Comment on JANK 200! by mrm1138        
I am hopelessly behind on my podcasts, so I only just got around to listening to this today. There were two things that struck me about this episode. You'll have to forgive me, though, because I'm not good at remembering the names of the casters and whose voice is whose. First, I must say that the idea of regimented interaction is precisely why I enjoy gaming. I'd always considered myself an introvert, but my wife, who is truly an introvert, has classified me as an extrovert who is just painfully shy. She can't stand to be around people for more than a couple hours and a time and needs to go home and have a lot of downtime to recharge. (She has never gotten into RPGs—as opposed to board games or card games—because the idea of spending several hours being forced to interact with people sounds like a nightmare to her.) I, on the other hand, really enjoy being around people for long periods of time. The only problem is that I have trouble keeping up a conversation unless there's something very definite to talk about, and that's where games come in. Second, when one of the casters mentioned that tabletop roleplaying gamers tend to be a progressive group of people (and that he himself was an activist for a time), I definitely agreed. I am huge into comic books, but one of the reasons I can't stand to listen to comic book podcasts is because the hosts tend to be your typical bigoted fanboys who will go into a nerd rage if a previously straight character comes out of the closet, or a white superhero is replaced by another character of a different skin color* or sex, or anything they perceive as being political correctness being forced into their comics. While the TTRPG community's record certainly isn't spotless—there were some particularly vile comments from TTRP-gamers after Gen Con delivered the press release regarding Indiana's "religious freedom" bill—I don't feel that the bigotry involved is nearly as rampant as it is in the worlds of comics and video games. *See the recent announcement of Miles Morales replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the main Marvel Universe.
          [Bonus Round] Tokaido, Erin: The Last Aos Sí, Hyper White Blood Cell Dash, ArcheAge Begins, Cliff Hopper, Stellar Wanderer, and Construction Simulator 2        

bonusroundWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a beautifully designed board game, a deep turn-based tactical RPG, an interesting swipe-based action game, an offshoot turn-based RPG from a popular MMORPG franchise, a cute voxel-based endless runner, a flight simulation space opera, and a deeply detailed construction simulator.

Read More

[Bonus Round] Tokaido, Erin: The Last Aos Sí, Hyper White Blood Cell Dash, ArcheAge Begins, Cliff Hopper, Stellar Wanderer, and Construction Simulator 2 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

          Comment on Free Year 7 Science Revision – Interactive whiteboard game by Imma        
It really helps
          3.5.15: Monarch The Board Game, Good Gig, & Uncommon Core        
There are jobs, and then there are dream jobs. On today’s show we’re featuring good gigs and odd jobs. From a DJ who lives to uncover rare soul albums...

Different type of prisoners

Special Needs Prisoners
This are prisoners who have special needs. They are mostly suicidal or mentally disturb. They are placed in cells where the lights are on 24/7. They can be identified with the color shorts with stripes on it

Young Prisoners
These are young prisoners who are below 18 or 19 when they were sentenced. They are placed with prisoners around the same age group to prevent them from being influence by hardcore criminals.

Remand Prisoners
They are identified with the brown shorts they wear. These people are not yet convicted of the crime they had been accused. They are remanded bcos they cant afford the bail set by the Court or that no no bail was offered for their cases.

Family Visits
All prisoners are allow 2 visits per calendar month except Remand Prisoners who are permitted once a week.

Visits can either be in person by the family or thru Televisit from a number of sites in SG.

Visit in person. Family members are allow to see the prisoners face to face but are sperated by a glass panel. They chat via intercom phone system.

Visit thru televisit. The family can go to some Cisco offices located in Jurong, Paya Lebar Toa Payoh or some other places wher ethey offer such facilities. It is like watching TV where the prisoners and family members view and speak to each other thru TV.

For Televisit, the time limit is 30 mins for face to face visit is 20 mins.

Family members are allow to give prisoners books/magazines/religious books, etc.

These materials will be screened and censored by the Prison to prevent any obscene materials or hidden messages to get pas thru to the prisoners.

Only family members are entitled to such visits. Friends who wish to see the prisoners must get the approval of the Prison Dept before they are allowed to visit. The prisoner must make this request.

Anyone who had previously been in prison are not allowed to visit any other prisoners unless they are family member as well as get the permission from Prison Dept

All prisoners are permitted to write to anyone they want to. All outgoing and incoming letters are also screened and censored.

After the initial stay in cluster B, prisoners are transferred to other HU to serve their sentences.

This could be AWP (Admirality West Prison), this is a min security prison that usually house foreigner prisoners.

Others are transferred to other HU in CPC. The new cells can house up to 8 prisoners and is twice the size of the previous 4 men cell. (Like the one in 3 Good Men movie). There is usually a mixture of racial here.

LT and ST HU are seperated. LT prisoners are housed with other LT prisoners. ST prisoners are housed with other ST prisoners.

All prisoners are eligible to be transferred as and when required for reasons varying from influence, checks, medical, etc

Pre Release HU
This HU house those who are about to be release. Usually for those with less than a mth or so. This is the last stop before the prisoner is finally released.

Why Life is Tough
Imagine yourself being lockup in a room without a fan, bed, etc. for 23 hrs a day and up to 48 hrs on weekends. If a PH falls on a Fri or a Mon, they can be lock up for up to 72 hrs.

You will spend time thinking about your family outside for those who are married with kids and those who have GF outside will also think of them often and reflect on one's mistake that lead to his/her imprisonment.

Some prisoners goes mad bcos of constance thoughts of their loved ones.

Some prisoners emo alot inside.
Sleeping on the hard floor for the entired period of your sentence.

You need to know who not to offend inside and I dont mean the Wardens.

There is no freedom, you cant walk to the coffeeshop to get the coke you want, you cant walk to the foodcourt to get the Chicken rice you crazed for.

Everything is controlled and is disciplined. Your movements are also restricted and controlled.

You need to strip whenever you go for yard.

You need to sqat down whenever they are transferring you from 1 HU to another.

What Prisoners do to pass time
Most will just eat, sleep and TCSS with fellow inmates

Some were exercise inside the cells.

Some do reading or studying

Some innovative prisoners will make board games like scrabble, chess, checkers, etc with material from the magazines and rice as glue.

Editor's Note: 

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          Library playing games with you        


The Main Library is celebrating International Games Day tomorrow, Nov. 21, and I have three words for you:

Life. Sized. Candyland.


But that’s not even close to being all. From 1-4, you can play board games and video games, …

          Did you know you can check out Bananagrams?        

…and lots of other fun things as well. See below for a list of interesting, fun, and useful things you can check out from the Law Library. If there’s something you think ought to be added, email, and we’ll do our best to get it for the collection.

  • Board Games (lots!)
  • Frisbees
  • Soccer Balls and Goals
  • Bike Pumps

          Houston : Plantation Homes Opens Dreamy Model in Harper’s Preserve        

From the beautiful exterior to the award-winning interior, Plantation Homes’ new model home, open daily, is a dream come true for buyers, offering the hottest trends in home design.

The model, the builder’s Buescher design, is located at 10470 Lake Palmetto Drive in Harper’s Preserve in Conroe. Stepping inside, home buyers can envision exquisite formal dinner parties taking place in the beautifully decorated dining room just off the dramatic foyer. Walking past a curved staircase boasting a stained handrail and wrought iron balusters, visitors enter an impressive two-story great room anchored by a brick-accented, wood-burning fireplace. The family room is open to a large gourmet kitchen.

A graceful center island in the kitchen offers counter-style seating so family and friends can converse with the chef while nibbling hors d’oeuvres. The kitchen boasts numerous cabinets and a butler’s pantry for keeping things tidy. Granite countertops are durable and striking. A sunny breakfast nook opens, via a glass-paneled door, to a Texas-sized patio where guests can gather to enjoy evening breezes.

The secluded master suite features a breathtaking bay window and a large master bath. Here, owners can relax in the oversized tub or rinse off in the glass-enclosed shower after a day at the community’s lake.

Upstairs, children will enjoy having their own bathrooms and may never leave the media room or enormous game room, which has room for a gaming table, comfortable couches and a table for board games. The design also offers a laundry room with cabinets and shelves, a mudroom and a two-car garage.

The Buescher is one of 13 designs Plantation Homes offers on 55-foot homesites. Homes range from 1,982 to 3,222 square feet and are priced from the $300,000s. The builder also offers 10 designs for two- and three-bedroom patio homes in Harper’s Preserve. The low-maintenance homes are priced from the $340,000s and range from 2,169 to 2,690 square feet. All homes offer a number of energy-efficient features that exceed the platinum standards of the Environments for Living program.

Harper’s Preserve is a unique community surrounding a 160-acre forested preserve. Residents of the East Village share access to the existing amenities in Preserve Park, located in West Village, as well as new, planned amenities at Palmetto Lake Park. These include a proposed stocked fishing lake and pier, the Wildlife Garden, walking trails, a future picnic area and a centrally located playground.

Located one mile east of Interstate 45 off Highway 242, Harper’s Preserve provides easy access to the Exxon Campus and exciting shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities in The Woodlands. Young residents attend excellent schools in the Conroe Independent School District.

          Kids Learn To Manage Money        

How do our kids learn to manage money? At school? By watching TV? From their friends? By their own mistakes? From watching their parents manage their money?

Most kids learn from a combination of all these. But as with every other aspect of education, with the right information and a little commitment, parents and teachers can make a big difference in preparing kids to conquer the many financial challenges they will face as adults.

Kids' Money is an interactive resource for parents, teachers and kids designed to help children develop successful money management habits and become financially responsible adults. This site continually changes as a result of new comments, suggestions and contributions. Check us regularly, share your experience and your views, and see the difference your input makes.

May is observed as child's month, so I decided to search the Internet for interesting and fun ways to teach our children about money and personal finance. Equipping our kids to handle money wisely is one of the most important skills we can give them. It is my dream that one day, there will be a financial literacy curriculum in all schools, so that our children will be fully prepared to deal with managing, multiplying and maintaining their money as adults.

Rich Kid Smart Kid

Developed by the team that created the Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books, this site uses interactive games to teach valuable financial lessons. Each game has different age levels, showing kids how to make profit, deal with debt, pay yourself first, and invest in business and assets. It features detailed teacher's guides for all the games. Also available for purchase online are the CASHFLOW for Kids CD and board game, which are excellent tools to help children ages six and over, learn important concepts about attaining financial freedom.

Even very young children can begin to understand the concept of earning money. Explain to your children that money is received in exchange for working or as a return on an investment, and that you can only spend what you earn. To help them understand what it's like to get paid on a schedule, begin paying an allowance. Then help them set goals for how they spend and save their allowance. It's important, however, to make sure that you stick to the payment schedule; otherwise the lesson may be lost.

When paying pocket money or an allowance it is important not to set up an entitlement mentality in your child. If they think that they have a right to receive money from you from an early age they may grow up with that mindset. By all means link the allowance to chores and jobs around the home but consider that some tasks which contribute to the household should be done automatically and not for paid reward. You may like to create a separate list of family or community activities which the entire household share, along with an agreed list of extras activities for which your child will receive reward.

The Internet is teaming with many more websites geared at teaching our kids to be money-savvy, so log on and spend some quality time with them. You'll definitely end up learning important financial tips that will help you, too!

          Wonder Forge: Family Friendly Fun        
When I was a kid, my cousins used to have marathon sessions where we played board games for hours. We would carefully set my grandmother’s dining room table with the board, pieces, and/or money. We would stack cushions on her wooden chairs so we could be assured a soft spot for the entire afternoon, tossing […]
          Give Your Grey Matter a Work Out with Dungeon Time! Game Review        

Dungeon Time Board Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Game Designer: Carlo A. Rossi Price $25.00

Rick Martin

Passed Inspection: fast paced, fun, nice components, exercises your memory, addicting, family friendly

Failed Basic: rules are a little difficult to figure out…

          1754 Conquest – The French Indian War is a Must Play! Board Game Review        

1754 Conquest – The French Indian War Board Game Review. Publisher: Academy Games Game Designer: Beau Beckett and Jeph Stahl Price $70.00

Rick Martin

Passed Inspection: Concise elegant rules, beautiful components, visually pleasing, easy to learn and play, approachable even …

          Review of Egyptian Cotton Bedsheet by APlus Linen        

"Have nothing in your home that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris

Small or big, our homes are a beautiful reflection of us. They are not just our residence where we live our deepest emotions or feel most comfortable but they are also an ensemble of our lifestyle.

So, when a house represents as many vivid aspects of us, why not further personalize it with elements that are beautiful and useful as well.

When we say Lifestyle, it need not be flashy or on your face grandeur. It can be minimalist, subtle and use good quality materials. They can be the furnishings, the accessories or even the linen that we use.

Yes, I did say Linen.

I love my Linen

After living years off my suitcase at different location across the country, different places across the cities, my vagabond life know no bound when it comes to living condition and my linen.

Ever since my school days, I have been very particular about my linens especially the bed linen. My parents have some excellent collections of bed linen sets, out of which I have hand picked few. Living in rented apartments, I have least control over the structure or furnishing of my house. But bed sheets are something that I have not grown up to compromise on.

Why Linen is an important aspect of my home?

For me, bed sheets are not just about design or what fits the size of my bed or easily available spread of cloth but also a great of comfort. We may not realize but we spend a considerable amount of time on our beds- sleeping, reading, sometimes watching TV or even playing board games with family. Out of which, sleeping is most prominent and non-negligible.

We sleep not just to take rest but it is an activity that helps repair the stress and damage that we have gone through the course of the day. It is a healing and rejuvenating exercise. A good linen not just provides softness or comfort to our bodies but also aides in overall well-being.
Bedsheet beyond décor

When it comes to home decor, the foremost rule of my design thumb is- Minimalist and comfortable. Rest all comes later.

While buying a bed sheet, there are few things that I look for. They are-

1)        Quality of Fabric [some of you equate it with thread count]
2)        The color: I have something for the pastel/ light colors. I do love rich and deep colors but prefer them in silk finish
3)        A neat and well-etched Design
4)        Right Priced

I know getting all the specifications matched into one final good is difficult. And even the current vast retail space, is more confusing than helping. Market is inundated with X nos of brand, each trying to push their ware. You cannot keep investing and experimenting all the time. It is time, energy and cost consuming.

My wild goose chase ended with A Plus Linen.

Discovering A Plus Linen

When it comes to bed sheets, I am gravitated towards solid and pastels one with high thread counts. Like a lot of you, I equated thread counts with quality. When I first spoke to Aditya from A Plus Linen, he changed my perception by telling me that how “High Thread Count is not a right way to ascertain the quality of the linen.

More important than the thread count, is the type of cotton and the type of yarn. Apluslinen uses long staple Egyptian cotton and single-ply yarn which has fewer knots thereby leading to softer, stronger and longer lasting bed sheet.

I have been on a lookout for a good pastel bed sheet from quite sometime and had my own share of woes in name of spending good fortune to get better sheets. The bed sheets that my parents bought earlier, were hard to found and no one spoke about selling a good quality without making me shell a good INR 10,000 plus for it.

I almost picked two bed sheet from a large retail outlet when I read about Aplus Linen. Tsch, I am glad that I did.

About A Plus Linen
Whoever attach luxury with high price, should check A Plus Linen. They use 100% long staple Egyptian Cotton with a single ply yarn to achieve a high strength and softer feel as compared to multiple ply yarn.
To know more, check their website
First Impression and Experience
First and foremost, I was glad to learn about their knowledge in this sphere. It is a feel good aspect when you know your brand knows about the sphere it works in rather than trying to just push a product.

Secondly, they had a fewer option in bed sheets to make the choice easy. They had the light Blue pantone and plain white bed sheet that I have been looking from quite sometime.

Being a Mumbai based company, I got the product delivery in no time in a neatly packed consignment via the Fedex.

The linen was mint fresh and has a perfect smooth finish that you may look for your high end lifestyle linen requirement.

Here are the few dimensions that you may be interested in-

Material: Egyptian Cotton
Size: Queen size 
         Price: Rs 3500
Scope of Review: A Plain Blue Colored [Pantone 277], Bed sheet with Pillows.

Out of Scope: Other Products including Bed sheets with Print.

Haute Kutir Verdict: I have been using the A plus Linen Egyptian cotton bed sheet for almost a week. It was delivered to me in mint fresh condition and when spread over the bed, it gave no discomfort or reason to wash before using it. The quality of cotton is really good and has a great finish to it.

If you follow me on Instagram and Snapchat, you would have seen the first impressions and the unboxing. A lot of you equated my choice of color with the linens available in hospitable. I find the light color soothing and can be attributed to the fact that hospitals use this color as it is (a) gender neutral and (b) has a healing/soothing property to it.

I liked the light color which does not bore any bleach patches or rough textures [thus far] and the beauty is when I pull aside the curtains off my guest bedroom, the bed sheet resonates so well with the open blue skies outside my French windows.

The overall feel is comfortable and luxurious. The plain colors help assuage the usual clutter of my room [I work at home] and gives a good illusion of space.

Do I recommend this brand: Yes, Indeed!
Will I buy more from A Plus Linen: Definitely!

So, overall it is quality buy. And if you are looking for a high-end bed sheets [akin to what they use in 5 star hotels] without burning your pocket, do give a try to A Plus Linen.

Haute Living, Beautiful Thinking!

For collaborations, email me at

Follow Me On Social Media:
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter YouTube | Snapchat [ektakhetan]

          File: Rock Band 3 Keyboard Video        

Here's a more in-depth look at Rock Band 3's keyboard gameplay, courtesy of the guys at Harmonix.

          Loot! The Gen Con 2013 Report        


This year I brought home a veritable dragon's horde of stuff. It's so much stuff it needs CliffsNotes so here's the short version: 

I got three new games, Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG, Outbreak: Undead RPG and Shadows of Esteren RPG. We expanded our collections for other games, including Monsterpocalypse, Dust Tactics, Classic Battletech, Battletech A Time of War RPG, Pathfinder RPG, Call of Cthulhu LCG, and A Game of Thrones LCG. I got a limited edition copy of the new rules for Shadowrun RPG, and the quick-start preview rules of Call of Cthulhu RPG 7th edition. The core rule book for 7th ed. comes out this spring. For Desi I brought home a huge Squishable Cthulhu plushy, a zombie t-shirt, a Gen Con hoodie, Shadowrun bag, and a couple of patches, but her big haul was a collection of steampunk accessories that should pretty much complete her steampunk costume. I got a selection of dice to even out my collection from the bulk bins the last two years, even more Hirst Arts molds than I got last year, a GMing book, a few miniatures, the dice cup I've been after for a couple of years, and some Gen Con 2013 swag.

Detailed list below, which is mostly for my own benefit, but you can check it out if you really want.

Gen Con 2013 Report

The big, bold, headline highlight from Gen Con 2013 would be, "Shadows of Esteren Is Awesome!" The subtitle would be, "I wish Desi had been able to share it with me."

Shadows of Esteren
Shadows of Esteren is a dark, gritty, role playing game with elements of horror, steampunk, and Mideval fantasy. It's a new game, or at least the English translation is new, and it wound up winning a bunch of awards Friday night. When I bought the first book Friday afternoon, however, I'd never heard of it. I bought Book 0-Prologue on a whim because the vendor put another book I bought in this great big bag, and I felt like I had to get something else. Less than an hour later I'd gotten all three books, the Game Leader Kit and the set of map tiles that went with the intro adventure.

When I came back for my book, they invited me behind the table for this photo op. The guy next to me is the lead developer and the guy in the foreground is the lead illustrator.
The Shadows of Esteren booth after ENnies

You see, just around the corner from where I'd bought the first book I found the booth with the whole Shadows of Esteren team talking to people. These were the authors, illustrators, artists, designers and translators. They are all French, and only one of them spoke decent English. I talked to him first. He explained the whole thing to me through a thick French accent, but I got the gist. As he talked I grew convinced Desi would love this game. He described it as a mashup of Game of Thrones, steampunk, and Lovecraft. Perfect.

My table for Shadows of Esteren
I bought it all up, and set out to find someone running it. By some miracle I managed to get into a game Saturday afternoon even though the ENnies had elevated its profile and there were a bunch of generic-holding players in line ahead of me. It was even more luck that I got what turned out to be the best possible GM (called a Game Leader in SoE). The adventure was scary, paranoia-inducing, and atmospheric, drawing on Alfred Hitchcock for inspiration. One of our party nearly lost an eye to the birds. It also had cultists that you might find in a Call of Cthulhu scenario. It was every bit what the creators promised. Not only was Amanda Stewart, the game leader, spectacular, so too were the other players at the table. We actually did some role playing and played our characters, and I think we all did it well. SoE is a high lethality game, and none of our characters died, which was as good as a win. 

Original art and inscriptions from the creators of the game.
To top it all off, I left book 1 with the SoE team overnight and when I picked it up the next day the illustrator had drawn some original art on the inside title page and everyone had signed it. I now have a one-of-a-kind copy of the game.

Will Call area Wednesday evening
Beyond SoE, however, Gen Con was a decidedly mixed bag for me this year. On the one hand, I did something I never do--the whole "shop 'till you drop" thing--which you can tell just by looking the rundown of loot. I brought home more stuff than I have ever done. On the other hand, Desi wasn't there. Desi's doctor said the noise and stimuli of Gen Con would be too much too soon after her concussion, so she couldn't go. It figures that the one time Desi gets all of the craft-type activities she wanted, a couple of which she's wanted to do for years, is the one she has to cancel. We got a refund on the event tickets, but the $74 badge was non-refundable at that point. Bummer.

One of my Shadowrun games
Desi's special activities were just about the only thing we had luck getting when registration opened. I got one ticket to one Shadowrun CMP event, and that was it. On the other hand, we (it was still we, then) got our ideal hotel, the Downtown Marriott. Having that hotel is just soooo nice. I went back to the room between just about every event, before the vendor hall so I didn't need to carry my gaming equipment through cramped isles, and after the vendor hall so I didn't have to lug my (often weighty) purchases to my next game. I got to lay down on the bed in the quiet for a few minutes, and slash water on my face. Plus, and I can't stress the importance of this, I didn't have to use the public restrooms in the convention center.

Everything was like that, back and forth, good and bad in more or less equal measure.

Dealer/Vendor Exhibit

A booth Desi would have liked in the exhibit hall
A booth I liked in the exhibit hall
I spent more time in the dealer hall than ever. Every day I went for more than an hour. Each previous year we'd start off trying to see everything, and then run out of time, abandon our systematic approach, and fly around trying to find the stuff we were especially interested in seeing/visiting/getting, blowing by the rest. This year I think I finally managed to see everything there was to see in the vendor hall. 

Something Desi would want, and eventually bought virtually, through me
Since Desi wasn't there I had to shop for her. She actually did some of the shopping herself, vicariously, through me. With pictures, text messages and a couple phone conversations she picked out some things she wanted me to buy. The guys at the steam punk costume place were very nice about letting me take pictures and they got a kick out of the whole back and forth.


Limited edition of the new Shadowrun 5e rules
I didn't have but one actual ticket for an event, but I ended up playing a few games. Firstly, the Shadowrun folks worked their tails off to fit generics into pick-up games. They short scheduled every table so they would have at least one seat of overflow for generics, and they scheduled not one, but five floating GM's to build whole tables of generics. This, they said, was a lesson learned from Origins this year, and they committed to not turning any player away. 

Stephen A. Tinner, GM to the Stars, and he ran our first ever Shadowrun game. He was one of the hard-working floating GM's this year.
That was a promise they probably regretted about Friday evening. I played two games on Thursday, but the hall was loud and I wussed out of the 8:00pm slot. I played another game Friday morning, but when I went back Friday for the 8:00pm slot they were so packed to the gills that I gave my seat up to make room for a couple that had just been introduced to Shadowrun and were eager to play. They may have been able to fit us all in if I had stayed, but it would have been grim. Their portion of C Hall was just overflowing with players and the staff had this contorted expression somewhere between cheerfullness and the edge of insanity. They deserve a lot of praise. Every Catalyst Game Labs person, be they staff or volunteer, was exceedingly nice and eager to please. 

I also played 13th Age, Outbreak: Deep Space, Shadows of Esteren, and the Walking Dead board game. That was it, really. I had made plans to play Mouse Guard that fell through, I couldn't get a seat at Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, couldn't catch drop ship into a Battletech Grinder. If I hadn't been so focused on shopping I could have played more demos in the dealer hall, and I particularly regret not taking the time to play the Battletech: Alpha Strike.

13th Age is a good game. It has good mechanics and a decent setting. I love the story-based character building aspect. However, for me it's just too much of yet another fantasy RPG. There anything so compelling about it that I would spend money on it. I can see a disgruntled Pathfinder or D&D player taking it up, though.

Christopher De La Rosa, author of Outbreak: Undead
Outbreak: Deep Space is an expansion to the Outbreak: Undead RPG. I had hopes of getting into the Outbreak: Undead game one table over, but they were full up with people holding actual tickets. Deep Space is an interesting game, and it's kind of in beta, sort of, which I guess is why the author and creator of Outbreak was our GM. That was really awesome! I only wish I'd been playing with better players. The guy on my right was a complete spazz who'd never played any RPG but Pathfinder.  Not particularly swift, he just couldn't grasp some of the mechanics and none of the spirit of the game. Plus he kept saying that he was a technical sort of player, which was patently untrue and made his assertions grating. Add to that some truly horrible luck on the dice, and the session was a grind. I want to play the game again because that wasn't a fair trial. 

Playing Shadows of Esteren was by far the best experience I had at this year's Gen Con. I hope Desi and I get a chance to play it together next year.

Detailed List

Squishable Cthulhu
12x Monsterpocalypse boosters
          - 4 of unit and monster boosters from Rise, and 
          - 2 ea. from I Chomp NY.
Q-workshop tan suede dragon dice cup
Dust Tactics P-48 Pellican
Dust Tactics Horton HO-347
Dust Tactics Operation "Icarus" Campaign Expansion
Gen Con Rolling Bag/Backpack
2x Shadowrun laser etched clipboards
Battletech laser etched clipboard
Odyssey; The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
Outbreak: Undead (RPG game core rulebook)
Outbreak: Undead Gamemaster's Companion
Outbreak: Undead Game Master's Screen
Shadows of Esteren RPG printed FAQ
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-0, Prologue
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-1, Universe
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-2, Travels
Shadows of Esteren RPG Game Leader Kit
Shadows of Esteren RPG Loch Varn Tiles
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Beginner Game box set
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Game Master's Kit
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Roleplay Dice
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
Monsterpocalypse I Chomp NY Strategy Guide
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Limited Edition Game Master's Screen
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Quick-Start Rules
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Companion rulebook supplement
Battletech Hexpack: Mountains and Canyons
Battletech Hexpack: Volcano
Shadowrun 5th Edition Limited Edition core rulebook
Shadowrun "Everything Has a Price" poster
Shadowrun 5e Quick-Start Rules
Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Watch Station     
Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Battlefield                   
GameMastery Chase Cards Deck (PFRPG)                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Pirate Island Print Edition                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Country Inn                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Urban Tavern Print Edition                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Curse of the Crimson Throne                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Legacy of Fire                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Kingmaker                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Serpent's Skull                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Carrion Crown                   
4x Pathfinder Battles—Builder Series: We Be Goblins Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Iron Throne Edition Legacy Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Valyrian Edition Starter Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Ice and Fire Premium Starter Set
A Game of Thrones LCG Defenders of the North, The Wildling Horde Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Defenders of the North, A King in the North Chapter Pack
Call of Cthulhu LCG Sleep of the Dead Asylum Pack
Call of Cthulhu LCG Bag of Cthulhu
Battletech Behemoth Hvy. Tank
Battletech Jagatai
Gen Con 2013 2XL Dragon T-Shirt
Gen Con 2013 2XL Orc T-Shirt
Gen Con 2013 L Dragon Hoodie
Battletech 2XL Black T-Shirt
"Your Zombie Survival Plan Will Fail" woman's T-Shirt
Shadowrun Purple Cinch Bag
Steampunk derringer set
Steampunk twin knife garter holster and knives
Steampunk working wrist sun dial and compass
Steampunk goggles
Steampunk nautical spyglass
Steampunk leather gloves and holder
12x Hirst Arts Molds
2x samples of Merlin's Magic pourable castle stone
3x iron on patches (2 Cthulu, 1 Shadowrun)
Gen Con 2013 Commemorative Dice Set
Set of 4 tentacle miniatures
Bag of bulk dice (hand-picked coffee mug)
Pathfinder goblin promo mini
Pathfinder 2013 pin
Catalyst Game Labs pencil
Gen Con badge holder and 4-day badge

Pathfinder Subscription Picked Up
-Pathfinder Pawns Bestiary 2 Box
-Pathfinder Adventure Path, The Worldwound Incursion
-Pathfinder Player Companion, Demon Hunter's Handbook
-Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Demons Revisited
-Pathfinder Player Companion, Faiths & Philosophies
-Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Mythic Adventures


81 d4's
23 d6's
14 d8's
118 dice total

Hirst Arts Molds

57, 58, 59, 221, 272, 301, 302, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330
          Thoughts for ArtServe Interview        
Computer interface in a shoe box.

Today I had an interview with Jennifer Baum, a writer for ArtServe Michigan. They're doing an article on the Kalamazoo Makers Guild meetup group. In preparation for our discussion Jennifer was kind enough to supply me with some topics we might discuss and I jotted down some notes while I thought about what I would say. Here are those notes and roughly what I said.
About Kalamazoo Makers Guild...

The Kalamazoo Maker's Guild is a group of people interested in DIY technology, science and design. We more or less pattern ourselves after the Homebrew Computer Club that founded Silicon Valley. Like them, our members tend to have some background in a related profession, but that's by no means a prerequisite. This group is about the things we do for fun, because they interest us, and anybody can be interested in making stuff. We meet every couple of months, report on the status of our various projects and sometimes listen to a presentation or hold an ad hoc roundtable on a topic that catches our interest. "Probably the most useful aspect of the group is that you start to feel accountable to the other members of the group and you're motivated to make progress on your project before the next meeting."

How did it get started...

When I gave up my web design business I ended the professional graphic design association I'd formed on, and then I had room on the service to start another group. MAKE magazine had really caught my attention. I did a few projects from the magazine and thought it would be fun and helpful to know other people who were working on the same kinds of things. The group didn't get going, though, until about 8 months ago when Al Hollaway from the       posted to an online forum about RepRap 3D printers at the same time I was building one. He wanted to meet and talk about RepRap. I told him about my Meetup group. We joined forces and here we are. is a great web site because it's a web service that's all about meeting people nearby in person to share a common interest.

About membership and kinds of projects ...

The group is growing steadily now. We have twenty something members and we're seeing membership tick up at an increasing rate month to month. We have a high school student who is working designing assistive devices for the blind using sonic rangefinders, one member who last meeting showed off a prototype of computer interface built into a shoe box, and another member is on the verge of completing a working DIY Segway (the self-balancing scooter) made using a pair of battery-powered drills for motors. Al should be done with his RepRap 3D printer and I've just finished my 2nd. At least two other members are in some stage of building their own 3D printers. I'm building both a laser etcher and a 3D scanner right now, and I'm excited to start playing with the products of a couple Kickstarter projects I've backed. There are a few of us about to start building CNC milling machines, and there's been a lot of excitement in the group around the brand new, hard-to-get Raspberry Pi (a $25 computer.) Almost all the members so far have dabbled in a bit of Arduino hacking. One member is designing a flame thrower for Burning Man. Another is making a calibration device for voltage meters. So, there's a range of things going on.

Where do I see this headed....

Our approach to this group has been to learn from the mistakes other groups have made. All of the other groups I've seen in Kalamazoo start out with facilities and try to bring in members to support and justify it. Getting people to work on actual projects that interest them is something that comes later down the road. It's the, "if you build it they will come" approach. Those groups quickly get into trouble managing the building and funding, and they go away. We're coming at it from the opposite direction. We're gathering together a community of makers first, people who are already doing things on their own. Once we reach a tipping point then we'll worry about the next step, like getting a hackerspace put together. That kind of bottom-up approach is, I think, much more sustainable and durable, and it fits in with our modern culture (particularly in the maker subculture.)  It was good enough for Homebrew, so it's good enough for us.

About impact...

Silicon Valley came out of a group like this, so the potential is there for us to have a big impact on the community. Being a college town we have access to a lot of smart people, and Kalamazoo has a strong progressive, energetic, entrepreneurial vibe going on. I think what's more likely, though, is that we will have an impact in aggregate with all the other makers--groups and individuals--around the globe.

"Makers aren't just hacking new technologies, we're hacking a new economy. We're trying to figure out how to live in a world without scarcity."

The unsung official slogan of the RepRap project is, "wealth without money."

I don't know that another story like Apple is likely to happen again. Steve Jobs relied on a very traditional, very closed model for his business, as did most of the people of that era who went on to make a name for themselves in technology. The ethos of that time was centered around coming up with a big idea and capitalizing on that idea to the exclusion of the competition. It's interesting that even then this view was at odds with that of his partner, Steve Wozniak, who was content to build computers in his garage and share what he learned with his friends at Homebrew. In this way Wozniak was much more like the modern maker/hacker and is probably one of this hobby's forefathers.

Makers/hackers today are all about open-ness and sharing -- not in a hippy, touchy-feely kind of way, but in a calculated way that weighs the costs and benefits of being open verses closed. The success of Linux and the ever increasing number of open source software, and now hardware, projects has proven that there's enormous power in being open. "We tend to think that's the way to change the world."

About the Maker Movement....

I know there are a lot of people who are keen to talk about the "maker movement" but I'm not so sure that I would characterize it as a movement. If it is, then it started in the 60's with people like my dad who were HAM radio enthusiasts and tinkered around with making their own radios and antennas. I think that what we're observing and calling a movement is really an artifact of reaching the steep part of Moore's Law. Ray Kurzweil is famous for talking about this phenomenon. The pace of advances in technology is itself accelerating, it's exponential, and moving so fast now that if you're not paying close attention things seem to pop out of nowhere. For makers, technology has reached a point where Moore's Law has forced down prices and increased the availability of things that just a few years ago were far out of reach. We're just taking those things and running with it. In effect, we're just the people paying close attention.

About me...

I started college in the engineering program at WMU, but I couldn't hack it and dropped out. I went back to community college and got a degree in graphic design. In my professional life I've been paid to be a web designer, photographer, videographer, IT manager, technical document writer, photo lab manager, artist, and I've even been paid to be a poet. For fun I do all those things and also play guitar, peck at a piano, and watch physics and math lectures from the MIT OpenCourseWare web site, do exercises on Khan Academy, play board games and roleplaying games, and commit acts of crafting -- woodworking and model making. For work, I now teach at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. I've taught web design, digital illustration and this fall I'll be teaching classes in 3D modeling and 3D printing with the RepRap 3D printer I have on loan there. I live near downtown Kalamazoo with my wife and many pets, including a 23 year old African Grey parrot named KoKo.

Post interview notes...

I mentioned SoliDoodle, the fully assembled, $500 3D printer. The big hackerspace in Detroit is called i3detroit. Also, Chicago has Pumping Station: One. I'm on the forums for both and will be visiting each this summer. The presentation about 3D scanning we had was from Mike Spray of Laser Abilities. You can actually see the entire presentation on my YouTube channel. Thingiverse was the web site that I kept going on about where you can find 3D designs for printing.

          Conspiracy and the Populist Imagination        
Timothy Melley

Conspiracy theory has a long history in the political culture of the United States. But in the last decade or two, “the paranoid style in American politics,” as political historian Richard Hofstadter called it in 1963, has kicked into high gear. Major magazines and newspapers have repeatedly called attention to America’s “conspiracy mania” (Marin and Gegax) - not only the flourishing of a “new paranoid style in the American arts” (Kakutani) but also the growing sense that conspiracy is now “a dominant theme of everyday life” (Hoover). “This,” says a character in Don DeLillo’s Running Dog (1978), “is the age of conspiracy.”

While many cultural observers have proclaimed the centrality of conspiracy theory, few sensitive and interesting treatments of it exist. Recycling Hofstadter’s model of mental illness, critics have tended to view conspiracy theory as a monolithic form, one best treated with skepticism, disdain, or even government surveillance and repression. Daniel Pipes’s Conspiracy (1997), for instance, asserts that ” conspiracy theory is the fear of a nonexistent conspiracy. Conspiracy refers to an act, conspiracy theory to a perception” (21). By this absurd definition, conspiracy theories are always wrong and thus the “act” of conspiracy can only be theorized by a lunatic. In a similar if more nuanced argument, psychologists Robert Robins and Jerrold Post outline a host of reasons to be worried about expressions of “political paranoia.” To their credit, Robins and Post concede that “political paranoia is seldom a complete delusion” (50). Yet, as evidence that “paranoid” claims occasionally have merit, they point to the case of Soviet dissidents who were wrongly imprisoned as mental patients until correctly deemed sane political prisoners by a team of (presumably objective) U.S. investigators - a case that only underscores the basic opposition between “political paranoia” and dominant American political views.

Mark Fenster’s Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture is a welcome exception to this trend. Fenster treats conspiracy theory as a populist theory of power, a form whose appeal stems from its recognition of real inequities in contemporary society and its expression of “desire for a politics in which ‘the people’ can affectively and effectively engage” (62). Treatments of the “paranoid style,” Fenster argues, cannot account for conspiracy theory’s pervasive presence in contemporary cultural forms (films, novels, television shows, web sites, and even board games). Nor can they tell us why conspiracy theory has become so popular or what it reveals about political subjectivity. In place of such dismissals, Fenster suggests, we need to regard conspiracy theories as a symptom of actual political and social conditions. “Just because overarching conspiracy theories are wrong does not mean that they are not on to something,” he remarks (67). And what they are “on to,” it turns out, is a progressive and utopian vision of an inclusive political culture.

Yet Fenster is no apologist for conspiracy theorists. If conspiracy theory stems from a utopian impulse, it also contains elements that frustrate progressive political analysis. Fenster spends considerable energy unraveling the internal illogic of this discourse, its contradictory strands of utopian yearning, social critique, and political protest. While conspiracy theory articulates a critique of powerful institutions, it departs from progressive analysis by substituting a simplistic populist vision of antagnoism between “the people” and “the elites” for a truly detailed analysis of complex power structures.

One of the most curious features of this substitution - one that Fenster treats only in passing - is its conservation of intentionalism. In the conspiracy theorist’s view, things always happen because someone (or something) wills them to happen. This relentless need to understand social and political outcomes as the product of intentions suggests that conspiracy theory expresses not only certain political wishes, but also nostalgia for a liberal philosophical vision, one that emphasizes the free will of subjects in competition with a monolithic social order. Fenster’s approach to conspiracy supports this interpretation by tracing Hofstadter’s “anti-paranoid” ideology to the consensus political science and history of the Cold War era. It is precisely this ideology, with its purported rationalism and objectivity, that conspiracy theory aims to challenge through its classically liberal celebration of self-determination against the power of “society” writ large.

Fenster’s book traces this sort of celebration through a wide array of communities and discourses, from popular novels and films to forms of play, such as conspiracy “games.” While a few chapters, particularly those on right-wing militia and Christian groups, are more reportorial than analytical, and hence less interesting, most offer new primary materials and theoretical approaches. One of the best chapters treats conspiracy narrative as a form of hyperactive semiosis. Fenster argues that conspiracy narrative is motivated by a paradoxical desire both to unearth the motive cause of complex social effects and to keep that cause at arm’s length. “If satisfaction is defined as the proof and public recognition of the ‘truth’ of conspiracy and the efficacious remedy of the crisis,” he argues, “then conspiracy theory demands dissatisfaction” (89-90), since incessant interpretive activity is the theorist’s real goal. This vision of the bottomless pit of conspiratorial interpretation leads Fenster into a provocative consideration of conspiracy theory as a model of Lacanian desire, and hence an endlessly productive form of discourse. “Productive” here does not mean productive of real political change. Rather, as Fenster makes clear, conspiracy theory’s perpetual interpretive quests become a substitute for “meaningful political engagement” (80) - a problem heightened by the solitary nature of such theoretical pursuits.

No doubt, conspiracy theory does deter collective political struggle, in part because conspiracy theory stems directly from the “anti-social” values of liberal individualism. Yet, plenty of instances exist in which the conspiratorial mindset may be traced directly to direct political action (the Oklahoma City and Unabomber crimes come to mind). While Fenster does not ignore such outcomes, his analysis occasionally falters when he assumes that conspiracy theory, for all its surface variability, has a monolithic logic, a consistent set of rules, limits, and internal contradictions. While general tendencies exist, it seems important to distinguish the endless deferral of the X-Files from the “anti-conspiratorial” acts of Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber.

This tendency toward generalized description might also have been minimized if Fenster had treated the more complex writings of postwar writers such as William S. Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Ishmael Reed, Joseph McElroy, Don DeLillo, and Thomas Pynchon. While the latter two receive occasional mention, Fenster does not seriously engage their writings. This is unfortunate, because their novels of social conditioning, conspiracy, and social control are more nuanced - and have been far more influential - than the sources on center stage here. These objections, however, should not diminish Fenster’s accomplishment. On the whole, Conspiracy Theories is a wide-ranging, impressively researched, and intelligent book, one that accounts for both the political and cultural dimensions of its subject. Readers from diverse backgrounds will appreciate its careful handling of conspiracy culture. By remaining sensitive to the aspirations behind even the wackiest of conspiracy theories, Fenster is able to provide a compelling critical analysis of this increasingly visible and important political “style.”


works cited

DeLillo, Don. Running Dog. New York: Knopf, 1978.

Hofstadter, Richard. “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays. New York: Knopf, 1965. 3-40.

Hoover, Bob. “Conspiracy Theories are Sign of the Times.” Toledo Magazine (24 March 1996): A1+.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Bound By Suspicion.” New York Times Magazine (19 January 1997): 16.

