Friday, 17 September 2021

Quick Training Session.

This is going to be a very short post - I'm working the late shift at work, which is a 1230hrs start and a 2100hrs finish. So a quick blast training session done, and here it is:

Warm Up:

5 x 10 push ups -> 10 Mountain Climbs -> 10 Body squats. (three exercises = one set)

3 x 20 Bent over rows with dumbbells - I use incline bench to rest chest so to isolate movement.
3 x 12 Superman - hold for a slow 12 count, rest for a 12 count.
3 x 20 Tricep kick-back (10 reps left, 10 reps right)
3 x 10 Farmer's Squats with Hammer curl (1 squat into hammer curl, repeat)
3 x 20 Lateral dumbbell raise.

Optional - Exercise Bike 30 minutes (fat burning).


So I leave you with Hooverphonic, and 'The Night Before'. Enjoy. Until next time.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Dragon Warriors, The Watermill.

Copyright © 2021 M.Kelly
Dragon Warriors is a fantasy role playing system dating back to the 1980s. It's the first system I've ever run consistently with a regular group of friends/players.

I took a rather long break from running a regular game session - it used to be every Sunday evening without fail, kicking off at 1800hrs, sometimes earlier, depending on the routines people had for the following Monday. We'd normally end a session around 2200 - 2300hrs, accordingly.

I have to say, those are some of the best memories I have of my life; friends gathered round my table, laughing, joking, sharing adventures together and forgetting the outside world for a while, as their alternate egos / characters, travelled over hills, through forests, villages and towns, exploring the dark, dank depths of a dungeon or crypt, daring to enter the larger, more densely populated cities, whilst seeking to earn fame and coin for deeds untold, some even heroic.

It's now a shit time with that WuFlu crap flying around, and I am once more running Dragon Warriors via the wonders of the interweeb (yes, I said 'interweeb'), all thanks to a platform known as Discord - a wonderful piece of software that allows you to set up voice channels, message boards, groups, video meetings, etc. It really is great. And free.

To down click on this LINK - available for both PC and Mac.

So my new group have just finished their thirteenth session together. Although during the summer it was difficult to get everyone's schedules in sync so we could all be available. I think we actually went almost two months without a group session? It sucked.

The group are on a story-driven campaign. The unfortunate thing about it is, they keep getting side-tracked by various elements and aspects of the game world and its inhabitants and minor stories and events. But, in typical DM fashion (for me, anyway), I sit back, slight smile on my face* and let it all unfold naturally.

*My players cannot see me via Discord, as I don't believe it's important for them to see my ugly mug, but more important to hear my voice. I think it helps to maintain a neutral aspect to the whole DM / Player relationship (plus they can't see me blush when I do a stupid voice for an NPC). This would be a different situation if sat around a table, obviously.

So far, I feel Discord has worked wonderfully, and only hearing my voice, players do have to concentrate that little bit extra in order not to miss any important clues, or intel.

The group's current situation is one I, as a DM and knowing what I do, wouldn't relish being in as a player character. Especially low level and rather new to the whole thing. When someone, or something the colour of stone, and I mean everything about them is the colour of stone, the last thing you should do is think about standing your ground and engage in combat with them.
I've done my best to drop hints, such as: battering down of a locked door by the sheer brute force of their hands - that they are emotionless, showing neither anger or fear - they are not charging, but walking slowly with purposeful intent, but biggest hint of all is hearing a voice issuing the command, "Kill them all, and return when it is complete!"

My character would be legging it as soon as those words registered within their brain. Not even looking back. I'd be out of there. But alas, this isn't the case. But the outcome won't be known until the next game session is played.

I do, however, have to give credit to the Warlock character, who was the only one to decide to stand their ground without hesitation in order to cast a spell in the hope of tackling this stone-grey, door-shattering, person-thing. The Mystic and Sorcerer have legged it, the young Barbarian has decided to stand with the Warlock, and the Elementalist has been placed on the far side of the river by a water sprite, out of danger.

Should be an interesting next session to DM, that's for sure.

I leave you with Vök and 'Waterfall'. Enjoy. Until next time.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Passing of Darcy.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Kelly
I don't know how to title this post. Whatever I've considered just doesn't do it justice. To be honest, I've struggled immensely to sit down and write this, as I'm grieving so hard right now, as is my darling wife, but I don't want to leave it go any longer.

Our beautiful, gentle, loving girl, Darcy slipped away peacefully at home at 1430hrs on Monday 23rd August, with help from the vet. My wife cupped Darcy's head, giving her kisses and telling her how much we loved her and would miss her, as I stroked her neck and back.

