Saturday, November 9, 2013

Triweekly

Gaming, since moving to Saturdays, has pretty much averaged out to about once every 3 weeks. We did Apocalypse world a whole bunch. Then switched over to Monster Hearts for two sessions. Monster Hearts had one bad and one good session. The bad was the first, where we were trying to figure out the game, not really grokking at first what the game was trying to do, trying to force it to be a murder mystery instead of high school drama. The second session focused on a high school costume dance, and had a lot more interesting player v. player conflict. In the end a couple of flubbed rolls resulted in a teacher, who had dressed as a Ghostbuster for the dance, ending up with a functioning proton pack and trying to bust the ghost character. Lots of fun in that second session. But pretty much everyone in our group is in agreement that Monster Hearts isn't the game we want to be playing on a regular basis.

Next I ran two modules worth of Dungeon Crawl Classics. Sailors on the Starless Sea for the 0-level character funnel, and Doom of the Savage Kings for the follow-up level 1 adventure. It went pretty well but while everyone seemed to have fun, it's not the game most folks in the group are interested in playing regularly.

Next up I was going to run Apocalypse World, partly so that Ben could have some time as a player instead of MC. That may have fallen through with most folks being out of town for the weekend. Looking like Tony, Charles, and I might get together for Dungeon World tonight in the interim.

Want more gaming.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Steps

Gonna try to get back into the rhythm of this thing.

The kids turned three last Tuesday. Crazy. We were scheduled for their 3-year wellness exam at the doctor today. So Owen spiked a fever last night with his tonsils and lymph nodes swollen up to the size of grapes. That resulted in me getting about 4 hours of sleep, going in to work around 4:30am and taking a couple hours off later in the day so Carrie could go to work awhile. We kept the appointment with the doctor, Owen getting checked out and going on antibiotics, and Paige getting her wellness exam. She got a flu shot too, which went amazingly well. She only started to protest as the nurse was finishing up and didn't cry at all. I thank the Daniel Tiger episode about going to the doctor and getting shots for that. Carrie got a shot too and was forced to make a brave face for the kids' sake.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Swimmin

We’ve started swim classes with the kids. We’re three sessions in and have had them in the water about five times total since around the time we started. It’s been pretty fun, but I can see why all we’ve really done so far is get them used to being in the water. Owen takes a lot longer to warm up to the idea, pretty much every time.  Paige less so, but despite seeming to take to being in the water faster she’s more obstinate about what she’s unwilling to do, swim wise. For now we’re trying to make it to class every Monday, with occasional trips to their Friday night free swim.

Find It

Carrie lost her phone this weekend. Probably left it at Pic Quik. We’re pretty sure someone walked off with it. Once she figured it was missing I popped open the Find iPhone app on my phone and took a look. It dropped a pin somewhere out Del Rey. Definitely not our house. My first thought is maybe the gps is just way off, so I hit the Play Sound button on the Find app. No noise nearby, but the app reports that her phone’s gps just shut off. I hit the next button in the list, Lost Mode, which locks the phone down so it can only be used to call whatever number you give it. Shortly after that her phone turned off. I ended up taking a drive out to where the pin dropped, but couldn’t really remember much beyond which corner it was, so I knocked on some doors and got about what I expected, nothing. Next I called Verizon and they blacklisted the phone’s serial number. Lastly, I hit the last option on the Find app, which is Erase Data. If the phone connects to a network again it’ll get a signal to erase all data on the phone. It’s doubtful that whoever has it could get anything from it since nothing aside from Facebook and Blogger has a stored password and neither of those appears to have been messed with. This could have been a much bigger pain in the ass, but we’ve got insurance and should have her phone replaced today or tomorrow. She uses it for work a lot, but mine just sits in a locker all day, I just forwarded her number to mine and let her have for the past few days. Anyway, location app, get one for your phone, or turn it on. Well worth it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Comics Now!

