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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in juggernt's LiveJournal:

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    Sunday, January 25th, 2009
    1:57 pm
    Gaming Woes
    I haven't had a good (or sustained) RPG group since I left Alaska in 2003, and I'm pretty sure I understand why.

    1. RPGing is, at its heart, a social activity, and I don't want to game with folks that I wouldn't otherwise hang out with. The best groups I've had have been with people that I was friends with BEFORE we started gaming together regularly (although all of us being gamer nerds frequently contributed to the friendships).

    2. I like a narrow style of game: character- and story-driven, with less combat, few (if any) dungeon-crawls, and lots of in-character conversation. I want to create literature, enduring stories about the human condition. Heroic deeds like slaying the dragon or saving the princess are just a backdrop for what's important. Some of the most memorable sessions I've ever had have been completely devoid of dice rolls. What passes for roleplaying is often just a tabletop version of a computer game, and that's just not my thing.

    3. I've been spoiled by great players, such as dweezel, thomwatson, and juleske, to name a few (and to insult no one by exclusion, btw). A common thread among these folks is that they understood being part of group. Each of them knew how to make the other players and the story better by being able to shine the spotlight on someone other than themselves. They also knew how to immerse themselves in the campaign world without losing themselves to it, how to completely buy into what we're doing while we're doing it but not lose touch with real life.

    4. I'd rather have no game than the wrong game.

    5. I prefer folks closer to my own age, and although gaming has been around a long time, there still aren't that many of us knocking on the door of 50. I want a commitment from the players that few younger, especially college-age, folks are capable of or willing to make. I have the insane idea that when people say they're going to show up, they actually do. Although this is not specifically a problem only with younger gamers, people with more steady lives tend to be more reliable. I guess what it boils down to is that I want for the game we have to be a feature of our lives, one of our primary recreational activities, not just something we do when we don't have anything else to do or as an afterthought. I know that as a GM, I bear a large part of the responsibility for creating such a game--but I'm also sure that I'm well up to that challenge.

    Now that I have clearly defined the problem, guess it's time to develop a solution.
    Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
    2:12 pm
    Big Cats. Really Big.
    We went to a local private big cat rescue on Saturday and played with a lion cub, a tiger cub, and a young panther. The rescue also has a 1-year old tiger and an adult tigress (all 200+ kilos of her). Here are some pix with the cubs. They're getting a little too big to play with--the law says that once they're over 20 kilos, only licensed folks can handle them. It's too bad, too, because they were a lot of fun--but I can understand. They're strong enough to really hurt someone without even trying.
    Sunday, November 16th, 2008
    12:36 pm
    Yanked from Many
    If you saw me in a police car, what would you think I got arrested for?

    Answer me, then post to your own journal.
    Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
    5:34 pm
    Watching and Waiting
    It will certainly be an interesting day/evening. I'm going to watch the Stewart/Colbert coverage on Comedy Central.

    "It's not a psychodrama, it's an election," said Bill Kristol on Stewart.

    I will say that Obama's campaign has done a much better job than McCain's. They've chosen a message and stayed on message the entire campaign. McCain's folks seem to have never really fixed on a message, and have garbled the messages they've tried to transmit.

    While I'm in the McCain camp economically, I believe that Obama will provide the beacon of hope that America needs right now--and I think he'll be way more of a centrist President than people think. My major concern with an Obama presidency is that it's going to be weak on foreign policy. Part of being a superpower is being able to generate healthy doses of both respect and fear, and I'm having trouble seeing the latter from Obama.
    Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
    11:55 am
    Fundamentals
    During a conversation regarding the election and the economy, our conversation went something like this:

    baltimoregretch : We need to return to the fundamentals which got this country strong in the first place.

    Me: Um...planting a lot of tobacco and enslaving Africans???

    baltimoregretch : I can't talk to you sometimes.
    Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
    8:49 pm
    Winding Down
    Sitting in the Anchorage hotel waiting to head for the airport. It's been a great two weeks, but I'm really ready to be home in my place with my stuff. It was great to see Anchorage friends and spend a week with Thom & Jeff (not to mention the most beautiful woman ever!).

    Two weeks seems to be my pain threshold for being away from home. Dunno if I'll be up for an ocean cruise anytime soon--but the Danube seems interesting.
    Monday, September 8th, 2008
    8:27 pm
    Anchored Down in Anchorage
    The week-long cruise from Vancouver is over, so now we, along with our friends Thom and Jeff, are in Anchorage for a few days. The cruise was really nice. I have no criticisms, just a few nitpicks--and none of them really dampened my enjoyment.

    Tonight, we're meeting up with some of my old Anchorage gaming friends. Tomorrow, it's Marx Brothers' Cafe (best restaurant in town IMO), then home on a Wednesday evening red eye.

    Having a great time--but ready to be home.
    Thursday, August 28th, 2008
    8:45 pm
    Favorite Marys
    7. Tyler Moore
    6. Hartman, Mary Hartman
    5. Quite Contrary
    4. Queen of Scots
    3. Bello (that's Maria, but hey)
    2. Louise-Parker
    1. McCormack
    Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
    9:01 pm
    Elder Scrolls IV: Am I Screwed?
    To make a long story short, in Elder Scrolls IV, I contracted vampirism. No worries, there's a quest to get a witch to make a potion. Unfortunately, I find that I indavertently stole something from her while in her hut (and then saved on top of it). Now, when I go to take the ashes of the vampire to her, she takes them, but the quest doesn't update. Have I completely hosed my game?

    I'm at L19, and my last old save is way too many levels ago to be worth not just starting over. This is lame.
    Monday, July 28th, 2008
    11:51 am
    Dark Knight
    OK, clearly "The Dark Knight" is the best superhero movie ever. Or is it?

