July 6th, 2013

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Woke up this morning feeling somewhat tired and a bit shaky.

Yesterday's work at the office was somewhat stressful because the boss was in a foul mood for reasons that I don't know, and work was really busy and time was not on my side in terms of making sure I had snacks and stuff. I forgot to mention there was no special fete for me this year at work for my birthday, although I did get a birthday card from Donna and my co-workers.

Last night's gaming session with the Friday night group was highly enjoyable. Nick, as mentioned in previous posts, is running for the month of July as his birthday present to me, and he surprised me and the other gamers by starting a Primeval RPG game. I'll blog more about that in a separate post later today, but suffice it to say I had a good time last night, and enjoyed myself tremendously.

This morning is warm and humid once again, likely going to a high of 30</sup>o</sup>C, the humidity going to make it feel like 40 degrees or so, so I can't say I'm looking forward to the day. In the meantime, just relaxing somewhat and having a bit of breakfast (scrambled eggs with veggies) and a slice of toast with coffee.

Thoughts on the Alfredsson Departure

As mentioned yesterday in this blog entry, Ottawa Senators' captain Daniel Alfredsson has opted to sign a contract with the Detroit Red Wings for one year, worth $5.5 million (including bonuses and incentives).

Like most folks here in Ottawa who are hockey fans, I guess I'm still in a bit of shock about this, and I guess I'm also depressed at the thought that Alfie has abandoned the Senators to their fate. But I'm not angry at him about this.

We'll never know the full story about why Alfie chose not to return to Ottawa for the 2013-2013 season (though what he aid in conference calls and what Ottawa GM Brian Murray has said publicly tells most of the story, I think), but I understand why he did it. Since he was privy to Brian Murray's explanations of where the team was going and the plans to trade for Bobby Ryan of Anaheim well in advance, it seems plain to me that Alfie didn't believe that he could win a Stanley Cup in Ottawa this coming year (and possibly not the next). And in honesty, I don't believe that Ottawa can win a Cup in the next few years, regardless of the acquisition of Bobby Ryan and anyone else that Brian Murray manages to trade for this off-season, and that's regardless of whether Alfie had stayed or whether he comes back next year for another season in Ottawa. And let's face it - Alfredsson is in the twilight of his illustrious career, he has maybe one or two seasons left, and the one thing he's never done is win a Stanley Cup.

Alfie himself said in the conference call that this was a "selfish" act on his part, and that he doesn't expect Ottawa Senators' fans to forgive him that easily for this, and judging by what I've heard in the news and papers and in on-line tweets and the like, the fans are angry with him, though still shell-shocked. But this was a *HUGE* decision on Alfredsson's part and took a lot of guts, to walk away from the only team that he's ever known over the last 17 years. And yes, I'm going to miss him terribly and I suspect so will Ottawa fans when they calm down somewhat about Alfredsson's actions, but to be honest... This is hockey, and hockey is a business. Given the deal that he got with Detroit, Alfie didn't do this for the money. He did this as he honestly believed that Detroit offers him a chance at a Stanley Cup, something that he's not tasted since he came into the league, and feels that this is his chance, even if he angers and disappoints Ottawa Senators' fans.

What I really want to say is this... Thank you, Daniel Alfredsson, for your leadership and career in Ottawa, and for being the person in the community that you were and that we've all come to love and adore. I want to wish you luck with the Detroit Red Wings, and honestly hope that you can make your Stanley Cup dreams come true this year. Your leadership on and off the ice will be sorely missed, and you cannot be replaced either on the ice or in the dressing room. I hope that you'll return to Ottawa (for another year of playing, if you decide to do so again), to finish your career properly and/or to go into Ottawa Senators management. But when the Ottawa Senators play your Detroit Red Wings this year (I can't believe I just used the word "your" in there!), I'll be cheering for the Ottawa Senators, but hoping that you have a dynamite game. I definitely won't be booing you, for sure, as you have my respect for what you did here in Ottawa as the team leader over the course of the last 17 years, and you'll always be Ottawa's Alfie and Number 11 on that jersey.

Playing Primeval RPG on Friday Night

As mentioned earlier today, I promised to write a blog about last night's gaming session with the Friday night group. So here it is...

On Friday night, the gaming group met up to play once again. As is his wont at this time of year, Nick (Roberts) showed up for the game to act as GM for the month and run a game. He surprised me and the other players by deciding to run the Primeval RPG for the month, as he wanted to show his appreciation for the work that I had done on the game and running the game over the past few years.

So we got down to work on the player characters and character creation. Nick started off by telling us that he was running the game in the "new world" (ala Primeval: New World) and that we'd be playing in the Vancouver setting, since there's a lot one can do there. He also said that he wanted to take advantage of my knowledge of palaeontology and the like, and asked me to create the palaeontologist of the gaming group characters, so that's what I did. My character is Daniel Halvorsen, a Scandinavian who studied at the University of British Columbia, and has a wealth of palaeontological digs (with some interesting finds under his belt). (If anyone is interested, I can post Daniel up here on my blog.) I won't go into what the other players created for their characters, but suffice to say we have an interesting, diverse mix of player characters. Character generation took less than two hours, as the players around the table are pretty familiar with the game. :)

Once character generation was done, Nick ran us through a couple of samples of combat (more for his sake than ours, so he could get a feel for the combat system), and then started in on the adventure. The player characters, each operating on their own, ended up at the site of a couple of strange deaths in a small woodland cottage setting north of Vancouver. Lots of interesting stuff happened, met some very strange people in that area, and had a run-in with our first prehistoric creature.

All told, the sesssion was decent game, and I had a lot of fun playing the Primeval RPG for a change. Nick did a good job running the game, though he has to get used to working with a couple of the game mechanics, but he mentioned to me afterwards that he really likes the simplicity of the game system. Looking forward to playing this for the rest of the month, for sure! :)