OotSCon 2010

Tuesday June 29, 2010 at 11:51am gitp, ootscon report, photography Comments (1) »
OotSCon 2010 Image

I'd say most of the people who might read this are already well aware (and were probably present), but this last weekend was our 4th Annual Giant-in-the-Playground / Order-of-the-Stick Johnson City Meetup - or OotSCon, as we've come to call it, believing it to be the largest of such meetups relating to the forums.

That's right, 4 years and counting. I consider this quite an accomplishment for us locals. Even more, pretty much everyone always intends to come back for future gatherings. Indy (Scott) even told me he'd rather miss GenCon than our meetup. High praise, eh? (hahahahaha I typed that out and then saw the Canadian/Eh joke. hehehe)

Anyway - it was, as always, an awesome time.

The meetup started early this year as quite a few people arrived on thursday. Usually there's one or two, this year I think there were 10 or so. I had a previous commitment for thursday evening (Patrick's Star Wars game), so I didn't meet up with them until close to midnight, but it was cool to see everyone for the half hour i was there. I met up with Reinholdt who was staying at the Igloo there, and also took Indy & ZRS back for the night (since they didn't have a hotel till the following day).

Scott, Dave & I spent friday morning relaxing. I was working on leveling my SW character, and they were trying their luck at some Super Mario Bros. Wii (which became a bit of a staple of the Igloo for the weekend). It was nice to mellow out for for a while - esp with the canadians, who are awesome.

When Sheri got home from work, we made our way over to the Hippie Hut to join the rest. Upon arriving around 2pm, we realized that food might have been a good idea at some point, so we went out to Chic-Fil-A - a place Scott had been told he should try (Aside: Scott did ask me what I recommended there - I told him to try the chicken :-D).

Friday afternoon/evening/night was spent at the Hippie Hut in the usual fashion: with copious amounts of board gaming. We did take a brief break for dinner at Main Street Pizza, where it was good to see Matt again. I officiated a game of Touch of Evil for some of the newer players who wanted to try it - I think I actually know the *rules* to that game now, instead of relying on llama to tell me what to do.

Saturday is our big meetup day - cooking out at the Greenwood Challenge Course. In the interest of Robb having a bit more time to hang out and not being exhausted, we didn't actually do the high ropes that had been so popular previous years. Instead we had some swordplay and some amusing games of Cash & Guns Live. We *did*, of course, have Kubb. It wouldn't be a meetup without Kubb.

Saturday night we met up at the Mid City Grill, as is tradition. We think we're actually included in that place's planning now as the owner knows our group comes in in late June and, i believe, asked about it specifically this year. Also, after our massive year 2 group, some of us couldn't help but notice some new paint, lighting and other decorations.

Anyway, we took over about half the place for the night, enjoyed the food and played more games. I participated in Trog(Jeff)'s 4e adventure wherein a Forum Mod, a Troll and a Noob battled a group of vicious cat-muffins. Many inside forum jokes abounded. The introduction to the scenario was even in prose. After that, he, Gryf and I sat around discussing rpg's, systems, gming and all manner of geekery. That was also a lot of fun.

Sunday was our turn to host, as is also tradition. There were quit a few people still around on sunday this year - even later into the evening. Hippie & I grilled most of the rest of the chicken and there was more general hanging out, more board games, a small birthday celebration for Reinholdt, and more Mario Wii.

On sunday night, those of us who still remained - a remnant by this time, but still a good size - went for dinner at the Crazy Tomato. I think this is the first time we've had more than one or two around on sunday night. After that, we returned to the Igloo where a few of us played a game of Ticket to Ride while the others hung out and Reinholdt continued to mercilessly sacrifice his Toad minions to insure his own survival.

So, my thoughts/reflections:

So many great people, so little time. As Trog pointed out, there's so much awesome in such a small span of time, you can't possibly experience it all. You hear other people talk about stuff and it sometimes feels like there was a whole other meetup you missed. Still, this event continues to be awesome.

Scott/Indy in particular, is awesome. Our personalities seem to mesh really well and we had a great time hanging out and chatting about all kinds of random stuff. He needs to move down here.

