Planet Iron Blogger SF

March 14, 2018

a digital life

March 13, 2018

a digital life

The New Vivek

The word of the day: Divide

To separate and group; to cause to separate; a distancing between two people or things

America is a two-headed coin. On one side is the image of a head facing left. He believes in justice, equality, and freedom of thought. On the other side, a head facing right. She believes in justice, equality, and freedom of thought. Every four years, these faces tumble in the atmosphere between two oceans and 300 hundred million voices call it in the air.

In the perpetual coin toss of American democracy, two heads are not better than one. The two heads means two Americas. Americas that share a language but differ on definitions. They are defined by their own radio stations and pastimes and punchlines and perspectives. And each America sees the other America as precisely that: The Other. For a devoted few citizens in each, The Other must be stopped at all costs.

In spite of the “United” in its name, ruminating on America’s divisions is a surprisingly common hobby. It’s fun too! Here are just a few ways to carve up America the beautiful:

The second largest religion in each stateThe most popular brand in each statePop Vs Soda Vs CokeCats Vs Dogs

I think what we all call Sprite is Very Important; the media doesn’t mention it at all. Their brand of prejudice is called “politics” and like soda (or pop or ‘coke’), it swaps substance for fizz.

Politics is low-poly pandering. Red versus blue. Left versus right. Meaningless visual metaphor. Political leaning. Spectrum. Swing. On-the-fence. Or this definition of Purple State:

…any state that could reasonably be won by either the Democratic or Republican presidential candidate.

This is every state. Even in Godless California where I live, one need not drive far to see the gate to The Other side. Every state is a little bit blue and a little bit red just like our veins and arteries.

In my worthless opinion, the telling division in America is that between urban and rural. PBS and RFD. Priuses and pickups. Here is my bias:

I think cities are doing something right. Cities are magnets for humans of different cultural backgrounds and ideologies and embed them in an infrastructure that affords social behavior. That’s because cities are “crowded.” This is considered a bad word, but it just means “full of people.”

Apartment buildings, office towers, and commuter trains. These are mechanisms to expose, transmit, and mix new ideas. Young people, carriers of Openness, tend to move to cities in droves, eager to expand their consciousness. This is why I like cities.

I also think rural communities are doing something right. The countryside of America attracts people of different backgrounds and ideologies and challenges them to build community — though ample space and a deliberate place of life. That’s because rural communities are “rustic.” This is considered a bad word, but it means “simple” or “unfinished.” (Would you prefer complex and done?)

Farmhouses. Dirt roads. Main street. These components of rural life comprise a canvas for community. The outward-pointing-shotgun is a stereotype. It’s also ineffective governance. Survival takes collective action and an acute sensitivity to the environment. Rural communities can thrive without destructive infrastructure. Their stable cost of living means less focus on materiality and wealth. This is why I like non-cities.

I’ve never looked down and seen red or blue on the ground. It’s either asphalt or not. It might feel like two sides of a coin, but maybe we’re just the opposite sides of a street. Let’s look both ways.

by Vivek Sri at March 13, 2018 10:20 PM

March 12, 2018

a digital life

Selena Ross

kasia’s scribbles from our set last night

kasia’s scribbles from our set last night

March 12, 2018 06:37 AM

Randy Lubin

Learning Japanese Update 3

I’m now almost two months into learning Japanese and I’m updating my lesson mix again.

I made it to about 700 memorized Kanji meanings through flashcards (Anki) but ran out of steam… It just wasn’t engaging enough to stay interesting.

My main source of lessons now is WaniKani, where I’m up to 250 Kanji (meaning and pronunciation) plus ~650 vocab words.I feel like I’m retaining the vocab better and that the pace is sustainable. I’ll keep posting updates here!

March 12, 2018 05:54 AM

Selena Ross

March 11, 2018

I Like Turtles

Walking on the roof


March 11, 2018 05:00 AM

March 10, 2018


More Fairyland

I can’t stop thinking about you, she texted him.

Same, he came back right away. Lily will be out of town next week. I want to see you. I am so ignited by you.

She told Jesse she was going to meet up with a friend for coffee and rode her bike over to Tayo’s apartment, thinking of their last kiss. He opened the door to her sweaty knock and smiled, perfect teeth, intense brown eyes, smelling even better than she remembered. His apartment was spotless, masculine, well-appointed, and reminded her of the TV show Mad Men, with its modernist furniture and fixtures, the bar cart.

