Showing posts with label IRL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRL. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2021

Retrospective Post

Happy Friday! I am off to work soon, but I wanted to do a quick post. I often wonder about the status of my blog and what changes over time. Throwback Thursdays are good way to look at what has happened, but these are often posts that I happen to like and reshare. 

So, I ran some data on posts and broke it down not from start to finish, but picking the most popular posts in a random month during the data collection period, Hardly scientific, but here is what I found: 

Back in July of 2019, my post popular post was about the amazing David Macaulay, author and artist. The post contained links to his series of videos on youtube. This one was very popular with some my teaching friends, as Macaulay also has a series called "How It Works" and many of friends use it as the basis of a science and history themed unit activity.  

In 2020, the hot post was "What is Dungeons and Dragons", a book review. This one was part personal reflection and review. Obviously, since I am still engaged with D&D, this book was very important to me. 

And now, the top post is a peice called "You Can't Buy That!" about many, 7 I think, old sets of small box or baggy games now available on the web. 

If you are feeling interested, reflective or contemplative, go check out these posts. I hope you enjoy reading them as much I as enjoyed writing them. 






Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Links for Products by TheseOldGames.com

I've always wanted links to DriveThruRPG to look like links to Amazon. However, most of DriveThruRPG doesn't work like that. If you look to the left of this post, you can see an example of what I wanted, which is an affiliate tool for the Daily Hot New Book. You can get that link by logging in to DriveThru and scrolling to the bottom of the Affiliate Resources Page.

The code looks like this (excuse the image, blogger doesn't like code tags):


It displays the ad like this:

Hottest New Book
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]

By harvesting their code, you can change what is displayed by manipulating the code, like I did for my Swashbuckler Character Class.

Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D

Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D

You can get the product page link via the Social link on DriveThruRPG. 




That will automatically append your Affiliate Id to the link, which is super handy. The image associated with the product can be directly linked to by right clicking the thumbnail and copying the image address. Many times you can plug that image link right into the code.  

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero

The thumbnail seems to be generated by .css, which will rescale the image to 139 by 196 for the product page. However, if the author uploaded a larger image, you will have to rescale the image and host it yourself. That happened to me with all of my products. I should probably go back and rescale all of the images so DriveThru does less work to display a thumbnail. 

Character Sheet for AD&D
Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D

You can combine the code above with the table html to create side by side links, like I did below.


Kobold’s Folly Mini Setting
Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
Compass Rose Inn Mini Setting
Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

The season is upon us now. I'll be spending the next three days with friends and family, as much as we can get together in the middle of this pandemic insanity. We are going to make the best of it of what we have, each other. There will be food, drink and games. I can't wait to tell you about it next week.  

Peace! 


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Latest Novels and Test Posting from Kindle and Moto G Stylus

I've been reading a lot. I have a series of novels I'd like to review. I am also trying to combine my Kindle and Moto G Stylus phone so I can post more frequently while on the road. 

I have two books to read and 7 that are done. I'm making a list by screenshotting the covers on my Kindle and loading them up via my phone with the Blogger app. One of my issues with Kindle is the poor imaging handling. People pay a lot of money or put tons of effort into having the best of the best, only to have Kindle regulate it to a see once cover or a tiny image that doesn't play nice with the software. 

First, up on the completed list is a set of books by Rick Wayne. The Minus Faction series is an incredible collection of stories that build to a world breaking peak. Exactly how I will review this is beyond me. The stories build and build, so reviewing one might spoil others. I don't know how to handle that. I'm sure I'll figure it out. 




Copper Knights and Granite Men is by Mike DiBaggio and Shell "Presto" DiBaggio. This husband and wife team are dynamic duo of artist and author. Previously, I reviewed Population of Loss. It was an excellent read. Mike and Shell also caused me to update my own book, Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. I didn't list Illustrator and Stationers among the professions. 

The Feast of Shadows series is next to read. I've only read the reviews and it looks great. 

Tech notes: One of the glitches I have encountered is my phone and Kindle don't sync as quickly as I would like. In the Blogger app, there is no good way to cancel out of selecting an image. Deleting incorrect images is also an issue. As you can see below, I picked the wrong file.  


