Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ringo Starr - Superhero

CNN.com - showbuzz - Jan 25, 2005

"Faster than a speeding snare roll: It's Ringo Starr, superhero.

"The former Beatles drummer has undertaken a joint venture with Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment to develop a multimedia franchise in which Starr will play a superpowered animated version of himself."

DELTA GREEN: 1939-1945

I found this site in a link on an old RPG.net thread. Since I am a big fan of the DG setting (I am probably going to have to get some book covers for my copies...since it doesn't look like there is ever going to be a new edition) I am always looking for new material that could be used. While I doubt that I would run a WWII era DG campaign this still has information which could be useful as backstory.

DELTA GREEN: 1939-1945

Monday, January 24, 2005

Gamers For Hope

Gamers For Hope is the upcoming charity project to raise money for the Red Cross' Tsunami Relief effort. I received the cover from comic artist and children's book illustrator Jeff Weigel. I thought that I would post an image of the preliminary cover.




Friday, January 21, 2005

Clark Ashton Smith - The Eldritch Dark

I may have linked to this before, but I think that the contribution of Clark Ashton Smith to the Cthulhu Mythos is very important, and doesn't recieve the attention that many other of the contributors.

Clark Ashton Smith - The Eldritch Dark

"Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), perhaps best known today for his association with H.P Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, is in his own right a unique master of fantasy, horror and science-fiction. While he considered himself primarily a poet, and wrote over 700 poems and prose poems, it is for his short stories that he is best known today. Clark Ashton Smith was also a self-taught artist whose paintings, drawings and sculptures reflect the phantasmagoric worlds of his fiction.

"The Eldritch Dark is a site to facilitate both scholars and fans in their appreciation and study of Clark Ashton Smith and his works."

This sub-page outlines the cycles of Smith's writings.

These works make a great resource for Call of Cthulhu Keepers, particularly those running a Dreamlands or Cthulhu Dark Ages game. His work is well worth seeking out, and there are some very good resources on this page. I think that his work was a big influence on the movie The Brotherhood of the Wolf.

A quick update, I would like to thank John Rateliff for sending me a link to his very engaging article on Smith's writing, from the Wizards of the Coast website.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stan Lee Gets Spidey Cents

Stan Lee Gets Spidey Cents

"Stan Lee has scored a first round victory in his lawsuit against Marvel Enterprises. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that Lee is entitled to 10% of the profits Marvel has received since November, 1998 from studios for the right to produce movies and TV shows, and from movie-based toys that it sells itself.

"The court ruling was less favorable to Lee on a couple of other counts. First, the court ruled that a jury would have to decide if Lee was entitled to a percentage of Marvel's profits from its joint venture with Sony for Spider-Man movie licensing. And second, the court ruled that Lee was not entitled to a share of moneys received by Marvel from third parties for movie-related licensing."

Busy Lately

I haven't made a post in a while on here. Despite the fact that I am unemployed (although I did receive a couple of encouraging calls this morning), I have been very busy lately.

I have been organizing a benefit PDF project called Gamers For Hope to raise money for the Red Cross' Tsunami Relief efforts. It has been interesting work. I have a number of smaller companies, individual designers, and a surprising handfull of larger publishers who are interested in the project.

There isn't much that I can talk about yet, as most of the big names haven't fully committed yet. But, hopefully soon I will have more to say about it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Feral Cities

I came across this on a gaming discussion board and thought that it was a good thing to share. This could be an interesting resource for GMs who run distinctly city-based campaigns, particularly ones with dark or corrupt cities. There is another interesting resource that I know about that is outside the norm of what would be a resource for GMs, but I will have to find the link for it.

I like looking for resources for my campaigns that are outside of what you would find in game books, it gives a nice edge to my campaigns.

Feral Cities

"Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles. Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense petri dish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power.1 Such cities have been routinely imagined in apocalyptic movies and in certain science-fiction genres, where they are often portrayed as gigantic versions of T. S. Eliot’s Rat’s Alley. Yet this city would still be globally connected. It would possess at least a modicum of commercial linkages, and some of its inhabitants would have access to the world’s most modern communication and computing technologies. It would, in effect, be a feral city."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Perrinverse

Perrinverse

"This is an attempt to provide a background history for the super-hero games I run. Most of them have used the Champions rules system, but I am lately branching out. This ties us all into a version of 'comic book reality' which allows for the creation and at least prior existence of most of the characters we all know from comics, and yet gives us a world which is not tied down to who has done what when in actual published comics. Most characters who have appeared in 'this' world's comics are licensed adventures of real heroes (like all the Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, etc. comics which used to be published). However, the adventures presented in the comics are not at all necessarily true ones."

