- designer: Forrest-Pruzan Creative
- publisher: Cranium
- date: 2005
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3359/5.73
- age: 7+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: in print
- cost: $11.30 (Amazon)
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
- designer: Frank Nestel
- publisher: Zoch Verlag
- date: 2001
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2508/6.18
- age: 5+
- # of players: 2-6
- print status: in print
- cost: $10.00 (Game Surplus)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Oh, man, how many hours did I pour into that videogame...
As the "Race to Witch Mountain" panel ended yesterday at Comic-Con, 6,500 people got to their feet. As these folks made ready to head back into the San Diego Convention Center, that panel's MC hurried back onstage. Saying "Stay in your seats please. We have something else to show you folks. Something that won't be in theaters for another year or so."
And then the house lights went down again. The Walt Disney Pictures appeared on the screen, then quickly faded to black. A very familiar sort of black.
And then -- as muted neon-like lines of color appeared on the distant black-marble horizon -- a gasp went up in Hall H. It couldn't ... It can't be ... Tron 2?!
But that's what it was, folks. Three minutes of CG goodness. Showing two lightcycles zooming across a seemingly infinite game grid. Of course, this being 2008 rather than 1982 ... The game has changed somewhat over the past 26 years. Now players can race across different levels of the same terrain, using spiral ramps up or down in an attempt to gain an advantage over their opponents.
And as for the lightcycles themselves ... They were very reminiscent to the bikes seen in the original Steve Lisberger film. Only bigger and meaner-looking. Which -- given the way that these two vehicles battered against one other as they raced across the course, sending showers of blue & yellow sparks flying everywhere -- only seemed appropriate.
Yeah, this was definitely not your Daddy's "Tron." As was apparent by the appearance of first a grey, bearded version of Flynn (Jeff Bridges). Who was holed up in this austere furturistic penthouse which overlooked the game grid. This was then followed by the appearance of a much younger looking CG Flynn. Who -- as the injured lightcycle rider lay crumpled at Flynn's feet said "Hey, it's only a game" -- he powered up his energy disk and then said "Not anymore." And as this CG Flynn moved in for the kill, the "TR2N" logo formed onscreen.
And at that point, the crowd in Hall H went absolutely nuts.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
When I read a newspaper article about a subject I know nothing about, I think: "hey, this is interesting; I learned something." When I read an article in the same newspaper about a subject I know a lot about, I think: "This article is filled with lies and misconceptions, and the reporter doesn't know what he's talking about."Which brings us to today's edition of "Framing the Conversation"... in which I send you bouncing about the web, looking at the fair & balanced (cough, hack, cough) coverage of the issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Actually, you won't bounce so much as you will land at GetReligion.org, a site that does a fantastic job of examining media coverage of issues of spiritual significance. Cruising For Critical Coverage
Holy Matrimony from Cana to California
That story ran almost four years after New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent eviscerated his paper’s handling of the same-sex marriage issue. I’ll repost a few paragraphs:It goes one from there. Anyway, I thought of Okrent’s words when I read a piece in the Times yesterday that presented, as he put it, the “social and cultural aspects of same-sex marriage in a tone that approaches cheerleading.” Apparently the Times doesn’t care to look at the same-sex marriage issue in any different way.
But for those who also believe the news pages cannot retain their credibility unless all aspects of an issue are subject to robust examination, it’s disappointing to see The Times present the social and cultural aspects of same-sex marriage in a tone that approaches cheerleading. So far this year, front-page headlines have told me that ”For Children of Gays, Marriage Brings Joy” (March 19); that the family of ”Two Fathers, With One Happy to Stay at Home” (Jan. 12) is a new archetype; and that ”Gay Couples Seek Unions in God’s Eyes” (Jan. 30). I’ve learned where gay couples go to celebrate their marriages; I’ve met gay couples picking out bridal dresses; I’ve been introduced to couples who have been together for decades and have now sanctified their vows in Canada, couples who have successfully integrated the world of competitive ballroom dancing, couples whose lives are the platonic model of suburban stability.
Every one of these articles was perfectly legitimate. Cumulatively, though, they would make a very effective ad campaign for the gay marriage cause. You wouldn’t even need the articles: run the headlines over the invariably sunny pictures of invariably happy people that ran with most of these pieces, and you’d have the makings of a life insurance commercial.
A barely there, skinny 19-point margin
But even so, the vast majority of churches in the region limit the role of gays and lesbians. Only one mainline Protestant denomination - the United Church of Christ, which ordained Johnson - marries homosexual couples with the same rite used for heterosexual couples. And the number of churches friendly to gays and lesbians is much lower than the number of Catholic, evangelical or other conservative Christian churches in the region.
