Marvelous Madigan's Birthday Blaster!

On the
birthday cake
my lovely
for Tony
Collett and I.

Although the official interdimensional day of celebration isn't until Tuesday, my birthday bash officially kicks off today with a small celebration featuring me, SuperFiancee, Tony and Kathy Collett, my buddy Bane, a fabulous home cooked lasagna dinner, and a little game of HeroClix history may well remember as Operation: Destroy Firestorm.

Or that was the plan. In fact, it hit the ground running this morning, when SuperFiancee hauled a box out from under the bed and tossed it in my lap. After opening box after box after box, tearing through layer after layer of wrapping, I finally unearthed -- the Green Lantern HeroClix Collector's Set! Woo HOO! A long distance gift via U.S. Postal Service from "Miraclo" Mike Norton, whose personal phasers are always set on totally excellent. YOWZER! I'm totally Lanterned up!

Too late to switch out my team for the upcoming battle with Tony, although otherwise I would in a heartbeat, and rejoice in the sight of Firestorm the Nuclear Waste blubbering plastic tears right before Ganthet converted him into scattered molecules. (Wait. Ganthet? No. That's a minor little task I'd award to G'nort.) But, my joy in having the set is vast, as is my deep, deep appreciation for unfortunately absent friends. Thanks, Mike. You're a superman among men.

I'll keep updating this one over the coming week, as Marvelous Madigan's Birthday Blaster continues to unfold! FACE FRONT, FRANTIC ONE!!!! MARVELOUS MADIGAN IS ON THE MARCH!!!

Update Sunday morning 11/19/06

The Birthday Blaster rolls on and the loot continues to pile up! Gifts from Tony and Cathy Collett have added the original SciFi Channel BattleStar Galactica pilot miniseries on DVD and three more boosters of Supernova to the haul! I can't, at the moment, remember all the figs I got out of the three boosters, but I do remember an experienced Kid Nova, an experienced Night Thrasher, a Unique Power Princess, a veteran Jubilee, a veteran Drax, an Experienced Shi'Ar Warrior, and an Experienced Aleta. Also, yet another Vet Photon. I think I may have gotten another Badoon, too. In addition, I got a Satellite object token, a Forbush Man pog, and an Extraordinary Day feat card.

In the basement, my thousand point team of Justice League enemies resoundingly thrashed Tony's thousand point Justice League roster. I had Prometheus, the Vet Dr. Light, Amazo, the Key, Giganta, Despero, Felix Faust, and the Thomas Oscar Morrow LE, vs. Tony's Vet Batman, Experienced Superman, Vet Wonder Woman, rookie Flash, Vet Firestorm, Vet Green Arrow, and Martian Manhunter (from the first DC set), along with the Atom LE.

I won't recount a great deal of the battle, although Tony did very well with my alternate JLA team ability, and definitely demonstrated its utility and effectiveness. I was also pleased that the fight wound up speading all over the map, again, largely due to the alternate JLA team ability, which encouraged Tony to pull badly wounded members of his group back to the top of the Daily Planet building, where my mostly non-mobile group couldn't get to them, to preserve the Attack bonus provided to the JLA as a derivative of their total numbers left on the field. Eventually I took him, but he made me work to do it, and before I wiped the last JLAer off the board (that cursed Firestorm, drat it), he managed to use my home grown Warp In feat to have Firestorm and the Flash suddenly appear amidst the imbroglio on top of the Planet building and wreak havoc. Between Flash's HyperSonic Speed and Armor Piercing card, and Firestorm's heavy ranged damage, they took out Amazo, but by that point I'd done a lot of damage and the trend was irreversible.

One sequence I do remember -- early in the battle, the Key successfully mind controlled Superman and had him wallop the crap out of Martian Manhunter with a dumpster. This, apparently, irritated the Gotham Guardian, who had been standing next to his old buddy Clark when it happened. "I've had about enough of you,", the Dark Knight muttered tersely. Whipping out a Bat-grenade from his utility belt, he casually flipped it across the fish pond at the Key, blowing the hapless evildoer backwards off his feet and into Giganta's sequoia-like calf, completely KOing him with one strike.

