Categotry Archives: Goofing Off

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Luck Deficit Disorder

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Categories: Fandom & Gaming, Goofing Off, Memoirs, Tags: , , ,

Once upon a long time ago we were in the midst of a D&D campaign, one of the players was famous for losing characters. To be fair to him, they were all his fault. In this campaign he was going through characters pretty quickly, he’d rolled up six or so and the last one we pillaged a crypt and he’d pulled a necklace off of a remarkably well-preserved corpse. We were a ways down the hall when he said he wanted to go put it back because he felt like taking it would jinx him. We allowed as how we weren’t going to go back with him, but we’d wait a couple of minutes. We hear the crypt stone slid aside, then screams and the sounds of something being devoured. So, being good companions, we shrugged and moved on. Now he was without a character left to play. So, we let him play the pet pig from one of his characters. That pig was amazing, racking up the battle glories as we fought our way out. We were a week out of the closes town, too busted up to hunt, when we ran out of rations…and then he really was out of characters.

© 2017, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Gaming Loophole

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Categories: Goofing Off, Tags: , , ,

Once upon a very long time ago (I was 14 or so) I was playing with a fairly new DM that let my character amass entirely too much power and swag. To counter this, he told me when I hit my next level he was going to take my character and retire it to demi-god status. I was a bit heartbroken, it was incredibly overpowered and badassed and what kid that age wouldn’t want a character like that. I was dodging fights and still gaining XP and coming closer to that dreaded time of surrendering the character. I think I was within 25 points when a random encounter roll put me in the same room as a succubus. He looked at me in horror and asked if I was going to kiss it to lose a level and hold on to the character a while longer. Kiss her? Hell no, I’m going to sleep with her! was my enthusiastic reply. Yes, I lost about 3/4 of my levels, but I still had all the swag and gear, so he still had to put up with me. He never got the character, I moved first, and nobody else would let that sucker in their games, but I made the most of the time I had him, and gloried in the stress I caused that poor rookie DM as he tried to find ways to kill it off.

© 2017, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Swirly

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Categories: Fandom & Gaming, Goofing Off, Memoirs, Tags: , ,

Once upon a very long time ago my best friend and I made a road trip to what was either a small convention or a large RPG/Gamer meet. Take your pick. We were pretty early so we watched the Axis & Allies games for a bit. We saw a new game coming out called Star Frontiers. Checked out some Tunnels and Trolls, Boot Hill, Star Trek, Chainmail and who know what else. We also heard some rumors about something called ElfQuest. Around noon, the DM we were waiting for showed up.

This was comfortably into the 1ed edition AD&D days, but by now everyone had their own homebrew tweaks to the game. So, we say at the table with the DM and she started in on a bag of Whataburger, she’d had a long and hungry ride to get there. So Buck and I got out books and dice and snacks together and the mandatory 2-liters of Mountain Dew and the backups ready and sat back to relax while she scarfed.

About this time, two guys wandered up. We’ll call them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumbass. Dee was a pretty quiet sort, Dumbass wasn’t. He looked over the table, dropped his bag next to Buck’s spot with a loud crash and looked down at the feasting lady at the head of the table. “That’s a player’s chair, sweetheart,” he said, “You’ll have to stand behind your boyfriend and watch when we start.”

She rolled her eyes and replied that she was the DM.

He called bullshit and I replied with my best sunday-go-to-meetin’ manners. “Dickhead, she’s here to run the game at this table, so yeah, she’s the DM.”

He looked over at me, at this time I was around 17 and skinny as hell. I mean, tease your hair to keep your pants up skinny I’ve gotten better since, obviously.

Anyway.

He proceeded to make a bunch of noise about wasting a table on a chick game, so I got up, grabbed his bag and carried it to another table and dropped it off. My buddy Buck stood up when he started to say something to me and since Buck was 6’4” and of the muscular persuasion he decided to keep it quiet, since he was a weedy-looking sort with muscle tone like a canned ham and a quarter of his body weight was zits. So, Dee and Dumbass wandered off and the gaming commenced, and it was EPIC! Fights so hard we were rolling dice with sweaty palms and dripping brows But, we kept hearing him making crappy little comments all through the game. Finally, they made a break for the bathrooms and Buck and I called for a break.

