Archive for December, 2008

The International Cultivator’s Handbook…Signed!

December 31st, 2008 No comments

If you missed the initial post that ignited the flurry of e-mail and (on my part) fan-boy gushing, here’s the link to the initial blog entry where I wrote up some thoughts about an amazing book that I happened to stumble upon one fateful day while perusing my favorite used book store.  The day after posting this particular entry the author of the book contacted me and offered to sign my copy his book.

I was shocked.  Nay…I was stunned that William Drake took the time to not only respond to my post, but he generously offered to sign my copy of his book and even wrote to me in a follow-up e-mail catching me up on what he was currently up to.  Man, let me be the first one to say that Mr. Drake is not only a gentleman and scholar, but a damn fine human being to boot.

Sir, you have made the wife’s and my Christmas card list ’till the end of time.  And lemme tell ya, that’s not the easiest list to get on ;-)

My signed copy, minus my incriminating RL name...

My signed copy, minus my incriminating RL name...

Bill, I am in your debt.  It’s the rare breed that stands apart from the herd offering to do what most other people would not given the choice and the chance.  You’ve shown your true quality, and for that I offer my most humble thanks.

Categories: Books Tags:

Pandemic: My Latest Addiction

December 30th, 2008 No comments

The object of Pandemic is to discover cures to four different diseases before they’re given the chance to spread and become pandemics that rage across the board unchecked and unstoppable.  Each player is dealt a profession card that imparts a set of special abilities that are key to a successful campaign.  Where this board game differs from others is that all players work together as a team to build clinics, discover cures, and calm the hot spots before outbreaks can occur and overwhelm the board.

The wife and I have played through this game several times now and have yet to tire of it.  We’ve found that the goal to success is to stick together at the beginning, depending on the card draw decide what regions to concentrate on before the first turn, and travel together to be able to swap cards before outbreaks threaten to break out.  

Pandemic is one of those rare games where you find yourself thinking about various strategies in between game plays.  With only one chance to go though the single pile of player cards it’s imperative that at least one clinic is built early in the game for a good chance to successfully discover cures at later stages.

Pandemic is, quite honestly, one of the most enjoyable board games I’ve ever played.  If you get a chance snap up a copy where you can find one.  Doing a cursory check online it seems that most places are sold out.  Regardless, plunk down your hard earned coin and reserve a copy.  


Pandemic game session in action

Pandemic game session in action

Pandemic infection rate is creeping up

Look out...the infection rate is creeping up


Pandemic board game

Pandemic board game


Pandemic box art

Pandemic box art


The front page to the well written game manual

The front page to the well written game manual

Categories: Game Tags:

The Little Red Wagon Reimagined

December 29th, 2008 No comments

Remember the Radio Flyer wagon you had as a kid?  Remember sitting in this simple molded piece of sheet metal, hurtling yourself down the neighborhood’s version of Dead Man’s Hill, white knuckles clutching on to the inverted wagon arm, locked in a death grip, desperately trying to scrub off some speed before finally tipping over and scraping your hands and elbows in an agonizing fleshy, skidding stop?

Good times.  Good times.

Well, it seems that the trusty ole’ Red Wagon wasn’t good enough for Radio Flyer, who currently is busy reimaging their iconic product.  Taking a cue from the auto manufacturers Radio Flyer hopes to remake a classic.  This new version of the little red wagon is:

“Outfitted with 5-point safety harnesses, padded seats, cup holders, foot brakes and fold-out storage containers.  There’s a digital handle that tracks temperature, time, distance and speed — just in case energetic parents want to track their split times around the playground. And there’s a slot for an MP3 player, complete with speakers, for some cruising tunes.”

Outrage!  Can you imagine your kids doing exactly what you did as a kid, seeing how fast they can go before spilling out in a screaming heap at the bottom of an asphalt hill?  Only this time little Johnny is tied in tight with a racing harness, tumbling over and over with a hunk of platic strapped to his ass.  With every rotation his limbs become pinned between his plastic companion and the concrete, snapping bones as he tumbles.  The combined weight of child and toy compounding into an extended slide of harrowingly slow, piercing , painful proportions.

But hey, as long this updated wagon has the modern creature comforts of drink holders for juicy boxes, digital temperture gauges, and a stereo system then little things like multiple contusions and dislocations should be nothing more than an afterthought for the modern child on the go.

Categories: Random, Tech, Unusual Sightings Tags:

San Diego Chargers Headed For Playoffs!

December 28th, 2008 No comments

With a 52 to 21 victory over the Denver Broncos, the San Diego Chargers capture the AFC West title for the third time in as many years.  Looking like the Chargers of the 2006-2007 season they dominated over an opposition bereft of spirit and leadership. 

Swinging by Seau’s Restaurant in San Diego we found it to be completely overrun with fans.  With Junior and the Patriots besting the Bears in a gusty morning game and the Chargers busting heads with the Broncos in the afternoon the place was jumping all day long.


Gameday against the Broncos for the AFC Championship

Game day at Seau's against the Broncos for the AFC Championship



Categories: Sports Tags: ,

Christmas: The Traumatic Conclusion

December 26th, 2008 No comments

I’m sitting here at home after an amazing Christmas dinner with the folks and friends.  My wife, her brother, and I came back to our house after dinner where we’re currently watching a blu-ray copy of Wanted.  I’ve just downloaded The Wipers albums Is This Real and Over The Edge, and am now listening to their song “No Solution”, watching a Blu-ray, drinking a B-52, and furiously typing away at this blog entry.  Man, if I wasn’t riding the high of receiving my number one gift request of a Locke action figure (Thanks Karin!) I certainly wouldn’t be putting this post together, but rather digging in to the red velvet cake the brother-in-law gave us :P

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas!  I know I did…

Wine in the manger

Wine in the manger

Out of frame is the detritus of shrimp tails and Wisconsin cheese curds

Out of frame is the detritus of shrimp tails and Wisconsin cheese curds

At some point the dictionary came out.  I'm still not sure why...

At some point the dictionary came out. I'm still not sure why...

Two things that Gerber does well:  Produce baby foods manufacture knives.

Two things that Gerber does well: Produce baby food and manufacture knives.

Categories: holiday, Personal Tags: