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…

Skol, Vikings!


Might not last, but it feels good for now!


Got to hang out with Paulo last night. Paulo is a buddy of mine from back in California. He was part of the Portuguese community in Turlock. Man, I loved going to the festas and dancing. It’s one of the small set of things I miss about my life in California. Anyway, during the summers, it seemed like there was a festa within driving distance every weekend. I and some friends (people like Kathleen, Patricia, Cesar, and others) would drive out to a Portuguese Pentacost Association hall or church or whatever, to go dancing. One of the very cool things about Paulo was that he, along with another friend, Joseph, would try to come up with new dance steps. We would then demonstrate and teach them to each other. It was great fun.

Paulo has been living in New York for the past seven years and is now moving to Nashville. He took a vacation road trip across the county to see people, discover  new places, and generally recreate before settling in to his new life. It was good to see him. We had dinner and then a drink before bidding each other ciao.

Regular viewing

It has gotten to the point where I don’t even know what night the various TV shows air, nor when a new season starts. As has been true for many years, everything I watch is something I’ve recorded on TiVo… with some new exceptions. Added to the mix now are shows that I watch on demand. I feel like I’m having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with my shows.

Among the shows that I watch these days:

  • The Good Wife
  • Elementary
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Marvel’s Agents of Shield
  • Grimm
  • Person of Interest*
  • The Flash
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter*
  • Galavant*
  • Supergirl
  • Into the Badlands

*Not currently airing/season hasn’t begun

I also record Dr. Who, but seriously, I’m so not interested in the characters.


I also (binge) watch, on Demand:

  • Daredevil
  • Jessica Jones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Sense8


Finally, I have some things on the TiVo that are waiting for me:

  • World War II in HD
  • How the States Got Their Shapes
  • (um…. some other history shows that I can’t remember the name of)


Anything I should be watching that I’m not? I recently gave up on Blue Bloods and The Bastard Executioner. I long ago abandoned The Walking Dead. So don’t recommend those.

Green thumb in absentia

Well these guys didn’t suffer in my absence.

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Against all odds, I’m doing something right.

Veteran’s Day


James Sperto Fornelli  –  June 2, 1925 – May 12, 1989


Championships wrap-up

Safe trip home from Minnesota yesterday. I got to chat with Mike Chexx in the Seattle airport between flights. That was nice. I also got to say goodbye to Reed, Tenacious D-Cup, and Mike Hammer as we were all on the same flight from MN to Seattle.

Here are a couple of photos of my crew this weekend.


Score & Timing team



Here’s a photo of the Mississippi River. Not so mighty at this point.



Here’s the State Capitol and a map of the tunnel system between State buildings.

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Finally, here’s a shot from the plane on the flight to Seattle.


World Champions

So, the Rose City Rollers, my league, won the world championships. To do so, they defeated Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Gotham had gone unbeaten in their last 67 games and been the world champions for the past 5 years. It was a huge night in the derby world and for Rose City.
I’ve never felt so disconnected from my league.

As an official, I take my commitment to impartiality VERY seriously. I’m not just impartial when I’m working, I’m ALWAYS impartial. (Honestly, does anyone believe that an official who cheers for ‘their’ team/league one minute can be impartial for the hour that it takes them to work a game?) So while the whole damn derby world, including many other officials from my league, are cheering their fool heads off, I’m over here in the corner with my game face on. I felt so dejected that I had to leave the venue before the awards ceremony. As I was leaving, I stopped to shake hands with Agent Meow, the league’s dj who’d been spinning for that final game. He was in tears and when I shook his hand, I came close to breaking too. I feel very alone.


On the upside, I looked snazzy in my new NSO shirts.



St. Paul – Day 3

Yesterday I checked out the Church of the Assumption.

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And this morning I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

IMG_2323IMG_2324IMG_2325 IMG_2326 IMG_2327 IMG_2328 IMG_2330 IMG_2331IMG_2348St. MatthewSt. MarkSt. LukeSt. JohnSt. AnthonySs, Cyril and MethodiusSt. TereseSt. BonifaceSt. PatrickSt. John the BaptistSt. PaulIMG_2350IMG_2353

The Cathedral was really beautiful, but as I should have expected, the service was quite sterile and lifeless. A soprano so ‘well-trained’ that I couldn’t understand a word she was singing. And music selections clearly chosen to be artistically beautiful, but not especially singable by the assembly. Why bother, we’re really just an afterthought anyway.

St. Paul – Day 2

Did MUCH better with my position today. Felt like I shook off the cobwebs and remembered how to do this job. Before this weekend, I hadn’t been a scorekeeper for a sanctioned/regulation game since May.

Here’s a photo of the only two officials from Rose City (hell, Oregon) to work Championships this year.

sHellcat and Seán-Quad

sHellcat and Seán-Quad


Went to breakfast at a tiny little train car diner this morning.

Reed's crew at breakfast

Reed’s crew at breakfast


Finished the day by hitting the treadmill at the hotel. I walked/jogged a bit over 2 miles in about 45 minutes. A TERRIBLE pace, but one has to start (again) somewhere.

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