Entry for November 01, 2005

I hope that all of you had a Happy Halloween! Thanks again for all your support as Janice and I continue sorting through possessions damaged by the flood of our basement two weeks ago. The local social/gaming group helped move much of our stuff into storage, and I'm still drying out gaming and comic books and binders and taking carloads of pulped paper to the local dump…

Our renter's insurance company sent a note explaining that it doesn't cover flooding, and we have yet to hear back from our landlord regarding preventive measures, repairs, or communications with the developer up the hill and the town of Needham, Massachusetts. Byron V.O. and other attorney friends have been helpful, and I plan to draft letters soon. I've also placed gutter extenders at the four corners of our duplex.

In the meantime, my parents' visit from Virginia went well, and I'm recovering from minor surgery to remove three cysts from my right arm and the side of my head. Unfortunately, the stitches precluded me from wearing any costume involving a mask, but my Marc Anthony-style Roman costume was still successful at the annual costumed Halloween gathering, held at the home of Byron V.O. and family in Hopkinton, Mass., this past Sunday. Janice's sensitivity to the dust baths for our chinchillas seems to have increased, and the mold growing in our basement, which I'm fighting with a dehumidifier, has me also coughing.

I'm mostly caught up on genre television, if not movies–we didn't screen swashbuckling sequel "Legend of Zorro" this past weekend due to flood concerns, which turned out to be unnecessary because the Boston area got a half-inch of snow. Janice and I did meet Cliff & Eliza Y. and Thomas K.Y. for a pleasant brunch at Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton, Mass., on Saturday, 29 October 2005, and we hope to catch Disney's "Chicken Little," which opens this coming weekend.

"Smallville" and "Veronica Mars'" current season has been pretty entertaining, IMHO, and "Teen Titans" is following the expansion of the D.C. Universe (and its villains) as in the animated "Justice League Unlimited" and the comic books (more on spandex-clad champions of justice in a moment). Janice and I have also been enjoying the first season of the BBC's revived "Doctor Who" time-travel show, and I recorded the PBS broadcast of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" this past weekend. Rupert Everett was entertaining in "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking," which was a decent pastiche…

Congratulations to Mark A.S. & Ann W. in New Zealand on the birth of their second child, and belated congrats to fellow "Liberators" alumni Sara E.B. & Kerry B. on the birth of their second son! I've also been in regular contact with distant friends Damon F.P., David I.S., Dexter V.H., Ron J.K., Steve M.R., and David A.H. Dex and I didn't get to play the "City of Heroes" MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) due to patch-download issues, but we hope to get back to "Gwydion" and "Midnight Hand's" adventures next Sunday or Monday.

Speaking of comic book superheroes, my one-shot using the new D20 "Mutants & Masterminds" 2nd Ed. face-to-face, paper-and-dice game went well on Sunday night at Byron's place. Paul J. and his girlfriend Alycia, Thomas K.Y., and Brian W. joined Byron and me for a fun misadventure in my "S.J.I.: Drake's Port" campaign setting involving a shopping mall, old-fashioned robots on a hoversled, and a V2 missile!

Player Character creation took a while due to our unfamiliarity with the rules (among the better D20 modern sets, if not as granular as GURPS "Supers"/4e "Powers"), but once "Captain Oblivious," a Mafia princess, a superstrong grad student, a French documentarian able to turn into swarms, and a Canadian ex-soldier with energy blasts got going, we couldn't stop laughing…

While I hope to resume my regular D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: Seekers of Lore" heroic fantasy sessions in the coming week or so, I'm glad that we have something different for the occasional (and hopefully continuing) game. I'm also planning to run another one-shot over Veterans' Day weekend, when Janice will be visiting her family in Pennsylvania.

In the meantime, the systems migration is finally happening at my workplace, so I expect our workload to continue to increase. Take it easy…

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