So while liberal churches helped change the state, the state now has a far more liberal view of same-sex marriage. Flat-out opposition has come from evangelicals and the state’s Catholic leaders - including San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer and Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron. Joint support for a November ballot initiative seeking a constitutional amendment that will codify marriage as between one man and one woman will probably come from them.
In case the language wasn’t clear enough, the bad people “limit,” “flat-out oppose” and aren’t “friendly” to gays. The good churches “help change” the state’s views on same-sex marriage, ordain and marry homosexuals and condone homosexuality. And that bizarre last sentence is conditional and passive why?
There are four paragraphs of narrative before we get to the numbers:As you're trying to have a rational & reasonable conversation about all these difficult & controversial issues, please remember that the tone in the media is patronizing towards folks with more traditional views - and that the tone they set sometimes affects your viewpoint.
Either way, the poll suggests the outcome of the proposed amendment is far from certain. Overall, it was leading 54% to 35% among registered voters.
Yes, you read that right. In the Los Angeles Times newsroom, 19 percentage points constitute slim, narrow, bare majorities. Gosh, I wonder how the story would be played if the opposite results were found. I know, as Barbie says, that math is hard. But this is truly inexcusable and the Times’ cheerleading in support of same-sex marriage is anything but journalism.
Disney's Hollywood Studios is actually getting the attraction that theme park enthusiasts have been itching for ever since "Monsters, Inc." opened back in November of 2001. DHS will be soon be home to an inverted coaster that recreates the Door Hangar sequence from that Pete Docter film.Here's a bare-bones description of the ride:
I think we need to start saving up for WDW tickets. (Wowsa.)
This family-friendly attraction will be housed inside of Soundstage One. Though -- in order to queue up for this ride -- WDW Guests will first have to go around to the backside of this building and then enter through the old Jim Henson Creature Shop.
Here, they'll find an elaborate recreation of the Monsters, Inc. lobby. With Ceilia (You know? Mike Wazowski's one-eyed, snake-haired girlfriend?) working behind the reception desk. Given that this attraction will be set in the post-film world (After monsters have learned that laughter is 10 times more powerful than screams), Monsters, Inc. is holding an open house today. Actually inviting humans in the Monster world to come tour their energy-gathering facility.
Speaking of energy-gathering ... As they make their way through the queue, Disney World visitors will periodically encounter scream / laugh cannisters with funnels sticking up out of them. These Guests will then be encouraged to scream / laugh into these funnels. Which will cause the sides of these cannisters to light up and reveal how much energy was just gathered.
As they make their way up to the attraction's load area, these WDW visitors will learn that this Open House is all Mike Wazowski's idea. That -- along the route that their coaster is supposed to travel through the Door Hangar -- this wiley one-eyed monster has placed even more scream / laugh cannisters. Which will then collect all of the energy that these humans produce as they scream & laugh their way through this attraction.
These Guests will then board a train that's two seats wide and eight-to-ten cars long. After chugging up the lifthill past show scenes where Mike & Sulley will quickly recap the backstory of this attraction, these WDW visitors will drop down into the Door Hangar building. Where they then quickly whip past various comic tableaus featuring some of the more memorable characters from the "Monsters, Inc." film. Not to mention some far-too-close encounters with huge scare / laugh cannisters (Whose sides -- once again reinforcing this attraction's interactive aspect -- will light up depending on how loudly the Guests on board that particular coaster train scream).As for the finale of this two-minute-long attraction ... Well, it seems that these Disney World visitors will produce so much energy with all of their screams & laughter that the cannisters in the Door Hangar just can't contain it all. So there's this huge explosion near the end with bright lights & smoke. And just before their train rolls back into the station, these Guests will see a slightly charred versions of Mike & Sulley. With Wazowski telling his big blue friend "I think we need to get some bigger cannisters."
Sunday, July 20, 2008
- the second (and more profitable) outing for the lemonade tycoons
- a trip to Target for milk, freezer bags & sunscreen
- Braeden playing Star War: Epic Duels again (this time as Anakin & Padme)
- the boys getting ready for church & being extra-helpful
- taking Collin (and Braeden) to lunch at Sonic as a reward for progress in potty-training
- playing a bit of Heroscape with Braeden (his Marro army is working down my Roman/Greek forces)
- having a pizza picnic while watching America's Funniest Videos
Saturday, July 19, 2008
- designer: uncredited
- publisher: Goliath B.V.
