26 Feb 2021

The Return

Hello, world!

Yes, it has been some time.  Even Lost in Translation fell by the wayside.  The reason?  I caught COVID-19, confirmed with a test.  Best reckoning is that I caught the virus second week of January.  I felt run down, then as the virus wreaked havoc in me, I called in sick to work.  I tried to get in, but when you wake up tired and run down, it makes a full day difficult, even when that day is normally slow.  When I realized that I may have to keep calling in, I called the COVID hotline for Quebec to make an appointment for testing.

The test was easy enough, but the nurse administering it noticed something else.  I was having problems breathing.  She could hear it.  She gave me another number to call, but that will be later.  After the test, I came back home and, after catching my breath, I went to bed to nap.  I really don't remember much of the last two weeks of January, seeing I was in bed for most of it.  I will say that being in bed napping is far better than being in the hospital hooked up to oxygen.

The day after the test, almost 24 hours after, I got the results.  I tested positive and was ordered to quarantine.  Easy enough, I didn't have the energy to go anywhere.  I called into work afterwards to keep them in the loop, then napped yet again.  Quarantine ended at the end of day of January 31.  I still didn't go out.  The closest to going out was to get a package that had been delivered to my front door.

Another problem came up after the diagnosis.  I lost my appetite.  The last thing I ate for the duration of the worst of it was a grilled chicken salad from Harvey's.  I tried a second one later in the week and was able to finish the chicken but not the entire salad.  Breaded chicken didn't work; the breading made me nauseous.  Bread made me nauseous.  Toast, though, didn't.  I made it through the last week of January on toast.  I also had to work to stay hydrated.  I just couldn't drink that much water.  February, though, I started drinking tea again, and that helped.  I then started eating more solid foods and drinking two litres of water/liquid per day.  I lost a good percentage of the weight I picked up since lockdown last March, but I do not recommend this method.

Feeling more energetic at the end of the first week of February, I went back to work.  The Friday, I wound up leaving a couple of hours early having tired myself.  Saturday, though, was quiet even for a Saturday and make through the full day.  The next week, I'm back to regular hours, plus some changes in work duties in the works.

My breathing, though, wasn't so great.  I also had a heavy, persistant cough that would wake me up at night.  Having asthma, I have an inhaler, though I hadn't been using it in the latter half of January.  I get back on it, and the cough lessens but still persisted.  Remember the number the testing nurse gave me?  I did, and called it to make an appointment.  I get one, go in, and get the prognosis - pneumonia.  I left the doctor's appointment with a prescription for a heavy-duty, hospital grade antibiotic.  They worked.  After three days, I was able to sleep through the night without waking up due to coughing.  I'm breathing better, though I need to get a lung specialist again.

The doctor at the clinic also ordered x-rays for me.  I figured it was to just confirm where the infection and its detritus was.  Which it did, but it also revealed something else.  I have a pneumothorax.  There is a small air bubble between my left lung, the one that the pneumonia hit, and my chest wall.  The good news is that it's a small bubble, not worth the intervention, which would involve surgery.

One thing I will say - pneumonia is not as bad as COVID-19.  While not being able to breathe isn't a good thing, it only left me winded.  COVID laid me out, tired, unable to focus.  Lost in Translation fell to the wayside with half a review written.  Hard to write when focus doesn't exist.  Even my routine of working on scenes for stories while falling asleep failed; I either kept repeating a short part of the start of the scene, like a skipping record, or had other problems in life intrude.  Not fun.

So that's been the past five weeks or so.  I'm still getting into the swing of things again.  Something should appear here in the next couple of weeks, but I have no idea what.  Thanks for your patience if you're a regular and thanks if you read through all this.

Today, over at Psycho Drive-In, X-Men the Anime.

Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, taking the week off.  Still getting myself put back together.  I am working on the next review.

1 Jan 2021

Hello 2021, Good Riddance 2020

Welcome 2021.  May you be a damned sight better than the past year.  2020 can now be relegated as hindsight, a lesson in what not to do.

Happy New Years!

18 Dec 2020

December Already?

Wow, where did the time go?  My last post was in September.  Time for some catching up.

First, I'm still alive.

October came and went.  I ordered 1.8kg of spearmint leaves candy, mostly for use during NaNoWriMo.  There's still half a box left.

