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Five Unexpected & Deadly Monsters From The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio For Your OSR & Old School Adventures

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 07/05/2019 - 02:52
"A Guidebook of Creatures Malevolent and BenignThis tome contains alphabetical listings of monsters designed for use with the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game system. Each creature is describes and most are illustrated for easy identification. Using the new encounter tables contained herein, this work is sure to add new excitement to any AD&D game."Its the fourth of July I cracked Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Touch of Rebellion

Knitting | Work in Progress - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 21:06
It's a busy week in North America. Monday, our neighbors to the north celebrated Canada Day, and today, Americans are celebrating Independence Day. 

In the US, red, white and blue are the unofficial colors of summer, so through the years, I've managed to build a rather substantial collection of coasters and cloths suitable for these occasions.

It's been quite awhile since I've added to this collection, so this seemed like a good time to rectify that oversight, plus the prospect of a quick FO was difficult to resist. The simple color-block heart from several years ago has always been a favorite, so I knit another to keep it company, using the Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots pattern. 


Has my guage radically changed? Did I grab the wrong needle size? Was the yarn simply feeling quixotic?
I truly couldn't say, but there's no denying the new heart (foreground) is noticeably larger than its siblings. And that's okay. A tiny touch of rebellion seems perfectly appropriate for Independence Day.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

“The Believers” vs. The Empiricists

The Rational Man - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 19:38

I’ve been meaning to do a post about this for a while now, and given the present ideological schism in the Manosphere (still searching for a better term) I thought reposting this would be relevant to the discussion. This is from an old Purple Pill Debate thread on Reddit. I was made aware of it by Rian Stone about a year ago and I’ve returned to it often enough in commentary and Tweets that I felt it deserved a post and a discussion of its own here.

Now, I understand that the definitions of what constitutes a red pill understanding versus a blue pill outlook are always going to be subjective to the individual guy. The “red pill” and the “blue pill” have become so distorted recently that as terms, as loose brands, they’ve become effectively meaningless. Anyone who reads my work or has heard me opine about these terms already grasps what my own interpretations are. However, far too many disingenuous actors have entered this community of late and all have an interest in shifting those definitions to cater to their pet ideology. In fact, converting the Red Pill to be interpreted as an ideology rather than a praxeology (or a heuristic if you prefer) founded in an objective understanding of intersexual dynamics has been their primary goal.

All this redefining has done is (deliberately) confuse the purpose of understanding gender interrelations by inserting ideology into the mix. Often this is an effort at reprioritizing how interpreting intersexual dynamics ought to discussed. Most often it’s a conflict of the ‘correct’ way of approaching the interpreting of observable facts & data. So moralists believe in one goal for the interpretation while objectivists see another. The result is we talk past one another. Then one disavows the other, goes off to broadcast what he thinks is truth – according to their origination premise – and builds a brand based on that redefinition of “the red pill” according to them.

You’ll get a better understanding here (emphasis my own):

__________________________________________________________

Red Pill and Blue Pill people end up talking past each other because they cannot even agree on what they should be debating about. The sets of values they hold are completely disjointed. They cannot even agree on what a “debate” is, and what the goals of a “debate” are.

Red Pill people generally bring the following assumptions to a debate:

  • They believe that there is exactly one reality, and that truth is what accurately describes that reality. The better a statement describes reality, the more true it is. They are factual absolutists.
  • They believe that whether something is “good” or “bad” is a matter of opinion, and that all systems of morality are things societies invented to get a result, and it is therefore pointless to argue about whether something is “evil” or not, instead of about what effect it has. They are moral relativists.
  • They believe that the goal of a debate is to establish what the facts are, and how this knowledge can be used to control outcomes. They argue about what is true.
  • They believe that debates are a cooperative process between two or more people who have the shared goal of achieving a more accurate picture of absolute reality, and that, while people may stick vehemently to their positions, they can also reverse them on a dime if new information comes to light, because the only real attachment is to the truth. They believe debates occur between theories, not people. Thus questioning someone’s character is off-limits, because it is irrelevant.

Blue Pill people generally bring the following assumptions to a debate:

  • They believe that reality is subjective, and what is “true” is simply a matter of who you ask. What is called “truth” is simply a codification of someone’s perspective, and it is therefore pointless to argue about what is “true“. They are factual relativists.
  • They believe that there is exactly one set of moral laws, which human beings have gradually discovered in a historical climb towards ethical perfection (or degeneration). Certain people are ethically better or worse based not only on what they do, but also on what they believe. They believe that different ethical systems exist, but they can be ranked from ethically worst to ethically best based on a sort of meta-ethics whereby they can be tested for degree of compliance with the one absolute set of ethics that underlies reality. They are moral absolutists.
  • They believe that the goal of debate is to establish what is morally better, and what everyone should do. They argue about what is right.
  • They believe that debates are a competitive process between two people, who each have the goal of establishing their views about right and wrong by attaining a state of moral ascendancy over the other person. They believe that anyone who changes their views in revealing a flaw in their moral character (because their previous views were not morally correct), and must thereafter relinquish the moral high ground and submit their actions to the moral judgement of others (usually the person who won the debate). They believe debates occur between people, not ideas, for the precise purpose of establishing who should be allowed to set standards for the behavior of others (because they are morally superior). Thus, questioning someone’s character is not only relevant, it’s the whole point.

This is why Blue Pill adherents think “those Red Pill guys” are “misogynists” or bad people. Because they cannot imagine an analysis that does not occur for the purposes of judgement, much less one that doesn’t include any idea about what people “should” do.

This is why the Red Pill insists that the Blue Pill are willfully blind. Because, to them, anyone who doesn’t admit the truth must be unable to perceive it. They cannot imagine anyone not caring what the truth is.

This is why Blue Pillers keep thinking that Red Pillers are trying to restore the Dark Ages. They cannot imagine any group with shared views not having one moral agenda that they wish everyone to abide by.

This is why Red Pillers think that Blue Pill adherents must be hopelessly bad at understanding human social structures. They cannot imagine anyone not wanting to do things in the most effective possible way.

Here’s an example of this kind of misunderstanding in action:

Comment from discussion Bluepillschool’s comment from discussion "So much for men’s rights".

Here we see an interaction between RP and BP regarding age of consent laws.

