• One of the aspects of running an online store is packing and shipping orders to customers.  Now, generally we have to purchase the boxes from a wholesale supplier due to the variety of sizes of orders and games that we get. 

     However, we do get a ton of boxes and packing materials from our own distributors as well.  And its the reuse of those materials that are sometimes of concern.

    Packing materials are generally always reused (except the black trash bags that one distributor once used. I'm not sure what that was about).  Especially when we get plastic peanuts, I'd hate to throw those away.

    It's the cardboard boxes that puzzle me.   Sometimes, by the time those boxes reach us, they've been visibly used twice already.  The boxes are still in great physical condition (mostly, sometimes they aren't and those we recycle) but they have obviously been through the system a few times.

    Now, other than catastrophic shipping failure, these boxes work well.  I just wonder what kind of 'image' it gives our customers when we ship used boxes to them. 

    - That we're too cheap to buy our own boxes?

    - That we're doing badly enough that we have to reuse boxes (oh no, they're going out of business!)

    - Or that we just want to recycle?

     Sometimes, I feel we should just use entirely new boxes, so that we don't give customers the wrong idea.  But then I'd be throwing away a lot of perfectly good boxes, and frankly, I'd feel bad doing that.

  • This week I managed to get out of baby jail briefly and get out to my local game club. But it was a borderline call - 30 or 40 minutes late for kick-off time. I went because it was an opportunity to get out and see some fellow gamers, and if I was lucky I thought I might catch another latecomer or the people already there might have started with a short game and be ready for another.

    I wasn't lucky. In the event there were two games in session and two people playing the one that had most recently started, probably 20 minutes or so before I arrived, debated whether to reboot it for me and eventually declined, for the understandable reason that they'd already made several moves and the game was beginning to take shape. So I sat and watched two people play On the Underground for an hour and then left before they'd finished, which was a more fun than it sounds. The game made a surprisingly good spectator sport, and although I might be suspicious of playing it due to length downtime, that very same quality meant the players had the opportunity to chat amiably with me as they played. All in all, a pleasant way to pass sixty minutes although obviously I'd rather have joined in given the choice.

    But I couldn't help wondering whether or not if I were in their shoes, I might have restarted for a new player. I don't think their decision not to do so was at all rude or out of order - if anyone's being rude it's me for turning up fairly late and assuming someone might be willing to re-rack a game for my benefit. It's just that I like gaming largely because I get to game with other people, and the chance to add more people is a pretty big incentive for me to begin again. So, as a matter of curiosity, where do you all stand on this issue?

  • Old news is good news

    Word broke on the internet some weeks ago of news that at first sight seemed almost too good to be true: Valley Games have acquired the rights to Up Front and are working with designer Courtney Allen on a new edition, to be funded via Kickstarter later this year for a planned publication date in 2013. The initial excitement felt by fans of this all-time classic will have been quickly tempered by healthy scepticism upon all-too-immediate recall of the vapourware that was MMP’s ill-fated Up Front 2000. The lapse- in March 2011, of MMP’s licence with Hasbro was nothing less than a mercy killing. No one really believed anymore that MMP were going to bring this one home, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ultimately relieved that some of MMP’s more esoteric suggestions for their new edition of Up Front (first announced in an ad in ASL Journal #2) didn’t see the light of day.

  • It is making me cranky. I would like to go home and kick some stuff in the head - like maybe kill some hopping Vampires. But I am stuck in the office until 5:30pm and then I have to go to the grocery store, and then I have to make stupid food.

    Meetings blow. 


