{ Phil Olin }

Musings of a geek.

Month: January 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

Future BMX/DH Biker

Jackson Run Bike to kindergarten. from Ron Goldstone on Vimeo.

This kid is amazing. His parents need to get him a BMX bike until he’s bigger, then send him to a downhill course.

Nintendo

Nintendo is an awesome company. They’ve produced numerous unique games and gaming systems over the years. While their more recent offerings haven’t really appealed to me, I’d love to be able to play the games I grew up playing on my iPhone.

Classic Zelda, Mario, or Pokemon would be awesome to play on my iPhone. I know there are apps that will play the roms if I jailbreak my iPhone, but I’d like offical apps. I think there are plenty of people like me that would pick up everything Nintendo released on iOS just because of the nostalgia.

I know this isn’t the best strategy for Nintendo. It would be fantastic though. I’d like to play Pokemon Blue again, but I don’t want to try to hunt down a gameboy and a game cartridge. I have a perfectly capable device in my pocket, I just need Nintendo to give me the goods.

I’d also welcome a new, modern console from Nintendo. I don’t want a gimmicky WiiU, I want a nice console, with excellent 1st and 3rd party games. Games like classic Mario, Zelda, etc, plus others like Goldeneye, Time Splitters, and Super Smash Bros. Nintendo, people want to give you money, you just have to get them what they desire.

Castles of Burgundy

I got my first true “euro” board game recently. Castles of Burgundy. It’s not a worker placement game. In Castles of Burgundy players take turns choosing from a central board and building their kingdoms.

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There is so much strategy involved. You need to choose what to build, when to build it and where to build it. But you also need to carefully watch your opponents. You may need to change your plan to prevent them from achieving their goals.

We’ve played the game twice now. Both times I’ve only concentrated on building some parts of my kingdom, while everyone else seems to go for everything. I prefer to finish the castles, science and village sections first, then I’ll go for the farms and boats. Everyone else builds whatever is most convenient at the time. I’m not sure if I have a good strategy yet, or if I’m just getting lucky.

Grand Theft Auto 5

I finished the main story line of GTA V last night. WOW!! It is a fantastic game. Probably the best sandbox world game I’ve played in a while. This GTA was different though, because you are able to play as three seperate characters. Franklin, the inner city gang member that wants a better life, Traver, the perpetually drunk redneck asshole, and Micheal, the “successful” middle-aged “businessman”.

I found myself playing each character differently, each get played to best match their personalities. Trevor is probably the most fun to play as, because I’ll go out of my way to act out when playing as him. Random shootings, running people over, just acting as a drunk asshole.

Spoiler Alert

Devon Weston. I’m glad I kill him at the end. The first encounter with him left a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to kill him the first time we met. What a complete piece of shit.

Now that the main story is over, it’s time to explore the few remaining parts of San Andreas, and finish up a few remaining missions. I still have spaceship parts to find and the love/murder notes. Lester’s assassination missions were also saved to maximize profits later.

I’ll probably play through again, this time changing up my heist decisions. It really is a spectacular game!

The Ink Journal

When I first bought my fountain pen, I started a small “ink review” notebook. I wasn’t happy with it though. I just wanted a simple page with a small sample of writing and if I liked or disliked the color.

I found such a page template online. It includes spaces for ink brand and name, pen and nib used, and a writing sample. Exactly what I wanted.

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I still have all the ink from the samples I ordered from Goulet Pens that I can put in the journal. The only ink that I’ve used and don’t have more of is the Lamy blue that came with my Safari. I really don’t care though, as I didn’t like the ink at all. It was a very boring and ugly blue.

NerdBlock

I signed up for a NerdBlock subscription for January. NerdBlock is a monthly subscription of geeky toys sent to your door. You can get t-shirts, toys, blind boxes, candy, and other geeky things.

