Tad & Craig
6/30/98: Another convention has been added to the list for this year: Tad & Craig's labor day event! Until this year, this swell relaxacon (with a healthy gaming emphasis) was invite-only, Northern Virginia's coolest little private con. This year, we're going public, and I'll be there running games and playing cut-throat INWO for the unsuspecting hordes of newcomers. If you live in the area, you should be among said hordes. It'll be at the Dulles Airport Days Inn in good old Herndon, Virginia - and there'll be an SJ Games rep there, too, with armloads of swell prizes. Not to be missed!
6/26/98: This past Tuesday night, Sandra played her first roleplaying game. And did she ever play! It was a GURPS game, a fairly straightforward fantasy run, with three players: Sandra, and two friends of ours that I knew Sandra would be comfortable gaming with. From the first scene on, Sandra got right into character, dialoguing, bantering, playing it right.
There are certain phrases that you only hear at a gaming table. I think the moment that really showed all of us that Sandra was a natural when she started using those phrases. "Shut up, Chris; you're unconscious," she said! I was so proud ;) And it was a good session overall, especially for a campaign opener;we all had a good time. It'll run weekly (more or less) for the next several months, so I'll keep you posted.
In other news, a new revision of Risus is now available, including printable versions in a variety of formats. And there's still no godling for this month's crossword. Egad!
Great Big Fun
6/18/98: And lots of it! Sandra and I (along with some good friends) had a terrific time at the Great Big Sea/Sinead O'Connor/Chieftans concert the other day. There was a nasty thunderstorm just before the show, but by the time we settled down on the (damp!) lawn, the skies were filled with stars, passing aircraft, and the barest wisps of cloud. The show was great, even if GBS didn't have a very long set. As a bonus, I got to watch Sandra enjoy me enjoying them, which made it even nicer! Give the band a try - if enough people find them, then maybe we'll get them as headliners next time! Their first-ever American CD is called Rant and Roar, and it is swell.
In other Fun News, the mysterious and dangerous Ken Hite will be dropping by Blue Room Headquarters this weekend, in order to attend a secret conference of illuminated souls. He'll probably also end up playing guinea-pig for my fat-free coleslaw experiment, currently ongoing (rejected lots stored in Warehouse 23 for your safety, and ours). The poor fool. In other other Fun News, I'm on the hotseat again in Pyramid Chat next tuesday night (right after Buffy), where I will lead a roundtable discussion on that often-neglected cornerstone of good gaming, the Non-Player Character. Come on out and share!
And the June crossword is still without a Godling! Who is mighty enough to claim it???
6/14/98: Yesterday, the contract arrived in the mail for GURPS Black Magic, and tomorrow, it'll head right back for Austin, signed and notarized. I'm on the job. This should be a fun project - and with Ken Hite, Dave Pulver, Dr. Kromm and others joining me for the party, I think it also promises to be a top-notch GURPS book. If there's anything you especially want to see in the book (particularly in the area of real-world history), by all means email me and let me know. I negotiated a deliberate long-term contract on this one, to allow me to work on it in "hobby time" as well as work-time, to make it as good as it can be. More later.
Here at home, I'm looking forward to a quiet evening with Sandra. I just made a fresh batch of coleslaw, the BBQ gear is ready, and after a grilling, saucing, and eating some chicken, we're off to browse at the bookstore. On Tuesday, we'll be joining friends at Wolftrap, seeing Great Big Sea in concert. The Chieftans and Sinead O'Connor will be there, too, but GBS - one of Sandra's favorite groups - is the main attraction as far as we're concerned! They're a native Newfie band, touring to promote their first ever U.S. release. Check them out!
Also, check out the new additions to the (almost creepy) Secret Library. Boo.
6/11/98: After putting it off for far too long, I've finally gotten around to updating some of the pages around here that needed some tweaking. The GURPS page, the Hedge Magic page, the Mastery page, and sundry others have all seen some fixes over the past day or two. More to come, as time allows!
