January 9th, 2009

Of Heart Attacks While Shovelling, the OC Transpo Strike Vote, and Dinosaur Auctions

A couple of stories that caught my eye in the news today...

Four shovellers have heart attacks

This is just sad, and terribly common at this time of year and after snowstorms, according to a local cardiologist. One of the problems is that folks who are going out to shovel snow is that shovelling snow is an isometric exercise, and those who are in poor physical shape and those who don't do some warm up exercises before they go and shovel are taking their lives into their hands. So let this be a warning to you, especially if you live in this kind of climate and have to deal with the snow like this.

Transit union rejects offer

And so the Ottawa public transit strike, now over a month long, will continue, and it looks like it's going to be a long strike. I could say all manner of stuff about the transit strike, but to be honest, it's a subject that a lot of people are talking about and blogging about, so there's nothing I really need to add. Other than the fact that the bus drivers and folks who work for OC Transpo could end up coming out of the this as the most hated people in the city of Ottawa by the time that it's over. The good news is that the friendliness and willingness of people to stop and give others a drive to wherever they are going (or at least close by during this time has been amazing and shows some of the good samaritanism that I had thought lost among people in this city. All I have to say is thank Goddess for car pools and the like.

Fossil hunters get bargain on dinosaur bones in Vancouver auction

All I have to say on this story is that I wish I lived on Canada's West coast. But then, let's get realistic here... I mean I would have loved to have the Edmontosaurus, but aside from the asking price (around $500,000, but it actually went for $150,000), where would I put it? The triceratops skull would have been nice to have, and I could have put this on the coffee table as a conversation piece, but I likely would have hurt myself on it. Besides, it sold for some $60,000 - a steal, I would think. The mosasaur would have been nice, but again, where to keep it...not like I have a high enough ceiling to suspend it from. And we won't even get into the dinosaur eggs, you know? *sigh*

Repo! Comes to Ottawa, Finally

Fabulous news for folks in Ottawa.

I have just seen in the Ottawa Citizen that Repo! The Genetic Opera will be playing here in Ottawa this coming week at the Bytowne Cinema. The production is getting interesting (mostly good) reviews, and it's something that I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it in a blog by gmskarka. Will definitely have to plan to see this sometime during the week.
  • Current Music
    Renaissance - "Running Hard"

Writer's Block: Comfort Food

When times are tough or you're feeling down, what's the one food you can count on to make you feel better?


For me, the two foods that do the job best are tuna casserole or mashed potatoes. Neither of these, of course, are good for me, being a diabetic, although substituting whole grain or brown rice for regular rice in the tuna casserole works. There is no substitute for regular potatoes, as sweet potatoes don't work in this regard. Sad to say. :( Not that I don't like sweet potatoes, of course.
  • Current Music
    Renaissance - "Faeries (Living at the Bottom of the Garden)"

Universe Character Creation - Handsor Alberts

Seeing as how I will be running the Universe SF RPG game tonight on the Friday night gaming group, I thought I would provide an example here of character creation so that folks can see what the system does, and how the process works. Bear in mind that I run a somewhat modified version of the game, and thus will note additions or changes or whatever in the text below.

Game: Universe SF RPG
Publisher: (Was published by) Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI)
Degree of Familiarity: Overly experienced. I have been running the Universe SF RPG since it first came out in 1981, all the way up through 2003 (with a few breaks along the way), and am getting back into the game now. The version of the system that I run has been somewhat modified and added to (as most campaigns of the game have been over the years), with new materials added to it.
Books Required: The Universe SF RPG Rulebook (plus additional materials specific to my campaign)

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As you can see from the LJ time stamp, it hasn't taken me all that long to create the character. For this write-up I've simplified some of the steps, and not gone into actually choosing at certain points along the way, rather than just rolling the dice. Not bad for a game system that's over 25 years old, huh? :) The character's background and story tend to be pretty much self-evident from some of the choices that I made in character creation, and to be honest, some of it is flexible enough to incorporate background elements that were left out deliberately.

Comments and thoughts on the character are welcome, and any discussion about the Universe SF RPG is welcome here in the Comments section.

Hope you all enjoyed! :)