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SPHIS reactivated the student ambassador position, so I've gone back to worth this week. No changes in the job, and other staff and faculty are glad we're back. The break was nice, as it let me put a stake in my practicum.

The X-Wing season wrapped up on the 31st. I backed into a playoff slot, and put together a fast-moving very agile squadron, but my opponent's big guns tore me apart in the first round. My buddy Ben S was our eventual champion, playing Rebel Alliance squadrons throughout the playoffs. Now, a few weeks of even more casual play, and probably some Armada and Imperial Assault games, too.

Classes are coming to a close. I'm not as panicked about things as I was a couple of weeks ago. Things look more realistic now. There is a whole lot of work still to be done, but I can manage it.

Weather's looking interesting today. Right now, it's a pretty day, clear skies and warm, but there are watches and warnings to the south, and they're heading this way. Just heard that Auburn University is shutting down for the rest of the day, and Atlanta is getting hit pretty hard. Our currently pleasant weather is expected to feed this mess when it gets close. Have talked with some of the cohort about skipping class tonight, because the front is supposed to hit about the time we go in and stick around through the evening.

This should be my last posting here. The new terms of service don't sit real well with me. I don't have any fear of posting up something that'll break the host country's laws, but for personal and political reasons, I'm not keen on involvement. I'm migrating over to Dreamwidth, with the same journal name, in case anyone wants to follow. Dreamwidth is importing everything from here to there, and I understand that to be a pretty complete and painless progress. Lots of people doing that, looks like, as my entries and replies are deep in a queue. No hurry. Do your thing, machines.

Eleven years and change here. Huh.
tracker7: (SPHIS)
Things happen often at their own pace. Money was held up until the various record-keeping systems at UofL exchanged data, with my loan and grant disbursements happening on the first day of classes (and work).

The job is just cake. I drive a desk, admit visitors to the building, distribute mail, stuff like that. Seven hours a day, and most of that I can spend on homework and other assignments. At least, that's how it is now. Things may change. The school's Technology Director asked if I'd be interested in coming to work for him (currently, he's a one-man department), and one of my professors (and head of his department) offered me a research assistant job. Of the two, the RAship is probably my better option, and I'm going to talk with him and my current supervisor about splitting my time between the two - 15-20 hours a week at each, if that can be arranged.

Classes are going to be very challenging, especially Biostatistics. All late-afternoon and early-evening, as school policy dictates. All of my textbooks are available in electronic format, and while those files are a little pricier than most used copies I've found, it's worth the extra expense to save weight. From garage to SPHIS to class to the garage is about a mile-and-a-half, and if I don't have to lug several pounds of books in addition to the laptop I'll have already, so much the better.

SPHIS operates a farmers market on Thursdays. It has eight to ten vendors, two or three food trucks, and a couple of community or other service organizations. One of the nearby hospitals has a sponsorship agreement with the market, and that draws a lot of its employees over for something besides leftovers for lunch. It's a pretty nifty thing.

I was a bad player at last weekend's X-Wing tournament. No. No, amend that. I was a sneaky player. I flew three kitted-out Y-Wings (testing the new Twin Laser Turrets and Plasma Torpedoes). First match was against a new player - Lambda shuttle, TIE Interceptor, TIE Advanced. Swept him, dogpiling one ship at a time. Next up, a guy I've played before and don't have much good to say about. He flew a netlist (Corran Horn and that goddamn Outrider), and I have some serious hate for netlists in general and this one in particular. I decided to try something different - don't fight to win, fight to not lose. I sicced all three of my Y-Wings on the E-Wing, ignoring the ugly-ass YT-2400. Ionization kept him from using R2-D2 to recharge shields, and massed fire made short work of the fighter. And then, I ran out the clock. 1-speed straightaways, only speeding up to keep away from the 2400. Never made an attack run against it, and only fired when he got aggressive and came after my ships - which, after taking a couple of ion shots and nearly being forced off the battlefield, he backed away from. I lost one fighter, but it was worth far less than the E-Wing, so when the timer sounded, I got the win. Lost my next match against a mixed TIE squadron. Last match of the day was against one of my favorite guys to fly against - Don is creative with his builds, and a challenge to fly well against, and a good fun dude to be across the table from. He had an all-ace S&V squadron, a Z-95, the new Khiraxz, and the flying sandcrawler called a YV-666. The YV can take (and deliver) a lot of damage, but it can only fire forward. Sicced my A4 on it, camping out in the rear arc and pouring ion and blaster fire and stress on it while the S3s dealt with the fighters. Won with the A4 - got behind the YV's deployed fighter and controlled its movements with the same firing cycle I used on the carrier. Went 3-1, made sure the netlist wasn't going to be eligible for the playoffs, and withdrew, since I had to start things early the next morning.

