Sunday, December 29, 2013

Twilight day

No, not that Twilight! (Finger, nay entire arm, down throat!)

So, finally, after that darn ice storm cancelled our Huge Game Day last weekend - it’s on again today!

Yup, time for me to pull out the hundred pound, coffin-box sized game of Twilight Imperium III and sit down with friends for a whole bunch of hours of galactic conquest and political intrigue.

And I was almost, just almost, tempted to pick up the newest expansion for the game - like this game needs more moving parts? . . .

It would have added a bunch more cool things to the game, but since we only ever play, at best, once a year, I gave it a pass.

Still, I have the base game and the first expansion, which already added a ton of new stuff as it is.

Yesterday, after returning home from a short trip, the weather was warm enough for me to go outside and chisel the inch of ice off of the sidewalk in front of our house, and about half the driveway.

It was damn hard, let me tell you.

Snow I can handle.

Ice, is a female dog!

It is gone now, but I can feel it in my back and arms. Getting old is also a female dog!

And I just started reading Leviathan Wakes, a huge-ass space opera that I got over Christmas in Kobo form. I must say - I’m really liking it.

Only about a couple hundred pages in, but it is intriguing and spiced with just the right amount of space opera butt-kicking action.

If you like space opera, you will likely like this one. It’s by James S. A Corey.

I played a bit harder tennis last week and am happy to report my ankle held up just fine.

I’m not going to push it like I did in the past, but it was good to know that “moderate” tennis seems to be okay.

If time is money . . . how come I’m so poor?

Anyhow, time for me to go and get ready for today’s epic space game.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, December 22, 2013

stuff happens

So, today was to be the big game day - Twilight Imperium III . . .

However, the snow and ice gods decided this was not to be and I’m stuck at home today in the middle of a large ice storm.

Guess I will need to break out a solitaire game or convince my family to play something - or I could clean the house . . .

And it looks like my part-time job suddenly last week became a no-time job . . .

Yeah, no kidding.

My boss took a fit at me for some insanely small thing, so I walked away from his feverish diatribe - he did not like this.

After chewing me out even more for that maneuver, I thought to myself. Hmm, minimum wage, and putting up with an A-hole of a boss? . . .

Um, no thanks.

And so, come the new year, I’ll be using my grey matter to find other ways to make some coin.

Life is just full of changes - and A-holes . . .

Sad, but true.

So, anyhow, looks like later today I’ll be getting out the pick axe, or flame thrower, and trying to chisel some of the ice off our driveway and sidewalk.

It is a complete mess out there right now - and the freezing rain is still slated to come down for most of the rest of today.

I also finished up my Level 7 [Omega Protocol] playthrough on YouTube - I managed to do the whole thing in a week . . . guess I really liked that game!

Thinking of doing something possibly Zombie related for my next series.

And tennis went well last Monday - although I did feel some discomfort in my ankle about half way through. Guess my old bones are not totally healed yet.

Well, if you celebrate some kind of celebration this coming week, have a good one and stay safe.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Shovel this!

Well, you knew it was coming - snow, that is.

I’m not a big baby or anything, but when I trek to the big city game store I like to do so without trudging through six inches of snow coupled with forty mile per hour winds and below freezing temperatures . . .

Okay, maybe I am just a big baby.

Still, yesterday was pretty nasty - and guess what?

That’s right - I didn’t buy a new game!

Er, what, you did I just write? . . .

No, it's true - let’s just say lugging a bag full of games back into that weather just didn’t seem like a whole lot of fun.

So, I passed on any purchase this week - there is always next time, and the time after that and . . .

On a more physically exciting note - I hit the tennis courts last week for the first time in months.

It felt really good to hit the ball again, and yes I sucked pretty badly, but it didn’t matter one bit - I had fun, so all was good.

My ankle did flare up a wee bit about half way through, so there was that, but it seemed to calm down near the end.

I think of it as a subtle reminder that I won’t be playing any power tennis for quite some time - if ever again.

Oh well.

On another note, my play through of Level 7 [Omega Protocol] is doing better than my last series, which is not really the point, but still it inspires more videos.

And 52 books have fallen under my gaze this year, but I don’t know how many more will get absorbed. Perhaps a couple or three more.

As for the “part-time” work front, they initially scheduled me in for 40 hours next week. Um, excuse me? . . .

After wondering WTF that was all about, I found out my boss thought it would be a nice Christmas gift to give me more hours . . .

Um, have I mentioned that my boss is cracked?

Anyhow, after my telling him no thanks, I’m back to 24 hours, which is still pushing the maximum my old body can handle . . .

Well, once again I am sure you have other sites and sounds to stimulate you - so,

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, December 08, 2013

what is next?

I’ve had lots and lots of positive feedback on my video play through series of the board game, Dawn of the Zeds, and so, I’m going to start up another series.

I’ll be playing through the first mission of, Level 7: Omega Protocol. In this board game, one person plays the aliens, the others the commandos.

The game is a mash-up of the mechanics of Mansions of Madness and Descent 2nd edition. Which, is very cool. And with aliens and commandos . . . Oh, Yeah!

The trick to running the game solo is to be ruthless on both sides, and this game lets you do just that. There are a ton of options for both commandos and aliens, as you will see if you watch along.

I’ve played it three times so far, (commandos 2, aliens 1), to get the rules down and I think I’m about ready to give the first mission a shot behind the camera.

And tomorrow, I am back on the tennis courts for the first time in months. I’m playing with weaker players, which is perfect for getting back into it.

I will likely be very rusty and make a lot of horrible shots. Oh well, it is for fun now as I think this last injury to my ankle has taught my stubborn mind the reality of things and old body limitations.

And it feels like I blinked during August, and suddenly December is here.

Our tree is now up, did it last weekend, and the house looks more or less ready for Santa to shoot down our chimney and gobble cookies.

And, our daughter is now officially in a different orchestra, which is just fine by me, as this week’s overdose of practices led to her playing very little (like 15 minutes) at last nights 2 and a half hour choir concert.

So, I’ll be off to the big city again this coming weekend, and you just know another game or two will appear for my update next week.

Yeah, I’m irrepressible.

And I finished reading book 50 for the year yesterday - which was my adjusted goal, so good on me. I’ll even finish a few more I think before 2014 hits the calendars.

Also, I guess I’m officially in the union at work now so am now much harder to get rid of. And, the last two weeks have been 20 hours each - way more manageable on my body.

Well, not much else to report, so I will leave you to travel elsewhere on the intertubes.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, December 01, 2013

danger Wil Wheatonson

Well, another week has flown by - but I actually only worked a couple days and feel almost human again. And I’m only on the schedule for three days this week coming up. Nice!

And the danger in the blog post heading refers to the almost weekly trips to the big city I will be making for the balance of this year and then next year.

Why danger? - um, because the uber game store is a mere fifteen minute walk from the place I’ll be going to every weekend . . .

Yeah, it started already yesterday.

So, what did I buy for games, you ask? . . .

Er, well, I got “Once Upon a Time” which is a story telling game where you tell a story from cards in your hand and try to lead it towards the unique ending you are dealt.

If you can get rid of all your cards and then play your ending, you win.

Of course, others will be trying to interrupt your story and continue it with their own version hoping to direct it towards their ending for the win.

It’s pretty creative and looks like a load of fun and we will be playing it tonight.

And, um, the other game I happened to pick up was, “Level 7: Omega Protocol”

This is a squad based tactical miniature game where one player plays the aliens in the overrun underground top-secret military research facility (what else), and the other (up to 5 players) play elite combat troops with specialized skill sets going in, taking names, finding out what happened, and kicking alien butts.

It’s a mash between “Mansions of Madness” and “Descent” and based on several reviews I’ve read online and seen on the intertubes it surpasses each of those games for what it is.

I’m pretty stoked about it . . . and my first game addiction meeting is in a week . . .

Just kidding - problem, what problem? . . .

Also, with the switch in my schedule (meaning my daughter has switched orchestras) I am free Monday nights to get back into tennis again.

This means my wife and I will be going down the same night and playing in the same league. I’m super happy about this development as well.

