Tag Archive for table

Center of the Universe

3439686345_40d26c8193Captain Thomas Markham checked the readout on his wrist again. He’d been nervously checking it every few minutes since they had taken their helmets off. The atmosphere was still sufficiently Earth-like, and he was still breathing normally.  The air had a musty smell, but it didn’t offend the senses.

He glanced over his shoulder to the rest of his team following behind.  Lieutenant Sarah Gavin, Sergeant Gerard Wilcox, and Privates Claire Daud, Louis Michaels and Neriah Skildum walked in a spread pattern, no one walking directly behind or in front of anyone else.  Each had a rifle in hand, a pack on their back, and their helmet slung on the belt at their hip.  With their helmets off, they’d all put on tactical visors giving them better vision in the dark and data readouts.  Markham’s rifle was in the hand of Ship’s cook Jalah, who looked entirely out of place in his orange space suit surrounded by the rest of the crew in their military grays.  The light from random spots of glowing lichen on the walls was low, but he could still see his team.   Markham’s visor was hanging down around his own neck as he’d opted to hold his pistol and a flashlight as they’d pressed onward.

From the deserted surface of this tiny planet they’d enter the caves and wound down and around for days.  The deeper they got, the warmer it became, but Lieutenant Gavin had assured him this planet didn’t have a molten core.  “Solid all the way through,” she’d said.  “Stake my life on it,” she’d continued.

He turned to her now.  “Gavin, what’s our depth?”

Gavin put her rifle over her shoulder, flicked the power buttons on the wrists of her gloves and began waving through the virtual readouts her visor was showing.  “Hard to say.  But we are getting close.  I’m getting some interference, but we are almost directly below the ship and I estimate nearing halfway through our external readings of the planet’s diameter.”

“All right.”  Markham turned to Wilcox.  “Sergeant, find us a spot to set up camp.”

“Yes, sir.”  Wilcox signaled to the Privates who followed him in a diamond formation off into the dark.

Jalah came in close to Markham, sidestepping around Gavin who continue to wave her hands in the empty air.  “Sir.”

“Yeah, Jalah.”

“We’ve only got a few days more of supplies with us.  We are going to need to turn around pretty soon.”  Jalah’s eyes were darting around, never staying still.  He hadn’t wanted to come down with the team, but Markham didn’t want to leave him alone on the ship.

Markham holstered his pistol and placed his hand on Jalah’s shoulder.  “Tomorrow.”

“Captain!”  The word echoed through the chamber.  Markham snapped off his flashlight, dropped it into a pocket on the leg of his suit and put his visor on.

The darkness of the world retreated, replaced with hues of green peppered with bits of text and data.  He was facing a wall, the text told him it was fifteen meters away and comprised mostly of granite.  The floor beneath his feet was also granite but covered with scattered dirt.  Off to his right there were blue flashes of movement and he could see the outline of the four men.  “With me,” he said just loud enough for Gavin and Jalah to hear.  The three of them moved toward the others.

As they approached, Markham realized his gun was in his hands even though he didn’t remember pulling it.  He even held it out front, with both hands, aimed downward as he was trained to do.  Wilcox and the Privates stood together by a wall.  The Privates faced outward in different directions, but Wilcox faced a door sized hole.  Beside the hole was a small rectangular sign.  As Markham got close he could see there were words written on it.

He put away his gun again, pulled off his visor and retrieved his flashlight from its pocket.  When he snapped it on he stared, then shook his head and stared again.  The sign was clear, a small arrow pointing downward at an angle into the door sized tunnel and the words Center of the Universe.

“I guess we’re here.”  Gavin’s voice drifted softly from behind him.  Markham faced her, her visor was off as well, her flashlight out.  In the light, he could see her face was flush.  The right corner of her mouth turned slightly upward.  Next to her, Jalah’s face was slack-jawed and bloodless.

“Sir,” Wilcox said, “should we proceed or make camp?”

Gavin’s eyes sparkled.  Years and years of calculations and every leg of the journey probably dancing through her head.  The wormholes and slingshots around stars, all leading here.

“I don’t see why we should wait.”