They sat on the couch, drinking tea. She asked him questions about his childhood. They talked about their mothers. His fingers stroked her thigh through her jeans. There was a drawing of Lily on the wall near the door, a portrait really, her ceramic features and sparkling eyes represented photo-realistically in graphite. The more Eva looked around the room, the more of Lily she saw. The photos on the side table. The handbag on the back of a chair. Her presence, elegant, ethereal, hinted at here and there. The vase of tulips on the sideboard.

“Who did that drawing of Lily?” Eva asked.

“I did,” Tayo said.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t know you were an artist.”

“Yes well, I used to be. Now I’m just a lowly designer.”

“I’s a beautiful portrait. She’s an elegant subject.”

“She is.” Tayo took his glasses off, laid them carefully on the coffee table, and turned her chin to look at him. “You are an elegant subject too.”

“You seem to be a collector of those.”

“That is actually true,” he said, chuckling. Holding her face in his hands, he kissed her, sucking at her lips, tracing them with his tongue. They lay down, and he pushed his body against hers. Into his kisses, Eva spoke.

“Are we going to get to do this more than once?”

“God I hope so,” Tayo said, moving his teeth gently to her neck.

“You said you would tell Lily about it if we did it more than once.”

“Did I?” He bit her again, a little nip. She let out an involuntary groan, struggling against the memory.

“Yeah, you told me that in the bar last week.”

He pulled away and gazed up at the portrait, quiet for a moment, then looked at her. “I’m not going to get consent. I know that’s just the case,” he said gently.

“And you’re okay with that?

“I can work around it.”

She almost did it, then, almost let go, said who gave a fuck, they would figure it out later. He pushed his body against hers. She wanted him, the blood thrumming in her head and between her legs. His pupils were huge and black in his golden irises, his breathing fast. Her mind raced ahead. They would fuck. She wouldn’t cum, she never did the first time with someone new, someone who didn’t know her body very well, regardless of how attracted she was to him. Afterwards, she would shower in his bathroom, use his soaps, mess up his perfectly-hung towels. Then, after some awkward niceties, she would ride home to Jesse, rushing a bit, avoiding sitting on the bike seat. He would ask how coffee with Kirsten was, distractedly, paying no attention to her mumbled answer.

But she would have to tell Jesse about Tayo eventually. And she then would have to tell him that Lily didn’t know. It would get lopsided right away. Someone was bound to get hurt; most likely her, but also likely was at least one of the other three people in this equation.

“Someone is going to get hurt,” Eva said, “And I think it’s going to be me.”

He sat up, genuine concern on his face. “I would never want that.”

“I know, but it’s true.”

He looked out the sliding glass doors and over the city, grey and hazy today.

“Yes,” he said, simply.

“Well, it was nice to see you again, Eva,” Tayo said, downing the wine in his cup. “We should probably get going, eh Lil?”

“Yes, nice to meet you, Jesse.” Lily held out her manicured hand for him to shake. Jesse took it in his paw and gave a little closed-eyed bow to her. Lily turned to Eva. “You too.”

“Nice to meet you, Lily. You’re beautiful,” Eva said, suddenly relieved and generous.

“Oh thank you!” Lily colored prettily. “So are you!”

“Yes, you’re both fly,” Tayo agreed. “We’re surrounded by beautiful women, man,” he said to Jesse.

“Yes we are,” Jesse said, looking at Lily. Nobody was actually looking at Eva, including Lily, who was gazing off into the distance looking slightly uncomfortable. Tayo finally turned to Eva and took her hand.

“Goodbye.” Tayo said.

“Great to see you again,” Eva said, feeling sincere.

“You, too.” He dropped his glasses down his nose and looked at her over the top of them. She gazed back at him.

March 10, 2018 11:45 PM

a digital life

Selena Ross

tag a friend you’d take with you into the abyss

tag a friend you’d take with you into the abyss

March 10, 2018 04:08 AM

March 09, 2018

a digital life

March 08, 2018


a digital life

March 05, 2018

a digital life

Doctor Popular

Works everytime

Sometimes I get bored while waiting for Christine to come home. So I make Fernet and charcuterie traps for her.

