100 Weird & Wacky Books to Find

One of the last adventures that I ran for my Precious Dark playtest group involved exploring a post-apocalypstic library and Wal-Mart. I thought it might be fun to make a d100 list of random wacky books that they were able to find in the library.

All of these are real books that I found doing some searching around the internet. The titles are amusing enough that most of the players wanted to roll on the table more than once, and they're still trying to figure out what they'll trade their books for (if they do end up trading them).
  1. The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes
  2. Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice for All Creation
  3. 1967 Tupperware Catalog
  4. Do-It-Yourself Coffins
  5. Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals
  6. Interior Design Book from 1973
  7. Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop: And Other Practical Advice In Our Campaign Against The Fairy Kingdom
  8. The Lost Art of Towel Origami
  9. Yoga for Dogs
  10. A PostSecret Book from 2010
  11. 1969 Betty Crocker Cookbook
  12. Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual
  13. 1972 Guide to Embalming
  14. A Collection of LOLCats
  15. 101 Uses for an Old Farm Tractor
  16. So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish
  17. Jurassic Towel Origami
  18. Simple Pleasures: Little Quilts From the Netherlands
  19. Underwater Acoustics Handbook
  20. AD&D 2nd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide
  21. The Art of Painting Animals on Rocks
  22. The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy: Open Your Mind to Greater Creative Thinking
  23. Design for Impact: 50 Years of Airline Safety Cards
  24. Lotus Notes for Windows 3.1
  25. Innards and Other Variety Meats
  26. The Beginner's Guide to Sex in the Afterlife
  27. The Mime Alphabet Book
  28. The Book of Waistcoats
  29. A soggy copy of Twilight - it's soggy with something's urine. 
  30. The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure
  31. Assorted Poetry of Nihilistic Hockey Players
  32. Build Your Own Hindenburg
  33. The Mullet: Hairstyle of the Gods
  34. Suture Self
  35. Crafting With Cat Hair
  36. Fahrenheit 451
  37. Hayne's Auto Repair Manual for a 1994-1995 Honda Accord
  38. 1986 Tax Codes for Small Businesses
  39. 1973 Guide to Japanese Gardens
  40. Knitted Historical Figures
  41. Ghosts: Minnesota's Unnatural Resource
  42. So Your Wife Came Home Speaking in Tongues! So Did Mine!
  43. Monk Habits for Everyday People
  44. Elvis After Life
  45. Superfluous Hair and Its Removal
  46. How to Avoid Huge Ships, Fourth Edition
  47. The remains of a local church directory from the 80s. 
  48. Walking on the Wind: Cherokee Teachings for Harmony and Balance
  49. The New Radiation Recipe Book
  50. The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas
  51. Dating for Under a Dollar, 1999
  52. First half of Gone With the Wind
  53. Half of a 1989 Penthouse Magazine
  54. A Lemony Snicket Book
  55. Does God Ever Speak Through Cats?
  56. International Book of Beer Can Collecting
  57. Second half of Gone With the Wind
  58. The Who's Who of British Beheadings
  59. How to Understand Women Through Their Cats
  60. Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich
  61. How to Avoid Work
  62. Across Europe by Kangaroo
  63. Windows 95 for Dummies
  64. A Family Bible - currently home to a family of mice. 
  65. War and Peace
  66. Postmortem Collectibles
  67. Ninja Mind Control
  68. Second-Hand Parrots: A Complete Owner's Guide
  69. Game Cookbook 1987
  70. A Tale of Two Cities
  71. Teach Your Wife to be a Widow
  72. Lizard Social Behavior
  73. Exercises for Gentlemen: 50 Exercises To Do With Your Suit On
  74. Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book 1969
  75. How to Speak Cat
  76. Fantasy: The Incredible Cabbage Patch Phenomenon
  77. Was Karl Marks a Satanist? 
  78. Making Wooden Toys
  79. Once Upon a Thyme - 1982 Women's Club of Evanston, Illinois
  80. Travel Guide to Belize
  81. A Harry Potter Book - D8 to see which. 
  82. What's Wrong With my Snake? 
  83. Chilton's Auto Repair Manual 1954 - 1963
  84. Chilton's Auto Repair Manual 1986
  85. Stick Making: A Complete Course
  86. Cambodia 1975 - 1982
  87. Krampus: The Devil of Christmas
  88. The Zombie Survival Guide, 2013
  89. Catcher in the Rye
  90. The Toothpick: Technology and Culture
  91. The New McCall's Cook Book - 1971
  92. Make Your Own Sex Toys
  93. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  94. 1984
  95. You Can Do Anything With Crepes
  96. The Amityville Horror
  97. Dead Clients Don't Pay: The Bodyguard's Manual
  98. An anthology of short stories about IRS agents who have affairs with alien invaders. 
  99. Land Snails and Slugs of Russia and Adjacent Countries
  100. Gangsta Rap Coloring Book

