Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Make Mine

I've taken to reading comics again lately. And by comics I mean superhero books, namely of the Marvel variety. I think something Sage mentioned about AvX piqued my interest, so I got a hold of that storyline and blazed through it. It lit a fire for more Marvel stuff. In the past week I've read that and all of Young Avengers. Now I'm turning toward the Marvel Now! releases. All this with a book half-finished and other novels clamoring for attention in my brains.

Current Read: A Betrayal in Winter
Reads Clamoring: One of Mieville's post-The City & The City books (Kraken, Embassytown, or Railsea), Ghost Brigades, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Wildwood

Friday, December 14, 2012


I'm not sure how much the 'kiki' (pacifier) is a tool to provide Carrie and I to sleep rather than my kids. My guess is that it's at least in the 50/50 range, if not weighted more heavily in our favor. Despite this, until now, favorable coexistence, these suckerlings will be phased out after the holidays. The fact that Owen woke up crying after his early this morning does not bode well for this plan. Nevertheless!

A night out was had at the Reddest of Lobsters last night. Booths have become the seating arrangement of choice when dining out with the kids. It provides for a somewhat corralled freedom of movement for Paige and Owen, which in turn frees Carrie and I from constantly trying to keep them in their chairs. As yet they have not shown interest in sliding underneath the table, so there's that to look forward to. I had a brief moment of nostalgic clarity when Paige (whose attachment to me means I get to corral her more often in these situations) wouldn't stop staring over the top of the booth seat at the patrons seated behind us. I, of course, told her to stop rubber-necking, and was instantly transported to a restaurant in Austria or Switzerland circa 1982, when the same comment by my very own father, set his kids to laughing and craning their necks in what was, for them, rather a humorous fashion. Not, I think, his intent.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Open for Business

Nyquil dreams last night: I threw someone out of our office at work for calling a coworker an asshole. Then another guy came in and tried to start a fight with me so I put him in an arm lock until security came to collect him.

When the kids became mobile we installed a fence of sorts in front of he couch table that serves as our entertainment center.  Last year the addition of a few sections made it so the Christmas tree was blocked off as well.  This year when we put the tree up, the whole affair looked a bit sad, fanced off like that.  So we I took the whole fence down the other night.  So far so good.  The only real worry about the whole thing, beyond having to pick up any dvds or video games that get scattered across the floor, is that behind the entertainment center are the only accessible electrical outlets that actually have things plugged into them.  We're watching you, Owen and Paige.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Should Do This More Often

Since last time:

I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. Given a general lack of training on my part it went pretty well. If anything it mostly affected my recovery time. The scenery was, of course, amazing.

Owen and Paige turned 2. Had a great party with lots of friends and family.

I turned 38!

Gaming ground to a standstill with various travel and whatnots. Played in a session of Apocalypse World this past Saturday, was good. Was good...

Decided to put the renovation project on hold, for the patio. We're in saving mode, trying to build the money to get the job done, rather than depleting savings to do it.

The tree is pretty sweet. It finally dropped its leaves, and the yard is, for the first time, littered with leaves. Hopefully it established well enough to make it though the winter. Should be fine given how large a tree we bought.

Had a low key Thanksgiving with Mom and Nette. Made way more food than needed, as is the wont of that holiday.

Finished the firs of the Long Price Quartet and started the second, Betrayal in Winter. Good series, but I think I may pause after this one and read Ghost Brigades.

Burrito Quest is on track for a possible successful trek. It would be our first since BQ1 if it happens.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Some Kind of Dude

Here's an impromtu recap I did of our D&D 4e (swansong?) game.  I forget a lot of the names of npcs until we're actually in-game.  Other details are probably wrong too.  Fun game though.

