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Topics - Doktor Howl

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Apple Talk / Andy Rooney Moment
« on: September 14, 2023, 06:34:02 pm »
<Mickey Rooney voice>

You ever had someone you thought you were friends with for 21 years just flat-up ghost you?  I hate that.

</Mickey Rooney voice>

I should be used to it, given my earlier revelation that A friend is a close person who hasn't yet had sufficient incentive to turn on you, or at least show you the door.

And this isn't anything new for me,  and I realize that I'm not everyone's cup of tea.  I was picked last in every sport in junior high.  I was never invited.  I had to walk home from school, because nobody would give me a ride.

Then I got a little bit of Eris in my life.  I bought a 1976 Gran Fury (the one with the Windsor 360 V8/4 Barrel) for $500, got the Chilton's manual on it, and over the course of a summer, I had that bastard ready to race by fall.  Made some friends doing it, too.  Gearheads were hard to come by.  But even then, I was only ever an "honorary" member of the pack.  But at least I was connected.

That year I also got heavily into computers (1985 or so), and I again made some almost-friends, they would have been actual friends, but I thought they were a little obsessed and they thought I was a Gearhead (indistinguishable from a Jock in their eyes) that might suddenly turn on them and bounce them off their heads until their lunch money fell out.

The money shot of all of this is that by 1986, I had the Gearheads and the computer nerds hanging out, doing what is now called skill sharing

But that new, burgeoning group was full.  There was no place for me.  I mean, they'd all be pleasant, "how ya doing", etc, but once again, I was never invited.  Friendly but not friends.

Since then, I have been a soldier.  I was good at it.  I was looked on with favor by the senior noncommissioned officers for my ability to train newbies coming fresh out of basic.  But then something bad happened, and everyone for the rest of my time in the army looked at me like I was bad luck.  And then I was a civilian again, with a gimpy leg.

Fast forward 29 years.  I am at the top of my field.  I have finally hit the invisible PhD ceiling, and I'm okay with that.  I am still not invited, and I have come to realize that part of that is my fault.  Hell, maybe the majority of it is my fault.  I know that some of my odious personal habits rub people the wrong way, and that my taciturn behavior in person means that even Star Trek Nerds don't want to spend very much time with me at conventions.

Lastly, I am getting older, by which I mean I am eligible for AARP, so now I don't expect to be invited. 

Now, I'm not just trying to whine here, I'm actually sorta building up to something. 

And that something is this:  "If you ghosted me, I have no hard feelings.  It is what it is.  But I'm not where you left me, and I am reasonable sure I never will be again.  Go forth and enjoy your life over the next couple of overly-exciting decades, and forget you ever knew me.  We all have to make choices in this life, and you've made yours."

That's all I have to say about that.

Or Kill Me Leave Me Hangin'

Apple Talk / Good night, funnyman
« on: July 29, 2023, 01:40:17 am »
So Randy and I, and some of my crew were sitting there in the office, telling the worst jokes we knew.

Randy was in Vietnam in the early years of the war, thankful as hell that he managed to get in the air force, and spent his year in country in a big airbase near Saigon.  He came home, went to school, got married, and had three kids.  Then 8 grandchildren.  Then 12 great grandchildren.  All of whom he boasted about endlessly, but it never got boring or annoying.  He was just that into life.

I told the Bernstein Nails joke, and everyone busted a gut.  Randy laughed so hard he went bright red.  Then his face sagged.  Then he fell down.

He was declared dead at Saint Mary's Hospital at 4:10 PM.

Randy is for many reasons the luckiest man I ever met.  He lived through a horrible war, had a great family, and a rewarding career. 

And then he died laughing, never knowing what hit him.

Aneristic Illusions / Unlimited Plague Rat Thread
« on: June 09, 2023, 09:02:13 pm »

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday voted to stop Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration from requiring seventh graders to be vaccinated against meningitis.

The state Senate and Assembly, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against, voted to block the proposal. There is no current meningitis vaccination requirement for Wisconsin students.

The Legislature’s vote also makes it easier for parents to get an exemption from a chicken pox vaccine requirement that is in place for all K-6 students. Evers’ administration wanted to require parents seeking a chicken pox vaccination exemption to provide proof that their child has previously been infected.

Families could still seek waivers from the meningitis vaccination and chickenpox proof requirements for medical, religious or philosophical reasons, just as they can for other vaccinations.

The Advisory Council on Immunization Practices — experts who advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — has recommended that students get vaccinated against meningitis since 2005.

However, some parents complained at a public hearing that the proposed requirements violated their liberties. Health officials said they were trying to protect students’ health.

Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord that can also cause blood infections. It can be deadly or cause lifelong disability. Rates of the disease have declined in the United States since the 1990s and remain low in Wisconsin and across the country, according to the CDC.

Vaccines for both meningitis and chicken pox are widely used and have been proven to be safe and effective.

In March, a Republican-led legislative committee voted to block the proposed policy changes, just as it did two years ago and despite the objections of Democrats and health officials. The Legislature’s vote Wednesday is the final step needed to stop enactment of the policy.

Humans are too stupid to exist.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland’s city council voted Wednesday to pass an ordinance prohibiting camping during daytime hours in most public places as it, like other places in the U.S., struggles to address a longtime homelessness crisis.

The 3-1 vote changes city code to say that people may camp in nonrestricted areas from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., but after that they must dismantle the site until the permitted overnight hours begin again.

The ordinance also bans camping entirely near schools, parks and busy streets among other locations.

Business and property owners were among those who backed the ordinance, saying campsites are causing them to lose customers and creating safety issues. Advocates for homeless people said it will further burden them, heightening mental and physical distress.

Portland has already prohibited camping on city property at all hours. But that measure has rarely been enforced and could be found to violate a state law that takes effect July 1.

Apple Talk / We located the bannable offences list again.
« on: June 07, 2023, 12:00:10 am »
Image bombs
Gore or porn that's posted as an image rather than a link (and that link has to be marked NSFW).
Anything outright illegal (kiddie porn, threats of physical harm, etc)
Snitching out a PD troll going on somewhere else.
Hacking the board or deliberately using an exploit to fuck up the board.
Stalking someone IRL or posting their PI, or otherwise taking the internet IRL.
Anything that all the admins can agree on as bannable (almost never happens).
Evading a prior ban (results in permanent banning, no exceptions).
Alt accounts will be banned unless we think it's funny, but the original account usually stays.
White supremacist or similar Nazi garbage

All this time, I thought it was just in the sign up page.

Apple Talk / Rules of Warfare, 21st century edition
« on: February 01, 2023, 05:47:09 am »
This is a work in progress, feel free to add relevant bits.

1.  Never interrupt Americans, because they WILL get in a land war in Asia.
2.  Never outnumber Ukrainians.
3.  See that Yemeni shitting into the commander's hatch of your shiny M1A2?  That's as close as you're gonna get to an offer of armistice.
4.  Human wave attacks aren't what they used to be.
5.  Everything you spent the last century learning about war is now wrong.
6.  It's not about the money now.  Now it's about spite and ancient butthurt on the part of anyone.
7.  Never tell an Armenian or an Azerbajani to be patient.
8.  Never assume that Chechnya is on anyone's side.  Even their own.
9.  Weapons are not made for wars, wars are made for weapons.
10.  Scholz is a punk.

More to follow.

« on: November 29, 2022, 10:30:33 pm »
After 16 years, it came back to the surface.

Now I am only waiting for P3NT's HIMEOBS recruiting film to show up again.

RPG Ghetto / New campaign: Return to the Underground Empire
« on: November 26, 2022, 03:25:48 pm »
This is based on a campaign I ran in 1993-1996, which at the time was just a mega-dungeon that had no point in itself, but had loads of things in it that you would need to find for other campaigns.  It started out as "The Archive," but after a while the players just started calling it the underground empire, after the old Zork game.  So I was asking myself last night, why not incorporate both?

Things I am stealing from for this campaign:
1.  The original Zork. Just for the entrance.
2.  The Maze of the Blue Medusa, for the style of the joint, plus stealing multiple characters to use in different ways than they were intended.
3.  My own campaign, "Ink World."
4.  The graphic novel series "Colder."
5.  "The Slumbering City of Tsar" by Bill Webb.
6.  My old campaign from 1993, mostly just for the floor plan and the idea of it being an ancient repository of knowledge.
7.  Various ideas plundered from the Fallout franchise.

Since this is a home brew campaign for a home group, I feel no problem plundering all of these sources, though if anyone has read them, they won't have much advantage, because I'm only stealing flavor, not the outline of the campaign.

All monsters the PCs will run into will either be created specifically for this campaign, or will be altered from the existing bestiaries.  Not one encounter will be "stock."

There is no going back to town, because the PCs will be on a demi-plane.  This is not a loot-heavy adventure.  They may get a chance to get back to town once, between the archive and the empire, which would be when the PCs are somewhere between 8th and 10th level.  This also means that my normal fame rules are not in play.  In exchange, the PCs will select alternate races from the Advanced Race Guide (which also fits the flavor of the campaign). They may also choose freely between Eastern and Western weapons and classes at the start of the campaign.

Apple Talk / They finally made a movie about Tucson.
« on: September 30, 2022, 11:40:09 pm »
Check out "Tenet".

