Thursday Things

Sorry I skipped a week! Did you notice? Are you out there listening to me? Why not leave a comment and let me know you are here?

What I’m Playing

  • Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954–62 – Played this 2-player COIN game with a friend down at Guardian Games. I’ve also been diving deep into the history of the French / Algerian conflict in the 1950s/60s and love the duality of reading, watching, and playing through this conflict.
  • Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 – Julie and I are back into our efforts to save the world from the pandemic! We are in August now so working into the back half of the year. We should finish by December.
  • Fields of Arle – Ken and I played this Rosenberg game, my second play and Ken’s first. The second play went so much faster than the first, and this game is a keeper for both of us. He edged me out by one point, but it was all through it and only took 2.5 hours to get through. Next play will easily be under 2 hours.

What I’m Listening To

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Reading

  • Moral letters to Lucilius Volume 1 – AKA “letters from a stoic”, this probably completes my deep dive into stoicism.
  • To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – This books was recommended to me by one of my students and I’m glad I read it. This isn’t so much for dedicated sales folks, but more for people who find themselves in a role of selling as a component of their overall job.
  • A Sense of Urgency – Surprisingly good as I thought the core premise of the book was a bit too obvious. The book provides specific methods for detecting a lack of urgency in an organization along with tactics for how to achieve a sense of urgency.

Thursday Things

What I’m Playing

  • Advanced Squad Leader – my weekly session with Doug. We are using tanks, guns, and soon motorcycles and cavalry!
  • Combat Commander: Europe – my semi-regular session with a friend who is soon to go active duty in the Army.
  • Triumph & Tragedy – A teaching session with two newcomers to this game. It was a big enough hit that we scheduled another session where we’ll be able to play through the full game.

What I’m Watching

  • Sing Street – Julie pointed me to this and I loved it. If you are a product of the 1980s and MTV you will love it too.
  • Shooter – Satisfies my Jack Bauer 24 fix, and easy to watch while I’m working on football tasks. The acting isn’t great (I think Ryan Phillipe has made his career on his looks and charisma) but the plot is fun.

What I’m Reading

  • I read Something New as part of a project I’m working on with Standard Ebooks (my GitHub repo). I chose the book to work on from the wanted list and it should be ready for publication within a week or two. The book is a fun, quick read. Hint: wait until I release it for free on the Standard Ebooks site if you want to read it!
  • I listened to the Steve Jobs biography and it was fun to learn more about his life and the different stages of his career. I remember vividly the Apple II release (and playing / programming with it non-stop at my friend’s house), the Macintosh commercial (and using it in 1984–1985 when I worked on the school newspaper), and even the NeXT computer (I worked on a physician’s workstation on the yet-to-be-released NeXT as a senior project in college).

What I’m Contemplating

  • Return of the city-state – A good reminder that our notion of a nation-state is a human construct and extremely new in human history.
  • You Are the Product – If you are spending significant time on Facebook, this article is a good reminder that you are essentially writing checks to the company on a daily basis. Your time and attention are worth something, right?

What I’m Listening To

  • The Times They Are a-Changin’ – This was Steve Jobs’ favorite album (and Bob Dylan was his favorite musician) so I wanted to give it a re-listen. I’ve generally stuck to Highway 61, Blood on the Tracks, and Blonde on Blonde so this was a nice change of pace.

Wednesday What’s Up

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Playing

I had a great long weekend of gaming with Greg (and father-in-law David).

  • San Juan – Played in a bar while watching the Army / Fordham football game. Always up for this.
  • Jet Set – First time playing this game by a local designer. Good, light fun; close to Ticket to Ride in complexity.
  • Viticulture – Probably my favorite Euro game of the past 5 years. Taught this to David and he seemed to enjoy it.
  • Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles – David and I played this a year ago so it is officially an annual tradition.
  • Custom Heroes – First play for me, wacky climbing card game where the cards morph throughout the game.
  • Innovation – Two plays over the weekend. I like playing just the basic set.
  • Isle of Trains – New game for me, didn’t like it much at the start but got better. You are building a train and completing delivery contracts.

What I’m Reading

What I’m Listening To

  • Astral Weeks – I’m not sure why I wanted to listen to this again, but it has recently become my “focus music” for doing work. Van Morrison is my James Joyce, and I can even claim to get through the entire album.
  • Mr. Misunderstood – I don’t know why I wanted to listen to this country album, but I did and liked it. And a double reference to Jeff Tweedy in the title track!

How I’m Optimizing