Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Renaissance of Sorts

It seems that we are entering into a Renaissance here in America when it comes to board games. I don't say that just because I have been playing more board games lately, I say it because the board game community, most notably Board Game Geek, has been commenting on the number of new people that have joined the hobby over the last year.

And it's not just individuals getting involved, local board game clubs and stores have been reported to have gaining as much as twice as many members in just a year. Also there has been a huge influx of new games being produced over the last couple of years.

Now this is a good thing. See, I have always liked board games, from my grandpa's game of King Oil to my longtime favorite Stock Market Game I have liked to play board games. Unfortunately for me, (and well for anybody else in earshot at toy isle in stores) all the stores that I went to never sold any good games. Walsmart and Target seems to love sell 20 different kinds of trivia games, and the Milton Bradley line, but past the occasional good party game, these mainstream stores do not sell any good board games.

I just figured that nobody made good games. That is until I found out about Board Game Geek.

BGG is an online database of board games. The best feature is that the community rates and ranks all of the games. And there are alot of games. Unfortunately, most of the highly rated games are not ones that you can find at your local superstore.

Well, I did not really realize how good Board Game Geek was at first. The day I found it I looked through the top 50 or so games and went merrily along my way surfing the internet. It was after a chance encounter with a game, Power Grid, that I learned that there is a hoard of good games in the world, and that Board Game Geek can help me sort through them.

Power Grid is ranked 3 on BGG. Since it was so highly ranked I was able to remember it in case of emergency. When I was in Hobby Town in Colorado I found a copy for a decent price (like $35, this constitutes an emergency). I figured that since it was rated as one of the best games ever that I would give it a whirl.

Power Grid is rated that high for a reason. The complexity and yet the simpleness was amazing. Not only that, the game was based almost completely on skill, no dice needed, yet it wasn't annoying or high stress like other "no luck" games ...I'm talking to you chess. After playing Power Grid I knew that awesome board games were just waiting for me to play them. And played them I have.

I now own six or seven new highly ranked awesome games, with many more on my list of games that I want to buy. One of my latest editions is Vegas Showdown, which is the game we are playing above. So far everyone like playing it. Actually, since I have been using BGG to find new games all of the games that I have got everyone likes. Coincidence?

So now I have some advice to give. First, if you are interested in playing a better breed of board games (and to find out that dice do not have to be used in games) I suggest picking up a copy of Carcassonne (for $19 online), it is a great simple and very fun game that is unlike any game that you have probably ever played. Beyond that I would check out Board Game Geek to see what games look fun to you and what is rated high. I would have to suggest though to pick up Vegas Showdown (where you make a casino) and Nexus Ops (like Risk but better) while you can because they are going out of print. You can get them both for $22 right now on Amazon. They both are very fun, definitely worth $11 apiece.

Rock on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

:( Blogger

Why do you make me sad Blogger? Everything was working so fine and then you changed. I used to be able to send a pic from my mobile phone to you, and then re-upload the pic from my post so that it wouldn't look so jagged (I guess you could have just made the mobile phone pics look nice in the first place, but I'll overlook that.)
Well this trick doesn't work anymore. The only way I can get moble pics to look nice now is to download my pic and then re-upload it. This seems un-necessary. I would prefer it if we could just go back to the days of everything working.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Junction City Generals

Last night was the first time that I have been to a Generals game this season, last year I went a couple of times, but the game from last night was an improvement from last year.

The first surprise was $5 tickets instead of $8. That is a small $3 change but it might be a huge one, because when we went to go get a set I was surprise to see that there was a rather large crowd on hand, especially considering that this game is in the middle of the season. I estimate that there was around 800-1,000 people there, and possibly more because it was hard to tell how many people were in the beer garden.

The game that the Generals put on isn't anything special. They have a fair amount of local players, but they don't seem to be lacking in any skills. The opponent for the night was the Omaha Strikezone, which I assume is a traveling team from Omaha. The choice of opponents is the only fault I could find with the Generals. They are an independent team, so their opponents are limited, but the Strikezone could not handle the Generals after the Strikezone's starting pitcher was rotated out. The game ended up being a lopsided 18-1 win for the Generals.

I didn't get any food at the game, but they seemed to have all the normal stuff, plus ice cream from Baskin Robin's, also there was talk of smoked turkey legs, but I think that was over by the beer garden. For the last couple of innings they offered $1 hot dogs, which was almost enough to tempt me to get one, if I had any cash on me.

After the game the Generals put on a fireworks show (which they do every Friday). Now I was not expecting much, at all, but they put on a very good show that lasted for about 15 minutes and had a much wider range of fireworks than even Manhattan's 4th of July show. I was impressed, it was almost worth $5 to just see the show.

I really hope that the Generals catch on and they can get a full-blown league going. They are trying to do everything as good as possible, they are not cutting corners, and it shows. It looks like Junction City is supporting the team more this season, hopefully they get enough attendance to keep the team going. The Generals are one heck of a deal at $5, and by far the best thing going on in Junction City, if not Manhattan during the summer.

If you are in the mood for some good summer fun head on over to JC for a Generals game. And if it is a Friday be sure to stick around for the fireworks after the game.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Galaxy Zoo

Guess who is now classified to analyze galaxies. Thats right, I am. The test that I had to pass was actually harder than you would think. Check it out if you want to be able to classify galaxies too.

