Random D12 Table for the Month.

Pretty much all of this has happened at one point or another.

Roll 1d12 and consult the table below to see what went sideways in November this time:

  1. Someone’s sick. Roll on the Disease of the Week Subtable.
  2. Toilet is backed up, leading to bigger plumbing issues.
  3. Distracted by Internet Drama.
  4. Family issues. Drop everything and tend to one family member.
  5. Crippling Depression and Social Anxiety.
  6. Dirty dishes and laundry pile up. It’s like no one heard I was writing this month.
  7. Car problems. Roll a d2. Odd: Mine. Even: Hers.
  8. Bills start piling up. Family tension over money increases.
  9. Kid gets in trouble at school.
  10. Holiday panic. In-Laws might be coming for Thanksgiving.
  11. Red letter pain flare puts me on the couch for three days.
  12. Multiple internet outages and days on the phone with tech support.
Subtable 1-1, Family illnesses.
  1. Icky Cough-Coughs. aka Covid, or the Beer Virus. We live in Iowa. Go figure.
  2. Strep Throat.
  3. Appendicitis.
  4. Strep Throat leading to Tonsilitis.
  5. Ear Infection.
  6. Strep Throat leading into Covid. (Yes, that really happened.)
  7. Pink Eye. (Euww.)
  8. Stomach bug. Everyone roll a Fort Save DC 14. Usually one person makes it.
  9. Food Poisoning. Usually only one person gets sick, but see Stomach Bug.
  10. Big school project requiring adult assistance.
  11. Fever of unknown origin. There’s a fun day in the ER.
  12. Gnarly cold that’s not strep or Covid. It happens.

Freedom Day, November 19th Edition.

So, here we are. Can I say I’m starting to hate November? This whole damn month has been an exercise in Murphy’s Law. That guy exacts his “legal fee” out of me this time of year almost every year. It’s like 2020 came to pay a visit.

14 Months without a regular job. #Personalshare

So, here we are. Can I say I’m starting to hate November? This whole damn month has been an exercise in Murphy’s Law. That guy exacts his “legal fee” out of me this time of year almost every year. It’s like 2020 came to pay a visit.

We’ve had children with illness/injuries pretty much every week so far. Strep throat, wrist injury, and the common cold (*NOT the Icky Cough-Coughs) round out the list of medical issues. Every time I get settled in to write, I get hit with exhaustion from a pain flare, or my wife’s van breaks down, my car needs repairs, or something goes haywire with our internet. (Can you hear the cat barfing in the background?) It’s always something!

NaNoWriMo had almost no chance of success this time.

I might be doing JaNoWriMo this year. My temporary goal is to survive November and somehow get through December with my sanity intact. I don’t know why I always think November is going to go by quietly and I can get tons of writing done.

I have seen lots of writers posting progress updates. It looks like there are going to be a good number of interesting novels coming out in 2023. That’s cool.

I’m not sure how I’m doing mine just yet. I’m still bearing the slings and arrows of outrageous imposter syndrome. Ironically, I’m following the Law of Attraction teachings that your tribe is your vibe and living in the dream fulfilled. (*Among others, but those are key here.)

This election has left me extremely sour on Iowa and our political process in general.

I don’t normally vote almost straight down one party line. I’m a registered independent because I believe in making decisions based on my own judgment, not some binary political party system that should never have taken root in this country. Do you realize what some of these candidates stand for?

They stand for, “Not what X is saying about me!”

And it’s just ridiculous. There wasn’t a lot of campaigning. Tell me what you’re going to do for your county/state/country. If wanted to hear what the other candidate thinks, I’ll go listen to them. I’m tired of the mud slinging. Although now that it’s over, I will honestly say Iowa Republicans can eat my ass.

I’m sick of the Republican party and their mishandling of Iowa. We managed to put a anti-trans, anti-gay, elitist, stuck up hag (*my opinion) back in the governor’s office. I’d talk more trash about Kim Reynolds, but I don’t want Homeland Security breathing down my neck.

Chuck Grassley has been in office longer than I’ve been alive. WTAFFF?!? No one should have “a lifelong career in the Senate.” (Bob Packwood.) When are we going to get real congressional term limits? 2 tours in the Senate or 6 in the House and gone. This country needs fresh ideas and new eyes on our problems, not the same old shit that didn’t work back in 1974.

Encourage Congress to make intelligent decisions based on the needs of constituents. Communication is a lot faster these days that it was in 1780. Pretty sure we can handle it. Let them listen to PEOPLE instead of lobbyists.

The Democrats aren’t much better than Republicans, just currently more popular. We had all of one or two Independents on the ballot here in Iowa. When are we going to get a politician in this state who can be authentic, honest, and WIN? Maybe David Icke is right and the Lizards really do run the world.

The Reptilians literally could be out there watching, listening…

Twitter.

November wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the ongoing sewage fire that is Twitter these days. I originally got on Twitter looking for Tyler Glockner of SecureTeam10 fame to write an article about him for this blog. Strangely, Tyler turned up the same week I wrote the article. I still question whether or not someone got to him and well, uh, censored him to some extent. We’ll never know. At least he’s still putting out YouTube videos.

But #UFOTwitter was a flaming hellscape this time last year. It was only compounded when Añjali turned out exactly the way the Ufology trolls originally said she was. At best delusional, at worst a government shill and a bad hacktress. I fell for it, being the delusional wide-eyed ET lover that I am. Regardless, UFO Twitter and most of Ufology has turned out to be frauds, grifters, and propagandists. I don’t trust most of them now and I look upon many with a skeptical eye.

