Friday, May 27, 2022


My internet has been a bit spotty this morning, perhaps because of the high winds going on at the moment. But it's working now, so...yeah, no complaints.

This week has been a week of "no complaints" on Ye Old Blog. I've started 2-3 posts that just devolved into fiery rants...posts on guns and politics and the Mariners and current crop of gamers that (even when they're NOT completely clueless) fail to grok the point of AD&D...or any D&D really. None of these have been posted; they just sit on my draft board, staring at me, reminding me that I should probably post something to the blog. I am a blogger, after all.

But I don't want to rant. Ranting...real "ranting," like that of a a means of expressing frustration. It's a sign of helplessness in the face of something that you dislike, but are powerless to change. I just don't feel like putting myself in that mindset right now. Too weak.

That's the thing about gun owners right now...too many of them in the USA, at the moment (clearly). They have lots of reasons for owning guns...I was on a web site the other day that provided 101 reasons for why a private (non-military) citizen to own a battle rifle like the one that claimed the lives of 19 children under the age of 11 (plus their teachers). Lots of reasons...but none of them were good reasons. Most of them...well, all of them really...were based in fear. Or selfishness (self-centeredness). Or ignorance. But mainly fear. A feeling of weakness, of helplessness, of powerlessness and a driving need to do something to feel powerful. 

All of a sudden, it occurs to me why the pandemic has (in this country, where guns are laughingly easy to acquire) fueled an incredible surge in gun purchases. It's not just white supremacists buying guns because of panic over a BLM movement (which some have claimed). Gun ownership is up across ALL demographics. People feel powerless in the face of invisible killer viruses and government lockdowns and it's understandable how they'd try to do something to reclaim a feeling of power for themselves. 

Also explains (partly) my zero desire to own a gun: I already feel powerful most days. I'm a Dungeon Master, after all.

Yesterday, I cleaned the hell out of my house in anticipation of a couple kids coming over for a playdate. The nice thing about that means, a lot fewer chores to do today. Which is a good thing because the kids are getting off at noon to start a blessed three day weekend with very few scheduled obligations on the docket. The wife, of course, wants to "do" stuff...the kids and I are hoping to just stay home, chill out, and play some games. But for today (at least), I'm going to guess we'll have some leisure time.

I think I want to introduce the kids to a new RPG or two. Specifically, I'm considering Top Secret (my children have been reading a lot of "spy" novels lately) and/or Gamma World. Something light, something fun...a little adventurous and not much chargen/startup time. I brought up the idea this morning, as I drove them to school, and they were both excited at the prospect. 

We are still in the midst of N1, too, which is going...well, better than I expected. Sofia's character got drugged and kidnapped, but Diego managed to find her in the middle of the night (before she could be moved to the lair of the cultist's god), and actually managed to out-duel the 4th level assassin guarding her...all the more surprising when you consider his own character is only a 1st level assassin. Ah, AD& you continually surprise me. Despite the level difference, they were fairly evenly matched when it came to a face-to-face fight: same ACs, same chance to hit (D. actually had a +1 with his shortsword due to "elf-ness"), and the bad guy's extra hit points meant little once Lady Luck stepped in. They escaped through the trapdoor in the ceiling, and murdered the villainous innkeeper before he could fully rouse himself from his sleep (a good surprise role there).

Unfortunately, they have yet to pick up a scrap of treasure. C'est la vie.

Anyway...I'm sure I'm boring folks. And I have some dishes to wash up and some RPGs to prep. Hope everyone has as happy a Friday as they can, depending on their personal circumstances. Love your loved ones, love yourselves, love your neighbors and your enemies (as best you can). And try not to be too afraid. We are ALL more powerful than we realize.


  1. You're an ignorant son of a whore.

    1. As my mother wasn't a whore, you betray your own ignorance with your statement.

  2. People virtue signaling on the corpses of those children makes me so mad I can't even see straight. We all know that you're a wonderful person. You don't need to use dead kids as a prop.

    1. Hmm. As a prop? Of "virtue signaling?"

      Not trying to signal any particular virtue here. Horrific tragedies often produce an urge for reflection (as well as various emotions). In this case, I was reflecting on how so many various things (horrific and trivial) prompt my tendency to rant, even when ranting itself has little practical value.

      I am not "expressing an opinion to demonstrate my good character or moral correctness on a particular issue" (the definition of 'virtue signaling,' per the interwebs) Moral correctness? Huh? Some things to me are obvious matters of fact...but when my world view doesn't line up with someone else's and I'm feeling reflective, I like give those persons' perspective a try. See if I can understand them. See if there's something that, maybe, needs to invoke change in ME.

      In this case it doesn't. BUT...

      That's not what this post is about.