  • RP’s primary objective to propose an algorithm for making legal judgements about consent or lack of it, which he believes will best serve what the majority of people desire to see these laws do. He looks at the issue as an engineering problem, and he proposes a solution.
  • BP’s objective is to establish whether or RP is a bad person. If he can be gotten to agree to a statement which BP thinks of as diagnostic of “evilness”, then the debate can be won, and anything RP says can thereafter be dismissed as originating from an evil person.
  • BP says “All this so you can justify getting laid.”. BP thinks RP is trying to “justify” something according a set of moral rules, because to BP, every act has a moral valance, and anyone who wishes to do anything must at least be ready with a moral excuse.
  • RP has been arguing, meanwhile, about which metaphors best illustrate human social and mating dynamics. RP does not address the issue of right or wrong at all, and seems to believe BP is engaging with him on factual level.

Thus RP and BP cannot even agree on what the argument is about.

RP thinks right and wrong are a matter of opinion, and BP doesn’t care what the facts are.

__________________________________________________________

I imagine the discussion thread for this post is going to get pretty heated. However, I want to point out that a lot of what I’m seeing in the Manosphere at present is rooted in factual relativists attempting to establish what the “Red Pill” ought to mean to people, and thereby redefining it to suit their goals of couching any objective discussion in moralist terms.

What’s happening is that factual relativists want the Red Pill to be about what’s right or wrong according to their ideological bent. So they will bend over backwards to reinterpret what is actually an objectivist exploration of intersexual dynamics to fit their ‘interpretive headspace’ – or they will simply write off the Red Pill wholesale and say “Those Red Pill guys are just bitter, negative, misogynists” without a hint of their own irony.

Example: The realities of Hypergamy aren’t right or wrong, they simply are. In any of my numerous essays outlining Hypergamy, and for all my attempts to dispel the misconceptions about it, I’ve never once stated that Hypergamy was ‘evil‘ or that women’s nature is evil because of it. It’s simply a reproductive strategy that manifests per the realities of women’s nature and needs.

The factual relativists responds to this in two ways: First, is the nihilistic approach (Black Pill if you must) – Hypergamy conflicts with their personal interests and ideological bent. Thus, Hypergamy, or women’s inability (or choice) to police it for their betterment, or humanity’s betterment are evil. Second, is the approbation approach – “You talk about Hypergamy too much (or at all), it must be because you’re fundamentally a bad, damaged, morally compromised person.”

A debate never really occurs between these headspaces because the goals of the debate are never the same. Now, add to all this that factual relativists are appropriating the ‘red pill’ as their own “Brand of Me” and building revenue streams around their ideological interpretation of its original intent. Any counter argument proffered by factual absolutists is not only a challenge to their ego-investments, it’s also interpreted as an attack on their livelihoods.

In 2015 and again in 2018 I made this point:

It’s my opinion that red pill awareness needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, non-racial and non-religious because the moment the Red Pill is associated with any social or religious movement, you co-brand it with an ideology, and the validity of it will be written off along with any preconceptions associated with that specific ideology.

Furthermore, any co-branding will still be violently disowned by whatever ideology it’s paired with because the Feminine Imperative has already co-opted and trumps the fundaments of that ideology. The fundamental truth is that the manosphere, pro-masculine thought, Red Pill awareness or its issues are an entity of its own.

Unfortunately, this is where we are at today in the modern ‘Manosphere‘. The reason I’m attacked with accusations of enforcing some ideological purity tests for the Red Pill is directly attributable to the mindset of the factual relativists; whose livelihoods are now dependent upon the redefinition of whatever the Hell the “Red Pill” means to them or should mean to those they broadcast it to.

So, I become a ‘Cult Leader‘ because their minds can only think in terms of ideology. Again, the factual relativist never leaves the ideological Frame in which they believe the debate takes place.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: The Night Sitter

First Comics News - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 19:23

A con artist poses as a babysitter to steal from a wealthy occult enthusiast. One of the kids she’s sitting unwittingly summons a trio of witches known as The Three Mothers.

Directors: Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco

Writers: Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco

Produced by: 
Cristian Quintero
Jeffrey Riddick
Carol Rocco
Cordelia Rocco
John Rocco
Vito Rocco
Jerome Tannenbaum

Trailers: 

Cast: 
Elyse Dufour … Amber
Jack Champion … Kevin
Jermaine Rivers … Rod
Amber Neukum … Lindsey
J. Benedict Larmore … Martin
Ben Barlow … Vincent
Bailey Campbell … Ronnie
Joe Walz … Ted Hooper
Deanna Meske … Charlotte
Manny Sandow … Crispy
Luna Devika … Slimy
Victoria Graham … Noose
Alyx Libby  … Pool Vixen
Scott Marche … Mr. Willard
Jazmine Yurtin … Pizza Boy
Riley Gallagher … Fake Shemp
Madeline Grayson … Fake Shemp
Tahany Hmaid … Fake Shemp
Amanda K. Morales … Mrs. Hooper
Deanna Rashell … Ms. LaFontaine


Production Company:
Roller Disco Massacre

Distributor:
Uncork’d Entertainment

Run Time: 1 hr, 22 min
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: rollerdiscomassacre.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenightsitter/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheNightSitter/
Twitter: twitter.com/thenightsitter
Comments: Amber the babysitter is shown walking up to the house. The camera angel here makes this a very sexy shot of her bottom. The music is setting the mood of evil and sensual.
Ted is a Paranormal Investigator and has a son Kevin. He has hired Amber to babysit Kevin and also Ronny his dates son. Ted’s character is lighthearted. He adds fun to this movie. Kevin it is made very clear is a disturbed young boy.
Amber is a beautiful woman. She is a thief but it is hard to hate her she is so nice and sweet.
The two boys and Amber all check Ted’s office door which is locked. So of course you know what happens. Things do get weird.
The camera work is beautifully done. It does show just the right angles.
Amber’s friends show up and do they all seem so stupid. Meanwhile the boys have released something. Evil creatures now stalk the house. Three witches are on the loose and the death toll has begun.
The Three Mothers are after Kevin.
As the ending nears you will find yourself riveted to the screen. The witches are everywhere. The deaths keep mounting. Ted and his date return home. Ted takes action. He is on guard right away. He thinks he knows everything he does not.
This is a fun exciting in your face comedy/horror movie that should not be as good as it is yet it is.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

25% Off Sale now until the 15th!

Two Hour Wargames - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 16:51
Good time to get those new titles or catch up with the coupon code

25off

Get you 25% off of your entire order.

