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Got home Wednesday night, and my cops of 7th Sea 2nd Edition was on the porch - a most happy surprise! The book is gorgeous, and I kinda wish I'd had the resources to go in for an all-the-hardbacks pledge, because it appears that there will be a graphic extending across the spines of the books.

Spent Friday morning at the MRC/LMPHW storage space at Louisville Megacavern. Lots of inventorying, stocking trailers, all that. More body bags than I cared to count. But it was a good morning, and good work.

After the cave, I headed up to Indianapolis. Got there around 3PM, linked up with my nerd-siblings, and got settled into the hotel. Clowning around, catching up, telling stories, all that. Con went well enough. Lots of excitement about the Mistborn board game (and despite my disinterest in the property, it is a lot of fun). Got a couple of new ships for X-Wing and the Shadowrun Anarchy preview. Got to see Ben and Rebecca, then we broke down the booth.

I decided to detour through Northern Kentucky and see Erin and talk about 7th Sea, so headed out on I-74. Got to the Shelbyville (Indiana) exit, and hit a hole in the road. Shouldn't have been anything worse than maybe a tire knocked off the wheel, but the impact broke the rocker arm. Got it trailered home, and the mechanic inspection was an eye-opener. His evaluation - it can be made drivable, but it'll never be highway-safe. An ungodly amount of structural rust throughout. Like, hit the rail with a hammer and watch it cleave levels of rust. So, he told the adjuster what was up, and the adjuster totaled it and wrote a check right there in Mom&Dad's driveway. Bought a Mercury Mariner this morning. Loaded up, but thirsty. I'll deal.

So, a more eventful end to the weekend than I would have liked, but maybe a blessing in disguise. I'm back in Louisville now, and all seems to be well. Going-away party for an old GSP buddy and his fiancee tonight.
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GenCon's this weekend. For a few months, I've said that this is my last time going, and I'm operating under that assumption. I'm looking forward to seeing Pat and Alex and Matt and some others, but I'd rather not have to put up with 62,000 other nerds.
tracker7: (SPHIS)
Quite a few things have happened since the last update.

SPHIS accepted me into the MPH program. I get to skip the second undergraduate year, and may be awarded the Bachelor's degree anyway based on strength of work. Dr. Jacobs was impressed by the number and strength of my recommendations. Unless things go very wrong, in 21 months, I'll be a newly-minted Master of Public Health, focus to be determined.

The school is also giving me a job. It's nothing spectacular, but it does keep me in everyday contact with the entirety of the school's faculty and staff, so I'll be a familiar face to everyone. That has to be useful in a year or so when practica and other out-of-classroom work comes around.

I wound up going to GenCon, extending my streak to an even ten years. One of the volunteers had to cancel out (and with a legitimate reason, too - no McClouding this time) and The Bosses offered me his badge and room space free of charge. How could I refuse? So, I got up godawful early on Saturday and rolled up to Indy. After accepting thatn I wasn't going at all this year, my two-day visit was glorious. Saw many friends, and felt very much welcomed by my ... well, I can't really say teammates. By the Crafty staff and volunteers. Minimal loot - a K-Wing and TIE Punisher/Interdictor, as you prefer, a handful of snazzy hammer-and-sickle D6s, and a couple scoops of dice for D. Much socializing and the like. And some business, too. Tested out the four upcoming card and board games (and there is a character in one of them based on me). AF offered me some work on Spycraft 3, and I am quite flattered, but I had to decline any deadline/wordcount work. School has to come first, and back-to-back 600-level Biostatistics courses are going to test me. So, I'm going to be a consultant of sorts. Pretty exciting stuff.

Other GenCon news of note. There was some kerfuffle at the Ennies, not sure of any real details, but it sounds like the Atlas Games folks didn't acquit themselves well at all. FFG knocked many pairs of socks off with their panel. X-Wing Wave 8 was revealed, with ships/pilots/crew from Rebels at the center. The mic-drop moment came at the end, when Christianson brought up the title card to The Force Awakens, and indicated that TFA product was already on its way from overseas factories, to be revealed around September 4. We knew it would happen, but not this fast. Games Workshop had a tale of woe - while clearing customs, one of their UK staffers let slip that the group was "working a convention," not merely attending. They had no work visas, and were immediately deported. There was a skeleton crew of US-based folks covering their exhibitor presence through the weekend, and those poor guys had to have been wrecked by end of show. Pinnacle announced a Flash Gordon line for Savage Worlds. Vampire: the Masquerade 4th Edition (seriously).

