Print Story I'm living in a goldmine,
Games
By georgeha (Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 09:41:51 AM EST) book, movie, funny money, beer (all tags)
too bad I can't exploit it.

Plus Walk Hard, The Art of Making Money, Japanese and American compared (again), Power Grid, Small World, Titanic, and less.

Poll: Favorite mythical race?



I picked up The Art of Making Money at our local library, vaguely remembering a story in the Rolling Stone about a counterfeiter who made paper sammiches to pass the new (in 1990) $100 bill. It was about the same dude. I found it fascinating, partly because it was a good story, partly from watching a dysfunctional family spreads it's dysfunction, and partly because of my work background and slashdot. Art Williams grows up in a project in a tough Chicago neighborhood (Bridgeport) after his father leaves, messes around with gangs and crimes, and learns how to make counterfeit money. He does great for a while, then gets sloppy, arrested, jailed, and starts all over, and over again.

In other media news, we watched Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Saturday night. If you can imagine Mel Brooks combining Ray, Walk the Line and Forrest Gump, with fewer sight gags, you'd be there. It was funny, stupid, and full of just about every music biopic cliche you can think off. I liked it, but Atapow usually does smarter stuff. It was hilarious to see the Beatles mocked, there where a few other sacred cows gored, too.

Boardgaming

I made the gaming meet, and played two new to me games, Power Grid and Small World, I lost in both. I think I prefer Small World to Power Grid, because there's fighting and orcs and elves in it. Power Grid is about generating electricity across Poland, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. I didn't understand the victory conditions until near the end, so I concentrated on connecting cities, when I should have been concentrating on powering cities, I came in last, but one guy is a shark, the other two had played once before.

Small World was a little easier to pick up. We played a five player game, each person chooses a race (elves, dwarves, orcs, giants, tritons, Amazons, etc) with a special power, and tries to conquer a good bit of the board. After a while, one puts their race in decline and chooses another race. You get victory points each turn for territories you've conquered, who ever has the most at the end wins. Apparently it's a redo of Vinci, but I've never played Vinci, so I don't know. It seemed lighter and more fun than Power Grid, I'm considering picking it up.

Car Talk

I was able to replace my turn signal bulb in the Tercel Sunday. I hoped it would be five minutes, but expected it to be 15 minutes. It was five. There was just one screw holding in the turn signal assembly, open the hood, unscrew the screw, pull out the assembly, replace the bulb, push it in, screw it in. Done.

I like to compare that with Mrs. Ha's 88 Ford Escort Wagon (pretty sure I've mentioned this before, I'm getting to the age where I repeat my anecdotes), which had six long screws to remove and replace a bulb, not an onion bulb, though that was the style at the time, to wear a yellow onion bulb tied to your belt, not white which would have better, but with the war, all you could get was yellow. The price difference between six screws and one is probably about a buck, the labor cost maybe five, the lifetime cost of ownership maybe $20? Properly engineering that may have saved $26, multiply by four and you're talking $100 per car, do that enough and the savings really add up. Of course, that is dwarfed next to the cost of health care built into GM/Ford/Chrysler cars, but it's an example.

It's not isolated to Toyota, my Plymouth (Mitsubishi) Colt hatchback had a little plastic panel that pulled out to access the bulbs.

In other car news, my driver's side door lock is not working with the key at all. I need to pry off the inside cover and see if I can fix it, or replace it with the passenger's side lock, I'd have to pry off that inside cover, too. It will be nearly 40 this weekend, sine I can work on my car without my flesh freezing to the metal, I'll see what I can do.

Beer talk

I kicked my keg of Spiced Holiday Ale this week. The Honey Lager is bubbling away, maybe later this week I'll rack it off. In other beer news, Saranac's Maple Porter is very tasty, with a sweet maple aftertaste. I have a Pilsner batch to make, and am thinking about getting an October Fest kit and letting 3.6 gallons age all summer long. In two months I'll crack open my six month old stout.

Talking about my health, and ranting about the best health care system in the world

I had a short visit with my internist Tuesday (grey crinkly skirt, black cardigan and mid calf high heeled black leather boots) to go over my blood work, all around excellent. Fasting sugar is 90, A1C is 5.3, bp is 100/60, LDL is 95, HDL is 49, for a ratio of 3.5. I suspect most of this is genetic, otherwise I'd be writing the "How to eat and drink anything you want, still fit into your high school pants and have incredible blood pressure and cholesterol levels" diet book. Since there's a chance my crippling arthritis might come back, I get blood tests done every other month, and she focuses on the inflammation markers and the potential for Type II diabetes, everything is looking good. I got a flu shot, too, we'll see how it affects me.

