Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Disneyland Resort: Christmas 2003 (Monday)

I started this report a LONG time ago... actually, I wrote some chunks of it on my laptop in our hotel room down in Anaheim. Some more of it got written the week or so after we got home. And then never finished it.

So, what with the planning beginning in earnest for our second big Disney vacation with the boys (coming up in December), I figured I'd pull this stuff out of the virtual basement and get it published.

We decided pretty last minute (if my memory serves me correctly - and that certainly isn't always true! - right after Thanksgiving) that we wanted to go to the Disneyland Resort with Braeden while he was still under age 3. You guessed it - kids under 3 are free.

We left late on Monday morning... trying to time our driving so that Braeden would fall asleep for his afternoon nap as we drove. This worked... getting to our hotel (Portofino Inn & Suites) around 4 pm. There was a problem with our room (it was billed as a suite but some worker had removed the connecting doors) so they upgraded us to a "family" suite (complete with bunkbeds) which Braeden loved... and which looked out over towards California Adventure.

The hike from our hotel to the maingate was about 10 minutes - not bad with our umbrella stroller. That put us inside Disneyland around 5:45 pm - and I was already feeling like I was 5 years old again. (As you'll figure out, I _love_ the Disney parks.)

The park was pretty crowded, so we made our back through the castle to Toontown... and began riding.

Gadget's Go Coaster: A surprisingly fast little rollercoaster - although quite short (maybe 90 seconds long)... I think it was dusky enough that Braeden didn't fully realize what he was getting into. He didn't scream or cry, but he looked like he was in shock after we'd finished riding it. We kept telling how brave he was - but that didn't change the fact that every time we've brought up the Go Coaster since, he makes sure to let us know that he doesn't want to ride it.

Mickey's House: We wandered into Mickey's House to find it nearly empty. Braeden was fascinated by the carrots in the garden (they go up & down) and the rabbit who's eating them. Then there was a bit of confusion as we got to go onto the "set" of The Band Concert & meet Mickey dressed up in his band costume... it was unclear if that part of the house was open, and when they opened the door, Braeden squirted out ahead of me. Once we finally got to meet Mickey & take pictures, Braeden gave him a huge hug and was very sweet with him. As he was walking away, he said, "I love you, Mickey", and Mickey motioned him back over and gave him another hug. It was a magical time. (The picture that heads this post was taken during this visit.)

Minnie's House: We wandered through Minnie's house (though she wasn't home)... Braeden was especially fascinated by the birthday cake in the oven (it inflates & deflates) and the dishwasher. He told he wanted to hug Minnie... something we needed to take care of later.

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin: Once again, Mom & Dad get Braeden on a ride that's really a little too intense for him. This is kind of like a cross between the spinning tea cups & Mr Toad's Wild Ride, and it's here that we discovered for sure that Braeden is not yet at the point where he enjoys "dark" rides. Again, he toughed it out like a trooper, but he was very clear that he didn't want to ride it again. (Dad spent all his time on the ride trying to keep our spinning car pointed at the car Mom was in... less than successfully.)

It's a Small World: After the two rides we'd subjected him to, it's a wonder he was willing to trust us a third time... but we kept assuring him that this wasn't like Roger Rabbit's ride. While we were in line, the parade began (it starts next to Small World) and we got to see the first part of the parade while standing in line. Braeden was very interested in the toy soldiers. It took him most of the ride on Small World to relax... we kept pointing out things we thought he'd like, and by the end he was enjoying himself. For the rest of the trip, he called it "the doll's house" and was always willing to go see the dolls. (BTW, they redecorate the outside AND the inside of Small World for Christmas - it's amazing. The outside is multi-colored... and the inside has all sorts of extra stuff as well as giving presents & Christmas props to the 'dolls' who are already there.)

Dumbo: One of the things Braeden had been planning to do since seeing the vacation package video was to ride on "flying Dumbo". Mom bowed out and Braeden & Dad went up and around. Still nervous about the whole riding-on-things thing, he held both my hands and wouldn't let go of them, even to wave at Mom for a picture. Braeden told me at first that he didn't want to fly high, but once we were spinning, he was ok to go up - in fact, he didn't want to go back down. We spent a lot of time figuring out where Monstro (the whale) was - he didn't want to ride the Canal Boats (which go through the whale's mouth), but he wanted to make sure where he was. When we'd ask, he'd say "not today, maybe tomorrow."

Casey Jr Circus Train: He was beginning to wear out a bit when we went on the circus train - and, though it was fun to ride on, the dark meant we didn't get to see much.

King Arthur Carrousel: Braeden loved the carrousel... this time, Dad rode next to him (on a horse with blue trim we named Ol' Blue) while Braeden rode on a horse with red & green trim we named Christmas. Mom stood next to Braeden.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: From this point, we took a long detour across Frontierland & New Orleans Square to Critter Country (what used to be Bear Country) to ride the Winnie the Pooh ride. Though Braeden called them "honey pots", you actually ride in beehives. This was another ride he enjoyed a great deal... mentioning not only Pooh but Kanga, Roo & Piglet, too.

Disneyland Railroad: As the park was closing up for the night, we walked by the New Orleans station just as they were getting ready to load up the train. So, we caught the train and toured around the edge of Disneyland on our way out. Braeden would shout "all aboard" each time we loaded up new passengers, and he was a little taken aback at the dinosaurs/primeval world stuff, though he seemed to enjoy the Grand Canyon dioramas.

All in all a lovely first evening... as we plan for our visit this year, we're trying to find a way to arrive during daylight. My theory is that the rides will seem less scary if the boys can see more of what is going on around them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Collective Mind Is Pretty Darn Good

Yesterday I posted about the collective mind of the "Birdbath" predicting the results for the Oscars... so, here's the results.

There are 24 categories... and we got 19 of them right! (For the record, Bob Trezise won my annual Oscar Pool/"Birdbath" with 16 correct.) The ones we missed were:
  • Score: we picked The Queen or Pan's Labyrinth (rather than Babel)
  • Original Song: we picked "Our Town" (rather than "I Need To Wake Up" - serves us right for forgetting that these folks who drove to the Oscars in multiple gas-guzzling limos want to vote for stuff that's enviromentally friendly)
  • Animated Feature: we picked Cars (rather than Happy Feet - see gripey enviromental comment above)
  • Foreign Film: we picked Pan's Labyrinth (rather than The Lives of Others)
  • Animated Short: we picked The Little Matchgirl or No Time For Nuts (rather than The Danish Poet)

All in all, not a bad performance from the 45 of us, eh?!

And speaking of not-bad performances, I was pleasantly surprised by how watchable the Oscar broadcast was this year. Some highlights:

  • Ellen, who was low-key & funny... and, for the most part, not terribly political in her humor
  • the show-stopping production number from Will Ferrell, Jack Black & John O'Reilly... unlike many of the big numbers from previous years, this one was INTENTIONALLY funny
  • the dance troupe who did the shadow pictures
  • acceptance speeches that, for the most part, didn't devolve into blubbering or silliness
  • the video pieces... esp. the president's speech, the foreign film montage, and Errol Morris' opening interviews w/the nominees

As for the actual awards, I'm a bit miffed about Cars getting passed over, but not surprised when I think about it. Sigh.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Collective Mind of the "Birdbath" Predicts the Oscars

Each year since 2000, I've hosted what I jokingly call "Mark's Oscar Birdbath"... it's just not right to call it an Oscar Pool when there's no money involved. I invite folks from throughout my life (past & present churches, high school friends, family, gamer buddies, etc.) to participate. (Don't be miffed if you weren't asked to join - what with the compiling of the Five & Dime reports and the continuing wackiness that is The Apples Project, I don't want to get too big a crowd playing.)

So far, 44 folks are participating in this go-round (with 12 hours left until the deadline)... and here's what THEY think will be the winners this year. (This is based on their entries - when the voting is tight, I'm listing multiple entries.)

  • BEST PICTURE: The Departed
  • BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorcese, The Departed
  • BEST ACTOR: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
  • BEST ACTRESS: Helen Mirren, The Queen
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
  • ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Little Miss Sunshine
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY: Pan's Labyrinth
  • FILM EDITING: The Departed/United 93
  • ART DIRECTION: Dreamgirls/Pan's Labyrinth/Pirates of the Caribbean 2
  • COSTUME DESIGN: Marie Antoinette
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN ORIGINAL MUSIC: The Queen/Pan’s Labyrinth
  • BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls/“Our Town” from Cars
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP: Pan’s Labyrinth
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING: Pirates of the Caribbean 2/Letters from Iwo Jima
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS: Pirates of the Caribbean 2
  • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Recycled Life/The Blood of Yingzhou District
  • BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: “West Bank Story”
  • BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: “The Little Matchgirl” (Buena Vista)/“No Time for Nuts” (20th Century Fox)
Come back on Monday & see how the collective mind of "my friends" did... and find out who won the Birdbath!

