Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Laziest Cat Eh-var!

So the other day while Eric and I were watching TV in the living room, Darth Kittius, who was lounging on the back of the couch, stood up, stretched, and tried to leave. He couldn't, however, because one of the claws on his front paw wouldn't unhook itself from where he had penetrated the upholstery. He pulled on it, he shook it, he wiggled it to and fro. In the end, he laid back down and went to sleep. Pitiful.

Cruise Irene Visits Oregon

So we finally had a visit from another cruise member besides our beloved Brian and Windy. Irene, (on right)who was doing a bike tour on the Oregon coast, stopped by to say "hello" a couple of weeks ago. She brought a charming friend, and we enjoyed catching up and playing, you guessed it . . . board games! We liked our dining table mates from our cruise last year so much that we'd like to have them all visit at some point. So far we've only managed three. Six more to go!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Some Games Bring Out The Worst

I just played my second game of Taj Mahal yesterday with my friends Sam and Dave. I must say, that game brings out the worst in me. I guess the good news is that the worst isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. But still, I just felt myself getting really angry and... we... call me crazy but that does NOT enhance the game experience for me (or anyone else).

There is this mechanic, it's basically an auction, where you're bidding on stuff. The problem is that if you bid, you pay, whether you win or not. This leads to the inevitable bidding war, followed by at least one person going home with nothing and having payed great cost for the privilege. Some people would call this 'intensity', but for me it's just complete and total frustration. The kind of frustration that makes me cranky... angry even. Thinking back, I think this sort of thing is a key factor in games that really tick me off. Not all games are this frustrating for me. Certainly, playing hard, making what you think are good choices, but then getting clobbered in a game will cause a certain amount of frustration, but not the kind that makes you want to hunt down the designer and surprise him in a dark alley.

I'm glad I've at least pinned down one of the mechanics that really sets me off. I'll have to think long and hard about a game with all or nothing auctions (where everybody pays) as one of the main mechanics.

I guess another known mechanic is direct combat. I don't like being attacked in a game. Even if it was a good tactical move for my opponent, I can't help but take it a little personally. This usually ends up in making retaliatory moves for the sake of revenge, rather than maximizing my score or potential for winning the game.

I should make a list of these. Then if somebody makes a game with everything on the list, I can skip out on playing and go straight to waiting around in dark alleys. At least then I'd have friends left, willing to visit me in the big house.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cool friend Windy solves "zazzy" mystery


Heather! Great to hear from ya.

Here’s the scoop on Zazzy, it’s slang. See

1. zazzy: A basic cross between "zany", "pizazz" and "snazzy" to create an adjective suggesting that something is too great to be confined to one word.

"Did you hear about that trip to Holland? Everyone's coming back saying it was completely zazzy!"

tags: snazzy jazzy zany crazy funky

2. zazzy: something shiny or flashy.

That's some zazzy silver you got there.
Forget bling, I got zazzy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Girls camp was da bomb!

They cooked all my meals. They let me make crafts and canoe on the lake. I hiked, I swam, I quilted, I ate snow cones. What's not to love? 'Course I also taught and watched over the well-being of seven 12 year olds, but that was fun too! Lovely girls :). My partner adult leader was great and we had two awesome junior counselors to help us out. I also discovered a new campfire dessert . . . chocolate eclairs. This consisted of toasting biscuit dough shaped around a wooden 3/4' dowel and then filling it with mini-chocolate chips (these melt quickly in the hot dough) and pastry cream like the kind they put in bismarks. Goo-ooo-ood! My camp talent was writing songs and chants for flag time. We had to come up with two of these a day so it was a handy skill. I usually wrote them during the morning devotional (while also paying very strict attention to the the speaker's message.) Late morning is a sleepy time for me so it was good to keep my hands moving. Nobody expected us to come up with much, just being 1st years and all, but we rocked their world. It was a lot of work getting ready for camp, but in the end it was totally worth it. I have lots of ideas for next year. Yes, I AM going every year that they'll let me! Wouldn't you? besides, I never did figure out what "Zazzy" means. New root idea: "Jazzy?"

The Pumpkin Vine That Ate The Bulldozer

Beren ran in from the yard a couple of weeks ago calling, "Mom! Come here! Something strange is happening!" I went outside to where where Beren was indignantly holding up a pumpkin leaf in the garden. "It's eating my toy!" he complained. Sure enough, it was. I'm pretty sure if we had got to it even one week later, it would have been a goner. The tendrils were complete wrapped around it in 3 places. This spawned a nice little discussion about the scientific method though and we ended up creating a hypothesis about viney plants and performed an experiment with the cucumber vine. Grandpa Blanchard (the science teacher) was proud.

Pirate Party

So this is Beren and I before the pirate rock concert at the library. I know . . . "Hot!"