Monthly Archives: April 2014

He is bored and so am I

My brother in blogging Chad has posted on his blog he is bored. All I have to say is, yeah, me too.

The Billings I Remember

Picture no longer available

This picture was posted on Facebook by the Billings Gazette. According to the caption this was taken in April of 1983. For those of you who are not from Billings Montana, this was taken on top of the RimRocks, which are shear cliff cut into sandstone by the Yellowstone River. As you can see here, this is a favoured place for teenagers to gather, drink beer, smoke pot and have sex. I was probably 18 years old when this was taken, I guarantee I was not out there somewhere when this pictures was taken. I was most likely in Bruce’s basement playing Dungeon and Dragons. Sometimes, I do get homesick.

Playing old characters

I am having a discussion with a friend about doing a play by post game. He wanted to know which of my characters I wanted to play. Initially I thought I should do two new characters, maybe a Fighter and then a multi-classed Magic User/Thief/Cleric. However paging through the book, I discovered you really can not do that, so then I thought maybe a Fighter/Thief and a Cleric/Magic User. After fiddling around with that for a while, I found it rather unsatisfying and could not decide what I wanted to do. This morning I was doing some work on the Wiki I use to keep track of all my game setting data and I came across the old Companions of Xarth PC list and there towards the bottom was the only character I played in that campaign, Thayziaik. Being a gaming pack rat, I of course still have his character sheet, so I thought maybe this was the way to go.

This is one of those things that comes from playing D&D for so long, you end up with a lot of characters with history. I did not play Thayziaik much, at 3rd level I suspect he did not see play for more than 15-20 games and the last time I played him would have been 1989 or 1990. Assuming he was around 20 years old (Minimum starting age for a human Magic user) when I last played him, and game time has progressed at the same speed as the real world, Thayziaik is now 45 years old, he is still 3rd level, so he has not been out adventuring, what has he been doing for the last 15 years? I am thinking he has been cloistered inside the Companions of Xarth Guild house, most likely using his identify spell along with his Arcane Lore skill to determine what various magic items the adventuring teams come back with are and what the probable value is. He of course charged very reasonable fees for preforming this sometimes dangerous task.

The conversion to HackMaster was pretty straight forward, I think he does not look too different from his original incarnation as an AD&D1E character, pictured above.

Str 16/01, Dex 15/12, Con 16/08, Int 14/36, Wis 13/19, Cha 12/10, Com 10/04
Race Human, Class Magic User, Level 3, Alignment Chaotic Good, Hit Points 39
Skills – Common 100%, Arcane Lore 50%, Spellcraft 25%, Riding 25%, Reading/Writing 25%
Talents – Blind Fighting
Robe, Cloak, Boots, Gloves, Cloak, BackPack, Staff, Hunting Dog, Ring of Truth
Spells: Armor, Find Familiar, Identify, Magic Missile, Mend, Munz’s Acid Bolt,
Ray of Enfeeblement, Web.

HeartBleed and Me

Heartbleed is one of those things I wanted to ignore, but ultimately I had to pay attention too. Truthfully, I am pretty bad about passwords, I tend to use the same 2 or 3 passwords for all my logins, so this is something I probably needed to do anyway. At the suggestion of a friend I installed LastPass on my system and began the process of fixing my bad habits.

LastPass imported all my saved passwords from Firefox, which made things nice and easy for me. I started with a security check, LastPass gave me a score of 6.25%, this is really bad, I thought I was using 2 or 3 passwords, but I was really using 1 about 80% of the time and many of my passwords had not been changed in years. The plan here was to delete all the old accounts I don’t use any more and update the ones I do with impossible to remember random strings that are managed by LastPass.

I went for social media first, FaceBook, G+ and Twitter, all three of these used the same password. I then moved on to the more utility sites like Dropbox, Yahoo Mail and Godaddy, my passwords were a bit more varied here, but I had not changed Yahoo Mail and Godaddy in several years. Finally I hit the gaming sites, Dragonsfoot,, Steve Jackson Games and DrivethruRPG, these were actually the best of the bunch. Finally I attacked all the financial sites, banks, investment sites, bill pay, etc, these I just cringe about.

It is all done though, all my passwords should now be very strong and all I have to hope for, is that the LastPass site does not get hacked.

Die Windows XP Die!

Microsoft is finally dropping support for Windows XP. As with the last three times they said they were going to do this, a considerable amount of whining has taken place. There are people who are in denial, who are saying Microsoft will continue support at the last minute, as it has done in the past. There are people who are asking Microsoft to open up the source code so third parties can support it. There are people who are demanding the government step in and force regulations on Microsoft to for them to support Windows XP until Jesus returns to earth.

You have two choices here. The first choice is, you can stick with XP. Yep, its true, no one is going to come and force you to install Windows 8.1 on your system and XP will not cease to function. All that is happening is XP will not longer be updated. Your second choice is to give it up and move on, you probably need to buy a new computer anyway and you can get a low end laptop these days for $400.

Either way, please god stop complaining.