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 House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion

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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:56 pm

We can certainly try...but if nothing else; posting is a good substitute. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:25 am

As D-man said we can always try again. I'll give it a go.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:36 am

Okay, I'm back. Today's one of my "Busy Days" so if I don't respond right away, I might be doing laundry or cleaning the house.

I'm running the Gametable 3.0 Nightly client as a host now; my IP is 173.219.17.209 and my Port is 6812 (the default). Run your 3.0 clients and see if we can link up; maybe this new version worked out all the kinks.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:10 am

Okay, I'm heading out to grab some chow.  I'll leave Gametable up in Host mode until I get back.

And then, I'm going to figure out exactly how to reply to Gustov's thread because dude, you ramble all over the place when you get bored.   Razz
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:31 am

Still saying failed to connect. On both version 2.0 and 3.0. Maybe the gametable gods don't want us getting together or at the very least not allow me to join.
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:58 am

OK, the best I was able to manage was I found our old game, but it was 2.0 another server and would not connect.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:56 am

I'm wondering if it's something to do with Windows 10 (and Windows 8.2, which I had before the big mass upgrade), or maybe it's my crappy Acer computer in general. I might have to check my firewall settings and see if you guys are being blocked for some reason. If it's not that, I'm out of ideas.

Dinner was good, but it turns out that my car needs a new battery, so it wouldn't start and my folks had to give me a lift to Applebee's. When it rains, it pours.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:01 am

Okay, I switched McAfee's Firewall from Smart Access to Monitored Access, so instead of just blocking what it wants to block (which could be anything and everything), it'll ask me for clearance instead of just outright blocking anyone trying to communicate with my compy.

Are any of y'all still around at this hour, or should we just try again tomorrow? I too would like to see Gametable Nights become a thing again.
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:00 am

I'm game for the attempt as always, but please consider that we need to re boot the forums too.... Sad

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:23 pm

Oh.  Is that routine maintenance, or is something wrong with the forums?
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:34 am

No no, I was referring to the need to have some regular, plain old posts going on. It's hard to breathe new life into the place and get others interested when nothing new is happening. Sad

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:02 am

So are we done with this? We are fast approaching a full year since the last post was made. I have three possible people who might consider joining but if the forum is dead, then I see no reason to promote it.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:10 am

Dude.  How many of these "Move it or kill it" ultimatums have you laid on me?  You know that I've been having a rough time lately and I've been very busy, especially now that Walmart's selected me for a promotion to Sporting Goods, which means that I have to pass a buttload of tests, which in turn means that I have to study a buttload of Texas state laws and Federal laws regarding hunting licenses, fishing licenses, laws and regulations pertinent to hunting and fishing, archery sales, airgun sales and firearms sales.  (I reckon that the management noticed me picking up all those extra Open Shifts and extra hours to score bigger paychecks and pay off my credit card debts sooner, so they decided that I was hard-working enough to make it in Sporting Goods.)  At least I'll be getting a whole dollar raise for the promotion ($10/hour to $11/hour once they move me from Dairy to Sporting Goods), which should resolve my debts even faster.

But all I'm asking for is a bit of faith and a bit of patience.  I've already invested a mountain of time and effort in this campaign; I'm not going to throw it all away for nothing.  Hell, I'm nothing if not patient!  Wraith's been gone for a pretty long while now, but I understand; she has a new baby to bring up and a new job to uphold, and real life comes first.  But if she ever wants to come back, I'll do my best to be here waiting for her.  And when was the last time you picked up Divine Champions?  I'm still holding out hope that you'll feel the urge to dust that one off so my frost giants can get back to conquering the lands in the shadows of the mountains.   Cool

All I ask is that you extend the same hope and patience to me as well.  Life gets me down sometimes, but as long as these lungs draw breath, I will eventually come back.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:47 am

So anyway, as far as the campaign goes, it was some time a month or two back (or whenever it was that posted something about Bardos Ainsley the First kicking the crap out of a bunch of gypsies) that I got some graph paper and started sketching out an interior for Lord Stang's fortress (while rolling up some stats for Lord Stang himself, because after several years of rolling this campaign along, it's about time that I gave that infernal bad-ass some stats), then one thing led to another and a future adventure with a puzzle-within-a-puzzle and some riddles came up.  I should probably get around to finishing that adventure some time before anyone gets to it.  Then I have to Gametable it and store its .grm file right alongside those other adventures like the Tinstone Warrens and the Bountiful Burrows of Braddenlock.  Remember those gems?