A wizard named Basterd summoned my awesome wizard-dude, Geldran, from the World of Giants to help some druid lady, Myra, fight some bad guys. The summoning didn't wear off when it should have so Geldran ran downstairs with Myra and the other warrior guy schmoe and helped them blast some goblins to pieces. Geldran got a portable hole.  Sweet!
Then the group ran over to the bad guy Jasper's hideout and almost kicked his ass (only running away a little) before Basterd showed up and made Jasper fly away.  Then Basterd was all, "Why are you still here?" to Geldran.  Then Geldran was all, "Why are you such a jerk?"  And Myra and warrior-guy were all, "Oooohhh." and "How come Basterd didn't turn him into a toad?"
Oh yeah, Geldran has a spellscar, like an electric blue glowing scar thing on his wrist/arm that seems to be growing as he gets more powerful.  Pretty cool.
Then Geldran bought a horse and he rode that while Myra and her spirit wolf and warrior-guy walked, and they went to Myra's village.  Myra was all, "Don't tell people you're a wizard or pyre-of-fire."  Geldran was like, "Pssh, I'm a goddamn wizard, I'll burn THEIR shit."
The villagers were kind of dummies but seemed ok.  Geldran shacked up with Myra and they decided to see what kind of shennanigans the goblins were getting up to.  They went off with warrior-guy and some lame (literally) tracker guy.  After a dust up with goblins near a waterfall they sent the schmoes back to town then went into the cave behind the waterfall.  They fought some other stuff, maybe zombies or something, then Geldran enacted a badass ritual that ramped up Myra's in-touch-with-nature-business so they could try to find out where the big evil in woods was.  Then they found some paladin-guy cooking lunch in the back of the cave.  Turns out he's blind-paladin-guy.  They went back to town with him, rounding up their schmoes on the way back.
Blind-paladin guy asked if anybody was a twin.  Everybody said no.  He said he got teleported here and figured we were all drawn here by the same power source.  So we went to a graveyard and fought some undead dudes that blind-paladin guy admitted to accidentally raising from the grave.  Then Jasper showed back up and we kicked his ass for reals.  We found out he was working for one of the big hoo-ha wizards of the land.  Then there was a debate about whether they should let him go but Geldran figured no and pyre-of-fired him with burning hands.

After some chatter and another badass ritual by Geldran we figured out there were several discrete evils being drawn to the area: goblins, undead, lizardmen.  And probably a giant, giants are teh suck, but they haven't been seen on this world in like forever.  Geldran totally thinks there are giants-in-hiding.
Then Geldran started a refurb on a shack in the village and somehow conned a whole bunch of people into working for him.  It was probably his sick magic skills.
Blind-pally guy told us there was some exiled priest guy around so we found him and he was really grumpy.  Then he told us about some kind of meteor that crashed in the area so we went there and there was like some psychic-echo-ghosts walking around.  So we found an old dwarf stronghold entrance and went down there to kick ass on some dark porcupine-beard dwarfs.  We went down into the nastybad and found their town where Geldran almost got killed by a sniper but we saved a bunch of villager prisoners and ran away, dropping the ceiling on the dark porcupine dwarfs following us.
We took the villagers back to town with us and Geldran gave them his shack to live in and shacked up with Myra again.  We figured that the meteor was bad news and that the bad wizard lady probably had so we decided to leave but first we closed up a dark porky-dwarf tunnel and put paid to the goblins.  Geldran said, "What about the lizardmen?" and Myra was like, "Fuck those guys." So we left town and went off to different city to try to recruit some wizard-ruler guy to help us take down the bad wizard lady.  While we were there we looked around for a seer in the ghetto and got attacked by some more dark porky-dwarfs.  Then the girl-seer said we should go out to some town in the wastelands and find a map that would help us get what we needed.
We went to talk to the wizard-ruler guy and he was like, "Yeah, I guess, but not right now."  So we left to go out to the ruined village.  We got there and fought some dudes and found the map.  And that's where we left it, I think.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Various Whatsits

Since last:
  • Ran in a 5k with Carrie, taking turns pushing the twins in the stroller. Did a lot better than I figured I would.
  • Went to Miami and Key West for work. Miami was ok, Key West a lot cooler. Wish it had been three days there, and one in Miami instead of the other way around. Ate some good Cuban food though and plenty of seafood.
  • Mom came back from her trip to Mississippi with Aunt Nette in tow.  Kind of crazy since it was last minute, but it's cool she's finally come out for a visit. It's meant a lot more trips to mom's house. Which is good since we need to get the kids over there more often anyway.
  • Took the kids to the State Fair (Southern NM that is). Their highlight would likely be the funnel cake, but walking them around through the show animals was pretty sweet. Never did find the petting zoo, which was disappointing.
  • Allergies have been hammering me since I got back from Miami. Every day all day, and most days I wake up around 4am and have to take medicine.
  • Annual switch from light to darker beers is right on schedule. Seems to happen every year right around now, independent of what the weather is actually doing.
  • We bought a tree yesterday; a 15-20 foot Modesto Ash, for the back yard. Should get it in the ground Wednesday.
  • We're slowly working with a contractor on getting the small side patio turned into a room. Got a bid we like, just need to get some final details nailed down.
  • Friday game is a D&D4e game where we're leveling every week, planning on heading from 1-30.
  • Next weekend I head out to hike the Grand Canyon with Jon. Kind of a birthday present for his 40th last year. Somewhat nervous given my general lack of exercise of late.
  • Went out with Alex, Tony, and Alicia for an early birthday dinner for Carrie. Good company and conversation.
  • And in three weeks Owen and Paige will turn two. Crazy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Legacy of a Sorts

