Another glorious day! Today, the kids & I had a 9 am session of the "D&D Boardgame Challenge". Our hope was to be able to play Wrath of Ashardalon, as we own Castle Ravenloft. We did get to play it, fortunately, but died as a result of Ashardalon, the big frikkin red dragon, finding us before we could complete our mission. We had fun, regardless.

After that, it was time for me to get into the annual Nuclear War game. It was fun to see a number of the same people playing again, picking up the fun where it left off. The tournament was decided in the final round at my table; it came down to one other player and myself. He had ~5 million more population than I did, and that made all the difference.

I had reserved Saturday afternoon for me to wander the dealers area and talk to companies to either thank them for their support of TCEP or to see if we could get demo reps or prize support for TCEP. I talked to some folks, but I don't think anything will come of it. That's life, i suppose. I met the rest of the family before they went to play in the last "Andy versus Everybody" event, then went to rest for a bit. Got up to meet the family for dinner, and [ profile] mouseling1 and I went off to play in our annual Mutants and Masterminds game.

As usual, we had a blast. [ profile] mouseling1 played Siren (Think Aquaman, but female and useful) while I again took on the role of Raven (Think Batman's daughter following in his footsteps). I played it again because I enjoy the character, I play "Batman" well, and I like figuring out how to use my talents and skills to take supers down. We've run with this GM before, and he always cautions the players that it can be tough to play the "Batman" and "Green Arrow" equivalents. OTOH, he loves it when I play Raven.

This time was to be no exception.

Without boring everyone by going into details, one of the high points for everyone was when Captain Thunder (think Captain Marvel with electrical powers added) and Raven snarled at each other for a good 5 minutes. If you can visualize the DCAU Superman (after having been depowered and spending 6 months in hard labor, watching the people he'd sworn to protect be transformed into faceless soldiers) and Batman (who has been leading the underground resistance for those same 6 months) snarling at each other, you've got what we had at the table. The GM was wishing that the designer of M&M, Steve Kenson, was there to watch this.

Long story short: we saved the day. With a lot of heroics along the way.

Well, after all was said and done, we went back to the room to hang out with everyone one last time this year. Another evening of fun and drinks was had by all.
Well, [ profile] mouseling1 and I had a session of Fury of Dracula at 0900, so we got up, scarfed some breakfast, and found our game. Sadly, we did not defeat Dracula, as he was able to evade us by one of his cards just as we had him pinned. [ profile] mouseling1 was getting a little bored by the end, but I think that everyone getting up for drinks or whatever near the end had as much to do with that as anything.

We ate some lunch, then [ profile] mouseling1 & [ profile] mousecat0 went off for their final Witch Hunter game, while F & I cruised the dealers room some more. He picked 2 booster boxes of Beyblade cards and some other stuff, while I found a box of Gregory Horror figure boosters and some possible adventures for the gaming group. Once we got tired of cruising the dealers room, we checked out the board game area to see if any demos were going on. Got to sit in on a demo of Thunderstone, which I had a blast with. F sat next to me, happily going through his cards.

The ladies finished their game long before the scheduled end, so they came over to say "Hi". They ended up going up to the room while I finished the demo. About the time I finished, it was time to head over to BD's Mongolian for dinner. And it was, as usual, delicious. Our server was a bit...surly. The bigger problem ended up being that one of the other MiB's lost his hat and bag while at dinner, which had, among other things, his glasses in it. This was not cool.

The rest of the evening was spent doing a little laundry and hanging out with people in our room. Not much to tell there, save that there was much laughter and fun to be had.
And so here we are at the end of day 2 of Origins 2011.
cut for probable length )
Yes, once again, I'll be trying to keep a nightly log of the day as I saw it. How successful will I be? Who knows...
Cut for probable length )
Not much, how 'bout you? I'm not sure why I called...

Ok, enough o' that crap.

Yes, I know I've done that before, but not recently, and I'm not firing on all cylinders right now, so go soak your head. ;-)

Anyway, this is likely to get long and rambly, and before it's all said and done, I may put it behind a cut.

So, lemme start out with some administrivia. Please give a warm welcome to [ profile] rainlust who found me through the [ profile] ljover30 community. Pull up a chair and help yourself to somethin' to drink. I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.

