Summer 2020

Hello from Summer 2020 where the days melt into each other and the Covid-19 makes every day a bippity-boppity joy just to be alive.

We have been on lockdown since early March and it's now mid-May. Check the history books to see how this all happened and why we all have to eat ramen and wipe our butts with newspaper.

Still, it beats dying in a hospital hallway.

But wait... is that the crazy pandemic lockdown voice talking? Things aren't all that bad. We have online escape rooms and Netscape Parties and the new Animal Crossing. Plus there's the possibility of soccer again someday soon.

And in the meantime we can all work on our Google suite skills and learn a few more drink recipes for when party season rolls around again. There's a rumor that Disneyland will open up again eventually and we can wear masks and Mickey will give us hydroquinoquil shots or something like that.

So yeah... lockdown crazy.

Is this thing on?

Hello Fall 2019.

Married, listening to podcasts, designing sets, constructing puzzles, raising cats, losing weight, staying healthy, playing Zelda, following the LA Galaxy, dreading politics, drinking coffee... and living in HB.

Nano 2014

I haven't posed here in what seems like forever!

I wish I was writing more.
I know the solution... start writing.
It's the same solution I know works for exercise. Start exercising and you will want to keep exercising.

Starting another Nano was my excuse to stop exercising when November 1st came around, so I'm happy to say I stopped writing and am at least ecercising. And eating better.

Now to write. And bring back the Karma Tontine for 2015...

UNO... DOS...

Here's a variation of UNO that I invented just for Maxicon and playtested there to great success!

It is called "DOS"

Players: 6 or more  (doesnt work with less)
Split into two teams by counting off aroud the circle. First player says "Uno". Second says "Dos. Then "Uno", then "Dos" until you have two teams whose members alternate aroud the circle. Team Uno, and Team Dos. Team Uno players must sit, while Team Dos players must kneel. Trust me -- it will help! Team Uno will play a normal game of UNO. Team Dos will play the opposite of Uno. That is to say, when playing a card, they must NOT match the color and NOT match the number (or word) on the previously played card (the card on the discard stack).

Play this slowly at first, alternating players. After turning over the first card, the first player (playing UNO) matches the top card either by color or number. The second player (DOS) must NOT match the color and NOT match the number. If a player cannot play, they must draw until they can play as per normal rules.

A REVERSE reverses play. A SKIP skips the next player (who is on the other team). A WILD DRAW 4 forces the next player (who is on the other team) to draw 4.

When a player runs out of cards, he sits back from the playing field. Once the last member of a team goes out, that team wins! However, you can "bring" a member of the other team back in the game by playing a "DRAW 2" or "WILD DRAW 4" because it affects the next person in the circle.

That was DOS.1 Once you get the hang of it. Move to the next version, DOS.2

In DOS.2, each team plays on the same discard (like above) but each team is not playing separately from the other team. In other words, when you flip the top card to start the game, either of the next two players can start playing. Once a player on a team plays, the NEXT player on that team can then play. The play does not alternate between teams necessarily. Team Uno might play twice as fast as Dos. HOWEVER, they both are playing on the same discard stack. This means that the card you are trying to match might change several times as you are trying to play. In fact, if you dont have a card to play, you can draw until you do, but you might also just wait (or draw slowly) because the top card will change as fast as the other team plays.

In DOS.2, the SKIP and WILD cards affect the next player (who is on the other team) like above, but a REVERSE card only affects YOUR team! Do realize however, that the next player in a WILD DRAW 4 or a SKIP might NOT be the next player to play even though they ARE the next person sitting aroud the circle from you. You will need to yell loudly at them "Draw 2" or "I skipped you!". This makes it confusing for the next player who has to be on his toes. And who must remember to be "skipped" once it's his turn. More chaos is always better!

Finally, are you ready for DOS.3 ?

In DOS.3, each  WILD card makes you change teams. Yes. When you play a WILD, yell "Switch" and if you are kneeling (Team Dos), sit down and become a Team Uno player. The next player must now switch the team HE is on. However it does get crazy when all of a sudden two players from the same team are sitting next to each other (both end up kneeling or both sitting). In this case, when you make them DRAW, it might bring your OWN teammember back into the game!

If you want, you can have a WILD DRAW 4 make both teams swap. All kneelers sit and all sitters kneel!

It's as simple as that. Yelling. Pretty colors. Numbers. Chaos.


I don't post to LiveJournal much, but when I do...

Hello, it's almost Maxicon time and that means I go into host mode.
A friend of mine who has only known me for a couple weeks told me yesterday that if he summed me up in a word it's "host".
So so weird. That is exactly the ONE word I have always used to describe myself.
It used to be "gamer"... and then it was "father"... and at some point "lover"... but more recently, it has been "host".
Now that I think of it, I first used that term in a session. Funny how they bring out the kernel of truth in you, those therapists.
So come see me at my best.
No, not in therapy.
At Maxicon!

a "turning 40" poem

I wrote a poem for a friend who turned 40 today...

Just change that number from a base-Ten to base-Five, my son.
Instead of over 40, now you're not quite twenty-one!
If that's a stretch, then twenty-four or twenty-eight, my friend.
Or simply use base-Forty and declare you're turning 10!

The 2011 Karma Tontine Begins!

It's time to put it down in writing. What are your goals for 2011? What do you need help with? What have you been putting off? Can I help you? Can we all help you?

Please state your BIG and SMALL goals here.

Become a Project Manager

I suck at that. I really do. But the tools to become better at time, project, deadline, communication management are no secret. They dont cost money and they havent changed in decades. They are right there in every book about managing one's life and tasks. They are effortlessly employed by successful people. Even dingbats know how to make their dingbaty projects move forward, so why not me? 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? How do I not have these down yet? I cant even think of one off the top of my head... though I think making a to-do list and doing it must be one of them).
I have projects and I need to start managing!


I write a lot. But I am afeared of re-writing. I need to get un-afeared.

Fitness, game design, decluttering, reading, cooking... I'm gonna work on all those too.

2011 Karma Tontine begins

So why did I name this thing a "Karma Tontine"?

A tontine is an illegal agreement in which multiple people put money (or something valuable) into a "pot", and the last one alive in the group is the one who gets to claim the money.

But in our case it's not money, it's karma. And it's not "being alive", it's helping each other achieve their goals. So to redefine the Karma Tontine in those terms, we are basically all trying to help each other out throughout the year and if we keep actively doing that, the karma "pot" can be reaped at the end of the year.

Esssentially it's a self-fulfilling scenario. If you do good, good will be done back to you.

The pot keeps getting fuller as people help each other and -- magically -- your goals get achieved because others are helping you in return. You dont even have to wait until the year is over to claim the pot... it's an ongoing process!

Oh, would that it were that easy.

I know I fell off the wagon during the year. I dont think I did much to help anyone apart from post to LiveJournal occasionally. OMG who am I kidding... there's little chance anyone is still reading this post by this point unless you are one of the hard-core. The dedicated.


So let's try making 2011 a year of filling the pot.

And you never know what fills that pot. Sometimes it's something as simple as setting your OWN goal and showing how dedicated YOU are to meeting it in the coming year. And then DOING just that by showing (and sharing proof of) your real progress as the weeks go by.

When Ian mentioned his 100-pushup goal, it got me off my ass! I started trying to beat him by working out on my own in secret! It worked!

So wont you all join me once again in my Karma Tontine? The non-money, non-deadly tontine craze that's sweeping the nation?

Take a week to think of your goals. One BIG and as many SMALL ones as you want (I think having lots of smalls helps your fellow tontiners), but please indicate the main SMALL one so we can focus our energies if we need.

Report back here next week.