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Happy Hanukkah!

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that is usually around much earlier in the month than Christmas, and lasts a bit longer than Christmas does. Well, actually Hanukkah begins at sundown, so we're all good.

I want to wish everyone out there a very Happy Hanukkah.

The gifts I would like this year aren't really all that complicated. Well, most of them anyway. First off, a year (relatively) free of illness. Second, a year free of shoulder/back/neck/arm/hand pain (caused most likely by the problems with my cervical spine) and foot pain (caused by whatever). Third, for my diabetes management to be under better control. For life to be less stressful for the most part. And finally, for peace on earth, and an end to war.

So Chag Sameach to all my Jewish friends, and enjoy the Festival of Lights for this year!

Sunday Afternoon Gaming Cancelled

Gaming with the Sunday afternoon group is off for this afternoon once more.

spross is still recovering from what he's been going through this past month (long story, and not mine to tell), and while Tammy's available to play this weekend she'd rather not game without SteveR. This isn't a bad thing, to be perfectly honest, as my health problems with the pain in the shoulder, arm, hand, neck, and head are still extremely bad, so we won't be playing this afternoon.

I am sorry that I'm not going to be able to actually start the The Dark Eye campaign with the first scenario with the Sunday group again, but things are what they are.

The Human Need

Yesterday was a strange day.

I woke up feeling relatively all right, as the term "relatively" is used about myself these days. Frankly, it meant that I didn't scream from the pain in the hand/arm/shoulder/neck/back when I got out of bed.

I went about the morning stuff, and took it fairly easy and didn't feel all that bad. Since I've had some cabin fever of late and really did feel a bit better, I decided to go out and find some companionship. (No, not that way, silly readers! I'm not up for that at the moment, to be honest. But thanks for thinking it.

I risked taking a drive (given my current health state and the medication for pain I'm taking) over to Billings Bridge Centre, as I needed to pick up a 2018 calendar and just wanted some time among the (human) herd, so to speak. So where better than a shopping centre during the Christmas season?

I went up to the food court and had some lunch, and then headed over and picked up the calendar, though not the one I was looking for, before thinking of heading home. But I was quite relaxed and enjoying my time among the human herd. So I went and sat down at a nice, comfy bench with a good cushion on it, and sat and people watched for a couple of hours, and just...absorbed all the human (inter)action around me. By the time I left the shopping mall and got home, I was feeling somewhat more human again...though I did feel very pained in the body parts that are bothering me these days.

Woke up this morning very early, due to the bad pain in the hand/arm/shoulder/neck/back areas, and while I feel I know that I'm paying for the afternoon out, I'm feeling somewhat better about myself and a bit more human again. And that's all that counts.

In the meantime, I feel like having pancakes for a late breakfast. And that's what I'm going to do.

International Human Rights Day

Just a reminder to folks.

Today is International Human Rights Day.

This seems like a good day for a donation to your favourite or preferred organisations waging these advocacy battles around the globe. Oh, and if you've got some suggestions for organisations worthy of support, please leave a note in the Comments section about this.

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Friday Evening Gaming Session Cancelled

Once more, it pains me (no pun intended) to say this...

Gaming is off for tonight, as I'm just in too much pain in the neck, back, shoulder, and arm(s) to game tonight, as I'm really unable to focus on stuff very clearly. Kathy and the other gamers were quite disappointed at the news, but completely understand. Kathy also told me that Ellie is down with some sort of cold or virus (they hope it's not the flu or anything like that), so she and Ellie would not be gaming tonight, regardless.

I'm sad that we're not going to continue on with the The Dark Eye RPG campaign this evening, but such is my life at the moment. Heck, I'm lucky if I can stand at all. Going to lie down now for a while before having to get up and make supper.

In Memorium

A sad day in history.

Remember the 14

Geneviève Bergeron (b. 1968), civil engineering student.
Hélène Colgan (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (b. 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (b. 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (b. 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department.
Maryse Leclair (b. 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (b. 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (b. 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (b. 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (b. 1958), nursing student.

'Nuff said.

Books Read in November, 2017

As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my November, 2017 reads.


*****
Books Read in November, 2017

The Golden Torc by Julian May (r)

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

October, 2017 Locus

King of Swords by Eleanor Arnason (r)

The Blight of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
*****

And those were my reads in the month of November. This was one of the slowest months of reading that I've had in a long time, to be honest, but there are good reasons for it. The fact of the matter is that it's been very difficult for me to actually hold a book in my hands or to lean one against my hands over the past month due to the problems I'm having with my left shoulder/neck/arm and spine. So it was actually a half-decent number of reads given my condition.

The books I enjoyed the most were:

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe - I can't say that I'm a fan of music biographies, but I've always enjoyed the music of Joni Mitchell, so I figured I'd gve this book a read. The author's style is readable and pretty much straightforward, though it's a bit over-written in a couple of places for my taste. David Yaffe knows his stuff and covers the entirety of Joni Mitchell's life in interesting, but not overly extensive, detail. He has known Joni Mitchell personally for a long time, and having spoken with her extensively for this book as well as having spoken to a wide variety of people who've known her from childhood friends to musical collaborators, and has creative a genuine picture of a very talented, yet tough, very much her own self, and self-reliant, musician. I recommend this book.

The Blight of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler - One of the biggest problems with trilogies is that the middle book seems to always be the weakest of the three. The Blight of Muirwood is an exception to this rule, as this sequel is a better book in various ways than the first book in the Legends of Muirwood series. Author Jeff Wheeler has written a book that both expands on the first book and also sets up a conclusion that doesn't feel like so many cookie cutter fantasy books these days. It also serves to set up what the third book will be about rather well. Blight is also a more mature book than the first book, as the protagonists are fleshed out more deeply, and relationships are further explained as well as being expanded upon. There's a lot of action in this book, and some rather great plot twists. Highly recommended.

