Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Other Side, A Look Forward

Trying to organize some thoughts here on what I want to do next on the old Other Side blog, figure you all might want to help me!  Or at least listen to my ramblings.


I am prepping for Gen Con now and trying to get another book done in time for Lughnasadh/Lammas so my posting here is going to be a little sparse.

#RPGaDAY
Dave Chapman will be doing (I think) his annual #RPGaDAY in August.  I am not sure what the questions will be, but I do like to participate.  Plus my Twitter followers have really increased this past year, so that might be nice to share.

The Other Side Rewind
Still plugging away at this! June was my Facebook experiment month, while July had been my month to try some other tools.  I am hoping to kick it off full steam in August or September.  Again, if you are reading here then you won't really notice anything at all.

One Man's God
While this one has been great fun, it was not designed to go on forever.  I am going to do the Celts (part 2) and the Chinese and Japanese, though I admit I know very, very little about these.  I am going to do the Demi-humans and do a special on the Cthulhu and Melibone mythos. But once I am done with those then the series will end save for some special editions.  Though this will lead to my next thing...

The Usual Suspects
I am going to spend some time, maybe a lot of time, going over all the various demon books I own and some I don't yet and talk about how to use them in your games.  I really love demons and demonic lore.  The title of this series "The Usual Suspects" comes not only from the notion that all evil in the worlds can be traced back to the machinations of demons (and devils) but every OGL book on the market today has the same half-dozen or so demons and a similar number of devils in every book; aka The Usual Suspects.  I think this will be fun, to be honest.


This Old Dragon
I still have some left and I want to get back to them.

Class Struggles
I have been too long away from this one. I have started writeups on the Alchemist and the Bard.  Been playing a couple Bard variants to get a good feel for the differences.  Sometimes there are more differences between two different bards than there are between most fighters and rangers!

So. Let's get to it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Post 4000

Sorry for the self-indulgence here, but this is my 4,000th post to this blog.  That's a lot and more than I thought I would do when I started this thing.

NGC 6193, roughly 4,000 ly from Earth
I was going through some of my oldest archived posts on the internet, looking for something from my original The Other Side, website.

Sadly there was this deal in the mid-90s where people would "Frame" your website inside their own to beef up their content so I wrote a "frame buster" bit of JavaScript to break out of the frames.  Sadly today this has had the effect of archives of my site to not display properly.

Not that it really matters.  A lot of that stuff was very AD&D 2nd Ed and then later D&D 3e focused, along with some bits on the WitchCraft and Worlds of Darkness games.

I am a firm believer in Sturgeon's law, that "ninety percent of everything is crap" and that extends to my own writing.
I was an early adopter of technology.  I bought my first computer at 14; a TRS-80 Color Computer 2.  I immediately starting doing two things, working on a D&D program and putting all my notes and various design docs in.   Things got better when I moved from tape to an honest to goodness disk drive on my Color Computer 3.


(not my pictures)

This "90% of everything is crap" applies to me. In fact, I am the only one I can realistically apply it too.  Not that you are all getting the Cream of the Crop 10% of my writing.  More like you are getting the top 25%.  So then you can imagine (and be close to correct) that the remaining 75% (12,000 posts worth) will never see the light of day, but I have them stored across various mediums including 3.5 floppies (even I don't have 5.25 floppies anymore), zip disks, flash drives and even a couple of removable hard drives and cloud storage.

And it has been great!

I write what I like and I have been lucky that there are others out there that enjoy it too.  I hope to do this for another 4,000 posts if you all let me!  Either way, I'll be over here writing and enjoying some games.

Here is to the next 4,000 posts, next 4,000,000 views and next decade.

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Feature: The Other Side Rewind

Tomorrow, June 1st starts a new feature for the Other Side.
Note I say "for" and not "at".

The new feature is The Other Side Rewind.
If you come here to read my blog or via an RSS reader then you will not notice any differences or anything new.

If you engage with me over at Facebook or Twitter then you will see a lot more.
On my Facebook and Twitter pages, I will be reposting some of my posts from the early days of this blog.  I have gained a lot of followers on both platforms in recent years and wanted to share some of the posts from the past with them.

It should be fun to see what sort of responses a different audience might get on some of my older posts.

So join the conversation over on Facebook or Twitter.  If you don't follow me in either place yet now is a great time!

Facebook, The Other Side Group: https://www.facebook.com/OtherSideblog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/timsbrannan
and for fun, MeWe: https://mewe.com/group/5c598927dc9a663c488557e9

Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Great Things Come in FOURS

So about 24 hours ago this happened,


Yes, I hit 4,000,000 page views!
Thanks to everyone that keeps coming here to read my posts and ramblings.

I am also hitting my 40th year of playing D&D.  I have played several scores of other games since then and have written professionally for a dozen or so professionally, I keep coming back to D&D.

