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Getting Ready for Sunday Afternoon Gaming October 15, 2017

Posted by jkahane in character creation, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg.
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I’m in the process of getting ready for gaming with the Sunday group.

I didn’t wake up until about 15 minutes ago, and that only because mom called to see how I’m doing today. I still have this nasty head cold/flu thing going on, but since my voice is relatively intact I’ve decided to game today and both SteveR and Tammy are willing (since the latter will be on-call for work again next week).

The players will hopefully wrap up their The Dark Eye RPG character creation, and we’ll see if we get to do some samples of combat and the like today.

Anyway, gotta get going and shower, and see what else I have to do in the next short while.

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Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming October 13, 2017

Posted by jkahane in food hut, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg.
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‘Tis Friday, and that means it’s time for another Friday night gaming session.

So, I’m getting ready for this evening’s game session with the Friday night group.

I’ve got a terrible head cold (or maybe it’s the flu), but the Friday night group decided that they are willing to take the risk, and really want to game this evening. The Friday night gamers will be continuing on with The Dark Eye RPG this evening, and will actually continue the play of their first scenario (though I didn’t get that far into it last session).

I’m looking forward to tonight’s session, though I hope the meds I’m taking for the cold/flu/whatever don’t make me overly “creative” tonight.

In the meantime, supper (of some form) needs to be made, and eaten. Then gaming.

Have a good night, folks.

Sunday Afternoon Gaming Cancelled October 8, 2017

Posted by jkahane in character creation, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg.
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It’s another Sunday morning. The Thanksgiving Sunday, to be precise.

I will not be gaming with the Sunday afternoon gamers today.

Aside from the fact that Tammy is on call this week, I’m feeling somewhat blah, to be honest, having developed a cough that comes and goes, and I’m not sleeping well due to the pain in my left shoulder. More like napping than sleeping. *sigh*

That doesn’t mean I won’t be doing any gaming stuff today, however. I need to create an NPC (who will work with the Sunday players) for The Dark Eye RPG campaign, and I think that SteveR will be coming over to go over the numbers on his Dark Eye character with me, so we’ll see how things go.

October Is A New Month October 1, 2017

Posted by jkahane in character creation, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg.
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It’s the start of October. A new month.

To be honest, I’m really happy to see the rear end of September.

While there were a few good moments in the month, September was a month that I will remember because of the pain.

The blisters on my feet are still healing, and I expected this to take a while as being diabetic, the healing process is slowed down somewhat. What I wasn’t expecting was the pain that goes along with it, and there have been days where I’ve been in absolute agony trying to walk.

Anyway, here’s hoping that October is a comfortable month, and that winter doesn’t strike too early or too hard at all. ::knock on wood::

I’ll be gaming this afternoon with the Sunday players, as they’ll continue on with character creation for The Dark Eye. In some ways, it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a very detailed character creation system that has some fun elements to it.

Friday Afternoon Thoughts September 29, 2017

Posted by jkahane in health hut, personal, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg, tv hut.
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Have spent part of the day sleeping in, and part of the day doing a bit of cleaning up around the house (in a very general fashion).

The afternoon has been spent watching a few episodes of stuff on PVR, and just letting my feet have some time off the floor and ground. I’ve also spent a bit of time reading a couple of things for The Dark Eye RPG in preparation for this evening’s session with the Friday night players.

Winning and Losing September 28, 2017

Posted by jkahane in doctor, grocery shopping, health hut, life, personal, tests.
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Just got home from picking up the new car (among other things).

It has been a somewhat strenuous day.

I had to go out this morning to the blood lab for some blood tests.

This afternoon, the folks at Mazda took me in to the dealership, where I picked up my new car (see this blog post about buying the car, and a pic of what the car looks like). I’m still missing one of the pieces of info about the car, the pink slip that you need to have in the car, but other than that, the car is paid off and I’ve arranged to take it in for winter tires either next month or in early October.

I then went out and did some grocery shopping that needed to be done. Just some of the vegetable basics, and some fish for supper.

