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Fair isle on the (almost) Fair Isle

Knitting to Stay Sane - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:56
Hello friends! Last time I wrote, I was feverishly knitting away on 2 sweaters with the plan of bringing them with me on my late-May vacation. How did that turn out? Well, I finished one a few days into the trip, in time to wear it on the trip, and finished the second one on […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Chatting about scrappy socks, projects and mini skeins...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 15:31
Hello there! Good morning, loves! Did your week treat you kindly? Mine was a good week filled with work and knitting. Making it even better is that I have figured out how to sneak knitting into my work day. It makes a difference! Today I thought we would chat a... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Dark Albion, HP Lovecraft's Dreamlands, & The Dungeons & Dragons PC Races For Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 14:40
"Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city, and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it. All golden and lovely it blazed in the sunset, with walls, temples, colonnades and arched bridges of veined marble, silver-basined fountains of prismatic spray in broad squares and perfumed gardens, and wide streets marching between delicate Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dan's Top 19 RPGs - #2 - Star Wars (West End Games)

19th Level - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:31


Welcome to the penultimate entry in this journey that has lasted a lot longer than I'd anticipated. I'm one of those Star Wars fans who were there at the beginning, seeing it for the first time at the age of five in a Brooklyn movie theatre - a big one, one with balconies.

In the mid 1980s, Star Wars entered a lull. I still loved it but popular interest in it had waned. At Quassy Amusement Park, where I worked in high school, we had a few gazillion Snowtrooper figures redeemable with tickets from Whack-a-Mole and Skee-Ball.

But it began picking up steam slowly. I remember being overjoyed at the first Star Wars Encyclopedia that I picked up from a Stop & Shop that had a small book section. And in 1987 I remember seeing advertisements for a new Star Wars RPG. I was overjoyed. I'd tried my hand at adapting AD&D for Star Wars but it wasn't right. I'd had better luck with the Marvel Superheroes RPG oddly enough.

The West End Games Star Wars RPG is my favorite incarnation of Star Wars RPGs. I've played them all. Fantasy Flight Games' version is a lot of fun - it just missed an entry on this list. And I think Wizards of the Coast really got Star Wars right with their Saga Edition series of Star Wars books.

So why the silver medal to the West End Games Star Wars? The first reason is that it feels like how I picture Star Wars. No character is incompetent. No skill in starship piloting? Make a roll anyways.

This version of Star Wars uses what would later be called the D6 System. It got its start with the Ghostbusters RPG. Every character has a bunch of attributes and skills. Every skill falls under an attribute. If you don't have a rating in a skill you just use the attribute rating. The ratings are simply the number of dice you roll, plus possibly adding one or two "pips" to the total. You use six-sided dice. So a rating of 3D+2 means roll 3 six-sided dice to the total and add 2. Tasks have difficulties. Characters can take as many actions as they want in a round, though they every action after the first takes one die away from all actions that round.

My favorite version of the game is, oddly, one that is not often even considered one. It is the Star Wars Introductory Game, put out late in the game's license. The versions of the game are:

  • 1st Edition
  • 1st Edition plus Rules Upgrade - the first few adventures had a four-page rules upgrade that gave the game a more standard round sequence.
  • 2nd Edition - Made the game a little crunchier.
  • 2nd Edition Revised & Expanded - Close to the 2nd edition, dialed back the crunch a tad.
  • Star Wars Introductory Game - Boxed set, returned to the simplicity of the 1st edition but in a much more polished format.
Space and vehicle battles are just an extrapolation of normal combat rules - something nice, not requiring you to learn a whole new system. If the game has one weakness, it is the Force rules are a little wonky. Beginning Force users are pretty mediocre, but if they get to a high enough skill level they become extremely dominant. Admittedly, one could argue that's how they are in the movies too... I find the Force rules work well for a Luke Skywalker in A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back - or Rey in The Force Awakens.
West End Games really did a fantastic job in production values. Though the 1st edition was primarily in black and white, it had color plates with advertisements from the Star Wars universe. With just three movies, a few novels and comic books (at the time the game came out), they did a fantastic job filling in details of the universe. These details still find their way into modern Star Wars productions. Star Wars Rebels featured a number of things first seen in the West End Games incarnation - Imperial Inquisitors, Interdictor-class ships, Shantipole being the source of the B-wing fighter,  etc. 
Fantasy Flight Games has a reprint of the 1st edition coming out, albeit extremely delayed. I'm very pleased that people will have a chance to check out the original game. It's worth noting the 1st edition has some concepts that quickly went away - for example, in action scenes, your skill roll also doubled as your initiative roll.
How does it compare with the Fantasy Flight Games version? Fantasy Flight Games gives your character a lot of interesting nuggets and abilities. West End Games' version is a lot simpler. I can definitely see why some might appreciate all the funkiness that the FFG version brings - I've played the game myself on a number of occasions and quite enjoy it. But the West End Game version is more along the line of "spend five minutes making a character (or less) and get playing". 
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mind with Mind

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:22
Mind with Mind

I try to wash my mind with mind
Forgetting I am more than thought
One more concept, piled on top of
All the other concepts permeating me
Will not set me free

I must gather up Nio energy
Adding that to my arsenal, and
Fill my body with the sword of
Wisdom and the rope of discipline
As a manifestation of Fudo-Myo-o

