Friday, November 17, 2017

Franken and Tweeden in Cahoots

I think Franken and Tweeden are in cahoots. Franken is a damn genius, with an impeccable reputation.

Every sane person knows there is no bloody way the corrupt-as-sin GOP would call an ethics committee on a Republican (for fuck's sake, both Moore and Trump have reputations as predatory pervs and Republicans are still defending them), but with a Democrat as the whipping post - and calling for an investigation on himself! - the GOP have no choice but to form an ethics committee investigation.

And once there is an investigation, the doors are open and the GOP can't avoid an ethics investigation into GOP Senator Roy Moore. This is the only way they would even consider doing that.

And once that door is open, it's not actually a far step into ethics investigations into Representatives and finally the damn POTUS "grab her by the pussy" Trump.

I'm saying Franken and Tweeden were a team on the USO tour, they are a team now, and they are absolutely ethical and  brilliant.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Trump, Weinstein and the Brave Women who rattled the pillars of Heaven

I agree and disagree with Ms Dietz.  She has a  specific and focused point, but misses the bigger picture that the massive cultural shift required for Spacey's career to have been destroyed so quickly, first required that all those women pave the way for it to have happened.

Trump was accused by 15 women of crimes worse than Weinstein.  Same with Cosby (Cosby worse than Weinstein - holy shit, have you seen the current list against Cosby?!).  But, if those women had not come forth - and received death threats, and worse - shifting the public awareness and perception to the reality of the problem - then Weinstein's accusers - famous and beloved as they are - would have been shit on, instead of accepted at face value.

Without Weinstein going down in flames, Spacey's accuser would have been dismissed and ignored (as other men were in years past). Instead, the brave women who came forward with their stories of how Cosby, Trump and Weinstein perpetrated sexual misconduct, made it possible for Spacey's accuser to be taken seriously, and for the response that happened.

Ms Dietz makes a totally valid point that in 2017, the word of men is still treated more seriously than the word of women.  However, it is also extremely important to recognize the successful and massive cultural shift made possible by the women who came before him.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nothing Wrong With Being Different

It is the nature of humans to be insane, both individually, and worse as a large mass.  However, that's not quite the same as being a little crazy.

Gun Bunnies: You're Scarring the Kids

My friend's 5 year-old daughter was terrified about going to a school assembly this week; the kid didn't want to get shot.

A kindergartener was afraid of getting shot at school.  Let that sink in.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fiction Friday - A Singing Paladin

Mariƫlle Sylvia Altink - A Singing Paladin

Background & Origin: She was a minstrel, with a natural talent for remembering songs and music, before her conversion of faith.

She was working as a minstrel at a popular carnival town. A high-level adventuring party came through. They had just lost a companion, and were drowning their sorrows in drink. An angel appeared at the table, and called the company by name - “the company that numbers eight shall go forth and do this quest!”  By random dumb luck, she was sitting and chatting with them, and suddenly found herself part of the legendary group, and magically enthralled into a quest!

The adventuring group knew they were stuck with her, and she was stuck with them, so they made the best of it and trained her up right away into her new career. She has a lot of energy and was a fast study.

Combat Tactics:  The crossbow is for sniping when there is time to prepare.  Otherwise, she carries javelins for either a quick thrust, or a quick throw.  Once the target is close enough, she hits people with her greataxe.

Her core powers make her a bit of a rallying point for her allies. She stays to the front, with the mainline damage dealers, as frontline tank and healer.

She treats her primary role as frontline support, and her favorite combat spell is bless, since her and her allies get a huge boost for relatively minor resource consumption (allies within 10 feet of her, and under a bless effect, gain +4+1d4 bonus on every saving throw).

Personality Traits: At heart, she is a philosopher and entertainer, but she got caught up in something bigger than herself, and has embraced it.  If nothing else, it let’s her collect new songs and music she would never have encountered before.

Appearance: 5’ 5” and a muscular build. Her hair is auburn-red.

Powers:  She is a half-elf paladin with a natural talent for learning and remembering songs and music.  

Powers: Extensive martial training and spell casting.

Notes:  Model unknown.  Character by I.A. Riley November, 2016.

scandanavian woman.jpg
(model unknown)

Mariƫlle Sylvia Altink - D&D 5e

Neutral Good Half-Elf Paladin 7

Strength     16 (+3)
Dexterity     10
Constitution     14 (+2)
Intelligence     8 (-1)
Wisdom     12 (+1)
Charisma     18 (+4)

Hit Points    60
Armor Class     18
Speed         30 ft

Proficiency Bonus: +3
Saving Throw Totals:  Strength (+7), Dexterity (+4), Constitution (+5), Intelligence (+3), Wisdom (+8), Charisma (+11) (italics means proficient save)(modifiers already include her Aura of Protection) 

Racial Features: Immune to magical sleep effects; Darkvision 60 ft; advantage on saving throws against being charmed; bonus skills

Background:  Entertainer
Background Features: By Popular Demand (she can always play for room and board)

