Monday, February 25, 2008

The weekend, in bullet points.

  • Bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner - on sale at half price due to being a floor model of an unfashionable color.
  • Downloaded Dyson instruction manual and purchased missing accessories at the Dyson website.
  • Found a copy of 1861: Railways of the Russian Empire in stock at Boards & Bits, decided to sleep on it.
  • Upon waking, discovered that the copy had sold out. Checked all the major stores online again, did some Google searching, didn't find it available for sale in US dollars anywhere. Can buy it in Canadian dollars, pounds, or Euros, all of which turn out to be hella-expensive.
  • Called my friendly local game store, shot the breeze with the owner, who is cool. His major distributor is out, but he will check his minor distributors and get back to me.
  • Endured days 1,2, and 3 of Cori entering binky-withdrawal.
  • Watched 4 episodes of Dora the Explorer, barely survived.
  • Watched Futurama "Bender's Big Score," which Lee and I enjoyed quite a bit.
  • Played some Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, a fairly old computer game that took some tweaking to run on XP.
  • Baked some chocolate whole-wheat brownies, which turned out great.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Monday night gaming

Michael and Laura came over on Monday night. Michael and I played 3 games of Attika until the girls went to bed, and I then taught Michael and Laura Can't Stop.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Monday night gaming

So Monday night Chris and Michael and I got in two games of San Juan and a game of 6 Takes. Michael's new to the Eurogames but is a regular bridge tournament participant. He had a good time. The rest of the crew couldn't make it due to prior commitments.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What can I put on my Capital One image card?

Not much, apparently. See restrictions at this link to the Capital One site.

To quote almost in their entirety:

We will not approve any images that contain the following:

  • Competitive marks/names (e.g. Discover®, American Express®, etc.)

  • Political Statements

  • Branded products (except those associated with a Capital One partner)

  • Copyrighted or trademarked material not owned by a Capital One partner

  • Celebrities/musicians/public figures/athletes/cartoons, etc. (except for those associated with
    approved Capital One partner

  • Phone numbers (e.g. 800 or 900 #s) and URL addresses (e.g.

  • Socially unacceptable groups (e.g. gangs, supremacy, etc.)

  • Provocative or sexual content

  • Violence

  • Profanity or obscenities

  • Any references to the Olympic Games or events

  • Any photo that might result in non-acceptance or other problems at the point of sale


Now, really. I understand how they don't want me messin' with Mickey Mouse, or Hitler, or whatever. They're asking me to understand a lot about who they already have promotions with. But really, all I want is Roast Beef on my card.

Lee wants the international symbol for breastfeeding.

Owlcon 2008, fun as always

For the first time in several years, today I paid my way into Owlcon, the Rice University gaming convention. I had been going for free thanks to running game sessions, but didn't want to commit to that this year due to Daria's impending birth.

I got off for a late start getting Lee and the kids out the door, but from there, it was a short drive to the only free parking Rice U. has to offer. There was nothing in particular I wanted to play in the 10 am slot except James Spurney's Acquire session, which had already filled and begun by the time I arrived.

I saw Astro from the Houston Gamers carrying a copy of 1861: The Rails of the Russian Empire and he had his friend Charles on the way. While we didn't make it all the way through, we did get Charles up to speed on 18xx games in general, and I was very interested to see several mechanics and innovations. As a whole, the game has a ton of little tiny railroads with few options at the beginning, and then the small railroads convert or are merged into public companies. The map looks huge, but they players lay a total of at least 8 tiles for free each operating round, with the possibility of paying a minor sum to lay more. The production value of the game looks excellent, and I will definitely see if I can find a copy.

Next up, I got my butt handed to me in a game of Merchant of Venus. It's one of my all-time favorites, and we managed to move things along even with a full complement of 6 players, including two newbies.

After that, it was filler time. I taught Reiner Knizia's Money to Amy Pike, Scott Berger, and Kevin Brusky, won a game and lost a game of Perudo, and played a prototype of Mike Dew's Rainbow Trump card game.

Kevin shot the breeze about the new Order of the Stick: The Shortening, and that was cool.

Kevin Brusky, Mike Dew, and I launched into Mike's other game prototype, "New Beginnings." It's a Civ-light that plays out in about 2-2.5 hours. My post-apocalyptic survivors built some improvements, but not enough to take the game.

I finished the evening by taking over Charles' position at a game of Shadows Over Camelot, and promptly died. They were doing terrible, but it was almost midnight and I decided to make the long hike through the fog back to my car.

I won copies of Big Top (by Houston Gamers webmaster Ray Mulford) and Three-Dragon Ante.

Overall, a great day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Board game night = EPIC FAIL

Everyone punked out, so no board games tonight. I rest and recover, waiting for OwlCon's 12 straight hours of gaming on Saturday. Hope the weather's clear so I don't have to hike across Rice University campus in the rain.

More kid pictures - someone's got rosy cheeks