27 December 2014

26 December 2014

My web site

I posted about this on G+, but I don’t think I actually mentioned it here. The web host I was using has gone defunct. I’ve taken the opportunity, while moving to a new host, to finally update and reorganize some of the content. I’m also trying to set up redirects so that links to any content that has moved still work. If there’s anything that’s not yet on the new site that you’d like to see back up, please let me know. I’ll bump it up on my “to do” list. Also, let me know if you see any problems with the new site.


24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

If there is no year zero, was Jesus born in 1 BC or AD 1?

The answer is neither since Dennis the Short messed things up.

Of course, it doesn’t matter that Jesus wasn’t born on 25 December 0. It doesn’t really matter whether He was wholly man or wholly God or both or neither.

What matters is that we try to be nice to each other. Even our families.

Happy holidays!

23 December 2014

My classic D&D armor

I came up with some different rules for armor in classic D&D. Rather than trying to get the tables to look nice on the blog, I just went ahead and added it to the web site: “Vaguely historical armor

I had chosen to go more abstract with weapons. I had started down the same path with armor, but instead I decided to actually make it more concrete instead.

21 December 2014

On public television

When I was a kid, public television was inspirational. They (seemingly, at least) proved that, against conventional wisdom, individuals could come together to build something good and give it away for free. In the day when only six organizations could afford to broadcast television in a market the size of Houston. For those idealists to be able to stand alongside the national networks on the VHF band was impressive.

Somewhere along the line, though, they became addicted to corporate money and tacky pledge drives and selling DVDs. The differences between public television and private television were no longer very clear.

I know that some great programming was funded by the money that brought in. But at what cost? The loss of what made public television different. If it isn’t different, what’s the point? I would rather have less programming with lower production values that had stuck to their ideals.

When I said anything, the letters I got back said that I wasn’t as important as their corporate sponsors and the success of their pledge drives.

Now, they send me a letter telling me they’re counting on me because the corporate money is drying up. Now, Nova is interrupted by commercials that look exactly like the shopping channels and nothing like public television. The only thing they are inspiring in my son is snarky comments.

Maybe I’ll help them out. Maybe they’ll rediscover those ideals. Or maybe I’ll instead support what they’re doing on YouTube. Because I get the feeling it is that stuff, of anything they’re doing, that will inspire my kids.

03 December 2014


Instead of painting all in-app purchases with the same brush, let’s call the problem by name: Nagware. (“Pay to win” is also acceptable.)

Even then, though, it is hard for me to get too worked up about it. While the nagware model might be making Rovio (e.g.) more money, they’re getting less of my money than they used to. Yet I still get to enjoy their games.

The funniest bit to me is where they want me to pay or take a break from playing. For me, that’s a feature. I need a reminder to take a break. I’ve stayed up way too late playing Angry Birds several times. Why would I pay to eliminate a feature?