Every time we bring the kids over to mom's house I find toys or books I haven't seen in years. This car is from one of my first memories. I can vaguely remember playing with it once in Vicksburg, when I was probably 3 years old. I definitely remember being told by Jon sometime later, in Germany probably, so likely 4 or 5 years old, that it was, in fact, not the Batmobile. The copyright reads 1970.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Just got over five days (3 of which were weekend) of being sick. Very un-strep-like symptoms with a positive strep culture. Who knows, could be I'm a strep carrier. Long and the short is I spent a long week feeling miserable and worthless, sick and not contributing to the family. Oh, I helped out to some small degree, but man did I feel like a layabout. Carrie may have a licensing exam coming up so hopefully I can make it up to her with some quiet study time soon. That is when I'm not traveling to Miami for work, like I am on Monday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

GenCon Day Four

More exhibit hall, mostly to pick up gifts. Sunday is family fun day at GenCon and the abundance of kids and strollers was apparent. After shopping I played in another Regiment game with Paul, Ben, and Amy before we hit up an early dinner. Then it was back to the Embassy for happy hour, a game of Cthulhu Dark, and conversations and Cards Against Humanity. I can see why folks like that game so much, but much like Apples to Apples (unsurprisingly), it has a time limit before the humor becomes repetitive and less interesting. Got to bed later than I should have but earlier than past years. All in all another great GenCon. Can't wait to get home.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

GenCon Day Three

Mostly skipped breakfast and hit the exhibit hall just after opening. Perused for a bit, ran into Epidiah for a brief chat, the headed up to Games on Demand. Ben, Amy, and I played in a Mortal Coil game set in a jazz and voodoo-heavy '20s Louisiana full of ghosts and skinchangers. Pretty good stuff. After, we brought Thai tofu burritos back to the room and knocked out a Burrito Quest episode. Tried for a quick nap, failed, then back to the exhibit hall where I succeeded in finding a gift for Carrie, and made some other small purchases. Just about closed the hall out then made our way back to happy hour. Tried to meet up with the Riddles for dinner with a bunch of folks, but the wait times for a table, even for just a few people, was way too long. Instead we did take out from Weber's and brought it hack to the room. Rounded out the night by running a World of Dungeons game for Ben, Amy, Paul, Shannon, and Gregor. It was a blast and we were probably at it for four or five hours.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

GenCon Day Two

Much more refreshed having called it an earlier and less boozy evening, I spent the first bit of the morning watching Amy dye Ben's newly bleached hair blue. We then bagle-d over to the convention center, assembled some very cute paper D&D monsters for a free die, discovered the lines need to get other similarly free dice and bailed on them, wandered the exhibit hall purchasing various gaming whatsits, demo'd some Fantasy Flight Games games, hit up the Ram for lunch, popped into the Rio Grande Games room for a Dan-winning game of Dominion, discovered the huge line for Games on Demand and bailed on it, exhibit hall-ed again with more demo'ing, cruised back to the hotel for free happy hour, then rounded out the night with a play test of Paul's game Undying, more drinks, and general gamey conversation. Purchases: two LotFP modules - The Grinding Gear and Hammers of the Gods, Story Cards, Twenty Four Game Poems, Building an Elder God game, The Monster Alphabet.

