Steam sale

2017-Jun-27, Tuesday 11:41 pm
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I have managed to avoid spending a lot of money in the Steam Summer Sale, mainly by not having a lot of money in my steam wallet. That might be changing tomorrow after I go to the supermarket. Deciding what I want to acquire, and will actually play, is the current factor holding me up from spending the last of what's there right now. With all I've seen about it (and the small amount I was able to play of the sequel) Mass Effect is currently at the top of my to buy list. The number of LEGO games for $6 would be tempting as well, if I had a working controller at the moment.
Apparently posting about how cheap Portal was a couple of days ago was enough to get one of the Saga regulars to buy it. He's got about halfway through after a couple of play hours.
As I was warned a fair while ago, the Hexcells follow ups are not as good. I'll almost certainly finish the pair of them, but it's going to take a lot longer than the Hexcells game did.

Work picked up again after nothing for nearly three weeks, I've been getting simple enough jobs while there. Getting out of bed quickly hasn't been happening, I'm not sure whether it's more because I'm tired and want to sleep more or the cold making me want to just stay under the covers. Apparently the heat pump is getting fixed on Thursday though, it'll be good to find the house warm again. Still thinking that a dehumidifier would be worthwhile.

Unenforced lethargy

2017-Jun-13, Tuesday 11:54 pm
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I went to the Monday game group last night for the first time in over a month, and it may be done for me. As the past six years have passed those that were attending at the start got married, started working full time, etc. and attendance has dropped significantly from peak. I got to play a couple of games each of Race for the Galaxy and Dominion, only one wasn't 2-players. It was kind of weird to play Dominion with physical cards again after so many games online.

I've had a week longer without work than I intended, taking a little extra time off to deal with Buckets of Dice, and started trying to bring my sleep schedule back to "normal" a few days ago. Didn't really work that well but I have actually been managing to sleep more than the six or seven hours I seemed to be peaking at. The distinct lack of physical activity won't have been good, if it wasn't for last night and Wednesday last week I'd have barely been further than 1.5 km from home for the past week. Two days I didn't even leave my flat.

Fallout Shelter is probably ending it's interest span for me. This afternoon I built the last room type I hadn't got to, and the Quests are mostly simple now that Dwellers have levelled up. I wonder if a better specced computer would lead to other games holding my interest more, I think I'd have played Skyrim longer if I could run that with YouTube playing on the TV at the same time. The FPS I typically get seems likely to be low enough that most people wouldn't put up with it. I know I managed to deal with TV display issues that my parents wouldn't have.

I started wondering a while ago if I would benefit from a dehumidifier in the flat. An air purifier also seems likely to do good.

Upcoming weekend

2017-May-30, Tuesday 11:41 pm
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I miss certain people when gaming more than I probably would have expected to a while ago. Not getting to hug particular people is part of that, there have been a few over the years that I'd hug while playing, or waiting for games to start, or whatever. I'm seeing less of those people now and I miss them. I might be seeing some of them this weekend, but not all. On the other hand, I'll be spending more than half of Saturday and Sunday at a game convention and should manage to play a lot of board games.

With the weekend I'm about to have I decided yesterday that I'd be declining work until near the end of next week. That means I have a full eight days without a reason to be up quite so early and will likely sleep in every day aside from those of the gaming weekend. Annoyingly enough the latest start of the three days is the one closest to me so I'll be out in the cold for the shortest time on the day that should be the warmest as I'm heading out.
If I could be assured that Thursday would be like today was I'd have been willing to work then as well. For an eight hour shift I feel like I may have worked about two hours, most of which was the 90 minutes helping load one particular job.

I played Dune again at the weekend just been, with a couple of people that hadn't played the first time and three that had. Things didn't go as well for me this time around, probably a result of not having other people pay me for things like was happening in the game a fortnight earlier. Still felt like there was a chance that I'd have managed a (combined) win, but the host had to go out for a family thing. After packing up I got offered a lift home and "suffered" a mini interrogation on the way home. Nowhere near as in depth as the conversation over chat that happened a year ago with a friend but I insinuated a truth that I normally don't talk about, which surprised me.

(no subject)

2017-May-23, Tuesday 11:54 pm
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Simple work for the past couple of days, still tired though. I spent about half of my lunch break today napping and went to bed "early" last night. Getting up early on Saturday to attend the garage sale of the former Game Depository didn't help either, especially with me falling back to sleep and missing the offered ride.

