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Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa brought all that you could desire. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving TurkeyI hope everyone has a fine day today. And just to show that Turkey Day is a holiday for everyone, even the big cats of Big Cat Rescue get their helping of bird:

Somehow, I don’t think there will be many leftovers tomorrow. 🙂

Flaming horse-poop!

Fire hazard?

No, someone did not feed old Dobbin jalapeños. But New York City is now known as a place where horse manure spontaneously combusts:

Environmental authorities in New York state hot and dry weather conditions caused a large pile of horse poop to spontaneously burst into flames.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said an officer responded to the town of Throop on July 5 to investigate complaints about a foul odor and smell coming from a large pile of burning horse manure.

The officer discovered the owners of a stable had been storing the horse feces in large piles. The owners said the piles had spontaneously combusted before, but previously the smells and smoke had been carried away from nearby residences by the wind.

Talk about a crappy neighborhood…

Not my tank, but you get the idea.

It’s been a little while since I’ve done an update, and that’s for a good reason: things are going swimmingly (ahem) with JJ&J’s Seafood Buffet. But I thought I’d post a couple of recent pictures.

The first is a full-tank shot. I’d done a major trimming of the Ludwigia Repens at the right rear: it had grown across the top almost to the front of the tank throwing shade. That was a couple of weeks ago, and I think it’s growing back quite nicely.

Here’s the left end. The Cardamine grows like a weed, always threatening to overshadow the Hygrophila Stricta:

And here’s the right. I think the amano shrimp like to molt within it, since I occasionally find castoff shells in front of it. You’ll also see one my (many) platy fry at the lower right:

I think I’m happiest over two things: the general health of the fish and plants, and the success I’ve had at developing the red in the alternanthera grove in the middle. Of the first part, I was afraid I’d make serious mistakes coming back to the hobby after several years away, but I seem to have avoided most. Even algae hasn’t been a major problem.

The success with the alternanthera I attribute to higher lighting thanks to the Finnex Planted+ and regular dosing with Seachem Iron. I think the only way I could do better would be to start injecting CO2.

Of the two mistakes I’ve made (that I know of), one is minor and the other is potentially serious.

The minor mistake was planting the Hygrophila in the back. I thought it would grow an inch or two higher. It’s fairly hidden where it is. I perhaps not have ordered it and just filled that whole back corner with Cardamine. Live and learn.

Potentially more serious is a decision that’s coming back to bite me: when I bought the five platys, I said “four females and one male.” Trust me, that one fry in the photo is not the only one in there. Intellectually I knew I’d get fry, but I didn’t realize just what a potential problem they’d become in a 20-gallon tank.

Oops.

So, since catching fry in a heavily planted tank is impossible without destroying the place, I’ve decided I have to give away the adult platys. I can raise the fry and remove any males that develop. Now I just have to find a local aquarist or store willing to take them. It’s a shame there isn’t an aquarium club in West Los Angeles (that I know of), since it would be nice to offer them to other members. Something has to be done soon, though.

That’s all for now!

science-clipart-life-science-clipart

Because… why not?

SCIENCE!!

clipart shrimp

Haven’t updated this in a while, because, really, there’s not been much to say: all the fish have been happy and eating like little pigs, and no more neons have died. Plants are growing well, too, though I do want to get around to setting up DIY CO2, soon.

Green hair algae is threatening to become a problem. It’s appearing in clumps on the driftwood. In small amounts, it’s actually pleasing, but I can see where it will get out of hand. It’s even sprouting from the gravel. I’ve been testing Nualgi to see how it does at algae control, but, so far (3-4 weeks) I’m not seeing much effect. Others rave about it, though.

Also started running Purigen in the AC50. My goodness, what a difference that has made in the water clarity!

So, anyway, I picked up four more neons from the same store to bring my school to 11, plus five amano shrimps, all from nature Aquarium in Santa Monica. They have great fish and plants there. My new fish are currently in their bags acclimating. (After floating the bags to let the temperature equalize, I’m adding 10ml of tank water to the bags every five minutes for an hour before releasing them.) I can’t wait to try to get the shrimps out. (That was sarcasm, folks) I suspect it will be the “pour into a net” method.

Anyway, here’s a pic of my new aquatic cockroaches waiting patiently:

Bugs, Mr, Rico! Five of them!!

Also, a full tank shot from this morning. The plants are going to get a trimming this weekend or next:

Needs a trim.

