Monday, January 7, 2013

Entry #9 or, "A prose by any other name..."

Hey all,

     I bought a set of Story Cubes several months back for the sheer novelty of them. I haven't done anything with them other than mention I own them, but tonight I think I'll try to use them in writing.

Here's what I rolled:

First roll I'm actually using

     I put them in an order that seemed right to me; no idea what will come of this roll. The old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". If that's true, I should be able to get a good 9000 out of these.

No outline, no prep, just seeing what I can get out of these symbols. So here goes:

     There's a legend up in the Mid-West, or so the stories go, about the mounds that are found in the Mississippi Valley. According to it, the peoples who once dwelled there attempted to build temples to rival those of the Egyptians or the Aztecs. Like those ancient civilizations, these folk attempted to build along the cardinal directions and made eight buildings arrayed in a circle facing inward.

     When they had finished, the people held a great feast with a huge bonfire in the center of the circle at the height of the celebration, a star appeared in the heavens and fell to earth, landing in the bonfire. The people didn't know what to make of this; was it a sign from the gods? If so, what did mean? Did they approve of the people's work or condemn it? 

     The star was revealed to be a child, who stood up and walked out of the fire unharmed. Whether the child was a boy or a girl, the stories don't say, but it was beatific to behold and drew the people's attention to itself.

     "I have come from the stars", it said, " to tell you of a land beyond where the sun sets." 

     "What is this land?", the leader of the people asked, "Why have you come to tell us of it?"

     "It is the land that I have come guide you, for this land will soon fall under great darkness and cold.", said the child.

     "What do you mean?", said the leader, "this land is fertile with game and crops and we have labored long hard to build these temples. Four seasons have come and gone since the first stone was layed down; we have proven we can live and tame these lands."


I'm not exactly sure what the child would say in response, so I'll leave it hear. I'm still not in the habit of actually writing so it will be awhile before I pick this back up again, though hopefully not too long. 

So, until next time,

Joshua (Sweeper) Brumley

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Entry #8 or, "Your timing, sir, is impecable."

Hey all,

A couple of days ago, I get a call from my dad who has my old smartphone. He tells me that the Department of Homeland Security called and needed me to get in touch with them. The reason? To take a physical for the Border Patrol.

I took the entry test around a year and a half ago when I was still living in Arizona and this is the first I've heard from them since. I now live in Maryland which means their call came came through a few weeks short.


Now I'm trying to get in touch with the hiring center to update my contact info. so I can schedule the physical. Trying to reach them is a task in and of itself; all their agents are constantly on the phone.  Hopefully, someday, I'll get in contact with them to get my info corrected so I can do the physical and see where it goes from there.

Which brings me to another possible problem, my weight. I never was and never will be a 'thin person' (as Kevin Smith like to call them), but these past few months showed that I dropped the ball on keeping healthy.

260 lbs.

Yup, I wasn't paying attention and I gained a mess of weight. Whoops.

Time to get the bike fixed and my posterior on it. I'll begin to post my weight on the posts as kind of a way to keep myself honest. Hopefully it'll work.

Until next time,

Joshua (Sweeper) Brumley

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Entry #7, or "Trek to the East."

Hey all,

I recently moved from the deserts of Arizona to the shores of Maryland in an attempt to find something like work, if not actual work, and get my life back in order. Currently staying with family until I can: 1) Find a job that pays a little better than min wage, and 2) Find an apt I can afford. and 3) continue school.  I may have to put off school for a semester to establish residency  so I don't pay the ridiculous out of state tuition the local colleges here have  ($300+ per credit? WTH?).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Entry #6 or "What should I jot down?"

Ever since I bought this tablet, I've been investigating it's usefulness. As a PDF viewer, the Nexus 7 is very good. It also works as web browser, media player, and a passable gaming device; I bought it to see how well it could stand-in for my PC.

I'm currently writing this on my tablet with the on-screen, something I'm not particularly a fan of it. But I'm tolerating it to get my thoughts down.

Hmm... Not very organized, ought to work on that.

Still dabbling at writing; it's tough, tougher than most things I've attempted in my 37 years. People tell me I'm a good writer and my grades for my papers reflect that, but I don't take to it. Heh, maybe I'm hobbit in spirit; I can be capable of good, if not great, writings, but I don't take to it readily.

Mur Lafferty, of the "I Should Be Writing" podcast, says that it is hard, but the act of writing anything is helpful. So here I am, pounding away as it were on the screen.

