On Recency: Vacation Return 2016

Monday July 11, 2016 at 12:53pm vacation, gaming, golf Comments (0) »
 just relax
just relax

Well, just got back from vacation.  That was a great time.  Spent the week with Sheri, Hannah, Micah, Mom and Dad.  Also my brother Joe, and saw sister Jamie, too.  Went to a family reunion where I saw relatives I haven't seen in years.  Got to hang out a little with friends Justin & his family and Kevin & his family.  Played golf, kubb, flimsee, Sushi Go, wii golf, and other things.  Went to the Zoo and the Indy Children's Museum.  Enjoyed some quiet evenings around a fire pit in my parents' peaceful backyard.

Again, great time.


Current things I'm working on or looking to do:

- Successfuly wrap up our New Auburn Chronicle game and start a new Numenera campaign

- Finish a Mechwarrior rules set I've been working on, create a killer character sheet, and finish painting minis for a Battletech campaign

- Play some golf with Tim, as I've inherited (at least temporarily) a set of nice clubs from my dad


Oh, and then there are all the things I "need" to do...




Wednesday October 14, 2009 at 11:40am spam, video games, family, golf, food, photography, gaming Comments (6) »

Every once in a while, I see something in spam that makes me laugh. I just received this little gem:

Dear user of the penguinsushi.com mailing service!

We are informing you that because of the security upgrade of the mailing service your mailbox (shoe@penguinsushi.com) settings were changed. In order to apply the new set of settings click on the following link:


Best regards, penguinsushi.com Technical Support.

This makes no sense on several levels, not the least of which is that it's basically claiming to be from *me*.

The link, of course, while claiming to point to a non-existent folder on my server, in fact points to another server entirely where they had hoped to lure me for some reason.

EDIT: This just in: spam for russian hunting videos (*in* russian) is a new one on me...

In other news...

Not too much has gone on the last couple of weeks. Our friends have mostly been busy lately, so we haven't done much that's particularly interesting or fun. We *have* played a fair bit of Lego Star Wars.

My mom did come through on her way to see my sister in Columbia, SC. She stopped over tuesday night and again on her way back on saturday. We got to go play a little golf and had a good time talking. We also went to Five Guys for the first time (it just opened up here in JC), and have decided (like several of our friends) that they are probably the best burger place ever.

My photo show at WAPC came down on thursday (also, i've been playing with my new 50mm prime a lot), almost bought a riding mower on saturday (still waiting to see if they get back with us), Thanksgaming (RuchtCon II) is coming up soon (and I've got a fair amount of work to do for it) and I've been comparing wide-angle lenses on my photography wish list.


Jam Sessions, Heroic Rodents and One Hundred Yards to the Pin

Sunday August 16, 2009 at 3:01pm band, gaming, golf, trips, concerts Comments (1) »

You know, if i remembered to do this more often, I wouldn't have to cover eight things in one post... ...though I might have fewer nonsense titles, and I would miss that...


It seems i've been pretty busy over the last couple of weeks - though not with anything particularly important, mind you.

The band we're starting seems to be taking off nicely. We had our third practice last tuesday, and I thought it went pretty well. We're having a good time. Mahto actually joined us for that one. It was fun to have him around, but I think the sound got a little muddy with three guitars. I'm not entirely sure if it was just volume/eq or if we need to have a clearer conception of our respective guitar "parts" or possibly a combination of both. Anyway, I think our next practice is tentatively scheduled for wednesday, and I'm looking forward to some more jamming.

We *finally* got to start our Mouse Guard campaign friday evening, which I'm very excited about. It was a fun is slightly shorter session. I still feel a little awkward with the system as, unlike the d&d i've been playing/running for nine years, I don't always remember all the basic mechanics off the top of my head. I'm sure that will smooth out as we go though. I'm looking forward to continuing this game, and I hope we can get to be somewhat regular as I think that would help us as we learn the system.

I got to play golf for the second time this year yesterday. Our church helps sponsor the East TN Children's Home benefit tournament at the Elizabethton Golf Course each year, and so two of us get to go play in it. They asked me if I'd like to play and, after telling them I wasn't sure they wanted someone as lousy as me representing them (heh), I said I'd love to. Tracy Moore and I did pretty well, finishing up at +1. Of course, that was pretty much all him, but I will take credit for a few shots, most of which were chips and putts but they ended up saving us some pars and birdies. It was a good time, though it was pretty hot and I did get a nice sunburn.