The last acquisition for the tank will be a small shoal (5-6) of corydoras habrosus, if I can find any around here. Haven’t seen them yet.

Still have to figure out where the next aquarium goes. Oh yes, there’s always a next one. 😀

Neon Tetra

I had a day off from work today, so I decided to catch a Lyft to Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica. Best selection of fish and plants on the West Side, with some species you never see in the big-box stores.

Anyway, I wanted to get some neon tetras to replace those that died (six out of seven within the first week!) from the batch I bought at Petco a few weeks ago. The one lone survivor looked lonely, and neons are a species that likes to be in schools of at least five.

So, I bought them and, after some initial confusion as the Lyft driver tried to find me (your GPS needs work, guys), I brought them home. After an hour of floating in the tank in their bag and then gradually adding tank water to the bag to acclimatize them, out they went into their new home. Amusing moment: checking on the new arrivals as they waited in their bag, I noticed the one neon in the tank was hanging around, trying to school with them. 🙂

Here’s some video of them all hanging out:

 

And, let me tell you, trying to net from a plastic bag half-inch fish who are scrambling to avoid the EVIL NET THING(tm) is not fun. I think I was as stressed by it as they.

But, they’re now in their new home exploring happily. Fingers crossed these last longer than the last bunch.

Xiphophorus maculatus

One more!

I was just thinking I hadn’t done an aquarium update in a while, and then that there really wasn’t much new news, when I found this little guy dashing out for food this evening as I fed my fish:

Sorry the video is so weak, but he spends most of his time hiding from the “big fish” in amongst the plants. I don’t think he realizes he’s too big too eat, now. (And, since he’s the only young’un, I suspect there were others that were eaten. So, hiding can be a Good Thing(tm).

From his size, I’d say he was born a few days ago and has been surviving eating algae and other bits. I think he has a good chance of making it to full size, since the tank it way under-stocked right now, and conditions are good.

While getting livebearers to breed is no great accomplishment (there are never just two guppies…), this still makes me feel good. I must be doing something right. 😀

Neon Tetra

Well, shoot. Since bringing my new seven new neons home on the first, three of them have died. One I never found, the other I found the remains of (ew…), and one I found floating right after I got home tonight.

Granted they’re only fish less than an inch long, but it’s still a bit distressing. First, of course, because aquarium keepers pride themselves on taking care of their pets, and I’ve had these for less than a week. Secondly, it’s annoying because I bought these at Petco for $1.49 apiece, when they were cheaper at a nearby dedicated fish store. Also, the Petco tank had several dead tetras in it when I bought them, and I never buy fish from a tank with more than one dead fish in it. But, they were larger than the ones at the Local Fish Store (LFS), and I got points for the purchase… sigh.

I broke my own rule and got punished for it. Never again.

Overall, this Petco (and the other nearby one on Westwood) have good fish sections, so I’m not really blaming them. Perhaps they got a bad batch. But the multiple deaths should have been a red flag that something was wrong in that tank.

Meanwhile, the other four seem to be fine, and the platys that I got from that same Petco are hale and hearty.

In case your curious, I tested my water and it’s fine: no ammonia, no nitrites, and minimal nitrates. I’ve heard neons can be delicate when first introduced to a tank, so I’m putting the deaths down to that. Hopefully, the other four survive. I plan to get some more (from a different store!) this weekend: I still want a school of seven to nine. With that many, they instinctively school. It’s a pretty sight.

Haven’t done a tank update in a while, but I just added some new fish, so I guess it’s a good time.

Picked up a small school of seven neon tetras at Petco today. Pricier than the nearby LFS, but, to be honest, these looked healthier. Anyway, here they are enjoying their new home:

One of them tried to end it all by leaping out of the net as I was putting them in the tank. I didn’t notice he was missing for about a minute. Found him on the mat in front of the tank, quickly realized my fingers were too clumsy to pick him up, so I slipped him onto an envelope. So far, he and buddies all seem to be doing fine: good color, hungry, active.

One weird note: one of the platys decided she didn’t like these new guys, and so kept chasing them. In all my years of fishkeeping, I’d never seen an aggressive platy. I finally distracted them with some crushed flake food, and now everyone seems to play well.

Here’s the latest full tank shot:

I honestly did not realize how dirty that front glass was until I took the photo.

The plants are mostly doing well. The alternanthera is developing a good red color at its top now that I’ve started dosing iron, and the ludwigia repens is putting out new plants. Both may need trimming soon. Here’s a shot of the alternanthera:

It’s actually redder than the pic indicates: I think the glare washed it out.

