Sep. 1st, 2017 07:35 am
essentialsaltes: (cthulhu)
"There were five of us that night [at the seance]: Jessica, whom I was to marry just after the new year, Walters, and two of our new members, one a student -- Cambridge, I think -- named Wilson, who was home for the holiday, and a young scientist of sorts named Tice."

From "The Cellar Room", by Steffan B. Aletti

I survive the seance in the flashback, but die unmourned offscreen in the intervening years before the framing story concludes.

I spotted it in Acolytes of Cthulhu, but it traces back at least as far as Weird Terror Tales #3, Fall 1970.
essentialsaltes: (facegouge)
My rhetorical question appears to have been answered.

If one cannot bring oneself to punch a lady Nazi in the face, you should pepperspray her in the face.

Now, it's almost too good to be true that she had just finished saying "I'm looking to make a statement by just being here and I think the protesters are doing the same. Props to the ones who are doing it non-violently, but I think that's a very rare thing indeed."

So, if you're of a conspiratorial bent, this is a false flag operation or something. But I think it's fair to say that there were plenty of anonymous violent troublemakers there. The police are of the opinion that they were 'outside agitators' (a phrase I knew we would see more and more of) and not Berkeley students. Which is probably the case, since I'm now hearing all about these experienced antifa activists. Who are these experts all of a sudden and where did they get their expertise? There hasn't been a fascist state to fight in some time, and never in the US, so I find myself suspecting that these are just people who like to have fistfights with skinheads. Whoever they are and whatever their movement is about, they know squat about working against the excesses of a Trump Administration.

Instead, of course, they are falling into the trap.

Now some have correctly pointed out that neo-Nazis can be experts at using 'the System' to quash opposition. "Oh, we're the victims, save us, save us, Law & Order!"

So then I ask: Why the fuck would you fall into their trap by punching people on the street? Are you stupid?

Berkeley was literally the origin of the Free Speech Movement and Sproul Plaza is Free Speech Central.

The university did the right thing in not preventing the speech, and they (or the UCPD who made the call) did the right thing in shutting it down for safety reasons.

Of course the Donald had to weigh in on Twitter:

"If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?"

This is literally one of the stupidest things I've ever read. Even among Trump tweets, this is a doozy.

But remember my warning "Fortunately, we on the left are waaaaay too smart to be manipulated by Russian propaganda. Right? Right? No one would be suckered in by the idea that democracy or free speech are inherently flawed concepts"

Don't be down on Free Speech, just because Trump says he likes it. This is exactly the kind of emotional response thing that Trump apparently uses to perfection. Of course, it only works on stupid people. So don't be a stupid person.

Anyway, I'm reiterating my distaste for Nazipunch and the flawed philosophy behind it.

And again I'm warning against falling into the trap.

Because if not, something terrible is going to happen, and years from now, some kid will be walking with his grandfather on the campus, and grandpa will point to the pocks of bullets in a wall and say something like, 'And over there in that field is where it happened. It was a terrible thing those kids died. But these outside agitators (communists or anarchists or some such) came in and caused a lot of trouble, and stirred things up. Setting fires and so forth. Had to restore Law & Order.'

Because no shit that's exactly what my grandpa told me 40 years ago as we visited Kent State.
essentialsaltes: (dead)
Not only are you just not that good.

Not only do you annoy the gangster cinéaste at the start of Tampopo.

But you have also apparently partially dislodged one of my fillings.
essentialsaltes: (cthulhu wreath)
An incomplete, long-delayed compilation of our Xmaholisolstizaah cards over the years.

essentialsaltes: (islam)
Some weeks back, I think [ profile] therrin started a thread about SF/noir detective fiction, and I recalled George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails and its sequels. The Wiki page mentioned a detail of which I was unaware: "Effinger started work on a fourth Audran novel, Word of Night, but died before that work was completed. The existing chapters of Word of Night are now available in the posthumously published Budayeen Nights, along with some other Budayeen and non-Budayeen short stories."

And so, a little ebaying, and here I am with an ex-library copy of the Golden Gryphon edition of Budayeen Nights. The foreword and story introductions are provided by Barbara Hambly, and they are (in addition to being useful and insightful) occasionally uncomfortably frank about his problems with alcohol and drugs, which he used to combat the physical and mental pain in his life. In volume 2 of things I didn't know, Hambly and Effinger were briefly married near the end of his life.

