Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Onward to 2014!

2013 was not a good year.

My mom started the year off in the hospital. After two years of misdiagnosis from doctors, including specialists, and  hospital stays, for leg pain, turns out she had PAD or peripheral artery disease, which lead to the loss of half her left foot. It's one of the many reasons I hate doctors. Her recovery time was for the first quarter of the year, was in physical rehab. This required me to visit her almost every day due to her loathing of the food they served. I wound up cooking a LOT during that time and often multiple meals as she's a bit of a picky eater for 'good' food.

After getting out, she refused to wear the special boot they made her. The doctors were insistent she wear it. Doing so, there is a part where two pieces of the boot meet that rubbed her raw and lead to a huge blister which well, has been being worked on since April-May till now. And remember folks, these are all highly paid specialists involved here. Just ask them, they'll tell you.

This doesn't count a few infections she's had and a few more trips to the hospital. Boulders would weigh less.

While my painting hasn't been bad in terms of doing things, that's because it, like reading, is a solitary effort. I've made a few deliberate efforts to get out of my funk but haven't been very successful. My gaming time for example, has been almost nil. That is one of the things I'm going to strive to overcome in 2014. The funk.

But it's not just the funk. My job changed. Essentially it boiled down to keeping my job which had lots of overtime but going to salary so that would kill the overtime and result in a massive pay cut in take home pay, or go to another position in the same company for the same offer of money and well, not work as much. Bad news? It's earlier work so while the number of hours, in this case from 5:30 AM till 3:00 PM aren't overwhelming, the fact that it's 5:30 AM is killing me I say.

Add to that my new doctor decided to throw me on some medication for preventative treatment of high blood pressure. Guess what one of the side effects is? Dizziness. It gets real bad right around the end of the work day and that's only because I switched up when I was taking it. See, initially I took it in the morning when I first woke up, but around 9:00 AM, I'd be too dizzy to actually see straight and had to stop working. Now I take it at 5:00 PM and I'm pretty okay except for dozing out every now and again.

On one hand, the doctor has told me that weight loss could result in me being off the pill. The problem with his theory is I have two co-workers who are thin as rails and whose blood pressure is much worse than mine. They aren't on preventative treatment, their on the "This shit is going to kill you if you don't get it under control" phase. So could weight be something adding to it? Possible. Is it the only cause? Well, apparently I have to do the whole eliminating the obvious before looking at hereditary factors, but oh hey, my mom also has high blood pressure, but damn, she's also fat. Curse you logic!

But I do have a Planet Fitness membership, and I'm trying to work up the mental energy to force myself to go. You see part of mom's recovery right now, is taking her to the doctor. And her wound doctor is like an hour away form the house on a bad day. And the whole process is just messing with my head. It's so outside my direct control that it sucks the motivation to well, do anything out.

But I've still managed to catch up on some reading. Half-Priced books had some very good sales this year and I picked up a ton of stuff, both historical and in realm of fiction. If I didn't buy another book in 2014 I'd probably be more than set for the whole year.

In terms of Kickstarters... I'll save that for tomorrow's post. Suffice it to say I am deeply impressed by the commitment it takes a person to decide he's going to kick ass and take names. I am not so deeply impressed by the actual ability to get things done.

One thing I haven't talked about much here is 5th edition. If I'm not playing, what's the point of talking about it? I haven't kept up with the playtest packets for example. ON the other hand I did buy the limited edition book being sold not by WoTC, but by Gale Force 9 at Gen Con 2013. Which they then put in PDF. Awesome work WoTC. Has anyone checked to see if the rules have been updated to the latest playtest packet? There's no point in not updating them if it's a preview. After all, when the product came out, they told you right in the booklet that the rules were going to be wrong and to go download the latest batch.

I also think that a big part of 5e's future is in a combination of the OGL and digital initatives. For me, not being able to easily use my purchased products from say, Goodman Games with my DDI insured that I wouldn't be buying a lot of stuff although I'd let players use it that brought it to the table. The sheer lack of 4e third party stuff though? It was telling.

Paizo on the other hand, even though I haven't been playing, has been coming out with some great supplements. I've been buying the maps and cards and the Bestiary and a few other things here and there. They remain kick ass in those aspects. In addition, Paizo has continued to be... I don't know, "cool" towards those supporting it? They showcase 3rd party products all the time on their web page and store page.

I hope 2014 is a great year for everyone and I hope that you get more and better gaming in.