Also sometime next month I'll hit 4,000 posts.  That's a lot of text.

It's been a great time here at the Other Side.  I started the first Other Side as a website as a means to teach myself HTML while working on my first Ph.D. 
My degrees might have gotten me my job(s) but it was learning HTML that got me here.

I have lots more planned here, so stick with me for the next 4,000 posts and next 4,000,000 hits!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Alas, Google+

Sort of a non-RPG post today.  But like a thief in the night, Google took away all of the Google+ Blogger integration.

If you are getting ready to post something today you will be greeted with this message:


The Learn more link takes you to their page explaining it in detail.

Gone are badges, the Google +1 buttons, and circle widgets.





Also gone, and this is a much bigger issue, are all the comments people made IF you moved over to the Google+ comment system.

I didn't here, but I did for my atheism blog, The Freedom of  Nonbelief.  So all of those comments are gone.  I know others did as well and had many, many more comments than I had there.

Of course, this is just the start of the end for Google+.  This along with the URL shortener Goo.gl are going away and it will have an impact on many of us in the Blogger community and the OSR community.

To the right I have a script that displays different books I have done.  The script is affectionately called "GoRando.js" but it uses the Goo.gl url shortener to work.  So I need to fix that right away.

We also have a ton on communities in Google+.
For me it means closing down my own Victorian Gamers Association: Role-playing in the Age of Victoria group and moving back over to the Facebook version.

I hope the communities on G+ do find new homes, but there will be an inventible splintering.   I have heard a lot of people saying they "won't do Facebook" and that is fine, but my communities and groups are there, so to pick up and try to build a new one elsewhere would take a lot of work.

If you are a fan of this site then I also suggest you check out my Facebook page for it. https://www.facebook.com/OtherSideblog/

I also created a MeWe group for this blog and my books.
https://mewe.com/group/5c598927dc9a663c488557e9

Where ever we all go, hope to stay in contact.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to Work


Today is back to work for most of us.  I took the time off from Christmas to now and spent it at home.

Got in a lot of games with my kids.  Mostly I worked on some projects I have needed to get done with.  Made good progress too.

Every Christmas we either watch all the Harry Potter movies or Lord of the Rings.
This year we opted for the Hobbit Extended Editions and Lord of the Rings.

I saw the Hobbit in the theaters.  Some of the new material I liked, some I didn't.  But what bugged me the most was not what was added, but what was missing.  These extended editions have added that material back in.  I can honestly say I enjoyed the Extended Edition far more than I thought I would.

Last year at this time I had worked out a vague-ish plan for the blog, but not so this year.
I do know one thing, with the increased demands of work and the need to get some other projects done I am likely not going to be posting as much here.
No worries.  I only mean that my multiple posts per day.  For the last 5 years I have been posting about 1.3x a day, or 9 to 10 posts per week.  Can't keep that up forever.

I am hoping that as quantity goes down, quality goes up. One can hope right!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Celebrating 3000 posts

Well I did not have much time today to get videos together or a theme.  So I figure why not take a moment and celebrate the fact I have made 3000 posts.

That's a lot of text really.

So let's celebrate this milestone with some videos about hit the mark, getting there or 3000 in general.

Let's start with the best known, if only, 3000 in the music business.  That would be Andre 3000 of Outkast.  Here is "Hey Yeah" with a multitude of 3000s from their epic two album release The Love Below.




Can you imagine me training for this?  Running up steps, punching keyboards hanging from the ceiling?  Tangling with other games and blogs? No. Ok maybe not.  But let's be honest "Eye of The Tiger" from Survivor is an awesome fight song.




All month, I have counting down to this.  You know what that means, right?




In truth not only can I not complain, but I get to do something I enjoy AND others seem to enjoy it too. So as long people want to keep reading what I have to say I'll try to keep saying it.  Like Joe Walsh says, "Life's Been Good to Me (So Far)".


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Post 3000!

A long time ago I hit 1000 posts.
Then I hit 2000.

Today, a little more than two years later I am hitting 3000 posts!



Not sure how to celebrate such an achievement.

3000, more so than 2000, make me think of the future.  Futurama, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and even my own Greyhawk 3000/Mystara 3001 game using White Star and Calidar.

I also have to admit I am very excited for Retrostar.
It's not old school, per se, but does capture the feel of 70s and early 80s sci-fi.

Coming up on my year-end reviews and looking ahead features.

What would YOU like to see for my next 1000 posts?


Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Night Videos: 2,000,000 Other Side fans Can't Be Wrong!

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos!

Tonight we do a little self-celebrating and mark 2,000,000 hits to the Other Side blog.  Yeah I know, a little self-aggrandizing, but hey. I pay the bills here.