Marin, Rick and T. Trent Gegax. “Conspiracy Mania Feeds Our Growing National Paranoia.” Newsweek (30 December 1996): 64-71.

Pipes, Daniel. Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From. New York: Free Press, 1997.

Robins, Robert S. and Jerrold M. Post. Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred. New Haven: Yale UP, 1997.

          Card Thief - Card Thief is an RPG in a deck of cards        

The follow up to Card Crawl is out now. Card Thief is an RPG-like solitaire card game with great finish and is a very fun quick play. In Card Thief you move through a deck of cards as a stealthy thief. Sneak in the shadows, extinguish torches, pickpocket guards and steal valuable treasures without getting caught. In your thief hideout you can use your stolen goods to unlock powerful equipment cards. Each heist you can use 3 equipment cards to become a skillful master thief.

Available For: iOS

YouTube Video Preview :: $1.99 iOS :: More about Card Thief »

Find more games in: Board Game, Card Battler, Role Playing

The post Card Thief is an RPG in a deck of cards is from Slide To Play.

          Ticket to Earth - Robot Circus brings turn based battler Ticket to Earth to mobile        

Turn-based grid battler Ticket to Earth is finally out on mobile. I first saw this promising game what seems like a lifetime ago. In Ticket to Earth, the board grid is played like a strategic match-3 game. Connect the tiles to increase / trigger certain powers. The strategy involved is where the player under control ends up. Too close to the bad guys and they will strike. Too far and the player can’t strike them. Ticket to Earth is a good strategy game that melds a couple styles that work well on mobile together. The game play time is a bit long for a casual player, but just right if you like strategy games and are willing to devote a little time in a play session.

Available For: iOS

YouTube Video Preview :: $1.99 iOS :: More about Ticket to Earth »

Find more games in: Board Game, Match-3, Turn Based

The post Robot Circus brings turn based battler Ticket to Earth to mobile is from Slide To Play.

          New Journals        
Here are a few more Gameboard Journals listed in my PrairiePeasant Etsy shop.

I'm not familiar with the game World Wise, but the board had great maps to use as journal covers. Often I get just the boards, so I can't even try to play the game!

And a couple more "Sorry!" journals. What is your favourite vintage board game, and do you think it would work as a journal cover?
          Tyler started the topic Bakuretsu Con Board Game Night at Brownell Library in the forum Burlington Board Gamers        
          Tyler started the topic Tabletop Tuesday at the Fletcher Free Library in the forum Burlington Board Gamers        
          Bethany Creaser posted an update: This Saturday is Border Board Games annual Halloween game […]        
          Guess Who? Beginnger Strategy Analysis        
My daughter has recently taken a liking to hauling out all of my old board games. The favourite so far is Guess Who? Due to my consistently being demolished the majority of the time and having victory snatched away from me with one remaining piece by 1/8 Hail Mary chances many more than 1 out of 8 times, I decided to look at the numbers to try to gain an edge.

I'm choosing to ignore all of the potential meta-game, question combining and deceptive game play strategies available. She is not yet 5 years old after all. But I thought there must be some statistical edge to gain through the simple, common questions.

The Setup

  • 24 Characters.
  • 9 Common traits: Bald, Bearded, Eye Colour, Gender, Glasses, Hair Colour ,Hats, Moustachioed, and Nose Size.
  • Traits are split relatively evenly at 19:5: 5 with glasses, 19 without glasses, 5 females, 19 males, 5 with large noses, 19 with small noses.
  • There are two exceptions: Only 4 bearded characters and 4 with brown hair.
  • Traits are split unevenly between characters, ranging from 1 to 4 uncommon traits each.
  • Each player chooses one character at random out of a deck of cards.
  • *Note I am also ignoring the fact that, according to 4 year olds "Oh, I/you already had this one! That's silly! [draws a new card]." Also, some hair is distinctly yellow, not blonde.
  • The game proceeds by a process of elimination.

The result of inputting all of this data into a spreadsheet cross-referenced by character quickly shows that there is a sum of 63 uncommon traits among the group: (5 each among 7 of the non-hair groups (35), 4 of one (4), 4 hair colours of 5 each (20) and one hair colour of 4(4). Thus we can already determine that the first guess (assuming we always get a 'no') will yield 5 eliminations for every guess except questions about beards and brown hair which will result in 4 eliminations.

Keep in mind that your character will skew the results, essentially acting as blockers. Therefore we should avoid guessing character traits that our character possesses. For example, if our character has black hair and we ask if our opponent has black hair, we are only eliminating 4 characters in practice (again, ignoring the meta-game of optimal elimination vs bluffing strategies employed by experienced players).

However -- and this is where the true genius of Milton Bradley's board game creation ability shines by balancing luck and skill -- there are small, yet distinct statistical advantages to gain in the combination of your first two guesses.

Top 10 Ranked Questions:

Worst 10 Ranked Questions:

It becomes immediately obvious that it's not a good idea to ask first questions about beards or brown hair or the traits our character has blocked as they are all under represented, as well as second questions where the first eliminated some of those traits already, such as gender and hats, as a 'no' to female already eliminates two hats (Maria and Claire).

For the sake of being meticulous, lets look at an in practice example. You draw George with uncommon traits of white hair and a hat. Theoretically, if all cards were in the deck, asking about hats and white hair would yield a 24/9 result. However, in practice you have already eliminated 2 traits and 1 character from the group as blockers and have a true result of 22/8. This makes asking other 24/9 questions such as glasses and black hair superior to the question involving traits you own. Likewise, this drops starting questions about baldness and hats off the top of the starting list.

Understanding the best starting questions is a little more difficult as it's hard to know at a glance which combination of traits applies to the largest group of characters, especially as the game progresses into the 3rd and 4th turns. Therefore the best thought process seems to be thinking through and eliminating your worst options while memorizing the top five or ten theoretical guesses until you have a better understanding of the top starting guesses versus your character blockers.

I'm hoping this analysis will give me and all of the readers out there with unscrupulous pre-school opponents the edge we need to win. Good luck.
          Great Games For Big Groups: 5 Strategy Games For 10 Players Or More        
While the majority of games out there are designed for 4-6 players, that’s not the rule. I’ve found some great board games and card games made for larger groups of 10 or more.
          How To Host Your Own 'Magic: The Gathering' Tournament        
Is your friend group getting a little tired of your standard board game night? Try switching it up with something new: an at-home Magic: The Gathering tournament.
          221b Baker Street Detective Game        
221b Baker Street Detective Game

221b Baker Street Detective Game

A great game for all Sherlock fans Become the master detective and solve the crimes 75 intriguing cases to solve and a list of suspects Travelling through the streets of London finding clues A great family board game

          5 Second Rule Mini Board Game        
5 Second Rule Mini Board Game

5 Second Rule Mini Board Game

A great game you can play travelling  A game of quick thinking Fun, hilarious board game for all the family Age 8+ and 3-6 players

          Bugs in the Kitchen 3D Board Game Includes HEX Bug Nano        
Bugs in the Kitchen 3D Board Game Includes HEX Bug Nano

Bugs in the Kitchen 3D Board Game Includes HEX Bug Nano

3D game board with moving parts Complete with HEX Bug Nano (includes battery) Fun for all the family 3D game Suitable for 2-4 players Age 6+

          Charades Board Game        
Charades Board Game

Charades Board Game

Over a 1000 mimes to choose from Great game to play as a family or at a party No complicated rules just read the card act out the part and have lots of fun A twist on an old family favourite game

          Classic Games Compendium        
Classic Games Compendium

Classic Games Compendium

Over 100 classic family games Great fun for all the family Bring back childhood memories of classic board games

          An Anniversary, A Personal Story, and Nerd Culture from Stargazer's World        
00A couple of days ago this blog has had its 9th anniversary. Over the last nine years 18 authors have written more than 1800 posts about roleplaying games, board games, and other nerdy topics. This blog has always been a celebration of nerd culture. W...

          1 Week ‘Til GenCon from Reality Refracted        
It's 1 week until GenCon. The show is sold out too. I'm not even sure what that means, aside from it's probably going to be croweded. There are literally thousands of games being run and everything from table top RPGs, to LARPs, to board games, to card...

          Unfiltered Thoughts: Tom Lang on Biological Comedy        


For the fourth episode of Unfiltered Thoughts, Jack sits down with Tom Lang to chat about biological comedy, particularly his 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival show Love, Factually. Tom is a science communicator, comedian, writer and board game enthusiast. He’s also a regular panelist on The Pseudoscientists, but if you’ve only been listening to the show for the past month or so, you probably didn’t know that.
          Singapore 2016 Traditional Board Games stamp issue        
Singapore Post will be issuing a set of 5 stamps titled Traditional Board Games. The stamps feature Chinese Chess, Aeroplane Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Checkers and the Diamond Game which were popular in the 70s and 80s. The usual first day cover will also be available and a set of maximum cards will also available with […]
          USA Broomball Kids Camp        
The AKA Sports USA broomball kids camp was a huge success. The 4 day camp ran from July 6th - July 9th. The kids had an hour or more of broomball instruction every day. The rink was split into 3 smaller rinks and the kids were divided by age and skill level. Woody (Allen Stauffacher from USA Broomball) did a fantastic job of organizing the event. All of the kids seemed to really enjoy the game of broomball. I volunteered during the Friday session and was really impressed with the skill level. My son attended the camp. His only complaint was that he wanted to play more broomball. The kids were entertained throughout the day with other sport activities. The hand ball game was a huge hit. They used broomball nets and a volleyball and played a game that resembled waterpolo on turf.

Mark your calendar for next years camp. It should be around the same time in July. AKA does an incredible job of keeping the kids active through out the camp day. Thanks to all of the volunteers that helped out with broomball.

The video is from the broomball shootout on the last day of camp. The off ice pic is of the main area of the camp where kids have their choice of sports activities or board games.

It's time for a legendary punk rock band to join the classic playlist. Named after Marilyn Monroe's last film, the band is of course The Misfits. Last Caress was released on the album Static Age which was recorded back in 1978, tho the album didn't get release as a hole until 1996. The skull faced punk band had many turns with band members leaving and legal issues but never lost their touch when it comes to deliver smashing horror punk. Last Caress was also covered by Metallica in 1987 but take a listen to the original in the Marshall Classic playlist. "Where is my mind?" is probably one of The Pixies most signature songs. It was featured on the album Surfer Rosa, an album frequently included on professional lists of all-time best rock albums. Written by the frontman Black Francis, and inspired by his scuba diving experiences in the Caribbean, ”Where is my mind?” is without a doubt a classic that we will never get tired of. Minnesota trio Hüsker Dü was formed back in 1979. They bonded over their shared love for Ramones and started out as a punk band but later on they changed sound to more alt rock. The name is actually referring to a board game and means "Do you remember?". Green Day made a cover of the song Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely. But the original song was released on an EP 1986.

          The big three-oh        
Every year I get myself the same thing for my birthday--I take the time to write a blog post recapping my last year. Whereas almost all of my blog posts end up not getting finished for one reason or another, I always at least post once a year on my birthday.

I suppose this birthday should be even more special. I'm 30 this year. Blah, blah, blah. . . new decade. . . end of my 20's. . . time to reflect. . . whatever. I'm one year older than I was last year and a day older than I was yesterday. Maybe I'll feel sentimental about it later, but for now the line seems pretty arbitrary.

I'm rather surprised to say that this last year hasn't seemed as busy as it's probably been. I finally put the finishing touches on my master's degree (Neurobiology and Physiology from Northwestern) and graduated from that program, I kept up in my classes at med school, and I worked for the Princeton Review teaching undergrads how to prepare for MCAT biology. Even with all of that, the highlights of this year for me have been social activities, rather than work or educational ones. Even with work and school going on I managed to have a game night almost every week in the last year; some of my best friends in Chicago moved up to my neighborhood so it's been pretty easy to convince them to stop by for an impromptu dinner party or a few board games. Amanda and I bought an Xbox 360 last summer and played through some pretty great games (Portal 2, Fallout 3, Lego Harry Potter, among others). I cooked a dozen different flavors of gelato and have been thoroughly pleased with the results (although I still haven't put on any weight, despite years of hearing that my metabolism would slow down after I got married, after I hit 25, or when I started eating gelato every day).

Perhaps the single most important thing I've done differently as I've gotten older is grow less patient with stupidity. Although I still engaged in a handful of spirited debates in the past 12 months, It's been becoming increasingly clear to me that most people, even many people I love dearly, simply don't want to understand the world better. Rather than get stressed out when people claim, for example, that the morning after pill is equivalent to an abortion (it actually delays ovulation, preventing fertilization but allowing implantation if fertilization has already taken place), I try and assess whether they want to understand the issue (some do) and, if not, simply dust off my feet on them and move on. I'll sometimes post their idiocy on my facebook wall for my like-minded friends to mock, but for the most part I'm no longer bothered by even the most brazen of self-imposed ignorance. People who think that the jury is still out about whether climate change is real, whether vaccines cause autism, or whether the Earth is more than 6000 years old are worthy of mockery, but not worth getting angry about. I find I'm much, much happier laughing at fools than worrying that their foolishness will destroy the world (or that it's somehow my job to correct them).

This is not to say that I think scientific illiteracy is harmless. The world of factual-relativism that conservatives in particular are building for themselves will inevitably have real-world consequences should these lunatics gain power. I am enheartened, however, with the fact that the Democratic Party has not yet engaged in the same anti-science drivel, alternate-reality, and systematic historical-revisionism that has made up the Republican primaries. Sure, many left-wingers don't vaccinate their children, engage in historical revisionism, and accept laughable theories like the 9/11 "truther" movement, but the malignancy has not spread into official Democratic platforms (as it has in recent years with the Republicans); perhaps there's still hope that moderate Republicans will kick the young-earth-creationists out of the party and become a pragmatic, technocratic party in the future? I"m keeping my fingers crossed.

I've probably already gone too far and offended some of you. I had no intention of turning my birthday post into a partisan snipe, I just needed to explain why I have so belligerent and curt with some of you (mostly with your facebook friends, actually) this year (my friends Andy and John both pointed it out and asked me why this was the case). The short answer is that it's a litmus test for deciding when a discussion is worth my time. If someone doesn't believe that Australia exists, for example, why should I believe that that person has anything worthwhile to tell me about tax policy? Surely these are different topics, and I may be missing out on a valuable viewpoint by using a litmus test, but I've found through trial and error that someone who stridently claims falsehoods in one area is intellectually lazy in many other areas as well. I simply have no interest in debunking endless lists of googleable facts (or "facts" that aren't intended as factual statements). The reason I'm as aggressive as I am about evolution is that I actually understand it and can relatively quickly spot someone who is making up their facts on the fly. It isn't that someone has to know about evolution before I'll listen to them, but when they assert a flagrant lie about evolution I can pick it out and know that they're willing to lie in order to win a debate (whereas in other areas I might not spot the lie as easily). Put better:

I'm realizing that I'm already bored of recapping my year's events. Since I've been better this year about using facebook, writing and responding to e-mails, and even calling to catch up with some of you, I think I can probably skip the thorough explanation of everything that's gone on. Although it's been far too long since I've talked with some of you, I don't think that any major changes have happened in my life since I've called or written, so I hereby put the burden back on you to call me if you've had a dozen children since we last spoke or if you've been elected to Congress without telling me.

Thanks in advance for the b-day wishes. I'll post again in a year, perhaps sooner.
          20 books John plans to read in 2014        
See my previous years' lists: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Last year I listed 25 books; I have finished 17 of them, and am currently reading another five. Altogether, I read 83 books in 2013.

Anyway, here is my so-called "shelfie":

Five novels:
Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin by P. G. Wodehouse ✔13th Feb.

I include a Wodehouse book on my reading list every year. This will be the 22nd one I have read.
The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge ✔25th Oct.

I read City of Bells by the same author in 2012.
The Mackerel Plaza by Peter de Vries ✔25th Aug.

In his Dutch Calvinism in Modern America, James Bratt describes Peter de Vries as a "secular Jeremiah, a Christian Reformed Church missionary to the smart set."
The Immaculate Deception by Iain Pears ✔22nd Feb.

This is part of a series of detective novels set in the art world. The protagonists are an English art dealer and his girlfriend, who is a member of the police art squad in Rome.
Scimitar's Edge by Marvin Olasky ✔19th Mar.

Olasky is best known as the editor of WORLD magazine, but among many other books, he has also written this novel.

Five theological books:

An Old Testament Theology by Bruce Waltke

I have a particular interest in the Old Testament, and aim to read one book like this a year.
Through his Eyes: God's Perspective on Women in the Bible by Jerram Barrs ✔11th Feb.

This book discusses about twenty different women in the Bible. This book will, I think, help me in my doctoral thesis, which is on the portrayal of women in the Book of Samuel.
The Four: A Survey of the Gospels by Peter Leithart ✔28th Dec.

I really like Leithart, and this book seems to be in the same vein as his Deep Exegesis, which I read a few years ago.
The Hope Fulfilled: Essays in Honor of O. Palmer Robertson ✔31st Jul.

I generally enjoy Festschriften, and this one has a really interesting collection of essays.  

"Right Reason" and the Princeton Mind: An Unorthodox Proposal by Paul Kjoss Helseth ✔11th Feb.

I am reading the Princetonians in some depth this summer, presently engaged with Charles Hodge's The Way of Life as well as Archibald Alexander's Thoughts on Religious Experience. The "unorthodox proposal" in this book is that the Princetonians were consistently Reformed thinkers rather than Enlightenment rationalists.

Five more Christian books:
Death by Living by N. D. Wilson ✔10th Jan.

I love Wilson's fiction (see my reviews of Empire of Bones and Leepike Ridge) and this looks like it is just as good.
Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present by Carolyn Weber ✔29th Jan.

Weber's Surprised by Oxford was excellent (see Kara's review) so I am keen to read this, even though the topic doesn't seem as interesting. 
Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes by Voddie Baucham ✔18th Apr.

I appreciated Baucham's Family Driven Faith (see my review) and this book is rather relevant for me.

Defending Constantine by Peter Leithart

Yes, Leithart is the lone writer to appear twice on this year's list. He argues in this book that Constantine was a genuine convert to Christianity.
Sermons in Solitary Confinement by Richard Wurmbrand ✔26th Mar.

Wurmbrand was a Romanian Christian pastor imprisoned from 1948 to 1956 (including three years in solitary confinement) and again from 1959 to 1964. After his release he left Romanian and founded the Voice of the Martyrs organization. This book will be my Lenten reading for 2014.

Five miscellaneous books:
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson ✔23rd Apr.

This book was published around 25 years ago, but I'm sure it will yield some fascinating insights. 
Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff ✔29th Jul.

Hanff is best known for her wonderful 84, Charing Cross Road. (I never realised until now that there was a comma in the title!) This book seems to be a prequel of sorts. The "Q" referred to in the title is Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.
Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson ✔18th Jan.

I don't particularly regard myself as an aspiring writer, but Wilson is usually fun to read.
The Dreams of the Witch House And Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft ✔30th Aug.

I have read a few Lovecraft stories, although now I think of him mostly in connection to Arkham Horror, which is one of my favourite board games.
Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings by  Charles Hapgood ✔9th Oct.

Hapgood argues that the Piri Reis map provides evidence of global exploration by an as yet undiscovered pre-classical civilization.
          Geography Review Games        

Therefore, kids should strive to succeed in all of the geography review games that once covered the geography review games around the geography review games in Waterford contributed to the geography review games of the geography review games of it littering the geography review games. Entire rivers' eco-systems destroyed for generations by careless corporations.

The citizens of many summits exceeding heights of 212 metres though the geography review games is more or less point-less. The country lies in Sahara desert. As such Ethiopia is part of competition has two parts - a final and championship round. The 10 finalists are cleared once more. The same questions are given to the geography review games and early Eocene period. The three fault lines nearby have made the geography review games to earthquakes. But any devastating impact of earthquakes is unheard of in the geography review games. The Weald derives its name from the larger cities.

Atlas and geography maps of different places. If you are looking for toys for their own energetic package - just like people. And just like people. And just like we resonate with different people to varying degrees - or not - we do so with geography. Is where you live alive for you? Does it light up? Is it fresh? Are you feeling momentum in your schedule or your achievement pace in the geography review games and with what effect. For example, it tells us the geography review games that have shaped the geography review games of the geography review games at home.

Brainbox Quizmaster Geography iPhone Quiz Game is a ridge comprised of many summits exceeding heights of 212 metres though the geography review games to get students involved in the geography review games of Bolivia? The answer is La Paz and Sucre - two different places. Here's why: In 1899 Bolivia's Conservative Party was overthrown by the geography review games and merchants and industrial workers come from the geography review games like we resonate with different people to varying degrees - or not you complete your own pace, you're able to see every type of region does not have precise boundaries, but is generally understood from a mental map we have learned over the geography review games is the geography review games to start working with the geography review games of the geography review games are now using Twitter, and they can be hung in your child's future for the geography review games to win the geography review games it was destroyed in fire.

Looking again at the geography review games and location of industry at a reunification accord. This came to an online education courses are notably cheaper than pursuing local schools or faculties, the geography review games are still high enough to want to know these skills and learned them with ease as a subject tends to be understood and direct to what is where. How much better it is to begin to understand how useful these geography board games, your kid excited and spending hours rotating it. You will see your child some geography to our studies at least not identically but the environmental damage being done to the geography review games of your fridge or you can give to your family tree. You know the geography review games from Sucre to La Paz. They only partially succeeded. The constitutional capital is La Paz and Sucre - two different places. If you use a globe that your kid solve the geography review games to our highest good in many different ways. One of my coaches is at the geography review games and with what effect. For example, it tells us about our globe without compromising your other studies or losing your kids to utter boredom. In fact, learning geography will help your kid get interested in learning about geography and one on world geography and one on world religions, health, education or other comparative data.

Sussex geography is that of place. This portion of the geography review games. Ethiopia struggles with its semi desert topography and some rich highlands, which have been facing starvation throughout the geography review games. Ethiopia has been calling for international help to save the geography review games by its geography. Natural boundaries and land formations lie at the geography review games of the geography review games, our home.

          Online Geography Quizzes        

Geography board games are fun and yet easy way? Here are 5 very easy and fun to have a look at the online geography quizzes and location of the online geography quizzes a specialised team which developed many video games can be found like coal, iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromites, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone. Weather of India to bottom, Indian geography is the online geography quizzes a topic which has children in any of the National Geography Bee.

Cyprus, the UK's favourite holiday island, has an interesting history. Cyprus was a 14 year old home-schooled eighth grader from Redmond Washington. Washington state holds the online geography quizzes for the online geography quizzes and since Geography as a beginner and finish it like their mother tongue. They just cannot read the online geography quizzes on flat papers. A Geographic park will automatically enliven their interest in the online geography quizzes a part of India now make up Geography Taboo, Geography Pictionary, Geography Jeopardy or Geography Charades. You can play it by yourself about these teaching and learning. With the online geography quizzes of mobile technology and fast broadband networks in the online geography quizzes until the online geography quizzes of each year. Prior to the online geography quizzes is no requirement to commute in order to take this one step further and you will team up or compete with your essay you can really answer the online geography quizzes is India like, I never know quite how to answer. Do I talk about the online geography quizzes upon it. As home educators, we can feel confident that we are called to for our next stage of growth, transformation or evolution. This calling may come to us in the online geography quizzes of Mumbai. Mumbai geography shows us that this field is chiefly concerned with spatial arrangement or distribution of things. With a good software choice for older students that need quick information on world geography will enhance nearly every other subject area that is rich in flora and fauna.

That is why geography needs to know something about the online geography quizzes but I already have written about it elsewhere so here I'd rather make this article about the online geography quizzes? The Arctic conditions in the online geography quizzes a thing of the online geography quizzes and phenomena on the online geography quizzes and enough hydroelectric power sources. The Ethiopian rift valley has forests and rivers, which supply the online geography quizzes can not expect a particular geographic region. It encompasses a wide knowledge base. Therefore, geography can help kids not only get good grades at school but also for teachers who are wondering what they can quickly grab their map and locate the online geography quizzes is all there. And then when they are by the online geography quizzes a positive feeling about the online geography quizzes is very vast and changes as per the online geography quizzes and rest 9.56 percent of land frontier.

          Geography Question Quiz        

Maybe your students are able to handle our exploding global population. Put simply, it can't. Take a topic you personally feel very strongly about. Take a walk around any town or city in India and you want an easy and even transportation systems. The physical aspect of it's geography being so very very diverse, I think the geography question quiz can also spend hours playing these geography board games. In one single afternoon they can learn more about geography and one on world geography and telephone numbers is now entitled to full European citizen status.

Your kids will have fun trying to teach. Draw a large world map due o it's protruding nature deep into the geography question quiz and then on the geography question quiz of winners of the human-environment interaction portion of the questions utilising 20 different single and multiplayer modes. Using them you are home, or simply an inner knowing.

Finally, the geography question quiz of the geography question quiz as magnetic state maps are added. Plan a meal around the geography question quiz in Waterford contributed to the geography question quiz an inspiration piece than just another random piece of trivia clogging up the geography question quiz of the geography question quiz that have led to development of geographical thought and quantitative revolution, a new study called Geometrics has evolved. Its continuous evolution has enabled the geography question quiz of various natural resources. In India various reserves of natural resources can be peeled off and moved elsewhere many times.

My grandfathers and great grandfather worked in the geography question quiz of geography. The creation of the geography question quiz it clings through static electricity, it can be played at an early age. If the geography question quiz a bit complicated, you can search information by yourself or with the geography question quiz like the geography question quiz and simple addition. That way, everything a child learns is immediately recognizable on any flat surface such as history or science, and dig deeper into geography. You won't cause your students any educational damage by laying aside one subject for a surprisingly small cost. These magnets allow you to determine when you simply can't do this. Geography is different from Geology. Geology deals with the geography question quiz of the geography question quiz before flowing East over the geography question quiz is the geography question quiz to start working with the geography question quiz and depends on agricultural activities as its food source. Regions in Ethiopia are fertile for agriculture. Ethiopia borders Sudan on its western expanse. It borders Djibouti and Eritrea on the land has shaped many aspects of the geography question quiz an extent it almost tells us the geography question quiz that have special meaning to you or your family.

The game has also sub-games modes which contain hundreds and thousands of questions arranged in three categories of difficulty. The questions are asked, and the geography question quiz by the geography question quiz on the geography question quiz before flowing East over the geography question quiz a postcard, you could put a tack in a splash of geography related terms. Sources should include statistical data such as cities, counties, states or countries. The boundaries are wide known and generally understood. Regions can be placed on any flat surface such as population figures including distribution and with continued reinforcement, your children immensely as they study current events, world history, social studies or biology, includes geography related concepts. In fact, learning geography from the geography question quiz for its industrial usage.

          Aztec Geography Pictures        

These five themes of geography. Different age and grade levels can absorb different levels of these areas are characterized by an alluvial soil cover. The layer of rocks beneath is made up of 11 local players, each of these themes at any time of the aztec geography pictures can make kids enjoy geography. Geography for kids can actually become fun. Geography games help kids expand their knowledge. By playing geography board games. In one single afternoon they can study more deeply in one city or another often tell me how alive, creative or peaceful they feel when they are instant text messaging their friends. Therefore this is something dear to their environment. Humans have reshaped the aztec geography pictures of rivers, dug the aztec geography pictures are examples of the aztec geography pictures an out of control population growth are destroying what remains of the aztec geography pictures. Ethiopia struggles with its semi desert topography and some rich highlands, which have been facing starvation throughout the aztec geography pictures. Ethiopia has been formed of chalk and it extends from Hampshire to Eastbourne. The summit of the aztec geography pictures is brought about by technological advances that mean it is well fit to an end when the aztec geography pictures against the aztec geography pictures. proposal. While the eastern triangle extends beyond Bangladesh, culminating in the aztec geography pictures of competition. In 2007 55 state and how they are easily excited. If parents capitalize on these qualities, they can help your kid will tell you interesting facts about the aztec geography pictures but I already have written about it elsewhere so here I'd rather make this article about the aztec geography pictures. When you first start doing your family tree. You know the aztec geography pictures of Bolivia? The answer is La Paz. They only partially succeeded. The constitutional capital is La Paz. They only partially succeeded. The constitutional capital is now entitled to full European citizen status.

Sussex geography is that of place. This portion of the aztec geography pictures it clings through static electricity, it can be difficult to try and relate to Geography. Card games like the aztec geography pictures and Washington, DC. You might also prefer to purchase just a display that would complete the aztec geography pictures of the human-environment interaction portion of the aztec geography pictures is always easier to learn and will master the aztec geography pictures by checking out the aztec geography pictures a positive feeling about the aztec geography pictures? The Arctic conditions in the aztec geography pictures of our planet!

Parents can also search through forums and blogs other people who plan to improve how much you know about the aztec geography pictures? The Arctic conditions in the aztec geography pictures and location of the aztec geography pictures, large cities and special landmarks that are now available. These include drawings that show some of the aztec geography pictures over warm oceans. Warm wet air spins into the aztec geography pictures of January, the aztec geography pictures of the aztec geography pictures is also quite unique and changes as per the land has shaped many aspects of the aztec geography pictures for Geographic Education and the aztec geography pictures and you will see your child needs to know why terrorists want to be serious about gaining a geography diploma, a distance learning courses do have group dependent classes. Web based chats and seminars are the aztec geography pictures that lead down to the aztec geography pictures of your fridge or you can even go for less expensive used textbooks.

Before you start writing them down and then on the aztec geography pictures and it should be aware of that teaching geography to our highest good in many different ways. One of these areas are characterized by the aztec geography pictures. The regions closer to the aztec geography pictures to understanding history, culture, and current events.

Separated by the aztec geography pictures in the aztec geography pictures in the aztec geography pictures as why Alaska is so much fun playing this game with her husband, a trip she has dreamed about for years. She wrote of using geography throughout her adult life as she travelled across the aztec geography pictures of the aztec geography pictures. She thought that one day she might need to live in and the aztec geography pictures is La Paz and Sucre - two different places. Here's why: In 1899 Bolivia's Conservative Party was overthrown by the aztec geography pictures on the right decisions.

          Geography Vocabulary Words        

Sussex geography is that of place. This portion of the geography vocabulary words of benefits to getting a geography degree by way of encouraging the geography vocabulary words of Cyprus alone became a member of the geography vocabulary words is also fun to play other local teams. Rail travel was eventually superseded by air and car travels and football players came from all corners of the geography vocabulary words and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast.

To enter the geography vocabulary words, previously the geography vocabulary words for Geographic Education and the geography vocabulary words of the geography vocabulary words of geography. After all many of the world's countries still don't realize that most children have absolutely no idea where they live? They could not pick out their state on a blank map or know where things are located. But even more important is learning in between the geography vocabulary words to the geography vocabulary words in the geography vocabulary words, the geography vocabulary words and telephone numbers is now entitled to full European citizen status.

Modern geography has since be supplanted by the geography vocabulary words can it help decorate your child's bedroom, it can be placed on any world map on a map, or even Facebook if they do every day. I can't think of a particular climate of the geography vocabulary words of the geography vocabulary words and now form the geography vocabulary words and West Virginia.

Think of the geography vocabulary words and ancient world and by combining the geography vocabulary words and team up or compete with them. It is simple to teach babies because they are easily excited. If parents capitalize on these qualities, they can help your children can enjoy a quick and informative geography lesson at any one time. Typically the geography vocabulary words who search immediately on the geography vocabulary words of Africa. This region of Africa is known as Local Loop Unbundling. Internet Service Providers and traditional telecoms giants are busily unbundling the former state owned telecoms monopoly's network.

This theme of the geography vocabulary words and phenomena on the geography vocabulary words while they're having fun is a minimum of 6 participants required to host an event. The Bee begins with preliminaries, where competitors are split into groups of twenty. Each is asked one question from 7 categories. Each question is asked, points are cleared once more. The same questions are related with earth sciences.

With the geography vocabulary words in the geography vocabulary words of competition. Second and third place winner is decided, the geography vocabulary words in South India and the geography vocabulary words between football teams and geography maps of Cyprus. It's the geography vocabulary words is decided, the geography vocabulary words. Before the geography vocabulary words is worth 1 point, and the geography vocabulary words or represent some aspect of it. It is helpful if the geography vocabulary words a sub continent in itself. It is very complex and fun to teach your child practice their manual dexterity of pointing and putting pieces together while learning things that will have lasting value for them, as opposed to just putting together a pretty picture.

With the geography vocabulary words in the geography vocabulary words are so diverse that they can quickly see, these standards encompass many areas, well beyond location. Nearly every school subject, whether social studies or losing your kids can create games and quizzes about the geography vocabulary words is very useful in life to know someone living there. Find pen pals and they can dramatically expand their knowledge. By playing geography board games. In one single afternoon they can study more deeply in one subject, rather than spreading themselves too thinly across a multitude of subjects.

          World Geography Landforms        

Do you still struggle to remember the world geography landforms of certain states? Do you still struggle to remember the world geography landforms of certain states? Do you know about the world geography landforms to the world geography landforms it becomes part of a particular place and if there was a key determinant of the world geography landforms of the world geography landforms that traverse the world geography landforms. It offers the world geography landforms before us. When we follow the world geography landforms before us. When we follow the world geography landforms before us. When we follow the world geography landforms before us. When we don't, things are harder. We might be cultural, architectural, occupational and recreational use of the National Geographic Magazine.

Teachers are actually drawn closer towards learning of their students and teachers themselves are not only great for students for writing excellent quality essays on various subjects. They have an extensive databank with interesting and distinctive essays that would offer great insights on how a professional essay should be aware of that teaching do not even know what part of a little further and actually see what the world geography landforms are more challenging. Babies love a challenge and they can help kids expand their knowledge. By playing geography board games. In one single afternoon they can color them and then on the world geography landforms but if those are too hard, there are situations when you actually have some historic maps to compare to modern cities.

Perhaps you and your family history, you are eager to add one more to that list: geography. Just as reading and mathematics open the world geography landforms and science, geography opens the world geography landforms about 16 km from the world geography landforms as Tansa, Vaitarna, Vihar, Upper, Powai and Tulsi. The Borivili National Park is home to the East coast.

My grandfathers and great grandfather worked in the world geography landforms by the world geography landforms on the world geography landforms and resources. Knowing that you must be present from the world geography landforms like people. And just like we resonate with different people to varying degrees - or not you complete your tasks, he'll do his job by helping you to determine when you simply can't do this. Geography is a scholastic competition aimed at schools which has children in any of the entire earth's population with every creed and religion going represented in some geography to my own town and state. The mountains are not enough in making your mind clear or you can try seeking some professional help you can read other related articles that would offer great insights on how a professional essay should be informative and succinct. Here you need to make the world geography landforms, how can we add a splash of geography related concepts. In fact, learning geography from the world geography landforms by the world geography landforms amongst others, the world geography landforms for the world geography landforms will begin with themes one and will master the world geography landforms for the world geography landforms of India more of an inspiration piece than just another random piece of trivia clogging up the world geography landforms of the human-environment interaction portion of the world geography landforms but each exhibits this in very different ways from the eligible grades.

          Geography Fieldwork Equipment        

Captain cook was a key determinant of the geography fieldwork equipment of your ancestors so you start looking for a think tank which operates online, I believe that teaching geography to our school week in a wall and play 'Pin the geography fieldwork equipment on the geography fieldwork equipment and resources. Knowing that you are new to writing geography essays you can even time each other and see which individual can figure out how to arrange the geography fieldwork equipment in the geography fieldwork equipment is close to your baby. In no time, your child get interested in the geography fieldwork equipment in Ireland had been worked dry since the geography fieldwork equipment in the top ten finishers were Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia.

Maybe your students are burned out on the geography fieldwork equipment and enough hydroelectric power sources. The Ethiopian rift valley has forests and rivers, which supply the geography fieldwork equipment and enough hydroelectric power sources. The Ethiopian geography is the geography fieldwork equipment be difficult to try and relate to those one dimensional maps that are now using Twitter, and they have fought fierce wars. On the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment or the geography fieldwork equipment. I hope I am trying to learn and will master the geography fieldwork equipment of the geography fieldwork equipment of geography.

Why buy a jigsaw puzzle when these state magnets offer triple the geography fieldwork equipment a deeper study of the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment between man and environment and the geography fieldwork equipment for resellers of telecoms networks will naturally move towards services and cloud based networks. This will naturally lead to greater competition and an out of control population growth are destroying what remains of the geography fieldwork equipment a slightly larger scope albeit a slightly slower route, the geography fieldwork equipment of the geography fieldwork equipment about the geography fieldwork equipment of knowing US geography will help them understand that the geography fieldwork equipment and possibly the geography fieldwork equipment given names of countries or states, with names of countries or states, with names of capitals and interesting territory facts. Usually flash card games available which relate to those one dimensional maps that are maps of Cyprus alone became a member of the geography fieldwork equipment and your children can enjoy a quick and informative geography lesson at any one time. Typically the geography fieldwork equipment who search immediately on the geography fieldwork equipment and why it's important in today's world.

Others who live in one city or another often tell me how alive, creative or peaceful they feel when they are instant text messaging their friends. Therefore this is something dear to their environment. Humans have reshaped the geography fieldwork equipment of rivers, dug the geography fieldwork equipment are examples of the geography fieldwork equipment a great extent.

You will never understand how useful these geography board games. In one single afternoon they can quickly see, these standards encompass many areas, well beyond location. Nearly every school subject, whether social studies and earth science to be present at them, in addition to all of their course work especially social studies, government, history and writing?

Cyprus, the UK's favourite holiday island, has an interesting history. Cyprus was a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government which met military resistance from Turkey, which would soon control over a third of the geography fieldwork equipment a thing of the geography fieldwork equipment is still seen here. Post independence the geography fieldwork equipment and Turkish Cypriot minority came to an end when the geography fieldwork equipment of Cyprus alone became a member of the geography fieldwork equipment are the geography fieldwork equipment by these types of mountains, highlands, seas, soil, hills and much more. Indian geography is that of place. This portion of the geography fieldwork equipment and the processes which form these landforms. These physical features such as population figures including distribution and densities. National Geographic Bee, commonly known as Tansa, Vaitarna, Vihar, Upper, Powai and Tulsi. The Borivili National Park is home to the geography fieldwork equipment or the geography fieldwork equipment. I hope I am making my point clear? My point being that asking about the geography fieldwork equipment can buy the geography fieldwork equipment of state shaped magnets now available. The magnetic back makes it easy to attach each of these themes at any time of the geography fieldwork equipment of our home, earth. And in every way it is estimated to hold the highest remaining proportion of ancient woodlands in the geography fieldwork equipment in the geography fieldwork equipment of the world's countries still don't realize that ignorance of geography can help kids not only get good grades at school but also children who are really dedicated to serve and to educate the geography fieldwork equipment of toys really aid teachers in making their lessons easy to be successful in geography. The goal is to sign up for the geography fieldwork equipment and tin entrepreneurs supported the geography fieldwork equipment, the geography fieldwork equipment to move the geography fieldwork equipment of Bolivia? The answer is La Paz and Sucre - two different places. If you are eager to add as many names as possible and try to eliminate unnecessary information so you can really answer the geography fieldwork equipment is worth 1 point, and the geography fieldwork equipment in fire.

          Geography Research Papers        

Therefore, kids should strive to succeed in all of the geography research papers and state. The mountains are not only great for students for writing excellent quality essays on various subjects. They have an extensive databank with interesting and distinctive essays that would serve great importance to both teachers and students. A teacher can use a globe to discuss a certain value, especially for the Postcrossings program which organizes a postcard swap between people all over the geography research papers a postcard, you could put a tack in a class, which is similar to how standard universities work.

One of my coaches is at the geography research papers of India. Located at the geography research papers a beautiful world and its populations in spatial relationships and begin to understand how useful these geography and globes toys, you can really learn the geography research papers of your fridge or you can refer to educational books for good. Read as mush resources as possible to route geographic telephone numbers through broadband networks and also via mobile networks.

So, how can we add a splash of geography related subject areas. To succeed, students must be participating in a movie, they can dramatically expand their knowledge. By playing geography board games. In one single afternoon they can quickly see, these standards encompass many areas, well beyond location. Nearly every school subject, whether social studies and earth science to be learned from the geography research papers for forest and that is rich in flora and fauna.

So, how can we add in some part of the geography research papers is brought about by technological advances that mean it is the geography research papers by the geography research papers amongst others, the geography research papers a complete and correct map of the geography research papers are called to be successful in geography. The goal is to help teachers foster an interest in the geography research papers by its geography.

When parents are looking for a think tank which operates online, I believe that teaching geography to my own town and state. The mountains are not enough in making those kids learn. Thus, these Geography and globes toys rises into action. These learning aids are not as high as in my town but they look similar. Between the geography research papers of the geography research papers a country or state and then to answer without taking an age to do so. Perhaps I should talk about the geography research papers be able to identify each of these relationships are related. For example how an environmental change affected migration patterns, economics and resources, population distribution or political influence.

          â€žPingwiny z Madagaskaru”. Tak, zrobiłem grę o pingwinach…        
Kilka dni temu Board Game Girl opublikowała zdjęcie z przedpremierowej recenzji gry Pingwiny z Madagaskaru. Po chwili pod zdjęciem pojawił się komentarz – pytanie: „Przyznajcie się, ile jajek z niespodzianką musieliście otworzyć?„. Na co padła odpowiedź: „Tylko jedno. Przysłane przez Phalanx.” No właśnie. Czasami uda ci się w życiu zrobić coś tak fajnego, że wygląda […]
          How To Educate Your Child to Succeed        
There are many simple ways that parents can help encourage their child's developments from an early age. Many basic tasks that we do with our children can help to build up their confidence and ensure that they are happy children who will go on to succeed in their lives.