Jalah blinked.  “I don’t see why we should rush.”  He licked his lips and swallowed.  “I mean, after all it took to get here, it seems so odd that there would be a sign.  And in a language we can read, no less.”

Everyone turned and looked at the sign.  Gavin and Markham were both shining their lights on it, everyone had removed their visors.

“Very astute, Jalah.  Maybe we should wait.”  The words were barely out of his mouth before Gavin has pushed past and vanished down the tunnel.  “I suppose that settles it.”  Markham stepped forward into the tunnel.  “Come on then, we probably don’t want to miss this.”

Just a few feet into the tunnel it angled downward and the smooth floor gave way to steps.  It also turned to the right spiraling clockwise downward.  He couldn’t see any glow from ahead, Gavin had clearly moved quickly, but Markham kept a steady pace so as not to lose his team.  His own flashlight illuminated the tunnel as he went, the walls were smooth and the ceiling was arched, and at intervals along the way there were paintings, like the cave painting of earliest man, depicting tortoises.

He heard laughter ahead, then saw light.  Gavin came into view.  She was examining one of the tortoises and laughing.

“What?”

She smiled at him, “Turtles.”

Markham gave her a puzzled look.  He didn’t understand what she meant.

“Nevermind,” she said.  She winked at him and then continued down the stairs.  Markham wanted to make her stop so he could take the lead, but it was too narrow for him to pass her anyway, so he simply followed.

Behind him he heard Wilcox urging Jalah onward, and Jalah was breathing heavy.  He hadn’t liked the other much larger caves, so this tunnel was likely much worse.

Finally the tunnel and the tortoises came to an end, opening up to a large room.  Light seemed to come from the walls, and in the center was a round stone table.  Next to that was a comfortable looking chair, and in the chair was an old man.  The whiskers on his chin and lip moved as he snored.  In the center of the table, hovering just above the surface was a large black globe.

Markham stared at the globe, it seemed to draw him in, the blackness looked endless, but occasionally there would be a tiny fleck of light.

The snoring stopped.

“Ah! You’re here!”  The old man’s eyes were wide and he leaped to his feet.  He rushed forward with an outstretched hand.  Wilcox snapped his rifle up, but the old man didn’t stop.  He came immediately to Gavin and shook her hand.  She was smiling.  Then the old man shook Gavin’s hand.  Then Jalah’s and through the Privates, but not Wilcox because he wouldn’t put his rifle down.

Gavin stammered, “Where exactly are we?”

“Center of the Universe.”  The old man was almost hopping with excitement.

“THE center?”

“Well, almost.”  The old man indicated the table.  “The actual center is over there.”

“The globe?”

“The center of it.  The center of the center of the center and so one.”

Gavin laughed.  “Turtles all the way down.”

The old man slapped his leg and his face lit up.  “Indeed!”

The two of them laughed for a while and everyone else just stared.  Markham walked toward the table, mesmerized by the black globe with the occasional flickers of light.

When the laughter stopped, Markham felt someone standing beside him.  “What is this?”

Gavin answered his question with one of her own, “What do you see?”

“Nothing, mostly.”

“And if we were on the deck of our ship, looking out the window, what would you see?”

“Planets, moons, stars.”

“But mostly?”

“Mostly?  Space.  Nothing, I guess.”

“Exactly.”  Markham broke his gaze into the globe and looked right into Gavin’s green eyes.  “Looking out is looking in,” she said.  “Somewhere out there,” she waved her left arm in a sweeping arc away from the table, “far away from here, farther than anyone could possibly go is the edge of a large black sphere.  And outside that sphere is a room at the center of the universe, of someone else’s universe.”  She looked toward the globe and so did he.  “And in there,” she continued, “way down at the center is a room at the center of the universe, of another someone else’s universe.  It’s recursive.  Infinitely.”

“But,” he began, then stopped.  She waited for him to put his thoughts together.  “But what do we do?”

“About what?”

“About this?  All of this.”

“Nothing.  We go home.”  She turned away and wandered back over to the old man.

Markham’s mind was swirling.  “Wait.  Just wait.”  Gavin and the old man, and everyone else looked at him.  “Who is this guy?  Is he God?”

