On Thursday the board game group got together and I won a game of Dominion, and learned to play Puerto Rico, which has been the #1 game on boardgamegeek.com for some time now, and for good reason. It's a very balanced game that always gives all players something to do, while also letting you freely stab people in the back. We met up at Ryerson, and very nearly didn't get in as all the doors were locked (which apparently is rare). Fortunately, a student already inside had pity on us and opened the door. Afterwards, i took a bike ride out to the Beaches boardwalk and back, to warm up for Friday...
...because on Friday, I was leading a bike ride with my bike club. I've mentioned before how I really like taking the Waterfront Trail east out to Oshawa, and then taking the GO train back, so I put together a ride out there for the club. I tried to do this TWICE last year in the fall, and got rained out both times, so with all the rain we've been getting I wasn't hopeful we'd actually manage to do it, but it was perfect weather, sunny but not too hot. We met up at 11 AM at the Eglinton GO station (near the start of that section of the Waterfront, and with free parking), and we set out, seven of us in all. The ride went really well, with the wind at our backs, and as Friday wasn't an official holiday it wasn't too crowded. I had noted down the complete GO train schedule for the day so we wouldn't just miss a train back, and schedule wise, it worked out well, we had time to have coffee and a snack in Oshawa before the train, with everyone covering the 55 km without too much trouble.
Actually, I had thought I had blown it a few days before the ride, as I've only ever taken my bike on the GO train on weekend and official holidays, when you can bring one on board at any time. When I remembered that Friday was an official work day, I thought I was screwed, but it turns out you can take bikes on the train workdays as long as you are moving AGAINST the rush hour flow (i.e. away from Union in the morning, or towards it in the afternoon), so I dodged a bullet there. After I got off at Eglinton and said goodbye to everyone I rode the remaining 20 km back home as well, in a fit of energy, although with the sun in my face in that direction I got a bit burned.
That evening I managed to stagger over to the Center for Inquiry for a talk by an economist on how the need for constant growth with our current economic set-up is going to screw us over no matter what we do. Everyone is looking to green tech to save us, but if it means we just consume more of it (i.e. improved gas mileage means we can afford to drive more) we still lose. He been working on models of what a "no-growth" economy might look like (which is what his book was about). It was really interesting stuff, but I personally think the people with their hands on the levers of power have too much invested (no pun intended) on how things work right now to ever risk changing it, or even admit it might need changing. My brother is more optimistic than me, so I hope he's right.
Saturday I rode my bike (yes again) down to Oakville (45 km) for the first ever ConBravo, an new anime con. I don't know the guys running it, but they had taken my key piece of advice to heart, they started small and didn't think that was a bad thing. Running two days, they had a few dealers and artists, local guests, two panel rooms and a video room, and a Main Room, seating about 150 for contests, Masquerade, dance, etc. I've heard that total attendance over the two days was about 300, and they had reached their break even numbers, so good for them! There was an excellent selection of costumes, I watched some episodes of Spice and Wolf, which I'm going to have to get, sat in on a panel on Classic Anime run by davemerrill (good panel, low turnout, people there were too young to appreciate that the 70s had good stuff), had dinner with marinav and ionelv at a great Indian place, and saw the Masquerade. Nice to get to relax at one of these for once. Took the GO train back as I wasn't quite crazy enough to try and bike back about all the distance I had covered in the last few days.
Sunday I more or less rested. Had brunch with Joel at Clinton's and talked Runescape, got some shopping done (mostly comics), and went back to Clinton's in the evening for Chris From The Beguiling's birthday (33, the Jesus age!).
And now I'm back to work. Yay.