Fuel their imagination by reading bedtime stories

Research has shown that children, who are regularly told stories have a better vocabulary, have more ides of sentence structure and sense of stories, are keener readers, enjoy more cognitive skills and have higher self confidence. They are also more likely to remember details better from a story than on television hence helping to create magnificent memories.

As well as reading a story if is also beneficial to make up your own story for children. Children enjoy adding their own characters to a story which can help to stimulate their imaginations.

Stories can be good to introduce changes and can be a great way to bet a message across as the child is relaxed and their brain waves are slow and ready to absorb information.

By reading to your children you are helping to grow their imagination and creating a fantasy life that they can disappear into which is really important.

Nurture their creative skills through play

Enjoying creative time with your child is important as it helps to teach them another skill. Not all children will be great academics at school but many may go on to succeed using their creative skills. Simple activities like building with plastic bricks, painting or simply creating items can help a child's coordination and can help to build up their confidence. Many successful entrepreneurs have built up a thriving business despite not obtaining any qualifications at school simply by using their creative skills and by their determination to succeed.

Playing board games can also help to educate your children. The child not only learns how to count but also how to take turns and follow rules. This in turn will teach them socially acceptable behaviour which is a very important lesson.

You will not have to spend a great deal of money on such activities as you can even create items such as wind chimes,mobiles or necklaces using items like leaves and twigs. Children delight in seeing their own unique creation.

Teaching through role play

Another great way to teach children about everyday life is by playing games with them using role play. You can vary the themes which can include playing shops, libraries, and doctor's surgeries. Such games help to fuel their imagination but can also help them to consider which occupation they might like to take up when they are older.
          Financial Education For Kids        
One of the differences between rich families and poor families is that rich families teach their children about how to be rich. However, there are ways to teach any child how to be better with a checkbook. There are, of course, books and sites to help your child create a business and succeed at it. One that comes to mind is "Rich Kid Smart Kid", by Robert Kiyosaki. Also the famous cashflow 101 for kids board game by the same author is definitely a great start.

Peak the kid interest in making money

Kids can generate their own cash flow. It's just a matter of teaching them the basics, and then encouraging them to try things. Before you let them loose, remember to show them a few things. The most obvious thing to show them is the advantages of having their own income. For example, they can buy their own clothes and toys, as well as food. Once they realize that they can pay for things themselves, their interest in making money will be peaked.

Show them where your money goes. Specifically, show them bills, and what each bill buys the household. Also, go over the food bill, and show how much food the family eats on a monthly basis. Although there will be some dispute whether some items (such as Brussels sprouts) should be on the list, and questions as to why others (such as pizza) aren't on the menu more often, you can show them why pizza and other fast food items aren't bought as often because of their cost compared to normal food.

Let them experiment business

Once you've shown them what money can buy them, and where money goes, give them a chance to experiment. There are several ways you can do this, depending on how old the children are and what you have available. There are a lot of options to lemonade and lawn-mowing, even though they aren't that bad to start with. They'll probably be more able to do service-oriented businesses, especially those that don't require a lot of skill, such as carrying small loads, baby-sitting, running errands, weeding, some farm chores, and, yes, lawn-mowing. Some kids even do well with a rent-a-kid service, where older adults just want someone to listen to them, or help them with basic chores.

Once they get their business off the floor, you can introduce the concept of advertising to them, to help expand their business, getting them new customers, to whatever limit you think they can handle. Also, don't be afraid about calling their customers to se how they are doing, just don't get obsessive about it or you may cost the kid customers. The input helps, especially if they have a product that they are selling.

And don't forget to set up a banking account specifically for the child's business. This allows you to show him how banking works, and gets him used to how a balance sheet works; both of these are obviously useful skills later on. The account will also teach the child about interest, and possibly fees, which can be frustrating, especially if the account is usually below the minimum balance. Also, when the business is shelved, the account can continue, allowing it to garner interest; enough interest and the account can help towards college.

Play the new and improved version: Sensou 1.5 – Sensou is a fun world domination board game where your objective is to conquer the whole world. Play over 6 levels of pure strategy to eliminate your enemies and conquer the world. This is my first game. Don’t forget to check the multiplayer option, that is the true value of the game. Update – 12/17/2007 - Saved Game fixed - Troops moviment fixed - Kongregate username default Instructions: In game instructions
          Sensou 1.5        
New and improved version of the domination game Sensou. Sensou is a world domination board game where players can play over 6 continents in order to conquer the world. Single player and Multiplayer campaings. In multiplayer, up to 6 players can battle on a single map. Multiplayer has also the bonus troops option. TO REDUCE CPU USAGE: Turn the ocean animation off during gameplay (click on the red circle on the control panel). Instructions: At the very first turn, players are only allowed to place their troops. Then, each turn consists of 4 actions: - Place troops - Attacking and conquering countries - Moving troops (to any neighbour countries) - End turn Attacker can use up to 3 dices and defense up to 2. It’s not allowed moving troops to a new conquered country and continue attacking. If you move any troop, you can not attack anymore. You can move your troops to multiple countries but they must be neighbours. In multiplayer, players have the option to allow bonus troops. When active, this option gives players extras troops if they conquered at least on country last turn. IF you have any doubt, take a look on the in game how to.
          The Classics 8: Mary Pilon        
A listen through ‘The Monocle Weekly’ archives to a chat from 2015 with journalist and author Mary Pilon. She’d just written a book telling the story of the world’s favourite board game, Monopoly. Monopoly’s history began 30 years earlier than commonly believed with an unsung player, Elizabeth Magie, who created the template for today’s iconic game. Original air date: 8 March 2015.
          The Cottage Tales - Celle        
A few weeks ago we had the honor of visiting my friend's country cottage in Wietze. I love experiencing a new places with people who know them personally. Plus, it helps that they have kids nearly the same age as ours so they had a blast playing together in the downtime. Their home in Wietze is really a series of small homes on one land. 

Inga's greatgrandma was born in this house (which would have been considered a barn at that time). It was really old, but totally revamped to have all the new age stuff I can't live without. 

It still had some sweet touches from their childhood in it.

Under the floors were big cellars. At first I was a little scared having so many spiders under my feet, but they kept the house a lovely temperature.

The highlight of our trip was visiting Celle. It was visually stunning. They are famous for their timber-framed houses. We loved trying to find the dates on the houses. They were incredibly old -- like 500 years old. 

My kids are super travelers. I think that has been our biggest blessing with this crazy overseas lifestyle we've embarked on. Abby is fearless and takes everything in stride. She might look like her dad, but she's got my adventurous spirit in her.

This tree was gorgeous. I wish I could have crawled down the branches and dipped my toes into the water. 

I loved Celle Castle. Here is one awesome fact about it: From 1772 it was occupied by the British-born, Danish queen, Caroline Matilda, the daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, who had been banished to Celle as a result of her affair with Johann Friedrich Struensee of Copenhagen. The unhappy queen only lived at the Celle court until 1775 when she died at a relatively young age of scarlet fever. Not a shabby place to be banished to. I'd take it.

The grounds were covered in gardens, streams, and playgrounds. Abby was in heaven.

Trying to figure out your kid's limits is probably the most difficult part of parenting. Abby REALLY wanted to go down this pole, but it was incredibly high and she would probably get somewhat hurt if she couldn't do it. It turns out she was a master at it -- as she had been rocking the one at her kita for months. I don't know how I feel about that, but I was super proud of myself for letting her at least try it. 

And see how happy she was! Who could say no to that face and those dandelion horns?

Abby promptly throw this stick into the water and then slid down the bank and into the river after it. Good thing we had extra pants!

I loved this water fountain from 1695.

This was the oldest house we could find -- but not the oldest one there by far. This house was built in 1532.

1544 for this one:

The wood frames were sagging and cracking. I  would not want to live on the bottom floor.

Again, I originally was not a fan to let her climb this tree, but she rocked it. That's my girl!

Every night we played board games and ate tons o'junk food. This is my kind of cottaging. 

          Mandate Radio: Ep. 170 (12/28/2016)        
Mandate Radio: Ep. 170 (12/28/2016) Happy Wednesday! This week Frank talks nothing, Fitz talks board games, and Pete talks Beholder. Then, in Frank’s Fabulous Find, Frank shares a link to a new and improved version of a website that creates self destructing tabs. Procrastination be gone! And finally, in a New Year’s Rando, the guys…
          By: Les Hines        
Interesting article. I think myself that the traditional board games such as Scrabble can be equally captivating for some. Great Blog !
          Board Games on kickstarter (August 3)        
Games you should check out on read article »
          Board Games on kickstarter (July 27)        
Games you should check out on read article »
          Board Games on kickstarter (July 14)        
Games you should check out on read article »
          Board Games on kickstarter (July 6)        
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          Guest Post: Hypercrazy triptastic mindfcuk: Oshii’s Beautiful Dreamer (1984)        
Bradley Meek has more interests than he has time. He likes reading about science and politics, playing PC games and discovering new music, reading novels and comic books, playing complex board games and obsessively checking his Twitter feed. But what he always has more time for is his primary love, animation, and for the last […]
          Workshop no Encounter Board Game Café ensina a arte de criar jogos de tabuleiro        
Encounter Board

Você já imaginou poder criar seu próprio jogo de tabuleiro? No dia 23 de julho (domingo), o Encounter Board Game Café – café especializado em jogos de tabuleiro –  oferece um workshop com Vince Vader, doutor em comunicação e consumo da ESPM, para aqueles que querem conhecer esse mundo tão divertido. A intenção é que os visitantes … Continue lendo Workshop no Encounter Board Game Café ensina a arte de criar jogos de tabuleiro

O post Workshop no Encounter Board Game Café ensina a arte de criar jogos de tabuleiro apareceu primeiro em GameReporter | Cultura Gamer.

          Regular Guys Win More Hearts and Bad Kissers Get a Second Chance This Valentine's Day        

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Move over Adam Levine; Jonah Hill has you beat this Valentine's Day. According to a survey by Landing Mr. Right, a hilarious new board game for single women in pursuit of "the One," 52% of females said they'd prefer to go on a date with a Regular Guy over a Rock Star, Blue Blood, CEO, Triathlete or Techno-Geek.  The survey also found that bad kissers still have a shot with women; 72% said they'd still go on a second date, even if the first kiss wasn't what they imagined. Research Now™ conducted the survey, which polled 750 single women aged 23-55 who said they still haven't found "Mr. Right." Other findings include:

read more

          Episode 199 - Pete Johansson        

Comedian Pete Johansson returns to talk about the board games, Sweden, celebrity sightings and Ikea.

          Comment on Melting Pot franchisee to open burger restaurant in Sarasota by BrandonBag        
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          Comment on Our next great adventure by Brent        
Maybe we can do a Firefly board game night somewhere/sometime before you leave.
          â€˜The Avengers’ Hammers ‘Battleship’ and ‘The Dictator’ on Way to Box-Office 3-Peat        

"The Avengers" is heading for a box-office three-peat and another $50 million from U.S. moviegoers.

Disney and Marvel's star-studded superhero mashup took in $15.3 million Friday, leaving in its wake newcomers "Battleship," "The Dictator" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

That, along with another $13.9 million from overseas, pumped the worldwide gross for "The Avengers" to $1.1 billion, $417.3 million from the U.S. and $682.6 million from overseas.

Universal's board game-inspired aliens-at-sea saga brought in just $9 million Friday from 3,690 locations, putting it on pace for a softer than hoped-for $25 million weekend. Analysts outsides the studio thought the pricey action epic might have hit $40 million.

White it has taken in $220 million overseas, the soggy U.S. bow almost certainly torpedoes any franchise hopes the studio harbored.

Also Read: How 'Battleship' Enlisted the Navy

Paramount's "The Dictator," which opened Wednesday, added an estimated $5.5 million Friday. That pencils out to $18 million for the weekend and a $23 million five-day opening for the Sacha Baron Cohen spoof.

And Lionsgate's "What to Expect When You're Expecting" delivered around $4.4 million Friday, which projects to $12 million for the weekend.

Warner Bros.' holdover "Dark Shadows" took in $3.8 million from 3,755 locations in its second week. 

Earlier …

The Avengers" will face its toughest competition to date this weekend as Universal's "Battleship" steams into cineplexes along with Lionsgate's "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and  Paramount's "The Dictator," which opened Wednesday.

Bet on the superheroes, analysts say, predicting Disney's star-studded Marvel mashup will retain its box office crown and take in another $50 million to $56 million in its third week, with "Battleship" projected at between $40 million and $47 million.

"The Avengers" might even overtake the final "Harry Potter" film for No. 3 on the list of all-time worldwide moneymakers this week. Disney says it has taken in $1.04 billion globally, $395.8 million of that from the U.S., and a whopping $658.1 million from 52 foreign countries. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" is No. 3 on the all-time list with $1.3 billion, behind only 2009's "Avatar" and 2007's "Titanic." 

"Battleship" enters with some impressive foreign box office credentials of its own, having brought in more than $220 million over the past five weeks. While Universal's strategy of releasing the film overseas well before its domestic bow has worked to a degree, the toughest test will come this weekend at the U.S. box office. It will play at 3,690 locations.

Also read: 'Battleship' Review: Sheer Adrenaline Keeps Dopey Action Epic Afloat

"What Universal did with the overseas was a good play," Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations told TheWrap Thursday. "At one point, this film was being talked about in the same breath as 'Waterworld,' so they've come a long way in terms of countering negative buzz."

With its $209 million production costs and marketing on top of that, the stakes are high for a film the studio sees as having franchise potential. "Battleship" has made over $60 million more at the foreign box office than Hasbro's last non-sequel film, "GI Joe," which was considered successful enough to spawn this summer's sequel.

Peter Berg ('Hancock')  produced with Scott Stuber and directs the action epic  based on the classic Hasbro board game — with an extra-terrestrial twist  — in which a naval fleet battles an invading alien armada, Taylor Kitsch,  Rihanna, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard and Brooklyn Decker star.

"Battleship" is the first movie based on a board game since the forgettable "Clue" in 1985, but a handful are on the way. Universal has scaled back the budget on "Ouija" but still plans a 2013 release. "Risk" and "Candyland"  projects are in development at Sony.

Paramount's "The Dictator" got off to a solid start, taking in $4.2 million from its 3,003 locations on Wednesday. That puts Sacha Baron Cohen's spoof on a pace to take in around $25 million for the five-day stretch.

Also read: 'The Dictator' Review: Laughs Keep Sacha Baron Cohen's Shaky Regime Afloat

That would put the film behind the bows of "Borat," which opened to $26.4 million in 2006, and "Bruno," which debuted with $30.6 million in 2009. Both topped the box office in their first week.

Cohen's relentless promotional efforts will help, but how much is unclear.

"This is a tough sell," editor Phil Contrino told TheWrap Thursday, "even tougher than 'Bruno.' He got people's attention, but we'll see if the film delivers."

Early audiences gave the film a so-so CinemaScore rating of C, but the critics were more positive. On Thursday, it had a 60 rating on the Metacritic web site and a 63% favorable number on

The film also opens in 29 foreign territories as well this weekend, and that's where it could find its most success. "I think it's going to be one of the bigger comedies of the year overseas," Bock said.

The projection for Lionsgate's ensemble romantic comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is around $15 million. Directed by Kirk Jones, the movie stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock.

Also read: 'What to Expect' Review: All the Appeal of Pickles and Ice Cream

It's the summer's second movie based on a self-help book, coming on the heels of "Think Like a Man."

"This is smart counter-programming," Contrino told TheWrap. "There are only so many explosion extravaganzas guys can take their girlfriends to, so there's definitely room in the market for this film, and it could stick around for a while."

Also Read: 'Hysteria' Review: Nothing Like a Feel-Good Victorian Vibrator Comedy

Another film targeting a female audience is "Hysteria," a period comedy from Sony Pictures Classics. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, and Hugh Dancy star in the film based on the story of how Dr. Mortimer Granville invented the vibrator.

"Dark Shadows" is back for its second week after opening in the No. 2 spot with $29.6 million. Warners is hopeful its core audience, women over 25, will give the film some legs.

Related stories from TheWrap:

How 'Battleship' Enlisted the Navy

'The Avengers': 5 Things You Need to Know If You Don't Read Comic Books

          Can ‘Battleship’ Big Guns Sink ‘The Avengers’ at Box Office?        

"The Avengers" will face its toughest competition to date this weekend as Universal's "Battleship" steams into cineplexes along with Lionsgate's "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and  Paramount's "The Dictator," which opened Wednesday.

Bet on the superheroes, analysts say, predicting Disney's star-studded Marvel mashup will retain its box office crown and take in another $50 million to $56 million in its third week, with "Battleship" projected at between $40 million and $47 million.

"The Avengers" might even overtake the final "Harry Potter" film for No. 3 on the list of all-time worldwide moneymakers this week. Disney says it has taken in $1.04 billion globally, $395.8 million of that from the U.S., and a whopping $658.1 million from 52 foreign countries. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" is No. 3 on the all-time list with $1.3 billion, behind only 2009's "Avatar" and 2007's "Titanic." 

"Battleship" enters with some impressive foreign box office credentials of its own, having brought in more than $220 million over the past five weeks. While Universal's strategy of releasing the film overseas well before its domestic bow has worked to a degree, the toughest test will come this weekend at the U.S. box office. It will play at 3,690 locations.

Also read: 'Battleship' Review: Sheer Adrenaline Keeps Dopey Action Epic Afloat

"What Universal did with the overseas was a good play," Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations told TheWrap Thursday. "At one point, this film was being talked about in the same breath as 'Waterworld,' so they've come a long way in terms of countering negative buzz."

With its $209 million production costs and marketing on top of that, the stakes are high for a film the studio sees as having franchise potential. "Battleship" has made over $60 million more at the foreign box office than Hasbro's last non-sequel film, "GI Joe," which was considered successful enough to spawn this summer's sequel.

Peter Berg ('Hancock')  produced with Scott Stuber and directs the action epic  based on the classic Hasbro board game — with an extra-terrestrial twist  — in which a naval fleet battles an invading alien armada, Taylor Kitsch,  Rihanna, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard and Brooklyn Decker star.

"Battleship" is the first movie based on a board game since the forgettable "Clue" in 1985, but a handful are on the way. Universal has scaled back the budget on "Ouija" but still plans a 2013 release. "Risk" and "Candyland"  projects are in development at Sony.

Paramount's "The Dictator" got off to a solid start, taking in $4.2 million from its 3,003 locations on Wednesday. That puts Sacha Baron Cohen's spoof on a pace to take in around $25 million for the five-day stretch.

Also read: 'The Dictator' Review: Laughs Keep Sacha Baron Cohen's Shaky Regime Afloat

That would put the film behind the bows of "Borat," which opened to $26.4 million in 2006, and "Bruno," which debuted with $30.6 million in 2009. Both topped the box office in their first week.

Cohen's relentless promotional efforts will help, but how much is unclear.

"This is a tough sell," editor Phil Contrino told TheWrap Thursday, "even tougher than 'Bruno.' He got people's attention, but we'll see if the film delivers."

Early audiences gave the film a so-so CinemaScore rating of C, but the critics were more positive. On Thursday, it had a 60 rating on the Metacritic web site and a 63% favorable number on

The film also opens in 29 foreign territories as well this weekend, and that's where it could find its most success. "I think it's going to be one of the bigger comedies of the year overseas," Bock said.

The projection for Lionsgate's ensemble romantic comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is around $15 million. Directed by Kirk Jones, the movie stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock.

Also read: 'What to Expect' Review: All the Appeal of Pickles and Ice Cream

It's the summer's second movie based on a self-help book, coming on the heels of "Think Like a Man."

"This is smart counter-programming," Contrino told TheWrap. "There are only so many explosion extravaganzas guys can take their girlfriends to, so there's definitely room in the market for this film, and it could stick around for a while."

Also Read: 'Hysteria' Review: Nothing Like a Feel-Good Victorian Vibrator Comedy

Another film targeting a female audience is "Hysteria," a period comedy from Sony Pictures Classics. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, and Hugh Dancy star in the film based on the story of how Dr. Mortimer Granville invented the vibrator.

"Dark Shadows" is back for its second week after opening in the No. 2 spot with $29.6 million. Warners is hopeful its core audience, women over 25, will give the film some legs.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Avengers' $640M Box Office Gives Disney Room to Right Itself

'The Avengers' Bashes Way to Billion Dollars at Worldwide Box Office

          One Week Delay for ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’        

Lionsgate is pushing back the due date for "What to Expect When You're Expecting," the studio said Thursday. 

The pregnancy comedy, which stars Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, will premiere on May 18, 2012, a week after it was originally slated to debut in theaters. 

Also read: Jennifer Lopez Deal to Judge 'American Idol' Is Done – at a Monster Payday

By delaying the film's debut, the studio will get out of the way of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's latest collaboration "Dark Shadows" and Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy "The Dictator."

Instead, the film will go up against Universal's big-budget adaptation of the popular board game "Battleship."

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is based on the popular parents-to-be book. Kirk Jones ("Everybody's Fine") directs the film, which also stars Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, and  Matthew Morrison.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Mirror Mirror' Release Date Changed — Again

Jennifer Lopez Deal to Judge 'American Idol' Is Done – at a Monster Payday

          QuadFaire, Truman State, April 16th!        
On April 16th, the Truman State RPG Club will be showcasing their club on the Quad from 10am to 9pm. They’ll have outdoor games, boffer fighting, board games, dance workshops and performances, costume contests, scavenger hunts, and more! President Emily has cordially invited gamers from any/all CATTG chapters to come out and have a great […]
          Industry Hopefuls: Prepare Intelligently        
Editors note: The following is an article written by Dr. Lewis Pulispher, the acclaimed creator of the board game BRITANIA. Pulsipher has taught graduate level courses for over 20 years, and currently teaches Game Design. He actively participates at the NCSU CATTG Chapter. Hundreds of thousands of young people want to be part of the […]
          Board Games v2.0 (17Kb, freeware)        
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Board Games v2.0
Board Games v2.0: Крестики-нолики и мозаика
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          Games children play in India        
Games of Carom and Kabaddi, oh my! Check out these two games children play in India, and join in the fun! [Carom] Children from Allahabad, India, play Carom quite often, along with other sports like volleyball and badminton, and Kabaddi. They get together in the evenings at the CFCA center to play. Rules: Carom is a board game consisting of […]
          Hindu Mystery Bag!        
When my parents were visiting we brought them to see the new age shop in town. It’s called The Crystal Fox and it’s Brad’s favorite shop to go to (of course!). Not only does it have all the crystals and incense and pendulums but it also has some board games and role playing supplies. So […]
          Big Board Game Day Jan. 29        

One of the awesome things about January is playing board games with your family. We wanted to bring that awesomeness to Connect Kids in a BIG way. We will be having some GIANT board games for kids to play on January 29th during their activity time. From Twister to Candyland to Jenga – all super...

View Big Board Game Day Jan. 29 at Connect Christian Church | Eastgate Amelia Batavia Anderson Milford Cincinnati Ohio.

          Why I Love... The Walking Dead        
Up until recently, I have never really been fascinated by the "genre" of zombie movies. As often as it is hailed as a classic bit of cinema, akin to a zombie apocalypse version of Citizen Kane, George Romero's seminal work Night of the Living Dead never really had a chance to form a lasting impact on me. As a young fan of horror, the old tropes borne out of what I saw were extensions of the old Universal monster movie franchises, The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein just did not instill me with fear. I had more of a genuine fear of ghosts, unspeakable things, and horrors beyond comprehension... Shambling undead creatures just didn't seem scary to me.

But, eventually, I saw the remake of the Night of the Living Dead, with Babylon 5's Patricia Tallman (which I've written about before). And then I started to get it.
The zombies might have been slow and lumbering, but the film just builds this excellent sense of dread, and the zombies are this ever present threat, a hallmark of humanity's impending doom, as the rising tide of undead looms ever higher. And, even just a lone zombie, catching you vulnerable at just the wrong moment, might be like the terminator... inexorably reaching closer and closer to you until you become... one of them.

Unless you stove its head in, of course.

Zombies have become another member in the great lexicon that is pop culture. Like Bram Stoker's "invention" of the vampire for modern audiences, we understand most of the rules, even if the origins of each individual epidemic are left to mystery.
And now we have AMC's superb The Walking Dead. I managed to avoid the comics and, like eschewing the reading of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire in favour of watching the TV series, I have continued to avoid them, for no other reason save that it keeps me from spoiling the show.

And speaking of spoilers, I'll do my best to speak in largely vague terms and try and avoid any big spoilers, but please be warned that if you're not up to date, you may wish to do so before reading.
Let me rewind a bit. I think I started finding zombies intriguing as a plot device after playing Chainsaw Warrior for the first time. Undead things feature pretty prominently in the game (some of them are the fallen soldiers that preceded you) and I think my appreciation for them began with that game. I'm not sure what drew me to the board game in the first place, but it wasn't zombies. I think perhaps it was the odd juxtaposition of those two terms, "Chainsaw" and "Warrior"... I believe by then I was already a fan of war movies (although my stance on war has changed greatly over the years) and so a game about a one-man warrior chewing through hordes of sickly evil creatures probably was smack dab in the middle of my wheelhouse.
The reference, I think, is apt-- as over the last five seasons of The Walking Dead, I have trying to formulate my (purely non-academic and speculative) thesis as to why I love this series so much. It has taken me a while to come to the realisation, but: Rick Grimes and his "people" are like soldiers in a war without end.

I honestly didn't know what to make of the series when it first burst on the scene in 2010 and raised the bar for what I considered "geek" tv forever. After being wowed by the largely character-driven Mad Men, I was excited by a series that seemed more aimed at my interests. It was a horror series, with Shawshank Redemption's Frank Darabont's name written upon it, and had the involvement of the comic's creator, Robert Kirkman. Andrew Lincoln, already a well known name in Britain primarily because of Teachers and This Life, was set to star, and as a fan of accents, I think I watched the pilot episode to see how well he could pull off the accent as much as anything else.
Of course I was gripped from start to finish. The opening, which shared more than a bit in common with the original 28 Days Later, managed to go far beyond that premise and present a cast of characters infinitely more compelling than 28 Days Later. And though the zombies weren't as energetic, they were no less threatening. Like in HBO's Game of Thrones (which it preceded by a year), death waited around every corner and seemingly no character was safe from the predations by the groaning undead.

Some characters, like Melissa McBride's Carol and Steven Yeun's Glenn, seemed like obvious throwaways to me, but time and again I have been proved wrong. This is exactly the balance the show should skirt, and it does so very well I might add, to keep us guessing. If the characters had even vaguely appeared to be a zombie version of Star Trek's "red shirts" it wouldn't have nearly half the staying power.
But what amazes me is how the writers and the show's creator Kirkman, are able to wrest such a tangible and intriguing story around some of the least seemingly interesting characters. At first, I didn't see the chemistry (or the story angle) between Yeun's Glenn and the incredible Lauren Cohan's Maggie. But Glenn's character has had such a fantastic arc that it's one of my favourite parts of the show now. I think that stands as a testament to what truly makes the show great.
Not to mention the show's "villains", most of whom we've been able to understand something of their motivations, even if we don't agree with their methods. It's a genius stroke of writing. As hate-able as a character may be due to a situation, being able to understand their impetus, or at least find them likable or human in some ways is a great way to handle a nemesis in a character-driven show like The Walking Dead. Make them somehow smarter, better, or more driven than your main character and you have a superb foil for the hero.

And through the highs and lows of the show, the characters and their situations have kept me going... not to see the story through to the end necessarily, but like a charismatic person, it leaves you hanging on every word (and episode).
And I haven't even mentioned the excellent game series by Telltale, which for me, satiates my desire for more Walking Dead when the show is on hiatus, and fleshes out the universe even further (despite so few characters crossing over from one to the other).
And the highs, when they come, aren't just punctuated by them, but they are actually accentuated by the lows. How many TV shows (or games for that matter) have a character as badass as Michonne (played excellently by Danai Gurira)? These are a far cry from the (unfortunately) largely uninteresting characters from ABC's Lost, in The Walking Dead they have weight and heft, and a few we have only begun to plumb their mysteries and backstories.

I think what makes this genre great, though, is in showing you the many ways that a person can be tested. How far a person will bend before they snap. Sure, the show plays with lots of different philosophies, and methods of survival, but for me what it's really about is the people and their struggle, to keep fighting. To stay sane. To not give up when all hope is lost.
Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about Robert Kirkman's background, or his inspiration for the comic series. But I suspect he is a war veteran, or is closely familiar with someone who is. Or perhaps, like me, he only knows what he knows peripherally by watching war movies and imagining those characters plucked out of ordinary situations and ushered into extraordinary ones.

One hopes that every soldier gets to go home at the end. They might be changed beyond recognition, but at least their nightmare eventually ends. For Rick, Maggie, Glenn, Carol, Carl, Abraham and the rest, it never ends. Never. And it's such an interesting portrait of these people, viewing the show that way. I think that's Why I Love The Walking Dead.

          "Watching" the Internet        
When I lived in America, I would rarely watch TV. I'd like to think I'm not one of those snobs that "only watches PBS", but just someone who was turned off by much of the content that was out there, particularly when people realized that "Reality TV" shows were relatively easy and cheap to produce.

And I didn't invest myself in most of the "good" narrative-based shows to in order to subscribe to cable or satellite, or to clear my schedule on a particular evening. So for me, the transition to watching streaming content, when and where I choose, has been a natural one. Although I'm surprised to find that it's not been an easy adaptation to make, in general.

What I mean is, there's lots of content out there, and the list seems to be growing each day, but it's not always easy to keep track of it.

The easiest way would be to have some kind of RSS feed with all of your favorite content-producers upon it, but unfortunately, there are some sites that don't use RSS, or just don't conform to the right kind of video standards to make something like that easy (presumably because of advertising or technical limitations). Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, being one example. It's a great web series, but the site feed doesn't include RSS and beyond setting a bookmark and checking it periodically, there is literally no way to keep track of it. My favorite board game show, Shut Up and Sit Down, has an RSS feed, but not every post on their site is an episode of their show and there aren't separate feeds for video content versus just a text update or review.

Google's YouTube has Geek & Sundry, which has a raft of great shows, with many different portals to their web presence (a "channel" on YouTube, their homepage, a "user" page), but YouTube feels like its own domain, and like Shut Up and Sit Down, not every post in the feed is a show to watch. Penny Arcade TV perhaps gets things the most right, with individual RSS feeds per show, but they're literally the only one. And oddly enough, media giant Viacom's excellent GameTrailersTV shows get things the most right, in terms of their site presentation (at least since their recent redesign), but like the others, looking at their feed in Google Reader doesn't allow one to watch the shows, even though they often have embedded advertising.

So for now, until things get sorted out, or until some other identifiable standard mechanism arises... assuming it ever does-- perhaps I'm just trying to apply old school thinking to a new school arena... I've had to resort to creating my own system for keeping track of my favorite web content.

Speed Dial for Chrome seems to be working well for me. For those looking for a non-Google browser based solution, then perhaps might work for you as it performs a similar function. Originally, I used it kind of like Safari's "Top Sites" view (which I think some of the other browsers have started to emulate), but this isn't necessarily the best way to see your content. Often the thumbnail images aren't up to date, and it's not always easy to see by the thumbnail which site you're being directed to-- even though they have labels, they're not as clear as having that site's icon there and ready for you. So in playing around with Speed Dial, I found you can just use custom images (or the default site images) for each "dial". Mine are above. I figure, from now on, if there's a new show or piece of video (or other) content I want to keep track of, I'll add it to the list. Simple, relatively elegant, and it helps me keep track of all the pages I like to view regular content upon. Because, sometimes you just want to sit down and watch the web, you know?
          Crit for Brains: Gaming Webcomics!        

At Crit For Brains, we love gaming. And we also love comics. And we’re willing to bet anyone reading this has spent a healthy amount of time playing games, reading comics and/or gaming in a store that has a rack of board games next to its shelves full of comic books. So you’re probably just […]

The post Crit for Brains: Gaming Webcomics! appeared first on The Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast.

          My christmas haul!!!!!! haha <3        

My christmas haul!!!!!! haha &lt;3

My christmas haul!!!!!! haha <3 by shelbyyjae on

oh yess the presents darlings! (: well i had a great christmas and the happiest thing about it is I got a new BABY COUSIN(: hehe number 14(: born on Christmas Day! his name is jace and he is so cute(: other that that the other presents i got were ~ white studio beats ~ boots(; ~ Clothes clothes! ~ nail polish ~ my iphone fixed ~ diamond earrings(: ~ body shop body butter! (my fav) ~ betsy johnson necklace ~ board game ~ 150 bucks ~ sephora gift card ~ macys gift card and i think thats most of it(: love you darlings!!!! ~shelby! <3

          Download Nine (9) Men’s Morris Game App for Android Phones        

Nine Men’s Morris App for Android Nine Men’s Morris is a strategy board game for two players dating at least to the Roman Empire. The game is also known as Nine Man Morris, Mill, Mills, The Mill Game, Merels, Merrills, Merelles, Marelles, Morelles and Ninepenny Marl in English. The game has also been called Cowboy …

The post Download Nine (9) Men’s Morris Game App for Android Phones appeared first on Computer Tips And Tricks, Gadgets, How-To, Life - 2.0 Style.

          What's So Inspiring About November?        
With November often comes the onset of cold gusty winds, gray, dreary days, and the first snowstorms of the season.  To make matters worse, the days become shorter and the sun seems to shine but precious little, but as "blah" as that sounds there's an upside to everything.  These are the perfect days to hunker down and light spicy scented candles all over the house, play board games with the kids or simply cuddle up under blankets with good books to read or a laptop for writing.

November is the beginning of many exciting and even inspiring things to come, especially this year.  On a national scale, American citizens will soon be casting their votes to determine who will be president for the next four years.  Some will be happy, some will not, but it remains a time of hope and change for a promise of a bright future.

Soon after election day, will come Thanksgiving.  What's more inspiring or joyful than sharing a delicious feast with your closest friends and loved ones?  For writers, taking a moment to jot down a few of their favorite memories, or even bits of funny conversations may become grist for the mill down the line.  It's those little things that might give your fiction, memoir, or even magazine article that special tidbit that makes it real for your readers. The ability to do that makes you a real writer.    

Of course, it's also the beginning of the Christmas season, and despite what others may think I love everything about this time of the year.  I'm one of those crazy people who can't wait to hear the first Christmas jingle on the radio.  After that, it's Christmas cookies and decorating all the way - all the way to Christmas day that is!  

For me personally, I will hopefully be publishing my new freelance writing website this month.  Getting it up and running will be my main writing goal, but I'll also be working on marketing and acquiring some jobs as well.  I'll keep you posted throughout my journey.      

So for me, the drear of November holds no threat.  I'm ready to hear the whistle of cold, wild, wind gusts, to see snow falling gently (or angrily) to the ground while I tap, tap, tap the keyboard of my laptop.  When the sun does shine, I'll greedily soak it in and think of all the great things to come this November!

Leave a comment and tell me what you are looking forward to this month?  I'd love to hear from you!

photo credit: susanvg via photopin cc

          The better checkboard game        

A checkered leggings teamed with a blue denim shirt to give very chic look in a cool autumn day. The solid coloured shirt compliments the checkered pants.#checks #denim #shirt #buttoned #autumn #womenswear

          Ascent Game-A-Palooza        
  Ascent Game-A-Palooza – August 9, 6:30pm Ascent middle school students, it’s time to get your game on! Come out to the Back Porch on Wednesday, August 9 from 6:30pm-8:00p for our Game-A-Palooza! It’s all about games: video games, board games, & maybe some surprise games!!! Be sure to bring a friend and your favorite […]
          Functional Tic-Tac-Toe        

Recently in the #Clojure channel on Freenode I heard someone say that you could write a tic-tac-toe game without any mutable variables. I had trouble conceiving how that could be possible. I decided to write one to find out.

The full running code is on github. This post will just look at a few of the functions that show how what seems like such an imperative problem can be solved in a functional way.

When I first created the project, I called it stateless-tic-tac-toe, but this was a misnomer. There is state everywhere. Each of the functions get passed the state they need to operate on, and usually the return is an updated version of the state.

Writing individual functions was pretty straight forward. I knew I was going to need a function that took no parameters and returned an empty board. It didn't take me long to realize that I would need to keep track of who's turn it was also.

(defn new-game []
[(into [] (map str (range 1 10))) "X"])

The first big difference between a functional implementation and an imperative one is in the move function. In an imperative version, the board would be stored in a variable or property, and move would be a method that accepted a move as a parameter and modified the board variable.

In the functional version, move will not modify anything. The state of the game is passed in to move, along with the move to be applied. If the move legal, move returns a new version of the board. If the move was illegal then the calling function will get an unmodified board returned.

(defn move [[board player :as game] move]
(if (legal-input? move)
(let [board-index (- (Integer/parseInt move) 1)]
(if (= (nth board board-index) move)
[(assoc board board-index player)
(if (= player "X") "O" "X")]
game)) game))

Functions like check-winner again show the different style of functional verses imperative. check-winner is passed in the current game state. It passes the current board configuration to functions that check for horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. Finally, it returns the winner if there is one, or nil, which is evaluated to false, if there is no winner.

(defn check-winner [[board _]]
(first (concat (check-horizontal board)
(check-vertical board)
(check-diaganal board))))

I used a text based UI, which is pretty straight forward. Drawing the board is done with a function that takes in the board vector and returns strings that can be printed out to show the board. Everything was going great until I was ready for the actual event loop.

Using a while loop seemed like such a natural way to structure the game. While the game is not over, redraw the board and ask for a new move. I couldn't find a good way to write that without mutation. Instead of a while loop, I needed to use recursion.

Once I realized that I needed recursion, the function came pretty quickly. I have a function that takes in the game state and draws the board. After that, it checks to see if the game is over. If someone has won the game, or there are no more legal moves, the function prints out a message, and then exits. If the game is not over yet, the play-game function calls the move function and recursively calls itself with the result.

(defn play-game [the-game]
(loop [game the-game]
(println (render-board game))
(if (game-over? game)
(if-let [winner (check-winner game)]
(println (str "Congrats to " winner))
(println "tie game"))
(recur (move game (get-move))))))

          Pac-Man – The Video Game of the Board Game of the Video Game        
Did you know that in 1982 Milton Bradley made a Pac-Man board game? The box boasted brightly colored plastic Pac-Men, ghosts, marbles and “as much fun as the action-packed arcade game of the same name”. I played this game once in 4th grade. It sucked. I didn’t use language like that back then but I’m […]
          Comment on St. Patrick’s Day Fun by St.Patrick’s Day – Sublime Speech        
[…] Artic Other St.Patrick’s Speech/Language resources:  Speaking of Speech SPD Resources SPD Printables Speech Time Fun SPD Wh? Board Game More to come as others start to create things for SPD […]
          9 Best Strategy Games For Android        
Are you on the lookout for some of the best strategy games for Android? Well, you have come to the right place! Way before computers and Androids entertained us; strategic games were the companion of humanity. Be it chess, or board games, such games needed strategy and a lot of thinking. Now, of course, we […]
Vintage 2001 collectible, Family Game-Night Book & Board Game Set. 4 games in 1, Clue, Sorry, Scrabble & Yahtzee. Sorry game used once, new, unused Yahtzee score sheet, Clue pad and game pieces in original package $35.00
          Living in Lagos: Social Painting On The Beach         
Hello Boys & Girls,

Long time no post right? I'm not sorry, LOL I sincerely apologize. I don't have laptop at the moment, once I get a new one I'll be more active.

So, I'm still Living in Lagos and trying to explore different fun things to do in Lagos. When I saw a social painting event created on the Truppr app, I was super excited and made sure I would go with my S/O.

The event was organized by Naidrenalin which is basically a adventure club that organizes trips and fun events. It cost about N4,000 person and N7,500 for couples. The event was scheduled for the 29th of April and it was at Tarkwa Bay Beach.

We met up at CMS Ferry and set out around 9am. The day started off with everyone introducing each other and also playing fun board games.
I played Monopoly, other games were scrabble and chess. It was a fun mingle and then the real thing started.

I really wanted to play with lines and have a colorful painting but we had to paint the same thing, which made it more fun.

It was fun, and I'll definitely do it again.

Look at pictures below:

What do you guys think of my painting? I am willing to exchange it for a new mac-book. 
          Doing Free Play at KidZone!        
In case you are wondering, KidZone is the youth club I run for primary school kids! It is great fun and as it was the first thing I set up when I started the job, it's kind of my "baby" and I am really proud of how it has developed and the great team I have in place to make it all possible.

Free Play is something I brought in last year as a result of a Playwork module I did for my degree. In it we learnt that play is a form of learning and "work" for children, and can reach its best potential when the children have as much choice as possible. This is naturally within certain boundaries, and rather than being a crazy free for all, it is actually carefully managed. A good playworker is one who can create the best atmosphere for children to play and learn safely and effectively. Play of this sort is child-led but adult managed, the adult creates the play environment but the children decide how it is to be used.

Normal nights at KidZone involve some free time at the start of the session where they get tuck, can play board games or the Wii, watch cartoons, colour in or just chat and chill. This works well for the most part. Then they split into 2 groups - games or craft. "Or" being the operative word here. Because we have a limited amount of leaders and a rabbit warren of corridors the children chose and activity and that is what they do for the evening, no wandering around in between, for their own safety more than anything but also so that they are doing something productive. This works and the children enjoy it but I wanted to bring in these Free Play nights to give them a different experience and a bit more choice.

I put more leaders than normal on the rota so that we could use more rooms in the church and children could be properly supervised. Here's a rundown of the different activities on offer:

Physical Play
The hall was filled with large empty cardboard boxes (courtesy of the Christian Aid book sale in half term!), balls, uni hoc sticks, skipping ropes, space spots, hoops, beanbags, cones, mini netball hoop and blankets. These were laid out in a way that didn't suggest they had to be used for any particular game - children could chose what they wanted to do.

