Okay, procrastinated long enough… here we go!
So hey, Texas had a huge ice storm early in the month! It was two or three days of trees falling down, stuff crashing and creaking everywhere, and people who don’t know better driving into ditches. A lot of folks nearby had power outages (and power lines down in the street, wheee), but we got lucky and missed that completely. We had a couple of branches come down in the back yard (and one in the front) but nothing did any damage, and nothing too big to handle myself. Other places… not so much.
So overall, this was a win for me! I got the hatchet and mini-chainsaw out and put as many branches as I could handle into my tiny little wood chipper, and wound up with about … like a cubic yard or so of wood chips? I dunno, it seemed like a lot. So I threw those in the new compost pile, and went down to a local coffee roaster that gives away bags and bags of coffee grounds, and started mixing it up and wetting it down. Before too long, that puppy started steaming and we’re pretty set for compost for the year, I think.
The storm also knocked down whole-ass trees everywhere, so there were piles of cut logs as far as the eye could see. I spent a week or two picking up a trunkload every time I went out, and got to chopping. We don’t really need firewood (it’s rarely cold enough for a fire, and the fireplace is kind of junky) but I’m fixing to rive and mill them down into some fun lumber, let it dry out a bit, and start making some fun stuff with ’em.
Otherwise, everything is okay. Cold eased up at the end of the month, chickens are doing great and starting to lay again, and we’ve got the new garden beds pretty much planted. We’ll see how those turn out…
After that banger of a January, it felt like a pretty slow month, but I managed to play a game or two anyway…
Finished our playtest run of Defy the Gods, and although there were lots of changes week to week, it’s a blast. (It’s is a sword and sworcery Powered by the Apocalypse game, I was a *sick* wizard!) Definitely looking to get some more plays of that in this year, if only to fill out the ladder.
Our Thursday group (the Faded Haven, with Ben, Heath, Nic, and Peter) has transitioned fully to Mausritter, which is an OSR-ish game where you’re mouse adventurers. It’s cute and kind of terrifying, and I’m really looking forward to where it goes. (I’ve also started using a sweet OBS overlay for it, so it looks like a real stream!)
And our Saturday group (Anders, Rich, Steven, and Xai) is still going strong on our Galaxies in Peril game—I feel like I’ve finally got a pretty good handle on everything with it, and stuff is definitely getting some steam behind it, so there’s no end of fun to be had there.
(I’m running both of those games, BTW, which seems like it’d be a lot of work, but I don’t have more than half an hour of GM-work between the two throughout the week, and all the players are fantastic, so that makes everything a breeze.)
The Faded Havens are also volunteering for my occasional venture into The Wizard’s Grimoire when we only have two other players, and that’s incredibly enjoyable. It’s easy to pick up (I’m the “player”, and the other two are basically co-GMs) and episodic, so there’s not much to worry about.
I’m currently playing through a bunch of Rune realms for my Solo Sundays stream on twitch, and… I’m getting into it. It’s a very procedural light soulslike—a big difference from the more role-play-ish or journaling solo games I’ve played, but the tactical combat is quick and fun, and I’m enjoying getting new loot and hitting new bosses.
And finally, I played a game of Bastards, a super-light osr dungeon crawly game on the Plus One Exp stream with a couple of the dudes who are making recreations of some classic old-school modules. We ran through The Peak of Woe (a redo of one of my favorites, White Plume Mountain) and I got to make a vampire explode, so that was pretty cool.
- Still playing Beat Saber for exercise while it’s too chilly to walk outside
- Played through Transistor—it’s fine, I’m not mad I played it, but I’m glad it wasn’t any longer. Definitely see the roots of Hades in there, and I’d much rather just play that again.
- Playing the new Walkabout Golf course, Atlantis, which is gorgeous.
- I finally broke down and started playing Marvel Snap, and… it’s good. I was surprised at how tightly and well designed the core game is, and how not-grindy, not always having to pay for stuff the overall experience is. I’m really enjoying it—it’s great in quick doses a couple of times a day.
Again, pretty light:
- Read through the Marvel’s Runaways comics (for… research)
- Watched The Last of Us, which is real good, obviously.
- Went to see Triangle of Sadness with Pai, which was way better than I expected it to be.
- Watched Brand New Cherry Flavor on Netflix—if you’re of a similar vintage as I am, just watch it.
- Went to see the obligatory Ant Man Quantumania movie by myself, because everyone else was too smart to go with me. It was a Marvel movie.
- I have “In the Beginning” in my notes, and I have no memory of what that might have been, but it’s none of the things that comes up for that on imdb. Huh… OH! it must have been the X-Men Hellfire Club 4-issue series that went into the origins of Sebastian Shaw and company… again, research.
Is work. We’re… doing some stuff that I’m not a fan of, and I dropped a video that summed up my disappointments, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Otherwise, my cohort is still pretty great, and they’re cruising along.
I’m slowly working through this arduino “30 Days Lost in Space” thing, which is… tedious, but I’m slogging through it. It’s not really thirty days, because every five days or so the lesson is a “Creative Day”, which is just like, “okay, go do something on your own—see you tomorrow!”, so, cool.
I’ve been playing with a lot of ChatGPT stuff for various purposes, and… it’s cool.
I replaced my car headlight bulbs with new LED ones, so now I’m one of those jerks. They’re super cheap and jiggle though, so.
I got a new bike! It’s another relatively cheap deal from Retrospec, and it’s bright yellow cruiser and there’s no nut-knocker bar and I’m incredibly out of shape, but I’m gonna slowly work up to it. Soon.
I finally booked my flight to Europe to hang out with Nic while they’re giving talks and being a badass at some conference in Rotterdam in April! I managed to get about two weeks off from work, and I could really use that vacation now. (And I’m gonna need to hook up someone to come check on the house and chickens, I guess…) We have like… zero plans outside of the conference, so it’ll be a lot of adventure and train riding and whatnot, I reckon. Super looking forward to it.
And I just sent in my tax stuff to our super cool accountant for the year, and I think I’m going to get some money back to pay for a bit of that vacation, so that’s cool.
And…. yeah, next month is the end of my three-month self-imposed design hiatus, and I’ve got all sorts of stuff ready to hit the ground running with come the equinox. Until then, NO PLANS!