Back Again

Sunday, August 7, AD 2016

 

 

The family and I are back safe from Gen Con.  It was fun as always.  As usual, Dad was the spendthrift of the family, spending too much on books and games.  Surprisingly, two of my best game purchases I made not at the convention but at one of the two Half Price Books in Indy that we visited.  I picked up Friedrich, a game on the Seven Years War, and its companion game Maria, on the War of the Austrian Succession.  These games will be keepers in my collection.  Both games are in mint condition, and I am fascinated by the period and the game mechanics used by the game designer.  Friedrich I got for ten bucks off the Amazon price and Maria for a stunning seventy-five off the Amazon price.

 

Some of the games I purchase I do so intending to resell them on eBay, my bride being in charge of the monthly eBay sales we have been doing since 2002.  The star in this category this year was one of the American Heritage Command Series games put out by Milton Bradley in the early sixties.  For $16.00 I purchased a copy of Hit the Beach, a game on the island hopping campaigns in the Pacific during World War II.   These were very much games rather than historical simulations, although usually some rudimentary strategy lessons were taught.  Most veteran war gaming grognards of today started their love affair with war games as a boy with one of these mass market games.   These are fairly rare in good condition and I think it will probably do well once put up on e-bay.

My bride participated in the craft section of Gen Con, crocheting a colorful Dragon’s Egg.

 

dinosaur egg FO

My daughter, the baby of our family, had fun as a bard in True Dungeon:

 

 

Our baby will be a senior in college this year!  Where do the years go?

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Off to Gen Con

Wednesday, August 3, AD 2016

 

 

My family is off today to Gen Con.  My wife and I began going to this gaming convention in 1986 (My, how the years fly by.)  That year about 5,000 people attended the Convention that was then held in Milwaukee.  The Convention switched to Indianapolis in 2003.  Last year attendance was 61, 423.  As usual I will be hanging out at the game auction along with the other grizzled grognards as we remember historical boardgames of long ago and talk about the latest games.  My bride will be crocheting in the craft section.  My daughter will be participating in True Dungeon, live action D&D.  My son, who is about to begin his final year in law school, will be prowling the exhibit hall looking for bargains.  Hopefully I will not be tossed into the Klingon gaol and if I do, I trust I will not end up in Rura Penthe.

 

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Vacation 2015

Sunday, July 26, AD 2015

family-on-vacation

  Come Sail Away sung by the Chipmunks.  (I know, that was evil of me.)

 

I am on vacation beginning today with my family until August 2.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or Obama reveals that Area 51 does contain aliens and Joe Biden has accidentally started an intergalactic war with them, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

We will begin up in Kenosha, Wisconsin with a visit to my bride’s mother.  We have been doing this since the birth of the twins and it has always been a fun family gathering.  Our new dog will be meeting her new cat so that will probably liven up the proceedings.

 

My bride, I and our 23 year old and 20 year old “kids” will be taking off for the Gen Con Convention in Indianapolis, a pilgrimage the McClarey clan makes each year to renew our uber-Geek creds.  If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled.  If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are.  Last year’s attendance was in excess of 56,000 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.

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On Vacation 2014

Friday, August 8, AD 2014

 family-on-vacation

 I am on vacation beginning today with my family until August 18.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or Obama reveals that Area 51 does contain aliens and Joe Biden has accidentally started an intergalactic war with them, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

We will begin up in Kenosha, Wisconsin with a visit to my bride’s mother.  We have been doing this since the birth of the twins and it has always been a fun family gathering.

We will then be moving my son into his apartment in Carbondale.  For those of you who have never traveled through Little Egypt, Southern Illinois, it is a remarkably beautiful part of the country.  My son is beginning law school next week at Southern Illinois University.  When I attended law school more than a third of a century ago, I received no scholarships.  However, fortunately, my son inherited his brains from my bride and has received a full tuition scholarship.  I found the first year of law school to be a challenging experience, but if I could get by my son should have few difficulties.

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On Vacation 2013

Sunday, August 11, AD 2013

 

Family on Vacation

I am on vacation this week with my family.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or Obama reveals that Area 51 does contain aliens and Joe Biden has accidentally started an intergalactic war with them, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

Among other activities we will be attending the Gen Con Convention in Indianapolis, a pilgrimage the McClarey clan makes each year to renew our uber-Geek creds.  If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled.  If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are.  Last year’s attendance was in excess of 41,000 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.  A good symbol of the holy grail of nerdiness that is Gen Con is here.  Below is a Gen Con video  which gives a nice feel for the magnitude of the convention.

