Our lazy bums.
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…
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).
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.
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.
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!
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…