Despite only being there for part of the show, I was worn out when I got home this afternoon. Two very late nights in a row, so much road construction, and all of the walking and lugging that the convention involved. Worth it - I was meant to be at that place at that time. If I can, I'll be back next year. And the next and the next. Before that, though, three regionals and Origins. After the way I was welcomed in Indy, I can't not fly the flag.
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Mom&Dad got back earlier than expected, so I got to run around with them. Saw some places in Casey and Lincoln Counties that were new to me - the location of the house Dad lived in as a very young child, a small cave that may well have remained undiscovered forever had a road not been built where it was, and a huge railroad trestle, far larger than I would have expected to have seen in the relatively shallow Green River valley.

Far more tired than I want to be at 9:25 on a Saturday night. Housemate is out with some friends, some mutual, doing a bar crawl for his birthday, and while I'd kinda like to be along for part of it, it's just not happening tonight. I played four X-Wing matches today, and that's fatiguing.

Having flown the thing three times, I'm still unsure of the value of the VT-49. The pilot and crew setup I used certainly kept the ship flying longer than a different selection would have, and my force (VT-49, 2X TIE Fighters, TIE Interceptor) beat a heavily upgunned VT-49/Phantom set in a very close match and clobbered a matched set of S&V Aggressors. On the other hand, a force of Soontir Fel, two Fighter aces, and two unnamed Fighters beat me, although it lost three of the Fighters.

Decided to pass on GenCon this year. I noticed that I was talking myself into going, so I moved my planned break from 2016 to this summer. No regrets, and all is cool with my bosses. Thinking about going to CharCon in October, if work and classes allow. Small, no responsibilities. Much smaller investment.

Screw it. I'm going on barely 5 hours of sleep. It's bedtime, y'all.
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Grades came in. Slight improvement over the Fall term; could have been even better, had I not darn near checked out of 430. Missed the A in Policy by a few points and managed the A in Epidemilogy by a few. Given the chance, I would not reallocate those points.

The X-Wing league's regular season is over. I lost a close match in the final cycle - my B-Wings performed as designed, delivering and enduring tremendous punishment, but against six TIE aces, they just couldn't get the win. That loss, and the results of other battles, moved me from a 3-way tie for fifth place to a 5-way tie for sixth/seventh/eight place. I beat one of the other pilots with my record, but lost to two of them, so I won't be surprised (or disappointed) if I don't make the playoff cut. This has been a heck of a lot of fun, and I've made friends during play.

Was supposed to learn to play Armada yesterday, but the fellow forgot to bring his rulebook, and neither of us had tablets with us. So, we played a couple games of X-Wing, letting me break in my YT-1300 and S&V ships. I won both matches handily - I figure my league time has made me a better player. Later on, I taught Shadows Over Camelot and learned Asgard. Asgard is very pretty and very well-designed, but I found it far more complex than I like, and ultimately a tedious experience.

I am nearly completely unexcited about GenCon. There's nothing new from us, just prototypes that will be on shelves ... sometime. The only new release I'm interested in is Force & Destiny, and I'll pick that up at one of the local stores. Was offered a spot on Fantasy Flight's team for Origins, but three weeks isn't enough lead time for me - next year, though, may be a whole other story.

Heading to the farm in a few hours. Mom&Dad have hit the road for a few days and want me to house-sit for them.

Add it Up

Aug. 21st, 2014 05:44 pm
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GenCon ended on a pretty good note. There was the usual flurry of last-minute sales, and I contributed by picking up a copy of Last Night on Earth. Looking forward to playing it with The Niece sometime soon. Fastest booth breakdown we've ever done - about 20 minutes, and Ben and I skipped out when we determined that there were too many people doing things and we had a drive ahead of us.

So, the drive. Man, sometimes, just screw Indiana, alright? Road construction on I-65 Southbound, down to one lane for only a few miles, but enough of a traffic bottleneck to make our trip from Indy to Louisville take just shy of three hours. Less than 100 miles. And then the rain hit, just as we cleared the backup. Drove Ben to Elizabethtown to link up with his fiancee, and for a few miles south of Shepherdsville, I swear to Cantore, the sky was purple-pink and brightly-lit and downright unsettling. Got home, decided that laundry would wait for Pants-Free Monday, and slept in a bed for the first night since Wednesday. My bed, even. Very comfy.