So I've played in a 4e game now - however briefly - and I spent a good chunk of time talking about it with Gryf and Trog. My impressions of the system are pretty neutral - there are things I like about it, there are things I don't. I certainly don't think it's "better" than 3e, but I'm not sure it's worse. It definitely has a different *feel* than previous editions of the game, and that may be where they're losing people the most.

As always, I took a lot of pictures of the weekend's festivities and posted 'em on facebook. They have garnered quite a few comments and some rather high praise from Scott, Jeff & others and, - i can't lie - that makes me feel pretty good. I'm glad other people enjoy them. :)


Festivals, Meetups, Conventions and Gaming

Saturday June 12, 2010 at 10:34am festivals, gaming, friends, gitp, gencon, family Comments (0) »
Festivals, Meetups, Conventions and Gaming Image

So it's saturday.

We don't have too much going on this weekend. I think we are/were going to go walk around at a nearby park (and check out some bike trails), but it's raining at the moment - so that might put a damper on things.

Last weekend, however, was pretty eventful. The first weekend in June is the date of two different local festivals.

First, we went out to Rogersville to the Shakespeare and Friends Renaissance Faire (warning: their website is pretty hideous). It should, perhaps, be noted that I'd never been to a Ren Faire before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I think I had more fun than I thought I would - which is not to say I expected not to like it, I just didn't really know what it would be like.
There were some interesting booths, a lot of impressive costumes and some amusing shows. In particular, I enjoyed the jousting. The guys doing it explained a lot about the competitions, equipment and everything that goes into it.
I took quite a few photos of the faire which I posted on facebook.

Second, there was the Blue Plum in downtown JC. I've been to this festival a few years now. Unlike the Ren Faire, there's not too much to write about it, but we had a good time walking around with our friends enjoying the atmosphere. We also went to a pizza place downtown where we had one of our other friends as a waiter - that was pretty cool (I didn't even know he worked there).

On some gaming and related stuff:

In other news, my WoD campaign has been continuing nicely, though we've yet to get Curtis into it. I've also added some house rules to the core WoD system (surprise, surprise).
I love dice. They give you a nice, tangible connection to what's going on in the game world and they provide an element of unpredictability that's still connected through the rules to what a given character is generally capable of. Dice are great - as a player.
As a gm however, I've found they drive me crazy. I'm trying to juggle the narrative and keep each of the players engaged in the game and I find it to be a huge distraction when I have to stop, roll dice, calculate results and then report numbers back. Therefore, I've basically modified the system such that the players roll all the dice. The WoD system in particular lends itself to this with some only minor tweaks. We're still kind of trying this out and there will still probably be times that I'll roll a dice, but most of the time I'd rather that aspect stayed in the players' hands.
I've also been working on several gaming side projects including another simplistic thematic rpg (like Bot, but completely different in theme) and a couple of board games (which I may or may not be able to manifest).

Patrick ran his Star Wars game on thursday and we ran into a little bit of a hiccup near the end where the mechanics kind of broke down the fun, as it were. I also, unfortunately, found myself to be getting a bit frustrated as I tried to interact with a scene in a way that didn't seem to be jiving with the rest of the group (mostly my fault for not being clear enough).
I mention this not to criticize the game or the players - because I think Patrick's running a great game and the players are participating well - but to point out that even good games can get bogged down by one thing or another. It's just going to happen.
It's easy to look back and say "oh, well person X should have done Y", but when you're actually in the game that's not always so apparent. Still, I think the conversation Rucht, Patrick and I had post-game (even though it was quite late) about how we might address certain issues in the future (both as gms and players) was helpful if only so we didn't all leave on a complete down-note.

Oh yeah, and we gamed at Patrick & Stacie's new house - which is a pretty cool place and about half the distance from here as their old place.

We're two weeks from hosting our FOURTH GitP meetup. This year is shaping up to be much like previous years - which is to say, awesome. As usual, there are some people who can't make it that we'd really like to see, but there are some others we're glad to see returning and a decent number of new people to meet. I think it's pretty cool that this has become a Playground tradition and that people continue to flock to our little town for a great time.

