Month: July 2010

The Colorado Governor’s Race: Now That’s Entertainment!

Normally I’m a lot more interested in national politics than local politics, but lately the race for Colorado governor, at least on the republican side, has been pretty darned entertaining! So let’s see. First it looked like Scott McInnis  and Josh Penry were going to fight it out for the republican nomination, but Penry was pressured to withdraw from the race. Little-known candidate Dan Maes stayed in, but nobody expected him to give McInnis much competition, especially after the Post reported on campaign finance violations which eventually resulted in him paying a $17,500 fine. So far, pretty much a yawner, with all the excitement waiting for the general election against John Hickenlooper. But wait! It comes to light that McInnis was paid $300,000 for a series of essays that he plagiarized from a water expert who’s now a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. McInnis responds by blaming a staffer who wrote the essays for him, never mind that he put his name on them and issued a statement that they were his original work. According to him, this is “taking responsibility for the error”. Suddenly his campaign is imploding…and then it starts getting interesting. Now Tom Tancredo says that unless both McInnis and Mays pledge by 2pm Monday to get out of the race if the winner is trailing Hickenlooper by the polls after the primary (a virtual certainty), he’ll...

Read More

Why I Love Amazon Prime

Several weeks ago, Brit ordered a large tent for the wedding from an Amazon third party seller, Aubuchon Hardware. The delivery window extended through July 22nd. On the 21st, it still showed as “shipping soon”, so she emailed them to find out what was up. Their reply? It was backordered and expected around the end of the month. !!! Obviously, she told them to cancel the order. Amazon doesn’t sell that particular tent themselves, but they sell a slightly better version that costs quite a bit more; on the bright side, we didn’t have to pay the $65 shipping. The page said that it would take an extra 4-5 days to ship, so I paid $3.99 for next day shipping to make sure it’s here in time for the wedding next week. This happened two days ago. Yesterday afternoon, the tent was delivered. $4 for next-day delivery of a tent that, according to Amazon’s page, weighs 119 pounds (142 pounds shipping weight), and we don’t have to deal with incompetent sellers. At $79/year for the Prime membership (and free this year with my student email account), that’s what I call a bargain! Share on...

Read More

Photos of Central City

A few weeks ago, after a day spent preparing for the wedding, Brit and I decided to grab the camera, hop in the car, and head west towards the mountains. Brit suggested Lookout Point, but before we arrived we decided to just keep going; eventually we decided to follow the signs to “Hidden Valley” and ended up in Central City.  I’ve been meaning to check it out for a few years, but wasn’t intending to do it this month! We went in to one of the casinos and lost $5 in a video poker machine for the heck of it, but mostly we just wandered around and took photos. I thought I’d go ahead and post a few of the pictures here. These have not yet been photoshopped or altered in any way, with the obvious exception of shrinking down the file size so this page doesn’t take forever to load! The photos were all taken with my Nikon D300 using a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. One of the first things you see upon entering the town, we weren’t able to snap the Hawley Mose Warehouse immediately, but after circling around for a bit to find parking, we eventually ended up above it. Central City really keeps that “old-time” feel (in spite of every other building being a casino); lots of steep roads and odd parking! We love Vegas, but...

Read More

Tigris & Euphrates

Tigris & Euphrates, usually referred to as T&E, is generally considered one of Knizia’s best games; I place it right up there with Modern Art. Lately I can’t seem to get enough of it – I’ve been playing it online pretty consistently for the last few months. T&E is an area-control, set-collection game with a fair amount of conflict and a lot of tactics; the box says 3-4 players (although I believe the new edition says 2-4 instead) but lately I’ve mostly been playing two player games. Currently I’m on my 7th 2-player game against my favorite opponent, a woman I’ve never even met outside of the Tigris & Euphrates games on BGG! A few days ago, I ran across a post on BoardGameGeek asking for advice on how to play the online version, and I ended up deciding to write a short introduction.  That ended up turning into a set of three articles introducing things I felt needed to be addressed. Beginners often have trouble understanding how conflict works in T&E (and of course there’s the “collect-a-set” scoring common to many Knizia games), so I started out by rewriting the T&E rules. Next I wrote up the requested guide to playing T&E online;  that one is fairly short as there really isn’t all that much to it. I finished by writing up some basic T&E strategy tips, mostly...

Read More