Thoughts about my dog dying

I used to have two dogs. One died a few years ago. She just sort of gave up died during the night and passed. I saw her the next morning before going to work and while I was sad, I knew that she was gone and was able to move on.

The second one was put down last week. She spent her last night in the house, I said goodbye to her the next morning, then she was taken off to the vet. I saw the car leave the house, but I didn’t actually see her dead. I think because of that whenever I walk near one of the places she typically lays around at I still expect to see her and want to go over to her to show her some affection on the way to where ever it is that I’m going.  I come home and the first thing i think about is needing to let her out.

I think I see now why funerals have viewings. I had never considered the impact that comes from actually seeing someone who has passed.

Pathfinder character bio: Koss

Koss is probably my favorite character. He is a kobold with the Wild Forrest alternate racial trait and I made him carnation scaled to compliment his backstory. He is a lawful neutral alchemist with no subclass because none of them benefit the story I created for him.

Koss was abandoned at his hatching when he was found to have unnatural pink scales. He was taken very quickly into slavery by a female black furred catfolk alchemist who lived in solitude. He was brought up to have grace and subservience by his master who treated him well. She considered him more of a companion than a slave, but still required his strict submission to her. To best describe their relationship, her highest compliment to him was “You are my most valuable possession.” When their hut was set upon by a group of orcs he was commanded to flee while the master fought and died at the hand of the orcs. The orcs chased Koss through the forest until he stumbled on the party where they saved him and killed the orcs. They questioned why such a rare thing would be seen in the forests, so Koss gave them his story of slavery. He was given his freedom by the party because none of them had the heart (or maybe thought) to sell him off to slavers for the pretty penny he was worth. He did not want freedom, as the only life he knew was one where his hours were spent at another’s digression and finances were never a thing he needed to think about. He is at a loss without someone to manage him. He eventually ended up in a strange agreement with the party ranger where he would act as a servant to the necromancer and report on her behaviors.

My favorite bit of flavor I’ve given Koss is his bad way of handling stress. He was trained to be graceful and speak Common cleanly and without an accent, but as the stresses of fighting, abuse, and being without a master well up in him his lawful neutral alignment slowly creeps down towards lawful evil and further towards chaotic evil. With this change in mindset his speech, demeanor, and actions change. When fresh and unstressed, he speaks plainly without an accent and wont do foolish or brash things without the instruction or approval of someone else in the party. As his stress level increases from fighting, interacting with other kobolds (interacting with his own kind gives him great angst), or being demeaned, his accent slips and becomes heavier until he becomes unintelligible to anyone who is unfamiliar with yip-yak, a dialect of draconic. His actions become more impulsive and he is quicker to anger until his duty to instruction is warped to the point where he would beat someone to death for not following orders.

These affects are mitigated by spending a few hours of downtimes drinking a Polypurpose Panacea. I might play with addiction in the future but I’ve not come that far yet and the only time I’ve used it everyone that came in contact with me rolled a laughably low perception roll to see that I was high on fancy alchemist juice.

Pathfinder character bio: Tycho

I liked my last post about playing DnD games. I’ve received a few compliments about the characters I’ve made, so I’m going to write about some of them.

Tycho is a rogue swordmaster tengu. I chose the name Tycho because its close to the name a tengu would have and is the same name of a music artist that I like. He was the first character that I made and actually used so I didnt do the best at assigning his stats. For his first two levels I basically didnt care about him at all and was disregarding his safety in hopes that he would die so that I could make something better. The GM worked with me to rebuild him from a -2 STR mod to +1 STR with the fencing grace feat and weapon focus for the rapier, making me rather formidable. I mentioned that I was rather happy with the changes and didnt want to die anymore and of course died the very next session to a CR 2 trap I tried to disarm with 6 health. not smart. The GM liked my character enough and it suited the campaign to revive me, so he did.