TLGS Colin got his game prototype into Alderac's hands. We got his buddy's games in front of some publishers who will have a better chance of getting the game manufactured than us. We sold a lot of books. All of the problems were resolved. And next year's going to rock.

Bought a non-powered reel mower. It was unfortunately insufficient to the needs of the yard, so it went back to be replaced by a gas-burner. Much better.

Holy cow, today. Day 1 of my SPHIS orientation. Met some classmates, met the SPHIS dean (who looks like Donald Sutherland). Had an impromptu talk with said dean, and he introduced me to the CEO of KentuckyOne Health - possible internship! And in a couple of years, possible posting with the University's next overseas campus. All very very tentative. But I am excited. Oh sweet mercy, am I excited. I've got to get through this semester, show what I'm capable of, and then things look like they're really going to get exciting.

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Yep, in Indianapolis. Taking a break between the Exhibitor Hall and dinner and dancing this evening.

Our little convoy assembled at the house Wednesday morning. I'd loaded the Focus with the weekend's supplies, and had my personal bags ready to go. Arrived in Indy around 1:30, checked in, and started sorting hotel assignments. This was the first hiccup of the weekend - GenCon placed us in three hotels, and all of the rooms are double/doubles, instead of the suites we expected. There was some scrambling to arrange additional bedding, and one of my bosses and I were ready to make a fast trip to Meijer or CostCo or something and get inflatable mattresses, but one of our friends (staying with the company) came through with a camping cot and two airbeds. So, hooray for Art!

On the other hand, man, seriously, screw flaky gamers. One of the new guys sent me an e-mail letting me know that he wouldn't be able to make it because of his wife's health issues. He sent it at 11AM the day before the con formally begins. We had to cancel four more tables of games because of this shithead, on top of the 10 we had already had to cancel because of the licensor throwing a wobbly. Brief anger, leading to disappointment, but ultimately not surprised. I'd had a lurking suspicion about this guy, mostly because of who recommended him to me. So, yeah, that happened. We handled it.

Oh, hey, lunch Wednesday! We got to Tavern on South and had duck wings before the Munchkin people took over the place for the weekend with their crappy game.

Wednesday night, we assembled the team, had a meeting, had a good time. Played some games and braced ourselves for the next four days.

I love working this convention, by the way. A few weeks after each year's show, I start to think that maybe I'll go as a civilian the next time, but I snap out of that soon enough. I don't know that I'd enjoy it nearly so much from the other side of the curtain now. I like my Exhibitor Badge and the access it grants me. I like having enough time scheduled with work that I don't go into decision paralysis over events I want to attend. I like having a base of operations in the hall, and handshakes and quick chats and evening pickup games with designers I admire. Heck, this morning, Michael Stackpole came by, sat down in our booth, and shared a few words. Yesterday, John Snead said it was nice to see me again. Had breakfast with Steve Kenson yesterday, and then talked with a possible licensee about using Fantasy Craft to power his newly-acquired Lxxx & xxxxL property. It's just cool.

So, yeah, on to Thursday. Finished booth setup, with the new layout I'd pushed for. Much better product presentation, more security and comfort for my staff. Fast dashes to some vendors (I got a Rebel Aces set, so will be hankering for some X-Wing action real soon). And then the VIGs. And sales began. And at 10, the rush of attendees. Meeting and greeting, all the good stuff. Nice coffee flask from ACD Distribution.

We have dinner with our convention staff and a few others on Thursday night. This year, dinner was followed by a meeting with the managers of our host restaurant, with the hopes of arranging a different kind of convention presence for 2015 and after. We're abandoning the traditional large event schedule after this year. We're big enough to fill up our events with players, but not so big that we can reliably and easily fill up the required GM slots. Next year, we're going to partner with a couple of other similarly-sized publishers and rent the restaurant's largest private room for two or three nights, hosting open gaming nights. Food and drink sales will go against our rental costs, and it's not unlikely that our visitors will effectively pay for the facility. It's exciting, and I think it'll work better for us than the traditional process.