Anyway, riddles were a lot easier to pull off back at our pool table D&D campaign from '93 to '96.  There wasn't really an internet/World Wide Web back then, just a bunch of BBSes and a bunch of books in circulation at your local Waldenbooks.  So if you borrowed one of the riddles that Bilbo and Gollum threw at each other in The Hobbit, then yeah, you were practically giving your players a freebie.  Aside from that, the odds of reading some riddles out of Dragon magazine, recycling them for every new batch of players and stumping them with said riddles were greater.  But nowadays, we have websites dedicated to these riddles, like our beloved Thieves Guild.  All a player has to do is open a new Google Chrome tab -- or sneak a peek at their iPhone under the table -- and the riddle's cracked.  All of those old riddles that I used to throw at you guys?  They're out there.  "The floor's on top, the roof's beneath"?  Thieves Guild has it.  "In daytime I lie pooled about / At night I cloak like mist"?  Yep.  "Ten men's strength, ten men's length"?  Thieves Guild doesn't have that one, oddly enough, but other sites do.  "Little Nancy Etticoat in a white petticoat"?  Ditto.  Well, how about the "What does Man love more than life / Hate more than death or mortal strife?" riddle from the White Plume Mountain adventure module?  Of course they have it.

The Dragon magazine which fed me a bunch of those riddles gave advice on how a Dungeon Master might create his or her own riddles.  And nowadays, that advice is very good advice because, thanks to the omnipresence of the internet, the only way to have an earnest chance of stumping your players -- or at least making them think long and hard about the riddle -- is to make your own.

So to paraphrase what that issue said (because I'll be double-dipped if I can find it right now), you start off thinking of the riddle-to-be's answer.  Let's go with an example of some Modern Day thing that will surely never pop up in the House of Ainsley campaign.  I had to spend a few hours yesterday mowing the yard before I washed up and left for work (yes, I have a pretty big yard), so guess what's not very far from my thoughts: the common lawnmower.


Yeah, let's roll with that.

Okay, so now you have your riddle's subject.  Next, you grab a pencil and some paper, and you go through a breakdown of all its aspects and details.

Lawnmower

  • Mostly made of steel, aluminum and other metals, with various small rubber and plastic bits (seals, hoses, couplings, the oil reservoir, the fuel cap, et cetera).
  • Cuts grass, weeds, growing shrubs and anything hiding in the grass, including crickets, fire ants, other bugs, baby rabbits (which happened years ago, and it really bummed me out) and that lurking copperhead that my Toro mower found and mutilated to death yesterday (which made me feel awesome, because screw snakes!).
  • Runs on gasoline.
  • One tank of gasoline can run a lawnmower for two or three hours.
  • The exhaust smells funny.  It's also hot.  Don't stick your hand over the exhaust vent while the lawnmower's running.
  • Needs a clean air filter, a clean oil filter and clean oil.  Replace these bits during routine maintenance.
  • Gasoline can go stale after months of sitting around.  Either empty the fuel tank before putting it up for the winter or empty it in spring before putting it to use.  Stale fuel can ruin the engine (as I learned to the tune of $80 in repair work a few years back).
  • Water in your gasoline will ruin the engine too.  Keep water out of the tank!
  • Wind, rain and general exposure to the elements can ruin a lawnmower.  Keep it in a shed, garage or other shelter when not in use.
  • Very noisy when running.  Sounds loud and angry.  Shakes a lot.
  • Rotating blade has a single edge on each end.
  • Blade is hidden underneath the mower deck, which protects people from the blade and anything thrown by the blade.
  • Blade can throw a rock pretty hard, especially if you don't have a mulching plug blocking the chute.  Bruises and welts on unprotected shins are a thing.
  • Blade can chip or break if it hits a brick or a big enough rock.
  • People are sometimes injured by stuff thrown by lawnmowers.  Rarely, people have even been killed by stuff thrown by lawnmowers (including broken pieces of the lawnmower blades themselves).
  • Rider mowers have mower decks big enough to house two blades, or even three.
  • You push it by the handle.  The throttle (and the drive, on certain self-propelling models) can also be found on the handle.
  • Don't pull it backward!  If you must pull it backward, don't trip and fall!  Lawnmowers have been known to shred people's feet for doing that.
  • Some models include an optional grass bag, for those who would rather bag grass clippings than mulch them.  Bagging is more work, but mulching may mean frequent stops as the blade gets clogged up on grass clippings.


