A trip around the Bend

I finished up my third McMenamins passport a couple weekends ago in Bend. It was really a very nice weekend. I drove over on Saturday and checked into my room at the Old St. Francis. The room itself was great! And the two new buildings on the property, including several secret rooms, made this terrific property even better. This might have been my favorite overnight at a McMenamins so far.

Mid-afternoon, I went to visit my friend, Angela, and her son, Henry. I’ve known Angela since we were in elementary school. We sat and chatted, took a walk along a scenic river path in town, then had dinner at Jackson’s Corner, a local favorite.

I returned to the hotel and did a bit more wandering around until some other friends were freed up to meet me for drinks. Nori, Nori’s boyfriend, John, Brian, and Amy came out and the five of us enjoyed an evening of conversation, drink, and really just being together. Taking advantage of the fact that I was staying the night at the same location where we were imbibing, I indulged with a White Russian, a beer flight, a pint of cider, and two Old Fashioneds. The Old Fashioneds were made with an apple whiskey which I found to be particularly good.

Sunday morning, I got up to walk across the street for Mass, but I’d gotten my information mixed up and there was not Mass at this location at this time. I returned to the hotel, had breakfast and checked out. I stopped in Sisters on the way home and attended Mass at St Edwards there.
When I got back into my car following Mass, I turned on the Vikings game. Ugh. The trainwreck that would be their first loss of the season was underway. Perhaps mercifully, the trip through the mountains would prevent me from listening to the game.

Finally, that afternoon, I caught a ride with Brit to our gaming session in McMinnville. It was a good session wherein Filibert got to kick much ass and even revivify a fallen comrade.


You know, life after derby might not be so empty after all.


Out of the Abyss – Prisoners of the Drow

As previously mentioned, I’m DMing an online Out of the Abyss game. Last night was our second session, the first where we actually played.

**Be aware. Spoilers for those who may one day play this campaign.**

Players/Characters include:

  • Caitlin – Elven mage
  • Dante – Elven rogue
  • Jason – Human warlock

The above PCs, along with 10 NPCs, begin the adventure as prisoners of the drow. They are all locked in a cell in an underground outpost. They have no weapons, armor, spellbooks, or other equipment.
Between work shifts that include preparing food, cleaning waste buckets, and other menial tasks, the characters take the opportunity to interact with some of the other prisoners. Keeping their eyes open, they do manage to find and acquire some items that may prove useful as improvised weapons. After a few more days of captivity, one of their drow captors surreptitiously approaches the characters and offers to help them escape. The characters agree to his offer, though they are suspicious of his motives. Talking amongst themselves about how to escape, the characters realize that their manacles are just loose enough for the characters to twist and strain to slip out of their restraints.

To be continued…


Organizing chaos

Last RPG post for at least a few days, I promise.

Dungeons & Dragons, well, actually, Wizards of the Coast, does a public play thing. Every Wednesday, kinda wherever one may roam, there’s this thing called Adventurer’s League, D&D Encounters. It’s essentially the first few chapters of whatever the current campaign season is. The first season was Tyranny of Dragons. The second was Princes of the Apocalypse. And the third (current) season is Rage of Demons. So on Wednesdays, various game shops (and other places) host public play. It’s an opportunity for new and veteran players to come enjoy an evening of play. Every shop has a coordinator; towns/counties have a Local Coordinator. I guess there are area coordinators and regional coordinators, etc. Well, I am sort of the store coordinator for TimeSync Gaming in Salem. Mostly that means that I make sure that there are DMs to run the tables. On the one hand, it’s a good fit for my need for structure. On the other hand, my need for structure can make it a little frustrating when others don’t feel the same need.

For the past couple months, we’ve been running the main storyline, Out of the Abyss. But in November, we are giving the DMs a break and running a different series of adventures. We run three tables each week so we need three DMs. One of my DMs for tonight is calling in sick. I only have 2 DMs for next week, and possibly only 1 for the following two weeks (me).

