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a book cover


alChandler's Halls

Spreading optimism since 1999


When I saw this I didn't get it at first. Then I had an image of Fred Vale, the Dunkin' Doughnuts guy, at a party wearing the same outfit and singing showtunes. And I started laughing. Humor is a subjective thing.

April 15, 2024

Campaign 2024

It's the week before jury duty so naturally the roofers are replacing the shingles on my building's roof. I was blasted out of bed at 7:30 and when I opened the bedroom door for Newton he made a mad dash to get under it.

So then, I'm rereading Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter Thompson (I shudder to think how he'd view the horrifying choice between Biden and Trump). If you're remotely interested in politics and haven't read it, you should consider picking it up. It's worth it just for his riffs on Hubert Humphry and Ed Muskie. And after writing that I realize that those names mean nothing to anyone under 40, not that anyone under 40 reads this stuff.

April 15, 2024

Senior Cat

Newton is 10 and now that he's on the cusp of being a senior cat, he doesn't keep his claws trimmed the way he did in his younger years. He's become the cat equivalent of the guy who's decided that pants are optional.

By the way, I normally don't notice the flaws in AI produced pictures but Dream was apparently hungover from the night before when it did this one.

April 10, 2024

Horizon Forbidden West: Riding

One of the optional things you can do in Horizon Forbidden West is override the programming of certain machines and use them as mounts. I never used riding a lot in the first game but I felt it necessary to relearn all the systems. So I commandeered a charger and rode it for a bit. They'll probably be a few more videos now that I've learned that OBS can't handle output above 1080p.

Update:I'm posting another short video, OBS updated to version 30 (probably because of user error). I rolled back to 27 and did another short video to see if the quality was a little better.

April 9, 2024


I tried finishing Baldur's Gate 3 solo four times and always abandoned it in Act 3, when I actually got to the city itself. Today Rolf and I made it to the outskirts of Baldur's Gate. Perhaps it will be different this time.

As far as solo stuff goes, I'm playing Horizon Forbidden West a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. It's frustrating because my memories of HZD are like this:

But that video was taken during the second half of the game, after I got all the keyboard commands down. I'm in the early stages of HFW and I'm still trying to relearn them. There's lot's of pausing as I look at the cheat sheet I made. What's keeping me from getting frustrated is the knowledge that I learned this stuff once and with a little patience I can get it down again.

I don't remember any of the rewturning characters except Aloy herself and this guy, Sylens.

That's because Sylens was voiced by Lance Reddick. Sylens helped Aloy in the first game but he always made it clear that his pursuit of knowledge took precedence over Aloy's saving the world shit. I mean, you can't forget any character voiced by Lance Reddick.

April 8, 2024

I'm Back

Last week I came down with a bad cold, today is the first time my head felt clear enough to write anything. I'm not used to colds laying me out for a week, at least not as an adult, but I'm an old adult and I suspect that future colds will be just as unpleasant as this one was.

So now that I'm better I'm going to deal with Newton's nails. He's having problems keeping them trim and I have to take him to the vet's to have them do it. He's 10 years old and becoming slovenly and disheveled, not unlike his owner. I'll make an appointment tomorrow.

April 3, 2024

Scorpia and Kotaku

Jen Glennon, who took over as Kotaku's editor in chief last October, resigned over the decision by the higher ups to concentrate on producing gaming guides at the expense of news.

Got to admit that I didn't browse Kotaku a lot but I did check in from time to time. And I'm sure to folks in management have their reasons for making the change but I keep on thinking about Scorpia.

Scorpia wrote for Computer Gaming World back in the days when magazines were a thing. She reviewed games and also wrote detailed walk throughs for rpgs and adventure games. In 1999 when Computer Gaming World was sold to Ziff Davis she was fired. She continued to post gaming stuff on her site, Scorpia's Gaming World, but it didn't work out and the site closed in 2009.

By 1999 there were plenty of people who would post detailed walk throughs on the net for free. And while G/O Media, Kotaku's owners, don't charge for their site I'm sure they're hoping that the walk throughs will drive traffic to the site for a lot less money then journalism costs. Hell, it's their dime. But when I'm stuck in a game I don't go to a specific site, I use Google. That's what they're up against.

By the way, if you're curious about what gaming magazines were like in the 80s and 90s you could do worse then go to the Computer Gaming World Museum. Here's a link to the first issue that I bought in 1985.

March 23, 2024


What can I say? I love Q and I love puns.

March 21, 2024


Having spent some time in the Fallout universe, this looks spot on. And these folks aren't from the games, they're original characters. I'm starting to really look forward to this.

March 19, 2024


It looks like the Senate is not enthusiastic about the House's Tiktok ban. I suspect that companies who run VPNs are disappointed by that.

Update: Of course it might not be profitable for Tiktok's parent company, ByteDance, to operate TikTok under those circumstances. TikTok would have to locate to China and would generate no revenue for ByteDance.

March 14, 2024

alChandler in Faerûn

alChandler was created in 1980 when a guy I worked with, Mike Lazarchik, wanted to run a live action role playing game. I created an evil dwarf named alChandler. The game kind of fell apart quickly because with the exception of Mike most of us knew nothing about role playing, but the name alChandler stuck in my head. In 1983 when I bought my first computer I also bought a role playing game called Ultima II and once again I created a dwarf named alChandler.

Over the years a lot of my characters have had the name alChandler, or variations on the name. There have been a lot of Alan Chandlers on Kosh, and various wandering fellows who called themselves alChandler, but very few dwarves. There were some in the Ultima series and a few in the Dragon Age series but that was it. So when Baldur's Gate 3 dropped last year I jumped at the chance to play a dwarf named alChandler.

I never completed my solo pass at the game, I found the city of Baldur's Gate a overwhelming and abandoned it. But now I'm playing co-op with Rolf and after 50 hours we've reached the second act. I'm hoping we finish, after all alChandler the Dwarf Lord deserves one more glorious victory at this stage of his life.

March 11, 2024

Tom Bombadil

If you've no idea who Tom is, that's cool but be advised that he is the Master of wood, water, and hill. And now he lives on my phone and that almost makes up for yesterday's summons to jury duty.

March 9, 2024

Presented for Your Consideration

March 7, 2024


I read Dune as a teenager and disliked it. Then I went back to it in my 30s, after all it's a science fiction classic, but I still didn't like it. Then I watched the David Lynch movie, same result. I'm not saying that Dune is a bad book or that Lynch's movie sucked, they just weren't for me.

Last week Rolf got me to watch part one of Denis Villeneuve's Dune. I told myself that I'd give it a half an hour and then turn it off. As it turned out I loved it. Not enough to see part two in the theater mind you, but enough to look forward to seeing it when it arrives on Max. Unlike the book and the first movie I found Timothée Chalamet's version of Paul likable and sympathetic. I'm sure he turns into a right bastard in part two but now I'm interested in seeing how he becomes a bastard. And there you go.

March 6, 2024