I’ve been playing catch-up the past couple of weekends. Last week, I took a trip out of town last Saturday (the 19th) for my birthday. This weekend, I spent my time trying to redownload a D&D podcast I listen to because my iTunes corrupted them the first time.
My birthday weekend included a trip to the Winchester Mystery House, a landmark on the National Registry. For those who might not know, the heir to the Winchester firearm fortune was told in the late 1800s that she was haunted, and the only way to keep the spirits of those killed by the Winchester firearms was to build a home and never finish it. As a sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis (treated with opiate painkillers), Mrs. Winchester developed some strange ideas, so the house takes some weird turns. Some of the rooms are quite beautiful, even after 100 years, and so are just downright strange.
Surrounding that, Dad, the Kids and I went to a variety of gaming stores. We all picked up odds and ends of goodies as we did. Each shop was within about three miles of the others, and each had a different focus or specialty. It was pretty wild to see, as we don’t have enough gamers here in Fresno to support so many stores that they can focus so much (although we do have a number of MTG stores).
We all had a good time, doing a little exploring and having an adventure. Now, what do we do next year?
This weekend, as I said, I’ve been fighting a podcast. Once I got my iPad, I started listening to my backlog of podcasts. So far, all have been fine. But one, The Tome Show, a D&D podcast, was fine until just after GenCon 2012. After that, the downloads I have are corrupted.
This was likely caused by the crappy Internet connection we’ve had around here combined with a bit of weirdness from iTunes. Basically, the podcast episodes I captured often restart some number of minutes in, then end abruptly. It seems like iTunes didn’t verify its downloads beyond confirming that the length of the file was correct.
As Apple only hosts the most recent 100 episodes, and the Tome Show posted about that many episodes in the first eight months of the year, I had to go back to the Show‘s website and download individual episodes. I did that wrong, so I had to repeat my actions with corrections, verify which episodes I had and which I needed, etc., etc. Wasn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier?
Something I’d forgotten to mention in the last posting was having bought a couple of novels at the Book Nook recently.
I picked up The Crystal Shard, R. A. Salvatore’s novel that is the first appearance of his best known character, Drizzt Do-Urden, the dark elf ranger. I’ve listened to interviews with the author, and I’ve heard differing reviews of his work, and I decided I wanted to read some of his work first hand.
I’ve also picked up City of Towers: The Dreaming Dark, Book 1 by Keith Baker. The book is set in Eberron, a D&D world that I also count an inspiration for the StarSea, as there is a certain admixture of technology and magic I really like. I wanted Baker’s work as the creator of the setting to get his vision of the world.
I’ve set the Moorcock Mars books aside for now. I couldn’t get into them again as they seem so juvenile. Kane is an ubermensch of a character, and upon arriving on Mars, he immediately meets a beautiful woman, every bit his equal, and immediately develops feelings for her. This is a common trope for the fiction Moorcock’s imitating, but I’m painfully aware of the trope’s presence and it’s pulling me out of the reading. So, I’ve set those books aside for the moment.
I’ve really been interested in reading fiction right now. I’m slogging through the Cypher System core rulebook, as the typical dry rulebook reading. However, I’m seeing ways to do what I want for character creation for the StarSea, so I’m continuing reading when I can. But the fiction is calling my name…
Anyway, outside of getting some more of the typing done, I really don’t have anything more to report on the StarSea. I’ve been working a lot the last few weeks, which is good because I have a couple of pretty major bills (or at least they are vis-a-vis my wages) that come due in the next couple of weeks. I’ve had some random thoughts about various facets of the StarSea, but they’re just mental tinkering. Nothing is really solid or sticking in my mind.
So, that said, I need to call it a night. I need to be up in the morning to take my car to get it a smog check.