Monday, February 27, 2006

The Action That I Forgot...

...to tell you about.

STM is having some sort of medieval feast this weekend. It is on Saturday evening. Anyway a friend of mine called to invite me to be a knight/betrayer as part of the live entertainment. I get to be a disenfranchised knight who raises a barbarian hoard and attacks his former comrades during their feasting.

It sounds like a great concept and I have been enjoying the huge fight scene (involving home-made swords, no less) that we have been choreographing. I am, however, somewhat afraid that it is going to come off as really amateurish. Brennan and Felipe are great guys and seem to be working their tails off to make it happen. I think it is just too big a project for what I'm guessing is their first major organizational extravaganza.

Case in point: I have yet to commune with the sword that I am to be using. It will reportedly be very heavy and I think it is fair to say that I need to practice with it so as to not desanguinate any of the other participants. Not to sound whiney, but I have also been told that I am to have lines to speak. At our last encounter this was confirmed, but Brennan just wasn't exactly sure yet what those lines might be. Five days to go... and probably two rehearsals. Hmmmm.

I tried to get some pictures for you, but every time I set it on 'auto' someone would bump it or stand in front or, (you [don't] get the picture)

Oh yeah, Wendy is leaving town for three days W Th F and so looks like people need to come to my place if they want to see me -- assuming that I won't be rehearsing.

Winter's (never)End

It's no bit secret that I begin to feel quite shitty towards the end of the coldest season. I'm trying to keep the wolves at bay (as it were) by getting a little bit healthier and trying to keep busy without going overboard. Trying.

My eating habits are in need of adjustment. It seems like only yesterday that I had totally sworn off store-bought junk food. I kept to that for over a year and then slipped back into familiar patterns. Well, I'm back on the wagon. I know, you aren't going to cry for the 5 or 6 pounds that I am irritated with. I understand, and I'll thank you to keep your comments from reflecting on the nature of my neurosis. That's just how I am about this stuff.

Here is something you can feel good about. My computer usage isn't at its healthiest. I'm going to try and back off a bit. A few days back I found myself pressing the "stumble upon" button 30 times or more without even looking at the pages. Nothing was interesting me, but I found it hard to stop. As I always reflect at such times, "it's a damn good thing that I don't drink." I'm prone to excess. I like the time I spend on the blogs (at least it hints at interaction with other humans) and I shall try to keep that up, but I plan to be more electronically scarce the rest of the time.

I was talking to Wendy about it and I guess it comes down to being purposeful. It feels like I am just killing time waiting for the winter to end. Not the greatest plan in February on the prairies! I'm sure it was no surprise that QNY falls in the spring. I know that I am not along in my feelings of bored depression. Hope the rest of you are making out all right.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

J-Pepper comes to town


Qwoden's day started out to be like any other board gaming event. Vin, Jay and Jim showed up (all on time no less) and we commenced. Things soon took a drastic turn for the worse and the house was very nearly destroyed in the ensuing chaos. Thinking of posterity, I snapped a picture from my entry way at grave personal risk. Then, with a deft bit of baking I was able to calm things down a bit and eventually all was back to normal.

We finnished the evening with Jay kicking our butts at Blokus, which prompted him to immediately go and buy his own copy -- presumably in order to humble members of his own family in similar fashion.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Qwednesday Poker Night

Sounds like an official sanctioned event. Perhaps it will even happen again. Here is the scoop. I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with activities that meet several criteria:
  1. fun
  2. "questy" - you figure that out!
  3. allow for coffee AND conversation
  4. inexpensive
  5. group oriented
Despite its current popularity, poker still meets them all, so there we are. All I needed to have a successful event was to find cards, poker chips, and willing participants.

Dave showed up at my door at the stroke of 8 -- perfect! Looking a bit cold, but claiming the health benefits were worth it. Vin came before we were barely started our first cup of Organic Mexican Dark Roast Coffee. We had just discussed the merits of variations of the game and decided on the current darling of the poker world, Texas Hold 'em, when James arrived. We each took a dollars worth of change and the game began.

I soon decided we needed fresh chocolate chip cookies. The daycare and I had made some dough earlier that day and frozen most of it. Mmmmmm. To bad you weren't here. In this photo, James isn't smiling because of the freshly baked cookies. He knew something we didn't. He had to leave early and it made him really aggressive with his betting. Probably a good thing since the Questers are so reserved (ha!). After doing quite well in the first few rounds, James promptly handed over his entire stash of cash to Dave in one crazy round of betting.

