Duck!!!, Renaissance wedding, games, race, Tartan, People Wars, and macarons (phew)

Life has been full of lots of awesome things recently.

In probably the biggest (ha ha) thing, a giant rubber duck is in Pittsburgh! It is super cute.

Greg, Eric, and I went to see it on the night it arrived, at which time they were throwing a huge bridge party for the duck.

Yay duck! I was actually expecting it to be much bigger (not having read anything about it beforehand), but apparently it’s only 30 by 40 feet. It’s still extremely awesome.

I think downtown is enjoying the attention the duck is bringing. Here’s Noodles & Co at Market Square that evening. It’s significantly more packed than usual. (The soda machine was constantly out of ice as well as many kinds of soda. And it’s one of those newer ones that has hundreds of varieties of soda and that makes its own ice.)

So yeah. Greg’s undergrad friends Eric and Dan were in town for the wedding celebration of Vicki and Brett. It was held at the Pittsburgh renaissance fair, which was an interesting venue.

Besides the usual wedding food and things, we had access to the fair with things like jousting (which turned into an “attack the good guy and force a ‘joust to the death’ tournament” thing), strength testing, hatchet throwing, arrow shooting, and fire manipulating.

Naturally, there were also board games.

In other recent board game funness, I acquired the Leaders, Cities, and Wonders pack expansions for the game 7 wonders. I also printed the official Catan board, the “official” Cupertino board, the official Stevie and Esteban and Louis leaders, and some boards from the fan-made Empires expansion. The result is an awesomely complex, awesomely large, awesomely 23-wonder-ful game that I am really enjoying.
(More photos of this, and other board gaming adventures in September, can be found here.)

This morning was also the Pittsburgh Great Race. Eric, Dan, and I went to watch Greg run.

The best outfit was a guy running in full Penguins ice hockey gear. Yes, including ice skates. (Word on the internet is that this is actually Tom7, who I actually know [but only in the ‘I have met him once or twice’ sense], so that’s awesome.)

There were also people with awesome signs cheering on the runners. (My favorites were “Worst parade ever” and “Why do all the cute ones run away?”.) They also cheered on the ambulance, police car, and bus at the end of the long line of runners, which was awesome.

There was also Tartan production today. The situation there is rapidly improving, which is awesome. Swathi is doing a good job as the new layout manager and leading a good group of layout staffers. The section editors have started getting their shit together (well, mostly). Papers are slowly (and sometimes painfully) becoming longer than 8 pages. Let’s keep going like that.

But in fun Tartan things, there was also a Kate tree constructed, which rapidly turned into a Tartan ed staff tree. It’s pretty awesome. (More photos of it, as well as general Tartan stuff from September, can be found here.)

I’ve finally started working on the next People Wars expansion, Flashback. It’s themed around PPA students (and general effects that look at the discard pile or add traits), and should be fairly interesting… but what’s getting me in making it is how amazingly young everyone looks.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised given I’ve been tracking this stuff on my photo stats page for years, but it’s still kind of weird whenever I actually go back and start looking through high school photos. Baby friends! ZMONGS!

Speaking of photos, June 28, 2014 will be the date when I’ll have been taking (digital) photos for exactly half my life. It’s kind of awesome that, in about 9 months, I will have over half my life documented in photos. I plan to keep up with my photo journal, so it should be an interesting adventure.

Last, but not least, a nice new French bakery opened in Squirrel Hill by Greg’s work. I stopped by and couldn’t resist getting some macarons. They’re a bit pricey at $2.25 each, but so very worth it. Their French bread is also very, very good.

Yay awesomeness.