Category Archives: Cats

Sleepy Cats.

Our lazy bums.

Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV (yes, she’s female)

Kenya, our grumpy old lady

Little boy Moses

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Stray words, stray cats

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a fairly productive weekend here.
 
I completed some minor house upgrading – which you can see on my house blog – as well as some significant work on Corporia. I dropped my overly-large font size by a point and removed some unnecessary art and spacing, which allowed me to cut 16 pages from the total length (now down to 192!) and provided room for some other sections I was short of space for. I even added a couple of pages to the Gamemastery chapter, detailing secrets behind several of the megacorporations.
 
I’m still not happy with the page design of the in-world NPC/monster section which, like the ‘spell list report’ and ‘equipment periodical’ (the first draft cover of which you can see at the end of this previous post), is an in-world document. I browsed a few magazines at the grocery store in hopes of getting some design ideas, but nothing grabbed me. This particular design really should wait until I’ve finished all the writing, but it’s hard to not toy with it.
 
I also spent some time hanging out with ‘our’ outdoor stray, Stanley. He’s starting appearing regularly again, after disappearing for weeks – probably because we’ve realized he likes wet food instead of dry. Here are some good photos I managed to take while he was in a contemplative mood:
 

A Ramblin’ Man

Well, I just finished recording my appearance on an upcoming episode of the Jennisodes gaming podcast, which was a lot of fun. Talked a bit about Corporia (which I think I rambled far too much on; should have prepped my outline better), and a lot about self-publishing and printing options. That should be out within the next two or three weeks, so I’ll keep you posted.

And speaking of Corporia… No news yet from the publisher I’ve been speaking with, but it being convention season, I’m not going to bug him for another week or so. In terms of rules, I’ve made lots of minor tweaks lately, but also one significant change.  When creating a character, you get to choose the degree to which your character’s been affected by the Flux (touched, gifted, or fluxed), which determines how many points you get for core values, skills, general assets, and supernatural assets. If you are merely Touched by the Flux, you get 14 points for core values, 20 points for skills, and 10 for assets. If you are, as I say, completely ‘Fluxed’, you get 10 for core values, 14 for skills, 10 for general assets, and another 10 for supernatural assets (like spellcasting). It’s a bit like the old Witchcraft RPG, if you’re familiar with that. I think it helps balance out the sorcerer and the witcher, compared to the other classes, to a greater degree.

(And speaking of rules, I can definitely use some more playtesters, so feel free to drop me a line if you’re interested.)

In home and life news, my wife and I bought a (light green) 2008 Toyota Prius this weekend. It’s loaded with all the bells and whistles except for leather seats (which is fine with me), but we happened to catch it just after a price drop, so we got a good deal on it. Sadly, I didn’t notice until afterwards that it has a clear tape-covered golfball-sized hole in one of the rear lights, and the salesman just shrugged his shoulders and kept telling me what a great deal I got anyway. It was a very frustrating end to a nice experience, particularly after he’d said how the dealership (Classic Toyota in Waukegan, in case you want to know who to watch out for) always makes sure cars are in good shape before they go off the lot. We’d promised ourselves we’d buy from CarMax instead of a dealer, but couldn’t pass up that Prius when our other car was over 200,000 miles and I was spending two hours a day in it. The Prius will offset our gas budget significantly, and make up for about half the car payment, which made even facing off with a dealer worthwhile.

Finally, our stray cat Stanley came back for less than an hour tonight. Hung out, got some canned food, crawled into my lap and got some petting, hung out some more, then left. Time to hit the next house on his list, maybe…

Assets and Cats

No doubt you’ve noticed, if you’re one of the persons who’s following my musings, that the blog’s been a bit silent over the last week or so. Well, there hasn’t really been anything recent that I consider super blogworthy – just real life getting up to its usual tricks. I had a business trip to Vermont, a cousin’s wedding in North Carolina, a backyard grilling in Illinois, and a cheese festival in Wisconsin, so I feel like I’ve barely sat down in the last couple of weeks.
 
I’m still working on Corporia in my spare time, of course,while I wait to hear back from the potential publisher. There’s constant tweaking, polishing, and editing going on, but I haven’t added anything big, new, and splashy. I did give each class concept its own unique asset (feat, edge, talent, whatever you might call it in other role-playing games), rather than just giving free assets to the unique knight-errant, hacker, and ‘caster concepts. Of course, you can still combine most concepts with each other, like a knight-errant/hacker or a headhunter/witcher, but you only get one asset, not both. Most of them can also be bought separately during character creation, if you’re willing to spend the points.
 
