Posted on November 27th, 2010 No comments
Exhibit 1 – Pumpkin Pie
Recipe from the Best Recipe cookbook. This one turned out very tasty, but could have probably used a few more minutes in the oven.
Exhibit 2 – Pizza Pie
Red, orange, green and yellow bell peppers (they were on sale at the grocery store). While the pizza was in the oven, Carrie and I took turns giving each other blind taste tests of the raw peppers. We both liked the red bell pepper the best, as it has a bit of sweetness to it. The green pepper has a distinct bite to it, almost bitter. The orange and yellow peppers were hard to differentiate. They were very mild-flavored, almost bland by comparison to the red and green. The pizza turned out great – the hardest part of baking these things is waiting for the oven to finish heating up to 500 degrees. Well, that and not burning my tongue as I stuff it into my face.
Posted on November 26th, 2010 1 comment
Carrie and I attended the annual BoardGameGeek Convention up in Dallas last week and had a blast. I met a lot of friendly folks, ate a bunch of sushi, and played a ton of games.
First, check out the library (or at least the M through S section). There were thousands of games available to check out:
Here’s one of my favorite games that I played, Navigador. This is a meaty game where you play a 15th-century Portugese navigator exploring the seas. The heart of the game is the multicolor wheel, called a rondel. Each turn, you must move between 1 and 3 spaces clockwise around the wheel and take the appropriate action (like building more ships, or purchasing a building). By limiting you to just three choices, this mechanic keeps your brain from being crushed by a gigantic decision tree each turn while maintaining a significant amount of depth over the course of the game. Good stuff.
My top 5 favorite new games that I played:
- 7 Wonders – Fantastic card drafting game that plays in 30 minutes and scales out to 7 players
- Navegador – See comments above
- Crokinole – Finally got to play this classic disk-flicking game (dates back to 1867)
- Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Interesting take on the recent deck-building genre, time will tell if it holds up as well as Dominion over multiple plays.
- Tobago – Wonderful ‘hunting treasure on a tropical island’ theme, with a great logical deduction mechanic.
On Friday, I attended Proto Alley, a room set aside for playtesting raw, unfinished prototypes. I got my new game, Starboard, played twice, and have several pages of notes as a result. The good news is that both playtesters agreed that the core idea is sound and there is a potentially good game here. The bad news is that there is a lot of work left to be done. My new goal is to have the next version of the game ready to rock in time for Protospiel South 2011.
Of course, no convention report would be complete without a photo of all the crap I picked up along the way (in my defense, the stack on the left was free):
Now, I just need to get all those games played. Time to start reading those rulebooks!
Posted on September 13th, 2010 1 comment
We have acquired a house. It has rooms, and came with doors, which was a nice touch. Here’s the timeline:
- December – Decided to buy a house. Researched.
- January – More research. Drove around neighborhoods. Found a real estate agent.
- February – Looked at houses. More research.
- March – Found a house. Made an offer. Inspection. Negotiations.
- April – Closed on house! Packed boxes.
- May – Worked on house. Packed boxes.
- June – Moved into house! Unpacked boxes.
- July through September – Began and/or completed assorted house projects. Mainly began.
I’ve acquired lots of useful skills, such as rewiring electrical outlets, installing light fixtures, painting ceilings, installing toilets, replacing the thermocouple in a water heater, and of course navigating big box hardware stores.
Coming soon: Photos!
Posted on September 11th, 2009 1 comment
Carrie and I were up in Illinois for the Labor-Day weekend, and were able to spend some time at the annual Pittsfield Fall Festival, which takes place around the historic courthouse in the town square. There was a parade, carnival rides (including the Scrambler), a series of beauty pageants for different age groups, and, believe it or not, a ska band. The star attraction, though, was the food. The pulled pork sandwich from Uncle Pickle’s booth was delicious, the kettle corn was some of the best I’ve had, and the tenderloin sandwich wasn’t too shabby. My beverage of choice? Lemon shake ups, sold by the Pittsfield volunteer fire department for $1 each and made from scratch per order. They are like lemonade, but sweeter, fresher-tasting and a little frothy. Here’s a recipe:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup crushed ice
Squeeze juice from lemon. Mix all ingredients together. Shake.