NCAA football starts next weekend. UofL plays Auburn for the first time, either ever or in forever. D and I are getting together to watch, and after the game, I'm heading to the farm for Dad's birthday and Labor Day.
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.


Jul. 30th, 2014 09:34 pm
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I have, all things considered, enjoyed the time I've spend in my childhood home this summer. I've strengthened my relationship with my parents, and I think for the first time in my life, I've started to get some real idea as to how deep a good parent's love for a child goes. I'll never be a parent, of course, but I do get a sense of it through my relationship with the world's best niece.

Speaking of Micahalia, she and I got to spend an evening running around together last week. I'd gone to Louisville to check out a couple of housing options, and gave her a call. So, we went out to dinner and Vint and enjoyed some good time together. She's fantastic, and the depth of our relationship means that she and I can be completely honest with each other. I told her about my adviser's take that I have a long history of selling myself short - and Micahalia instantly told me "Yes, you do!" So, yeah... more encouragement to swing for the goddamn bleachers every chance I get.

I made the decision last week to commute from Liberty (or wherever) for my last two weeks at the summer McJob. The hotel had just gotten too depressing, and given the number of shortened workweeks over the course of the assignment, I wasn't really making any money with the cost of the hotel factored in. As it turns out, I made a good decision. Got to the shoe mines on Sunday afternoon, and my workgroup (and a couple others) were released. Well, we were given the option of finishing out the assignment, but working at most 20 hours/week, or leaving with no consequence. I handed in my badge and hit the door, with a "So long, mofos!" in my heart. And, in something like a sign, when I stopped in at Speedway for some tea for the drive home, I saw that I had enough rewards points for a VISA gift card. Got the card, routed to a FLGS, and rewarded myself with a copy of the new D&D Starter Set. Because why not.

Visited a few more houses and apartments on Monday. Found a place near the Frankfort Avenue reservoir that I really liked, but we wound up signing a lease this afternoon on a house on Cannons Lane. No watching trains from my living room, but since we're a half-block or so from Bowman Field, I can go out into the back yard and watch small aircraft come and go.

Huh. Spoke with three of the four super-influential Louisville Girl Friends today. That's pretty alright. More encouragement and general goodness.

Looked again into the UPS/UofL Metropolitan College program. Slightly different from what I remember from previous inquiries - and for the better. I think this is going to work out for me. Not an easy thing, but not insurmountable, and it will make the path smoother in the long run. It fits with my ... whatever it is of placing everything into the perspective of "Will this help with school?"

Moving the housemate tomorrow and/or Friday. He's under more time pressure than me to get settled. And has a lot less stuff. I respect that. I still have too much.
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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.

Eight Ball

Jun. 28th, 2014 11:28 pm
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The workweek ended early - ran out of material to stow, and I was outta there after only about two hours. Thought I'd be home by 9:30 or so, but it was not to be. Took close to 2.5 hours to cover four miles on I-65SB due to a single-fatality accident. Got to the rest area/welcome center, and the road was opened up completely - and wonder of wonders,there was nobody on it but me. There's not much in the world like having an entire Interstate all to yourself for several miles, and I made the most of it. The Jolly Green Giant isn't especially quick, but he can make some speed and is plenty sure-footed. Got home about midnight.

Replaced the low-speed fan relay Thursday morning and found that the high-speed relay was darn close to burning out as well. Swapped in a new one - this was much easier to find than the low-speed relay - and all is well. Took a load of books to HPB Friday morning. Not as large a purge as I'd planned, but it's a lot of books that I'll never have to move or sort again. Made dinner for the family when they came home that evening, and got to talk with The Niece for a while. She and Mom&Dad are on their way to South Carolina tonight for a short getaway. I kinda wish I was going with them - I do not look forward at all to going back to Shepherdsville tomorrow afternoon and spending the next four nights in that damned warehouse.

