Blog! I have a blog!

I just remembered that I have a blog. Well holy moley. I'd better get on that, it's been months.

So it's December, apparently. The year is rocketing by as it tends to do. The biggest bit of news that I have these days is that my lil' boy turned ONE. He's a year old already. It's funny, I'd probably written 700 blogs about Gwen during her first year of life, and I've probably written 5 blogs TOTAL in Joey's first year. I've been busy. (And yes, I know that I could easily figure this out by LOOKING, but I like to make up statistics. Did you know that 95% of statistics are made up right on the spot? ;^) )

It's apparently winter again. Everything is covered with snow. I'm once again the lazy last guy on the block to put up Christmas lights, but I plan on getting that done on Sunday. Ahh, plans. Other than that Kerry and I are jetting off (read: driving) to the big city (OK, SLP) because she needs to work at the nature center and I need to play some D&D. It's a crushing need.

For the D&D nerds out there: I'm about to take my players through the notorious Tomb of Horrors, as re-released for 4th Edition. It's going to be awesome. I'm excited for the notion of an adventure that forces them to use their minds. I know it's not really the way 4e works, but I'm thinking of giving xp bonuses to those that figure out the puzzles, because some of 'em are doozies. To add injury (no insult here, there's just going to be injury) I'm starting them on their trek through the garden of graves at level 7. It's ok, there are 6 of them, and they're pretty good in a fight. They need a challenge. Heck, a couple of them are still level 6. Hee hee.

In other news, for some reason I got suckered into playing Fantasy Football this year, and it's been a catastrophic failure. I actually got in a bit of a row with the organizer for comparing it to D&D, which really made me laugh. Like...hard. But that's all done with. I won the argument. It's D&D for the a*****s that used to beat up kids that played D&D. It's also not my thing, I'm currently 3 and 9. Obviously my bad statistics (see above) have hurt me in a game that uses...real statistics. Whatever, fantasy football is what it is, and I'm having fun with it -- I guess that's what's important.

That's about all that's new. I'll try to blog more, blah blah blah, but really, I won't. Work keeps me busy. I'm thankful for being a noob lawyer that actually has a job -- many in my graduating class don't. :(

Talk atcha later.

Homecoming 2010

This weekend, I attended UMM Homecoming for the first time since 2003. The campus has changed a lot since I was there last, and it was awesome to be back. Here are a few pictures of our adventure around campus.

First is Clayton A. Gay Hall, my freshman dorm. The building has been painted (the black used to be blue) and modified (the front door has been replaced with hostas, and a new handicap accessible door has been added.

It's weird to look at the building and think that there's supposed to be a stairway and a door there. We tried to get up to our room, but the stairways were locked and there wasn't a way to get up there without risking arrest.

For some ridiculous reason, people on campus were playing Quidditch. It's apparently quite popular as well, because there were a ton of spectators. But COME ON, PEOPLE. THIS IS DUMB.

I walked into Spooner Hall and found my old room. The RA there (they call them CAs now, much to our confusion) had made name tags from pictures of dragons. I never had an RA that was that cool:

The next place we went was PFM. LOL. There are all new chairs, and the area where the food is served has been totally updated. It's actually really nice in there, but the entryway still smelled exactly the same.

Kristian and I posed by the sign, because we are, in fact, posers.

We went to a bunch of other buildings after that, but I didn't take any pictures of them. These included the new science building and the Student Center, Blakely Hall (where Kerry's freshman room was) and the bookstore.

After our campus infiltration, we went on a tour of town and saw all of our old houses. They all looked pretty much as bad as they did when I lived there.

We found, miraculously, that Don's Cafe was actually open. I had a grilled cheese and fries (of course). Then we went on a tour of local bars. We started at the Ranch House, because Kristian used to bartend there. It was awkward and dark, but full of memories. Then we went to the Met. It hasn't changed much. We were there at 7:00, well before the rest of the homecoming crowd, and we had a couple of drinks and took it all in. We followed it up with a trek over to the Old Number 1 for more drinks, more memories, and an end to a delightful day in Mo-Town.


