Posts from December 2005.

Twinkle Twinkle Stars Are Right

Action shot of the Squirrelly in the bathtub yesterday evening.

“It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers

I

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I Woulda Come Up With A Funny Title If I Wasn’t Ill

NyCap — a winter time drink for the parents of small children

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz 151 proof rum
  • Black Coffee
  • 2 tbls. NyQuil (cherry flavored)
  • Whipped cream
  • Coarse Sugar

Moisten rim of glass. Dip rim into coarse sugar to coat heavily. Pour tequila and coffee liquor into glass. Gently float 151 proof rum on top. Carefully ignite rum and swirl glass to lightly melt sugar with flame. Immediately pour in coffee to extinguish flames. Fill glass with whipped cream, top with 2 tbsp. of cherry-flavored NyQuil multi-symptom formula. Bolt in single swallow. The alcohol will numb you to the realizion that you will be spending the next three months confined to the house with a small child, the NyQuil will address the symptoms of whatever pestilence du jour your twerp brought home from the daycare yesterday, and the coffee and sugar will give you a burst of energy sufficient to clean exactly two of the scores of dishes that have accumulated in the sink while you’ve been grappling with the plague. Bottoms up!

Today I am sick, so that’s as funny as I get, folks. Here’s some links instead:

  • List of the 100 best board games of all time as voted on by a bunch of nerds. Apparently I was one of them, although I don’t recall participating. And if I did participate, why the hell didn’t Bermuda Triangle make the list — that game was awesome!
  • I wonder how many Ralph Wiggum quotations are registered domain names. mefailenglish.com – check! thatsunpossible.com – check! ibentmywookie.com – check! tastelikeburning.com – check. mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood.com – check! supernintendochalmers.com – check! Jesus, the list just goes on and on. imidaho.com still available, though.
  • Clever idea, cool video, good way to get yourself shot by security.
  • I guess the second one didn’t actually have any links in it. Or the fourth one, for that matter. I’m sick.
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The 2005 Good Gift Game Guide

People from all over the globe (by which I mean two people who are not housemates) have written to ask if I am doing my annual overview of the year’s best boardgames for non-gamers.

Done! The 2005 Good Gift Game Guide.

And now, supplimental material just for you, my loyal yeti readers.

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

I didn’t write a whole lot about games this year (“more blogging about games in 2006″ sounds like a good candidate for a resolution), but, of the games on TMN list, I did review Shadows Over Camelot and Jambo. You can also see previous G3 Guides for the years 2002 – 2004, 2001, and 2000.

Other Good Games

Here are some games that, for one reason or another, just missed the cut for The Morning News piece.

  • Cluzzle (Eagle Games, 3-6 players, 45 minutes, $35): I wrote a full review of this one calling it one of the better party games I have played, and it was only omitted from the official list because it was released in 2004. Players sculpt puzzles out of clay, striving to make them of “Goldilocks” difficulty: not too easy, not too hard. The game is very derivative of the older game Barbarossa, but I cut Cluzzle some slack because Barbarossa was, at the time of my review, out of print. Barbarossa has just been re-released, though, so take your pick. I still give the nod to Cluzzle: simpler rules and a short playing time make for a more fun game.
  • China (Uberplay, 2-5 players, 45 minutes, $35): China is a re-released and retheming of one of my favorite games of all time, Web Of Power. It’s fairly simple, but the whole thing hinges on a brilliant scoring system that rewards strategic play. Best of all, China is one of those rare games that works exceptionally well with three players.
  • Fairy Tale (Z-Man Games, 2-5 players, 30 minutes, $15): The only reason Fairy Tale was left off the main list is because it was not released in English until (literally) today. Before, when this game was only available in Japan, gamers were plunking down 40 bucks for a copy of it in Japanese, so that oughtta tell you something about its appeal. Fairy Tale takes the “drafting” aspect of Magic: the Gathering, and builds a clever little middle-weight game atop it. Plus, the art is gorgeous.
  • Travel Blokus (Educational Insights, 2 players, 15 minutes, $20): I went back and forth on whether to include Ingenious or Travel Blokus on the main list, and finally went with the former because it accommodates up to six players (sort of). But, like Ingenious, Travel Blokus (which goes by the vastly superior name Blokus Duo in Canada) is one of those abstract games that even people who profess to hate abstract games (such as myself) wind up loving. I enjoy Ingenious more, but Travel Blokus is easier, cheaper, smaller, and better suited as a gift for a couple.
  • Caylus The Good Gift Games Guide is intended to showcase offerings that work well with non-gamers, so I typically leave off the heavier strategy games. If you’re looking for something meatier, though, the game Caylus has been getting incredible buzz this year. I have yet to play it (it was released yesterday) so I cannot provide a personally recommendation, but those who have seem pretty united in calling it the best game of the year. I’ll review it myself just as soon as I can get my hot little hands on a copy.

