My XBox Live Gamer Card
Tuesday, September 16. 2008
Anyone who has been reading here, knows that my first D&D character in over 20 years died a horrible death a couple of weeks ago at the hands of a mind flayer somewhere in the Underdark.
Well his replacement was just rolled, a Lawful Evil Human Cleric named Cullen Pryce. I put together a back-story for him, the DM put some back-story together for him and the two have been successfully merged into what will hopefully be an interesting character. I don't often let the evil part of me come out to play. It gets some exposure when I write fiction, but this will be a first time for me letting the evil inside me out to play in a game.
It will be an interesting journey.
Friday, September 5. 2008
Graham Williamson, my 5th level cleric died tonight at the hands of a mind flayer in the under-dark. I always knew he might die on his adventures, accepted that with some level of equanimity, but tonight he died, and I'm pissed, and not sure what to do.
It's been a long time since I played D&D (back in 1981 I played twice), and a few months ago when a friend told me he wanted to start a game and asked me if I'd be interested I was more than happy to join in. I knew some of the very basics, but not more so the last several months have been a wonderful learning experience as I learned more about D&D and Graham learned more about what he was capable of in the world that David created for us. Graham and I were both learning together.
More experienced players would likely have known that a talking mace was a bad thing, but me, in my naivete figured that since I was the only one in my party to be able to hear it, since it hated evil, and I was the only character with good alignment in the group, I was probably safe. Well many will-saves later I learned I wasn't, and I was frustrated at my inability to do anything about the situation. I won't be a slave, and I'm not a good enough role-player to have divorced my own feelings on the subject from those of Graham. When push came to shove and the mace was directing all my actions, Graham managed to tell it to fuck off at a crucial moment, and the mind flayer sucked out Graham's brain leaving him irretrievably dead.
I am not happy with that outcome. As long as I could role a will-save, my unhappiness was tempered by the knowledge that I had a chance at redeeming Graham. But once I could no longer make a saving throw, the beginning of the end was near. I'm surprised the DM didn't catch this when I was talking about the possibility of one of my compatriots to hacking Graham's arm off so he could be rid of the foul thing.
Thursday, August 2. 2001
I tend not to get too upset about things. In fact I rarely get angry about anything. One thing that really tends to set me off is when someone jerks one of my boys around. This is the story of such an incident...
When I asked my almost eight-year-old son, Travis, what he wanted for his birthday he surprised me by saying "a remote control car." I thought that was cool as I like finding things we can do together, and I have always been interested in things that are radio controlled.
The one thing I knew was that I wasn't interested in buying a cheap piece of junk that would break after a few hours of use. I did some research into Ready-to-Run (RTR) vehicles, and discovered that Traxxas has a pretty good reputation in the RTR market. I then went to my local hobby shop, Wayne's World of Hobbies, at 109th and Halsey here in Portland, Oregon. I asked lots of questions, and got lots of answers. I then visited a second shop and asked the same questions and got similar answers. That was a good thing. Wayne wasn't trying to pull the wool over a newbies eyes.
Being a small businessman, I like to work with small businesses whenever possible. Being somewhat parochial, I like to do business in my own neighbourhood when possible. That in mind I revisted Wayne's World of Hobbies, and purchased a Traxxas RTR Rustler, two NiCad battery packs, and a charger. The total bill was about $340. I took the stuff home and put it away until my boy's birthday.
On Travis' birthday, I left work early so we could spend a good chunk of the day playing with his new toy (it was expensive enough that he got no other presents from his mom and me). We opened the box, put in a battery, and that thing took off! It was one of the most amazing things I'd seen. It was fast, handled well, and we had a ball as we quickly ran through four battery changes. After that we stopped for a while so we could do some other birthday stuff. When we went back to the car we discovered that it's forward performance had greatly diminished and it had no reverse at all. That was disappointing especially to Travis who kept asking "Dad, what's wrong with it?" and "When will it work again?" and "Can you fix it?"
I got out the instruction manual and worked through everything having to do with the motor. I finally came to the conclusion that something was wrong with the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). That in mind, I told Travis that he wouldn't be able to play with his present any more until we took it back to Wayne's World of Hobbies and had him confirm my diagnosis and then fix it.
The next day Travis and I went to the store and had Wayne take a look at it. He too determined that the ESC was broken. When I asked him to replace the ESC he told me he wouldn't do it. That I would have to go to the factory to get it repaired. I wasn't too impressed with that answer, but left the store so I could gather my thoughts. Travis asked me why "Wayne wouldn't fix it?" After collecting my thoughts, I called Wayne back and told him I wanted to return the truck as defective merchandise he told me he wouldn't do that either. He had plenty of excuses as to why he wouldn't, but basically it comes down to his unwillingness to stand behind a product he is selling. I told him I was thinking of putting a charge-back on my credit card, and that didn't even move him. I asked him to solve the problem, and he used the opportunity to try and upsell me on a better ESC.
I called him again today--not quite a week later to see if he had decided to improve his level of customer service. He told me that the best way for me to deal with this situation was for me to deal with Traxxas directly. He got it wrong though, that's the best way for him to not have to deal with the expense of customer service.
I have talked with Traxxas, and they have been extraordinarily helpful. However, it will take time to get the part to them and back again, and Travis won't have his truck for our vacation next week.
I asked Wayne what his response would be if he had purchased a computer from me, and the video card died in four hours, and I told him that he would have to deal with NVidia directly to get it fixed. He said that would be OK with him...I don't really believe that.
Anyway, If you live in Portland, Oregon, and are thinking of buying some hobby stuff of any kind from a store named Wayne's World of Hobbies, I would recommend against it, I think the store sucks.
(Page 1 of 1, totaling 3 entries)
apple applestore blackberry books civics concert d&d dvd editors faith family fanboy firefly food food grilling and recipes friends gti halo hobbies honorharrington humour hyperlinq iPod ipr law linux motorcycles movies music onmyipod oop os/x pets politics priceless programming pubsub python rant recipes religion review riding ridinggear salad society sports support technology travel unittest video games widget writing wxpython xbox360
Last entry: 2010-03-04 12:39
166 entries written
12 comments have been made