Despite that depressing lead-in, it's still delightful to hang out with Marîd again in his usual haunts, in and around the events of the existing novels, and also in one story set long after those events. Other stories don't feature Marîd, but are clearly in the same world, including the Nebula and Hugo winning "Schrödinger's Kitten" (which struck me as being merely great, rather than award-sweeping) and "King of the Cyber Rifles," which has more to offer than just the cleverness of the title.

"The City on the Sand" from 1973 is less interesting as a story than as a look into the proto-Budayeen, inhabited by proto-Budayeen characters and Effinger's stand-in, Sandor Courane. It helps to draw the line from what Effinger was up to in the 70s to When Gravity Fails. And the other bookend is a peek into the unfinished fourth novel, with what counts as a short story to set things in motion.

I had the great fortune to meet Effinger briefly, and express my admiration for his work, when I was a lowly gofer, helping out at the 1996 Nebula Awards, which were held at the Queen Mary. And while we're name dropping, Barbara Hambly was kind enough to come to the very first EnigmaCon back in 1987.
essentialsaltes: (Agent)

Third costume of the day!

Had a great time at our Halloween Housewarming party. Dr. Pookie slaved all day long, and I slaved half a day long, but we got the house into shape and made some tasty treats for guests. As you can see from the photo, the first trick-or-treater got carved up for the stew. We had some pretty big fleets of kids come through -- in fact, we committed the unpardonable sin... we ran out of candy. But fortunately only a few groups had to go away empty bucketed. A couple of the neighbors showed up, as well as the nice folks who bought our old house. And a good selection of the usual gang of idiots.

A few more photos here, and one video of the dry ice fountain, thanks to [ profile] castle_kevorah
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
This is what 45 looks like.


[For reference, this is what 40 looks like.]

The comment there about 'Sunday was lazy football watching and pizza making' remains fairly apposite, as here is dinner:


Prosciutto, broccolini, onion, olives, jalapeño, capers...

Yes, it was very, very good.

But I do not taunt you aimlessly, (maybe).

As I alluded before, a year from today will mark the completion of my 46th year. Twice 23. 23 years (arguably 92) since the events of 23 Skidoo occurred.

So I officially announce 23 Skidoo Times Two. September 13th, 2015 -- hopefully some of you will survive into September 14th.

This live game is not literally a sequel to 23 Skidoo -- especially since only a handful of people 'survived' -- but I'm certainly open to continuing lines.

My basic ideas...

The setting
Date: 1946
Place: Vienna, Austria
Venue: An auction of rare items and curiosae, much of it no doubt liberated by the vicissitudes of WWII.
Characters: to be written by players, and then adapted as needed by moi.
Primary filmic reference: The Third Man. Not that the game will necessarily be anything like this, but you must watch this peerless film, and thank me later.
Theme: Lovecraftian references will no doubt be present, and possibly of primary importance, but not necessarily overpowering. Postwar malaise. Black Market. Greed. Lust. Wrath. Other Deadly Sins.

The game: theater-style live game. In many ways an ode to the Enigma games of yore, but informed by the past few decades.

The players: I hope and trust, a great many of my friends, old and new, from Enigma, Wyrd Con, and beyond.

The details: In general.... TBA.

And so I ask... who's in? Contact me publicly or privately with your ideas, suggestions, concerns, etc.

In some months a more official announcement will appear, but for now this serves as an announcement of intent.

"Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings says that our New Year's Day (January 1) corresponds "more or less" to the Shire's "January 9", and in standard years our September 14 and the Shire's "September 22" [i.e. Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday] both fall 256 days after that date."
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
My grandmother passed away a couple days ago, some six months or so after grandpa, her husband of 70+ years, preceded her.

She was a warm, kind person, who nevertheless got her way most of the time.

I've got a lifetime of memories, and it would take forever to go through it all. Two that stand out from when I was much younger are

#1) her teaching me the song "Billy Boy" during a road trip somewhere.
#2) me pestering her with facts about the moon (because surely everyone is as interested in astronomy as six-year-old Mike is) and her pestering me back with facts about contract bridge.

essentialsaltes: (Dead)
For the past few days, I've been living about 2.5 lives, and not had time to catch up on it. Until now (?) We'll see how far I get.

click at your own risk )
essentialsaltes: (Prague Clock)
Dad came and visited with us earlier this week. Among the chitchat and socializing, he produced an heirloom. Grandpa, who passed away last year, had given it to Dad at some point, and now Dad was giving it to me.


