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Three weeks left in the semester. Papers and projects are moving along nicely, and I'm registered for spring's last push for the MPH. Less than six months until graduation.

Stephen K's brother died Tuesday morning. 30 years old. Fucking cancer, man. Service was Saturday morning; homework won out over attending, at Stephen's request. Expecting him to be back tomorrow for a work session, but won't be surprised if he takes the last day to spend more time with the family.

Ran around with Tegyrius on Saturday. Went to a disappointing train show, then hit the Baxter Avenue game shops. Since I didn't spend money at the show, I felt justified in picking up something at each shop. Talked a lot about gaming, career changes, life in general. Darn good day. And more homework that night. And Sunday, all day.

Short day at the desk today. An aunt and her husband are flying in and spending a week with Mom&Dad. I'm bailing out early to play tour guide and get an early vibe on how much interference I'll have to run for Dad. Short week, of course - normal day tomorrow, including class; half-day on Wednesday. I'm heading to Liberty Thursday afternoon, and staying until Saturday afternoon. Mom&Dad are taking the visitors to Nashville Friday afternoon, maybe coming back late that night.Gives me a lot of very quiet time to spend working, and then watch the UofL-UK game on Saturday.

UofL got whupped by Houston Thursday night, in case you were wondering. Houston had our number from the first play. National championship talk is over; Lamar Jackson is still a runaway favorite for the Heisman. Louisville will get a good postseason game, and then I start looking ahead to baseball season.

Conglomeration sent out an a call for GMs for 2017. I'll gin up something, maybe another Chronicles of Darkness game, or Shadowrun or something. Should look into CincyCon, too.

The Storm

Feb. 24th, 2016 10:30 am
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NCAA baseball season started last week. UofL swept the opening weekend opponent, outscoring SIU Edwardsville by 43-5 over the three games. Friday was a little cool and very windy, but a pretty good day at the stadium. Saturday - oh, man, Saturday. Sunny, warm, about perfect. Mom&Dad came up for the game, and D came with us, and it was just a delight. And barbecue for dinner after the game, so heck yeah.

Sunday, weatherwise, was not sunshine and rainbows. Well, there may have been rainbows, because there sure was a lot of rain. I drove to Lexington to play X-Wing and despite going 0-3, it was a pretty good day. The second and third games could have gone my way - agility dice betrayed me both times on a gunnery pass. Did manage to kill Bossk with a TIE Defender and one-shotted Guri with a TIE Bomber, and anytime I can blow up a flying sandcrawler, I'm happy.

I threw the Defender into this list mostly because I didn't want to fill up the leftover space with the default of a couple of Fighters. It's got some problems (next time, FFS, put the Mark 2 engine on the thing), but it is a solid ship, and can deliver and endure a lot of damage. It's going to see more use when the Imperial Veterans pack arrives; I'm going to keep it in the rotation for a while. It's an interesting ship.

I cancelled on CincyCon. The getaway would have been nice, but prepping a couple of games for the con was adding more of a cognitive load than I wanted. May port some of the notes into a Slur Your Role day over at Kaiju as a warmup for ConGlomeration.

Great Train Expo here in Louisville this weekend. Probably going for at least a few hours; otherwise I'll be deeply immersed in prepping for a biostats midterm, and I will have to have a break from that.
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There are times when I don't mind being wrong, and this weekend has turned out to be one of them.

Following the anemic turnout Friday evening, Scarefest's gaming track took off on Saturday. About a hundred gamers at one point, across minis, RPGs, card and board games. Lots of happy faces - and plenty of kids playing games with their parents. No RPG time for me, either as player or GM, but Go Goblin Go and Elder Sign filled the gaps rather nicely. Ended the evening, as is the way of our people, at Marikka's, and the overlapping circles of friends continue to grow.

My love for Star Wars has been rekindled, thanks in no small part to Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. It focuses, tightly and without apology, on my favorite era of the saga, and on a part of the universe that I want to visit for a while. I've found myself making notes on NPCs and outlining adventures, and while this will never replace West End's work, EotE makes a fantastic complement to that classic work.

