2010 Holiday Survival Guide for Slackers

In keeping with the theme, I slacked off yesterday and neglected to mention that my ninth annual Holiday Survival Guide for Slackers was live at The Morning News.

A huge thanks to everyone who suggested items, with a special call out to Dylan (Better Marriage Blanket), orsted (Quantum Stirwand), umrain zero (Celestial Portraits), mriggen (Fresh Brown “Eggs”) & sperkal (two of my favorite IRL people), plus the many many many many readers who sent me links to specialty Snuggies and are now barred from contacting me ever again.

Yuletide Update

As promised I have ditched dy in favor of The Advend Calendar this month. (Hopefully you have not been following The Advend Calendar and are unaware that I have kind of ditched that as well, although I have been making up lost ground this morning.) Some recent reviews include Oats ‘N Honey Granola Bars, the PureFit Chocolate Brownie Energy Bar, and, yes, Beef Jerky.

I was on the radio last week, doing my annual board games segment. Here is the link. Sorry I didn’t give you a heads-up in advance, but it was prerecorded and I didn’t know when it was going to run. Shortly after it did I had this conversation with my mother:

Mom: Hey, I heard you on the radio this afternoon.

Me: Really?

Mom: Yeah, talking about games.

Me: Huh. I didn’t know it was going to be on the air.

Mom: You didn’t?

Me: No.

{Long pause}

Mom: Then what … did you think you were doing … in the studio …?

After I explained that it wasn’t live, and didn’t know it was going to be on the air that day, it made more sense to her.

Also, I am writing my ninth (holy hell, ninth?) annual Holiday Survival Guide for Slackers. And when I say “am writing” I of course mean “should start writing” since it’s due to be published Wednesday, but throwing this thing together at the last possible moment hews with both theme and tradition. If you know of some unfathomly stupid crap available for purchase on the intarweb, please mention it in the comments of this post or drop me an email. Thanks! You are the best and I am not just saying that because I am again in a jam and desperately need your help although it is admittedly odd that I never say it otherwise.

The Most Important Thing of the Things We Eat

This morning I made French Toast Surprise. Here is the recipe:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add 3/4 cup milk, 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 tsp. nutmeg; stir well to combine.
  2. Soak bread slices in the egg mixture until saturated.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Brown on both sides.
  4. Accidentally sprinkle slices liberally with ground cumin instead of cinnamon and serve. SURPRISE!

Also, I have been ordering my eggs “over medium” in restaurants for like 25 years now, and have never once received eggs that were over medium. I presume this is because the cooks are frantically Googleing the recipe back in the kitchen and coming up empty. Let’s rectify that now:

How to Cook Eggs Over Medium

Cook eggs over easy. Then keep cooking them. Then stop. If they become over hard, you have gone too far.

Search keywords: “eggs”, “egg”, “fried eggs”, “fried”, “fry”, “eggs fried over medium”, “eggs over medium”, “over medium”, “medium”, “breakfast”, “asshole customer”.

The 2010 Good Gift Games Guide

The 2010 Good Gift Games Guide is available at The Morning News today.

Unfortunately a few of the games appear to have gone on backorder between the time I started making the list and today. That said, most can still be found online:

Telestrations Amazon | Funagain
Piece o’ Cake Amazon | Funagain
Jaipur Amazon | Funagain
Forbidden Island Amazon | Funagain
Castle Panic Amazon | Funagain
D&D: Castle Ravenloft Amazon | Funagain
Catacombs Funagain
Last Call: The Bartender Game Funagain
Modern Art: The Card Game Amazon | Funagain
Master’s Gallery Amazon | Funagain
Fresco Amazon | Funagain
Cornerstone Amazon | Funagain

Honorable Mentions

Here are some games that just barely missed the main list.

Long Shot: There is no shortage of horse racing games on the market, but few allow the players as much control over the proceedings as Long Shot. The horses that move, and the distance they travel, is determined by the roll of the dice, but players can nudge luck in their direction by purchasing animals mid-race, and by playing any of a huge number of cards affect the position of the ponies and the state of the bets. Horse racing is one of those themes that seems to go over well with nearly any crowd, and Long Shot even allows you to play with as many as eight. [Funagain | Amazon]

Mr. Jack Pocket: Mr. Jack was listed in my 2007 GGG Guide as an excellent two-player deduction game. Mr. Jack Pocket is not simply a smaller and more portable version of same, but a completely different game–albeit it one with the same theme, atmosphere, and many of the same mechanisms of the original. One player is Jack the Ripper, and strives to keep his identity secret; the other is the detective, working to unmask the killer. It’s a great little game, and perfect for travel–be it to the Bahamas, or the local pub. [Funagain | Amazon]

The Adventurers: It’s not Indiana Jones: The Board Game, if only to avoid copyright infringement. Players send their archeologists into a booby-trapped temple, hoping to collect riches and not get crushed by rolling boulders. This game looks great–set it up, and family members will gravitate to the table out of curiosity alone. [Funagain | Amazon]

Onirim: As I mentioned in the main 2010 GGG guide, quality two-player games are hard to find. Rarer still are good one-player games, but Onirim fits the bill. The player is a dreamwalker, trying to escape a labyrinthine nightmare before he is trapped forever in his own mind. As solitaire games tend to lose much of their appeal once “solved”, the box contains no less that three expansions, to keep you puzzling for a long time to come. And if the thought of sleeping alone sound depressing, rules are included for a cooperative, two-player game as well. [ Funagain | Amazon]

The Resistance: The Resistance began as a free, Internet-distributed version of Werewolf (a.k.a. Mafia), but is now available with professional-quality cards. Playable by up to 10 people, The Resistance puts most in the role of rebel fighters, but some in their midst are covert agents for the empire. Unlike Werewolf, The Resistance does not require a moderator, and there is no elimination (so everyone is involved until the final victory). And continuing a trend we’ve seen with other games this year (Fresco, Onirim), The Resistance comes complete with an expansion, which as new cards to the mix for extended replayability. [Funagain]

Zombie Dice: Last month I declared myself sick of all things zombies. And it’s true, it’s true. But that doesn’t prevent Zombie Dice from being a pretty good little package, and cheap at ten bucks. As a push-your-luck game it’s really not that different from Bunco or Ten Thousand (both playable with a fistful of regular dice), but a few clever twists and the neato dice make this perfect for killing time between episodes of The Walking Dead. [Funagain | Amazon]

Second Opinions

Don’t trust the yeti? Here are the highlights of some other “2010 best game of the year” lists.

German Game of the Year:

Deutscher Spiele Preis (A.K.A., “The Other German Game of the Year Award”):

International Gamer Award:

GAMES Magazine Awards

Good Gift Game Archives

You can find my previous GGG lists, as well as my top 15, on the Good Gateway Games page.