[Please do not quote Pulp Fiction at me.]

The watch belonged to Grandpa's Grandpa, Harry Gamble. Being an internet nerd, I have been researching both him and the watch.

To be honest, grandpa's line has been a little mysterious, since his father left (and was ultimately legally declared dead -- his actual fate is unknown) and his mother also was not able to take care of him. So he was actually raised by his grandfather and grandmother, Anita. He went by Gamble as his last name until high school.

I hunted about, and then was almost startled to find the 1940 census record of Harry and Anita Gamble, living with their 18-year-old grandson Robert T., in Akron, Ohio. From there, a little more sleuthing produced:

Name: Harry Albert GAMBLE
Birth: 17 MAR 1878 in Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Burial: Bellegrove South Cemetery, North Annville Twp., Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Death: 19 JAN 1945 in Akron, Summit Co., Ohio

Name: Anita J. HECK
Birth: 1879 in North Annville Twp., Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Burial: Bellegrove South Cemetery, North Annville Twp., Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Death: 1956

Father: Alcana John HECK b: 13 JAN 1857 in Berks/Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania 

Mother: Amanda M. HOFFMAN b: 03 NOV 1854 in Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania

1. Arlie William GAMBLE b: 1907 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
2. Harry Albert GAMBLE Jr. b: 09 OCT 1901 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
3. Helen M. GAMBLE b: JAN 1900 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA

Helen would be Grandpa's mother.

As for the watch...

Burlington Special
Size 16 Pocket Watch
(Manufactured by Illinois Watch Company, privately labelled for Burlington)

Serial number on movement 2,332,600 corresponds to 1911.

It's a 19 jewel movement, with a lever setting mechanism. That's similar to what's found in railroad watches (so that you can't accidentally mess up the time), but apparently it's not quite railroad watch standard.

The case (often obtained separately from the movement) appears to be made by the Illinois Watch Case Co. -- 14K Gold-Filled, Post-1924. Though I wonder about the date.

There are some curious scratches inside the case as well. Apparently, these are commonly used by repairmen who scratch dates and invoice numbers in there. One of the markings is 1/14, which corresponds well with the 1911 date of the movement, but not so well with the post-1924 date that website had for the case.

And of course, there's the chain. Harry Gamble was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose. So now I have Grandpa's Masonic pin, and Great-Great-Grandpa's Moose watch-chain. Now I just need something from the BPOE and the Oddfellows, and I'm set. (I already have the Illuminati and the A∴A∴ covered.)

Anyway, here's a look at the movement.


The flickr has a couple other photos, as well, for the realllly interested.
essentialsaltes: (rawk)
Yes, I survived the Snowpocalypse, and made it back to the best place lack-of-gods made.

But rather than slump into a puddle -- that's what Sunday's for! -- Saturday was pretty full. We started off with an estate sale, where the decedent was a bit of a hoarder, but had a particular fondness and knowledge of glass. I spotted a uranium glass juicer in one of the photos from the estate agent, and since Dr. Pookie is an aficionado of uranium glass (aka vaseline glass), we went down there. We found quite a trove of uranium glass pieces, and walked away with quite a haul.

Later, we went to the Day on Broadway (having been tipped off by colleency). The idea was that several old movie palaces were open to the public, and we went to gawk at them (and a few other things in the neighborhood). All photos here

Hard to ignore the Eastern Columbia Building, which was close to the registration desk.

Eastern Columbia Building (1930)

After registering, we headed off to Cole's for a French Dip and a drink. We poked our nose into the Bradbury Building, and then on to the theaters.

It's hard (in the photo) to appreciate how huge the ceiling of the Million Dollar Theater (1918!) is:


And what can one say about its strange tutelary spirit?


The Los Angeles Theater was a real revelation, with its crystal 'fountain'

"Fountain" of Crystal (with (dry) water fountain/pool below)

and ridiculous foyer


The mostly gutted Globe provided contrast with the others, which were generally much more restored.

Not so sumptuous entryway, apart from the gilt wooden moldings.

