SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!

I came in today, a Sunday, to get caught up on various items I need to get done and found that I’m not able to access the items that I wanted to work on. There was probably an announcement about this that I ignored thinking that outages on Sunday wouldn’t affect me.

Oh well. I’ll do what I can and then get on with the rest of my weekend; some hiking, some writing and a session in a sensory deprivation float tank. My second time doing a float and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m also ruminating on how a man influenced such a huge chunk of society by repeating a single day-name 3 times.

“Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!”

Jan Gabriel, orator of the NASCAR SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY catchphraseChicago native Jan Gabriel started out as his performing career billing himself as “Chicago’s youngest teenage DJ” at record hops (also called sock hops, those informal sponsored dance events in the 50’s.) and then took his DJ skills and his love of racing and managed to get a job as an announcer for the Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill. Only, unlike most monotone announcers high up in a booth, he took his job to a stage in the middle of the track and really amped things up.

In 1968 a track owner in Hobart, IN. to promote the fact his drag strip was open on Sundays and enlisted Starbeat Recording Studios to create his advertisement. Gabriel beat out more than 50 other announcers for the job based on his deep, vibrant voice.

From there he had a syndicated show that got NASCAR on television and became “that guy!” to all of the racing fans.

His “SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!” promotion announcement got national attention and pretty soon it was the catchphrase for announcing anything happening on a racetrack.

This guy decides he has a love for something and follows it wherever it can lead him and then lives a life others only dream of.

But, that was then, right? These things can’t happen now.

Check out one of my personal heroes, the late Wesley Willis who had the Wesley Willis - A personal hero of mineENTIRE DECK stacked against him and then some, but decided he wanted to become a rockstar and truly did. You may not know him, but he’s well known to the music industries and his fans included people like Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Mike D., Jello Biafra, members of White Zombie and Rick Rubin of American Recordings.

But, that was the 90’s. People could still act crazy following their passion and make a career out of it, it can’t happen now, right?

PewDiePie is not a hero of mine, but still a great example of doing something you enjoy and making a career of it to the shock and surprise of everyone, including and especially himself.

Gravity GlueA friend of mine in Boulder Colorado has made an international name for himself balancing rocks in seemingly impossible ways. Check out his work and you see how a guy who stacked rocks in a creek became famous.

The world is full of potential and possibilities, even for just busting out some craziness on open mic night, playing video games, balancing rocks or repeating “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!”

It’s somehow fitting that Jan Gabriel pass on Sunday, January 10th, 2010 and services were also held on the following Sunday. Rest peace, Jan and Wesley.

Testing a new website functionality. Feel free to ignore this.

Dave says "Ignore me!"

Life Gets in the Way: Staying on Track

Life gets in the way sometimes.

I have a trait. Sometimes, I build up momentum on a thing and I ride it like crazy with little regard to details and consequences.

It’s a strength, and a weakness.

For example, several years ago, I had an idea while driving for a webcomic, so I wrote it up and put it on the dub-dub-dub as alienses.com because it amused me. Turns out, it amused a number of other people and attained a respectable place on the webcomics charts for a while.

Alienses

Sounds like a strength, right?

But man, so many typos and mistakes. So much momentum, so little regard to details. These days I’m far better about proofreading and attention to quality, so that much has improved at least.

But it’s also a fragile thing, this momentum. A bump in life disrupts the momentum and then I have so much trouble getting back to it. For Alienses, it was my dad’s passing and the circumstances surrounding it, so that’s a bit extreme, but for other projects, it could be just simple day-to-day life.

The most recent example is Dungeons & Dave, the website I threw together once I started writing D&D products. I was posting pretty regularly and starting to get somewhere with it and then I just got busy at work and then got sick for a couple of weeks, and then… Momentum: destroyed.

After that, another death, a friend and neighbor this time, kind of completed the crash.

Life gets in the way. It always does, and always will.

These should be Seven of Wands moments, not The Tower.

The Tower, Tarot
Downfall, Endings
Seven of Wands, Tarot
Defiance, Conviction

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to gird the loins and get back to it.

(Was anybody else ever confused by the phrase “gird your loins”?)

((I know I put the question mark outside the quotation marks. I actively disagree with the rule about putting it inside and in my personal writing I will continue to protest it.))

(((I wonder if these would be better as P.S. and P.P.S and P.P.P.S’s instead of parantheseseseses… wutevs)))

(((( This post is going under the category of “Advice” because I don’t have one for random ramblings. Here’s the advice – Don’t get crazy with parantheseseses. No good will come of it.))))))