That brought me over to RPG Twitter. Other than a few bad actors, which I enjoy calling out, it hasn’t been too bad. There aren’t government spooks and corporate black budget interests on this part of Twitter. No witch hunts. Just RolePlaying Games and people who genuinely enjoy them.

If Twitter does land in the shitter in the next few weeks, I’m still around on plenty of other platforms. I’ll keep this site updated on where to find me. My goal is to hang around Elon’s Not-So-Magical Bot Farm until it dies though. The only other thing I’m contemplating getting away from is LinkedIn.

If you think Twitter is bad? Try LinkedIn.

Becoming more of a skeptic these days.

This should be a LinkedIn graphic.

So, real talk for a moment. I feel irritable to the point of aggressive when it comes to people spewing corporate propaganda like it’s the Gospel of Christ. People on LinkedIn just make me ill with some of the crack they’re peddling these days. I feel like that particular platform is very slowly racing Twitter to the ground.

I mean, for as awful as people claim Twitter is? LinkedIn is strewn with false positivity and thinly veiled corporate platitudes. It’s like wearing the black sunglasses in They Live. It’s always been pretty bad, but I’ve noticed it a lot more lately.

People on their should just cut the bullshit and put out messages that just say, “Consume.” or “Buy my shit.” Or maybe even. “Fall in line with the brainless masses.” “Conform.” Possibly, “You’re never going to be good enough.” “Learn to be a better team member.” (*But I’m not bitter…)

I originally hopped on LinkedIn to look for a job. I stick around because friends, mentors, and people I admire post on there occasionally. While I may not agree with everyone politically or ethically, usually I can find common ground. Maybe the election just made it seem worse? I dunno, but whatever it is really makes me raise an eyebrow when it comes to LinkedIn content.

Big companies do all the thinking, so you don’t have to.

I had more to say, but…

Honestly, I’ve been down this rut so many times lately. It just feels like I’m stuck. There’s nothing new or terribly positive or negative either way. (*so long as all the kids are on the mend.) I don’t have much to say except that I’m tired. Not in a self-deleting kind of way, but just tired.

Heck, the entire planet may have blown up by the time this posts. Who knows? Trying not to sound to negative. It’s just been that kinda year.

I have plenty to be grateful for. I know. I count all my blessings regularly. Thanks, family. I appreciate you.

I know that breakthrough is coming. Somewhere, somehow, things will get to that amazing point I know they can reach. When I get to the peak of that mountain, I’ll see another mountain and so on until I’m out of mountains and have to go look in the ocean. The struggle bus stops eventually.

How My October Went.

Don’t be “That Old Guy.” I keep running into these old fartz/codgers/grognards on the internet. They don’t have anything new to say, but they’re damn certain that nothing new can be good. Change is too scary. Shallow, narrow-minded bigotry is a “better” way to go for them.

Personal share today.

It’s gonna be a long month. Truthfully, I’m ready to be done with this reality. I’m tired. Which, yeah, sounds funny coming from a guy that spends a lot of time at home.

#Promptober and #Monstober were both awesome. I had fun and the ideas flowed like a river. I have 20+ prompts to catch up on. It happens. Sometimes it’s rough being creative instantly on demand. Other times it’s a matter of fleshing everything out.

This is the month when I decided the grognards of the #OSR (Old School Renaissance) can pretty much kiss my ass. I’d love to stay positive on this topic had certain individuals not revealed their true nature. I’m still going to use a lot of Old School style games, but I could give a rip less about anyone’s opinion or acceptance.

When I do finally get something in print? Buy it. Don’t buy it. I don’t care if you’re a big-time figurehead in the nebulous, scattered, esteemed OSR.

I’m just gonna leave some random opinions here.

Gatekeeping in the roleplaying game community: Some of y’all need to knock it off. Chasing people away from a hobby is a surefire way to destroy it. If you want to spend all of your time in your specific group with the same old geezers week after week? Go ahead. Keep to ya damn selves and don’t interact with the rest of the #ttrpgcommunity (*This is aimed at gatekeepers not #ttrpg family.)

What isn’t cool is when a bunch of old fartz who’ve been around the TTRPG industry for 30-40 years go out of their way to make sure their voice is the only one being heard. Their opinion is the only one getting out there, and it’s the same half-baked bullshit opinion they’ve had the whole time.

Don’t be “That Old Guy.” I keep running into these old fartz/codgers/grognards on the internet. They don’t have anything new to say, but they’re damn certain that nothing new can be good. Change is too scary. Shallow, narrow-minded bigotry is a “better” way to go for them.

Edgelords can likewise kiss my ass. I’ve pretty much had my fill of Internet trolls on Twitter and elsewhere. If you can’t offer constructive criticism and actually dialogue with me? Hit the road. Keep to your own freaky, trolli self and I’ll do the same in your regards. (*Trolls, not family.)

The bulk of humanity can be litigious and stupid. This is why I stay the hell clear of a lot of it. When I write, I constantly double check myself and what I say to my audience. Is this gonna get me in trouble? Risk factors assessed, move forward. I won’t put down anything online I can’t retract, alter, delete, or edit later.

Everything is perpetually moving forward. That’s the Universe. Energy is motion. Everything is energy. Focus that energy toward what you want to create, not what you wish to destroy. I would love for more people to think of this.

I know some people are having a tough time.
Link to the 988 website is here.

I’ve lost or may have lost some friends on the Internet in October. I can only pray some of them are still with us, somewhere, detoxing from social media. I’ve had my own issues, but I’ve held it together with the assistance of therapy, family, pets, and Source. Help is out there. Mental health matters.

November is going to get hectic.

It’s National Novel Writer’s Month. People will be churning out novellas and full-on novels. I plan to work out my own fantasy world. I’m working to create something that’s not entirely Tolkien, but we’ll probably still see a few elves and dwarves.

Will it be a novel? I don’t know yet. I’m going to push myself to see where it goes. I’ve decided it’s going to be rules-agnostic to begin with. (*I’m a gamer at heart.) I’m going to explore places through the eyes of a handful of characters and see where the road takes us. NaNoWriMo is chaotic that way.

We reached a milestone in October. I’m pretty proud of myself and I’ll take my victories wherever I can get them these days. I couldn’t do it without you, my dear friends and family. THANK YOU!!!

I’ve also got this site to think about. I’m not asking anyone for money. My domain renews this month. Luckily it’s not terribly pricey.

That’s about all I’ve got for now. Onward and upward from here.Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.




200 Days of Game Box Posts

Just wanted to thank all of you who are supporting me. I love this community so much!

I hit a personal milestone yesterday.

I’m going to keep this short. I hit a personal best yesterday. Officially 200 posts in a row.

I don’t expect praise or congratulations. I kinda live for moments like this because it means a lot to me. I think I’m low key hoping to be discovered by someone, but it’s not likely. It makes the pain of depression more worth it.

Thanks for being here. I couldn’t do in without you, my readers. I truly appreciate you!

Freedom Day, Oct 2022 Edition.

I’ve made a lot of gay and trans friends in my forays onto social media as of late. I have to say, homophobes and transphobes are really missing out. I have met some of the most warm, considerate, understanding, and caring folx in the LGTBQIA++ community online.

Here we are again.

I’m just gonna fumble my way through this post by the seat of my pants. It’s been 15 months since I brought home a paycheck. Before anyone rolls their eyes, please understand some of this has been self-imposed.

I’m not entitled to anything. I’m very aware there are people out there in far more need than I. I would love nothing more than to be able to help folx out. I believe in local, grassroots improvements.

I’d probably make a third-rate billionaire, but could we at least slap an “M” on the front of “illionaire?”

I’ve said before I have plans if I can ever get to that million dollar mark. My own family aside, I’d love to be able to help friends out. I’ve met some pretty remarkable people on Twitter, Instagram and out in public who could really use a monetary boost and probably deserve all I could do to help.

Twitter friends are the first people who really come to mind. But it goes farther than donations and small product buys on Ko-Fi, Patreon and Kickstarter. Those avenues are all great, but what if we could do better? What if we could round up a bunch of community members in one place and form a charitable organization?

At the rate we’re going in the US, it might be an underground railroad.

I’ve made a lot of gay and trans friends in my forays onto social media as of late. I have to say, homophobes and transphobes are really missing out. I have met some of the most warm, considerate, understanding, and caring folx in the LGTBQIA++ community online. I almost feel guilty for all the years I wandered around with my proverbial head up my butt.

I thought the #TTRPG crowd on Twitter was pretty cool. Yeah, there are some shmucks out there, but the friends I’ve made far outnumber them. Then, through the very active gaming community, I met a lot of gay and trans folx. I am more than happy to stand up to the bigots, bullies and assholes of the world on their behalf. I feel like I’ve got more family and friends online than here at home in BFN IA. (*Bum Fork Nowhere Iowa.)

The sociopolitical and cultural climate is turning hostile to some of my friends and family. Entire states are threatening to cut medical services and even blatantly discriminate against members of the LGTBQIA++ community. Heck, some states are threatening women’s’ health outright with their abortion ban psychosis. It’s like a big chunk of our politicians have plum lost their damn minds.

Back to my own situation for a few moments.

Race, gender, sexual preference, age, and ability play into everything right now. I regularly get my butt handed to me when it comes to age and physical ability. I would love to rub the noses of some former employers in that particular smelly mess, but I can’t.

What can I say? Big shmucky McCorporate values just don’t match up to helping people and building communities. As long as they’re growing their bottom line, who gives a shit, right?

Lookin at you, Wizards of the Coast. Lookin at you, Paizo. Lookin at you large convenience store chains. I could name companies all day. It boils down to the same old shenanigans. Kick the slightly less “functional” employees to the curb in order to hire younger, more capable ones? Oh, they won’t call it that, of course.

They’re “optimizing.” They’re “economizing.” They’re “maximizing their opportunities” by outsourcing entire departments and firing anyone who doesn’t walk lock-step with their corporate culture. Sorry, my McIdiot doublespeak skills just aren’t in tune with their bullshit corporate culture. At the end of the day, it boils down to a bunch of older, usually white, healthy, cishet, wealthy men making decisions that affect (screw) the rest of us.

Prove me wrong. I’ll wait. What? Oh, that’s right. I’m basically correct.

That 1% (rich people) of the population is pretty monochrome, cishet, and ableist from what I can see. What really blows my mind is that more of the mighty 1% seem to have very little regard or compassion for anyone but their own kind.

I’m happy for you if you’ve got piles of money, honest.

I don’t begrudge anyone who “makes it” in this world. That’s a pretty big statement, all considered. One of the people I admire most in this world, Laura DiBenedetto, totally broke the mold more than once. That’s amazing!

I’ve never asked my friend how much money she’s sitting on. Not my concern. I know it’s likely not chump change. And the major difference is- she’s helping people. She’s making a difference in the lives of other women and even guys like me. There’s one exception among thousands, maybe millions of people.

I was talking to another friend on Twitter about the infamous JK Rowling. The comment about how well she deals with the pain of alienating a portion of her audience with her transphobic views. Rowling replied, “I read my recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly.”

Needless to say, that comment makes me a bit queasy. I love money. Money can do a lot of wonderful things for people. I think it turned JK Rowling into kind of a bitch. It’s sad but when some people hit the big time, they forget that so many others are struggling with the day-to=day. It sucks.

I’d rather see my next royalty check (*if I had one) as a way to feed my family and maybe help some friends out. Why couldn’t Rowling say something like that? Maybe she could have even gone so far as to say she hates losing fans and she’s grateful for all they’ve done to support her? I know, I’m an idealist at heart.

I’m happy for celebrities that went from living out of their car (Lizzo) or being otherwise homeless (Rowling) to making heaps of money. God/Source/Universe bless each and every one. Awesome. But I’ve come to realize I relate more closely to the person they were before that first big break came along. I love them now (Universally speaking,) but I’m rooting for who they were when that first check rolled in. The gratitude, the love, the joy and the excitement were all there! That’s what I think many of us are aspiring-to.

That’s my rant for now.

I had way more I wanted to discuss, but this is getting kinda long. There’s a lot going on in the RolePlaying Game industry worth discussing. I see a lot going on in the world, or at least in my world that is worthy of comment. There’s more to come.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you stopping by. Carry on.

It’s Freedom Day, 14 Months In.

There’s a few other minor tidbits to share. I find myself constantly burned out on depression. The only thing more disappointing than my career aspirations is the lack of funds in my wallet. (LOL!)

My monthly personal share. This month I learned…

New psychiatrists ask a LOT of questions. New to me, not new to the profession. He’s a nice guy, though. Hopefully I’ll stick with seeing him. Or he’ll want me to? However that works.

There’s a few other minor tidbits to share. I find myself constantly burned out on depression. The only thing more disappointing than my career aspirations is the lack of funds in my wallet. (LOL!) I’ve even been staving off writer’s block and I never thought that was possible. Finally, summer vacations are nice for the teachers and kids but school starting is priceless when I’m home all alone with just the cats.

Nemo (Left) and Snoopy (Right) just snuggled up on the couch.

I’m looking for positives here.

“Pain. All I know is pain.”
Pain Bot- Teen Titans Go!

I wake up in pain every morning. I go to bed in pain every night. Somewhere in the middle, there are a lot of ups and downs. Usually pain, too.

Anybody who tries to convince me I stupidly chose this? Is probably crazier than people accuse me of being. Oh, I hear plenty of “It’s all in your head,” and “You’re making it all up,” from doctors and nurses who I thought were supposed to be helping me. Well, if I’m nuts, then it’s from the pain on top of why ever else I might be crazy. I know what I go through every day.

Each morning I get to wake up in pain is still another morning I get to wake up. I’m grateful for that. There’s a roof over my head and a warm cat by my feet. I celebrate any time I find a quarter in the laundry or a dime on the ground. (It adds up.) There’s a bumper crop of abundance in each day if you know where to look.

I’d be happy if corporate America shriveled up and blew away tomorrow.

Disclaimer: Some people mistake me for a Socialist or a Communist. Now, to be fair, I have studied about both quite a bit over the years. If we’re being honest, some tenets of a socialist democracy do appeal. Unfortunately it’s prone to abuse, corruption, misinterpretation, and ultimately suffering. So, love our government and economic system in the US or hate it? Still better than the alternatives as far as I’m concerned.

Yeah, I know. I’m anti-capitalist. I’m what the crazier half calls crazy. I’m a lunatic, a socialist, and a dreamer. I’m just “woke” enough to believe there’s maybe life outside of chasing the almighty dollar. Not that I trust my government any more than I trust corporations. They’re all corrupt and greedy as Hell. Prove me wrong.

Okay, admittedly I’m pretty bitter. I’ve tried like mad to get over it, pretend it isn’t a thing, even spiritually bypass the fact that I’m unemployed. I’m still pretty pissed off over a year later. It’s just like any relationship ending suddenly, really.

I still can’t give specifics because ya never know when one of the shifty lil shitz might be reading my blog in an effort to hang me with my own words. I’ll just say that if I ever hear “It’s what’s best for the company” ever again? Well, friends and family will be visiting me in the nut farm for a while.

F$@&%x*

You hear about “quiet firing” and “quiet quitting” these days more and more. I think there’s some truth to it. People are getting fed up with being mistreated and undervalued in the workplace. And, strangely enough, large corporations are usually the workplace in question. I never want to find myself tied up in that position again. Any employer lacking in compassion should be… Well, uh, trying to think of something at least Rated R to say right now. Yeah.

I still stand by the notion it’s better to suffer the lack of free spending cash and a lavish lifestyle than to go to a job where my values don’t match my employer’s. I think it’s better to breathe fresh air than show up to a stuffy office building every day and hate it. I firmly believe I’m better off writing blog articles about my unemployment and the inconveniences it has caused than blindly trudging through life every day just waiting to kick the bucket.