The Orpheum is pretty amazing, and the duffer at the organ was showing off its capabilities

The gent was showing off various sound effects from the organ

The place is huuuuuuuuge


Later, Dr. Pookie took me out to Pizzeria Mozza. The fried cauliflower was much browner than at Bucato, but still good. The dipping sauce was good, but not as amazing as the fresh dressing and herbs of Bucato. Some fine bread and prosciutto as well, before the main course -- The pizza with "Bacon, Salami, Fennel Sausage, Guanciale [aka pork cheek 'bacon'], Tomato & Mozzarella". Yes, it was meat heavy, but it was glorious. We pride ourselves on our homemade pizza, but this was even better. By a lot. For dessert, some little scoops of blood orange sorbet (extremely yum), chocolate rum gelato (gorgeous, but possibly(?) too rich) and 'olive oil' gelato: mild olive oil gelato coated in olive oil and salt. A very neat taste, but not as engrossing as the other two.
essentialsaltes: (arkham)

Containing "Inlibration" by me. And other things by other people, too, I think.

You can get it direct from Chaosium, or from amazon, or from your local purveyor of things squamous.
essentialsaltes: (Cocktail)
I travelled out to Florida for the ceremonies. LAX to Nashville to Orlando. I think I spent more time waiting in line for my rental car than for the flight from Nashville. The wait was exacerbated Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-style. First someone comes back to complain about the bill. One of the three clerks disappears. Another person jumps the line to say that they left their jacket in the rental. The line went from slow moving to glacial. But I persevered, and then spent another 10 minutes figuring out how to turn on the headlights. Stupid American cars.

Zipped up the Turnpike and got installed in the hotel.

Next morning, our caravan got a police escort to take us to the Florida National Cemetery. I rode along with Danny and his girlfriend, Meghan. Their car was the analogue of the little kids' table. We were all held to a rigid schedule, but everything was done smartly with military precision. Many thanks to the Marine honor guard who conducted the ceremony. I teared up a little as they folded up and presented the flag to Grandma. It was a little curious that, as others fired the salute volleys, the Marine with the flag displayed and then inserted shell casings into the flag. For some reason I wondered if they were actually spent casings or not. Flag in her lap, Grandma said her last goodbyes.


I scored a ride in the limo on the way back to where Grandma and Grandpa lived. There was a little lunch, and then the celebration of his life. Rick was the first of the family to speak, and he noted that from a document they found in the safe, Grandpa had been planning this event since 1962. He didn't want to be lying in a casket. He didn't want mourners in black. He wanted nothing more than a single spray of flowers and a photograph. And the people he loved. Last and most important, it shouldn't cost more than $250. We may have fudged that last part. But prices have changed since 1962.

Dad spoke as well. Barb didn't feel up to it. I didn't really feel up to it either, but I rose to speak. I wanted to honor Grandpa's peculiar sense of humor. He had a particular brand of grandpa humor. Deadpan, so you might not notice it. If you were lucky, he would wink to let you know he was pulling your leg. To be honest, he often would needle you with his humor. A little sarcastic, a little acerbic, a little caustic. Maybe more than a little. I had to explain to Veratrine, that he teased her not because he didn't like her, but because he did.

That was as far as I got before I got choked up. I wish I'd been able to continue to say, "After all, when I was just knee high to a grasshopper, this is the man who ordered frogs' legs and told me that he was eating Kermit. Who does that to a child? Well, Grandpa did. And I'll miss his humor, and I'll miss him."

I'm grateful to Uncle Rick, who whispered 'Good job' or something of the sort to me as I returned to my seat.

After the formal part, there was much talking and reminiscing. Here's Grandma with Paul Fate, who went to high school with Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandma & Paul Fate

Afterwards, we visited with Grandma for a while. At one point, I was bidden to examine some of Grandpa's jewelry and to take a few pieces. I found a pair of cufflinks that were just handsome. I also picked a pin commemorating Grandpa's status as a Life Member of the NRA. I may not be a huge fan of the organization as it is now, but the NRA of 2013 is different from the NRA of 19-- when Grandpa joined it. Grandpa was a coach of a high school shooting team -- back in the days when high school students could take their rifles to school with them. And finally, recognizing that I probably don't have the time left to achieve this myself, I also picked out a pin honoring Grandpa's 65 years as a Mason.

In the evening, the family went to dinner at an Italian place. Dad raised a toast to Grandpa and the family, and the meal was great. I had a very good 'goodbye' with Grandma at the end. Although I could have rushed over in the morning to see her the next day, I think that was the right way to leave things. I saw some of the other family at breakfast, and then drove back to Orlando for my, ultimately successful, ordeal to get back home.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
My grandfather passed away, quietly, earlier today. I find myself with too much and too little to say.

