Urge to Game Rising

For the last two years, I’ve been the DM for a Dungeons & Dragons game that nominally meets every other week. We’re currently going through the adventure path Out of the Abyss, but we’re over a year in and only just getting to the halfway point in the story. And the characters will need some grinding time before starting the next chunk at a higher level.

Using an adventure path has proven to be invaluable. It’s pretty rare that I can’t prepare the session day-of if I’m too irresponsible to give it more time during the week. But even with this amazing material, it’s a lot pull together mentally.

We’re going to take a little break and I’m super excited about it. Most of my players have expressed interest in DMing a one-shot or module. We’re going to let everyone have a turn behind the screen while I get my creative juices flowing again to do the latter portion of the adventure. I’m looking forward to playing and seeing what ideas our will-be-DMs have in mind.

So that got me feeling good. Then this week a freaking awesome episode of Tabletop was released: Fate Core.

I have seen the rulebook for Fate at my friendly local game shop before. But my roleplay experience has always been in fantasy worlds like D&D and Pathfinder. So I didn’t really see the need to learn a new system.

But this video has me itching. I want to play it so bad. Not sure this is an urge that can be stopped. Who’s in? I’ll have what Dr. Osgood was having!


Ber last ran the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in 2015, right after we found out she was pregnant with Grace. Ever since she finished, she’s been excited to run it again. Today she finished the 2017 miniMarathon, after fourteen weeks of training.

I’m incredibly proud of her, and watching her complete such a big event really makes the last few months’ work and focus worthwhile.

Recently I’ve been thinking about life more and more in terms of segments.  The first segment of this year was Ber’s half-marathon. Our family’s #1 priority since the new year was Ber’s training for this event, and we were all on board with that. It’s not the only thing we did, but it was the most important thing.

At work I tend to think in segments book-ended by meetups. My team just went to Washington DC and I’m now looking at the work I’ll be doing between now and the Grand Meetup in September.

What seems appealing about this outlook is that it’s okay for big goals, because a segment is necessarily a large chunk of time. 14 weeks is a lot of time to get better at running. 5 months is a lot of time to get good work done. So even if every step forward is a small one, over the course of a segment you are certainly closer to your goal.

It’s a (mini) marathon, not a sprint.

Terrible Questions

If someone asks you a question, think to yourself about the quality of the question.

If it’s of poor quality, it’s best to respond with a question of your own.

Terrible questions will make your answer terrible. Don’t play that game: work your way to a good question instead.

I find this helpful in customer support, conversation, debate, and even wrangling with my stupid internal thoughts.

Photo by cogdog on flickr

Waking Up Early / Staying Up Late

I’m  better about getting done during the day most of the things I must do.

At least, I’m better now than I was a year ago.

I’m still really bad about improving myself, working on side projects, or in general making use of my personal time in a way that makes me proud. There’s a lot more sitting on the couch being tired than I’d like.

It seems like most folks (at least folks with kids) combat this one of two ways: waking up early or staying up late.

If you’ve intentionally ever started waking up earlier or staying up later to work on something – I’d love to hear your story. Or hell, hear someone else’s story you know about. Please leave stories, advice, or links in the comments?

When Purchases Can Make You Happy

My favorite blogger, Mr. Money Mustache, has been a major force in my life since 2011. He doesn’t post as often as he did in that first year, but MMM still appears from time to time and I always find it valuable. Most recently, he made a splash on the Tim Ferriss podcast.

In that episode he provided one of the most brilliant rules of thumb I’ve ever heard. In regards to what he thinks about when making a purchase:

And finally, I ask myself “Is this removing a negative in my life?” Because it’s pretty well studied that happiness is not very much affected by adding positives to your life. It’s mostly – especially in a rich world environment like we live – it’s mostly accomplished by removing things that are a strong negative to everyday.

You can hear this part of the discussion around [46:33] in the episode.

What a great bit of guidance! If you’re solving a problem, and buying a thing is the best way to solve that problem, that purchase has a much better chance of contributing to your happiness. If you’re purchasing something because you’re counting on the purchase to make you happier you’ll always be wanting.

MMM explains this principle more deeply here: A Lifetime of Riches – Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

But that rule alone someone could add to every single purchase: am I removing a negative or adding a positive? How much spending could you avoid if you followed that as much as possible? You don’t even need to aspire to greater net worth to find value in that, only greater happiness.

Photo credit: cadencrawford on flickr