Friday, August 17, 2012

GenCon Day One

Had one too many Guinness at the Diana Jones Awards Wednesday night and spent a bit if the morning trying to figure out if feeling mildly hungover while wandering the exhibit hall had positive or negative nostalgia value. Ate noodles twice, the Japanese Pan Noodles being superior to the Truffle Mac. Bought a copy of D&D Expert in awesome condition. Played a brief Red Dawn-inspired game of the Regiment. Much more fun than the longer game of ACKS I played later. I mostly blame the group size and the loudness of the Embassy lobby for that one. Old man Lofton even made it to bed at a reasonable hour.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Wrap-up

We had our first non-busy, non-traveling, non-visitor weekend in what seems like a very long time.  Carrie did an excellent job of keeping herself and the twins occupied for the past two months.  Here are some highlights (aside from what I've already posted).
  • Flo-rida: In mid June we took a family trip to Fort Walton Beach.  Carrie bundled Paige and Owen up with Julie, Rocky, Ross, and Jalie and drove cross country.  I flew.  The original plan was that I would drive with them and maybe fly back, depending on leave from work, but by the time my schedule cleared up the van was full.  I know, hardships.  Dad rented a condo for us and brought Derek (fresh out of Space Camp) down with him.  Spent all week hanging out at the beach, eating seafood, and getting sunburned.  The kids didn't like the beach much at first (sand and loud surf and all) but they warmed up to it by the end.  Also, it turned out Carrie's friend (who also has friends) was visiting their beach house in the area so we got to hang out there some too, which was good because the water was much calmer.
  • Sage-fest '12: Sage and Sarah got married!  Mom watched the kids and we spent the weekend in Silver City.  Got to see the happy couple tie the knot and hang out with Isaac, Jenni, Ben, Amy, Paul, and Shannon.
  • ColoRADo: Drove up to visit Jon round mid July.  Took Ross and Jalie with us and had an all round good time.  Hit up some good breweries and an awesome burger joint for a 60/40 burger, 60% beef, 40% bacon.  100% delicious.
  • Aside from all that, we had a slew of visitors and happenings that kept us generally busy pretty much for the past two months.
This post seems especially apt since Paige and Owen started back to daycare today.  They headed into the two-year-old room, which is kind of crazy since they're about 3 months early.  But they've grown a hell of a lot over the summer.  Their vocabulary especially, as they're not only repeating back whatever we ask them too, but using words we don't expect (octopus) and stringing together words as well (apple sauce).

Look at that, I managed one more blog post before July was out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Hat-Trick of Kennys

Every dinner I ate this weekend was with Kenny and Gail. Friday we got together with Ben and Amy at De La Vega's, then back to their house for Shadows Over Camelot. Saturday Carrie and I went to see Amazing Spiderman then met Kenny and his family plus Larry at Si Senor's. (Amazing Spiderman was just meh, too much rehashed story.) Sunday, based partly on a rumor that the last Lorenzo's might be closing down, we got take out at our house with Kenny and Gail and Julie and Ross and Jalie and Alex and Nathan. I tend to be pretty bad to keeping in touch with folks who I'm not interacting with regularly, even if they live in the same town. (See: Larry and the guys.) So this weekend was a good chance to catch up with some folks I haven't seen for years. Was especially good to see Lencho, as I've felt bad about not getting in touch with him in so long.  Turns out Ed is running a 1st ed D&D game on Mondays, can't make it regularly, but I may have to try for a cameo.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Piper's been doing pretty good lately. After she lost three or 4 pounds around the end of winter, which is something like 10% of body weight, I think we've got her eating back under control. I'll take her back in the next week or two to get her weighed again and, hopefully, if she hasn't gained any weight, she's at least stabilized. Also, which is good for me too, I've been trying to get her out for walks again two or three times a week. This involves me getting up at 5:30 or so getting out on the levee before I go to work, which, given the heat lately, has been nice and cool. The other thing I've been doing on these walks is using bloggers speech to text function on my phone to get some blogs laid out. Thank you, pocket robot.


Not as many kids as last year but we had a pretty good barbecue on fourth. Burgers and dogs, beer, broke out the kiddie pools; all-around good time.

Busy busy busy

June flew by and it doesn't look like July's going to go any slower. Julie and the kids got into town last night, so did Kenny and Gail. They will all, minus Julie plus Carrie's parents, be in town till mid next week when we take off and head up to Colorado on another road trip. There're some other tentative plans between that and GenCon and then, bam! end of summer.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Poo Quest

Burrito Quest has once again fallen into disrepair. Not that we've failed, per se, but we're a month behind on burritos, given our self-imposed schedule, and just as far behind on me getting a recording out. Also, I think our last burrito may get disqualified on the grounds that they fucked up and got some meat in it from the grill when they prepared it. Need to step this shit up.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Sage's kickstarter for dungeon world closed out just around $82,000. That's pretty badass. In related news, he and Sarah got married this weekend. Mom watched the kids while Carrie and I went up to Silver City for the wedding; got to see Isaac and Jenny, Paul and Shannon. Lovely ceremony followed by a nice dinner, good times hanging out with good friends. After everyone was pretty tired but we managed to head out to a club nonetheless. Rounded out the weekend away with a nice breakfast with Isaac and Jenny, and Ben and Amy. Jackassing around with Isaac this weekend makes me realize how much I miss that guy. Note: his unicorn mask birthday present in the attached picture.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dungeons Anonymous

