Monday, March 30, 2015

Dark Dark Door

Lots of fun board gaming has been happening on the new table! Wednesday night gaming has become a thing. Balo drops in, we have dinner, some drinking, and then play games ranging from Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror, and Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Hunter and I have also been building miniatures. He's almost done with his Tau army, and I finished assembling all of the minis for Super Dungeon Explore. Excited to finally get to play :D

Last Saturday, Hunter and I attempted to throw a small get-together game night. Invited Balo, Brock, San, Michael, Clown Guy, and others over... but Brock was the only one available :/ So instead, we played League XD Think we've been getting better... Brock even said Hunter and I are pretty good players!

This Saturday, we missed Michael's return of the board gaming party. Some unexpected family stuff went down for Hunter... but we'll have to make it to the next one :)

Had Balo and Sara over yesterday for some Red Dragon Inn and Betrayal, since none of us were signed up for Pathfinder. Apparently there have been tons of new people going (Hunter and I haven't been in a month!), which is great for the society and the store, but it makes it a little less fun playing with random people. Miss having guaranteed tables of friends. Hopefully the Monday night game group will want to go ahead with the Emerald Spire superdungeon and I can run it :D

Immediately after gaming with Balo and Sara yesterday, Hunter and I headed over to his friend Casey's apartment for moar board gaming! I'd met Casey before at Hunter's home game, but not his girlfriend (Courtney), or Trey and his wife (who Hunter originally claimed was named Rebecca, but turned out to instead be Rachel.) Had delicious food cooked by Casey, enjoyed some drinks, and played more Betrayal and Red Dragon Inn. Was a fantastic time, and I think things went swimmingly. Everyone made at least one comment regarding how much better I was than Hunter's last girl that he introduced to them XD Definitely looking forward to hanging out with them more, in any fashion. Really fun peeps :D

If it didn't suck enough already that Hunter and I will both be in two different weddings in different states April 11th, the normal Are You A Werewolf game that is run on the first Saturday of each month has once again been moved to the second weekend... so I won't be in town for it T.T I'm going to start going through withdrawals soon if I don't get my werefix!

Speaking of the wedding, I finally ordered my shoes. The requirements provided by Kristin were pretty straight forward: silver sparkly heels. They arrived, and I'm worried that the newspaper's headline the next day will revolve around a death by shoes -_-; The heel is 3" (I think?), and I'm definitely not one to be able to walk around in heels very well to begin with. Should be interesting... but I do have a plan!

We had our last snow dusting super late Saturday night. I'm going to miss it!! Have been taking the moto out during the nice days tho :D Definitely missed riding. Hunter bought a helmet so he could be my passenger, and while I was nervous at first (since it'd been ages, and I'd only ever had a passenger maybe three times) the rides have gone wonderfully! And he loves it! ^^

It's other people that make life worth living.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Category Schrodinger

The post I've been waiting ages to do! The table has been completed :D

Our journey began in January this year. Hunter walked into my dining room and stopped, struck by a vision of the table that could be. He proposed the idea of building a gaming table together, and the plan spawned from there! We had a scribble of a quarter of a table on graph paper, and went into action. We figured it'd be simple: buy some wood, put it together, color it, and bam! Little did we know how much time we'd end up putting into this "little idea" of ours... but it was well worth all of it :D

Without any further ado... here's a fun photo montage of the entire process!

Bought all the wood we figured we'd need January 6th.

 Chariot of wood! More dangerous than expected :d

Almost immediately after starting to use the jigsaw, Hunter broke the blade XD Thankfully, we had a circular saw on hand!

When cutting the 4x4s for the legs, they weren't all cut to the same length. While I agreed that Hunter had a good idea for getting them all cut down equally, we definitely didn't have the right tools to keep them stable enough and stuck together to hand cut them down. Ended up just making them worse :/ Finally convinced him to just let me sand them down by hand. Took awhile, but they came out well enough!


Table fully assembled!

Time for shelf doors! Have to keep the kitties out of all the stuff we can store in there :)

One of the doors wouldn't fully shut :( Ended up having to sand it down later, and now it functions beautifully!

Beautiful day to go sanding and staining!

Picked out red oak stain to go along with the oak wood! The color reminded me of a pirate ship :D

Built, stained, and poly'd! Bought chairs and a storage ottoman off of Overstock to go along with it :D Time to have gaaaaaaaaaame nights!

Had Balo over last night to celebrate with us! We drank, played board and card games, and even did some dancing when Balo shared with us that he knows Ike Ike! :) Was tons of fun!

