The 13 Days of D & D Characters

I am OFF from work and on vacation for about 13 days. I’ve decided to create a new D & D Character for each day that I am off.

I have no idea what I’ll come up with but I am using both D & D Beyond to save the characters and I am using the names suggested in the Player’s Handbook.

Should be fun.

You’re not my dad, Apple

Great article today by the Macalope.

Apple’s banning of vaping apps, of course, does not affect the Macalope at all. And he’d never want Apple to risk the security of iOS by allowing any app into the store. But adults should be able to make adult choices. The Macalope would rather be able to make them without having to switch to Android to do it. He’s certainly not going to do that. His lifestyle of donuts and drinking is dangerous enough.


Agree. I think Apple is protecting itself but from outside of Cupertino it looks a lot like adulting from someone other than an adult.

Why Windows Sucks – Part 11,492

If you have an update on an Apple MacBook Pro, you’ll get a notification. You can then update at your leisure. Only on a critical software patch will Apple ever “force” an update on you.

On the other hand, Microsoft does not. They FORCE updates on you constantly and even when they are not critical patches or updates. I needed to quickly get into my Windows 10 virtual machine the other morning only to find this…

This makes the update experience on Microsoft software so painful and sometimes a serious problem. There are critical times where you need to be able to get into your machine in a hurry. Microsoft would rather stand in the way. This is not a good user experience for anyone.

Venice Flooding

via AP

“Venice is on its knees,’’ Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. “St. Mark’s Basilica has sustained serious damage, like the entire city and its islands.”

One death was blamed on the flooding, on the barrier island of Pellestrina. A man in his 70s was apparently electrocuted when he tried to start a pump in his dwelling, said Danny Carrella, an official on the island of 3,500 inhabitants.

In Venice, the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history. Damage was also reported at the Ca’ Pesaro modern art gallery, where a short circuit set off a fire, and at La Fenice theater, where authorities turned off electricity as a precaution after the control room was flooded.

via AP News

The fact that Venice is flooding should not come as a shock to anyone. I think the fact that this is the 2nd worst flood is significant. Seems, 2019 isn’t the first time this has happened and AP was kind enough to point that out instead of omitting it for the Climate Change Warriors.

News I Would Pay For

This article isn’t about telling you what news channel to watch. I can’t recommend any of them because they all suck. The reasons they suck are very simple.

  1. Opinion – They don’t just tell you want happened but news outlets feel obligated to give you their opinions on the matter. I do not care what they think and neither should you. I just want to know what happened. I don’t care about WHY you thought it happened or WHO is to blame or HOW you feel about it. Don’t care. You are simply not smart enough to tell anyone how to think or what to think.
  2. 5 minutes should be enough to tell you what is going on. The closest form of news to actually get it right is the news at the top of the hour on radio. They simply don’t have time to tell you about anything else but what is happening in the world. It is not opinion free but it is pretty darn close.
  3. Negative versus positive. If you want positive news, good luck. The old adage that says “if it bleeds it leads” is still alive and well today. If done correctly, the news can be delivered in a manner that is neither positive or negative. It just is.

Here is an example of good reporting versus bad reporting.

Good Example

“Delta Flight XXX took off from O’Hare airport and crashed 5 minutes later. Five people were killed.”

Bad Example

“Delta Flight XXX took off from O’Hare airport. It crashed after a mere five minutes in flight and killed five people in the process. Sources close to the airline who are speaking on condition of anonymity are claiming that the maintenance records clearly show a lack of regular upkeep on the jets engines and this may have led to the crash. Mrs. Johnson who was baking a cake heard a noise and looked out of her window. “It was a loud bang kind of like a cannon going off.”

If any company can give me the “good example” above, I would gladly pay for it. I don’t care about opinions, side stories, or personal first hand accounts. People suck at remembering things that happened to them only minutes before. I would also appreciate it if we could keep politics out of stories where they clearly do not belong.

Is that too much to ask?

New York City in October 2019

Photo via Business Insider

I am fortunate enough to be able to go to New York again this year. This year will present a unique problem. Weather. Last year it was cold and rainy. This year (while there is a 10% chance of rain as of this writing) it should be drier and warmer with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees F.

I am leaning towards my down jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. I may even go with my flat cap to keep my head warm. I am so afraid of being too hot. 60 degrees is flip flop weather for me but I won’t do that in NYC. You can’t move very quickly in flip flops.

I’ll add updates and pictures as the trip gets underway. This year, I may add pictures as I go.

Update: (October 26, 2019) Going to wear sweatshirt, t-shirt, jeans, sneakers. Weather forecast says sunny and 63 degrees.

Vacation = Problem Fix Time

I am off for the next week and have a couple of things that will need “fixing” as my southern friends would say.

My watch is essentially bricked. I tried unpairing it from my iPhone to fix an update issue and now, it absolutely refuses to pair. It goes through the beginning of the process but then stops and unpairs again. This could have to do with a software update. I am on bleeding edge so its possible that my iPhone’s software and my Apple Watch are no longer friends.

