Thursday, December 15, 2005

[HMP] First Review for No Other Gods

No Other Gods has received its first review at from Staff Reviewer Anthony Roberson, who gives it 4 stars!

The review came in super fast at one day after release. The only low-point it finds is the Testament background, which apparently is still too dark, so it's just a matter of lightening it a little more. Beyond that, the review gives great marks to the product as a whole, from Scott's writing (and, by omission, Spike's excellent editing) to the layout and design of the book. I hope that this will help us out in the long run to generate sales, because I want to keep producing Testament material.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

[HMP] No Other Gods - An Adventure for Testament released

Highmoon Media Productions, in association with Green Ronin Publishing, is proud to present No Other Gods.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
-Exodus 20:3

The Lord is displeased with Bethbeer. This village in southern Israel has been experiencing a series of strange occurrences, from inordinately high birthrates to mysterious sightings in the wilderness, for three years. Visitors from afar have taken a keen interest in the isolated roadside town, and shadowy figures conspire with powers alien to the Lord. Will you discover the secret of Bethbeer and help redeem the village from its downward spiral into heresy?

No Other Gods is a challenging adventure set in the world of Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era for heroes of 1st- through 3rd-level. Set in the time of the Judges, it can be easily adapted to any era between the Conquest and Exile, as well as scaled for higher-leveled parties.

No Other Gods is the first adventure in the Terra Mythica line, and the first licensed adventure for Green Ronin's Mythic Vistas setting Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era.

Written by: Scott G. Carter
Pages: 28, Fully Bookmarked

No Other Gods is available now from

Our first adventure for Testament is now finally out for sale, and I am so incredibly psyched about it. This adventure has taken a long time to get done for various reasons, mostly dealing with timing and conflict with other projects, and the incredibly bad luck I had with freelance artist over the past year. Three different artists agreed to do illustrations for the adventure, and each of them cancelled/disappeared from the face of the planet over the past 6-7 months, leaving me, in the end, with no interior illustrations for the adventure, something I regret. Unfortunately, the adventure was fast approaching that dreaded state of Vaporware, and I couldn't wait any longer if I wanted to protect my investment.

I am, however, quite happy with the end product. Scott Carter did an excellent job of writing an introductory adventure that highlights the themes and feel of Testament; Spike Y Jones did a superb job as editor, teaching me along the way all that the position entails (hint: a LOT more than proofreding!); Craig Zipse came through with two great maps; and the graphic design by Deborah Balsam, of Dog Soul Publishing, truly tied it all together and gave the project its very own identity. (My layout is ok, I guess, though I already see a lot of things I can improve on for the next one.)

Special thanks go to Robert J. Schwalb at Green Ronin, who as Manager for the Mythic Vistas licensing program, has been of utmost help in getting this product done, not to mention a great supporter of the whole project. Many thanks also to Chris Pramas, and everyone else at Green Ronin, for the opportunity to play in their sandbox and letting us use their tools as well.

I love Testament, which is why I went ahead with this product, even though it is a niche-within-a-niche release. We have other products in the works, as well; be sure to check out the last page of the adventure for a teaser ad of our next big project for Testament, coming in 2006.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I guess it had been a while since we'd have some @$$hole out himself publicly like this:

Iranian Leader Calls Holocaust a 'Myth' - Yahoo! News

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a "myth" used by Europeans to create a Jewish
state in the heart of the Islamic world.

Ahmadinejad last week questioned whether the Nazi destruction of 6 million European Jews during World War II occurred and said Israel should be moved to Europe. He also provoked an international outcry in October when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

But Wednesday was the first time he publicly denied the Holocaust. Touring southeast Iran, Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insist the Holocaust happened, then they are responsible and should pay the price.

"Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

"If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?" Ahmadinejad asked rhetorically.

"This is our proposal: if you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country," he said, developing a theme he raised in Saudi Arabia last week

I am speechless. I shouldn't be, really. I should know there are pieces of work like this moron out there, but everytime I see or read one of these I am honestly dumbfounded by the capacity for stupidity some people have.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it is really hard to believe in good.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Radical Thought

I normally stay away from topics that concern only Christians because it's really not for me to get involved in such issues. That said, I saw this story when I opened Yahoo! this morning and clicked on it.

