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Wednesday, June 27, 2007



I just put in the effort to comb through the UN website and check on the abortion status of every country in the world. For my own future reference, and for any readers who may be interested I post my findings here. I didn't want all that effort to be hidden away on page five on a contentious thread on BGG that may eventually get deleted.

I found six countries that allowed women unrestricted access to abortion. They are: Canada, Cuba, Viet Nam, China, North Korea, and Cambodia. A seventh country, Hungary, allowed almost unrestricted access.



Sam Malone: Who's there? Coach: Me. Who's there? Sam: Coach? Coach: No. I'm Coach.

In the lull after a mad bar-closing-rush it is common for several cab drivers to congregate back at the dispatch office. On this particular night I was one of those drivers.

The dispatcher got up to use the bathroom and the phone started ringing, so being closest to the phone I sat down and started dispatching. After 10 minutes the dispatcher still wasn't back and a call came in from the zone where the office is located.

The driver who was up for the call wasn't answering his radio. The second driver up for the call (#44) wasn't answering his radio either. The third driver was standing in the office shooting the breeze. Before giving the trip to him I pondered to myself, "I wonder if the driver of #44 is also standing around gabbing," because off the top of my head I could not remember who was driving #44.

"Hey," I shouted, "is one of you guys driving 44?"

They looked at each other. "It's none of us."

After a pause (and you saw this coming), "Aren't you driving 44?"

As a matter of fact I was driving 44 that night.

It wasn't that funny, but no one who was there will ever let me forget it.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Around Fairbanks

An unknown passenger left this shirt in my cab. It is from the local strip club. Misplaced apostrophes are one of my pet peeves.

Face painting at the Solstice Festival

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Age of Empires III: Thoughts after mangling the rules on the first outing

Got a chance to play one of the few games getting any buzz at all lately. (Tide of Iron being the other buzzy game). Age of Empires III is the first boardgame installment of the popular video game of the same name.

As indicated I mangled a couple rules, namely I thought merchants and missionaries got their bonus when taking part in an expedition of discovery, not when arriving in the New World from the dock. There were a couple other mistakes, none of which I can recall off the top of my head. I'm sure my wife can remember all of them if she takes time to post a comment.

All in all I think AoE3 is a solid game, maybe not an upper tier game, but that opinion could change when playing with correct rules. It seems to be a fine Euro game with Ameritrash aesthetics.

I look forward to playing again with the right rules.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


That uncomfortable lecture every dad has to give his girls...

...What do you do if you see a bear when you are outside playing?

There have been 8 grizzly bears killed in the area so far this year. That is abnormally high. Seven were justified shootings in protection of life and/or property. One bear was illegally shot not far from my home, troopers are investigating.

My kids have never seen a bear in the wild. Wouldn't want them to panic in the face of a bear, because after I have my heart attack they will have to fend for themselves.

But on the bright side since this is Fairbanks I won't have to give the snake, tornado, alligator, scorpion, golf-ball-sized-hail, or gang-shooting while you are in the yard lectures.

Monday, June 18, 2007


High maintenance gal

Overheard while sitting in my cab outside a hoppin' bar

A young woman stormed out of the bar with a guy following her:

"Hey, where are you goin'?"

"I'm getting my stuff out of your car, you bastard!"

"What did I do?"

"You know damn well what you did, f***er!"


"F U!"

"I gave a fifty year old woman a kiss on the cheek. It's her birthday."


Friday, June 15, 2007


Two weeks and counting

The Independence Day holiday is fast approaching, and with it our annual outdoor-boardgame-get-together-weekend in Denali Park.

Unfortunately this fourth of July falls on a Wednesday, so few of us had an extended weekend this year. (And by "few" I mean "none".) After talking to the usual participants earlier in the year I was expecting turnout to be slim, and even considered skipping the event.

Hark and Forsooth!! We are expecting a rather large group this year, including the most participants from Anchorage so far. I even had to call the campground in order to reserve more space.

As usual we have a cabin rented for gaming in the event of inclement weather, and we are all looking forward to a good time whitewater rafting and gaming under the midnight sun.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I Teuber Chapters I & II

For new readers this is the third piece I have written in this style. The others were posted on Gone Gaming. Here are the links for those interested. The first two are aimed at boardgame "insiders".

I Teuber Chapter 11
I Teuber Chapters 12 & 13

Chapter 1

1 In the beginning there was darkness in the boardgame void.

2 The darkness was pierced from time to time with flashes of light both brilliant and dim, lasting and fleeting. But darkness prevailed in the boardgame void.

