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I’ve Been Earwormed, Again! January 31, 2017

Posted by jkahane in music, music hut, videos.
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Haven’t heard of this artist until yesterday, but there’s something about Tove Lo‘s music. Note this video is NSFW due to some of the lyrics and the last part of the video. So be warned. And I’ve been earwormed. 🙂

Some Feel Good Music January 30, 2017

Posted by jkahane in music, music hut, videos.
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Another bit of feel good music to end the day with.

Monday Morning Music January 30, 2017

Posted by jkahane in health hut, personal, videos.
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I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts, and think that I may have a cold or a flu of some sort. Anyway, I thought I’d start the day off on a good note. (In more than one way.)

Gaming Is Off For This Afternoon (Sunday) January 29, 2017

Posted by jkahane in gaming hut, personal, rpg hut.
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Gaming is off for today.

Tammy can’t make it out for the session today, and so with just one player, there’s no point doing any roleplaying (and I’m not in the mood for other games either). Since SteveR isn’t continuing with the Thousand Suns game campaign that he started, I’m not sure what we’d do for gaming at the moment, since I’m not really ready to run anything.

Going to GenCon Indy Again January 29, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, personal.
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Well, it’s official.

I haven’t been to the convention since 2015, but I figured that this year, I would make the effort and go to GenCon Indy one last time in 2017. And so that’s what I’m going to do.

This morning, badge registration for GenCon opened at 12 noon EST, and I have gone and purchased my registration for the convention. The convention is the weekend of August 17th, and prices have gone up; the badge cost me $90+ U.S. (and while the Canadian dollar has risen a bit, it’s still not that great). SteveR hasn’t booked the airfares for the convention yet, but now it’s just a matter of booking the hotel when the Housing Registration begins on February 10th. (I’m so not looking forward to that craziness, but such is life.)

I hadn’t really planned to go to GenCon for 2017, but there are a couple of reasons for doing so. Firstly, this is GenCon 50 (yes, that’s right, the fiftieth!), which is something of an anniversary (to say the least), and I figured that it was worth going to this one. Secondly, my legs have been really bad (with some major foot problems), and I figure that going to the convention, barring something major happening to me ::knock on wood::, will be a good way of getting some walking in and some exercise. Lastly, this will be the last GenCon I’ll be going to, and likely the last gaming convention other than Ottawa’s CanGames, health willing. Age, health, and notably costs (convention membership, airfare, hotel, diabetes medication) are getting to be too much, and the uncomfortable nature of flying for me these days has made me take this decision. Add to that the current political situation in the U.S., and well… The 50th birthday of GenCon has to be worth the effort, right? 🙂 I might go to a couple of conventions in the future, other than CanGames, but these will likely be science fiction and fantasy conventions.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be running any games at GenCon this time around; to be honest, I don’t want to carry any gaming books with me down to Indy. (I could be convinced to run something at GenCon, however, so if you want to do some persuading, drop me a line in the Comments or send me an e-mail.)

Like I said, all that awaits now is the trick of GenCon Housing.

That Kind of Day January 29, 2017

Posted by jkahane in music hut, videos.
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I’m not sure why, but I have a feeling that it’s going to be one of those days.

So, in that spirit, I present this video today.

Friday Night Game – Sixcess Core Fantasy, Session 10 January 28, 2017

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I had a good evening last night with the Friday night gaming group, am quite enjoying playing in the game. DavidM continued on with the Sixcess Core campaign that he’s running. You can read the report on the ninth session by following the link.

All the players came out to game yesterday, despite the several centimetres of snow that fell on Ottawa in the hours leading up to the game evening. Once DavidM and the other players showed up at my place around 7:10 pm or so last night, we sat around and chatted about the week for a bit, before DavidM announced that it was time to get started.

*****
CHARACTERS

Herna of Morspell (Kathy) – Swordswoman
Safira Markas (Angela) – Sorceress?
Adara Theniss (Ellie) – Thief
Barak Thar (Mark) – Caravan guard
Haven Randar (JohnK) – Forester

Day 8, Month 5, Year 3512

As we exited into the daylight, I gasped at my first sight of the treetop city. Adara Theniss was surprised, but I told her that I’d not seen the city to this point. A maze of trees, walkways, what looked like catwalks, and masses of greenery here and there greeted my eyes. Much more crowded than I expected as well, as Fulthiim was a centre of the woods elves. Adara led me through a small part of the place, and we reached a large, long structure that rested some 25 feet above the ground. There, I found the others enjoying a mid-day meal. Herna of Morspell came up and gave me a hug, but let go quickly when I winced from the shoulder pain, and the others greeted me as well.

The next couple of days passed in something of a blur, as I saw parts of the city, met woods elves who were both friendly and outgoing when they realised my vocation, and sat and talked with Herna, Safira Markas, Adara, and Barak Thar. It was decided on the fourth day, after Meriel pronounced me fit to travel, that we decided that it was time to leave Fulthiim. With the assistance of the woods elves and fresh supplies, we eventually found ourselves on the outskirts of the woodland territory that the Fulthiimi considered theirs. Herna and Barak consulted for a minute, and then asked me to lead the way. When I inquired where, Barak smiled and said, “To Pasran Wood, of course,” and gestured towards the north.