The post Works everytime appeared first on Doc Pop's Blog.

by doc at March 05, 2018 09:47 AM

I before E except Gleitzman

Surrealist Subversions (Part I)

The inescapable conclusion is that most imaginative occupations…are found today only in the circus or in the world of crime.

March 05, 2018 07:18 AM

Certainly Strange

Drawing Classes!

I’ve been drawing and doodling pretty much my whole life, but I’ve never taken an art class of any kind, and have always really regretted that. After looking around at the options and dreaming about it for so long, I’ve … Continue reading

by Steen at March 05, 2018 05:07 AM

a digital life

March 04, 2018

Selena Ross

Diegetic Games

March Update - Behind the Magic and Duetta

It’s been a bit since my last update and I’d love to share some progress on two games drafts, Behind the Magic and Duetta.

Behind the Magic

I’ve run Behind the Magic – my fantasy mockumentary game - three times in the last couple weeks and I am thrilled with how it’s shaping up. Each session has been hilarious to watch and the players seem to have a great time. In multiple games, I’ve seen players literally rolling on the floor laughing – a good sign!

I’ve had the pleasure of testing the game with some phenomenal designers and players who have given me excellent feedback and ideas for improvement. My main goal now is adding extra scaffolding to help players come up with scene ideas; I’ll probably use a deck of scene prompt cards.

With the rules mostly finished, I’m moving into high fidelity design mode. Hopefully I’ll have a draft I can share with my Patreon followers soon. After some broader playtesting, I’ll then publish it online and sell the cards as print on demand. I’m excited to get this game out there and to hear about all the ridiculous misadventures you have!


A few weeks back I snuck in a playtest for Duetta – my shared world, persistent RPG. Many players play in the same world but missions take place with one player and one GM at a time, where the results affect the state of the shared world. The playtest went well but the core mission mechanics need some work. The session did yield two ideas that I am very excited about.

First, the players will have access to arcane techniques for forecasting the future, inspired by Psychohistory from the Foundation Series. They will be able to see major events on the horizon (invasion, famine, civil war) and the probability of them occurring. With the limited time available, players can choose which events they want to focus on and try to shape the arc of history in their favor. I think this will provide a great deal of focus and meaning to the larger game.

The second idea is to make a variant of Duetta that veers between larp and RPG. First, players will meet in character to act out a meeting of their secret society and decide which goals and tactics to focus on for the next period of time. Then the players will break into pairs and play out their specific missions. Then, they’ll meet back up to share what happened and plot the next period’s actions. I really like this model and will hopefully get to test it after a little more refinement of the core rules.

As always, I’ll post updates here on the blog but if you want early access to drafts come join my Patreon!

become a backer on Patreon

If you want to get updates about new games and drafts, sign up for the Diegetic Games Newsletter

March 04, 2018 05:46 PM

I Like Turtles

Curious, Unusual, and Extraordinary


March 04, 2018 05:00 AM

March 02, 2018

The New Vivek

The word of the day: Pickle

To preserve in brine or vinegar; any vegetable so preserved; a troublesome situation

To pickle is to embalm a vegetable in the holy waters of new life. Some priests trust the sterile clarity of vinegar to silence microscopic dissent. Others crave cacophony. They call forth a billion-billion anaerobic bacteria — or yeast — and set fire to our food. Closer to alchemy than baptism, it gives our vegetable second life.

The result of pickling is a pickle. A flame preserved in amber. Both biomass and glacier, a pickle lives in borrowed time. Only engorged in cloudy brine might a pickle have his first lucid thought: I was but a cucumber before this day.

Lid liberated, paradise lost. For plight of a pickle, is itself another kind of pickle. A pickle is a problem. It’s larger than a “jam” and smaller than a “kettle of fish.” A torpid dill cucumber expecting eternity is mistaken. His destiny waits on the other side of a mouth cinched shut from tartness. Past gnashing teeth dripping with saliva, down a vestibule of flesh to damnation. Where all pickles are lost.

by Vivek Sri at March 02, 2018 04:27 PM

Selena Ross

Tenderfest is coming back! Come listen to soft songs as we bid...

Tenderfest is coming back! Come listen to soft songs as we bid adieu to our lease.