Got home, and…my poor, blistered feet are bleeding.

*sigh*

I can’t win.

Getting Ready for Sunday Afternoon Gaming September 17, 2017

Posted by jkahane in coriolis rpg, food hut, gaming hut, health hut, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg.
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Getting ready for an afternoon of gaming with the Sunday gaming group.

My feet are bothering me pretty badly, a lot of pain in the left foot where the blisters haven’t broken (but I feel like I’m walking on a small pocket of fluid or whatever), and my left shoulder is bothering me a lot. Here’s hoping the gaming will distract me from the pain that’s going on and focus on something else (i.e., the gaming).

The Sunday gamers and I will be wrapping up the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG scenario that they’re doing for the moment, and if time permits we’re going to start in on stuff for the The Dark Eye campaign that I’m planning to run, though probably won’t get to character creation until next weekend.

Meanwhile, it’s time to head into the shower, and then hobble upstairs to make some lunch.

Have a good afternoon, folks.

Post-Home Care Appointment September 7, 2017

Posted by jkahane in health hut, personal.
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Just finished my appointment with the folks from We Care.

They were about an hour late today, so I was getting antsy because I’d finally had my shower and was waiting with the wounds on my feet exposed.

The nurse treated my feet problem, and then we talked about stuff. My feet are healing, but very slowly, and there’s still always the chance of infection. She couldn’t give me an idea, based on experience, of how long it would take before I can walk again, let alone drive. Not good, that.

In the meantime, I’m just making do in the house and trying to manage.

GenCon 2017 Final Thoughts September 5, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, photos, roleplaying games, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg, tv hut.
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As promised, here are some final thoughts and a bit of perspective on this year’s GenCon Indy for 2017. Think of these as random Musings and Ravings (sic) about the convention, and some pics of stuff as well. To read the report on my final day at GenCon, check out this journal entry.

September 4th, 2017

So, how was my GenCon 2017? I guess that depends on perspective, but of course, hindsight is wonderful.

When it comes down to it, on a scale of 1 to 10, I rate GenCon 50 9/10 from Tuesday to Saturday, and 4/10 from Saturday afternoon to the end of the convention.

My real regret is not meeting half my virtual friends who were at the convention.

One of the things I wrote about before I left for GenCon Indy in this blog was the fact that there were certain things I wanted to do and accomplish at the convention. For the most part, I think I managed what I set out to do, but there were some (major) wrinkles along the way.

For one thing, while I managed to pack as lightly as I could for the convention, with just a smaller suitcase (with a messenger bag inside it), an overnight carry-on bag, and a carry-on bag with my meds, both diabetes and other, I was a bit thrown off by the addition of the insulin therapy materiels that I needed to take with me. You’d think I’d have been used to that, given that I’ve been on insulin for several years now, but it’s not the same taking the insulin therapy stuff with me when going to a convention out of Ottawa. Still I managed. Anyway, back to the luggage… Even so, I found the luggage to be quite heavy (despite the Swiss Gear luggage being relatively lightweight) due to the fact that my left shoulder was bothering me quite a bit before we left, and this didn’t improve during the Tuesday morning trip to the airport and the flights and all. was a great help in this regard (more on that later). Suffice to say I’m glad that I shipped The Dark Eye RPG stuff that I picked up in Indy via FedEx (a goddess awful costly shipping, but what can you do?) home, as that cut down the suitcase weight somewhat, though I was afraid with several of the purchases I made after the stuff went out with FedEx (such as the old TORG supplements and the Terraforming Mars boxed set) that the suitcase was going to be too heavy come the Monday of travel back to Ottawa. I was spared this, to be honest, because SteveR and I split the weight of some of the gaming material between our check-in luggage, and that helped tremendously.