More games, more people, more fun on Friday. Handled some little problems with event materials. Played Star Wars: Age of Rebellion in the afternoon and some board and card game prototypes late into the night. Had a moment that reminded me of why I love this con - looked around, and there was about half of my team, some friends and partners, and groups of other folks, sitting/lying around the third-floor lobby of the JW Marriott, playing games and hanging out and having a good time. It was kinda magical.

Traded my booth-credit-acquired books for a fantasy setting guide this morning. Worked the booth. Debated buying Last Night on Earth. Lunch, errands, then back to the hotel to recharge. Watching football fans stream into Lucas Oil Stadium for a Colts game. Arranging meets with friends for dinner and going dancing and stuff. The show's over tomorrow; in 24 hours, I'll be back home.
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It's done. For the third time in my life, a large Ford truck has been loaded up with nearly all of my worldly goods and taken me away from Mom&Dad's home. Unloading took less time than driving to Louisville; setup some time more.

The house is quite nice, quiet and comfortable and in a great location. A branch of the LFPL is nearby (and that's where I am now, as TWC won't have our Internet access activated until tonight), I can get to Bardstown Road and Crescent Hill and campus and the Interstates pretty quickly.

I think (and fervently hope) that GenCon is locked down. I plan to be on the way to Indy in 48 hours, and there has been too much wrangling already. I want to get there, see friends, buy a game and a print or two, see friends, play Age of Rebellion and Outbreak: Deep Space, eat too much, possibly dance, cause a Walk of Shame/Pride Strut, and enjoy one last kick-ass weekend before classes start.

Well, maybe not eat too much. I've dropped 30 pounds since Memorial Day. Darn close to two waist sizes, based on the jeans I tried on this morning and was able to fit into for the first time in far far too long. Felt good.

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion is every bit as good as Edge of the Empire, despite the increased number of editing/proofreading errors. The new D&D Starter Set similarly rocks. $20 for a short campaign, ready to pull of the shelf and run on pickup game nights is money well-spent.

Next updates will be from Indianapolis. Maybe not last year's daily dispatches, but there'll be a record of some kind. If you wish to live vicariously through me, please do so. Just wash up when you're done.
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UofL approved my appeal for financial aid. I'll have to maintain a GPA a full point lower than the goal I'm setting for myself to keep the money coming in - so help me, if I fail at that, my next reasonable step is to sneak onto the Kennedy Bridge some evening and experience deceleration trauma.

But I won't fail.

A Malaysian Airlines 777 was shot down yesterday while flying over eastern Ukraine. From the look of things, it was brought down by a SAM, fired by Russian-backed separatists or, worse, Russian forces just outside Ukraine's borders. I figure it's a terrible mistake, more Iran Air 655 than JAL 007, but that's just some dude's take. 298 deaths, including about 100 researchers and activists on their way to the 2014 AIDS Congress in Australia. Hell of a loss.

Christ, I've been working on this entry for three hours. Skype calls are going fast and furious.

We're a month out from GenCon, and true to tradition, things have been thrown into the air. Unsurprising, but disappointing, one of my GMs has bailed out. He's now blacklisted permanently, and while I understand that life does get in the way, I won't have time to be forgiving for a month or so. Also, there has been a blowup with a licensor, and I'm going to have to cancel nearly a fifth of our events. We're not pleased, but these are signs that our plans for big changes in how we conduct our GenCon operations are steps in the right direction.

19 days until the summer McJob is over. I got my conversion papers last week (convert from staffing company employee to regular); I'll probably file the appropriate paperwork to make a better mark in case I need to go through the agency again, and I just about bet that I'll give my outta-here notice within a day or two of the process being completed.

Whatever. In 38 days, I'll be in class again. Onward, forward, upward.

This is Me

May. 18th, 2014 06:01 pm
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Things are mostly pretty darn good. I should have a lot more done on the packing and cleaning front, but I'll get it done in time. It's a heck of a thing. I bitch a lot about Lexington, and I am more than ready to move on, but this city's been home for almost 21 years, and I've had more good times than bad here.

C's kid's mom is indeed planning to move to Louisville, so he and I are going to find a house or condo to share. This may cause some problems in my ongoing friendship with his ex-girlfriend. I'm not too concerned on that front. I've got plenty of other stuff to be concerned about.