I’m a little concerned about the E. Tenellus. Both original plants have put out runners with several daughter plants, but the mother plants are looking kind of pale, even yellowing a bit:

Some sort of deficiency? Also, I trimmed the algae-laden leaves after this shot.

The plants doing best are the cardamine lyrata. Lots of new growth, good color. In fact, their trying to take over the area held by the hygrophila stricta:

I regularly have to trim it back so the hygrophila gets some light. (You see some of it floating in the full tank shot. I hope to use the clippings in a new tank.)

And speaking of the h. stricta, while it has good color and lots of new leaves, I’m surprised it hasn’t grown. I had expected it to reach to 4-6 inches. Instead, it’s staying low and getting bushy. But it’s also putting out new plants.

That’s it for now. Fingers crossed the neons adapt well to their new home.

With California still caught in a harsh drought, aquarists must do their part to recycle water. PeckTec shows the way:

I may have to order a case. I wonder if they have “Sunset Platy Surprise?” 

Finally. At long last, after several years without an aquarium, after weeks of cycling and letting plants take root, after going fish shopping last weekend and being disappointed, we have fish.

Meet the first new inhabitants of JJ&J’s Seafood Buffet:

JJJ Buffet 017

(Letting the temperature adjust for 30 minutes, then in they go.)

These are from one of my local Petcos where, frankly, the fish looked better and the staff were friendlier than my local tropical fish store. These were labeled “Sunset Fire Platies,” and I bought one male and four females.

They’re out of the bag, now, exploring their new home, and pooping. If fish are eating and pooping, they’re happy. After some initial signs of stress, they’re swimming around and snacking on algae. The male seemed to take the longest to adjust, hiding in the Cardamine, but he seems to be doing fine now. I’ll give them and the tank a week to adjust, then go shopping for another species next week.

On the plant front, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that I’m still getting good new growth. Here’s a snap of the Cardamine and the Hygrophila Stricta:

Cardamine in the front, Hygrophila in the back

Cardamine in the front, Hygrophila in the back

And the Echinodorus Tenellus is sending runners. Both plants have several “daughters.” In fact, I may have to “harvest” some, soon. They’re invading other plants’ spaces.

That bad news is that my lovely Marsilea Hirsuta, which had been growing like wildfire, has had a major die-off in the central portion. Here’s a recent “before” picture:

It was a great start

It was a great start

Here’s how it is today:

What happened?

What happened?

This makes me sad. 😦

At first I thought it was just old leaves dying during the transition, but even new leaves are rotting. I’m really not sure what’s happened here. I started dosing the full Seachem liquid fertilizer regime last weekend, including Excel. I’ve heard of other plants that have a problem with Excel, but I’ve not read of Marsilea being one of them. Maybe they’re unrelated. Regardless, I think this weekend I’m going to rip out the dead plant portions, snip off the runners that still seem good and replant them

Speaking of Seachem products, as I mentioned, I started the full regime last weekend, including Iron. I think most of the plants like it, especially the Cardamine. Even the Alternanthera is getting redder and showing new leaves. I’ve also noticed the algae that had been bugging me (hair and the beginnings of brush algae) looks like it has vanished. Frankly, I’m surprised.

I’ll be starting CO2, soon (“Do It Yourself” with citric acid), and I’ve decided to add a 2nd AC20 filter to the tank at the other end, to increase flow there. And the extra biological filtration couldn’t hurt.

That’s it for now, more when developments warrant.

Book cover the last moriarty

I’ve been a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories since I was in junior high, when I used to watch the old Basil Rathbone movies on Sunday afternoons. One year around 8th or 9th grade, someone bought me a volume of the complete stories for my birthday, which I devoured over the course of the summer. (“The Adventure of the Second Stain” being a favorite. ) I can truthfully say they’ve had an influence on my life, since, thanks to the “malign” influence of Rathbone and Holmes’ creator Arthur Conan Doyle, I’ve been a pipe-smoker since high school. (Don’t worry. I’ve stayed away from the “seven-percent solution”)

Since then, I’ve occasionally read modern pastiches on the Holmes stories. Some were excellent, such as Nicholas Meyer’s “The Seven Percent Solution”, while others were just awful. The good ones not only captured the feel of late Victorian London, but understood Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s characters, how they would speak, and their relationship to each other. The bad ones were only “Holmes in name only” and often had the characters saying or doing things they just wouldn’t in “reality.” Some clearly had axes to grind or thought they were being edgy, making me wonder why the Doyle estate didn’t sue them for damages.