“Me?”  The old man looked shocked.  “No, I’m not God.  Well, not your God anyway.”

“Who’s God are you?”

The old man nodded toward the table and the globe.  “Them I suppose.  I mean, I’m the keeper of the sphere but it’s not like I created it or anything.  Can’t even do anything with it.  I just watch.”

“And?”

The old man shrugged.  “And nothing.”

Markham felt hot.  He was trained for flying space ships and following orders and making military decisions.  This jaunt to find the center of the universe had been Gavin’s proposal and they’d been given a mission to try.  She’d been working the math for a long time, but in the last year they’d been jumping wormholes and skimming gravity wells, spiraling around all of creation to find this room.  This sudden revelation of universes inside universes with universes outside them infinitely was beyond him.  He was trying very hard to piece it all together and make it fit in his view but there was just too much.  Everyone was just staring at him, which exasperated him even more.  “What does it mean?”

Gavin smiled at him.  A few strands of her auburn hair cascaded across her face.  She walked over slowly and put her hands on his upper arms.  She squeezed gently, but hard enough so he felt it through the suit.  Then she leaned in and kissed him.  It was at first a solid, firm kiss on the lips, then she tilted her head slightly and he followed suit.  Her lips parted just a little and her hands slid around his back.  His lips parted also, and his arms roamed upward finding her hips and then sliding up her back.  They kissed for a good long while.

Wilcox cleared his throat.

Gavin pulled back and resumed smiling.  She let go of Markham, walked back over to the old man, shook his hand, gave him a hug and then headed toward the stairway.

She paused at the opening, looked back over her shoulder at Markham.  “Are you coming?”  And then she clicked on her flashlight and began ascending the stairs.

The old man strode over to Markham.  “You want to know what it means?”  Markham nodded while still staring at the stairway.  “It means she came here to find the center of the universe, and she did.  She also found the center of her universe along the way.  It means that the center of the universe might be over there on the table, but the center of your universe may have just left the room.”

The old man patted him on the arm and then walked back to his chair.  Wilcox, Daud, Michaels, Skildum, and Jalah filed up the stairs.  Captain Markham smiled.


Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/gali_367/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Get to da Choppa!

I know I promised zombies, but I lied… you get this instead…

I signed up for and am participating in an online game design class.  On our first day of “class” (which I actually read a couple days later), part of the reading was an example to show you that making a game is not a Herculean effort.  Simple games are exactly that: simple.  What follows is the game I designed in less than 15 minutes.

Get to da Choppa!

Welcome to the jungle!  You are in the thick of it, and something is after you.  But if you can be the first to the helicopter, you can survive.

Supplies:
26 Game Tiles – 1 “Start” tile, 1 “Choppa!” tile, 14 blank “Jungle” tiles, 2 “Tunnel Entrance” tiles, 4 “Lose a Turn” tiles (tangled in vines, stuck in mud, broke through bridge, and lost my way), 2 “Advance 1 Space” tiles, and 2 “Retreat 1 Space” tiles.
12 Opportunity Cards – 3 “Cover Fire” card (Advance another player 2 spaces), 3 “Decoy” cards (Advance yourself 3 spaces), 3 “Rest Up” cards (Do nothing this turn, next turn move 5 spaces instead of rolling), and 3 “Frag” cards (Cause another player to lose a turn).
1 Six-sided die.
12 player pieces (green plastic army men if you have them).

Game designed for 2 to 12 players.

The Rules:
The 26 tiles are placed in a pile, face up, on the table.  The 12 Opportunity cards are placed, face down, on the table.  Each player chooses a playing piece and roles the die to determine play order.  Highest first, roll again to break ties.  The “Start” tile is placed on the table and all playing piece are placed on it.  Starting with the highest rolling player, each person in turn will take a game tile from the tile pile and place it on the table so that it connects to the previous tile.  The game path can turn left and right, however when a tile is placed it must only connect to one other tile.  When tile placing is complete, and the last player placed the “Choppa!” tile, you should have a board that takes 25 forward movements to complete.

Beginning with the next player in the rotation, each player draws an Opportunity card from the face down pile.  Do not show your card to other players until you play it.

