Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last Day at Hasbro?

The Word of the Day, at the official Scrabble site.

In case you missed it, that's:

(Full-size screencap can be found here)

It was up for a while. I seen it, I did.

Iz now changed. But still...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Twitter...popularity and why I use it.

Here's MY take on it.

I'm a busy guy, but I do need human interaction. I'm a freelance illustrator: self-employed, working from the comfort of my livingroom. Yay! That does mean that I don't have co-workers to take breaks with or have lunch with. Largely it's me, Maggie the Black Lab and a couple cats (Lord Tedward and Princess Pissy) for the day...every day.

Now I can't speak for everyone, but I'm an interaction junkie. I have Trillian so I can keep my IM chats in one client. I also use GChat and am on email, LJ, Blogger and Facebook all day long. Productivity can easily be lost here!

Twitter allows 140 characters. Enough to pop up a message, but it kind of discourages "conversations". This is a good thing for when you're busy, like I should be right now.

Twitter is just enough communication to share a link, make a quick note on the really bad coffee you just had, or the size of the dude in line in front of you. But not really enough to promote chit-chatting and losing much productivity.

I don't follow many people on twitter. I can't afford to spend all day reading tweets. Neither can you. Honestly, I see some folks with tens of thousands of followers and gasp. Of course, they don't...can't follow all those people. Dude, serial. Twitter would be a constant stream of inane, incoherant babble. So much for being a neat tool: it just became an annoyance.

Who do I follow?
Aside from folks I know in RL, locally or guildies or professional colleagues I follow a couple other folks for their humor and geekyness. That's about it.

I don't auto-follow. Actually I'm pretty bad about keeping track of who is following me. I just chime in on occasion to whoever is posting. I don't worry too much about whether I'm followed in return. People are busy.

The one thing I REALLY loathe is the endless self-promotion and "ohai new tweeple, please introduce yerself, I don't auto-follow, gkthxbai"

Dude, please. Yes, I'm glad you're an attention whore, please don't remind me daily about it.
(NOTE: Asking people to introduce themselves is totally okay. Doing it every-single-day or even multiple times a day...dude, THAT is what I find annoying)

I come from the school of thought: "Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back" and "The people who are actually popular don't need to run around begging for attention."

Seriously people. Just be cool. Post fun material and people will follow on merit. They'll follow because you're cool.

Nuff said.

BTW: I'm Teampreston on twitter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yay Cartography!

Looks like I'm doing some cartography for Ars Magica (Atlas).
Have I mentioned I love cartography?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Knockspell Magazine #1 released

Knockspell Magazine for old school RPGs like OD&D/ S&W, AD&D/ OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Tunnels and Trolls, etc.

This is the PDF version. A print version is upcoming.

Look at that cover!
That just SCREAMS old school rpg!

Since people are asking what's inside...

The Articles!
Matt Finch

Tim Kask

Allan T. Grohe, Jr.

Scot Hoover

James Maliszewski

James Maliszewski

James Carl Boney

Gabor Lux

Mike Davidson



Robert Lionheart

Jeff Talanian

Michael Curtis

Salvatore Macri and Matt FInch

Matt Finch

David Bowman

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On the stalker-y nature of Facebook, Twitter and Social Media

Is it just me or does Facebook, Twitter and a lot of other similar sites make it seem easy for the stalker types to latch on to you?
A lot of this Social Networking stuff is scary. Yay, connect with bajillions of complete strangers!

I don't know you. You don't know me.
We're "friends" on Livejournal, or Facebook or "Following" on Twitter (sounds suspiciously like stalking to me) but do you know anything about me?

Yes, I do memes like every other worker bee out there. I could be totally making shit up. For all anyone knows I could be some freak-o psych-o stalker guy looking to show up on your doorstep ala The Guild (season one).

I'm torn between interest and revulsion. It's kind of like watching a train wreck.

