Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Day Off...

Yep... no picture today.

Why? Because I have a day off. Loquacious and Skribl are covering the store, and I have pretty much nothing work-related to do. It's not something I am used to.

Tonight, Grumpy and I are of to the Stop north of town to go see Burn Halo, Lori's Puppets, and some other band (I forget the name... Thrust, I think, but I'm not sure). Burn Halo is a pretty good national act, Lori's Puppets are a bunch of kids from Mt. Vernon, Illinois who tore up the stage opening up for 30Aut6 last month.

Add to this the fact I get to sleep in tomorrow as HiSign opens the store, and this will be the largest chunk of time off I've had in a bit that didn't involve trade show (which I consider a working vacation), illness, or holiday.

I'd be positively giddy if I weren't so bloody tired... =)

-- GopherDave

Friday, March 02, 2012

Parental Stuff...

Last night at the store was good. Skribl held down the fort for a bit while I went and watched Pumpkin sing at a choir concert last night. Except for one major hiccup, he did a fine job. Pumpkin was also very good at the singing thing. She's one of three sopranos in her choir segment, and she carried her section. Proud papa was I. =)

Beyond that, things here at the store have been hectic this morning between customers, shipments, and phone calls. It's starting to slow down a bit, but that's just the calm before the storm that is Friday Night Magic. We still have a small chunk of a collection to process, sleeve and price. Once that collection's done we have yet another two to churn through, plus a TON of common and uncommon cards to work our way through. The work never ends, I tell ya...

...And we wouldn't have it any other way... =)

-- GopherDave

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Still Acclimating...

I got to leave at 7:30PM and let HiSign shut the store. A friend of mine and I hung out for an hour, and then I went home to the family. It was nice. I totally freaked out Pumpkin by being home. That was both funny and telling. It was fun to give my wonderful daughter a small scare, but the reasoning behind her surprise was kind of saddening. She's not used to me being home on weeknights hardly at all. Except for Mondays, and the occasional Saturday, I'm not. So when I show up at home at 8:30PM on a Wednesday night, it throws her.

It got me thinking... I have been pulling hours like this for THREE YEARS. Ack!!!

Looking at availability, It seems like I can not be here at all on Monday, except maybe to toss out an order based on the new order schedule we're thinking about going to. Sundays are set up now to where I can sleep in and spend time with the family, but I still have to go in and close due to having the floors done that night. I can go home early (or at least escape the store for a bit) on some Tuesdays and Thursdays due to Skribl stepping up his game, turning 18, and thus is legal to leave in a store by himself for extended periods of time.

Ehh... Looking at it, it would seem that my schedule is changing in ways that give me more potential release valves. Good... I need them. We all do...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Different, But Not Bad...

So... Last night was the start of the Pathfinder game I recently joined. It was... good... -ish... As an adventuring group we don't know each other, and that is playing out in various arguments we've already had amongst the party. Near the tail end of the session, things began to settle down as we discovering each of the other character's... nuances, shall we say. I've no doubt that we will be able to get along as people at the table. Group dynamics, though, will be interesting.

Back in the real world, Loq is getting a lockdown on a set of rules which will be made into signs and posted in about three to five key places around the store. Yours truly still gets final approval, but my darling wife is a damn good wordsmith, and if there are changes, they'll probably just be minor ones at best. On that subject, there are some many things I want to say on a conduct sign, but most (read: all) of them are not worded in a "family-friendly" manner, and that's bad, mmmmmkay...

Nothing much going on besides that. I need to do a bit of planning, but I think we will be splitting orders up starting next week where we will do orders on Monday and Thursday for our main distributor, and Tuesday for our secondary ones. The orders for the main place are getting consistently large enough that we can get away with this from a "free shipping" standpoint, and it will help improve our customer service by decreasing the time it takes for special order items that we can get through them. More work for us, but I think the change is worth it. That, plus smaller orders are faster to enter in the new system and put away.

Just some thoughts...

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A New Beginning...

Tonight, I'm jumping into a Pathfinder game run off-site (away from the store) by one of our semi-regulars. I've never games with the folks playing before, but I'm not too worried. There's only been a handful of people in 30+ years of role-playing that I am reluctant to sit at the table with based on past experiences with them.

I'm still trying to decide what to play, but am leaning toward either a base rogue (my fallback position) or a LN (or even straight Neutral) cleric that channels negative energy, but has the Healing domain as one their focuses. The healing/harm dichotomy is fascinating to me and if I can find something in the game world upon which to hang some character motivation, then I think we will have a winner. With a basic concept in mind, I can generate the stats/skills/etc. fairly quickly. We'll see how things go tonight.

Other drama seems to be settling down for the time being, but I attribute that to the participants not being around right now. I'm fairly certain the next time a few key elements and I get together, the results won't be pretty.

-- GopherDave

Monday, February 27, 2012

Change Is Hard...

I'm getting ready for work this morning and I realize that I don't *have* to. HiSign will be there to open the store. I do need to run some errands, but (for the most part) they are not time sensitive.

The fact that there are days I don't have to be "on time" any longer are hard for me. I'm so ingrained in my routine that I bristle at merely suggested changes in it. I am trying to get used to it all, but it's going to take time. Given an incident that happened yesterday at the store while I was not there, that makes it all the more difficult for me to let go as much as folks want me to. When I'm there, the regulars know what they can (and can't) get away with . When I'm not, like all folks, these regulars push the boundaries of those we've left in charge of the place. That's part of growth and change for a business such as ours. It's also a tendency I'm going to have to step on the neck of quickly, it seems. *sigh*

Beyond that, not much is happening. Errands, and if I can fit it in, taking a lovely lady out to lunch...

-- GopherDave

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lazy Sunday (Self-)Debate...

Spent the bulk of the day letting HiSign open the store while I hung out with Loq and Pumpkin. We did nothing but watch TV, but it was nice to hang out with them.

The Terracide game last night was... different. Between sessions another player and the GM got into a snit, and it ended with Shady kicking this player out of the game. I'm not going to get into the situation, as I said earlier, but it DEFINITELY changed the chemistry of the table. From a plot standpoint, more got done last night than in the last few runs, but I did not feel as engaged. Without the other player involved, I got the feeling that the game is going to change from a character-driven game to a setting-driven game, and that doesn't always fit my playstyle.

I *LIKE* characters... I thoroughly enjoy creating new and interesting people to be, even if they are mostly me with a side of something else. My last few memorable characters have been mostly my cagey, paranoid, pessimistic self, with a side of whatever I can heap onto them to make/keep them interesting.

Case in point, my character in Terracide (Xià Lìng-Zhèn) is an Asian street rat with a college education (criminal psychologist), who ended up being a junk-hauling spacer in an "any ship in a storm" situation to stay a few steps ahead of his past. Ling is also an abrasive, racist bastard... and in an interesting development, he's also now the captain of the ship. I'm not entirely sure how this happened, but I have a few ideas.

Most of what I have been heaping on each character lately has been cultural. Be it simply being Asian, or being from a xenophobic, resource-poor nation with a caste-based warrior culture where women are effectively slaves and property, and mercenaries are the major export, most of my more recent characters have played off something that shaped their way of thinking from an early age.

There are exceptions, though... Ask me to tell you about Willy Rob sometime. It's an interesting story, and more than a bit disturbing...  =)

-- GopherDave