New Games and an Idea

This week Jen and I acquired two new games: Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. Both are considered classics in the gaming community and after playing a few times I’m surprised that they weren’t already in our collection. These are top tier gateways into boardgaming that I now heartily agree should be in everyone’s closet. Seriously, go buy these right away definitely. Right now. Do it.

While we were playing the other night, we came up with an idea for Baby D. Every game comes with three quick stats: number of players, time to play, and appropriate ages. For example, Ticket to Ride is 2-5 players, 30-60min play time, for ages 8 and up.

The idea: If we purchase the right combination of games, we could have a board game for every age of Baby D. We could then celebrate each birthday with an inaugural introductory game… It’s like a gaming graduation each year! I LOVE THIS.

The problem is that certain ages are less common, probably because of marketing purposes. Games for ages 9+ and 11+ are much more rare than 10+; probably because everybody just rounds it off. FiveThirtyEight has a fun list HERE of kid-friendly games and their recommended ages. This will be a good start.

BTDubs, here are a few favorites of our collection with a quick pro/con

Dominion – Exceptional replay value, easy to learn/some strategies are annoying and slow the game down big time
Power Grid – Incredible depth, lots of strategy options/long game and long setup
Pandemic – Clever Co-operative play/prone to quarterbacking if one player is more experienced
Acquire – DEEP and immersive/can’t really be played with two people

If you have other gaming recommendations, please throw them into the comments

Last and not least: no board game post should exist without a link to


Baby D.

Baby D has not yet been born… yet I’m fairly certain he already owns more clothes than I do.

That said, I don’t think the ratio of his “Clothes with dinosaurs on them”/ “Clothes without dinosaurs on them” is as high as mine.


Jen noticed yesterday that ‘sub-par’ is typically a bad thing. Unless it’s golf. If you’re sub-par you’re actually doing pretty great.

An entire bag of potatoes.

Is there ANYTHING more adult than using all the potatoes in a bag of potatoes before they sprout? I’m not talking about a single event sort of thing like buying a small bag of potatoes before a giant Mashed Potato fest. I’m not talking about purposefully doing everything you can to not waste the last potato. I’m talking about slowly, naturally emptying a bag over the course of a few weeks through normal meal planning.

Quick non-scientific comparisons:

  • Successfully completing your own taxes – Easier than meal planning a bag of potatoes
  • Having children – more common than not throwing out old potatoes
  • Onset of joint aches and back spasms – Likely to occur while there are half grown potato plants in your pantry

I think the reason for this challenge is because eating a potato is not a spur of the moment thing. It means that you are planning real full meals each night of each week. As soon as a hasty order of Chinese food ends up on the meal-plan you’re about 900x more likely to ruin a potato.

This week, for I the first time in my life, we accidentally ate all our potatoes.

Musical Metal

Sander generously gifted us a mix-CD for our future child’s birth. It is a caring collection of his favorite tunes entitled “Baby’s First Metal”

I’ve never really listened to Metal. Nor do I entirely understand its roots or its breadth. In the music that Sander provided there were a few obvious trends:

  1. A incredible focus on percussion, most notably the bass pedal
  2. Paired Guitar riffs on thirds (oddly common)
  3. Growling of varying severity
  4. A surplus of Umlauts

There are a bunch of fairly comprehensive graphical metal trees that show different types of Metal and how they are all related (like this one from My favorite of the bands on Sander’s disc is Mastodon which seems to be classified as simply “heavy metal.” Not to be confused with Thrash, Glam, Industrial, or Nu Metal. Curiously, that graphic linked to above hints that even Jimi Hendrix and Cream were inspiration for future metal heads. As for the origin of the growling? I don’t know. I’m sure it evolved from increasingly throaty singing… but without hearing each stage of the progression it’s hard to imagine.

Thanks to Sander for a great gift!

Space Birds!

We’re back from our extended February vacation. Let’s jump right into something that’s been itching at me for awhile: Star Trek space birds.

There are two classic Star Trek enemy space vessels that make reference to our feathered friends:
1. The Romulan Warbird
2. The Klingon Bird of Prey

Warbird and Bird of Prey – Both are fairly ominous and dangerous sounding nicknames.

Here’s the thing, I think the Romulan Warbird most closely resembles a Goose and the Klingon Bird of Prey most closely resembles a duck. That’s not intimidating at all.

Bird of Prey - DrZu

Romulan WarGoose

End of Reduced Technology February

Here we are! Ending the last full week of February. Posting should return to normal next week as I come back from the non-technology world – hopefully with exciting tales of adventures! Thanks for bearing with us during all these Pre-scheduled posts!