Hidden WebCams


These webcams were found by Google. Their owners might or might not have intended for them to be public. But they obviously are. Many of them are security cameras in companies or semi-public places. If you hover over the picture you'll see at least the country the camera is in. If you click on it you'll see the live feed, if your browser knows what to do about the Motion JPEG format.

Please note if you're looking for some pr0n, this isn't the link for you. It looks at public and security cameras around the world.

Government Public Domain Photos

While I was doing a web search for photography and art for an RPG project that I am working on, I came across this. I am saving the link mostly for my own reference, but there is some really interesting public domain photos and imagery to be found in the links on this page.

Government Public Domain Photos

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Cyberpunk 203X: A Chat With Mike Pondsmith | Gamegrene.com

I will not get sucked in again, until I actually see the book on the shelves.

Cyberpunk 203X: A Chat With Mike Pondsmith | Gamegrene.com

"One of the most hotly anticipated games of the new millennium has been R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk 203X, the third incarnation of the definitive Cyberpunk RPG. After some rethinking, restructuring and much grumbling by fans (myself included), it appears that there's finally a neon light on the horizon."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Comic Giant Will Eisner Dies

Comic Giant Will Eisner Dies

"Will Eisner passed away on January 3rd, 2005 at the age of 87 following quadruple bypass heart surgery.

"Our condolences to Will's wife, Ann, and his family, friends and colleagues. A true giant in comics, he will be missed, personally and professionally.

"More information will be posted as it becomes available."

Update From the Newsarama website.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Guardians of Order: And Then There Was One

Latest Update: This is the message from Mark MacKinnion (president of Guardians of Order), posted on various email lists and websites. Personally, I am not very impressed. I think that Mark took too long to post this message, which isn't unusual for the company quite frankly, and I really don't like the BUY, BUY, BUY! approach that they seem to be taking. I think that the company needs (and has needed) to work better with fan base. This is a two-way street after all. You have to give if you want to get.

Yes, I was the one asking for eratta on their web forum. I don't think that expecting a company to live up to a promise made in July is expecting too much from them. This, of course, isn't the only thing. There have been cases of rudeness from (former) staffers on email lists and on their web forums. THAT isn't all that unusual in this industry, but it really doesn't take much to turn fans away. I agree that Guardians of Order needs their fans to stand behind them and try to turn this around, but are they going to stand behind their fans as well?

All of the previous material is still in this posting, just scroll down.


[EDITED (3 Jan 05): While I was originally going to post this message on New Year's Eve, the recent tragedy in Asia gave me pause. I didn't think it was the right time, given the magnitude of the pain and

suffering that makes our woes seem so very insignificant in comparison. That said, certain information, and mis-information, leaked today to the gaming community today, and I owe it to our supporters to respond quickly. This address, plus the explanation on our Enlightened Self Interest page, should put most things in the correct context.]

On this uncharacteristically warm New Year's Eve I sit at my computer desk sipping hot chocolate as the sweet sounds of Bach's Violin Partita in B minor plays in the background. I am thankful that all is well in our great country, and mourn the terrible losses that have devastated many families in Asia after the earthquake and tsunami. We are witnessing the incredible power of Nature, and I cannot help but be humbled.

Thinking about GoO's 2004 business year, I am proud of what we accomplished but also disappointed with what could have been. A few key products needed to be delayed for various reasons, which unfortunately turned 2004 into our "year of sequels" (with sequels, conversions, and revisions) rather than our "year of new products." Throw a weak economy into the mix, and it can be a recipe for disaster. Faith manages, though, and we pulled through. But sometimes … faith needs a little help.

