July 8th, 2009

A Wednesday Morning

A relatively cool morning here in Ottawa, with a bit of rain coming down. Sort of comfortable, except for the dampness part.

The e-mail account is active and working once more. Happiness is me. :)

At some point when I have a bit of time, I will blog about this past birthday weekend. I keep meaning to do so, but other stuff keeps getting in the way. So, promise I will do so later today.

Back to business stuff for the nonce.
  • Current Music
    ABC - "The Look of Love"

Birthday Weekend, Report 1

As promised, here is the post (or group of posts) about the long weekend, which coincidentally had my birthday occur within it.

Friday started off pretty much as usual, since I had to go to work and put in a half-day. Didn't do anything unusual or anything like that during the day, and got home just in time to find out that the two big packages of Fading Suns gaming stuff had arrived. That cheered me up somewhat, except for the Customs and Handling fees! :<

The best part of Friday was the fact that I knew that I wasn't going to be running a game, I was going to be playing in one! :) Nick Roberts, one of my Friday night gamers, always runs a game for me to play in the week of my birthday, and this year was no different, with one exception: the Friday night gamers were hiding what game he was going to run, as it was to be a surprise.

Kathy, SteveB, and Ellie arrived first, and Kathy had the first "pressie" of the night. She had baked a cake - caramel, hazelnut, and a touch of apricot jam, with a divine icing. The cake was really good, as being diabetic (as are SteveB and Ellie), she wanted me to able to eat the cake without croaking or anything. Apparently they need me to GM games or something, and "you're not getting out of running Fading Suns again!" :) We put the cake in the fridge, along with the case of Canada Dry ginger ale cans, and then waited for Nick, Tom, and Joanne to arrive. While waiting, Kathy told me that she and SteveB were taking me out to dinner on the Saturday night, and that Ellie wanted to come along with us (and that she had promised to behave herself). (I suspect the bribe of the cake, both from me and Kathy had something to do with it!)

The other three arrived, and then I got the biggest surprise of my life. Nick was going to run Desolation! I had no idea that he'd even bought a copy of the game, and he told me that he loved the campaign of it that I had run (and will continue to run) and that he wanted to give me this as a present for my birthday. He'd bought the book and told the others not to tell me and all. What a great surprise this was, trust me on this!

We generated a batch of characters, and this took about an hour and a bit, and then started to play. One of the things I adore about Desolation is that the game is so neat. While being fantasy, it's post-apocalyptic, has a superb free-form magic system, and gives a brilliant twist to the various typical fantasy races. I knew that I wanted to play a magical type, and that I didn't want the magic to be necessarily overt. So it was either a Primalist (meaning I would take a Mongrel) or an Animist (meaning I would play a Loranthian). While the idea of playing a character with a lack of hygiene didn't really appeal to me, I thought that I would try the Mongrel and go with Primal magic. I took the Mongrel. Sakhut of Ridge River is my name. If there's enough interest in my doing so, I'll post the character here in my blog. (Just ask in the Comments of my blog.)

Once we wrapped character generation, Nick started us off on our first adventure. Travelling together for a variety of reasons, we came upon a wrecked caravan, and were then attacked by skorons. (Yes, the nasty beasties that I had created for the "Shadow of the Wolf" scenario for CanGames. Now I know why he had asked me for their stats about two months ago! Oh, irony! Oh, joy! <g>) Primal magic is soooooo much fun! After an hour and a half or so of actual play, we took a break, and had tea and some cake, and relaxed for a bit over that. Ellie was allowed to stay up this night and have some cake and milk with the rest of us, and then she curled up and went to sleep, before the rest of us continued to play for about an hour. I told Nick that I was having a blast playing the game, and he said that he was enjoying running it, and that he was glad he could rely on me to answer some of his questions about running Desolation and rules interpretations as we played, and I told him that I'm cool with that, but that he makes the final decisions and all that.

We finally broke up around 1:15 am, and everyone agreed that Nick was doing a pretty good job running the game. Joanne told me that she liked to play with me, and that it was interesting to see me from a player point of view, since I so rarely actually play in games.

Overall, a pretty good night, and I had a blast gaming. As usual, Kathy is a terrific baker, and the gang was pleasant to be with. Lots of fun had by all, and the company and the cake was delicious!

Birthday Weekend, Report 2

Here's the second report on the long, birthday weekend.

Woke up Saturday feeling a bit...hazy. Probably lack of sleep, as I didn't sleep soundly on the Friday night and into the morning hours. Felt a bit down, since the birthday was over with, but cheered up at the thought of seeing Kathy and SteveB for supper that night. Thought of having croissant and all that stuff, but I had had the cake the night before, and I was going to have more cake before the weekend was through, so I figured I would be rather careful. Make a nice mushroom and onion omelette with a couple of Omega-3 eggs, and had two pieces of back bacon with it for breakfast, washed down with decaf coffee.