Every year I have to choose a different health care plan, some bigwig keeps picking different ones to work with. This year I choose a high deductible plan from CIGNA (money to Joe Lieberman, joy), administered locally by MVP. As part of the plan, I chose to redirect money in to an HSA, for tax free medical spending, and being able to put whatever doesn't get spent into a retirement fund.

While looking at my checking account, my last paycheck was surprisingly high, the surprising part was about the same amount as should have been deducted for my HSA. I tracked down my electronic pay stub (hosted on a very slow internal server, joy) and found nothing is being taken out for my HSA. I had hoped to work on customer problems today, but a good part of today will be dealing with this fuckup. Damn fucking HMO leaches, if I were despot I'd outlaw for profit health care.

Weekend Plans

This weekend we're going to the local museum to see their Titanic exhibit. I let our subscription lapse, I shouldn't, the museum is very good to the charter school, which is located on their campus. Mrs. Ha also has a girls' night in party, I may use the time at home to finish her bodice, I have less than two months to finish our Ren Faire gear.

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I'm living in a goldmine, | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
how old is the internist ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 09:50:08 AM EST


About our age by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:03:43 AM EST
she's a cutie, too, that should help the prostate exam.


[ Parent ]
in my experience by 256 (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:25:03 AM EST
getting a prostate exam from a hot nurse is exactly as uncomfortable as getting one from anyone else.
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
I'm checking my health insurance by georgeha (4.00 / 5) #20 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:38:21 AM EST
to see what the deductible on a reach around is.


[ Parent ]
you're doing it wrong by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 01:45:54 PM EST
fantastic

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I have had a similar experience. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 03:38:41 PM EST


[ Parent ]
WIPO by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:01:52 AM EST
Undead: Where would be now without Vampires and Zombies?


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Werewolves, too by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:04:10 AM EST
I don't consider them Undead, but you Englanders do.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:07:01 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Who? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:11:46 AM EST
Never heard of them.


[ Parent ]
Everyone on the interNeT? by kwsNI (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:18:09 AM EST


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:29:45 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Are you kidding?? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 01:47:24 PM EST
Medusa was my very first REDHEAD CRUSH.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Not a fan of comics, save for a little by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 02:01:07 PM EST
Heavy Metal.


[ Parent ]
Have you accepted Jack Kirby into your life? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 02:55:49 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Nah, we have a Miele by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 02:58:01 PM EST
and German engineering is overrated in the vacuum cleaner world.


[ Parent ]
should add a wipo by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:26:04 AM EST
CHUDS and subhumans..

And the lizardmen by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:26:45 AM EST
though they're left off because they're real, right ? Don't need rizzo coming in here spewing more..

[ Parent ]
Aren't the Subhumans a band? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:30:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
WIPO: Cannonball run by Herring (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:42:28 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
Wha-ah? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:46:40 AM EST



[ Parent ]
It's a fictional race. [n/t] by Herring (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:51:18 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
badum-tink by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:09:13 AM EST
thank you, be here all week. Try the veal, tip your waiter..

[ Parent ]
Do-oh by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:23:14 AM EST
and I was even thinking about adding Around the World in 80 days.


[ Parent ]
you should give powergrid another chance by 256 (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:28:33 AM EST
It's one of the best games i've played recently. Understanding the victory conditions is pretty key, especially considering that they aren't obvious from the way the game plays. Did you play the full-length game, or the short one that only allows one person to build in each city? The short version is definitely the way to go the first couple of times you play.

Also, our version has Europe on one side of the board and the USA on the other, so you have the option of local flavor as well as two different play scenarios.
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

I'd definitely play it again by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:37:54 AM EST
but I wouldn't buy it, since most of my gaming with other people is against thirteen year old, maybe her friends, and maybe eight year old, and considering those demographics, Small World would go over better.

It was the Stage One, Two and Three version, but we never got to Stage Three.


[ Parent ]
small world by garlic (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 03:42:32 PM EST
is a good game, and benefits from being faster than powergrid.


[ Parent ]
WIPO: Gods by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 11:45:47 AM EST
(I will limit to pagan so as not to make this a religion troll.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Power Grid and Small world by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 04:17:14 PM EST
Power Grid really only comes down to the amount of power you can generate. The distribution is of secondary concern because you can always get it on the second or third go-rounds if you've built the capacity in the first.

Small world has gotten a bit stale for us and friends, to the point of we know which combos of race + powers make for the quick spread. I am personally fond of the giants. We've started to make up our own races and powers to keep things interesting. There should be an expansion out sometime soon -- it was a contest last fall.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

I'm living in a goldmine, | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback