Well, it’s over. It’s all over. 2008 is now a part of history.

Anyway, Christmas was small. We had planed on visiting Smudge’s parent for Christmas, but snow and Baron falling suddenly ill put an end to that. Dave being out of town to visit his folks left the three of us, and we invited over Kris Kreutzman (aka Blondiewood in the WoW guild) as he had no plans for Christmas day either. We all had a good time, and a good dinner, and Kris stayed pretty late talking.

I got an interesting book from Baron, Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor. I’m not much of a Batman fan, but it’s an excellently produced book, with various ‘clues’ that come up in the story stuck in little sleeves throughout the book. Dave got me a couple of nice trays for use with game counters. My parents got me a copy of Starfleet Command II (I got my dad hooked on the first one, and mentioned I’d like to get the second myself, so I bet he got himself one); and The Complete Boucher, which I’ve been wanting since I found out it had come out. Mark got me a copy of Carthage, which Mark and I hope to get to sooner rather than later.

Mark came over Tuesday, and we tried out Pursuit of Glory. Sadly, this was arranged a little suddenly, and neither of us was prepared. So, the bulk of the time was spent going over the base concepts and playing through the sample game of the first two turns and then proceeding slightly past that before Mark had to go home. We plan to try again from scratch next time, now that we have an idea of how the game plays. It has quite a bit of chrome, but looks to be very good.

The main December problem this year is that Smudge’s monitor died last Saturday. It had been making signs of going for months, where it would suddenly just go blank for a moment and then come back. As of Sat, it would display the Acer logo for a second when it came on, and then go blank, and nothing could induce it to do more, even though the status LED showed that it thought it was on. Calling Acer eventually turned up the information that they are not repairing any monitor that is not under warranty. So, our $900 three-year-old monitor: junk. Also, I got the impression from the fellow on the phone that Acer has been having lot of monitor failures lately. I get the idea that the policy is a matter of self-defense, so they have the capacity of taking care of warranty obligations. Still—don’t buy Acer.

Thankfully, we have an emergency backup monitor. Since it didn’t like Micca at all, Smudge ended up with my monitor, while I was stuck with the emergency monitor. As its color and brightness are crap, this was a good inducement to making sure we got a new monitor in a hurry. Some initial looking quickly showed that we get down to nearly a quarter of the price of the old one by going down to a 22″ widescreen, and we ended up with three equivalent choices at the same price depending on which retailer and manufacturer we wanted to support. We ended up with an LG W2241T from Best Buy for about $300 after tax and a four-year warranty from Best Buy itself, where they promise to replace it with a new monitor if something happens that they can’t fix.

The annual review of posts here shows that I had 41 posts during 2008, down one from last year. Tag count shows: 28 ‘gaming’, 8 ‘life’, 6 ‘news’, 5 ‘gmt’, 5 ‘mmp’, 5 ‘onward christian soldiers’, 4 ‘sfb’, 3 ‘adb’, 3 ‘successors’, 3 ‘soldier kings’, 2 ‘c&c ancients’, 2 ‘conquest of paradise’, 2 ‘haruhi’, 1 ‘ff’ (Final Fantasy), 1 ‘humor’, 1 ‘asl’, 1 ‘office’, 1 ‘writing’, 1 ‘biafra’, 1 ‘video’, 1 ‘pixar’, 1 ‘micca’, 1 ‘a victory lost’, 1 ‘rome’, and 1 ‘wow’. Mostly, gaming and computer related stuff. A pretty good reflection of me….

There was a period of several years where I (like a fair number of people) looked back to high school or college as the best time of my life. I didn’t have true money concerns, I’d rather be in school with classes I like (which is its own trick) than at work, which is generally tangential to my interests. Mostly, after a childhood of only having one or two friends at a time, high school was wonderful because I actually had true circle of close friends for the first time. Afterwards, life took its toll, and things shrank down again.

Part of the reason for moving to the SF Bay Area was that were people I knew here, which I hoped to get to know better. Progress has been slow, as I am not a terribly social person by nature. However, last year did very well in this regard. Both the WoW guild and my little gaming group expanded and are doing well.

I would like to thank everyone I know in ‘real life’, in Minions of the Fickle Muse, in my gaming club, who I’ve chatted with here, on Goodreads, on Board Game Geek, on GameSquad, and other sites, or even who’ve just read my words there, for helping put me into an ever-wider realm of friends and interesting people, and making this one of the best times of my life.