Sunday, August 28, 2005

Transitive Reality

I made that term up to describe many of my dreams. Hopefully other people experience this... because if not I may be crazy.

I my dreams, my perspective or point of view can change fluidly, as well as my surroundings. The dream I had just before I woke up had to do with my character in an RPG (that only existed in that dream) trying to get permission from another character's father to get to some social ball. My potential "date" reminded me of my girlfriend I went to prom with... though I'm not sure if that was the player or the character and the name was wrong. I was at the district office for Best Buy in the mall, waiting for her father to show up and decided to get a haircut, which made me look like a cancer patient and ended up in the parking lot where I was trying to mentally park a car. I went back inside and ran into the GM and the father, who shot me down because his daughter was going with some high society guy because the GM had set that up so Joani (I think that was her name) could work on her social standing score (the GM showed me the sheet with notes, which is where I got the name from). Don't ask me why the GM and the father, who should be an NPC, were having a pint at a place that looked like a Scottish version of Applebees.

Maybe I shouldn't have been working on my Firefly campaign right before bed.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Depression & Grief

Ok, first of all, I'm not depressed. I've been depressed, so I know the difference, so don't worry.

While grocery shopping I had an epiphany of sorts. Grief really has to do with two things, abscence and guilt (and as we get older we move more and more towards the latter). Not that the guilt is justified... it can be as simple as survivor's guilt, or guilt about not being able to say good-bye.

This thought came to mind as I was grocery shopping. Marsh has these little wicker baskets with cloth liners. Every time I saw them, I would muse how if I got one it would become a bed for Kuriko, whether that's why I bought it or not. Today when I saw them I felt guilty for never having gotten one for her. I know it makes no sense... she was just as happy with a grocery bag or shoe box, but it still brings that choked up feeling back.

Depression is much more pervasive... when you're depressed you feel isolated and hopeless. That's not what I'm feeling... if I'm not dwelling on Kuriko I'm basicly content.

Okay, maybe all of that didn't really have a point. I'm just trying to get thoughts out of my skull and into type more often rather than let them bounce around in there.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Fox revision of 'Shindig'

Credit to the original creator... I found this on

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Toyota Bait

A friend on mine sent me this, and he's right... it does appeal to my evil and sick sense of humor.

Toyota Bait

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My return to work was full of chaos. Our computer systems have been freaking out, and since everything we do is on computer, it makes it hard to get things done or conduct research. Plus tomorrow we have an assessment, or as I like to call it, the Dog & Pony Show. I really have better things to do at work than spend hours going over warm & fuzzies and jumping through corporate hoops.

I was glad no one asked about my absence Monday. I still have trouble talking about Kuriko, and while it may be ok for my friends to see me choke up, not so much for my team at work.

This has made me more grateful for my friends. While I tend to deal with this kind of stuff on my own, I know that if I needed someone to talk to all I'd have to do is pick up the phone.

OK, that's enough now... while this isn't as bad as when I got the condolence cards from my vets... well, the whole choking up thing. Makes we glad I don't use a webcam.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

GenCon Recap

GenCon Costume Winner

GenCon 2005 was probably the most fun I can remember having at a Con (though to be fair I can't remember much of GenCon '84 (aka Uncle Ozzi and His Followers... or was it '83?) I think the big thing is that I had some many friends there that I could find someone to hang out with whenever I wanted.

I got to play the new Serenity RPG (which sold out quickly) despite not having pre-registered for the event, partly through luck and partly through stubborness. Of course, playing Inara wasn't my first choice, but I got to play (and verbally emasculate "Mal" by pointing out that Inara could pilot better than Mal).

Thursday night we went to the Party on Plaza. I had just finished telling a story about how I met some friends from college and the fact that their son had just started at the same college we attended. A guy in our group was checking out someone behind me and said something like "she looks like a lively one." I did the casual half turn in the chair so I could see who she was, saw her, then snapped my head back around.

"Dude, you're checking out my friends' daughter." Talk about feeling old.

We then went to the True Tavern, which is a large area decorated as the cliche tavern that characters meet up in before the adventure. Two cool things about it was that there was a dark "alley" area that included a secluded Rogue's Lair. The other cool thing was a True Cash Bar.

Some of us took over the Rogue's Lair, chasing off the lecherous and drunk "rogue" that was hanging out back there. Then when other gamers stumbled across the "Lair" we did what came naturally... started role-playing as though we owned the place. Messing with wandering gamers became our favorite new sport.

Friday was wandering, a seminar and another gaming session. One of the things a love about GenCon is that among the thousands of people there you'll run into people you know. A friend of mine was volunteering at an info station and I was hanging around between the seminar and the gaming session. A guy came up to ask for directions and he seemed familiar. I saw his name tag.

