Herald's Call

I am an historical archaeologist and a linguist by training and am currently employed in retail. Gaming keeps me sane. This blog (my first) will be a place to chronicle my escapades (in gaming, in writing, and in life). Welcome! Pull up a chair , grab a cup of coffee, and feel free to stay awhile. Cheers, Rachel/Herald Selenay

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Rachel
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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and historical archaeologist
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Microbadge: Toilet PaperMicrobadge: I participated in the Friday on Friday challengeMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: I completed the Friday on Friday challenge for 2021Microbadge: Toilet Paper
The Sugarland song is an apt soundtrack for my life right now.

Work's been getting more frustrating again: increased back seat quarterbacking from corporate for vendor support, the loss of 14 hours vacation time (Vacation no longer transfers across years. This is made more maddening by the fact that we have to earn our vacation time), and everyone turning to me to solve SKU issues as inventory creeps ever closer...

No word on any changes to company policy given the recent SCOTUS decision. We're in limbo. And honestly, the more frustrating the job becomes, the less that I even want to stay...

Management keeps thinking that I'll simply fall into line before July... but they don't have to deal with parasthesia everyday... In short: This is my decision, given my health and situation. I'm not getting shot #3. (Again, not medical advice, not political anything, just my personal call).

I will say, that the 2 bright notes in all of this are 1) my family and 2) that I understand one of my characters soooooo much better now.

In short: I've been messing with the same group of characters since grade school- generating incomplete stories and lots of writing detritus (think post-it notes, lots and lots of post-it notes ). One of my core characters: Daniel, has chronic and rather severe, physical and magical complications due to a broken mage-gift (as well as the circumstances that led to the break). He's always been one of my favorites, but has been a bit difficult to write. Even though my own mild GBS symptoms are mild in comparison to his condition; I feel like I have a better handle on his character now.

I'm also happy to report that 2022 Friday on Friday: Play Friday EVERY Friday of 2022 and 2022 Extreme Numerology Challenge are both humming along.

I've also managed to play lots of games (22 different games so far!) and make more than adequate progress on my many gaming challenges for 2022.
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Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:00 pm
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Hello 2022

Rachel
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New York
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Yay! New year, new fun, more games!!!

This will mark the third year of using Challenge Champion to organize my life: 2022 Challenge Champion

This will be my second year hosting Friday on Friday. And this time I have
Patrick Cox
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as an amazing co-host! Join us over at 2022 Friday on Friday: Play Friday EVERY Friday of 2022. Or if you only want to try helping Robinson off the island for a month, you can join us in the first monthly Friday on Friday challenge of the year at Friday on Friday, January 2022.

And, this year, I am hosting 2022 Extreme Numerology Challenge. If you play lots and lots of games (or just need the extra motivation or an excuse to play more games whistle), stop on by and sign up!

In short, 2022 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming. I hope to see you all around the challenge threads/lists!

P.S.
And the January Ascension league started today, squee!!!
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Fri Jan 7, 2022 4:16 am
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2021 in Review

Rachel
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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and historical archaeologist
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ninja So that was a year... ninja

Workwise:
devil Content Warning: Retail Soapbox! You have been warned.devil

Still stuck in retail, but the vendor support role really gave me room to learn and grow.

I've figured out that I can analyze sales figures for products/vendors that I am responsible for, figure out what works and what doesn't, and even in the absence of any real power over what lines we continue to carry; I can ensure that I spend more time/effort on products/vendors that our customers actually like and purchase. We are now leading the fleet in sales on some specific items. It's kind of impressive for one of the mid-size stores. Of course, not having the power to discontinue products that do not sell is frustrating; as is dealing with the ever-changing tasks, metrics, and systems imposed by the corporate lackeys who do not have to implement their "solutions" in actual real-world stores shake. And there's nothing extra in it for me, regardless of whether sales are through the roof or down the drain. However, to some extent (and to my continuing chagrin, especially given how abusive my store can be at times whistle), I do still take pride in my work. Yeah, seriously... I can't believe it either.

Additionally, I have picked up some valuable insights into dos/don'ts if I would ever open my own independent store (not necessarily ever happening or even something that I really want...but you never know whistle).

1) Packaway- nope.
2) Multiple redundant task management systems/digital micromanagement -nope.
3) Keep selling products that are no longer even used by customers due to new government regulations -nope. (In NY, good luck selling bag caddies!!!)
4) Give workers holiday bonuses- actual holiday bonuses.
5) Provide stock options/shareholder options/something so that all employees (regardless of if there are 2 or 1500) actually feel like what they do matters/that they have a say in the company.
6) Paid lunch breaks.
7) Hire and keep actual employees. To clarify: if a person isn't doing their actual job... don't keep them. In retail, several holiday hires seem to get free passes (and even get offered to stay on year-round) because... they exist. This is unfair to your employees that actually work and can really amplify a bad work environment...just no.
8) If something is broke: fix it!!! Aka leaky dock seals, broken rollers, heaters, and even supply cabinets. Fix it or replace it- your employees will thank you. I

End of Content Warning. This Soapbox has been brought to you by a disgruntled retail employee. zombie

--------------------------------------------------

Lifewise:

whistle Not much to report for most of 2021- just more of the same. But events of late 2021 likely mean some employment/living changes in 2022, due to my health. I had a nasty/ongoing reaction to a certain 2nd dose. I am alive (); I have kept working throughout this entire thing; however, I have basically hit the limit for what I am willing to tolerate. As such, I will likely be leaving my store (and NY) and heading back to PA with my wonderful parents who have been incredibly supportive throughout this time. If the move happens... I will be unemployed... but luckily I don't need much to get by and my Mom has already said she's looking forward to a freepass on housework . That and it'll give me time to figure out Plan C. (Yes, C).

