Surgery 2: The Wrath of Hip

Two entries within two weeks! This is a record for my recent blog productivity. I would really like to start using this a heck of a lot more, since Facebook is quickly losing its luster. So what’s up with the Borg? 

I’ve been to the hospital for a bone scan, and seen my surgeon for a follow-up. My surgery is scheduled for Thursday March 26th. The likely procedure will be to go in and replace the plastic liner between the ball-and-socket of the prosthetic, and the replace the ball because it’s probably abraded. They may also have to replace the metal cup, which might be tricky because of the metal plates that are very close to it in the pelvis. The worst case scenario is that the entire prosthesis may need to be replaced, which could require two surgeries even more serious than expected. That’s supposedly quite unlikely. Let’s hope. 

Even with the good news, I am expected to be recovering for at least three months. I will be damned if I will wait that long. You wait and see, I’ll be up and moving around on crutches at worst in two. Maybe less. I’m not putting my life on hold for some damn surgery. I have stuff to do. I set recovery records last time, and I’m just as determined now. Still going to miss Animazement on May 21st unless a miracle happens.

Speaking of cons, MarsCon is this weekend. It will be great to see friends there, including a new friend I’ve recently made, but otherwise I’m not really feeling it. I have no desire to cosplay for the first time in years and years; this will probably surprise people. I’m sure I’ll hit some of the music tracks, but otherwise I’m experiencing a vast MEH. I’m sure it comes from too much stress and money worries, but cons are feeling less and less like a vacation to me and more like a hassle with some fandom in it.

I’m beginning to have ideas for Managlitch again. My goals is to have a new episode written and recorded by the end of the month. That’s another area where it will be interesting to see if I can record episodes from my recovery bed. I have an idea for written erotica that needs worked out – I haven’t done any of that in ages. And I’m meeting models right and left for my bawdy slapstick video shorts! All I need to get started on those is a filming space and a budget! 

The recovery is going to heavily limit my VR time – I will have to see what I can do from a seated position. I know I can play Borderlands 2 VR, but Beat Saber will probably be right out. My cosplay Beat Saber channel will probably have to wait for launch until after my recovery. The good news is that I’ll probably have lost a lot of weight. Surgery recovery tends to do that. At least I will have a lot of time to catch up on TV and regular games I’ve missed.

Speaking of VR, I tried playing one of the new 360º Beat Saber levels. Had to use an avatar instead of mixed reality, and the camera position probably could have been better, but this are a lot more fun than I thought! I want to try some more of those. 

Until next time…

“Ether Flier Lavender”

– another in the ‘Sidequest’ series of fiction fragments –

“We’re travelers of luck – We sail the seas of space – Just to try, and make a buck – LA-VEN-DER!!”

Picture if you will a cross between Space Battleship Yamato, Yellow Submarine, and Firefly: a bizarre ship crewed by four misfits with extraordinary skills. Outcasts from their peoples, they take any jobs they find in hopes of surviving and even sometimes turning a profit. Their madcap – and sometimes harrowing – adventures have become legend.