Good through  the 15th.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1310

Looking For Group - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 04:00

The post 1310 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

A D100 OGL Carol

Bat in the Attic - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 19:33
Appreciate the feed back on a A tale of two OGLs. During the various discussions I reviewed the various D100 based System reference Documents that Mongoose put out.
And there is an issue.
A recap to understand my next point.
Mongoose has released open content for a RPG using d100 mechanics in three products.
  • The Runequest System Reference Document. 2006
  • D100 II System Reference Document, 2011
  • Legend Core Rulebook, 2011
In the Open Game License Section 7 reads7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.The issuePer section 7 not only you can't cite compatibility with a trademark, since trademark are also consider product identity, a strict interpretation means you can't use the trademark as part of the text. Since Mongoose lost their license to the trademark Runequest they can't grant a license to use it as part of open content.
The Runequest System Reference DocumentFails the compatibility test by having Runequest as part of the title, and fails the use of product identity test by referencing Runequest numerous times in the text.
The D100 II System Reference DocumentDoes not mention Runequest at all until Section 15. Which also the very last bit of text in the SRD. D100 II SRD cites three release by Mongoose. The Runequest System Reference Document, the Runequest Companion System Reference Document, and the Runequest Monsters System Reference.
Shades of Gray vs Crystal ClearThe reason to make this distinction is that if you want to publish something using open content without the advice of attorney then the open content has to be crystal clear. A major point of the OGL is make it easy for people to understand they are allowed to use.
The first SRD, the Runequest System Reference Document, clearly has issues in whether it crystal clear to use it open content. The second one, the D100 II System Reference Document, was a lot harder a call on.  It Section 15 "using Product Identity or citing compatibility" as Section 7 state? 
The common sense answer is doesn't violate either provisions. There is an issue that the presence of the three citations means that the open content of the D100 II SRD is based on part on the open content of three documents that Mongoose no longer has the license to give permission to use. Thus tainting the open content of the D100 II SRD despite it not using any of Runequest or Glorantha IP and being Mongoose's original work. 
However luckily for fans of D100 RPGs, the open content of Legends has none of the above issues. And with the core rulebook having been expanded with the open content of the "Legend of" series, you are not missing out on anything found in 
Gore and OpenQuestThe Gore RPG by Dan Proctor along with OpenQuest and OpenQuest II by Net Newport both cite one or more of the Runequest SRDs. In the long run they may to be fixed by only using the open content of the Legend RPG. 
Wrapping it upUpon reflection, if I was in Chaosium shoes I would have an issue with the original Runequest System Reference Document. Trademarks are valuable and with it being part of the title in the text would cause numerous issues with dealing with third parties.
I think complaining or taking legal action is going out on a limb with the D100 II SRD. Runequest not referenced in the title or the main body of the text. The only part where Runequest makes an appearance is in Section 15. Going after folks that used the D100 II SRD just make Chaosium look like bullies.
I recommend for future projects based on the D100 mechanics is to use the open content of the Legend Core Rulebook, and to the various Legend of  line for additional content. That way it is crystal clear. 
If you have any doubts then please consult an IP attorney. However just be aware you may have to walk them through what open content and what open content licenses are. IP attorneys first instinct is to give advice that either protect your material to greatest extent allowed by law, or to protect from any possibility of lawsuits. 
The key question I found to be useful is "This is my understanding of what this means, and this is what I want to do. I am correct? Or am I missing something?". I consulted with an attorney prior to publishing as Bat in the Attic Games as I was starting out as a licensee of Judges Guild and also using the open content of Swords and Wizardry

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Steer clear of Bitcoin Cash generators

Malwarebytes - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 18:19

Here’s an interesting evolution on a well-worn scam, taking one profit generating fakeout and turning it into something else entirely.

For years, gamers have been stuck navigating the treacherous waters of fake video game giveaways. With so many actual genuine gaming giveaways around, you’re never quite sure if a site offering free Xbox points, or Steam credits, or downloadable content, is going to do what it claims.

Typically, the site will ask you to pick your reward then “verify you’re a human” or just help a fictitious process along by clicking an ad or filling in a survey or downloading a file and hoping it isn’t malware.

The gamer never gets their rewards. They may well end up with a few unexpected visitors on their desktops, though.

What’s the change here?

One enterprising individual has clearly had enough of the video game wilderness and decided to try and make money in a less explored realm.

Step up, Bitcoin—or to be more accurate, Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash is a form of cryptocurrency that went its own way in 2017, and then split again in what I can only call the great Bitcoin cash war of 2018 when two rival groups imagined vastly different directions for the fledgling currency.

The intention, with or without split, was supposed to be a digital coin that functioned more as a currency than a digital investment. It is this fertile ground that sets the scene for the site we’re about to look at: Bitcoin-cash-generator(dot)com.

Click to enlarge

Getting things started

The website claims to “inject exploits into Bitcoin Cash pools and blockchain.” They attempt to put pressure on visitors right from the start, claiming they limit use of the tool to 30 minutes per IP address, up to a maximum profit of 2.5BCH. That’s around £815/US$1,024, so it’s a tidy bit of profit for jumping some hoops. For reference, the minimum amount a visitor can ask for is 0.1 BCH, roughly £32/US$41.

Whatever slice of the pie a visitor picks, they’re going to get a little bit of money back…Or are they?

What hoops do we have to jump through?

Unlike many similar gaming-themed scam sites, surprisingly little. With no social aspect, there’s no real reason to plaster share buttons all over the place or ask to send to friends. This is all about the site visitor only. They simply have to “Enter your Bitcoin cash address bellow [sic]” and move a slider to select their desired amount. (And really, who will pick anything less than the maximum?) Then, they hit the start button.

Pop-ups abound of other IP addresses receiving amounts. “People” in the chatroom confirm it works great. Any hesitation a user might have had is likely gone at this point.

Click to enlarge

After confirming the desired amount, we’re off to the “this website is doing nothing at all” races.

Constructing the lie

Those familiar with the fake game points/ free gift card websites will know the drill. A collection of random boxes pops up, claiming to be hacking the Gibson. The more vaguely technical sounding it all is, the better—anything that sells the vision of actual, honest-to-goodness exploits doing strange exploity things in the background.

Click to enlarge

“Injecting transfer requests into the blockchain.” I hate when that happens.

Click to enlarge

“Connecting to blockchain maintenance channel”

Well of course, it always helps when you connect to the old blockchain maintenance channel.

This one is  a particular favourite of mine, as it’s every TV show’s attempt to show you some hacking on a screen in one hilarious image:

Click to enlarge

It also comes in handy for digging out multiple similar websites apparently using aspects of the same “We’re definitely hacking a blockchain, honest” code.