A vague look ahead...

Well, my calendar looks kind of empty for the short run as of this moment, but it'll probably end up filling in too fast. Next month we'll be taking some time to go out to AR for Ben's (sheri's brother) wedding, causing us to miss yet another Talk Like A Pirate party. There's also a Decemberists concert the next week that I might be trying to go to, another small GitP gathering (with munchkins!) that I'd like to attend (though it kinda looks unlikely :() in october and then, further out at the beginning of november, we'll be enjoying having Thanksgaming - which will be another mini-gaming-convention much like RuchtCon for some of our gamer friends. I'm hoping run Mouse Guard (because everyone should get to try that game) and/or my homebrew system (because I think it will be fun and I'd like to see how it flows... ...but I haven't heard much interest in it as yet :\) for this. If I do get to run something, I'm glad I have a few months to prepare this time.


Weekend with Parents: Golf, Plumbing, Waterfalls

Sunday May 31, 2009 at 9:05pm family, home repairs, golf, hiking, photography Comments (4) »
Weekend with Parents: Golf, Plumbing, Waterfalls Image

Well, my parents were in this weekend - it's always cool to have them. They don't make it down here enough, really... ...and we don't make it up to IN much either.

After they arrived on friday, we went out to play some golf. I played only using 5, 7 and 9 irons and a putter. I have discovered this does not negatively impact my game - in fact, I think it makes it a bit better overall. I've decided i'm not cool enough to use other clubs, so i'm gonna stick with these for a while. Or, as Jody put it, I haven't "unlocked" the other clubs yet. I think I need to reach 200 good shots with the 5 before I unlock the 2 iron...

I think my dad fixes something every time he comes to see us. This time, it was a leak in the shower dripping into the basement... ...oh, and also our outside water spigot which seems to have developed a tradition of freezing and breaking every year, no matter what I do to prevent this. We think it's good this time though. Probably.

On saturday, we gave dad an early fathers' day present. It was a picture frame. He'd said he wanted a print of one of my photographs so I decided I'd let him pick one. Well, we got to talking and he said he really liked several of them, but asked if I had a picture of the creek from the Laurel Falls trail (which we'd hiked earlier this week on Memorial Day), but with smoother (aka "fuzzy") water. I said no, but that I could. I'd wanted to go back there anyway, since we had some trouble finding part of the trail last time. This, in turn, spawned an expedition.

The four of us (dad, mom, me and Sheri) went out to the Laurel Falls trail again with the intention of me taking a particular photo. We waited till mid-afternoon (so that by the time we got there it would be late afternoon), and then headed out to the trail. I took quite a few more pictures this time - including some slow-exposures with a tripod (which i didn't have with me on monday). I got some pretty awesome shots, I think.

We ended up hiking the whole trail which, contrary to what i'd previously heard, isn't really any easier than the upper trail: it's difficulty is just a bit more spread out (as opposed to being incredibly rough at the end). On average, I'd say the two trails are comparable.

Aside from Sheri's ankle (which has been sore for a while), it was a good time. I've recompiled the pictures that I took on monday and added the new ones to the collection in the Gallery. Dad ended up choosing the wider shot of the falls for his frame, though we got prints of two others as well (since he couldn't pick just one).

They headed back to IN this afternoon. Back to the normal routine.


Would you like cheese sticks with that?

Sunday August 17, 2008 at 5:29pm golf, gaming, scenery, randomness Comments (2) »

So on saturday i got to play in a golf tournament. It was a fund-raising event for the East TN Christian Home, and our church was sponsoring a hole and a team to go play. One of the guys who was supposed to go was kind of busy and asked if i could go in his place. I told him that I wasn't sure he wanted to send *me* - because i'm not really any good - but that it sounded like a lot of fun. I think I actually played below average even for me, but Lee and I had a lot of fun and the other guys we were playing with were really good company as well.
It was a two-person-team, best-ball game, and, as a team, we ended up at +11 - which is much better than *I* ever play for 18 holes. Lee is pretty good and we played his shot more than half the time, but i was occasionally useful. I *did* make a crazy-hard birdie putt on a par 3 (mostly thanks to luck) and I had a few other key shots, but it was mostly Lee's game. Still, he's a blast to hang out with and, as i said, we had a lot of fun - which was really what it was about.

