Monday, September 24, 2007

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Man, what an up & down month September has been for me. There have been some really fun moments mixed in with several disappointments and a heavy dose of frustration. Life is like that sometimes. A lot has gone on the past 10 days, and I apologize for the lack of blog posts.

On the plus side, I made the HARL fantasy baseball playoffs again and my team, the Sevy Rhinos, were hanging onto a razor-thin lead after 2 weeks of play. After 21 seasons of playing rotisserie baseball, I still feel the excitement of September baseball. But man, watching the nightly highlights of your pitching staff's performance can leave you with a queasy stomach. Pepcid AC has become my best friend. Hello Tom Gorzelanny, why did your arm fall off last week at a time when I desperately needed you? Sheesh. There's only 1 week of major league baseball left to play... Can the Horned Ones pull another league championship out of their magic cap? And can my beloved Phillies catch the Mets or grab the NL Wild Card and make the real playoffs? We shall see soon enough.

I saw The Mousetrap at Allenberry Playhouse this month. It was a great little play, with some eccentric characters (Mr. Paravicini, Christoper Wren, and Mrs. Boyle were particularly weird and captivating) and excellent performances by the cast members. You just gotta love those Agatha Christie mysteries! I've been going to Allenberry for many years and always enjoy it. If you live in Central PA and have never ventured out to Boiling Springs for a night of theatre, what the hell are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and go see some plays!

Anna and I got to see Genesis play at the Wachovia Center in Philly on September 20. Although the concert tickets ($200+ apiece), along with everything else ($40 T-shirts and $7-$8 for a beer), were outrageously over-priced, it was still a really good time and I'm glad that I went. These guys have still got the musical licks, and Phil Collins is not only a very likeable showman, but the man still plays a mean set of drums! As a drummer myself, I was delighted at hearing the really cool sounds that the Phil Collins / Chester Thompson drumming duo generated during that evening's performance. After seeing the Police earlier this summer at HersheyPark, it's quite clear to me that the number of current rock bands that generate the kind of excitement and musical variety of these classic groups is few and far between.

September has, however, had its downside. Development work on the Sword of Severnia wargame project has gone a bit slower than I had hoped this month. While some good stuff was accomplished (I completed the rules for 1-on-1 duels and they seem to have a pretty neat flavor to them), I'm about 2-3 weeks behind the schedule that I set out for myself in mid-August. Part of that is due to some vacation days messing up my workflow. Another hiccup has been that I took an unexpected development detour and have been roughing out some campaign rules over the past week or so. I have good reasons for doing this, but when a Version 2 task suddenly gets thrust into the Version 1 workflow, things get jumbled a bit and you're left feeling like you're behind the curve. I'll get back on track soon.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the lack of communication that I've had with my design consulting team of late. I've tried to stir the pot a little, but they've been too busy with personal tasks to really keep up with things project-wise. I understand the nature of these things, but the simple fact is that a 2-month "down period" really hurts the momentum of the project from a team perspective. I hope these guys can rekindle their enthusiasm soon or it's going to be an even longer road to project-completion that I anticipated & planned for at the start of 2007.

Aside from work worries, the most frustrating thing about September has been the lackluster start to the launch of the GODS game club. It all started with much enthusiasm. We even got together for a really fun, 5-player game of Ticket to Ride on September 9. But then I realized that biweekly Wednesday sessions were not going to work schedule-wise for most folks, and so I cancelled them and stuck to a 1-game per weekend gaming schedule. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our very next weekend game session due to lack of participation. That got me a little down in the dumps to be honest. I quickly came to the realization that despite my excitement and initial efforts, getting this club to work would require some re-thinking. Expanding the core group of regular gamers seems like a necessity. I'm considering reaching out to some local folks on BGG to see if I can get another 2-4 gamers to participate. That could be a little dicey since the GODS is meant to be a private club, rather than a public group which plays at a game store, library, or other civic center. Anyway, I'm using this late-September downtime to let some ideas percolate through my mind. I know I'll get this club working, it's just a matter of time and patience... plenty of patience.

All I can say is.... can't wait for October!

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