I’m happy to say, however, that “The Last Moriarty” by Charles Veley largely falls into the “good pastiche” category. In fact I’d say it’s very good and well-worth a fan’s time and money.

(Warning: mild spoilers may follow.)

The story opens with the discovery of a dead American floating in the Thames. First ruled a suicide, Holmes (naturally) concludes it was a murder. He then learns the victim was in the employ of the Rockefellers and was in London as an advance man checking into security for a meeting between the highest levels of the British government and the richest men in America: Rockefeller, Morgan, and Carnegie. From there the plot involves multiple murders, terrorism, blackmail, Great Power intrigue, secrets from Holmes’ own past, not one, but two damsels in distress, and Gilbert and Sullivan. Famous characters from the time also make their appearance: not only the Americans, but Prime Minister Salisbury and the impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte. And, as the title avers, Professor Moriarty himself is somehow tied up in this.

Author Veley paces the story well. Like a serial publication from that era, the story is broken up into many short chapters. The pacing is swift, but never rushed. An average reader could easily finish this over a weekend or even a single long night.

Veley captures the London of Doyle’s tales nicely: you almost hear the horses’ hooves’ clack against the cobbles and feel the cold wind off the Thames. The characters largely sound like they should, too. My favorite dramatic interpretation of Holmes was the late Jeremy Brett’s, whose performances in a British series from the 1980s and 90s set a bar I don’t think anyone will ever clear, even Benedict Cumberbatch. When reading Veley’s “Holmes,” I can hear Brett saying the lines. That to me is a mark of his success.

He’s less successful with Watson’s narrative voice, which doesn’t sound quite right to me, and I think he gets it wrong when characters address each other by their first names. It’s fine for the Americans, being a less formal people than the British, but for our two leads to call each other “Sherlock” and “John” with regularity, instead of “Holmes” and “Watson,” is off: acquaintances would say “Mr. Holmes” or “Dr. Watson;” male friends would address each other with last names without the honorifics. First names would only be used under moments of stress or emotional significance. This is a minor quibble, though.

Where I think the author really missteps is in his two final twists. No spoilers, but they involve Holmes’ past and, I think, go one step too far in reinterpreting the character. The revelations go against two of Holmes’ major attributes: his misogyny and, more importantly, the role of Irene Adler as “The Woman.” Veley handles the consequences of this well, but it’s a step I would not have taken.

Some might criticize the villain for being a two-dimensional caricature, but I think it fits fine with what is, after all, a melodrama involving the theater.

Overall, I highly recommend Charles’ Veley’s “The Last Moriarty” to fans of period mysteries in general, and Sherlock Holmes fans in particular. It’s enjoyable, fun, and even a bit gripping – a definite three-pipe read.

Note on the Kindle edition: Too often reviews of Kindle books make no mention of the format or the quality of the translation to electronic media – and Amazon is far too tolerant of publishers selling error-laden Kindle books. I’m happy to report “The Last Moriarty” has no such problems: the formatting is clean and easy to read, and I could find no typos that I recall. Well done!

PS: Before anyone shoots me, I happen to think Benedict Cumberbatch does a superb job with his modern interpretation of Sherlock Holmes (and his “Watson” is excellent). I just believe Brett’s is still superior and truer to the character.

So, a year after moving into my new place, I’m finally able to get back into one of my favorite hobbies, keeping tropical fish. Presenting “JJ&J’s Seafood Buffet:”

JJJ Buffet 01

Not much to look at right now, I admit, but it’s a start. The water in the tank has to cycle until there are enough bacteria to turn ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate before the first two can poison fish. That takes a couple of weeks, at best. (I’m using pure ammonia and a bacterial additive to get things started, my first time doing the so-called “fishless” cycle.) I hope to add some plants this weekend or next, and then I’ll give them about three weeks to get acclimated before adding fish, some of which could otherwise uproot the plants.

Of course, one wants fish right now, but patience is best.

It might be hard to tell from the above photo, but the left side of the tank was quite dark. It was both unappealing, and the light was too low to grow more than a few species of plants, and I’ve wanted to try some new ones. So, I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound,” and splurged (for me) on a Finnex Planted + LED fixture. The advantages are several, first and foremost being stronger light and better coverage. (The bulb in the old fixture was just 21″, two-thirds the length of the tank. The Finnex covers the whole length.) It also uses less electricity and runs cooler. Win-win, as they say.

