Allow myself to introduce…myself
Timeline: (as of 2 December, 2016)
- (5 Oct) Born Daniel Ray Lunsford, in Houston, TX; first of 3 children born to Ray and Debbie. What a happy, happy day…
- Artistic talent discovered around this time.
- (Est.) Officially converted to Christianity.
- Started kindergarten at Sooner Rose Elementary School.
- (Est.) Gave drawing lessons to classmates.
- Family started attending Union Grove, a “non-denominational” church (later relocated, and renamed Life Christian Center).
- (Fall) Enrolled in Life Christian School, the private school operated by/at Union Grove. (Now Life Christian Academy.)
- (Est.) Baptized at Union Grove.
- (Est.) Joined Cub Scouts.
- (Est.) Played saxophone in school band, consistently earning 1st/2nd chair position (out of a whopping 3-4) over the next few years.
- (Est.) Family purchased first “real” computer, an IBM PCjr. First game: Microsoft Flight Simulator.
- (Est.) First attempt at computer game design (a top-down arcade shooter).
- (Est.) Joined the Boy Scouts after completing Cub Scouts program, achieving Tenderfoot rank before troop was disbanded due to lack of participation and funds. Never earned the Artist merit badge, oddly enough.
- (Est.) Introduced to AD&D, but never actually played.
Steve Jackson Games’ Car Wars Deluxe. Over the years to follow, began to occasionally send artwork to SJG. Although none were published, was encouraged to continue.
- (Est.) Began working toward acceptance into US Air Force Academy.
- (17 May) Work (this one) displayed at dinosaur art contest, put on by Stovall Museum of Science and History at OU (100, out of 8096 entries exhibited).
- (Late) Participated in an art contest for local schools, hosted by (then) Central State University; work (this one) received
“Honorable Mention” (bastards!); first encounter with “goths” (referred to me as
“vamps” at the time).
- (Est.) Work chosen for exhibit at space art contest at Kirpatrick Air Museum.
- Participated in Sooner State Games fencing competition, placing 7th (of 8, sadly).
- (Est.) After being turned down by AFROTC (who required a 3.9 GPA), dropped the Air Force as a career goal. Set sights on the Army flight program (due to lack of 20/20 vision requirement).
- Acted in high school play, Roomers.
- Studied the martial arts (a mutt-style, related to Kempo or Karate, as I recall) under Pat Hutton.
- Signed up for Army Delayed Entry Program as infantry, with the intent of later becoming a helicopter pilot.
- (May) Graduated Life Christian School, final GPA 3.25.
- (Jul) Quit job at hospital cafeteria to relax before basic training.
- (Aug) Granted the rank of Green Belt by Hutton before leaving for the Army.
- (28 Aug) Attended Army basic training at Ft. Benning, GA.
- (7 Dec) Graduated basic training with the MOS of 11M (Mechanized Infantry)
- Purchased first computer, an IBM PS2 (11MHz)
- (Jan) Stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, with 3rd ID, A 1/15 Inf.
- Started reading comics after being introduced to the X-Men by a roommate (Xtinction Agenda series).
- (14 Feb) Third Platoon (mine) arrived in Saudi Arabia at King Fahd Airport for Desert Storm. Later moved to King Khalid Military Center (KKMC).
- (Est. Mar) Moved from KKMC to somewhere within a mile of the Kuwaiti border and attached to a supply regiment, because there was nowhere else for us to go. The unit was eventually relocated to the outskirts of Kuwait City. Played hackey-sack a lot, but refused to learn to play Spades.
- (Est. Apr) The platoon was attached to 3rd AD, B 4/18 Inf near Basrah(?), Iraq; spent some time running checkpoints and the like, and was later sent to the rear on an R&R rotation. Was successfully treated for a moderate case of head-lice, contracted from a stray cat (that’s what I get for being nice!).
- (mid-May) Left SWA, after much unnecessary
“suffering”, and returned to Kitzingen, having earned the Combat Infantry Badge and an Army Commendation Medal for sitting on my butt for three months.
- (Jun?) Kitzingen post deactivated, reassigned to Aschaffenburg, Germany, with 3rd ID, B 1/7 Inf.
- Asked random soldier who I should talk to about gaming and comics, and was promptly introduced to Philip Norfleet.
- Began drawing comics and comic-related material, joining Phil and Leamon Bailey’s comic-book series project.
- Officially started playing RPGs. Purchased GURPS:Basic Set and GURPS:Space.
- (Est.) Started collecting comics, starting with the four major X-Men titles.
- Attended US Army Sniper School.