I have a problem. The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has all sorts of fun tables and charts and weird gameplay going on, so it's not like I had much of a choice. Also for page count the cost was pretty reasonable. And all the pictures of bell–bottomed wizards with sick belt buckles just added to the pot. My rationalization knows no bounds. I think I got a total of 10 pages into the PDF before I ordered the damn thing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ye Olde Gayme

The LotFP turned ACKS game died a swift death last Friday night, culminating in a total party kill. A couple things likely promoted us deciding not to continue on with new characters. One was a disconnect between my desire to focus on running a strictly old school game and what the players likely were interested in playing. The other was me not having the time outside of play to learn the rules to the degree that my desire for rules accuracy necessitated. We had a good time when we focused on the game, I think, but the frequent moments when I turned to the book to make sure we got the rules right got in the way of the overall enjoyment. For me, and I assume for everyone else. I still want to do some old school stuff but I think me running it, beyond a one-shot maybe, will have to wait until I have the free time to get after it the way I want to.

Impending travel to Carl-Bad caused me to write up some quick rules for a Halo game. And before the comments about free time pop up, it was generally done during downtime at work. The rules feel like a mashup, maybe, of Lady Blackbird and Dungeon Squad. We'll see if Ross and I can fit in some time to try them out.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Man Date Movie Night

Alex and I; Cabin in the Woods. One probable gauge of our enjoyment of this move was the amount of snarky comments made during the show. These were considerably less than with
WotT. Pretty good movie overall. And the unicorn cracked me up. Sharing the theater with only a couple of other dudes, just the way I like it.

Monday, April 30, 2012

6 Years

Yesterday was Carrie and I's six year anniversary. We celebrated by leaving Owen and Paige with Mom and heading up to a spa in T or C. A night (and maybe more importantly the next morning) of quiet was great. We soaked in hot mineral pools, had a nice dinner out, and just all around relaxed. Stopped by Sparky's in Hatch on the way back for some delicious BBQ. Carrie planned us a nice break from the constant go-go-go of parenthood.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A/C Nostalgia

Summer time in Mississippi can be miserable. As a kids, spending summers there visiting family, I tended not to notice it as much. One vivid memory from those days is running in from playing out in the sweltering heat and thrusting my face right up to the A/C vent. Whether kneeling in front of Mo Waldon's window unit, or laying down on the floor of Mo Raybelle's trailer, cool washes of conditioned air across my face always take me back to those days. The A/C we had installed this winter has kicked in in a big way of late. Those memories have been ever present of late.

ACKS & ack!

Last Friday we switched from Lamentations of the Flame Princess to Adventurer Conqueror King, keeping the same characters. Ben swapped from an expert to an explorer, Amy from an elf to an elven spellsword. Most of what like about LotFP lies in the setting it evokes, no necessarily the rules. ACKS seems more focused on the potential economics at work in a traditional D&D setting. We'll see how that works out, but given the focus in old school games on $=XP… Part of me, though, feels bad that we're not playing Dungeon World. Add to that D&D Next open playtesting starts up in less than a month. Gaming! There's always something new to play with.


Carrie, at some distant point in our past, was partial only to sweet (often cloyingly so) wines. Unfortunately while partial to them she didn't want to drink them very often. And so we found our wine rack and pantry filling up with Rieslings, Gewurtztraminers, and the like. I, being partial to not looking at the same wine bottles forever, decided to take it upon myself to slowly devour these overly sweet beverages. I made it through two bottles before neglecting my duty. I decided this weekend to get back after it. Made it through half a bottle of Relax Riesling before dumping the rest down the drain. Some wines are just worth it, apparently. This was the same wine Jon and Carrie slammed one New Years because they couldn't stand to drink it any other way. Not as bad as all that, I think, but not good for much beyond a headache either.