The entire movie is basically Tucson interacting with the real world from an outside point of view.

All those people moving backwards?  That's NORMAL.

Apple Talk / More things I notice, as I notice them.
« on: September 07, 2022, 03:51:25 am »
1.  In Voyager, 7 of 9 is rescued from the Borg.  First they take off most of her cybernetics.  Then they make her wear a skin-tight bodysuit.  So she has gone from cyborg to fan-service cheesecake. 

2.  Also, the prime directive can be interpreted to mean, "Don't help victims of car accidents.  You have to let things develop on their own."

Conclusion:  Star Fleet aren't the good guys.

3.  Until 2022, the Ukraine was just an annoying country to invade in the board game "Risk".  Now it's an annoying country to invade in real life.  Which makes me wonder what Greenland is going to be like in a few years.

4.  Biden needs a red background for ALL of his speeches, because it freaks the MAGA crowd out.

5.  Since the Iranians have been swiping our ocean-going drones, maybe we should make one out of pressed RDX.  Then when the pitot tube on the bottom of the hull stops registering water, it waits 15 minutes, then starts hollering "I'M A 30 SECOND BOMB!  29 28 27..."  Then bang.  Party favors.

6.  Despite having done it for 250 years, Americans have really never owned "Because fuck you, that's why."

7.  Despite having done it for 30 years, Canadians have never really owned poutine.

8.  Despite missing some people, I am happier without Facebook.  I am happier because the forums I go to are moderated by human beings, who are generally shit, but at least I'm not being conditioned by badly-written software.

9.  That makes me wonder if Hal wouldn't open the pod bay doors because David Bowman had violated community standards.

10.  The thing that bothers me most about the man-baby open-carry thing with the rifles is that it seems totally half-assed.  Impress me.  Carry a bazooka when you go to get your latte.

Apple Talk / Hamish Howl is dead on Facebook.
« on: August 17, 2022, 02:51:30 am »
Account deleted by Zuckerbots.

Apple Talk / Forgetting Eris
« on: July 25, 2022, 07:23:06 pm »
Is it any coincidence that this here temple flew to pieces in late 2015, and that since then, every year has been weirder in a bad way then the year prior?

In 2015, most of our heroes died.
In 2016, we found out that most of the remaining heroes were irredeemable shitnecks, abusers, and bigots.
2017-2019 was just a fat orange guy screeching out Adderol-fueled tweets nonstop.
2020 was a nonstop litany of horror, starting with the plague, carrying on with forest fires, and also murder hornets.
2021 was worse.  We couldn't get a week into it without a Nazi insurrection, and then the boat got stuck1.
2022 is even worse than that (Roe v Wade, etc).  Also, the plague is back.  Plus monkeypox.  This fall doesn't look any better.

It's almost as if a certain minor Greek god was trying to get our attention, right?  Or worse, she's really mad that we ghosted her and now we're gonna PAY.  And by "we" I mean "everyone, everywhere."

Hey, it makes just as much sense as anything else.

1 I remember hearing otherwise intelligent people saying they were glad the boat got stuck, as if somehow it were going to be the rich that suffered.  Which goes to show that even smart people can be stupid as hell sometimes.

Apple Talk / 2022 Rant
« on: June 30, 2022, 12:13:06 am »
Hi, I'm still Hamish Howl, and I still hate humans.

Things are looking pretty bleak out there, in theocratic, Handmaiden's Tale kinda way.  I warned you guys about this shit way back in 2003, but you didn't listen...But that's okay, because I knew you wouldn't listen.  Nobody ever does.  I am Cassandra with a dad bod.

But now the coming weird times are HERE, and warnings are of no further use, so I guess I should be telling you how to get by in this dystopian nightmare they built around us while we were dozing.  I do in fact have useful advice, so let me just start off with the important bit:

Anyone can be Hamish Howl.

That's right.  Anyone at all can Hamish, and everyone can Howl.  Ask yourself this:  In the nightmare future in which we live, would you rather be a speed bump, or would you be a mad scientist that corrupts everything around you?

This is really a no-brainer.  There's nothing you or I can do to stop the relentless tide of po'bucker trash, but we CAN make their fucking eyes bleed.  You can inflict yourself on anyone who feels the NEED to make excuses for all this mishagoss going on around us.  Whether it's a knee in the nuts or parking lot bumper sticker antics, OR JUST "ATTENDING" CHURCH on Sunday, you can hand those bastards back all the misery which they have felt the need to hand to US.

Let's face facts:  We're doomed.  But like mama always told me, Save  your brightest smile for hell, Darlings!"

You better be Hamish.  You'd better Howl.  It's your last chance.

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