- (Jul?) Aschaffenburg post deactivated, reassigned to Ft. Stewart, GA, with 24th ID, A 3/7 Inf.
- While on leave, introduced to Rush Limbaugh by father, who watched Rush on TV regularly; considered my
- (Thanksgiving Weekend) Purchased first vehicle, a black ’91 Grand Am, later dubbed Zombie (if you saw it, you’d understand the name).
- (7 Dec) Honorably discharged from the Army after 3yrs, 3mo. (7mo. before enlistment was finished, after facing-up to the ultimate infeasibility of becoming a helicopter pilot). Moved in with Leamon at Island Grove, FL.
- Due to lack of funds, stopped collecting comics.
- (mid-Feb) Due to lack of available work in Florida, begrudgingly returned to OKC and moved in with parents.
- (Oct) After many months of fruitless job searching, finally hired on with Grandmother Calendar Company as a scanner operator. Met Ezmigahan
“Ez” Monger and Mike Kuhlmann, who made up my first non-Army gaming group; first time as GM (GURPS, of course). Also started work on short-lived computer game design project with Ez (a first-person shooter type).
- (Dec) Grandmother Calendar Company went under, suddenly and unexpectedly; let go with nary a word, while still owed a month’s pay.
- (Est.) Studied American Kenpo Bujutsu (another mutt-style), under Ron Bradbury, for a year or so, along with a few of Hutton’s old students.
- (19 Apr) Was awakened at 0900-ish by what I would later come to believe to be the dull thud of the Murrah Building bomb.
- (30 May) Hired at Hebco as a technical illustrator. Ez and Kuhlmann slowly fade out of the picture after this point.
- Started working with local group, led by a Kinko’s employee, on a short-lived comics project. Met Mike Esque, part of the comics project at the time.
- (Oct) Attended comic convention, DefCon1, in Tulsa, impressed a few comics big-wigs with my artwork; invited by (then)
Batman chief-editor to “send more.”
- (Late-Nov) Phil hired at Hebco and moved to OKC, also living with my parents, after ETSing in Jun
’94 and finding little work in Florida.
- (Est.) Became disillusioned with comics around this time, due to the spread of the
“Image-effect”, and gave up becoming a comic-book artist.
- (Jan) Moved out of parent’s home and into an apartment, along with Phil.
- Started gaming again; start of Phil’s Star Wars campaign (longest running campaign for our group, to date), with a friend of Esque’s (who dropped out a few months later).
- Esque hired at Hebco.
- Met Mike McNurlen through his wife, who also worked at Hebco. McNurlen replaced Esque’s no-longer-present friend in the gaming group; the official
“Core Group” is unofficially formed, made up of myself, Phil, Esque and McNurlen.
- (Oct) Moved to a bigger apartment, Esque moved in.
- (Est.) Began recording ideas for an ambitious super-hero computer game.
- (Feb) Started seeing Susan Leigh Pinkerton; only actual romantic relationship to date, and disaster-in-the-making.
- (Feb) Took 8-week Freehand Drawing 1 course at Rose State College (for the hell of it) and completed.
- Officially turned goth around this time, after beng introduced to the gothic club scene (by Susan).
- (Jun) Moved into own apartment (first time actually living “alone”), the first of several.
- (Nov) Susan “officially” moved in.
- Met Mark Hermanns and Preston Evans, and shortly thereafter Mike Moch and Daniel Maynard, all of whom were incorporated in some form or another into the gaming group.
- (May?) Began working with SJG, starting with a couple of freelance illustrations for
Pyramid Magazine (e-version), and later for GURPS:Traveller.
- (9 Jul) Married Susan, in a small Wiccan ceremony witnessed by my friends.
- (Mid-Mar) Moved into newly purchased home.
- (3 May) Well-known tornado near-misses newly purchased home.
- (Jul) GURPS:Technomancy, last major SJG illustration project to date. A few 2-3 illustration jobs followed over the next few months, but eventually stopped due to management changeovers.
- (Feb) Susan confirmed pregnant.
- Maynard PCSed to Iceland, rarely heard from since.
- Preston ETSed from the Air Force and relocated to Phoenix, AZ to attend college for game design.
- (19 Sep) Xander Ray Lunsford born (11:50pm; 8lbs, 6oz).
- (Jul) Began attending Believers Church (then Believer's Bible Church (BBC)).
- (Jul) Due to persistent incompatibilities, process of separation from Susan began. Xander went with her.
- (Est.) Began recording ideas for this web-site.
