Monday, September 29, 2014

What's Old is New Again

I'm typing this on the 15th of September. I just made the following post to Facebook -

In five days, the Henderson Family Dance place will reopen! I've been asked to supply bass guitar as well as vocals on part of the set. We have a great show planned for this Saturday night and those that have been there before know how great the floor is for dancing!
Plenty of great seating as well! We plan to start at 7 - hope to see YOU there!
(let me know if you need directions...)

As Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story. :-)

This place was open before and I actually subbed from time to time on bass guitar. It closed down for over a year. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the keyboard player from a couple of groups I used to play with (NashVegas in Halls and Pure Country in Hornbeak and Cayce). He said he was going to try and have a place open every Saturday night starting in September and asked if I was interested.

Now at this point, those of you that know me well know that of COURSE I was interested. My only hesitation? I don't want it to take the place of my solo endeavors and especially my songwriting. Knowing also that most of my songs are "traditional" style and recognizing the fact that the best way to get inspired is by having new experiences and being exposed to more music, I agreed. 

Does this mean I've stopped the solo thing? Not at all! I'm still booking solo appearances and singer/songwriter stuff, and of course I hope to introduce the people of Henderson to some original songs as time goes on as well. 

The floor down there (Henderson is South of us) is GREAT! There is plenty of seating to the SIDES of the dance floor for those that like to hear the band and watch the dancers. There are concessions at the back as well. I don't know what the "per head" price will be, but most places are charing around $6 a person, so I'm confident it will be comparable.

Who's in the band? Jimmy Skiles is the keyboard player and "leader" of the band. He sits to my right. To my left is John Hodges on lead guitar. Behind me is Stacy Shattuck on drums. We will all sing in turn so that at the end of the night each of us has done one fourth of the show, and of course it's all dance music! Waltzes, line dances, two stepping, slow dancing - it's all included. :-)

I don't think you'll find the place on Facebook, and I don't know the "official" address, but dropping a pin in Apple Maps gets me this - 

4955 US Highway 45 S
Finger, TN  38334-1992

The pin is on 45 ByPass between Henderson and Selmer and the gray roof building in the upper right is the dance hall itself.

It's super easy to get to... Coming from Jackson just go to Henderson and stay on 45 ByPass. This pic shows a little better where it is - 

Once you pass Leath Lane you will pass a "turn around" at Old Naylor Road, then you'll see a flashing arrow sign on the left side of the road. Make the next "turn around" and you'll come right back to the sign and make a right into the driveway.

If you're coming from the South (Selmer, or Mississippi), you'll take 45 ByPass past Selmer and Bethel Springs. You'll see Finger-Leapwood Road on the right (that's the biggest "road" coming from that direction) and you'll know you're VERY close...

Just past the fifth "turn around" you'll see the Arrow Sign on the right at the driveway.

If you need specific info, feel free to call me or text me at 731-345-9229...

edit - here's a pic from opening night...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Better Fit - and games

Okay - I want to lose weight and I want to get healthier. Okay - I've said it - I've made that proclamation public.

We just celebrated our 28th Anniversary and had a great time! I took Vanessa to eat at Olive Garden in Jackson (which wasn't around when we were married) and drove to Casey Jones Motel (which was there) where we stayed the first night of marriage.

We visited a little chapel back by the mini golf course and sang our song to each other. We also rang the wedding bells as we left the building.

I then drove us to the site of the place where we "met" 31 years ago. There used to be an amusement park just off of Hollywood. The bowling alley next door is still there, but that's all. There was a building with an arcade, they had a water slide, bumper boats, a batting cage and mini golf. Now there's just a blacktop parking lot and grass softball fields, but we can still see everything like it was yesterday...

Speaking of yesterday, we picked up Colton and Tiffani and the four of us went to eat at Lambert's in Sikeston. We had a great time and some great food! While we were waiting for an hour and a half I decided to walk around the building to get the Munzees that I had not gotten before. I captured seven of them and grabbed the eighth on the way out. (there are nine, but I had gotten the oldest one on a previous visit) Since I didn't have a geocache for August 31st, I stopped on the way out of town at a used book store and grabbed one there.

What does this have to do with getting healthy? I'm typing this on a parking lot while Vanessa is shopping. We just bought her a new bike to ride and I'm going to service mine when we get home. I noticed there are now a TON of Munzees in Jackson, and one was 300 foot from the truck, so I made the walk. I realized right away that this is going to be part of my exercise...

No, I'm not jumping back into the geocaching game with both feet. It's a team sport, as far as I am concerned, and my team mate is not interested right now, but I realized that I can do some walking and capturing like I did last night and again today. Every little bit helps, right? :-)

She's back - time to roll!!!

Thanks for reading...

Addendum before posting on 9/20... I had some issues with my bike so we ended up buying one for me as well. LOVE IT! Nice big tires... Better handlebars... And the brakes work! Always a bonus! :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy 31st Life Day

Life Day - for Star Wars fans that's the Thanksgiving and Christmas time of year. For me, it's September 16th and the first one was in 1983. That's the day Vanessa and I officially became "a couple."

We "found each other" before that, but that was the time we officially started dating - and the rest is history! We have now been married for 28 years but our life together started before that - on Life Day - and we've been together ever since!

Yes, this is a short post, but I want to commemorate the day with best wishes to my wife and soul mate! I love you!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Car Wars Unboxing

On our first day of Gen Con, one of the things Kyle was anxious for was the new release (or re-release?) of Car Wars Classic. No, this is not the pocket box - this is an actual "box" about the size of Munchkin.

