Sunday, September 28, 2008


Yeah, I guess it wasn't just allergies. I have no voice, everybody tells me not to talk, and then they come and ask me questions. DS#2 asked me question after question a little while ago, and then looked at me and said, "Papa, you shouldn't be talking." I told him to stop asking me questions.

My wife is off tomorrow and if I can get enough rest to clear this up maybe I'll get a few things finished off. Not thrilled with my lack of progress. On a different, sort-of strange note, there is a chance I'll be helping someone with a text-book (for high schoolers). Well, it would be a lot of work and the pay is, well, crap, but still lots better than RPG stuff. I just don't know if I want to have that level of work and deadlines stacked onto an already busy life.
That is it for now. Time to rest a bit more and see if I can throw off this bug.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Well, I don't know if it is an actual cold, really bad allergies, or a combination of both, but I have been down for the count lately.
Over the weekend I did a lot of cleaning-up work in the house and then on Monday I tackled the garage. It seems like the closer I am to having things ready to finally launch products with GU, the more "other" work I find for myself. Sometime today I need to check into wood flooring again. There might be a place in town that can match the floors I have (or at least come close) and if they can, it will save me a lot of money.
If I am feeling better later I'll try to put up one of the maps or another drawing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Okay, not much accomplished the past few days. Not that I haven't been busy, just so busy I haven't gotten anything done for GU. I hope to change that this weekend but it'll probably be difficult. We did have distractions due to Hurricane Ike. That isn't really a very good excuse though. I just keep finding other things to do. Basically, I knew with the hurricane and company in town that I wouldn't be able to get the required .pdfs done on time for the Talk Like a Pirate Day promotion with OBS. Now, I MIGHT have a shot at finishing a cheesecake drawing of a scantily clad pirate to put up on the website and then use that to start a countdown. I am looking at starting releases at the end of this month/beginning of October. Really, I am honestly so close now I just need to set a date and force myself to hit it.

Okay, all I have time for at the moment. We'll see if I can post again later tonight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Well, looks like there will be some company in town from Houston for a few days. My sister-in-law's husband has been sent to SA to maintain the back-up servers for his company. They don't live close to the ship channel or anywhere like that. Their house and neighborhood should be fine. They do have a hotel room but we told her to bring the kids on over to the house tomorrow. Our kids will have school but my niece and nephew will find a lot more to do here at the house rather than in the hotel room. Right now they are still on I10 so I guess it is a VERY slow drive.

Today has been slow in terms of getting work done. DS#3 had a good morning but a very rough afternoon. He also had a rough night last night. Oh well ...
We'll see what I can get done tomorrow. I happen to have purchased a PS3 this week and was planning to set it up tomorrow. Hmmm, if I reward myself too soon I won't get anything done. Usually when family are here in town I don't get much done. We still don't know what our weather will be like Saturday. DS#1 and DS#2 have games scheduled. DS#1 has a home game against a team that is in the general San Antonio area so it hasn't been canceled (yet).

Tomorrow I'll post an update. Maybe upload another map or picture as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marching on ...

Well, it has been a very busy day and I am feeling good about it. In addition to getting more books (mostly) through layout, I fixed a cabinet door, visited the gym, got to have lunch with my lovely wife, and did many of the usual errands and trips of a Wednesday.
I am still playing with some headers in the layout(s) but I really feel like I should be ready to start releases next week. There is a promotion next week Friday for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and I am trying to decide if I can participate in it. I'll need at least another day to see if I have enough ready to go. If so, "The Black Ape" written by Jason Ludwig happens to have an admittedly small relation to the pirate theme-the owner is a former pirate. Not sure if this is really enough, but it might be worth a try.
If I decide to go forward with that then my likely first (free) release is still Gior's Glassworks released at the same time as either The White Tankard or Kagen's Books and Knowledge with the special release of The Black Ape on Friday the 19th. I suppose the other possibility is to release Gior's Glassworks and The Black Ape both on Friday the 19th and/or release Gior's earlier and then have ... eh, you get the idea.
One of the things I haven't done yet is create advertising (back cover) blurbs for the various locations. This is something I NEED to do very soon. It is on my list of things to do for tomorrow.
It looks like a very busy weekend, but that'll depend in part on Ike. DS#2 has a "club friendly" scheduled Saturday that will be canceled if we get hit with the rain bands-that decision will be made tomorrow night or Friday morning. Right now DS#1's game is still on and will be unless there is a serious hit, or enough rain that the field is in danger, he'll play. His game is a home game and the other team is from the San Antonio area so there isn't big travel involved. A lot of the other games in his division have been canceled already due to possible travel complications. Based on the track right now, I am guessing we'll get hit with enough rain that he won't play either.
Well, that is enough on that. Time to finish up two more things before going to sleep.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some Progress

Just a quick note to show that I have been making real process on the map end of things. Unfortunately, the scanning and touch-ups aren't as fast as I would like. I am still not completely satisfied, but I think these are what I am going to go with for a number of the maps. Jason Ludwig's locations have artwork and cartography that he did for me. He did much nicer maps than I have, but I think they'll get better.
The map above is for The White Tankard, a shady tavern that, well, I don't think I have listed as one of the coming releases. I suppose if you want to know more about The White Tankard you'll have to wait ;).
I am probably going without formal map keys. I'll have labels for a few items but allow the reader/viewer to figure out what the rest is based on the room descriptions. I guess I will wait and see how that goes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Computer Fun