I've been perusing comics of late. The Marvel Now! titles, specifically. Haven't done the single issue thing in a while and it was kind of jarring at first. How the hell does anyone keep track of what's going on in these comics reading them one at a time? Turns out the secret is you read stuff you like, not just everything you can get your hands on. So 5 months or so into Marvel Now! here are the titles that I'm digging, and a short bit about why I like em.

Avengers - big world problems are cool but mostly the New Universe throwback that's popped up. I like that bit better than anything that's being done with the actual Avengers characters.

Superior Spider-Man - watching Doc Octopus try to be a hero, because he knows he can do it better.

Hawkeye - feels kind of like a Daredevil reboot, but the street-level hero, everyman bit is written really well and the characterization is great.

Captain America - crazy alien weirdness and removing Cap's baggage to get a better look at the person he is and how he came to be that way.

Thor - a compelling story spanning three ages of the thunder god has a lot of potential. Not sure they are living up to the potential, or where they'll go after the Godkiller, but I'm digging this story. And the art.

Fantastic Four - yet another 'back to their roots' but a fun ride nevertheless. I'm on board more for the wild science tales than the characters, but I'm still on board.

All New X-Men/Uncanny X-Men - both written by Bendis, so it's no real surprise they're like two sides of the same coin. The coherence of voice is probably one the most attractive things about the pair. Also, very X-Men-y with enough humor to offset the heaviness of the constant moral quandaries.

Wolverine & The X-Men - I want to like this one more. I'm mostly digging it, but not as much as some of the others. Feels like they're not spending enough time at school, which feels like what the book is supposed to be about. But I did come into it late, so...

Others I'm enjoying to a lesser degree, or haven't seen enough of to decide: Journey Into Mystery, Guardians of the Galaxy, Savage Wolverine, Secret Avengers.

Oh, and also there's Age of Ultron, which feels like a What If? book more than anything else. It's fun, though.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

On Nerd Parenting

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/01/02/totally-of-the-mearas

The comic that goes with that post is pretty funny. But the overall statement on parenthood, especially of my future dealing with our children, point to some aspects of said dealings being depressing. For me anyway, if not Carrie. Or maybe both of us in slightly different ways. At least Owen shows a measurable appreciation for anything blasting out from the television. For better or worse. Earlier today he told me, "I want to watch Star Wars, real quick," when I told him it was nap time.

In other fatherly nerd news, I moved the board games out of the spare bedroom/office yesterday, and into the garage. This act is fomenting in my nerd hindbrain possibilities of hosting some kind of gameliness out there. Maybe. I'll have to think on the logistics of it a bit more.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving On Over

Gaming has changed of late. Over the course of five or six months, after GenCon, I figured we had gotten together for Friday gaming about 8 times. The Saturday Apocalypse World game Ben was running seemed to be meeting more often and had more people playing in it, being a drop-in-drop-out game. With all that, when Ben and Amy decided to start up and open-house style dinner night on Fridays I took the opportunity to shift over to Saturdays instead of Friday. So far it feels like we've been gaming more, but that may just be a short term thing. With Ben looking at putting together a similar casual group on Fridays there could be more opportunity for schedule flexibility, which would be nice.

Schmerk

Friday was my last Friday off on a compressed schedule. The entire office has been moved to a straight-eight schedule. The reasoning, from everything we can tell, appears to be because upper management felt inconvenienced. Putting that aside, my new work schedule looks like it will go some thing like, M&W: 6am-2pm, T&Th: 9am-5pm (10-6 until the newest shift worker gets up to speed.) This morning, the first week of the new schedule and we're already off-schedule, I don't go in till 10. Even sleeping in, this morning has had an abundance of time. That means on mornings like this I need to get up as early as I do on my early days and get out for a job before work.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little Lady

Mom took Owen for the day, Carrie went shopping, and I had Paige. We did some shopping and went to Wendy's for lunch. Fairly prosaic but it was good to have some time, just the two of us.




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flament!

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?"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

D-D-Dragon!

