This weekend I shot laser tag guns, piloted a BattleTech mech, and participated in my first live action role playing experience.

On Friday I celebrated my fortieth birthday. I celebrated in the only way that made sense: by renting laser tag guns and running around a park with my friends and family. The guns were a little hard to understand, but we made do as best we could. Most folks seemed to enjoy themselves well enough, myself included. After an invigorating time running and shooting, we all retired to my place to eat, drink, and be merry.

At one point in the evening I found myself sitting alone. I looked around and saw all my friends engaged in conversation. I was overcome with awe at the realization that I had known some of these people for more than half of my life. After all that’s happened to each of us, here we were, in my backyard enjoying one another’s company. And of those who I have not known quite as long, I was filled with pride that they call me friend and chose to spend their time with me.

Everyone had a good time. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

On Saturday, Owen, Jonah and I went to Origins. I like to wander the exhibit hall to look for games to buy. Owen had some very helpful recommendations, and steered me away from a couple of bad purchases. He also had a few positive suggestions.

Owen, Jonah and I played a few rounds of the BattleTech simulator, which was a lot of fun. It wasn’t quite as hard as I remembered, but then again it’s been almost a decade since I last got into the cockpit of one of these things. I didn’t do particularly well, but I had a lot of fun.

We noticed that there was a live action dungeon crawl at Origins this year, and we decided to give it a shot. We booked the last event of the day, scheduled to take place at 10 PM. Unbeknownst to either of us, this was a double session lasting two hours.

The idea and the setup of the dungeon crawl were great. The execution left a lot to be desired, marred in no small part by a few of the people in our party. Owen and I had as good a time as we could. Had I been doing this on my own, the experience would have been much less entertaining; and I may well have walked out. There’s a lot of promise in the event, and with just a few tweaks the experience could have been much, much better. I’m not sure if I’ll try this at Origins next year or not.

While I was out piloting mechs, Angela had purchased for Josie her first pedal bike. We’ve had Josie riding a pedal-less bike for some time now, to help her learn balance in preparation for a real bike. I didn’t think Josie was quite ready, yet, for a real bike; but she proved me wrong!

Turning forty proved to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. I heartily recommend it!

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