us escaped a bad day as a Paladin wading through a den of evil swinging a holy sword or as a Magic-User throwing a fireball?

On a personal note; I was fortunate enough to dine and game with Gary on several different occasions. He loved puns, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a blast to be around. He genuinely loved games and gaming, and genuinely enjoyed meeting his fans (most of the time ;)). I have also had the good fortune to meet several of his sons, though never Gail. I hope that their family recovers from this loss and can move forward holding their memories of him to their hearts. Gary's youngest son should be about 21 now and is likely to be hardest hit.

It is sad to note that some of the other original "greats" in role-playing games are suffering health problems. Bob Bledsaw, owner of Judge's Guild, now has terminal cancer and is unlikely to make it through the year. I have heard that Dave Arneson, the "other" father of Dungeons and Dragons is also very ill. This may be a sad year for many in this respect but I think that the best way to remember Gary, and to think about these other greats, is to "game on." These people put their energy into creating games for the rest of us to play and enjoy for the years to come.

Gary, Rest in Peace

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another day

Well, I have been trying to post more often. Didn't post last night. DS#2 had another soccer game yesterday, they played well and won quite easily, against a team that is actually very good. His team has really seemed to gel and come together, it is really fun to see a group of boys do that at this age. I talked with DS#1's coach a bit this evening and he was very disappointed that he had only 10 kids on the field for the game Saturday. It doesn't sound like much, but playing soccer at a competitive level down 1 man is REALLY tough.

In other news, talked with several people lately about the latest 4th edition DnD news and predictions as to what types of products companies will actually make. The message board rumors talk about adventures and a few other things, but the standard that WotC seems to want to set, and the standard that seems to fit the previews at the convention, includes large battle maps that 3rd party companies will have a hard time matching. We'll see what happens. Without the rules and the "GSL" it is hard to say what is allowed or not, and hard to say what types of adventures can be done. I am curious to see what comes out, but I am also sticking with the generic theme for GU. I think having a series of city-based locations is a good plan. Long-term I want to tie them together and possibly even have a map made based on the main city in my "home-brew" campaign.

I have a cover mock-up in my mailbox right now for the City Streets products and it looks really good. Dave Gilham is working on another idea but this one is very good. I am thinking I should see his next idea and then, depending on what it is, maybe we try to use one for the Fantasy products and the other for Modern/Future. I don't know, we'll see what happens. In any case, Dave does fantastic work and I am thrilled he has chosen to work with me on the logos and the layout.

Well, time to get a bit of sleep.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Well, big soccer day today.
DD's team didn't do well, but actually played much better than they have before. This is their first time playing in a much more competitive class so we (the coaches) were fairly pleased.
DS#2's game overlapped with DD's and was about 40 miles away so I missed it. They won 3-0.
DS#1's team is well, hurting. They play full side competitive soccer and they only fielded 10 boys today. They played strong for much of the first half but then things started falling apart. Fortunately, this is a pre-season game. Unfortunately, their full roster is only 12 boys right now, one of whom is a new name on the list that just registered. That boy was offered a spot by the coach after a mid-season try-out. I guess the coach has made 3 other offers too, but one boy already said no because his friend didn't get an offer. It is going to be a very painful season if they can't get a few more boys. The worst part is, the boys we do have are pretty good for the division they are in and they both play well together and get along well. The team is small enough already that the coach doesn't want to accept a player that he thinks might not fit in well as it could hurt the chemistry they have.

Anyway, enough of that.

I have an idea burning in my head right now that needs to get out before I can get some sleep.