Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too Many Games

Yes, you read that right. I have too many board games (approx 345 as of this writing).

More accurately, I have too many games that I haven't played, or too many mediocre games that I snagged at thrift stores or in trades or simply purchased impulsively. Right now, I'm sorting them into a few different categories:

  • Love and will keep forever
  • Unplayed, but I'll probably keep
  • Unplayed I honestly am not sure I will like it enough to keep it, so maybe I better trade or sell it while I can
  • Played and ambivalent or generally positive
  • Played and want to offload
Once I finish sorting, ideally I would either sell or trade the unwanted games locally, and right now I suspect I've got anywhere from 30-50% of my collection to move on to other owners. My taste has changed over the last year; one might say that I have a more refined palate these days.

If you like, you can watch the progress on my games for trade list. This is a not-too-subtle suggestion to let me know if you want something. I should be able to post a final list to my local board game groups in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Improv game design and procrastination hacks

Here's a twofer quickie.

I posted the latest improv game design experiment over on the Flywheel. I know that it doesn't get updated super frequently, so here's your excuse to go check it out for some freshness.

I came across this list of procrastination hacks by some fellow who posted the list as a means to hack procrastination. Since I'm about to have my machine off for a few hours while I calibrate my battery, I'm going to hit #8, #12, and at least #3 on a few things I want to do.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Steampunk rayguns

Words can not express just quite how much I want one of Dr Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillators. Sadly, I do not have $700 USD to drop on a handmade, metal-and-glass creation, even if it is done by the geniuses at Weta. I could also live with more steampunk technology in day-to-day life- there's simply not enough aether or pneumatic tubes these days.

Thanks to Wired for the original article. Actual art an imagination by Greg Broadmore (webbernet coming from New Zealand, so patience is a virtue!).

In a similar vein, mechanical television fascinates me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Disney and Fair Use

This article over on Wired has a link to a video mashup of Disney cartoons explaining fair use and copyright law. Oh, the irony alone. (YouTube, Quicktime stream, or download)

I haven't seen a response from Disney yet.

Thanks, Stanford!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

James Ernest on design

I generally don't like to just quote-and-link, but I can't help it sometimes.

Cheapass' James Ernest has an article in Make magazine on game design. Some of it is pretty basic and introductory stuff, but this quote stands out as particularly insightful.

I like to say that there are two kinds of novice game designers: those who make houses out of doors, and those who make roads out of walls. The "house made of doors" game has no clear goal but offers many ways to get there. The "road made of walls" has a clear objective, the end of the road, with obstacles along the way. But a good game combines these two - a road made of doors, with a clear goal and multiple ways to achieve it.
Definitely a different way of thinking about design.

Spider robots

I totally want this for a daily driver. Might need to work on the suspension and top speed, though.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Reliving Katrina

I'm watching Spike Lee's documentary, When the Levees Broke, right now. It's almost like reliving the month after the storm all over again.

There's a scene in the documentary where a St. Bernard Parish man tells a story about a fellow walking into the refinery and asking what he can do to help. When asked who he was, the guy says, "We're the Canadian Mounted Police from Vancouver." It breaks my heart. (Bush plus Katrina make Mischa crazy. God damn Homeland Security and its mismanagement of FEMA.)

On the second disc, there's another scene of a man and his mom going through her house for the first time after the flood. It happened to me, taking my grandmother through her house, with furniture moved across rooms and the artifacts of a lifetime rotting and moldy- like a ghost of a memory overlaid on everything you see.

It's so good to hear familiar accents and see a few familiar faces in the documentary, including the hard-to-define quality of familiar kinds of faces.

A few new folks have moved to Austin and are now attending game nights. Consequently, they don't know I'm from New Orleans. After last night's gaming, we talked a little about how I wouldn't be still in Austin after a few months and why. One of the established guys didn't understand why I want to go back. "Austin has a future," he said. "New Orleans is a city with a past." I still don't know how to best respond- Every city has a future. My official position on Austin remains that my attitude would be different if we moved here on purpose and by choice.

