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Christmas Eve was a pretty good day. Light traffic all the way to Liberty, and lunch with Mom&Dad when I got there. So much catfish. I was a glutton. We exchanged our gifts and prepped for Christmas Day.

Which went about as expected.

Monday, I helped Dad load one of the junkers he's lied to himself over onto the trailer - praise Ford, someone bought this pile of scrap metal. Two tons down, lots more to go.

Tuesday morning, Rick posted details of the expected sale at PSC, and it was a good offer. I picked up a new sourcebook for EotE and a bag of ships for Armada. We're starting the Corellian Campaign in a couple of weeks, and I feel like my fleet is going to be competitive. My commnd skills, however, may be another story.

Yesterday and today have been quiet, Netflix-watching, RPG session-planning days. A couple of school-related e-mails, not much else.
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It's Thanksgiving Day. I'm heading to Liberty in a few hours, timing it so I'll arrive around 2:30. Going to be a full house - Mom&Dad, me, The Niece, the visiting aunt&uncle, and my brother and his household. And the dining table at the farm is sized for six, and that's bumping elbows, and for reasons I fail to understand, Mom&Dad are wholly opposed to buying a useful folding table to set up in the cavernous living room. But, whatever. In six hours, I'll be with my family and relatives I can tolerate and a whole lot of ham.

Had a slight freakout over the end of the semester work Tuesday night. Stopped looking at things a paragraph or a page at a time and saw the giant tower of stuff looming and it got to me. Shadow talked me down, mostly, and not going to lie, some bourbon helped.
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This was a rather good Labor Day weekend. Rolled down to Liberty late Saturday morning, an easy and pretty quick drive. Not a lot of traffic on US150 and 127. Talked and watched lots of football with Mom&Dad, had a little chat about some relatives and their misunderstanding of Dad's generosity, talked about Mom's health and her late-game lifestyle changes.

Sunday, pizza and homework, but very little football.

Monday, Dad wanted a look at a number of camping sites, so we lit out for Taylor and Adair and Russell Counties. Green River State Park was crowded like anything, but it turned out to be the site Dad liked best. Not sure when he's going to get out and do this, but I'm happy that he's making the plans.

Last entry, I mentioned UofL's season opener. We watched the game at Roosters in St. Matthews, and I think this is going to become my unhealthy-food-and-game-watch place of choice, mostly because it closes up on Labor Day and maybe other holidays that have been subsumed into retail hells. Cooks and waitresses and bartenders have friends and families, too, as the door sign explained, and I'm happy to take my business to a restaurant with that kind of policy.
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With the arrival of Imperial Veterans, TIE Defenders are now very, very good. They're not unbeatable, but they're definitely the premiere Imperial starfighter now. Yesterday's tournament (so much for that pledge, it seems) saw four Imperial squadrons, all using some new Defender options in a Palpatine-on-a-cheap-shuttle model. I went up against two of them, losing badly to one and losing to the second by one point. Biggest difference: in the first battle, I went for targets of opportunity, and in the second, sicced my force on the shuttle and removed the Emperor's dice modifying ability.

Celebrated Independence Day with a couple of parades, driving and riding in Dad's F-100. Russell Springs' parade was a mess, and we spent more time sitting still while a marching band or flag corps or something performed. A nasty storm front was rolling our way during the parade, and when it ended, we raced a heck of a storm home (and lost). Tornado warning, rotating clouds overhead, sideways rain. But all things equal, we had a good time.

Dad texted me late Saturday night, letting me know that an uncle had died. Not one I'm at all close to, so not really something I'm torn up over, but, well, Mom. In fact, my first thought when Dad told me was, hey, Tudor's and Gino's! But, the funeral looks to be on Thursday, and I can't/won't miss market day without a really good reason, so I'll have to wait until Charcon, I guess. (I'm not a good person sometimes.)

It's Time

Dec. 18th, 2015 08:50 pm
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Last grade of the semester was finally posted today. I met the conditions of my early admission, but by a tighter margin than I would have liked, and am off probation and in good standing. I should be able to enroll tomorrow morning. Four classes, 12 credit-hours, plus practicum development. Bring on the next semester.