March 02, 2018 08:21 AM

March 01, 2018


Relax at a Russian Bathhouse in Hunters Point


One of the city's absolute gems is nestled on a street in Hunter's Point. We love Archimedes Banya because it's not just your average spa. Sure, you can get the normal offerings like massages and body scrubs, but you can also try a lesser-known spa treatment that involves getting flogged by branches in a super-hot sauna. Intrigued? Read on, comrades! 

Estimated Cost: Moderate
Estimate Duration: 1-4 hours
Best Days: Every Tuesday
Best Time: Days for relaxation, nights for rowdiness
Vibe: Casual, relaxing, friendly


Photos via Yelp.

Your Russian-bathhouse date itinerary...

Most of this date takes place at one venue, but if you're feeling up for a rowdy time afterwards, you're just a short Uber from Dogpatch. Consider taking in a meal at Serpentine or grabbing ice cream at Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous after your spa excursion. 

1. Take a bus, bike or cab to Archimedes Banya in Hunter's Point

Get ready to schvitz. This four-story building comes complete with dry saunas, wet saunas, dunking pools, an in-house pub, and rooftop seating areas aplenty.

2. When you arrive, choose from any of the banya packages

If you're a newbie here, the basic banya pass is a good start, but you can pay a little extra for spa services. 

Banya Passes:

  • Basic Banya Pass ($42): Use of bathhouse, including all saunas, steam rooms and pools. 
  • Deluxe Pass ($160): Use the pools, get a platza massage, a Hammam body wash, and your choice of any half-hour spa service. 
  • Premium Pass:
  • Happy Hour ($35): Basic 3-hour bathhouse access. Only valid between 12-4pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (except holidays).

3. Strip down, prepare to get wet and flogged by leaves

Whether bathing suit-clad or in the buff, follow basic etiquette and rinse off before you hit the saunas and pools. If you're feeling brave, sign up for a Platza massage by one of the Banya's friendly staff members. As part of this treatment, a platza practitioner will use venik leaves to massage you in a super hot sauna for about 10-15 mins, then take you out for a cold plunge.

Things to know about the bathhouse...

  • Some areas are clothing optional, so don't come if you're squeamish.
  • Bathing suits are a good bet if you want to enter all the pools and saunas. 
  • Robes, towels and flip-flops are provided for your use while roaming around the bathhouse. 
  • Be sure to drink lots of water so you don't get dehydrated. There are free cups near the cold-plunge pool. 

4. Enjoy lunch, games & stunning rooftop views

One thing to note about Russian bathhouses is they're not pin-drop silent spa experiences. They're more of a social-gathering space than a zen retreat. And this spa comes with it's own restaurant called Zteamers! When you get peckish, go upstairs to snag a few beers and some Russian snacks, like piroshki, blini or borsch. Take your lunch up to one of two rooftop patios for panoramic views! 

More fun info about the Banya:

  • Check their calendar for events, like No Pants Karaoke, Ladies/Mens Night, or rooftop yoga.
  • There are games, like chess, available to play over a pint at Zteamers.
  • They have two party rooms for groups that you can rent out. The smaller room is $60 for 3 hours (up to 6 guests) and the larger one is $150 for 3 hours (up to 40 guests). Drop them a line for details. 

Places Featured In This Date

  1. Archimedes Banya

by Christina Srivastava at March 01, 2018 02:21 AM

February 28, 2018

a digital life


Step Right Up For A Circus-Themed Date

Gamify date night and escape to a world of whimsy and adventure. You can fly through the air, eat cotton candy, and finish your night with a "Monkey Business" cocktail in a boozy funhouse.

You'll need to travel by ride-share or take public transportation to get to all three stops. No worries, though, they are all on one Muni line: less than a 10-minute walk off the N-Train or #7 Bus stops, so you don't need to remember any tricky navigation because swinging upside down on a trapeze is enough concentration for one night.

Estimated Cost: Moderate
Estimate Duration: 2-5 hours
Best Days: Any day
Best Time: After 5 pm
Vibe: Casual and playful

Date itinerary: Welcome To The Greatest Show On Earth! There are three stops we recommend for this date. Want to stray from the itinerary? By all means—do whatever feels good to you and your date.