SUMMARY OF 2004
To recap the developments at Guardians Of Order in 2004:

* we released our two largest books ever, both weighing in at 352 pages: Ex Machina: Tri-Stat Cyberpunk Genre and The Authority RPG and Resource Book
* a plethora of licensed BESM/BESM d20 anime guides (9 guides, plus Slayers d20) made it to market and finished many of our series
* we released BESM d20 Revised edition — updated to d20 v3.5 — only to learn to our embarrassment that it actually wasn't updated
* we reprinted BESM d20 Revised, and made sure it was updated this time!
* we converted and re-released several of our popular BESM Tri-Stat titles to the BESM d20 system
* working with the fine gents at Hero Games, we co-published Reality Storm: When Worlds Collide, a crossover adventure and conversions book featuring the characters from our Silver Age Sentinels and Hero Games' Champions
* we announced the acquisition of an RPG/fan guide license for the cult-hit anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion
* we moved and expanded our PDF offerings to DriveThruRPG.com, experiencing greater-than-expected sales in this new venture
* we finalised our deal with Erick Wujcik of Phage Press to continue offering sales of Amber DRPG-related merchandise, with the hopes of more to come in the future
* we helped two Magnum Opus publishers bring their "great works" to print: Hearts Swords Flowers and Everstone – Blood Legacy
* we released our critically acclaimed short story anthology sequel, Path of the Bold, set in the Empire City superhero universe
* we announced plans for BESM Third Edition, to release in spring/summer 2005

In total, we released 24 products -- 23 books of our own and one co-publication with Hero Games -- in 2004, effectively matching 2003's releases. Breaking down the products into lines, we have:
* Silver Age Sentinels/superhero books: 4 (17%)
* BESM/BESM d20/anime books (original): 7 (29%)
* Anime books (licensed): 10 (42%)
* Other: 3 (12%)
As you can see, nearly three-quarters of our output involved original or licensed anime material -- our signature strength. If I had to pick just a few must-buy stellar highlights, I'd recommend Ex Machina, The Authority RPG, Slayers d20, d20 Military Vehicles, and Path of the Bold.

SALES AND RPGs
I have talked to company presidents, renowned retailers, distributor representatives, and industry gurus. If there is one thing they all agreed on in 2004, it is the remarkable downturn in role-playing game sales. I'm sure the reasoning behind this trend is complex and varied, but the final result cannot be argued: RPGs were seriously hurt this past year.

Clearly, as an RPG-only company, this should have devastated our sales income, right? Well, no, actually. For the third consecutive year, Guardians Of Order has enjoyed an increase in gross sales revenue, and we achieved this remarkable fact without A Game of Thrones RPG (which, unfortunately, is delayed until spring/summer 2005). I'll admit that releasing larger and more expensive books accounted for much of this increase, but it is still a great accomplishment for us in a declining marketplace.

Why, then, is our net income the lowest it has ever been?

LARGER THAN RPGs -- THE SLIDING US DOLLAR
To put it bluntly, over the past two years the American dollar has had the snot kicked out of it by all major foreign currencies. Unfortunately, this includes the Canadian dollar and as an exporting company that calls the Great White North home, we've been hit hard. Really hard. We pay most of our fixed expenses (company overhead, such as salaries and rent) in Canadian dollars, which means that we must convert our US dollar revenue into Canadian funds for disbursement. One American dollar used to fetch $1.60 Canadian a few years back when the US economy was stronger, but the continual decline for two years has dropped that to about $1.15 -- a loss of nearly 30%. This "exchange rate deficit" comes directly out of our bottom line, and has resulted in us losing nearly a quarter million (Canadian) dollars since the start of the decline.

There is no end in sight for the weak US dollar, and so our business plan is forced to adapt through downsizing and cost-cutting. There comes a time when you have to say "that's enough."

A PLEA FOR ASSISTANCE
Although we are firmly dedicated to having a full release schedule in 2005, we can't do it alone. We have an abundance of inventory in our warehouse -- partially the result of low sales, and partially due to greater-than-expected book trade returns -- and we need to convert a large portion of it to cash quickly and efficiently.

Starting today, we are launching what we're calling an "Enlightened Self Interest" sales campaign to help us convert inventory into cash (http://www.guardiansorder.com/2005). If there's a book you've been thinking about buying from us, but have been waiting for the "right time" … well, now is most certainly the "right time." The page also has a few older gems for sale, but copies are extremely limited. We have many books waiting in the wings, but the company needs an influx of revenue to remain healthy. Please take a moment and visit our Save GoO webpage for more information.

This New Year's Eve message is about looking back and look forward. I don't want to dwell in the doom and gloom, but every bit of support helps. The sky isn't falling … at least not yet.