And finally, I think I'm actually going to get to go to GenCon this year!(!!!) I've been saying I want to make it up for that for years now, and I'm excited that I'll finally get to do it. In addition to the con itself, there are a few hard-to-find gaming books I'll be looking for, a few random people I'd kinda like to shake hands with, and a couple of forum communities I'll be looking to hook up with for general fun-times and hanging out. Edit: Badges have been ordered. :)

While we're up there, we'll also spend some time with my parents & Sheri's grandpa. Also, the current plan is to rent a uhaul for the trip back so we can empty out a storage unit Sheri still has up there.


Another day in the life

Tuesday May 25, 2010 at 4:13pm iphone, bicycling, gaming, drawing, comics, gitp, meetup Comments (0) »
Another day in the life Image

First thing, as I mention in the edit of last post, I am enjoying my shiny new iPhone (which has been named Sadie, after one of the characters from Mouse Guard). In particular, I like the ability to always have a 'net connection, to be able to sync and always have my mac's calendar (which i nearly *rely* on these days) with me, to have a phone that isn't work related (and I don't have to worry about using it for personal calls), and for *Sheri* (who also got one) to have her own phone so I don't worry as much when she goes somewhere in our less-than-perfectly-reliable jeep. Also, text messaging is fun, having a portable pdf reader is handy, and I think I like the iPhone facebook app better than the actual facebook *site* - it doesn't have all the stupid clutter everywhere.

Sheri and I got our bikes out for the first time this year and went for a ride on the Linear Trail in Erwin last saturday. I think we went about 7 or 8 miles altogether, though at a somewhat relaxed pace. We saw a lot of geese and ducks and a couple of rabbits. It was a lot of fun and I'm hoping we'll get to ride our bikes a lot more this year than last year.

My World of Darkness game had session #3 last night, which was fun if a bit slower than previous sessions. I think it was still good, but I'm thinking over how to smooth out some of the bumps. We are still trying to get Curtis involved, and we're gonna try a new weeknight to see if it works better.

I've been trying to do some drawing lately - actually working on a character sketch for Rucht's Rogue Trader game. I'm pretty rusty at this sort of art. Also, I'd love to try a pc tablet/drawing pad.

Other randomness: Tony introduced me to a comic/graphic novel series called Fables, which is pretty awesome. You should check it out. Yes, you.

Looking ahead, our GitP 2k10 meetup (this will be meetup #4 :)) is fast approaching. We are sad that Ginger can't make it out this year, but hopefully she'll get to come hang out one of the subsequent weekends. The Igloo will be hosting a few other friends for the meetup though, including our former-local Ken who it will be cool to see again. The meetup is always a great time, and this year should be just as awesome as usual.


An Epic Weekend

Monday June 29, 2009 at 9:37am gitp, ootscon report, friends, games Comments (2) »
An Epic Weekend Image

As I previously mentioned, this last weekend was the 3rd Annual Southeast-Trogland Giant in the Playground Meetup - aka: SET GITP Meetup 2k9. This is our third year hosting playgrounders from all over (which i find to be pretty impressive in itself), and it continues to be awesome.

Our group this year wasn't *quite* as big as last year (there were several who really wanted to, but were unable to make it - and we *did* miss them), but in some ways, the smaller group was better overall.

Here's basically how this all went down:

On friday night around 7pm, we all met up at Thunderdome. This was the "official" start of the festivities, but several people had arrived earlier that day, and we hung out at the Hippie Hut for a while beforehand.

Thunderdome is basically a JC gamer's hangout. They have about 20 networked PC's as well as some consoles hooked to projector screens, and a bunch of board games. They also serve some pretty tasty food. We had told the owner that we were going to be invading on friday night, and he said they'd stay open as long as we wanted, basically... ...so we all had a good time playing video games, board games and card games (and some played a session of Paranoia) till about 3am.

On saturday around 1pm, we all went over to the Greenwood Challenge Course, which as been a meetup locale for all three years. It's a private area with a shelter, an open field area, as well as some high-ropes climbing elements that Robb is certified to administrate. We had a cookout and spent the afternoon playing Kubb and some other games and watching a few climb up about 70ft to 'the wall'.

On saturday night, we all headed to the Mid City Grill for food and more games. Mid City is a great place for this, as it's about the most laid-back restaurant i've ever been to. Oh, and they're also open till well-past stupid-thirty in the morning. Zeb & Alarra taught me and Sheri to play the Ticket to Ride card game, which we'd never had a chance to play before. It's really cool. If past years are any indication, there's a good chance Sheri will get that for her birthday or christmas this year. There were also games of Munchkin Fu, Monty Python Fluxx, Battlestar Galactica and a session of 4e D&D (which was testing encounters for a module written by one of the absent playgrounders). Probably more as well.