He lived a full life, a long life, and one filled with family and friends and experiences all over the world.

Somehow I feel certain this is how he would like to be remembered (even if the California Raisin costume showed off his legs better).

essentialsaltes: (Robot in Orbit)
At long last, Chaosium has published and released Eldritch Chrome, an anthology of Lovecraftian cyberpunk stories, including one by your humble narrator.
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
Can't sleep, clowns will eat me.

Friday, I showed up for [ profile] aaronjv's game of Itras By, scenario by [ profile] hagdirt.

It was a phantasmagoria. A blow-by-blow would be more unedifying than even the usual after-the-fact war stories. IB is a communal story telling exercise, and you can't lose with the right crowd, and I think we had a good one. It may not have lived up to the sheer butt-raping insanity of some OctaNe sessions with Jazon_brez, but still good stuff. K gave us enough of a line to hang our chaos on. And A finessed it and made sure everyone had some input.

No doubt it was the absinthe A plied us with, but I was most satisfied with literally belting out the Alabama Song when I was in a bar setting. That wasn't my only contribution, but it may have been the least Mike-like. Which is worth something.

[PS if you only know the song via The Doors, shoot yourself in the head. If you don't know who The Doors are, just hold your breath for a few seconds so your brain dies.]

I had a large gap, and strangely my plan for introvert sociability worked perfectly. I went to get some food, and sat all by my lonesome self in the hotel restaurant. I will say that their short rib sandwich with horseradish mayo is pretty awesome, but it does have slightly too much meat on it. In any event. Aaron showed up and joined me. And then Fei. And then... oh shit, I've forgotten her name, but the nice kiwi lady. And then John. This all happened one person at a time, and I was glad to be the starting nucleus.

But I had to be off to change for the Masquerade Ball. This was an interstitial adventure for the Messina campaign, so I kinda knew I wouldn't be a star, but it was definitely still fun to wander about as an ancient Thomas Alva Edison and interact with the other people there.

I think there was a plotline there that I wasn't actually, well, informed about. But I tried to roll with it as best I could, but it ultimately devolved into gunfire and swordplay. Not Tom's thing at all. That poor Duchess whatever-her-name-was (my hearing has always been bad) took a bullet to the head, and crumpled practically in my arms.

Zipped home and back. Well, not entirely. As I left Saturday, somehow I forgot my flip chart thingy. So I turned back. Having seen how terrible the 405N was, I cleverly (?) went further south to hit the 110 N to the 105W, so I could swoop through the Manchester/La Cienega Offramp to get home. Alas, the reason that the 405N was rotten was that the two-lane nearly a freeway Manchester/La Cienega Offramp was closed. Entirely. Which meant additionally, that all the people who wanted to get off on those two major arteries were trying to get off at La Tijera (as was I, but I settled for zooming out and back in to get off at Sepulveda/Slauson.) In any event, I spent 15 minutes heading toward Wyrd Con, and 45 minutes coming back. So there went my extra time for lunch and beer. I picked up the dingus and headed back down.

Now I rushed my ass and got to the room for Exodus 22:18 with a half hour to spare, and... there was nobody there. I rearranged some tables and chairs, and still nobody. Augh. Fortunately thing picked up rapidly right at game time.

I was flustered a bit, but found my center fairly quickly.

The game went fairly well. Problems with pacing was probably the biggest problem. The conceit is that the players are townsfolk attempting to determine which among them are witches.

It pains me to say it, but I was slightly shocked when a couple players seemed to make it their mission to paint giant targets on their backs.

At the same time, they were portraying a more skeptical, modern view of the witchcraft hysteria. Sadly, though I agree with it through and through, that is the quick path to getting yourself burnt, and so it proved. Or so it would have been, if they had not extemporized a method of self slaughter.

In any event, while they made for good scenes, it also led to a fast, easy resolution, and with many of the townsfolk wondering, "Are we done? We rooted out the obvious witches."

Some flurries of drama and accusations happened thereafter, though leavened with boredom. A number of other good scenes here and there.

At the end, there was some good feedback and criticism all around. Some I agree with, some I disagree with, and some that would probably be very good for a game that was not the game that I wanted to run.