We finally got together for our Friday 4e D&D game again. Looking back it was the beginning of October the last time we played it. Generally that would be a death knell, and we spent about an hour bullshitting about movies and stuff before actually getting to the business of even updating our characters and trying to remember what happened all those months ago. Turns out my memory, while good on the broad strokes had painted them with Southwest desert colors instead of the Germanic forested ones of which they were actually comprised. Once we got back into it things rolled along pretty smooth and it turned out to be one of the better sessions of this game. There was a bit toward the end with a dragon that highlighted a strength and a weakness of 4e. The strength: we decided to try to talk the dragon down instead of fighting it. We jumped into a skill challenge and avoided what would have likely been a long-ish, possibly bogged down, fight. We got to roleplay convincing a powerful monster that we were a bigger threat than it was, and feel like badasses in a situation that wasn't combat. I love skill challenges for this aspect. The weakness: From an economic standpoint it would have, within the rules of 4e, made more sense for us to jump into combat. Or maybe to use the skill challenge to set ourselves up for advantage in the fight with the dragon. We would have gotten size-ably more XP for fighting, which does say something important about the game, "This is what we designed this game for. You can use skill challenges, but they're not as important." I don't really like that.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Make Merry

The hell has been happening?

Wrapped up Burrito Quest 4: Veggie Trek. Managed to coordinate Isaac in on the last episode. We kind of decided to do a BQ5: Bizarro Trek, but my enthusiasm for it is not super high. Maybe I'll see if I can pawn all the work off on Ben, then just coast along.

Xmas went swimmingly, without any actual swimming. Spent the weekend before and up till Xmas day in Carl-Bad. Highlights include:

Trying to find something to do on Sunday before Xmas in Carl-Bad, as nothing beside fast food or Chili's is apparently open. And for your information, the Chili's in Carl-Bad is pretty crappy. Got to hang out with Nathan some though, which is always good.

Played some Minecraft with Ross while in C-Bad. I finally grok why that game is so popular.

Woke the kids up Xmas morning telling them Santa Claus came and left them presents, to which Owen replied, "Dada, I'm scared." He got over it pretty quick though, and spent quite a while pushing his new scoot bike around the house. They should hopefully put on the inch or two needed to fit them by the summer. Paige dug hers too, but was more interested in her new backpack.

Fat loots from Santa to me included were highlighted by Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman and a new Kitchen Aid can opener. We use a can opener twice a day feeding Piper and have generally picked inexpensive models that either didn't work consistenly or broke within a pretty short time period. Maybe I was just doing it wrong. Anyway, the new opener rocks. Also got some socks with monkeys and mustaches on them.

The day after we got back from Carl-bad, Jon (plus Cameron & Derek) and Dad both showed up. Jon stayed till this past Sunday, and Dad is leaving this coming Saturday. Been a busy house full of visitors through the holidays, but not in a bad way.

Made it out with Jon and Dad to the Mimbres Brewery taproom. The beer was better than it has been (helped that they had their Chocolate Pinon Coffee Stout on tap) and we had a good time hanging out, chatting, and having a few beers.

Played some CoD: Black Ops 2 with Derek. The zombie mode on that game is pretty damn sweet, especially the Grief games.

More Xmas with Jon et al. Scored more loot, including a sweet Loveland Ale Works shirt from Jon, a digital photo frame from Mom, cash for a weekend getaway from Dad, and comics and video games from Sage.

Did our annual kickball game. I think I kicked once, then rounded up the kids and took them home. It was cold and they were getting grumpy. But there was a good turnout depsite the cold and I think everybody had fun. May try to do it bi-annually, or maybe even quarterly in the future.

Saw the Hobbit, was underwhelmed. There was a lot of bloat and some weird production choices that would have, for me, been more successful if they had been more understated. Dislikes: too much light in caves in the bottom of the mountain, dwarfs looking weird or not like dwarfs, for kids=goofiness & fart jokes, Radagast. Likes: Bilbo, Riddles with Gollum. I like the old Rankin & Bass cartoon a lot more than I do this version.

Dad and Aunt Nette are both headed back east tomorrow.

And look at this, it snowed.