After each player has drawn a card, the game moves into the Movement rounds.  If the player is on the “Start” tile, they must roll the die.  A roll of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 allows the player to move their playing piece forward that many spaces.  If they land on a tile with an action on it, they must adhere to it (Advancing 1 space, retreating 1 space, losing their next turn, or moving to the other end of the tunnel).  Tile actions “stack” in that if you land on an “Advance 1 Space” tile and doing so lands you on a “Lose a Turn” tile, you lose your next turn.  If a player rolls a 6, the player believes they have been spotted and hides, not moving that turn.

After the player has moved off the “Start” tile, on their turn they may choose to use their Opportunity card instead of rolling the die.  Any player moved by an Opportunity card onto a tile with an action must adhere to that action.

The game ends when a player “Gets to da Choppa!” and leaves the rest of the players in the jungle.

—–

My first prototype of the game was as basic as possible.  Sticky notes for the game tiles, more sticky notes (folded in half to hide the sticky part) for the cards, a die and some army men.  If I am inspired, I may make a “better” prototype and post some pictures.

If, my dear reader(s), you are so inclined, feel free to make your own copy of this game and try it out.  I’d love feedback on how it plays.  I feel it might need more special tiles, or some other game element to spice it up.  If you do play it, please come back and let me know how it went…

A Party of One

Of late I have been fooling around in Guild Wars. I’ve long been interested in the game because of its “no monthly fee” design, and because of a little idea called “henchmen”.

All throughout my table top gaming days, whenever we needed a class, skill, or knowledge that the player characters did not possess, we would head on down to the local bars, adventurer guilds, docks or slave markets to find what we needed. So when getting into MMOs, at first, the idea that I needed to group with other people for everything was strange. Standing around waiting to find a healer because we needed one seemed like a waste of time. I eventually got over it and made friends and tried to make sure I always had a group. But increasingly over the last half dozen or so years, perhaps because I’m turning into the grouchy old man yelling at the kids to stay off his lawn, I’m just not as inclined as I used to be to put up with the Internet toddlers who like to “pwn” and “lol” and “zorz” their way through conversations. So, playing World of Warcraft, City of Heroes and Villains, Lord of the Rings Online, I would group with the people I already knew and maybe the occasional non-infantile gamer I ran across. But more often than not, I would solo.

I’m still soloing in Guild Wars (my wife injured her hand and hasn’t been much for gaming this month), but when I’m about to leave town and hit the quests, I’ll snag myself a couple or three henchmen. Just as in my table top games, these people aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack. I play a mage, and so I’ll load up with a fighter, a ranger and a healer, and they do exactly as their class suggests. The fighter charges in and fights, the ranger stands back and shoots, and the healer heals. In fact, that’s all they do. The fighter will stand and fight until he dies, he doesn’t run. The ranger shoots, at any range. And the healer heals, if a monster hits her, she runs around like a chicken with its head cut off until the threat is over. I’ve heard there are better henchmen, but I’m only level 7 and my henchmen are level 3, plus I only own the original Prophesies game, none of the expansions, so either I haven’t gotten to the better ones yet, or I am incapable of getting to them.

Overall though, I’m liking the whole henchmen system. They don’t replace good players, but they sure beat crappy players. I would love to see something like this implemented in other games. Imagine City of Heroes with “henchmen” style sidekicks, allowing you to change up the game a little while still playing alone if you wanted.

I’d love to hear other people’s opinions and experiences. What do you think about NPC pets and henchmen in games?

Ethan Haas Revealed

A while back people were scouring the Internet looking for information on Cloverfield, the secret movie project by J.J. Abrams. I’ve blogged about the movie myself once or twice. During the hunt, people stumbled upon a site called www.ethanhaaswasright.com and a blog at ethanhaaswaswrong.blogspot.com. The first had a flash puzzle game, each level played a small video clip. The second was a blog that had just a couple entries speaking about something coming and then turning into script that had to be deciphered. Lots of people thought this was for Cloverfield, many people insisted it, and then J.J. Abrams came out at Comic Con and said the Ethan Haas stuff had nothing to do with his movie.

So what was all this Ethan Haas stuff about?

