Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Customer Reviews

Fast Paced Chess for Neophytes and Experts, February 21, 2007
Reviewer: Ben Ide "Webbed Legions" - See all my reviews

This is a good games and a really great concept. Game play is simple and fast paced. There is strategy involved, but it never bogs down the action. Using a scaled down board and just a handful of key chess pieces, this games succeeds where so many others have failed: It creates a great learning tool and introduction to chess while also leveling the field for experts and novices.

How is this possible? Simple. While the expert is trying to teach the beginner the rules and strategies of chess, the beginner is winning at a game she or he already knows -- tic tac toe. My nine-year-old son, for example, asked maybe 6 times "How does this piece move?" I'd tell him and maybe correct a few wrong moves, and then the little stinker would suddenly beat me. I'm playing chess, he's playing tic tac toe, all while we're both playing Tic Tac Chec and having a blast!

My only complaints about the game is the lightweight pieces skitter off the board too easily (heavier and maybe slight larger chess pieces would help)and the directions are a little vague ("pawns must cross the board before they can reverse direction", "you can't move if there are less than three of your pieces on the board", and "start with a blank board, taking turns placing pieces until you can start moving them" are helpful clarifications).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gettin' "Cozy"

Gilly & Harry wearing tea cozies.

Gilly & Harry wearing tea cozies.

The two fingers sprouting from Harry's head are Nicky's.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Water World

Here's a nifty map that shows what any area in the world would look like if global sea levels increase by 0-14 meters. On this map, I have central Connecticut highlighted with a 10 meter rise:,-72.6746&z=6&m=10

Not too bad. Very few areas we're looking at for houses would be under water -- even though many of the major roadways would need new bridges. University of Hartford should be okay, too. (Harvard would be submerged.)

Sadly, I couldn't get the map to show the Providence area. I'm pretty sure that our current house would be underwater, though.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of "That Dork From Harvard"

No, not Nick. Me.

So today I was all excited because I managed not to sign the time sheet where the director is supposed to sign -- I did that last week; very embarrassing -- so I thought I'd celebrate with some coffee.

I do like coffee. Gretchen bought me my own can and some powdered Creamola to take to work. I still need to get a coffee maker for my office. I'm actually thinking of getting an electric kettle and a simple drip coffee maker, maybe something like this.

So I grab my can of coffee and trot up to the break room. There I dose out the more-or-less proper amount of coffee and water and flip the switch. While I wait for the brew to finish, um, brewing, I scope out the cartoon clipping posted on the staff corkboard because hey, they're new to me. (Ha! Oh that Cathy!)

When I hear the coffee pot gurgling I turn around and OH MY DOG! I didn't close the lid of the machine and there's aborted coffee and grounds everywhere!

Luckily, I know how to clean up a coffee machine disaster. But still, what a dork!