[ profile] mousecat0: Normally I start out talking about me (this is *my* LJ after all), but this needs to be put out there first. For the last month/month-and-a-half or so, my lovely wife has been having problems with her left arm. Shooting pain, numbness, etc. She saw one of the docs in one of the buildings she manages, who recommended she see a specialist. Long story short, they believe she has a pinched nerve in her neck causing the problem. They put her on a relatively short steroid regimen and prescription ibuprofen, as well as physical therapy.

Unfortunately, it hasn't worked. If anything, things have gotten worse. And to the point where last night she sat in bed crying for 20-30 minutes from the pain, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do except sit there and hold her hand, because I didn't know if doing anything more would make things worse. I gave her some Tylenol PM to help both the pain and to help her sleep. I didn't sleep well because I was constantly monitoring her. If she didn't have the followup visit today, I might have considered taking her to the ER. Of course, I don't know what they could have done.

Anyway, today's appointment resulted in her getting an appointment for an MRI. I don't know when the appointment is, unfortunately.

Me: Um, take away the stress and frustration over the arm thing and I'm ok. Otherwise, right now, I'm tired and frustrated. The tired thing I can handle, it's the not being able to do anything that's...not so easy to handle. For all of my gifts, healing is not on the list.

Kids: Doing well, champing at the bit for school to let out for the summer. Both are concerned, however, for their mom, and this tempers their spirits a bit. However, a note of congratulations is in order for [ profile] mouseling1 and the rest of the North Bethesda Middle School Chorus for taking first place in the "Music in the Park" competition last weekend at Busch Gardens. The NBMS Band and NBMS Orchestra took second place in each of their respective competitions there as well, and congratulations are due them as well.

Work: is work. Contract has been renewed through the end of December. We'll see what happens then.

Mother's Day: Went very well, despite my attempts to screw up the baking. How so? Well, lessee, first there was the sugar-free cheesecake, which I could have sworn called for the graham cracker crust to be baked first. Except I obviously read it wrong, for I burned two crusts. The third, made with the last of the graham crackers I bought, was fine, and so was the rest of the cheesecake. Then I tried to make the cinnamon rolls, and the dough wouldn't rise. [ profile] mousecat0, being the consummate baker that she is, warmed up the oven and threw the dough in there...where it promptly rose. [ profile] luvmomh seemed to enjoy everything, and I think it was a great time for everyone.

Gaming: My Pathfinder game has started it's next stage, as the party has moved on to helping a small Keep on the Borderlands. Perhaps the best line of the last session was made by the barbarian, who, upon arriving at the keep and being questioned by the surly corporal of the gate, announced "We're from the Government! We're here to help!" They have also been introduced to the "Curse of Competence" - since they did such a remarkable job of taking care of a bandit problem they'd been having, they were given a chance for greater fame and glory by being commissioned to find and eradicate the threat of the so-called "Caves of Chaos". Ah, what fun!

Not much electronic/online gaming of late. No time.

Cons: As has been announced elsewhere, the current plan is that we will be attending Origins this year. In fact, we've already registered for the con and our events. Plan is to leave early in the AM on Wednesday and come home Monday. I'm glad that we were able to make this happen - if what I'm hearing is true, we may not be going for a while. It seems that they may move Origins to Memorial Day weekend. This, IMO, is going to be a major mistake, as most students are not out of school yet. And for all that they've been pushing this as a family convention...I foresee a sharp drop in attendance if the date change becomes a reality.

Otherwise, TCEP 18 is on track, and Intervention 2011 is full steam ahead as well. At TCEP, I'll be running two sessions of the 4th annual Arneson/Gygax Memorial Dungeon Crawl, as well as a RPG session for the younger kids (probably Avengers based) and who knows what else.

TV notes: Watched the latest ep of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes last night. Loved the cameo appearances of Ben Grimm & Johnny Storm. This series is REALLY Good. So, for that matter, is Young Justice, though some of the vocal mannerisms are gonna drive me up a wall.

I think that's all I got for now.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 34 Days!
TCEP 18: 138 Days!
Intervention: 152 Days!
OK, so the family & I spent the better part of the last 7 days either planning for or attending Origins 2010. Here, for those who care, is the recap of those days.

Short version. Another Awesome Time was had by all.
Long version under cut )
With your host, Grayhawk! OK, so this is pretty much a brain dump.

Well, it was a good weekend. At least, for me it was.