I have talked about the history of this place before, so no real need to do that again.  Let's just get to the videos.

I am not 100% sure, but it is likely that the name "The Other Side" came from this Moody Blues song.  I had a newspaper article in my school newspaper back in 86-87 named "The Other Side of Life".  My first web site was then called The Other Side.  Kinda anti-climatic isn't it.  But still I like the Blues and this was a good album for 1986.
Like the song, thought the video was a little lame.




Interestingly enough the next Other Side, my website, came out a little after this Areosmith song did. It was from 1994, the same year I moved to Chicago to work on my Ph.D.




I have been a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers since "Mother's Milk".  The Otherside came out at a very, very weird time for me.  I might talk about it sometime. or not. Have not decided yet.




Here is a new one for me. Sirenia.  I know nothing about Norwegian symphonic metal, but I like the sound of this.  It certainly has all the elements of things I like.  This video is kinda cool.




If I had to be honest. Really honest. Well then I would have to stick with the Moody Blues story above.  But I was rewriting my personal story then this is the song that really motivated me to name my lexical outlet to the world then I would have to choose The Doors and "Break on Through (to the Other Side)".  Total cheat on the title too.




Red Sun Rising is another new band for me.  They have this Alice in Chains feel about them that I really enjoy.   I heard this one on the radio the other day when trying to come up with tonight's theme.




Hope you are all with me for the next 1,000,000 hits.

Monday, July 6, 2015

2,000,000 Page views! And Ennies.

Sometime around dinner time yesterday I hit 2,000,000 page views.

I took me about 5 years to reach 1,000,000 and less than half that to reach the next million.
Pretty humbling really.  That after all this time you all are still interested in what I have to day.   I want to thank you all.

Nothing really special planned this time, except a special themed edition of "Friday Night Videos".

Don't forget the voting is now live for the ENnies.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2015/

I did not self-nominate my self this year mostly because I didn't feel like I posted anything above and beyond what I had done last year.  Maybe next year.

For support I am throwing my votes at +Lowell Francis' and his Age of Ravens, http://ageofravens.blogspot.com/ for best website (though it should really be nominated for best blog).

I am also showing my support for +Zak Smith's "Red and Pleasant Land".  We need more strange and weird in our hobby and it is nice that something that is nominally part of our little subset of the hobby get a nod.

My Ubiquity post will be later today.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Posting

My posting is going to be a bit sporadic over the next week and half.

Work, family and other obligations are demanding my time.

Hope to have some great stuff for you all in April!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Update your URLs!

I decided to splurge and get a custom domain for my blogs.

You can now get to the Other Side blog at this address: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/
If by chance you still read my atheism blog, the Freedom of Nonbelief, then you can find that here: http://atheism.timsbrannan.com/

Eventually I will have something in place for http://timsbrannan.com but until then it goes to my Other Side Blog.

You can reach me at admin@timsbrannan.com or webmaster@timsbrannan.com.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Plans for 2015

So what are your gaming plans for 2015?

Personally I want to get more gaming in with my 5e group.  We have been having a great time and it has been a blast.

Get my Kickstarter projects done before +Erik Tenkar features me on his blog!

Maybe get some other smaller things out too.  I have a Healer class for the OSR that I have kicked around and used for a number of years.

I have some ideas for some AD&D 1st ed / OSRIC / LL AEC material.  But my current joy is 5e, so who knows really.  I do know that there is still demand for old-school material.

For my blogging I want to wrap up the last couple of issues of Owl & Weasel.
Not sure if I want to pick up another magazine to go through or not.  I have all these copies of Imagine and a few others.  I have some Challenge mags, not a full set, all issues of Pegasus (I think).  But not sure if there is any demand really.  I enjoy them. There is a lot I get out of them.

Right now I don't have any other special features in the planning stages.

I would like to give a shout out to some more new blogs for "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading".  Have someone you want me to cover?  Send the link here.

I am going to cut WAY back on the Kickstarters.  Both supporting and posting about them.  I have been burned a lot recently with things I have backed.

More reviews of course. More goings on in my own games.  More blatant self-promotion.


Let's bring on 2015!

Monday, November 3, 2014

What Am I Working On and Why You Won't See Me Much

There might be a dramatic drop in my postings here for November.

I have two projects I need to finish up.  Strange Brew and Darwin's Guide.
I have two projects I am starting that I can't talk about yet that I need to get started on.

I have already decided I am going to take a long break from Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, all of them) and focus on hard core writing, editing and developing.

So if you need me, email is the best. If it is an emergency then my phone.  If you don't have my phone number then it really can't be that big of an emergency!

I still have some reviews I want to get out, so it is not going to silent running all month.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tools of the Trade

None gaming post today.  I have been clearing out a bunch of old computers and software to either get rid of or sell on eBay.

