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My Dodgers are on a real tear as the first half of the season comes to a close. They've won 25 of their last 29 games, and are 60-29 going into this afternoon's game against Kansas City. Tuesday night's the MLB All-Star Game, and six Dodgers are on the NL roster. It's a good time to be a fan.

Played an Epic-scale X-Wing game Friday evening. I got out my CR90 and a half-dozen fighter escorts against an Assault Carrier and a heap of TIEs. I got in some good shots early in the game, knocking out the Bombers before they could get their ordnance off, but the TIEs were the death of a thousand paper cuts, and I lost in a slugfest. The game got a lot of attention while league matches were going on, so I've scheduled a Team Epic night in a couple of weeks. Assuming the ratio of interested to will-actually-play holds up, we should have two Epic matches going.

Yesterday was Mom's birthday. Dad and I took her for a cruise on the Belle of Louisville, something she's wanted to do for a while. Really great experience. Weather was about perfect - low 80s and scattered clouds. We had a reserved table in the ballroom/dining deck for lunch, and the boat never felt crowded, even with a sold-out cruise. After lunch, we headed up to the open-air sightseeing deck for the remainder of the cruise. The Belle took us upstream almost to the new East End bridge, so plenty to see along the way. The old steamboat can get some speed when she's underway - jet skis and powerboats were zipping by (and their passengers gave the Belle her due), but we overtook a couple of barges and their towboats during the cruise. I went below to get a look at her engines, and it was like stepping back to another era of engineering. The Belle is a no-fooling steamer, 103 years old, so it's all boilers and pistons and vents and such down there. Pretty darn cool, and would definitely do this again. Possibly on one of the distillery tasting cruises.

I'm into October in my Pandemic Legacy campaign. Things aren't going well - we took steps to try to contain COdA as much as possible, but a streak of Scarlet Fever epidemics did us in. New Zealand's provided some emergency assistance, but it feels like it's just delaying the inevitable.

Finally got to see both Kubo and the Two Strings and Moana. Very different, but both very good. I was glad that Moana didn't become Maui's story -  Dwayne Johnson exudes charisma, even through a Pixar animation - and we got to see the mythology play out and a fun story unfold. Gave up on seeing Alien Covenant in a theater. I felt like I was constantly talking myself into going, and that was a warning sign - plus the not-very-goodness of Prometheus a few years ago.
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Several years ago, Intermountain produced a limited-run N-scale SD40-2T in RJ Corman colors. I lusted after that model. RJC served my former employer,  and I saw the prototypes for these specific models with some regularity around Lexington. But, for whatever reasons, I never bought one, and I've regretted it since.

More recently, Kato produced models of Norfolk Southern's gorgeous heritage fleet. Growing up, most of the locomotives I saw were Southern Railway high-hood units in their classy black-and-white scheme. So, having learned my lesson, I bought one of the Kato models, the Savannah & Atlanta SD70ACe. It is a beaut of a model, and a very nice graduation gift to myself.

Met up with one of my X-Wing pals for a couple of practice games and to exchange some promo items last night. The A-Wing just didn't synergize with its ARC squadmates at all, so it's probably going back to the hangar. I've got a couple of other ships in mind - a Y-Wing and T-70 - and will probably test those tonight. The drive back home was going great until I got to MM28 or thereabouts. A motorcycle running from KSP wound up hitting the median barricade, and the left two (of three) lanes were closed. Long delay. Should have stuck around and flown another couple of rounds.

Got an e-mail this morning alerting me to an upcoming Kickstarter campaign for a new edition of Top Secret. Way back when, TS/SI was one of my go-to games, and I still have a lot of love for it. With Spycraft 3 still in maybe-someday space, I'm definitely up for giving TS: New World Order a shot.

UofL baseball ends the regular season this weekend. I haven't made it to a game all season, and won't be able to catch either of the remaining two. Louisville's hosting the ACC tournament, so with some small luck I can get over to Slugger Field for some games, and we should (should) host NCAA Regionals and maybe Super-Regionals, too. Here's hoping.
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Louisville beat Marshall. Cards are 4-0, playing at Clemson this week. Although, UofL is ranked higher than Clemson, I can't quite get myself to believe that UofL will win. Clemson is so darn good.

Classes are still progressing. For a small number of reasons, I'm starting to wish that I'd maybe concentrated in Health Management instea of Promotion. I mentioned this in passing to one of my professors, and that led to another conversation about post-MPH plans. We have a rough map, combining our new executive MHA program with our policy PhD while working for SPHIS or a city or state agency.

It's the middle of the semester already. Monday and Tuesday are fall break, and I'm taking the days off from work. Going to head to the farm in a few hours to work on papers. Mom&Dad are gone to Arizona, so I'm house-sitting, and the quiet environment should be conducive to getting plenty of work done.

Set up an epic-scale X-Wing game last night. Led a 400-point Imperial force with my Raider against a 12-starfighter Rebel group supported by a electronics warfare GR-75. My Raider and a TIE/SF were the last Imperial ships on the table, but the Raider did its thing and, after hanging back to build up energy reserves, ripped the Rebel forces to bits. A really good time all around, and we're planning to do it again soon - I have yet to use my CR90, and that needs to be rectified soon.

Shadowrun Anarchy dropped this morning. Hoping to get (or make) the time to read at least some of it this weekend.

Oh hey, autumn finally arrived for real. The past week has seen daytime high temps in the low 70s or upper 60s, rain, clouds, some sunshine peeking through.
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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.)
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Cardinal football is 0-3. This bodes ill.

Broke in the Starviper in an X-Wing tournament. Not a bad ship, and I can see it becoming a very tricky fighter under a player with more experience using it. I'm not likely to become that player, as it's a S&V ship, and I fly that faction maybe one time in ten. Went 2-2 in the tournament, losing to YV-666 builds both times. One was a no-skill-required fortress build; the other was more interesting. Beat on a double Aggressor build and ... I think a Chewbacca-and-escorts squadron. Won half of my entry fee back in store credit, and bullshitted with some of my fellow pilots for a while.

Tested the new K-Wing out in a couple of casual games yesterday. It's an interesting ship - slow and with limited maneuver options. The SLAM action is great for getting the thing out of harm's way (at the cost of losing the chance to shoot), and it rewards aggressive flying - forget the bombs, load this critter up with torpedoes and missiles and sic it on the bad guys.

School is progressing. I didn't get the research assistant job (all good). Sleep and I have moved into a long-distance relationship (we only really see each other on weekends). We declare concentrations in a few weeks, and I think most of the cohort has selected theirs.

Very weird-ass dream about Cassandra a couple of nights ago. It gets strange up in my mind sometimes.

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