.the ramblings of a radman.

Category: A Day in the Life (Page 1 of 10)

Guess it’s time to reroll all my characters

I didn’t want to cancel my D&D Beyond Subscription, but I really feel like I have no other choice but to vote with my wallet.

I held off on this until I knew I could get my characters saved. I don’t know where I go next. I’m looking for tools that will work as seamlessly as D&D Beyond, but even if I can’t find one, I just can’t support Hasbro or Wizards of the Coast at this time.

I want to keep my campaign alive, but I can’t do it in a way that funds this greed. I was really looking forward to D&D Beyond’s upcoming VTT, but I guess I’m going to FoundryVTT, now. Or just back to pencil & paper.

On the bright side, I guess I have an excuse to check out a new system. I’ve always wanted to give Warhammer Fantasy RPG a try, and there are a ton of great options out there with a heavier focus on role-playing and faster combat.

And I guess the world I’ve been building will one day adopt a different open license, instead.

No One Rides the Bus for Free

For Halloween this year, my wife came up with the idea to “reverse Trick-or-Treat” our neighbors, so we dressed up tiny liquor bottles as ghosts and carried them around to share. I decided I also wanted to take a Bluetooth speaker and a travel mug full of mulled cider with me, which meant I was going to be literally short-handed.

So, to make sure I could carry everything with us, I pulled out the stroller and started pushing it along, sans kids. Of course, it didn’t take long before the children decided they didn’t need to walk anywhere, because there was a perfectly good stroller just not being used for anything. The first time they climbed aboard, I let it slide (because I’m a pretty nice dad and uncle). But, the second time a child decided they didn’t want to walk, I figured I’d make sure they really wanted that ride (plus, I wanted them to be on their own feet as much as possible).

I told them they could only ride the bus if they paid the toll: the candy toll, that is. My nephews didn’t even hesitate. My youngest joined in as soon as he saw his cousins doing it. And I started stuffing my pockets full of goodies. Every time they got off the stroller, they paid me as soon as they got back. Multiple times they would get off for one house and pay me their just-earned goodies as they climbed back on.

As the night went on, the pocket of my hoodie was overflowing, so my wife said I should use the empty “ghost liquor” bucket.

All I’m saying is that I probably earned more Halloween candy than most parents ever have and all I had to do was something I was going to do for free anyway. Pro tip, parents: charge your kids to be lazy. It pays dividends.


This morning, my Clay app suggested I “reconnect” with a rather surprising email address: a long-defunct Google Group I setup for the Apple Stores in Kansas City to use as a social organization tool to plan group events, share news and info, or otherwise connect with our peers. When I left the store, the membership of the group stagnated and grew stale, as did its use (I didn’t know the new people to add to the group, and no one else seemed interested in maintaining the group).

Eleven years ago, two years after the group’s creation, it stopped being used. Until today, I had forgotten it existed (honestly, when I got the notification today, I assumed it had been shut down by Google). I was surprised to discover that it’s still out there, sitting dormant (much like some of the friendships I made at Apple).

I look back fondly on those years as some of the most enjoyable of my life. The people I worked with remain some of the most dear to me. I wish life hadn’t dragged us so far apart, but I’m grateful I can remain connected with some of them in various ways.

Anyway, for those interested, the Clay app is a personal CRM I use that runs on my iPhone and Mac and connects with various social media accounts and emails to help me manage personal connections. I prefer it just for helping me remember birthdays and to be mindful of relationships that need rekindled. My ADHD means that a long-dormant friendship feels just as fresh as the day it started, so there are a lot of friendships needing rekindled. It has been really helpful in managing those relationships I sometimes forget need attention. I highly recommend it.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a long-forgotten group chat or relationship or two, as well.

Hold my peas

Last week, my wife decided to have an emergency appendectomy.

Okay, “decided” isn’t really the right word. And technically, the appendectomy was this week, but the whole ordeal started last week. It’s a long story, but that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today. Today’s story is about a circumstance that only occurred because she had surgery.

On Friday, two days after my wife got out of the hospital, I had a vasectomy performed. Knowing full well that we would both be unable to lift anything, sprint after children, or be generally capable of more than lounging for a couple days, we smartly stayed home and did nothing.

Shortly before dinner, my wife decided she wanted ice cream—in her words, as a “reward for doing nothing all day and taking a nap”—so we decided to go to Sonic for treats after dinner. We loaded up the toddler, my daughter, and ourselves into the car to go get her “reward”.

While waiting for our ice cream, my toddler declared, “I have to go potty.” My wife, chuckled at the timing and said, “You’ll have to hold it.”

As expected, my youngest would have none of it. “I’m going to potty my seat!” came the urgent reply from the backseat.

My wife and I shared a glance. “There are some trees over there.” She tilted her head toward the opposite edge of the parking lot. I reached into my shorts to remove the bag of peas cradling my business and handed them to her. I could only imagine how it would look if I crossed the parking lot escorting my toddler with one hand, the other holding my crotch. “Hold my peas,” I requested and climbed out of the driver’s seat.

(In hindsight, I should have said, “Hold my pee peas,” but I didn’t. If you want, you can pretend that I did, since it makes me sound funnier.)

I opened the back door of the car to let my barefoot, shirtless toddler—whose chest was covered in face paint depicting a snowman—climb down from the backseat. I couldn’t lift him for at least another day, so we walked hand-in-hand across the asphalt to the bushes. He did his business with the steadfast determination of a 3-year-old that has been told he should single-handedly water all the trees in the world. Meanwhile, I’m looking around to make sure we’re not being filmed and no one is calling the police.

Mission accomplished, we begin the steady trek back to the car. He climbs back into his seat and his sister buckles him back in. All the while, Autumn is struggling to breathe and holding her incisions as tight as she dares as silent laughter rolls over her. for a brief moment, I thought we might be returning to the hospital to have her surgical glue reapplied, but she managed to recover before that bill became necessary.

So, yeah… if you’d like to know how my June is going, I hope this provides some much needed clarification.

Canadian Hug, or Mama’s Maple Mounty Mix

A few weeks ago, I created another Jumprope explaining how to make a new cocktail. But, I only just found the time to sit down and actually post it here. So, if you are looking for a way to keep yourself warm during this frigid week we’re having in the Midwest, give this a try.

As always, follow me on Jumprope to see my other tutorials or go make your own!

Dirty Chocolate Nog: a holiday coffee drink recipe

It has been around 2 years since I first downloaded Jumprope, an app for iOS and Android that allows you to quickly and easily create how-to videos and share them with the world. After several discarded drafts, I finally found a setup I liked enough to complete one. I created this recipe on a whim the other day when experimenting with a cup of coffee. I liked how it turned out, so I decided this would be my inaugural post.

If you like the way this turned out, follow me on Jumprope to see more (hopefully, as soon as I can come up with some other ideas). Or make your own and get to sharing!

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.

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.

“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.
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