Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gaming all day (Scepter Tower of Spellguard)

It's an adaptable (you buy the book thingy and makes the changes so that it fits the campaign world) for Living Forgotten Realms and takes about 30 hours of play. We are not playing 30 hours straight. We're playing 8-10 hours today and we'll continue later.

Tatting: I made my first attempt at the wreath. I don't like it. But it did give me a couple ideas for my next try. I've so busy taking notes during the game that I haven't got much else done.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It doesn't feel like the mid-40sF
I checked the weather before I headed out to catch the bus. It said 46F, so I was not careful about slinging on my scarf...until I got out the door. Ouch, it feels very cold. I had missed the bus (if I had known for certain that I was going to, I could have waited indoors for the next one) so I got pretty cold by the time that the next one arrived. Even the heat of my laptop was not enough to keep me warm.

Tatting: since I have decided to sew the flag, I will need to either find or buy the appropriate fabrics. However, I still plan to tat the wreath. I know that I have yellow gold thread, I just need to find it. Until then, I will use the plain ecru thread to plan it.

I could show pictures of what I'd done but it's very boring. It's plain ecru thread, just rings. It does not amount to anything. Although it is an idea for a simple bag. It would just be loads of tatting.

My office is still on the warm side, mid-70'sF, but at least the humidity is down and the stink is gone. It does make it difficult to clothe myself. Do I dress for the weather, or for my office? Layers help but there's a limit.

And my neighbor's tree has bloomed again. Or still. I'm not entirely certain which. It smells a bit like bananas, oddly enough.

Gaming: It turns out that I had partially updated Idril (my eladrin wizard) already. I just needed to choose her 2nd level spell and check her defenses, skills, and feat.b

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are my eyes burning because it stinks?
For the past two days, my office has reeked. It finally faded today but yesterday my eyes were burning all day. Was it because of the aroma?

weather: We've had winter, spring and then winter again today; in 36 hours. If it had gotten just a couple degrees warmer, I would say that we'd had summer too. Tuesday was cold and drizzly. Yesterday was warm (60sF) and very wet. Today started at freezing.

clothes: By the way, just as a tip, don't wear an ankle-length or longer skirt when it's raining. I dragged the hem of my skirt through a puddle on my way home. I could not juggle my umbrella, my bag and my skirt all at the same time. It would not have been so very bad if the wet hem had not dragged over my socks and gotten those damp, too.

reading: I've made it through Nov 07 Shojo Beat, but I can't find the next two issues. I have them, somewhere. I put them up, somewhere. I just have to figure out where. Other than that, I've been re-reading. A lot. It's that whole saving money thing.

tatting: I don't want to talk about my tatting. It is not going well. I have only two weeks left before it needs to be finished. If I had a pattern, I could do it. However, I am unable to go from a dead stop to full speed ahead in that time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tatting and Movies
: Saturday's meeting of the Triangle Tatters was great. We had three new people; one of whom came because she needed help getting started. Luckily, she sat next to Anitra; a really good teacher. I knew one of the new people, because she's a student of Anitra's who helped at the State Fair this past year. Then, earlier this week we (because three of us found her through different avenues) found another tatter. She hopes to come to the meeting in February.

They helped me get started on my Eritrea flag project. So far it is not going smoothly. I do have a back-up plan. If I am unable to tat the entire thing then I will sew one and tat the olive branch wreath.

Movies: Over the weekend I saw three amusing movies, none of them less than 20 years old. The last, and most recently made, one was Rustler's Rhapsody. It's a comedy-Western, and it's really funny if you've watched a lot of old Westerns. We also caught part of Beach Blanket Bingo. It's not a great movie, but it's light & entertaining (still blows my mind that Buster Keaton is in a lot of the beach movies). The movie that we watched Friday night, the one that no one in Triangle Tatters had ever heard of (what is that, an instructional video?); How to Murder Your Wife. It's a funny movie; starring Jack Lemmon.

weather & shoes: The weather has turned warm. I'm wearing a cotton blouse and the cord vest over it feels like a bit much today. Monday I wore a pair of shoes that I thought was broken in; not enough apparently. Ouch. My Mary Janes hurt because although they are broken in; they hit the spots that the loafers abraded.

