Been wanting to do this for a while – finally got around to it.

I made a Dr. Who / Dalek themed lock screen for my Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Behold: Dalock!

dalock dalocked! Unlocking

Yeah. Sometimes you need to take an (in)sanity break and do something dumb/wonderful. Go here if you want to use it for your phone. And here’s a stupid short URL to type into your phone/share quickly: http://bit.ly/dalockS3

*UPDATE* At my friend Aimee‘s request, I made a Galaxy S4 version – grab it here

Galaxy S4 Dalock

General Updates

1) Sorry about the backposting the other day, LJ people. My LJ crossposter borked. Thankfully, I found a new one. And while it seems to have a hard time remembering default settings, it still works/updates.

2) I re-themed the site from scratch. I really like this over the last few incarnations (but especially the last one). The actual theme only loads an image or two (the 9 “social” icons are a sprite), and I took out a lot crap that was bloating the load time (last.fm display, twitter bar, etc.). Also, I added some printer-only styles so it should have zero bullshit if you want to convert it to the dead tree edition.

Anyways, that’s about it for now. I could add more to it, but why not carve out an extra post with that than cram it all here? It’ll help keep me more active.


Ongoing Solar Savings

So, it’s been five full months with the solar array, and four since I last updated (solar panel system description here). The electrical portion of my bill since the beginning of February has totaled $40.

Yeah. Forty whole dollars. Take a look at the data for the last four years:

2010 2011 2012 2013
Feb $76.65 Feb $67.70* Feb $52.69 Feb $8
Mar $57.92 Mar $44.84* Mar $62.13 Mar $8
Apr $43.61 Apr $109.62* Apr $56.01 Apr $8
May $140.41 May $87.63 May $104.21 May $8
Jun $249.48 Jun $196.39 Jun $154.80 Jun $8
Total $568.07 Total $506.18 Total $429.84 Total $40
*Missing Feb.-Apr., but did a quick calculation based on the numbers provided on the following year’s bill

The average of Feb.-Jun. for 2010-2012 is comes to $167.12 a month. That’s an average savings of $127 a month!

Now, up until June, we’ve overproduced electricity – adding to our “summer padding.” Going into June, we had 1287 kWh banked that we could eat into. We ended up eating 585 saved kWh, still leaving up a padding of just over 700 kWh, meaning that in all likelihood we’ll see another $8 electrical bill for July.

Since we have that kWh padding, and the heat’s been dialed up outside, we’ve been a bit more liberal with the a/c. So we could try to stretch that padding a bit further, or we could be more comfortable at home.

We went with comfort.

Also, looking at he usage graphs on the bills below (remember they label the month based on when the bill is sent, so Nov. is really Oct.), you can see that Oct. – Jan. are usually lower-usage months. Since our system went live mid Jan., we missed basically 3 1/2 months of potential kWh padding months. Perhaps after a full year with it on, 2014 could be a $96 total electrical bill year. That’s kinda exciting to think about.


February 2013:
Entergy Feb 2013 with Solar GenerationMarch 2013:Entergy March 2013 with Solar Generation
April 2013:Entergy April 2013 with Solar Generation
May 2013:Entergy May 2013 with Solar Generation
June 2013:
Entergy June 2013 with Solar Generation


We Be Goblins (Too)!

This past Saturday was Free RPG Day and I headed over to +1 Gaming, my Friendly Local Gaming Store, to pick up some free shit and to buy some new dice for a friend in one of my games.

I made sure that I’d be there soon after opening to get a module by Paizo that I’d had my eye on – We Be Goblins Too!, a sequel to 2011’s Free RPG Day offering of We Be Goblins!

We Be GoblinsWe Be Goblins Too!

The way that Paizo writes goblins is pretty much hilarious. Funny little buggers. In these little one-offs, the players get to actually play as the goblins, out for a bit of mayhem.

Paizo has also made little minis for the pregenerated and NPC characters, at $3/ea, which is neat. What’s too bad, is they’re blindboxed – you don’t know which one you’ll get.

Thankfully, there are some enterprising individuals who buy a bunch, and sell the 12 individual minis as a complete set. I found one on eBay, and after shipping, I paid $3.50 each for the whole set – a good deal. Not only will these guys be handy for the mini-adventures, they’ll be useful for my other Pathfinder games.