3 Chess and Backgammon were brilliant and lingering lights on the boardgame horizon. The Game of Life was dim, but refused to fade away.

4 But for Chess, Backgammon and Go boardgames were an idle past time for children in the void of human existence.

5 In the time of deepest darkness a loafer, Charles the Malingerer, came upon a game. The friends and family of Charles loved to play the game, and in his conniving heart Charles the Malingerer said, "Lo, see how they drool and laugh when playing this game? Surely there is money to be made."

6 So Charles took the game unto himself and called it his own. He made many little, wooden houses and sold the game at local stores.

7 Charles made much money with his endeavor and grew self-righteous in his success. Alone he could not meet the demand for the game, so he sought the help of the Brothers Parker, game brokers at large.

8 Claiming the game as his own, Charles the Malingerer took the game and many wooden houses to the Brothers Parker. Upon seeing the game Jake and Elwood Parker responded in unison, "Havest Thou the Rights to this game?"

9 The loafer Charles hemmed and hawed, and would look neither of the brothers in the eye.

10 "Be Thee gone, and bother us no more," said Elwood Parker.

11 But the loafer Charles was also a schemer, and in his heart he thought of the game as his own. Again he sought an audience with the Brothers Parker.

12 "Hasten not to throw me out on my ear yet again, Elwood Parker, for I bring tidings of great profit that may be earned."

13 "With this game?" replied Jake Parker in a thundering voice, "How much money is there to be earned, Thou conniving wretch?"

14 "Boatloads of money," replied Charles the Malingerer.

15 "Interesting," said Elwood Parker rubbing his hands together. "Interesting," said Jake Parker, "Tell us more, and canst Thou also deliver unto us the Rights to the game?"

16 "Hear me, O wise Brothers, for while laboring in my home in Philly, I had a vision. In the vision a host of Angels proclaimed unto me that that no person held the rights to The Game. And in his wisdom the Archangel Meeple, leader of the host bestowed upon me the rights to The Game."

17 "That is good enough for us," said Jake, "we can begin printing on Monday."

Chapter 2

1 In the fullness of time Charles the Malingerer was found to be a fool and a liar. The rightful owner of The Game, which came to be known as Monopoly, became known to the Brothers Parker. However Elizabeth the Communist died a modest woman and never did receive her fair share of the earnings from the Brothers Parker.

2 From their deceit, the Brothers Parker prospered, but in the boardgame void the light cast from Monopoly was growing strong and bright.

3 Lo, the light from Monopoly was spawning other sources of light in the void. For though Monopoly was a boardgame, adults enjoyed playing. As more adults played, boardgames became less a childish stigma.

4 In time Scrabble, Yahtzee, a Monopoly expansion and other games designed for adults cast their light into the boardgame void, and the void was taking form.

5 The Lord was pleased with the light and form in the void and said unto Himself, "Surely it is time for light and substance to dominate, and time to vanquish the void."

6 The Lord sent the Archangel Meeple to a certain town in Maryland of the Mid-Atlantic region to speak unto a goodly man, Charles the Tinkerer.

7 Charles was visited by the Archangel Meeple in his garage in the form of a floor jack. Recognizing the Archangel and being a goodly man, Charles fell on his face being careful to avoid oil stains and said, "Oh Lord, My God what have I done to offend Thee?"

8 Meeple said, "Arise, for I bring joyous news and greetings. Hark, you have been chosen to destroy the boardgame void."

9 Meeple presented unto Charles the frameworks for a Combat Results Table and gave unto him Zones of Control rules. Meeple then said unto Charles, "Ye shall be from this day forward known as Charles Father of Avalon." And light and form sprang forth in the void, and the void was vanquished.

10 Although the void was no more, the Lord desired more form and more light in his creation.

11 Charles Father of Avalon was hailed with much celebration and cheers when he shared the Lord's gifts of CRTs and ZoCs with the people. In that same year Charles brought forth unto the people Gettysburg, the first game based upon an actual battle.

12 The Lord was pleased but not finished. The year afterward Diplomacy and Risk were brought forth into the Lord's creation, and life in dorm rooms was forever changed. Lo the light was so bright in what had been a void as to cast shadows as far as Germany, Dallas and the Land of Catan.

13 In the fullness of time Charles Father of Avalon created many more games and the Lord and the people were pleased. Other game designers brought forth more light and more substance and the next generations knew naught of the boardgame void.

14 The boardgame void was eliminated, never more to return, so promised the Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Something needs to give

Everyone bailed on the last two game days that the wife and I had planned. Summer is just a bad time to plan indoor activities in Alaska. If I can't get game content posted to this blog I ought to change the name to &Pushing Hack.