Tycho started out as a servant to a wealthy man, but when his town was burned down by bandits he fled with his friends to the next settlement over. My OOC jokes about respecting the NAP turned into an in character establishment that his new primary focus in life is to physically remove anyone who does not maintain the good of the community, whether they are average thieves and cutthroats or community leaders who use their position of power to exploit those under them. His respect for authority ends as soon as he is hindered from killing or kidnapping undesirables to end the damage these “degenerates” are causing to their communities.  After his resurrection, Tycho dedicated himself more to the service of Gorum because it suited his efforts to excise cancerous greed from every place he visits, definitely not because it was the church who revived him and he owes the arch priest a debt of life. His general demeanor has changed since his revival from that of a high risk hothead (who acted that way because I wanted him to die) to a cooled off, slow to speak calculated surgeon of justice.

Dont give up on finding a good group to play dice games with

I’ve become pretty excited about Pathfinder and D&D like games recently after finding a really great group to play with, but it took me years of searching before I found one. I’m going to talk about my first two attempts to find a good group to play with, because every time I look back at them I’m a bit surprised I ever tried again.

My first trainwreck.

I had been wanting to try a pen and paper game for a while, but had no friends who were playing and had no way of meeting new players. I was also somewhat disinterested with playing with people that  I didn’t know because I had never roleplayed before and felt self conscious about that. After some time some friends (whom I’ve never met) of a friend invited him to a game and I ended up getting invited as well. I arrived without any understanding of game mechanics or how to make a character. We sat down and everyone started sharing their charactersheets of characters they had already created, oops. I had not made a character yet, thinking that character creation would be done as a group. They were already itching to start so while the GM was explaining the world and players were making in-character introductions, I was still pouring over long winded paizo and D20PFSRD pages trying valiantly to create a character without any prior understanding of the game. Even worse, every time I’d ask how a mechanic works or if taking some skill or feat was a good idea the other players would get more and more angry with me, so I was eventually stuck with a human gunslinger, I didnt roll ability scores correctly so half my scores were below 10, I didnt take the +2 to any ability because I didnt know about that. I took no skills at all, no feats, traits, or abilities. Gunslingers are supposed to start with a gun, GP, and clothing worth less than 10GP. The GM said I get no gold and no weapon and had to go to the blacksmith to get a weapon. He didnt care that I was without any money. I walk into the blacksmith feeling very self conscious because this is my first time roleplaying, and everyone is less than happy about my not having a character ready ahead of time. I ask the GM if i can role diplomacy instead of roleplaying, he says no. I push back, he begrudgingly allows it. I roll something spectacularly mediocre like a 12. The GM immediatly says those cursed words ever player hates- “okay roleplay to keep it.” Keep in mind,  I was supposed to start with a weapon and GP, but have neither. I have no money or valuables. I walk into the shop, spend a good 5 minutes staring at a table of weapons on D20PFSRD looking for what I want, then after deciding on a gun knife I say “Gee these weapons sure are expensive do you think you could drop the price a bit like to 0 so that I can actually afford it?” The GM deadpans at me and responds “I made all of these, you’re insulting my work.” I immediately skitter out and someone else had to buy my weapon. I came to one more session which was just as bad before quitting for years until I found a second session.

  My second attempt.

I found another game, once again run by friends of a friend. This one was online and over text, making the roleplay much easier. I get into the first game with an excessively boring human character. It was the party’s second session and they were finishing up a quest so thankfully I didn’t get introduced. In the one session I did sit in for, it was obvious that one of the other players existed only to derail everything the GM came up with, and the GM was using all kinds of weird homebrew rules. The only specific thing I remember was an enemy rolling a crit fail on an attack roll and the GM used a crit fail chart to roll that the guy suddenly becomes explosive to the tune of 1d12 attack. I didnt stick come around for the second session.

My third attempt, finally coming out with something good.

Some online friends that I already knew got together for a campaign and I got tons of help in making a character. I rolled up and very cool Tengu rogue, and have had lots of fun with these guys using The GM sticks to the rules and is great at coming up with colorful story lines instead of generic murderhobo fetchquests. The GM knows my horror story from my first game and knows i’m serious about making sure that new players have a good experience, so hes made it my job to help new players build up a character that will be fun while also teaching them core mechanics before the game starts so that they are not left floundering in combat with no understanding of what is and is not a good idea to attempt.