Lawnmower-Related Miscellany

  • If left to its own devices, grass will eventually become tall grass and take over the yard.  After that, shrubs and bushes will eventually take over the yard.  After that, saplings move in and eventually trees will take over the yard.  Ever see a house that has been abandoned and neglected for fifty years?  It will happen.  So every time you run that lawnmower, you're not only killing today's grass but the future's shrubs and trees as well.  We and our tools -- lawnmowers included -- are the only things continually keeping Mother Nature from taking back our lots and houses.
  • Gasoline comes from petroleum.  Petroleum comes from crude oil.  Crude oil is black and has been called many things, including "black gold" and "blood of the earth".  Widely believed to be the pressurized and decomposed remains of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures, but this may not actually be the case.  Considered to be "fossil fuel" along with coal (the pressurized and decomposed remnants of ancient vegetation).
  • Brits call it "petrol" instead of "gasoline".
  • Most people mow their lawns on the weekends.  Everyone mows their lawns by daylight.  Only a thoughtless jackhole would mow at night, and he couldn't see how good his work was if he did.
  • People mow their lawns from spring to autumn.  Grass doesn't grow in the winter, making lawnmowing unnecessary.
  • Night is cold.  Winter is cold.  Winter nights are very cold.
  • Most living vegetation is green, thanks to chlorophyll.
  • Names for groups of trees: Copse (small group), grove (small group), thicket (dense group of any size), forest (big group), woodland (big group).
  • "Toro" means "bull" in Spanish.
  • Other lawnmower manufacturers: Craftsman, Black and Decker, Troy-Bilt, Husqvarna, Kobalt, Swisher, Worx, Cub Cadet, John Deere (riding and zero-turn mowers only, no push mowers), Briggs & Stratton (who also manufacture parts for mowers from various other manufacturters).
  • Mechanical push mowers exist.  So do electric push mowers.  Screw 'em.  Let's focus on the gasoline-powered beasts here....


Obviously, it wouldn't be very prudent to squeeze every last one of these tidbits into our riddle-to-be.  So we have to pick a few, make them sound poetic and squeeze them in somewhere.  The riddle doesn't need to rhyme, of course, but it's more stylish (and easier to remember years down the road) if it does.

So we think, and think, and compose, and think some more, then go through a few rough drafts.  Eventually, stuff happens:


"The skies grow warm.  The doors part wide.
The beast emerges into light.
Clad in steel, with fiery bowels,
It drinks the ancient ichor
And with acrid, searing breath,
Roars forth in trembling rage.

The master takes it by the reins.
The beast obeys yet is disloyal.
The master must drive ever forth;
Retreat invites the beast's betrayal.

Beneath its shield whirl its scythes,
Hurling stones with deafening force,
Slaughtering without remorse,
Cleaving hills and hewing lives.
Where it goes, the forest dies.

The skies grow cold.  The doors part wide.
The beast vomits its ancient blood,
The pending poison in its bowels.
Its sack now filled with verdant dead,
The beast returns to darkness,
And the beast returns to sleep."


Something like that.  Sorry.  That's about as near as I can detail the creative process.  But that's one way to describe a lawnmower, isn't it?  Razz

So anyway, that's pretty much what I have to do every time I cook up one of these riddles.  Try it sometime!

...what? You think you can come up with a better lawnmower riddle?  Okay, let's hear it!  Razz


Last edited by The House of Ainsley on Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:40 pm

For your temporary amusement, the saga of DJ Phylactery.