Turns out it was all hype for Alpha Omega, a new table top RPG. Of course, many of the people who’d been trying to figure it out were disappointed, table top games just aren’t exciting to lots of people, they’d have preferred it be a new TV show or a movie, or at the very least a video game. But me, I like table top games, and this one looks fairly interesting, especially since it doesn’t appear to be based on the d20 system. As nice as I think d20 is, its not the only way to play, so I applaud anyone who goes down another road.

I also applaud the effort made here. I can’t remember the last time a table top RPG managed to garner so much attention. No wait… yes I can.

If you want more out of your MMORPGs than levels and loot and grinding experience points, I recommend trying to get some folks together to sit around the table and play. If you are nervous about it because you’ve never done it before, I recommend Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies and Dungeon Master for Dummies to give you a nice overview and a little depth on both sides of table top game play.

Besides, if you love Science Fiction setting games, the MMOs have never really gotten it right, but table top games have been doing it right for a long time.

Games Within Games

No, I’m not talking about Puzzle Pirates and its Bejeweled Bilging and Dr. Mario Sailing. I’m talking about fully realized games encapsulated within games.

Many moons ago (okay, a couple of decades of moons), I played Ultima Online. In UO, I had a Chess set, and I could sit down at a table and play Chess with another player. On days when I didn’t feel like making hats with my tailor, or guarding the pass with my guild extorting money from random travellers, I would sit in a specific Inn frequented by Chess players and play.

In EverQuest, it was the one thing I always wanted. They did give us Gems, a game to play while waiting between pulls or watching your mana bar refill. But it was single player, and pretty much sucked.

In World of Warcraft… well, Blizzard gave us jack shit, but the guys who made the Cosmos add on gave us Chess and Othello and other games, and even made them multi-player, but they were global, you didn’t have to be anywhere near your opponent.

Other games also pretty much gave us nothing…

I miss the simple pleasure of sitting in a (virtual) room with another player and playing a board game. I would love to see more encapsulated games inside MMOs. And really I would love to see those games played in the game world itself, and not in a window that passerbys can’t see.

Puzzle Pirates Poker

I think so far one of my favorite things to do in Puzzle Pirates is to sit down to a good poker table. What is a good poker table? Well, for one, you don’t have people who are binary (Fold or All In). Next, good table chatter… Usually good chatter consists of just random chat about some subject, or even talk about poker, or in the case of Puzzle Pirate the chatter can be incharacter piratey stuff. Sometimes, however, the chatter is, well, let me just give an example:

Mrbert: So what is everyone’s favorite suited pocket hand?
Killerjoy: A pair of Aces.
Mrbert: Naturally.
Gogoboots: I like a pair of Queens because they are more likely to turn into three of a kind.
Picklehead: I prefer to bluff with a pair of twos.
Ishiro: Isn’t it kind of hard to have a suited pair?

See that guy at the end? That’s me. It took me another twenty minutes to explain why you couldn’t have a suited pair. I mean, it took a couple minutes just to explain what suited meant (same suit). Then a few people at the table were insisting that poker was played with a six deck shuffle. My attempts to point out that blackjack, not poker, is the game that uses a multideck shoe. (“A shoe? You are making this stuff up!”) Gogoboots agreed that only one deck was used, and that was why she preferred Queens, because a single deck has twelve Queens. It took another five minutes to understand that when she said “Queens” what she meant was “face cards”, you know, Jacks, Queens and Kings.

After a while, I gave up and decided that indeed ignorance is bliss, and messing with the ignorant is hilarious:

