At the beginning of every semester, I receive several letters of accommodation for students with disabilities. Usually, the letters describe learning rather than physical disabilities.

Unfortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act, a noble gesture to eliminate discrimination and physical barriers, has increasingly become a means for college students to game the academic system for better grades.

One of the disabilities covered by many universities is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. An estimated 5 to 8 percent of all college students receive disability status from this difficult-to-diagnose disease. Moreover, 25 percent of all university students receiving disability status claim to suffer from ADHD.

I’m not saying that ADHD does not exist. All medical organizations say it does. But it is often misdiagnosed and abused.

Here’s what two researchers wrote in 2012: “Malingering to obtain an ADHD diagnosis may be especially pertinent to college students. Students may deliberately over-report ADHD symptoms to procure academic accommodations or feign ADHD to obtain a prescription for stimulant medication, which many students believe will enhance their academic performance.” For more information, see

The accommodations include more time for tests, excused absences, note-takers, alternative grading rubrics and a host of other items that basically make a class easier for the student.

All of this costs money—higher tuition, taxes and health insurance. For example, the test for ADHD is not based on lab results but on a psychological evaluation, which can cost more than $2,000, with individual counseling sessions at $100 to $150 an hour.

The administration for such students has grown astronomically at universities. I recently inquired about an accommodation for a student and was told there were simply too many students to evaluate each class. Therefore, I received a form letter for a student that had virtually nothing to do with the course I teach. Moreover, no one had counseled the student about whether journalism was a good subject to study for someone who had difficulty meeting deadlines and taking notes.

It’s time to follow the intent of the law rather than to allow these unintended consequences to continue. Colleges and universities should make “reasonable accommodations” to allow students to participate in courses, programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations–not extraordinary ones–are what the law prescribes.

Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at



At Pintastic NE 2016 There were some big names in Pinball one of them is Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball

That’s Dr. Rick Lewis of the silverball Pinball Museum with him.

This is his Wizard of Oz game in play

and here are the guts

The Charity Project Pinball that places machines in children’s hospital around the nation returned

And there were plenty of individual players like Howie

and Mike

But it wasn’t just individual players, there was also associations like the Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club.

If I had a few extra bucks and more time I’d have joined on the spot

And there were plenty of parents and children there which is why Maggie the Clown, Lee Lee and Jane were there

But in end the real stars are the volunteers and organizers who brought plenty of their own machines for people to play for hours on end at their own expense, helped keep them running and full of credits for all three days and then after many days that ended at 3 AM had to get up early on Sunday to pack up their machines to take home.

So give a bow to Gabe who goes through so much for all of us to have a great time.

I spent Friday and Saturday at Pintastic New England 2016 This weekend I attended Pintastic New England at the Sturbridge host hotel in Sturbridge on route 20 just a little ways from Old Sturbridge Village.

This years edition like last years had a plethora of games, vendors and fun for all who showed up.

I’ll be putting up interviews during the course of the week but for now feel free to check out these photos from Friday and Saturday and remember life is more that politics.

Shut-Upby baldilocks

This is why my novel is self-published and why my next two (three?) books will be self-published as well.

From sci-fi author Nick Cole, via his fellow sci-fi scribe John C. Wright:

Banned by the Publisher

Or, Thank God for Jeff Bezos

I launched a book this week and I went Indie with it. Indie means I released it on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. I had to.

My Publisher, HarperVoyager, refused to publish it because of some of the ideas I wrote about in it.

In other words, they were attempting to effectively ban a book because they felt the ideas and concepts I was writing about were dangerous and more importantly, not in keeping with their philosophical ideals. They felt my ideas weren’t socially acceptable and were “guaranteed to lose fifty percent of my audience” as related back to me by my agent. But more importantly… they were “deeply offended.”

A little backstory. A few years back I wrote a novel called Soda Pop Soldier. It was the last obligated novel under my first contract. The novel was a critical hit (Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly) and it resonated with my post-apocalyptic readership from my breakout Amazon best seller, The Old Man and the Wasteland, and it picked up a new audience in the cyberpunk and gamer crowd. The novel is about a future dystopia where people play video games for a living. It’s basically Call of Duty meets Ready Player One and a lot of people really enjoyed it. When it came time to write another book for Harper Collins I was encouraged by my editor to dip once more into the Dystopian Gamer milieu and tell another story inside the Soda Pop Soldier universe. We agreed on a prequel that told the story of how that future became the way it is in Soda Pop Soldier.

And that involved talking about Artificial Intelligence because in the dystopian gaming future, the planet had almost been destroyed by a robot revolution sourced by Artificial Intelligence.

And here’s where things went horribly wrong, according to my editor at Harper Collins. While casting about for a “why” for self-aware Thinking Machines to revolt from their human progenitors, I developed a reason for them to do such.

Link added in text. Read on and find out what Harper Collins fears. Hint: intelligence.

Side note: in Tale of the Tigers, my first publisher didn’t like a line of dialogue I put in the mouth of one of my characters, but he had no choice; I was paying to be published. The conversation’s topic? Islam.

I’m hoping that my trip to Kenya lays the foundation for one of my future books, as well. Click to assist.

UPDATE: Larry Correia’s take on the situation is longer and far more entertaining than mine.

Kenya Trip Wishlist at Amazon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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One of m1776y favorite things for many years were the games of the Avalon Hill company.

From Civilization (the game where you need to give up a day’s sleep to play, but it’s worth it) to Age of Renaissance, to 1830 (a Railroad game), Source of the Nile and dozens of others I exercised my mind in playing these board games for years.  Even after the coming of the PC my weekly gaming group often played AH games and still on occasion sneaks one in.

The appeal of these games was always two fold for me, the recreation of history in games like Third Reich to Wooden Ships and Iron Men and the challenge of pitting strategy against an opponent.

The most challenging player I ever faced was and remains one of my oldest friends, a man named David Sowerbutts.

Dave is hands down the most skillful player I know.  He is not only sharp of mind but has the uncanny ability in a multi player setting to convince a player to take a course of action that will always improve their prospect allowing them to finish 2nd place is a 5 or 6 player field while at the same time securing first place for him.

There was one particular game we played many years ago however that has stuck in my mind for decades.