It is time to battle the lich!  Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:12 pm


You know, I've been running D&D games on and off for about 35 years now.  And to be honest, in all that time, I've never thought to hide a dragon inside its mountain of treasure.  I've had a black dragon hanging bat-like from the high, dark, vaulted ceiling overhead.  I've had a gold dragon magically camouflaged, Predator-like, against all the gold.  I've had a dragon lurking underwater in the nearby underground lagoon at the hoard's edge (though admittedly it was a dragon turtle, which is a bit of a difference).  I've done something similar with a red dragon bursting forth from a river of fire and magma, which came with the bonus of showering the adventurers with molten stone and desperate Saving Throws as the dragon climbed skyward.  I've had dragons Polymorphed into the guise of a captured princess or a priceless gold statue among the hoard, as well as a dragon masquerading as a human king whose throne room and treasure vault were one in the same.  But I never tried hiding the dragon inside the hoard itself.

Be warned, adventurers: I am so going to use that trick to punish the next band of player-characters who run up to an apparently undefended treasure hoard and start stuffing their backpacks without giving the entire lair a once-over first.  Twisted Evil


Anyway, on to business.  Tiger texted me about two days ago, asking me if I was okay.  Drakon called me tonight to ask the same.  And frankly, things have gone from bad to worse to downright uncertain and frightening.  Back on July 29th at 9:00 PM, I came home, got out of my car and immediately heard what sounded like a cicada beating its wings among the leaves against the tall wooden fence next to my garage.  I fetched a flashlight from the kitchen, came running back to find the cicada and, like a perfect idiot, I reached for the pile of leaves with my bare left hand to brush the leaves aside and find the cicada.

It wasn't a cicada.  It was a valuable yet expensive life lesson come calling.  And the lesson was that a copperhead hissing at you sounds exactly like a large insect beating its wings.

I felt the bite before I saw the snake.  My hand had never even touched the leaves.  That vicious little bastard had nailed me right around the fingernail on the ring finger of my left hand.  So after it bit me, the snake was all reared back, like it was ready to strike again.  The first emotion that I felt on realizing that I'd been bitten by a venomous snake wasn't fear; it was rage, the sort of rage you feel after you've been violated.  So instead of doing something conventional like finding a safe place to sit down and calm myself, I stormed back into the house and came back with my repeating air rifle, howling "Where are you, you little bastard?!?"  The snake obliged me in short order by hissing at me again, still reared back but turning one eye to me.  So I took aim and killed the snake with five shots through the top of its head, in an enraged staccato.  Then I poked it with the barrel to make sure it was dead, and it was.  So I grabbed the copperhead's corpse, draped it over my RepeatAir's barrel and went to sit on the stoop and make a couple of phone calls to my father (who's also a veteran paramedic) and to 911.

Dad and the ambulance showed up at my house at around 9:10.  I showed the dead copperhead to Dad and the paramedics, explaining "Hey, here's the little bastard who bit me."  The copperhead was a young one, only about ten or twelve inches from snout to tail.  And as the paramedics explained, it's actually better to be bitten by a bigger, older copperhead because by that age, the snake has developed the sense to conserve its venom, injecting its victim with a little so that it has some to paralyze whatever rabbits and mice it wants to eat later.  The older copperheads might even let you off with a dry bite, which they're somewhat likely to do with creatures that the snake realizes are too big to eat.  But the young, stupid copperheads don't regulate their venom in the least; they freak out and shoot you up with every last drop they have in their venom sacs.  And evidently, that's exactly what had happened.  It sucked to be me.

So I showed up in the ER at the East Texas Medical Center of Athens, about 20 minutes south of Canton.  And on the ambulance, the paramedics took a marker and marked the edge of the swelling tissue at 9:15; the swelling had reached my finger's last knuckle by then.  Little did I know that the nurses and doctors at the hospital would continue where the paramedics left off, putting marks on my arm as the swelling progressed.  By 5:15 AM the next morning, the swelling had reached my elbow after the doctors fed six vials of CroFab antivenom through my intravenous line, and my arm looked a little something like this:


Being poisoned is no fun at all.  I don't recommend it.  And yes, that big, purple blister is where the fangs went in.  That scaly little dickhead....

