Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Agricola at Eriks

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Tonight I played Agricola for the third time. I won this time, instead of coming in second by one point as happened on both of my previous plays. Agricola is a board game in which you are the head of a farming household. It is similar to Puerto Rico in that it is a role taking game in which one aims to have the most points at the end.

Erik bought the game maybe a month ago, but we managed to not play it for two weeks after that. Then we played twice at my place in one weekend. Then I was gone on that ski trip, which I will write about later, and well first day back, we played again. It’s a pretty fun game. And we’re still playing a simplified version. This time we played at Eriks place in Beacon Hill.

A while back I dated a girl who lived at the other end of Beacon Hill. Whenever I go near there, I naturally think about the possibility of running into her. It’s pretty easy to discount the chances. It’s so densely populated, and so, the thought slips out of my mind rather quickly. Of course, since I’m telling this story one can easily assume I saw her tonight. Not 2 minutes out the door of Erik’s place on my way home I ran into her. This on the uber short 3 minute walk from his place to the T. At first I had a strange cockeyed look, thinking, “is that really her.” The rest went well, “Hi, how’s it going.” “Good.” Both of us continuing on with our one friend each in tow.

Then I had to wait for the T and fail at resisting the urge to reanalyze. It’s just still of note because it’s the first time this has happened to me. That is, running into an ex unexpectedly. Also, pretty rare event since I’ve only accumulated one ex-girlfriend in Boston.

Low Probility Events

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Last Sunday while playing a game of Settlers of Catan with Knights and Cities my friend Post rolled a corner. I went on to win the game of settlers, but we gave Post an honorary win for the dice roll. Which really, will be more memorable than the game. Of course, if it ever happens again I’m going to have to buy some new dice.

I mean, statistically speaking, it should be the most exciting thing that happened all week. This was of course a week in which the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA Championship, Tiger Woods won the US Open in some sort of playoff sudden death thing, and I went to the beach after having dim sum for the first time. All somewhat unlikely things, but without crunching the numbers I’m going to go with the dice roll as the rarest event of the four.

It’s a good thing all those sporting events happened last week or that list would have been really short. Things with me have been pretty normal, following the familiar patterns of which I have grown tired. My new mantra, of sorts, is that I am moving in September.

I have, however, failed to make friends with enough people to avoid moving in with some more craig’s list randoms. Last week I started looking and I found a seemingly low probability find (aka it sounded awesome). They responded quickly, to say that they were busy and would let me know when they’re free. I’m thinking that was a line since I haven’t heard anything. But I’m not jaded on the housing search yet, hopefully I find a place before that happens.

Charging for the First Checked Bag

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

American Airlines will start charging $15 for the first checked bag…

Come on! That is a lot ridiculous. You might as well just increase fares by $15 across the board. The only real difference is the marketing angle. People are used to fare increases, they don’t like them, but they expect them. Increases in extraneous fees that you must pay just make people feel like you are ripping them off. The marketing can’t possibly favor the fee, now that it is no longer, hidden having been reported in the press.

I, personally, like to travel light and make a quick getaway from the airport. Until the asinine no liquids TSA rule was made I never checked a bag (when possible). The current, exceedingly annoying liquids rule results in the same behavior. The alternative, of course, is to purchase shampoo and such at your destination. This takes time, but probably only costs on the order of $5. By charging for a checked first bag American makes this option more desirable, probably more desirable than checking the bag. Although, it may be easier to for business travelers to get reimbursed for the fee than for the cheaper incidentals.

Of course, encouraging people not to check a bag does nothing to decrease the weight of the plane (saving fuel), it just makes them carry it on. With the planes packed as full as they are these days, there is already not enough space for everyone to carry on their two bags. This will only make things worse in that area, and further increase the importance of getting seated early in the boarding order. When the space on the plane is exhausted there will be an interesting choice — do you charge for baggage that must be checked at the gate due to over crowding? That is a damned if you do, loophole if you don’t situation.

The only saving grace of all this is that, for now,

Rival Delta has no current plans to match American’s fee for the first checked bag…

But we all know how this oligopoly works, everyone follows suit rather quickly. Of course, given the bone headedness of this idea compared to the easier to implement fare hike, maybe they wont all be lemmings. Come on, the cost to implement charing for a first checked bag has got to cost more than $15 per bag.