  • Promotional Poster for Tolkien's Festival 08 @ Costa Rica

    Tolkien's Festival '08

    where? CENAC, San José, Costa Rica.

    when? Saturday 8th of Nov. 2008 from 10 am to 7pm.

    how much? 2.000 colones (around $4).

    who's organizing? The Costarican Tolkien Society

    will there be games? you bet, The Costarican Boardgame group will be there all day long providing demonstrations and teaching how to play games.  Will put the games, you just have to come and have some fun.

    which games will be at hand? well the usual suspects, Risk: LOTR Trilogy Edition, War of the Ring, LOTR The Confrontation: Deluxe Edition, LOTR the boardgame.  Plus lots more of other cool Ameritrash Games like Runebound, Descent: Journerys in the Dark, Heroscape, DungeonTwister, etc.

    what else will there be? lots of fun and cool stuff to do, see and shop.  There will be drawing and writing competitions, movies, a rally, parade, cosplay, workshops on how to speak the tolkien languages, concerts by celtic bands, dissertations, archery plus a lot more of other things.

    Hope to see you there, and if anyone makes it be sure to go to the boardgames table and ask for José (that's me).

  • Tomb: the BoardgameBarnes is a sell out war gamer cranky pants. We played Tomb last night and it was fun. If Tomb had been published when Barnes was 11 years old, he would have played the crap out of it.

    I do agree that just randomly filling in the crypt cards is the way to go. Having the players do it is just long and boring.

     We came up with our own family version. My sweet spawn was the crypt master and put out all the crypt cards. Having someone play the CM negated some the character's special powers and some of the cards, but it didn't matter. It was kind of a hoot trying to think like a 9 year old to figure out what she might have placed where. She did some pretty funny things, like one crypts was all traps.

    We have a friend whose three little boys have been playing the heck out of an old copy of Talisman. Our friend tells us that he comes home from work and the three boys are playing, and they are all up to like a strength of 15. He says, "Why don't you all go up already and try to win." The boys answer, "Because we don't want the game to end." HA!  The Man wants to invite this friend and his sons over to play Tomb.

  •  I have a headache. I stayed up too late last night playing games. Now I'm trying to work, but just can't concentrate. All the tiny numbers keep blurring together.

    About a week ago, this gal at work, the one that I went to the organic farm with where I got poison ivy, she says to me that she saw a Battlestar Galactica game at Barnes and Nobel, and was thinking about getting it for her husband for Valentines Day, because he's totally into Battlestar Galactica. So I told her, in an off hand way, that I had it. I figured that would be the end of that topic of discussion, but then she asked if it was harder to play than Scrabble. I said no, on account of Scrabble requires that you know spelling and addition. BSG, you only need to know lying and addition. She chewed on this answer along with her sandwich for a while, so I finally said, "If you want, you could come over and try it out for yourself."

    I always tell people they can come on over to my place, because it's the polite thing to say. They usually answer, "Yeah. We should do that sometime."  Because it is the polite thing to answer. But then we don't follow up on it, because that would require actually making a plan and doing something.

    However, this time the answer was, "When?" A sincere and eager "When." So I said, "Next week?" And she said, "Thursday, after 6:30?" So I said, "Okay."

    So that's how I ended up with Organic Farm Gal and Husband at my house playing BSG.  It was pretty much a disaster. Organic Farm Gal got stuck in the Brig for much of the game. We got hammered by Cylon ships, lost a bunch of civilian ships, and the game was over before we could even make a second jump.

    So I say, "Well, let's just call that a learning game. We'll have to play again sometime now that we know how to," fully expecting the usual non-commital, "Yeah, we'll have to do that sometime," followed by the polite but hasty exit. Instead I get, "When?" So I say, "How's about next week." 

    By now it's after 10pm so the Man says "Well, should we move to the living room and have a drink?" The couple just exchange a glance, so the Man, who's got some serious social skillz, says, "Or we could  play a short game." The couple nod in agreement to the short game.

    "What do you like?"

    Organic Farm Gal says she really mostly only knows Scrabble, so I open the game cupboard and let them pick. The Husband chooses Daytona 500. After we play, the Husband asks Organic Farm Gal if she thinks he should get Daytona 500 for his dad.

