S Relaxing too. After spending a blistering week covering the Tokyo Game Show with Ashcraft, McWhertor and Luke, I snuck off for two weeks to the southwestern tip of Japan for a bit of R&R. My brother-in-law and his family took Trish, Tristan and I in to their home, a former tiny hotel near Ibusuki, for the duration of our vacation. The two floor house has six numbered rooms, plenty of creepy, long Shining-esque hallways and only one hardly-used television. That’s right: There wasn’t a video game console anywhere to be seen. That didn’t stop Tristan and I from sneaking out on occasion to check out the local arcades, but the local gaming scene seemed to consist mostly of UFO Catchers and UFO Catchers, so most of our time was spent not gaming. Instead we did things like bike around a still active volcano, climb Mount Kaimon (being sure to keep an eye out for the devil said to roam the place) and visit tons of local museums including a Samurai village and the Kamikaze Peace Museum. We also spent a day at our host family’s English school helping out with a couple of Halloween parties. Halloween is becoming an increasingly big deal in Japan, it seems. Best part of the party? The handmade Yoshi costume one of the students showed up in. Normally I use my vacation to read lots of books. This time around, though, I found myself so busy, and so tired, that I only had time to read through a hefty chunk of The Historian. I returned late Friday to our home in Colorado to discover that a Black Widow had set up house in our laundry and my desktop PC’s power supply had given up the ghost. YAY! Despite the rough landing, I’m happy to be back and back in the saddle. Now to figure out how the hell I’m going to find time to play the copies of Fable II, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2 and the other doozies I had waiting for me when I got home.