ROFLCon Friday Night

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I eventually worked out a plan with my room mates to go out for drinks in Davis Square. Something we all rarely do. Sriram and a friend of his were on their way back from downtown on the T, and I managed to leave at the perfect time to catch the same train as them, in the same car, without waiting. I am quite impressed with that, maybe too much. But it took a lot of timing and coordination that I actually didn’t even know that I knew.

When we got to Davis they were hungry so we went to crepe place there. I am not a fan of crepes, although the place did smell good. I ran into one of my coworkers there and had to yet again explain what ROFLCon is. That is rather hard, because people don’t seem to be familiar with the term “Internet Meme” and its hard to tell what, if any memes an individual has heard of. We were soon joined by a friend of Srirams friend, who, is doing a PHD on television and video game culture, but hadn’t heard of ROFLCon in time to register. I took some time to steal some free internet from the Boston IFF that was going on in the theater next door to upload some more pictures to flickr. We also checked out a flash game called Magic Pen.

After crepes and Andreas and Claudia joining us we went to Sagra for drinks. This place was great. It was quiet and fancy. Which is may more my thing than a loud noisy bar where we’ll struggle to hear each other and have to stand all night. I was already pretty tired and as countless discussions upon which I could provide no comment went on I longed to go home.

On the way home I finally ran into Randall Munroe on the street! He lives like within a few blocks of me, but I’ve never seen him in the grocery store or walking to the T, or on his electric skateboard. But tonight, with ROFLCon in town I saw him, and a large posse, including Ryan North on my walk home. Literally crossing my street. I clearly recognized them, and asked were they were heading. To which they replied, “This way.” Which, given the obviousness of the answer, I took as “You’re a creep don’t follow us.” I wasn’t really together enough to follow them anyways having already had a 17 hour day. So I didn’t. But it was clear that he didn’t recognize me — damn it. My ROFLCon staff shirt was by now covered by a coat, so that clue wasn’t visible to tip me off as not just some sketchy dude. But it’s not like I haven’t met Randal like for or five times by now, and even shared a dinner plate. But oh well. In retrospect I felt somewhat bad about how the whole exchange went down.

That was pretty much the day day. I went to bed around 1am.

Family North Carolina Trip

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I feel like I haven’t updated the blog in a while. I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe a change in formats/coverage is in the works, but I’m not really sure. Anyways, I was checking out our winter vacation spot in North Carolina on google maps when I found something really surprising. Our cabin was only about 3,400 feet away from the Smokey Mountains National Park.

~3,400 feet

I wish I’d know that when I was there, it would have been cool to drive all the way up the road to the ridge. The trip was otherwise fun. I won 2/4 poker tournaments, none of which were played for money, much to my dismay, but that was really surprising given the crowd, although I’m sure had money been on the line I would have done worse, cause it changes everyones play style. Lets see, what else, I spent at least half a day playing with my cousins who are finally old enough that I feel like I can relate and play fun games with. We played sardines and sharks and minnows and some other stuff. Oh, we also played the Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader board game, I was on a team with my cousins and we as a collective (total grade level totaling ~30 between the 4 of us) were indeed smarter than a fifth grader.

Oh I got connecting to the internet on my laptop via a usb cable to my cell phone working in about an hour in preparation for the trip. I used it a little bit as it was the only connection available, but I tired not to use it too much because I’m unclear as to what the billing repercussions of doing so are. Although from what I can tell, since only the verizion 1x network was available I didn’t violate my terms of service. You only violate the terms of service when you “tether” to the EvDo network (the faster one)without signing up for overly expensive data plan, which I didn’t do, anyways we’ll see in a few days when I get my bill.

North Carolina Cabin Panorama

The above image is a badly reconstructed panorama from the front porch of the cabin. It was raining then as it was most of the trip, which was no problem, we just played games inside the whole time. It did clear up enough for a night of casual stargazing and a fire complete with smores, yum.

This cabin was not too far from our previous family reunion type thing in the mountains of NC about 12 years ago or something. It is also close to the Nantahala river where I’ve gone white water paddling many times. And of course, I perennially take my summer vacation on the other side of the state, clearly North Carolina is getting more than its fair share of my tourist dollars.

Tennis Pro

Friday, December 7th, 2007

In light of no longer having anything to do tonight I took it upon myself to get some “exercise” or at least fun, making level 2000 pro in wii Tennis:
Tennis Pro
I expected it to stop me at 2000, but it didn’t. Clearly, it is already off the chart. It appears that the max is expected to be ~2400, and that above ~2220 you only gain points (up to 5) for a 40-Love game. I am going to be satisfied with my 2003, unless I get really bored.