Friday, I had to have B. to school at 0530, as the North Bethesda Middle School choir was performing that day in Newport News, VA that morning, and they were leaving by 0600. Now, the NBMS band and NBMS Orchestra were also performing that day; after which, they were heading for Busch Gardens. Turns out that this was a competition, and I am happy to say that not only did the choir take first place, but the band and orchestra did as well!

Meanwhile, I just went in early. Had to make up some time anyway, so it was just a long day.

Picked her up around 11 pm after watching the Flyers beat Boston. We all crashed.

Saturday morning was spent running errands, including haircuts all around and a quick stop at Target. [ profile] mousecat0 went up to the C&S game in F-redneck, and the kids & I cleaned, then napped, until it was time to take B to her friends place for a sleepover. F & I went home and had dinner while watching Smokey & The Bandit. He called it a night, and I got pulled into a ICC10 run in WoW (downed 6 bosses). [ profile] mousecat0 got home around midnight.

Sunday broke, and we did some final policing before the Barking Mad meeting. [ profile] mousecat0 collected B from the sleepover. The meeting went well, and was productive. As the pork chops I pulled out for dinner were still porksicles, we opted for some take-out fried chicken. Once the kids were prepped for school and showered, I got on WoW and got pulled into a Ulduar10 group (downed 7 bosses). Watched the Flyers beat the Habs.

And now here I am at work.

Still waiting for the dopes at Origins to get their heads out of their asses so I can sign up for events on their site.

I thought I had some sports thoughts, mainly dealing with the Flyers, but they seem to have gotten lost in the "maze of twisty tunnels, all alike" that is my brain some days.

20 years ago yesterday, we lost Jim Henson. My world has never been the same. is an excellent memorial.

In Pace Requiesat Ronnie James Dio. Thank you, sir, for the music and the memories. May you be at peace.

Have you registered for TCEP 17: 3 Nights in Laurel (make a hard man humble...) yet? Why not?

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes today a good day.

Convention Countdown
Origins 2010: 36 Days!
TCEP 17: 108 Days!
Because random titles are fun!

So, yeah, trying to get back into a more regular posting rhythm. I have a few thoughts I wanna get down on paper (screen?) while I have some lunch break time left.

But first, some administrivia: Welcome to [ profile] willowdrea & [ profile] lindalee_! [ profile] willowdrea & I found each other through [ profile] snipeyhead setting up a Google group thingie, while [ profile] lindalee_ & I found each other from a friending frenzy she was hosting a day or so ago. So welcome to the porch!. Pull up a chair and help yourself to somethin' to drink. I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.

I'm gonna jump around a bit here. I'll try not to lose you.

I've spent part of the last day trying to hammer out my demo schedule for Origins. Mopstly, I'll be doing demos of Chez Geek, Chez Goth, and Chez Cthulhu. I'm trying not to do too much, as I'd like to do at least one event with each kid, and maybe something we can all do together.

Some of you who have been here a bit may remember that we took part in the 2009 NJ Lighthouse Challenge (you can read about our adventure here). We were going to do the Maryland one, but opted out due to illness and weather. Our plan was to try to do it this year, but I just learned from the website that due to state budgetary issues combined with the fact that neither the Long Island nor New Jersey Challenges would be held this year, they chose to also not hold it this year, instead looking towards 2011 as the next one. A bit of a disappointment, to be sure, but understandable.

Supposed to visit NJ this weekend for a combined birthday party for B and my brother [ profile] matt3485; we shall see if that happens. Mostly, it will depend on the weather. Specifically, the snow. Yay.

So the Eagles have let Brian Westbrook go. I can't say I'm surprised. Salary Cap issues aside, he spent as much or more time off the field as on it over the last two seasons. I'm sorry to see him go, and I wish him nothing but the best. Thank you, sir, for your time with the Eagles and the thrilling plays you made. Thank you for everything you did for the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans everywhere.

I hate my work computer on Thursdays. That's the day when the full AV scan is done. Slows this damn machine down more than molasses in Montana in February.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

feels wierd

May. 6th, 2009 12:30 pm
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
So, for the last, what, 7 years now, I've been attending Origins. It was my yearly ritual to get away from the stresses of the job, of life, of finances. To see friends. To play new games. To hang out with other gamers.

This year, I won't be going.

This was a decision reached before I went last year, to be honest. At the time, we were hoping to have been moving out of the area at the time, and I felt that the money and time wouldn't be there. Of course, what happened instead was that both [ profile] mousecat0 & I got new jobs, and while we're going to revisit the moving idea in a few years, we don't have the money or the time off from our jobs to go on a week long vacation this year.