My psychological journey has been in the forefront of my day-to-day life these days.

It ain’t pretty. I’ve been in a pretty dark place. I haven’t tried to delete myself or anything, but I ain’t happy. Not kidding, I really feel like a failure most days. I don’t know where I’m headed, but I sure know where I’ve been.

I had quite a day a couple of days ago. There was a big shift from my sort of quiet, stagnant state to an overwhelming amount of domestic productivity and creative energy. It’s a little freaky, but I like it. Then, the next day I crashed- hard. Suddenly I was back to being exhausted, sore, and somewhat unmotivated.

Even my beloved hobby, TableTop RolePlaying Games, has had it’s shares of ups and downs as of late. We spend a lot of time in the TTRPG community discussing racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and other negative things. Sure, it would be more fun discussing books, settings, dice, Game Master advice, Player advice or really anything game related, but a few rotten dipshits have wrecked that for all of us. Someday down the road I hope people will embrace what they love and joy instead of criticism and hate.

Life is full of ups and downs. Learning experiences come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and forms. Sometimes we don’t know what it all means until ages down the road. I’d throw my hands up and say. “It’s all part of God’s plan,” but we all know that’s not how I do things.

Speaking of my favorite hobby.

TTRPGs have been a big part of my life for 40+ years. Yeah, I take my gaming pretty seriously. I’ve been a collector, player, DM/GM/Judge/whatever, designer, writer, and critic for most of those years. I still have a lot to learn. The hobby has only really been around for a little over 50 years in a way we would recognize it.

Modern Dungeons & Dragons (Fifth Edition or 5E) has failed some of us. This has led to the creation of the Old School Renaissance movement. (Or Revival, Rescue, Revision. Just insert your favorite “R” word after Old School.) Some of us in the #ttrpg community really enjoy running older versions of D&D or even other games developed in the 1980s and 90s.

The problem arose when a lot of us older, white, male gamers gained a reputation for bigotry and other negative behaviors. It may have always been there, but this modern crowd of gamers is far more sensitive (in a good way) than those in the past. It’s not going to fly now.

If new players are discouraged from joining in at the game table, turned away from conventions, or shouted down on social media? Those are players that might never come back. New players are the lifeblood of any game system. For the Love of God, please consider inclusivity and diversity in all things hobby related. We (humanity) have got to get past the hate and the negative rhetoric or we’re never going to evolve as a species.

This takes a toll on my mental health. I get that we old, white, (presumably cishet) males have been screwing up the US for centuries. It’s finally coming back around to haunt us in our own socio-cultural interactions. I’m pretty saddened that people behave so poorly toward one another.

The TTRPG/boardgame industry is just one tiny example. It’s not even that many of us OGs have these hateful feelings or are bigoted in some way. It’s the perception that we’re bad news. That stereotype is going to kill the OSR despite our best efforts. And trying to break that negative stereotype through love and positivity can be exhausting mentally as well as emotionally. Then we go out into the rest of the (“real”) world and see it even more prevalent out there.

This seems like a good stopping point for now.

Please remember to be kind to one another. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you, always. Take care.

On Turning 50.

Today’s the day.

Wow. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d make it this far. Half a century ago, Donna Craigmile gave birth to a bouncing baby boy ahead of schedule. Somehow I survived.

Here I am, 50 years later. I often ponder how my dad felt when he was this age. I probably should have asked him at the time. Alas, I was a rebellious teenager. Always arguing with the old man about something. I didn’t appreciate what he went through until long after his passing.

Some things haven’t changed much, oddly.

Back when I was 10, I was introduced to tabletop roleplaying games in the form of Marvel Superheroes and Dungeons & Dragons. I was totally hooked. I still am to this day. I have a lot of treasured, beloved memories of those games and many since.

Along with D&D and comic books, came my love of all things strange. I mean, I was already kind of an outcast amongst my peers in a small Iowa town. I wasn’t terribly athletic or interested in sports. (Sorry, Dad.) May as well read the National Enquirer and learn about aliens, demons, and bigfoot, right? Ah. Good times.

I think my love for Star Wars really got the whole ball rolling.

I plum lost my marbles when the original Star Wars RPG was released. That game is still like a second language to me. I’ve logged an insane number of hours creating starships, droids, races, characters, and so many other things for that one RPG.

Before roleplaying was my love of Star Wars action figures. We didn’t have tons of money back in those days, but I still managed to have a fairly okay toy collection. Spaceships and aliens were really my thing then and now. And the whole Jedi thing is cool, too. Plus Boba Fett, because back then he was a Star Wars icon.

From Star Wars fandom to RPGs, my interest in many other things blossomed. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror were my mainstream escapes growing up. Somewhere in there I also learned a little about Zen Buddhism and meditation. I also developed an interest in the paranormal and psychic phenomena.

Then college happened.

I started out as a Theatre/Speech major with a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. Acting- Star Wars again. Journalism because I shadowed a reporter for the local newspaper when I was in Eighth Grade and thought it was pretty cool.

I bounced around majors a LOT back in those days. I had fallen in love with Sociology in college. Sociology + Theatre + Writing = RPGs. But I also tinkered with my major repeatedly and considered becoming an Alcohol/Drug Abuse counselor, a History teacher, a parapsychologist, and a Public Relations specialist. I ended going back to Journalism/Sociology. Theatre is awesome, but in the end most of us end up eloquently asking, “Do you wish to have fries with that?”

Good times were had in college.