In local gaming news, tonight is the night for GURPS Old West, which is always fun (it's not every campaign where I get to play a character like Andy Fernman: "Woody Allen as a Bounty Hunter.") We're also starting a new mini-campaign to get Sandra's feet wet in GURPS - and she picked out her own set of 3d6 at a local shop the other day. Her choice of colors? Blue and white, of course - the colors of the St. John's Maple Leafs ;)
6/8/98: Okay, so it was a few hours late ;) It's finally up. Click on over there and give it a go, and the last one in's a Rotten Godling! As usual, check the crossword over the next couple of days for minor changes. If any errors are spotted by eagle-eyed puzzle-solvers (and they usually are), I'll post changes lickety-split. Have fun!
6/2/98: . . . Until next Monday, the 8th (in the evening, by 7pm or so). For reasons too wierd to get into! Thanks for the many email asking about it, though - it's nice to know that it has a following! Six more days. And it'll be well worth the wait; it's another big 15 x 15 traditional grid.
In other news: work. Work, work, work. Pretty interesting work, but lots of it. Over the weekend I took a fun break with several of my Gaming Chums to go see Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, though, and I'm so very glad I did. I think it might be the single best work of translation from book to film since The Princess Bride, or even To Kill A Mockingbird or The Maltese Falcon. If you, like myself, consider Dr. Thompson to be one of the best writers in human history, then by all means rush out to see Fear and Loathing before it vanishes from theaters forever. If, on the other hand, you've never read the Doc's work, read some very very quickly and THEN rush to the theater as above. Terry Gilliam hits another home run.
Plus, I get to play in two (count 'em!) TWO games of GURPS this week: GURPS Old West (GMed by Marty Franklin) on Thursday night, and GURPS Greyhawk (GMed by Dan "Moose" Jasman) this Saturday morning. I also get to run one this week - for Sandra ;) I'll keep you posted.
I Love Sandra
5/22/98: Okay, you already knew that. But I don't get tired of repeating it ;) The last few days have been especially nice ones for my wife and I, and I thought it bore special repeating around now, since it was a year ago (as of the 20th) that Sandra first flew down here from Newfoundland for a visit, and that we were engaged.
It's also just been a really nice week. The weather has been warm and sunny, lately, and on teusday we did a picnic lunch at the park, on Wednesday we went up to D.C. to visit the National Zoo, and we've been taking long walks most evenings, taking advantage of the sunshine and warm breezes. Sharing the Zoo with my sweetie was especially fun; I've been going there since kindergarten, but it was Sandra's first time! If any of the pictures of me posing next to giraffes and whatnot come out really nice, maybe I'll put one up here, sometime.
Hope this finds you all well!
Top Ten Lists
5/18/98: No, not the David Letterman ones. Rather, the May Top Ten List of The Great RPG Archive, one of the Net's biggest and coolest link-libraries for adventure gamers. The Blue Room was so honored this month. Thanks, guys!
In other news, Craig Roth (Official S. John Archivist and All-Around Good Chap) pointed out to me the other night that he put up an HTML conversion of my Whimsey Magic rules months ago, and I hadn't gotten around to linking to it yet! Argh! It's for GURPS, natch!
In other news, I'm putting up one of those Amazon Associate Bookshop Thingies. It's still in the works, but I figured I'd let you peek.
5/16/98: The new license plates arrived from the Virginia DMV, and Sandra and I are very happy to have them on the car. Sure, they might confuse anybody who hasn't heard of Newfoundland (most of the folks around here have heard of Virginia), but they sure make us smile!
Games With Frontiers
5/13/98: Specifically, the game is Trinity, from White Wolf. Myself and the redoubtable Kenneth Hite have just signed on as coauthors on the upcoming Stellar Frontier sourcebook for said game, and naturally I'm very pleased to finally do some formal coauthoring with Ken, since we each qualify as fans of the other. This will be my first work for Trinity, and it promises to be a Hoot.
On the local front, Sandra took me to a company picnic this evening, where I got to meet some of the folks she works with, and chow down on barbecue and coleslaw, and generally have a nice time being very proud to be sitting next to Sandra! Just yesterday, we had a road trip out to West Virginia, to visit my Mom (who broke her arm just in time for Mother's Day - argh). So, life has been busy - and next week, it will have been six very happy months since we tied the knot for all the world to see! Expect sappiness. You've been warned. ;)
In the It's A Bloody Wierd World category of news, a fortune-cookie fortune that I got at a local Chinese Restaurant 10 days ago sold in an online auction today for $29.50. The fortune, which reads "This biscuit suits my taste" (complete with Lucky Numbers) will go out to Paul McDonald, along with a Certificate of Authenticity and a copy (handwritten) of my biscuit recipe. Life is Wierd, and I've always had a lot of life! I'll probably toss in a free copy of one of my books so I don't feel too guilty.