In other boozy news, I finally got around to starting my second batch of homebrew. Hopefully this one will taste better than the first.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Man Date Movie Night

Alex and I; Wrath of the Titans. It was pretty much what you'd expect. Qui Gon Jin and Voldemort fought each other then worked together, Ares pulled a pile driver on Perseus, and a giant lava monster wrecked the world before being blown up (second Death Star style) from the inside out by a lightning bolt. Oh, and surprisingly Beebo made an brief appearance. Given how much I disliked the remake of Clash of the Titans I wasn't expecting much. Give me an impressively big lava monster, I thought. The Hollywood gods granted my wish.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flament the Swamps

Wrapped up a six or seven session run of Lamentations of the Flame Princess last Friday. Ben and Amy's characters finally made their way out of the shiftiness that was Port Herrod and the surrounding swamps. In the course of things they explored an ancient temple of ocean gods, unleashed a horde of people-possessing jellyfish, rescued an ancient elven sorcerer, battled shape changing creatures from beyond space, and made a bittersweet deal with some slavers to get back home.

We've decided to switch up the system to Adventurer Conqueror King for the return to civilization. I dig the idea of switching up similar (or maybe even dissimilar) systems to evoke different bits of the setting. Wonder how far afield we could take that?


Out of shape in more way than one, blog shape included.

Tucson was fun, but I tweaked my back again just before leaving. A weekend on the road made for a lot of not being able to get comfortable. Ended up spending half of last week at work on darvocet. Would have stayed home but Paige came down with something that kept her home, fighting low-grade fever most of the week.

Nice weather has us getting the kids out into the back yard more. Seeing them run around and play, whether on the trampoline or slide,is pretty great.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Heading out to Tucson for Nathan's White Coat ceremony. Luckily, I threw my back out 30 minutes before we're supposed to leave. Percocet to the rescue!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Almost Lost It

Lots of in-laws in town over the weekend. As always this meant lots of eating out. Couple that with my lack of exercise lately and I mad feeling less than healthy. Time change has afforded us more time in the evenings, to you know, get some exercise in and whatnot. But there still doesn't feel like enough of it to go around. Add to that my work schedule has started to include me working late every Tuesday and Thursday and the excuses start to pile up. Oh, also it's yard work and allergy season, so...

Jon's Cruces-bound this weekend to 1/2 Death March with mom. Beers on the roof seem in order.

Finished Ready Player One. I liked it, but I don't think I loved it. The nostalgia angle is always comforting but the conflict felt less than threatening once the story found its feet. The ending, while entertaining, didn't feel at all surprising. Now I'm on to Best Served Cold.

And thank Glob for Blogger's auto-save. This post almost went gallivanting about in the ether. It most likely would have been replaced by bitching about exclusively using and iPad for internets.

Monday, March 5, 2012


You know when you think about doing a thing, knowing that it could result in unwanted circumstances, and then you do it anyway?  Like, say, you perch your kids on the kitchen counter while you're fixing their lunch...  So, yeah, Paige fell off.  She was happily kicking her legs when I turned away for a second, and dropping to the tile floor when I turned back.  Luckily she fell straight down on her butt.  I quickly scooped her up to check for damage.  She cried for a minute or so, but was overall unscathed.  Owen, who I pulled off the counter as I was consoling Paige, cried longer at having to suddely be confined to ground level.  All in all, probably my worst dad moment.  Hearing other parents share similar, and sometimes worse, stories makes me feel a bit better about it, but still full of fail.

In other, more prosaic, home news we worked on lanscaping this weekend.  Pulled a bunch of river rock up to remove sediment from drainage along the side of the house, then put the rock back in place.  Also spread out some gravel and made the whole thing look very nice and tidy.  Of course, this is about the one part of our yard that we don't traverse much and really can't ever see.  But at least we know it looking good.  Plus it was sort of practice for doing about five times as much of the same to front yard.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Technical Improficiency

Burrito Quest has been happening for around 3.5 years now.  I just stumbled upon how to make iTunes pick up the recordings.  Of course, I never took the time to look into it so...  Anyway, looks like there is some way they parse blogger posts that looks for links to audio files only in the body, apparently ignoring title enclosure links.  Oh, and it also looks for any text preceding the link to add to the description block.  So, if I want iTunes to pick up the feed for these things I may have to go back and reformat.  That or look into the settings on the iTunes side.  Either way, based on past performance that may not be happening any time soon.

Tonight is date night for Carrie and I.  I like to think that the title of this post does not apply directly to that.  Just saying.