Only then is freedom possible

Categories: Aikido

The Apocalyptic Campaign Appearance Of The Dungeon Module ASE2-3 Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 19:36
"The Anomalous Subsurface Environment is more than just robots and lasers – it's clowns and dinosaurs, too! Levels 2 and 3 of the critically ignored gonzo megadungeon are finally available – with more classes, more tables, and more cruel and unusual ways to die deep beneath the surface of the post-apocalyptic Earth"When it comes to mega dungeons that don't get the press they deserve  ASE1Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[REVIEW] Crepuscular #01: Sanctum of the Snail

Beyond Fomalhaut - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:48

Crepuscular #01: Sanctum of the Snail (2018)by Joshua L.H. BurnettSelf-published0-level funnel
Crepuscular #01Even though it is often considered generic fantasy, there is just something about D&D’s monster selection that’s not found in your typical fantasy game. You have floating balls full of eyes which can blast you into atoms; an aardvark that’s also a shark which burrows under the earth; a jello cube that eats people (but not their stuff)... a dolphin skeleton from another plane?! Uh… and also a psionic mole and giant mushrooms. It is profoundly silly, but it is also deadly serious and slightly disturbing: the screwed-up things you meet will eat you if you aren’t careful. This kind of weird dissonance is one of the great things about D&D, and the sensibility which has informed the first issue of this DCC fanzine. Crepuscular’s success comes from walking the fine line expertly. It is not afraid to be funny or silly (the cover might be an indication), but it is not afraid to kill your characters in gruesome yet hilarious ways either.
Much of Crepuscular’sfirst issue is dedicated to Sanctum of the Snail, a 26-page romp through a dungeon that’s built around a mollusc theme. The characters are shipwrecked on a forlorn island that’s a bit like R’Lyeh, and their only way out of the monster-haunted reef leads down under the sea to a wondrous cavern system dedicated to Blorgamorg the Cthonic Snail, mollusc deity of the Cosmic Balance. It is a classical funnel in the sense that you push in the PCs at one end, and what comes out at the other will either be adventurers, or ground meat. There are plenty of killer encounters even when we discount the fragility of zero-level characters, and most of these ways to die have a satisfying splat factor (you can fall to your doom if you miss a jump, get lost in outer space, be mashed into a pulp by a piston mechanism, or choose between fiery death and drowning in a pit trap filled with oily water). However, the smart and lucky also gain access to some neat goodies: this is as much a chance to stock up as a place to weed out the weak, and the rewards are both generous and unique.
The strength of the adventure lies in the well-designed encounters. The challenges involve navigation through dangerous terrain, uncovering ancient secrets (and dealing with what happens when you prod them), and combat with the Sanctum’s odd denizens. Plenty of magical and fantastic stuff. I think all, or almost all content here is new, from the oddball magic items to the creepy-crawlies you must fight. Crumbling stairs over a swirling sea divided between Law and Chaos; a gigantic dead turtle; the tomb of a hero and a summoning chamber. As you’d guess, there are a lot of slugs and slug-related squishy things, but there are also some neat elements related to the cosmic war between War and Chaos, as well as grotesque finds that are just there. This is imaginative, vivid stuff embodying D&D at its weirdest, put into the service of good gameplay (player creativity goes a long way here). The writing is good through the module; even the boxed text sticks to the essentials.
Sanctum is not without problems. It follows a mostly linear structure, and the action is more focused on dealing with various encounters sequentially than on exploration. Like many DCC modules, it also lacks “breathing room” – every place has something going on, things are too close to each other, and it can feel a little busy. This is a legitimate way to construct an adventure, but a few more rooms with limited descriptive detail, or some more navigation-related content would have felt more right... as it is, the Sanctum does not really feel as large as the writeup would suggest; many of the spaces after the first few are decidedly on the small side. I would personally unwrap it on a slightly larger map to make finding various rooms more of an accomplishment.
Moonblossom and Chance find a treasure mapCrepuscular also offers a handful of miscellaneous articles (a little less than half the issue): a hilarious two-page comic, Blorgamorg as a DCC patron, two more unique magic items, and a d30 table of miscreants you can pick up as hirelings in the city of Xöthma-Ghül (to be presented in more detail in subsequent issues). These are all good, with the hirelings being my favourite – they range from “Tiberius Plum, man-at-arms; pragmatic, obsessed with the colour purple” to Quvark, a platypus man with a venomous heel-spur.
Altogether, Crepuscular is an interesting, quirky take on DCC – consistently high-energy, somewhere in the middle between deadly and hilarious. The comedy ranges from the sly to the tremendously unsubtle, but somehow, it all works. The snail theme doesn’t overstay its welcome, with enough variations to keep it from feeling one-note, and I am actually interested in learning more about the game world behind the zine.
The module in the zine gives credit to its playtesters, and even an editor!
Rating: **** / *****
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

(PF) The Forest of Starving Spirits

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:17


By … Jessica Redekop, Robert Gresham, Michael Whitney
Wayward Rogues Publishing
Pathfinder
Level 10

Explore the haunted remains of Endiel Forest, the forsaken kingdom of the gruesome ghastlord Mortalbane. Once a vibrant wildwood where the ancient elves lived in harmony with nature, what’s left of Endiel now is a shadow of its former glory, a rotten wilderness guarded jealously by an enigmatic horror known only as the Endiel Witch. Tread paths no mortal has walked in over a thousand years and uncover long-forgotten forgotten secrets in Forest of Starving Spirits, part four of the Ravenous Ruin adventure path.