And my playthrough of “Dawn of the Zeds” should be wrapping up this month if I can get my act together and finish it. Only about 12 or so more turns to go.

So many games to play, so little time . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, November 24, 2013

well then

Sorry, no image today.

Well, another 30 hour part-time work week has come and gone.

And yesterday was an all-day concert day where I had to make three different, but lengthy, drives and I’m pretty exhausted.

Not complaining - just stating facts.

This week coming up though is looking like the break I need.

I’m only scheduled to work two days this week - and yes, I am going to refuse any “extra” days offered, thank you, but no thanks.

To switch gears - I’m itching to get back to tennis these days but have not really had much of a chance.

I think, starting in January, I’m going to be able to play every Monday night because my commitments to my daughter’s orchestra are going to change - pretty sure anyhow.

If this happens, I’m good to go.

And with all this busy stuff I have not even had a chance to buy any new board games let alone try out the ones I’ve bought recently . . . so nothing new to report on that front.

I have managed to read a total of 48 books so far this year with my goal being 50 - so I’m right on track there.

And what is with the sudden slap in the face from old man winter yesterday - my three drives were made doubly annoying by snow squalls and Capital Eejit drivers . . .

Enough griping.

I continue to upload my game playthrough on the intertubes and it continues to be watched. So, that is good.

Oh, and it’s NaNoWriMo month . . . for those playing along - good luck!

And what the hell is this? - X-Mas is only one month away!

I don’t consult calendars too much under my rock, you see.

Well, as you can tell, my week was pretty chock full of excitement, so I’ll leave off now and let you get back to your own life.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, November 17, 2013

busy but fun

This past week has gone by in a kind of blur.

But a pretty good blur. I’ve been pumping out a gameplay video every day for Dawn of the Zeds while working 30 hours at my “part-time” job.

Yeah, and another 30 hours coming up this week.

I think they are trying to kill me.

So, anyhow, with all that extra cash (yes, sarcasm) I bought a computer game to add to my too big Steam pile already.

It’s Shadowrun Returns, a top down game very much reminding me of Fallout 2, though more streamlined and linear.

I don’t really know a whole bunch about Shadowrun the RPG, or the original Sega Genesis game, but in a nutshell it combines fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal genres into one.

I’m having fun with it, so there it is.

I also finally finished reading Clash of Kings . . . oye, was that a long one. I found it not as good as Game of Thrones, but still fairly okay.

I’m waiting now for my local library to get me a copy of the HBO 2nd season first disc so I can watch it like I did for first season after finishing Game of Thrones.

And, last night, I watched Cabin in the Woods . . . not sure how to review this one. I did kinda like it, but overall I was left with a bit of a meh feeling over it.

Yesterday I managed to gather up five bags of leaves dropped from out maple trees and mulch up about an equal amount with the mower.

I have been a busy boy for sure . . . but like I said, pretty happy busy.

The only downside to all this week's manual labour (well half of it anyhow) is my back protests quite a bit and I fear I may actually do some real harm to it if these “part-time” hours persist.

I lift things the way you should, and don’t generally overdue it, but when I work 8 hours a day 3 days in a row, like last week and coming up again this week, I can really feel my back fatiguing in a bad way.

Well, not much else to relate for this week - I’ve got another episode to put up on YouTube today, and laundry, and shopping, and cleaning, and cooking . . . you get the picture.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, November 10, 2013

relative success

It would seem I have sort of a following now on YouTube for my video series, Dawn of the Zeds Playthrough.

Not only is the game designer enjoying my trouncing . . . er, playing, of the game, turn by turn, but it would appear, looking at the numbers, that several dozens of others are also enjoying the ride.

And yes, it is a pretty niche board game being solitaire and zombie apocalypse, but still, to me several dozens constitutes a pretty sizable audience.

This is the type of endeavor which feeds upon itself - at least it is for me.

What I mean by this is as I post more videos and get more viewers and comments, I feel inspired to post more videos because I know out there somewhere people are enjoying what I’m creating.

And I’m not doing it to stroke my own ego, but to share a great game with others and have them experience the terror of trying to fend off hordes of zombies and maybe, just maybe, hold out until the National Guard arrives to save what is left of the town and thereby win the game.

But I’m only half way there right now in the game, with many miles to go before my townsfolk and heroes get to sleep.

On the work front - to change subjects - my “part-time” job ramps up again this week with me scheduled to work 4 out of 5 days - three of those are 8 hour shifts! . . . when I was on hiatus did the definition of part-time change to almost full-time in disguise or something?

Anyhow, I’m going to be physically wiped by week’s end and I’ll have a hard time keeping up the video posting of my Zeds playthrough because of this.

I know, by watching some series myself, that regular updates are key to retaining audience participation, so I really want to post at least one turn a day.

I will do my best, but I may have to skip a day or two - damn!

Oh, and I also upgraded my internet speed!

I’m cooking with gas now at 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. What a huge difference it makes when uploading HD video - What took me 8 hours to upload last week now only takes me 1 hour.

And yes, I really need to dust off the tennis shoes and hit the courts again even if it is only for tennis aerobics time - but hell, if my job keeps me chained so damn much and sucks out my energies through repeated heavy lifting, I just don’t know when I’m going to get back to it.

One small glimmer of hope is that in three weeks my “trial” period ends and then I am “in”. And, as far as I know, once this happens the absolute most they can book me in one week is 20 hours.

My aging body really looks forward to that.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, November 03, 2013

need for more speed

Well, as I work away on my Dawn of the Zeds playthrough (uploading turn 10 today) I have found out one thing for certain . . .

My internet speed is just not up to the task.

It takes me about 4 hours to upload a 7 minute 720p video.

This is just way too slow.

So, next week I’m pumping it up to 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speed.

Once upgraded, my upload speeds will be 8 times faster - much more acceptable.

So, as an amusing side note (okay, to me anyhow) is the fact that I’m posting my Zeds playthrough over at Boardgamegeek and getting lots (well more than 10) of views and even some comments.

Now, what is amusing about that you ask?

Well, for a couple of days one commentor was indicating that he was enjoying the series and looking forward to the next episode and generally being a nice guy about the whole thing.

Then, after a couple of days I clued in to who this person was - the actual designer of the game.

Hey, how cool is that? . . . Okay, maybe it’s just me . . .

Now, off on a work tangent.

My new tactic is to refuse extra work days. I mean, I’m part-time and this is minimum wage and no, I am not on-call-guy thank you very much - I do have lots of other things to occupy my time.

With this new mind set I find the two or three shifts a week plenty. My body thanks me.

And what would a week be without the acquisition of yet another new game?

A dull one for sure . . .

So, I got my mitts on a copy of Firefly the board game. It looks pretty good and the components are absolutely top notch quality. Looking forward to playing a game of this.

It can handle between 1 an 4 players, so I may do a playthrough of this game once I smoke the Zeds in my current series . . .

Anyhow, much ado about not much happening this week except the filming and uploading of lots of playthrough episodes.

If you want to check out my YouTube channel for all that excitement you can head over to this here link: Paul Darcy on YouTube

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 27, 2013

oh the horror

Well, as All Hallow’s Eve approaches, I resumed my playthrough of Dawn of the Zeds on YouTube. Next episode will be uploaded tomorrow.

I was going to abandon the project altogether because I really thought nobody was the least bit interested in watching me fend off zombie hordes in the town of Farmingdale.

I was wrong.

There are actually viewers of the series, and one of them even left a comment wondering when the next episode was going to be uploaded . . .

I was like . . . huh . . . kinda stunned.

Really?

I thought to myself, somebody is taking the time to watch this, and enjoying it?

So, spurred on by at least one viewer, the series will continue as I will play it through to its bitter conclusion.

Also, I’m getting much better at working IMovie, so editing an episode takes me only about half an hour now. Shooting one takes about the same time - so, in about an hour plus I can get one game turn of Zeds produced. Not bad.

And as for my part-time job - Holy Jeepers already! - another week of almost full-time hours.

I am going to refuse extra shifts starting immediately - my old body can not take the strain. There are a bunch of much younger folks who can pick up the heavy lifting slack.

