Zephyrus of the Anemoi

.the ramblings of a radman.

The emotional weight of Ted Lasso

My wife and I have watched much of the content on Apple TV+ since it launched, and have liked most of it. See was a bit far-fetched, but has such a fun concept that suspension of disbelief is pretty easy. Plus, the action sequences are incredibly choreographed. The Morning Show was also pretty great, if a little predictable at times. It wasn’t until Little Voice came out that I was really sucked in by a show on the service, thanks to the incredible music and ensemble of new and burgeoning talent.

But I was wholly unprepared for Ted Lasso.

For those that don’t remember, Ted Lasso was a character created for a series of NBC Sports promos in 2013 to advertise the Premier League coming to the network. The premise is that of a Kansas football coach (the American kind) getting hired to coach football (the rest-of-the-world kind) in England. Of course, he knows nothing of the sport and hilarity ensues. As soon as I heard they were making a show, I was sold. I didn’t care if it was going to be possible to make the show good or not. I just wanted to enjoy Jason Sudeikis playing a goofball on my TV. Worst case scenario, I’ll have a few laughs and the show will get canceled.

What I did not expect was a heartfelt, character-driven dramedy that takes the time to give all the major players (and several minor ones) their own story arc that showed growth and change for them all. What I did not expect was to hear inspirational quotes from a fictional coach that made me want to get out on that pitch and make him proud of me. What I did not expect was for numerous moments in the series to move me to tears.

Here’s the thing: I’m not afraid to feel things. I get choked up in the theater all the time. The hero moment at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy still gives me goosebumps and I have to get a speck of dirt out of my eye every time. I still get choked up when Gandalf and Boromir died in Fellowship of the Ring (SPOILERS). “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I—” absolutely wrecked me and my wife had to console me while I bawled like a baby in the theater. So, it’s not surprising that a show manages to make me feel something. Catharsis is why I became an actor in college. It’s why I still care so deeply about quality storytelling. But all that aside, I started “Ted Lasso” expecting some fish-out-of-water oddball comedy and Sudeikis and Hunt snuck in and under my radar to deliver a heartwarming tale with the most optimistic, generous, and kind-hearted protagonist in a long time.

I just finished my first rewatch of the show on Monday night (the series’ first season wrapped up on Friday) and I found so much more to love the second time ’round. I really hope that the next season continues to build on the foundation they’ve started, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Roy Kent.

If you have Apple TV+ and you haven’t started it yet, you should. And if you don’t have Apple TV+, it’s worth a month (or free trial) just to watch this show. Please give it a viewing or three and, when you’re finished, be a goldfish.

Also, if you have Apple Music, you should totally check out the playlists from this show. They are both fantastic.

Music From 'Ted Lasso' Ted’s Locker Room Jams

So, if you’re looking for something to watch, want to rep KC, or just need a reminder that a show about hope doesn’t have to be satire, check it out. And until season 2:

Onward. Forward.

#RichmondTilWeDie

From the estate of Jared Cash, exhibit 2

We are continuing our exploration of the artifacts retrieved from the estate of Jared Cash. Our latest exhibit appears to be from his printmaking years, which were largely experimental. Much of his work in this time period is largely abstract. This is one of very few pieces that depict clearly a figure, that of an archer.

‘Archer, disconfigured’, ca. 2002, Jared Cash

Though the figure is partially deconstructed and jumbled, the piece quite clearly depicts an archer nocking an arrow and drawing back to fire. Who is this archer? What is his foe? What deeper meaning exists beneath the surface of this print?

Scholars have long wondered at the history of Cash’s childhood, before the Reckoning began and we came to understand him as a figure of great renown. Before his rise to prominence, little is known of the man. Some believe the fire he revealed during the Reckoning was exhibited in his childhood, which we hope to discover here with our continued foray into his earlier works.

Linoleum block used to create the ‘Archer, disconfigured’ print above

One thing is certain, however. The answers we seek may be lost to time entirely. With the apparent demise of Jared Cash and the destruction of his estate at the hands of extremists, only those artifacts recovered from the rubble and in the hands of private collectors are left to grant us insight into the history of the Archon.

From the estate of Jared Cash, exhibit 1

For the public record, I will be photographing and sharing items recovered from the estate of Jared Cash. As this is a matter of public interest, these items will be presented sometimes without explanation. Determination of value of these exhibits is ongoing, but all works will be considered priceless until otherwise noted.

‘Printmaking assignment foam block’, ca. 2002, Jared Cash

Little is known of Cash’s artistic endeavours during his tenure at Graceland University, but we do have a rare specimen here, indeed. Records from before the Reckoning are incomplete, but it is believed this carving was for the high school Cash attended, as writings have indicated his early life in an unnamed farming community in Kansas. Additional research into the location and history of Smallville, Kansas is ongoing.

