gaming weekend

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets—Part IV: The New Venue and a New Idea

So far, the new venue for the second two days of the Gaming Weekend is proving to be quite nice indeed. It is much cooler and about a million times quieter.  The kitchen is a real kitchen, and there is a lot more room.

As I mentioned previously, it belongs to a troop of cookie-selling, uniform-wearing female children.  They tend to reward their members with little patches.

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Sigyn is enthralled.

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Perhaps I should consider some similar idea for my army of minions.  Garner me a thousand dollars, earn a badge.  Infiltrate a branch of the Midgardian government, earn a badge.  Recruit some new minions, earn a badge.  It’s worth thinking about…

Sigyn is intrigued by this tasteful portrait of a pretty young woman.

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No doubt the organization wishes all of its members to be just as genteel and cultured.  Except, she apparently grew up into this:

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Great Frigga’s Corset! What a stern-looking woman!  She has the air of One Who Can Get Things Done.   Perhaps I should investigate further…

There is a stash of old magazines in a bookcase.

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It’s all full of Helpful Advice and Good Ideas.

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Or maybe not…

The decor in this place is eclectic, to say the least.  Sigyn has discovered a pair of rideable bookend beasts in her favorite color.

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And she’s trying to give me heart palpitations by pretending to being eaten by this lion.

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Usually I am swift to leap to her defense, but I can tell this vicious attack is not in earnest because a) the lion is smiling and b) I can hear my sweetie giggle.  But I will play along.  Unhand my beloved, you cheddar-hued feline or I will strike you where you stand!

More giggles.

Some creative soul has decorated the baseboard in this corner.

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No, Sigyn, don’t go in there.  You don’t know where that hole may lead!

There is also a collection of interesting cushions.

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Sigyn is good at following orders.

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Why does this giraffe have piano keys between its legs?

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This lion looks very self-satisfied, as if it has eaten something delicious.  It may well have.  After all, it is stuffed.  (Badum tss!)

Sigyn says this pillow means “take a nap.”

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No, Sigyn.  I don’t care if it looks comfy.  Yes, I know we stayed up late last night playing games and eating cookies.  All right, all right.  You can curl up and take a nap.  I’m going to go back to the stack of old magazines and see if there are any usable hints for assembling and directing my army of chaos.  I’ll wake you when it’s time to go home.

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets—Part III: What’s Really Important

Breeding and balancing unholy monsters has given me quite an appetite.  Fortunately, the other aspect of Gaming Weekend is EATING.  Come, Sigyn, let’s repair to the kitchen area and see what delectables are on offer.

There is the usual assortment of chips and crackers.

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Sigyn is in the Cheezit box only because she hasn’t seen the Cheeto bag yet.

Enjoy your crunchies, my love. I’m after more substantial fare.

The human male obtained some beef this year.

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He rubbed it with spices.

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And then cooked it long and slow in the smoker.  There had better be some of that left!

Score!  There is some sliced and wrapped in foil in the refrigerator with all the fruit and coleslaw.

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The human female made her gingerbread cookies again, and they are going quickly.

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The nearly empty first bowl of which apparently functions as a very effective Sigyn-trap.

Do you need help getting out, my love?  No?  Just going to eat your way out?  Very well.  Just call out if you need me.  I’ll be over yonder consuming my weight in brisket.

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets—Part II: Topsy Turvy Beasts

An unusual game has just been brought out, one the human male received for his just-past birthday.  It involves trying to balance various animals on a plinth.  The animals are all angle-y and intriguing.

Sigyn, stop!

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You just met that bear!  You don’t know if he’s friendly or not.  And maybe he doesn’t like hugs.

I do not trust the eagle-condor-vulture thing, either.

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Back, winged fiend!  I know she’s snack-sized, but restrain yourself!

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The octopus, however,  is very friendly— and quite good at shaking hands.

This beast seems tame as well.

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What’s it called?  “Warthog?”  This must be the human female’s game piece, yes?

Sweet Glittering Bifrost!  What is that?!

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The game rules identify it as a Mythical Omni-Beast composed of some aspect of each of the others.  It has warthog tusks, a shark fin, the toucan beak, bear paws, and so on.  It’s a good thing it appears to be gentle, because Sigyn is thoroughly smitten.