Found out the chairs might not be the best ever- Balo leaned back at one point, and his chair nearly snapped in half! :O However, this is exactly why I paid a little extra for the protection plan. Put in a service request today, and I don't think they'll be able to fix it, so I'll already be getting a new chair!

Overall, it was a long process (just over 2 and a half months), but it was an enjoyable learning and bonding experience for Hunter and me :D Good to know that we didn't fall prey to the frustration the new Ikea-building couple did. We were able to work through disagreements and learned when to trust each other with some ideas :) Was a fantastic project... and we're both looking forward to our next!

Some Lessons Learned:
  • Measure twice, do whatever it is once (duh)
  • Countersinks are a beautiful thing
  • Paint rollers are your friend, even with polyurethane- after all, the table is mostly just one big flat surface
  • Don't start a project that requires you to be working outside in the dead of winter
  • Don't utilize wood stain indoors. No, windows doesn't provide enough ventilation.
  • A right-angle drill/screw driver bit is well worth a 25$ purchase.
  • It's totally okay to return things
  • It's also very okay to ask people at Lowe's for help. It might take awhile, but you can find some extremely nice individuals who will find your project intriguing enough to go above and beyond to assist you
Total Amount Spent: 786.04$
Total Amount Returned: 259.56$
Final Total Cost: 526.48$
Number Store Visits: Lowe's 18; Home Depot 1; Specialty Woodworking Shop 1

It's important to have your terrified Taproots in a row.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Marriage Before Dogs

Last week kind of flew by, but I think that's mostly because I was ready for vacation mode to activate! Friday, Hunter and I hopped in my car for an 8 hour road trip down to Florida. Originally, I was going to go by myself for Bridesmaid duties, but it turned out that this week coincided with his school's Spring Break. What could be more fun than going down to Gainesville Florida during your time off?! XD

Got to introduce Hunter to my parents and brother, and over the course of the weekend/week Donna and Mike, and my Godmother Pat. He got along swimmingly with everyone :) Was a wonderful treat to have him in my hometown with me, and was tons of fun getting to share the city with him (although it isn't too crazy of a place!)

Saturday I attended Kristin's bridal shower with a gaggle of other women. Was a nice time (plus cake!) I still don't know most anyone outside of Kristin, Alyssa, and Mileka :d Returned home to spend some time with Hunter. Brought him over to Mega, since that (WAS!) our only comic/gaming store. Since it was Saturday, there were actually people in there playing some Warhammer. I picked up another Munchkin expansion, since I knew there'd be some gaming during our time in Florida :)

Drove him around town to show him all the wonderful things the city has to offer :P Picked up some hair gel for him and purple hair dye for me. Afterall, what's the point of getting your hair cut in a fauxhawk style if you never gel it up? I thought it looked adorable! but I probably used too much water :d

Kristin was dying to meet Hunter since he won't be making it to the wedding (Clint and Julie are also getting married on April 11th, and Hunter's a groomsman), so I managed to coerce him into coming to Chili's for dinner. We were shunned to a table by ourselves, so it was pretty much like having dinner with just each other XD Was a good time!

Sunday I got my oil changed (exciting), and for once got the high mileage oil instead of the regular. Figured I always wait until I'm in Gainesville to get it done, might as well use more appropriate fluids :) Donna, Mike, and Pat all came over for games and my mother's beef stroganoff. Played Munchkin, Red Dragon Inn, and Cards Against Humanity until just after midnight. Many a drinks and a really great time was had!

Monday we headed to Burrito Bros for lunch with Dwyer... who was swamped with work and wasn't able to make it :( We had a delicious time tho :D I miss their sweet potato burritos so much! Afterward, we drove around Gainesville some more, and headed down to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Although it wasn't as beautiful as it could have been, it was still gorgeous, and the weather was undeniably perfect.

Stopped by Kanapaha Park on the way back home to explore the Veteran's Memorial that I like so much. Also found a rock formation that Hunter just had to climb :)

I treated him to a dinner at Dragonfly that evening. Their menu has changed :( and they no longer serve my favourite sushi: Pizza Sushi D: I was a sad panda. Although, the rolls we ordered were still quite satisfactory :) He even ate some raw fish ones!

Tuesday we actually got to meet up with Dwyer and Mehdi for lunch at Leonardo's! (The good one at Millhopper.) Was awesome seeing them again, and I'm glad that Hunter got to meet them :D Saw a flyer for a new tabletop gaming place in the same complex, so we decided to drop-in. It's almost just like Level Up, with organized play and everything! Talked to the owner some, and bought a handful of dice. I'm so excited to see a store like this finally pop up in town :D Especially with how Mega is... Everyone should go check them out!

