Sunday, 2 April 2017

A-to-Z 2017

Well, it's April 2.

I considered the A-to-Z challenge. Mulled over topics. Then it was today.

The greatest pull away from the challenge this year was something that I drafted a post about, but realized I didn't have the full context, so I opted not to publish. That something is what I'll call the decentralization, and eventual dissolution, of the challenge. 

What I have been able to tease out of the post on the A-to-Z website is the challenge became too unwieldy to administer. The challenge peaked at over 2000 registered participants in 2014 (with a bell like curve starting to show in declining numbers since 2014). The organizers blew up the registration list and advocate for FB, twitter, and hashtags. The attempt then becomes a chore for participants to engage in tag hunts on diverse platforms.

Without central list, the value was greatly diminished for me.

I may still try to resurrect before April is out. But after six years, the A-to-Z and its luster dulled.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:13 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Thursday, 31 March 2016

On A to Z for 2016

This year for the A to Z Blogging Challenge I'll be taking an almost unified theme looking magic in the Old World of WFRP, a tabletop roleplaying game by Games Workshop.

Some magical topics have been covered in past A to Z Challenges. They are linked below for your consideration.

Some ancillary topics are sprinkled throughout the last four years (2011-2015) as well. 

Scavenger Hunt?!

Posted by caffeinated at 10:57 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 21 March 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016 Theme

I'm going to be back at it for 2016.

2015 ended a bit rough for me. My brother passed after a war with cancer and I didn't return to my blog for some time. No one probably noticed. Long periods often go by on ACD where nothing gets posted.


As every year before, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play is the theme. Each year had a sub-theme of sorts and this year I think it might have a bit of magical feel. I will visit  each school and color of magic of the Old World.

Is this short fiction?

Sort of.

I often fall back to describing WFRP with the iconic game of Dungeons & Dragons to find a common reference point. Role playing games, RPGs for short, are steeped in friendships—RPGs are foremost social games—creativity, and story telling. Many games set out to provide a setting and allow players to shape that setting in play. Often settings are presented as a fixed point in time with general ideas of world shaping political events, e.g., war (or the threat of war) or a rising evil, and the players interact in this setting changing that fix point in time, for good… mostly.

All of this setting creativity is bound by "system." Being a game and being that its main mechanic is limited only by the imagination of its players, a RPG must apply rules to introduce "friction" to the what might otherwise become who at the table first says, "I am all-powerful! My wish is your command. I am rich, handsome, and loved. I win!" Not only is that the opposite of fun, it is boring. The system is typically adjudicated by a referee, game master, or "dungeon master." The referee frames the stories and plots. So setting and system meets player creativity and impartial, hopefully, judge. 

Warhammer Fantasy Role Play is set in a 16th century Germanic-Authurian-Fantasy-Medieval world where magic is mastered by Elves and toyed with by Humans, Dwarves, and evil powers.

We'll take a journey looking at the schools of magic and possibly have a few short stories thrown in to round it all out. Buckle in.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Saturday, 12 March 2016

On Learning Kickstarter, or not enough beer for my con homies

My first Kickstarter closed unfunded on Wednesday. This is not a pity party and I don't think you want to read the narrative of such a thing anyway.

There is a tangible thing that is amazing about actually pulling the trigger on a Kickstarter and trying to bring it across the line. There are ups and downs, none more extreme than at the end. This screed is my braindump about what might have been done differently to change the outcome.

What did I kickstart? The production of a home brewed beer--"small batch craft brewing".  The goal was to fund a special beer for a small local gaming convention here in Richmond, VA. It was modestly targeted at $400.00 to "cover ingredients, ancillary expendables, rewards, and a small remittance to the artists that create the label art." 

There are a few reasons it failed. From novice mistakes in Kickstarter to larger problems with "market appeal."

Market Scope

My first problem was in the wide net cast to fund the larger boutique effort of the husband-wife home brewing collaborative of Thirsty Stone Brewing through some ambitious stretch goals. To be frank, I brought "my whole self" to the Kickstarter and looped a number of personal friends into the launch that might have not really appreciated the "local gaming con" angle or my hobby of table top role playing games (RPGs). This probably had a passive impact to most, but I did get the "What am I looking at?" from interested friends.