"George? From northwest Indiana?"
He looks at me, then reads my name tag. "Ozzi-san?"

George and I gamed together when we were in high school and we hadn't seen each other since GenCon '89. We caught up with each other (he has a 16 year old daughter... feeling old again) and exchanged contact info. Of course, we ran into each other again something like three more times over the Con.

I wore my kilt Friday (and Sunday) and found that it was like being in a big club. You couldn't go down an aisle without encountering some kilt-wearers and I was asked repeatedly where I had got mine and where the Utilikilt booth was. A friend of mine pointed at me when he first saw me that day and told me to stay at least 5' feet away. Then I pointed out that he was showing more leg in his shorts than I was in my kilt.

The game was a homebrewed bastardization of AD&D and Runequest. While GM was good at narration and making judgement calls, he had serious pacing issues and was trying to put an 8 hour adventure into a 4 hour slot, not to mention teaching players a custom game system. Also, there we're two... how to put this delicately... asshole players. They got really pissy when it looked like the GM was going to my friend and I the characters that they wanted, then when the GM had us roll dice to see who got the characters my friend and I won. Eventually the assholes (one of whom used a calculator instead of dice) decided to leave, though they did make a valid point about the GM's pacing issues. Jason called to let us know that he was heading for the True Tavern. I made an excuse and handed my character to one of the GM's friends who was watching.

Once Jason and I went back to the Lair, there were two college couples hanging out back there (wonder what they were doing back there in the dark... ). After a while, when they realized we were there for the duration, they left. Jason had a bunch of tokens from the True Dungeon and had been through the True Dungeon. He would trade with the "adventurers" who came back, and if they role-played he'd give them a tidbit of info and let them trade one of their tokens for a random pick from his hoard of tokens (which was seeded with some good items). Once my friend escaped the aforementioned custom game, she joined us, guiding adventurers to Jason. My job was to drink and provide commentary in the quasi-Gaelic brogue that all of my accents devolve into. Eventually we got kicked out by the staff, but it was 20 minutes to close anyways and the last group of adventurers had already gone into the Dungeon.

Saturday I went in costume. Being the ham that I am, I enjoy getting asked to have my picture taken. One of the artists in the art show had me pose for shots from a couple of angles against a white background because he liked my costume so much, so maybe I'll end up in a painting or in a gaming product. Or my own Magic Card ... "Laird Oz (green & black) taps mana for beer".

Speaking of Magic, I watched a friend of mine, trade cards worth somewhere around $1500 dollars. Makes me glad I never got into Magic, but makes me wish I'd bought a pack or two when they first came out.

We went to the Costume Contest. I go every year, but I don't enter. There are lots a good costumes, a presentation or two that goes on two long, and invariably some girl trying to karaoke a Japanese Anime song in a painful performance. In fact, the talent portion they might as well just gone ahead and awarded to the 2 girls that win every year with their step-dancing routine (every year they've done a different number, and every year they blow away the rest of the talent entrees).

The Best of Show came down to two costumes. One was the Red Death, from Edgar Allen Poe. It was this huge, articulated, robed skeleton that was about 8 feet tall. It was really well done, as not only could the wearer walk, but he had a great deal of motion in the arms and could gesture quite well. The other was a winged elf... a cute brunette I've seen at the past two GenCons, I believe as an elf both years, with lots of green and brown in her outfit in '03... not that I noticed. Anyways, she walks out onto stage with these beautiful wings composed of 3000 feathers and the crowd is dead silent. Then as she bows the wings unfurl and the crowd explodes.

When it came down to the final applause-off, it was obvious she was going to win, though the Skeleton wasn't going down without a fight (in fact the two of them did some posturing when someone suggested letting them fight for it). When it came time for the Skeleton's applause he started step-dancing. The MC couldn't talk for at least a minute from laughing.

After that, we went to a friend's house to watch a movie. The original thought was that a couple of us would go to the White Wolf party after the movie... but we ended up watching Return of the King. The extended version. So by the time the movie was over (around 1:30ish) we were ready to call it a night. I haven't heard how the party went this year, but last year there was about 10 guys to every girl, and probably 2/3 of the women were White Wolf employees, so I probably didn't miss much.

Sunday was the wrap up. You could tell people were dragging. I trolled for any crazy-stupid end-of-con bargains, picked up the magnifier I had ordered for mini painting and bought a few other things I'd put off until the last minute. After that and having an end-of-con toast at Rock Bottom, did a little mini painting, and saw Batman Begins at the IMAX. As I drove home past the convention center, it was a little sad seeing everything coming down. But there's next year. And maybe GenCon SoCal. And GenCon Europe... am I getting carried away?