Just not for a couple of weeks.

Those weeks are going to be full enough without classes. Brake work tomorrow morning, then a Christmas party in Lexington. Seeing The Force Awakens Sunday morning. Last gift purchases on Monday, seeing Spectre or The Martian. Nerdery on Tuesday afternoon. Working Wednesday. Christmas Eve nerdery, then heading to the farm. Seeing Ben and Rebecca sometime. The Music City Bowl the night of the 30th, and back to Louisville for New Year's Eve. On the whole, I wouldn't have it any other way.
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The trip to Atlanta was good, but not without a couple of little hitches. We left the yard with the wrong trailer, and were nearly an hour on the road before we caught the mistake. The first invoice didn't list the cargo size, so we figured it would fit in the Conestoga; the return order did, and, well, had to switch to the drop-deck. Minor frustration. We thought we had a return load, but the engine had only just been removed from the plane when we got to Atlanta, so we headed home.

Holiday weekend and all, but the emptiness of the roads surprised me. Very little traffic on I-65 between Louisville and Nashville, and even Atlanta on Saturday morning was easy (and fast) to get through. At one of our stops, we wound up parked next to a truck with a couple of wing sections loaded; saw it again a few hours later when we were heading out of the airport.

WKU beat Marshall, and Louisville beat the other school, so it was a great weekend for football in the Commonwealth. UofL's postseason game should be announced on Sunday. I've seen predictions of the Pinstripe Bowl against Indiana; if the game is in Nashville or Memphis or somewhere similarly close, Dad and I are going to try to go.

Halfway through Netflix's Jessica Jones, and liking it a lot. It's a pretty damned dark piece of work, and Kilgrave is wonderfully hateable. The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War has released, and I'm eating my words as to this being Avengers 2.5. Also, there's Batman vs. Superman and Wonder Woman shows up, so yay! Arrow and The Flash still deliver, Supergirl is very good. It's a good time for superhero media.

We're in the final week of classes for the semester. Behavior and Biostats tonight, Environmental on Monday afternoon, first final is on the 9th, two on the 10th, one on the 12th (WTF a Saturday), and the last one on the 14th. Going to be a celebration of some kind. Christ, this has gone by so fast.
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Term papers are done. Powered through one, just pure brainstorming. Celebrated by setting up the PS4 and playing Star Wars Battlefront. Should have celebrated properly, but there was a Faulknerian idiot man-child mucking things up.

My cohort ... I did not expect the sense of camaraderie that has developed. This little clique of seven has come together - Katy, Marina, Hera (I kid you not), Mike, Sam, Stephen, me. I'm far and away the oldest - by at least 18 years, but no one cares. We just fit and work together really well, from Environmental on Monday afternoon to post-Biostatistics drinks on Thursday night. I didn't expect this, and it is fantastic.

Thanksgiving break. Offices were closed yesterday, instead of the expected/planned half-day. I would have slept in, but I can't, so there was reading. For entertainment, not for class! A nearly-forgotten pleasure. Today, the holiday itself, a good time. I hung around Louisville until around 2PM and then lit out for Liberty. Took a short impulse detour to visit my grandparents' grave, talk to them for a bit. Good choice on my part. Rounded the last curve on 1615 before the road to Mom&Dad's and saw my brother's ridiculous pickup heading out the other way. Just missed having to be in the same place as whats-her-name. Yay.

A little drive with Dad is in the cards for tomorrow. Seems that there's an engine at the UPS terminal in Louisville that needs to be in Atlanta, and one in Atlanta that needs to be in Louisville. So, we're going to handle this. The things you learn - because of the way that UPS loads its air freighters, it's financially better for them to pay Dad $X to transport the engine than to put it on one of their own planes, even if said plane had the space. The engine weighs nothing - relative to the weight of the truck anyway - and has to be carried in the lowest-drag trailer Dad has, so fuel costs are about as low as they can be. Pretty neat.

Also, sign that I am and always will be a trucker's kid at heart - I can straight-faced refer to going from Louisville to Atlanta and back as "a little drive."
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Mom's first cataract surgery went well. She saw her optometrist yesterday morning, and her eye is healing quickly. Procedure is repeated on the other eye next week, and she'll be back in the game.