REVIEW OF GoO IN 2004
Although we have been under tremendous strain over the past year, I think we still did excellent work. Briefly, here is my review of our company's performance in 2004:

Communication: B-
- With all the tools at our disposal -- message boards, mailing lists, website, and a weblog -- we should be able to communicate frequently and efficiently with our gaming community. Unfortunately, many hours of my time must be spent on financial management (budgeting carefully and moving monies from place to place) each week, which has prevented us from keeping in touch.
Effort: A-
- Not everything worked out as planned this past year, but we collectively worked very hard under difficult circumstances.
Follow-through: B
- We worked through a lot of backlog in 2004 (BESM Space Fantasy, Fushigi Yugi and Hellsing fan guides, SAS supplements), but due to many unfortunate circumstances Tekumel and A Game of Thrones RPG have still not yet made it to press. Tekumel is finally approved, though, so we are very, very close; AGOT is also well on its way, with a March 2005 release planned for the Deluxe Limited Edition.
Innovation and Leadership: C
- Unfortunately, "leading" took a backseat to "producing" in 2004. Although we had a few highlights -- Ex Machina and The Authority RPG in particular -- we'll pick up this ball again in 2005.
Quality: A
- We produced simply amazing stuff in 2004. This would have been an A+ if not for the unfortunate error in BESM d20 Revised Edition.
Overall Analysis: B-
- Although I had hoped to rate my company better this year, it was not to be. I think we stumbled in 2004. Not terribly, but it happened. I think we can turn that around in 2005 if plans hold.

THE CRYSTAL BALL OF 2005
The future is always a tricky thing in this industry. You don't want to announce many ideas too early, for fear you can't follow through in time or that someone else will beat you to the punch. At the same time, fans want to know what you have planned and announcing plans early builds hype. This year, I've decided to lay the cards on the table and give you insights into our future:

EARLY 2005
* Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne -- The long-awaited RPG based on M.A.R. Barker's exciting world is approved and ready for press.
* Dreaming Cities: Tri-Stat Urban Fantasy Genre -- As the follow up to the new-wave cyberpunk book, Ex Machina, there are high expectations for this book. With a complete Tri-Stat dX rule set and three world settings, you won't be disappointed.
* BESM Revolutionary Girl Utena (Book 3) -- This book is ready for press, but low pre-orders are holding it back briefly.
* BESM d20 Monstrous Manual -- Adam is laying the book out now, with art soon to follow. It's a balanced point-based breakdown of over 100 fantasy monsters, each of which is given an "anime spin."
* Advanced d20 Magic -- Featuring the alternate DC-based magic spell system that premiered in Slayers d20, this book is ready for layout. Unfortunately, there are many products at the layout stage, and we still have to prioritise everything. Still, it should be out shortly.
* The Shroud -- This first supplement for the Everstone RPG explores the world of Lannith and the swamp-like forest of The Shroud.

SPRING 2005
* A Game of Thrones RPG Deluxe Limited Edition -- A masterpiece two-years in the making, and we are so very close now. With over 450 full-colour pages and an art budget of $30,000, this is destined to be one of most gorgeous RPGs ever published. Throw in excellent writing and game design (for both d20 and Tri-Stat), and the result will be truly stunning indeed. Signed and numbered editions are available for pre-order now.
* BESM Neon Genesis Evangelion Books 1 and 2 -- At last, the fan-favourite anime series will receive the BESM treatment. Your campaign will never be the same again!
* Big Eyes, Small Mouth Anime Card Game -- Our first card game published under the GoO brand, this is an exciting Hearts variant that is easy to learn but difficult to master.
* Ex Machina: d20 Cyberpunk Genre -- A d20 version of our cyberpunk masterpiece, containing core rules and four complete game settings.
* Tekumel: d20 System RPG -- The glory of Tekumel, detailing a customised d20 mechanic and the expansive world setting.
* Dreaming Cities: d20 Urban Fantasy Genre -- Three urban fantasy world settings, wrapped in customised d20 mechanics.

SUMMER 2005
* A Game of Thrones d20 -- Westerosi politics blend perfectly with a gritty d20 mechanic to create the best in d20 role-playing. This standard edition will be a gorgeous full-colour hardcover.
* BESM Third Edition -- We return to our flagship product in 2005 with a new edition, featuring the new roll-high Tri-Stat implementation and a detailed multi-genre campaign setting that spans infinite dimensions. One system to rule them all!
* A Game of Thrones: The Book of Ice and Fire RPG -- This core rulebook for the Tri-Stat System gives you everything you need in one place for the ultimate "A Song of Ice and Fire" campaign.
* BESM Companion: The Player's Guide to the Multiverse -- Everything you wanted to know about the BESM Multiverse is here, along with templates to complement any character.