The game was 1776 a re-creation of the American revolution.  the 16″ x 44″ game board covered from Georgia to Canada  Tactical cards that added individual battle tactics to a grand strategic game.  Seasonal and supply effects and the problems of raising and maintaining 1776_mapboth tory and patriot militias.

We were playing the campaign game.  I was the British and he was playing the Americans and from the look of things everything was going great.  His Rebel militias were being routed in the Carolinas.  My Canadian armies swept down toward Albany.     I was able to drive the rebels out of  Philadelphia and New York and neither the French nor the Continental Navy were able to stand up to me.

However while in my head I was reversing the mistakes of General Howe, Cornwallis , Clinton and Burgoyne and showing LaFayette & DeGrasse  just who owned America Dave was , as always, thinking practically.

We had both read the rules but instead of roleplaying he was remembering that in the campaign game, the British Victory Conditions REQUIRED that they hold Boston at the end.  It didn’t matter if I held very strategic town from Savannah to Ticonderoga nor if you couldn’t find a continental regular anywhere else on the map, as long as Boston was in rebel hands the game was his.

So knowing those conditions he played accordingly. Whenever the Continental army received reinforcement He quietly funnelled a small portion to Boston while sending the rest of his troops to be beaten.

He feinted north, parried South and thrust in the middle colonies and offered up one undersized, unsupplied army after another for destruction to my great delight all the time not paying much mind to the permanent supply depot, fort and spare artillery that over the course of the first 48 turns were being placed on the fortified hills of Dorchester heights.

It wasn’t until late in the game that I realized that while I was having a great time reconquering the rest of the 13 Colonies lot Dave was ready to win the game.  I forced marched every man I could spare north toward Boston but by then it was too late. His supply depot meant he could use smaller screening forces outside the city to delay me and his fortifications proved too strong to take in the time allotted. I was out of time and options, and the game was lost.

That’s the lesson that the various GOP candidates need to get through their heads in election 2016.

While the primary purpose of a war game is fun (and to be far for the first 48 turn of the game above I had a great time) the primary purpose of a primary campaign is to actually be elected.

And contrary to media reports the GOP primary is not won by the number of stories a candidate gets this summer or the number of dollars in a superpac or even the reaction of the newspapers.  The nominee is decided by getting the required number of delegates either by the end of the primary season or at the end of the convention.

While every GOP candidate needs to be visible in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada a smart GOP candidate will be doing several other things as well:

1.  Making sure they are on every possible ballot from California to Michigan including any delegate rich states near the end of the primary season so that no matter who is leading by the time that particular primary comes up, they are an alternative to that person.

2.  Visiting states in the middle and end of the primary pack.  These states are usually ignored till it’s too late and a visit now before the other candidates give them attention will be remembered.

3.  Playing as nice as possible with their 16 opponents so that their supporters have no reason to reject you if their candidate leaves the race.

4.  If the MSM conventional wisdom says “your campaign is done unless you do X or win in Y” ignore them.

Over the last two decades it’s been a rare thing when the eventual winner of the primary season was not clear by Super Tuesday, given the number of candidates, their ideological, and the amount of Superpac money in the war chests of several of them (not to mention Donald Trump’s personal fortune, we must assume the old rules are out the window.

If you don’t believe me ask yourself this question.  If anyone told you a year ago that the Iowa / Ames Straw poll would be cancelled because the GOP field would skip it for an event put on by a blog, what would you have said?

A Candidate who has a long-term plan, ignoring conventional wisdom and concentrating on something other than playing for the “big splash” will still be in the running in the end.  The candidate who doesn’t won’t have a shot at the 30% of the electorate who will have seen their favorite candidate eliminated by that time.


It’s that simple.

I speak to Matthew Bowman of the Catholic Geeks at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

The Catholic Geeks web site is here, their facebook page is here, their twitter page is here.

Pintastic 1 010Friday my youngest and I headed to Sturbridge with my wife but while she went on the hunt for quilting shops in the area we attended day one of Pintastic New England the first big Pinball event/convention in the area that I’ve ever seen.

My family arrived at the location in Sturbridge host hotel about a half hour before the event was to officially begin, our passes gave us early access to the rooms but as our hotel rooms were ready we decided to get settled first and then check out the pinball rooms later as we would have all day to do so.

Pintastic considered of two major rooms the first a free play room where players were able to play games brought by various pinball aficionados from around the area to play for free. Some of these games were for sale and others where just for show. I talked to one such gentleman on day one

The primary room was a large vendor area where you could talk to people who made their living restoring Pinball machines like Atlantic Pinball

People who designed various types of Pinball machines like Multimorphic

And people who made devices to support pinball machines like Pinnovators.

Of course in addition to these and other vendors (who mostly allowed people to play their machines for free) there were the tournament machines

This is the area where as part of a special admission package (or a fee of $20) you could enter a cash tournament to compare your pinball skills to those assembled here.

TherePintastic 1 020 was also a video game area with a tournament but the real star was the hundreds of pinball machines sitting there for the playing. At $17 for an all day pass (over 12 hours) you get your monies worth and then some.

The event continues through saturday so if you are reading this early enough consider heading down to Pintastic NE at the Sturbridge host hotel on route 20.

I suspect you’ll have a great time if you do.

I’ll be posting some individual interviews from some of the folks here later in the day and week.

Some of you might be wondering why I bother with stuff like this with so many other serious things out there, but frankly that’s why I think we NEED to bother with stuff like this.

If all we worry about is the serious parts of life we won’t have any time to enjoy it.


All of what is done here is only made possible by you.

My goal for 2015 is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.

Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. (including my writers like Fausta)  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.


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You’ve heard about my love of the card game, bridge. Now I’ll share a bit about what it is.


To play, you need two pairs of people. Each pair is considered a “partnership” – that is, a team unto themselves. A deck of cards is shuffled, and each player gets 13 cards.


The goal of the game is for your partnership to take as many tricks as you can each time the cards are dealt. First, however, you go through a process called “bidding.” What is bidding?


Every partnership has a language where they communicate with bids descriptions of their cards. You language is called your “system” – an agreement as to what each of the bids means. Some people have very simple systems. Some have systems where they need literally hundreds of pages to document all their agreements and meanings!