Like I said before, I'll figure it out. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Simple Things - Printing

I love books, but the oldest and the newest stuff is hard to get in print. Invariably, I wander DriveThruRPG ordering stuff left and right. It never ends. Once I read through something, it goes in one two places: into a hard copy or stays in my "Library of (Digital) RPG Titles" on my Kindle. 

Qualitatively, they are different places. One I expect to read again, while the other is something I might want to read by candlelight after the Nuclear Apocalypse. 

Anyway, reading preferences aside, printing books yourself is really dependent on your printer. I have an HP all in one inkjet printer. It's good for most things, most of the time.

In the picture on the left, look how sharp the text is. It's really nice. Perfectly acceptable for reading by nuclear candlelight. Inkjet are very good on plain paper for text. You can see a little blow through because I printed two sided, but it's still very legible. 

What inkjets are not good at are large, color images on plain paper. Things could not be worse. And since I print a lot of my own stuff on plain paper, the result is less than satisfactory. 

Here is a photo of Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch for Basic Era Games by Timothy S. Brannan. I just love the covers of his books and this one is my favorite. 


And with inkjet on plain paper, it just sucks. Can you say mud? How did it go so wrong? 

It's the paper. 

Check out this next image. It's the same printer and settings, except I used photo paper.  


I'm very happy with this one, the colors are much brighter in real life, but I didn't want to alter the image with different settings to accentuate the colors. Where I went wrong is selecting my favorite cover rather than one that would highlight how good good can be. 

Take a look at this next image from Mr. Brannan's The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition


That 100 times better. We have blues and reds, and stuff in between. I can totally see the how this is different than how it appears on screen, but even using my cheap inkjet printer, the photo paper gives it far more color than plain paper. It's far more satisfying. 

Ah, the simple things. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

#RPGADAY2020 1. Beginning.


#Beginning. 

I don't know where it began, but I know how it began. It began with my parents. Way back in '77, they took me to my very first con. And then another and another. 

I recall a zillion different games. Mostly WRG, but tanks, dragons, rayguns and so many other things I hadn't seen before and perhaps some I will never see again. But I won't forget them. 

Since then, I've read a hundred different games and played more most of them. And the the process continues. 

As my son reads his copy of the Dungeons and Dragons Essentials Kit, I have two other kids that I have encouraged to enjoy their own creative ventures. Sure, they don't do games as much as their brother, but they have their creative outlets, art, music, stories, etc. Which are just as different as Wargames Research Group is from D&D, but it's a beginning. I hope I've given them a beginning as good as I had.

Thanks for the beginning, Mom and Dad.  


Thursday, April 16, 2020

These Old Games, powered by Macintosh

Well, let me introduce you to the little machine that sparked the idea for These Old Games. I always meant to review old video games, but that never came to pass. Too many people do it better.

Anyway, I have this little odd machine from 1999 that just keeps ticking. It began it's life as a Scandinavian Mac from lord knows where. The prior owner tried to throw 10.4 on it via an external DVD drive and apparently got hosed by the language or the chipset. It ended up as eBay fodder. I picked it up for 20 bucks.

I feel bad about that because they went through all 52 steps to upgrade the hard drive from 6 GB to  16 GB.

I was able to "fix it" by wiping the whole thing down to 9.0 then disc danced my way back to up to 9.2.2 using discs I had lying around. Theoretically, the whole thing shouldn't have worked, but somehow it did. It also required me to install 10.0.3 Kodiak. As beta-ware it's ok. 0.3 is nothing like OSX in use.

Looking at the machine, I can't tell if the prior owner replaced the Apple logo with a newer one or perhaps that logo is made of plastic which is not as susceptible to sun bleaching. I've had to glue the little leaf back into place twice in the past decade or so.


The little beast has an upgraded battery and RAM. I believe it has a 512 mb RAM chip inside, but it can't read it to the full potential. The modern battery gives it a life of an 8 solid hours, or days if I run a RAM disk.