So I spent three days in the hospital (though Dad, Mom and I are still sure that I could have gone home after two, but it was a Sunday and I'll be doubly damned if we could find a doctor to sign off on my discharge).  And then I got to go home.  And within the week, the medical bills started coming in.  $1,865 for the ambulance ride alone.  $1,924 for the Emergency Physician Charge.  $200 for each of the two doctors who took care of me for those three days, and another $200 "consultation fee" for some random surgeon who came in, looked at my finger, said "Yep, the swelling's going down" and left.  (I'm going to fight that latter one, because hell, I could have told him that and I could have told him that for free.)

And those are just the medical bills that have come in.  I'm still waiting for the one which charges me for the antivenom.  Now take a moment to Google up "CroFab antivenom price".  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

It's frickin' insane, isn't it?

The doctor who ordered six vials of CroFab was the same one who later broke it to me -- after the fact, of course -- that I'd be looking at a price tag of about $79,000 for those six vials.  I just about died right then and there.  It's a pretty sad state of affairs when we have people refusing this kind of medical treatment -- and some of them even dying after refusing treatment -- because they can't pay.  That's the quandary which our lords and masters with their fingers in the medical industry have placed on us.  Poverty or sickness.  Poverty or permanent bodily damage.  Poverty or disability.  Poverty or death.  Make your choice.

Copperheads are cousins to rattlesnakes and water moccasins.  Though bites from the latter two pit vipers can be decidedly deadly, the odds of dying from a copperhead bite actually aren't that great.  Every now and then, a copperhead will bite someone in the torso and the venom will kill them by shutting down their kidneys, but that's about it.  I was bitten on the finger.  There was only a remote chance that my life was in danger, to my relief.  But still, one of the details about being poisoned by a copperhead is tissue mortification.  So, if left untreated, there was a significantly larger chance that I would have needed to have my finger -- or even my entire hand -- amputated.  And going through life with only one hand would be very trying for a computer freak like me.

So it seems that I made the right choice by calling 911.  So why, then, does the right choice still feel so wrong?

Anyway, I caught a snakebite and suddenly found myself saddled with some horrific hospital bills.  I realized very quickly that my job at Walmart wasn't going to cut it.  I still owe $3,000 on my credit card, and I've owed on that credit card for a year.  And my $10 an hour from Walmart has not made that debt disappear, despite my best efforts.  Clearly I need a change in employment and I need it urgently.

So then I remembered Uber.  I had read several stories and articles around the internet, saying that an Uber driver can make around $60,000 a year (before expenses), and there's no scheduling shifts; you work whenever you want to work, and at any time, an Uber driver can choose to work a piddly 5-hour week or a workaholic 80-hour week, depending on his or her availability, temperament and desire to make money.  One BuzzFeed article had one of their quasi-journalist get rides with twelve Uber drivers and ask about their paycheck stubs, and he ended the article on a poo-pooing note, saying "After fuel costs and other expenses, the average Uber driver only earns about $20 an hour."  I will gladly take that "mere" $20 an hour!  Uber is already going strong in Dallas (an hour west of me), and they just opened operations in Tyler (a half-hour east of me).  So the iron's not going to get any hotter than this.

Unfortunately, my old 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier failed Uber's standards on two counts:  Uber of Tyler wants my car to be 2006 or younger, and it has to be a four-door sedan.  So after agonizing over the decision, I decided to trade in my trusty, 13-year-old Redmobile for a once-owned 2016 Chevy Cruze...still as good as new, but the last owner turned the Cruze back in after driving it around for a few months, which -- happily for me -- chopped about $5,000 off the price tag.


Farewell, old friend.


Out with the old, in with the new.

I've planned to start off by keeping my usual five-day week at Walmart while driving for Uber on my days off or before/after my Walmart shift on any given day, then gradually weaning myself off Walmart and trim away my availability, replacing the lost hours at Walmart with more hours of Uber driving.  And once I'm down to two days at Walmart, that's when I hand them my two weeks notice.  But what if, for whatever reason, Uber doesn't work out?  The new Cruze is going to cost $219 a month in car payments, with full-coverage insurance through Germania costing $109 a month on top of that.