- (Late) Ross Pate hired on at Hebco as a programmer; subsequently sucked into the gaming group.
- (Late-Feb) Zombie grievously wounded after a spinout, in the aftermath of a nasty ice-storm, and was unceremoniously put to pasture.
- (8 Mar) Purchased black ’98 Plymouth Breeze, dubbed Slick. Forced to seek roommate to help pay bills resulting from vehicle purchase.
- (24 May) Divorce from Susan finalized.
- Met Denée Simmons through roommate-at-the-time, Chris Dunham, who also gamed with us; Denée brought into the group.
- Accidentally became a Baltimore Ravens (and thusly, NFL) fan, due to a joke (Ross greatly blamed/credited).
- (Late) Chris left for Michigan. Denée remained with the gaming group, much to everyone’s surprise (including hers).
- (Jan) Aaron replaced Chris as roommate.
- (Jan) (Deliberately) watched Super Bowl for the first time.
- (Est.) Started working with BBC’s technical team as assistant sound engineer.
- (Est.) Purchased a practice ball at the Norman Medieval Fair, and started learning contact juggling.
- (Mid) Mark PCSed to Kadena, Japan
- (Nov) First on-stage performance with BBC’s backing-vocals team.
- (Nov) Ross Pate returned to active military duty, eventually becoming an Army Ranger and helicopter pilot; Phil and myself were (not so) secretly jealous.
- (Dec) Aaron PCSed to Kadena, Japan, and roomed with Mark. Phil moved in, as Aaron moved out.
- (7 Dec) Core Group web-site/message board inaugurated, forever changing the face of gaming for us (when everyone pays attention to it, anyway).
- (11 May) Attended first “real” rock concert, Drowning Pool at Purgatory in OKC.
- (30 May) Recognized for having reached 10 years at Hebco.
- (25 Jul) Laid-off from Hebco, due to lack of work.
- (3 Aug) Web-site went online (and the world rejoiced!—at least, as much of it as I could hear from my bat-cave.
- (Late Feb) After a long absence, Thomas Dill returned to Tinker AFB, rejoined the group, and moved in as roommate #2; the extra income made survival possible, given the continued lack of employment.
- (15 Mar) Pinnacle Leadership website completed; my first “commissioned” site (pro bono; site no longer active).
- (Apr) Second commissioned website, moonhangerbenches.com, completed (this time, for money).
- (Est.) Finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life—web development—at least, for the short-term.
- (17 Sep) Involved in first “real” auto accident, a hit-and-run in heavy rain; minor damage and no injuries resulted. Insurance payout not enough to fully repair accident damage, leaving Slick permanently scarred by the ordeal.
- (29 Sep) Phil quit Hebco for college.
- (2 Oct) First time on jury-duty, for OK County; met Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, also a potential juror. Sadly turned down for service.
- (30 Oct) Still unemployed, abandoned job-searching and attended Graphic Design-Web program at Metro Technology Centers.
- Awarded silver medal in digital-color media for
- Inducted into NTHS (National Technical Honor Society).
- (6 May) Team placed second at Skills USA statewide Web-Design contest. Honored by Skills USA for winning Oklahoma Skills USA pin design (this one).
- (19 May) Attended second “real” concert, Tool, at Ford Center in Bricktown, OKC; impression of live concerts forever changed.
- (25 May) Graduated Metro Tech, with honors. Job search begun anew.
- (Jun) Prophetic Design website “officially” went online.
- (6 Aug) Hired as a Web Designer by BirdDog Software.
- (Oct) Home foreclosed, a result of 2 years of unemployment and disillusionment with home-ownership in general.
- (Early Feb) Started diet of own devising, consisting of nothing but sushi (mostly from nearby Oriental grocery, to keep costs manageable). Gradually ended after several months less ~35 lbs, with some success keeping it off.
- (16 Mar) Pulled over for speeding, on the way to church. Was hauled off to city jail (for all of two hours), and car impounded. Turned out, driver's license had been suspended for the past year due to "self-inflicted bureaucratic misunderstanding."
- (Jun) Due to apparent lack of interest amongst the other players, ceased gaming with the Core Group. Felt eerily like a divorce.
- (Jul) Officially started playing first MMO, Battleground Europe (AKA WWII Online). Endured much frustration stemming from own lack of skillz.
- (Nov) Finally broke down and started Facebook page. In regular contact with many old friends and Core Group members that had moved on, as a result.
- (Dec) The birth of Esque's first child required the Core Group games to be temporarily relocated. Hosted the games at the Bird Dog offices. After some pros-&-cons discussion, it was decided to make the change more permanent. “Officially” rejoined the group, as a result.