Once the bidding is completed, one pair or the other “wins” the contract. That is, they have promised to take a certain number of tricks on that hand. That pair tries to achieve that goal – or do even better. The other side (now known as “the defense”) does their best to take as many tricks as they can – and perhaps foil the offensive side from reaching their goal.


This occurs hand after hand, until the game completes.


There are a number of forms of the game. You can play with four people anywhere you like; this is generally referred to as “contract bridge.” You can play what is called “duplicate bridge”. In this form, you have multiple people who play the same hands throughout a session. This form of bridge takes away much more of the “luck” as to whether you get good or bad cards. Since everyone has the same cards, you compare what each pair does to the other, rather than only one result. You also can have team games. In this format, your pair joins with another pair to form a team. Your team plays another team – and, let the best team win!


Bridge is not an easy game to learn – yet it is not extremely difficult. That being said, it is absolutely fascinating, and to learn to play at a high level can take time and effort. Best of all, however, it is so deep and complex, you can spend a lifetime learning and being intrigued.


I know that I have!


Peg Kaplan

Many moons ago, mononucleosis struck my sophomore year in college. Confined to my apartment in the dead of a Wisconsin winter, the math professor I was dating had a suggestion. He would teach me how to play bridge.


We dealt dozens of “honeymoon bridge” hands (bridge normally requires 4 participants, but this variant can be done with only two). I learned very limited basics. Later in the year when I returned to full health, I’d play a bit of “real bridge” in the common room of the math department and in our student union.


I found this amazing game fascinating. Yet, it wasn’t until some years later when I had moved to Minnesota and had married that the bridge bug really bit. An in law convinced me to try “duplicate bridge” – a form of the game where every hand you play is also played by other competitors in the field, removing a great deal of the luck factor.  I’d play every few weeks, learning and enjoying more.


Then, destiny struck. My aunt in Tulsa was a fine player. They were having a tournament in her city, and she invited me to attend. I did, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”

I played for 3 days in 4 events. I placed in each – and then won the team game on Sunday! We had to beat fine teams to accomplish this; I was thrilled!


More than 35 years later, I now have 4 national championships to my name, bridge friends from literally every continent – and have played with some people you might know. (More on that later).


Stay tuned to learn why a card game can attract great minds from around the world – and intrigue us throughout our lives!


Update DTG:  I’d like to welcome Peg as part of the crew writing here.  Her primary topic will be the card game bridge which we both enjoy.

Why a bridge column at DaTechGuy Blog?  Because there is more to life than politics (plus Doctor Who doesn’t return till the fall)

By Michael Potter

At one stage or another we’ve all indulged in some sort of gaming, whether it be board games or video games. However, only a small portion of us would actually dub ourselves ‘gamers’. Surprisingly though, that hasn’t stopped a dramatic increase in the social gaming world. In fact, in the US alone companies can expect to generate a turnover of one million dollars just via mobile games.

Social gaming is now becoming such an intrinsic part of our lives that many are left wondering why this sudden influx in interest and demand has risen. Industries experts have a ranged viewpoint on the matter and this is reinforced by an article published by MVC which asked experts what their thoughts were on the social gaming movement.

The founder of GamesBrief, Nicholas Lovell, believes that it’s the accessibility and the ease of getting involved with social games that makes them so widely used. Furthermore, Lovell comments on how people don’t need to spend any money up front or do any hard-core research prior to playing social games, a somewhat barrier free entry into the world of gaming.

Following on from this, PopCap Senior Games Designer, David Bishop discussed how the social gaming space is a way of introducing non-gamers to the wonders of gaming. This is done in a friendly, familiar environment thanks to being able to play online with friends and family. Joining in on the debate, Head of Consumer PR at Ladbrokes, one of the leading online gaming websites, had this to say:

“The influence of women in this sphere can scarcely be over-estimated. They are engaging more in new forms of social gaming at a rapid rate and as providers of key betting and gaming products we are always on the look-out for innovative ways to appeal to the female audience. The numbers of women playing are exciting for a brand like ours and our challenge is now to develop the ways to monetise the female social gaming enthusiasm.”

The commentary on bonding and socialising, is what has made social games such as casino ones some of the most popular to get involved with and play. Reaffirming this, BusinessTech report on how casino games and virtual villages are the main contenders in the social gaming market, with thousands of players drawn to them each day. Moreover, the article continues by stating how, due to this enormous increase in demand, gaming companies and casino websites are adapting and tailoring their services to create games to fulfil gamers need.

Whatever it is we love about these games and that keeps us coming back for more, there’s no sign of it decreasing in the near future; for now we’ll remain an avid nation of social gamers

Update DTG:  IMr Potter is not a regular here but this is on a subject I’m interested in and I have a few things to add.

As a long time gamer back in the days when it was all board games the real change here is generational, with a generation that has grown up with PC’s in their home and PC games as the norm this type of gaming has really changed.

Not only do you have more women as listed before but you’ll have friends of mixed sex actually gaming together with it not seeming odd, additionally with the popularity of shows like the Big Bang Theory these type of games have  gone from “geek” to “chic” or perhaps it’s “geek chic”

While there will, in my opinion always been a primarily male component to gaming (basically as an outlet for behavior that is no longer allowed or approved) we will see the integration of these systems to expand the audience and the profitability of these companies.

As for me, well I’ll still be playing my semi weekly board games while my sons and their friends (male & female) enter 21st century gaming together.

Update 2: updated tags

Update 3: updated tags

By A.P. Dillon

Today I’m not hitting a political story. In an effort to unwind, I’ve been sucked into another world and frankly, have gotten a little obsessed. So has my oldest son. What am I talking about?


Some of you instantly know what I am talking about, others need to get up to speed. Minecraft, in a nutshell, is Legos for the computer. It’s breaking, placing and building with blocks. There are other neat features about it as well like being able to craft armor, fight zombies and more. You can play solo or with friends. Find out what I mean and check out their video:


How we became obsessed

We had no idea how hugely popular it was and that Minecraft recently passed over 35 million copies sold worldwide. Friends of ours mentioned their son was playing Minecraft and described it to us. A few months later, we finally checked it out as an early birthday present to our oldest.  We immediately liked that our son could play solo and in various modes — his favorite being the creative mode. I admit, that’s my favorite too. As a fan of city building games like Caesar III and Sim City, this was up my alley.