No one knows what this piece does.

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Looks like the humans have managed to get the shark, the warthog, and a crossing symbol onto the plinth.  And a Sigyn.

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Ah!  Now it all begins to make more sense.

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The plinth is magic, and each animal piece has a small spell attached.  The magic can communicate with a computer so that the animals become part of a narrative on the screen.

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The object is to keep all the animals alive by “feeding” them “energy” with the polyhedral pieces that must also be balanced on the plinth.

The “cross” game piece does just that–it crosses two of the animals currently on the plinth.

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Which is how we managed to make a Ruffled Swinejaw

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I will admit, this is amusing.  It is giving me all sorts of good ideas for beasts I could engender to form part of my army.

So far, the humans are playing in what they call “co-op mode”, in which they all join efforts to stack as many animals and generate as many bizarre mutants as possible.  That is all well and good, but where is the competition?  Where is the striving?  I think we need to invoke Battle Mode, where a card deck comes into play.

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That way, I can play cards like this:

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Or this! 

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Truly!  I think I have found MY game!

>|: [

 

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets—Part I: No, Actually, It IS all Fun and Games

The humans are doing that thing they do again, that Thing that takes days of planning and preparation, that involves moving a lot of heavy things in very hot weather, that involves cooking and cleaning and logistics enough to move an invading army over the Alps in winter without the aid of hippopotami…

I speak, of course, of  the Summer Gaming Gathering.  

There are friends coming from far and wide, including the Blue-haired Goddaughter and the Knittery Friend.  They’ll all be bringing games and food and family members.  Sigyn and I will probably go for a little bit.  I like to try games I can cheat at win, and Sigyn likes talking to people and playing with game pieces that look like little animals.

I have involved myself rather more than usual this year, by making the clubhouse in the humans’ subdivision unavailable for the final two days of the gaming.  The human male and his friends looked high and low for a substitute venue and were just about to plunk down a Lot of Money to rent a space, when one of the gaming friends convinced the local Cookie Sprout troop to rent them their  meeting house for those two days, very cheaply.  I was sad to see the other deal fall through, because I had a kickback arranged, but I am consoling myself with the fact that there will be TWO venues for the humans to have to clean, and the second place has TWO bathrooms, one with not one but two toilets, so the human female will have extra, EXTRA potties to scrub.

The guests are arriving and the games are coming out.  The human male says this one is fun to play.  It has “Explosion” in the name–so I am intrigued.

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Any game that involves pieces that will roll around and get underfoot and go under the furniture is all right in my book, although it would be better if some of the marbles were green. 

This game has cards, as well as markers with strange symbols.

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I think the artwork is giving Sigyn wardrobe ideas.

This next one is getting a lot of play. Sigyn, let’s insinuate ourselves into the fun.  It involves getting someone to guess the Mystery Word using just one-word clues–and no two hinters can give the same clue, or that clue goes away.  That is, one could say “wick” or “beeswax” if the mystery word was “candle,” but if two people say, “wick”, “wick” will not be one of the clues the guesser gets.  So do you give the obvious clue or not?

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Ehehehe!  I just whispered in the players’ ears and ALL of the clues were the same, so the guesser now has to guess the word “parachute” with NO hints at all!  Diabolical.

Oooh!  Ooh! I know!  I’ll make the next guesser have to come up with “the human female.”  All right.  The guesser has his eyes closed, the other players have written down their clues,  and now they are silently comparing notes.  The hints are “botanist,” “cookies,” “clumsy-stupid” (hyphenated words are allowed), and “sweetie.”  Deal with that.

This next game is getting a lot of attention too.  It’s much more complex and seems to have some sort of avian bias.  I think, if one played long enough, one could learn something about birds, and the artwork is quite nice.  Sigyn, unfortunately, is so occupied in trying to keep the eggs warm that she’s having trouble remembering all the rules.

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Those last two games seem to have won some sort of award.   I think it’s a safe bet that copies of both will eventually be coming to live with the humans.  Where the male is going to put them, I have no idea.  If I were nice, I’d make some sort of pocket-dimension spell for him, one that would allow him to store an infinite number of games in a single small room.

But I’m not, so I won’t.

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A Gaming Gathering, Part III: Scraps and Snacks

Many of the games being played have never been played by this group before.  Sometimes, the players have to punch out all the pieces before they can even begin.