I'm getting further and further away from Christmas, or at least modern American Capitalismas. All I want is time with my family. Now, Mom is having trouble understanding this, Dad a little less so, so I'm choosing my battles here. We'll give gifts (Mom already gave me mine, saying "Why should [I] wait to enjoy it?"). The Niece and I have an afternoon of football and food in mind for our holiday celebration. I'm hoping to get back to Lexington sometime over the Christmas-New Year's week and see as many of my people there as I can. And that's it. And it sounds so darn good.

Last Nite

Oct. 31st, 2015 08:05 pm
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I have struck out on Halloween this year. Plans for a haunted house visit and party with the MPH and PhD cohorts got scuttled last night because of sleep. This afternoon was eaten by family matters; I'm glad I was able to fix things up, but it meant losing several hours that I wanted to use for homework.

So, on the most fun night of the year, I'm watching Big Trouble in Little China and writing papers.

Cuts you Up

Apr. 5th, 2015 01:42 pm
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Woke up far too early yesterday morning, and decided that instead of lying in bed (more likely, tossing and turning), I'd get up and go for a walk. Quite glad I did - I got to watch a lunar eclipse happen as I hoofed it around the block! Very short totality, and just a lovely thing to watch pass.

Also seen on the walk: a few Blackhawks on the ground across the street at Bowman. A few hours later, they flew over the house, and man, five of those things at about 250' altitude means a lot of noice. Shook the windows!

Took The Niece to Mom&Dad's for Easter and her Spring Break. We had a really good afternoon and eveing together. Making dinner as a family brings me a lot of happiness, for whatever reason. Just being together, y'know?

Drove back to Louisville shadow-casting-bright new moon. So beautiful.

So, the Hugo Awards this year. The Hugos are a popularity contest - buy a Worldcon membership and you can nominate pieces and vote on 'em. I don't think I've ever bought something because it won a Hugo or didn't because it, um, didn't. A few years ago, Larry Correia started some kind of movement to disrupt the awards process, and the worse elements of his fellow travelers ramped it up, and got a slate of writers and their products on the ballot. It's a big ugly mess.

I'll cop to my bias. I lean left, and while I won't read an author because of his or her skin color or national/cultural/ethnic origin or genitalia, I won't not read for these reasons. However, I will avoid an author that I consider a terrible person, by my own private calculus. The puppies (and they for-real call themselves that, either sad or angry, depending on oh hell I don't even know) are aghast that there have been a growing number of nominated and winning writers who are not white and male. Many many strands of pearls are being clutched, I'm sure. I've read part of one of LC's books, and I couldn't finish it. I guess he's gotten better at the craft, but those hundred or so pages started the poisoning, and a face-to-face encounter a few years later sealed the deal. Fortuneately, there is no shortage of things to read, and I can easily avoid seeking him out.

Okay, there's my preachifying for the day. I gotta do some homework and send out a flurry of e-mails. Happy Easter!
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Went 1-2 in Saturday's X-Wing tournament. Flew pretty well, but got tripped up by bad maneuvers in one game and just outfought in another. My buddy DK was able to ride along to the tourney with me, scoring the same record with his Rebel squadron.

Played two 50-point games tonight, winning both, but one by a very narrow margin. I flew two Y-Wings; the first (and closest) fight was against four TIE Fighters. Killed one pretty quickly, but the TIE maneuverability kept the rest alive for quite some time. The second fight ... Okay, the Y-Wing is clumsy, but it can take a lot of damage. When flying against something even clumsier, it's just ships beating on ships. I killed a Decimator, and fast. One Y had an ion cannon turret attached, so I just kept the Decimator from making any kind of maneuver, broke down his shields with blasters, and cracked the hull with torpedoes. The thing's still threatening, but it's not nearly as formidable as I used to think.

So, it's New Year's Eve. I'm staying in tonight. The ten-day stretch at the farm was great, and I look forward to having that time with my family again. Right now, though, I have peace and solitude. I'm going to watch The Lost Boys (RIP Edward Herrmann) and goodness knows what else, crack open a bottle of wine, and relax.