On saturday evening, almost right after the golf game, I ran my current d&d game. Since they just arrived in a new city and had a *ton* of housekeeping type stuff they wanted to do, added to the fact that I had/have quite a bit of setup material to get through, the session was a little slow and there wasn't much in the way of action or significant roleplaying. This was a little disappointing, but not terribly surprising. It was still an enjoyable evening hanging out with friends, and most of the stuff was necessary for the game on some level. Next session (whenever that is) should get them into some more 'meat' of the game, as it were.

This afternoon sheri & i went up to Beauty Spot. We've heard of it and even knew where it was for a while, but hadn't made it up there before today. The gravel road that takes you from the 395/rock creek rd up to the actual mountain top is pretty long and rough - and slightly nerve-wracking. I've been on worse though. The area itself is really pretty. I think later in the fall when there are fewer bugs and weeds (and some cooler temperatures), it would be a really nice place to spend an afternoon relaxing. I took some pictures of the area. If any of them turn out nice, i'm sure they'll get posted.

This evening, sheri & i walked down to sonic to get some slushes. I mention this particular event because, after we ordered our grape & watermelon creamslushes, we were asked (and i quote) 'would you like any mozzarella sticks to go with that?'. Now, i don't know what universe these people are from - but in *my* universe, fried cheese sticks do NOT, in any way, "go" with sweet, fruit-flavored, ice-cream slushes. At all. And, even if some people enjoy that combo, i have a hard time believing its so pervasive that asking everyone if they'd like some is a necessary course of action. I mean, i just can't see 'mozzarella sticks with creamslush' being anything like 'fries with hamburger'.


More of the same.

Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 2:09pm golf, gaming, church Comments (0) »

The last week has been pretty much "more of the same".

I did get to play golf with Joe last wednesday, though. It was about 60 here, and a beautiful day to be out on the course. Did pretty well (for me) too - par'd 3 holes, made some pretty amazing (lucky) puts, and generally we had a good time. Hopefully we'll have some more nice days to play.

I got to play/run a couple rpg's too. My thursday group is well on their way, and Robb's game (though it's losing players) continues to be a lot of fun.

Apart from that, there's pretty much just work and church stuff - the latter involving preparing for all the christmas...stuff.


Good Times.

Tuesday October 2, 2007 at 11:56am work, coffeehouse, dogs, gaming, church, family, golf Comments (2) »

I've had quite a bit of fun the last few days.

On friday I built the framework for a sort of work side-project. I'm pretty excited about this one - it'll be really cool, I think. Yes, this counts as "fun". I'm a geek like that.

On friday night we went to the coffeehouse at Ginger's church. Not much was going on, but it was cool just to hang out and talk to people. I watched some friends play Go. Interesting little board game. Some of them were also talking about the world traveling they'd done. I kinda wish I had been / could go to some cool places like that...

On saturday our dog Ally got the bath she needed. She wasn't such a fan, but she's a good little beagle and so it wasn't a terribly difficult task - even by myself. After that Sheri and I walked her around the backyard for a bit and sat in the shade (of our neighbor's tree) for a while. It was a beautiful afternoon.

On saturday night we continued and wrapped up a d&d game I'd been running for a few sessions. I think it went pretty well. I've now started some work on the two new games I'm starting. With the Liimar game and Robb's Exalted (see below), this makes 4 rpg's I'm in or running. I think I'm insane. It's a fun insane, but still...

On sunday, we went to church in Erwin as usual. I'm very glad that we have a wireless net connection at the church now - since we're kinda stuck there all day. I spent most of sunday afternoon working on putting the finishing touches on the project I mentioned working on on friday. Very excited about that. Sheri was working on choir stuff. We did go outside and play a couple of games of Kubb (which happened to be in the jeep), however.

Sunday night was also the 'all-sing' - where the area churches get together and sing together and for each other. It's not my favorite thing in the world, but Sheri's choir sounded pretty good. Plus we got to hang out with people and have snacks after.

On sunday night my mom came back through from visiting my sister in SC. I'm always glad to see family. Don't see them much since they're all quite far away.

On monday morning, mom and I went out and played 9 holes at Pine Oaks Golf Course. That was lots of fun. Beautiful morning. I played better than I think I ever have - which was pretty impressive considering it had been almost exactly 4 months since I'd played - and I played terribly that day. As it turns out, I think my grip was most of the problem. A simple tip that mom happened to mention that she saw on her video completely transformed my game. I've never had a piece of technique make such a difference. I birdied a hole for the first time ever, and I par'd the 8th and 9th. Total score for the round was 48. I could have dropped a couple strokes if i hadn't made a few chipping/putting mistakes. More than that though, my shots just felt better - more solid. Of course now I'm setting myself up to do terribly next time, since I'll be expecting much more than I was yesterday...

