Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dealing with death...

We are currently dealing with what appears to be the impending death of a family member. As of right now, the extended family is having serious discussions about DNRs and maintaining life through machines.

I feel more prepared for these discussions than most, because these are topics that I have seriously considered for myself, but most people have a strong aversion to considering end of life scenarios. They seem to have this almost superstitious idea that discussing it can make it happen. Regardless, it isn't my place to contribute anything to these current discussions more than as a sounding board for those who will be making a difficult set of decisions.

My wife is dealing with the imminent loss of a family member she feels very close to, in a way that is fairly unexpected and that she does not feel prepared to handle.

I'm dealing with feelings of being both a participant and an outsider looking in. I am just trying to fill the roll of a caring and understanding husband for a wife that is about to be going through a grieving period. This is not a role I've had to take on before.

The family as a whole is having to deal with the loss of a caregiver for her husband. It is raising questions about finding a proper home for a loving and intelligent, but also ill and dependent, member of the family.

The decisions that the family must make over the next few days will be difficult, and can potentially cause hard feelings if strong disagreements arise. I will be supportive of whatever decisions are made, regardless of whether they would have been the same decisions I'd have made in the same situation. My role is to be supportive and as helpful as possible, and to be there for my wife during this time of loss and sadness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I don't smoke, but if I did...

This is how I would quit. I found out about this via, Skeptically Speaking, one of the various podcasts I peruse.

Turns out MC Frontalot from Nerdcore, a band whose name pretty much says it all, decided to quit smoking the best way invoking D&D. From his blog post:

1. Name your character. Mine's Breathorr Inflatagon, a level 2 Lung Elf. You don't have to roll up stats. If you're a real stickler for form, go get your lungs x-rayed. The x-ray film is your character sheet.

2. Keep a d20 in your pack of cigarettes. If it doesn't fit, keep die, lighter, and pack together in some kind of totable container. May I suggest a pouch?

3. Whenever you feel like smoking, that means the GM (you) is trying to poison your character (also you). Time for a saving throw! I decided the DC (Difficulty Class) for my save vs Poison is 15. Roll the d20. 15 and up: I am saved from that cigarette I wanted! Hooray? 14 and under: oh darn, I get to enjoy another satisfying and flavorful cancer treat.

4. If you make the save, you really can't have a cigarette. Rolls have to be at least an hour apart. If you haven't rolled for two hours, that does not mean you get to roll twice. Be strict, or the GM Regulatory Cabal will revoke your authority. (I assume? I haven't GM'd since like 1988.)

5. Every day of the campaign, your Wisdom increases slightly. You're using Will to save against Poison, so increased Wis modifies in your favor (well, in your character's favor — your GM prefers that the poison attacks land). I'm using a mod of +1 for each day, so on day two rolls of 14 and up are successful saves, on day three it's 13 and up, etc. Fifteen days into the campaign, I will only be allowed to smoke when I roll a natural 1.

6. Rolling a natural 1, of course, is a critical fail. Thus, no matter how wise I get, I will always be able to sneak a cigarette if I can roll a 1. But after fifteen days I'm going to limit myself to one poisoning attempt per day, instead of one per waking hour. The game logic behind this is: fuck you, I do what I want.

Turns out, that he failed in his first attempt at this, and later amended his rules to include a "potion", also known as a piece of nicotine gum, every time he successfully avoided being poisoned. Seems to me like this little addition would be a vast improvement over the original.

The whole thing is pure genius, if you ask me.