D&D Stuff moved to Dungeons & Dave

I decided to move all my D&D stuff to its own website, www.dungeonsanddave.com.

I’ll let this site focus on all ov my other unfocused odd thoughts ov thee moment. Not sure why I slipped in TOPY-speak just now…

5th Edition Spells – Message

Bard – Cantrip – Message

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 120 Ft
Components: V, S, M (a short piece of copper wire)
Duration: 1 Round

You point your finger toward a creature within range and whisper a message. The target (and only the target) hears the message and can reply in a whisper that only you can hear.

You can cast this spell through solid objects if you are familiar with the target and know it is beyond the barrier. Magical silence. 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet o f wood blocks the spell. The spell doesn’t have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

My Comments: This seems to be a spell WotC decided to leave up to common sense. Sometimes they make sure to say things like “your message can only be 25 words” or some other limitation, and here they left that out.

So, as a DM, you will probably want to remind your players that this is just a cantrip and they can’t recite Moby Dick and have the target respond with War & Peace. The duration is one round, so they should be limited to whatever they can say in about 6 seconds.

I try not to be in a hurry

OR, why waiting in line a few extra minutes every day won’t kill you.

I was at the dentist’s office recently and as I was settling up I asked for an extra document.

“Sure!” The receptionist said brightly, and then grimaced in apology, “It’ll take a moment though; our printer is being really slow for some reason.”

She actually seemed kind of distressed and tried to rush for me.

“It’s OK.” I said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“Well, I know you’re in a hurry.”

“No. I try not to be in a hurry.”

Everyone in the office turned and looked at me strangely and then went back to what they were doing.

“Well, most people are in a hurry.” She chuckled.

“Not really. Most of that is manufactured. Most people are in a hurry because they feel like they should be, not because it helps.”

One of the other office personnel almost fell out of her chair because she spun around so fast to agree. We all laughed about it and went on with our day.

Here’s the thing; being in line for an extra few minutes or waiting on a printer isn’t going to make that much difference in your day. More importantly, you actually slow things down by getting upset or trying to rush things that can’t be rushed.

“BUT THOSE MINUTES ADD UP!” you cry out!

Sure. I’ll get to that. But let’s not rush. 🙂

The worst is driving. For a variety of reasons, I choose to go to this particular dentist who is about a 35-40 minute drive away without traffic. So far, it’s totally been worth it.

Some days I have driven like a crazy man, most days I drive at the best reasonable speed I can. On average, driving like a crazy man will complete that trip for me about 0-3 minutes quicker, and raise my blood pressure and that of the drivers around me by twice as many points.

Also, standing in line at the grocery store doesn’t go faster if you get upset. As a matter of fact, it might go slower because the people in front of you or the cashier might get flustered and make mistakes. And have you ever gotten home in a rush because you were hurrying to recycle that coffee you’d been drinking on the road and couldn’t wait to get inside? You finally get to your front door and you’re fumbling with your keys, phone, and assorted “useful things” and finally get the right key and you stab Stab STAB it at the lock until it finally goes in and then you jiggle the handle so that you can burst through the door and run for the relief you so crave?

businessman-hurryDid hurrying speed that process up, or slow it down?

 

 

Sometimes you need to slow down in order to go faster.

“BUT I’M IN A HURRY!” you cry, and reiterate, “THOSE MINUTES DO ADD UP!”

Both true statements.

Lately I’ve been busy at work and having to be at the dentist is making me busier, but it’s necessary.

The truth is putting effort into “being in a hurry” isn’t helping, and those minutes that add up aren’t really that important.

If we take all of those minutes we “lost”- when we had to wait on people in line who can’t find their wallet at the grocery store, on slow credit card machines and printers, or getting stuck behind a truck for a few minutes on the road- if we take all those minutes and add them up, we might have lost 20-30 minutes out of our day.

It’s not that important. You know how I know? How long did you spend on Facebook today? Or watching TV you weren’t really interested in? Or even just sitting with your head in your hands wishing that headache would go away?

“Well yeah, but that’s my relaxation time! I’ve had a stressful day and I need that time to relax!”

Sure. Taking time in your day to relax is great. But think about that stressful day you had. Is there any possibility it could have been less stressful if you would have relaxed while it was happening, instead of getting upset and then needing recovery time later?

Un-tense your brain in day-to-day situations and it works more efficiently, leaving more mental energy for the free parts of your day so that you can really enjoy them.

Monks in line
The guys are in a long line but they aren’t letting it get them down!
Photo credit: Wonderlane on Flickr

5th Edition Spells – Mending

Bard – Cantrip – Mending

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (two lodestones)
Duration: Instant

This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a leaking wineskin. As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, you mend it. leaving no trace o f the former damage.

