A Touch of Madness
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Gregory Pettigrew's LiveJournal:

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    Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
    10:31 am
    S.H.I.E.L.D. til you bleed!

    I'm going to try to squeeze in a viewing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 on Saturday, September 13. The show, of course, is 22 episodes long, which makes it roughly 18 hours long. Further, there's a movie that takes place about 2/3 of the way through the season that, while it doesn't directly involve the characters from the show, has a strong impact on the characters in the show.

    Poll #1980039 Details, Details
    Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 2

    Do you want to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier in its place in order?

    View Answers
    1 (50.0%)
    0 (0.0%)
    1 (50.0%)

    Do you want to watch all of Season 1 or just the good parts version?

    View Answers
    All of it
    2 (100.0%)
    Just the Good Parts
    0 (0.0%)
    You watch all of it, I'll sleep in
    0 (0.0%)

    Plans AhoyCollapse )

    (2 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    5:22 am
    I had an unsettling dream which called into question my perception of events long ago. I am left wondering what I have done that seemed right in my mind, but to the other parties involved was wrong. Therefore, if I have wronged you or another in the past, please consider the possibility that I am blinded by my perspective on the matter, ignorant of my wrongdoing, and in need of correction. Please help me be a better person by letting me know of my unforgiven transgressions.

    Comments are screened.

    (Lie to me)

    Sunday, July 27th, 2014
    12:06 pm
    Styx come sail away

    Taking a break from the 21st century for a while...

    (Lie to me)

    Friday, June 27th, 2014
    10:50 am
    This is a public service announcement
    Grilling and Games will not be happening this year. The genesis of the party was "What do you do with a full time job and a day off in the middle of the week?" and that's not true this year. Grilling and Games will return in 2017 when we will drink Mojitos while playing "Bigappleship".

    (Lie to me)

    Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    11:50 pm
    The Colonial Union Needs You!
    After last Intercon, rosinavs told me she wanted to write and run a "big" LARP. Our previous LARP, Resurrect Me, Please was a lightly paced storytelling game for 11 people. This time around, she wants something a little bigger. After some discussion, including of this coming Intercon's theme, "Orbit", we hit upon the idea of running a game based on John Scalzi's Old Man's War Series. That's where you come in.

    We're looking for two groups of people:

    1) People who are interested in writing a 30+ person LARP based on a military science fiction series.

    2) People who have read the series who are interested in helping us discuss some of the questions raised by the series, whether we should try to answer them in our LARP, and, if so, what those answers should be.

    Comments will likely be full of spoilers. If you are of the first type and want to read the books before viewing the comments, we have the whole series.

    (3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Friday, March 28th, 2014
    7:54 pm
    The Dollar Dance
    This morning, I felt terrible. Coughing fits, fever, chills -- terrible. I took the day off of work and miraculously felt better when I woke up again at 9:30, so I spent the day dealing with some things I'd been putting off. I paid some bills, did some laundry, and signed up for some credit cards. There is a bubble, like a shockwave or sonic boom, of 0% interest credit card debt riding our income, threatening to overcome us if all of it expires at once. Every Spring, it comes close, and then we sign up for a few new cards, transfer the balances over, and continue to ride it out. It's not a very good plan, but it's the best we could come up with on the way down.

    I get paid semi-monthly and rosinavs gets paid biweekly, which is actually a really convenient way to earn money when deep in debt. All of my income goes toward paying the monthly expenses: credit card bills, condo fees, utilities, commuter rail passes, etc. and all of her income goes toward paying the day-to-day expenses: food, gas, entertainment, etc. There's not a lot of room in the budget, but what there is, we sock away for the annual expenses: car insurance, real estate taxes, income taxes.

    We keep track of our expenses in a spreadsheet on Google Docs, so we can both edit it at any time from anywhere. While updating things, I got to take a look at our debt numbers and sure enough they've been going down. It sometimes feels like we'll never make any progress (mostly because we're still very underwater on the house), but, besides a certain very expensive cat, the debt is going down. Very soon I'll have my student debt paid off.

    We're not out of the rapids yet. We've got income taxes next month and real estate taxes the month after that, but at that point, it should be fairly smooth sailing for a good six months.

