We Have A Game Issue

I’m hoping this is a local problem. I hope in other parts of the States and World this problem does not exist. Keep in mind I made this sound big, but it’s not. What do gamers do when they have games they no longer want? My hope would be that they give them away, sell, them, or even better there is a store that takes unwanted games in trade or whathaveyou.

Around here there is nothing.

There are stores for DVD’s, music, video games, clothing, and so on. If you, like us, have board, role playing, and card games other than Magic the Gathering your recourse for unwanted games is to ask if friends want them, see if the local gaming group wants them, sell on Ebay or whatever sell site, or do like we have for a long time sit on them, watch them gather dust, and ponder how your back will be after another move.

Friends don’t want the games, the local gaming group is rather snobbish about games, Ebay is more a pain than a boon, and we are tired of sitting on them. After a move where a gaming cabinet ended up in the library we decided enough was enough and went through our games. We set up two and a half tables, brought out all of our games, and began sorting.

Each person was allotted a keep, go, and never played pile.

Surprisingly, we agreed on 98% of the go pile. A pile that kept growing and growing. There were games that everyone despised-Robotech RPG Tactics, Oregon Trail-there were games that were one off, meaning you play it one or two times and that is all there is to the game, and there were games that we liked a lot, but have not played for years because some other game came along and did the original game better.

The keep pile is an assortment of games that everyone agreed on such as Pandemic and games that one or more of us had to keep, for now, because cats. Yes, if a game involved cats it likely stayed, thankfully those are all small games. We have yet to find a large cat game.

What caught all of us off guard, the number of games that one or more, often all of us, have never played. How is it possible to own games that you have not played? If you are us, you buy games on sale or that you really find interesting, get home put them on the shelf and well…forget about them.

Which brings us to today and the next few weeks, maybe months. The go games are bagged up and heading to Good Will. Yes, Good Will. I have been on a “if nobody wants this and I cannot easily get value out of this, donate it kick.” If you happen to live where we are or nearby travel to Good Will in a few days for board games…that is if Good Will does anything with them.

Meanwhile, we have several stacks of games we have not played, which you will end up reading about, starting with the “Disease-friend or foe” a selection of games revolving around curing a disease or being a disease.

Wiped Out At The End of C4

And we are back from C4 or Cherry Capital Comic Con in Traverse City. If you are in Michigan, are looking for a smaller comic book convention, great for people new to cons, C4 is perfect.

In fact, the only complaint by everyone is a really lousy start to Saturday, of no fault of C4, but affected our day. If you can sleep in late, say on vacation, sleep in late, don’t wake everyone else up. 😦

Friday, was a preview day. Visit the convention for three hours, meet and greet, purchase and set up for your Saturday. Friday was the best day for all of us, we walked around Traverse City for a while before the con, enjoying several individuals playing musical instruments and singing. Checked into the All Seasons Hotel, a great hotel by the way, they even had forks for the whole breakfast service, something the Comfort Inn in Novi did not have. Speaking of breakfast, normally I avoid breakfast in hotels. Sure the food is free and there is a reason why. Not at the All Seasons all I have to say is biscuits and gravy…and forks.

The great thing about the preview day is a really small crowd. We as a group were able to make several purchases and met a few artists without having to jostle and maneuver around throngs of people.

Highlights of Friday…

  • Tex and the Omelet Guy
  • A lady really into Munchkin who gave me a Infinity Gauntlet promo just for talking to her (I have been after one of these cards since Munchkin Marvel was released)
  • Barb and the kids played a game, great to see our kids open to playing a game in the middle of a game room with unknowns
  • Getting a custom Thanos piece of art for Big Man
  • Meeting the Manley Cartoonist, I have been following him on Instagram and finally met him, very cool
  • Bumping into people from Motor City who remembered us

Saturday is the main convention day, everyone vendor and guest wise is there, as are the crowds. We went because we had tickets and we had scouted out booths we wanted to visit and a few games we wanted to take part in. Unfortunately, due to one person waking the rest of us up 3 hours early, there was a lack of energy and patience. This meant that after a few hours everyone was ready to leave. We did not attend the panels or join in the games we wanted to.

Sunday the other best day to go. Kids costume contest in the morning, then smaller crowds and good sales. Except we were still wiped from Saturday. However, that did not stop us for going, picking up the last few things we wanted (see it Friday and mull it over until Sunday) and because of this our boy who made an adult decision to NOT spent 115 dollars got an 80 model for 40.

