So, a couple things are on the brain…

First,  I have a family member that has been in a bad way for a bit now.  I’ve mentioned this before in another post.  Anyway, the family decided that this person needs more help than they can readily give to keep this person safe.  My family is getting older… and fewer.  This person simply has lost the ability to function safely while alone.  I was Home when the family had to perform one of the “rescues”, if you will.  It was pretty obvious to me that a bit more vigilance is needed.  So, this person is now in assisted living.  I know the place since I had a great aunt in there.  I personally think this was a good idea.  I’m hoping for the best, too.  The situation now allows for a bit of… healing for this person, or at the very least, a chance to enjoy the good times without having to suffer when shit just ain’t working.

It’s a different thing for me.  This person is one of the aunts/uncles.  This is a person that most of my memories involve someone that, while not necessarily perfect, was with it and capable and an active member of the family… a “not as old” member of the family (kid’s perspective, heh).  The grandparents and great aunts/uncles are a generation removed, and while I was close to all of them – closer in some cases,  I guess there’s an unconscious understanding that those family members are older; thus, their time with the family is more limited, and things like going into homes is… expected?  I hope I’m being clear, though I’m not sure.  I guess this person having to go into a retirement facility ‘hits a little closer to home’.  It has made me stop and think about some things for sure.

On to the other thing… maybe related on some levels?

I’ve been “wandering around” in my spare time.  I’ve had evenings after work where I’m just not sure what to do with myself.  Y’all know that I do the iRacing thing as a hobby.  I love it… but… I have not been involved in racing lately.  In fact, I’ve missed some significant races over the past few weeks.  It’s like I haven’t had the time I need to be ready and meet the requirements, and/or I just don’t want to spend the time.  It’s been truly both scenarios, too.  Obviously, real-life obligations have to take precedence over my virtual racing career, and I’ve had a few things to do in the evenings.  So, some of the time I spend is simply not there.

The other part, though – not wanting to spend the time, is the part that has me perplexed.  I guess I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out on iRacing.  I’m not sure why, but I have certainly been easily distracted by other things.  Part of the distraction is the feeling of being a little burnt out.  The other part, is the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time online with my best friend playing games and “hanging out”.  I’ve been having a lot of fun with that.  Since he’s not an iRacer, spending time with him is time NOT spending time on iRacing.  That is something I’ve been… okay??? with.

As silly as this may sound, it really is a dilemma for me.  I like to race.  I like a lot of the guys I race with.  I consider most of them friends.  I just have felt more compelled to hang out with my buddy of nearly 30 years.  Yeah, I’ve been friends with Matt for almost 30 years now… wow.  Maybe this thing with my one family member going into assisted living has got me more aware of the limits on time I have with my family and best friend.  So, I have definitely been more willing to give up time for iRacing lately, in favor of time hanging with Matt.

I hope the iRacing friends that read this understand.  I’m not gone for good, and I’m not mad at you guys.  I just have not gotten that wound up about either of the leagues over the past few weeks.  I’ve screwed myself out of racing in one league by not meeting minimum practice requirements.  And the Texas League on Thursday nights has been neglected because by that time of the week, I’m just not feeling it.  I don’t know.

My final distraction is Mind the Shadows.  I have been making some effort on the next chapters.  That effort, though, is not yielding fruit… yet.  I have been feeling compelled to write, but I have deleted and re-written a lot lately.  And I’m STILL not sure if I’m happy with it.  Anybody that writes will get it.  It’s been… frustrating.

Anyway, that’s enough bitching.  I promise to try and be more entertaining in future posts.  I just felt like I needed to one, make a post, and two, let folks know that follow this where my head has been.

Thanks for listening…


Game Night!!!

Game Dice = Blog 012916

So, my buddy, Matt, has been working up a Shadowrun (A video commercial) campaign that he wants to run online.  He bought a piece of software called Fantasy Grounds.  With that and some other readily available pieces of video/chat software, a group of us can run a tabletop, “IN PERSON” game.  I’ve been invited as one of his starter players.  I am very excited.  I haven’t gamed – tabletop RPGs, that is – in quite a long time, and I sorely miss it.

We’ve discussed his plans on how and when it will run.  It sounds very promising.  Between our two twisted brains, we will likely be able to pull it off quite well.  We’ve also discussed the possibility of streaming it live, though we’re not sure how that will work just yet.  Either way,  I can’t wait to try it out 🙂

The last time I gamed regularly with my best friend was back in the early ’90s.  I’ve had the opportunity to get in on a couple of game nights with his regular group when I’m in town now and then, but that is a rare (but very fun) thing.  Here is a little insight what tabletop RPG gaming has meant to me.

Why don’t I get a group of my own where I live?  Oh, I have had a few groups, including a group where I taught my daughter and some of her friends to game.  I had great fun with these groups.  A couple of them lasted a couple of years or more.  But they also disbanded, in time, for various reasons.  And the truth for me is that it is difficult to find the RIGHT people for a good gaming group.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve quite likely gotten more picky about the people I like to game with.  That is on me for sure.  I have also discovered it takes the right chemistry with the folks in a gaming group to make it really enjoyable.  I have probably become too picky, to be honest, but the time I have now for such an endeavor is more limited for many reasons.  Thus, that time is more valuable, and I don’t want to waist it gaming with folks that don’t give me the experience I want.  Again, that is on me, but I am very hesitant to compromise like I used to do now and then.

Nonetheless, it looks like I have an opportunity to get into tabletop RPG gaming with my best friend again.  This is thanks to technology that now allows nearly real time face-to-face communication along with some software that aids in running the game mechanics.  I am truly looking forward to trying this.  If it works, the time needed will be well within the limits I have, and the folks my buddy has chosen to kick this off are good folks to game with (I already know this from gaming with them when I’m at Home to visit).

Wish us luck…


Spring Break?

So, I had a bittersweet visit Home earlier this week.  It had to be a shorter than normal trip since I just don’t have the vacation days to cover all that requires some of that time this year.  I’d rather spend the entire week, so I can pay a visit to more folks, but it is what it is…

I say bittersweet because not everything was great.  I have a family member that is not doing great and likely needs more help than the family can give.  Age and loss have brought about some rough conditions both mentally and physically.  It’s probably time to find a place in an assisted living facility, but I don’t think this decision is going to be made without a struggle.  This has not been easy for my family.  All I can do is hope for the best.

That is definitely a bitter part of my visits Home.  That and the fact that my family is getting… smaller… with the passing of the more recent years.  I am painfully aware that time on this rock is limited for us all.  I have a great family, and it sucks to see them… go.  So, I make the most of the time I have there to visit them and my best friend.  I am increasingly aware of a pending time when there might not be any of those folks left to make a trip Home to visit.  That might sound a bit morbid, but it’s reality.  The best I can do is get up there and spend some time with them and enjoy their company.  That’s the sweet part…  Spend time at Home is always good.