A couple of "I'd like to thank the Academy"-ish kind of things to close this post out:
  • Thanks to Steve Stigler & his buddies from high school, who first introduced me to Oscar Pools and the musical stylings of Stephen Sondheim when we were students together at Baylor University
  • Thanks to Matt Baldwin, whose website Defective Yeti ( is the one who makes it so darn easy for me to maintain the Birdbath

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Mouse Gave Me the Bum's Rush

I've been promising for a LONG time to tell the story of how I got thrown out of Disneyland... and just the other day I realized that I wrote it up during my "reign" as Geek of the Week on BoardGameGeek. So, now I'm sharing it with the rest of you. Set the Wayback Machine for Spring Break week, 1980...

I didn't do anything... except make the bad choice to hang out with my friends, Jim & Mike. They decided late in the evening to take advantage of the lack of seatbelts on Pirates of the Carribean. The boat in front of us was empty - and our boat just contained one necking couple (in the front) and four high school guys (Mike, Jim, Larry & myself) in the back.

At the first ledge you pass (before the first waterfall), Jim & Mike both hopped out, ran around for a minute, and jumped back in the boat. There was an annoucement over the regular narration saying "Get back in the boat."

You'd think this would slow down the idiotic behavior, but after we went over the first falls, there's another ledge on the left hand side of the boat. Again, Mike hopped out and hopped right back in.

As we reached the edge of the second falls, there was a funky "alert" noise and the boat ground to a halt with the couple poised right at the edge of the drop-off (not that they would have noticed). A guy in a pirate's outfit came out from behind the rocks & told the four of us to "get out of the boat." Larry & I both asked "us, too?" (since we hadn't done anything wrong!) - and when it was clear that the four of us were together, they took us all.

I wish I hadn't been so dang freaked out by this - I was a good kid who NEVER got in trouble - because we walked back to the boarding area through the "backstage" of Pirates (which would be pretty cool if you weren't spending all your emotional energy worrying about what was going to happen next).

Of course, what did happen next was a strong lecturing by Pirate Security Guy on the boat dock - including scare stories about kids getting killed on Tom Sawyer Island and the like. (I've since read a number of books & articles on Disneyland - and as far as I can remember, he wasn't embellishing anything.) Finally, in disgust, he handed us off to another security guy who had showed up - this one in Main Street garb.

Main Street guy was a bit older - my guess is that he'd worked at the park since the '60s - and was a bit kinder in the way he treated us. He walked us out the back of Pirate's and around the Jungle Cruise... we came up on the back side of the Fire Station on Main Street, where he stopped to point out the Disney family quarters above the firehouse.

Then he stopped & told us that we seemed like nice enough guys... and that we should know better than to pull crap like this. Instead of taking us to the security office & calling our parents, he was simply going to take us out the front gate without letting us get our hands stamped for re-entry.

And that was it.

I didn't tell my parents for YEARS.

My Master Plan Is Working, Part II

As you can see, I am well on my way to creating a 2nd gamer child in the house... the game we're "playing" is Eiertanz (translation: Egg Dance) from Haba. I'm the one with the goatee, for those of who have trouble spotting me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Five & Dime 2006: Recap

I first began keeping track of the Five & Dime lists back in 1999... and here it is, 2007. Nine years... wow. Here's the all the links for the 2006 Five & Dime reports. And here's the links for graphic 'over time' comparisons of the top games, which I call Wide Angle Lens:

Five & Dime 2006: Joining the "In" Crowd

These are games that have appeared on the Five & Dime lists before... and have risen in overall playing percentages.