I got to work in a game shop, Mayhem Collectibles. Truthfully one of the best times of my life. I wish I had been a better employee back in those days, but I was a dumb kid. What did I know, right? Gotta learn sometime, I guess. Thanks Rob and Dave for giving me a chance. You guys rocked!

I also discovered even more RPG experiences, and wargaming. I even did LARP for a while. I met so many awesome people and had so much fun gaming back then. It eventually led to me meeting my wife, Heather at a convention.

She came back to Ames and found me at my all time lowest some years later. She sorta rescued me and brought me to Des Moines. She divorced my former best friend. (Messy, ugly story.) We eventually started dating again and low and behold we ended up married.

About 16 years flew by after the wedding.

I’d be lying if I said I remembered all of it. I’ve had different jobs. For a while there, I ate, slept, worked, played World of Warcraft and raised babies. I love the life I have now, but there are definitely some gaps where nothing seemingly nothing happened between then and now.

About seven years ago, not long after my fourth son was born, I really got into Ufology again. That led to a major spiritual awakening. Then things got really weird.

For a brief time, I almost did the unthinkable.

Yeah. I nearly gave up on all of it. RPGs, science fiction, movies, TV, non-spiritual books, almost everything nearly went by the wayside. It really mellowed me out. I’ve learned to love the connectedness amongst us all.

I have a bit of an obsessive personality (disorder?) which led me into a deep dive down many rabbit holes. Some of those things weren’t bunnies, either. Turns out some of the stuff written in the National Enquirer back then actually had a basis in fact. Like, some of that sh*t is real!

I have to thank Dr Steven Greer for getting me interested in meditation again. That drew me further into spirituality. I’m one of those wacky “New Age” kids, I guess. I don’t do organized religion, so we have to call it something.

I also want to again thank Laura DiBenedetto for being my self-growth, self improvement seifu. I don’t know what I’d have done without her exactly. Oddly enough, my obsession with Law of Attraction led me to her. It’s all one big cycle.

I have to thank the entity known as Añjali as much as it pains me to do so. If it weren’t for the debacle caused by her sham event and false extraterrestrial contact, I might not have gotten back into RPGs at all. It’s not that I’ve given up on Ufology, ETs, extradimensional beings, spirituality or the paranormal. I’m just a LOT more skeptical of certain sources because Ufology is a rat’s nest of government spooks and black budget special interest corporate operators.

So, here we are now.

I plan to out live other men in my family. The death clock starts ticking pretty loudly at about 65 in my family. My goal is 100. Guess we’ll find out when I get there where the end was supposed to be.

I love you all, family. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you every day. Please be kind to one another. See ya tomorrow.



Freedom Day! 11th Month Edition

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

Captain’s Log. Stardate: 6.19.2022.

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

A family of six surviving on one paycheck in this day and age looks pretty grim. Law of Attraction aficionados would say I chose this. Lord knows I have plenty of reasons to be down these days. Guess I’m choosing depression, too. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just bury my head in the sand and just pretend things were going to improve.

Site engagement has been up.

THANK YOU!

One silver lining this month has been engagement on this site. I saw a couple of beautiful spikes in views earlier this month. Wow! If you’re here, thank you! I appreciate you stopping by.

A lot of the feedback I’ve received from sources such as #ttrpg Twitter has been extremely positive. I’m still somewhat new to blogging and it makes my heart flutter a bit when I hear a compliment. Thank you! Of course, more site traffic isn’t a sign of positive or negative opinions, but I’ll take the up-tick in views. Thank you!

Then there’s a ton of stuff that doesn’t make much sense yet.

I regularly mull over what I’m doing right in terms of writing, parenting, husbanding, adulting, etc. There’s never a super clear answer to any of my questions. It’s not like life comes with a user’s manual. Kinda wish it did some days. (Like, the ones ending in “y.”)

I keep wondering about how to best monetize myself in the roleplaying game market. Kickstarter? Patreon? Maybe just put stuff on Ko-Fi? I’m not sure I’m ready for DriveThruRPG just yet. That would require a finished larger product.

Someone recently mentioned trying out Fiverr. (Coming Soon!) I have often considered doing piece work, short articles, and social media posts. The same wonderful person mentioned possibly doing some ghostwriting or editing. Terrifying, which is why I’m looking into it.

Then again, am I really supposed to be in the RPG market at all? What about writing a novel? (Not as easy as it sounds, btw.) What about life coaching? (LOL! Not sure if I should be coaching or finding one.) What about becoming some sort of spiritual teacher? (*Don’t worry. Andey Fellowes and others would talk me down off that ledge.) What about a self help book? (Uh… 😐)

Figured out what I’m not doing.

That list goes on forever. The most obvious ones include finding another dispatching job. No thanks PTSD. Not today.

Scrubbing floors is right out. Even if my back and pain levels could tolerate it, my wife would likely shoot me. The hours for that kind of work are not worth the pay and effort involved.

Iowa Workforce Development. There’s a reason I’m no longer looking for a job in this state. They were more than happy to help as long as I wasn’t neurodivergent, in pain, and happy to throw my college degree out the window. Iowa needs dental hygienists and welders. Just don’t come around here being one of those sinister teacher types. (*Love you, wife.)

I’m too old and out of shape for retail, restaurants, factories, and office jobs. I have too many values and principles to ever do sales, especially over the phone. Call center jobs tend to become very stressful and triggering about five minutes in. I don’t even think Wal Mart would take me as a door greeter at this point.