I will also say this -- if the Atom hadn't attacked a Dr. Light who was wild carding Felix Faust's Mystic TA, and pushed himself doing it, giving himself two clicks of damage, I'd never have been able to take the little sonofabitch out. That guy is annoying as a tie up piece; even a 12 Attack has to roll an 8 or a 9 to hit him when he's still on his first slot, depending on whether's he on Hindering Terrain or not (and he nearly always will be).
Sometime today, if we have time, Tony and I may do a 'rescue the scientists' scenario, but those developments remain to be seen. In the meantime, I'm back into it!

What will the new day bring? Who knows? But the Birthday Blaster rolls on! Stay tuned for updates, True Believer!

Update -- Sunday evening:

What will the new day bring? Well, among other things, it brought a few digital pics taken on Saturday. Two can be seen above, the third should be right around here somewhere, and, yes, isn't it shocking to discover after you've read my words of wisdom all these years that I am actually a dwarf?

While today brought pics, it brought no rescued scientists. In their place, however, there was a three hour tour of several of River City's finer geek shops, in quest of a bust of Stan Lee that wasn't to be found anywhere, much to Tony's chagrin. I did, however, manage to snatch up a copy or two of the new Supernova zero gee map, from Book & Music Exchange, where a sealed booster tournament was going on between half a dozen poor fellows laboring in the darkness of an existence without Doc Nebula's HeroClix House Rules. Poor, miserable fellows. Using Mind Control on figures with Perplex and having to choose between having them use a free action or a move or an attack, when, for the love of jebus, in actual comic books, if Ultron mind controls Captain America, even for a brief period, Ultron gets access to the whole deal. He gets to use Cap's vast experience as a champion of liberty to modify his or someone else's stats, he gets to make Cap move if he needs Cap to move, and he gets to make Cap pummel one of this teammates -- hopefully, that dipshit Quasar -- all at the same time.

Learning today for the first time, while watching some of these games, that WK has ruled that when their rules say you get to control an opposing fig for one action, they mean one action, which certainly included free actions, so utterly appalled me that I had to come right home and rewrite my definition of Mind Control to make it clear -- free actions don't count. You Mind Control a fig, you can take a free action, and still take another action.

Honestly, I just cannot imagine playing more than two consecutive turns under WK's standard rules. Watching other people do it today at two different shops... brrrr. Can't do that.

What I did notice, however, is apparently the first two levels of Ant-Man, Rookie and Experienced, are very common. Every game I watched had a Rookie and an Experienced on it, probably because the rookie has Charge and Outwit, and the Experienced has Perplex. They seem to be popular choices.

Anyway, after the Geek Shop Tour, we landed at a local pizzeria named Wick's, trying to find an adequate substitute for Fat Jimmy's, which turns out to be closed on Sundays. That seemed to work out well. Finally, it was back to Castle Anthrax again, where Tony and Kathy lingered but briefly before setting out for home in Indiana again.

Tomorrow, it's back to work, very early, for what will doubtless be a nightmare Monday. But then, on Tuesday, it's more birthday blaster goodness, as I get to open what I am certain will be a wonderful gift from SuperFiancee, and have German chocolate cake. Yay!

Oh, it should, it must, and it shall be noted, here and for all time: SuperFiancee's lasagna and garlic bread were fabulous, and this morning, she prepared an equally scrumptious brunch for us all of French toast, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes. If you've never gotten to eat anything SuperFiancee has prepared, you haven't truly lived, and I pity you. I do.

Okay. Battlestar Galactica is in the DVD player in the back bedroom, and I need to go to bed early tonight, and I'm thinking those two things go together like bugs and leather. Or something.

Update early a.m. 11/20/06:

Walked out this morning and discovered an early birthday present from God, or, you know, whatever -- a very light dusting of snow settled all over my immediate reality, turning everything, in that fleeting pre-dawn, streetlamp lit instant, into something just a little bit magical for me.

It wasn't much, but certainly enough to buck me up measurably as I headed on into another Monday morning workday.

Updated 11/21/06, late afternoon

Today it's my birthday! And I'm gonna have a good time!