    Anyway, I got to bed pretty late, and now I have a headache.  I might also have a date to play BSG again next week with some people that I really like.

    What I have concluded from all this is:

    When people find out you have cool games, they will angle for an invite to your house to play, and they will bring you offerings of beer and Kahlua drinks.

    Woman like to play board games, especially ones with Science Fiction themes where they get to fly around in space ships and blow stuff up.

    Kahlua drinkers really do explore their curiosity.

    Everyone regrets the Kahlua drinks in the morning. 

    Okay, just kidding on the conclusions. Well except for the last one. You will regret the mudslides in the morning. 


  • It was very difficult to limit this to only 10, but here it is.
  • “Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures.”
    ― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

    About four years ago there was a great blog post by Ancient_of_MuMu called The Moustaches of Sci-Fi Calender. I'm not going to do a calendar. I could force another seven characters onto the list, but frankly the eye-patch look is harder to pull off than you might think. So I'm going with the Top 5.


  • My local gaming club has fallen from the dizzy heights of about eight regular members when we started six months ago to a paltry two. But Rob and I keep slogging on, rain or shine, to get down the pub to play games and drink beer religiously on a Monday night. There are a couple of others who come on rare occasions but everyone else seems to have vanished. They don't even answer emails. Either I'm too abrasive or they were just too much of a Euro loving crowd. I did try to please them. I even agreed to play Race for the Galaxy for fucks' sake.

    But for now it's just me and Rob. The two good things about this arrangement are that Rob & I have a fairly similar taste in games, and that he owns hardly any games which means I can inflict whatever I'm feeling like that particular evening on him without feeling guilty about it. Last night I exposed him to Nexus Opsfor the first time.

    Our first game was unfortunate as a learning experience because I had the majority of the mines on my side of the board, and whilst he struggled valiantly to raise victory points I just swamped him with troops, and managed to keep the Monolith for most of the game. The second was rather more competitive. This time it was me who couldn't get on the Monolith for love nor money - one battle we hard ended up with everyone on both sides dying but he played a Force March card on his turn to re-occupy it. Seeing it was a lost cause I gave up, and focussed on fulfilling those secret objectives instead to the exclusion of all else, even defending my mines. I raced up to 11 points in double quick time, and had four rock striders against a human to take my last point and win the game. And all four dice fluffed! Disaster! That sort of thing would be infuriating in a longer game, but in Nexus Ops it's just funny.

    So we finished the night with honour even and one game apiece.  But I came away with a newfound respect for Nexus Ops. Although I've always thought it fun to play, the lack of metagame and the rather repetitive nature of the cards and units lead me to label it as a game with a poor shelf-life. Now I'm not so sure: there's actually quite a bit of subtlety and creativity in the tactics, and there's some hard choices on offer too.  The fact it's short and simple is just the icing on the cake.

    Rob wants a copy, but I've no idea where he'll find one in England. Anyone have any ideas?



    Of all the themes in gaming that have been given the proverbial shaft, I’d put professional wrestling at the top of the list. To my recollection, the last noteworthy wrestling game to have been published would probably have been Avalon Hill’s Wrasslin’, which unfortunately is long out of print.

    It was with great excitement when I saw that Gen X games (2 de Mayo) were bringing their new game Total Rumble at Essen in 2010. Total Rumble is a wrestling card game by first time designer Óscar Arévalo, which pits 3- 12 wrestlers in a Battle Royale styled match to vie for the coveted Champion’s Belt.

    Unfortunately this is not quite the game wrestling fans like myself who have been clamouring for. Although it’s a pretty straight forward game to play the rulebook comes in two languages Spanish and Babblefished English. It’s rife with duplicated passages, spelling errors and poor translations. I had to email the designer a few of times for clarifications and on one occasion discovered that a couple of rules were missing.

    Where it loses points with this wrestling fan is by ignoring standard wrestling tropes like kicks, grapples and throws then replacing them with numbers.