Often times when we write about writing in general and blogging in particular we talk a lot about where ideas come from, how to get more readers or even how much writing everyday is important.  This is all true, and important, but that is not the type of tools I mean today.

Hardware

Look down.  There. See it, it's your keyboard.  What is your relationship with your keyboard?

I blog every day.  I write in addition to that and there is that day job too.  I spend a lot of time with my fingers on my keyboard.  My favorite keyboard is the one I have at home, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000. It is the silver one and long, long out of stock.  I wrote Ghosts of Albion on it and it is by far the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used.  I never expected to find a replacement for my old beatup Gateway 2000 124 key programmable keyboard, but this one is fantastic.


Here is my main computer, Frankencomputer (I built it from spare parts).  It's not much more than a web-machine and word processor which is what I want when I am writing.  It run Ubuntu Linux and I use Google Drive for all my work. The keyboard is actually worth more to me than the rest of the computer.  If I am going to sit and pound away on a keyboard then it needs to be comfortable to me.

This is my second 6000 keyboard in truth.  I bought this one off of eBay for an ungodly price and still consider it money well spent.  It has the right curve for my hands and can elevate to the right height so I don't get fatigue while typing. Plus it is the same keyboard Weird Al has in his song "White & Nerdy".  A song that is not about me at all. Really. Honest.

Software

I was reading the other week that George R. R. Martin, when he is not plotting to kill every character you love, sits in front of his old DOS machine and types his books into WordStar 4.0.  Piers Anthony once mentioned that back in the day he paid a programmer to reverse engineer his favorite word processor from CP/M to MS-DOS. Laurel K. Hamilton did her first writing on a manual typewriter and still thinks of things in terms of page counts and not word counts.  I am sure there are many more examples, but the point is clear. We get used to something for our writing and we like to stick with it.   Myself, I am an Microsoft Word fan.  I have been using it for years, since version 1.1 and Office 4.3.  I have gotten very comfortable with it and have lost count of the number of hours I have spent in it.

So then am I switching over to Google Drive?
Well while I still use Word one of the things it promised and never really delivered on was real time collaboration.   With the Google Drive word processor I can work with others and see their edits real time. We can chat and discuss what it is we are doing and why.  Plus I have lost count of the number of docs I have lost carting them from one computer to another, either on floppy disk or flash drive. And then when I manage to get it to another computer (say from work to home) I have to deal with whether or not the computer can read the file format and version control.  The only thing worse than loosing a document is to spend hours adding to a draft that is already 3 revisions old.

So how about you?
What are your writing needs? Special keyboard? Software? Maybe it is your best comfy chair.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Page: Witch Links

There is one thing people keep coming back to my blog for time and time again.

Witches.

My email says so. My Google Analytics say so. And posts I am tagged in say so.

But there is no way  could (or even should) be the one writing everything there is to say on witches. So to that end I have created a new page, Witch Links, that links out to other blog posts or resources about witches.

I am still in the process of building it, but if you have something you want to share then let me know.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Other Side Nominated for an ENnie Award!

The Other Side has been nominated for "Best Blog" at this year's ENnie Awards!

http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/

I have to say I am quite excited  by this and even a little humbled.
I am not the biggest blog on the list of nominees. Nor even am I the best looking.  But I post what I like to post and it seems to click because people keep coming back.

I have some pretty serious competition to be honest.  Gnome Stew is a blog I vote for every year (but NOT this year!) and +Christopher Helton's Dorkland has been one of my favorite reads for a while.  But I like to think I offer something a little unique, a little different, and whole lot of entertaining.  So I hope you will consider me when voting begins next week.

To my fellow nominees I am looking forward to being at Gen Con this year and wish you all the best.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Cleaning

So making some cosmetic changes here at the ole' Other Side.

I moved my Kickstarter applet lower on the screen so people can still see it, but make room for my social media buttons.

I also have a great summer themed banner from old friend from the Kitten Board, Willow Ehrenreich.
Yes that is Willow and Tara up there. Yes I think it's cool.  Here is her untouched copy.


I like symbolism to be honest. Tara under the tree, Willow on a rock.  Fits well with how I have been running these characters for the last 12 years.

Posting might be light this summer.  Working hard on Strange Brew and other projects.  But don't worry.  I am not going anywhere.  In fact I have something special in mind for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday to The Other Side...sorta

March 10 is the unofficial birthday of The Other Side.

I say that because this is the day I set up my first website, also called the Other Side, back in 1996.  I remember working on it at work during the week and and scribbling down some code in class (I was still getting my Ph.D. then).
I finally got it up and live over the weekend.  I suppose I should say it was 11th. That was when I let people know.  But the 10th was when I uploaded my index.html page to make it all work.

It wasn't much to be honest, but it was mine.

So happy birth to my site which died and then returned as this blog.

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