Print Story We'll see
By xth again (Mon Jul 11, 2022 at 12:41:20 PM EST) (all tags)
School Year, Catan, Minions, Boris

Finishing: school year

It was the end of the school year for The Kids. Playground parties and parent-teacher interviews. For the first time, both kids are in the same school, which is handy. It's a hipster establishment in an area full of "creatives" with families. Kids make their own curriculum and there are no grades. The parent-teacher meeting went well. They always go well. Still not sure whether the system is working or the teachers are clueless.
The Boy used to be at a different school. A typical post-communist working class establishment. Completely different story. It was very strict discipline wise and hard on the kids. They seemed to actively hate kids and try to hold them back. It made life easy for them, and that's what matters, right? That's typical of (post-)communist culture and why I have become quite anti-marxist. (Obviously communism has long died in East Germany, but the culture it spawned remains). Yeah, The Revolution is all well and good, but what happens after it succeeds? You get a highly regulated society where people know they have zero agency but have a job for life, that's what. Absolutely zero fucks were given by anyone, anywhere. Except for the few Apparatchiks who made all the decisions.
The new school is the total opposite. The Girl has only ever been to that school and she flourishes. Hard working and self-motivated. That's the whole point of the "let them make their own rules" approach. But The Boy is not used to all the freedom and struggles a bit. At least that was our reading. But chatting to some of the parents of the kids in The Boy's class, it seems that they struggle too. But didn't in the early years, they flourished just like The Girl. The parents blame puberty. Many think the school should limit the laissez-faire approach to the first few years. Some parents freak out and take their kids out of the school as they become teenagers. It's the reason why there was a place for The Boy to move to that school in the first place. Oh well. Hopefully by the time he's of university age we'll have found a happy medium. We'll see.

Playing: Catan

Board games are very big in Germany, and we have a few we sometimes play when people come around. We never built the momentum necessary to play them regularly. Which means before each game we have to go through the rules again and lose impetus. And The Kids were terrible losers, which made the whole experience unpleasant. But now they are past the stage when they throw the board in the air in anger, so we can try playing again. To remove the "what were the rules again" obstacle I started playing Catan online. It's kind of soothing. Although it's alarmingly close to playing solitaire. Which seems to be every pensioner on the planet's favourite activity.

Watched: Minions 2

I liked the early movies in the franchise, but they have run out of ideas. It's not terrible, just lame. Even The Boy complained it was full of clichés. It's set in the 70s. I get why the studios put a bit of retro nostalgia in kids movies. They need to entertain the parents who would otherwise bawl their eyes out at yet another fart joke. But are they still doing the 70s? Even I, a late parent who loves disco-funk, started yawning. Isn't it time they start with 90s or even early 00s nostalgia?

Bemused by: Boris

Lots of excitement at Boris Johnsons' departure. Are people sure the next one will be any better? All candidates seem much worse. Some real nutjobs in there. At least Boris' incompetence worked as some sort of safety mechanism.
I always saw BoJo as the harbinger of the Age of Doom. I was flabbergasted when back in the day progressives I knew voted for him as London mayor instead of Red Ken. Who by all accounts had done a decent job (even the famous Boris Bikes were in fact a Livingstone project). What got me was that people didn't know why they voted for him. "Uhm... it's time for a change, I guess" "But you know he's a racist and part of the right wing cabal you always rant against!" "[shrugs]"
Even The Father In Law, a staunch old school Tory who wrote letters to The Times in fountain pen to the day he died, loved the guy. "But the endless string of affairs and out of wedlock children! You guys have fired ministers for less!" "Oh, but he's very very smart, he writes beautifully". "But London had three days of rioting and he refused to cut his holidays short to deal with it! Surely for a Tory that should be inexcusable! Captain sinking with his ship and all that..." "Riots? What riots? [shrugs]"
Obviously his persona was cemented by his appearances in the comedy show, Have I Got News For You. It was like some sort of mass hypnosis. Once he became a TV personality people were unable to judge him by the standards reserved for normal humans. TV reality transcended everything he may have done or said. He may as well have been Kevin the Minion. Weird. And now on to the next nutter. We'll see.
And that is all.
< Now we are legal | I'm so tired of heroes. >
We'll see | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
PM Rees-Mogg by marvin (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Jul 11, 2022 at 03:36:49 PM EST
Maybe that will be what it takes to make the population finally cast the Tories into the sea.