This thirteen page adventure is a trip through a haunted forest. Part four of an adventure pah, it is barely coherent. Motivations, knowledge, challenges … they all have some of the most tenuous ties I’ve ever seen in an adventure. Another example of focusing on the style, artwork, layout, font, borders, instead of the substance of the text.

I like treading paths no one has walked for a thousand years … I am a failure as a father because my son now plays Pathfinder … because it’s what his friends play … and he said Oswalds adventure, while great, was something his friends could not handle. Fuck your system superiority complex; it’ all about market share.

Oops. I stumbled on to part 4 of an adventure path. Still … let’s judge the entire series by this one entry and also see if its useful as a standalone haunted forest.

The party wants the magic gobstopper and is told that The EVil One has it; you gotta go in to the haunted forest to find him and get it. The forest is 400 miles by 800 miles, with each square being 30 miles on the map. There’s some mountains on one side where The Evil One resides. I think. Well, I, the DM, know he’s there. It’s unclear if the party is supposed to know that before they go in. I guess not? I mean if they did, then why would they enter the forest at the far/opposite side, why not enter the forest at the square next to the mountains, keeping to the unhaunted grasslands AROUND the forest until then? So I guess the party doesn’t know he lives in the mountains? It’s VERY clear. Just like everything else in this adventure.

Remember that super big 400×800 mile forest? The one with the map? The map doesn’t have locations on it. The text of the adventure eventually tells us that the lost city is in I-4 and waterfall is in G-8, but that’s at the top of each entry, spread out through the entire adventure. So what the fucks the purpose of the map? I don’t know. The evil spirits in the forest get you lost and evli dryads lead you to danger … but the map doesn’t tell you where anything is.

The climax is in a ruined city. “Once the players reach the ruined city …” Really? Once they reach it? Were they trying to reach it? That’s not mentioned anywhere. In the ruined city (city!) are some crypts. Are you looking for crypts? It doesn’t say we’re looking for a crypt in a ruined city. There’s a total disconnect between what the players are trying to do and what the text is assuming. More on this later.

There’s a stinking cloud above the forest, it makes flying above it hard. (I Guess it reaches outer space?) So you’re footslogging 30 mile hexes in a tangled forest. What is that, 8 miles a day or something in a bramble filled haunted forest? For every hour spent in the forest there’s a chance the evil witch shows up to fuck with the party. What is the chance? We’re not told. Just “there’s a chance.” Wandering monsters? No, no list. At all. There’s a couple of entries: Winding Woods (you get lost) and an Unnerving Presence that makes you have a -2 to WIll saves. Oh ,it also says that you an encounter a poison pit tap, four shambling mounds, four lacedon trolls, and a ghoul treant. In as many words. That’s literally a quote from the adventure to describe the encounters on your trek. Nothing else. That’s it. I’m not making this fucking up.

There are knowledge checks. “The forest is wild and overgrown.” Ok. They are all just as useless. They tell you nothing of consequence. It’s just trivia. Why the fuck do they exist if they are just trivia?

Grief builds inside of you, silence is deafening, and the writing is hackneyed. More to the word, the formatting is terrible. Recall how a modern bullet point system works in a word processor. If you indent then the text is offset to the right and the style of bullet point changes. This denotes this is a sub-item to the item above it. This allows for easy visual groupings of data and relationships to be immediately obvious. Yeah, this adventure don’t do that. Everything is at the same level, and appears in the same style. Is this a new monster? Is this a part of a different encounter? Who knows, because the formatting makes everything confusing as fuck. You know those monstrous long Pathfinder stat blocks … imagine three of them all in a row with something else FORMATTED THE EXACT SAME WAY appearing between two of them. There’s no way to tell where one things ends and another begins. I wouldn’t quite call it wall of text, but “confusing mass of text” is a relative of it, to be sure.

Oh, oh, in the crypt in the ruined city (again, why the fiuck are the party drawn there?) you finally battle the evil witch that has been harassing you. This time she flees to an estate. Uh. She has fled in every encounter. Is the party still chasing her? Why are they following her? Killing the witch isn’t a part of the adventure, getting the gobstopper is. It makes no fucking sense AT ALL.

Back to that total disconnect I mentioned earlier? I think this adventure falls in to the “throw some shit at the party” category of product. Here’s some shit, throw it at the party until bored. Make them have this encounter, and then this one. Lead them to this one. Just put them in the ruined city and tell them they see a crypt. (Aside: Roll to find the crypt, to trigger the witch encounter? That’s a roll to continue. What if they DON’T succeed in their roll? Nothing happens, ever? No, the DM fudges it. So why the fuck is it in the adventure?)

This is a bad adventure. It fails on the most basic points. Great encounters might be a part of my review standards, as might evocative writing, terse writing, useful to the DM at the table. One of the most fundamental points though, that I never mention because it’s NEVER an issue, is a goal. I don’t mean a hook, or some such. But communicating to the players what they need to do. This adventure doesn’t do that. Sure, I think the read-aloud is hackneyed, I see that in a lot of adventures. Terse and evocative? Meh, again, lots of examples of that. Useful to the DM at the table? Again, lots of product fail at that point. But to be so incoherent that no one at the table understands what is going on in the adventure? That’s a new one. I think. I’ll have to go reread my review of Golanda.

