Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cosmic Encounter

I finally got to play a game of Cosmic Encounter today, as well as The Resistance. I soundly lost both but had a great time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Imperial Decimator

 My board game obsession shifts focus from game to game (and occasionally changes back into an RPG obsession.) One game, however, has been consistent in its ability to hold me enamored since it was published three years ago, and that's Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures, from Fantasy Flight Games.

Like most guys my age, I started out loving Star Wars when I was a kid, and kept a fondness for it into adulthood. But I have never been as "into it" as some people I know. I always had mixed feelings about the third movie, The Return of the Jedi; Episodes I – III were OK entertainment but had widely-discussed problems. I've maintained only a vague, peripheral awareness of all the comics, video games, and novels over the past 30 years. (Though I did enjoy that old X-Wing video game, I hardly played it.)

More than anything else, I think I liked the Star Wars aesthetic. The "look" of the ships, aliens, costumes, and sets is pleasing to me. And the music, of course.

And that aesthetic, combined with a fun game system, is why I love X-Wing Miniatures. It collided with my enjoyment of tactical combat games and my fondness for nice miniatures. Even though I hardly get a chance to play the game—and I want to all the time—I covet the game components and try to figure out how to get more. I even really like most of the "Extended Universe" (read: stuff that was not in the movies, but appeared only in video games, comics, and novels) ships and pilots.

That brings me to my latest purchase. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I had a Barnes & Noble gift card that I had forgotten about, and Barnes & Noble has a decent game section. I spent a couple of weeks debating what to use it on. I realized I had not bought anything game-related since last fall. The board game Sheriff of Nottingham was a leading candidate because I thought it would be fun to play with both my family and my friends, but in the end X-Wing Miniatures won out. I had a hard time deciding between the Most Wanted expansion and the Decimator expansion. Last night I bought the Decimator.

Now I want to add a little bit of paint detailing on my own. I can't wait to see it on the table with my other ships. I hope I get a chance to play a game sometime soon.

I have a similar but milder obsession with Wings of Glory WW1. I really want to save up to get a decent starter set for that. If Barnes & Noble had stocked that, it would have won out over everything else because I don't have any good way to play it yet unless Aaron invites me over to play (he has the rules and a number of the planes.)

My hope is that soon I'll have a chance to invite some friends over to play games on a semi-regular basis (friends who used to come over to play board games pretty frequently. It wouldn't be Star Wars, but it would still be good. Great.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Carcassonne board game

A game of Carcassonne a few weeks ago. We also played some on vacation. Such a great game.

brown anole

A couple of weeks ago when we were in Florida, my young friend B. caught this brown anole. It took some work; sneaking up on them didn't seem to pan out, but I figured out if I could find one in a somewhat exposed setting and cut off his most likely escape route, he might be trapped. It worked. I cut one off, trapping him between me and the swimming pool, and B. snapped him up. He was released a short time later.

Pen and Ink House Portrait

I finished this a couple of days ago. It's 11 x 15 inches.


Thursday, August 13, 2015


 I was sleepy last night but I did not want to miss such a good night for viewing shooting stars. I've been going out to look for the Perseid meteors since I was 16, and last night might have been the best viewing conditions I have ever had. The sky was mostly cloudless, and there was no moon. I took a drive out to a park in Oldham county that is better than any place here in Jefferson county. I had set my alarm for 1:00 a.m., left around 1:25, and got to the park's car lot right at 2:00. During the hour-and-ten-minutes I was there, I saw 61 meteors. There were a good mix of bright and faint ones. My favorite was a short, parallel pair of simultaneous meteors--they looked synchronized. Three of the meteors were not Perseids, they were moving from other parts of the sky. And this was the first time I can recall seeing the stars that comprised Perseus and seeing them well enough and high enough that I could actually recognize them.

I also saw insects lighting and fading in the grass around me; I guess they were glow worms, but I don't know much about them and will have to look it up. When I first got there, barred owls were raising a fuss. There were two nearby, and at least one more farther off. I think.

There was one other vehicle in the lot when I got there; it was two or three people watching the stars from the back of their pickup. At least, I suppose that's what they were doing, but who knows?. I parked as far from them as I could get, and they packed up and left before I did.

On the road out and back I passed two farm cats and a raccoon, but not all at once. And while I was sitting in the dark, by myself, I thought I heard something moving through the tall grass nearby, which weirded me out a little, but made a little noise to make sure any creeping critter knew I was there and could avoid me if it wanted to.

It was a fun excursion.