While this was not perfect, this was a great weekend get away that has become family tradition. Hopefully, next year goes better, until then we need to unpack and play with our toys. Speaking of which, I did get comic books, lots of comic books, seems that if you express interest in an artist’s work they will sell you multiple issues at a discount. 🙂

 

Mother’s Day Rant

I guess I should start with Happy Mother’s Day.

I am not a fan of holiday’s like Mother’s Day, not because in theory I am a Father and have to wait for Father’s Day, but it seems hollow to me to have to have one day to remind people to do something nice for their Mother. Then, again I am not really one to speak. Shrug.

The kids are watching My Little Pony, some sort of marathon before something. What that something is I have no clue and I don’t think they do either. If the sun was behind clouds, rain, thunder and lightning, or any of one hundred other reasons why they couldn’t go outside I would be fine with them spending the day in front of the TV. I want them to go outside and play. However, after taking a Frisbee to the mouth yesterday, I can understand why our girl wants to My Little Pony and chill.

Barb is at work. I think that is my issue with holiday’s like Mother’s Day, if the day really is to celebrate/honor/acknowledge (although acknowledge is pretty low on the list of honorifics; “Hey, you’re a mother”) then why not have the day off? Make holidays like Mother’s Day a specific Sunday in a month, make sure to have tons of commercials (not that we watch TV anymore, I assume there are commercials) of people visiting their mother for a family dinner. Shitcan the cards, flowers, and stupid shit, go full bore holiday, like Thanksgiving. Images of families gathered around generations of mothers celebrating that they took the time to give birth to them and raise them to the best of their abilities given their circumstances.

That right there! The difference between platitude and honest celebration. Mother’s Day and holidays like them are platitudes a literal “Oh shit we should say something nice to our mom’s” by some politician somewhere. Maybe there was an honest intention behind the idea, but now…what do we have? Cards, flowers, chocolates, and kids making gifts at school. Maybe if the mother is lucky, dinner with immediate family.

WHAT THE FUCK!

Keep in mind that I am not close to my family. I’m not. I admit it. But I can acknowledge this situation because I can see it from a different perspective than I had before, as a parent.

Let me put it this way, if Mother’s Day was the holiday it SHOULD be I would not have had to force my children to do nice things for Barb. Now the nice things were cleaning related (thus the resistance), but still if Mother’s Day was promoted the way I envision the children would be properly indoctrinated via school, TV, and society that one this one day a year they do for their mother without question without hesitation and with all of the love I know they have for her. We as a family spend the day doing for her in the same way we do for Thanksgiving…I’m not talking stuff, cook, carve, and eat her (although…there is some innuendo in that)…but…take for example Thanksgiving; for weeks before Thanksgiving the message is

FAMILY

FOOD

BLACK FRIDAY SALES

SHOPPING

MORE SHOPPING

BE THANKFUL

SHOP SOME MORE BECAUSE THE NATION’S RETAILERS NEED YOUR MONEY

In spite of the nauseating plea by retailers, the message of family gathering to give thanks to a reasonably stupid bird has maintained both in practice and imagery. So with that in mind why can’t the same thing be done for Mother’s Day and holidays like that?

Two weeks before the day, get the commercials rolling of family gathered around mom over a home cooked meal, not a turkey or ham because they are spoken for holiday wise. Jack up the emotional appeal with images of soldiers returning home in time to celebrate time with mom and a home cooked meal (NOT cooked by mom unless everyone else in the house is unable to cook and that is another post altogether-someone other than mom learn to cook!). Food TV could do endless specials about cooking special meals for mom. Retailers could go NUTS with more than cards and flowers, full on Mother’s Day specials nationwide. Barb would rather have yarn or a power tool than a card for damn sure.

Black and Decker is proud to announce our 4th annual Mother’s Day Tool Time Special. Buy the woman who gave you birth and raised you the best in powered tools. (images of chainsaws ripping cards apart, arc welders melting chocolate, and a final image of a gigantic metallic flower arrangement made with…you guessed it Black and Decker power tools. I’m feeling the love are you?)

And to top it all off, because we are a money grubbing retail sale oriented society have an AFTER Mother’s Day (insert some color associated with moms or assign one) SALE!

This is the kind of stuff I’d do if I was President…I mean in addition to ruling the world. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day.

A Little Nate Inside You

I promise this isn’t self-erotica…wait that would be masturbation and this will be a form of masturbation and with that sentence at least half my audience has left and with that sentence I may have proven or started to prove why everyone needs a Little Nate inside of them.

Or maybe not.

We shall see.