I decided at the weekend that I'd rewatch the Star Wars trilogies, for the first time in years, probably a decade actually. With the reminder of Machete order I might watch in that order, although I'll probably watch the "first" movie as well. If the controller I have worked at the moment I was also considering playing through the LEGO Star Wars game I have, each episode after the relevant movie. That doesn't really seem worthwhile attempting with keyboard controls though, and I'm now thinking it's Episode I first in the game.

The next couple of weekends I'll be playing games again, this weekend is Dune again, with some different people than last time. Not sure if there'll be other games as well this time, or if we'll end up playing just Dune because it will last longer.
Queens Birthday weekend will be my eighth Buckets of Dice and I expect to be there more than half of both Saturday and Sunday. I doubt I'll be playing much that's long at all but there's been a request for Die Macher already. The reminder of how long it's been since I went and spent an afternoon with a friend isn't overly welcome though, the second attempt fell through due to other plans, and then neither of us has made another attempt.

Weekend of sand

2017-May-16, Tuesday 11:58 pm
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I spent a significant portion of my Saturday playing a Print'n'play copy of Dune. The first game was over in the first round as the host managed to take control of another couple of the goal regions without the rest of realising that was going to happen. The second game went more as expected although there were a couple of the early rounds where it needed to be pointed out that one particular player might get control of the third region they needed to win. Game end came when the alliance option showed up and the two of us that were getting other players money during the rounds allied. It nearly ended up being all five were controlled by the two of us, but one of the three fights went the way of the defenders.
There was also a couple of other games played, one prior while waiting for the last to arrive, and one after before our host had to leave.

Star Trek: Timelines lost my interest after little more than a month. Probably due to finding Fallout Shelter and starting to play it, a game that feels similar in commitment etc. but which continues to have things to do regardless of how long I've been doing things.
The newest thing on my YouTube playlist is Subnautica, which, if I played, I'd probably spend most of my time building a base instead of progressing the story.

2017 Mini-Con 1

2017-May-02, Tuesday 11:56 pm
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I spent most of my waking hours of the weekend just been on Uni grounds, playing board games or waiting for something to start. There didn't seem to be as much of the waiting around as prior years, although that may be perception due to people. Nearly one third of the games I played were Roll for the Galaxy, pretty much everything else was just played the once. Getting to play Agricola and Galaxy Trucker alone would have made it a good weekend. Attendance seemed well up on last year, that may be because there was less RPG stuff happening.
Less fun was getting home from gaming on the Saturday night, and after dealing with a bird in my room, finding out there was a flat inspection scheduled for Monday morning. Fortunately I'd decided to not work on Monday because I expected to be tired (I was) and I spent a while Monday morning cleaning up some of the accumulated mess. Things are apparently okay, although smoke alarms need put in, and airing clothing needs to be done with more ventilation.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading back to Mainly Music, it's been weird during the school holidays to not have that as part of my Wednesday activities. Not heading that far has also led to me not getting to the supermarket as much. With the weekend of games I've not been in a long enough time frame that I'm out of a bunch of things.

More games.

2017-Apr-25, Tuesday 11:59 pm
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It seems that I'll be spending the end of my month gaming more than I have been managing for most of the past while. With today being a public holiday, and thus no work for me, I went to the Monday gaming I stopped attending a couple of months back. And stayed until nearly midnight because there were a bunch of others able to stay late as well. There was also games on Saturday that I played a few games at, including a messed up game of CV because I had only played the once and didn't read the rules beforehand.
Tonight I played Power Grid for the first time in over a year, and only the second time in two and a half years. With the rest of the players being new, or nearly so, it's unsurprising that I won, but I expect that a second game would be a lot closer. I also played a game of Dominion, that I thought I was going to lose when I saw each opponent get a Province before I was in a position to do so. Things went better when my cards started working as expected though and I had a good lead at game end. I also played a game of Exploding Kittens, which I don't think I'll be doing again, mainly because I was waiting for the last game to end and sat beside a friend.
It seems I'll be playing Galaxy Trucker on Thursday, presuming at least one other wants to play as the friend I just mentioned wants to play.

Gaming weekend.