Catch y'all later,

Josh "Sweeper" Brumley

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Entry #5 or "The QR Code of Doom"

     I've been looking at the Call of Cthulhu Role-Playing Game, recently. It's kind of interesting-to me, at least-that in the 21+ years I've been playing Role-Playing Games, I've never given Call of Cthulhu or it's licensees much thought. Horror never had much of an impact on me, I suppose.

      Lately, however, I've been giving games and genres I'd normally not be interested in a chance. This is thanks in part to my friend Jason calling me out on it. Jason is big supporter of indie-RPGs and "alt-settings" and was always introducing new games to the group we both used to be part of. The rest of us were in the proverbial rut as far as our RPGs went and we usually blew off Jason's attempts at showing us new stuff. One night he became frustrated and chewed us out about it. Jason is usually a low-key type of guy, so this naturally caught us off-guard. He didn't (quite) guilt us into trying new games, but he did point out the problem.

     When I realized the problem, I started to wonder just what I've been missing out on. So we started to really get into the games he brought in. Not all of them were winners, but enough of them were fun to have me pay attention to indie-game more often.

     What does this have to do with the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which has been the industry standard for Horror RPGs for 30 years? Only that it's one of may games and/or settings I never gave much thought to recently. So I buy a PDF of Call of Cthulhu RPG and get The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft ebook for my nook and start reading.

     I read enough of the RPG to give Scenario writing for a shot. Deciding to place it in the modern era, (as opposed to the 1920s and '30s of Lovecraft's writings),  I set up an outline for "The QR Code of Doom". QR Codes are those funny looking labels you see everywhere that you scan with a smartphone and it opens a link to a website of some sort. I thought that would be an interesting jump-off point for a group of investigators or even "Ordinary people in Extraordinary Circumstances" that I to read stories about.

    I don't know if I'll ever get to run it, but it would be interesting to see how it would play out, for better or worse.

I've done enough rambling, need to start writing more regularly.

Until next time,
                      Josh (Sweeper) Brumley 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Entry #4 or "Classic Books and Classic Games"

     I headed to Sierra Vista last Sunday in an attempt to buy RAM for a few of the computers here in the house. My Dad's Laptop, which runs Windows Vista, was in dire need of an extra gig and I wanted to bring my own Windows 7 machine to 4gigs over the 2 I have in there now. The Best Buy in town has the ram needed for my Dad's PC (DDR2 Laptop), but for reasons only known to the district distributors, they don't carry the DDR3 desktop ram I needed. Really?

     To say I was unimpressed is to put it mildly. Fortunately, I can live without the extra ram as my desktop works fine. Unfortunately, I can't play Star Craft II with any decency just yet.

     Yeah, yeah. "Woe is me", I know. But during the trip, I also stopped by Staples to see if they had any Ram. They did, but not at a price I was willing to pay just yet. What I did pick up there was a 50 pack of CD-Rs and the Age of Empires Collectors Edition. The CD-Rs are for making backups of my ever-growing collection of audiobooks that I listen to when working. The AoE collection I got for both a bit of nostalgic fun, and to bone up on playing for when Age of Empires Online comes online this August. 

     Been having fun playing AoE I and II, they run well on Win 7 Home Premium for those curious. Just an odd color-shift of the ground tiles that, while it looks weird, doesn't affect the game itself. It makes me wonder about all this "backwards-compatibility" deal in Win 7 Pro and Ultimate. 

     But anyways, I did manage to get into the Age of Empires Online Beta. Turns out, MS had an overwhelming response when they put out the beta tester requests, so they opened it back up again. The Greeks are currently the only civilization playable, but I'm enjoying myself.

     As far as classic books, I've been reading through my ever-growing collection of ebooks. I'm currently reading The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's the first-or third, depending on who you ask-book of The Vorkosigan Saga. I wont go into any detail about the book, but I will say It's has been a good read so far. Those interested can find the ebook version Here.

     Well, that's about all I have for now.
     Until next time,
                            Josh (Sweeper) Brumley

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Entry #3 or "Living la vida mobile!"

I don't know just how well this will turn out, but what the hell, right? I am currently writing this entry on the new Droid Pro I just purchased with my dad. It's part of an effort to make the jewelry sales my step-mother operates more profitable. This means I can blog, tweet, and Facebook pretty much anywhere I have a cell or wi-fi signal. To be honest, I find that I'm missing my full sized keyboard already. I can type just fine on the keyboard of the pro, but that doesn't make typing any easier. I suppose I'll just reserve using my phone to post blogs for when inspiration strikes and I'm away from my PC. Yeah, that'll work. So, until next time, 
Josh (Sweeper) Brumley