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.

Leap Day… MuckinFonday

It’s a shame we can’t whittle Mondays down to once every 4 years.  :-/

I can’t say Leap Day was a great day.  It was a Monday.  I started a hashtag on Facebook a while back, heh, heh: #muckinfondays

I’ve got a few things tagged out there under that hashtag.

I’m not a Monday person for sure, so I like to try and post a little crap event that happens on a Monday and tag it.  I got to do that today.  For some reason, it makes me feel a little better about Mondays.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I bitched or just put it out there for others to relate.  I do know that it’s kind of fun, and helps lighten up a rough start to the week.

Hope you survived your Monday 😉

Not Quite What I Had In Mind

That didn’t quite work out as hoped…

My Daytona 500 ended a little early when I got caught up in, technically, the last “big one”.  I really didn’t have a way to avoid it, either.  I watched the replay and saw one possible out, but I think it would have resulted in car damage anyway as I slapped the outside wall.  So, by not taking that route, my night ended with less than 50 laps to go when I T-boned a guy that spun in front of me and didn’t slide down to the infield.

With that said, though, I had a lot of fun.  I worked at staying with my Texas club mates and my race team throughout the race.  I helped keep our strategy in play.  And when it was time to start working towards the front of the pack to put as many Texas guys in the front as possible, it was starting to happen as planned.  We had the cars set up to do what we were planning, and it was working.  That’s a good feeling.

We were riding around in the back for about 2/3 of the race.  I could tell that we had good cars because we weren’t working too awful hard to stay together and work around others that we didn’t want to be near.  It was just about running a heads-up race and avoiding the wrecks – something, I’m sorry to say, didn’t happen at the end.  Nonetheless, up to the crash, things looked and felt pretty good.  That’s what made it fun.

By the way, it didn’t end at the last crash.  One of our own ended up winning, and we had 3 Texans in the top 5.  The guy that one was part of my race team.  Can’t complain about that… on to the next one 😉

Getting Ready for (my) Daytona


Yes, I like NASCAR.  I’m not a huge fan/follower, but I do like it some.  And it’s time to get ready for Daytona.  I don’t mean the race on Sunday afternoon, either (though, I will likely watch some of that).  I mean the Pacific Majors Daytona 500.  It’s the one I’m racing in.  200 laps of nose-to-tail, door-to-door chess.  I have to qualify this week.  I hope to get into the “pro” split, but I’ll be happy to be in either split.  I ran this race last year, too.  Afterward, I had a different sort of respect for oval race car drivers.  The amount of concentration and awareness that is required is amazing.  I also understand why these guys are athletes.  I sit in front of my computer desk with a fake racing wheel and pedals strapped to it.  I can control the room temperature.  I don’t have to experience up to three Gs in the turns.  Yet, by the end of those 200 laps, I feel like I’ve been taken out back and had my ass whipped.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.  I race Sunday night (Feb. 21) at about 7pm.  It will be streamed live on YouTube.  I’ll try and post the appropriate links once I know which split I’m in.

Oh, by the way, the pics up top are screen shots for the team logo that I’m riding with and two of the cars (#90 is mine) on the team.  We’re running the Ford Fusion.  We’ve already proven we can take down Chevys and Toyotas in practice 😛  Okay, okay.  The cars in the sim are nearly identical.  It’s how we set up the suspensions, etc. underneath that make a difference, and I’d say Ridin’ Shotgun has some pretty good setups coming along.  We’ll see.

Hope to hear you saw the race.

Just Passing By Today

Here’s what’s going on.

So, the wife and I skipped Super Bowl Sunday and went out to dinner.  We went to a place called Simply Fondue.  I think it’s a pretty cool experience.  We’ve been there a few times, just the two of us and with a group.  It can be fun either way.  <sarcasm> I still have to wonder at paying such a large sum of money to cook my own food, though ;-P  </sarcasm>  Seriously, though, if you want to do something different for dinner out, it can be fun.  It’s fun to do these things with the wife anyway 😉

Survival Sunday…

I mentioned before that I have been playing 7 Days to Die.  It’s a zombie apocalypse survival game.  It can be very frustrating, but overall, it’s a lot of fun.  My buddy streams the game on Sundays (Survival Sunday; hint, hint) from his perspective, but any of us that are in the game can be heard on the stream via our voice chat.  We have a lot of fun running from digital zombies and trying to make digital weapons to kill said digital zombies.  Oh yeah, digital shelter, food and water are also critical to our digital survival.  The best part, though, is the group dynamic and many of the “wonderful and inspiring” things we say.  Check it out.  We play starting about 5pm Central on Sunday evenings.  Hell, check out my buddy’s twitch channel either way.  Here’s the link: Dabbu21.