We Be Goblins!

The Goblin Song

Goblins chew and goblins bite, Goblins cut and goblins fight,
Stab the dog and cut the horse, Goblins eat and take by force!

Goblins race and goblins jump, Goblins slash and goblins bump,
Burn the skin and mash the head, Goblins here and you be dead!

Chase the baby, catch the pup, Bonk the head to shut it up!
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed, We the goblins—you the food!


Nerds. Love nerds. It’s really neat how fans and the subjects of their fandom can connect.

Still stupid excited for December.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer
Trailer reaction by Happy Hobbit
Cast reaction to Happy Hobbit reaction
Happy Hobbit reaction to cast reaction to Happy Hobbit reaction

The Old Man and the River

My friend Matthew (Skip) is running a game of Call of Cthulhu for a bunch of us nerds. It takes place here in New Orleans, in 1928-1929 (Sourcebook).

Besides the obvious Cthulhu awesomeness (yaaaaay H.P. Lovecraft!), I thought the setting would provide for really good roleplaying and collaborative storytelling. We weren’t being dropped into some world where we as the players (not the characters we’re playing) aren’t familiar with the land, the customs, the politics, etc. This is New Orleans. All the players are either from here or have been here for so long that they might as well be. At one point, our characters drive to Audubon Park, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a thunderstorm. Anyone who has ever lived in NOLA has basically done that.

You don’t need to imagine such things – you just take your own personal memories and modify them to suit what the character is doing. And for me, there was an extra neat bit: our characters drove by my real family’s home, where my actual grandfather would have been (he was born in 1922), hopefully either sleeping or causing a ruckus. Just neat.

Anyways, Skip recently was part of the Miskatonic University podcast (Episode 32), talking about our game and characters, and the New Orleans setting for this RPG in general, so I figured I’d dust off this post that I’d saved as a draft last November and actually post it up. Here’s the character I developed:

Arcturus “Art” Skwisgaar

Artcurus Skwisgaar (or just Art for his American friends) was born in Göteborg (Gothenburg) Sweden in 1867. Born and raised in Sweden, Arcturus always seemed to have a natural affinity for music, especially stringed instruments. While his mother encouraged his natural ability in music, his father taught him how to fish and navigate by the stars. When he was old enough, he traveled through Scandinavia and Europe, paying his way by his well-honed crafts.

While in Paris, one of his music students – a gifted violist named Erich Zann – introduced him to jazz. Art was smitten, and decided to head overseas to a city where his skills as a fisherman and a musician would be well appreciated – New Orleans. He currently resides in the French Quarter in a nice little 3rd floor apartment with a view of the river (currently occupied by my friend, Sixth Ward Girl). He plays several regular gigs in various clubs and speakeasies around the Quarter.

Arcturus is not aware that before leaving Sweden, he fathered a child and as a result is the Great-Great-Great Grandfather of Skwisgaar Skwigelf, lead guitarist of Dethklok. Yes, I actually worked out the rough ancestry dates to do this. Nerd.

Anyways, he’s been a lot of fun to play. I made him older realizing that it’s give him less hit points (he only has 10), but vastly bump up his Know score (95). Just managed to fit right. Also, with his maritime background, he’s really good with a knife.

He’s managed to survive relatively unscathed so far, but you never know. His doom could be lurking in the nearby darkness.

When we played last, I basically killed all the lights in the room, and we played in the candlelight. Added an appropriate ambiance.

Call of Cthulhu by candlelight

Lastly, Ruth has put together an excellent compendium of Lovecraft’s works for free, in ePub, MOBI and PDF formats at CthulhuChick.com. Check it out!

*EDIT* Chris has followed suit and written up his character, Langston August “Augie” Eames IV.

Please be wary of children and pools

I’m heading up to Indiana tomorrow to attend the funeral of my cousin Emily’s 2 1/2 year old son, Gill.

He was at Emily’s mother-in-law’s house Tuesday while Emily was at work.  The grandmother had just noticed the boy was not in the house, and the back door leading to the pool area was open. By the time she found him, it was too late.

Please please please be wary of children when there’s a pool on the grounds.

Gill, Emily, and my mom last month at my uncle’s wedding:
Gil, Emily, Mom