Apparently, there is an official Alien Day and as it happens it was at 04.26 because the first time when the Xenomorphs were discovered in the original 1979 Ridley Scott film.

LV-426 or later called Acheron. I love how this actually has a hidden meaning because Acheron is an existing river in Greece also in Greek Mythology it is one of the entrances to the Underworld, the “river of sorrow”. The nearby ruins of Necromanteion as the name suggest used for necromancy in ancient time.

So that day a lot of things happened. Bad and good and ugly too. I discovered a colleague of mine got Covid and we hung out a lot the previous day so I decided to cancel my Luxembourg trip not to possibly infect my friends (well thankfully my 4 jabs did the job and I’m perfectly fine 🙂 ) So I was in a bad mood but thankfully Free League Publishing saved the day with a new book preorder, which I will link here 🙂 I do have all the books and extras for the Alien RPG! We did play 3-4 times already on the meetup and also in a private setting. I do really love the Alien universe.

The mechanism is very well built not only increasing the tension with storytelling but also with additional stress dice, and stress can be your friend and can be your enemy in the worst moment possible. (One single facehugger is enough to fail the roll and give your faith to the Game Mother’s hands and imagination which become the sharp teeth, the lurking shadows, the quietly waiting Alien in the airshafts etc.)

We already played the starter set cinematic scenario called “Chariot of the Gods” which ended up… SPOILER ALERT! (to able to read it please select text because it’s only a CSS trick to hide the content 😀 )

The Synthetic was escaping with some samples and with the ship’s cat, the captain was going down with Cronus, the pirates miscalculated themself and let one of the Xeno on their ship, which will be a hok into the world again because where is that pirate ship and where the Synth ended up with that EEV and with the black glue…

In the rule book, there is also one tiny, originally one-scene scenario: Hope’s last days. Which I renamed and extended a bit for Meetup plays. Based on the ideas from Alien: River of Pain (This is an awesome cast and drama play if you like those)

Here I had to think and cover a big plothole from Alien 2, namely if in the original movie the signal from the derelict ship could be picked up from space how was the established colony not able to pick up that signal? I rewatched the original Alien movie which for me suggests WY knew about the signal before so the Nostromo did not randomly pick it up. As for the game, the following went down. SPOILER ALERT!

I set the scenario earlier when there were no aliens on the base yet. But just right after they received the message from Carter Burke to investigate something on a certain part of the moon (yes LV-426 is a moon) the colony was happily buzzing human hive until 2 guys secretly went to the site before the “wildcatters” and brought back a facehugger but they where scared to talk about it so the eventually there was one alien on the premises which no one knows about. The science team arrived right after the Jordan family left to investigate the coordinates and take over command of the base. They know a bit more about what they are dealing with but they did not say a thing till the obvious infestation where it gets way too late for everybody. My players here were more technical people, engineers etc. I did kill 2 of them but spear characters were ready so they could continue playing. Eventually, 2 of them managed to unlock the ship on the docking station (overriding the lockdown command) both PC here are impregnated with aliens and they know about it. However, the surprise comes after they leave the moon’s atmosphere there is a ship waiting for them. The Church of the Immaculate Incubation. They dumped the derelict ship signal after they discovered it before the colony was established. They pick up our remaining PC to their old, battled ship and fly away…

Talking about books and stories here is my growing RPG collection. Probably you can spot it by now, but I’m a huge horror fan!

New Love: Chess

Love, obsession, call it what you want. I will deny it is an addiction.

I usually don’t get addicted to games, or anything for that matter. At least not more than a week or two, I usually either finish it or lose interest. I know the latter one is not the best character trade.

However Chess came into my life at the end of January this year, and this winter had a toll on me. YouTube likes to suggest me new content to watch which is mainly True Crime stories and horrible murder cases due to my research for a game. So seeing something like Gotham Chess between all of it was a fresh site so I clicked on it. There goes down the Rabbit hole! Then I found Anna Cramling, the Botez sisters and others. I also registered to and later to lichess. Bought some chessboards so I can bring them to the meetup or just in a park to play. And of course, I bought some books or got them from friends. Some are much higher level than I’m now but it’s nice to have them around. I also created some real space in my house for the bigger board because in chess size matters and sometimes I like to be able to see a game that I’m playing on the board in front of me.

I play with everybody mainly with people waaay above my league. But to be honest I have to learn not to beat up myself for losing against someone who has played since he/she was a kid and I only play for like 2-3 months. I noticed I instinctively make good moves right before I blunder 1-2 pieces away. 😀 Also joined a chess club or am in the process of joining. I try not to ask Stocfish for too many hints in my games but I’m still bad at losing games. 😀 At least I admit it.