So this maneuver is a gamble, to be sure.  If Uber works out as well as expected, then I've just saved myself and set myself free.  But if Uber fails, then I've just doomed myself to an ever-widening chasm of debt.  And I've been worrying and getting all anxious and losing sleep over that.  But I'm committed.  There's no turning back now.  As soon as the car's lien-holding bank mails me the form to set up automatic payment, I take that form to my insurance company so they can get the lien holder's information, change my insurance and give me the Proof of Insurance.  After that, I come home, scan the Proof of Insurance and submit it to Uber, and that's it.  That's the last step.  After that, I'm all set and I can start driving for Uber right away.

So that's where I've been lately.  I suppose I've licked my wounds for long enough.  Sorry if I've been so distant, everyone.  Thank you guys for your concern.  I do need to take back control of my life.  Signing up with Uber may be one way of doing this.  De-slobbing my house and cleaning it up -- another task which has kept me busy and not staring sadly at the ceiling for hours -- is another.  And stoking the embers in the House of Ainsley's furnace would be a third.  So I guess I'd better dig through the pile of stuff on my couch and get all my notes and books out again.

Chat with y'all soon?
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:43 am

Oh, I forgot!  Here's a pic that my Dad took of Scaly Little Bastard while I was in the hospital, at my request:




Update:  He's still dead.  And I'm still keeping him in my freezer, waiting for a good day to thaw him out, skin him and turn him into a new hat band for the Almighty Hat.



As you can see, all those close-range .177 pellets did a pretty good job of shattering his skull.  How does that payback taste, you ornery little prick?   Evil or Very Mad

(Well...then again, I killed him, but he saddled me with a backbreaking hospital bill.  So I'm not entirely sure which one of us got the last laugh.  Neutral )
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:40 am

Huh, rather tiny little shit for all that ass pain. Sad

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:14 pm

Heh heh...disproportionately tiny?  You've never been bitten by a venomous snake before, have you?  Wink

Good.  It sucks hard, and I don't recommend it.  To follow through on what the paramedics said, when the little ones are more dangerous than the big ones, there's a problem with the entire species.  At least this one didn't survive to become less of a problem, I guess.

Maybe it was a matter of time.  I remember the Fourth of July two years ago; we were down at Mom and Dad's lakehouse, and I was the designated fireworks-lighter-upper-and-get-the-hell-away guy.  Well, I lit a big, honkin' Sky Candle and took off running.  And at the last moment, I saw a big copperhead, right in front of me.  It was maybe about two and a half feet long, just slithering through the grass, and my left foot came down right on the bastard!  I'm not sure if my cowboy boots would have stopped the snakebite, but I didn't have to find out; for whatever reason, the snake never struck.  Maybe it was very surprised by me stomping on it, maybe it was just a really chill snake.  I, however, was not so chill.  My two little nephews were there, not even ten years old, and that snake didn't need to be anywhere near them.  So I yanked up a stone block out of Mom and Dad's patio, ran back and slammed it edgefirst right on top of the snake's head -- as hard as I could slam it -- four times.  That pretty well killed the snake, and nobody had gotten bitten.  Then I threw the thoroughly crushed copperhead into the lake and that was that.

Texas has all kinds of snakes.  Australia may have us whooped in numbers of dangerous snakes, but I bet they don't have Texas whooped by much.  What do YOU say, Wraith?  Razz
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:20 pm

Drak?  I think your phone can send texts but can't receive them, for whatever reason.  Or did you get the photos of what I found out in my workshop last week?



The copperheads are out to get me, I swear.  But at least I have another future hat band.  He might even be big enough for me to make a belt! Shocked

And I was back at the hospital earlier around 4:30 PM, trying to set up automatic payments on those hospital bills from that copperhead bite.  I got a breakdown of the big hospital bill; it was a grand total of $87,160.10, which includes the six vials of Crotalidae antivenin ($68,979.00, or $11,496.50 per vial...ouch) and a whole bunch of nitnoid stuff ($4.50 to let me borrow their wash basin?  Really?).  But the good news is that my application went through, thanks to Dr. Rich, and a hospital charity paid for the whole thing.  Words cannot express how utterly relieved I am to see this statement!  That just leaves the bill for Dr. Rich and Dr. Mahmoud ($430, which I will very gladly pay), a $200 bill for some "consultant surgeon" (which I think is the guy who poked his head into my room, looked at my finger, said "The swelling's gone down" and left, and you're damned right I'm going to raise a stink about that bill) and the bill for the ER ($2,061...now why couldn't they have tacked this bill on with the huge bill too?). And the $1,800 ambulance bill should be covered by my monthly water bill and its Ambulance Fee that I've been paying for the last nine years, so I'll head over to the water department and ask them to take care of it.