People who have known me for a long time (we are speaking long time in human terms not geologically speaking) have at one time or another told me a story where at some point…

“And I heard your voice (or could see what you would do)…and I did the opposite (or did not do what Little Nate said).”

Perhaps you know someone like me who speaks his or her mind (opinionated, judgmental, asshole), is blunt (rude, tactless), and has no problem saying those things that you are thinking (horrifying, embarrassing, funny). If so you are a lucky individual indeed (in my opinion), because most people will not share what they really think. I like that level of honesty, even when directed at me. I understand that most people do not.

Having an uninhibited nature to do new things or behave in a manner not consistent with societal expectations, witness the way I dress, helps a lot. Suffice to say, you cannot take me out in public without something happening. And I am okay with that.

Why am I okay with that, because for me this works. Even when the shit hits the fan, my way of living works…for me. Smart people do not try to be me. What I do works for me because I am me. Not so smart people, try to do what I do in word and deed and get into a lot of trouble. They do not have a Little Nate inside of them, they have rejected the lessons that can be learned.

tyler_durden_airplane-sceneAccept the lessons of me through the process of internalization; put a little Nate inside of you…and do not do what Little Nate says he would do. Little Nate is not the devil on the shoulder, that devil is your own impulses. Little Nate is a step beyond that, a metaphorical Tyler Durden, if you will. The way you would like to react if you could get away with it.

Little Nate will get you into trouble.

How do you get your own Little Nate? You manage to survive around me for several years. This is not easy. I am not an easy individual. I am fine with that. One day you will be fine with that, especially when you hear Little Nate tell  you how he would handle the situation you find yourself in and you smile and do the right thing.

I have my own Little Nate…wait…no, that works too…sometimes I find ignoring my own voice hard and…you know this has crossed over into self-erotica. To those friends and family who have a Little Nate inside them, thank you for sticking around and keep on ignoring Little Nate as this Nate will get you in more than enough “trouble.”

And now for a picture of a house with a pole in it.

20170106_135332

 

Holiday Knee Not Writing

Back from break, but not back from break with new material. Hold on, don’t rush to judgment. I spent the holiday exactly like I hoped and wanted, doing nothing related to writing at all.

Barb made a Thanksgiving feast: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, brown-sugar glazed carrots, salad, glazed sweet potato slices, cranberries, apple something or the other (while I cannot remember the name for the life of me it tasted great), and rolls. All made at home, nothing out of a box.

The grandparents and a friend came over on Thanksgiving. A word of advice, if trying to find our place do not use mapquest, you will get very lost. Other than lost, the day was great. The grandparents saw our place, got to listen to the boy play the trombone, eat great food, and listen to our girl discuss her love of birds, her love to catch birds and teach them tricks…mostly pooping in other people’s yards. By the end of the night, everyone was well fed (overfed in several instances), and happy.

The next day, Paul stopped by for a few hours of conversation and more food. Barb made a lot of food. Another overfed instance or two throughout the day while talking about the nature of life, philosophy of the ancients, and how we could become better people. No, we talked about video games, movies and lots of fun things. Our boy did not entertain with the trombone and our girl kept her bird capture and poo plans quiet.

Now, at some point during the weekend I injured my knee. Not the knee on the leg with the ankle Shawn White messed up…okay, Shawn White’s snowboarding game and I must point out, I did win the game…but the other leg. I have no idea what I did, but it hurt a lot. I had to stand to relieve the pain or sit with my leg up. Getting into bed or the car, major pain.

So overfed and knee pain, the rest of the weekend passed watching football, hockey, the occassional food show, although the longer Food TV is on the further away from prompoting food they seem to get and closer to promoting their brand, which seems to be “stars” and crap merchandise. I pulled out the writing a few times, but nothing clicked. Just not the time.

If there is one thing I heed when writing is “not the time” mood. Forcing writing, to me, is worse than not writing at all. I didn’t want to fix forced writing. Thus, I spent until an hour ago, not writing. I thought about writing, particularly how to address a section of the game that gave me problems before the break. And the break worked, today once the writing started, the section flowed.

So here I sit, leg extended, hoping I do not need to get up anytime soon, writing once again. 🙂

Hope everyone had a good holiday.

My Favorite Holiday

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

No other holiday comes close for me.

I enjoy watching the kids open their presents and that really has been my favorite moment of any Christmas, but a day later nothing has changed other than more toys lying about.

New Years was another excuse to party, but those days while not necessarily gone (the party has changed) the situation hasn’t been setup for parties of any kind for a while. Thus New Years is an excuse to…well nothing different at all.