I noticed some things which chess does to my brain. First, finally, I was able to “escape” my racing thoughts of everything wrong in this world and concentrating on these 64 squares helped me focus my mental energy and empty my mind. Almost like a meditative state or some sort of trance. When I “woke” up from it then the world returned around me more vividly than ever. It’s almost always when I play “on board” games online less so. The second thing I noticed is how it is predicting certain things. Usually, migraines and panic attacks are undetectable by me but I see patterns in how my games became much worse just right before them. Like usually a 700-rated bot I can easily beat but not before my brain chemistry decides to fail on me.

All in all, I think Chess is not the worst obsession to have in my life. 🙂 I gained some new friends and I believe it’s also good for my mental health.

One response to “New Love: Chess”

  1. Wendy Avatar

    I love chess. Haven’t played in years. Liz does not like to play with me because I win all the time. I’ve been member of a club, but that’s 36 years ago. And the secondary school chess club, playing regional tournaments, but that’s even further back in time, 40 years. I don’t like playing against my computer, it makes me feel lonely, and either stupid or genius. So on our next meeting we might want to play.

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My Mother’s Books

I’m not a nurse, but my mother was. Some people wondered how can I have some medical knowledge without really studying anything related to that. Here is the answer to what you were looking for and to understand me better when I’m talking about healthcare, how I got used to it in Hungary and what huge differences I see between Dutch and Hungarian healthcare and even education.

As a kid, I loved to climb up on everything. chairs, shelf, hanging lanais (my dad was really happy about that particular sarcastic tone here especially when I decided at age 4-5 after a Tarzan movie to yolo over to the other couch in the room using one of the hanging parts. I don’t have to say that the small pot which was rather heavy cause it was made out of clay ended up on my head. Thankfully I was already quite hard-headed so the pot broke into pieces instead of my skull). But the more successful climb that I made was to reach some books from a higher shelf that I was not supposed to, including my mother’s medical study book.

Medical books

In the beginning, I only took them down to look at the pics in them (my mother was a child nurse) so it was a lot of photos of sick children some about my age. I’m thankful for the black and white pictures of nameless kids and nurses and of course, my parents who taught me about how to take care of others, how I was not socked in school or later in life by people who have physical deformities or other visible or invisible illnesses.

Any time when my mom noticed she explained a couple of things to me about how it was taking care of sick children, then put the books back and took the chair (what was my climbing aid) away to the other side of the house. Back to square one and start again. In school I learned rather quickly reading mainly cause I wanted to know what was in my book, I wanted to read the stories and tales that my parents were telling me before sleep. I quickly discovered in my mother’s medical book there are not simply Hungarian words but also some really weird language called “Latin” Thankfully there were (as you can see in the picture) some Latin medical dictionaries on the bookshelves so it was just matter of time understanding those strange words. Reading about how the lungs are supposed to work, or the heart or what to do when someone has a seizure.

My absolute favourite however as a kid, was when I discovered one of our lower drawers contained some bandages, special scissors which can cut those neatly, and a book with pictured instructions on how to make different kinds of bandages all across the body from head to toe(and believe me the toe is very difficult a child to do especially on yourself). Guess what happens next… Yes, you are right. I got to be a “Master of Bandages” within a few hours and everything including me was properly bandaged. We have to mark that, at that time there was some big fight between my plush animals, Indians, Lego figures, G.I. Joe’s and Barbies. I don’t remember any more what was the war about. But it was always something where those can’t agree with each other or make alliances against the other (as you now probably notice I was a kid with a very colourful imagination and great story-telling capabilities (which later on surprised my teachers too). My mother was angry and I guess at the same time proud of her daughter for bandaging all the casualties and herself into a mummy within a few hours, this skill paid off later in life when I was doing my first AID as part of our group who went for Disaster Recovery Competitions, and way more later when I was burning 1-3 degree my right hand in Amsterdam and due at that time my job did not pay for sick leave I had to take care of my bandages myself. This resulted in Bewerwijk when they finally checked up on my wounds they also asked me if I would like to work there and I was not sure they were not serious.

So I grew up surrounded by care and books. As an adult maybe I’m too critical of the healthcare profession in the Netherlands cause in my old book the practice was different. Like you know, talking to the patients and getting to know them, so you might not suspect alcohol or drug abuse in the first place. I was thinking of a medical profession in the past, however, I also noticed the salary is unlawfully low for those people who take care of others as much as in Hungary as much as in the Netherlands. How much people don’t respect those who might save their lives, or take care of them when they are sick and can’t get out of bed, as much I like people and I count myself as a helpful, caring person I need positive feedback from my work, from the people who I work with. Plus I deal quite not well with situations (and it’s many in healthcare when I’m helpless. My way of thinking is always, there is a way there has to be a way out of this, and sometimes it is not. Life sometimes is a cruel little … who does not show you mercy, and you either accept it or go mad. Excepting the Unalterable is a really hard lesson.

But on a more cheerful note. I’m really happy and thankful for my parents and their books around me. They teach me a lot.