September 17th, 2010

[fades] pissy

[fades] in UU hell!

So this Sunday my church committee is doing their annual "Connections Fair," wherin every little group in the church puts up a table and shows their stuff. This event is my baby, the big thing that I do every year for the church.

One part of this is the church's program guide, a booklet that lists ALL the groups and programs. It's a fair bit of work to put that together, we've got like 65 little groups!

This year, one of my committee members took that on, and she did a very good job of it, but was having some graphics problems--which we fixed with a magic marker, but it did add a sense of deadline doom to the thing, since we did that this morning.

I've scheduled a long lunch break, from 11:00 to 2:30, to photocopy 250 or so of these 12-page booklets, each one with a good cardstock cover, plain paper interior.

Secretary: "So we'll just double-sided print job the cover, print those seperately, then use a "cover" function to bind it all together."
Copier: "No. I don't want to. That's too much work."
Apparently, it doesn't DO double-sided cardstock printing. I can see that. So...I side-load it, then flip them over to print on the other side.
Copier: BeeP BeeP BeeP!!!
No, apparently you can't do that because you can only print something once.
Secretary: Yeah, there's a mode you can put it in, for already printed paper.
*she presses some buttons*
Copier: Yay!
One copy, two copies, jam.
Me: Crapola, I see where this is going.
I do about 50 covers on this beast before switching to the old 1995 copier, which works just fine, if a little slowly.

Secretary comes back to help me with using a cover function. Like a good teacher, she has me press the buttons, so I've got it down in a moment.

Copier turns out one perfect booklet.
Press "1" again.
Copier turns out one perfect booklet.
Secretary leaves to go to work.
I press "10" and print.
Copier: BeeP BeeP BeeP!!!
Argh! The beast is jamming one booklet in 3. I start doing two at a time, whcih works okay, then it starts jamming every other, finally it jams several times in the same booklet. I can't get it to STOP because it doesn't cancel easily when it jams.


After 45 minutes to print 10 booklets, I change plans, ditch the nice quality recycled paper (bear in mind we do try to be environmentally thoughtful in the UU, it's a denominational commitment). I start doing basic 8.5x11 with an orange, basic colored paper cover.

Copier is jamming every other booklet.

Sometimes, it cheerfully SPITS paper out, landing as much as two feet away. Wheee!

I study it--basically it'll print one booklet, then staple the next one to the first one, then lock up entirely. Oh, great.

So, I set up a rhythm. Print two, remove the first, hand-staple the second. It's sloooow, and my lunch break is drawing to a close.

Then, it starts jamming reliably every booklet. Argh.

Finally, I've got about 20 minutes left on my break--so, I give up. I press a few buttons to set up a "8.5x11,double-sided, one-staple, black and white" job.

It prints.
It prints. Bear in mind, it's printing about 130 of these.
Three minutes before I have to be 10 miles away for a conference call.
I'm packing up, cleaning up...and...
my budget on the copier runs out, five booklets before the job's over. I'm a committee head, I didn't even know I HAD a limit!


Basically, since my denomination doesn't believe in heaven--except as a metaphor for an ideal reality on earth--this is, by extension, hell. Wheee!
[fades] gamer geek

Jonseing for World of Darkness

I'm in the middle of a campaign now, and don't see myself putting it off for a long time yet. But I'm really jonesing to run a World of Darkness game. Or at least something a little darker, where the PCs aren't scripted to win. That IS an assumption of heroic fantasy, monkey with it at your peril. Victory may be phyrric, but it is assured.

If asked what i'd like to play most, I'd have to say "A really good werewolf game," followed by "a really good changeling game" and a "really good Mage game."

As to what I'd enjoy *running*, I'm really jazzed by Changeling: The Lost, but it looks so limited, particularly compared to the previous settings. The game is gorgeous, its concepts are rich--but it's SOOO Charles de Lint, "Evil Fairies Raid an Art Commune in Toronto, Film at 11." You can expand it a bit, but the characters tend to be made to be paranoid and isolationist. Old School Changeling was kind of dippy, at least in the way it tended to be played--The Eternal Revel (with a bit of monty python) rather than "My last meal shall be the mead of the gods and chocolates filled with passion before you condemn me to death by exile in the real world, la sir." But it had a strong quest structure, court intrigue, and none of that isolated terror feeling. The "things outside the fire" is all well and good for writing a short story, but I'm not sure it sustains a campaign.

Then again, is a campaign strictly necessary?

You could EASILY run Labyrinth in Changeling: The Lost. Totally. It's probably listed in the bibliography. But Labyrinth is a bounded story.

I don't want to run Mage. It's crazy-making.

Werewolf and Vampire seem the best suited for long-term, open-ended campaigns, and to be fair, I know Werewolf really well. After years of larping, I've actually run werewolf moots and other rituals. But I want to *play* werewolf, not run it!

Ach, the curse of the DM, we are doomed to run the worlds we want to live :(
[fades] excited!

Yay halloween stores :)

So, like eight years ago I helped manage a Spirit Halloween Superstore. In a certain respect, this was the "last gasp" of my adolescence, since immediately following I did the "move-out, get-a-place" routine, which turned into "crashing financial debt, interpersonal drama." So, it was well-placed in the halcyon, sepia-tone period of my life, kind of. Except for that annoying point where someone blew up NYC and the pentagon, that was a damper, but neither here nor there.

At any rate, I have a love of Spirit Halloween that's perhaps disproportionate to the actual worth of the content, so I'm always excited to see the big orange banners going up toward the end of August :)

I took a little time out yesterday to stop by the SH near my house--near Parmer and I35, across from the Target, y'all Austinites. It was GREAT. The two girls they've got doing display-work are stellar, and the organization is weirdly logical. There's some new fairy costumes that are nicely done, though I didn't really find anything I had to take home with me (and I'm no-where near androgynous enough to wear a fairy costume even if I wanted to, which, well, no thanks! but one can admire :)

Hoofed over to the target, and bought a few new halloween placemats. My goal is to be able to serve 16 people on matching plates, matching silverware, and totally un-matching halloween placemats and napkins. I'm actually getting close on the placemats. I can't find a halloween tablecloth that fits our huge table though :(

There's a second-rate costume place with really, really good shoes at the end of the block, but I've never quite figured it out. The costume selection is sub-par, compared to Spirit. But they have really good shoes and hats. *shrug*

Wandered off with Nox Arcana's three latest albums, which sound like all their earlier work, yay! One had a fairy tale theme, allegedly, but it's not very pronounced, except for a lot of extended handbell solos.