Pope: Christmas Polluted by Consumerism - Yahoo! News

I have to say I agree 100% with the Pope on this one, and it's something I believed even back when I still celebrated Christmas.

Here's a radical thought for today:
If you are Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddist, Satanist, or just plain undecided, don't celebrate Christmas. This is a Christian holiday which celebrates the birth of the central figure of the faith, the person Christians believe to be the Messiah and the son of God, in short, a religious holiday for those of the Christian faith. THAT MEANS NO CHANNUKAH BUSH, PEOPLE!

If you are Christian, celebrate the Christmas holiday as it applies to your faith, and don't debase it by polluting it with crass consumerism. Remember that this season celebrates a pivotal moment in your religion, and pass that lesson to your family.

If you are Pagan, and celebrate the Yule season, then by all means do. Just don't pollute it with the consumerism of the season. And see if you can make it to Norway, where the pagan symbols of the season are still very strong.

Whatever you do, just remember that Master Card and Lady Visa have nothing to do with the season.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

But Is It Art?

From, the local NBC affiliate:

Residents Furious Over Bound, Blindfolded Santa
Neighbors Call Police Over Creepy Santa

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- In one South Florida community, a man's holiday decorations are causing holiday fear for local children instead of creating holiday cheer.

Residents called police and complained to the city that a house near West 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Miami Beach had a life-sized, blindfolded Santa Claus doll hanging on a tree with its hands tied. (More)

This is great (be sure to see all the pics they have)! I mean, it has a slightly creepy, "Nobody loved me as a child," deep-seated issue kind of vibe going on, but it is certainly funny, which of course most people fail to see. The guy who put it up said it was an "artistic expression." I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

100 Questions

Found this on GMSkarka's blog, and decided, "Why not!"

h a v e y o u e v e r. . .
01. Tasted blood? Nope.
02. Made out with JUST a friend? No.
03. Been rejected? Yeah.
04. Been in love? Yes
05. Been in lust? Yes
06. Used someone? I want to say No, not consciously anyway.
07. Been used? Yeah.
08. Had a crush on someone of the same sex? Not really, no.
09. Fooled around with someone of the same sex? Does it count if you were very, very young?
10. (There was no question 10.)
11. Done something you regret? Haven't we all?

W h o w a s t h e l a s t p e r s o n t h a t . . .
12. You touched? My wife.
13. You talked to? My wife.
14. You hugged? My wife.
15. You instant messaged? Deborah Balsam of Dog Soul Publishing, who's doing some graphic design for me.
16. You called? My friend Josue in Puerto Rico.
17. You yelled at? My cat.
18. You laughed at? The cat.
19. You had a crush on? My wife, way when we were not a couple and I was going out with someone else. Over the years there have certainly been people who call my attention, but nothing I would call a crush. That has been reserved for my wife for the past decade.

D o Y o u ?
22. Color your hair? Not anymore. Did so for like 2 years back at the start of this decade.
23. (There was no question 23.)
24. Have Piercings? Not anymore, they've closed now.
25. Have a boyfriend/girlfriend/both? No/Yes (Wife, really)/No.
26. Floss daily? No, though my dentist would like me to.
27. (There was no question 27.)
28. Ever get off the damn computer? Yeah, I don't have the staying power I used to.
29. Sprechen sie deutsche? Nein (though I can sing Wolfsheim's Künstliche Welten almost perfectly).
30. Habla español? Sí, perfectamente (Spanish is actually my native language).

G e n e r a l Q u e s t i o n s
40. Considered a life of crime? No.
41. Considered being a hooker? Not seriously.
42. Considered being a pimp? No.
45. Schizophrenic? No.
46. Obsessive? Not really.
47. Obsessive compulsive? No.
48. Panic? Not like me, though I've done it.
49. Anxiety? Only under extreme stress.
50. Depressed? Not for a long time, never truly or deeply.
51. Suicidal? No.
52. Obsessed with Hate? No.
53. Dream of mutilated bodies? Not that I can remember.
54. Dream of doing those things instead of just seeing them? No.