Gamepercentage gain from 2005
Hey! That's My Fish/Pingvinas+29.01%
Loopin' Louie+14.98%
10 Days/Europa Tour+14.24%
To Court A King+12.93%
Railroad Tycoon+10.70%
Ca$h N Gun$+10.40%
Vegas Showdown+8.11%
Liar's Dice/Bluff/Perudo+7.83%
Ave Caesar+6.80%

There are two main reasons that games appear on this list:
  1. They were reprinted and/or had another game added to their franchise this year (Hey! That's My Fish, Loopin' Louie, 10 Days In Asia, Ave Caesar)
  2. They were "Essen" games... they were released late in 2005 and were only played 5+ times by a couple of folks in 2005 (Hacienda, To Court A King, Railroad Tycoon, Caylus, Ca$h'n'Gun$, Antike, Tsuro)

As always, the interesting games here are the ones that can not be explained by these reasons:

  • The growing cult of Tichu with it's high priest, Derk Solko
  • Vegas Showdown, which got some well-deserved recognition as the winner of the Games 100... just as it was being discontinued by H/AH (do yourself a favor & go pick up a copy of this at your local Toys'R'Expensive - they're on sale for $20!)
  • Liar's Dice took a nice bump this year - could the Pirates of the Carribean be to blame? (I hope not - I thought the movie was two & a half hours of my life I would never get back)
  • And finally - Ra?! How does this thing keep growing in popularity?!

Five & Dime 2006: Lo, How The Mighty Have Fallen

These are games that have appeared on the Five & Dime lists before... and have fallen in overall playing percentages.

Gamepercentage loss from 2005
Shadows Over Camelot-22.61%
Ticket To Ride-15.99%
Louis XIV-14.29%
Ticket to Ride: Europe-12.26%
Euphrat & Tigris-10.54%
Tower of Babel-10.10%
Blokus -9.44%
San Juan-8.99%
Fairy Tale-8.17%
Lost Cities-8.16%
Around the World in 80 Days (Kosmos)-8.11%
For Sale-7.53%
Memoir '44-6.41%

Note that many of these games are still highly rated on the overall and/or five/dime lists... this year, with the much larger sampling group, high percentages common to the top games (60%+) completely disappeared. So, Ticket To Ride, Blokus & Memoir '44 can all take pretty big hits in number of players... and still end up in the top of the overall five & dime lists.

Last year, I predicted TtR: Europe would drop (it did) as well as Louis XIV (it did) and For Sale (and it did). I'm a stinkin' genius. :-)

Blokus & Memoir '44 both dropped... but not enough to knock them off the most played lists. (I'd wondered about them last year.) Ingenious seems to have stabilized and doesn't appear here.

Sadly, Memoir '44 won't hang on next year, what with Battlelore all new & shiny. Caylus will show up here, as will Thurn & Taxis & TtR: Marklin.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Five & Dime 2006: Fresh Faces

These are games that appeared on the Five & Dime lists for the first time... in some cases, they may be older games that just hadn't reached a particular play threshold.

Thurn and Taxis32037.07%
Ticket to Ride - Märklin13020.69%
Blue Moon City11015.52%
To Court A King11012.93%
Travel Blokus658.62%
Command & Colors - Ancients557.76%
Cleopatra & the Society of Architects507.76%
Times Square505.17%
Leonardo da Vinci355.17%
Blokus Trigon305.17%
Rum & Pirates305.17%

Tied at 4.31%: Elasund, Liar!, Mr. Jack, Tempus, Toppo & Twilight Struggle

A few short comments... interesting that Battlelore made it onto the list w/only 20 days or so to get there. Other pleasant surprises for me including Rum & Pirates (a much-maligned game of luck management) & To Court A King (a great dice game whose English release got royally screwed up - then fixed).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Five & Dime 2006: Nickels (5-9 Played Games)

Hey! That's My Fish!/Pingvinas25.00%1.01%0.00%0.00%
Thurn & Taxis18.97%newnewnew
Ticket to Ride: Marklin18.97%newnewnew
Liar's Dice18.10%10.10%23.64%10.53%
Power Grid16.38%11.62%22.73%5.26%
Take 615.52%14.14%9.09%15.79%
10 Days/Europa Tour14.66%4.55%11.82%18.42%
Puerto Rico14.66%11.62%19.09%27.63%
For Sale13.79%15.66%4.55%7.89%
Geschenkt/No Thanks13.79%6.57%10.91%new
San Juan13.79%18.18%17.27%new
Ticket To Ride13.79%17.68%21.82%new
Settlers of Catan12.93%13.64%6.36%13.16%
Blue Moon City12.07%newnewnew
Wits & Wagers12.07%0.51%newnew
Loopin' Louie11.21%2.02%4.55%10.53%
St Petersburg11.21%13.64%22.73%new
Another "why am I not surprised?" moment as Shadows Over Camelot drops from #1 last year to... completely off the chart. (To be accurate, from 23% down to 3%.) Also dropped - TtR:Europe (no surprise), Lost Cities (huh?), Alhambra (good riddance), Louis XIV (no surprise) & Through the Desert (well...).