Anyhoooo. Here's today's taxi story.

Picked up a drunk lady downtown. She was staggering, and obviously too drunk to get into the bars.

"Take me to Smith's* house." (Yes, being the fairly small town that Fairbanks is, I knew exactly whose house she was talking about, even with a name as common as Smith.)

"Do you have money?"

"Yes. I have money." She pulled some money out of her pocket and showed me.

She got in the cab and started complaining about Fairbanks. Everyone in Fairbanks is stuck up. Everyone in Fairbanks thinks they are better than me. Everyone in Fairbanks is an asshole. I wish I was back home or in Anchorage, because everyone in Fairbanks looks down on me. Yadi, yadi, yada.

About half way to our destination she asked me to call Smith to see if he would pay for the ride.

"You have your own money."

"Yeah, but only two dollars."

Sure enough, the wad of money she showed me was a total of 2 one dollar bills.

Now Smith is a pretty good guy from a cabby's point of view. He frequently pays the cab fare of drunk women who unexpectedly show up on his doorstep. But sometimes Smith isn't home, sometimes he is sleeping and won't answer the door, or sometimes he will tell the chick to get lost.

I decided not to call Smith at 1 a.m. If he knew we were coming he might not answer his door. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of getting the rest of the money if we continued on to Smith's house. 50/50 isn't bad odds on a slow night. The total fare would only be 7 or 8 dollars anyway. I brought the woman the rest of the way, all the time listening to her talk poorly of everyone in Fairbanks.

We arrived, knocked on his door, Smith answered and paid the remainder of the cab fare albeit reluctantly.

As I walked away the woman yelled "fat ass" at me and slammed the door.

I was not about to let that comment slide, not after listening to her berate the people of Fairbanks for being rude.

I went back to the house, knocked on the door, and then barged right in when no one would answer.

"Listen lady, that comment was completely uncalled for. I was nothing but polite to you. I even gave you a ride here when I wasn't sure I would get paid. It's no wonder people in Fairbanks are rude to you if you treat them like that."

My jaw must have hit the floor when she apologized. It was even a sincere apology.

FYI: It's called "projection" lady. Look it up in a psychology textbook.

* As usual, names have been changed, but truly the guy's last name is nearly as common as "Smith".

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Sometimes people sicken me

Ride #1.

Picked up three drunk natives at a hotel. On the way to the bar they started discussing their "babysitter."

Seems as though they met a stranger at the hotel bar who offered to babysit their one and eight year old while they went partying. The lady asked me if I would leave my kids with a stranger.

"Hell no. Are you crazy?"

"Well he's a military guy and he seemed like a nice guy."

"All child molesters seem like nice guys."

One of the guys chimed in, "I can tell a good guy and he was a good guy."

I said, "You actually left your 1 and 8 year old children with a guy you don't even know?"

The conversation degenerated from there. The woman got mad at me for implying she was a bad parent. I tried to sneakily get the names of the passengers, but was unsuccessful.

Thought about calling the police, but what could I tell them. Didn't have a name, room number, or anything. Called the hotel to ask if they remembered 3 drunks getting into a cab and which room they might have been in. That was futile.

I can not believe there are people in this world who are so irresponsible.

Ride #2.

Picked up a GI at WalMart at 4 a.m. He was mashing out with an underage girl in the parking lot. She left in the vehicle they were making out in. As soon as he got into the cab he called her and talked for the entire trip.

This 19 or 20 year old GI was perverted years beyond his age. The phone conversation started with licking feet and f***ing toes. The conversation advanced to all the things he wanted to do to her. This little pervert really thought he was Casanova.

He was so disgusting that I felt the need to Lysol the cab after he got out, and I haven't exactly lead a sheltered life.

The girl was young enough that she had to sneak into the house without waking her parents. I know this because I was listening to his side of the conversation, and it was pretty clear.

She was just eating up the attention he was giving her.

So. Anyway. If you have a daughter who was driving a white, extended cab pickup, went out on Friday night, and possibly went to the movies with a GI on Saturday, you need to ground her for the rest of the summer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Breakfast conversation

Me: "You're wearing your hippie shirt to work?"

The wife: "No."

Me: Raised eyebrow

The wife: "It's not a hippie shirt. It's a beaded tunic."


An explanation

I made a comment in passing on my previous post about holding the story just in case flaming hell bitch called the cops. Putting myself in the shoes of my readers I asked, "Why would I say that I would hold the story? After all it is a pretty good story."

I have had precisely one serious encounter with the Fairbanks police. I was merely a witness to a crime.