R a n d o m S t u f f . . .
55. If you could be anywhere, where would you be? Back in Paris.
56. What would you be doing? Just enjoying life.
57. (There was no question 57.)
58. What are you listening to? The sound of my wife clicking her mouse.
59. Can you do anything freakish? I can be really dense in the face of something that should be utterly obvious.
60. Chicken or fish? Depends, though I'll go with fish.
61. Do you have a favorite animal? I like owls a lot, though cats would be a more accurate answer.

C u r r e n t l y :
62. Current Clothes: Pajama pants and sleeveless comfy shirt.
63. Current Mood: Tired.
64. Current Taste: None, yearning for something sweet.
65. Current Hair: What my wife refers to as a Roman haircut: short all around and combed to the front.
66. Current Annoyance: The multitude of super tacky, in-your-face, fuck-you-if-you-don't-celebrate-it X-mas decorations taking over the city (and the world, really). I've no problem with nicely done, elegant decorations, though.
67. Current Smell: None in particular.
68. Current thing I ought to be doing: Getting some work done.
69. Current Desktop Picture: This one, though it cycles every 15 minutes.
70. Current Favorite Group: Matisyahu.
71. Current Book: Paris to the Moon, after just having finished A Year in the Merde.
72. Current DVD In Player: Who the hell leaves DVDs in the player?
73. Current Refreshment: None, though I would like a Quik so bad.
74. Current Worry: Creating a worthwile future for me and my family, with Money never being too far behind.

F a v o r i t e s :
76. Food: Could never be just one thing, sorry.
77. Drink: Quik, Orangina.
78. Color: Black, Blue.
79. Shoes/Sandals: Shoes.
80. Candy: Dark chocolate.
81. Animal: Wasn't this asked already?
82. Movie: Too many. Off the top of my head: Braveheart, Amelie, LotR (all 3), The Matchmaker, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, etc.
83. Dance: None.
84. Vegetable: Potatoes.

F u t u r e :
85. What do you want to be when you get older? Fulfilled.
86: Married? Yes.
87: Kids?: None yet, though as many as G-d wants us to have.
88: Living Where? Europe, though it will probably be Miami.

T h i s o r T h a t :
89: Gay or straight?: Straight, though I sometimes confuse people for some reason.
90: Boxers or Briefs: Briefs.
91: Reading or Writing: Both.
92: Basketball or Baseball: None.
93: Walking or Running?: Walking.
94. (There was no question 94.)
95: Left or Right?: Depends if we're talking politics or road directions.
96: TV Shows or Movies?: Movies.
97: Brittany or Christina? Are they still around?
98: Rap or Rock? Rock, though none of the crap coming out now. EMO? What the fuck is EMO!
99: Day or Night? Night.
100. What do people call you? Danny, or (my wife, and only my wife) Monkey (and I am already regretting putting this out there...)


I was going to PayPal payment to my freelance graphic designer, so I decided to make sure my account balance could cover the payment. I went to, checked my account and, lo and behold, my balance is -$500!!! A quick check of the transactions done and pending reveals two charges to a, which a quick Google search reveals to be a Swedish Ticketmaster partner. So it seems some scumbag decided to charge for concerts in Sweden using my credit card. Considering the conversion is about 8 Swedish Kronor for each dollar, this bastard purchased tickets for him/herself and their whole family, friends, and village. Thankfully the folks at Wachovia were able to put a hold on the transactions, restore my original balance, cancel my card and issue me a new one, all in about 20 minutes.

Did I have this card saved on some online store? Yes, two to be precise: PayPal and Guess what I'm not doing from now on.

Monday, December 05, 2005

La Vie Boheme

I went with my wife and sister-in-law to see the RENT movie this past Saturday night. What you need to know upfront is that we are all huge fans of the musical; it is, to use the cliché, one of those things that changed our lives, to each in a particular way. In my case, RENT has always been about the Now, about the power of dreams to shape your life, about not giving in and selling out. The tag line, "No Day But Today," pretty much sums it all up. I've seen the musical only once, and as a traveling show at that, not on Broadway, but the CD has been one of those perennial favorites that we play to death, put aside for a while, and all of a sudden pick up and start playing again.