Giving the designer(s) the benefit of the doubt, I have to question the editing of this. What the fuck is the purpose of editing these days? Copy editing? Fact checking? It’s certainly not “point out basic things wrong”, which is much more important than an orc having an ac of 13 vs 14.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is one of those mini things, so you can’t actually see what you are getting. Boo! I Boo I say! Still … on that last page? That’s two things you are looking at, nt one. See how everything is in “one line” green boxes? Yeah, no indent. Confusing as fuck. On the page before that, #3, that’s THREE things in that text on the left side column. Good fucking luck with that.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242806/Forest-of-Starving-Spirits

Oh, and one more thing. A Poison pit trap is CR13 in Pathfinder. Ouch.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

“GET YOUR TREK ON” TO WIN ONE OF OVER 500 PRIZES in THE RETURN OF EAGLEMOSS’ “Summer of trek” SWEEPSTAKES

First Comics News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 08:01

Grand Prize is an Ultimate Voyage for 2 Aboard Star Trek: The Cruise III

It’s the largest, most comprehensive collector’s series of Star Trek starships ever assembled – and this summer the number of models in Eaglemoss’ Official Star Trek Starships Collection will surpass 160.   To celebrate, Eaglemoss once again invites fans of every generation to “Get Your Trek On” and enter to win one of 500 incredible prizes in its annual “Summer of Trek” Sweepstakes – including the Grand Prize of an ultimate voyage for two aboard Star Trek: The Cruise III.

Co-presented by Entertainment Cruise Productions, organizers of Star Trek: The Cruise III, and IDW, licensed publisher of Star Trek comics, the sweepstakes and themed events throughout the summer are designed to draw fan attention to the many Star Trek themed collectibles produced by Eaglemoss under license from CBS Studios, including the Official Star Trek Starships Collection, the Official Star Trek Starships XL Editions, the Official Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection, and the all-new Official Star Trek Discovery Starships Collection.

Each collection is available by subscription from Eaglemoss, as well as at the Eaglemoss Shop and in leading comic and pop culture specialty stores.

Plus, from now through August 20th, fans who enter online at www.GetYourTrekOn.com can win one of more than 500 prizes, including the Grand Prize of passage for two aboard the luxurious Star Trek: The Cruise III and the opportunity to sail alongside more than 20 iconic Star Trek actors and personalities – all under the direction of Cruise Host Wil Wheaton!

Five First Prize winners will receive a one-year subscription to the Eaglemoss Star Trek starship collection of their choice, 25 Second Prize winners will get a bundle of five starships from the Official Star Trek Starships Collection, and 50 Third Prize winners will get the first three volumes of the Official Star Trek Graphic Novels Collection.  Additional prizes include digital copies of the first issue of IDW’s Star Trek: Boldly Go comic books series, digital trade editions of IDW’s Starfleet Academy, and $10 Eaglemoss Shop online gift cards.

Fans can also earn additional automatic entries when they share news of the “Summer of Trek” Sweepstakes with their friends. Every referral earns one additional entry when that friend enters the sweeps. By the end of the sweepstakes, the top ten referrers will earn exclusive prizes, including the top prize of a $500 Eaglemoss Shop gift card.

For official rules and to enter, fans can go to www.GetYourTrekOn.com.   Once there, a name and valid e-mail address are all that’s needed to register.  No purchase is necessary to enter the Eaglemoss “Summer of Trek” Sweepstakes.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Marvel Reveals New CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 Variant Art by Ron Garney!

First Comics News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 07:50

An all-new story for Steve Rogers begins this summer, from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu!

 

New York, NY—June 8, 2018—Marvel is excited to celebrate CAPAIN AMERICA #1 from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu with a new variant cover from superstar artist Ron Garney!

 

Fans got a sneak peek at the creative team’s story in the Avengers/Captain America Free Comic Book Day issue and praise is already high for the new series, with Adventures In Poor Taste claiming “the story presented here is almost dreamlike and should pique readers’ interest.”

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to dive into this fresh new adventure July 4th, when CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 hits comic shops!

 

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 (MAY180773)

Written by TA-NEHISI COATES

Art by LEINIL YU

On Sale 7/4/18

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 GARNEY VAR (APR188839)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SPIDERGEDDON IS NIGH

First Comics News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 01:06

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Antivenom

Yarn Harlot - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:51

I know I’ve mentioned this, but this year, I’m one of the two Co-Chairs for PWA’s Friends for Life Bike Rally. It’s a two -year commitment I made last year just before my mum died, in part because I thought she would be proud of me if I did. (She was.)  Ironically, I don’t know if I would have done it if I knew at the time that my mum had just weeks to live – though in a lot of ways it’s been a good distraction from grief, and the other stuff.  Part of the reason I decided to apply for Co-Chair last year was how struck I was by a guy who asked me if AIDS was still a thing.  I was so upset by it – at the time it seemed to me that he was ignorant. How could he not know? I mean, of course HIV/AIDS is still a thing!  (A friend talked me down, told me about how it’s perceived.  He was right. Turns out the guy was more normal than ignorant. I wrote about it here.)