2017-Apr-19, Wednesday 12:39 am
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Easter weekend for me consisted of a day doing nothing much, and then three days away from my home playing games. I didn't wake early enough on Friday or Sunday to attend the services at the church I attend, I don't feel as though I'd missed out on anything by waking up late.
Saturday I played a few games, including my first play of a game that the other three had played about a fortnight earlier. I managed to win, even with a couple of the others having what seemed like much bigger turns than I managed. I ended the night with what ended up being a more than two hour game of Terra Mystica, in which I achieved my best ever score, 20 points behind the winner.
Sunday was about as long, that started earlier, although I was later showing up than I'd expected. I played 7 games, winning everything until the evening. I'm not sure about the three games of Star Realms: Colony Wars against a guy that had learnt at the end of the morning, I think I narrowly won each of them. The last game of the evening was a DC Comics game with new Heroes and cards that I was largely unfamiliar with. One of the Super Villains had players add the top two cards of the main deck, and take Weaknesses according to the cost of one of them, the two cards I turned over were cost 7. I got one turn after that and was able to get rid of a couple of them but if ever there had been a game to have Bizzaro in my deck that was it. One of those involved was the individual I decided to avoid gaming with at all months ago, and I joined mainly as I'd felt one of the others present was also not enjoying gaming with that person. The two of us ended up spending a fair portion of that game time hugging with back rubs as well. Making what might have been a very unpleasant time actually pleasant.
Monday was an earlier start again, with a couple I very much enjoy spending time with, even aside from gaming. I played a number of games there, losing the two of them that were new to me as well as the 7 Wonders game which is about normal. I also stuck around a little after the last of the others left, and conversation went to theatre as she acts, providing me with more insight into something I'll not otherwise get to experience.

The amount of sleep I managed (or didn't) indicates that Buckets of Dice at the start of June is going to be worse for me than prior years. I may end up choosing to skip the Sunday morning, so I can sleep in more. Maybe even head to church for a while.

LJ no more

2017-Apr-11, Tuesday 11:59 pm
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LiveJournal was sold several years ago and has gone through a few changes in the interim. The most recent has left me unable to continue cross-posting from Dreamwidth, which also breaks the FB posting. More importantly, there is a new USER agreement, which isn't binding in English, even though there is an English version that has to be agreed to before really continuing on. Other issues have presented as well, with a number of people I follow/respect choosing to leave the service entirely. I'll miss the RSS functionality of it (most of what I've seen for the past few years has been the feeds from a few sites) but considering how many others left from peak usage I'll not really miss a lot.
I may remember to post links to these entries manually, I may investigate the ITTT thing that I've noticed one other person using, most likely FB will no longer get any link that leads to my journal anymore.

At the start of the weekend just been I started playing Star Trek: Timelines. Progress slowed down as I've found normal for the sort of game it is, but I'm expecting to keep playing for quite a while. The last of these that I played held my interest for most of a year.

Easter weekend is going to see me spending three of the four days gaming, with three different groups. I'm not really sure what games I'll play, although I can guess at one on the Monday.

Not a lot going on

2017-Apr-04, Tuesday 11:39 pm
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I may be relaxing a bit more about games. Not a lot of the SAGA gaming has been heavy weight of late, and while I would like to play Agricola, I've not really been wanting to play anything specific that I haven't managed to play aside from that. Getting more into the social deduction games that the new crowd are fond (understatement) of has also been fun. I played three games of Mafia (Werewolf) tonight, the first for years I think.

Easter weekend is coming up, and it seems I'm already at the point of having to choose which gaming event I attend. Three have been put forward with two on the Saturday at present.

I purchased a bunch of DVDs a couple of weeks back, and still haven't watched half of them. I keep getting into the backlog of YouTube and podcasts instead and finding new things to watch. Including a bunch of Oxygen Not Included which looks like it would hold my attention as much as Factorio and RimWorld likely would have.

Carry on

2017-Mar-28, Tuesday 11:58 pm
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Work continues to be about as much as I want it to be, with extra I'm turning down.

I decided to not work last Thursday, partly as I'd thought I'd go out to game Wednesday night. (With rain starting late afternoon I stayed home though.) After getting up later than intended I headed to the Uni and helped out a little with the "Week of the Geek" event for the day. I basically sat there most of the time, and spent a little while playing King of Tokyo or Tsuro for a short while.