Got a call Friday evening telling me that the staffing assignment I was supposed to start on the first has been cancelled. Supposed to call tomorrow about a replacement assignment. No big deal, so long as the start date is no sooner.

The plan right now, such as it is, is to pack up in the next 3-4 days, with some items to be purged or given away. The couch is showing its age, there are boxes of software from a ridiculously long time ago, and other bits and pieces here and there.

GenCon event registration opened up today. I was #730 in line, and got all of my wishlist events processed. Cut it down to two and will pick up some generic tickets for Games on Demand when I get to Indy. Most of my team's slots have been assigned; just a few Mistborn events and a room captain slot to fill. I don't think I'm going to handle this part of the prep work next year. School's too important. I'll hand the work off, probably to Ben, and if I attend, I'll just work the booth. Or I'll go as a civilian. But that's 2015. This year, I'm getting into Star Wars: Age of Rebellion and Outbreak: Deep Space games. Because of my duty schedule, I can't do a whole heck of a lot of gaming at the con, and this is very much a working vacation and social getaway for me. In addition, the Colts have a home game on GenCon Saturday night, and if my budget allows, I'm going to get a ticket to that. Also, hopefully, find time to get out to the Indy Childrens' Museum for their terra cotta warriors exhibit. If I don't buy a copy from The Louisville Game Shop, I'll get a copy of AoR at the con. Can't really think of any other releases that I want, but there'll be enough impulse-buy options.

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The last of my grandfather's siblings died Tuesday morning (February 4). Harvey and I had a polite, if distant, relationship; I was much closer to and fonder of Paul and Frank. Joanne, his daughter, has had a very rough time with this. Her husband died about a month ago. Heck of a thing to have to deal with.

I almost skipped out on the funeral because of a nasty cold. Started hitting me Tuesday afternoon, and by Thursday night I was in sad-ass shape. Slept for a few hours after the funeral, and got back to Lexington alright. My father, still full of surprises, handed me a medium-sized box as I was leaving his home; with a sort-of sheepish smile, he said simply, "I bought half of a cow." So now I've got stash of steaks and ground beef from a small family farm in my refrigerator and freezer. Never a dull moment.

Slept through most of the morning. Store-brand Dayquil-equivalent has been a gift from the chemical gods. Got a little bit of sinus pressure and attendant headache sticking around, but the coughing and sneezing are gone, and the very painful sore throat has been reduced to a barely-noticeable tickle. Should you ever have the chance to have coughing and sneezing fits bad enough to make your ribs hurt, I can't recommend taking it.

GenCon prep kicked off this week. Including the seminars, we've got 54 events on the schedule this year, promoting three game lines. Mistborn gets a much-needed expansion, and we're launching a new closed-end line. Spycraft Third gets support, but the game itself isn't ready for release yet. I'm in the process of recruiting the volunteer team (again), hopefully with less last-minute drama than last year.
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Saturday was a long one. One of the jagoffs that bailed on us was scheduled to work the booth with FI in the afternoon. I filled the spot, meaning that I was in the Exhibitor's Hall for eight hours. Ended with some very hurty feet, friends and neighbors. Another soak, then pizza from Hot Box, some card games, and then bedtime.

Sunday saw very good end-of-show sales at our booth. Little Wizards moved for real, an there was a surge in Mistborn AG sales. Had to deal with some drama on the team, and that'll probably result in at least one member not being invited back for 2014. Was drafted into an early-morning meeting with our distributor, and got word on some upcoming products and promotions.

So much more to report.

Had a nice talk with James Sutton, the CEO of the current incarnation of FASA Games. He moved to Cincy from New Zealand a couple of years ago following a family tragedy, and is rebuilding his life and that of some game lines at the same time. We're planning to get together sometime in the coming weeks to chat and expand our respective networks a bit.

One of my bosses at Crafty is going to be in NKY for a couple of weeks in late September, helping Twilight Creations to handle some of their suddenly-massive workload. Twilight recently landed a Holy Grail-caliber deal for a small-press game publisher, and with the death of the male half of the husband-and-wife team that makes up the company's permanent staff, they're in a bind. I've been asked to pitch in as well, on a to-be-determined duration. So, hey, that's some kind of good news, right?