And yes, Namowrimo is just around the corner . . . and I’m not going to participate. I would much rather finish up my Zeds playthrough and get playing a bunch of other games I’ve been picking up since working . . . like;

Resident Evil the deck building game . . .

Long story short. I’ve been playing Resident Evil 5 on the PC and having great fun with it. I like card and board games. There is a Resident Evil deck builder? Kaaching - it’s mine, and needs playing.

Yeah, I know, another one. It plays 1-4 players and is directly connected, artwork and thematically, to the Resident Evil video games - mostly 4 and 5.

So, Nanowrimo 2013. Sorry. Maybe next year?

As for exciting developments on the home front - I need to install a new toilet this week . . .

And um, yeah, this would probably a good place to end.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 20, 2013

knuckle buckle

Two things I should have learned by this point in life are,

1) don’t rush

2) pay attention to your surroundings

When you ignore these two the likely outcome is - nothing much will happen to you.

Of course, every once in a while, when ignoring those two you get into trouble.

Such was the case for me yesterday.

Now, I’m making this sound all ominous and life-threatening, which is not in any way the case.

However, I’m in some discomfort because of rushing and not paying attention to my surroundings.

What happened?

Well, I was busy in my lair when the phone rang - so I rushed upstairs while not paying attention to a wall and literally smashed my hand into it . . .

Kind of like stubbing your toe, but in this case it was stubbing my middle finger . . .

Yes, it sounds as stupid as I felt after the incident.

The end result is I think I sprained my middle finger joint, the big knuckle if you will, of my right hand.

I have limited flexibility now with it and it hurts a bunch when I try to grip things or flex my middle finger . . .

So much for flipping people the bird for a while.

Yeah, go ahead and laugh at this old man . . . hell, I laughed at myself through the initial tears of pain.

So, friends and neighbours, always pay attention to your surroundings and don’t rush - it is not worth it.

Oh, and also don’t use your hand held devices while driving - ever!

But on the up side - today is game day again and it looks like we will be battling it out to see who will be the supreme lord of Waterdeep.

I just hope I don’t need to use my middle finger too much . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 13, 2013

they want me

I have only been working ‘part time’ for a month at the grocery store and they, the management, want me to be full time . . .

Um . . . say, what?

Yeah, I’m sure that is pretty much your reaction too.

As well, the other guy I started with, just got canned last week.

Guess I’m their star player.

And my back is getting much stronger. Why just a few days ago I was slinging 21 kg boxes of cat litter around like they were wheat puffs . . . or something.

Well, okay, they were damn heavy, but I managed to top shelf all ten of them without giving myself a hernia or dislocating anything - which is a plus at my age.

As for full time - um - not going to happen.

And here is why.

I’m not about to toss over to our government a goodly chuck of my meager earnings.

If I stay part time I can slip right under their minimum tax bracket and pay a big fat zero in income tax.

At full time - they will shave almost 20% off my earnings - bastards!

So - not going to happen. Oh, that and plus the fact that my old body would likely just break after all the heavy lifting 40 hours a week would entail.

On now on to other things because work talk is second only to weather chats as the most boring subject on earth . . .

So, on the book front I started ‘A Clash of Kings’, and I must say . . . not as riveting as the first book but engaging enough to have me already 300 pages in and still interested in reading on. And I’m reading it on my Kobo because I already do a lot of heavy lifting at work without having to at home.

I’m also reading the mega-module, ‘Rise of the Runelords’ - it’s a huge Pathfinder module that takes characters from 1st to 18th level . . . It’s actually pretty darn good, comprised of 6 modules in one . . .

. . . and if you don’t have any idea what I was just writing about, don’t worry yourself.

And on the game front - I got Dungeon Command. It’s a miniatures skirmish game and is pretty good. It’s best described, by many reviewers, as a love child between D&D and Magic: the Gathering. And the miniatures can double for any D&D RPG game as well as the interlocking tiles which are nicely detailed.

Oh, and they even threw in cards for each monster which can be used in the D&D adventure games as well . . . and I’ve lost most of you again . . .

And yes, I zoned out last week and missed posting. I worked all weekend and plum forgot about Sunday’s commitment to this here blog until about Tuesday . . . sorry bout that . . .

I’ll try to not let it happen again . . .

Well, not a lot left to drivel on about, so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 29, 2013

more of

Well, I’m starting to get into a kind of groove at work.

Lifting heavy things repeatedly is getting easier, as I knew it would, as is the routine of knowing what it is I’m supposed to be doing.

Oh, and they pay me too.

Bonus.

And after last weeks crazy amount of days and hours worked, it looks like I’m back to working only two or three days a week . . . which is okay by me.

I made a couple more gameplay videos of Dawn of the Zeds - and they are getting absolutely no love . . . oh, well. I may just kill the project as a bad idea and stick to doing some more 1 in 4 videos instead.

On a mundane (okay, even more mundane) note, I chopped down all the raspberry bushes and painted the window frames on the main floor of the house yesterday . . .

Um, yeah . . .

As you can see, this week’s update is pretty non-updatey . . .

And today may, or may not be, another game day. I’m thinking yes, but other factors have to fall in place for all to work out.

We shall see.

I’ve started reading Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, which is a Pathfinder role playing game adventure path - and it is huge, taking player characters from 1st all the way to 18th level. It’s got me itching to run another D&D campaign again this coming fall and winter . . .

. . . if I can get a gang of players together to do such things.

 When we left off in my last campaign, we had completed part one of four in Goodman Game’s, Saga of the Dragon Cult. I’m keen on starting up that one again and running it to its conclusion.

So, for lack of any more interesting content - this week’s update comes to a close.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 22, 2013

part time eh

Well, this week’s episode of part time work saw me clocking in at six days worked out of seven . . .

Yeah, I am growing pretty strong with all the weight lifting.

Not complaining though - the more I work, the more I have to spend on games . . .

And, today is once again, Game Day!

I think we will be taking a crack at Lords of Waterdeep for four players, then if time permits, trying to stop the Borg invasion with a little Next Gen card game action.

Whatever happens, it’s all good.

Oh, and I started a Dawn of the Zeds playthrough which I will link,

Right here - Dawn of the Zeds Playthrough Part 1

So, with all the working and stuff not much of any consequence took place this week.

As a side note, handling ten metric tons of cardboard per day tends to severely dry out my fingertips . . . and I need to find some kind of industrial strength, non-greasy moisturizer to combat this issue.

On the side of the side note, which would make it along the edge I guess, I am scheduled to work only two days this week . . . whew, I need the muscle break.

Of course, I was not supposed to work yesterday but then got called in for a full eight hours . . .

I’m going to try this week to continue my playthrough of Dawn of the Zeds, and possibly even read another book or two . . . if possible.

Well, that about wraps up my life of extreme sports and excitement . . .

Oh, and about the sports . . . I have yet to take up the tennis racket again . . . soon.

I hope.

Once I don’t feel quite so abused from all the box slugging, that is.

Well, time has slipped away once more.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 15, 2013

work weak

Wow, I forgot just how hard slugging boxes upon boxes of stock was on the old body.

I did this kind of grunt work as a teen - many, and I mean many, a year ago.

The first week of work then has been pretty hard on me physically, and my muscles are taking a beating.

I’m not so fit as I once was, but I’m getting much stronger as the days go by.

I’ll either shape up, or collapse . . . let’s hope I shape up.

Overall, it’s not too bad, and I suspect I will get used to it in time.

On the game front I did manage to get working on the intro and setup video of my Dawn of the Zeds playthrough . . . and that was about it.

I’m still learning the Imovie program, and it is, despite the learning curve, so infinitely far advanced from Windows Movie Maker that it is hard to believe it is free on the Mac.

Mac sure is light years ahead of Windows in this regard.

Still, it is not a completely intuitive piece of software, and I struggle to figure out how to do a lot of things - but it will come.

As for tennis . . . um, I was kind of waiting to see what my work schedule will boil down to. So far it’s about 20 hours a week, but shifts all over the place.

