And this is MODERATE air quality??

Wow, got outside this morning and wondered if our neighborhood was on fire. The air is hazy and smells strongly of wood smoke. We need rain so badly. The sun hanging over Lakeshore Drive on the way in was an small orange ball, looking like it didn't have the strength to break through the fog.

In other news, T went to work for the full day on Monday. He even walked to Subway for lunch! He said it felt so much better than it did before the surgery. Yesterday, though, he only worked half a day. I think he overdid it a bit. Fortunately he's sensible enough to come home when he feels bad.

Gram is doing well with her rehab. Mom has secured a larger apartment for her (larger than the studio-sized one we had initially chosen), and we're hoping she likes it. I talked to her briefly on Sunday on the phone and she sounded pretty good. She has trouble talking on Mom's cell phone, though.

I've been working on the redesign for the Samford home page. The test designs are at www.samford.edu/~test/. I'm not really happy with the direction it's going, but we'll see what I come up with today.

My bridge adventure between Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde and Expedition to the Demonweb Pits is going well. I could have killed J's character–a twilight guardian rolled a crit, but I rescinded it. Yikes. She didn't have sufficient armor, was still going with her 6th level stuff. She will definitely remedy that  next time we play, on Saturday.

Parenthetical note: The problem with being here before 7 am is that the air hasn't cut on yet. Ick.

OH–my new word for the week is “lolcats.” T read an article in Slate (!) on the subject. Now we have a name for those oh-so-funny photos of cats with l33t-like captions. My favorites are still those at the PVP site, but www.lolcats2.com is funny too.

Web comic

Weird and freaky and I don't always understand it, but here it is: http://www.scarygoround.com/

I went back to the beginning and the style is really different from the way it is now. It also made more sense, but is quirky. I like quirky. I ordered 2 of his t-shirts today. Who could resist a shirt entitled “Death Has a Bunny”?? Then you just plain have a heart of stony meanness. So there.

Silver Hammer!

I finally got around to checking out the Horror Writers Association newsletter for May in hopes of seeing my name there, and sure enough, saw this: 

The festivities commenced with WHC's Grandmaster Award to Joe Lansdale, and then our own Deborah LeBlanc took the stage to present HWA's Silver Hammer Award (to our database mistress Donna Fitch) and the Richard Laymon Award (to Lisa Morton). WHC's artist Guest of Honor John Picacio next presented our Specialty Press Award to Peter Crowther of PS Publishing.

W00t! (I can't link it here, as you have to have username and password to log in.) The hammer is cool (and I'll post a pic of it soon), but the card celebrating it given to me by S & J is even cooler.

In other news, T and I spent 3 hours at the doctor's office. T's side was still hurting (actually worse) and Dr. Aizenman gave him a 4:15 appointment, but said, “Bring a book, you'll have a long wait.” Sure enough, we got out at 7:00. The diagnosis: pleurisy! Ack! Aspirin will alleviate it, and was helping him feel better by last night. Poor baby, he's so tired of feeling bad. I was able to read the first 12 chapters or so of the 6th Dresden Files book, Death Masks.

The Dresden books are fascinating. Better written (after the 1st couple) than the TV series–although I confess I now picture Harry and the gang looking as they do on the show. His depiction of Michael, who is essentially a paladin, was the best I've seen–a Christian who is actually an interesting character, strengthened by his faith, but having doubts and generally acting like a human being. In this current book, he's joined by 2 others, an Asian (Japanese, I think) man and a Russian man. This last was chosen by Michael (not Carpenter, the other one) to receive the sword–but he claims to be an atheist, or at best, an agnostic. Dresden finds that highly amusing; he apparently does believe in God, but has issues with Him.

OK, back to work on the home page redesign. I am so not into it.

Steampunk goodness

This site, Gizmodo, has some very cool examples of steampunk constructions. And this site shows How to Draw Steampunk Machines.

Today in my mind I'm formulating a gnome bard character, using a lot of the feats and an alternate class feature from Complete Mage. If/when I actually stat him/her out, I'll post it here.

But I need to be spending time on the upcoming campaign that bridges The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde and Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. I have enough to keep them active for a little bit, but need to get further ahead.

Back at work

Finally I'm back at work. Things seem to be settling down (I say hesitantly). Gram has finally moved into a nursing facility for her rehabilitation and is doing well so far. T goes back to work Wednesday, we hope.

In other news, the adventurers have successfully completed The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde! They are now at 8th level, which is higher than we've gone in a game I've run. J took a prestige class, another first.