UofL, WVU, and Auburn all won yesterday, and today looks like a good mix of NFL games. Time to sign off and get cleaned up. There's football to watch, writing to get done, and tacos to prepare and eat. Have a good one, folks!
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Day One of Scarefest went about like I expected - very low attendance. Spent most of the evening with Ben P and Pat K and Kerry B, getting in a game of Zombie Survival among other things. Tomorrow's seminar is looking a little better, as Pat and Kerry have tagged in to help talk about stuff. Still expecting to head to the bar and watch football, though.

Went to Louisville last night to pick up a few items that you just can't find here in Lexington, and had a late dinner with D. Got back home sometime after midnight, stayed up until Don't Ask reading, slept until Where'd The Day Go. Planned to do stuff, but, whatever. Days off rock.

Star Nation

Sep. 4th, 2013 10:10 pm
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After seven months, I gave in. Bought a digital signal converter tonight, and with the quick antenna setup, I can pull in the channels I wanted - specifically, the local CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates. See, I'm getting through baseball season with the iOS app, but there's nothing comparable for the NFL without switching my cell provider to Verizon, and with the rotating contract lengths on the shared family account, I'm just not interested in that without something nearly catastrophic forcing my hand.

So, hooray. I'll be able to watch Sunday afternoon and night games. Monday nights are my current gaming nights, and since I don't really have a team this year (probably going to default to the Bengals and/or Colts), I won't really miss anything by role-playing instead of watching football.

And, hey, as I'm writing this entry, I'm watching Supernatural. Already this investment is making a return.

Had the volunteer meeting for Scarefest tonight. Still keeping my expectations low for this first gaming track, but next year already looks positive. 2014's gaming track will be its own thing, using Scarefest resources, but run separately. This means a lower entrance fee for those only interested in gaming, while a Scarefest badge will still grant entry to the as-yet-nameless gaming side. I can get behind this, and will feel much better about working on and promoting this setup. So, tentatively, that moves me back up to four conventions for next year - CincyCon in March, GenCon in August, Convention X in September, and Archon in October.
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Heck yeah Labor Day.

Saturday was quiet. Rest, reading, not much else until late in the evening when some of the usual gang got together at Marikka's. Watched the last few minutes of WKU's whupping of UK.

Went to Mom&Dad's on Sunday. Grilled, watched UofL dismantle Ohio. Binged on James Bond movies when I got home. Slept in; after a brief wake-up around 7:30, I went back to sleep until noon. Whatever - it's the end of cultural summer, and it's a day for relaxing.

I'm working my way through my GenCon purchases. Conspiracy X's Conspiracies sourcebook is a little bit dry, and outside of guidelines for playing an NDD game, it doesn't have a whole lot of content to recommend it. Deadlands Noir's much better, with a boatload of useful material. It sets up New Orleans in the 1930s as a default, and the Companion details 1920s Chicago (and is written by Ken Hite, because Chicago and hoodoo require him), Shan Fan at the brink of World War II, Lost Angels at the end of the war, and the City of Gloom in 1950. All different vibes and writing styles. Pretty neat, and if the Monday group goes for the multiple-era Deadlands game, Dusty will use this to work the players over but good.

Anyway ... coming up, Second City (Legend of the Five Rings), Little Wizards, and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.

Last con of the year is in a couple of weeks. I'm not excited about this one; the con's an established event, and adding a gaming track for the first time this year. The con's relatively expensive, without a gaming-only attendee option. I expect to see tournament attendance, but not much else. I'm conducting a seminar with ENnie-award-winning Colin Thomas, which we expect to have few enough attendees that we'll adjourn to a bar downtown and shoot the breeze while watching the UofL-UK football game. And even if we have attendees, the game's going to be going on my phone.


Jul. 28th, 2013 12:32 pm
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Before I get into the meat of this entry, allow me this disclaimer: The Galt House is a very very nice hotel with excellent facilities and a really good bar, and the room was terrific, and I loved our view of the Ohio River lock-and-dam complex and the sunsets were great.

Things I Could Have Purchased With the Money Spent on the FandomFest Hotel Room:
20-25 movie tickets, matinee showings
2 copies of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and a set of the game's funky dice
7 medium-sized bottles of my preferred bourbon and a few liters of Coke to mix
Half of a PlayStation 3
Several weeks' worth of reading/viewing at Half-Price Books

Thank Hammett the badge was complimentary. Unless I'm living in Louisville next year or have gratis crash space, I am done with this one. I'm not even disappointed - I was similarly dissatisfied last year. Now, observational data has been confirmed, and I'm out.