- (Dec) Met Chris Smith, a fellow school alum, on Facebook, and later invited him to join the Core Group.
- (Dec) Cut off long hair for the first time since leaving the Army.
- (Jan) Joined Jim McDowell (church “pastor”) and Jeff Burleson in a regular podcast production about our random pseudo-philosophical blatherings. Eventually called 3 Podcastaways.
- (Jan) First film appearance: played the antagonist in a short, four-part miniseries called The Workspace, an illustration for a church sermon series.
- (May) Redesigned this website, after a long hiatus.
- (30 Sep) Moved into new apartment, with Phil and the returned Preston. Hilarity ensued.
- (26 Apr) Slick diagnosed with a terminal illness, due to her age; sadly, pulled the plug. Replaced her with Morwen, black ’06 Mitsubishi Lancer.
- (Mid May) Morwen damaged, cosmetically, in nasty hail-storm. Insurance would later declare her “totalled”; car lien paid off, excepting the last $700 or so.
- (21 Sep) Nate Hiers responded to Core Group profile on nearbygamers.com, and joined the group.
- (1 Nov) Took first “real vacation,” a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas on Norwegian Sky; determined cruising solo was a bad idea for me.
- (Nov) After a number of years of unemployment, and a brief stint at a U.S. Cellular tech-support call-center, Phil hired on at BirdDog as Support/Project Manager.
- (Mid) “Officially” abandoned Christianity; a long, sad, gradual process, owing to a lack of demonstrable results.
- (18 Dec) Submitted graphics job for The Consortium; a world-map Photoshop dress-up for their novel, Taming Fire.
- (Jan) Official round-two of “pescetarian” diet; stuck to it for most of the year, losing close to 30 lbs, again (after having eventually gained it back from the previous attempt).
- (10 Sep) Taking lessons from the previous experience, took a second solo 4-night cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Sky; went much better this time.
- (Apr) Experimented with using e-cigarettes for a few months; dropped due to lack of observable benefit.
- (Mid) Started regularly watching Formula 1 racing, due to playing the PC game, F1 2012 (and successors)
- (Sep) Gave up coffee—went easier than I expected. Would eventually creep back in over the next couple of years.
- (Oct) Attempted to take third cruise vacation to Bahamas; missed the boat due to a three-hour weather delay on flight from Houston, and ended up sequestered in a Miami hotel for four days (reluctant to spend even more money on anything else, being unable to get a refund on the rest). More lessons learned—take the insurance!
- (Jul) Started a new dietary plan; mostly just keeping calorie comsumption below ~2000. Lost ~45 lbs by the end of year, to be continued…
- (29 Jul) Went on third actual cruise, to Nassau and back, this time with the family of Mark Hermanns, aboard Carnival Sensation—much better than going solo, by all accounts.
- (3 Mar) Father died of surprise heart-attack at 61.
- (Jul) At the one-year mark, achieved basic weight-loss goal of ~70 lbs. Maintained new weight, give-or-take, for the rest of the year, planning to make another push for ~10-15 more.
- (13 Nov) Fourth solo cruise vacation, this time to Jamaica, ended similarly to the third—that is, did not occur—due to a maintenance delay on the first leg of the flight. More lessons learned—leave 24hrs early and overnight at a hotel or something.
- (17 Nov) First firearm purchase—H&K VP9—not out of necessity, just because it was “about time.”
Internet Handle: Gigermann
Favorites (in no particular order):
- Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer, Nine Inch Nails, White/Rob Zombie, Depeche Mode
- H.R.Giger, Tim Bradstreet, Alex Ross, Frank Frazetta
- Tom Clancy, Shakespeare, Michael Crichton, Frank Miller
Big Trouble in Little China
- TV Shows:
24 (Season 1-5),
- Computer Games:
- Half-Life series,
Aliens vs. Predator,
Total War series, Minecraft, Crusader Kings II
- Sea creatures (esp. Sushi), Cajun, eggs, dead cow, Italian
Dislikes (in no particular order):
Clutter; country music; sheeple; rabbit-food (veggies); militant liberals; stupid
people; fat children; rap music; typical internet grammar & spelling; talk shows; reality
shows; musicals (except Labyrinth); theatre (except Shakespeare); handy-work/lawn-care; car maintenance; big cars; Global Warming theory; people who don’t respect others’ property; bigots (of any color); advertising; munchkins/fanboys;
professional liars (politicians, car salesmen, lawyers, etc.); cell-phone-zombies.