      I'm not a wonderful person. I'm a person. Maybe I do wonderful things (sometimes). Maybe I do shitty things (probably too often). Not any different from all the other humans in the world. Definitely not trying to portray myself as having some sort of moral high ground, definitely not trying to stand on the corpses of children to justify my position. My position was firm (and I think pretty well known to readers of Ye Old Blog) long before this week...and would have been the same even withOUT another tragedy.

      Folks will judge me (and my position) as they will. I'm not worried about being particularly likable.

    2. I don't think JB was virtue signaling. May not agree with him on the reason behind most gun purchases, but that's debatable.

  3. The thing that annoys me about the most vocal American gun owners is that for literally anything they might want to actually do, the guns they buy are dumb.

    Want to resist the government? Buy something you can use to snipe soldiers from a long, long way away, or that you can conceal easily.

    Want to defend your home? Get a shotgun.

    And what do people load up on? Not those.

  4. "Also explains (partly) my zero desire to own a gun: I already feel powerful most days. I'm a Dungeon Master, after all."


  5. It's always a shock to me when people I know and appreciate (in work life, gaming community, etc.) expose themselves to be far right on the gun spectrum. It's a disconnect I can't get over... the rationalizations they can make to justify their individual choice in light of societal reality... it's an oil and water thing for me... the two cannot mix.

    Having an online presence and sharing your thoughts exposes you to that many more people who, while sharing many things in common, are diametrically opposed on certain topics.

    I guess you could run a blog like thanksgiving dinner, no talk of religion or politics (or the senseless murder of 19 children by an 18yo who could buy a people killing assault rifle). Some bloggers probably do that. But I like your blog.

  6. I like that you discuss other topics beside your gaming and nothing exists in a vacuum, so your gaming and how you approach it will be affected by both good and bad things that happen in real life.

    I'm going to break my normal rule of not talking to Americans about politics, healthcare, religion or guns. Although we share a common language and I've digested your movies, music and tv throughout my life you are mostly in a different place on these four topics from people in the UK (and perhaps Scotland even more so).

    On the 13th March 1996 a man walked into a primary (elementary) school and murdered 16 primary 1 (4 & 5 yo) pupils,two teachers and wounded 15 other P1. All of his guns were held legally. In the wake of this mass murder the UK banned handguns and severely restricted the use of other weapons. We have never had another incident of this sort.

    I watched Ted Cruz at the NRA rally blame broken homes, declining church attendance, social media and violent computer games for this incident and previous ones. Ted isn't a stupid man, so I'm sure he realises that Canada, Australia, the U.K. and most Western European nations also have these factors and why we don't have anywhere close to the levels of gun violence that America does.

    The NRA and the gun lobby do know what the cause of the problem is in America. It's necessary to regulate them (as in "well regulated militia" in the Constitution). No one is going to be able to remove 400 million firearms from American citizens, nor does anyone want to as far as I can see. Background checks and proper licensing, just like for automobiles, is an easy and proper and popular (over 80% of Americans I understand) move to take. I'd personally go one further and make third-party insurance mandatory for gun owners in the same way as automobiles have to be insured. If your legally held gun kills someone accidentally or deliberately then the insurer would have to compensate the injured party or victim and pay any medical bills.

    That would allow everyone to enjoy firearms legally and responsibly, and bring the same level of oversight by the authorities whether state or federal as there are for motor vehicles.

    And now, back to the gaming.

    1. @Jacob:

      If one were to set aside such things as “proud tradition” and “Constitutional rights” I could still see valid reasons for private gun ownership in my country.



      This post isn’t a gun debate. It’s not a political debate. It’s really not.

      However, since you bring it up:

      Ted Cruz is a piece of shit. You really can’t take anything that comes out of that asshole’s mouth as anything approaching honesty, integrity or anything other than self-serving, need-of-the-moment bull crap.

      The reason why we have mass shootings in the USA with such alarming frequency is the sheer amount of firearms available. That’s it. There are always crazy folks, psychotic folks, murderous asshole folks, mentally Ill folks not getting the proper support, etc. They are a small portion of the world’s population. They exist as a small percentage of dangerous probability in every country.

      When you combine easy access to heavy firepower with THAT…welp, there’s the problem.

      I had cap guns, nerf guns, BB guns as a child. I played “war” and shooting games, engage in violent RPGs, watch violent films, play violent video games. My faith is strong…now…but it’s not rigorous and there were definitely years of my life where it was diminished to a trickle.

      None of that has made me a murderous human. I don’t know ANY murderous humans among those folks that engage in the same violent entertainments as myself (and most of those are non-religious types). That ain’t the problem.

      The problem is a few assholes living in a society that makes it easy to access weapons that turn assholes into mass murderers. That’s it. Anyone who tells you different is ignorant or lying.

      Ted Cruz isn’t ignorant.