It would be nice to feel like I didn’t have to go tonight, because I am flying to Minnesota early tomorrow morning (more on that tomorrow). But then there is that over-developed sense of responsibility.


Reading: Elminster: The Making of a Mage, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, Underwood and Flinch


Forgotten Realms current events

I’ve recently been playing D&D again. The setting in which we’re playing is the Forgotten Realms. Now, I used to read the FR novels back in the early 90s; I probably read around 30 or so back then. So I figured, I’ve got this; I’m familiar with this setting. But it turns out that my knowledge of ‘current events’ in the realms is 130 years out of date. I guess I need to get caught up. But where to start? My friends, if you know me, you know I have a sickness, a terrible compulsion. Yes, I’m a completionist. I can’t just start something in the middle. I thank God that I am often able to stop before I get to the end, but I MUST start at the beginning.

So, I’ve got some work ahead of me. 🙁 A week ago, I purchased a dozen FR books that I did not already own. I’m in the process of tracking down what I do have, and catching up from where I left off 12-15 years ago.

Fortunately, the interwebs have got my back. This page will prove to be an invaluable resource as I track what I own, and what I’ve read.


Wish me luck!


Tabletop RPGing

After years of, at best, occasional tabletop role-playing gaming, I find myself all of a sudden quite busy with Dungeons & Dragons, and to a lesser extent, Shadowrun.

Back in Modesto, I met from time to time with a group from the college to play whatever was on the table for that period of time. We played some D&D 3.5e, Dark Heresy (loved that campaign!), or really whatever the GM du jour was running. After moving north, I was without a regular gaming group for a long time. I started playing Call of Cthulhu with a group, and that was fun, but we only met once per month or two. We tried other games such as A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, and Shadowrun 4e, but the players were rather spread out geographically, and coordinating availability was a challenge. Meanwhile, it turns out that there are some great tools available nowadays to facilitate online play. Rob, the GM for Shadowrun, had us try playing online and it has worked rather well.
At the same time, I’d pursued my nascent interest in Shadowrun by attending a few public play sessions up in Portland. Not wanting to drive back and forth so much for that, I looked for a similar group here in Salem, but to no avail. So, I’d have to start such a group.
I scouted out a few game shops by dropping in for some weekly D&D public play sessions and before I knew it, I was playing D&D with folks a couple times a week. I also started my own online D&D campaign with some friends from Facebook.

Rob got busy at work, so had to suspend his SR game. In its place, I am running yet another D&D campaign (Out of the Abyss). Finally, I am a player in an online SR game that meets every other Sunday at 11am Pacific time, and another D&D campaign that meets on those same Sundays later in the afternoon. Not sure how I’m going to juggle those, to be honest.

It’s sort of funny how the wheel turns. This hobby I was fully into back in the 80s has reclaimed a very large portion of my time. At least I enjoy it. 🙂


Full, but not too busy

Had a good weekend.


Friday after work I went over to Liz’s place to feed her cat, water her plant, and do laundry. Watched an 80s movie on Netflix while I waited for clothes to cycle. Had plans to meet some people for dinner at Don Pedro’s Time on Portland Road that night, and in order to get in my scheduled run, I timed my departure to put me at the restaurant (3.4 miles away) at the correct time. Had a couple tacos, rice & beans. The point of going to this place was to check out their alleged cabbage salsa. #fail 😉 My source had mistaken what was available there. The food was good nonetheless. Afterwards, I ran back to pick up my car and laundry, taking a shorter route (2 miles). Rather surprised that I was able to do the distance and especially that running after I ate seemed easier than the first leg!


Saturday I went to help paint at the Mad House, then tried another Mexican place, El Grullense, for lunch. No cabbage salsa there, but a delicious fried chicken meal! Later in the afternoon I rode up to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove to complete my passport. Nice place. Fed cat, watered plant.

Couple hours later, rode in to Portland to Darth Bling/Andy Oakley’s place to stay the night. Bling had fixed up some rice and curry (which was delicious) and we spent the evening watching derby movies (Brutal Beauty and Blood on the Flat Track).