The hardest part of the convention for me was the Friday and Saturday, carrying around the gaming stuff to run the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG scenarios, and I was very grateful to have SteveR around to help me out by carrying the main book and GM Screen. My shoulder had given out on the Friday, and I was in intense pain for most of the week starting on Friday morning. Since I never got back to the Westin Indianapolis hot tub, as it was mostly body soup for the week once the GenCon attendees started arriving, there was absolutely no relief for my poor shoulder, and the lumpy, much softer than usual bed didn’t help. I was glad that I packed the extra pairs of underwear and socks, to be honest, given what happened Wednesday early afternoon, and I’m also glad that SteveR and I had stayed in downtown Indy this time around, rather than being 30 minutes away at a hotel like the Indianapolis Marriott North (where we stayed in 2015). That would have been disastrous.

When it comes to my health issues, well… What can I say? Other than the stupidity of not eating properly diabetically on the Tuesday of the flight to Indy that created the mess I went through on the Wednesday, and the business on Friday where the same thing could have happened, I would have been fine for the weekend. Except, of course, I overdid things on Saturday with the walk from the Westin to Union Station, and ended up with the bad blisters on my feet. From Saturday onwards, the convention this year was somewhat of a living hell for me, as the stabbing pains in the bottom of my right foot was like walking on broken glass without being a yogi trained for such things. I seriously considered heading back to Ottawa on the Saturday, but truth be told, I wanted to run the Coriolis – The Third Horizon game session Saturday night and I didn’t want to let SteveR down and all that. I stuck it out, but the wheelchair being manual and my inability to use the left shoulder and arm made me have to rely on SteveR for motive power, and I really do regret that. He was going through his own stuff at the convention (and I’m not going to mention what; if he wants to share the details, he’ll do so in his blog), and I really felt guilty most of the weekend. And, to put it mildly, I was somewhat depressed.

On the positive side, I managed to take care of myself and my health for the most part, as through the insulin therapy and the sheer amount of walking prior to Saturday afternoon I was getting made me feel “off” several times, resulted in some dizziness at times and feeling light-headed. Fortunately, I had glucose tabs with me, and these were very helpful over the week in Indy. (Except of course the night where we went to High Velocity for supper, as I’d forgotten the glucose tabs.) I drank a lot of water and tried to stay hydrated, but wasn’t all that successful on a couple of days. For the most part, I pretty much followed the “8-3-1 Rule”, though there were several nights where I barely got 4.5 hours of sleep, but I made sure I ate the three meals per day – breakfast, lunch, and supper – and supplemented that with snacks twice a day, and got in my one shower per day… Even so, I lost 6.8 pounds over the course of the convention. I didn’t use as much antibacterial solution, relying more on soap, and did not catch con crud ::knock on wood::. Just the feelings from the heat and humidity, combined with the physical exertion at times, I guess, made me feel a bit dirty and grungy at times. I did have to adjust the insulin shots down during the convention, as my sugars plummeted from the physical activity at the convention.

Finally, there’s the pacing. One of the things that I promise myself every convention I go to, and GenCon is no exception, is that I’m going to pace myself. GenCon is one of those conventions where this is always a real issue, because it’s just sooooooo big that one just can’t see everything, and so one has to make the most of what one can see while one is there. Staying in a downtown hotel helped with this time management, for obvious reasons, and I did a lot more walking during the first part of the week (Tuesday through Saturday), and virtually none during the Saturday/Sunday period or on Monday. This was the biggest GenCon Indy so far, and the convention has spread out and expanded so much there was a lot more ground to cover. I had wanted to play in some games, but such was not to be, no doubt due to the running of the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon games and the hit-or-miss method of using Generic tickets. And after Saturday, that was made more difficult. I did get to play in some demos, which was fine, and I loved playing in the Aventuria Card Game stuff at the Westin, but I was pretty pleased overall with the convention, though I’d have liked to have played in some full games, rather than demos.

As I’ve noted earlier, GenCon is just too big to see everything. I did a bit of wandering around during the Thursday and Friday when I had the chance, and was able to take some photos of people and stuff that interested me. I think I was a bit jaded this year at the various gaming materials I saw, since most of my photos are of people and the like. One thing that I photographed on late Saturday afternoon was the balloon dragon that was quite impressive.