Looks though like I have pretty much every Friday and Saturday off.

This is good for planning other activities.

As for part-time, with everything going on at our house, I can’t imagine working any more hours anyhow.

Well, as you can see, not a lot of high excitement this week as I adjust to work life once again.

Hoping to get together with friends in the near future and play a game of Lords of Waterdeep.

And, if all goes well, we should also be starting our Descent: Journeys in the Dark campaign this month too.

Well, the time has run out on me again, and so I’ll sigh off.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Dawn of the Zeds

Yup - another one. My hoarding instincts for board games apparently knows no bounds . . .

And doesn’t it seem that there is no end of Zombie apocalypse board and video games these days?

Some are good, some are bad, and some are just frik’n Awesome!

“Dawn of the Zeds” fits squarely into the “Awesome” category for me, no doubt about it.

But why is this board game so Awesome, you ask?

Well, let me explain.

First, it is a solo game . . . and there are no minis, only a pile of coloured chits . . . and two pretty small dice . . .

. . . that actually sounds crappy by today’s mega-flash board game standards, no?

Well, what this game lacks in flashy components, it way, WAY more than makes up for in tense, exciting and just plain Awesome (yup, using that word again) game play.

It is a game by Victory Point Games, and there statement, right on the box, is “the gameplay’s the thing” and boy do they put that statement into practice almost perfectly in this game.

It’s a solo, defend-the-town game in which you have some civilians and four starting heroes to try and hold off the horde of undead until the National Guard arrives.

You can research a Super Weapon, or even a cure, build barricades, minefields, shoot at zombies or fight them hand to hand, forage for more ammo and supplies, run refugees to town, and a ton of other options . . . but, you have very few action points each turn and those damn zombies are pretty strong and on a relentless march to feast on your unit’s brains.

You never have enough actions to do all the things you need to do, but this just makes the game tons of fun as you agonize over every action point you spend, then second guess yourself after you do.

You will curse, breath a sigh of relief, cheer or groan with each flip of the event cards . . . no, really, it is that kind of game.

Basically, you need to get through a deck of between 24, 34, 48 or 59 cards, depending on which scenario length you wish to play.

I play using all cards and all special units and all available special actions in the game - it’s more complicated, but not so much so as to drive you crazy, just the perfect combination of nail biter and cool things showing up in the game.

I am going to do a playthrough on YouTube of this game, so you can come see how it works there if you want. Trust me, it really is worthy of the over-used “Awesome” descriptor.

If you like solitaire games, and you like defend the town from zombie games, and you like damn cool Awesome games - go and get this right now, you will not be the least bit sorry you did.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 01, 2013

full circle

I apologize for today’s scrunched up image, but it is totally pertinent, totally Watterson, and totally Awesome!

- Warning - old man story commencing! -

So, when I was a kid, like decades ago, I got a part time job in a small grocery store in the town I grew up in.

I loved it.

I stocked shelves, opened doors for customers, ran the cash, and bounced jawbreakers off the floor when nobody was around to see if I could actually get them to hit the 9 foot ceiling without them shattering on the floor first . . .

. . . believe me, that was a challenge . . .

- Warning ended - old man story over! -

First things first today, I got another video made and up over at the tube of you.

Here it is: 1 in 4, Episode 6, Dragonslayer

I made this one using the new Mac - what a joy compared to that horrible excuse of a video maker that comes with Windows 7.

Anyhow, hope you like it - a bit.

Now, on to the Watterson cartoon from today’s post. Funny how I happened upon this just at the time my life is about to take another little turn.

It is so relevant to my current life situation (explained below) and so totally awesome I can’t even express to you how I feel about it.

You either see it for what it is, or you don’t.

Anyhow, what I speak of is my imminent new job starting this coming week.

Yup, I’m back in a grocery store once again - stocking shelves . . . but the girls run the cash, the doors are automatic (ala Star Trek) and jawbreakers are nowhere to be seen.

. . . Hmmm, wonder what I can bounce off the floor . . .

Still, it is full circle for me, and you know what - I’m happy about it. This store is a five minute walk from my house. That is absolutely perfect.

Now, most people who know about this new line of work for me are all for it and happy, but some are outraged that I’m doing something totally beneath my abilities . . . to this I have only one response:

See the Watterson cartoon I posted here today.

If you don’t get the message there, well, I really feel sorry for you.

Now, my time is up once again.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, August 25, 2013

acute acquisition disorder

You would think, after the hours and hours of gutting the house this summer and getting rid of mountains of life accumulations I would have learned . . .

. . . but, no.

So, as today’s blog title suggests, I just had to get myself another board game . . . well, two actually . . .

*I sense the rolling of many eyes*

Yes, I know I have this ‘slight’ problem . . . but it was on sale - and I had a gift card to use from my birthday - and I see you aren’t buying it . . .

Okay, I admit it.

I need help . . . making more room for my growing games collection . . .

See what I did there?

Anyhow, now that you know I got another board game you are likely wondering what the heck it is already.

So, long story short - I got Lords of Waterdeep and the new expansion - both on a great sale.

Seems that Indigo slash Chapters has them both on sale for four days at 34 percent off . . . yeah, 34.

Not sure why 34 . . . must be a Canadian thing?

So, that actually brought the price down a few dollars below the awesome online sellers.

And I had this 25 dollar gift card that I got for getting older this year that needed using, and I really, really do not need any more books, ever . . . and so . . .

Oh, also, the four day sale thing included free shipping anywhere in Canada . . . which is where I am . . .

Put it all together and both the base game and expansion cost me less than just buying the base game alone from any one of the hugely discounted online sellers . . .

Who would have thought Indigo would be such an awesome place for me to exercise my lack of control.

So, um, anyhow, now I need to inflict it on my friends once it arrives which will be some time next week . . .

And yeah, I’m out of time.

One last thing - it is games day again today (WooHoo!)

I’ll be leading four hapless investigators into the lair of a cultist headquarters . . . yup, it’s Mansions of Madness time again.

Say it with me . . . Muwahahahahaaaaa . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, August 18, 2013

the rush

Just finished 4 hours of house purging . . . and then I’m heading out for lunch, so today’s post is going to be a rushed one.

Sorry about that.

Well, I did get to goof around with Garage Band this week as I said I would, but have not created something worthy yet to share.

I will, in time.

And I did’t get any chance to do a video this week as I completely finished gutting and reorganizing my lair - which was a monumental task.

Hurray! I’m finished. It is so much less cluttered I can’t even tell you . . .

But, I just did, thus nullifying my previous sentence . . . um, nevermind.

Did I mention I’m rushed today?

Anyhow, two days ago my first huge load of books got auctioned off . . . and I have no idea what they fetched.

Likely a few bucks . . . sad, but true.

Nobody really wants tones of tomes anymore - the way is electric.

I have another load to go to auction next week as well, and we got in our new mattress.

We bought a totally foam mattress, no springs attached.

It feels to me like sleeping on a giant firm marshmallow . . . which sounds horrendous, but is actually quite comfortable.

My back thanks me every morning now. Really, it makes a huge difference from the old stiff spring bed we had, or the rack, as I called it.

Also, this morning, I moved the TV down to the basement so our family room is now for reading only - or having family discussions . . . um, yeah . . . reading then.

And my ancient, though awesome, stereo equipment is now hooked up to the TV downstairs - and yeah, it sounds pretty much like being at the theater now . . . no kidding.

Well, like I said, I’m in a rush today and gotta go . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the great lair purge

And so it begins - the great purge of my vast collection of books and stuff located in my basement lair.

As we continue to gut the rest of our house of not-needed items, I turn my eye now inwards towards my too large 30-year collection.

My goal is to reduce my book collection by half or more. In its heyday my collection reached almost 1900 books. Today I have ten full bookshelves and about 1400 books, but by the end of this month I am going to make it five bookshelves and maybe around 800 books.

Towards that end, yesterday I took away 27 boxes of books, around 400 or so. They are off to auction and will likely clutter up somebody else’s house.

It’s refreshing to get rid of things, but it’s also been mentally hard to do. I did collect these books for over 30 years after all.