 

My wife and daughter participate in the live action dungeon at Gen Con.  I do not participate due to my great personal dignity, and because I doubtless would cry in anguish as my character was slain two seconds into the dungeon!  I normally hang around at the game auction along with most of the grognard veteran gamers, i.e. geezer gamers.  The type of wackiness that goes on at Gen Con is best symbolized in this video which has nothing to do with Gen Con but which certainly has the Gen Con spirit.  (Hattip to Pauli at Est Quod Est.)

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3 Responses to On Vacation 2013

  • Have fun! At least you aren’t going to Brony Con. Now those people are out there.

  • The ultimate in escapism! 😉

    I couldn’t stand it – but enjoy yourself. I trust you will emerge as your usual self and not some cyber hero/villain/character.

  • “…Obama reveals that Area 51 does contain aliens and Joe Biden has accidentally started an intergalactic war with them…”

    Actually, I think Biden is a space alien. Its the only plausible explanation.

On Vacation 2012

Sunday, August 12, AD 2012

Family on Vacation

I am on vacation this week with my family.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or Obama dumps Biden and picks his teleprompter as his running mate, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

Among other activities we will be attending the Gen Con Convention in Indianapolis, a pilgrimage the McClarey clan makes each year to renew our uber-Geek creds.  If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled.  If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are.  Last year’s attendance was in excess of 36,000 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.  A good symbol of the holy grail of nerdiness that is Gen Con is here.  Below is a Gen Con video from 2011 which gives a nice feel of the convention.

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7 Responses to On Vacation 2012

  • Welcome (back) to Indy! I’m in an outlying area too inefficiently located to fight my way downtown, else I’d shake your hand personally. Nonetheless, I think you’ll like the stuff left over from the Super Bowl hooplah.

  • Enjo, enjoy to repeat T. Shaw. and return safely. Hail Marys

  • I hope you and yours have a wonderful time.
    I have something to ask you – maybe you will think it over on your journey home. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some sort of a response button to push after reading a fellow American Catholic’s comments? Lots of times I would like to say Amen to a post without writing a response– I don’t mean a “like” that will get posted anywhere else- just something on our own board, if I may call it that- sort of an intramural “like”. It would be interesting too because some of our friends who just read and don’t comment may participate in this way and kind of give us a “poll” of where we stand
    And if I haven’t told you, and all of the members before- I really appreciate this place. Thanks

  • I dunno Don

    I guess there is salvation for you, but you must be treading on egg shells, brother. 😉

  • Good time to be on vacation. ^.^ I look forward to being able to geek with my girls.

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Vacations and Reality

Sunday, August 7, AD 2011

 

I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday. Among adults some pretext in the way of Jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. What that real cause is we do not know. Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—a meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience, quite opaque to us. Laughter of this kind does us no good and should always be discouraged. Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.

Fun is closely related to Joy—a sort of emotional froth arising from the play instinct. It is very little use to us. It can sometimes be used, of course, to divert humans from something else which the Enemy would like them to be feeling or doing: but in itself it has wholly undesirable tendencies; it promotes charity, courage, contentment, and many other evils.

                                                                 CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

My family and I had a great time on our vacation.  Gen Con was grand as it always is, and, as the picture at the top of the post indicates, I made a new friend!  (I am the one who is not green.)

During vacations I attempt to studiously ignore the news, forget about the Law, and focus in on my family and fun.  I find that a bit difficult to do, as I always take a great deal of interest in the noteworthy events of the day, and my legal practice tends to be fairly consuming of my time during non-vacation periods.  Fortunately my family I also find fascinating, and after a day or two I am in full vacation mode and everything but my family fades into the distance for a time.

Alas, vacations always end.  When I go back to my office on Monday, I know that I will have many messages to return, and a full schedule of appointments and court appearances to deal with.  Back home with the internet, I will spend at least an hour each day getting up to speed with current events, and writing my blog posts, and my life proceeds in its familiar non-vacation manner.

It would be easy for me to think that the vacation was a temporary illusion and the way I normally spend my life the reality, but this is incorrect.  God gives us this life as an entirety and it is not for us to divide it.  Our different activities each year and each day are merely facets of the time on this planet we have as a free-will gift from our Creator.  What we do with the time, good and bad, is up to us, but no portion is less our reality than any other portion.  It is our task to enfuse everything we do with love of God and love of our neighbor.

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15 Responses to Vacations and Reality

  • Oooh, lucky bum! Hope you saw some awesome costumes.

  • Indeed we did Foxfier. A ten foot Abraham Lincoln, the obligatory hordes of Star Wars Storm Troopers, a group of drow, endless Medieval knights and ladies, a hillbilly orc, etc. One could have a fine time at Gen Con just observing the passing parade of humanity in ingenious disguises!

  • Great pic, Don! Nice to finally put a face with the name.