I haven't really felt like I'm missing the games on Monday nights, the walk was obviously more of an issue than I'd realised. Knowing that what's being played is simple/short has probably impacted things as well. If I'd not gone back to the Wednesday group so much this year that would likely be different. It will probably lead to another drop off in yearly game plays though. I seem unlikely to ever again reach the peak of 800+ that I was at about five years ago.

I really ought to start having conversations elsewhere to cars. Considering how little time I spend in cars it cuts down on how many conversations I get to have for a start.

Another year older.

2017-Mar-21, Tuesday 11:45 pm
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Like I've been doing for a while now I hid certain information on FB a couple of weeks ago so I'd not get as many messages about being older at the weekend. I also prevented posting to my wall by everyone at least a year ago.

I took almost all of last week off work, only going in on Tuesday and letting the agency know I wasn't interested in working the rest of the week. That left me completely free to go out and game each night, without the minimal concern for when I'd be getting home.
Gaming on Wednesday night ended up being a single relatively simple game, that took longer than it ought to have. I shouldn't complain about it though, one of my best scores, and only my second win at four player, after 17 games at that count.
Thursday night I got to play an even longer game, that was new to three of us and only the second game the owner had played. Time travel was a part of it, with resources potentially sourced from the future and needing to be sent back later to avoid penalties. I don't want to play a lot more,yet anyway, but will definitely be interested in a second game now I've got a better idea of what's going on.
A friend recently acquired some more board games and hosted games on Saturday. One of which is a game I've known about for more than half a dozen years and refused to play on the rare occasion I've been asked. Because of how I feel about that particular group I was interested in playing, had a good time, and will now consider playing with others depending on time available. I'm not going to play it at regular sessions of SAGA though if people decide to try it there, length is one of the biggest factors in what I want to play at SAGA.

I had the entire flat to myself for about 72 hours at the weekend as well, most of my time here was spent the same way I spend it when my flatmates are home. Watching YouTube on the TV and catching up on Tumblr, BGG, FB, and the other assorted sites I keep up with.

tastes change?

2017-Mar-07, Tuesday 11:57 pm
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It would seem that I might be playing a lot more "social" games at SAGA this year. I spent what seemed like an hour or more playing four games of The Resistance tonight and then played another couple of games of a simpler level. Started with Roll for the Galaxy though which was good, even with the obvious poor play that had me tied for last place. I am still struggling to remember names of a number of the seemingly new regulars, I hope to be able to call them by name before the month is out.

I took the second part of the regular Friday shift off work last week, so I could go to the Community Lunch, getting there late because I took longer to deal with laundry than expected. While there I was again assumed to be the father of a baby, perhaps understandable considering how I gravitate to the baby and mother when they arrive and don't really interact with others that are present.
I might already be finished with work for this week, it seemed likely that there won't be work for the rest of the week because things are a bit quiet at the moment.

For the past couple of days I've put a podcast on my phone and listened to them while getting to work. Road noise is a bit of a problem for some of the trip, but I'm missing very little of what gets said.

(no subject)

2017-Feb-21, Tuesday 11:58 pm
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Yesterday evening there was a community gathering to talk about the National government deciding to sell off State Housing. As such I missed Monday games for the first time in a fair while that wasn't due to me not wanting to walk so far. I didn't miss the walking and currently feel that I won't be as inclined to go out as I have been. The actual discussion didn't provide me any particular insight, selling of housing is abdication of responsibility from the government.

On Friday I headed to the community lunch thing that runs a couple of times a month at the church I attend. While there I got to play a little Heads Up type game and then got asked to stick around and mind a toddler while his mum had a meeting. I may also have been recruited to mind him (and other?) on other occasions, barring work issues.

My smart phone now has some of my music stored upon the Micro-SD card and I no longer listen to the radio as I walk to and from work. I haven't yet got around to putting any of the podcast files on it, I'm not sure how well the Google Play app will allow me to deal with a desire to go back and listen to a portion of the file again.