I told Mom I wouldn't drink while I was here, but broke that promise tonight. Couldn't face the loneliness without some reinforcement.
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A haiku, poorly-composed, on the summer McJob:
If you buy flip-flops
Online via Amazon
Please go fuck yourself

The drive home Thursday morning was pretty terrific. About halfway through the drive, the sky started to brighten, and I watched the first light of the day fill the eastern sky, going from deep blue to light blue to a beautiful pink, and the arc of the sun was just rising above the horizon when I got to Mom&Dad's. Just lovely.

And 10 minutes later, I was back in my childhood bedroom and dead to the world.

The things you learn inadvertently. My Focus has two cooling fans, one slaved to the air conditioning system. Should that one fail, the A/C loses a lot of cooling capacity, and the radiator's fan has to take on the extra load. Note that my Focus is a wagon, with lots more glass in the cabin, and on hot sunny days, that cabin becomes a greenhouse. Now, for the most part, the intricacies of auto mechanics are beyond me. I could recharge the A/C on my Taurus, for example, and change the oil (if I had a place to dispose of the oil, that is, but since I don't, it's off to VIOC every 5K miles or so). For whatever reason, the low-pressure valve on my Focus' A/C system is located in the passenger-side forward wheelwell, as the handyman my dad hired and I found out. We also found out that the system isn't leaking refrigerant, so, yay. And the fan is okay, so more yay. The relay, however, has burned itself out. Were my Focus any other model, it would use an easily-acquired relay, but as a wagon (much much more common in European Foci than American), it uses a weird relay developed with, of all things, Volkswagen. So, hopefully tomorrow, new relay. And better cooling, both under the hood and in the cabin.

A quick note about the fellow Dad hired. This dude is darn near a stereotype. He's country as anything, wouldn't want to live anywhere but here, got through high school and did a two-year tech school run, and sweet Christmas, this dude knows his shit. All-around good guy, and he's flat busting his ass to overcome a slew of problems plaguing his family.

Oui Allo?

Jun. 5th, 2014 10:06 pm
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One week in, and the summer gig is kicking my butt. Depending on the night's workload, I walk nine to thirteen miles in a shift and stow about a thousand items. My shoulders and upper arms are getting quite a workout, and good grief the aching feet when the night's running long.

Part of the latter can be laid at ... can be blamed on old shoes. I'm breaking a new pair in around the house this weekend before giving them a baptism by fire at the warehouse. Also, a couple of new pairs of shorts, since my jeans don't breathe all that well and the patches of heat rash-cooked skin are something I'd not like  to feel again.

Things here at the farm are okay. It's quiet, mostly, and I'm grateful for that. I miss having friends close at hand, but I'll be resettled in Louisville soon, and that will be resolved.

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There has been progress. Thursday (5/8), I locked down the summer job. It's a temp gig, of course, and maxes out at 90 days. I start on June 1, so won't feel at all bad about leaving the job on August 10.

Friday the 9th was my orientation at UofL. It went pretty well, and I was stunned at how very different the campus is. Any healthy organization will undergo changes in a quarter-century, of course, but still... had a few moments of "When I was here before, this building was a field." Found out that the Bachelor-level Public Health program is very new - I'm going to be part of one of the first graduating classes.

I go back to Louisville tomorrow for advising and registration. Step one is going to be deciding between the BA and BS paths. The BS is more likely, I think, especially as a route to an MPH and/or MS - Epi. Classes to pick, financial routes to pursue, so much more.

Like a place to live. I've procrastinated on this - I left the HL a month ago today, and have 20 days left on my lease here. One way or another, I'm out of Lexington pretty darn soon. I'm planning to look at a couple of places tomorrow before my advising meeting; I'd love to sign a lease and get the keys to a new home this week. Make the move as quickly as possible so I can get settled in before the job starts.
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The interview went well, I was offered the job, but after giving it an evening's thought, I turned it down. I can do better, especially for the summer, and probably will be doing so in the next week or so.

I almost went back to Louisville that evening. D called, having had a pretty rough day. We talked for a while, and again later in the evening, and things got onto a good-enough keel. But the talk led to something strange.

