Friday, February 26, 2010

More Ick

Now I am taking horse-sized antibiotics for my sinus/upper respritory infection. I am tired of being sick. Really.

In other news: Kate Beckinsale is hot in leather and latex. Really, really hot.

In still more news: I got some writing done, both for The Last Captain and for Twilight 2013. Really.

And now for something completely different: I have played roleplaying games for 26 years now. Usually as a GM, running things, telling stories with a group of friends. It was and remains one of the easiest means of release for my creative energies. It is also cheaper and safer than drinking and hitting strip clubs, two other ways I could be spending time with buddies.

These players are my buddies. Most of the group has been sharing stories with me for five years now, one played with me in Geneva, where we met. Like a well-oiled team, they tackle most of what I put out there and add to it immeasurably. They are high-speed low drag roleplayers, able to take on most any challenge.

Just before the advent of the 2013 writing gig, I changed the group over to that system and started to run a campaign set in the Sierra Nevada. It is a slick system, but a bit numbers- and realism- heavy for some of my players.

I had been tired of playing Dark Heresy and Warhammer, as the games required a bit more mental work preparing than Twilight 2013. I am intimately familar with all three settings, it was just getting hard to find something that entertained me and was relatively new for my players in Dark Heresy or Warhammer.

I was slowing down, not feeling very motivated, and working hard on my second novel.

At any rate, I switched us from Dark Heresy to Twilight 2013. I didn't ask the guys, I just did it. Eventually it became apparent that some of the players were dissatisfied with the change. With only one night every few weeks to play, some of the players rebelled. One up and straight up told me he wasn't going to play in my group again. The others slowed their responses, begging off and generally not putting in quite as much time with the group. It left me nonplussed, I had some players enjoying the game I was running, and some new blood joined us, filling in the vacancy left by the one player that left.

Today I had a good talk with one of my player friends. He told me what was up. I came to a few realizations from what he told me:

It is about friends and fun. Enthusiastic players and good friends make for fun games.

So it's back to Dark Heresy and catering to my players, to have more fun.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement

Reading Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement right now. It is written by Ph.D. Kevin Gilmartin, and is an exceptional exploration and explanation of the particular strangeness of the emotional life of law enforcement personnel.

I've felt gut-shot a few times, reading it. It explained some of my own behavior, my wife's responses to it, and many of idiosyncrasies of my colleagues.

Despite the short length of the book, I am not quite done with it as each section makes me want to ruminate on it. I particularly liked the sections on assholes and bullshit.

If you have an interest in why cops do things the way they do, and what they think of what it is they do, then I suggest you read it. If you are related to a police officer, I highly recommend it. If you are LE, you should already have read it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recent Activity

I am sick AGAIN. A cold snuck up on me and bit my throat. I need to see an allergist, I think. I am tired of sucking air through rocks in my nose every morning.

I printed out The Last Captain today. I had become a bit lost in my own plot, which, while mildly entertaining, was a bit worrisome. There is an element of mystery to this book, and it is a challenge to keep it all organized. Now I am taking highlighters to it in order to organize for myself who knows what and when they learn it. I also managed to get a bit of writing done, despite the ick and the confusion.

I am still waiting on both checks and publication of the stuff I did for the games studio. The weather out there is still abominable, so I am not feeling very impatient.

Once I get those checks, I will purchase my membership for World Fantasy 2010, in that Mecca of Metropoli, COLOMBUS, OHIO! And shortly after, my hotel reservations and plane tickets. I sent several of my Facebook pals a message about it, hopefully they will be able to attend. I highly recommend it, and I haven't seen many of them in some time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

About 500 Important Words

Got very few words written down on the novel this weekend, but they were pretty important, I think. My ass hurts from all the writing/scratching/writing again I have been doing.

I ended up having to re-read my own work because the plot had become a bit snarly. I have turned the corner, and should be able to get her done by tax time, all other things being equal.

In the meantime:

Just so we are clear, I was seated and writing. Not writing on my ass, then scratching it, then writing more...

Just wanted to be clear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Cyanide and Happiness Fun

Gods, but these guys are good.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @


Been listening quite a bit to these fellows. I think I am late to fanboi status, as they have had several successful albums already, but they hit me in the gut with this and several other tracks.

I find myself chanting while writing, while riding, and doing my day to day...

I am unsure of their politics, but like my admiriation for Rage Against the Machine, I like the music too much to be turned off by such petty details...

And Giant Monster Teddy Bears are just too damn cool!

Happy VD

Yes, and spread it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

O Canada

I lived in the Great White North when a child. Toronto, to be exact. I was so young I only dimly remember a few things: a man on horseback (a Mountie), a guardrail (the one on our driveway), a pool, my Bigwheel (flying by the guardrail at mach one on the bigwheel) and a very few other things.

This summer my father sprang for a cruise for the whole family, grandchildren and all. The Cruise went through Alaska and ended in Vancouver. We saw very little of that fine city, but I did like what I could see. I want to return, and more than once. I do cold much better than heat.