I've known about RENT for a few years now, which means I have grown with the message of the musical and indeed have it shape who I have become in some ways. At first, in my mid-20's, when I was angst-ridden and non-conformist and still had the luxury of that lofty idealism that rejects anything even remotely smelling of The System, RENT was a war-cry, a banner behind which to rally in our desire to never sell out and go for our dreams, even if we rarely did anything beyond talk about it. As I grew up, and entered my cynical stage in which you cannot see a way out of becoming another cog in The System and you are torn apart by the impending doom that is your future, RENT was a good memory of what I had once believed in, what I had wanted to do with my life, what society had crushed out of me. After I finished university, when I was more or less in control of myself, my actions and my future for the first time in almost a decade, RENT was a reminder of what I once thought possible, and what now could be a reality if only I applied myself. Perhaps now I could truly follow through with Mark's call in the song La Vie Boheme, "being an Us for once, instead of a Them."

The movie was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had some weird issues with timing at the beginning, and I still can't figure out why set it in 1989-90 and not in the mid-90's when it was released (it causes some anachronisms, like referencing Thelma & Louise, which didn't come out till 1992). I agree with my wife that Chris Columbus' directing style was way too soft for this movie, and ended up removing a lot of the grit and grunge that is associated with RENT. These minor complaints aside, the movie did justice to the musical, and having 90% of the original cast was simply amazing (the two new additions, Rosario Dawson and Tracy Thoms, were very good ones and both help their own with the original cast wonderfully), giving the movie a timelessness that will allow it to survive the years to come.

The funny thing is that we live in such a different world than we did in the early- to mid-90's that a lot of the themes of the story seem now symbolic, as opposed to current, as they were back in the day. People don't necessarily die of AIDS as portrayed in the movie anymore, and NYC is a different place than that depicted in the musical/movie. This isn't a bad thing; we still have drug problems in the city, and AIDS is very much still a problem, if not an immediate death sentence as it used to be. You can substitute any current problem for those depicted in the movie, and the themes remain the same, though, which is what signals how good the story truly is (after all, RENT is a remake of Puccini's La Boheme, and that is still a valid work of art).

As for me, seeing the movie brought up those old feelings of rebelliousness back to the forefront. Coupled with my current state of mind after returning from Paris, RENT stirred up something in me, a desire to once again be one of Us instead of a Them. Things aren't as clear-cut as they once were, but then again, neither am I as naive as I was, and the options available to me are far greater now. I do have the tools to follow my own dreams, and in some respects I already have done so (Highmoon Media Productions). Now I just have to achieve that next step, where you find a way to have your dreams sustain you. That next step, for me, is my Travel Store, and that is what I am focusing on from now on.

I don't know that anyone can truly live La Vie Boheme anymore, but it is good to dream about it. Better yet is to make that a reality. It doesn't quite look like the one in the movie, the one in tales--even the artists who went to Paris to live and love and create art worked to do all this--but it can be done, and I intend to find the way to do it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Rejoining Reality... Ugh!

It is a commom symptom once one returns from a trip, and for me it is greatly felt after European travel: I don't want to rejoin reality. The thing I most enjoy about traveling is that utter disconnection from everything that is your regular life: groceries, TV, cooking, bills, emails, work. As I sit at the office wondering exactly how slow can a minute be, I avoid work by checking my emails and catching up on last week's news for my other work, Highmoon Media. Frankly, I almost feel like ditching everything. Almost. I won't, of course, and I'm sure by Monday I'll be back to normal, but then again there is a certain sadness because by Monday I'll be back to normal. All I want to do now is curl up on my couch and finish my journal from the trip before the memories fade even a little. Maybe on Sunday I'll have a chance to do that and thus enact the transition back into regular life.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Photo From Paris

Just a shot from our trip to Paris (that's me and my wife):

Back From Paris, Back To Reality

We all got back from Paris yesterday at around 4:00 pm after a 9 1/2 hour flight. I am exhausted and drained and in the last place on Earth I'd like to be (work), but I am so glad we took this trip. It was an amazing experience, to see Paris as winter knocks on the door, and it makes the aches well worth it.

I have some 450 photos to go through, so I'll be posting some as I go along preparing the web journal for our trip.

As far as Highmoon Media business is concerned, I am back though it won't be until Monday at least that I am fully caught up, just so you know.

I can't believe that it is already December.