In the ink well

Dog Ear

January 28, 2021

The Nature of Stories (DOG EAR)

’m a writer. And I’m also a model railroader. Yes, I play with trains. Actually, in my case, model railroading is every bit as story-filled as writing. For example, we are currently finishing up a Dairy Queen restaurant on part of our sectional layout. There was discussion on how to make it stand out, to be more than just a model of a road-side business. So the result was to put a whole bunch of motorcycles out front, parked in a row. And around the corner, before the outside “Men’s” room door, a line of a dozen desperate bikers, all […]
January 21, 2021

So I’m a Dick (DOG EAR)

’m an avid thrice-a-week cyclist and my primary path out of the city is the Cady Way trail. There is one Ichabod spot, a place where the route punches through a stand of woods on a long curve (southwest of Baldwin Park). At night, it’s downright spooky. But this was bright daylight and I was returning home, four miles short of my thirty mile round trip. Looking up, I saw a curious sight – two people in white with conical hats. Given the turn and my blistering 17mph speed and the long curve, I didn’t have a whole lot of […]
January 14, 2021

Character Progression (DOG EAR)

’m happily working on a game, Solar Trader 2, which I’ll post in my links as it gets to a more playable state. But why the heck am I talking about that… in a literature post? The original Solar Trader was an Excel game, a massive attempt to bring near-future space ship maneuvering into a game format. It worked okay but never found any following – it had a very steep learning curve that pretty much killed it for most people. It’s been a couple of years and I really like the idea of its Expanse-like setting. During this time, […]
January 7, 2021

Losing it (DOG EAR)

esides writing, I love coding games. Always a challenge. As far as versioning (making sure you have a backup copy), I always make sure that before I start coding for the evening, I save a copy with an incrementing number on it. So, we have “game1” “game2” “game 3” and so on. During Christmas weekend I had a lot of free time so I threw myself into my game. Wrote for six hours and managed to get a number of clever and interesting game paths done. Since the game saves on every compile, and it’s all saving to that same […]
December 31, 2020

Best of 2020 (DOG EAR)

rankly, it’s been a rotten year. Covid. Politics. Domestic stupidity. Really, these are the times that try mens’ souls (if they even have them – and given the mask-dodgers, I’m not so sure). As far as reading over my first full year or retirement, there were only a handful of books that really shook me (and another one just missed the cut because I just finished it today and it won’t post until next Sunday). As it stood out, I actually read only five books that really hit home (there were some other good ones but not as good as […]
December 24, 2020

Three on Three (Dog Ear)

was doing my last-minute Christmas shopping the other day (which was good since someone in my train club called while I was and said he’d maybe had contact with a Covid case and I had hung out with him Saturday). But I was already mulling over something I’d just seen. Of course, I’m a Mange/Anime guy. I love the stuff, the raw power and beauty of a well-told story (even though they have a lot of clunkers, too). So I’d wandered over to where the Manga was, the outer three walls of a U-shape of shelves. All three outer faces […]
December 17, 2020

Are we having fun yet? (DOG EAR)

t always surprises me what criminals (scammers, embezzlers, politicians) do with their ill-gotten gains. Generally they are arrested and the monies they so desperately stole has gone to “jewelry and lavish vacations”. And even that doesn’t cover it, since the vacation is usually to some place that is a vacation destination amongst beach idlers and discotheque-goers. I mean, really, what the hell? I think this is true of more than just criminals. People who know me know how much I scoff at the upper-middle class (I see your hand up, Denise). Like these ill-considered criminals, these are people who don’t […]
December 10, 2020

Stories (DOG EAR)

as out cycling today and saw a big pickup rounding a corner into Baldwin Park, a snobby upper-class neighborhood  just up the road. And I had to think – why would a rich bastard who probably couldn’t lift a bag of mulch himself (as if he didn’t have gardeners for that) need a pickup truck? It’s got to be his story about himself. Down to earth practical, right? My own cars tell stories about me, sporty, economical, fun and nostalgic. Yes, those are the stories I want surrounding me. In ancient times (like those in the books I’ll be plugging […]
December 3, 2020

Volleyball (DOG EAR)

like anime – Japanese animated series, for those of you in the dark. It’s weird and strange and oddly informative. Sometimes you can see that slice of life, a part of what it means to be human. Other times, it’s just giant robots. When my niece Kirstin suggested Haikkyu!!, I was a little dubious – it’s a volleyball epic, a story about a short Japanese student who loves volleyball and wants his high school team to be successful. The thing is, he’s short, but he’s light, so he’s got this killer jump and this crazy spike. It’s fun to watch […]
November 26, 2020

Imagination on tap (DOG EAR)

t all started with a threat of riskware. Since I’ve started roleplaying again, pretty much every week involves me trying to come up with a continuing storyline for players who might reject a carefully constructed plotline and go helling off across our imaginary landscape. After all, our Solaris game is science fiction and a new change of scenery is only as far as the nearest docking port. So I found this website that generated all sorts of things: names, taverns, spaceships, gangs, a massive collection of randomness. Some of the names (based off nationalities, which is a big part of […]