A person with compassion might ask whether the English have already suffered enough with Brexit. I'm not that person.

Dunno, I've lost all confidence in the population by xth again (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 12, 2022 at 01:06:39 PM EST
When you have old lefites supporting Putin because he's a "communist", people cheering aginst trying to do something about climate change even in the middle of a freaking heatwave when major rivers have dried up, people in regions that keep going thanks by EU money who vote for Brexit, women who vote for "grab them by the pussy", and so on and so forth, I have zero confidence the general public would be able to do something sensible anytime, anywhere. They are more likely to start a pogrom</dark_pessimism>

Rees-Mogg is another weird one, not very long ago he wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the levers of power on account on being a Catholic. Incidentally I don't hear much talk of the fact so many of the New Right are Catholics, the SCOTUS has six for example, all evil bastards to the last of them.

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It's good to pay attention to Essen by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jul 12, 2022 at 12:00:36 PM EST
and what the top games of the year are. How do you translate "Speil des Jahres" into German though?

Didn't know about those by xth again (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jul 12, 2022 at 01:12:58 PM EST
But our problem is not finding games, but getting everyone around a table to play them. Public libraries actually have a lot of those games for people to borrow

For example I bought Wingspan during the lockdown, it's gorgeous, but we only played it twice

[ Parent ]
i've heard good things about Wingspan by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Jul 13, 2022 at 09:30:15 AM EST
and heard it was hard to get in the states, but I've never played it.

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The kit itself is gorgeous by xth again (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Jul 13, 2022 at 04:08:20 PM EST
Haven't played it enough to be able to tell you whether it's good, we were still working out the rules

So what are the best games you have discovered recently?

[ Parent ]
I havent' been playing many games lately by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jul 14, 2022 at 10:41:29 AM EST
The kids and I have never moved past TTR and Carcassonne though we did play a few games of Ravine a while back.

In the beginning of the pandemic I bought Arkham Horror, I figured it would be a good quarantine game. I played a few rounds of it, I'd like to play more.

Later I bought Betrayal at House on the Hill, but only fondled the components.

I did go into our FLGS (friendly local gaming store) a few weeks back with 21_year_old. She got some dice, I saw one cool game I wanted, 1941: Race to Moscow.

It's from the Polish team that made 1944: Race to the Rhine (2014). I have it, it's fun. The Nazis are abstracted out, a player pick Montgomery, Bradley or Patton, and tries to be the first player to reach the Rhine. It's point to point movement and mostly logistics based, you need to get enough food, fuel and ammo to the front to continue your offensive.

It's a lot more palatable than playing as a quartermaster for Army Group North, Center or South, trying to invade the Soviet Union, which would be the 1941: Race to Moscow game. Still, I might get it.

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Haven't actually played TTR by xth again (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Jul 14, 2022 at 04:16:35 PM EST
...but Power Grid, which I've been told is somewhat similar, is high in my to try list.

We have Carcassonne Amazonas instead of the original and visitors who come around and play it are pleasantly surprised. I have never actually played the original either

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I've played both by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Jul 14, 2022 at 05:21:11 PM EST
though Power Grid I only played once. I'm not seeing too many similarities. TTR is somewhat like rummy, you need to collect sets of cards to claim routes.

For TTR we have the original, Europe, and some expansions featuring India, Africa, Britain and the Northeast U.S..

A more similar game to TTR is Thurn & Taxis, Pynchonesque conspiracies not included.

For Carcassonne, we have the original with many expansions, and Hunters & Gatherers.

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We'll see | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)