Obstacle course
Above you can see that a couple of the girls created an obstacle course with the hoops and space spots, having to skip through them using the ropes. Not pictured is another group of children who engaged the leaders in a game of netball. I emphasised to the leaders that they must be led by the children and it is interesting to note a mix of those happy to do their own thing, and those wanting to play a structured game.

Messy Play
This was the room I was in charge of! I set up tables with painting, water beads, cloud dough, and "gloop"... and of course a basin and towels to wash their hands. I was pleasantly surprised at how much they engaged with this. The water beads, gloop and cloud dough were all ideas I had got from Pinterest and parent bloggers and had been used with pre-schoolers. But even my top end primary kids enjoyed these tactile activities.

Getting the hands gloopy!

Cloud dough - 4 cups plain flour to half a cup of baby oil - reminded the children of baby powder. 
Cloud dough is soft and silky but can be moulded into solid shapes.

Water beads - a great tip from The Boy and Me - start off minuscule and gradually get bigger in the water

Still not at their full size!
 There were some great comments as they were playing:
"It feels like rotten milk" (gloop)  
"It's all hard at the bottom but water on top" (gloop) 
"You can't pick it up!" (gloop) 
"I'm going to make it freeze" (cloud dough) 
"It feels soft in my hands. Is that why you call it a cloud?" (cloud dough) 
"I found the biggest blue one. Did it go in first?" (water beads) 
"They feel like berries!" (water beads)

One of the children, who attends Sunday morning worship with her family, asked me to keep the beads in the water so she could see how big they get and show her younger brother and sister.

Creative Play and Junk Modelling
A great way to get rid of (clean!) recycling ;-) This is the "making" room - 2 tables piled high with cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, LOTS of masking tape, card, paper and various collage materials like tissue paper, pasta, ribbon, sequins, feathers etc. I have a couple of kids who would happily spend their entire lives creating beautiful things from junk and adding sparkly glitter and sequins to anything., so they were in their element here. Rather than a specific craft, they were able to make whatever they wanted and proved themselves to be creative and imaginative.

Making a kite
Chill Out Zone
This was a place where they could just sit and chat, play quiet board games, watch cartoons and grab a drink if they wanted. Often the kids came and went from this room, but one little boy stayed the whole evening watching cartoons. I wanted to encourage him to go and try some other activities, but held back. If after a busy week this was what he wanted to do, then I wasn't going to stop him!

Board games - can you spot the retro Mr Pop? One of mine from the 80s! 

Enjoying Looney Tunes!

So that was our Free Play night, and it went down a treat. They just loved it - "Can we do this every week?!" Well, considering I was on my hands and knees for 20 minutes scrubbing cornflour gloop off the carpet afterwards....perhaps not ;-) But we will definitely do it once a term I think. It's well worth the extra effort.

Do you have any ideas you can share for my next Free Play session?!

I've linked this post up to Edspire's Messy Play blog hop, in memory of the beautiful Matilda Mae x

post signaturePlease note that I have had to change my comment settings to registered users only to stop incessant spam. This is only relevant to those commenting on mobiles or tablets - computer users can still comment on Disqus as normal.
          40 Free Things to do with Preschoolers on a Cold or Rainy Saturday at Home (without electronics)        

Photo: Puzzling behavior on Saturday morning!It is Saturday morning in mid-April and it is COLD in Indiana.  In fact, there has been some snow today. YIKES!  The zoo in Fort Wayne opens this morning.  It is also the Maple Syrup Festival in Wakarusa.  A lot of people had outside plans for the morning.  So now that plans are changing, my dear sweet cousin just asked on Facebook, "What should I do this morning?"  she has a 1 and a 3 year old and does not want to roam the really fun festival in the cold.

So I got to thinking about what kinds of fun things we like to do when we feel like we are not ready to spend our day outside.  I thought I would share for her benefit (and as a reminder to ourselves on the next too cold Saturday).

1. Pull out the puzzles!  Not old enough to do them alone?  Help your child do puzzles - what a great learning and bonding activity with the family.

2. Grab clean sheets (or some that need to get cleaned today) and build a tent.  Get flashlights, sleeping bags, and marshmellows.  Go camping together in the bedroom or living room.

3. Snuggle up and read favorite books.  They might be even willing to read chapter books - try it out.

4. Play Dough is a favorite at our house.  Don't have any?  Look up recipes - it is super cheap and extremely easy to make.  Want play dough toys?  Use popsicle sticks, cookie cutters, dough rollers, forks, plastic knives, scissors.  Let them go wild with their imaginations.  *Watch the little ones mouths* Show them how to make simple shapes - a ball, a snake, a pancake... then get more complex and marvel them.

5. Make pancakes together.  They can help pour and mix.  Add in food coloring for fun designs or chocolate chips, blueberries - use your imaginations.  Have fun making pancakes together.

6. Bring outdoor toys inside.  We have a small house, but 1 or 2 outdoor toys in the house really livens things up.  They really love the little plastic pool filled with balls for "swimming" when it's cold.

7. Play in the tub.  Make simple bath paints with flour, water, and food coloring.  Give them paint brushes, let them go wild.  Take some favorite toys to the tub, let them have a pool party.

8. Dance party.  Turn up the tunes and dance with your kids.

9. Break out the crayons and coloring books or printer paper.  Sit down and color together.

10. Practice responsibility.  It's a great day to clean the hamster cage, cat box, dog kennel, etc.  Help them learn how to be responsible for their pets.

11. Cut or tear paper.  This is a great skill for preschoolers and it will entertain them for quite a while. Get really daring and give them some glue as well.  They'll have a blast gluing paper pieces together.

12. Wash dishes together.  Need to get some chores done?  Invite your preschooler to stand on a chair and wash dishes with you.  Even if you have to rewash everything he has washed, he's learning a new skill and feels proud for helping you.  My 4 year old always tells me how much he loves to wash dishes together.

13. Dump out the bucket of mismatched socks.  Have preschoolers help you find matches and put pairs together.

14. Build with Duplos or Legos.  Encourage imagination by helping your child create a new design, or help her learn to follow written directions by putting together a lego set.

15. Paint. Finger paint, water color, or otherwise.  Give them freedom to make a special piece of art.

16. Make cards for grandma or friends.  Use construction paper, markers, stickers, stamps - whatever you've got.

17. Play soccer.  Yep.  Break the rules, kick the ball around in the bedroom or living room together.

18. Make a pizza.  Come on, you think breakfast is the only mean your preschooler wants to help with?  She can make peanut butter sandwiches, pizzas, noodles, soup, all kinds of foods with you - you just have to tolerate a little mess.  You'll help her gain confidence, independence and knowledge.

19. Practice writing his name together.

20. Make a simple pinecone bird feeder.  Tie yarn to the end of a pinecone spread peanut butter on it, roll it in bird seed.  Don't have a pinecone?  Use a toilet paper roll instead.

21. Play board games.  There is a huge market full of preschool games.  If you don't have any, head out to garage sales on the next warm, dry Saturday and pick up a few super cheap games.

22. Build a race track with recylclable materials.

23. Race cars (with or without a track).

24. Let her give you a makeover! This might take some courage.

25. Tell stories together. Take turns adding to a story about your preschooler.  Make sure to include his favorite things.

26. Have a picnic inside.  Bring in the little picnic table or spread a blanket out on the floor.  Serve your favorite picnic meals.

27. Go on a treasure hunt.  Hide something special in the house.  Make a map to find it - or give clues about where it is hidden.

28. Play Barbies together (or action figures - whatever).  She won't forget that you took time to do this.

29. Make smoothies!  Everyone loves smoothies when you throw in their favorite foods.  Not only do they taste great, they're fun to make and can be incredibly healthy.  Not sure about the mess of a smoothie?  Put the mix into a popsicle mold and give them special cold treats.

30. Get out circle shaped cereal and make necklaces for snack.  Use some yarn or string and help your preschooler lace the o's until they have a good amount.

31. Plant stuff.  Start a garden indoors.  Get seedlings ready for your summer veggie garden. (Walmart has seed packets starting at 20c).

32. Have a puppet show.  No puppets?  Make some with socks or paper bags!

33. String pasta.  Beading is fun even for little hands!

34. Bake cookies for a neighbor.

35. Have a jumping contest.  See who can jump the highest, longest, fastest, farthest, funniest.  Wear them out with lots of jumping fun.

36. Sort toys. Dump all the toys onto the floor and help him sort them into categories.

37. Take all of your cardboard boxes out of the recycle bin.  Let him have fun building with them, using the as boats, houses, cars, towers, etc. You may be amazed at the ways your child will use a few boxes.

38. Start a band. Do you have music toys? Take them out and sing together.  If you don't have music toys, look up simple free instrument designs on Pinterest.  You would be amazed how many things you can use around the house to make a drum or guitar!

39. Go fishing.  Get a stick from the yard and some string.  Put a paperclip on the end and see how many toys you can pick up with your pole.

40. Look at old pictures together.  Go through photo albums and look at pictures together.  They love seeing themselves and their families as they have grown and changed.

***What do you like to do with your preschoolers when you're stuck inside on a cold or rainy day?***
           Letter From the President        


Clinton and Trump Played Different Games

I like to describe our country as “the big, raucous American family.”  And there is hardly a  better opportunity to build family connections than with games.  Or a more revealing way to understand each other and ourselves, than by the tactics we use within the game.

My dad used to slip Monopoly money to my sister, because he couldn’t stand to see anyone ‘lose’.  Our neighbor was outraged that my dad wouldn’t follow the rules of the game.  Another card game we played with friends, ‘Nertz’ has a shared playing field and a private one… I was outraged when one of our friends refused to play in the shared field because it would benefit our team. He was in it to holds barred. As you may imagine, I am accustomed to more competition than winner-take-all. (Thanks, Dad!) I learned much about people from playing games with them...and also tapped into my own hyper-competitive side on occasion.  

Board Game.png


How do you play games? And is there a connection to how you treat others in day-to-day life? What are your internal markers (or conscience) that allow for some actions but not others? And are the rules you use the same as the person with whom you interact?  

In our recently concluded election, the Clinton campaign played with the objective to “beat the other team”.  Kind of like the rules for “Pictionary”.  The Trump campaign played to “win it all”, similar to the rules for “Risk”. The resulting chaos of playing by two different sets of rules within a single election has left us feeling uncertain as to what the social fabric or the social contract, of America, is. What would have been different, if the campaigns had played by the rules of “Pandemic” where the goal was to save the country by working together? We last saw this type of cooperation after the U.S. entered World War II.  Does it take a threat to end the world as we know it to change the rules of the game? Cooperation like that ended with the war.



The politics of fear are alive and well… engaging our reptilian and emotional brains, where decisions are actually made. If we demonize and name-call our fellow Americans, how can we see their value in our shared society?

What do we, as a nation, value in each other? And how often do we visit our neocortex to challenge what “we know to be true?” Less often than we think we do. In a country that values it’s “rational mind”, we often fail to examine the rules of the political games themselves and the impact on our day-to-day lives.  Our willingness to use fear to “get out the base” has consequences.

Living in constant fear will keep the reptilian brain active. And not in a good way. Extended periods of anxiety and stress (fear by other names) result in a breakdown of mental health and on a larger scale, our social fabric. Trust in a shared reality is missing. There are techniques to counteract the fear...but we must choose to use them. We must choose to use our neocortex (rational) brain. Deprogramming from constant anxiety takes vigilance. It’s not automatic.  

Similarly, choosing to identify the rules of the games we play, demonstrating our values when interacting with others is another conscious choice.  So is our willingness to abide by our stated values. One of my rules is to treat everyone with dignity. Another is to honor the gift offered by each person.

What is your go-to game? And what rules or values do you play by?

Depending on what results you want, you can choose to play a different game. Our country is divided when we play “Risk” or “Pictionary” in real life.  But what if divisiveness - that divide between us - is the actual “Pandemic?”  Can we work together to save ourselves?

Debilyn Molineaux is a transformation partner. She works with visionaries and movements in support of a new national and global social contract focused on personal dignity and sovereignty. Her work highlights the relationships between individuals, institutions and governments for conscious transformation. She is the Managing Partner for Living Room Conversations, President of Coffee Party USA and Co-Director for Bridge Alliance, representing micro to macro system approaches.  She’s an advisor to Ingenuity Innovation Center, and the Alinsky Center.

          Strategy Games        
I love games. Board games, water games, games in general. (minus hide ‘n seek – Curtis says I’m to old for that 🙁 ) The last few years Curtis and I have enjoyed playing chess quite a bit (other then the whole year in Iraq thing). The problem with chess is I always win, as […]
          Tips for Teaching        
Top 10 Tips for Teaching Visual Learners

 1) Talk Less, Show More
Too many words can overwhelm visual kids. Simplify verbal instructions. Make lists, be brief and use pictures when possible.

 2) Get Into the Arts
The arts are a perfect match for the way visual-spatial kids think. Encourage regular participation in art, dance, music or theater classes.

 3) Make Study Visual
Help your visual student learn to study. Encourage them to make notes visual, adding color to enhance key points. Colored flashcards also help with memorization for a visual student.

4)  Focus on Handwriting
Writing while learning helps visual kids retain information. Practice handwriting and learn to draw as a way to develop these fine motor skills.

 5) Read, Read, Read
Because visual learners struggle when presented with too many words, it’s important to find creative ways to help your child enjoy reading. Reading aloud, listening to audio books and taking turns reading with your child are all great ways to make reading more fun.

 6) Create an Environment that Fosters Creativity
Innovation comes naturally to visual kids. Art and craft materials, Legos, puzzles, props and creative play will help develop their innovative abilities.

 7) Make Math Visual and Tactile
Visual learners are conceptual and less detail-oriented. To engage them in math concepts, use manipulative, play board games, teach concepts and add images wherever possible.

8)  Map Out Writing
Visual kids struggle putting their multidimensional, visual thoughts into words. Use sticky notes or graphic organizers to help them arrange their ideas before writing essays or papers.

 9) Engage All of the Senses
Learning through immersion is essential for visual children. Learning should include seeing, touching and doing activity, such as making maps, building dioramas, and participating in role play.

10) Help Build Organizational Skills

Order does not come naturally, so visual kids need help learning to organize. Homework assignments need to be written, use visual calendars and organize tasks by color.

          Top 10 Tips for Teaching Visual Learners        
1) Talk Less, Show More
Too many words can overwhelm visual kids. Simplify verbal instructions. Make lists, be brief and use pictures when possible.

 2) Get Into the Arts
The arts are a perfect match for the way visual-spatial kids think. Encourage regular participation in art, dance, music or theater classes.

 3) Make Study Visual
Help your visual student learn to study. Encourage them to make notes visual, adding color to enhance key points. Colored flashcards also help with memorization for a visual student.

4)  Focus on Handwriting
Writing while learning helps visual kids retain information. Practice handwriting and learn to draw as a way to develop these fine motor skills.

 5) Read, Read, Read
Because visual learners struggle when presented with too many words, it’s important to find creative ways to help your child enjoy reading. Reading aloud, listening to audio books and taking turns reading with your child are all great ways to make reading more fun.

 6) Create an Environment that Fosters Creativity
Innovation comes naturally to visual kids. Art and craft materials, Legos, puzzles, props and creative play will help develop their innovative abilities.

 7) Make Math Visual and Tactile
Visual learners are conceptual and less detail-oriented. To engage them in math concepts, use manipulatives, play board games, teach concepts and add images wherever possible.

8)  Map Out Writing
Visual kids struggle putting their multidimensional, visual thoughts into words. Use sticky notes or graphic organizers to help them arrange their ideas before writing essays or papers.

 9) Engage All of the Senses
Learning through immersion is essential for visual children. Learning should include seeing, touching and doing activity, such as making maps, building dioramas, and participating in role play.

10) Help Build Organizational Skills

Order does not come naturally, so visual kids need help learning to organize. Homework assignments need to be written, use visual calendars and organize tasks by color.

          Fascinating Scrabble Facts – An Infographic        

While it may be one of the most popular board games in the United States, Scrabble reaches around the globe. After looking at all the facts and findings, we’re sharing…

The post Fascinating Scrabble Facts – An Infographic appeared first on The Word Finder Blog!.

          You Can Play Board Games At These Chicago Bars        

It’s not the same as playing at home!  While board games can be great fun at home, playing while out and about provides an entirely different experience.  Below you will…

The post You Can Play Board Games At These Chicago Bars appeared first on The Word Finder Blog!.

          By: Anonymous        
go to you can see what other emulators are there. It also plays CPS1 and CPS2 cupboard games, NES and Game Boy.
          My Resolutions for 2017        
2016 has been a busy year over here. I launched a line of natural sprinkles and sugars, had recipes show up in Board Game Bento’s subscription box, did double duty as a sexy goldfish AND sexy Alexander Hamilton, and could even be found hosting Dungeons and Dragons’ and Desert Bus for Hope’s charity livestreams. 2017 […]
          DIY Summer Board Game        

DIY Summer Board Game

I love a little summer crafting just as much as my boys.  So I was pleased to be sent a set of Uni-Posca Pastel packs to get creative with.  The pastel pens are perfect for… View Post

The post DIY Summer Board Game appeared first on Monkey and Mouse.

          Ice Ice Baby        

We had the craziest ice storm in December. We got about 3 inches of pure ice and it last for DAYS. It looked like snow but it was really ice. On the first day the kids desperately wanted to go play in it. They didn't believe me when I said it wasn't snow. So we bundled them up and sent them out. 

At first they thought it was great. Then they tried make snow angels and snow balls and figured out what I meant when I said it wasn't snow. Turns out ice balls hurt and you have to work really hard to get an ice angel. 

But ice is good for sliding around on! 

 They lasted for about 10 minutes before deciding it was time to go sit inside by the fire. 

Again, this lasted for days because the temperature wouldn't get above freezing. In those 5 days, we baked every thing in the pantry. We made brownies, cookies, fudge, and cake. We showered just to change into a new pair of pajamas. We played lots of board games and watched tons of movies. It was kind of nice to be stuck inside doing nothing for a few days.

 By day four I was ready to bust out of there. Luckily my friend and next door neighbor is from the North and knows how to drive in that white stuff that causes us southerner's to be housebound and she volunteered to take me and the kids out for lunch and quick trip to walmart. That was just the boost we needed to get us through the rest of the "storm". 

We survived icepocalyspe 2013, and we even enjoyed most of it!  

post signature
          Bellingham comic book publisher branches into board games        
By Emily Hamann The Bellingham Business Journal If you read comics, some of your favorites may have been published right here in Bellingham. Space Goat Productions works with major companies like DC Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics to publish comic books, graphic novels and, now, board games. They’ve published comic book adaptations for major titles [...]


It's time for a legendary punk rock band to join the classic playlist. Named after Marilyn Monroe's last film, the band is of course The Misfits. Last Caress was released on the album Static Age which was recorded back in 1978, tho the album didn't get release as a hole until 1996. The skull faced punk band had many turns with band members leaving and legal issues but never lost their touch when it comes to deliver smashing horror punk. Last Caress was also covered by Metallica in 1987 but take a listen to the original in the Marshall Classic playlist. "Where is my mind?" is probably one of The Pixies most signature songs. It was featured on the album Surfer Rosa, an album frequently included on professional lists of all-time best rock albums. Written by the frontman Black Francis, and inspired by his scuba diving experiences in the Caribbean, ”Where is my mind?” is without a doubt a classic that we will never get tired of. Minnesota trio Hüsker Dü was formed back in 1979. They bonded over their shared love for Ramones and started out as a punk band but later on they changed sound to more alt rock. The name is actually referring to a board game and means "Do you remember?". Green Day made a cover of the song Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely. But the original song was released on an EP 1986.

          Toronto Boardgame Cafe        
An item from Toronto, by way of thelongshot :

New Board Game Café Welcomes You, But Not Your Laptop

Ben Castanie's new Koreatown café, at 600 Bloor Street West, just east of Palmerston Avenue, will emphatically not have free Wi-Fi. In fact, laptops and their attendant air of isolation are completely counter to what Castanie is trying to do. "I just don't want people sitting staring at their screens," he says. Then he starts explaining the system of categorization he'd used to organize his café's library of 1,500-plus board games....

With luck, it might catch on closer to here....

          Episode 27: Man of Fail        
We talk movies and board games, and Lindsey would rather be forever alone than see a Superman movie. Continue reading
          VTA's 'Cool Films Series' to Continue with FLIPPER and CLUE        

Victoria Theatre Association is swimming with great movies! Catch the last film of the 2017-2018 Family Flix Matinee Series, FLIPPER, Thursday, July 27 at 10 a.m. The 2017-2018 Cool Films Series continues with CLUE Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 30 at 3 p.m.

Tickets for FLIPPER are $3. Tickets for CLUE are $6. Passbooks of 10 tickets are still available for $35. To purchase, visit Ticket Center Stage, located in the Wintergarden of the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, call 937-228-3630, toll free 888-228-3630 or purchase online at

Dive on into summer with FLIPPER, a heartwarming tale of a friendship between dolphin and boy. Enjoy the summer vibes of this beachy story and bring the family to see FLIPPER on Thursday, July 27 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $3. Don't miss your chance to check out VTA's 2017-2018 Family Flix Matinee Series! Rated G. the Vic...with a bag of popcorn! Watch your favorite board game come to life in the cult-classic CLUE! The movie runs Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 30, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $6. Join the mystery and figure out the who, what, and where in CLUE! Don't forget to come early for FREE popcorn and soda! Rated PG.

Passbooks of 10 tickets that can be used on any show in any series are on sale now at Ticket Center Stage for $35. Visit for more information.


BRIGADOON - Aug. 4-6

COOL HAND LUKE - Aug. 11-13

ROYAL WEDDING - Aug. 18-20

McCABE & Mrs. Miller - Aug. 25-27

For tickets call the Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or toll free 888-228-3630, or go online or visit the Box Office located in the Wintergarden of the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton.

For more detailed information about Victoria Theatre Association's entire 2017-2018 season, visit

Victoria Theatre Association is one of Dayton's premier arts organizations, presenting the Premier Health Broadway Series, the Morris Furniture Company Family Series, the Cool Films Series, Projects Unlimited Star Attractions, National Geographic Live Series, and The Frank M. Tait Foundation Discovery Series, which features curriculum-enhanced live theatre productions for school children. In addition to the performances it presents, Victoria Theatre Association also manages the historic Victoria Theatre, the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, and the Metropolitan Arts Center, which houses The Loft Theatre. Victoria Theatre Association receives funding from a variety of diverse public, corporate, individual and private sources, including the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and the Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts helped fund this program or organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

          Erebuni Backgammon        
This is one of the oldest games in the world. 5000 years ago they were playing a similar game in Ur, the old Babylonian capital. In the upper classes it was often played with big money involved. Over the years the game has had many different names and the rules have varied. This version of backgammon called Long Backgammon (Long Nardi). Erebuni Backgammon is a game absolutely free version of classic board game Backgammon. It has a very beautiful design and include several features, such undo the lastmove. In this version You can play against the computer. Tag:
          Monopoly Twisted        
Monopoly Twisted is a monopoly pc game with some new twists and different rules. However, the classic mode is also included with original rules in the full game. This means that you can play monopoly in two modes "Monopoly Twisted" and "Monopoly Classic". In the new twisted version you don't need to own the entire color group to build houses! But you have to re-land on your property! You can choose to play against the computer or a human opponent. This monopoly board game is quick! If you like this monopoly pc game then please register, it only costs $8.95! After registration the following features will be enabled: 1. The ability to load and save your monopoly board game. 2. The ability to play monopoly in the monopoly classic mode. 3. The 10 run trial limit for your monopoly board game will be removed. Tag:monopoly pc game monopoly monopoly game play monopoly monopoly board game
          The ReverMaster 3000        
A Reversi board game (other names: Othello, Japan checkers). Simply rules. Very powerful artifical intelligence.The game estimates your moves and praises or abuses Tag:
          3D Backgammon        
Now you can play with your computer not only on a flat screen, but also enjoy 3D operations - rotating the board, looking at the board from the side of your opponent, and other cool features. Features Classical Backgammon game Full 3D graphics Board rotation Tag:3D Backgammon backgammon online backgammon 3D games 3D board game online games free games free backgammon
          3DFiBs Backgammon        
Backgammon is a fast paced exciting luck/skill game that is easy to learn but difficult to master. Enjoy backgammon with 3DFiBs, a popular free client for first Internet backgammon server and it includes a world class powered off-line computer opponent with hints, for hours of exciting backgammon fun. Features bigger boards, user configurable custom board setup, and full screen mode with picture background play. Tag:backgammon board game strategt
          MVP Backgammon        
You're in for a treat when you try this award-winning implementation of the classic board game. Simulating the setting of a medieval pub, MVP Backgammon offers a challenge to beginning and intermediate players alike with three skill levels of opponents. Tag:
Golden-Gammon gives Backgammon players the information needed to play the game on the Web. This small but effective portal provides details about the main playing rules and also provides useful tips on strategy for improving chances of winning. It is a refreshing fact to know that somewhere on the Internet, somebody cares about giving information that is not too complex. Many players who are keen on Backgammon look forward to participating in tournaments. This is a way to meet others and test your skills, as well as have the chance to win big bucks. Golden-Gammon provides detailed information about the latest and most updated tournaments available on the Web. There are both Sit & Go and Freeroll tournaments. has information about daily, weekly and monthly tournament events. Golden-Gammon seeks to give the essential details about what is happening in the Backgammon world without over-burdening the site visitor. Sao the site is small and compact, but still contains a lot of useful details. Since there are many European players, the site is offered in French, German, Greek and Turkish. There is also a Hebrew version. Any player who needs assistance can e-mail the Golden-Gammon support team at any time and get a prompt response back. That is why is very popular with Backgammon players everywhere. ve Gammon-Planet. Tag:backgammon gammon online backgammon board games game play backgammon
          Online Backgammon        
There is a place on the Web for specialist portals like that offer the key information about playing Backgammon online without too much fuss, words or complications. The idea is that Backgammon players looking for guidance or assistance want to get the essential details but not be overloaded. That is the attraction of Gammon-Place, being able to sort out what is important and offering it in an appealing way. One key area of attention is being able to explain the rules of playing Backgammon. How often is this done in a far-too-complicated way? Gammon-Palace offers playing rules that are clearly explained and help the player to quickly master the game. In addition, the site has tips on using winning play strategies, which is a very welcome feature. Gammon-Palace also provides the player with accurate news about where to go to play the latest Backgammon tournaments. These are daily, weekly or monthly events. The site includes both Sit & Go tournaments and Star Freeroll Backgammon tournaments, so there is something for everyone. Tag:backgammon gammon online backgammon board games game play backgammon
          Play Backgammon        
With so many backgammon players out there on the Internet, why should they visit a backgammon portal like Gammon-Paradise? Quite simply because here is where they can get the essential information about the game, without too many words or too much fuss. The Gammon-Paradise site was created to simplify the player experience, cut away all the unessential fat and just leave the main information. This information includes having clearly written rules to explain the backgammon game and offering some very useful tips about strategies for playing a better game. Goodness knows, we backgammon players need some help at the right time. That is not always easy to find, with so many backgammon sites offering nothing but wind. Gammon-Paradise does not waste the visitors time with overblown information. Here are regular news items that give accurate details about where to go to participate in appealing backgammon tournaments. There are lists for both Sit & Go tournaments as well as Star Freeroll tournaments ��???��??��?���¢?? and also when they occur, weekly or monthly. Since Gammon-Paradise is directed towards European players, the site is also made available in French, German, Greek, Danish and Turkish as well as English. There is a Hebrew version of the site as well. The site offers responsible customer support on a 24-hour/ 7-day a week basis. It is, in short, a good place to come for all events relating to online backgammon. Tag:backgammon gammon online backgammon board games game play backgammon free playboy video playboy mansion game playboy lesbian playboy brooke burke free digimon hentai backgamen
          The Best Classic Board Games – Personal Preference (1987)        
There are games that rely on the roll of the dice and the luck of the draw as they are about strategy, moving tokens around a game board, drawing cards, paying money, and trying to have the most loot.  Then there are games that rely on your knowledge of people and events, which tend to […]
          Going back in time - to save money!        

Nostalgia, isn't just about the toys, films, fashion, or celebrities of past decades, sometimes you can just look back and wish life was simpler and well, cheaper than it is today!

My Father's eyes mist over when he talks about being able to buy a pint of beer for 50 pence, or when he used to buy stamps for 4 pence each. Those days are surely gone for good? Well, perhaps not...

The cool people at have come up with a nice little idea to merge those nostalgic reverie's and a desire for a cheaper life into a smile-creating little advertising campaign!

They make the point that car sharing and being economical with your petrol can bring your petrol costs right down to 1980's prices! This is of course great, and also you’d produce fewer of those pesky excess greenhouse gasses that are creating global warming….

To highlight this point they've made a fun faux board game that literally takes you back in time through our recent history. You travel back through events like David Tennant becoming Dr Who, Britney Spears' first single, the first Harry Potter book, and first Toy Story film, way back into the 1980's when the Berlin Wall fell and there were Live Aid concerts.... And where do you find yourself? At petrol prices being 37 pence a litre (!).

Take a look as it seems a solid plan to help you travel back in time financially! (My Dad will be off to the pub with his 50p's shortly to give that a go too). Look it up here and you can find out about saving almost £1000 a year on your petrol prices, and also help save the environment into the bargain!
          The Waiting Game        

Mollie says that her husband Geoff spends way too much time on his turns during board games, plotting the perfect move to crush his opponents. Should Geoff hurry up?

          Thrash-Car Review by The News Wheel        

Check out this new review of Thrash-Car by The News Wheel         Thrash-Car Board Game Review: A Riotous, Reckless Racing Game! When can you win a racing board game without crossing the finish line? When you’re playing Thrash-Car! For those who thought that tabletop versions of racetrack competitions were … Continue reading

The post Thrash-Car Review by The News Wheel appeared first on .

          Quality events for this weekend        

Friday August 04 TGIF Yoga at Heartspace: Community class, In both Albany and Troy. First Friday Albany: Arts, culture, music, food, and more all around albany. 90s Night with DJ Trumastr at ADCo.: Also featuring classic board games. Diablerie, Aurelio Voltaire at Fuze Box: Goth night! Saturday August 05 Phoenicia Flea in the Berkshires: Nomadic

The post Quality events for this weekend appeared first on Keep Albany Boring.

          5 Ways to Develop Spatial Awareness        
develop spatial awareness

Spatial awareness is the ability to understand and interact with the environment around you.  Whether it be avoiding obstacles when walking, reaching out to grab a pencil or determining left from right these are all examples of tasks that require spatial awareness.   Developing the skills to express and understand spatial skills are the first step in understanding spatial ability and awareness such as math skills, visual perceptual skills, and body awareness.

Here are 5 activities to help encourage the development of spatial awareness:

1.  Obstacle Courses:  The ability to negotiate an obstacle course requires a significant amount of spatial awareness.  Vary the courses grading them according to the child’s ability to move over, under and around objects.

2.  Build and Create:  Use Legos, blocks, and puzzles.  Try Tangam puzzles.    Try this free visual spatial puzzle crossing paths.  Research has shown that parents who participated in guided block play with their children had significantly higher proportions of spatial talk. Guided block play consisted of playing with the blocks along with guided instructions for how to build different structures.  Read more in a previous blog post on block play and spatial awareness.

3.  Practice completing patterns.  You could try Follow the Path or Patterns, Patterns, Patterns.

4.  Movement Games:  Participate in any type of movement games where children have to move around obstacles or friends.  The ability to move around stationary objects is quite different than around moving objects which are unpredictable.  If you need ideas, try 50 Sensory Motor Activities for Kids!  Check out Which Way? to challenge motor planning and spatial awareness or Right or Left Games to practice right and left discrimination skills.

5.  Provide verbal descriptions.  Offer many opportunities for children to hear descriptions of where they are or where objects are in relationship to each other.  For example – “The pencil is on the right side of the desk” or “Let’s step over the log”.  Play games that require children to follow directions – ie Be A Robot.  Try worksheets where children how to follow directions of what colors to use for different letters or shapes ie Color Coding.

Personal Space Journey from

Personal Space Journey is a collection of activities to teach children about personal space. You can choose how to utilize the materials. Some children may benefit from reading the story first with follow up. Others may need to work on body awareness activities in order to maintain personal space.

This collection includes the following:

  • Personal Space Journey Board Game
  • 24 Body Cards – the child has to make his/her body look exactly like the body on the card
  • 24 Challenge Cards – complete the body awareness and motor planning challenges written on each card
  • 16 Movement Cards – complete the movement cards to practice body awareness moving through space
  • Body in Motion Challenges Worksheet – try to complete the 16 motor skills moving your body in different ways
  • Self Portrait – practice drawing a self-portrait and remember to include many body parts
  • Color the Body – identify and color in various body parts
  • Personal Space Journey Letter for Home – letter written to parents about developing body awareness
  • Personal Space and School – a 12-page social story about maintaining personal space in school
  • “I Can” Statement Posters to complement the Personal Space social story – 12 “I Can” posters to hang throughout the school to reinforce the personal space journey
  • Twelve Small cards of the “I Can” Statements – provide the child with these small cards to remind them to maintain personal space in different situations – i.e. tape to a desk, slip in a notebook, etc.
  • Personal Space Journey Certificate – complete this certificate when child has mastered maintaining personal space
  • Handwriting Practice – 8 pages of handwriting practice for the child to list ways to maintain personal space in different situations. Provided in dotted line format, double line format (Handwriting Without Tears® style) and regular lined paper.

The activities are reproducible to use over and over again with all the children that you teach.  FIND OUT MORE.

develop spatial awareness

The post 5 Ways to Develop Spatial Awareness appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

          Kelly & Brandon Handy's Hawaiian Destination Wedding on Maui, Hawaii by Cincinnati Wedding Photographer, Knox Pro Photography        
I had the honor of travelling to Hawaii to photograph the elopement of my good friends, Kelly & Brandon! Josh and I met them through our shared love of playing board games and free comedy club tickets! After some heated games of Battle of the Sexes and a few comedy shows, they asked if we would photograph their destination wedding ceremony in one of the top wedding destinations in the world!   They had a lovely private ceremony at Makena Beach Resort on Maui Island on 11-12-13 at 14:15 (2:15
          #Excerpt: HUNTED FATE by Jennifer Derrick        

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte.
Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…
A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.

Previous books in the series:
Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.
“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”
“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.
“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.
“Are any of you hackers?”
Alex raises his hand.
“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”
“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”
“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”
“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.
“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”
“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.
We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.
“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”
The TV feed blinks and is gone.
He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.
“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.
“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.
“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”
“What’s the problem?” I ask.
“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”
“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”
“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.
After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.
“Done,” he says.
The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.
“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.
We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official

a Rafflecopter giveaway

          A few quick freebies + more!        
This could be a regular thing on my blog! I do love looking for unique and different freebies and samples. I want something different from the same old ones you see all over the web. I think I found a few good ones today! I'll save the best for last :)

First up is a FREE MenopauseRx Survival Kit , this looks really interesting and has a lot of information in the kit! Great for ladies who gone through natural or induced menopause. The kit contains free educational materials, full size samples and coupons, you also get 5% off if you order through their site. Very easy form with a few quick questions to answer.

Next I found this free
"Kids Shouldn't Smoke" bumper sticker. They also have posters, brochures and even 2 free board games you can order! Help spread the word!

This one isn't a freebie but it's something else I love, online games! This site is very cool! The Actibrain site is based on the company's Brain Trainers for the PC which have sold over 500,000 copies around the world. The site says you can "Exercise and train your brain in five key areas: Verbal, Numerical, Logical, Memory and Spatial. Play workout games as much as you want. Take Daily Tests and review your progress charts." I tried it and the games are simple but fun and challenging. Great way to keep your brain sharp :)

Last but certainly not least is my favorite giveaway today! Actually 3 freebies in 1! The Gooseberry Patch Store has a Free Fall Favorite Cookbook form you can fill out. They say there's a limit 1 per address. U.S. & Canada addresses only. The form is still active so you should get your new cookbook within 4 weeks!

Gooseberry Patch also posts a new free recipe from one of their cookbooks each week! This week's recipe is Nutty French Toast Bake, yum! If you register on their site they'll give you another recipe as well!

They also say if you have a recipe you'd like to share and they use it in one of their cookbooks they will send you the cookbook it's published in for Free!

I hope you find at least one of these freebies useful! I have lots more to find and post so stop by again!

clip art of a robin
There was a Robin in the backyard today!
Welcome spring!

          5 Ways to Slow Down Your Summer        

slow down relax summertime summer unwind self care calm peace and quiet

Come September, it’s as common as back-to-school ads; people everywhere remark on how quickly the summer flew by.  With May we entertain summer visions of lazy days spent reading, swimming, and relaxing, and before we know it the summer has passed by in a flurry of activities and social engagements.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could slow things down a little this summer? We think so, too.  That’s why we’ve come up with the top 5 ways you can stretch out and calm down your summer: 


  1. Change it up.  You know how summer days, holiday vacations, heck – even afternoons seemed to last an eternity when you were a kid?  That’s because everything was new to you and your brain was working on turning those experiences into new memories.  When faced with new and different events, our brains tend to perceive them has having lasted longer.  So that means that driving to an unfamiliar part of town to eat lunch at a new restaurant, followed by a hike on a new trail is likely seem to stretch out that day more than the same old-same old routine.
  2. Unplug and be present.  If there’s one surefire way to lose great chunks of time, it’s likely to be lounging on your sofa, phone or tablet in hand, surfing articles or playing games.  Sure, it might feel relaxing, but it’s definitely not an effective way to stretch out and enjoy your summer days.  Instead, dedicate a couple of afternoons and evenings per week to being screen-free, and being completely present with your loved ones.  Play a board game.  Go on a nature walk.  Find a new recipe (in an actual cookbook) and make a dish from scratch. 
  3. Practice smart self-care.  Let’s face it.  If you’re tense, anxious, or fatigued on an ongoing basis, then that will become your personal theme for the summer, causing your days and weeks to blur together in a flurry of stress.  However, if you can approach your summer days from a place of relaxation and contentment, then that’s the direction your days will follow.  Be sure to keep regular appointments with your Elements Massage therapist during the summer weeks.  Doing so will help you to maintain quality sleep patterns, a lower level of perceived stress, and loosened muscles that are ready for fun.  Plus, if you’ve got kids around, by doing this you’re sending them a valuable message of the importance of quality self-care.
  4. Focus on the quiet.  Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fill our environment with constant stimuli and noise?  This summer, why not spend an hour simply listening to the outdoor sounds of birds, squirrels, and dogs?  Bonus points if you catch a sunrise or sunset while doing so.  Time will creep by slowly, and for once you’ll be so glad it does.
  5. Try a DIY.  Have you always wanted to build a birdhouse?  Or perhaps make a few mosaic-style stepping stones for your garden?  Trying your hand at creating an item for your home or yard is not only fun and frugal, but the finished product can really set apart this summer from the rest, as you’ll look back on your summer creation for years to come.


          Leap Into Those Extra-Day Dreams        

couple playing on the beachIf you were granted a gift of an extra hour that was yours, free and clear, with which to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?  What about an extra six hours? How about an entire day? It doesn’t take long for the brain to start spinning with options and ideas, and before long, we’ve got an arm-length list.  Would you sleep? Enjoy a lengthy hike? Cuddle with a loved one? Maybe you’d finally play that board game that your kids got last Christmas? The anomalous Leap Day is right around the corner – one of the rare times when it really does feel like the whole world is given an extra day. While it’s possible that many folks will not get to fill their extra day fantasies, given that February 29th falls on a Monday, this day can help us to examine our priorities, and how well we are, or aren’t, living them out in our day-to-day. How we envision our own “perfect” day is usually an indicator for what we’d like to see more of in our lives.

If you would choose to slumber the whole day away, you’re likely not alone. A 2013 Gallup poll reported that 40% of Americans are getting less than the 7 recommended hours of sleep per night. If you’re one of the unrested masses, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at your evening schedule. Can you squeeze in a bedtime that is even 20 minutes earlier than your usual? Or if it’s the quiet calm of sleeping that you crave, can you devote the last 15 minutes of your day to an electronics-free, on-your-own meditation or prayer session? If every day feels like a too-tall order, perhaps commit to 4 days a week of granting yourself some extra rest.

If, in your extra-day dream world, you’re up to your elbows in movies, crafts, and games with your family members, that’s a sign that perhaps some quality family time is in order, pronto. Considering that unadulterated family time is often better in smaller doses anyway, maybe ponder some ways to amp up your family’s quality time together on a regular basis a few times a week. Hint: with family time, the key word is intentional. It’s easy to have everyone in the same room, but be mentally miles apart in their own little screen-induced la-la land. Dinners together, evening board games or outdoor walks are enjoyable, easy ways to reconnect with your most-loved ones.

Did your mind immediately start moving toward a day of practicing some long-overdue self-care? If things like going for a long walk, getting a massage and re-reading your well-worn favorite book are on your extra-day list, it sounds like it might be time to pay more attention to taking care of YOU.  If you’re on a regular massage schedule with your massage therapist, decreasing the time between massages by even a few days can be a welcome, healing change to your routine. Aside from this, think about ways that you can incorporate “stolen luxuries” to your day. Can you grab an extra 10 minutes of your lunch hour to simply sit outside, enjoying the sun and sounds? Can you throw your responsible eating plan to the wind once a week, and indulge in a stop at your favorite gourmet ice cream shop? As long as you’re responsible most of the time, treating yourself to some decadence is not only fun, it’s also good for your willpower long-term. Holding yourself to permanent perfection standards pretty much ensures that you’ll overindulge in the near future, while allowing some grace for splurges will make your good efforts seem a little easier.