Sadly, Dee wound up stuffed in a tall metal trashcan headfirst and somebody beat on the sides of the can for a while. Dumbass went headfirst into the toilet. We never did find out who would do such a thing, and I’m still not sure to this day why my shoes were soaked so bad I had to run out and change into cowboy boots before we could finish the session, I must have really been sweating those dice rolls.

© 2017, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Meteor What?!

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Categories: Goofing Off, Memoirs, Tags: , , ,

One upon a long time ago, I was on a deployment and we were playing D&D one night to have a little fun and kill some time while we waited for the aircraft to return. I’m DMing and running an NPC in a wizard duel with a player, I go to throw the spell and brain-locked on the game. Finally I yelled out “Meteor Bukkake!” At least one double-nostril spray of mountain dew and I had a few minutes to kick start my brain while everyone is laughing. I still can’t think about a meteor swarm without a chuckle.

© 2017, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Riding with the Voices

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Categories: Goofing Off, Memoirs, Observations, Tags: , , ,

So, driving into Boise this morning and a car load of ladies is passing me, I ease up on the gas because it’s snowing and the road isn’t all that it could be, and then I notice that there’s a truck right on the car’s ass. She gets barely past me and his front bumper is even with my side mirror. That right there is a dick move, a lot of people do it, get up on somebody and try to intimidate them into getting out of their way. It’s a dick move, especially under these conditions, but it worked. There wasn’t much clearance as she merged into my lane, so I got off the gas entirely.

“What an asshole!” Says Id, looking at the truck.
“Something isn’t right,” Says Ego.
“We’re seeing an awful lot of the side of that car,” says Super-Ego.

Yeah, she’s sideways now and the idiot in the truck keeps me boxed in, now he’s suddenly not interested in passing anymore, it seems safer to him to leave me boxed in.

By this time my three observers are paying more attention to the car and its three occupants.

“Ladies!” Says Id.
“Their eyes are the size of pie plates,” says Ego.
“They’re getting really close,” Says Super-Ego. “And they’re more like pizza pans now.”

“STOP” Says Id.
“Better tap the brakes,” says Ego.
“Its going to suck,” says Super-Ego.

So, I tap the brakes and the back-end starts to swing toward the ditch and by this point I noticed that the passenger in the front seat of the car was wearing hoop earrings and had a bit of dental work. Her mouth was open that wide. We both left the road at this point, not a huge deal because this was a nice flat area with barely any drop-off. She’s got some spin going and I’m just following my rear bumper.

“Whee!” Says Id.
“This is like Sherlock deciding to fall forwards or backwards,” says Ego.
“Is this really the time to think about Sherlock?” Chides Super-Ego.

Since there’s now distance between us I use some brakes and stop fairly soon. Back to park, get it started again. Okay, so far so good.

“AGAIN!” Says Id.
“Damage report!” Says Ego.
Super-Ego was quiet, except for swatting Id with a rolled up newspaper.

So, I hop out and look over at the other car and motion for the driver to roll down her window. The lady in back did instead. “Everyone Okay?” I ask.

“We’re fine,” she replies then eyes my cane. “You?”

“Oh yeah, I already had this with me.” I reply as I check tires and all the various dangly bits under the truck.

“She’s not really sure about winter driving yet,” the back-seater said as I finished my walk-around. She was doing the same and the driver was sliding into the back seat, hiding her face.

I nod at that. “Well, that wasn’t it,” I allow, but I was laughing so she took it like I meant it.

So, back on the road and not far after that spot the road was completely clear. Cool, sped up to the speed limit, checking how the truck drove and noticing it wasn’t pulling to the right like it normally does. Have to check that out later. Anyway, I passed everyone that watched me hit the ditch and now drove about 20 under. I passed a few semis and as I passed the lead semi I saw a white pickup between the two big diesels find the only patch of ice for miles and make its own ditch run.

Odds are everyone thought it was me again.

See what happens when I forget my coffee? If I’d have pulled back into the driveway and run in for it I’d have been a mile or two behind where I was and we could have avoided the whole thing.

© 2014, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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What I’ve learned about me by reading through my sent emails.

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Categories: Article, Goofing Off, Observations, Philosophy, Politics, Veterans, Tags: , , , , , ,

Being the center of someone’s universe isn’t as hard as it sounds.

I was looking through my sent emails the other day trying to find something I’d recommended to a friend so I could pass the same recommendation on to another one and wound up spending half a day just perusing some of the things I say. I have found that there’s a slight case to be made for the argument that I’m grumpy.