Also, thanks to [ profile] ddneyal for great company and dinner and the offer to drive me home.

Now I'm home, and I'm going to either pour myself a drink or go to bed for a few hours.
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Christ, last week was just one little tin god after another. Lost almost all respect for someone I used to almost consider a mentor.

On the positive side, I saw Man of Steel, and loved it. It does great things with the Superman mythos - gets in the messiah role of the character, shows his humanity, and we get gods fighting their war among us. My only complaint is with Amy Adams as Lois Lane - maybe script-related, but she didn't convince me. Not a huge quibble, and for those of you who haven't seen it, I recommend it.

Spent most of yesterday in Louisville, mixing business and pleasure. Fandom Fest is in two weeks, and yesterday was an early volunteer meeting. Not mandatory, but it was a good reason to get out of the apartment and see some people. Visited the Frazier Historical Museum and its exhibit on mythological creatures (fun, but was hoping for more), and spent some of the evening with some friends of [ profile] ddneyal.

Today, I'm resting up. There's a ridiculous volume of beef stew in the slow cooker, and I'm going to do some reading and a little writing this afternoon. My Dodgers (finally above .500 on the season!) are on the radio at 4, and I have no demands on my time on this sunny Bastille Day.
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I hate to sound classist or whatever here, but I have felt just icky when I left some of the car dealerships that advertise in the crappy little magazine. Most of them are buy-here-pay-here businesses, and there's an unpleasant predatory vibe there. The standout moment came when a car was being pulled around for a photo, and I heard a rattling not unlike a rod about to throw.

Tomorrow's Election Day. I expect it to be the shit-losingest day ever, no matter the outcome. Kentucky's going to go for Romney in a bigger way than it went for McCain in '08; I'm watching the 6th Congressional District race more closely. The incumbent, Chandler, isn't much to get excited over, but his opponent has run a terrible and odious campaign.

Scheduling issues have thrown kinks into gaming lately, and I'm still not comfortable enough with my footing on Mage to run it. I'm also starting to think that it's not the best option for a one-shot, especially with players who would come into this more or less blind.

I'm four months out from my first convention of 2013. Hoping that at least one of the new/revised/translated games is in a presentable state and I won't have to fall back on either of the fantasy lines. Don't get me wrong, it's all quality work, but my fantasy burnout shows no signs of abating. There's nothing to keep me from relying on SC2 to power the games at CincyCon - I know it, if not coming-and-going, certainly well enough to use it to represent Ten Thousand Bullets or [NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLEARANCE]. In fact, using it for the latter would be pretty nifty, as I've never used the big grey book for anything besides crime drama or action-espionage/technothriller games.
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It's Halloween!

I went to Lexington's Halloween celebration last night, mostly to see Space Madness on the Planet of the Apes by the March Madness Marching Band - and yes, they did "Rock Me, Doctor Zaius." Lots of people there, some good costumes, and the parade was a joy to behold.

I'd planned on driving to Florida this evening to see Space Shuttle Discovery's final launch, but that's pushed back until Wednesday afternoon, and I can't make that and be back in time for my flight to Las Vegas for NeonCon. I'll settle for CNN coverage, I guess. Only three missions left, and then the US is reduced to hitching rides on somebody else's spacecraft until at least 2015.

I'm looking forward to NeonCon, for the most part. The flight's going to be a hassle, what with all the TSA circus acts, but I can deal. The Fantasycraft adventure I'm scheduled to run (twice) is ... well, I really really don't like it. The Spycraft mission is a good one, though, and it looks like there will be a lot of opportunity for pickup games. And, well, I'll be in Las Vegas.

I'm reading Jacqueline Carey's Naamah's Kiss at present. Liking it rather a lot, unsurprisingly. Looking forward to Amexica, sometime after I get back.

Pulling for the Texas Rangers to win the World Series. Pleasantly surprised that the Oakland Raiders are 4-4. And stunned at the disintegration of the Dallas Cowboys.
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I didn't drive up to Origins. I was up way too late last night, and slept in this morning. Backup plans for this evening fell through, too.