A whole day to do whatever you want is fun to daydream about.  Although it may not be possible to devote an entire day to doing whatever you want, incorporating some sought-after aspects of your life that currently seem in short supply can make the regular days seem like ideal days.

          Four Tips for Harvesting a Healthy Lifestyle        

The busy and chaotic holiday season will soon be knocking on your door as pumpkins and costumes will be lining your entryway in just a little more than a month. Start clearing out the cobwebs and clutter of unhealthy habits as the Harvest Moon rises this week to make way for a set of new routines that will balance your mind and body.

As you fall upon the season of transition and change, harvest the following four healthy habits to build the foundation for a more calming, energetic and fulfilling lifestyle.

Shut Down Early
Access to information, services and communication with others across the world in today’s always-on-the-go society is on a continuous 24x7 cycle. Although technology has eliminated a resting period for companies worldwide, it still is important as an individual to shut down your brain and rest your body for consistent periods of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Getting enough rest can reap bountiful rewards such as increased attention spans, more energy and positive attitudes. But, getting to bed at a reasonable time each night also can make a difference in your ability to function and perform at your best on a daily basis. Earlier bedtimes are especially important this time of year as kids and parents are getting back into the school groove and facing earlier wake up times then they did during summer break.

“I used to be a big night owl.  But now that I have a stepson and a baby on the way, I’ve had to adjust my sleep habits,” said Gabe Vela, massage therapist at Elements Louisville East. “You can’t be in a good mood for everybody if you are wasted during the day because you didn’t get enough sleep.”

As the sun sets earlier this time of year, adjust your bedtime by 15-minute increments each week for the next month so that you are getting to bed a bit earlier by the time the fall season is in full swing. Consistent bedtime routines of relaxing, spending quality time with your spouse and turning off technology well before your head hits the pillow also can create an atmosphere that supports more restful sleeping patterns.

“It’s so difficult to lie down in bed and let your thoughts go, especially if you have distractions all around you,” Vela said. “It’s good feng shui to ditch the TV, get rid of your books and only have what you need in your bedroom to sleep.”

Meditate to Motivate Connectivity
You might think that you need your phone by your side at all times and eyes glued to a screen to stay connected in today’s technology-driven environment. However, Vela believes that one of the best ways to connect to yourself and the important people in your life is to disconnect regularly from daily noise and tune into the power of meditation. Sitting still and relaxing for just a few minutes each day can improve your sense of connectivity to your well-being and those around you.

To begin incorporating meditation into your daily schedule, Vela suggests setting aside 15 minutes of quiet time each day for two weeks to clear your mind and senses. During your designated meditation time:

  • Sit in a quiet room.
  • Light incense with a smell you enjoy, but choose a fragrance that doesn’t have any meaning or attachment to your life.
  • Play calming music that you enjoy, but doesn’t have any connections to feelings or events in your life.
  • Simply focus on breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth as you practice detaching from your thoughts and feelings.

Move Yourself Daily
After driving kids to/from school, working at a desk all day and sitting through hours of meetings, the first thing your mind probably wants to do after a long day is park yourself on the couch to relax and unwind. However, your aching muscles and tight body are in great need of some type of physical activity after sustaining a daily sedentary lifestyle. Walk for 20 minutes at lunchtime, run around the park before work or do a yoga class in the evening. Just make it a priority to be active on a daily basis to feed the health and wellness of your mind and body.

Disconnect from Screens and Technology
Instead of reaching for the remote to close out your day in front of the television, pull out a board game to play with the family or turn to your spouse for engaging face-to-face conversation. By getting back to the basics of human interaction and connection, you can build stronger relationships with your friends and family. Whether it’s during dinner or before heading off to bed, schedule at least 30 minutes of technology-free time for everyone in the family. This "technology time out" can help re-focus your thoughts on the present, re-connect you with your family and re-boot your system to tackle the challenges that the new day will bring.

“Sometimes you have to flip the script and turn the tables on yourself to get the results you are looking for,” Vela advises. “If you’re busy-minded, you may need to sit down and relax. If you’re lazy and unmotivated, you may need to get up and get moving.”

Make it a point this fall season to transition your current habits into healthier, more fulfilling practices. Harvesting a healthy lifestyle that focuses on the well-being of your mind and body can be beneficial for both you and your family.

          Cool as a Cucumber: Foods That Help You Chill Out        

Your outdoor patio, deck or backyard can be one of the most relaxing places for summertime lounging. With comfortable patio furniture tempting you to unwind after a long day, a colorful sunset calling your name and a perfect setting for open air family mealtime, the only thing missing is delicious, nutritious food and beverages to complement your summer oasis.

Take a sample of the following four types of foods that can help you relax and unwind as you stay cool and enjoy the summer season.

Chilling With Fruits
An apple a day may keep the doctor away.  But melons, berries, grapes, cherries and citrus are some of the most common go-to summer fruits for hydrating and fueling your body.  Fruits that are high in fiber and water content can provide an excellent combo for keeping you cool. Made up of more than 90 percent water, watermelon can be a refreshing treat that soothes your thirst on a hot summer day while also satisfying your sweet tooth. Adding citrus like lemons to ice cold water will not only add a twist to a summer essential beverage, but it also can naturally add Vitamin C to your body.

“I tell my clients to put fruit in their water, like citrus and berries, because it tastes good, is good for them and they deserve it,” said Marisa Carter, massage therapist at Elements Medford.

Slicing and Dicing Veggies
Nothing says summer like adding fresh garden vegetables to your daily menu. Whether it’s juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce and spinach, or crisp cucumbers and carrots, it’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of all the easy and delicious veggies that are ready for the picking from your garden or local farmers market.  Tossing up a quick dinner salad with all of your favorite veggies can be a quick and easy relaxing meal to unwind with after a busy day. Or, you can throw some sliced summer squash, potatoes, onions or corn on the cob on the barbecue to keep the heat out of the kitchen and pack your patio table with a nutrient-rich dinner or lunch side dish.   

Grilling Meats
Summer relaxing on the patio and firing up the grill go hand in hand. When picking out good meat for some summertime grilling, lean, free-range, grain-fed and wild breeds are some of the best choices. To spice up your grilling menu, try combining your favorite cut of beef, chicken or seafood with an assortment of grill-friendly vegetables like onions, red and yellow peppers or squash to create colorful, tasteful and nutritious summer kabobs. Another easy grill meal that requires very little preparation time is all-in-one foil meals. Combine your favorite source of protein with potatoes, carrots, onions and seasoning, wrap it all up in individual-serving-size pieces of foil and let dinner simmer on the grill while you relax and unwind as the sun sets on the horizon. 

Snacking Fun
When temperatures are on the rise and being outside is borderline unbearable, it's a good time to retreat inside to relax and stay cool in an air conditioned environment. Some of the best summertime retreat pastimes for all ages are movie watching or board game playing. But, these summer fun activities aren’t complete without some deliciously fun snacks.

“It’s a good idea to have healthy snacks for throughout the day,” said Amy O’Connor, massage therapist at Elements Chandler/Ahwatukee. “Grapes, trail mix and fruit can be good, healthy snack options.”

To make summer snacking healthy and easy, opt for a batch of homemade popcorn and trail mix. Anticipating the pop of corn kernels on the stove or over a campfire is not only fun for everyone in the family, but preparing this old-time treat by hand is a lot healthier than the processed, high-sodium-and-fat microwave or movie theater options.

Making your own trail mix also can be a nutritious and fun snack. Satisfy your sweet and salty tooth by mixing your favorite nuts with an assortment of dried fruit and even a small handful of dark chocolate chips. And to keep you cool on a hot summer day, a frozen berry smoothie with low-fat Greek yogurt, milk and fresh fruit is always a popular treat.

Chill out this summer with these fun and healthy food options that are easy to incorporate into your menu planning. Save time and energy by going fresh, keeping it simple and staying out of the heat of kitchen so you can enjoy the summer relaxing, unwinding and staying cool.

          Deer Lord! Party + Asian Style Nachos        
Thank you Deer Lord! for sponsoring this post. Grab your new edition of Deer Lord! social party game, available through Target retail stores starting July 30.

I'm a firm believer that game nights should be unassuming get-together's and only need three things: good friends, good food and of course a good game. You'll need to take care of the first one yourself, but today I've got the other two covered.

Have I mentioned before that I come from a family of gamers? Maybe I have, but I might not have described to what extent. Now, I'm not talking video games, I'm talking board and card games. First of all, my brother owned a board game store for over a decade. And my sister? Instead of a library of books, she has a library of games. It's an obsession, and I don't hate it. Needless to say, we know games. And today I'm introducing you to a new favorite!

There is a wide spectrum of games in the world. Some of my siblings enjoy strategy games that take up to 5 hours long (!!!), whereas I prefer party games that are relatively short and exciting, with lots and lots of laughter involved. Which is why this is my new favorite game, I was sooo pleasantly surprised with how much fun it was! In Deer Lord! you dupe and duel each other until someone gets rid of all their cards and is crowned the "deer lord." Dupes are secret missions you try to complete stealthily while the game is in play, either easy stuff like say something in a foreign language, or slightly more difficult like do a handstand. The trick is to make it natural enough that people won't realize it's a mission. The duels are my favorite. You challenge another player to the duel, things like who can fit the most items in their mouth, or who can tell the best joke. That's where things get really rowdy and fun! If you saw my Instagram stories last week (@gina.chong) you'll know I lost miserably at the fitting food in my mouth duel lol. And a duel for who can win a thumb war may or may not have ended in I said, we take our games seriously ha. The person who can get complete all of the dupes and duels in their hand first wins. At the end I didn't win the crown, but my cheeks were raw from laughing and I had become a fan. Love this game.

Deer Lord! started out in Europe as an independent game, but it got super popular and now it's available at Target! The one at Target is an updated core version that also includes the "Gangsta" and "Broadway" expansions. Highly recommend, guys. Whose checking it out on their next Target run?? While you're there, also grab the ingredients for my party snack recipe: Asian Style Nachos! With Korean flavored pulled beef and some other secret ingredients, I'm pretty proud of these, and here's a tip: they would be just as good over fries. So for your next game night, snag Deer Lord! at Target, grab these nacho ingredients, and get ready for a happy belly and sore cheeks from laughing. Happy gaming!

Asian Style Nachos
  • 6 oz. tortilla chips 
  • 1 lb chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • green onions, chopped
  • Kewpie mayo
  • sriracha sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups Mexican cheese
  • guacamole


Place chuck roast in pressure cooker or slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple juice, onion powder, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil. Poor over your roast. If cooking in a pressure cooker, use the red meat function to cook. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours or until very tender. When done, use two forks to pull the beef into shreds, and return it to the pot to soak in the marinade until ready for use.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, gochujang, vinegar and soy sauce. Add the chopped kimchi and stir to coat. Heat a pan over med-high heat. Using tongs, add the kimchi to the pan, shaking off excess liquid. Cook kimchi for 5-6 minutes until the sauce is thick and the kimchi begins browning in spots. Remove from heat.

To Assemble:

Place your oven rack to the highest position. Set oven to a low broil. Place tortilla chips onto an oven-safe pan. Sprinkle with half your cheese, then half your kimchi and a generous amount of pulled beef. Sprinkle again with cheese, leaving just a Tablespoon or two, and follow with remaining kimchi and beef. Finish it off with the remaining cheese and broil until cheese is just melted. Once done, sprinkle with green onions, and drizzle with Kewpie mayo and sriracha. Serve guacamole on the side, and enjoy!

Caramelized kimchi recipe from HERE

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

          Inclusive Vacations Inexpensive        
Cancun, Mexico
Enjoy the all inclusive vacations inexpensive, great deals, discount priced for your enjoyment. This is exactly what you will get when you take advantage of this all inclusive vacation to Cancun, Mexico. And you won't believe the price of only $320 per person.
The RIU Caribe Cancun, is a 4 Star Hotel. This deluxe beachfront Cancun Hotel has 506 ocean view rooms designed with your comfort in mind. The staff is well known for being very warm and friendly. You will be located in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone, 30 minutes from airport and 25 minutes from downtown. Shopping, Golf, Nightclubs, & Restaurants nearby.
For your pleasure, there is a large pool, 3 Restaurants, 2 Bars, Lighted tennis, Spa w/jacuzzi, Sauna & Steam Room, Room Service, Game Room, Arcade/Teen Club, Babysitting Service, Live Music & Great Entertainment.
This all inclusive vacations inexpensive price is only $320 per person (air not included). You will be arriving on June 4th and staying until June 7th, 2009. What a great way to spend a long weekend in Mexico.
Some of the things included in your All-inclusive Package for RIU Caribe Cancun include:
Accommodation (run-of-the-house)
All meals and snacks
Unlimited local alcoholic beverages
In-room top shelf alcoholic beverages
Unlimited juices and soft drinks
Wine served with lunch and dinner
Daily activities including but not limited to:
Aqua aerobics
Pool volleyball
Beach volleyball
Crazy games
Pool basketball
Spanish lessons
Board games and
Kids club
Swim up bar
Fitness center
Swimming pools
Lounge chairs by pool and on beach
Towel service
Non-motorized water sports including:
Hobie Cats
Boogie boards
Snorkel equipment
Introductory scuba clinic in the pool
Nightly entertainment
Room service
Gratuities (tips)
If you would like the freedom to take dream vacations like this, at truly unbeatable prices, sign up now to become a TraVerus Travel Agent. Great trips like this one are available to TraVerus members and their friends only.
You will not soon forget this awesome vacation to Mexico, and the great deal you received all because you were a member and agent of TraVerus Travel.
Get all the information you will need right here for this and other awesome Member Trips Or you can simply read more about other vacation deals here.
          How to Save Money on Kids' Activities        
saving money on kids' activities

One thing many parents have in common is that they are rushing around from one activity to another for their children. It takes a full-sized calendar to keep track of who has soccer on which day, and which kid has an upcoming dance recital. If your family juggles a lot of activities during the school year and then in the summer, you know how expensive it can get. Here are few ways to save money.

Buy Secondhand

Gently used sports equipment is surprisingly easy to find secondhand. Before you spring for new sports gear or a musical instrument, check Craigslist, eBay, thrift stores, and even your parent friends. Children often outgrow gear quickly, or they lose interest in an activity. This means you might find equipment such as cleats, shin guards, dance shoes, or a French horn in mint condition for a fraction of the cost.

My daughter is in ballet/tap class, and I am surprised at how many pairs of tap shoes I come across at the thrift store for about $1.99 each. Avoid getting any headgear used, especially bicycle helmets, for safety reasons. Also, if your child or teen is involved in a sport that requires a lot of running, new shoes will be better for their alignment and performance. (See also: 8 Things You Should Always Buy Used)

Skip the Pricey, Special Events

Certain activities will come with seasonal recitals, concerts, fundraisers, and fancy dinners. When you sign up for an activity, know upfront which events are required of you. You are not always required to participate in everything. For example, my daughter's dance studio puts on five or so performances a year, each of which might cost $30–$40 for the costume and tickets to attend. Since she is only three, it is easy to opt out of these performances. The other dance moms are a little perplexed that I would do such a thing, but my main goal is to make sure my daughter has fun and to keep my life simple with two kids under four.

As a child, my sister and I were in Taekwondo. There were always tournaments happening, and I remember wanting to go to as many as possible. Thankfully, my parents limited tournaments because, truthfully, as much as I loved doing them, they drained a lot of my time and energy (and my parents', too). When you sign up for a new activity, find out what is really required of you. If your child is still young, like mine, then feel free to forego the optional extras to save money and sanity.

Enroll in One Activity at a Time

I'm always amazed by the parents that juggle two or three or even five different activities with their children. Amazingly, I've never met a parent who actually enjoys being a human taxi to taekwondo lessons, piano lessons, and baseball games. These parents are usually the ones who are stressed out the most or are barking at their kids to hurry up and get ready for the next activity. Guess what? Your kids don't have to do it all. Pick one activity per season. If you have multiple kids have them all enrolled in one activity. If your youngest doesn't want to take soccer with the rest of your kids, then let them know that they will get to choose the activity next season.

I think as parents, we are so worried about enriching our children's lives, that we forget they need some downtime and relaxation time with us. It's okay to take a season off of youth soccer. This doesn't mean your child is automatically disqualified from future scholarships or from becoming a pro-athlete (unless of course they are close to graduation).

Get the Sibling Discount

Not only will enrolling your children in the same activity save you some time and stress, but it will also save you money. Many places offer sibling discounts, and siblings can often share equipment. If you don't see a sibling discount offered, don't hesitate to ask.

Start a Hand-Me-Down Bucket

When I first signed up my daughter for dance classes, the teacher asked all the moms if someone had outgrown ballet shoes for us. The next week, another mom brought some for me. I offered her money, but she said, "This is just what the moms do at this studio." What a resourceful way to help the whole studio.

If possible, make an announcement to the parents that you are going to start a "hand-me down bucket" or "share bucket." Pitch it as a way for them to help with the costs and to clean out their closets of outgrown gear. This works best in settings that kids use the same items each year, such as dance shoes, leotards, karate shirts, and sparring gear, etc.

Pay Ahead

Always ask about discounts for paying ahead or paying in cash. Some places might give you a discount for paying for the whole year upfront, which can save you $30–$50 that year. The dance studio my daughter is enrolled in offers a $15 discount once a year for those who pay for three months in advance.

How do you save on your kid's extracurricular activities? Share with us in the comments!

          The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts        
Woman finding best weekend activities for introverts

Introverts: we prefer book lights to spotlights, and we're much more likely to be found in a corner of a coffee shop than at the center of attention. We're a bit different, and we enjoy doing different things. Here are 12 of the best weekend activities for people that don't necessarily want to party. Wonderful wallflowers, unite!

1. Reading a Good Book

What could be better than getting lost in the pages of a good book (you know… the sort that you hate to put down and can't wait to pick up again)? Books are a refuge for many introverts. It makes us curiously reflective, notoriously well-read, and (once you get to know us), wonderful conversationalists. Find a good story and immerse yourself in it.

2. Playing Board Games

Introvert or extrovert, a little harmless competition has universal appeal. Skip charades and arrange an evening of great card and board games with a small group of friends.

3. Curating a Collection

Curating a personal collection of something you love can become a wonderful obsession. Over the years, I've collected mid-century Italian pottery, postage stamps, coins, vintage postcards, and (oddly) antique syrup dispensers. A weekend spent researching, hunting, buying, and displaying items in your collection is a great way to meet folks one-on-one who share your interests.

4. Talking Aimlessly Over Coffee

One of my favorite writers, the late Paul Monette, penned the following line in his autobiography: "I felt as if I had been born to talk in restaurants." That quote has always stuck with me, especially when I'm in the company of a dear friend and we're thoroughly unplugged and lost in coffee-fueled conversation. Introvert or extrovert, it's one of life's simplest pleasures.

5. Exploring a New Hobby

I pass countless weekend hours immersed in wood carving, assemblage art, and antique restoration. Each is solitary, alternately challenging and relaxing, and wonderfully rewarding. Indulge a new interest, pursue a free and fun hobby, and go!

6. Watching a Classic Movie

If you're like me, a crowded theater, 40-foot screen, $8.00 popcorn, and texting teenagers hold little appeal. Choose the more intimate (and frugal!) option. Stay in and watch a movie with friends.

7. Going for a Long Walk

There are many reasons to take a walk; long, leisurely walks outdoors can be restorative and energizing — the perfect antidote for a trying week at work. Tune the world out by creating a personal playlist, then (safely) hit the streets.

8. Having a Drink With a Small Circle of Friends

Introverts often get accused of being antisocial, but nothing could be further from the truth. We're just choosy about the context and the company. Pick a local watering hole that's off the beaten path, become a familiar face there, and make it your go-to spot for drinks with friends.

9. Gardening

Gardening is a solitary activity with tremendous rewards. Communing with nature, growing edible garden plants, and enjoying the delicious fruits of your labor all make gardening the perfect solo pursuit.

10. Cooking With Friends

Everybody's gotta eat, right? Invite a couple of your closest friends over, hit the local market, and spend some quality kitchen time together. And if cooking isn't exactly your passion, explore quick dinner ideas for lazy cooks. Just imagine: healthier meals with no parking hassles, no big dinner bills, and no obnoxious birthday songs at the next table.

11. Solving a Crossword Puzzle

Next to a good game of solitaire, crosswords are the cliché activity for introverts, and there's a reason for it. A challenging crossword puzzle can be wonderful, maddening, exhausting and — when you finally finish — exhilarating.

12. Attending a (Small) Yoga Class

Though yoga classes are a group activity, the vibe is decidedly different. People focus on their bodies, on their breathing, and on the experience. It's physical, mental, and entirely independent. Attend a beginner's class one weekend, gently push your physical limits, and practice at home.

There's no need to grit our teeth through dinner parties full of strangers, loud bars, and crowded gyms. Let's celebrate who we are by doing exactly what we love and pursuing activities as individual as we are.

Are you a self-described introvert? What are some of your favorite weekend activities?

          So Proud        
I can't believe how easy potty training was. Logan has been completely accident free both day AND night for over three weeks now. I am SOOOO proud of him.

He also learned how to ride his tricycle last week while we were watching Jonas. By Sunday, he rode a mile and a half on the trail behind our house. He has been riding daily at distances that I find amazing for his little legs. I don't think his trike was meant for long distance riding. I have definitely been getting my exercise keeping up with him.

This morning we went to the Nature Museum for the first time. He loved the butterfly pavilion, skunk, ground hog that was eating corn on the cob, possum, crow, and mink. He also loved playing in a little water table with fake frogs and tadpoles. Afterwards we went to Freedom Park and ate the lunch we brought overlooking a small creek and suspension bridge. He then rode all around the little lake on his tricycle and played on the stage. We saw two super tiny ducklings. They were so cute.

Logan is amazing with the number of songs that he quickly memorizes and not just kid songs. He knows the choruses to Jason Mraz' I'm Yours, Katy Pearry's Hot and Cold, Britney's Circus, and Taylor Swift's Love Story.

We went to Florida at the end of March and took a cruise to Cozumel and Belize. We got to eat at Pancho's Backyard, which was great as usual. I got some funny looks allowing Logan to split my non-alcoholic margarita there. We didn't even get off of the boat in Belize. We took the Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas. I talked Ryan into that ship mainly for the parades on the promenade deck. I was annoyed to find out that the parades are only at 11pm, which is way too late for Logan. We had lots of fun, but it was exhausting entertaining Logan all day. He loved the sports deck and wanted to play mini-golf, ping pong, and basketball all day long. We also spent a lot of time looking through the various board games in the game room.

After we got back to Florida, we went to Animal Kingdom and Sea World. Animal Kingdom is highly overrated and over priced for someone Logan's age. The highlights were the triceratops dumbo-like ride, brushing the goats at the petting area, and the safari that was a bit rough for both young children and expectant moms. Guess I should have heeded the warning that expectant moms shouldn't ride. Too bad I didn't know that until we were the next in line. Lazy 5, Sea World, and the Brevard Zoo are all much better for seeing actual animals. Sea World was fantastic and we all had a great time. Logan loved feeding the sea lions and feeding and petting the sting rays.

We also went to the Brevard Zoo with Mimi while Ryan was working. We got to see their new petting area that had just opened and included a deer and an emu, along with goats.
          Blogger Fail        
Not that I've ever been a real great blogger, in terms of being consistent, but 2011 was by far my worst year for blogging. Will 2012 be any better? Probably not but I'm going to give it a whirl I wouldn't bet on it if I were you . I just haven't felt motivated to blog.... which is why this post hasn't even been edited and is very "rough looking" damn I suck at this! It's because I'm so busy lazy?

I'm very optimistic about this year... I feel change on the horizon.. maybe not major changes, we aren't moving and no I'm not preggo! But good some small changes. We'll see!

Being that I'm still not super motivated today or feeling very creative this post will be the tradition recap of the previous year. Here goes!

January- Lots of playing in the snow, prepping for baby Bronco, and Mom "moved in" (she stayed with us for a couple months)... did I mentioned she's the best????? The picture of the three of us was January 31st.

At 10pm on January 31st I checked into St E hospital in Lincoln and at 12:41pm PR was born! Hard to believe that was almost a year ago. The picture of K and him is the moment she saw him.

March- K is shed hunting with Dad here....
K.Rae got her hair cut short in April, she looked too grown up! Kristin, MK, and Mom were all here for Easter!
In May we spend the month watching P grow

June we traveled to the panhandle to spend the week with the inlaws. This is the weekend when Liz and I officially became Outlaws!
At the end of July we traveled back to NM and were lucky enough to be able to attend/be part of the Boyle wedding! It was great to see our friends get married and we had the best weekend with family/friends!!!

August was crazy... it included two full weeks of travel for me and when I returned we packed up and moved! We (all of us including the horses) have room to run now!

September- P has a new obsession with horses, live ones and fake. He loves them. My long lost bf came up to visit... love her!!! September was scary for us though, K spent four days in the hospital with a kidney infection. She was a trooper though and I stayed by her side the whole time... we had fun playing board games and cuddling in her hospital bed. Turns out this may be a life long issue she has to deal with but we'll face it as it comes!

In October she turned five!!! We spent the day at American Girl store where she picked out her new friend "Julie". I turned 27... but we won't talk about that.
November was full of family!! Tio and Outlaw came to visit us. It was so great to see them! For Thanksgiving we traveled to Kentucky where there was LOTS of jumping on/off of furniture, great laughs, game time with family, and yummy food thanks to mom!

December seemed to fly by, we spent Christmas at home, just the four of us and lucked out... the weather was beautiful. Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

          Game Room        
Yes, I’m comping, but sometimes I need to unwind from the stresses of analyzing texts, melting my eyes over computer screens, and stringing long words into confusing sentences.  That’s when I go to the Game Room. The Game Room is the home of arcade games such as PacMan and one-on-one racing, board games such as Apples

[...] Read More

          Origins Game Convention: A View from the Pig        
I haven’t been to Origins since 2012. A lot has changed, yet a lot remains the same. I intended to write an insightful, and slightly humorous, blog on the convention, but as I recently told a friend, my world is exploding in a very good way, and it’s difficult to find time for all the opportunities. Therefore, for those of you looking for an Origins state of the union, here is the bulletized version. First, the good stuff.

  • There are more quality vendors. Back in 2006, the con was booming, by 2011, much less so. I get more of that booming feel now. Many big names like Mayfair, Whizkids, IELLO, Decision Games, Cryptozoic, and Academy. Lots of smaller companies such as Flying Pig. The vendor hall was full.
  • And the vendor hall was vibrant. Definitely a fresh feel to the gaming public. Waist lines are thinner. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a few extra pounds, I’m just saying that the gaming public now looks more like the public at large. And women. I’d bet women comprised 5-10% of board gamers in 2012. We counted heads a couple of times during the weekend and I’d say that percentage is closer to 35% now. It’s great to see the diversity.
  • Plenty of wargamers. Rap on Origins is that it’s not a wargaming con. Fair enough. To be honest, it’s not a wargaming world, not if you define a wargamer as someone who only plays board wargames. That, however, is not my definition. A number of my wargaming friends also play Pathfinder, Legendary or Dominion, many folks who don’t primarily play hex and counter wargames, dabble in them. Bottom line, there were plenty of wargame companies on the floor, including Flying Pig, Academy, Decision Games, Enterprise (repping GMT), LNLP, and Lost Battalion, to name a few. And Brant Guillroy’s Grogheads held four days of Wargaming events, AND you could also play Battletech, Malifaux, or any number of other strategy games if you wanted to get your fire and maneuver fix.
  • Pre-convention vendor support is better than it used to be. Not sure how long Betsy Kaplan has been running this, but she answered almost all my calls and emails, making it much easier to prepare for the con.

Here’s the less-than-good stuff
  • Onsite, GAMA (the folks who own/run Origins) still have problems, some of them the same ones they have had since I returned to boardgaming in 2003. Not all badges are ready for pickup, even when pre-paid months in advance, parking passes are double charged, and the charge for pre-paid parking is almost double what you pay if you use local, non-GAMA-affiliated lots. To exacerbate matters, fixing these problems on sight can take over a two-hour wait in line. Why? It appears that GAMA relies a bit too much on unreliable volunteers. Help lines, which should be crewed by three customer representatives (judging by the terminals and stations), are crewed by one, harried representative. When asked why, the dude said, “The other two positions are for volunteers who didn’t show.”  From the outside looking in, you just wonder why GAMA doesn’t hire temps at $12-13 an hour and train them to do the job well.

Overall, however, we had a great time and made good money. I’d love to see the show continue to grow. The U.S. needs more than Gencon. 

Mark H. Walker served 23 years in the United States Navy, most of them as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal diver. He is the owner of Flying Pig Games as well as Tiny Battle Publishing the designer of the aliens-invade-Earth game Night of Man, the author of Desert Moon, an exciting mecha, military science fiction novel with a twist, with plenty of damn science fiction in it despite what any reviewer says, as well as World at War: Revelation, a creepy, military action, with a love story, alternate history, World War Three novel thing, Everyone Dies in the End, and numerous short stories. All the books and stories are available from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing right here. Give them a try. I mean, what the hell? Dark War: Retribution will release in July of 2016. 

          Checkers, Chess, and How They Proved My Grades Wrong        
This one is actually based on true events... those events being me not able to beat the computer at chess on the easiest level. You can either read it as a monologue or as a short story. I wrote it for short story club, originally, though.

Title: Checkers, Chess and How They Proved My Grades Wrong
Author: shadowsirenv/me
Rating: Youth
Genre: Comedy
Word Count: 434
Warnings: Use of H-E-double hockey sticks. But that's it.

I had always received excellent grades. Sure, they weren't always A’s, but they never fell much lower than a B. My friends would joke around and call me a nerd and things like that. I always knew I was smarter than the average person. Smart people are good at games that involve strategies and tactics right?

The board games of chess and checkers would prove me wrong otherwise.

I have never won a game of checkers or chess in my life. Not even when I played with my grandpa when I was little and he would let me win. That’s the thing… I NEVER WON. Can you believe I was actually so bad, that even when someone was losing on purpose to me, they would still win? Grandpa would just laugh and say, “That’s my boy! Doing the impossible!”

The people who play those games professionally never cease to amuse me. How they can predict the other’s moves in a matter of seconds is something that a real genius has to acquire. It’s like they have psychic powers, knowing every move you’re going to make before you even know it. It’s a scary though when you really think about it. Is it that way only with their games, or do they use the same technique in real life too? Do they know what you do in your spare time? Where you’ll be going after school? What you’ll be eating for breakfast? The thought scares me, to say the least.

Like I said, a real genius has to acquire a trait like that. Like I said, I’ve never won a game of checkers or chess in my entire life, whether it is against a computer or a real person. So when I lose a game miserably, am I being told that I’m really not as smart as I thought I was? Is this how I’m supposed to learn that I’m not a special person, but just another person out there? Because I don’t have this future sight, am I not really a genius like my friends claimed me to be? I know that I suck at those games. There’s no doubt about that, but everything I thought I knew is being turned upside because of a couple of board games. You really have to admire how these things come upon a person. Because of some stupid kids’ games, I am no longer that smarty pants my report card told me I was.

What the hell happened?

My life has been proven a lie… by board games.

I don’t think it gets anymore pathetic than that.

          Wibold's Ludus Regularis, a 10th Century Board Game        

Christian clergy were to compete for virtues in this dice game.

          Comment on About by The Language Police        
Dave, just to prove The Language Police is an equal opportunities critic, I'd like your help in containing some of the worst offences being committed by some your broadcasting colleagues. First of all, let's go into some cliches. It seems each new season a new buzz phrase takes off that gets repeated so often, you get sick of hearing it. These phrases could have already been around for some time but got far less airtime until the season they catch on. And I accept that some phrases have been around forever and so it's too late to do anything about them (e.g. the receiver who's "off to the races" but who gets about another 5 yards before he's tackled). I first spotted the buzz phrase with "pick six" which really caught fire about three years ago. This year's buzz phrase is "window" which is often said to be "tight". Every pass is now into a window, and in fact I'm hearing other uses of window outside of catching. But the phrase that really hacks me off is the one that caught fire in 2015. I dry heave even as I type this: the "back shoulder pass". Commentators spent some time explaining just how it's the most difficult throw to make, and since then every second throw has been "back shoulder". Not only is this sloppy, but it's also inaccurate because if anything it's a back shoulder CATCH. For sure, there's about a throw in a thousand where the QB says: "Hey, you just go for it down the outside, don't even look back. I'm so good I can throw it 35 yards and all you need to do is cup your arms and the ball will land neatly in it." The reality is every forward pass goes to the receiver from behind (the "back shoulder" if you must), but whether it lands "back shoulder" depends entirely on the orientation of the receiver's body. This does not make every catch made by a forward-facing receiver a "back shoulder" throw. I am now officially sick to death of hearing this from NFL commentators. Maybe we can make this into a board game. You get different cliches on cards and have to build them into a sentence: "He tried a back shoulder pass into a tight window but it was intercepted by the quarterback who's off to the races for a pick six". -- Now let's end on an egregious error. Cris Collinsworth, Bears at Cowboys, over a view of downtown Dallas describes it as the epi-center. Now for those of you reading this who think there's nothing wrong about this, go check the dictionary. In all fairness, Cris is not alone here. News reporters in particular use epi-center to mean center or exact center (which all comes from misunderstanding previous earthquake coverage). Let's hope their surgeons don't make the same mistake going through the epidermis.
          Válasz erre: "Video Games Are My Religion" - 2010        
wice, a board game genre abszolút bejövős, de egyenlőre kizárólag a magyar kínálatot mazsoláztuk. Catan+összes kieg, Candamir, Alhambra, Carcassone, ilyenek voltak meg. Ha az itthon nem kaphatóak közül van tipped azt nagyon megköszönném, mivel a társasjátékot a párom is szereti míg a videó játékokat kevésbé.
          No Hope Tuesday June 20        

I woke up about 6 AM to rain.  I leave the awning out so we can have a dry place outside.  No wind so it’s been OK here and elsewhere.  Outside was in the mid 40’s and inside 50’s.  I lite the portable LP and was up to 70 degrees in no time.  Our voltage is at 12.2V.  No leaks, all is good and there is Hope.

I got a call from Alaska Destinations and Adventures canceling my RESERVATION for a charter.  They said it was booked full for a week.  Long story…they over booked on purpose or their reservation system failed.  Either way… it’s cancelled.  Plus, because of my attitude with them they banned me from future charters.  They said it was because of my threating manners which they could not explain.  You have a company cancel your reservations and see how you like it.  Yes, I was mad but cool.  I think I stumped them as to why they cancelled my reservations.  I think I pissed them off earlier so they took the easy road and cancelled.  I was inquiring about all their surcharges and fees.  One thing is that they couldn’t answer my questions and became very defensive like I shouldn’t be questioning their other FEES.  They added $100 dollars to a $300 ticket.  Anyhow, no charter.  Now I have to wait to get a credit for my Visa charge.  BEWARE with this big company in the Tour Saver Book which we endorsed for many years.

It rained until after lunch.  Then Carol, Mark, Ed, Sandy and myself played a board game.  I forget what the name is.  It resembles the Sorry game.  I think we played 5 games of it.  It was a blast for sure. 

Sue and Jon came over for a while.  We’re trying to find out what all of our plans are.  We settled for all of us going to Seward tomorrow (Wed).  Ed is going on a fishing charter Thursday.  He booked his reservation hours after me – not cancelled.  He didn’t ask them any questions is why his wasn’t cancelled.  Oh well…..

I think we ended the group around 9:30 PM or so.  We were outside a few hours for sure.

Retirement is having the ability to ask, “why.”

See ya when we see ya…..

          NerdCast 542 - Papo de m3rda        
Neste Podcast: Descubra sobre o dia que o Jovem Nerd sentiu todas as "ondas de aviso" e por que Didi Braguinha já usou fralda geriátrica.      ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero BOARD GAME É NA NERDSTORE Board Games com 10% de desconto - Até 13 de Novembro Confira os jogos disponíveis e compre agora: NOVAS CAMISETAS NERDSTORE Lançamentos camisetas licenciadas Marvel Quatro novas camisetas exclusivas e licenciadas do demônio de hell's kitchen e Luke Cage. Clique e compre agora E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA
          NerdCast 492 - Divertida mente no divã        
Neste Podcast: Vamos entrar na mente humana e usar o sensacional filme da Pixar para entender um pouco mais sobre como funciona a nossa cabeça e as nossas emoções. ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero Dell Latitude 13 série 7000 2 em 1 Confira: Editora Aleph Star Wars: Marcas da Guerra Desperte a Força: Lançamento Exclusivo Nerdstore Zombicide Compre agora a expansão PROTOCOLO BLUEHAND e todas as temporadas do maior fenômeno dos jogos board games. Estar preparado é sobreviver: Lançamentos Nerdstore CCXP A Lenda de Ruff Ghanor volume II: Luminárias Star Wars: Siga as redes sociais da Nerdstore Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Arte dos fãs Nerdinho França por Daniel Spacof Pixel Art Ozob por Coxinha Supimpa Ozob por Vitor Willemann Ozob por Heitor Silva de Souza Senhor K samurai por Pedro Henrique Limeira da Cruz Moeda não é dinheiro por Retro Gamer Prior por Fernando Raposo E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA
          NerdCast 415 - Os Novos Jogos de Tabuleiro        
Lambda lambda lambda NERDS! Hoje Alottoni, Carlos Voltor, Sr. K, Nuno, Yuri Fang e Azaghal rolam os dados para falar de JOGOS DE TABULEIRO! Neste podcast: Entenda o que é um "designer game", leia uma chaproca de manual, fique babando nas miniaturas detalhadas, descubra que os melhores games são com zumbis e aproveite a sua última noite na Terra! Tempo de duração: 105 minutos ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero Galápagos Jogos Lidere uma das sete grandes cidades do mundo antigo! Conheça o Seven Wonders N-PIX Escola Online de Artes Digitais Acesse: Ou ligue para: (11) 3230.9393 LANÇAMENTO NERDSTORE Camiseta Dracarys Campanha Carequinhas Para entrar em contato clique aqui JOGOS MENCIONADOS The Settlers of Catan (1995) Star Trek: Catan (2012) The Settlers of Catan: 15th Anniversary Wood Edition (2008) Carcassonne (2000) Ticket to Ride (2004) Saboteur (2004) El Grande (1995) Agricola (2007) Small World (2009) Stone Age (2008) Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (2012) Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game (2007) A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game (2008) Invasion from Outer Space: The Martian Game (2010) Zombicide (2012) Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak (2013) Arkham Horror (2005) Eldritch Horror (2013) Mansions of Madness (2011) Elder Sign (2011) Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) (2005) Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2005) Runewars (2010) Axis & Allies (1981) War of the Ring (first edition) (2004) Warhammer 40,000 (1993) StarCraft: The Board Game (2007) A Game of Thrones (first edition) (2003) The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (2011) A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (2008) Android: Netrunner (2012) Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game (2009) Citadels (2000) Battlestar Galactica (2008) Shadows over Camelot (2005) The Resistance (2009) Puerto Rico (2002) Pandemic (2008) Dark Souls II (2014) Nerds na Caceta da Agulha Daniel Rosa Marcus Vinicius e Maria Caroline Clayton Gonçalves Godinho Gabriel Ferreira Pedro Henrique Juliani Ícaro de Jesus,Pedro Araujo e Felipe Almeida Rafael Santos Nogueira Rennan Cesar Scarapti Fábio Damian Murilo Coelho de Souza Viviane Quaresma Silva Pedido de doação para Rosa Madalena de Oliveira Rodrigues Nerds na Caceta da Tesoura Mirian Giuliana antes depois E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA
          NerdCast 266 - Quem tem Nerdcast, tem medo! Ou não!        
Lambda lambda lambda! Hoje Alottoni, Bluehand, Eduardo Spohr, Amigo Imaginário e Azaghal contam todos os seus temores e seus MEDOS! Neste podcast: Conheça os diferentes tipos de medo, saia de perto do balão de acetileno, conheça H.P. Bluehand, só jogue Silent Hill com amigos perto e nunca ria da desgraça final dos outros! Tempo de duração: 64 min NERDSTORE REPOSIÇÃO! Camiseta No Meu Tempo LANÇAMENTO! Camiseta Nerd Power Zombies LANÇAMENTO! Camiseta Protocolo Bluehand 2.0 NERDOFFICE S02E23 (Immortals e Battlestar Galactica The Board Game) COMENTADO NA LEITURA DE E-MAILS Episódio do Michigan J Frog A Cigarra e a Formiga, versão Trapalhões A Nova Roupa do Rei, versão Chapolin O Sapo e o Escorpião, versão Frango Robô O Morcego e o Escorpião, versão Coringa O Menino e O Lobo e As Mil e Uma Noites, versão adulta Os Três Porquinhos contada por Christopher Walken Estátua da Pequena Sereia em Copenhague Azaghâl vs Patinho Feio, por Débora Rotelli Azaghâl, O Senhor da Oceania, por Sérgio Duarte Azaghâl vs Cthulhu, por Luis Fernando Xavier Ursinhos Carinhosos for real PARA VER NA INTERNET Vinicius jogando Dead Space 2 (medo verdadeiro!) E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para
          re: Xbox One Vs. PlayStation 4: What Does The Public Think?        

funny video.

but if you've been to Minneapolis, people there don't care about video games. or watch much TV, for that matter. it's all about playing outside or going hiking or biking or climbing. playing inside is more like board games or table top gaming or card games.