I still worry a lot about the things that I talk about in that post.  Homophobia, discrimination, a lack of empathy, but the other part of the reason I volunteered- the largest part for me, I think, was that I feel like we don’t talk enough about how much of a women’s issue HIV/AIDS is. People who know that this is an important cause for me often don’t know how relevant that is – more than half of the people in the world who have it are women – particularly young women.  Here in Canada (and the States is pretty similar) about a quarter of all incidences are in women.

I care a lot about everyone who this issue matters to – we all have our own reasons, and everyone we know who is  HIV+ has their own stories, but it has always been true that vulnerability increases the risk, and women are particularly vulnerable, mostly because they have less of the things that are statistically protective (money, education, power, sexual freedom, access to healthcare) and more of the things that put you at risk. (Stigma, violence, poverty.) Women are simply less able to protect themselves, and that’s scary. I’ve been going down to PWA every week or so, and the place is full of women (and their kids). About 25% of their clientele, which makes absolute sense.

There’s this one woman – I’ve heard her speak a few times about her story and how she came to be a client of PWA, and that story involves surviving genocide, rape, poverty, and the death of her husband and a great deal of her family, followed by the birth of a child who was the product of that violence, and is also HIV positive. She came to Canada as a refugee, and PWA has been her everything. She credits them with saving her life, and the life of her child. This year, she, and the mother who taught me to care about that, are the reason I’m getting on my bike, even though it will be very hard.

Several of you have suggested (and you are kind and lovely people) that I not ride this year, because it might be too hard. That there have been enough hard things this year (although the shingles is just about all better, thanks for worrying) and that maybe I could sit this one out and support The Rally as part of the Leadership, and as a fundraiser, and you’re right. It has been a difficult year, to say the very least. Likely the most difficult of my life. I’ve struggled for my happiness a lot, had to work at finding the joyful things, and the important things and find a way to think about what is here instead of what is not.  I have had to embrace (or at least stop raging against) change. It’s been really hard – but here’s something I know.

Like can cure like, and doing hard things, meeting challenges, doing more than you think you can, it is like anti-venom to a snakebite. Every time I’ve shied away from that over the last year, it has made things worse.  Going anyway, showing up for the hurt, giving it my all… trying my best, and remaining open to the good surprises that can find me when I do, has been a life raft.  Now is not the time for coddling – nor fear. It is time to make the most of the world I’ve got, and stand up for people who don’t have the things I’ve had to fall back on when disaster struck.  Home, family, safety, food, money, help. Doing the best I’ve can with what I’ve got, with the people I love, has made all the difference. and I see no reason to quit now.

So, we’re on our bikes. We’ll ride from Toronto to Montreal again about 650 kilometres, (that’s about 400 miles, for my American friends) and Team Knit this year is:

Me

Ken

Pato

Cameron

(Jen’s completing her last year of Midwifery, and can’t go. She’s helping other ways.)

Our decision to ride our bikes to Montreal helps nobody, and makes no difference, not without you – as a matter of fact, you’re the important part.  Once again, I’m going to try and raise a ton of money, as Team Knit and like last year, I have a private and deeply personal crazy-pants goal. To this end, I’m going to do things the same way as last year, because knitters, you were amazing.  We’re going to do Karmic Balancing gifts again. As often as I can between now and the Rally, I’ll choose from amongst the people who’ve helped and redirect a knitterly (or spinnerly) gift from someone else who wants to help.*

It’s going to be all about the Karma – just like we try to make it every year. We’re trying to change lives here, make things better for some people, and there’s so much more to that than money, so, here’s the thing. If you donate to anyone on our little family team then please send me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Make the subject line “I helped” and send it to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca. (Note the .ca it’s a Canada thing.) Include your name, address, and whether or not you spin.  (For the love of all things woolly, please use the subject line. It makes your email go to a specific folder and you have no idea what a difference that makes to my sanity.) You don’t need to say what you gave, or include proof. I know you’ll do your best, whatever that is, and I know you wouldn’t lie. (If you’ve already given this year, obviously you should send an email.)

Now, we know not everyone has money to help with – so we’re taking all kinds of help.  If you can figure out some other way to do that, that counts.  Maybe you can tell a friend. Maybe you can post about it to social media. Maybe you can forward the email to people in your family who will give…  There’s lots and lots of ways to help, and if you can figure out a way? Send that email, letting me know you did. No money needed. (Of course, money is always good too, and even small gifts make a big difference.)

Knitters, lets go big. Let’s fill up the world with amazing, and when everyone at PWA asks who these people are, like they always do?  Ken, Pato, Cameron, and I will smile and say what we always do. “They’re knitters. We keep telling you that they’re awesome.”

*If you want to contribute a gift, I’m trying to make it easier -I have a better shot at getting it all done if you do this: Take a picture of your gift. Email me with the subject line “Karmic Balancing” with the details, picture and a link, if you want me to use one. When one of the helpers is chosen for a gift, I’ll email you the address, and you can ship it right to them. (It’s not a bad idea to let me know if you have shipping restrictions –  I’ll keep track.) I’ll try to get through them all, though it can be overwhelming. Thank you!

(PS. If you donated last year and I didn’t give away your gift because of my mum, please accept my apology, and resend your info if you’re still into the scene. You’re great.) 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Marvel Unveils CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 Teaser Trailer!

