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UofL won the Louisville Regional. Xavier played a hell of a game, and the score went back and forth all evening. UK wound up winning both of their games, just running away from NC State in the evening game. I was wrong earlier; there's one more game for the Lexington regional, and it's a UK-NC State rematch tonight. Currently in a weather delay; Lexington looks to be getting some heavy rain at the moment.

I think things with Shadow, casual as they have been, are coming to an end. A lot of complications, and while it's been fun, and I do have the time and energy (now) to keep things going, I just don't know if I still have the interest. Whatever happens, the sun will come up tomorrow.

I'm about halfway through Thrawn. It's a decent enough read, and very much a love letter to the blue-skinned Grand Admiral. Zahn's doing what he's good at - weaving multiple plots together and providing interesting characters doing interesting things. So far, there's nothing involving the nascent Rebellion.
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It's May 25, the real Star Wars Day, the 40th anniversary of the release of what we now call Episode 4, but what was then simply Star Wars.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a fan. I love the simple core of the stories, that good will always oppose evil, and while there will be setbacks and loss and suffering, love and friendship triumph over selfishness and greed. 

There's good and bad, in the movies and games and TV and books, and in the fanbase, and in the business, but I think the good far outweighs the bad. Some of my best gaming has been Star Wars related - a quiet, almost whispered "I call on the Dark Side" will forever be one of my touchstone moments as a GM. The joy of finding Heir to the Empire at the old Hawley-Cooke store on Bardstown Road in 1991, and seeing the growth of the old Expanded Universe - Zahn and Stackpole and Allston being the best of the lot, and bringing me such incredible enjoyment through their stories. I picked up every novel during the 1990s and early '00s, good and bad, but the awful New Jedi Order put an end to that. 

Now, of course, we're given a new canon, and Lucasfilm is part of the Disney empire, and there's a new movie every year, and the good parts of the old EU are being brought into the new stories - I have a copy of Zahn's new Thrawn in my backpack - while the dross is forever cast aside. There is, of course, nerdrage over this, but whatever. Just as the adventures of the old Green Squadron haven't been negated by the new missions of the crew of the Leap of Faith, the Legends books and stories will always be out there.

I'm celebrating or observing or whatever tonight with a game of Imperial Assault, giving my Origins team leader some practice time before the convention. Tomorrow, running a session of Fantasy Flight's Star Wars: Force and Destiny RPG, and maybe getting in an Armada game before Saturday's tournament.

It's a good time to be a fan.
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(Disclaimer: not actually in Memphis)

The end of the semester is closing in quickly; sometimes it feels like I'm rocketing towards the horizon, sometimes it feels like the ground is rushing up to greet me. I missed one assignment in my last entry - a short presentation on the 25th. And that's the end, one way or another.

Star Wars Celebration is going on. Well, I guess it just wrapped up this afternoon. Some friends went, and posted up plenty of pictures. We got teasers for the fourth and final season of Rebels and for The Last Jedi. Despite having only seen one episode of Rebels this season, I'm as excited about the upcoming season as I am the next movie. Rebels has done some great storytelling over its run, and despite its home on DisneyXD, it hasn't been dumbed down.

Steve J was in town this weekend, and we got to catch up over dinner and drinks. Despite being exiled to Paducah, he's doing pretty well. I wasn't aware that I needed a night out like that. For the past couple of years, most of my socialization has been with the cohort or gaming, and while that's by no means bad, I guess I needed something else.

Today, storms. Thunder woke me up around 5AM today, and, having no real need to get up so early, I spent a couple of hours lying in bed watching the flashes of lightning and listening to thunderclaps and rain pelting my bedroom windows and awnings. Really nice. Three more storm fronts blew through over the course of the day. Lots of rain. Some heavier weather to the east, based on Facebook postings. Our weather was a good backdrop to homework. Good progress.
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Hitting the Empire in regions it considers safe or under complete control was a pretty brave - maybe even foolhardy - choice, but after Scarif and Yavin, Command has been feeling aggressive. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Here in Japrael, we're taking advantage of the power vacuum and confusion that Moff Dardano's death brought on. Seven Bells and Archer are still our biggest sticks, and they got a workout a couple of weeks ago. After one of my teams met with resistance fighters on Akeforst, Sector Command sent the frigates and a couple of corvettes and every starfighter we could get out hands on over there. Successful raid. Destroyed an Imperial frigate and a couple squadrons of TIEs, plus one of the planetary navy's corvettes. We lost six fighters, and in the calculus of warfare, that's an acceptable trade. Big prize out of the raid, too. One of our corvettes was retasked with boarding a gas freighter before it could jump out of the system, and we got our hands on a few thousand tons of blaster and coolant gases.