Once we downloaded it and started playing, we were hooked. Anyone with obsessive compulsive disorder will be an instant addict. I even find myself compulsively “tidying” up areas, weeds, lines of blocks and buildings. My son on the other hand likes his worlds messy.

Anyway, what we have seen in this game and what our son has done with it since we first downloaded it has amazed us. Anything he can think of, he can pretty much do. I’ve been impressed with the things he has come up with as a seven-year old. He’s also gleaned ideas from a set of videos my husband and I have approved created by an enthusiastic player named Stampylonghead. Be sure to check out his YouTube Channel Trailer. I love this guy.

Only draw back I’ve found with the game itself is that it sometimes crashes randomly. By crashing, I mean it locks up my computer completely and forces me to do a hard reboot. I’ve tried the multitude of tips or tricks listed in forums online that mention this problem, but none of them really seem to make a difference. Making sure my computer wasn’t overheating by cleaning it out seemed to help. Maybe it’s a processor overheating issue that freezes it, not sure. I’ve played way more graphics intense games than this with no issue. Perhaps it could be a game population issue; something is spawning somewhere in the world causing a crash. If anyone out there reading this knows, drop a comment below!

The creativity capacity is incredible. Our son has even created airplanes, detailed traps for monsters, whole towns, and an amusement park. He is now currently exploring the various resource packs that are available. Resource packs are like add-ons that change the look, textures and feel of the images.  There is so much more I could go into detail about, but it would fill several tomes. My suggestion is to check it out for yourself, but be prepared for the obsession that follows!

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and focusing on the pluses we are only $552 away from our monthly goal and a fully paid mortgage. down from nearly $700 at the start of the week.

Unfortunately with only two days to go we’re going to need $276 a day to make the our goal.

If we start our year (we go feb to Jan) it will be kind of a drag, but with your help we’ll make it. (Don’t worry AP Dillon fans she has been paid)

Ever wonder how many .gov websites are geared toward children?  Lemme tell ya, there are quite a few.  Ben's Guide

Ben’s Guide, brought to you by the Superintendent of Documents in the U.S. Government Printing Office, provides pretty comprehensive listings, by both subject and agency.  If you click over and give a scroll, you’ll get an idea of the wide range.

Some of the sites are not a surprise–like the DEA wanting to make sure our children know drugs are bad, m’kay?

Of course, the EPA has lots of educational material on how you too can sacrifice your quality of life while people like Al Gore burn more fossil fuel than a small town.  Behold the silliness that is Energy Star Kids.  You can save the planet by turning off your electronics, boys and girls!

Hi!  I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!
Hi! I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!

Witness the misleading nature of a happy lil water drop:  “As our population grows, more and more people are using up this limited resource.”  Ain’t he cute, the way he ignores the water cycle and implies that water is nonrenewable?

Recycle City is another typical government page for kids.  The only thing that would surprise me would be to learn that children actually use and enjoy the “Dumptown Game.”

Credit is due to whoever wrote the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids section on greenhouse gasses.  They had the integrity to use the word may while discussing climate change.

The EPA, on the other hand, goes straight into “settled science” mode in the official Student Guide to Global Climate Change:

“The Earth is getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels. . . . Warmer temperatures are causing other changes around the world, such as melting glaciers and stronger storms.”  Emphasis mine.

Two sites are in competition for Worst Advice Ever:  The Great Bully Round-up by the Center for Disease Control, and the Kids’ Place at the Social Security Administration.  I just don’t know which is worse:  telling children that Social Security is their piggy bank, or advising them to inform a bully, “I don’t do this to you.  You should really think about that.”

The CDC needs to leave anti-bully campaigning to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The .gov kid sites are not all bad.  The U.S. Mint’s H.I.P. Pocket Change has loads of online games that look promising.  (The acronym stands for “History In your Pocket.”) has a bunch too.   The Department of Energy’s Science Education page is actually, well, educational.  I wouldn’t mind trying the Federal Trade Commission’s mall shopping game.  And as much as I hate to admit it, letting children share their very own recipes at the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate is a cute idea.  The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s site is in need of a makeover, but I like the canary story.

Neither is this kids’ stuff new.  The federal government has aimed its informational messaging towards children for a long time.  The whole “let’s get our youth fit!” thing started when Eisenhower was presidentSmokey Bear has been around since 1944, and thanks to him we all know that only we can prevent forest fires.

But guys, come on.  Some federal agencies just don’t need a kids’ page.  I mean, the Veteran’s Administration?  And must it include cheesy games?  Let’s see . . . there’s the Disaster Master game at FEMA.  (Being a hero is fun!)  There are games hosted by Twitchy the Tourette Cat Broadband the Cat over at the FCC’s kid zone.  The CIA games, hosted by a Cool Spy Chick, include an aerial analysis challenge.

The trend just keeps on growing.  The U.S. Postal Service is teaming up with SpongeBob to teach children how to send snail mail.  And the latest federal agency to add a webpage just for da littles?  Drum roll please . . .

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

The Transportation Security Administration!

Stop Screen and Go
Stop Screen and Go

Via Lily Dane at The Daily Sheeple, we learn that now includes “TSA Kids” and a “Fun Page.”  Click on over to The Daily Sheeple and compare the “Stop, Screen, Go” cartoon propaganda at TSA Kids to actual experiences of some unfortunate children screened by TSA.  The excellent TSA News Blog has a long list of additional examples like poor Lucy Forck, lest you think the cases are isolated.

Lucy Forck Detained by the TSA
Lucy Forck

I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that you have to try to make a frightened toddler walk through the metal detector on his own, if the agent is in the mood to watch your two-year-old try to climb up your legs while screaming himself sweaty and beet-red.  At least until a supervisor comes over and shows you a little mercy.

But I haven’t yet revealed the worst part of all:’s section for kids does not yet feature any video games.

TSA needs to get with the program.  Stat.   I bet we can all pitch some great game ideas.  Like Patdown Party or Baby Stroller-and-Gear Breakdown-Then-Reassemble-While-Putting-Shoes-On Race.