Daytona 500

Now don’t get all wound up about the possibility of me going to see the Daytona 500.  That’s not happening this year.

I’m driving in it.

Yep, the #90 Ridin’ Shotgun Motorsports Ford Fusion will be piloted by none other than little old me.  <grin>

Okay, it’s an iRacing thing.  The Pacific Majors league that I’m in is hosting a full-length Daytona 500.  It will be live streamed on YouTube on February 21 starting about 8pm Central.  I’ll try to throw out more details later for those that might be interested in watching a more amateur version of the real thing.

Well, that’s about all I got time for today.  Yes, I’m at work, but I wanted to get in a quick blog before I step into the world of high-tech problem solving for the day.  I’ve been a little more busy at work (probably a good thing), and it’s been taking more mental energy.  So, when I get home at night, I have been preferring to chill/vegetate a bit more than what has been normal for the past few months.  I haven’t forgotten this or Mind the Shadows or whatever, but I gotta pay the bills.  Slacking at work is not an option if I want to keep food on the table and internet access.  I’ll get some more work done on Mind the Shadows pretty quick, I think.  I’ve got Chapter 7 fleshed out pretty good, so I should be pulling the trigger on that sooner than later.

Thoughts? Rants?  Let me know what you think.  Catch ya later!

B.U.I. (Blogging Under the Influence) (PG-13)


Fueled by the effects of ethanol and swooned by the melodic sounds of 80’s and 90’s rock, the word smith has chosen to bedazzle…  oh who the fuck am I kidding?!?!?

So, the consumption of Jack and Dew is currently taking place, and I decided to make an entry in this here blog thingy.  Good idea?  Not my fuckin’ problem <grin>.

I’ve got a lot going on in that abyss on my shoulders.  I have reached a stalemate between Mind the Shadows motivation and other ideas ricocheting around in there.  I am currently enjoying a World of Tanks feed from my best friend on Twitch.  I just finished playing a little 7 Days to Die; it’s a zombie survival game to which I currently find myself having a mild addiction.  Oh… I also raced last night. That didn’t go very well.  And yep, I’m drinkin’ a little 😛

As for Mind the Shadows, I am missing that next piece of inspiration to drag my muse kicking and screaming back to chapter 7 and beyond.  I know I have to get Marek and Jammer on the same page so that they can work together getting Marek’s shit together, and that’s great.  It will likely increase the bond they already have when Marek shares his big secret.  Jammer will definitely want to know more and help his friend deal with it.  In fact, I think it should be pretty easy to tie that off and take the next step. I need a catalyst to push that over the edge, though, and I kind of got one, right?  Yes, Jammer is going to look into who tried to connect to Marek’s Net box.  But I’ll be brutally honest;  I don’t have a damned clue who that is yet.  I suspect figuring that out is the key to getting this road on the show again, but I’d be shittin’ ya right now if I told you I had any idea who that is and exactly what’s going on there.  I think that’s the big stick in the mud.

The other ideas are one each of sci-fi and fantasy.  The fantasy is some older shit that I kinda want to revive from my gaming days, but the needed work, as I perceive it, feels a bit daunting.  I might actually enjoy it given the nostalgia I’m likely to experience resurrecting some game night memories, but I also see the other idea and Mind the Shadows as other avenues to be… lazy?  Less work?  I dunno.

The sci-fi idea is something that’s just starting to take shape in my head.  I haven’t put a word down yet.  I’m not sure if it’s overly original, but I’ll likely have fun writing it if I can actually start to drop that mental turd. Yes, with that remark, I’m allowing for the possibility that it’ll stink <grin>.  I guess I need more head fiber, though.

Oh well,  I guess I’ll knock off here.

The race?  Bah! It was a league race where I got myself into a bad situation on the first lap.  I panicked when someone else made the situation worse and hit a guy that I shouldn’t have even come close to touching in spite of our proximity.  It created some bad vibes.  It was implied that I did something that I know I didn’t actually do – and wouldn’t do, and it kinda torqued me.  I thought I had a better reputation than that.  I think now, though, things are cool between me and the guy whose race I ruined.  No hard feelings, I hope.

Now I’m done… later.