18 of us played 15 games! Welcome newcomer Margaret, friend of Omar.
We did the second White Elephant gift exchange of the season. 19 participants. The discrepancy in numbers is because RussD and Pauline white elephanted but played no games, while Clayton gamed but did not white elephant. Anyway, it was pretty fun. Mr. Spanky made a return appearance (and was won by newcomer Margaret!) Some popularly stolen-three-times items included a set of Martin Gardner books, two different sets of Japanese tea cups, a music speaker, a geiger counter, a CD of Christmas music played on rubber bands, and probably some other unexpected things I'm forgetting at the moment! Thanks everyone for a fun time!
Happy New Year to everyone! At new year's many of us reflect on the past year, and make resolutions for the new year. At the risk of sappiness, one thing I want to do is show more appreciation and pay more compliments to my friends... I'll start off with folks who were here this week! (Which is a lot of people, so I'll do this alphabetically, for lack of a better system. :)
- Ben - you are a long time RussCon regular and very easy to get along with - nothing ever seems to get you bent out of shape. And you were a great sport when we did the "find a booze that Ben doesn't hate" Meta Game!
- Chad - you are a cool confident outgoing connecting charismatic person, and the first to clue me in about Flipside, which was very cool.
- Clayton - you are a long time friend with surprising knowledge about unexpected things, and a nice quiet housemate, and a prime supplier of RussCon snacks.
- Fina - you are a friendly enthusiastic person who's one of the few friends I regularly see with a kid, and I think you are being a good mom. Plus you like Celtic music and introduced me to Cluan!
- Jeffles - you are the master of insane funny smart randomness, and also very good-hearted.
- Jerrie - you are a fan of offbeat movie/theater who got me to see cool stuff I'd otherwise have missed, like Man of the Century and Don't Drown.
- JP - your leet go skillz have impressed me, and you are an all-around quirky good friend who deserves your recent successes.
- KevinU - you are a neat guy who lives the dream of taking cool trips frequently and learning new languages, and I was always impressed by your volunteer tutoring. You also wrote the most extensive interesting cool document about the ratings system I have ever received.
- Margaret - I hope to know you more since I've heard good stuff from Omar and Gaul. You are adventurous enough to bring a gift to a white elephant with a bunch of people you don't know!
- MarkH - I remember your first RussCon you were adventurous enough to come in costume for Halloween with a bunch of people you don't know! It is always fun hanging out chatting with you.
- MarkY - 36 bagels from New York City to RussCon?! You are a fun good guy, and it always amuses me when you are comfortable enough to just take a nap on the floor when you get to RussCon.
- Marty - you are a long-time gaming friend who's always done lots to help keep the gaming going well, bringing tons of your games for us to play, hosting lots of sessions at your place, supporting Great Hall and Dragon's Lair and other groups, etc.
- Matt - you are one of the most all-around cultured knowledgable people I know, with a love of cooking and wine and music and politics and so on... while keeping it all totally cool and fun!
- Omar - you are a really mellow easy-going friendly guy, and should do more concerts or movies.
- Pauline - you are always friendly and it is cool that you hang out with your husband's nutty gaming geek friends! And thanks for trying to help me learn some Mandarin, despite my lameness.
- RussD - you are another of the long-time gaming friends, and I admire your diligence learning Mandarin (at least compared to me!)
- SarahM - I have been enjoying getting to know you better in late night conversations, and feel like you are a kindred spirit, philosophically, psychologically, and politically.
- Whendy - you are my oldest friend that I still see regularly. You are smart and experienced about writing and thus one of my favorite persons to see movies/plays with, and a good person for more insightful personal talks too. You also care about social groups and work to keep them going. Despite our tangled rocky past, it always is worth keeping you as a friend.
- William - another of the long-time gaming friends who's always been an enthusiastic weird food supplier - it has also been a pleasure connecting with you on lots of levels in recent months. And I am grateful that you inspired me to volunteer with Literacy Austin.
|KevinU 3 RussW 1 Jeffles -1 Marty -3
|Jeffles 2 JP -1 SarahM -1
|Fina 3 Whendy 1 Clayton -1 Jerrie -3
|Matt 3 RussW -1 KevinU -1 Marty -1
|Ben 3 Clayton 1 MarkH -2 Jerrie -2
|Ben 5 Jerrie 3 MarkH 1 William -1 Clayton -3 Fina -5
|( Ben MarkH ) 1 ( MarkY William ) -1
|Chad 3 William 1 Fina -1 KevinU -3
|Whendy 3 Matt 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3
|RussW 1 Matt -1
|RussW 0 Clayton 0
|William 3 Chad 1 Fina -1 KevinU -3
|KevinU 3 Clayton 1 Chad -1 William -3
|MarkY 5 SarahM 3 Omar -1 Jeffles -1 Ben -1 Margaret -5
|Chad 7 Clayton 5 Jeffles 3 RussW 1 KevinU -1 Omar -3 MarkY -5 Margaret -7
Lots of Einfach Genial for some reason. It amuses me that people keep talking about how the "English version" is coming out soon, since its components have no text anyway. :)
Attika and Saint Petersburg continue to be the hot new games. KevinU is interested in trying St. P with 5 players (a "hole" would rotate among the players along with the 4 wooden symbols), and wrote an email with an analysis of why it might work.
Good to play San Juan again, even if I am lame at it. I should play it more: it's pretty good, and I might quit sucking if I played more.
Oceania is a new 2-player game (which bills itself as one of Klaus Teuber's classics, even though it is a new game). It is basically Entdecker Lite, with a small 5x7 grid and a few other changes to the system which streamline it. There is arguably more of a luck factor (each tile draw has more weight since you get fewer of them in the game), but since it only takes 10 minutes to play, that's not bothersome. Highly recommended you check it out as a fun filler game.
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, The Secret of Elena's Tomb
The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
Blue Öyster Cult, Fire of Unknown Origin
Marianne Faithfull, A Secret Life
The Who, Who's Next
Who knows what mysteries lurk in the white elephant gift exchange...
A list of aid agencies accepting contributions for those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis.
10 Ideas for 2008 makes some good clear political points about how the political discourse has been hijacked, e.g. by memes like "9/11 changed everything". Well no, it didn't. It's still wrong to torture people, and lie to start wars, and so forth.
In the beginning . . . Adam walked with dinosaurs Museum of Creation - "The evolutionary elite will be getting a wake-up call."
Jhuger.com has various religious parables (e.g. Kissing Hank's Ass), satires (e.g. A Call for Religious Tolerance), and a couple of Jack Chick tract spoofs (This is Your Death and Dead to Rights)
Eden - short student film about the adventures of Adam, Eve, and God in Eden.
Universal Whistling Machine as user interface? "All people have the capacity to whistle, though many do not whistle well." Yeah, I'll stick to my keyboard, thanks.
Vegetable Substitution Tables have a few amusing subcategories
Hokusai tentacle hentai?!
The Most Overrated Film of the Year - I think Sideways is quite good but not brilliant (and I recommend it, especially if you enjoy wine). This article makes an amusing connection between wine lovers and movie critics. BTW, to double your fun, see Closer the same day you see Sideways, since both are about 2 men and 2 women with dysfunctional dishonest love issues, but Sideways is comedy and Closer is drama.
la vivo misteras