Did a bit of stuff in the morning, went out for a walk, that sort of thing. spross came over in the early afternoon, and we chatted and talked about a few things. Went over to the Business Depot, and I did some photocopying of Fading Suns character sheets and a few other things, and then went back to the house. My mother came by while spross was still there, and dropped off a few things, including the blackforest cake that I had ordered two weeks before. It was the wrong cake! It was blackforest all right, but it was a 10.5-inch cake, and it was rectangular! At least it had the "Happy Birthday JMK" on it that mom insisted on.

spross took off for home, and mom and I had a piece of cake each with tea before she headed home a couple of hours later. (spross was getting his share of cake on Sunday, but that's another report!) Kathy, SteveB, and Ellie showed up about 7:15 to pick me up, as we were going out to dinner. They wouldn't tell me where, just grinned knowingly at each other, but that was fine with me. Surprises are fine, but they get me nervous and twitchy after awhile. Ellie had to see the birthday cake, and she was amazed at the size, but her mother told her that she would only get one slice, and that would be next Friday. I changed into some more acceptable restaurant clothes, and headed out for supper, SteveB driving their Jeep and Ellie coming with me and following in my Chrysler Sebring. It was a pleasant drive, and I liked spending a bit more time with my goddaughter.

I ended up following them down to the Keg restaurant, located down on Hunt Club. SteveB told me that he'd made the reservation about three weeks ago, as they had planned to take me to dinner. Kathy reassured me that there was no "forced female companionship" coming - it was just the four of us. I had a terrific dinner of some quesadillas, a side salad, 8 oz. steak, and baked potato with a side of veggies. Lovely food. From the Keg, we went back to my place around 9:45 pm. Ellie lay down for a bit, and the three of us sat back in the living room and chatted for a bit, with the stereo on low playing some Mike Oldfield. We had some tea and some biscuits that Kathy had brought with her, and then about 11:00 pm, they snatched up Ellie and headed for home.

I was feeling pretty tired myself by that time, and headed down for bed and an early night. Read a little bit, don't remember what, but it might have been a couple of chapters of Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job, and then I crashed.

A pretty good long weekend to that point, for sure.
  • Current Music
    Elton John - "Madman Across the Water"

Birthday Weekend, Report 3

And here's the report on the holiday Sunday.

Woke up in the morning, and felt pretty good about myself and about life. Had a nice breakfast of a plain omelette with cheese, and a couple of pieces of back bacon. Washed it down with some coffee, and while I was tempted to add some Bailey's Irish Cream to it, I resisted.

Went about doing some of the morning stuff that needed doing, and once that was finished, I got ready for lunch. Every time I opened the fridge, I desperately wanted to have another piece of blackforest cake, but somehow managed to exert my willpower in this regard. Had a lean hamburger on a whole wheat bun for lunch, with a cup of soup. And then it was time for the Sunday afternoon gaming group.

spross and oni_neko arrived first, and they were followed in relatively short order by Tammy. hub_ was the last to arrive, and then we got down to it.

spross had said that he would run Desolation and give me a break for a bit, as a sort of birthday present, and he was good to his word. Tammy, oni_neko, hub_ and I created characters for spross's game, and I was pretty happy with the character that I created. My character, Tesro Haldane, is a human craftsman (woodworker) who in the aftermath of the Night of Fire has taken to searching old ruins for stuff that folks can use. I don't think of him as an adventurer, per se, but I can see him evolving into one of the truly heroic types if necessary, and depending on where spross sees the game going. We finished off character creation, and then spross took us through some samples of combat, before we ended the session.

About 3:20 pm or so, we took a break and I cut the blackforest cake and we all had a bit of Bailey's Irish Cream, other than Tammy. When I tasted the cake, it was even better than it had been the night before, and I just savoured that lovely stuff going down my throat. oni_neko and hub_ both had a second slice, and there was still quite a bit of cake to spare. I gave Tammy a couple of slices to take home with her for herself and her mom, and spross got a slice or two to take home with him for his mom as well. The rest of the cake, about five slices or so, is now frozen (minus the piece that I had promised for Ellie), but boy, was that a good cake!

After gaming ended for the day, hub_ left for home and his other, Sunday evening gaming committment, while Tammy, spross, oni_neko, and I headed out about 7:15 pm to the local Kelsey's restaurant to eat dinner. Neither Tammy nor I were all that starving after the cake, so we didn't eat that much. I had some onion soup, and Tammy and I split an order of chicken fajitas. She also ordered a bruschetta, and I had a couple of pieces of that. spross and oni_neko had spaghetti and fish respectively, and neither of them finished off their meals. Large servings at Kelsey's! Good food. And the company was pretty good that night, too.

We finished up there about 9:30 pm or so, and split up to head home, spross giving oni_neko a lift home. Once I got home, I had to deal with a sink full of dishes from the afternoon, but that was all right. After the dishes, I took a twenty-minute walk outside, trying to burn off some of the calories from the day, but I was still feeling pretty full from supper when I got back home from that.

Needless to say, I felt pretty lethargic from all the sugar and the like during the three days of the weekend, and so was glad that I took Monday off from work. Pretty good birthday weekend as these things go, and now, aside from work, I've got the Ottawa Bluesfest to look forward to from now until the 19th of July. Not gonna go see a whole lot of performances, but there are a few artists I'm looking forward to, including Amanda Rheaume, whom I'll be going to see at Bluesfest shortly.

Looking forward to the rest of the week, even if I am a bit tired and all.