Thursday, March 31, 2005

Around the World in 80 Days, plus

Around the World in 80 Days is very good. It combines some nice mechanics (card drafting, action selection, standard race game) with a clever twist (two different "race" goals) and is well executed. The clever part I especially like: each player is completing both to get back to London first (fewest number of game turns) as well as first (fewest number of "days" spent by playing cards). The game mechanics work out nicely such that these goals are somewhat in conflict; by delaying an extra game turn or two, you can likely finish the race in a fewer number of days. The way the win conditions are set up (must finish in under 80 days and must not finish last in game turns), it works rather well. This isn't a "big hit" kind of game, but it's fun. Especially if you enjoy unusual race games. It has a slightly similar feel to Marco Polo Expedition. Rating: A, but most people probably won't be quite as fond of it as me.

Easy Come, Easy Go is good. It's an exceedingly simple dice game with a great deal of luck and many of the decisions are fairly obvious. That said, it's quite fun and very quick. There is a bit more to the game than it seems at first, but that's not to say there are great depths to be plumbed here. Rating: A-, unless you don't like light, luck-heavy dice games, in which case it's probably more like C+.

Fairy Tale is interesting. I actually think it's fairly good, but I have a nagging feeling there is less subtlety to the game than it seems. The art is cute and the odd "Engrish" isn't too distracting, though it seems common that players have a hard time with the fact that "Close All {1 fairies}" actually means "All players turn 1 fairy card face down". In any case, this also wins some points for cleverness by using a Magic: The Gathering style draft for card selection as well as a somewhat novel card flipping mechanism. Rating: Somewhere between B+ and A+, probably an A-.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Baby Friendly Restaurants

Mmm, Rav Sauce

Since Genevieve was born, we've decreased the frequency we eat out, but not nearly as much as I thought we might. The good news is that the majority of restaurants we tried have been somewhat or very infant and child friendly. We've had good experiences at Johnny D's, Mary Chung's, the 99 Restaurant, Pizzeria Uno's, Cheesecake Factory, Paparazzi, and Macaroni Grill. Especially in the Cambridge area, we've noticed a lot of families out with young children and infants.

Mary Chungs' was an especially nice experience with Genevieve. We've
been eating at Mary Chung's for a long time and the staff comes over
and plays with Genevieve a little and brings her extra fortune cookies
(to toss around and the like, not yet to eat). Johnny D's in Davis
Square is also worthy of special mention. In addition to having a
substantial "early dining" (which is all the dining out with a baby)
discount, they have toys for babies and toddlers and a very good menu.
Their appetizers in particular are quite good. Further, while they're
a bar with live music later at night, they are a quieter/calmer
environment earlier, but with enough interesting things around to keep
a curious baby very entertained while looking around.

On the flip side, Chili's, which we usually love, is a bit noisy for Genevieve, and "Joe's American Bar & Grill" which we'll probably not return to for a variety of reasons (menu, service, baby-friendliness) was not especially accomodating.

Color Coordinated

Color Coordinated

You may only play on the slide if your are dressed in the appropriate colors.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Two Script Tweaks

Due to a change at Google Maps, my add waypoint script needed to be tweaked as someone pointed out in my original post about the userscript. It has been fixed and seems to work again.

Additionally, I decided the [DeliciousSort Delicious sort userscript] would be more useful if it were toggleable, so I implemented that, admittedly not extremely neatly, but it works. Reinstall the script if you want the version with "sort" and "unsort" buttons. It still sorts by default.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Genevieve Photo a Day

I know I can't get enough photos of my adorable little baby girl, but some people mostly come to this site for greasemonkey scripts or game reviews or the like, so I won't post them here. Instead check out the Genevieve Photo of the Day page. Isn't she cute?

I may eventually write an RSS feed for the page, so if you're interested, email me and I'll let you know when I add it.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Blue Hancock

Hancock Building, Boston

One of the appealing things about the higher resolution cameras is that I can crop fairly extremely and still produce a nice image.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Federal Triangle Flowers

(Preface: I enjoy photography. I take a great deal of pictures, exclusively digital. Many of them are obviously family pictures and photos of my beautiful baby and other things that are of marginal interest to my blog reading public at large. But, sometimes I take some that seem worth sharing. I've thought about adding slightly more regular photos to this blog, but never got around to it. I just recently got a new digital camera, a Fuji FinePix E550, and that seems like a good excuse to start posting some. I've tried to tweak the style info so it looks right in aggregators and the like, but if it looks wonky or otherwise has issues, please let me know, either in the comments or via email. I've tried to make the linked image large enough to include nice detail, but small enough to download a reasonable time. I'm more likely to make future photos smaller, rather than larger.)

Federal Triangle Rose

I was in DC for a wireless conference for work at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, when I came across this sculpture by Stephen Robin. Somehow the oddly awkward but literal name of the piece "Federal Triangle Flowers" adds to it. The sculpture also includes a lily, not shown.