    • Having a set of testicles doesn’t make you a man any more than standing in a library makes you intelligent.
    • Sitting on your ass and bitching about the rottenness of the world is fairly pointless. First of all it violates my Third Law, to wit: the right to bitch is reserved for those willing to make a difference. Besides, a world that has kitties to nom your toes while you type has a lot of hope left if you’re not too blinded by perspective to see it.
    • First you whine about my chili, and now you want some, fine you can suck out any that’s left in my beard. Ingrate!
    • Lefty? Righty? Blow Me! I’m neither left nor right wing, neither Republican nor Democrat because I have room for more than one thought in my head at a time.

“The unusual thing about soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen is that they look back to the worst times and can pick out the good from them. That’s why old GIs always seem to find each other, they need to share their stories with somebody else that knows how to laugh and cry at the same time.

    • Doubts about Darwin? Actually I think Darwin pretty much has the right idea, but every time I have to click spam for a message about Viagra on a website I sponsor that has lesbian right in the title I’m plagued by a small, lingering doubt.
    • “I DON’T UNDERSTAND BROADS.” Well Sparky, I think they understand you.
    • I appreciate the Honor Harrington series of books for three reasons. First because its basically Horatio Hornblower in space, Forrester was such a good writer that he even made being in the navy sound appealing. Secondly, its good science fiction with lots of nerdy tech mixed with well-developed characters. Third, is has a female lead and I really get tired of the testosterone-laden tomes centered around men. By and large the people that think women have no place in combat haven’t served with women, and I really recommend these books to them, it’ll start to drag them into the modern century.
    • Nobody ever wins a fight, even if you come out of it unmarked you’re still an idiot for having gone to blows in the first place. This from an expert, I’ve been an idiot several times, I just have the self-awareness to admit it.
    • Speaking as someone who’d been a ‘beneficiary’ of government healthcare since 1984, and is now disabled, I’m saying that its neither a great nor terrible thing, just that your mileage may vary. By the way, never make the mistake of saying it’s free, they deduct my monthly payment right out of my retirement and disability every month. Somebody is paying, always. You don’t think that the pharmaceutical industry pumped $100 million into backing the current Healthcare plan because they thought it was the right thing to do, do you? That’s spending roughly $2.50 a person for a whole new client base that can afford their stuff now.
    • It’s only my perspective? Of course its perspective, if we all saw things the same way we’d only have one political party. Wait, we have two but since they both vote for how the money flows there is a case that their perspective binds them together.
    • I have no philosophical problems with the concept of a God, I just don’t want to listen to people preach at me for or against the existence of one.
    • Some think it was callous, but when the doctor told me that “today is probably the best you’ll feel for the rest of your life,” I didn’t take that as grim news, it was her way of telling me what was ahead and that I’d better prepare myself for it.
    • Water is good for you? Water has killed more people than wars. Parasites and diseases, breeding ground for mosquitoes, drowning, hell it’ll even make a car rust. You need water to live but I like mine boiled and sanitized with either coffee or tea, or barley and hops.
    • “The Air Force sleeps in hard billets where their sheets are changed for them every day?” Are you a USAF recruiter? I’ve slept in cots no wider than my shoulders with the same sheets I stuffed into my A-bag for months at a time, sometimes I even got to wash them. By the way, I shared those tents, not hard billets, with 20-30 other guys, it was the dainty waft of dirty socks and guys that snored like woodchippers.
    • Opinion is thinking a politician is an idiot, annoying is your long email telling me why.
    • All I need to do to restore my faith in the world is sit on my back porch on a chilly fall morning with a cup of hot coffee and listen to the birds thank me for filling the feeders.
    • I’ll give you the same advice I’ve given to my daughter and every female friend I have. “There are two kinds of men in the world, married men and pigs, and half of the married men are pigs; and, until proven otherwise they all have Gynosyphiherpeles.”
Even when they're gone you still have the good times

Even when they’re gone you still have the good times

  • There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my dog, and the world would be a better place if people took the time to make a dog part of their family, especially those that leave them chained in the back yard their whole lives. There’s a difference between having a dog, and having a dog in the family, even if the family is just a person and their dog. Want to know what complete love and adoration is? Come home to your Fido after a long shitty day and return to your natural place as the center of someone’s universe. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a kitten purring in my ear like an untimed chainsaw and so I’m off to be the center of another universe.