November was NaNo.  I wound up going with Total Security Concepts, which is now set in the Subject 13 universe.  Total words was 50 262.  What I'm finding is that I can write at a decent pace, 2000 to 2500 words a night, provided I have time off to recharge.  This matches up with my writing for Lost in Translation, where it takes me two days to write a 1500 word review.  I up my game for NaNo, and I've figured out how to pacce myself for the marathon.

Total Security Concepts began as a look at how normal people in a world of superpowers defend themselves.  It then turned into a murder mystery that included corporate meetings.  One character went from just having a superheroic ID to being lead investigator.  It was fun writing the story just to see where it went.  The result is satisfying but will need a bit of time to congeal before I serialize it here.

Sneak peak of the minis
to come, with the
Miniatures painting fell to the wayside.  NaNo doesn't really leave time for anything extra, especially when work is still a thing.  Work is still going, so here's hoping I get through to two years on the current contract.  My main goal with work is to get to the two year mark.  After that, I'll feel better.  I won't be changing unless something permanent or interesting comes up.  For interesting, this contract got back to me before a potential six month contract in Iqaluit, Nunavut had.  I would've jumped on the Iqaluit contract, especially with its potential for an extension.  It'd be different.

Lost in Translation is still going strong.  The pandemic prevents one of my main methods of looking for review fodder - checking the rows of DVDs at the music store.  I may have a secondary method, but it's going to need refining.  I have five potential reviews for the new year, once the end-of-year posts are done.  There may be news related to Lost in Translation coming up in the New Year.  Stay tuned.

Coming up, more Lost in Translation, possibly a serial in January, and hopefully some gaming posts.  I want to get a comparison of Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun characters done.  I also want to create a character or two for Shadowrun Sixth World.  Maybe during some down time during the holidays.  Minis will get finished at some point.

Today, over at Psycho Drive-In, Quantum Leap - "A Leap to Di For".

Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Wrapping up 2020

25 Sept 2020

Brace Yourself - NaNo Is Coming

It's been some time.  Somehow, March has become September.  Summer existed and it was hot but, well, time has ceased to have meaning.  Autumn is coming, when trees become colourful and stop having sex.  With autumn comes November, and with November comes NaNoWriMo.

I have no idea what I'm writing.

That's not new for me.  I usually have a few ideas on the go that I could just pick up and run with.  This summer, though, the creativity is just out of reach.  No worries, I can make this work.  I do have a few ideas, though.

28 Aug 2020

Prohibition, Corruption, and Repeating History

Over the past couple of months, I'd been reviewing the various works based on The Untouchables, the team of Prohibition agents gathered by Eliot Ness to take down Al Capone and his South Side Gang.  One thing that kept popping out, whether it was from the 1959 series, the 1987 movie, or the 1993 syndicated series - the biggest problem of the era was corruption, not alcohol.

This is going to be my impression of events, past and current.  I may have things wrong.  The source of the problem was lawlessness, but the problem was money.  It's a problem that's still around, maybe worse today.  Time to dig deeper.

14 Aug 2020

Test Run - Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Errors - Demona

 A couple of years ago, I created Demona using the Demon Hunters RPG.  I mentioned that I wanted to get the more recent version of the game.  Well, I have the most recent version.  Let's see how Demona looks in the new edition, Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Errors.

The quick summary of the settings and idea behind the game - players are Demon Hunters, members of the Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch, whose job it is to go out and slay demons and other threats to humanity.  Some members of the Brotherhood are supernatural, including those who could be considered threats to humanity.  The Brotherhood sends out teams of Demon Hunters to contain and eliminate the threats.  Sometimes, it may take sending another team to clean up the remains of the first.  More details can be found in the original Demon Hunters, the follow up Demon Hunters: Dead Camper Lake, and the Brotherhood Orientation Video.

Let's rebuild Demona!

31 Jul 2020

Shadowrun Thoughts - Mr. Johnson and Chronic Backstabbing Syndrome

It's been quiet around here.  I hate summer.  And record heat and humidity.  It makes doing anything difficult, even thinking.  The heat and humidity just drain you of energy.  Summer sucks.

On to the meat of the post.  A recent thread over at RPG.net, "The worse tropes in modules/scenarios that new writers should really avoid", had me thinking.  Shadowrun and, to a lesser degree, Cyberpunk 2020, especially in published adventures, tended to have the PCs betrayed by their employer in one way or another.  It's not as bad as it used to be, but after the first betrayal, the players aren't going to trust anyone who hires them.  This is a problem.