I also thought about how lucky I was that I have a job where I can just kinda take time off to hang out with my family if they happen to come through.

On monday (last) night, we finally got to play Robb's Exalted game. I had a lot of fun. It's a pretty interesting premise and system. Plus I get to play a shapeshifter. I have a soft spot for shapeshifters. Also, there are some people in that group that I haven't gamed with in years. I'm looking forward to continuing this one.

So yeah... ...the rest of my week looks pretty boring compared to the last several days...


Parents' visit.

Monday June 4, 2007 at 11:12pm family, golf, lawn games Comments (2) »

Well, my parents left to return to IN this afternoon. We had a good time hanging out this weekend. It had been quite a while since we'd gotten to spend any real time with them. I miss them.

My dad couldn't resist fixing a few things around the place (a couple repairs on my little push mower, the garden hose spigot, and my jeep's passenger window) - which i much appreciated, but I was glad that wasn't all he did this time.

It was nice just to spend some time with them. We played some quiddler, and watched a couple of movies. Went out for dinner. That kind of stuff. On sunday, we went out and played some golf. I played terribly, but it was still fun. We also taught them to play kubb - which they greatly enjoyed. I'm betting my dad makes a set when he has a chance.

edit: I should have taken more pictures while they were here.... :-(


It's been a good day

Tuesday March 6, 2007 at 9:27pm golf, music, reflection Comments (0) »

It's days like today when I kind of feel like a lucky punk.

Today Joe and I went out and played golf for the first time this year. (My mom is jealous - she really wants to play.) It was great fun. It was about 55 degrees, sunny and there was no one else on the course.
Ok, there were a couple other people on the course. We did see someone on hole 8 when we were coming off the 4th green. Still, it was nearly completely vacant. This enabled us to take a somewhat relaxed pace and not worry about getting in other people's way. The grass on the fairways and greens is still a bit hard, but it was a great time. I par'd two holes! I'm not sure if I've done that before...

In other news, I got a call from Sam a while ago saying that tickets for the Decemberists' show in Knoxville on the 4th of April were being ordered for me, Sam, Larry and Nick. I'm really excited about this. I've never got to go to an real concert for a band I've actually wanted to see before. Not really, anyway.

Not that any of this stuff is important - and that's kind of the point. It's one thing to have big important things go your way and be happy about it (and I've had my share of those too), but it's another thing to be able to be quite excited and happy about little things that would seem stupid and trivial if the more important things weren't there.

Seems the big important things in my life are, for the moment, going well. Let me point out that I am immeasurably thankful for this. It's just 'icing on the cake' (so to speak) that important things go well enough for me that I can be excited about this stuff.


The 'Weekend Of Doom', etc

Monday October 16, 2006 at 3:27pm family, food, golf Comments (1) »

So this last weekend was interesting.

My sister Jese and her friend Kate came to visit us for a couple of days. Kevin also came into town. After the unusually full week I had, the bookstore/coffeehouse/theological/oriental escapades didn't exactly make for a relaxing weekend, but it was quite a bit of fun.

The weekend *did* involve 'broadening my horizons', as it were. On saturday night, the lot of us went out to a japanese steakhouse. The kind where they cook the stuff on the table in front of you. I'm not generally a fan of oriental food, but this was pretty good and quite entertaining.

Sunday was pretty much the usual after Jese & Kate left.

Been trying to play a little more golf while its still nice out. I think i'm starting to get a little better at the game. I've now par'd a par 5 by making an *amazing* (read: 'lucky') 12ft putt. I'm pretty sure that's the first time i've ever done that.


To a Tee

Monday October 2, 2006 at 12:01pm golf Comments (5) »

So I've started playing golf again.

Note that I didn't say I was *good* at it, just that I've started playing.

Like I said in my blog about going to IN, it had been between something like 10 years since I've actually played the game - and I wouldn't say I was any good then either - but it was fun, and I've realized I miss playing.

So last week I played twice. I played 9 at Pine Oaks on tuesday. It's a pretty nice course. Not that I played well at all, but it was nice to get out. On saturday, Joe and I got up early and went out to the Elizabethton Golf Club to play 18. That was a lot of fun.

This saturday we get to get up even earlier - tee time is at 7:56. Some contend that hour doesn't exist on saturdays.