Monday, October 12, 2009

The State of the Union

The last few weeks have been somewhat unkind. I haven't lost my job, any loved ones or anything like that, I've just been sick. It started off with a cold I got after my wife who got it after Avery. The cold was interrupted by an abscess tooth which swelled painfully, forcing me to actually visit a doctor then a dentist. My tooth being pulled was closely followed my bi-annual allergy attack where all the bad shit in my head/face drain into my throat, making it raw and painful. That seems to be passing, finally.

Lost Cities: a popular card game for couples.

I have not, of course, been too sick to do some gaming. So far I've managed to try a handful of new games this month: Lost Cities, The Viking Game, Uptown and ZERTZ. There was a time when I wasn't interested in abstract games, but that has been reversed lately; of the above, all but Lost Cities are abstract. So far my wife fits right in with the stereotype and loves Lost Cities (I like it too. It's mathy, but quick and full of difficult decisions.) Uptown appeals to the Sudoku fan in me, while the Viking Game is an interesting tactical game from hundreds of years ago. ZERTZ is neat, but will take several games to wrap my head around, I think.

Space Alert: fun as hell!

We also managed to play a few games of Space Alert, which is fun as hell. In the game, the players are the crew of a spaceship (Sitting Duck Class) and their job is to teleport to various sectors of the galaxy, survive long enough to collect data about the area (10 minutes) and teleport back home. The game takes place in real time; it comes with CDs that you play to tell you when and where threats appear, when you're allowed to draw or trade cards, etc. The players must work together and plan out their actions to try to survive. After the 10 minute CD track finishes, you go back and resolve all the players actions and threats to see what actually happened. It's loud, chaotic and really damn fun.

Franzen went from key player to injured reserve as soon as I traded for him. Not very considerate.

While it's the holiday season, which fucking sucks, it's also sports fan season for me (NFL & NHL.) I've been doing fantasy sports for years, and I rarely trade. Not sure why, I just prefer to build my team via drafting and free agency. I went against my gut and pulled off a big hockey trade this past week: I traded Evgeni Malkin for Johan Franzen and Zdeno Chara. The next night, Franzen got injured and will now miss 4 months of action. Fate, you are a dirty bitch.

The NFL season has been surprising so far. I mean, Denver and Cincinnati are a combined 9-1! These teams looked like dogs on paper, but so far so good. On the other hand we had the Browns and Raiders who look like they should be maybe playing in the XFL? Seriously, I respect the Raiders history, and appreciate everything Al Davis has done for the game, but he needs to go. Problem is, he's the owner so he has no boss to fire him. Jamarcus Russell looks like a bust, Darren McFadden can't stay healthy, they gave Javon Walker a huge contract and he was inactive on Sunday. It's so hard to get excited about anything the Raiders do these days. The Browns, well...they looked so full of promise a few years ago. Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards were Pro Bowlers, they were coming off a 10-6 season. That seems like ages ago now. The good news: they beat the Bill on Sunday. The bad news: the score was 6-3. A fucking baseball score. And you know it wasn't one of those great defensive efforts by both teams, it was a Three Stooges marathon by two inept offenses. Ugh. Terrell Owens must cry himself to sleep at night.

Jamarcus Russell: Just try to complete at least 50% of your passes, baby!

Anyhow, if all goes to plan I'll be able to attend my second ROBA board game group monthly meeting in Rochester this Saturday. It's the only time apart from weddings and funerals you'll find me in a church. My first time attending the group was very fun and welcoming, and I recommend any of my fellow local boardgamers out there attend.


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