I received my NerdBlock package today. Inside was five items.
1. a Batman t-shirt
2. Ironman Pop! bobble-head figure
3. My Little Pony blind box figure
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles splat toy
5. Hunger Games figure

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Overall, I like the t-shirt, the Ironman bobble-head is cool, and the My Little Pony figure is nice. The other two items are lame and just filler junk in the box. For the $30 cost of the subscription ($20 + $10 shipping), if this is what NerdBlock thinks is good, I don’t want another box. Subscription cancelled!

I’m going to wait a few months and watch Loot Crate. If it’s still looking good, I may sign up.

Game Night

We had game night at my sisters last night. Played another round of Shadows Over Camelot. It went smoothly this time. At the start, we finished off the Saxon and Pict wars. I found Lancelot’s Armor, Excalibur was lost to the Forces of Evil. Then we found the Holy Grail.

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Things were very much in our favor. We had the majority of white swords around the round table. Only 3/4ths of the seige engines were surrounding Camelot. All we had to do was survice a few more rounds without dying or allowing the seige engines to completely surround Camelot.

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We finished by ending a second war with the Saxons. The Knights of Camelot were victorious. Out of all the times we played Shadows Over Camelot, we’ve only won twice. Both times we’ve won, we’ve gone through the entire white deck and had to reshuffle all the cards. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems to be the key to winning.

America’s Wagon

GM’s Mark Reuss thinks America deserves a new wagon. I agree. It’s hard to find a real wagon, especially an American made one. The majority of wagons sold today are imports, either Japanese or European. The Cadillac CTS is the only American wagon I can think of.

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Wagons are the ultimate vehicle. They drive like cars (because they are), hold plenty of people comfortably, and piles of luggage while still getting awesome gas mileage. Today’s wagon replacements can’t do the same. SUVs and CUVs have nothing on wagons. I currently have a Subaru Impreza wagon, and when I end up replacing it, it will be with another wagon.

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I’d love to see wagons become more mainstream in the US, but I highly doubt GM will be the company to do so. Their idea of of quality and a good car is much different than mine. Their CTS wagon is a nice car, but not something I’d ever want to buy. My 2006 Subaru Impreza is a much better built car than my wife’s 2013 Chevy Cruze.

Fountain Pen Ink

I ordered my first batch of ink samples for my Lamy Safari fountain pen. I placed an order for a few awesome blues, two greens and two reds. I’m eagerly awaiting filling my fountain pen with new colors. I ordered samples of Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki, Private Reserve Electric DC Blue, Noodler’s Baystate Blue, Diamine Oxblood, J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, Private Reserve Sherwood Green, and Private Reserve Speramint.

I really wanted to try the Diamine Sherwood Green, but it was out of stock at the time. I’m not sure which color I’m most excited to try as they are all pretty nice colors. I am slightly afraid of trying the Baystate Blue though. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about it staining everything, including the pen.

Now that the ink has arrived, Goulet Pens was fantastic, the order was placed on the 14th, arrived on the 17th, I immediately flushed out the rest of the Noodler’s black that was in my pen and cleaned the pen. I inked up the Kon-peki first, which is a very deep cerulean blue. I love it. It has nice shading and a deep saturated color. It’s an expensive ink, but I want a bottle on my desk. Up next will probably be the Diamine Oxblood.

Board Games

My first introduction to real board games was Settlers of Catan. By real board games, I mean anything not designed just to pass time and make you hate your friends when the game is over (like Monopoly and Risk). One of my friends brought Settlers of Catan over for a game night, and the next day I ended up ordering Settlers of Catan and the 5-6 player expansion for it. Thanks to Settlers of Catan, I’m now addicted to board games.

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My next board game purchase was Small World. Small World is very similar to Risk, but its so much better. Small World makes Risk-like games enjoyable because even if you are starting to fall behind, you can easily take over large sections of the board with your new race and it’s army.

Small World led to more games. I bought some, recieved some as gifts and bought some more. We’ve started to get a decent collection now, including a currently very hard to get game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, thanks to my sister.

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Sitting around a table with a few of your friends or family playing a board game is much more enjoyable than playing on a TV with your friends across the internet.

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