Sound Cloud took down my transparency recording and wont reinstate it.

I have a friend, Vincent Canfield (aka Gexcolo or VC) who runs an email host from Romania. He has a public phone number which when called, can be heard from a Mumble server associated with the mail host. Normally when I hear the phone ring I start recording in Mumble because the calls are often humorous, but on the 22nd of September 2016 the call that i overheard and recorded was from an FBI agent asking if a gag order would be necessary. I uploaded the phone call to Sound Cloud and alerted other users of the mail service that the FBI once again tried to gag Vincent Canfield.

I would like to take a moment to point out that the FBI never sent me any gag order or other legal request. I am legally allowed to talk about the phone call.

The recording was posted initially to Sound Cloud and stayed there until February 3, 2017 when It was taken down because it was “in breach of our Terms of Use on the grounds of violating an individual’s right of privacy/publicity without their prior consent.” They then went on to list two parts of their ToU.

The relevant sections of our Terms of Use is highlighted below, for your reference:
(ii) Your Content and the availability thereof on the Platform does not and will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, any intellectual property rights, performers’ rights, rights of privacy or publicity, or rights in confidential information.

(viii) You must not use the Platform to upload, post, store, transmit, display, copy, distribute, promote, make available or otherwise communicate to the public:
– any information, Content or other material that violates, plagiarises, misappropriates or infringes the rights of third parties including, without limitation, copyright, trademark rights, rights of privacy or publicity, confidential information or any other right; or

They went on to say that the only way to have the post reinstated would be to “provide us with evidence that you have the necessary consents for both the recording and publishing of this content (e.g. signed release form). ” I don’t expect to get a sign off from the FBI.

VC also did a very excellent write up on his own blog about the issue of taking down these sorts of recordings. This interpretation of their policy is especially concerning with the given fact that they host other recordings related to other very serious current events such as the Dakota access pipeline. Frankly if Sound Cloud had not taken down the content, there wouldn’t be any more publicity about the gag order and everyone would have forgotten about it.

A Cure for Wellness – Review

This post will contain spoilers.


I just got back from the theater where I saw A Cure for Wellness. It was a very good thriller that had me squirming in my seat often. I liked that there were plenty of small subtle foreboding references that let you know what the ending was going to be like, yet the ending still isn’t what you expected. These little tidbits were spaced out long enough to allow the whole plot to unfold at the pace of the movie, and near the end you still aren’t sure if the good guy is actually going to win because the movie is dark enough that it could go that far. The audio of the movie was disturbing without ever using common tropes such as violins or sudden loud noises. The scenes were also pretty and fitting of the tone. It was a very good movie and if you can deal with seeing a guy have his tooth drilled out I would recommend it.

New Blog

I used to run this blog on the Ghost platform. I chose Ghost because it did not link to any outside resources, which was important to me at the time because I did not want my users to feel like they were being tracked, now I honestly care a lot less and am leaving anti-tracking practices up to the user. I am still anti-tracking myself, I just dont want to go out of my to stop it for someone else if they can block trackers themselves. I ended up scrapping the Ghost blog because of a very annoying issue related to NPM and pm2 that I didnt care to fix because I wanted to move away from Ghost anyway.

With Ghost, the blog was started with npm start from the ghost dir. To keep Ghost running after closing the shell or rebooting it was recommended to use pm2 to start it. starting Ghost from pm2 would start a different instance that would have different content than what would be seen if Ghost was started with npm. After upgrading, pm2 is not able to start ghost anymore and the blog content is missing. The only thing lost from scrapping the blog are the weekly link dumps, an outdated review of the Plex media server, and a notification that the DEF CON warrant canary was out of date. It was fixed a day later after I alerted someone.

Setting up WordPress was ultimately much easier to complete than Ghost. Node and NPM were a mess that I never want to touch again.


now zaph will stop bothering me

dont let him know i havnt set up ssl yet