Hey there, Ostrich Haters. How's the fall going for you? Well, it's not technically fall yet, but the weather of late has seemed to indicate otherwise. Although, today is beautiful, sunny, and in the 70s, so...yeah. Whatever. I'm talking about the weather and it's lame.

What should I be talking about, then? How 'bout my favorite passtime and yours: Dungeons and Dragons! Actually there's not much to tell there, other than that we had an awesome session a couple of weekends ago, and we're gearing up for another one this coming Saturday. I'm amped as always! I think that my players have stopped worrying about being in any danger after their recent exploits, so I've got to take it up a notch.

That's always difficult to do, though. There's a delicate and fine balance that a DM has to achieve, whereby providing sufficient challenge to the players so that they don't get bored, and not presenting too much challenge resulting in a TPK. To provide some different types of encounters I've started including a lot of stat check type things, and I plan on using more traps.

In non-gaming news, it's my lovely and darling wifey's birthday this week. She's turning 34, looks 23, and any references to "rule 34" in response to this post will be summarily ignored.

I was thinking about stuff, and it dawned on me that next month I'll have been a lawyer for an entire year. Here's a fun exercise for you kids playing along at home, too: Check out how many blogs I wrote before I was a lawyer. Now check out how many after. Ugh. It's waaaaay different having a job that I actually care about. ;)

Can't wait to see all 3-4 of you readers for D&D this weekend!


As usual, Phish was amazing.

Kerry and I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, and had hit the road by about 7:15. We drove to Ryan and Meghan's house in SLP, and from there we transferred into their vehicle and started the long (but actually short, compared to our recent Colorado trek) drive to East Troy, WI, and scenic Alpine Valley amphitheater.

We checked into our hotel at a little after 3:00 and met up with Lundo and Amy, and then we headed to the parking lot at a little after 6:00. We snarfed some snacks, chugged a couple o' brewskies, and headed into the show.

The first show was stellar -- not the best show I've been to, but very good. The band was super tight. They played a lot of stuff I had heard before, but also several that I haven't ever seen live, including the extremely oldschool "F@#$ Your Face" and the Siket Disc jam "What's The Use". We had fun, and the all-too-annoying Phan Kids hadn't gotten to us yet by this point.

We made it back to the hotel around 1:00 or so and hit the hay. I slept until 9:00 am, which is probably later than I've slept in the last 3 years. It was wonderful. Kerry and I woke up and had some yummy muffins, and then headed down to meet the rest of our crew in the hotel swimming pool. We swam. We chatted. We hot tubbed. It was fun.

We headed back to the parking lot around 4:00 the next day, for a much longer time tailgating. I made several grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs on Kerry's backpacking stove, and although I managed to burn the heck out of my finger, the food was yummy.

The setlist for our second night kept hearkening back to my very first Phish show, at the Target Center in the fall of 1999. That made me realize that I've been coming to see this band play for 11 years. I looked around me at the kids that were freaking out, and realized that many of them were 6, 7, or 8 years old. On one hand I'm glad that they (at least some of them) have good taste in music. On the other hand I was incredibly irritated by these kids. Not all of them. Some of them. The ones that aren't there because they like the band. They're there because they're freaking scenesters and think it's cool to go to a show and snort coke.

OK. Tangent. WHY is cocaine popular again? It's been on a steady upswing since I left college, and kids just don't seem to realize that it will leave them broke, addicted, and effing stupid. You heard me, kid. Stupid. You look like a freaking fool blowing the money your parents gave you so that you can spend the whole show snorting powders for your 20-minute high and not paying attention to the world around you. I guess it just proves that the 90s were the 60s again, the 2000s were the 70s again (Techno was totally disco) and now we're in the 80s with bad clothes* and morons snorting coke. I'm going to start selling junk bonds now.

