Topic: Kirmser Sunday
We had a couple of questions from last week that I wanted to be sure and address in our new feature, The Kirmser Sunday Mailbag.
Nope, Zach. That's our Jamie! Mr. Kirmser is a hardcore brewer. In fact, he's the president of the Knights of the Brown Bottle, the home brew club of Arlington. The K-man bottles his own and I'm here to tell you, it's hella-good stuff!
Gary asked: "Is it true that he was once a member of 'The Dirty Tampons'?"
It's true! He sang with the band and you can hear him shoutin' out as backup in their rock anthem ACT OF VIOLENCE. Before his tour with the DTs, Jamie was the front man for A Bunch of Guys Who Just Happen to Have Instruments Listening to I THINK I'M GOING BLIND, you'll feel like it's 1985 all over again.
Keep asking those questions and I'll keep answering them!
The big news this week for the upcoming Wizard World Texas is that organizers are staffing up. Yes, that's right. The call has gone out for WWTX volunteers. So if you have the weekend of November 16th through the 18th free and enjoy "thankless menial labor," this may be the gig for you! Head over now and sign up for servitude. Sure the pay sucks, but you get one of those swanky t-shirts and have to put up with jackholes like me eating nachos where he's not supposed to!
Meanwhile the guys at Drunk Duck, the webcomics community, have reserved their space in Wizard World's Artist Alley and still have some standing room space for additional webcomic artists. Sign up now...! According to Comixtalk, webcomic panels are planned for the show. I don't recall such being on previous year's schedules, but I may have just been distracted by Michael Turner. I plan on checking that out!
It was six years ago today that several groups of foreign men boarded American aircraft under the guise of harmless travelers and crashed them into the middle of our safe, comfortable lives. I was standing in my living room straightening my tie before running off to a meeting. I was watching Good Morning America. They were covering a live news event. Apparently a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers.
The video displayed smoke rising into the sky from a gaping hole in the side of the north tower.
The Wife walked into the room, asked what was going on.
"They say a plane crashed into the Trade Center," I explained.
Just then United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower.
We both cried out in alarm and horror in chorus with the GMA anchors.
We watched the news for several minutes, glued to the set. Was this really happening?
At last, I had to leave for my meeting. Suzanne and I held each other, sharing the knowledge that at any time, any moment some terrible twist of fate could tear our lives apart. Throughout the day we would call each other almost every hour to hear the other's voice.
All the way to my appointment I listened to NPR as they - like everyone else - tried to sort things out.
I was chairing a coalition meeting over at a county office building. Folks were freaked out about what happened in New York City. A TV was rolled into the conference room and we learned of the plane crashing into the Pentagon. There was sobbing in the room as we watched the south tower collapse.
The fact that we were meeting in a government building rubbed the coalition members wrong. Unable to get anything done, the meeting was adjourned.
My plan for the day was to visit a dozen or so accounts around the north Texas area. Fool that I was, I tried to stick to my schedule. Everywhere, it was the same.
No one could concentrate. No one could focus on anything other than the horrible news coming out of New York, Washington, and Pittsburgh.
"My son's in New York," One of my customers said absently. "I can't get him on the phone."
Another worried, "My wife's on a plane now. They landed her in Wichita, Kansas. How the hell is she going to get home from Wichita, Kansas?!?"
I had a number of friends who were in the air that day. And all of them had to figure out how to get home from strange cities that were never their destination as air travel shut down in an unprecedented effort to control the skies.
Four groups of men on four different airplanes changed everthing that day. Folks of my generation grew up under the fear of global thermal nuclear war. When the Soviet Union fell, the world breathed a sigh of relief. We did it. We really did it. We managed to avoid blowing ourselves up.
And when it looked like the next generation would grow up without the dark cloud of doom hanging over their heads along comes Al Qaeda and fear is restored to our world.
If we weren't going to blow ourselves up, they'd do it for us.
Mere days after September 11th, I was pulled over for driving a rental car. I wasn't speeding or otherwise breaking the law. The police man stated that they wanted to know who was on the road with out-of-state plates.
In those weeks after the plane crashes, the world gave us their sympathy, their goodwill. In short order, our leaders squandered it landing us in a poorly conceived war in Iraq based on dubious ties to terrorism.
