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)

Flock of Stormcrows

Though I’ve been RPGing for 20 years, I’ve only started miniature gaming in the last year. I’ve spent much of this time planning out my forces, hunting bargains on craigslist, assembling the models, and now–at last–painting some units. If you know me, it’s likely safe to say that I’m the most inartistic person you know. Music, drawing, grace, whatever: I’ve nothing, and I’d expected terminal frustration to bring a premature end to this experiment, as well. I was thus rather surprised when I found in the hobby more relaxation than anguish. Though still not art, the paint-by-number nature of the models, coupled with learnable painting techniques, yield a pretty high return on investment for time. Um, if such can be said about little army men.

Below are some photos of my first models (in this case, Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000). They are a force of my own design, called the Stormcrows, a sort of hard done-by DIY Chapter of the 21st founding. I’m going for a can’t-seem-to-ever-get-the-muck off look, though I’m not sure how well it comes across in these photos. I’m still learning how to properly dry-brush, and I fear the mans especially will look a little flat. Actually, I’m still learning a lot about everything, so any criticisms or suggestions are more than welcome.

Tactical Marines, 4th Company Stormcrows

Veteran Sergeant, 1st Tactical Squad, 4th Company Stormcrows

MkIIc Rhino, 4th Company Stormcrows


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise)

D&D Homebrew

For an atheist1, I certainly end up playing a lot of clerics in D&D.

Well, truth be told, I’m not in a D&D campaign at the moment; we’re actually playing Castles & Crusades. It’s a relatively rules-light mashup of D&D 3.x and first and second edition AD&D. So far, it’s working for me, and I’m looking forward to riding this wave until well after the dust has settled on the launch of D&D 4.0 this summer.

You’ll find below a brief summary of Trond, a deity I created for my character.

Nicknames: The Foe’s Foe, Lord Lilac, Trond the Trusting (sarcastic)
Associations: Demons, Change, Cooperation, The Current Age
Alignment: Neutral
Symbol: An open chain, no two links the same
Colours: Purple, Grey
Flower: Lilac
Weapon: Flail

Nearly a century ago, Trond was a cleric in faithful service to Woroph-Nel. When the demon incursions began, Trond worked his way to front and centre in the protracted battle, eventually coming to serve as figurehead for the ecumenical resistance. Though some faiths criticized his willingness to cooperate with anyone willing (including evil clerics, wizards, and knightly orders), none could doubt the effectiveness of his methods.

Trond was struck down in battle against a massive and grotesque demon-spawn, but not before he had made an impact upon the people and their stories. As an exemplar of humanity, and given the unforeseen rise of the entities his church would come to call “The Foe,” Trond was elevated to godhood (not necessarily unanimously) by the reigning deities. His charge: continue the struggle he championed as a mortal.

Trond’s clergy and devotees as a whole are dynamic and vital. They have not wasted any time in spreading his cause in the short decades the church has been in existence. Much of their success is due to a mandatory period of roaming missionary work that is expected of all able-bodied followers. Even after this time on the road, Trondites are expected to make their homes in an area that will benefit from their faith.

Bonus feature: a portrait of my character, Caspian al-Spahan, done in the style of Rich Burlew’s Order of the Stick.


Caspian al-Spahan

1. And by atheist, I of course mean teapot agnostic.


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise), Philosophy (Natural or otherwise), Webcomics

An admission a decade in the making

On 25/02/2008, Michel Haggman <> wrote:

Fine, Ce Matin La by Air is a kickass track.
Fuck you.

This made my 29.53 days. The confession would have been enough, but such touching phrasing, too?

The question remains, however: must I quietly bide another 10 years for him to admit that basically the whole of Moon Safari is a pop-triumph of the Homo sapien synth-spirit?1

1. In all honesty, Mitch’s musical pedigree far outstrips mine, but you need not take my word for it.

1 Comment

Filed under Music

We have a nephew

This makes us aunt and uncle.

That makes him punk.


Filed under The story so far

Photos: San Francisco

Short, and hopefully sweet.

San Francisco, December 2007 – a slideshow on Flickr

1 Comment

Filed under The story so far

The JESUS Sock

As I used the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a virtual holiday card last year, I guess I have to supply something new this year.

Lo, then, and behold–The JESUS Sock!

The JESUS Sock – a slideshow on Flickr

Atheists, too, stumble upon chance images in nature. We even know the name for such “icons not made by hand”– acheiropoieta–though this does not mean we treat them as anything more than meaningless curiosities.1

In this case, it’s nothing less than the Holy Face of Jesus of Nazareth. It appeared in dust patterns on my liner sock while assisting my partner in her search for evidence of previous glacial flooding, near Polson, MT (two hours north of Missoula).

There can be no doubt that this was an indication that He approved of Michelle’s work to constrain the most recent sequencing of flooding at this site to between 17,000 and 11,000 radiocarbon years before present, James Ussher be damned.

1. Well, I guess it is possible that we might try to make light of them.


Filed under Philosophy (Natural or otherwise)