Our Crew
  • Jahmest Wecyi: owner and captain of the cargo ship “Lavender Oboe”. Looks like a classic Grey alien with short prehensile tentacles corn-rowed along their skull. Jamest is prone to making nonsensical statements under stress, or just when they’re in the mood.
  • “Nearly Mad” Mike NinetyFive: “Nearly” to his friends. Mike is an aurapilot whose glitch also makes him invisible and often nearly intangible. He dyes his hair and wears sunglasses and lipstick to help friends locate his face. He rides the ether filaments better than any other pilot in or out of the Forty-One Worlds… but then they all say that, don’t they.
  • Probosca: A lightly-furred, rotund being with a protruding nose, short stumpy legs, no obvious neck, and a single large eye. Her race has a remarkably sensitive, directional sense of smell, which is believed to work in tandem with the eye to provide depth perception and peripheral senses.
  • Zeesuf: This being’s body shape is unknown, as it is covered with dense, blunt spines revealing only wide eyes, a small nose, and mouth. The spines work as the legs of a millipede to carry Zeesuf over even difficult terrain and can grasp and manipulate objects. The spines are capable of great dexterity and delicate touch, making zir a perfect choice for engineer.
The “Lavender Oboe”
  • It is definitely lavender, but bears no obvious resemblance to an oboe, which doesn’t surprise considering Wecyi named it. It is a tall, narrow ship with a bridge section at the top of a pyramidal superstructure, upon which are mounted a complex array of sensors.
  • Beginning perhaps a third of the way from the bow, two bulbous cargo pods are permanently attached flush with the ship: booster engines fill the aft section of these pods.
  • The crystalline filament drive sits shrouded at the very rear of the ship, with three large radiator fins that also serve as auxiliary steering in atmosphere. The ship is covered with an abnormal amount of cargo and equipment hatches, not all of which anyone remembers how to open.
  • At the very front, there is a curious hole filled with power and data conduits. Clearly, it is a socket for some powerful device. The crew refuses to discuss it under any circumstances.


Catch the all-new adventures of the Lavender and her crew, 17 episodes per binge-able season on the “Infotainer” subscription frequency!

Managlitch City Episode 34: Greymind

It feels so good to be releasing episodes on a regular basis! This episode was very personal to me, what with everything happening around us, my own demons, and more.

Glenn is out of Greyspace and back on the air, but he’s got lots and lots of bad news. He may not be doing the broadcast much longer, and the future of the Underground does not look good. Also, more from Sandrel Creed. Make them remember you!

Managlitch City Episode 33a: CreedCast #2

This one was a lot of fun. Between writing the first and second CreedCasts I discovered exactly where Sandrel and Grodan come from, and why they are important to the past and future of Managlitch City. Please survive and flourish!

The Underground’s feed is once again interrupted for the opinions and observations of Sandrel Creed – but ze is interrupted by yet another voice from zir own past. Also, “Bloodmoon Fury.” Please survive and flourish! •???£ª¶¡

Glitch Awareness

I’ve occasionally thought of running a Managlitch City tabletop role-playing game. I’d probably use the Shadowrun system since it’s already technomagical urban fantasy, and because I know second edition backwards and forwards.

But this afternoon’s inspiration came from the Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia systems: rather than “Essence” (which is super problematic) characters would have two stats named “Glitch Awareness” and “Glitch Resistance”. The first is a skill players could use to detect whether a person or place is glitched (if it’s not obvious) and whether a glitch is pending. The GM would need to limit the number of times per session this skill can be rolled, to keep things from getting tedious.

But the fun part would be “Glitch Resistance”: a stat tracking how likely the character themselves is to glitch or be affected by one nearby. And the player is not allowed to know that stat, other than to suspect it is the inverse of their Glitch Awareness in some way. The more sensitive you are to glitches… well… the more sensitive you are to them.

I can worry about this math if I ever run this, and obviously a player who chooses to start their character glitched will worry less about this. But it’s a nice simulation of the City’s glitcher prejudice without having to just tell the player, “You fear glitchers, now role-play that.”

Do You Remember Second Edition?

I’ve had the Core Rulebook PDF for Shadowrun Fifth Edition for a while, but now I have the physically massive hardcopy. Thing should have its own Damage Code. I’m not crazy about how the setting has “grown up” in the last couple editions. Part of the fun of Shadowrun is that it’s a bit mad. It’s a solid brand, you don’t have to justify it now by going all SRS BZNS. Any Shadowrun I gamemaster will always have that Discordian wobble.

Also, Technomancers are still complete bullshit.

Mom is doing well in the Durham rehab facility. Driving an hour each way to see her is pretty rough, though.

Maya’s and my perfect Valentine’s date is the LEGO Batman Movie, and it’s up there with “Batman 1966” and “Mask of the Phantasm” as my favorite Batman film. Lots of fun, plus Real Talk about The Dark Knight. Also, it was that or a “Fifty Shades” movie, and we weren’t going any where near that one.