The Airport card works, but doesn't connect to any wifi router with modern security. I can plug into a cable, so theoretically, I can connect to the internet. I'm running Classilla but that is super wonky with modern websites. It's far better not to try.

To supplement the 16 GB hard drive, I have a 32 GB thumb drive which occupies the single usb port. It's a pain because this machine works nicely with my Bamboo tablet.

Over the years, I have been able to pick up editions of Mac Addict at my local thirty store, so I basically have every insane bit of software "1999 Me" would have wished for, two decades late.

This machine is ridiculously overpowered for what it was meant to be, but I can't tell you great it is to open up Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Zork.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Goodbye, Nana

This morning, I awoke to the news that my wife's grandmother passed away. She was a wonderful woman with an amazing life. She worked at Calspan to make ends meet before moving on to her true calling as a florist.

She was always right in the middle of things, keeping the party going. She made you smile, she made you drinks. Sometimes, the drinks made you smile. She was always a full of hospitality and kind words. She hosted some of the best parties I have ever been to, especially at Christmas time. She was always there for her children, grandchildren and more than a few great-grandchildren. 


She could tell a hell of a story. 

Nana, you will be sore missed but always loved. 

For a while, I will be attending to family needs. The website is on automatic mode, so anything you see here would have been scheduled over a week ago, under a different set of priorities. I could turn it off, but I won't. That wouldn't be hospitable. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

File Under Creep Factor 11 - A Quiet Place 2

For the past few years, film makers have been filming for A Quiet Place around New York. The first film was film closer to NYC, in Ulster and Dutchess county, but they stopped in to Akron and Olean for minor things like background shots, lunch and research.

This year, they filmed a lot of footage in Olean, Akron, Buffalo State College and a few other places around Buffalo. The funny thing is, I work at a school where we sometimes communicate in sign language and take 2 outings a week to places around Western New York.

It's one thing to see a place you've been to in a film, it's entirely different to see characters in a film in places you know, doing things that you do...

Check out the new trailer down below.



It's already creepy enough to have several horror films shoot in the same camp site my kids use.

Can you recognize these totem poles? There are actually 3 of them and they are totally overgrown. They show up very briefly in a couple of horror films at night, mostly for a jump scare. They have nothing to do with the films themselves.



Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Update on Dad's Crusader Era Castle

I have second video of Dad's Crusader Castle. He wanted to demonstrate how easy the thing is to move.

The entire thing is modular, not in the sense of you can put it together in random ways, but in the way that you can take it down for transport and storage. It's actually 5 different parts which slide together. He's ingenious like that.

I'm still working on a basic Keep, but it's weeks away from being done.

Anyway, I am trying to get Dad to make a Youtube channel of this stuff.







Second Image Batch - British Cav and Support Units

This is the second in a series of posts. This time, we are looking at a series of 15mm British figures and associated support units. These figures must be from several different manufacturers as some seem "fatter" than others. The first image demonstrates this difference well. 














Tomorrow, I will update with the infantry.


Go, Dad, Go - Completed Crusader Era Castle

A few weeks ago, I posted an image series of my Dad's work on a Crusader era castle. It's all done. Check out the video the view below. 



You can follow him over on Facebook.


Monday, December 16, 2019

First Image Batch - Zulus

I thought I would have a lot to say about these minis but apparently the ol' grey matter is going soft. I painted these up over the past couple of years. My dad's friend Mike gave me a base set of painted figures to get me started at playing The Sword and The Flame. I loved it.

Many years ago, I could have told you a story about each and every figure and unit, but all of that is gone now. I will have to refresh myself. I can't even tell you what manufacturer. They are 15 mm. That's about all I remember. 

In reality, my dad's friend, Moko was running a series of home brew games which featured these figures plus a zillion of his. Moko was one of the Jogglers and he was an extreme gamer and made up his own scenarios and mini-games on the fly it seemed. He played fantasy, ancient historical, Tractics, StarFire, modern, WWII submarine warfare and on and on.

I'm only going to post a couple of images, since I don't have much information to share. And I am not a great photographer. I'm also not the best painter and while I know some research was done, the data is gone from the brain bank.