2014 was, on the whole, a good year for me. There were some dark times, and I have got to fix an ongoing problem in the first weeks of this new year, but I made big steps in giving my life some meaning, and I think that every time I fell, I fell forward.

I started the year off taking a class at BCTC. I wanted to see if I had it in me to be a student again, and the answer was a resounding Yes. I applied to two programs, was accepted to both, and a whirlwind began. In February, I fell back in love and got dearly-needed answers to some five-year-old questions. This helped, in many ways. March was adventure and a good decision implemented poorly. I decided to leave the H-L in April and spend a stretch of weeks doing nothing but preparing for leaving Lexington and becoming a full-time student again. Although getting out of that job was a long-overdue positive step, I really should have stuck around through mid-May instead of jumping out in mid-April. May - met with advisors, went through orientation, and was quickly made certain that I was going into the right field and was doing this in the right place. June and July are best left undetailed - some very dark times, and I felt The Fear coming back. In August, I moved to Louisville, started classes, and felt my decisions again confirmed and reinforced. The semester went well, and things are so different now. I'm happy again.
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Except for Christmas Day itself, I've had a rather good time here at the farm. I've put a lot of miles on the Jolly Green Giant (Somerset on Monday, Danville on Tuesday, Louisville today), but I've been with my family, and I sure don't mind that. Had a heck of a good time with Dad on Tuesday, but hitting the road at 4AM took its toll on us. We were both dead to the world within a half-hour of getting back home.

I'm going to be able to make tomorrow's X-Wing tournament after all, and as an added bonus, I get to see some of the Lexington gang. I've found an X-Wing group in Louisville that's launching a nine-game spring league, with a championship in May. I'll take some biweekly starfighter action. Kicking things off with a pre-season game night on New Year's Eve, and right now, that sounds like a damned fine way to ring out 2014.

Y'know, I'm really enjoying this time at the farm. I'm looking forward to classes starting back up in a couple of weeks, sure, but right now, just having the time here is an utter joy. I've got the place to myself tonight (Mom&Dad and The Niece are off to see family in West Virginia), I have The Clone Wars going and a couple of new novels and the D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook to read.


Nov. 27th, 2014 07:19 pm
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I'm blowing off the rest of the holiday season. Maybe I'll do something for New Year's Eve, but I think I'm just going to skip Christmas 2014. Thanksgiving's been okay - had a great talk with The Niece on our drive from Louisville to Liberty last night, and I'm glad to have this long weekend with Mom&Dad. I have to spend most of the rest of the weekend working, though - homework and final papers are looming.
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I quit the Star Wars game today. There's a litany of sins committed by this one, and ultimately it's come down to one of the great axioms of the hobby - Bad gaming is worse than no gaming. Back to twice-monthly board game meets; probably going to reup my WoW subscription after finals week. Or, I'll see if I can round up some players for a short Shadowrun game. Whatever it is, it'll cleanse the palate from that awful game.

Wasn't able to get into the ethics class I wanted, but found a policy course that will fill a SPHIS requirement. I'm under a pile of papers and other end-of-semester work, but I'm managing. The support network I have has been invaluable.

I'm talking with my advisor and one of my professors about skipping my senior year. The second BA won't mean all that much, and I'd like to have the professional degree on my resume sooner than later. I'll give it more thought over the semester break.

The Niece is going to stay with me for part of next week. Her mom and stepdad are off to Florida or South Carolina or somewhere, and she doesn't want to help babysit her sisters. Maybe going to Mom&Dad's on Tuesday after we're both out of class; maybe taking Wednesday as a day for us to binge on Netflix and just hang out together.

UofL beat Notre Dame tonight, in the first football game ever between the programs. Rather good game; Louisville took an early lead, game went back-and-forth, a Notre Dame player was ejected for a very dirty hit on Louisville's quarterback. The Cardinals are 8-3, and should win the season finale against UK next weekend; even if UK pulls the upset, Louisville is almost certain to get a postseason game.
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Classes continue. Had an unexpected project dropped on me following a conversation with one of my professors, and, well, sometimes it's like talking to a cop - just don't do it.