Balloon dragon

What was really cool about it, as per usual at GenCon, is there’s an auction/raffle where someone got to “slay the dragon” by exploding the balloons one at a time. I would love to have been there for such destruction, but the wheelchair days prevented this. That and I’m not sure I could take the explosive noise of the balloons popping, truth be told.

There were a lot of folks in costume over the weekend, and I took several photos of folks. One of the costumes I really liked was the Revolutionary Captain America. Great costume.


Revolutionary Captain America

Needless to say, one of the real highlights for me at this convention was seeing some of the folks that I like in the gaming industry. GenCon is certainly the place to do that. It was good to see Darrell, Dean, Eric and Ross from Ulisses Spiele NA; Robin, Simon and Gar from Pelgrane Press; Chris Birch and the folks from Modiphius Entertainment (they really do have some of the best rpgs out there these days, as witness the ENnie Awards); and Jeff Combos at the Exile Games booth. The real pleasure for me this GenCon was meeting Jeff Barber, totally coincidentally at the IGDN Social at Loughmiller’s Pub and my virtual friend, T.R. Knight, whom I’d not met until GenCon. He gifted me some cherry jam (it tastes delish, by the way!), but it was a pleasure meeting him and his wife and daughters. I’d wish we’d had more time to socialise, but GenCon is busy and his schedule was pretty tight. We did talk a couple of other times, and it was lovely bumping into them in the ICC hallways when SteveR and I were coming back from supper at the Marriott on Sunday evening. I also got to pick the brains of Darrell Hayhurst, Dean Gilbert, and Ross Watson about all things Torg Eternity, and had a good time chatting with them. Eric Simon and Mhàire Stritter of Ulisses Spiele proper were great as well, and I wish I’d talked more to the folks there about The Dark Eye RPG, as I’m now in love with the game. That said, for everyone I did talk with, there were others I missed. I didn’t get to see a lot of my Twitter friends and those I’ve only met virtually there, and I’m really sad about that. (No names here, but you know who you are!)

The Exhibit Hall was as usual, massive. Actually, more massive than the one in 2015. (Not really surprising given how GenCon has grown and the fact that this was the 50th anniversary of the convention.) I’m not going to go into details about the Exhibit Hall and dealers’ room since it was…just too big. And to be honest, the fact that I was wheelchair-bound on Saturday and Sunday meant I didn’t get to wander and see as much of the hall as I would have liked. I will say that some of the best stuff I saw was at the smaller dealers, those tucked away, and some of the really fun stuff was in the Entrepreneurs’ Avenue. That said, most of the game manufacturers were there, with some exceptions, but there were also folks selling game accessories, steampunk clothes and gear, kilts and other items associated with the culture, t-shirts, buttons, Doctor Who merchandise, dice bags and dice accessories, books, art prints and… well, you name it, you could probably find it here. Some of the stuff that I saw really impressed me, but I had come to GenCon Indy to purchase specific gaming stuff that I was looking for – primarily some Torg Eternity stuff (nothing was available other than the dice and the new t-shirt), some t-shirts (I think I bought too many, but c’est la vie), and The Dark Eye RPG. I was also hoping to find some of the old TORG RPG game supplements, and lucked out with that. I also picked up a couple of games that I wasn’t planning on – Terraforming Mars and Mermaid Adventures – and I’m glad I did so, and would have picked up Photosynthesis and Five Tribes, but didn’t know how to ship them home after I’d done The Dark Eye mailing through FedEx and wasn’t sure I’d be able to take them back with me in the luggage.