Multiple claims are made during the supposed hacking process that various attempts have failed to grab the cash, but they continue to persevere with it. Whereas many survey scams are almost instantaneous, these things really stretch out the illusion and make visitors wait a good few minutes while the titanic (fictional) battle rages in the background.

Eventually: success!

Sadly, success comes with a price. At this point, ye olde survey scam would ask you to fill in some offers. The free video game points site would ask you to install a dubious game or spam links across social media.

Here?

They need you to make a small donation, because of course they do. The site reads as follows:

The BitcoinCash network requires a small fee to be paid for each transaction that goes to the miners, else a transaction might never be confirmed. To ensure your transaction confirms consistently and reliably, pay the miners fee of 0.00316 BCH for this transaction at: [wallet address]

The request for 0.00316 BCH (roughly £1/US$1.30) is made regardless of whether you ask for the minimum/maximum amount of free cash. It doesn’t scale upwards.

Click to enlarge

Does this work?

The only thing that does work in all this is website visitors sending small amounts of cash to the people behind the website(s). As mentioned earlier, we’ve seen a few other sites doing much the same thing, such as freebtc(dot)uw(dot)hu and smartcoingenerator(dot)com:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Money trails

One interesting aspect of this type of scam branching out into digital coinland is increased visibility into site owner antics. You can only go so far with survey scams or random social media profiles sending out spam links. Here, however, much of what constitutes digital transactions are out there in the ether as a matter of public record.

There are entire sub-industries devoted to analysis of Bitcoin transactions and how people make their digital cash flow down the money tubes. Generally, most folks’ experience of watching the Bitcoin wheels go ’round are focused on plain old Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is a little different, but you can still take a look behind the scenes.

The various sites we’ve seen offer up different addresses to send their “small transactions,” and not all of them are focused on BitCoin Cash. With reference to the one used on Bitcoin Cash Generator, they do appear to have made a little money so far. It seems doubtful anyone is going to retire from it, though.

Another scam bites the dust

These Bitcoin Cash Generator sites are yet another sub-genre of survey scams that need to be filed under the “Something for nothing” label. If getting your hands on digital currency was this easy, everybody would be doing it. Instead, it’s a unique selling point for a handful of websites lurking in the corners of the net.

The post Steer clear of Bitcoin Cash generators appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Some OSR & Unorthodox Thoughts On Dragon Issue #212 - A Holiday Gift of Advice For GM's in July

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 17:48
So it might be considered Christmas in July today or the pre holiday Fourth of July jitters. But for me its been a bit of a trip down memory lane thumbing through some of my favorite Dragon magazine issues. This brings me to Dragon issue 212 & for me this was a turning point issue. The three stand out article for this issue is 'Hitting The Books' by Eric E. Noah which is advise  about Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Red Heart Roll With It Tweed: Yarn Love Video Yarn Review

Moogly - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 14:55

Red Heart Roll With It Tweed is a brand new yarn that’s full of gorgeous colors! While we can hope it will be all over stores soon, right now you can get a closer look at it in the Yarn Love Video Review on Moogly! Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Red Heart Yarn, but...

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The post Red Heart Roll With It Tweed: Yarn Love Video Yarn Review appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

Wyvernseeker Rock

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 11:11
By RP Davis Aegis Studios O&O/BX Levels 2-5

A long age ago, beyond mortal memory, a forgotten people built a watching post and refuge atop and within Wyvernseeker Rock. A hundred years ago, an adventurer named Olaf Wyvernseeker claimed the Rock for his own and set out with companions to clear the lands thereabouts. They were never heard from again. The upper chambers of the Rock are a convenient lair for a Giant Rhadogessa and its spider servants. Still, it’s got to be safer than climbing the cliff. Right?

This six page side-treckish adventure has five linear rooms. It has some decently evocative text, but misses on several aspects, like stat check puzzles. It’s ok for what it is, but nothing I would seek out.

This is a short side-trek/obstacle “adventure.” While following a stream through the forest you come out to find a sheer cliff wall, with a waterfall. Next to it is a small cave with a weird arch entrance. Go through the arch, up the stairs, through the five rooms, and come out on top of the cliff. Sadly, that statue from the cover doesn’t make an appearance.

The text in this isn’t too bad, at least the descriptive text. “Hewn into the face of the cliff is an arch, around which are carved mystical runes too weathered to decipher. Through the arch is a cave. Niches line the walls of the cave, each just large enough to contain a humanoid skull.” That’s not too bad. Short, a little evocative with hewn, niches, weathered, etc. Likewise room two says “Thick dust carpets the corridors. Clearly no one has walked here in centuries. Tiled mosaics of water creatures riding waves line all the walls.” I could do without the “no one has walked here” stuff, but thick carpet of dust and tiled mosaics give a decent touch to the description. It abstracts at times, like “ornamental pool” and so on (a few more/different words would have been a better description) but the text, at least the descriptive test, doesn’t overstay its welcome. And it’s not bad read-aloud, or read-aloud at all. 

It starts to fall down in some of the mechanics. That arch over the cave entrance, and another one, is an ability check puzzle. Meaning that you can’t decipher it through actual play, you have to roll a stat check to bypass. Three times. Three successes and you decipher all of the runes (again, abstracted) and you can pass. Fail a check and take some static damage. That sort of stuff encourages mix/max play, where the challenge becomes building a character within the rules rather than player challenge. If you want a stat check to help decipher the puzzle then that’s ok in my book, by making the challenge ONLY about ie rolling and character optimization during build encourages the wrong type of play. You do get a skeleton next to the puzzle, to hint the trap is there. That’s always good. I even liked the description: “Huddled against the base of the door is the skeletal remains of a Wild Folk clutching a spear.” Hudled, remains, clutching a spear. Not great, but good enough.

The map is a small Dyson one, as I alluded to in the “five rooms” note. And it’s not numbered. I get it, the map/adventure is linear and therefore this doesn’t HAVE to be a deal breaker. I don’t hang on Dyson’s every word, but I hazard a guess that he’s not going to loose his shit because you added room numbers to his map. Anything more than two-ish rooms probably should have room numbers. I hate having to figure this shit out during play. “Which room was this again? Let me count …”

It’s a short adventure, the main DM text hangs around a little long, but the descriptions are decent. The puzzles are too stat-based. It’s short. The concept here is a decent one; a little rework from the designer/editor and it could have made it to No Regerts.

This is $1 at DriveThru. And alas, there is no preview. Stick in a preview!