Trapped inside? Buy cool† stuff!

†Stuff may or may not actually be cool, but since cool is subjective, I’ll let you decide.

Years ago, I found a couple websites for buying unique iPhone cases with art from artists all over the Internet. Love Ninja Turtles but hate that you can’t find a good iPhone case with them on it? Don’t worry, it’s out there.

For the last several years, I’ve used Society6 and Redbubble to also sell some of my own photos that I find to be just the right level of kitschy. Recently, a friend of mine mentioned her store which made me realize I hadn’t added anything new in a few years. So, I dusted off my photo library and got to work adding some of my favorite shots to it.

So now, if you have always wanted a duvet cover with the Kansas City skyline on it, I’ve got you covered. Wish you had a bath mat featuring a blurry photo of some trees in the mist? Here you go. Love computers so much you’ve always wanted a coaster set with close up photos of a circuit board on it? Neither have I, but I made some for you anyway!

Okay, but enough of the ridiculous stuff. You can buy almost anything for your home on this site and find tons of great photographs and artworks on them. Maybe your walls are looking exceptionally bare now that you’re trapped in your home with nowhere to go. What better way to liven it up than to put art on your walls that reminds you of all the places you love and can never go visit again?!

If this sounds exciting to you, check out my portfolios at Society6 and Redbubble to see what they’ve got.

And if you just want to see some of my favorite photos, you can check those out here. If you see something you’d love to buy on a mug or a shower curtain (because why not?), let me know and I’ll be happy to throw it up there, just for you.

Fix for connecting to Mac file shares from Windows 10 via SMB

Saving this here, because the site where I used to personally access this data (technocreativo.com) when needed appears to have gone online. Fortunately, I found a copy on the Internet Archive and was able to extract all the necessary info from it.

While Apple has eliminated a number of features from their macOS Server software over the years, there are still a number of instances where using a Mac as a file server in a Windows-friendly environment is necessary. Unfortunately, those using a Windows computer to connect to the Mac file server often face connection issues due to some out-of-the-box security and communication incompatibilities between the two systems.

If you need to get a Windows computer connected to a Mac file server quickly, these tweaks below will solve the problem.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Press the Windows key and “R” together on the keyboard and enter secpol.msc in the run dialogue.

Navigate to Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options.

Find Network Security: LAN Manager Authentication Level, and set it to Send NTLMv2 response only.

Finally, ensure that Network Security: Minimum session security for NTLM SSP Based (including secure RPC) Clients is set to Require 128-bit encryption.

You may need to restart your computer for these changes to take effect, but once they do, you should have no trouble connecting to your Mac server from Windows 10.

My unsung hero in a moment of crisis

When future generations read this post, they’ll need some context about what we’re facing, so this paragraph here isn’t for any of you reading it today. It’s for time travelers and historians. I write this during a time of uncertainty on planet Earth: the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m not writing about the pandemic. There will be plenty of far smarter individuals that will have much more to say about it than I. Instead, I want to talk about my hero during this moment. You see, I’m not one of the people who suddenly found themselves holed up at home with copious amounts of free time (a curse, more than a blessing, for most). If anything, I find myself busier than ever trying to assist others with setting up contingency plans for working from home. As a result, my wife has been pulling extra duty as caretaker around here.

If you’ll permit me a moment, I want to brag on her for a bit. Before the toilet paper began disappearing from shelves, she quietly made note of what supplies we needed at home to disinfect and self-quarantine, if necessary. She picked up the essentials and a few extra items to make sure we were covered, but not hoarding. She organized our food stores, took the kids for walks, encouraged them to play outside, read them books, and basically took care of everything while I spent most of the last 3 days in the basement trying to help people figure out how to work in a place never meant for their work.

And through everything, she’s been cheerful, though concerned and occasionally overwhelmed by it all. But today, she ran back out to the store—not for us but for others unable to do the same. She picked up some staples for a pregnant friend and some toilet paper for an elderly man in a nursing home whose granddaughter is in Texas and knew he just needed something to ease his mind. She checked on everyone to ask if they needed anything and has been reaching out to others that might need a friendly voice to feel safe.

So, I just want to say how impressed I am by this incredible hero of mine. She does so much more than she needs to do and does so with joy in her heart. I wish we were all just a bit more like her.

Targets can be killed in their sleep in D&D: prove me wrong

A topic of conversation that regularly comes up in the various D&D communities in which I’m involved is that of attacking an adversary that is sleeping. The argument breaks down into two camps: those that believe the sleeper can only be immediately killed if the attacker can deliver enough damage to the sleeping target to reduce its hit points to zero and those that believe a sleeping target can’t defend itself, therefore guaranteeing the player can deliver a killing blow.

