Dateline February 75th:
The CEO of Groundhog, Inc., has looted the company coffers and absconded to Belize. Company representatives have stated that Mr. Hog's actions were aparently motivated by recent death threats. The company is now more than four weeks behind their stated delivery date for "Spring" which had already been pushed back by six weeks from the original delivery date.
Peculiar circumstances led me into a Hot Topic in a mall in Elyria, OH. One of the two counter people was wearing a Frankenstien's Monster button, and we talked about this being the bicentennial year. On a whim, I asked if they were readers; both were non-commital. Then I said, "Tell me what you think of this; it's the back cover blurb from a novel." And then I recited the blurb mock-up from "Fiddler's Rose". Their faces lit up and they said a number of nice things, all of which seemed too startled to be insincere. I felt pretty good about that.
"How about this: I won't complain if you call me a Christian, and you won't complain if I call you a Buddhist."
Living at the intersection of "math head" and "fantasist" takes me to some REALLY interesting places. Because I have a firm belief that real world physics should apply except when EXPLICITLY contradicted, I find myself needing to know as much about the flight characteristics of real world creatures as possible, so that I can figure out how much magical hand waving is necessary to get where I want to go.
Consider the following fragment from "Fiddler's Rose":
“In the first chapter, the author talks about how hideously dangerous flying is. And then he talks about the fact that the standard sorcerer's flight spell... is crippled by safety features, because its forerunner was fatal three times out of four... It would seem that it is really easy to get dead when you are traveling at ninety miles an hour.”
I didn't just pull that 90 mph figure out of my hat. IF an average human has enough vertical thrust to get airborne plus 5%, he can parlay that 5% spare vertical thrust into a quarter gee of lateral thrust, and a quarter gee of lateral thrust will get you 90 mph. As it happens, I have been over that particular path so many times that I can reconstruct it from memory on demand.
This brings up the image below, which is the result of following that path a bit farther down the road to insanity. It is a histogram of the weight, wing loading, and cruise speed of both biological and mechanical aircraft, mapped onto log-log paper, with a trend line. The scale at the top is the square of the scale at the bottom, and the scale on the left is the cube of the scale at the bottom, and the trend line has a slope of two. Which is to say that cruising speed is proportional to the square root of wing loading, and is also proportional to the sixth root of mass.
And only about 1% of this is going to actually end up in the book, because I am not a fool. But it's there, and it is just SO cool...
Kevin Matchstick has a baseball bat again.
(It's about time.)
Life in my household:
Dementia: I've been reading spoilers for the "Avengers" movie. Want to know who dies?
Hyena: Huh? Won't that screw up "Agents of Shield"?
Dementia: What? You thought I was talking about the NEW one?
Hyena's brain locked up, and he fell to the floor in slow motion; Dementia just grinned.
Got talked into doing a D&D 5e demo. Knew better. Should have said no. Forgot about it.
Got reminded it was coming up. Should have cancelled. Panicked, spent several hours I didn't have getting ready for it.
Showed up, apologized profusely, turned around and went home.
Should have just said no.
I have been saying for years that I am a lousy game master, and have realized that this is not true. I am, in all likelihood, a mediocre game master, but I find the act of running a game so unpleasant that the difference doesn't matter. I came closer today than I have for thirty years. I think I have finally learned my lesson.
I can PLAY anything (though D&D is never my first choice); it's running the game that I can't handle. If I enjoyed doing it I would do it more, and get better at it, but recreational activities that make me unhappy make no sense.
A big part of my problem is the GMing pulls from the same reservoir of creative energy that writing does, and for me writing will always come first.
From Daniel Schwartz:
Stan J. Koy - do you realize it has been 23 years since you left Stanley Smith and Kraft? I was chatting with a friend who never realized I was a security guard at one point in time. I got thinking about that and realize it was about this time of year (March more than likely) you left, I became the Lt. It was only people like Paul Haynie who kept me sane (and that says something if Paul is the one who kept me sane).
Went to bed last night deeply afraid that the soap bubble had burst. 1400 words later, pretty sure that it hasn't.
"I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I'm rooting for the machines."
-- Claude Shannon, American mathematician (1916-2001)
I don't know squat about this fellow, but I think I need to know more. (I do know that today is his birthday. Also Willie Nelson.)
I was putting together some loaner dice sets for the Saturday demo that didn't happen, and found these in the sack of D6s. They were a gift from one or both of the Lortz brothers in either late 1976 or early 1977. There's nothing special about them at all, but that doesn't make them any less precious. (The image is of a pair of green six sided dice with white pips.)