I've known many Canadians, and liked them all. They are a kind people, regardless of ethnic origin. Even the French Canadians.

Tonight I watch the opening of the Olympic Games.

I pray there are no incidents of terrorism. I know the men and women of the international law enforcement community hope, planned and prepared against such an event.

Here's praying they were successful.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Torture

I have been doing in-service training for the last few days, and have two more to go. There has been a few very bright spots, one yesterday, and three more of them were today: Instructors who know their shit, clarify shit, and get you excited about the shit.

Yesterday we started with some boring shit taught by someone enamored of the sound of their own voice. I detest it when an instructor adds unnecessary words to what has been covered by the students simply because they feel the need to re-affirm the fact that they are teaching the class.

It was mercifully over in a few hours and the next instructor took us into the CPR and other life-saving stuff. He has some videos meant to chill the blood and has the fantastic delivery method of the natural teacher with years of real world experience dealing with the subject matter.

Today we started with one of the best instructors I have ever had. He was one of the instructors for my academy class ten years ago. He was awesome then, and was again today.

He was followed by a guy who has always impressed me with his talent and intelligence. He was hired about the same time I was, and has done a lot since for the department, getting his law degree and then defending sometimes undeserving officers through innumerable pitchess motions. He kicked ass and took names, despite being ill and being challenged early on by a jackass also training with me.

Then we went to lunch.

We came back to no instructor. Instead we had a State-mandated and created video on racial profiling. This shit was about one hour and twenty minutes long. And that was seventy-five minutes longer than it needed to be.

After the fiftieth misuse of the English language by persons who should know better, I asked if someone would please hit fast forward. No luck. In the end I was literally banging my head against the table, begging for someone to put me out of my misery. It was especially painful given the luminaries teaching us this morning.

Eventually the next session started. Slowly the urge to vomit subsided... This instructor also knew his ass from a hole in the ground. Useful stuff, mercifully concise in delivery.

Next guy was purely interested in getting us all the information in the shortest possible time. Hamstrung by being placed last in the line-up, he still managed to communicate quite a bit to us.

Here's hoping the next two days contain less stupid, and are gooder. Much gooder.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hollywood is Incestuous, and Can Sure Birth Some Cool Babies

The only television cop show worth watching was The Wire. I loved that program. It was the only remotely accurate television portrayal of a police department and the lives of its officers, warts and all. The characterizations were fantastic. I ate it up.

One character's starting story was lifted from the department I work for. This officer called an emergency, fired into his own vehicle, and then discarded the weapon and tried to act as if he had been shot at. A glory hound and more than a little crazy. He ended the final season as a teacher in an agonizing story arc that truly changed the character.

I watch Fringe. The agent that runs the ad-hoc unit investigating Fringe events played a Liuetenant on The Wire. He plays a great intense, no-nonsense guy. His participation was one of the reasons I started watching the program. That, and in the first episode, the FBI agent is chasing a guy across the roof and totally wipes out, thumping to the ground and failing to catch her man. That kind of realistic stuff is hard to come by in cop fiction, let alone prime-time television.

Tonight, the actor from The Wire that played Prezbolewski, the character based off one from my department, had a bit part on Fringe. He died horribly in a Lovecraftian-type collision of realities; multiple limbs, head in chest and all.

Damn, but sometimes I love the incestuous relationship of actors, writers, and producers in Hollywood. When it works, it really works.

Sick like dog

I am currently fighting the latest cold my daughter brought home.

Snot fills my cranium like green jello in a clouded bowl, my throat feels as if I was drinking paint thinner, and I'm a bit feverish. I am certainly impatient with the bullshit going on in front of me.

People, please stop trying to use the same excuses over and over again, especially after you just watched the three people in front of you lose based on the same faulty reasoning. It does you no good, and you don't score points behaving like a lemming and leaping off in pursuit of those who went before you...

Time to dose. Theraflu is my friend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bad SF can still be entertaining...

I just finished watching Banlieue 13: Ultimatum on HDNet Movies.

Overall: Not bad. Not good, but not bad either. The first movie was better. Much better, and it wasn't outstanding. I am glad I didn't spend money on it.

What I liked:

I love Parcour, and they do some outrageous things in this film. Most of which you see in the trailers.

There is one hilarious scene where Damien tries to drug a hopped up dealer, who laughs at his attempts, he's so strung out. "I haven't slept in three years, you'll have to do better than that."

What I didn't like:

The cops getting beaten up.

The plot was predictable and lacking in reason.

The translation sucked ass, but then most subtitle translations are weak. They didn't get the numbers right, and for some reason translated buffoon as doofus. Clown would have been better, or perhaps sticking with the original, which is rarely used in English today, but better than doofus, at least to my ears. I wish I could turn the subtitles off sometimes, I really do.

There was a glaring absence of reasoning behind why five gang leaders would ever come to work together after a mere 'request' by the (admittedly hot) asian gang leader, Tao.

Then they all work seamlessly together to overcome, under the command of a cop? What had the writer been smoking?