Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Internet Tech, All Grown Up

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I bought my first domain eleven years ago – for the Conspiracy X RPG. Over the years, I’ve purchased, hosted and transferred a number of domains. Back ‘in the day’, domain maintenance took a decent amount of time. If you wanted to transfer a domain from one person to the next, it often felt like brain surgery.

Times have changed.

For years, I hosted my domain with a small service back in New York. I used to have an online journal, what would now qualify as a blog I suppose, but took it down when I deployed to Iraq. Since then, I’ve only used my domain for email.

Last week, I decided to change that – to make an actual site where I can talk about all the nifty things I’ve been up to. To do that, I wanted to move my domain, but was concerned about the transfer. Sure, I don’t have a site right now, but I was worried about losing access to my email account for days or weeks. It had to be done, though, so last night I pulled the trigger.

Man, was a surprised, and pleasantly so. Not two hours later, my domain was transferred and my email was working at the new mail server. I think I may have experienced 20 minutes of down time in the middle of the night. That’s it.

I’m in awe of how far internet technology has come. Not only can I buy domains for a couple dollars (as opposed to the $30 I paid back in 1997), but the maintenance of these basic building blocks of internet communication is now fluid and easy.

What a difference a decade can make.

Ziggurat Con 2

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

I recently received an email from David Amberson about Ziggurat Con 2, which will be held in Iraq next summer. I’m sure many of the industry folk who read my LJ have also received the same email. In fact, I recognized some of the names on the list of people who are already supporting the event.

I was in Iraq, on my second tour, during the first ZCon. Unfortunately, I could not attend. (For some reason, some people just didn’t understand that sometimes dice rolling is more important than gun running!) I missed three full years of conventions to the desert, and wasn’t happy about it. I couldn’t go to the last ZCon, so I’m ecstatic at the prospect of support it this time.

If you are supporting ZCon, in any way, I want to thank you. Soldiers are rampant gamers and have more geek-fu per capita than any other group of people I know. I received two boxes from my FLGS last year, and you would have thought the rapture was upon us. All my guys exploded in enthusiasm. Maybe gaming is how we tune out in our copious free time? I don’t know. I do know that we loved to game at every opportunity. And I know we hungered for anything new with which to do it.

So if you are thinking about supporting the next ZCon, you have my thanks. If you plan to attend, I hope to see you there.

Uruk King List

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

As you may know, I have served two tours in Iraq. Unfortunately, I was not able to see many of ‘the sites’ while I was there. Now that I’m home, half-way around the world, I find myself in need of some research material and the only place to get what I need is Iraq! Go figure.

What I need is a new photo of a cuneiform tablet known as IM 65066, or the “Uruk King List”. It is housed in the Baghdad Museum, or was at one time. It is important because it helps to solve a chronological issue; unfortunately, the existing photo is very poor.

If any of you have a better photo, know someone who does, know someone who can get one, or know someone with enough pull to get me one… well, I’d be most grateful.

I’m Home!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Got back from Iraq last night.


Now I sleep.

Countdown to a Normal Life

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There is a file on my laptop desktop named “Countdown to a Normal Life.” It’s been ticking off the days during my current tour in Iraq. I know I should just ignore the calendar and let time go… but I can’t. I look at that stupid file every day.

Why is it so hard for me to just be content with my current situation? Why can I not decide to let the past go, refrain from worrying about the future, and focus on the present?

Power Napping

Monday, June 4th, 2007

I’ve been taking a lot of short naps lately. If I have an hour to burn, and no access to a computer or the internet, I rack out. They never last long, and are of dubious quality, but I take them none-the-less.

And I don’t know why.

I want a 30-hour day – 20 hours to “do stuff” and 10 to sleep. I want this because I can’t sleep unless I am exhausted. My mind just won’t shut off unless my body gives out underneath it. If I try to go to bed before I’m tired, I just get bored and frustrated.

That’s how I used to be. Now I take power naps.

Maybe it’s just my way of trying to forget where I am. Heck, if I could sleep away every moment I’m not required to be awake, my stay in Iraq would go a little faster. But then it would also be wasted.

I want to get published before I leave Iraq. I’ve got a few more months to make that happen.

No more power napping.

Games on the Cheap

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

When I deployed to Iraq the first time, I missed having some of my games around. I made do, but it’s hard to go from a closet-full of games, to have a half-dozen to choose from. Before deploying this time, I decided that wasn’t going to happen again. I packed a few extras in my bags…

‘The best laid plans’ are sometimes incomplete, though. I got here and missed all those little games that I’d use to waste an hour or two, ever so often. There’s just so much RISK and Monopoly and Clue a person can play, after all.

Enter Cheapass Games.

Thanks to James, and his dedication to selling fun games at low prices, I’ve been able to re-up much of my game supply out here. Cheapass has been around for years, and James is a solid designer. I highly encourage anyone interested in games to check out some of his products.

Mosul, Iraq: 24 July 2006

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Tomorrow will be one month since I deployed to Iraq – for the second time. (more…)