In fact, screw working for any kind of big company or corporation ever again. Even if all the corporate culture head trash didn’t make me want to vomit, I’m pretty sure any review I receive is going to trigger me all over the place. That’s assuming we get that far. “Let’s have a meeting” would be followed by me coming completely unglued on someone. No thanks.

Bring my Garden Weasel to work day?

A brilliant and beautiful soul put me onto some new avenues of abundance.

Laura is the best!

I can always count on my friend Laura DiBenedetto to set me straight. She recently clued me into a couple of new avenues to abundance. I’m working on it, but it’s taking a little time. More on that as it develops.

I also continue to practice the skills I learned from The Six Habits. Laura’s book legitimately can and will change your life if you work with it. I may still get down sometimes (depression sucks!) but it’s an ongoing process, much like spiritual awakening.

The human brain creates channels of memory like lava carving its way down the side of a volcano. Practice a habit for 21 days and you can change the channel. Brain cells that fire together wire together. Neuroplasticity can modify those channels to improve your life. Look up Hebb’s Law. A constant practice of Kindness, Acceptance, Gratitude, Presence, Goodness and Intention will yield positive results given enough practice.

I’ve been back into the book lately, myself. Sometimes we get out of practice on certain things. It’s good to go back to basics and remember why we came here.

Gratitude is key.

Okay. I’ll buy that one. I’m so happy and grateful I have a roof over my head and a food on my plate. I’m grateful for all of the wonderful things I have in life. I’m grateful for my family’s health. I’m super extra grateful for my wife’s job. I’m super happy and grateful when I find loose change on the street, too. I’m grateful I met Laura, too.

Gonna go off now…

I’d like to say I’m grateful I got canned from that last gig. Look at all the stuff that’s teaching me. I’m grateful to be walking around with not-two-shits to give about anyone working for a large corporation or what they have to say. I’m grateful Iowa Workforce Development was more than happy to help as long as I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I’m extra grateful the government keeps denying my disability because I love being f’kn broke all the time. I’m grateful every time I log into LinkedIn to find out some other scamtastic pile of refuse has viewed my profile, because it reminds me I’m glad I gave up that damn job search crap months ago.

I know I have some things working against me every day.

Silly “Old Grognard” photo

First up, my age. I turn the big 50 in ten days. Even if I wasn’t long in the beard and bald as a cue ball, my birth certificate does not lie. I could shave tomorrow, but I know in my heart of hearts it will do me no good.

But what does that mean? Why is that so bad? Well, first off, employers really don’t want to see me walk in the door because they know I’m old enough not to take any sh*t that they hand out to the younger new guys.

On every given day, especially now that I’m officially “old,” my health comes into question. Which, I know how much they cringe with FMLA comes up. I literally have no choice but to mention it nowadays. I’m happy to be functional three days out of five most of the time.

My back and my pain tolerance make it pretty hard to do a lot of those fun repetitive motion tasks like mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, running a cash register, stocking shelves, standing all day, and a lot of other things y’all youngins take for granted. In fact, writing is one of the few things I can enjoy doing while sitting down from the comfort of my couch. (Too bad it doesn’t pay better, but we’re working on it.)

As bitterly annoyed as I am becoming toward certain entities, one fact remains prevalent.

No clue wtf I’m doing any more.

I have a family to take care of. That hurts on so many levels I can’t even describe them all. I’m very grateful my wife is taking care of all of us. That’s super.

Sorry, kids. Dad’s kind of a deadbeat. Seriously, I know how it looks. I wish I could provide more. I so desperately want to give more financially. And I live here. Your mom and I are still married somehow.

So, yeah. 11 months into this sh*tshow and I still have more questions than answers. I’m still wrestling with finding myself, accepting my own inadequacies, and fumbling around with what to do. I’m still unable to rub two shince together and have not two sh*ts left to give some days. Improvements are hopefully on the way soon.

Thanks for being here, one and all. I would have liked to have glowing things to say, but it’s been another r month. Onward and upward, I suppose.


Freedom Day: May 19th Edition.

What’s the lesson? What’s this trying to teach me? I mean, I’m trying to to wrap my head around a lot of this even now.

Personal Share.

Sigh. It’s the classic best-of-times, worst-of-times scenario. Getting canned from a place where I was miserable might have been better for them than me? Maybe? The verdict is still out on this one. (*Note, I have to tread very carefully with this topic. Certain folk might still be creepin on my socials and here.)

Spiritually, it’s all about the silver lining. What’s the lesson? What’s this trying to teach me? I mean, I’m trying to to wrap my head around a lot of this even now. I’ve done a lot of processing, or at least I’d like to think I have.

Here’s my question: Who’s teaching this class, anyway?

I love Eckhart, believe me.

The very spiritually correct answer is the Universe/Source/God. I’m not trying to force any of this concept on anyone. Take from it what you will. I’m no Eckhart Tolle and my connection with the Divine might not be quite as strong these days? Sorry. That escalated quickly. (*Much like I occasionally poke at Matt Mercer, I seriously doubt Eckhart or his people read my blog.)

If we’re the creator and the creation at the same time, why do we make things hard for ourselves? This question has been relevant for centuries, maybe longer. Sadly, I don’t even have it that bad! Basic human needs met in this 3D lifetime? Check. Anything beyond that? Still working on it.