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/278025/Wyvernseeker-Rock?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: The Superheroes of the Atlas Pre-Silver Age

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 11:00
In 1953, Martin Goodman the publisher of Interstate Publishing Group (sometimes known as Marvel, and generally referred to as Atlas these days, after the distributor whose mark appears on the cover) noted the success of the Adventures of Superman TV show and figured there might again be a market for superheroes.

Goodman publishing's Timely Comics' flagship heroes--Captain America, Sub-Mariner, and Human Torch--had been popular in the War years, but were all gone by 1950.  In Young Men #24 (1953), they can roaring back.

"The Return of the Human Torch" with art by Russ Heath picks up following the events of his last adventure in 1949. The Human Torch, after a 4 year absence, busts up on the hideout of the crime boss that sprayed him with a Soviet chemical that dosed his fire, and buried him in the desert. Luck for the the Torch, this desert part of the desert would be the site of a atomic test. Resurrected by the bomb, he was more powerful than ever.

He goes looking for Toro who disappeared in Korea. Flying right over, he finds Toro has been brainwashed and is fighting for the commies! Torch defeats him and brings him home to turn him over to doctors to fix him:


The team is back together!


In "Back from the Dead" with art by John Romita, we find the Red Skull has given up his allegiance to Hitler's regime, and is now the head of an international crime syndicate with ties to (you guessed it) "the Reds." Meanwhile, at the Lee School, Professor Steve Rogers tells his student the history of Captain America, but most of the kids think he's just a myth. Bucky (who seems weirdly to have not aged, assuming its the same kid) gets in a fight with the Cap-deniers. Bucky wants Cap back, but Rogers isn't convinced. Then, they hear on the radio that the Red Skull has returned and taken the UN hostage!

Captain America and Bucky are reborn! And the Red Skull is soon defeated...for now.

Bill Everett brings us "Sub-Mariner." Cargo ships keep sinking myteriously near the same small island. An investigation determines the wrecks have been stripped to the bulkhead. Police woman Betty Dean realizes she knows Sub-Mariner and calls up Admiral Saybrook to see if he can get in touch with Namor at the South Pole.

Four days later, Namor shows up at Betty's apartment in a suit. He agrees to look into the strange piracy. He discovers the ships are being sank and looted by robots. Robots he later learns are from Venus. The though Earthmen were weak, but they didn't reckon on Sub-Mariner. He roughs them and saves the day.

And just like that, the greatest Timely heroes are back in action!

The Return to the Keep on the Borderlands (1999) by John D. Rateliff In Mystara - An Alternative Campaign Placement For The Keep

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 02:58
Return to the Keep on the Borderlands (1999), by John D. Rateliff, is a Silver Anniversary adventure for AD&D 2e. It was published in June 1999. While it is a second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons product there are numerous reasons why it can be used for Mystara. "Now, almost twenty years later, the Keep has declined into a sleepy outpost settlement. The trained warriors once Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Hookin On Hump Day #194: A Yarny Link Party!

Moogly - Wed, 07/03/2019 - 01:00

There is such a great variety of projects in this round of Hookin On Hump Day, but they have a couple things in common. They are all crochet, and they’re all free! Get all 5 of these fabulous patterns below – and then add your own to the HOHD link party on Moogly and Petals...

Read More

The post Hookin On Hump Day #194: A Yarny Link Party! appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

The Wilderness & Beyond - Using The 'B' series & Alphabet Soup Method for OSR or Old School Adventure Path Campaigning

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/02/2019 - 17:58
"The end of the road. A lonely fort stands on the banks of a mighty river. It is here the hardy bands of adventurers gather to plan their conquests of The Hill, the hulking mass that looms over this tiny settlement. The Hill is filled with monsters, they say, and an evil witch makes her home there. Still, no visitor to The Hill has ever returned to prove the rumors true or false. The Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cooperating apps and automatic permissions are setting you up for failure

Malwarebytes - Tue, 07/02/2019 - 16:53

“Hey you. Someone from HR has invited you to a meeting on Thursday. Would you like me to add the appointment to the calendar?”

Receiving an email notification when someone has invited you to a meeting is a feature that many professionals would not like to miss. Being able to log in at certain sites with your Facebook profile might be less indispensable, but nevertheless, it’s a heavily-used functionality. What do these two functions have in common? They both require an integration between different apps, and this opens up some security and privacy risks.

Some practical problems

Recently, we were reminded that the Google Calendar notifications in Gmail provided scammers with the option to spam users with phishing links to sites that are out to steal user credentials. Basically, scammers were able to craft the links in the invitation so that they included a malicious link. Since this is a relatively unknown method, most people wouldn’t think twice before clicking.

Logging into sites with social media profiles more than doubles the privacy risks you run into by using either app separately. We say this because the data used by either app can easily be combined with those of the other app—therefore cybercriminals can come away with double the payday.

You may have seen these login options for Twitter, Google, and Facebook. And Facebook combines these risks with yet another problem. Many people that canceled their Facebook accounts (or thought they did) have found that coming back to a site where they used to log in with their Facebook account revives said Facebook profile and opens it up for the world to see again.

Seems easier to just choose Facebook or Google, right?

And we haven’t even touched upon the apps that grab the permission to post on these social media sites on your behalf.

Underlying problems

Before we can start to look for effective countermeasures, we need to understand the real foundation behind these security risks. The most common and well-known problems include:

  • Apps that refuse to work without permissions. They shouldn’t require integration.
  • Apps that grant other apps access to their data and settings.
  • Apps that are downloaded and installed by impulse. We tend to forget about them after we’ve stopped using them, but the data sharing goes on.
  • Jailbreaking, rooting, and sideloading apps. Apps outside the Google Play or App Store are not as secure. However, popular games like Fortnite were not available in Google Play, basically forcing their fans to compromise their safety to install the game.
  • Lack of awareness of the implications of granting permissions. Even when the permissions are clearly communicated (the app will be able to post to your Twitter account, for example), users have the inclination to think it will be all right to allow “trusted apps” full permissions.

Even though not every app in the Play Store is 100 percent trustworthy, you can be assured that at least some security checks have been performed. Google does require developers to limit their device permission requests to what’s really necessary for the app. And they do block many apps from the Play Store because they may be harmful, but there are always those that manage to slither through.

These are just the measures taken against apps that are potentially harmful. We shouldn’t forget those that invade or risk your privacy. What’s important to remember here is that when you are installing apps from other unknown sources, they most likely didn’t have to pass any scrutiny at all—and are a likely security or privacy risk.