I witnessed a cop beat the living tar out of a petite, drunk, native female. I saw the events leading up to the beating, and I can definitively tell you that this particular woman did not raise a hand to the officer, and did not threaten him in any way. In my opinion the cop was looking for someone to beat up. The beating was so outrageous that I put my gun where it could be more easily accessed in case this cop realized there was a witness and tried to do who-knows-what to me.

I'm not exactly proud of myself, but there was another cop arriving on the scene so I made the decision not to rush to the woman's aid. I thought they might try to arrest me on trumped up charges of interfering, or even worse, if I layed a hand on the cop would he be justified to shoot me? In addition I had a gun. People carrying a concealed weapon are held to a higher standard, and can't go looking for a fight (and that is exactly how this would be portrayed in court). I made the decision that I could best help this lady by being a witness, not a vigilante. I should add this was all happening right outside the police station, so I didn't have to go far to talk to a supervisor when the incident was over.

Anyhooooooo, I could bore you with a long, involved story, or cut to the chase. A couple days later I was interviewed by the police concerning the beating. I saw first hand how easy it was to take my statement and completely twist it to mean the exact opposite of what I said.

I was merely a witness and I would strongly encourage each and every one of you to never ever make a statement, nor even talk to the police without a lawyer present. Cops do this everyday, you are not smart enough to keep them from twisting your words. I can attest it is so easy to twist words to make a maggot cop look like a hero that you would be appalled.

And that is why you might have to wait many months for the details on this particular story.

Should add that the flaming hell bitch indicated she had a friend in the police dept. to whom she would make the complaint. Probably a lie, but who knows.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


She may not have been the worst passenger ever...

...but she was in the top one and a half.

I would not want to be her ex-husband.

Apparently she is frequently calling the dispatchers and owner of the company to complain about me. Am told she is threatening to report me to the police...

Whatever. You go girl.

Just in case the phsyco bitch from hell is serious about calling the police I figure I had better hold the story. Wouldn't put it past her to make up a whopper of a story to tell the cops. As a matter of fact, she did call the bar where I picked her up. She gave them a story that prompted the head bartender to call the company and say she would never again call my cab company.

I told the dispatchers not to give her my name, not that they would, but I figured I had better reiterate it. I think this particular phsyco bitch might slash my tires or burn my house if she were to find out where I live.

My crime? Well, let me see:

I'm white trash. I'm just a cab driver. I'll never have as much money as her. I don't know her. I rip people off. I'm an asshole. I'm stupid. I only care about myself. There is more, but the biggie is: I didn't think she was cute enough to warrant a free ride.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


CID - Creepy Irish Dude

Don't know if Akbushbaby from A Girl and Her Dogs will see this, but this story is for her. Here is my story about CID (Creepy Irish Dude).

Creepy Irish Dude (CID) is a jackass. I had given him a couple cab rides in the past and I knew this. But hey, I drive a cab at night so I meet quite a few drunk jerks. Besides, he only took very short trips, so I never had to deal with him for long.

Then one winter night at 3 a.m. with a temperature hovering around -50 degrees I ran across CID lying in the snow along the edge of the street. He was drunk as a pig. He had no hat, no gloves, and he had been lying there for a while. He was so cold and drunk he couldn't speak or move. I had to physically drag him into the cab. Once I had him in the car he was so cold that he couldn't wipe the snow from his hands, much less lift his hands to wipe the snow from his face.

I got the snow off his face and hands as best I could, so he would at least be dry. I offered to take him to the hospital, but he refused. I knew he didn't live far from where I found him, but I couldn't remember exactly where he lived, so I had to wait for him to warm up a little and tell me his address.

I had to wait several minutes before he could even talk. The first words out of his mouth when he finally warmed up enough were, "Are you a faggot?"

And that was the most polite thing he said to me that night.

As I was carrying him to his door he went on and on and on and on asking if I was going to do obscene things to him once he was inside. I made sure he got inside, and then I swore I would never give that jackass a ride again.

A couple years later I got a call to pick up at a bar in a hotel. When I pulled up I saw CID sitting outside with a bar employee hovering nearby. Turns out that the employee was tasked to wait with CID to ensure that he left the premises. The employee tried to get CID loaded into the cab, but I stopped him, "I don't give this jackass rides."

The employee said, "I understand completely."

Do you know how many times before or since I've seen a bar dedicate an employee to wait outside and ensure that a drunk gets into his cab and leaves? None.

This guy just endears himself to everyone he meets. Don't feel like he singled you out Akbushbaby, but if you do ever catch this jackass in a dark alley kick him in the balls for me. I'll do the same for you.

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