Plus, a number of the people that I go to see won't be there either, again for various reasons (some good, some...well...some not so good)

Well, the upshot is that I keep getting the emails from Origins and GAMA for various deadlines and updates and reminders, I see them, get a momentary rush of "Cool! Origins!" followed by a "Crap. Not going". ANd then I delete them.

So to those of you going, roll some dice for me, eh? And hopefully, I'll see y'all next year.
Well, here we are in the hotel room again. Another great day of gaming fun and lunacy.
last night )
today )
I hope I'm not annoying people too much with my random thoughts/updates from Origins.

And if I am, tough.

Recap of the day so far )
other thoughts )
Good evening, ladies and gents. Welcome to my Origins 2008 reports.

I have no idea if I'll make regular reports or not. I'd like to, but we'll have to see how I feel each night.

Anyway, so this year, Origins is now officially running all day Wednesday. They've kinda been halfway towards that the last few years. So, I had 2 events today. More about those in a few.
The trip )
Registration & Goodie bag )
Events )
Yeah, whatever.  ;-)

I'm actually ok.  Just need the upcoming vacation.

As of 1800 hrs EDT Friday, I'll be on vacation. Won't be back to work until 1 July.

And in 1 week, I'll be rolling through Ohio with Mousecat0 & B. on my way to Origins.  Looking forward to seeing people again, playing games with people again. 

I've been busting my hump at work the last few weeks, given the high level of scrutiny that the current project is under.  It will be good to relax.

I can haz nap nao plz?

Stuff to do stuff to do stuff to do

I know I've been kinda down lately. This has prompted people to worry about me.

The truth is, I'm...ok. I've been better. A lot better. But I've also been worse. A lot worse.

I should probably keep my mouth shut when depressed, both IRL and online. Quite a few people on my f-list are going through much rougher times than me. I should be grateful for the blessings I do have and enjoy. And I think about these friends and feel...ashamed? that I am bitching about things. Which makes me more see where this cycle is going, right?

But sometimes, I need to vent. This is about the only place I can do so. And I don't feel that I can vent about everything here. So I get frustrated.

Anyway, the upshot is that for more than 37 years on this planet, I've gotten by, and I'm doing all right, despite the occasional bout of depression and what my inner demons tell me.

So, really, I'm ok. Honest.

Spent yesterday home sick with come 24 hr bug. Woke up feeling like I hadn't slept in weeks and that I had gargled with broken glass for an hour. Called in sick, took Nyquil, and went back to bed. Got up ~4 hrs later, came out, sat in my recliner, and snoozed for an hour, when [ profile] mousecat0 brought me some chicken noodle soup. Took NyQuil around 9 pm and crashed...slept straight through to 7 am. I'm feeling a lot better, but not 100%.

And, to make life more interesting up around my way, my car developed an odd shimmy the other week. It went away if I kept my speed below 60, so I stayed in the right lane and behaved myself. This lasted until last Thursday, when the rear passenger tire blew. Lovely. Fortunately, I was in a good spot on the beltway to change it. I have to check to see if the warranty covers inside sidewall blowouts. I'm betting it won't. Damn thing has less than 20k miles on it.

Despite that, and despite having to downgrade our hotel, it appears that barring new jobs, we will be at Origins. To be specific, [ profile] mousecat0, B. & I will be there. One of the things I was hoping to do with B. was get into an intro-level run of Kobolds Ate My Baby, but I can't find any in the lists. Hey, my kids are properly raised geek kids - they know what to do when they hear the name "King Torg"


But, we are in a intro-level Mutants & Masterminds game together, and she really wants to play in some of the Looney Labs/Big Experiment stuff.

I need this vacation. I need my down time.

OK, enough. Moving on. I got work to do and so do you. Talk atcha later!
OK, so any comments I may have made in any comments are not misinterpreted:

As things stand, a final decision has not been made regarding Origins. n However, we are currently working under the assumption that at the very least, I will be there.

The current foreseen scenarios are as follows, in order form most likely to least likely:

The factors that affect this the most are:
  • $$$
  • Whether or not [ profile] mousecat0 gets a new job.
  • Whether or not *I* get a new job.

We shall see how things play out.
Well, I'll be attending at least two, and maybe three this year.

