atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1996: Ominous creaking noises.

When you're running a role-playing game, you're in charge of everything. Your word is law; if you say, "Rocks fall; everyone dies!" that's it, end of game.

Generally speaking, a good game master never does anything arbitrarily. For example, if the characters find themselves in an underground room with a ceiling which is a dice roll from collapse, it's only fair for the game master to warn the players. His warnings don't have to be specific, though. He doesn't have to say, "Okay, the ceiling in this room is unstable, and if I roll a 1 on this 20-sider, rocks fall and everyone dies." He can do this. Many do. But it's not the best way.

No; the best way--the way which enhances tension, which makes the players behave more like they would if they were actually in that room--is simply to say, "As you enter the room, you gradually become aware that there are ominous creaking noises coming from the ceiling." And then you throw a 20-sider behind the GM screen and pretend to make note of what the roll was. When they look up at the ceiling--and they will, unless they're a bunch of retards--you can describe the beams as rotten, the stones as uneven, blah blah blah, etcetera, and make them see the ceiling as unstable and ready to collapse at any second. They don't know the likelihood--it could stay up forever or fall in the next instant--and that makes it suspenseful.

That's how it is in real life: when you decide to drive to work on that tire even though it looks a little low on air, there's no one hovering nearby to tell you the odds of it blowing out. And so you have to pay attention to the details; in real life, if you walk into a room where the ceiling is making ominous creaking noises, you don't just ignore it.

Unless, apparently, you are a Democrat in 2010. Dick links the story there; the majority leader of the house is worried about violence against Democrats and apparently does not understand why. He thinks that a condemnation from Republican politicians will quell the unrest.

Democrats are worried. The Republicans are condemning it.

I'm going to quote Dick's comments in their entirety:
Listen up, you goddamned communists.
You cocksuckers should've been taken out, beaten, then forced to leave this great nation for purposefully ignoring the will of the people. And not to mention, the intentional damage you've done to our constitution and country. If it was up to me, your asses would be on trial right now.
Shut the fuck up and be happy you're still above ground and in one piece.
There is a real, palpable anger among the American people right now, anger at a government which is completely ignoring them and doing its own thing for its own reasons.

And when "rocks fall, everyone dies," there are always ominous creaking noises first.

* * *

10% tax on tanning. Why? Because "tanning causes skin cancer". So here we have the very first restriction on freedom coming from ObamaCare.

* * *

Three links of Boortz in a row:

We're going to get a Value-Added Tax. Count on it. The deficit has ballooned--and then ballooned again--since Democrats seized control of Congress in 2006. The deficit in 2007 was $150 billion; when the Democrats took over Congress at the beginning of 2007 the budget for that year was already set, but they did the budgets after that year; and the 2008 budget deficit was three times the deficit of 2007. As we know, the budget deficit of 2009 was ten times the deficit of 2007.

Because cutting spending is anathema to any congresscritter (particularly Democrats) they're going to raise taxes. Yes, I know they only just passed the largest tax increase in US history this week, but they're going to do it again because they know they can't keep running huge deficits ad infinitum.

A VAT will also be necessary to pay for ObamaCare. The tax measures the Democrats included in the bill aren't enough, because the people who pay those taxes have other options.


Naturally, Congress and the high-level government folk are exempt from ObamaCare. What, you think they're going to expose themselves to the same lousy health care they're mandating for you? Do you think they have a death wish or something?


And there are other things: Social Security is going to collapse if something isn't done. There are only two ways to make sure it doesn't: privatize, or dump a massive amount of money into it.

Guess which one the Democrats prefer.

So the plan is to seize control of all retirement accounts; this will result in the Democrats having a huge pool of money to play with. And what do you think will happen to that money? Do you think it will be put in a "lockbox" and carefully tended by experts, so that it will accumulate as you work towards retirement, and be there waiting for you to draw against in your declining years?


Hell no. That money will get spent and the government will leave a nice tidy pile of IOUs in its place, the same way they did with Social Security. If you're lucky, the system will stay solvent long enough for you to collect most of your money, but your kids are going to get reamed.

This plan will only punt the problem further downfield; it won't save social security from collapse. Nothing can: pyramid schemes always fail, and SS is nothing but a pyramid scheme. It has been nothing but since the government began dumping SSI funds into its general fund.

* * *

Eight predictions for ObamaCare.

* * *

...we need to ensure that the Democrats own this thing. That's why I call it "ObamaCare". We should not refer to it as "health care" or "health care reform"; it's neither, and besides it lets Democrats escape responsibility for this nonsense.

* * *

As for me, I'm doing okay. The cough lingers.

...after saying I wouldn't go buy the cough syrup with guaifenesin, I went and bought it, and I'm glad I did: it really helps. Unfortunately it's the cherry/menthol/gack! flavor which is more typical of cough syrup, and naturally a single dose is four teaspoons.

The sough suppressant is a pleasant grape flavor, and naturally I need take only two teaspoons. *sigh*

But this damn cough is annoying and persistent; I have never in my life used up a bottle of cough syrup...and this week I have used up two.

After going to Walgreen's to resupply, I was sitting in the bathroom at the vanity and taking my cough syrups. Mom looked at me curiously and I said wryly, "I'm doing shots." She laughed.

I do prefer taking the two medicines seperately, rather than having an all-in-one syrup. This way I can control the dosages more precisely; if I want less expectorant I still get all the suppressant, for example.

I'll be glad when I no longer need the cough syrups. The guaifenesin makes my nose run and my throat feel scratchy. I can do without it, but then when a cough gets past the suppressant, it's dry and hacking and it makes my head hurt. *sigh*

I'm already doing my best to stop taking the stuff. I wait until I start having to cough continuously before I take another. Sooner or later, I'll realize it's been a good long time since my last dose.

* * *

I haven't been watching anime. If I laugh--even a wry little chuckle--it sets off a lung-busting bought of coughing. I've done a little desultory questing in WoW, but for the most part I'm still sick, so I've been tending to sleep a lot.

The little bit of car work I did the other day fixed the grinding groan, but the exhaust rattle is still present. It's the flex coupling; so I'm going to have to get under there and do something about it. I'm not going to do that until this damn cough is gone--no sense giving myself double pneumonia.

The rattle is annoying and embarassing, and that last bit irritates me: since when the hell did I start caring what other people thought? Maybe I'm starting to be embarassed over my unemployed "living with my Mom" status; and maybe it's something else.

It's stupid. I mean, this is a car I not-quite-literally rescued from the scrapyard. I paid $400 for the thing, for crying out loud. I am proud of the fact that I've done so much to it; I've fixed a lot of stuff on this car, including replacing the damn engine, all by myself! I've turned an oil-burning rattletrap into a reliable car which drives very well; I mean the thing handles like a new car and with the new engine it's got its pep back. A few more details and I'll have a car which operates as well as a much newer car would. 36 MPG for a total outlay of about $750 and some effort--how can you go wrong?

So why feel embarassed over some exhaust noise? I'm a doofus.

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