But the reality is most, if not all, of these collected works are available via ebook or library so I don’t need them in my collection anymore taking up space - and they do take up a lot of space.

I also need to pair down my game collection. I will sell the ones that really get no love and try to make my one closet less stuffed with them.

In other news, with my offspring is starting high school next month (yeah, really) and we needed another computer for her to work on. So, the obvious choice - a Mac - of course.

I’m stoked about it since I can get back to music creation using GarageBand and making better videos for YouTube using IMovie.

The computer is dead quiet and has the same hardware as my PC. Did I mention I’m stoked . . . oh, yeah, I already did.

And today I will be gathering with some victims . . . um, friends to run them through a game of Mansions of Madness, my latest game acquisition.

I know, I know - there is little hope for a cure there but maybe I will have a number picked and never go over that many games. Say 30, or something.

So, once I pick that magic number then, every time I buy a new game, an old one must go.

I need to ruminate on that for a bit, but it sounds like a solid policy to adopt.

Well, much cleaning and purging happened this week and more will happen next week.

And this coming week I’ll be learning the ins and outs of GarageBand and IMovie so you can look forward to some more creative projects from me soon.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Mansions of Madness

Yup - another huge Fantasy Flight board game is official owned by me . . .

I know, I have a slight acquisition problem, but it could be worse - I could be a Harlequin Romance paperback collector . . . hey . . .

So, played my first game (with family) yesterday, and I have to say this is not a super light board game, but a heck of a fun one.

There is much to be done as the Keeper, the one controlling the story, which was me. One false move in placing clues during game setup and the game gets sort of broken. Avoidable if you pay attention and double check what you are doing.

Also, if you, the Keeper, are not intimately familiar with the particular story you are playing through (there are five scenarios, each with three major story lines and 12 combinations for a total of 180 variations), it can get pretty confusing as to what is exactly going on as clues are purposefully vague and the associated flavour text is also kind of vague.

But, this all works to great effect. You don’t just want the investigators to have everything handed to them on a silver platter - no, they must explore the mansion and follow the clue trails to stand a chance at beating the scenario.

There is a clever timing mechanic where, at the end of each Keeper’s turn, a time token is added to a stack of cards for each particular scenario. Once the number of time tokens matches the number printed on the backside of the card it is flipped over and an “event” transpires based on the choices the Keeper made setting up the scenario.

I’m probably making it sound more complicated than it is - just make sure, if you are Keeper, you know exactly what is going down and don't mess up placing clues during setup - and all should be good. Also, as a player, you need to pay particular attention to the flavour text to unravel the details of where the next bit of information may be hiding.

The miniatures in the game are just awesome sculpts, but the cards seem a bit thin though they are totally useable. The double sided game board pieces are very thick and nicely detailed and the whole Lovecraftian theme just screams out in this game.

I actually like it more than Arkham Horror (even though I only played MoM twice - once solo to learn the rules and once with family yesterday) because it is a more intimate setting and the tension ratchets up nicely as the events unfold and time begins to run out on the investigators.

Combat is done with card draws and flavour text as well and it works nicely. You are never quite sure which attribute you may be testing as you wield your melee weapon or fire your gun. Very well done. Spells are likewise brilliantly done. Each spell in the game has 5 cards and each effect printed on the back is different, so when an investigator casts a spell, succeed or fail, he/she is never quite sure just what the heck is going to happen. Very Lovercraftian, and very fun.

As the game unfolds memorable moments for the players happen. During our family game, in the last two turns, Harvey Walters took a fire extinguisher to a Maniac and gave him a good thrashing . . . epic fun stuff.

Then there are actual puzzles to be solved by the investigators, phobias and traumas the Keeper can play at times to screw with the investigators and monsters galore to toss into the mix to keep the players on their toes.

Overall a great game, but one that needs a Keeper with good concentration skills as he/she looks after about 80% of all game activities, including combat cards and revealing exploration cards in the various rooms.

Highly recommended if you are a board game fan, doubly recommended if you like board games and Lovecraftian themed ones.

And, because of painting my daughter’s room last week, plus a plethora of other family activities as well as this new board game distraction - I did not get to making a video . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 28, 2013

moving pictures

So, this past week has seen me not making any videos . . . except a small update one.

Next week I have on the schedule another 1 in 4 episode . . .

And this week my daughter is off to a summer, one week course, on making movies.

She is highly creative and I think this will be a great opportunity for her to see if she is interested in that sort of thing as a possible career . . . which I’m pretty sure she is, but what do I know?

Also this week some games were played - some solo, and a couple more with others.

I got the new version of Star Trek the Deck Building game which, because it’s the newest one, features the original cast . . . of course . . .

The other two older ones feature The Next Generation.

I must say I quite like it and with a solo variant it is challenging and  fun. I may cart it along today for game day with my friends and see if any are interested in giving it a go. There is no co-op game though, it’s only downside.

And yesterday, I played a game of Arkham Horror with six others. We dusted the Dust dude (forgot his name) by closing and sealing 6 gates.

Piece of cake!

The second game I played was Mage Knight the board game with three others. Um, this one is a brain burner, but I think I actually like it.

We played a competitive game and I was the winner . . . of the losers. So yes, I was the best loser of them all . . .

Today will be another day of gaming and I don’t know what to bring along besides the Star Trek game.

And as another excuse for not having a YouTube video (of substance) up this week has been the fact that we are repainting my daughter’s room.

And the cleaning, de-cluttering bonanza continues as well, which is making me feel so much better about my general living space.

We set up a huge set of shelves in our basement and all the camping gear is now neatly stored there as well as some other bulky items instead of just lying in heaps on the floor.

So far, so good.

And no tennis this week either. My damn ankle is still causing me grief, but I think . . . I hope . . . it is getting better.

Well, as usual the time has just flown by and I need to prepare for anther day of gaming . . . I know, tough life . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 21, 2013

old man cusping

Seems like the older you get, the faster the weeks fly by - oh look, it’s Sunday again.

So, what transpired in my exciting, non-stop, action-packed, thrill-fest of a life this week?

Well, I finished a book, exercised a fair bit, and played a couple of board and card games . . .

Which, pretty much has you thinking, “so, nothing new then?”

. . . and you would be pretty much right on the money.

I was going to crank out a bunch of videos this week for my Vlog . . . but didn’t get to it. There will be one going up today, an update to let those couple of people that follow me (if they still do) know I’m not dead yet.

Other than that, it is summer, and the family is home, and there is much to do which takes priority over creating content for the intertubes.

Come the fall, this should change.

No, really . . .

My channel is here, if you feel the urge to take a gander at what is already there: Paul Darcy on Youtube.

The great house purge of 2013 continues and tomorrow I pick up a large shelving unit which is going in the basement to house all our camping gear plus some other large hard-to-store items.

Can’t wait to get the entire house cleaned out - so much clutter needing a good swift kick out the door. Once the clutter is gone, the painting can begin.

And my ankle bone, connected to my shin bone, is giving me no end of grief. Every time I think I can get back on the tennis courts I realize that is not so.

On my long walk yesterday, my ankle began to kill me . . . yes, on a Walk! . . . sigh . . .

Bloody hell, it sucks to not be young and super recuperative anymore.

So, the grim fact is, it may still be a few weeks or even months before I hit the courts for real again - and then when I do, it will be playing Grampa tennis for fear of actually crippling myself from another such injury.

Old age - you suck!

In other, non-related to me news, looks like Schindler’s actual list (well one of the 4 authentic typed copies) is up for sale on Ebay . . . the first stage booster rocket from the Apollo 11 moon mission has been found on the ocean floor . . . and the largest virus every has been catalogued - it’s like 1000 times larger than the common cold virus . . .

Other than that, it’s been an awfully quiet week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

promises promises

I swear, now that I have this week all to myself , I’m going to get a few things done . . .

First, I’m going to get another video, maybe even two or three, uploaded for my YouTube channel.

Second, I’m going to play a bunch of games with friends . . . I think.

And third, well, there is no third really . . .