A regular check of your list of apps may result in some good device-cleaning, which not only reduces your attack surface, but also might improve your device’s performance and speed. While you’re at it, check the permissions on some of the apps that you decide to keep. They may not need all of them to do what you want or expect the app to do for you.

When an app asks for permissions, carefully read what it is asking for and let that sink in before you allow it. I know that these requests always seem to come at an inconvenient moment. You are in a hurry and you want that notification out of your way so you can carry on and use the app.

But consider why a gaming app is asking for access to GPS location. Or how come that financial app wants access to all of your contacts. Is the app really worth turning over that private information? Also note that these requests are not limited to the install process. They may come after an update or when you are trying a new feature.null

Partial solutions

Right now, without more user awareness of the security risks of integration, and without the applications, software programs, or social media platforms narrowing down their permissions requests to only what’s necessary to make the program work, there are only partial solutions for those looking for convenient installation or login processes. However, these solutions do improve your overall security posture without sacrificing too many benefits.

When it comes to integrations, there are a few tips we are happy to share.

Facebook

If you decide to unpair your apps and websites from Facebook, follow the directions below:

  • Under the Facebook menu, go to Settings.
  • Under Security, select Apps and websites then click on the “Logged in with Facebook” section.
  • Select to remove all the entries that you will no longer be using. You can also see what information each app was able to retrieve from your Facebook profile. Quite an eye-opener.
Google

Google has an informative page in their Help Center about giving third-party apps access to your Google account. It reads:

“Depending on how you use Google products, some of the information in your account may be extra sensitive. When you give access to third-parties, they may be able to read, edit, delete, or share this private information.”

The integration between Gmail and Google calendar can be rendered less automated (and thus less of a security risk) by turning off the automatic calendar invitations feature. Here are the directions:

  • Go to the Event Setting menu in Google Calendar and disable the automatically add invitations option.
  • Enable the only show invitations to which I’ve responded one instead.
  • Also, users are advised to make sure that the Show declined events in the “View Options” section is also left unchecked.
Twitter

Twitter has a similar page as Google called About third-party applications and log in sessions which warns:

“You should be cautious before giving third-party applications access to use your account.”

The page also provides information on how to remove access for sites and apps. Have a look and check for any unexpected guests.

Cooperating apps

I realize that cooperating apps are designed to make our life easier. After all, it’s frustrating if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. And when everything works seamlessly together, our online life has a natural flow. I’m just asking you to give it some thought before you blindly allow integrations and permissions.

It looks as though users have shifted mindsets from “I have nothing to hide” to “They already know everything anyway.” But in both cases, it is true that you don’t have to hand your personal data to “them” on a silver platter, no matter who they are. Your personal information is too valuable to just give away. After all, that’s why cybercriminals (and legitimate organizations) are after it to begin with.

Stay safe out there!

The post Cooperating apps and automatic permissions are setting you up for failure appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

19 Adventures in the Running for 10 Greatest Adventures Since 1985

DM David - Tue, 07/02/2019 - 11:16

For my list of the 10 greatest adventures since 1985, nominations, reviews, and reputation led me to consider many more excellent adventures than fit a list of 10. Today’s post reveals the adventures that fell short of my 10 greatest, but merited consideration.

Treasure Hunt (1987) is a first-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by Aaron Allston.

Raw characters with no class levels wash up on the lost island of the pirate Sea King. They advance to first level and beyond.

“As a first adventure for initiates, this can’t be beaten. For old hands who may be tiring of AD&D, it will be a welcome change.” – Carl Sargent in White Dwarf issue 93.

King’s Festival and Queen’s Harvest (1989) are basic Dungeons & Dragons adventures by Carl Sargent.

A pair of adventures that introduces new players to D&D with a variety of linked missions.

“Absolutely the best introductory adventures in print for D&D-game-style fantasy role-playing games (FRPGs). Presented simply and clearly enough for young folks, these adventures are also challenging and entertaining enough for experienced gamers.” – Ken Rolston in Dragon 171.

Ruins of Undermountain (1991) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by Ed Greenwood.

The first three levels of the mega-dungeon under the city of Waterdeep presents its content with different levels of detail: Some rooms have complete descriptions, while others have terse notes. Most sections remain empty, a canvas for the dungeon master’s creation.

Rated 17th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

Ruins of Undermountain was as much stuff from Ed Greenwood’s original gaming sessions as he could fit into a box. I give Ruins of Undermountain an A+. It will make you a better DM regardless of your skill level. This is a glimpse behind Ed Greenwood’s screen, giving the reader a chance to study his methods, which are very sound.” – Advanced Gaming and Theory

Vecna Lives! (1991) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by David “Zeb” Cook set in Greyhawk for characters of level 12-15.

After the Circle of Eight, Greyhawk’s legendary adventurers, die trying to stop Vecna’s return, their successors hunt the villain in a chase the across the world of Greyhawk.

Vecna Lives! is one of my favorite adventures from second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and I’m ecstatic that it’s been made available on dmsguild.com. Even if you never play the adventure, you should go out of your way to read/download/borrow it just to see what an incredible example of storytelling and adventure writing it is.” – Die Hard Game Fan

Night of the Walking Dead (1992) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Ravenloft adventure by Bill Slavicsek for characters of level 1-3.

Characters investigate a series of murders an disappearances in a village plagued by walking dead.

“The actual adventure is one of the better blends of plotted adventures and old-school adventuring found in the ’90s. Though, there’s a deep, underlying story, it’s not a railroad. Instead, players must investigate and interact with NPCs to figure out what’s happening. Some events act as set encounters, but there’s also a big dungeon (cemetery) to crawl through at adventure’s end. The result maintains player agency while still telling a real story.” – The Fraternity of Shadows

Merchant House of Amketch (1993) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dark Sun adventure by Richard Baker for characters level 4-7.

In an event-driven adventure, characters work to end a trade in beetles with a bite that neutralizes psionic power. The quest pits the party against the most powerful merchant house in Tyr.

“This adventure has everything for me: intrigue and adventure coupled with the potential to save the world from a great threat that has just been exposed. So it’s 5 out of 5 stars.” – Warpstone Flux

City of Skulls (1993) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by Carl Sargent for characters of level 9-12.

Players infiltrate the demi-god Iuz’s nightmare capital to free a military commander needed to defend the Shield Lands.