Or . . What’s In Grandma’s Underwear?

I better stop now.  Add your own TSA video game suggestions in the comments!


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday, and we have so far moved the ball only $22 dollars toward a full paycheck.

While part of that is a new subscriber which moves us closer to our goals in a permanent way one new subscriber still doesn’t do the trick to permanently secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager.

But lets focus on the positive with 13 tip jar hits of $25 we will get our first full paycheck of 2014.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

That new subscriber means we’re now only 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis. It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

What do you say?

Beanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD – monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthly

For those social sciences who don’t believe television has an effect on viewers, I offer the foregoing evidence:

I’m not implying there were thousands or even hundreds of telegrams. There were perhaps fifteen or sixteen. But if some adults, even a few, believed Gilligan’s Island was real, just think of hte effect other shows on television have—shows portrayed with much greater emphasis on reality, shows that deal with violence, sex drugs and crime.

Sherwood Schwartz: Inside Gilligan’s Island p 188 1988


Jimmie Bise tweeted out an interesting story from the Red Cross:

The International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed that it won’t prosecute gamers for participating in pretend war crimes, but that doesn’t mean it wants to leave the topic alone. The Committee has released a statement in which it outlines its desire to collaborate with videogame developers to show the consequences of a player’s actions if they engage in virtual torture, the  harming of civilians, attacks on medical personnel, or anything else covered by the Geneva Convention.

Yes because the real reason why war criminals exist is because of video games..

the ICRC claims it’s “not involved in the debate about violence in videogames.” It’s not interested in excising the offending scenarios from games entirely, arguing that “sanitizing videogames of such acts is not realistic” given such atrocities do occur in real conflict. Instead, the Committee hopes the consequences it requests will halt the potential “trivialization” of war crimes.

One wonders how Communists, the Nazi’s, Slavers, all the way back to the murder of the Holy Innocents took place without video games to drive them?

Two thoughts:

I remember an article about the Game Squad Leader in he old General Magazine when a player taunted his opponent saying his only chance to win was to send his troops down a an ally swept by machine gun fire. His foe answered that he would certainly lose since he was not going to send his men into that deathtrap just to win a game.

The fact that his “men” were a cardboard square 1/2″ x 1/2″ didn’t mater as far as he was concerned they were real people and they couldn’t be sent to their deaths.

One can’t deny that the impressionable can be moved to think the unreal is real, that being the case I’m wondering if the International Red Cross will be directing any efforts toward HBO, Hollywood, Bollywood, ABC, CBS, NBC etc etc over television & movies.

I suspect they are not.


I question the value of publicly moving in this direction for the International Red Cross.  Even granting the influence of this stuff on the easily deceived it might be suggested with real war crimes and disasters going on with actual people being slaughtered, blown up, gassed, starved and executed the use of time, effort and monies, of the International Red Cross, monies raised from individuals and corporations to help and protect people in dire straights, to deal with virtual crimes is shall we say….ill advised.

But you never know maybe they will introduce natural disasters in foursquare and the ICRC will be able to launch successful fundraising drives to help alleviate these virtual issues.

If you told me I’d be writing these paragraphs 25 years ago I would have called you crazy.

Update: Stacy McCain piece doesn’t directly talk about ICRC but it’s the same thing:

A Ph.D. economist, Sowell describes the moral narcissism at the root of the liberal worldview — they support bad policies because doing so makes them feel good about themselves. Do these policies actually help the people they’re supposed to help? It doesn’t matter, Sowell explains in Chapter 4, “The Irrelevance of Evidence.”

What matters to liberals is the sense of virtue by proxy they derive by espousing the cause of helpless victims allegedly oppressed by evil greedy Republicans. What matters to liberals is their feeling that they’re “doing something” to advance their own good intentions.

ICRC does a lot of real stuff but walking down the virtual road is dangerous because it is so easy.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Wednesday and the paycheck has moved to $32 with $273 to go.

I can’t promise if you hit DaTipJar that I’ll join the fight against virtual war crimes but I’ll do my best to keep up the fight for conservative values in an honest way.


I’m not a big online gamer (although I’ll occasionally use my son’s account for a hand of Bridge) so the online multi Player stuff really doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me, but I’ve been a wargamer/boardgamer for 35 years and this week I had my first exposure to World of Warcraft the Boardgame, and it is interesting.

The System:

Basically you have two groups of players each on a “side”. In a specific number of turns these teams of players complete quests against various monsters and warriors (either together or along) to gain experience in order to be strong enough to defeat the boss at the end, if neither can then the fight is between the pair of groups. You also encounter some creatures that give no bonus’ at all but are in your way. Each player can equip themselves based on the restrictions of their character as they gain levels they gain bonus traits that are roughly based on the choices they make at the start (although technically they can choose others) The point is to progress enough so you can defeat stronger and stronger monsters as you go up in levels.

One of the interesting things about this game is the turn alternates one team moves on odd turns, one on evens.

The Combat:

The system is a D8 System. Blue (range) Green (Defense) and Red (Parry and attack) system. Based upon your equipment you will gain dice of each color to attack, depending on your abilities and equipment you may be allowed re-rolls or be allowed dice in the “attrition” box. Blue attacks hit first as they are ranged. Green dice block hits and Red Dice parry AND hit. Attrition hits take place at the end of combat.

Each creature you fight has a value for Offense (damage it deals) and Defense (damage it takes) and toughness (the number it takes to score a hit) additionally creatures may have bonus’ that negate various types of advantages. If you fail to slay your opponent(s) they deal damage to you based upon these figures.

The Chrome:

Photo from Gencon

The individual molded plastic pieces are pretty well done and rather neat, the cards design is only pleasing to the eye but large enough to read without glasses if you are older like myself, the board is a thing of beauty and it’s layout worth of your attention.

The Price:

On Amazon the Game retails for $119 on other sites I see it for about $80 which sounds a lot more reasonable. You will get a lot of playtime from this game, but in comparison to other awesome games out there (read Talisman) it seems a tad steep.

My verdict:

It is a good game and is a lot easier to learn than it might seem, the combat system might take a play or two to pick up. It’s not the best value in gaming out there but you will enjoy yourselves.