1. Start at Circus Center in Inner Sunset

The big top for your date is located on the cusp of Cole Valley and the Inner Sunset. The expansive facilities allow Circus Center to offer every level of ability class for flying trapeze, acrobatics, aerial arts, contortion, and juggling.

The supportive and safety-minded team will help you navigate your way through your first night as a circus runaway. Work up a sweat jumping on the trampoline and testing your limits on the big indoor trapeze or if heights aren't your thing, simply play on the ground level with jugglers and learn to spin plates.

Things to know about Circus Center…

  • $5 Fridays are a steal—get an introduction to trapeze for only $5 per jump.
  • Workshops and long-term classes are available.
  • They offer professional and recreational training with a world-renowned team of instructors.

Pics via Yelp.

2. Head to Straw for Carnival-themed cuisine

Located in Hayes Valley, Straw is a local favorite for unique sweet and savory dishes that you won't find anywhere else. They are best known for their Ringmaster Donut Burger which is a double patty cheeseburger that has a glazed donut as the bun (now aren't you glad you got a circus workout in first?!).  

Funnel cake, cotton candy, caramel corn and other circus mainstays are also available. 

Things to know about Straw…

  • Request to sit in the Tilt-O-Whirl that's been converted to a table for two.
  • Seating is limited, and can fill up fast. Reservations are available.
  • On the weekends, they host '90s hip-hop brunch.
straw 4.jpg
chicken waffles.jpg
straw 2.jpg
cotton candy.jpg

Pics via Yelp.

3. Unwind at Topsy's Fun House

With drinks named "Monkey Business" and "Backflip" you can keep your date on their toes at Topsy's Fun House, located in the Financial District. 

This bar strays in tone from its neighboring drinking establishments which is why it happily stands out in the area. They have a solid bar program inside a colorful atmosphere that doesn't take itself too seriously in this business minded hood. 

Things to know about Topsy's Fun House...

  • The stools are on giant springs so it's like drinking in a bounce house (dreams do come true).
  • Don't worry about "coulrophobia" in this bar, the bartenders are friendly and blessedly not clowns.
  • Credit cards accepted.

Pics via Yelp.

Places Featured In This Date:

  1. Circus Center
  2. Straw
  3. Topsy's Fun House

by Desiree Perea at February 28, 2018 04:52 AM

February 27, 2018

a digital life


Unedited photos are back...

And they look super cool! I'm really excited. Ross did an incredible job shooting to my direction, and he is a wizard with flash lighting.

Flash photography has always been a bit of a mystery to me; in design school photography classes I learned how to use hot lights and control how they filter, focus and bounce light around, and it's very WYSIWYG that way—every adjustment you make is immediately visible, and you are just shooting that visible light. But with flash, you really have no idea until you take the shot and review it. And after each adjustment, you need to take another test shot to see if the light is pointing the right way, at the correct power level, with the right levels on your camera and such. So in a way it seems trickier and more intimidating. But I now see how nice it is to have much smaller/lightweight gear that doesn't get ultra hot. It certainly is an art form, and I am grateful for such a rad friend who wants to do this for me!

Heres a quick sneak peek at a few of the unedited shots. We still have some post-processing to do to manipulate the lights a bit and clean things up, but I am just thrilled with what I'm seeing!


by Jenna at February 27, 2018 08:09 PM

February 26, 2018

The New Vivek

The word of the day: Belonging

Personal item; a possession; acceptance as a natural member or part

Last night, I was in a land before technology. A space without belongings. A time before friend requests and fire.

I meet a community of humans in a sweaty jungle. I’m ready to be speared, but they talk to me instead. At me, I should say. I don’t understand their language at all. It’s vowel-ly and grimacing plays an outsized semantic role. A man with long hair swings his fist to the ground and points his eyes heavenward: “Waaaap.” A woman with a baby on her hip pounds a prehistoric tree: “Dhuhh.”

Weak pedagogy, but I’m not so easy to understand either. My modern chatter only leaves them bemused. All syllables and stops and and sarcasm. It’s like dolphin speak.

“ Guys? I don’t understand any of this. “Waaaap?” Are you talking about the ground or the action of swinging at the ground? And, like, why? Also: does anyone know if these berries are edible?”