    “It would be easy for me to think that the vacation was a temporary illusion and the way I normally spend my life the reality, but this is incorrect. God gives us this life as an entirety and it is not for us to divide it. Our different activities each year and each day are merely facets of the time on this planet we have as a free-will gift from our Creator. What we do with the time, good and bad, is up to us, but no portion is less our reality than any other portion. It is our task to enfuse everything we do with love of God and love of our neighbor.”

    Well said, Don.

  • Thank you Jay. I was concerned whether posting a picture of myself might violate the cruel and unusual section of the Constitution, but I decided to risk it!

  • Oooh, Gen Con, I’m jealous!! My husband and I went twice when it was still in Milwaukee (pre-kids) and had an absolute blast. He’s gone once to Indy (as a judge) but I’ve never been since it moved, and we’re hoping to go again someday when the kids are older.

  • Joanna, my wife and I began attending Gen Con in 1986 in Milwaukee and have attended each year since. (Actually my wife missed 1991, as she was heavily pregnant with our twin boys at the time and did not feel up to it.) It really is a great event for kids.

  • Wait, that can’t be you! Where’s the beard and the uniform coat?

  • I loaned them to General Rosecrans! 🙂

  • My husband thought about taking my son this year until he found out how much it was to go for just a day.. is it worth the expense for someone who has never been? Or is it worth the expense because it is a tradition for your family?

  • My family and I have always been intensively interested in games: boardgames, role playing games, computer games, so Gen Con is a natural fit for us. If someone is not so interested in games, it might not be worth the expense. My advice would be to read up about it on the internet and to look at some of the many videos about Gen Con on youtube. Our trip to Gen Con is our main vacation each year, so we allot the money for it in our annual budget.

    Here is a link to the badge costs this year for attendance at the convention:

    http://www.gencon.com/2011/indy/cs/registration/default.aspx#Badges

    There was a special family of four admission for Sunday, today, of $40.00, and I would recommend that first time attendees take advantage of this to see if it is something they would be interested in.

  • When I think of vacations, I’m reminded of the Sabbath rest. In resting, we recognize our creaturehood with all of the limitations that implies. We look to God in reliance and thank him for his goodness. We renew ourselves as we seek to go forward operating on the Creator’s resources.

  • I find that short weekend getaways that involve traveling about 50-100 miles from home work best for us, and I find them most refreshing. This weekend, at the insistence of my daughter, we spent 1 1/2 days and 1 night in the Peoria area, where we used to live, revisiting some haunts we hadn’t seen in a while. It doesn’t bust the budget, and the amount of travel involved is just far enough to be a break from home without being so long as to be exhausting.

  • Thanks for the explanation on who is who in the photo, Don. 😉
    I’m sure you deserved (and needed) your time away from the office with family.

    I agree with your article WRT reality, with this proviso. Even though this world is a reality, it is not the ultimate reality. This world is to pass away – so it is partial reality. Our true reality is that for which we were created – this reality is a passage and a test for the true reality.
    Enough (too much maybe) philosophising for today 🙂 God bless.

  • True Don, our ultimate home is in the next world. However, as you point out, what we do in this world establishes where our destination ultimately lies in the next world.

  • Vacations are definitely needed for any working man (or woman). Welcome back Don!

On Vacation 2011

Sunday, July 31, AD 2011

Family on Vacation

I am on vacation this week with my family.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or there is an alarming outbreak of common sense in the government, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

Among other activities we will be attending the Gen Con Convention in Indianapolis, a pilgrimage the McClarey clan makes each year to renew our uber-Geek creds.  If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled.  If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are.  Last year’s attendance was in excess of 30,000 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.  A good overview of Gen Con is here.  Below is a Gen Con video from 2010 which gives a nice feel of the convention.

My wife and daughter participate in the live action dungeon at Gen Con.  Here is a trailer for True Dungeon 2011:

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4 Responses to On Vacation 2011

On Vacation 2010

Sunday, August 1, AD 2010

Family on Vacation

I am on vacation this week with my family.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, or there is an alarming outbreak of common sense in the government, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

Among other activities we will be attending the Gen Con Convention in Indianapolis, a pilgrimage the McClarey clan makes each year to renew our uber-Geek creds.  If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled.  If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are.  Last year’s attendance was in excess of 28,000 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.  A good overview of Gen Con is here.  Below is a Gen Con video from 2006 which gives a nice feel of the convention.

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2 Responses to On Vacation 2010

  • My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent….

    Excuses, excuses. I can’t believe you don’t have a broadband modem, you poseur.

  • You mean a WHOLE week without having to hear about how wonderful Abraham Lincoln is?!

    Thank GOD for small favors! Please, enjoy your vacation! 🙂