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Goodbye Kuriko

Kuriko Osborne 1988 - 2005

I came home from the last day of GenCon and found Kuriko colapsed by the door in a puddle of urine. At first I thought she was dead right there until she move a little. I took her into the kitchen to see if she'd perk up for some food, but she couldn't even sit up.

I took her to the emergency vet, and I could tell it was bad. The vet did an exam and an x-ray and found several masses through Kuriko's body, including one that had dislodged her trachea. I couldn't even string the words together, but there was nothing to be done. I said goodbye to Kuriko and stayed with her while the vet sedated her and put her to sleep. I think she was really already gone... she didn't make a sound and didn't focus on anything. It felt like someone tore a hole in my chest. She has been with me most of my adult life.

My friends Keith and Sherri were kind enough to wait up for me while I brought Kuriko up to their farm and helped me bury her with two other cats from our tribe that had passed on.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

On vacation

A list of things I should do while on vacation before I go to GenCon

1) Clean house
2) Clean garage
3) Yardwork - deal with the shrubs and weeds
4) Clean the garage
5) Throw away all of the clothes I'll never wear again
6) Paint the front door
7) Organize my comic collection
8) Set up my new PC and rearrange my den
9) Do lots of prework for my campaigns

What I'll probably really do

1) Play on the computer

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On-line gaming kills...

Check out this news story.

What a n00b... all l33t g4m3r5 know that you have to pace yourself.

And remember ... Flying Spaghetti Monster wants to hug you with his noodley appendages.

And Ozling say "Arrr! for the environment."

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Sunday, August 07, 2005


I was going to post something depressing about realizing how long it's been since I last had a girlfriend after I looked in the guestbook on my website, but instead I decided to post a link to this.

How can you not look at a pissed off cat with stuff piled on it and not smile?

Here 'Ogi...

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Movie catch up

I've seen a lot of movies I never got around to giving reviews on here.

The Island - 3.5 flying cloned monkeys
I liked McGregor and Johansenn in their roles, Buscemi was great but the story had some holes. And the damned director nixed Scarlett's request to do a nude scene. :(

War of the World - 4 Martian flying monkeys
Good acting, despite the fact that I wanted to dislike Tom Cruise. Wait a minute... did I review this already?

Fantastic Four - 3.5 Cosmic flying monkeys
Overall pretty good, but Doom could have been better and made for a better final fight. And Jessica Alba's skintight bluesuit gets a thumbs up.

Crap... I know I've seen more movies than this. Friggin' Ozheimers.

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A lot of movie remakes of television shows either make fun of the source material (Brady Bunch movie) or revamp it with super-slick modern production (Lost in Space). The Dukes of Hazzard does neither, staying pretty true to the source material. Fans of the original show will enjoy the movie. If you hated the original... then don't bother.

Seann William Scott and the General Lee stole the show. I was braced for Stifler Duke, and while Scott was a bit more ... energetic than John Schneider (and a lot more in love with the General Lee), he didn't get carried away. Johnny Knoxville just kind of cruised along, playing off Scott. Willie Nelson was dead on for Uncle Jesse. And of course, everyone wants to hear that Jessica Simson sucked. Well, she didn't do a bad job, probably because the script didn't require her to do too much. But I've seen much more talented actresses give really painful performances. Besides, we all know why Jessica's on the screen. :)

Some people didn't like Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg but I did. It wasn't Sorrel Brook's Boss Hogg, but I didn't miss the Boss Hogg/Roscoe buffoonery of the original.

The movie itself follows the tradition DoH formula, but the pace of the movie made you forget it was 2 hours long. It even included the tradional opening song, the Balladeer, and the freeze shots where there would be commercials in the tv show.

Be sure to stay at the end for Willie's performance and the outtakes. When Jessica starts singing you can leave.

Rating this movie is kind of hard. I really enjoyed it... but it is just the Dukes of Hazzard, not Lucas or Spielberg. Oh, right... Revenge of the Sith.

Four Rebel-yelling flying monkeys.

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Castles for sale

Dream of buying a castle? Click here.

What would I do with a castle? I could go a long time without ever having to clean up by moving from room to room, with a crew of people coming along behind me to shovel out and clean the rooms I had previously laired in.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Another Creation theory in Kansas

Here is a letter sent to the Kansas School Board regarding another theory of "Intelligent Design".

Now it's time to do my part to fight global warming and put on my pirate eyepatch.

Arrrrrrrrr! for the environment.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Serenity interview

Specifically, with Gina Torres/Zoe. Click here.

Less than two months to go...

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