Books: I haven't read anything really new, except an old L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp book (The Stones of Nomuru) that I picked up at the USB. Although I do have the latest Lois McMaster Bujold waiting for me at the bookstore. I am up to October 07 in my Shojo Beat magazines. Sabrina Jeffries was at a library near me last night. I had planned to go but once I got home I was unable to leave again (the reasons are TMI).

Gaming: this weekend will be the first session of Spellguard. I need to make certain the my character is up to date. I know that a couple of them leveled at Wukon but I did not do the update because things were too rushed. I'll be playing my eladrin wizard (the ice queen, or wannabe ice queen).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sorry about the shouting, but I'm very passionate about the book that I finished reading Wednesday night, Three Cups of Tea. It's one of the few non-fiction books that I've read this year and I am so glad that I did. In 1993 David Mortensen tried to climb K2 in Pakistan but failed. On his way down, he got lost and found himself in a small village. Moved by their kindness and by the sight of the village children studying outdoors, he promised to build them a school.

Several times during this story of one man's attempts, triumphs and tragedies, I was moved to tears. True, that's not a very high bar, I've been known to cry at Hallmark commercials. The fact remains that this is a fabulous, hopeful book.

On to less serious matters...
Gaming: Last night we had an Annual edition of our Mutants & Masterminds game. As in comic books; Annuals are an episode out of the story line, usually focusing on particular members of the group. Diana had to work last night because she had Monday & Tuesday off (she went to DC for the inauguration). Rosemary wasn't up to gaming (Toby, her shelter-adopted sealpoint Siamese? died Wednesday - he was about 14 and had thyroid problems. She couldn't get him to the emergency vet because of the snow on the roads; she had to wait until the vet near her opened..and he died on the trip. Despite all her efforts, she feels guilty) so it was just Dr. Marvelous (Nate), The Wraith (Chris) & Totem (me).

David put together a pretty good plot, with a few threads to pick up later in the campaign, for only a couple hours of work. Some powered suits, with non-fatal weaponry but capable of being fitted with lethal weapons, were stolen. The military, or possibly some intelligence agency, was involved so they were keeping the local police and the supers out of the investigation.

The Wraith however, is everywhere. He read the manifest of stolen goods over the general's shoulder, for example (love that OMG hide skill). We did some investigation, sorely missing our PI, Lady Celtic. Dr. Marvelous got into some databases, Wraith spoke to his contacts and Totem chased down her half-brother to work on his training.

You kind of wonder about thieves who 1) use rubber bullets to subdue the gaurds & 2) drain the oil and gas from the stolen truck before dumping it into the river. Turns out that they were vigilantes hunting supervillains who used lethal force. It was a good fight and I got a real good 'Totem' moment. One of the people the trio was fighting had the ability to drain abilities, or suppress them. She suppressed Totem's magic; so Totem couldn't heal or use any of her other spells (translation -not using that in a fight anyway, probably and some other stuff). That means that, to Totem, she cut the connection Totem had to the gods and to her Valley. On Totem's next action she crit'd and knocked out the woman. Wraith helped by stunning her and Dr. Marvelous had helped by taking out the power in the woman's suit. But it was so perfect.

Totem, righteously irate that someone has done the unthinkable - cut her connection to the divine and violted her divine mandate - knocks her out with a solid blow of her sai (think the fight scene between the women in the flashback during Mummy Returns). Aww, cinematic goodness.

Reading: I've been catching up on my Shojo Beat magazines. I'm up to May 2007. Once I finished Three Cups and the four Thursday Next books, I've been re-reading books. I'd like to buy an external harddrive, to back up my laptop, so I'm trying to save money by not buying any new books. For at least three weeks, anyway. It's going to be soooo hard, biblioholic that I am.


work in progress, Viking wire knitting, off the hex wrench (copper leader on the left, hanging down)

Same work, on the wrench - you can see the leader on the left. I need to practice more, my joins are still very rough.

