Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


This Blog SUCKS!

Wow, fat lot of nothing around here lately, eh? Yeah, I know. I hate it, too. And the sad thing is, it's not going to change for another little while. What's up?

1) Mutants & Masterminds 2E launched. It's the biggest product launch in the history of our company and it blew our socks off. It's seriously reminding me of the days and the frenzy around Death in Freeport, except it has all the additional baggage of rabid, eager (and sometimes incredibly rude and demanding) long-time fans to go along with it.

2) My Palm destroyed itself on a Monday and my hard drive took an unexcused vacation on a Tuesday. I'm still barely up and running, though my data is safe and backed-up it's not all accessible. The hard drive was only two months old and was the final part in my plan to move all of my day to day GR activities from Mac to PC.

3) Our wireless network keeps cutting out for no good reason that anyone can tell. I've rejigged this network at least a dozen times since this spring and it's enough to make me scream. In fact, I have screamed in frustration over this thing more than once.

4) I leave for a week in England in the morning. All work, little play. Am hoping to see JW if he can make it to Nottingham, because I'm not going to be able to make it to London. I'm also flying home just as GenCon UK starts, so I'll be missing that.

5) I haven't packed yet, but I think I know where my passport is.

6) My mom is here for the next week to watch Kate for me. She brought her kitten, a GORGEOUS blue-eyed, long haired Siamese. I'm in love (and Kate is in heaven). It's the kitten of my dreams, I'm SO envious.

7) I'm caught up on both invoices and laundry. Kate has a Halloween costume, the house has candy. FOrgot pumpkins. Put some beef in the freezer in satay marinade, Belgian beer marinade, and froze two roasts. There's food in the house to feed an army, and my mom brought her own cooler of food from home. No one shall starve in my absence.

8) When I was driving around on errands today, it was a glorious autumn evening. Not the glowy, sunny kind of days, but one of those pre-storm, early-darkening days. Partly cloudy skies were giving way to tall, dark clouds rolling in while the wind shook the leaves from the trees. The wind sent dry leaves flying, hovering, scattering just over the ground, breaking against trees and cars and houses like river water over rocks. Clouds billowed, dark grey, threatening rain but not yet making good. It was fantastic and I didn't mind being out in it. In fact, I reveled.


Net Worth?

My blog is worth $2,258.16.
How much is your blog worth?



I like girls with "prominent noses". (?!)

Yanked from Mouseferatu's Journal

Young Britney Spears
50% Eyes, 52% Nose, 48% Mouth, 85% SexyCute

You seem to enjoy prominent noses on cute girls. A caveat: we need
to pretend the last few years of Britney's life never happened. Because
although she's been known to sex it up, Britney rose to prominence by playing up the cute factor. She has a prominent nose, and millions of people think she's attractive. Or at least they did in the past.

Similar: Jessica Alba (smaller nose), Famke Janssen (sexier)

If you liked my test, please remember to give it a decent score, and of course I'm always happy to hear feedback. Thanks!

Also, you could check out my Your Type of Girl Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on Eyes
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 73% on Nose
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 44% on Lips
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 97% on SexyCute
Link: The Beautiful Faces Test written by dgc20e on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Could I catch a frickin' break please?!


So yesterday it was my Palm self-immolating.

Tonight, it's my desktop machine (that's the one I put the new hard drive into during convention season, for those keeping score) just frickin' up and quit. Can't start it, can't boot from the Windows XP CD, can't even boot from the Norton Systemworks CD.

Micky fricky technology. Damn it all, I have things I need to do!


Watch and learn

45 seconds. Definitely watch with the sound on!




My Palm died!

Ack! I went to pull it out of the cradle to use it and it smells vaguely of burnt plastic. Dead, dead, dead.

Pardon the freak out, but my Palm is crucial to the way I organize my life. Trying to function without it, I feel like I have brain damage.

MUST be sorted out before we fly to England at the end of the month.


Goings on in Africa

My friend Catherine is on the verge of returning from her yearly trip to Africa, where in her role as a biology professor she is working with a couple of communities. Of special interest to her is education for girls. I've written about her before. Last year Out of the Box made a donation of games to children, some of whom had never had a toy of their own. This year she reports that it's clear that the children have been playing regularly and have mastered 10 Days in Africa in particular.

Some excerpts from her latest trip report:

...One of the highlights was the night I spent in a traditional manyatta (a fenced family settlement composed of father, multiple wives, children, and numerous huts for each wife, grown sons etc). I stayed with one of the wealthiest traditional men- he has3000 cows and 6 wives. A traditional house is made of cow dung and sticks, and has no windows. A fire burns all the time people are inside and so it gets REALLY hot. A goat was slaughtered in my honour and after we figured out that the owner was probably close to my father's age, I was pronounced a honorary daughter (which means I have to bow my head to my 'father' whenever I meet him).