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard - What can I say about this novel that does it justice? Imogen is a writer, her two years younger sister Marin is a ballet dancer, and both go to an artists' colony called Melete, just north of Boston. They both have a hideous mother who fits the role of the wicked stepmother or witch. And Melete hides secrets of its own, secrets that a knowledgeable reader will figure out somewhat earlier than other readers. Because this book is all about relationships and the realm of the Fae. What's really special is that first novel writer Kat Howard slyly introduces the faerie elements with an almost factual nature that fans of the Fae will expect in such a "real world" setting. When one encounters the Wild Hunt, for example, the reader understands them for what they are, and accepts them within the reality of the book as something unique, frightening, but very much in keeping with the world that the author has created. While I don't think this book is for everyone, if you enjoy books about Faeries and the Fay, with mortals blundering through it at times, this book is for you.

Those were the highlight reads among the books this past month.

Overall, I managed to read 6 novels, 0 RPGs and RPG products, 1 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in November. This brings the year total for 2017 to a set of numbers that look like this: 86 books, 20 RPGs and RPG products, 19 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels.

Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)

Sunday Afternoon Gaming Cancelled

Gaming with the Sunday afternoon group is off for this afternoon.

Due to various things going on with Tammy and spross, gaming for this afternoon is off. Tammy is on-call for her job, but I can't speak for SteveR's reasons for not gaming (it's a long story, and he's the only one who can explain what's going on), so both players are unavailable for the afternoon.

I am sorry that I'm not going to be able to actually start the The Dark Eye campaign with the first scenario with the Sunday group, but things are what they are.

The Capharnaüm RPG Kickstarter

*sigh*

I had promised myself that I wasn't going to do it, but then it came along... For those who are roleplaying gamers and interested in such things, there's a new fantasy roleplaying game on the horizon that's currently being Kickstarted. At least new to the English speaking market.

Capharnaüm is a French roleplaying game that's been out for over 10 years now. More properly called Capharnaüm: The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game of Arabian Nights adventure that is being published in English by Mindjammer Press and will be distributed by the folks at Modiphius Entertainment. The game rules look really simple, the artwork is lavish and fantastic and has that Arabian Nights feel to it, and the game has some rather neat conceits and conceptions. Here's the link to the Kickstarter itself:

Capharnaüm: The Tales of the Dragon-Marked Kickstarter Page

Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an imaginary Arabia-like world. It borrows from the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights, as well as semitic legends and the ancient and mediaeval epics. Capharnaüm doesn't aim to be a historical game, but a heroic one, a flamboyant refraction of historical, cultural, and mythical themes, filled with light and thrilling adventure!

In Capharna¨m, you play the Dragon-Marked, heroic individuals with a special destiny, born with a birthmark on their backs in the shape of a dragon's claw. The Dragon-Mark announces to the world that you are capable of astonishing feats, for good or evil. Chosen by mystical dragons in accordance with an unknown divine will, you are offered a place in the great game of the gods. You'll be cast into colourful adventures, political, military, and magical intrigues, and much more.

Capharnaüm is a simple yet profound game. We all know the tales of Sinbad, of Ali Baba, of Aladdin and Scheherezade - we grew up with them, they form part of our personal culture. The world of Capharnaüm is familiar, easy to pick up and play. And yet - scratch the surface, and a whole world opens up. Meticulously researched, the game aims to provide fantastic takes on real-world Mediterranean cultures, from ancient Greece and Rome, Egypt and Sumeria, right through to the crusader kingdoms, dark age and mediaeval Europe, the kingdoms of Africa, India, and the distant East. Uniquely, Capharna¨m is centred upon a fantastic version of the Middle-East, where all these cultures meet, clash, come into conflict with the profound cultures of the peninsula of Jazirat, and where something new is being born.

As the Dragon-Marked, you transcend cultural differences. You're united by an unknown, mystical, yet common destiny. Side-by-side with people who would otherwise be your foes, you adventure in this vibrant, chaotic land, where the fate of the future is at play, and where you are destined to change the world...

For some interesting aspects of the game, I recommend the following link:

Dan Davenport's Q&A with Sarah Newton

There are several other places that you can learn more information about the game, but there are only 14 days (as of this writing) left for the Kickstarter, so if you're interested in supporting the game, pledge around the Kickstarter and help out with getting this roleplaying game produced.

Overall, Capharnaüm looks to be a really neat, fascinating fantasy roleplaying game, and I finally caved in and pledged around it today. Part of that was due to the fact that I'm a sucker for Arabian Nights games, but also the fact that it's being done by Sarah Newton and the folks at Mindjammer Press. I hope this post gives you some interest in the game, and perhaps motivates you to take a peek at the Kickstarter, and perhaps pledge around the game.

Friday Evening Gaming Session Cancelled

It has been a hell of a day.

I spent part of the day going to the physiotherapy clinic to give her the recommendations made by the orthopedic surgeon, but will have to wait for an appointment until my insurance is handled properly on this. Didn't find a decent wall calendar for 2018 at Chapters. Had to take my mom out for shopping.

The pain is very bad in the shoulder, arm, neck, and-- never mind.

Gaming is off for tonight, as I just can't focus on stuff very clearly and the pain is quite severe. Kathy and the other gamers were quite disappointed at the news, but completely understand.

I'm sad that we're not going to continue on with the The Dark Eye RPG campaign this evening, but such is my life at the moment. Heck, I'm lucky if I can stand at all. Going to lie down now for a while before having to get up and make supper. See how that goes.

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jkahane
John Kahane

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