And here it is, ready to work on it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Warning: Snow pictures ahead (& 1 pair of slippers)
Pictures from yesterday's snow (on the way to & from work). I did not realize until I downloaded the pictures, but the camera's clock hasn't been reset for Standard Time.

A neighbor's tree

Yep, those are my footprints.

I should know what these bushes are, but honestly. I have no idea.

There's an old, small graveyard near where I live. Poor thing is a little neglected but very picturesque.

Oddly, the sidewalk was almost completely clear.

This last one is at the end of the day; about 4:30 or so. After having a little chance to melt (it did stop snowing after all), here's some snow on holly.

And finally, the slippers my SO called, with some truth, uglier than deep-fried sin:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weatherman was right; how unexpected
It snowed last night & it's still snowing. It's even accumulating.

I saw one car upended in a ditch (rear bumper in the ditch, front wheels in the air) but my bus was only a little late. However, that did not last as the police blocked one stretch of road, both ways, on my route to work. It was almost half an hour before they managed to turn the bus around and detoured it around the blockade, to take another route into work. Now I'm at work and I'm hoping that I'm able to get home again.

Everyone is full of tales of 'not coming to work', 'delays to work', etc. One guy was flying in and said that he spent 2 hours flying over NC & VA, just kind of circling.

Poor Chris got to work; stayed about an hour and then headed home again. He said that when he got back, you could not tell where his car had been parked overnight. It had snowed over.

I'm going to leave early; the only question is when. Since I rode the bus, my options are 2:40 & 3:30. Nothing sooner and I sure don't plan to take anything later.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Your Mother Always Thinks that You're 12
I have a holiday today. I plan to get a few odds and ends done; maybe go by Circuit City & see if any CDs or electronics are still there.

Came back last night from seeing my mom this weekend. Since the weather was possibly uncertain, I called my mom Friday night to check to see if we were still on for our visit. Okay, so they were only calling for maybe rain and flurries but it's been 9 years since the last time the weather guys drastically underestimated things and it was 7 years before that (1993 blizzard and 2000, year of 20" snow). It's due. And considering the cold I wasn't certain if she'd be home.

I called her Friday night & Saturday, but didn't leave to see her until she called me back; just to be certain. Turns out, she hadn't listened to her messages. Silly Mother. Anyway, the first thing that she said to me (after hello, honey, etc) "when did you last comb your hair?" I managed to not roll my eyes and replied, "Just before I left home." Which is true, but the ear muffs, etc had pulled hair out of my braid, so my hair looked a little disarrayed. Once a mother, always a mother.

Anyway, we did some straightening (helping mom pack stuff to give away) and watched Twelfth Night. It's a good play; but I wished that they'd use blue filter because the night scenes were incredibly hard to see. It's also a very confusing play; I had to explain to mom what was going on.

Last night was belated birthday for David M & Diana. We took them out to eat to Kanki's. The food was good but the pair of girls that with whome we shared the table... OMG, can you believe what he said, what she did,..and just on and on. I was right next to them & I missed most of the conversation s with my friends because these two girl just drowned them out. I think that they were in high school, I certainly hope that no one over twenty acts like that. I hope that I didn't act like that when I was their age. Oh gods, I'm old. *whimper*

Poor Chris is sick today. I mean miserable sick. So we're watching Kung Fu Hustle. It's a very funny movie, but I should warn you; there's a little violence in it. Saturday we watched Kung Fu Panda. A movie that was funnier than I expected.

reading: I also finished the 3rd and 4th Jasper Fforde Thursday Next novels. I wonder if there's a fifth one? I also need to find the 2nd Nursery Crimes book.

Gaming: Ideal game table

Friday, January 16, 2009

What a way to start the Day
I woke up, got up and promptly broke my glasses this morning. It wasn't a huge OMG moment. It was more of an 'oh crap' moment. I was running late and ended up wearing a jacket instead of my 'OMG it's cold' coat. At least I'm wearing layers. Only my head is covered only one layer deep.

