The 2019 State of the Gnoll Address

So, as it seems like I’ve said every time I’ve posted on here in a long time, it’s been way too long since I’ve been here. Over a year this time. I won’t promise that’s not going to happen again, because my track record isn’t great… but I’m going to at least try to post more often.

So what have I been up to for the last year? Well, honestly? Mostly work. Things got pretty crazy for a while, and all my gaming stuff went on hold, apart from the odd video game or board game. I haven’t run my Chronicles of Darkness game in over a year, and it’s been at least six months since I’ve played any wargames aside from a brief half demo game at CanCon in January. Main thing I’ve done other than work is go to gigs. So many gigs. The last year and a half has been insane for seeing so many of my favourite bands. Cradle of Filth, Kamelot, Flogging Molly, Russian Circles, Behemoth, Slayer, Mastodon, Gojira, Sabaton, Amon Amarth… the list goes on, and there’s much more coming up. I’m actually heading to Sydney to see Eluveitie tonight, so excited. I love me some Celtic death metal, though I do wish I could have seen their last tour, when they still had Anna Murphy doing the clean vocals. Still, Fabienne is an excellent singer, and it’ll be an amazing show anyway.

One of my favourite songs that Anna did with Eluveitie

Aside from work and gigs, a lot of my focus in the last 8 months has been on my health, both mental and physical. I’d really let myself go in the last 5 or 6 years, and I was heading towards some serious health problems. I was starting to get down a lot as well, more than I had since before I got diagnosed and treated for my sleep apnea. A test showing a few risks that could be avoided with improved weight and fitness gave me the kick I needed, and I started getting seriously into sorting myself out. I took part in Steptember with a few coworkers, and crushed it. Started cycling to work a few days a week, improved my diet, and got strict about not missing gym sessions unless I absolutely had to. I started doing circuit training four or five mornings a week, I even went on a solo cycling holiday (just three days, but it was lovely), riding from Beechworth to Bright… admittedly, stopping for delicious food and wine everywhere probably didn’t do the health much good, but it was a great time. My blood pressure improved so much they could lower my medication for the first time in 8 years, I dropped almost 25kg, and took up running… which was unfortunately my undoing.

A fairly accurate representation of how things went for me…

Despite taking it very slowly, building up my distance and times gradually, it appears that my new orthortic inserts were only good for how I walk, not how I run, and I developed crippling pain in my shins that made most of the exercise I was doing extremely difficult. There was actually a suspicion I had stress fractures for a while, but a MRI only showed “mild” shin splints. Didn’t feel very mild, I’ll tell you that. So, I stopped everything except for upper body and core strength routines for the last few months, and managed to pack 10 kg back on, along with having my cardio fitness go to hell. It’s been a frustrating wait, and honestly a bit depressing, but I’ve finally started doing some very light leg exercises to start building some strength again. Still can’t run or cycle though, and can’t even use the ellipticals in the gym. But we’ll get there.

So that’s where I’m at currently. I’m planning on getting some more content up here, and getting my Chronicles of Darkness game going fortnightly again, hopefully with a war game or board game day on the off week. If that goes ahead, a lot of the posts to start with will probably be related to what I’m doing with the prep and story for that game. My next post will be about a game of Afterlife: Wandering Souls that I ran last week, using the quick start adventure. It’s currently on Kickstarter, and slowly unlocking stretch goals, so I definitely want to get it posted as soon as possible.

I guess that’s all I’ve really got for now. I’m going to get some sleep so I’m rested for the long day ahead of me. I’ll try to work on the Afterlife write up on my phone while I’m on the bus to Sydney, but I suspect I’ll get frustrated with it, and it’ll have to wait til I’m home on Friday. So until then, peace out, and I’ll return tired and half deaf in a day or two.

Sorry guys…

Sorry guys, I know I said that the first part of my campaign journal would be up Monday night at the latest, but I ended up busier with my parents than expected over the weekend. Thought I’d have it done tonight for sure, but ended up having to work a twelve hour shift today (I got home around 10:00 PM. Working on it right now though. I figure I’m about two thirds to three quarters of the way through. Soon as it’s ready I’ll post it. Hopefully tomorrow night.

A brief update

Hey hey,

So I know I said this week’s update would be a review of The First Tail by T.J. Burgin, but like the complete and utter forgetful chump that I am, I spaced out on the fact that I had a rather jam-packed week due to work and having to prepare for a visit from my parents this weekend. End result is that I spent most of my week running around like I was on fire, trying to get everything done, and I only managed to get to the halfway point of the novel. If I can get it finished before next weekend I’ll try to get a review up mid-week, but I have multiple extended shifts in the coming week (I’ve even had to postpone the fortnightly East Texas University game that I run, which makes for an unhappy Tinkergoth indeed), so I can’t guarantee anything there. Either way, next weekend I’ll have the review up for sure.

That said, I don’t want to miss a post the very first week after I started again, so something will be going up this weekend sometime. Most likely it’ll be a bit of an in character campaign journal for a new Interface Zero 2.0 (a Cyberpunk setting for Savage Worlds) game that I joined. At some point I’ll do an Unusual Suspects update for my character from the game as well, but I want to get some artwork done for her first.