Here’s a pic with the Planted+ running. I think you can see the difference:

JJJ Buffet 08And, yeah, I expect to have to go to war with algae, eventually.

I like the pieces of wood I’ve chosen: they make for interesting spaces. Here’s a front shot of the two on the left:

JJJ Buffet 02

I plan to fill in that divot in the foreground, but it does make for an interesting cave for timid fish or those wanting shade, or cave breeders.

Here’s a view from the left:

JJJ Buffet 04Sorry for the glare, but  think you can see this gives the critters more places to explore.

And get stuck in when they die, making them impossible to get out, which always happens…

And, speaking of caves…

JJJ Buffet 03

I really like this piece of wood for the cave it forms, and it just seemed to go with this plastic wall (1) I found at Petco (2).

That’s it for now. I’ll post updates when something interesting occurs.

Footnotes:
(1) Don’t judge me.
(2) Please.

PS: Why “JJ&J’s Seafood Buffet?” That’s Jasper, Jersey, and Juno, the three cats who own my writing partner and his wife. They already want a menu.

PPS: Tech specs for those interested — Lights are the Finnex Planted+ LED, heater is a Visi-therm 100w, to be swapped out for a Fluval E-series 100w. The Filter is an Aquaclear 50. Aquaclear is a great brand of hang-on-the-back filter. Forty lbs. of Eco-Complete substrate. Water parameters as of last night are temp: 78. PH 7.2, GH 143 PPM, and KH 3 degrees. Ammonia is ~1 PPM, nitrite 5PPM (and that spiked suddenly overnight), nitrate 5PPM. The nitrite spike surprised me, but that might be the bacteria going to town. However, too high a nitrite can shut down the cycle, so, if it doesn’t go down soon and nitrates don’t go up (showing an active cycle), I’ll do a large water change.

If you’re like me, the annual sight of blissfully happy couples on Valentine’s Day makes you ill. Not because of their cloying sweetness and dopey “eyes only for you” looks (though that’s part of it), but because you never get to join in. If your romantic life has as boring as mine, you’ve often felt like that little kid looking in from outside the fence and wishing he could play, too, but never gets the chance.

Admit it: you envy these people their happiness, and every Valentine’s Day is an annoying reminder of that. Don’t deny it, revel in it — wallow in the mire you yourself have created! Give in to the dark side…

And, while you’re at it, enjoy this Valentine’s Day report from The Onion.

You’re welcome.

(Edited 2/14/16 to rewrite a portion the way I had intended.)

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a helluva party last night and that you have a helluva good year to come. 😀

Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa brought all that you could desire. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Turkey

I hope everyone has a fine day today. And just to show that Turkey Day is a holiday for everyone, even the big cats of Big Cat Rescue get their helping of bird:

Somehow, I don’t think there will be many leftovers tomorrow. 🙂

polyhedral dice

Some of you among the three or four who read this blog (after blowing the dust off it) might recall that for several years I worked as a freelance writer in the roleplaying game industry, writing adventures and supplement books for various companies. Most of my work was for the late, lamented Hogshead Publishing, which held a license to produce product for one of my favorite roleplaying games, the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play. (WFRP)

Anyway, I stopped working in that industry after one particularly bad experience (largely of my own doing, to be fair) convinced me it just wasn’t worth it anymore: lousy pay rates (a per word rate averaging three cents per word, what writers were getting in the 1930s), large word counts and short deadlines, no time for a regular life…. It had stopped being fun.

I had kept in touch with the hobby, however, by tracking a few web sites that dealt with RPGs, particularly James Maliszewski’s Grognardia, a now-moribund site dedicated to what was called the “Old School Renaissance,” a movement focused on reviving and supporting roleplaying games as they had been played in the 70s and 80s, centered mostly around D&D clones.

James had announced a cooperative project that he would edit called “Petty Gods,” a book of godlings and minor deities a referee could use in his campaign. You can read the original announcement of it here. It sounded like a fun project, and, after spending a frustrating morning looking for some mislaid keys, I came up with “Galdu Aurkitu, God of Things Mislaid and Found.”