Minutes or maybe days later, the leader of the village emerges from the thick jungle brush. (I think he’s in charge, what with all the feathers in his hair.) He’s scraped up and bleeding in spots. The villagers wail mournfully.

“Dudes, he’s going to be OK,” but I’m not so sure. In 1795 you could succumb to a well-placed hen peck. This is a million BC.

Only because this is a dream, I unearth a tube of Polysporin from my bag. As I apply the salve, everyone is quiet. They sense a religious experience is taking place. I finally understand how David Blaine must feel every day.

For no reason whatsoever I make a show of putting the cap back on.


Days later the village leader demonstrates his scabs to every hut. There is curiosity about the magic gunk that saved the chief. Remembering the Prime Directive, I shield them from the multisyllabic Latinate brand name. I think this is important for some reason.

“Tube,” I explain, holding it up. The village people are ecstatic. “Chuba!” they repeat. This is my name from now on.

They award me a few hair feathers of my own and help me build a decent hut near the edge of the village. Lots of south-facing light.

I am trying to bring fire to our village, but it’s taken weeks to eke out even a wisp of smoke. The elder women check on my progress. Rose brings me edible berries. Blanche brings me the identical berries that make me vomit. Sophia delivers the past-due carcasses of jungle rodents. Hungry as I am, I can’t stomach the rotting rat flesh — but I don’t want to see ungrateful. At nightfall I hurl the carrion into a dark thicket. Even in the land before etiquette I can’t help myself.

Then one day there is smoke. And then fire.


I race around our village with a burning wad of kindling. No one cares. “It’s warm!” Some men act like I’m carrying a fistful of my own leavings. I think I see someone shrug. (Did I teach them that?)

Like all great tech, the kids are the first to get into it. Some children gather in front of my hut and feed the fire with small sticks. Alex P. Keaton (the kid is hilarious) throws a stone in and I admonish him. He nods respectfully. I think he understands.

Eventually our whole village is pro-fire, except our feathered leader—who I’ve dubbed Carl Winslow. He’s jealous of the attention I’m getting. Maybe he thinks I’m trying to steal Harriet. I swear I am not.

It’s a typical evening by the fire. Alex P. Keaton is dancing to entertain us and the old ladies are telling each other jokes that I desperately want to understand. Carl materializes with my duffle bag.

He raises the bag above the fire knowing what fire can do. “Carl…” I begin to say but he releases the bag from his grip.

Someone lets out the first gasp in history. Everyone looks to Chuba for his reaction. I do too. Chuba is neither alarmed nor angry. I just watch. Everything that’s mine is in that bag. I look around without moving. Nothing I’ve made is in that bag.

Seeing Chuba relaxed, the villagers soften their shoulders and relax their gaze. Carl sits by the fire, intrigued by the sound of crackling canvas and pungent scents new to this universe. Together our village watches the future as it’s taken by flame.

by Vivek Sri at February 26, 2018 07:54 PM

I before E except Gleitzman

Randy Lubin

Dreamation Recap

Dreamation just wrapped up and I had a great time! I squeezed in eight games, which was ambitions, but I’m glad I did. This was my fourth Double Exposure convention and it was great to see familiar faces and to catch up with old friends.

Here are the games I played and a memory or lesson from each:

Those who Remain was a fun larp about magicians and tarot. It’s one of the few games I’ve played that emphasize secrets and special abilities. One of the characters was vastly more powerful than the others and I enjoyed seeing the play that emerged from an asymmetric start.

No Further Questions was a silly game about rapid fire press conferences on silly topics and it’s a perfect first time larp for someone to dip their toes into the hobby. It’s also a great game to fill in time gaps or warp up for a different game. For my turn in the spotlight, I played a stressed out PR rep for the Mayor who had recently claimed that “Trains are made up, pure fiction” – despite the town having a major train station. The Mayor (played by Alex Roberts) was on stage with me and undermined my attempts to cover for her – it was a beautiful train wreck.

Jane: The Front was a serious RPG about the network of women who provided safe abortions before Roe vs Wade made them legal. It was heavy full of intensely emotional scenes and I’m very glad I played it. The game did a nice job of weaving the historical facts in as we played rather than front loading the information.

