Torn World

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:13 am
kengr: (Default)
I'm working my way thru the stories on the Torn World site, and I'm wondering if the site has had some sort of major problem.

Most of the stories available to non-supporters aren't actually there. Or rather, anywhere from a few lines to a couple of paragraphs are, but then they end in the middle of a sentence. Some don't have anything and show a word count of zero. Heck, one had a word count of -1!!!

I'm also seeing things like part 2 or even 3 of a story and no trace of the previous parts.

Anybody know what's going on?
kengr: (Default)
A few days ago I had a dream. It started out with me arriving a bit late at a con. The con was being held in some hotel that had a bunch of "themed" areas.

Anyway, after spending some time with friends I went to check in (I think I was going let one of there friends share the room). Amazing the line at the desk was short.

Then came the fun. The elevators were somewhat camoflaged, and the other ways of transition between various areas had a lot in common with them park rides.

I was having increasing difficulty trying to find my room. and kept winding up back at places I'd already been. Mind you, this sort of "maze" behavior isn't that uncommon in my dreams. But this time I was getting cranky because I was tired and just wanted to rest.

Finally had a major league meltdown

About then I started coming awake and just before I woke up, I took one last glance at the paper with my room number on it. and proceeded to heap impreciations on my subconscious.

Why? The room was number 404...
kengr: (Default)
Last night (well early this morning if you want to get technical) I was doing the usual bit. Check my blood sugar, and inject insulin as needed.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was (for once) low enough I didn't need any insulin-R. (116 mg/dL)

So I did the usual nightly injection of Insulin-N since I was going to go to bed soon. I know I used the N, because I keep the vials in distinctly different containers, and the R is clear, while the N is milky. I also distinctly remember rolling the vial to mix it (N settles if you don't mix it gently).

The injection went the same as usual. But a while later I was starting to sweat a lot. I figured it was just the fact I'd turned off the fan in the living room window. So I laid down on the bed, hooked up the CPAP and tried to get to sleep.

But I was *still* sweating like a stuck pig. and I realized my heart was pounding. I grabbed the pulse oximeter that I had on the night stand and check. O2 saturation was ok, but my pulse was over 100. WTF?

I suspected i was having a hypoglycemic episode. So I put the oximeter on its lanyard around my neck and clipped my cell phone to it (I do *not* intend to ever be one of those folks who falls down and can't get to the phone, thank very much!). Then I carefully got up (for once I was thank for the crowded state of the room, lots of things to brace myself with).

Just sitting up made me dizzy. Yep hypoglycemia was looking likely. Bleah. Got over to the computer, sat down and grabbed to glucometer. The reading was 39. WTF!

Definitely not good, I worked my way to the fridge and grabbed to bottle of orange juice and got back to the chair. I poured myself a glass and drank it. Then another. (real fruit juice is a recommended way to get your blood sugar up fast).

I could have used the emergency glucose tabs or even some hard candy I keep just in case, but I figured I needed the fluids.

I texted Fay to let her know I was having trouble and to get help if I didn't check back with her soon. It's nice having a friend only a few apartments away. She texted back o ask how long and I told her 30 minutes (it's not like I was going to *die* in that much time, but if I wasn't able to respond, I'd definitely need help.

mildly gross bit )

A recheck of my blood sugar had it up to 130 so that was good. I finished off the bottle of juice, let Fay know my blood sugar was back to normal and made a PB&J sandwich to have something that'd give some longer term carbs.

This is my second (third?) instance of hypoglycemia. At least it confirms what I suspected from previous bouts. Sweating like hell is *definitely* one of my warning signs. This is the first time it was so sudden though.

Previous instances were a case of wake up not feeling great and discover I had it.

I'm just really puzzled by this episode. I mean even if I'd accidentally injected into a vein the insulin-N should have done anything *that* fast, should it? Oh well another question to run past the doc next visit.

And now, breakfast!

Two views

Jun. 17th, 2017 08:22 pm
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Now that I have the rules for that poetry form I was exposed to in Junior high, I'm trying it again.

As I did then, I'm finding it useful for considering duality





son son
soft, gentle weak, useless
caring, loving, helping clinging, whining, dragging
joy in a harsh world vulnerable not strong
daughter dead
kengr: (Default)
Earlier in the week I had managed to weed all of the plot but where the strawberries are *and* transplant the "stray" strawberry plants into gaps in that section. I wasn't too worried if they'd survive, we've got too [censored] many of them anyway.

Thursday I hoped to plant the rest of the starts Fay'd picked up but it was raining a bit more than I wanted to deal with. I did go ahead and set them out in roughly the spots I'd plant them, but left it at that.

