Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I hate colds

I woke up yesterday with indications of sinus drainage. I went to work anyway, but got worse as the day progressed. I felt even worse this morning, and since I'd like to enjoy Christmas, I took the day off.  I spent it on the couch, napping, watching tv, etc. I didn't even have the concentration to finish re-reading a novel.

I had my co-workers' presents, too. I guess I'll take them with me to work on Monday. Better late than never.

Have some nature photos:
Pretty sky

  
I'm not sure where this squirrel is going, but it's quite intent

vintage tin


What's inside the tin
just kind of creepy
December blooming flowers

print, cut, and fold (& glue) paper box

CH gave me the tin of her grandmother's tatting supplies. Wasn't that sweet of her?

Saturday was the tatting meeting and I showed it off.

RG's dog died on Sunday. He was 15, and had been ill for quite some time. She took steps to keep his quality of life up, with tasty foods, etc. He was loved and we will miss him.

I cancelled my platelet donation tomorrow. I should not be donating when I feel like this. And since I got sick, I didn't get my Christmas cards out either.

Sorry this post is so incoherent. I realized I missed last week and wanted something out.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Where did the weekend go?

Weekend

Most of Saturday was the Pathfinder game. We did some housekeeping (how much money do we have? What loot are we keeping and who has it) and then continued to explore the structure. We started at the top, so we're working out way down. We had two fights, one of which had a funny incident. If a magic beast has grabbed someone, then both are on the lip of a spiked pit, and the person who has been grabbed misses their save not to fall into the pit, what happens? CD decided to work it as a bullrush variant. Instead of my CMB, he used my character's weight, with gear, to see if both my bard and the foe would be dragged down into the spiked pit. That beastie was strong, and played a quick game of 'dangle the bard.' Then the oracle/paladin teleported my character away and she was safe to cast spells at the beasties from a distance.


Then RW and his family had a Christmas party to attend, so we wrapped up early. MC had to go home to let his dog out and the rest of us went out to supper. We went to our favorite Mexican place in Raleigh. CD and RG used to eat there once a week. Now that RG is working somewhere else, CD goes by himself.


Sunday, it was do some tidying around the house, CD did some laundry, and we played Lord of the Rings Online and caught up on our tv. We're down to about 3 shows on the DVR right now, less than 10%. I need to watch one show on-demand, I'm behind on that one. We're caught up on everything else. We watched a few movies we had recorded, too. We saw Jumper, Super Troopers, and then American Ultra on Netflix.

Movies

  • Jumper wasn't bad. It's in media res,which is fine, but it never got resolved. We got a glimpse of the history of jumpers and the people who hunt them, and a hint about why they're hunted. But only a glimpse.
  • Super Troopers is kind of stupid and funny, but not 'only 13 years old will laugh at this' funny. And the cast is not 100% white people. It's still absurdly low on the number of women in the cast, but hey, Lynda Carter has a cameo as the governor of Vermont.
  • American Ultra was a little better than I expected. It's not an 'omg, you must see this movie' but it's pretty good. There are not very many women in speaking roles, and it wouldn't pass the Beschdel 'test.' But the women are really awesome. 

Games

And CD and I talked about how you could play a character like Mike Howell in an tabletop rpg. It would be a little easier in a flexible system. In Champions for example, you could have a variable skill pool. Need a skill? Bam, you know it.

He came up with a way to do it in D&D (3.0 or 3.5) and Pathfinder. In that one, you have an 11th level character. You write up the 1st level, as a commoner or expert or something. You have, call it, d8 hp for 11 levels. The rest is a mystery. The player would have to know the system pretty well, though. Because they'd have to know what's possible. IE, player goes, "I want to cast Magic Missile." The GM responds, "How many?" The answer determines who many levels of spellcaster you have (1 magic missile means 1st level for example). The player notes down how many levels of that class.

Skills, you can fill in up to 11 on any skill. Know a language, put a point in linguistics. Keep track of how many you spent on what, because as you get classes, that will determine skill points.