I found an English version of “Do You Remember Love” from the Macross ’84 movie of the same subtitle. I’m impressed, though as always I’d have chosen different rhyme and scansion options in some places. Not like I can sing.

Speaking of YouTube, here’s human beings landing a rocket at a spaceport: not crashing into the ocean, but actually landing. I’ve waited a lot of years to see this happen in real life.

Managlitch City Underground released Episode 27 – Shockwaves on February 22nd. Seven weeks between episodes isn’t terrible but I’d like to do better. I remember when it was every couple of weeks. Life, man.

Lastly, I’m going to invent a document type called the Journalled Information Format just so we can argue about the pronunciation of .jif files.

“Lightspeed Subway”

– another in the Sidequest series: fiction fragments which may be expanded someday –

The “incoming capsules” indicators lit up, and Josmin braced for the thud of air that would come from the subway tunnel. The gust wouldn’t knock you over unless you’d had an especially long day, but loose items would sometimes go flying.

The capsules burst from the tunnel entrance, already slowed to a quarter of their initial speed by the long line of control rings stretching back down the tube. Mana gems embedded in the rings glowed violet as the thaumatronic system absorbed velocity, and the capsules glided to a gentle, precise halt next to the platform. The passengers inside stood eagerly to leave, having never felt more than a gentle surge.

Josmin knew people who wouldn’t board the express capsules. Despite hundreds of years without accident, the idea of traveling through solid matter for most of the trip was one they couldn’t bear. He had to agree that the theory and engineering were far beyond him; an encyclopedia article lost him somewhere around “eight spacetime dimensions” and “phased etheric vibrations”. All he cared about was getting 30 kilometers to the other end of town in mere seconds.

He entered one of the capsules and took a seat, as did the other couple dozen folks. The capsule was full this trip, but not crowded; the afternoon rush hadn’t hit yet. He felt a tiny surge as it moved forward into the next set of control rings; the mana gems dimmed as they fed the speed back into the chain of capsules. The momentum field in his capsule could have prevented even that surge, but it turned out people liked the sensation of gentle movement even as the passing rings turned into a silver smear outside the window.

The rings disappeared. There was an electric blue darkness in the capsule with him. For a fraction of a second, Josmin had an eerie suspicion that he no longer existed –

– and then he heard the gentle thud of air being pushed out of the way by the decelerating capsules, and saw the rings reforming from silver blur outside. He’d just moved from south of the Scar to the Boreal Hills in practically no time. He stood to go, slinging his bag over his shoulder. Perhaps for a moment he truly hadn’t existed: it still beat the Void out of traveling by transbeam.

Glitchers Hospitaller

Let’s see… what was January 2017 like?

Well, we had to move Mom out of another apartment… cleanup was difficult and painful because of all the spilled cigarette ash. In the process, we took her to the hospital again for what was perhaps another stroke, and then again two weeks later because she couldn’t stand up on her own.

I released Episode 26 – Holiday Special of Managlitch City Underground on New Year’s Eve, so I’m counting that.

Maya and I introduced Professor Spines the Hedgehog, teacher of Dance Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, at MarsCon 2017. Later in January, we went to see the “Hidden Figures” movie and loved it; I, of course, recognized some of the Langley locations.

I wrote an analysis of the progressiveness of the various Star Treks. Fair to say, though, that Star Trek fails in its ideals on a regular basis, even as we praise it for at least having some. I experimented with rating the various generations, but sadly things got silly in my brain, so you get this.