The same team, a few days ago, got mixed up in some real trouble at Onderon. Our listening post (which has to be relocated and soon) got word of a real high-level visitor, extend all courtesy and all that. We figured probably a possible new Moff or something along those lines. Nope. Nothing less than the Devastator - Vader's Star Destroyer - dropped into the system and was in orbit over one of Onderon's moons for several days. It left a good-sized garrison there, and Sector Command decided that whatever was there was pretty important, so we sent my ops to investigate Sector parked Archer at the edge of the system. Well, things happened, and there was a fight, and based on the ops team's report, there was an Inquisitor there. I've given that team some off-the-leash time. They're good, and whatever Sector has coming up next, they'd be useful, but we'll manage without them. They've got ... something to pursue, and right now, no one else needs to be involved. They'll be back when they're back.

The offensive over in the Corellian sector isn't off to the best start. Two of the task forces there got beaten up pretty badly; the third handed the Imperial Navy a resounding loss. I don't know much more beyond that. High Command committed a big, big pile of resources to this and if it doesn't pay off, we're going to be hurting.
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I saw Rogue One yesterday morning, and I'm going to talk about it in the comments.
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Christ, what a week.

The huge stack of assignments, including one I'd forgotten, got done. Some pieces better than others. Lots of work, under strain, sometimes in a near-panic. But, done.

Thursday, some shithead stole my backpack. Lost flash drives with years of homework and projects and writing and photos. My iPod. 2x Star Wars RPG guides. A rented textbook. Miscellaneous tools. Happened while I was in a short seminar on immunizations. Normally the building is secured, but this was Thursday, so an open building for farmers market customers. Someone wandered in, saw the pack behind the desk, and boosted it. I'm now done with the market (only two weeks left anyway), as I'm unwilling to leave things unattended anymore.

The good news - insurance is covering most of the loss. The files are completely lost, of course. Taking this as a message to up my iCloud storage and keep everything there, as well. I'm pissed, and want the thief/thieves to die afraid and alone and in excruciating pain, but I'll triumph.

Netflix did it again with Luke Cage. Tight, self-contained (mostly) story, terrific performances all around. Socially aware without being preachy. Damned good.

Final trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One dropped, and looks fantastic.

Progeny

Apr. 7th, 2016 09:03 pm
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Days go by.

After a brief debate, I subscribed to MLB.tv for the season. With the student discount, it came to less than $80, and Housemate and I split the cost. It's a terrific service, and since our favorite teams are both out of the local TV market, we're definitely going to get our money's worth.

My Dodgers took off like a rocket in the first three games of the season, shutting out the Padres. Nothing good lasts forever, though. They lost to the Giants tonight, routed after a good first half of the game.

Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers since 1950, is retiring at the end of the season. He's pushing 90, and time catches up to us all, I guess. I'm glad to have been able to listen to him for the past few years, thanks to MLB apps - there's nothing like him.

Tomorrow night, I'm GMing a RPG session for the first time in a couple of years. I'm on the hook for two Hunter: the Vigil sessions at a local con. I'm well-enough prepped, I think, but I think I'm going to have a kernel of something in the back of my head wishing I was running something else ...

... because holy cow, the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer.
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I think I slept close to ten hours every day I was in Liberty. And it was wonderful.

Mom&Dad, Dad especially, loved the little tablets. Dad took to his like a duck to water, although neither seemed to want to use any of the money I put into a shared account for them. Hopefully that will change soon.

Caught up with Ben&Rebecca over the break. Talked shop with Rebecca - the CDC's got her doing health education in Marysville.

I had some problems with The Force Awakens, but the things the movie did right, it did so well that I can forgive the failures. I loved the new characters - Rey, Poe, Finn, Hux. Kylo Ren's no Vader, but he's sufficiently villainous.

UofL beat Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl, 27-21. TAMU only seemed to get into the game in the second half, and the last four minutes of the game were tense. Louisville's freshman quarterback threw for 200+ yards and ran for same, making himself responsible for all of UofL's scoring. Dude had a hell of a game.

Didn't do much of anything for New Year's Eve. Started out going to The Back Door with some of the cohort, only to find my favorite watering hole closed for the night. We headed out to St. Matthews to watch Alabama vs. Michigan State, which was only a good game if you're an Alabama fan. Got home early, read, went to bed and was out a few minutes after midnight. 
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Security incident here at SPHIS yesterday afternoon. One of the local indigents got into the courtyard behind the building and tried to start fires in some of the piles of leaves, yelling at and threatening staff and faculty and other passers-by. Campus and Metro police were called in, there was a foot chase and a bit of a struggle (dude threw a hammer at one of the officers) and away he was taken. I got a quick glance at the guy, and I'm pretty sure he's someone I've interacted with before.

Never a dull moment at HSC.