However, breaking my glasses, or at least the nylon string that held the left lens in place, did mean a trip to get them fixed. It took longer to get there (20 minutes) than it did to get them fixed (5 minutes).

As anyone on North America can attest, it's frigging cold today. Around here it started in the teens F. It's gotten all the way into the mid-20's now. That's still too darn cold.

Do you ever watch Hogan's Heroes? That tv series was originally planned as a prison comedy but it made more sense when put in a POW camp. Have you ever read about the actors who were in it? Most people know about Werner Klemperer's story; his father was a famous composer and they were German Jews who fled the Hitler regime. John Banner, who played Sarge Schultz was an Austrian Jew who happened to be in Switzerland on a tour. During the war, he acted in Hollywood, ironically often playing Nazis. Robert Cleary was a French survivor of the Holocaust. Take a look sometime. It's very interesting.

Website of the Day: Small Challenges (click to donate for education & economic development)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pity my neighbor's poor, gullible Bradford pear tree. It apparently believed that spring had arrived and it has blossomed. Just in time for the temperatures to dip into the teens (F). Our tree did not believe, that or its dead. It lost a massive trunk/branch and the tree company did absolutely nothing to protect the open wood. Or perhaps the woodpecker ringed it finally.

On the bright side, there's about 10 hours of sunlight so there's about the same amount of light when I head home as when I leave for work. No more walking home in the pitch black.

Work's been busy. It's report time and that has picked things up a bit. No real surprise there, I guess. I should have expected it, I suppose.

I've lost more fingernails. I don't know if the dry air or if its just me. I'm trying to put moisturizer on my fingernails and I hope it helps them from getting worse.

I've started reading the next (pardon the pun) Thursday Next novel; on a Thursday yet. It's Lost in a Good Book and I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm also trying to catch up on reading my Shojo Beat magazines.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The con went pretty well. Sunday morning there was a church group/meeting two banquet rooms away. We were cautioned to be on our best behavior, or at least to watch our language. The addition of their noise was a bit much. If their room was the same size, and it probably was, then why did they need a microphone and amplifiers? The opening music was very nice. The preacher's voice was good. However, the soloist who followed was a little, um, flat. I mean, painfully flat.

We came home Monday and alas, I was not able to sleep at all on the way. I went to bed at 8 pm though. Did not really help, I was still tired this morning. And of course, work had piled up.

I finally read 1635: Cannon Law. I've had it for awhile but since it's so thick, I delayed starting it until I knew that I could devote some time to it.

I caught the movie School of Rock, or most of it. It was a decent movie. Not a great movie; but a decent one.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

By playing in two low-games on Friday, my primary character (Lannashika "Lani" the feylock) is finally 4th level. That means that I could play the higher level tables today and tomorrow.

I ended up signing up to run Black Knights of Arabel tomorrow morning. I haven't played it yet but if I run, then there'll be two tables and everyone else can play. I've had fun this weekend and having the games in a Denny's has made it easy to keep fed.

We have spread word of the Tracks clan throughout the con. It has amused several people. That is after all, the point.

At the last table tonight, poor Jay has the coldest dice. He rolled like 8 misses in row, that I kept track of anyway. That does make the fight go a little faster.

I haven't gotten any tatting really done. I've been keeping notes so my hands have not been free to tat.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I was almost blown away yesterday, and I don't mean in a good way. Wind gusts up to 63mph in this area. Plus scatterings of rain, which made the walk home last night interesting. I was once again wearing not-quite-suitable shoes and the rain was enough that I took off my glasses and then often had to close my eyes to protect them from the stinging rain. Thank goodness Mom bought me that flashing safety light. The earphones on my iPod protected my ears and a scarf protected my neck. By the time I got home, I was damp and half my face felt frozen. At least the temps were below freezing. Of course, if they had been, I would have been dressed differently. With more scarf for one thing.

