Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TSO '13

Now this is what I call "Christmas music"!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Lords of Waterdeep" Playthru: Undermountain Expansion

Challenged Dad to a Lords of Waterdeep game Christmas evening. I came out on top (176-133), but he certainly had his chances. I caught a break, though. Played the "Open Lord" card from the expansion: basically made me immune to attack cards and mandatory quests. Big break! Such a fun game; can't wait to try out the Skullport expansion, too!

Next time, we return to Drizzt!

Monday, December 23, 2013

"The Legend of Drizzt" Playthru: "Starless Night—Passage to Dawn" Duology (Part 1)

Last night, Yume, Dad, and I finished a playthru of the "Starless Night" adventure scenario for The Legend of Drizzt Board Game (basically "D&D lite"). Both teams won, but it was a dramatic finish. Check out the final game-state pics below!

This is how the board looked at the penultimate moment!  Dad was playing "Drizzt" (the hero), Yume was "Catti-Brie" (the hero's forbidden love interest), and I was saddled with the delightfully loathsome role of "Artemis Entreri" (a famous assassin, and the hero's arch-nemesis). The scenario called for us (the two of them on one team, and me by myself) to work together as we escaped a dangerous underground setting. By the end, I had attained the exit door first, and next came Dad (err, Drizzt), all bloody and beaten from the ordeal…
The scenario required us to "work together" to get out, but at any point afterward there's nothing preventing either team from stabbing the other in the back. See, either team can win, or both teams can win, and certainly both teams can lose. Standing on the doorstep of victory, I had to play the character out. But rather than kill Drizzt (thus eliminating Dad from the game and causing them to lose), I decided the kill wouldn't be much of a challenge (wounded as he was) and opted to remind him that Catti-Brie (Yume) had been left behind with a feral troll on her heels—planting that worming seed of doubt in his head over whether or not they would succeed. Needless to say, I succeeded, and so did they, but Artemis might not be so merciful next time!
The great thing about this game is how much it has to offer: a variety of modes of play, plenty of player options, and great art and assets, to name a few. (It even makes the 4th edition rules seem perfectly justified for board game play.) Win or lose, it's always a challenge. I liken it to a multidirectional version of chess spiked with clever card play and basic D&D rules and die rolls.

Here's a look at the copper dragon and earth guardian molds from the Dungeon Command "Heart of Cormyr" set (also usable as an expansion for The Legend of Drizzt).

Very nice! Next time, we'll take on the "Passage to Dawn" adventure scenario.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Random Thought of the Day: "Ohh yi-eahh!"

There are basically two types of people in the world. Those who hear, "Ohh yi-eahh!" and think of the Kool-Aid Man, and those who hear, "Ohh yi-eahh!" and think of the Macho Man Randy Savage. Admittedly, and somewhat proudly, I'm one of the latter. It may have something to do with the fact that I've never liked Kool-Aid, but there was a time (let's call it the late 80s/early 90s) when I thought professional wrestling was real.

That said, there's got to be more to it than simple preference for the brands behind the words. (After all, I've never been much of a fan of Slim-Jims either!)

Maybe it has something to do with the speakers themselves? They both have "man" in their names. But I mean, come on! Who wants to hear those words coming out of the mouth of a bulging, red monstrosity with the rough voice of a coke-head who goes around smashing things?!

Okaaaay. So, maybe it's not about the man, per se. Maybe it has something to do with the voice? They're both gravelly and straining. But whereas the Kool-Aid Man sounds like a poor man's Wolfman Jack, I think we can all agree that Macho Man's voice is at least a level higher on the unattainability scale, and that makes it something special.

Go ahead, try it. Say, "Ohh yi-eahh!" with the same intensity you might employ while trying to pass a baseball through your anus, and determine for yourself what it first brings to mind. I'm sure you'll be pleased with the result.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Scrabble

Victory was ours this time, thanks in part to my fortuitous play of "libations" (an 80-point play, and currently high score for a single turn in our recorded play, as it was also a bingo, adding 50 points to the total)! Under regulation rules, using special tiles, Dad and I (left and right) scored 289 to Mom and Yume's (bottom and top) 196.
And here's a bonus Thanksgiving Day "glamor-shot" (complete with bed head).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


We've welcomed a new member into the family!

Can you see him?
He's right here!
And here!

We got Greentea, a lovebird, from the local pet shop last week as an early Christmas gift to ourselves. He/she is not a day over eight weeks (too young yet to determine sex). He practically leaped out of the bird pen at us when we were shopping, and he's already developed a very close bond with us.

Greentea's a quick study.
We see beak to nose.
It's a face-off!
Greentea pins me to the floor!
And I'm down for the count.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Scrabble me this, Tileman!"

Dad and I took this one from Mom and Yume, 236-147. This was a full regulation team match; no special tiles used. From top to bottom, mine and Dad's remaining tiles are on the right; Mom's and Yume's are on the left.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our Big Day

Lives dedicated
Our love, here after, confirmed
Wishes, now, fulfilled

Monday, September 30, 2013

California Road Trip '13 (Part 3)

That night, after visiting the park, we had great Mexican and caught some lively karaoke at Pancho's in Manhattan Beach.
Trevor MCs a couple nights each week there, and he does a pretty mean Eminem while he's at it.
The next day, Trev, Yume, and I shopped Universal City.

Previously, Yume and I had spotted a Marilyn Monroe actor in the park…
…but I think this was a little more jaw-dropping when we saw it. (Check the price at the bottom! That's some expensive sugar.)
She was in "Marilyn heaven."
Then, Trevor and I found our own little corner of geek heaven…
Cue the theme.
Trevor even nominated us for an Oscar!
Before leaving L.A., Trevor took us up to the heights so we could gaze down upon the urban sprawl.

A view of the Hollywood Sign.
Before long, we were on the road to Santa Barbara!
Once we arrived, we hit the beach.

But we weren't alone! College friends, the Okunos—Mark, Emma, and now little Ash—hosted us on our stay.
Mark led me down memory lane across the UCSB campus.
And while a good portion of it had changed…
…much of it remained just as I had left it.
Back at the Okuno place, we were treated to excellent Japanese nabe (hot pot soup) and even better company.
The Okuno cats were comfortably unperturbed by our stay.
Thanks for all the new happy memories, Okuno-sama!
Five more hours on the road and we were back in Rio Vista, road trip completed!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A day among giants and golden bridges.

Yume and I drove to Muir Woods National Monument on Sunday, a first for both of us.

Here, Yume indicates her birth year as recorded by tree-ring dating. (To be entirely accurate, her finger would have been a full inch-and-a-half off the outermost bark.)
The forest floor. Can you spot the apparent bigfoot in this shot?

The park features wide boardwalk paths for you to navigate by, allowing you to go "off-road" down a variety of branching trails that leave the main path.

Trees be tall.
It says: "Here in this grove of enduring redwoods, preserved for posterity, members of the United Nations on International Organization met on May 19, 1945 to honor the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, thirty-first President of the United States, chief architect of the United Nations, and apostle of lasting peace for all mankind." (Interesting note: FDR was actually the 32nd president, so this placard is in error.)
"Look! It's bigfoot's den!"
Nope. Just a banana slug.
"Tree kidnapper."

"Any nice homes in the forest?"
"How much you want for it?"
"How about this one?"
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, babe."

[off-frame] "Watch out for snakes!"
"Hey, don't go yet…!"
We've got one more bridge to visit!
Nice view.
Better view!

Later San Fran!

Later ya'll!