  • ST-TOS: “We Got Rid of Some Patriarchy But There’s Plenty More”
  • ST-TNG: “We Managed to Get Rid of a Litte More But This Is Hard”
  • ST-DS9: “Working On It, There’s a War On”
  • ST-VOY: “Our Second Most Complex, Rich Character Was Hired For Her Boobs”
  • ST-ENT: “Vulcan Boobs This Time”
  • ST-JJA: “Hell With It, Toxic Masculinity Is Awesome”

A Conventional Dry Spell

Lord Bitweaver’s Journal, 4th of Swiftstorm, 716 —

Two months of no journaling… yeah, can’t say I’m too pleased with that. What happened? Many things, but primarily ReGeneration Who. What I’d planned to be a simple administrative job turned out to be many nights of collating, emailing, updating, correcting, and otherwise maintaining the staff listings for the con. On top of that, there was a fair amount of travel promoting the convention, which sucked my energies away. I managed to get 1.5 Managlitch episodes in there, and the first chapter of a novel, but that was all the creative will I could locate.

Besides that, life has stayed pretty steady. Roxy is working practically full time, which means that much of our money woes have become minor concerns. My job continues to chug along, a little dull sometimes now that I have a routine, but comfortable and positive. I’m on new medication now for my depression, and my body’s still dealing with the chemical changes involved. Oddly, my appetite’s decreased and I think I’m losing a little weight.

I worry terribly about Mom. I’m not at all certain how her situation is going to pan out – her mind and body continue to fade, but so very slowly. I hope she doesn’t start a fire with those damn cigarettes, of for no other reason than I don’t want everyone in her apartment building hurt. As usual, she can’t be bothered to do a damn thing that would improve her situation, and is content to watch cable television every waking hour, pet her cat, and slowly sink into a pile of discarded wrappers.

But in happier news, there are many good things ahead. I’m due to have a short piece of writing about Doctor Who novels appear in a charity anthology, I’ve released the 20th completed episode of Managlitch City Underground, I have that first chapter of a novel done, and Roxy has scheduled us twice-monthly appointments with a massage therapist. Soon, I’ll be able to pay off one of the two remaining large debts of mine from the move to North Carolina, which will free up money for other fun pursuits. And, I wake up every morning next to a wonderful woman who loves me. Going without that for five years wasn’t fun at all.

So here’s hoping it’s not two more months until next entry. I don’t want any more of my life to be empty of definite memories.

Editing Out Your Skull

Lord Bitweaver’s Journal, 1st of Chillsnap, 716 —

I have been working very hard lately. Hard enough that despite having important things to do, I took about ninety minutes of ‘me’ time after work to do a small quest chain in “Borderlands, the Pre-Sequel”. Have another sniper bullet to the noggin, you villainous thug, you.

But then we got down to the important stuff for the evening. Roxy has a brand new job, one with a decent working environment and a potential future! We are both extremely excited, so of course, sushi was mandatory. Mandatory for her, anyway; I’m more of a hibachi kind of guy. The point is our meals were yummy, and it was great to have a little personal date night together, even if at one point she had to sit through me geeking out about the clean, utilitarian lines of the original TV series USS Enterprise.

We got home then and I handled some convention email, then once our brains had settled we sat down for an editing session on Managlitch Episode Nineteen. Not an especially long episode, but it has three voice actors and some important plot revelations. I needed the mood to be right, and to reveal just enough to have people guessing while not so much as to hand it all out on a platter. Anyone listening through the whole run will have a pretty good idea who is behind this all, but that’s okay; we didn’t want it hidden too carefully!

Anyway, getting the script exactly where it needed to be took two or three hours of editing. This podcasting lark isn’t one; as I’ve mentioned one or two times before, it’s real work! But we made it happen, and I’ve contacted the voice actors; and I’ll actually be starting to write Twenty soon, so I can take advantage of a meetup with another voice early.

Oh, and I have officially started on Project Discordia. What with everything else we did, officially starting consisted of setting up some folders in Dropbox and roughing out some very general character sketches, but I’m calling it the start. When will it be done? Not for months, I’m certain. But I’ll drop the occasional update here once it’s really rolling: this isn’t a Sekrit Project. Thank goodness, because I hate keeping those quiet.

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