I didn’t get to play in any full fledged games, mostly due to the fact that all the games I wanted to get in were full by the time my place in the game registration queue came up and had bad luck with Generic tickets (again). Plus there was the fact that the games I could get into were also scheduled around the times I was running Coriolis – The Third Horizon. However, I did sit and watch a lot of games when I had the chance and really enjoyed what I saw. This included some Photosynthesis, Torg Eternity, and several others. I should have tried to catch some of The Dark Eye games as well, but such was not to be. I did manage to play in some Aventuria games with a guy that I met at the Westin, and had a lot of fun (winning a couple of duels helps the enjoyment, I think). 🙂

This year, I used the mobile phone to take a lot of pictures of stuff at the convention (mostly for personal use) and did a good degree of tweeting as well. I used my tweets of the convention to keep a record of my time at GenCon 50 this year, and they have proved invaluable for these convention reports. Didn’t really get to use the mobile phone to set up socializing or anything, with the exception of two things that I’m not going to discuss. Am I sorry about the stuff I didn’t get to see or do? Sure, but again it comes down to making sure you pace yourself as well as the health and other restrictions that you have for yourself. And I’m proud to say that I stuck to my own lifestyle and physical limitations (for the most part, with one glaring error).

That leads me to discussing the hotel… What can I say about the Westin Indianapolis? The hotel was right downtown, with less than a five minute walk to the ICC, and the room was very nice. I actually went through the ADA service that GenCon offers to get the hotel room, and was glad that I did. Comfortable, accommodating to those with physical injuries, and a built-in mini-fridge as well! The staff at the hotel was extremely nice, and were so helpful during the convention – the photocopying of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon material, the business with the soiled clothes (1 of 2 of my pairs of pants), the events after the injury and the wheelchair (well, okay, that was mainly the head of security on Saturday) – and the place was relatively busy all the time once the convention started. I liked having all the gamers around, but it wasn’t claustrophobic as was the actual ICC and some of the other venues. Overall, I would stay again at the Westin Indianapolis without any hesitation at all.

As for the stuff that I bought at GenCon (what is affectionately called “the loot”, I’ve discussed a bit of that above, but I’ll leave that for a separate post with a ton of photos. hehe

Do I have any regrets about GenCon 2017? Yep, I do… Given the size of this convention, one just cannot see the whole convention and do everything that one would like to do. First off, I regret not seeing more of the Exhibit Hall and the Dealers’ Hall (I think I may have seen 25% if I’m lucky). Secondly, I regret not getting to the GenCon Museum, which I really would have liked to have visited. I regret not getting to play in any Torg Eternity or The Dark Eye games, ’cause that was something I really wanted to do at the convention. I wish I had spent a bit more time (heck, a lot more time!) at the Art Show and Authors’ Avenue. I deeply regret not getting to meet and spend some time with virtual friends, old and new (that I’ve met the past year or so on the internet; you Twitter folks know what I’m talking about!). Most of all, I absolutely regret taking the actions that led to my feet blistering and the cellulitis, as that put a huge damper on my convention on the Saturday and Sunday. All of that said, I enjoyed myself for the most part, but am somewhat relieved that I can’t do this convention every year (unless one of the game companies flies me in to it! :)) Just too expensive to do every year, between the airfare and the hotel room costs. And the fact that one has to book rooms so early. And the fact that I’m getting old and that this was a tough convention to do given my state of health.

And that’s it. GenCon 2017 is now well and truly a wrap for me, other than all the great reading material I’ve got from the convention. And the memories, both good and bad, of course.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

GenCon 2017, Day +1 Report September 4, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, rpg hut.
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Here is the report of the seventh, and last day, of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the sixth day can be found in this journal entry.

August 21st, 2017

I woke up on the last day of the trip to Indy feeling somewhat out of sorts and rather sore in various parts of my body. Not to be unexpected, given everything that happened on Saturday. However, today was the day to fly home to Ottawa, so it was time to get up and at ’em (as they say). Woke up relatively early, since there was a lot to do in the morning before heading for the airport. I was having a rough morning of it, cramps or nerve pain in my left underthigh and you-know-where from the awkward leg position from long periods in the wheelchair. Standard, generic wheelchairs aren’t designed for people with long legs. I suspected some of that pain would only get worse as the day wore on. Needless to say, my feet were hurting and the blisters were…there. The feet were…pretty swollen. So I figured that flying would be… difficult, to say the least.