First Comics News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:29

New York, NY—June 8, 2018—On July 4th, New York Times Best-Selling Author Ta-Nehisi Coates and international superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu usher in a new epic for the Star Spangled Avenger with CAPTAIN AMERICA #1!

 

After the creative team’s debut in their Free Comic Book Day issue, fans and critics are raving about Steve Rogers’ new adventures – and Marvel invites you to take a look at the promotional TV spot that aired nationwide last weekend, which included some brand-new, never before seen art!

 



 

Don’t miss your chance to grab CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 this July!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 (MAY180773)

Written by TA-NEHISI COATES

Art by LEINIL YU

FOC – 6/11/18

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Marvel Reveals New CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 Variant Art by John Cassaday!

First Comics News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:16

An all-new story for Steve Rogers begins this summer, from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu!

 

New York, NY—June 8, 2018—Marvel is excited to celebrate CAPAIN AMERICA #1 from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu with a new variant cover from superstar artist John Cassaday!

 

Fans got a sneak peek at the creative team’s story in the Avengers/Captain America Free Comic Book Day issue and praise is already high for the new series, with Adventures In Poor Taste claiming “the story presented here is almost dreamlike and should pique readers’ interest.”

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to dive into this fresh new adventure July 4th, when CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 hits comic shops!

 

 

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 (MAY180773)

Written by TA-NEHISI COATES

Art by LEINIL YU

On Sale 7/4/18

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 CASSADAY VAR (APR188921)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Adapting Lamentions of the Flame Princess's Adventure Tower Of The Star Gazer By James Edward Raggi IV For Old School Pulp Style Campaign Play

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 16:37
"Legends tell of a wizard so arrogant that he felt the entire sky was naught but a lens for him to view the stars. So great was the hubris and defiance of this man that the gods smote him with the power of storm and fire. Oh did the wizard laugh at such a pathetic gesture. He did not fear the gods, for he drew his knowledge from something greater. Something darker. The legend of this Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Tips for safe summer travels: your cybersecurity checklist

Malwarebytes - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 15:00

Summer is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it comes vacation plans for many. Those looking to take some time away from work and home are likely making plans to secure their home, have their pets taken care of, and tie up loose ends at work. But how about securing your devices and your data while you’re away? Here are some things to take into consideration if you want to have a trip free of cyber worries.

Before you leave

Some of the things on your cybersecurity checklist can be taken care of before you leave. They include the following:

  • Make sure the operating systems and software on all the devices you are going to take along with you are up to date. Having to install updates while you are on the road can be a pain due to slow and unstable connections. Use your at-home Wi-Fi, which you know is secured with a password. (Right? If not—do that right away.)
  • You may want to take precautions to secure devices that you’ll be leaving behind in your workplace and home. If a burglar gets hold of your desktop, they should not be able to harvest any valuable data. All devices should be password protected (including the ones you are taking along with you).

  • Back up the valuable data on the devices you are bringing so that if you lose them, it won’t be a double disaster.
  • Do not announce the dates of your upcoming travel plans on social media. That’s a great way to alert criminals to case your house and break in during the time you’ll be gone. Post your travel pics when you get back. They will still be cool.
  • Disable the auto-connect options shortly before you leave and have your devices forget the network SSIDs in their lists. Threat actors can abuse these features for man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • If you have contactless debit and credit cards, get shields in which to store them so you can carry them around without leaking information.
  • Think twice about bringing a multitude of devices. The chances of anything getting damaged, stolen, or lost are much higher when you’re on the road.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers all the devices and any other valuables you plan to take along.
While you are traveling

Travel plans can range from road trips to a nearby camping spot to flights to five-star beach resorts. Because of the wide range of travel options, some of the following advice may or may not apply:

  • If you park your car at the airport, obviously make sure no valuable devices are left behind. This is also a good time to disable the Bluetooth of your phone, because the car is probably the only useful Bluetooth connection you need. And when Bluetooth is off, it can’t be abused.
  • Airports and other waypoints on your travels will often offer public, free, and unprotected Wi-Fi. Consider the risks associated with them when you use them, or use a VPN to enhance the security by encrypting your connection.
  • If you need to use Wi-Fi at your hotel, make sure their connections are secured with passwords. And if you need to access sensitive material for work, set up VPN on your laptop beforehand.

  • Privacy screens make sure that only the person sitting straight in front of the screen can read what is on it. This can stop people from secretly watching what you are doing. Good privacy screens are easy to apply and are available for laptops and many handheld devices.
  • Don’t use public computers for sensitive Internet traffic. This certainly includes online shopping and any other financial transactions. While you are traveling, it’s safer to spend money at your destination instead of online.
  • If you use webmail to read your mail when you are away from home, keep in mind that this may be less secure then reading the mail in your favorite email client. Some webmail services have html enabled by default.
  • Use a fully updated anti-malware solution for all your devices. Malwarebytes has solutions for many operating systems and types of devices.
  • Since you may not want to take your laptop and every other device with you as you go sightseeing, make sure there is a safe place to keep the items left behind. Not every hotel safe is big enough for a laptop. Ask your hotel concierge if they have other options for securing devices. Simply leaving them behind in your room is not the safest move.
If you travel abroad

Some extra attention to detail may be required when you travel abroad.