The 2nd problem is Minecraft on xBox. If you bring it up and try to play it, the entire xBox shuts down. This is not a new problem but it is a new problem for me. The 1st thing I’ve done is to clear the xBox cache and reboot. If this works, great. If not, then I will try to uninstall and re-install. Of course, I am afraid of losing worlds I’ve spent hours and days building.

I’ll keep everyone posted. Everyone = me. The only person who reads this garbage.

Update: I’ve reset the cache on the xBox and was able to play Minecraft for about an hour before the xBox shut down.

Rant Posting: Being the 1st

I happened to glance at an article this morning about the first ever all female spacewalk. To be honest, I was underwhelmed. Do I think it is important? No. Do I really care? No. Is it because I am a man? No.

How significant is the “first” at anything? The first man, the first woman, the first ape, the first asian seriously…who cares?

I believe it undersells the accomplishment itself. Accomplishing a goal should be the most important thing. If the goal is to be the first at something, I think that is a sad goal. Ok, you made it. You are the first at whatever. So. What.

It is almost as ridiculous as video game accomplishments. Who gives a rip if you have half a million xBox gamer points? I guess you do but what difference does it make? You can’t do anything meaningful with them. Before you start to say “Well, I can use them to upgrade a skin or get a better weapon” let me stop you right there. Again, in the real world that doesn’t matter. Those points are as meaningless as the hours you spend in front of your gaming console.

It may be sad that this is coming from a gamer but I can distinguish the difference between reality and fantasy. I’m all for the the escapism that movies, video games, and other mindless entertainment provide. I feel that society concentrates on the wrong things. We watch other people live their lives from the comfort of our living rooms and that in and of itself, is sad. Because we do so much of it, the folks who participate in sports, actors in movies, and even the folks who create reality TV are raking in the money.

All because we are too lazy to do anything meaningful with our lives. Except perhaps, be the first woman to spacewalk. If she was the first person to ever spacewalk I think you’d have something. We’ve already conquered spacewalking and whether a woman, man, ape, Asian, Chinese, Italian, Spaniard, or my kitty cat does it now it is still just a spacewalk that has been done before.

So in conclusion. I do not care about a stupid spacewalk that has been done by many other people time and time again.

ASMR and What it Means for Writing

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. That is what it stands for. Check out the article over at

Writing against a nice background is always soothing for me. I can’t say that I use this technique pertaining to the YouTube channels but my office overlooks a busy intersection in the middle of farm country, USA.

If you write and need some extra help staying focused, this might help.

MIT has created “Blackist” material known so far

From Engadget

Good news for goths — black somehow just got even blacker. MIT engineers have cooked up a material that’s 10 times blacker than anything else previously reported. Capturing more than 99.96 percent of any incoming light, the material is made of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on chlorine-etched aluminium foil. And it was discovered by accident.

Engadget. Link above.

Broken Promises

Picture from Windows Central

I have been looking forward to the Minecraft 4k upgrade on xBox One X for about 2 years. That was already problematic for me. I’m used to Apple making an announcement and then delivering on it shortly thereafter. Mojang doesn’t follow that example and chooses to announce things that don’t really exist for consumers, promise that they’ll have it by a certain date, and then simply not deliver it. From Engadget…

Minecraft‘s big Super Duper Graphics Pack is no more after two years of delays. Mojang has cancelled the visual overhaul after deciding that it was “too technically demanding” to implement. The developers “aren’t happy” with the upgrade’s performance across platforms, and chose to axe the project rather than offer inconsistent quality.


Pretty sure it wasn’t the developers that chose to axe the project.

Guess I should start learning how to mod the game.

School Begins Near Castle Nerda

image from

It makes absolutely “NO” sense to me to start school right before the Labor Day holiday. Why bring students back just to give them days off? Why not just start the year uninterrupted? Warwick is the only local school district that understands that idea year after year. They are at the bottom of the list below.

SCHOOL START DATES (via Lancaster Online – No link – paid service)

• Columbia Borough
• Cocalico
• Lancaster Mennonite
• Pequea Valley
• Donegal
• Conestoga Valley
• Lampeter-Strasburg
• Lancaster Country Day School
• Penn Manor
• Hempfield
Aug. 26
• Eastern Lancaster County
• Elizabethtown Area (first through 12th)
• Ephrata Area
• Lancaster (ninth districtwide and K-8 at Martin)
• Manheim Central
• Manheim Township (first through 12th)
• Octorara Area
• Solanco
Aug. 27
• Lancaster (10th through 12th districtwide and seventh and eighth at Hand, Lincoln, Reynolds and Wheatland middle schools)
• Lancaster Catholic High School
• Manheim Township (kindergarten)
Aug. 28
• Elizabethtown Area (kindergarten)
Sept. 4
• Warwick (first through
Sept. 5
• Warwick (kindergarten)

The Great Bear Thing of 2019

via LNP

Update 10:15 a.m. — The elusive black bear of Lancaster city has finally been caught. 
The bear, which had climbed up a tree in the backyard of a residential property on West Chestnut Street near North Mary Street Thursday morning, was tranquilized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. 
Shortly thereafter, the subdued bear fell out of the tree. 

Lancaster Online