Wednesday, August 21, 2019

At Least it's Shorter than 21 Questions

There have been a couple of posts rolling around in my head (the "Are MMOs Dead?" article that made the rounds last week was the inspiration for one of them), but I decided to put those aside for now and look at something a bit more light hearted.

Such as The Seven Questions from the Blaugust lists.

I saw Joseph Skyrim's post on his answers, and thought "I may have to steal this."

I went back and looked over my scribbles I'd put together for posts, sighed, and said "I REALLY need to steal that writing prompt."*

So, here goes....


My Sole** Contribution to Blaugust: Seven Questions about Redbeard

  1. What hobbies or interests do you have that you might not regularly include on your blog?

    Considering this is a gaming blog, anything gaming related gets covered here. So...

    I guess the first hobby is one I've mentioned once or twice, shortwave radio. Although I guess you could say electronics in general, but really I've not tweaked a circuit board in quite a while. I used to listen to shortwave quite a bit, stemming from roughly around the fall of the Berlin Wall, but as the internet has grown shortwave broadcasts have been cut back. Some stations no longer broadcast to North America, such as the BBC World Service, and other simply no longer exist, such as Radio Nederland. In North America, that means that the bandwidth has been taken up by religious broadcasters and assorted conspiracy nuts, so I've not had much reason to listen these days.

    Another hobby of mine that I haven't mentioned is audio. No, I'm not an audiophile --I simply don't have the money to be one-- but I do enjoy good sound and good music of pretty much any genre. But what I mean by this is that I've built my own speakers and I've installed car stereos (and speakers) many times. Yes, I really have built my own speakers. I've gotten the urge to build a new pair from time to time, but I don't have a lot of stereo equipment lying around that need speakers, so I've held off on that. However, seeing a design like this or this gets my juices going.
  2. Are you learning any skills at the moment? If not, what would you like to learn?
    Well, I suppose you could say that I've been spending the past year or two keeping up with the PC industry, watching the major players in PC component space, and reacquainting myself in how to build a PC. While I've built numerous PCs over the years, the last one I built was in 2003. When I went to replace that PC in 2007 (motherboard died), I priced build vs. buy and decided it was cheaper to buy a PC at the time. I performed the same cost/benefit analysis in 2012 when that PC had graphics card and motherboard issues, and bought the current desktop PC we own. But now, especially for gaming, the numbers have swung in the direction of building a PC, so I'm gathering as much info as I can before I pull the trigger in the next year or so and actually build a PC just for myself.***

    As for what I'd like to learn, I'd like to learn to play an instrument. However, I think my brain is wired differently than a musician's brain is, because I can understand the concept of scales, but when I try to learn to play, I don't think in terms of "High C" but rather "Note #15 starting at Middle C". I blame those "anyone can play music" books that reduced the notes down to numbers, which made perfect sense for me, but doesn't help at all when you're trying to learn the nuts and bolts of music. Therefore, I'm content to be the roadie (and DJ) of the family.
  3. If you were invited on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a new colony, would you go?
    No. Not because I wouldn't love to try to make it in a new colony, but because I'm not a big fan of dying by asphyxiation. I can handle dying from radiation exposure (pretty likely in a new colony in a world that doesn't have Van Allen Radiation Belts the same strength as Earth's does) or even starvation (I would joke that I can certainly use the diet), but asphyxiation... No.

  4.  What is the one thing that you most want readers to come away from your blog with? A feeling, thought, or understanding.
    I approach the blog as a series of extended conversations about gaming, so if people read the blog and say "Hmm... That was interesting," then I'm fine with that. I'm not going to be an Influencer in the industry, and PC isn't going to be anything resembling trendy, so I'm fine with just a few readers who find my posts interesting.****

    This is a post for another time, but I still shake my head at how Influencers make money posting on blogs or other forms of social media. I realize that one way to make money is to be in-your-face argumentative along with aggressive marketing, but that's not my style. Besides, the social media mob can turn on you at any moment, and I'd rather not be caught up in that. The Internet Giveth, and the Internet Taketh Away, I suppose.
  5. What excites you most about having a blog?
    If this were in the early years of PC, the mere fact that I was posting on an MMO blog --and the blog was acknowledged by some of the bigger names of WoW Bloggers (Tam of Righteous Orbs and Larisa of Pink Pigtail Inn) was thrilling enough. There was also the Twisted Nether blogcast that I participated in, and that was a thrill. But now, I'm just glad I keep posting on a regular enough basis to maintain about ~70 posts/year.

  6. If you could make one thing from a book, TV show or movie real, and in your possession, what would it be?
    Hmm.... That's a toughie.

    When I was in my teens, I'd have said --almost immediately-- "Anduril, The Flame of the West, born from the shards of Narsil reforged!"

    That would still be cool, but I think I'm going to have to go with the treasure found by Edmond Dantes on the island of Monte Cristo. Unlike Dantes, however, I don't have any revenge to plot; I'd much rather use the treasure for a lot of good causes.
  7. They say everyone has at least one book in them — if you were to write a book, what would it be about?

    That would be the novel I've tried to write several times, and I end up getting stuck about 50-100 pages in. The novel is a Fantasy (naturally), but not the classic D&D (or WoW) style High Fantasy, where it seems everybody has access to magic of some sort. It's also set in a timeline where parts of the world are in a Renaissance equivalent, and others are in the Middle Ages. The world is almost completely human --except for some Fey, who are found pretty much only in their hidey holes deep in various forests. Those who wield magic are very few and far between, and like a lot of other Fantasy worlds, don't gain access to their magic immediately: something has to happen to them, typically tragic, that causes the magic to manifest. This means that magic is viewed not only with awe but also a measure of pity, where the vast numbers of non-magical humans would rather not walk the path of those who can wield magic.

    Okay, that's a really short description of the world dynamics, so I won't go into much more detail than that. If you want a non-polished elevator pitch, here it goes:

    "Marcus Dartana is Bound to a Mistress he has never met, fears the dreams that sleep brings, and is pulled onward by a Fey device he can't throw away. His saviors hunt him, his friends use him, and he's convinced the gods are laughing at him. All he wants is to be free. Or dead, whichever comes first..."

*I wrote and entire post and decided to delete the damn thing because I couldn't adequately describe my opinion, and the longer I wait the less current the post will seem. That's the risk of waiting too long to respond to an article that popped up in (gamer) news.

**At least until the next interesting prompt shows up.

***The current desktop will serve my wife for a long time to come, assuming that the motherboard doesn't croak on that one, as she doesn't tax the system at all. I'll likely be replacing the main drive with an SSD this Winter, so she'll see performance improvements that will keep her happy for quite a while.

****I know that at least one mini-Red reads the blog, so if nothing else I've got one reader.


  1. Make that two readers! Good choice with Dantes treasure too! Lastly, your elevator pitch is amazing, what's stopping you from writing the book already? You are clearly good with words.

    1. My biggest problem is keeping the story from turning into a gigantic Mary Sue exercise. It never starts that way, and Marcus himself isn't a Mary Sue, but at least one of the secondary characters can very quickly turn into one, and I have issues keeping that from happening.

      Additionally, I'm not very fond of stories that have protagonists that suffer and get beat up just to give the story "gravitas". As I've said on the record for many times, I read for escape; if I want to see unrelenting realism, I'll go watch the news. But for me, the problem is trying to walk that line of giving a story internal consistency but not going full Game of Thrones --bloodbath wise-- on me.