Sheri, Ginger and I left the party around midnight, but I'm told festivities continued (in various places) until about 6am. I do wish I'd been able to stay with them a while longer, but we had to get up for church in the morning and honestly, I was pretty tired by that point anyway.

When we returned from Erwin on sunday, our house had been occupied by the remaining playgrounders (some had had to leave earlier). This *was* the plan, but it was still kinda odd to walk into your house to find a bunch of people you'd only met a couple days ago. We played an interesting game of Monster Manual Charades (high recommended, btw ;)), a game of Werewolf (the party/card game, not the whitewolf rpg), and then there was some Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror and Set.

I need to point out here that, while the Ticket to Ride and Arkham Horror games were going on, I was sorting through some pictures in here on my computer. As it happened, the acoustics in our house were such that I couldn't tell whose voice was coming from where. Also, everyone's voices were at almost the same volume. At one point, I heard the following dialog:

Voice 1: "Ok, I'm going from Raleigh to Pittsburgh"
Voice 2: "So, are you attacking it or what?"

It was... ...a little surreal.

Anyway, people began to head out, but the rest of us hung out and had a great time till all had departed.

It was a great weekend. I miss everyone already and can't wait for next year. About 129 of my best shots from the weekend have been posted in the Gallery (plus the pretty-terrible-but-existent group shot shown here - next year, I think we're going to try to stage this at the challenge course...it should also be noted that the shot is missing a few people).

I feel like I should mention that the weekend *was* marred by one pretty significant black spot: one of the guys ended up in the hospital. I haven't mentioned it on the boards, and I don't want to talk about it here much because other peoples' health concerns are kind of a private thing, but I felt like if I didn't mention it at all, it would sound like I didn't care - and that's completely untrue. I should also point out that this incident isn't directly related to anything going on this weekend - it was just something that happened to happen here. We're all pretty sure everything is going to be ok, but he's going to be there for a couple of days. He's had some visitors from a few of the playgrounders before they left town, and I think he'll have some more from the locals. And of course we all wish him a speedy recovery... ...and that it didn't completely kill the experience for him.

EDIT: Supagoof has since told us to let people know what happened: basically, he's diabetic and his insulin pump stopped working, causing his blood sugar to skyrocket (like, 600+). We went to hang out with him in the hospital last night. He seems to be doing pretty well and was in fairly good spirits. We were actually there for over 5 hours playing games and talking to pass the time. His brother is flying into town tonight and he'll hopefully be released today. He said he had a great time at the meetup right up until this happened. We hope he comes back next year.


A Quick Note

Friday June 26, 2009 at 12:41pm friends, gaming, gitp meetup Comments (0) »

Friday, June 26th, lunchtime -

Had a great time with the Rosolinas at dinner on wednesday. They're lots of fun - i wish our schedules would let us get together with them more often.

Worked on gaming project a little more, changed some things, hoping to playtest soon.

House clean, Ally had a bath, am eating lunch and finishing up some work.

2009 SET GITP Meet-up is very nearly underway. Some people are already in town, others are heading this way.

More later.


On a Variety of Recent Activities

Sunday June 14, 2009 at 4:39pm weddings, trips, friends, churches, songwriting, music, gitp, gaming Comments (7) »

Sheri, Llama and I took a trip out to North Carolina this weekend to attend our friend Kevin's wedding. It was a nice little ceremony. We're all very happy for them. Stephanie is sweet, and well suited to Kevin in a number of ways. It was good to see him so obviously happy too.

I must confess a bit of mild camera-gear-envy with respect to the photographers' toys. Also, there was a penguin cake at the reception, which was cool.

We got to see some other mutual friends there too - William and Ginger and Mike and Bethany. It's always good to see people we don't get to hang out with much (esp. Ginger who just moved away from us). We spent saturday afternoon and evening hanging out and playing games with Ginger and William. It was a lot of fun - we don't play games as much as we used to.

The car ride was a bit long, and I think Llama was starting to get a little loopy by 2am when we got home, but the trip was successfully completed.

