The Princess and the Pirate

Adventure / Comedy (more)

27 July 2004


Having missed Stephen Glenn's (annual?) game designer PowWow and reducing my vacation days at work, I decided to make something of the leave time I did have off. So, in my roll, crawl, stagger, stagger, crawl toward piratical pursuits, last weekend I arranged sailing lessons for the Princess and myself.

Lisa Berg, the chipper skipper at Midwest Sailing on Portage Lake, Michigan, patiently instructed us aboard a 19' Flying Scot. Naturally, after an hour on the tiller, the Princess found crewing more to her liking, so I skippered the reamining four and a half hours of instruction (split across 3 days).

Day one left me a bit dazed. Day two left me a bit down, having made a couple foolish mistakes. But day three left me confident. We certainly need more practice, but I believe that we could get from any point A to any point B on a lake under normal conditions. We can rig the jib and the main, and can launch and land, provided the headwind isn't too strong and shifty. I highly recommend Lisa to anyone in the area who wishes to aquire the ancient art of the mariner.

21 July 2004

The Road More Travelled

Today I did something that, in the past, I had always remarked I would never do. I registered to vote.

I am truly a believer in non-participatory, non-representative government, benevolent monarchy being my favorite. And what to do when the monarchy turns out to be not-so-benevolent? Bloody revolution. Nope, I'm not kidding. Yeah, it's probably one of those things like how do you know until it actually happens. PHI 201 kinda stuff. But hey.

So, having lived in a democracy my entire life, I had always chosen to refrain from voting, as is my right. It had just never occured to me that we would have a president so bad that I felt compelled to take such drastic action as bothering to vote.

Ah well, staunch conviction is for the weak.

20 July 2004

My Six Favorite Mac OS X FREEWARE Games

In alphabetical order...

Battle for Wesnoth - hex-based strategy game, but units are individual characters and a story thread links the scenarios

Double - slightly quirky version of the patience tile game commercially known as Shanghai (not Mahjong dammit!)

Goban - the finest Go available without an actual wooden board; thank the hoshi that computers cannot play go as well as humans (I've only beat the machine a couple times as it is)

JewelToy - action puzzle game that even your SO will love

Lightning's Shadow - classic artillery game made very very fun (fantastic example of how to enhance the game play of a venerable crusty); I make with the whooping and hollering playing this more than any other

Primate Plunge - vertical platformer with a cute monkey, but the hurt monkey sounds make me feel bad

HONORABLE MENTIONS (that is, the rest of the top ten)

Aquatomic - Sokoban made more interesting by Ricochet Robot piece movement and (gasp!) some educational content

GridX - math is hard... let's go shopping

Kiki the Nanobot - cute puzzle game that is very 3D (think tesseract, or maybe an Escher illo)

Oolite - remake of Elite (nostalgic drool); Panther only, or it would have edged out Primate Plunge in the top 6

Please feel free to opine or proffer in the comments.

15 July 2004

Cooler Than We'll Ever Be

I've been researching 19th century archaeologists for a boardgame that Chris and I are designing, and ran across what must be the most RPGish figure in actual history...

Giovanni Belzoni: Egyptian Tomb Robber. A 6'7" former circus strongman known as "The Patagonian Samson," Belzoni's knowledge of gunpowder, hydraulics, and levers enabled him to transport statues and other large artifacts. On collecting trips, he could influence local inhabitants either through conversation or, if necessary, by simply picking them up and shaking them. Most of the artifacts in the Egyptian Room of the British Museum are there through Belzoni's efforts.

14 July 2004

You Would Rather Not Know This... In Fact, Don't Read It

When I peed this afternoon, I could smell the soup I had for lunch. It sorta makes sense. I guess.

13 July 2004

My Childhood Was a Lie

When you were a snapper, I bet you had a picture book of dinosaurs. You did, didn't you? Alright then, pop quiz: what was the largest land dinosaur? See, you're thinking to yourself that I'm trying to trick you into thinking T-Rex, but you're clever and instead thought Brontosaurus. Hooray for you. But guess what? There was never any such thing. Sucka.