Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Random bits from Facebook

March 1:
Life in my household:
The hero in the recorded television show had been gifted with a (rental) sports car. Hyena asked Dementia if she had caught the logo; she hadn't. Hyena said, "On a field or, a horse rampant, sable." Dementia thought for a moment and said, "Ferrari?" Hyena grinned.

We are familiar with many odd things in this household.

March 1:
"Dude, if bacon is what kills me, then I win." - Dean Winchester (who is rapidly moving from "fictitious" to "legendary" status)

March 2:
Lifted from a D&D thread on highly improbable die rolls:

Player One: I have seen under my watchful eye a player roll up a character with straight 17s. I had her buy a lottery ticket later.

Player One: And they where my damn dice

Player Two: LOL...sounds like a DM after my own heart :)

Player One: This was also twenty nine years ago..., we have been married the last twenty three!

(I checked with Player One. This was done with straight 3D6 throws; this is a one in 140 BILLION chance. I can't bring myself to exactly believe the story, but it charms me regardless.)

Marxch 3:
I am currently writing a lot of 17th century fantasy dialog. There really aren't too many restrictions, but... Have you ever considered how difficult it is to write a long piece of back-and-forth without EVER using the term, "OK"?

March 4:
March 4. Ten years since I got an e-mail from Ernie saying that his dad had died.

I only met Gary half a dozen times, sat across the table from him playing board games (and eating hot dogs) three of those times. His death hit me a lot harder than I expected it to. Four days later, on my 52nd birthday, Dementia and I went to his funeral.

Here's to you, Gary. May the adventure exceed the expectation.

March 4:
About six weeks ago, I took it into my head to re-examine my path as a writer from a different perspective. Rather than looking at a story, and then trying to find the best way to tell it, I decided to look at my writing tool kit, decide what kind of thing I actually ENJOYED writing, and then look for stories that I could tell usig those techniques. This is kind of like trying to fix the starter in your car by repainting the fenders, but after more than 40 years, I am willing to try pretty much any thing.

So on Thursday, I started telling the story in this extremely sideways fashion. I now have 2500 words after four days. I am actually experiencing something that resembles creativity. It's kind of cool.

March 5:
We are REALLY enjoying the third season of "The Magicians". Five episodes in, we are still interested in the characters and the direction of the story, and the show has made us laugh out loud several times. This is a big deal; effective humor in the middle a drama that does NOT break the narrative flow is a VERY difficult trick, and they pull it off in almost every episode. Consider the scene in which two characters, in deadly danger, improvise a code using metaphors from genre TV and movies, with (often hilarious) subtitles to let the audience in on the joke. It's incredibly well done, and we had to rewind several times to pick up the dialog we lost to laughter. I don't quite like ANY of the characters, but I LOVE the show.

March 5:
Gaming file:
I remain perpetually baffled as to why anyone would actually WANT to play a stupid or clumsy or weak or sickly character, I want my games to be about things that I couldn't do in real life, not about failing to do things I find easy in the real world. (I know that plenty of people disagree with me on this, I just don't know why.)

March 7:
I am reminded once again that the only real venue for serious discussion, at least when I am participating, is one-to-one, face-to-face conversation. In any other situation, I simply do not get enough feedback for the impact my words are having. In any other situation, I can't tell if my respondent is following the argument, or lost and bewildered, or deeply offended, or half-listening while calculating a response, or possibly staggering under a life changing epiphany. (Don't laugh; I can't say I have ever had that impact on anyone, but I know it has happened to me.) It takes all I have to keep track of my own thoughts, and ONE other person.

When someone online says something that is seventeen kinds of logically untenable, I have to let it drop. Maybe the other person is just looking for a fight, and doesn't really care. Maybe the other person's view are deeply, sincerely, and unshakeably held, and arguing would be kicking a metaphorical puppy. And maybe the other person is honestly ignorant and seeking, and really wants to know what I have to say. Online, I let it drop in any case, because there is just no way to tell. Face to face, I will either know or can learn easily.

Online communication makes me grind my teeth a lot.

March 8:
Joys of humanity:

A few years ago, at a family gathering, I made an off-hand comment about the impossibility of a human-powered helicopter, and Howard, my bother's father-in-law, looked me in the eye and sincerely asked me why it was impossible.

Howard was in his 80s, then, a retired marketing guy whose only formal experience with physics or engineering would have been during the Truman administration. The answer he wanted was really over the edge of his world. But he seemed to be really interested, so I took a deep breath and dove in.

I hit him with the distinction between momentum and kinetic energy, and power limitations, and scaling issues, maybe three minutes of really hard core geekery while the other nine or ten people at the table looked on with interest, amusement, or boredom. Howard asked intelligent questions and stayed engaged, and in the end, I think he really got it. I wouldn't bet that he could reconstruct it the next day, but at that moment, he had a firm grasp on this obscure little bit of the esoterica mathematica.

Every now and then, someone does something that just makes me proud to be a member of the same species, does something that cuts through all of the angst and the doomsaying and makes a little voice in my head say, "Damn. Score one for the big, pink monkeys." That night, it was Howard.

Today is my sixty-second birthday. Twenty-five years from now, I can only hope that, given the opportunity, I can play the game of life half as well as Howard did that night...

(I have since learned that about six months before the above mentioned conversatoin took place, the AeroVelo Atlas flew for 64 seconds. I was wrong; Howard was still impossibly cool.)

March 9:
Thank you, my friends, one and all. I just took a bit of time and scrolled through the list of birthday greetings from yesterday, thinking about each of the people on the list, and how each of you came into my life. Family members, friends who have known me since before I could talk, friends from every stage of my life since then, T&T people, local gaming people, Tinseltown people, a few people I have only known for a week or two... Lots of circles of interaction, and some of you who exist in several of those circles. I am fond of all of you; some of you own pieces of my soul.

The last year has been long and hard and unpleasant, and included, in its last weeks, my worst illness in over a decade. But in the middle of that, I started on the first writing project that I really whole-heartedly believed in since...

So I am facing the coming year full of hope and enthusiasm. Of course, being me, I am deeply distrustful of these feelings.

But who knows? Maybe, just maybe, the horse really will learn to sing.

Thanks again to all of you.

March 11:
Finally got my nose into GaryCon at about 2:00 PM this afternoon. Said, "Hello," to Mark C, petted KC the Wonder Dog, waved at Ernie G's back (he was busy with a table full or Hobby Shop Dungeon victims), told a few lies to strangers, bought some swag left over from previous cons, and came home. GaryCon outgrew me at least two years ago, but I can't seem to let it go...

March 12:
34 years ago today, I showed up for my usual evening shift, and had an opportunity to impose my personality on a newly hired receptionist, who was at the end of a long day and was fed up with meeting new people. She just wanted me to go away and leave her alone.

34 years later, she still hasn't gotten that wish. I am pretty sure that she rescinded it, at some point...

March 13:
I'll be honest; down in the pit of my stomach, I don't actually believe in anything. Or rather, I believe that the universe is cold and dead, and that life is a fragile abberation. As a matter of will, however, my mind refuses to accept that belief, and instead chooses, with tired eyes and aching feet, to wander the infinite discarded solutions of the comsic equation searching for hope and joy. Because the most probable solution absolutely CAN NOT be the final one.

Detractors will no doubt wish to remind me of Professor Einstein's often repeated comment about God, dice, and the universe, and I have a ready reply: "That's OK, Al; *I* do."
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