Rated 26th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

“Periods of stealth and quiet punctuated by short bursts of terrifying combat.” – Retro Gaming Magazine

Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (1995) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by Carl Sargent that takes characters from 1st level to as high as 14th level.

Billed as the “ultimate dungeon adventure,” this campaign goes from a ruins crawl, to a mine crawl, to a long journey through the Underdark.

“Night Below won’t be to some peoples’ taste, but the vast majority will absolutely adore it. Quite simply, it’s one hell of an adventure.” – Cliff Ramshaw in Arcane magazine.

Return to the Tomb of Horrors (1998)  by Bruce Cordell.

Years after adventurers gutted the original Tomb of Horrors, a dark community has built a city of necromantic evil on the tomb’s site. Even the inhabitants of this fell city have no idea of the true evil that waits beneath them.

Rated 10th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

“The new material is really excellent. Return is a whole mini-campaign, not some rehash of previous work … It offers more by far than the old Tomb of Horrors, and it is more deadly too.” – Gary Gygax

Dawn of the Overmind (1998) is a second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure by Bruce Cordell for characters of level 8-10.

To stop a resurgent mind flayer empire, character visit a world of ancient ruins in search of an artifact of Illithid manufacture. This adventure brings a taste of Spelljammer and sword and planet adventure to conventional D&D.

“This is the third part of the Mind Flayer Trilogy, which was pretty much awesome from start to finish. One of the best D&D adventures of all time.” – Power Score

Die Vecna Die! (2000) is a second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure for characters of level 10-13 by Bruce R. Cordell & Steve Miller.

Die Vecna Die! takes the heroes from the Greyhawk campaign to the demiplane of Ravenloft and then to the Planescape city of Sigil in a quest to claim the Hand and Eye of Vecna—the key to stopping the evil demigod Iuz.

Die Vecna Die! pulls out all the stops, and the result is a massive but tightly constructed adventure with a truly apocalyptic feel. I’m surprised I’m recommending Die Vecna Die! as strongly as I am, but it’s just that good. It’s a great high-level adventure for any campaign.” – Fearful Impressions

Forge of Fury (2000) is a third-edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure for levels 3-5 by Richard Baker.

In a dungeon that captures the flavor of some of D&D’s original, classic adventures, characters battle though five levels of a dwarven stronghold overrun by evil.

Rated 12th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

“I’ve always been impressed with the adventure; for my money it’s one of Wizards of the Coast’s best 3rd Edition era modules. As a basic, flavoursome dungeon crawl I think Forge of Fury is particularly well executed.” – Creighton Broadhurst

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001) is a third-edition Dungeons & Dragons by Monte Cook designed to take 4th-level characters as high as level 14.

Power rises again in the Temple of Elemental Evil. “Characters battle the power of darkness in Hommlet and beyond, forging their way through hundreds of encounters before reaching the fiery finale.”

Rated 8th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

“Go out and buy the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. You will not regret it, and it will become a valuable part of your D&D library. It is one of the best adventure modules ever written.” – Talon on ENWorld

City of the Spider Queen (2002) is a 3.5 edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure by James Wyatt designed to take 10th-level characters up to level 18.

“Daggerdale is reeling from a sudden series of murderous drow raids. As a grave threat to the entire surface world develops in the war-torn dark elf city of Maerimydra, intrepid heroes must discover its source and destroy it, if they can.”

Rated 24th greatest adventure by Dungeon magazine.

City of the Spider Queen is an excellent addition to anyone’s Forgotten Realms campaign or with modifications, any Dungeons and Dragons third-edition game.” – Mania.com

Reavers of the Harkenwold (2010) is a fourth-edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure for characters of level 2-4 by Richard Baker.

In an adventure patterned after Red Hand of Doom, the characters join the resistance and take missions to thwart the army of evil that invaded the Duchy of Harkenwold.

“Definitely one of the best 4E adventures. – Will Doyle.

“I would love to see a 5E update of Reavers of Harkenwold.” – Chris Perkins

The Slaying Stone (2010) is a fourth-edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure for 1st-level characters by Logan Bonner.

Years after goblins overran and occupied a town once settled by humans, the characters enter seeking a lost Slaying Stone, the last of the magic stones created to protect the settlement.

“This is an adventure you won’t want to miss: Not only is it fun and non-linear, but it shows a DM how to better design her own adventures, and that’s something worth reading for any DM, no matter how experienced.” – Kevin Kulp

Dreams of the Red Wizards: Dead in Thay (2014) is a fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure for characters level 6-8 by Scott Fitzgerald Gray.

Teams of adventurers cooperate to explore a massive dungeon in search of the keys to a phylactery vault held by the evil Red Wizards of Thay.

“A ton of fun. Things get more and more hectic as the alert level of the Doomvault rises. It’s got good pacing, a narrative to it, and some fairly challenging encounters.” – Bell of Lost Souls

Cloud Giant’s Bargain (2016) is a fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure for level 6 characters by Teos Abadia.

Led by a talking skull, Acquisitions Incorporated interns enter a cloud castle floating over Neverwinter to determine what threats it holds. This superb adventure combines combat, exploration, and interaction with interesting choices into a single session of play. Plus it adds a touch of humor and an unforgettable guide.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Using Dragon Magazine Issue #68 - For Solo Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Adventuring

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/02/2019 - 01:56
To amuse myself after work today I began to think about old school solo Swords & Sorcery role playing. Yes I know all about Tunnels & Trolls solo dungeons . Instead I wanted to go in a completely different direction. So while swilling down a beer, I began the task of looking through my bountiful collection of Dragon magazines. Finally I spied it. Dragon issue #68 which according to Wayne's Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pause

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 07/01/2019 - 22:04

Have you ever had way too much coffee on a day when you are very tired, and gotten that funny feeling? It’s like the start of panic – not fear, or dread or worry, but the smallest little seed of a feeling that’s trying to make you run and paradoxically trying to keep you from taking a deep breath at the same time?  It’s an insistent little thing that whispers “I think you should get ready to freak out because we are about to be in trouble here.” If it’s a coffee induced feeling,  I just chalk it up to having enough caffeine in my system that I can feel my hair growing, and resolve to be a better person who sleeps more and drinks less coffee.  Lately, I have that feeling a lot of the time – despite (mostly) actually managing to be a better person who is sleeping lots and drinking less coffee.

I know it’s not coffee this time. It’s an actual sense of impending doom brought about by the fact that doom is sort of impending all the time right now. I know I’ve confessed to you that I might have overshot a little with my commitments this year – so far I’ve found the way through this period is to just put my head down and work, and look forward to the day (it is actually only 46 days) that I pass this mantle on, but overall, I’ve started to realize that the sense of doom is being generated by evidence of my own inadequacy.