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No telling what this sprue goes to.

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Do you know, I bet if we take this back to the house, the felines would like to play with it and shred it all over.

One of the highlights of a gaming weekend is the food.  The humans made a half a pig’s worth of smoked pork, and there is slaw to go with it, along with six different kinds of chips, more cherries than I have seen in one place, ever, and enough sweets to put us all in a diabetic coma.

Still, some people have elected to get take-out.  The Knittery Friend’s small offspring have a tiny pizza.

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Sigyn thinks it’s “cute” and is just enchanted.

Say…  This gives me an idea.  The human female has been working hard, doing kitcheny things, and she deserves a treat.  I think I’ll order a very special pizza just for her.

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A Gaming Gathering, Part II: Up to My Neck in Spuds

There are always new games at a gaming gathering, ones neither Sigyn nor I have seen before.  Many are set-collecting games, or strategy games, or monster-bashing games.  This one looks a little different…

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No, Sigyn, I’m not sure I want to play.  But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to read the instructions.

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Potato King?  Potato War?  What is this??

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What’s in the box besides the rules?  A burlap sack of lumpiness, apparently.  What’s inside?

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Ah.  A bushel of soft “potatoes.”

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Sigyn is smitten by their spuddy squishiness.

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I find them less endearing and am not amused.

Though I do have a sudden craving for fries…

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A Gaming Gathering, Part I: Making New “Friends”

The semiannual gaming gathering is in full swing.  There are people from the Big City to the North, the Big City to the South, the Slightly Smaller City a Bit Further South, and quite a few from around here.  The blue-haired goddaughter and her parents are here, as well as the Knittery Friend and her clan.  When I landed on this rock, getting to know the populace before I subdued them was never part of my agenda, but I seem to know quite a few of them now.  Of course, I can’t be bothered to learn any names, but the same faces keep turning up.

There are some new faces here, though.  Some of these characters appear decidedly… shady.  Sigyn, true to form, trusts everyone and has made a beeline for the strangers.

This large grey fellow is rather imposing.

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Careful, Sigyn!  He appears well-armed.  Though my horns are finer, no doubt he could do some damage with his, for all they appear to be somewhat squishy.

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Guess I needn’t have worried.  Apparently, his name is Rinaldo and he is now on our Yule card list.

Moving on.  I know I haven’t seen these colorful characters before.  Look, you bespotted nobodies, don’t get any ideas.  I am Loki, God of Mischief, and this is my turf!

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Perhaps they are mostly harmless.  I think they may be in search of a good ophthalmologist.  The owlish-looking one has some serious bug-eyes, and the big blue bird thing has the worst case of amblyopia I’ve ever seen.

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And I think the frog-like one is trying to do the macarena.

Oh, great.  Now we’re taking a group photo.

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Sigh. Fine.  I’ll line up.

But I won’t say, “cheese.”

>|: [

Mischief Update: Getting the Year Off To A Great Start

The human female was heard to say, “2016:  Wow, what a dumpster fire!!  2017:  I miss the dumpster fire– at least it was contained.  2018:  I welcome our new alien overlords–at least they put out the fire.”

After a quip like that, I couldn’t very well fail to step up and fulfill the prophecy, now could I?  Thanks to my meddling:

Both humans were sick for the annual Feast of Thanksgiving and Overeating

The file server in the Biology Department died a spectacular death on the Eve of Yule, ensuring that the human male had a very interesting holiday.

The Terror Twins made off with the human female’s prized university ring, prompting five days of fretting and more furniture-moving and sweeping than has transpired in a decade.  It was finally located.  In the pantry.  Under things.

Do you recall the malfunctioning fridge?  The departmental fix-it man did, in fact, find a replacement and brought it over.  And it worked!  Prep Staff moved it from the drop-off point to its new home.  To make sure that the door didn’t swing open in transit, they very helpfully put the hasp on the outside of the door over the little knob and turned the little knob.  Which is how the human female got to pay for a lock being cut off.

The Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things duly sent the multiple jars of Hydrda (wonderful little beasts with sting-y harpoons!) when requested.  They failed to send the invoice to the university’s Bean Counters, though, so it didn’t get paid.  I’m doing everything I can to ruin the human female’s good name with every vendor on the continent.