Stopped by Tipple's Brews as well, said hi to Matt and picked up some Muse. Apparently, they have a rewards card now, too! I'm glad that they seem to be doing well :) Everyone should definitely support this little shop.

Had a great delivered Bento's dinner with the family (save for the fact that they didn't deliver any of the sauces for any of the meals), and introduced Hunter, Donna, and Mike to the family card game: Big Bertha. It's much like rummy. Mom ended up winning, surprise surprise!

Wednesday was the lengthy drive back, but it went by rather quickly, since we each drove in 2 hour intervals. Probably really helped that we could spend all of Atlanta in the HOV lane :) I managed to get some work done while I was the passenger as well!

I submitted my application as a non-degree student at UT today :o Gotta get those pre-reqs in over the next year so I can apply to the Master's program :D

Happy Pre-Pi Day! Will have another pie picture to share from tomorrow :) Making one for the Iron Gods group. It was quite the successful day at work though (20 pies!)! I brought in fresh strawberry pie :)

A random Target trip, resulting in beer, mens' socks, toothpaste, and throw pillows. Hooray, sense!

Convinced Hunter to give Cook, Serve, Delicious! a shot. He got quite frazzled over the initially demanding gameplay :) I should share the video sometime.

Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Tuesday last week was a WFH (work from home) day due to ice (iirc.) Had a conference call in the morning, went well, but afterward my phone froze. I went to restart it, and put it aside until noon, at which point I found it completely off and unable to turn back on. It'd been acting funny for awhile: sometimes the power button would stick or not register at all, sluggish in general, and just weird unresponsiveness. Had been considering doing a factory reset in hopes that would resolve the issue, but my phone decided not to give me an option.

Did some troubleshooting at home, including battery removal, charging, draining capacitors of remaining power, etc.... but nothing would get my phone to boot past the "Samsung Galaxy S4" title screen. Stopped in Batteries and Bulbs to test a new battery; no dice :/ Brought it down to Verizon where one of the guys did a few magic juju troubleshooting tests, which resulted in the same conclusion I had already come to: my phone was bricked :( Thankfully, I pay for insurance on my phone, so I was able to send in a request for a replacement, and it only cost me 100$. Better than dropping ~500$ on an S5, because that's probably what I would've end up doing otherwise!

Normally, they offer next day shipping for free, but my phone got held up at UPS due to all the inclement weather we had been having. Replacement finally came in after 5 on Thursday. Was kind of weird being without a phone for 2 days, almost a relief to be untethered tho. Realized how much time I spend looking at it when there's really nothing important to check or look at. All those silly ingrained habits that feed my feelings of needing-to-know founded from boredom. Really only missed having a camera on hand at all times.

Tuesday evening after Hunter finished his errands, he picked me up and took me down to Gatlinburg. Was a surprise mini trip, although it's not too terribly far from Knoxville. Was fun! Although pretty much everything was closed :/ We did play together in some snow tho :D (Plus, I pelted him with snowballs!)

Friday night we went on a date and saw Kingsmen. Silly spy spoof movie, but was quite amusing! Also want to go see The Lazarus Effect, and I wouldn't be surprised if we go to see Interstellar with Balo sometime.

Saturday evening, Hunter and I got our drank on and played some League and Divinity until Balo dropped by to hang out. Drunk shenangoats, woo!

Yesterday, Hunter and I went over to Balo's place to help him drill holes into a a wall for him to hang coat hooks... until we realized it was a concrete wall :o So we switch walls! They look pretty good, and definitely serve their purpose well XD Proceeded to play with the Pathfinder character sheets I'd modified, and then busted out the board games! Got to play Pandemic for the first time ever :D We won pretty easily, but I think that's because Hunter and Balo are so pro! Also played Betrayal at House on the Hill a few times. All three of us won, then Balo won as the traitor (Hunter and I fucked up big time), and then Hunter and I defeated the traitorous Balo (who was apparently fantastic at rolling 0's on haunt checks.) Ate at a great Vietnamese place, and had Pho for the first time! Quite delicious :)

Emailed the guy who last modified the Pathfinder character sheets in hopes that he could provide us with an original we could mess with further. Can't make some of the changes we'd like to :/ He got back to me pretty quickly, but unfortunately the font that the sheets were made with is not free/open licensed :( So, he can't share it with me, so unless I change all of the fonts for the parts I want to modify, I can't make the changes I want to. Maybe I'll design my own some time... will need to for my not-Call-of-Cthulhu game.

Vapored myself out of my apartment last night after staining a huge portion of the table. Good job at being a dumbass, Ashley! Trapped the kittens in my bedroom with the windows open and I spent the night at Hunter's. Hopefully it'll be all better when I get home. Can't wait to share all the photos of our work :D

What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?