Now as I've said in my profile and said to people online (of which every bit could be a patent lie) I'm an illustrator, and I work from home. It's a lonely job and I don't get the same human interaction with...humans that other folks do by working in place. Anyhow. Communicating with people online is appealing.

In addition, for my work I absolutely NEED to network with other people in my industry as well as related industries. Hell, for my work, ANY geek is a part of my industry or "My Industry IS Geekdom."

Geekdom these days also includes a lot of this social networking techie stuff. I get that.

The realization struck me (again) this morning as I'm blathering away about personal details on a public site to pretty much anyone with an internet connection...hey, this is kind of scary.

I little scary for me...should be damn scary for people who actually have followers. Celebrity-types (of one kind or another) with excess of tens of thousands of, that's kinda crazy. (Celebrity-types, IE...not me.)

Many of the people I connect with online, I fully intend to hang out with at conventions, do work with as collaborators, etc. In general these are people I can easily see myself raising a glass of expensive brew at GenCon or Comic-Con or a late night game of D&D at ODDcon. No problem. But I don't really KNOW these people do I? Some folks you really don't want to meet offline. (On that same note, some of the coolest folks I've met have started out as online friends, Thank you Deep Resonance, Bulldrek and eventually Dumpshock).

I hope people think twice about what they post online.
If you have kids, I hope you think twice before sharing info with strangers. We don't know who all is watching.

Is this paranoia setting in?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Christian Bale and tirades...

Okay, so today's big news was about Christian Bale and his tirade at the Director of Photography for the new Terminator film. This all took place months ago but was in today's news and what everyone's talking about.

MY take?
Glad you asked.

Professionalism was brought up in the rant and I'd like to illuminate that here.
I completely understand Christian Bale's devotion to his profession. He is an artist. I'm an artist too.
I take my work extremely seriously. I work hard at it every day. It's my career. It's my life. It's not just what I's who I am. I believe CB is one of the few true artists in Hollywood who takes this to heart.

I get that. I'm down with that. We're tracking on that level.

If someone were to walk in to my office, start dancing a jig while I'm working...I'd be distracted. I need to focus in order to do my job. Being an illustrator takes a lot of detail. Especially since I'm an old school Pen and Ink type. An inker. Otherwise known as a tracer. All detail and steady hand work. If someone were to come in and start fucking up my workplace, I'd get pissed.

I'd ask them to quit it. I'd talk to his boss. I'd talk to my wife. I would make the issue perfectly clear and in no uncertain terms. I'd maybe even storm out and go for a walk, have a cup of coffee. If it were bad enough I'd have a cigarette and I quit years ago.

I would not scream at anyone. Possibly, if really REALLY pissed...I'd possibly grit my teeth and tell them to fuck off and leave me alone as I walked away to fume in private. I'm not going to have a four-minute tirade berating someone. Talking down to them. Treating them like trash. Calling them names.

Because it's not professional.

If you can't deal with someone at the workplace, deal with it or leave. Talk to someone. Have them fired. Quit. Scream to the stars at night or in to your pillow. Whatever. Screaming like that reduces you to a petulant child.

I try and remember that this other person is likely a professional as well, and try and treat them with respect. Ok, so they haven't respected you. Does that mean you get to talk to them like they are a slave? Maybe they aren't a professional...they are still another human being.

I'm HUGE in to respect. Mutual respect. I treat others as I want to be treated.
When I'm treated in a manner I don't like, I'll remain respectful and try and resolve the issue.

I don't like bullies.

I've been in two separate branches of the service: I'll never be talked down to again. Nobody deserves that. Nobody.

Nobody deserves to be bullied.

*Update: CB made a public apology, and I'll take it at face value. I've made an ass of myself before. Who hasn't?

On my behalf verbal abuse is a hotspot for me and I'm sensitive to it. Maybe even over-sensitive. I shouldn't second-guess any situation I'm not in or second-guess other people's motives or actions.

This whole thing got under my skin.