Discolor Online

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


Random Stuff

I started to post about something else entirely but life gets in the way and I will have to save it for later. However, I want to get back to the discipline of posting regularly so here's a little bit of this and that to fulfill that impulse.

1) The Gay Rights Meme: Like Ari, I tend to resent the memes that tell you if you don't perpetuate the meme you're to be judged X, but I will state outright that I'm all in favor of securing equal rights for all people. Equal treatment for men and women, equal treatment for gays and straights (and the permutations in between), equal treatment regardless of race, equality in religion, access to basic human necessities for life like food, water, shelter, health care. I'm in!

2) Origins Awards Nominations are out (at least I received some sort of official GAMA-generated e-mail about it...in typical GAMA form (sad to say) their Origins Nominees page is as yet not updated). Three products from Green Ronin's catalog have moved on to the next round: Hobby Games: the 100 Best, our systemless setting book The Pirate's Guide to Freeport, and the Green Ronin-published edition of Firefly Games' excellent roleplaying work Faery's Tale Deluxe. On to the final round!

3)The Books Meme. I was going to skip this but I thought you all might be somewhat amused to see exactly how many books I've started and failed to finish. I'm terrible about that. Bold for the ones I've finished, italics for the ones I've started but at some point gave up on (usually more than 1/3 but less than 2/3 through...if I didn't make it at least 1/3 of the way in, I've left it marked unread). Laugh it up!

The Aeneid
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
American Gods
Anansi Boys
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
Angels & Demons
Anna Karenina
Atlas Shrugged
The Blind Assassin
Brave New World
The Brothers Karamazov
The Canterbury Tales
The Catcher in the Rye
A Clockwork Orange
Cloud Atlas
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
A Confederacy of Dunces
The Confusion
The Corrections
The Count of Monte Cristo
Crime and Punishment
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
David Copperfield
Don Quixote
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Fountainhead
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
The God of Small Things
The Grapes of Wrath
Gravity’s Rainbow
Great Expectations
Gulliver’s Travels
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
The Historian : a novel
The Hobbit
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Iliad
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
Jane Eyre
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
The Kite Runner
Les Misérables
Life of Pi : a novel
Love in the Time of Cholera
Madame Bovary
Mansfield Park
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Dalloway
The Mists of Avalon
Moby Dick
The Name of the Rose
Northanger Abbey
The Odyssey
Oliver Twist
The Once and Future King
One Hundred Years of Solitude
On the Road
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Oryx and Crake : a novel
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Pride and Prejudice
The Prince
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
The Satanic Verses
The Scarlet Letter
Sense and Sensibility
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Silmarillion
The Sound and the Fury
A Tale of Two Cities
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Time Traveler’s Wife
To the Lighthouse
Treasure Island
The Three Musketeers
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Vanity Fair
War and Peace
Watership Down
White Teeth
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
Wuthering Heights
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values



Crazy Travel is done

My month of crazy travel is finished, for real. Upon my triumphant return from GTS in Vegas I collapsed for half a day in bed and slept like I hadn't slept for a week (even though I was really good in Vegas and didn't stay out late or drink overly much). Yesterday was still too busy, though, as we were trying to squeeze in a few visits with industry people and (for me) a Jonathan Coulton show for which I've had tickets for ages. Lunch dates turned into dinner dates and dinner dates turned into post-concert get-togethers. Today was more eating out as I attempted to introduce Adam to the vegetarian glories of Cafe Flora before driving him back to the Everett suburbs from whence he came. By the time dinner rolled around tonight all I had energy for was some tofu sloppy joes and baked beans from a can.

I'm very much looking forward to getting some cooking in. I bought a few fresh vegetables today and making some homemade soup is on my list of things to do tomorrow. There is a frightening pile of work to catch up on: mail orders, distributor invoices, bill paying, household chores, and doctor appointments are on the schedule all week long. Still, it's great to be home, in my own kitchen, in my own bed, with my own things. No more travel until the American Library Show at the end of June if I can help it!



And just like that...

it's over. GTS technically still runs seminars tomorrow but as far as I can tell, the show is done today. They tried a new format where Monday was set-up day for exhibitors while retailers had seminars, then exhibit hall hours were Tuesday and Wednesday, then more seminars on Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday there were free lunch and dinner buffets offered in a room all but adjoining the exhibit hall. GAMA really did everything they could to encourage attendees not to wander off from the show.

Tuesday we saw a lot of people and they were quite interested in everything we had to tell them. We talked with a ton of retailers about Song of Ice and Fire, Wild Cards, Free RPG Day, the four Origins Awards Semifinalist products from our catalog and more. We made new contacts in retail, foreign distribution, translation, licensing and printing. We packed a lot into a short time but I really feel like we walked out of here with a lot of valuable face time with actually interested parties. Very few people coming by just looking for free stuff and many people coming by to give us props and tell us how much they like what we're doing and how well it does in their stores. Nothing to complain about.

The biggest question that came up time and time again: What is Green Ronin doing about 4E? I gave my stock reply that we don't know what we're going to do until we see the final license and WotC issues it's actual terms and shows us the GSL and the SRD but it was an unsatisfactory answer for everyone concerned. We got lots of support from people anxious to see us continue with our OGL games and heard from a distressing number of people from the retail and distribution tiers who are feeling really uncertain about the upcoming edition of D&D. Even outside of the OGL/GSL issues, many retailers and some distributors kept repeating that they still really don't have a good feel for what 4E is going to be like and they feel frustrated that the message out of WotC seems to be "Well, it's D&D! That's enough!"