Also, in other news, I just found out that Jack Chick -- a man who did for Dungeons & Dragons what Jack Thompson did for video games -- recently died in his sleep at Age 92.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/jack-chick

"No, not Black Leaf!  No!  No!  I'm going to die!"  Laughing

Happy trails, you loony old git.  Razz
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:00 am

I never received any texts or messages, but I would think that wearing heavy boots and long pants might be a good idea for a while. We have rattlesnakes around here in MT, but not copperheads. Either way, a snake is a snake....kill em all.

In the meantime, good to hear that the big bill was taken care of. For what it's worth, at least it's one big, spooky pain in the ass that has gone by.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am

If I learned one thing from that copperhead bite, it's what a copperhead sounds like when it's hissing at you.  I went out to the workshop, I turned on the lights and put some tools away, I heard that familiar "sticking a folded strip of paper through a running electric fan" sound and I immediately thought "copperhead".  It's pretty convenient that copperheads feel the need to announce their presence well before you're within striking distance, I have to say.  Wink

I do feel the need to give to that charity, just as a gesture of thanks for saving my bacon from that ninety-grand hospital bill.  Maybe in the future, when I have money again.  What goes around comes around, right?  Here's hoping that driving for Uber pays off as massively as I've heard.

As for that other thing I brought up, for years I thought that Jack Chick wasn't a real person; I assumed that it was either a pseudonym at best or, more likely, the name of the publisher.  In honor of the late Jack Chick (if you can call satire "honor"), how might someone go about designing and running a D&D campaign based on his Dark Dungeons tract and various other tracts?  Would we throw in a low-level mind control spell that's almost impossible to resist yet is balanced by the limitation that it can only affect a character's father?  Would holding a Harry Potter book while you're casting a spell add +2 to overcoming the target's Spell Resistance?  Stupid things like that.  Razz
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:58 am

Glad to hear that your medical bills are taken care of.  For 90k worth of bills they should of just drained you blood and sold it.  

I feel you my friend over the charges that they stick you with.  I don't know if you remember, but about two years ago my son was hit by a car while walking across a road.  He suffered many bumps, bruises, a concussion, a bruised spleen, a very nasty cut on his left arm, and reconstructive surgery on his left leg that required a year of rehab to get back to normal.  Got the bill and it was close to 30k.  As I went over the bill there were charges from doctors that I never met and I didn't leave my sons side for at least the first 24 hours.   For the price that some of these doctors charge, the least they could do is introduce themselves.  I don't know about you guys, but I at least want to put a name to face to the person whose fucking me over with the bill.  Am I right?  

On the plus side the insurance he had at the time covered a very large portion of it and my deductable was only about 1k, which I paid off in less than a year.
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:01 am

I heard that! I barely met the guy who billed me $200. But after speaking with the staff, one of the two physicians attending me had called this guy in to see if any surgery was needed to treat my arm. I'm thinking "Surgery? For a copperhead bite? The only surgery that usually follows a venomous snake bite is amputation. Holy crap!" But the surgeon said no, and Dr. Rich did call him in, so I guess I feel kind of compelled to pay the man. His admins were willing to drop my payments as low as $25 a month for eight months, so that took most of the sting out of paying that bill.

Also, why does Sombra (the latest character for Overwatch) remind me of Karnoz? Razz



Something to do with her being opportunistic and loyal to no one but herself, I suppose. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: House of Ainsley: Out-of-Character Discussion   Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:44 am

Okay, I'm cleaning house with my parents, and I'm getting my desk back to the way it was before all the miserable depression crap went into full swing. That means that I might be picking the House of Ainsley back up soon! bounce

In the meantime, Alexandra Erin has some cool stuff for you to read. Smile

A follow-up on The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Ancient Greece never saw the Internet coming....

Sleep is a hell of a drug

And more. Enjoy! Very Happy
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