Perfect birthdays reminders!

So I wanted to do a general blog post today about something which I have come to like. Most of you have probably used this feature in one way or another – what am I talking about? well the birthday feature on Facebook of course!

(Original Image from

(Original Image from

I’ve been on Facebook for quite a well now and although I do not interact with it as much as I could or maybe should, I do always check in most days to see the forthcoming birthdays. This is one feature which I think is brilliant as it surpasses even my own calendar and capturing routine to remember and wish happy birthday to people. Why do I like it? Will essentially there are three main points…

  • Reminders – Checking in to or actually just reading the sent emails by Facebook, allows me to see what birthdays are coming up or which of my friends has a birthday on that day. Many of you might have a calendar of diary to remind you of these or even a really good memory – but I sadly fail in all these areas. My calendar is essentially a work calendar which I try not to have people’s birthdays on – although I do keep my haircut appointments and gym visits on it. Facebook reminds me either in advance or even on the actual day which means that, even if I don’t have time to buy a card, I do have the opportunity to send birthday wishes!
  • Sending those wishes – I’m not a great lover of cards, either birthday or Christmas. They cost a great deal and they are generally around for a few days and then recycled. There is also the issue that you have to get them to the person, either by visiting or posting them. There have been times that I have been organised enough to buy a card for a upcoming birthday but then it has remained in my bedroom, awaiting to be sent. Of course in the end I miss the day :(. I’m also not very good at buying a suitable card. I tend to buy something that I will like rather than what they would like – actually it is the same with presents as well! Facebook takes all that hassle away. A little box pops up and you type in “Happy Birthday <>” and job is done! No cost or hassles. But the thought is there.
  • The Aftermath – I’ve already mentioned that I am not very good at buying presents. Well the same is actually true about receiving gifts. I’m to the stage of my life when I have want I need and if I need anything more I can save up and go and buy it. Surprises presents are my worst nightmare! People often think I am ungrateful. This is not because I am, it is more that I find it very difficult to get excited about things. After I receive a gift I consider the best thing to say is thank you and move on. I’m not very good about saying how much I love it etc. etc. After the birthday wishes have been given on Facebook, there is what I call a simple aftermath to do – go through and like the wishes/comments and then but a general thank you comment on your news feed. Before you start to say what a heartless B*****D I am saying it is too easy and straight forward, the comments are heart felt and I do mean it.
  • Reading this back I probably come across as a heartless person, but seriously that’s not what I am saying. I am just saying things are made easier. Some of you might be saying it is traditional to buy cards and meet up on birthdays, and that is probably true, but as the world changes (or the better or worse) the way technology impacts on these established traditions changes them. If you prefer the card and visit approach then go for it. For me, Facebook does just fine.

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    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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