The previous day she had been slow walking due to the arthritis in her back legs, but come Sunday night, Darcy kept pacing, panting and looked miserable, so Vanessa and I took her to the Emergency Animal Hospital in our area. This was around 2330hrs Sunday 22nd August.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Training Night.

Back again, into the swing of punishing myself for goodness-knows-what kind of sins I acted out in my previous life, or lives?

Now the hamstring is quiet and behaving itself I've eased back into 'exercising' mode, albeit a late one again. But dammit, YouTube is the devil's work, and once you click on one, you click on another, and another... you get my drift.

I had good intentions to push this one through during the day. Anyway, what's done, and all that.

So rather than mention any particular 'Hell Set', I thought I'd just list the whole session below, followed by the usual musical offering.

Warm up (obviously)

3 x 20 Sumo squats
3 x 10 Prone leg extensions (on bench)
3 x 20 Calf raise
3 x 20 Incline bench bicep curls
3 x 20 Incline bench rows
4 x 20 Tricep kick-backs
3 x 20 9-to-3 (you'll have to search back through my July challenge for that one)
4 x 20 Mountain climbs

Fini - cool down with stretches.

So there you have it. If any of that makes sense to you and you give it a go, have fun, but don't injure yourselves. 

Now to the music. A great track I heard on late night tv in an ad for some perfume or other. I finally hunted it down and here it is, Emma Louise and 'Jungle' from 2012-ish.

Enjoy. Until later.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Life is Full of Surprises.

Every now and then, life throws you a curve just to let you know it's not predictable and you don't know everything.

This is how it happened to me today. Out in the garden standing next to our goldfish pond - a small affair I built back in 2018, and populated it with six goldfish, some plants, including a water lily and some oxygenators (under water grasses) to keep the the O2 levels up and filter out other components from the water.

The images above are the 'before' and 'after'. All was going beautifully. The fish were happy and doing well, even to the point of becoming very hand-tame, swimming to the surface each time I placed my hand near. I thought it was for food, but even after feeding, the fish would follow my hand if I moved it through the water, some even swimming between my fingers and onto my palm. Amazing fish.

Then one vanished over night. No clue how, when or where. Just gone. A week later a second fish vanished in similar fashion. I was gutted. Following this, over a period of a month, the remaining fish became ill, dying one-by-one to some kind of fungal infection. No matter what I tried, it failed.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

The Psychology of Control.

Since this whole world seems to be turning upside-down I've been wondering 'How the hell can this be happening?'

Many out there will cite 'Orange Man Bad' as the reason, and even today, still have a bad case of 'anti-Trump' syndrome. But now the US has a senile, child-sniffing pervert for President, it seems that's ok, and everything he does, tries to say (when he can remember), or palms off to his female side-kick, Harris, doesn't raise even an eyebrow, especially with the mainstream media.

So all this madness had me baffled, perplexed, confused and even angry at times. But then I stumbled across this post by 'After Skool' on YouTube. I watched it, and God, does it all become so glaringly obvious!

We're living through Totalitarianism-by-numbers! Watch and learn, folks.

(I also love the art work that goes into these videos)

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Down The Rabbit Hole. Be Warned...

Not much I can say regarding this post, except that if you're watching this, then you have a mind that is enquiring enough to look a little further than the mainstream media would like.

It is a long one, an hour to be precise, but after watching this myself, I now feel that I have more pieces of the puzzle in place, have a more steadfast and positive position on my choices and now feel more justified in maintaining myself in a state of amber consciousness to everything going on around me and those I love and care for.

I understand this could divide many regular viewers to my blog, even losing some. But I rather that than blithely plod along in a conformist state of myopic obedience and not question everything, examine what's in front of me and look at what's outside of the box we live in.

Enjoy. Until next time... maybe.

Monday, 9 August 2021

The Muse - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.

How does one define a muse? The dictionary definition would describe it as the following:

1. (In Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine Goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.

2. A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.

Many an artist had a physical person as their muse, the object of their affection, desire and love - the latter being a hugely powerful force majeure upon the artist. One prime example is that of Yeats and his unrequited love for his 'muse', Maud Gonne, a driven English-born Irish republican revolutionary, suffragette and actress.
It would appear that his multiple rejected offers of marriage to Maud only spurred him to greater efforts and works of poetry.

Writing from the heart is a powerful, but draining experience, and any creative running off this mode of inspiration will soon run dry, or simply break, unable to control the turmoil of swelling emotion broiling from within, especially if it is based on a painful, disruptive, and sometimes toxic relationship.