Well, today I spent my spare time moving things around a bit on the desktop machine in order to free up space on the main drive. Basically, this means I backed everything up (twice) and then moved the iPhoto library to a new external hard disc. This means that we have to leave that particular drive on pretty much all of the time. Those of you that are counting, yes, the back-ups are on different drives meaning a total of 3 drives was involved. Meanwhile, of course, I did a full back-up on this machine as it has most of the drafts and outlines. Basically, I just put off any pressing need to buy a brand new machine until later this year or sometime in January.

I actually end up doing lots of the layout on the laptop for some reason. I can't really explain why. Art touch-ups, scanning, picture modifications, etc. are all done on the other machine as it has a MUCH bigger screen. You'd think that would make the layout easier too.

I am getting very close to having enough done to start releases. I need to scan the maps I have been working on, touch them up to the point that I am satisfied (sometimes pretty time-consuming) and start plugging though the layout. A lot of things are mostly through layout (sans maps) but I am probably going to play with the top borders a bit. We'll see. I should have a bit of artwork and/or maps and maybe a sample page or two ready to post to the website and blog sometime this week. The beginning of the week is pretty busy, but I think it is promising.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Long Day

Warning: This is mostly Soccer News...
Well, it has definitely been a long day. The boys' soccer games went, well, "mixed." DS#2's game was a "club friendly" so they actually played against one team the first half and a different team the second half. They played fairly well, lost the first half but one the second so I guess it was about even. DS#1's soccer game was only about 35-40 miles away so that wasn't a bad drive. It is considered a "non-conference" game meaning it doesn't count for standings. That is a good thing. We had a significant edge in ball possession but lost the game 2-0. The team played very well, they just could not seem to put the ball in back of the net. The goals the other team scored shouldn't really have happened. DS#1 didn't get a huge amount of play time, but while he did play he played very well. He is clearly improving and if he continues he is certainly going to be getting more playtime. His coach was very pleased with him.
DD's party went well, or so I hear. I would have liked to have been there but it did overlap with DS#1's soccer game, well, the travel time to the game was the big thing I suppose. This will be the last "big" party for her. Next year she gets to invite a few select friends for a movie or something similar.

Well, in other news... the harddrive for the desktop machine is full. I cleared some material out but the biggest draw on space right now is the collection of digital pictures. The desktop is fairly old and only has a 150 gig drive. When your iTunes and iphoto libraries take up almost 2/3rd of that, well, you start to run out of space. This means I have an excuse to buy a new desktop, which for me means getting a top-end iMac. I would almost go for one of the bigger Macs but really can't excuse the expense right now.
What does this all mean? Well, I have spent more time cleaning up files and clearing up space on that machine than I have scanning and touching-up the maps. I should be able to get them scanned tomorrow night. I will try to post at least one of them so the few of you reading this can laugh at my maps ;).

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Well, I have a few hand-drawn maps done now. I need to get them scanned into the computer and touched up a bit. They aren't the quality I would like but I guess the hours of drawing lately have helped me improve a bit. I am, if not "thrilled" with them, I am at least "satisfied."

This means that I should have things ready to go fairly soon now. With the older 3 in school I have been able to get a bit of work done during DS#3's naptimes and I have been getting a few things done during soccer practices and/or at night. All in all, I have been a bit more efficient.

DD has a birthday party this Saturday (her birthday was last month but we wait until after school starts to have the party). I will actually miss the party. I will be with DS#1 in New Braunfels (it is a bit NW of SA) for a soccer game. DS#2 has a game Saturday morning, but it is before the party and it is a home game so it shouldn't be a big deal. We'll have my nieces and sisters-in-law over for the weekend as well. This means that it is very unlikely I'll get much done this weekend. Particularly as my oven isn't scheduled to be fixed until next Tuesday. They had to order the part from Indiana...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another day ....

Well, I really am trying to post more often.
Map/Cartography problems are still plaguing me. This is par for the course I suppose. I WAS talking with a cartographer that was (thankfully) very honest with me about receiving a contract from another company for quite a bit more than I can pay. I guess that project is in color and has a tight deadline so cheap building maps are not in the works right now.
I have been working on a number of things of my own. One is creating a set of map tiles for my own use. I just finished up a fairly large set. These are designed to be put into one of two tile-using mapping programs that I have right now. The output from both programs still leaves a lot to be desired. Output creating a map in Illustrator and/or Photoshop is much nicer. This means a lot more hand-drawing for me though as I am not terribly efficient at creating the maps with these programs. I have a few more ideas that I am working on.
As frustrating as this has been, I have actually been enjoying some parts of the challenge. Now, it is no surprise that other things have been REALLY frustrating, but I guess we all have to expect this in life, don't we?
Time to get back to work while DS#3 naps. I am guessing that once I finally get on a roll the oven repairman will finally show up (likely waking the baby).