Thursday, September 28, 2006

Game Night (last week's catch-up)

Whew. We played Power Grid last week until about 11 pm.

This week we wised up and played For Sale and Medici. R.J. also taught me how to play Hive, which I will probably buy if I can find it in the cool bakelite tile version (2nd edition, if I remember correctly).

Gamecount: Individual game sessions played for the year = 150, New game titles played for the year = 27.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Friday: Parents' Night Out

Last night, Lee and I dropped off the girls at church for Parents' Night Out at 6. We went to an independent pizza joint down the street called Fuzzy's Pizza. We split a 12" chicken/spinach/artichoke whole-wheat pizza and then went to a Coldstone Creamery another block away.

I ate way too much cheesecake ice cream with Heath bars mixed in.

After that, we headed back to the church and played Travel Blokus three times, twice under the regular rules, then again trying to minimize the empty space left on the board. It was about 9, so we picked up the girls and headed home.

Gamecount: Individual game sessions played for the year = 146, New game titles played for the year = 26.

Thursday night: Chris brings back a tweaked prototype

Chris, R.J., and Tim made it over on Thursday. Chris brought over his bee-themed tile-laying game prototype, freshly tweaked.

After a couple of games of that, which I missed due to getting Alex to bed, and Lee was able to join us as well. We started up a 5-player game of Aladdin's Dragons. Tim and R.J. hadn't played before, but they're sharp folks. I ended up winning with a grand total of 9 artifacts, including 3 scrolls.

As it turns out, we have been playing the Magic Carpet artifact tiles incorrectly. You can actually lay them down on any space that is resolving, even if you haven't played a person there. It's already a good artifact, but this change makes it even more powerful. As it happened, I never got one.

Gamecount: Individual game sessions played for the year = 143, New game titles played for the year = 26.

Blogger doesn't support trackbacks

Seth Godin's a big fan of trackbacks, and dislikes comments. I'm not as convinced, since trackbacks look terrible and don't really allow for true threaded conversations.

Blogger doesn't support trackbacks, but they do support "linkbacks." By support, of course, I mean "support." Here's the page where Blogger tells you what to do. See, I've already modified my page slightly to have my Google Adsense items show up. That means I can either get

Thus, to enable "linkbacks," I merely need to copy snippets of code into 4 or 5 places into at least one, maybe two of my Blogger templates, retest everything to make sure I didn't hose the blog's appearance, and change a configuration setting. Yes, I'll be doing that right now.

Yeah, getting a freeware self-hosted blogging solution is looking better and better.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Order of the Stick game coming soon...

There's a goofy webcomic called Order of the Stick, which has a corresponding card game being created by fellow Houston Gamer Kevin Brusky... Here's a link to the Order of the Stick game's teaser page.

I saw some people getting to try out the game at OwlCon this year, but I was running demonstrations most of the time, and didn't get to try it. I'll rate myself as "mildly interested" in playing. The description of playing time as 3+ hours seems a little excessive, but that's just me, with my lack of free time and all.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Windows Server 2003 dumps

I'm learning how to run the Windows Debugging Tool on memory dumps left after computers crash, among other things.

Every question I ask leads to ten more questions.

El Grande at the Houston Gamers

I have been trying to get this posted for a few days now, but have been distracted by my new job and the Magreaux dog.

Larry and I went over to Midnight Comics on Saturday night and discovered that everyone was across town at the San Jacinto event, gaming all Labor Day weekend. We ran into the other Todd, Todd C. who's pretty cool and has a big stack of games in his trunk, including Railroad Tycoon.

We played Larry's new copy of the new Decennial edition of El Grande. It's got a giant stack of all the El Grande expansions ever printed, but unfortunately also has a number of typos, most of which Larry had found and corrected on the action cards. This was Todd C.'s first play, and he got up to speed quickly. Larry won, with Todd C. in a close second and me last.

I might have won, except I let an opportunity go by for a scoring card that left me totally out and put me 20+ points behind in the middle of the game. I was catching up, just not quickly enough. I traded off my other edition of El Grande recently in a Math Trade; at some point, I'll re-acquire the newer Decennial edition to get all the expansions, too.

Gamecount: Individual game sessions played for the year = 142, New game titles played for the year = 26.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Thursday night: Chris brings a demo

Chris, Tim, R.J, and Rodney joined Lee and I for gaming on Tuesday.

We tried out a prototype Chris brought, by a friend of his. As R.J. pointed out, "There sure are a lot of colors on here for this to have been designed by a color-blind person." It was about building hexagons by matching colors, with various kinds of bees on the tiles that gave extra points or let you break placement rules. I headed upstairs to put Alex to bed, and the crew played out 3 games going from easy, intermediate, and advanced rules.

The reaction was okay - I'd like to see how kids play it. There was something missing for me, but overall, the group thought it was okay.

After that, Rodney and Tim had to go, and I got Lord of the Fries off the shelf. I demo'ed this game some during my Cheapass Games demo days, and like it quite a bit. It involves choosing various combination meals off a clever little menu, as players compete to rid their hands of ingredients. It's fairly chaotic, and I lost big-time. It does take a little bit to learn the menus, so it's a little slow at first, which is just death for demo purposes.

The newer color edition of Lord of the Fries has several new menus and ingredients, most of which I haven't played. Everyone enjoyed the game, so I could see getting this out more often.

Gamecount: Individual game sessions played for the year = 141, New game titles played for the year = 26.

Handwriting Fonts for Alex - Parents or homeschoolers resource

I downloaded a free font for Alex to practice her letters here at BVfonts. It's got lines in the middle, which is okay, I guess. We'll try it and see how it works.

There's also a tracer page that makes an entire page of tracing at once on this tracing page site called Kidzone. Set your printer to landscape first.