Friday, June 29, 2012

The Musings of a Three Year Old

This is my 100th post. I honestly didn't think I'd get that far when I first started writing this blog, but here I am. Today is also Kaylee's 3rd birthday and so I thought I'd give you readers a few things she says that I think are pretty funny.

1. She is constantly pointing out crosses. She'll say there is a cross daddy! There is another cross. She doesn't realize that most of the time she his pointing out churches, but we'll get there.

2. Whenever we say anything about time, she says it is 11:40. Doesn't matter what time of day it is, whether it is dark out, raining, or bright and sunny. If I ask Krista what time it is, Kaylee pipes up and says it is 11:40.

3. She likes to find out if we're happy. Maybe Krista and I'll be having a little argument, maybe we'll just be eating dinner, Kaylee just likes to randomly ask us if we're happy. I think this is interesting. First, because she cares about us and wants us to be happy. Second, because I know someday I'm going to have to teach hur the difference between happiness and joy.

4. About 4 months ago we went to a car wash. Ever since then, she is always asking if we're going to a car wash. If she sees anything that remotely resembles a car wash, she automatically thinks that is where we are going.

So those are the 4 musings of a three year old. Happy birthday to my Kaylee! Now I see it's about 11:40 and time for me to go...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Every 100 Games Series - Falling

The 3,200 game played for me was Falling, a game designed by James Ernest and published by Cheapass Games. It is for 4-8 players, though really you could combine decks and add more players. 

I first heard about this game quite awhile ago, maybe on a podcast I listen to or maybe just stumbling across a review about it. For some reason though, the theme of falling and knowing you are going to hit the ground, but wanting the other players to hit first, just stuck with me and so I added it to my wishlist. It turned up in the math trade at IndyCon this past year and I won it!

Image by jeffwiles on

What You Get
Falling is a Cheapass Games production, so I wasn't expecting much, but it is actually better produced than many of their other games. You get a deck of cards, which is it, but these cards are at least in color and have somewhat interesting art on them and are of good stock. I've not been a fan of their other games, sometimes just because of the quality of the pieces (yes, I I'm that shallow). There are several different kinds of cards including pushes, splits, blocks, etc. Then there are ground cards, which are at the bottom of the deck, and towards which players are hurtling!

What's the Play Like?
There is the moderator who isn't actually falling, he is just dealing the cards out to players in real time fashion. Everyone is hectically trying to move cards around, play them against other players, get their turn skipped so they don't get dealt bad stuff, trying to get other players more cards, and generally chaos just ensues the whole game until all but one player gets dealt a "ground" card which are the last 5 cards on the bottom of the deck, thus ending their life and knocking them out of the game.

Did I Fall for Falling? (Yeah, that was a stupid pun)
Well....yes and no. I found it to be the best Cheapass game I've ever played, mostly because it takes literally the time to deal the deck out. We're talking 3-7 minutes I'm guessing to play the whole game. It can be a bit confusing though, especially for new players, since it is simultaneous play and there really isn't time for questions. I'd suggest that if you are going to sit down for this game, that you should make everyone play 3 times in a row to be sure it gets its best chance to be a success. The new player learning curve is the biggest downside to the game. I like the game enough that I do want to take it on a youth trip sometime and teach the highschoolers, because I think they'd get a kick out of it. I still can't give it great marks though, because part of being a good filler is being quick to teach and this can be daunting for even gamers in this one, not because it is so complicated, it's just so different than anything else. So as of now, I give it a 6/10.

Image by Neratora on

About the Every 100 Games Series: A long time ago, since I log the plays of board games, I decided I'd review every 100th game that I played. I decided to do this for a couple reasons. First, I like to write about board games in general. Second, I figured it'd be more likely for me to write about a game that I don't nessicarily like a bunch, since I wouldn't be choosing the game I'd be reviewing. So the Every 100 Games Series was born.

The First

So I'm starting a blog. That is weird to me. I've never figured myself as a much of a writer, but looking back I've wrote quite a bit about board games, so I figured I'd carry it over into other areas of life. What really has made me start this blog though is a book I'm reading. It is John Adams by David McCullough. So far it is a pretty interesting book with some great insight into Adams' life, but none of that would have been possible without all the personal writing he did throughout his life. Now I don't expect to have a biography written about me someday, but I'd like my family and even myself to be able to look back and see what I was thinking about or pondering at a given time in my life. So it begins here.

"Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C.S. Lewis
I read this quote from C.S. Lewis early this past summer while reading a book on heaven by Ted Dekker. The quote was honestly the best part of Dekker's book and hasn't left my head all summer long. A couple days ago a saw a copy of Weight of Glory laying on a table and read the first chapter where this quote is from. It really makes me think about my life and what fulfills me.

