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Shannon A.
The Holidays Begin 
24th-Dec-2012 12:17 pm
GAMING SATURDAY Had an unusual gaming day on Saturday. We almost always do RPGs, but when it became obvious that half my regular group was missing, I suggested board games instead. This offer is *almost always* turned down, but for once not. Apparently I wasn't the only person that wanted to see my gaming friends one last time before the year ended. Chris W. is the one other serious boardgamer in that group, and he brought a game he'd kickstarted calle Zombicide.

I must admit that I've increasingly grown wary of kickstarted board games done by companies I've never heard of before, but I was pleasantly surprised b Zombicide It was enjoyable, it allowed for good co-op play, and as with any good co-op game we came up to just the edge of success but failed on our first game. After that, we played a short game o Timeline, my filler of the year, then called it a day/month/holiday.

WRITING, WRITING, WRITING I actually started seriously writing on Friday night, but Sunday was the first day that I was able to devote almost entirely to writing — which is one of my goals for this week off. (Sadly, I often devote my winter week off to video game playing to try and puncture the stress balloon for the year, but this winter there's just too much to do.) My main goal is to finish u Designers & Dragon '70 an '80s. They're actually pretty close to completion, but I"m getting in as much final research and writing as I can. Most of that is focused on various columns i Dragon agazine. I have to say that buying th Dragon Archive n eBay was one of my best choices for the book — not just because I can read early issues that I didn't have, but also because it' all searchable. I've also been doing some work on a new (unannounced) project where I'm writing up some histories for specific RPG products. So, I've been balancing the two: a product history, then a few hours o Designers & Dragons, then another product history ...

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT LAST After dinner last night (and after a talk with my dad in sunny Hawaii) I finally got to go out for a good night of Christmas light sighting. I was hoping that Kimberkly would join me, but she was coughing again. So, out my own, I headed up into the hills. With my new hillside riding ability, I'd been wanting to do this all year, but somehow rain and work had conspired otherwise. I'm glad I finally got my opportunity.

I headed up to Rockridge, but then instead of going up to Lake Temescal I went to the part of Upper Rockridge that lies just west of the Lake (and sometimes above it, as there's a ridge there). From there I went to the Glen Highlands, which is between Lake Temescal and Montclair. I actually had quite a bit of fun in the Highlands, as I'd never ridden in that neighborhood (except along one main street), so there I was in the dark on steep hills, going here and there as I saw lights. There were some neat spots in that area where you could see down from a hill into wide swathes of the neighborhood, and that was made all the cooler by the occasional Christmas lights. The lights, by the by, were quite good from Rockridge onward. I wasn't sure what they'd be like in the hills, as in my experience poorer neighborhoods often have some of the best lights, but these were very enjoyable. Lots of lighted trees and pillars, which all looked quite cool.

I rode 'til I was tired then headed home (this time via spooky nighttime Lake Temescal). I was out for about 75 minutes. I've since looked at a map of the Highlands and was bemused what a small area I actually biked around in, because it seemed huge and vast when I was wandering around in the dark. (My total riding area was much greater, it's just I was more familiar with the areas of Rockridge & Upper Rockridge that I biked through.)
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