Your stats would start at all 10, and you'd spend to buy them up as events occurred. So for that level of sorcerer you gained when you realized you could cast Magic Missile, you have Charisma 11. After you spent all those points you still have 2 stat bumps (4th & 8th level).

Oh, you want to cast Fireball? That's a 3rd level spell, 5th level caster. What class, sorcerer, wizard? Boost the appropriate stat up to 13. How does that affect the skills you've bought? The number of skill points you have so far?

I'd like to take a look and see how it would work in Fate, too. Fate is pretty flexible after all.

We went to the Italian restaurant near us for supper. Their lobster ravioli isn't quite as good as Casa san Carlo but it does have the option of adding shrimp. CD baffled the waitress. They have a tasty chocolate dessert that has a base layer of cheesecake. He asked, 'what kind of cheesecake, New York, Italian, or (some 3rd kind I missed)?' She had to go ask to find out.

Tatting: 

I can't find my green thread for a certain present, but I did find red, white, and green thread. Think I'll be using that one. Jane has posted the intro for the next TIAS. Yay!

website/articles

Have an interesting article on the future of self-driving cars.

Here's an article about recent grave digs revealing information which calls into question earlier conclusions about gender roles.

And scientists in Japan have a process to make glass about as strong as steel. And they hope to have it commercialized in 5 years. 


Pictures

Found a 'paper toys' website, and here's a box; print, cut, and fold
from http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html
roses are still blooming

Blood Donation

I volunteered at the half-day blood drive. I was in the canteen so I was 2+ hours walking around and standing. This is after I had to run to catch the bus this morning. Once I finished my volunteer stint, I grabbed some food and then off to donate. It took longer than I expected, even with the rapid pass.

Rapid pass is a new thing. You go on-line the day of donation to read the material and fill out the questionnaire ahead of time. You print out the report or email it to yourself. They scan it as part of the pre-donation process, but it saves time.

She had to test my blood twice to see if my iron levels were high enough to donate. I barely made it. But I had plenty of water and the donation itself went pretty quickly. Back to the canteen to grab some food and then back to work.

My knees do hurt tonight. All for a good cause, though. And tomorrow is the garden committee meeting, so I get to leave early.


Friday, December 04, 2015

Long week was long

Okay, really it was normal length, but after last week's short work week, it felt long.

I had my monthly date with Autumn Breeze on Tuesday. I'm so glad we started doing that. It keeps us in contact the way phone calls, letters, and emails don't.

Oh, here's an interesting band (links to YouTube videos) a friend recommended, Veronica Veronico. Makes me wish I wasn't so close to monolingual.

Saturday is back to the mines, as we resume our Wardens of Reborn Forge game. Or actually, we're leaving the mines as we seek the source of the mystery.

I made another bracelet; shades of purple with dark green beads. I don't have a picture of it yet. I may use it as a gift. Or, I'll make another one, same thread with those silvery gold beads. Chrissie loved the bead petal earrings with matching bookmark. They turned out really nicely, but the photos I have are not good. She promised to take a better photo for me. The heart is adapted by one from Be-Stitched newsletter. I used fewer picots on the clovers and added beads to the chain picots.
both ends of the bookmark, used lockchain for the middle
bead petal earring (pattern by Karey Solomon
in process (using a drill at this point)
Tuesday evening as I was leaving work, I saw this. They were doing a menorah lighting ceremony. They were making the menorah.
ice menorah, in progress

Alas, it rained overnight, blurring the details
What light pollution? (fog reflecting lights)

fog amidst the trees


 Sunday was the Tri-Tatters' meeting. It was the only day in November we could get the meeting room. We had someone relearning to needletat. Thank goodness, our most skilled needletatter was there to help her. Somethingunderthebed brought her latest find; 100 year old women's magazines. She's working hard at scanning them to add to her page.
fun with colored lights (I took a whole series)

Update: one last photo, new tablet game: Monument Valley