--------------------------------------------------

Gamingwise (aka the FUN part of 2021):

So, so much goodness and happiness to report.

I am incredibly grateful for both the Feel the Love and 1 Player Guild communities here on the Geek. You are all amazing and wonderful people and don't let anyone tell you otherwise . The BGG Challenge Community is also a particularly friendly corner of the Geek. I would be lost without [Insert Year] Challenge Champion to organize my life. Thank you ZenithSplendor and RomyCat!

1) Even though I have fallen off the wagon with regards to logging my plays for this game, the Stoneblade Entertainment monthly online league for Ascension: Deckbuilding Game continues to be a regular source of joy.

2) Microbadge: Challenge Completed! 2021 Challenge Champion

3) I finally got to play The Reckoners and made a whole event of it: SGOYT September Play Report

4) ~952 plays of ~ 52 different games (underestimates due to the fact that I didn't always log plays on BGA (even when used to fulfill challenges) and the fact that I gave up on logging Ascension...

5) 133 plays of FUSE, making it my most played (physical) game.

6) Hitting gold: 2021 Extreme Numerology

7) Finally beating The Grizzled in The 2021 Solo and Co-op Unpossible Challenge

8) Completing the 21 unplayed in 2021 Challenge

9) Having fun in all of the other challenges (win or lose).

10) Hosting the 2021 Friday on Friday: Play Friday EVERY Friday of 2021

and

11) Running the 2nd Annual 1 Player Guild Holiday Card Exchange

All in all, 2021 was a great year for me on the Geek and for my gaming more generally.

The one lowpoint was when work burned me out robot in early 2021, prompting a disappearing act, and scuttling my attempt to GM a Blue Rose campaign for RPGG's Annual New Player Play-by-Forum Initiative... the best of intentions and shakezombieshake. I hope to give it another go in 2023 (skipping 2022). I don't want to disappoint a 2nd table of gamers, so this time I'll make sure everything is ready to go on my end prior to launch.

Letting my series of solo challenges for Fire in the Library peter out is also a regret. But luckily, this one is easily rectified. Expect a revival in Spring 2022. Fire is catching...

And on that note, goodbye 2021; hello 2022!
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Fri Jan 7, 2022 4:03 am
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December is for Challenges or is December the challenge???

Rachel
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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and historical archaeologist
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#wewantstargate
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As this crazy year draws to a close, I find myself rushing through as many of my gaming and nongaming goals that I had set out to achieve this year as possible.

On the bright side, at least there's one central spot to keep everything organized: Item for Geeklist "2021 Challenge Champion" .

But seriously, where has the time gone?!?!?

And, the special December challenges have joined the party as well: Dicember, Deep-Dive December, and Advent Gaming.

The store is crazier than ever and if it weren't for all of the BGG Santa and Card Exchanges; I feel like I would be quite the grinch this month. Luckily, I have BGG to keep me sane .
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Sun Dec 5, 2021 6:05 pm
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Introduction: Gaming and Me

Rachel
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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and historical archaeologist
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#wewantstargate
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Microbadge: Toilet PaperMicrobadge: I participated in the Friday on Friday challengeMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: I completed the Friday on Friday challenge for 2021Microbadge: Toilet Paper
A bit more about me:

I love coffee (death before decaf!!!). My favorite colors are purple, navy, green, and teal. Silver trumps gold. I love the Heralds of Valdemar (hence my username), the Westmark Trilogy, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Animorphs, The Reckoners, anything by Terry Pratchett, Warehouse 13, all the Stargates, and Babylon 5. Flashpoint and Criminal Minds are bingeworthy crime dramas. I’m a former fencer (épée). I used to like stargazing (but now live where light pollution precludes it). I’m an avid reader. I like country music. My favorite comics are Dork Tower, Nodwick, and Retail. I’m a loyal follower of Retail Robin and enjoy sifting through retail memes on my break and cackling at the true absurdity of it all. I like cooking and especially baking. Dark chocolate trumps milk chocolate. Caramel can cover up anything. Pumpkin rolls should be handmade, and the filling should be cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar not just straight cream cheese. And sprinkles solve lots of problems. I’m a bit crafty- crochet, braided metal, and beady critters. Favorite Herald: Alberich. Favorite Animorph: Jake. Favorite MLP FiM character: AppleJack (though I admit to being a combination of her and Twilight Sparkle). Favorite SG1 member: Daniel Jackson. Favorite Babylon 5 character: Marcus Cole, though I would totally be Delenn. Favorite animal- Otter, river or sea. Dragons trump unicorns, though unicorns are awesome. I think that TeeTurtle is hilarious, and I finally bought some of their tshirts this year: reading is magic is too cute. I’m like Dobby the house elf in that I like socks. This could also be a long-lasting side effect of my fencing days as socks were really the only legal way to customize one’s uniform (outside of a team patch). Least favorite household chore: Dishes. Favorite household chore: Laundry (Clean sheets for the win!).

A bit more about my gaming preferences:

In high school and undergrad, the Ticket to Ride series, Survive! Escape from Atlantis, Maginor, Guillotine, Once Upon a Time, all the Fluxxes and anything with pirates were always welcome at game nights with family and friends. However, at present, I have no regular gaming group. Thus, I have morphed into a mostly solo gamer. Two player games occasionally get table time, whenever my Mom gets to visit. But... it's mostly just me and thus the bulk of my plays are either solo or online (BGA or Ascension via Steam).

Favorite mechanics include deck-building, bag-building, press-your-luck, and tableau-building.

Favorite themes include fantasy, magic, exploration, archaeology, Atlantis, storytelling, and books/libraries.

For my solo favorites, check out: Herald Selenay's 2021 Top 30 Solo List
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Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:03 pm
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