Wall of Sound and other weekend notes

Friday night was our re-scheduled Iron Kingdoms/True20 game. Everyone in the group has a different schedule, and I believe I was the only one for whom this was a “standard” Friday end-of-the-work-week night. I was so brain dead. I was also crankier than usual, ready to snap at players that kibitzed or interrupted too much. Because I knew I was unduly cranky, I shut up and had a cup of coffee instead of biting someone’s head off.

Saturday my Top 10/Truth & Justice game went well, as (pretty much) usual, even though we get at least as much kibitzing. At least I’d had some sleep! But the action is moving well. I’m getting some theoretical questions on potential min-maxing in T&J, with Liminaut/Ed F coming up with horribly broken characters stomping on the rules, then suggesting ways to close the loops. But I decided that until he (or someone else) actually plays a broken character that I can’t find ways to handle through plots, I’m not going to bother touching the rules. He loves to do that with all systems, it’s a form of mental challenge or puzzle for him, but I’m only interested in actual problems in my game. And right now, I have none. 🙂

Sunday morning we went to the big annual Car Toys tent sale in Tukwila to have a CD player installed in the car. We only had a radio, and with the long road trip through Western Canada, where they have both kinds of music — country and western — we felt the need to play something else. So we got a cheap CD and MP3 player, no new speakers, nothing fancy. But dear God! What an auditory barrage! The fad this year is high definition (HD) radio, a concept that seems nonsensical to me since, unlike the television in your living room, your car radio is constantly moving around and therefore subject to variable signal quality. Anyway, there were numerous radio booths outside the big tent, blaring different types of crap (none of them played anything non-pablum) at 120 dBA. It was like hitting a waterfall, except made of sound. Then in the tent it got worse, as it was more of the same but with more sources closer together.

Then as soon as you walk in, you get assaulted by friendly salesmen, not only for Car Toys but also for all the other vendors there; and you have to yell at each one over the ambient cacophony that you don’t want their products. A cell phone rep pounced on me as I walked in and asked what cell phone company I “was with.” I answered “Thank you, but no, I’m not interested in changing cell phone service.” He said “I didn’t ask if you wanted to change, I asked who you were with.” I saw Edmund’s face and I thought he was going to shove a small electronic appliance down the guy’s throat. I really don’t see why the organizers of the sale think the Wall of Sound approach is a good idea; I nearly ran out of there without buying anything, and the noise just made me irritable and less patient with blandishments. No, I don’t want HD radio, satellite radio, speakers, or GPS. What part of “cheap CD player” and “low budget” was hard to understand? Bah!

But I stuck to my stated purchase objective and at least installation only took half an hour, no wait — as it was pouring rain, probably deterring a lot of potential customers. In some places under the tent, there was enough water to get my shoes soaked… Mmmm, electrocution!

And on Sunday night, we played an episode of Legends of the Five Rings — spinning our wheels and making no progress on the current plot. Tonight we play Xcrawl, yay! X-treme Dungeon Crawling!

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