  • Make sure you leave your country with the devices fully charged. You may need to use them for a while before you get another chance to re-charge. It may require different cables, power plugs, and adapters to charge your devices at your destination or checkpoints along the way. Come prepared.
  • Not only the US, but also some other countries will look at your social media accounts to find any information that could make you a less welcome guest. It might be prudent to remove any questionable comments to thwart further investigations.
  • If traveling into the US from abroad, be prepared that you might be asked to hand over your device and your password to get in. Make sure there is nothing to be found on it that you don’t want to be found.
When you get back

Back home safe and sound? Don’t rest yet. Check a few more things and then you can start posting online about your relaxing, fun, and incident-free vacation.

  • Update your anti-malware solution and run manual scans on your devices to check for any uninvited guests you may have picked up on the road.
  • If you bought devices abroad, check them for compliance and whether they are compromised. In some countries, devices are sold with monitoring software pre-installed.
  • Check your bank account for any unexpected withdrawals or spending. Warn your bank or credit card provider if you suspect foul play or if you have lost sight of your credit card at some point. it’s especially important to do this if you suspect your login credentials may have been stolen.
  • As an extra precaution, you may want to change the passwords that you used during your time away. If someone managed to get ahold of one during your trip, you’ll stop them from doing any damage with a changed password.
Don’t let all this ruin the fun

While most of the things mentioned above are precautions we (should) take every day, they are not the first ones that come to mind when you are planning that awesome trip you have worked for all year. But as always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Recommended reading: 7 tips to stay cyber safe this summer

Safe travels!

The post Tips for safe summer travels: your cybersecurity checklist appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

DC ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES VERTIGO RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS WITH A LINE-WIDE RELAUNCH AND DC VERTIGO REBRAND, HELMED BY NEW EXECUTIVE EDITOR MARK DOYLE

First Comics News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:35

June 7, 2018 (BURBANK, CA) – DC Entertainment is celebrating 25 years of graphic storytelling with a line-wide relaunch and rebranding, returning to where it all began with DC Vertigo. Following the news of a Neil Gaiman-curated Sandman Universe imprint, DC Vertigo will continue to expand its slate with seven new series from bold voices across various entertainment backgrounds including novels, games, television, comics and more.

The relaunch is helmed by Mark Doyle, who returned to DC Vertigo last year after oversight of the Batman group of titles for DC. Under his leadership, DC Vertigo editorial is rededicating its focus to creating modern, socially relevant, high-concept, inventive stories appealing to readers of all genres.

DC Vertigo has curated seven new comic books giving writers and artists the creative freedom to tell their most imaginative stories. Kicking off the next 25 years of DC Vertigo, four monthly series will launch this fall/winter, while the remaining titles will follow in early 2019. The lineup includes:

  • BORDER TOWN from writer Eric M. Esquivel (Adventure Time, Starburns Presents) with art and covers by Ramon Villalobos (Nighthawk, America) will debut in SeptemberWhen a crack in the border between worlds releases an army of monsters from Mexican folklore into the small town of Devil’s Fork, Arizona, the residents blame the ensuing weirdness—the shared nightmares, the otherworldly radio transmissions, the mysterious goat mutilations—on “God-dang illegals.” With racial tensions supernaturally charged, it’s up to new kid in town Frank Dominguez and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s REALLY going on
  • HEX WIVES from writer Ben Blacker (co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour) with art by Mirka Andolfo (WONDER WOMAN, SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL) will debut in October“The women are too powerful. They must be tamed.” A malevolent conspiracy of men brainwashes a coven of witches to be subservient, suburban housewives. But it’s only a matter of time before the women remember their power…
  • AMERICAN CARNAGE from writer Bryan Hill (TITANS show set to launch on the DC-branded digital service, MICHAEL CRAY) with art by Leandro Fernandez (THE NAMES, The Punisher Max) will debut in NovemberIn this thrilling crime saga, disgraced FBI agent Richard Wright, who is biracial but can pass for white, goes undercover in a white supremacist group believed to be responsible for the death of a fellow agent.
  • GODDESS MODE from writer Zoë Quinn (Crash Override, featured in People’s 25 Women Who Are Changing the World and Forbes’ 30 Under 30) with art by Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen, FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS) will debut in DecemberIn a near future where all of humanity’s needs are administered by a godlike A.I., it’s one young woman’s horrible job to do tech support on it. But when Cassandra finds herself violently drawn into a hidden and deadly digital world beneath our own, she discovers a group of super-powered women and horrific monsters locked in a secret war for the cheat codes to reality.
  • HIGH LEVEL from writer Rob Sheridan (former art director for Nine Inch Nails, co-creator of the Year Zero alternate reality game) with art by Barnaby Bagenda (THE OMEGA MEN, GREEN LANTERNS) will debut in 2019Hundreds of years after the world ended and human society was rebuilt from scratch, a self-interested smuggler with a price on her head is forced to traverse a new continent of danger and mystery to deliver a child messiah to High Level, a mythical city at the top of the world from which no one has ever returned.
  • SAFE SEX from writer Tina Horn (host/producer of Why Are People Into That? podcast, writer/journalist/lecturer in sexual education and activism) and artist Mike Dowling(UNFOLLOW, 2000 AD) will debut in 2019A dystopian sci-fi thriller about a ragtag team of sex workers fighting for the freedom to love in a world where sexual pleasure is monitored, regulated and policed by the government.
  • SECOND COMING from writer Mark Russell (God Is Disappointed in You, THE FLINTSTONES) with art by Richard Pace (IMAGINARY FIENDS) will debut in 2019God sends Jesus to Earth in hopes that he will learn the family trade from Sun-Man, an all-powerful superhero, who is like the varsity quarterback son God never had. But, upon his return to Earth, Christ is appalled to discover what has become of his Gospel and vows to set the record right.