While I’m writing this now though, I may as well make a few quick movie recommendations. If it’s showing near you, and you like thoughtful, intelligent science fiction that doesn’t just bombard you with pretty action sequences and call it a day, I highly recommend Ex Machina. Likewise, if you’re a fan of offbeat films with some dark humour thrown in, and don’t mind westerns, check out Slow West (Great performance from Michael Fassbender, and Ben Mendelsohn plays his role as a less than pleasant bounty hunter perfectly… I dunnot what it is about Mendelsohn, but he seems to be born to play nutcases and villains).

One other bit of news about potential upcoming stuff for the site. I’m talking with one of my friends about getting him to post a bit about tabletop wargaming (as he’s far more into it than I am, I only play Relic Knights, despite owning a Circle Orboros army for Hordes). There’d probably be a bit of news about upcoming events and releases, game reports, and some painting guides… he’s a damn fine painter, which is why I’ve handed him my primary Relic Knights faction, the Cerci Speed Circuit, so that they actually look good. Meanwhile I’ll practice on my backup faction, the Star Nebula Corsairs, and hope that they don’t end up looking like an army of blob people. I’ll post an update when I’ve got a better idea of what’s happening.

Right, that’s it from me for now, I need a decent night’s sleep so I can get up early and do everything I need to before the parental units arrive. Campaign journal will hopefully be up by Sunday night, but if worst comes to worst, Monday is a public holiday, so I can work on it then.

Til then, take it easy and keep the dice rolling.

We never think that we’re missing much, til… – Final post for 2014

Hey guys, I thought I should pop in and let people know that I’m still alive and kicking. Truth be told, I’ve been meaning to post something for a while now, but have just been having trouble getting motivation. I’m not going to make excuses, I’m not going to promise more regular updates. Instead I’m just going to talk about what’s been happening in my life, both recently and over the last year or so (quite possibly longer). I’ll keep it brief, but I just wanted to get this off my chest. As one of my friends says, it’s important that we be able to talk openly about this kind of stuff, so that others going through similar situations can know they’re not alone and that there’s help out there, no matter what the problem.

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s a line from a Chevelle song, called Sleep Apnea. It came up while I was trying to think of something, and it seemed appropriate. I’ll explain that later though.

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Changes…

Hey guys. Just a quick update today, got a fair bit on.

You’ll notice that the site design has changed. Don’t be surprised if it happens again soon, or even a few times. Decided to finally try and find a theme I’m happy with. There’ll be some juggling around for this theme’s features, possibly a complete shift to another one if this doesn’t fit what I’m looking for.

My updates are probably going to slow down a bit for a few weeks. Got a lot on at work again, and an inspection on my apartment coming up. So I need to concentrate on finally unpacking all my stuff, sorting out what I don’t want to keep, and getting it all in order. Expect an update from me at least once a week, maybe twice if I have time. When I’m past the inspection and work settles down, I’ll go back to two or three posts a week . I’ll try to keep Jimbles posting whenever  he’s not too busy, and I’ll have another member of the Gnoll Tribe to introduce as soon as he decides it’s time to make his first post.

That’s it from me for now. Take it easy and keep the dice rolling.

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Written while listening to the Dredd OST. I never get sick of that industrial feel. Going to come in real handy for some upcoming games. 

 

 

Hiatus

Hi everyone,

Sorry this took so long to get posted. Things have been hellishly busy for me, and I haven’t had reliable internet service outside of work for the last month. Truth be told, I still don’t, and won’t for another couple of weeks possibly. But I’m taking the time to just throw a quick post up from the office on my lunch break, as I felt those of you who are still reading the blog deserved an explanation for my absence.

Long story short, while looking for a new housemate I quickly realised that I wasn’t going to be able to find one at the rent the real estate were asking, and I couldn’t afford the place on my own. Thus started the fastest bloody house hunt in known history. Within a fortnight I’d managed to find a place to live (actually back in my old apartment) and agree on a favourable arrangement with the owners. The packing began… and that’s where I ran into trouble. I’ve accumulated so much crap it’s not funny. So I had to pay movers to shift my furniture, and conscript friends as often as I could to get the rest of my stuff over there. But going from a 3 bedroom townhouse to a 1 bedroom unit means a massive downgrade in space, and unpacking has been a very slow process as I gradually sort through boxes and dispose of what I can. It’ll be another week or so until I have the place really liveable, and in the mean time I’ve also had to try and get the old place up to scratch so I can get my bond back.

This also didn’t turn out very well for me in terms of timing. I had a trip to Sydney already paid for midway through the packing process (I got to meet Jimmy Carr!), and the added expense of moving has thrown a huge spanner in the works for me given that I’m meant to be at Soundwave this weekend, and at a friend’s out-of-town wedding two weekends  from now. But, we’ll get there. Just means I have to live a little uncomfortably for a while until I get myself back on my feet and have my rego paid for.

So, when will I be ready to start posting again? Not until mid-March at the earliest, more likely early April. I’m hoping that Jimbles will be able to write some posts up in the mean time, but certainly I won’t be posting anything. I’ll try to find another guest writer or two to help out (and hey, if you want to write something, let me know… I’d be ever so grateful).

I have access to check my email while I’m at work, and can check it now and again in the evenings and on the weekend, so if you want to contact me for any reason, flick me a message through the Questions and Queries page, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

I can’t wait to get back to posting regularly, and I apologise again for the delay. When I come back, I think I’m going to drop the movie reviews I was doing for the film festival, and just jump straight back into gaming. I’ll do a few reviews of the movies here and there, but just for the ones that I really enjoyed and want to recommend. I think it’s important that I get the blog back to the main topic of gaming for a while though.

Until next time, keep those dice rolling.