    The game comes with standard-sized cards that make up the common draw deck and 12 over-sized wrestler cards. The draw deck consists of two types of cards: “Numeric” cards and "Special Action” cards. Each wrestler comes with a unique ability and X amount of health points that ranges from 8 to13.

    The core of the game is essentially like “hot potato”. A player’s hand will consist of three cards from which they will play one on their turn.  The next player must then play a card which is equal to or greater than the previously played card (for example Pam plays a “4” card, then Eugene plays a 6 card) or avoids playing a numbered card playing a Special Action card. If a player can’t match or avoid the number in play they have to take damage. Taking damage consists of looking at your 3 cards in hand, choosing one with a number and placing it in front of you (for example Wendy plays a 6 card; Eugene has a 3, 3 & 5 in hand so decides to play a 3 as damage).Take too much damage and you’re out of the game.

    Special action cards can be played instead of numbered cards. They usually allow that player’s turn to be skipped by changing the direction of the turn order or by targeting a specific player for example.


    There are also ladder, chair and table cards that will either provide modifiers to cards or add extra damage to players. Any narrative potential is quickly put to rest as players usually say,  “Yes! I gotta chair!”followed up by “Sooo… that turns this 6 into… a 7!”

    And that’s my biggest problem with the game, it’s really about trying to “manage” a hand of three cards (which is pretty small), adding or subtracting a number and trying to remember what direction the turn order is going. At no point do I feel as though I’m battling for my life  in the ring against the Titans of the Mat.


    Now, I love games with asymmetrical player powers but the other problem I discovered was that some wrestlers powers were incongruous with the HP given.

    For example the card above says (which I've translated for clarity) " When you play a damage card (i.e.  a "3" card), all players reveal their hand. Any player that reveals one or more of the same number value, must take one and add it as damage to themselves."  That's fucking huge as this one player could lay some serious damage to other players in addition to being able to see what cards all other players are holding. To top it off his HP is 13! You would think it would be lower given his two abilities. Another wrestler can discard all his/ her cards then draw 3 new ones and yet has an 8 HP value. Even though a wrestler’s special ability can only be used once it can be regained whenever the draw deck needs to be reshuffled.

    As a wrestling card game I’m afraid Total Rumble doesn't quite fit the bill for me. As a fast paced hot potato-styled game it's fun, I only wished it gelled better with its wrestling theme. 

    My wrestling influences:

    •Stampede Wrestling (1948-1984)

    •The Dynamite Kid

    •Davy Boy Smith

    •Pro Wrestling for the NES

    •The Undertaker vs Mankind in the famous "Hell in a Cell" match

    •Chris Benoit

    •"Beyond the Mat" - A wrestling documentary

     Disclaimer: The reviewer received a complimentary copy of this game


  • Flailed through a learning game of Touch of Eviltonight. It's kind of Talismanlike. You need to get a lair card instead of a Talisman, and then go fight the big bad. We flubbed a couple of things, but mostly got it right enough to get a sense of the game. I liked it, but the Man was disappointed.

    I have to play it a couple of more times to really judge, but in the light, 90 minute horror themed, beat on monsters game class, I think Buffyand Last Night on Earth are more fun. But ToE will get played, since it is a different style of game. It's a bit more subdued, and requires very little brain power to play.

    I'd say it would be another good game to play with middle school aged kids, but the boys I know would much prefer to play LNoE, and the girls won't come near my horror games. When I was punching Betrayal at House on the Hill, one of them saw the counter marked "pool of blood" and went screaming out of the room. Now, when she comes to visit, I use the pool of blood counter to chase the girls out of the room when I want them out from under foot.

  • Last night I demoted Touch of Evil. I took all the bits out of the fancy organizer boxes I had put them in and bagged them into regular old baggies. I also reclaimed the card box. Touch of Evilwas then put on the shelf in the back room. Gak, this game was a huge disappointment. Just looking at the pictures of the guys wearing two jabots sets me off. It will probably go up on my for trade list when I get around to it. I always feel a bit guilty when I trade off a game that I think sucks.

