Different Kinds of Excitement

Since becoming a parent, I’ve had to say and do a lot of things that I never thought I would ever say or do. For instance tonight I had to explain to my five year old that it doesn’t matter if he only pooped a little bit in the tub, he still has to get out of it so I can drain it and clean it. Fun times.

Star Trek Online

On a more fun note Captain Smirk, the Community Manager for STO teased this today:

Calling all Captains, this will be a big week for #STO so keep your com channels open! So much cool stuff is coming…

I can only guess that means there will be a bunch of dev blogs released. Hopefully with substantial details to placate and/or inflame the playerbase.

And after checking the STO site, there is indeed a Starfleet Operations Report posted. Most of the sections are marked redacted for now and lead to a “Coming Soon” page, but I like the LCARS-ish format they’ve been using for these posts. I’m not sure that the Engineering Core report would be, maybe something more about Tier 6 ships? There’s another Intelligence Briefing about a Delta Quadrant species. Hopefully it will be an exciting week in the no-drama no-forum rage sense of the word.

Adventure Co.

I got my copy of the D&D Player’s Handbook today for 5th Edition. I had actually already started  on my character but I’m not sure now. My first impulse was to make a Human Wizard, which is the same character I ran in our first campaign. My character in our aborted second campaign was a Goliath Warden, but the quick start rules I was using last night were pretty bare. Flipping through the book today, I’m leaning towards rolling a Gnome instead but either keeping the Wizard class or maybe going with Sorcerer. I’ve always loved magic-using classes.

Day 25 of Blaugust

Mondays and Shadowrun


  • Monday’s aren’t all bad.
  • Kids don’t have limitless energy, they drain it from their parents.

Home Ownership

One of the elusive achievements in home ownership has always been completing a repair or improvement project in one trip the to the hardware store. In twenty or so years of owning a home and somewhere over 40 projects undertaken, I have never managed to complete a project in exactly one trip to the store. Either I have to go back and get something additional, or I have to go back afterwards to return something I didn’t need.

This weekend I completed the very minor fix of replacing the toilet seat in the master bathroom. Probably about the simplest repair possible, but I’m counting it. I got a seat that matched in color, and that my wife was happy with when I got home. Neither of those are easy tasks.

Shadowrun: Crossfire

Crossfire Job CardLast night I got out my copy of Shadowrun: Crossfire to try a solo play. I had originally planned to try the Extraction job that’s included with the game since I’d seen it was geared for 1-4 players, but it is marked as advanced difficulty recommended for runners with 5 or more points in upgrades (more on that in a future post). So instead, I set up for the Crossfire job and planned to play with two runners.

My first play through started well enough but I ended up losing the just before the halfway point. I retried after swapping in a Troll for the Elf I was using for the second runner and going from a character with 4 hitpoints available to one with 9 made a massive difference, even if the Troll had a limited initial hand of cards.

I enjoyed the game, although not as much as I did the one I played at GenCon for the release event. Partly just because it is more fun with more player cooperation, and partly because we had a fifth person managing the game and teaching us the rules. I know I made a few mistakes last night and that always drives me nuts, even though it’s pretty much a part of the board gaming experience.

I’m planning a full impressions post sometime soon. I just really need to get a few more games in and get a better handle on the rules. In the meantime though, here’s a picture of the setup from the first game last night with a brief description.

Crossfire Solo Game LayoutOn the left side are the two runners I was using, a Human and an Elf. Each runner has two role cards, in a four person game each runner would have one role, and in a three person game one runner would have two roles. Next to the race and role cards are the runner’s draw deck and current hand. On the right side at the top are the six Black Market cards which can be purchased and added to a runner’s hand. As cards are bought, they are replaced from the Black Market deck. Below the Market are three more decks: Crossfire Events, Normal Obstacles (one bullet hole), Hard Obstacles (two bullet holes). Obstacles are dealt out to runners to defeat and Events are used to add additional hurdles to the game.

