The 2019 State of the Gnoll Address

So, as it seems like I’ve said every time I’ve posted on here in a long time, it’s been way too long since I’ve been here. Over a year this time. I won’t promise that’s not going to happen again, because my track record isn’t great… but I’m going to at least try to post more often.

So what have I been up to for the last year? Well, honestly? Mostly work. Things got pretty crazy for a while, and all my gaming stuff went on hold, apart from the odd video game or board game. I haven’t run my Chronicles of Darkness game in over a year, and it’s been at least six months since I’ve played any wargames aside from a brief half demo game at CanCon in January. Main thing I’ve done other than work is go to gigs. So many gigs. The last year and a half has been insane for seeing so many of my favourite bands. Cradle of Filth, Kamelot, Flogging Molly, Russian Circles, Behemoth, Slayer, Mastodon, Gojira, Sabaton, Amon Amarth… the list goes on, and there’s much more coming up. I’m actually heading to Sydney to see Eluveitie tonight, so excited. I love me some Celtic death metal, though I do wish I could have seen their last tour, when they still had Anna Murphy doing the clean vocals. Still, Fabienne is an excellent singer, and it’ll be an amazing show anyway.

One of my favourite songs that Anna did with Eluveitie

Aside from work and gigs, a lot of my focus in the last 8 months has been on my health, both mental and physical. I’d really let myself go in the last 5 or 6 years, and I was heading towards some serious health problems. I was starting to get down a lot as well, more than I had since before I got diagnosed and treated for my sleep apnea. A test showing a few risks that could be avoided with improved weight and fitness gave me the kick I needed, and I started getting seriously into sorting myself out. I took part in Steptember with a few coworkers, and crushed it. Started cycling to work a few days a week, improved my diet, and got strict about not missing gym sessions unless I absolutely had to. I started doing circuit training four or five mornings a week, I even went on a solo cycling holiday (just three days, but it was lovely), riding from Beechworth to Bright… admittedly, stopping for delicious food and wine everywhere probably didn’t do the health much good, but it was a great time. My blood pressure improved so much they could lower my medication for the first time in 8 years, I dropped almost 25kg, and took up running… which was unfortunately my undoing.

A fairly accurate representation of how things went for me…

Despite taking it very slowly, building up my distance and times gradually, it appears that my new orthortic inserts were only good for how I walk, not how I run, and I developed crippling pain in my shins that made most of the exercise I was doing extremely difficult. There was actually a suspicion I had stress fractures for a while, but a MRI only showed “mild” shin splints. Didn’t feel very mild, I’ll tell you that. So, I stopped everything except for upper body and core strength routines for the last few months, and managed to pack 10 kg back on, along with having my cardio fitness go to hell. It’s been a frustrating wait, and honestly a bit depressing, but I’ve finally started doing some very light leg exercises to start building some strength again. Still can’t run or cycle though, and can’t even use the ellipticals in the gym. But we’ll get there.

So that’s where I’m at currently. I’m planning on getting some more content up here, and getting my Chronicles of Darkness game going fortnightly again, hopefully with a war game or board game day on the off week. If that goes ahead, a lot of the posts to start with will probably be related to what I’m doing with the prep and story for that game. My next post will be about a game of Afterlife: Wandering Souls that I ran last week, using the quick start adventure. It’s currently on Kickstarter, and slowly unlocking stretch goals, so I definitely want to get it posted as soon as possible.

I guess that’s all I’ve really got for now. I’m going to get some sleep so I’m rested for the long day ahead of me. I’ll try to work on the Afterlife write up on my phone while I’m on the bus to Sydney, but I suspect I’ll get frustrated with it, and it’ll have to wait til I’m home on Friday. So until then, peace out, and I’ll return tired and half deaf in a day or two.

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