In six years we have offered up our blood won civil rights like milk money for a bully's "protection."In the six years since that terrible day in September, I've not flown a single flight that I haven't wondered "which of the people around me are killers?"
My parents contemporaries had the question, "Where were you when you learned that JFK was shot?"
Now my generation has, "Where were you on September 11th?"
I ended that day the way I started that day, holding my wife and thanking God for our many blessings.
Where were you?
The Groovy Gamers Groovecast has been a regularly featured podcast on iPod since last January. Mark "Thayan" Reed and his co-host Zac manage a show focused on play-by-post role playing games. Having been involved in Play By Email (pbem) games since 1994, they discuss subjects every episode on which I am very interested.
I love the music they play on the show. It is indeed most groovy. I seem to recall that Zac produces the tunes. Nicely done.
And that's the last nice thing I have to say about the Groovecast.
Neither Zac nor Mark bring any energy to the show. I have a sense that they are both leaned way back in the chairs at their computer desks hovering precariously at the warm edge of a nap. In particular Mark's presentation is so absent any exuberance or passion, you'd think he was an undertaker.
As I was working on projects around the house today, I listened to two episodes back-to-back. The first was season two, episode nine's "Post GenCon" report. A breath of fresh air on the show was the D&D 4.0 report provided by All Games Considered's Carol. She was interested and thoughtful. I got excited for a moment. Is this something they're gonna do more of? Really, loved hearing Carol on the show.
One annoying thing, though... she got lost in her notes and apologized for the delay. In the back, Zac (I think) tells her not to worry about it. We'll edit it later.
'Wish they'd taken the time to do what they'd said. That's disrespectful both to Carol and the listener.
Once Carol finished, Zac went into his report. No lie, I fell asleep during this piece. I fell asleep while doing chores! Screw the Ambien, insomniacs of the world. The Groovy Gamers Groovecast can hook you into some solid sack time!
Next up was the Groovecast's review of the World of Darkness system. And here's where I got ticked off. Zac admits early in the episode that his only experience with WoD is the new system, or nWoD, and that has been through Live Action Role Playing (LARPing). Mark confesses that his experience is the old system and that was a long time ago.
So, really, they know dick about World of Darkness, yet manage to fill fifty-eight minutes worth of show.
The run down is really nothing more than what you'd get off the Wikipedia entry.
Zac makes a big deal about there being no way in the World of Darkness to resurrect a character.
I have two problems with that declaration:
Oh. My. Lord.
Why in the world do people talk on subjects they know absolutely nothing about? Why not instead bring an expert onto the show? Interview somebody who has a clue?
Guys, it's not important to know everything. Your audience doesn't expect it. Instead, know the right questions to ask. Seek out people who are subject matter experts. Be our gateway to the knowledgeable rather than passing yourself off as a Jack-of-all-Trades.
So why have I listened to this show for nine months? I want to like it. I want a podcast about play-by-email/play-by-post to be a good show. This just ain't it.
So, I had a HUGE spike in traffic to the blog two weeks ago. Over 3000 unique visitors hit my page on August 26th. Wondering what the hell's up with that, I pulled a site report to determine what folks were looking for.
The first two searches were no big surprise.
Coming in at first was the word "bastard." Second was "evilbastard."
Third was "kirmser."
Kirmser. As in Jamie Kirmser. My buddy since second grade. The guy in the picture to the left dressed as Smoke Salmon.
We've attended the same schools; worked at the same jobs; dated the same women.
Yes, that Jamie Kirmser.
No lie. Folks come to my website looking for Jamie.
When I mentioned this to The Kirmser, he suggested that I feature him more.
In the spirit of giving the people what they want, the Bastard's Blog will now publish Kirmser Sundays. You can expect interviews with his family and friends to find out about the Jamie they know; his turn-ons and turn-offs, never before seen pictures of the celebrity, and maybe even a personal message from him to you, his adoring fans.
Week in and week out, The Bastard's Blog will be providing you all the Kirmser you can possibly stomach.
The other night, I passed a co-worker in the hallway.
Typically, he wears a golf shirt and slacks to the office. On Thursday, he was wearing a suit and tie. It was an awfully nice suit.
