Posted by: Mark | February 20, 2017

Red Dragon Inn

I’ve seen Red Dragon Inn for years but never read the instructions. I assumed it was a variation of Dungeons and Dragons. It is and it isn’t.

There’s no monster fighting or traditional adventures but the game is full of binge-drinking, gambling, and practical jokes. Basically the last character to spend all his money before passing out drunk wins.

Each character has seven cards to keep sober, knock out other players, or other tricks. I guess you could have a D&D campaign like this but I’ve never heard of one.

With expansion packs, it’s possible to play with 21 players but that would be a mess. The people I played with had a game with 18 and said it was unmanageable. The rules say you can play with two people but seems like playing hearts with two–possible but not much fun. Four to six seems best.

Easy to learn, fun, and original. If you’re not offended by heavy drinking, I’d recommend it.

Posted by: Mark | February 18, 2017

Resolution Update 7


Along everything else, I can’t tell a male gerbil from a female:

1. Run 730 miles – with my knee in a brace, I made no progress–still 56.7 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – maybe I could have done some but I didn’t–still 316 and 350.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I probably lost ten pounds of fluids when they drained my knee but I didn’t check.

4. Support 24 local artists – nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – still eight.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – a little ahead of schedule with 5,701

7. Read all the New Testament – finished 2 John (all one chapter of it).

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 272 with 268 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this is #28.

Posted by: Mark | February 17, 2017

Finnegan’s Wake : Chapter Ten

Finnegan’s Wake has 17 chapters and I just finished chapter 10. It had a different format than the others, with footnotes and comments in left and right margins. This doesn’t make the narrative any clearer but it was somewhat quicker to read.

I’ve pushed on to page 272, leaving 268 to go. Maybe the second half will be easier.

Posted by: Mark | February 17, 2017

North Central Branch

I had to go to Fairfield, Ohio, for work which turned out to be close to the North Central Branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library.

It’s one of the newer libraries with a more modern appearance but not as much room for books (newer libraries tend to have more meeting rooms than older libraries do.

There was a lot of space for kids and teens which is great overall but, without the Devilspawn, it was more of a general observation.

The pet section (636) was almost entirely dog and cat. Again, for the general public, that’s probably the best use of funds but I was left out.

Overall it seemed like a nice branch, just not quite geared to my weird interests.

Branches visited of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County: Main Library, Anderson, Avondale, Blue Ash, Bond Hill, Cheviot, Clifton, College Hill, Corryville, Covedale, Deer Park, Delhi Township, Elmwood Place, Forest Park, Green Township, Greenhills, Groesbeck, Harrison, Hyde Park, Loveland, Madeira, Madisonville, Mariemont, Miami Township, Monfort Heights, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Washington, North Central, Northside, Norwood, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill, Reading, St. Bernard, Sharonville, Symmes Township, Walnut Hills, West End, Westwood, and Wyoming.

Posted by: Mark | February 15, 2017

Not That Bad

I was warned that having fluid drained from a knee is very painful. It hurts less than giving blood and is about four times as quick. Fortunately for me, the fluid was clear, not cloudy, so it’s not gout. No one is sure what happened but I hope it never happens again.

Posted by: Mark | February 14, 2017

February 14, 2007

Ten years ago tonight, on this very strip of road, I seen the worst accident I ever saw–no wait, that was Large Marge. Ten years ago tonight my dog died. I still sometimes dream about him and wake up wondering where he is.

I meant to get another dog but it’s looking less likely.

Posted by: Mark | February 11, 2017

Resolution Update 6

On Wednesday my right leg started to ache. Thursday was even worse. Yesterday I had another shift at the pet store. Afterwards I could barely stand and when I finally got home, I couldn’t walk. I could wiggle/moonwalk a few inches at a time but couldn’t get far.

I had to go to the ER and found that my knee cap is full of fluids. I might have to have it drained but for now I am immobile.

New Year’s Resolutions took a hit:

1. Run 730 miles – I should have 84 miles today but I only did 2.1 miles on the elliptical machine on Monday for a total of 56.7 miles for the year.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – no change from last week, 316 and 350.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I have enough fluid in my leg to fill a ten gallon aquarium. I’m going to wait until it’s gone before getting on a scale.

4. Support 24 local artists – nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – I’m actually ahead of schedule with eight.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – I’m 45 words ahead of schedule with 4,647.

7. Read all the New Testament – starting James, my 14th book of the year.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 240 with 300 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this makes 23.

Posted by: Mark | February 9, 2017

Rhino Horn in 2017


Betta fish are shipped from California to the pet store in tiny bags of water, wrapped in an L.A. newpaper printed in Korean.

Normally there’s not much I can decipher (although it’s easier to understand than Finnegan’s Wake) but this ad is clear. The rhino horn images reflect the goofy belief that a substance made of the same stuff as fingernails can act as an aphrodisiac.

I found an English version of the ad and fortunately the product does not contain real rhino . I guess it’s no different from carrying a rabbit’s foot but rabbits aren’t nearing extinction.

Posted by: Mark | February 7, 2017

That Was Fast

90 minutes and it’s all over. I will do a lot of things differently if I teach a film class again. Considering it took 25 years before I got my first one, maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Posted by: Mark | February 7, 2017

Exam Night

Only 46 minutes until my only exam. No word if I’ll have a new class anytime soon. Not sure how it will go.

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