© 2010, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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A Proper Coffee Cup

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Categories: Goofing Off, Observations, Tags: ,

cupThere’s something rather sacred about a coffee cup, its loyal, it’s low maintenance and it holds coffee.  It takes a long time to find the right cup for you, holding enough for you to drink, but not so much it gets cold before you need a refill.

Low maintenance is critical, all you need to do is dump yesterday’s dregs, give it a fast swish under the faucet and then add coffee and press on with pride.  There’s an unwritten credo, you don’t mess with somebody’s coffee, and that includes messing with their cup.

Back when I was a section chief in a jet engine shop my coffee cup apparently frightened people, it was very well seasoned, rather like the one you see here, the ceramic was all sealed up and there were no odd flavors that could creep into the sacred beverage.  Some people don’t understand seasoning a coffee cup, they put a hazardous waste label on the cup thinking I would get their message, it apparently eluded me and one horrible day a young airman named Ashley took my coffee cup down to the break room and violated it, with soap and a scrubby pad and then to add insult to injury she put it back on my desk, upside down on a napkin, and to compound the blasphemy she not only dumped out half a cup, she didn’t refill it before she brought it back.

Fortunately I was an adult about it, I chased her down, tossed her over my shoulder and tossed her in the shop sink and under cold water for a while.  It was the best I could do, apparently some sissy had ruled that a firing squad was excessive in these situations, so a dunking was the best I could do.  A few days later the cup was knocked off the desk and broken, I maintain it ended its own existence from shame.

I personally think that the reason we see so many people grievously ill from germs and bacteria these days is because we hide from the little buggers.  I spent most of my career working out on the flightline, roasting in the summer, freezing in the winter.  You learn how to eat a sandwich with greasy fingers and not leave a fingerprint on it, and you learn to wash your hands before you pee.  Fingerprints, and there are places you just don’t want to leave grime.

When I went to the shop I was talking to a few people about the plan for the day when a fly buzzed into my coffee as I was raising it for a sip.  When I hooked it out with a finger, flicked it away and kept drinking.  I thought they were going to blow chunks.   Lets get something straight here.  If I worried about dust and grit being blown in my food, or bugs landing in my coffee I’d have been in a race to see what got me first, starvation or dehydration.

All of this cringing over cooties is making the little suckers more and more resistant to the stuff we make to get rid of them, and all hiding from them does is lower your immunity to them.  Interesting statistic, during the Influenza pandemic of 1918 most of the victims were in their twenties, because all of the old farts had been exposed to everything already.  A little schmutz in your life is a healthy thing, so’s a well seasoned coffee cup.

© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Evil Thoughts in the Middle of the Night

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Categories: Goofing Off, Tags: , ,

Sometimes when the sandman seems to be busy somewhere else I sit and ponder on things, and being a bit of a contrarian sometimes those thoughts turn to evil things, not hurt people evil, but serves people right evil.


Thought #1: Walmart deserves a union. By and large I think that the era of the union has passed, but if anyone deserved to be unionized its the workers in Walmart. Y’all are screwed! They don’t buy American, they don’t like competition, they are a horrible employer. If the AFL/CIO is serious about protecting workers they should take on Walmart, after all, where would they be without trucks to deliver, are the drivers teamsters? Well then, if they don’t want a union in their stores then why should one deliver to them? And if a union doesn’t deliver to them, why aren’t they raising hell about it? Anyone remember the news coverage a few years ago because Walmart was telling employees that they needed to Medicare, WIC and Welfare? Walmart keeps lists of all of the forms they need to fill out for these things at every store. And if Walmart thinks that they can’t operate with unions, why do Walmarts in places like Germany have them, and still make a profit? They fare better than the $3 a day workers in the sweatshops in China.

I’d recommend everyone watch Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.

I watched it on NetFlix the other night, and one of the tings it mentioned was if there was any suspicion of union activity managers are required to call corporate who then dispatches a special management team, complete with advanced store surveillance gear, at the cost of roughly $7 million. It gives me the fiendish notion of leaving union buttons and stickers all over the store.


