Notes

New Book and OTR Categories, a Health Update, and More

TGGNotePadI just thought I’d float out some of the latest notes for your perusal:

I’m going to launch a “Books” category very shortly which will feature not only news of upcoming titles you might be interested in reading but also a review from time to time. Since I happen to be what I would consider a voracious reader (although I might want to better categorize that as listener these days since I never seem to have enough time as I’d like to kick it with a book but almost always have an audiobook playing on the computer or mp3 player) and would love to turn people on to things which may fly under their radar.

This isn’t to say I’ll be writing about the latest John Grisham, Dan Brown, or YA stuff though. Hey! I’m not knocking any of that, although I have to say from my experience Brown’s characters are paper thin, but I don’t see how it would be relevant to the site so no angry emails please. Granted YA might fit the bill a bit if it’s SF, horror, or fantasy but seeing I’m way too removed from that demographic it’s just not a genre I’m into. As far as relevancy, you may be surprised at some of the titles I tackle as they may not strike you as fitting the mold but I’ll explain why I think they deserve some discussion.

Those who are into roleplaying games should be especially interested, as well as anyone who’s a fan of the art the writing in general. An art, that is, I surely can’t lay claim to any personal mastery…

I’ll also be floating out some interview requests to some authors I happen to be really keen on and hopefully a few might decide they’d like to take part. Honestly, you never know if you don’t ask…

***

I’m going to make a bet visitors have no idea I used to run a website devoted to old time radio programs. It’s true! I have somewhere in the vicinity of 17k shows in my collection and used to host a two hour weekly podcast featuring some of my favorites. One of the nice things about doing that was I only had to be in front of the mic for ten of fifteen minutes of each show and could have the editing done in all of thirty minutes or so; a far cry from the three to four hours of recording followed by up to a dozen hours of editing to piece together some semblance of a broadcast for TGG…

I pulled the plug on the OTR site when I received an email from a website which sold cds, dvds, and hard drives loaded with shows pointing out the owner held copyright on all of shows. Of course I knew this to be a steaming pile of BS but didn’t want to have to be continually harassed by the guy so I brought the site to a close. Interestingly enough about a month later The Gaming Gang launched so it worked out well in the end.

Yet I still love to share great radio programs with people so, starting tomorrow, I’m going to embed a couple programs every Friday. The focus here will be on chills and thrills so don’t expect to hear some of my favorites like Jack Benny or The Great Gildersleeves – that whole relevancy thing again – but science fiction, horror, and a good dose of suspense.

Who knows maybe the programs will provide some folks with a touch of inspiration, not only in their gaming but other creative endeavors as well.

***

For those of you who may be wondering how I’m doing health wise, I thought I’d let you know my recent tests came back a week and a half ago and my oncologist classified them as “fabulous.” Over the phone I asked if he used his jazz hands as he said that to which he replied, “You’re a pretty funny character Mr. McAleer.” As if cancer was going to put the kibosh on me being a smartass? Truthfully, there wasn’t much doubt this was going to be something to be beaten since it was caught so early and hadn’t metastasized.

That said it still hasn’t been an easy road since I ended up feeling lousy nearly all of the time because of the meds, find myself way over my head in debt and lost my job because I didn’t have the necessary paid time off in order to have tests done and undergo the cryotherapy; good riddance to that gig in the great scheme anyway but the job market here in the Phoenix area is dreadfully weak, to say the least, and since I’m constantly told I’m overqualified at nearly every interview (why have me come in for an interview is my question) I’m still unemployed. I’m bouncing around moving back to the Chicago area at the end of September since my lease is up and the prospects for finding a fairly decent job here in AZ are looking slim.

***

Piggybacking on the money woes, I was pretty bummed I didn’t make it to Gen Con this year. Obviously Greg and I had our press credentials and I was doing everything within my power to make it to Indy. It just boiled down to finances and there was no way I could pull it off. I know not getting to the show really hurts TGG and I was really looking forward to seeing a lot of people in the industry I like a lot. Sorry to say in the end it was impossible to make it. Things are tough all over for a lot of folks so I’m not going to whine about the ducats since I’m sure plenty of readers are in more dire straights than I.

***

You’ll start to see a bit more of my personality creeping into the website overall. Not to say my fingerprints aren’t all over the place to begin with but seeing a good 98% of the output you run across is written or recorded by myself you might find a touch more conversational tone creep in. For the most part the vast majority of contributors have fallen by the wayside – the people who wanted to review comics were especially duds as I saw content provided for less than 5% of what they got their hands on and most of that came from Dion Long – so TGG is mainly down to Chris, Greg, Tony, and myself.

No offense to anyone reading this but I won’t be looking at bringing anyone else in (outside of a guest contributor here and there) for the foreseeable future since most people who have been gung ho to join the gang seem to only be interested in getting free stuff but as soon as some work is involved (say reviewing that same said free stuff) all I get is the sound of crickets.

Live and learn I say…

***

Finally I’ll mention this weekend will mark the third anniversary of TGG’s launch and our numbers have never been better! We’re currently pulling in an average of 4k-6k unique visitors a day. If someone had told me I’d see over 100k people stopping by on a monthly basis when I got this thing off the ground back in 2010 I’d have thought they were nuts!

So a big thanks to all of you for continuing to support TGG and here’s hoping we continue to provide enough items of interest to keep you coming back for more!

Jeff

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Jeff McAleer

Founder, editor-in-chief, and host of The Daily Dope and other TGG media. Jeff tackles any and all topics but his main gaming focus is war and strategy, RPGs, and miniatures. He's also a fan of independent and small press comics. Plus, Jeff is certainly never at a loss for an opinion...

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