Instead, it looks like movie night. Watching In Cold Blood, and writing a little bit about narcotics trafficking.

Like a lot of other people, I've been watching some of the World Cup. The US made a good showing, but was knocked out today by Ghana. France's team self-destructed like a comic-book villain's doomsday device. I guess now I'm backing England.

My Dodgers have started going off the rails, too. After leading the NL West for a while, they've dropped into a tie for third in the division. The Reds are doing pretty well, currently tied for first in the NL Central. And I still really need to get to a Legends game, and soon.

Not a whole lot else going on. Still digging on the Pendragon game. Reading Driving Like Crazy, by P. J. O'Rourke. Learning bits and pieces about Pages as a layout application. Liking Bendis' Avengers and Brubaker's Secret Avengers a lot.
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So, I'm thinking about a day trip up to Origins this weekend. Never been - for a few years, DragonCon won out, and starting in '06, I've gone to GenCon every year. Had the chance to work Origins for Alderac a couple of times, but opted out. And, what the heck, if I get up there and I'm not having fun, I can zip over to Dayton and look at airplanes.

Speaking of GenCon, wow, it's only six weeks away. I'm going to be splitting duties between working the booth and running games. The former's going to be a new experience, and I'm looking forward to it.

Last Saturday was the first gaming Meetup I was able to make it to since December. I played Feng Shui and ran a Spycraft game, and had a good time with both. July and August are scheduled to be Fantasycraft games, and after that, I'll start working more random stuff into my mix again.
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Today was our one-day visit to GenCon.

We arrived in Indianapolis around 7:45 and got registered quick as a wink.  Found a quiet corner to peruse our program books, and watched people.

Indianapolis is very easy to navigate, and the convention center hosting GenCon is frackin' huge.

We found a little table in the center's food court and plopped down, to watch people and wait for the exhibitors' hall to open.  Lord have mercy, but people packed in to the area outside.  [profile] spykeetom struck up a conversation with a Warmachine player who had a nicely-painted Khador army.

When the doors opened up, we waited a few minutes for the flood of humanity to thin out, then in we went.  The first thing we encounter is Privateer Press's beautiful display of Warmachine figures.  Much oohing and ahhing.  Moving on, next was Days of Wonder, where we played a game of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects.  Days of Wonder impressed me greatly with their Shadows Over Camelot game, and Cleopatra kept the feeling alive.  Great game (I lost terribly, and Spykeetom was fed to crocodiles), with the most amazing mechanics and props and components.  While we were playing, we met up with the inestimable [profile] fishxxiii, who became our guide for much of the morning.

Roaming around the exhibitors' hall, we linked up with [profile] cybogoblin, who is a decent fellow, as skirt-wearing New Zealanders are measured.

A note about the hall - it's huge.  The hucksters' room at DragonCon was my previous benchmark, but for sheer rockitude, GenCon wins easily.

Got to meet Alex Flagg and Scott Gearin of Crafty Games.  Good guys - Scott is by turns manic and gracious, and Alex was terrific to talk with.

Then, God help us, it was back to the exhibitors, where we spent us some money.  Bought Pizza Box Football, after a quick demonstration.  This thing is awesome.  It's a fast-playing football game, with some very neat strategic elements.  There's an expansion pack available that contains variant rules/playbooks for all 32 NFL teams.  This game will be played a lot in the coming weeks.

Bought Damnation Decade from Green Ronin.  Happy to throw them some cash - I like this company very much.  Got a copy of Spycraft: Conspiracies from Paradigm Concepts, and was told that Combat Missions should be out at the beginning of 2007.

Talked to Jon Bancroft at the AEG booth.  Discussed Archon and its future, mostly.  I'm getting a bad feeling about this.  The con committee wants to permanently move it to an August date, and cut waaaaay back on the gaming side of the con.  Much as I hate to say it, that would pretty well knock me out of Archon.  I love the other programming available, but, well, with the amount of gaming involved, Archon has everything I want in a con.

Our last stop was the same as our first.  Spykeetom got a Protectorate of Menoth shirt and patch from Privateer Press, and I snagged a Cygnar patch.  These guys are just the coolest - friendly and passionate about what they do.

Wow.  I'm looking forward to going back to GenCon next year, and very probably to DragonCon, too.


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