1490 James Spurlock.

Mike is taking matters into his own hands. If this were a woodworking project there wouldn’t be any cause for concern…

I drew a lot of this in the truck while on the way to and from the doctor’s. The Surface has more than paid for itself in allowing me to continue my work. If you’re looking into a new portable computer I can recommend one with no hesitation. It’s not a perfect device, but what is? I can say that it allows you to actually do the work that the an ipad promises, but never seems capable of delivering. You can also upgrade your data storage with a memory card, unlike another tablet computer I will not mention. What I need for it is some kind of harness that I can fix to my old swing arm. That would bring it just that much closer to being perfect.

I slept in my bed last night, which always seems to result in a lot of back pain. If I don’t sleep on the floor I don’t get much support and the pain arises, but if I don’t sleep in the bed I don’t get as much sleep, so I have to make a guess about how much sleep versus rest I need for the next day. Sometimes my body makes the choice for me and things go awry. I ended up being so tired this morning that I fell asleep while working. I just sort of slowly slid sideways till I was sleeping on the carpet. This resulted in me choking awake twice, but not getting up either time. It also caused me to have a series of terror dreams that were trying to keep me from chocking in my sleep. I guess since I’m still here to tell the tale they succeeded on some level.

Unplanned sleep is a big problem with the breathing thing. It’s such a rigamarole to set the thing up if you’re naturally falling asleep the process fucks it all up. Like a fart during a romantic moment. Plus I need about twice as much tubing, because I flip completely over lengthwise several times a night. The hose needs to be long enough to go the length of my body, but it just isn’t quite. I have no idea if connecting two lengths of hose would have an effect on the function of the thing. Not that I have 2 lengths of hose, or a connector. I suspect I could improvise one.

I accidentally fucked up my beard, so I had to shave clean to fix it. I’ve been getting a better seal because of that, but still far from perfect. Today I looked like I was at death’s door when I got up. It was an hour or so before my face went back to normal. I feel like that’s not normal, but who knows?

If I use the Flonase it makes it so I can’t sleep right, but if I don’t my allergies make my nasal passages seal up. I’m not supposed to use other stuff because it lessens the effectiveness of my heart medicine. It’s a real bitch. The other pill they tried seemed to contribute to the whole xmas debacle. I need to tell the doctors not to put me on a bunch of new pills all at once because it’s really hard to figure out what’s causing what when you’ve suddenly created a new drug soup over a weekend. I’m thinking that I could go back to the higher dose of blood pressure medicine, but take the two halves in intervals, since all at once seems to trigger my weird episodes. I don’t know though.

You know what’s funny though? Ever since I got ambulanced to the hospital that time everyone in the doctor’s office knows my name without looking at anything. XD I guess that would leave an impression. I didn’t notice it right away. Also they all seem to know about my rules for drawing blood and stuff now. Just do it without telling me. If you want me I tense up, but if you just do it I hardly react at all. They also make every effort to ensure that I don’t see huge jars of my blood, although I still maintain that seeing the jar the one time didn’t cause the problem. I was already starting to lose it before that happened, and my blood was too thick to drain the way it was supposed to.

I’ve started to get over the really bad dizzy spells I was having. I’m pretty sure they were mostly allergy related and the nasal clense seems to be offsetting that. I also very rarely get sinus headaches now. Something is making my ears drain at random times, but I haven’t pinned down what thing is causeing it. I don’t particularly like when it happens, but it keeps me from falling over, so you just have to go with the lesser of two evils sometimes.

The Teen is finally coming to grips with the fact that she will be a for reals adult soon, and all her dicking around hasn’t helped her secure any useful life skills. I told her that I’d tried on numerous occasions but she chose not to listen. She seems to think that her family is going to support her desire to play all day every day forever, but I don’t think that’s a realistic way to look at things. Her sister is a barely functioning adult, and her brother can’t tolerate her… in general really. Basically she was the baby her whole life and this whole actually growing up thing is going to be a rude awakening. Maybe not as rude as before we had a hand in things, but it’s not going to be a fun ride. As far as me goes, I checked out a while ago. All these health problems totally ruined my ability to endure her. The constant screaming and pawing at me, with no concern for how anyone else feels, wore me to the nub. She’s got too much of her mother in her. I don’t know if any human has the ability to do anything for that problem, but I now know that I don’t. I helped as much as I could and most likely failed. Too much damage was done in her youth at just the right time I suspect. I just don’t know about that kid.


Will this club have delicious cake?

Oh I really hope it does or pie!