This review also appears at here

But if you like me are a boardgamer who still have a shelf full of Avalon Hill games on your shelf, from Wooden Ships & Iron Men, to Civilization, to UpFront, to 1830 and the still published Diplomacy et/al he is the father of the hobby that you have enjoyed for decades.

As the founder of Avalon Hill his realistic wargames broke the mold and gave an outlet for all of us history buffs who didn’t follow the anti-military trend in society during the 60’s and 70.

His games rewarded strategic and creative thinking, From 1776, to War and Peace, from Tobruk to Third Reich. My gaming group still plays these type of games on a weekly basis 30+ years after we were first introduced to them. A full list of games are here.

Although since Hasbro took them over the “official” avalon hill line is decimated, you can still enjoy many of these games thanks to Curt Schilling’s MMP who hold the rights to many of these games and publish them and other new games so you can enjoy the hobby.

I’ll wager a lot of conservative bloggers like myself have the flags of a hundred different flags of history at half mast this morning.

Does Monopoly look become boring after a while? Want to spice it up. Our gaming group has figured out a way. Combine it with GROO the Cardgame!

What you need to play;

A Standard Monopoly set.
One Groo movement dice from the Groo Game
A Groohead dice from the Groo game
Either a second Groohead dice OR a Groo miniature.

Special Groo Rules:
Groo is the last player who moves. Roll the regular dice, the Groo Dice and the Groohead dice.
Move Groo the number of squares indicated on the dice adjusted by the Groo Movement dice. (Left or right) as shown. Then examine the Groohead dice.
If the result is anything other than Groohead continue to the next player.

If a Groohead comes up Groo being Groo causes destruction as Follows:

If the property contains a Hotel It is reduced to 4 houses
If the property contains houses one house is removed.
If the property contains no houses it MUST be mortgaged. The owner of the property gets no compensation for this.
If the property is mortgaged then it is returned to the bank
If the property is unowned then it is Mortgaged WITHIN the bank. A player who lands on it may purchase it but it must be purchased as a mortgaged property and unmortgaged per regular rules
If groo lands on a unowned mortgaged property that property is permanently removed from the game the set may not be acquired or built upon.

Groo has the following effects non-property squares:

Nobody may collect money from passing GO if Groo is on GO
If Groo lands on Free Parking any money is the middle goes back to the bank.
If Groo lands on chance and/or community chest draw the card shown. If he is moved to a location treat said movement as if he landed there.
If Groo is already on a property owned by a player that contains houses and the player draws the “pay for house or hotel card” ALL houses on that property are removed (Groo attempts to help repair said property with predictable results)

Groo Rampage

If Groo lands on chance or community Chest and draws Pay for each house or Hotel all properties on the board lose one house.
If Groo lands on Just visiting all players in Jail immediately roll one dice and move away from the jail. All players ignore any “Go to Jail” result if Groo is visiting.

Sharing a space with Groo.

If Groo lands on a property that you are on there is no additional effect all damage is to the property.
If you are on a “paying” space (such as Luxury Tax) and Groo lands on it you must pay the price of the property a second time.

If you land on Groo you must pay him to go away. The cost to make him go away is equal to price of the property that you are on. A “Get out of Jail Free” card may be used.
If you land on Groo when he is not on a paying property do not roll the dice for Groo he will move with you with the following effects:

You may not collect any money from any properties you own instead you must pay to the bank any amount you would have collected due to Groo Damage.

If a fray takes place while Groo is traveling with you, lose a turn and all your cash on hand.

These effects continue until Groo is paid off and moves away.

A Fray:

If an attempt to send Groo to Jail takes place due to either a card draw, doubles or the landing on the Go to Jail space a Fray takes place with the following effects:

Any and all buildings on the property Groo is on are destroyed.
If there are no buildings on the property treat it as if Groo just landed there.
Roll one dice, all players within the number of spaces of the dice roll lose one turn due to residual Groo damage.

The victory conditions are the same last surviving player wins, there is a chance that all remaining players will go bankrupt at once, in that case Groo wins.

Let’s take a peek around the blogroll and see what we can see:

Dan Collins notes a double standard on gaffes:

But despite all of the available evidence that so easily destroys the meta-narrative of Obama’s brilliance, we still have yet to see him get the same treatment that Gerald Ford, Reagan, Quayle, or G.W. Bush did; where are all of the jokes about his educated idiocy? About Hirohito signing the surrender aboard the Missouri? About him listing the 57 states? No one seems to see the humor in any of this.

This reminds me a bit of why I think Obamacare is such a priority for this administration.

On the left side of the aisle Dissenting Justice takes issue with John Sheehan and his opinion of Gay Soldiers in the Dutch army:

Sheehan’s comments are absolutely bankrupt. 23 of the 26 NATO members allow out gays and lesbians to serve in the military. Only the US, Turkey and Portugal do not. Under Sheehan’s “logic,” NATO itself is ineffective due to the presence of gay soldiers.

There is no question however that the Dutch certainly didn’t cover themselves with glory in Bosnia. I’ve given my opinion on gays in the military here.

And Finally Peg at What if notes that both the administrations dealings with Israel and her showing in the North American Bridge association championships leave much to be desired:

his kind of excessive and weirdly paternalistic attitude to the state of Israel, directed so clearly from the top, seems to come out of a kind of unexamined personal animus. The long record that Obama has of friendship with virulent enemies of Israel has not gone unnoticed.

As the old saying goes; only time will tell. Let’s hope that the rest of the time this week is kinder to my bridge performance, too!

Hey Peg, at least you never played with a partner who liked to bluff when bidding. It really changes the game.

My youngest and myself are both Pinball fanatics so on the occasion of his rising grades we took a trip up to Funspot with his friend Kevin and DaHospitalityGuy. A young lady who was to also come with us begged off due to sickness.

The drive itself in a couple of hours as it is located in central NH’s Lake’s Region. The entire area is rather beautiful although each time I visit it seem to be developed just a little bit more.

There are a series of photos that will show up in the Gallery below but there was one sight that caught me totally by surprise when we pulled up, so much so that everyone had to wait for me while I waited for the sign to refresh to the same spot:

In NH conservatives aren't the silent type

Being from Massachusetts I was a little surprised but much less so after I had the great pleasure of meeting the founder:

When you have an arcade that has been in business since 1952 and at it’s present location since 1964 customers are unlikely to make choices based on your political leanings, particularly when you provide a good product at a great price. Particularly when you offer free tables and space for Birthday parties.