Event Horizon – Stowaways was a 20 person scifi larp where the players were hiding in a storage section of a spaceship while inspectors searched the ship. It did a great job of ratcheting up the tension in real-time and made great use of an audio track (representing the captains messages over the radio).

Guest Suite had players take on the roles of famous panelists at a pop-culture convention and split time between hanging out in the guest suite / green room, answering questions on the panel, and then sitting in the audience asking questions (as anonymous fans). I got to play an extremely obnoxious blogger who was on a panel with an author whom he had repeatedly trashed – it was fun playing someone I’d usually despise!

Public Memory was an educational larp that delved into the controversy around removing confederate statues. It played out in three acts with us taking new roles each act – opinionated citizens, city counsel members, and then reporters. I think that format has a lot of potential and can definitely see use in other genres and settings.

Xenolanguage was the most requested game of the con and I was lucky to snag a slot. It’s a game about making first contact with Aliens and trying to communicate with them. It’s still in early development so I don’t want to share too much but it was absolutely magical! I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

I finished with Behind the Magic which is my fantasy mockumentary larp. I had a phenomenal group of players who succeed in rescuing a prince from a dragon… but only by accident. I was watching from the side and taking notes but I spent most of the game doubled over in laughter. Once I incorporate notes from this session I think the rules are done – I’ll start work on the final, high fidelity version soon!

Overall a great con and I look forward to playing with everyone again in the future! Hopefully I’ll see a bunch of folks at Living Games this May…

February 26, 2018 01:33 AM

February 25, 2018

I Like Turtles



February 25, 2018 05:00 AM


February 22, 2018

Doctor Popular

Really Simple Style: How I RSS’d My Wardrobe

When a friend asked where I bought my shoes I told them it was the result of an RSS search on eBay. Looking closer, I realized my entire outfit (from head to toe) was the result of RSS searches.

Like many of you, I buy most of my clothes online. The only difference is that I used RSS feeds to find most of the clothes I bought in the last 5 years. Typically this means I’ll do a search for something on eBay or craigslist, and if they don’t have what I want, I add that search to my RSS reader so I’ll get notified whenever that item appears. Then I just forget about it and start watching cute animal videos on youtube.

From time to time an item appears in my RSS feed and I check to see if the Buy It Now is within my price range. If not, I come up with a low (but reasonable price) and use Auction Sniper to place my auction bid in the final seconds of a listing. Typically, I lose, but that’s a good thing because the item sold for more than I was willing to pay. The whole system is set up for me not to constantly check eBay for an item, then get into a bidding war on that item (that I don’t really NEED, but kind of want). As much as I love getting clothes for cheap, I also get competitive with other buyers and used to spend way too much, so this set-it and forget-it mentality really works for people like me that may be willing to have a search going for years before they score the perfect item for an insanely low price.

My RSS Outfit

Like I mentioned before, my entire outfit (except for the underwear) was found via RSS feeds. So we decided to do a fashion shoot documenting the hat, jacket, shirt, shoes, pants, and even socks. Huge thanks to my Emma Zwirko for taking these photos (and not making me feel super silly while doing it). You can see more of her fashion photos on Instagram.
An outfit comprised of RSS searches

“Golden Dragon” New Balance Shoes, $50

One of the most recent additions to my RSS feed is a search for limited edition New Balance shoes. I’m not much of a shoe guy, but I’m flat footed and found that most New Balance shoes fit me comfortably. I like unusual looking items, so the “limited edition” occasionally turns up neat results.

Sidenote; the smartwool socks were also RSS’d.

An outfit comprised of RSS searches

Rogue Territory Supply Jacket, $160

I tried on a Territory’s denim jacket a few years ago and loved it, but couldn’t justify the $275 price tag at the time. After a few years of watching these items on eBay, I realized even used jackets were still selling for $275. When this jacket popped up in my feed with a $160 buy it now option, I bought it within 20 minutes of it getting listed.

I’ve owned this jacket for nearly a year and wear it almost every day. One of my favorite little features is the pen pocket (highlighted by the white thread) and the inside pocket for notepads. For the first time in my life I find myself carrying a tiny notebook everywhere and documenting lyric ideas, sketches, and general notes throughout the day.

The enamel RSS pin is still available on Diesel Sweeties’ site.