That Old Black Magic
5/1/98: If you've ever wondered about that reference to "Black Magic" in GURPS Warehouse 23, I'm happy to say that you won't have to wonder forever. I do in fact have another GURPS book on the way, and Black Magic it is. Details? Later on. No spoilers for now, just wanted to let you know.
In other GURPS news, my designer's notes for GURPS Russia showed up on Pyramid tonight, complete with a spiffy (if I do say so) logo designed by Yours Truly. It was wierd designing for a white background!
Also, the new crossword is up!
Into the Weekend
4/24/98: I was recently interviewed by WEDGE (West End Games' Dedicated Gaming Enthusiasts) on Star Wars, game design, and sundry matters, and the results are now online. If you haven't tried WEDGE before (especially if you're a fan of WEG), give them a visit!
Here at cybercity, I've been doing spring cleaning on The Blue Room - little bits of cosmetic and content correction to the entire site. Recently, I cleaned up a lot of Gourmand Bleu, added a cute new graphic to the Rogue HASTUR page (courtesy of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles), added some material to the How the Crossword Works page, and other little stuff. I also heavily revised my article on selecting a cookbook. Sometime soon, I'll be adding my Random Recipe Generation System - which will be the first page on the Blue Room permanently linked to from both the gaming and cooking parts of the site!
4/20/98: Well, we're finally back. Because things were a little rushed, a lot of you probably didn't even know we were gone. Sandra and I returned last night from a trip to Maine, and it feels good to be back in the comfortable surroundings of home. And it was quite a journey - ask me at a con sometime if you're in the mood for Tales of Terror and Triumph on the highways (and railways) of the Eastern Seaboard. Suffice it to say that we were exhausted, and that now, 11 states, four cars, four airports, a subway, a handful of busses, and one very unpredictable train later, we're really happy to be back to hot meals and warm blankets! To everyone who's been waiting for an email from Sandra or I - now you know why ;)
There are a couple of possible announcements bubbling just under the surface - watch this space over the next few days. One thing that I can point out, though, is that The Blue Room is a year old this week. One whole year - and look how the blasted thing has grown! I've added an average of a page a week, and now there are (as of right now) more than 50 unique HTML documents that make up the site. Yowzers.
Big thanks to everybody who's made the upkeep on The Blue Room worthwhile - and it certainly is. It's fun sharing some of the wierd stuff that clutters my hard drive with the rest of the world, and we can only get bigger from here.
I, In The Pyramid
4/11/98: One of the best features of the new online incarnation of Pyramid magazine is the chat room that goes with it. Every week (maybe more often in the future), somebody from the gaming industry shows up to talk shop with the fans. This Thursday past, Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch was there, talking about the future of GURPS. As a bonus, Steve Jackson showed up to join in, and even Dan "Smif" Smith was there. Very cool. (They're also archiving all the chats as text-logs, which make for surreal reading).
This coming Tuesday, I'll be there (9 P.M. Eastern Standard Time), revealing Touchy Industry Secrets, talking all mushy about Sandra, and encouraging people to try the crossword. So, if you're a Pyramid subscriber, drop on by! Until then - Happy Easter!
4/7/98: Special thanks to Colby Perkins and Armin Sykes for each pointing out signifigant errors in the April Crossword! The clue for 33 Down is now present, and the clue for 34 across is now corrected! That'll teach me to work on these things late at night! Thanks, guys! No complete solutions yet . . . and is it any wonder, with me goofing up like that? Yeek!
Danger, Will Robinson!
4/5/98: Sandra and I went to see Lost in Space this past Friday night . . . The time-travel bit got a little loopy there, for a while, but it was a fun picture. A nice mix of nods to the TV show and new stuff, with good performances all around. Nothing too heavy, with a very interesting rewrite of Dr. Smith, in particular.
Aside from work, that's all the news on this end - but I've still got something nice to offer this time around: The april crossword is up and ready! Get your printer warmed up, your pencil sharp and your brain rubbery. Enjoy! Also, Big Congratulations to Josh Talley, the Blue Room's first crossword godling. Jonathan Woodward and Armin Sykes were close on his heels, though. We'll see who takes it this month!