I am 45 years old today. So far, the only person who has said Happy Birthday to me today, in person or otherwise, has been SuperFiancee. Well, no, wait... the two older SuperKids have both said it to me, too. So what else do I need? Although, to be fair, several friends have already wished me a Happy Birthday somewhat early, and even given me loot! So that's cool.

What I got from SuperFiancee today, besides birthday wishes and [sex scene deleted], is a truly lovely post on her blog and a giant gift box o' goodies.

See, the only thing I really miss about Florida -- well, other than a movie theater across the street and a Boston Market a few blocks away and a swimming pool out in the courtyard, yeah, okay, I'll cop to those, too -- but mostly, the only thing I really miss is frequent care packages from SuperFiancee. During my miserable interval in Zephyrhills (when I had none of the things on the list of stuff I mentioned missing, anyway, as it was all in Tampa), SuperFiancee's phone calls, letters, and CARE packages were really about the only solidly good thing in my life. I had few if any friends locally (there were a couple of people who were friendly to me at work, but I saw them very very rarely outside work, and to me, people being willing to hang with you when they don't have to, and are on their own time, is a much truer measure of friendship than how they treat you at work, regardless of how convivial they may seem there), I certainly wasn't getting laid at all, and my job was straight up hell (worse, in most ways, than what I'm doing now, and that's saying quite a lot).

My social life was, for the most part, nonexistent, other than very occasional visits from my family and even rarer incidents when someone from work might visit me for a short period. I spent most of my weekends watching DVDs I bought during 3 a.m. Wal-mart raids (with the hours I worked, I did nearly all my shopping at Wal-mart at 3 a.m.), and wasting time on the Internet, and reading, and playing clix games with myself.

When, you know, I wasn't hunkered down riding out various hurricanes, anyway.

Now, my life has improved immeasurably in every way since I moved to River City -- honestly, there is no particular in which my life is not better now than it was then. (Well, okay, the Bucs still suck, but they did when I was down there, too.)

But, yes, I missed the packages from SuperFiancee, and if you had ever gotten one of these wondrous gift boxes, you would miss them, too, filled as they were with groceries and junk food and gift certificates and cute little knick knacks and HeroClix and DVDs and books and comic books and games and on one memorable occasion, an X-Box.

So, for my birthday today, SuperFiancee prepared a gift box for me. Ah, nostalgia.

What did I get inside it? Well, actually, she gave me two gift boxes. The first was a fake out; it was small, and contained a birthday card, and many pairs of socks. I had regarded it suspiciously when she brought it in; I knew I was getting a gift box, but this one seemed rather puny, by historically established standards. Once I determined that, indeed, its contents were nothing but a card and socks, I demanded to know where the real gift box was. And it was out in the car. So I brought it in and tore into it and found:

* A copy of a Fantastic Four Masterworks I didn't have (volume 9)

* A Black Bolt Unique HeroClix figure

* A t-shirt of a design I cannot specify, as a few of you may be getting similar ones for Christmas from us

* DVDs of:
Time After Time
Somewhere In Time
Once Around

*The soundrack to Miller's Crossing

* A Giant Caterpillar Magic card (for my Bug deck)

* A copy of Barbara Hambly's Circle of the Moon

* A cool little Fantastic Four pin

* A great deal of junk food -- candy bars, hot chocolate mix, and a package of Keebler's Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies, which I love to an entirely sinful degree

Oh, and I got a card in the mail from my mommy and her husband Carl yesterday, plus an e-card from them, too.

And I get more stuff this Saturday, when the SuperKids come back.

Oh, yeah, and German chocolate cake. And dinner out tonight at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

So, you know, who's had a better birthday than me? Nobody, that's who. And it is prety much all thanks, in one way or another, to SuperFiancee. So thank you, baby. I love you. You're the best!

And thanks to everyone else who has sent birthday gifts and/or well wishes. I appreciate you all.

Late breaking add ons: Elayne Riggs has been kind enough to wish me a Happy Birthday here, my buddy Nate gave me a very thoughtful post on his new, covert blog (no link, it's invitation only, sorry) and Your Girl Friday wished me a Happy B'day over on my baby's fabulous blog. Much t'anks to alla youse, and from a very steak-replete Highlander, to all a good night.

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