Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Katrina was two years ago today

I remember Cat and I were sitting in my car, right around Slidell, listening to Mayor Nagin give a mandatory evacuation for my city, watching the skies, wondering if Katrina would hit.

Two years, a few thousand miles, and almost five hundred blog posts later, I'm back in the city and still thinking about the future.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One Cool Thing at Gen Con

Better late than never, right?

(Direct link to video)

There's always next year.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Twitter is another one of these newfangled Web 2.0 sites that I only peripherally know about. In a nutshell, Twitter acts like a micromicro blog: You text or IM or email a more-or-less one-line status update. "What are you doing?" asks the site.

Wired has a good article suggesting that the aggregate data of Twitter has value to you- you can know what your people are up to in the gestalt. Go read that article.

If you use Twitter, tell me. I want to know what you're doing.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

In which I finally play one of the great games

No, I don't mean Puerto Rico (BGG, BUY ME!), the number one game on Board Game Geek. I mean Bridge (BGG, WP), also known as Contract Bridge.

I didn't like Bridge at first, much like I didn't like Tichu (BGG, BUY ME!). I can't for sure say why, definitively. Both are partnership games, and there's a lot of strategy behind each one. I haven't really played partnership trick-taking games of any kind beyond Spades (BGG, WP) in high school except for Sheepshead (BGG, WP) and Njet (BGG, OOP). Part of my original dislike of both Bridge and Tichu stemmed from rampant confusion; I simply hadn't had the brain structures in place to grok a game that depended so heavily on good partnership play.

Right now, Bridge kicks Tichu to the curb and laughs at it. I forsee playing Bridge for many years down the line. I also forsee learning Tichu again, now that I've played and am starting to grok Bridge.

I told someone that we learned to play Bridge, and they asked me if it really was an "old person's game." With Bridge, once you've played it for a while, you get to know your partners and their play styles, leading to a more involved game and deeper play enjoyment. Fundamentally, it's not a shallow game. The game of the game is really in the bidding, and a ton of information passes between players, particularly when in conjunction with a bridge convention, which is an agreed-upon method of imparting said information.

What are the other great games? Certainly Chess (BGG, WP) and Go (BGG, WP). Everything else is up for grabs. Some folks might want to include Backgammon (BGG, WP) due to its age, but I've never played. I know I should.

I also read today's Bridge column in the paper, so I know I'm sold on the game.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Story-Games Name Project

If you roleplay and need a better names reference than a baby name book, check out the Story-Games Name Project, now up on Lulu.

The contents are all Creative Commons, so you can do what you like. With a little digging, you can even get the source PDFs for free, without the nice layout and snazzy art. And hey, eleven bucks ain't that bad for an awesome source book. If you're still waffling for some reason, here's a preview.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Faint glimmer of hope

Gen Con is next weekend, in Indianapolis. It's a twelve hour drive or a $350 plane ticket. I can probably scare up crash space from people I know who are going, so lodging isn't really a factor. Registration at the door is $80. I could spend X-hundred-dollars plus on games and food and the like.

Sadly, without a job or cash flow, I need to plan for next year. Maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket.

Dragon Con and BGG.Con are in September and November, respectively. At least I'm pre-regged for both.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Austin garage sale today

My brother's film production company is having another garage sale to raise money for their next film project.

If you're in Austin, you should swing by:

Today, 8am-2pm

5210 Martin Avenue
, in North Central Austin.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sitrep, posrep

Geeks and the military love their wordplay.

My position is within a half-mile of this location.

My situation is not as easily Googlable. Cat and I are living in our friends' guest room, and the mother-in-law cottage is not yet completely renovated- that should be done in the next couple weeks, though. Then we'll have a roof over our head to call our own.

I finished the last Harry Potter book the day I got it, so feel free to discuss it with me- I no longer need to be kept spoiler-free. Cat's on the last few hundred pages right now, and I keep hearing cries of "Oh no!" and "What?" from the couch. I have to keep quiet and continually ask her what she just read so I don't accidentally spoil her.

Living with five cats and a dog does not do my allergies any good. Particularly when one of them (Zapruder, you may have met him) sleeps in the same room as we so he doesn't start a fight with the other cats. Let this be a lesson! Get your cats fixed so they play nice with others! I have a lot of thoughts here- why are dogs so different than cats? Is it because they are more social creatures? Is it because their brains are bigger? Is it a few thousand years more of animal husbandry? But there's no doubt in my mind that dogs have a language center in their brains that cats lack, making dogs more like little furry people. Right now, I can't wait for health insurance so I can get some real allergy meds.

Speaking of health insurance, I've got a job interview tentatively lined up next week. Keep your fingers crossed that it's awesome and they hire me. I also have a small repair job or two based on my rep for awesomeness. I don't know if I could make a living out of these onesy-twosey jobs, but I don't know if I'd want to.

Game-wise, I've only played a few things. Most of my games are still in boxes.

But what of the city? So much is different, and so much is the same... but a lot of things are hauntingly familiar, or missing. I know it's not even been two years, but halve any city's population and see what parts of it die and what can survive. It shocks me to see empty lots or boarded-up buildings next door to bustling houses or businesses. If I had the money, I'd invest in land. I still daydream about starting a new industry to help the city come back.