Early Sunday AM, Bling and I rode our bikes up to Centralia to get some breakfast. The Rainy City Roller Girls were doing a fundraiser at Applebees. Nice ride. Cold on the way up, but pleasant on the ride back.

Made it back to Portland by 12:15/12:30, took a few minutes to stretch, then back to Salem. Fed cat, watered plant.

Spent the late afternoon/early evening with my gaming group getting started with Shadowrun. I think I’m going to like this game. Finished off the evening by re-watching the last 3 episodes of series 1 of Dr Who and watching episode 1 of series 2. That endeavor is going to be painful.


Another Monday home

Without the previous intention to do so, I called in to work and stayed home again today. As appealing as that may sound, I rather do not like it. I’d rather be at work. But I’m having a bit of trouble sleeping, perhaps due to anxiety, or maybe running after 9 PM is detrimental. Either way, when I woke up this morning, I was definitely feeling sleep deprived. I am determined to go to work tomorrow.

So instead, I played LOTRO, did laundry, watched tv, walked across the street for some groceries, and had a conversation with my apartment complex’s property manager. I asked about getting the nails of the landing outside my front door hammered down, and I explained my pending employment situation and asked if something could possibly be done to reduce my monthly rent, for example, by signing a new lease. She gave me reason to be hopeful, so I am. Stay tuned.


One more day off

Called in sick again today. I’ve had a pressure up in my abdomen for a couple days now, and yesterday I began feeling a kind of body ache like when you have the flu. But I had no other flu symptoms and the ache was located on my lower back. This reminded me of when I had a kidney stone a couple of years ago. So I popped some ibuprofen and acetaminophen and took another day. I did feel better today, so maybe no kidney stone. I did get a ton of play time in on LOTRO.


All weekend in a day

Wow. Today was busy. Busy but fun.

This morning, the 10 AM English Mass moved to the new church. It was oh so familiar to me, but it was really new for Mike. After Mass, he went on and on about how I really stepped up and saved the day for the group. At the risk of being overly modest, I didn’t do anything that he won’t be fully up to speed with in two weeks. Still, it’s nice to be appreciated. I’d say that music went well. We have lots of room in which to get better, but it was a solid start and I am very much looking forward to the weeks ahead!

Right after Mass, Cathy, Joey, and I went to the California Ballroom to watch the Modesto Portuguese Pentecost Association parade and then have some sopas. In all the years that I’ve gone to festas, I’d never had sopas before. Well, that streak has ended. It was pretty good. I LOVE all the cultural shiz!

Spent four hours over at the House of Robot Pets playing the new Star Trek game that Ross and Mike have created. It went pretty well. It calls for a lot of creativity from the players. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stick with the game, but it was fun.

Then back to the festa for dinner. More sopas. I scored a pair of tickets to the bullfights tomorrow. w00t! After dinner, I sat and enjoyed the music of a group from Terceira, even though I had no idea what they were saying. I stayed for a bit of the dance, but as I had no dance partners, I left before 10.

Finally, I managed to get in my run for the day. 3.65 miles in 41 minutes. This was 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking, rinse and repeat. Not sure why it should surprise me, but breathing while running is getting easier. 🙂

Tomorrow: the bullfights!


Hump day roundup

Stayed home from work today. Was feeling a little poorly when I woke up and a sick day was too attractive to pass up.

After sleeping several more hours, I got up to do a bunch of laundry and play on the computer. Spent time running Haelindir around Evendim. It was not the best use of play time. Oh well. Got some rep with the Wardens of Annuminas but that’s about it. All grey quests.

About the only other thing I did today was begin week 7 of my 10K training. Did 5 miles in just about an hour. My quads are feeling it!

This evening, I watched Tora! Tora! Tora!. I am so pissed off right now. If I could, I’d probably go enlist tomorrow.

I wish I would have been up to going into work today. There are some things that I wanted to get done. Today’s absence will likely mean that some of those things get delayed by several weeks. Ah well.


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