After a couple of days travel, during which we had no incidents of note, although we did learn more about each other, we came to a fast-flowing, somewhat wide river. Since we couldn’t fjord it, we decided that Safira and I would head upstream and the others would head downstream to search for a place to cross, but agreed that more than two miles was more than sufficient; we would meet back at this spot as soon as possible. Safira and I set off at a good pace, but I slowed down somewhat when I saw that she wasn’t able to sustain it. My forest lore allowed me to spot some herbs that would be useful, both for cooking and making remedies, and I collected some of these, trying not to lose too much time. We came to a spot along the river where Safira asked if we could rest a moment, and I agreed. Looking around, I saw prints in the soft, wet earth near the riverside itself – what appeared to be a large animal, perhaps a bear, no more than a day old – and informed Safira. We decided not to dawdle, but moved forward cautiously nevertheless. Spotting something, i warned Safira to be quiet; standing at the river’s edge, lapping water, was one of the largest brown bears I’d ever seen, at least 7 feet tall. There was another adult, male by the look of him, nearby, and a small cub. Not wanting to be antagonistic, I signalled to Safira and we stealthily moved away and headed back to the rendezvous point with the other three.

Safira and I returned to the rendezvous point, to find that Herna, Adara, and Barak had not returned. We drank some water, and had a bit of food while we waited for the others to return, but we both grew worried when they did not return even as the sun was getting low in the sky. Safira said that she felt something had happened, and that we had to go after them. I agreed, and locating the tracks of Barak and Adara, the two of us set off after them. We had only travelled a couple of miles before the sun started to set, and I was reluctant to continue, but Safira said that our friends were in terrible trouble and that we had to go on. Making a torch out of some available material and some cloth from my ruined shirt (from the fight with the wood elves), I lit it and we travelled on through the forest cautiously. I heard Safira curse, and when she asked me to come over, I saw that she was looking down at a pack that I recognised as being Barak’s. I saw that there was blood on the pack, and near it, and Safira pointed out a rather large print in the soft ground near the tree where the pack was. I recognised the print as that of an ogre, and was able to see about a half dozen ogre prints in the area; there were two ogres in the area, from what I could tell. I also saw small human prints that I thought might be Adara’s. Safira seemed scared, and she had good reason to be if we were indeed up against ogres, but I managed to calm her down, and said we needed to follow the prints. Safira grimly said that if the “vile creatures” had harmed our friends in any way, she’s burn them to ashes. We set off by torchlight, and followed the tracks of the ogres.
*****

Friday night’s session of the Sixcess Core fantasy campaign that DavidM is running was a lot of fun, and went extremely well. This session must be frustrating to read for folks here, since I am writing this blog entry (and the others to this point) from the point of view of my character, Haven Randar. You don’t know what was going on with the other three characters (Herna, Adara, and Barak) at the table, but both Angela and I do (though our characters don’t, of course). I’ll just say that the next session of the game could be…interesting, not to mention dangerous, but we’ll have to wait and see how things shape up. And who lives and who (might) die.

Overall, a lot of fun on Friday night, and I’m looking forward to next week’s session.

31 Years Ago Today January 28, 2017

Posted by jkahane in history, personal, space sciences.
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Today is the twenty-sixth anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

This disaster claimed the lives of:

Francis (Dick) Scobie, 46 (Commander)
Michael Smith, 40 (Pilot)
Ellison Onizuka, 39 (Mission specialist)
Judith Resnick, 36 (Mission specialist)
Ronald McNair, 35 (Mission specialist)
Gregory Jarvis, 41 (Payload specialist)
Christa McAuliffe, 37 ((Social studies teacher)

I was 30 years old at the time of the terrible disaster, and remember that I was horrified and terribly depressed and saddened by the explosion, and remember thinking that this was a terrible blow to man’s continued exploration in space. Indeed, it resulted in a 32-month hiatus of the American space program, but it was the Challenger disaster that redefined NASA in a major fashion. Despite this, the desire on the part of the folks who make up NASA’s astronaut corps and the folks who serve NASA in all capacities to explore space and continue on with this work is even stronger today than it was back then. Whether anything will come of the American (and others’) space program is to be seen, but I’m saddened that the exploration of space these days is dormant, at best.

It’s now thirty-one years since the Challenger disaster, as I mentioned. Those of us who are still present and accounted for after that time have hopefully lived a lot, and learned a lot over the years. Fortunately, the exploration hasn’t stopped altogether either, for which I’m grateful, and want to thank those who have kept the dream alive.

But we will never forget the Challenger disaster. It was a testament that we are all too mortal and frail, but also to the spirit of explorers, both past and present.

Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming January 27, 2017

Posted by jkahane in personal, playing, rpg hut.
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Relatively cool day for winter here in Ottawa, but snow has been falling on and off for the last few hours or so.

I’m getting ready for an evening of gaming with the Friday night group. I’m looking forward to this evening – since I’m still getting to play in a game! 🙂

DavidM will be continuing his Sixcess Core fantasy gaming campaign this evening, and I’m rather looking forward to this.

Anyway, time to head upstairs and eat some for supper. Something nice and hot to eat, methinks.

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore (1936 – 2017) January 26, 2017

Posted by jkahane in movie hut, obituary, tv hut.
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Terribly sad news from the world of television and entertainment yesterday.

Mary Tyler Moore, Beloved TV Actress, Dies at 80

I have fond memories of Mary Tyler Moore from the 1970s in her role as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s, but she was iconic in her role as Mary Richards, a thirty-ish single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She had a good many other roles as well, but I also adored her appearance(s?) in Hot in Cleveland, where she was reunited with The Mary Tyler Moore Show co-stars Betty White and Valerie Harper.

I remember learning that she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 30, and kept up to date with her life after the MTM Show, though it was difficult at times.

Rest In Peace, Mary. You made it, after all.