LATER 2005
I don't want to give away too many details, but a number of products are planned for later in the year. Here is a partial list, edited to remove my secret surprises:
* BESM Player's Options -- A book of rule variants
* Winter is Coming -- A companion book to A Game of Thrones core rulebook(s)
* The Authority Companion -- Covers Millar's run on The Authority comic
* A Clash of Kings -- Expands upon Martin's world, covering the second novel in his series

THANK YOU, AND GOODNIGHT
That wraps up this address of 2004 … a bittersweet reflection of what was, and what could have been. With a strong release schedule planned for next year, I predict that 2005 will be the fourth year in a row in which we see increased sales. It will be a tremendous year for me personally as well, for my wife and I are expecting my second son to arrive in mid-January.

If you enjoy the products we create, and want to see us continue in our mission, please consider purchasing a book or two today from your local retailer or our webstore (http://www.guardiansorder.com/store). Additionally, you would not believe how much good press (reviews, discussion threads, telling your local retailer what you think of our stuff, etc.) helps. We need your support now more than ever.

Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the new year!

Mark C. MacKinnon
President
Guardians Of Order, Inc.
http://www.guardiansorder.com

NOTE: This message may be reposted to other internet sites and distributed freely.

Update 10:00 pm EST: Before going to bed... While this isn't substantiated, it would appear that the powers that be at GoO informed freelancers roughly a month ago (I am sure to figure out plans for making good on debts), however lisencees (it would seem those who were planning on publishing through Guardian's Magnum Opus line) were not notified, some only finding out through the various internet forums.

Update 7:45 pm EST: Apparently the Livejournal entry by Jeff Mackintosh has been marked as viewable only by those logged into LJ. Now I wish that I had put more of the entry onto this blog entry. I will look for cached versions and update, if possible.

Just a few minutes later, now Livejournal is saying that there is no such entry.


Update 8:45 pm EST: Turns out that I should have just looked in my other open window. I hadn't closed the original window that I opened with Jeff's posting. Since this seems to have been taken down. I'm sorry to hear that this has happened, but I do think that the information should be out there. This isn't an indictment of GoO, it is unfortunate that this isn't the best of economies, and when the economy goes bad businesses some times have to close. That isn't what I would want to happen with GoO.

Update 8:53 pm EST: Appatently all of those journalism classes in high school and college are amounting to something. And people say that blogs AREN'T the future of journalism. Jeff mackintosh has posted a retraction on his LJ. If you scroll down you will also find the complete text of his original posting. All of this seems like a case of trying to put the genie back into the bottle.

Needless to say, this is something that will be followed by this blog.


"There seems to be a huge amount of confusion, which is entirely my own damn fault for poorly wording some elements of my previous post. Chalk any confusion to me being in a very dark mood and thus being melodramatic and unclear in my choice of words and phrase. Due to the confusion, I'm removing my previous post to avoid the incorrect message getting out there (which is locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen - the wrong message has already gotten out there...) - my post was a casual post that I thought would be read only by friends who know me better than the complete strangers who have come by and read my journal. I'm surprised at the number of people who came by to read my journal...

"Anyhow, as I said in the post, official word is coming later this week that will explain things in greater detail."

Canada's Guardians of Order (producers of BESM, Silver Age Sentinels, the upcoming A Game of Thrones RPG and many other anime and other licensed RPGs) is now a company of one. How will this effect the company's ability to meet their production schedule? Only time will be able to tell. According to GoO's discussion forums, Guardians of Order owner Mark MacKinnon is quoted as saying "Sorry to rain on the doomsday parade, but to quote a very smart little chicken 'the sky is not falling.'" Whether or not this is true, only time will be able to tell.

RPG.net, that bastion of unbiased reporting has spawned a thread of considerable size.

whisper_jeff: The Big News The original link to the now non-existant posting has been removed (even though it is still in the title)

"Ok, some of you may know this already but with the New Year now into it's third day, I figured it's time to talk about it openly. Official word has not yet been announced but I expect that to happen some time very soon this week.

"I am unemployed.

"As of the end of November, I was laid off from Guardians of Order. For a variety of reasons (that I will probably take the time discuss at some point later in greater detail), the biggest of which was a drastically tanking exchange rate, the company has been forced to downsize to just Mark. For the third year in a row, our sales went up yet the exchange rate has declined so drastically over the last two years, it's amounted to almost a quarter million dollar decline in income. For a company our size, that simply became too much to swallow.

