March 4th, 2008

Dead Dog Cat

#22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Over the days we were away, I got a number of books finished as listed below:

First was Sake (U.S.A.), which is a bit out of date, as far as listed sake factories are concerned, but which contains in it a number of home sake recipes.

Then, Tenacious, another Kydd novel by Julian Stockwin, a fun read.

Followed that with Victory Conditions, a Vatta's War novel, actually the last of the saga, by Elizabeth Moon. A good read, space opera style.

Then there was a stack of graphic novels that I snagged when we stopped in Berkeley. I quickly read Bad Signals 2 which isn't so much a graphic novel as it is a collection of Warren Ellis' writings that he posted on the Web. I followed that with Dark Blue, a shared psyche sort of thing. Then, there was the two graphic novels squashed back to back in one publication: Mek/Reload. All had their good points.

Before we left, I plowed through a stack of comic books:

Starship Troopers: Bad Blood Part 2 #6, a bit confusing, but I think I see where they are going.

Fables #70, seems to be building the series to a climax.

Jack of Fables #20, silly. Probably not worth following once Fables ends.

Crossing Midnight #16, very interesting. I like where this is going.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Return to Wonderland #6: I thought that this one was over; it's not, but I'm not sure I'm into the direction they're taking.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Some of you probably noticed that we've been away. We took a few days off, and flew up to the Bay Area, through Oakland Airport. We met up with our friend, Tom, when his flight from Chicago arrived, and he rented a car, and we were off to Sonoma County, one of California's wine centers.

We got to the hotel, where we found our friends, Jeff and Deena, already checked in; soon after, Dave and Brenda joined us as we all went for lunch at Chili's. From there, the campaign started.

Wineries hit the first day: Battaglini, Russian Hill, Moshin (loved those sauternes), Meeker. Second day: La Crema, Williamson (and we had food and wine pairings with a discussion by the master vintner; very nice time, and wonderful wines), Vati (along with barrel-tasting, ahead of the crowd). Third day, marred by the barrel-tasting event; hundreds of folks were wandering around at a low entry fee and getting wasted on young wine out of the barrels. Kept us from really getting into the tastes. We went to Passalacqua, Bella, Sbragia. Fourth day: V. Sattui, in Napa Valley, where we met up with Patrick and Menette, who live near Berkeley; they have a cheese and deli shop on the grounds, so we bought that and bread and some of their wines, and had a picnic on the grounds; this was followed by Peju and Martini wineries. We had dinner at Don Giovannis in the Valley there; very nice.

Final day we went to the sake factory in Berkeley, CA, for their museum and sake tasting; very nice.

Marred only by forestcats losing her wallet. She got it back, though only by backtracking about an hour's drive.

Back to work.
Dead Dog Cat

RIP EGG

I was astonished a few hours ago to hear that E. Gary Gygax, one of the authors of D&D in its original version died at age 69.

I was in one of the early waves of discovery of the game, back in September 1975. I overheard someone talking about the rules set with the owner of a shop across the street from UCLA where I purchased SPI's games, and I was intrigued. Before I knew it, I was going twice a week to play, and continued to do so from my junior year in college until what some would say is my dotage. D&D progressed into Rolemaster for me, while I dipped into many other RPGs, here and there (especially Traveller), but I still have a fond place in my heart for those games.

I met EGG once, at the GenCon that was held at the Playboy Club Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I was playing in Paul Jaquays dungeon, sitting on the floor in the hotel, just down from the Green Room; we'd seen Fritz Leiber enter there just a few minutes before, and were in awe, when up came the originator of the rules we were playing. He was delighted to see us set up and playing, and was a real gentleman.

Back then my interests were fairly circumspect; wargames and SF was most of it. I'd been quite deep into WWII history back then. D&D led me to interests in the complexity of the world, and how it all interacts. I've never lost that, and for that, I'll always honor Mr. Gygax.