OK, back to reality. The annoying kids really didn't bum me out or anything -- I've been to enough shows to know that there's ALWAYS someone stupid there, and that since I'm there to see an awesome band play awesome music, I can tune the rest out.

Coming back home yesterday was nice. It was a fast trip, and Gwen and Joey were ecstatic to see us, and a warm welcome like that is super wonderful.

Also, I ended up recharged over this weekend. Seeing the music reset my creativity button, and I'm eager to write some more music. We'll see if that works out.

Been a while

I think this may very well be the longest I've gone without blogging. It's not that I don't want to do some sharing of life events, it's more that most of my readership (if not all) already knows everything I've been up to.

Kerry and I were lucky enough to be able to take a vacation this year, and we drove out to Colorado. It was amazing -- we ditched the kids with my parents and really had a great time together in the mountains. I'm a big fan of taking relaxing beach type vacations, but I also love road trips to cool places.

We took off from Benson one Friday morning and drove straight to Estes Park, CO in one shot. It was about 14 hours of driving, give or take, and it seriously seemed like about 2 hours without the kids in the car. We just took in the scenery and arrived at our destination with little fuss.

We spent a few days in Estes park, mainly hanging out in Rocky Mountain National Park or checking out shops in town. Then we headed back by a northerly route, making fun stops at Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug, and finally camping in Badlands National Park. It was a fun time with great company.

We get to take another road trip this weekend to go and see Phish again. It's going to be a blast, and I'm ecstatic. I can't wait to hang out with friends and see awesome live music.

The job's been going well. I'm keeping busy and learning a ton still. I can't believe that in a couple of months I'll have been here a year. It's freaking insane. I love the job, love the town, but wish we had more friends here. These things take time.

Last weekend, I went to a birthday party for Corey's uncle and had an impromptu reunion of my college band Alterego. It was awesome. The four of us hadn't played together in over 10 years and Chad hasn't even touched his drums for the last 2, but we were pretty much spot on with our performance of the three songs we chose to perform. So fun.

That's all I know. I'll try to blog more. Heh. Bye!


This is just a photo upload for jabberboard revenge. ;)

Grandpa, Pt. II

So my Grandpa's funeral was yesterday, and it was amazing. There were more people in their church than are in attendance on Christmas or Easter. The fire department was there, in uniform, and they made an honor guard type thing to the sides of us as we recessed to the graveyard. The american legion was there, and my grandma was presented with a flag, taps was played, and Grandpa got a three-volley salute (due to his service in the Navy during WWII). It was moving. I think at last count there were over 450 there, but I'm not sure about the exact count.

The service itself was very celebratory. My dad gave a tribute speech to Ray, who is actually his father-in-law. I sang a couple of songs with my cousin, Gretchen, and my cousin-in-law, Dan. My cousin Eric, a baptist minister, gave an excellent homily. Gretchen read a piece on my grandpa that she'd written for his 90th birthday, the choir sang (I've never seen a funeral where the choir sang!) and other cousins did the readings. The pastor of the church gave, hands down, the best sermon I've ever heard him give.

It was just what grandpa would have wanted.

Rest in Peace, Grandpa

As is obvious from the title, my Grandpa passed away. It's been a hard weekend and a hard week, but I just have to take a few moments here to celebrate this man's amazing life, because he was an extraordinary guy. Also, he lived to be 90 and his mind was as sharp as a tack. He died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family, at 4:30 a.m. this past saturday. Death comes to everyone, but that's about the best way to go possible. Still, it's really difficult for those of us who have to say goodbye. A mighty oak has fallen.

Here are some tidbits about my Grandpa, because in a lot of ways this guy is larger than life:

Grandpa was born in 1920 and grew up during the Great Depression. He was the son of a Democratic State Senator, and grew up to be the strongest Republican I know, so that says a little something for his rebellious nature. (Wait...he was a rebel because he was a Republican? LOL.) Besides being a Senator, my Great Grandfather (A man I never met) was also a farmer, and my Grandpa was a farmer for much of his life.