This scope problem influenced the structure of the rewards and by extension how I tried to appeal to a very broad audience. I was greatly influenced by those anecdotal conversations I held with friends about expanding my "backyard brewing capability." This diluted the Kickstarter focus. No single reward embodies this than the Collaborator set at $300.00. From the Kickstarter:

RVA Collaborator!
This is a unique reward level for lovers of craft brewing. At this level you are invited to collaborate with Thirsty Stone Brewing, Shannon and myself, on a unique style all your own. You will learn about small batch brewing, the risks, the challenges, as well as what goes into great brewing at the craft scale. RVA Collaborators will work with us throughout the brewing process, sampling each stage along the way through bottling or kegging.
This reward has varied delivery dates determined by backer and brewing availability. Collaborations should commit to before 12/31/2017.
* While not explicitly limited to RVA (Richmond, VA), RVA Collaborators should not be so far away as to limit participation in craft brewing. Thirsty Stone Brewing will work with RVA Collaborators on schedules. Most craft brewing will initiate on weekends and have weekend checkpoints. You will get to decide whether your collaboration is kegged or bottled. Please note the challenges of this project apply: NO lagers.
Barrels are not included at this level, so oak or bourbon barrel aging is an add-on and may be limited or restricted by external sourcing.
As an RVA Collaborator you will of course receive all the above rewards and access to all backer updates and the community, but you are also able to directly participate beyond WayneCon.

There are, in hindsight, a couple of problems with the Collaborator Reward. 

First, one Collaborator could nearly fund the Kickstarter; two would cover it. The reward description originated in personal conversations. There may be no stronger opiate than hearing from friends: "that shit sounds awesome, you're beer is great, please make me a custom beer, I'll pay you for it." WayneCon would have benefited, but the buy-in at that level became, if you did the math,  "what's in it for me?" 

That question also, at least in part, is a fault of Kickstarter. A Collaborator of course would get a custom beer brewed at that reward level, but I could not say that! Alcohol is a verboten reward. The creative wording of "You get beer!" is very hard to craft without crossing a line that would get you policed by Kickstarter.

Shipping and Promises

Then there is the first time Kickstarter mistake I made with shipping for rewards. It made the reward levels targeted at the "local gaming con" community "pinch," just a little. One planned reward was tulip beer glasses for drinking stouts and weizenbocks. These can be had pretty cheap and printed with custom art for pennies more. Calculating shipping was pretty easy, but rounded up a little to cover Kickstarter's cut of each transaction. 

My reading of the documentation suggested adding shipping would be optional, but count toward the goal. What they didn't say was it would be added to the pledge automatically. Since the glasses were targeted at the con goers, shipping was really optional: con goers could take delivery at the con. Now, I was making promises of reimbursement. There is something hollow about promises on Kickstarter, no matter the fact that I would be held accountable in a community I was very active in. I learned too late that Kickstarter supports shipping in the pledge survey. That could make the reward more palatable and allow for accurate shipping without a one-size fits all calculation.

Take a look at the Kickstarter. Your comments are welcome, if constructive. 

I learned a lot about Kickstarter by doing and failing. I'll definitely return to the platform. Maybe I'll reboot the effort. There's still time to brew a Weizenbock.

Posted by caffeinated at 6:06 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 3 February 2014

WFRP A to Z 2014

I just signed up for Blogging A to Z 2014. 26 entries about WFRP.

This will be my fourth year and I'm already combing my bookshelf and online resources for each day's topic. I'm currently leaning toward something wholly unique and personal for 2014: my Warhammer Fantasy Role Play campaigns. The player characters, the NPCs, the locations, and the canon I have built in my games.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:24 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

April Referral Search Round Up

I always promise myself to do one of these entries a month as I like seeing what brings people to Another Caffeinated Day.

No question that Warhammer Fantasy Role Play is a big draw. But there is the occasional "What the Fuck?" that is at both times literal and ironic.

Last month, ACD ranks number 5 and 6 for Google searches for "ben 10 bestiality fanfic". That's right, proof you can find, at least look for, anything on the internet. I admit that fan fiction where in a teenage boy with an oversized Timex is paired with ... beasts is disturbing. Yet I wonder, having seen the cartoon, but never read such fan fiction, could the pairings be some sort of self gratification as well?

Top Ten April 2013 Searches

  1. inns of the empire
  2. fantasy inn names
  3. another caffeinated day wiki
  4. anothercaffeinatedday
  5. ben 10 bestiality fanfic
  6. business names for fantasy establishments
  7. expansion for scwcd
  9. inn generator wfrp
  10. inns of the empire generator

Posted by caffeinated at 4:00 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 15 April 2013

13 down, 13 to go

Having fun yet with Blogging A-to-Z? I'm enjoying it a lot.

Have you seen the following Warhammer Fantasy Role Play blogs also participating?

I want to thank Gwen from YA Fiction Author for dropping by and leaving a comment on a career, or two. 