I think as Christians, myself included in that statement, a lot of times tend to focus on being content in our lives. However, when Paul tells us to in Philippians 4:11 that no matter what state we are in to be content, I think he is speaking about grasping what God has given us and being satisfied with that. However, I don't think he is saying not to have any motivation in life or not to desire more. Lewis brings up the point that we can be easily satisfied with a mediocre relationship with God, a mediocre relationship with those around us, a mediocre outlook on life. Why shoot for mediocre?! I'm not not talking health and wealth gospel here, but I am talking pursuing those desires that God gives us for Him to the fullest!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guest on a Podcast

A couple weeks ago On Board Games, a board gaming podcast I regularly listen too, sent out a request on Twitter for a guest to join them on their show. I like the show a lot, have always wanted to try podcasting just for the experience, and so responded I'd like to join them. They graciously allowed me to do so and so on a Tuesday night, with the kids in bed and Krista gone to hang out with friends, I had a conversation with them.

I knew exactly zero about pod-casting, so Donald suggested I download Audacity which is a free program to help with recording. I then watched a couple YouTube videos, saw I could use my iPhone as a mic, purchased a cord to connect it to me computer and tried a couple tests. They sounded horrible. However, with some tinkering, I got them to sound at least listenable. I had to turn off the AC, turn of the dehumidifier, and put the computer up away off the table to try and keep the fan noise from the mic. You can tell though, I'm not near the professional recorder as the On Board Games guys are. I'm sure Erik made it even better, but without a doubt the quality when I'm talking isn't near as good as theirs.

It was a really cool thing to do, I'm happy that Don & Erik allowed me to join them and would love to do it again! However, it also convinced me that doing it on a re-occurring basis has got to be a lot of work. The part I was involved with, just talking, is easy enough. However, getting the sound right, editing the show, and putting the clips in the right areas seemed like to me it would be a lot of work. Maybe someday I can work up the courage to become a regular contributor on a board game podcast out there...perhaps reviewing old games or talking about gaming group tips. Either way, I want to thank On Board Games for allowing me on the show and giving me the experience!

If you want to listen to the show, we talk about the different types of convention and why we attend them: Take Me Out to the Con Game - Episode 83.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Recommendation List

I'm getting older. I can't remember things anymore. Like where I left my wallet, where I put my shoes, and....okay, those things I've always forgotten. Just ask my wife. Or my mom. Or both of them. However, a couple months ago I did decide to use the notes function on my iPhone to keep track of book/movie/games recommendations that I get throughout the week in just general conversations. Just because someone gives me a recommendation, doesn't mean it gets on the list, but at the same time if it piques my interest its got a chance. Now, of course, my game recommendations listed are going to be smaller because I play more games than most people and I usually learn about them on anyways and put them on my wish list there. So here is the list.


  • Shiloh, 1862 - I know absolutely nothing about this book. I just know it is about the Civil War in some way and as I was playing a lot of Battle Cry when it was recommended to me it made the list.
  • Flowers for Algernon - I think it is about a guy who gets real smart and then loses his smartness. Either way, I'm intrigued. 
  • Kristen Laveron's Datter - I guess this is a really old book and originally written in Scandinavia some where. I've never read a Scandinavian book. So this makes the list. 
  • Darth Plagueis - Yes, this is a Star Wars book. Chris, one of the students in the youth group, recommended it to me. He thought I'd enjoy it and not really have to have read other Star Wars books, so it's on the list.
  • The Maze Runner Series - I've had this recommended by 3 different people, so with that much recommending, it is on the list and is even reserved from the library. So this one will be crossed off soon.
  • Redwall - My little sister is all about this series. I remember starting them while in school, can't remember much more, I think I'll try again.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer - I saw the trailer for the movie, understood the premise, and thought it sounded fun.
  • Dune - I started this one, had to take it back to the library, so I just picked up a used copy. I can tell I'm going to like this one. A huge epic in the making, at least from the first 6 chapters or so. Once I finish Sherlock Holmes, this is next.
  • 11/22/63 - About a time-traveler that tries to stop the JFK assassination. Stephen King has been hit and miss with me. I've only attempted to read two of his books before, but this has me interested.

  • Rolling Freight - A board game about trains and delivering goods with dice! I heard this on a podcast, so I had to put it in my notes, I've since watched a video review. This looks right up my ally.

  • Ha! I just realized I've already watched both movies that were on my list. Waiting on Superman & Special When Lit. Both are documentaries and I enjoyed both. 
So that is the list, turns out it is mostly books, so make some suggestions for me! We'll see if they make the list and eventually get read/played/watched.