As always, I recommend leaving the decision up to the Dungeon Master, but I feel that the underlying argument comes down to one of a misunderstanding as to what hit points are meant to represent. Here’s my attempt to quickly summarize my interpretation of hit points in D&D (and specifically, how I try to utilize them in the games that I run).

Hit points aren’t really a measure of a character’s blood loss or anything so specific as how much damage you’ve taken physically. Instead, they are the numerical component of a mechanic used to negotiate contested combat. Did you, Cordric the Magnificent, hack-and-slash your way through a dungeon full of baddies to arrive at the inner sanctum of the vile Rippah the Malevolent with only 5 HP left? You’re not physically holding your entrails in your body through sheer force of will. You’re just worn out and beat up and could make a mistake that allows someone to slip past your guard and deal a fatal blow at any time.

Sure, you’ve probably been cut here or there, particularly that time Ashford the Axe rolled a nat 20 two rooms back and hit you for 33 damage. But Ash didn’t bury a hatchet in your back and leave you clinging to life. He just landed a blow that cut deep enough to distract you. Sure, if you don’t tend to it soon, it will be a problem, but you’re not in danger of bleeding out in seconds. Instead, you’re distracted, in pain, and struggling to maintain the upper hand.

So what does that have to do with attacking a sleeping adversary?

Let’s presume for the moment that you’re the DM. In the most common scenario, a sleeping NPC isn’t in combat. You haven’t rolled initiative, and your player is likely sneaking into their adversary’s camp. At this point, if you want to allow Francis the Forgiving to die in his sleep, you can. If you don’t, then you should come up with a reason why they don’t. Only ask for a roll if you want their death to be contested. It doesn’t even have to be a combat roll. In this particular case, rolling the player’s Stealth vs. the NPC’s Passive Perception would be my recommended option. You can even give the NPC disadvantage what with the visit to Nodsville and all. Not all deaths in D&D have to be the result of rolled damage. Mix it up a bit. Do what works best for the story you’re trying to tell.

And remember, the rules exist to help everyone have a good time, but the beauty of being a Dungeon Master is that—sometimes—you get to rewrite the rules to make sure everyone has a good time.

Besides, it’s really important to remind the players that if they can do it, so can the monsters. 😈

“Overheard” at the Father-Daughter Dance

J: That’s just a bun, that’s not a sandwich.

A: You’re not a sandwich.

J: No, I’m a manwich.

A: You’re a man witch?

J: Yep. See, I can make this mac & cheese disappear.

(J proceeds to eat mac & cheese)

A: That’s not magic.

J: It’s slow magic.

I don’t think she believes me…

J: Ready to dance until you drop?

A: I’m ready to dance until you drop, ’cause…

J: ‘Cause what?

A: ‘Cause you’ll drop first.

J: Why? Because I’m so old?

A: Probably.

She is right. I am old.

An annoying political post from October

I wrote this back in October (I think it was actually a response on someone’s Facebook post) and copied it here to post later. But, of course, I never did. However, I came across it today and, it’s still relevant. I know the idea that the fighting and name-calling and unceasing selfishness may never end, but I have to believe that we are better than this. Remember: there are more of US than there are of THEM. And the only THEM we should ever acknowledge as OTHER are those in power forcing us to fight each other so that they can get rich and do whatever they want.

∞∞∞

For a poll to be effective, it has to use a large enough sample size, randomly selected. It’s the same methodology that stores use when they ask you for your zip code or address. They’re trying to determine where their shoppers are coming from to determine if they need to open another store closer to their base.

It’s also how drug testing works. Test on a large enough sample and you can get an idea as to the effectiveness and severity of side effects.

Just because you’ve never been polled doesn’t mean anything. Most people don’t answer surveys by phone or mail because they don’t want to be bothered.

That said, polls can be manipulated just like any statistic. On the flip side, just because a poll disagrees with your (the royal “your”, not any specific “your”) viewpoint and you don’t know anyone else that was polled (again, royal “you”), doesn’t mean the poll is incorrect. It’s natural to be in the minority on a particular subject and still feel like the majority because we tend to surround ourselves with people that think like we do.

It’s why herd mentality and groupthink are so effectively dangerous. We’re too busy fighting against “the other team” to figure out what we have in common and work toward that. It’s how our political system has divided us for decades to allow corporate interests to supersede personal interests. Our country has always been a democracy fighting against its own innate nature to transition to an oligarchy. But most people are too stupid or too easily distracted to fight those pulling the strings. They’d rather righteously declare themselves “correct” than admit that the side they’ve chosen doesn’t care about them at all.

« Older posts