Grandpa was an Ensign on a Destroyer in the south pacific during World War II. His boat was somewhere near Hong Kong, mainly after the war had ended.

Grandpa was a recreational pilot. When he first started dating my Grandma (an amazing woman in her own right), he would fly to her place (About 133 miles away) and pick her up for dates. Once, a storm kept him from flying home, and he slept outside on my Grandma's parents' porch.
My Grandpa and Grandma got married and got a farm near where my Grandpa grew up. They raised 5 kids -- four boys and my mom. After Grandpa retired from farming (and his other job of insurance sales) they built a house on the farm property and one of my uncles took over the family farm.

My grandparents have been all over the world -- Norway, Sweden, Russia, China, Singapore just to name a my Grandpa's office there is a map with red stickpins shoved into every place he's been. The northern hemisphere is pretty much covered, and the southern is getting there.

Most importantly, my Grandpa was a conversationalist. I have never met (and likely will never meet) a person more genuinely interested in what other people have to say. In one of the books that my Grandpa published (there are 3, short paperback memoirs) he mentions that everybody has a story to tell. He actively sought to learn a piece of that story from everyone he met. Those of you that met him likely had interesting (and sometimes wacky) conversations with him.

He was a heck of a guy. I'm thankful to have known him my whole life -- not many people get to keep their grandparents around this long, and I know that my family is fortunate.

Workin' on my game cuz life is taxing

The weather has finally warmed up enough for me to play some golf again. There were two solid weeks where it rained every single day (and even snowed May...barf). It was depressing and grey and lame as all get out. But finally, Spring decided to spring for the second time, and I made it out to the course again.

Last night was the first night of Men's League here. It was a lot of fun, and a perfect night for golf. Unfortunately I shot a horrid game, mainly due to a very unfortunate tree-and-sand-trap related 11 on the last hole. (My partner shot a 16 on that hole, with two OB shots and 4 attempts to get out of the same sand trap) All in all, it was a good night for setting my handicap for the rest of the season.

Tomorrow I'm leaving work at 10:30 to go play golf in a scramble. It's the hard knock life for me.

Last weekend I went on a road trip with the boys to Fargo, ND, to see some awesome bands (and one crappy one). Mastodon was the headliner, and I had never seen them before. They were phenomenal. The first openers were the ever-awesome Valient Thorr, a band I've now seen three (or four?) times and who continue to kick all kinds of arse. The second band was Baroness, and they also completely blew me away. I had a copy of their Red album, which was ok but never really did it for me. Their Blue album is excellent, though, and seeing them live solidified in my mind what a great band they are. Then there was Between the Buried and Me, who looked like a bunch of frat boys playing Atreyu-ivium crap and sounding pretty much like garbage to my ears.

It was a lot of fun to go on the road trip, catch up with friends, and have a good ol' time with the boys. P-A-RTY, we don't need no alibi, we party!

Even more nerdination!

This is seriously getting ridiculous. Being a DM and making awesome terrain has become a bit of an obsession, and hopefully the payoff will be worth it when my players see the fruits of my toils. This all began with a graveyard scene for one of the encounters in Shadowfell. I created it with folded paper mausoleums, walls, and gates, and paper gravestones with funny names on them.

I put quite a bit of work into the graveyard, and had a lot of fun doing it. For the road and some other terrain, I used some Dungeon Tiles and some homemade terrain tiles that I printed. I taped it all down onto my "battle board", a creation of my own involving a dry erase board with permanent marker. After getting done with it, though, I realized that I would have one awesome looking encounter that lasted for exactly one encounter, and then I'll have to retire my awesome graveyard. That's a bummer. So, I got to thinking about how I could make sweet looking terrain at home without spending a fortune, and be able to use it for more than one encounter.