Had a pretty good Halloween. Talked with a couple of people I really needed to hear from, then went to what I thought was going to be a party with some of my classmates and other folks, but turned out to be a very small gathering. Vampire movies and Netflix and whatnot. A good time.

Went to Liberty Saturday morning. Worked on some things with Mom&Dad, talked about some business matters, and went to an anniversary dinner with some of my high school classmates. Good times.

Busy week coming up. Two exams, registration for the spring semester, and more. Gotta make some progress on papers, get more resumes and applications out.

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Around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, the manager told us to go home (or wherever) when we were finished with the day's tasks. I decided that I was done enough, and in the spirit of don't-have-to-tell-me-twice, I hit the door, if not running, with a spring in my step.

Wrapped the last gifts, goofed around a bit, confirmed (alas) that my hoped-for guest wouldn't be joining my family and I, then packed up and loaded the Jolly Green Giant and headed to Liberty by way of C&C's home. Gave in to my impatience not long after getting to Mom&Dad's and let The Niece open her gift, and she loved it.

Christmas Day itself was pretty darn good. The obligatory big meal and gifts and family times. Reminded that it's probably for the best that kids were never really in the cards for me - it's great being an uncle, but I'm so glad that I can walk away.

I'm back at the office tomorrow, hopefully for less than the scheduled full day, and then off on Friday. Good day for a  movie, I think. And hopefully finding somewhere to watch UofL-Miami on Saturday.

Last Night

Dec. 1st, 2013 03:02 pm
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Thanksgiving Day - football, family, avoiding my father's remarkably unappetizing turkey. Reading, napping, goofing off, refusing to take part in commerce.

The next day - slept late, more reading, returned to Lexington, bought books.

Saturday - take Dad back to Indianapolis to pick up his truck, drove Mom and The Niece around downtown Indy, struck out at both HPBs in Louisville, followed Auburn's upset of Alabama, flirted shamelessly. Played XCOM and WoW.

Today - game day was a bust. We'll more than make up for it on the 21st. More football. More reading. Getting my L5R pitch together. Laundry and some other housework.

I really want to play some X-Wing.
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I'm up way too early this Thanksgiving morning. You see, I had an unexpected drive after work yesterday.

Wrapping up things at work went smoothly and quickly enough, and I'd resolved to spending the rest of the day reading. We were planning to shut down at 4PM, which would let me get to Liberty around 6, and things look pretty good. And then Dad called.

Engine trouble, and can I come pick him up if needed. Well, of course I can, and he knows this and that's why he called me. Checked with my manager, finished a few little things, and off I went. To Indianapolis. Heavy traffic on the Interstates, and a lengthy backup because of an accident at the US50/I-275 interchange. Picked Dad up a little after 6PM, and we turned the Jolly Green Giant's nose southward. Made it to Liberty around 10:30, and I was too tired to sleep for a few hours. Wound down and finally nodded off, and slept really well.

Now to get to work in the kitchen with Mom&Dad. Happy Thanksgiving!
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I'm starting off the last day of a four-day weekend. It's been, mostly, a good stretch away from the office (and, hey, I've got another one in 57 hours). Friday and Sunday were the best days, and I'm going to credit getting out of and away from the apartment with that. No grand adventures or day trips, just running some errands, but it got me off of the couch for a few hours early in the day, and that kept me from just being a slug all day.

It seems to have paid off a little bit. One of my goals was to finish up a proposal for a SF game setting, and late last night, I got the response - "I'd like to see more." So, today's going to see some IM discussion and laying the foundation of this thing. And I'm going to make myself get out of the apartment to work on this today.

My game club is stepping up! One returning member has put out a call for an open and ongoing game to be played at game days. One of my regulars is pitching two options for the inadvertent post-apocalypse day in a few weeks. I'm still planning my own games, but if these come together, the additional options are going to be fantastic to have around.

Thanksgiving is this week, and to the best of my memory, this is the first time I've had the entire four-day weekend off from work since '96. I'm looking forward to it, even if (or maybe because) I don't have any plans between Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon. As long as I'm not by myself or camped out at a hospital or something, I'll be happy enough. Or shopping on Friday. That's anti-fun.
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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.


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