Gaming

2017-Feb-14, Tuesday 11:59 pm
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For what may be the first time ever I did something relevant to Valentines Day on valentines day. Love Letter, Batman edition, was played at Saga tonight, and I was leading strongly when one of the others had to leave. I also played a decent game of Elysium earlier, and a good game of Dominion after. Next Tuesday is the first of the Uni clubs days so we'll likely see an upswing of numbers from then and could well see simpler games getting played more for a couple of weeks. I am interested to know how many people will be sticking around this year. Unfortunately one of the regulars, five years or so, will likely be shifting to Dunedin soon and another has relocated to the east of the city such that making it to sessions is awkward at best.
I'm currently thinking that tomorrow night will be the first Wednesday night this year that I don't go out gaming. The location is even further than the other locations tend to be and I'm hopefully going to be working on Thursday morning. Last week was the birthday of one of the hosts and she wanted to play Concordia, a game I've not played as much in person as I'd like, so I got to be a part of her winning that. My tendency for my first action seems to be different from other people's which may have helped her start. I also got to play Endeavor for the second time recently, winning handily.

Reflections

2017-Feb-07, Tuesday 11:53 pm
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I spent nearly 72 hours of the long weekend just been a little north of Amberly, enjoying the heat a little less than I would have had I made a slightly better choice of clothing. As expected I didn't take part in almost anything that had been organised activity wise, choosing to not go orienteering, rafting, climbing rocks, or going through the confidence course etc. I did however spend a short while with bow and arrows, although it seemed to be over very fast compared to what it might have been. Much of my time was spent using my smart phone to occupy me with games or playing physical games of Star Realms with the 10 year old I taught on Saturday. Aside from a couple of aborted games of Galaxy Trucker I might as well have left my bag of games here, aside from the Star Realms box.
With a 14 month old being there I ended up spending a reasonable amount of time watching over him, letting one or other of the parents go do other things briefly. I also had the younger children of another individual monopolise some of my time, one wanting me to read to her which is something I've done very little of considering how often I spend time with children that young.
My current expectation is that I won't be going back again next year unless the attendees change a lot. Most of those that have been going in recent years have been families, and while I get on with those I know from that grouping I don't "fit in" as a single middle aged man that doesn't want to talk. Being there also led to me missing out on a game day that I'm sure I would have had a good time at. Getting fed etc. is good but not worth the inconvenience of sharing a room, not having internet, etc.

I went into work an hour late this morning, because of miscommunication yet again. I also found out the supervisor has also been annoyed at how late the casuals are getting contacted about shifts, sometimes four or more hours are going by before the message is passed on. I do still get offered shifts though which I still have to count as a big improvement from a year ago. A depressingly low bar.

January is done.

2017-Feb-01, Wednesday 12:08 am
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The weekend just been saw the 1o year anniversary of me shifting into this flat, longer than I've lived anywhere else and significantly longer than all but the house I consider my childhood home. There's probably been close to a dozen different people in the room upstairs over that time frame, while the other two of us seem unlikely to be leaving anytime soon.

I'm going to miss gaming this coming weekend, because I decided to go to this years church affiliated camp. I'll probably still manage to get a few games played while I'm out of the city, but not the number I might have managed. I also currently have little idea about who else is going to be going, a couple of those I'd expect to play with aren't going to be going because they're out of the area. On another level I'm considering this a test of sorts for the year end GamesFest that I'm wanting to go on, after missing three years due to money and expected travel issues.

For the last half of last year I had a book in my work bag that I intended to read during my lunch breaks and machine downtime. Over the five months I had it with me I managed to read about half of it, in the first three days I worked this year I finished the other half. I will be finding something else to take along, although I may also read on my smart phone during the lunch breaks, if I can keep myself from playing games instead.
A couple of days ago I had Pythagorea 60 suggested to me and I quickly found myself puzzled by some of the levels. I've also been playing a SET like game when I have a couple of minutes.

Back to work

2017-Jan-24, Tuesday 11:59 pm
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I've had shifts at work for the first time in more than a month, I am sleepy and sore. With the recurrent short slowdowns or stoppages of the machine I was working at the past couple of days I managed to read about 70 pages of Robinson Crusoe, after getting through barely double that in the six months or so I was reading it last year.

I've pretty much guaranteed that this January will be the best for games played yet and I'm still expecting to game on three nights and maybe even a fourth. I'm not sure if there will be Wednesday games yet and even if there is I might already be breaking with my intention to attend most of them for the year. Working the following morning won't be particularly pleasant if I'm out late, wherever it might be. I may be spending pretty much all of next Tuesday evening playing Scythe if a couple of (suitable) others can be found to join in. There are people at SAGA I just won't considering playing it with, especially when we'd likely all be learning. The holiday sessions are going well though it seems, decent numbers, especially considering the lack of students around.