We also had a surprise return visitor at the house. Stanley’s back – for the third time. After the last time I posted about him, he disappeared again immediately, and if it hadn’t been for my camera, I wouldn’t have been entirely convinced he wasn’t some sort of kitty illusion… He’s been hanging out in the yard over the weekend, being his usual friendly self and even climbing into my lap last night, though he doesn’t look as well-groomed as the last time I saw him. He’s obviously gone back to being a 100% ‘outside cat’. I feel like I should trap him again and get him to the no-kill shelter where he can be loved and cared for, since we can’t keep him ourselves, but he’s already escaped and come back from that before, so I’m not sure it would be helpful.  The other strays haven’t been around lately, though we’ve been putting out food as usual. It seems like Stanley goes away and the others come back, so I guess we’re just rotating through the strays as they travel some sort of weird cat migration pattern…  We’ll see how it goes.
 
 

Pictures of Cats

I love taking pictures (by which I mean ‘using a camera to snap photographs’, not ‘stealing paintings from museums and art galleries’). I am also jointly blessed and tormented with three cats in the house, so naturally my phone ends up loaded with lots of silly cat photos.

Today’s lunchtime post originally began “Since I don’t really have a topic today, you can relax with some pictures of cats.” Of course, once I started to explain why I have cat photos, that became an actual topic… So here goes.

We have three cats, who are cranky, lazy, and crazy, respectively. Kenya was the first; she’s a black domestic short hair with a sad abusive history. She loves food, likes me, and barely tolerates the rest of the world. Within a year, we got a gray female DSH named Ed (see Cowboy Bebop for the name’s origin) to keep Kenya company. She’s sweet and roly-poly, often rolling on her back and loudly demanding belly scratches. Then there’s Moses, who I believe I’ve mentioned before. Mo, or ‘the Meep’, appeared in the yard during a rain shower at four weeks old, and we kept him. He’s about seven months old now, and still very much a kitten. His loves include: play-fighting, drinking from any running faucet, and lying in the bathroom sink.

Okay, enough exposition. On with the show (i.e., what’s on my phone).

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A cat’s long trek ‘home’…

As an editor, I hope you’ll pardon my non-standard use of writing periods as pauses for effect, but “What. Is. Up. With. Cats?”

Let me explain. A while back, I blogged about one of the stray cats we befriended, captured, and had the local animal control deliver to the Orphans of the Storm no-kill shelter. “Stanley,” as we called him,  became friendly with me rather quickly, but he was obviously intestinally sick and thin (probably with a belly full of worms) and needed help. We were glad to see him go to Orphans, since we couldn’t afford to keep him, and of course never expected to see him again. This was four months ago.

Imagine my surprise when, only two days ago, I stepped out the kitchen into the mudroom and saw Stanley hanging out on the back porch! He ran away, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was him, even though he had the same distinctive black fur spot on his face. After I put some food out, he came back, staying just out of arm’s length but not running away like a strange stray.

I was able to use the video camera to film him as well as check out his weird left eye (no normal circular pupil, just a black off-center splotch). Comparing it to the best old photo I have of him (below), I’ve got no doubt. It’s him; fatter and with better fur, looking much healthier, but him.

Stanley, 2011

I called Orphans of the Storm, thinking that maybe they had a practice of ‘trap, spay/neuter, and release’ on some strays that simply could not be kept. I couldn’t imagine it of Stanley, since he was friendly after he warmed up to me, but you never know. He certainly wanted to be an indoor/outdoor cat. The shelter, however, was clueless. Apparently they don’t kill or release, and they have no idea how it could have happened – unless he escaped from the city animal control before he got taken to the shelter, or he was actually adopted by a local and then escaped. (Oh, I should point out that the shelter is not in our town – it’s 26 miles south.) I didn’t try to delve into any record-keeping, knowing that it would be futile. They have hundreds of cats going in and out of there, and no documentation on my end of things.

As I said, he definitely looks better groomed and in better condition. The great mystery remains, though. Where has he been? And how did he get back? I guess I’ll never know.

Corporia: the Journo, and a bit about kittens

I’m still working on filling in a lot of descriptive text for the character concepts, so I thought I’d share the ‘Journo’ with you today. I’ve been trying to give each concept its own unique slant, and I think this one turned out well. Of course, any comments to the contrary you have are appreciated – and, as always, feel free to share!

Corporia RPG - Open Alpha - the Journo

On a personal note, our kitten Moses was finally old enough to get neutered this week – which will calm the crazy little guy down a bit as well as stopping him from molesting the two older females and spraying the rugs as he gets older…  Great news – only now he has to wear a big plastic Elizabethan collar to keep him from licking/chewing away his stitches, and get daily pain meds for the next few days. The poor little guy is certainly more sedate during this recovery period, but the collar is monstrous and he keeps bumping into things, which I must admit makes my heart wince each time. Sigh. I can’t wait until this phase is over and all is back to normal…

Poor little guy.