Hi there. If you're reading this, it's either because you know me or you spend way too much time hitting "I'm feeling lucky" on Google. Either way, welcome.

Illumination is a perpetual work in progress, so please pardon our dust. The intent of the place is to provide space where I can lay down my thoughts and observations about the world around me and the things I do. That means it could be filled with nearly anything, from silly accounts of my gaming antics to thoughtful political discussion and anything in-between.

Whatever it turns out to be, please have a look around. It's only a few minutes of your day and you might find something worth your time. If you see something you like, leave a comment and let me know.

Dramatis Personae

Not sure who I’m talking about when I drop a name like Johnny Four-Eyes? Look no further than this page for a veritable rogues’ gallery of the strange, unusual folk that I spend my time with, including those dark, alien beings I call friends.


First up are the Gamers. These are the people who make up for my lack of a social life. Whether it’s across the miniature battlefield, around the roleplaying table or deep within the soul-sucking vortex that is WoW (you know what I’m talking about), it’s with this shady bunch that I kill most of my free time.

The Damn, Dirty Apes (the Sunday Night Group):

Mako – The Psychotic Halfling. A film student hell-bent on prolonging the ten-year drift as long as possible, Mako was pushed clear out of the picture for a number of months, but has recently returned to the group, this time in capacity of player. With Crow (see Missing Persons, below) on permanent vacation, often the group’s butt-monkey. Grudgingly accepting of D&D 4e, biggest L5R nerd in the group. Shortest of the bunch.

Johnny Four-Eyes – The Numbers Guy. Counterpart to Knuckles, Johnny Four-Eyes is a high-tension system with a faulty catch, ever ready to spring into explosive, if random, action. Only has two character types: the upstanding do-gooder and the backwoods hick -anything else fails hilariously, though he is trying to branch out into the wizened Old Master, with the success of the experiment still up for some debate.

The Good Example (the Friday Night Group):

Delmont – Mr. Crazy Awesome. Formerly Straylight's boss, became one of the players in my Friday game once the “work” thing was no longer an issue. Crazy Awesome, Crazy Prepared and a couple of other tropes that start with “Crazy,” Delmont is a talented roleplayer who defaults to "sarcastically snarky" but has good range.

Romi – Mrs. Crazy Awesome. Delmont’s wife. By far the saner, and snarkier, of the two. Finds the lessons learned living and gaming with her husband translate quite well to teaching 2nd Graders. Plays tactless far too well; claims it's a result of her upbringing.

Knuckles – The Enforcer. The primary muscle of the group, this former pugilist has mellowed some in recent years, but has a huge number of amusing tales that begin with “So I was bored one day…” Easygoing and generally up for anything, including petty crime, in the name of more stories to tell. Newly inducted into the Friday game.

The Imperial Remnants (everyone else):

Lunchbox - The Swarmlord. A relative newbie who knows just enough to get into trouble. Originally a work-related acquaintance finally given his shot at the table, still boggled slightly by the presence of a group who actually pay attention to the "RP" part of "RPG," but quickly learning the benefits. Still has a lot to learn, but learning it quickly.

MCW - Intensity. A long veteran of the miniature battlefield still coming to grips with the latest flavor of the week, but a savvy competitor nonetheless. Imposing but surprisingly soft-spoken, keenly aware of his status as "singlehandedly keeping the store in profit." A large part of the reason the mini wargaming wall is expanding rapidly.

Padawan - Young Gun. Only in his freshman year of high school and with two national painting competition golds under his belt already, Padawan is poised to someday take over Delmont's regime in what will doubtless be a spectacular coup. The Lad's Got Talent.


The Usual Suspects are a varied lot that experiences heavy overlap with the Gamers. The ones listed here are generally the exception, though they have been known to dip into the first category from time to time. These are the rest of the people that Stray interacts with in the flesh.

Maab - The Crazy Catgirl. Straylight's wife and usual accomplice. The primary source of the wacky antics that abound in their household and instigator of everything that happens when Knuckles isn't around. Typically elicits a "how the...?" reaction when compared to Straylight himself and how their relationship manages to stay afloat.

Sloughter - Not a Typo. A particularly eclectic example of an English Major, largely content with surviving the antics of the rest of the household. Master of well-timed terrible puns and fan in equal parts of wordplay and stage magic. Recently found a job that required exactly the esoteric skill set he possesses.

Bird - Instability Amidst Chaos. Sloughter's wife who unlike Maab and Straylight himself, makes perfect sense when stacked up against her husband. Capable of firing back against Sloughter's pun broadsides but still tangling with the finer details of Straylight-wrangling. Most dependable of the lot.

Cow - Wingman. A high-energy closed system packed into eighty pounds of spunky Chinese tomboy, Cow was Straylight's best friend through high school and his abortive first attempt at college. Both agreed that they get along too well to ever be romantically involved with one another, and exhibit an easy familiarity that makes other people jealous. One of the few people on Stray's "kill or die for" list.

(more coming soon)

The people Of the Wired are a strange category of proof that "community" is no longer who lives in your neighborhood. These are virtual friends I've made in my wanderings in the wild and untamed jungles of the internet.

Kagura - Cute Little [trademark deleted, © Wizards of the Coast, Inc. 1977-2011] MIA for several months through a contrived set of circumstances no fault of her own. Desperately clawing her away out of the frying pan and toward the fire. Another entrant on the "kill or die for" list with the additional note of "arson and defenestration preferred, simultaneous application appreciated." Straylight's favorite target for mental BSOD attempts.

(more coming soon)


Missing Persons include those who are AFK, AWOL or just plain gone. Not necessarily former or ex-friends, but rather people with whom I have no regular contact, by hook or by crook. In their original formats they run the gamut of other categories, but are filed here while out of contact. This list may change over time as members of other groups drop out of contact or those currently listed re-establish it.

Crow - Dramatic Personae. Formerly of The Gamers, pulled an impressive vanishing act some months ago when he spur-of-the-moment moved to the east coast to be with the lastest in a long line of "one true love" situations. Left a particularly beloved campaign hanging in midair in the process. Formerly the butt-monkey of the group though no fault of his own. Hardcore "thespian" roleplayer.

Crispy - Kilt-Wearing Space Puppy. Straylight's Sith Apprentice until the US Navy decided they wanted him running a nuclear reactor that could power California for a decade. The two have drifted apart somewhat in the interim time, but are still planning to invite each other to their weddings.

Aiwen - Ancient History. Straylight's ex whom he isn't entirely sure if he's on good terms with or not. He halfheartedly attempts to track her down every now and then when he's bored and with nothing better do to, but by and large their involvement in each other's lives is over. Responsible for many of Stray's beliefs about relationships and taking sides.

Dani - [no data available]

Stagecreation – Blinking Outline. Though not actually MIA, has suddenly and effectively decided to remove himself from the circumstances of the Friday Night game. Thanks to this, Knuckles has been inducted in his place.

Griff – The Griffin. “Beware the griffin.” The Friday night group’s rules lawyer and general rabble-rouser. May be the secret identity of a chemical-themed superhero. Has a Coat of Useful Items. Currently inactive on the roster of actual players, pending a disagreement with Straylight and Maab over the bounds of acceptable behaviour.

(more coming soon)