January Notes

Heh, two weeks without an entry, and more than three weeks without a substantive entry. Time to catch up a bit. In short:

It’s cold here… for Seattle, meaning balmy if you’re reading this from Montreal or Duluth.

The weather has been hovering a little over the freezing point in daytime and a little under at night (-5 to +5 C). This is very cold for the area, and accompanies unusual bright sunny weather. This week was also the full moon, and the morning moon sets over the Olympic mountains to the west has been glorious.

We spent a weekend in Vancouver, along with our friend Jen.

The owner of the company where I work owns a condo in Vancouver’s posh bohemian Kitsilano district, and I was able to borrow it for a weekend. , our friend Jen, and I spent a couple of nights there and made a visit to the Museum of Anthropology as well as an afternoon walk at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. The weather was not sterling, but it was OK enough. Having a place to sleep and cook at let us spend a very inexpensive weekend.

I got some photos back from our vacation from a roll I had misplaced, including some good ones from Rougemont.

The last time I went snapping (in Vancouver), I found a roll of undeveloped film. It turned out to contain photos from our vacation, and particularly from Rougemont, that didn’t completely suck. I uploaded a few on my Flickr account. It was a nice surprise since I thought I hadn’t taken a decent frame in the entire trip. OK, I admit, one of them is not from Rougemont but from Montreal (the stained glass from Basilica Notre-Dame.)

We’re invited to a major memorial/double wedding/potlatch in October.

Through work, I have met truly marvellous people over the years. In particular, I have the privilege of working with many Native American tribes, and I have been invited to private potlatches. Through one thing and another, and stuff that is private to other people and therefore not fit to be summed up here, Edmund and I have been invited to an event that promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair next October on Vancouver Island. It’s at once the memorial for a respected and important chief who passed on 18 months ago, and a double wedding. The family songs, dances and regalia, which have been ritually put away during the time of morning, will be brought forth again; and the weddings are between chief families and in traditional style, so the whole thing will be breath-taking. We’re very, very honoured to be invited (and Edmund has been asked to take photos!)

We’ve been playtesting “Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies”.
Chad Underkoffler has released a beta version of his new game, Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies. After doing a peer review and playtest of the pre-beta release, our group has now been playtesting this beta version. It’s been interesting to see a number of other groups on the dedicated mailing list, discussing issues we brought up before and coming at them from various angles.

We’ve also been working on preparing ConQuest NW.

The ConQuest Northwest convention is coming very quickly and I have no idea how things will turn out, but I do know we (meaning the Emerald City Gamefest team) have been doing our very best to turn it into a success. We’ll know the results in just three weeks.

I wrote a couple of reviews for game-related books.

My review of Play Unsafe was posted a couple of weeks ago, and I have submitted my long-promised, long delayed “actual play” review of Seven Leagues.