The owner informed me that each part of the family has special parts of the goat- some for the men, some for the women, some for the children. My heart sank as I contemplated which part I might be offered and how much offense I might cause if I couldn't eat it...

I should try and describe a traditional hut to you so you can imagine my environment. They are low (the ceiling is not much taller than me and I am 5'5", while the hallways are less than 5') and small, and you have to enter with your head bowed. Immediately to your right as you enter, is a pen for livestock. You follow a short tunnel-like hallway,turn right and your are in the main room. If you turn left without moving forward, you are facing the fire, and there are two alcoves to the right and left, where you sleep. If you hadn't turned to face the fire you would have been facing a second animal enclosure. There are no windows, so it is smokey,cramped and hot. You sit on low stools about 1 foot off the ground...

Two more images to leave you with. 1. I arranged a meeting with the mothers of the community to ask them if there were any specific ways I could assist them. My thought being that if you want strong, healthy, educated children, best to make sure you are empowering the mothers. When I asked them what their biggest problem was, they said unequivocally, 'polygamy'. When I asked what I could do to help them they said, 'help us buy iron sheets'. When I asked why, they gave me two reasons. Firstly, iron sheets are more durable than cow dung, and it saves time constantly building and rebuilding their houses (all house building is the responsibility of the women), and secondly, that they needed to build extra houses to keep their children in school. I didn't understand the connection until I was told that in a polygamous family, when the father comes to pay a visit to his wife (ie stay at the house)the children have to leave. The fact that the children then have to fend for themselves, means that they are less likely to get to school the next day, and also are more likely to take refuge in a house where girls may end up getting pregnant. I had never known that the children were turned away when the father was there, and it explained so much.

Second image. After a variety of interesting discussions, translated and mimed, with the 5 wives of the owner of the previously mentioned manyatta, I went to bed. My bed was made of woven branches with a cow hide stretched over it. I had planned to sleep in teeshirt and underwear but it was so damn hot that I ended up taking off my teeshirt. I had brought a sheet so wrapped myself up in the sheet and went to sleep. Are we all clear on where Catherine is at now- fast asleep in just panties, wrapped in a sheet , lying on branches and cow hide, inside a cow dung hut with numerous goats. At half past midnight 'dad' returns and GETS INTO BED WITH ME!!!!!!

I'll leave you with that image.

And what an image it is! I'm looking forward to hearing the follow-up.


Things Overheard

Inspired by Pramas's Seen and Heard on a Thursday Night post, I've written up my own version: Heard in the Hair Salon.

I got my hair cut this week, and in a chair a few down from me an older woman was seated out of my line of sight. I could see her stylist in the mirror, walking around the chair, but could not see the woman she was working on. By voice, the woman sounded my grandmother's age, 70-ish. The stylist was working hard at the request that she be made to "look 35."

Single, with two 40-something children (also single), she had started going back to church in the last year and was preparing to go on a retreat with the church group. When pressed by the stylist about her love life, our patron admitted that there was no one. "Have you tried the internet? We need to find you someone nice," offered the stylist.

"Oh, I don't know. I barely know how to send e-mail. These internets are complicated! I have AOL, but I might get something else. I get a lot of junk mail."

"Do you visit websites?"

"Websites? Not really. A little."

"Well some websites track who is using them and send e-mail to people," says our stylist/tech consultant.

"I was getting a lot of junk mail. I started just clicking 'report spam, report spam, report spam' and it seems like I'm getting less now. I don't know why... it's like they can see what you're doing!" "They can't see what you're doing, can they?"

"Not unless you have a webcam. Do you have a webcam?"

"No, I don't have a webcam. But I have speakers... can they hear me through my speakers?"

"No, not unless you have a microphone."

"Oh. Ok. I don't have a microphone."

They then veered off into discussing whether to crush her prescription medicine ("My friend said that if I crushed it up, it would work faster and last longer") or take it whole. Our stylist/tech consultant advised her client to talk to her pharmacist before doing anything silly with her medication. "Unless your friend is a pharmacist...is she a pharmacist." "Oh, I don't know if she's a pharmacist or not..."

Me, I'm quiet when I get my hair cut, thanks.



I just found an iMix called"More Cowbell!!!!"

Not only does this reference one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time, but it's full of the best (or the worst, depending on your perspective) prog rock/cock rock songs. Supertramp, Alan Parson's Project, Blue Oyster Cult (of course), that version of Cold Gin by Kiss that Pramas can quote by heart, BTO...

Oh yeah. It's awful stuff, and just what I'm in the mood for.


Ten Voicemails

I have ten voicemails waiting for my attention.