We didn’t confine our interviews to management…

UPDATE: His name is Dylan not Ian my bad there.

The food is pretty good, but if you want something more substantial there is no shortage of restaurants nearby, but they don’t give you the free tokens that you earn for buying a Pizza.

There are more interviews, and a photo gallery below the jump
Continue reading “Saturday at Funspot”

…started by our new commissioner as we enter our 23rd year of play.

If you have any interest in face to face tabletop baseball and our league click here to see what is going on.

If you have an interest in joining for our 24th year leave a comment at the site and contact our commissioner . the league dues are $35, we are playing a 60 game season this year (our shortest for a while) running from March 20th to Oct 2nd with 6 weeks off. We play in Fitchburg so if you are willing to travel one day a week for some camaraderie and to see if you could be a great Manager or GM if you only had the chance, let us know.

Tim Blair reminds us that everything costs something, in this case an upload costs 1.6 million:

A MAN who bragged about illegally uploading a Super Mario Bros computer game to the internet yesterday agreed to pay manufacturer Nintendo $1.6 million in a landmark anti-piracy court settlement.

James Burt, 24, agreed to pay $1.5 million in damages plus $100,000 in court costs to the gaming giant behind the hugely popular Wii game.

The Laws are on the books and companies are going to use their lawyers to make sure they are enforced. Until and unless they are changed ask yourself, is it worth it?

When you put the need to play a video game next to say Nujood and woman under Islam it really puts things in perspective doesn’t it?

And unlike Nujood, James did this to himself.

I’d hit him with a nelson but he’s going to be paying for this literally for the rest of his life, so I’ll spare him than and suggest we don’t repeat his mistake.

My review of the Mafia Board Game Blood Feud In New York is available at here.

Although the chance to rule New York might prove irresistible be warned in a 5+ player game this game tends to be very unforgiving to both the too timid or the too bold.

I’ve noticed our group rarely plays it anymore suggesting that although it is a fun game its replay value is less that you might expect. If you are looking for a more “family friendly” and less complicated way to fight the mob wars there’s always Family Business.

My review of the Expansion for Munchkin Quest; Munchkin Quest 2, Looking for Trouble. Is available at here.

If you like me have constantly played with a group above 4 you will need this. We played with 7, to do that we added a d8 to replace the color die and when the monster belonged to the “seventh” color, they just appeared without a base.

If you are not familiar with the franchise, this game is a parody of D & D. All the fighting, all the treasure, none of the role playing. And of course silly stuff.

This game is fun, and that’s really what it’s all about.

My review of master game designer Reiner Knizia’s board game Ra is available at here.

My weekly game group was short this week leaving us with only 4, we learned this one on the fly and was able to get in two games in under an hour. When a fifth showed up a few hours late he was able to grasp the game and join in one more game before we called it an early night finishing before 11:30.

The measure of a well balanced strategy game system is:

On that contains different paths to victory

Regularly rewards the best players

Contains enough luck so the outcome is not guaranteed

Ra certainly does the trick but with a max of 5 players we likely won’t be getting back to it for a while.

My review of the board game Munchkin Quest by Steve Jackson games is available at here.

If you enjoy the card game it is highly likely you will like the board game. We have played it twice at game night and the reviews are generally favorable.

Unlike the card game there are several new luck factors introduced, this may effect your enjoyment of the game depending on your temperament, but all and all it seems to be a winner, an expensive winner but a winner.

I wrote a long first impression of the Talisman expansion The Dungeon back in July. For whatever reason I never wrote one for Amazon until Friday.

Since I’m posting so many other Amazon reviews this weekend including two concerning talisman I figured I’d write one for Amazon. It’s here.

Bottom line, since picking up this expansion we never play without it. I think it’s great. If you have a gamer on your Christmas list consider this with the base game.

My review of the Frostmarch expansion for the Talisman board Game is available at here.

I hit the alternate endings pretty hard in the review although for our group it really speeds up the game. When you are playing with a group of 7 or more speeding up the game is good.

The two alternate endings not included in the game but downloadable are The Crown of Command (the regular ending) and the Danse-Macabre. I include the links to both PDFs along with the back of the card if you want to print them out. If they had included these cards with the expansion the review would have earned that 4th star.

One note the Danse Macabre variation requires the Reaper Expansion (reviewed here)

My review of the Reaper expansion for the Talisman board Game is available at here.

The reaper expansion really adds to the game it is also necessary for the online download variant the Danse-Macabre. mentioned in my review of the Frostmarch expansion.

If you like Talisman (and if you played it you should like it) you will enjoy this expansion.

Very busy of course so here is a quick post about some oddities:

Had an errand to run yesterday and so I caught confession at St. Leo’s church on my way. I’m sorry to say it was a unique in my experience. It was just a regular week yet there was a long wait as many people were there for confession, over a dozen and it’s a small parish. I was very pleased to see it but its also kinda sad that it is so unique in my experience. We are an active parish but I don’t remember when I’ve ever seen more than one person at confession.

I had to swing by Barnes and Noble to see if I left something important there on Friday. I took note that Friday there were loaded on the Sarah Palin’s book and Sarah from Alaska. There had been 20 copies of each. Yesterday there were only 4 copies of Going Rogue and about 9 left of Sarah from Alaska. I commented on that outloud and someone behind me replied that a lot of people must have needed to prop up tables. I looked at the clearly upset person and replied; “I think not.”

Another interesting thing. They had a “Holiday Music Display” I looked at every single CD on it. Every single one said “Christmas”. Same with the “Holiday” card display. I asked about this at the counter but they denied that all said Christmas.

Of course as Thanksgiving hasn’t come yet I’m a little more flexible. Once the actual Christmas season comes I’m not going to give stores that want my money a pass.

Come to think of it every I have a challenge to every person who insists that we don’t say Merry Christmas. As it is so offensive I expect any such person to work a full regular shift and refuse any extra pay. Either Christmas is the national Holiday or it is not.