By somewhat popular demand, my wii. Designed in consultation with the room mates to get it just right. All theirs look like them as well, possibly that’ll be a post eventually.


Sox Sweep in Series!!

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

World Series ‘07 !!! I picked a good year and a good team to start watching baseball, and I toured Fenway Park for the first time today, pictures to come later. How exciting. And now college football back in the spotlight, go Buckeyes.

Outside Fenway

State Street Level Up the Third Base Line Fixing those Socks

Red Sox Win the Pennant

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

That is all.
ALCS Pennant

Titles are Hard, I Give Up

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

So the Red Sox lost, It was such a close game, until the end, and I drove home during that (when it went to 9-6) so it seems even closer. But both of the ALCS games so far I’ve actually watched instead of just happening to be able to see the glow from fenway. Tonight I was even out, at Emily’s apartment condo warming party. It was a fun party other than the game. Actually it was more interesting, in that 4 of the girls who at first sight appeared to be single were actually lesbians, lowering the number of single girls there by a large fraction :-/. There was some public girl on girl make out action, I suppose that can make up for the lack of singles.

There was good news in the sports world for me today though (just in the games I didn’t watch). That being:

  1. #3 Ohio State won as expected without me even so much as checking to see if the game was going to be on TV here, although I doubt it was. With the rest of the results, it looks like OSU is once again going to be #1 in the AP poll, but I doubt the BCS will be that kind to us.
  2. #17 Kentucky helped OSU out by knocking off #1 LSU. Seems like this game was awesome and well deserving of being watched. I’ve got a cousin at Kentucky now, so theres an official reason to pull for them. Last week I pulled for LSU against those evil Florida Gators, even though a Florida win would have increased OSU’s ranking; its nice to see a team I actually kind of like knock of OSU, it feels better than if we’d needed the Gators to do it.
  3. #2 California lost to Oregon State also helping OSU out in the rankings. I must say these Oregon teams are making me happy this season, with this, and Oregon’s win over Michigan in week 2.
  4. And the last one is just spiteful: Louisville topped #15 Cincinnati. I am by no means a UC fan, so keeping them in the rightful place and out of the top 25 is appreciated.

So where was I instead of watching college football? Well, at another activity 2002 me would not have guessed, playing board games. I arrived at the Game Until You Die party later than I wanted, but just in time for the 5th spot in a game of Puerto Rico, which I came in 3rd. It was good to play with new people, as I saw 2 new strategies that I can try on my usual play group, who was in the other room playing power grid. I’ve played Puerto Rico more times than I can count at this point, and I’ve never won, but I’ve placed 2nd many times, so I feel that I could be good, but it really is a great game, its so much fun and interesting even when 4 of you have accidentally let the 5th person run away with the game. So now that I’m remembering board games and football and not baseball I can goto bed smiling, which is exactly what I set out to do with this 2:20am post.

Mario Kart Double Dash

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Mario Kart Double Dash Remember, my room mate Sririam got a Wii not too long ago. Now, my primary interest in the Wii is as a 250% more expensive than it should be Game Cube, so that I can once again play the aforementioned game. Mario Kart is my game, so much as I have one. Last time I seriously played Double Dash was when I was living in Morrill Tower with Chris, which was sophomore year of college…. 2004. Its been 3 years; I’m not as rusty and I expected to be. I was pretty bored over the long weekend (I got Columbus Day off) so in addition to starting Arrested Development (now in season 2), I unlocked everything you can with the 4 non-all-cup-tour cups on 50, 100, and 150cc cups. I’ve never actually unlocked anything on the game before, as Chris came to me with everything already unlocked, so that was fun.

Mario Kart + Wavebirds

Wavebirds, thats what you call those wireless game cube controllers. They are ridiculously difficult to acquire. It seems Nintendo stopped producing them, and demand is way up because no one wants to use the plain old wired controllers with the wii (that just seems wrong). The only place I could find any is ebay, and the go for ~$45 a pop on there regularly. I got lucky though, so I thought. I found someone selling the game and 2 wavebrids (all separate auctions but the same seller), and I won all of the auctions. That saved me ~$12 in shipping, which made things more reasonable, and the game went for way less than retail. Anyways one of them was missing a part that was clearly pictured in the image. The seller has agreed to let me return that one, and 2 pristine controllers arrived today from another auction. I’m only 1 short now, and then, once my room mates get up to speed, the tournaments will commence.