I like my birthday, okay I love my birthday, but retail marginalizes Halloween in ways I cannot stand and with children the day is supposed to be about taking them trick or treating…except we live in a region where the weather is unusually cold, wet, snowy, or a combination of all three.

Thanksgiving regardless of where we live is always good. A day of great food, mediocre television, thank deity for video games and videos. And, when opportunity permits a day with friends and family. It took us a few years to convince people that Thanksgiving would be our day. We would not travel anywhere. Instead people travel to us for great food and companionship.

Our best Thanksgivings, the place where we lived filled with friends. Our worse Thanksgivings, just us. The difference? The volume of noise. Best and worse still ring out strong in my head with fond memories of things I was thankful for that year. Top of the list each year, the people at the table, my family and friends. Without them I would not be the man I am today.

This year is no different. While this year has not gone the way we planned, hoped, ore even expected. There have been more deep downs than exultant highs, this year has been about the people around me. Support, words of encouragement, listening, and all of the other ways people let other people let one another know they care. That is the thing that stands out most to me in the plus column, big and small people I know showing they care.

For those who like lists here is my list of things I am thankful for, off the top of my head.

Friends and family without you I would not be who I am there would be less walls, guidelines, reasons to do more, and fun.

The place we live, after five years of some of the most hellish conditions we have ever been in (and I lived out of a car for a while) this place while not the prettiest on the outside (getting better every month) has been the happiest we have been in a long time. The children play in the yard, doing all of the things children do or used to do-bikes and kites. No longer do they dread going home, they want to come home so they can play outside or inside (really crappy weather today).

Time to do, five years of college lead to a sense of non-stop go-go do and do a lot of things that while in the interest of college were not necessarily of interest to me. Since graduating, I have started to learn to take and make the time to do for me. This change resulted in some changes in…a lot of things, this blog for one thing. Speaking of which, I am thankful for you the reader. Hopefully you are enjoying the change and finding value in what you are reading.

As I said above, this year has not been a good year for us, but we have stuck together persevered and continue to move forward. While my list of things I am thankful is numerically small, it is of great value to me: people, place, time, sense of self-satisfaction and worth. Those are priceless.

Enjoy your holiday, however you celebrate it, take a few moments to think about what you are thankful for and I will see you in a few days with more Puddles and Whiskers among other stories in Stroud. 🙂

 

 

Tomorrow Is…

…going to be a stressful day. Tomorrow is commencement ceremony. You know where graduates or presumed graduates walk across a stage, shake some hands, and then sit down for a long while. I will not be partaking in the ceremony other than as a babysitter and observer. Nothing wrong with this in my head, we have a situation and it is being taken care of in the best way possible, just like the last 5-years.

If I am sitting (sitting on babies) and watching why is tomorrow going to be a stressful day? My family wont be in town; seems that the only hotels in the town (I think four) have been booked for months now (pretty presumptuous of some people I think), thus stress from visiting family reduced to zero for me. Barb’s family will be driving to visit and that will be stressful for her, because visiting family is always some form of stress. This is the way of things.

Mostly I expect the stress to be in the form of the usual stupidity that goes along with any event, especially any event held here. After Barb freaks out all day about one thing or another, sure she says she won’t freak out, but this day has been ten-years in the making and there will be something that does not go the way she has in her head, thus some form a freak out. Mostly minor I am betting, but still there will be that stress in the background all day.

As I understand the event it will be a cattle call, scheduled for an hour-and-a-half, but guaranteed to run two or more hours. How bad could that be? Well it starts late. In fact, it starts right around the time the children are getting mentally ready to go to bed. They will be, by the time Barb starts walking, sleepy, bored…very bored, and most likely even though I will have fed them before hand bored hungry which is worse than being hungry. Even better because this is Big Rapids there will be no place to go eat afterwards unless we want fast food. I guess a taco or burger is the perfect way to celebrate graduating…we shall see.

Seating seems to be first come first serve and nobody has made any plans to coordinate. Thus, while there should be one section of family, I am going to bet that there will be two sections of seating and we will not see each other in passing. On one-hand probably a good thing, remember family stress and all of that. On the other hand, family and all of that.

I’m hoping I don’t look too out of place with children distracted by iPads and other video game products and honestly, probably me using the WiFi to stream a movie until names I recognize are called. I do love some Deadpool or Fight Club.

For those people hoping to see me walk, sorry I will be sitting on electronically distracted babies. I will be dressed differently as well which may make finding me difficult.