    It was an outstanding movie, but you simply can't compare it to, say, "Ironman." The feel and voice of the two films are so radically different that it's comparing apples to paper clips.

    Its strengths include just enough humor to provide juxtaposition against the darkness of the setting and main character, powerful--and sometimes surprising--action sequences, and excellent performances from the principles. It's definitely a "must see."

    baltimoregretch had a few nitpicks, but nothing enough to drag it down. I will say, however, that despite a fine performance, we wouldn't be talking Oscar for Heath Ledger if he were still alive. I'm not against the sentimental posthumous nomination or even win, but it would be naive to believe that his too-early shuffling off of the mortal coil isn't a factor.
    Friday, July 18th, 2008
    1:47 pm
    From My Memoires
    Or "memoires" as a heavy metal DJ at an underground radio station circa 1983.

    1984 would become a bellweather year in metal. Little did we know on New Year’s Eve, as we got wasted on coke that had been trampled more than 1939 Poland, that we’d see the coming of Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning,” Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave,” and Scorpions’ “Love at First Sting.” Of course, it would also give us Ratt’s “Out of the Cellar,” but you have to have the things that suck so you can appreciate the stuff that rules. Milton Berle in drag might have been funny when the US and the USSR had missiles pointed at each other 90 miles apart, but to us, it was simply confusing.
    Saturday, July 5th, 2008
    9:15 am
    Now What?
    Ok. I have the PS3. Fire off your recommendations for the best games...fantasy/RPG and world-builder types. Rock Band/Guitar Hero are certainly possibilities. First-person shooters make me queasy. And I already have Hot Shots Golf :)
    Sunday, June 29th, 2008
    3:39 pm
    Plunge
    Got a PS3 today. An hour after hooking it up, I'm wondering how I survived this long without it. It surfs. It plays. It displays. With a wireless keyboard and mouse, I may never get off the sofa.
    Saturday, June 21st, 2008
    6:46 pm
    XBox or PS3?
    We're replacing our DVD player with a game console that also plays DVDs (so the WII is out). Anyone have any opinions on either of them?
    Sunday, April 20th, 2008
    8:19 pm
    Short and Sweet
    She's fabulous and she drives a race car. I wonder if she can cook or discuss Proust. No matter. Danica Patrick is the next big thing...all 5 feet of her.
    Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
    9:06 pm
    Klostermania
    I have to thank mixedknuts for turning me onto rock critic and pop culture observer Chuck Klosterman. The Knut sent me "Fargo Rock City" for Christmas one year, and baltimoregretch picked up for me a few weeks back his series of essays called "IV." His scribblings, whether they be on hair metal or hairdressers are always thought-provoking, insightful, and amusing. If you don't know much about American pop culture the enjoyment might be diminished, but you're all smart enough to get a great deal simply from context.

    One way or the other, it's good bathroom reading.
    Saturday, April 5th, 2008
    5:18 pm
    Requests
    Please:

    1. Get off your cell phone.
    2. Get out of the fast lane.
    3. Get off your cell phone while you're in the fast lane.
    4. Make an informed choice in the election. Don't vote with your gut.
    5. Stop grabbing your wine glass by the bowl.

    That's all for now.
    Thursday, March 20th, 2008
    2:29 pm
    It's Good to Be The King
    You don't have to be good looking, just sell wine:


    Sunday, March 9th, 2008
    10:42 pm
    A Danes in the Life
    Some time back in the late 90s, I was dragged by julske to the terrible remake of "Mod Squad" because she had the hots for Claire Danes (but who didn't?). Fortunately, there was more than adequate recompense (empty theater ftw!!!) for my sacrifice.

    No such dragging required to watch the entertaining and warm "Stardust." While every Gaiman novel (to include this one) and story I've read hasn't touched me the way they've touched many people I know (I remain to this day quite Gaiman-ambivalent), the movie was wonderful, and the ever-more-beautiful Ms. Danes truly radiant (excuse the pun, still no better word). She was a hottie when young, but is definitely getting better as she matures.
    12:43 pm
    If I Was Emperor
    Here are things I'd do:

    1. Mandate 2 years of government service--not neccessarily military, but government--between high school and college. You would not be able to cry for your rights until you dispatch your responsibilities. That service could be federal, state, or local.

    2. Constantly implement the strategy of Disproportionate Response. Repay kindness with 7 times that kindness. If another nation or entity injured us, I would make the world tremble. If it comes down between a choice of our soldiers or their civilians, too bad for their civilians.

    3. Provide and fund (the latter being the important part) universal health care. Reward health care professionals for excellent service. Execute those who are negligent.

    4. Outlaw (to include aggressive enforcement of the law) the use of cell phones while driving. Speaking of cell phones, I'd consider roving bands of brute squads to slap around people for inane cell phone conversations in public.

    5. Fine people for bringing about frivolous lawsuits, and then throw out those suits. Appoint a panel of people whose opinion I trust (hrm--the current crop of L5 judges?) to be the ruling committee.

    6. Make public schools worth a damn. Pay teachers what movie stars make. Fund this be eliminating all pork barrel legislation.

    7. Reinstitute the stocks in every town square, and reserve them for corrupt politicians. Provide the people with free rotten vegetables.

    8. Provide annoyingly painful shocks to people who begin every sentence with "Dude..."

    9. Legalize all substances, to include drugs and steroids. Allow athletes to become freakish mutants for our entertainment. Make people responsible for their actions when they're under the influence. Make the 2nd offense for DWI a capital crime.

    10. Give everyone a kitten. Everyone who is allergic gets a foot massage instead.

    11. Make kissing the national sport.

    more ideas to come
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