Combat Proficiencies:  Simple Weapons; Martial Weapons; All Armor; Shields;
Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics (+3), History (+2), Insight (+4), Medicine (+4),  Performance (+7), Religion (+2)
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Musical Instrument (lyre)

Languages: Common, Elvish, Halfling

Class Features:  
  • Aura of Devotion (her and friendly creatures within 10 feet of her can't be charmed while she is conscious);
  • Aura of Protection (when conscious, she and any friendly creatures within 10 feet gain +4 to all saving throws)
  • Channel Divinity (1 use, short or long rest to recover);
    • Sacred Weapon (for one minute, held weapon is treated as magical, gains +4 attack bonus, sheds light to 20/40-foot radius);
    • Turn the Unholy (any fiend or undead must DC 15 Wisdom save or flee from her presence for one minute);
  • Divine Health (immune to disease);
  • Divine Sense (sense celestials, fiends and undead, 60 ft radius, 5 uses, recharge with long rest);
  • Divine Smite (expend paladin spell slots to add radiant damage to melee attacks, chosen after hitting the creature; 1st level slot adds +2d8, 2nd level slot adds +3d8, add +1d8 more if target is undead or a fiend);
  • Extra Attack (she gets two attacks with the Attack action);
  • Spellcasting (DC 15; Spell slots 4/3; typical spells prepared 1st- bless, cure wounds, divine favor, protection from evil and good, sanctuary, shield of faith, 2nd- aid, lesser restoration, magic weapon; spell slots recharge with long rest);
  • Lay on Hands (35 hit points; can be used to treat other conditions; recharge with long rest);
  • Sacred Oath (Oath of Devotion) (Honesty, Courage, Compassion, Honor, Duty).

Equipment: Splint mail armor (AC 17); greataxe (attack +6, 1d12+3 damage, reroll a 1 or 2); five (5) javelins (attack +6, 1d6+3 damage, range 30/120); heavy crossbow (attack +3, damage 1d10, range 100/400); twenty (20) quarrels; Musical instrument (6-string lyre); the favor of an admirer (a love letter); a costume; an explorer's pack; 250 gp

Source -  - Mariette Jacobs -

Document Copyright (C) 2016 by I.A. Riley. All rights reserved.  Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Random backstory generator - .

Random name generator - .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Never Make Death Threats

Listen up liberals, socialists and general lefties (and any mature sane person): DEATH THREATS ARE NEVER OKAY.

NO. Death threats are for morons, assholes and shittards too stupid to think. If you are angry, that's fine. But DO NOT stoop to the level of brainless troll and make death threats.

If you make death threats, ever, it means:

1) you're an asshole;

2) your hated enemy has won, because he has dragged you down to his troglodyte level;

3) your enemy has won, because - in his mind - you have just validated everything he ever projected onto you, and he's going to entrench even more into his stupidity and congratulate himself on being right about you, even though he never has been up until the moment you made a death threat.



End of discussion.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Use more words: own your part of clear communication

Life would be so much easier if people just took more responsibility for making their message clear.

In any conversation, there are two people.  One person is trying to convey information, and the other is supposed to be trying to receive it.  

A lot of people use a few words, and then get pissy when the other person doesn't understand.  That's a simple case of "use more words" - the speaker has a responsibility to say enough to make information transfer happen. The speaker has a responsibility to not get pissy when the recipient can't read his, or her, or FYU, mind.

The more common point of communication conflict is that the recipient isn't actually listening. This is a common joke, which isn't actually funny, that "People just stand around waiting for their turn to talk."  When someone isn't actually paying attention to what is being said, there is no communication.  People pick fights with the noise in their heads, and take it out on the people around them.

This is another common point of communication conflict.  If someone asks a question, usually that person is looking for information.  However, I know people who "ask questions" as a way of expressing their anger and frustration. They're not really looking for information, they're just pushing the blame onto their target.  For example, "Didn't it ever occur to you that was so stupid!" isn't really looking for information, it's saying "I think that was really stupid," without bothering to own the emotion itself.

To clarify, if I think you did something stupid, then that's just it - *I* own the thought that you did something stupid. The appropriate way for me to express that is to say "I think you did something stupid."  The "passive aggressive" way for me to express it is to say "Didn't it ever occur to you that was so stupid!" - I'm pushing the blame for the thought in my head onto you.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of a shitty thing to do.

So, to recap, 
  • As speaker, you have to use enough words to pass along enough information that your recipient can understand what you are trying to say;
  • As information recipient, you have to actually be paying attention and putting effort into understanding what the speaker is trying to convey. You can't just sit around waiting for your turn to talk;
  • If you ask a question, put some thought into it, to make sure you 1) get the information you are looking for, 2) aren't just being a "passive aggressive" jerk.

(Finally, go ahead, be a smartass and pretend you don't understand anything I've written.  Oh, ha ha.  I'm going to ignore obvious taunts and trolls - I just don't have the energy for games right now. If you really want clarification, just say so. Thanks.)