Name: Galdu Aurkitu
Symbols: Keys on a ring. A single sock.
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180′ (60′)
Armor Class: -3
Hit Points (Hit Dice) 90 (19 HD)
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: T20
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: VIII, XVII
XP: 10,000

Galdu Aurkitu is the petty god of all things mislaid and unexpectedly found. A relative of the gods of good and bad luck, Galdu Aurkitu appears in one of three forms: an elderly, forgetful man; a young woman with three walnut shells and a pea; and a helpful lad. When encountered, each represents an aspect of Galdu Aurkitu’s role: forgetting where one put something; being sure something set aside was there just a moment ago; and suddenly finding in an unexpected place something thought lost.

Galdu Aurkitu is often invoked by those looking for a mislaid object, from something as minor as the house keys to something as important as a secret treaty. He (or she) can be a capricious god. If a person annoys the god (or one of the god’s divine friends), Galdu Aurkitu will cause a needed item not to be where it was supposed to be, even though it was just put there a moment ago. The idea is not to cause harm, but to annoy and inconvenience the victim. On the other hand, Galdu Aurkitu can take pity on those who have lost something dear to them, such as the son who was sure he lost an heirloom ring, or the poor widow frantic because she can’t find the rent money. The item will be found in the least likely place to look, and it is still up to the searcher to find it. Whether causing an item to be lost or found, Galdu Aurkitu takes great pleasure in mortals’ reactions and may well be nearby, watching.

In combat, Galdu Aurkitu attacks by “mislaying” opponents’ weapons and magic items: the fighter will reach for a sword, only it’s not there – he must have left it back in camp. The wizard will reach for a scroll, only to discover it is not where it is supposed to be. In each case, the item will be in Galdu Aurkitu’s hand, who will then put it to best use. The petty god can use this power once per round.

When truly angry, Galdu Aurkitu can curse a mortal, ensuring that, for the next 24 hours, an item will be missing when most needed. This will occur once in those 24 hours. If Galdu Aurkitu particularly likes a mortal and decides to bless him or her, then something treasured and thought long-lost will be unexpectedly found and returned to them sometime in the next week, or perhaps opponents in combat will mislay a weapon or magic item. This latter blessing lasts for only 24 hours, however, and, like the curse, only happens once..

Reaction Table (roll 2d6, use INT for modifiers):

2 Friendly: Blesses 1d4 nearby targets.

3-5 Indifferent: Blesses 1d4 nearby targets if properly propitiated.

6-8 Neutral: Ignores nearby creatures.

9-11 Unfriendly: Curses 1d4 nearby targets if not properly propitiated.

12 Hostile: Curses 1d4 nearby targets.

I submitted this to James back in 2010, and then… nothing. For various reasons, the projects James had been working on, including Petty Gods, encountered near-fatal difficulties and had to be rescued by others. In fact, I had thought Petty Gods had died and had largely forgotten about it, until a few weeks ago at DriveThruRPG, where I saw this:

Petty Gods

Imagine my surprise. The PDF is free, so I downloaded it and, sure enough, there was little Galdu with his very own illustration. Apparently someone had rescued the project and it went through a few hands until the product pictured above was produced. And, judging from the PDF, the new developers did a great job.  It’s available in print-on-demand paperback at Lulu.com: I may just get myself a copy.

So, that was a long-winded way to share my amusement at still being published in the hobby-game industry. To be honest, it made me smile.

If you’re running a campaign in which minor gods could conceivably walk among mortals (as in the style of Thieves’ World or Liavek), download the free PDF and give it a look. I think you’ll enjoy it.

PS: It’s a shame James has largely withdrawn from the hobby, though I hear he still plays. Grognardia was a wonderful blog, and I’d love to see it revived.

The Wind-Power Scam

"But please give us subsidies"

“But please give us subsidies”

I wrote a small review of John Etherington’s book “The Wind Farm Scam: An Ecologist’s Evaluation” at GoodReads:

The Wind Farm Scam: An Ecologist's EvaluationThe Wind Farm Scam: An Ecologist’s Evaluation by John Etherington
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rather dry, but a good overview of why wind-power is a scam: uneconomical,an ugly blight on the landscape, unlikely to reduce the “problem” of greenhouse gases (assuming for a moment such a problem exists), and a way for “green energy” firms to drain “rents” (tax money) from gullible governments. Focused almost wholly on the UK, the discussion is useful to critics of wind-farming here in the US, too.

View all my reviews

Not so sure I like GoodReads, but, what the heck. I haven’t posted here in a while.

And wind-power is still a farce.