Kryptonite

It’s a common misconception that playing a lot of games means you are good at them. There are obviously some games that only pay off with experience, where knowing the rules will surely give you an advantage. There are some that you know well enough to have a fighting chance, even if you don’t win all that often. But we also all have “kryptonite” games. Those are the games that we always lose. They might be a constant source of heartbreak, where we always find a wait to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They might be games where we just cannot wrap our head around how to win. But one thing is for sure: we almost always lose them. We all have that list of games, but here are mine. Continue reading

U2 – Songs Of Innocence

This is where you can reach me.

When I became a fan of U2, it was still cool to do so. Something happened in the past decade that made them one of the most divisive bands out there. Maybe it has something to do with Bono’s constant presence, their clear desire to be viewed as important, or the fact that much of the most successful rock of the past decade can be traced back to them. The response to Songs Of Innocence has centered almost totally around its delivery method, when it suddenly appeared in the cloud drive of every iTunes user. For those who hate U2, it was just one more reason to do so. I’m a devoted fan, and I was even a little skeptical. My skepticism is because I never warmed up to No Line On The Horizon, the only other album they’ve released since How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb in 2004. I gave it a lot of chances, but ultimately I found it kind of fuzzy and overwrought, long on sonic ideas but short on actual content. Continue reading

The Vanguard of Honour – Space Hulk Retrospective

Begin the litanies of hatred.

Since I’ve been in the hobby, I don’t think there’s been an event quite like the 2009 release of the 3rd edition of Space Hulk. There was a lot about it that we may never see again. It was before every classic from the 1980s was getting a major reprint, before Kickstarter created dozens of miniatures games that cost over $100. It was wholly unexpected and at that point arguably the biggest hobby board game release ever. And for the hobbyist sector, it had a bizarre and far-reaching response within the online community. A concerted effort by the game’s fans pushed the game into the BGG Top Ten, which evidently alerted Games Workshop to the presence of fan material on the website and resulted in a spate of C&D letters. Hundreds of users protested by adjusting their rating Space Hulk a “1,” which prompted a backlash-backlash of people who now rated the game a “10” on principle. It was staggering in its absurdity, and was exacerbated by the fact that Space Hulk vanished from store shelves in a matter of weeks, scooped up by scalpers and eager fans who hadn’t seen the game at retail in 15 years. It was assumed it would be years before another edition was produced, until just last week when Games Workshop announced an expanded version of the 3rd edition. Continue reading

A Jedi, Like His Father Before Him

It is your destiny.

One of the many joys of family is the ritual of passing stories to the next generation. Everyone has stories. Maybe they’re cultural ones, like fairy tales or fables. Maybe they have religious significance like the Bible stories I heard as a child and that I share with my own kids. Maybe they’re just family stories that are fun because you know everyone involved. Continue reading

First Transmission from Texas

Whoa, I’ve been off the radar for a little while. What’s been going on for the last week? Continue reading

Working My Contacts

Nothing unnatural about this!

In spite of the fact that I’m moving in just over a week, quitting my job of eight years, and prepping to begin graduate school, I looked at my life and decided that there simply weren’t enough changes to adjust to. To that end, I am now shedding 25 years of history and using contact lenses instead of glasses. The logic here was that I’m on my current job’s vision plan until the end of the month, and I’ve spent a lot of years not taking advantage of it. Well no more of that! Now I can join the ranks of people who stick their fingers in their eye on a daily basis. Continue reading

Moving On

into the sunset

Even at my best I don’t like change very much. Be that as it may, I’ve got a big one around the corner. I’m preparing to move from Kansas City to Dallas, my first out-of-state move in eight years. A lot can happen in eight years. In that time I’ve met my wife and had two kids. I’ve transitioned from a graduate student to an office worker and dad, and now back to a grad student again. And not least of all, I discovered board gaming and got lucky to make an extensive group of friends who enjoy it along with me. Continue reading

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