I didn't post any comments on this list last year, so I have no predictions to report on... so, let's proceed to my predictions for next year.

Thurn & Taxis & TtR: Marklin both hang on, but Blue Moon City drops off, as does St. Petersburg & Wits & Wagers. Hey! That's My Fish wil survive at least one year on this list.

Up & coming: Battlelore will show up here, as will whatever is "the hot new filler card game". :-)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Five & Dime 2006: Dimes (10+ Played Games)

Thurn & Taxis18.10%newnewnew
Ticket To Ride14.66%26.26%51.82%new
Geschenkt/No Thanks12.07%14.65%newnew
San Juan12.07%16.67%41.82%new
Settlers of Catan12.07%7.07%10.91%15.79%
10 Days/Europa Tour11.21%7.07%15.45%13.16%
Loopin' Louie10.34%4.55%4.55%6.58%
Can't Stop9.48%4.04%3.64%11.84%
For Sale9.48%15.15%2.73%3.95%
Lost Cities9.48%12.63%10.00%13.16%
Zirkus Flohcati8.62%7.07%4.55%13.16%
Power Grid7.76%8.08%10.91%0.00%
Liar's Dice6.90%7.07%10.00%21.05%
Memoir '446.90%11.11%10.00%new
Ticket To Ride: Europe6.90%8.08%newnew
Tied for the 25th spot: Carcassonne, Hey! That's My Fish!, Mu & Mehr, St. Petersburg & To Court A King.

While there are some interesting games getting a lot of play on some tables (Thurn & Taxis, anyone?!), the most interesting development to me is what three games are NOT here this year: Puerto Rico, Bohnanza & Take 6! Last year I refused to predict about the future fate of Take 6 or Zirkus Flohcati as both games have a history of flirting with appearance on this list - so, I was right in not taking a position. (I'd be a GREAT politician.)

Again, as I predicted, both Diamant & No Thanks! retained their positions in the top 20... I'll go out on a limb & say that No Thanks! will make it another year... but that Diamant will JUST miss making it back. (Even with Incan Gold in print...)

As a Settlers fan, I'm happy to say I was right in predicting that it would hold it's position... and I also called Ticket To Ride correctly (dropping out of first but staying in the top ten.)

Predictions for next year: Battlelore joins the list, Memoir says "bye-bye" (along with TtR:E, Hacienda & Caylus. Thurn & Taxis may or may not drop off - but it'll be close. (See if I'm right in 12 months!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Five & Dime 2006: Most Played Games

Thurn & Taxis32037.07%newnew
Ticket To Ride25028.45%43.94%73.64%
No Mercy/Geschenkt22025.86%21.21%new
San Juan22025.86%34.85%59.09%
Hey! That's My Fish/Pingvinas21531.03%2.02%0.00%
10 Days/Europa Tour21525.8611.62%27.27%
Settlers of Catan21525.00%20.71%17.27%
For Sale19023.28%30.81%7.27%
Liar's Dice18525.00%17.17%33.64%
Power Grid18524.14%19.70%33.64%
Loopin' Louie18521.55%6.57%9.09%
Lost Cities16018.10%26.26%23.64%
Take 6/Category 514019.83%21.21%18.18%
St Petersburg13517.24%23.23%55.45%
Can't Stop13513.79%10.10%18.18%

Tied for 25th place with a score of 130: Ticket to Ride: Europe, Ticket to Ride: Marklin & Crokinole.

"score" is computed by giving a game 5 points for each person playing it 5-9 times and 10 points for each person playing 10+ times

the percentage numbers for each year are the percent of respondents who reported playing the game 5+ or 10+ times

For the first time, there were actually LESS gamers who participated in the Five & Dime lists... 116 gamers (2 groups & 114 individuals) chimed in. In some ways that makes me a bit sad (more people make for better stats) but it also makes me do the happy dance as well (less people mean less headaches from compiling the results).

The Ticket to Ride franchise is a juggernaut... if you add the percentages together, 66% of the respondents played one of the three games. (No, I didn't track correctly to see if this really happened - this is one of those lies, d----d lies & statistics kind of moments on my part.)

Thurn & Taxis has enjoyed it's year in the sun... and should now drop out of the top 25, though still receiving some serious play. (That's my prediction & I'm stickin' to it.)

