Napa Weekend

Over the weekend, I went to Napa, California for John’s boss’s birthday! We left on Saturday morning and came home on Sunday night. The party was held at Del Dotto Winery, which is very fancy and beautiful and has amazing wines.

Here are some quick pictures from the weekend:

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Just got in!

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Stopped at a café in Davis for lunch!

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I clean up well!

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Pretty cool fountain. We arrived just before sunset, so I didn’t get very many good pictures.

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Obligatory Instagrammish shots. Dessert was “cookies and milk,” i.e.: custard.

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Visited a yarn shop on Sunday and picked up some pretties!

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And here’s me at the Sacramento Airport on Sunday heading home. I look tired and in pain because I was tired and in a little pain. There was a lot of wine-tasting on Saturday!

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September 2016 books

#42 –  Everfair by Nisi Shawl

#43 – Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

#44 – The Palace Job by Patrick Weeks

#45 – Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma

#46 – Woof by Spencer Quinn

#47 – Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

#48 – Redshirts by John Scalzi. I cannot recommend this enough to Star Trek fans. It is the lives and deaths (so many deaths) of the “extras,” the crewmen and redshirts.

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Summer 2016 Reading Log

June, July, and August, 2016

#21: Hellboy Vol 1 (TPB)

#22-30:  Ghostbusters (2013-14): vol 1-9 (TPB)

#31-33: My Wife is Wagatsuma-san vol 1-3 (TPB)

#34: Trees v. 1 (TPB)

#35: Gulp by Mary Roach (Audiobook)

#36: On Monday Nights We Danced in the Park (novella) by Nikki Dolson

#37: Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

#38: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

#39: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

#40: Knit Tight by Annabeth Albert. Gay contemporary romance with a knitter for a live interest. Still suffers from the “knitting sisterhood” fiction problem, but since the main character wasn’t a knitter, and the knitting community was a secondary character, it was quite unobtrusive. 

#41: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami 

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Timewatch Buddy Cops!

The Gadget, the first atomic bomb, 1945 (2)I ran the first third or so of Kevin Kulp’s Timewatch adventure “The Gadget” last night for my weekly group. It’s published in Behind Enemy Times, the adventure supplement for Timewatch. We only had a couple of hours– we might actually finish the rest of the adventure next week.

We’re in a kind of limbo while 2 players are absent and only have 2 players available. So we’re filling in with some time-travel buddy cop fun.

Our investigators are a 24th century “reformed” time criminal, and a Roman Praetor (very law-and-order) from 200 BC. It’s interesting running a GUMSHOE game where not all of the investigation skills are covered. Especially when one of those skills is “History: Contemporary” and your game starts out at the Trinity test site in New Mexico in 1945.

Not advised, mind you. But interesting. I decided to run with it and see how it goes. So far, there’s been a little bit of “fish out of water” silliness, but I’m sure they will get more into their element when they travel to more distant times and places as they track down what happened at the Trinity site just days before the first test detonation of the atomic bomb.

The cool part is that I’ve been able to easily grab images from history to use in the adventure. Like a woolly mammoth, which I was able to turn into a Roll20 token pretty quickly!


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#RPGaDay 9-12

Oh, I missed a couple of days! Sorry about that!

9: Beyond the game, what makes an ideal session?

Everyone shows up, preferably on time, and everyone contributes to the social part of the session, whether it’s bringing food/drink, setting up, cleaning up, or whatever. If it’s held at a local shop, everyone makes a modest purchase to support the store owner, and throws away their trash.

10: Largest in-game Surprise?

I ran an evil campaign during D&D Encounters (Web of the Spider Queen) in which, in the penultimate session, two of the PCs, who had been plotting together through the whole season, murdered a few of the other PCs, trapping the maguffin in the Abyss. The maguffin was supposed to be recovered and used to stop Lolth in the final session. It was a close, bloody fight complicated by the fact that things from the Abyss were trying to kill the PCs while the party member betrayed them. One of the PCs, dying, picked up the maguffin and threw it towards the closing Abyss portal, but rolled poorly and missed.

The player who had orchestrated this betrayal (with my blessing!) could see in my eyes that I had no idea what to do if they succeeded in trapping the maguffin. They were pretty far off the plot rails for Encounters anyway.

Finally, I shrugged and said “nah, you know what? Good job, team Drow. I’ll figure something out for next week. The amulet bounces off the portal and clinks to the floor just as the portal closes.”

11: Which gamer most affected how you play?

The cheater. We had a player in organized play who cheated. He’s notorious for it locally. I had multiple phone calls to Wizards of the Coast, who did nothing. He found out he was about to be kicked out of the group (the latest in a long string of games he would be booted from), and stopped coming.

12: What game is your group likely to play next, and why?

My weekly online group is likely to play Fall of Magic on Roll20 for a few weeks. We have a lot of schedule and personal stuff going on, so a system with a bit more flexibility seems like it’ll be a good fit for a while.

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