I gave in and made a few purchases. A B-Wing, TIE Bomber, and second A-Wing from FFG - still very hard to get my hands on a TIE Interceptor. The Conspiracies Sourcebook for ConX. Universe Guide for DC Adventures. Deadlands Noir and its Companion. The massive Second City boxed set for L5R (MSRP $80, got it brand-new for $25).

Our Spycraft Third games got overwhelmingly positive results. Now that the convention's over, and we've seen that the new edition has traction, we're going to open up beta testing to the general public very soon. This sexy piece of work's coming together at last, alongside Ten Thousand Bullets and a couple of other too-long-delayed products. We're planning to support and promote six lines at next year's show.

I'm off tomorrow to recover and rest up. Planning to binge on Netflix and do little else. Read a little, maybe. Probably not put on pants, unless I get very energetic and go to the grocery.

Day Two

Aug. 17th, 2013 06:11 am
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Little Wizards continues to sell well.

Lots and lots of walking and standing causing foot pain. Hot tub curing said pain very quickly.

Mac Genie and Scout's Treats: still delicious.

Hobomancer won the silver Ennie!

Posted via

Day One

Aug. 16th, 2013 07:54 am
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GenCon's official kickoff is at 8AM on Thursday. There are some events for those early risers, but the real start of the show is two hours later when the Exhibitors Hall opens up. People pack into the hallways outside the doors - thousands of people. There are some attendees who get to go in at 9AM by virtue of dropping big money on a "Very Important Gamer" package, but, relatively speaking, they're few in number.

Screw 'em all, I got a yellow badge.

My work with Crafty means I'm an exhibitor, and can go into the Hall whenever. Yesterday morning, as usual, the bosses and I got in around 8:30, finished some setup details, and things were soon underway. Our booth has a good location again (Studio 2's collective area). Lots of traffic and visibility. Most years, we exhibitors take some time to pick up a few items for ourselves before the VIGs and huddled masses are allowed in.

At 10, when the doors open, it is a straight-up flood of humanity. People line up 3-4 hours early to get the best chance they can for early releases, limited-quantity stuff, or con exclusives. It's funny, and a little dangerous, as they tear-ass through the aisles to get to wherever.

I'm kind of a voyeur, so all of this nerdery and whatnot just entertains me to no end.

We released a new game this year. Little Wizards is aimed at kids, 6-11 or so. It's cute as all get-out and we sold a couple dozen copies. And people are talking about it. Lots of good conversations in the course of the day.

Thursday night is the company dinner. Some good socialization for the team. We unwind, share first-day stories, get a killer meal. This year, the dinner was followed by a party in one of our suites. Just a couple of friends of the company, or so it started. I think 23 people were here at one point. There was bullshitting, so much drinking, playing of Game! Most Popular Game In All Mother Russia Not Really, much laughter and fun and noise. And then the cops showed up. Been a while since I've had that experience.

Today, 4 hours in the Hall, then a 2-hour Hell in Earth game, then Mage to close out the night. My busiest day of the show. Going to be great.

Posted via

Day Zero

Aug. 15th, 2013 07:34 am
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GenCon's slogan is "The Best Four Days in Gaming," and that's become increasingly inaccurate in recent years. Events have been spilling over into Wednesday for several years, and the con just keeps growing.

(BTW, posting from the phone. Apologies for formatting errors.)

ST's issues with his kid's flight were resolved and we met him in Louisville. Lot of road work in southern Indiana. Made it to Indy without incident, linked up with the bosses and some other volunteers. Missed the baseball game, unfortunately. Okay lunch at Tilted Kilt, which is pretty much Hooter's with plaid microskirts and a larger menu. Started meeting and greeting our new volunteers, all of whom seem to be good folks, very much Crafty's kind of people.

Staff meeting, quick Spycraft Third game, and I turned in around 1AM. Stressful morning and some hotel billing issues and having to be ON!! for a few hours tapped me out.

Now it's Thursday morning. Going over to the Exhibit Hall in an hour or so to finish setup and pick up a couple of items ahead of the huddled masses and the big spenders (Exhibitors > VIGs) and get ready for the rush.

Posted via

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As I posted over on FB, ain't no crazy like last-minute convention crazy. Let's start on Monday, about 48 hours before I'm scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis for GenCon.

