December 5 2001 RussCon Report

all things must pass

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
15 of us played 15 games. 2 new guys (Micah and MarkY).

JP wasn't here -- he missed his first RussCon ever, which means he must be on his wacky road trip to New York City!

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George Harrison's death captured my attention more than any celebrity's in recent memory. Young whippersnappers at my office don't grok the importance of Harrison and the Beatles. The first cassette I owned as a kid was the Beatles' Let It Be, and I played that tape over and over. In recent years (partly thanks to hanging with JeffW in the Kinesoft days) I've been listening anew to Beatles music, and their brilliant diversity strikes me. Some of their stuff is very 1960s, and some of it would fit right in as modern alt-rock.

I've owned Harrison's All Things Must Pass on vinyl for a couple decades and had been meaning to get it on CD for a while; after his death, I went looking for the CD and found the stores were all sold out, which is cool since it means lots more people are getting into his music. George "the quiet Beatle" also helped popularize Indian music in the West.

Game Results

Vampire3Daniel 2 Marty 0 Ben -2
Tichu2( JeffF William ) 1 ( Whendy Matt ) -1
UnionPacific5Marty 4 Dan 2 Clayton 0 Jeffles -3 RussW -3
TallyHo2Daniel 1 MarkY -1
HookOrCrook5Ben 4 Clayton 2 William 0 Dan -2 Matt -4
Settlers4Carly 3 Brady 1 RussD -2 Micah -2
Zero5MarkY 4 Brady 2 Matt -1 Daniel -1 Carly -4
6Nimmt6Jeffles 5 Marty 3 Whendy 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3 Matt -5
Tichu2( JeffF Dan ) 1 ( Ben William ) -1
WhatsThatOnMyHead6Carly 5 Micah 3 Daniel 1 MarkY -1 RussD -3 Brady -5
ZirkusFlohcati4Carly 3 Matt 1 MarkY -1 Daniel -3
LancashireRailways4JeffF 3 Jeffles 1 RussW -1 Marty -3
Tichu2( William Whendy ) 1 ( Dan Ben ) -1
Evo4Carly 3 MarkY 1 Daniel -1 Matt -3
WebOfPower3RussW 2 Jeffles 0 Marty -2

unpacIt had been a while since I played Union Pacific, and I foolishly broke a cardinal rule: don't compete for railroad stock with players to your direct right. So I was punished by possessing lots of shares of red stock, but not quite as many as Clayton and Jeffles.

We played one other train game, the intriguing Lancashire Railways (which I won a month ago). This time, Marty & I chose not to incur debt the first round while Jeffles and JeffF did; it soon became clear this was an error. The Jeffs were raking in the big bucks early on thanks to using their borrowed money. We need to play more of this game.

A close exciting game of Web of Power. I pipped Jeffles unexpectedly by 1 point at the end; he and I both had lots of advisor points.

A reminder: please write and spell clearly when recording game results, make the scores and ranks clear, and remember last initials for people with common names, thanks!

Meta Party Game

Clayton was the Meta Devil. His Meta Game was the Train Meta Game: earn a meta point for each train game you play. Sadly this wasn't emailed out in time for people to know to bring train games (and ironically Dan didn't bring Metro for the first time in weeks). Two train games were played; Marty, Jeffles, and I played in both, so our tie was broken randomly (with die rolling by Matt), and I am the Meta Devil!

Evening's Soundtrack

george harrison

The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles, white album
The Beatles, Abbey Road
The Beatles, Let It Be

Farewell to George Harrison.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 JeffF (3 games played)    
 0.5556 Carly (5)
 0.2143 Jeffles (4)
 0.1429 William (4)
 0.1429 Whendy (3)
 0.1250 MarkY (5)
 0.1250 Marty (5)
 0.1250 Micah (2)
 0.0769 Clayton (3)
 0.0000 Ben (4)
 0.0000 Dan (4)
-0.0556 Daniel (6)
-0.1667 Brady (3)
-0.3571 RussW (4)
-0.6250 RussD (2)
-0.6500 Matt (6)
New Win ratings:
 1.0000 JeffF (3)
 0.7222 Carly (5)
 0.1429 Jeffles (4)
 0.1250 Ben (4)
 0.0000 William (4)
 0.0000 MarkY (5)
 0.0000 Marty (5)
-0.0556 Daniel (6)
-0.0714 RussW (4)
-0.1429 Whendy (3)
-0.2000 Dan (4)
-0.2308 Clayton (3)
-0.2500 Micah (2)
-0.2500 Brady (3)
-0.2500 RussD (2)
-0.3000 Matt (6)
Winning all 3 of his games, JeffF is the Devil! Carly is Vice-Devil. Jeffles is Vice-Vice-Devil. Then Ben & William. Matt is the Generous Angel.


Reflections (or is it called Laser?) is a cool Flash puzzle game which cost a day or two of productivity at my office. I found it surprisingly enjoyable and addictive. It should appeal to fans of puzzle games where you must work with clever gadgets and figure out how to make things go where you want them (e.g. Incredible Machine, Marble Drop, Ricochet Robot, RoboRally, etc.). (JeffS & JeffW, I'm talking to you!) This game is a simple elegant idea: you have a few components (mirrors, refractors, splitters) to arrange to guide a laser beam so it hits various designated target light bulbs. There are 25 levels, and I solved the first 18 in about 3 hours. Many levels are simple; some are fiendish and impossible-seeming. I've spent multiple hours on the last few levels. As I write this, I've done all but the 25th level. The 24th was beautiful.

After Eden is one-panel gag cartoons with a decidedly fundamentalist creationist bent. I couldn't stop looking through them and their view of our "sin cursed world". If you enjoy the inexplicable dogmatism of the more well-known Jack Chick tracts, you should check these out too.

The Dialectizer is one of those sites that will translate web pages; I found the Cockney accent particularly fun.

all things must pass