Of course, I'll be at TCEP 15 over Labor Day Weekend 2008. After all, I help run that.

I'll also be at Origins this year as well. Again, a good thing since I'm the liason for the SJG demo team. The current plan is to have [ profile] mousecat0 and B. come with me.

And yes, [ profile] rileybear67, we can do lunch or dinner. With or without others. You and I shall make the time.

The one that's a little up in the air right now is Balticon. I may have to bail on that one due to finances. I'll know better after I talk to [ profile] tth this weekend. I have a few options that may work, but they needs be discussed.

Conventions. I love them so. Big ones and small ones, each has their strong points and attractions to me. Both let me hang out, play games, talk to new and interesting people and catch up with old friends. Sometimes the games are good, sometimes the games are Astrobirdzturkeys.

At least I'm not working ConSecurity anymore. Oh, the stories I have of those days...

I keep thinking we ought to compile a book of these stories. Problem is, they come across much better in person when we tell them than I think they would in print. The facial expressions and vocal intonations get lost.

I mean, really, how do you describe the look on someone's face when they open the door to the stairwell to see a LOT of superballs bouncing their way down the stairway from the top floor?


Jul. 8th, 2007 09:41 am
OK, packing up my room here at Origins.

THought about daily updates, sleep took precedence.

More to come. Suffice it to say that we had a blast, GAMA & the Origins staff are very cool, and having the hotel across the street from you is very nice.

Congrats to Steve Jackson Games for winning the Origins Award for Non-Collectible Card game or expansion of the year with Munchkin Impossible.

Peace and chicken grease!
So, here I am at the Hampton Inn & Suites, resting after day 1 of Origins. Here's how the day went.

Got up at 4 am to get myself together. Once I was dressed, I woke [ profile] mousecat0, then went upstairs to do one last email check before leaving. I packed us into the car, then made a quick stop at WaWa for fuel - gasoline for the car and coffee and breakfast sammitches for us. All told, we were on the road for real by 0445; not too bad.

The drive out was uneventful. This is a good thing. Made 1 fuel stop and 1 pit stop, and arrived here around 1300 hrs. It took us a bit to find parking, as all the meters were being used. It wasn't until I finally found an empty one that I realized why: the meters are free on holidays! Combine that with the Independence Day festivities going on downtown, and parking was going to be scarce. Nonetheless, we did find a place, so we entered the GCCC to get our badges. [ profile] mousecat0 got her badge before I did! Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to $deity and man, they did not have the MiB badges together, so I got mine and my swag bag and went over to the MiB room.

(Which, if you're reading this and care, we're in Room D140 in the GCCC)

Well, they didn't have enough tables in there, so I -ahem- acquired the necessary tables and chairs and got them set up. This, I cannot blame them for; no dialog was ever established to determine how many tables would be necessary. We noted that it was after 2, so we decided to see if we could check in. We were able to, and we unloaded the car - moments before the floodgates of heaven opened up and poured gallons of water on us. I parked the car, and stopped by the SJG room to reassure the people gathered there that the 1500 hr Cars vs. Cows game would run. I headed up to my hotel room to help unpack, then while [ profile] mousecat0 laid down to help her back, I went back to the con. The person who was scheduled to run Cars vs. Cows had not arrived yet, so I ran the event. 12 people make for a slow and way too target-rich of an environment. It took a while for the game to end, but everyone had fun, I think, and really, that's the important thing.

While this was going on, [ profile] nukekitty showed up. After massive hugs, we talked for a bit, then we went to find out where the prize support (and SJ's stuff for his "Evil Stevie Pirate Game") was. On the way there, we ran into [ profile] petronivs. According to the person I dealt with, they knew that the pallet of stuff was at the GCCC, but they couldn't tell me where. They promised to call me as soon as they located it. As yet, no call.

Shortly thereafter, I ran my 1800 hr Chez Goth. Had 4 players, none of whom had played before. Got several excellent draws which I could have used to win the game early and decisively, but I don't wanna win these games if I can help it, so I made some boneheaded moves which eliminated me from contention until the end. Fortunately, one of the other gentlemen made an excellent play to cinch the game.

At this point, [ profile] mousecat0 was threatening to rip my arm off an gnaw on it, so we went and got something to eat, then retired to our room.

So, what's in the swag bag this year?
Loot! Loot!! LOOT!!! )
Impressions of Day one )


Frank N. Huminski

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