As predicted, with the onset of summer vacation and the whole family around the house, it is increasingly hard to fulfil goals one sets for oneself.

I know this every year, and every year it’s the same. I think that with all of us around I will continue to do all those things I do when I have the house to myself . . . but it never happens.

Still one great thing has come of having all of us about - a major house cleansing is in process.

What does that entail?

Well, we started in the garage, clearing all that garbage out that is either pure garbage or no longer of any use to us.

Mission accomplished there - now we are working on the basement. That is the worst area for sure, but we are making steady progress.

There is something very rewarding about de-cluttering your living space - you get this calming piece of mind when you look about and see, well, a lack of clutter.

And you know what, all that stuff you get rid, you don’t even notice it’s gone and you wonder why you hung on to all that stuff in the first place.

By the end of summer we will have the entire house done, and I will be glad of it.

I’m thinking of doing the same thing to my lair . . . which is damn scary for the amount of stuff I have stockpiled in there over the years.

Maybe in the fall I’ll get to that task once the rest of the house is complete.

Well, not much else to report this week, but look forward to more next week as I should be able to get more stuff done . . .

And, I have used the word “stuff” way too many times in this post.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 07, 2013

under the sun

as in, nothing much new.

I finished another book, well actually a kid’s book, this week. It was the first in the Spiderwick series . . . took about an hour to read.

It was pretty okay.

Not chomping to devour the second though, so not outstanding. The illustrations were pretty neat, I have to say.

Gaming happened yesterday and will happen again today.

We played Betrayal at House on the Hill. I was not the traitor, but my wife was.

Her character transformed into a werewolf and along with her pet dog, she hunted us down one by one until we were all werewolves too.

Our luck just did not hold and we were totally unable to find the revolver despite having created the silver bullets.

So, the traitor won. First game out of four where that happened. We played with six players.

Today’s fun will include Elder Sign and Last Night on Earth with a possibility of Dominion as well.

Yeah, games are good for you.

I think.

So, this past week I also hit the tennis court for the first time in six weeks or so. I wore one of those sock type ankle braces which helped.

It was low grade tennis and even at that I found my ankle just could not stand up to the punishment of playing.

I’m thinking another month or so to allow for more healing and I need a better brace once I return. Damn, this sucks.

So how do I spend my energies if I can’t do the tennis - why gutting the house, painting and cleaning, of course.

Since our whole family is home this summer we are getting into making our house a little more livable. It is incredible how much “stuff” you can jam into a house over the years.

And no new video this week either - just too much chaos around the homestead with everybody around.

Well, next week is a new week so maybe something truly exciting will take transpire . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 30, 2013

let the games begin


Okay, I pretty much say that at least once a week, at least in my head if not out loud.

Why?

Because I really, really like to play games - board games in particular these days, though I have been known to dabble somewhat in the video type . . . ahem . . .

And, I made a new YouTube, 1 in 4 video, to share with you this week featuring one of the really good thematic co-op games - at least I think it is such and worthy of note.

Here it is if you want to watch it: 1 in 4, Episode 5

And it would seem, as of the writing of this, that I failed to make the cut into round two of the Geek and Sundry Vlog search . . . this does not mean I am going to stop making videos, it just means I won’t be getting a paycheck for them . . .

Oh well, I’ll keep at it just because it’s fun to do and my subscribers are just climbing like mad . . . um, well, like,  6 . . . hey, that’s more than the number of immediate family members and friends I have so relatively speaking, that is a win!

Hey, a guys gotta start somewhere.

My wife suggests I wear more interesting t-shirts and maybe the odd costume or two . . . hmm, I’ll see what I can do in upcoming episodes. Stay tuned for more of this old guy making a fool of himself . . .

And yeah! - I finished that book I wanted to finish last week this week and I’m now half way through another. The one I finished was David Gemmell’s “Hawk Eternal” and I have to say it was just okay for the first 98%, then, the last 2% was just awesome . . .

Still, that excellent ending was not epic enough to push my rating of the entire package past a 3 out of 5.

And speaking of games - I’m off to a friend’s place today. He’s had a total crapload of suck this week to deal with and I’m hoping a few distractions in board game form may take his mind off the suck - at least for a short while.

I’m bringing along Gears of War, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Star Trek: Expeditions.

If time permits, we should be able to get a play in of all three of these as each takes only 1 to 2 hours to play.

Then there will be hamburgers . . . yum.

Oh, and did I mention that on this very day, nearly a half-century ago, I entered the world?

No?

Well, I did now.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 23, 2013

anon

Well, not a whole bunch to relate this week - sort of a repeat of last week with a few exceptions.

The first is I did in fact finish a book, but not the one I was wanting to finish.

Still, that’s pretty good.

You see, the weather is getting really summer like in these parts and I’m finding myself outside doing things a lot more and less inside doing things . . . if you follow me.

So, with that said it is not surprising that I managed to not do another video this week.

However, my first video is up at Geek and Sundry and needs votes to get noticed . . .

They will be adding ten new vlog people to the YouTube channel. I think there were about 400 submissions or so.

I have, I think, more chance of being struck by lightening, bitten by a shark and winning a lottery without a ticket simultaneously than being selected.

Still, that being said, if you want to vote for me the link is here: my vlog thingy

And yesterday was a day of Mice and Mystics the board game. I played with a friend and his twin teenage daughters and I think they really enjoyed it.

It was pretty fun even though we lost, but decided to win, on the last tile of the game.

We had some pretty rotten luck the first half of the game so we cut ourselves some slack right at the end.

And nothing to report on the tennis front either except to say my ankle still pains me when it bends certain ways . . . this is not good, and just reminds me that if I want to get out there and play I need to find a brace.

So, like I said, not a whole lot to write about this week.

Likely more of the same next week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 16, 2013

week of non

Well, this week I managed to bask in the sun, go for long walks, and accomplish the grand total of . . . well, not much.

Sounds just like an ideal vacation, no?

Well, yes actually, but not a scheduled one.

I did managed to work out a fair bit, but am a bit bummed out by the fact that my ankle randomly starts killing me when I least expect it. I think it may never fully heal . . .

I read about fifty pages of the book I’m working on, which is almost like not reading at all.

I didn’t get a new YouTube video up this week.

I didn’t . . . well you get the idea.

I did, however, manage to research a ton of board games . . . because, well, yeah the whole obsession thing and my B-Day is coming up - a perfect excuse to add to my growing collection.

And, I have grand plans for next Saturday to play some of the games I already own with friends . . .

That’s progress, of a sort . . . right?

Oh, and I got new tires installed on the car . . . which is . . . um . . . yeah, I really got nothing to report this week, do I.

So here is hoping next week will be action-packed and full of exciting forward momentum earth-changing activities.

And today is Father’s Day today, which I pretty much forgot about . . . and so will my offspring, I’m sure, unless my wife reminds her . . .

Doesn’t really matter much to me - I know I’m an awesome dad.

Well, here are my goals for next week, just so I can keep track of what I’m trying to get done in the next seven days.

1) finish the book I’m reading.

2) get my next YouTube video up.

3) lock on a game purchase for my B-Day coming up soon.

4) play more games . . . okay, stolen from Wil . . .

5) exercise more and eat less . . .

Well, that wraps up my non week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 09, 2013

I am Tiredacus

Despite today’s picture - I do not own Spartacus the board game . . . yet.

It is on my radar as a B-Day present to myself.

I tell myself, turning older does have some rewards . . . looking on the bright side.

It’s, as it says on the box, a game of blood and treachery. Certainly a game that needs the right players to appreciate all the back-stabbery without getting personally hostile.

I have a few people I can game with that will really like this one - I think.

Anyhow, it would seem my throat infestation has finally screwed off - thank goodness. It was really getting me annoyed after hanging around for over two weeks.

And with that, here is another YouTube offering . . . if you watch those kind of things.

I speak briefly about one of my favorite TV shows.

Here it is: 1 in 4, Episode 4

And no, I have not hit the tennis courts yet. I’ve been lazy and have not found a brace for my ankle yet, which is better but still not trustworthy for tennis without support.

I really need to do that. Maybe this week . . .