How I Manage the ConTessa Page Without Going Crazy

Creating ConTessa has been an interesting lesson in self-promotion, marketing, communicating ideas, and generating "buzz". As a general rule, I dislike doing those sorts of things. I'm of the old 'just keep creating stuff and people will show up' mentality, which isn't so helpful when you're trying to get the word out about an event under a tight timeline.

So, we tried close to everything to get the word out. Some worked, some didn't, but at this point the first burst need for attention is over and we can go back to the 'just keep creating stuff and people will show up' mentality. That's partially because we've gotten some word out, and partially because we just don't have the time. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to sustain any sort of marketing presence, and that takes its toll on a volunteer workforce pretty quickly.

There are a few things that have stuck, but I want to talk about just one of them for today's post. If you follow the +ConTessa page, follow @ConTessaOnline on Twitter, or the ConTessa Page on Facebook, you'll have seen a steady stream of what I like to call "gamespiration".

These are awesome images that fit with the theme of the convention and tabletop gaming all together. We also have a board on Pinterest that +Sarah Richardson largely maintains. Sarah pins cool stuff there as she finds it, and I often go through it and Buffer most - if not all - of them, and also add my own.

Buffer you say?

Buffer allows you to set up a schedule, then load up your buffer with posts to be made to various social media over the course of that schedule. They have interfaces into Twitter, Facebook profiles, pages, and groups, LinkedIn profiles, groups, and pages, app.net, and Google+ pages. Unfortunately, you can't connect it to your Google+ profile (just pages), but I'm sure that will be added if it's available. 

Further, with the Buffer Chrome Extension, you can turn any image on any web page into an image post, among many other additions. Buffer is also available in about a bazillion feed readers, social media apps, and other goodies. Once you start Buffering, you can Buffer nearly anywhere... 

During the lead-up to convention and other ConTessa-related events, we'll buffer images well ahead of time and schedule them for release at specific times. I used this method over the last convention to automate a daily countdown to the start of the convention. 

Before Buffer, most of our social media interaction came at the beginning or end of the day in clumps as we prepared to start or finished our various day jobs. While this worked for the most part, if we all got busy at the same time or - heaven forbid - left town, our social media presence was like a ghost town, only to jump back to life as soon as one of us became free. 

Using gamespiration as part of the marketing methodology for ConTessa was born from my own desire to see pretty things in my feed. I follow a number of pages, like +Steampunk Tendencies, and +deviantART simply for the eye candy that they frequently post. I thought perhaps we could do the same thing, showcasing artists that give us fantastic images of the fantastical ... which really means that it's a big place for me to share all of the things that I find that I really REALLY like. 

With Buffer, doing all of that is literally a right-click away by using the Chrome extension. 

Doing so pops up a modal filled with information about the content. Since DeviantArt makes the title of their pages the name of the work with a byline, all that I need is right in the modal. 

When I first started doing this, I did a lot of targeted searches on DeviantArt. Browsing awesome artwork is a de-stressing activity for me, so it was fun. At one point, I had about a month's worth of buffered artwork on all of the social media networks. 

When I ran out of time to really do that, I changed it up so that buffering for the social media sites became a seamless part of my daily routine... which is to get up in the morning and (generally speaking) check out my RSS feeds on Feedly, browse a little of Google+, and drop by Pinterest for a quick look at what's new. 