“It’s time to rebuild DC Vertigo,” explains Doyle. “We’re returning to our roots by spotlighting the most exciting new voices in comics, as well as bringing new voices to comics. From the corners of television, games, music, activism, podcasting, comics and more, all of our creators are passionate and have something to say. These sophisticated stories have amazing new characters and vast worlds to explore. That’s what it has always been about for me—new stories, new voices, new possibilities. We’re creating a new generation of DC Vertigo classics for readers of all genres.”

Prior to being named DC Vertigo’s Executive Editor, Doyle began his career in comics at Vertigo in 2006. He went on to oversee the Batman family of titles, where he edited Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s New York Times best-selling run on BATMAN. He also led the charge in crafting Gotham-based series with varying tones such as GOTHAM ACADEMY, BATGIRL, GRAYSON and more. Doyle returns to launch DC Vertigo with a passion to bring the imprint back to the forefront of graphic storytelling.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Action Comics # 1000

First Comics News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:31

Title: Action Comics # 1000
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Dan Jurgens, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Butch Guice, Kurt Schaffenberger, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kevin Nowlan, John Cassaday, Jim Lee, Scott Williams
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair
Variant Covers: Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Dave Gibbons color by Angus McKie, Michael Allred color by Laura Allred, Jim Steranko color by Laura Martin, Joshua Middleton, Dan Jurgens and inks by Kevin Nowlan color by Alex Sinclair, Lee Bermejo
Superman created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Superboy created by: Jerry Siegel
Supergirl based on characters created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Price: $ 7.99 US
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Website: www.dccomics.com
Comments: “From the City that has Everything
This story is not just about Superman but about how he inspires others. People do heroic deeds because of his example. The art is amazing and illustrates Superman as the true hero he is. His wife and son and all aspects of the art are eye-popping.
Its Superman Day in Metropolis. As people speak out about Superman the emotions in their stories come through loud and clear. Superman is about hope, about being better.
All the super-heroes well so many of them show up all to honor Superman. They want him to have his day. He deserves it and the people deserve to see him. Superman may not want to be held up and praised but the people want it and Superman has one stubborn and hard-headed wife who sometimes does get her way.
You will feel the love and emotion that all have for Superman.
Never-Ending Battle
Superman takes on the Immortal Vandal Savage. Here Superman is illustrated differently in different times. In any time he is an inspiring figure. It is not about the powers but the person and who they are inside. Superman has the mind and heart of a hero. Vandal throws everything he has at Superman. Superman just keeps coming. Superman never gives up ever.
Pinup
Here Superman fights on while being in pain. There is a nice powerful expression on his face.
An Enemy Within
Here Superman looks at humans and he realizes they are weaker than most species yet somehow their will is indomitable. Superman thinks of them as the ones who are super. Beautiful art illustrates this story and humans are shown as the heroes.
The Car
Aw Superman is such an inspiration. He is there when needed and his words are more powerful than his muscles. This short story is so well written and gorgeously illustrated. It will bring a tear to your eye.
The Fifth Season
Superman and Lex Luthor chat at the Smallville planetarium. Lex remembers a good part of his childhood. Yes, he had hopes and dreams and now he hopes to kill Superman. Maybe someday or maybe not. These two are tied together. We see through that there is hope even for Lex Luthor.
Of Tomorrow
This story is so touching. It will pull at your heartstrings or if it does not you have no heart. Superman loves his adoptive parents and even after four billion years that has not changed and it never will.
Five Minutes
Superheroing and reporting are similar. Superman is shown here enjoying doing both they are his two jobs and he does them both so well.
Actionland!
This is a weird story narrated by a cute hostess. It features one magic foe who has his own outlook on his battles with Superman. Beautifully rendered art accompanies the story.
Pinup
This art is a dark drawing of Superman in space. He does look powerful.
Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
Is Superman faster than a speeding bullet well find out here? Yes, people may be inspired by Superman but it is Superman who is inspired by people. Yes, there are still good people and this story reminds us of that.
Pinup
A beautiful pinup here of Superman in the clouds.
The Truth
Here civilians help Superman and they are willing to put their lives on the line for him. Superman faces a foe as powerful as himself and one armed with a deadly weapon. This leads into the new weekly six-issue series The Man of Steel.
Superman is an iconic symbol who stands for truth, justice, and hope. He inspires us all to be better than we are. He is an inspiration.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Adventure Travel Case

Moogly - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:25

The Adventure Travel Case is a fun pattern to make for kids – or for kids to make for themselves! (Or maybe you want one too?!) Customize one for your favorite adventurer with this free crochet pattern! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Red Heart Yarn, Clover USA, Furls Crochet and Polaroid. [...]

The post Adventure Travel Case 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

Mountain Applique

Moogly - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:24

The Mountain Applique is perfect on the cover of the Adventure Travel Case – but it’s also great to add to any project you like! Made with all single crochets (and a couple slip stitches), this simple but effective pattern makes a great embellishment – or secret pocket! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials [...]

The post Mountain Applique 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

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