Let us say that before James left one of us wasn't doing so well. Once Dave had double the cash of Vin or I, a miracle was called for. There was a fair bit of trash talkin' and some blatant attempts by Dave to cheat, though I'm still not quite sure how he was doing it...

In the end, I think it was my lucky button that came to the rescue. We were using a button to track the progression of dealers (standard practice I hear), but I added a little house rule. Having a large and fun selection of buttons, each of us chose a favorite and for the price of an extra ante on the hand, you could have the honour of your button sitting on the table. Double if you wanted to change it back in the same deal. We spent a fair chunk of change making each other deal with our own special button intimidating the others. Vin's button unfortunately does not appear hear, which is fair since it rarely made it to the card table either.

I walked away with all the loot in the end. Next time Dave plans to prove to me how things would have been different if he hadn't been soooo concerned about Vin getting bored after falling out of the game. It's nice that there are philanthropists like DG Aschim out there. Thanks Dave.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Put this in your environmental pipe...

This is the height of cool. I ran to Liz's house today with Olivia and Anwyn in the front chariot (www.chariotcarriers.com),which is mine. I picked up Anthony and Eric in the rear chariot with Liz's hiking "backpack" attachment.
3.1 km, a distance which normally takes me 15-17 minutes in the summer, took me about 25 minutes (not counting the bitching and complaining). That's not much better than a fast walk. But, I expect that as I get used to the gear, the load, and the snow disappears in the spring that I should be able to significantly improve on this initial time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

QT-Pool, Revisited

These are the same pictures you can find over at little scratches. I'm going to be a bit more specific about details of the evening, and probably a lot less funny. If you think that is unlikely or impossible, read on forewarned.

It was with pleasant surprise that I fielded both and email from Dave and a phone call. For me, contact with the Doctor is spotty at best and it was like a monsoon come to the Gobi. Needless to say, we rushed to set out containers to collect the water and after Vin arrived at my place we were quick to depart and scoop Dave from the bus-stop on 5 corners.

Starcat and the Doctor traded some fine blows as the only real contenders at the table

Despite a promising name, I was nervous upon entering the Q-Room. It is a fairly spartan set-up compared to some of the competition. But, eventually it managed to win my fickle affections. It is neither trendy and full of UofS students, nor is it seedy with burly bikers and pool hasbins. Probably that is thanks to us being there on a Tuesday, but it could just be a different demographic.

Starcat wins the orange award for best photo op of the night.

I must say that I was surprised to see Geof with a load of facial hair. He has never had the staying power to make it work in the past, but this time he may just have done it. It is actually possible with normal vision to see it in the above picture, even without zooming in. Upon seeing the grandure of his beard I was forced to bow in respect and awe. It's just as well since it would later have been necessary later to bow to his superior pool playing, which would have been less acceptable socially.

The Orange Zone was particularly frightening when you realize that there was a coffee shortage and we were all forced to drink alternate beverages. Not so bad, said some.

We fabricated some way to align the teams fairly. By fair, I mean that it was clearly important to split up Vin and I, since our fanaticism for all things billiards related and our close bond of kinship would have made it a miserable evening for our opponents.

A particularly sad moment (and photo) of me trying to contemplate a nasty bank shot with the 8 looming near the pocket. Notice the Doctor in the background with a certain air of victory in his smile?

As it turns out, perhaps Vin and I should have teamed up. At least I could have claimed that his occasionally questionable play was throwing me off my game. As it was, I thought that Geof was patient and much less critical of me than he could have been. Maturity, and no longer living in close proximity to other questers seems to have had a moderating effect on all of us.

Starcat laughing. Presumably over his mistake at not putting wagers on the games.

In case I havn't made it perfectly clear: I had a great time. It is a shame that the Quest has been so long between activities of this sort. Geof was quick to notice that, in fact, he and I had never played pool together. Perhaps. However, what I mean is that it was the first time in 8 or 10 years that all of us had managed to come together for anything more active than a cup of coffee. Cheers to all of us (or shame, if you prefer to focus on the negative).

Rainswept insisted that he was horribly out of practice. But those of us who watched noticed some extraordinary shots and something funky going on with his pointer finger.

To make a long story short: The Q-room was a nice stop. With tables maxing out at $15 the only thing missing in order to have a rollicking round of snooker was perhaps a second large table...