    (Lie to me)

    Saturday, February 15th, 2014
    9:35 am
    Good Reads
    Two of my favorite reads of last year were the first two installments of this book series: Unidentified Funny Objects. UFO is an anthology of humor SF/F stories. Stories featuring Orcish Public Defenders, Alien Invasions via Twitter, Elemental Activists, and The Improved Cubicle Door Spell. Stories by Jim Hines, Sergey Lukyanenko, Mike Resnick, and more.

    UFO3 is available for pre-order on Kickstarter.


    (1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

    Friday, February 7th, 2014
    3:27 pm
    Before Science. Before History.
    Long ago, a scholar in a remote monastery began the work of translating an ancient text, which foretold the rise and fall of the level of magic in the world. And at its crest, the barriers to other dimensions would thin, and beings of unspeakable evil would be able to cross over into our world and lay waste to it. These beings became known as Horrors, and that time became known as the Scourge. The people of the world built massive underground fortresses to hide civilization from the Scourge and wait until the surface became safe again.

    It didn't. The magic level began to drop and then mysteriously stabilized. Explorers were sent out, and they discovered a world transformed. It was inhabited by strange creatures they had never seen before, plants and animals that had barely scraped by, and populated still with Horrors. It has been a hundred years since the doors were reluctantly opened. It is an age of legend, as brave heroes explore the jungles, reclaim the land, and combat the Horrors.


    This is the world of Earthdawn, my favorite fantasy RPG. Why is the wilderness filled with wandering creatures? Why are there dungeons full of monsters and magical treasure? Where does magic come from? How does a magic sword become a magic sword? Earthdawn began by taking a cold hard look at all the classic tropes of fantasy role playing and said "If this is what makes for a fun game, can't we at least come up with a world where all of this makes sense?" The setting is designed to bring sense to these fantasy tropes, and the system is designed to reinforce the setting.

    The rules are slick, combining the best strengths of level-based and skill-based systems. The world-building is spectacular. It sucks you down into the Age of Legend to battle with evil and rebuild a shattered world. Earthdawn Fourth Edition is currently being funded via Kickstarter and I encourage all lovers of fantasy to take a look.


    (2 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Monday, August 5th, 2013
    8:28 pm
    *#^!&#$% SUP
    In their never-ending quest to drive people away from livejournal, SUP has no restricted going older on your flist to 100 entries - it used to be thousands. If anybody posted anything of note in July, please comment here so I can find it (comments screened).

    (6 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Monday, July 15th, 2013
    12:55 pm
    Pennsic Panic
    There are really only two weeks a year when all of my clothes are clean: The week immediately before, and the week immediately after, Pennsic. There's this moment where the rising tide of clean laundry crests like a wave about to curl, as more and more of it is clean, but I'm not quite ready to start packing, so my drawers fill with pants and underwear, my hangars fill with shirts, my shelves are bursting at the seams with towels.

    I have a lot of clothes. Souvenir t-shirts, souvenir polo shirts, work shirts, work pants, dress pants, jeans, suits, formalwear, costume pieces, sca garb...This year, during the post-Pennsic laundry binge, my goal is to cull the clothes that are no longer in sufficient repair to bother keeping and to mark the leftmost shirts and such. Then, next year, I can fill in from the right and cull all of the clothes that I haven't worn for a year.

    Also, I think I need to rotate out my black socks after this year. Most of them are looking rather grey.

    (1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

    Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
    2:35 pm
    On Death
    I continue to feel really, really weird when people post death notices of prominent SCAdians on SCA-related facebook pages, email lists, livejournals, etc. I thought perhaps my feelings might change when someone I knew died, but they did not. I feel really voyeuristic, almost offended that I'm receiving information I feel is private. Yet I don't feel this way when a "famous person" dies. Thoughts?

    (Lie to me)

    Friday, May 31st, 2013
    12:58 pm
    What's in a name?
    I'm working on a LARP Character, and I'm puzzling my puzzler with coming up with a good name. It needs to say "I'm of Scandinavian Descent" but also "I'm from Middle America". It needs to be ethnic, but not too. I'm not overly concerned about meaning or symbolism for this name, but for reference: He's a bit of a misanthrope, but a team player. He's a physical education teacher who wants to reach out to his students: the couch potatoes, the dumb jocks, the loners, the social butterflies, and teach them to challenge their preconceived notions about how to tackle problems and achieve their goals, and maybe avoid poisoning themselves or getting pregnant. Also, he's a werewolf.

