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Thursday, July 24, 2008


And number 400 is....

...Wealth of Nations, a game that had slipped under my radar. My FLGS had it in stock. I looked it up, and was surprised I hadn't noted it before this. It is a from a small publisher, but it looks to be a must-buy. Moot point now that is bought.

An empire building, economic and trading game. Sounds like it's right up my alley. Seems to have downtime issues though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Is B&N your FLGS?

Is Barnes and Noble your Friendly Local Game Store?

It just might be.

Stopped by Barnes and Noble the other evening and I was rather surprised at their game selection. In recent years B&N has beefed up their game selection around Christmas to include some of TGOO (boardgame snob term for These Games Of Ours), but cut back on games after Christmas to free up space for books.

There were several areas scattered about the store where boardgames were featured. I thought to myself, they have a decent selection of boardgames, I should make a list for the old blog.

Let me lead with my observation that they did have plenty of the box store crap such as: 15 different versions of Monopoly, Scene It, Risk, Cranium, numerous trivia games, Munchkin, and assorted other crap that will sell well to an uniformed public but is ultimately destined for the bottom of the closet and thrift store shelves. If you look between the piles of crap you will find: Acquire, Modern Art, Blokus, Age of Empires III, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan with various expansions, Ingenious, Diplomacy, the revised Axis and Allies, Knizia's Great wall of China, and a few others. Not a bad selection at all.

There were other games that were not box store fare, nor TGOO, such as Dread Pirate and a few others that are not commonly known. One must do some research to discover that they are utter crap... or not. They even had a B&N exclusive game, "The Origin of Expressions, the game that keeps you guessing" which looks like a Balderdash clone.

An exclusive game. I think that is a good sign. Another good sign is that they have so many different titles so far from the Christmas season. Here's hoping this trend continues.

Monday, July 21, 2008


399 and counting

A couple weeks ago I was perusing Boardgamegeek.com and noted I had failed to check the "owned" box on several games that I had commented upon and did, in fact, own. After checking the boxes in question my collection was bumped to 398 individual games, including a few expansions.

This afternoon I scored St. Petersburg in my local game store.

St. Petersburg is a game that every game snob should have in their collection, if only for the sake of snobbishness. A few years ago it was released with much fanfare, was widely compared to Puerto Rico (the most popular boardgame) and was the topic of many, many discussions in boardgame circles. It has since slipped to the 98th highest rated game on BGG.... which still leaves it in the top 2% of all rated boardgames, but is a shadow of its one time greatness. Despite its slip in the ratings St. Petersburg is still a game with many diehard fans.

Personally, I've never played. In years gone by, when I've considered purchasing St. Petersburg there always other games that had a higher priority. Now that I have it I'm looking forward to a game.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Sometimes drunkenese is much richer than plain English

Talking to a passenger about the upcoming Presidential election.

Passenger: There's no way around it. Obama is going to be the next Carter of the United... I mean President of the United States.

You had it right the first time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Actually, that was a pretty good line

Couple got into the cab. Their conversation was unmemorable except for this bit:

Chick: No. Heat was the first movie De Niro and Pacino were in together.

Dude: Actually, Heat was the first movie in which they appeared together.

Chick: What's the difference?

Dude: In Godfather II De Niro played young Don Corleone, Pacino played Pacino.

Monday, July 14, 2008


We cannot drill our way out of the problem. - Barack Obama

Dear John McCain,

You're not handed a straight line like that every day.

Need I remind you there is a campaign going on?


Wondering if you're trying to lose in Alaska

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Note to new cab drivers.... the world around

You've been driving for 2 months? Got everything figured out?

I've got news for you.

There are regular passengers and full-time drivers who still have two years to serve who you haven't even met yet.


Cab shorts

Outside a crowded bar at closing time.

(Do note that, theoretically, people who call for a cab have priority, although at closing time many bars are a free-for-all)

I got a call to pick up "Mike" at a bar.

Dude: I'm Jose, I called for a cab.

Me: Sorry, I'm here for someone else.

Dude: Who?

Me: Not Jose.

Dude: I'm Jose. I called for a cab.

Me: Sorry dude.