We're firmly into finals. Last night was my Epidemiology exam, and it could have gone better. I did well enough, but there were some holes in my knowledge - I tend to cross up types of surveys, for whatever reason. Tonight is a double-shot of Health Promo and Biostats, followed by a GSP acquaintance's end-of-finals get-together. Biostats ... I'm not even looking at it today. If I don't know how to use the tools by now, what reviewing I could do in the next six hours won't help much. Instead, I'm listening to lectures from Promo and reviewing notes and readings. Just have to keep the 3.0 GPA.

Hopefully finally getting some X-Wing gaming in this weekend. Too many points invested in aces, but whatever. It'll be fun. Still need to reschedule the Delta Green kickoff.

A week until The Force Awakens releases. I know I'm going to get spoiled, and on the whole, I've accepted it. I'll deal. Plans are to see it on the 21st with some of the clique. Excited as can be.
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This has been a glorious week to be a Star Wars fan.

On Thursday, the second teaser for The Force Awakens was released. I was thrilled with the teaser we got on Thanksgiving, but the new one, y'all. Sweet Jesus. I don't know how many times I've watched it. A lot. It hits so many buttons. Luke's voice-over. Stormtroopers and lightsabers. The opening shot of a downed X-Wing in the foreground and a downed Star Destroyer behind it. And just when the hooks are in, Han and Chewie in the cockpit of the Falcon. It's perfect.

Today, DisneyXD released a trailer for the second season of Rebels. Starfighters and Darth Vader and old friends and old and new enemies. I could gush. I'm giving in and buying a season pass or whatever to watch this one instead of just catching it piecemeal over the course of the season.

At the Star Wars Celebration, Fantasy Flight surprised no one by announcing that their game licenses include the upcoming movies. They announced four new ships for X-Wing, nerds have raged, and changes to how expendable weapons seem to be in the offing. Just give me ships/pilots from Rebels and the new X-Wings, man, that's all I really ask for.

I had planned to visit Lexicon tomorrow for a X-Wing tournament, but CoolStuffInc got the money I'd set aside for that. A VT-49 Decimator for $20 plus shipping came to less than I would have spent on a one-day badge plus fuel and food and whatnot. And it is a good-looking ship - I'm looking forward to learning how to fly it.

Today was the kickoff of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a big-ass airshow and fireworks display called Thunder Over Louisville. I had planned to head downtown to take it in, but when I woke up this morning, my interest in spending the day in a crowd of 675,000 people just evaporated. I watched WLKY's coverage and did homework and feel pretty okay with that.
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In the past month, I've rediscovered my love for Star Wars. Fantasy Flight Games' remarkable Edge of the Empire RPG has contributed to this in a big way, and a couple of viewings of episodes 4-6 have helped a lot. Admittedly, they've been the special or ultimate or whatever editions with some added awfulness (Han and Greedo, shiny Jabba, stupid dance/concert number, Sarlacc beak, ghost of Hayden Whatshisname), but the core is there, the heroism and wonder and camaraderie. It's magic. It still works for me - I still get a chill at "You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me."

The Expanded Universe certainly has its share of dumb, too, but I don't feel like going into that mess tonight. I'm just pleased to be able to enjoy something that I used to dearly love again. I'm going to find some of the novels I've missed and see what ideas I can mine. There are Fading Suns and Diaspora games in the near future, and they'll be fun, but ... well, their just going to be dry runs for a Star Wars game. Something new for me, I think. Turning the focus away from the conflict between the Rebellion and Empire; use EotE and the good ol' Corporate Sector sourcebook from WEG's line. Just see where this goes.s
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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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Yep, sickness.  Which is, of course, going away this afternoon, so I'll be all spry and healthy when I go back to work tomorrow.  This blows.  Dayquil has been quite terrific in keeping me functional and not miserable since Sunday morning.

The lone good thing about losing two vacation days to this funk was not having to deal with a commute to and from work in the ice/snow/rain storm that blew through Kentucky over the last 20 hours or so.  It's nothing like we had to deal with in 2003, thankfully.

Finally picked up Star Wars: Force Unleashed (Wii) instead of just cycling a disk back and forth between my mailbox and Gamefly.  Wading through that Wookiee village as Darth Vader in the opening stage is still an utter blast.  The SW fire is nicely rekindled, but I don't think I'll be able to join the Saga game until February sometime - games are on alternating Sundays, and it's almost NFL playoff time.

Just a few days until Christmas.  Doing family stuff on the 21st.  Can't wait to see The Niece.

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Rented the PS2 Episode III: Revenge of the Sith game a couple of weeks ago, thinking maybe it would light a Star Wars fire for me.  After an hour of playing a not-very-interesting beat-'em-up with lightsabers and ho-hum Force tricks, I put this one away.

Playing any of the LEGO Star Wars games (PS2 or DS), after 12 minutes, the SW GM in me starts screaming "Time to get the band back together, man!"

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