Point. Click. Conquer.
3/29/98: A little while ago, I put the rules for Mastery (my fantasy gameworld's Chess Substitute) here on the Blue Room. It generated a lot of positive response, ranging from simple compliments to one reader's suggestion for a complex "3-D" variant! The most pleasantly surprising bit of feedback, through, came from Armin Sykes, creator of the GURPS Character Assistant software. He made it into a computer game. Click right here to download it (it's about 43k ZIPped, so it won't take long). You'll still need an opponent (anyone in the mood to design an AI for the game should contact Armin!), but it's a hoot AND a holler. It also makes for a great "hands on" way to learn the game.
Lots of Space
3/28/98: No, not for the furniture. If only! Rather, lots of GURPS Space, which is almost as nifty. I had these two really BIG GURPS Space articles, see - both of them unfinished. So, cleverly and surgically, I grafted them together into one hulking brute of an article . . . Still incomplete, it is an abomination! But it's my little abomination, so enjoy.
3/25/98: Tonight's going to be a busy night, as Sandra and I finally move in and begin constructing all the bookshelves we need, along with a new sofa and kitchen table. Thanks to Wal-Mart for the shelves, and thanks to my Mom for the rest! This is all happening just when we finally got rested from a good time at Technicon, where we played games, spent time with some good friends (including Shawn Lockard and Duane Abrames, masters of the WEDGE e-zine), and generally got all tired out doing panels and whatnot. Good fun!
In a couple of days, I'll be putting up a GURPS article of interest to GURPS Space players. And as the month turns over, I'll be announcing the results of this months' crossword! See you soon!
3/19/98: Tomorrow is Technicon (and the Vernal Equinox), so Sandra and I will be gone for the weekend (for the former!). Hopefully, all the Blue Room readers within driving distance of Blacksburg will drop by the con to say hi! In the meantime, I leave you with good wishes for your own weekend, and a few organizational/cosmetic changes here in the Room that is Blue. Take care; I'll be back in a couple of days with a con report!
And I have no idea what the Fanshawe quote means. I just liked the sound of it!
Happy St. Pat's!
3/17/98: Another fine day . . . While some workmen were busy tearing up the floor around our front door, Chris Reid and I spent lunchtime (and a couple of hours after) enthusing about the Star Wars RPG rules at a local restaurant (and boning up on the differences between the older editions and the new one). The food was decent, the company was great, and we got to blow up Boba Fett with the Death Star (just to see what the dice rolls would look like). Now, I'm really enthused about the new Star Wars writing I'll be doing (see below) - and Chris got so worked up that he's running a Star Wars game tomorrow night for some pals of his! Good fun.
Special thanks to Jonathan Woodward for pointing out two errors (both fairly minor ones, fortunately) in the Blue Room Crossword clues; both have been fixed, now! After you're done the crossword, surf on over to his page; he's got Godzilla in there! He's also very close to solving the puzzle, I think.
The GURPS Russia Outtakes page is up as of today. So far, it contains all the important text outtakes - the maps are still in the works. Give it a click and see bits of GURPS Russia you can't even buy online . . .
And, just a reminder: Technicon is almost upon us! Sandra and I will be arriving at the con just after 8pm this Friday, and there'll be fun, fun, fun 'til the hotel takes the T-Con away. One of the events I'll be running is a GURPS Gladiators tournament, so come ready to fight! I'll also be on panels on world design, the state of the gaming industry, and "writing and cover art" (along with the con's other esteemed guests, like C.S. Friedman; come on out and say Hi!) Technicon is always a fun convention, and I think this year will be no exception.
Solve My Puzzle
3/14/98: Another nice Saturday. Sandra and I got a lot of errands done today, including a trip to the local library, where we stocked up on books, and a trip to Captain Sid's, the coolest little sandwich shop in town, where we stocked up on Philly steaks and soda. Then, home for a little housework (we were both busy making the kitchen a little more civilized) and a Disney movie (can you believe she'd never seen Aladdin? She loved it, of course!) And now, I find myself up late, finishing up clues for the first ever Blue Room Crossword. Can you be the first to solve it?
If so, I won't know 'til morning. Time for me to sleep!
