Thursday Things

What I’m Reading

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Watching

  • A Separation – Outstanding movie by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. I now want to explore the rest of his titles.
  • Sholay – This was recommended to me a long time ago as a classic Bollywood film to experience. It didn’t disappoint, but like many Bollywood films this is loooong.
  • Tokyo Story – The classic Ozu film about a pair of elderly grandparents visiting their children on a trip from the fishing village to post-war Tokyo. Subtle, heartbreaking at times, and especially poignant as a relatively new empty nester.
  • The Great Escape – Amazon Prime has some great classic films available right now (hard to find!) and this was one of them. It seems like my viewings of this movie are always far enough apart that I forget the details of the endings of the various escapees.
  • All The President’s Men – The second classic film on Amazon Prime that I watched this week during my cold-recovery movie binge. Wonder if there will be a similar move made in the coming years about the Mueller Report?

What I’m Playing

  • Ken, Spence and I played A Feast for Odin again, this time using my own copy that has an awesome custom foam core insert built in.
  • We had more time left on Superbowl Sunday so we then played Railways of the World. I made some stupid choices early on but still had fun playing. We used the wrong income track, which lowered and compressed the income scale. At least we were all playing with the same constraints. Fun game but also a reminder of how poorly done the human factors are in most of these Eagle games.
  • Jacob and I teamed up against Rob and KC at Game On! last weekend in a 2 v 2 game of Holland ’44: Operation Market-Garden. We played from about 10am to midnight and go through turn 12 I think. This is clearly a 2 day game to get the entire experience.
  • Jacob and I also played in the ASL tournament, so the rest of the weekend was all ASL, all the time. Mini game, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4.

Thursday Things

Julie playing Russian Railroads at Guardian Games

What I’m Contemplating

More on Teaching Process Improvement

What I’m Reading

  • Julie and I listened to Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I and adored it. The book might be good to read, but I would recommend the audio book as it has narrators for each part and the voice acting is spectacular.
  • I also listened to Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done and it was much better than expected. The lessons here even carried over into some of my lectures, namely the idea of how a desire for perfection can be an inhibitor to taking risks on speculative projects.
  • I continued the Broken Earth trilogy with book 2, The Obelisk Gate. I have some ideas about how this trilogy might end, but the journey remains worth the ride.
  • I listened to Fascism: A Warning and it was worth my time, if only to hear a more modern definition of fascism along with current examples of fascist traits in world leaders.

What I’m Watching

  • They Shall Not Grow Old – Peter Jackson’s documentary where he applies his wizardry to WWI footage to create a narrative about infantry serving on the Western front. The technical attributes were jaw dropping. They adjusted frame rates and added audio where it made sense. Felt like I was getting a better sense for how the soldiers related. Made them seem much fresher and younger, almost modern. Sadly the story itself wasn’t compelling. Didn’t get to know any soldiers or feel real attachment to them. Ken Burns should partner with Peter Jackson next time.
  • Five Came Back – About five directors who “signed up” to make movies during WWII, sometimes putting themselves in harm’s way. Often restaging pitched battles to get the shots they wanted. The narration is what makes this film, particularly Spielberg’s, Kasdan’s, and Guillermo del Toro. It also created a new list of movies to watch for me, fortunately many of them available at my local library.
  • BlackkKlansman – Julie and I were both “meh” on this. Maybe our expectations were too high? It felt uneven; like it started off trying to be somewhat serious and straight-line with the protagonist, but then tried to become a bit of a satire and farce. The characters around the police station made no sense to me. They were either too socially progressive or too over-the-top racist. I suspect this was Spike Lee’s intent, but it just didn’t work for us.

What I’m Playing

  • I played Combat Commander: Europe with Peter and we are doing a rematch of the same scenario today, switching sides.
  • Julie and I played Codenames Duet four times and finally got a win. Turns out we were playing the time tokens slightly wrong which made the game a bit harder. Still a great challenge and I suspect it scales well to up to 4 players.
  • Of course I played some Advanced Squad Leader including continuing my Hatten in Flames campaign with Allen.
  • Ken taught Spence and I how to play A Feast for Odin and I liked it so much I bought it at Guardian Games last weekend. Playing again this Sunday.
  • Julie and I played King of Tokyo with Spence and Suzanne (twice!). Fun light game. We also played PitchCar (actually the older Carabande, but same game.)
  • The game Russian Railroads has been on my “want to play” list for over 5 years and Julie and I finally played last Sunday at Guardian. Glad I played it but there are enough similar games that I think I like more (Viticulture, A Feast for Odin)
  • I taught Julie the light 2 player game Patchwork and it was fun. Maybe need to get this one.
  • Julie and I played Viticulture twice over the past two nights. Attempt 1 was frustrating for Julie – had been 3 years since she played and she was a bit tired and lost. She bounced back like a true champion last night and won the game.

Changing Shoreline At Salishan

We are out at the Oregon Coast doing some work to get our house sold (finally… we hope). There are been some king tides this winter and it is having a devastating effect. Several coastal homes have had serious damage, like logs and water coming up over their decks. We can’t even walk down to the beach anymore from our property.

Thursday Things

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Reading

What I’m Playing

Lots of games played over the winter holiday.

  • Played Dead of Winter several times and while it was fun it won’t stay in my collection. I’m not a big fan of cooperative games with hidden agendas.
  • Played 18Lilliput and probably messed up the rules, violating the certificate limit. Will try again soon.
  • The party game hit was Just One and we played it close to 10 times over the holday. Great cooperative party game.
  • I played Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles on 2018–12–18 once and then taught / mentored two other games over the holiday. My favorite easy entry into the tactical wargaming world.
  • Played 7 Wonders for the first time in a while. Julie and Dave stomped us.
  • Did a quick stand-up game of Can’t Stop. Always a hoot.
  • Tiny Epic Galaxies was in the game collection at the house we stayed in over the break so Jacob, David and I gave it a try. Solid game, maybe the best I’ve seen in the “Tiny” series.
  • We had a big game of The Great Dalmuti. Always goes over well.
  • I played the evil alien in Not Alone. Solid game.
  • We broke out Charterstone and got most of the original players back together to play episodes 9 and 10 (so two left I think). Enjoying it but won’t be my favorite worker placement game.
  • Nephew Geoff got Azul for Christmas so I taught him how to play.
  • Dave really enjoys Codenames so we played that several times.
  • Geoff gave me Captain Sonar for my birthday and we played several times. I’m awful at it, but it is an engaging if stressful real-time team vs. team game.
  • Matthew loves Pax Renaissance so we played several times. So much game inside this tiny box. Finally played the expansion.
  • During college bowl games Matthew and I played Innovation. I prefer the base game, low player count.
  • Julie and I played our last unopened Timeline game, Timeline: Events. I like this series.