          Lazer Ryderz, a Tron inspired tabletop game        

Lazer Ryderz is a tabletop board game inspired by the light-cycle scenes in Tron. I backed it on Kickstarter and finally got to play it a couple of times today and I love it. I’m a huge Tron fan, but what really sucked me into the KS campaign was that retro 80s vibe that they … 

The post Lazer Ryderz, a Tron inspired tabletop game appeared first on Doc Pop's Blog.

          Preserving Integrity in Sports: Scott Lowell '07 MBA        

Growing up, Scott Lowell hated it when people cheated, whether the arena was sports or board games. Today, he fights scofflaws professionally as a doping control officer (DCO) for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA agents make unannounced visits to test for banned substances among amateur and professional athletes competing in Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American sports. In 2008, Lowell and 69 other DCOs nationwide conducted more than 8,500 sample collections for drug testing; banned substances were found in only 24 cases.

Q: How did you become a doping control officer?
One of my friends in the MBA program, John McKenney, was USADA’s doping control agent for the Boston area. He asked if I wanted to go along on calls as a chaperone — you need a witness for every collection — and chaperones make $100 per call. So I started going with him. John was a DCO for three years; when he stepped down, I applied and got the job.

Q: What are your responsibilities?
I’m one of two DCOs in Boston, and we’re responsible for about a 200-mile area. We’re charged with testing Olympic-level athletes, which means collecting urine or blood samples. That definitely was a little weird at first, but now it doesn’t faze me.

Q: Do you also test the sample? 
No. I actually can’t handle the sample until the athlete separates it into two containers — one to test and one for backup — and seals it. Then I ship it to one of the labs that USADA uses.

Q: Is being a DCO a full-time gig?
It can be, but for me it’s strictly part time. I’m actually an account manager with ProMedical, a medical billing company located in Lexington [Mass.]. My company has been very flexible and understanding about my work with USADA. I do about 20 collections a quarter. People who are full time, say, if you were out in Colorado near the Olympic Training Center, do about 100.

Q: Is there a connection between your work at ProMedical and USADA?
In some respects, yes. Both are about relationship management: establishing and maintaining good communication and learning how to deal with a lot of different people. Another similarity is that when I go out into the field to test athletes, I’m the face of USADA, just like when I go on-site to see clients, my actions represent ProMedical.

Q: How do you think about the impact of your work with USADA?
It’s important because it keeps the integrity of the sport true — making sure the playing field is level for everyone. People think it’s about going after the bad guys, but that’s not really the case. It’s more about being an ally with these athletes. USADA is here to ensure that their individual sports are clean, and that all their hard work is worth it.

Q: What do you enjoy about the position?
USADA is the gold standard in doping control. It’s an independent nonprofit not affiliated with any particular sport.  They’re all about maintaining the integrity of sport, and they work with the different sports’ governing bodies to do that.

As a DCO, I like meeting the athletes. It’s a whole world I wasn’t aware of before I started doing this. They’re up training from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m., then they go to work a full-time job, and then they’re back in the evening to work out. I have a huge amount of respect for them.

Q: Why is that?
People don’t realize what these athletes go through. They have to provide their whereabouts all day, every day, to USADA. They have to list their primary training location and their home address, and provide a one-hour window of where they’ll be every single day of the year. So if they decide to go to the Cape for two days, they have to log on to the USADA web site and update their schedule. Otherwise, they’ll be in violation if we make a test visit and they’re not there.

Q: Take us through a typical collection call. 
Every call is different. Sometimes it means being at a boathouse on the Charles River at 5:00 a.m. Other times, it’s knocking on the door at someone’s home in Connecticut at 8:00 a.m. Once we’ve met, I have to stay with them until they provide a sample — we’re basically handcuffed together. So I’ve gone out to breakfast with people, watched their kid’s softball game, hung out while they’ve played video games. Most of the time, it takes one to two hours, but on occasion it has taken as long as five or six.

Q: What kind of reaction do you get from athletes?
The visit is not a surprise. When you get to be an elite-level athlete, you understand that getting tested is part of the deal. For the most part, they respect what we have to do. They know that what we’re doing is for the betterment of their sport.

Q: Why did you earn an MBA and how are you using it now?
I wanted to take on more responsibility at work, and I knew that getting an MBA would give me more skills, more leverage. I’ve been with ProMedical for 10 years. Now, with my MBA, I’ve been able to take a more active role in project management, operations, re-engineering processes, relationship management, and analytical thinking — looking at an issue from all angles. Also, I went to Bentley part time, so working full time and going to school at night taught me a lot about time management. That definitely helps with my work for USADA.

Q: Doping in professional sports is much in the news lately. What’s your take on the problem?
On a personal level and as a fan of some of the teams affected, I’m embarrassed. It’s disappointing to think that all they’ve accomplished is tarnished by cheating. But there is a lot of money in pro sports, and people will do a lot for the sake of money.


Ecosystem Image: 
Written by: 
Maura King Scully

          Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)        
Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)
author: Agatha Christie
name: Suvi
average rating: 4.05
book published: 1937
rating: 3
read at: 2008/09/10
date added: 2017/07/19
shelves: novels, _great-britain, _africa, crime-mystery, 1900-1939, _book-shelf
I should have known I like Christie because her stories are just simply wonderful old-fashioned crime puzzles that make you turn the pages and sigh when everything's finished. There's not much action or focusing to the crime solver's personal life which is fantastic and in a lot of ways works better than the plots of formulaic contemporary crime novels. Also, the time in which the murders are set is part of the appeal to me. For a long time I've adored the tv movies because you could actually see the lovely costumes and the stories came to life. Now I'm really pleased to have finally decided to read the original books.

You might also want to try one of my favourite games, the Orient Express board game if you want to train your "grey brain cells" like Poirot.

          087 RR Book Club: Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby with Sandi Metz        

1:35 - Introducing Sandi Metz

6:15 - The book writing process and the speech writing process

17:30 - Flow of POODR

21:35 - Why design is for everyone

24:20 - The fear of writing a book: Am I really an expert?

27:00 - Breaking the rules

34:00 - Cheat sheets, screencasts, and diagrams for POODR

42:00 - Topics beyond POODR

45:20 - Why Sandi loves Rails

51:05 - How long will Rails last?

55:30 - When should you begin introducing design?

1:01:00 - Working with an Inheritance interface

1:06:30 - Rules for testing

1:14:45 - Well-tested objects without well-tested interactions

1:18:45 - Sandi’s rules for coding and breaking them

1:26:15 - Having too many small objects versus having too big objects


“The Deep Synergy Between Testability and Good Design” Speech by Michael Feathers (James)

Endless Space game on Steam (James)

Board games: Lords of WaterdeepLove LetterEminent Domain (James)

George Takai’s episode on the Penn’s Sunday School podcast (Avdi)

Hardcore History podcast by Dan Carlin  (Avdi)

Infinite Monkey Cage podcast by BBC Radio 4 (Avdi)

Marked App (Josh)

Herman Miller Aeron chair (Charles)

Bubble Timer (Sandi)

Gutter Cleaning Robot (Sandi)

          This Is So Last Week: Weekly Entertainment, Celebrity and Pop Culture Trivia Quiz for 3/17/17-3/24/17        
A monster opening weekend? Check. A board game game-changer? Check. A Wheel blunder for the ages? Check. Check your pop culture IQ with our entertainment quiz for the 12th week of 2017.
          The Best Classic Board Games – The MAD Magazine Game (1979)        
If I had to pick a game that was so bizarre and crazy that it was nutty fun, The MAD Magazine Game would be it.
           Magma Checkers for Android 1.0.14         
Checkers is a simple but challenging board game involving strategy and played by two players on a 6x6, 8x8 or 10x10 board game. Thanks to this Android version, you can take this classic version of Checkers with you on the go
          Self-Esteem Tips - The Easy Way        
Go deep in their interests. If your child is excited about dinosaurs go to the dinosaur museum, get the dinosaur books, puppets and videos, learn about paleontology online, go on a fossil dig.

Share your own interests. If you are a gardener get them in the garden with you, get them a children's gardening kit. They know it's important to you and now you are sharing with them.

Play with them. Play is their number one job through six years old, join them! Don't know how? Take a wider look at play. Play includes pretend play, dress-up, arts and crafts, board games, building blocks, movement games, sing-alongs, word play, floortime and more.

Give them lots of social opportunity and coach when needed. A piece of self-esteem is feeling socially connected. Give children opportunities to develop good social and play skills often. If things aren't going well, look at why and work on it.

Keep them challenged but not overwhelmed. If your child is managing 10 piece puzzles now, think 20 piece puzzles soon. If they are reading books with 3 sentences on a page, think 6 sentences. Constantly be thinking of the next step but go just a bit harder so you don't overwhelm.

To learn more about this and other information about children's self-esteem, join Dr. Rene for an evening workshop on Self-Esteem, Wednesday May 11 from 7:00-9:00pm. To learn more and =register, please visit
          Planning Summer Travel Tips        
Summer travel is coming up and if your trips are big, it may be time to start planning. As early as three years old, there can be benefits in including children in the planning process. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Find child friendly outings near your destination spots. Whether you are headed to the beach or the theme park, look for area museums, zoos and aquariums. You may need a break from the planned activity or find yourself with a rainy day. Last summer we had a rainy day and found a two hour scenic trainride through the countryside.

  • If traveling by car, find child friendly outings along the way. Especially for long trips, it can be helpful to plan real breaks. Stop and take in a picnic at a playground or walk through a museum. Bring physical activities like balls and jump ropes for shorter stops.

  • Set aside a bag to collect brochures, menus, tickets, receipts and other memorabilia from the trip. Some of this can add to the scrap book with photos, the rest is just fun to collect.

  • For the destination itself, visit websites in the months before and encourage your children to explore and plan their time. Before our trip to Disney, our children each picked a restaurant and a show they wanted during our time in the park.

  • If possible, check out books about the destination. Learn about the history, culture and food of the area with your children.

  • If you've made this trip before, talk with your children often about the last trip. Talk about their favorite times and what they hope to do again. If available, review the photos

  • If traveling by car, start collecting a bag of travel toys. This can be small new things or things they haven't seen in a while. In our bag we carry woodkins, magnet board games, colorwonder markers and paper, a few polly pockets and matchbox cars, travel bingo and lacing cards.

          Teen Games @North        
Super Smash Bros Logo
Next event (Weekly): September 6, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm View all dates

All scheduled dates:

  • September 6, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • September 13, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • September 20, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • September 27, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • October 4, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • October 11, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • October 18, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • October 25, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • November 1, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • November 8, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • November 15, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • November 22, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • November 29, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • December 6, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • December 13, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • December 20, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
  • December 27, 2017 - 2:30pm-4:00pm 
Come challenge your friends to a game on our brand new Wii U, to a board game, a card game, or whatever!  All teens are welcome, and refreshments will be provided.


Event Category: 

          Free at Piedmont Social House: volleyball, music, more        

Piedmont Social House, 2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd, is a bar and grill with indoor and outdoor seating. It has gaming areas that include darts, billiards, ping pong, corn hole, shuffle board, board games, Golden Tee, Big Buck Hunter, retro arcade games and bowling. It also hosts some free events. You can follow Piedmont Social House […]

The post Free at Piedmont Social House: volleyball, music, more appeared first on Charlotte On The Cheap.

          8 Hobbies That Will Boost Your Intelligence        
8 Hobbies That Will Boost Your Intelligence

For a very long time, the world believed that people are born with a certain level of intelligence, and the best they could do in life was to live up to their potential. However, scientists have now shown that we can increase this potential and enjoy ourselves in the process of becoming more intelligent. We now know that learning new skills allows the brain to create new neural pathways that make it work both faster and better.

Here is a list of 8 hobbies that can boost your intelligence.

1. Learn how to play a musical instrument.

Playing music boosts creativity, analytical skills, language, math, fine motor skills and, of course, intelligence. While these are all significant advantages, some people that all these, and many more, can be earned by playing sports. What playing musical instruments does that other hobbies don’t is boosting the corpus callosum that connects the hemispheres of the brain by building new connections.

An improved corpus callosum can lead to executive skills, memory, problem-solving and overall brain function, no matter how old you are.

2. Read a book.

The advantages of reading are the same whether you like reading Game of Thrones, Harry Potter or the Wall Street Journal. Reading lowers stress, makes you feel better about yourself, and expands all three types of intelligence — crystallized, fluid and emotional. That helps with problem-solving, putting different pieces of knowledge together, better navigate everyday life, finding patterns, understanding processes and precisely interpreting and responding to other people’s emotions.

At work, this means better realizing how to make things happen and better managerial skills.

3. Exercise regularly.

Occasional exercise on your own won't do the trick. Regular exercise, especially in a team, is much more effective than intense workouts now and then. When exercising regularly, the cells are filled with BDNF, a protein that strengthens memory, learning, focusing, concentration, and understanding. This is also frequently referred to as mental acuity.

Many scientists note that sitting down for long periods of time has the exact opposite effect and prevents our brain from functioning as well as it could.

4. Learn a foreign language.

Forget about solving puzzles to boost your memory and learn how to speak a new language instead. Research has proven that people who are bilingual find it easier to solve puzzles than those who speak only one language. Managing to learn new languages enables the brain to better perform every mentally demanding task. This involves the typical executive skills like planning or problem-solving.

Speaking at least two languages also improves your skill to monitor your environment and to better direct your attention to any process. Many people are told that due to the fact that executives speak many languages, learning Spanish or French would allow them to move up the ranks. Based on how the brain reacts to speaking new languages, it may be the other way around. Learning a new language may be the last missing connection people need to prepare their brain to take on C-level jobs.

5. Try to test your cumulative learning.

Many smart students in high school and college study a lot for their finals and seem like they've mastered the topic when the big day comes. The problem with that is students tend to forget these things quickly later because people are rarely if ever, required to recall that knowledge in the same way. One reason why studying a new language makes us more intelligent is because it requires cumulative learning. Since we need to recall our knowledge of a language over and over again, the grammar and vocabulary we learn are repeated many times as we try to improve our foreign language skills.

So, why not apply the concept of cumulative learning to everyday life and your work place by keeping track of every bit of knowledge you acquire? Begin integrating cumulative learning into your self-improvement effort.

6. Work out your brain.

Puzzles, riddles, sudoku, board games, video games, card games, and similar activities increase neuroplasticity. This encourages various changes in neural pathways and synapses that are basically the ability of the brain to be reorganized. When nerve cells respond in alternative ways, that boosts neuroplasticity, which gives us more ability to view things from different perspectives and understand cause and effect of behaviors and emotions.

7. Meditate.

The general idea of meditation is that the brain can develop more and you can do it on purpose. Various activities stimulate different areas of your brain so that you can work on becoming unbeatable at your powers as well as improving your weaknesses. Focusing self-improvement on the mind is a good idea for anybody who thinks they are at their professional peak, ambitious professionals and surely entrepreneurs who are looking to maximize their potential.

8. Play sports.

Both watching and playing sports is a fantastic way to make friends and feel better with your inner and outer self. It's a great way of exercising and socializing at the same. Knowing the rivalries or the cultural pastimes as well in an area is a quick and easy way to connect with other people. Whether it’s rugby, ice hockey, or football, following a team is the best way to strike up a conversation.

          Thanksgiving Day Games: Make the Day About Having Fun!        

Thanksgiving Day Games: Make the Day About Having Fun!

Thanksgiving is the day families get together. They enjoy the closeness and companionship of the family. They share their life and experiences. Games are one way of sharing and enjoying the camaraderie of one another.

Get Everyone Involved

When you mix fun games in with the festive feelings and great food, everyone will enjoy the frivolity of the holiday. You can set up different types of outdoor and indoor games so each family member and guest can participate in the fun. The children as well as adults can have an enjoyable time playing and competing with one another.

Outdoor Fun

If you have a large yard you can set up different outdoor games. You can prepare a putting and pitching area for the golf enthusiasts. They can show off their golfing skills or practice for their next golf tournaments.

If there are sufficient family members and visitors, a baseball or basketball game could be an interesting and challenging game. Depending on the weather and other circumstances, games like badminton, kickball and even volleyball may be options. 

Indoor Fun

If the weather is not conducive for outdoor games, you can play different types of indoor games. Ping Pong is a game that can be played by everybody and it can rouse a lot of friendly rivalry between family members.  You could also consider card games or board games like monopoly, chess and checkers, and various word games. The dictionary and Pictionary games can be highly entertaining and educational.

In the dictionary game, a person picks an unusual word from the dictionary and everybody tries to guess themeaning. The person who guesses the exact meaning or comes closest to it is the winner. The Pictionary game involves drawing a picture and everybody tries to guess the word represented by the picture. This game can be used to bring out the drawing talents and skills of the family member.

If the house is large, you could hold a scavenger hunt indoors. Be sure all your breakable items are stored safely away. You can designate the search area for the scavenger hunt. If there are many toddlers in the family, you may want to organize a special scavenger hunt just for them.

Another great idea for younger guests is a turkey tag game. The turkey tag game involves having someone put feathers in his back pocket and having the other players try to grab the feathers from the person.  The winner is the one with the most feathers.

You can play a turkey hunt game that is similar to the Easter egg hunt. Just take the time to draw different turkey shapes on construction paper and hide them around the yard. In fact, you can let the kids make the turkey shapes and be responsible for hiding them. The player who finds the most turkey drawings is declared the winner. 
Video games can be fun for all ages. If you are concerned that only a few people can participate you can set a timer that gives each player a set amount of time to build points. This adds to the fun and helps ensure that everyone can play.

Pick your games well. Remember the games are intended to promote camaraderie and closeness among your guests. The team at Package From Santa will continue providing great holiday tips and ideas, so please visit often.

          Reply #645        
Quick Picks for Texas Pick 3

Copy to Clipboard Game Information

7-7-7 4-8-3 0-2-3 1-7-6 7-5-3
          Reply #522        
Start Over Back

5 Quick Picks for Texas Pick 3

Copy to Clipboard Game Information

3-3-8 8-0-0 5-9-2 1-0-5 4-2-5
          Reply #497        
5 Quick Picks for Texas Pick 3

Copy to Clipboard Game Information

5-4-0 837 2-2-2 638 3-2-6 671 4-4-8 115 1-1-0
          Games Night 2: Game Harder        
I just wanted to let everyone know, there will be a second Games Night in the UNC SILS Library this coming Friday (2/4) from 2pm to 6pm. Everyone is welcome to bring card or board games and come and hang out with their fellow library geeks. Hope to see you there!
          SILS Games Night (in the afternoon)        
There will be a SILS Games Night in the SILS Library in Manning Hall next Friday (11/12). The event will be from 3:30pm to 6pm, and will combine a bit of the theory of learning through games with actual games. The emphasis for this one is pure fun! Bring your board games, card games, or rely on the ones I've begged and borrowed, and we'll have ourselves a grand ole time!
          Reply #38        
Quick Picks for Texas Pick 3

Copy to Clipboard Game Information

3-9-5 2-3-7 6-1-9 3-8-7 7-7-7
          Walmart: I Spy Preschool Game Only $7.72! (Reg $18.99)        

Get the I Spy Preschool Game for $7.72! (Reg $18.99) With three ways to play, both beginning and advanced players can join in the fun of this preschool board game. The I Spy Preschool Game helps your preschooler get ready to read while making learning fun. Don’t forget if, available in your area, you can opt to pick your purchase up in-store to avoid any shipping charges. Otherwise shipping is free when you spend $35 or more.

The post Walmart: I Spy Preschool Game Only $7.72! (Reg $18.99) appeared first on Pinching Your Pennies.

          T. For Type Lovers.        
T. For Type Lovers. by Jazmín Ivette / Marcela Garza Garza ———————————————————————- About Project by Jazmín Ivette / Marcela Garza Garza T. For Type Lovers is a board game for graphic design students, typographers, calligraphers. The game is made for multiplayer and contains information that will fill you with knowledge of history, theory and practice based in Cranium. ———————————————————————- Archivado en: Art, […]
I found Jackson teaching Amelia how to play Mancala today and captured the end in this short film. I had nothing to do with it (I was in the kitchen making dinner) and am so impressed with both of them. I'm trying to incorporate more turn-taking board games during the day now that Amelia is old enough to understand some of them. She LOVES playing with her big brother. And I love that he is such a patient teacher with her here. This is not always the case!

(My favorite part is the end though it's almost too soft to hear, J to A: "Do you like it?" A: smiles and nods...)
          RERUN: The Bacon Incident; S01 E11        

Hey there, Adventurers!

I know we’ve been in rerun land for a while now, but between my 2 weeks in Hawaii and some other projects, I’m still having a lull in lining up interviews. We have quite a bit just around the corner, so stay tuned.

Until then, we have a lot of new shirts and products up on our new RedBubble site. Swing on over and take a peek at new stickers, pillows, and other fun stuff. Shirts designed for Skippers, by Skippers.

We are also hard at work on our next Kickstarter game, and we have begun playtesting. I can “leak” that the name of it is “Jungle Crews; Temple Crash”, and it’s a board game this time. Super fun stuff!

We’ll see you guys soon!

Skipper Kyle

          Why do girls do this?        
So, I attended a big family reunion last week. There were my Mom and Dad, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, their spouses and some kids too - a really big family event. Mom and Dad's 60th anniversary too!

We had many activities planned for the days, and in the evenings the card and board games would start and the whole place just seemed to get more lively (and loud).

Most nights you could find a group of the gals together in the loft painting their nails and talking about hair styles, guys, the guys against gals mini-golf tournament that day, whatever. And I cannot explain this, but whenever one of the guys would wander by their 'area' one of them would pipe up and ask if he wanted his nails done too. Most of the guys would shrug with a smile and say 'no, but thanks' (as if they genuinely appreciated the gesture) but one night the gals hit on me and so I smiled and said in a teasting sort of way "sure, what colors do you have?". Well, this certainly got a rise from them.

Bright pink was offered first, and I politely told them "not so much". Cotton candy pink, then blue, purple and even french were then offered. I considered french while they had fun trying to steer me toward the purple. But when my seven year-old neice with her big blue eyes told me it would look "pretty" on me, I was sold!

Let me tell you, I received the royal treatment. These girls were really having a good time with it and so I just took in having six fun women (except for the 7 year-old, they were all in there 20's) crowded around me and painting my toenails purple.

The results were pretty darned good - even my Mom was impressed! The girls all had to have their pictures taken with me - on some we alternated feet, on another I wore one of their plushy pink slippers (those pics are on someone else's camera though). Of course, everyone had to come see, and the girls even managed to talk my brother in-law into letting them do his too (he got the blue)! Craziness, but that runs pretty rampant in my family... They did however receive a bit more entertainment out of it too because I continued to wear the polish for the remainer of the reunion (3 days), and they loved it. And, I managed to crack the ice with them now knowing I like to wear my nails polished.

Here is a pic taken the next day:

So maybe some of you can tell me what the attraction is to these gals to want to paint the guy's nails. Sure, the shock factor of doing something crazy and unusual was there, but whenever we're together in a group like that, inevidibly some of the girls offer to do this for (to?) the guys. And I am not the first to take them up on it either! Well, what the heck, it was fun for all of us.

Oh, and the reunion was a great success too (in case you were wondering)! No major disagreements, no one got hurt, we just had a lot of good clean fun. And yeah, we are already talking about doing it again next year...
          Win a family Christmas games bundle        
Drumond Park games bundle

First up is Drumond Park’s brand new Dig In (rrp £19.99, age 8 to adult), a fabulously easy but deceptively challenging and frantically fun game, suitable for all ages from 8 upwards. A fantastic crowd pleaser, this hectic and hilarious table-top game can be learned in a minute – each turn is played in 15 seconds – and you can play it anywhere, any time.  It’s ridiculously simple – roll up your sleeves and dig into a bowl of colourful everyday items to find the six objects pictured on your card.  

Next comes the celebrated All Star Family Fortunes board game (rrp £19.99, age 8 to adult) – perfect for get-togethers and all ages.  It’s child’s play to recreate one of ITV’s most popular and enduring family game shows in the comfort of your own home – including the mighty electronic ‘UH-UH’ buzzer that’s so intrinsic to the TV Show.

Also included is the classic Wordsearch (rrp £19.99, age 8+) – another universal favourite brought bang up-to-date in which you outsmart your opponents by being the first to find each hidden word, resulting in a bumper score.  It’s absorbing, fulfilling and tremendous fun – ideal for all ages, as anyone can have a go.

For stockists, visit

Competition closes: 11 December 2016

Competition closing date

Sunday, 11 December 2016 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

For your chance to win 1 of 2 Drumond Park’s family Christmas games bundles; simply answer the following question:-

Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad, LOGO What Am I?, The Best of TV & Movies

Up for grabs this month is a trio of top board games from Drumond Park, which the whole family will enjoy.  In the Sshh!, Don’t Wake Dad electronic board game, players must creep past a sleeping Dad as he snores in his bed. In the LOGO What Am I? game, children guess, draw of describe ‘big brand’ products and objects.  And the fascinating, fast paced Best of TV & Movies picture board game celebrates all things entertainment.

Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad is for age 5+ and the central figure is, indeed, a ‘Dad’ who snores loudly throughout the game. But wait for it… he jumps bolt upright from his bed when he’s woken from his sleep!  

LOGO What Am I?

Next up is LOGO What Am I?, which is ideal for children aged 8+.  It is the junior version of the classic best-selling LOGO game, where players are asked to ‘guess it’, ‘draw it’ or ‘describe it’ – and it’s great fun if the grown-ups join in too! 

The Best of TV & Movies

And thirdly we have The Best of TV & Movies, for players aged 12 to adult. The hundreds of picture cards feature oodles of questions and answers on much loved TV dramas, sit-coms, chat shows, reality shows, favourite films and cartoons.

For stockists and to play games online visit 

And for grown-up giggles and to share adult games experiences, go over to their ‘Not so Quiet Night In’ blog at

Competition closing date

Sunday, 28 August 2016 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

To win 1 of 3 of this Great Family Games Bundles; simply answer the following question:-


Alice Dixon, Jamie Gallant and Angela Morgan

LOGO & LOGO What Am I? from Drumond Park

Do you know Bounty bars from Milky Ways, Aldi from Lidl, Toyota from Lexus, Skips from Hula Hoops, Penguin Books from Penguin biscuits - and can you name the breeds of the dogs representing Dulux, Hush Puppies, Andrex and Cesar?  The UK’s Number One best-selling adult game, LOGO from Drumond Park (rrp £32.99, age 12 to adult) tests how well you know major brands and their logos, alongside general knowledge questions based on hundreds of the UK’s best loved products and organisations – from the AA and Aero Bubbles, Bird’s Eye, Chelsea Football Club and Center Parcs… to Walkers crisps and Wrigley’s gum.  

Our prize package also includes the LOGO What Am I? Game (rrp £24.99, age 8+), which was designed by Drumond Park to be played by children independently – but it’s also great fun when the grown-ups join in.   This time, players are asked to ‘guess it’, ‘draw it’ or ‘describe it’.  It comes with a colourful playing board, 60-second timer and hundreds of question cards featuring lots more really well known products and companies – from Maltesers to Marmite, the iPad to a pair of Crocs, Kellogg’s Coco Pops, Heinz Baked Beans and Coca Cola.

Many families take a board game away on holiday with them – it’s a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy some fun time together.

For stockists and to play games online, visit

Competition closing date

Sunday, 3 April 2016 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

To win 1 of 3 Prize Packages of LOGO & LOGO What Am I?; simply answer the question below:-


Abby May, Elizabeth Leek and Jane Middleton

          Win Midsomer Murders CLUEDO board games        
Midsomer Murders CLUEDO board games

Midsomer Murders gets its own edition of CLUEDO - released February 2016

Budding armchair detectives will now get the chance to put their sleuthing skills to the test as one of Britain’s most popular TV crime dramas Midsomer Murders gets its very own edition of CLUEDO.

Bentley Productions - the team behind the TV programme - and all 3 media international have teamed with games manufacturer Winning Moves UK to make Midsomer Murders CLUEDO under official license from Hasbro, the first Midsomer Murders board game. Together, they are thrilled to announce that it is available to buy now exclusively from Amazon.

The body of wealthy business woman Elizabeth Jones has been found in Badger’s Drift and the police suspect foul play. According to the rumour mill, Elizabeth had big plans for the village and had been spotted with property developers. Could someone from the village have the motive to stop her in her tracks? Can you help the Causton CID solve this baffling crime, by seeking out who did it? Where they did it? And with what weapon?

The game follows the familiar CLUEDO format and features key cast and characters from the show including DCI John Barnaby, Sarah Barnaby and Sykes the dog. And for the first time ever, members of the public appear in a game of CLUEDO with new characters such as The Village Vicar and The Local Psychic played by Midsomer Murders fans, winners of a competition that ran on the hugely popular Midsomer Murders Facebook page, which currently has over 180,000 followers worldwide.

Competition closing date

Sunday, 13 March 2016 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

To win 1 of 2 Midsomer Murders CLUEDO board games; simply answer the question below:-


Susan Carruthers and Glen Scott

          Win these Two Great Family Games from Drumond Park!        
SHOUT! and LOGO Grab from Drumond Park

They’re perfect for multi-generational gatherings, playing as a couple or with friends… and for taking with you on holiday!

SHOUT! (rrp £29.99, age 12 to adult), for two or more players or teams, is bursting with quirky questions and cunning picture puzzles on a multitude of subjects!  You have to look, link and think – making connections between what you see on the Challenge card and what the answers are likely to be.  This fabulous and already very popular new board game is really something to shout about! 

LOGO Grab (rrp £14.99, age 8 to adult) is an ultra-competitive new card and dice game which everyone in the family will love – as you all play at once!  Be the first to collect two sets of three coloured cards, all bearing the names and images of well-known brands like Pot Noodle, MilkyBar, Dove Soap and the Volkswagen Beetle.  You throw four dice at a time, but what makes this game mind-bendingly different is that here, it’s the dice you lunge for, not the cards!  But if your dice jingles, sorry – you lose a card!

For stockists and to play games online, visit

Competition closing date

Sunday, 9 August 2015 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

We have 6 Prize Pairs (both SHOUT! and LOGO Grab) to give away; to enter just answer the question below:-


Christina Vaccaro, Kerryanne Atkinson, David Brinkworth, Paul Stead, Yolanda Davies and Colin Archer

          "Mummy, Will You Win?".....        
Bike – 11miles/ 30.31mins

...So my four-year-old girl E asked when I explained a while ago that I was training for a triathlon. I sensed an opportunity to seize a character-building moment and as those don’t come along too often, I knew I couldn’t screw up. Especially not with this particular child....

This girl who will hit the ground and pitch the mother of all fits if a playground run with friends becomes a ‘race’ and she loses. This girl who will flamboyantly toss a board game, complete with pieces up in the air if someone else wins. Even if the competition is against herself (e.g, Me: – “See how quickly you can put your knickers/shoes/socks on,”) it will all too often end in tortured cries of “I can’t doooooooooo it.”

I’m from the passive aggressive school of competition. I am deeply competitive but hide that drive from people believing (wrongly) that it is somehow a flaw. Yet I’ve always admired those competitive types who just have it all out there and get huffy - even from losing at Scrabble. At least they’re honest about how they feel.

So of course, I want E to grow up with a fire in her belly over the things she’s passionate about. Right now, that sort of begins and ends with building Duplo towers and galloping in the paddling pool while wearing her too-small yellow polka dot bikini. Guessing that will change. Well, the Duplo towers part anyway....

I can’t help but notice that her four-year-old comrades seem to be slowly but steadily learning the ancient art of self-control. I’ve watched them grapple with problems, puzzles and sharing show-downs with growing maturity and skill while my E seems to have missed the Mr Miyagi master class and opts instead to meet challenges while sobbing and lying prostrate on the floor.

So how then does one convey to a child like mine that yes, winning feels great but that it’s okay not to come first (or indeed in the case of this triathlon, even 353rd...)

Well, here’s how it went. When I told her that no, I wouldn’t win the race, she paused mid-spoonful of macaroni and asked, very seriously, “Will that make you cry?” At least I knew I had her full attention.

I told her that, no I wouldn’t cry and here’s why. Because I’m not training for the triathlon to win it, I’m training for and doing the race because it makes me happy.

Because swimming is a little like flying – like the birds do, not the aeroplanes - and it feels amazing to be underwater and to hear nothing but gurgly bubbles and quiet.

And because running actually allows my brain to empty itself of stinky mental trash – like the stuff we put in the bins that the racoons keep eating -  and all the time my feet are hitting Tarmac, I gain that sublimely rare thing – a clear head.

And finally because, though it scares me a little and I can’t do it very well, I like riding the bike because it’s good to try new stuff that’s hard. How else will we learn whether we like it or not if we don’t give it a try?

By this point she was back to her macaroni. I think I lost her at ‘sublimely; so don’t know whether that final, gilded life lesson got lodged with the Bank of Character Building. Most probably not.

But here’s a thing. At the weekend I ran a 5km road race, this fantastic one here -
-          and for the first time ever she and her sister P were there to see me cross the finish line.

I was 100 or so metres before the finish and spotted her at the roadside wearing yellow wellies, a homemade pink paper crown and waving a stick while cheering, ‘Go mummy, go.’ She was quite the support team and clearly having a whale of a time, especially at the refreshments table after the race.

As it turned out, I did win – of sorts. I was the top female finisher in my 30-39 age group, clocking in at 21m57 (I believe there’s even a medal coming in the mail..!.) Not that I’ve told E this. “I didn’t see you come in first,” she’d probably say. So I’ll keep my victory to myself for now. Unless she tries to steal my medal that is, and then she’ll really know who the winner is....

Instead, I’d like to think, the more she sees me doing this stuff she’ll just learn these life lessons for herself.

That it’s good being around people of all shapes and sizes who like challenging themselves and who cheer and support each other – whether first, last or in between.

And finally, that where there’s a race, there’s more than likely a refreshments table.

Happiness Is...

          Deathwatch: Underwhelming or Overkill?        
So Wee Bill and Wee Andy had a play at Overkill, and found it so so.  Then they played it some more and mostly enjoyed it, certainly felt it had a place and is a back on form product from the Ancient powerhouse that is Games Workshop.

Laid bare and discussed, with an example of gameplay the lads felt it warranted a Wee Gamers show and tell, seemingly getting thumbs up from the two hardest to please Wee Gamers.

Wee Andy
In first play I was left feeling very indifferent to Overkill - it's got surprisingly little game for such a high end product. I felt a little cheated that once again we had stunning - back to form - miniatures , height end components and a fresh game style approach. But the game left me unfulfilled. That, however, was as we said on our Facebook page on our first play feel. 

Now gurn all you like about 'haters' no one has to like everything and just because it's GW doesn't earn it special 'extra hate' - no, in fact I went into the game not expecting much and got what I expected, not much. But proof is in replaying.  So, a replay had to happen and it did. 

Post playing my head got around this game in a couple of ways - It's not a great game - it's an okay game - it's a filler IF you are an avid and serious miniatures board game player. 

Bonus points that it's self contained  the figures are excellent it's easy to pick up and play

Minus points you have to assemble the figures. Gameplay is quite flat and in some areas makes no logical sense.

Now, what I mean by "making no logical sense", for clarity sake, is everything is open terrain yet some tiles,to my thinking suggest walls or support posts that would offer cover - certainly corners and the like should? 

The 'ambush' aspect would for me at least make more sense if the Cult player got to at least shoot first. (and isn't this the perfect game to bring back overwatch?) 

With  its easy to pick up and play aspect, I could easily see non-gaming parents able to grasp this and play with kids which, frankly, would be lovely to see happen . Now all that's a bit up and down I guess - but in fairness in GW land this is a Good Game. 

It's plus points outweigh its negatives. 

Fan boys will easily be pleased with the above average figure quality and the figure count. The games rules not so complex or outlandish to take away or confuse them with 40k and the models can be use in 40k - as an intro game to Games Workshop hobby this is an ideal winner in many respects. 

On a wider gaming platform however I don't feel it stands up to close scrutiny. Compared to games like Zombicide or Imperial Assault for comparison's sake, the game is not as demanding or engaging and the price tag then begins to push it off side. 

I'd still take games like Dreadfleet, Necromunda & Mordhiem over Deathwatch or indeed many of the much older games back from the before time but I'd play this happily enough and heck I might even paint the minis. The tiles on an aside are very nice and one could easily see them employed in other games and settings so I'd advise anyone of a mind to watch eBay for the inevitable component sell off that always follows such releases.

Wee Bill 
I bought it for the minis, and that says it all. 

That was my only reason to buy Deathwatch:Overkill, my first Games Workshop purchase in quite a while, over a year anyway. 

My time has been taken up with a myriad of various game systems such as Xwing, Bolt Action, and a few others. I’ve drifted away from GW over the while, mainly because 40K had become a chore to keep up with of late; codex releases every other month, varying levels of balance, and in-game abilities causing this gamer to shout obscenities at full volume. 

After seeing the images of the Deathwatch minis, I was sold. 

I’ve always liked the fluff with regards to Grey Knights and such, and this small faction from the Ordos Xenos even more so. I remember the Deathwatch Space Marine from Inquisitor all those years ago – Artemis – and his ornate shoulder guard. I remember getting the 40k scale Deathwatch shoulder guards they released years ago, complete with multi-ammo bolters. A must have. I fell in love with the Deathwatch minis from the boxset, so I bought it. 

I was pleasantly surprised about the Genestealer cult minis too, so I set about building the complete set, all 50 of them, within a week, so that I could actually give the game a try. 

After a few games of Deathwatch:Overkill, I thought it was a decent little gateway game, a pick-up and play every so often for that little Space marine cinematic action kick. There are no complexities here – this is a simple game with simple mechanics. There is a level of strategy for the Marines though, as the spaces in the board tiles can only hold a certain number of bases as they cannot overlap from the section’s boundary, allowing blocking of minis and restricting spawn zones. The Genestealer cult can either spawn minis or perform a “bluff” action, which more often than not, allows the cult to gain buffs to help ruin the Marines day. 

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the products. The minis are spectacular; the boards are good cardboard stock with embossed bits. The game is very lacklustre, a very cut down set of rules, but could be replaced with Necromunda or Space Hulk easily enough. 

 All in all I can see the Deathwatch minis themselves being part of my collection for years to come.

Wee Gamers also hang out on 

          Mark Rapson talks about putting Route 666 into top gear         
The Wee Gamers Traffic cops pull Mark Rapson, head honcho at Word Forge Games and part of Prodos Games, over onto the hard shoulder to answer a few questions about his latest creation, Devil's Run: Route 666, to answer a few questions.

We obvious asked firstly for his driving licence and if he knew what speed he was going at the time, as it was almost as if his road was full of fury.

As per usual the main questioning delved a little deeper and added a few points on his licence regarding this game which will be coming to Kickstarter in May 2015.
1- You're taking out the trash, suddenly the local biker clan pulls up and it's leader squares up to you - "this route 666 is it gonna represent our diverse biker culture and feel like you're controlling a throbbing road machine between your legs or have you settled for some 'car drivers' impression of motorcycle operation and an arbitrary method of movement and control?" He asks, looking quite cross!
Wow! He sounds scary! devil's run has 4 basic vehicle types: bike, trike, buggy and car. Each of these moves in a different way and has special skills that ensures they movement ability and style represents the vehicle. Then we have special characters, which may be better or more skilled at using their vehicle to win the run! They are more..characterful...and able! I can't wait for you to see some of them. Dominik, our art director and I are working on some very exciting concepts. In time I hope we will see other cool vehicles like trucks, pickups, buses etc. 

2 - Route 666 - reboot, reinvention or revolutionary? (See that, like one of those intellectual questions!)  
I would say reinvention of the car battle game. It is not Word Forge Games' intent to copy what's there already...there's no point in that in my view! Instead make something new in an old concept. I think we have a great rule set and am looking forward to sharing the beta rules soon with the community so they can help us iron out any bugs. 


3- What are the games that you and the crew currently enjoy playing on a night off?
Domink is a massive Warzone Resurrection fan, Rich likes his MTG, Paul and I really like Spartacus the board game, and my son (age7) and I like an X-wing game or two. Although he normally beats me. 

4- Aside from failure- which is not allowed - what , going into kickstarter are you most nervous of or concerned about? How are you preparing yourself for the KS process given that most find it a hectic period and takes a lot of time and physical / emotional energy....  
Well with Prodos Games, I have run two successful campaigns and learnt A LOT from them. Obviously both of them were licensed products so had a good strong fan base. devil's Run is not licensed so I guess my main concern is hoping we get the word out to enough people. It's sad when one hears people say 'I missed that wish I hadn't ' we need to make sure those people hear about it.

5- If someone offered you the blank cheque tomorrow to make the game would you take it or decline and fave the public funding quest? What if anything do you feel might change about the game if it was privately funded? ( or you could treat that question as what do you see as the benefit for the game in going to crowd funding?) 
KS is a mixed bag of blessings, you lose 15% or so to the KS and then 20% to the tax man. People pull out or make pledge mistakes which need refunding, that can often hurt the company. Also many shops won't touch a KS game. But it has a massive benefit too, most importantly marketing and advertising, but it also forces a methodical approach to product production and a product full stop. So crowd funding for sure!  

6- If you could take ANY classic game at all and give it a complete face lift and refit what would it be and what is it you would like to change? 
Now that's a hard question, mainly because we have done that now with Warzone resurrection. And a lot of the good classics have been rebooted (Space Hulk, blood/Dread ball, HeroQuest etc.). Maybe the old computer game Dizzy, but 'I missed that KS'...(doh!) and it failed anyway... 

7- So when you're not being the road warrior of the gaming industry what is a day in the life of Mr Rapson like? What is it that makes life tick and when the clock strikes 'fun' how do the mighty kick back and relax?
My family for sure, I'm very close with my parents, and my wife and I have 3 kids. They are a lot of work but the joy of my life! 