Master My Game
3/13/98: One of the reasons I enjoyed exploring medieval Russia so much is that, when the worldbook started to fall into place, it was almost exactly the kind of world I tend to run, anyway. I felt a kinship with it, from the Game Master's perspective. But there is one important difference: In Russia, they play chess. In my own fantasy gameworld, they play Mastery.
3/3/98: As time allows, I'll be putting up plenty of material to support GURPS Russia here on the site, including outtakes from the original manuscript, the mysterious Missing Maps, adventures, characters, and more (probably even some period recipes). The first thing I've made available is a new advantage, Hedge Magic, perfect for representing the powers of the vedun and the vedomye zheny - the wise women and village sorcerers. It's also good for just about any medieval GURPS fantasy game, not just the Russian kind. Enjoy! And remember, only two weeks 'til Technicon!
Life is Good
2/23/98: It was a good weekend, and now it's shaping up to be a really swell week, too. Sandra just got word today from the INS that she's been approved for her Employment Authorization Document, thus closing yet another chapter of our long-running Immigration Saga. Next stop: Permanent Residency! Yesterday, we drove down to Richmond to visit Carytown, where I showed Sandra around One-Eyed Jacques', one of the nicer game shops in the state, along with the usual assortment of bizarre boutiques that you'd expect from a college-town shopping district. A tip: anyone in the Richmond area who has not yet sampled the calzones at Max's are cheating themselves! That was the best calzone I've ever tasted, and I've tasted a few. We also finally got my mother her very own copy of Kill Dr. Lucky; we'll make a gamer of her yet!
Here on the website, I've added another GURPS piece for your amusement, a tasty little morsel for your medieval fighters called Fighting With Your Hands Full. It's very short but very sweet; brush your teeth afterwards.
Another reminder for those in the area: Dominion 4 is this weekend! I'll be there doing a GMing workshop, as well as running a GURPS Russia session ("Bitter Legacy") and a game of TOON ("Castle for a Day!"). You'll also see me lurking around the Car Wars table . . .
For those not in the area, we may get to game together this year, anyway, especially if you're within driving distance of New Orleans. I'm now a confirmed guest at Crescent City Con, held at the end of July! This will be my first appearance in that part of the country, and I'll be there with bells on, running games and spouting off and doing the usual thing. If you'll be attending, and you have any particular requests for the games I run, drop me a line!
Sundry Little Things
2/15/98: No major news this time around; I've upgraded the links on my GURPS page, cleaned up a few other bits. Sometime later this week, I'll also be putting up a short GURPS article I wrote a while back by request of a friend of mine (thanks for reminding me about it, Tim!) Since this was Valentine's Day weekend, I've been happily occupied with other matters! Sandra and I have been enjoying the weekend tremendously. We just finished watching My Neighbor Totoro and eating a late supper; now it's time for snoozin'. Good night, everybody.
2/5/98: A less than cheerful announcement: I'm no longer the GURPS Low-Tech author. Personal finances, time constraints, and other responsibilities have made it, regrettably, impossible for me to stay with the project. SJ Games is currently negotiating with alternate writers, so it should be back on the schedule sometime soon. They're very determined to get the book to you, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a playtest draft were available by early summer. Given the standard of quality that GURPS products have always adhered to, I've no doubt that my successor on Low-Tech will produce a book I'll be proud to purchase.
Sandra Kicks Ass
2/4/98: You've probably heard of Cheapass Games by now, but just in case you haven't, I need to give them a plug here in the Blue Room. This past Saturday, on the way to a Chinese New Year party in Northern Virginia (Big Thanks to Tim Driscoll for showing us Fong Sai Yuk II, more confused thanks to Tim for showing us Zipang, and a big "Hi!" to everybody who made it so much fun, and to Brian Flanagan for hosting! Good food, too!) . . .
D'oh. Got a bit lost in the parentheses. It's late at night.
On the way to the party, my pal Dan Jasman and I stopped at a game shop to browse, and I bought a Cheapass Game called Kill Dr. Lucky. Six bucks, and a steal at the price. It's the sicker side of Clue, where every player is trying to be the guilty party, chasing a feeble (and Lucky) old man around his house trying to kill him. I didn't get to try it out at the party (we were too busy noshing and watching movies and catching up on old times and whatnot), but the very next day, Sandra and I drove down to visit my mother in Richmond. So, I brought it along.