I started the day off emotionally compromised anyway. Get to work, I'm already in convention/vacation space, have just about completely checked out from the shoulders up. Late morning, one of my volunteers texts me to let me know that he can't make it to GenCon. I immediately check in with my bosses, and we make an emergency plan that arranges for said volunteer to be able to make it, but blackballs him from any future work with us. I pass the first part of this along to said volunteer, he's grateful, and we're ready to move on. So far, so handled. I call around the rest of the team (minus our volunteer coming in from the UK, because), get hotel counts and confirmations (from most, and you can bet that'll be important later), and things look okay. Workday ends, I go play Infiltration, exchange some texts, and sleep like an innocent.

Tuesday, and the e-mails hit. Volunteer CH doesn't like e-mail. Rarely uses it. I wasn't too thrilled with this cat for a couple of reasons - he was added over my objections by one of the company owners, and since we do 95+% of our team communications through e-mail, he rarely checked in. CH had bought his plane tickets to the con with a rarely-used credit card. Round-trip airfare bought on a card that sees very little use? Yep, that'll trigger a fraud alert. And how is the card account set up to send out this alert? You got it - e-mail. THIS HAPPENED IN JUNE. CH didn't find out about until Monday night. After I'd called him. Grr. Then EO e-mails me. Now this mofo I was getting tired of anyway, because he'd started asking if his girlfriend could stay with us, and can we things for her to do at the con because she's not much into gaming and what-the-hell-ever-man. And he can't make it because of "unexpected expenses." I call bullshit, because that's the kind of guy I am.

My bosses are in transit from the West Coast. We communicate as we can, and start to figure out contingencies. The last thing we want to do is cancel events, but all of a sudden we have five games that don't have GMs and two exhibitor spots to fill up and it's less than 24 hours until we start assembling in Indy and the con for-real starts at 10AM Thursday. And this is where stuff starts getting good, and I mean good. I remove the offenders from our e-mail list and send out a call for help. Let the others know what's up, what spots are available, and why. About 75 minutes later, after texts and phone calls and e-mails, the spots are filled. We are set. We are ready to go. And who was the first person to step up? The dude in the second paragraph. You can bet he's now off the blacklist. Karma and shit.

Now, in the course of writing this entry (while I was also ripping and re-encoding Layer Cake and putting it on the iPad) ST texts me. He's overslept and his son has missed his flight to Oregon or Washington or wherever, so our hastily-modified plans to meet him in Louisville have been disrupted. We'll deal. If three dudes can get to Indy in a Civic coupe, three dudes can get to Indy in a Focus wagon. And we're going to. Because it's time for Nerd Prom.
tracker7: (Gaming)
My trusty Taurus went into semi-retirement last weekend. I'd been looking at a replacement for a while, tested a few here and there, and pretty much out of the blue one of my preferred options appeared. Much like my ol' pal Hephaestus, this is really a great workaday vehicle - a Focus ZTW. Pale green, pretty nicely equipped, and after about 300 miles and four days, I'm pretty taken with it. Easy to drive, very comfortable, and offers a prodigious amount of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

I guess the little wagon will get its first real road test next weekend. Initial plans were for four of us from Lexington to ride to GenCon together, but a combination of factors is forcing a change. Looks like the West Coast head office is going to have quite a bit of material printed here - banners, signs, convention game material - and that plus 20 man-days of clothes and other convention accoutrements will probably be more than the originally-planned vehicle can handle. I'll get the Focus serviced Saturday morning and I guess we'll light out for Indy on Wednesday.

I'm about as prepared as I'm going to get for the con. My duties don't require much in the way of materials and front-loading, so it's mostly a matter of knowing our product line and handling any crises that arise. I've got a few items on my shopping list and my event locations and times in my phone. Going to see some friends, make some new ones, and have a good time.
tracker7: (Default)
GenCon event registration opened today at noon. In less than 25 minutes, all of our events sold out. My own wish list worked out, getting me into three games - Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Mage: the Awakening, and Blue Planet. I had enough in system credit from last year to cover these three tickets, and will probably pick up a few generic tickets to use for Games-on-Demand events over the course of the weekend.

CPTAAL's birthday to-do was last night. Started at Havana Rumba (delicious), ended in something of an anticlimactic petering-out, but it was a good night. Got Diane out of the house, and she had a good time. Talked shop with Matt McCloud for a bit. Made plans for spending next weekend in Louisville.