Nightmares hit Thursday night, and the worst involved me killing a friend. Not the more common lucid dreams - I was purely along for the ride. Woke up pretty scared. So, adrenaline from the nightmares plus concern about D plus having to scrub some other plans for Thursday evening at the last minute, and I had some kind of chemical soup going through me. I had this shell of civilized behavior over the strongest fight-or-flight-or-fuck state of mind I've felt in years, and some text messages and phone calls on Friday inadvertently added to that. Nothing worked to bring me down - I wrote, I drove, reconnected the PS2, went for a walk, etc., and it would not go away. I made things worse by going to Liberty, and the clutter there did a number on whatever strain of OCD that hits me from time to time. Came back home Saturday night, running less-traveled and more-interesting roads than the fastest, most direct route, stayed up until the wee hours trying to read before giving up and mixing a high-strength drink or two and letting that knock me out. Woke up on the couch late Sunday morning, having left bed sometime during the night, made myself take a shower, and watched hockey and handled some GenCon work all afternoon.

Monday, still some residual whatever-this-was in my system. Read, wrote, made some phone calls. Went to class - only one more session!

Going back to Louisville this evening, maybe sooner if I can get an appointment to check out an apartment. Not super-thrilled about the event that the date is centered on, and I won't be able to bail out, but it's only a couple of hours and the company will be good.

Two Hearts

Apr. 22nd, 2014 10:38 pm
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I've got an interview for a summer gig Thursday morning. It's a straight-up McJob, enough to keep me from dipping deeply into my savings over the summer. I'm planning to look at a few more apartments/houses/condos after the interview and before hopefully getting together at Vint for coffee and/or wine.

I had a lengthy phone conversation with Donna M tonight. She's in New York, on a three-month consulting gig at the Feinstein Institute. She's loving the money, but not at all thrilled with the work, expecting that it'll be undone within a year, and the institute will call her about another stint. Although it's a very different scale, I remember that frustration from my time with Lowe's. Nothing like a six-week stint of tearing down and rebuilding a sister store, returning it to opening day condition, only to visit it a few months later and see no sign that we were ever there.

Anyway ... she's among the number of folks looking forward to my move. In addition to being one of my best and oldest friends, she has contacts on top of contacts in labs and research institutions all over the US, many of them with openings for folks with my planned-for degrees and education. Good to know, and I will not turn down that kind of potential assistance.
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Well, I did it. Friday the 11th was my last day at the paper. I feel good about the decision. I'm free of the place and all of its toxins. It means being away from a lot of good people, of course, but this is the era of easy and ubiquitous connection, so that sting isn't so bad.

Had a really good evening out with friends on Thursday evening - one of the very few times I can remember crossing the work/not-work streams. Shared celebration of my departure and Diane's birthday. Dinner, drinks and pool and great conversations going past midnight. There's going to be at least one more party here before I leave, and at least a couple more when I get settled in Louisville.

Up late Friday night after leaving work, because why not. Slept way later than I should have on Saturday. Missed most of a really gorgeous day. Spent a little while poking around at the Focus' fuse box this afternoon before the constant sweat dripping into my eyes drove me back inside. I'll try again in a couple of hours, in that glorious time around sunset when there's still plenty of light but the heat of the day is gone. Hoping the problem is just a fuse; otherwise it's a trip to the shop and opening up the instrument panel.

Mom&Dad will be here in a bit. Looking forward to seeing them - may not get to again until after the move.
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Submitted my resignation today. Last day at the H-L is April 11.
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Long darn week at work. Too many meetings and training sessions, and more importantly, waiting to hear from UofL. I've made noise about just not worrying about admission, since all of the documentation and material is now in the University's hands, but so far, that hasn't kept me from signing into ULink three times a day.

There. I mentioned the day job. Hopefully the next mention of it will be me announcing, effectively, "So long, mofos!"

Made some progress with L5R this week. The new venue worked out well, and I think we're going to stick with it for the duration. I've caught myself wishing that I had the time and energy for another game, since Edge of the Empire is rockin' my socks, but there ain't no way.

Made myself go to the gym this morning. Nothing big, only a 2.25-mile jog, but it beat lying on the couch and watching Spider-Man and Justice League Unlimited (since I watched those while on the treadmill). Truly, small steps, but progress is progress.
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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.
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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.
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I had to be at the office on Friday, the day after a thoroughly unremarkable Independence Day. Unsurprisingly, there was just about fuck-all to do. I approved two ads. That was about it. Read some, and marked time. Went home, kept reading.