(Pictured, an unfinished cowl. Yarn is one strand of The Artful Ewe Kid Silk Lace, with one strand of Habu’s Mini Pom Shiro. I cast on a bunch and am going round and round, sometimes knitting with both, sometimes just the lace, and sometimes with the lace doubled.  If I ever finish it will be charming.)

Please note, this is not a low self-esteem moment.  I do not need to be reassured that I’m great and I get a lot done, it’s simply noticing that there is an insufficient quantity of me to meet my goals. I’m behind on work emails, the house is trashed, I have been trying to finish a simple cowl for two weeks, I didn’t finish my June socks, I’m fishing my summer clothes out of bins and my winter ones are piled in the hall because I haven’t had time to swap them out. I haven’t been writing the way I’m supposed to (or need to, to be less crazy all the time.)  I haven’t planted all the annuals I bought even though now it’s July, I have no idea what the hell is making the kitchen floor so sticky, though I feel like all I do is mop it.  I haven’t been on my bike as much as I should be, the fundraising for Team Knit is behind, I haven’t done any of the Karmic Balancing gifts, I really need a haircut and I think that the flowers in the hanging baskets need watering.

This general state of inadequacy is, as you can imagine, uncomfortable. Now, I generally believe that I’m pretty good at being uncomfortable, and I think that’s a pretty effective way to be a human most of the time, and when this started happening I just got uncomfortable and stayed there – coping with the load by sort of hopscotching around it all, doing a little bit of everything, trying to multitask the snot out of it all and not really getting a sense of accomplishment from any of it. The floor was cleaner but not clean, I’d answer the most important emails, but not all of them, I’d write one crappy paragraph but not an essay, I’d worry about the blog all day but not do it, and gradually this feeling of inadequacy has given way to something that early this week I figured out is actually stress.

(Pictured, June’s unfinished socks. Pattern is Paragon Socks, Yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in Cardamom.  It’s my favourite solid sock yarn right now. There’s some hope I’ll finish these today or tomorrow. Maybe.) 

That moment, I think – may be be what saves me.  The minute I realized it was stress, I remembered a quote my mum loved to say to me when I was younger and losing my scene. It’s from a writing teacher I like a lot, Natalie Goldberg. She said “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes everything is an emergency.” The minute I remembered that, I realized that I had to start handling this whole thing differently.  I stopped trying to hysterically do it all every day, and instead began to ask myself questions.

Does this need doing? (Is it truly important? What will happen if it is not done today?)

Does this need to be done by me? (Can I delegate this, or ask for help?)

If the answer to those questions was actually yes, that it was important and had to be done by me, then I just settled down, let go of everything else, and did it. I also wrote “time is a commodity I choose how to spend” on a post-it note and put it over my desk. (This probably won’t help as much as the other things, but at least it reminds me that I don’t “lose time” doing things.  I can only “spend time” and I decide on what.)  This approach has meant that a lot of things have shifted over the last week.  First of all, my Bike Rally inbox is just about empty, which is awesome- because that thing was breathing down the back of my neck with fetid hot breath. It also means that yesterday we took Elliot out on the boat, because I realized that missing that would mean I’d be bitter and nasty about missing so many nice things – it means that after I spend this time with you today, I’m off to a Canada Day outing to celebrate the great good fortune I have to live in this country,  and it means that Saturday I rode my bike 100km. I’m still fishing summer clothes out of the bin because there are no police about that, and it also means that the kitchen floor is still sticky, because you know what? That’s actually not important, and it can be done by someone else and… screw it. (I did water the plants.)

So this morning I got up and looked at the list, and tried to figure out how I should spend my time voila, I am here. Happy Canada Day all – I can’t think of anything more important than thanking you all for your help with this. The fundraising really is important, and I can’t do it without your help.  Let’s go.

(By the way, if you’ve only  just arrived and are wondering what we’re doing here, read this. If you’re wanting to sponsor part of Team Knit, or help us spread the word, our links are here: MeKen,   CameronPato. We’d love any help you can give, and every little bit counts. We’re all still inching towards our goals.) 

First, an absolutely gorgeous bag from Lisa at Red Staggerwing, which looks just about perfect for trucking around knitting.  I’m sure that  Melissa B is going to love it.

Next up, Rebecca,  a longtime friend of the show has 5 skeins from String Theory Colorworks that she is (somehow) going to part with.  (Inexplicably her email says she has more self-striping yarn than she needs, which doesn’t sound right, but I’m grateful anyway.) She’ll be sending them off to new homes with Carla K, Kristen G, Susan B, Michelle C and Marsha W. I’m going to let them fight out who gets what colour with Rebecca.

Susanne Visch, a designer and generous soul, has offered (again this year) three knitters the pattern of their choice, though I don’t know how they’ll possibly choose.
The shawl choices alone could take you forever to look at, and that task will fall to Marolee S, Amy N, and Susan G.

Judy (who seems quite lovely) wrote and said that this beautiful Masham from Indigodragonfly has been begging for a new home, and karma has decided that it should go off to Kim G.  (Who I bet is lovely too.)

Tess Young took a peek around and found that she has the perfect kit to send along – her beautiful Anglebury Cowl Pattern along with a 100g skein of John Arbon Viola Yarn, for which it was designed – in a colourway called “unpredictable.” (Colour designed by Canadian hand-dyer, Emily Foden.)  I hope Sarah P finds it delightfully unpredictable that it’s coming to live with her.

Whew! I’ve emailed everyone who received a gift so if you’re wondering if you’re the knitter mentioned, check your inbox.  I know that’s only 11 gifts given away, and there’s plenty more in the hopper, but if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking a sanity break from the computer. I’ve been at it all day, and my nephews, a lovely summer evening, a celebration of the wonderful country I live in, and a little bit of knitting await me, and suddenly,  that all seems very important.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

A week in security (June 24 – 30)

Malwarebytes - Mon, 07/01/2019 - 17:02

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we peeled back the mystery on an elusive malware campaign that relied on blank JavaScript injections, detailed for readers our latest telemetry on the tricky GreenFlash Sundown exploit, and looked at one of the top campaigns directing traffic toward scareware pages for Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Services.

We also doubled down on our commitment—and significantly increased efforts—to detect stalkerware on victims’ devices.

Other cybersecurity news:

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (June 24 – 30) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

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