Mar. 11th, 2012 07:11 pm
tracker7: (Reading)
Basketball bores the everloving hell out of me. Around here, that makes me something of a pariah, as UK basketball is something of a religion. Being utterly disinterested when you're surrounded by a largely fannish population has some occasional advantages, though - like the office emptying out on Friday afternoon. Looks like I'll have that again on Thursday, which is pretty alright, too, since I'm off Friday of the coming week.

Saw John Carter yesterday. It's a darn good movie, enjoyable, fun, beautiful, and full of adventure. And likely to be a commercial flop because of studio infighting and a piss-poor, if I'm being kind, advertising campaign. Go see this while you have the chance.

I've been drawn, briefly, back into World of Warcraft. There's some kind of resurrection promo, giving free Cataclysm content and a boost to 80th level and a few other goodies. I figure I'll run around for a couple of months and hang it up again when the prepaid play time card I bought expires.

I'm currently reading Resurrection Day, by Brendan DuBois. It's a very good read so far, a murder mystery set in an America still suffering the effects of the war brought on by the Cuban Missile Crisis. DuBois is an award-winning mystery writer and his craft really shows in this one. Recommended.

Auditioning a prospective GM for GenCon this week, and I'm ... not hopeful. Still looking to recruit a couple for the show.
tracker7: (Gaming)
GenCon 2010 has come and gone, and it was a really terrific show - again.

We arrived early Wednesday afternoon. Plans had been to leave Lexington at noon, but I asked for an earlier departure when I saw (or rather, smelt) that the repair work going on outside my apartment window was on a sewer line. Parked at the hotel and headed to Scotty's Brewhouse for lunch. The rest of the team arrived in the early evening and we finalized plans for the show. Part of this involved using three of the hotel's luggage carts to lug 37 boxes of books over to the convention center for booth setup.

Thursday morning. Up early. Breakfast. Went to the ICC to pick up some material for the day's games - and was able to snag what I was told is the first copy of DC Adventures sold at the show. It's quite lovely. Had some bad news right after that, though. A phone call from my bank to advise me that my debit card had been compromised. They lifted the card's suspension just long enough for me to get enough cash out of an ATM to get me through the weekend. Yay, unexpected stressors. Thursday afternoon's game went well (Fantasycraft), and the players outsmarted most of the dungeon's traps. I still don't like the adventure, but, hey, I'm done with it, so yay. Thursday evening was the Crafty Games seminar, followed by the weekend's second trip to Scotty's. Back to the suite around midnight.

Friday, I slept in. Booth duty in the afternoon. First Spycraft Third Edition game in the evening. Very good stuff. Smart and incredibly entertaining players. Turned in after the game, since ...

... 9AM game on Saturday. Had to deal with one player who didn't quite understand that Spycraft is a brand, and that not all SC games are live-action games. Other than that, a good game. Booth duty in the afternoon. Evening saw dinner at a really good Japanese restaurant. An all-too-brief visit to the meet. Board games in the lobby of another hotel. Very late night. Great time.

Sunday morning, packed up. Loaded the car after one last ridiculously long wait for an elevator. Put in a little extra time at the booth so that the company's partners could make with the schmoozing. Finished my shopping. Crossed paths with a friend from the home county that I hadn't seen in maybe 22 years. Helped tear down the booth at the end of the show, then headed for home. No accidents to stop Interstate traffic for several hours this time. Dropped off my rider and got home around 9:30. Unpacked, did laundry, crawled into my own bed and slept.

Attendance looked to be about the same as last year; heard rumors that it was, in fact, a little higher. The exhibitors hall was very busy, our booth included. Paizo appeared to be doing better business than WotC. More and more women attending.

Besides the aforementioned DC Adventures, I had a modest haul this year. All For One (signed), Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity (signed), Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition and the SW Space: 1889 book, and Sunward (for Eclipse Phase). Got a Stark Industries t-shirt for The Niece and a Blue Lantern one for me. Also got a replica Soviet flag for the office. The first adventure in my Paizo Pathfinder subscription was waiting at my desk when I got to the office this morning, too.

I've started watching Covert Affairs. It's fun, no Burn Notice, but that's a darn high bar. Currently reading Hardwired, by Walter Jon Williams for the nth time.


tracker7: (Default)

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