Today, it's obviously been raining off and on, but it wasn't raining when I went out a bit ago. so I managed to get them all planted.
Read more... )
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After reading a post by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith on disabilities in SF, I got to thinking.

First one I recalled was Arthur C. Clarke's "Islands in the Sky" with a legless guy on a space station (someone else with a better memory reminded me that he was the commander of the station).

That lead me to recall that the Commandant of the Patrol Academy in Robert Heinlein's "Space Cadet" was blind.

And now that I think more, there was Baslim the blind and crippled beggar in Heinlein's "Citizen of the Galaxy" (who turns out to be a lot more than you'd think).

Then I recalled Murray Leinster's "Space Platform" where a good chunk of the workers building (on the ground!) the first space station (they launched it in one piece!!!) were midgets/dwarfs because they could work in tight spaces.

at one point it's suggested they they launch a smaller setup crewed by some of them as a stopgap because they don't need as muchg space, air or food as regular sized people.

And these were all in the 50s!

Later came Anne McCaffery's "The Ship Who Sang". And a book whose author and title I forget whose main character was blinded (on purpose by some nasties) and used a prosthetic that let him see thru the eyes of nearby people or animals. He managed to take advantage of this to figure out what everyone had been trying to do for a long, long time and "map" hyperspace.

C.S. Freidman had a book where one of the cultures was built around almost all the people in it being neurodiveregent in one way or another. And being *designed* to accomdate them.

Anyone else have some stories to add? Fantasy stories are ok too.
kengr: (Default)
Many years ago in my weekly D&D campaign the party had gotten pretty chewed up. As I recall, no one died, but most of them were pretty low on hit points.

They'd left the ruined castle proper (everything above the ground floor was gone, and there was a partially water filled *crater* in part of the ground floor. An *elliptical* crater). They were heading across the large open area between the keep and the outer wall.

The gatehouse passageway was *huge* (as I recall, something like 50 feet across and 150 feet long). They'd just entered it when they encountered a small party of clerics heading in. From their symbols it was obvious they were of the evil variety.

Being as beat up as they were, the player party would just as soon not have another fight. They'd have almost certainly *won*, but they really didn't need the extra damage that'd ensue.

So some shouted negotiations took place as the two parties faced each other some distance apart. They'd just managed to agree to use opposite sides of the passage (at 50 feet, that was enough separation for both sides to feel mostly safe)

Then it occurred to one of the players that even *evil* clerics have cure spells. And it'd be nice to get healed some before they got back to town.

Since the dungeon was on a large island in a lake and the town was on another island over a mile away, this was actually a good idea. They might encounter some other problem before they got back to their boats, or encounter something while rowing back to town.

So, more negotiations. They wanted to buy some cure serious wounds spells. Much discussion amongst the evil clerics.

"Ok, it'll be a thousand golds apiece."

"A thousand! That's outrageous. They'e only 500 in town!"

The cleric shrugged. "So go to town. We're here, the price is a thousand each."

Much arguing but the player party gave in. Everybody watched carefully as the worst injured got healed. They were somewhat better, and the parties went on their ways. The player party got back to town ok and got healed up and everything.

A couple of months later, they hear some folks laughing themselves silly in a tavern. So they ask what's so funny.

Seems that the story was about how some priests of [????] had swindled some adventures. They'd charged them for cure serious but only cast cure light.

The players were *not* happy, as a cure light (in town) was only 100 gold. So they hadn't paid double the price, they'd paid *ten times* the price.

And this, children is how my players learned a painful lesson about the difference between player knowledge and character knowledge. Among other things.

It was hard keeping a straight face while negotiating that scene. And it was hard to wait all those weeks before I let the players find out. But *oh* was it satisfying. :-)

Food fun

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:18 am
kengr: (Default)
Years back Lin & Kermit sent me an unexpected gift (might have been Christmas, might have been my birthday). They knew I ate a lot of ramen, so they went on Amazon and bought me two flats of the *good* stuff.

Specifically, Nong Shim Neo Guri. Much better noodles than the cheap stuff and better flavor too. They wound up getting used as a "special treat" sort of thing.

When I hit a semi-local oriental market some time after I'd run out, I found there were several other varieties available. After trying them all, I've settled down to having the Nong shim stuff once a week, and alkternating between the Neo Guri and the Shin Ramyun.

Since Neo Guri is essentially "spicy seafood", when I noticed a "seafood medley" in the frozen foods section I got it and tried using it for the "meat" in the ramen.

Shrimp, octopus, mussels, etc. Yum! Plus, of course, various veggies. Side note, after figuring out that one of the things in the dried veggie packets that came with the Nong Shim stuff was dried seaweed, I started buying package of that to add to the regular ramen. adds a nice flavor and some other stuff.