It’s interesting to note that in America when someone says pie, they think of desserts like apple pies while in Australia, when someone says pie, they think of savoury meals like meat pies.

actually, I had an idea. if you made a box of tarts (mini pies) you could do stuff like 4 each of savoury, sweet, spicy, and odd [like, maybe quiche] and, of course, spicy-as-heck. you’d heat them all up, and you and your friends could have a roulette snack platter. no-one would know which were which, unless somehow nobody got the super-spicy ones til last

Good lord I want to join. I’d bring Gabriel, my fistfighting Abberant sorcerer.

Well, that’s assuming Pathfinder.

Improved Unarmed Strike and like 75% utility spells with a few ranged spells and Shocking Grasp.

His familiar is a raven that speaks Common named Loiosh who’s a total wise-ass at him. (Took the name and personality for Vlad Taltos’ familiar for his novels by Brust)

Also he is blind because as a child his eyes were eaten by magical parasites that left a taint in his blood hence the Aberrant origin. When he gets his acid rays (I think level 9? I could check) he shoots them from the eye sockets.

I remember the first fight we got into I rolled a 1 on an attack roll and knocked out our cleric. That was a glorious game.

Why was the cleric even near the front lines? This isn’t 5e inflict-wounds-fuck-you here. A cleric isn’t supposed to be there!

Damn, I really like today’s art. The expressions convey the flow of the conversation perfectly, and the payoff in the final panel is extremely satifisfying. It helps that Mike is one of my favorite characters.

Sorry to hear about your medical issues, and your interpersonal issues, Jackie.


Have you ever tried a futon? Put it on a hard surface, like the floor or put some plywood/OSB down under it on top of the supports on your regular bed. Futons are pretty damn firm, slightly more giving than say padded carpet.

I know, the cost. Compared to “regular” mattresses, futons aren’t so expensive. Maybe you know someone who has one they aren’t using. Or buy a used one. Yeah, big potential for Ick Factor there, but maybe …

Your mattress can make a big difference in your sleep. You’ve never said what you have, or what condition it’s in. Mattresses do wear out; they break down and don’t support like they did when they were new. If it sags, a low cost thing to try would be plywood between the mattress and box spring. It needn’t be edge-to-edge, just most of the bed. Start with whatever thickness/stiffness you have and adjust accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: I am not any kind of trained medical professional. I’m just relating things I did back when I was an individual of limited resources.

Along the same lines, a slab of foam on the floor softens the floor and is cheap. Not real durable, but you’re not paying mattress, or even futon, prices.

I had much the same sleep issues. Now am doing well.
1) Was told by a vocal coach that dairy products cause mucus and thickening in the nose and sinus and he suggested I try cutting back on dairy. Well, I found completely eliminating dairy for about a month helped immensely.
2) Found brisk exercise for 1/2 hr (primarily fast walking) daily helps with weight and joint pain.
3) Found eating large breakfast, medium lunch, small supper, and frequent snacking (granola, veggies) throughout the day helps a great deal with weight. It looks like I’m constantly eating, but now I weigh what I did in high school.
4) Discovered the nasalis transverse muscle. It is a muscle in the nose that looks like a Breathe Right strip. And discovered that I could exercise it. Building up muscle tone in that muscle is something you can do anywhere and most of the time no one can tell you are doing it. And, like a Breathe Right strip, it holds the passage open.
5) A firm mattress really helps with the sleeping.
6) I rinse my nose out with saline whenever I feel congested (allergies, dust, a cold, etc.). Been using a NeilMed bottle and homemade saline (cheap!) but there are many options on the Internet.
2 other things, probably unrelated to my conditions; The cat died 3 years ago and now we are pet-less. I practice deep breathing once a week or so. Maybe they are a factor, maybe not.
The end result? I no longer use the Flonase. Haven’t used an inhaler in years. Don’t need CPAP.. I am SOOO happy about it. I have brothers who still have breathing issues, but they are stuck in the vicious spiral. Can’t concentrate. Eating too much. Not enough exercise. Poor sleep. Trying to use the CPAP. Can’t concentrate….

Jackie, is the character Mike most representative of you, at least physically? I ask this because of your comments about the beard and your weight.

He wasn’t when I started, but he is now. If I were brown and curly haired we’d look pretty similar, except he’s strong fat and I’m weak fat.