I've invested in a few packs of Dungeon Tiles, and they're great and look cool, but they have their problems. My biggest gripe is that you don't know what's in each pack. Wizards likes to create surprise packages -- I think it stems from Magic: The Gathering. They're really into not letting you know what's inside. The other gripe with Dungeon Tiles is that there aren't enough duplicates to make really big rooms. They've designed them so that you pretty much need to buy two of each set in order to make a good looking dungeon.

Other tile sets are even more incredibly awesome, but ridiculously expensive. Case in point: Dwarven Forge. They look amazing and are much more customizable because the tiles don't often have things like furniture or dead bodies permanently painted on them. However, they're really pricy. So, I discovered a way to replace the money part with good ol' sweat, and I've come up with some rad tiles. First, I went to Home Depot and dropped 20 bucks on some tile. Like actual, bathroom tile. They had sheets of these 1-inch stone tiles for 10 bucks for an 11x11 square of tiles. However, the tiles are glued to a plastic mesh and spaced for grouting, so there's about an eighth of an inch of space between them straight off the rack. That won't do for my gaming. ;)

The other issue is that they come off of their plastic mesh rather easily. So, I decided to take them off, and use some wood glue and glue them to cardboard bases, to give them stability. I started by making some 2x2 inch squares, which will be good for creating hallways and also for setting side by side to create rooms.

Then I started making some larger pieces. So far, I have a couple of 3x3 and one 6x6 as well. It's fun spending time making stuff like this, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone that's not a fan of modeling, because it gets monotonous. The glue from the mesh sticks to the tiles as well, so I found that in order to create a tight fit between tiles, I needed to use a little sandpaper to get the old glue off.

Happy gaming. I can't wait until the next session.


So, based on the acquisition of 4th edition D&D books, I've gotten back into D&D in a major way. I was always into it, and have been playing fairly regularly since I was about 14 or 15 years old. That's well over half my life, and just contemplating that is astounding to me. Very few other games have been such a mainstay for me. Super Mario Bros., perhaps, but I don't play that with anything near the fervor of a good D&D session.

I remember getting my first copy of a Player's Handbook (2nd edition) back one summer long ago. I was doing some corn detassling at the time, and invited four of my friends over after work to play some D&D. The first group ever consisted of my friend Corey as DM (because he'd played before), and Myself, Chad, Nate, and Mike as the players. I played a Halfling Thief (that's right, we called ourselves thieves back then, noobs, because Bards are Rogues as well!). Mike was a Dwarf Fighter, Chad was an Elf Mage, and Nate was a Human Cleric. You know, you just don't get a more vanilla group than that. And we had a lot of fun and played a LOT of D&D over the next several years.

Eventually the DM hat got passed in my direction, and I enjoyed the helm. I had a few stints as a player in college, but I knew that DMing was the place that I belonged. Still, I never felt like I could possibly know all of the rules. That hasn't changed to this day, but I figured out the secret of being a decent DM -- Use good judgment, make it up, and don't waste time looking up rules. If you really need it, the players all have PHBs, so they can look it up for you. That's it. Other than that, be as descriptive as possible and only as restrictive as necessary. OK, I could go on and on, but the truth of the matter is that as long as everyone is having fun, that's all that matters.

Back to the crux of the discussion: I now live farther from my friends than ever before, yet we play more D&D than we have since high school. It's a very social activity, and it's extremely awesome to have the excuse to get my friends to come over (or to go to their places) to sit down, have a few beers/mountain dews/whatever and immerse ourselves in an afternoon of slaying monsters and performing epic acrobatic maneuvers. After moving to a new town, this is pretty much the pinnacle of my social activity.