Anyway, there I was, eating my spicy seafood and I suddenly notice that one of the noodles on my fork looks off color (did I mention that these noodles are at least twice as thick as the cheap stuff?). I took a closer look and then saw it was a tentacle that's broken off one of the octupus bits.

This gave me all sorts of silly thoughts ranging from the FSM to Cthulhu. :-)
kengr: (hyperdice)
This is one I've had in the back of my head for years.

Working title is "Room".

He got off the bus and headed for the store. Then he walked around the building to get to the back. From there he pushed through some bushes and started up the faint trail that made a diagonal up the face of the ridge.

Soon he was on the wide shelf partway up the hill. It was a good hundred feet wide and ran half a mile or so. He enjoyed walking among the bushes and small trees. Soon enough he arrived at the back of the old abandoned building.

There was cyclone fencing around it, but other people had made holes here in the back where it couldn't be seen from the street. He crawled through one of the holes, dusted himself off and went to a doorway that had been boarded up. Someone had pulled the boards though.

It was a bit dim inside, but not too bad because the windows on the front side of the building weren't boarded up. After all on that side this was the third floor!

He'd been poking around for a bit when he heard a noise. He looked out a window and saw someone guys standing near the front of the building.

Uh oh. He recognized them from school. He did not want to run into them. He'd had enough trouble with them at school.
Read more... )
Not remotely finished, but it seemed like a good stopping point

ETA:I'm looking for some feedback. And I'm curious as to your thoughts about what's going on or might be going on. *I* know, but I'm both wondering how it comes across to the reader, and what others think about the "situation".

Fun story

Jun. 11th, 2017 12:34 am
kengr: (Default)
II got pointed at this elsewhere and decided to check it out. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised.

http://storiesonline.net/s/15688/the-secret-life-of-secretaries
(no sex, some violence but it's mostly off screen)
kengr: (Default)
Friday I went to run some errands. Mostly a trip to the hardware store to get a nut for the grabber thingie I bought a while back. I need that to get stuff off the floor without having to bend over, or worse kneel down.

I'd been picking up some recycling that'd spilled from the bag it was in, and all of a sudden "Spung!" one of the two suction cup shaped things was gone.

After some search I found it,but not the acorn nut that had held it on. Since I'm trying to get the place presentable in anticipation of the "annual" inspection (I use quotes because this is the one by the management company, there's another one by HUD later in the year, and sometimes others) I needed to get it working again.

Getting the 71 to the Parkrose transit center was easy. But once there, texting the Tri-Met info number with the stop ID said the next 21 was "scheduled" for half an hour from then. When it says "scheduled" instead of how many minutes that either means the bus in question doesn't have GPS (so they don't know exactly where it is) or (rarely) that there's problem.

The time came and went. Finally the *next* bus (which also showed "scheduled" (WTF?) showed up.

Note that the driver of the 71 had said there were some sort of problems, including one lane of I-84 being close. and there'd been an insane amount of traffic on Sandy.

Any, t was only a few minutes to the hardware store.
Read more... )

Garden pics

Jun. 8th, 2017 10:33 pm
kengr: (Default)
Went out today and got some pics of the garden

Here's looking at the raised bed (a watering trough that a garden center probably charged a lot more than a farm supply store would have)
end view of raised bed
More pics )
kengr: (Default)
Late this morning it was still somewhat tolerable outside. So I took a wicker basket, a pair of gardening scissors and a sprinkler out to the backyard.

The "raised bed" (read re-purposed watering trough) was a riot of greens. The tomatoes in the plot looked mostly ok, but the basil was still kinda wilty.

So I set the sprinkler on our plot and went to work on the tub (fay and I call it that for shorthand). Some web research had shown that the big brown patches on the chard were infestations of a sort of beetle larva that lives *inside* the leaves.

So I spent some time carefully trimming out the infested parts, and sometimes just cutting off whole leaves. The chard plants were greatly reduced, but should survive.

I also trimmed some of the adjacent spinach leaves that looked like they'd gotten hit. No need to worry about *those* plants surviving!

This had taken a while because it was awkward to work around the plants, and I had trouble with my back. I finally dragged up one of the plastic chairs and sat down to work on things.
Read more... )

poem form?

Jun. 7th, 2017 01:15 pm
kengr: (Default)
About 50 years ago, my eighth grade English teacher had us writing poems in a form that was quite interesting. I've never run across it since, and (of course) I can't remember all the details.

It was:

noun
adjective, adjective
phrase (can't remember what sort, but there was something specific about it)
noun

I recall one that was:

School
dull, boring
[can't recall phrase]
prison

I paired it with another one that showed the exact opposite impression of school.

If this isn't something she invented on her own, I'd like to know what it's called and what the rules are.