This morning we went to Hopwood Christian Church. We had originally thought we were still going to be in NC this morning and so had arranged for Sheri to have this morning off at our church, but we ended up coming home saturday night and so decided to visit somewhere else. It was nice, actually. Jim Street had a great message about how to bless a fish (heh), and it was probably the most thought-provoking message i've heard in a while - and one that I truly thought embodies the spirit of christianity. We saw the Rosolinas (who we're still trying to have over for dinner sometime) there and also Brian West and his family (who i hadn't had a chance to talk much to in a while). Brian and Danielle invited us over for lunch, and we ended up hanging out and talking for a quite a while.

Brian is trying to get motivated to record some of his songs, and I think this is a great idea. He's been writing for a long time, and he's really into it - but most of his stuff just gets left on the page after it's written and he doesn't have any really good sounding recordings of any of it. We had a lengthy and interesting talk about the technical and artistic aspects of songwriting and recording. I really hope he does something with this. I've even offered to help with the technical stuff which intimidates him a little - not because i'm great, but because i've at least done it before. Maybe it'll get him started.

Tonight we're supposed to have a planning meeting for OotsCon '09. Our crowd this year looks a little smaller and some key people will be missing (and they will be missed), but some *other* people are able to make it this year. Hopefully it will be as successful as it's been the last two years. It's really not about the numbers, it's about the fun - there were only 13 11 of us at the first OotsCon back in '07. Hopefully we'll be able to get our plans ironed out.

My homebrew gaming system has reached Alpha status. I have just a couple more mechanical aspects to iron out, and then the first round of playtesting will begin with whoever i can get to help me out with this. I've discussed the theory of the system at some length with Sheri and Tony, and they both seemed to think it has some potential. It is definitely a bit different in its root philosophy from the games like D&D that we're used to - but I personally think these differences are a *good* thing. At whatever point the system reaches Beta, I'll be posting some more detailed info on it.


Blue Plum, etc

Blue Plum, etc Image

This weekend was Johnson City's annual Blue Plum Festival. Basically, it's a weekend event that takes over downtown JC the first weekend in June. I did, in fact, see some people selling(?) plums, but they were pretty sparse. Mostly it's a bunch of crafts/vendor booths, tons of festival food, and three stages spaced just far enough apart that they don't overlap acoustically (too much).

This was the first year that I would say we've "gone" to the festival. We went and walked around a little a couple years ago, but didn't do or see much - but that was largely ok since it was about 97 degrees. This year, we met up with some friends and enjoyed an afternoon of meandering around together - and I was having a good time taking some pictures. We also met up with some other friends of Robb & Edie's and also with Mahto and some of his buddies so that by the time we had dinner at Mid City, we were a rather sizable group (aside: we still have to get together with Steven for a game of Munchkin).

After our tasty dinner, we went back to a particular stage to see a band called Cutthroat Shamrock. They had been compared by some friends of mine to groups like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys. They are basically an Irish-flavored punk group. I wouldn't say they were amazing, but it was a good show: they all played their instruments well and had good stage presence and personality. About the only "critique" i would give is that most of their songs had the same kind of sound. It was a *good* sound, there just wasn't much variety. Still, i think a couple of friends picked up a couple of their records, and i liked them enough to be interested in hearing some more.

Some pictures of the Blue Plum are up in the Gallery.

(kinda) Speaking of, i'm looking into possibly picking up my music hobby again sometime soon for some song writing (maybe for next year's rpm).

In gaming news: I finally got to continue my Little Fears game from RuchtCon! I love this game, and i've greatly enjoyed coming up with spooky stuff to put in it...though after i've been working on it, I find i'm a little edgy at night. I think I empathize a little too much with the children in the story. Anyway, If you've taken a look at the Gaming page recently, you've seen the novel of a session summary i've written up for it.

Still looking to start up Mouse Guard, but it probably won't happen until next month, due to scheduling.

Also, i'm working on finalizing (finally) the simple mechanics for the homebrew roleplaying system (which still needs a name) that i've been working on for the past...too long.

The 3rd Annual GitP Southeast Trogland meetup is fast approaching. We've had several people cancel on us unfortunately, but we're still expecting a decent crowd and fun times. That'll be 26th-28th of this month.

