This is the (I imagine) last website of Bob Portnell (that's me!). At the beginning of 2023, I have reduced it down to the barest basics: less journaling here, only the library files that might speak to readers today. Find them using the tabs (or menu, if your mobile browser gives it to you that way).
Bob is a technical writer living in Sparks, Nevada. Bob is also a father, husband, disciple, and some other things. He likes making and flying model rockets, playing tabletop games, reading, writing, just being generally nerdy and silly. His internet presence beyond this website is not large. He promises to not talk about himself in third person overmuch.
Mail me here. I am nvdaydreamer.
Friend me here, if you feel like it. I am under my proper first and last name. But I am rarely active, and I do not abide game spam or unkindness.
And I'm here, too. I don't post much, but I'm there.
Be it known that I do not receive affiliate compensation from any stores, producers, or other places to which I link in this website. If I link, it's 'cause I love. Also I'm too lazy to jump through compensation hoops.
Here are the files I am keeping "in print." Other stuff I've done? Eh. Ask me. I can probably dig it up for you.
aka "Model Rocketry". I have been a member of the National Association of Rocketry for over 10 (non-consecutive) years, and building and flying since 1975. I lurk in the NAR Facebook group and a few others. I write my own flight prediction tools, too, usually calling them FIDO (after the flight dynamics officer in NASA Mission Control).
I'm still working on learning the night sky to my own satisfaction. I'm improving, slowly. And I've written my own tools for some calculation tasks. For news and resources, Sky & Telescope is my go-to.
Board Game Stuff
Board and card games held a deep fascination for me as an only child who liked play. They still do and I am still me. Some things I've made:
An article on the Basics of Space Flight for Triplanetary, the classic space war game by Marc Miller, most recently published by Steve Jackson Games (and back in print as of Sept. 2022!).
A (2-page US Letter-size) playmat for Fluxx from Looney Labs.
I've had roleplay games in my life since 1980. Here are some things I've done or am doing.
EZFudge is a part demonstration Fudge build, part game-engine heartbreaker that I've been tinkering with for a while. I haven't found a magic system that suits it, so for fantasy I recommend Fantasy Fudge in the free Fudge SRD.
The Fantasy Trip is the first RPG I loved, and I'm well-pleased to see it back in print and well-supported at Steve Jackson Games.
TFT: Bob's Option Helper (0.0 MB PDF) — A quick reference making it easier to see the relationships between options, movement, and actions in TFT Legacy Edition. Designed to be folded into a two-sided half-page card. (Don't tell anyone, but what I like to do is pick only the movement on the initiative step, and then pick a valid action. Sssh!)
TFT: Superhero (0.5 MB PDF) — House rules and design notes for how we played superheroes in the '80s using TFT Classic. Contrary to the article contents, I probably won't revise this for TFT Legacy Edition … but the methods I explain in the document still can be applied.
I reminded myself the other night that I've had a website almost continuously since 1998. I've done blogging activity for most of the last twenty years.
I think that's probably enough. I mean, it's not like I've ever had a meaningful audience. It's just been a place for me to go to share nerdy things like my self. And there were the very few times it brought me pain and not joy.
So I've pruned the site way back down. The Library now has only the original works I want to keep "in circulation." I popped some graphics onto the home page in place of the text about social media.
And here in the Journal? I truly don't know. I've archived the previous four years of content, so the page will load faster at least. But I don't have anything I feel strongly about doing here. I guess we'll just see what happens.