Blitzkrieg (old gamer joke: tanks in advance)
kengr: (Default)
Some time ago, I noticed the pharmacy I use had a newer version of my glucometer.

Back in 2002, I was supplied with a One Touch Ultra meter after going to a diabetes class given by my HMO. It still works ok, though it has a few quirks.

I got the cables and software top hook it up to the computer. Tis is useful because I can plot graphs and other reports, which my doctors like very much when I come in for checkups.

But the meter wasn't always connecting well to the cable, and the software decided whether a reading was before or after a meal, and what meal based solely on time, with no input from me. This made many of the reports rather less than useful.

The new meter, the Ultra 2, let you *tell* it things about the tests. And research online showed that it'd work with the cables I already had.

So a few weeks back I asked the folks at the pharmacy to see if I could get a new meter. They checked with my insurance. The good news was that I could. the bad news was that I'd have to go thru the company that I get my test strips, syringes, etc from. And I'd just done an order with them.

Fortunately, a mistake on their end had them calling me last week. Seems somebody had told the computer to ask me about re-ordering in 30 days instead of 90.

We got that cleared up, and since I had them on the phone anyway, I asked about getting the new meter. No problem, They'd have one shipped to me.

It arrived today. The case is a bit better designed, though it does lack the belt loop. The "manual" is this *huge* sheet of paper ( D sized?) folded a gazilion times. But it was pretty straightforward to read the info, I just had to keep unfolding and refolding sections.

I downloaded the reading from the old meter and put it away in the box the new meter came in. Also made sure the software could talk to the new meter.

In a few hours I'll be making my first test with the new meter. Hopefully things will go fine. I'll just have to go thru the menus. I'll get used to them soon enough.

And now I have the old meter as a spare, which is good.
kengr: (Gender=N/A)
(I discovered that I'd actually never posted part 1, just an excerpt)

I took a deep breath before walking into the locker room. I was nervous, but I could do it. I hoped...

I'd actually gotten about a dozen feet inside before the yells started. I ignored them and headed on over to the cage to get a basket.

I'd almost made it when this huge guy blocked my path.

"Aren't you a little confused girlie? This is the boys locker room."

I looked up at him and said "Yeah, I know."

Read more... )
kengr: (Default)
A few (sort of) D&D related things.

Long ago, the Sticks & Stones microgame gave me the idea of "Stone Age" D&D. Neolithic would be interesting, though Paleolithic might be workable.

Obviously the classes would be a bit different. Of the basic four (fighter, cleric, mage, thief) fighters wouldn't change a lot. Mostly a matter of fewer armor and weapon choices.

Clerics would pretty much be limited to some sort of shaman. And their spells would likely be more limited

Mages are a trickier fit, and they'd *definitely have their spells more limited.

Thieves would be *way* different, probably more scouts and hunters to keep the "sneak around" skills.

Monsters would still exist, though a lot of them would be more limited just due to the lower populations.

Dwarves require some thought, but other than tech limits, shouldn't be too much of a problem. Halflings aren't a problem. :-)

For the "evil" races, orcs & goblins aren't a big problem. Kobolds probably aren't either.

Elves of all sorts are a problem. Their long lives might be a problem on several levels, and just how much of advantage they'd have both magically and technologically is gong to greatly affect things.

Another fun thought is if you are running several "independent" campaigns, the results of the stone age campaign might show up in the more "usual" period games as myths and legends. :-)

And now for something completely different.

I'm wondering what sort of "properties" a certain infamous puzzle box would have in D&D. What sort of magic folks think it should detect as, whether it detects of evil, as cursed, etc.

I'm thinking specifically of the "Lament Configuration" box from Hellraiser.

What do you folks think?
kengr: (he is us)
Trump's stance on climate change made me dig up this old comic

http://humoncomics.com/mother-gaia
kengr: (hyperdice)
This is going to be looking at things from a combination of contemporary tech (and reasonable extensions thereof) and future tech based mainly on the Traveller RPG. It's probably easily adaptable to other backgrounds.

Humans need a few basic items. I'm going to list them in order of importance. That is, how quickly you'll be in trouble without them.

They are:
air
temperature
water
food
gravity

Air )
Temperature )

Water & Food )
Gravity )

Errands

May. 31st, 2017 03:10 pm
kengr: (Default)
Wel, I finally ran the freebie bike down to Bike Gallery. They told me it would cost more than it was worth to bring it up to par (new rear wheel, new rear deraileur, new brakes, new cable for everything as well as the new seat and post I knew about)

S O I let them have it for whatever they can salvage from it.

I continued on down to Stark's Vacuums and picked up a cheap upright. It'll do for a year or so, and I'll definitely have managed to buy a *good* one by then. Gonna see if I can get a refurbished Rainbow.

This also means I can get an air conditioner sooner.

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