October 7th, 2002


Riding the Meme Train

Quoth http://www.pdom.com/genealogy_population.htm:

Some Interesting Name Statistics for Ralph Melton
The Boy's Name Ralph is shared by ~380,100 people in the USA.
The Last Name Melton is shared by ~57,900 people in the USA.
The First Name, Last Name Ralph Melton is shared by ~80 people in the USA.
The First Name, Last Initial Ralph M is shared by ~27,040 people in the USA.
The First Initial, Last Name R Melton is shared by ~2,410 people in the USA.
Note: For populations of less than 1,000 the margin of error increases significantly.

I am surprised to be told that there are more Ralphs than Deannas and Monicas combined.

Contributing to the Economy

Two errands of yesterday:

- Our first errand was to obtain a tuxedo for Seth and Karen's wedding. We pondered the question of buying vs. renting, and settled on buying as the right choice, given how rarely I'm called upon to wear a tux.

Lori suggested that we look in David's Bridal. In the same shopping center in Monroeville, we noticed a shop called Jack's Tuxedo advertising a $39.99 price.

We were very pleased with Jack's. The salesman gave us no bullshit and no weaseling to get us to buy something more expensive than we wanted. Even if we could have gotten a somewhat cheaper rental elsewhere, I'm willing to pay $10 to be treated decently.

- After that, we went to McGinnis Sisters, not because we needed to so much, but because we were out in Monroeville. I was glad to go--it has so many lovely products, and I hadn't made it there in years. We ended up buying lots and lots of nice food, including some delectable herb-roasted turkey, some sparkling cider, a box of petit-fours, and more.

Sunday Dinner, Oct-6-2002

A simple but hearty Sunday dinner last night.

For an appetizer, we made a hot Fruit and Swiss Dip. This was easy and tasty. We'll make that again for parties.

For dinner, we made a mild Two-Bean Turkey Chili. Two grocery stores failed to oblige our search for ground turkey, so we used ground chicken instead. The chili was very nice anyway--the toasted cumin added a nice flavor.

For dessert, a berry crisp, again from one of the Pillsbury cookbooks. This too was fairly easy, and a very good mate to vanilla ice cream.

Afterwards, we played Beyond Balderdash again. It was a fairly enjoyable game, which I won by a hair.

I feel I should be more descriptive about all these things, but I'm failing to do so.

Game Shopping

I returned Game Mastering Secrets to Phantom of the Attic a while ago, because I didn't find anything novel or surprising in it. (Compare this to Robin's Laws, which was fantastically useful.)

So now I have some credit with Phantom. But I'm having trouble thinking of things I want to buy. The candidates I can think of:

- Nobilis.
Pros: I've heard lots of good things about it. I like the idea of a Sandmanesque RPG, and I like the discussion of pre-negotiating game contracts.
Cons: It's fairly expensive. I suspect that I'd be fairly challenged to play it, and that GMing it is beyond my current abilities. I'm not sure who I would play it with.

- The Buffy: the Vampire Slayer RPG.
Pros: I've heard lots of good things about it. It's claimed to be good at representing Buffy, and good at handling the differences in power levels between different characters.
Cons: I've only watched two episodes of Buffy; it's plausible that the RPG might not be the best way to get into the show. I'm not sure I would ever get to play.

- Monster Manual II
Pros: A much better chance that I'd actually find something useful for my current games.
Cons: I haven't heard much buzz about it, and I'm not sure it's likely to really thrill me.

I'd really like to buy good adventures. But it's hard to find adventures that look decent and fit well with my plot plans. At least I have a few months of adventures for the moment--hopefully I'll generate my own adventures in the meantime.

I'm not quite sure what I do want for gaming, but I'm having trouble finding it.