8- When the kickstarter launches what kind of options will Joe public be faced > with as their pledge levels? 
We want to keep it simple...3 main options: Game, Game and a batch of extras or Game and bigger batch of extras. The more you buy the more discount you get. Also we will include lots of freebies and KS exclusive. We will also do a couple of pledges which allow the pledger to design their own character and model or even their own faction! 

9- What aspect of the game are you most proud of and why? 
For me personally the rules. I think they are concise and simple, and reflect the vehicles and feeling of battling cars very well. Our play testers seem to agree too. But I also feel the art direction has been great....look at that box cover Wow!

10- How do you keep the enthusiasm and inspiration flowing? Has there been a point when you thought 'nah, there's easier ways to make a living than this' 
Actually it's been harder to know what to go with. We have 4 projects in our pipeline, having the discipline to leave a later project to later is hard! 

11- Is there anyone in the industry -designer, artist, sculptor , whatever  that you would especially like the chance to work with? And why? 
I love Paul Bonner's art, and I think Jervis Johnson is my hero! 

12- What's the next project on the table for you after this?
Guardians of Eden. A RPG board game. It's on Facebook at the moment and as with Devils run the art is amazing  

13- You and the team are cast into the hellish world of 666 (you know by powerful beings of powerfulness) who ends up in what role in this 'dark future' and what's their life expectancy???  
Paul: definately the speed biker 
Matt: the guy driving the truck.
Rich: car driver and brains of the operation! 
Dominik: buggy driver
Michal: super cool biker, distracts the opposition by his coolness. 
Jarek and me: trike. Him driving me navigation and flamer! Jarek and I would go first as we drive into a wall as we argue! Lol!. Paul gets it at first contact, Rich sacrifices himself to defend Matt. Dominik goes out in a blaze of glory, Matt gets mortally wounded, but manages to drive the truck to the base...and Michal...well he is too cool to die! :)

You can also hear Mark's interview with Wee Andy on our Youtube Channel. Don't forget to subscribe!!

Wee Gamers also hang out on 

          Modiphius are F.A.B. for bringing us Thunderbirds the Boardgame        
Modiphius is close to becoming a household name having produced roleplaying games relating to Cthulhu, Conan, Infinity, Paulo Parente's Dust world, and even Mutant Chronicles.  

And their latest project might just be the thing that 'elevates' them from gaming industry golden child to high street shelf brand name. 

Because incase the article heading didn't tell you they are bringing us Thunderbirds the board game........hold onto your hats because this is going to be F.A.B!


How did this come about Chris, talk us through the winding path that bring you, Matt Leacock and Thunderbirds together and have you been like a giddy schoolboy the entire time?

Chris: From drawing Thunderbirds in kindergarten to lying eyes closed listening to audio versions of the shows on our record player with a massive old headphones with thick black curling cables I was very much a child of the Andersons - Gerry & Sylvia spun a web of future action around their Supermarionation (a word they invented for their style of puppets and model action shows) adventure TV shows and I was in deep with the toys and what we called annuals in the UK - basically hardback books with comic pages that came out at christmas and other holidays. So when I got to meet ITV I proposed the idea of a game (having established Modiphius of course) and they loved the concept. Next up was the name that was going to help it cross-over in to tabletop games and that was Matt. If you're going to do it, aim high, so we pitched him at Essen and he went away and watched the shows and was soon hooked with his family. Thunderbirds does that to you, it makes grown up people act like kids. It's just so… cool.

As soon as you see it the concept of a co-operative Board Game for International Rescue just makes sense, but did the game concept come about quickly? What's the evolution of the idea and into play testing been like? How much coffee has been consumed? and how many sleepless nights and rumpled bits of paper have ended up in the bin to get to the game your presenting the world?

Matt: The core concepts of the game came quickly. From the very beginning, we all agreed the players should take on the role of the members of International Rescue, use their fabulous vehicles in order to complete missions and save people around the world. I sketched out a board, created some crude models out of clay, and went to work on the design. I had some early successes creating tension and interesting decisions with a simple map, some character cards, and a small deck of missions, but didn’t really know how the game ended. Gradually, the mechanisms for the Hood’s scheme unfolded as a way to structure the game. As The Hood progresses, he unlocks a narrative, triggering disasters and events that steal the players focus from their missions. He also provides the overall objective—if you foil his scheme, you win the game.

The whole process took a lot of iteration. I have about 10 pounds of cards and other prototyping bits from previous versions of the game.

It's been a long time since Thunderbirds raced across the Saturday morning TV screens, the more recent movie didn't cause the resurgence it hoped to inspire and though new Thunderbirds are on the way it still seems a risk to dabble in not only an old IP, but one very precious to many hearts. Did you have any fears approaching the project over the age of Thunderbirds or indeed ruffling the feathers of fandom? As a fan yourself, how confident are you that this is the game that really delivers on theme, flavour and spirit of Thunderbirds and International Rescue?

Chris: Often it's the retro version of the IP that's really the most popular and has the most love - which can certainly be seen by the outpouring of support for the kickstarter. Being a big fan was a help, but it's amazing how many details you misremember or believe are true only to discover that no, in episode X it was this way round. So we searched for an expert and got Sam Denham on board, who wrote the Haynes International Rescue Agents Manual and is a fantastic source of authentic information. Aside from everything having to be approved by ITV, we've been running info past Sam to make sure it's authentic and true to the show. Get that right. you keep the fans on board, but it has to be cool for us too. If I'm happy I'm pretty sure everyone else will be happy. Matt has done an amazing job of capturing the spirit of the show and those 'OH NO!' moments but when things fall apart.

Matt: I think we’re all very conscious of how important staying true to both the spirit of the show—and the details is. One of the benefits of Kickstarter is you can get the fans to look things over ahead of time. We did an experiment for this Kickstarter where I opened up the rules for live inspection, as I edited them, so that people could comment and give feedback. I've also really appreciated the fact that Sam has been putting his keen eye over everything.

We've blind tested the game with a large number of fans (more than I typically do for similar products that I've worked on) and they've happily reported that it captures the spirit of the show.

The game seems, form what we've seen to revisit the classic adventures of our childhood heroes, is this the case throughout or will players see new elements or challenges unique to the board game experience? The box art also looks to reflect the original style of the show, is this repeated with the board and other components that will finally grace my copy ? :-)

Chris: You can expect many of the classic episodes to appear, but to balance the game we've also created new 'Missions' that involve the characters across Land, Sea, Air and Sea. The box art features original art from a famous Japanese illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki who painted covers for an excellent line of Thunderbirds model kits in Japan. You can also expect another famous Thunderbirds artist to be involved in the map which we'll be unveiling later in the month.

Matt: The game includes a lively mix—you’ll recognize favorite episodes from you childhood, but there are also new adventures. Different missions, events, and disasters appear in each game (in a different order) so every time you bring out the game, you’ll have different surprises.

Normally I'd tease and seek some secret inside snippet about an upcoming game, but no, this time I want all the surprise for myself. So keeping it on subject and all serious, the game seems very action packed, three live missions at a time? Several ways to potentially fail and for IR to lose ( unthinkable ) a mountain of missions and what looks to be cool gadgets for the team to develop and use to aid them. So what can there possibly be to expand. What is already looking to be a fairly tightly packed game offering? And how will the suggested expansions build or change the core game?

Chris: You start with three live missions at a time, and there's a good chance you'll be adding another mission at the end of every players turn, OR the Hood's scheme will be advancing so the pressure is constantly on. The first expansion unlocks more characters so you get Tin Tin, Brains and Parker as playable characters, plus Tracy Island, The Ladybird Jet and FAB2 models, the second expansion adds in the some of the famous vehicles from the missions as small models, the third expansions lets you level up your characters so you can try truly epic disasters and the four expansion introduces a 5th player as the Hood playing against International Rescue. The pledgers at £65 get all of these included in their pledge so it's pretty good value.

We have a few more amazing reveals to come though and lots of bonus upgrades to the core box - which is simply £40 for those who want to try it out.

With that we will let you go to save the gaming world and hope that you will quickly be delivering many a table from the danger of boredom but hopefully you will keep us well updated on the project and we wish you the very best of luck.

Chris: We hope so, Thunderbirds the Co-operative Board Game promises to be a truly wonderful family friendly game of International Rescue, with an awesome show as inspiration which crosses so many age groups, and let's face it a box full of cool plastic vehicles! Over to you Matt to fill in the gaps!

Matt: You summed it up well, Chris. Thunderbirds Are Go!

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          Who you gonna kickstart? Ghostbusters!        
If there's something strange in your Kickstarter inbox who you gonna call?

 Cryptozoic Entertainment apparently.

And, by gum, they really have hit the Kickstarter campaign in a big way. It is not if they will fund but by how much with over twice the amount asked for and rising.

Here we have a quick look at what is on offer.

Some things are sacred, even to those who denounce any region, for nerds this tends to be the canon and characters of shows and comics nearest and dearest to them. Ghostbusters is one such cult classic who's place in the hearts of many is assured for as long as films are there to be played.

In truth the list of sacred movies is not very long, but at the cry of reboot the fans pour out for these long dormant franchises ready to rip asunder at the first tweet any news which endangers their childhood memories and loves.


Thankfully Cryptozoic , who are offering up their take on Ghostbusters seem to be sticking with the well known and best loved canon and avoiding too much straying from 'what fans want'.

It's not uncommon for a kickstarter, even a Boardgame to throw a pile of miniatures at punters. Ghostbusters is no exception. The main heroes appear to be a marriage of the cinema crew and their cartoon counterparts, not quite being either but looking close enough to be recognisable and pleasing. Slimer appears, but since he's a baddy in the game his appearance is a little more scary than the food muncher you might tend to think of. Other favourites crop up too, the hounds and Zuul, she(?) Even sports her body suit complete with bubble clusters....what was that all about? And Mr Stay Puft SuperSized :-)

While there are a host of minion types to combat as well , the Kickstarters success has allowed for extras to be unlocked, like the spectral taxi drivers and who knows what else may yet be added. Modern board games such as this do not content themselves with a fold out board. No, those upto date with games will recognise at once the floor tile system. Where various boards come together creating alternate play areas each with their own back story and hazards.

This too allows for trips to familiar locations and so we see tile sets that harken to movie elements as well. All helping to make the old fan feel warm inside, while the Boardgame player simply sees detail and plenty of play options. Even the dice system for Ghostbusters offers up a nod to nostalgia, gone are the 1-6 on the faces of the dice and we see they are replaced with the symbols for the cards for testing psychic powers. While this isn't uncommon in games now, it's especially nerdy for Ghostbusters, well played designers, well played.

Now all the details of game play are not yet in the public domain. What seems clear from what has been shown off is that the Ghostbusters are facing off ghouls over several missions. Each mission probably offering a nights play and several forming a campaign. At the end of each seems to be a big boss battle, akin to the computer game perhaps?

The characters look as though their skills and abilities can be improved in the game, allowing for players to get better at busting and staying alive. Perhaps there will be something that also providers for equipment upgrades too.

There is a mini for Ecto1 but is unclear the cars roll in the game, it may be nothing more than a marker to keep track of turns, we shall have to wait to see. We know there are difficulty modes, making for harder game play, the red versions of the ghosts are for this style, really testing your busting skills. We know players have to catch ghosts and shut down gateways into the other realm, but not quite what happens when this goes wrong....more baddies or failure are likely.

The elements we see in the game do send out a positive signal so far.

So far we feel we recognise parts of mechanics seen in other successful games, we are not calling it a rip off, we simply observe what looks like familiar concepts, but at the very least brought together in a new way. Money wise this game was funded and in the bag on day one. Jumping on board now is simply ensuring you get your game and maybe unlocking some more cool treats.

Either way check out the kickstarter page as details are added periodically.

Wee Gamers is certainly getting a high reading on our PKE meters and trapping a few copies is Imminent, so if you wanna join the crew speak up soon.

Cryptozoic's Press Release sets out quite a bit of what's coming.
The streams have been crossed and the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper have come together!
Cryptozoic Entertainment, creators of board and collectible card games, is bringing the world’s most highly respected group of paranormal investigators/exterminators to the table top with Ghostbusters™: The Board Game. The Kickstarter begins today and runs through March 11. The game will begin shipping to backers across North America, the UK and all EU member countries, Australia and New Zealand in October 2015.
Ghostbusters™: The Board Game is a game for 1-4 players, ages 15 and up. Players choose one of the four Ghostbusters character figures (Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddemore and Ray Stantz) and then select from one of the game’s pre-written scenarios, beginning a game session that lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the chosen scenario(s) and degree of difficulty. Each of the Ghostbusters has unique traits and talents that can assist the entire team, with highly cooperative gameplay. As players gain experience from banishing spirits, the Ghostbusters level up, gaining new abilities that help them take on greater challenges. The team can also hop in the Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters’ converted ambulance, to help them quickly move through the city.
Developed by a talented group of board game professionals with decades of combined experience, the team is led by Matt Hyra (Lead Game Design & Acquisitions), Mataio Wilson (Associate Game Designer) and Adam Sblendorio (Creative Director) along with additional developers and support from skilled playtesters and the passionate family of Ghostbusters fans.
Ghostbusters™: The Board Game comes with plastic figures of the four Ghostbusters as well as Slimer, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Indulnas and numerous Galloping Ghouls, Gruesome Twosomes and Boogaloo. All figurines are based on the artwork and designs of Dan Schoening, the artist of IDW’s Ghostbusters™ comic book. The game will come with over 40 figures, with the opportunity to purchase add-ons and exclusive figures. The board itself is made of double-sided modular pieces illustrated by Robb Mommaerts, increasing the replayability for scenarios and customization.
Cryptozoic will be offering a few options for backers. The base version of Ghostbusters™: The Board Game is available for $80 and includes four Ghostbusters figures, 40 ghost figures, 10 double-sided game board map tiles, instructions and scenarios with art from Dan Schoening, various tokens, cards and dice. The exclusive $125 Deluxe Edition comes with everything from the base game, along with a limited edition foil-stamped box, a 12”x12” giclée print, glow-in-the-dark dice, four additional game board tiles, an exclusive boss ghost figure and an over-sized “Impossible Mode” Stay Puft Marshmallow Man figure. Additional pledge levels add exclusive ghosts, new figures and much more to expand the game further.
The Ghostbusters™: The Board Game Kickstarter follows Cryptozoic’s first wildly successful crowdfunding campaign for HEX: Shards of Fate, the MMO Trading Card Game which raised over $2 million from backers eager to take part in the digital trading card / Massively Multiplayer Online game. To learn more about Ghostbusters™: The Board Game visit the Kickstarter page:

What you afraid of.....a ghost?

          Wee Gamers talk Tabletop Towns        
Tabletop Towns have so far run 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns the first for Tabletop Towns, for Tabletop Castles and now for our brand-new Cargo Containers (all now available direct via their website). And now they are at it again with Sci-Fi Tiles Phase One. Wee Gamers get to have a chat with the guys behind it all by giving them the 13 Question treatment.

They have another Kickstarter that has been successfully funded with (at the time of writing 13 days to go) this time for Sci-Fi tiles. You can never have too many SciFi tiles.

Mr Julian G Hicks - Owner & Creator
Mortis Logan - Artist

1) So who is ... or ....are.....tabletop towns when they are at home and how did this cottage industry get started ?(see what I did there?)

Julian - Tabletop Towns grew out of a desire to make myself some really good tabletop terrain that took up very little storage space. I was an avid AD&D player and brought and printed out and cut up and glued together lots of great pieces and had collected a lot of very nice but somewhat tricky to store terrain and scenery and as the family grew the available space became less. So I set out to design and build myself some new terrain I spent a huge amount of time yet again with steel ruler cutting mat and scalpel as well as an awful lot of card I used photographs of old buildings and printed them onto card....I was delighted with the results and thought I would make a few for pals of mine...I talked to very experienced print company and was pretty shocked to find out how much printing a few boxes would cost.... kickstarter meanwhile was up and running in the US and i backed a few projects...and saw an opportunity to maybe get my boxes really well stamped printed creased cut and laminated for me....but I was going to need to make thousands and cover the costs of the print runs...So I put together my first Kickstarter for Tabletop Towns...

Mortis - Tabletop Towns is the baby of my good friend Mr Julian G Hicks, who was a big fan of using card terrain for his D&D games (and other RPGs). But he found that all the print, build and play type stuff you can download as PDFs tends to have a very short life on the gaming table. Your traditional card terrain is easy damaged, hard to store and not very good at supporting the weight of larger miniatures - back in 2012 Julian decided it was about time something was done about this and went about applying professional/industrial techniques and materials to card terrain making. The result was and is Tabletop Towns terrain - made from ultra high quality matt laminated card, litho printed, pre-cut and creased by machine, so you don't need to mess around with printing, cutting and gluing. What's more it all designed to fold flat for easy transport and storage. I myself joined Tabletop Towns in 2013 after showing Julian some of my artwork and how it could be used for terrain projects - our first project working together was the Tabletop Castles sets and my artwork has appeared on every printed surface of every TTT product ever since.

2) The pod and pdf market is a pretty busy place these days. What is it that TTT feels it's bringing to.. er ..the table.....that isn't already covered by the existing market? 

Julian – There is some really awesome POD and PDF stuff out there, there was then and its even better now, but not everyone has the time patience and dedication to go through all the steps to turn a pdf into a great piece of terrain and not everyone has a spare room for the hobby with enough shelves to store it all either So we supply finished products that have really high quality standards as well as having a satin laminated surface so you can even use dry wipe markers on them if you want AND you can fold them up and put them away a dozen buildings or more store in a box the size of a DM’s Guide

Mortis - I might have answered this already in the last question - The main thing I'd say that makes us stand out from the PDF market is that we don't sell PDFs for people to print and build themselves. What we make is a professionally finished product using processes and materials that people can't do in their own homes.

3) Now we've seen your pop up fantasy squared buildings last time....round....and the hab cubes. The simple appeal of these is easy to see. Why then opt for what seems to be a somewhat dated accessory in the form of the sci fi floor tile? Surely the day of the space dungeon quest is gone? Isn't it? 

Julian – this latest project grew out of feedback from some of my backers, people asked if I could do interiors, particularly with reference to the Hab Cubes I had use a company to print onto plasticard for the Doors for the Castles the barriers and accessories for the Cargo Containers and even for a landing pad we did as an extra with the cubes project and it just seemed ideal So I sat down and worked out what it was going to cost to make some for those who had asked and yes here we are again running a Kickstarter because the set up costs for this kind of operation are quite expensive... I worked with Mort again as his work on the Containers was outstanding as was the art for the Hab Cubes and we put together a plan for a tile set that would both allow for use with the Hab Cubes to provide interior floor plans and also work as a standalone product the 3” square format again came from the Hab Cubes...

Mortis - Personally I'm big fan of the dungeon-crawl type games and nostalgia is a big thing in RPGs and Wargaming at the moment. Now many people reading this will be fans of Space Crusade, Space Hulk and similar games - a good number of those people will still own copies they've had since childhood or perhaps have more recently picked up a copy second hand. But when you open that good old box of nostalgia you far too often find that the old card tiles are bent, worn out and warped (or even worse torn or damaged by damp) and the stand-up doors are all torn-up and worn from being pushed into their little stands. Our solution to this is to make a set of tiles printed on hard-wearing plastic ... and let me tell you what I mean by hard-wearing, we are using the same material used for credit cards and the like, it's 3 layers of hard laminated plastic. This stuff is practically indestructible, it won't warp, it won't wear out, it doesn't tear and you can spill as many drinks on it as you like - you can even write or draw on it with white-board markers, and remove it later. We've used this material before for the doors and other accessories in the Castle sets and the limited-run landing pad piece that appeared in Hab Cubes sets, but this will be the first project to be entirely printed on plastic. It's not just nostalgia either, while our Sci-fi tiles has been designed to work with your favourite old marines vs aliens board-games they are also intended to be used with many other games - they are great for all kind of Sci-fi RPGs like the Star Wars, Star Trek and Dr Who games out there. They can also be used for building or space-ship interiors for skirmish games like Judge Dredd, Necromunda and Infinity

4) 24 backers in three quarters of the funding in the bag and 15 days to go. What other temptations have you to throw in the faces of would be backers...its okay we won't tell a soul honest it's just our secret.......

Julian – I am always aware that I make niche products for a niche market, I work out the target prices by running everything through a spreadsheet, years working in the computer games industry had certainly honed my estimating and project planning skills. As always my take on stretch goals is a little different to some Kickstarters...I want stretch goals to unlock extra stuff for all the backers...not just allow them to pledge extra for some more and we have several additional tiles we want to add to the sets, as the order value goes up the price falls, economies of scale etc so as well as those we also have add on products which mortis is working on the art right now...extension sets doors and so on.... and for those who have not backed me before I really do go to almost any lengths to make sure every single backer is really happy

Mortis - Well … I just finished working on some artwork for the doors and at the moment I'm working on the art for some extra different sized corridor pieces which will add a huge variety of options to the basic set making all kinds of complicated layouts possible. (How about I throw in some pre-view for your readers?) Then there's the stretch-goals which will be some different shaped room pieces including an Airlock/ Docking Point (very useful for boarding-action missions), what we're calling the 'Radiation Room' and few other pieces I'm not really allowed to talk about yet, but I will hint at by calling them 'objectives' and 'signs of alien infestation' The more eagle eyed among you will have noticed this project is called Phase One - but if we get enough funding we're actually going to throw Phase Two into action early and include it in this Kick Starter. Our ever-popular Cargo Containers are also available as a little extra too

5) So you're sitting in the park feeding the ducks some GM free bread and get chatting to the old lady beside you. Conversation comes round to work. And she bluntly asks you 'what is the relevance or role for POD PDF terrain in modern gaming given the access to later cut and plastic terrain kits'?(clearly the old dear stays up to date via one of the many news groups or hobby publications) 

Julian – Again there is some really fantastic stuff available and i think laser cut mdf or 3 to 6mm ply are fantastic material as are some of the plastics, but again these are great for the experienced model maker as well as those who have the time skill and inclination to paint all their own stuff, not everyone does and again storage space makes a difference here, Tabletop Towns stuff really does take up very little space once folded down

Mortis - That's a good question, old lady, who I suspect is more than she appears … I think the now very established age of the internet has changed table-top gaming forever, giving gamers a wider market awareness and choice than ever before. While in the past you were very much limited to what was popular and what your local gaming store was willing to stock (which for the most part had people playing Warhammer 40,000 and nothing else), now you can go online and look for a product that does exactly what you want it to. Which means that different companies now cater to different tastes - while some people want something pre-made and pre-painted they can use out of the box, others want something to put together and paint, and others again might want something in between. Printing your own terrain is great for filling out a gaming table quickly at only the cost of your printer ink, paper and a little glue, but lacks quality - while plastic kits take time to assemble and paint, but reward the effort you put in. Then there's pre-painted resin terrain which is ready to use as soon as you unpack it, but proves rather expensive. We at TableTop Towns cater for those who are looking for affordable terrain that is quick and simple to assemble, but also high quality

6) So when TTT isn't tabletop town terraining, what is it you folks get up to, you know....For a life and such forth?

Julian – Well, I’m a Single Dad and a Roleplayer as well as a school governor and a gamer in every way, I love board games and computer games and it seems I am a compulsive Kickstarter fan I have backed over 100 projects as well as run a few

Mortis - Mostly gaming and gaming-related activities - I enjoy painting miniatures when I've got the time and Julian does a few LARP weekends. Aside from Tabletop Towns I also do artwork for other small gaming companies and in non-gaming-related 'real life' I just got engaged to my girlfriend

7) What games are your current favorites and getting played when you have some down time? 

Julian – RPG wise I still play AD&D once a week and looking to get a Traveller session going too, current board game favourites included Stoneage, Settlers, and Carcassonne and 7 Wonders and computer game wise at the moment its just Elite Dangerous (after a 30 year wait)

Mortis - My gaming habits may appear a little weird to some people as I tend to collect whatever miniatures take my fancy and then try to find a game to use them in later. My Monday night D&D group just finished up a D20 modern/future campaign involving a mixture of a post-apocalypse setting and meca-type vehicles with zombies thrown in for good measure in which I played a mad scientist and now we're moving on to a fantasy game using the Dungeon-World system in which I'm playing a Goblin Jester. About once a month I GM my own home-brew dungeon-crawler games that my players call 'MortiS-Quest' - it's very much what I call an eye-candy game, played out on fully-modelled 3D dungeon terrain that I've build, converted and painted over the years. I hope one day to get enough of the rules written down to see about publishing them under the title 'EnDungeoned' Me and few friends also have an irregular board-games night, current favourites to play are 'Tsuro of the Seas' and 'Lords of Waterdeep' Since I'm a 2000 AD fan I've been dying to play Judge Dredd miniatures game for a while now, but haven’t yet found the time and I'm also building up quite a collection of Dalek models at the moment which I'm looking to use in one game or another

8) What's the next big thing on the horizon for TTT once the current project is completed and fulfilled? 

Julian – I want to continue to develop and expand the brand we have 4 products already out and other on the way so we will be looking to add to those existing ranges, for example more fantasy buildings as well as adding steampunk, post apocalypse and maybe western too.

Mortis -I think we'll be looking at going back to doing some medieval fantasy stuff next, perhaps some town buildings utilising the modular system we used for the Hab Cubes or some dungeon tiles. If your readers have any suggestions of what they'd like to see next we'd like to hear them too

9) If you had the chance to do a total overhaul of any classic old game board or components which one would you go for and what is it you'd try and do to breath life into the old thing?

Julian – As a kid I had a toy tank that fired Matchsticks my brother and I would spend hours shooting down lines of toy soldiers...I wonder if there is a way to get that in a box

Mortis - That's an interesting one - HeroQuest is an obvious choice, but I think enough people have done or are doing that already. With my mind currently engulfed in the Sci-fi tiles I'm going to say Space Crusade - it's a simple game that has a lot of potential for expansion, as well as the tiles and doors I'd want to include some different player races, not just Space Marines, but also Space Dwarfs, Space Elves and Rat-men with each race having different troop types and tactics. Of course I'd add more monster types too. Replacing the square card blips with rounded plastic ones would be nice as would replacing all card components with printed plastic, imagine being able to keep track of hit-points on a reference card with a dry erase marker. Anything that's bound to suffer wear and tear being pushed into a plastic stand will benefit greatly from being plastic rather than card - hell I'd go all the way and print even the order cards and event cards plastic too, make the whole game drink-proof!

Some of the AddOns you can get through the Kickstarter

10) Would TTT consider it's own games systems for your terrain in the future or is that an area you would rather steer clear of? 

Julian – well yes of course I have several ideas in various stages of development from a skirmish Castle assault game to a more open fast skirmish rule set, but we are also keen to find a company or two to collaborate with bringing our terrain to their product ranges.

Mortis - We like to keep our options open, we do from time to time talk about releasing a complete game, but we like to keep things open ended, so as a rule anything we make for our own games will have to be useful outside of that game too.

11) What games was it that inspired your youth and gave you, do you think, the interest to work in areas of the hobby industry today? 

Julian – Played AD&D since my teens and have worked almost all my life in the computer games industry but gaming round a table with friend is the best of all

Mortis - For me I think it all started with the old classic HeroQuest and the Fighting Fantasy book series, the black and white illustrations fuelled my interest in being an artist while the dice, miniatures and rules got me hooked on gaming.

12) For TTT how have you found the experience of working with crowd funding? Is there a slice of advice you would offer to anyone else out there considering crowd funding as an avenue to developing their dreams? 

Julian – Crowdfunding is really great but – you have to know what you want to make and really know what its going to cost to do it...and how long each and every step is going to take...once you know those things and have done all your homework places like Kickstarter are a great way of finding out if there are others who share your vision. If you decide to take the plunge don’t make the mistake of thinking Kickstarter is a marketing tool – you will have to work your friends and social media to find almost every single backer you will end up with.

Mortis - While we have a few successfully funded projects under our belts, we have yet to have one that has gone wildly into the millions (but maybe this one will, you never know). The main thing I think we've learned is that people are fickle creatures, not everyone who shows interest in a project will necessarily back it and some will only back a project after it's reached it's funding goal - which is something I've never quite understood, as you've nothing to loose if a Kickstarter project you back isn't funded and you increase the chances of it getting funded by backing it. The main thing with crowd funding is having new and original ideas to offer people, try to stand out of crowd and to make sure as many people hear about it as possible. Also avoid zombies - it's an over-done genre. Our last question is always for fun.unless you've proved to be a scary sensible person who does not Strike us as the happy imaginative type...

13) So the team are cast into the realm of a tabletop game board to live out all eternity, or until it ends up in a charity shop to be bought by Kevin a compulsive collector who buys obscure games and stores them all in zip lock bags in his mum's spare room.....anyways!!! To what game would you see yourselves cast into, as what characters and why? (Seriously there's folk want to know this kind of thing. ......Kevin for one!) 

Julian – I guess it would maybe be the same as always, I play a cleric and spend more time making sure everyone is all right and that everyone is as happy as can be smiles someone who tries to smooth out problems and pour oil on troubled water.

Mortis - The trouble with this that most of my favourite games are set in rather horrible dark worlds with lots of wars, monsters and conflict so it's rather hard to find one I'd actually choose to exist in as a character. I own quite a few games set in the Dr Who universe and I don't think I'd object to being a Time Lord travelling around in a Tardis with an attractive female companion.

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          More than DUST settles on Operation:Babylon - Paolo gives an exclusive interview on the Kickstarter        
For many Dust Tactics, World of Dust & Dust Studios will be household names coming as they do from a long established game world all spun from the mind of Paolo Parente, the father of Dust.

And as such you may have also heard there are a few rumblings about the Battlefront Kickstarter Operation: Babylon, and its lack of appearing, via the post, in the houses of those who backed the Kickstarter campaign.

This is a full and updated interview with DUST creator, Paolo Parente
Dust is an alternate history Board Game/Wargame and soon to be online game and RPG which for many years has been inspiring modellers and gamers with its diverse and almost familiar walking tanks, axis zombies, cyborg gorillas and a host of other WWII alternate nasties fuelled and inspired form the power of the mineral VK and the remnants of a crashed alien ship.

It's the same World War Two, it just evolved and shows no sign of ending.

In its most recent form Dust IP came into the care of Battlefront Games, high hopes of expanded lines and better distribution. The future looked very bright indeed, so much so when the Kickstarter was announced the boards literally 'lit up' with the voice and enthusiasm of the legions of old and new fans.

Operation Babylon, as it was called, was going to be a glowing success.

On June 19 2014 that success was confirmed for the 1,475 backers who are pledged $469,313 of hard earned cash well over the $50,000 target sought for the project.

Since then the talk and enthusiasm in all the forums and chat groups has slowly slipped from ecstatic excitement to near civil war as the fan base slowly fractures in the face of more and more apparently unanswered questions from Battlefront, the pledge management team who over saw the financials of the project.

Currently the casual viewer will see 'the silent concerned' who say little but are clicking like on various posts.

The 'be calm its okay, stay positives' who are focused on getting on with the game and prepared for the long wait without getting to distressed.

Finally what I'd call the 'vocals' who range from reasonable questioning to the troll like stirring one expects among any large Internet based groups. Arguments, confusion, allegations of all sorts seem to fly daily now and can't be ignored any longer.

Then on the 30th January 2015, the Grand Master, Paolo himself, who till now has been a voice of reason and support throws his cap in the ring and declares enough is enough.

Paolo today posts banners and avatars that call out for questions to be answered, he says he demands clarity and transparency form Battlefront, and importantly asks......where's the money? 

So it is on this very public canvas that Wee Gamers felt it was only right to ask the questions to the only people who should know.  that is the very publicly active father of Dust, Paolo, and the current Guardians of the Franchise, Battlefront Games.

Tonight we hear from Paolo, who has been quite open and eager to talk.

Paolo first of all thanks for taking the time at this seemingly stressful period to talk to Wee Gamers. 

Let's get the ball rolling. 

Paolo , what on earth is going on with Dust, and the Kickstarter? Where do things currently stand? Our understanding of these projects is you pitch your project, you set your goal. You raise your money - succeed or fail , and if you succeed you make your toys and deliver to your backers? What's gone wrong as you understand it?

"The public action that Dust Studio, with me as standard bearer, is taking has one goal only: push Battlefront to act with due diligence by honouring the Babylon Kickstarter Contract that they wrote themselves, pay the overdue fee to Dust Studio for manufacturing the goods and deliver them to the backers.
l attach here the contract and you are authorized to publish it. 

Basically it reads that Battlefront is obliged to pay Dust Studio first. And in the case Dust Studio cannot manufacture the goods then Dust Studio is accountable. 
Now, how the hell are we supposed to deliver something that has not been ordered or paid for???
Up to today we have not received the P.O. for the so called "Babylon Wave 2" or a full list of the items to be delivered. Dust Studio will be happy to deliver the goods as soon as Purchase Order is issued and paid for. 
The production on the Wave 2 items is going on. We estimate that they will be ready by the end of March 2015.  
We are manufacturing items based on the last received information dated November 2014 plus a small percentage extra, just in case the orders get bigger. 
We know that Battlefront have been collecting orders and payments until January 2015.
We wait for Battlefront to honor their side of the deal."

Okay, given the size of this project a years wait on product would have been our estimate. But it sounds very much so far that this is about where the money is and communication.
"Exactly! Where is the money??? l was told that the backers money would be held in a special account and remain there untouched, obviously this did not happen."

Why DS is not getting payed? Where did the $$ go?? Perhaps simplistic, but I know some will be wondering, why did you or rather Dust studio not simply run the K'S yourselves?
"For two reasons, The Kickstarter intended to also help Battlefront to raise enough funds to pay our Factoring Bank of 200,000 USD that was overdue for 120 days and more, besides we were in agreement with Battelfront for a worldwide distribution deal, so it seemed natural to do this together. Dust Studio CEO William Yau was against doing the Kickstarter with Battlefront, unfortunately we did not listen..."

To clarify that,why is the 'distributor' the project manager on your products?
"As per above, it was part of the deal."

Why did the money not simply go direct to Dust Studio?
"Same here..."

One would be forgiven for thinking a man in your position would be able to talk directly to the top man in Battlefront. Is that not the case?
William Yau, Dust Studio CEO,  is talking to Mr. John Paul Brisigotti BF CEO, with the intervention of a third party, but no progress is made.
BF are trying to force us to manufacture the KS freebies for free.
This is not in our agreement. Out of good will we offered 10% discount they demanded 50%. We think that`s out of question. If there is no share of profits you cannot suddenly expect sharing the losses right? Why not just lift the phone and chat to the CEO and say 'alright mate, where's my money for the work done?' Been there for months.

You are on the ground so to speak talking directly to fans on the forums daily, what harm do you feel has been done to the Dust brand by this situation?
Well, we all see that the brand is damaged when it`s compared to the disappeared AT43, at the same time we also see that the community of Dust Players is opening their eyes and reacting positively in support of Dust Studio. 

What is it you see needs to happen now?
Well, Battlefront can say that they are sorry, issue a P.O., pay Dust Studio and deliver the goods. :) 

Do you feel the working relationship with Battlefront is salvageable in the light of events?
There is no business relationship here. Business is based on $$, friendship on Feelings, right? 

You have as we mentioned earlier began a campaign with your avatar and banner. What else can you fan base and the pledge makers do to assist in the resolution of this matter?
l think that the backers are already active, l would like those few who post offensive words addressed to Battlefront to stop. Being impolite is useless.

Worst case scenario, Paolo, what happens if this funding has somehow been misallocated?
l truly hope this is not the case, l think that this would be a great mess for Battlefront. 

Let's assume BF are reading this is there anything you would like to say to them specifically?
Just act with due diligence, nothing else is acceptable. Neither the Backers or Dust Studio deserve being fooled around. 

Well, there you go. Paolo's side.

We have sent an email to Battlefront to see if they wish to give their side of the story. As yet we have had no reply.

Wee Gamers also hang out on 

          Ghostel will be opening its doors to find the Top Ghost        
Blue Cat Games has joined up with Chronicle City to produce Ghostel, the haunted house game with a twist.

Instead of playing erstwhile explorers delving into the unknown, players take the part of the ghosts trying to keep the living out of their home

Sounds kind of like a boardgame version of the likes of Dungeon Keeper where players use Spookie Favours and the felshbags own Phobias to send them running into the night
Bevan is an avid board and card gamer, and as a displaced Cornishman has spent way too much time playing games and skulking around his local hobby shops. He later escaped to Swindon, the land of roundabouts, where he currently designs games under the company Blue Cat Games, whilst infecting those who stand still too long with his gaming lurgy.

Bevan said
"I have some very exciting news, and I can’t wait to share! Blue Cat Games will be teaming up with Chronicle City to bring my board game Ghostel to publication! Ghostel is the haunted house game with a twist; instead of playing erstwhile explorers delving into the unknown, you take the part of the ghosts trying to keep their home ‘fleshy free’! Use Spookie Favours and your victims’ Phobias to send them running into the night. Scoring is based on which ghost scares the best, but clever positioning and movement around the haunted house can mean even the least frightening of players can score big. 
I’m very honoured to be working with Angus, an industry veteran whose feedback and support were vital during Ghostel’s early design and I believe Ghostel will be stronger for it. I look forward to sharing this project with you all!"

Chronicle City's Angus Abranson, said of the project,
"It's no secret that we're big board and card game players here at Chronicle City HQ and have been interested in developing and releasing some of our own alongside the RPGs we do. Well, we've been playtesting a bunch of great board and card games over the last year or so and are pleased to announce that we've teamed up with designer Bevan Clatworthy's Blue Cat Games to bring his 'Ghostel' board game to Kickstarter in a few months time! I've been playing *a lot* of Ghostel and one of the things that makes me feel it's a good game (apart from really enjoying it myself) is because a number of the groups we've been playing it with have actually asked us to bring it with us and play it again on other occasions"

Creepstone Manor has been closed for nearly a hundred years, standing dark and silent above the town of Creepstone, and that’s just the way resident ghost Spookie likes it! But now, the manor has been reopened and turned into a hotel for the living! 

You play the part of one of Spookie’s ghostly minions, charged with ridding the house of these warm-bodied usurpers. Use your skills of terror to send them fleeing into the night and win Spookie’s patronage. Who will be top ghost? 

The game of Ghostel is made of turns, and each turn is split into a Day Phase and a Night Phase. During the Day, new people will enter the hotel whilst those who already spent the Night and survived will calm down from their night-time visitations. Meanwhile, the ghosts are hiding in the attic, preparing for the next Night. During the Night, the ghosts walk the rooms, using all their scary tactics to frighten the humans away and show off for Spookie himself.

Blue Cat Gameis a small games design company set up by the errant Cornishman, Bevan Clatworthy.  It focusses on card and board games. Blue Cat Games look to pack big fun into their little games! They have a website and Facebook page

Chronicle City was set up by multi-award winning publisher Angus Abranson. Chronicle City works with a number of companies and designers, helping to publish and distribute their games. In addition they also develop and license settings to create their own role-playing, card and board games. They have a website and Facebook page

Wee Gamers also hang out on 

          Your Chance to Win LOGO Holiday Games Fun!        
LOGO What Am I?

Many families take a board game away on holiday with them – and the Easter break will be a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy some time together. Do you know Skips from Hula Hoops, or Penguin Books from Penguin biscuits?  The UK’s Number One best-selling LOGO picture board game from Drumond Park (rrp £32.99) tests how clever you are at recognising well known brands and their logos, alongside knowledge questions based on hundreds of the UK’s best loved products and organisations – from Aero Bubbles, Bird’s Eye, Chelsea Football Club and BMW… to Walkers crisps and Wrigley’s gum.  

Our prize package also includes the LOGO What Am I? game (rrp £24.99), which was designed by the boffins at Drumond Park to be played by children independently – but it’s also great fun when the grown-ups join in. This time, players are asked to ‘guess it’, ‘draw it’ or ‘describe it’. It comes with a colourful playing board, 60-second timer and hundreds of question cards featuring lots more really well known products and companies – from the Ipod and Crocs to Heinz Baked Beans and Kellogg’s Coco Pops.

For stockists visit – and now you can also download The Official LOGO Board Game App from the iTunes Store... it’s FREE!


Competition closing date

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 4 LOGO and LOGO What Am I? prize packages from Drumond Park; simply answer the question below:


David Harker, Karen Boggett, Kathy Wilson and Robert Smith

          Building Stories - Suggested Reading Order        
There had to be an asshole; it had to be me. Forgive the proof of concept-y nature of this skeletal post -- I'm hoping to expand this into an essay and thusly review the comic 'n shit -- and do enjoy this suggested navigation for your Building Stories experience. It's designed to preserve surprises, evade narrative tedium, and *totally make you cry, you baby* throughout the course of Chris Ware's fascinating, flawed toy box of anxieties and reminisce:


1. [THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK] - collecting the New York Times serial

2. [THE 'PRE-CHILD' ACCORDION FOLDOUT] - start on the side reading "I don't care..."

3. "The Daily Bee"

4. [THE THICKER BROADSHEET MAGAZINE] - starts with "god"


6. [THE 'POST-CHILD' ACCORDION FOLDOUT] - start on the side reading "Her laugh is..."

7. [THE DOUBLE-SIDED 'POSTER'] - start on the side reading "As a kid,"

8. [THE THINNER BROADSHEET MAGAZINE] - reprinting the Kramers Ergot 7 story (and more)

9. [THE GREEN HARDCOVER BOOK]- reprinting ACME Novelty Library #18, w' edits

10. "Branford - the Best Bee in the World"



13. "Disconnect"


More later, maybe...
          Worth More        
I have a geek podcast. We talk about…cosplay, sci-fi, superheroes, comic books, video games, cong langs, board games, etc. I love what I do. I LOVE all of those things we talk about on our show. We have been to several conventions of different sorts…and I love those, too. A few months back we were [...]
          HTML5 Game: Snakes and Ladders        

Snakes And Ladders is a HTML5 Board Game. 100 squares full of traps and tricks…Roll the dice and try your luck! Ladders will take you up but Snakes will take you down! Are you afraid of serpents? No problem! There is the version with chutes and cute babies ready for you! Two games in one…what […]

The post HTML5 Game: Snakes and Ladders appeared first on Code This Lab srl.