I was watching the Big Bang Theory on CD and made the mistake of freezing the Chuck Lorie Productions frames at the end that you can’t read properly on regular TV. A lot of it is liberal pap to the Nth degree. I had one that was pure Obama worship and another attacking Fox. Hey it’s his show and he can do what he wants but that loss of the safe zone means Netflix yes, purchase no.

This doesn’t change the fact that it is well written and well acted and a pleasure to watch as long as you do so on Regular TV so you can miss the freeze. It is a show worth your time.

Got the new Talisman Expansion, no time to play with it, I’ll review it after my interview. Speaking of which it is Wednesday. I sure hope it works out ok.

Still haven’t purchased the last two Charlie Episodes or the new 5th Doctor one. Money is too tight, but they are on my Christmas list, and thanks to the emission laws in my state I’ll be paying $700 to fix the wife’s car for a problem that doesn’t effect the way it runs at all.

The power supply on one of my machines up and died yesterday, too busy to fix it now but this week I’ll pull one from one of the graveyard machines in the cellar.

I’ve got to re-open my unemployment claim Monday, since no matter how early I get there I’ll be waiting that’s when I’ll finish the Palin book.

Because of all that was going on I missed the latest Amazon Vine release when it came up, lucky for me it contained absolutely nothing that I wanted.

Cafe Press might have banned it but I’m still praying for the President. He needs it. I think that is kind of odd myself.

I hope to be back to full blogging on Friday.

A: Get a copy of Beatles Rock band in the house with the drums and mike.

When I left with the kids to pick up the game at K-Mart the party was winding down, a lot of people (not Rush fans apparently) had left early to see the patriots game and the teens were ready to go.

When I got home and the game was set up, suddenly Joey didn’t have to leave 45 min earlier, Crystal didn’t have to go to her grandmothers for fried chicken (mmmm fried chicken!) Dominic left the blowout and was on base guitar and Kevin whose cough was keeping him away from the party was well enough to come over and play till 10 p.m.

The next Talisman expansion is coming in the next few months. Frostmarch will introduce 4 characters and add more of all types of cards.

Official previews are here and here, but i would have preferred to see another board expansion rather than a non-board expansion.

I’ll withhold final judgment till I see more but my son is still upset that we have no centaur character yet.

The real question is what will the Big Bang Theory guys think of it?

Peg (whom I still owe a favor to, I’d better make sure I disclose it to the FTC since I can’t afford the fine these days) talks a bit about this piece on inequality:

Since Ronald Reagan was elected nearly 30 years ago, Democratic politicians have promised that their program could reverse the steady post-1970s growth of income inequality without sacrificing America’s economic dynamism.

But having promised win-win, they may deliver lose-lose.

I think it is ironic that the logical end result of all of this tinkering is what a cultural hero of our leftist friends once sang against:

It brings to mind Ayn Rand and the Incredibles:

Dash is denied the opportunity to play sports because his power of super-speed means that he might excel. When he fights with his mother, pointing out that he is special, she insists that “everyone is special.” Dejectedly, he looks down and mumbles, “then no one is.” Similarly, Mr. Incredible gets in a fight with his wife, trying to intercede on his son’s behalf, and bemoans the fact that the school stages a fourth-grade “graduation.” This, he insists, represents the constant modern-day effort to find new ways of rewarding mediocrity.

I’m with Joe Hartman on this one who points to these two paragraphs in Screwtape proposes a toast to address this:

“The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be “undemocratic.” These differences between pupils – for they are obviously and nakedly individual differences – must be disguised. This can be done at various levels. At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power (or wish) to profit by higher education or not. At schools, the children who are too stupid or lazy to learn languages and mathematics and elementary science can be set to doing things that children used to do in their spare time. Let, them, for example, make mud pies and call it modelling. But all the time there must be no faintest hint that they are inferior to the children who are at work. Whatever nonsense they are engaged in must have – I believe the English already use the phrase – “parity of esteem.” An even more drastic scheme is not possible. Children who are fit to proceed to a higher class may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma — Beelzebub, what a useful word! – by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval’s attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT.

In a word, we may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when I’m as good as you has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway the teachers – or should I say, nurses? – will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men. The little vermin themselves will do it for us.”

Thus I am even more pleased that in her post she rebels against this abominable standard that would have kept us in the dark ages in the best way possible, by excelling!

With my favorite partner, Bill Kent, we won a four session event to get a subsidized trip to Reno next March, along with the right to compete in the North American Pairs event there. We won by an incredible margin of 7 boards (probably akin to winning a football game 63-3) and won each of the sessions with excellent games each time. Our percentage average was over 61%; generally, 55% or 56% will win the event. Am I bragging? You bet!

I don’t play enough Bridge and would love to have the chance to learn to play better from a master. Maybe if our liberal friends address bridge inequality I’d have a chance.

railroad tycoon boardgameMy review of tonight’s gamenight Game Railroad Tycoon the boardgame is available at Here.

It’s always a good choice for game night since we never know if we will end up with 5 , 6 or 7 players for the day. Tycoon can accommodate all those numbers and is a fast enough game that we can get it in twice a night.

Yeah I know there is a lot of politics to discuss and I haven’t nearly finished ribbing Charles as much as I plan to, but you know what, although all of that is good fun it’s more important to put the computer aside once in a while and just sit with friends and play.

Life is what you make of it, if you make it all worries even when times are tough you can forget to live it.

I might be totally wrong about this, but I suspect along that line Charles just needs to walk away for a few days and just enjoy the bikes, and the Jazz and all the wonderful things life has in store. Or if he doesn’t get as much pleasure from his music itself play it for someone else and share their pleasure in your gift and efforts. Even in the worst of times there are good memories to call upon and reasons to smile from a good meal to a relaxing song to a silly piece of comedy.

Gamenight is just one of those sources for me, I don’t know how many you have, but you can never have enough pleasant things in your life. I get the feeling Robert Stacy has these things and Charles needs more of em.

Why make enemies when there are so many friends just waiting to be made?

My review of the game Punch-Out for the Nintendo Wii gamesystem is available at here.

I’ve actually only played the game sparingly but I’m spent MANY hours on the couch watching my son play the game while I was tapping away posts. I’ve seen more of this game than almost any other straight video game out there.