Posted on August 12th, 2009 1 comment
Carrie and I have been enjoying the excellent Summer Film Series at the Paramount Theatre. On August 3rd, we saw both The Black Cat (1934) and The Mummy (1932). This was our first time seeing both films. The Black Cat has a pretty weak plot – A couple has car trouble, winds up in a creepy house, and hijinks ensue. It is watchable because it features both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi as adversaries, delivering strange lines and creepy stares. The Mummy, on the other hand, not only features Karloff as the mummy Im-ho-tep, but has an actual story to tell. It is fascinating how little could actually be shown on screen in the 1930s – it cuts away right as a doctor is about to give a patient a shot in the arm, and we see the husband flinch. In lieu of actual gore, there are lots of suggestive shadows, screams, and reaction shots.
On Sunday, we spent our afternoon enjoying cold air conditioning and watching a sci-fi double feature: First up was The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), followed by Forbidden Planet (1956). Again, this was our first time seeing both films, and they were both great. Day was definitely the more serious of the two, delivering an anti-violence message with a tough love attitude. Forbidden Planet had a message, but it was more about exploring a strange alien world. With tigers. The theremin was in full effect in both films, used for both music and sound effects – very cool stuff. Of course, the real question here is: Which robot would win in a fight? I am pretty sure that Gort could take out Robby the Robot, but you have to admit that Robby has a lot more charm. Plus, he makes good booze and fancy dresses. What more could you ask for in a robot?
Posted on July 26th, 2009 No comments
Yesterday, I entered a salsa in a contest at my company’s annual summer picnic – and I won first place! Huge thanks to Steve for supplying the recipe, which he found years ago in California:
Sundried Cranberry Salsa 1.5 cups diced tomatoes 3/4 cup diced jicama 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper 1/4 cup diced red onion 4 tablespoons sundried cranberries 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 habanero chile, minced 2.5 tablespoons lime juice 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon salt Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow flavors to marry for a while before serving. Keep refrigerated. Makes approximately one quart.
I prefer my salsas less chunky and more liquid-y, so I tossed everything in the food processor for a while. That being said, I think next time I will process everything except the jicama, and add it in afterwards to give it some crunch. Be careful with the habanero – you may want to handle it with kitchen gloves on. If you decide to make this recipe, give me a shout and let me know how it turns out.
Posted on July 5th, 2009 1 comment
A little over a week ago, I was exposed to a massive dose of Legos at the Lego Imagination Center in Downtown Disney. Given that information, it should come as no surprise that last weekend, I assembled Lego Model 7048, aka Troll Warship. Cower in fear of the Maelstrom!
Posted on June 27th, 2009 No comments
For our vacation this year, we chose to spend a week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and it was awesome!
Some of our favorite moments were seeing the big fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom on our first night, catching La Nouba, the Cirque du Soleil show, and riding classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean (twice!), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (twice!), and the Mad Tea Party:
During our time in Animal Kingdom, Carrie used her cat-like reflexes to completely dominate a game of Whack-a-Dino and walk away with a large stuffed dinosaur! We immediately named her Bertha:
Apparently, we were just a week or so shy of the big re-opening of the Hall of Presidents, featuring an animatronic President Obama. Plus, we also missed this:
There are a lot more pictures over in the photo gallery. Have a Magical Day!
Posted on May 17th, 2009 No comments
This afternoon, Carrie and I cut, folded, and taped together a bunch of stuff from Paper Foldables. Behold:
Each figurine has a special feature: The pinata splits in half so that you can stuff him with candy, the hero has a sword that fits in his hand, Krang is removable from his robot body, V guy’s face flips back to reveal his true reptilian visage, and the parrot has a removable bandanna/eyepatch. Neat!
Posted on May 13th, 2009 2 comments
I got to guest star in Grupo Fantasma‘s latest music video, Gimme Some. If you pay attention and don’t blink, you will see me sporting a fake mustache and juggling clubs for at least 1 full second at the 1:45 mark. Yeah!