Thursday, June 5, 2008

State of the Palette Address

I've been gone, but I'm back now. These past couple of weeks have been very tough for me.

Two weekends ago, I had to put down one of my dogs. Angel was 15 years old, and while her internal organs were fine her back legs had stopped working a year ago. I got around this by putting a sling under her belly and "wheelbarrowing" her outside to potty. This worked fine for a while (even though it was a massive pain in my keister), but in the past month her front legs started to go, too. Pretty soon she was taking headers into the floor as her front legs collapsed. Figuring it was only a matter of time before she was completely quadriplegic, I took her to vet to be put to sleep.

Angel wasn't ready to go just yet. She fought the sedative every step of the way. I still can't shake the feeling that I made a mistake, that I had her killed because she was inconvenient rather than out of any concern for her quality of life.

Secondly -- and probably related to the first -- I've been having terrible migraines in the afternoon. These usually coincide with periods of exercise and/or my afternoon constitutional, which lead me to believe that it's related to blood pressure. (Migraines are a type of vascular headache.) If you've never had a migraine, imagine the worst hangover you've ever had: that's a migraine. While I never reached the "dear god kill me now please end the pain" stage, I did have to lie down in a very dark room and be very still for at least three hours. In one instance, the headache took over 24 hours to fully dissipate. As you can imagine, during these periods I wasn't fit for doing much else other than breathing.

Thirdly, I was depressed. Go figure.

I hate whining, and I hate outright pleas for sympathy, which is why I never let on that anything was wrong (other than a decided lack of decent posting). I feel better today, though, so hopefully I'm on the mend. At any rate, now you know why posting has been sparse, and I thank you for your patience.

Since this is turning into a bullet-point post, I might as well address a few other concerns while I'm at it.

  • The reason I haven't posted any new I Attack the Darkness columns is because Another Castle is currently on hiatus, due to the fact that the guy who runs the site is changing jobs and moving his family from Oklahoma to Oregon. I, like so many other contributors, are waiting to hear back from him. If he decides to start it up again, great; I have more articles for publication. If he says he doesn't have the time for it, I will post what I have here -- or perhaps seek another e-zine to publish them. Either way, at the very least you'll get the complete God Complex series.
  • 4th Edition D&D. Sweet Buttery Me, what a clusterfuck this is. No, this isn't a review, because Wizards of the Coast's PR Department completely screwed the pooch on this one. I'll go into more specifics later -- it'll make a nice rant post -- but the short version is, apparently the company that handles Public Relations for the most popular role-playing game in the world decided to completely blow off any and all commitments to reviewers. So, as much as I'd love to give you an in-depth review of the 4e game engine, I can't. However, let me summarize what I've learned, based upon research and leaked information:
If you liked Third Edition, stay the holy hell away from Fourth Edition.

I'll explain in detail tomorrow.


  1. I'm sorry about your dog. Mine died last month, and I'm still a wreck. I was afraid we were going to have to put him to sleep, but he beat us to the punch, and in a way I'm weirdly grateful. Even as bad as he'd gotten, I would have felt like a traitor for putting him down. So I completely sympathize.

    Hope you stay feeling better.

  2. Well, my first wife was a vet, and I've assisted in that act many times. Many owners have doubts, but it is rarely done too early. I'm a big coward when it has come to my own dogs. I applaud your bravery. Guilt is natural, however. Still, I have no doubt but thatyou did the right thing.

    Since your afternoon constitutional usually involved your dog, the obvious cause of your migraines might be that guilt. I'd suggest having a nice long talk (in private so no one thinks you're crazier than you are) with your dog to help but any guilt issues to rest.

    My $0.02.


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