    Poll #1916669 What's in a name?
    Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11

    What should I name my character?

    View Answers
    Eric Nealson
    1 (9.1%)
    Neil Ericsson
    2 (18.2%)
    Eric Larsson
    5 (45.5%)
    Ticky Box!
    1 (9.1%)
    Other (see comments)
    2 (18.2%)

    (12 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
    10:32 pm
    Character death was not the only big thing to go on during my weekend. Sunday was the Boston Netrunner Regional Tournament. Netrunner was originally released as an Asymmetrical Collectible Card Game back in 1996. The "Asymmetrical" part comes from the fact that there are two players: The Corporation and the Netrunner. The Runner is trying to break into the Corp's servers and steal the plans to their secret projects. The Corp is trying to keep the Runner out long enough to launch their secret projects. It was rereleased last year as a Living Card Game, which is basically the same thing only the distribution model is a little kinder to players.

    I had mixed feelings going into this tournament. Most of the times I played this game, my gameplay blew up rather spectacularly during the first game, which can be pretty lethal in a tournament. I was also unsure of how many people were going to be there. The Game Nights at Pandemonium tended to cap out at 7 people, and had seemed to be petering out. Meanwhile, the stresses of my commute have been getting to me and I had not spent much time deckbuilding, nor had I played any online matches since March.

    The Tournament Organizer himself wasn't sure who was showing up, and said he'd be happy if we were able to break even on the prize support ($20/person for 16 people or $10/person for 32 or more). We had 47. Pandemonium, normally largely occupied by Magic: The Gathering players, was packed with Netrunners, some of which I knew, many of which I had at least met, but many of whom were brand new to me (One of my opponents had come all the way up from Long Island).

    Most of my games are a blur at this point - Netrunner is a game of bluffing, misdirection, and information control, and there are a number of strong deck archetypes that I saw repeatedly throughout the day. One thing that is not a blur, though, was that I was doing well. With 47 people, we had six Swiss Seeding rounds before a cut to the top 8 for a Single Elimination bracket to determine the overall winner. In the first five rounds, my worst score was a draw.

    One of the quirks of the Swiss Tournament format is that, in the last round, you can reach a situation where actually playing the game hurts your standing. If my sixth round opponent and I came to a draw, we were both in the top 8. If one of us was badly beaten by the other, he could get knocked out, and the winner would have had only a minor advancement in place to compensate for it. The risk (and more importantly the stress) wasn't worth the effort, so we declared an Intentional Draw.

    Sadly, in my first elimination round, I was quickly trounced and out of the tournament, but I walked away with some nifty prizes and the realization that yes, I am rather good at this game and had not been wasting my time (completely) and that I'm getting much better about controlling myself when profoundly nervous (the secret is Ginger Ale).

    (Lie to me)

    Monday, May 20th, 2013
    10:49 pm
    Werewolf: The Apocalypse
    Once upon a time, my roommate Daren and my friend Conor invited me to join them in a Werewolf LARP called "Crossroads". I had played a couple of Werewolf one-shots before, and it was kind of interesting, but it had not yet grabbed me. This game grabbed me. Werewolf is a game of found family, of holding the line against the darkness, of courage in the face of impossible odds, of painfully swallowing your frustration, and of letting loose your Rage...and then having to deal with the messy consequences.

    I am currently playing in another Werewolf LARP and had a fantastic time on Saturday.I died.Collapse )

    (2 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Monday, April 29th, 2013
    4:37 pm

    (1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

    Monday, March 18th, 2013
    12:19 am

    (1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

    Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
    10:59 pm

    (5 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Sunday, January 20th, 2013
    1:06 pm
    I am a nerd.
    dilettante gave rosinavs and I a copy of Android: Netrunner yesterday. I have spent a significant portion of the last 24 hours musing about the mathematics behind organizing tournament play for the game given the official tournament rules (and also where the tournament rules are wrong).

    (Lie to me)

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    10:55 pm
    Life, Hobbies, Adventures
    Just dove into the deep end of the pool. Let's see if I can swim.

    (3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
    6:10 am
    Fedoral Offense
    Did I loan anybody here my fedora? I can't find it anywhere.

    (1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

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