Tatting: I finished the body of the dragon and now it's time to start the wings. I didn't feel like pulling up the PDF to do them so I started another dragon in burgundy.

Nod to politics: NC has its first female governor. Or will, as of Saturday.

Gaming: Wukon's venue has been changed. The hotel changed hands and the new management have the option of honoring the contracts; assuming that they didn't get lost in the changeover. Something similar happened to two other cons that I know of in the past 7 years. One had to renegotiate the contract as the new management knew nothing about it and the other had to change hotels when the new management decided not to honor the contract.

However, the organizer was not able to find a new hotel when he found out last week that he no longer had a valid contract. So we'll be gaming at Denny's. At least there's no worries about getting food.

BTW, strawberry cider is good if very sweet. I wonder how it would work in cooking. Not that I have enough left to cook.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Weather: It rained this morning. It wasn't cold enough for snow or sleet or even freezing rain. It just came down wet and dreary. Alas, I wore the wrong shoes for this weather and ended up with one very wet foot. I had to set the sock and shoe aside to dry this morning.

Gaming: This weekend is Wukon. I was hoping to play some Witch Hunter but it looks like it's going to be an all LFR (Living Forgotten Realms) weekend.

Would you like to see a picture of a cloud-draped moon? I had the hardest time standing still enough to get this shot.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Last night was the New Year/Christmas party. We exchanged gifts and watched Hogfather. It was fun. I think that I could do a Susan costume, in her governess aspect anyway.

My namesake had a playmate; another little girl, daughter of two other guests. At one point, they were playing together in her bedroom when the other girl's mother stopped by to check on them. She asked a few questions (what are the fish's names, etc) when my namesake popped up with 'you're interrupting our game. Can we go back to it now', or words to that effect. Everyone agrees; she's her father's daughter.

Liz gave me a wonderful scarf that she wove. It feels and looks fabulous. Poor Alisa, she left my present at home. She plans to mail it to me later. A present that is kind of an extra gift; a jar of apple sauce. It's made from the apples from the trees that I gave Liz & James about eight to ten years ago. It's the first year that they've gotten a decent crop. Last year's crop was destroyed by a frost. It probably would have been a good year if it weren't for that.

If it had not rained so much this morning, I'd want to go take a look. But it's a bit muddy and I'm wearing loafers.

James introduced us to a new show; Rough Science. It's vastly entertaining. Every high school, and some elementary & some college, science class should watch this show.

I started AnneB's dragon, with just text directions. That didn't work, as I realized when I opened my laptop to check the PDF with pictures. So I cut it off the shuttle, gave it to namesake, and started again. I've had to stop because I'm using my 2008 wood Palmetto shuttle & I need a better hook to make the upcoming join.

I've decided, emergencies permitting, that my next big purchase is a portable harddrive. I was looking at them last week and that really is the best way to store and protect my data vs hard drive crash. I can get one for about $80 that should be big enough.

By the way, Americanas lay green eggs. Tasty eggs.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

It's quarter to ten and I'm at the Jarrett house near Plyler. No idea where Plyler is? What about New London? Still don't know. Try Albemarle; not the county & not the sound, the town. It's funny. James moved closer, geographically, but it takes longer to get to his house.

Chris & I arrived after 11 pm. He had to work and we ate supper before we left. Our journey was slowed by heavy fog in places, until we got to the river. Keith was already here, and we stayed up talking until after 1 am. Needless to say, we all slept a little late this morning. It's still foggy, by the way.

My big excitement on New Year's Eve was watching Pajama Party & Guns of Navarone. Until 11 pm, when we went to bed, too sleepy to stay up farther.

New Year's Day, we played Living Forgotten Realms. We started a little late because of a miscommunication about where we were playing. We still finished both games by 8 pm. My Tracks character is now 2nd level. She's the 4'1" drow rogue. The entire House Tracks is a family of very short drow. Really. They'll tell you that they're drow.

My namesake really is cute. Not that I'm biased or anything.