An outfit comprised of RSS searches
An outfit comprised of RSS searches

An outfit comprised of RSS searches

Run DMC Hat, $85

After 6 years of waiting, this particular hat is the result of one my longest running RSS clothing searches. This feed is so old that it’s one of the feed Digg Reader imported from Google Reader when it shut down. Long live Google Reader!

This style of fedora, made popular by Run, Darryl Matthews McDaniels, and Jam Master Jay in the 80s, is very different from your typical fedora. The brim of the hat slopes upwards all the way around (where most fedoras slope down in the front) and the crown is a bit more rounded and symmetrical. I don’t know if this particular style of fedora has a name, but it seems impossible to find this particular shape without including “Run DMC” in the search.

After 5 years, the only hats I saw like this were cheaply made halloween costumes, but then two official Run DMC hats appeared in my feed on the same day! One was “new-in-box” hat for $150 and the other was used from a thrift store in LA. The price was $100, but my offer of $85 was accepted and the hat was on my head a week later. I didn’t even realize Run DMC had official hats, but I’m guessing this item is probably 30 years old.

An outfit comprised of RSS searches
An outfit comprised of RSS searches

Iron Heart 21oz Denim Straight Cut Jeans- $160

These jeans are the only particular part of this outfit that I found on Craigslist, but I do have a number of RSS searches for Craigslist synths, apartments, and cameras that yield good results too. These are heavyweight and very different than any other jeans I wear. My other favorite pair of jeans, a limited edition collaboration between Self Edge and Flathead, were also found via RSS.

The gentleman I bought these from bought these from Self Edge and only wore them once before deciding they were too stiff for him. I picked these up in December, but I think these jeans may be so old that he bought them back when I was a tailor at Self Edge. So there’s a chance that I may have been the person who hemmed these many years ago. Weird, right?

An outfit comprised of RSS searches

Al’s Attire Heavy Western Shirt, $30

Al’s Attire is one of my favorite local clothing designers. Al is an amazing tailor with a real eye for detail and an obsession with clothing from the 40s and 50s. I’ve bought a couple of custom items from his shop, but they aren’t cheap, so I was happy to find this heavyweight shirt. Luckily “Al’s Attire” doesn’t turn up too many unwanted results, so this 4 year old RSS search has yielded many other items like my favorite denim hat and a couple of dresses for Christine.

An outfit comprised of RSS searches
An outfit comprised of RSS searches
An outfit comprised of RSS searches

RSS? Auction Sniper?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is an old web format for delivering regularly changing web content (such as blog posts, changes to a website, and eBay search urls). Though it’s not as popular as it used to be, many blogs, news sites, and other online publishers still syndicate their content through RSS since it’s such a simple and standard web format to work with. Even iTunes uses RSS to find new podcast episodes to serve you in their (terrible) podcast app.

Hell, some of you may even use RSS to read this very post. Hi!

Once you have an RSS feed, you would then add that URL to your RSS reader. I use Digg Reader. Most blogs have a little RSS symbol you can use to subscribe to an RSS feed, but Digg Reader has an option to simple type a websites URL and they’ll automatically find the relevant RSS feed for you to subscribe to. Every morning I check Digg Reader to see what my friends have blogged about, what news is happening, and more. If an item I subscribe to has been updated, like a new post on Laughing Squid, I’ll see that update in my feed.

I wrote about how to convert an eBay searches into RSS feeds in this older post, but basically it involves adding &_rss=1 to the end of a search URL. So I search for a medium size Jesus Lizard shirt, add the rss suffix to make this , then add that url to an ebay folder in Digg Reader.

The great thing about RSSing an eBay search is that you can get as specific as you want. You can have it only show items under a certain price range, with “buy it now”, or with any other settings you want, then create an RSS of that specific search.

AuctionSniper is a tool I use for placing last minute bids on eBay. As I mentioned before, I simply add the price I’d actually want to pay (using AuctionSniper’s handy “Snipe It Now” bookmarklet), then I forget about that auction. If I win, I win. If not, that’s money I didn’t need to spend.

The post Really Simple Style: How I RSS’d My Wardrobe appeared first on Doc Pop's Blog.

by doc at February 22, 2018 11:43 PM

a digital life

Selena Ross


every time a woman makes a new track in pro tools an angel gets its wings.

February 22, 2018 02:59 AM

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a digital life