- date: 2001
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2549/6.5
- age: 6+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: OOP
- cost: 7.50 British pounds (the only copy I could find for sale was at a site unknown to me in England - the game itself is in very good condition, while the box - no surprise here - is in poor condition)
- the version I own (from Sweden) has one of the scariest "we're playing the game" models on the back of the box... this is a child who is enjoying the game WAY too much
- for some reason, the game is designed where you have a full range of fire... you can not only shoot the target in the center of the table but also your fellow players. Interesting.
- This is the game that "A Christmas Story" warned you about - "You'll shoot your eye out." Which explains, I think, why it hasn't been published in the U.S.
Friday, July 18, 2008
- Is it where we live - Fresno, CA? (Well, to be technical, we live in an unincorporated town called Easton and have a Fresno address, but you know what I mean.)
- Is it where we lived the longest - Nashville, TN? (We were there for 11 years.)
- Is it where we grew up - which means North Richland Hills, TX (a suburb of Ft. Worth) for Shari & Placentia, CA (north Orange County) for me?
- Is it where our families live? This one's a bit more complicated: Shari's immediate family is in Willis, TX (north of Houston) while my folks are in Columbia City, OR (north of Portland) and my sister is in Highlands Ranch, CO (a suburb of Denver).
- Home is where my wife & boys are... they are both generous gifts from God and great responsibilities.
- Home is my church... we used to sing an old praise chorus about "the family of God" which sounds cheesy when you're belting it out but actually encapsulates a spiritual truth - those of us adopted as God's children through Christ's sacrifice are family.
- Home is the larger capital "C" Church... everyone who is a follower of Christ is my brother or my sister. We're family - and we're admonished in Scripture to live & to love in light of that.
- At the deepest point, home is with Jesus... now, through the presence of the Holy Spirit; eventually, when I see Him face to face in Heaven.
The settled happiness and security which we all desire God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home. (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)More to come next week... this is a subject deep enough to swim in for a while.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
- designer: Reiner Knizia
- publisher: Hans im Glück
- date: 1993
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3637/5.6
- age: 7+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: OOP
- cost: $20.00 canadian (BGG)
- I'm a conservative evangelical pastor of a Southern Baptist church who has been (very) happily married to my wife for 18 years.
- I believe homosexuality is one of many sexual sins - all of which subvert & warp God's intent for one woman/one man marriage.
- I hate the way most discussion about this stuff devolves into "dork recess" (thank you, Sports Night). My reason(s) for this series of posts is my attempt to frame the conversation in more reasonable, gracious & thoughtful terms.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
i’ve traded naked and unashamed for a better place to hide for a righteous mask, a suit of fig leaves and liesOh, Jesus... that's me.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-35, NLT)
So, if that's the picture in the Bible, citing marriage between a man & a woman as a "great mystery" that gives us a picture of the relationship of Christ & His church... should it really be a surprise that redefining marriage is problematic to some of us?
Monday, July 07, 2008
- my voice will survive speaking 10 times in 5 days
- the kids won't abuse me too much
- I can hold onto the zip line the whole way down & not embarrass myself
- Shari & the boys have a good time while I'm gone
- something meaningful is accomplished in the spiritual lives of the folks who are up there with me
- oh, yeah... it'd be nice if something spiritually meaningful happened in my life, too!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
- "Hide!" (this was my answer)
- "Run away"
- "Kill 'em"
- "Feed them something" (this was the answer that Shari picked)
- plays quickly - a huge plus for party games
- nobody feels dumb - you can approach how to answer the questions in whatever form you wish: you can try to please the Judge, you can try to be the class clown & make with the silliness, you can simply try & entertain yourself...
- the score doesn't matter much - sure, if you're playing a 2 hour game of El Grande, you want to know the exact score at the end, but the draw here is not the winner(s) celebrating, it's the journey getting there
- the rules - they are incredibly easy to explain
- it's got the good parts of Apples to Apples with added creativity - the free-form questions means the game doesn't devolve into the same kinds of jokes & picks (as A2A has a tendency to do)
- it simplifies the Wits & Wagers scoring - I love Wits & Wagers... but the betting system is tough for non-gamers to wrap their heads around. Say Anything uses the same kind of system in a way that's friendlier to non-gamers.
- designer: uncredited
- publisher: Milton Bradley
- date: 1993
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3858/5.5
- age: 9+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: OOP (but see the article)
- cost: $14.33 (Amazon)
- the traps: it's fun to spring the traps on the various characters... I'm esp. fond of the fireplace trap.
- the bluffing: there's a certain point (with most kids, it's between age 6-8) where the concept of bluffing "clicks"... where they understand pretending that they are rooting for one piece when they really control another piece
- the timer & the portrait: these two mechanisms combine to make for some pretty serious tension... tension that builds throughout the game