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Tom Courtney

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Exporting Randycon [Jan. 16th, 2017|06:52 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |giddygiddy]

Every year I go to a small gaming con run by Randy Chertkow in Chicago, titularly to celebrate his birthday. Given that I have such a good time at it, and I now have a gaming club that I'm working with anyway, it seems like a good time to completely steal the idea. So I'm currently thinking of running a weekend-long gaming con at 3 Trolls Games And Puzzles from the evening of 28 September until the afternoon of 1 October.

I'd like to reserve a block of hotel rooms at the nearby Radisson, but don't really have a good handle on whether people would use them or not. So without actually committing yourself, let me know if you'd be interested in a room if I got a block. The standard rate seems to be about $160 a night, I presume I could get some sort of a deal with enough bookings. 3 Trolls is on Summer Street in Chelmsford MA. and the hotel is about a mile away.

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Today I'm finding Forrester [Jan. 10th, 2017|11:52 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |accomplished]

I've just finished the first pass at the letter I'm sending to the marshal's group on Sunday.

It's terrible. That's ok. I'll be working on it for the next few days, right up until Sunday when I hit the send button. This version followed Forrester's advice to Jamal:

No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think!

Perhaps not as useful for non-fiction as it is for fiction, but it did get me to start. :)

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Interesting poker evening [Jan. 9th, 2017|11:58 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |mellowmellow]

I'm normally mildly conversational at the poker table. I chat about topics of interest, though almost never politics or poker - the former because its complex and the latter because I have no reason to give opponents insight on my thinking. :) Last night ended up being a bit different.

I was sitting just to the right of a very loose, aggressive player - I'd class him as hyper-aggressive, for the jargon-enabled - which limited my options a lot. To top things off, he was hitting everything. (No really, his 85o cracked AA at the showdown, and that sort of thing was happening _a lot_.) Still, I was making a bit of money slowly over time, and after about 2 hours my randomizer came up 100, which is the number I assign to "do some Crazy Ivan stunt unless you're given some reason not to". I'm in the small blind with A7 off. 3 people limp in, and I could stick in a healthy raise, except I'm pretty sure I have a better plan, and limp as well. Sure enough, Mr. Loosey-goosey raises to 7 (too small to get anyone out, but his goal was to take control of the play of the hand), gets 3 callers, and now I reraise to 60 - the minimum number I think will do the job. One of the players in the hand, bless his heart, exclaims "Finally, you're not going to stand for this nonsense any more". Well, maybe he didn't use the word "nonsense" - its all a bit hazy.

The big blind thinks long enough to camouflage the fact that he got caught, and folds, and so does everyone else, and I scoop up the pot. The loose player chimes in with the typical "nice bet", and I say I had to do something - playing behind him was cramping my style. He points to empty seat to the left of him, and I come back with "That wouldn't be very sportsmanlike".

That comment changed the whole evening. Apparently he decided I was Danger Lad, and toned down his play a lot whenever I was in the hand. We started talking about poker situations a lot. It was fun. I learned quite a bit about how at least one example of that style of player thinks.

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first effect in [Jan. 1st, 2017|09:21 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |mellowmellow]

Becoming a Great Officer in fourteen days is actually an argument against returning to E.V.E. Online. :)

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Christmas dinner [Dec. 26th, 2016|01:07 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |happyhappy]

I would have to classify yesterday as a success. The company was grand, the conversation lively, and the only disaster in the kitchen was that we had too much to do.

The salt fish dish came out as well as I had hoped - it, the garlic soup, and the wonderful flan that Jacqui brought, were the only dishes without leftovers.

The surprise dish was the Sopa de Ajo. Dead simple. In a shallow bowl, put a little basil and a drizzle of olive oil, top with a fried piece of baguette crouton that's been smeared with an olive oil/garlic mixture, put a slice of fresh tomato on top, and ladle in a portion of spiced vegetable broth. Dead simple, but a magnificent warning shot about what the diners could expect of the evening.

Unlike recent Christmases here, there was a lot of holiday cheer going on. I got 10 bottles of an inexpensive Argentinian red and five bottles of Argentinian white at Trader Joe's, and a couple of other people augmented the supply, and the group made a very healthy dent on things. Fortunately, the designated drivers all kept the wits about them, so that was all good.

The carnage isn't too bad this morning. The dish washer will be running all day, but I expect things will be in good order by bedtime tonight. Good thing too, as the next set of guests arrive tomorrow evening.

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With apologies to J.R.R.Tolkein and Viggo Mortensen [Dec. 24th, 2016|02:32 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |crushedcrushed]

Avert your eyes, avert your eyes! Sons of the New World, of the Old, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same revulsion that would take the heart of me. A day may come when my aesthetic sense may shine, when I amaze my friends and manage to wrap a present that doesn't look like it was torn apart by wolves. But it is not this day! An hour of smooth wrapping paper and shiny ribbon done up in a pretty bow! But it is not this day! This day we wrap with ragged edges and Gordian knots! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you "Look not on my wrapping job, Men Of The West!"

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Our Christmas dinner menu [Dec. 17th, 2016|07:07 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |excitedexcited]

This year we've decided the theme is Argentinian/Chilean. Here's the menu I'm going to try for:

Empanadas, with lamb filling
Provoleta - grilled provolone cheese

Sopa de Ajo - garlic soup

ceviche
ensalada rusa - apparently everyone around the world serves some version of potato salad, and they're remarkably similar

zapallito tart - basically a vegetable quiche
salt baked fish
Humitas - pureed corn with scallions, green pepper, and cheese
steak chunuchurri
Porotos granados - beans with squash and corn
Berenjenas en escabeche - marinated eggplant

alfajores - Argentinian cookies
black welsh cake
crepes

If I'm feeling ambitious, I will attempt

Pan de Navidad - Christmas bread

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Last minute Christmas concert tickets availabe [Dec. 16th, 2016|03:32 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |blahblah]

Meredith and I are both too much under the weather to go to the Chorus Pro Musica's Candlelight Christmas concert tonight and have two tickets which we'd be happy to give away to anyone who could use them. Email me at vis02124@gmail.com for info on how to get them.

The Pertinent Info:

Candlelight Christmas Concert
8 p.m.
Old Sourh Church
645 Boyleston Street
Boston 02116

That's basically the Copley stop of the Green Line.

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3 ... 2 ... 1 ... [Dec. 7th, 2016|03:20 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |energeticenergetic]

Today I'm officially cleared for significant physical activity. I'm going to Florida to play golf. I'll be back on Tuesday.

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Not my mother's Christmas music [Dec. 5th, 2016|12:11 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

When I was a younger child, Christmas music started sometime in December and was a constant companion until around New Year's. (Sorry mom, if that's not how it actually was. It is how I remember it though.) The thing is, we had about three Christmas records, so we heard the same songs over and over again. You'd think we'd have all gotten sick of it pretty quickly.

I loved it.

In remembrence of that, I listen to the Holly channel on Sirius XM in my car. Coming home last night I heard

The Eurythmics do Winter Wonderland
Carly Simon doing Night Before Christmas
Seth Macfarlane and Sara Bareilles do Baby It's Cold Outside

and to finish off, David Bowie and Bing Crosby doing a Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth mashup

David Bowie sings with Bing Crosby! How cool is that?

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/140997.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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