The Canonical G3 List

There are hundreds of great G3s from year’s past. Here a sampling from the Canonical G3 List:

Family Board Games

Family Card Games

  • Bohnanza: A game about bean trading. For real.
  • Mamma Mia: A game about making pizzas. For real.
  • Category 5: A new version of the classic “Take 6!”

Two-player Games

Party Games

Second Opinions

Don’t trust the yeti? Here are the highlights of some other “2005 best game of the year” lists:

Spiel des Jahres (a.k.a. “The German Game Of The Year”):

International Gamer Awards:

GAMES Magazine’s game of the year:

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Friday Cat Nickname Blogging

 

Name
Louie
Edgar
Secret Actual Name
King Louis The First
Jellybean (see below)
Name According To Squirrelly
Whee!
Black Kee-cat
Prior Name
Luchiano (when we got him from the humane society)
Wagga Wagga (when we got him from a manx breeder)
Generic Nickname
Slinker
Stinker
Nickname When Bad
Bahama Bob
8-Ball
Nickname When Playing With Cat Toy
Hairy Swatter
Sluggo
Nickname When Sitting
Paw Tucker
Osito
Nickname When Agitated
Señor Twitchytail
Nubby
Nickname when walking on us as we lay in bed at 4:00 AM
Ol’ Peglegs
Jesus Christ We Gotta Put This Fuckin’ Cat On A Diet
Nickname Reflecting How Cat Came To Be In Our Possession
Last Kitty At The Pound
Not Show Quality
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The Final Word

In my post about The Squirrelly’s burgeoning language skills, I neglected to mention that The Queen and I recently established his first word. It happened during a conversation with a friend of ours.

Friend: What was The Squirrelly’s first word?

Me: “Kitty.”

The Queen: “Mama.”

M: [To Queen] Well, really he started saying “kitty” first.

Q: [To friend] It was “mama.”

M: [To Queen] I mean, yes, he made “mm mm” sounds before he said kitty, but, you know, in order to officially be considered a word they have to say it three times in the appropriate context, so –

Q: [To me, accompanied by The Look] His first word was “mama.”

M: Well, but I … I, um … uhh …

{pause}

Q: [To friend] It was “mama.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how facts are made.

This wasn’t the first time she’d used The Force on me. About a year before The Squirrelly was born we got a second cat to keep Louie, our first, company.

Q: What should we name him?

M: Oh, whatever you want.

Q: I named Louie, so it seems only fair that you get to name this one.

M: Really? Wow, okay. Well, he’s black, so maybe something like “shadow” or “licorice.”

Q: You want to name him “licorice?”

M: Well, no — “licorice” doesn’t really roll of the tongue. But he does kind of look like a big licorice jellybean, you know. So maybe — oo, that’s a perfect name: “jellybean.”

Q: “Jellybean. ”

M: Yeah, “jellybean.” What do you think?

Q: I think I like “Edgar.” We’ll call him “Edgar.”

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Snow Advisory

Attention citizens the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. As we have now received 1/16th of an inch of snow, municipal code N-774290.4.c is in effect, requiring all drivers currently on the roads to drive their vehicle into a ditch at the earliest convenient moment. If you are unable to do so, because your nearest ditch is already filled with vehicles, you may instead precipitate either a rear-ender or a fender-bender. Your compliance will ensure that local news stations have no difficulty obtaining footage for their “BlizzardWatch ’05!!” coverage, which began three days ago and will continue until the last sludgy lump of ice has melted from the median of I-5.

Residents should also be aware that all chit-chat, small talk, and informal shit shooting must, by law, be confined exclusively to weather-related topics for the next 48 hours. We thank you for your cooperation.

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