Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Little Dutch Can… a Setting for Your Game?

LDC-logoI own my own business.  I run a redemption center in north central Iowa.  Iowa has a nickle deposit law on all carbonated and alcoholic beverage containers.  redeem the deposit on beverage containers for the consumer and then in turn sell those cans and bottles back to the vendors.  The consumer pays this deposit when buying the beverage.  After consuming the drink the customer then returns the can or bottle for the deposit back.  I run my business as a convenience for grocery stores to be able to keep the mess out of their stores.

That’s very interesting, Stev, but why are you writing about this and posting it on the network?  I’m glad you asked.  I have a constant stream of people in and out of my establishment.  Folks from all walks of life, all levels of the economic class have visited.  This is the type of setting that allows your characters access to rumors from the highs of society to the lowest levels.

Sure, your party can go to the tavern and get the low-down on what’s happening from the working stiffs but is your party going to get an invitation to “The Social Event of The Season” at the Tavern? Maybe.  However the upper-crust aren’t going to frequent the lower class’ watering hole.  Your PCs have a better chance of rubbing shoulders with all walks of society if you can find a setting used by all strata of society in your world.  They could find work at a business that everyone needs (like Little Dutch Can).

Having your PCs attend the local equivalent of a sporting event is another good idea for unexpected encounters with folks outside their normal class level.

Do you have an idea of a cross-class setting?  I’d like to hear it.

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Little Dutch Can, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , | 4 Comments

Life near an Iowa cornfield: special crappy edition

The first bit is a good news/bad news scenario.  I’ve been so busy at work that I no longer have room inside the building to store inventory.  I run a reverse business where I buy my product from random walk-in traffic.  I then turn around and sell that product to six main customers.

Saturday I had enough stuff come in the door that I didn’t have enough time to sort everything.  Today while I was sorting Saturday’s overrun I had twice that amount come in the door.  My profit margin is so slim that I cannot afford to hire help at the prevailing minimum wage as I would lose money for every hour worked.  I’ve been dealing with a backlog of unsorted product since January when we learned Mrs. VS has cancer.

Today I hastily unloaded the van and can trailer so I could go make my bar run to Eldora.  Winds were out of the south today and really blowing against my trailer.  This is the same trailer that got broke into this winter.  Becasue of the cold temps the repairs to the trailer were designed to be a quick and temporary fix that was supposed to be more permanently repaired once the temps warmed and I could stay outside long enough to fix it right.  Plywood was nailed in place over the holes in the chicken wire.

While driving into Eldora the wind caught the plywood and ripped it clean off the side of my trailer.  Now I would be unable to do my complete bar run as the van didn’t have enough space to hold everything.  One of the grocery stores that I service let me root through their scrap lumber to make a temp fix to my temp fix to least allow me to make the complete bar run today.  While I was fixing the trailer my pants split in the seat from crotch to crack.  Natrual air conditioning at 50 degrees is not the warmest sensation.

Enroute home which took twice the normal time as I was driving slow due to the damaged trailer, Mom and I heard from my baby sister.  My nephew has a blood disorder that could be luekemia.

My day peaked this morning when I inadvertantly started the next RPG Bloggers meme.  How was your day?

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Little Dutch Can | , , | 7 Comments

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield: mid-March

I’ve been focusing a little more on my RPG blogs recently.  Part of that is due to a lack of news about Mrs. VS, part of that is due to sheer amount of volume that has come in to my redemption center.  We’ve also been spending a lot of time at activities for the PITs.

The last two weekends the can company has been shut down.  PIT #1 had a speech tournament and we went to see it.  Her speech was an original composition of someone auditioning for the lead role in Hamlet.  Her take on it was that person kept forgetting the lines.  She started out and the intentionally flubbed a line and mimed pulling a script out of her back pocket to refresh her memory.  She scored very well with this speech just not good enough to go on to state.