I've been at the computer since 5:30 this morning. I ate breakfast and lunch at my desk. I've received around 300 e-mail messages today, written 46, answered three private messages from various forums, posted a handful of responses to our message boards, printed 10 orders, and participated in an hour-long conference call with England.

I've played three games of Snoodoku.

My daughter just walked in the door from school, whistling, claimed the last piece of cherry pie for herself and plopped down in front of the TV.

I'm halfway through my first glass of red wine for the night. The voicemail will have to wait.


Radio Silence

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. We had our Green Ronin staff summit Friday through Monday, combined with ongoing internet access problems that even having three or four competing geeks couldn't solve. Interestingly, the internet problems seemed to go away after the staff left (and I successfully connected to both the wired and wireless networks last night).

I will not lie, I'm utterly exhausted. The summit was all manners of fun, it's always great to see everyone outside of a convention environment. I was able to tour Rob (who'd never been here) around seattle a bit, and reintroduce Hal and Steve to our favorite restaurants. As the only driver, I was responsible for shuttling the out-of-towners to meeting locations, restaurants, and back to their hotel every day, and I hosted two dinners and a brunch at the house. (I waited until the vegetarian had returned home to bust out with the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, or footloaf as it has come to be called around here since last Halloween's extravaganza.) Hal and Steve had late flights so we had an extra day with them to take them around Seattle a bit more, and eventually out to Snoqualmie Falls, where we trekked the steep path to the bottom and struggled our way up again just as it was beginning to actually rain instead of Seattle-style "heavy mist". Next time we have a summit, I hope we can schedule something that allows us to go to a hotel on the peninsula or the Columbia Gorge or something suitably scenic, because there's more to the Seattle area than wireless networks and coffee joints and it would be nice to share that with our out of town staff when they make the effort to come all the way here.

I slept a full night last night for the first time in a week. I'd fallen into a horrible pattern of sleeping for a few hours and then waking up at 4am, which only led to more exhaustion. Last night I woke but was able to fall back asleep almost immediately. I might still be sleeping, but there is work to be done and a deadline for doing it.

Today it's back to filling mail orders, chasing past due invoices, and nailing down the specifics of all those scheduling and process-related decisions we made at the summit, just as soon as I return the rented van and figure out what asshole sent something I have to go to the PO Box and stand in line to sign for...


Liz Phair

Liz is one of those musicians whose music has always really gotten to me. It wasn't that way off the bat. A friend recommended Exile in Guyville to me, but I wasn't in the right headspace for it. I listened to it but it wasn't until a couple of years later when I was living in Vancouver, in the deepest depths of depression and poverty, that Exile found its place in my heart. All of a sudden, I was listening to Divorce Song and heard my life "...it's harder to be friends than lovers and you shouldn't try to mix the two, 'cause if you do it and you're still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you...". When she sang "...I want to be mesmerizing to you..." or "...the fire you like so much in me is the mark of someone adamantly free..." I found myself calling back yes, yes, me too!

Her sophomore release, Whipsmart struck a similar chord. Musically, it's still a unique, rough and quirky like Exile. Aside from playing the flute in junior high school, I have no musical training so I don't know a damn thing about syncopation or how to describe the way the guitar plays or what key the song shifts to or any of that. Whipsmart cemented Liz Phair as something unique and I loved it. When I heard "...I don't need a support system lifting me into prop position. What I need is a man of action. I need my attraction to you driving me down all those dangerous avenues..." I was breaking up my marriage, admitting that I'd gotten myself into something I never should have started and once again everything rang true. Nashville hit me with a right, Go West came in with a left. I was punch drunk! In fact, Whipsmart is one of those albums that it's difficult for me to break out a few lyrics from because each song hangs together so completely for me, from one image to the next, each line leading purely to the next until the end of the song, one song after another. It's tempting to quote the whole album.

Liz is a couple of years older than me, but I was ahead of her on the marriage/kid/divorce wagon. When Whitechocolatespaceegg was released I was rebuilding my life in Seattle, single mother of a toddler. Liz was still married, mother of a son almost exactly one year younger than my Kate, but I listened to her singing "...Love is nothing, nothing, nothing like they say, you gotta pick up the little pieces everyday..." and "It's death in our love that has brought us here,it's a birth that has changed our lives. It's a place that I hope we'll be leaving soon and I fear for the year in his eyes..." and I thought to myself oh my god, I've been there. I was not surprised when Liz was divorced by the time her next album came out. When she sang "...I want to be cool, tall, vulnerable, and luscious. I would have it all if I only had that much..." once again she put my own desires to words. Whitechocolatespaceegg wasn't exactly a hot release for her (as if someone in the RPG industry can cast stones at selling 295,000 copies of an album) but it's still among my personal favorites.