    The worst is that I had pre-ordered not just one, but two copies based on the strength of  Last Night on Earth and the early buzz. I gave the second copy to my brother Strider a.k.a. Douchie Boy, as a birthday gift. I hope he likes it more than we did. He might as, his gaming interests and needs are different than mine are.

    One of the chit boxes was moved to my new darling, Ghost Stories. Most of my "fancy" chit boxes are found items, like the tiny sectioned case that was the packaging for some picture hanging hardware. This one was for a tiny first aid kit. It is just 5" x 3". All the chits for Ghost Stories fit in the top section, and everything else, except the ghost figures and cards fits in the bottom.




    To set up, I just lift the top section out of the box, and it becomes the "bank." I know that sounds totally OCD, but if you like a game, it's going to get played often, and having the bits well organized makes set up and clean up that much faster. Plus, the room that we play in has an oriental carpet and an upright piano, so dumping bits out of baggies onto a table and watching as one escapes and rolls off the table is a nightmare.

  • "Hey, why don't you loan me that," I once said as I pointed to the thin but alluring box on the top shelf of my friend's game closet. "I'll learn it and then we can play it and see if it's all it's cracked up to be."

    "Sure," she said, "If you think you can. Al and I once tried all summer to learn that game and failed. Even when we had a friend come over who knew how to play and showed us we still had no idea what was going on."

    "No problem," I said boastfully, "I can handle it.

    And so it was that the game was transferred from Shellie's game shelf to mine. Where it sat. For a long time. I won't say it was ignored but I did spend a lot of time avoiding direct eye contact. It mocked me and taunted me. It had a reputation of delivering one of the greatest gaming experiences ever but there's nothing in this life for free and the cost would be a great deal of time and brain power. Then, of course, I would have to teach it. I would look, think about it, then avert my gaze, slump my shoulders, and shuffle off to the familiar embrace of my other games.

    The man himself

    The game in question is Richard Hamblein's classic adventure game Magic Realm produced by Avalon Hill way back the late 70's.

    Avalon Hill of the old days. The good old days? Hardly. I don't let nostalgia color my vision when I think of the games of yore. There are a few, a precious few, games of that era that really deliver an experience that make them worth owning or learning. Most were far more trouble than they were worth. Magic Realm, though, is considered to be one of the best.

    One of the things Avalon Hill was known for were their rule books. Dense microscopic text in double columns on every page. The rules broken down like the judicial code by section and subsection. This does not make for an easy read. It's dull as dishwater. What it is good for is, later when the game is learned, referencing specific rules during play.

    Now Avalon Hill was primarily a maker of war games. And their rule books for those games with concepts and mechanisms that they were intimately familiar with were, for the most, part pretty good. It was when they delved into games with new ideas and novel procedures that they would fumble. Those rule books could be so bad as to be unusable. Magic Realm was a case of the latter and the rule book has a reputation the direct opposite of the game itself. It is laughably known as one of the worst.

    Ad from the General

    One thing Avalon Hill did do, that is to their credit, is in some of the most complicated games they broke the rules down and presented them in episodic fashion so that a person who knew nothing of the game could learn a few of the rules at a time and then play a scenario or stripped down version of the game. In this way, a game that would certainly overwhelm a normal person would become less daunting. Squad Leader, the original, did this quite well and was how I learned that game. Magic Realm does it too and I decided that I would try use it to master this game.

    So, I blew the dust off that thin box and pulled out the rules. The first section, called an "Encounter", is really not that long at all and in it are described the game set up and the movement rules.

