Nuclear Chili

Way back in high school, I was either a junior or senior.

I made chili for supper one evening during the school year.

My family was big on chili and making sure we all knew how to cook.

We always made a big pot of chili. We were a family of six and my two brothers and I were teenagers and eating everything in the house.

I kept adding chili powder and other things to it. I added chili powder to taste.

After it simmers awhile the degree of oomph to it increases.

It was good and we all ate a couple bowls.

Later that night my brother, Robert, woke up in pain and ended up in the hospital.

It was discovered that he had an ulcer.

Robert blames the ulcer on me.

I told him that I saved his life because my chili irritated it before it got bad so it could be taken care of before it got bad.

Robert didn’t see it that way.

Robert said, “You nearly killed me with that nuclear chili.”

The term stuck, even my Mom refereed to it that way.

Ah well.

I have only made that style of chili a half dozen or so times since then. The first few times I made it, I was still married and didn’t make it that spicy. I think my reputation is worse than reality. I mention nuclear chili and the boys are like, “Oh Yeah!”, and my ex was, “Don’t you dare.”

Kind of like Jimmy Stewart in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” See the movie to avoid spoilers.

I’m trying to think of another example. In D&D if you have someone who is feared for some legendary feat, but it didn’t quite happen that way, that’s what I mean.

There is no exact recipe. I just brown some hamburger, use some canned beans and some chili beans, then add a chopped onion or two depending on size, and add other spiced or other tings that are good in chili. It is season to taste. If I can’t eat it, I’m not wasting money. I got canned beans to make it quicker. For the beans and other ingredients and a few other groceries, I spent over $60 to get ready to make it for Sunday, when my son, David, and his girlfriend, Cassandra come over to play.  Dang is food getting expensive.

I can remember when bread was four loaves for a dollar and when it went up to three loaves for a dollar, it was a big deal. Especially for a family with growing boys.

I also make homemade corn bread to go with it. YUM!

Chili will fit right in, there are in the midst of a battle with some Kobolds and they have a scroll with several Stinking Cloud spells….  :/

Busy Weekend

I have plans to play with my oldest son and his girlfriend again on Sunday. Plus they want me to make my nuclear chili. [NOTE: I finally wrote up the story behind that.]

My laptop is acting like the hard drive is going to fail, so adding to the preparations I need to do for Sunday, I have to have a good system backup disk and make sure all my data is backed up.

I need a new computer. I had a really nice desktop, but a few years ago during a thunderstorm, the boys didn’t unplug it like I told them and it got zapped. The hard drive is still good, but the motherboard or something got fried.

I got a laptop before that happened, but now the laptop is a few years old, it came with Win7, so it’s not that old, but hard drives fail.

I have other older computer about, but all with WinXP, which is not secure, and I need to get online. One of them dual boot Linux, but it is still an old and slow computer.

I fired up an old Dell desktop I got used and the CMOS battery is old, perhaps shot and it won’t boot. I can’t find my Knoppix boot disk, so I’m downloading a new one, but the latest version is not online yet….

I have another old desktop with WinXP, but it doesn’t want to boot.

I have another old desktop that I think is WinXP, it will be the next one I try after I see if I can get these others working. It may just be cards have wiggled lose and need to be re-seated.

I used to work on computers on the side and picked up a few spares. only two are old computers we used regularly.

I think it’s time to make sure I’ve got all the hard drives and scrap some old PCs. It will make a lot more room around here. At least I finally have a couple of flat panel monitors so it doesn’t generate so much heat in the warm months.

I am hoping to get something functional so I can avoid buying a new computer for a while.

Ah well, the best laid plans.

I am making such great headway on knocking off my debt. I’m only two years from only having a mortgage. I hit the big 5 – 0 in September, so I’d really like to have my debt dwindling faster and my savings growing even faster.

Anyway, if I go dark online for a bit, you’ll know why.

I hope I don’t I really want to keep playing in my regular online AD&D game on Wednesdays. It’s a blast and most of us are ready to train for third level, but we want to wrap up a dungeon that has a time limit before we can’t get at it easily.

Well, my Knoppix image is about half way. Time to get out my computer tool set. I need some new tools because the dog chewed up my case and some of the plastic tools and rubber handles…. I just remembered that happened a couple years ago when she was younger. UGH….

The Good Guys Are Not Stupid Wimps

Rick Stump over at Don’t Split the Party has an excellent article:

Good Isn’t Stupid, or weak, or nice.

Paladins don’t have to be simple, weak minded, naive fools. They can have depth and edges to them that makes them both interesting and far from an easy kill.

They should be a threat to evil and a threat to anyone who stands in their way.

Just as the evil villain is a threat to the forces of good.

Any DM who allows paladins, and any player who has, is, or wants to play a paladin should read this.

How Many Hours of Daylight?

Recently in play, the question came up of when does it get dark?

I had to make up something.