Friend's birthday party on Saturday. Excellent company, but a reminder that for the most part steaks at a mid-level restaurant are too small on the cut and much too large on the tab. Also, even excellent company can't always overcome losing a couple of hours in a shitty karaoke bar.

Sunday, Mom's birthday. Good times with her and Dad, even if both of them were a little under the weather.

We'd planned to start the Deadlands game tonight, but that's going to see an unfortunate delay. I'd prefer to press on and catch the absent player up when his schedule releases him, but consensus was to delay. So, Monday nights will see board and card games until after GenCon. There are worse things.
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The furloughs were expected, but another five layoffs weren't. My department got hit, one guy from Team 2. I wouldn't call him a friend, but he's a good dude. This is going to mean more of a load on the remaining two members of that team, as his territory is in the southeastern end of the state - many miles to cover - and word was given from On High that the territory can't be abandoned.

Pain in the ass week, too. Each team had one rep on vacation, so we were all spread a little thinner. Rep SC is off next week, so, yeah, so much more to cover. And we moved our workspace to the opposite end of the building, losing our cherished isolation.

I took today off as a mental health day. Woke up way too early. Saw an early showing of Star Trek Into Darkness, and, ain't gonna lie. I wasn't impressed. There are a lot of good ideas in there, but the whole thing just doesn't hold together. If there's another one in this series, its probably going to be a rental of some kind for me.

Since I was close, after the movie, dropped into Half-Price Books. Tron Legacy and Layer Cake on DVD, and the novel version of the latter as well. I've watched Tron Uprising over the past week, and am in that headspace.

This weekend looks like another one with family of both kinds. Mom's coming up tomorrow for a follow-up exam, and Sunday I'm off to Louisville for the afternoon. Good stuff to help recover from the past week and shore me up for the one to come.


Jun. 17th, 2013 11:48 pm
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Every now and again, I get a reminder of the depth of knowledge possessed by my father. Last Tuesday, he called and asked if I would drive across town and pick him up. His truck wouldn't start, and he was tired of being around it. The carrier had been contacted, and a repair order was in, so no worries there, but he was in town, so no need to stay with the truck when he doesn't have to. So, yeah, no problem, I'm in the car and heading across town. When I pull up to his location, all of 15 minutes later, the truck's running. He rooted around in the truck's toolbox and found a strip of metal. Laid said metal across the solenoid, forcing a short circuit that locked the thing closed and enabling the starter to do its thing. To him, twarn't nothin'. I wouldn't have figured out this problem and solution in a hundred days.

Had a good weekend - and have had a string of them of late, which is pretty darn terrific. Saturday was Free RPG Day, and the club's event went off spectacularly. Over thirty attendees, many games, many new faces. Our host store reported good sales, selling most of the items we had ordered to back up the giveaways. Another store ran a 25% off RPGs sale, and I landed a Mage sourcebook and a Star Wars: EotE starter set - more on that in a second. I ran four folks through the Shadowrun quickstart, and good times were had all around. I had planned to run the SW:EotE demo, too (and part of my reason and happiness at getting the starter set came from getting a set of the funky dice the game uses), but that was unfortunately derailed by a player who made up for his lack of smart with a surplus of belligerence.

Following the gaming, it was off to the bar, which led to its own hijinks. One of our little group only gets let off the leash a couple of times a year, while the rest of us are accomplished in defiling ourselves. Dave wound up drinking entirely too much, attempting to match Colin, the master at whose feet I learned. Dave was in sad-ass shape. And was crashing on my couch for the evening. Thankfully, he didn't get sick, but he's likely to lose his privileges over this.

Sunday! Father's Day! Got up, saw No-More-Drinking-Dave off, and headed to Liberty. Dad loved his gift - a nice little Dell laptop - and we had a good time grilling and goofing off. Had planned to go to Louisville in the evening to have dinner with Diane, but she texted me in the afternoon to ask about staying at my place that night instead - she had an appointment in Danville this morning (Monday) and leaving from Lexington would save her a lot of morning driving. We stayed up rather late talking, and while I paid for it with industrial-grade drowsiness at the office today, it was more than worth it.

More dumb stuff at work. Nothing new there.
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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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