April 11th, 2009

Celebrating JMF, A Day Late

Yesterday would have been John M. Ford's birthday. While I only met him three or four times, primarily during the MiniCons that I attended back in the late 1980s, I always appreciated John's wit, his writing ability, and the manner in which he related to people. The entire Minneapolis SF writer base adored JMF, both as a person and as a writer and contributor to the fantasy and sf genres.

I was extremely fond of John's writing, and adored his work in the Liavek anthologies (and yes, he partially contributed to the creation of that shared world), but he wrote so many other brilliant pieces of fiction and non-fiction that... well, I could go on and on about him and his writing.

I think that coffeeem said it all really, in her journal entry yesterday, and so I will not add more. All I will add is that if you get a chance, pick up some of John M. Ford's writing and read it. You won't be disappointed.

So, I raise a slightly belated virtual toast in memory John M. Ford.

John M. Ford (1957-2006)
  • Current Music
    Jethro Tull - "Requiem"

Gaming, No Movie

Despite it being Good Friday yesterday, my Friday night gaming group came out to play.

They were quite excited and interested in doing the final playtest of "Shadow of the Wolf", the Desolation RPG scenario that I will be running at CanGames in about five weeks or so. Part of this stems from the fact that they like the Desolation rpg, but haven't done enough playing of it this past year or so, and besides, I need to put the finishing touches on the scenario. While I was happy with the previous playtests of the scenario (you can read about the most recent playtest here), there were just a couple of glitches that I needed to sort out in the scenario.

The playtest went pretty well, the players taking the role of all seven of the potential pre-gen characters for the scenario (I really need to sit down and create a new group of pre-gens for Desolation demo/convention games, or perhaps the folks at Greymalkin will do so - are you reading this post, nearside? <g>); while the demo is set for six player characters, there is always the extra pre-gen for any overflow of players that might occur, so I figured if they were willing to play all seven, that would help. The scenario hangs together quite nicely (what, you expected me to tell you details of the plot here?? <evil g>), and the final battle works pretty well and has a good feel to it. So, I just need to do some final adjustments to the written version of the scenario, add in some stats for stuff that I had forgotten, and it's a wrap!

Since it was Good Friday, the guys and girls decided after the Desolation playtest to call it a night, and skip the film noir for the week. So, for the first time in ages, I got to bed before 12:30 am for the first time on a Friday night in ages. Needless to say, I couldn't fall asleep since I was still a bit hyped for the game. *sigh* Ah, well... :)

Ottawa Senators, Over and Out

And so the Ottawa Senators NHL hockey season is finally, mercifully, over.

The Sens were beaten in Toronto tonight by a score of 5-2, in a game that saw former Sen Martin Gerber have the last laugh, stopping 37 shots on route to the win. This loss pretty much summed up the entirety of the Senators' season, despite the fact that after the changeover to coach Cory Clouston, the Sens turned their fortunes around, but not enough to make it into the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

Despite the solid play since Clouston took over as coach, the Senators' problems started at the beginning of the season (well, actually half-way through the previous season) and the team never recovered. The reasons for the terrible year this time around were multiple. First off, Craig Harstburg is a good coach, but a completely defensive approach to the game was the wrong way to go with Ottawa. The fact that most of the players had off-seasons when it came to scoring, hitting the team at the same time, didn't help. A lack of an offensive defenseman certainly didn't help, as the poor showing of the power play illustrated. And...well, there are so many other things that went wrong with the Ottawa Senators this year that it's not worth going on about.

Now, there is just the hope of the new season to come in the latter half of 2009. With the acquisition of Pascal Leclaire, the Senators have addressed their goaltending issues...if Leclaire can stay healthy. While I like the acquisition, I wish it had not been at the expense of Antoine Vermette, still one of my favourite ex-Senators. But the team still needs tinkering. Ottawa needs a full-fledged puck-moving defenseman. They need another second line forward. They need a bit more grit in their play at times. Whether they get this next season is another matter. In the meantime, the NHL hockey season in Ottawa is done for.

So next year... GO SENS, GO!!
  • Current Music
    Mike Oldfield - "Pictures in the Dark"