Let's talk about games

OK guys, it's nerd time. I'm going to share about some games that have been claiming my attention recently, and they may be relevant to your interests as well. I started writing this in my last post but once I start geeking out about games then it's hard to stop, so this gets its own entry.

Yomi is a card game that simulates fighting games like Street Fighter better than anything, ever. There's a reason for that. The designer, David Sirlin, is a champion Street Fighter player and did game balance on Street Fighter HD Remix. He also designed a game based on the gem-matching mechanics of Puzzle Fighter (the best puzzle game of all time). If any of that sounds interesting then you should definitely check it out. The physical game costs $100 which I truly believe is a bargain (and would make a great birthday present, hint hint). You can also play Yomi online for free and learn against the CPU.

For a long time I didn't understand it, then I learned that Facebook is for games. Now we're BFFs. The nature of the beast is that I only play most games for a week or two before the fun dries up and I forget why they were ever so compelling in the first place and then I quit. That's okay though. Jungle Jewels and Millionaire City are good for killing a few minutes at work.

Ogre is quite old compared to these other games, but it's new to me. It was described on an episode of Three Moves Ahead as easy to learn, quick to play, yet satisfyingly strategic. OK, I'm sold! Only problem is, it's out of print, and used copies sell for over $60 on eBay. So instead I created a full set of 76 game pieces with $15 worth of Scrabble tiles and hand-crafted token designs. Enjoy.

Winter wrap-up

Something about the winter inspires these bundled, infrequent posts. We're fully tucked in now after seven snowstorms in six weeks, so at least we can say it's going to be a very white Christmas for our first year in the new house. We've been busy little elves this December. I'll try to capture the highlights.

The chickens have fully adjusted to winter and are back up to peak egg production after a couple of touch-and-go months. I keep them cooped up all day with a 150-watt lamp and a heated dog dish (tucked safely away in the lower nesting box so they can't crap in it: it's a wonder how long it took me to figure that one out). I half expected they'd be frozen to death by now, but they seem totally unfazed.

Jenna's wedding ring was missing for a few nerve-wracking days. I got to be the hero and find it and return it to her. I haven't seen her that happy since the first time I gave her the engagement ring. OK and maybe our wedding too, but that's poetic, right?

This is the best police recruitment video ever. Seriously. When I'm feeling uninspired, I just play that and let the wailing guitar riffs lift my spirits. It has become the unofficial theme song of our office. The pace drags after the intro, but be sure to watch the end for the killer finale (complete with an exploding car and more laser sounds).

The cold weather hasn't stopped me from making ice cream. Right now in the freezer I've got peppermint, vanilla/blackberry swirl, and my newest innovation: mudslide. Why prepare mudslides in a blender--the "old fashioned way"--when you can make an ice cream with the liquor mixed in? Just add chocolate syrup and whipped cream, and enjoy! Next up, grasshopper.

Natalie is a big girl. Two years old is the best age yet. She's more prone to sudden displays of affection and just a lot of fun in general. I'm really digging on the dialogue that have together. Notable quotes:
  • On her weekly kindermusic class: "I go to musnic school and we eat cake and play musnical chairs. I hope you come with us next time. You should."
  • On Christmas: "I'm so 'cited! It's almost Jesus' birthday! We open presents and eat cake! Presents for everybody!"
  • On Santa: "He fly. And he have deer."

3rd Sunday of Advent

I planned to write a new post for each Advent Sunday this year but then, I forgot. So here's this for today. As the chaos of Holiday Shopping Time swirls around us, I hope you are having a calm and peaceful Advent season. Here are some thoughts from one of my favorite blogs about sharing the spirit of expectation and hope.
5 Powerful Ways to Share an Experience This Holiday Season
Shared experiences bring us closer to our loved ones and positively impact our own lives. And if we choose the right activities, we might even leave a lasting mark on our neighbors, our community and our world.
Veni Redemptor gentium ("Savior of the nations, come!")