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Amparo Bertram

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08:12 pm: The fleeting days of August
I had intended to spend some free time this weekend getting caught up on all the tasks I've been postponing. That turned out not to be practical, but more on that later. Instead, I'll do my best to go over what I've been up to for the past several weeks.

On August 8, I left for Michigan to see my family for a few days. After visiting over the weekend, my parents and I began our road trip on August 12 by packing up the minivan, strapping on the cargo carrier, and heading to wednesday_10_00's house, where we were joined by sara_tanaquil.

We set off early the next morning for Indianapolis, where we would be attending Gen Con, the country's largest board gaming convention. My parents were staying at a hotel a couple blocks away, while the rest of us checked into one of the hotels connected to the convention center via skywalk. Even though the buildings were connected, we soon found that we still had a significant amount of ground to cover to get us to the registration area.

Once we had our registration packets, I headed back to the hotel for a meeting with video reviewer Richard Ham. He was playtesting my game prototype as a pledge reward from his Kickstarter campaign. He had flown in from Malta and was suffering from jet lag and insufficient sleep, but he gave the game his full attention and offered a number of valuable suggestions. The remainder of the evening was taken up by trying to connect with people with whom I was trading games.

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of gaming and shopping (detailed in my previously posted geeklist). One activity not touched on earlier was our group's participation in True Dungeon. It's an event in which a group of ten people are escorted through a fantasy role-playing adventure, during which the participants must solve various staged puzzles and dexterity challenges. We also had an opportunity to dine out with several of my relatives in honor of my parents' 40th anniversary.

We left on Sunday the 17th and returned to wednesday_10_00's house for a week of gaming. We did take a brief break on Tuesday to meet up with mereflair and her husband for a RiffTrax viewing. The two of them came over the following night for a potato feast (potato pizza and potato/snap bean cassarole...with a side of yakisoba).

On Friday the 22nd, my dad picked us up from there, and it was time to begin packing. It was quite a challenge to fit all of my purchases into my luggage, and I ended up having to leave some game boxes behind. (Oh, how I long for the days when we were allowed 70 pound checked suitcases...) Preparations complete, I left on the final leg of my trip and returned home late Saturday night. I tumbled into bed at about 11pm (which was rough after being on Eastern time for two weeks), but I figured I could sleep in the next day, since I didn't have to work.

Of course, I was awakened at 3:20am by the biggest earthquake to hit the Bay Area in 25 years. Thank you, California.

Fortunately, the quake was relatively mild on my side of the Bay. None of my stacks of manga toppled over.

I spent all day Sunday harvesting five quarts of cherry tomatoes, two quarts of figs, and about a dozen different varieties of beans. I used quite a lot of my spare time after work over the next couple days roasting and freezing tomatoes plus shelling and sorting beans. I'm definitely starting to run out of freezer space, and my main crop tomatoes haven't even begun yet.

Today I met up with mangaroo to stroll through the Millbrae Art and Wine festival. We tried going to the Millbrae library to find a study room to sit down for some gaming, but the library turned out to be closed the entire weekend for the Labor Day holiday. Instead, we sat down on a low wall in front of the library and tried out a couple of my Gen Con purchases there.

My plan was to spend Sunday getting caught up (e.g. unpacking all the non-game items from my suitcases), doing more garden work, maybe going grocery shopping, and all around being productive. However, I was called in for a full overtime shift, so I'll be doing that instead. Less free time, but at least it's good money. (How many games will I be able to buy with that....?)

Comments

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 31st, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
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during which the participants must solve various staged puzzles and dexterity challenges

Or, in our case, fail spectacularly at doing so.

We usually can our tomatoes. What are roasted and frozen tomatoes like?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 31st, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
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We usually can our tomatoes.

I would, except that takes a lot more attention and time and counter/table space that I don't have at the moment. Also, cherry tomatoes have a much higher skin/flesh ratio, which means running them through a strainer before canning leaves a lot less actual product than with regular size tomatoes. It's possible to make sauce out of them, but it's not as rewarding.

What are roasted and frozen tomatoes like?

They're like roasted tomatoes, except very cold? Mainly, I would use them to make tomato soup, where I can use a blender on them and it wouldn't matter that there are still seeds. They would also make a good base for curry.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:September 1st, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Did you know you had the extra overtime shift when we met up? If so, thanks for coming, but I want you to know that you never have to worry about canceling plans with me under those circumstances. Your overtime exhausts me!

I had a great time at the festival, even though there was a dearth of dark chocolate and oat soap. Next time we go, I really am going to plan on shopping for gourmet nuts. And then there will be nothing but soothing soap.

I'm also looking forward to playing Lost Legacy again, so I'm glad it's so portable. I love Love Letter so much, I just have to figure out how to play its cousin.

Edit: Also, I'm really glad I had a chance to talk with you about Gen Con. The most arcane details -- like how you all split up the ticket purchases -- just fascinate me.

Edited at 2014-09-01 04:26 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 2nd, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
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Did you know you had the extra overtime shift when we met up? If so, thanks for coming, but I want you to know that you never have to worry about canceling plans with me under those circumstances.

I found out Friday, but this time it was optional overtime and not a draft. I could have turned it down if I really wanted. The money was quite attractive, though.

Next time we go, I really am going to plan on shopping for gourmet nuts. And then there will be nothing but soothing soap.

Ha! The vendors live to foil your plans.

I'm also looking forward to playing Lost Legacy again, so I'm glad it's so portable. I love Love Letter so much, I just have to figure out how to play its cousin.

Perhaps by the next time I see you I will have acquired the second pack as well.
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