Last weekend PIT1 & 2 were part of their High School’s State Academic Decathalon team.  AcDec is a quiz-bowl type of competition.  The quizzes focus on ten different academic disciplines.  Each team consists of 9 members and two alternates; 3 varsity students with a GPA of 3.0 or lower, 3 scholastic students GPA 3.0-3.5, and 3 honors students GPA 3.5 and above.  PIT 1 is on the scholastic team and PIT 2 is on the honors team.  The team took fifth place overall at state and tied for first in Super Quiz.  PIT #1 scored a silver medal in Social Studies.

We found out this week that the Tae Kwon Do Academy is shutting down as soon as PIT #1 gets her black belt.  This leaves my boys and I stuck at yellow.  I either need to find a new academy or quit.  *sigh*

Mrs. VS took her state certification test today.  She is interpreter for the deaf.  She cannot continue in her current job without passing this certification.  We’ll know if she passed in few months.  Mrs. VS also gets her port for chemo installed on Tuesday.  Friday 3-20 she starts the chemo.  Regular updates on her status will begin again.

We’ve had to cancel two puppet shows due to illnesses in the puppet team.  Our next one is scheduled for just before Easter.

The can company has been VERY busy when I’ve been open.  Today we had well over 20,000 cans come through the redemption center.  Still waiting for a new one to open ion the next county over and hopefully my workload will return to a manageable level.

Open Game Night @ the Youth Center has been going very well.  22 folks showed up at the last one.  We had folks playing pool, air hockey, people who brought the favorite board games from home, a new puzzle table and of course the RPG table running the Stargate campaign.  Two new players joined the RPG table.

Currently watching: Stargate SG1 season 10, Get Smart season 2
Currently reading: Necessary Evil rulebook (when I can pry it out of the hands of the PITs)
Movie reviews in the pipeline: Eagle Eye, Stargate (inclusive)
PITs currently playing: Kingdom Hearts

March 15, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Little Dutch Can, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , | Leave a comment

Long Day at Work

January has been both a good month and a bad month at Little Dutch Can.  I’ve been backlogged due to the amount ofLDC-logo time I’ve spent away from work caring for Mrs. VS.  This is not a complaint, just stating a fact.  Today, Mom and started counting and sorting just after 9:00am.  I had gotten to the redemption center just after 8 to get the stove lit.  We counted and sorted and waited on trucks.

I was unable to make my bar run yesterday because my can van wouldn’t start due to cold weather.  I postponed everything to today.  The Coke truck and Dr. Pepper truck usually arrive around 12:00.  I planned on leaving at about 1:00 to make my bar run.  At 1:00 neither of the trucks had been there.  Called the drivers, my Dr. Pepper driver had the day off and a sub was running his route.  Couldn’t get ahold of my Coke driver.

I didn’t have anything prepared for tonights service.  The time was running late.  Pastor called, my co-leader had been co-opted by her youth group into being a chaperone for a school function.  Nothing prepared, short my teenage helpers and down one co-leader.  We decided to change Wednesday evening service into an open house on Friday for the youth center.  One less worry on my day.  However I still needed my trucks to show up so I could leave on the bar run.

1:30, Dr. Pepper shows up.  The substitute driver parks his rig 6in. from my can van and trailer on an icy driveway.  We get him loaded out and he leaves, right into my trailer.  There wasn’t a lot of damage, but the driver left without seeing if there was any damage.  I called the Dr. Pepper office and after playing chase the proper person with DP’s automated answering system, I was told the driver would come back so we could verify what damage occured.  OK I need to wait for the DP driver yet again.

Finally got ahold of Coke.  My Coke driver sprained his ankle early during his run and went home.  No one bothered to call me and tell me. *sigh* I could’vemade the bar run and been back before DP came back.

3:30 I’m done with a large mountain of glass, aluminum, and plastic.  My van is running and I’m waiting on DP.  He finally shows up.  Verify that yes he did indeed hit my trailer as pieces of my trailer are still embedded in his.  Head out 3:45 for the bar run.

6:00 done with the bar run.  Home. 10 hour day in sub freezing temps outside.  Thankful that the stove kept the interior at 45

Tomorrow the temps are supposed to be well above freezing.  Should get through even more backlog.

How was your day?

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Little Dutch Can | , | Leave a comment