If you want to stretch the bounds of spirituality a bit, it’s actually me teaching me or my higher self teaching me. And then so on and so forth up the multidimensional food chain all the way to Source. That’s kind of a trippy concept. What? I can’t give myself the proverbial Cliffsnotes?

Karmically, how many times does one have to go through the wringer before we move on?

Early Iron by Maigheach-gheal is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0
This is a wringer for those wondering.

I seem to remember someone saying situations would be repeated until a specific lesson is learned. Now, clothes used to go through the wringer a few times to help them dry, but there came a point where it wasn’t doing any good. So I have to ask, if I continue to flunk the same lesson, do I still get to, uh, “graduate?” Is “graduation” day when we die or the next proverbial day when we get to go answer for everything? The deeper one reaches, the more questions come up to be answered.

My dear old Dad used to say, “It never gets any easier, does it?” The older I get, the more I really understand the question. Not sure I have any more answers than I did when I was 17, but at least I get the question from multiple angles.

Every answer leads to more questions. Some questions are more of a struggle to figure out than others. Sometimes we struggle like crazy just to come full circle to the simplest answer possible. We overlook simple answers due to their lack of complexity. As my good friend Jake once said, “If it was simple, we wouldn’t be here.”

People say I spend too much time in my head and I overthink things. Yeah. I probably do. Then again, I believe anything worth doing is worth the effort. The details are important. If I’m worried and giving something a lot of thought, it’s a sign that I care.

One of my favorite teachers often reminds us that we’re already there.

Anna Brown, who claims to not be a spiritual teacher, but quite often speaks the truth about all things spiritual, really gets it in my opinion. You are already that which you are seeking. There are no answers to search for because you already possess the knowledge. Basically, stop trying to dig philosophically so much because you can just live.

Only, I’m stick-stone-stubborn as hell. I refuse to give up. I refuse to stop beating my head on the metaphysical wall. What the heck am I doing here if not to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing here? I love chasing my tail!

Back to the metaphysical drawing board this month.

I started watching a skeptic named Andey Fellowes on YouTube recently. Please don’t think I’m abandoning my views on spirituality or any of my beliefs. However, some of what Andey has to say does ring a bell. He gets very honest and critical about certain popular spiritual and Law of Attraction teachers and what they’re saying. Honestly, I’ve had some of the same experiences. He’s right about a good number of things.

I’m still kind of a “New Age” guy, though. I’m not changing everything about myself to become an atheist or a former “New Ager” as they are called. I don’t troll Andey, either. In fact, if love and light is your jam, there’s no point in trolling anyone, ever. Especially not someone who is speaking out against your long-held beliefs.

All of that having been said, I’m going back to my spiritual roots through the end of June. I am thoroughly examining what my goals in life are. I’m going to ask myself what I intend to manifest. I’m going to give a lot of mental effort over to changing beliefs that aren’t working for me. My overall goal is to hone the habits that will get me to a better place in life yet. It’s time to get off the struggle bus and find some joy again.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Have a wonderful day wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

Personal Spiritual Share: Existence.

Sometimes the struggle comes before the prosperity. Whenever you’re going through crap, there’s always a lesson on the other side.

It’s been a rough couple of days.

Expectation of injured.

One thing people don’t tend to understand as well about depression is that it doesn’t show on the outside. The same goes for chronic physical pain. Just because there’s no fence post sticking through my neck, doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain every day both emotionally and physically.

I’ve said before that if pain is fear leaving the body, I can walk up to Godzilla and kick him in the nuts. I ain’t scared of nothin. (*Editor’s note: Yes, that’s horrible grammar.) But the point is: I’ve had my freakin fill of pain and fear both. I’m done.

There’s ALWAYS a lesson!

Quick story for ya. The other day I went to my kids’ ballgames and dropped them off to their respective teams. Grandview Little League is notorious for having very little available parking on Saturdays during game days. I circled around a few times and couldn’t find a space. So, out of sheer frustration, I took the car home and walked back to the baseball field. It only takes about 15-20 minutes. I used to do that kind of thing all the time where I grew up.

So, I get back to the ballpark and walk past my usual parking space only to find it wide open. I busted out laughing because you just can’t make this stuff up. The Universe taught me a lesson that day. Sometimes the struggle comes before the prosperity. Whenever you’re going through crap, there’s always a lesson on the other side.

Taking it one or two steps further.

Walk with me for a moment figuratively. IFF we’re spiritual beings having a physical experience, then the human body is basically a lens through which experiences are focused-in-on and perceived. These fleshy suits we wear in 3D reality are like a magnifying glass for experiences and feelings in the physical. (Editor’s Note: If you really want to blow your mind, multiply everything by millions upon billions of beings across the universe and alternate reality timelines. It’s staggering!)

As a collective consciousness, Earth is a big classroom with the Universe/God/Source as our teacher. Everything we all experience together is then a spiritual lesson for us all. Every moment of joy, triumph, or passion teaches us something. Likewise, so does lack, pain, and suffering.

I think we all know what we would prefer to experience while we’re here on Earth. The hard part is experiencing all of the things we don’t prefer in order to learn what we do prefer. For example, we have all at some time experienced lack (of some sort,) so we know what an abundance looks like. We’ve all been sad, so we know what joy looks like.

It’s hard to be grateful for the negative stuff.

Yet I am, because without it, I wouldn’t know what the awesomeness on the other side will look like. As an aside, because I do know what much better times look like, I know the sad times won’t last forever. Until then, I’m grateful for what I have.

Thank you all for being here. Have a fabulous weekend.

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