A “reloaded” post is a quick-clipped summary of a bunch of small things from the past few days. I want to write them down, but I am either lacking in (a) details or (b) time. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Enjoy.
On the Tick
For the fourth year in a row, approximately mid-morning on New Year’s Day, I found myself standing in the start line of Resolution Run garbed in a brand new (blue) race jacket and in some state of freezing and recovery from the holiday past. The five click jaunt around a neighborhood in South Edmonton isn’t meant to be much more than a primed start to the turn of the annum… followed by a pancake breakfast. It had been a warm week leading into the holiday followed sharply by a cold snap which left the considerable melt water as a slick, icy surface on many roads and sidewalks. A few of my running mates an I gathered right near the front of the pack, hoping to avoid the typical glom of mixed-speed walk-joggers who (in this race in particular) seem to populate the middle of the group. I got a good start, was pushed for the first click or so by the need to grab some speed (for the benefit of those at my back) where the passing wasn’t so good, and maintained a solid pace for the duration. My time, personal record and all, was a thirty-minute plus zero second watch time, on the tick. I still hurt.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
I don’t usually sucumb to buying new video games within any reasonable timeframe of their release. Why bother? Year-old games often sell for one-fifth to one-tenth the original price, have been patched to a state of stability usually not seen during the first few months of any new game, and — heck — I still have a small stack of games to make any progress in already. But, with my co-workers and others talking up the latest Elder Scrolls RPG, and the Steam holiday sale handing it over at a reasonable discount I fell into the Boxing Day shopping spirit and bought a copy late on Christmas Day. A combination of a post-holiday illness, some family-down-time, and lots of free hours between then and now, and I’ve logged (approaching) twenty-odd hours in the land of Skyrim, succeeded in grinding up my character to a reasonably powered tank, and slayed a half-dozen dragons. I find it very much like (by the same developer) Fallout 3, minus the post-apocalyptic wasteland and with the added benefit of less reliance on ranged weapons (Fallout 3 is all guns, which sucks for melee guys like me.) It’s a good game. I’m enjoying it.
A few months ago a scored a copy of Small World for the iPad. I don’t remember why. I’d never played the board game, but the reviews all raved about how this was the best game since Settlers and Ticket to Ride and… hey… I like those games, too. I bought it. I downloaded it. I played it. I didn’t get it. I stopped playing it. Fast-forward a couple months until we attended Chris’ annual games night on New Years Eve-Eve, and someone pulled out a copy of Small World and asks if I want to play. “Yes.” I reply without hesitation. “Teach me. I want to know why this game is so great.” Two hours later, fingers greasy from the pizza that mysteriously appeared while I was playing, I was pronounced the absolute loser in a tutorial-speed game, trounced by an experienced player, a nine-year old kid, and some guy who wandered in to take over from another novice who had to go home half way through. But, in understanding the game, I now can be counted amongst it’s fans. And I can beat the iPad, too.