Archive for December, 2010


Tonight, we played Innovation.

Players: Tony and CT7.

Tonight, we played Innovation, Glory to Rome and Race for the Galaxy.

Players: Tony and Angel, Byron, CT7, Dr. ZRFQ and Chris H.

Tonight, we attended Ludus and played Cathedral, Betrayal at House on the Hill and Puerto Rico.

Players: Tony, CT7, Fuzz, Byron, Principia and Dr. ZRFQ.

  • Tony beat CT7 out in Cathedral, but it’s uncertain as we kept a somewhat loose track on position.
  • Byron, Principia and Tony successfully slew CT7 and locked up his crazy servants, unfortunately only after Fuzz and Dr. ZRFQ were slain, in Betrayal at House on the Hill.
  • Byron won Puerto Rico with 59, followed by Tony (51), CT7 (43), Fuzz (39), and Dr. ZRFQ (37).

Tonight, we played Innovation.

Players: Tony, Angel and CT7.

  • CT7 won Innovation with 5, followed by Tony (2), and Angel (0).

So, personally, I enjoy cooking, but I don’t much care for (read: “I loathe”) standing over a hot stove for many, many hours waiting for chicken stock to finish doing its thing in a pot. So, I took advantage of one of man’s many great inventions and fished out my crock pot.

You may recall my post from Wednesday last week, wherein I described the rendering of a chicken into an edible dinner of epic adventure (or perhaps the epic adventure of rendering a chicken into an edible dinner). But what to do with the carcass when we were finished? Why, waste not, want not! I promptly stuck the carcass, pan-drippings and all, in a box in the fridge and left it there while we traipsed off to Darkover.

Yesterday, we went shopping, and I acquired a fair bucket-full of vegetables from our local Wegman’s. Some of these I have since whacked into little bits and stuck in my Crock Pot alongside the aforementioned chicken carcass, jellied pan-drippings and all, and the leftover chicken leg that I didn’t get around to eating. I chopped up two stalks of celery, two medium-sized carrots and one rather large sweet onion. Additionally, I added some more salt, a fair sprinkling of rosemary, and two bay leaves. Poured over this mess was 6 cups of cold, filtered water, which is about all I could get into my little 3-1/2 quart crock pot without causing it to overflow.

I set the crock pot on low at around 8:30 last night; if I so chose, I could probably strain it now, but I think I’ll wait a little longer – it’s making my kitchen smell rather lovely right now!

or, How to Lower Your Blood Pressure in the Presence of 400 of Your Closest Friends.

This past weekend, we hit up the Darkover Grand Council Meeting in Timonium, MD. The convention lasts three days, and we had an absolute blast this year (distinctly unlike the last time we were there). We saw a bunch of people, and did a bunch of things, and generally had a good time.

I caught up with a few people who I only ever see at Darkover, though I missed a few people who I normally see at Darkover and didn’t, I met a few new people who I look forward to seeing again next year, and I had a grand time having fun with people I see pretty regularly, too.

We rolled in kind of late Friday evening, around 20:00 hours, and ran through registration and hotel check in. Afterward, I was looking around for Boots to say “hi” (hi, Boots!), but didn’t actually run across him. We ended up going to the Nautilus Diner around the corner from the con so Angel could get some sustenance (and thus would stop gnawing on my arm like it was a rare roast) around 20:30, and thus didn’t get back to the hotel until shortly after 21:00.

I caught up with Nina and Dimir, who I very, very rarely see since they moved to points west of the Mississippi, in the atrium after we got back. Naturally, I had just missed Boots, and spent an hour or so chatting with Nina, Dimir and Pedro while my phone was happily glowing and telling me that I had a new message which I had missed (technology for the win!). I passed on the knowledge that my firm is beginning some pretty heavy inroads into Social Network Analysis to Dimir, who apparently is looking to get into that field, and promised to pass along my business card, too, so he could forward me his resume (after he chops it down from the bajillion-page academic CV).

After Pedro started nodding off in his chair, we determined that it was time to go to bed, so I did. I crawled into bed relatively early that night, which turned out to be a Good Thing (TM), as I would need the rest the next day.

Saturday, I levered myself out of bed in time to sneak into the 10:00 Newbies to Steampunk roundtable, 15 minutes late. I had a ball in that session, met a few people, noted down a few links, and learned a few tips about dressing the part – these will come in handy when I host my reveal party for the finished Steampunk Desktop project. After this brilliant session, I found myself without a plan for the day, so I wandered around and chatted with people for a bit, then settled in to play games.

I ended up teaching Thunderstone to a couple of people, but the mix of card in that game was pretty bad, and ended up causing the game to drag on nigh-interminably. Fortunately, Ben was kind enough to put up with it until the end… and then had the gall to beat me by two points. We also played a round of Dixit with the Penguin before we headed off for dinner with Blaise and Nostas’ia.

Dinner on Saturday was the traditional run to the Happy Good Indian Place nearby, where they have good food at reasonable prices, even if their service can be a bit slow. We took home leftovers from that, though we never did get the mini fridge we asked for from the hotel…

After dinner, I was hanging out in the room while Angel was hanging out outside the Clams concert. we caught up some more with the Penguin, and played a round of Corsairs before the Hallelujah Chorus which is traditionally sung in the atrium (actually, traditionally around the now-no-longer-extent indoor pool) at midnight. After the Hallelujah Chorus, we got involved in the Midnight Werewolf games in the game room, and stayed up Way Too Late playing Werewolf (the fun game, not the boring World of Darkness game). It was awesome – three hours of Werewolf later, I was punchy as hell, ready to fall over, but totally psyched up.

Sunday morning, I was planning on attending Pedro and Devora’s panels on astronomy and women in the Victorian period, but I slept through Pedro’s, and most of Devora’s, so I gave it up as a lost cause and went to play games instead. That was fun – Black Paladin was behaving himself for a change (probably because J was there), so I actually had a chance to enjoy the game of Ascension I got roped into with BP, Blaise and Steve B. I’m not sure yet if I want to buy the game, but it was fun. After the panel Angel was attending finished, she stopped in and we all got caught up in a game of Are you the Traitor? with a bunch of the Werewolf people, which was fun, but we had to clear out of the game room before we could finish it.

I finally caught up with Boots (and his wife, S.) after we left the game room for the day, and ended up going to lunch with Boots, S., and Ellen, who I’d spotted moving around the convention a number of times but had yet to catch up with and say hi. We had a fine time in the hotel restaurant, and Boots picked up the tab before I could even think about asking about my portion of the check, so I gave him a hairy eyeball and thanked him. We chatted for quite a while in the restaurant before we left, and then skipped back out to the atrium.

I caught up with Dimir long enough to hand off my business card to him before he disappeared for the next long while, and then got caught up in chatting with Blaise and Nostas’ia and Lee about harsh environments and the stupid shit people do in them, like flying planes without filing flight plans, and then crashing in Denali National Park. We packed Pedro and Devora and Lee out of their hotel room, and then toddled off to dinner – we hit up the nearby Applebee’s, which was decent enough for post-con dinner, and then we broke for home.