And yes, it's improficiency.  And yes, I had to look it up.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stay on Target

Current home/life schedule goes something like this:
  • Wake up and try to get out of the house between 6:30 and 7:30; dirty diapers and/or breakfast making falling mostly to Carrie.
  • 20 minute drive, then work for 9 hours from the time I get there.
  • Home between 4:30 and 5:30, play with the kids a little before we eat dinner.
  • I clean up from dinner while Carrie bathes the kids.
  • More play-time, generally coupled with Sesame Street on the tv till 7:30 or 8.
  • Read to the kids then put them to bed.
  • Watch tv/read/internet till 10:00 or 11:00, then lights out.
  • (Every other Friday off)
The minutiae, I know.  But when Owen and Paige were born we quickly found out how necessary it was to have a schedule.  So much so that sometimes we forget that it's ok to break it.  Looking back on those early days, that bygone era of 16 months ago, it's hard to remember sometimes what that schedule looked like.  So this serves as a reminder as well.  Keeping to it can be a pain occasionally but given stories I hear from parents of single kids, when a schedule is needed less, makes me glad for it overall.  It'll change soon enough, anyway.  Currently Carrie and I both are trying to re-incorporate time for exercise.  She's joining a city soccer league, and I'm trying to get the dog and myself back out into the desert more.  As the time changes I think we're both looking forward to more daylight, so things like after-dinner walks with the kids become more feasible.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Having hair again is interesting.  I've been growing it out since Thanksgiving, or thereabouts.  Its gotten to the point now that going without a hat requires use of 'product.'  Last night I found an old jar of something called Surf Hair in the spare bathroom.  It works just fine, but it smells a lot less like the ocean, and a lote more like hairspray, then one might assume from its name.  I find myself thinking about googling hair junk to find one that doesn't smell like...much of anything.  Also, what do people tell barbers?  I've been shaving my head since I was 19, except for a brief flirtation with coiffure round about '01-'02, and even then I never knew what to tell those of the tonsurial arts when I sat down in the chair.

The beard...  Ugh, still upset about it.  I had achieved, through scratchy apathy, a decently long and scruffy face growth.  The kind of beard that made me look a bit mad all the time, or at least like my normal manner was broodish in nature.  Then I got a beard trimmer.  I immediately over-trimmed one side of my face, prompting an all-over trim of the same length.  It looked, to me, like I had shaved off about 10 years.  I'm concentrating as hard as I can to try to push this thing out of my face faster.


Hello, Blogger.

I may try to fancy this place up, but that'll have to be when I find some time.  For now I'm going to work on posting a couple times a week.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Put a deposit on refrigerated air install for next weekend. This summer we'll be coolerating in style.

Dad got in last night. Staying the weekend and doing a 5k with Carrie. And now we have and extra registration since Julie can't make it, so I might get enlisted to push the stroller.

Tonight, we Flament!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Exercise, done. Only 2 miles but every little bit helps. I'm back in the exercise challenge. Or more appropriately I'm not knowingly failing the exercise challenge this year. Plus it gets some exercise for Piper who I feel guilty about not giving enough attention to more often than not.

I found an old chat with Ben from '09 today in which we talk about Burrito Quest and gaming. And then I sign off by saying 'grandmas!'. Must have been when Mo Waldon was here....maybe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Cometh WIth Snot

The past week has been sickness all through the family.  Near as I can tell Owen was our own patient zero, followed by either Carrie or I, with Paige bringing up the rear.  It hit me last Sunday/Monday and lasted till about today.  Still not completely over it but much better since yesterday.

This past weekend we toted the kids out to Carlsbad for Julie and Rosss birthdays.  Was good to get out there and see 'em but also tough what with everyone not feeling well.  Made for a tiring weekend.  So much so that I came home from work after a couple of hours early on Monday.

Managed a session of Flamentations Friday before last.  A mini-dungeon crawl followed by a survival scenario and finally returning to a town beset by chaos.  Next session this Friday.

Pulled a 12-hour at work today.  Surprisingly, not that bad.  But then a 3 hour nap yesterday and staying busy all day today probably helped.

Oh, and I got a new nook.  Carrie was wanting to do more reading so she took my old one and I upgraded to a nook Simple Touch.  Very small, and very nice.  Still working through Dance with Dragons, but taking large chunks out at a time.  Carrie's been reading Bossypants and enjoying it, so I may hit that up next.  Or maybe Ready Player One, not too sure.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Some kind of sinusitis has descended upon me. Out of work Friday and still feeling worn out and sore.