Suffice it to say, Sandra kicked my ass again. I killed the old bastard twice. Mom killed him once. Sandra killed him three times. She's the competitive one, you know ;) Also the clever one!
We played SIX games? Yeah. It's FUN. Also easy to learn - my Mom isn't exactly the Advanced Squad Leader type. Give them a click, and fork over the six bucks. Dan bought Give Me The Brain!, which we'll be trying out soon. I look forward to it!
1/29/98: One of the the most pleasant surprises I got regarding GURPS Russia is the artwork. Eric Hotz, who I've admired for years for his excellent work on Hârn, from Columbia Games, is one of the illustrators. If you've never seen his work, check out his new web page, and you'll see why I was so happy; his work captures the feel of a medieval world in ways that no other illustrator that I know can do. Soon the GURPS Russia page at sjgames.com is likely to feature some Russia-specific samples for you to enjoy, too, so keep that bookmark warm.
1/16/98: Just the other day, Steve Jackson Games made the announcement: GURPS Russia is finally at the printer. First completed in the spring of 1993, Russia was the first GURPS book I ever wrote, and it's still my favorite. I've never cared so much about a project, before or since, and I poured my heart into researching and writing it. It was an experiment, in many ways: I wanted to describe a real place and time using a style more normally associated with fictional settings. Rather than a dry history, I wanted to give the reader Medieval Russia as a game-world. Now, we'll see if I succeeded.
But, it's not just an experiment for me. A few days ago, SJ Games informed me that GURPS Russia will not be distributed to game shops. The only way to buy the book is via the online catalogue, direct to the customer. The print run will be shorter than ordinary, and this experiment - if it succeeds - will mean that more GURPS books will get printed, some in direct-sales only formats, some in the shops.
I'd by lying if I said that my feelings weren't hurt. They are. Very. But Russia taught me a few things about adversity . . . Russia existed for centuries as a bastard land practicing a bastard faith, fighting and shouting just to be heard, and respected for what she was: A great empire, a place that mattered, a people that had something to contribute. Maybe it's just meant to be this way, always.
1/11/98: Sandra and I just got back from MarsCon this afternoon, tired and smiling and filled with the satisfaction of a Con Well Done. It was many firsts . . . it was Sandra's first exposure to organized fandom (here at home, I'm an example of disorganized fandom), and to Tables Full of Gamers. It was my first ever MarsCon, and it was my first con of the year.
I've been an avid convention-goer for years, and it's been a while since I've been as pleasantly surprised by a convention as I was by MarsCon. Really, if you live anywhere from Maryland to the Carolinas, you have to try to fit next year's MarsCon into your schedule. It's a small (300 or so attendees this year), intimate relax-a-con, with a very friendly atmosphere, a suprisingly busy gaming room (I've seen cons with triple the attendance with half as much gaming), a good collection of hucksters, and one of the best Con Suites I've ever seen. Sandra enjoyed it as much as I did, and I'll always owe MarsCon a happy debt for giving my sweetie the best first impression of SF fandom that I could have possibly hoped for. Special thanks, also, to Shawn Lockard and his wife, Marsha, for being such great hosts to Sandra and I.
1/9/98: Today (well, tomorrow to me, since I haven't slept yet) is the beginning of MarsCon! Hope to see you there! Also, I finally have a link to a page for Dominion 4 . . . They didn't have a website, as it turns out, so I made them one! And now I'm sleepy ;)
On The Twelfth Day of Christmas
1/6/98: Here on Old Christmas Day (the Twelfth Day), I've done a couple of things. First, inkeeping with tradition (at least where my lovely wife comes from) I took the blinking Christmas lights down from the logo above. Sadly, we leave the holiday season behind us, now - but we've got a whole new year to look forward to.
Second, I've joined a Web Ring, which is something I've been very hesitant about for a very long time (since the Rings didn't work at all for a long stretch of time, there). Specifically, I've joined the way-cool GURPS Web Ring, and my GURPS page is the page that's on it. Give it a try.
The rest of the day has been pleasant (Sandra and I took a nice walk outside, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, looking at old Civil War era houses and just kind of strolling), and I look forward to a long evening of writing here at home. Hope it's nice where you are, too - and remember: Just three more days 'til MarsCon!