Actually the idea of setting up a gaming club run out of the store might be a great way to help out the store. I patronized a used book store for several years to feed my reading addiction and then they started gradually selling tabletop games. First it was just a bit of the D&D variety – which made sense since they were a book store and you need a bunch of books if you are really into D&D. Gradually they started adding more tabletop games – mostly “eurogaming” stuff. Now they have an excellent selection: Pathfinder – both the D&D type and the card version, Last night on earth, Munchkin, Arkam Horror, Dominion, Legendary (Marvel and Alien variants), Ticket to Ride, Smashup, Abyss, Spirium, King of Tokyo, King of New York, Firefly, Castle Panic,Pandemic, Takenoko, Wok Star, 7 Wonders, Cards Against Humanity, Castle of Mad King Ludwig, etc., etc., etc. (that’s maybe 1-2% of what they carry). No video games – just board and card games. It takes up maybe 5% of their shelving but they’ve told me it accounts for about 35-40% of their sales. They have regular game nights for their customers and have developed a strong customer base as a result.

Tried D&D for awhile, back in college. It was fun, in terms of a get-together, but I really got tired of all the little rolls for everything. Especially when you roll a bunch of dice and it all adds up to “miss” and then you go around the table, waiting for EEEEVERYONE to roll ALLLL their dice, it gets back to me, I roll all my dice, AND I MISS AGAIN. I pretty much had it, at that point. Eventually we started messing with the rules to allow more storytelling and less rolling, but eventually it ceases to be a game and we all kinda fell out of it.

When I ran my dungeon, based around a medieval trading city with a population of about 30000, I mostly ignored rules. I had a strong vision of what the place was like and that guided me in making rulings. As for combat, in most situations the players were so overmatched that no fighting actually took place and it became a matter of negotiation.


The way you talk about the teen’s mother puts me in mind of my soon to be ex-sister-in-law. I really hope she doesn’t get custody of my nephews, but given the mother bias in these matters and her superior lying and manipulation skills… yeah…

Just had to get in that 30 Rock reference, yeah? ‘Toofer’.

Like @Alexx, a coworker at Radio Shark tried to induct me into a D&D group. This was back in the early 1980s (early Advanced Dungeons & Dragons era), and I was handed this thick, 8-1/2 X 11 tome of rules et cetera to read. I was working one 8-hour job and another 5-hour job at the time. Apologies to the late Gary Gygax, but would somebody please explain to me why I needed to work that hard to have fun?

So that everyone’s on the same page (pun intended)…

our DM would always change whatever game we were playing, and wouldn’t stick with one, so we asked him one night to just let us roll up impossible/improbable character classes so we could at least have a little fun with it.

So, I ended up with a Kender Mage (spellthief) with an EXTREMELY low chance of his spells working right, used scrolls/etc. that i’d ‘found’, as well as whatever spell components i could get (always the wrong ones for whatever spell i wanted) . however, it came out being our shortest game. we drowned the entire dungeon of creatures with two spells.

I really wish I could have been your tech for your sleep study, Jackie. Well, after I’d been doing it for about a year and a half.

One of the reasons I stopped being a sleep tech was because I was frustrated with how many patients I had that cared less than I did. Some nights would be extremely aggravating to me, but I really did make a strong effort to give my patients good customer service.

Some nights, for reasons out of my control, having happy patients was just impossible.

Suddenly I think Mike and I would get along, both awkward, both into RPGs, both bad with responsibility, bo…you know what, gonna stop, cus this is making me depressed. Point is, Mike is a relatable character that just kinda craps on himself a lot.

I wonder if Mike being well versed in wanting more than one thing at a time includes making multiple trips to the all-you-can-eat buffet table?

In regards to sleeping issues I’ve been struggling with bad insomnia for over a year. The last two weeks I started wearing ear plugs and it’s made a world of difference. I’m staying asleep longer, and I’m feeling refreshed after sleeping 8 or 9 hours in bed instead of being tired. You’ve probably tried earplugs before, but if you haven’t it’s worth a try.

also, if you can find relaxation music that you like you can get a pillow with speakers built in (or just use some nice speakers) to help you relax enough to get to sleep (you can set a timer on your music player to shut itself off after, say, a half-hour, or so)

I agree.
TTRPG is a blast.
Especially when you make up your own rules.

And I’m a Skinny guy, I want multiple things at the same time.
Right now I could go for a steak, a nap, an hour in the gym, enough time to watch the first season of Sleepy Hollow with my brother, the next book in my favorite series, and playing like 5 games at the same time.

You did your best, and that’s all anyone can really ask of you.
She chose not to listen, thus the consequences of that choice are hers to deal with.

I feel like Mike should really slow down and focus on one thing at a time first. I mean really, if he fails at both dating AND this Tabletop RPG venture at once, while simultaneously working as a manager at a retail store, he’s going to end up killing himself from depression.

On twitter, Jackie is talking about a term, called: “an onion sidewinder”.

My take on that is: Onion Sidewinders- the best thing to take out some onions, who are attacking you with fighter planes! XD

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