The game has grown considerably since my days in a 4-player party. So many of my friends play D&D now, and all of them want to be part of the action (which is awesome). This has resulted in a HUGE party of players. At the last session, we had 9 players. There were moments where the potential player turnout was somewhere around 14, but there's never been a time where everyone invited has showed up. I had a 9-player session in my basement in Robbinsdale back when we were playing 2nd edition, and it was utter chaos. There were actually several sessions back then where we only got through one fight. That's not the case anymore -- 4th edition moves a lot quicker for a number of reasons. First, you only roll initiative once. When we played 2nd edition (whether this was in the rules or not I don't rightly know) we rolled initiative every round. That adds up to taking a lot of time. Also, just figuring out whether you hit or not was more difficult.

This is getting to be a long blog, but I wanted to mention a couple more things. I totally skipped 3rd edition and 3.5, but was immensely pleased to find out that 4th edition relies heavily on miniatures. D&D started as a miniature game, but by the time 2nd edition rolled around they weren't nearly as necessary and in fact we didn't even play with miniatures until I became a DM. Even then they were only used for placement and facing, not for movement. That's right, we ignored movement rate (it was just too dang complicated). Now my 4 pewter miniatures have become 25 pewter miniatures, although I only actually own 4. My players tend to leave their minis with me. I've also assembled an army of monster miniatures, and crave more. The visual aspect that the miniatures adds to the game allows players to continue to be interested in the board and to strategize their next move even while it's not their turn. They stay engaged, and it's awesome. That helps a ton with 9-player groups.

However, miniatures are expensive. You can get some for under 1.00, but some are ridiculous (like the gelatinous cube that sells for $40 and is just a plastic cube. come on. Some of my dice sets have come inside perfectly good gelatinous cubes. LOL.) I'm so INTO the minis, though, that I've decided to try my hand at making my own, as soon as I can get my grubby mitts on some fimo. Also, crafting cool looking encounter grids has become an obsession/goal of mine, because it really brings the scene to life. So, in addition to the fimo, a woodburning kit might be on my list of stuff to get. Oh, and a tackle box for my minis. This stuff literally fills me with glee.

If you can't tell...I'm excited to play more D&D.


So, I tend to let months fly by faster than I can say "I really need to blog more", but it seems that March has passed me by already. Hopefully this won't be my only entry for April, but you never know. I've become a lazy blogger. On the flip side of that coin, I've apparently become a much more motivated worker. I think I owe that to having a job that I actually enjoy.

So, the usual stuff is going on, I guess. The kids are getting bigger and doing new things. I'm hanging out. Occasionally playing video games. Working. Recording songs. Etc.

The weather is getting much warmer, and spring is finally here. OK, that's about as lame a paragraph starter as I could possibly craft, but it's true anyway. With spring come good things, like not wearing a giant coat, not shoveling snow, getting outside for walks, actually meeting our neighbors, etc.

I have to go off on a tangent here. I may or may not have talked about the Orson Scott Card theory of Philotics before. I don't think I have. Anyway, according to Card in his Ender's Game universe, there are lil' things called Philotes that kind of tie the universe together. People that develop relationships also develop Philotic Connections. Yes, this is all fiction, but it explains nicely the way that when I haven't seen a friend in a while and I start thinking about that friend, the universe sort of seems to arrange things so that I reconnect with said friend. It happens to me all the time, and probably to you as well. I truly believe that SOME sort of connection is made between people that's beyond physical.

For example, I was talking to Ryan the other day about not having seen Reuben in a while. That night, Reuben called me. There was no conversation between Ryan and Reub, it just happened independently. There are other examples. I've found myself wondering whatever happened to person X, only to go home and find out that they've friend requested me on Facebook.

Anyway, lately I've been trying to track down a friend of mine from high school named Mike. Since I now live in the same town as his parents, I looked them up in the phone book to see if I could find his number from them. Upon looking in the phonebook, I realized that they had the house that's literally out my back window. Our back yards touch. Crazy. Weird. Philotic connection? Either way, perhaps I'll meet them again soon, since it's spring and people are outside. (See? This all connects.)