I showered and shaved, and then SteveR took care of the dressing on my right foot. We went down to Shula’s and had our usual breakfast. I had wanted pancakes or oatmeal, but the carb load would have been too much for me this day and I didn’t want to take any chances. In any event, I had come to conclude that the breakfast was too expensive if not eating from the buffet and if one has special, dietary needs. After eating, we returned back to the hotel room to finish the morning ablutions and pack the rest of the toiletries away in the check-in bags. I checked us out of the hotel and collected the bill on our way to the airport (there was no line at the Westin Indianapolis front desk). Check-out was a breeze. We headed for the airport around 11:45 am. Here’s a picture of me getting ready to head out of the hotel room for the last time.


Me in wheechair leaving hotel room for last time

We arrived at the Indy airport, and after getting me a wheelchair (a bit more comfortable than the one in the hotel, but still manual), we checked-in for the flight, and then made our way through American security and over to the gate area, where the kind lady who wheeled me all the way through everything left me in the care of an agent there. SteveR and I learned that we would be pre-boarding ahead of everyone else because of my inability to walk. During our trip from the ticketing area to the security area, before the gate entry, we saw the gaming area for GenCon attendees that the Indy airport folks had put together.


Indy airport gaming area

Once at the gate area, the agent took us over to a small bistro-like restaurant, Au Bon Pain, and had a delicious, fresh Caesar wrap and some soup and water there for lunch. It was really good, and hit the spot. We returned to the gate from which the plane would depart, and sat and relaxed for a little while before the pre-boarding began. I’m not going to say much about it, but one gets through the jetway in the wheelchair and then trundled onto what is called an aisle seat and strapped down as if straightjacketed, and then taken ass backwards onto the plane. Humiliating, and somewhat painful.

Once the flight from Indianapolis to Toronto got underway, it was comforting. Here’s a pic outside the window.


View from 31,000 feet on the Indy to Toronto flight

I don’t remember what we did for food, if anything, once we got to the Toronto International airport, but we went through the process of an agent wheeling me through to the gate area, though this time taking longer because of tag-team wheeling with two other passengers through the Canadian Customs part of the trip. Once at the gate area for the Toronto to Ottawa flight, we sat back and relaxed there.

The flight home from Toronto had a similar pattern to that of getting aboard the plane in Indy, but to be honest, this time we barely made the flight and I got aisle seated into the plane with a good number of passengers already aboard. No doubt almost late for the flight due to the tag-team business I mentioned above, but also because SteveR and I were the last passengers off the flight from Indy to Toronto.


On the tarmac, waiting to leave Toronto

We arrived in Ottawa, and SteveR’s parents met us at the airport. My mom was at my place, waiting for me to get home. We didn’t have any problems with the baggage and the like in Ottawa, as it was already whirling around on the baggage carousel, as I was helped off the plane and into a wheelchair, again the last folks off the flight. We decided to go to Boston Pizza for supper, since it was close to 7:30 pm by this time, and neither SteveR nor I had eaten since lunch, other than some snack food we’d brought with us and some ginger ale and pretzels on the two flights. It was when we got to the Boston Pizza location at Walkley and Conroy that I remembered I’d have to walk from the parking lot at the rear of the building to the front entrance! That was the longest, most painful walk I’ve made in a while. But I think the food was worth it! I had the half-rack of ribs with a salad, and a beer. Goddess knows I needed it by then.

After the late supper at Boston Pizza, SteveR’s parents drove me home, and SteveR helped bring in the luggage for me. Another incredibly painful walk from the car up the stairs into my house. Mom was there waiting for me, and after she helped me do some of the unpacking (notably the toiletries and the laundry from the suitcase and overnight bag), she headed home. I took a couple of Tylenol before crawling into the bed. I was so tired, that I had a good night’s sleep despite the pain in my feet. I woke up around 9:00 am on Tuesday, the 22nd, and made a doctor’s appointment for that afternoon.

And that’s it, the final entry about the actual trip to Indianapolis and the events of GenCon 2017. This was a very long Monday, due to the medical issues I was dealing with, and I’m glad that I got home that evening.

In any event, I’ll be writing just one or two more posts about this year’s GenCon, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and some photos of my loot from the convention.

As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated. 🙂