Hey, I'm still plugging away. None of the wildfires got close enough for me to be directly effected, but I know several folks who had to evacuate.
Summer is finally winding down here in Texas, but it is not gone yet. Still more 90+ degree temperatures than below.
The Day of Sevens went awesome! It turned out to be a long day, but watching all the movies back to back highlighted just how much they followed the basic theme and where they made genre appropriate changes. The only stinker was Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, which wasn't in theme after all, but is a hilarious bad movie to heckle.
I'm doing most of my posting over at Bugbears for Breakfast, my gaming blog. So for more immediate info or to drop me a line, check over there. I still get comment notifications from here, but I can't always access this site, so expect a delay if you comment here.
Just logging in and posting to verify things are still working here. See my other blog (Bugbears for Breakfast) for more current gaming material. I may post here more often, but I'm stretched a bit thin at the moment.
In no particular order (other than rolling of my brain):
My car is (mostly) fixed. My parents and in-laws came through and helped us tremendously. I was able to get the car running again (A/C, brakes, and a few other minor things), inspected (which took a new tire and a replaced turn signal bulb) , and had the tags renewed. Plus: new plates with the new 7 digit plates. My wife got hers at the same time, so our plate numbers are now one digit away from each other. Getting my car fixed has done immense work at removing the stress of being "trapped" at the house my wife was feeling. Seems to have peeled a big layer of depression off her.
I attended a local board gaming convention (Lone Star VI) here in town over the New Year's weekend. My thoughts on the games I played can be found here. Oddly, it has been my most popular posting on what is essentially a RPG blog. Go figure.
I am involved in the following campaigns:
Southern Reaches - as DM: a sandbox-style game using the Pathfinder RPG rules. Plays every week on Friday with whoever shows up to play. Has a fairly stable group of players.
Naze Valley Rangers - as DM: a more traditional plot-driven campaign using the Pathfinder RPG rules. Plays once a month on the fourth Saturday (with some variation due to player availability). Regular group of players with almost complete overlap with the Southern Reaches game.
Traveller Hero - as a DM: This is a campaign that I am just starting to put together as an experiment. I want to try a West Marches-style game in a science fiction setting. I think it will work and this is my attempt to verify that. We'll be using the Traveller rules adapted to the Hero System rules (assuming I can find the ultra-rare Traveller Hero rule books that went out of print two years ago). This campaign will run Fridays, temporarily replacing the Southern Reaches campaign while I update and reset that campaign (some time June-ish).
Dyson's Delve - as a player: a location-based game based on the dungeon of the same name (found here) using the Pathfinder RPG rules. Most of the group is new to table-top RPGs as of this campaign and there is a 50-50 split, male-female. There is one player who overlaps with my other two Pathfinder games.
Rise of Aester LARP - as a player: just starting out, this is a steampunk LARP using the Rise of Aester LARP rules. This is an invitation only game with folks I LARPed with back in the day. The goal of "invite only" is to avoid trolls and griefers, which are abundant in public access LARPs. We are still making characters and I'm not certain we have achieved critical mass for players yet, but we'll see.
I'm also doing some writing, in addition to running two campaigns. I'm doing some collaborative work with an online friend in Florida, but most of that is in development right now. I'll post more when it gets closer to play test/production, whichever seems more reasonable at the time. I also have a goal to finish my Over the Edge novelette I was writing as part of NaNoWriMo. I want to follow the Writer's Paeon: Finish what you start. I have about 20,000 words written so far. I expect to triple that before I finish, but finish I will!
The DayJob is chugging along. The project I'm on has extended to the end of this year (a nine month extension) and there will be a side project they want me to handle as well, so things are solid there. I like working with this guys at this client, so I'm pleased with the situation as a whole. I'm also hoping for a raise this year, but we'll have to see how that pans out - my yearly review looked good and was strong.
That's it for right now. I'm hoping I beat writerspry to his update. (Zing, ponyboy!)
That's "Jobe", like in the Bible, not "job" like employment. This past week has been like being hit by a hurricane, except it's just me and my wife and there was no hurricane.
Monday last week (16th) our A/C went out. It's covered by home warranty, so we called them and they assigned a contractor - who couldn't make it until Thursday afternoon. I picked up a window A/C unit to keep the master bedroom "tolerable" and we waited. Thursday the cable goes out and our internet connection. We assume it is due to the heat, which will be fixed soon, so no worry. The repair guy shows up an hour and a half late and then says he needs to replace the condenser fan motor, which he does not have the parts for, and won't be back until Saturday and we'll be number 16 on the list. Turns out they only had ONE GUY working the area, which is why it took so long for him to get to us. By then the house was too hot, even the master bedroom, and we went to stay with some friends until Saturday. They have pets, so my wife is on alergy medicine the whole time.
Saturday arrives and we pack up and head back to the house and wait. And wait. He never shows. We go to call the home warranty people to complain and discover the phones are out. Seems they went out sometime on Thursday and we hadn't noticed as we had been communicating via my wife's cell phone. We repack and head back to our friend's house to camp out through Monday.
Monday, I run by the office to pick up a hardcopy document to edit and wait at the house. When 8:00 AM rolls around, I start calling the contractor to find out when they are going to show to fix the A/C. After four messages and no response, I call the warranty company and have them call the contractor. They do so and the contractor says they fixed it on Saturday. I turn on the A/C and cool air starts coming out. Seems the repair guy came by when we weren't there and fixed it but left no note or called the house phone (as opposed to the cell phone we had been regularly using) and left a message we couldn't get to. So the house starts cooling down and I do some editing work until 2:00, when I go pick up my wife (she was attending a webinar and stayed at our friend's place so she could connect to the internet). At this point the A/C seems to be fixed, but the phones, cable, and internet are still out. On they way back, my wife makes the calls to get the phone, cable, and internet fixed. AT&T is very responsive and gets repair people out there within an hour. An hour!
