Taking a break from obsessively checking the news every five minutes to learn the latest developments in the great national nightmare of my country of residence, I want to mention an interesting little gem.
A Remembrance of Her is a novella from Blackwyrm Games about a man trying to escape from utopia for the love of an android. It’s a teaser/moodsetter for an RPG they’ll be releasing this summer. And it’s free right now at DriveThruRPG.
I’ve just downloaded it, so no review yet, but the zip file comes with the novella in five formats (Sony, Epub, Palm, PDF, and DOC–Kindle users like me can just email the DOC file to their Kindle email address and it’ll autoconvert), and PDFs of cover art, a blog post, and a mysterious "Posthegemony Decision Chart" which I assume will make more sense after reading the story.
You know I’m a fool for utopian stories, so naturally I’m interested.
Also, it’s April 1st. I don’t much feel like playing April Fool this year; instead I’m kicking off something that I hope will be a lifelong habit. Over the past few months, I’ve given roughly $1200 to charity. It started with the floods in Australia, then the earthquake in New Zealand. After that, Junko and I gave the bereavement money for my mother’s death to a local animal-rescue shelter–Mom was a big supporter of animal rescue.
The very next day, the Tohoku Earthquake struck. It took a few hours even to begin to realize how devastating that was, and we are still coming to grips with it here in Japan. I gave some money to the Red Cross…then some more…then some more as we started to see how very bad it was.
With the job I have now, I don’t have much time to devote to volunteering. But I am paid pretty decently, and I now that by cutting back on the Starbucks and such I can easily afford to give every month–to tithe, if you will. There are a lot of good charities, local and international, and from here on out I am going to give every month, whether it’s for a specific disaster or not.
At the same time, I am going to find ways to volunteer. I’m in touch now with the animal-rescue shelter–I’ve offered to start translating their website to make it easier for people who can’t read Japanese to participate. I’m going to do what I can. Hopefully work will ratchet down to a more reasonable level of busy-ness within a couple of years, and I’ll be able to do more.
And my mandatory retirement age at the university is 65, so it won’t be THAT long before I find myself with plenty of free time and little money. By then, my Japanese should be a lot better, and I should have relationships with several volunteer organizations, and I can start working with them a lot more. I don’t want to be sitting around watching TV, that’s for sure. Well, not more than a couple hours a day.