Played the zombie-killing board game Last Night On Earth for the first time on friday. Despite dying in the first 5 minutes, it was pretty fun. It seems pretty much straight-up die rolling players-vs-zombies though, as, apart from trying to get some 'hero cards' (w/ items or special actions) to play, there really isn't much else you can do - and strategy seems to generally boil down to "do we want to be together, or separate?" Answer: together.
Anyway, post-game thoughts: 1) The Sheriff sucks. Yes, i know he's the only character that gets to start with a gun. You know what? He sucks with that gun. He forgets to load it and, even if he has some, he can't hit the broad side of a zombie. 2) If you are the priest, do whatever you can to get the pitchfork. Yes, I know that doesn't make sense, but the priest can't use guns. I (somehow) killed like 8 zombies with the pitchfork. It felt ridiculous, though awesome. 3) In theory (statistically), it's much easier to kill a zombie with a gun than with something like the pitchfork. In practice: yeah right.

As for the Wii, i'm currently addicted to Excite Truck - a stunt-racing game Rucht gave us for christmas. It has a bunch of unlockable stuff, and it's capable of some pretty impressive crashes. Sheri's kind of good at this game, but mostly she just sucks really, really well.

Wanting to go ride our bikes, but we're waiting for Sheri's ankle (which she hurt a while back) to be (more) fully recovered.


Ootscon '08

Monday June 30, 2008 at 7:17pm gitp, ootscon report, kubb, friends Comments (2) »

Or, the "Second Annual Southeast-Trogland Giant in the Playground Meetup"

The meetup was an unbelievably huge success. Our gathering of 35+ forum members from all over the country (and even from canada!) here in Johnson City was an absolute blast. So many cool people, so little time in the weekend.

A short run-down of the events is as follows:

On thursday night, there were some early arrivals - Ceika, Tantolain, Sir Dustin and Trog. Llama and I made cookies for the meetup on thursday night. Well actually, Ceika made cookies and Llama and I helped.

On friday, I went to pick up our first house guest, Krade, from the bus station. From there we went over to the Stable where we hung out with those gathered, played tetris and watched Dusty (Sir Dustin) run around the room chasing his chew toys.

By friday night, most of the others had arrived. We met in the basement of ginger's church where we had pizza, games & music.

On saturday we went out to the Greenwood Challenge Course, where we had an awesome cookout, played many epic games of kubb, and quite a few went up on the high-ropes course.

On saturday night, many of us met up at the Mid-City Grill - a cool little restaurant downtown that has good, cheap food and an incredibly relaxed atmosphere. Also, they're open till like 5am.

On sunday afternoon, we met here where we intended to have another cookout, but it rained so we had a pretty decent lunchmeat spread and played Wii for most of the afternoon.

Even though most of the people had left by sunday evening, those remaining met up at Robbs place where we hung out, chatted and played the Oots board game. Ok, we played a very small part of the Oots board game.

Which brings us to this afternoon when Krade, the last one still in town, left around 2:30 after playing a rousing game of Grave Robbers from Outer Space.

That was quite a bit of a fly-by, but I couldn't possibly go into all the details of the weekend. You just had to be here. It was awesome. Can't wait till next year... ...though I am glad for some recovery time before then...

It was awesome to get to meet so many cool people, and fantastic to see some of the one's I'd met before again! :-D Words can't describe the coolness.

A gallery has been added for the event on the Gallery page. It contains 107 98 of the best pics from the weekend. :-)


Meetup Setup

Wednesday June 25, 2008 at 10:57am gitp Comments (0) »

2 days till the Second Annual Southeast-Trogland GitP Meetup. We're making a lot of last-minute preparations. We've had a bit of a fiasco regarding some t-shirt plans, but i think we've got that pretty much...er...ironed out. Or, at least we *will* have.

Lodgings are pretty much sorted out and the food situation should be taken care of. Sheri & I picked up a couple of things yesterday which should be helpful for saturday's cookout and sunday's hanging out here.

We're expecting something like 40 out-of-towners to be arriving between later tonight and friday evening. This is going to be pretty epic. Also record-setting, i believe.