Friday Flamentations were booshed by sickness. And it looks like no gaming for the next two weeks for other reasons. May have to see if Ben and Amy are interested in something during the week, to ablate the seemingly inevitable once-a-month gaming schedule.

Kids have been getting more and more "getting into things.". This morning they moved the 'fencing' we have in front of the trash can and retrieved a mostly empty cup of ranch dressing. It was, undoubtedly delicious. I, being sick and tired (of sickness, not kids) got a bit frustrated with the situation, when Owen's ranch smeared mouth clearly called for humor. So Carrie bundled the kids up and took them for a walk. Next time I'll just go back to bed like she suggested.

Been thinking about getting a new nook. I may have mentioned this before, but with the old one working just fine, not sure it's warranted. Maybe if I sold the old one...

Monday, January 16, 2012


We got the house refinanced on Friday.  The new lower rate is going to result in enough of a monthly difference to almost pay half of a car payment.

Speaking of cars, I sold the red truck.  Got less than I had settled on originally, but I call it a win since when the guy came to pick it up he had some trouble starting it and still drove off with it.

Julie and the kids came into town this weekend for the balloon rally.  The rally was ok, but mostly made everyone just want to go up to Albuquerque for the big one.

And I ran the first session of Lamentations of the Flame Princess.  I'll assume there was much and more lamenting going on by Ben and Amy, likely directed at wondering why they had agreed to play this lousy system.  There were little to no flames or princesses.  The characters had been dispatched to a crummy swamp town to bring back or find out what had happened to a merchant who had been dispatched there.  I tried to work in random tables a bunch and it seemed to work ok.  I did have some confusing moments trying to deal with a system that is not directly designed (and only kind of modded) for the type of play encouraged.  There were some generally unexpected and cool moments (both the characters getting mind whammied and almost murdered by a wacky cultist, Ben almost killing one of their friends/henchmen while trying to save the guy) though, and I'm planning on at least six sessions.  Need to do a recap write-up, to allay some of the inevitable, "what happened last time?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Heard back from the bank about refinancing our house.  The deal's good to go, but the appraisal seems to have come in fairly low, which is not super happy news.  That means after being in the house for over 6 years we have very little equity, and not near enough to finally get out from under PMI.  The refinance should still reduce our mortgage payment in the short term, which was our goal in the first place, but the whole process has shed light on just how much the housing dump has hit us.  Again, we're not getting hit hard, but mostly because we're not planning on moving any time soon.
In other house news, we had some rain the other night and some dripped down the exhaust and shorted out the flame sensor on the furnace.  This meant we spent the night without heat.  We put a small electric heater in the kids room and bundled up.  I tried the furnace again in the morning just before I was going to call in for a repair and it had dried out and is working fine.  Need to get some folks out to give us some estimates on converting the place to refrigerated air, which would likely involve a furnace replacement as well.

Restarted Burrito Quest last Friday.  We're doing a vegetarian trek, what with Ben's dietary mores.  In the process of processing the recording I discovered that I had never posted the 12th episode from BQ3.  So, two recordings need to go up and I'm already almost a week behind.  More of the same.

Gaming last Friday was mostly us sitting around wondering what to game.  I offered to run something and Ben seemed intrigued by the opportunity to play again.  Going to run some Lamentations of the Flame Princess starting (maybe) on Friday.  Should be interesting as it's a old school D&D revision that really doesn't provide much in the way of specific and/or useful bits for how to run it.  I haven't run something that was strictly sandbox in, well, maybe never.  It'll be interesting to see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yeasty and Lacking

I decanted some of my first Mr. Beer batch when Dad was in town, but it was way too soon and I'd hoped the flavor and clarity would improve with more bottle time, both on the shelf and in the fridge.  I took some to Carl-Bad and it was similar to that first opening, somewhat cloudy and with a yeast flavor I'm not totally fond of.  Even more fridge time has improved the clarity immensely, but there is still an off note on the flavor.  Not undrinkable, but I hope the second batch turns out better.  And Isaac gifted me some cash to get some more brews.  Thanks, Saac!

Speaking of Xmans.  We did pretty shabbily on the gifting to friends front.  I managed to get Legend of Drizzt boardgame for Ben and Amy but aside from that we had nothing to reciprocate with.  Not that it's strictly necessary, but still, this tarnishes our track record for gifting to pals.  We'll have to see what we can do to remedy the situation.

Thanks to Sage and Sarah for the Woodford Reserve.