We are so living in the future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 PIFF Promo Video

I threw together a "promotional" video for the upcoming Pirate Islands Fantasy Football season.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I am not really a fan of normal Tetris. But there have been a few versions lately that are a bit more interesting. First is Human Tetris, which looks kind hard:

(You can see more of Human Tetris here.)

Another version of Tetris looks very easy and times, and very difficult at other times:

Finally, here is a version of Tertis that you can actually play at your computer. It is called Diggtris and it uses stories from Digg to make the bricks that fall. The amount of Diggs a story has determines the size of the piece, and the category that the story is in determines it's color. Check it out.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Searching for my past

[In the picture, starting with me in the red hair on the left, and going around the table clockwise is; Me, I don't remember, Matt, Jenette (my sister), and the one of the two other boys is Timothy, the other one is somebody that I don't remember.]

This morning for some reason I had a strong urge to find out what has been going on with my old (old) buds from Casa Grande. I haven't even thought about them in forever, but I had nothing better to do. So away I went through the annals of Google.

I couldn't find anything at all about Chris Allender (Alexander? I can't even exactly remember his last name). I don't think that he is around Casa Grande anymore.

[From left to right, Jenette, Me, Chris making the funny face, and Timothy (?)]

I had better luck with finding stuff about Matthew Lemberg and company. Matt and I used to play football together in the streets back when I was like 8 or so. And his parents (more on them in a bit) threw the coolest birthday party for him that I had ever gone too (probally even still to this day). See he was in to baseball and so the party was baseball themed. When we got to the party we all randomly drew out sweatbands, if we got a green one we were on the Oakland A's team, if we got a blue one we were on the L.A. Dodger's. I am sure we did many cool things using those teams... I don't really remember... I just remember how cool it was to be drafted onto a baseball team for just attending a party. Even to this day I still hold the A's as one of the teams that I go for because of him. Also since he liked the A's my stack of baseball cards always seemed to be missing A's cards after he went threw them... (but it is ok, because one day when I went to his house to see if he wanted to play and we wasn't there, I stole a toy car from him, it was a toy police car. So I figure we are even.)

Anyways, Matt Lemberg is now the Chief Personal Officer at the Casa Grande Boys and Girls Club. He seems to be doing pretty good, and is married to a girl named Corrie, which sounds like a familiar name, but I might just be making that up. It is good to see that he is doing good.

[I am the red head in the front row, Chris is sitting to the left of me. Our soccer team was pretty good that year, I think we got second in the league.]

Timothy, Matt's younger brother, who I don't think was ever called Tim, has no presence on the internets besides the times he is mentioned with Matt when playing in various tennis tournaments. Don't know any more about him. When we were growing up sometimes I would get along better with Timothy than Matthew, since Matt was a year older, and I think Timothy is a year younger than me (so two years younger than Matt.)

Erin, their sister, who cut Jenette's bangs one day back when they were both 4 or so, also is not mentioned on the internet except she is going to be a camp counselor at some camp in Arizona. I don't really have any memory of her from my childhood.

The last people I found in their family, and the only one that has a picture on the internet is their parents (this pic of Matt doesn't count). Rick and Kathy Lemberg look exactly as I remember them looking from way back when. Rick is now the pastor at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church in Oakhurst, California. It sounds like they are doing good. It was very hard to find them since they weren't in Casa Grande anymore... and for a while I was spelling Lemberg as Limburgh... that made it harder to find them. I don't remember much about Kathy... oh yes I do, one day when I ate dinner at their house she made me drink all my milk before I could go play. Ugh! I hate milk... I think though that I did drink most of it. What I remember of Rick was him building things, I remember he built a bike track in his backyard for Matt and Timothy (I had one too in my backyard... we all had rocks for a backyard, so digging in it wasn't that big of a deal.) I also remember that he made Matt and Timothy cool beds. I guess I should say that he was the pastor at the church we went to in Casa Grande, the First Presbyterian Church, but I don't really remember him there.

Well there you have it. A really long post about some people from my past, that I though of to look up on Google this morning. I came across Matt's work phone number, but I decided against calling it, I think that would be creepy... well I guess writing up an essay on their family might qualify for creepy too... but I will classify this post as memories, and all the creepiness of it goes away, right? Anywho, if any of ya Lembergs are as to stumble upon this post when you searching for your own name, go ahead and leave me a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Oh, one more story. When Matt would get hungry he would just go and get a slice of bread and eat it plain; all in one bite. He would do that alot.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nice Birdy

This falcon was perched outside my office in Dickens. I was able to get pretty close to it and take a picture (my camera phone has no zoom, that is how close I got.)

Chilling at Radinas

To kick off Summer Phase II I joined Nicole down at Radina's. Radina's always has some local artist art up on the wall, but this guy (used in the gender-neutral way) is really good. My favorite painting that is displayed is the one behind Niolce's head.

You can't really get the awesomeness from the pic, so if you are in the area you should stop on by and check the art out. I know Ron Paul would.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

231 and counting

Happy birthday America! You look young for your age. What is your secret?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back from the "store"

I got America a present for it's birthday. It's explosions.