[Edit: Allow comments. Not sure how my default Blogger settings got goofed up.]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shared and sharing, Web 2.0 style

Google, in their infinite wisdom, makes it easy to compile a list of "Hey, that's interesting" articles into a single page for public consumption. This kicks the pants out of me writing single posts that say "Heck, check this out- I think it's neat" and then a link to the whatever it is. I honestly don't think it's laziness, but rather a courtesy to my readers. I don't want to turn the Non-Waterlogged Blog into a rotating link du jour series of posts. I still have a lot to say, and this blog should remain my primary platform and soapbox to open my brain to the world.

Instead, I throw all this stuff into the sidebar. (Look on the right for a box called "What's on my RSS" and you can see what I'm reading these days.)

In the last few months, I discovered there's a super easy way to hoover all these shared links into a handy Javascript widget to slide into my Blogger template. Ah, Javascript, how I love thee. Once I took the five minutes to decide on a color scheme and set it up, now it takes a single click at the bottom of an article in Google Reader and posts automagically appear here on my blog.

Naturally, I'd rather that you come over to my blog and read stuff here- I'm trying to get my ad revenue above ten bucks this year. Everyone likes RSS, though, so feel free to check out the public page directly and RSS that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Delicious, delicious food

Unlike our last long visit, we didn't have a definitive list of where we wanted to eat. Here's a recap of what I ate.

  • Saturday dinner: Roman Pizza, the famed "Garlic Love" 'za. Take a pizza, make it with garlic sauce instead of red sauce. Two toppings: Fresh salami and fresh garlic. Heaven.
  • Sunday lunch: Dot's Diner, a breakfast poboy. French bread, a plain omelette, cheese, bacon.
  • Sunday dinner: Red Star, chicken with black bean sauce, my secret Chinese food weakness.
  • Monday lunch: Fellini's Cafe. Spinach salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola and a nice vinaigrette, spicy tomato spread with pita.
  • Monday dinner: Lebanon's Cafe. Sheer Middle Eastern wondrous food. Lula plate, Chicken Shwarma plate, Gyro plate, Chef's special, a kibby, labna, hummus, and a burma. Pity they were out of Turkish Coffee, for it is glorious. The special Lebanese tea with rosewater and pine nuts is also missed.
  • Tuesday lunch: Fresco, a turkey sandwich.
  • Tuesday dinner: Five Happiness. Sautéed String Bean without Pork, Shrimp in Lobster sauce, General's Chicken, Sizzling Chicken, Bean Curd and Beef, Pecan Shrimp, Sweet and Sour Pork, Mongolian Beef. Eight different dishes for nine people. It's the N - 1 rule of Chinese food. Plus soups and rice, white and brown.
  • Wednesday lunch: The world-famous Camellia Grill. Cheeseburger, chocolate freeze, a slice of aple pie à la mode.
  • Wednesday dinner: Homemade BBQ and herbed chicken, plus barbecue baked beans. We know how I feel about Texas' attempt at beans with BBQ, so this was a most welcome dish.
  • Thursday lunch: R & O's. Homemade tamales and an Italian sausage poboy.
  • Thursday dinner: Danny and Clyde's. Roast beef poboy, dressed no lettuce with creole mustard. Add Zapp's Cajun Dill chips and a Hubig's coconut pie.
  • Friday lunch: Caffe! Caffe! A spinach salad and a hot chai.
  • Friday dinner: Bud's Broiler. Cheeseburger, cheese fries.
  • Saturday lunch: Crazy Johnnie's. Dippin' Bread, fillet Mischa [sic], crazy garlic potatoes. Also a Dr Pepper.
  • Saturday dinner: Spudly's Super Spuds. Barbecue beef, cheese and chives on a baked potato the size of both fists.
  • Sunday lunch: Favori. Half a roast beef poboy and half a french fry poboy.

Life is too short to eat bad food, people.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back in Austin

We have arrived safely! Food, gaming, and state-of-life updates tomorrow.