    The game is played on a set of hexes that are set up at the start of each game so that the playing area is different every time you play. If you've played Twilight Imperium 3 or Settlers of Cataan, you know the idea. No big deal, in the 21st century we've seen this in games time and time again although I imagine in 1978 it was pretty unique and explains why they take close to a whole column of text to explain the tile placement rules that boil down to the idea that the tiles need to be placed in such a way that the roads make sense and there must be a path from the start tile to the new tile.

    "Peshaw!" I thought. "These people who say that this game is hard, they don't know what they are talking about."

    The next rules were the movement rules and these too are not so hard. The game uses preplanned movement, an idea that is long out of style, but wasn't so uncommon in the old days. Write down four moves ahead of time, player order is chosen randomly, execute the moves in player order and if you find yourself in situation where what you wrote down can't be done, then tough luck, it doesn't happen.

    "Alright, piece of cake."

    It's at this point the rule book says to STOP! and play the encounter which was useful mostly for the set up and becoming familiar with "warning tokens" which will be important later, I assume. The movement rules themselves are pretty straight forward with the exception of the "blocking" rules which are worded horribly but that I worked out after reading them five times in a row.

    So now I have taken the first baby step. I'm on my way. The next encounter introduces combat. I have a feeling it's going to be a bit harder than the first one.



  • Violence is not the answer, it is the question. The answer is  "Yes!"

    I was confident. I had this under control. The first "encounter" had been no big deal. The set up of the modular board,  the pre-recording of a character's actions for a turn, the resolution of those actions via a chit pull, certain terrain costing more actions to move through than others, all of this was familiar to me. 

    Now it was time to move on to "Encounter Two" which covers combat. I got out my microscope and began to read through the actual rule book. I must admit I made a mistake in my reporting in episode 1 of the Tow Jockey Crusade. I said the rule book had two columns of teeny text but in actuality it is three.

    This too did not seem overly complex. Different, certainly, but not hard.  It uses a die roll but not in the traditional way and while planning seems, and I say "seems" because I'm no expert in it yet, possible there is still a whole lot of luck in it.

    Combat occurs at the end of the day/turn. The rule book first describes player vs player combat. You place your chit on an opponents order sheet to indicate that  you are going to try to fight. He may or may not be able to flee depending on desire and how fast he is. 

    Now if the fight takes place you have to flip over your order sheet to the "battle" side which is really a sort of clunky flow chart to help you through the battle. Each character has a selection of move and attack chits which have variable speeds and strengths. Each player secretly chooses an attack chit and places it on his flow chart in either the high, medium, or low attack box. He also has the option to put a move chit in one of three other boxes indicating an evasive maneuver. Then based on the positions and speed of the attacks in relation to your opponent's maneuver, you may or may not hit him. If you got lucky and landed a hit and did it with sufficient oomph then more likely than not, unless your opponent was wearing armor  he is now dead.

    Pretty unforgiving, right?

    It was here that I made a misstep. Hubris took control and I began to believe I could just push ahead. Player vs Player is all well and good but as my first plays are going to be solo, I wanted to know how monsters were encountered and how combat with them worked.

    A voice inside me cautioned me not to get ahead of myself. To stick with the program. That I wasn't ready yet. But as it's the same voice that tells me quite often that I don't need that sour cream doughnut, I have a great deal of experience in telling it to shut up.

    So I pushed on and read the rules regarding encountering monsters. I say read but I really let them wash over me because they make a great deal of references to the "Set Up Card" and rolling dice and manipulating things based on rows and columns on that card.

    "Well", thought I, "I should set up the set up card so I can see with my own baby blues what all this jibber jabber actually means."

    And so I came face to face with the horror that is the "set up card".  This card, actually a piece of flimsy card stock the size of the box, is covered with tracks and boxes and pictures of chits. Everything that may or may not get placed onto the board during the game is kept on this card. To set it up you need to arrange every damn one of the 200 or so chits in the game in a relatively specific way. 