I commented, “Wow. You look nice. Dapper.”
He smiled, “Didn’t dress like a consultant today.”
“Well you look great,” I said. “In fact, I’d let you buy me dinner dressed like that.”
“And take me dancing, too.”
His expression changed to one of concern and then to horror as I added: “Hell, I might even let you get under my bra.”
“How about we just go for beer?” He asked in a suddenly deep voice.
“Or that,” I agreed.
Now, I shared this story with The Wife who urged, "Really, you shouldn't talk to people."
"But I'm a people person!"
"Not so much," She shook her head. "Not so much."
Thanks for writing! Rather than give a lengthy reply in email, I decided to respond via forum post. I've gotten one other email on this subject -- and I'd wager there are other people thinking the same thing -- so I wanted to reply in an open letter that's available publicly.
If you want to discuss this further, please feel free to write me any time! I appreciate both the praise you gave us in the review and the courtesy you used in criticizing us. I'd be more than happy to address any further concerns you have.
Thanks again and take care!
Head on over to Fear The Boot's site to check out his comments and you'll find why Fear The Boot is the best damn podcast around.
You're a gentleman, Mr. Repperger. I'd play Battletech with you any day!
Or FASA Star Trek.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. There are a number that I enjoy particularly in the role playing game genre. Podcasts such as Dragon's Landing Inn, Ogre Cave, and The Bear's Grove. By far my favorite among all the podcasts I listen to - RPG or otherwise - is Fear The Boot.
The guys at Fear The Boot describe their show as "...An irreverent, roundtable discussion about roleplaying games and a little bit more." It's more than that, though. It draws you in to a circle of friends gabbing about gamin'. These guys are hardcore RP'ers. They make you feel like you're sitting at the table with them.
Dan Repperger, the host, runs a tight ship keeping the show on task with great topics. Their game development series was outstanding. Despite a lot of changes around the microphones with the other hosts, FTB rarely misses a beat.
Technically, the podcast's production values are topnotch with solid sound and professional level engineering. It's easy on the ears. At least the sound quality is. There are some elements though that are a bit hard on the ears.
From time to time, the guys use language that has to be offensive to the gay community.
We live in a world where the word "gay" is used carelessly to describe things that are considered odd or stupid. The FTB boys are certainly guilty of this. I wince when I hear it, but I can forgive this insensitivity. Right or wrong, the word is in common usage in this manner.
In this past week's episode, they crossed the line from mildly insensitive to patently offensive.
Dan was talking about the movie TOP GUN and how his brother's nickname derived from it when one of the co-hosts, John, said: "That's pretty gay."
A brief discussion kicked up about the movie's gay undertones (e.g. the volleyball scene) when Dan brought the conversation back to his brother: "...You've just been called a homo. Do you want to step up here and defend yourself?"
Much laughing followed.
I'm sorry, but I find the term "homo" to be both offensive and disrespectful. I think most folks would agree.
We don't call the Chinese "Chinks" or the Japanese "Japs" or "Nips." We know those terms to be hurtful.
I doubt I would bring this up otherwise, but Episode 67 is not the only instance at FTB. Similar gay bashing has occured on earlier episodes as well. I remember one episode (a bonus episode as I recall) in which Dan was particularly offensive on this subject.
Here's the thing. I don't think that the guys at FTB mean to represent themselves to the world as haters. Certainly they're frank and irreverent. That's all part of their charm. But I have seen in them (or heard anyway) a sensitivity to the dignity of others.
Yet casually they have maligned an entire segment of our society. That's wrong. Moreover, it is beneath them. Dan and the guys at FTB are better than that.
Honestly, I think they just don't have a clue how their words are received.
If they are aware, then shame on them.
Awaking at four o'clock Saturday morning, I gathered up my shotgun, the rest of my hunting kit, and headed out. Arriving at my brother's house in darkness' pitch, we loaded up the truck and motored our way to Palo Pinto County, up towards Possum Kingdom Lake. It was Dove Season's opening day. And we had birds to shoot.
We settled on a process of watching where each other's birds fell so that we could talk each other in to finding it. Not just the two of us. The other hunters around all joined in guiding the shooter towards the fallen bird.