Day 24 of Blaugust


On Tooth Fairies

The Tooth Fairy’s Midnight Mission

I thought having my oldest start Kindergarten would be the biggest milestone for a while. Seeing him get on the bus that first day certainly brought home how much he’s grown up. So I was unprepared for how much it hit me when he lost his first tooth last night.

Our normal nightly routine is I get the boys into PJs and brush their teeth, then my wife reads to them before bed. Last night he starts fusing when I brush his teeth and wants to spit the toothpaste out. This is a bad habit of his we’ve been working on so I keep going, then freak out a bit when he finally spits in the sink and I see blood before I realize he’s saying, “My tooth is gone!” Luckily I rescued the tooth before it was lost down the drain.

I was really surprised how much the whole thing got to me. I suppose it’s because it was unexpected, unlike starting school. Plus having a baby tooth come out is a biological thing versus starting school which is arbitrary based on a date (well somewhat depending on kids’ emotional maturity), and it really brought the whole “he’s growing up” thing home to me much more so than starting school did.

All in all an interesting night last night. Thankfully the tooth fairy’s covert midnight mission was successful.

Parenting and Fear

For forty years I’ve been a heavy sleeper. Literally forty years. According to my mom I was sleeping through the night from the first day they brought me home, until my sister was born three years later she thought other mom’s were whiners.

As a habitual over-snoozer, I’ve gotten used to being late in the morning. At least until my oldest started school. For the last three weeks I’ve been keeping a paranoid eye on the clock on the evenings to make sure time doesn’t get away from me and I get to bed before midnight so I won’t oversleep in the morning. The fear of screwing up your kid’s life provides an amazing amount of motivation. Not that being late would be that horrible, but I don’t see any reason to pass on my bad habits.

Day 21 of Blaugust

GenCon Day Four, Little Kae’s Button Quest

Little KaeToday was the last day for GenCon for me, but it was the first day and only day for my son. This is his actually his third GenCon although I doubt he remembers the first one since he was only three. He’s five now, nearly six, and just starting to get to the point where he really gets something from the experience.

We got to the convention about 10:30. I had planned to hit some of the kid’s games booths in the Exhibit Hall first and then figured we would wander a bit and check out some of the family activities. That changed though when a the first person we see after entering the convention center was a man handing out buttons. We found out that there were eight more people scattered around GenCon with more buttons and that became the quest for the day.

We did still manage to hit the big children friendly publishers: Blue Orange, IELLO, and HABA. I also found a new one call Out of the Box which had several fun (and cheap) educational games. The big purchase in my son’s opinion though was the latest Tales and Games volume: The Hare and the Tortoise. Which I realized after about the fifth time he asked to go somewhere and find a spot on the floor to play.

The other big hit for him was the food trucks next door to the convention. He couldn’t believe that there was a whole street blocked off for people to walk on, or that there were real trucks with people inside of them cooking food for him to eat.

I’m never sure how plans will turn out, but he did a great job walking all over the convention center and following directions. We made it until 3pm before he decided he was ready to go home, which was two hours longer than I expected. He’s still not real sure about cosplayers. On the way down he was talking a lot about wanting to see Darth Vader, but that changed once we actually started seeing people in costumes.

Day 17 of Blaugust


Raising two sons, aged  five and two, is not easy. Well at least not given how my mine are, something which amuses my parents immensely I’m sure. Karma at work.

It does make the good moments that happen extra sweet though and I got one of those on Friday. I was picking up my boys from daycare to take them for haircuts and as we got onto the road my oldest asked to listen to music.

“What do you want to hear?”

“The hot song.”

“The what?”

“The rock song, the one we listened to last time.”

I got a huge grin then because the last thing I’d played for them had been Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana’s Nevermind. An album that I literally listen to non-stop during my senior year in high school. Back in the days of tape players I had one that would automatically reverse when it hit the end of a tape and play the opposite side. So I could put Nevermind in, hit play and just listen for hours. Nirvana accompanied me through a lot of long van rides to swim meets.

Starting Nirvana playing through my phone in the truck and watching two little heads start bobbing up and down in my rearview mirror made my week.

Woot! Day 2 of Blaugust