So yesterday I was really looking forward to our reading night - when we get together with friends and read something we have written . . .

. . . but it was not to be. We had scheduled in the daytime to go and visit our daughter at her music camp and the timing got all screwy on us.

You see, a bus was supposed to come pick us up and take us there - one of those nice coach types.

It did not arrive.

We, the waiting parents, were not amused. We were informed that an “error” was made and another bus was on the way.

So we waited some more . . . for a total of almost two hours.

And what shows up - a yellow school bus . . . I kid you not.

So my wife and I and about six other couples said, screw this, and decided to drive up ourselves, which we did.

The drive was almost two hours and all worked out okay in the end, except we did not arrive back home until after nine.

And we were beat.

Nuff said.

There is always next month’s reading night to look forward to - and I may even convince a friend of two to do some board gaming in between.

We shall see . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 02, 2013

less than lots

Well, this week was not the blockbuster of activity I hoped it would be.

I managed to crank out another YouTube video, which you can view right here:

1 in 4, Episode 3

This one is a book review.

So, the reason my productivity suffered this week is for the simple fact that the cold virus I thought I had is more like a bacterial infection - the reason I conclude this - the simple fact that it’s still hanging around.

Two bleeping weeks later!

I’m about 80% of normal . . . okay, normal for me that is.

Which sounds pretty okay - until I try to do too many things and then begin hacking, snorting and tiring out.

I am fairly confident that by the end of next week I should be back to 90%, or perhaps slightly higher.

Still, this lingering ailment is getting a bit annoying to say the least.

And yes, I should likely have gone to the doctor after my symptoms did not go away by day ten, but I’m slowing improving and the doctor would likely advice me to - go home and rest - which is what I did anyhow.

My ankle is also doing about 80% - which is just not good enough to run around the tennis court. I have yet to investigate good ankle braces before I try that silliness again.

I can treadmill though - but this infection in my throat makes that a bit problematic as well.

So, enough griping from me . . .

And, for once, I don’t have a new board game to talk about this week . . . I know, very odd, I must indeed be ill . . .

This coming week I’ll be cranking out Vlog number 4 - it is likely be a TV show review . . .

It’s somewhat fun to just pick something I like and talk about it for a short time - I hope those handful of people silly enough to view them enjoy them at least a little.

I’m off now to do a mountain of laundry . . . yeah, I’m multifaceted, like a bug’s eye . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

two for one and one for all

Yup, this week I’ve been a very productive guy.

For your viewing pleasure (okay, maybe a gross misconduct of the use of that word) I present to you not 1 YouTube video, but 2.

So I’ll just give you the two links here and you can pop on over at your leisure and watch them, or totally ignore them - whatever you like.

The first is me talking about an old (can you say 1972) board game.

And here it is: 1 in 4, Episode 1.

The second is me talking about a great movie that came out in (1999).

And here that is: 1 in 4, Episode 2.

If my nasal infection and lung-hacking cold allows me, I’ll be making and posting up another one sometime this week - likely closer to the end of the week than the first part.

I did say in the first episode that it would be every Friday . . . so I may just stick to that, but I’ll see how it goes.

And being sick kinda put a damper on other activities I had planned for this week, like giving my board game a play through solo.

Hope to get that done this coming week as well.

And I’m still giving my ankle the rest it needs and then I need to go ankle brace shopping to try and prevent this kind of sprain again once I hit the courts.

Still trying to figure a way to convince my brain that my body is no longer 20 years old. But it is a stubborn, crotchety, pig-headed piece of gray matter, so I don’t know how well it is going to listen reason.

So, overall I would say the week was pretty good except for me getting a nasty cold virus.

Oh, and I am almost finished book 30 for the year. That will fall this coming week for sure.

Not much more to relate except the fact that I did get another board game this week and will inflict it upon my gaming group come this fall.

So I got - Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition . . . yeah, I am pretty much a hopeless case.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

three steps forward

and yes, one step back.

This week has been very good for me gaining traction on several projects.

Here are the highlights.

I submitted three short stories for publication in an anthology . . . hey, hey . . . not bad.

I managed to print out and make all of my board game cards. Play testing imminent.

I even made a some decent test videos for my upcoming YouTube channel . . .

I went to the gym four times and managed to keep up a 4mph pace for the entire hour on the treadmill.

So, overall the week was smoking awesome as far as me getting on with all things Paul Darcy.

And then, just as I was about to start some real filming near the end of the week for my YouTube debut - zap - struck down with a nasty head cold.

Now, I know this is a minor thing, and it will blow over in a week, but still, I was so pumped and smoking along only to be struck down . . .

Still, in my weakened state, I’m managing to gather and put down ideas for my board game and videos, so not a total waste.

But it sucks to be feeling horrible when you are supposed to be feeling awesome while working on creative things . . .

And, with all this fun project work, my reading frenzy has pretty much ground to a halt. I may have put in two or three hours tops reading this week, and that was about it.

I’m still around 30 books read for the year, so no complaints, but I’m sure my game and making videos is going to slow my page count right down - and with summer looming - I’ll be lucky to read a book a month.

Anyhow, on the garden front, I planted some tomatoes and four jalapeno plants.

With regards to tennis - well, I’m still laying off the play. I’m giving my ankle the full six weeks to recover. I just don’t want to risk going over on it again when it is in a weakened state.

Well, as you can see I’ve nailed a solid nine point five landing this week.

All I need to do is shake this stupid cold - and then continue to rock on.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

expanding horizons & unchanging mass

No, I do not speak of my midsection, but of my new project coming to the intertubes in the very near future . . .

But, just for a sentence or three, I will speak of my midsection.

My weight is exactly as it has been for the past several months.

Unchanged.

Static.

Inert.

Even though I’m back on the treadmill an hour a day, walking at a brisk 4 to 4.5 miles/per hour and, according to the readouts, burning about 500 calories per trek.

So yes, my ankle is doing much better, but still not sturdy enough for tennis - damn!

I’m almost ready to sell myself to science as a freak of nature for my ability to exercise like a lunatic or not exercise, eat six pounds of food a day of six ounces, and never change weight at all.

Then again, who ever said I was normal . . . which brings me to the new project.

I got to thinking, why not join the millions of fools personalities on Youtube and create my own channel . . . my daughter said she would follow me . . .

Okay . . . maybe I promised to pay her if she did . . .

No really, I mean why not?

I have things to say, things to review, comments to make, jokes to inflict, and the time to do it in.

I see the rolling eyes, face palms and hear the groans . . . I expect that, and worse, but hey, I’m resilient if unchanging in mass . . .

I even picked up a new camera this week since my old one is as old as my daughter - and in terms of electronics that is beyond vintage and pretty much falls into the useless category in today’s world.

So, the new camera (Canon A2500) shoots HD video, well 720p, and the test video I did looked pretty darn sweet - so this week I’ll be creating my first video at putting myself out there like a shooting range target . . .

I’ll post a link when it’s done so you can come hurl insults, jibes and profanity in the comment section . . .

It will be a gas . . . I'm thinking argon, not methane . . .

So, what’s my plan for the channel?

Because, you know, I have a plan . . . it’s what I do.

Well the idea it dead simple.

My first series will be called, 4 in 4, and appear (if I can figure out how to do things in an efficient manner) once a week.

Yup, 4 things I like in 4 minutes or less under the categories of TV, Movies, Books, Games.

I’ll be trying to use Windows Movie Maker to splice it all together . . .

Wish me luck . . . or roll your eyes . . . I leave the response up to you.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 05, 2013

we can rebuild him

Him, being me, of course.

Steve’s time has come and gone.

So, after two weeks of couch sitting and reading I was pretty much going out of my mind.

I needed to exercise! Get me one of them orange NASA suits - and let me move again . . .

With that one thought bouncing around my skull I said, to hell with it, and went off to the gym.

You see, I can walk okay without any real pain and most, if not pretty much all, of the swelling is gone from my ankle.

I made it for thirty minutes on the treadmill at reduced speeds . . . and was greatly relieved to notice I did not suffer a relapse.

In fact, I felt much better.