Still, calling old friend's moms isn't high on my cool things list, so I just sent a FB message to his brother. LOL. That seems to have worked, as I got his phone number and sent a message. We'll see. Go philotes go.

Joey's Big Weekend

This past weekend was Joey's baptism, so we had a ton of people to our place to celebrate the big event. It all started Saturday when Kerry's parents rolled in, followed shortly by Kerry's brother Keith and his wife Beth. Kerry's dad had brought a bottle of rum and a bottle of whiskey, so we settled in and prepared ourselves for a night unlike the one we had expected (you know...sober) and put on the party hats.

Ryan and Meghan arrived shortly after that, and we also invited Lars to come over. My parents and grandparents arrived after that, and it was time to get supper going. Kerry's dad had brought a turkey burner (since I think mine is still in Rhyno's garage) and a fry pan, and 200 perch fillets. Kerry, in the meantime, had sliced up a bunch of potatoes. Soon the cooking oil was a'bubblin' (well, what hadn't spilled on my garage floor, anyway) and the fries were cooking, followed shortly by the fish. There was also cole slaw and other vegetable type things, and although I enjoyed a bit of it all, my focus was on fish with tartar sauce and fries with malt vinegar. OM NOM NOM NOM.

We stayed up late playing video games and drinking. The next morning was...well, it was awful for me. But, you do whatcha gotta do, right? Coffee + Advil + Vitamin B-12 and I was back in the saddle and ready for church.

Joey was a little angel for the whole service, and Gwen was pretty good too, because her cousin Charlotte was there and they just colored the whole time. Ryan and Meghan and Keith and Beth are now officially Godparents, and both Ryan and Keith can now make offers you can't refuse.

Awesome weekend

Life is good. First of, my little less-than-three-month-old boy is sleeping through the night, and that's is a holy crapton of awesome. It took Gwen twice that amount of time, which admittedly was heavily due to Kerry and I not really knowing how to get her to sleep through the night. With Joey, it was all about routine. We didn't even need to do the whole "cry it out" thing. He just decided that he should sleep. Good boy. :^D

This weekend marked a trek to the cities for some D&D. Lundo and Amy were kind enough to host, and as usual I had a blast. It's funny, now that I've moved out of town I play way more often than I did over the course of the last several years. That's due to the blissful lack of law school, of course. It's a lot more awesome to have one or two sessions a month than one every six months. I think that the switch to fourth edition has really revitalized everyone's desire to play, as well, and everyone is having a lot of fun.

On Sunday it was time to pay Kerry back, because she had the kids all day on Saturday and they were a couple of hellians. So, she went out for a long long lunch with her friends, and I stayed at my sister's place with the kids. When I go to my sister's place with the kids, chaos follows, because she has two kids that are about the same age. It was interesting and chaotic, and I hope they all got some rest once we left.

I've been obsessed with Chess lately, thanks to and their lovely app for facebook. I've been playing against my friends, and it's a ton of fun. If you play chess, and are on facebook, I look forward to your challenge. It's made me really want to break out one of my chessboards and go to town against friends or family in an actual, factual, head-to-head game. Hopefully Lars and I can make that happen soon.

OK seriously

I suck at blogging this year. I really do. My first excuse (and really, that's all it is) is the new job. Yes, I have more responsibility now. There is, however, still down time, and I should really update the world on my life. Because seriously. The world needs to know. Don't you?

Life in the old town is...well, it is. Honestly, it's kind of like living in a fish bowl. Everyone knows who I am, who my family is, and what I'm up to. You'll notice that I didn't even mention said town in this post, because there are only a few people here, and google is good at finding things. Anyway, it's good to be back here, but there's definitely a culture-shock style adjustment.

The job is going well. I can't get into specifics, due to the lack of privacy on the internet, but I'm doing lawyer stuff. I've been to court, and although the first time was terrifying, I'm confident that I'm in the right place, doing the right thing. For essentially the first time in my life, I'm happy with my job. I probably already said that.