I did this mostly by performing searches on DeviantArt or going to a particular category (like Digital Artwork -> Landscapes), then adding that to my Feedly feeds. 

I've also got feeds to a few other art sites so that everything doesn't come from DeviantArt, but DeviantArt updates so frequently that  most of my feed is filled with DA stuff. Not that I'm complaining... 

Now, I'm sharing this for selfish reasons. I'd love to see more awesome things to look at in my feed, so I wanted to share a way to do it that doesn't eat up all of your free time. Buffer has a few plans available. I picked up the Awesome plan just for the convenience of being able to buffer at least 100 posts so I could leave it unattended for up to a month or so without the ghost town thing happening again. 

The free plan is probably enough for a lot of people, though, so don't let the subscription plan scare you away. Also... I'm always looking for ideas on image sites to add to my list, so please recommend any you might like! 

The Tao of Leverage

Unemployment brings with it a lot of undue stress. For me, that comes in the form of my brain replaying every recent interview in my head over and over.

Thank goodness Netflix exists and is still affordable. Watching TV, especially a show that I'm totally engaged with, shuts off those voices and allows me to get some rest.

But, we can be picky TV watchers. Too much of what's out there is bland and made for the masses. Or, it starts out really good, then gets tiring, usually due to too many bad things happening to the main characters and not enough good things.

Lately, I've scored gold with two choices: Bob's Burgers, the quirky and hilarious comedy on Fox, and Leverage, the canceled-too-soon-even-though-it-had-five-seasons TNT series about a group of thieves who perform heists against bad, bad people.

We marathon watched it over the course of a week or two of heavy interview schedules and complete exhaustion on my part. Leverage turned out to be the perfect show. I love heist movies like Ocean's Eleven, and I especially love a show that sticks it to the man and wins every time.

Without spoiling the show, even the ending was perfect. Since we ended the season, I've been thinking about how Leverage gives out some of the best life lessons... so here is my list...

All You Need to Know About Life: Leverage Style

Rule Number One: Never, Ever, EVER give up. No matter how bad shit gets, the Leverage team never ever gives up on the con, the person they're helping, or each other.

Rule Number 2: Your first plan will almost always fail, so have an alphabet full of alternate plans up your sleeve to accommodate.

Rule Number 3: ...and don't be afraid to improvise when necessary. When the alternate plans don't quite get the job done, winging it isn't really a bad option...

Rule Number 4: Never be sorry for loving the things that you love. Never. Ever.

Rule Number 5: Do things you love even if you're bad at them. What's important is that you love those things, not how good you are at them.

Rule Number 6: Know what you're good at and own that. Confidence comes from knowing without a doubt that you have the skills to accomplish what you're setting out to do. Even if something goes wrong. even if the end result isn't always perfect. Own what you're good at, and don't be afraid to fly that flag.

Rule Number 7: Also know what you're not very good at doing. The best way to get better at doing that thing is to ask for (and receive) the help of others who are good at that thing.

"I wouldn't worry about it."

Rule Number 8: Money doesn't solve everything. Most of Leverage's clients actually don't ask for their money to be returned. They're looking for everything from revenge to redemption, but seldom - if ever - actual cash.

Rule Number 9: There's a time for finesse and being kind and politic, and there's a time for beating the crap out of someone. Especially if that someone is hurting a friend.

Rule Number 10: Teams are stronger than individuals. No matter what sort of team is in your life... family, friends, actual teams... always have their backs. Always. It doesn't matter what other people do, it only matters what you do.

Rule Number 11: Families aren't the people who birthed you, they're the people who love you.

61 Banners For Your Hangout Events

Don't settle for boring generic event banners when you're setting up events for all of the awesome tabletop games you run via Google+ Hangouts. I've put together this collection of 61 1200x300px event banners just for you to use! The banners are all CC licensed, but I do ask for attribution, so please don't forget to include it when you use them.

To use a banner, right-click, save it to your computer, then add it to your event during creation. Voila!

Creative Commons License
Gaming Themed Event Banners by Stacy Dellorfano are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.