This spell can physically repair a magic item or construct, but the spell can’t restore magic to such an object.

My Comments: In the past I’ve had two characters I have played that need to use mending, each once. One wanted to repair a magic broom that sweeps floors. The magic still worked, but the handle was broken, so he fixed it, because… why not?

Another player got hit by a critical and bust a few links of chainmail. He didn’t have mending and in that case it would have been really useful. Once.

I can think of of other uses, but this isn’t going to be the most used spell in your arsenal. I know, it’s just a cantrip, but it’s a cantrip with a 1 minute casting time, all three components (V,S,M) and that includes using 2 lodestones every time. Are you going to carry around two lodestones? OK, to be honest, a lot of players and DMs ignore material components when it’s slowing things down, but the point is still there.

Here are some uses I can think of; you busted a door handle to get into a room and want to leave without a trace, your arrow was broken when you went to retrieve it, you want to fix that rope bridge you have to cross, you broke the chain of a necklace as you grabbed it off an idol and ran for your life and now you want to fix it… Anything else?

All in all, I would be glad enough to have access to it, but I wouldn’t cry if I didn’t.

5th Edition Spells – Mage Hand

Bard – Cantrip – Mage Hand

Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 ft
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range. The hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.

You can use your action to control the hand. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out o f a vial. You can move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

The hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

My Comments:  This is another great utility spell. There are a lot of times when having an extra hand 30ft away is useful, especially in the first few levels. I think combining this with other cantrips like prestidigitation, and dancing lights can make for a great show.

Plus, you can always use it to high-five yourself. Best. Use. Ever.

5th Edition Spells – Light

Bard – Cantrip – Light

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: S, M (a firefly or phosphorescent moss)
Duration: 1 hour

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

My Comments:  This is probably one of the best utility spells in the game, and as a cantrip that makes it awesome.

You might be thinking “A magic torch is awesome? Pffft… whatever, human! Get some low-light vision already!”

But wait, check out that second paragraph for some inspiration. I know mages hate to get within touch range, but imagine scoring a touch attack on that annoying rogue that keeps getting away, or the shape-changing doppelganger! Of course, with something like invisibility and shape-change you could argue the light gets neutralized but I think I’d probably leave them glowing… Maybe a save would be in order in some cases.

It’s easy to imagine other uses, like you’re trapped away from the rest of the party in a wagon rolling away in the dark. Light up the door of the cabin! Light up the sail of the pirates that kidnapped you!

I never managed to have the right situation come up, but I had a character that carried around some sticky pitch he found and he planned on throwing lit-up balls of pitch at people in the dark. There are some creatures that would really hate that!

And, of course, it works as a magic torch as well.

Relax Your Back

Relax your back.

I was cold recently and I remembered this random moment several years ago outside a club. It was cold out and I was talking to someone who I tend to avoid when I’m out because they get drunk and just aren’t that interesting drunk.

At some point, in an odd moment of lucidity, this person noticed my discomfort and asked what was wrong.

“It’s cold. I need to go inside.” Partially, I thought I had an excuse to get away from this person because they were obviously not ready to go back inside yet, but as much so, I really was cold.

This person was raised in a very cold climate though and responded with “Oh. Cold. Just relax your back.”

I was shocked. It’s true, when cold, relax your back and you don’t feel nearly as cold and the cycle of uncontrollable shivering stops. It won’t stop you from suffering the effects of extreme cold, frostbite will still occur for example, but, really, most cold is just uncomfortable, not dangerous.

A few weeks ago I walking to the bus station after work and only had a few minutes to get there. I was charging ahead like an angry bull. Rawr. Charging and getting nowhere and making my legs sore. Then a voice from the past came to mind.

“Relax your back”

And then a voice from a bad novel series I’ve read came to mind.

“Cat crosses the courtyard” This describes a type of walking that is kind of arrogant looking, but involves relaxing the legs and hips and allowing them to move in a fluid almost falling motion.

I stopped. I was in a dead hurry, but I took a moment to stop. Then I consciously relaxed and began walking again. I felt like I was walking with half the speed and yet I was catching up with people who had passed me earlier. I felt light, like I was falling down hill and laughing the whole way.

Today I was forced to realize that I’ve been doing the same with my thought processes. I was working so damn hard to get things done, that I wasn’t getting anything done. I took time this morning to relax my mind and then went to a meet up tonight with a guided meditation and it was amazing the change that happened.

Relax your back.

Relax your hips and legs.

Relax your mind.

You can’t move if you are all bound up fighting yourself.