So, go team me in the rehabilitation area.

I can tell my ankle is still a bit wobbly though and not up to the rigors of tennis - so I’m taking another week off from that sport. Damn.

But, crossing my fingers and ankles, I’m hoping to get back up to my one hour treadmill walks at 4mph by the end of next week.

Who says you can’t teach an old dud new exercises . . . okay, nobody . . . but you know what I mean.

And summer has suddenly sprung around here . . . which means mowing the grass . . . ugh!

And a game happened at my house yesterday which pretty much damaged my hearing for the rest of my life. There was so much screaming, yelling and shenanigans that neigbours several houses down could hear the ruckus . . .

I speak of a gathering of eight girls ages 13 to 14 at my house. The game: Apples to Apples . . . I was playing too (silly me) and it got so loud at one point I thought the glasses we were drinking from were going to shatter.

Yes, it was great fun, but apart from standing next to a 747 during takeoff, I’m not sure what is louder than eight yelling teen girls . . .

Oh well, ankle healing, ears damaged.

Overall not a bad week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 28, 2013

regression

Man I hate just sitting on the couch, reading . . .

Oh, wait . . . no, that’s not so bad actually.

No, the hated thing is having my muscles start to atrophy because I can’t do any workouts or tennis or much of anything related to physical activity which includes my ankle.

I can do some weights routines though . . . yeah, fun.

I’m giving my lame ankle another week to smarten up - then it’s off to the gym again to try and regain that little bit of muscle tone I achieved before damaging myself.

According to the intertubes, (if it’s on there you know it’s true) it takes between four and six weeks to recover from a sprained ankle . . .

I’ve been at this recovery thing now for just over a week and don’t think I can stand not doing active things much longer, let alone for another three to five weeks.

I will go nuts . . . okay, more nuts.

Anyhow, with an actual update, the ankle itself is almost swelling free, but it still gives me aches and pains when I walk on it.

I’m thinking, another week of reading and I should be able to get back to mild treadmill activities with an ankle brace.

But enough about that boring crap.

Yesterday was game day!

We played Defenders of the Realm . . . and, though it looked like we were doing pretty well mid game, the game took a left turn about three quarters of the way through and handed us a sound spanking.

In other words, we lost pretty badly.

Our first attempt to take down one of the four generals was an utter failure - we didn’t even put a dent in his helmet. It was sad really.

The game, despite that setback, went slightly uphill from there, then came the precipice.

Game over.

The dice hated us, no question. We rolled a statistically unusual amount of ones and twos - not good in this game for sure.

Better luck next time I guess . . . or a different game . . .

Well, I think I’ll go recover some more on the couch and read another book . . . sigh.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I am so lame

Yup, I am . . . what? - you are not surprised . . .

Tennis this week was, well, both pleasant and unpleasant.

I served several aces, a couple of which were worthy of note. I’m thinking in the 110 mph+ range and right on the outside lines.

My opponents were impressed - as was I.

Sounds good right?

Well, that part of my game was pretty awesome. Seems all this awesome serving though had to have a karma re-balance.

That came near the end of the third set when I went over on my ankle, and yup, sprained it good.

So, to be literal, I am lame now - moreso than normal . . .

My ankle is swollen, stiff, and I’m hobbling around the house like some hundred year old derelict . . .

Just a barrel of fun, let me tell you.

Still, since I’ve been exercising a ton lately my legs and ankles are strong and in good health.

And this, day two of the sprain, is not really as bad as I thought. I’m recovering rapidly and should be able to walk like a human again within a week.

It usually takes four to six weeks to fully recover from a sprained ankle, but I feel that I’ll be over this sooner than that.

What I’m taking away from this incident is the fact that from now on I’m going to have to wear an ankle brace on my right ankle to avoid this kind of injury in future.

Sucks to get old and not wise as the same.

I should have been wearing a brace already and this would likely then not have happened. You see I really did a number on my right ankle back when I was in my early twenties and it never really recovered fully.

I sprained it a couple more times over the past decades, and you would think I would have learned from that.

But no.

So, on to find a good ankle brace for when I’m back on my feet and running around the courts again, which will likely not be for two weeks or so.

And I was doing so well with the treadmill and tennis this past month . . .

Setbacks . . . we hates them . . . sigh . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 14, 2013

much more like it

Okay, so after my moaning about my mutant inability to lose any weight no matter how hard I try - it would seem that a couple of pounds have disappeared from my midsection.

Of course, it took two weeks of working out twice a day, well most days, and sometimes even staying on the treadmill for ninety minutes instead of sixty.

But I must say, I’m feeling stronger and with more energy to boot . . . so, you ask, with all that new found energy - where the hell are those cards for your board game? . . .

Er, um, well . . .

Yeah, I’ve been concentrating so hard on exercising and trying not to eat garbage food that other things just slipped my mind this past week.

Like printing out the cards for my game.

And speaking of games, we gave Cyclades a try this week and I must say - it’s pretty darn good.

The gist of the game is to curry favour (through auction) from the gods (by giving them gold of course) so you can use their abilities like producing and moving fleets and infantry and building special buildings and such - all geared towards making two metropolises which wins you the game.

It’s a bit of a brain burner of a game because not only do you have to plan ahead for your own strategy to build two metropolises (the game winner) you have to plan ahead to thwart the other player’s who are trying to do the same thing . . .

No easy task I assure you, but pretty darn fun to try. The board size adjusts to the amount of players from 2 to 5 which is a pretty neat idea and each colour of unit is a unique sculpt even though they function exactly the same for each player.

Just a very cool aesthetic touch.

And the artwork is really nice and not the same for each player’s screen as well. The monster minis, 5 of them, are also awesome. And the variety of mythological creatures (represented on cards) you can call on to help you win have varied abilities as well.

It will be played again for sure now that the rules are more clear after our first play through attempt. If you like competitive brain burner games dripping in mythological theme - this game is a must own for you.

Also, with regards to gaming, I’ve sucked convinced a friend to come over sometime this week and give Gears of War a try - I find it a really fun game which scales extremely well from 1-4 players. It’s not easy to win, but you feel a real sense of accomplishment when you do.

Well, I should be back to exercising and gaming and tennis.

And speaking of tennis, I’ve done way better the last two weeks (won my court both times) mostly due, I'm quite sure, to the increase in my physical condition - yeah for me!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 07, 2013

constant mass effect



So, in my never ending battle with old age and weight gain, I’ve been at the gym walking for an hour a day on the treadmill at high speed (4+ mph) - well, that’s high speed for an old guy.

End result - no change in weight whatsoever . . .

Huh.

You would think after seven workouts burning an average of 400 calories per workout for 7 days straight there would be some small incremental change in my bulk.

But, for me, that would be a resounding - No.

Now, I’m not in anyway discouraged by the lack of results, and yes I know Rome was not built in a day, but I was expecting a little something for all that hard work.

Oh, and as well as the treadmill I also played tennis for three hours on top of this and did and entire forty minute weights routine too.

So, for the entire week I’ve literally worked out ten times . . . and yes, my body is tired . . . but the good kind. No less bulky, but tired.

I call it a marginal win.

And I’m going to try to keep at this for the rest of the month. My tiny goal is to drop five pounds.

So that would be five pounds in 30 days.

I would say that is not too much to ask. And yes, muscle weights more than fat, and the moon orbits the earth and blah blah blah . . .

Ten workouts people, no change in eating habits - zero change in weight.

Not liking the initial trend.

My one attempt a couple of years ago at dropping some weight was to meticulously keep track of food intake for a month and try to eat between 200 and 500 fewer calories each day than what my body was supposed to be burning.

You know what the result of that was?

Yup, you guessed it, absolutely no change at all.

I’m beginning to think my body has some mutation which makes it stay at a certain weight not matter what I do.

It’s almost like the more calories I either burn or don’t consume, my body shuts down parts of itself to conserve mass.

I’m trying this month to break that system, but like I said - first week was a total bust.

Tune in next week for another update . . .

Hmm, maybe if I eat nothing, and work out ten times a day all next week . . . ?

Until next Sunday . . .