Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow frolic!

This morning's ongoing snowfall is thick, fluffy, and marvelous. I peer out from the castle fortifications (and home of the gym, my morning ritual obeisance paid) and glory in the blanketed landscape.
Look at this magnificent framing. Look at this arch. Look at this naked tree. Look at ALL THIS SNOW. It's pure joy, damping the sounds of the city and encouraging the non-arctic people to scurry inside. This leaves all the delightful snow outside, with me!


This post's theme word is scrobiculate, "having many small grooves; furrowed." The snow plow rendered the street scrobiculate but not substantially safer, as snow continued to fall in its wake.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War

The board game Confusion is excellent for game afternoons with exactly two players. And two players in my vicinity have been enjoying it recently!  Confusion combines aspects of chess (each piece moves differently), checkers (the goal is the far side of the board), and Clue (there's lots of hidden information which you must query to investigate).

The setting: the Cold War. The pieces: Russian and US spies. The objective: obtain the briefcase of top secret intelligence, and sneak it to the opposite side of the board (while preventing your opponent from sneaking it to your side of the board). The gameplay: you can only see the names of your agents, while your opponent can see their move capabilities.  The twist: one of your spies (labelled by '?') is a double agent, who obeys or disobeys you orders at the whim of your opponent. The trick: very good recordkeeping, just as with Clue.

The delight: when strategic use of your double-agent causes the opponent's entire strategy to collapse in a single turn!

My set of pieces had a misprint, and the friendly support at Stronghold Games promptly emailed me a replacement piece. Thanks!

This post's theme word is vitiate, "to impair or spoil the effectiveness of," or "to corrupt." My entire spy agency was vitiated when C turned out to be a Soviet double-agent!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New year, same resolutions

I didn't do very well with last year's resolutions. The first was to be able to perform one pull-up, which aborted mid-year when I started having shoulder and neck cramps so bad they gave me splitting headaches. (So that goal is... on a back burner.) The second was to blog more consistently. You see how that turned out. If anything, I've sunk myself in a deeper hole, since I have another year's worth of drafted blog posts festering on my dashboard.

This year I'll do better at both: blogging and pull-ups. Plus I plan to end the year with an additional degree. That, and the usual maintenance of surviving a year, seems like plenty on my plate.

This post's theme word is nudiustertian, "of or relating to the day before yesterday." I'm a nudiustertian nudist, I believe in eschewing clothing only on the day before yesterday.