Liz is in town the Saturday after my birthday, touring to support her latest album. I saw her when she was touring for Whitechocolatespaceegg and even though I went alone I enjoyed myself. I'm not sure I want to spend $30 to go to a show alone as my birthday celebration this year, but I'm tempted. I've downloaded the new album, Somebody's Miracle. It's smoother, quieter than my favorites. I'll give it a few plays and see if the lyrics hook me enough to go in for a ticket to the show...



Following Xomec's lead. Love it! "You're both smart and aggressive, which means that you're probably pretty dangerous when pissed off." Ha, ya think?


59% Combativeness, 33% Sneakiness, 76% Intellect, 25% Spirituality

Aggressive, but with the brains to back it up: You are a Spellsword!

Score! You have a prestige class. A prestige class can only be taken after you've fulfilled certain requirements. This may mean that you're an exceptionally talented person, but it probably doesn't.

Spellswords combine arcane might with combat know-how. They're much tougher than mages, like to wear armor, and can cast spells through their weapons. They're very, very, good at doing lots of damage to a single target very quickly, and while not quite as tough as most fighters, are still pretty hard to kill.

You're both smart and aggressive, which means that you're probably pretty dangerous when pissed off. You also tend to be somewhat straightforward, which is nice, and don't have much use for spirituality or mysticism.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 55% on Combativeness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on Sneakiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 65% on Intellect
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 15% on Spirituality

Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on OkCupid Free Online Dating


Usagi Yojimbo

Just stumbled across a press release about Stan Sakai appearing at a couple of Seattle Public Library Branches tomorrow and Wednesday.

Rainier Beach is not too far from me to the south, and Central is only a bit farther to the north (nearer our old neighborhood). I'm tempted to go, just because I can. I only have a passing familiarity with Usagi Yojimbo but I've always liked what I've seen. Kind of like Albedo, which I first saw as an RPG.

I remember Jonathan Tweet questioning me about why certain things appealed to me when I saw them laying around Rampant House in the early Lion Rampant days. Usagi Yojimbo, Albedo (not the image from the first edition that I remember, but it will do), the second series of Amber novels, my first exposure to Orson Scott Card, and Space 1889 were all things that I picked up without prejudice, probably because I was 18 and not yet as cynical as my college-aged know-it-all friends. I'm much more cynical now, not purposely but just through exposure (and over exposure) to all those things that were completely new to me a decade or two ago.

So, maybe I'll take Kate off to hear Stan Sakai at the library tomorrow after school and let her pick up a few things without prejudice, too.


Dinner Tonight

MUCH more satisfying than my Outback "jackaroo" chops last night! Makes a ton, but I don't mind having leftovers of this. YUM!

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragł with Penne
From Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
12 ounces lean ground lamb
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 bay leaves
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta or other short pasta)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Cover and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture from pan.

Add lamb to pan; cook over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel. Return onion mixture and lamb to pan. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Add tomatoes, 3 tablespoons parsley, salt, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add pasta and cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.


Still not one of the cool kids

It was my anniversary yesterday. It was also the night I had to drop Kate off with her dad, which cut into any time I might have been able to go out and enjoy some nightlife. Instead, Pramas helped me take the first batch of orders for Mutants & Masterminds Second Edition to the post office and thankfully we got the good natured guy who didn't mind processing a giant stack of Global Express and Global Priority Mail packages.

After dropping Kate off with her dad, I went to the only restaurant near the drop-spot that's of a quality greater than Denny's, the Outback Steakhouse, for dinner. Completely regretted it because I have both lamb and pork tenderloin at home that would have been better than the "Jackaroo Chops" I finally settled on. They weren't poorly prepared, they just turned out to be not what I wanted.

From there it was off to see Serenity, because I could. I'll probably get into spoilers in the comments of this entry, if there are any comments, but I'll leave this main commentary spoiler free. There were parts of the movie that were really well done, where I was engaged and interested. At other parts, I was bored and restless. Unlike the hardcore fans who have universally told me the movie was great, I found the characters to be too thin for my liking. I simultaneously wanted more and less. I enjoyed the clever bits, I didn't see one of the twists coming, but other things that I've seen other fans call "badass" I actually found trite and hollow. Oh, and then there was the hardcore family of Serenity geeks in their full fan gear who brought the four year old and toddler to the movie. Let's just say the toddler didn't enjoy the Reavers... dumbasses.

This weekend and the rest of next week will be a combination of preparing for the Green Ronin Summit next weekend and getting the next several batches of mail orders out. There are a hell of a lot of orders to ship. Someone on the boards actually asked if I had "my lackey" pack the orders. Ha haha haha. Lackey. Right.