It happened to be early summer in the game, so I could use the approximate times from this time of year.

However, time progresses quickly in the game, so it is now mid-Autumn, so there is less daylight. When the players are running around outside, the amount of light tends to be important. Rather than make something up on the fly and it be radically inconsistent with past rulings, I built a chart for use at the game table.

I have put together a sunrise/sunset and hours of daylight for each day on my game calendar – Calendar And Random Generation.

I use twelve months with twenty-eight days for simplicity of generating random date. This is a game, so it does no have to have total verisimilitude with reality, just enough to make sense.

Google is your friend for esoteric information, but I wanted a chart I could print out for the game table and have ready without having to have my tablet or laptop available.

I picked a location that was in a temperate zone analogous to the current area in use in my campaign. I looked for sunrise and sunset times for Spring and Autumnal Equinoxes and Winter and Summer Solstices. I then determined how many days were between each and the difference in times between each and determined the number of seconds sunrise and sunset was earlier or later depending on the season. In reality, there is not exactly 59 seconds earlier sunrise each day, but again, this isn’t reality.

Of course, closer to the poles have more light certain times of year. I don’t know the formula but each degree of latitude N/S is approximately 69 miles for an Earth-sized planet. You can add or subtract minutes to the rise and set times based on the formula. I am sure Google has it. Based on Sturgis, MI and Kansas City, MO being about 2.7 degrees apart, the Spring Equinox sunrise time in Kansas City, MO is about 24 minutes earlier than Sturgis, MI. Sunset the same day is thus also earlier in KC. It is close enough to a 24 minute difference on the Autumnal Equinox and the Solstices, that one can extrapolate about an 8 minute difference for every 69 miles north or south. If you want to get fancier with your own calculations that’s cool. If you want a table for a world that is messier and more like reality, that’s your choice. I made the choice to spend as little time on this as possible at the table.

I have shared a PDF of my efforts – Sunrise & Sunset Times.

Free RPG Day Haul – 2014

As I posted yesterday, Free RPG Day 2014 – Tomorrow!, I stopped by my FLGS*, Fanfare Sports & Entertainment, and picked up another 1st Edition Player’s Handbook with the Trampier cover. It is in excellent condition – Not sure I want to use it at the table. I also picked up a Fiend Folio and have “completed” the re-build of my original collection, which was damaged with much loss in the great water damage incident. See, Day 7: First D&D Product you ever bought. Do you still have it?, and About, for details.

I snagged both of them for about the price as back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. With tax, I got both for $30.72. I don’t think I could do that via eBay or other online retailers. I definitely avoided the wait, and worry about the package getting left in the weather.

A few weeks ago I got a new complete DM Screen with the Trampier art. So now my physical collection is “complete”. I have the Legends & Lore, which replaced Dieties & Demigods. I had one of the original Dieties & Demigods with Cthulhu and Melnibone, but it too, was lost in the water damage incident.

I have a nearly complete PDF collection, but the Unearthed Arcana is not available in PDF. I don’t know if it ever was back before WotC pulled them. I think it was, and because I had the book, I did not get it. Some have bad things to say about Unearthed Arcana. I only use some of the stuff from it. I don’t like all the new classes, for example. I like some of the spells, but not cantrips. The great thing about RPGs is that one never has to use whole cloth for anything. One can pick and choose for what works for them.

*NOTE: See my Acronym and Terminology List, for the definition of FLGS.

World War Z

I finally saw World War Z on Netflix last night.

I enjoyed it. It felt a little rushed and some of it had the good guys missing clues from the zombies.

I didn’t know the movie was based on a book until the movie came out. I have not read the book, but there is a new twist on why the zombies attack.

I won’t post spoilers or give it away. It has drama and tension. It does a good job of making sense of some of it that helps with the suspension of disbelief.

If you’ve seen the previews, you know they are the fast zombies. I don’t like that idea. Must be because I’m a grumpy grognard who likes things the right way.

After I got done with the movie it said I might like the uncut version that is two minutes longer. Sigh…

Why can’t they let you know they have a longer version BEFORE you watch the shorter version. Not sure I want to watch it again right away.

Movies I Want to See

“Real Life” keeps getting in the way of movies.

The last new release I saw was Godzilla and I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if I had not heard the “review” on NPR the day of release. A review doesn’t tell the movie, it explains it. If I did a review paper for school, way back when, I would have gotten a poor grade. The movie was more true to the original Godzilla movies of my youth.

Before that, I saw Captain America, Winter Soldier. I also enjoyed that.

Anyway, the list…

  • Maleficent
  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Amazing Spider Man II
  • Edge of Tomorrow

I have too many other activities and interests. I own a home with a yard and have a dog. All supported by my full time job.

Most of my leisure time has been directed at playing D&D with my son and his girlfriend on weekends. We have had 5 sessions, I think? It has been a lot of fun. We had to cancel last weekend, but so far, we are on for Sunday! I can’t wait.