Sleep is finally catching up to me. Not me at my best, not me at my worst. I was satisfied. I think, on the whole, it was certainly not a failure. Well, no, that's too litotes-ish. It was good. But not perfect. But these things never are.


Sep. 7th, 2013 09:09 pm
essentialsaltes: (Cocktail)
Dr. Pookie took me to Cut at the Beverly Wilshire for my birthday (a week early, since Wyrdcon coincides with the actual day).

It was pretty splendid. Because they are punks, Michelin hasn't given stars in LA for a few years, but once upon a time, Cut was a one-star restaurant. For better or worse, visiting Luce in San Francisco has only reinforced Dr. Pookie's desire to visit Michelin restaurants as and when appropriate.

I will start with the negatives. The plates had a raised lip that made it impossible to rest your steak knife on it, without the knife slipping down into the plate. Ok, all done. Oh wait. The wine list is for Rockefellers. Dr. Pookie's injunction to keep it under $100 made my selection much easier. $1,000 would have still narrowed your choices a bit. Choosing Sonoma rather than Napa made the $100 limit easier to handle, and we weren't disappointed.

The service was great. An army of different individuals from sommelier to mustard dude attended to our every desire.

For all the high-powered cuisine on display, Cut is a somewhat casual place, and the classic/alternative rock mix was much appreciated.

But the food, you ask. The food.

We started with the American wagyu sashimi. I have to agree with Dr. Pookie: although it was fine and nicely dressed with a vinaigrette, greens, and sliced radish, the beef itself had, it seemed, very little taste of its own. I think it's a testament to how much the Maillard reaction adds to what you think is the taste of meat.

Dr. Pookie had tipped them off that it was a birthday meal, and maybe also since it was our first time, 'the chef' was kind enough to send a tuna tartare our way. It reminded me a bit of Withnail & I, where it is said that some things are 'unattainable for those who can't afford it, but for those that can afford it, it's free.' They shoved a free $25 appetizer at us.

My aversion to fish and seafood is not quite as extreme as HPL's, and tuna is hardly the fishiest of fish, so even I could appreciate it, along with the avocado, and waffer-thin toasts and wasabi aioli. The tuna had more taste to it than the beef sashimi, but not unpleasant to my landlubber's palate.

I liked also the little cheesy poofs they brought, and the parmesan breadsticks.

But soon it was time for the main event.

Dr. Pookie opted for a Cornhusker NY strip, while I opted for the same cut of American wagyu from Idaho.

Sides of fingerling potatoes with bacon and onions, and several different forms of haricot vert with tomato. Both pretty tremendous.

Becca's cornfed cow was a magnificent hearty steak, but the quasi-wagyu was pretty amazing in every bite. Crispy moo-bacon edges, and lovely pink innards.

Here I should also mention that, as a sprightly jest, I said, some weeks ago, I wonder if, at Cut, they honor birthday celebrations by sticking a candle in a filet mignon. Dr. Pookie, perhaps remembering the 3 years I took off her life at a surprise birthday party in her honor, made this a reality. They brought me my steak with a lit candle in it. I doff my theoretical hat to Cut; they did not blink or shirk. The received a request from a customer and fulfilled it. Yes, singing would be beyond the pale, but they did all we required.

As I say, the steak was magnificent. It compared with the steak in Mexico City, the steak in Las Vegas, and that random well-marbled steak I grilled up myself. Very likely the best of them all, but nostalgia adds value to past steaks.

For afters, I had a lovely Tariquet armagnac. The little cookies and petit-fours they brought us as incidentals were more than enough dessert for us.

essentialsaltes: (Cocktail)
Wyrd Con 4 is next month.

It finally fully registered that I'll be running "Exodus 22:18" on my birfday.

So I guess it'll be more like Exodus 40:4, if you know what I mean.

And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.

Yeah, more or less sounds like set-up for a live game.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Holly had warned us that we shoulda looked into Alcatraz tours some time ago, but we were trying to do a mostly unplanned vacation. Next morning, we made our way to the Alcatraz ferry and found out that tickets were sold out for the next three weeks. But that put us on the Embarcadero and we wandered about through the shops and nauticality. We toured the USS Pampanito, a WWII-era submarine. It was very cool to crawl around inside her, and Wikipedia has answered a remaining question: "Why is there a broom lashed to the conning tower?" To celebrate the sub's clean sweep patrol.
continued, with more photos this time )


essentialsaltes: (Default)

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