Poor Scott Rouse was clearly in a terribly position as people kept asking him for clarifications he doesn't have and assurances he is not in a position to give. He handled himself gracefully every time I saw him and I do believe he's been forthright about what the state of things is but there's no getting around the fact that his job has put him in a really hard position and his job hasn't been made any easier by the recent announcements about the GSL.

But enough about that! I'm meeting the rest of Team GR in a few minutes for dinner and then I'm going to make an effort to kick up my heels a bit and socialize with whoever still remains in town tonight. I've done precious little of that with anyone other than my Green Ronin homies so far. Viva Las Vegas!

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Live from Vegas

Pramas and I spent the weekend in Las Vegas before the GAMA Trade Show officially kicked off. Gabe "Mondo" Vega is eve expanding his ConQuest gaming convention empire and this year he kicked off ConQuest Vegas. We came down to show our support. They had a lovely space up on the 26th floor of Bally's (rooms with a view!) where the GTS seminars have been held. In the future I hope to be a bit more involved than we were this year (the lead-up to Vegas coincided with having to get a lot of other things under control around GRHQ and Chez Ronin). We may even make an appearance down at the next ConQuest franchise: ConQuest Reno in November. We'll see.

Pramas and I were here early on Saturday and couldn't yet check into our room so we went over to enjoy brunch at the Las Vegas incarnation of Thomas Keller's Bouchon . Really good idea. Great food, relaxing atmosphere, and it killed just the right amount of time to allow us to go back to Bally's and check into our room. We've also enjoyed meals at Wing Lei at the Wynn (the only Michelin starred Chinese restaurant in America, where we enjoyed the Peking duck tasting menu) and Michael Mina's Seablue over at the MGM. We also made a trip over to the Stage Deli at Caesar's Palace before Pramas had to pack up and hit the airport. So, the eating's been alright so far. Ha.

Chris heads home tonight to rejoin Kate, who has had a grand little adventure of her own bouncing around to various friends and hitting going away parties and Passover dinners, among other excitements. We waited all day to see if there were going to be any further announcements of clarifications on the situation with the GSL but we didn't glean any further information. No one we've talked to seems eager to sign on for 4E support current conditions. It seems like WotC has cast somewhat of a pall over things as retailers and distributors (not just third party publishers) try to make sense of what's happening and try to predict what the gaming landscape is going to look like in six to nine months time. At least one RPG liquidator is already offering to buy up any and all d20 products publishers will be forbidden to sell after the end of the year. Meanwhile I've already seen an absolutely adorable book that I can't wait to snap up from Atlas Games. I look forward to seeing more stuff tomorrow when the exhibit halls are set up for real.

Will try to find time to get some of my food photos posted this week but it may all wait until I get home. Damned getting older. 9:30 in Vegas and I'm dead tired (and the exhibit hall hasn't even opened yet!). For now, this is all the news I can think to report.

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I attempt to recreate the salsa

Food in Mexico
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Super busy trying to catch up with things (and people) between trips. Got back from New York, Saturday we leave for Vegas and the GAMA Trade Show at oh-my-god-o'clock. I managed to make a decent vegetable curry the other night that gave us left overs for several days but tonight I craved something different. Something I had in Mexico. The Best Salsa in the World... oh how I crave it.

So I went out and got myself some ingredients and did my best this afternoon to make my best approximation of the salsa. I oven roasted some onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomatillos, and guessed at what to do about the peppers. I knew the pepper mixture had chipotle peppers in it but I didn't recognize (and can't remember) what our guy said the other two peppers were. I got a selection of dried and fresh peppers that I put together as an experiment, added the sesame seeds (that I ground with mortar and pestle) salt and cilantro. It was pretty good but not quite right. Too hot for starters... I need to adjust the peppers for sure. Also not "roasty" enough. I think I'll have to really be willing to blacken those veggies. In the photos I took, everything is just black but I wasn't confident enough to really get things blackened. Overall, though, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at recreating the salsa. Given a few more attempts, I'm pretty sure I can get pretty close.

This is probably the last cooking I will do before we head to Vegas. I haven't even had time to figure out where we're going to eat while we're there, which is stressing me out because I know my team is counting on me to get us some good eats while we're there. As official "Green Ronin Mom" I can't let my boys go hungry you know!


Mexico Photos

Food in Mexico
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Well, it took me a couple of days and I still haven't labeled them but my photos of Mexico have been uploaded to my Flickr account. I've divided the whole thing into three parts: people and places, food and drink, and a whole whack of sunsets.

Today was a beautiful day in Seattle and I spent the day doing a lot of long-neglected chores like yard work and moving things around in the garage. Too tired to do any significant write-ups of my recent trips or anything else but I hope to be back in fighting form soon. At least I can bring some sort of end to the drought of content on the ol' blog.



Leaving Again

I was back home for two days. I'm leaving now for New York and hope to be able to post some recaps and photos when I get back.

Be good while I'm gone!