"Rather than continue to attempt to run the company and just wait for the house of cards to come crashing down, we decided that it was best to exit gracefully. That meant downsizing the company (to slash overhead) and making every effort to publish what we currently have in production so that 1) our fans could get the books they've been waiting for and, more importantly, 2) we could generate the revenue so that our debts can be paid off (in other words, if you've ever thought about buying a Guardians of Order product, now is a really good time to do so). We do not want to leave a swath of unpaid debts behind us so we've made and are continuing to make every effort to exit correctly.

"Does that mean you're going to see Tekumel and Game of Thrones and that other product you've been looking forward to? Yup. Absolutely. We (in the sense of Guardians of Order) are still planning on publishing them. And many other products. The company will just publish them with only Mark as staff. The rest of us will not be with the company. With overhead slashed, the profits from the books published will be higher and thus we will be able to pay our debts. We aren't walking away from this all - we're trying to close shop properly.

"Does that mean that you, Mr/Ms freelancer are still going to get paid for the hard work you did for us? Yup. You might get paid a bit late and we ask for your understanding, but we are committed to ensuring all our debts, especially those to freelancers, get paid. That's why we're publishing our final run of products. That's why we've done everything we can to do this right. This entire situation sucks fucking ass, but we're trying to do it in a way that screws as few people as humanly possible (ideally none...).

"Now, more personally, what does this mean for me?

"Will I be able to get another job in the industry? Well, I've already turned down one job in the industry. It was a hard decision. A damn hard decision (a company I like run by people I like working on projects I like...), but the reality is I need to start planning for my future and thus I need to stop selling myself short. I have a market value and I would now like to earn something closer to that value and few companies in the game industry can afford to pay me near that value. Thus, it is highly unlikely that I will remain in the game industry. I don't want to leave. Quite the contrary - I've invested over a decade of my life into this industry and I would love to stay here, but I have a salary expectation now and I can think of only a handful of game companies that could reach that number... Thus, I suspect I'll leave the industry with my next job.

"What do I want to do? I'd love to get into video games. That's my first hope. I doubt I'll be able to - it's a competitive market and, right now, it's an employer's market, not an employee's - there are more highly qualified people looking than jobs available, by far. Thus, I expect it to be difficult for me to get into a video game company but I will be making the effort since that would be an ideal industry for me - I would be able to apply the skills I have in an industry that can pay what I am worth.

"Since that's unlikely, odds are far more likely that I'll join a design studio or some corporate position. Not my first passion but, right now I'm Cuba in Jerry Maguire.

"Am I moving? I was seriously thinking about moving to Toronto but, I've realized, it's stupid for me to move until I know where my next job will be. Moving is never fun so moving twice would be less so. Also, while moving in with a roommate might cut my month-to-month costs, moving isn't cheap - I'll probably break even by staying in Guelph until I find my next job. Thus, until I know where my next job will be, I'm staying put. I hate Guelph but it'd be stupid for me to move out of Guelph just for the sake of moving...

"Will I be ok? Yeah. I am sure I'll be fine in the end and, with any luck, in an even better position. Right now, I'm depressed in a big way. This sort of thing is a major kick in the ego... Intellectually, I know things will be fine and it'll take some time to find my next job but I've got that time available. I know things could be so much worse (tsunami anyone?). Intellectually, I know all of that stuff and it's that intellectual knowledge that allows me to get through the emotional thought process. Which is that I'm a big fucking failure and I suck. Yeah, I know I'm not, but try telling my emotional thought process that - it isn't listening to me even though I'm sure I know better... It's really too bad that the intellectual and emotional minds rarely agree on things... Mind you, maybe it's better, at this point, that they do disagree... Imagine if they both thought I sucked... :)

"Anyhow, there's the big news. If you have questions, ask. The above should cover most of the key details, however. Really, it boils down to this - Guardians of Order was going to fail and we had an option - fail spectacularly and suddenly when the house of cards came crashing down or exit in a way that allowed us to publish everything we wanted to publish and pay off all the debts we needed to pay off. The choice seems pretty obvious, if you have a shred of humanity... It sucks for me, but I can at least look at myself in the mirror knowing that I did what I could to ensure we did things right...

"So, yeah, if I've seemed out of sorts of late, you now know why."

Edited 7:05 pm EST