GitP Gathering: June 30 - July 1st 2007

Monday July 2, 2007 at 11:30am gitp, ootscon report, lawn games, friends, gaming Comments (5) »

This last weekend was a blast. Those of us here in Johnson City, TN who are members of the GitP Forums all got together and also hosted several out-of-state members for the two-fold purpose of getting to meet each other in person and having a lot of fun.

I would say our mission was a complete success.

Sadly, not everyone who wanted to was able to come, but those of us who were present had an awesome time.

The meetup started friday night as we converged upon Llama's apartment. I believe Jerry was the first to arrive. Amanda and Ginger had also arrived by the time I got there around 8:00pm. Justin (who I'm told is Lord Xerxes on the board, but whom I've not actually encountered there) was also around, as it was his house too.
We tried to play a game of Kubb, but it got called on account of lightening. We had just begun a game of Apples to Apples when Ron arrived, so we dealt him in.
After some games and a run to the grocery store for refreshing beverages, some of our company departed to Ging's place for the evening. Llama was trying valiantly to stay awake on the couch while me & Jerry talked about random stuff until about 3am when Dave finally arrived.

On saturday, we went over to Ginger's place for breakfast around 10am for breakfast. From there, we went over to the Greenwood Challenge Course to use their little pavilion and field for some grilling out and playing Kubb. There we met up with Robb (who got the place for us), Edie and Ken. We spent the afternoon playing Kubb, eating grilled goodness and generally having a good time. I took a lot of pictures (see the gallery) with Ginger's spiffy camera. I kinda want one of those.

After we left our outdoor meeting location, we proceeded to Ginger's church's basement (where the Just Coffee coffeehouse is) for the evening where some of the group played the OotS board game and a couple played some other board games. Sheri, Llama, Ron and I played a D&D one-shot I'd made up a while back. It was pretty fun.

After church on Sunday, we met up with the group here where we did a little more grilling (with our spiffy new gas grill!) and hung out and talked until people needed to leave.

All in all, it was one of the coolest things I've done. :-) I am so looking forward to doing it again. Like I said after meeting Ceika and the Hippie (the first time), it was so cool to get to meet people from other states you'd only talked to online - especially when they are so much fun to hang out with.


An Epic Day

Sunday June 17, 2007 at 6:30pm music, church, friends, gitp, card games Comments (5) »

Yesterday started off early for a saturday. About 7:30am actually. I'm pretty sure that shouldn't be legal.

We got to our church in Erwin just before 9 so that we (the band) could practice a bit before everything started that afternoon. See, yesterday was our VBS 'kickoff', which we did by having a sort of all-afternoon party in the field behind the church. Among other activities, our band and another band played on the stage they had set up (which was actually a flat-bed semi trailer) and Toby grilled some hot dogs and made some other stuff.

It was pretty fun. Everyone said our band sounded great - though honestly I couldn't tell because the monitors pointed at me let me hear sam's guitar really well, and very little else. But I'll take their word(s) for it. It was pretty fun to be able to play some of our hymns a bit louder (and with more distortion :-D) than usual because it wasn't for a formal service. Not that that necessarily stops us.

We were pondering how good we'd probably be if we'd practiced more than about 6 times for this gig.

At about 6pm, the festivities wrapped up and we headed out. I was pretty tired. We played our 10-12 song set through about 4 times, and I can only sing and play for so long. Also my fingers were on the verge of serving a restraining order to my guitar strings.

I had heard a rumor that a forum friend of ours was going to be in town, so we gave Llama a call as we left. We ended up going to the home of one 'smellie_hippie' (and i got incontrovertible proof that he does exist!) to meet him and his wife and kids, and there we also met 'Ceika'. Other Playgrounders present included me, the Llama and the ArchivesNinja. We proceeded to hang out, eat ice cream and play Kubb and Killer Bunnies. Good times.

I had wanted to meet the hippie for some time, so that was cool, and I'd heard quite a bit about Ceika - especially with respect to her avatar-fu. It was really cool to get to meet people I'd seen online but never met in real life - especially when they turn out to be great people to hang out with. :-D

So by 11pm(ish) when this was all over, I was quite tired (though probably not as tired as Ceika who'd been up for about 24 hours and driven from Dallas, TX). Didn't take me any time at all to get to sleep.

Probably won't get to do anything as cool as any of that for a while...