Thought #2: When Japan imports a car into the US it breezes right in, when the US imports a car to Japan is is almost stripped in the “safety inspections” and the cost of the inspection is passed on to the buyer, so not many US cars get sold there. Why is Japanese practice essential for them, but not for us? I lived in Japan for 7 years, I’ve seen what happens when their cars get in a wreck, it doesn’t look any better than when one of ours does. Screw it, our import laws should match those trying to import products into the US.


Thought #3: As much as I like the feel of a newspaper I know print is dead, its time for breaking the paradigm and converting to the internet. It’ll mean they have to get more creative in their advertising and finance, but better that than the slow painful spiral into insolvency. Think outside the box or sell out quick… no… wait… newspapers aren’t selling right now. Too late.


Thought #4: People need to quit bitching about the “lock” that conservatives have on talk radio. Screw it, break the mold. I listen to almost no radio, that’s over the airwaves or satellite, why bother, there’s this thing called the internet and on the internet you can podcast, or go out live. A great example is the Brewing Network, its about what it sounds like, its programming for home brewing beer and other like things. The programming has a set market, it has targeted advertisers and its damned good information. If a network can evolve around the hobby of homebrewing then why can’t one spring up over other things? The BN operates out of a garage and is funded by advertising and has a few hundred subscribing listeners, even though the content is free to listen to live or you can download it from their site or on iTunes or Zune. It can be done, people just need to quit thinking conventionally. Another fine example is Bodhi1 and his Field Guide to American Politics. Neither example has high dollar facilities but they both get their message out, which is more than you can say for Air America.


I think 4 is a good stopping point, after all I don’t want to sit up writing this thing or I’ll wind up working all night instead of not being able to sleep. Time for some unconsciousness.

© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Lost: The Fine Old Art of the Insult

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Categories: Goofing Off, Tags:

What has the world come to when the best insult a person can come up with is “boob,” it was a cool word in the 4th grade I suppose, you got a good double entendre chuckle from it, but seriously. How far has the art of the insult fallen these days? Insults are down to labels it seems, fascist is popular, Zionist, thug, and there are a multitude of –ists, anti-, counter-, and other labels that get hung on people, often times without clear context. Why not at least go with the intellectual one-worder like pogue, puzzlewit or miscreant, if one word is all you care to invest?

Classic insults, Churchill was good for an insult, Lady Nancy Astor once said to him, “Winston, if I were your wife, I’d poison your tea.” And without missing a beat he replied, “Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.” On another memorable occasion Bessie Braddock said, “Sir, you are drunk.” Again without missing a beat, he replied, “And you, madam, are ugly. But in the morning, I shall be sober.” Now there is style. We’ve lost some style about our insults, and that disappoints me.

Then you have Groucho Marx, of the famous Marx brothers, Grouch, Chico, Zeppo, Harpo and Karl, who once asked, “Do you suppose I could buy back my introduction to you?” and then there was one insult so good that two different people get credit for it, depending on who you ask, it was either Richard Brinsley Sheridan or Mark Twain that said “He is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts.” That’s style, it says everything and leaves the gutter down below.

Whatever happened to putting a little work into it, something like: “You’re village called, they need their idiot back.” Or something with a little twist, “You’re two stooges shy of a trio.” They may be a little corny, but come on, how original is falling back on simple labels. Exercise your wit, give it rein and let it free! Ok, I know, Thumper says “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But lets be realistic, somebody is going to get insulted today, and tomorrow, and the next day, so be original, or at least creative!

Lets look a list of insults that took a few seconds of thought.

  • When you hit rock bottom, quit digging!
  • I wish I could go back in time and give your old man a quarter for a condom.
  • Sure, I’ve seen people like you before – but I had to pay an admission…
  • Save your breath…You’ll need it to inflate your date.
  • Calling you an idiot would be an insult to all the stupid people.
  • He does the work of three men: Curly, Larry and Moe
  • Listen, are you always this stupid or are you just making a special effort today?
  • Anybody who told you to be yourself simply couldn’t have given you worse advice…
  • Well, they do say opposites attract…so I sincerely hope you meet somebody who is attractive, honest, intelligent, and cultured.
  • I heard that you changed your mind. So, what did you do with the diaper?
  • Why don’t you slip into something more comfortable…like a coma.
  • I know what sign you were born under…’RED LIGHT DISTRICT’

Yes, they’re a bit immature, but so is insulting people when you get right down to it. So, in the interests of purging our systems, lets see how creative we can be at this, but no names please, this is a venting exercise, not a slam-fest.

© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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