Despite the hard work of the human female and her Prep Staff, the vast quantity of Dead Things ordered last year and delivered, put away, counted, and paid for with great difficulty didn’t include everything required.  The human female had to order 3 more sharks and 100 pig kidneys from the Purveyor of Dead Things over the semester break.  Learn to count, people.

The Powers that Be, trying to discommode as many persons as possible, blocked off two parking areas for “utility work” in December, forcing space-holders to park in one of the campus garages.  The humans ended up in the Scary Garage, the one that has wicked little cut-through lanes to let cars zip across the spaces.  The parking lots themselves were devoid of any signs of activity beyond big piles of pipe and some Big Yellow Machines until mid January.  Up to this point, the humans’ spot has been entirely unaffected, and they could have parked in it every single day.  They’re back in it now, but the piles of pipe are still hanging around, so they may yet be back in the garage.

The annual Gaming Weekend in the Big City to the North was scheduled for mid-January when most of the humans had a three-day weekend.  The human female was sick and couldn’t go.  The human male got 2/3 of the way there when someone called him to tell him that, this time, it was the Mail Server which had thrown two hard drives and died.  He had to turn around and drive all the way back and spent most of the holiday getting it back up and running.  I think I am three for four on ruining holidays with server issues…  Not bad, not bad!

Several big boxes of textbooks for the new teaching assistants showed up.  Lovely big book.  Hummingbird on the cover.  Lots of glossy photos.  Unfotunately, it’s not the textbook in use.  Bye-bye little hummingbirds.

Speaking of books, the Department, at my urging,  has elected to adopt an open-source, online textbook beginning in the fall.  The human female is reading it through.  She’s on Chapter 9 and has about thirteen pages of errata.  It’s such fun to watch that vein in her head pop out.

Then there’s the usual beginning-of-the-semester-fu with TAs who can’t teach because they don’t have a valid passport (how did they even get here?), a lost day of class due to ice and snow (these humans become undone at the slightest sign of a flurry), mangled syllabi, a shortfall of lab manuals, unavailability of live termites because of ice and snow somewhere else, crazy drivers, and general influx of different germs from all corners of Midgard.

The days are just packed!

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Are We Having Fun Yet? (Gaming Weekend Continues)

Some of the games are very simple.  This one, for instance, involves nothing more conceptually challenging than trying to stack felines in prescribed arrangements.  Sigyn is a big fan.

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But, as we all know, herding cats can be problematic.

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Shoo, you flea-ridden nuisance!  The human female may be in the market for a new pet, but I am most assuredly not.

Sigyn has mistaken the marker things in this game for bars of chocolate.

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Uh, yeah. No.

I’ve been handed this piece by the human female.  She says it’s supposed to be an amphora of wine.

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*I* think it is a beet.  I hate beets.

Some of the games are more complex.  This one involves piles of lovely, lovely money.

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I like money.   I wonder if its owner has counted the coins, or if their disappearance would be marked at all…

Apparently, they are used in the game to finance hypothetical start-up companies.  Sigyn is enthusiastic about this one.

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I find this one intriguing.  For some reason, it reminds me of the human female.  (She really needs to stay away from the snack table over there.)

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Sigyn!  Look at this game!  It is quite complex and has some rather nice artwork.

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It certainly brings back some fond memories from our vacation last year.

This is where we found all the interesting archaeological clutter and trinkets of a hundred vanished empires.

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Not to mention a number of fine golden objects which were, unfortunately, a little too closely monitored.

Sigyn liked this place.  It was full of snuff cozies and lacquered bird stumps and parquetry-work onomatopoeia.

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Not to mention antimacassared-plumbobs and miniature pearl-handled credenzas.

And, um.  This was the place I wasn’t allowed into.

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Didn’t want to look inside your stupid old Byzanto-Venetian, marble-inlaid, mosaic-tesselated layer cake anyway.

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Still In The Throes of Gaming

Some of these games have definite possibilities.

For example, this one looks like it might be right up my alley:

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And this one, which involved destroying skyscrapers with monsters could be a lot of fun.

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And I have fallen in love with this majestic ship.

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Come, my beloved!  Let us sail over to the food table and see if any new goodies have appeared today.

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