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Tagging with my Toronto Guys and Teammates

I always have the best time when my friends from Toronto get to visit!

...ok, technically the otters were already here. ;)

I missed seeing Ilana this time around, but the rest of my crew made their way down to Rochester yesterday for a visit and some laser tag along with Steve and Rick who joined in for some fun at Lasertron.

So much I enjoyed about this experience. First, returning to the tactical arena and NOT feeling like the game was going to kill me (see Snowmageddon for clarification on that). This time we actually played the tactical game in the tactical arena and it was fun again. I enjoyed being able to share some strategy with Steve who landed on my team while Ankur and Rick were getting in some good shots for the other side. In a way I appreciate that at Lasertron they randomize the teams so you don't know who you are playing against. To that end, I discovered I also really didn't know who I was playing with on my own team until the end when a girl I didn't immediately recognize came up to me to return a lipstick I had dropped. We paused momentarily, each thinking the other looked familiar...turned out to be Madison, another young woman I know from the sparkly hat world and now (considering I've also played tag with Tracee and Lauren) I can say I have now played laser tag with more titleholders from the state class of 2015 than anyone else can claim...actually that statement was probably true just with Tracee, but still.

Fun the last two years this girl has held the alternate/sister title to two of the titles I held back in my own competition days...

It was cool to run into Madison unexpectedly in Rochester (in part because we both live on the other side of the state, so who expects that to randomly happen?) doing something that neither of us likely expected to see the other doing since we mostly only encounter each other at dressy, formal competitions (or the rehearsals before where I am usually running the sound equipment).

I was pleased with my scores in the game...

And also seeing that I was among the top scores of the day to boot...

After leaving Lasertron we paid a visit to the House of Guitars (nothing to do with laser tag, just a cool place to check out in Rochester) before the Toronto crew headed back and I continued on to play a little Laser Quest while I was in the area. This is when I started to realize just how much I have gained from tournament competition. Until Snowmageddon I think I have always treated Laser Quest as more of a sniper game (well, I suppose I want to turn everything into a sniper game since that's kind of my thing), but during the tournament I realized that was the wrong way to play it. It's all about dog fighting. And while you can't play as severely during a public game, in principle it is still true and I played it way more one to one implementing those skills and, WOW, did it feel like a whole different game! I was playing against a group of high school seniors (maybe early college students based on their apparel) and a few guys who talked a good game (telling some of the players to just follow them like they had some experience) I had no difficulty taking the top placement here and I attribute that in part to the tips and skills I picked up in tournament play.

When I was done playing Quest I decided to head back east, stopping over to the Laserforce center for the last couple of hours of play. When I got there I found Joe, Tommy and Tyler had all shown up (can't remember the last time we were all at tag at the same time) and it looks like our league team is shaping up to be the Return of the Jim Jim Squad with that roster plus one, so it was a cool first to play with them all in this arena. So we played a few good rounds, I played on each one of my memberships (, maybe time to update the scoreboard again?) and I suspect the guys made their mark because I was around to hear an employee suggest balancing out the teams to compensate for "her crew that knows what they're doing." Smile at that.

I smile at something else also. You may remember my little rant about the meaninglessness of unlocking achievements and how some of them mean very little and others mean absolutely nothing. Well, I had occasion to acquire two completely meaningless achievements by helping Lenny to test a pack mid-game. Now, he warned me not to go bragging about them on Facebook because they wouldn't mean anything to anyone. I'll pause here to say that if I was going to brag about anything online, first, it wouldn't be on Facebook, and second, it wouldn't be about these silly achievements...however, I will tell the story anyway. :)

So, he and Sanch are walking through the arena and his pack is lit up like a Christmas tree with multi-color lights. I don't know why or what he was doing. While I was tucked into a cubby Sanch told me to shoot at the pack...maybe just because I was there, but I think more likely because I was the only level six player signed in. I had no idea what I was testing, but when it was over Lenny explained (and I hope I repeat this correctly) that he had simulated in the pack something to replicate a hallway from a Laserforce arena in Australia where you "shoot the crystals" ( the Photon that isn't Photon?) to unlock the achievement. And as a result of tagging the pack during the test I am the only person in the arena to have unlocked the "Make it Spin - Activate the Time Vortex" achievement. OK, I don't care that it means nothing, I like the idea of being the only one to do anything, so...

Sorry Lenny, I guess I had to brag online anyway. :)

And as long as we're checking out my achievement screen, the whole episode also afforded me the "Lenny Down - Aided in the defeat of a Lenny-themed Uber Target"...which is just something he made up! So, it doesn't mean a thing, but hey, I'm the only one from "my crew" to have those two boxes lit up on my screen so...whatever, there is no sensible end to this sentence. But at least there was a decent end to the was a quality day of tag playing three systems, visiting with friends and rounding the evening out with a cherry slushie. All good by me!

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