Just in time for an intense thunderstorm to knock out power to the area for two hours.
Did I mention Houston hit 100 degrees Monday with humidity to match? The house warmed up again, fast.
The AT&T folks track down the issue to a cable that got nicked by our neighbors behind us when they did some work or something. Thursday was when the signal finally degraded enough that we lost all communications. They replace the cable just as the power comes back on. Phones, cable, and internet are up and working 100%.
But the A/C isn't dropping the temperature inside the house below 83 degrees (I have a thermometer that reads inside and outside temperature).
Turns out that the compressor fan wasn't the only problem and we call the home warranty people and get them to assign a contractor. We want a different contractor, but as these guys did the first repair, we are locked in to them until it is fixed or they fail to make a "timely appearance to fix the problem". I asked what that meant and was told that if they can't get someone to the house by end of Wednesday, we can get a different contractor. So two more days of crappy A/C. Two days where the high is expected to be 97 degrees.
So. With the window unit assisting the weak central air, the master bedroom is now comfortable, even cool. The rest of the house is tolerable, but not great. So Holly will contact the contractor to find out when they are going to show, but they don't open until 9:00 AM, so no idea when they'll get to us.
I'm glad I don't have kids - I know what happened to Job's kids.
Most of my writing these days has been over on my other blog, Bugbears for Breakfast, which is one of the reasons I've been quiet here. The other, more immediate reason is that my wife was in an accident last week. We've been very lucky and it was relatively low impact and the insurance companies are jukeing us over. My wife has some muscle tears along her back, hips, and shoulders, but she is healing well, which is slowly dissolving my stress. The car is in the shop, but will take about 16 days to fix due to all the fiddly pieces that get damaged in a rear impact. Those pieces die to save your lives and do a fine job at it.
The movie I've seen recently was Despicable Me, which was a ton of fun and I greatly enjoyed it. The only downside would be if you've watch all of the preview material and trailers, you've seen a large enough part of the movie your enjoyment may be dampened. Sadly, like most movies these days, the suits in Hollywood don't have enough confidence in their product to avoid showing some of the best bits to lure people in. At least the trailers weren't better than the movie, as has happened in the past.
The other movie I've seen, a movie that did a great job of showing without spoiling things in the trailers was The A-Team. This movie was unplug-your-brain fun and lots of it. Like most franchises (especially superhero movies), the first movie is the origin story. They do a fine job of showing the team get together and why BA is scared of flying without hitting you over the head with it. They show the mission that went wrong and then the rest of the story follows. It is a good story with some surprises, so if you haven't seen it and get a chance, I recommend it.
Other things that have happened were my birthday in June and my wife's this past weekend. For both parties we did get togethers with our friends at our place where we cooked on the grill and played boardgames. They were variations on the "Bring Your Meat" get-togethers I've done with my friends where everyone brings something to put on the grill to cook and share and then a side to share. Both times we ended up with much more food than everyone could eat and even after folks took home what they could, we ended up with a refrigerator full of leftovers.
There was also a request for us to host another chili cook-off and I'm thinking August would be a good month for that. Everyone brings a large pot of their own kind of chili and everyone samples until their heat get too hot to stand. It's been about two years or so since the last one and partner, that's too long. We'll probably grill some hot dogs and hamburgers to go with and maybe another chicken. I'm looking forward to it already!
That's it for now. More later, both here and at Bugbears for Breakfast.
I've already had my dream job. I was the manager of a darn good game store for three years. Some of my job duties included: running demo games with customers, reading new games and supplements for customer recommendations, staying current with all CCGs, talking with other folks in the hobby. Working in my favorite hobby flat out beat every other job I've had.
Of course, then I started dating seriously and realized while it paid, it did not pay well.
On Wednesday, I will be the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.
I'm giving thought to having a get together to celebrate.
I haven't decided if I want to do something on my actual birthday or the following Saturday. If I do something Saturday, I have the option of making it a cook-out or chili tasting event at my place instead of getting together at a restaurant. On the other hand, I don't have to do clean up if we eat at a restaurant.
In my Naze Valley Rangers campaign, the paladin leader of the group is entering some dark psychological territory. Her village was attacked by gnolls when she was little and she spent time as a captive amongst them. It wasn't nice and left her scarred. Now she's a paladin of Murthdrya Natea, the goddess of Peace, Mercy, and Justice, and leading a team of rangers into the Gnoll Territories to scout out some unusual happenings. The rangers ran across a patrol of gnolls in the deep grasses of the plains and captured two for questioning (the rest were quickly and discretely killed). Gnolls are not pleasant individuals and are aggressive, even when captured. The questioning got heated, nasty words were said, and she killed one of the tied up prisoners. She then stalked away "to scout the route ahead", effectively asking the other PCs to kill the other captive (which they did).
How far will the paladin go to vent her hatred of gnolls?
Will it cost her her standing with Murthdrya Natea?
Will the paladin turn to the god of Vengeance, who eagerly welcomes fallen Paladins of Murthdrya Natea into his service?
I am very interested in how this plays out. This has the possibility of being some of the best role-playing in the game yet.