    Chits and tokens by the truck load and all of them stuffed into tiny zip lock bags in a way that probably made sense to the person who last put it away but to a novice such as I, who has never really played the game, they may as well have been dumped into a coffee can and been well shaken. 

    And please don't get me started on the so called "cards" used to represent the treasures and spells an adventurer might find in the Realm. Cards? Ha! Cards are the things GMT puts in a box that have such stiffness and mass that they can slice the top of a cat's head off if thrown with sufficient velocity! Cards have a suitable size so that I don't feel like Gulliver at a Lilliputian's poker game when I use them.

    These pathetic slips of what is but one tiny step above paper? These things that appear to be something cut out off the back of a cereal box? These are not cards. Nothing measuring 1'x 2' can be considered a card! 

    In any case, after an hour of sorting chits and cards I was almost done. Just the monster tokens remained to be placed. The rules blithely tell you to put the monsters on the matching box based on size and image with the light side up although to tell you the truth if there is a right answer to which is considered the "light side" when discussing light blue and light gray I don't know what it is. Even so I figured that would work itself out later but that is when I found it...

    The Giant Octopus!

    The Giant Octopus seemed not to have a place to go. So did several monsters that were duplicates of ones that DID have places.

    "Speak, Octopus!" I commanded! "Reveal your secrets unto me!"

    The Giant Octopus remained silent.

    I went into deep thought mode which consists of me placing my head in my hands and muttering vulgar oaths under my breath. This allowed me to arrive at my default course of action in such circumstance which is to say "fuck it" and proceed trusting that it would work out in the end.

    I reached for the rules to begin going step by step through the encounter procedure.

    What's that, you ask? Where does one keep the rule book during this process? Why on the opposite side of the table. And one does this so that, when standing up to be able to reach said rule book, one might clip the edge of that damnable set up card and send those countless chits and slips of paper skittering helter skelter across the table.

    I re-entered deep thought mode.

    This time "fuck it" meant to pick all that crap up and come back to it later when thoughts of Giant Octopi on fire were less compelling. It was then that I found it...

    The space for the Giant Octopus had been there the whole time but was buried under 10 chits and four of those tiny cards.

    I will be back for you, Giant Octopus...Oh Yes.....I will be back!






  • Yesterday while I was chatting with a co-worker, he was playing one of those tower defense games.  You know the type, a bunch stuff is trying to break through and you build up different types of towers to try and stop that stuff.  Anyways, we were talking about process improvement ideas and I was watching the game and it go me to thinking.

    Those games are the perfect metaphor for corporate America.  You are the faceless entity that is trying to make a breakthrough within your company.  Arrayed against you is a number of obstacles that pick away at you until you finally disappear (or melt into the culture...take your pick).  If you make it through, there are always more levels (well not quite).   As the company gets larger, it can implement more things to pick away you.

    So those towers represent all the procedures, forms, etc. that stand in your way to progress....

    anyways...random thought.

  •  After seeing  Dr_Mabuse's really sleek and sharp dice tower, I was inspired to try to make one too:




    I made the tray black because I like how the dice jump into view. I used foam board and Gilad Yarnitzky's design. I stuck black glossy card stock on the outside to give it a clean look. I sprayed a couple of coats of low odour acrylic spray to protect it and make the black even blacker.


    I used a wooden skewer as a pin to make the tower attachable/detachable:



    Attaching the tray makes it easier to move the tower around during a game if you need to. 

  • So anyways , I just got back from seeing Toy Story 3 (in 3D).  And I'll have to say that it was a pretty good movie.  The story was pretty good.  The acting pretty good and the animation up to the normal Pixar standards.  My only real complaint is that the 3-D didn't really seem to add to it.  It didn't have the wow factor that it did during Avatar.  If you enjoyed the other two, go see this one.

  • We decided to cut the cable and trade in brain dead TV and annoying commercials for the Roku and instant downloads of  Nymphoid Barbarians in Dinosaur Hell.