Mrbert: I love to get a flush.
Ishiro: This morning I had a double flusher.
Gogoboots: What’s that?
Mrbert: Its rare. It is when you get two flushes in a row.
Picklehead: No, its when you can make two flushes with the same hand.
Mrbert: Oh, I’m thinking of a b2b-flush.
Picklehead: Yeah.
Samson: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!
Killerjoy: I had a triple flusher once. It was awesome.
Mrbert: I bet! The chances of that are like a zillion to one!
Ishiro: The worst though is when you get upper decked.
Picklehead: Yeah! I hate that!
Mrbert: Is that when everyone else is dealt a pocket pair but you?
Picklehead: No, it is when you get a good pair and then two or more people deal into royal straights.
Mrbert: Wow. That does sound awful.
Gogoboots: I did that once.
Gogoboots: Flippered into a royal straight.
Ishiro: You have to be careful or you’ll flipper into a tilt.
Gogoboots: What?
Mrbert: A tilt. When you miss your straight by one card, like 4,5,6,7,9.
Samson: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!
Ishiro: I’m going to get a high score!
[everyone folds]
Ishiro: Roasters!
Gogoboots: Roasters?
Ishiro: Kenny Rogers.
Mrbert: Who is that?
Ishiro: He’s a gambler.
Mrbert: Didn’t he win the WSOP last year.
Killerjoy: He did. I saw it live on TV.
Picklehead: I played in the WSOP last year, made it to the semi-final round.
Samson: He really knows when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
You tell Samson: Bravo!

Yes, Samson, Bravo indeed.

The only thing worst than crappy chatter at a Puzzle Pirates poker table, are those “8s 8” idiots. You see, in real life, when someone makes an extraordinary effort to save, say, five dollars, they might say something like “Hey, five bucks is five bucks, man.” This indicates that saving the five bucks was worth the effort. In Puzzle Pirates, you don’t have dollars, you have Pieces of Eight (PoE or poe), and comparatively they have little value. Buying anything worthwhile in the game literally costs thousands of PoE. In poker, when some idiot goes All In before the flop and the table folds their blinds and he earns a whopping 3 or 6 or 8 PoE, what he would like to say is, “Hey, eight pieces of eight is eight pieces of eight, man.” But as we all should be well aware, typing is a skill some people refuse to learn, and so saying that would be too much, so instead he says, “8s 8.” Now, if this were a rare occurance, it would be fine… but most of these jackholes say it after every hand. “8s 8”, “5s 5”, “120s 120”, “807s 807”. Those people and the binary All In or Fold twerps drive me away from more tables than anything else.

And then.

The IT market sucks in Atlanta.

I can’t afford to leave, and at the same time I can’t afford to stay.

3 years ago, I was gold. I was better than gold. I was a fast learner with a little experience in everything. I was a general practitioner of the Science and Medicine of Technology. The offers on the table were fifty-thousand a year. Minimum.

Today’s IT market is looking for the person I’ve never been, and without money cannot afford to become: The Specialist. Check the job pages. They want people with 3 or more years working on a single, likely non-widespread software package. They want someone with 10 years working in a particular single function who have mastered all skills required.

The General Practitioner is dead.

So… I am left with this. What am I supposed to do?

I can’t get a good job because I can’t even get interviews due to my lack of specific knowledge. I can’t afford to take classes, or buy books to attempt to learn those things on my own. I can’t afford the certification tests, without which no amount of knowledge I teach myself is valid in the eyes of recruiters.

Its the Catch-22 of the IT industry: To get the job, you need training, and to afford the training, you need the job.

I’m overqualified for the job I have, and underqualified to get another.

And we won’t even get into the whole “But the experience on your resume isn’t current” crap.

I’m angry.

I’m pissed.

I’m mad as hell.

And there’s damn little I see that I can do about it.

Shuffle.

The boxes get packed, the boxes get moved, the boxes get unpacked.

And somehow when you unpack them, they contain more than you packed into them. The shelves aren’t big enough. There aren’t enough drawers. The closets are tiny. And then there is the pile of stuff you thought you had lost, and the pile of stuff thought lost that you wish still was because you don’t know what to do with it.

This is one of those moments. Somewhere between an end and a beginning. Neither, yet both. Its like playing a game of poker. Someone has just cleaned out the pot, and the next hand isn’t on the table yet. The time when you shuffle the deck, shake things up a bit. Throw a little extra random chance into the mix.

So when the boxes are gone, and all that remains is the beginning of something new, I wonder what kind of hand I’ll have been dealt.

The Holidays.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Though I may complain about the expenditure, or the hassle, or a myriad other things, in the end, Christmas is always wonderful. Once the gifts have been opened, and the ham been sliced, and we sit around the table telling the same stories we tell every holiday, and almost every Sunday at the family dinner, there is a glow. Not of light, but a crackling warm emotion in the air, like you could just reach out and hug the world.