Other dude: You here for "Mark"?

Mike, Mark. Pretty close. I may have misunderstood. Possibly the dispatcher misunderstood.

Me: Did you call?

Mark: Yes.

Me: Get in.

Jose: I told your dispatcher my name was "Mike".

Dropped off this lady who I've given rides to her and her "significant other" for years.

Me: Say "hi" to your old man for me.

Her: He's not my old man. He's exercise.


New Driver: (impatiently) There's no one answering the door.

Dispatcher: Just give her a minute. Sometimes she takes a while.

New Driver: I knocked. No one answered.

Dispatcher: Look. She's been taking our company since it was one man and a dogsled, just give her a few minutes.


File these under "I crack myself up"

Picked up a fellow cabdriver and a couple lounge hounds at the bar. One of the gals thought I took a wrong turn and started getting pissy.

Lounge hound: Do you know how to drive?

(General conversation continues with everyone ignoring her)

Lounge hound: Hey! I asked if you know how to drive?

Other driver: Shut up.

Lounge hound: I don't think this asshole can drive. Hey! Do you think you can drive?"

Me: Be quite. We're trying to have a conversation.

Lounge hound: Be quite yourself. I asked if you can drive?

Me: And I'm asking if you can walk?

You got change for a hundred?

I might have to drive around the block a couple times.


Had to expand my list

Fairbanks is a pretty small town. Cabdrivers can't get away with anything in this town. Everyone knows the owner of the company and calls him directly if one of his drivers farts crossways in the street.

I've always said: Everyone in this town either went to school with Mike, is related to Mike, or used to work for Mike.

Had to add: Or is an ex-old lady.


Behind the curve

I just found out tonight that gay guys named "David" are not "DAY-vid" the correct pronunciation is "day-VID".

Must admit that I once knew a gay guy named Zachary, who went by /zash-AR-ay/.

There's probably one guy who goes by /day-VID/ in Fairbanks. If I go missing check his alibi.


And a happy belated birthday to Xenia Felix.

More later

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The Lean Months

Out-of-towners assume the summer would be the busy time of year for cabs in Fairbanks. They are wrong. As a rule of thumb, the colder it is the busier it is. If the temperature is -40 you could be looking at a 2-3 hour wait for a taxi. This time of year 15 - 20 minutes is a loooong wait.

The truth of the matter is that we get little tourist business. Tourists mostly stay with their organized tour groups. They may take a cab to dinner in the evening, but that is about it.

Most of our business is locals, or Alaskan villagers in town to shop and drink. In the summer our regulars walk or ride bikes. Can't say I blame them. Taxis are expensive.

On a personal note: I haven't been arrested yet. Apparently, the bitch who I called a bitch and who later made some outrageous accusations has made no headway persuading the DA to prosecute me.

I'll tell ya: I have a whole new perspective on women who make false accusations to the police in order to stick it to some guy. I have always thought there should be repercussions for making false accusations, but now I am of a mind that the penalty for filing a false police report should be severe. Even though I know I did nothing, the stress of waiting for something to happen has been immense.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


No July 4 post...

... I was gaming under the midnight sun in Denali Nat'l Park.

The weather was warm. The river was cold. The kids had a blast. The gamers had even more fun.

Arrived Thursday afternoon. Left Sunday evening. Slept for a total of 9 hours. Played boardgames the rest of the time.

We had a mixture of Anchorage and Fairbanks gamers, although the Fairbanks contingent was disappointingly small. Not counting kids and spouses there were 7 adult gamers (and one teenager who participated in a couple games) for the entire weekend and two other gamers who were there for a day each.

Game designer Martin Wallace was the unexpected hero of the weekend. We played 3 seven-player games of Struggle of Empires (I participated in two), a couple games of Age of Steam, and a game of Brass. Great games, all. On Sunday afternoon there were 4 gamers remaining, and the call went out for another game of Brass, but one person was adamantly anti-Brass (even though he had never played), so, sadly, I was limited to one game of Brass. Instead of Brass, we played a second game of Hamburgum, which wasn't a bad second choice.

Took me an entire day to recover from the boardgame orgy.

Already planning for next year.

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