This is not–as the text and palette might suggest–a photo of me on Mars.

Rather, I am in a science lab, standing in front of a poster summarizing Kerry Cupit‘s experience at the Mars Desert Research Station in February of 2008, having attended an insightful talk on the same subject that he today presented at SFU.

What’s more? I am listening to Viper Pilot‘s hoopy new release Spacelab Invaders while wearing a Space Invaders shirt, itself a product of Viper Pilot Industries, Inc.

(Basically, the jpg is so densely meta that it runs the risk of collapsing in on itself, menacing all life on Earth. [In turn, a reference to the very threat implied on the shirt {DIE, EARTHLING}.])


Filed under Music, Philosophy (Natural or otherwise)

We are going to move to Regina

I’ve attempted to tell share the news with as many people in as personal a fashion as possible, but at this point, I’d rather you hear it here than somewhere else.

Michelle has accepted a position with Saskatchewan Northern Geological Survey, based in Regina. She starts work January 2nd, though we’re not certain on the rest of our relocation timeline. We’re looking forward to real jobs, less rain, more space, spending time with old friends, and POÄNG armchairs. Especially POÄNG armchairs.

Oh, and gaming. Towards that end, I’ve created two blogs to serve as communication resources for fellow gamers in or around Regina.

I’m really not sure what will become of them, but at the very least they’ll give you an idea of what games I’m looking forward to running and playing in 2009 and beyond.  Perhaps there’s some place better to do this, but the only forum I could find seemed abandoned.

Please feel free to send any suggestions my way, or let me know if you’d like to contribute to either site.  In the meantime, feel free to pass or post along these links to anyone you think might find them useful.


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise), The story so far

My haircut

After more than five years of growth and four years of dreadlocks, I cut off all my hair.

A little bit at a time.


I was aiming for something Wheatonesque here.

I was aiming for something Wheatonesque here.

"Confused homeless man with neckbeard."

Man with neckbeard.

(Not a white supremacist.)

All the locks that weren't immediately claimed by donators.






Filed under The story so far

Stand aside, Viper Pilot. I got this one.

My senior officer in the fleet, Viper Pilot, does a stand out job of covering the intersection of (Music) and (Science Fiction), sometimes even branching out to (Music) (Science), but he is relatively far from American news media, as well as welcoming–with Atomique, of course–a new addition to his family.  In the interest of giving all three more bonding time, I’m stepping in to share your song for today.

MC Hawking – Why Won’t Jesse Helms Hurry Up and Die | download

1 Comment

Filed under Friends, Music

D&D 4E Encounter Tracker

Again for Dungeons & Dragons, Fourth Edition player characters, I’ve put together an encounter tracker to save roughing up character sheets through repeated erasing.

Consider this an alpha, with suggestions more than welcome.

D&D Encounter Tracker @ Flickr

Current version: D&D 4E PC Encounter Tracker [a0.8.2]


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise)

D&D 4E Power Cards

I assume that I’m not the first to put these two together:

  • Colour-coded index cards
  • Relevant copies of powers from the Player’s Handbook, 4th Edition

It just seems so much easier to flip though a slimmed stack of cards rather than page through powers your character may or may not have.  You might further simplify the process by flipping or turning cards of spent powers.

UPDATE: Also see my PC Encounter Tracker


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise)

Go Play Northwest 2008


Earlier this month I had the opportunity to travel with two friends to Go Play Northwest, a “convention for people who like to design, run, and play independent role-playing games.”  It amounted to a weekend of solid story-gaming, as well as a chance to meet new indie-gamers, catch with up old indie-friends, and rub shoulders with indie-greats.  Fortunately for me, some of those fields overlap; fortunately those around me, I had the good sense not to use the word “indie” so often around them.

Personal highlights included:

In a Wicked Age: An utterly-irredeemable demon-child (played by my friend Daniel) riding his own terminally-ill queen/mother (played by me) down rough-hewn stone steps to an in-use torture chamber.

Destructicus Prime: a toy-based smash-up that opened with Ben launching a tank off a ramp (landing on and then smearing an entire dimetrodon across the arena) and concluded with three players so desperate for glory they attempted called-shots to a volcano–with their own vehicles.

Shab-al-Hiri Roach: Jackson’s physicist, so graviton-obsessed that he created a “Collider” to study the effects of dropping very heavy things on very breakable things. Just when I thought he couldn’t relate gravity to the religious ego-check I was delivering, he drops mention of Lucifer’s own fall.

Tunnels and Trolls: not story gaming per-se, but I was pretty chuffed when my faerie wizard “Whim” hollowed out the inside of a donkey-headed skeleton so that it might serve him as power armor/mecha.  That I was as a result later able to make use of a powerful but life-leeching magical item with no ill-effects was simply undead icing on the necromantic cake.

There exists a list of notable quotations from the convention; they will likely make even less sense out of context and to those unfamiliar with the games win question, but that should not stop you from scrolling down to the bottom of the page to read the my only appearance on the list, which I had no idea anyone had heard, let alone written down.

GPNW 2008 Quote Board, Day One

Though I’ve detailed a handful of independent games before, I’m including below links to additional games that I’ve played and would recommend checking out, no matter the cost to life or limb.

Free downloads
Dostoevksyan Murder Ballad | Drowning and FallingGeiger Counter | Perfect

Worth every dollar
The Big Night | Covenant | Dogs in the Vineyard | Don’t Rest Your Head | Dread | Fingerprints | Jungle Speed | Prime Time Adventures | The Shadow of Yesterday | Reign | Shock


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise), The story so far

It’s the timecodes that are important here

From: Xxx Xxxxxx
Date: 8 Apr 2008 17:55
Subject: [BCSkeptics Announce] Richard Dawkins Speaks at UBC

The BC Skeptics have a unique opportunity through Yyyyy Yyyyyyyy to acquire tickets to Richard Dawkins speaking at UBC on the Tuesday the 29th of April at 2PM at the Chan Centre.

I am sure I don’t need to tell you who Richard Dawkins is: Evolutionary biologist extraordinaire and, more recently, vocal atheist.

Here are the terms:

I do not know how many tickets can be made available. So I will ask for as many as we need, but they may have to be allotted on a first come, first
serve basis.

You must be seated by 1:45PM at the latest at UBC.

You must get back to me no later than this Friday (April 11) at 8AM.

Finally, you must be prepared to bear the cost: Zero dollars and zero
cents!!! In other venues, he asks $500 a head!

So please email me directly ASAP.


Xxx Xxxxxx

From: Chad Reiss
Date: 8 Apr 2008 17:57
Subject: Re: [BCSkeptics Announce] Richard Dawkins Speaks at UBC

I am absolutely in for this. Please let me if I can do anything to repay the favour.


(I might have been still quicker on the draw had I not forced myself to reread the message to confirm that I hadn’t misinterpreted the offer.)


Filed under Philosophy (Natural or otherwise)