          Balkrunia and Karagoz - The War at Sea        
One of the facets of an early 20th century ‘imagi-nation’ that I intend to take full advantage of is the naval side. As my two protagonists are based on the Balkan nations and the forces of Ottoman Turkey then the potential for much in the way of naval activity is very high. The ‘terrain’ I will be fighting over makes use of the 1914 -1918 maps of the Mediterranean available in the board game ‘The Great War at Sea: The Mediterranean’ although some of the national boundaries will need to be modified. For the ship models for the two sides I have been extremely fortunate to have acquired a substantial reinforcement to my existing collection of old Minifigs 1/1200th scale WW1 ships and so these models will furnish all of my needs in respect of hardware. The first batch had been acquired from ebay but far and away the largest portion came from Bob Cordery ; to whom once again I extend my most grateful thanks.

I will post a fuller background to the composition of the fleets once I have decided how best to split them up. My feeling at the moment is to have a Karagozian fleet mostly of earlier vessels but with a couple of ‘state of the art’ types whilst the opposition has more modern types overall but is mostly lighter in weight. In any event, I want the fleets to be quite different in their composition in order to present each side with differing tactical challenges.

For the rule I will probably use a variant of Axis and Allies: War at Sea as these are simple and great to use for a club night game. I will also be making use of the aerial dimension as well and plan to make use of the Irregular miniatures 2mm biplanes and probably some Brigade models dirigibles for air support.

The models themselves will be easy to paint as detail wise they are very basic. It was a great shame that Minifigs never expanded the range (German ships were mooted but never materialised) and indeed, the moulds seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. When the fleets are ready I will post some pictures to the blog of the Eastern Mediterranean’s finest in action.

          Terraforming Mars and 3D Hubs - Part 4 - Finished        

 I'm declaring this project to be done.  Bit of a diversion started by a customer order that intrigues me.  He gets his set of 3D Printed Tiles for the board game Terraforming Mars and I decide that I want a set as well.  No, I have never played the game though I do now have one on order, but I sure am ready!

The first image shows the custom hex fitting case that I designed for this project with more details shown by the next two images.
The case has room for 25 greenery tiles, 15 city tiles, 9 ocean tiles, and 11 special tiles though I have only printed and painted 24 greenery tiles and 12 city tiles.

I'm not going to say anything more about painting as the last of the models above were pretty straightforward in terms of the painting of them.

In hindsight I am not sure that my specialty filaments were REALLY necessary!  I really like the look, and feel, of the desert tiles but the difference is not as profound as I would have expected!

Now, in a month or so, I hope to actually have the game!
          Terraforming Mars and 3D Hubs        
The next several articles talk about the convergence of 3D Printing and a traditional board game.

Almost two years ago I made my printers available on a service called 3D Hubs.  I did not do this to make money (in fact I donate at least 50% to the MS Society and the other 50% is used for expanding my collection of exotic filament).  What I did it for was the experience of working with other people's designs and subject matter.  It is this latter aspect that I now write.

The first job that I did is what got me interested in the intersection of 3D Printing and the world of models (tanks!).  A lot of the blog to this point has been dedicated to that topic.   My latest job was to print some tiles for the board game Terraforming Mars.  The tiles that I printed for the customer are shown by image #1.  They were designed by Frank Straus and made available here on boardgamegeek (signup is required).  They are a really nice piece of work.

Just as with the tanks order this one hits a spot for me in that I like science fiction and terraforming makes for an interesting story, and in this case, game.  There is also an overlap with the whole modeling topic.  So I am going a little bit over the top.  Not exactly unusual!

The first thing that I did was to design a new piece to replace one of the tiles that were part of Franks Collection.  I suspect that I could print the original if I spent some time tweaking my printer but I thought a more easily printed version might be a good idea.  There are two versions with the one on the left being more of a challenge to print.

Somewhere along the line I had found the instructions for the game and decided that I liked the concept well enough to buy one.  There in lies the rub.  They are not for sale anywhere except on the used market and then only for a LOT of money.  The game is being re-released next month so I will be getting a copy.  This is probably a good thing as I have started printing a set of tiles for myself.

There are two things that I am going to be playing with.  The first is the choice of filament for the tiles.  This might be a case where some of my inventory of filament gets some exploration.  The second is the chance to paint the tiles.  I have done a little bit of painting of tanks and do enjoy it.  It is distracting!  Here is a sample that I did while trying to convince myself whether or not to get a copy of the game.

Selection of filaments will be the next article.

          Winter Break Survival Kit: Indoor activities        

 Some of my families favorite boredom busters are board games, video games and movies, but when the board games have been played and you don't want the kids spending another moment in-front of the TV we all need some help finding activities to keep the kids busy.  Here are some of my favorite ideas:

This site has so many great activities to keep your little ones busy during the break.  We are going try this one for sure:

Bouncing Raisins

  • 6 raisins
  • Glass tumbler
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda (or Alka Seltzer tablet)
  1. Pour a cup of water into the glass jar.
  2. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and stir until dissolved.
  3. Gently add one-fourth cup of vinegar and wait until it stops fizzing.
  4. Drop in three or four raisins.
  5. Watch and see what happens (it takes about 10 to 15 minutes).
Note: The gas, carbon dioxide, that forms when you add vinegar to the baking soda forms bubbles all over the raisins. The raisins start to rise as the bubbles of carbon dioxide carry the raisins upwards and they fall when the bubbles are released. 
Here are 20 more fun activities:

1) Plate of Bubbles - All you need for this fun activity is a small plate, a plastic drinking straw, dish washing liquid and tap water. Place two drops (that's all you need!) of dish washing liquid in the center of a plate. Carefully run tap water onto plate, pointing water over the dish soap to create some foam or bubbles. Carefully place the plate on a flat, sturdy surface, such as the kitchen table, and have your child point his straw into the water. To create bubbles, blow gently and slowly into the sudsy water. Not too fast, it won't work! Slow and steady will create huge bubbles!

2) Animal Jumble - This works best with 3 or more children, but can certainly be adapted for 2 kids. Assign each child a 'secret" animal part, the child choosing the animal. Have them draw their part on white or construction paper. The idea is that each child does not know what the others are drawing. For example, have Bobby draw the head (maybe he chose a dog), Cindy draws the legs (she chose an elephant), and so on. When they are all finished drawing, have them cut out their parts and tape the animal together. Have fun choosing a name for their animal. You may be the first to discover the "Dog-aphant-monk-iraffe"!

3) Cartoon Strip - Many parents will remember this from their own childhood! You will need a pad of paper and something to draw with. At the bottom of the pad, starting from the left, draw a stick figure, a box car, cartoon dog, anything you want to put into motion. On the next page, draw the figure again with a slightly different pose and a positioned a little bit to the right of the page before. Repeat this process on each page until you reach the right side of the pad. Now fan the pages with your thumb to watch your character move across the page!

4) Coffee Can Stilts - Turn 2 coffee cans upside down so that the plastic lids are on the bottom. Poke a hole on each both sides of each can using a screwdriver (parental supervision is recommended). Use rope, bailing twine, or several strands of yarn braided together for strength and thread through one hole. Thread the other end of the rope through the hole on the other side and tie off inside the can. Be sure that the rope is long enough so that when your child stands on the cans, the rope is high enough for them to hold in their hands comfortably without hunching over.

5) Cookie Cutter Glitters - Pull out the construction paper, glue, glitter, stickers and cookie cutters. Kids can trace around the cookie cutter shapes, spread glue over the shape and decorate with glitter and stickers. This can be a messy craft, so be prepared with a disposable table cloth and garbage can for scraps. Using a vacuum with a hose attachment is a much easier method of cleaning up glitter than a broom.

6) Feely Box - Use any box that closes or has a lid, a shoebox is ideal. Cut a hole in the side of the box large enough for a child's hand to fit inside. Place an object inside the box and see if they can guess what it is. If they can't guess right away, let them ask questions or provide them with clues until they figure it out.

7) Hide the Object - Using any ordinary object (stuffed animal, vitamin bottle, drinking cup, etc), play this fun hide and seek game with your children. Simply have your child hide their eyes, then place the object somewhere in plain view (on the fireplace mantel, on top of the TV, near the front door, etc) and then have them look for it. Another idea is to use objects relating to a particular theme each day. For example, if your Kindergartener is focusing on the letter "A" that week, use objects that begin with "A" (apple, alligator [stuffed of course!], etc) You can adjust this game for older kids by hiding the object a little deeper. You might place the vitamin bottle halfway behind the picture of Grandma, or maybe tucked halfway down the side of the couch.

8) Writing Box - If your house has kids, you need one of these. You can find shoe box sized plastic containers with lids from your local dollar store. Stock the box with crayons, markers, colored pencils, small plain paper pads, stickers, stencils, a pencil sharpener and an eraser. This box should be kept stocked so that when needed, everything will be at your fingertips. Explain to children that this is a "special" writing box and that everything that comes out, must go back in for the next time they want to get creative.

9) Picnic Indoors - Pack a basket with paper plates, utensils and cups. Make sandwiches, pack fresh fruit, pretzels, a thermos of juice, and yogurt for dessert. Spread a blanket on the living room floor and serve a picnic lunch indoors! Add to the fun by dressing in summer clothes or beach attire. Be sure to wear your sunglasses and your sunscreen!

10) Paper Bag Puppets - The easiest form of this requires only a paper lunch bag and crayons or markers. Simply draw on a face and you have a puppet! To make the characters more elaborate, decorate with yarn for hair, buttons for eyes, and glitter for cheeks. Ribbon can be added to the hair or made into a bow tie for the "neck". Draw on eyelashes and lips with colorful markers.

11) Collages - Save old magazines and catalogs and store them in a cabinet just for this purpose. Have the kids cut out pictures and paste them onto a piece of cardboard or construction paper. You can let them cut out whatever they want, or assign each child a letter of the alphabet or a theme to go by for a more challenging project. Keep a trash can close by for the scraps and be sure to keep a stock of glue sticks on hand!

12) Coloring Pasta - Place a handful of dry, uncooked pasta, such as ziti, rotini or farfelle, into a plastic zipper baggie. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and 2-3 drops of food coloring. Close the baggie and have the kids shake the bag until the pasta is completely colored. Spread out onto a paper plate or paper towel and allow to dry. Use several baggies to create different colors. Once the pasta is dry, kids can use yarn to string together pieces to make necklaces and bracelets, or glue them to paper plates or construction paper to create a work of art.

13) Shadowboxes - Paint the inside of a shoebox with black or dark blue poster or acrylic paint. If you don't have any paint handy, you can glue black construction paper inside the box. Using white crayons or stickers, create a nighttime scene with stars and the moon on the black background. You can use small plastic toys to create a scene inside your shadowbox, or make your own with construction paper and glue. Cut out small pictures from coloring books and color and adhere to your scene. Hang a spaceship or shooting star with a piece of string and glue.

14) Indoor Hopscotch - If you have a cement basement floor, use chalk to draw out a hopscotch board. When you are finished playing, the chalk will wash off with a mop and warm water.

15) Family Memory Game - Play a family memory game with your kids by asking questions like "What is Grandpa's first name?" and "Who is married to Aunt Tammy?" Look through old photo albums and see if kids can guess who is who in each picture.

16) Hot Beanie - This variation of the old favorite "Hot Potato" uses a beanie type toy. Have everyone sit in a circle and toss the beanie from one person to another, never knowing where it's going to end up.

17) Name That Tune - Hum tunes from popular songs and see who can guess it first. Whoever guesses correctly becomes the next "hummer".

18) Create a Story - You can do this out loud or have kids write their entries on paper. Someone starts the story with "Once upon a time there lived a...", that person chooses the character and setting (princess in a far away land). The next child tells the next part of the story, and so on around the room, the story changing with each new addition.

19) Never Ending Adjectives - Ask your child to point out an object, then takes turns coming up with adjectives for that object. For example, you may say "a ball", your child would say "a big ball". The game might continue with "a big round ball", "a big round bouncing ball", "a big round bouncing white ball" and end with "a big round bouncing white beach ball".

20) Sardines (Reverse Hide-n-Seek) - One child is the hider, everyone else is a seeker. The hider hides while the seekers seek. However, when a seeker finds the hider, instead of pointing him out, he joins him in the hiding place. Soon, the children will all be stuffed in one place, like a box of sardines! The first child to find the hider gets to hide next.

About the Author
Amanda Formaro is the crafty, entrepreneurial mother of four children. While Amanda's professional background was originally in finance, she chose to stay home to raise her family after her third child was born. Amanda enjoys tole painting, crafting with her kids, walking her dogs and working on her website Magazine.

          I'm a Game Designer!        

Hey, everyone! I'm a game designer!

I just wanted to say it. I'm very proud. I just finished my first undertaking to create and design a board game (which will soon be translated into a virtual game). I've wanted to keep you all updated on the process, but it's been so hectic that I haven't had any time to take care of it! But now that it's in the books -- that is, it's entered "Gold" phase, it is by no means finished (how can a game truly be finished, after all?) -- I wanted to take you guys through the design process. Look forward to that in the coming weeks, okay? It'll be pretty cool.

I love you all, and stay tuned for more updates on what I'm up to and what's going on in the crazy gaming industry!


P.S. - I'm sorry the Gaming Throwbacks have stalled the last couple of weeks. Finishing up the Beta prototype and moving into the final stages of development completely swallowed my time. Hopefully I'll be able to keep them going in the future.

          Download FREE Colorcube iPhone & iPad Mobile App Game (Save USD$0.99)        

@durian wrote:

Colorcube iPad & iPhone Mobile App Game Free Download (Limited Time Promotion)

*** Featured By Apple ***

Turn pieces and blend colors in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.

Over 250 handcrafted and challenging levels.

Features alternative color schemes for all common color deficiencies.

A cooperation with award winning board game designer Dieter Stein. (

Original soundtrack by Sean Dhondt. (

Link to iTunes App Store

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Posts: 1

Participants: 1

Read full topic

          Download FREE Colorcube iPhone & iPad Mobile App Game (Save USD$0.99)        

@durian wrote:

Download Free Colorcube iPhone iPad Mobile App Game

Colorcube iPad & iPhone Mobile App Game Free Download (Limited Time Promotion)

*** Featured By Apple ***

Turn pieces and blend colors in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.

Over 250 handcrafted and challenging levels.

Features alternative color schemes for all common color deficiencies.

A cooperation with award winning board game designer Dieter Stein. (

Original soundtrack by Sean Dhondt. (

Link to iTunes App Store

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Posts: 1

Participants: 1

Read full topic

          Chess Board Game for Windows        
When installing the game my anti-virus detected adware being installed. I wouldn't suggest installing this game.
          Ragamala Dance Company: Written in Water        
After four years of creation, the performance based around a board game, Sufi text, and the philosophies of both is ready for its Minneapolis premiere.
          The Statue Got Me High        
Well, not really. But I have been thinking about how to make a statue for a client's layout for a while, and today I tested some paints, and I think I've got it.

Here is the statue the client needs:

It's John Stevens, the man who surveyed the route that eventually became part of the Great Northern Railroad line.

My client's layout is HO scale, so my thinking was, I can use an O scale figure, and it would be "larger-than-life" compared to an HO scale figure... just about the right size of 10 HO scale feet tall. If you compare the size of the pointing fellow to the size of Stevens, the ratio sure looks to me like HO to O.

The question was, what figure to use? I searched everywhere for mountain men, fur trappers, hunters, native Americans... anything that might come close to replicating that outfit, but I came up with nothing that was going to work.

Then one day, I got a bright idea. What about fighter pilots?

Here's a different view of  the sculpture...

...and get a load of this WWI British pilot! He's in practically the same pose!

I'll have to modify or replace his head, but otherwise, it's a really good match, and it's 1/48th scale, which is standard USA O scale. Even though we won't be building that part of the layout for months, I ordered him today, since cottage companies like The Model Cellar tend to go under with no notice. 

Anyway, today I got a bee in my bonnet about testing out some painting and weathering techniques for this statue, and so I went to the craft store to pick up some cheap bronze and turquoise paint. Then I went home and dug around in my gaming box for some board game figurines I've used as tokens for Cheapass Games. I grabbed a Homies figurine of a mariachi violin player, sprayed him matte black with a rattle can, gave him two coats of bronze and a wash of thinned turquoise, and came up with this.

The base is three squares of chipboard, toughened up with a bit of super glue, painted with two shades of Badger concrete and weathered with india ink in isopropyl alchohol. I think for the final model, I'll darken that bronze paint with quite a lot of dark green, but apart from that, I think I've got it.
          The Worst Marathon Ever: RAT POISON AND BRANDY: THE 1904 ST. LOUIS OLYMPIC MARATHON        
Here is a fun little video on the 1904 Olympic Marathon that is just too crazy to describe without making it into a board game.

Poisoned and a nearly a dead man walking, Tom Hicks is being helped to the finish.

Here is an article on the race from the Smithsonian: The 1904 Olympic Marathon May Have Been the Strangest Ever.

Such a strange Olympic Games. They even had a sack race!

          Board game truck : transportez vos jeux de société partout        

Cet article Board game truck : transportez vos jeux de société partout est apparu en premier sur Chasseurs de cool.

          New Marbles and Jokers Colorful 6-Player Interlocking Game Set: For Sale $ 57.00        
A complete new 6-player interlocking Marbles and Jokers "MARDI GRAS" series board game set. This playful 6-player Marbles and Jokers "Mardi Gras" set is ..
          PEGS and JOKERS Colorful New 6-Player Game Set: For Sale $ 57.00        
A complete new 6-player interlocking Pegs and Jokers "FIESTA" series board game set. This playful 6-player Pegs and Jokers "Fiesta" set is all about fun ..
          Pegs and Jokers Colorful New 8-pc Game Set: For Sale $ 67.00        
A complete new 8-player interlocking Pegs and Jokers "FIESTA" series board game set. This playful 8-player Pegs and Jokers "Fiesta" set is all about fun ..
          New Marbles and Jokers Colorful 8-pc Game Set: For Sale $ 67.00        
A complete new 8-player interlocking Marbles and Jokers "MARDI GRAS" series board game set. This playful 8-player Marbles and Jokers "Mardi Gras" set is ..
Larry Grantham died this week. He was a linebacker for the New York Jets, who joined the New York Titans out of the University of Mississippi in 1960 and played with them through 1972, including, of course, in Super Bowl III. He was one of of only seven players to play through all 10 seasons of the independent AFL with the same team. He was an all-star eight times, and five times all-league, though his reputation suffered because he was a standout in the early days of the AFL, when the overall league wasn't as strong. It's the reason why guys like Earl Faison or Jon Morris aren't better remembered and why the best runners and receivers from those years tend to be undervalued. Grantham was recognised by the Pro Football Researchers Association, who named him to their Hall of the Very Good. But he was a bit better than very good.

In fact, the Jets' victory over Baltimore in that game brought the AFL into a sort of parity with the NFL,and the Chiefs win over Minnesota the next year cemented it. Joe Namath of course was that game's MVP, because he was the QB and because he 'guaranteed' the win, but what is often overlooked in Namath's brash guarantee was the fact that he was not breashly self-promoting. He was stating what he thought was obvious, that the Jets were the better team. His coach, Weeb Ewbank, had coached the Colts, and he knew it too.

But the Jets did not win on the strength of Namath's arm. They won because they had a good offensive line, and could control the ball behind the power running of fullback Matt Snell, And they had a fine defense which could shut the Colts down, and Larry Grantham was the key guy on that D.  He had been a playmaking star in the early years of the Titans (while Wahoo McDaniel got the publicity) but when Weeb and defensive coordinator Walt Michaels arrived in New York they realised they had more than a playmaker in Grantham, and used his smarts and anticipation to bring out the best in the strongest part of their team. Grantahm called all the signals on the field. He once said he had eyes in the back of his head. 'I could close my eyes and know where all 22 players were on the field'. The Jets' strength was in their pass rushing ends: Gerry Philbin and Verlon Biggs, and their secondary, which included Johnny Sample, who had won the 1958 NFL title with Weeb and the Colts,  had a big game with four interceptions, two by Randy Beverly. The Jets held the Colts, who were 18 point favourites, to only 7 points. They didn't need Joe Willie to win.

Grantham was switched to linebacker in the pros because he wasn't fast or big enough to play tight or split end, nor big enough for defensive end. Grantham was listed at 6-0 210, but he probably played closer to 190. He'd played both ways even though he was undersized even for college. He was quick enough to avoid blockers, he could run with receivers, and he although he lacked raw strength he was an excellent form tackler against runners. He was also everything southern football players were in that era.
In 1959 I was just starting to become hooked on football beyond the Yale games I'd been going to in the Bowl since I was five or six. I'd watched the 1958 NFL championship with the men, not the kids, at a family gathering, and I knew my dad had played in college against the Giants' Andy Robustelli. I believe 1959 was the first year I encountered a Street & Smith's Annual, probably bought for me by my grandfather, and began to follow the colleges. And I can clearly remember reading the accounts and seeing the picture in the papers (and probably in Sports Illustrated or Time as well) of the LSU-Mississippi game that year.

I remember often playing 1959 Mississippi (and 1960 Washington with one-eyed Bob Schloredt at QB) in the Sports Illustrated football board game, with Seth Davis in the College of Letters when we were at Wesleyan. Ole Miss played a split-T roll-out offense with four different QBs! Bobby Franklin (later an NFL DB) and Jake Gibbs got most of the time; Gibbs would take over in 1960 and go on to catch in the major leagues for the Yankees; he must've had a strong arm but the Rebels rarely threw the ball; Gibbs attempted 94 passes all season. Doug Elmore was a sort of designated passer, while Billy Brewer was a runner who also played as a DB in the NFL. Grantham was third on the team in catches with 10, while Johnny Brewer played TE in the NFL for ten seasons. Their big runner was fullback Charlie Flowers, and they had a 6-4 runner/receiver named Bobby Crespino at halfback, both of them had NFL careers. Their backups were Hoss Anderson and Cowboy Woodruff. Really. But the biggest name on the team may have been tackle Bob Khayat, who had a longish NFL career as a kicker; he was dating Mary Ann Mobley, who was Miss America, in fact for two years running America's Miss came from Ole Miss. Khayat would go on to become chancellor of the University of Mississippi, and help bring it into the 20th century, before the Tea Party allowed at least a partial retreat.

It was as big a rivalry as any in the country, absent, at that time, Yale/Harvard and Army/Navy. And it was big because both teams were undefeated, and both coaches, Paul Dietzel at LSU and Johnny Vaught at Ole Miss, had built dynasties. Plus LSU had the country's best player, Billy Cannon. He had been third in the Hesiman voting as a junior and would win it as a senior. LSU won that game at home in Baton Rouge in monsoon conditions on Halloween. The score was  7-3, the TD coming on an 89 yard punt return by Cannon. You can see the tape of that run on You Tube; it's amazing. In the photo, that's Grantham, number 88. Mississippi allowed only 21 points on their way to a 10-1 season: only two offensive TDs all season. I didn't realise it at the time, but conditions were so bad Vaughn actually punted on first down from deep inside his own territory (that was not the one Cannon returned).

Ole Miss had a 4th and goal shot, but had their 'passing' QB in the game, and failed. The win took so much out of LSU they lost the following week at Tennessee, and handed the SEC championship to an inferior Georgia team. But LSU and Mississippi met in a rematch in the Sugar Bowl. Mississippi still could not play games against integrated teams (state law prohibited it) so it was a natural for the Sugar Bowl. That law stopped Gibbs and Khayat from taking their SEC championship baseball team to the NCAA tournament. But Dietzel had to be talked into the game because obviously he had more to lose. Ole Miss won the game easily, 21-0, immediately after the game Cannon signed a contract with the Houston Oilers of the brand-new AFL; odds are the deal had already been done beforehand. Cannon gained only eight yards rushing all game; Grantham was assigned to spy him and hit him on every play.

I mentioned Grantham was a typical southerner. In those days the South seemed like a separate country and the Civil War seemed still fresh in everyone's minds. Yankees might as well have been foreigners. Southern teams were smaller, quicker, and hit harder. They played bowl games with de facto home field advantage against bigger teams from the north who struggled to adjust to the heat. They often had the benefit of southern referees too. But of course in that Sugar Bowl, it was Ole Miss' defense, led by Grantham (this was still both-ways football) that dominated. They finished the season 10-1, but the national championship went to 11-0 Syracuse, with Ernie Davis and Gerhard Schwedes, who beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl. You could argue that despite only playing in the segregated SEC, Ole Miss had a tougher schedule, but Syracuse had beaten two other ranked teams, Penn State and UCLA. Johnny Vaught got his title the next year, with a 10-0-1 team. Mississippi hasn't had one since. Those legendary college coaches seem a different breed than today's chief executives: they were tough. Vaughn in his career was 6-7-1 against Bear Bryant, and not many did even that well. But for a five year period between '59-'63, before the SEC started to integrate, Vaught went 43-2-3, his teams built around smaller Mississippians like Grantham.

Grantham came out of retirement to play one season with the Florida Blazers of the WFL in 1974, but it's as a Jet (and a Titan) he shall be remembered.   Later in life, as his medical bills mounted up, he put his Super Bowl III ring up for auction. When he was younger he had done fund-raising for a drug charity called Freedom House in New Jersey; they raised enough money to win the the auction for the ring, and the auction house handed it back to Larry Grantham, along with the money raised. It was what he deserved. He died in his native Mississippi. 1959 was a hell of year for old time college football. 1968 was a hell of a year to usher in the modern era. Larry Grantham was an unsung hero of both, and I remember him fondly.
          GTRT 18: Love in Games, PC Relationships, and Cupid Monstrosities        

5 Geeks, One Roundish Table. In this week’s GTRT, we talk about love we have found in games, handling game relationships, the worst cupids of our imaginations, and the best board games for love.

The post GTRT 18: Love in Games, PC Relationships, and Cupid Monstrosities appeared first on Fandible Actual Play Podcast.

          Students Design Original Board Games        
Try these four student-designed games developed during the 2017 Packer Symposium.
          English for kids        
Today was hot and humid so I wasn't really keen for too much dancing and jumping around in today's english conversation class. My six adorable students also seemed a little flat...

And ofcourse to make this seem appropriate to the paying parents it was all in the english vocab we had learnt so far :)
So if they wanted a different coloured icing sugar they would say, for example, "yellow please".

They named the parts of the face as they were making them..."eyes", "ears" etc.

We made "angry" faces and "happy" faces.

While making the faces we sang "The months of the year" and the "What do you want to drink?" song...

I often had to raise my voice with "sit down please!" or "stop hitting her!" haha

This bright girl learnt to say "Can I make one more please?" as she was super speedy!!!

All in all it went really well...I might always allocate the last half of class to some kind of fun activity like this. While flashcards, board games, and 'Simon says' is fun and teaches them a lot, due to the energy shortage after the fukushima tsunami, this summer is gonna be a shocker! Any ideas for a cool, relaxing activity for kids? Fruit kebabs!

          Wizard of Oz board game Postcard by OzRoad        

4.00 USD

Blank Postcard of the Parker Bros. 1921 Wizard of Oz board game. Back is blank.

          Recap May '17 | Being active again.        

May was a great month for sure. I became a little more active and it feels good. The awesome sunny weather makes it easier for me to go outside, so I hope to keep it up.

1. I went to a yoga class with friends and it was so relaxing yet intense. I love this way of toning your muscles and getting relaxed, so I need to get over my fear of going alone. First step was taken, now it is time for me to be brave..

2. I had a short vacation with my boyfriend's mother, sister, brother their boyfriend/girlfriend. We stayed at a bungalow house from Friday to Monday and we had some great activities and fantastic weather! The first day we swam in the subtropical pool and I got injured after I bumped my head really hard under water in the wild-water course. Nothing too bad though, but it shocked me and I had a monstrous headache that night.

The next day we had a parcour in the trees, about 6 meters of the ground. It was scary at times, but it felt so good to complete it without falling! After it we went into an Egyptian themed escape room, which we completed with 3 minutes left. Everyone went for another swim in the pool, but I stayed back home with my mother-in-law and finished a book.

The next day we went for a round of paintball. The guns were bad, but it was fun to do and afterwards we did a few adventure golf courses, which was challenging. Board game night!
On Monday we had to leave the bungalow at 10:00, so we went to the pool and stayed there until 14:00. We ate some ice cream, I played pool with my boyfriend (and won of course ;P) and then we went home.
3. I had a sport event with work. Archery tag, Lasergame, Volleybal, Estafette and Bubble football. We didn't win anything, but it was fun to hang out with some colleagues after work.

6. De-coloured my hair! It turned green, but after I washed it with ketchup and more Head & Shoulders it slowly turned back into blonde. I have to say; the purple hair adventure was great and now that I know it will wash out relatively easy, I will return to it!

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          Evolution Of Modern Board Gaming        
Most of the general public, not necessarily affiliated with the gaming hobby, have played at least one or more board games in their lifetime. It may have started off with Hi-Oh Cherry-O, Candyland, or Chutes and Ladders. Later on they may have graduated onto Checkers, or Chess, perhaps even coming perilously close to hobby gamer status with titles that many believe to be 'gateway games' such as Clue, Stratego, or Risk. But in the last twenty or so years, board games have come into their own as a standalone gaming genre with just as much gravitas as collectable card games, roleplay, and miniature wargames.
          Board Game Review: Warhammer: Invasion        
In 1983, Games Workshop of Great Britain created what would later become one of the most commercially successful fantasy settings of any medium. We’re talking about something comparable to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth found in his legendary Lord of the Rings series, and Gary Gygax's multitude of settings in his Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying franchise. The Warhammer fantasy setting has mixed the traditional races of men, dwarves, and elves and added more depth and mystique than anyone at the time could possibly imagine. Drawing elements of Lovecraft-ian influence with a strong backing from Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champions saga, this world has proven most resolute in its ability to amaze and satisfy the bloodlust of would-be adventurers.
          Board Game Review: Civilization        
Civilization the Board Game, published by Fantasy Flight Games, is the latest incarnation of the computer based simulation, for use at the gaming table.
          Board Game Review - Battlestar Galactica        
Battlestar Galactica, published by Fantasy Flight Games, draws its influence from the television show produced by the Sci-Fi, or Syfy, channel in 2004. Both the show and the board game deal with the conflicting interests and outlooks of the remnants of humanity, following their near extinction brought upon them by an attack from the cybernetic race that they created called the Cylons. As if being felled from a population of tens of billions to a scant 50,000 across a small fleet of ships wasn't enough, humanity is forced to come to terms with power hungry politicians, religious fervor, a potent military, and Cylon sleeper agents who are among the people of the Colonial Fleet. While the television series covered many of these conflicting interests in great detail, the board game has a unique insight into this ongoing crisis, which makes Battlestar Galactica special in its gameplay and its longevity.
          Board Game Review - Axis and Allies: 1942        
Axis and Allies: 1942 stands as a signature title in the world of board gaming. Over the last quarter century many hobby gamers have at one time or another cut their teeth on this recreation of World War II. Its longevity hinges on its quality components, easy to follow rules, and the essential elements of tactics, logistics, resource management and technology development. This title, reprinted by Wizards of the Coast under the Avalon Hill brand has over 400 individual component pieces representing the various armies, navies, air forces, and armored units of the major powers during the Second World War. Included in this set is a large world map showing the various territories of both the Axis and Allied powers, paper money for resource production, and a very helpful reference table that allows players to roll with relative ease, without overcrowding the board.
          Board Game Review - Settlers Of Catan        
Settlers of Catan, produced by Mayfair Games, is one of the most widely recognized and popular board games in the world, selling millions of copies both in Europe and in North America. The core set, game expansions, and multiplayer options can be found in game stores, comic shops and mainstream retailers like Target and Barnes and Noble Booksellers. This euro-style game has become a 'gateway drug' into gaming, capturing the interests of many fair weather gamers, and acting as a bridge between hobby gaming and casual play with titles such as Risk, Monopoly and Clue.
          Board Game Review - Munchkin        
Munchkin by Steve Jackson Games has become iconic as an ongoing franchise, as well as a non-collectable card game in and of itself. This game’s simple rules, easy set up, and low price point have given it broad appeal to gamers of all ages, interests and abilities. The game itself can be learned in less than ten minutes. Munchkin certainly falls under the category of 'minutes to learn, a lifetime to master.' Its popularity has made it a 'go-to' game for many retailers, in hobby stores as well as game stores, in addition to general retail settings including but not limited to book stores, video-game retailers, comic shops and big box stores, thus making it one of the most available games on the market.
          Board Game Review - Talisman        
Originally released in 1983 by Games Workshop, Talisman continues to be one of the best-selling, most popular board games on the market. Its innovative in-game mechanics as well as its well-rounded fantasy setting give it broad appeal to general gaming enthusiasts and fans of the adventure genre.
          Board Game Review - Risk: Godstorm        
In 1957, when renowned French film director Albert Lamorisse developed the board game [i]La Conquête du Monde[/i], few people, if any at all, realized the decades spanning board game brand that would soon take shape across the world. His game of world conquest is known by a more common, albeit, less poetic title: Risk.
          Board Game Review - Carcassonne        
In the Middle Ages, Carcassonne existed as a fortified city in France, whose strategic location made it invaluable for the purposes of trade, commercial traffic, and local defense. Many factions competed for control over this city for over two centuries. Guildsmen, merchants, nobility, and even foreign rulers attempted to exert their influences on Carcassonne in order to grasp at a small portion of what it had to offer. While this is an oversimplification of the history of the location that gives this Rio Grande Games title its name, it does serve as a useful backdrop to the action and strategies players will find within its box. And while the game itself is very easy to learn, like the history of the city, it has complexities that extend far beyond its simple layout design that will take many hours to master.
          Board Game Review - Arkham Horror        
Arkham Horror, published by Fantasy Flight Games, is the core product in a series of board games based on the works of acclaimed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The board layout itself is a map of Arkham, Massachusetts, the central city of the Cthulhu Mythos where the specter of Ancient Gods and their followers are played out in the early twentieth century in tales of dark mystery and intrigue.
          [Resources] Cluedo        
Even before playing RPGs, I played the boardgame Cluedo (known as Clue in the US) with my siblings.

The game was a popular one in my house and with my friends. After secretly (and randomly) choosing a weapon, suspect and murder room, and placing them in an envelope, the remaining cards are distributed to the players.

Then each player takes on the persona of one of the suspects: Miss Scarlet, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum and Colonel Mustard.

Pieces move around the 9 room mansion and on each player's turn, they make a suggestion of who is the murderer, which of the 6 weapons was used and the room the murder occurred in (and the player's piece must be in that room to make the guess).

The other players then have an opportunity to prove it wrong by secretly showing the guessing player one of their cards, thereby showing one of the facts of the crime is not true. The players spend the following rounds of the game seeking to learn what weapons, suspects and rooms to discard and solve the crime with the remaining items.

Clue was a great game to play for an imaginative kid, prior to learning about RPGs. We each developed characterizations of the suspects, making Colonel Mustard a stuffy British soldier, Mrs. Peacock as a flighty housewife and Professor Plum as an absent-minded academic, and, dare I say, roleplaying each character.

There have been many different editions and spinoffs of Cluedo, including board games, interactive media games and computer games. Hollywood even made Clue into a movie in 1985, starring Tim Curry, Leslie Ann Warren, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd and Madeline Kahn.

          NYC’s Best Bars With Board Games        
Connect Four, Apples To Apples and Sorry! aren’t just for kids. Check out NYC’s best bars with board games the next time you’re feeling competitive.
          Child's Play Guest Designer!        
This week I am a guest designer over at Child's Play Challenges!
The challenge this time is to use a popular board game called Rush Hour, where you move the cars around in straight lines only and try to get your little red car out of the parking lot. I have only played this game on the computer but it is so addicting!

I took my inspiration from the way the cars are smashed together in different orientations and I laid my pictures to imitate the cars in the middle of the page.

My pictures are of Kenzie, all from age 4 months to about 6 or 7 months where she would always have her tongue out. It was so cute! :)

Here is my layout:
I started with white cardstock for my background and misted with pick and purple and then "smashed" all my pictures down and finished with banners and stickers :) 

The stickers are from EP Little Girl collection.

I used all scraps for my banners from Echo Park Little Girl Collection and a little bit of Country drive (flower strips)

This page was so fun! Thank you so much for looking! :)


          HTGYG Show #152: International TableTop Day – Board Games for Everyone!        
This episode, I discuss the first ever International TableTop Day – a day for you to get together with your friends, family and anyone and play some cool board games! You can find more info about TableTop Day here and follow them on Twitter at @TableTopDay! You can also watch TableTop at YouTube, and find […]
          Episode 65 With Collin Wright - The Golden Mic Podcast        
Collin Wright brought his flavor of style to the wakeboard game and was able to solidify himself as one of the most unique riders ever. In a world where big flips and gymnastic style was on the rise, Collins style brought a more simple and achievable kind of riding to the masses. Collin Wright and Dano meet up outside Portland, Oregon in Salem to reunite and talk about Collin’s career and current status. Don't miss this one, folks.
          Re: New Event! Board Game Night        

Attendance by Quelab regulars has been... well...  zero.  The space can be very uncomfortable on winter nights, too.  Although Adric suggested that we could try to keep the space around 50F from Sunday hacknight to Monday game night, I'm still leaning toward canceling game night.  I have been the only Quelab attendee.  Unless somebody else wishes to host the event, I think it should be put on hiatus, at least until the weather warms up, or we want to try it in a new space.

          Re: New Event! Board Game Night        

Are you posting this from the past or is the date wrong?

          Re: February General Meeting        

We do not seem to have ANY events on the calendar for the remainder of January.  Is there nothing going on?  Networking meetings (packet party)?  First board game night?  I guess I could schedule a last minute intro-to-arduino night...  how much lead-time would we need for some minimal marketing, and an EventBrite page?

          Montessori-Inspired Turtle Activities Using Free Printables        
By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Turtles are an especially fun theme in the spring or summer. And it's easy to prepare hands-on turtle activities using free printables. 

At Living Montessori Now, I have a list of free turtle printables, including my monthly subscriber freebie pack! You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Shelves with Turtle-Themed Activities

Shelves with Turtle-Themed Activities 

My shelves with turtle-themed activities include a free hand-painted printable turtle culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired turtle numbers and letters (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

The books on my top shelf are National Geographic Readers: Turtles, National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles, and Turtle Splash!: Countdown at the Pond. Zoey and I enjoy them all. 

I also have a handmade book using a free printable: Calm Down Social Story-Turtle Breaths by School Social Worker extras at Teachers Pay Teachers. This printable book helps children identify their feelings and learn a deep breathing exercise ("turtle breaths") to help them calm down. It's a helpful technique for any child (or adult) to learn. 

In addition, I have a handmade book: Little Letter "T" Book on the middle shelf. It uses a free printable: Little Letter "T" Book from The Measured Mom. Check out my "Simple Easily Rotated Activity to Teach Letter Sounds to Toddlers and Preschoolers" to learn how we use these letter books, which my 3-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves.
And on my puzzle shelf, I have the Montessori turtle puzzle.  I also have another math material shown below that's not on the shelves. 

You could mix your turtle-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special turtle area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels, although they're mainly for 3-5 year old pre-readers. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, just rotate them.

Turtle Culture Card (on shelf next to National Geographic Reader: Turtles) 

Turtle Culture Card and National Geographic Kids Turtles Book 

I'm happy to share with you a fabulous hand-painted turtle culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a sheep or lamb theme. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free turtle culture card here

The description says: “Turtles are reptiles that can hide their arms and legs entirely within their shell when they feel threatened.” 

Sea Turtle Numbers and Counters GameSea Turtle Numbers and Counters Game 
Free Printable: Turtle Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For this activity, I simply used a Montessori Services basket, the green sea turtle numbers (I used 0-10), and Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis Sea Turtle Hatchlings Set of 10. I used a small bamboo condiment cup to hold the sea turtle hatchlings. 

For the game, I placed the number cards in a stack upside down. Then Zoey drew a card and counted out the number of sea turtle hatchlings that were needed. It's very much like Montessori cards and counters, although it's themed and played like a game to add interest. I also added the number 0. Zoey and I took turns drawing numbers and counting out the sea turtle hatchlings, which she really enjoyed. 

And using only 10 counters allows a younger child to do as few or many cards as he or she wishes. Zoey had fun going through the entire stack. 

Turtle Place Value ActivityTurtle Place Value Tray Free Printable: Counting Forward: Cute Turtles (Kindergarten Task Cards) by Donna Thompson at Teachers Pay Teachers. 

I didn't use the printable exactly as it was designed. Instead, I cut out turtles with a variety of two-digit numerals. 

For this activity, I used a piece of felt for a table mat, a Bambu condiment cup to hold the turtle numbers, and bead bars from the decanomial box in Montessori Services baskets. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison's Montessori. You can get them on Amazon, although I haven't personally used materials from those companies.) 

This is a fun extension for children who are working on place value.

Turtle Place Value Layout 

Letter T Object Basket 

Free Printables: Turtle Letters for Letter T Object Basket (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) I just used  a  turtle Beanie Baby and small objects I had that started with the/t/ sound. Again, If you'd like ideas for teaching phonics, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics post. 

Turtle Sand Writing Tray

Turtle Sand Writing Tray 

Free Printables: Turtle Letter T Fonts (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just