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Dom Mooney's Website

March 2012

Bedtime Reading

We've had a bit of a break from the usual bedtime stories that Nathan has over the last 3 weeks as we've been reading “the Hobbit” night by night. It was actually at his request but I guess that's really my fault. About 6 months ago he wouldn't sleep, so I was asked to read him a story to try and get him to settle. The only problem was that we didn't have any of the books he liked to hand. So I gave him an oral version of the Hobbit as he lay in bed and ever since then he's asked me to tell them about Smaug the Dragon and Bilbo Baggins.

It's been great fun, and he's only been scared once. He asked me to stop doing Smaug voice when Bilbo met the Dragon. Anyway we should have finished it tonight but he fell asleep 3 pages from the end, just before the hobbit returns to Bag End to find all his personal effects being auctioned off by his over-eager relatives!


Jill and I were struggling to decide what story to try next and we're now tempted by the classic "Swallows and Amazons" as he loves the Lake District.

Produced with Dragon Dictate 2.5


Nathan has had a busy few weeks, starting with successfully swimming 5 m on his own to get his national swimming award and move up to the Orange group from the Red. He's really confident, very different to a lot of the children in his group who are older and bigger than he is. That's probably the Water-babies sessions he went to from an early age showing.

On our bikes 1

Even more impressively, he is gaining more and more confidence on his bike ever since we got the new, bigger, faster and yellower model. The other weekend Jill asked me to take him out to burn off some energy and get him out of her hair. I decided a bike ride was a really good idea. He was very excited and worked really hard. We went out on the Harland Way, a national cycle route that runs behind our house, in the direction of Spofforth village. I kept on asking him if he wanted to stop but he always said no. In the end we went all the way to Spofforth and back again. There is a great little pub at the end of the cycle path, but I didn't think it was appropriate to go and buy him a celebratory pint, even of lemonade. He was ever so proud when he told his mum that he'd managed to cycle for 5 miles in total. He keeps asking me when we can go for a "longer"cycle ride so he can have a “bigger number”

Hip Dude

Aidan is also doing well, in both his speech and walking. He is now standing freely and doing little walks when he thinks we are not looking and otherwise surfing around the room using the furniture for support"
There are very clear names and phrases coming out now which can be startling on occasion.

"Hello Der", is a favourite!

“I did dat", is another that he takes great delight in, especially if he's being a bit naughty!

And scarily, “what dat?", is getting increasingly common.

Produced with Dragon Dictate 2.5

TravCon 12 Report

This is a short report that I originally prepared for the Tavern about BITS excellent convention, TravCon. Slightly amended.

I had a great weekend. Arrived on Friday night fully planning to update the scenario characters from CT and MT to Mongoose Traveller and ended up being persuaded by Tom Z to come and play Striker 2 instead. I suspect that he may have regretted that when his G-Carrier popped up to be hit with a missile under opportunity fire from my hidden hover tank. The G-Carrier made an impressive addition to the swamp it was flying over. I enjoyed the game, even if I did end up being wiped out.

Saturday saw me up early to convert the characters. This was unusual. I normally write new scenarios for Travcon and BITS but this time I decided to run a scenario from Challenge called 'Snowblind' and the classic White Dwarf scenario 'Tower Trouble'. I am also usually more prepared. It was also amusing when I got a text from the con team at 08:55 checking I was okay to run when I'd been up since 07:15!

I spent the morning running the game, and the players seemed to enjoy it even if the ending was somewhat anti-climatic (in the sense we all agreed to narrate the big show piece combat rather than play it out). The scenario also reminded me how long starship combat takes - but it was kind of fun.

Saturday afternoon was one of my highlights. I had a quick trip to the pub with a number of old friends for some food, and then went and played Tim Collinson's excellent 'Signs and Portents'. This was the first con scenario he had run and was truly awesome. Absolute classic Traveller style and a rare gem in being a science based scenario with lots of human interest. It was a scout mission to carry out an in-depth survey. This is one I anticipate that BITS will publish. The draft copy that Tim had went in the charity auction and made £70 for 'Help for Heroes'.

Saturday evening I cried out of games to complete the characters for the game the next day. This meant I skulked in the bar with a laptop and access to the real ale brought to the con by Derrick Jones (Continuum - you should get this man to come and visit!). After I finished the game we played Mag*Blast (the annual BITS championship in which Andy Lilly - BITS director - was destroyed first and me soon after) which ended up being the longest game ever. We also played Star Fluxx which was a great variant on (duh) Fluxx and a group tried out my copy of 'The Stars are Right' which had been gathering dust on my shelf for far too long.

Sunday morning was more leisurely and I ran Tower Trouble. It's a Marcus L Rowland heist scenario built around raiding an orbital tower. The team included the Guvnor (a transport expert) and a number of others who decided to avoid the main thrust of the scenario (stop the shuttle car on the beanstalk) and instead hack and do a really clever heist that involved a cargo switch at the down port terminal. Brilliantly done, but I hope it wasn't too much of an anti-climax. It was also the second scenario at a Travcon when the players have planned their approach with a flip chart!!!

Sadly, it was time for the awards ("Starburst for Extreme Heroism" and "Ping F**k It!") and auction which went well and then the con ended and I spent the next 125 miles running up the A1 away from the grim cold wet and snow South to the sunny North.

A great weekend, all in all.