My family is doing well. Gwen is super into dancing now. Kerry found a pair of old ballet slippers from when Kerry was a little girl, and gave them to Gwen. Gwen now wears them at all times, and is freaking adorable.

My Grandpa recently celebrated his 90th birthday. We had a party for him at their church, and well over 200 people showed up. He gave a speech (well, so did all of his children, but we'll focus on his) and he said that he was talking to his doctor. The doctor said that getting to 90 was a great milestone, and Grandpa said, "Now what?" The doctor said, "Well...try for 100!" Funny.

I've happily been playing a lot more D&D, which is awesome. I have the coolest friends in the world, because they're willing to truck all the way out here to play every other session. That's been awesome, and as a result I'm playing the most D&D I've played since back in the epic days of 2001 - 2003 when I had a weekly session. I'm all geared up for another session this weekend, and it's going to be a blast as always.

I had gotten out of playing WoW, in favor of my shiny new PS3. Monday night, though, I had woken up with Joey at about 3:00 am, and couldn't get to sleep until 4:30 because I was thinking about WoW. I actually got out of bed at 4:00 and downloaded the latest patch, so that I could play last night. The problem was that by the time 9:30 rolled around last night, I was all set to play, but I was tired as heck. I still played about an hour, though, and it was blissful.

Settling In

Another day, another dollar. So, I woke up to the realization that I've been at this lawyerin' thing for a full quarter of a year now. I started with the firm back in October. You'd think that by now I'd have a little confidence about what I'm doing, but that's not the case. Friends and colleagues tell me that it takes a good year to start to feel comfortable, and I believe them. A word to law students: They don't teach you anything in law school about being a lawyer. Even the stuff that really seems like you'll need to know in the future can be rendered close to useless, depending upon what path you take.

That said, I know that I'm more comfortable now that I was at the outset, and I am confident that I will be able to learn everything I need to become a good lawyer. On to other, more fun topics.

Joey, whose official nickname is "Bubs" now (although he'll answer to Bubsy, Zubs, Zubsy, and other variants) is growing at an exponential rate. The lad is huge. I think he's gonna be a bruiser. He could surprise me there, though. I was a little blubber baby as well, but I turned out short and relatively lean. I also turned out generally terrible at sports. We'll see.

Gwenner is basically completely potty trained now! It's amazing -- she just decided that she was able to go on the potty, and now that's what she does, every time. She's a very good and very smart little girl, who astounds me daily. It's amazing to come home and sit down for a conversation with my little girl. She's a chatterbox with a frightening command of the English language. She's also freaking adorable. I'm biased, but it's still true. :)

I got a new toy for Christmas, in the form of a shiny new PS3. It's freaking awesome. As a father, however, my video game time is limited, and I'm afraid that I'll have to give up on WoW for a little while. At least until Cataclysm is released. Although, as an addict, I still feel the pull to play. Perhaps I can devote 1 of my gaming nights per week to WoW. Woo! Justified monthly payment!

As far as PS3 games, I've acquired three that will soak up a lot of my time. The one I'm currently in the midst of is GTA 4, and it's a beautiful and engaging installment of the series, very true to its predecessors. Rock Star seems to have taken out a lot of the more outrageous things that made their way into GTA: San Andreas. Missions where you fly jetpacks to pick up alien goo may be fun (and seriously, GTA:SA is one of my favorite games ever) but they kind of detract from the gangsta feel of the game. GTA 4 is another romp in Liberty City, and so far has provided me with a lot of fun and a minimal amount of swearing.

I also picked up Dragon Age: Origins, a game that virtually every one of my friends has played or is playing. I'm very excited, because I've heard nothing but good things about it. I know that one's gonna be a time consumer.

My brother-in-law got me Assassin's Creed for Christmas, another title that I'm extremely excited to play. It's gonna be a good few months for gaming.