So, from everyone here at Squadleader.com (which is really just me), have a safe and happy Christmas and keep it going through the new year.

2002 is looking to be an interesting place.

Enjoy.

And see you next year.

28 June 1998

Well, I missed a few days… but I have an excuse… My dog ate my employment application.
Actually, I now have a job… Seagull Software. I start that on July 6th, so next weekend is my last “free” weekend. Not that I’ll be working weekends, but it’ll be the last weekend that isn’t followed by getting up on Monday morning.
Now that job hunting is over, what am I gonna do now… I already decided that all my free time from here on out will be focusing on projects for North 5. First and foremost being the web page. Then I’ll start working on other things…
I’m not usually one to quote myself, but I said something that was actually pretty nifty the other night… while out drinking on Friday at the Ugly Mug Pub, I just casually said to a couple of fellow gamers from DoS, “You know that you have been spending too much time playing on-line games when you refer to being drunk as lag.” Friday night I didn’t get drunk… but on Saturday, hehe… I went to a party / pool tournament, what follows is a chronicle of the games last night:
First off, I playing some practice games against Frank.. nice guy, decent pool player, but he doesn’t play his shots with the next one in mind, meaning he doesn’t line up shots too well.. Anyhow, first game went to him when I scratched while trying to sink the 8, and the second game he still had 5 balls on the table when I dropped the 8 for the win. After that Derek and I started a game that was going pretty evenly, but we never finished because the tourney began.
I was told in the beginning of the evening that the man to beat was Austin, of the 5 tourneys they had held, he had won 3. So of course when we drew numbers for the games, he was in my bracket. Not my first game, but in my bracket. My first game was against Robby, and I almost lost. He was up with only the 14 left on the table and I had 5 balls out there. He missed a shot and I got lucky as hell by ending my turn everytime leaving him no shot on the 14. Slowly I worked down the table, and his last shot of the game, he left me set up to drop my last ball and then the 8. After almost losing it, I pulled back and won. I decided it was time to start drinking.
My next game, as luck would have it was against Pete, ForceTen of Clan DoS, and we were fighting out to see who would play Austin in the semi-final round. The game was going easy enough with Pete and I both sinking a ball or two, but I hadn’t drunk nearly enough to be good yet, so I was nervous. Then Pete dropped the 8 in by accident and took himself out of the game. At this point I think the last 3 or 4 games had ended that way.
Now was the semi-finals, me versus the legendary Austin, and I was on my 7th or 8th drink and fading fast, time to get nasty. = ) The game was normal enough, I took the break and we both traded off getting balls down, but then he took a lead and got about 3 balls ahead of me. With only the 6 on the table, he started chasing it around never quite getting it to drop in a pocket. In the end, he missed a shot on the 6 and set me up perfect for my last couple shots. The king is dead, long live the king. hehe. I’ll admit, I got lucky here. I really didn’t think I had a chance, but with the cops hangin’ around outside deciding whether or not to come in looking for minors drinking (of which their were none) and the hosts flipping out because I think they suspected a person or two to be holding (if you don’t know, don’t ask), I would guess that Austin was a little off his game. Besides, I have always been of the opinion that even when you know you can win, you should lose every now and then to keep the odds up. = )
For the finals, I was playing Scott. The game was going evenly when out of my drunken haze I had a moment of clarity and dropped 3 balls in a row and took the lead. We played back and forth a little but finally I whittled down the table and dropped my last ball. I had a nice setup on the 8, but it’s one of those shots where if you sink the 8, it’s great, but if you go a couple degrees off the mark, you scratch.
I got $43 for second place.
I must give out kudos to Kelly and Sean… they throw a kick-ass shindig.. I’m just a little upset that I missed the female, naked body-shots because I was playing pool. Next time I’ll know better and lose in the first round like Eric (D’oh!! hehehe).
I am also very glad that I am one of those people that just don’t get hang-overs…
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Today’s Song: Hey Man Nice Shot by Filter for all the obvious reasons.. this song really needed to get played during the tourney.
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Today’s Movie: The Outsiders. This was on TV during the party… I love this movie. See it.