Yet another year to wait before Carcassonne reaches a saturation point - in other words, "When will the next Carc expansion cause the whole franchise to 'jump the shark'?" It's dropping off... but not as steeply as I thought it would.

I continue to be surprised by the staying power of St. Petersburg. I like the game myself, mind you, but I didn't think it would stay in the top 25. I'm also surprised by the resurgence of Pingvinas/Hey! That's My Fish - I was just "eh, ok" when I played it, but evidently a lot of you LOVE this game.

Memoir '44 finally dropped out of the top 25... but only by a couple of places. I expect to see Battlelore here in it's place next year - but Memoir '44 could hold on, as it has a devoted fan base.

I was correct (no surprise) about the disappearance of Shadows Over Camelot & Louis XIV. (It's nice to be vindicated... he he he.)

The big question: will Caylus hold in place or will it start to fade out? Puerto Rico FINALLY slid out of the top 25 (right next to Memoir) so no game is "sacred", right?

OK, maybe we'll have to make exceptions for perennial favorites: Ra, Settlers, Tichu, & Liar's Dice.

Well, that does it for my "quickie" comments - it's time for you guys to jump on board with your comments!

Five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Four Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 2003 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the Five & Dime lists in 2003.

10 Days in the _____/Europa Tour
Age of Steam
Balloon Cup
Fearsome Floors
Gulo Gulo
Hey! That's My Fish/Pingvinas
King's Breakfast
Paris Paris


Martin continued trying to remember what exactly Missy had told him. Oh yes. Be sly as a serpent and interfere like a dove. It didn't sound right at the time, but he knew there was something in the Bible about serpents and doves.

The above quote is from the novel, Boo, by Rene Gutteridge... and I've been giggling about it since my wife read it to me (the quote, not the novel - I'm not THAT much of a slug) this weekend. In at least a couple of churches I've served in, I'm pretty sure "Missy" was advising some of the folks in power.

Oh, by the way, the reference is Matthew 10:16.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Five Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 2002 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the Five & Dime lists in 2002.

Alles im Eimer/The Bucket King
Bang! (includes expansions)
Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Power Grid (includes Funkenschlag & expansions)
Puerto Rico
Street Soccer
TransAmerica (includes TransEuropa)
Trendy (includes Crazy Race)

Five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Six Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 2001 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the Five & Dime lists in 2001.

Catch Phrase
Hick Hack im Gackelwack
Royal Turf
San Marco
Wyatt Earp

Post #300: Jackson Men Look Good In Cowboy Hats

Most recently, Collin (who's a couple of months from turning two) showed off his cowboy style, along with his patented "ain't I pitiful? you should spoil me" look.

Braeden was a month or two younger than Collin back in 2003 when this picture was taken at a children's museum - OK, it's a sombero, not a cowboy hat, but he looks good in it.

Finally, set the wayback machine for 1967, when my cousin Kevin & I both sported cowboy apparel. (I'm the smaller guy... and I'm still smaller than Kevin. Substantially so. Of course, he's a
college basketball coach, so go figure.)

Five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Seven Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 2000 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the Five & Dime lists in 2000.

Battle Cry (AH)
Carcassonne (includes expansions but not stand-alone "cousins")
Lord of the Rings (includes expansions)
Princes of Florence
Taj Mahal
Web of Power (includes China)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Eight Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 1999 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the first Five & Dime list in 1999.

Apples to Apples
Loopin' Louie
Lost Cities
Mamma Mia (includes Sole Mio)
Ricochet Robot(s)
Union Pacific
Zirkus Flohcati

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Five & Dime: Wide Angle Lens (Nine Year Pix)

These graphs cover 2006 (top bar) through 1999 (bottom bar). The bar is the percentage of players reporting who played the game 5+ times in the given year. The games here first appeared on the first Five & Dime list in 1998, though many of them were released before that.

Bohnanza (includes expansions)
Can't Stop
Carabande (includes Pitchcar)
El Grande
Euphrat & Tigris
For Sale
Formula De (includes Formula De Mini)
Liar's Dice (includes Perudo)
Metro (includes Iron Horse)
Mu & Mehr
Schnappchen Jagd
Settlers of Catan (includes expansions but not stand-alone "cousins")
Settlers of Catan Card Game
Showmanager (includes Atlantic Star)
Take 6
Take It Easy
Through the Desert