I like comments. I also like pingbacks if your blog platform supports them.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:18 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Don't miss out on the Larry Elmore Kickstarter

Larry Elmore's Kickstarter for The Complete Elmore Artbook ends in 4 days. Have you pledged yet? If not, consider doing so soon.

At $49 you'll get the 304 page coffee table book, six (6) prints of his most iconic works, the Basic, Expert and Companion D&D box art pieces and the original Dragonlance trilogy covers (Autumn, Winter and Spring) and a 64+ page soft back sketch book. For another $25 to your pledge, you'll get an original Elmore dragon sketch!

There is no question that Larry Elmore's art was significantly influencing to the RPG hobby and its ancillary works. The Red Box barbarian (anachronistic horned helm and fur loin cloth included) charging the dragon in his hold, the gold hoard just reward for the bravery, captured my imagination out of the gate.

Needless to say, I'm very excited about this Kickstarter and equally excited about its success!

Posted by caffeinated at 6:08 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Friday, 11 May 2012

Leaving one, returning to another

Resigned today from my current position with my employer.

I don't know why I was so nervous, I know exactly why I did it and where I was going next, my former employer. I'm very excited about the move.

However, handing my resignation over to my manager was nerve wracking. I think because I like the guy, but really think his ego and his project are awfully out of sync.

Anyway... the next three weeks will be liberating, if only a little uncomfortable in the transition. The project has a lot of fail written on it and getting away from it is important. So all is good, I remain gainfully employed and I'm going someplace where I'm valued and I know a lot of people.
Posted by caffeinated at 8:18 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Underwhelmed by iTunes Beatles announcement

As an Apple fanboi, color me "underwhelmed" by the announcement that the Beatles catalog is now on iTunes.

But you say, "It's a historic moment." Yeah, if you think that a settlement in a decades old law suit about the ownership of a company name is historic. I guess if your a trademark or copyright lawyer its historic.

How many ways do you need to own the White album? Haven't you already ripped your copy to your iTunes library?
Posted by caffeinated at 3:10 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Burning Land

Bernard Cornwell has a new title in his Saxon Stories series of historical novels that piques my interest, The Burning Land.

The WSJ reviewed it this weekend and I got chills, thinking, "right up my alley." Fodder for grim and perilous gaming in the Old World me thinks.

Here's a link to the WSJ review by Tom Shippey, A Saxon War Story: Imagining the Battle for England as Vikings neared conquest.
Posted by caffeinated at 4:02 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Keep Circulating the Tapes

I just shipped my aging collection of MST3K, sold via eBay.

I didn't make anything. It wasn't a collector's collection, more like a collection for a collector that wanted a "watching copy." The hoped for bidding war did not occur, but I made sure to cover shipping.

The collection included these classics and all the nostalgic TV commercials from the 90s you could shake a stick it:
  1. Tormented
  2. Indestructible Man
  3. Hercules vs. The Moon Men
  4. She Creature
  5. Giant Spider Invasion
  6. Parts: The Clonus Horror
  7. Terror From the Year 5000
  8. Leech Woman
  9. I Was A Teenage Werewolf
  10. The Mole People
  11. Horror of Party Beach
  12. The Thing That Couldn't Die
  13. The Beatniks
  14. Girls Town
  15. Crash of the Moons
  16. Magic Sword
  17. Hercules and the Captive Women
  18. Manhunt in Space
  19. Teenagers From Outer Space
  20. Being From Another Planet
  21. Attack of the Killer Leeches
  22. Incredible Melting Man
  23. Alien From L.A.
  24. Giant Gila Monster
  25. This Island Earth (Movie)
My wife promised to refresh the collection with the DVDs now available. Here's to keeping the fire... and keeping the fire to "circulate the tapes."
Posted by caffeinated at 10:51 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


I treated myself to a humidor and cigar sampler today.

In the past I have enjoyed the occasional cigar. Now, I can enjoy some more. And keep some handy in the 20 cigar humidor.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:46 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Sunday, 29 November 2009

100 Pots of ...

The subtitle of ACD is "100 Pots of Coffee". The suggestion at the time was that I would post something for 100 days, or until I ran out of the pack of coffee filters I had just started on.


2010 promises to be different. For ACD certainly.

Lots of distractions have decimated ACD blogging time. I'm the lead steward of the open source project that is the engine driving this blog. My work as a Web Application Architect for an international "old money" bank. Family. Holidays.

All of these things are also huge demands on my game time. I think that bothers me a lot. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 8:20 PM in Bohemian Breakfast