A couple of weekends ago I purchased some DVDs, watching the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine that afternoon. This more recent weekend I consumed almost no media that wasn't the first couple of seasons of The Newsroom

Reflection on gaming

2017-Jan-10, Tuesday 11:56 pm
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I got asked recently about my lack of desire to play 2-player games. I'd not really given any thought to the why, since it became obvious to me more than a year ago. Two obvious reasons came to mind as far as influential factors when I did start thinking about it.
The first being that the games I like most are typically (much) better at the full player count. Agricola, Princes of Florence, Galaxy Trucker.
The second was the factor of a 2-player game being, of necessity, myself and a single other person. There aren't many people whose company I enjoy that much that I'd seek out a game with them that way, and fewer still that I expect to enjoy mine enough.
A third reason, upon further reflection; I have two basic experiences with two player games (most but not all). My opponent was either a man that I sort of saw as a father figure (or, much earlier, my actual father), or, in more recent times, a romantic partner. Neither of those apply in any way to most of those I might game with now.
There's also going to be an element of correlation between 2 player and abstract games. For someone that claims to not care about theme, and largely ignores it during explanation, I am disinclined to play most abstracts.

Before I headed to Saga tonight I had already played as many games this January as I did through all of January last year. That was largely based on three game days, each being about 10 hours. I'm not expecting any more day long sessions this month but wouldn't likely turn down the option. Especially while I'm not yet back at work I'm going probably going to go to the Wednesday game nights again, the slightly "heavier" games than Monday and Saga typically have is good. I still haven't felt inclined to make it to the Friday group, but that's mainly distance, and expecting the games to not be of much interest to me.
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Wednesday night I went out to game somewhere new, with the current iteration of the group that I started attending nearly nine years ago. Furthering the "new that wasn't new" I played El Grande for the first time in six years and only the second time I remember seeing it in recent years. I also played Tiny Epic Galaxies, for the second time, a year after my first play, and am now wondering if there was something done wrong the first time.

New Years Eve I got invited to the home of a couple of friends, and spent the night playing board games with the two of them. Or, slightly more accurately, spent half the night playing with the two of them as one got tired and went to read. As midnight hit I was involved in a game of Gin Rummy, which I think was the first time I'd played since the end of 1997.
Sleeping on their bed was a bit less restful than normal, but part of that would have simply been it not being my bed. Having their cat make noise moving around in the morning also had me awake earlier than I wanted to be. The walk back to my part of the city, and the church service, was warmer than I'd expected and I could easily have not bothered with my jacket while away. That's been the only really hot day recently, I'm hoping for more.

I spent almost all of my waking hours yesterday away from here playing even more boardgames. As a result of being there I didn't go the regular Monday Night session that I have normally been to for the past 6 years. Half of what I played was games I like a lot; Agricola with actual drafting of cards at the start, Asara where we had very close end game scores, and El Capitan for the first time in six months. I also got to play Crazy Karts which I can see holding interest for a while, especially if there's an expectation that some one will be showing up late. The other two were Saboteur (which is a better filler than most) and Terra Mystica (which I'm okay with playing, just not eager).

This coming weekend I'm probably going to be gaming both days, in a couple of locations. A week from now SAGA is apparently going to have started up again so I might be back to gaming a lot, much earlier in the year than normal.

As I've been doing since the first year I was gaming with the Wednesday night group I went to the effort of using BGG and my records there to create a geeklist of all the Boardgames I played at least five times through the year. A list that was different to those of recent years in a few ways.
* My most played game in 2016 was only played 41 times, last year the high count was 73 and one year hit 91.
* A bunch of games that had been on last years list didn't appear this time, some of which I'm not sorry to see go, a few I regret not playing more.
* Five fewer games on the list compared to last year, which isn't a great reduction, especially considering how much less I gamed in 2016.
* On that topic, I only played 533 games through the year, in 2012 the count was 866. The simplest reason is that by not going to the Wednesday group at most of the locations cut out about 20% of what I might have played. I missed more of the Monday group than normal as well (because of distance) and there were a lot fewer short games played there, as well as earlier finish times.

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