Anyone who knows me knows that growing up Car Wars was my favorite game. I still run PBEM games of it - current one is at    And for about 10 episodes I published a Car Wars Podcast. Thanks to the wayback machine and another Car Wars fan, I have collected all of these old episodes and am planning to resurrect the show. I'm trying to decide if I want to republish the old episodes "as is" (in a "classic" move) or incorporate the content into new shows first. This will preserve the classic content but let me take out ads for podcasts that are no longer around as well as links that are no longer good. :-)

Anyway, I was excited that Kyle was excited about it and gladly bought it for him. We did an unboxing, but played X-Wing miniatures instead. :-) I was impressed that the counters were "punched" (in the old days we had to take scissors to them) and that it even had a turning key! The map was a VERY nice addition as I expected no map or at the very most road sections.

I had some response from some Twitter posts, so before we left town I took pics of the contents. This blog post includes them all...

This was a pic I posted on Twitter and had some responses.

And this one as well.

The rest, below, are an official "unboxing." :-)

Box Top...

Box Bottom...

Close up of the name of that side of the map.

Pretty sure the website wasn't there in 1990... ;-)

Reminded me of the Muskogee Expansion, just smaller.

The arena side.

This reminded me of one I found a long time ago and called it "Wall to Wall." The solid black lines are tall walls that block movement AND line of sight. The While ones block movement only.

This was referred to on the forums as the "floppy disk arena." Can you guess why? :-)

Larger shot...

The rulebook. I verified that it's 5 phase movement and the crash tables looked like 2.5.

The "bits." This was one of the most impressive parts! Remember how we had to cut these out in the old days? Everything was just like you see it here, including the turning key!

Some blank record sheets were included.

Weapons list had the basic stuff, but NOT all of the various "nickel and dime" stuff.
Notice the MG and VMG, but NOT the LMG, MMG or HMG.

All in all, a good opening, and VERY refreshing after seeing Version 5 a few years ago... This is the old game, but not boats and such. It's the game as it was meant to be played.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gen Con Pics

I was pulling in pics from my Phone for the post about the Car Wars unboxing when I realized I had a TON of pics I never put anywhere... I wanted to share some here...

Day One... Vanessa wearing one of her EMT shirts (that's her geekdom)
and me with a shirt...

Kyle was trying on different Victorian vests and long coats, so we got a pic of him
with one of the little "mini hats" - I don't know what they are actually called...

Vanessa while we were in line to get into the FFG booth to throw money at them - LOL

I think Vanessa and Devin had left me and Kyle in the line and he's talking to Devin...

She let me grab a "kissing selfie" :-)

I took a pic of this to go back and try and solve. Nope - never looked at it again!

Vanessa sporting her new ears...

Devin trying on some ears...

Took a pic so she could see what this tail looked like. She opted for the one that matches the ears.

Kyle looking tough in one of the vests he tried on.

Outside the FFG booth... Everyday they had people in costume since
Star Wars is probably their biggest IP right now. I'd love to make my own
flight suit for next year. Can you tell the Stormtrooper is a chick
by the way she's standing? :-)

And Vanessa's new tails swings left...

And then right...

Love this shot! I don't know how it worked out, but it's like she's standing still in a sea of movement!

Trying on red hair...

Getting her first look at it...

This was a great "do" but I said it was too close to her actual hair.

So she opted for red. Looking good!!!

We picked up a Gen Con exclusive copy of "Roll For It" and we
played a few games in the lobby to get off of our feet...

Saw this cosplay and had to grab a shot!

Kyle's new vest! Looking sharp there son!

Sporting our Blue Peg Pink Peg shirts! Was good to meet Patrick and Robb in person finally!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Escape from Mos Shuuta... Again

Sunday afternoon, Gen Con was officially over. But not the gaming side of it!

We headed back to the house and Kyle talked about wanting to GM Star Wars. I told him I brought the 'beginner box' for both Edge and Age -

He said at first he wanted to run the Age one, since it would be totally different, but then decided since he had played through the Edge one that it might be easier for him to run it. So we got back to the house and he took the GM Screen and the module and we split up the pre cons. Vanessa took the Medical Droid, Devin took the Twi'Lek Bounty Hunter with the big gun, her friend Amanda took the Wookie with an attitude and I took Pash - the human pilot. 

Kyle did a GREAT job and much fun was had by all! We got through the first encounter with some interesting action and took a different path to the second encounter than what Kyle and the others took when I ran it. Since it was getting late we stopped to talk about the game and tell the players what would have probably come to pass. Everyone agreed that it was a great system and well worth playing again, so I left Kyle some of my dice (he now has three full sets, which seems optimal - I need to get another set so I have three) and both Beginner Boxes. I also left him the GM screen, since it makes rolling on crit tables and looking things up MUCH faster during game play... I need to get a replacement... :-)

Anyway, I left him all that stuff so he can start a live campaign there with Devin, Amanda and maybe some others. Meanwhile Vanessa is interested in maybe getting into the roll20 game we have going and I think Devin might be as well. Might be that not everyone can be there every time, so this would allow for the party to still progress and be a "good sized party" each session. Or there's the option of a second campaign - maybe with Kyle as GM and me, Vanessa and Devin as the players - Amanda too?

Loving this game and loving the time I get with my family! Gotta get Colton into this... ;-) He has played X-Wing and likes it too, but with his hours at work we don't get much gaming time...